Thursday, November 9, 2017

Blessing bags completed.

The first batch of blessing bags have been completed.

Here are the last of them.






Next challenge is to make 25 more in a Christmas print to donate to another group in need. Pictures to share soon!

Flip my attitude.

I know first hand what happens when you let a negative thought dwell in your mind and let it take over your life. I did this for years. What woke me up to this destructive pattern was coming out of a slump of depression in September/October, I realized how important it was to take every thought captive. And let me tell you when the thoughts came pouring in as they did every day, I found it utterly exhausting to take them captive. There were days and nights that I wanted to give up.

It would have been so much easier to let them just take control and do what I'd always done. Do what I was used to doing, what was comfortable, what was easy. Dwell on them.

Thankfully, I have a supportive husband who is always reminding me to see the good in everything. To stop feeding the negative wolf and to feed the right wolf.

I  got to thinking about this topic, because I had challenges this week that normally would have broke me. Instead, they helped strengthen me and gave me PLENTY of opportunity to take my thoughts captive.

When the thoughts would enter my mind, the first thing I would do is recognize them and immediately cast them out. There are many ways to do this, but I will share three things that worked for me and are still working for me.

1. Laughter. Laughing at funny shows and video clips has helped tremendously at keeping my depression, fear, and anxiety away. I'm amazed at how laughter helps so much. Feeling down, watch something funny and start laughing your head off! The more you laugh the better you'll feel.
 "A merry heart does good like a medicine."

2. Scriptures. Whatever problem I was thinking about, I took my thoughts captive by going to the scriptures and finding a verse that spoke to me about the subject. I read different versions to get a better understanding. I meditated on them by thinking of the verse instead of the problem I was facing. I like the Youversion Bible app. I just found out about it recently. (another post about it later) I also subscribed to several of their bible plans. When I was a kid growing up, I loved the idea of sticker charts. (my parents weren't really into that) I think that's why I like the Youversion bible app. I'm just a kid at heart. :-) I like to see my progress.

3. Journaling. Writing is so therapeutic for me. It helps me to get my thoughts on paper. I have a journal I keep specific to writing about my social anxiety I deal with. It has helped me so much to be able to go back and read about particular days and what helped me get through them. Find a pretty notebook and start writing.

I've learned that taking my thoughts captive isn't a one time thing that I do. It's a new part of my life, what I do every moment of every day, but the more I do it, the easier it becomes. It's no longer exhausting to take my thoughts captive. The more I think good thoughts, the more I see the good in a situation. That doesn't mean that my life is perfect and bad things don't happen, but my perspective on how I see things has changed.

Here's a cheesy song to end with. It was from one of the bible plans I subscribed to.




Saturday, November 4, 2017

12 more bags done. Just a few left to go.





I had fun making these bags this week. I'm grateful for having a project to work on in the evenings. I've got 14 more to do and then I'll start on my next project! :-)

It's going to take awhile but I've decided to open my Etsy shop. It probably won't happen until next year though as my next project will be to make 25 more blessing bags. Pics to come soon!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Drawstring bags

I've been working on three separate projects all week. I suppose I should have just worked on one thing at a time, but I like diversity.

Here is one of the projects I have been working on.



Grandma's bag- finished bag pictures revealed.

I finally gave Grandma her bag so I can show the pictures now.

This is the orange one- that I drafted my own pattern for.


I found a youtube video here that showed how to create a recessed zipper in any bag, so I made this one first as sample to make sure I could do it. It worked great!



This is grandma's bag-


She loves her bag! I even sewed her a small zipper pouch to go with it to hold smaller things so they don't get lost in the bag.

I am working on another bag similar to this but even larger sized as it's still not quite big enough to hold a sweater sized knitting project. I've got two bags I'm working on for two crafty friends (who are being so patient- thanks)

I'm still working on writing up the tutorial for the orange bag. Is anyone even interested in one?

Monday, October 23, 2017

Cross body bag and matching wallet pics

Here are the pictures from the cross body bag and wallet I made. I had a lot of fun creating it.


I had never met the girl I was making it for, so it was kind of an awkward moment when it was presented to her in front of me, but she seemed to like it. 


The cross body bag pattern came from here. I created an adjustable purse strap for it, using this video. The wallet came from here and totally worth $4.50! Be sure to join her facebook group to share pictures of your finished products. You can also get help there too!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Old Shale Scarf and fabric

I bought some yarn this week but could not bring myself to start another project until I finished at least one of my current WIP's. So, I worked hard and finished my Old Shale Scarf. It's ready to be blocked. I started it in April. That leaves only one last project on my needles. Yay!!



