Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Own worst enemy sometimes.....

I've been thinking about doing a pattern for my tote bag for a while now. I started working on it tonight. I was half way through the assembly and picture taking when I realized that I messed up the dimensions. I'm almost to the point of giving up on this because I've made around 5 tote bags and none of them are the same size and all of them start with the same amount of fabric. *face palm*

I'm not really worried about it though. I think I will be able to get it together the next time because I finally visualized the math formula involved. The trick now will be to articulate it so other people can make their own adjustments.

In other news, I was going to clean up the craft closet a little bit this evening, but I was immediately distracted. ("Squirrel!") Look at this Nicey Jane fabric! I've been wanting this fabric for so long and while at market I was able to get two kits made up of fat sixths pieces. I'm not sure that it is the entire line, but it is still a good portion! Isn't it beautiful? I don't care if it isn't the newest line because I still love it. Now I just have to decide what to do with it.

This is how I'm my own worst enemy. I have about a billion things to do, and here I am looking at fabric, dreaming up the perfect use for it. If I was independently wealthy I would spend my days making pretty things. Sometimes it is frustrating how much I divide my time up. There is so much I want to accomplish, but not enough time. I suppose that sometimes ideas are the burden of a genius. *hahaha* Really though, how irritating it is to have so much ambitious without enough time to do everything...stupid responsibilities like work get in my way.

Tonight I'm going to step back from it all, and make a list per suggestion of a great friend of mine. I'll order it, and then start knocking things out tomorrow evening.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Unicorn, Butterfly, Rainbows, and Other Girl Stuff Party!

My niece, Kendall, spent the night with me for the first time since she was a baby. It was so much fun because she has her own little personality developing which is great to experience and observe.

The evening got off to a bad start thanks to a migraine and me loosing my dinner. I thought I was going to have my mom come pick her back up, but Kendall was really upset by that idea that I had to fake feeling better because I couldn't stand to see her so sad. Thankfully, Josh drove on the way back home from picking him up so I could rest for a few minutes which helped relieve the pain.

Kendall holding my Big Bird waiting nicely for me to get better. She also had to wait for her food to settle before we went swimming.

We picked Uncle Josh up from work, and saw some big airplanes. Then we all colored and played pictionary.

This morning she woke up early enough to make Princess cupcakes.

It took a few tries to get the hang of sprinkling versus pouring. Thankfully, we had enough going on that she forgot about the cupcakes because after test tasting the frosting I'm confident that they were going to be nasty, plus she dropped half and egg shell in the mix. I think we picked all the bits out, but there is no telling.

Then thanks to some Groupons we went with my first cousin Trisha and her friend to the Fun House at the Riverwalk in Jenks. Kendall loves Ski Ball which was awesome for me because it is my favorite as well. She ended up getting lots of toys with her tickets and was quite happy. By the time I took her home I'm sure she was ready for a nap so it was a good weekend.

The next time I hang out with her, next month, I'll be taking her to Build-a-Bear for her birthday trip. We go every year, sometimes twice. The goal is that she will have 18+ bears by 2024. I wonder if she will keep going with me when she is a teenager?

Menu Ideas

A friend of mine on Facebook requested I put up a sample menu for ideas. Instead I will list some of the things we eat most often.

