Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mini Hiatus

I have not been blogging much because I have been pushing for the last week to help get the cabin finished. It is in the last finishing touches stages. The carpets are going in today then a couple of walls will need touch up because of being brushed with the carpets. kitchen nobs need to be put on and some clean up. The painting is finally finished and the whole place looks amazing.

After tomorrow I will be able to post more regularly again. The Cabin will be finished then and I can start sewing again. I still have aprons to finish. I need to sew some curtains and o so many things. I also want to take the kids to the butterfly garden that should be a lot of fun! There are so many fun things to do and see around here and I can not wait to start exploring the world around us.

I hope my few loyal readers will hang in there with me just a bit longer as I get settled into this new life.

In some unschooling news (since I really have not reported on that much lately) My children have learned infinitely about: drywall, insulation, working together to accomplish something amazing, installing carpet & padding, how to dig a trench and how to volunteer for the house work that isnt getting done so you can stay in the AC and not be hot and dirty. Yes I consider that a life lesson. Its seeing a need, filling the need and to your own advantage. Its wise and smart and yep thats what my oldest did most of the time. In between some of these life learning adventures we have taken a couple trips to the library and even one to the movies for a few of them. We took a trip to Fairy Stone State Park and discovered Fairy Stones. That is a post I will have pictures for soon. We are also going to try and plan a camping trip, and a trip to a local Pow Wow. we are looking forward to both.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Birthday's Are Important Around Here!

Today is the Spitfire's Birthday!

This is Spitfire & her Dear friend in California Sari 
The Spitfire was born a month late! She was so tiny because she lost weight in utero. It is rare but can happen and its a good thing I finally got her evicted when I did. At Birth she weighted in at a whopping 5lbs 12 oz.

She still isn't much bigger then a half a minute but what she lacks in size she makes up for in personality!

She is a chatterbox. She is not afraid of anything! I mean anything! she had a tooth pulled yesterday and barely flinched. She loves trees and climbs them often. She loves to wear dresses and doesn't understand why she shouldn't wear them to play outside in. She is crazy and funny and has the funniest sense of humor. She has an adorable smile and the prettiest blue/green eyes.

I often feel like she got the short straw when it came to birth order. She is 6 years younger then her big brother and only 14 months older then her baby brother. I was pretty worn out with a new baby and she just didn't get enough of me as a toddler. We all do the best we can and I can't change what was but sure work towards making it different now.

For her birthday she special requested The German Chocolate Beet Cake find it here, for her birthday cake. So bright and early this morning she put on her new apron, and helped me bake the cake. I need to make the frosting still, you can find that recipe here. I have her favorite meal cooking already, Taco's with the meat cooked all day in the crock pot.

When her dad comes home we will celebrate the day of her birth. She was born at a bright early hour in the morning so she is already 8 years and hours old. :)

Happy Birthday to my wonderful Spitfire. I am blessed to be your momma and I love you.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A look back at our journey east...

Since we left California I have longed to post pictures of some of the memorial parts of our trip east. All told there were over 300 pictures taken from our trip. I wont be posting all 300 but I will highlight some.

We drove through California until we got to Arizona. We were supposed to stop at the Grand Canyon. We were going to camp on the south side of the Grand Canyon. However Mother Nature decided this was not a good plan. Instead we got to witness snow in Arizona.
Needless to say we did NOT camp outside, and we did not get to see the Grand Canyon. We were all really bummed about this, but it was getting dark, it was cold and our sleeping arrangements for the night just went up in smoke  errrr down in snow?

So we drove on as long as we possibly could hoping for *warmer* temps. Then crashed out in the car/truck for a few hours of sleep. We worked into New Mexico the next day and hoped to see some sights as we drove. We spotted the Largest petrified tree sign just off the road and had to stop and check it out.
check out how big around this one was!

This is the tallest one I have seen

Polished up they are pretty expensive... that says $2100.00
(that's way to much to pay for a rock!) 

We also saw some cool wagons, and got to talk about what travel was like for the people making the trip 100 years ago. My dads family moved from the east coast to the west coast, but they did it by car. 

I also saw some really cool polished petrified wood in smaller pieces in the gift shop, as well as some cool shirts. My oldest two got together and bought one for their dad, they are awesome.

We went onto the next location where we were supposed to camp out only to discover, that in-spite of the park rangers email telling me different, the park was closed still. So there goes camping site number 3. We were all exhausted and beyond spent at this point so we splurged and spent the money to camp at a KOA. I can not say that the site was beautiful, or that it was worth the money aside from the fact that we all got to stretch out and we got hot showers for free as well as breakfast that was all included in the price of our camping spot.

