Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Found Fabric

Do any of you 'find' fabric that you either thought was lost, or forgot you had bought? I did the latter this week. I was cleaning my bedroom and opened a box full of electrical cords and what do I see but a bag that looked out of place. Of course, I looked in it, and my heart skipped a beat - it was fabric and pieces of wool I had completely forgotten I bought at a quilt show 6 months ago!
Oh how I love it when that happens! I also have something fun to show you - I found these cards of ric rac at a thrift store just before Christmas. Check out the prices.
Thrift stores, especially ones run buy cute little nuns, are the BEST! As for me, what have I been doing? I've been a busy little bee. I've locked myself in my basement every day while the kids are at school and have been writing pattern instructions. It's a big investment of time but I'm loving it. I'm finally getting my designs down on paper. Stay tuned!

Friday, January 18, 2013

New Space

A couple of months ago we decided it was time our boys had their own rooms which meant our daughter had to move into...wait for it...my quilting room. Boo! I did however give up my room, and moved to the other side of the basement. My space is now under the stairs a la Harry Potter!

I have about 1/3 of the space, but you know what? I love it! It forced me to reorganize, minimize, and ditch a lot of junk. The best thing is the lighting - my old room only had lamps for lighting but now I have ceiling lights! Yippee! I finally put up all  my little quilts behind where I sit and it's starting to feel like a great space. A nice new chair bought by my hubby as an early Christmas present doesn't hurt either!
  My old quilting room works so much better as a bedroom. Beware - you are about to enter the domain of a 12 year old pre-teen...
Eventually we'll make the basement look fabulous - new paint, new flooring, baseboards etc, but for now I'm glad to still have my own space.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Making Bread

Today was a bread kinda day - bread bread and more bread! One of the classes at my kids' school had won a contest in December and I gave them a list of things they could have as a prize. The teacher wrote them on the board, the kids voted, and making bread won by a landslide! This morning I made three batches of dough, divided it into 18 pieces, put each piece in a baggie, then took it to the class where the kids had fun shaping it. I then brought it home, baked it, piled it all into a basket and took it back to the class (with butter of course!) and they dug in. We all had an absolute blast!

Want to see their creations? We had everything from a turtle to a spaceship!
The teacher was so grateful - she told me some of the kids' comments..."I've never made bread before", and "I never knew you could make bread - I thought you just bought it at the store". She said most of the kids had never done anything like it. Broke my heart! I mean, they chose to make bread over having a pizza party. Go figure!

Of course then I thought of my own kids and felt guilty that I hadn't done it with them in a while. I had to come home and make another batch so my own kids could have fun with it. Gosh darn it, I want my kids to grow up knowing that yes you can make your own food, and no it doesn't all have to come from a store! I've let them play with bread dough a few times over the years but not enough, and that is going to change.

Here's a pic of Coleman with his bread he shaped into his name...
So tell me, is this a common thing now, that kids aren't cooking and baking at home? Is it just that now a lot of the time Mom needs to work to help pay the bills and the last thing she feels like doing when she gets home is baking? I was working part time last year so I definitely understand that feeling. Do YOU bake with your kids? Or is it just an unnecessary dying art? Oh so many philosophical questions. All over bread! I'll end this post with the recipe I use - it's fast, easy, and has no milk eggs or butter so is great for those with dairy allergies. I use my Kitchen Aid to mix it, so that is how I'll write the recipe.

BREAD (makes 20 rolls)

Put ingredients in bowl in the following order:

2 Cups warm water
1 Tablespoon yeast
1/4 Cup sugar
4 Cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 Cup oil

Mix with dough hook on mixer for approx 10 mins, adding a little more water or flour if needed. Dough should be a little sticky, and not dry at all.

Let rise until doubled in size,(approx 1 hour.)

Punch down, shape into rolls/loaves/whatever and place onto baking pan.

Let rise again (approx 1/2 hour) and brush with an egg/milk wash if you want it shiny, or dust with flour if you want it...floury!

Bake for 20 mins at 425 F.

I use this recipe for everything - dinner rolls, bread, cinnamon rolls, doughnuts, pizza base, cheese bread, pretzels, you name it! You can also substitute some wheat flour, say half white, half wheat, and it's really yummy.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year, New Post

Oh yes folks, after many failed attempts at making a blogging comeback, I'm making yet another one! New year, new post, to be followed by many more. I woke up this morning, January 1st 2013 with a desire to clean clean clean - and by clean I mean get rid of stuff. So far today I managed to put 4 bags of trash in the bin outside, and donated 3 bags of clothes/linens. And when I say bags of trash, I mean big ones - not grocery size bags, because really - how impressive would that be?! The first space attacked was the top of my bedside drawers. Somehow they had become a magnet for magazines, socks, books, socks...did I mention socks? Clean ones though. Phew, aren't you glad I made that distinction! Before...
Much better! Next up came the linen closet in the bathroom. Ugh what a disaster zone that had become! Before...
Now just to make this a quilting related post, here's a pic I took of my mini-quilts waiting to be hung...