Saturday, March 31, 2007

A site I like Cindy has a great philosophy (one of several): "Do instead of Buy." Boy, do I need to remember that more often than I do! Dang it, but I bought a jar of salsa for a recipe I plan to make next week--when all the while there is a half jar of perfectly good salsa hiding in the back of my fridge. Not to mention the plum sauce that would have been delicious with the moo shu pork I made last week.
Today, as might be obvious, I'm cleaning out the fridge. Taking things off shelves, washing, organizing. Cindy offers some printables that include "Treasures in the Fridge," where you can write down your inventory. Yesterday, I did my freezers, where I found a nice piece of salmon my oldest son can have for dinner tonight.
I also found at least 4 jars of almost-empty barbecue sauce. Last week, I had a piece of leftover beef I needed to cook. I combined some bbq sauce with pineapple juice and cooked the beef in it on low heat for about 3 hours. This was one of those dishes you eat before it even leaves the pot, it's so good. It just fell apart. Oh, and it was a shoulder cut, not a very tender piece of meat. You would have thought it was sirloin!
So I plan to combine all those almost-done bbq sauces with some juice and make another steak this coming week. BBQ beef sandwiches, here we come!
Let's see--I've cleaned and inventoried my freezers (those are the kind attached to fridges, not big freezers. I wish.) and my fridge. Next stop, the pantry.

But not today. I'm tired.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Sew Crafty Friday

Here's a layout I did recently. My daughter Katherine (in the black top) was asked to be godmother to a friend's baby boy.

The background and all the star elements in this layout are from a kit called "Seeing Stars" by Lorene Hill. It's especially cool because the big star and the background are in black and you can color them any way you like!

I will journal in the big star as soon as I get information from my daughter.

BTW, I finished the hem on the dress with the matching hat. All I have to do now is bind the armholes.

Please visit and join "Sew Crafty Friday"! It's a lot of fun!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

WFMW: A blog that inspires my creativity
Shereen sponsors something called "Sew Crafty Friday" every...well, Friday of course. So far, only a few people have joined. But I'm hoping others will, too! Nothing makes me want to run for the crochet hook, or the sewing machine, or the scrap booking tools more than seeing how others are using their creative talents! That's what works for me this wednesday!
Check out "Rocks In My Dryer" for more cool ideas today!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Saving My Savings

I'm a big believer in coupons. I save a lot with them. But in the long run, even though my year-to-date savings at the local Stop & Shop is over $500...where did that money go? Well, most of it got absorbed back into the household budget, of course.
Recently, I broke down and decided to sign up for on-line banking. I was iffy about this, but there isn't all that much money in the account to begin with. So the identity thief who steals this account pretty much steals trash. Well, the bank has an excellent protection program, anyway. So...on to my savings. Now that I can do all my transactions (except making deposits, dang it) from my computer, I'm going to make an effort to put my coupon/sale savings into my savings account. It's a simple transfer, and I just round up to the next 10 dollars. Today, I moved $30 over there. (For the record, I bought $68 worth of groceries for $40 today.)
Now that it's easy to 'save my savings,' I hope to really see my account grow!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Sew Crafty Friday

This is a dress and hat I'm making for Ada. The hat itself is done. I need to sew the hem (it's already marked) and stitch the facing at the zipper. The facing is the same stripe as the brim on the hat. I made the hanger to match, too! Oh, and I need to put pink seam binding around the armholes. But it's pretty close to being done!
Please visit for more crafty things!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

WFMW: Sewing Tip: Measuring a hem

I found this someplace on line, can't remember where. But it's hands-down one of the best sewing tips ever. Usually, when I mark a hem, I mark the width of the hem and fold along that line. This tip says to mark where you want the bottom of the garment to meet. That would always be double your hem width. For example, for a 1 1/2 inch hem...mark 3 inches from the raw edge of the garment. Fold the raw edge up to meet these marks and you'll have your 1 1/2 inch hem. So much easier and faster!
For more really great tips, covering many topics, visit "Works for Me Wednesday at:

