Saturday, February 28, 2009

I have time to sew today!

Because we're a two-church family (we attend both together, and we each belong and serve in one of the two churches), it's a rare weekend when I have a Saturday morning to enjoy being home. But this is such a weekend, and I'm going to head up the sewing room soon.

Actually, it's not just a sewing room. It's also our guest room, my exercise room, and the home of my husband's closet (he graciously agreed to let me have the big double closet in our bedroom). But it's my sewing room this morning, and I'm anxious to get back there again.

First, I need to do some mending. There are pants to shorten, a pajama top to mend, a sweater hole to take care of, and then I think I'm free to do something creative again. I'll probably cut a backing for a tablerunner that I started just after New Year's this year. My sweet and thoughtful sister shared a pattern for what is called a "Scrappy Do Tablerunner." It's basically just squares of fabric scraps, but it was a really simple pattern to follow. I used pretty spring-like colors, primarily shades of pinks and roses, blues and greens, with the thought that this could either be a wedding gift or a decoration for a tea party table...I've always wanted to host a lady's tea at our house.

In any case, that's my plan this morning, but I thought I'd also use this post to share a sewing project that I made for a Christmas gift last year. It's a pieced and quilted lingerie bag, not the kind that you wash your delicates in, but the kind that you could use in a suitcase or a dresser drawer to keep silky or lacy things from becoming snagged. I made two of them, as I often do, thinking that I might need the other for another gift sometime, or I might just keep it for myself. If I do give it away, I think I'll need to make a couple more, so that I can keep one in the end.

Whatever you're doing today, I hope that you have a chance to do something that feels like play to you. For me, crafts and sewing feel like play...Thank you, Lord, for a quiet home Saturday morning!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Homemade Applesauce...the Easy Way

Another project this winter has been using apples from my father's apple tree. They were very small, so I didn't really want to take the time to peel and core each apple to make anything from them. But then I read that you could just wash and quarter them, and then use a food mill to separate out the peels and seed and stems, etc.

It worked really well! And I loved the way that the pretty red peels colored my applesauce. Now, when I look at the pale applesauce in the grocery store, it doesn't look nearly as appetizing to me as my homemade applesauce. does. I froze most if it in pint-sized freezer containers so that I can pull out a small container whenever I want some applesauce for baking or just to flavor nonfat plain yogurt for a treat at lunch. (Hint: This really tastes great with a sprinkle of granola on top!)

More from the Artisan bread book

I'm still having a lot of fun baking bread from the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I made challah again earlier this month when we had friends join us after church on Saturday. I know that the bread was a success, because it disappeared really fast! I also made chicken soup, and one of our guests brought apple crisp for dessert. It was a really fun day, and one that we definitely want to do again soon!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Back again!...Sorry for the long silence.

Well, I can't believe that it's been so long since my last post on this blog. I'm almost tempted to start a different one, but I guess this is what I started, so I'm going to keep going here.

Long story short, I was busy with Christmas (lots of homemade gifts and extra cooking and baking), and I also have been busy off and on with a little extra work beyond my day job.

My husband's work has been slow since the economy has slowed down, and though he has more piano students now than ever before, the handyman work he's doing this week is the first he's had since last October. So when I was offered a free-lance editing job helping with a pastor's doctoral dissertation, I jumped at the opportunity to help a bit more with our family's income.

Originally, I had turned it down, in favor of suggesting another person we know who had been laid off and whose wife was expecting another baby. But that other person turned it down, for some reason, and the offer came back to me. And I've really been enjoying the project, especially since it can be confined to weekends, when I don't have such long days working and commuting to the city.

We ended up being paid most of what I'll earn for this free-lance job as a lump sum just before the end of the year, and since we've been managing on my ministry income and my husband's income from teaching piano, we set aside the lump sum in a new savings account just to use for auto repair and eventual replacement...God is so faithful to provide for all of our needs. We've been wanting to start an emergency auto account for quite some time now, but we didn't enough the money to do it until now. So, while we're both praying and asking the Lord to help our cars keep running as long as possible, we're thankful that He has given us some money now to cover some of the expense of repair or buying a new vehicle when that need is here.

In the meantime, I made many of our Christmas gifts, and I made more than a dozen Valentine cards recently to share with family and friends. And then, just this weekend I made some things for a friend who has a birthday this month. I need to put some of my photos on here, but right now I thought that I should just get off the block and write a new post for this poor little neglected blog before another day passes.

I'm sorry to my friends who checked here over the past few months and wondered what had happened to me. I'm especially sorry for my blogging friend Leslie who posted a comment on this blog back in November giving me the URL of her new blog. I really feel bad about not looking here and seeing that comment. But I'm so thankful that she's blogging again, and that I can read and catch up on her life again. I had missed reading your posts, Shorty. Thanks for sending me your URL.

Until next time...Lord willing, within the next week when I hope to write again.