Toothless the dragon.

Have you seen the movie, How To Train Your Dragon? In the movie, there is a black dragon, a Night Fury, named Toothless. I found a pattern online to make a Toothless stuffy and I set about to do so for an artisan showcase.

This was not an easy sew. The difficulties began with the fabric, minky, a super-slippery fabric. However, it makes the softest and cuddliest stuffies. It took me over an hour just to cut out all the pieces. Toothless has many tiny scales and spikes. Putting him together took quite awhile as well due to lots of fussy sewing. So many tiny pieces, and not only tiny but curved as well! I’m not much for the fiddly sewing like that, but I gave it my best go.

All that said, I could not be more pleased with how he turned out!

Toothless the Dragon

It’s hard to get a good picture of him, since he’s all black, and his nostrils are black glitter felt. Most of the little scales and spikes are on his back. You can get the idea from this picture though. I doubt I will ever make another one because of how fussy it is. Also, I’m super happy I didn’t sell him at the showcase because he’s just so darn cute! I want to keep him for myself… I won’t even share with the kids!

I also made a dinosaur, some elephants, and some owls. I haven’t snapped any photos of those just yet. They’re cute, but not as nice as Toothless here.

If you’re interested in the pattern you can find it here.

Baking up a storm!

Life has been a bit hectic lately, but that hasn’t stopped me from baking up quite the storm. It doesn’t help that I’ve fallen in love with the Great British Bake-off. Whenever I see someone making delicious food on tv, it always gets me excited to be in the kitchen. Hubby enjoys this, at least at first. After multiple sweet treats in a row… he may wish I’d stop watching such shows!

Baking Pies:

First I went through a pie making craze.

apple tart
Old fashioned apple tart.
Blueberry Pie
Blueberry Pie
Apple Pie
British Apple Pie (Less sugar, no spices)

I used a British style pastry, which was so much easier to work with! It allowed me to practice some of my pie decorating without having to worry about it crumbling on me.

At our church, we do a monthly seniors luncheon. Well, this past month the lady who usually runs it was away and the lady who usually makes the desserts was terribly sick. I volunteered to make the pies since I was in this pie-making craze. I made 8 pies, 4 different kinds. Coconut cream, Apple, Custard, and Pecan. I’m told they turned out well.

Tasty Pies
A few of the pies.

BAKING OTHER THAN PIES:

I also made some blueberry muffins, pesto biscuits, and chocolate eclairs during this time. These were purely selfish bakes! 😊 I’ve tried a few different scone recipes as well, but don’t have pictures. Our favorite is a Vegan Lemon Poppyseed Scone. The Eclairs went over quite well with hubby. We may have eaten all twelve within 4 or 5 hours.

Baking
Blueberry muffins
Baking
Pesto Scones
baking
Eclairs!

The baking has settled down a bit… mostly due to an increase in my weight! But I still have a few more treats I want to try out. I just need to find some people willing to eat a few so that hubby and I don’t eat them all.

Volunteers?

Sometimes life gets a bit crazy!

WHERE HAVE I BEEN?

You may have noticed that I’ve been a bit neglectful when it comes to posting regularly. Well, as the title says, sometimes life gets crazy!

I work part-time/seasonally for a wonderful local accountant. Most of my work comes during tax season, which has just ended. Well, mostly anyway. This year was particularly crazy! So my life lately has looked like this: (please excuse my messy floor!)

Bags of returns

Also, we’ve had a decorating challenge going on at our church for our Sunday School rooms. I was leading one of the teams. Therefore any free time in the last six weeks has been spent at the church. But more on that in another post!

HOMESCHOOLING?

As for homeschooling… we’ve been squeezing in what we can. A little Life of Fred here, a novel there, some spelling practice strewn throughout our day. Mostly, we’ve just been out in the mud enjoying the sun… and a little rain as well.

Mining
Mining rocks, with a hammer of course!
Sleepy muddy boy
What’s a l’il mud?
Silly girl
Don’t you just love that hair sticking out?
Hammering pipe
Gotta feed those ants!
Pirates ahoy!
Grandpy turned the play structure into a pirate ship
silly boy
Not happy about being on the ship. lol
Clean that boat
Waiting her turn to swab the deck.
sandbox
Mr Moo just wants to play in the sand
the plank
Walk the plank! Mr T built this all on his own!
helpers
Helping daddy dig the garden
Muddy muddy
Oh the mud!