Monday, March 19, 2007

St. Patrick's Day Scrapbook Page

Here is my one and only St. Patrick's Day layout. Despite the fact my ancestors came over here in 1802 from Dublin (yeah, we missed the famine), and my maiden name begins with "Mc," I'm married into an Italian family and we don't do Irish. Well, okay...I'm only about 1/4 Irish anyway. And I hate corned beef and cabbage. (Which isn't truly Irish, anyway--but then again, neither was Patrick.) But Shadow is a cooperative little pup when it comes to dressing up, so here he is in his "Kiss Me I'm Irish" t-shirt. Nick held him up so I could get a good photo. All the elements on the page are mine (obviously, it's a white background.) I did the rainbow by drawing a circle inside a circle ad infinitum*. Then I drew a white rectangle to cut off the bottoms of the circles. About the best I can do when I can't afford a fancy art design program, LOL! (Probably got the Latin wrong!)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Sew Crafty Friday!

Please look below for the latest thing I have finished. Meantime, I was doing a search on Blogger for "Sewing AND Tutorials" and came across the site above. Well, okay, I've been there before but I never saw "Sew Crafty Friday." I'd already done a blog page that fit, but I'm adding this so others will join in the fun. I love to see the things people make!
My current projects: A sleeveless dress and matching hat for a little girl. Some baby things, including bibs and hanger covers. Some tops for myself. I just finished a small pink baby blanket for the same baby who's getting the bonnet.
I'm like a lot of crafters--18 things going on at once, and sometimes I actually finish them. Well, most of the time--it just takes forever! I simply can't take one project from start to finish before I start another one.
Oh...and I'm determined to finish off my Christmas scrapbook pages before I do any others. I better hurry...Easter's coming up fast.
Anyway, click on the link above and enjoy "Sew Crafty Friday."

Baby Bonnet

After years of praying, a dear friend learned a few months ago that they will be adopting a baby. Well, they have 2 great little boys and you can imagine their joy that the baby is a girl! I just love sewing for little girls. Here is a bonnet I made for her. (She's due around the end of May.) I believe it is a Butterick pattern. I can't wait to see the baby wearing it!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Another baby outfit I made

It was such a mild winter that it was a while before my friend's baby grand daughter could wear this, but I'm glad because now it actually fits her nicely. It was meant to be all turquoise, but I cut the front out wrong and ran out of fabric. So I made the pants a different color and made a pocket to match the pants. I wonder what little Ada has in there?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday

High time I participated in Works for Me Wednesday over at Rocks in My Dryer. It's been a while. I love reading the ideas over there but haven't had any good ones lately. I hope my few and faithful readers enjoy this one. Here is my kitchen organizing idea. I bought a small 3-drawer cabinet, that fits nicely on top of a rolling cart I have. As you can see, the bottom drawer holds all my measuring cups and the middle drawer is for measuring spoons. The top drawer? Weird things like cooking thermometers, skewers and the blades to my electric knife. Oh, that blue thing the spoons are in came from a package of plastic utensils. (Yes, sometimes I buy plastic utensils. This blog ain't named "really, truly frugal." Does getting them after the season at 75% off count?) Check Rocks in My Dryer for more great tips!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Home Making Meme

