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Delicious Berry Cake

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We were lucky to go berry picking this week at my in-laws house!  They have a lovely little field at their home complete with black berries, red raspberries, mulberries, and blueberries.  My sons and I carefully dug among the thorns and were rewarded with enough berries to make…something..

After a long debate as to what to make we settled on a simple yet delicious mixed berry cake.  Its a recipe that I have adapted from a blueberry muffin recipe that I have had so long I fail to remember where it originated.  I love this recipe because it is easily adapted to our family’s ever changing taste and the seasonal selection we have on hand.

Delicious Berry Cake

Yield: 1 9″x9″ cake

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3C all purpose flour

1 1/2C sugar

1t sea salt

4t baking powder

2/3C vegetable oil

2 eggs

1C milk

2t Vanilla or 1 vanilla bean scraped

2-3C fresh berries

preheat oven to 350F

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In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix well.  Make a hollow in the middle.  In a separate bowl whisk eggs, milk, and oil until mixed.  Pour wet ingredients into hollow and mix well.  Add berries and carefully mix just until blended.  Greese a 9″x9″ cake pan and pour in batter.  Bake cake in center of oven, turning a few times during baking if necessary.  Bake 90 minutes or until skewer comes out clean when tested.  Cool to room temperature( if you can wait!).

There are so many options with this cake:

Add crumb topping

Serve with homemade vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream

We enjoyed ours drizzled with fresh honey!!

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Happy Baking and if you make this cake or your own version let me know.  You can post a picture on my Facebook page.

Rebecca

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Rainy Day + Crazy Kids + Library = Quilting Inspiration

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I don’t know if this happens in your home but it seems like a never-ending battle in ours, the dreaded boredom.  When it sets in I am at a mad scramble to find an all pleasing activity!!  Add some rainy weather and I have a complete disaster if I don’t act fast.  Yesterday my sons nearly drove me crazy with the “but there’s nothing to do!!”  Finally, near my wit’s end the light bulb appeared,” Lets all go to the library!!”  Thankfully they LOVE the library.

We were fortunate enough that Dad was home to hang out with the little guys while my grade school boys and I ran down the road to our very small yet very conviently located library branch.  While they were busy scouring through the Pokemon and Goosebumps books I snuck over to the quilting section.

I quickly came across 2 wonderful quilting books that, at first glance, seemed to be just my thing.  Looking further into the 2 I borrowed I was not proven wrong.

First I dove into “We Love Color” Compiled by Susanne Woods.  This book is all about solids!  Big, bold, and stunningly arranged in ways that completely inspired me.

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Espically this one!  Made by laying circles and bits of arched color on an even more stunning background!!

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And look at these beautiful little plusses!!

This book should be on every quilters list.

The second book I just had to check out was “Pretty in patchwork doll quilts” from Cathy Gaubert.  I am very close to posting every single picture in this book!  It’s difficult to choose my favorite.

Here are a few:

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In this book you will find a window of whimsy where you can view many stunning doll quilts.  I now have a billion of ideas running through my head as to how I may use the techniques I saw in these pages

So now it’s off again to scour Pinterest for more quilting inspiration and to map out my next quilting project!!  I can’t wait to get started.  If you’re like me and spend hours on end cruising around pinterest please check out some of my boards, hopefully you’ll find some inspiration.

Until next time

Happy sewing

Rebecca

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Pattern review plus Giveaway!

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Just  a few days ago I was mindlessly surfing through Facebook land(yet again) when one of those “suggested pages” popped up.   Usually I  either ignor these ads or hit like (especially on small business and hand made pages, I love to show my support!) But something told me to go and check this out.

The page was E+M Patterns.

OMG am I  glad I listened to that little voice. The very first post I saw was asking for pattern testers for a new clothing pattern!!  A boy pattern and I just so happen to have four of that breed at my beck and call.   I jumped at the chance.  Literally, I’m pretty sure my husband started laughing.   Luckily it had only been posted a few moments before so I hit the link, filled out the form, and waited.  The very next day I got an email with details for me to test the size 7/long sleeve of Boy’s Shirt Pattern No.7. Continue reading

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The Not Frumpy Mom Top

I mentioned in my last post that I have always wanted to sew awesome clothing.  Actually it’s more like dreamimg of sewing awesome clothing for me!!  Now don’t think that I will be neglecting my family!  I will be sewing for them along the way.    After all I need to buy fabric, Right? So if  I happen to buy too much (lol like there is suck a thing)I promise I will be sure to make things for everyone.  But me first!

Today I finished the very first thing I have ever sewn for myself, besides purses and bags.  Its a sleevless tunic styly tankish top!!  Yes I know that’s a mouthful but I have yet to cleverly name said top!! Continue reading

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I’m back!!

