Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Halloween Sweatshop

So this is why I haven't been blogging much lately. The Halloween sweatshop I turn my house into every Fall is officially open.

Today I worked like crazy on this pretty witch costume for my niece Abby. She may have to wear it to her wedding. Not my easiest pattern ever. But man I love the way it is turning out. I want one in my size. It still needs eyelets up the front so we can lace the jacket shut with a purple ribbon. No, I haven't done them before. I am always telling the kids it is good to try new things so I can do it too. This is what I did yesterday.

Working on Harry Potter and Hermione costumes for Matthew and his cousin Libby. The robes will look much cooler when I finish these badges.

But that is something I work on when we are at the park or I am waiting somewhere so it will be a little while. I did just notice this is my 699th post. Can you believe that? I think I need to do a give-away!

Monday, September 28, 2009


When I was growing up we had a garden. We grew raspberries, so did my grandparents. I remember so many times sneaking out to the garden to steal a few. I remember picking them at my grandparents and using a chopped off milk jug as the perfect picking bucket. After I was married and had kids of my own my parents moved to a new house, no more raspberries. But Grandma still grew them so fresh raspberries still stayed a wonderful part of my summers. Jello salad with raspberries was her standing assignment for family parties. The thought of the freezer jam she made is making my mouth water.

It has been quite a few years now since Gram was still in her own house and could supply us with the little red gems. So when my in-laws stopped by this last weekend with a big bucket of raspberries I was really excited. Every time I pop one of these in my mouth I feel about ten years old and like my Gram is near by. Thanks Oma and Opa.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Baked Alaska

Last night two of my favorite people came to dinner with my parents. They brought me these gorgeous flowers, not hard to see why they are some of my favorite people is it?

It was a really fun night, the first one we have gotten to enjoy in the new backyard. William grilled lots of yummy meat and I made Baked Alaska for dessert. It is probably my favorite, impressive dessert. So I thought I would share the recipe.

I made it gluten-free so the crust I used was:
1 Cup rice flour
1/2 Cup softened butter
1/2 C powdered sugar
Combine. Press into pie pan.Prick with a fork. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes

Comes out looking like this. You can cheat a little and use a store-bought pie crust.

Soften a quart of ice cream. We made two, mint chocolate chip and Heath bar. Load up the pie with the ice cream, wrap with saran wrap and freeze until hard again. Overnight is best.

Right before you are ready to serve heat your oven to 500. While it heats whip 5 egg whites until they are stiff. Add a pinch of salt. Then slowly add 2/3 sugar until stiff and glossy. Spread over the ice cream pie, making sure to seal all the edges. My mom is good at making pretty curls on top with a spoon.

It comes out looking pretty like this after you stick it in that hot oven for about 3-5 minutes.

This is what it looks like inside. Soooo yummy! And the leftovers the next day are just as good.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Our Friendly Neighborhood Butterfly

Brittany sent Joshua in yesterday to tell me to bring the camera. She had this little guy on her finger at the time. The little guy must have either been really tame, at the beginning or at the end of his little life. We prefer to think of him as really tame.

He eventually came to sit on Brittany's nose.

Joshua's finger, requiring his great concentration.

Matthew's nose.
Please don't tell me of any dread diseases you can contract from handling a butterfly/moth. I just don't want to know.

Does it mean you blog too much when you kid insists you blog something like this?

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Really Fun Park

This is our new favorite park. I thought I would share it while the weather is so nice. It is adjacent to the new junior high in Layton. According to the city parks guy that was there one of the first days we visited it is the first of its kind west of the Mississippi. It is supposed to appeal to kids into video games. See Brittany there in the middle of the picture? She is standing on a platform that rocks back and forth and acts at the menu you select from. Basically the kids choose how many kids play, and what color each will be.
Then they run and climb all around to push their color the fastest. Whoever gets all their buttons first wins. It is amazing what my kids will do to get to go to this park. Brittany has to go each time because I have no idea how to make it work. It is located at 3200 west in Layton. Let us know if you are going, Brittany will come show you how it all works!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Little Witches

It seems like a really long time since I put anything new in my little shop. I have been working like a beaver this week on some Halloween projects and I even listed some in my etsy shop. Even more amazing is that I finally figured out how to add a gadget over there on the side so you can see what is in the shop and click right over there. I am very proud of myself. So this is my first little witch. She is made from a clothespin and polymer clay. Then I started canning witches. I don't can food like I used too but canning witches was really fun. There are a couple of these in the shop. What do you think? Are they cuter in the bottle or out?
I put a couple of these little Ginghamgirl witches over there too.
Just so you don't think things always go smoothly over here or turn out the way i intend I have to show you this poor witch and her birdie friend. It was supposed to be for a swap. I took it out to take its picture. Somehow it tapped the rock and the bottle shattered. Guess it is a good thing I didn't put it in the mail huh?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Indiana Jones Cake

Matthew has had the birthday that never ended. We celebrated with the family this weekend so of course we had to make a great cake. He wanted Indiana Jones. We saw some cute ideas on the Internet but just in case you wondered you cannot find the Indy action figure anymore. I looked everywhere. So we used the Lego version.
Matthew decided this was even better because then it had two of his favorite things, Legos and Indiana Jones. In case you wondered we used the vanilla version of Oreos for sand.
He had to pretend to be a giant.

Doesn't it look cool illuminated by fire?

Grandma gave him the can of spray whipping cream. Indy looks like he is in Antarctica. But what fun!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Nutcracker Here We Come!

