Monday, September 29, 2008

Flirty Apron Swap - 2

I volunteered to be an Apron Angel for Flirty Apron Swap. There were some women that had signed-up to create aprons for others but have been displaced due to hurricane's. I had such a blast sewing this apron. I even purchased a pattern for this one. Then - I borrowed the A is for Apron book from my library and found a very similar pattern in the book. (Must enlarge a bunch of those patterns. I'm sure I'm going to use one for my Hot Drinks for Hot Mama's Apron Swap!)

Anyway - below is a photo of the materials I used. Where do you think the dream vacation is (the apron swap theme was a place you wished you had gone on summer vacation)? I'll post a photo of the finished apron (and the location) once I know the package has been received.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


I received my apron from my swap partner. One of my dream vacations was to go on a cruise to Alaska. She sent her great-aunt on a mission during her yearly Alaska visit to find fabric and a gift for me. The fabric is so pretty - and as my partner's son says - looks like turtles. And - she sewed this with a broken hand. Talk about a dedicated swapper! She sent me a fabulous pair of earrings that were made by a local Alaskan artisan and - the best part - a recipe for Moose Meatballs.

I laughed very hard when I read it because - I hit a moose. Actually, a bull moose hit my SUV last summer (he was fine - he got up and ran back into the woods). Ever since then I have been called Mommy the Moose Master (or - as my daughter says Mommy the Moose Masher!). So - Heather N. thank you so much!

AND - one of my swaps is ready to be mailed tomorrow. Lori - here's a sneak peek before I seal your box in tape...
I have two other things to do for two other swaps that will be done tonight - now that I have bias tape and that my oil burner is now working (thank you Simmons Plumbing & HVAC).

Back to sewing...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Green Soup

I love soup. I could eat soup every day.

There just happens to be a soup swap going on over at Turkey Cookies.

An old stand-by in my house - Green Soup. Really, Asparagus Soup - but on Shrek night I can make everything green and the kids will eat (or at least try) most foods - There's Shrek Chicken (cook chicken breasts with pesto topped with mozz chz in oven - I guess 350 for as long as it takes chicken to cook - my kids eat this up!), Mermaid Hair (french cut green beans) & Green Soup.

Green Soup

1 bunch of asparagus
3 T Butter
3 T Flour
salt & white pepper

Wash & trim asparagus. (I was taught to break the asparagus by holding it by the end without the flower and that it would snap where the bitter or pithy part was. Does that make sense? If not - let me know.)

Boil water - enough to cover your asparagus.

Add asparagus. Cook until tender (oh - 10 or 15 minutes)

Remove asparagus from water with tongs and place on plate. Reserve two cups of the boiled water. Discard the rest. Reserve some of the asparagus tips (for garnish).

Place asparagus into blender or food processor. Add some of the reserved water. Blend or process until smooth.

While blending - take your 3 T butter and 3 T flour and put both in your soup pot. Cook for three minutes.

Add 'gus mixture to soup pot with the butter / flour mixture. Add rest of reserved water to pot. Add milk to pot (as much or as little as you like - I know lack of measurements are a pain- but this I eyeball - maybe a cup?).

Warm soup up - add salt and white pepper to taste.

Ladle into a soup bowl. Garnish with reserved 'gus tips. Voila! You are ready to eat green soup.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


My husband and I are not big wine drinkers. About two years ago we purchased a kit. It is a cork board that you make from wine corks.

As you can see in the above photo - we obviously need to drink more.

Hey - look at that. van Duzer wine. And - that's our last name.

Apparently, part of the van Duzer clan is out west. There is a van Duzer Theatre in California, a van Duzer Corridor in Oregon and of course, the vineyard also in Oregon.

My husband's family history is very cool. One of his relatives started the Staten Island Ferry service (would take people from Staten Island to Manhattan - and charged a nickel). Another relative established Sarah Lawrence college.

