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Archive for June, 2011

Sewing Spaces

Despite the large size of our home, I do not have a sewing room.

We have three wonderful, beautiful children who we are so glad we have to fill our space.  My husband also works from home and therefore has an office in our home.  Our dining room has become my sewing space.  With a dining room table making a great sewing table, it was a natural place to sit and sew.  Our ironing board and my sewing machine have found a permanent home there.

But I think I am ready for a special little sewing nook.  So how do I find myself a space in our surprisingly cramped home?  Well, I’ve been turning to pinterest to look for inspiration.

A great sewing space in a closet!  I don’t actually have a closet to spare, but it really shows how you can find anywhere to carve your sewing nook.

(Sewing room from yellow songbird)

This one is so pretty!  I love how all the fabric is out so you can see it!

(from flickr)

Another cute, small space tucked into the corner.

(Found at Pink Friday)

I love how all the fabric and the thread is easy to see and readily available in this one.

(from Flickr)

I love the spool holder in this one!  Do you see it on the right there?

(from Flickr)

Cute little jars holding all the notions.

(from Flickr)

Another tucked into the corner sewing pace.

(from Beauty in Everything)

Lots of bins and a long desk.

(from Nesting Newbie)

The one thing I notice is a lack of an ironing board in all these pictures.  Mine is always set up and ready to go.

And then a girl has got to dream, right?

(from Flickr)

Okay… this  next one is actually Heather Bailey’s sewing room…

(from HGTV)

So many great sewing spaces out there!

What does your sewing space look like?  Do you have a whole room or a little nook carved out for you?  I’d love to hear about it!

Back to my kitchen table I go… for a little while longer anyway. 

(If you are interested in checking out my pins, you can find me on pinterest under the name smalltownsewing. It will show a display name of Small Town.)

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A Day Off

 

I’m taking a day off Toddler Tuesday. I have been sick with a nasty cold for the past few days and I am just drained. On top of that, I have a neurological condition I battle and things are acting up on that end as well. My toddler and I will have a quiet day at home today. We all need one of those sometimes. Hoping that tomorrow will bring sun and a healthier feeling mama.

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As you may already be aware, my almost-2-year-old daughter is absolutely obsessed with the movie Cars.

She is insistent that she always be wearing Cars clothing.  If you have ever found yourself looking for Cars clothing for a little girl, you will know that there is none.

I recently made this skirt for her.   This past week, I made a new outfit to add to her Cars clothing collection.  I made this very sweet romper.

I used the Strapless Bandeau Shorty Jumper pattern, found in the book One Yard Wonders.  

This romper is so easy to make and it only took me about an hour to make the main shorts outfit.  I chose to add a Lightening McQueen applique (of course!), ribbon ties at the shoulders and ribbon detail around the bottom of the shorts.

The only problem with this outfit is that she doesn’t like the bows on her shoulders.  As an easy solution, I have been tying it in one big bow in the middle of her back.  Problem solved!

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A Gift for the Teacher

My 7-year-old has had a fantastic school year this year.  This is the first year that she has not called me almost daily in tears because she misses me and wants to come home.

When I asked her what she wanted to get her teacher for an end of year gift, I was expecting the standard Starbucks Gift Card answer – but that is not what I got.  She wanted me to make an apron.  A very special apron.  One with the words ‘World’s Best Teacher’ on it.  And so I made an apron.

I used this tutorial at Sew4Home.  Although the apron is long and would not fit a petite person like myself, it’s a great pattern.  Thankfully, my daughter’s teacher is not petite and I think it will fit her perfectly.

I don’t have an embroidery machine, so I had to stitch the words by hand.

Now, I could lie and say that I am super awesome at making beautiful letters by hand.  But I won’t do that.  Instead, I will tell you how you can do this too.

Step 1 – Find a font you like in your word processing program.  Type the words you want and make sure the font is the size you want.  Print.  You might have to readjust the size after you print if it’s not quite the size you were hoping for.

Step 2 – Place a piece of tissue paper on top of the words you just printed up.  Trace the words onto the tissue paper.

Step 3 – Cut the tissue paper into a smaller piece that only has the words on it.  Pin the tissue onto the fabric where the words will go.

Step 4 – Stitch over top of the words on the tissue paper.

Step 5 – Tear away the tissue.

See?  It was really simple!  I’m sure there is probably an easier way to do this, but this is what I do and I find it works well.

I think it’s really sweet that my daughter thought this gift up on her own.  I’m sure her teacher will love it!

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Over the past year, my web surfing adventures have found recipes for things I wouldn’t have ever considered making myself.

 

Homemade Cotton Candy!

(picture via Cooking Books)

Homemade marshmallows!

(Picture via The Kitchen)

Homemade Pop Tarts!

(picture via Smitten Kitchen)

Homemade gumdrops!

(picture via The Gourmet Mama)

How cool is that?!?!  I have never made any of these recipes, but they certainly have me wanting to try them!

Have you come across any really interesting recipes recently?

I might have to look for healthy recipes to try out with the kids this summer.  Do you think I will find any that they will eat?!?!!

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If you’ve been following along with my Toddler Tuesdays, you’ll probably know that I am a big fan of sidewalk chalk. It’s a wonderful learning tool and it costs very little.

Besides using the chalk to help my children learn their alphabets, we also use it in other fun ways.

To make roads for driving our toy cars and bikes –

To play hopscotch (and learn our numbers!) –

To draw mazes, which also helps with problem solving skills (MATH!)… umm… but make a point of making sure the maze actually works! (Unlike this one!) –

And to make fun designs to follow –

You could, of course, draw pictures too…

Whatever it is you decide to create with your chalk, have fun, because that is what it’s all about!

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There is nothing quite like the classic chocolate chip cookie.  They are a favourite in our home.

Years ago, my Mom passed along a cookie cookbook to me.  It is filled with the most amazing cookie recipes!  I have used the cookbook so often that the pages all began to fall out.  I eventually punched holes in the pages and put them into a binder.  I didn’t want to take any chances of losing any of these great recipes!  It also happens to have the best chocolate chip cookie recipe in it.

Favourite Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt (I omit this)

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 pkg (60z) semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional – but I always opt out!)

Instructions:

1.  In a bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and salt to combine thoroughly; set aside.

2.  Preheat oven to 375.  In a mixer, combine butter and sugars; beat until fluffy and well blended.  Beat in egg.  Add vanilla and mix well.

3.  Gradually add flour mixture until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts, if used.

4. Drop by rounded tablespoons, placed well apart, onto lightly greased baking sheets.  Bake until cookies are well browned (12 – 14 minutes).  Cool on wire racks.

** My personal notes on this recipe**

I don’t use salt.  In fact, there are very few things I cook or bake that I add salt to.

I reduce the sugar in this recipe.  They taste fantastic with all that sugar, but I most often use 1/2 of what the recipe calls for.

This recipe does not make a lot of cookies.  I always, always double it.

I bake my cookies somewhere between 300 and 325.  I like my cookies chewy!

I do own a mixer, but I never use it.  I always make everything by hand.

These cookies are fantastic.  They really are.  You should make some.  Maybe right now.

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