Make, Do and Mend

The cyber-diary of what this homemaker makes, does and sometimes mends.
My motto is "if you do stuff, stuff gets done"

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Monday, June 3, 2013

Princess Swim Cover-up

First,  an Oklahoma update
the last 2 weeks have been the most destructive and stressful set of weather conditions. 
 I know you have all heard about it on your news reports.  
My town has only had lots of rain and some wind damage.
Thank you all for your prayers and concern for Oklahoma. 

We are fine, just shook up and wanting to be better prepared.
We are talking to some contractors about having a safe room built.
more on that when it happens.  

My daughter saw several versions of terry cloth swim cover ups that are inspired by Disney princesses at different web sites.  
Grand daughter Elizabeth is fondest of Rapunzel so her momma asked me to try and sew up one.  
She brought over a yard of lavender terry cloth and a half yard of pink  terry cloth and 3 yards of ribbon.  

Here is what I ended up with.  
the front
excuse any wrinkles-
I did not iron anything while sewing this-
I think  ironing would flatten the terry cloth  texture. 


Close up of the top
Ribbon criss cross on the triangle front
5 rows of ribbon on each sleeve

 yes it is the same dress but photographed at a different time and looks like a different color.

I used bias tape for the neck and sleeves to hold the elastic.
For the elastic at the waist,  I used the stretch and sew method and it worked great.
All seams got finished with a close zig zag as the terry cloth ravels easily.

and I made it just a bit bigger as this 100% cotton fabric will shrink when laundered.

For the pattern,  I used a free printable pattern from

Scattered Thoughts of  a Crafty Mom
I found her blog doing a search for a free peasant dress pattern,  she has lots of other good projects too.

Partying at 

Craft School Sunday at Creative Jewish Mom

and at
Manuela's (from A Cultivated Nest) and her friend's brand new blog hop
The Creative Home Acre Hop

and with
Danielle at Sunday Blog Hop.  Blissful and Domestic

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Use what you have garden 2013

I would love to have a green thumb but my gardening success are really a hit and miss.
In 2009 and 2010,  my backyard pot gardens did great and I grew enough cucumbers, tomatoes and squash all summer that I never had to buy any of those at the grocery store.  I also picked lots of jalapenos too.

Then 2011 and 2012 were so hot and dry- even with lots of watering- not much grew and very little was harvested.  

I still want to try to garden a little. 
 I was looking around the backyard and came up with this.   I built a little framed  in area with some pavers our neighbor gave us.  I put several layers of weed-fabric in the bottom.  
I am going to use this little area to place our pots in.  

the 3 big pots were discards from another neighbor who purchased trees in them.  

my assortment of pots
quite a mish mash, huh?

I've since gone through all those pots and arranged the biggest one in my little garden spot- more pictures to come.
We went to Lowes to buy some plants but there was just so much to look at and I really dislike shopping,  so all we bought was a few bags of manure to enrich the soil that that is already in the pots.  I planned to go to Atwoods, a smaller store, to look at their plants.  Then I remember a gallon zipper bag in the freezer full of a seed assortment,  saved from several different sources and projects.

I sorted them out and think I will just plant seeds and see what happens.  It will certainly be thrifty!

here is what all I could plant.....

several kinds of beans and squash- probably won't plant any of these in the pots

flower seeds- mostly ones I harvested myself
zinnias, marigolds, geraniums and the ones marked red yellow library flowers are Indian Blanket wildflowers.
These will mostly get planted in the flower beds in the front of our house.  

3 kinds of Sunflowers

4 kinds of tomatoes

Herbs- dill, thyme, basil and cilantro

2 kinds of leafy greens
2 kinds of spinach
and 1 partial packet of radishes

2 kinds of cucumbers and 1 packet of peas

2 packs of Morning Glorys
but I am not too optimistic that will sprout, they were the oldest seeds in my bag

Just 2004 and 2008

It would of been nicer if I had started these seeds in the house a few months ago and had bigger plants to set out
but it is warm and I think, that any seeds that are sproutable,  will sprout quickly.
Warm weather is just now getting started so I have plenty of time to replant (with store bought plants)  if any of these don't work

I hope I have lots of good growing plants to show you soon- but you never know!