Hmm - let's see - ummmm - nope. Nothing big happening on my side of the family tree. Really, how can I compete with a vineyard and a college?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Lime Green Hat

Lola has been wearing her lime green hat from Jace / his mom Sherry (he was her partner in a kid's swap) to school all week. On the first day she kept it on all the time they were outside - the staff thanked me saying it was easy to keep track of her (if you need to know why they want to keep track of her click here). On the second day - they would see the green hat and say "Lola's over there." and then they would see her on the other side of the playground. It seems she took great pleasure in hanging her hat on every pole she could reach. After hanging her hat - she'd run away. So - the hat is loved by Lola and her teachers, when it's on her head.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fun Apron

This summer I purchased a new sewing machine. It is fabulous. I am amazed at how much better my sewing is just from upgrading to a better machines. My new machine came with a lot of feet. One of them was a ruffle foot.

On Tuesday, with both children in school, I spent over an hour testing out my ruffle foot for making aprons. I used some fabric I had gotten from freecycle. The sewing machine book suggested starting with 10 inch pieces of fabric to see how much ruffle would happen. It then gave suggestions on changing stitch lengths as well as needle tension to create fuller ruffles. I tested and re-tested my measurements and, when I was sure I knew what I was doing, I drafted my apron pattern on freezer paper, ironed it onto the fabric - cutting enough for two aprons since I was positive I was going to now have an easy job. After all, I had tested and re-tested and was happy, even giddy, with my test fabric results.

Can you see where this is leading?

Yup. When I used my actual fabric the results varied. My daughter came up to the sewing room earlier this evening and asked what I was doing. I told her - just like she makes mistakes I make mistakes too. I needed to rip out stitches in order to correctly sew my garment. The finished aprons aren't as full as I would like but they aren't too bad.

I guess it goes to show - use some of that actual fabric to test - not just free fabric. My daughter really likes the apron. Especially the cat button on the pocket.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Another Apron Swap

I sent my apron out to my partner on time. While looking to see if my name had been added to the aprons sent list (it's not there yet) I noticed another apron swap was listed on the blog. Val over at Yarni Gras is hosting her first apron swap. Hot Drinks for Hot Mamas is the theme. I have lots of coffee fabric - I seem to have a fabric addiction as well as a real addiction to coffee. I'm hoping for a coffee lover! For all the details visit her blog!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Snack Bags

Like all dutiful mothers with young children in full-day school I purchased a new backpack and matching lunch box for each of my children before the school year started. What I didn't buy was a snack bag. I made one for the older one and am working on one for daughter #2 (since she doesn't return to preschool until Tuesday I figured - older daughter's bag would be my experiment).

It is based on a tutorial from the Lazy Seamstress Blog. I modified it a bit. I changed the button material out for elastic, added velcro, used Insul-Brite - as well as changed the measurements a bit (the tutorial was all in centimeters - threw me for a loop at first). It is completely machine washable - something I love in clothes and now snack bags.

My older daughter just tried out her bag and has announced she loves it. Now - to get her to love going to bed.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Locks of Love With a Twist

My one daughter seems to be obsessed with hair cutting. This time she didn't cut her own hair. She cut hair off of wigs and other dolls to give hair to dolls that didn't have any. It was her own version of Locks of Love. This was fine with me. It showed compassion. That was until I saw that she also cut some of her sister's hair as well. At least it wasn't her bangs again.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Shopping Small Talk

More small talk questions from Sherry's blog party:

1. Where is your favorite place to shop? Hmmmm - for a real store - I guess aside from grocery shopping - TJ Maxx / Marshalls / Home Goods (they're all owned by the same company) as well as two local second hand shops.

2. Would you rather shop on-line or in the stores? On-line.

3. If you needed new undergarments but you saw something that you didn't really need but just wanted which would you buy. New undergarments.

4. What really annoys you about other shoppers? Returns at the register when there is a separate return area. Lollygaggers that take up an entire aisle with their cart and are obviously not in a hurry to move for you or anyone else.

