Friday, December 30, 2011

A Few Things...

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE my mornings? This sunrise was taken out my kitchen window last week. I was on my computer, which is in a room just off my kitchen, and I just happened to turn my head, I did one of those double takes, and then gasped. This is what I saw. I grabbed my camera to capture the moment. I always think, what an amazing gift from God to start a day with this. I am in awe of the artist that He is.

Ready for Christmas. Notice the string of lights that went out right smack in the middle of our tree? Annoying. It was the year that the lights went out at the Millers.


We had my parents and my brother and my sister-in-law and my niece over for Christmas Eve Brunch. My parents alway send out an After Christmas Letter with a picture of themselves with the grandkids. Little Coco even made the photo! How great does my dad look? This is just weeks after he suffered a heart attack. We're so thankful that he has recovered and is feeling great!


My friend, Lindsey, asked me to make a handbag for her...oh, about 2 years ago. Sheeeesh. She is patient! While, certainly I did not invent the wheel with this style of bag (it is everywhere!), I definitely had fun tweaking it a bit and making it my own. More of these to come and can't wait to get some up on Etsy.

Look at the little Christmas Baby Coco in her new bed! Yummy...she is just precious.


So...today is December 30th...I plan on sitting down with the family today and finalizing our New Years goals. We have a lot of things to discuss including, being healthier, working on our attitudes, de-cluttering, and a whole list of things that I have written down. Maybe I'll jump on and blog on New Year's Day with our list for the New Year!


Our New Year's Eve is a bit busy and crazy this year, but I'm super excited for it! The last few years we've just stayed home and watched movies, played Wii tournaments, ordered pizza, and had a revolving door of neighbor kids. I really do love being home on New Years Eve...however, this year involves: Matt playing broomball in the morning, a trip to Ikea, dropping the kids at my aunt and uncles house, Matt and I heading to my other aunt and uncles house to play Rook (our card club...love it!), then picking the kids back up (around 7/7:30pm) and heading to a New Years Eve party at some friends house. Haven't seen these friends since we both had kids! Should be fun!


Have a wonderful and safe New Year's Eve...and if you are a list maker/goal setter, get moving!


Until 2012

XOXO Tiffany

Friday, December 23, 2011

The List...and a recipe!

Happy It's the Day Before Christmas Eve!!!

Do you have a TON to do? My goodness...I do!

My Sweetie is on vacation, so we decided to tackle a home remodel project. Well, we (OK, he) just finished and now I feel like I have no energy to clean and get ready for Christmas!

We are hosting a Christmas Eve brunch for my family...and then we are hosting Christmas Eve dinner for my Sweeties family. I am so excited to be home for the whole day and just cook and eat and have a wonderful time. However...in order for me to really enjoy myself...I need to get some things done today! Here is my list so far:

wrap presents

clean 3 bathrooms

dust (especially the piano area)

pick out the kids outfits (and my own)

--I was hoping to have the kids wear pj's to the brunch, but my parents want a good picture
with the grandkids and asked that they be dressed up.

pull chicken from the rotisserie for tonights dinner (poppyseed chicken)

laundry

prep chicken sausages

prep salad

clean kitchen (especially the stove!)

make the taco soup (for Christmas Eve dinner)

set the table

vacuum main level


I know there are things that I am forgetting....and I'm sure that list will grow as the day goes on...but I can't wait to start crossing things off!!!


Before I go...I think I'll share a family favorite recipe with you all!


Raspberry Chipotle Dip (I don't like that I can't add a photo in the middle of the blog...that I have to add all photos prior to typing...what if I decide last minute to add a recipe?)


1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 c. red onion, chopped
8 oz. cream cheese
Raspberry Chipotle Sauce

Combine beans, cilantro, onion in a small bowl.
Place brick of cream cheese on a platter.
Pour bean mixture on top of cream cheese.
Pour desired amount of raspberry chipotle sauce
on top of bean mixture (approx. 1/2 of bottle).
Microwave for 1-2 min. to soften cream cheese.
Enjoy w/ tortilla chips!!!


