Friday, July 31, 2009

The Adventures of Miss Arya

Yesterday I was getting some labels printed out for the Farmer's Market when my house went silent. You know that if you have young kids and silence surrounds you, they are into something. Little Miss Arya went into the bathroom, climbed into the tub, and stole my shaving cream. She then proceeded to spray it all over the floor and herself. That morning, she had her second bath within 2 hours and outfit #3 for the day!
I must say, the floor where I cleaned up the shaving cream has never been shinier!


Now I ask you, what do you get when you combine a box, a colonial hat, and a piece of PVC pipe? Well, George Washington sailing the Delaware, of course!

During our pretend play last night, Ayra went into the other room and came back with a box and said it was her boat. She then went and got the "George Washington hat" and the PVC. I asked her what she was and Arya told me "boat". Jaiden then spoke up and told me Arya was "George Washington sailing down the Delaware"!


Jaiden and I have been working on learning the first six presidents. I have her tell me the names and a little about each one. For some reason, Washington sailing on the Delaware is her favorite fact about him!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hi, Jaiden!

Jaiden informed me today that it has been a little while since I have posted a picture of her on my "web". So, this one is for Jaiden.

Jaiden has on one of her favorite t-shirts, she calls it her "baseball shirt". Ryan's aunt Cindy from Missouri got it for Jaiden for Christmas. I told Jaiden to pick out something to wear for her "big photo" and this is what she picked out.

I have to get a better picture of her later in the week to show off her new hair cut. I was trimming up the back when she jerked her head. I ended up having to cut off about 7" to get it even. Her hair now rests on her shoulders. She loves it! I think it is a little too short.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Blackberries, Blackberries, Blackberries

This is a 3-in-1 blog post today! I am going to tell you how to freeze blackberries, make blackberry cobbler, and freeze blackberry cobbler. Last week, it was a peach kick, this week, I am up to my elbows in blackberries!

For those of you that like blackberry cobbler and think it is too hot to use the oven right now, you can freeze your blackberries to use later. All you have to do is rinse your berries and allow to drain. Place in a freezer bag and freeze overnight. The next day, use a food sealer to seal the bags. It's that easy! When you are ready to use the berries, pour into a colander and allow to thaw, then rinse.

Now the best part, cobbler!! I usually make this cobbler 6 at a time. I have halved the recipe to make 3 (you could do the math to only do one). As good as this cobbler is, you'll probably want to make 3, one to take, one to keep, and one to freeze. As you can tell, I was in the picture taking mood! Oh, I cook these in the disposable 8x8 aluminum pans.

Blackberry Cobbler (3)

Crust
2 c. all purpose flour
2 c. sugar
2 c. milk
6 tsp. baking powder
4 tbl. margarine, approx.

Filling
1 qt. fresh blackberries
2 c. sugar

In a large saucepan, mix blackberries with sugar on high. Stir to incorporate the sugar. Allow to cook for about 10 minutes.






Melt butter in microwave. Pour enough butter to completely cover the bottom of the pan. Mix all the dry ingredients for the crust. It is important to mix the dry ingredients together before the milk to avoid a lumpy batter. Slowly add milk. Your batter will be very runny. Pour the batter into the pan with the melted butter. You want the butter/batter mixture to be just under the halfway point in the pan.

Ladle 1/3 of the blackberry mixture to pan. Make sure to get some of the juice! Do not stir this at any time!! You want your cobbler to fill the pan about 3/4 (give or take)full.


Bake at 350* for 30 minutes.
(no idea why the camera decided to make my cobbler look red. I assure you, it's a deep purple color)


To freeze the cobbler, cover pan with foil. Freeze overnight. Remove foil, place in a food saver bag, and seal. When ready to eat, allow to thaw and warm in the oven at 350* for about 5 minutes.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Gas Calculator


I am wanting to go down to Chesnee, SC to get some more peaches and blackberries, but didn't know how much the trip would cost me. I found this really neat site that lets you figure out how much money you'll spend going from point A to point B. MPG Buddy allows you to select your car and does all of the hard stuff for you! Just enter in the year, make and model of your car from the drop down box. It will take you to another page where there is another box near the bottom. There, just enter in the price of gas and how many miles your trip will be and hit "Estimate". A number in blue will tell you how much you need to figure in gas. So neat!!

It will cost me $103 in gas to get to Chesnee, Sc and back. Now I just to figure out the price of the fruit and see if it's worth my time. Be sure to check out the site if you have a driving trip planned!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pickle Making: 101


There is nothing like making pickles yourself! They are so much better than store bought ones. And, cheaper too! With a few basic supplies, you can turn your home grown cucumbers (or store bought) into delicious pickles!

