Monday, July 26, 2010

The Twins Baby Shower

As promised, I finally have pictures of the outfits I made for my friend Connie's daughter, who is expecting twins in October! As usual, I was running late on Saturday before the shower, and didn't have time to fuss with taking good pics. The shower was scheduled to start at one o'clock on the other side of town, and at 12:45 I was still wrapping my gifts! Thankfully I only ended up being about twenty minutes late. There were about twenty people there, and lots of finger foods. I took a nacho dip that my family loves, and I was happy to see that everyone at the party liked it too!
It took me a while to decide what to make for the babies. I knew I wanted some sort of matching outfits, but because the twins are a boy and girl, I couldn't decide what fabric to use. I settled on a cute blue, (almost like a medium denim colour) with coloured safety pins printed on it. So, I made a little romper for the boy, and altered the pattern somewhat to make a dress and panties to match. I made the twelve month size, so they should fit reasonably well next summer.

To 'fancy up' the little dress, I sewed yo-yo's under the buttons, and used snap fasteners on the straps.

I have also been wanting to follow the crowd and embellish some onesies. I thought this was as good a time as any to try appliqueing for the first time. I honestly don't know why I put it off for so long! It was so easy, and they turned out so cute! I just drew a tie shape, ironed the backing onto the fabric and cut it out. Once you remove the backing paper, you position it on the onesie and iron. That is it! I also top-stitched around the edges just to be safe. I can see lots of appliqueing in my future! How do you think my grown-up sons would feel about appliqued ties on their tee shirts? I can just imagine! All I can say is, I've been bitten by the applique bug, and I like it!

Do you like the dragonfly tie tacks? I thought they added just the right touch!
For the little girl, I thought I'd try another project I've been eyeing lately. Ruffle bum onesies! I love a ruffle bum! Sooo cute! Here is what I came up with.

Okay. I have absolutely no idea why pictures come out sideways sometimes on blogger. FIXED IT! (does anybody know? Or know what to do with it when it does? Drives me crazy!) Anyway, you get the idea.
In the end, I think everything turned out pretty darn cute, and the mom to be thought so too! And really, that's all that matters, right?
One more thing before I go. Connie's niece baked and decorated two cakes for the shower. Aren't they fabulous?

Again with the sideways! Have a great day ladies! Anne

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

New Friend Friday!

Hello ladies! Welcome to my blog! I realize it is now early Saturday morning, ( 12:30 a.m, to be exact!) but better late than never as they say! I've just finished sewing for the evening. I have a baby shower to attend tomorrow, (today?) for twins, and I wanted to finish as much as I could. All I need to do tomorrow is sew on a few snaps and buttons. So typical of me to leave it til the last minute! (lol, not to mention being the last one to jump on the Friday blog party!) I will post about what I made after the shower, just in case the mommy to be stops by. I want her to be surprised when she opens her gifts! I don't have any of my own projects to show you now, but I will leave you with the pic above, from a wonderful little shop called Winter Peach on etsy. You don't actually buy the little shoes, but the pdf pattern. For only $4.50! And as a bonus, a pattern for little sandals is included! This is a fantastic deal. And, if you like, you can buy this pattern, plus two others, all for $10.00! How great is that! I have a feeling that a pair or two of these little beauty's will be showing up on my blog in the near future.... Anne

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Peanut Butter Crumb Cake

While blog hopping recently, I came upon the cutest little baking site, called Ur Baking Me Crazy! , hosted by Hanni, who is just sixteen years old! She has several recipes listed, with lots of pictures for each one. I settled on making Peanut Butter Crumb Cake, (although there is a chocolate cheesecake recipe with my name written all over it!) because my family is nuts about peanut butter. The recipe is incredibly easy, and whipped up in no time at all.
As I mentioned in my last post, I picked yesterday to bake, thinking that the weather was 'cooler'. Big mistake! As I was assembling the ingredients and such, the sky was overcast and a storm seemed imminent. There was even a nice breeze floating through my kitchen windows. As soon as the first ingredients made it into the mixing bowl, the clouds parted and the blistering sun appeared! The humidity increased to stifling proportions and the breeze disappeared. Now, any normal person would have given up and put everything away.(especially since we don't have air conditioning!) But not me. I plugged along, determined to have cake with my tea later in the evening! So, without further ado, on to the recipe!

Peanut Butter Crumb Cake, ingriedients

One yellow cake mix (two layer size)
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
6oz chocolate chips

Method -

Beat dry cake mix, brown sugar and peanut butter together, until crumbly. Reserve 2/3 cup of mixture for topping.

Add remaining ingredients, and beat until smooth. Scraping bowl often

This is where I made a slight change. Hanni suggests just sprinkling the chocolate chips on top of the cake before baking, but with the multitude of chocoholics in my family, I decided to add them to the mix as well.

TIP - To prevent the chocolate chips from sinking to the bottom of the cake during baking, toss them with a little flour before adding to the batter. I have no idea why this works, but it does!

Pour batter into greased and floured 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle with reserved dry mix and more chocolate chips.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 - 45 minutes.

Note - Don't go downstairs and do laundry while it is baking! You run the risk of not hearing the timer on your stove, like I did. My youngest son was being helpful and took it out of the oven, and it wasn't quite cooked. So unfortunately my version turned out slightly heavy. But, it stills tastes awesome! I would definately recommend the recipe! Enjoy!