  • Spaghetti w/cheesy garlic bread -- I think Josh is getting tired of it finally, but its my favorite. I usually make this once a week, but I'm trying to cut down for his sake.
  • Lasagna -- Fancy spaghetti. It use to take a couple hours to make this, but I've got it down to about 30 minutes pre-cooking/prep time and then 30 minutes in the oven so it's easy.
  • Roast w/mashed potatoes -- I make this 2 to 3 times a month. I usually make it on Tuesdays because I teach evening classes so I get home late. I put it in the crock pot in the morning, and call Josh around 2pm to double check it.
  • Crunchy onion chicken w/green beans, mashed potatoes and sometimes gravy -- This is so easy its pathetic. Take the French's dried onions, the big can, put it in a ziplock back and crunch it up. Then dip your chicken breast in egg, cover it with the onion crunchies, and then back in the oven at 350* about 25 minutes on each side. The great thing about this is that you can cut it open to double check that it is ready, and then shmush the chicken back together with the crunchies and no one will ever know! Also so you know, I hate canned green beans so I usually cook them in a skillet with butter and garlic powder. And gravy should never come out of a packet.
  • Caramelized Salmon with red potato fries -- Dump some brown sugar in skillet with butter and let it start to melt. If your salmon has skin then put that side up so that the top cooks first. Then when you flip it be sure to keep putting the brown sugar over it as it cooks. (Salmon should be flaky, in my opinion. It should be a light pink, not white because that's over cooked, and not dark pink because that's undercooked. It doesn't take long so you have to watch it. For the red potatoes I cook them like Josh's mom. 10 minutes in the microwave, and then in the oven with spices until they are golden brown.
  • BBQ Meatballs and Rice -- The recipe is in the Betty Crocker cookbook except I don't put onions or anything like that in ours, and instead of bread crumbs I like the consistency I get by putting the croutons in the food processor. Pour a little bit of bbq in with the mix, not in the recipe, and then after they are cooked you can put the meatballs close together, pour more bbq sauce all over, and let it cook for another 10-minutes.
  • Thanksgiving -- I've only done this once since we moved. I get a bone-in turkey breast and cook it in the crock pot then make all sorts of Thanksgiving foods to go with.
  • Pizza -- We like Hamburger pineapple and chicken pineapple. I get the pre-made crust and go from there.
  • Tacos -- Super easy.
  • Pineapple Chicken -- The recipe is on this blog already.
  • Fried Chicken w/mashed potatoes, gravy, and green beans -- We don't have this very often because I hate cleaning it up, and it isn't good for us.
I can't think of anything else right now. I know there has to be other stuff, but this is what I'm remember for now. Anything that calls for hamburger I usually use turkey burger, but do use beef occasionally. It is the same price, taste the same, and is healthier. (The only thing I've really noticed a difference with taste in is the lasagna and spaghetti, but its not bad, just different.) Also to save money I've bought vegetables the last few weeks at the farmer's market, and started putting it away in the freezer. They are cheaper than the grocery store, local, and they taste better! Visit Pick Your Own to find farms in your area.

*I'm not sure what is going on with the editing of this post. I'm sorry if the bullet points get hard to read, but it isn't letting me fix it. pooey!*

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Vendor Application Available

The vendor application for the Craft Fair October 22nd, 2011 is now available. Please email me for the contract and info.

talesofanewhousewife (at) gmail (dot) com

Monday, June 20, 2011

New Craft Fair Updates

There has been one major change to the craft fair. After speaking with the city administrator dealing with the parks we decided that it would be in the best interest for everyone involved for this event to start out being only one day. He also helped me adjusted the booth pricing to compensate for it being a one day event instead of two, as well as it being new so that the pricing is fair for everyone. Please be sure to read the following to learn all the details. If you have any questions not covered here please email me.

(For the record, I'm still trying to decide on an official name so in the mean time it will be known as "the craft fair" since this is the only one I'm working on. *smiles*)

The Craft fair will be Saturday, October 22. It will be open to the public from 8:00am - 6:00pm.

So without further ado the Craft Fair FAQ.

Who is eligible for a booth during the craft fair?
All types of hand crafts, craft related items and craft supplies are acceptable as long as they are made by the vendor. There will also be limited room for a few booths who specialize in vintage items. You may use www.etsy.com as a basic idea of what is and isn't allowed. No vendors of mass manufactured items will be allowed, including reps for Avon, Scentsy, and other home businesses.

How will booths be decided?
Since this is the first year we will work on a "all are welcome" sort of system. To help avoid over saturation of the market area there will be a limit to the number of booths in any particular category i.e. baby items jewely. (Vendors may have items for "destashing" in their booth, but this is not to be a focal point nor a majority of your items for sale.)

