March 22, 2014

Happy Birthday pennants

When I was six I knew her simply as "Kevin's mom".
Then as my musical awareness developed, I realized she was also our talented church organist.  (Eventually we would play piano and organ duets.)
By the time I got to high school their family had built a beautiful home with a lovely must-use-often pool close to school. We used to have lots of parties there; for they were a family with three sons.
I found these wonderful pennants for my Silhouette Cameo cutter at Bird's Cards.
Happy 80th birthday, Rita! You taught me one can survive raising three sons... :)

March 20, 2014

Homemade Pesto Chicken Sausage–Stuffed Mushrooms

What an awesome challenge theme this month: sausage & mushrooms! (Although, my two younger sons were not quite as excited – they dislike  hate  abhor avoid anything even slightly mushroom-related…)
We figured we would buy our favorite sausage from Sprouts, and then find something mushroom-y to do with it. Probably hunt down some poor defenseless portobellos & stuff 'em. Same ol' same ol'...
"Nothing to see here folks; move along, move along!"

Then I had the brilliant idea that I'd been wanting to make my own sausage (since I'd been trolling some charcuterie sites which had made me drool  whetted my appetite piqued my interest...)

So I ground five pounds of chicken. (It's best to use the skin & fat for flavor, but I only had boneless/skinless.)

I had about a pound of crimini mushrooms that we stemmed, brushed with olive oil, then stuffed with the fresh sausage.
(The sliced potatoes lining the pan? those are the sausage foundations for the antimushroomites...)
We baked them in a 375° oven until the probe read 175° -- which was about 30 - 45 minutes. The meat was sizzling and turning a nice brown.

I cannot tell you how amazing these tasted! (But, we might or might not have taken another pound of the sausage destined for the freezer and mixed the chopped mushroom stems in and roasted them in muffin cups and devoured them on the spot; barely waiting for them to cool...)

Looking for more Sausage & Mushroom recipes? Look no further than the links below...

March 18, 2014

Wee Bit o' Irish Stirfry


ejirishstirfry (9)So, for St. Paddy’s day my family begged for Irish Nachos.

ejirishstirfry (10)I was down with that, because we still had 3/4s of our huge roasted corned beef in the freezer. But then I realized I didn’t have any sour cream or green onions... Sad smile


ejirishstirfry (2)No problemo! I went ahead and chopped, then browned the meat.


ejirishstirfry (3)I “mandolined” some potatoes nice & thin; coated them with oil and stuck them in a 350° oven.

ejirishstirfry (4)Next into the frying pan went the onion…

ejirishstirfry (5)then three large carrots…

ejirishstirfry (6)and a large head of cabbage.

ejirishstirfry (7)Ah, yes! Smells just like it should!

ejirishstirfry (8)Taters look done.

ejirishstirfry (1)And there you are ~ Irish Stirfry!

March 6, 2014

a few costumes for “The Elves & the Shoemaker”

ejapronI showed you the tailcoat I sewed for the dapper Trescott here. I also added purple ruffles to a blouse and stitched a purple ascot for his neck. The shoemaker’s apron was something I whipped together at the school just prior to dress rehearsal…
ejbaronesshatHot-gluing Madame Grotsky’s headpiece was a fun project.ejbaronessI used flower pins to add extra tucks to her dress to shorten it a bit.
DSCN9856The elves' raggy clothing I drafted based on a child’s pajama bottom pattern & various-sized tee-shirts. (Somebody needs to teach some people how to use a measuring tape! The sizes we received on costuming forms from a few parents, were, ummmmmm – OFF!)
My biggest challenge for this show was to transform Theodora a refugee into a spirit when she is accidently shot by the soldiers. I had to slightly alter the bodice to fit her slight frame. After some tucks just below the shoulder, I added a strip of velcro to close the back. (Then I needed to tack on a fluffy bow to cover the two inches of fabric that stuck out from her back!)
Theodora transforms into woodland spirit

Here’s a video of the skirt of the dress cascading from where it was hidden under her overcoat. I simply stitched little plastic curtain rings around the bottom of the bodice and correspondingly on the edge of the underskirt (there were four layers to gather up!) Opening night had a much better transformation than the one I was able to film the last show.
ejHcurtaincallOf course I have to leave you with a couple pictures of my son!
H & Miss P

a little shopper’s assistance, please

It is now time to start thrift-shopping for items to use in costuming for the up-coming play. Because of the difficulty going through clothing racks trying to keep my purse on my shoulder; I started borrowing the “Kurse” to keep my wallet, phone & keys strapped to my body.ejhishipSew… it was time to make one of Reen’s “Hipsters” for moi!

ejmyhipsterI’ve had this gardening fabric for ages – it’s just been waiting for an appropriate project.

ejrosyliningI lined it with some rosy satin salvaged from somebody’s bridesmaid dress alteration…

ejhipsterkeysI even added a clip for my keys. That is all!

CammieI made a bag for a friend whose doctor told her to downsize her purse for health reasons.

ej4auntMI’m in the process of stitching one for my aunt who takes her doggy for long walks. Also quite handy as she plans to be travelling internationally this summer. She’s excited that it will fit her passport & other necessities that need to be within immediate reach. Don’t you just the little hand-stamped medallion I monogrammed to hang from her zipper pull?

ej3vegasThree more hipsters were sewn and sent to Las Vegas to live with my sis & nieces. All utilized a common exterior fabric, but each was lined with a different coordinating textile.


…as promised–some baby girl gifts:

ej4youAbout a month ago I showed some baby boy giftings, and told you I had a few girly things to let you peek at . ejflannelraggyI did not lie .ejraggy2Really .ejheadbandsBut I’ve still got some unfinished projects on the stack .ejsosweet(…just one or two…) Winking smileejsweet2So don’t go too far .sweet recipientI just might finish a couple…