Wednesday, February 15, 2012


So yesterday was Valentine's Day, and I had decided I was going to make some little felt envelopes for the boys' classmates, based on THIS idea I found on, where else, Pinterest. 

Honestly, one of the real reasons I wanted to make them was so that I could check out all the different decorative stitches on my new sewing machine, and this was a good little project to do it on.  The boys only have six other children in their class to give Valentines to, so it wasn't anything overwhelming, plus, I was making them out of felt, so no seam finishing or other regular fabric concerns.  Easy peasy, really.

Apparently, other people didn't think so.  I posted a picture on Facebook as I was working on them and got a few reactions basically telling me nicely that I am an overachiever.

My husband commented after I had finished putting all the packages together that I had probably put more effort into the twins' Valentines than any other parent put into their kid's. 

Then, when I dropped the Valentines off with my twins' teacher, she looked in the bag and commented, "How did you find the time to make these??"

Really, I promise, they weren't that much effort.  Besides, they were fun, and I got to play with my new sewing machine.  Really, I don't see the problem.  But isn't the first step in dealing with a problem, acknowledging it?  If that is the case, I have a long road ahead, because now I am off to finish the quilt for the twins preschool fundraiser. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cooky #4 - Chocolate Drops

Yes, that is the hand of my 3-year-old son reaching in to sneak another cookie.  Excuse the dirty fingernails, please.  Like I said, he's three.  And a boy.  'Nuff said, right?

These are Chocolate Drop Cookies (page 8.)  I would describe these as a brownie-like cookie.  They are soft and wouldn't do well overbaked. 

I topped it with "Marie's Chocolate Icing" (page 150) as suggested in the recipe, and won't make it again.  Or, should I say, I won't make it again the way it is written in the book.  It called for an ounce of unsweetened chocolate, some butter, water and 1 cup of powdered sugar.  I could taste the bitterness of the unsweetened chocolate in the icing, and it was distracting to me.  I think it would be fine, however, made with semi-sweet chocolate, and will try it that way next time.

The cookie itself, like I said, is brownie-like, which I love.  However, just as written, again, I found it a little plain.  However, one of the variations has cherries in it, which sounds delicious!  And I think that the cherries, along with some nuts, will make for a cookie that is more my style.  Apparently I have discovered that I need a lot of goodies and texture in my cookie to really love it! 

My boys, however, were crying for more after 3 cookies, so it passed standard for the three-year-old set just as it is.

A few more notes: I think because the chocolate flavor in this one is so apparent, it is worth using a high quality chocolate.  I used Baker's brand, because it was the only kind at the store when I bought it, but I will definitely use at least Ghirardelli brand or better next time.

Also, I scaled way back on the salt this time because I was using salted butter, and the last few times I used the called for amount of salt with salted butter it was just a little too much.  This time, it wasn't quite enough.  I used about 1/8 t. (the recipe calls for 1/2 t.) and I think next time I will use at least 1/4 t.  So I haven't figured out the salt ratio quite yet, but I will get it eventually!

So, all in all, expect to see this cookie again, but in a slightly sweeter, cherrier, nuttier version.

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Few Projects

I have spent the last week or so trying to gather the things I need, and start on a few different projects.

This is how it happens a lot for me...I won't have much on my plate, craft-wise, for a bit and think I can take my time.  Then suddenly, I have a handful of half-finished projects that usually have a variety of pressing due dates.  Not half-finished because I don't finish them, because I hate unfinished projects and almost always finish everything I start, but half-finished because I will acquire one (or two or five) new projects that need to be finished first.

For example, when I started this little blog, the only thing I had on my creative plate was The Bed Quilt.  Now I have the twins fundraiser quilt that has to be done within the next two weeks. 

Fabric cut for Fundraiser Quilt.
Deadline for Fundraiser Quilt: Feb 19th.

In addition, I am the Primary Secretary in church, and with the start of the New Year, we have had new projects due for Spotlight, Birthdays, etc.  And of course, I love to do anything crafty, so I had no problem taking on the job of making a felt birthday cake, and create some Spotlight stickers in Photoshop.
I used elements from LDS Blog Train's "Choose The Right" theme kits to make these stickers.

This week, I need to cut out the words of this year's Theme with my Silhouette, and work on a photo board of all the children for the Bishop's office.

Deadline for Theme cutouts - Possibly Feb 9th or ASAP.
Deadline for Bishop's Photo Board: ASAP.

Also, my sister called me and asked if I could make 6 or 7 initial embroidered keychains for her to give as gifts.

Deadline for Keychains: Early to Mid-March. 

A bag for a friend that needs to have a name embroidered on it.

Bag Embroidery Deadline: ASAP 

Now, my list above may not seem like a huge load to some people, but as I have mentioned before, trying to get anything done with three Hooligans running around is near impossible.  For one, I don't have a dedicated sewing room so I have to sew in the family room...which is also The Room of Destruction for my boys.  So needless to say, I can't leave any of my "toys" out. 

While I do leave my sewing machine out, my boys know that they CANNOT touch it under threat of grave injury (or at least being sent to time out.) However, I can't leave out the iron, spray bottle, accessories, scissors (obviously!) etc, or they will be lost, broken or destroyed in some other creative way before I can can say, "Don't! Touch! Anything!"

So, every time I get a chance to work on something, (which is, of course, only after The Hooligans are in bed for the night,) I have to haul everything out from the office closet and bring it out to the Family Room.  Then, when I am done for the night, I have to pack it all up again and haul it back.  It is the same way with anything I don't want my boys to destroy. 

So while some people may look at my list of current projects and think, "What?  I could get that all done in an evening!"  For some of us, things are not quite so easy.

But lest I be accused of doing absolutely nothing on my projects, here is some photographic evidence that I have been able to sneak in a moment or two of sewing:

Playing on my new Bernina - trying out some of the decorative stitches.

And yes, even cutting out fabric for a Swoon block...I am still squeezing in time to work on TBQ!