Monday, December 29, 2008

My Christmas Dress

I made this dress a few weeks before Christmas, but couldn't get a picture until on Christmas. It's another button down dress, but it's a little different than my last one. This time I kept the sleeves and the collar. I hadn't planned on doing it this way, but I really liked the idea of not making matching bias tape again!

I also wanted sleeves in case it was cold, which of course it wasn't. :) The sleeves were a bit of work. Since the shirts were xxl I had to take in the sleeve while still keeping the cuffs. I also shortened them. I like 3/4 length sleeves better anyway, but the cuffs were way to big for my puny little wrist. They fit great further up my arm though. I also pleated the sleeves just a little at the top so that they are just slightly puffed. I don't like sleeves to be too puffy. Anyway, enough of my rambling! Let me show it off.

Please excuse my dumb expression, I take pictures about like Chandler from Friends. Well, maybe not THAT bad! lol Yeah, I still randomly remember funny things from Friends that make me laugh. I'm kinda sporadic like that.

Anyway, as for the dress, I did the pin-tucks all the way around the waist again. I think it's a nice way to make a dress fitted. Also, I learned how to do them right this time. When I first started I would back stitch at the end to secure my stitches, which I knew didn't look right. I found out that you pull the threads to the back of you work and tie them in a knot. It looks so much nicer that way!

I had really wanted some gray knit tights to wear with it, but that never happened. I looked at a ton of stores before finally finding some on Christmas Eve. Of course, they didn't fit. So I had to wear uncomfortable hose all day. It wasn't too bad though.

The girls were dressed up too, and were so adorable! I'd love to show off their pics to you all, but Jason, my hubby doesn't like me to post their pics online. I can't really blame him with all the weirdos in the world, but it's not like people don't see them all the time when we go to town. I guess he just doesn't want their pics floating around in cyberspace for anybody to see. Which now that I write it, makes a lot of sense. Well, here I am rambling again. I better go and finish cleaning the house. It's a real mess from Christmas!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tinsel Wreath

I totally did not come up with this on my own. I saw the idea here. I fell in love with that wreath the minute I saw it. I usually do traditional, old fashioned Christmas decorations, but I like the obviously fake stuff too. I prefer trees and wreaths to be real, or obviously fake, and since I'm too busy to make a real wreath this year, this worked out great.

I didn't intentionally set out to make this wreath, but the thrift store had big ziplock bags of tinsel garland for $2 a piece. They also had a plain wooden wreath, so I knew it was meant to be! I didn't have any suitable fabric for the flower, so I got to thinking and came up with this. It's made from a Christmas box from last year. Yay for keeping Christmas wrapping! I knew it would come in handy. Anyway, I drew the design on the back of the box, one big and one little. I cut them out and attached them together with a pink brad. I attached it with florist wire, and that was it!

The only problem is that it's so cute it makes the rest of the door look terrible. I took the picture on the back of the door, but the paint on the front is peeling badly. I think I'm gonna wrap it in a cute paper so it will look nicer. Back to the Christmas wrapping stash!


I love Christmas! This year I've been rather slow getting to my decorating, though. I love Christmas decorations, I just hadn't felt up to pulling everything out. I finally did though, and I'm really glad I didn't put it off any longer. All my familiar decorations really lifted my spirits and mood.

I learned something last night about Christmas trees. They are hard to photograph! Luckily I know a little about the different settings on my camera, and got some decent pics.

Most of the ornaments are vintage. A few (very few) are handmade by me, and a couple are ones my daughter made. Here are some of my favorites.

Most of these are vintage thrift store finds. I got a whole bag for three dollars one year. The clock and the old corn-husk man were my granny's and are very special to me. The man used to have a wife, but she fell apart when I was a kid. I would love to find another one.

I love pulling out all my ornaments. It always brings back fond memories. We got a smaller tree this year, but I think it makes my ornaments, and my home, seem even cozier!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Easiest Soup Ever

It's been pretty cold lately. Being from North Carolina (we have very sporadic weather in the winter) cold is 70 degrees or less to me. lol I don't mind the cold up until Christmas. Once Christmas is over and there's nothing to look forward to, the cold is just miserable. If it would at least snow some I think I cold manage, but not here. It will get about 35 degrees and decide to rain. Yay! (complete sarcasm btw)

Well, enough complaining. One good thing that comes out of this miserable weather is soup. I love to make a big pot of soup when it's cold. The whole family likes it, it's easy, cheap, and warms you up wonderfully. You might already know how to make this, but for those who don't, you'll never forget it.

1 lb. ground beef
2 small cans of tomato sauce
2 regular sized cans of:
green beans
small white potatoes
butter/lima beans
salt and pepper

In a large stock pot, brown your ground beef. I salt and pepper my ground beef while it's cooking, but you don't have to. Drain off fat. Add the tomato sauce and vegetables. Don't drain the water off the veggies, put it all in the pot. That's what makes the soup. Warm over medium heat and salt and pepper to taste. That's it.

This soup is incredibly easy to make and very inexpensive. It feeds my family of four for two nights, and I still have leftovers. The night I make the soup we eat our fill and then I go ahead and freeze some. I make sure to leave some for the next night's supper though. Once the soup is reheated the next night it needs to be eaten or thrown out. It should not be reheated again, that's why I freeze it when it's fresh, before it's been reheated.

I have tried adding and substituting fresh veggies along with the canned ones. I don't recommend this. Because canned veggies are already cooked, they only need to be heated, whereas the fresh veggies need to be fully cooked. If you fully cook the fresh veggies it over cooks the canned veggies and ruins them.

This soup freezes well, but leave out the potatoes. Potatoes do not freeze well at all. You'll end up picking them out of the soup either way.