There’s been some building: a plank, and an ant feeding tube. There’s been some mining for rocks and ore. Trips to Nanny’s to play in the pirate ship and sandbox. And there have been a few wheelbarrow rides. Best of all, there’s been dirt and mud!

Mr. T has also been working on a quilt. He asked for the Easter Bunny to bring him a sewing machine and set straight to work! As soon as mommy gets the bindings cut we will finish it up.

Quilt top

He’s also decorated his wall in quite a unique way. He was making “machines” on it, though I think most of those are gone now.

Creating
Inventor in our midst!

I wish I could say that life was going to settle down now that tax season is slowly coming to a close. Unfortunately, it won’t, as now we move into birthday planning for Lil Miss and Mr. Moo (they share the same birthday), Vacation Bible School planning and decorating, and planning for a women’s retreat. I do tend to thrive on being busy, but a little break here and there is nice! 😜😂

Apple Tree Sewing Patterns Review

It was love at first make when I first sewed up Apple Tree Sewings Bunny Hug Hoodie. Since then I have made two for Mr. T and L’il Miss. Mr. Moo has three. Apple Tree has many other wonderful patterns as well, a few of which I have tried and love. I have made the Grow Along Pants, the Grow Fonder, the On the Grow Romper, and the Grow On Romper.

Below are the four most recent Bunny Hugs I’ve made. Are they not just the most adorable things ever?

MY THOUGHTS ON THE BUNNY HUG PATTERN:

The pattern is super easy to follow with plenty of pictures to guide you. It takes very little time to whip one of these up once you’ve got it cut out. I spent roughly 6-8 hours sewing on Thursday and managed to make three of these, three Grow Fonders, and some things for myself. My kiddos are also in love with these hoodies, as is my husband. I would highly recommend this pattern to anyone who makes children’s clothing.

You have a variety of size options (more-so if you buy the bundle with the older sizes added). It is available in 3-12 months, 9 months-3 years, 3T- 6, 6 – 8/9 and 8/9 – 12/13. For Mr. Moo, I made the 9 months-3 years. L’il Miss got he 3T-6 and Mr. T the 6-8/9. I love that they can wear it for a few years, or until it wears out! 

 

MY THOUGHTS ON THE GROW ALONG PANTS:

If you’re looking for a pants pattern for your kids, look no further! This pattern is awesome for so many reasons. You have a few options when you make these. You can put in the reinforced knees to extend the longevity of the pants. You can just sew a plain pair of pants. Or you can choose to do a reversible option. I have yet to try the reversible, but the other two options are super simple.

The best thing is these pants grow with your child, much like the Bunny Hug. Mr. Moo’s (the tractor ones) are size 1-3T. L’il Miss and Mr. T both have the 3-6 version. You can see the difference when they have them on, it’s a looser fit for the smaller kids, and a tighter, legging look for the older.

Another pattern I would highly recommend and the kids also approve of!

 

MY THOUGHTS ON THE GROW FONDER PATTERN:

In the search for nice tee shirt pattern for the kids to wear in the summer, I found the Grow Fonder. I’ve made them tons of raglans but was looking for something a little different. This pattern again comes with different options and size ranges. You can choose your sleeve length, regular neckband or cowl neck. I made each of the kids a cowl neck, and one regular neckband for L’il Miss (I don’t have a picture of that one because she was sick this week and didn’t feel like having her picture taken.)

Once again Mr. Moo is in the size 1-3T, L’il Miss in 3-6, and for this one, Mr. T is also in the 3-6 which is a tad short on him due to how tall he is. Unfortunately, the pattern doesn’t go any larger at this point. Though I imagine it would be easy to add some length. The rest fits him perfectly as he’s so skinny.

 

MY THOUGHTS ON THE ON THE GROW ROMPER AND THE GROW ON ROMPER:

Make all the clothes!

I’m combining my thoughts on these two, mostly because they are similar in a lot of ways.

