Monday, October 31, 2011

What can you make from a pumpkin?

Many, many moons ago, I wanted to be thrifty and make pumpkin puree out of our jack-o-lanterns. I read somewhere that you should cut it into 2 inch pieces, peel it and then steam until soft. It turned out to be such a huge mess and the pumpkin puree turned out really runny. Bleech.

I have now found a much easier way to get great pumpkin puree.

I like re-using our jack-o-lanterns, (we carve ours the day before Halloween so they stay fresh) but I also buy a few just to make into breads, pies and other pumpkin goodies.

There are several varieties of pie pumpkins that I like to grow, but I did not get my garden planted this year so I went with some of our pumpkin patch pickings.

I first cut the pumpkins in half and clean them out, make sure you wash the outside of the pumpkin. Don't you dare throw away the seeds!!!

You don't have to be perfect in cleaning out the innards. Just get the big globs out.
Next place both halves cut side down in a baking dish with about a cup of water.

Bake at 350 for about an hour or until the pumpkin is soft. Really soft. Touch the side and it caves in soft.

Let it cool for a little bit until you can handle the pumpkin and either scrape out the flesh or peel off the skin.

You can use the pumpkin as is, but I like to puree it until smooth. It is a matter of texture more than anything else.
I either use it right away or bag it, label it and put it in the freezer for later use. I can get a little more than 4 cups of puree from one small pumpkin.

Lily Bear apparently doesn't like to wait and has to eat her pumpkin right away!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Pumpkin Patch

One of my favorite things about fall is going to an actual farm/pumpkin patch and picking out our very own pumpkins. Hunting around for the perfect pumpkin, picking out way too many, and getting dirty. There weren't any farms anywhere near where I grew up so this was a tradition I started with my own children. 
We didn't get an opportunity last year, so we made sure that it was a priority this year. We went to Tigges Farm and a had a memorable time.
This was Lily Bear's first time picking her own pumpkins. 
For Elle Bean, bigger is better.
Lily was the queen of the pumpkin patch in the wagon. . .
 . . until she definitively let us know that she was going to walk now thank you very much.
Brian gets pumpkins to carve. 
Princess P gets pumpkins for the seeds. 
Elle Bean gets pumpkins to bake with. 
I think we might have enough to fulfill everyone's pumpkins needs!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Project #28 Pattern Testing Again/Pink Ruffle Ribbon Scarf

Challenge: Pattern Test a Tutorial
Project: Whimsy Couture's Pink Ruffle Ribbon Scarf

Denise over at Whimsy Couture asked for some pattern testers again and I jumped at the chance.
She is designing a Pink Ruffle Ribbon Scarf to benefit breast cancer research. She is donating 80% of the sales of the scarf pattern. Awesome right?
I put in to test the Adult/Teenager size. It was a really easy tutorial and even a beginner could make this scarf.

The Princess P agreed to pose for the design example pictures.
This is how she really wanted to pose.
That's my girl.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tour de Fat

Since we are playing catch-up, let us travel back to September.
One of my favorite things about living in Northern Colorado is the Tour de Fat held in Fort Collins every September. It is put on by the New Belgium Brewing Company and the best way to describe it Mardi-Gras on bikes.
Over 10,000 people dressed up in costumes, ranging from the ridiculous to the amazing, show up to ride a three mile route in the city. People even make their own bikes specifically for the ride.
The Couch Bike, the ultimate in relaxation.
Burn off the calories as you drink.
I can never figure out how you get off (or on for that matter) one of these bikes.
Creativity abounds.
Brian and I have been attending the ride for 6 years now and oh how it has grown. Three years ago, my mother was visiting and she fell in love with the event. We always stake out a good location for her to watch the "parade" go by, and this year my step-father joined her. He is an amazing photographer and ended up taking almost 1,100 pictures!

