Wednesday, December 31, 2008
However, getting the piano into our house was no easy task. On the day we arranged to move it, the weather was nasty with below freezing temps and ice pellets. We rented an enclosed trailer which protected the piano from the freezing rain, and we had help from a strong and willing friend. It still was not easy because the driveways and sidewalks were covered in ice. Luckily everyone and even the piano survived the move and made it safely home.
We waited until 2 days before Christmas to pick it up so that we could keep it from the kids as long as possible. Once we got it home, I disguised it by putting a garbage can and boxes on top and then covering it with a sheet and blanket. We duct taped the sheet and blanket and told the kids it was very fragile and that they shouldn't touch it because it might break. It worked and the kids were completely surprised when they took the sheets off, and our house has been filled with music ever since.
Friday, December 26, 2008
The cushions are made from wool sweaters that have been felted. Making these involves both hand sewing and machine sewing. I also used fabric glue for gluing the handle and the saucer to the cup. The zigzag stitch works well for sewing the I-cord together to form the handle, and also sewing it to the saucer.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
This fan and feather pattern is by far one of my favorites. There are quite a few fan and feather patterns out there but this one produces the prettiest and most feminine results. One of the reasons it's called fan and feather is because one end looks like a fan and the other a feather.
The pattern is simple.
Cast On 12 sts using 6 US needles
2. K3 P6 K3
4. K3 P6 K3
Repeat rows until about 9 inches in length, sew the ends together with a darning needle.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
After I made the first frog, I was hooked and decided I knew several people who would be getting one of these charming little frogs from me. I even made a couple of these for my nieces, that are beyond the toy and doll age, and added lavender in with the beans so that it could be used a drawer sachet.
My favorite thing about making these is that I can use up all my scrap pieces of fabric that I've been accumulating over the years.
The reindeer is an upside-down gingerbread man. I use melted bittersweet chocolate for the face and antlers, a red hot for the nose, and white chocolate chips for the eyes. The antlers are also sprinkled with sugar just before the chocolate starts to set. The combination of the chocolate and gingerbread is delicious!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
The fireplace insert can actually be used as a stove top. Keith really likes this function. He's heated soup, tea, and cider on top of the stove.
The new fireplace insert also brought a few more unexpected expenses such as a new fireplace mantel. We had a limestone mantel cut to replace the wood one which would have been a fire hazard above the stove. Also during the process of the stove installation, the picture hanging above the fireplace was broken, along with a lamp shade.
We have one more, less exciting home improvement still to come this week - replacing our broken garage door. This will require some not so fun, labor intensive, garage cleaning! Everything needs to be moved out of the way, including emptying shelves, so that the door can be installed. Yuck!
I also made my usual sides Tuscan-style stuffing made with pine nuts and red peppers, and green beans with caramelized shallots. For the salad, I used local apple-pears and goat cheese, with sugared walnuts and red onions.
One friend brought home-made dinner rolls, a Thanksgiving tradition in her family and a recipe that's been passed down from her grandmother. The rolls were a delicious attribute to the menu and huge hit with the kids. And considering that's about all the kids ate, I'm glad there were plenty.
Another friend brought this beautiful array of cheeses and breads.
Before dinner the men, boys and dogs went for a long hike in Brown County. Shhh.....don't tell anyone, but they got a little lost. They went off the trails and ended up calling us to say they'd be a little late. Thankfully they found their way back out of the woods and to the car, and made it home just in time for the turkey to come out of the oven.
Thanks to my friend, the dogs also ate a special thanksgiving dinner.....yes, that's right, Thanksgiving dinner for the dogs. What did they eat, you ask? Well she prepared a casserole of sweet potatoes, pork and rice.
And lastly, for dessert I made a pumpkin cheesecake with a praline topping of home-made caramel, drizzled chocolate and toasted pecans.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
He was determined to come when he wanted and he did -- 4 weeks early. He was only home for 16 hours when we had to readmit him into the hospital for an extremely high bilirubin count of 28! He spent the first week of his life, not in his newly painted fish bedroom, but instead in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
However, he was worth every complication, every struggle, and every ounce of worry and stress, a thousand times over! He brings so much joy into our lives every day. He is a smart, creative, funny and compassionate human being. I am so blessed to be his mother and look forward to sharing in all of his future dreams, sorrows, and endeavours to come. Happy Birthday Mac!
The birthday cake that I made for Mac is a recipe from my friend, Stephanie. She made me this cake for my birthday and it was delicious! My family loved it then and they loved it again tonight when we ate it for Mac's birthday. It has a lot of yummy ingredients like sour cream, pudding, German chocolate, and bittersweet chocolate chips. And served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream it's simply delicious!
I'm posting video of the kids' piano recital for their grandparents who weren't able to attend. They both have been playing the piano for two years now and this is their third piano recital. Half way through the recital one of the hammers broke on a key and made it difficult to hear the note when played.
Ethan: Ecossaise.........J.N. Humel & Mussette...........Anon
Mac: Happy Farmer from "Album for the Young," Op. 68, No. 1o. .....SchumannIn the Hall of the Mountain King..................................E. Grieg/arr. M. Meir
Friday, November 14, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
My sister Kristin (on the right) was a good sport, she doesn't really like to bake but played along with us anyway.
The cookie samplers!
Grandpa was our #1 cookie sampler -- that is when he wasn't napping or watching the football game! Occasionally he'd make his way into the kitchen to see if we hand any broken cookies for him to eat. Here's proof of Miss Olivia helping Grandma, even if it was only for five minutes. She had more fun spending time playing with her cousins.
After Madelyn's Santa bib came off, she wore her favorite shirt - and mine!
Sunday, November 2, 2008
We flew out to Arizona on Halloween morning and the kids were treated to lots of Halloween goodies, both in airport and on the airplane. Several Southwest employees were in costume, and the kids got to vote on their favorite pumpkin display at the ticket counter. They were given spider and bat rings, squeezable pumpkins, and candy.
The kids trick-or-treated with their cousins until they so exhausted that couldn't walk any further. Once back at Auntie Kristin's house everyone changed into their Halloween pajamas and surveyed their loot of candy.