Saturday, July 28, 2012

Raggamuffin Swags

This wasn't meant to be another Christmas in July. The only photo of rag swags that I have made is this one from Christmas even though I made a regular one about 3 feet long for my cousin's bedroom about 6 years ago.

This one was made from Christmas trinkets for packages and/or ornaments to hang on the tree.

If you want to make one before the fall run to Hobby Lobby as they have a lot of Christmas items out now. This one is made from ribbon and pieces cut from scraps of fabric. The NOEL and  felt mitten was most likely bought at Hobby Lobby. The jingle bell came from the Dollar Tree.

 I used red clothes pins that are decorated with wooden or plastic snowflakes to put on the ends not only for decoration but also to clip on to the package or tree. White package string was used on which to tie all the scraps and ribbon. You could use white cording that is used to line piping to hold the ribbon and fabric as well.

If you'd rather make a large decorative swag for anytime of the year, this coastal swag at The Shabby Creek Cottage is the bomb. It's in some of my favorite colors - and the ones we have in our kitchen. The mini-lights on this garland take the whole idea up a notch. Check it out for yourself.

Recently, Target had red, white, and blue strings of lights marked down. They could be used with those colors of fabric and ribbon for a fourth of July swag. I think a Halloween one would be cute, or do one in pinks and purples for a little girl's birthday party or girl's bedroom, etc., etc., etc.

Hope you are having a great summer.

Candace Mommie

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pizza Dough - Lessons in Junior Chef School

Yesterday was our first attempt at Junior Chef School. Me as the chef teaching Wonder Boy.

First thing, he made pizza dough. Measured everything by himself and mixed it up. I added a little more water and instructed him to keep mixing it with his hands. Wonder Boy loved that.

The best dough recipe I've ever used is from an article Russ Parsons from the Los Angeles Times wrote years ago from a chef named Chris Bianco of Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix. Here's the website if you are in the neighborhood and want to check them out. I don't even know when the article was written. In the 1990's or possible early 2000's. Anyhow, Pizzeria Bianco must be great if this crust is any indication.

The recipe  is from Chris Bianco's Pizza Biancoverde recipe. We use the dough recipe to make our crust.

3 cups flour
1 cup water, room temperature
1 (1/4 ounce) package dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt

Combine flour, water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon salt in large bow (I prefer a pottery bowl for this) and mix either by hand or mixer until fairly sticky dough forms. If dough is too slack, add up to 1/2 cup flour. If dough is tight and dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Form dough into ball, cover with towel and let sit at least 30 minutes.

We let ours rise longer than that as we were busy doing other things. When we were ready to make the pizza we put it on the baking sheet and pressed it out by hand. Bianco's recipe makes two crusts, but we use all the dough for one durable, not very thin crust.

Apparently mixing the dough by hand makes it better because I don't do it that way and Wonder Boy did and it was the best homemade crust we've had in who knows when. Also, I found that my pizza stone is gone. Think it actually fell apart back in the winter and I forgot. Anyway, it's gone. We used a silver colored air insulated baking sheet.

We used a bottled marinara sauce. Next, mozzarella (the kind that comes in the big ball) and we shredded it to top off the pizza.

Heat the oven to 500 degrees on lowest rack until crust is browned and cheese begins to bubble, 10-15 minutes. 

Here's the pizza. It was yummy. Hope you make some of your own. Fresh basil and sliced homegrown tomatoes would be tasty too.

Happy Summer.

Candace Mommie

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Christmas in July (part 2)

You don't have to wait until autumn to plan your Christmas. If you have the time and would like to do a little bit now this is a good resource. Pick only what you want to do - I wouldn't get the decorations out myself since it takes me forever to put them  away and it would not be enjoyable for me. Also, it would probably be difficult to know exactly what events you would like to attend at this point.

However, the card and address list (maybe you'd like to make your own cards) and the gift list if there are any gifts you intend on making - those would be good things to concentrate on. Michael's has some Christmas items out already and scrapbook papers are among them.

