Monday, April 30, 2007

Throw Pillow Slipcover

Choose a pillow front.
Here I have chosen 2 Nine Patch blocks to match THIS quilt.
If you are going to quilt a top you will need to layer it,
top, batting and backing,
(note that the batting and backing are slightly larger than the top)
then stitch as desired.

Here I am doing what is called stitch in the ditch (sewing the same place as the seam).
You do not need to quilt a top, you can use just a fabric you like as one piece.

After quilting, square up your sides, which means to trim the excess, into a square.

Here is my top quilted and squared up.

Cut fabric for the back of the slipcover, 2 for each pillow.
Cut it to the same width, but the length needs to be about
2/3 of the length of your top,
plus 2".

On both pieces of fabric press a 1" seam under.

Sew that down.

Lay right sides together.
Then lay the other backing down.

Pin and sew with at least a 3/4 inch seam allowance ALL of the way around,
you'll be sewing a complete square.

After sewing, turn slipcover right side out.
Insert a pillow through the flap in the back.There ya go!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Phyllis's Patchwork Quilt

Here is a quilt I just finished for a friend at church. She requested one to look similar to one in the Cold Water Creek catalog (pg 34-35).

Although I did do all of the fabric choosing (THAT took two hours lol) and piecing together, I did have to give in and have it quilted by a sweet family that owns a long arm machine...sigh...someday I hope to have one too. Owning a long arm machine would be a GREAT home industry for girls. It is pretty hard to machine anything larger than a full size quilt on a regular machine.
I also made two pillow slipcovers to match with the scraps.
I will post a tutorial on these pillows tomorrow.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Goods in the Market Place

We are in the season of life where we (the women folk here) are able to be more productive with our hands. Recently we rented a small space (6 shelves) in an antique shop. This shop also allows you to sell hand made items. We've made a small profit so far, as we learn what sells. Olivia has done the best with her books that she finds at yard sales and thrift stores.
Can you tell which shelf is hers??? (The one with all of the books)

We went to restock our shelves the other day and... I found this ADORABLE set of spreaders there.
So the girls bought it for me for an early Mother's Day gift. I LOVE IT!

Friday, April 27, 2007

It's Frugal Friday again.

This week I'd like to pass along a great site,, that also sends out GDA's (Great Dael Alerts) a couple times a week. There is always something for everyone.

This week I got 3 gift certificates from , a value of $75 for $9.20. I can't wait to take my sweet girls out to the Chocolate Biscuit Tea Room! Use the code APRIL until the 30th when checking out.

Two years ago I signed up for a FREE, 2 year subscription to Field and Stream. I saved these to put in hospitality baskets when we have overnight guest that like to fish. Then this last year my father-in-law has been off his feet and I've been sending them all to him. He is an avid fisherman.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Your Family's History Book~A Must Have

I hear so often how ladies think they have to have a special talent to make a scrap book and that is NOT true. If you think you are too busy to scrapbook, perhaps you could entrust an older child to do it for you? Or even let each child make their own book and let them do the journaling in it? Having something is better than having nothing recorded.

When I look at my grandmother's old pictures I know very little about them. I have a picture of my great-great grandfather and his 6 brothers (above). Oh, how I wish I knew their stories, anything about them. :o(

Scrapbooking is not only a hobby, it is an important skill to know. It is a way to record family history, special occasions, and everyday happenings.

Time passes so quickly and memories fade with it.

I set aside a week or so once a year and work on all my albums. I have an album for each of my children, actually they now have 2 albums each. I also have one album just for our Christmas pictures.

During the times that I do not have time to work on my scrapbooks I separate each child’s pictures into their own envelope and write the year on the envelope. This makes working on the scrapsbooks much easier.

Another thing I have been doing is running off copies of our family blog. I think this is a great way to journal and use photos at the same time.