Don't you just love the saucer? It belongs to a set of dishes that were my grandmother's. I have a place setting for twelve, including dessert plates and fruit nappies! I just love them. My grandmother used them as her everyday dishes for sixty-five years. When she received them as a wedding present, the were already twenty-five years old. She and a few of her sisters all received a set as wedding gifts from their parents.
Have a great day everyone! Anne

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Up-Cycled Petal Skirt

Another stinkin' hot day in Southern Ontario! Who would have thought? The temperature itself isn't that high, but the humidity is a killer. It started out cooler this morning, so I hoped we'd have a bit of a respite from the heat. But, no luck. And in my infinite wisdom, this afternoon, I decided to bake a cake. The sky was overcast, and there was a breeze, so I thought to myself, it won't be too hot to bake! Ha! As soon as I started mixing, the blistering sun came out. Naturally. Foiled again. But I plowed ahead anyway, and by the time I was ready to put my cake in the oven, it was hot enough in my kitchen to cook it on the counter. ( I put it in the oven anyway, since it was already on, lol) It is baking now, and the delicious smells wafting from my kitchen make a little (little?) suffering worthwhile. I will be doing a post with the recipe later today or tomorrow, depending on how it turns out!
Now, on to the main attraction of my post. A few weeks ago, my good friend Connie, gave me several pieces of fabric. Amongst them was the remains of a vintage sheet. Part of the sheet had already been cut into strange (she got it that way) large 'pocket' shapes. I have no idea what the original owner was doing with them, but I knew I could come up with something. I also had a white, eyelet trimmed pillowcase in my stash, just begging to be used. After a few days of brainstorming, I came up with this. I call it 'The Petal Skirt'.

Unfortunately, neither my camera, nor my picture taking skills have improved, so we're stuck with another blurry picture! I thought the skirt turned out fairly well. I added the yo-yo flowers and ribbons as an afterthought, because the skirt was kind of boring without. I know you can't really see it, but the center of the flower is actually a shiny bead, the same dark pink as the stripe. It twinkles in the light, which I thought little girls would appreciate!
Here are a couple pictures of the back.

Here you can see the pillowcase 'slip' under the petals.

This skirt was so easy to do, I'm sure I'll be making more. This one is a size seven, and will be posted in my etsy shop soon!
My newest sewing projects are matching outfits for twins! My friend Connie's daughter is expecting a boy and a girl in mid-October. D already has a three year old daughter, so she will be incredibly busy! But I know that Connie, being the fantastic Mom and Grandmother she is, will be there to help as much as possible. I will post the outfits later in the week, possibly on Sunday, the day after the shower.
Have a great evening everyone! I'll be back tomorrow with the recipe for Peanut Butter Crumb Pie!
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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I'm Back!

To blogging that is! I can't believe it has been a week and a half since I've posted! I haven't been sewing today, the first day in many.(and I'm sure my poor sewing machine is heaving a great sigh of relief!) I have been so busy stocking my etsy shop, that I haven't noticed the passing of the days. I just finished listing eight new items, seven dresses and a set of three pairs of embellished socks. I'll show you a couple of my favorites,

I call this my 'Little Bo Peep' dress. I just love the eyelet, don't you? This dress is my own design, and is one of a kind.

And this is my 'Flower's of Fire' dress. The colours are so vibrant and summery. I think this is my favorite! Oh I wish I had a little girl again! I made this dress yesterday, and now I am at loose ends. Time to start a new project!
On Sunday I was lucky enough to buy two half shell mannequins, a toddler, and a child size. So yesterday, I redid all of the pics of the items in my shop, plus pics for the new items. Things look so much better on the mannequins, but boy, is it alot of work! Dressing and undressing, and taking pics in the meantime, it took me two hours! But, it was worth the effort. The pics turned out great, or at least I think so, and if you saw the previous pics, I think you will agree! As of this moment I have seventeen items listed in my shop, and I have to be honest and say that I am immensely please with myself! Since retiring from work four years ago,(because of my illnesses) I have been feeling unproductive, and to be down right blunt, useless. Fibromyalgia is so debilitating that it is impossible to keep a regular job, with regular hours and schedules. Opening my etsy shop has been like a breath of fresh air. I feel useful and productive, and I can sew when I feel up to it. If I want to sew at three in the morning, I can. If I have a few bad days, I don't have to do anything. Everything is at my own pace. It has been liberating for me, and I would like to thank everyone who has supported me in this endeavor. My family, who has listened endlessly to my chatter about fabrics, patterns and all things etsy, and not to mention the sound of my sewing machines at all hours! Too my friends who have encouraged me, and to all my wonderful readers and followers who have also listened to my etsy ramblings, from the first idea til now. Thank you so much everyone! I love you!
Another person I would like to thank is someone who has become so close to me in such a short time. Amanda, from The Modern Brady Bunch Family Blog. Although we live thousands of miles away from each other, we talk and text everyday. She has become a very important part of my life, and has taught me to believe in myself. Thanks for being you Amanda! While I'm talking about Amanda, you should really check out her etsy store, Six Little Chickens. She has just posted the most awesome bag. And she will personalize it with your initial. I just love it. Take a look!

Well, I may not have posted in a week and a half, but I've certainly made up for it today! I'd love it if you would hop over and check out Amanda and my etsy shops, and leave us a comment to let us know what you think. Thanks again, Anne

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