5. Have you ever got up to the checkout stand and had a ton of stuff in your cart and after they rang everything up you realized you didn’t have your money, check book, debit card, or credit cards? No.

6. If you buy something that isn’t necessary or something just for fun do you feel like you have to justify it to yourself or your partner? No.

7. Do you hide those unnecessary things for awhile and then later claim you’ve had them for a long time? Is my husband reading this? Since he might be I'll answer. No. Absolutely never. Don't mind me as I push this bag under a pile of clothes...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

First Days

Today was my little one's first day of preschool. Before this she had 18 months of an Early Intervention playgroup that was in a preschool-like setting one day a week. It ended when she turned three (eight months ago). She has been dying to go to school ever since. Today, she put on her backpack and demanded to stand at the bus stop with her sister to see her off for school in an outfit of her own design. Project Runway - look out for Lola!

During our orientation yesterday the teacher, whom my older daughter also had for preschool, told all the parents to make sure they say good-bye to their children on the playground before we entered the school to put their back pack away.

I walked Lola over to the playground this morning. She agreed to stand still for one picture. We turned the corner and she tore off through the gate into the playground. I stood there shouting "Good-Bye" very loudly and waving my arm up over my head enthusiastically. She didn't even look back. She couldn't have cared less if I was there. It made my heart so happy to see her leave and not look back.

At pick-up she was at the end of the line. Still dressed in the same dress and shoes she had gone to school in (I sent two changes of clothes and a spare pair of shoes to school - just in case of an accident).

The teacher looked at me and told me that during rest time Lola asked to go to the bathroom. She seemed to be taking awhile so the aide went to check on her (there is a bathroom in her classroom - I was expecting them to tell me she was naked or had fallen asleep in there but...). She wasn't there. They immediately rang the office and had them announce over the loudspeaker to the whole school "WE ARE LOOKING FOR LOLA." No last name. I guess one Lola is all they have. One of the other teachers found her. She was in the first grade wing. Seems she remembered there was a pink bathroom across from the cafeteria and that was the one she was determined to find and use.

All's well that ends well and I am crying and laughing at the same time because - she had a mission. She knew where the pink bathroom was and she found it on her first day of school. And, most importantly, she is fine.

For my oldest, on her first day of school I was in the principal's office and had a voice mail (as well as met) the new guidance person. Which, was an improvement over last year when the school bus didn't drop her off at the right school and no one told me. Lucy did on our drive over to gymnastics.

First days seem to be very exciting for my children.

I guarantee the staff is hoping I don't have any other children at home waiting to go through the school system.

Apron Advice Requested

Well, I finally finished my apron. Well, kind-of. I need to embellish it.

The Flirty Apron Swap this time around is for aprons of where you wished you had gone on vacation. My partner wanted to go on a vacation to the VT Teddy Bear factory. I think I have accomplished the bear aspect. This apron is supposed to be about embellishing the apron - but I don't want it to look too busy.

I bought a few red barn buttons (red barns are all over VT - plus - one is so large it looks like a covered bridge - definitely something you would see the Green Mountain State) and thought about sewing one onto each side. Then maybe include a towel to be hung from one button and maybe a removable pocket / potholder for the other?

Any suggestions? Comments? Advice for moms that stay up until one a.m. sewing aprons when their second child will be starting their first day of school in just mere hours and I should be ummm sleeping?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

One Good Book Swap and a Giveaway

Jill over at Life with Nature Girl is hosting her first swap. It is called - One Good Book Swap. It is a book swap for children. So, if you have children and would like to swap books - and goodies to go along with the book - click over to her blog. You'll find all the details there.


Bean from Coyote Craft just created a hot pad tutorial for Sew Mama Sew's Sewing for Home month. She is giving two of the hot pads away. Click on over to her blog to leave a reply for a chance to win.

