Monday, December 27, 2010

Slushy Syrup

Abby was very happy to get her very own Slushy Machine for Christmas.  She requested a blizzard maker, but since we already have 2 different types of ice cream churns, I'm glad her grandparents decided to go with this instead.  You can get one at Toys R Us. We tried it out on Christmas night and it did a great job of shaving the ice.  Much better than doing it in the blender like we have tried before. 

The syrup mix on the other hand was disgusting.  What a letdown for a kid that just made her first slushy.  We tried the orange flavor and it tasted slightly orangey and very chemically.  So, today, I made my own syrup using the recipe below, and we all had wonderful grape slushys for an afternoon snack.  Abby was a very happy little girl.

Slushy Syrup
1 cup water
1 packet unsweetened Kool Aid mix
1 3/4 cups sugar

Put everything in a small pot on the stovetop and heat on medium until the sugar is completely dissolved.  Allow it to cool.  We re-used a water bottle with a sports bottle top to store ours in and make it super easy to pour over our shaved ice.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Grape Salad

Ok, since I keep having requests for this recipe, I thought I would put it on my blog so you don't have to call, e-mail, or text me and then wait for me to find the recipe and then actually remember to send it to you.  Sorry, I don't have a picture to post with it right now.  And for anyone who hasn't eaten this whenI have made it, I only call it salad to make it sound healthy.  It is soooo yummy!

Grape Salad

2 lbs grapes (1 lb red & 1 lb green)
2- 8 oz pkgs cream cheese or neufchatel cheese

1 cup sour cream
1/2 to 1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Mix cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla with mixer then stir in grapes with a spoon. Put in refrigerator.

1 cup pecans (can use more)
3/4 of a stick butter (use more if needed depending on how many pecans you use)
1/2 cup brown sugar

Melt butter, add brown sugar and nuts. Bake at 350 F for 15 - 20 minutes (do not overbake or it will be so hard it will break your teeth once it has cooled). Cool mixture a few minutes then sprinkle over grape mixture. Can be served right away, but I like to refrigerate mine until the topping gets hard first.

And just to be clear, I am not the original creator of this recipe.  It was given to me by Glenda Easley, a friend of my hubby's parents.  By far one of my favorite recipes I have ever recieved.

Friday, October 22, 2010

2nd Grade Catapult Invention

As we were walking in the house after school yesterday at 3:00, Aly says "I have to take my catapult to school tomorrow"  My response was Uummm, what are you talking about?  What catapult?  We don't have a catapult."  Then she tells me she is supposed to make one.  Apparently she got the note about it from her teacher on Monday or Tuesday and just forgot to tell us about it since it wasn't put in her regular folder that we check every day. 

Normally, this wouldn't have been an issue, but yesterday, it was because Abby's music program started at 6:00 which I had also forgotten about until Abby mentioned it on the way home from school.  That meant I had 3 hours to fix after school snacks, do homework, get everybody ready, figure out how to make a catapult, and actually make the darn thing. 

Oh, and Abby said her teachers told her she HAD to take a bath or else they wouldn't let her sing, and that she had to dress pretty and have her hair fixed.  After all, she was going to be singing on stage and standing on risers.  Huge deal when you are 5 years old apparently.  I think in her mind, if she tells us her teachers said she had to do something then we are much more likely to actually let her do it. 

So HERE is the catapult we would have liked to make, but since I had NO wood to work with at our house unless you count some half rotten tomato stakes and landscape timbers.

They had been learning about a man that made lots of inventions and they were supposed to build their own catapult as an invention.  While I would have loved to build the nice fancy catapult we found online, ours was definitely more inventive, which I have to keep telling myself was the whole point of this assignment.  There were really no rules, the note just said encourage your child to build a catapult and help out as you see fit.  They were having a marshmallow shooting contest with them at school today.
And this is the catapult Aly and I actually built yesterday. 
After looking for a few minutes online and not finding anything we had all the supplies for, we set out to invent our own catapult.  I had the idea to use a popsicle stick and the chip clip.  After playing with these 2 things for a minute I told Aly I didn't think the popsicle stick was strong enough and we needed to find something stronger, she suggested we try using 5 or 6 popsicle sticks.  Way to go my inventive little girl.  The problem was, how to stick them together.  I was almost out of tape, and had NO hot glue sticks left.  There wasn't enough time to let wood or school glue dry.  Bring on the rubber bands!  First we rubber banded all 5 popsicle sticks together, and then we used more rubber bands to attach them to the chip clip.  Aly said we should use my coke bottle lid to hold the marshmallow, but when we tried it, it was too small.  They were going to use regular size marshmallows at school.  We went with a Gatorade bottle lid instead and it was the perfect size.

