November 22, 2008

Out Walking

I was walking home from the gym this afternoon and picked up some beautiful things. I'm pretty sure I looked like a third grader stopping every few feet and crouching down to look at something on the ground. But I brought home a handful of things and took pictures and loved them. Fall is beautiful!

November 18, 2008

Fall Pesto

I just realized I never published this post, so it's a little late but still great!

Today was the last day of my town's farmers market so to celebrate (mourn would be more accurate) I bought a couple big bunches of basil and made enough pesto to freeze. I felt very "Little House on the Prairie" as I was setting away stores for winter. I think pesto may have the best smell of anything so I decided to spread the love and share the recipe with you.

6 cups loose basil (don't pack it in)
1 1/2 T fresh lemon juice
1/2 C pine nuts (although I did a few batches with pecans that turned out fine)
1/2 C parmesan cheese
2 cloves fresh garlic
kosher salt
2 t black pepper
3/4 C olive oil

Combine all of the ingredients, reserving 1/4 c of olive oil. Blend in a blender or food processor until smooth, adding the remaining olive oil while blending.

This is great on pasta with fresh tomatoes and feta cheese. It is also fabulous on pizza with tomatoes and fresh mozzarella.

November 15, 2008

I was looking through my old pictures and ran across this one. It brightened my day so I thought it my brighten yours.

November 5, 2008

Make Your Own Hobby Horse/ Stick Pony: Tutorial

My son was a cowboy for Halloween and instead of using all my resources (time, materials, imagination, etc,.) for something that would just end up in the costume box for the rest of time I decided to make a hobby horse instead of chaps or holsters. Every cowboy needs his horse, after all. I looked online and couldn't find a pattern (that is, I couldn't find a free one) but I scoured the internet and found a bunch of pictures of homemade hobby horses and thought, "I can do that!" So I did. And it was super easy. You can do it too.


Cut two horse head shaped pieces out of the fabric of your choice. I used a cream colored flannel left-over from a failed baby quilt.

Cut pieces for the eyes out of felt. Obviously you can do whatever shape you like. This is what I chose.

Let your son place the eyes where he wants.
Place the eyes on the horse heads and sew around each individual piece.
Cut out pieces for ears. Two from the head fabric, two from a contrasting fabric, two from a heavy interfacing. I used fusible fleece. Fuse the interfacing to the contrasting fabric.

Sixth:Place the two right sides of the fabric pieces together and sew around the edges, leaving the bottom open. I would double-stitch it because you stuff it pretty tight and it pulls on the seams a bit.

Place right sides of ears together sew around the edge, leaving bottom open. Turn right side out, iron the seams, and stitch 1/4 inch around the edges. Create a pleat at the bottom of each ear and sew across to set it. (wow, did that make any sense?- just do what you can to make your ears look like the picture)

Eighth:Place the ear where you want to attach it to the head and make a mark that is the width of the ear. Then make a slit along it and place the ear about 3/4 of an inch inside the slit. Turn it wrong side out and then pin the ear in place. So it looks like this. You should have three layers of fabric (the head, the ear, the head piece again). Stitch along the edge-backstitching at each end, firmly attaching the ear in place so it looks like this when you turn it:
Once you have the eyes and ears on, it's time to add the mane. I got an embroidery needle and pulled yarn through the fabric and then knotted it. There probably is something faster, but I certainly didn't figure it out.
Once the mane is done it is time to stuff. Stuff the head about half full (about to where the neck begins) and then prepare the stick. I crumpled a piece of felt and then draped another piece of felt over it and tied it on the end of the stick like so:This prevents the stick from poking through and tearing the fabric. Once that is done, place the stick in the head, put the stuffing around it until it is packed as tightly as you want and you are ready to finish it.
Get a hot glue gun. There is nothing like a hot glue gun when it is late at night and you need a stick horse for Halloween the next day. put a ring of glue on the stick and gather the fabric and press it onto the glue. Then get ribbon, strips of fabric, whatever and wrap the thing like crazy. then hot glue the end of the ribbon and voila! Your almost done!

Get ribbon, or binding, or whatever you want to use for reigns and a bridle and glue it in place. It honestly is as easy as that.