Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Using the scraps

I just bought a couple of big Glimmer Screens and used them for the first time yesterday.  They make great backgrounds.  I punched a few little butterflies to mask in the top right corner and then loved them so much I slid them off the masked areas and glued them down. A tone on tone effect.

Monday, 26 April 2010

The other side.

Banners are so fun and easy to make.
Now to get messy with the scraps.

I've also started knitting my first lace project.  The first row was tough; I had to rip it out 4 times before I got the pattern right, but after that it was smooth sailing.  I've finished one set of the pattern and I'm loving how it looks.
PS.  I'm knitting in black wool.  It sorta looks like blue in my photo.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Easter layout

I'm hoping to get a few Easter pages done this week.  Here's the first.  My nephew is just one in these photos and already knows what chocolate is all about.  Yum!

hippity hop for chocolate

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Gardening and Trellis making in April

The weather has been absolutely amazing for this early in the year. Hot and sunny.  More like summer than spring.  I hope this is a promise for whats to come and not an early summer that's going to be over by May. The weekend was sunny and in the 20s.  Wow! 
Breanna and I started cleaning out our garden beds while the boys and Rick raked the yard everywhere there wasn't still snow.  Tikanii spent the day lying on the remaining snow trying to stay cool.
Sunday afternoon we took Tikanii for a walk and collected some willow.  The pussy willows are just starting to bud.  When we got home this is what I made.

Not a nail or piece of twine anywhere.  I wove the horizontal branches through the uprights and by the time I'd gotten half a dozen in place the trellis felt pretty sturdy. 

I need a couple more long branches to fill it out a bit more.  I've planted half a row of peas with my fingers crossed that it won't freeze once they're above ground.  The weather for the next week is in the high teens.  Maybe it will last to the end of May when we can generally plant our garden without fear of frost.

I also want to pick some thin bendy pieces of willow to decorate the top.  I bent some long uprights over and made arches.  I think it would look neat to have more of a design along the top.

Everything still looks so brown except for the occasional patches of green. That's an oriental poppy coming up in the front of this bed.  I also have half a dozen strawberry plants in this garden. So much work to do.   

Tuesday, 20 April 2010


Mum commented that I hadn't put any photos of me wearing this vest on my blog ~ so I got Breanna to snap a bunch on the weekend and here they are.  I really don't like photos of myself! But I do like the vest. 

If I was to make the vest for myself I would definitely add an inch to each front ~ mabye more?

The sleeves and back seem to fit well.  The side seam is right under my arm where it should be.  It just doesn't quite hang like it does on the pattern pamphlet.

Love the back!

Monday, 19 April 2010

Weekly Meal Plan: Monday April 19th

I stumbled across Org Junkie and their 'menu plan Monday' a while back and thought it was an excellent idea.  But I thought with my schedule it would be easier if I made up my menu on Saturday as that is the day I do my big grocery shop.  Well, I did it for a week or two and then it fell by the wayside and I was doing my usual evening scramble trying to figure out what to make for supper after a long days work. 

So I'm going to do it along with all the ladies at Org Junkie.  If you check out the link there are lots of ideas for weekly menus.  It's a great place to find new recipes.

Mon ~ turkey soup.  I boiled a turkey carcass from a dinner we enjoyed last week for a few hours last night so I'll pick out the bones and gristle when I get home and turn it into homemade soup.  Yummy.

Tues ~ Quick Potted Spanish Chicken  This is a Rachel Ray recipe.  I love her recipes though we haven't had this one before.  I noticed in the comments that someone had made this in the crockpot ~ so that's what I'm going to do.  Get it all set up tonight, plug it in tomorrow morning and my house will smell delish when I get home from work tomorrow night.

Wed ~ Black Bean Chilli.  This is a favourite dish in our house.  I think I found it in a magazine years ago and I make it fairly regularly.  It's quick, easy and not as heavy as other chillis.
Black Bean Chilli

 1 T olive oil
 1 large onion chopped
 1 green pepper chopped
 1 clove garlic chopped
Sauté on med-high heat till soft ~ about 8 min.

 ½ lb ground turkey (or beef)
Add and cook till no longer pink ~ about 4 min.

 ¼ cup chilli powder
 1 T gr. Cumin
 ¾ tsp salt
 ½ tsp allspice
Add and cook for 1 min.

 1 can (16oz) Stewed Tomatoes
 1 cup water
Add and simmer for 7 min.

 3 cups diced zucchini
 1 can (19oz) black beans drained and rinsed
Add, stirring till cooked ~ about 10 min.

 ¼ cup shredded cheddar
 ¼ cup gr onion chopped

Thurs ~ Steak and mashed potatoes.  My guy is a meat and potatoes kinda guy so I try to make him happy every now and then. 

Fri ~ I found this fish dish on the Canadian Living Foodie Blog which has been shut down :( I thought it sounded yummy so saved it. I'll give it a whirl and let you know Saturday if it's a keeper.
• 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs. olive oil
• 2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
• 4 medium Anaheim chilies, seeded and thinly sliced
• 2 bay leaves
• 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
• 2 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered
• 1 cup dry white wine
• 3 cups unsalted vegetable stock or canned broth
• 6 to 8 saffron threads
• 1/2 tsp piment d’Espelette, plus more for garnish
• Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
• 1/2 tsp. crushed dried hot chili peppers
• 2 lb. skinless halibut (my favorite) or red snapper fillets, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
• 3 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

In a large chef’s skillet or other large pan over high heat, warm the 1/2 cup olive oil. Add the onions, Anaheim chilies, bay leaves and garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add the potatoes, wine, stock, saffron and the 1/2 tsp. piment d’Espelette. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to medium. Season with salt and white pepper, add the chili peppers and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
In a large sauté pan over medium heat, warm the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil. Add the fish and sauté until lightly browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to the chef’s skillet and continue cooking, stirring occasionally to avoid breaking the fish apart, 8 to 10 minutes more. Season with salt and white pepper and discard the bay leaves.
Ladle the stew into warmed shallow soup bowls, and sprinkle with the parsley and piment d’Espelette. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

I read up on piment d’Espelette.  It's a pepper from a certain area of France.  Suggested substition is Smoked Paprika which I happen to have.

