Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Treasury Making on Etsy

Check out my latest treasury on Etsy
I could get addicted to making treasuries!

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Hoedown... even the word still conjures up complete exhaustion.  It was a party - a big party.  I always promised I would blog about it and here we are a year later!  My daughter, Chelsea, graduated from high school a year ago... so fine - '09.  Yeah.  Anyway, my good friend, Brenda, and I decided to do a joint high school graduation party since her daughter, Claire, was also an oh-niner.
So these two...
 grew into these two.

Anyway, I'm one for a theme and when Brenda said Claire wanted a hoedown the gears started spinning.  Perfect.  They were both heading "out west" for college, so a western hoedown it would be.

The hoedown started with the invitations.
The girls got on an old vintage rocking horse for the photo.
We had an online version and a mailed version of the invite.
Boy, did I have fun finding western fonts.

These were posters at the party.

We decided there would be a jail at the party.
Thanks again to the guy at the appliance store for the refrigerator box.

 The dads would be sheriffs and haul party guests to jail in handcuffs.
Here's my husband doing his redneck southern sheriff routine.

Once inside the jail, prisoners could earn their freedom
by squealing on the graduates.

The jail became covered in confessions/clues.

We had fun with the decorations.

The welcome table featured photos of the girls along with a book for each that guests could sign.  Of course e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g had a western theme from the frames to the crates to the bales of hay.  Brenda made those adorable craft paper/royal blue card boxes for each graduate - love the big tag with their names.

We set up a western theme photo area complete with real bales of hay, cowboy and horse cutouts and dead or alive posters.  There's Keaton goofing around.  The rest of the story here is that we had a whole desert scene backdrop to hang on the house - floor to ceiling - but ran out of set up time... (sigh)... the best laid plans.  It was a sweltering day and Brenda and I are a dangerous pair who clearly over-planned.  Our familiar pattern of being under the gun and in a last minute frenzy long ago led to the invention of the word, "Brenzy," the combination of Brenda and Frenzy.  This "Brenzy" was a hum-dinger.

Still, families had fun posing for photographs and wearing the mustaches we supplied.  I like this picture with the baby holding the rope.  The mustaches were a big hit at the party.

There were games for the kids... target practice here.
He's aiming for the cans I promise.

No hoedown is complete without Sprecher Rootbeer on tap.  Our menu also included, sloppy Joes, macaroni and cheese, calico beans, nachos, coleslaw, corn on the cob, watermelon, tortilla chips and cowboy caviar (loaded salsa), veggie trays, rice crispy treats and scotcheroos.  We were bent on everyone eating out of metal pie tins chuckwagon style.  We carried the theme to the enth degree - our husbands were patient as usual.

Nobody left hungry.

Here's Chelsea with fellow grad, Matt, and two of her all time favorite teachers, Mrs. Berry - 4th grade (left) and Mrs. Machi - kindergarten (right).  They even got into the western spirit with their sporty bandanas!  This tent was set up with huge photo collages (behind) and for dancing.  We had a western step dance DVD playing for those who wanted to give it a try.  Mostly people used this area to get out of the unrelenting sun.

The 23-song party iMix soundtrack was playing the whole time.  We had everything from Hannah Montana's Hoedown Throwdown to Gene Autry's Back in the Saddle Again to Muletrain, Rawhide and Bonanza.  And let's not forget Riders in the Sky, Woody's Roundup and The Magnificent Seven!  Oh my gosh I love that iMix - created great atmosphere, too.

The best part was how much the girls loved their graduation party.
Know anyone who wants some hoedown supplies?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cookie of the Month - Banana Cream Whoopie Pies

Ok, Barb (my foodie sister) - here's a food post.  Happy?  For this month's auction cookie, I chose Banana Cream Whoopie Pies.  I've done chocolate whoopie pies in the past but after seeing a recipe for these on Martha Stewart's website, I had to give them a try.  I followed the recipe for the cookie, but for the filling I used my own banana version of a cream cheese frosting.  These were yummy as can be and I can attribute my week's 2 lb. weight gain to these and our Father's Day celebration.  Watch out Barb... here goes.

Banana Cream Whoopie Pies

6 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup mashed banana (2 lg. ripe)
1 cup sour cream
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla

Mash banana.

Good and soupy.

Add sour cream and set aside.

In another bowl measure out your flour, baking
powder, baking soda and salt.  Set that aside, too.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, and sugars on medium high speed...

...until creamy - about 3 minutes.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.

