Sunday, November 30, 2008

Gingerbread Houses, Again!

Ginger bread house parts! My plan for Black Friday was to get these little guys built and I managed it! Even with a " quick trip to Hobby Lobby". Yikes, I had NO plans to go shopping, I NEVER go shopping the day after Thanksgiving, as in NEVER. Then daughter number 2 talked "daddy" into helping her with a Christmas gift. What does that have to do with ME going out on Friday??? Mr. sweet and pathetic looked at me and said, "do you want to come with me?"
Any sane person would have said "Wow, those eyes would look big on a cow!" ;-) but no, pushover Mare said okay. Actually by the time we went out it wasn't bad.
Here we have the gingerbread party in full swing!

Here is daughter number 1 with a little cousin.

See some candy you'd like? The girls did too!

daughter number 2 with 2 smaller cousins.

It's fun to see what everyone comes up with...

Ben, boyfriend of daughter number 3 showing his awesome candy cane styles.

Daughter number 3 with a cousin.....

There is some hot spiced cider in the crock pot behind her if you are chilly!

Showing off! Each one cuter than the next, oh, the houses are cute too aren't they? ;-)

Friday, November 28, 2008

I won! I won! I won!

Look what came in the mail today! A package for me! One that I didn't win on eBay!!!

Wow! I won the little quilt that Jan at It's the cat's house, I just live here. was giving away!!! I can't believe it! I'm sooooo lucky!!

Here is the back with the cute label!

Here is the front! Isn't it pretty??? So fall like, I just love it!

And here is it's new home, on one of my sewing machines. I don't even want to put anything on it and hide any bit of it!

Thank you Jan I LOVE IT!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's not all gingerbread

In case you thought all I was doing was baking gingerbread, I'll show some of the Christmas totes I've been whipping up!

Some are spoken for all ready, but they sure did put me in a holiday mood!! I still have to get a shot of my favorite bag, it's got gingerbread cookies (did you think I could go that long without??) on the outside. It was perfect for doing a bit of Christmas shopping. And of course by Christmas shopping I mean for gingerbread house supplies...... more to come................

Friday, November 21, 2008

Making Progress... or Parts is Parts

The simple beginnings............. My house recipe is more like gingerbread clay, there are no eggs and no leavening agents so it bakes up nicely as walls. Very stiff dough, very sturdy houses! I would not, however, recommend eating it, which is why I'll have to make some molasses cookies also!

Here we have my forms. Each form makes a half of a house, one side wall, one end wall, and one half of the roof. I only had one form last year so it took quite some time to bake the houses for my four nieces, the three daughters that were home, one boyfriend who came along, and a couple for me to play with.
However, last year after the party, my sister in law snuck my form down off the wall and went online to find where to order another one for me, then at Christmas time my nieces presented it to me. Fabulous!!! I can bake a WHOLE house at one time!!!
Here are some of my parts.......... Watch this space for updates! Today I am off work ( yeah!!!) and Jim promised to take me supply shopping since he and Miss V ate the pretzels and gumdrops I had stored!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

2008 model home

Gizmo asked for the next picture of my gingerbread houses, so here you go Giz! This is the one I worked on Sunday.
You can't tell too well in the picture but the windows are cut out so I can put a battery operated votive inside to "light the home fires"
How cool is that?
Watch this space for more!!!! I'm just getting started here!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Gingerbread House Party!!

Today was the annual gingerbread house party at my friend Kris'.
This has become the start of the holiday season for me.
Kris bakes the houses, and we get to come and play.

this is one of the houses I made last weekend- when I got paid to play with gingerbread and candy.

I think this one is my Candy Land house. I can just see that little princess living here.

This is the second one I was working on that day, sort of traditional. Kris is going to take them to an assisted living place for some holiday cheer.

Here we are in full swing! Everyone does such different things and they are ALL soooooooooooooo cute! The lovely lady on the right in the back is a member of my large quilt guild.

Here we have the end of the afternoon, this is Kris in the gingerbread apron, and about half of our stash of house fixings.

She looks tired but happy. Such fun we have. The holidays can begin now. This week I'll start baking houses for my girls and my nieces to decorate after Thanksgiving. And of course there will be pictures!

Monday, November 10, 2008

back to the gingerbread houses!

Yesiree, gingerbread house woman is at it again. Last year I went through about 11 houses, what with making them for kids and nieces to decorate. It's that time again! I was lucky enough this past weekend to work a Family Sunday event at the Point Beach Nuclear plant Energy Center. It was loads of fun, soups and wonderful coffee to taste, Alpacas to pet, fabric to fondle, and a gingerbread house display to ogle. The best part for me was getting paid to decorate houses!!! Anyone who knows me knows that is a dream job! I didn't get any pictures myself, but this one was on the local papers website so I "borrowed" it. ;-) Honestly, all I can really say about this one is you'd think I'd remember to brush my hair once in a while wouldn't you?