So, we had our catapult, but it was a little hard for Aly to use.  She said we needed to glue it to a board or something so she would have something to hold onto to make it easier to shoot the marshmallows.  We screwed 2 pieces of rotten tomato stakes together and then used more rubber bands to hold our catapult to the wood block. 

Success!  Our first marshmallow flew from our dinner table, over the refrigerator and landed somewhere in the kitchen where we never found it.  They all had fun shooting their marshmallows at school today.  And while Aly's didn't shoot the farthest, she did come in 3rd place and she was very excited that hers hit the ceiling in her classroom.
Aly posing with her catapult.

 Being such a great big sister helping Abby hold the catapult so she could shoot it better.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Wood Halloween Pendants

Wow, 2 posts in one week.  School has been keeping me very busy so there has been very little crafting in my life the past couple of months, much less blogging about what I make.  Here is a super quick and easy craft just in time for Halloween.  I will be making some more durable Christmas ones to sell at a craft show on the weekend after Thanksgiving in McConnells, SC. 

Supplies (all from Hobby Lobby): Mod Podge, Scrapbook Paper, 1" wooden disks, and larger jump rings. 

Cut out round pieces about the same size as your wooden disks.  I glued them down with Mod Podge.  Then I sanded down any edges that might be hanging off.  That was easier than getting the circles cut perfectly.  I put 2 coats of Mod Podge on top of each one.  Use Triple Thick on top if you have the 3 or so days to wait for them to dry.  It will be more durable than Mod Podge, but since it is already so close to Halloween, I went the fast route for these.

Drill a small hole close to the top, slide your jump ring through, and pinch closed.  My jump rings were big enough and bent easily enough I didn't even have to go find pliers!

Slip them onto a piece of cording and pass them out to your little girls best friends who just so happen to live in the neighborhood.  Pumpkin for Abby, Bat for Aly, Ghost for Taylor, and Frankenstein for Evelyn.

It took me just 3 hours which included driving to the store where I saw the inspirational halloween scrapbook paper, tracked down wooden disks and jump rings, picked the girls up from school, made an afternoon snack, did homework with both girls, cooked supper, found the drill, charged the dead battery for the drill, and finally delivered the finished necklaces.

Total cost not including Mod Podge or cording $4.42 and you will have enough to make 12 with lots of jump rings left over.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

On the Machine

A German Dirndl for my friend Angel.  Finally something fun and slightly challenging for me to make.  I am having so much fun with this project for some reason.  Hopefully it turns out well and Angel will let me post some pictures of her wearing it.  I am using the BurdaStyle 6038.

I have mixed feelings about the pattern.  The pieces are going together great.  That is after I finally figured out how to put it together pretty much by myself.  The instructions that came with the pattern are probably the worst instructions I have ever seen.  EVER! 
Thankfully, Grosgrain has made her version/ interpritation of the dress and posted some wonderful instructions.  She added piping to the front seams and also put a zipper in the back, but you can still pretty much follow her directions and just leave out the zipper and piping.  Changing her instructions is definately easier than trying to follow the ones Burda gives you with the pattern.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

First Day of School- Michael Miller Style!


Sorry for the horrible pictures, but it was 7:00 am with low light and a camera with a foggy lens because of the humidity.
Mama made Aly's outfit on Saturday.  She used McCalls pattern number 6062 for the top and the shorts are from a scrubs costume pattern she bought a few years ago that I can't seem to find the number for, sorry.
Abby's skirt is my version of Pink Fig's Girly Stripwork Skirt.  I take my basic starting point from her pattern measurements, but then change pretty much everything there is on it.  This skirt was actually made for Aly, but the girls are so close in size now, that they agreed to share skirts so they could both have more styles to wear.

