Monday, May 9, 2011

Missions Monday

Samaritan's Purse Tally Time!  I love Samaritan's Purse, they are a Christian relief organization who help anyone in need with food, medicine, shelter, building supplies, etc... around the world and in our country.  Each month I give from my sales in my Etsy shop, , and show you what just a little can do.  So this month wasn't banner sales, but I am able to send around $14 from my shop.  Here is what my $14 can do:

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Humpty Dumpty - My new puppet or is it me?

I feel like I am showing you my new baby with this photo.  Silly huh!  But here he is, Sir Humpty Dumpty.  I just had to make him yesterday, which I haven't felt like making much lately.  My old sewing machine died last month, which left me mourning the loss of a faithful friend and worker.  It took awhile and some tears but now I have a lovely machine that my husband purchased for me.  But I sort of felt like this Humpty during this time.  I fell, and couldn't get the pieces back together.  Well I forced myself to uncover the machine and dive in and I love my little guy!  

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I must create or bust!!!!

Everything thing is quiet in puppet world.  I'm glad for a bit of a break, but hopefully not too long.  My fingers were cracked and bleeding from washing dishes and the cold, my sewing machine has been acting up, and I have been so tired.  I rested a lot over the weekend, and bought a pair of rubber gloves and haven't even looked at the machine.  But yesterday, I was ready.  Ready to create.  I made one of these little dolls when I was on bed rest with my son and I wanted to create another one.  So I pulled out my felt, the unruly machine, may pattern, and scissors, and began creating.  I finished her last night and just love her.
Please meet Little Miss Muffet:

She still needs her tuffet and a spider.  The spider is in the works, and I didn't think about a tuffet until now.  She isn't in my etsy shop yet, but soon.  I'll let you know.

Spring, is it really coming?

Sunday morning we woke up to rain and the sounds of birds - Spring!  I said thank you for the rain because that means spring is coming.  The kids and I ended up staying home from church and did our own Bible lesson.  We talked about the sun, and the light it gives off and how Jesus is the true light.  Then we made suns with all the rays and wrote down a Bible verse.

We were so hopeful for some sun.  But little did we know that indeed we would have sun - that is after
20 inches of snow dumped on us during the night. 

This is our street.  It finally got plowed at about 4am in the morning.  We are free!!!! Yeah!!!!

Well today it is 40 degrees and everything is melting.  Crazy weather, but I guess March should go out like a lamb right?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

February Giving Update

February was a banner month in my etsy shop : .  I was starting to get overwhelmed and am now just finishing up my last order.  Our computer was down in the beginning of the month, I was sick in the middle, and my sewing machine broke down at the end.  But God is good, I weathered all these small storms and was able to send the most from my etsy shop ever : $23.20.   Doesn't sound like much?  Lets see what it can can do:

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Did You Try Something New in February?

I did and it was a flop.  At the beginning of the year I thought I would challenge myself to try something new each month.  January I started this blog - definitely something new.  February - I thought and thought and decided to try to make lollipops.  My son is a huge fan of them and I thought no problem.  At first look they don't look bad:
But they tasted terrible.  I burnt the sugar and then tried to cover the burnt taste with a touch of butter and lemon juice.  Yuck Yuck Yuck!!!!!  When something is burnt, it is burnt!!!!  You just can't cover the taste.
I then proceeded to just dump it all over a tray and play with it.  Which was fun, but I still have the mess hiding in the oven. 

Here is what I did wrong:
*no candy thermometer (after all my grandmother never had one)
*no recipe (just a guide line from another recipe I kind of fudged)
*I was sewing while I was waiting for the "right temperature"
*never add butter to lollipops (these beauties curled right over the jar into all sorts of odd shapes)

One positive note:  My daughter loved them and encouraged me to keep trying.  Thanks kiddo!  And...I think I will, when I get a thermometer and a good recipe.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Snow - Again!!!

Yes another snow day from school, yes another interruption for the to do list for this morning, yes another inconvenience, yes more snow to shovel, etc....  But my how pretty it is!!!!

"My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long."  Psalm 71:8

This is definitely a spring snow.  It's heavy, perfect for building a snow man, and you can hear the icicles melting from the gutters all around.  It's heavy on the trees, but looks beautiful. 

Just last week our snow was almost gone, it actually topped at 65 degrees.  My husband and son made this cute little snowman, who melted I think within an hour. 