The On the Grow Romper is the one that looks most like overalls. I love this. These will last the kiddos so long! Only L’il Miss and Mr. Moo got one of these, and they are both at the smaller end of their size ranges so they have lots of room to grow. There are drawstrings on the inside to ruche the sides up and make it smaller. There are two snaps on the shoulders to allow for some adjustment, and an option to add a third. I added the color blocking to mine, that’s not in the pattern. It is super easy to do if you so wish.

I have to say, these look so comfy that I want a pair!

The Grow On Romper I love even more than the other. Mr. Moo looks so adorable in his, the picture does not do it justice! This also has the drawstring on the inside. You can choose to add snaps through the inseam like a sleeper. I added the snaps to Mr. Moo’s to make it easier to get on and off. I love the little hood, though it does hang slightly off to one side due to the crossover. This one I lined with minky, mostly because I forgot to cut it out of the black french terry and had none left when I realized it, and partly because the minky is so soft I thought it would be super comfy.

Mr. Moo calls it his ‘Zebra’.

Both of these patterns I would recommend.

In Closing:

And with that, I will leave you all with some pictures of the most adorable model ever… and urge you to check out Apple Tree Sewing for some amazing patterns!

Roasted Cauliflower Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Are you looking at the title and thinking, “say what? Cauliflower on a grilled cheese?” That was my initial thought when I read the recipe in our weekly eMeals plan. However, it turned out to be delicious.

We’ve used eMeals in the past but had taken a break from it. A month or so ago we discovered that they had Vegan and Vegetarian plans so we thought we would give it another go. The recipes have been tasty, though none can hold a candle to the recipes from Oh She Glows.

For our supper tonight we had the Roasted Cauliflower Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Roasted Brussell Sprouts with Carrots and Mushrooms.

Cauliflower ready to roast roasting veggies

Our Review:

Hubby and I greatly enjoyed all of it, except maybe the mushrooms, and the kids really liked the grilled cheese and the carrots. None of the kids were really into the Brussell sprouts, go figure. The grilled cheese is supposed to have some arugula on with the cheese and roasted cauliflower. I figured it best to omit that from the ones I made for the kids, knowing full well they wouldn’t eat it.

To be honest, I was surprised they ate the grilled cheese at all since it was made with Gouda and had the cauliflower on it. All three of them ate their whole sandwich.

Of course, the lure of ice cream for dessert may have played into that as well!

 

Cauliflower Grilled Cheese

 

What have you been cooking this week?

When you love to sew…

Recently my husband and I decided that I should make our daughter a Pinkie Pie stuffy for Easter. The one we were planning to buy for her was sold out. This decision led to a trip to Fabricville to buy the materials needed…

Sewing Clothes:

Some really nice French Terry that was on buy 1 meter and get 2 free called out to me andI came home with some extra fabric! The day after the trip to Fabricville some fabric I had ordered from Water Tower Textiles and Funky Monkey Fabrics arrived. Most of the week and the weekend was spent sewing new clothes for the kids.  Mr. T had been asking for a Superhero uniform, not a costume, for quite some time. So I hacked the Jolly Roger Raglan pattern from Patterns for Pirates and added a cape. I made the two older kids each a pair of Harem Pants from Max and Meena.

My sister-in-law over at Sewing with Rascals had shown me some pants she had made from a pattern from Apple Tree Patterns. Looking at their site I found a few patterns that I liked and made each of the kids a Bunnyhug Hoodie and the Grow Along Pants. I also made Mr. Moo a Grow On Romper, but I need to attach the snaps so I don’t have a picture of that just yet.

I made myself a Tami Revolution Hoodie from New Horizons Designs but I haven’t managed to get a picture.

Now I’m running out of fabric and anxiously awaiting my next paycheck in the hopes that I may be able to get a little more! I just purchased a hoodie pattern for hubby from 5 out of 4 Patterns. I’m hoping that will help convince him that I need more fabric! 😉

Any recommendations for places to get decent quality but inexpensive fabrics?

 

 

 

Homeschooling life…

I’ve had a brief hiatus from blogging and homeschooling due to a family tragedy, but now I’m back!

We just purchased the next four Life of Fred Math books from Christian Book Distributors and have started in on Cats. Mr. T loves seeing what trouble Fred finds himself in.

Also, we are starting the Exploring Nature With Children year-long curriculum since my kids absolutely love being outdoors.