What types of booth spaces are available?
All booth spaces will be 10' x 10'. There are two different areas for booth placement.
The Pavilion booths are covered. These booths will be $45 before July 31st, and $65 after.
The Plaza booths are not covered, but you are welcome to bring a canopy covering as long as it fits within your allotted space. These booths are $35 before July 31st, and $55 after.

I need electric in my booth. How do I get this?
Electric spaces are available at no additional cost. On the application be sure to specify that you need electric. I will do my best to accommodate everyone because there seems to be plenty available. (If I do run out of electrical spaces I will announce it.) Be prepared to supply your own outdoor-grade electrical cords and the means of securing them so they are not fire or tripping hazards.

When will set-up and tear-down be?
Set-up will begin Saturday morning at 6:00am, and displays should be complete by 7:30am. There will be a 30-minute "finish-up" time before the fair opens at 8am, and during this time there will be a light inspection of all booths to make sure your items match the description in your application and that your area is generally clean/safe. If you need longer than 1 1/2-2 hours to set-up please put that in the comment section of your application.
Tear-down will begin at 6:00pm. Any vendor breaking down before 6:00pm could possibly be denied an application for the next year. (If you have a reason for breaking down early let me know before hand so we can discuss it.)
Your booth must be manned at all times during the show. If you are working by yourself you may ask a vendor near you to watch your booth while you step away for a moment (like a restroom break), but you can't stay away for an extended time. There may be extra volunteers available to assist you if need, but please try to be prepared, i.e. pack a lunch.

What if it rains?
Unfortunately I do not control the weather. If it rains during the show I cannot assume responsibility for any damaged items. I will also not be able to grant refunds for booth space. The same goes for any items stolen or damaged by other means during the show. There is insurance available in case things like this occur. You can call around to get a policy to protect your business if you are interested.

My application has been approved, but I won't be able to vend after all. Can I have a refund?
Any cancellations made before July 31st will receive half the cost of the booth space. Any cancellations on or after August 1st will only receive a refund of half the cost of the booth space if the current vendor can find someone not already involved in the fair to take their place. (This new person must submit an application and payment for booth space.) No refunds will be given on or after October 1st.

If you are interested in vending please email Trina via talesofanewhousewife@gmail.com.
I will send you a copy of the application that you can either email back or mail to me.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Random defined....

Nothing major other than the Etsy Craft Party has happened this week so I'm going to tell about all the minor things in one post first. The Etsy Craft Party and Craft Fair will get their own post either later tonight or tomorrow evening.

Random Event #1

I decided that it is time for a new machine within the next year. My machine works well enough for now, but I've definitely "out grown" its abilities, and it is starting to seize up more frequently. The seizing could probably be fixed with a servicing, but I'm pretty good about keeping my machine clean most of the time, besides the machine just doesn't feed as smoothly or quickly as one a few steps above it.

Random Event #2

I learned how to match seams so I could piece the backing for my "Tula Pink Quilt". I sent this backing and all the other pieces to the quilter on Saturday. I should get it back in the next 2 months, just in time to get the binding on, have it photographed, and then submitted to the fair for competition.

Random Event #3

I've finally used the mini food processor that Lindi, Josh's mom, gave us when we moved in the apartment. Now that I've used it once I completely love it. My favorite thing to put in it right now would have to be croutons because I've been using them in a new "recipe" that is yummy...basically it is just home-made shake-n-bake. Either way, that thing is awesome.

Random Event #4

I went to the dentist and found out that I will have to have my wisdom teeth cut out. I also found out that they are not the cause of my bottom teeth shifting like my previous dentist had told me they would be, however, they need to come out because the one on the right is laying on its side. (I know, its crazy!) After I get them taken care of then I will get an appliance to wear to keep the bottom teeth straight because night grinding and clinching during the day is making them shift.

Anyway, I know this is pretty boring stuff, but I think x-rays are pretty awesome. Really, the technology is amazing. It took less than a minute to take the x-ray, then with in minutes it was up on the computer monitor, and now everyone who reads this will know what my teeth look like! (Technology is mostly wasted on useless things like this blog post, but I still have an appreciation for the possibilities. The idea of a fax amazes me too -seriously it is light traveling through a tube that ends up being printed, and 120 years ago we barely had motor cars!)

