Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cute, Fun, Easy Craft

I am always on the lookout for cute easy craft projects. I found these on J Caroline Creative. I decided to make some for little gifts. They are so easy and fun. I love the colors and options.

You can't tell on the pictures but these are different sizes.

Monday, September 1, 2008

I love fabric

I am sorting through my fabric and making some gift bags. It is at times like this that I realize how much I love fabric.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Momma Moments - Take 2

Yesterday's event seems so simple today. It was easy. I had conditioner and even if I didn't I can buy that at the store. Today's moment -- a crayon that got in the hands of a 4 year and a special painted birthday bench. I have heard so much talk about Magic Eraser but never had one but now is when I really want one. The only problem is they don't sell them here so I guess we will try to scrubbing.

Somebody is being staked a bit closer.

Momma Moments

Momma moments comes in all varieties. There are the times you know what to do and the times when you are left wondering how do I deal with this. There are times when it is just sweet and you want to kiss their beautiful heads of hair and then there are the times when they are driving you nuts and you are about to pull out your hair. Then there are times that you are left wondering -- how do you get Play-doh out of hair. My recommendation is conditioner. It worked for us yesterday after a large amount of yellow Play-doh was placed in one's head. She will remain nameless but considering I have one child and I didn't do to myself. I think you can guess.

I wonder what momma moments I will have today.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Happy Anniversary

I am a little late in posting this. My parents' anniversary was last week. I had fun using my new SU hydrangea stamps that I bought on ebay with the inks that my friend brought back for me. It was my first time to use the two step stamp and I loved it. Okay, enough about the card.

My parents have been a wonderful example of marriage based on God's principles. Thank you for being that example to me and my brothers. I love you and wish I could be there to celebrate with you.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Felt Food - Cookies

I finished up my felt food with some cookies -- peanut butter, thumbprint, and chocolate chunk. I did use the sewing machine to make the fork marks on the peanut butter cookies and also to sew the chocolate chunks on. I used various circle sizes and just added two layers of batting and sewed around the sides.

I think that is all from the felt kitchen for now. I want to make some gingerbread and maybe some sugar cookies for stockings but I will do those later.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pop-Tarts - The Real Thing Homemade Style

After making the felt Pop-Tarts and also watching Miss K eat the real ones, I decided that making Pop-Tarts should not be that hard. A friend and I were talking and she challenged me to make them. I poked around online and found lots of recipes but tried this one. I made a half recipe because I wasn't sure how they would taste. I also skipped the egg wash mainly because I didn't have that many eggs. I did try 2 jam but they were just spreading the jam on.

They were good and my husband said, I could make them again. My friend who challenged me and her children ate them. The children wanted to make sure that she got the recipe.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Homeschooling a Downs Syndrome Child

Beginning when they are young

I want to share a bit of what I have done as I have begun the journey of homeschooling my daughter with Downs Syndrome. I am writing this from my perspective which includes who I am, who my daughter is and our family. Each of us have different circumstances and so we will need to adjust for those circumstances. Miss K was our first child, my personality is to dig in and research something, and we are living overseas.

Some know prior to birth if the baby has Downs Syndrome which will give time to adjust and prepare. We did know until Miss K was born that she had Downs Syndrome. Soon after she was born I began the task of learning and researching. Babies with Downs Syndrome edited by Karen Stray-Gundersen is a good starting place.

The first thing to address is any physical issues. Miss K needed two surgeries. At 72 hours she had surgery to correct the duodenal artesia. Then at 2 weeks of age she had heart surgery.She came home from the hospital at 26 days. Thankfully, at that time she no longer needed further surgeries, observations, medications, no feeding tubes or anything else. I know that is not the case for all Downs Syndrome children so those things could impact what can be done.

After medical, the next decision is what services are available and how are you going to utilize them if at all. For us we did not have the option of a “Birth-3” program. We did have a physical therapist that met with us when Miss K was a month old and then would give us goals and when we accomplished those goals we would go back for a follow-up visit. This particular therapist pushed Miss K. She felt that Miss K could do things and so she pushed. She did not allow me to celebrate an accomplishment for long but pushed us to the next milestone. The physical therapy was something that we did at home with her.