Life of Fred

Other than that our homeschool days have been filled mostly with playtime, little arts and crafts were thrown in there. We made some super cute facecloth bunnies for Easter. Daddy made the kids a giant cardboard castle. And we’ve been taking it pretty easy.

IMG_2657IMG_0375

Of course, there has also been some time for photo filters with the two youngest!

IMG_0368

What have you filled your homeschooling days with these past few weeks?

 

Free Holy Week Study

Have you all heard of Skrafty?

If your kid is into Minecraft, (Mr. T is obsessed,) then you should definitely check it out!

Right now they have a free Holy Week Study We haven’t signed up for the subscription yet, but we plan to once Mr. T is a little more confident in his reading.  I have only heard good things about Skrafty, so I feel very confident in recommending the free Holy Week Study, and I will probably help Mr. T with it as a good trial run for purchasing a subscription!

Sometimes, we just play in mud!

Has your homeschool day ever not gone as planned? That’s how a lot of our days are lately. We always have the best intentions but sometimes it’s just not worth the fight or stress. This has left our school days kind of low-key lately.

We’ve found some more William Joyce books at the library so we’ve spent a lot of time reading. Mr. T has also fallen in love with The Curious Garden by Peter Brown.

After reading it the first time he is convinced we can grow a grass staircase in our garden. Should be an interesting experiment, and I’m not quite sure how he plans on accomplishing it.

The kids have also spent some time playing the Teach Your Monster to Read app put out by Usborne, who also make some of our all-time favorite books. Mr. T’s reading has really taken off since he started playing.

But, most days…. we just end up outside playing in the mud with rocks and sticks, and visiting the chickens. The kids love to dig in the mud patch which was left behind when we took down our pool. Mr. T has been telling me he’s digging a mining shaft. Mr. Moo and L’il Miss just love to find rocks and acorns to fill their toy car or the tricycle. We have a willow tree in our backyard which has provided the kids with hours of entertainment, and mommy with much shady relaxation. In a few weeks, the yard will also be filled with various bird songs. The Cardinals are already out singing, as are the chickadees and goldfinches.

As much fun as these days are, they do tend to provide a lot more laundry for mommy to do… yay!

How do you handle days that don’t go the way you’ve planned?

French Macarons

Have you ever attempted French Macarons? Or tried one? They are ridiculously delicious! This is another one of the desserts I learned to make from one of the Craftsy courses.

My husband absolutely loves them. So today I decided to whip up a batch and surprise him.

Of course, I had some help!

First, Lil Miss and I weighed out all of our ingredients. This is a recipe that can go very wrong if you don’t weigh everything accurately, and sometimes even when you do! 😳

Next, we layered our icing sugar and almond meal in the food processor and pulsed it until blended.

Up until this point, Mr. Moo had been napping. Of course, once he woke up he had to help too. My mother-in-law got this adorable Cars apron and chefs hat for him because he is obsessed with vehicles and cooking!

Next, we whipped our egg whites and cream of tartar until it resembled foam and there were no liquid eggs. Then we rained in our sugar slowly.

It takes quite a while to get this beat to stiff peaks. The kiddos started to lose interest around this point. Which was really for the best.

After the meringue is whipped it’s time to gradually fold in the almond meal/icing sugar mixture. In the course, you are taught to do this in three increments using a J-fold. Then comes painting the mix up the sides of the bowl a few times until it slowly slides down the sides.

Pop the mixture into a piping bag and pipe your circles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Typically I use a template under my parchment, but today I freehanded it.

This next part is fun! Slam the pan on the counter six times, then punch the underside twice on each end. Then let the pans sit for a minimum of 15 minutes to dry a bit before baking at 330F for 11-13 minutes. The first picture is what they should look like, with a few that cracked or went a little wonky. The second shows when something has gone wrong. Not sure what happened to those ones today, but they still taste good! 😊

The Macarons need to cool 10 minutes on the tray before being moved to a cooling rack. While they cool you can make your filling. I’ve done a rosewater buttercream, salted caramel, and others but today we went for a simple chocolate buttercream. You just pipe some on a cooled shell, and top with a shell of similar size. Here’s our finished macaron.

They were enjoyed by all!

Want to try a Craftsy Baking course? Check them out here. Online Baking Classes