Random Event #5

I tried Veet, the waterless shave stuff. It didn't work as well as the bottle let on it would, but I think I know how to make it work better next time. The problem is that parts of my legs are smooth and parts aren't so I have to wait until it is all long enough for the stuff. Thankfully I wear pants most of the time. Here is the embarrassing part.... I decided while I was being so girly with my waterless shave that I would try the facial waxing strips. Really I didn't need to use these, but I figured if I had them it couldn't hurt that bad right? Wrong! It hurts so much worse than an eyebrow waxing, it didn't work, and now I actually notice the little hairs! Those things are just mean! Even if you get them for free do not use them - I'm afraid the trauma will be permanent.

Random Event #6

I attended the Downtown Advisory Board meeting on Tuesday to listen to the discussion about changing the street-scape of the Main Street. Most of the ideas are horrible, however I think adding bike racks, different lighting, and landscaping could be awesome, other than that the ideas were pretty bad. On the bright side, I'm going to apply to be a member of the Activity Advisory Group for the downtown area. I'm hoping that this will help my plans for the craft fair and other handicraft oriented ideas will come easier in the future.

So there it is the boring random details from my week. Hopefully this next week will be more interesting has the plans for the craft fair solidify. I will keep you posted.


Just so you know I haven't died. I will be catching the blog up this evening when I get home.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Drawsting Studio Give Away

Remember how I said I received wonderful fabric the other day thanks to my awesome Heartsy deal? Well the Drawstring Studio is now having a give away on their blog. While I hope I win, of course, I'm letting you know now that you don't have very much time but if you hurry you can enter to win the drawing as well.

Etsy Craft Party: Be Mary By Hand

Jesse from Be Mary By Hand, a Tulsa Etsy shop has graciously donated a door prize for our event!

She is sharing "Ethelaia the American Shorthair Sweater Cat." She is a softy cat made out of a 100% cashmere sweater. Her face is hand-embroidered and she is adorned with a patchwork upcycled skirt and a green beaded elastic necklace. She is about 18" tall and comes in a coordinating handmade drawstring bag.

I asked Jesse to tell us about her and her shop. This is what she wrote:
"My Grandma Mary inspired me to create with my hands. I wish I could say that I actually learned to crochet, paint, or sew from her before she passed away, but I didn't catch the bug until it was too late. But I was always in awe of the gifts she made her four daughters every Christmas. Some elaborate, like afghans, and some simpler things as her health started deteriorating. I love that her home was filled with homemade things. I desire to create the same type of space, with love and detail in every corner, to one day leave a legacy for my family. I have two small children, and love to make things useful to mothers and babies. Things that are unique and beautiful and make me feel special. Mostly I have been making stuffed animals and bags with lots of pockets, occasionally I branch out, but I only have so much free time! I love to conserve and reuse materials like shirt and sweaters, but I also love to go to the fabric store and snatch up all the bright colors. "

Be sure to check out her shop. She has lots of cute items. I'm crushing on this dinosaur. :)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

"Berry" Awesome!

This morning Josh's Mom, Lindi, his sister-in-law, Emily, and I all went out to Thunderbird Berry Farm to pick blueberries.  There were so many, and they are just starting to come into season! In the 1 1/2 hours we were there we each picked 3 pounds of blueberries.

I've decided I'm going to can some blueberry jam. I'm taking the easy way though and doing through freezing instead of pressured cooking. From the little bit of research I've done I've gathered that it is actually tastier and healthier to freeze the jam because it cuts out the cooking process leaving just the fresh berries.

I picked up some of the Ball Freezer Jars at the grocery store for $3 a package of 5. These jars are awesome because the lids are shaped so that the bottom of one jar locks into the top of another jar. That means I can stack them in the freezer like its nothing! It really looks simple and not like an the all day chore that imagined. Tomorrow morning I'll run to the grocery store to get pectin and more jars, and then I'll be set to make yummy jam!! 