Before you start, you need a few basic canning supplies:
1. Hot water canner - They are about $18.00 from Walmart. You do not need a pressure canner to do basic canning.
2. Canning tongs - Ball Canning makes tongs that are specifically for lifting hot jars in and out of the hot boiling water. The pack also contains a magnetic lid lifter and a thingy for popping air bubbles in jelly. ("thingy" is my technical term)

Make sure to get pickling cucumbers. They are smaller than the other cucumbers and are grown especially for pickling. There are such things as "salad cucumbers", these are not the same, the pickles made out of salad cucumbers just do not taste as good.

Pickles

10 lbs pickling cucumbers
1 package Mrs. Wages Dill Pickle Mix
White vinegar
12 pint sized canning jars with lids
Kosher salt

1. Cut your cucumbers. Cut in 4ths for spears or thin slices for chips. Place in a large bowl of ice water with some kosher salt. Let sit for a hour.

2. Filler your canner half way with water and place on burner set to high. Be sure to cover with lid.

3. Prepare pickling mix according to package directions.

4. Pack cucumbers into jars, tightly.

5. Pour pickling liquid into jars, leaving and 1/2" space from the top of the jar.

6. Place lid and ring on jar. Do not over tighten.

7. Using tongs, place jars into boiling water.

8. Allow to sit in water for 10 minutes.

9. Remove jars and allow to sit until cool. Make sure that all of the lids have popped down. Some will pop after they have set for few minutes after being taken out of the water.

10. Store pickles in a cool, dark place until ready to use. Pickles will be ready to eat after 24 hours. Be sure to refrigerate any jars after opening.

Monday, July 20, 2009

What I've Been Up To

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be doing so well at the Farmer's Market!!! I just cannot keep up with orders! My first week, I sold 30 jars of jellies and pickles. Last week, I sold over 60 jars of jellies and pickles! On top of all this, I am selling assorted baked goods.

This weekend, my grandmother's brother came up from Georgia and brought me a bushel and half of peaches (75 lbs.) Saturday afternoon, I peeled, sliced, and froze peaches until I was so sticky that I needed a bath! I have never seen peaches so big in all of my life!
With the peaches, I plan on making peach jelly, peach topping, peach muffins, peach cobbler, and peach fried pies. Peaches, peaches, peaches!
Also on Saturday, I got 2 bushels (80 lbs.) of cucumbers to pickle. I got through about 60 lbs. of them. I already have 144 jars of pickles!! My white shirt that I had on yesterday has been yellowed and my old tablecloth is now a pretty yellow!

I am so tried after this weekend! I got a charlie horse last night and my leg is killing me. I still have lots of work to do!! I need to make up some more jelly, baked goods, and cobblers. No matter how busy I have have been, I am making sure to spend ample time with the girls! We have a movie to finish this evening!

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Winner Is....

From a random generator, Patty!!! Congratulations!!! I will have your winning package out before next Friday!

Thanks to all that played! And, thanks to all for the kind well wishes!! I hope to have another year!

Sorry it took me so long to post this! I have been gone all day and playing outside with the girls.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake

If you like blueberries, I have a treat for you! This is one of my coffee cakes I am selling at the Farmer's market. Very easy to make!

Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake

2 c. All Purpose flour
1 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 stick margarine, softened
1 c. milk
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pint fresh blueberries

Streusel:
1/2 c. b. sugar
1/2 c. flour
1/2 stick margarine

Mix all cake ingredients in a bowl except blueberries. In a separate bowl, mix streusel ingredients. Oil and flour a 10" tube pan. Pour half of cake batter in pan. Add blueberries. Pour remaining batter on top. Sprinkle streusel topping on top of cake. Bake at 350* for 45-50 minutes. When cool, turn onto cooling rack, then onto serving plate.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fallen Soldier

My cousin's, best friend's, ex-husband, Greg Missman was killed in Afghanistan last week. Greg was a computer specialist for Army and was called out on a mission that he did not return from. His convoy was attacked and Greg's body was riddled with shrapnel. His body arrived home this evening and his funeral services will be tomorrow night.

Greg left behind a four year son, Jack. His ex-wife, Brooke, has taken the news fairly hard. Please send warm thoughts and prayers to this family.

This has been the closest death from Afghanistan or Iraq for me and my cousin. They have asked for anyone that knew Greg to put a flag and yellow ribbon in their yard tomorrow.

Whether you agree or not, and this is not the place to discuss it, please remember all the families that have lost loved ones in your thoughts!

Here is the story from our local paper:
Cincinnati Enquirer

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Jaiden's Bibile School Program

I've been very busy trying to replenish my supplies from the last Farmer's Market. I sold over 30 jars of jellies and such, so I have been super busy!! Here's some video from a local Bible School that Jaiden attended last week. She is in the pigtails with the "A" on her dress.