My aunt Shari made this years back and now I make it at least 6 times per year. I am making it 2 times just this week! And, when I host book club...the ladies expect it:).


Merry Christmas!!! I am SO looking forward to enjoying the season with family and good food. I am also looking forward to the Christmas Eve service at our church...which reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas...Thank you God for sending your son to the earth so that we can know more about you!!!


XOXO Tiffany

Saturday, December 17, 2011

It's Been A While!!!

So, I feel like I can't blog until I have a lot of time and some great photos. I really should just let myself come on and blog whenever I have something to say. I'm planning on coming up with some type of routine at the first of the year. I LOVE New Year's! Yep, it's one of my favorite holidays. A fresh start and setting some goals...I just love it. Well, I've been keeping busy...lots of sewing, cooking, organizing, and family stuff. I'll highlight a few...I made these 3 little corduroy skirts for some friends kids...I loved doing the little rosettes!

We also made my son's favorite Christmas "cookie". Rolo Pretzels. Could these be any easier??? Scatter pretzels on a baking sheet, top with (peeled) rolos, and put in the oven at 250 degrees for 4 minutes. Take them out and have the kids press a Christmas colored M & M into the top. So fun and easy. These were all gobbled up in a day. Not unusual at our place.


I tackled a HUGE organization project! I gathered ALL of my fabric and sorted and organized it into tubs and then labeled the tubs. I bought 12 of these pretty blue tubs at Walmart and got busy. Unfortunately...I have about 12 large tubs of fabric that didn't fit. My goal is to start making some fabulous stuff (skirts!) and get them onto Etsy and start making room for more! I would like to not have more than these 12 tubs can hold. And, how awesome is that garage shelf that my sweetie made for me? It hangs from the ceiling...I love it!


Well, I can't finish this post without welcoming my first "follower"!!! Welcome Shari!!! I have yet to tell anyone I know about my blog, b/c, let's be honest...it's not all that good...yet! I'm hoping to get in my groove and make something of it! New Years...here I come!


XOXO Tiffany

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Oops into Fabulous

So, I was making this fun gray denim hat with some wool tweed and green bias thrown in for fun. But, when I tried this on mid-production...not good! The denim was too stiff and the hat did funky things up top. Fortunately I hadn't completed the hat or I would have been even more crabby than I already was. I hate doing re-dos. But, I sucked it up and grabbed for the seam ripper. Then, I grabbed this beautiful black fabric, and voila! Looky how cute-sie!

Yes, I think I'm on to something here. All the other hats that I have made (OK, 2) were made out of the same fabric. The only reason I did the band in wool tweed was because I was out of gray denim. I love when restrictions turn into something fabulous. I don't know if I can do a hat with all three pieces the same again. This one is coming to the Fall Craft Show with me. Hoping to get a few more made! Adios!


XOXO Tiffany

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Who's that girl???

Well, I've been thinking a lot lately on who my target customer is...what does she look like, what does she do...who's that girl???


I've been sewing up a storm lately. I've been working on wristlets, key/coin bags, and my new school girl totes. Trying to get a table full for the fall craft fair.


Ahhh...my trusty little assistant Coco.

Sleeping on the job. Stinker.


I've been wanting to make these little onesies for a while now. I made 3 little baby blankets last year and the onesies have just been waiting for their turn. When my neighbors announced they were having a little girl, I knew this was my chance. Well, they had their baby almost two weeks ago now, so I decided to dig in!


Here are my little Ruffled Flower Onesies. I'm thinking I could have fun whipping these up and maybe listing some in my shop.




Ahhh, a little ruffled bum.


The completed gift. A flannel blanket, some Ruffled Flower Onesies (made with upcycled fabrics), and a couple of soft and cozy little lambies.