I started a wheelchair wrap this week. It's burgundy. I'm looking forward to getting a pile of them completed this fall and winter to give away locally.

I was blessed with a crate of fabric this week. I had just given away all my current stash of fabric a few weeks prior. (no regrets on that!) when a friend contacted me asking if I wanted some fabric. I said yes!  I was thinking earlier this week that I wanted to work on some blessing bags but knew I  needed some fabric to make them with and wasn't sure where the money was going to come for buying the material. There is plenty of fabric to make them with. And just in time for Christmas as the majority of the bags will be made with Christmas print that was included in the crate!




A few things I've got to work on this month and next-
A large zippered tote for a pen pal. I plan to make a sample one first to try out the new pattern I found. Then, a bag for my grandma.

Then, a project bag for my sister who has recently taken up crocheting. Yay! I plan to make her one similar to my pen pal's-if I can figure out the new pattern...

And lastly, a friend asked me to make his daughter a purse and a matching wallet. I'm just waiting on the zippers to arrive to make all these bags.

My goal for next year is to make more Sew Powerful Purses (to complete this year's goal) and to sew pillowcases for local distribution. Other than that, I'll be making prayer shawls for locals, and crafting for myself.

I do have a few UFO's to finish up yet this year. I'll post up pictures when I get them done.

Until next time!

P.S. I'm working on a tutorial for the orange and black bag I made this month.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Apples! Apples! Apples!

I stopped in at the local grocery store this week and was happy to see that they had some Missouri apples for sale. I grabbed two bags and filled the dehydrator up with one full bag. It made 9 trays.



I was really happy that it only took 6.5 hours to dry them. I'm looking forward to having healthy snacks again.

I also dried some fruit leathers. I had bought some peaches this summer but was disappointed in how they tasted. They were not sweet at all. So, I pureed them and froze them to dry later. Which was this week!

I pureed them with some ripe bananas and they turned out great! I also made some cocoa banana leather and it was good too. I still have some watermelon puree to dry at a later date.






Sunday, October 1, 2017

Bear Scripture tote

I finally got together with my friend and showed her the sample scripture tote. It fit her bible perfectly, so I went home that night and sewed hers up for her. I had a bracelet I bought years ago on Etsy but was only able to wear it a few times until it broke, so she is re-stringing it for me. I'm so excited to be able to wear it as a necklace. Anyways, she is trading it for the tote. I love bartering!

Here is her tote.





I made hers just 12.5 inches wide. I made the lining all one piece. When I boxed the corners, I measured it at 3 inches, drew the line and then sewed it down. The straps I used webbing that I ordered from Home Sew. (Great company!) The length was 24 inches each. This is the pattern I started with.

I think the next time, I will make a button loop for closing it. Like I do on my tea wallets.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Will things ever change?

I found an old poem I wrote in 1995 and I realized I still feel almost the exact same way since I started going to church. I hadn't gone regularly since I wrote this poem.

part 1-

I see the stares all around.
knowing that I've been found 
feel I'm not a part of this crowd.

My stomach begins to tighten in a knot
afraid for I'm about to be caught
I've entered in this forbidden land
one whose land I have not bought.

I see the look in their eyes 
I want to be a part of their lives
if only they would let me inside.

The circle they stand in is drawn tight
Why must they always put up a fight?
Lord, is what they do all right?

Though I stand up and laugh 
I still feel the pain
people who dont know me
think I'm insane
my life is in chains.

They don't want me to get near
what about me do they fear?
I don't understand why I cry all these tears.

With these burdens I can't carry on 
i know you'll come and my fear will be gone
oh Lord, please come.

I try to hold back all my tears 
but the tears keep falling till I've cried
Lord lift me up come inside
Lift these burdens I can't go on.

remove these burdens I cannot bear
take the pain that I share.

to be continued...

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Scripture tote

I made this bag as a sample for a friend. A relative saw it and asked if I'd make her one. Sure! I agreed.
Then she told me to make it just like that one but bigger.

Ack! I looked all over Pinterest, Google and Etsy for a suitable pattern. They all had something about it I didn't like.

So after days of searching, I decided to draft my own pattern based on the dimensions the relative wanted.

I can't wait to show the finished pictures. And I'll even write up a tutorial for it when I get all the bugs worked out.

Here is the original bag that started this fun challenge.


Also on the works is an extra large project bag for sweaters. With a zipper.

