Sunday, July 31, 2011

More Progress Updating...

Today (well this week) has been very productive - but not in a picture sense...
We are actually working on the Bumpy Quilt!! A02 & I flipped my bed quilt & started laying squares out on my bed. This was last weekend while Daddy & A07 had a nap time cuddle in Daddy's big recliner.

After playing with a few rows of the 4" squares kid decided how she wanted it to look. Then I took over & made a diagram so that we did not have to lay out EVERY piece on the bed.
With the layout she picked & the fabric she chose (while on a shop hop in 2010) & the fact that she decided upon picking the first fabric that it was for her Bumpy, because she loves her -- I am calling this "Struck by Love."
Once we can get some photos & give it to the Bumpy... I will even do a tutorial on it.
Approximately 5 rows are pieced... out of 18. I have two weeks to get the top & back pieced. Then I have to decide if we will have her quilt her own item... since she has that great new "mid arm" machine... and I have a little singer from W-M.

Yes, in case it is not 100% clear... I have a habit of craft hopping. There are always multiple projects going, across multiple media. Some yarn stuff, some fabric stuff, maybe a pinata in progress, rock candy on the counter, and a cake I need to make.
For the cake, I am gonna try something off the pinboard today. Replace ALL the extra ingredients called for in the boxed cake mix with just one thing... a can of pumpkin, like you'd make a pie with. This will be going on Sunday... since I have STILL not gotten my birthday cake & A07 turned 9 1/2 on Saturday.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Grocery Planning...

I'm sitting down to do our monthly menu planning - yes we do MONTHLY planning - this week. Since
I keep seeing menu planning ideas at the blogs I read, and across the internet. I decided to share ours too.

Within the past couple of months, we have revised our menu style. I was tired of trying to decide what to cook (from our list of 30 - 40 dishes that we have fixings for) or calling hubby to see what he wanted me to make. I implemented a weekly plan. I sorted the meals that we make into 8 categories. Then I chose a category to correspond with a day of the week (plus one extra for more variety.)
Mondays are Pasta Meals - Spaghetti, Lasagna.
Tuesday is Chili Based - Chili Dogs, Frito Pie.
Wednesdays are Baked Dishes - Bisquick Impossible Pie, Meatloaf, Spaghetti Casserole.
Thursday is Soup Based - White Chili, King Ranch Chicken Soup, Salad (with Soup & BreadSticks.)
Friday we do Pork or Poultry - Chicken baked in BBQ Sauce, Pork Chops, Chicken & Rice.
Saturdays are Sandwich Night - Hamburgers, Grilled Cheese, Meatballs in Marinara sauce.
Sunday is Hash - Potatoes with Gound Beef, or Hot Dogs, or Smoked Sausage.
I have an assortment of "Extras" that do not really fit the above categories which I can sub in on any night. - Tacos, Pigs in Blankets, Kraft Salsa Mac & Cheese.

I use a FireFox Add-On called "Grocery List Generator" for our monthly list.
Each item that we might need at the store is sorted into a self defined category. Among them are, Canned Vegetables, Dairy, Produce, and Paper Goods. I have organized the categories to appear in the order that we would arrive at them in the store. Drugstore is first, whereas Produce and frozen are last.
I have entered each of the meals we make (these are called "dishes" in the program) telling it how many of each "item" needs to be bought for that "dish." I also listed the restocking of things we need around the house such as Shampoo, TP, DishSoap, etc. in the dishes as well. Since I can several things, those are also listed as dishes.

I sit down & pick from the dishes which ones we would like and how many times. It compiles the list, and using the prices I have entered, even gives me an estimate.

If you have FireFox - this is a easy add-on to use & has helped us lower our costs considerably. When you go to the store with less planning, you tend to spend more. We are now feeding a family of four (and still increasing our food storage each month) for under $500 a month. If we were NOT able to make our monthly trip down to the Wal-Mart (an hour one way) due to weather, we would NOT have to go to the local much higher priced store, except for the milk & produce that we usually get there. It is comforting to know that we have food in the house for over a month's worth of food at any time.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

lots of progress...

A02 has been making LOTS of chain stitches - so far that is all she can do. I make her slip knot & away she goes. Hopefully this week we can work on the SC.

I have 22 rows made on my crazy stitch scarf. I changed colors at about row 16. It is coming out fun. I accidentally did a few rows with a hook a couple sizes too small, so one part is a little skinny.

I am also working on a "Lucy Bag" - from Lucy @ Attic24. I worked up to 10SC between increases on the bottom & then started up the sides. It is going to be for A07. I worked on it Friday night during our pre HP marathon of HP movies... watched 5 & 6 on Friday.
A02 said she did not remember going to bed at 12:00 before. A07 fell asleep about 8, since she had not napped in a couple of days. We watched HP7.1 Saturday morning, I got a bit MORE done on the bag.
Also, on our trip "into town" in the car, I hooked. During the movie previews, I finished a dishcloth.
I am on the last set of the pattern (stripes) for the bag, I hope to finish it tomorrow. A07 seems happy with it, so that is what I am going on... her attitude towards it.

