Happy Chicken Quilt

Every Christmas I give my mother-in-law something handmade. This year I gave her the Lovebirds Wreath. The first year I came into the family I gave her this folksy Happy Chicken Quilt.

It is sewn from a combination of new quilting fabrics and material from old clothing. One thing I just love about making things is that when I look at them years later I can remember so vividly where I was as I was working on the item. I sewed much of this in the Caribou Coffee  shop where I first met my husband back in Illinois.

It’s just a fun little quilt. I don’t know how easy it is to tell from the pictures, but the quilting lines double as rays of streaming sunlight, accented by golden glass beads.

I used a snap for the chicken’s eye.

Here is a detail of the embroidered feet.

This detail and the little appliqued flowers and circles scattered over the ground came from one of my favorite dresses.

To accompany the gift I had made this little Sculpey clay ornament of a rooster, hen and chicks on wire that Susan displays along with the quilt.

It’s been a long time since I dabbled in making little folk pictorial quilts. They were a lot of fun, and I miss making them. Maybe I need to re-evaluate my project to-do list and see if I shouldn’t fit quilting back into my life somehow.

So many things I want to try… so little time…

How do you prioritize your sewing/crafting to-do list?

Thanks for reading!

Karen

Here’s where I’m linking up.

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projectskojodesigns,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestChic on a Shoestring DecoratingFrench Country Cottage,

The Charm of HomeThe Grant LifeAt the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge,

Stuff and NonsenseOne Art Mama, 2805

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

Sunday:

LambAround,  Homemaker on a Dime,  I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo Toes,

Petite HermineMy 1929 Charmer Blog

Monday:

{aka}/ designGet Outta My Head PleaseMad in Crafts, Skip to My Lou,

The Gunny SackSew Can Do, Singing Three Little BirdsEtcetorizeDittle Dattle,

C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet homeCraft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Artful Rising,

Sarahndipities Just Winging ItEverything Under the Moon

Tuesday:

At Home With KNot Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerThe Kurtz CornerI’m Topsy TurvyTip Junkie,

Raising 4 PrincessesThe Creative Itch Boutique, Shwin and Shwin

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableThe Shady PorchTea Rose HomeLil’ Luna,

Sweet Peas & Bumble BeesMom On TimeoutSomeday CraftsPassionately Artistic

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutSomewhat SimpleThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit Bear,

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageFun to CraftHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderSaved by Love CreationsA Glimpse Inside,

Between U & MeHappy Hour ProjectsAnything Goes Linky Party,

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A Peaceful Moment

 

Eli has never been one to relax in a lap unless there was some nursing involved. He normally will only be held if the holder is standing. He’s been this way almost since birth.

But over Christmas it was almost impossible for him to nap. He was so overstimulated by being on a trip!, visiting in relatives’ homes with cousins!, and dogs!, and decorations!, and grandparents!, and aunts and uncles! that winding down for a bit of a midday snooze was not within his realm of possibility. Even on the long drive across the desert to Tucson he didn’t sleep until we were pulling into the hotel parking lot at our destination.

  

On the day after Christmas however he fell asleep in the car as we made our way across town to his Grandparents home. He didn’t wake up when being removed from the car, being brought into the house or even for the usual slayer of all arm naps, when his father sat down.

Eli slept like this for about two hours.

Even Aunt Jacki had to document this rarest of all occurrences.

Our Christmas miracle… just a day late.

Tea for Two

This is a little quilt I started about 7 years back, but when we move to California I packed it away and never unpacked it on the other end. I found it this Fall and finished quilting and binding it.

Tea For Two- Appliqued Wall Hanging Quilt

It is roughly 2 feet by 1 1/2 feet. I hand appliqued the letters, tea cups, saucers and pot. Details are hand embroidered. There is something so relaxing about hand quilting… especially when the project is so small and doesn’t take 3 years to complete!

Tea For Two- Appliqued Wall Hanging Quilt

I used my Great-Aunt Jenny’s linen table cloth for the material used in the tea pot and the saucers.

