Monday, February 28, 2011

Thing A Day: 28

Finished.

Sold.

Off to the Netherlands.

I must say that selling a bag to a customer in another country is totally awesome.  I'm International!

Thing a Day was interesting.  I'm glad I felt accountable to get something in progress or finished each day.  I'm going to try to do a modified version of this, perhaps Thing A Week where I show you a completed project each week.

But...don't hold your breath.  I'm horrible at follow through.  Yes, you know who you are, the ones I'm still planning on sending photos to...I'm really, really, behind.

Thanks for stopping by each day.  I hope you were inspired to make something this month.  It really helps my moods to show off a creation, it might just help you, too.

Goodbye February...for the shortest month, you certainly last the longest!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Thing A Day: 27

 
Ah, some green in these here parts.

Unfortunately not the green we could put to good use.  Perhaps this show of green luck will yield the real stuff.

Right?  Fingers crossed.

This is my Thing, just like the heart for Valentines Day.  This took many more circles, and for some reason, not as much fun. Guess my 'heart' wasn't into it.  Here is the link to the Heart Tutorial.

Tomorrow is our final day in "Thing A Day".

Hoping to have something nice for your eyes.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Thing A Day: 25 - 26

Yesterday started with lots and lots of snow.

It was pretty on the trees.  Not so pretty on the driveway.

My mother in law traipsed through the 6 inches or so on my driveway to get the boys.  Feeling guilty, I shoveled a path from the door to the street so the boys and mom didn't get all snowy.  Nothing worse than wet socks on a cold day.

After they left, I continued to shovel, knowing Tom would be coming home at some point and need to get into the driveway.  Halfway through, I chatted with my neighbor, brought her into my house for some of this bread.  Then went out and finished the driveway, cleaned off the car, did the sidewalk, told my neighbor not to shovel and make sure he used his snow blower.

Then I came in, feeling energized and ready to work now that the boys were gone.  I sat at my computer and did some work for 10 minutes or so.  Got a little mug of ice cream (our new favorite, small portion way of serving) and continued to work at my desk.

And then the pain came.  Bricks on my chest.  Squeezing of my ribs on the sides.  Pain in my back.  Hard to sit.  Hard to lay.  Hard to stand.  Dizzy.  Sweats.  Chills.

Then I called my mommy.  She could take care of it.  But by the time she got here, I truly believed I was having a heart attack.  The pain was so immense, not subsiding for 45 minutes.  Better safe than sorry.


Twenty hours in the ER.  Blood tests, vitals every hour, EKG's, and a stress test.  My ticker is fine.  The doctor thinks the shoveling mixed with the eating of the ice cream caused my non-cardiac pain.  Feeling slightly silly, yet glad I know for sure that it isn't anything to worry about.

Women and Heart Disease is so prevalent in the news these days, I'm proud to say that so far, I'm just fine.

And the nurses loved me.  I suppose when you tend to see elderly that can't carry on a coherent conversation or the whack-job in restraints two cubes over, then a 39 yr old girl is a breath of fresh air.  And I am.

My Thing for the day, making sure I'm healthy.  And making the nurses smile. 

When I got home today, Sam was at my Mom's house and so Oscar and I made pom poms.  It is an easy craft for little ones, you really can't mess it up.  We have pom poms all over the house.  It's totally fun.


Hanging with my men today, that's a Thing I can get used to.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thing A Day: 24

I love this bread.

This is gluten free.  Yes, a brown, nutty, hefty gluten free bread.  And I made it!

With the help of Nuts Online.  A very knowledgeable friend/relative of mine pointed me to this website.  Wow.  If a seed, pod, bean can be ground, they have the flour of it.  I didn't find them to be all that expensive, either.

This is the Hearty Grain Gluten Free Bread Mix and I added some Chia seeds.  I haven't had a bread like this in eight years.  It is so soft, but not crumbly.  There is no resemblance to cardboard in this bread.  It reminds me of some that you might find in the bread basket at a fine restaurant.

Later tonight, when the boys are in bed, I'm going to slice this thin and toast it.  I might even dig out some Nutella for a special treat.