Have a happy day, spring is almost here!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Maple Syrup Time

Here in NY the sap is running.  When I was a girl my sister and I would take our hand drill, our spickets, and any container that would hold sap and tap a few trees in the woods.  We would strain it through old bandannas and cook it on the wood stove.  Yum Yum Yum!!!!!  These days I just buy it when I can.  I recently bought a gallon of Grade A Medium Amber - a bit too dark for my taste so I have been baking with it too.  I made these yummy tarts for my family over the weekend. 
Some of these are apple and the others are Maple Syrup pecan tarts.  They are similar to pecan pie but with a maple twist. 

Maple Syrup Tarts
12 unbaked pie crust tarts (I made mine in muffin tins and only got 11)
1 egg
1 cup real maple syrup
1 TB. melted butter
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 TB. lemon juice
1/2 c. nuts

Mix all together pour into tarts 2/3 full.  Bake 375 for 20-25 mins.  I let them cool a bit and then placed them into muffin papers.   Enjoy.  We all loved these.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Samaritan's Purse Update

As some of you know I absolutely love Samaritan's Purse, a Christian relief program that helps people not only all over the world but in our country as well.  I love this ministry so much that I sell finger puppets so I can give more to them.  I started my etsy shop last year because I was so moved by the devastation in Haiti and I had no money to help.  So I thought I would make slippers and sell them, well, the slippers never amounted to much but finger puppets have been slowing growing in sales and I am able to help a bit more. 
Let me tell you what Samaritan's purse has been doing there in Haiti over the past year or so:
*10,500 families have had sturdy shelters built for them
*56,000 patients have been cared for
*345,000 people fed

*tons of rubble removed
*clean water and safe sanitation provided for dozens of communities

*250,000 Operation Christmas child boxed delivered

*Orphans being helped
Here is an amazing story of one Haitian man who is helping orphans and how Samaritan's Purse is assisting.
Roseann Dennery reports from Haiti.
What does sacrifice look like?

There are people who give, and there are others who give beyond themselves until there is nothing left. Then they start all over again.

Esaie is one of these people.
Please watch!

That is just a bit of what they are doing. 
Every bit that can be given will make an amazing impact in these peoples lives.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Valentine's Treat that is delicious anytime

Check out these peanut butter cookies that my mom made us for Valentine's Day.  She wrapped them in a beautiful red box with a cupid on the front.  I wish I had enough energy and a working computer to show you these before, but they were beautiful and yummy.

You make a simple peanut butter cookie dough, roll in balls, flatten them with a cup dipped in sugar, press your thumb two ways in the center to make a heart, and fill with jam.  Yumm, Yumm, Yumm!!!!  My daughter and I made a batch to take to Bible study but we didn't go because I wasn't feeling well and we munched them up.  We made a few without jam and put three chocolate chips in at the end and then swirled with a toothpick.  I also made a few with just a small heart cookie cutter pressed part way in in the center for my son who wanted some without anything.  All great and yummy.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Heart Cookies
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1c. peanut butter
1 egg

Cream the butter and sugars, add egg, then dry ingredients.  Roll into balls, flatten with a cup dipped in sugar, impress a heart using your thumb or finger tip (criss cross them).  Bake 350 for about 10 mins, pull out fill heart with jam or jelly bake for about another 5 mins or until firm.  We had to press the heart bake down a bit before we put in the jelly.

The recipe is from Martha Stewart.

MICE!!!!! Good or Bad

Normally I hate mice in my house.  They make me yelp and jump and go running for my husband to get rid of them.  One time I was in the basement doing the laundry and there on the floor in front of my stackable was a dead mouse.  I ran up the stairs and demanded that my husband get it.  My hero went down the stairs and came up snickering.  What?  My mouse was no mouse, it was lint.  Aughhhh!!!!!  So occassionally I get a little jab about my lint mouse.  Again, I do not like mice, but these ones who consumed my life for a day and a half, I liked.

  A lovely lady in Texas ordered these for her Kindermusic class.  Thanks!  It also gave me the opportunity to revamp my old, ugly mouse (who was more like a rat), into this cute little mouse.
Isn't this one much cuter?  I guess if you are into rats the other would do.  But I prefer cute!

Check out my other items at

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Itty Bitty Crafty Thing - #4 Snake Slippers

With the computer down over the weekend and me having some type of bobble head, sick to my stomach weirdo thing I was able to crochet a bit.  We have a little friend who has admired my son's snake slippers and wanted a  pair of his own.  This pattern was adapted from a bootie pattern from Lion brand yarn, then I added eyes and a tongue.  Viola, snakes!  You could add eyes and tongues to socks or any pair of slippers that you have or would make.  Fun and pretty easy.

