Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Camera, Canning & Caves

Last night I had a four hour adventure in canning some grape jam. This is the only pic I have of it and I didn't know this pic had even taken until I uploaded it to the computer. Why is that?? you ask.
Oh, because my husband decided to take the camera to this hole in the earth...
...and take pictures of him and his firefighter buddies spelunking. Then proceeded to drop the camera on some rock and crack the screen. I wasn't sure if it still took pics so I tried this morning.
And that's why this is my only pic of my big canning adventure:
And BOY was it an adventure. I used a recipe out of Better Homes and Garden cookbook. "Prep time 65 min. Cook time 5 min." ACTUAL prep time: 3.5 HOURS. ACTUAL cook time: still 5 min but did two batches AND you start timing the 5 minutes when it's at a full rolling boil which takes up to ten minutes. REALLY?? Better Homes and Garden couldn't have suggested a prep time of 65 min. to 3 hours?? Here's de-skin half the grapes, you soften the grapes in pot on burner, sieve the grapes to remove cooked skin and seeds, measure pulp and juice, pour back into pan, heat up, add water and sugar and bring to full rolling boil. Upon full rolling boil, you time it for 12 minutes OR until the mixture has reached a gelling point. One hour and fifteen minutes of rolling boil time later....STILL NOT GELLING!! At 10:10pm we called it quits. I say "we" because my neighbor came to assist and stayed the whole four hours. She was a trooper! Can you imagine how long it would have taken me had I been doing it alone?? So, we jarred it, lidded them, put them BACK into a bath of hot water, brought them to ANOTHER boil and timed 5 minutes. Whew! By the time we finished the second batch and covered them with a cloth to cool the night on the counter, it was 11pm. INSANE! AND, no pictures to show what I did...but here's one of our un-amused kitty:
Yes...poor camera....broken lense cover, broken's had a rough life.

Next up...salsa!! Just need a few more tomatoes to ripen up. Like how the yellow squash had to squeeze into the pic??

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Did I tell you about these?

A few weekends ago I helped my parents with their yardsale. I found these...
An old pair of my dad's work pants. Pretty worn out and faded. I also had to go to my cousin's 12th birthday. I didn't have a gift so I thought I'll make her something. VOILA!! I had an instant Project Runway inspiration!! (I am HOOKED on Project Runway right now. I'm going through the past seasons via Netflix while watching the current one) I went shopping at Mood, which was really my moms room full of fabric (blogged here), and gave myself two hours to re-create these jeans into a skirt for my cousin. took 2-1/2 hours to create this...
...I couldn't get them small enough to fit my cousin, so I kept them and gave her scrapbooking stuff instead.
AND...the best part about this post is that I entered them into BurdaStyle's Project Runway Remake Challenge presented by Rowenta. You can go HERE to view my project page and you can go HERE to enter your own re-purposed garment, but hurray, it ends in two days!

Monday, September 27, 2010


Meet Ophelia...
She's a white mouse.
She's also camera shy.
In preparation for winter she cracked open an ornament and crawled in......then hung up her scarf and mittens to dry.
Soon after that she decided to pack up a bunch of vintage Christmas colored sewing notions and gum then flew the coop down to Utah where she will spend the rest of her wintery days. Maybe she was a pack rat. Hhmm???

Friday, September 24, 2010

I spy Friday...

I spy with my little eye...a garter snake among river rocks. (Hint below)

It's in the dead center of the photo above and here's a close up of him/her. We came across it one of our camping days when we headed to the creek to pan for gold.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Liberated House Quilt Blocks

This months submissions for Block Lotto. The block was 8.5" liberated house in which I HAD to put something in the door or window. :)

Chicken Coop
Lion's Den

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A bigger gift

Our two boys celebrate their birthdays just two weeks apart. This year we had two parties, one for family members and one for toddler friends. Since our house is so small and we're already overflowing with too much stuff, we decided to ask for a donation of Back-to-School items for a program at our church instead of toys.
I completely forgot to get the backpacks in the pic, but we also had four school size backpacks to go with it all.
Here's the rundown:
1-package peechees
1-index cards
1-Toy Story 11 pc. set
2-eraser packages
2-12 ct. color pencils
2-packages of scissors
2-packages of glue
2-of those four colored clicker pens
2-pencil boxes
2-packages of socks
2-pen/pencil holders
2-packages of paper
2-10 ct. markers
4-packages of pens
6-24 ct. crayons
8-elmers glue
9-10 ct. pencils
14-spiral notebooks

In the end, I'm SO GLAD we did the birthday's this way. Almost everyone who came brought stuff to donate. Many school kids received school supplies and WE didn't have to make room for new toys in our 800 sq.ft. house. A win/win for me!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Eagle City Park

Driving home from our bike ride along the Route of the Hiawatha gave us the idea to have our next adventure near Wallace, Idaho. Being an old mining town, there's a lot of history to check out and learn about. After some internet research, I learned about a few other mining ghost towns in that area, including Eagle City. With no obvious remains or location, we ended up tent camping on private property at a place called Eagle City Park.

We started our stay with a tour of the place by our camp host, Peewee. Now, before we met Peewee, we had concerns about what kind of place we were staying at. Well, Peewee turned out to be the nicest and most informative camp host I've ever met! He had TONS of suggestions on where to eat, what to investigate in the surrounding ghost towns and where to dig for gold on the property. :) He said "You find it, you keep it." Good enough for me!