No more white sandwich bread for me.

This is a Thing I can get used to.

Thing A Day: 23

A pile of felt circles.

Green felt circles.

Cut by hand.  A quite sore hand after all of this.

There are approximately 250 circles in two different sizes.  Hoping to put these together tonight.

Surely you know what this thing will be....

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Thing A Day: 22

It isn't much, but it is a Thing.

I used a $5 off coupon on the Pom Pom makers at Joann's.  I've always wanted these nifty little things, and yes, they work.  They are fast and fun.

I remember making my own pom pom templates out of two pieces of hard cardboard cut into donut like circles, with a radial slit in one side.  Let me tell you...those were great.  BUT these, are awesome.  My mind is racing with reasons why we need pom pom's in this house.  I'm sure there are many reasons.

Pom Pom's are fun.

This thing is fun.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thing A Day: 21

My messy, wet, Thing.

This is a commission piece with a very large nose.  I made the nose while at the hospital waiting for Oscar.  I guess I was waiting too long.  I kind of enjoy it though, very peculiar.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thing A Day: 20

Happy President's Day (Week).

The kids are off all week, going to be a long one.

I had a bunch of fun painting these little guys inspired by these (much more refined) examples.  Niagara Hobby and Craft Mart carries all the wooden bits and pieces, we love that place.  Abe's hat is a circle cut from a paper plate and a cap to a long worn out lip balm, painted black and hot glued in place.

The kids didn't enjoy it as much as I did.  Oscar got his face on George in 1 minute flat.  That's a fast painter.  They had bad guys to freeze and portals to control.

It's always fun to pick up a paintbrush and do something I don't normally do.  Brings back thoughts of earlier, easier, free-time.

Free-time.  I miss that Thing.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Thing A Day: 19

 Loving this little "Thing".

This is another lavender sachet.  I bought a lot of lavender.

It only took me three others before this one to get it where it looked good.  Going to Joann's this morning for more matching thread.  I like the frayed edges.

Yesterday the boys were playing with chalk on the driveway, today it's snowing.  Ah, Buffalo weather.

In other news...at least three fish made it through the harsh winter thus far.  I know we'll get another couple blasts of cold, but for now, I winterized my pond correctly.  So proud!  Nemo, Max and Window showed their svelte bodies yesterday.

We have all forgotten how many fish we had at the end of autumn last year (if you know, please tell me!).  O says 3; I think 5; Sam believes 6.  Anyway, I have a feeling the other two or three or none, made it, but were still hiding under the comfort of a couple inches of leaves at the bottom of the pond. There is still hope!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Thing A Day: 18

Again, I apologize for the candid photos and descriptions.  I just can't wait to show you what I've made for my new niece.  YES...I'm getting a brand new niece.

I am overjoyed for my brother and sister (in law, I don't like that term). 

I can't stop making.

Really...every day I come up with a new idea I want to make.  Everything is handmade coming from me. 

So, I finished that "project" with the Silk Bamboo yarn.  What a dream that was.

The boys and I are hoping to make some Presidents' Day decorations tonight...I hope to show you those tomorrow.

And I'll be able to show the entire thing...not just a close up!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thing A Day: 17

I know this doesn't look like much, but I spent my lunch hour yesterday ripping up fabric.

If you haven't ripped fabric, you should.  It is the most fulfilling sound.  And the straightest line of separation you can get.

This is a lovely set of cuddle flannels that I picked up last month when there was a big sale at Joann's.  All in preparation for lots of sewing.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Thing A Day: 16

There is something I haven't told you.

My little-not-so-much-secret.
I have started meditating.

Well, at least attempting to meditate.  Life has swiftly pulled me up by my skivvies and tugged a little too hard for comfort.  One giant wedgie from life.

I'm trying to keep my perspective.

I'm trying to keep motivated.

I'm trying to keep positive.

I'm trying to keep going.

Tom is getting closer to being done with school, which means less time at home until he graduates.  It's just been hard.

I know there are many people out there, including my friends, that have it worse.  I should be grateful.

