Friday, April 30, 2010

Giraffes and Gators

Aren't these bibs just too cute to spill strained carrots and peas on? Perfect for a little drool.

I even managed to get the rick-rack or alligator teeth on. I never could master sewing on rick-rack.

The very first dress I sewed in home ec was out of orange and white gingham with rack-rack. It had a mandarin collar and bell sleeves. I loved it. The second school project was a lined wool vest and skirt, the skirt with pleats! A far cry from the required pillow and sweatshirt my kids had to sew. (And yes, we really did have to walk a mile to school, one way! ha)

I have been hooked on fabrics and notions since having that first piece of gingham cut out at the local Skogmos store.

Gingham, calico's, dotted swiss, rick-rack...pure 70's. b

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Monkey business

Yesterday's projects included this little monkey bag. Would you believe the bag cost 1.99, another $4 for pattern and just used fabric from leftover stash.

Had trouble getting a nice straight stitch around the edges of fabric on my sewing machine, forcing me to dig out embroidery thread, find my favorite chair for hand work and relax.

I love handmade gifts and think the fact that this is makes it priceless... b

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Old Books

I was so excited to find these old childhood reads in a antique store out west. I recall the first Bobbsey Twins book I owned, was I thrilled. And the first book I checked out from the local library - Little Women.

I have always loved to read and panic if I don't have a couple of spare books waiting to be read on the shelf. I love owning my own books but the price of them keeps me returning to the local library. I wonder how many books I would own if money was no object?

On the subject of reading books on a Kindle...I can't imagine losing the feel of a book in my hands. I sure hope this newest trend doesn't catch on. Wonder what a Kindle store would look like? Yikes. No libraries, no second-hand book stores, no book smell!

And worst of all no thrill of running across an old childhood book you read in the '60s. b

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

hand work

Our daughter just listed her embroidered items in her Etsy shop - Unique Buy Me. Good Luck Tildy!

I still have the first dish towels our kids cross-stitched and running across them always makes me smile.

My memories of Grandma T. teaching us to embroider are vivid. What patience she had to have had and what fun we had. "Good work, honey-pal," she would tell us.

Grandma even commissioned little dresses for my sister and I in gingham with our initials embroidered on the collars.

I still love a pretty embroidery project. This pillow case I did for my daughter when she was a little girl is a favorite. b

Monday, April 26, 2010


I couldn't resist taking a shot of the gran-girlie's wellies sitting by our back door yesterday.

We are having our third day in a row of rain here and really it's been great.

The grass is green with a few specks of yellow dandelions here and there, the bird's are splashing in the bird baths and my garden seeds will be sprouting radishes, spinach and kale soon.

This cool weather is offering us an opportunity to enjoy some homemade chili before we start thinking about potato salad and baked beans. b

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Happy Grandma's

Here's what's making me smile today.

We got the gran-girlie's these little three wheel bikes and when they got here away they went.

I know the picture quality is bad. Who knew the camera came with a flash?

But a little girl with messy hair and in her jammies heading down the hallway on her wheels...

Ain't life great! b

Saturday, April 24, 2010

What For Supper?

Stuffed onions! So good.

Sorry, can't give you recipe, our son makes them for us and what a treat!

And you should see him in the kitchen. He can put a meal together faster than a restaurant. Organized and efficient.

I know exactly where he got this and it wasn't his dad. I am definitely the multi-tasker in the family.

If I'm not doing three things at once I am wasting my time.

What a fun day we had with the gran-girlie's. Even the rainy day didn't spoil our day, but we came back in the house pretty wet. I'll definitely being washing coats and shoes before morning. b

Friday, April 23, 2010


Our son and twin gran-girlie's will be here tonight and grandma can't wait!

Have the beds ready along with books and toys out.

I'm so disappointed it's supposed to rain this weekend. But told grandpa we'll take the car out of the garage, put the door up and play out there and watch the rain come down. You never want to complain about rain in South Dakota.

These two books are among my favorites to read out loud. "No David!" Author had to know my brother when he wrote this.

And "That Crazy Barb'ra," what can I say...b

Thursday, April 22, 2010


What have you been up to the last 30 years?

I made these little Raggedy's for our kids that many years ago.

Gosh, how the years have flown by! And what a happy life we've been blessed with.

Now the gran-girlie's will play with them.

Andy and Ann are very thankful to be out of storage and cleaned up a bit.

Made a few sewing repairs - Ann's bloomers needed new elastic. After all, who else could wear the same bloomers for 30 years without a few repairs? b

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Preserving our Planet

Don't know if I'm thinking about preserving our planet or just tired of buying expensive paper products.

No more paper napkins at our table!

Bought these inexpensive 100% cotton hand towels, cut them in half, hemmed up and walla...