Last year we had the whole family riding. We all dressed up as fairies, and Brian was a fairy catcher/hunter.
This year we only had Angel and Lily Bear with us, but we had one of Angel's friends join us and our good friend Mark came to ride as well (he actually bought a bike so he could ride in the Tour).
I like it when we all have coordinating costumes so I thew together the theme of Kabuki Theater Troupe.
Is it weird that I had 5 authentic kimonos just hanging around my house?

We were running a bit late this year so we finished our make-up when we got there.
I am not going to lie to you, a kimono was not designed for bike riding. But we did our best.
Lily Bear was not sure how to react to our make-up
Such a great excuse to dress up.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Project #27 The Pillowcase Dress/Pattern Drafting

Challenge: Design and make my own pattern
Project: Pillowcase Dress
Walking is so much fun.
I have wanted to make a pillowcase dress for a long time now. I even bought a pillow case at a resale shop in my area in hopes that I would get around to it someday. It did languish in my "someday" project basket for a while longer than I originally planned.

I looked around at a lot of tutorials for pillowcase dresses on line, and there are a TON of them out there. But I wasn't finding what I really wanted. I didn't want the gathered, drawstring look of most pillowcase dresses . . so I created my own design.

That is right, I designed and drafted my own pattern.
Yes mom, I know I should have ironed this before taking pictures.
I made my own bias tape with the left overs from a sheet I used in another project. I love being able to make my own bias tape, so many more options, so little cost.
Ironed, yup that would have made this look a heck of a lot better, I hear you loud and clear mom. 
I even added a little detail on the bottom with some left over bias tape laid flat.

(Yes, we have an avocado sage green piano.)
Crazy hair is the best hair.
Ta da!
Total cost for this experimental dress: $0.50
I want to experiment more with pattern design and pdf pattern making, you know, in all that spare time I have.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

All Summer in a Day

My last post, being without pictures, was not well received by my family and non-local friends. I don't think I quite realized how they depended on these posts to keep tabs on the girls and our goings on. 
As I am really, really delinquent on my posts, I am going to have to cram the whole summer in one day.


The Princess P turned 16!
She had her party at our home. Sounds simple right? So wrong. 25+ teenagers over for a three course fondue dinner. I don't have any photo documentation because I was too busy running around like a mad woman trying to keep the food coming. They were actually extremely well behaved for a gaggle of teenagers, way better than I was at that age, that is for sure. 

Lily Bear turned 1! 
We moved her party to our pool down the street last minute due to an overwhelming guest RSVP. "It is so hard being so popular", says Lily. 

Unfortunately she wasn't feeling very well and slept through a good part of it.

The cake I threw together. . .

She had her own as well, but was not that interested.

She had her awesome Monkey 1st Birthday bib made by her Aunt Mimi.

The Princess P doesn't do pools, so she borrowed some reading material from Lily's gifts.


Elle Bean turns 12!

She got her awesome grown up bike.

Her party was held at an amusement park with two friends. The hubby got out of going with us because he stayed home to take care of Lily Bear, so we recruited our good friend Mark to help. Doesn't he look like he is having a great time??

Other things happened this summer, I am sure of it, but I think that these were the most important and the most memorable for me (and the best documented). Do you feel caught up yet?

Coming up next: an actual sewing project!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Blog Reboot: Can I get all 52 in before the end of the year?

Well it has been quite a while since I have posted and I have been trying to figure out why. I have so many "reasons" that I got behind, but I think what it really comes down to is that I didn't feel as if I was doing anything worthwhile, that I started years too late if I wanted to really get a blog out, and I am intimidated by other bloggers out there who do this so much better than I do. I let my doubts and negativity overrule everything. Silly Heather.

Then I read a post by Disney from Ruffles and Stuff and she really helped me put things in perspective. I am who I am, I can do what I can do.

The funny thing is, project-wise, I am ahead of the game. I have done one or more projects a week but, for one reason or another, couldn't get them documented.

So here is the challenge: get all 52 projects done and documented before the end of the year.

Here is to the ReBoot Project 52