Friday, June 3, 2011

New Fabric!!! -Drawstring Studio

A week or two ago I saw a deal on Heartsy.me for Drawstring Studio fabric shop on Etsy. First, if you haven't found Heartsy.me then you need to visit this link and sign-up to get the deals! Second, Etsy is the place to buy and sell your handmade items.  I love Etsy so much, and am working towards opening my own shop in the near future.

So the Heartsy deal was for $30 worth of fabric from Drawstring Studio for only $14. At first I thought I was going to hold out for a cute elephant fabric I saw on their blog, but I quickly changed my mind when this fabric was listed!

I was able to get both yards of 54" home decor weight fabrics for only $14 thanks to the heartsy deal! My shipping was even covered. For people who don't necessarily look at decor weight it usually is more expensive than quilting cottons because of the weave and the width. If I had to guess it is usually more than $12 a yard, and even that is cheap. But Drawstring studio had one of the fabrics for $10 and the other for $11.50! Amazing! They even sent me a fat eight of a "MoMo" fabric, along with a coupon for 10% off my next order.  It is super awesome.  ...Maybe I will be able to get a little bit of the elephants later. (It will be a great "hope chest" fabric.)

Oh yeah, I'm going to use these fabrics for pillows on the couch. Soft, more comfy pillows. That is a project for later in the month though.

Key Lime Pie

My boss shared the easiest Key Lime Pie recipe ever!  So I made two pies, one for a co-worker's birthday and one for Josh. 

Key Lime Pie

2 cans of sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cups of lime juice
graham cracker crust
whip cream

Mix the sweetened condensed milk and lime juice, and then pour into the graham cracker crust. Let it set in the refrigerator for about an hour. Served cold with whip cream on top.

*If you get the pie crust with "2 extra servings" you will need to add more milk and juice. 
*I made 2 pies and it took about 3 pounds of the quarter-sized limes to get 1 1/2cups of juice.

Also this week, I made a quick reversible table cloth using the Joel Dewberry "Aviary 2" bird print in black. It is a sample I made for the shop's Michael Miller Clubhouse that I'm participating in.  Josh and I don't actually have a dining room table or any other table that it can go on so I folded it in half and think it looks alright on the back of the couch.  I'm not sure that it will stay there, but it will definitely go on trial as soon as we are done using it in the shop.

This "Aviary 2" fabric is what I was hoping to use for the curtains in the living room. However, a lady came into the shop today and bought the last 8+ yards on the bolt so I'm either going to have to order it or wait to see if something else comes out that I like just as much.  I'm thinking I will probably wait since I have so many other projects going on anyway. Although, if anyone sees it for a really good price please let me know.

Finished Four Patch Posy!

I finally finished my four patch posey quilt using Tula Pink's Marie Antoinette line of fabric! 

I also used the pink feather from "Plume". Oh and my setting triangles were "Plume's" main print, with the be flowers and birds! If fact, the only fabric not Tula Pink in this quilt is the little frame of dark pink between the feathers. For that I used Marcia Derse fabric, and it matched so perfectly I wish that I could put both in my drawer for them to make little beautiful babies! Okay, I realize how crazy it sounds, but I love it when my favorite designers make things that go together perfectly without even intending it!

In other news the winner of the Jennifer Paganelli Fabric is.... Andrea! She was comment number eleven so I will be contacting her to make sure she gets her beautiful new fabrics!  Speaking of beautiful new fabric... I received a package today, but I'm not going to tell you exactly what it is yet. I will show you tomorrow. :)  

And speaking of packages I should be receiving another package this week containing felt sheets. I'm pretty excited about it as well because it will mark the start of Christmas preparations! Can you guess what my theme is going to be?

Marie Antoinette! However, while I won't be using all of the bright colors in the fabric line, I did talk to Josh and he said it was okay to get a pink Christmas tree! I'm pretty happy, excited, and spoiled. I want our first Christmas in our own place to be out of this world fantastic!