Another consideration is the things that she surround the child with. When I was in graduate school I read Jim Trelease’s book The Read Aloud Handbook. When we learned that Miss K had Downs Syndrome, I remembered a example of the power of read alouds from that book, a girl who was considered beyond learning but whose parents read to her everyday and she did learn and was able to tell her which were her favorite books. That inspired us and so even before Miss K was moved out of her incubator to a bassinet we were reading to her. Those days when we could not hold her, we could read to her. We surrounded her with books.

We found toys that had value at least in our eyes. One that we felt did add value was a kick and play piano that we tied to the end of her bed. It did encourage her to kick and we wanted to get and keep her moving. We hung all kinds of things from the mobile to encourage her to bat at things. We did experiment and found a few that were duds for various reasons.

So for us the first months were spend beginning to physical therapy, encouraging her towards the milestones, beginning to learn what it meant to have a child with Downs Syndrome, reading to her and loving her.

That was the beginning of our homeschool journey.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Some things are best unknown

like the price of a gallon of milk. I buy milk in 946ml cartons so that is about 1/4 gallon so when you do the math or is it maths (British say maths) and then convert it works out to . . . really I shouldn't do the math. But since I already did, I might as well tell you - $9.61 for a gallon of milk.

Guess who is now going to buy more powdered milk, it is about $8 for a big can of powdered milk and that is full cream, New Zealand powdered milk.

Okay, just had to share that bit of news. What do you pay a gallon?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Felt Food - Pop-Tarts

When I was looking for ideas for felt food. I found Pop-Tarts but decided not to make them as it is something that Miss K. We don't buy them because they are never in the stores, we don't buy much processed food, and they don't sell the kind I like (I don't even know if they still make the kind I like). Well, the other week I found them in the local store that I usually avoid because it is dark and crowded. They remodeled so it is not as dark but it is still crowded. Anyway, they had Pop-Tarts in the reduced cause no one knows what this foreign food is and so they are not buying it area. I bought them thinking I would give it to my friend cause I knew her kids would enjoy that taste of home but since they are home I have had them on my shelf. It was just a box on the shelf until yesterday. Someone discovered it, opened it, and enjoyed a treat. Yep, she is stuffing her mouth quick before mom sees it and cleans up the mess. I think she decided that she likes these and don't you dare think of giving them away.

I decided maybe I should make some Pop-Tart felt food. Here it is. I used beads on the top to give it the look of sprinkles.

Off white - 5 x 3.5"
Pink icing - 2.75 x 4"

Sew the pink onto the off white with 1 layer of batting. Then sew the beads on. Sew the off white together with 2 layers of batting.


Saturday, August 2, 2008


Well, after that delicious breakfast, we do need to think about lunch. We have simple lunches around here. A favourite is a cheese quesadilla or just noodles. Usually our noodles just have butter and cheese but we got fancy and added some spaghetti sauce. Here is a close-up of the bow-tie pasta. It was so easy to make.
For a change we can have ravioli. Use the same spaghetti sauce. I might need to make more sauce. I guess I should make a big batch of sauce.
Since we are here in Asia we will also have some dumplings. Hmm, that makes me hungry for Auntie LL's wonderful dumplings made with the Beijing recipe.

Notes: (mainly so I remember what I did)

The bow tie pasta was 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" trimmed with the pinking shears before gathering together.

The ravioli were 2 inch squares, trimmed with the pinking shears and then sewed and stuffed with fiberfill.

The dumplings were circles and the stuffed with fiberfill and sewn.

The spaghetti sauce had 2 to 3 layers of batting and then was hand sewn. I added the cheese before sewing the red pieces to gether.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Breakfast Food

I have recently made some food for Miss K. Bacon and eggs for breakfast. A stack of pancakes.
Now I am working on some lunch food.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Banana Pudding

First of all, I have to say I have never made banana pudding before. I don't think my mother ever made it so I never made it. For some reason Banana pudding is one of my husband's favourite desserts. We have been married for almost 5 years and I have never made it. Okay, maybe because I didn't have a recipe was one reason or maybe the fact that Vanilla Wafers are not a regular item on the supermarket shelves.

