Saturday, December 25, 2010

Is this thing on?

Santa brought me a fancy new toy...and I'm wondering how effective it might be for blogging. So this is jut a test. I've got no fun photos on this thing, so I can't even show you how much snow there is in Iowa.

Allin good time, my friends. And if his irks, there just might be more blogging in my future...

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Apples are another great thing about fall.  There are so many varieties to choose from.  Personally, I prefer a crisp apple for eating.  But there are so many other uses for apples.

We had a small windfall of apples of an unknown variety this week, so I decided to take a crack at my grandmother's apple sauce.  It's SUPER easy to make.  And SUPER delicious.

Quarter and core your apples.  Cook until soft.

This is my vintage Foley food mill.  A fantastic invention.  And the rockstar in this recipe.

Put your cooked apples thru the food mill.  Add 1/3 - 2/3c. sugar and 1/2t. cinnamon to taste to your liking.  Make sure you add the sugar while your apples are still warm. 

Once it cools, you can freeze it. 

We often ate this apple sauce out of the freezer, shaving it off the frozen block as it defrosted.  Leaving the skins on while cooking and processing is what gives this applesauce it's pink hue.  Don't worry, there are no skins in your final product.  Even picky eaters will like this one.  

Friday, October 8, 2010


Fall is one of my favorite times of year.

The leaves on the trees turn fantastic colors.

There is a crispness in the air in the morning that is invigorating, and reminds me of early morning marching band practice.

And, it means it's time for wearing these...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Other Great Things About Oregon

One thing I miss living on the East Coast, is seeing my family more than once or twice a year.

How did my siblings both end up on the West Coast?  The three hour time difference can be brutal.  But we try to hang out "just kids" at least once a year.

We do things like visit the Tillamook Cheese Factory.
(they also had amazing ice cream)

The photo ops were the best thing about the Blue Heron French Cheese Factory.
They don't make there cheese on site anymore.  What?!?!?

And we saw some amazing views.

Our little house with no cell service or internet is on that cliff.

It was an awesome week.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sweet Dog


One of the best things about visiting Oregon this month.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Another Man's Junk...

Was my treasure tonight.

A house on the corner of our street had two huge piles of original 1920's hardwood doors sitting on their curb this afternoon.

After a bit of hard work by my man D, we have a bucket full of amazing door hardware.  Sadly, none of the doors were the right size or kind for any of the places we could use new (old) doors in the house.

Check it out!

This pinky one is all mine!

Ain't she a beaut?

I love finding treasures that someone else has junked.  The best form of recycling, I think. 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

New Decor

A couple months ago I decided my tent needed to be spruced up for the various upcoming shows, so I got busy creating some flag bunting to decorate my otherwise plain white tent.

Cute right?  I had a couple folks ask about purchasing them.  I love these too much to part with them (read, surprised someone wanted to purchase them).  I decided I should make some for my etsy store.

So here they are!

There will be more...any special requests?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Weekend Away

Sometimes a weekend away is all you need to kick start things again.

I spent the weekend "finishing" my Christmas gift with a friend.  We "gave" each other a weekend at each others home for a sewing weekend.  You can work on whatever you want, but have the benefit of the other person's eye, expertise, and fitting.  It's pretty tricky marking your own hems.  Those chalk skirt markers aren't all they are cracked up to be.

Since I wasn't at home, I didn't have all the usual distractions...overwhelming choices of stacks and stacks of fabric, piles of paper to be organized, laundry, you know what I'm talkin' about.  So I got some stuff done!

Remember this shirt?  It's finally finished!  It took me longer than I'd like to admit to get up the courage to put on the snaps.  I was afraid I was going to ruin it.  It's it awesome! 

I also accomplished 2/3 of a gift for another friend whose birthday was in April.  She wanted a set of re-useable bags that she could roll up and easily keep in her car or on her person.  Voila!  (well, almost).  These are made using this pattern.  It's easy to follow, and makes a pretty cute lookin' bag.  I upcycled a gorgeous Garnet Hill sheet for these puppies...a queen sized sheet is A LOT of fabric...there will be more to come with these great zinnias in the future.

