Tuesday, January 25, 2011

baby shower gifts

You might remember this post HERE when I made our Ape baby a few pairs of new shoes.
These are one of them

I made an adorable pair of shoes and matching head band for a baby shower this weekend. They are by far my favorite pair of shoes I have made! I just love them! Normally you can expect a hair bow from me in your gift bundle, but I see more shoes in future gifts from me.
If you are interested in the pattern and tutorial here is where I got it from. It takes me about an hour to whip these babies together IF I work straight through.
My personal advise for this pattern is
-I personally like the look of the seams turned out on the back. It gives it a more finished less homemade look I think, plus it hides the seams better.
-When making them for Ape baby I traced her foot and found the sole to be too wide so I trimmed it down especially at the toe. Next time I made her some the sole was too short so I added a 1/4" all around the sole and then a 1/2" to the length of the top and back pieces.
-For these I traced the sole of a new born pair of shoes at Walmart and then cut down top and back to fit. The pattern is VERY forgiving in that regard!
-For walkers for the sole I use heavy jean from old pants or remnant leather from Hobby Lobby I found for $3 of scrap pieces and made two pairs out of it. (Not costly!)
Happy Crafting!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Homemade Christmas

So we made each one of the kids something homemade this year. Granted I can't seem to remember for the life of me what we made our lil Ape baby...hmm.
It was fun. We included the kids in on it to. Everyone got a piece of artwork from our Emo child. And the older two helped with a few of the other projects. It was so fun to see them wrap the present and know they had made it. I love those smiles! and the memories of sewing, wood working, and designing are priceless.
The necklace I made for Flittering Butterfly. I had made her another one (check it out in this post) and decided it was just to old for her and gave it away. This one suits her personality better and was the perfect match for her Christmas outfit Grandma bought her.
I got the idea of a Zhu Zhu pet bed from my sister in-law. She made these HERE.
I asked Flittering Butterfly if she wanted to make one for the Sensitive child and she designed this for her brother. I helped sew the curves but she did all the rest. He was thrilled (until his Zhu Zhu pet landed in a toilet full of urine and quickly found his way to the trash YUCK!) I still need to replace it...For now his sisters Zhu Zhu pet has been making good use of the bed LOL
A week before Christmas Emo boy declared all he wants for Christmas is an airplane. I was not about to spend another penny or brave the over trafficked stores, so Soldier boy went out to the garage and put this together with the Sensitive child.
Emo boy quickly made it his own and named his plane "iLRAYo"
This is a bad picture. I took it right before my Mother inlaw was about to pack it up.
I made her a chalk board out of an old cabinet door. I love it! I need to make myself one.
I also discovered chalk markers! I use these all the time now.
I made this for a girl friend. (A lady at church helped me with the colors Thank goodness) I am not so good at that sort of thing. I have a frame to make one for myself I just have to get around to deciding where I want to put it and then agonize over colors again.

I love any excuse to craft LOL but to give them all away makes it that much more fun!
So there you have it...my Christmas creations. I have been so overwhelmed with trying to post this-that wasn't too bad. Now I can start sharing what we have been up to since Christmas :-)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


This year I got a wild hair to celebrate Hanukkah. We aren't jewish, nor have I ever celebrated Hanukkah befor. We have acquaintances that are jewish but they live no where near us. I did a bit of research online and then took out every book in our library (8 children's books, one for every day of Hanukkah). I decided what I wanted to focus on- the scriptures, the candle lighting, the dreidel game, a few recipes, and learning the history behind the celebration and traditions.
If you dont know much about Hanukkah read here
The first thing we did was prepare our menorah. Being in the bible belt I couldn't find a place to buy one, plus I really wanted to make our own. SO I went with something inexpensive and indestructible (1yr old wont stay off the table!). I cut a long 1x3 as the base and then a bunch of smaller 2x2s to accommodate the candles. I had dear soldier boy shoot a nail up thru the end of each board to drive thru the candles and help hold them in place. The kids painted them and voila, easy peasy!
(I lost two candles between the store and the house and had to go back to get more but procrastinated till the last moment possible)
Don't look too hard! I had the soldier boy put the candles on and he had the brilliant idea to heat the candle befor pushing it on the nail, which blackened the candles, and the candles aren't all too straight UGH! Not too pretty
But when they were all lit the kids didn't care, they were just fun!
Next came the games. I made these dreidels out of more 2x2s and round wooden joiner thingies. I cut the ends at 45degree angles to create a point and then drilled a hole just big enough for the joiner to fit in. I made ten of these so the kids could take them to school and talk about what they had learned and teach the class how to play the dreidel game. I painted one (and packed it up with all the Christmas stuff), the others I just left raw and free handed the symbols on the sides.
Then I planned out the meals for the week. We tried a meat brisque type thing, the kids loved the potato pancakes so we had those a few times and we had fish another night...can't remember the rest.
So Latkes are potato pancakes. In Germany they would serve these at the fests. YUMMY!! I found this basic recipe. Just like I remembered!

2cps grated potatoes (I used hashbrowns I am lazy)
small onion grated
2 eggs
2Tbsp matzah meal
1tsp salt
oil for frying

Mix all together. drop by the spoonfuls into hot oil (about 1/4-1/2" deep). Fry on both sides
Serve with applesauce or sour cream.
I stole the image from here
We also made Sufganiyot or fried doughnuts. They were delicious. I had to hide some so I could snap a shot befor they disappeared. I dipped some in cinnamon sugar and others in powdered sugar. Notice which ones went faster ;-)
The recipe I have for this one is too long to type with the ape baby on my lap. Sorry!
My goals were to read a book a night and learn something new each night about the jewish culture and this tradition- we accomplished that!
We also built many fun memories around learning. THe kids are all excited to learn about another culture next year. Any suggestions?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Chicken Curry Soup

Upon request here is my sisters Chicken Curry Soup

Sorry none left to take a photo of :-) unless you want me to take a bag out of the freezer...so here is a stock photo

*Sisters Disclaimer* this is not an exact science
WARNING THIS MAKES A LOT! For us it makes three meals. I freeze the left overs in ziplock bags.

Chicken Curry Soup

2-4 chicken breasts, small cubes
2 cans cream corn
1carton Chicken broth
2cans Coconut milk (one for soup one for rice)
1Qt Cream (I use 1can fat free evaporated milk, I like it thick & don’t need cal)
1med red bell pepper, diced
1/4cp onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
2-3Tbsp Curry (I like lots)
2Tbsp Flour
1tsp pepper
1med banana ripe
dash Cayenne pepper (optional)
1-2cps uncooked rice

Cook rice according to package, replace one cup of water with a can of coconut milk.
In large stock pot brown onions, garlic and chicken.
Remove from pot and set aside, leaving any remaining juices in the pot.
Add chicken broth and red peppers to stock pot and boil till tender.
Remove peppers and 1cp broth add flour and blend till smooth in blender or magic bullet
Return pepper mixture to stock pot add one can coconut milk, and cream/evaporated milk, and spices. Stir well
Add chicken and corn (don’t drain). Place banana in a small strainer or tie in cheese cloth and emerge in soup. Bring to boil for 10-15min stirring occasionally
Remove banana and throw it away.
Mix in rice and serve.
Notes- I usually use brown rice and it works with this recipe. I also like Curry so I usually add a little extra. I mush the banana a little to squeeze all the juices out before I throw it away. The riper the banana the better. I usually use one that I have frozen for banana bread.