I'm just tired.

And so, Carrie meets this Meditation Thing.  I took a class through Adult Education and enjoyed it.  I found this website with free audio guided meditations, they are pretty good, the woman is very soothing.

I'll let you know how it goes, but for now...this is my Thing.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Thing A Day: 15

The Progress-Thing.

Last night, I did more ripping out than putting in.  At least it felt that way.  I've got the shoulder strap on and I'm hoping to get the parts done tonight.

Parts is parts. 

More than half way through this Thing A Day.  I feel like I got more personal enrichment from the Blogtoberfest and the Month of Gratitude.  I also got more sleep doing those. 

That aside, I am feeling productive on this and I need that now.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Thing A Day: 14

Teaching my boy to read.

This time, phonics flash cards.  He is getting pretty good at sounding out the words.

I was so busy this weekend doing laundry, that a 'thing' wasn't in the cards.  I'll try to be more creative tonight!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Thing A Day: 13

The Pizza Thing.

Pizza crust is a tough thing to replicate gluten free when you live in Buffalo, NY.  Home of Chicken Wings and Pizza.

Pizza here is like the Laurel to Hardy's chicken wings. They just go together.  Usually you hear, "C'mon over, we are getting pizza and wings."

I have tried to replicate the crust.  Here, we like an airy, crispy, medium thickness crust. Not thick Sicilian crust and not NY City thin...in between.

After getting Shauna's new book with this pizza crust recipe, and seeing all the pizza photo's on Facebook from all her followers, I decided it was my turn to try.


Last night, I measured my flours by weight, mixed them up a bit.  I used cornstarch, brown rice flour, teff flour, potato starch flour and sorghum.  I didn't add any gum's and once again, Shauna is right, you don't need them.

After I added my water, oil, yeast mixture, I found that I measured incredibly wrong on my flour weight.  I had soup in my mixer.  So, I added some more teff flour, a bit more cornstarch and a bit of sorghum until it made that slapping noise against the side of the bowl (oh, how I love that sound).

I let it rise, which it didn't.  Not really.  I think my yeast was old.  But you know what?  It didn't matter.  It was good.  Not great, but good.

A little heavy on the teff flour.  Should have went heavier on the sorghum.  Shauna has taught me through her blog, twitter, and her two books that experimenting is good.  I used to always experiment with gluten flours.  Why not with gluten free flours?  There are so many more options these days. I just ordered some chia seeds and chia flour yesterday.  This is becoming fun again.

Thanks Shauna for making my good health delicious with this tomato and goat cheese pizza!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Thing A Day: 12

Oscar has the best set of teacher's at his Pre-K.  I know I've never spent this much time on gifts for these ladies than for any other teacher.

 

Using the same fabric that I use on the blanquilts, I crafted these little heart sachets for each of them.  It was a good exercise, I just might make similar sachets for the shop.  They are filled with the most fragrant lavender.  Very pretty, but not overwhelming of a smell.
Sam wanted one for his teacher, Mr. Priset.  Maybe I'll need to rethink a male teacher gift.

Thing A Day: 11

Progress.

That's my Thing.

I probably won't show you anymore on this bag until after I felt it.  Trade secrets, you know!

So this is now a bag and one part of the 'extra' was done. I did that extra piece at the hospital waiting for Oscar.

Working a lot on my knitting machine. Feels good to have a bunch of bases in progress, the faces are the fun part, the bag is the drag.

I have a couple projects planned for today...does laundry count as a thing?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thing A Day: 10

Crock pot Gluten Free Bread!

I am always amazed at how easy bread is to make after I make it.  I've had this mix (yeah, don't judge) for a long time now.  I don't know why I let my mind tell me it's too much trouble. 

Really, it's just as involved as a cake (mix).

This one came out with so many air pockets.  Loft. 

In a gluten free bread people!!!

I've made this before in the crock pot, you can find the details here.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Thing A Day: 9

Pulled out my knitting machine this past weekend.  Last night, I made the first pass in separating the two colors. 