If you are interested in buying  this quilt you can find it in my Etsy store Folk Haven Creations.

Thanks for reading!

Karen

Here’s where I’m linking up.

Tuesday:

At Home With K,  Funky Polkadot GiraffeKammy’s KornerThe Kurtz Corner,

Tip JunkieRaising 4 Princesses,

all crafts Homemade Projects ~ Add Yours {12/13}

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableThe Shady PorchTea Rose HomeLil’ Luna,

Sweet Peas & Bumble BeesMom On TimeoutSomeday CraftsPassionately Artistic

Thursday:

Thrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit BearThe Crafty Blogstalker,

The Shabby Creek CottageDelightful Order,  A Glimpse Inside,

 

Crayons

Eli had been introduced to crayons a few times before in the past, but other than to try to sample their waxy goodness, he wasn’t interested. Then this past week I brought home a Sesame Street coloring book from Walgreen’s and got out the crayons out to give it another go.

He’s now quite the fan of the crayon 🙂

Commemorative Ornaments

Front Side

I give my husband an ornament each year, usually handmade and commemorating something that happened that year. Unfortunately most of them were lost after I was inspired to pack up all of the special ornaments somewhere easily accessible in case we had to evacuate during the Southern Californian fire season or after an earthquake. Not so easily accessible if I can’t even find them at Christmas time 3 years running! I imagine I’ll find them if we ever have to move… at least, I hope I will! But I digress…

Back Side

This year I am giving him an ornament made from part of a fabric bag that contained tea that he brought home from one of his business trips to Kenya. This bag actually was from a trip during a previous year, but I came across it in my stash just recently, and he DID go to Nairobi in October 2011 so I think it counts.

The other commemorative ornament I’m giving this year is to Eli’s Aunt Eileen. We don’t do much gift exchanging between the siblings in my husband’s family, but this year Eileen is training for a 100 mile bike-a-thon to raise money to fight leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society‘s Team in Training. The team is riding in honor of a 6 year old girl named Kimie who is battling a rare form of leukemia. Kimie has recently been in the hospital and asked one of the team members who was visiting her, “But how will Santa find me?” Happily, she now gets to go home in time for Christmas!

Eileen has named her trusty bike Sadie the Hill Slayer and goes on 40 mile training rides every Saturday. On Sunday she blogs about her experience for the rest of us to  follow along. If you would like to read her blog or to make a donation to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society you will find it all here.

Bicycle Pin

I am so impressed and inspired by Eileen’s dedication to this and I thought it would be fun to give her a bicycle ornament to remember this experience by. I had received this cool fair trade recycled jewelry pin for Christmas as a gift, but it has just sat in a drawer because I don’t really wear pins. I simply removed the pin from the back and added a hanger and a tag with Eileen’s name and the date. Easy peasy! I hope she likes it!

Bicycle Ornament

Bicycle Ornament

Here’s where I’m linking up.

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutSomewhat SimpleThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit Bear,

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageFun to CraftHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderSaved by Love CreationsA Glimpse Inside,

Between U & Me, Happy Hour Projects, Anything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry733 BlogHappy Hour Projectskojodesigns,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestChic on a Shoestring DecoratingFrench Country Cottage,

The Charm of HomeThe Grant LifeAt the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge,

Stuff and NonsenseOne Art Mama

Pant Leg Gift Bags (Guest Posting…)

I’ve been invited to do a guest post over at The Grant Life!

Go on over to check out a tutorial for these Pant Leg Gift Bags. While you are there, stay a while and explore Kelley’s wonderful blog. You’ll be glad you did!

See you there!

🙂

Karen

Here’s where I am linking up:

Christmas Craft Linky Party 2012

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableThe Shady PorchTea Rose HomeLil’ Luna,

Sweet Peas & Bumble BeesMom On TimeoutSomeday CraftsPassionately Artistic,

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutSomewhat SimpleThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit Bear,

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageFun to CraftHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderSaved by Love CreationsA Glimpse Inside,

Between U & Me, Happy Hour Projects, Jembellish

Chocolate Truffles

These melt in your mouth (and in your hands!) pieces of chocolate perfection are so easy to make it’s shocking! I think this richest, most fattening recipe I have ever made. I really don’t want to know  the calorie count.

