July 31, 2009

recycling at "Cousin Craft Camp"

My Sister and her 2 youngest girls came from Seattle for a visit last week. The girls are the same age as my Granddaughters and these cousins love to spend time together. They only get to see each other once a year ( twice, if they're lucky!) and are pen-pals between visits. The Seattle cousins and their Mother got tired of feeling left out of all the fun stuff going on with the So. California cousins so the 3 of them spent a week at Daughter's house, picking up another cousin on the way. It was a fun-filled, week-long slumber party, with Sister and Daughter and 6 girls ages 8-13. Two younger cousins, 4 & 5 yrs. old occasionally joined the fun, too. (Luckily for Son-in-Law, he was working out of town for the week!)

The girls came up with a name for their special week: "Cousins Craft Camp"......
*There was a Sewing Day: all the girls made flannel blankets.
*There were several Craft Days: one day for making multitudes of bookmarks and another for recycled notepads and journals.
*There was a Beach Day...after all, we do live in So. California!
*There was plenty of time spent in the kitchen whipping up snacks, treats, and "gourmet" meals.
*There was lots of wet Trampoline jumping with water balloons and a hose.

This was my contribution to the festivities: Have you ever seen one of these?

If you work in a large office or a school you've probably used one for binding things.....
We had saved lots of fun packaging and everyone found their favorites....

Hmmmmm........lined paper or plain? Binding across the top for a notebook or on the side for a journal? So many choices and so many great results!
On the last day of the "camp" we went to my other Sister's house for a Swim Party/BBQ with lots more family members. We took along the Spiral Binder and supplies and made custom notebooks on the spot for Uncles, Aunts, and Great-Grandparents... "Do you have Wheat Thins? I love Wheat Thins!"..."What kind of cereal do you have?" ......"Chocolate! I need something with chocolate!".
Our little spiral binder was a huge hit with everyone....and as Daughter pointed out..we'll never need to buy another spiral notebook ever again!!
If you have a crafty kind of family or are looking for something to do with a group of kids I highly recommend this idea. Just think of all the possibilities!......
Now that we're done using it for a while, I packed up the whole kit and kaboodle and lent it to a co-worker who has 3 teenage Granddaughters visiting this week. It's been just as big a hit at his house as it was at ours......
That last day of "Cousin Craft Camp" was just as fun as the first day.....no one wanted it to end and there are already plans for next year.....maybe in Seattle this time around! We're already counting the weeks.......

July 22, 2009

the cobblers children have no shoes.......

I walked into Daughter's kitchen the other day to find #3 Granddaughter (8 3/4 yrs.) making cookies in her suddenly little, teeny, tiny horse apron that I think I made for her in kindergarten!
I said to her "Abbey! What on earth has happened to your apron?! Did it shrink? (HA! wishful thinking, Mimi!) I think it's time to make you a new apron!"
She happily dug through my stash and picked out (of course) puppies and kittens.

A few days later....

TA DA!!......much better!

I have made so many aprons in the last few years (well over a hundred I'm sure) I don't know how I've managed to neglect some of those people that are right under my nose every day......

Oh, wait!.....I feel an opportunity coming.....after all, there are plenty of rapidly growing Grandkids around here.....I think it's time for me to take an apron inventory....so I can GO FABRIC SHOPPING!!.....and MAKE MORE APRONS!!!

July 18, 2009

to each his own.....

In my never ending quest for thin-ness, (or I guess I should say thinner-ness since I long ago came to terms with the fact I'll never actually be thin), the thing I struggle with the most is my constant craving for salty snacks.

It's not that I don't love dessert and sweets because I do...especially anything chocolatey. It's just that when I'm really craving something, it's usually crackers or chips or fries or anything salty and fried. I guess you could say I have a salty/fat tooth instead of a sweet tooth.

In this hot summer heat wave we're having I'm constantly eating plenty of fruits, veggies and salads, so that's no problem. But today my salty/fat tooth was really acting up so I came up with a new "creation".

I happen to love brussels sprouts, but if you are one of those people who are horrified by the mere thought of them, consider yourself warned!

I separated a pound of them into leaves......

Misted them well with olive oil spray, sprinkled with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper....

Roasted them at 350* for 15ish minutes (stirring a few times) until they were browned and mostly crispy.

33 yr. old Son declared them "DISGUSTING!!"

