Tackle It Tuesday


This tackle has been a very, very, very¬†long time coming! Approximately four years ago, my husband’s grandma gave me some old clothes that had sentimental value to her, and asked me to make a quilt out of them. I had already made a couple of baby quilts, and I figured it couldn’t be too hard. I didn’t count on getting pregnant, having a miscarriage, getting pregnant again, and then moving across the state! All that stuff happened within six months of my starting the quilt, and it kept getting put away to finish later. Then, my sewing machine was packed away, too when my daughter was born. It didn’t see the light of day again until earlier this year! Now, I sew so much that I can’t believe I ever did without my sewing machine!

This spring, when I unpacked all the quilt pieces I’d cut (surprisingly, I managed to save every one, and even a few extras), I was astonished to realize that the quilt was more than half finished! In the midst of an early pregnancy and horrible morning sickness, the quilt had seemed impossible, like something I’d never in a million years be able to finish. I’m happy to say that wasn’t true! With a little help and advice from my mom about backing and binding, I was able to finish the quilt in time for our visit to my husband’s grandparents’ house last week! I was so thrilled, and my husband’s grandma was pretty flabbergasted, in a good way. I think she’d given up hope for the quilt to be finished, too. She’s the sweetest lady ever, and it felt so nice to be able to make her so happy! ūüôā Here she is, opening the long-awaited quilt:

For today’s tackle, I made this sweet pink dress for my daughter. She is a pink fanatic, and as I mentioned previously, would even like me to dye her hair pink! This feels like a big tackle for me, because most of the sewing projects I make don’t use patterns. I haven’t used a real, honest-to-goodness, store-bought patterns since high-school. But, I wanted to make her a super-cute dress, and my mom had given me this pattern, so I tried it. I am so surprised by how good it looks! I didn’t even mess up in a way that made it unfixable (had a brain fart and sewed wrong sides together. Thank goodness for seam rippers!)!

My daughter is sleeping right now, or else I’d have action shots of her in the dress. I promise to post those tomorrow! It looks even cuter when she’s wearing it!

I made my first foray into the jelly-making yesterday. It was a lot of work, but the end result was VERY satisfying! Just look at those beautiful, dark purple jars of jelly:

As I mentioned yesterday, we went to a family reunion on Sunday at my mom’s house. Well, on a walk, my uncle Gene (who has a degree in botany) found a bunch of elderberries. When my mom told me about the berries, I’ll bet she could see my eyes light up! I’ve been wanting to try making jelly for some time, but time and money constraints have stopped me. Not anymore! I went home armed with two shopping sacks, bursting to the seams with elderberries! It was just enough to make five half-pints of jelly. It tastes surprisingly good, considering that the berries didn’t taste like much plain.

My kids love it, too. I was trying to get a photo of the inside of the jar, but my son’s greedy, jelly-seeking fingers got in the way:

He could just eat it right out of the jar (and he did, until I stopped him!), bless his heart!

Since my son has just recently started kindergarten, I am really enjoying preparing his lunches and after school snacks. I try to put something fun or really yummy in his lunch every day. Sometimes I bake for purely therapeutic reasons. Last Friday, after his meltdown when I dropped him off at school, I decided to bake a yummy chocolate cake to welcome him home and celebrate his first week at school. I had just enough cocoa to for the cake and frosting, and I could almost taste the sweet, chocolatey goodness of my perfect chocolate cake. Sadly, it didn’t turn out as well as I’d imagined…

Turns out I forgot to add flour!! So after taking a couple of days to lick my wounds and scrape the bottom of my oven, I tried again. This time, I bought cool Spongebob cupcake liners¬†and made some chocolate cupcakes that actually turned out yummy! And they’re the perfect size to stick in a lunchbox!

Here’s a tip: If your cupcakes have soft frosting like mine do, stick them in the freezer for half an hour, then wrap them individually, using freezer paper. Lable and date them, and leave them in the freezer. On they way out the door in the morning, pop a frozen cupcake in your child’s lunchbox. The cupcake will thaw during the morning, but the frosting should stay cold enough that it won’t be too messy when lunch time rolls around. Thanks to my husband’s grandma, Alma, for this tip!

Sometimes when my mom comes to visit, she helps me out by washing dishes. Last time, she asked my daughter if she’d like to help. The answer was a resounding YES!!

Since then, every time I wash dishes, she helps! And she doesn’t just ask, “Can I help, Mommy?” She expects to help! She sees me standing at the sink and goes, “Are you WASHING DISHES?!!?” Then, before waiting for my answer, she drags a chair out of the dining room and climbs up! You gotta love a two-year-old’s enthusiasm!

She actually does a pretty darn good job, and her companionship makes a once-dreaded chore much more enjoyable for me! Here she is, scolding me for taking pictures while she is trying to do the dishes:

Check out 5 Minutes for Mom for more Tackle it Tuesday.

Months ago, I found this project on Craftster. I forgot about it, until recently. I had an old bedsheet made out of t-shirt material and needed to do something with it. I also wanted to try my hand at lettuce edging. I love the results! Here are some great shots of the dress. Don’t mind the sad face. My daughter was feeling a little melancholy because we had to let our new butterfly go free. Pictures of that tomorrow!

Here’s a closeup of the lettuce edge:

It took me about an hour to make the dress. I used thread that my¬† mom gave me, and an old sheet, as I mentioned before. Total cost: $0! It’s very soft and comfy, and my daughter loves it!

One certain kitchen cupboard has really been getting on my nerves for the last few days. My husband it a chronic junk food eater (somehow, he never seems to gain a pound!!) and buys tons of chips, but never eats the last quarter of the bag because he “doesn’t like the crumbles!” And instead of throwing them away or feeding them to the birds or ants, he just leaves the bags in the cupboard until I get tired of it a few weeks later and throw all his “crumbles” out. I was seriously running out of room in my cupboard. Here’s what it looked like:

 

After only about 5 minutes of organizing and throwing crud out, it looked much nicer:

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