And, of course, there is a pile of 1/2 finished stuff that needed the fancy stitches of my fancy sewing machine to finish.

So what'd you do this weekend?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Words to Live By

 One of my favorite Mary Engelbreight illustrations.
We should all be so luck to experience such joy each and every day.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Thrifty Weekend

It was beautiful this past weekend.  I forgot it was only the middle of coats, bright sunshine.  A great pick me up from the winter doldrums.

Since ya'll know I didn't spend the weekend in my garden, I thought I'd share some of my thrifty finds.

The find of the weekend was two boxes of vintage christmas balls to add to my "collection".  One was broken by the check out guy (boo!) but I did get a steep discount on that box (yeah!), so I guess it all works out.  Check out these new beauties.

Do you see the one that looks like it might have been a Santa?  How cute is he?

I also hit the purse/handbag/totebag motherload.

Woo hoo!  At least one of these I'm going to be gifting, and another I hope to send to a Vera Bradley fan. 

And finally, some great vintage pyrex found their way into my shopping cart.  I hope I can find the perfect collector for these items.


What are your latest thrifty finds?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

My Green Thumb

No matter the amount of neglect I have shown my yard, these pretties have popped up. 

Thank you, mother nature, for proving to us that spring is truly here.

Stay tuned for some updates on my thrifty adventures this weeked.  I *love* other people's spring cleaning!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spring Has Sprung

I've finally gotten out of my winter, non sewing rut.

Boutique Girl Gifts inventory has been multiplying by leaps and bounds over the past few weeks. 

Here are some of the latest goodies.

Packing and tagging

Stop by and check out our latest goodies

Time to plan the rest of this year's craft shows...or at least the next couple of months anyway.

Friday, February 12, 2010

New Etsy Team

Check out Team hartbeat, CT's newest Etsy team located in the capitol city (and surrounding areas).

I LOVE that they are planning a team craft meet up!  Fun times!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Blocking Makes Everything Better

Behold, my first official knitted project which required blocking.

Op Art baby blanket in black and white CotLin yarn by Knit Picks.

 It was a fun, but long knit.  With a lot of ends to weave in.

I suggest making a cute tag to complete your gift.  It will distract the recipient from the flaws in your knitting.

Monday, January 18, 2010


I've been thinking about giving today.

It's no secret I love to give gifts...even more than I love receiving them.  Seeing the joy in the recipients eye is priceless, and does a body good.  Giving for no reason, other than "I'm thinking of you" is often the most rewarding.

But not all gifts have anything to do with money.  The gift of time can be the most precious gift of all.  Giving your time to help another, is not a favor that needs to be repaid, but can be a gift that you give yourself.  The feeling you have giving to another, whether a friend or stranger, is it's own reward.

Find a cause or a friend that could benefit from your gift of time, and give your time freely.  Trust me, you'll feel fantastic.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Ahead of Schedule

I've been working on a special knitty gift for a new little gal that I'm going to meet this weekend.  She was born a few weeks early--totally healthy, but this necessitated increased knitting time.  STAT!

This morning I figured out I had 30 rows to go...and that each row was taking me over 20 minutes to complete.  So I ambitiously decided that I had about 10 hours of knitting left to complete this gift.  Where was I going to get 10 hrs?  PLUS I need to block this gift and since this will be my first knitted item that requires blocking, who knows how long it will take to dry?  Nevermind.  I put aside the daunting time commitment, and was determined to finish knitting between tonight and tomorrow night.

I'm knitting along tonight and quickly realized that I would run out of my black yarn before completing the final 18 black rows...I got 12 completed.  I hopped on ravelry to see if anyone else had this problem.  I mean, I know I didn't check my gague (No chastizing, Katie!), but I shouldn't be out of yarn?!?!?  After searching many forum posts I finally click on the link for the pattern.

Way at the bottom I find this:

Errata from Designer: Errata:
The smaller size blanket should end after the line:
Work 16 rounds B. 552 sts
working the additional 2 stripes results in running out of yarn.

No kidding.

I've cast off, so instead of knitting for hours tomorrow night, I'll be weaving in ends, and researching wet blocking.  It feels great to be ahead of schedule!