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Well I know I’ve been silent for quite some time now but I promise I haven’t been neglecting my creative bug.  I have been super busy with family, sewing new and exciting things, and prepping for an upcoming craft show.  My very first one(yep, I’m a bit nervous).

I’ve been concentrating a lot on sewing. I have finally begun to sew some clothing.   Something I have always wanted to dive into but have hesitated for…well I’m not sure why I hesitated because now that I am working on a few things I am loving it!!

But before I get too far ahead, like I tend to do from time to time..actually ALL the time,  I want to share my latest quilt with you.  This piece is inspired by a quilter  I follow. Following her blog I  have found so much inspiration and really have to share!  Maureen Cracknell is one extremely talented quilter.  Her blog Maureen Cracknell Handmade is packed full of her quilts and as a bonus, some wonderful tutorials.  Here is one on her great QAYG method.A Quilt As You Go Tutorial

 

 

I based my latest quilt on her QAYG method and I really am quite pleased with the ease and versatility of the method.  I was able to finish my latest in record time!

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I have started another and cannot wait to show you the finished piece.

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So farewell for now but I promise not to stay away too long ever again!!

Rebecca McAfee

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My Superhero Crew

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Where has the time gone, it’s almost valentines day and I’ve soo much to do.  I was knee deep into some great little zipper pouches for my super hero crew when my sewing maching had a breakdown. Ugh what horrible timing. Thankfully I had already finished these awesome extra large floor pillows so I was saved a bit but I had such big plans for the zipper pouches. Image

thankfully I had a few more things planned so not all was a bust. Plus the very same day the my sewing machine went into the shop my new vacuum cleaner came to the door!!  I’m thinking that may not be a coincidence considering I’ve been without for a few weeks now.  I have a lot of very busy feet in this house and they make a very busy mess!

Friday night I am planning a breakfast for dinner menu.  As we like to call it “bupper”.   It’s somethimg that we all enjoy very much but this is going to be a special edition.  Well yeah it’s Valentine’s Day.

Here’s a sampling of a few goodies I have planned

  • Heart shaped egg in toast
  • heart shaped cinnamon rolls(totally going tube kind here)
  • chocolate covered strawberries
  • double chocolate chip brownies (this is a breakfast food, right?)
  • and heart shaped bacon! Yep that’s right.  All you have to do is twist and bake as usual.  What did we all do before Pinterest  and all these new ideas?

Oh I can’t wait to celebrate this completely random holiday, a day to spoil my guys and make some memories.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Rebecca

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OMG I’m an octopus!!

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OMG I am an octopus!  Well not in the literal sense, although I will admit that having 6 extra arms would make my life considerably more functional,  but I HAVE to have the gene.  Have you ever collapsed at the end of the day completely exhausted because you have been running since before dawn?  Cooking, cleaning, crafting, caring for babies and children and husbandsandbloggingandlaundryand…..yep i have my hands in everything.  That is why I have labeled myself an unproductive octopus.

Here I sit at the end of the day and I know I have done things.  I actually crossed a few off my to do list.  ??  Yet when I take a look around nothing seems finished.  That’s because it usually isn’t!  I have a very busy life but that is usually due to me adding a ton of things onto my list for any given day which equates to totally chaos.  I have a  term I like to call AOADDBITTCTWOADB.  Yeah that’s a mouth full.  What it stands for you ask- adult onset attention deficit disorder because I try to conquer the world on a daily basis.  Please don’t laugh, unless you are laughing because you do the same exact thing, then by all means join in the laughter.

I was recently asked if I had a New Years resolution.  Well of course I do- organization!  But my resolution goes further then just simply cleaning closets and finally pairing the odd socks that have been living in my basement so long they have begun to reproduce.  I needed to organize on a mental basis first.  Normally  I begin my day with a simple to do list of the  things that I would like to accomplish and as the day goes on I add to this list, thinking that if I work hard enough I will get them done.  Hard work plays a big part but its not the star role here.  So I put some thought into what I wanted things to be and how I could accomplish that without driving my family crazy.  Here’s what I came up with:

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(this is a totally random picture but I love it)

Prioritize!!

I must must learn to recognize what needs to be done right then and there and get it done!  So often I get so involved with this that and the other thing that all of a sudden its late and I neglected to call and schedule a dentist appointment!  If I take my time and plan accordingly I am less apt to forget an obligation.

Setting Limits

I mentioned before that I tend to try and conquer the world on a daily basis and always fail.  I ask myself if I can get something done in the time I have and if the answer is no then I have to set aside that project for a later date.  Like when I have help or better yet a baby sitter.

Plan and gather

I have the most success when I plan my project from start to finish.  That means I need to write out a list of what I want to do, and all the items it will involve.  Then I gather ALL the materials.  Nothing kills a project faster than having to stop at every step and hunt down something I need!!

