Sunday, June 27, 2010

Chocolate Gravy

Oh, my gravy!  I thought this sounded good, but I hadn't gotten around to making it until today.  Why did I wait?  It's heavenly, creamy, chocolatey perfection on a biscuit.  It got a resounding "thumbs up" from everyone in the family!

You can find the recipe here on the website of The RHOK (that's Real Housewives of Oklahoma!) courtesy of my friend ShaRhonda!  Thanks for sharing, and I'll be making it again soon!

Warm Heaven in a pan!

Come on, biscuits--cook!

We can't wait to dig in!
It was a chocolatey mess, but it was SO worth it!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Tee-Bags, T-shirt Totes, Recycled T-shirt Shopping Bags--Whatever You Call 'Em--They're GREAT!

After a quick trip to the local thrift shop (on $2 bag day, no less!), I was stocked up on t-shirts for this project.

To begin, choose your t-shirt.  This may be the most difficult part!  My son chose this one since it was from a preschool he went to a couple of years ago.

Next, turn your t-shirt inside out.  Lay it out flat (on the floor or a table) and line up the sides and bottom (if the bottom is not straight across, sew a straight seam on the shorter side).

Sew a straight seam (I used a zigzag stitch) all the way across the bottom of the shirt (be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of all seams on this project for added stability).

To make a box-pleat bottom (that's a bottom that is flat like a brown paper bag (remember those?), open up the corner of the bottom seam and form a triangle.  See photos for detail.  Sew (and backstitch!) a seam across about about 3-4" down from the point.  The further down you sew, the larger the dimensions on the bottom of the bag will be.
First put your hand inside the corner.

Lay out the corner and smooth it flat with your hand into a triangle.

Sew across in a straight line from side to side.
Repeat for the opposite corner--be sure to make both sides the same size.

Turn the shirt right-side out again.  Smooth out wrinkles. 

Using scissors or rotary cutter (recommended if you have one), cut off the sleeves.  I cut away the factory stitching, but some people save it for extra strength. 
This would be saving the factory stitching...

This would be cutting it off...

Cut around the collar (about 1/2" around the front).

Then fold the shirt in half and cut away extra down as far as you prefer.  I cut some deeper since their graphic was not disturbed.  Some will either have to have a higher cut or lose some of their picture.

Voila!  You are done!

If you'd like, add a piece of covered (cover with clear tape or contact paper for easy wiping) cardboard for extra stability in the bottom.

The extra pieces can be used for the following:

(Yes, this is a self-protrait; no, I couldn't see my headband before I took the picture; yes, I should have adjusted it; no, I don't like this photo--at all!)

Tiny Hiny Crack Cover
(I'm going to have to patent this  before someone else does--it will be the newest craze!)

(such strange things thrill them)

Here's everything you'll cut away: both sleeves, the collar, and a bit more under the collar

Two New Orleans-themed Tee-Bags

The "box pleat" or "gusset" bottom

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I hit the jackpot at a few garage/yard sales the last two weekends! For around $38 I got everything in these photos plus a couple of shirts that are in the laundry room. That's what I call bargain shopping at its best!

In the mix, I got three dresses, two jackets, six sweaters, four pairs of pants, and at least ten shirts/blouses!

The most I paid for any one thing is $2; the least I paid is 25 cents.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Ribbon Tag Baby Blanket Tutorial for OHCE

Step-by-step instructions to make a ribbon tag baby blanket (any size, but will have to add more ribbons if it gets bigger than 18" square).

First you have to start with your solid piece, right side up. I used flannel for this one, but fleece works well, too.

Next, choose ten solid color and ten patterned ribbons in assorted widths and textures (I would not use any larger than 1 1/2" or smaller than 1/2"). I used a variety of satin and grosgrain ribbons cut into 4" lengths. Arrange them in a pattern of solid then patterned with five on each side.

Fold them in half, right side out (or wrong sides together--whichever gets the message out the best), and pin them with their raw edge on the raw edge of the flannel or fleece (right side up). I start with the center ribbon on all four sides then add the remaining ribbons all around.

This just shows the spacing on the pinned ribbons.

Lay the coordinating fabric wrong side down over the bottom layer. I turned up a corner so you could see it's wrong side down.
This photo shows you to block off about a 4" section (after you turn the corner) to leave open for turning. I insert pins sideways to remind myself to stop. When I don't, I usually regret it! 

 After sewing a 1/4" straight seam all the way around (but NOT in your open/turn area!), you will be left with one ribbon not attached--this is correct, so don't worry! Backstitch at the beginning and end to reinforce the opening edge.
Be sure to trim your corners BEFORE you turn it inside out! If you forget, go back and do it! Believe's a must! 
Your corners should all look like this before you turn the blanket inside out.

You will now have to turn your blanket (push out the corners) and remove all pins EXCEPT the one on that last ribbon! Press the blanket with a warm iron unless you used fleece. If you used fleece skip the pressing--it melts! You may need to tug the ribbons out while pressing to get a nice edge.
Next, press the opening and pin the space to hold it closed until you do your finish stitching.

Starting in a corner, sew a small (maybe 1/8" or 3/16") seam all the way around ending at the corner you began with. Backstitch to reinforce seam.

The finished project! I pulled (with a seam ripper) the threads all to the back and clipped them off for a nice finished look. It's ready to give to a baby to love!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The school board officially hired me today to be the new Library Media Specialist for three elementary sites in the fall!  I can't wait to go back to work and be out of the house, but I'm already getting a heavy heart about leaving the girls with a babysitter so young (the girls being young, not the babysitter...I mean, she's not OLD...this is getting me into trouble!).  Pros and cons to everything, I guess.  Maybe they will be as glad to see me at the end of the day as I will be to see them.  Those two smiles are going to get me through the pain of putting them in daycare in the first place (right?).  Hopefully it is a smooth transition with few tears (from me AND the girls) and lots of rewards.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Hunter found my old Furby from a long time ago.  He used to be scared of it, but now he loves it.  The girls also think it's fun to "talk" to.  A new set of batteries, and we have had fun for a couple of days now.  Why do we buy new toys?

Sunday, June 06, 2010

The girls' cribs went bye-bye today...I'm not sure if I should cheer or cry.  They are already 2 1/2.  Where does the time go?  Harper's crib used to be Hunter's crib, and it was not a convertible one.  We dismantled it and put it in the garage until the next yard sale.  Hadley's crib (which Grandma Judy so nicely bought when we needed another one) is a convertible, so we just took off the front rail.

At naptime, Harper climbed right in her new toddler bed and got down to the business of dozing off.  Hadley, on the other hand, was very upset about the missing piece and requested quite loudly (for quite some time) that we reattach it!  I ended up climbing into her crib toddler bed with her until she fell asleep.  Let's hope that doesn't become routine.  I am not small enough to get in and out of there very easily!