Well, I started this garden more than a week ago. The weather was nice this morning and I had free time and was able to plant my seeds and water them in.
Oklahoma weather can be so harsh, maybe I will get a harvest and maybe not.

This garden may not produce but all my grands are thriving and growing like weeds, so to speak.
This is baby JJ, dimples and all.

Partying at 
Think Tank Thursday at
Saving 4 Six

and at
Manuela's (from A Cultivated Nest) and her friend's brand new blog hop
The Creative Home Acre Hop

and with
Danielle at Sunday Blog Hop.  Blissful and Domestic

Pretty Happy Funny Real at Our Mothers Daughters.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


We are fine, just heartbroken. We live about an hour away from Moore, where the worst tornado was yesterday.

If you want to help Oklahoma, pray for us. Donate to the Red Cross.

Just so sad!

I am going to take a blogging break, don't worry about me.

Monday, May 20, 2013

May coupons part 1

I've done very little shopping in May. We bought a lot of fresh groceries the end of April and have been making meals with it.
I kept track of all my coupons in April and several commenters asked if I would do it again,  so here goes!

Food Pyramid trip
I bought 2 gallons of Hiland Orange juice,  $2.99 each and used a 45 cent coupon that was doubled on each one.  $2.09, plus sales tax is a great deal on a whole gallon of real juice.  sorry, no pictures but I guess everyone knows what orange juice looks like, right?  Husband drank one glass from one jug, to give it a little room to expand, and that jug went in the freezer for future use.  The other one is in the fridge.

CVS trip
Coupons and ECBs used $23.00
Spent $25.05
Left with $16.00 ECBs for the next round of deals

3 packs of diapers - 2 packs are slipons for that wiggly- doesn't have time to be still for a diaper change 10 month old grandson.  I hope they make diaper changers a little faster- I'll let you know.
3 tubes of heavy duty hair moisturizer - I got a perm in my hair about 2 months ago and it was not kind to my hair at all
3 toothbrushes and 1 deodorant

my receipt
if you shop at CVS,  always scan your card inside the store.
I got that last coupon,  $5 off $30, as a good surprise when I scanned today.  

The only sure fire way I can keep up with those ECBs is to wrap them around my CVS card and secure with a paperclip.
Otherwise,  I can't seem to find them when I go back for the next purchase and that is so frustrating.

So,  I've only used 9 coupons so far this month but saved  $25.05.
Good enough for me!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunday lunch with a new bread recipe

This was our Sunday lunch menu.  The roast beef was tender and salad was crispy and refreshing.
So nice when everything at a meal turns out just right!

I tried a new bread recipe,  and it will be a keeper recipe.  It was soft and delicious and the honey flavor was just noticeable enough.
I mixed the dough up in our bread machine on the basic setting.
After the first rise, I took out the dough and shaped it into a loaf and put it to rise in a well greased bread pan,  (vintage, of course, just because I like them)
Then after it had doubled in size,  it baked at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.

Honey Oatmeal Bread
1 Cup water
1 T oil- I used sunflower but I am sure any cooking oil would be fine
1/4 Cup honey
1 t salt
1/2 rolled oats- I used old fashioned oatmeal
2 1/3 Cups bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoon dry yeast

Put ingredients into bread machine in this order,  set to the basic bread cycle.

Partying at 

Craft School Sunday at Creative Jewish Mom

and at
Manuela's (from A Cultivated Nest) and her friend's brand new blog hop
The Creative Home Acre Hop

and with
Danielle at Sunday Blog Hop.  Blissful and Domestic

that white plate in the first picture is from The Write Plate
My daughter worked for them years ago and got some nice pieces and she generously gifted me with 2 of them.  
this is not an affiliate link,  just info in case anyone had a question.  I think they are expensive but they are really good quality and fun to use 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Cloth napkins and baked zucchini

This week's sewing

We like cloth napkins and were getting short on them.  When I looked through my fabric scraps,  I found this tablecloth checked remnants.  There were 2 pieces of the blue that were big enough to cut into 15 or so inch squares for a large dinner napkin size-  I made 8 like that.