I found this meme over at, who got it from elsewhere. Thought it was cute so I'm going to try it...
Aprons - Y/N? I love aprons! I have quite a few, some of which I made myself. Great excuse to use some of the really cool fabric out there. Besides, I'm a slob. I can't help it--I go through at least 2 tops a day from spilling stuff. Aprons are a life saver.
Baking - Favorite thing to bake? I'm more of a cook than a baker, but I love making coffee cake and muffins. In fact, I hope to use the last of my freezer blueberries (from last summer!) to make muffins today!
Clothesline - Y/N? Oh, I wish! I love the smell of clothes that have dried in the sun. I even strung a line across my deck years ago to hang baby clothes. I gave up on my husband making a real clothes line for me. Next house, maybe? Still, with my electric bill as high as it is...maybe I can bug him for one again? (BTW, he does a LOT for me and the kids. But sometimes...I have to push for things.)
Donuts - Ever made them? Only the ersatz kind where you poke a hole in a refrigerator biscuit and deep fry it. Actually, they are more like zeppoles.
Everyday - One homemaking thing you do everyday? Hmmm...lots of stuff. I guess one thing is that we run the dishwasher ever day. We have to...there are 7 people here and we go through a lot of dishes!
Freezer - Do you have a separate deep freezer? I wish, again! I have an old refrigerator that still works fine, so I keep extra stuff in that freezer.
Garbage Disposal - Y/N? No. My mom has one and she's always worrying about the wrong thing going into it. Who needs that?
Handbook - Y/N? I have a 3-ring binder with page protectors in it. They hold my weekly coupon circulars, take-out menus and a few other household things. I even have an index page with scraps of fabric on it so I know what fabric I have for sewing. I don't know where I got the idea from...but I love my little handbook!
Ironing - Love it or hate it? It's a necessary evil. I have very few things I iron...and mostly, I just hang those up right out of the dryer. I use my iron more for pressing seams when I'm sewing.
Junk Drawer - Where is it? I don't think I have one. We do have a box where orphan things are thrown until we figure out what to do with them. I guess that's the same thing!
Kitchen - Design and decorating? When we moved here, there was ugly wallpaper and orange counters. Can you say "Brady Bunch"? Now my counters are white. I have a nice vinyl floor in different shades of beige and brown. My walls are a pale mint green. My lower cafe curtains and black and white check. I'm now reminded that I need to change off the valance for spring. Right now it's a poinsettia design. I have to get some fabric and make up a new one! As long as it has a touch of red, I'm happy. Red is my favorite color. All my kitchen tools are red. BTW, my appliances are black. So I guess the color scheme is red/white/black against a pale green backdrop. (The cabinets are dark wood, but they look nice against all the light colors.)
Love - What is your favorite part of homemaking? Anything to do with making dinner: menu planning, coupon-clipping, cooking.
Mop - Y/N? Now there's something my husband does for me...the heavy housework like vaccuuming and mopping. I have a bad back and can't do these things.
Nylons - Wash them by hand or in the washer? Just to show how old-fashioned I am...I still call them 'stockings.' I guess I hand wash them. I rarely wear them as I rarely wear dresses.
Oven - Do you use the window or open it to check?Both. It's pretty new so I can still see through the window, but you have to open it to use a meat thermometer, of course.
Pizza - What do you put on yours? Nothing but cheese. My stomach can't take anything too spicy.
Quiet - What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment? I do my book-reading in the early morning with my cup of coffee, when the house is quiet. Later in the day, it's never quiet here.
Recipe card box - Y/N? Oh, yeah. I love mine. It holds 4x6 cards, is made of metal, and I guess it's like a shoe box.
Style of house – high ranch
Tablecloths and napkins - Y/N? We only use a tablecloth at Christmas. We use paper napkins.
Under the kitchen sink – Cleaning stuff
Vacuum - How many times a week? My husband vacuums every saturday, but we use a Swivel Sweeper throughout the week.
Wash - How many loads do you do a week? At least one a day, and I really should do a lot more. It is never, ever, ever caught up.
X'es - Do you keep a list of things to do and cross them off? I use an on-line site called My Ta-Da lists, and have lists for each room. I follow them as I clean. I hate housework, so I alternate fun stuff like blogging with chores!
Yard -My husband and boys handle it all. I just tend to a garden.
ZZZ's - What is your last homemaking task for the day? Probably walking around and shutting of lights! Oh...and making sure both the cats are in for the night!