This is Miss Brittany last night after we found out that she will be an angel in this year's Nutcracker. Her school puts on an excellent production every year, fabulous costumes, live orchestra and beautiful dancers. The audition was this weekend and I don't even want to talk about the amount of nerves that you could have bottled in the crowd of parents waiting for our girls to come out with the verdict Saturday. It is hard to believe that when we moved back from California a year ago I wasn't sure what our future in ballet would be. Brittany was getting frustrated and it wasn't fun. But thanks to my friend Circe who is an amazing teacher, the spark has been rekindled. Brittany has worked really hard and having the privilege of getting to be in Nutcracker is a great reward. As Clytie put it last night for those of us who haven't participated in this Nutcracker before, it is going to be quit a ride. We are really excited. So if you find yourself wishing you could take you kids to a great, relatively inexpensive Nutcracker production this November I know where you can get tickets!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Some Finished Projects!

I finally finished a couple of those projects I talked about the other day.
I finished the picture wall! This was a big deal. It took me forever rearranging the papers to get it right. I recommend the Scotch picture hanging system though. I felt like I was stickering the frames to the wall and best of all if I take them down the wall won't be full of holes.
I did paint the chair for the landing. Not quite the red I wanted, I may try again. Weird shot down the stairs too.

Of course in the middle of all those projects I had to start a new one. I repainted this frame to put my picture of the temple I took in the Spring. I am really happy with the pink blossoms and the green paint. Probably the only place in my house I will get away with that color combo.
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

My Name is Michelle and I have a Crafting Problem

I think I need to join crafters anonymous. I looked around my house and discovered an awful lot of projects that are half done. These are just the ones I have worked on this week. Not the ones still in my head. These are going to be Halloween Haunted Houses for my sister.

These have been de-glossed and are waiting for black paint so we will have enough chairs for Josh to join us at the table.

I guess this one still counts as in my brain. I am thinking of painting it red or green. It is sitting there so I can decide.
I got the paper version of my pictures up on the wall today so I can play with them and then hang the real thing.

This is a new doll I am working on while I watch TV at night.
Oh, and remember this little sampler? I am still working on it when I don't feel like working on the doll.
Yes, I know I have a problem. I guess I just got excited about the kids being back in school and got a little carried away. But hey, Josh has preschool tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

What happened to my baby?

This was the scene this morning. My baby all ready for preschool. We had lots of conversations about how big he is getting to go to school like the big kids. We have been to visit his teacher a few weeks ago. The school is in her basement. When we pulled up in front of her house I said, "Okay Josh, let's go meet your teacher!" Josh's response was "That not a school. That a house." Good point. Regardless he went off happily into the world to make new friends and learn new stuff. Sniff. Sniff. William called this morning to see if I was sad, and how Josh did. I told him I was a little sad but the fact that I had been able to clean the patio and the pantry without interruption was really making me feel better.

It also made me feel better when I went in to check on him during his nap and saw this. He is still little right? Oh, and we are working on the binkie issue. One grown up achievement at a time.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Green is my New Favorite Color!

Oh wonder of wonders, the day finally came this weekend when this guy pulled up with his magic carrier of wonderful greenness. Otherwise known as the sod guy. I cannot tell you how excited I was for this day to finally arrive. Right after the guy pulled away in his magic truck William and I got busy laying the gorgeous green stuff. We could not wait. By afternoon my brains were thoroughly cooked but the front yard was done. Luckily reinforcements arrived in the evening to finish the rest. There is no way we could have done it, we were too pooped! Here are the results:Before After
Insta-yard. Honestly some of the best money we have ever spent. Of course the great end result is completely a result of my wonderful husbands hard work all summer. The sod guy said he had never seen such a well prepared yard. Thanks William. And thanks to all of our helpers that saved us, especially my dad. Man that guy can work!

Friday, September 04, 2009


How can this kid be seven today? My tiniest baby. Six pounds 4 ounces. A huge seven year old. I try not to bemoan my kids advancing age, really I do, but I fail. I mean the alternative to their getting older is unfathomable. Of course I am glad they are growing and developing into such great people. But oh, how I miss this little boy's little baby butt. He is going to hate my saying that. But dang, he was a cute, tiny thing.

But now he is an amazing seven year old kid(I have to keep saying that to make it real!). He is my boy who loves to take things apart to see how they work and put things like Legos together. He is smart and creative and funny. Here is an example of those three things: one of his big requests for this birthday was a lot of duct tape and sharp scissors! You wouldn't believe what the kid can make with duct tape! He is doing so great in school, I love to hear him read. He is also a tender-heart. He is the boy who cried a couple of weeks ago because he heard me being sad on the phone. He is the boy who can never snuggle long enough at night. He is the boy who shows up in my room at night to make me crazy needing one more hug. He is my very favorite seven year old!
Hope you have a perfect day Matthew!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


So the kids are back in school, it is time to go back to decorating the house. I have been wanting to work on a family photo wall. So I collected a bunch of different frames, sprayed them silver and then rubbed them with black paint so they would look sort of pewter colored. Yesterday I stuck my favorite pictures in them to see how it would look. So now I am too close to the project to see if it is working. There is going to be a large picture of my family in that empty frame in the middle. So what do you think? (Forgive the blurry pictures!)

Is this too many pictures?

It is going to go on this wall by the stairs.

Or is this better?
Should they hang in a similar arrangement as I had them on the floor or should they sort of follow the stairs?
Just thought I would ask .