I also had more blue scraps as well as green and red scraps.  They were all cut in about 13 inch squares.  That size is a little smaller than we prefer but the fabric is just perfect for cloth napkins.
So,  I just pinned them together and made double faced napkins,  more a cocktail size.  

The small ones are reversible and I think they look very cheerful.

This was fabric from my stash- not anything I went out and bought.  I have a pretty big stash, mostly given to me.  Some is stuff my mom bought, some is from the thrift store and a lot of the recent stuff is bargains my dad finds at yard sales. 
I am really thankful to have it.  
My husband says that when I get ready to make something,  I can usually find what I need in the craft room and he is right.  

I've also been sewing up 2 tops for me - maybe they will be finished soon and I can show you next week. 

Baked Zucchini Chips
Baked zucchini chips

Another Pinterest recipe I tried this week- very good way to serve zucchini or squash.
I use Panko bread crumbs but I think saltine cracker crumbs would be great too.
I followed the recipe and had twice as much breading as would fit on my 3 squash.
Partying at 

Craft School Sunday at Creative Jewish Mom

and at
Manuela's (from A Cultivated Nest) and friend's brand new blog hop
The Creative Home Acre Hop

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Pretty, funny, happy, real

2 KnockOut rose bushes,  just starting their blooming for 2013
pink on the left, red on the right

This is a sewing machine one of my brother's bought at a yard sale so he can patch  and repair his work clothes.
It is actually a pretty good machine,  he needed my help getting it up and running.  It had the wrong kind of bobbin in  it and once we got the correct kind,  I got it stitching for him.

I have my doubts that it will get used much though.

I have 2 older bachelor brothers.  Both are very smart in their jobs and do lots of gardening and other DIY things too.
One is a big time professor at a big time school.
The other is an electrical contractor.
They both value sewing but apparently never paid one bit of attention to our mother while she was sewing so much when we were growing up.
They both want to sew but were clueless about how to thread a sewing machine and did not even know how the bobbin worked either.  I've given them both basic machine lessons but they were both so daunted by how thread up their machines,  I doubt they ever sew.

Good thing they can both afford to buy new clothes if they wear out their old ones.

Happy Grandsons
1 month old JJ having sweet baby dreams

10 month old Braeden - quite happy and proud
when he climbed  up on the slide platform all by himself.  

4 year old Gavin- happy to catch a big fish from their pond

Real  - 

and kind of gross- so look away now if you are squeamish
I got our lawn mower out of the shed and this dead critter was underneath it.
Thankfully,  he was dead!
and thankfully he was outside and not in our house.

 he was big, those floor tiles are 4 inch squares.
I could of disposed of him but I told my husband and he told me to leave it alone and he shoveled it  up when he got home from work.

I hope your week has had many more happy and funny and pretty,
and less gross

partying with

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Glazed Doughnut muffins. Another Pinterest recipe

This is my version of a popular Pinterest recipe. I baked them for breakfast before we left Texas. They were enjoyed by my parents, brother and husband. And me.

Glazed Doughnut Muffins - quite rich and they really do taste like warm cake doughnuts.
They would be good to make if you are craving doughnuts but don't want to or can't go to a bakery.

