Friday, May 28, 2010

mr big stuff

Our little Oscar is getting so big now I thought he deserved a new backpack for his summer fun.  Oscar not only is going to start a little nursery school but also is old enough to take part in our summer camp swap we've got goin' ( more details in a later post I hope).  I've been planning to do a backpck for a while and found an hour to whip this one out. I used a simple tote bag shape, adding shoulder straps that are also the drawstrings for the top.   It fits great & hopefully will hold all the towels, swim diapers & toys he needs to have fun this summer. 

Sunday, May 23, 2010

a skirt for sunday

Can you tell I had a little time to myself this weekend??  Havn't seen these basement studio shots for a while huh.
I must have gotten through the pile of to do's for everyone else and found mine.
   First up: a paisley skirt redo. 
I found a oddly attractive Polly bled elastic waisted skirt at the thrift store a while back.  You know the type your aunts would wear in the summers high up on their real waists, billowing about hanging rite above the ankle?  (And she always had a stash of tissues in that hidden pocket. )
Sorry no before photo's,  I cut the entire waist off so I had a rectangle of fabric.  In haste I tried to put some shape in it by lopping off fabric on either end,  duh,  all I got was another awkward skirt .

FINE,  I'll measure & pin !

Added trim

The worst mirror photo ever but I couldn't find another way,  darn antique mirrors.   So I'm off , in my new skirt, to volunteer at a local block-party,  hopefully looking more young mom than 80's aunt,  verdict is still out.

Friday, May 21, 2010

linen closet

We have been blessed with a beautiful home and yard except it has NO storage.  When I saw this white enameled cabinet at an estate sale a few weeks ago ( $5!!!!) I knew I could put it to good use.   I toiled with an art supply cabinet, sewing or office cabinet, but settled on using it as our linen closet.  It sits at the top of the stairs ( in a dark spot can you tell?) so the bright white makes the space seem bigger.  PLUS it was a perfect opportunity to try out these awesome chicken decals my mom got me a while back, just waiting to be used in the rite spot.  Really like how it all came together, a nice tidy spot for all our linens and whimsical little chickens running a mock inside ( and out ).

I was looking at these as options too, and the best part is I can change it up whenever I want.   Oh, I love decals!

or this flower

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pie or Cobbler? both of course

Let's make cookies mama! hmmmmm,   Scones????  weeeelllllll.....    Pie!   YES!  

During quiet time yesterday felix & I wandered arcross the street to the gardens to raid a friends Rhubarb patch that was going to seed ( I got permission ;).  Felix wanted to bake something and we settled on Rhubarb Pie, one of my all time favorite desserts.  It had been a while since just he & I cooked together.  Rather than 4 little hands knocking,  moving, and fighting over tasks, felix got to do all of them.  It was so calm, while I had to hustle to prep he just chattered away, telling stories of his dreams, friends or telling jokes.  Oh, the 4 year old.  In the middle of our sweet time Todd comes in and starts lobbying for rhubarb cobbler not rhubarb pie.  what the?!@#$  I had a plan.   So felix decided on both,  we'd make cobbler for desert and pie filling for the freezer.   how smart. 

I'm feeling like my little blog is becoming all cooking latley, and while I suppose it is true I'm really missing being in my studio.  Is it unrealistic to think I can do it all??? when there are obviously no more naps?

probably not,  but we still can have rhubarb pie this winter and be very very thankful.

Monday, May 10, 2010

mothers day flea market

Before I was a mom, T & I had this great weekend routine.  We would go to brunch & than junk shop, flea markets, antique stores & garage sales,  ohhhh what treasures we would find.  My wonderful husband had this same idea for a mothers day outing.   The Jefferson Speedway Bargain Fair.   Chalk full of veggies, sports equipment  ( guns- not a fan but a warning for your little ones questions if you go) animals, plants, antiques and lots of junk. 

Felix and Oscar tagged along, rode on shoulders and my back winding our way through the stands.  Todd found a 1920's german fiddle, I bought some buttons, asparagus, and vintage tins.  Oscar bought a little car and a lunch box.  Felix bought a bubble wand sword and a VHS tape.   We ended the adventrue with a hotdog break on the bleachers.  
    After a few days inside because of rain this was a great outing for all of us, especially this junk hunting mama.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Homemade Vanilla Pudding with Rhubarb Compote

    Sometimes when the boys take an extra long nap in the afternoon I find myself in the kitchen, with dinner prepped and looking for something else to make.  This Wednesday afternoon I found a recipe for Homemade Vanilla Pudding and thought, I can make that.  Now for no big self-righteous reason my kids have never had pudding,  so I thought they would love it, as I do.

And it is surprisingly easy, but it takes attention, so it's best to do it while the kids are sleeping, rather than when they are under your feet. 
 Serves 4:

1 cup sugar ( I would reduce this next time to 3/4 c.)
1/4 c. all purpose flour
1/2 t. salt
      - whisk together in a bowl and set aside
2 c. milk ( not skim)
vanilla bean, halved lengthwise & scrape seeds out.
      ** my vanilla beans have been soaking in cheap rum for 2 years, making their own vanilla extract & killer rum flavored beans, try it!!
       -  Heat milk & vanilla seeds over medium heat for about 7 min. don't scald, just heat until you see tiny bubbles form on the edges of the pan.
       - Pour heated milk into the sugar mixture and mix into a light batter.  Pour back into the pan and heat for 5 min. on low heat.
4 egg yolks, slightly beaten
      - pour a small (3/4 c)  amount of hot milk/sugar mixture into egg yolks, whisking constantly ( you're tempering the yolks ).  Than add the heated egg yolk mixture back into the milk/sugar mixture, whisking constantly over medium heat,  until it is thickened & bubbly, 10 more minutes.
4 T butter, cut into small pieces.
       - once pudding this thick & bubbly, pour it into a bowl through a fine sieve, to get out any pods or egg schmutz, add butter and mix until it is melted & incorporated.  

I then poured the vanilla pudding into prepared bowls with Rhubarb compote on the bottom for a little drama.  Chill and serve your adoring family who will think you are magic.

Bravo to desert on a Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

library bag for summer

     Garage sales and estate sale season again,  thank god.  A time to refashion and recycle others things to suit our needs.   This is the first in a series of projects for the boys for summer, a la elsie marley's kids clothes project for the month of may.   While I would have loved to sew a bag, when this heavy duty canvas bag presented itself for $1 I thought I can do something with that.  A simple freezer paper stencil over the printed logo made it a great library bag.  I was inspired by this fabric by Anna Maria Horner.   Now onto getting a library card for Felix, I think he's ready for the responsibility, and a new bag to put all of his books in.