We stopped at a gas station on the famous Route 66

Then we left New Mexico behind:
And Entered the Lone Star State:

I will save the rest of the telling of this story for another day.
I hope you all enjoyed this look back at our trip across the states.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Repurposed Curtians.

I found these handmade curtians at the salvation army.

I saw them and thought O my! I could totally make these into the cutest apron ever!

They are already just about the right size and only really need some ties to hold them back, perhaps a cute little pocket and then you have an adorable apron to use while cooking.

Don't you just love these little puff ball fringes? I do!

The vintage fabric is adorable.

I took some fabric I already had on hand that matched the green in the fabric pretty closely to make the ties.
Check out the ruler, its metal on one side and then backed with cork to make it non skid. I love it for placing on my fabric. It wont slide and stays where I place it for perfectly clean cut lines.

It turns out that there is enough of this fabric to make an apron for all the girls in my house. My youngest has been asking me for an apron for over a year now and being that my life was complex and breaking out a sewing machine wasn't so easy not that long ago. I decided to let her have the first one. It is cute and small because so is she.

Here is the finished product:

Here is my adorable girl modeling for me.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Crocheted kitchen scrubber

Another great recycle project born out of need.

I used Plarn to make kitchen scrubbers.

If you have never used Plarn its super simple. You can use a variety of items for plarn. One of my favorites is to just cut up plastic grocery bags. I have also used broken VCR tapes or Cassette tapes. These work well if you have something that you want to make that is larger then a small item like a kitchen scrubber.

So for this item I cut up plastic bags and then tied the ends together to make one long piece that i could crochet together. I left ends on so that I could stuff them inside of the scrubber for extra scrunch.

Making strips out of plastic bags:

Crocheting with cotton yarn and plastic held together.

Directions are simple:
Chain 3 Double crochet into first chain 3 space like this:

double crochet into that same space 10 times, Slip stitch into top of first chain.
looks like this:

Single crochet 2 times in the back loop of each double crochet around (20 stitches) Slip stitch into first SC.
like this:

Single crochet into next two single crochets, then 2 single crochets into next single, around.

3rd round is single crochets all the way around, finish off one of these rounds, you need two.
Finished off one:

The inside:

Second one not finished off:

with the wrong sides together (and all the plastic tails tucked inside) single crochet the two together like so:

Crocheting them together:

You now have a finished scrubber:

*sorry for some of the blurry pictures I had little ones sitting next to me and they can not sit still! *

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Recycled Skirt

Today I got to sew. I spent hours sewing in fact. Its the first time since we moved that I have had the sewing machine out, So of course I over did it.

I started this project a while back (probably 8 months ago, before my life turned upside down) So I do not have any pictures of how these jeans started out, or the dress that I used either. But the new skirt and its many stages have pictures.

I started with an old beloved pair of jeans that had worn to thin in the thigh area to be suitable to wear any longer. I cut cut off the legs just at the fold for the crotch. (sorry there is no nice way to say that when you are talking about sewing old clothes) I left the top part of the jeans in tact. I then disassembled a less then flattering very out dated, someone donated it to me dress. The print is a cute little floral number that I love but the cut and style were very dated and just not so flattering. We wont mention the buttons... yes they were that bad.

Once I got the dress into pieces I started to assemble the layers. I needed to take two strips and sew them together then I ran stay stitching around the top.

It looked like this:

Once that was finished I started the long process of pinning the piece to the top half of the skirt while I pulled the thread to add small gathers to the floral part.

Like This:

Once I had a million pins in the thing I began to sew it together. First I sewed it inside out, then I flipped it and sewed it with a top stitch (in the ditch) as shown below.

First row completed it looked like this:

Then I moved onto the second tier, which is another layer of the same floral fabric.

Second Tier added

 I turned and top stitched (in the ditch) each layer for added strength.
closer look of stitching in the ditch
Then I decided to finish off the edge with some eyelet lace. It gave it a nice finished look and its a perfectly comfortable skirt.
Eyelet going on one way

Eyelet flipped and being top stitched in place

I got a cute skirt that cost me nothing more then a little time and energy. Its all completely recycled right down to the eyelet lace that once belonged to my grandmother.

Ignore the backdrop, just look at the cute skirt!