It's much easier to add a new color to an existing knit job, than it is to take one off and start a second one.

The blue is the start to a monster bag for Carla in the Netherlands.  This color is more like a denim, than the blue you see.  The Heathery pink...that is yet to be decided.  I'll just let that one speak for itself.

This is Day 9 and I am realizing that as I am doing things, I never really considered them 'things'.  We all do so much in our day, that making dinner is most definitely a thing.  Taking care of a sick child is a thing.  Reading a story to your child is a thing.  And simply sitting on the couch with your child watching a program that make you both happy is most definitely a thing.

Have any of you done a 'Thing' today?  I'd love to hear in the comments below.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Thing A Day: 8

A Thing that isn't quite a Thing.

I feel that my time not spent at work today, is best spent with my little guy.

This afternoon, when I am usually picking up and dropping off kids, we got in my bed.  I continued to work, reviewing leases (super fun!) and Oscar was going to take a nap.  Yeah, not so much.

When you are 4 and a half and just got new presents they are hard to ignore.

SpiderMan rocks!

See you tomorrow with something 'Thingish'.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Thing A Day: 7

Meet my Thing 7.

My little man and I spent the day at the hospital.

He has had lots of ear infections, and swollen parts.  His tonsils have been swollen to where you can barely see an opening since September (at least).  He had a scan of his adenoids to reveal they were also swollen.

An entire day at the Women's and Children's Hospital of Buffalo is an eye opening experience.

If I ever have the opportunity or means to support an institution, this would be the place.  The care of the nurses was beyond expectation.

The volunteers were cool, in the play room, walking around the hallways.  We met Bella, a nice little white dog traveling in a stroller.  She and her person matched in red garb.  If she could have, I'm sure her person would have shared her sparkle lipstick with Bella.

Even the staff member that got on the floor in the surgical waiting room to describe the surgical process, only that part that Oscar would be awake for, was amazing.  She looked like a regular person, talked to Oscar in a very intelligent, non-sing-songy way.  And what amazed me the most...she came to check on him after his surgery.  Upstairs in the recovery room.

That could have been a crappy day.  But thanks to the nurses (the doc was great, too) it was a wonderful experience that I will not soon forget and will hold close to my heart when I can share my gratitude.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Thing A Day: 6 Valentine Felt Heart Tutorial

Happy Valentine's Day!

I love this "Thing".

The pictures don't do it justice with the color, but it is a cherry red.  Love red.



I got the idea here.  She used a plate from the dollar store, which I couldn't find.  I used a cardboard box and it worked just perfectly.
I adapted it a tad, don't I always?  Her plate had a curved edge, making the heart more rotund.  I used slightly smaller circles around the edge to make it look curved.  A dab of hot glue and a circle, repeat.  Over and over.
And over again.

It really was quite fun.  I added a hanger on the back and cut a piece of felt the shape of my cardboard to cover the Pampered Chef box (oh, do I love my new stone).

This way, it can be hung, or just placed.

I think this is my favorite "Thing" so far.  I smell a Shamrock!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Thing A Day: 5

Banana Bread.

Bette Hagman's Recipe, adapted with my flours, mostly sorghum.

and the omission of baking soda.

Do you know what happens when you don't add the baking soda?  Nothing.

It doesn't rise.  It doesn't get moist.

It gets dense.  And yucky.

Blah.  So much for this Thing that is now in the trash.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Thing A Day: 4

This is Alpaca.

It is a yarn that looks like wool, appears scratchy and itchy like wool, but when you put it in your hands you can immediately feel and smell the difference.

This is a very soft yarn that has been in a plastic bag in my hall closet for 2 and a half years.

I intended to make a scarf for my new coat.  Well, I never got that new coat until just recently. 

Don't expect to see the scarf anytime soon, especially not in this post.  My 'Thing' today is winding this yarn into a ball.  It's been in a loose skein for that many years.  It unwound beautifully.  Only had one small knot at the end.  That's a well wrapped skein.

What?  Not enough?   You think that is a lame 'Thing'.