Finish what I start

Remember the octopus reference? I really do tend to go in 8 different directions at once.   I am notorious for starting a project and never finishing it because I start another or I have put it off so long I forget what I wanted to do.  If I follow the suggestions I listed above I am far less likely to leave something undone.  It is such an awesome feeling to finish that you will soon wonder why you left so many projects unfinished!

I am not saying that I don’t have 2 or even 3 projects planned out at once but I have learned to complete one before I begin another.  (I suppose I should put a disclaimer in that states this only works with the smaller projectsIi work on, the quilts are a totally different area!)    No this isn’t set in stone and I still side track to various things but I will say I am getting better!!

I have put together a quick tutorial for a project board that helps to keep me on track.  Hope it’s an inspiration for you.

The “Next Up” Project Board

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Materials:

  • 2 foam core boards- any color
  • Cotton batting- enough to cover board
  • fabric- enough to cover board
  • Ribbon or other decorations you like
  • Craft glue and spray adhesive
  • pins
  • scissors
  • masking tape
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1.  Secure your boards together using masking tape.

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2. Using the spray adhesive lightly spray the surface of the boards and place batting over top.  I then turned the project over and secured the batting to the back.  I weighed it down and allowed to dry for about an hour.

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3.  Do the same with the cover fabric.  I used burlap.

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4. Once dry decorate with ribbons, bows etc.

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5.  Using the craft glue and pins secure the cord for hanging (I used an old shoe lace).  I glued the ends to the center back of the board and then dipped 4 pins into the craft glue.  I inserted the pins at a shallow angle, positioning one upward and one downward.  This gave me some extra strength.  I will not be using this board for hanging heavy things but just to be sure.

Longing for Spring!

Rebecca

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Valentine’s Day Clutch Tutorial

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Here’s the tutorial I promised! (for those who asked)  I am part of an amazing FB group, Learn to Sew{with Crazy Little Projects} and the girls there are so encouraging and talented.  Plus there are monthly challenges that are great!  Check them out here.

I got my inspiration for this project from Jeni Baker over at

Incolororder.  She is amazing!!  Check her out here

It’s super easy and completely customizable.   You can make it larger or smaller, use any fabric you desire!

Last week I posted a tutorial for the scrappy fabric I used to make this clutch.  That tutorial is totally customizable also.  Have fun and be creative.  Enjoy. Continue reading

All Things Love

All things love-

THAT Love is all there is, Is all we know of LOVE..
Emily Dickinson

After having my fourth boy in November I quietly realized that I was horribly out numbered.  Even the dog is a boy! But that’s ok boys are awesome in my world.   Anyone who knows me knows that I am not your typical “pink” girl.  In fact my wardrobe colors border dangerously on the dark side.   My creations however take on a life of color.  I love using bold designs and color to bring things to life. That being said, a trip to the fabric store yielded some great  colors.  I couldn’t wait to use all the Valentines fabric I found.  I even enjoyed hearing the groans from my older sons when they spotted “all that pink”!

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Valentine fabric

I have been filing my time lately with many beautiful holiday inspired crafts.  I am working on lots of different clutches.  I recently posted a photo of my latest creation on my Facebook page

Finn’s Door  

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and received lots of praise(thanks all!!) and also a few of you asked how I made my Valentines clutch. Well here goes my first ever tutorial!

In this post I will show you how easy it is to make a scrappy fabric panel.  This easy project can be used to make a multitude of projects. And on Monday I will be posting another tutorial for the actual clutch I made with my panel.

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Handmade Scrappy Fabric Panel

First determine what you would like to make with your fabric panel.  This will determine the dimensions you will make your panel. For the pictures that illustrate my how to I plan on using my panel for a medium snap closure clutch.  So my final dimensions need to be

20 1/2″x12 1/2″.

Materials

  • Lots of fabric scraps, most at least 12″ in length
  • rotary cutter and mat
  • sewing machine and coordinating thread
  • iron
  1. cut fabric into strips using your rotary cutter.  I cut mine a variety of widths from 1-2′ wide..strips can be any length you  need for your panel.  I alternated with the widths. (this was important for my latest panel because some of my strips weren’t long enough so I needed to sew a few end to end to form longer pieces)

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2. Sew strips right sides together along the long sides using a scant 1/4″ seam allowance.  Sew strip 1 to strip 2, then open (press if you like at this point) sew another and another until you have your desired width.

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3. Press seams.  This is sometimes difficult to do because the seams have a mind of their own.  I press them whichever way they want to go.  Trim Threads.

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4. Cut panel to desired length and width.  Use your awesome panel to create a unique one of a kind item.

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Enjoy crafting!

Rebecca

To inspire and be inspired

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