Yellowstone Photo Book

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Jul 312012

I’m working on a photo book of our trip to Montana and Yellowstone National Park. I’m using Snapfish, which I’ve used quite a bit before and liked the results. I’m curating the photos – trying to decide the length of the book and what to include / what to exclude and how long it should be.

Summertime Grilled Chicken Supper

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Jul 302012

On a warm summer Sunday, I always like to indulge my urge to cook out on the grill. Tonight I made grilled chicken thighs, corn on the cob, and white rice with basil. I did have a big assist from Alvaro – he made the marinade for the chicken. Here’s the story of a summer supper in photos:

Corn on the cob soaking in a pot before it goes on the grill – it keeps the husks from burning.
Chicken thighs on the grill.
Corn and chicken grilling.

Chicken, corn and herbed rice.

Of course, always with one eye on the Olympics – those synchronized divers are crazy!

New Bracelet, Interrupted

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Jul 292012

I must’ve done something to my wrist yesterday or today because its really bothering me. I started to work on a new bracelet but it hurt too much to continue so Ive put it aside for now.

It’s also hurting to type, so that’s it for tonight!

The Olympics Are On, So

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Jul 282012

We had a great play date this morning with some close friends, followed by a visit to Ama’s house and then an evening at the local community parade. Now I’m glued to the TV watching the opening ceremony (tape delayed – thanks NBC).

No project today, but no regrets! Life happens. There might be a few more days like this coming up as my free time is consumed by the games.

Tilapia with Peppers and Onions

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Jul 272012
Tilapia with peppers and onions, brocolli and white rice on a blue plate

Tilapia with peppers and onions, served with white rice and a side of steamed brocolli, is a delicious and easy weeknight meal.

Tonight was a quick dinner – pan-friend tilapia smothered with onions and sweet bell peppers, served with steamed rice and broccoli.

Super easy and super kid friendly (my kids aren’t into fried onions and peppers so I left it off their portions).

Tilapia with Peppers and Onions, serves 4

4 tilapia filets
2 sweet bell peppers, cored seeded and sliced
1 yellow onion, sliced
california style garlic salt
salt and pepper
cayenne pepper
apple cider vinegar
olive oil for sauteing

1.  Heat olive oil in a heavy frying pan over medium heat, then add the onion and pepper slices and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until they are browned and wilted, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with cayenne pepper (I used about 1/2 teaspoon) and a splash of cider vinegar and cook for a minute more. Put the mixture into a bowl and set aside.

2. Season the tilapia filets with the garlic salt. Heat more olive oil (if needed) in the same pan over medium heat, add the filets, and cook. Depending on the thickness of the filets, this should take about 4 minutes for each side.

3. Put each filet on a plate, top with some of the peppers and onions, and serve with a wedge of lemon for squeezing on top, if desired.

Little Girl’s Headscarf Tutorial

 sew it  Comments Off on Little Girl’s Headscarf Tutorial
Jul 252012

My dear friend sent my kids a package today, and one of the gifts inside was a lovely little girl’s headscarf. It looks absolutely darling on my daughter, and it looked like it might be so simple to make. Turns out it was – here’s how I did it, and it took me less than an hour (seamstresses might scoff at how long that is, but I’m no pro)!

First I found a lightweight cotton fabric to use (I wanted to mimic the light cotton of the original scarf, but it certainly could be made with a heavier weight fabric). I cut two rectangles, using the measurements of the original – the bigger rectangle (the headpiece) measured 7″ x 16″, and the smaller rectangle (the elastic casing) measured 2″ x 10″.

fabric pieces laid out on an ironing board for a little girl's headscarf

measuring the fabric for the girl’s headscarf

Next I pressed the smaller rectangle in half (right sides together) and sewed the open long side to make a tube for the elastic. I pressed a small seam on either long side of the larger rectangle (folding the front side over and pressing it to the back), and stitched each seam.

Both the large and small rectangle for a girl's headscarf, pieced, stitched and pressed.

After each section has been pieced together, stitched and pressed.

I turned the tube right side out (it might be helpful to use a pencil to help push the fabric) and then added the elastic (I used 6-1/2″ of 3/4″ elastic because that’s what I had on hand) and sewed it to each end of the tube – the fabric will bunch between the ends so that there is room for the elastic to stretch.

Finally I folded pleats into each end of the larger rectangle, folded the ends back to hide the unfinished portion and wrapped them around the smaller rectangle with elastic inside. One simple line of stitches on each end and I was done! My baby’s sleeping now – can’t wait to try it on her tomorrow morning.

All done! The store-bought girl’s headscarf is on the left.


Mapping My Mind

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Jul 242012

Working on a ‘mindmap’ today to help outline a writing project I’ve got buzzing around up there in said mind.

Also, take a look at the bunny we made for a rousing game of ‘Pin the Tail on the Bunny’:

Its hard to tell the scale here, but the bunny measures about 3 feet in length.

Jul 232012

My son grew out of a favorite pair of jeans, and because the knees were both ripped out I couldn’t donate them. I stuck them into my fabric stash and then started pondering what to do with them. I had the idea to make a headband, or a head wrap, using the denim from the jeans.

I decided to try to make a braided headband, so I cut strips from the jeans and then knotted them together as for a friendship bracelet. That so did not work out well. After I finished the braid I could already see it was a failure, so I didn’t take any more time to finish the headband.

If anyone can think of another use for this, or a way to salvage it, let me know!

Creation Station

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Jul 222012

I went to such a fun place today – my daughter went to a friend’s birthday party at Creation Station. It’s a crafts store meets junk shop meets art studio. The party was in the back studio room, and the kids (and grownups) had about an hour to make whatever they wanted from the materials in the room.

And this room, I wish I had taken photos of it. All four walls were lined with barrels and bins and racks filled with the most random assortment of materials – all recycled or surplus items – tubes and bottles and stickers and fabrics and CDs and wood scraps and things I couldn’t even identify. All the kids had so much fun grabbing things to use and taping them together. I got inspired and started on a headband, but ran out of time before I could really execute it.

At the end of the party the kids all got a goodie bag to fill with materials from the bulk bins. They were all so excited to go home with more art supplies to work with. I didn’t have time to browse the store, but I’d love to go back and look at all they’ve got – I’ve already got projects in mind!