Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sneak Peak: How to do a gathering stitch the EASY way!

Ok, so I thought I would give you a sneak peak of what I have been working on... And give you a quick tip on gathering fabric. I would rather go to the dentist than gather fabric the way my pattern instructs me to, which is to stitch two loose gathering stitches around the skirt top, and hope they don't break when you pull them to gather! I guess I am not patient enough because my threads always break before they gather.

Before I start I find the center of my skirt, and my bodice, and mark with a pencil. Then, I stitch a loose zig zag stitch over regular dental floss (who knew floss could be so useful), about 1/4 inch from the raw edge you wish to gather.

Go around the entire skirt. Then simply pull the floss, and you have your gathered edge! Match the gathered skirt to your bodice. Match and pin at your side seams, and the centers first. I still don't love to do gathering fabric, but this makes it more bearable!

I can't wait for you to see the finished project, but you are going to have to wait!

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies.... with a SECRET!

This recipe comes from my dear friend Ricci! I thought I had a great chocolate chip cookie recipe until I tasted hers. They are seriously the best chocolate chip cookies I have had...EVER. She took these to my first Christmas Cookie Swap, and apologized because her fancy christmas cookies did not turn out as planned. No apologies needed Ricci, I use this recipe far more than any other cookie recipe, it is a family favorite, and it has a secret ingredient! Do you want to know what it is, yup you guessed it, the proof is in the pudding!

Ricci's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Step 1: Cream together
2 cups butter or margarine
2 cups Brown Sugar
1 1/2 Cup Sugar
4 Eggs

Step 2: Dry Ingredients
5 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp Soda

Blend dry ingredients together, and combine with butter/sugar Mixture

Step 3: Add to Mixture
1 small box French Vanilla Pudding Mix {Secret Ingredient}
1/2 tsp almond flavoring
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups Chocolate Chips
1 1/2 Cups chopped nuts (optional)

Drop in spoonfuls on ungreased cookie sheet, bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 min.

I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!

Freezer Adaption: This is a great freezer recipe. I simply make a tube out of left over dough, cover tightly in plastic wrap, then put in a freezer bag. When I am ready to use I remove dough from freezer, let thaw, and bake as directed! {I used to make cookie sized balls, and freeze, but I found they were too easy for me to sneak and eat!}

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Blog Party 2011


So, I am kind of on the fence about blog hops, but I found this blog party 2011 at Five Minutes for Mom and it looks really fun. It is more than just a blog hop, their is an emphasis on meeting new bloggers, and getting to know their blogs. You are supposed to write a post about you and your blog and link it up!
Okay first, a little about me. I am a happy Mom to three wonderfully busy kids, and wife to hunky cowboy! I have degrees in education, and was a Special Education teacher for a Jr. High for four years, I really loved it, but decided I wanted to stay home with the kids while they are little, they will only be little once. I love it, it is my full time job. My family works together on our ranch. We raise turkey and cattle, and do a little dry farming. We also like to play.... A LOT! In the winter we are all about snowmobiling, sledding, and snowball fights. In the summer we like to go boating, attempt to fish {we are not very good at it}, camp in our sheep camp, BBQ's in the backyard, and just being together.
I am a compulsively busy person, I love to bake, I always have at least three projects going on at any given time, I enjoy creating art projects with my kids, and my recent addiction is creating stuff in photoshop. So I started Ladybird Ln in January with my Sister Alyssa, to share our projects. It has been so much fun getting to meet so many fabulous bloggers, I am always amazed at the creativity out their, it has also been fun getting comments on my projects.
Here is one of my favorite sewing projects,Sassy Coin Purse with a Tape Measure Snap.
Here is one of our favorite baking projects, Dreamsicle Cookies, so yummy!
Here is our current Easter Printable.
Thanks for stopping by my blog, I am excited to explore your blog as well. Be sure to leave your blog URL in the comment.
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Friday, March 25, 2011

Winner, Winner, Pizza Dinner! And a {HUGE} Thank you too!


When I started this giveaway just over two weeks ago, I was amazed that I had 104 followers! I thought (gasp) maybe I would have 150 followers by the time this giveaway was through. I am completely blown away that I now have 343 friends! It has far exceeded my wildest expectations! The winner of the 100 gift package, chosen from Random.org, is comment number 102. Congratulations Connie! Yeah-Ha!