Back home in my sewing room, I just made my bazillionth bag. Well, probably not, but it's got to be close by now.
fourth of July, Halloween, yarn, farm scenes, cats, dogs, flowers,
Star Wars, horses, Wallee, bugs, cows, slot machines, honestly, if you can think of it I've probably made it into a bag. I have tons more photos but it might get a bit boring so I'll just leave you with these...........

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

tread mill

For some time now we have been thinking of getting a tread mill. It seems a bit silly at first to live in the middle of no-where with country roads for miles and think you might want to walk inside the house. But then keep in mind that our middle of no-where is in Wisconsin and there are certain portions of the year- November to April - when it's a bit too brisk to be outside for an hour walk. There is also the occasional blizzard and ice storm to make the roads more interesting. I guess first I should point out that the picture to the left is not me. I wish I looked like that, but alas I do not.
So, a treadmill.
We did our research a few month ago with no money in our pockets to weigh us down and decided on this beauty, the treadmill not the model thank you very much.
Yesterday the monster was on sale, so off we went to the fitness store to do our part for the economy. We could get the floor model for a few hundred less than we had anticipated! After checking it out for signs of 4oo pound users, we decided this would be awesome. Of course then you need to get a stick thingie with wax on it for lubricating the part under where you walk, a mat to go on the floor under it to eliminate static, and I wanted a book holder - hate to only do one thing at a time you know, it makes my ADD go crazy. The nice young man at the store folded and wrapped it up a bit and helped Jim muscle it into the back of the truck. Gosh it sure looked heavy. No matter, Jim has a dolly that he can just zip it up the steps with once we get home.
First order of business was "zipping" it up the porch steps. After about 20 minutes of grunting and heaving the monster was flat on the ground and Jim was wishing the manual wasn't being sent from the company because it sure would be nice to know how to take it apart. After some head scratching and searching he did get the top part thingie off. Well, those 4 pounds were going to help a LOT! We turned it up again and with Jim pulling and me pushing we got it up the 4 steps on the porch and to the door. hmmm. It looked a bit wide for the door, no matter we'll just bully it in. Halfway IN the door it was quite obvious that this treadmill was not going to go either way. Out come MORE tools and off comes the storm door, the inside door, oh heck rip off the weather stripping too, what's one more job on the "to do before snow flies" list?
Meanwhile Jim seems to need a wee bit of break. I tried to cheer him up by pointing out all the great exercise he had already gotten without even turning the monster on.
Boy, that worked really well for me.
More grunting, more squeezing, a bit of white paint from the remaining bits of door frame on the monster and VIOLA it's inside!
How great, now it's totally blocking the hallway and the stairs, and guess what ladies and gentlemen?
There is NO WAY on Gods little green earth that it's going to make it past the newel post.
Time for plan B.
Move some of the sewing things - Miss V's machine and table- upstairs instead and put the monster in my sewing room.
sigh. I can probably drape a lot of fabric on the rails don't you think? No, I really do plan to use it those few days when the weather is not cooperative.
I'll wait for all the Wisconsin readers to get done laughing here...............
Actually I'm just really hoping that the dog learns how to use and thus takes herself for a walk at least once a day so I can have 20 more minutes of sewing time! anyone think that will work? yeah, me either but I can dream.

Monday, November 3, 2008

monks robes, scones, and trouble

I've been busy working on bags, and a monk costume and the total mess of everyday living.

The picture at left is of a purse that someone had ordered, the lovely woman who ordered it gave me dimensions and colors and asked if I could do it. Since I never refuse a bag order, I tried making up a pattern as I went. I did have to do several revisions but in the end I think I got it. I was terribly nervous bringing it to her, and I had no idea what to charge either.

Next we have a monk costume for my favorite choir director. Honestly, the hardest part about this was finding cord that was soft enough to tie nicely at the waist. I still have to put on some belt loops so the cord will stay put when he is directing.

Then here we have scones for my mother. My parents live at the Grand Army Home in King Wisconsin Oat scones are an old family recipe that usually put a smile on mom's face. (not always an easy task) I usually try to bring both parents some sort of homemade treat. Last time I brought fresh apple pie, and mom's comment was "no oat scones?" so Sunday I got up early and baked them fresh for her. In true mom fashion, she wasn't all that impressed. Still Miss V and I had a good visit with dad, he usually has some interesting and often funny story from his early years to share with us. and there you have it for the weekend. Tomorrow I'll tell you all about the new treadmill. That would be the trouble part I mentioned in the title.