Thursday, June 9, 2011


I finally got around to joining BlogHer. I have not really figured the site out to well yet but I figured that it cant hurt to discover some more blogs to read and to get my blog out there to the world, right?

Are any of you on BlogHer?

I am sure that I will figure it all out but I have not had the time to really sit and get into it. I found one blog that is loads of fun. A young couple bought a victorian row house, and they have blogged all about all the updates they have done. Its fun to read and they have done an amazing job so far.

If any of you are on BlogHer and have some tips or pointers I would appreciate it. My name on there is CreativeCrys.

Maybe I will even figure out how to add the little widget at the side of my blog. LOL

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Crocheted Grocery Bag

So after the trauma of my beloved Lakota's Death I needed some solitude. Nothing refocuses me like crocheting does. It calms me down and relaxes me. The most easily accessible yarn I had on hand was 1/4-1/2 balls of cotton yarn in bright vibrant colors. So I decided to crochet a Grocery bag.

I didn't follow a pattern at all, just made it up as I went. I can replicate it so of course I could write a pattern for it. I started out crocheting a big circle, just doubling as I went along until it got to be about the size I wanted to see. 

I made the sides all mesh.

Here is the finished bag hanging on the back of the ladder back chair that desperately needs to be painted.

Now to hit the farmers market with this lovely little bag and bring home some goodies.

Monday, June 6, 2011


Our German Shepherd died this morning, In my arms.

I will come and post pictures later. Right now I am heartbroken.

Rest in Peace Lakota. I am sorry your life ended the way it did. We loved you as much as we could. You will be missed.

Lakota at 1 year old

Here is Lakota laying looking handsome

This is on our trip east

Sick Dog

I have a very sick German Shepherd. I really do not know what is wrong with him. It happened all of a sudden and I am really concerned that its something serious.

Today is supposed to be a great day. Today is the first day of my husbands new job and instead of being excited and happy I sit here worrying over my dog. The dog that I really didn't want when we got him. The one that has cost me more in vet bills then any other dog I have ever owned. I love him and hate to see him so miserable.

I have an appointment and my neighbor is going to have her van here in time for us to take him to the vet. The vet is going to hold my credit card on file until the day I say they can take the money. Here is where I kick myself for not having pet insurance!

Yall should know that I didn't want him because we had a 14 month old baby and I was pregnant and due any day when we got him. So he is the same age as my youngest son. He is a beautiful boy and we have all grown to love him. I just didn't have the time for a puppy at the same time as a baby and a toddler.

Now I have to try and sit here and be brave for another 2 hours before I can take him to the vet. It is the hardest thing I have done in a long time.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Spaghetti Squash

Some of you may have seen one of these little beauties sitting in the bin with all the other squashes in the grocery store and had no idea what it was or how to even attempt to cook it. I know this is true because when I was at the grocery store I was checking out a lady walked right on up to me and said "excuse me, is that a butternut squash?" to which I politely told her "No ma'am, it is a Spaghetti Squash!" of course then the question was riddled with disbelief and doubt but "and how do you cook that?!!"

This is a stock photo of a spaghetti squash.

They are super simple to cook and make a very filling meal. I use them when we want something filling and yet healthy. I make my own marinara sauce. That will have to be another post for another day. :)

To start you cut the top where the stem grew out of off and then just a little bit of the bottom too so that it is easier to cut through. Then slice it down the middle. There are seeds in the center, so scrape these out. Now once this is done drizzle a little olive oil salt and pepper inside the cavity. Roast in a 425* oven for 30-45 minutes depending on the size of your squash.

They come out looking like this..
 Slightly brown and smelling wonderful. The next step is to take a fork and scrape at the inside until you have this:

Then top it with your own marinara sauce. I never include meat in my marinara sauce, I personally think it distracts from the flavor. Some people really like the flavor and if you are one of them by all means go right ahead!

I then top it with a little cheese. I personally like this one for this dish:

The squash looks like this just before I put it back under the broiler to melt and slightly toast the cheese.

I forgot to take a finished picture after it came back out of the broiler. It smelled so good and everyone was so hungry that we sat right down and ate.

I serve this with a little french bread and a salad but its really not needed since the squash is the veggies and covered with marinara sauce only makes it that much more vitamin packed. Each half squash is considered a serving so I simply buy 3 for my family of 6. We each have our own half and are filled up afterwards.

You can top Spaghetti squash with any of your favorite spaghetti toppings. It is a perfect meatless dish because you do not really notice the meat missing. delightful. My whole family enjoyed it, And I hope your's does too.