They do love each other, sometimes anyway!

Me, my Mama, and the girls had a great visit to Mary Jo's Cloth store last Friday.  It was so much fun and I got to pick out some Michael Miller fabric which I can never justify paying $9-$10/ yard for at the quilt shop.  Mary Jo's sells it for less than $6.49-$6.89/ yard so I went a little nuts.  I ended up with 10 different Michael Miller fabrics.  I was one happy girl!  Still am since I still get to decide what else to make.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Insulated Lunch Bags

Well, it's almost that time again.  Everywhere you turn there are back to school sales.  I have completely finished buying Aly's supplies and have most of Abby's taken care of too.  Just a few things like Clorox wipes and Dixie cups left to buy for her, not the actual school supplies like crayons, markers, glue, etc.  I try to stock up on those things each year when they are really cheap so the next year I can just pull them out of my file cabinet drawer and not have to spend so much money all at once on everything either. 
With everything else mostly taken care of, I got this bug to make the girls both new lunchboxes for school this year.  Not that there was anything functionally wrong with their old ones, I just wanted some to better fit their personalities, and not be some cartoon character.

I started with a 99 cent McCalls pattern.  I made one from the pattern, and it turned out just ok, not great, just ok.  Then, I altered the pattern to make a smaller one with a shorter handle and better insulation.  And, while I liked the finished product, they made it way harder than it should have been to make that style bag.  So what did I do? 

Drafted my own pattern for the bag in 2 different sizes.  Then I got all technical (for me anyway) and scanned my pattern pieces and wrote up step by step instructions with lots of pictures and made that into a PDF pattern so I could put it in my Etsy shop.  Pattern available HERE.

I got one of the $1 fat quarters from Wal-Mart for Aly's.  Abby picked out her Owl fabric from Hancock Fabrics.  I like owls, but Abby LOVES owls.  Anything to do with them, reading books with real facts about them, cartoon owls, clothes, literally anything.  We found this fabric within 60 seconds of entering the store.  I tried showing her some really cute fabric with birds in birdcages on it and all she said was "those are birds, not owls".  That's Abby.  There were several other cute owl fabrics, but she kept hugging this one tight saying she wanted it. 

I made both of these in the larger size since we use re-usable containers for drinks (way cheaper and better for the environment).  The smaller size is great if you are sending juice boxes or capri-sun type pouches.  And no, I won't hold it against you if you choose to send those, it's just not what we choose to use.

I just need to make some matching luggage tags to hook on the strap so I can put their names on them.  I just can't make myself Sharpie their names over all this cuteness!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

I ended up just printing these out to choose a winner since there were only 10 entries.
I cut them  apart and folded into itty bitty squares.
Put them in a lovely plastic orange bowl and gave them a few tosses to mix them up good.
Then I found an unsuspecting kid that can't read big words yet...
Stood directly between her and the TV with cartoons on it....
(no I did not pose Hoot there, she drags him everywhere, makes this mama so happy to see them love things I make for them!)
Told her to choose one piece of paper...
And she unfolded it to reveal......
So, Pamela, let me know if you want the orange or white ribbon and I will make sure you get it!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Birthday Boquet

Linked up for Sew and Tell Fridays.  Remember to enter my giveaway; I'm taking entries through Saturday.

If you haven't figured it out yet, I really, really, like to stretch out my birthday for as long as possible. I'm getting an early start this year! I made myself 2 gifts already.

The first is this adorabl little hair pin. I used one of the few little slivers of fabric I have left that used to be my Great Aunt Bertha's. You can find the super easy tutorial at Poppy Chic Designs. She used a 4 x 4 inch square, but the biggest size I could cut was 2 1/2" x 2 1/2". It turned out the perfect size. When I was finished, I just hot glued it to a hair pin with a little disc on it.

