Sunday, December 20, 2009

Low Country Boil

Friday we hosted Paul's family Christmas party. It is one of our favorite traditions! Every year we choose a different nationality of food to serve. This year we traveled to the exotic deep south USA (OK, OK, so it isn't a different nationality, but I couldn't come up with the right word to use: genre of food, type of food?). In the past we have served: Mexican, Italian, French, Chilean, Chinese, Greek, Hawaiian, and a few others. This year we did a low country boil (among other things). Basically you boil a bunch of food in a big pot, drain off the water, and dump the food on a table covered with newspaper. Then everyone can pick out the food that they want and you sit around and eat. The kids were very impressed with the crabs. It was a great night!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dinosaurs in Disneyland

Last night I had a dream (I remember my dreams almost all the time- but they are not meaningful dreams- they are just weird). We were at Disneyland. I just had Katie and Adrie and we were watching some kind of show (it actually looked like Shamu at Sea World- but we were at Disneyland- you know how that kind of thing makes sense in dreams!). There was an announcement that a dinosaur was attacking Disneyland. I could see this huge T-rex walking around coming our way. In the panic, I lost track of Katie. So then it turned into one of those nightmares where you are searching for your baby. Luckily, that part of the dream was really short- I ran around a corner and found Katie. Some nice food vendor had seen her crying and given her TWO snow cones. I thought "Oh no, oh no! There is a dinosaur attacking Disneyland, we need to run, and my two year old is eating snow cones- she can't run and eat snow cones and if I take the snow cones from her, she will throw a fit." I was paralyzed by the knowledge that if I took the snow cones from her she would start screaming- the boneless, collapse on ground screaming. Then I woke up.

As I told Paul my dream, he laughed and said "Funny how you are more scared of the two year old tantrum then the dinosaur!"

Maybe I do have meaningful dreams after all;-)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Snow plus very cold weather

We have had some snow and very cold weather. When I went outside this week I found that the snow was just drifts of snowflakes. Although I don't like the cold, this AZ girl is always amazed at the beauty of the snow. (And, OK, my pictures aren't that great of the snow flakes. If you click on the picture, you may be able to see them better. I am still figuring out this blogging thing)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Apron Instructions

We made these cute aprons for Super Saturday. I meant to post these intructions a long time ago, but you know how life is!!! Also, I hope the changing cloth doesn't confuse you- the pictures we taken over the course of several aprons!

Materials List:

Two fabric materials: one for the apron square and pocket; another material for the ties, triangle, and pocket. Prewash and iron cloth before cutting.

1: 23 inch square cloth. If the cloth has a specific direction (like a stripe), cut on the bias.

2: Two pockets: One of each fabric 6½ inch by 10 inch, two corners cut off at a 45-degree angle to make a point

3: 3 inch wide ties: two 42 inch strips and two 21 inch strips

4: 2 ½ inch wide ties: two 20 inch strips

5: One small triangle: about 8 inches on the short sides

6: Two buttons

7: Thread

Apron Instructions:

All seams are sewn at ½ inch.

1. Fold under raw edge of long side of small triangle piece about 3/8 inch and iron. Top stitch along folded edge.

2. With right sides together, place small triangle piece onto main apron square, matching a corner. If your cloth has a stripe or obvious direction, make sure that the triangle is on the corner that you want as the top of the apron. Sew along two outer edges of small triangle. Turn right side out to form a corner and iron. Fold flap down and iron leaving 3/4 to 1 inch of triangle on back side. This will be the top of your apron.

3. To hem top two edges of apron, turn under raw edge 1/4 of an inch, and then fold and iron again to create a finished edge. Ease in where the hem meets the small triangle at the top. Topstitch the whole length of the edge, stopping just before the folded flap.

Showing how to ease the hem near the small triangle at the top.

Hemming the raw edge.

4. For neck ties, use the two 2 ½ inch wide pieces. Fold in half lengthwise, with right sides together. Sew along the long edge and across one end. Turn right side out. Repeat with the other piece. Iron both ties.

5. Tuck raw edge of each necktie under triangle flap on the back side, with one on each side of the triangle near the hems. Then fold the ties up again so neckties are up. Pin in place. Turn the apron over and sew straps on under the flap on the front. Once both neckties are tacked on, topstitch under the fold to reinforce the straps along the top of the apron.

6. Find four strips that are 3 inches wide. These will be the trim on the bottom of the apron as well as the waist ties. Sew one short piece to the end of one long piece. Repeat for other tie. We suggest sewing each short and long strip together the same way you make a quilt binding to prevent bulkiness.

7. Fold the end of one of the strips in half lengthwise and iron to find the center. Then iron each top corner to that middle iron mark folding it down to triangles on each side. Use the ironing line as your guide for sewing the strips together. Place right sides of the two strips together and sew 1/4 inch below the ironing lines, starting and stopping 1/4 inch from the edge of the strips. Trim the fabric off the corners and tip and turn with right sides out. Press seams together to make a pointed right angle corner.

This is a drawing of how to make a nice miter corner for your apron binding. It may seem confusing, but if you follow the pictures, it is actually pretty easy.

This is a picture of the two pieces of cloth sewn together. Note the ironing lines (they give you a guideline while you are sewing). Also note that you start sewing 1/4 inch from the edge.

This is the same cloth with the edges trimmed off. It is ready to be turned right side out and pressed.

You are basically making your own casing. Usually you sew down one edge of the casing and then hand stitch down the other edge, but I am too lazy. I just sew it all at once and make sure that I catch both sides of the casing. Note how I turned the edges in 1/8 inch to finish the raw edge. It is a bit of ironing, but the sewing goes really fast.

8. Turn under the raw edges of both sides of the ties under 3/8 inch and iron. Place bottom of apron inside the ties matching up the corner at the bottom. Pin. Start at the corner and topstitch making sure to catch the backside also all the way to the end of the tie. As you reach the end of the tie, fold in the end and topstich to create a finished look. Repeat on other tie.

At this point I have sewn one side of the binding on. The other side is pinned and ready for sewing.

9. Pocket. Sew two pocket pieces with right sides together, making sure to leave a 3 inch gap unsewn. Turn pocket so right sides are out and iron flat. Fold top of pocket down and iron. Place on apron at desired spot. Topstitch onto apron on three sides leaving top open.

10. Sew buttons in middle of flap on pocket and on the center of the flap at the top of the apron. (Note: We used covered buttons. You can find them in the notions department at craft stores [ I found them at Walmart]. They are really easy and turn out so cute!)