I'm Back and What I'm Thankful For

My husband!  Look there he is making his famous chicken parm for Valentine's Day.  My husband makes delicious chicken parm, doesn't something made by someone else always taste better.  Besides making a fabulous meal, he set the table, washed the dishes, and has been holding down the fort with his wife not feeling well.  I think my head is not so dizzy this morning, but I have been so thankful for my husband who has been entertaining our son, making sure our daughter gets off to school, and giving me opportunities to rest.  Thank you honey! 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Monday, February 7, 2011

Homemade hamburger buns? Why, when they are so cheap?

Because they are delicious, easy, and inexpensive to make.  Once you try them you will never, ever want to go back to those soft squishy things.  In my opinion, yucky!!!!
These are made in the bread machine, the recipe is so easy, it makes 12-16 depending how big you like your burgers.  I have also made them into dinner rolls for soup (about 24), we use these for sausages, sloppy joe, any kind of sandwich, including pbj for the little guy (no crust to worry about), scrambled egg sandwiches, anything.  I love them and it is hard to resist a fresh one out of the oven.  If I want them for dinner that night I start it around 3pm and we have fresh rolls for dinner at 5:30 - 6:00.

Hamburger Buns
Makes 12 - 16

1 1/4 c. milk or water ( I use warm water - water makes a lighter roll)
1 large egg
1/3 c. oil
3 Tb. sugar/honey
4 c. bread flour ( I use 1 1/2 c. whole wheat and the rest bread flour)
2 tsp. salt (I use a bit less)
2 1/2 tsp. yeast

Place all ingredients in bread machine according to manufacturers directions.  In mine I place them in the order I listed.  Set machine to dough.  When done, divide dough into 12 - 16 pieces.  Form into a ball and place on cookie sheet about 1-2 inches apart so they grow together a bit.  I then go back and flatten the balls with my hand to make them a bit wider and thinner.  Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 mins.  Bake 375 for 15 to 20 mins, or until lightly browned. 

Enjoy!  I usually pop a few in the freezer to have later.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday Finger Puppet of the Week

Here they are: Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  Check out these new cuties in my etsy shop.  Next week, when my printer, scanner is back up and running I hope to show you how to make a bear of your own, along with free pattern.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Itty Bitty Crafty Thing #3 - Crystally Painted Hearts

I found this idea in our favorite magazine: Family Fun. 
Simply use
card stock, glue, salt, and food coloring.  

I layed the card stock in a plastic shoe box, I let the little man squeeze glue around and around with my help, sprinkle on salt (or dump it all over like Joshua) and try to shake and knock it around to get into the glue, then with droppers and different colors of diluted food coloring let them drip the colors all over the paper.  Now looking back I would use the little food coloring dropper bottles like I did with the snow in the last post.  It is a bit challenging for a little one to really grasp the concept of a dropper. 
Let this crazy paper dry and knock off the extra salt.  I loved the look of the paper, but what to do with it?  So I cut out a heart, glued it on red paper, punched a hole,  don't forget to let your little one put the string through the hole (Joshua was excited about that), and hung it up. 
Joshua wanted it on the door, but I later moved it to the window.  I love cheery Valentine's Day!

Snowy Day Fun for the Little One

My son Joshua is 2 1/2 years old  and he has a mind of his own and will not budge from the way he feels everything should go.  Saying that, he will not wear snow pants, snow suit, or even double pants to go outside.  On a mild winter day with a couple of inches on the ground, I just put on heavy sweat pants and we are fine for about 1/2 hour to 1 hour.  With the weather we have had the last two days here in NY, snow, freezing rain, ice, and no school for two days, I wouldn't qualify for Mommy of the Year if I just let him go out with sweat pants.  So I brought the snow to him.  This blue table is a water and sand table I got from Walmart last summer, I threw it in the basement so I could pull it out this winter.  I layed a large towel underneath, my daughter and her friend brought in snow, and Joshua went to town.  I gave him food coloring sqeeze bottles (when these were empty I saved them - just pop the tiny top, add a drop of color, and top off with water). 

He loved making all the colors and then he decided to "cook" in his kitchen (behind him) with his snow and squeeze bottles.  He was occupied for probably a good hour and was fascinated when he came back later and the snow was all melted.  He just had a science lesson and didn't know it.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cold and Snowy, Make baked Oatmeal

Nothing too exciting to look at, but oh so very yummy.  I am not a fan of cooked oatmeal and neither is my son.  I love granola, but sometimes it is a bit tiresome to chew, so this is what we like.  I bake it very thin, I use my rectangle pizza pan or you could use a jelly roll pan.

