First completed Christmas gift done.

So I sat down yesterday and made the Gingercake On the Go Organizer PDF Sewing Pattern. It is a wonderful pattern and very easy to follow. It sews up pretty quick once you pick out your fabric, which for me can be the hardest part. I will be making several of these for Christmas gifts this year. I like that you can customize it to fit your needs. It also allows me to use some of my vintage buttons. I would love to see some pics of some that you have made!

I am hoping to stitch up one of the Gingercake penguins this weekend. I will let you know how that goes once I finish.

It was in the 70′s here today so I took the opportunity to hang some Christmas lights outside before it gets to cold. Might even pull the Christmas tree out this weekend and get it set up. The kids are also playing musical bedrooms this weekend, which will be great once it is done, moving all the crap is another story. I will have to post pics once we get it done. The twins will be getting separate bedrooms and Samantha will be moving downstairs.

Busy, busy, busy. Never enough time in the days it seems.

Going Handmade For Christmas?

So I started thinking today that I should make some homemade gifts for my loved ones this Christmas. I started going through my patterns today to get some ideas and I think I have come up with a few. I also searched the free pattern section on You Can Make This and found a couple of ideas there. You can find the free patterns here, http://www.youcanmakethis.com/free-patterns, I actually sell a couple of patterns on You Can Make This. It is a great place to go find awesome patterns, free or paid.

Another pattern site I like is Gingercake, love their patterns and they are super easy to follow. Their website is http://www.gingercake.bigcartel.com/, I picked up two new patterns from their today. One for the On The Go Organizer and I can’t wait to make a few. They would be great for students to keep things together, great to keep kids busy coloring or writing in the car or restaurants or for Mom’s making their grocery lists. The possibilities are endless! I started pulling fabric out this afternoon but ran out of time to start cutting pieces. Had to go watch my son test for his first stripe on his orange belt, so super proud of him! I did get to read through the pattern, if you have a need for organizers this pattern is a great one. Check out the picture below, photo by Gingercake, and find the pattern here, http://www.gingercake.bigcartel.com/product/on-the-go-organizer-pdf-sewing-pattern. I also picked up the Annie’s Penguin pattern, http://www.gingercake.bigcartel.com/product/annie-s-penguin-pillow-pdf-sewing-pattern, I know a couple little ones who will be getting one of them this Christmas!

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And who could forget Bit Of Whimsy Dolls?! Find her amazing patterns here, http://www.bitofwhimsydolls.com/. I have most of them and have made several, they are some of the best written patterns I have seen. I love following Sarah and she sells finished dolls as well, talk about adorable. If you don’t have time to sew up your own you can’t go wrong buying one, or several, from her. The only problem with Bit Of Whimsy Dolls is trying to figure out which patterns to buy. Sorry if this fuels your pattern buying addiction! I know I have one, but there could be worse things. :)

If you plan on going the homemade route this year I would love it if you shared your ideas. Maybe you can inspire me or someone else. Even if you can’t make homemade this year for Christmas you can still support homemade and you can also buy local. Support the small people and your neighbors. You don’t understand what a big difference it makes in someone’s life.

Also, we have my oldest daughter’s 15th birthday on Monday and Thanksgiving on Thursday, what a blessed week it will be. Love my family and look forward to spending time with a bunch of them. Hope to get a lot of sewing done as well. Just maybe?! :)

Am I Coming Or Going?

The Holidays are almost upon us and we just get busier and busier. There are some days that I actually wonder if anything got accomplished. Do you ever feel like there are not enough hours in the day? I sure do. So much stress lately and it is draining.

My oldest daughter just finished Romeo and Juliet with her high school drama department and they did amazing. I am so very proud of her. She works so hard and is so dedicated. The had auditions this week for Grease, which happens to be one of her favorite movies, we find out tomorrow if she was chosen for a part or not. I pray that she does get chosen because my heart will break for her if she doesn’t. She had a couple voice lessons and she was amazing! Who knew? She never sings for real, but I hope she takes it up. She is so talented. She has her 15th birthday this month, need to start shopping. :)

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We will be spending Thanksgiving with my family this year, so Momma can do the cooking. It will be nice to see and spend time with my family. Take a couple days off and relax. That part will be really nice.