Scrapbboking can run into a LOT of money if you’re not careful. Here are a few tips:

*Always shop sales. Hobby Lobby, Michaels and stores like that run 50% sales quite often. I always check the clearance rack at Wal Mart too.

*When shopping for stickers or decorated pages, try to keep in mind any special events that pictures were taken at. Don’t buy paper just because it is cute!

*Make your own die cuts instead of buying them.

*Rubber cement is safe for pictures and will go further than glue sticks.

*Keep all of your supplies in one place so you’ll know what you have.

*Color code your papers; put all the reds together, all the blues together, etc…

*Keep your good, acid free pens and markers away from the kids, and your decorative scissors too.

*If you are on a limited budget, keep it simple. The important thing is to get the pictures into safe albums and some basic journaling done so you will remember where and when the picture is taken. You can always go back later and add stickers (when you get them on sale) and add more details.

*Add as many pictures as you can to one page, this is the GREAT advantage of cropping photos!

*Scrapbook with a friend or a group of friends, you can share supplies and ideas.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Smooth Path~E.Elliot

Life is all about trials and how God uses them in our lives to refine us and to bring glory to Him. Sometimes it is hard to remember that when you keep crashing into huge boulders that are in our path. :o)

This was my devotion this morning by Elizabeth Elliot:

A Smooth Path

The work of heavy highway equipment is to smooth the way for travelers by exalting valleys, making low the mountains and hills, straightening the crooked. Obstacles--trees, rocks, houses, even mountains themselves--are put out of the way. This is what the Lord can do for his travelers (it is promised by the prophet Isaiah), but He does it without fuss, and in response to the one who simply thinks of Him:

"Think of Him in all your ways, and He will smooth your path" (Prv. 3:6 NEB).

The mind can build barriers, produce huge obstacles, collide with boulders of impossibility. Strangely and wonderfully, when we turn our thoughts to Him with whom nothing is an impossibility (and to turn thoughts takes an act of will), He smoothes the path for us. We find it possible, maybe even easy, to move forward.

Don't waste time, energy, perhaps sleep-time, thinking of all those rocks in the way. Think of Him. Think of Him! You may find your path suddenly smoothed.

About a week ago I was so frustrated with circumstances that I was ready to give up. SERIOUSLY, I was ready to check out, not die, just run away. I was so tried of dealing with the same rocks in my roadway that I felt as if they will never be removed. To be honest, I hadn't had these feelings since my early 20's. I was even to the point that I didn't care if my actions pleased the Lord or not...scary I know! I knew what my REAL problem was, it wasn't the rocks, it was my perspective, I didn't even want to be on the path any more. :o(

Then out of pure desperation I decided to pray and fast, which also meant fasting from the phone and computer. I went about my duties all day, praying. The only one I told was Olivia so she could handle the kitchen for me.

By the end of the day it was truly remarkable how God changed my hard heart and gave me eyes to see the real problem, the problem of forgetting why I am here, what my purpose is. It's all about Him!

I shared this trial with a friend, and I was surprised that she too had been having the same struggle. As godly wives and mothers our pride keeps us from sharing our burdens with each other, not that we should whine to each other about every struggle, but I think we do need to be open enough to let others know when we are feeling overwhelmed. We NEED to be able to encourage each other to remember what our purpose really is. Sometimes when you are hurt or angry it is easy to loose site of that!

So PRESS ON dear friends!