Well, I inherited a box of banana pudding so I decided to try to make banana pudding.

First of all, I had to make the vanilla wafers. I found this recipe. It has mixed reviews but I decided to try it. You really do need to make small balls to get small cookies.

Next I made the pudding. Okay, it was easy cause I used pudding mix. I did read the real recipe and learn that you make it from scratch.

I don't have a nice fancy dish to serve it in so I just put it in a casserole dish. I did whip some cream for the top but didn't bake it. I did sprinkle some crumbs on top. That was a good way to use a few that broke and the crumbs in the cookie container.
I learned a few things along the way and will improve the next time. It was nice to be able to give my husband something he really likes. Miss K loved it as well. She called it cake. Here she is enjoying it. I didn't bother to take a picture of my husband enjoying it. Maybe he ate it too fast.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Gift Bags

I am not sure where I originally got the idea for making fabric gift bags. I did find a website that sells them as well as a few others. I decided that the thing that makes the bags cute is the fabric. One of the reason I decided to make them is finding wrapping paper here is very difficult. The other reason is I got tired of wrapping gifts and then unwrapping and throwing the paper away.

I started by just using some fabric that I had around the house. Some of these prints are leftover fabric from my work days. The star fabric actually has "sample" stamped in big letters on the inside. I did buy ribbon to coordinate which is not a problem because I got to the notions market. Which is one of my favourite places to go. Here are some pictures. I made some Christmas bags as well. I found the "Merry Christmas" fabric on the $10 (local dollars) a meter table. That is like hitting the $1 a yard at Wal-Mart.

Here is a bag in action. She knew what to do. She untied it and dug in.
I love the gift bags and have found some more fun fabric on the $10 a meter table so I am going to make some more.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Birthday Cake

Since we were in Asia this year for Miss K's birthday, we couldn't just go order a Martin's Cake so that meant momma had to make one. It is funny I used to make cakes for my niece and nephew but have not yet made a birthday cake for Miss K.

Pooh is her favourite so we decided to have a Pooh party. I baked a 9x13 white cake. Do you know that the Betty Crocker cookbook does not have a basic plain cake recipe. I guess they assume that everyone uses a mix for the basic cake. Well, the other week my mother had sent me the recipe for a One Egg cake. That is what I made when I was learning to bake so I made a double recipe.

I needed S's help in drawing the head. Here it is ready to begin cutting out Pooh's head. While he was doing that I mixed the icing.
Here is the final product. Our desire was that Miss K would know who it was. She didn't see it until the party and said "Pooh".

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Shh - the quiet family

I have recently grown tired of all the plastic in our life and in toys. Months ago I saw Simply Stork had a quiet family that she made. I decided to make a family for Miss K.

My first attempt was not so good. I tried to dress him up a bit and add a tie but it just made him look like Dilbert.

I then decided to email Simply Stork and she was kind enough to send me direction. Those sat in my inbox until my UFO (Unfinished Objects) project. I did them. Okay, after I took the picture I realized that momma's eyes were in the back of her head which I guess means she really is a momma. I ended up giving her hair extensions in the back and putting new eyes on the front.Here they are all wrapped up and ready to go.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Lessons about God from raising a 3 year old

The other day we were sitting at the table and Miss K was asking and asking for something. Honestly, I don't remember what it was and really that is not the important part. She wanted it and she was saying, "please, please". Finally, we gave it to her. She then had a very proud look on her face that she got what she wanted, what she had asked for. Then she looked at us and said, "thank you, bye, see you" and began enjoying whatever it was that she wanted. "Bye, see you" is her way of saying, leave me alone, I don't need you anymore.

Well, we look at each other and both remarked wondering how often we do that with God. We ask and ask for what we want. God gives it to us. We quickly say, "thank you" and then tell him to leave us alone until the next time we need something.

I want to focus more on being thankful and not pushing God aside after receiving his blessing.