The series was called Boomerang Express and had an Australian theme.
video
video
video

Monday, July 13, 2009

Red Mommy's 1st Birthday & Giveaway!!

Tomorrow, July 14 is Red Mommy's Crafts 1st birthday!!! I never thought I would consider myself as a blogger!! Now, I take my camera everywhere just in case I see something interesting that I might what to post! I never thought my blog would reach close to 20,000 views and visitors from over 99 countries in just 1 year!!

A BIG THANKS

to everyone that has visited, left comments, and followed along with me for this past year!!!!! I have had so much fun sharing my crafts, recipes, and family stories!!

To celebrate Red Mommy's birthday, I am having a

GIVEAWAY!!!




I call this "A Taste of Cincinnati", and since Red Mommy Crafts is closely based out of Cincinnati, with this you will be bringing Cincinnati into your home. It is some of the foods Cincinnati is famous for: Montgomery Inn BBQ Sauce, Izzy Pickles, Skyline Chili, Frisch's Tarter Sauce, and LaRosa's Spaghetti Sauce.


All you have to do is leave me a comment and let me know that you would like to be entered. Giveaway will end Friday, July 17th at 2:00 P.M. EST (open to U.S addresses only)

Please still feel free to leave me a comment even if you do not wish to be entered!

I might have some other giveaways this week, so be sure to check back!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I Know What's for Dinner!!

I went out to the garden this morning and came back with these goodies: mixed greens, zucchini, cucumbers, and green beans.

I'm thinking fried pork chops, green beans, and sliced cucumbers for tonight.
Maybe tomorrow, meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and greens.
Somewhere, I'll have to fit in some fried zucchini!


We also planted leaf lettuce and green onions; which are long gone, potatoes, tomatoes, vidila onions, sun flowers, watermelon, and beets.

Toddler Bed Flat Sheet

Why is it that kids still in toddler beds aren't supposed to need flat sheets??? This time of year it is just too hot for a quilt and they out grown receiving blankets. I have wanted to do this since spring, but just now found the time. I bought a twin sized sheet at the Thrift Store and was able to get a flat sheet and a pillow case out of it. I even had some sheet left over for another project, yet to be determined.

1. I found the standard size of a toddler/crib mattress to be approx. 52"x28". I added 10" to the length to give me a length of 62". This new length allows hems and for Jaiden sleeping under it comfortably. I measured from the floor to the top of Jaiden's mattress and it was 13" on each side. So I added 13" to the width of 28" to give me 41". This gives me an overhang of 6.5" minus hems for each side (also minus Jaiden when she is laying underneath it).

2. Cut your sheet to be 62"x41". Be sure to cut it so that any design follows your new sheet dimensions.

3. Fold over 2-3" on the top of the sheet to the back. Iron or pin in place. Sew. Repeat for bottom, only turning over 1".

4. Fold sizes to the back about 1/2". Iron/pin in place, sew.

For Pillow Case:
5. Cut a piece 29"x38" from the old sheet. Make sure to use the finished edge of the sheet to form the top/opening of the pillow case.

6. With right sides together, sew bottom and up the side.

7. Turn right side out, iron flat.





*I would suggest not making this for the littler ones. They might get the sheet tangled around their neck.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ironing Board Face Lift


My ironing board was in desperate need of a new cover! I went looking for a new cover and they don't sell covers for the smaller boards, just the full size ones. So, I thought, why not make one myself? I had all of the supplies on hand, so it didn't cost me anything.


Supplies:
Material (I used an old sheet)
elastic (I used 1/4" for my small board)
1" thick foam

1. Turn your board upside down and trace shape onto foam. Cut out.

2. Trace your old cover (or trace the board and add an inch or more for overhang) onto material and cut out.

3. With the wrong side of the material facing you, sew on elastic. Make sure to stretch the elastic as much as you can while sewing. Go back and stitch again to make sure it is secure.

4. Place foam on board and cover with new cover.


This was my embarrassing old cover. I washed it and all of the elastic came out. The kittens also tore up the foam underneath (it was only 1/4" thick). It was definitely time for a new cover!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Men's Shirt to Toddler Dress

I started making this dress for Jaiden about 2 years ago and forgot all about it. Today when I was going through some material, I found it! I decided I wasn't going to put it off any longer, and make it for Arya.

I found the instructions on Craftster from Cheytown. If you have sewing knowledge, the instructions are fairly easy to follow. I made some changes to the dress by not adding trim to the top, I just turned it down and hemmed it. I did not add trim to the bottom, I just used pinking shears to finish. And, I made the dress a lot shorter than the instructions stated, I am not a fan of long dresses on my girls.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Lounge Around Towel

I made this towel for Ryan because he loves to lounge around in a towel after his bath. Okay, I know TMI (too much information), but I wanted to explain my reasoning. Also, Ryan (and I) have a hard time trying to find towels that actually fit abound us. Not that we are "large" people, Ryan has a little more to love around his waist, so it's hard to find a towel that comfortable.