I copied the recipe down on an index card many years ago for my own use, totally oblivious to the future advent of blogging. I did not create this recipe and would love to give credit where credit is due, but the source is long lost. If you recognize the recipe please let me know!

Ingredients:

1 stick unsalted butter

10 tablespoons cocoa powder

10 tablespoons powdered sugar

5 tablespoons heavy cream

*you can also add other flavorings like almond extract. I made these Mexican style with a few pinches of cayenne pepper and some very liberal dashes of cinnamon. Be creative! Of course, just plain chocolate will taste wonderful too!

In my photo you can see the cayenne pepper in the smallest bowl. I didn’t use it all, just a few about 4 pinches. (I forgot to show the cinnamon.) Also this photo shows the measured ingredients for 1 recipe. The in the following photos I have doubled all the ingredients for a double batch.

Melt the butter halfway. Turn off the heat and stir in the cocoa powder.

Add sugar (and any other flavoring ingredients) and whisk.

Remove from the stove and add the heavy cream.

Put the truffle mixture into the refrigerator until chilled and firm.

Roll into balls and coat with cinnamon or powdered sugar. I used a mixture of both. You could probably also use cocoa powder for an even richer truffle.

My double batch made 34 truffles. I think the small container of heavy cream has enough for one more batch. There are two more sticks of butter left in the package, and much more cocoa powder and powdered sugar. I haven’t figured out the math, but it comes out much, much cheaper than professionally made truffles, and these taste exquisite!

The powdered sugar was looking a bit splotchy when I photographed these, so I now have them covered with more of the cinnamon sugar mixture in the refrigerator to coat them more thickly until I am ready to package them for giving. I’ll put these in a nice box with the layers separated by parchment paper. They do have to be stored in the refrigerator as they soften and melt very quickly. I can’t wait to deliver this gift!

Someday, maybe I’ll learn how to coat them with melted chocolate like the store bought kind. Right now I can’t figure out how to keep the insides from becoming a puddle when covered with the hot chocolate. Maybe if you rolled the balls and then froze them… Any suggestions?

UPDATE: I just saw this truffle recipe here that describes how to dip frozen truffle balls into a melted chocolate coating.

Thanks for reading!

Karen

I’ve been featured!

Preview

Here’s where I’m linking up.

Saturday:

The Grant LifeThe Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

Sunday:

LambAround,   I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo ToesPetite Hermine,

My 1929 Charmer Blog

Monday:

{aka}/ designGet Outta My Head PleaseMad in Crafts, Skip to My Lou,

The Gunny SackSew Can Do, Singing Three Little BirdsEtcetorizeDittle Dattle,

C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet homeCraft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Artful Rising,

Sarahndipities 

Tuesday:

At Home With KNot Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerThe Kurtz CornerI’m Topsy TurvyTip Junkie,

Raising 4 PrincessesThe Creative Itch Boutique

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableThe Shady PorchTea Rose HomeLil’ Luna,

Sweet Peas & Bumble BeesMom On TimeoutSomeday CraftsPassionately Artistic,

Keeping the Christmas Spirit Alive 365

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutSomewhat SimpleThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit Bear,

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageFun to CraftHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderSaved by Love CreationsA Glimpse Inside,

Between U & Me, Everything Under the Moon, Happy Hour Projects

Developmental Screening

Mary Hurlbut Photography

Eli had a developmental screening yesterday to see what is going on with his speech delay. I left feeling rather stunned. I know he isn’t where the pediatrician hoped he would be by now in the speech department, but I didn’t realize the problem was this extensive. I have to wait a couple weeks for the written report and besides being stunned, there was a lot of information being thrown at me in rapid succession. What I came away with was this. They say that in expressive language he scored at a 6 to 9 month old level. In the receptive language category he did slightly better, coming in at 12 to 15 months.