I had a GREAT day today. A02 & I got to see the last HP movie - we both enjoyed it.
A07 & Daddy got to see Winnie the Pooh. Daddy was happy, because that theater was almost empty, and he hates crowds.
We found a couple of books (on sale at Hastings) that we had been looking for. All in all, it was a nice PRODUCTIVE day.

Hope to get the camera hooked to the laptop soon, so I can throw a couple of pictures at y'all. The dolly house is stalled, due to the hand sewing. Maybe I can get a bit of sewing on it & other things worked in this week. The scarf & the Lucy Bag both need showing.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

WOO HOO! (again)


Teaching A02 to crochet. This time, it is WORKING!!!
This weekend, I re-found an old book... We bought it at Goodwill in WA for 99 cents, back in 2009.
"Learn to Crochet in Just One Day. (right handed version)"

She tried for a bit after we got it, but it did not work. I ended up making the dress for her stuffed animal that she wanted to learn for.
Now she read the book better, before touching the yarn. She has successfully made at least 10 chains.
We will work on it again tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I have made 6 rows on the "crazy stitch" scarf. Using sock yarn that I made my gloves out of, so it will coordinate.
They were both "re-buys" of yarn I had made socks for other people with. It is the Deborah Norville Serenity Sock Yarn. (In Thyme & Chili if you know the colors.)

I love getting to report progress!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

had to share...

We are having "dessert" with lunch. Iced Animal Cookies (we get them at Dollar Tree) are today's choice.

I thought I should let you all know - the thing with a hump on it's back is a CANIMAL!

Maybe one day we will teach her how to say it right... but for now it is as fun as the Mosquitoes being Skittles.

Now I am going back to Bob Ross... we love watching the paintings flow onto his canvas.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

and a fun stitch learned too...

From that same blog. I have figured out a new pattern that I would like to make a scarf out of.

I have a BUNCH of sock yarn... nice SOFT sock yarn. This should come out nice. Wonder if I can manage to make it in time for winter?

random blog reading...

Found a post (while reading a randomly linked blog) that made a lot of great points about WHY we craft.
Sure it is from a couple years ago... but still relevant.

Go give it a read. Then GO MAKE SOMETHING!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

a little learning...

I was reading some of my RSS feed... followed a link to a cool site.
This was some good reading - it is worth the time to read it all.
Here are 10 things you might not know about our America's Independence Day.
1.) Independence Was Not Declared on July Fourth: The second Continental Congress actually voted for independence on July 2. In fact, John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, predicting that future generations would celebrate July 2 as Independence Day, saying, "The second day of July, 1776, will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illumination, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forevermore." July 4, 1776 is significant because that is the day that Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence document, but contrary to what many people believe it was not signed on the July 4. The official signing ceremony occurred on August 2, which is when most of the signers affixed their names to the document, but other representatives signed the document throughout the summer of 1776. Finally, there is no historical record of John Hancock saying that his signature is that big so that King George could read it. It has been suggested that Hancock's is by far the largest signature simply because he was the president of Congress.
Now I have a reason to say we should extend the nations birthday party for a WHOLE MONTH!
It is always nice to re-learn things about history.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day!!!

We have gone very mild on the fireworks this year. Found a couple of deals, and wanted the kids to get to see some, since there is no public display we could find nearby. The fountains out of the "kids" package we purchased were set of last evening.

Just heard the crack of one from down the street... it is 10am. A07 pipes up.... "NOW, can we go do some more fireworks?" We have to wait till this evening to do the aerial things, as you can see the glow better without the sun in your eyes.

Hope everyone has a safe holiday.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Saturday update:

We did our monthly grocery shopping trek to Wal-Mart yesterday. With the move to our small town, the nearest WM is an hour south, so it REALLY is a trek.
Spent around $400. For our family of four, that seems pretty good to me. We will need to get bread & milk during the month, but that we can do here in town.
Parts of what we bought will last more than the month too. I can my own spaghetti sauce (as well as chicken & ground beef) and it is a canning month. Next month will be paper products.

Now I have to get back to the hand sewing parts on the doll house (pictures WILL be coming sometime soon) before A07 gets mad that it is not done yet. And A02 & I need to work on a layout for the quilt she is "making" - she told me this week that I am going to sew it, after she helps me decide how it goes.

Will be doing brats (bought on sale last week) on the grill for tomorrow... and s'mores after since the grill stays hot for so long. We even found some of the fruit flavored "funmallows" in fruit shapes & they will be fun for the kids to do s'mores with.

Hope everyone else has a great holiday too!!