26 December 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Our tree is little this year but it is real. We put the village underneath as well.

I made finger puppets for our nursery (at church) this year. I got the idea from Etsy here. I didn't spend alot of time getting every cut correct because of time. My pattern for Jospeph and Mary was a stick of deodorant. I did this because I'd like to make more in the future for other lessons we do with the toddlers. A pattern I'll surly lose but not the stick :)

19 November 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! 
This is my 1st year having a child (of mine) as an adult. I look forward to her being home for this holiday. It's been an exciting year for her graduating h.s. and going on to college. I've grown as a person from this. O what an experience for the parents. I've learned to trust God in a bigger way for my children. I also see my role as mom a little different too. We are always mentors/mom for the rest of their life but something changes when the child is an adult....

I've been working now for 2 months and haven't had a chance to make anything crafty for Thanksgiving, but have been cleaning and organizing (& reorganizing) alot around the house.

I've also been thinking of extended family. Some I am not in contact with. They are in my thoughts and prayers. It's hard having a broken family, but I'm grateful for my husband's family, for their love and support and acceptance <3

Spider how-to

A styrofoam ball (cut in half outside) with a serrated knife. Glue a circle of black dyed batting to the circle with a glue gun.
 Attach with more glue and a piece of bamboo skewer for good measure. Add faux fur or garland to neck for a natural look.
Make access hose for pipe cleaners with a bamboo skewer. I used tempra paint to add eyes and some quilting thread for the mouth. There is no right or wrong. Just use what you have handy to make yours.

15 October 2011

Halloween Bunting and decorations

Pictures from work. The girls I work with agreed to keep the decorations fun and cute instead of scary. The Halloween Garland is made from "dollar store" treat bags, news paper, ribbbon, and printed letters from the computer that were cut out.


24 September 2011

Along came a spider...

This project was inspired by Cheswick Company from Etsy. The trick or treat bag was made from the help of a talented Nancy onYouTube.

- Rubbermaid container excluding lid
- poly fil
- black dyed quilt batting
- white quilt batting
- 4 pipe cleaners
- 2 pieces of scrapbook paper for hat and bag
- tempera paints
- round piece of cardstock or cardboard for back of bowl (body)
- piece of sheer fabric for hat
- assorted odds and ends for embellishments, ie ribbon, faux fur

With a glue gun and a needle and thread...

28 August 2011

Rottweiler Gunter

I took Gunter to a dry creek bed which is not dry due to Hurricane Irene. He did really well on our walk and is sitting really well, so, I had to add his picture too. The river is high, there are leaves everywhere. But there's no damage that I know of in our area. It's been very windy and the river is up about 2 feet. The river marker that shows the height of the river in feet is covered with foliage so the picture didn't turn out well.

Creek bed below old bridge.

25 August 2011

Dripping Sap

I've never noticed how drippy the pine cones are, maybe b/c I'm 5'1" and those pine cones are 20' in the air.

24 August 2011

New Best Friend

I'm debuting my new best friend. I love that it vacuums the pool for me every time I ask! It's an EZ Vac. I should name her though :)

23 August 2011

Black Eyes

I have black eyes susans growing among some weeds and they die when I transplant them. I think this is the last of this years. I hope to figure things out next year so I can enjoy them more.

22 August 2011

New Hydrangea

I have an old fashioned hydrangea tree that is very old. I took a branch and stuck it in a old window box flower pot and to my shock it grew. If only we could do this with money, I'd sow it all.

12 August 2011

Hair Clips: Repurpose and save alot!


 We found old silk flowers among the mass of craft things and took them apart to re-purpose them into hair accessories for my daughters. My daughters are 8 years apart and that is why some look they are for a young adult and some for a preteen :)
silk flowers
old ponytails, barretts, &amp; clips

glue gun &amp; sticks

Take apart the flowers but keep them in order so you can recreate it the way it was (if you wish). Figure out what you want your clip to look like. Sew the pieces together and to the clip. Where you cannot sew, then use your glue gun. I use very little glue for the clips, but you can use glue exclusively if you wish.