 I lift it up with a spatula, crumble in the bowl and pour milk over top, and nut, raisins, whatever.  I don't add any extra sugar.  You could eat it plan but it does crumble a bit.  The original recipe says to bake it in a 9x13 pan, which I am guessing would be easier to cut it and eat it that way.  You can play around with the recipe.  I use half the sugar and instead of butter use half the amount in oil.  Sometimes I put in a banana or applesauce in place of some of the oil.  I did find out that quick oats are better for little ones, the old fashion tend to be too chewy.  Enjoy!!

Baked Oatmeal
3 c. oats
1c. brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp.  baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 c. milk
2 eggs
1/2 c. melted butter
2 tsp. vanilla
dried fruit or nuts optional

Mix together pour into greased 9x13 or pizza pan.  Bake 350 25- 40 mins depending on thickness/ or until it is firm to the touch. 

Itty Bitty Crafty Thing #2 - Kitchen Towels

Well, I was busy over the weekend with some kitchen projects and not puppets.  Nothing amazing but necessary.  Last week my son and I went to our local thrift store and poked around, we like doing that once or twice a month.  He is thrilled with the old phones, coffee pots, toys, and balls.  We look for videos and books, and once in a while find a piece of clothing for him.  This week I found 4 very nice kitchen towels, that looked almost new for .39 a piece.  They were that nice woven Indian cotton.  I brought them home and they sat for a while.  I could use them as is, cut them in half and make napkins (which I need), or sew a topper thing onto it with a button to make one of those cute hanging towel things.  Love my description?  So they sat for a few days and then I got inspired.  I sewed the ends of two towels together so I could drape it over the rod.  I love having a generous towel hanging next to the sink.  I did pin it in the middle with a diaper pin to hold it in place.  Love it.
 Why these pictures turn sideways I do not know.  Can anyone help?

I also got inspired to take a table cloth that I got from the thrift store for $1.49 and cut it into 16 napkins and sat for about an hour sewing around the edges.  I love my new napkins, my old ones are too bad to even be rags. 
Lastly I got inspired to take two smaller hand towels, sew them together and create this sort of whimsical hand towel for Valentines Day.  I love it and won't feel bad when it gets trashed.  So for about $3 and a little change I got 16 "new napkins, 2 double length dish towels, and a creative Valentine hand towel.  Not too bad.  Now that is frugal.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Missions Monday

I love Samaritans Purse and will continue to post about them from time to time.  One of my purposes of this blog is to be able to sell some more finger puppets, so I can give more.  I believe that one component of being the feet of Jesus is giving of our resources, whether it be time, talent, finances, etc....  So I can make finger puppets, therefore, I sell to give.  I do give 10% of my proceeds and will post that at the end of each month and will give you an example of what can be purchased for a needy family around the world with what was given. 
So this month was slow, not that any month is crazy busy.  I sold a few items and well 10% would only be $4, but even $4 helps.
Here is an example from Samaritan's Purse:

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Newbies in the Etsy Shop - The Mitten Characters

I'm so proud of myself for getting these done.  My little guy just loves the story of The Mitten.  This story has been retold by many people but we have been reading the version by Jan Brett.  We love how all the animals keep squeezing into the little boy's lost mitten until a little mouse crawls in, sits on the bear's nose, and causes the bear to sneeze and all the animals go flying out.  The little boy finds his missing mitten and wonders why it is so much bigger than the other one.  If you like this set, come visit my etsy shop at and remember 10% of my sales go to Samaritan's purse.   

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Moist Cornbread Recipe

I have always been a fan of cornbread or Johnny Cake as we like to call it.  But the reality is it tends to be dry.  So the other night I mixed a couple of recipes together, crossed my fingers, put it in the oven, and was pleasantly surprised a delicious, lightly sweetened, tender and moist cornbread.  Here is my creation, enjoy:
Moist Johnny Cake
1 c. cornmeal
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 Tb. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. honey
2 eggs
1/2 c. milk
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. oil

Mix together and bake in greased 9x13 pan.