Just a lesson we learned from our 3 year old who is soon to be 4 years old.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Spring Table Runner

One of the things that I have been doing is working to use some of the fabric scraps that I have. Some of them are very small but some are bigger. I decided that for our table I like table runners. Our table gets used for so many things that a table runner adds some colour but does not cover everything.

I made the binding from strips of fabric so it also has a patchwork look. I had some bigger pieces of fabric and so I was able to make some napkins to match this.
I just have to show you the back. I was quite pleased with the quilting. I enjoyed quilting it which is something new. I have always enjoyed the piecing but am learning to enjoy the quilting. I also enjoy the finished piece.Now I am ready to quilt Miss K's quilt that I pieced in the last weeks before she was born. Maybe I should quilt it in the last weeks before she turns four. I need white quilting thread and then I can begin.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Three Bags

One of the things on my UFO list was to make some bags for Miss K and siblings. I wanted something for when we go out to take treats, books, and other little fun things. So here they are using up fabric that I had except for the meter and half that I had to buy of navy canvas. Some of this is old stroller fabric which I have had in my fabric box for years.

I started with 2 11" x 11" pieces for the body. Made the bottom by pulling (might be a more technical term) 1 1/2" inches to make the bottom. I made a 7"x7" pocket but should measure again because it might have been reduced to 6"x6". The handles are 4" wide and then folded and folded to be 1". They are 14" long. The velcro closure strap is some of the handle strap just put there.

I wrote that out for me so the next time I made one of these bags. I will remember the sizes. Now I can get rid of the little post-it note that I had all that written on.`

Christmas Stockings

I needed to make some more Christmas stockings. That was a project the past few weeks. We now have 5 with different quilt type patterns at the top. They were easy to make and are roomy for all kinds of stocking treats. I am slowly getting ready for Christmas.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Packing and Unpacking

One of the challenges of living overseas is the packing and unpacking. Not just the moving but also every trip home. I am still mourning the loss of those 20 pounds when the airline baggage limit went from 70 to 50 pounds. Do you realize that means with 3 of us and 6 bags that I lost 120 pounds of things I can bring back? Now the weight limit is 50 pounds and so as I am packing I am putting the luggage on the scale. As I am packing, I am taking things out of boxes -- the toothpaste box has lots of filler space--and then I am filling in the space in boxes with other things. That is great especially for little things.

The one thing you need to do is remember what you put in those boxes and also unpack those boxes when you return.

Today I opened a box of cream and discovered 2 boxes of Calms Forte--we have thought we had more than the 1 box we were using--and some birthday brads for scrapbooking. That was not from our March trip either. That would have been last July. Maybe I should go look through some more boxes in my medicine drawer.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Bow Tie Quilt

This lap quilt, movie night quilt was started November 2005 when my mom came to visit. We peiced using various solid scraps that I had. We started to quilt it and I had grand plans of quilting just a bit every evening and it would quickly get done.

I am currently in the mode of finishing projects and this was one of those projects that has been hanging around here and needed to be finished. I am thrilled to have it finished.

It is hand quilted. It is not going to win any prizes but it will keep us warm.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

We are fine

Yes, there was an earthquake in the area. I will admit that we did not feel it. I do know what earthquakes feel like. After the 9-21, from a few years ago I know.

Thanks for asking and being concerned.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Baby Shower Gifts

Years ago I made a pattern for a bib. I found one that I liked that was a nice size and traced that pattern. Since then I have been making bibs for baby gifts. They are easy to mail and just a little something to say congratulations! I have fun digging through my fabric boxes and finding fabric. The mom's group was having a triple shower and so I decided to make bibs. Of course, in the middle of sewing my machine needed to be repaired but a friend loaned me her machine so I was able to finish them.

This is a pink stripe with teacups. I got the pink stripe from a bathroom that I hemmed and it was cute and I just couldn't throw it away. I added the teacup fabric because it needed to be pieced.Then I made brup clothes and boy bibs for the ones having boys.
I opted for a simple gift tag and skipped the envelope because I am conserving envelopes. I am having so much fun with the onesie stamp. I stamped on printed paper, embossed, and cut it out and put it on the gift tag.

