Nothing like a Sunday…

except maybe a Saturday night!  Jess has been asking for  a cool shirt for our fifteenth anniversary (which was last week, but who’s counting?) and  last night I finally got around to the production phase.  I’d already printed out my text and bought the shirt (actually, I opted for a hooded zip-up sweatshirt.  If I’m going to go to the trouble of making something for the man, you can bet I’m going to maximize his opportunity to wear it..) so it was just a matter of cutting, ironing, painting, waiting,  peeling, and heat-setting to get the job done.  We’re all pretty pleased with the result, and the endorphin-high that came along with it fostered—of course— more crafting.  My mildewed, stained train case got a coat of apple-red paint, and the fabric for the boys’ chair finally made it into the light of day.  (Night, actually…)

Pictures coming soon…just like my new camera!


soup weather

I’ll admit it, I could eat soup in any weather…but today is gray and rainy and cold, and there’s simply no other choice but to make soup.  This is my go-to recipe…thick and satisfying, and full of good stuff.  The recipe is based on one in Norene Gilletz’s book, Meal-Lean-I-Yumm, but I dumbed it down because I’m too lazy to do it right.  Never had a complaint, though, and get asked for the recipe all the time. It’s quick, resoundingly healthy, and out-and-out delicious.

Couscous Soup:

Fill a dutch oven or large stockpot with water.

Add :

  • 1 bag red (or brown) lentils
  • 1 T. onion powder
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • 1/2 t. thyme
  • 1 T. basil
  • 4 large carrots
  • 1 stalk celery
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 zucchini, peeled and chunked

Bring all ingredients to a simmer until veggies and lentils are tender.  Puree with immersion blender or processor.  Then add

  • 1/2 cup couscous (we use whole wheat)

Adjust seasonings, and enjoy, preferably with fresh bread!

Stay warm…

So much to make…

so little time!  Yesterday, I scored a 50’s kitchen table in need of some TLC and a nice white wooden chair (in the same condition) from a Craigslist curb-alert.  The chair will be for the boys’ room, with the Ikea sailboat curtains standing in as upholstery fabric for the seat.  Picked up some cherry-red Rust-oleum for my sewing table, and some felt and ribbon to make hairclips for the girlies (in my spare time)…Trying to decide if I really want to try using fondant for Chevi’s birthday cake next month—after watching Cake Boss in the hotel last weekend, I’m feeling inspired!

The thing is, there are all these little people who keep asking to be fed, and bathed, and put to bed.  They want me to play CandyLand, and watch them fight with lightsabers, and bring them to the library.  I like them a lot, but I’m trying to figure out how to get anything done while they’re around.  (Especially the short ones.)  Have you ever tried to sew a log-cabin pillow (from a pair of freecycled jeans!) while you’re nursing an 18-month-old and entertaining her 4 and 7-year old siblings?  It can be done, folks (and I did it last night) but I’m telling you, it ain’t easy.  The good stuff never is.


When I don’t eat right, I’m treated to a migraine.  When I’m very lucky, I can catch it with a pair of Excedrin at the onset of the pain, and go happily about my business.  However, when I am doubly blessed and the brain-vise sets in in the evening, two caffeine-laden Excedrin tabs can keep me up–and crafting–well into the night.  So, here I am, pain-free, wide-awake, and feeling crafty.  Tonight’s accomplishments?  Deconstructed 2 pairs of jeans for the boys’ quilts, came up with a couple of ideas for the denim hems, and (finally) cut into the socks I’ve been meaning to make into baby legs for Shani.  They’re all pinned up and ready to sew…in the morning.   (The sewing machine is downstairs, and I need to be within running distance should one of the little creepies wake up.)

Working on ideas for camp-crafts, as well.  Thinking of marbling glass bottles with the middle-schoolers, using enamel model paints and liquid starch.  Linoleum printing for the older kids, along with freezer paper stenciling for the Teen Camp.  Leather for the little ones, and jewelry for staff.  Bottlecaps, bottlecaps, bottlecaps.  Found some wrapping paper to decopage on to my craigslist dresser. When it’s quiet like this, the possibilities are endless. When it’s quiet like this, I’m usually unconscious, though, which significantly impedes my crafting potential. I hate it when that happens.