Monday, January 24, 2011


I was planning on doing a Missions update today, and a grateful item on Tuesday, but I was so thankful and grateful for something this morning. 
Lets set the stage, 2 story home, three bedrooms, 2 vehicles, freezer full of food, cupboards moderately full, telephone, computer, t.v., movies, games, toys everywhere, dressers full to overflowing, washer and dryer, warm house (sort of with zero degrees this morning : ) ), constantly sending stuff to the thrift store, etc....  Simple, ordinary, not extraordinary life - that is my life.  We are far from rich, but have all we need.  Sometimes I whine about this thing or that thing, need new paint here or there, this needs to be cleaned or fixed, etc...  pretty ordinary.   It wasn't until I started reading today about a woman on the other side of the world that I realized that my pretty ordinary life is extraordinary to so many people around the world.  That my non - fancy life is luxury to her.
Lets set the stage again:  Ethiopia, pregnant woman with one child, husband leaves, she's living on the streets, gives birth on the streets, no Social Services or welfare, begs to feed her children.  Hopeless!
Well, not hopeless for ever, Samaritans Purse came in, was able to share with her about the love of Jesus, and was able to give her a trade, making flat bread on street corners.  Now she has money to rent a small apartment, and has a group of people to call friends. 
Wow, her needs are met, she is content.  Puts everything in perspective!    

Friday, January 21, 2011

New Cuties in my Etsy Shop

I absolutely love felt, always have, don't you?  It's colorful, easy to work with, doesn't fray, and is cheap.  I remember a bag of precious scraps that I had when I was a kid that my mother innocently threw away, because it did just look like trash.  To me though, it was gold, little bits of this and that that I could create with.  I would make ornaments and glue them together to create all sorts of things.  Now, I create finger puppets with the precious felt.  I never realized how inexpensive felt was until I became an adult.  I truly believed that felt was expensive like velvet, and every piece was a treasure.  Never did I realize that you could buy them 3 or 4 squares for a $1.  Anyways, enough about that.  Here are my newest creations for my shop.  Sorry for the sideways skunk, he wasn't cooperating, but since when do skunks do. 
Please visit my shop at and remember that 10%of all sales goes to support Samaritan's Purse.  Thank you.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Itty Bitty Crafty Thing - Valentines Wreath

Here is a cheap and cheerful heart wreath to make at home.  I absolutely love Valentine's Day and wanted something for my door.  I could have went out and purchased something but this was way cheaper and fun to make. 
I made a heart form from a piece of foam insulation, you could make it out of anything stiff enough.  I found out that you need to round off the points.  Then cut strips long enough to wrap around and tie into a knot. 
Push the strips close together as you go.   I am not sure how much fabric is needed.  I actually used an old shirt and scraps of fabric I had.  You can make this as big or as small you like.  You don't need to get fabric from the store, you could use old shirts, sheets, vintage fabric, etc....
Great way to use up old fabric and have something cheap and cheerful for free.
As you can see that the wreath looks different on both sides but is equally cute.  Sorry for the sideways picture, no time to fix it.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Snowy Morning

Here in Central NY there is a snow day for the kids.  For some reason that means donuts.  This will be my third try at donuts this wintery season and they have been good but not awesome.  My 2 year old absolutely loves donuts, my 14 year old is alittle apprehensive because they are not store bought.  But, never the less, I will plunge forward and update you later. 


What am I grateful for today?  I was sitting and writing in my journal about starting this blog this morning and stressing out a bit.  You see, I am a formula person.  Give me the formula, or method, I'll plug in the info and voila, it all works perfectly.  Somebody please tell me how it all works, Monday do this, Tuesday do that, Wednesday etc.... You get the idea.  Then it occured to me that is not how God works.  He is in control though, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the creator of it all.  For that I am very thankful for.  I just need to relax and "enjoy the ride".

Monday, January 17, 2011

Missions Monday

I am was not raised a missionary kid, but in rural central NY.  I did, however, go to a Christian College and was intruduced to the whole world of missions there.  I must admit that we have not faithfully giving to ministries before the last maybe 2 years.  Kind of out of site out of mind.  Sounds terrrible but true.  We have however been supporting a missionary friend and a ministry that we love for about 2 years now and it is amazing to see how the Lord is softening my heart to the needs that are around the world and placing a desire in my heart to give more.  That is why I create finger puppets in my shop and sell them so I am able to give a bit more than my $10 a month. 
The ministry I dearly love is Samaritan's Purse.  This ministry is headed up by Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham.  They are a Christian Relief organization that help people anywhere in the world, including our country, recover from natural disaster, providing food, water, clothes, medicine, etc.... and hope.  Hope in Jesus!  I receive their mailings and am always amazed at how a little bit of money can go so far. 
Here is an example from Samaritans Purse Gift Catalog this past Christmas: