Wednesday, July 17, 2013

"Whatcha Doing?" Wednesday: A Dose of Disney

I hope everyone is having a "creative" week! For me it has been mostly about Disney. Some of our friends is taking their kids to Disney in a few weeks and I made this skirt for their 13 year old daughter. I have been trying to find a quick and easy pattern and saw these "circle skirt" DIYs on Pinterest  and gave it a try. Really easy, but since she is really tall and thin, I had to add length to make it "Daddy-approved" so we went with a black wide hem to compliment the (not shown) black elastic waist. I'll have to post a photo when completely done.

For both their son and mine I made pirate bandanas out of this material (ARG, matey!) It was quick and easy, just square of material, folded in half to form a triangle and ta-da! You have turned a toddler into a pirate!
Lastly, from the leftover material I made this cute Minnie Mouse tote ... o.k. this was for me, but seriously, its so cute! We go to Disney when we can so next trip ... I'm going to be rocking this cute bag. It's actually larger than I had anticipated since I didn't measure or plan out. Just cut and go really. Making additions, like to ribbon as I went. Now I want to do more Disney stuff! But first I have to finish the skirt and add handles to the tote. We'll see where the creative journey leads!!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Craft Room: It's What You Make of It!

What is your craft room like? Is it a room specially made for you or a corner of the living room? I can say that I have had it all. From a bag by the sofa, to a room solely dedicated to my crafts, and everything in between!
We have spent the last 10 years in the military with a total of 5 moves, each house different. In Louisiana I had a random walk-in closet. It was an odd space, as all the on-base houses in the section had the same space, but for some reason the two-bedroom houses on the ends of streets had only one bath and the others had two.
So there was a random walk-in closet in the hallway. It was barely the width of the doorway, so you couldn't put shelves on the sides, only at the end. So they put small shelves barely 12-inches deep. It was such a challenge to make it useful space. By the time I got it to a functioning level, it was on to the next adventure.
Soon the Army moved us to Georgia where we had 3 bedrooms, but since we were only there for 8 months, we only unpacked necessities, so my craft (mostly stitching) projects were things that I found and started there. Packing all those boxes in hopes of finding everything I needed for a project just didn't seem worth it. Two months after we got there, we found out we were expecting out first child, so baby bibs and towels were fun, quick and easy!! 

There were other moves, but before we moved back home, we were stationed in Miami. We had a big 4-bedroom home and the downstairs "office" was quickly deemed my craft room. (I think at 8-months pregnant my husband was willing to agree to anything to prevent the pregnancy tears!) It was a small room by many standards, but for a craft room it was great! On one side there was double door closet which held our holiday decorations, and then we put his grandfather's large executive desk on one side for my computer and paperwork, and the other side we placed the childhood desk that his grandfather build him for the sewing machine. A bookshelf for organizing and it was great! the room was just off of the kitchen, so I could use the breakfast table for cutting or laying out projects.
Finally the Army brought us back home, where Monkey and I made ourselves comfortable while the Army sent my husband to Korea for a year. Now we are here, in the home my husband grew up in. My craft room is larger, but space is smaller. At first it was going to be a craft room/guest room, but then my husband was accepted to and started law school, so now it is a craft room and office.
Organizing the smaller space has been a challenge, but I am grateful that we have the financial stability for me to be able to do extra things like this, even with my husband transferring to the Army Reserves and in school full time. It's still a work in progress, but I have learned to adapt over the years as a military spouse so its not took big of an issue. I do occasionally still take over the kitchen or playroom floor when I need to ... that's right, everyone shares around here and sometimes I am laying out a project alongside trains and Legos!

I am off this week, so I am hoping to get some projects done, or at least with enough progress to post some updates! What are you working on this weekend?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Accidental Chef: Lasagna Rolls

This is a blog post I used to do on my main blog, A Cup of Tea with Friends. I love trying new recipes, though I seldom follow them exactly. Usually I combine several recipes, then see what happens! Then I post it on here and pray (if its good) that it comes out the same next time. So far only 1 recipe has proven difficult to replicate, The White Beans and Ham.

So, here it is ...

Ingredients ... 
  • 9 lasagna noodles
  • 1 pound ground beef
  •  1 c. chopped onions
  • 1 jar (14 ounces) spaghetti sauce
  •  2 c. mozzarella cheese
  •  1 c. parmesan cheese
  •  1 container of ricotta cheese
  •  2 eggs (lightly beaten

    1. I put water on to boil for the noodles.
    2. Then I browned the ground beef.
    3. As these cooked I mixed together the eggs, lightly beaten, cheeses and some salt and pepper.
    4. I let the noodles cook for 12 minutes once the water started to boil. Then drained.
    5. When the ground beef was browned, I added chopped onions and 1/2 of the jar of spaghetti sauce.
    6. One by one, I  layered the noodles with a spoonful of beef and sauce, then the cheese mixture and rolled then up. (I didn't put any filling on the last 1/4 of the noodle because it made it too full. Then I placed then in a greased glass baking dish.
    7. I baked for 13 minutes at 400 degrees.
    Oh, man, they were yummy. Hubby and I are taking some to work for lunch tomorrow, but I am thinking of doing more of the meat and sauce mixture next time and freezing some. There was some extra cheese mixture left over, so I may try it with spinach one night when hubby is at school and see how they turn out vegetarian style! I'll let you know ...

    Thursday, July 4, 2013

    Happy 4th of July

    Happy 4th of July! I hope you'll be spending time with those you love. This is probably the first time our toddler will be able to stay up late enough to see fireworks, so we're looking for some family event in our area. These are some patriotic projects I've done in the last year. Hope you have a great day!!


    Wednesday, July 3, 2013

    Michelle's Mystery Explained

    A project that I participated in this Spring was a mystery quilt, hosted by Bear Thread Designs, on their blog, Just the Bear Facts. I started them blog, I mean Jaggie the Bear, started the blog last year to chronicle the adventures of the BTD team and Jaggie the Bear specifically, as he meandered the quilting world and would often find himself up to his "fluff" in trouble as he searches out new and exciting ways to get crafty.
    This Spring one of the activities was a mystery quilt ... where each week Jaggie would post a step to a quilt project that would come to life as each step was posted. All of the steps to the Mystery Quilt can be found on the blog if you'd like to try it.
    So each Monday following a posting I chronicled my progress from the week before. I had always helped my mom and this time I chose to participate as a blog follower, without knowing the outcome. Though I am not complete yet, I am hoping that I will be motivated to finish them soon. I spent some time on the quilt this week and have all except a few blocks put ogether. Jaggie borrowed a few of my quilt blocks to show as an example when he posted a few of the steps and when he returned them, I neglected to put them in the box with the rest and they got separated and I did not finish them with the rest.
    So far, this is where I am at ...
    While working on mine recently, I made a classic quilter discovery ... I laid my blocks out wrong and fell in love!!

    This is the original layout (above) that Jaggie showed you in the last step of the mystery quilt. Classic pattern, always a good choice. But ... I unknowingly inverted my chevron blocks and made diamonds!!

    I loved it ... but I also love **not** following a pattern perfectly and making a project "my own". I always alter at least one thing, regardless of the craft. I took a vote among family, friends and co-workers at m
    y last job and it was unanimous- the diamond block was the favorite. So I will layout my blocks in the original pattern for a photograph, but in the end, my "accident" wins!
    A few more blocks to go and I'll be posting the finished project!

    Tuesday, July 2, 2013

    Ah, the perks!!

    So I finished day 2 at Bear Thread Designs, and it has been fun and crazy all at the same time. Not to get into boring details, we are rearranging the warehouse for better efficiency and so I have been doing some admin work, a lot of manual labor and filling on and sales and shipping to keep everything on track in transition. Not too bad, actually I'm enjoying not having to sit behind a desk and computer screen all the time.
    While cleaning we have found quite a few things ... there are lots of boxes, packing materials, supplies for projects and classes that mom no longer taught. For the most part my son's school is really enjoying us cleaning because they are the recipients of a lot of art supplies and other things the kids can us for play or creative arts.
    But they aren't the only ones who got some goodies! My mom found boxes (cases) of thread bobbins and so she sent lots home with me since they fit my sewing machine. (Yeah me!) I am so excited to get started on some sewing projects.

    My toddler had other ideas. "Look, Mommy! I made a rocket!" Sometimes my OCD nature makes it hard for me to just let things go, but this time I let him play. It kept him busy for a while and when he was done, he even put them all back for me!
     I can't wait to see what other treasures we find as we continue the transition ... I'll keep you posted!!

    Monday, July 1, 2013

    A New Beginning, An Exciting Adventure

    It 's hard to believe it has been a year since I last posted on here, its been a while since I posted on my military life blog as well, but life has been active and I guess if I had to choose, spending time exploring our world with my husband and toddler would be my choice!

    So you may be asking yourself, "Why is she reopening the blog?" well, the answer to that is there have been some changes in life lately and it has brought my craft blog back into focus for me.

    Many of my early posts here had spoken of a legacy of crafting ... my mother, grandmother and great grandmother were all crafters in their own arts. What I may or may not have mentioned is that my mom is also a bit of a celebrity in the quilting world, as owner of Bear Thread Designs, manufacturer of the Applique Pressing Sheet TM, she has traveled the continental US and beyond teaching the art of fusible applique, attending quilting shows and expos as a vendor and quest speaker and more. I have helped, when the nomadic life of a military family allowed, but 18 months ago we moved back home for my husband to attend law school and recently my parents offered me a position in Marketing and Business Development.

    I start today and I am so excited to have this opportunity to work with my family and let's be honest, even "work" at a crafting-themed company is going to be fun. So I am reinstating my craft to share my crafts and adventures. I am very excited to be a part of this full time and not just when my schedule allows, so join me as I explore the world of quilting and crafts and navigate the journey of working in a family business! I hope you enjoy the ride!!