Friday, July 20, 2012

Dresses fit for Cinderella

The boys are getting all fancy with their vests.  We need three fancy dresses for the girls to match.
 I used Simplicity pattern 9497.  Deborah helped me with the first dress.  She cut it out and sewed the bodice.  It was so fun having her here for a few days to help me out!   I finished the 1st dress and got the 2nd dress cut out and sewed and the third dress is all cut out.  I can't wait to sit down and sew it.

Tools:  Same as for any sewing project.  Pattern, fabric, pins, scissors, sewing machine etc., no extra bit of blue required for this project.
Procedure:  Follow pattern directions.
Here is the beautiful bodice.  When I saw it I instantly thought "Cinderella."
 Use a sewing gauge to measure the hem, then pin it and iron it before sewing, it helps make the hem line nice and even.
Medium dress.

Small dress.   I need to make the small dress longer, but I think I will add some tulle or something to it.  Plus I need to add white ribbon sashes to all the dresses.

Large dress, all cut out and ready to sew.  A project for another day.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Poke Cake

Here's fun summer treat to make with your kids or to take to your next get-together or barbecue.
Poke Cake
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil
1 1/2 cups sour milk or buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs

Turn on oven to 350 degrees F.  Sift together dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Add wet ingredients.  Mix until batter is smooth.  Pour into a greased 9x13 pan.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely.

6 oz Flavored Gelatin (also known as Jell-o) {1 lg box or 2 small boxes 3 oz each}
2 cups boiling water

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water.  Any flavor will do.  Poke cooled cake with a skewer, fork, chopstick, whatever you have on hand.  Be sure to poke the cake all over.  Pour gelatin over the cake.  Put into the refrigerator until gelatin is set.  Serve with whipped cream or ice cream if desired.  A fun cool treat for a hot summer's day. ~Lena

Monday, July 16, 2012

Vacation Home

We decided to take separate vacations this year.  Princess Sally visited our royal friends and we headed to the big city for lots of sight-seeing. To make our separation easier to bear,  and since princesses can be, well princessy, we thought Sally would like to stay in a new vacation home.

For inspiration my right hand man looked at these plans here and here.
Tools: Circular saw with Rip Cut, Kreg Jig, pocket screws, drill, jig saw, hammer and nails, wood, and shingles
 Be sure to have extra builders ready to lend a helping hand or 6.
Measure and cut wood, drill holes, screw and nail pieces together.  Using the Kreg Rip Cut and Kreg Jig made this project a lot easier.  And we were able to use up extra wood that we had in our stash.  So cool!

 The kids had lots of fun helping with this project.
 And playing in the house.  Kind of irresistible isn't it.
 I think a playhouse needs to be put into our cue of projects. 
Princess Sally seems to like it, as long as she takes her own bed with her.  Princesses and their ways!  Good thing we can accommodate her demands and whims.   I'll have to post the "after" pictures later.  Princess Sally's new abode is now purple with black shingles.  Thanks hon for the new vacation home. ~Lena

Friday, July 13, 2012

Large Vest

For today's project I had to make a pattern and vest for my big boy.  He's too big for the boys' pattern, but too small for the men's  pattern.

Large roll of paper, pencil, scissors, pins, fabric, sewing machine etc.

Using big boy's measurements and boys' pattern, trace a larger pattern, then cut out pieces for vest. 
 Once all that was done, simply sew together all the pieces same as done previously.
I'm glad that is done.  I was not looking forward to making the pattern, but it was easier than I mentally set it up to be. It's vacation time so no projects.  Yea!  I'll post some other projects that have gone on concurrently  with these.  I'm glad to say I've been doing good with my projects thus far.  School starts in a few weeks.  Let's just say that this summer is not nearly long enough.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Strawberry Fig Jam

 I was so lucky to get figs from a friend and since figs wait for no man, I made jam right away.
 Love this recipe.  It's our family's favorite jam recipe.  We love to serve it with fresh bread when the missionaries come over to dinner.  Also great on pb&j's.

 Wash and remove stems from figs.  Mash them up.  I use a hand blender.
Strawberry Fig Jam
6 cups mashed figs
1 box pectin
1/2 tsp margarine
6 cups sugar
2 (6 oz) boxes gelatin (strawberry, raspberry or black raspberry flavor)
{or 4 (3 oz) boxes gelatin}

Mix together mashed figs with pectin and margarine (prevents foam).  Bring to a boil.  Add all at once the sugar and gelatin.  Stirring constantly bring back to a boil and boil 1 minute.  Ladle into hot, sterile jars.  Wipe rims clean with a clean, damp cloth.  Place new lids and ring on jars.  Hand tighten.  Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath canner.  If the lids pop down and stay down, they are sealed and can be stored in your cupboard.  If the lids pop back up, then they are not sealed and the jars should be reprocessed or put in the refrigerator for immediate use.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Small Vest

Monday's Project:
For my youngest, I had to make a pattern for his vest.  This was fairly simple to do since he has this cute blue vest that fits him now.
 Tools: Pencil, paper, tape, fabric, scissors, thread, sewing machine, iron 
My blue tape in the picture doesn't look very blue.
Procedure: I  traced the vest onto paper and gave myself a half inch seam allowance.  Then I cut out the fabric pieces and sewed them together following the same basic steps as last week's vest.