I thought they were DELICIOUS! Crispy and cruncy and salty and delicious!

I ate the whole batch....because you're allowed to eat the whole batch of "chips" when the chips are 99.99% brussel sprouts!

Now what else can I make "chips" out of around here?........

July 11, 2009

ponytails, bobbins, and a bargain

I came across these "bobbin wraps" on the Clotilde website (sewing notions).

Aren't those just those little stretchy ponytail thingies? What a great idea to keep your bobbin threads from unwinding! But maybe not such a great idea to spend $2.49 (plus shipping, of course) on a bag of 24......

So I went to Wal-mart, and guess what I found in the hair accessories aisle for $2.00! A pack of 42 stretchy ponytail thingies.....and no shipping charge!

A handy-dandy great idea AND a bargain! Two of my favorite things wrapped into one......

July 10, 2009

Long Distance Aprons

I have a long-distance friend, a single Grandpa, who spends a lot of one-on-one time with each of his 5 grandkids, ages 3-9. When he told me recently that the older kids are liking to spend time in the kitchen with him I had one thought.....THOSE KIDS NEED APRONS!! (Grandpa already has 3 of my aprons)

Here are my latest apron creations that I'll be mailing off to Northern Calif. first thing on Monday. One for the girls and one for the boys, for the next time Grandpa has a little helper in the kitchen.....





My two youngest Grandkids spotted these and just had to try them on.... "LOOK! it's just the right size for me!"..."I LOVE this apron, Mimi! It's just the kind that I like!!".....
So I guess I know what I'll be sewing this weekend........

July 2, 2009

I used to be good at this.....

I've done the empty nest thing: Daughter and family lived 400 miles away, Oldest Son was nearby but newly married and starting a family, and Youngest Son went off to start his own life.

Youngest Son and I had been on our own together for 7 years, so that first year of empty nest was NOT EASY, but I had my own apartment and got used to being on my own.....no problem!

Fast forward 6 years: Oldest Son and I bought this house together and it's been 5 years of busy Grandkids, lots of noise and activity, and plenty of company. Daughter lives 2 miles away and there is almost daily visits, quick impromptu runs to Target together, and last minute sleepovers with the Grandaughters.



I mean, I'm just fine with alone time....I really need a lot of alone time.....but 2 WEEKS?!

Enough already! I can't take being away from those pesky Grandkids for so long. What has happened to me? I used to be good at this alone thing.......

Those darn kids have me left me no choice...I am going to hunt them down!

I'm off this morning to meet Oldest Son and family at the Colorado River for 4 days of their 2 week vacation. It will be a shorter version of last years trip. They are forcing me to spend some time relaxing with a giant glass of iced tea, my ipod, and a book. And I suppose they'll make me go out on the boat, too. And of course I'll have to spend some time playing with those 2 little ones that are always underfoot. What's a Mimi to do?.....
Oh, the things we're willing to do for our kids.......

July 1, 2009

New math?

It's time to buy a new sewing machine.......
I've been using my trusty workhorse Kenmore that I got for my 18th birthday in 1975....that's 34 years, people!! Even though it still works great most of the time, it's starting to get a little tired and occasionally temperamental, always at the worst time, of course.
Also, Daughter uses a Kenmore that she got for her 18th birthday 17 years ago and now that she is obsessed with quilting, she's finding it impossible to get the right quilting foot for her out-of-date machine.
AND...with all the granddaughters learning to sew....well, that's enough justification for me!
Moore's was having an anniversary sale on a lot of their machines so I ran right on over there.
Check this out.......(pay attention to the numbers)
This Babylock Grace was on sale for $899.00
(Babylock is the same as Brother)
and this Babylock Serger was $599.00 (I've dreamed of owning a serger for a long time)
OR.....you could buy them both together for.......(drumroll).......$699.00 ????? HUH???
You don't need to be a bookkeeper (which I am, by the way....) to know that this equation doesn't compute! What is this, some kind of new math? Even if I never even open the box on the Serger I'll be saving $200.00 on the regular machine!!
Well I'm no idiot....I'LL TAKE IT, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
......stay tuned for lots and lots of completed quilts and all sorts of serging craziness between our two households!
(now if I can just conquer threading the serger.... I know, I'll make one of the Granddaughters figure it out...aren't kids always geniuses at figuring stuff out better than us older folks?)