Cute cloth napkins at 67c each for everyday use. b

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Living small

Was thinking about living in a small town today (750 people really!) and how you to have to learn to create your own comforts...

No Starbucks - Buy a coffee grinder

No Barnes and Noble - Find your local library

No Theatre - A big screen television and NetFlix to the rescue

No Fitness Club - Enjoy the great outdoors and it helps to have a hot tub in the garage

No Italian, Chinese or Mexican restaurants - I have cookbooks for all three

Arts and Crafts - Etsy on Internet!

Gosh, I bet we have saved thousands of dollars living here!

And the biggest bonus is knowing your neighbors and everyone in town is your neighbor...b

Monday, April 19, 2010


"Nancy always had thick ankles, but no one really noticed."

This card in the mail from my sister made me laugh this morning!

Don't know if she thought of me when she saw it because of the hair or thick ankles. You figured it out (hint-I don't have thick ankles.)

Thanks for a good laugh, sis!

And saw this in my Uncommon Goods catalog - "Always be yourself, because the people that matter don't mind, and the ones that mind don't matter."

I am always worried what other people think. Had this handed down from my parents I'm sure. How many times did you hear, "What will other people think?"

I'm making this my new mantra, and hanging it on the wall... b

Sunday, April 18, 2010

home again, home again...

Made it home from the wild west portion of the state. We made a quick trip to the hills to pick up gran-girlie's tricycles being stored in daughter's shed.

It's a long story but I'll try...

The daughter-in-law loves a good bargain and rummaging. She found two tricycles on the internet for sell in Rapid City and had her sister-in-law pick them up. Sister-in-law says "Let me buy them for niece's second birthday." And this second birthday is getting very close.

So grandparents to the rescue! It was a good excuse to get away and enjoy some shopping time in Rapid City.

Like the daughter-in -law and rummaging, I love buying bargain priced flannel in new patterns, as pictured. Isn't it sweet? Can't you just see a newborn wrapped up in it?

I came home with some great new projects - sock yarn, dish rag yarn and iron-on transfers for kitchen towels to share with daughter.

And of course birthday presents for our girlie's second birthday. b

Friday, April 16, 2010


I love this picture of me and my brother Stephen. I think the year could have been 1955. I'm two? He would be three. I suppose my one-year-old brother David was in napping.

How about our head wear? Grandma had to have put that on me, I always remember her wearing scarves like it.

Dad and Mom didn't take a lot of photos in those days. Too many kids to run after and film developing was expensive I suppose.

Looking at the brightness of the sun and snow, it looks like it could have right after a spring snow.

It's Friday here today and we're looking forward to getting away for the weekend. b

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Beer Bread

I don't drink beer, I don't like beer. But put it in batter and I love it, onion rings, fish, or beer and cheese soup! If you like Tastefully Simple's beer batter bread you'll appreciate this recipe for bread. Besides the savings, it's just as good. I like it toasted for breakfast with peanut butter.

Beer Bread

2 cups white flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

3 heaping tablespoons of sugar

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 bottle of beer

Heat oven to 375, grease the pan. Whisk the dry ingredients together and add the beer stirring slowly until mixed. Pour into the bread pan and bake for 35 minutes then turn the loaf and bake for another 25 minutes or until the toothpick is clean and the loaf is golden brown. (I like to spread 1 tablespoon melted butter over the top before baking.)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Having a busy day here...ordered a fun new pattern on-line and received in pdf file to copy off myself. I'm having lots of fun making it. More on that later.

So decided to show you these little fleece dolly blankets I threw together for the gran-girlies a while back.

Can't believe I was so lazy. Bought inexpensive fabric in store, came home and just cut in two with pinking shears and a few minutes later dollies are warm.

And that's what grandma's are for! b

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Our Wild Life

Went on a little blogging hunt. Could possibly learn some camera techniques before this is all over.

More willing models would help here. But aren't they all beautiful? Not your usual anorexic subjects are they? All South Dakota corn fed.

The turkeys were a complete surprise. b

Monday, April 12, 2010

Garden Fresh

Thinking about last season's salsa I sent home with daughter yesterday.

My sister shared the recipe years ago and it has definitely stuck, so good. Love it on everything - taco chips, eggs, baked potato and more. The kitchen smells wonderful when you're cutting up and cooking all those garden fresh ingredients.

Our daughter-in-law even donated a jar to a bake sale fundraiser for one of her down and out co-workers, made us both happy to help out.

This year I hope the daughter and I can make 'the recipe' together with produce from her first garden!