The next day we hiked into Settler's Cedar Grove. A one mile trail where the deeper you go in, the larger the trees get...some as big as six feet in diameter!
See what I mean??
After our morning hike we had lunch in Murray at the Spragpole and toured the free museum. We soon learned that the six foot diameter trees were upwards of 1,000 years old, if not more. Insane!! The afternoon and dinner was spent at our campsite, lounging. Peewee and a few other regular camp inhabitants invited us for a spaghetti dinner. We then sat around the campfire listening to everyone's gold stories and dealings with the wildlife. The wildlife conversation was sparked by the previous nights coyote howlings. Being in between large hillsides, the howls just echoed and echoed.
Our third day we spent along Eagle Creek digging and panning for gold. We saw A LOT of wild life from the really small... the pretty large! We walked around a large clump of bushes and BAM! there this guy/gal was just fifty feet in front of us. It looked pretty young and we feared the momma being nearby, so we turned and walked back the way we came.
We also had to take an afternoon drive to put one-year old to sleep for a nap. We drove to the peak of this road...
...admired the view, then drove back down. Once low enough to where the road was two lanes again, we pulled over, rolled down the window and all four of us napped in the car in the mountains. We had about 15 minutes of natures silence and a cool breeze to relax in. At least...we tried to until a squirrel seeked us out and proceeded to chatter at us until we left.
We almost stayed a third night but changed our minds late in the day. Our drive back home took us past the Snake Pit where we had dinner. Looks a bit interesting from the outside, but is a pretty neat establishment.

All in all...I would DEFINITELY go back. Our next chance may be this October, but then it would be weather pending. Otherwise, next summer for sure! It is such a beautiful area and we FOUND GOLD!! We never did make it to Wallace, and that was the original plan. :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

I spy Friday...

I spy with my little eye....a moose in the trees. Okay, I SWEAR the moose is in this picture because 3o seconds after I took it people about 30 feet away started saying "Moose! Moose!" and I looked down, AGAIN, and there it was in that stream. SO....when I took this pic, I would have to say that it was in those trees above the stream. If I had taken this pic with a heat sensitive camera, the moose would be all lit up....right??

This was taken at the tallest train trestle on the Route of the Hiawatha bike trail. And yes, those black parts in the corner is my shutter not opening all the way up. >:|

Monday, September 13, 2010

Another Frock by Friday FAIL!!

So, you'd think that by now I would have learned to measure the patterns and test fitted them to myself to make sure I'm cutting out the right size. WRONG!! My first frock, the coffee date dress (this link is to Grosgrain's tutorial), fit perfect!

My second frock, the shirt waist dress, was WAY to big, but now fits perfect, I just still need to fix the sleeve caps.
My third frock shown above, the Tara dress (which was purchased on BurdaStyle here), is too small! I LOVE this fabric...because of it I didn't have to hem the bottom AND it was a clearance fabric for about $2 a yard. I bought 2 yards....I barely have enough to fix my error once, then after that, no more! Oh, and can you also spot what I sewed on wrong?? It's not hanging wrong, it's hanging the way I sewed it on. DOH!

I just bought some more clearance fabric...I hope to sew Grosgrain's Anda Frock by Friday next week. We'll see if that happens since toddler is now FOUR!! and starts PRESCHOOL!!! Oh where have the years gone!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

So...I was going through my photo's cuz I clean out my computer photo folder regularly and came across this one...My "Angel Snail" from YOE!! I mention it way back here, but I forgot to post about it because I received it during the hectic month of August (at least it was for me), so here it all is...There's more bath salt, seashells, flower seeds, a bookmark, a little box sign and a lavender sachet. THANK YOU VAL for being my angel. I LOVE my little burlap snail! He's PERFECT!

Friday, September 10, 2010

I spy Friday...

I spy with my little eye....a glass boat in a window sill. Really I was just playing with camera settings and kinda liked this pic. The glass reflects a lot of the green that surrounds it.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

New Friends

A few weeks ago we got a couple of new lady friends from a fellow church member...
They still have no names...I'm pondering Phyllis and Mary, not sure why. While browsing the tomato plants and watching the boys and hubby play baseball in the back yard, we got to talking about them...Phyllis just popped into my head. Not sure which one is Phyllis yet nor if Mary will stick too.
One of them has been laying an egg for us. It's been hit and miss since we got them and I'm not sure which one is laying. Now one of them is molting. It's the wrong time of year to be molting, the night temps are dipping into the high 40's. BBrrrrrr!!!! I'll be getting them a UV lamp soon so that their daylight hours remain up there and the egg laying continues.

Neither my husband nor I have ever had ducks. Everytime we hear them quacking while sitting in the living room, hubby chuckles. I guess it quacks him up! :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

I spy Friday...

I spy with my little eye...200 I Spy quilt squares! What's that you're thinking? Why yes, I did. I took the time to separate them by color and place them in rows from light to dark, all 200 of them. Now to arrange them into a quilt that creates a gradual pattern of color...kinda like a watercolor quilt only with 4" I Spy blocks instead of 2" watercolor blocks. Yes...I like watercolor quilts. Someday I hope to create one. :)