You could also use wire to secure the flowers in place to the clips.

I've had these things around the house and it cost nothing to make these clips today. My inspiration was at the mall where they are selling some clips for over $10. I can't fathom paying  $10 for 1 clip!

If you aren't crafty and would like to buy some please check out my friend Jenna at Etsy: Frills And Fuss . She makes beautiful clips and they aren't from scraps around her house, (like mine are). All of her hair accessories are gorgeous and made from new materials.

28 July 2011

19 June 2011

Garden Suprises

When we bought our house we inherited many things like wooden planters and a huge hydrangea bush. I had no idea if I took a piece of that bush and stuck it in some dirt that I'd get another bush. It was really that simple and such a great surprise. I'm going to transplant it next year! :)

18 June 2011

Chess Set for Dad

We made these for father's day. It was inspired by this post over at Gail's blog, but instead of making a set of dominoes, we did chess pieces. :)
I have 2 daughters. One did the black pieces and the other did the white pieces :)

17 June 2011

On Top of Spaghetti

 I've been making spaghetti sauce for over 10 years b/c my family doesn't like jarred pre-made sauce. I've tried many recipes and have mastered what my family likes, not that there isn't room for improvement, there always is room for something better.

I've always hated the recipes that didn't give exact quantities, so I'll try to be clear, though my recipe has become sloppy in that regard.

side-note:When trying to get measurements for a recipe from an elderly person you might try to ask how much they pour in their hand for dry ingredients, or how much in a coffee cup for wet... or some other measuring implement they may use.


2 cloves garlic
 1 T olive oil
29-oz can of Hunts Tomato Sauce
12-oz can Hunts Tomato Paste
1 beef bone
1 t dried basil
1/2 t dried oregano
1 t salt & pepper

1 1/2 lb ground beef
small bits of pork meat (from a roast or chops)

French or Italian Bread
or Nation Bakery anything b/c they are the bomb

 Angel Hair Pasta

The secret to the sauce is to cook it all day. I mean start this baby after breakfast and cook it for at least 5 hours.

Basically it goes like this:
Saute garlic and 1 medium onion in the olive oil. I didn't list onion above b/c one of my family member is allergic to onions. When onions are clear or garlic begins to tan, then add sauce and paste. Use the 29-oz can to measure water and use it to rinse both cans and add to sauce. Add the bone and spices. When it comes to a low boil add the meat balls a few at a time. When the sauce is at a low bubbly boil again, I turn it down as low as I can on the stove.

If using a crock pot, you can add everything to the crock after your onion and garlic is sauteed. Use hot water. Keep the crock pot on high until everything is at a low boil, then set it to low. If possible take your meat balls out of freezer and have them in the fridge overnight to defrost.

I make my meatballs another day ahead of time. When ever I have a lil left over ground beef I'll make a few meat balls, put them on a cookie sheet and place in freezer. After a few hours I put them in a freezer bag. I make mine compact and small. Before typically rolling a meatball, I squeeze the meat in my hand. I call this making turtles, b/c that is sort of what they look like when you squeeze the meat in your hand. LOL My girls think it is gross to call them turtles, I'll have to show you in another post :P I add the bits of pork meat to my meatball freezer bag that can't be used for chops b/c they are so small. This will sweeten your sauce. (The beef bone will give your sauce a rich dark color as will simmering it all day.

Getting back to the sauce... When you see some of the meatballs getting dark, then you can stir it, before that if you stir you might mess up some of your meatballs. I don't brown my meatball ahead of time, they cook in the sauce and are less tough than if they are browned in a skillet or in the oven. I got alot of tips for my sauce from my Italian mother-in-law and sister-in-law. They tasted it for the first time over this past winter and said it was very good. So, now I think it's safe to say its good enough to try :)

Please let me know if you tried it :) If you have any advice or questions please let me know.

16 June 2011

Bird feeders

We've had this bird feeder station for well over a year now and it's still effective at keeping the squirrels off them. It's especially effective when they are all empty for a few months, lol.