I never had any concerns about his abilities in other areas, but the examiners detected sensory problems. They said this is probably why his is so extremely active, rough and constantly moving, something about a lack of body awareness. They think there may be a swallowing problem behind his recent extremely picky eating. Not sure I completely follow what they were saying. I have a lot of reading to do. Of course having the actual report will help, but two weeks is a long time to wait when you’ve been given this sort of news.

Mary Hurlbut Photography

There were concerns about his eyes not working in sync with each other, so we’ll be visiting an opthamologist. And we are getting in to see an audiologist tomorrow to rule out any hearing issues, especially since I inherited moderate nerve deafness from my mother.

The recommendations yesterday included both one-on-one and group speech therapy as well as twice weekly occupational therapy.

They also recommended Eli and I try going gluten-free for a month as gluten sensitivities often go hand-in-hand with dairy allergies. It would also explain the craving he seems to have for all things made of wheat. The holidays and traveling are difficult enough when avoiding cow’s milk in all its forms. I’ll wait until the new year to do this experiment, or I’ll feel just too overwhelmed.

I’ve always felt confident about my decision to teach Eli Baby Signs, but I have received some criticism along the way from people who think I’ve caused his speech delay by allowing him to communicate this way. The speech evaluator commended me on having taught him so much signing. According to her, it hasn’t caused the delay, but is a very useful tool for him to have. He would be so much more frustrated, and we’d be seeing so many more behavioral challenges without it. It feels good to have a professional agree with my decision, and yesterday I needed something to feel good about!

So now my husband and I are trying to process all of this information (without actually having much information yet.)  How can he communicating at the level of a 6 to 9 month old when he uses around 40 ASL signs now. They said they gave some credit for signing, but what baby of that age has such an extensive vocabulary? Could it be that an accurate picture of your child can’t be gotten in a 1 hour time slot that was shared by two different evaluators (one for speech, the other for the other developmental areas).

Last night Eli was begging to watch his In Performance at the White House show of Latino music again, but my husband and I wanted to unwind with TV we were more interested in. Once Eli was settled in and nursing down I asked Jeff if he wanted to watch another program (other than Parenthood which was on at the time). Eli immediately popped up and began signing “music” which is the sign he uses for the In Performance… show. It seems like he understands so much of what we are saying, even just between us adults, these days. Does that fit with a 12-15 month range? I mean, maybe it does and my expectations are just very low. I don’t know.

I visited a friend and her children today and told her a bit about all of this. She comes from an AP/natural living perspective. She said that she avoided having her son screened because she knew that he would be pegged as delayed and she didn’t want him to be labeled. Instead she has worked with him (she is a very dedicated home-schooling mother) and he has come along at his own rate of development. She sees that there is a financial incentive for labels to be given to any child brought in by parents with concerns because that soon leads to the purchase of expensive therapy.

We may have insurance for a limited time now, so I plan on taking advantage of our benefits as much as I can while I have that option. I guess I’d rather error on that side of the equation. But it does make me think. Perhaps it is ok for Eli to learn to speak a bit later than “the norm.” I don’t want to medicalize what may be what is healthy and fine for him. But inaction might mean missing a good opportunity for early intervention if there truly is a problem other than a different personal developmental timetable involved. And I don’t know how much of my thinking is rational and how much is parental defensiveness or denial at this point.

I know this post may be a bit disjointed and incoherant. Mostly I am writing to help myself process my own thoughts. I would, however, welcome any insights, personal experiences or opinions people that read this might want to share.

Thanks for reading.

Karen

Handmade Scrappy Folk Angel

This angel was super easy to construct. She is hand sewn entirely of scraps. I just made her up as I went along. It’s a good late night project to do while unwinding in front of the TV.

Her gown consists of four strips of left over fabric hand sewn together to form a tube using a long stitch. I then pulled the threads from the bottom of each seam to gather the fabric at the bottom. I left the bottom ends of my fabric strips raw edged.

I then made two narrow tubes of the lighter fabric for the sleeves of the gown. I folded in the sides of the top of the gown tube at an angle so I could insert the sleeves in raglan style. I ran the wire for the arms (a straight piece of 18 gauge curled on each end) and then stitched up the diagonal line where the sleeves meet the gown to hold it all together.