Three simple gifts. Well, we (my friend and I) divided up the diapers from the diaper cake and a few other things we had gotten and included the bibs and burp clothes and we had a gift or in this case three gifts.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Board Book to Scrapbook

I was inspired by someone on Craftster forum talking about making scrapbooks from board books. I decided to try it. Miss K had a book that had a little music button but the battery died but instead of just dying and no longer plays it died making a noise that is enough to drive a momma nuts so I pulled it off the book and decided to try and make a scrapbook.

The first thing you need to do is sand the pages a bit so the glue will stick.Then comes the point of gluing paper onto the book. I used some 8x8 paper that I had. I did learn that you need to leave some room so the pages will turn.
I then decorated the book. I used various pictures of the grandchildren from Easter including a picture of the momma with a baby bump.
Mom received it and loved it. She said she is going to look for bargain board books. This could be addicting.

A Hip Handbag

For Christmas I received a book called Hip Handbags. In there was a pattern for a bag made from silk and using chopsticks for handles. I had bought some silk last year when we were deep in China. I then bought chopsticks in the market in the capital city and I was ready to make the bag.

Working with silk was the difficult part. I did finish it and am happy with it. It was not lined and I am wondering if I would make it a lined bag if that would make working with silk easier. It was hard turning down the hem at the top.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

It worked -- Cream of Tartar

Miss K received a magic book for Easter. The one where you use a special marker and the pictures appear. I decided that would be great to talk with us on Sundays except that the marker if it gets on clothing leaves a mark. I looked on the website and they said to use a rust remover that you can buy in the supermarket. That might work if you lived in America and had various kinds and brands of stain removers. I looked in a few supermarkets. There were various things from the UK, Japan and Australia but nothing that said removes rust. I tried baking soda because that will remove rust from some surfaces. That did nothing.

Someone on a forum suggested cream of tartar and sun. I had to wait a few days for the sun but I tried it and guess what -- it took the spots out. I am thrilled. That is a household hint to remember.

Only 3 days

not 10 for the lipstick to get 10 minutes south on the train. I received a call yesterday.

I actually know where my Club Clinique VIP card is. If I spend $5000 (US$650) I get a free gift. It amazes me how much money is spent on make-up and such here. There is no way I will spend that much money on Clinique in a million years not because I don't like Clinique but because I just don't spend that much money on make-up.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

My favourite colour of lipstick

I am probably like most people and have a favourite colour of lipstick. I have worn this colour for years. It goes with everything I wear. I guess that is why it is my favourite colour -- Clinique Chocolate Raspberry. I found it here in Asia years ago and learned that it was a colour that they only sold in Asia. No problem, I have just bought it all these years while here and always had a stash.

A few weeks ago I ran out and also discovered that I did not have any in my stash. I stopped by the Clinique display in the mall. They still had it on the display so I was in luck until I learned they were out of stock but the good news they would be back in stock in a few weeks. I bought something to wear but kept wishing for Chocolate Raspberry.

Yesterday was a few weeks later and we were in that mall so I decided see if it is in stock. I walked in and looked and they didn't have it on the display. I asked. She looked, no, they didn't have it. I had just dropped off my sewing machine for the 2nd repair in the past 3 months and I was not happy because of course, I had sewing I needed to do. That was my mood.

I told her "but a few weeks ago you told me it would be in stock." She got tired of dealing with me because I was stretching her English. She turned me over to someone else who told me I could check the other stores. "Okay," I asked, "where are they?" She then offered to call the other stores. New Town Plaza had it. Yeah, I told her I would take 2 one to use now and one for my stash.

Driving to and parking at New Town Plaza is easy. We had just done it the night before. She said they could send it over to Festival Walk. We are in and out of that mall a few times a week. "Please, send it over here." I signed my name on the hold information and then asked one more question, "when will it be here?" Her answer -- about 10 days.

I was actually nice and didn't say anything. I was close to getting my favourite lipstick and I didn't want to jeopardize that.