15 June 2011

Photos taken by Beez


a rainbow

Both of my girls love to take pictures. These were taken by my youngest, Beez, who is 9, going on 10 in  a few weeks :) I think she is doing very well with the camera :)

14 June 2011

Hawk Mountain

We visited Hawk Mountain a few weeks ago and my daughter had a great time checking out the birds and hiking.... I had a great time sharing this time with her. I think she saw a few red tailed hawks, lots of turkey vultures, an indigo bunting, and black and white warbler who was singing his heart out.

01 April 2011

L C Smith Super-Speed Typewriter ---1937

Quote of the day:
Whatever I may have thought in the early days of the value of the typewriter, it is very obviously a blessing to mankind, and especially to womankind. I am very glad I had something to do with it. I builded wiser than I knew, and the world has the benefit of it.
--Christopher Sholes, c. 1875
The geek in me loves learning silly things like how the typewriter came about. This was actually a part of my daughter's History lesson today.

It was a Milwaukee newspaper publisher and politician turned inventor who solved the jamming problem that plagued previous typewriter models by having the carriage on his machine move one space to the left when a letter is typed. The inventor's name was Christopher Sholes, along with fellow inventor Carlos Glidden and their financial backer, James Densmore, who received a patent for the typewriter in 1868. Densmore then sells the rights to E. Remington and Sons, in the mid 1880's. Remington sound familiar? The largest maker of firearms at the time and maybe still to date.

So there you have it :) It's great to have a piece of history in my daughter's room. How else would she have know what she was reading today? Today everything that is typed gets printed from a printer. Our typewriter does not have a date. It just says that it is a L C Smith Super-Speed Typewriter and from some internet searches we found out its from around 1937.

There is alot more about it on Wikia. I just saw an old IBM Selectric which is what I used in the military. LOL Memory lane of typewriters. :)

25 March 2011

Projects in the works

My daughter, over at Klazane blogged about our seed tape project here.
The tutorial is here.

I like to try new things with projects and have been thinking about making seed tape (or maybe not calling it tape) for carrots and radishes in Square Foot Gardening format.... it's a work in progress.

Another project is the below afghan. I haven't gotten very far and as soon as it warms up it will be put on hold. I've been very excited about planting a garden. But so far we still have snow... so I crochet :)
With thoughts of spring so come thoughts of spring cleaning. I found a great website well over a year ago and am signed up for their daily emailing of new tips. You can see great spring cleaning tips at Tipnut.com.

16 March 2011

Chicken Capri

I love this dinner!
I love making Chicken Capri. It's an easy dinner to make too.

  • 1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese (Part Skim)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 4 slices reduced-fat mozzarella cheese 

1 In a small bowl mash Ricotta Cheese, Parmesan Cheese, Salt, Pepper, Oregano& Parsley together until well blended.
2 Toss the chicken with the garlic powder and brown in the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat for 10 minutes per side.
3 When done remove to a shallow casserole dish to cool slightly.
4 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
5 Spoon 1 Heaping serving spoon of Ricotta mixture onto each chicken breast and top with 1 tablespoons of Crushed Tomatoes.
6 Place one slice of mozzarella cheese on each one and place in the top rack of the oven.
7 Bake for 20 minutes until a meat thermometer registers 170 deg. farenheit

13 March 2011

Homemade Salad Dressing

I started making everything in our house onion free. We had to do this after realizing my husband's sensitivity to onions. Salad dressing is easier to make than I thought. I guess I came from the generation that that everything came out of a package or box. I'm glad I'm not passing that down to my girls. :)

If you check out All Recipes you will see there are plenty of things you can add to an Italian Dressing. The basics are this:
3parts oil to 1 part vinegar, a little less water than vinegar and spices.
For ours we use apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and the spices you can see above with a little crushed red pepper that isn't labeled.
Enjoy :)

12 March 2011

Italian Hoagie/Sandwich

These are great when you are in a hurry to get the family fed.

In northeast PA Nation Rolls are the bomb. They don't have a website but you can check out a review here.
Simply this sandwich is:
National Roll
Ham Capicola
Sandwich Pepperoni
Genoa Salami
Mild Banana Peppers
Italian Dressing


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