We are trying to support small businesses this year for Christmas, you should do the same. There are so many amazing companies out there to choose from. Makes the gift giving a little extra special, knowing that you are support local small businesses. People like you and me trying to make a living.

Who Knew Figs Were So Good?!?!

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Who knew figs were so good? They are nothing like I imagined. Growing up as a child I ate Fig Newtons, that was my only previous experience. I loved them, they are so good. When we bought our new house and found out that there was a fig tree in the backyard it was pretty exciting.

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This summer we went a bit crazzzy with the jam and jelly making. Strawberry jam, honeysuckle jelly, pear jam, blackberry jam and of course we couldn’t leave the figs out. I must say it is my favorite make from this year. It has such range and can be used with some many different things. It would be amazing with pork and it is awesome on a pb&j. It was also the easiest jam that I made this year, with was a nice surprise. It is a truly beautiful fruit as well. Can you tell I am in love? I hope to branch out and do more with them next season, but I am thrilled to be able to still enjoy them over the fall and winter months.

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This is the recipe that I used. I have become a canning diva! LOL

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I must be honest, mine didn’t take as long. Once the figs were washed and the stems removed they were really soft so I just threw them all in the blender at the same time. You can experiment and see what works best for you.

I hope to share more of my canning experiences with you as well. It has been an amazing learning experience and so much fun!

My adventures in honeysuckle jelly

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Who knew you could take ordinary honeysuckle flowers and make such an amazing jelly? Over the weekend I did just that. I found an amazing recipe online at Lehman’s Country Life, http://countrylife.lehmans.com/2011/06/14/honeysuckle-jelly/. The most time consuming part is picking all the flowers we needed. After you get them all picked and all the green tips removed it moves along fairly quick.

Honeysuckle Flowers

Honeysuckle flowers before the green tips were removed.

 

It smells heavenly when you are steeping the flowers. I must say that it did do a number on our allergies, the flowers were covered with pollen. But it was well worth it, the jelly turned out amazing. It brings back so many wonderful memories of childhood. Picking the flowers and sucking the “honey” out of the flowers. We always looked forward to them blooming every year.

Honeysuckle Infused Water

Honeysuckle Infused Water

 

Honeysuckle Jelly
Yields 7 half-pints
4 cups honeysuckle flowers
4 cups boiling water
1/4 c. lemon juice
4 cups sugar
1 package liquid pectin

First you need to make an infusion to draw the flavor out of the flowers. It’s very simple. Prepare the flowers by removing the tiny green tip at the base of the petals.

Next, bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan, turn the heat off, then add the honeysuckle flowers you’ve gathered and allow them to steep for about 45 min., stirring occasionally.

Strain the flowers from the liquid. You need two cups of the infusion for this recipe.

In the same saucepan, stir together 2 cups flower infusion, the lemon juice, and the sugar; bring to a hard boil that won’t stir down. Add the pectin and boil for 2 min; reduce heat if necessary to avoid boiling over.
Ladle into hot, sterilized jars, and screw on lids. Allow to cool for 24 hours, then test the lids to make sure the jars are properly sealed.

I ended up adding mint leaf’s to one batch that I made and it was a nice variation. You may want to try it if you like mint. I will note that the recipe says you will yield 7 half pints but in all my batches I only yielded 4. I will be making more of this for sure, it is a new family favorite!

Honeysuckle jars

Can I just say that I am in love with Kelly Moore Bag’s

I can not wait until I can order my first one, I have been drooling over them for over a year now. My favorite is the Libby in orange. Isn’t it stunning!

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Kelly Moore’s photography is amazing. You should check out her work. I can only hope to be as good as her one day. She also has amazing giveaways on her blog. She is currently doing one for Valentine’s Day. http://kellymoorebag.com/blog/ She is giving away some amazing prizes. Including a Kelly Moore Bag of your choice. If you haven’t entered yet you need to head over and sign up.

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You can shop for them here: http://kellymoorebag.com/?ref=1111 Check them out for yourself, you will fall in love too.

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