The heart dish rag was knitted for me by daughter, too pretty to wash dishes with so will just admire a bit longer... b

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Garden pots

Doing Saturday cleaning here today and was dusting around this cute pot the daughter made for me last Mother's Day. Isn't it adorable? Of course when she gave it to me it was also filled with fun other things.

It is nice to have a daughter that shares a love of creating things with her hands. She lives so far away now but miles can't separate us.

Love ya, Tildy... mom

Friday, April 9, 2010

Puppy Project

My newest project from Itty Bitty Toys is the wrap me up puppy, so cute. Lots of casting on for the ears, legs and tail. Should be very cute when it's done but don't know about making two? I don't even like knitting the second sock! Or embroidering the second pillow case...

Having twin gran-girlie's has made for a lot of two of everything and it's only right that should have their own things. And until they declare their favorite color it is safest to make everything the same color.

I think I'm talking myself into that second puppy don't you? b

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Let the work begin...

Yes, the 2010 yard work has begun, for Mr. B. anyway. As you can see it's pretty tough for us, lawnmower even rakes for us and then sweeps it all up.

Wish it would load itself in the back of our truck and run on out to the dump. b

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sick Day

This site temporarily closed down due to illness... b

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Look who's home...

Look who's home! The Easter bunny. When I stepped outside after work last night, there he was, resting in our yard. No need to ask where he's been...he's a busy bunny this time of year.

But we did have a nice conversation and I think we reached an understanding on the number of guests he is allowed to have under Mr. B's garden shed.

He was quite evasive on the subject of girlfriends and knows how I feel about illegitimate bunnies.

He's allowed in the garden as long as he leaves us a few lettuce and spinach leaves, after all rabbits have to eat too. b

Monday, April 5, 2010

On the lines...

Sheets dried out in the fresh air - natures own sleeping aid.

Seriously I could lay awake all night smelling them. I also love using towels and wash clothes off the line - all stiff and scratchy.

I'm remembering the time when Mondays were wash day and everything was hung out on the clotheslines to dry. The sun bleached all your whites and faded everything else.

Everything had to be ironed. Grandmother even had a mangle press to run flat items through - table clothes, curtains, pants, sheets and pillow cases, towels, even socks! - making the job a little easier. "Sit and iron in comfort" they called it.

Mom would sprinkle our clothes with water in a glass pop bottle and a sprinkling cork on top. Everything was then placed in a large plastic bag and placed in the freezer until Tillie, the ironing lady, could come to help with the mountain of clothes our family of 7 would have. Everything was cotton and needed pressing.

I couldn't wait for mom to teach me how to iron and loved ironing all the pretty embroidered pillow cases.

Is it just me or does everyone do wash now everyday and hate ironing. Seems like the wash is never done... b

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hoppy Easter

It's a beautiful Easter Sunday here, I'm sure it called for a new bonnet. We went looking for the Easter bunny with no luck, he lives under Mr. B's garden shed you know. Probably out hiding eggs for all good little children.

While I couldn't find the bunny I did find these blooming tulips on the south side our house. Never can decide if I should leave there for all to enjoy or snip them to enjoy in the house. Luckily my pink tulips are still pretty so I can leave the red one where they grow... b

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Niagara Falls?

Or Sioux Falls?

Mr. and Mrs. B decided they needed a night out so booked a night at the Sheridan in Sioux Falls and treated the gran-girlie's and themselves to a lot of fun.

The girls are quite the little ducks and loved the pool. Their biggest fun is running up and down the halls. As we were all trying to fall asleep we had to listen to another family's kids enjoying the same sport.

Don't know if the girl's parents appreciated their night alone as they are both feeling the affects of strep throat.

The falls were really running fast from all the snow melt and are spectacular. Someday we hope to see Niagara Falls from the Canadian side... b

Friday, April 2, 2010

Tulips for you

A bouquet of tulips from me to you. Wish I could have some delivered to all of my followers. Saw them in the store and couldn't resist a pot of them.

I have little tulips shoots coming up here and there in the yard and can never wait until I see the first bloom.

I think its going to be a pink day...started out with a pink smoothie, then packed gran-girlie's pink Easter bags and sending out pink cyber tulips to you. Have a Good Friday... b

Thursday, April 1, 2010


I haven't dyed Easter eggs for years, maybe 13 to be exact, and even then our daughter always did them.

But found this old dye kit in the cupboard left over from my variety store days and decided it was time to dye eggs again. Call it a practice run and hope the gran-girlie's can help grandma next year.

The little guy discovering a rabbit in the corner is the girlie's dad and it was first fun Easter as parents. The year is 1979 and he is 13 months old.

I'm remembering the Easter our two kids couldn't find any baskets on Sunday morning when we discovered someone had locked the front door preventing the Easter rabbit from entering, but there they were! Out on our front step. What a close call that was... b