I made a small head shape from a piece of an old silk shirt, stuffed it, and secured it in the neck hole of the gown with a few stitches.

The hair was a fiber that a Christmas ornament I received as a gift was packed in. It is just secured with some stitching with white thread at the part line.

(I see on this photo that she picked up a stray thread while being photographed.  I don’t have time now to take a new picture sans sewing debris. My apologies!)

I sewed the outline of the wings on a folded piece of fabric and then cut out around the outline. There is a piece of wire inside to help them not sag or flop when the angel is hung. These are attached to the angel with a few stitches between the two wings.

Like the red angel, I left her faceless.

A spiraled piece of thinner wire connecting hand to hand finishes her. She is ready to hang!

Here’s where I’m linking up.

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutSomewhat SimpleThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit Bear,

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageFun to CraftHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderSaved by Love CreationsA Glimpse Inside,

Between U & Me

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry733 BlogHappy Hour Projectskojodesigns,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestChic on a Shoestring DecoratingFrench Country Cottage,

The Charm of HomeThe Grant LifeAt the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge,

Stuff and Nonsense, One Art Mama

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My HandsSix Sisters StuffSerenity You,

Be Different Act Normal

Sunday:

LambAround,   I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo ToesPetite Hermine,

My 1929 Charmer Blog

Handmade Red Angel Christmas Ornament

I made a couple of angel ornaments from fabric scraps in years past.

This one is from a piece of sari fabric brought back to the states by my great-aunt in the early 1900’s. I really like the thin metal threads design woven into the fabric. Now it seems rather tarnished but I still like the effect.

I used it as a detail running up the middle of her gown in the back.

Her wings are just a double layer of fabric hand stitched with raw edges showing. Inside they have a length of bended wire to hold their shape. They are fastened to the angel’s back with a small safety pin. The angels grey hair is made of embroidery floss that is pulled back into a makeshift, sloppy bun.

I apologize to the angel for the indignity of having her gown hoisted up so, but at least now you can see that her legs are a simple thin tube of fabric, tapered at the ends and affixed in the middle by a piece of wire. I like how they kind of swing about in a way they couldn’t if she had a sewn and stuffed body.

Finally you can see that her head and arms are bent from a piece of wire. I then stitched a head around and onto it and filled it with a bit of fiberfill.

For hanging, I simply coiled a bit of lighter gauge wire and attached it to the two hands.

I left this angel faceless as any face I’ve thought of embroidering on doesn’t feel right to me. I kinda like her left plain like this.

What do you think… does the faceless aspect weird you out, or are you ok with it?

Tomorrow I’ll post about the other angel ornament.

Here’s where I’m linking up.

Monday:

{aka}/ designGet Outta My Head PleaseMad in Crafts, Skip to My Lou,

The Gunny SackSew Can Do, Singing Three Little BirdsEtcetorizeDittle Dattle,

C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet homeCraft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Artful Rising,

Sarahndipities 

Tuesday:

At Home With KNot Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerThe Kurtz CornerI’m Topsy TurvyTip Junkie,

Raising 4 PrincessesThe Creative Itch Boutique, Crafty Confessions,

Permanent Posies,

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableThe Shady PorchTea Rose HomeLil’ Luna,

Sweet Peas & Bumble BeesMom On TimeoutSomeday CraftsPassionately Artistic,

Keeping the Christmas Spirit Alive 365

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutSomewhat SimpleThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit Bear,

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderSaved by Love CreationsA Glimpse Inside,

Between U & Me

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry733 BlogHappy Hour Projectskojodesigns,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestChic on a Shoestring DecoratingFrench Country Cottage,

The Charm of HomeThe Grant LifeAt the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge,

Stuff and Nonsense,  One Art Mama

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My HandsSix Sisters StuffSerenity You,

Be Different Act Normal

Sunday:

LambAround,   I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo ToesPetite Hermine,

My 1929 Charmer Blog

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