Cream Cheese Icing

I used a box mix, lemon flavored and baked 2- 8" rounds.
You will need:
2 boxes of cream cheese
1 stick of butter (no margarine)
1-2 ponds of 10X sugar
1 tsp. lemon, almond or vanilla flavoring
I used lemon this time because I was making a lemon cake.
1/4 -1/3 water
Have all ingredients at room temperature.
Cream together:
cream cheese and butter
Beat until smooth.
(I add my flavoring to my water before adding it to the sugar.)
Add 1 pound of 10X sugar, add water and flavoring slowly.
Add more sugar and water slowly to make it a stiff consistency,
you should see peaks form while you are beating it, but do not over beat.
If it is too thin add more sugar. If it is too think add a LITTLE more water.
A small amount of water goes a long way!
Pipe icing around the first layer,
make this about 1/2 inch high to form a boundary for the filling.
Fill with your choice of jam or preserves.
(raspberry, strawberry, apricot, etc...)
Do not make the filling higher than the icing.
Place top layer on, pressing down a little.
You could also cut these 2 layers in half using a serrated knife,
creating 4 layers of cake.
Then you could add icing and filling between each layer as shown above.
If you do this, you may need to add a couple of straws
cut to the height of the cake
and inserted through the center of the layers
to keep the layers from shifting any,
especially if you will be transporting it.
Ice sides and top, decorate if desired.
This is a very rich icing and always a hit!
Due to the cream cheese this will need to be refrigerated.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Icing for German Chocolate Cake

I used a box mix for a German Chocolate cake.
You could use 1 1/2 mixes if you want to make a 3 layer cake.
Be sure to let cake cool completely before icing.
The 'German' in the name refers to the type of chocolate,
not that the cake originated from Germany.
In a saucepan pour 1 cup of whipping cream (or evaporated milk),
1 stick of butter,
1 cup of sugar,
and 3 egg yolks.
On med/high heat bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat and cook 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and add 1 1/3 cup of chopped pecans
and 1 1/3 cup dried coconut.
Stir throughly.
Let cool until spreadable.
A traditional German Chocolate Cake does not have the sides iced,
just the middle layer and the top.
This was made for Emma's birthday.
I have made this before using 3 layers of cake, icing between each layer.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Happy Birthday Times Two

Yesterday was Joshua's 19th birthday,
and today is Emma's 13th birthday.

This makes me the Mom of 3 teenagers, Olivia is 16.
:o) I like it...most days!
Emma and I spent the day shopping and out to eat the other day...just the two of us.
Last night we had a little cookout with a few friends.

Josh, Abby and Katie (Josh doing the grilling.)
Josh and the White's youngest, Chandler-Mae.
They have the same hair do!
Katie, Olivia, Kristie, Emma, Abby, Josh, Katie, Laura and Andy.
I didn't get a picture before the others left, sorry. :o/
Emma has BEAUTIFUL curly hair (though it is a MESS here!), hair people pay alot of money for, but she doesn't like it...doesn't that sound just like woman?! She has been begging to have it straight. Our dear friend Robin offered to come give her a little make over. Emma was beside herself with excitement. So Robin came just before the cookout/party.

This is the AFTER shot!
Don't you think she could pass for Robin's daughter???
Emma LOVES her new do!

Emma requested a German Chocolate Cake, I made the icing from scratch, which I will post a 'how to' next week. Josh had a lemon cake with a cream cheese icing, with a strawberry filling, I'll post this next week too!
Always the clown!
No we didn't let him bite into it. :o)
John and Art
Chandler and her dad, Scott.
Tucker and Cullen
Cooper roasting marshmallows.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Frugal Friday~Plant Swap

Our Frugal Friday Tip is how to get more plants for free or almost free.

My daughter, Olivia, is hosting a Plant Swap in a few weeks. She has invited ladies and girls from our church, and neighbors that enjoy gardening. She (we) will be serving refreshments and have light music playing. She has also invited some of the Master Gardeners from our area to share their knowledge of plants, such as what grows where the best and plant care.
Each swapper brings as many plants as they'd like, if you bring 10 you can swap for ten. The plants can come from your yard or you can buy some to bring if you are new to gardening.
The plants can be flowers (perennials would be best), vegetables, or even herbs.
Our yard is full of hosta, monkey grass, day lillies and irises.
Olivia also has several different hebrs in her herb garden that she has been separating into pots to swap.

This is a great way to add to variety of your yard and have wonderful fellowship. Most gardeners we know LOVE to share, not only their plants, but their experience!