Which brings me back to my target customer. While most of my sales have gone to friends and friends of friends, I have made quite a few sales through Etsy and craft fairs. I met a customer last summer who is totally "that girl". She bought one of my skirts at my August craft fair. She was adorable and had her two little girls in tow. I can't remember her name, but this is what I know about her. She likes handmade items. She likes things that are different, things you can't find at the Gap or Target. She supports small businesses. She loves her family and friends. She likes an ecclectic mix of old, new, vintage, upcycled, recycled. She'll pay a little more for an item that is unique and handmade. She likes to buy local.


This list will grow as I grow my business. I feel like I am still trying to figure out who I am, so I suppose I will continue to find out who my target customer is along the way. What a journey. I sure am loving my time behind my sewing machine. Still working on finding a balance between sewing, homeschooling my kids, cooking for my family, and making time for my husband. So many more things that eek their way into the balancing act...but those are my top 4.


Time to go find some balance! XOXO Tiffany

Monday, October 31, 2011

Lots to say!!!

Howdy!!! I had an unexpected neck injury on Saturday, and it decided to really get bad on my Sewing Wednesday...how dare it! My kiddies made me stay in bed on Wednesday morning and play Apples to Apples with them. Can you see that sunset coming up??? Once or twice a year I really tweak my neck muscles. The pain is so completely annoying, and it lasts for about a week. This time it seemed to get worse as the days went on...so I headed in to the dr's office and got me some rx ibuprofin and some muscle relaxers...ah yes, that's just what the dr ordered. I was back in the saddle in no time!

I managed to get a few wristlets and key/coin bags cut out and started...through my pain. I think they're turning out cutesie! Can't wait to wrap them up!


Mmmmmm...I just love soup in the fall! Here is one of my favorites...


Creamy Wild Rice Soup...

1 cup cooked wild rice
1 cup cooked brown rice
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp grated onion
½ cup grated carrot
¼ cup flour
4 cups chicken broth
½ tsp salt
1 cup half and half
1 ½ cups turkey or ham or chicken, chopped/shredded
3 tbsp sliced almonds

Melt butter in large pot and sauté onion and carrots until tender. Blend in flour, gradually add broth. Cook, stirring constantly until thickened. Stir in rice, salt, turkey and almonds. Simmer 5 minutes. Blend in half and half. Heat to serving temperature. Makes 6-7 cups. Can easily be doubled.


Happy Halloween!!! Not my favorite holiday...but, boy, do my kids love it! We have Lucy, as a Pirate Cutie, MJ as the grim reaper (though I wouldn't let him call it that so he said he was an "attacker"...I don't know which is worse!) and then there is Daisy...my little Elvis fan!

And, last but not least...here is my little helper...Coco. I am writing this post while handing out halloween candy...and Coco is going crazy b/c she keeps hearing the word "treat". She expects everyone to hand her a treat:). Isn't she precious???


Have a wonderful and safe Halloween!!!


XOXO Tiffany

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sewing Wednesday!!!

I just love my Wednesday's. It's the one day of the week that I get to sew all day. Well, I still ran 3 miles, made an apple pancake with sausage for breakfast, made the family lunch, answered zillions of questions by the kids, did a little bit of homeschooling...but, in between all of the chaos, I get to sew! I am finally working on some stuff for my fall craft fair! I've got so much more to do, but at least I know I can show up with at least 5 items to sell. Yikes! Good thing my aunt is going to help me fill my table with all of her beautiful hand-knit items!

Until next time....I'm thinking of posting a yummy recipe...we'll see.

XOXO
Tiffany

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sewing Wednesday...Fall Palette

I have 5 1/2 weeks until my holiday craft show. Hmmmmm, why is it that I wait to long to get things rolling? Oh, it's probably those little things like homeschooling my kids, cooking food for 5 people all day every day, cleaning/picking up the house, driving the kids to sports and friends houses. Yes, it's been a busy fall. Starting today, I am going to start making up some product (handbags, skirts, hats, flower pins etc) for the craft show. I am really feeling better having come up with a palette. When you've been collecting fabrics for 18 years, the choices can be overwhelming. I'm thinking this is the way to go. We'll see what I can come up with!