 Finished except for the buttons.  That's a project for another day.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Be Gone Bugs!

My project on Friday consisted of the Terminix guy coming by again.  This time we showed him what the bugs were that were bothering us.  German cockroaches.  You can't get rid of them by spraying.  You can't get rid of them with fogging.  They simply move to a new location.  So our very helpful bug guy put out traps with bait that is irresistible to this variety of bug.  He also sprayed some of the bait in some of the cracks in the cupboards.   The traps seem to be working.  We are very impressed.  ~Lena 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Blueberry Buckle Muffins

Yesterday my project of the day was taking a box of items to the local thrift store/donation center.  Maybe not a big deal to a lot of you, but it always takes me forever to get rid of stuff, and then have the stuff sit in my van for a couple weeks before I actually get around to dropping it off.  So I did it!  Yea!

I have today off from projects, being a holiday and all, but we had a ward breakfast this morning to celebrate Independence Day, and we brought Blueberry Buckle Muffins.  So I thought I would share this yummy recipe.  Sometimes the blueberry muffins I make are good, and sometimes they aren't so good, but this recipe, which I adapted/modified from a Blueberry Buckle recipe, is awesome.  Everyone in my family, except my non-blueberry eating child, likes these muffins.  7 out of 8 is an outstanding rating at my house. 
 For those of you who have never had Blueberry Buckle, it's a not too sweet cake topped with a generous layer of blueberries followed by a cinnamon sugar crumb topping.  It's good, but we like the muffin version even better.  It has fewer calories because we substitute canola oil for the shortening, and I distribute the blueberries throughout, instead of having a layer on top.

Blueberry Buckle Muffins
adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook
4 cups all-purpose flour
5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 cup milk
4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
Crumb Topping
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter or margarine

Turn on oven to 400 degrees F.  Spray muffin pans (for 2 dozen muffins) with non-stick cooking spray.  In a bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, oil, and sugar.  Add oil, eggs, and milk.  Stir until batter is just moistened.  Gently stir in the blueberries.  Scoop into muffin pans.

For crumb topping combine flour, sugar and cinnamon, then with a fork (or fingers) cut in the butter or margarine to form crumbs.  Sprinkle over muffins.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.  Cooking temps and times may vary.  Bake until golden brown.

I use a convection oven, and bake 2 pans at the same time, so I set my timer for 12 minutes, then I switch the top pan to the bottom rack and the bottom pan to the top rack, and finish baking for 3 more minutes. This helps the muffins bake more uniformly    You can bake them at a lower temperature, like 350 for 20-25 minutes if you want.  Just play around with temps and times and see what works best with your oven.

Happy 4th of July!  ~Lena

Monday, July 2, 2012

Vest Project

This project will be done in parts.  My sister-in-law is getting married and would like all the boys to wear black vests.  I need to make 3.  Today I'm working on my middle son's vest.
 Do you like my bit of blue?  I found it on the stairs as I went to get my pins and scissors.

Procedure:  Cut out pattern pieces from black fabric and sew together, following pattern instructions.
No pictures of all that, but I cut out some of the pieces last week and then finished cutting out pieces today.
I still need to sew on buttons, but my attic sewing room was getting too hot and I thought I should refresh my knowledge of making button holes on my CE 5000PRW Brother sewing machine.  ~Lena

File project

Last week I finished cleaning out and moved the rest of the files from my bedroom down to the family room where we relocated our file cabinets.  Sorting papers is not one of my favorite projects.   
Before:  I don't have the before pictures of the files all over my floor.  Here's the stack, greatly reduced in size with a bit of blue peaking out, and ready to be moved downstairs.
Procedure:  Move files downstairs.  This part of the project was easy.

I have a couple of huge stacks of papers to shred or burn.  Those might be some fun pictures.  Burning papers  I mean.  Too bad we have a fire ban right now in the city.  It's been too hot and dry.  

Some of the other projects I had last week included cleaning off my dresser and cleaning up all the "kid clutter" that always seems to accumulate in my bedroom.  I weeded and watered my garden throughout the week  and picked corn.  I don't know if those qualify as "projects" or not.  Finally for my last project last week we had Terminix come on Friday.  We have a new infestation of 2 bugs that we aren't familiar with and all our efforts of spraying and fumigating weren't working on these "super bugs".  Yuck.  So now we need to call Terminix and see how long it takes for the bugs to go away, because they are still there!  My husband saw them again last night.
 He smashed them so he could take a picture.  This one is a roach I'm not familiar with. 
 We will definitely need to call the bug guy to come again.