Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Jeans Apron

Last year, a friend shared a project she had undertaken for some of her great nieces and nephews and I thought they were so cute.  All year, I thought about trying to make some myself and have finished my first attempt.  Here's the first one and I wanted to share it on Our Second Hand House's "March Craft Challenge Link Up - Jeans/Clothing" blog crawl. 

I started with a child's denim overall (12 mo.) I bought at a thrift store and cut off the legs near the crotch. 

I then cut it apart at the side seams.  The front of the overalls would make one apron and the back a different one.
To the bottom of one apron I added a little "skirt" made by gathering some fabric and sewing it on.  The fabric was leftover material I had used to made some pillow covers. 
The fabric was sturdy, outdoor fabric and thought it would be a good match as it was about the same weight as the denim.  I'm sure if lighter weight material was used, it would work.  This particular fabric matched pretty well and I had enough to work with.
The strap was an experiment and I'm still not sure I like the end result.  I sewed two strips together, right sides facing and turned it right side out.  On one end, I sewed a button hole.  The other side, I added a buckle.  You can see the result.  The fabric choice didn't lend itself well for a tie at the neck and I thought the buckle would allow for adjustments.

The tie around the middle was stitched to the front of the apron. Embellishments can be added as desired. 

I'm still working on the second apron and am trying to give it a more 'masculine' flair.  I'll post it when I get it finished.  These are really fun to make as you can use whatever material and embellishments you have on hand.  If you're an embroiderer, you could add your child's name.  How special would that be?!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Monday, March 9, 2015

Random Things

I didn't intend on taking a 'blog break' last month but I guess I needed it.  The weather was quite cold here and I was happy to stay inside most of the time quilting

working on a presentation for my Master Gardeners' group
and cooking for Wonderful Hubby.
I did have to get out some, though.  Precious Daughter gave a presentation describing her research project in plant genetics to her fellow doctorial students.  She invited us to come and hear her (and give some moral support.)  We are so proud of her!!  
The presentation was given in the Monsanto Auditorium in the Bond Life Sciences Center on the University of Missouri campus.  There is an amazing living wall in the Life Sciences Center.  PD didn't want me to take any pictures while she was presenting but I did get some shots of that incredible wall!

Favorite Son stopped by and we were SO happy to see him!  (We're pretty proud of him, too!!)  He was able to visit awhile before heading to class.
Grandma was thrilled!!

Later in the month, I joined about 40 of my fellow county retired teachers as we traveled to our Missouri State Capitol.  We met with over 700 Missouri retired teachers to lobby for educational and retirement issues. 
It was a COLD day but we had a great time! 
Isn't our state capitol beautiful? 

Temperatures are moderating now and the snow is leaving!  I'm so tired of it -  I'm not going to post any photos of it.  In fact, WH and I enjoyed a much needed outdoor afternoon at one of our favorite wineries, Blumenhof, this weekend.  It was in the mid 60's and hard to believe the weekend
before we had a winter storm!!

Like many of you, I'm ready for Spring!!  Gardening catalogs have been showing up in my mailbox and outdoor ideas are popping up on Pinterest. 
I am so ready!!

It's good to be back!  Let's celebrate SPRING!!!!


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Sunday, March 8, 2015

St. Patrick's Dinner

I'm joining Cuisine Kathleen for her annual St. Patrick's Day Blog Crawl and I've mixed old and new dishes to set a table for some yummy Irish Stew.

 The salad plates, water glasses and dessert dishes are vintage items I've picked up at resale shops.
 The rest are from Home Goods, Old Time Pottery and Dollar Tree.
 These bowls are perfect for a generous portion of Irish Stew.

I am SO ready for Spring!  These tulips make my heart happy each time I walk past them!
Wonderful Hubby said this recipe was an absolute keeper!
I found it at allrecipes.com but I had to tweak it a bit.
I used
  2 lbs. of chuck roast, cut into half inch cubes
  2-3 Tablespoons 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  1 Teaspoon salt and black pepper, or to taste

  2 pinches of cayenne pepper

  1/4 cup olive oil

  1 yellow onions, chopped

  2 cloves garlic, crushed
  2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  Enough water to dilute tomato paste
        1 twelve ounce (12 oz) bottle of dark ale, divided               
  2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  3 medium potatoes, cut into 1 inch chunks
  4 carrots, cut into 1 inch chunks
  1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley for garnish

  • Whisk the flour, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper in a bowl and dredge the meat to coat evenly.
  • Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat; cook and stir coated beef cubes, working in batches, until beef is browned on all sides, 5 to 10 minutes.  Transfer to a dish and keep warm.
  • Cook and stir onions and garlic in the same pot used for browning beef until lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes
  • Stir tomato paste with enough water to partially dilute; pour into onion mixture. Stir to blend. Reduce heat to medium, cover Dutch oven, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Pour half the dark ale into the onion mixture, and bring to a boil while scraping the browned bits of food off of the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the browned beef and any remaining juices. Pour remaining half of ale into beef mixture; add the thyme.  (I tied the thyme sprigs together so they could be easily removed later.)
  • Cover Dutch oven, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 1 and 1/2 hours.
  • Add potatoes and carrots and simmer.  If the stew looks a bit dry, add about 1/2 cup to 1 cup beef broth so the vegetables are covered. Stir every 20 minutes, until potatoes are soft, about 1 hour. Adjust salt as needed; garnish with parsley.

This recipe serves 2.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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