And a project bag for my sister who has recently taken up crocheting!! Yay!!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Pad Thai 2

I recently tried some pad thai from Fit Cooks Couple on Youtube. I really liked it. Much better than the recipe I found years ago on the back of the noodle package.

I changed how I made their dish though and wanted to write it here so I don't forget how I made it. It's a wonderful recipe. Check out their Youtube channel!

Here is the ingredient list with my changes:

1 Tablespoon coconut oil 4 teaspoons minced garlic from jar. (I love this stuff)
4 green onions, chopped. Slice and separate the whites from the green parts. 1 pound cubed chicken breast, raw 3 large eggs, beaten 2 tbsp fish sauce 2 tbsp brown sugar 2 tbsp soy sauce 12 oz (225g) Thai- style wide rice noodles 3 cups water 1/4 tsp himalayan salt

Heat wok with oil and add cubed raw chicken breast. Cook until done. Add garlic. Push chicken to the side and add in the beaten eggs. As the eggs cooked, stir to combine. I like to mix the chicken and the eggs together at this point. Next add the noodles and water fish sauce, sugar and soy sauce. Cover with a lid. Cook until noodles are soft. Stir together. As it cooks,the water will absorb into the noodles. The first time I made this dish, I tried it hot from the skillet and didn't like it. But I put it into meal prep containers and heated it up the next day and it was delicious! Don't forget the toppings! I didn't think it needed so much oil especially since you are cooking the noodles from a dry state.
To serve (optional) Crushed Peanuts Chopped Cilantro Lime wedges --------------

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Oatmeal raisin cooky

I found this recipe years ago and regret not knowing where it came from.

It's one of my favorites! A little different than regular oatmeal raisin cookies.

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening. (I use butter)
1 egg
1/2 cup molasses
2 c. flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup rolled or quick oats
1- 1 1/2 cups raisins
Cream suffer with shortening. Add egg. Then add molasses. Then add flour, salt, baking soda. Store to combine. Then add oats and raisins.

Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Makes 4 dozen.

My oven heats up hotter so I bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Ready to go on the cookie sheet.






Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Nine patches

I love nine patches. My Granny made me a nine patch quilt when I was a kid. When I was in middle school she cut out the squares. And told me if I sewed them up into nine patch blocks, she would put the quilt together for me. I can't remember if I sewed the blocks together or not, but almost nearing high school, my mother encouraged me to finish them while my granny was still able to finish them. I completed the squares and sent them off.

I love the quilt she made me. It's been through all our crazy moves and now is worn out. I stopped using it when it started to fall apart. I can't bear to let it go.

Someday I hope to get it fixed so it can be on our bed again.

Anyways, a friend of mine tricked me into making nine patch blocks. She said she needed 200 of them to make herself a quilt. I told her I'd be more than happy to help her make some. I made these-


And then she surprised me by letting me keep them. I tried to give them back but she wouldn't have none of it. I think she wanted to get me hooked on quilting. It worked!

I had another friend over yesterday and she helped me lay these out. She encouraged me to make a small quilt with the squares. Perhaps something to go over the foot of the bed.

So I picked up some white fabric today.

But first, I was asked by another friend if I would sew her daughter a nightgown in time for her birthday. So that's what I'm going to do tonight.

Pics soon!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

More yogurt

I stopped making yogurt when my milk supplier went away. But after spending $15 a week on three quarts of non-fat yogurt, I decided to try making it again.

I bought a gallon of whole milk. (I don't mind the fat in my yogurt) I think it was $3.89. A starter for my yogurt came 65 cents if bought separately. I just used some of the yogurt we've been buying so the cost was less.

I heated the milk to 185. Yogurt making is not a quick project. I started this morning at 10:00 a.m. By the time it was nearly noon, the milk was heated to that temperature. A skin will form on the top and that's how you know it's ready. I've tried rushing the process and all I got was burned milk that had to be thrown away. Slow, steady heat is the way to go.





Then, started the cooling process. I cheated and set up a fan in the kitchen and poured the hot milk into a pot that I had in the freezer. A few times over. Then, when the temperature reached 110 degrees, I poured into my jars.



Now, I've got an Excalibur Dehydrator so I put the jars in it and let it sit until the yogurt sets up. But, if you don't have a dehydrator like this, that's ok! You can still make yogurt. A friend of mine makes some just like this only she uses a cooler to finish hers in. This is a great youtube video showing how.

I love the taste of homemade yogurt. I could strain it when it's done and make "greek" yogurt, but since this is for smoothies, I'll leave it the way it is.

