Thursday, April 21, 2011

My Kids favorite cookie

My kids love snickerdoodles, they have to be their all time favorite cookie. They ask for them constantly. This is the top secret recipe I use, but I'm happy to share it with you. The big difference between regular sugar cookies and snickerdoodles is the cream of tartar. It makes for a super light cookie that is the perfect combination of soft and crispy.


1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cream together butter, shortening, sugar, the eggs and the vanilla in a large bowl. Blend in the flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Mix the 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside. Shape dough into balls using a teaspoon. Roll balls of dough in cinnamon sugar mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until set but not too hard. Remove immediately from baking pan and cool on rack.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Oh how I heart you Joann

Now I know I need to be buying fabric like I need a hole in my head, but how could I resist this stuff? I mean really, you tell me, how? I picked up some of new DSQ (as in Denyse Schmidt) fabric by Fabric Traditions for Joann's and couple pieces of AH Farmdale. I only had enough coupons to get 4 prints of the DSQ. I mean I'm still me, I had to use a coupon. I'll be going back and getting more as my coupons permit. Thankfully the Farmdale was already 30% off. I know tons of people slam JoAnn's as inferior quality (I'm thinking the whole Kona cotton debate) and what not, but I love the place. I'm there at least once a week. The employees are friendly and if not knowledgeable at least helpful. They don't hassle me when I come in with my fistful of coupons. They ask where my kids are (ahhh, the joys of child free fabric shopping). Need I say more. Don't get me wrong I shop my LQS too, but I do truly adore Joann's fabric and consider myself a loyal customer.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Tackling a new skill

When I began quilting a few years ago I just dove right in. No class, little knowledge other than what I gained from years of garment sewing. I asked a few quilting friends some question, but overall I've been self taught and learned by trial and error. I consider myself a liberated quilter. I try and use what I have and I'm not about precision. You'll never find me paper piecing a
"Grandma's flower garden". When I make things for us to use I'm much more relaxed, but when I make items to gift or swap my perfection monster rears it's ugly head. Currently I'm working on a baby quilt for a coworker. I've already quilted, unpicked (oy!) and requilted it once. Now I'm working on the binding. I read somewhere that if you make a baby quilt you should attach the binding by machine so that it holds up to all the washings. Well, I've got a lot to learn. I used the tutorials from here and here and this one with tons of great pictures. I'm sure this should be easier than I'm making it. Anyway, I've been struggling with this so I thought I'd ask you, what do you it good enough to gift?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Making do or living in the now

Years ago I saw an episode of "Oprah" where Iyanla VanZant was the guest expert. What stands out about this episode is the advice she gave the participant. Let me give you the back story. The guest was talking about how she was buying all this stuff but holding off decorating because she was waiting for "Mr. Right". Iyanla told her what about Ms. Right and that she better go ahead and paint those walls and hang up those pictures. I'm so guilty of waiting. But, I hear you Iyanla! I have 4 kids and they are hard on stuff. I wish they weren't , but they are. Because of this I've held of on really doing the things I want to do in my home, buying the furniture I really want. I've had periods of where I'll get depressed that I'm not living in the environment I think I should be in. I've let the kids take over the space. Not anymore! I'm painting, I'm buying what I love. I want to be in surrounding that fill me with lightness and joy.
Now, don't get me wrong, it'll be a process, but I've been transforming my life over these last few years and it stands to reason that my home should follow too. Watch out world...I'm not waiting any longer!
I just purchased a nice sofa from Rowe to replace my horribly stained hand me down one. Small steps, but it's a beginning. I'll post pix of the sofa after it arrives. I love it though.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Olivia in the city

This is a quilt I made for Olivia from my much coveted Urban Chicks Summer in the city fabric. It's probably my all time favorite line. Anyway, even though you can't tell, the blocks are really tiny and since this was a pattern of my own making I just started making blocks and thought I had plenty. Well, I had originally planned to just do a layout with no sashing or borders. I soon realized that I would end up with a quilt meant for a doll. That wouldn't do at all, so I added sashing and a border to get it the size it is now. It's a nice size for her, probably between a toddler quilt and a small lap quilt in size. She loves it. I'm still working on my free motion quilting. I was going for an allover stippling, but I'm still more of a meanderer. I am improving though, so that's good. I just got a great book on freemotion quilting and have been reading a ton online. What I've learned that it really just comes down to practicing. My goal is to one day be like Diane Gudyanski and quilt wonderful designs on my home machine. I couldn't afford to quilt if I had to send my quilts out to be quilted. Luckily I have both my Kenmore 47 and Brother pq1500 which both have nice larger harp spaces for quilting so it's just a matter of practicing and improving my skills.

Friday, April 1, 2011

It's been so long....

Wow, I can't believe it's been a couple months since I last blogged. I have had so much going on in my life in the past few months. I went from being what was essentially a SAHM to a WOHM. While I enjoy it, it wasn't without it's challenges. One of the biggest challenges for me has been figuring out a way to balance life and work. Finding time to do the things I enjoy and still having the time to be a hands on mom. I learned pretty quickly I was not superwoman. Some things had to give. I found us eating more quicky meals and take out, I found that my house was less tidy, I found that I didn't have the time to blog, I wasn't finding the time to get to the gym and that I was frustrated by all this. Well, it's taken some time, but I think I'm getting it all worked out. I've enlisted the children's help with the housework and I've lowered my standards, lol. I have cracked open my once a month cooking cook books and am doing some meal planning so we have no excuse to not eat healthy. I'm listening to more audio books. The weather is warming up so I'm taking walks and soon I'll be at the pool. I'm finding the time to sew and knit again, which really makes me happy. And I finally think I have the time to blog now that I got my new Macbook! Love it!!!
Mac is a whole new world to me. I'm still figuring a few things out, but I don't think I'll ever go back to a pc.
Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I think I'll be able to check in more often and hope you will too.