For the Muffins:
1/4 cup butter, very soft
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup milk

For the Glaze:
2 tablespoons butter; melted
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
about 2 tablespoons hot water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line 12 -14 or 15 muffin cups with muffin liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray. (I used a 12 cup muffin pan and 2 Pyrex custard cups to bake my batch.)
In a mixing bowl stir together butter, vegetable oil, and sugars till smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Next, add all the dry ingredients- baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and flour until just combined. Stir in the milk, just until combined. Do not over mix.
Spoon batter into cups, filling the cups, and smooth tops. Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups. Bake until muffin tops are a pale golden and springy to the touch, 15 to 17 minutes. Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool 10 minutes before glazing.
To make the glaze, In a medium bowl mix together the melted butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and enough water to make a pourable glaze. Whisk until smooth.
When muffins have cooled slightly, dip the muffin crown into the glaze and allow the glaze to harden. Once hardened, dip a second time and allow to harden then serve.

There was no time to let my batch cool before frosting, so these got frosted almost straight out of the oven. Letting them cool would of been better but they were still delicious.
I will repeat this recipe on special occasions,

Getting the plates and drinks ready

My parents built this house about 1970 and my mom picked her  favorite avocado green for the formica  countertops in the kitchen.
That kitchen has been cooked in lots over the last 40 or so years but that green formica still looks good as new.  

Hope you try this recipe for your next fancier breakfast
they are delicious!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Texas Bluebonnets

On our recent trip to Texas, I was happy to see so many wild bluebonnets growing along the highway. Up close, they are just tiny flowers. But a whole bunch of them growing in a field is just spectacular.
We were in north east Texas, just outside Detroit for these photos. This is a just a simple patch of bluebonnets growing in the wild with no help from yearly planting or cultivation.

When I was young, I remember how Lady Bird Johnson loved wildflowers and one of her projects was to encourage the spreading and preservation of wildflowers to beautify the highways. So, thank you Lady Bird, the Texas highways are much prettier with wildflowers.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Baking at my parents

I've been visiting my parents and brother in the piney woods of east Texas. One of the days, I did some baking for them.

2 batches of oatmeal cookies ( one was sugar free, not on purpose, but because this baker forgot to add the sugar. They have some molasses in them so they are edible but are not the best)
A loaf of banana bread
A pan of peanut butter cookie bars
And a double batch of this recipe my mom heard about on Facebook, Lemon Brownies.
The Lemon Brownies have no chocolate in them and are more like pound cake bars i think than brownies. But they are delicious! If you have fresh lemons, you probably have all the other ingredients in your kitchen, if you cook anything like I do.

Lemon Brownies

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt

Lemon Glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp. lemon zest
1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Spray an 8x8” pan with non-stick spray and set aside.

Zest and juice two small lemons and set aside.

To prepare the brownies:

In an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each egg.

Mix in the lemon zest and juice, then add in the flour and salt.

Mix on low, until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until just golden around the edges.

Allow to cool completely before glazing.

To prepare the glaze:

Whisk together powdered sugar and lemon zest and juice.

Spread over cooled brownies.

I made a double recipe baked in a 10 by 14 pan. 4 lemons yielded enough juice for the brownies and glaze. I added zest only to the glaze, not the brownies.

When it was all baked and cooled, I packed it into tins and plastic containers. I left a variety out for snacks and desserts now, but the majority went in the freezer, with labels, for their future eating.

Linking to
Sunny simple life. http://sunnysimplelife.blogspot.com/

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Pretty Funny Happy Real, but not in that order

I re-arranged the living room, again!  
I change things around so much that it has become a family joke.  

We have had just wild weather for a month or so.  It will be spring like for days and then a cold front with  freezing temps will travel through.
This picture was Tuesday -a very pretty weather day.
But another cold front is moving through right now and a hard freeze, maybe snow is expected.
In May!

More Pretty 
a stack of burp cloths

freshly sewn.  I think there are 29
the shine my Marine husband put on these much worn shoes for  attorney son,
made that son very happy!
I don't know about current Marines and their shoe shining requirements
I think they all wear tan suede boots that not need polish

but old school Marines got lots of practice at shining up those black boots.


a fall blouse that I started sewing in the fall.
but never finished.
It needs buttons, a hem and the trim sewn all the way on.

But I guess it can wait until September!

linking up to 
Pretty, Happy, Funny Real
at Our Mothers Daughters