For almost the cost of one container of greek yogurt, I made four containers worth. Yum! Yum!


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Happee knits

A friend of mine posted some socks she made using one long circular needle. I love making socks when I have time. I usually make them on double pointed needles. The problem is that I have one half of a sock waiting to be finished. I'm not even sure I remember how I made the first half!

Another friend of mine tried to teach me how to make 2 at a time, but I tried to learn with fingering weight yarn which was almost black in color and on size 1 needles! I was lost! I never bothered to try again.

But when I saw the socks my friend posted, I had to know how she did it. She pointed me to this YouTube video. I watched the first few minutes and realized how great video this was. So easy to follow! I decided I wanted to learn how. So, I ordered myself a pair of size 8 circular chiagoo needles and plan to get some yarn to try making a practice pair of socks.

I'm excited to try these. If all goes well, I'll be ordering myself a pair of size 1 chiagoo needles.

Wish me luck!

Gnats!

Decided to try these gnat traps. We bought some that looked similar but these are new and improved.

The opening is larger. It looks reusable whereas the other one had a tiny opening which made it hard to empty. The old style was smaller and had some sort of filter inside it. 


This box was around $5 for both of them. Lasts one month. 

I've tried homemade traps but they don't with well for me. I'm excited to try these! 

Update- These took awhile to work. I didn't notice a difference at first but now I hardly notice the gnats. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Men's scarf

Someone asked about a pattern the other day. I went to my blog to get the pattern and it wasn't there!! I couldn't believe it. I looked in my email. Nope! Not there either. They only word I could remember was denim. Then after thinking hard about it, I remembered it was on a leaflet by bernat.

It's my favorite scarf pattern. It's the one I made my beloved years ago. I like it because it curls up and the yarn I used was so soft.

Here it is, so I don't lose it again!


Monday, August 14, 2017

Red Enchiladas $1.05 per serving.

I made a batch of enchiladas today and wanted to break down the cost- I've had my fair share of eating ramen noodles and tuna casserole in our early years of marriage thinking that it was the only way to eat cheap.

Let's see... I bought a 5 pound chub of ground beef for $10. It took 1.5 pounds to make the dish, so $3. 

Tomato sauce- 16 ounces for $1. Eight ounces of Cheddar cheese for $2.58. Chopped green chillies $2 (it was less but can't remember the exact cost)
Chili powder- can be bought for $1. I paid $3 from my local herb shop. It's more potent than the cheap stuff so I only have to use half the amount. 1 tablespoon of butter- 10 cents for a tablespoon. Corn tortillas package of 30- $3 give or take. I think I actually got mine on sale for $2.50. 

Total cost- $10.68
Plus a box of Mexican rice for $2.

Together this made enough food for the both of us to eat for three days! 

$1.05 per serving. 

I'd much rather eat this dish any day of the week than ramen noodles. 


Here is the recipe-
1 1/2 pounds of ground beef
1 onion*
1 1/2-2 cups cheese. I use cheddar
1 can chopped green chillies (3-5 ounces)
30 count corn tortillas

Cook meat and onion. Drain and add 1 cup cheese and colors. Cook until melted. Fry tortillas until soft. Set aside.

Put 1 tablespoon of meat filling, a little cheese and roll up in tortilla. Place in pan. Put sauce on top. Repeat until tortillas are gone. Sprinkle cheese over all.

Sauce recipe-
It's so simple yet surprisingly delicious.
16 ounce tomato sauce
1 T. Butter
2 Tablespoons chili powder
Heat on stove.

*I used some dried onion that I dehydrated myself.

Stay tuned for my green enchiladas recipe coming soon! 


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Best baked drumsticks

I was super excited to find these at my local supermarket today. I was hoping to find some on sale! I bought two packages and made this with the first one.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Empty drumsticks into a big bowl. Add: salt sprinkle liberally, pepper sparingly, paprika medium shake enough to color chicken, and garlic powder. (If you like to measure exactly too bad, lol! But if I had to guess, I'd say 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of paprika, and 1 teaspoon garlic powder. I like garlic!) Mix together until coated. Lay in pan. I used my cast iron. No grease needed. Bake for 45 minutes. Check temperature, when it reaches 185 degrees it's done! I checked it after 35 minutes and checked it every 10 minutes after that.

These will feed me all week! Hubby likes the white meat, but I'm at the point that I can't stand it anymore, so these are all for me!





Not bad at all. $3 for a week's worth of meals!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Fantastic fat quarter win!