Not your thing?  Get back in the pool, pull some weeds, build a sandcastle, visit an elderly relative or friend. Catch some fireflies in a jar. Make a butterfly garden. How about some homemade peach ice cream? Maybe there is a beautiful scenic drive you'd like to take that's close to where you live like Pacific HighwayNatchez Trace Parkway, Skyline Drive, or the Delmarva Peninsula. Love the season you are in.

Lots of choices. How about a beautiful sunset?

Summer is peaking. Don't miss it!


Candace Mommie

Friday, July 13, 2012

Christmas in July

Hallmark Ornament Premiere Weekend

This weekend is Hallmark's Ornament Premiere for Christmas 2012. I won't be attending. Hallmark's ornament prices have gone through the roof and the quality that they were in the 1980's and even into the 90's just is not there. Yeah, they light up, turn, play music, but the materials are just not that great. I'd rather buy something handmade by an artisan than waste it on a piece of junk made in China.

We have some we have bought over the years, ones that Santa has left for us, and some from family members. Last year Santa left a Hallmark 1957 Chevrolet fire engine replicating one that the Fredericksburg, PA Company 1 had used for my dad in his stocking at our house. But I can't control what Santa does. If Santa wants to buy the Hallmark ornaments I'm fine with that.

Christmas Classics Weekend

In conjunction with their Ornament Premiere weekend, the Hallmark Channel will be showing Christmas movies all day Saturday and Sunday. That's tomorrow and the next day. I can get excited about that. From November until Hallmark stops playing these movies in December or January, is about only time I turn on the television other than watching the news. Except that I'll probably be outdoors pulling weeds if it's not raining.

Love Call Me Mrs. Miracle, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, The Christmas Card, and Holiday Engagement is cute.

So if you are tired of hot weather where you live and time permits, grab some popcorn, bake up some chocolate chip cookies, and enjoy!

It's Christmas in July!
Have a good weekend,

Candace Mommie

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer Embroidery

I've been wanting to do some simple embroidery for about two years after seeing this from Teresa McFayden and all the beautiful fun patterns at Sarah Jane Studios .

When I was a little girl my Nanny taught me how to embroider. I could even make French knots. Nowadays my French knots are lacking and honestly were not very good. Crunch time didn't help so I'll try again later.

Other than the above ladies' works, my inspiration came from two different K & Company kits that I got on mark-down at Michael's about 2 years ago.

This K & Company inspiration binder from Brenda Walton

and this pad of K & Company scrapbook pad also from Brenda Walton, both from the Olivia Rose collection.

None of which had anything more than the dandelion seed head, a bird, fish, and similar flowers.

K & Company by Brenda Walton
Olivia Rose Collection

Everything else was my design. Some items I drew on the fabric. Mostly, I just embroidered it freehand. The fabric was a thin flour sack tea towel that was bought a long time ago and stuffed away for a future project. The towel hem is apparent in the shot below where you can see puckers before it was sewn to the fabric and turned under and hemmed again.

Also, the dragon fly on the right came from a purchased pack of patches. Thought it would add a more 3-D perspective. Would have liked to have embellished with trinkets but time again did not permit.

I sandwiched a piece of flat batting between the embroidered piece and the above fabric that I used as backing. The edges were turned underneath and ironed in place and sewed in place. I sewed the yellow rick rack on by hand.

The pant hanger is not vintage. It's actually made out of bamboo.

My friend has a coastal room and thought she could hang it in there or anywhere else in her home for summer.

Was thinking coastal and of the beach when I began. A song, one that I really probably didn't like when I was growing up - it was popular about the time I was in the second grade kept coming to mind "Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind..." by Seals and Crofts. Okay, so now I really like it. Just like Danny's Song by Kenny Loggins that I couldn't stand when I was growing up. They both make me think of Southern Cal Boy. I digress. Guess I'm getting old.

Hope my friend loves the wall hanging. I had the best time making it! It was fun, something I had kept putting off until I just "did it!" instead of dreaming about it any longer. It was made with love.

Don't let your fears or time keep you from being creative and undertaking a crafty or re-do project you've been wanting to do. Have fun with it. It doesn't have to be perfect.