I'll try to update my etsy shop with some new goodies, but I will have to save most of my little treasures for this craft show. How embarrassing to show up with like 3 items on your table! I could see this happening to me. I may have to take a little breaker from the ole craft shows...I keep plenty busy sewing for family and friends and etsy. We'll see...

Bye for now!!!
XOXO Tiffany

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sewing Wednesday...for my girls!














So, my girls have been complaining lately that I sew for everybody but them. It was starting to make me sad. I had gotten into the mode of always saying "yes" to everyone else, and always making sure that my Etsy shop had something new in it, that my babies were getting neglected. I finally finished and delivered the 7 pre-ordered skirts and I decided to dedicate this Sewing Wednesday to Daisy (10) and Lucy (9). By the way, I started my Sewing Wednesdays the first Wednesday in September 2011 because with school starting up (I homeschool my 3 littles), I was wondering where I would find the time to sew. So, I dedicated my Wednesdays, and it's worked out beautifully! The kids have a small list of things to do (piano, 5 minute timed math, 30 minutes of reading, listen to our audio book), but they are free to play and get creative in the in between time. I had been wanting to make some crazy little skirts for the girls, so I picked this zebra fabric. Then, I laid out several color options for trim, and I had the girls each pick the one they wanted. Fortunately this went smoothly! There was a little hiccup when Lucy noticed the tourquoise fringe in Daisy's pile. But, we managed to get past it.

So, I took a basic girls skirt pattern, and traced it onto my pattern paper. Then I sliced the pattern in thirds, made the bottom two rectangles and added my seam allowance. I ended up with three pattern pieces like this:



















Then, I cut out my fabric and laid it out with the trims to see what worked for me.
















Then, the fun begins...sewing! I sat at my sewing machine for a few hours and came up with these little cuties!


Is anybody else "tech challenged"??? Ugh...this could get interesting. I'm not loving my layout...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Early Mornings and my Chai Tea



I L-O-V-E my early mornings! For me, there is nothing like getting out of bed in the wee hours of the morning (usually between 3:45-5:30am), when the house is dark and quiet and everyone is sleeping. I like to make sure that I have made a "morning to do list" the night before. That way, when I wake up in the morning, in my warm, comfy bed, I can think about my list and get excited to get up and get some things done! The first thing I do is get my little Coco out of her kennel. The second thing I do is make my chai tea. I enjoy this while I spend some time in my Bible. Mmmmmm (recipe to follow). Some things that end up on my list are: clean a bathroom, pay bills, organize a cupboard, organize my "pile", check email, laundry, exercise, menu planning, etc...Sometimes on the weekend I'll just get up and curl up on the couch with a good book! Love those mornings:). So, most of the items on my list don't sound super exciting. However, they are things that need to get done, and once they are done, my mind is free for other things. If you are naturally a morning person, get up and get some things done! You will enjoy the rest of your day so much more!!!


Chai Tea Mix:

1 cup dry milk

1 cup powdered creamer

1 cup powdered creamer French vanilla

2 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups instant tea

2 tbsp ginger

2 tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp cloves

1 tsp cardamom

Blend in food processor. Stir 4 heaping tablespoons into a large mug of hot water. Enjoy!!!


XOXO Tiffany

Friday, September 30, 2011

My 37th...





62 degrees and sunny. I am loving today! I've done lots of reading (Uncle Tom's Cabin), I took a nap (!), and I drove to Caribou to get my free birthday drink. Tonight I'm heading out with the ladies to a favorite restaurant. A great day.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

7 Skirts...



I have a pile of 7 skirts that have been cut out and are just waiting to be sewn. Now I just need some time. Easier said than done! I'm hoping to have them completed and delivered by Saturday and then it's time to focus on the Craft Fair!!! What am I going to make for the Craft Fair???