The great thing about this towel is, you can make it as big as you need to fit! If you need 4 towels, not a big deal, it will still look great! Plus, this is a pretty basic sewing project, just straight lines!

I bought the $1.50 towels at Walmart, so they are a little shorter than probably a more expensive towel. It took 1 1/2 towels to make this one for Ryan. Make sure your towels do not have any designs on the ends because of how the new towel will be put together.

Supplies:
Towels (1 1/2 will get you an approx 36"-44" waist)
1" elastic -length is your measurement minus 3"

1. Cut the towels in half. Even though I used a full towel, I still cut it in half to make it flow better for the finished look.

2. Cut of the finished edge of the short ends on the towel. Be sure to leave the edges on the long sides, this will be the finished edge of the bottom of your new towel.

3. Sew your towel sections together to form a ring.

4. Turn down about 1 1/2" to form a casing for the elastic and sew it, leaving a small opening to fit the elastic. Insert elastic with a safety pin. Sew elastic together and sew opening closed.

5. Flip right side out and admire your new towel that actually fits!!

Our Weekend

Friday night we took the girls to a free festival a local church hosts every year. After it got dark, the city let off some fireworks. We all had a good time!




On Sunday, Ryan and I went down to Conway, Kentucky for a family reunion on my dad's side. It certainly was an interesting trip! Ryan had never been "down in the holler" before so this was a new experience for him. My family is from Jackson County, one county over, so I had been down there several times before. Ryan saw things that a "city boy" just isn't used to!



It rained horribly! Lightening struck about 200 yards from where we were eating. I have never heard such a loud sound and seen such a bright light! This "river" is the dirt road we had to use to leave the reunion.

This is a retainer wall made out of old tires.

I just thought this was interesting! It's a beautiful house with an old, ugly trailer out front. (I realize they are just using the trailer until the house it built, but it's still interesting!)

This is the downtown Cincinnati area I took from the car as we were driving by. It was so good to back in Ohio after driving 300 miles!!

This is the stadium where the Cincinnati Bengals attempt to play football.


We had a great time, but were so glad to be back home! It's good to get away, but so nice to come home!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Introducing...

Ebie


D'Argo



Ebie (pronounced E-B)is the kitten Raven brought home the other night. We estimate him to be about 7 weeks old. Ryan fell in love with him because he reminds Ryan of his old cat, Tiger. We were calling him Freebie at first because we didn't have a name for him. Arya was calling him and it sounded like "EB", so that's how he got his name.

D'Argo was a gift from one of our neighbors. We had told our neighbor what had happened with Stormy, and he brought this kitten over to us Sunday and told us to give it to the girls. He has already been neutered and has been microchipped, a big plus! Ryan named D'Argo from one of our favorite TV series, Farscape. D'Argo is the same age as Raven, 3 months old.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Anti-Advertising Totes


I found these bags the other day while web searching. I thought these are so neat and considering how inexpensive they are, just too great not to share!

A BIG THANKS to Kathleen for allowing me post her idea and instructions!!!

Here's what she said, "LOVE inexpensive reusable shopping bags, don't love advertising the local establishment - in this case Walmart. So I covered it up, with fun fabric. Here's how ..."

Supplies:
2 - 50¢ reusable shopping bags from Walmart
1 fat quarter
ruler, rotary cutter and matte - or scissors and ruler
blue bobbin thread - as close as you can come to matching the color of the bag - if you care, if you don't, any color will be fine.
coordinating or matching thread for the top.
Iron
Sewing machine

1. Iron out any wrinkles or creases in your fat quarter.
2. Cut the fat quarter into four strips 4.5" x 22".
3. Sew two strips together along the 4.5" edge, matching the design of the fabric as best you can to hide the seam. Finished strip should be 4.5 x 40ish
4. Trim any excess so seam is 1/4".
5. Iron down 1/4" - 3/8" of raw edge, on both of the long sides of your strip of fabric.
6. Pin fabric strip over printed Walmart logo, starting and stopping, in the side gusset panel of the bag. Use a ruler to measure ~ 5" from the top of the bag to insure your fabric strip straight all the way around your bag. I found that the exact measurement varied from bag to bag, as the logo must have shifted a bit during the printing/sewing process.
7. Trim fabric leaving 1/2" overlap, plus 1/2" to turn under. Pin in place.
8. Sew fabric to bag, sewing, 1/8" from the edge. Sew down overlap flap.
9. Reinforce pre-stitched side seams of bag and handles if desired.


Again, a BIG Thanks to Kathleen!! Be sure to visit her site,Tiny Stitches