10 days -- New Town Plaza is 2 stops away on the train. Less than 10 minutes. I can get an airmail package from the USA in less than 10 days. A container ships from Hong Kong to LA in 11 days and my 2 sticks of lipstick will take 10 days to go south 10 minutes on the train. Some things I will never understand.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Stocking up my card box

I needed to stock up my card box with some birthday cards. I got the inspiration for this card from Julie. I was told by a friend to always decorate the card so I did it by just punching a square and now I have a fun summery birthday card.

These are so simple but I think so cute. I love the green and pink ribbon. I love using ribbon that I find. The "Happy Birthday" paper I have had for too long and so it is time to use it.
Now I am ready for some birthdays. It is nice having them in my box so when I am busy and forget which often seems to happen I have a card ready.

Friday, May 2, 2008

What is a foreigner to do? - Warning this is a vent!

The other day I was in the supermarket and noticed various healthy foods -- rice milk, organic foods and other things had little signs that said something like "this product might not be sold after 29 May because of nutrional labeling". When I got to the checkout I picked up a leaflet and read it.

It has left me scratching my head to the stupidity of the government. Oh, I wasn't supposed to say that was I because I am to respect government. Well, you might do the same when you hear what is happening. The current unique mandatory nutrition labelling scheme (everything here is a scheme of some sort but that is a British term) is currently being review by the Legislative Council. There is a exemption for products that sell less than 30,000 units per year. Unfortunately, the exemption will not apply to small volume products that make nutrition claims, such as those that are labelled "transfat-free" (there goes Crisco), "contains omega-3", "25% less fat" (that doesn't bother me because we eat full fat), "low sodium", and "cholesterol-free" to name but a few. That means that healthier products, organic products, and products favoured by ethnic minorities (that would be me -- I never thought of myself as an ethnic minority) may disappear from sale because it will not be economically viable to nutrient test and re-label these products. All of these products already have extensive nutrition labelling that complies with the labelling laws of the country of origin.

That was long and some of it was copied from the leaflet.

So what this means -- I can't buy healthy foods but can continue to buy junk food. I can't buy the baked potato crisps (can you tell those are from the UK), I can't buy organic Wheatabix which is a staple breakfast cereal here. Yikes - yesterday Libbey pumpkin was included on the display of things leaving or possibly leaving. Not sure why.

So the frustration what can I do? I could try stockpiling but really with only 700 sq feet how much of that can I do. There is a petition and I asked if foreigners can sign and I did sign it.

So the challenge is what to do as a foreigner and I don't have the answer.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

It's beginning to look like

Christmas gift tags. I know it is only April well, now May but I decided after last year's rush in wrapping gifts and needing to quick find or make name tags that I was going to start early this year. I just cut some small pieces of paper and then used my various Christmas stamps - snowflakes on kraft paper, candy cane, Christmas balls, mittens, stars, and holly. I have one "to/from" stamp that I have had for years but it worked. They are finished and put away with the wrapping paper.

Next I am going to make some more stockings but I do have a few other projects that will need to be done before that.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Blues - Variatations on a Theme

I saw something similar to this on someone's blog. Sorry, I can't remember and if it was your blog, thank you for the idea.

The other year at a yard sale someone was selling some scrapbook supplies. They had tried and decided it wasn't for them. I reaped the benefits. I had the paper sitting in my cabinet and decided I really need to use it. I have been trying to do more of that - using things I have. I pulled out one piece of each of the blue patterns and decided to just cut and see what I could make.

Here is a simple Happy Birthday card. My corner punch died as I was doing this. It was sad but our hero came to the rescue and was able to buy one at the stationary store when he went out to workout.A bit square. I stamped Happy birthday inside and I have a nice birthday card.
This one looks like a circus.
This is my favourite creation and I love it so I decided to make a few more to have on hand. Doesn't it just look like a baby boy. The onsie stamp is a recent purchase and I love it. I embossed it and then it was easy to cut it out.
There are the variations on The Blues.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Why I make cards.

Here are just two reasons why I make cards. The selection that we find here is enough reason to start making your own.

Here is a foldout house. It has Chinese writing and a cake with candles so it must be a birthday card.This is my favourite reason to make cards. The little man with his mouth wide open riding an elephant and picking apples. Yes, that looks like a birthday card -- right. The sign in the elephant's mouth might say "happy birthday".