So, I just wanted to take a minute to say thank you! I am so flattered you all chose to follow my blog, and hopefully I won't disappoint! I have had some amazing features over the last couple weeks from fantastic blogs, and it has been so much fun!
I was even given 15 minutes of fame last week by my friend Betty (that's right we are on a first name basis)! Betty Crocker featured my Summer Dreamin' Dreamsicle Cookies on Facebook. I was downright ecstatic pretty excited, I was calling all of my family and friends, anyone who would listen. I love Betty Crocker, I am not sure how she found my recipe, but I was sure honored that she would feature me. As you can see from the picture above, this blog experienced more traffic than ever before, it was so much fun to watch! I think Dreamsicle Cookies will be the most popular post for a long time to come.

Ok, enough about me, I am truly so grateful for all the support you have given to me, and if I can do anything to return the favor let me know! Have a fantastic weekend, and congratulations Connie I hope you enjoy your 100 package!! 

P.S. Do you like my numbered comments? It turned out to be more complicated then I thought it would be until I found my new friend Susie at the 'The Computery'. Her tutorial on numbering comments, was easy to follow, and it worked on my first try. Thank you Susie!
Thanks a Million,
Carlee

Monday, March 21, 2011

Let's Go Fly a Kite-- Free Printable!

There is something so magical about flying a kite. I love to fly kites in the spring with my children. I had so much fun creating the Irish blessing printable, I thought I would try my hand at a Spring themed printable. It is so much fun having seasonal art on display. Plus, I love sharing with all of my friends, I hope you enjoy it too!

I made three different designs, and love them all. It was hard for me to decide which one to display in my house.

I love the sillouhette of this little boy, it reminds me so much of my busy little boy. I made these prints '8x10' or '10x8', so they can easily be shrunk to '5x7' if you prefer. If you click on it, you should have the full size image, but I have also put it on Photobucket here.

I love Mary Poppins, she really is 'Practically Perfect in Every Way'. This printable makes me want to break out in a song. You can find it here.

This is the one I ended up displaying in my home. It reminds me of my three kids, you can find it here!

To display my picture, I bought an inexpensive frame at the dollar store. I painted it white, and lightly distressed the edges in a light brown color. I sealed the frame with clear spray paint. I find craft paint is pretty dull, and by spraying it it helps seal it and adds a shine!

To add some bling to the frame I made a kite out of scrap paper. I mounted the kite on some foam board to give it more definition. I gave the kite a twine tail and finished it off by tying some ribbon on for the tails. I think it turned out pretty cute.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do. They are absolutely free, however, they do take a considerable amount of time to make, I would love for you to show your support by following my blog, I hope to create more printables for different seasons/holidays, in the future!