Fall Swap Goodies

I was so excited to find a box outside my house earlier this week from Lori, my Fall Swap partner. Now - the deadline to mail these is September 30th. I'm still shopping / sewing stuff for her soooooooo, don't expect mine too soon.

Lori sent me so many great things! A table runner, a basket with tons of festive ribbon on the handles, soap, cashews, a starbuck's gift card, blank note cards, and blocks. Now, when my mother saw the blocks she said it was nice of you to send something with my name on it. My nickname is Boo Boo, or Boo for those that think two syllables are too much. I'll post how I received that moniker another time. They are fabulous - and sparkly. (Did you make them? I love them.)

This great sign.

The decoration my children like the most, besides the blocks, is this pumpkin. I put it in the t.v. room, by the t.v. and my little one exclaimed oohs and ahhs when she saw it and wanted to know what it was for. Guess you can tell I don't decorate much. Really, for Christmas we have a tree with predominantly Star Trek ornaments on it. And my tree is the kind with the lights already on it. I feel like such a curmudgeon.

My favorite is my very own Too Silly Sisters bracelet! I have given a bunch of Lori's bracelets as gifts to Lucy's friends and everyone loves them. It's nice to finally have something for me.

Thank you so much Lori! I think I'm going to have to purchase more pumpkins now to decorate the homestead.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


rel="colorSchemeMapping" href="file:///C:%5CUsers%5CBeth%5CAppData%5CLocal%5CTemp%5Cmsohtmlclip1%5C01%5Cclip_colorschememapping.xml">

Sherry over at If I Could Set My Soul Free is having a month long blogiversary and birthday party. She is going to be doing a giveaway every week. She asked if those of us taking part in the celebration would mind answering a few questions on our blog – so – here I go:


What type of job do you have? Manager – I manage my house, kids, husband, etc.

Where do you live? Georgetown, MA; however, I was born and raised in New Jersey

Where do you do your crafts / art work? Sewing Room

What is your favorite daytime beverate? Coffee - then water.

What is your favorite dessert? A Reese's Pieces Sundae from Friendly's Restaurant

Do you watch soap opera's? I watch Project Runway religiously.

What's the last movie you saw in a movie theater? Space Chimps

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Winning Streak and Swap

The stars must be aligned in my favor because I won something else. Most Friday's Sew Mama Sew has 'Free Fabric Friday.' Where for commenting or using the forum you are entered into a drawing to win a free yard of fabric. I won! I am so playing the lottery tomorrow. If I vanish from blogging you'll know I won - big.

Anyway. My husband walked in the door after work with the mail and a box. It was my Fall Fabric Swap! So exciting. I believe I mentioned in my sign-up questionnaire that I did not like pastels. I'm more of an autumnal gal. Terri sent me fabric (I love the rich colors!), some notions (the kids have already demanded that I give them the cat buttons), stickers and a pin cushion - with pins in it. I feel so lucky.

The pin cushion is so awesome! I love it and can't wait to use it next to my machine. While sewing with my new very autumnal, not at all pastel fabric. Thanks Terri!

Monday, September 1, 2008

I'm a winner!

Hey - I won!

If you're a sewer and you don't know about Sew Mama Sew stop reading this blog and get over there now. They have a shop where you can buy fabric, a blog and a sewing forum. The forum started this summer and there are so many wonderful people that post there. One of the posters is Wondermommy. She has a great blog, an etsy shop, and sews a lot of fun, funky clothes from 'different' patterns. Not your typical Simplicity or Vogue. She sews Farbenmix (a cool German company) and has sew-alongs on her blog.

She recently hosted a pattern giveaway on her blog and I won a Mika pattern! Because of her blog I have ordered five different Farbenmix patterns. Lucky for me I didn't order a Mika pattern. Now I'll have six patterns to make fun, fashionable and fitted clothes for the girls.

Thanks Wondermommy!


Related Posts with Thumbnails