I am not getting paid or receiving any compensation from any of the artists or vendors mentioned in this post. I just like their work.

Please let me know if you liked this post.

Happy Summer!

Candace Mommie

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

2nd Summer Thrill Point Update - Summer Diary

Wonder Boy's latest Thrill Point update for his No Bummer Summer

                   Read 2 More Books
 Sheep and The Cats of Roxville Station    10 points

First time on a water slide                          10 points

Jet ride            25 points

Tell us what you have been doing this summer. Hope you are having fun.

More soon.

Candace Mommie

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Adventure's in Odyessy

Our whole family loves listening to Adventure's in Odyssey and the happenings at Whit's End. You can listen on the radio, Internet, and with CD collections that you may purchase. There are all different kinds of stories filled with mystery, fun, and excitement.

I am not getting paid to endorse Adventures in Odyssey nor do they endorse my website. I just believe it's great and believe in the truth that it teaches.

Check it out for yourself.

Happy Summer,

Candace Mommie

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Andy Griffith Rest in Peace

This post was going to be a recipe I made up for homemade banana ice cream back on Father's Day for my dad but one that could be used on July 4th or any hot summer day. But plans change.

We missed our annual July 4th concert and fireworks show we usually attend in a neighboring town tonight due to traveling over the last week. Our return flight was rescheduled twice and became a 12 hour delay and from a time zone 6 hours behind our zone. We didn't mind staying where we were. We would have loved to stay. However, the delayed flight set off a domino effect for us. What followed was misrouted luggage, temperamental tummies, and lack of good rest had us home bound tonight. Plus, somebody had to go to work today. Maybe in the next week or so we'll have some photos from the trip. I had posts for this week, but now they seem.

So I had to stay in with my stomach matters, got some sleep, did lots of laundry, and was mostly brain dead from the jet lag. So late this afternoon was the first time anyone had turned on the television. A local TV station was playing The Andy Griffith show an hour and a half early. Glad it was on because I'd been doing laundry and couldn't get any more catch up sleep. It was Episode Man in a Hurry (B/W) Mayberry's relaxed way frustrates a businessman with car trouble. Love that where the man tells Gomer something is still wrong with his car so he can spend the evening in Mayberry with the Taylor family and Opie is excited about sleeping on the ironing board. Next up (they never show 2) was the episode Mr.McBeevee (B/W) Andy is convinced that Opie's new friend is only imaginary.

After the last episode went off the local TV station showed a montage of Andy Griffith photos through his career. Then I realized what had happened. Andy was gone. Now I know how my mom felt that hot August day in 1977 when we were sitting at the Hardee's with the AM radio on and at the top of the hour the news broadcaster announced "Elvis is dead." We were eating cheeseburgers when that happened. Elvis would have been proud.

Okay, so I couldn't hold back the tears when I told my son why they were showing the picture montage before they announced it. Andy Griffith wasn't Elvis, but I grew up with Andy. I've known Andy Taylor ever since I could watch television. Andy has always been there. I watched Andy with my grandaddy. My 9 year old son loves Andy. No joke, my son was on Skype today with one of his friends while I was watching it. He told his friend about the Andy Griffith show and the boy didn't know what he was talking about. So my son brought in the laptop he was on to show his friend our television so he could see what the Andy Griffith Show is. In a few minutes my son was off Skype and we were watching the end of the episode. This was before we knew Andy had passed.

Sheriff Andy Taylor taught us the Golden Rule and that everyone has been given mercy and that we should give mercy back to others.  The Andy Griffith show taught us that the two most important things in life are home and faith.  Mayberry was a town where everyone knew everyone and everyone was worth knowing. Andy Griffith might not have been perfect, but the dad Sheriff Andy Taylor was pretty close. Too bad there aren't good, wholesome, ethical shows offered up on the airwaves today.

Here's a rare clip of Andy Griffith singing the "The Fishin' Hole" aka The Andy Griffith Show Theme Song. Hope you enjoy it.

If I don't get to post any thing more on July 4th - hope you enjoy your freedom and hope you enjoy this slice of Americana.

And remember, real freedom comes through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Happy 4th of July!

Candace Mommie