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Promenade

Every girl needs her time in the spotlight, a red carpet experience, well if you live in Sanpete County, Utah, it happens at the Junior Prom. A promenade is not something your grandmother did in the 1940's, it still goes on live and strong... well at least here in rural Utah! I don't know how long the promenade has been going on, all I know is my husband, father-in-law, and grandfather all participated in it. I was the first in my family to experience the promenade, my family moved to Sanpete County when I was in Middle School.
The Promenade is definitely an experience I wanted to share with all my bloggy buddies. It has nothing to do with baking and crafting, but it is interesting and fun (or at least I think so). My brother is a Junior this year, so we went to cheer him on!
The Jr. Prom is a process. You have two dates Friday night is the boys choice date, Saturday night is the girls choice date, so you usually have two different dates! First, you have to get a date, and no texting, or telephone calls allowed, you have to be creative to ask a guy or gal on this date. When I went to Jr. prom the boy who asked me gave me a package of Almond Joy, and a Plunger with a note that said "I would be overflowing with Joy if you would go to the prom with me" What a hoot, I wish I had a picture!
You start practicing for the prom, weeks ahead of time. You miss a lot of school, but it is OK because it is for the Prom. You also get paired up with a partner for the promenade based on your height! My brother was the fifth tallest boy this year, go Austin! The first day of the Prom (Fri) you have an assembly, and can leave school for your date around noon. Pretty much these dates last all day, and late into the night.
Now, the super exciting part... The whole WHOLE community comes out to watch the promenade, and admire the beautiful dresses...At five dollars a pop for a ticket, it is the best fundraiser the school has all year. My five year old, was in Fancy Nancy Heaven.. everything is fancy at the prom.
At the promenade first the announce each couple, (not your date, your partner based on height). They say your names, parents names, and which town you are from. It is quite exciting to see all of the dresses. Above is a picture of my brother and his height partner.
After they announce everyone, they announce the King and Queen. I like how well they match this year, don't you?
The piano chords clang, and the excitement begin. The juniors line up and make a NS (for North Sanpete of course), it is a little like Sesame Street where they make letters with people. Then they line up to form the year they graduate '12 this year. The crowd goes nuts! Parents take a sigh of relief, at least their teenagers remember something from their 11 years of schooling. I wish I had a higher seat to get the whole visual effect, use your imagination!
Then the fun begins, they do their choreographed dance to their prom theme song, this year it was "Two is better Than One" Written by Martin Johnson and Taylor Swift, Performed by Boys Like Girls featuring Taylor Swift.
They do a great job, this is the signature ending move! Boys on bended knee, holding his height partners hand.
Now my favorite part the Moms get to dance with their sons, and the Dads get to dance with their daughters! It really is very sweet!
Alyssa and I got to dance with Austin as well!
Now, the Juniors get to find their rightful date, but not before their older sister takes tons of pictures of them, aren't they cute!
Remember Austin, the prom is supposed to be fun, SMILE! I really think his date was the prettiest girl there! I love her miniature hat hair accessory, so fun! Austin's date Amanda designed her own dress, and hair thing, her Aunt made the dress, AMAZING!
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed your field trip to North Sanpete High School's Prom... The prom will be talked about in beauty salons, Casey's Cafe, and the post office for weeks to come. I really DO think this is a great tradition, and I hope it is still going on when my kids are Juniors.
In the spirit of fun, I thought I would include my sister and I's Prom photos!
I was hoping their was no candle light dinner, or my hair might spontaneously combust with all of that hairspray! Does my date look 'Overflowing with Joy'?
And here is cute Alyssa, she is always the belle of the ball!
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hooded Towels: Easy, Affordable, Homemade gift!

If you can sew two strait lines, you can make a fabulous hooded towel, they are SO EASY! I love to give useful handmade gifts! I make hooded towels for baby gifts, and for gifts for little kids. They always go over great! Little kids especially love their own towel, their name embroidered on the towel is icing on the cake! The BEST part of this towel, is you can easily make it for under $10
Items Needed for TWO: I make these towels in pairs because one hand towel will make two hoods, then I have an extra towel for the next birthday party or baby shower!
2-Towels (I like to buy mine at JC Penny's)
1-Hand towel
1-Yard of ribbon per towel
Step 1: Cut the hand towel in half across the width of the towel.
Step 2: Find the center of the hand towel and towel widthwise along each towel. Pin in place, right sides(if your towel has a 'right side') and finished edges together.
Step 3: Sew together, with a strait stitch, reinforce with a zig zag stitch. The above picture is what your towel should like after completing this step.
Step 4: Fold the hand towel, and towel right sides together. Sew the raw (cut) edge of the hand towel together. Reinforce with a zig zag stitch. Turn right-side out. You now have a hooded towel! Simple, right?
Tip: Start sewing at the finished edge of the hand towel and sew toward the folded end. This will make sure your hood is even.
Step 5: Decorate! You can get as fancy or as simple as you would like. I top-stitch a decorative border, just above the towels border. I burn the ends of the ribbon with a lighter so the ribbon does not fray. My friend embroiders the child name to finish it off!
Price Break Down:
Towel: $4 on sale (7.99 original)
1/2 hand towel: $1.50
1 yard of ribbon: $1 or less
Embroidering $2 per ribbon
Total: $8.50
As you can see these towels are a big hit with my kids! I thought I would share some towels I have made in the past!
Princesses are always a big hit with the little girls! Walmart has fun Disney Character ribbon.
To infinity, and definitely beyond!
I love this cute jungle print for the baby!
I love this wide pink and brown ribbon I found at Michael's.
This is probably my favorite boy towel, I used old jeans for a border, with large brown rick-rac in the center.
There you have it a simple, affordable, homemade gift!
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