Okay.  I'm going to eat this whole can today.  Take that Thing.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thing A Day: 3

Yesterday, Oscar was in charge of snack at Pre-K.  When I chose the day, I didn't realize it was THE day.  Groundhog Day is my husband's favorite holiday.
A simple nut-free snack wasn't going to be sufficient.

Eating Gluten Free was tough, learning to read the labels.  Nut Free is similar, yet you have to dig a little deeper for the "processed in facility with peanuts".  It isn't as obvious as Wheat.  And it should be.  
 
I got CherryBrook Farms Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Egg Free brownie mix and made two batches.  This is a good brownie, I still prefer Pamela's, but this worked just fine.

While the brownies are baking, I got my coconut flakes and chocolate goldfish crackers ready.  The coconut should have been stale.  The fresh pieces were tricky to get into the brownie (note to self for next time).  I broke the fish apart.  Some I used the tails, some I used the front, breaking on the smile worked well.

Ready?

Once the brownies have cooled enough to touch (5 mins out of oven-ish), scoop a ping pong ball size or slightly smaller wad with your freshly washed hands.  Roll it around, smoosh it, form it, smoosh it again, form it.  Set it on a flat surface to get a flat bottom.  While it's on the surface, stick in the ears.  Move the brownie around the ears to get them in securely.  Pick up your little fellow and jam two pieces of coconut into his mouth.  Set him down to cool.

Repeat.

I originally made my shapes then tried to get the ears and coconut in...doesn't work.  Much too frustrating.

Then I got Nut Free graham crackers and laid them on my serving (aka box lid lined with foil) tray.  I tried a nut free frosting from Cherrybrook....ewww.  Not sure if I had a bad jar, but it was almost translucent.  Grainy.  And much too sweet.  I whipped up a frosting of powdered sugar and milk.  Perfect.

Piped tiny little eyes on each little fellow - make sure you have very stiff icing and a plate with a lip is great for resting the hogs on their backs while the frosting sets.

Repeat with a little pink nose.

With less stiff frosting, pipe a puddle of snow on each half graham cracker.  Have a little person help you place each hog in its hole.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Thing A Day: 2

Needle and thread.

I really don't like putting zippers in purses.  I am getting better, but it is still no fun.  Especially when you forget to put the label in as the zipper goes in.

So, I stopped.  And I'll finish tonight, I promise myself.

I'm itching to get some new things in the shop, and this will be great motivation.  I just need to get the second half of the zipper in.

Tonight.

Maybe I'll watch The Sandlot while I do it.  I think that movie is becoming my second favorite all time movie.  If you haven't seen it, you should.  Adorable.  It's one of those movies that when the kids request it, I run to turn it on.  I could watch it everyday, just like my first favorite movie...The Shawshank Redemption.

Tomorrow's Thing should be interesting...making it with Oscar.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Thing A Day: 1

Today, I begin my Thing A Day.

Yes, I'm stretching it tonight.  I usually don't do my "things" until the kids go to bed and the lighting is horrible, so this blog will technically be one day behind, or in arrears if you are in the business.  Funny story, when Meredith and I were working together, we had a big laugh when one of our coworkers said, "they didn't pay yet, because they pay in the rear."  We still laugh.

Moving on....

Firstly, we've played a bunch of games and tomorrow will be the same as we just got notice that the schools (Tom's too!) are closed in preparation for the 'big storm'.

My 'Thing' is not so much playing games with my kids, which is totally a thing, but watching my youngest read.  More clearly, realizing that he can read.  I helped with that.  When I read to him, I ask him to find words and letters.  This is my Thing A Day.  Teaching my youngest to read.

I'm proud that this is the first day.  I'm proud of this little guy.  Finding out that he can read is amazing for him and heartwarming for me.  Sam was reading to Oscar in the car today and Sam was having Oscar point out words.  Adorable.  Totally.

And because I adore the funny things my kids say, one of the Card cards on this MAD Magazine game said: Plan Ahead, move to any space on the board.  Oscar got upset (he was playing by himself at this time), he said,

"I can't do that.  I can't play on my head."