Saturday, February 21, 2015

Sharing Hearts with our Neighbors.

One of life's great blessings is good neighbors. Everywhere I have lived I have always had at least one good neighbor. I think it is imperative to be known in the places I live and to know the people around me. That is one of many things that makes our current neighborhood so special, the people here seem to want to know and care for each other.

After a few years of living here, we have met quite a large percentage of our neighbors. There are a handful that we are quite close with though. One of the first neighbors that we met are an older retired couple and we have become quite fond of each other. When we went Huckleberry picking this past summer we shared some berries with them as a birthday surprise. There have been many long conversations about our interests and histories. We are always glad to see their smiling faces and receive their warm words.

So today's surprise was a small heart banner I made for them. It was our families way to share with them just how much their friendship has meant to us. It had been my hope to have it done last week in time for Valentine's, but it was a full week. So a little of the heart motif has carried over into this week. I feel really fortunate that my children get to grow up in a neighborhood where they are loved and look out for by many.
Many blessings to you on this fine evening.--Kate

Friday, February 20, 2015

Piles of Patterns

I would describe myself as an unabashed collector. Most of my collections fall in the craft category, but I also enjoy books, pretty baubles, music, shoes, bees, angels, elephants and information. At this point my collections have not reached hoarder status, (at least not in the house.)

I am sure that I will share about many of my collections in future posts, but today's favorite is patterns. I love patterns, especially vintage patterns. I can not pass by a pattern box or bin at a garage sale or thrift store. I usually come home with a fist full of free patterns from the local craft and fabric stores. I am even a member of a few online sites that have patterns you can download. When I was working for a manufacturing company I also designed a fair number of patterns myself. That was my favorite part of the job.

The majority of my patterns are for knit and crochet projects. There are just so many pretty patterns and such a wide variety of items that can be made. I believe that part of the reason that my "to do" pile is so big is because I keep finding new patterns that I want to try.

Maybe someday there will be patterns that I design that will be out there for others to fall in love with and add to their own pattern collections.

Many blessings to you on this fine night.--Kate

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Lost Things.

As soon as my children were mobile things began disappearing. Usually small things, often something that I had just set down. When they got a little older the lost things were mostly their own, a favorite stuffed animal, a book they had just been reading, or something they were trying to keep from their sibling. Of course, all lost things are mommy's job to find, as if mommy has an internal "lost things detector."

Funny enough though it is as if there were a detector within, or maybe it is just that we know our kids, (or spouse,) well enough to have an idea of where the missing item might be. Perhaps it might be that mommy is the only one who really picks up the messes.

The most common lost thing in our house is socks. Where do those little stinkers go? My daughter does not help the problem because she is perfectly happy to wear two totally different socks. It may take me months of laundry loads to finally reunite a separated pair. At the same time her uniquely clad feet fill me will a well-spring of joy. My son on the other hand is know to wear multiple layers of sock at a time. Actually he loves multiple layers of clothes in general. His best day was 4 shirts, two diaper covers, two pants and two layers of socks. Of course all of these layers come off at varying times throughout the day and usually with the assistance of sister, so his socks too disappear into the abyss.

Does anyone else feel like a lost things seeker? Anyone have any tried and true advice on how to keep socks from disappearing?

Many blessings to you on this little lost night.--Kate

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Hooded Baby Towel and Wash Cloth

Soon after my youngest was born I had a dear friend, from my Minnesota days, come visit. She made these darling terry cloth and flannel alligator hooded baby towels for each of my kids. I was inspired.

I bought this cute bug fabric years ago to make a towel set for my kids. Like most ideas it was set aside for more pressing projects. Now my kids are a little to big for the finished product. Fortunately it seems as though lots of friends are having babies.

It is a hooded towel and rick-rack bordered wash cloth.

Many blessings to you on this fine Ash Wednesday night.--Kate

Velvet Bee Scarf into Jewelry Box Art.

Many years ago I received a blue velvet scarf with little bees stamped into it for a Christmas present. I thought it was so cute, I adore bees and I always love receiving handmade crafty items. Time marches on though and my scarf style has changed, plus the scarf was far to lovely for everyday wear. So for the last few years it has sat in one of my many craft baskets. I have thought about remaking it into a longer thinner scarf, but as I mentioned velvet is far to nice for everyday wear. I was desperate to come up with a fun alternative use. I love the little bees and wanted to come up with a use that allows me to enjoy them everyday.

I ended up with the idea to use smaller fabric squares in some jewelry boxes and a picture frame. I apologize that the bees are so hard to see. I struggled getting the lighting and camera angle just right. None of them are 100% finished. They all need a top coat and I discovered while taking the photos that the red box needs a bit more red in the space below the glass. Regardless I am really pleased with how they turned out. 

I still have quite a bit of the blue velvet left, but I have another idea (or two) on how to use it, so keep an eye out for this material to show up again.

Many blessings on this very early morning.--Kate

P.S. If any one is curious about how to stamp on velvet let me know.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Cheese Pizza with Cauliflower Crust.

Cheese Pizza with Cauliflower Crust

I have been checking out several recipes for breads that use some really interesting alternatives for grain. This was my first foray into that world. 

I am constantly amazed at all the different recipes that use cauliflower as a substitute. We have many times made cauliflower mashed faux-tatoes. I have seen a recipe that uses cauliflower to make tortillas. There is also a cauliflower bread stick recipe that looks really good. (That will probably be my next cauliflower experiment.) I chose cauliflower pizza crust because my kids love pizza and finding a grain-free alternative makes me happy. I also figured having it be pizza increased my chances of actually getting them to eat it. Boy was I right, they each scarfed down three pieces. It was a huge hit and best of all it was really easy and fast to make. We just had a plain cheese pizza this time but now that we know it is so very tasty we will probably be more daring on the next attempt.

  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce mixed with 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning, 1/2 tsp minced garlic, and 1/2 tsp sea salt


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease cookie sheet with butter or coconut oil. Grate the cauliflower with a cheese grater. Place in water in a stainless steel pan and cook for 12 minutes. Mix together the grated cauliflower, egg, and half of the cheese. Transfer to the cookie sheet, and using your hands, pat out into a round about 1/4” thick. Brush olive oil over top of crust. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Add tomato sauce, remaining cheese, and your choice of toppings. Return to oven for 5–10 minutes, just until cheese is melted.



Many blessings to you on this fine night.--Kate

Sunday, February 15, 2015

A Love Poem

A bell is no bell 'til you ring it,
A song is no song 'til you sing it,
And love in your heart
Wasn't put there to stay -
Love isn't love
'Til you give it away.

 - Oscar Hammerstein, Sound of Music

Many blessing to you on this very fine Sunday afternoon.--Kate