The second, I finally got around to making myself a scrabble tile pendant. I just love the design on this one. Actually, I love just about anything vintage, especially fabric. This was a fabric swatch I saw online this morning and just fell in love with it. Granted the original is much prettier, but, $18 a yard is just slightly out of my price range, so I went with this instead. I still have to wait 3 days or so for the glaze to dry, but it will be ready before my birthday!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Birthday Giveaway!

So, exactly one week from today is my birthday! 7-11, you know, just like the convenience store.
Ok, so you want to see what you can win and how to enter?

You can win, this adorable little orange owl scrabble tile pendant with the letter S on the back, and choose either the orange ribbon necklace shown here or a white satin cord necklace to put it on.

Earn one entry for each thing you do!

1. Leave me Happy Birthday wishes.
2. Visit my Etsy shop and tell me what your favorite item is.
3. Blog or let your friends on facebook know so they can enter.
4. "Like" Becky Ann Designs on Facebook.
5. Become a follower or subscribe to emails. If you're already a follower, make sure leave a comment to tell me.

Make sure to leave me a separate comment for each thing you do. I will use to pick a winner. And make sure I have a way to contact you. I will accept entries through Saturday, July 10th and announce the winner in a post on my birthday. GOOD LUCK!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Fabric Key Chains

These are so much fun to make! And the best part is, you don't have to order any supplies online to make this version. This is a very basic tutorial showing the first one I made. Feel free to make yours longer, shorter, wider or thinner. I plan on making lots more to sell in my Etsy shop and at the Pendleton Farmer's Market.

Scraps of Fabric
Fusible Interfacing- medium to heavy weight
Oval Ring
Key Ring

Cut out all your pieces.
2 pieces of fabric 1 3/4 x 9" (make the width the same as your oval ring)
2 pieces of interfacing 1 1/2 x 8 1/2 (this cuts down on bulk in seam allowances)

Fuse your interfacing to the wrong side of your fabrics.

Put fabrics right sides together and stitch down both long sides, leaving both short ends open. Turn it right side out and press. This is where you should topstitch down each long side. I am pointing this out because I forgot to do it on mine and it is bugging me now.
Another option if you are making narrower keychains, is to sew just 1 long side, then press under the seam allowance on the other long side and stitch it up. I'll try to post a picture of what I'm talking about here later when I make one that way.

Now, put the fabric strip through your oval ring and fold it in half. Tip: put the side of the oval ring where the ends meet towards the outside. Stitch the ends of the strip together.
Now, turn it so that the seam is on the inside. I scooted my seam down a little bit so it wasn't directly on the top.

Topstitch over the seam close to the oval ring to hold everything in place.
Add your keyring and keys and you are all done!

A few things I noticed only AFTER I looked at this picture:
1) What is that blue plastic thing and how long has it been taking up space on my keychain?
2) I forgot to topstitch and it is really bugging me!
3) Why do I have to have 10 different discount cards just to get the sale prices at stores. Ok, so 1 is my library card, and 2 of them I only shop at a few times a year, but don't want to have to fill out another form every time I go.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Freezing Corn on the Cob

First, get yourself a big 'ol bag of FRESH corn from the farmer's market or roadside stad. Grocery store corn is NOT acceptable to this farm raised girl. I would rather not eat corn at all than eat grocery store, over ripe, starchy, who knows how many days it has been picked for corn. I robbed from mine my brother's corn field early in the morning with a little help from the girls.

Shuck and silk the corn and cut off any bad spots. Bring a huge pot of water to a boil. When you put your ears of corn in, it will stop boiling.

When it starts boiling again, it's time to take the ears out. Immediately put them in a large bowl or your sink filled with ice water to stop the cooking process. This was my last batch below, so just pretend like there is WAY more ice in there.

Line them up on a cookie sheet and put it in the freezer. It's ok to stack them on top of each other. I set mine down in the deep freezer as soon as I get the first batch done and just add to it as I go.

Leave them in there until the next morning so they get nice and frozen solid. Then, just throw them into freezer bags.

I use gallon bags so I don't have so many floating around getting lost in the freezer. And since they were frozen in layers, on the cookie sheet they won't be all stuck to gether in the bag and you can just pull out however many you need for each meal.