Sat ~ Lasagne.  Daniel is getting quite good at making this and it's one of my favourite dishes. 

Sun ~ Pork chops.  Rick likes the thin fast fry pork chops.  For side dishes I'll do rice and sliced raw veggies. Quick and easy!

So that's it for me.  I'm almost organized.  I just need to check the cupboards and fridge and make a grocery list of what I don't have.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

The Help

The Help The Help by Kathryn Stockett

I'm reading The Help for ScrapCentral's book club. It's not my normal choice for a novel, but it's well written and keeping my attention.

When I started reading it I thought it was farther in the past until the authour mentioned planes and dishwashers. I am astounded that racism was so prevalent and 'normal' at this time ~ I'm guessing mid 1900s.

I'm enjoying how the authour switches from one characters point of view to anothers as the chapters progress.

View all my reviews >>

Thursday, 15 April 2010


Mum and I found a cute little yarn shop while I was down visiting over Spring Break.  It's called the Button & Needlework Boutique and it had this cute vest knitted up and on display.  Mum tried it on and loved it so I said I'd knit it for her, though I haven't knit anything since the boys were babies ~ 15 years ago. I started on it right away.  I knit lots while visiting the In-Laws in Vernon.  By the time we got home on the Easter long weekend I just had the yoke and the sewing up to do.
I finished it last weekend and wore it to work on Monday.  I hope Mum doesn't mind that I wore her sweater before she did.  I'll pack it up tonight and mail it down tomorrow.  I think I might make one for myself.  It is really cute!  Though I'll make my fronts a tad wider so the vest hangs more like the one on the flat-chested model instead of flaring out.

I've already picked up some yarn and started knitting myself a little cardigan.  The yarn is made out of bamboo. Who knew they could make yarn out of bamboo?  It's very nice to work with ~ like a thin silky ribbon. The colour I chose is a light tan colour called, funnily enough, bamboo.
I'm participating in a Knit-a-long(KAL) at Daily Knitting though I'm a little behind because I wanted to finish Mum's vest first.  I don't think it will take me long to catch up.  I'm halfway up the back already.  Most of the ladies are on their front pieces now and we're due to start our sleeves on the 20th of this month.

Knitting is my new diet plan.  I knit in front of the tv instead of running up during the ads for snacks.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loved it. I love the way she writes. And that it was a true story (autobiography) makes it even more amazing.

View all my reviews >>

Monday, 12 April 2010

A Toddler layout

This layout has been on my desk for about 3 weeks.  What with work and Spring Break I haven't had any chance at all to scrapbook.  I took some time yesterday to finish up this page before starting on a new one.

The preprinted tab says 'How he has changed my life' and the journaling is about how we spent a lot of time at McDonalds when he was two.  The Play Place was a good place to work off some of that two year old energy, especially in the winter when it was too cold to play outside. 
We never go there anymore, now that the boys are teens.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Easter Monday recovering dining room chairs

I picked up some fake brown leather (vinyl) at Fanny's Fabrics in Vernon last week.  I've been wanting to recover my diningroom chairs for ages now.  They desperately needed it.  Fabric is not a suitable material for dining room chairs.  Especially with kids in the house.
They all helped me out.  The boys pulled off the old stuff, stapled on the new stuff and screwed everything back together with me.  It took most of the day to get seven chairs done (I'm not sure what happened to chair #8, but we couldn't find it anywhere).
Breanna took photos of the process.  She insisted on taking closeups of the old chair covers so we could all see just how stained and grosse they were.  I tried shampooing them at one time, but that just pushed the stains to the edges of the seat.  Yuk!.  I'm so glad the new ones are wipe clean.
Here's Duncan removing the old cover.

And Daniel pretending to be busy with a chair frame in his hands.

Me stapling on the new covers.

Both the boys screwing the new seat pad to the chair.  I think this was the toughest job. Some of those screws didn't want to go in, or wouldn't grip when they did go in.

And here they are in my dining room.  Lovely!
I think the next job will be to strip and replace the eighties wallpaper.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

An Easter treasure hunt

What's Easter without an egg hunt?  The chocolate kind is our favourite.  This year instead of making up clever clues in rhyme, because I could never beat my Dad for cleverness, I took closeup photos of spots around the house. 
Clue #1 is sitting in the lap of my persian lambswool teddy.  He's a cute little stuffed bat that didn't get put away with the rest of the Halloween decorations.  I've tucked some eggs under him for the kids to find.

Clue #2 is the thermometer on top of our pantry.  I think this will be an easy one even though I cropped a lot of the screen out of the photo.

Clue #3 is Breannas folk doll that hangs on my hall closet door knob.

#4 ~ The big planter in the entry way.

Clue #5 is the unsorted sock pile on top of the dryer.

We have a hockey table in the rumpus room.   I had one of the little men shooting Easter eggs for #6.

My birch house up high on a shelf is #7.  Too easy!

#8 is a photo box Mum & Dad gave me.  It sits by the computer.

#9 is a glass pear that hangs in my kitchen window.

And lastly #10 is Daddy's boot.  I thouht this would be a tough one, but it wasn't.  The kids instantly recognized the colours and shape.

Next year I'm going to have to crop the photos even more.  The only one that gave the kids any trouble was #1.  They recognized the stuffed bat right away, but couldn't remember where he was.