This is the second month in a row that I've won the fat quarter drawing at my local quilt guild meeting. Last month was for a checkered gingham pile. This month's theme was red, white, blue or patriotic. I just had a feeling when I went there tonight that I would win the pile and I did!!

Then on top of that, I won a door prize of charm packs.

There are so many projects that I want to make but never seem to have the fabric for. Now I do!

Here are a few projects I want to do-

Hot dog pot holder pattern- it arrived last week and I'm quickly learning to read the instructions first!!! Especially when it says to read BEFORE cutting out the material. Lol.



Next is this cute country pouch. Using homespun material which just happens to be on sale at the local quilt shop.

Pic coming soon!



After that, these adorable pouches. I have never seen such cute zippers before!!!



Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Hexies

During the last quilt show, a lady was demonstrating how to make these cute hexies. They are a blast to make. I like hand sewing projects. She gave me the middle one to use for a sample. But you cut out the pattern pieces which is a large hexagon and a small one. With the small sized you also cut out a piece of batting. Then place it on top of the larger piece wrong sized one. Then fold the edges up twice and pin. Sew in place. You can use a machine but I prefer to sew by hand. Connect to make whatever project you want. The piece alone is large enough to be a coaster.




If you would like me to mail you a pattern for this, send a self addressed stamped envelope to me. Pm for address. If you want an image to be seen in the center, follow the instructions I'll enclose.

I'll have to see if I can figure out how to make a PDF copy of the pattern for those with a printer.

Purse #10

Purse making has been going slowly lately. I still plan to finish 9 more by September.

Here is the last one I made recently. I ordered some webbing from here to use for the straps. I like this company!!


Well I can't seem to find the almost done picture so this will have to do for now. I'm hoping to sew in the straps this week.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Italian Chicken and seasoned vegetables

I made this a few weeks ago, and it was a keeper at our place so I decided to make it for some of our meals this week. I thought it would only make 4 servings, but it made 5 1/3 servings.  instead.

Here is the recipe. I lost this recipe for awhile and found another one that seemed similar but not as tasty looking, so I was happy when I found it. Now I'll never lose it again and neither will you. :-) I added the sweet mini bell peppers to the dish because I got it confused with another recipe. :/ And I had a yellow onion to use up so I used it instead of a red one.

The other change I did was I mixed everything together in one bowl and then divided it into rows. I like my seasonings to be even.








Underneath the chicken (3.5 ounces of cooked chicken to be exact) is white basmati rice. I had never cooked it before and found I really like it! No more plain generic rice for me!

I used-
2 pounds raw boneless skinless chicken breast
6.5 ounces fresh broccoli
8.3 ounces chopped mini bell peppers (cut into thirds)
20 sweet cherubs cherry tomatoes
3.4 ounces onions chopped
1 pound zucchini sliced


Calories- 402 per serving includes 3/4 cup cooked basmati rice.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Chicken broccoli rice meal prep $3 each

This recipe cost approximately $3 each to make. It's served with a yummy yogurt sauce that is added after it's heated up.

Click here for the recipe.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Microwave bowls

So, I was at the kitchen store the other day and noticed that the fabric microwave bowls were getting low so I told the lady the makes them that I'd be happy to help her make more if she wanted me to.

She gave me the supplies and I sewed these up. I actually made 14 total. They are hard to take pictures of. But there are so many different styles of prints.



The pattern for these is super simple. I've never seen anything like it on the web. This easy, I mean. The quilt shop sells the pattern for $1. If you want me to send you one, let me know. It is printed on a single sheet of paper so it's just the cost of a stamp plus $1.


Dish cloths

I recently got asked to make six dish cloths for someone so this is what I made.

  Seed stitch
Grandma's favorite


Easy knit

Garter

 Garter

 Farmhouse


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Meal prepping is fun!

A few weeks ago hubby found me a YouTube channel that shares meal prepping recipes. We've tried two of their recipes so far and quite impressed! Meal prepping is such a great idea for when you come home from work exhausted and don't want to eat out. You just simply pop your ready made meal in the microwave and it's ready in a few minutes.

I've tried making pad Thai in the past, but I never cared for it, until tonight.

Here is where I found the recipe.

I am so glad I thought to ask my local kitchen store if they had any woks for sale. They had one left, on clearance. Normally it would have been $85 but I got it for $60. I love the wok! No more do I have the food falling out of the pan. There's so much space to cook it all in.






Blessing bags completed.

The first batch of blessing bags have been completed. Here are the last of them. Next challenge is to make 25 more in a Christmas...