Add banana mixture half at a time alternating with flour mixture.

Spoon batter into a big pastry bag fitted with a large round tip.  This will help with the uniformity of the cookies.  Don't worry about making the cookies kiss shaped - they will flatten when baking.  Make them about an inch and a half wide - kinda small - they will spread a little.  Definitely use parchment.

Bake them in a 350 degree oven for 12-14 minutes.  Don't be afraid to let the edges get a little brown.  This is a moist cookie due to the banana and you will need to make sure they get done to combat the tendency to get gooey.

Sift some powdered sugar over the cookies.
This will help in handling them - they do get moist on the tops.


8 oz. cream cheese
1 stick of butter
1 lb. powdered sugar (3 1/2 cups)
1 tsp. banana extract

Whip the frosting up.  I added a smidge of yellow paste food coloring.

Look over your cookies and match sizes and shapes to make pairs.  Flip one of the two cookies in the pair over and pipe a dollop of frosting onto each.  Don't these look luscious?  They are!

Plop on the lid to make cute little whoopie pie sandwiches.
Oh my gosh - are these good! 
Enjoy, but remember... Moderation In All Things!

Friday, June 18, 2010


Believe it or not, I've been sewing.   Finally.   Moving the sewing center to my bedroom for the summer is actually working out.   I like it up there and the windows hold a new view for me while at the iron.  I scored some really cute 70s fabric remnants a couple of weeks ago from a new (now favorite) thrift store that I want to share.

This is a smooth and sturdy knit.  So 70s.  Check out those colors!

I know I wore a pattern similar to this in Jr. High but in browns.

Speaking of browns, check out this big floral.
These flowers are about 8" across.

And 1974 is documented right there on the selvage. 

Pink and brown rings at least 6" across.

Gotta love it! 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Farewell Class of 2010!

Last week the class of 2010 walked across the commencement stage and bid a fond or otherwise farewell to their old alma mater.  Pictured here is the beginning of the processional from the high school to the stadium.  Faculty in black.   Approximately 400 graduates in maroon.  I am notorious for taking behind the scenes pictures.  Once again, the weather was threatening and once again, we got lucky.

A picture of our student school board member, Ryan - also one of the class officers, giving his commencement address.  Notice "Indians" on the press box in the background.  Could be the last commencement as Menomonee Falls Indians.  The state of Wisconsin recently passed a law that will all but eliminate the use of Native American mascots.
Students lining up to cross the stage to receive their diplomas.  It is always an honor to greet, shake hands with, and award a diploma to the jittery, nervous, happy graduates - my favorite school board duty by far.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Shelf of the Week - White

Here it is.  The final shelf of the week.  White.  This was the last phase of the great sewing room reorganization -- refolding all the fabrics.  It has been a process of rediscovery and realization:  I rediscovered many long forgotten, cool fabrics and I realized that I HAVE to use them or lose them.  I have committed to converting my Etsy shop to handmade garments made from these vintage fabrics using vintage 1950s-70s patterns, too.  I am very excited to actually start selling something creative in RubyLemons.  But, I digress -- shelf of the week.  White.
The shelf had turned into a mess of ribbons, laces,
tablecloths, tea towels and hankies.

Now everything is neatly organized.

This was a fun rediscovery - birds on a medium weight cotton.

A huge-scale tropical barkcloth.

A 60s pique featuring 5" daisies and bouquets of daisies.  Yards and yards.

Four aprons.
I like the one featuring sewing tools and tape measure borders.

Is this a kitchen print?  Very 60s.  Lots of wrought iron.

Here's a barkcloth that I found in a basement shop of the Milwaukee Antiques Center on an early 90s scouting trip with my good friend, Mary. A number of curtain panels were stuffed in a box under a dark stairway.  Some of them were in bad shape, but some were like new.  I didn't really like the print at the time, but now I love it.  I'm thinking late 50s.  The picture represents a piece 16x24".

50s kitchen towels.  How 'bout that vaudeville guy and the can can dancer?

Barkcloth yardage in a fairly small all over print. 

Another barkcloth with chartreuse and red roses.

I decided to centralize all my 50s tablecloths in one location on the white shelf.  Most of these I'll have to sell because I won't cut them up unless they're too stained or damaged to use on a table.  I'm much more of a purist than I used to be.  Maybe somebody else will actually use them instead of let them sit on a shelf in a sewing room like me.

Well, that's it for my shelf of the week features.
I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my vintage fabric! 
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