Wednesday, March 30

Prettier Chocolate Chip Cookies

Girls and I made chocolate chip cookies and it reminded me of a fun little tip I read somewhere. (Probably in Cook’s Illustrated – this sounds like their kind of tip…)

Cookies below are both from the same recipe, but the ones on the right look so much more chocolatey, don’t they?


Why? Because when we were mixing up the dough, we kept some of the chips separate. Then after we’d scooped the dough onto the sheets, we pressed two or three more chips into the tops of the dough balls.

(Didn’t think to take pictures of that… Maybe because my fingers were too doughy and chocolatey…)

Is it a finicky, detailed, extra step? Sure it is (which is why I suspect it came from Cook’s Illustrated – ha ha; love that magazine!).

But does it give little kids a fun little job to do during cookie making time? Yup.


And it makes a good-tasting cookie even more good-looking too. : )

Wednesday, March 23

Ellie’s Purse

It’s been a while since I’ve made any Little Purses.


But dear, sweet E-----, who was only a baby when I made the one for her older sister, needed one of her own.


Not sure why but I really enjoyed making this one!  


Pattern pieces are here (US Letter) and here (A4); I just changed the usually-square flap to be curved, to follow the “e”.

Monday, March 21

Purple Floral Tote

I’m thinking of changing the name of this blog to “Bags and Cakes.” That’s all I seem to be making these days… : )


I was down in the corner again, to continue the clean-up…


…when I came across another bag. A bag that’s been on my project list a long time, just waiting for me to actually finish it, like I finished the others I cut out at the same time.


You’ll have to follow the link above if you want to know just how long – I can’t bring myself to type it… Especially because it took less than two TV shows to finish it!


But it’s done now!


Aaaaand, so is the corner!


Which means I can get on with other things from my “Finish Next” box…


Thursday, March 17

Pot-of-Gold Rainbow Cake

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


I’d originally intended to post this last weekend when we made – and ate – the cake above, a birthday cake for Ken. A friend had told me about the “rainbow” cupcakes she made, which inspired this cake, and I been thinking I’d pass along the idea; maybe someone would want to do something similar for a special treat today…


But after plunking all my photos in, I decided to check email before typing any text. One link led to another and I found myself reading this article about “inspiration overload” (as one commenter called it): How To Protect Your Time From Too Many Good Ideas (by Rachel at Small Notebook). 

Suddenly I wasn’t sure I wanted to post a “how to” that had an implicit 4-day deadline… Plus I was too busy reading more of Rachel’s articles. : )

Then Ken came upstairs, saying, “You gotta watch this video.” And for 15-minutes, we watched a tsunami-generated wall of water obliterate everything in its path. And then watched more videos (ones without so much stuff covering half the screen) and thought of what life is like right now for some people on the other side of the world.

And then I closed the computer and we took some time to be thankful together… and just be together.

Today, I opened up the draft, deleted most of the photos, and tried to capture some of what’s happening in my head. Perhaps another day, I’ll show the colorful batter, describe the silliness of my heating core fiasco, inspire someone to make their own rainbow cake because it fits in with their bigger goals for their day. But for now, I’m closing the computer and going off to make some aprons with an enthusiastic 6-year-old.

Oh, but first, just two more photos I couldn’t delete – my own precious “Pot of Gold” blowing out his birthday candles. 


Friday, March 11

Not a Cake…

Nope, it’s a bag. And I didn’t make it – Old Navy did. I just altered it.


Because I was in the middle of cleaning up my corner and I came across it and instinctively knew that the updating of the bag was an integral part of the cleaning up of the corner. Wanna see the “before”?


Oh, that’s the “before” of the corner. And sadly, there is no “after.” Yet.

Here’s the “before” of the bag…


Can you tell what the problem was? Here, let me make it easier…


A gift from a good friend, my favorite color, mesh sides – I loved the bag! Except for the width. In fact, it was even narrower at the top than the bottom!

So I ripped up the side seam, sewed some slightly tapered panels on, then sewed a new side seam. Would’ve taken pictures along the way except for the fact that I was, you know, busy cleaning up my corner…

Wednesday, March 9

Jana’s Heart Birthday Cake

Another cake post – ‘cause yesterday was Jana’s turn for a birthday cake again.


Hard to believe she’s been with us a year and a half already. And will probably only be living with us another half a year before moving on to the next big step in her life… : (


Her imminent departure is what inspired the messages on the sides:


So glad we get to count you as part of our family, sweet Jana. Happy birthday!


P.S. Boyfriend Paul was also at the house last night. I’d left my decorating supplies on the counter, when he and Jana come running over to me. “Take a picture of the frosting on our fingers!” she said.


I did. Aren’t they cute? Young love…

Soon after, another voice said, “Mama, take a picture of the frosting on my fingers!”


Mmm, doesn’t THAT look tasty?!?


* * *

Stay tuned for more sugariness. Next birthday – 4 days away…


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