Thursday, December 12, 2013

Recent

A fun cake that Crandon's sisters made for his birthday--so creative!

One of my dishes to share for our Thanksgiving dinner.  Fresh Lime & Pineapple Fluff - grown up "jello salad"!

Our little man with Grandpa K, all dressed up for Thanksgiving.

And with Grandpa Y.

A little relaxing with Grandma Y!

Isn't this porch ceiling neat?  If we hadn't just painted ours a lovely glossy white I'd be really thinking about a nice sky blue... :-)

And the house it belongs to.  Love the style of this place.  No, we aren't house shopping, just having fun looking at a vacant house in a state park!

This picture makes me grin!

Monday, December 9, 2013

'Flip' Diaper Inserts - Tutorial

I had a terrible time making my own inserts for my Flip diaper covers!  I've made wedding gowns, slipcovers, draperies and more, but these silly inserts had me in a sweat and seriously doubting my sewing abilities!

Ultimately, the issue was that my serger will not handle multiple layers of microfiber.  This fabric seems to stick on the machine and the needle.  With only one layer of microfiber and one layer of some sort of fleece I finally found success.

So, in case this is helpful to anyone out there, I decided to give a quick picture tutorial on how I finally managed to sew these things:

1.  Cut one piece of microfiber towel to finished size.  Cut two pieces of microfiber towel about 3/4" smaller all around.
(I used a Flip insert to determine the size and then flared the back a bit wider to have less of the PUL on the cover against baby's bottom.)

2. Use a wide, long zig-zag stitch and a walking foot to attach the inner microfiber soaker layers to the back microfiber piece.

3. Sandwich wicking layer on top of the microfiber piece.  I used a soft cuddly minky print.  It was not wicking at first - actually totally repelled liquid!  Disaster...  Thankfully it wicked after several washes!  I recommend that you research your fabrics and test them first!

4. Pin.

5. Serge around edges and weave in the serger tail.

All Done!

Incidentally, I am very happy with the Flip covers and their inserts, as well as the inserts I made.  I've been using them all for about five months now.  I did have the PUL on most of my covers break down after three months, but customer service was great!  They replaced the damaged covers and talked through my cleaning process to figure out why I had this issue.  Apparently hanging them outside for hours on hot summer days, even sheltered from sun, is hard on the fabric.  So I dry them indoors now, or for a very limited time outside.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Why Didn't I Know This?

I recently came across a tip for successful peeling of hard-boiled eggs.  Fresh eggs, in particular, can be very challenging to peel, especially if you are hoping for anything pretty enough to stuff and put on a plate!  

For easy-to-peel eggs simply tap the raw egg shell just hard enough that you hear that "uh-oh" sound of a cracked egg.  The crack will be just a hairline, hard to even see.  Proceed to boil as usual (I start with eggs in cold water, bring to a boil, cover and turn off heat and let sit for 12 minutes before rinsing in cold water.)  

The cracks will open slightly but often the membranes remain intact.


This picture is just because the shell was so pretty - light olive green on the outside and a lovely aqua on the inside.


These eggs, below, are very fresh and all but one peeled very easily.


I have read and heard so many suggestions for how to make perfect hard-boiled eggs, but this was a new one to me!  And it really works!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Verse

The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy!

~Psalm 126:3

A verse I ran across and it started me thinking on all the many blessings that we have been given.  The arrival of our little boy is our most precious blessing in 2013!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Lefse!

I'm half norwegian.  My mom's parents are first generation canadians and so grew up with many scandinavian foods and traditions.  Until recently I hadn't really thought much about my heritage, but as I've paid more attention, through reading books and asking questions of family members, I've realized that norwegian-american culture has definitely helped shape who I am!

Things I've Noted:

I like to say that coffee drinking is in my blood--
putting on the coffee and pulling out cookies when company arrive is very scandinavian.

I love fish and dairy of all kinds, both integral to scandinavian cuisine;
I seem to have missed out on the potato loving gene, though...

The yuletide tradition of a buffet meal with meats, cheeses, pickles of all sorts, rolls, sweets, and all manner of rich foods is very familiar to me.

And most of all, I appreciate the hard-working, stoic, faithful family legacy I have been given.


Last trip up to visit family included Lefse-making with my great aunt and my sister.  Aunt Mildred learned to make lefse from her mother and it was a real treat to get to make it with her.  Lefse, for those unfamiliar with the food, is often described as a potato pancake but I think it is really closest to a potato tortilla in shape and texture.

We start with a big bowl of mashed potatoes, made the night before.  Done with milk, butter and salt.
We add flour to make a dough.  No measurements, just "feel"! 

The dough needs to be a consistency to roll out quite thin, without sticking and without breaking apart when transferring to the griddle.

My turn to try rolling.

Not getting any points for roundness!

Aunt Mildred shows us how to use a long stick to move the prepared dough to the griddle.

There's a trick to carrying the lefse,

and turning it over, sort of rolling it off the stick.

Naomi's turn to roll.

I'm using a little cloth to swipe the excess flour from the griddle, so it doesn't burn and stick on the next lefse.

Lefse flipping in action!

Notice the cup of coffee, necessary to accompany any project.

And, finally, enjoying the end result, kept warm in a big pot in the oven as we cooked them one at a time.  Best enjoyed with butter and jam or sugar!

Grandpa likes lefse too!

Crandon trying it for the first time, and our little guy wondering when he gets some!

Yummm!

 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Snapshots of Our Week

AnnaBelle and Gypsy got vaccines!


Naomi spent the day with me and we made cream puffs and milked.


My sister looks very comfortable out milking a cow!

This is my milking equipment: bucket for udder wash, bucket for milk bottle, natural fly spray, thermos with ice to start the milk cooling, blue towels for washing and drying, shovel for clean-up jobs, nice sturdy bench to set it all on! :-)



Little guy waiting in the front seat for Auntie and Cousin to arrive for a picnic at the park!



Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Painting: Before & After

We are actually not entirely done painting, but the whole front and the porch are finished so I thought I'd give the comparison pictures anyway.  I am so happy with how it's turned out!  I really like the two colors of green and the fresh off-white trim.  I had fun planting a few hanging pots to put between our newly trimmed porch posts too!



Nice and fresh.



I envision some little lights reflecting in our glossy white ceiling someday.



And maybe a couple pretty tree roses on each side of the front steps!

A Sunday Evening Walk

We went and walked at a near-by park on Sunday evening, just in time to enjoy a beautiful October sunset.  We are having lovely warm days with bright blue skies, and crisp cool fall mornings.  I love this time of year!





Stroller riding with Mommy must be kind of boring...