Saturday, September 15, 2012

Inspiration Saturday: Quilts

I am wishing for fall and cooler weather. Autumn is my favorite season. I love the cooler air, the sweaters, warm tea and cocoa, slow cooking soups and stews for dinner, making homemade bread every few days, and just about everything else that comes with the season. When the weather gets cooler I love having homemade blankets to snuggle under. I have seen some amazing quilts online lately and wanted to share some with you. So grab some tea or cocoa, pretend it is cold outside, and enjoy the eye candy.

Fabricworm recently shared this soft Bella By the Sea or by Land quilt. I love the gentle curves and color choices. This would be a great pattern to showcase some of your favorite larger prints.

Blue Elephant Stitches inspired me with this simple white and lime zig zag quilt. I love the playful backing she choose. I think something like this would look amazing in any kids room or even in a living room. Imagine something simple like this with a fun Anna Maria Horner print on the back or even one of her flannels to add a little warmth. Jolene already sold this quilt but go check out her store for more cheerful goodies.

Finally I saw this adorable heart quilt on Pinterest. It is a quilt from earlier this year from Heather Cartwright at Quilt Barn. The quilting on this totally makes the quilt. I am eager to try something like this. I don't know if I'll do a whole quilt though. I'm thinking some sort of winter inspired table runner might be fun. We shall see.

I love finding inspiration online. There are so many talented artists and sewers out there. If you have been inspired by a quilt recently share a link in the comments so I can check it out. If you want to see more of the quilts that caught my eye you can check out my Pinterest board.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Preserving Zucchini

We are settling into our new home. It feels so different to move into a house versus an apartment. Things feel more permanent. I love that we can dream about someday changing this or doing that. It is a huge blessing and a dream we didn't think would happen. At least not this early nor this way. 

Unpacking and organizing are top priority around here but as we settle into the daily routine I have begun having sudden urges to sew, crochet, bake, and preserve. We just spent some time last weekend planting some seeds for the garden we will soon begin. I know it seems weird to start a garden in September but we have been looking forward to it for so long and living in Southern California allows us to have a late season harvest, hopefully. I've been seeking wisdom everywhere I can, including Pinterest.

The planning and planting created a desire to can and preserve immediately. Of course you can't plant on the weekend and expect to can during the week. So when I saw fresh zucchini at the market for 59 cents per pound I made an impulse buy. After getting home with my 5 pounds of zucchini I quickly realized that I had not thought this all the way through. You see it is 90 degrees here most days and we have no air conditioner, no cooler, not even ceiling fans. So as much as this zucchini spread is begging me to make and eat it I just couldn't commit to having the stove on for hours today. So what to do? 

I shredded up all the zucchini and froze it in 2 cups portions. It is the perfect amount for a loaf of zucchini bread this fall or winter when we need to warm up the house. I might also use some in a pasta dish or these zucchini tots for my growing boy. Of course that spread is still calling me so I'm hoping for cooler weather long before zucchini season is over. 

And in case you are curious, this is what it looks like at my feet when I'm working in the kitchen during the day. My little helpers busy playing together. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Unexpected

The summer was unexpected. While it did not go as planned things are good. All the most important things are great. Sydney has started 2nd grade with enthusiasm, Violet has entered the threes with as much personality as she can muster, and Luke is crawling and exploring everything like a good nine month old. We have food to eat, clothes on our backs, and a roof over our heads (even if it wasn't ours every night this summer.) We are all healthy, together, and filled with joy. How do I find joy when life is uncertain and things don't go as planned? Well, after throwing a little fit and complaining I try to remember to go to my knees.

To remember that God will not forsake me and that He is faithful. As a mom the hardest part is when things effect my kids. Of course, I must remember that as much as I try to meet their needs, as much as I love them, as much as I try to do my best to guide them, raise them, feed them, etc. that God loves them more, cares for them more, and understands them more than I ever can. If you know our story, you know it has been a road of the unexpected. Nothing as serious as what others go through but not what we had planned either. Shane and I sometimes joke that if we make plans for more than 6 months they will definitely not happen. We love to dream together but we have learned to hold our dreams loosely and allow God's plan to triumph our own.

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct your paths.”

Proverbs 19:21 "There are many plans in a man's heart, Nevertheless the Lord's counsel--that will stand."

A few things stand out in my mind from this summer's journey. This has been a time for us to grow even closer as a family. We were separated Monday thru Friday for a few weeks and it really helped us appreciate our time together even more. Being seven, Sydney will remember the way we faced this summer with prayer and how we learned to ask for help. We love to help others but it is humbling to learn how to ask for help when you need it and accepting it with grace is even harder.

I have fallen in love with my husband again. We were doing fine, things were good, but we were focusing on the to do lists and business of life too much. God opened my eyes to how lucky I am to be married to my best friend. I love spending time with Shane. I love sharing this life with him. He is such an amazing husband and father. He helps me so much and does so much for our family. He is considerate, loving, and thoughtful. I am so thankful that I get to share this life with him.

I am sure there are more lessons to learn. I could have been more patient and less angry. Sometimes during a trail we see the uglier sides of our flesh surface. God is merciful to gently show these to me and faithful to help work on turning those sins into Christlikeness.

Last night I read this verse:

II Corinthians 1:3-4 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."

As if I haven't learned enough God will use me and allow me to be a part of comforting others during their troubles. How exciting! To Him be all the glory!

I hope your summer has been filled with joy. And that each of you have had opportunities to grow closer to God and those you love.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Swoon Progress

I am anxious to finish the Swoon quilt. The blocks are all sewn together and I'm busy quilting it. Here's a little peak at it on the kitchen table with all the groceries in the background. This picture is from Wednesday when I was able to sew a whole one line of quilting. Sometimes that is how life goes. The baby needs changed, the 1st grader needs picked up, and the toddler needs a snack. Plus there was laundry and packing to do for a little vacation with friends. Hoping you all have a wonderful weekend filled with beautiful things like pretty quilts and laughing kids. Mine will include yummy food, late night games with friends, lots of mud, my favorite city, and hopefully a little relaxing too. What will your weekend include?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Quilted Burp Cloths

I have wanted to try making some burp cloths for a long time now. I have noticed that most burp cloths that you purchase at the store are thin little things and not really much help. They may look cute but the smallest bit of liquid goes right through them. The best ones we have are actually cloth diapers that we use as burp cloths. While I have been lucky and none of my kids have spit up a lot, I still wanted to try making some more useful cloths to give out to friends and family. So this is my first shot at creating a shape I thought would work well.

I drafted a pattern on paper first and then edited a couple time before cutting out this gorgeous fabric from the Quilt Blocks line by Ellen Baker. The fabric is so soft and great to work with. I want to make a whole quilt with it and maybe some more fun summer skirts for the girls. I love how it looks geometric and simple. I think these two in particular are perfect for a little boy.

The first looks like building blocks and the second looks like it could be gears. I simply backed them with a nice terry cloth so that they are thick enough for those leaky bottles or burping babies. I really like how they turned out.

I may adjust the shape a bit. I think they look a bit like diapers so I was thinking of making the curves a bit softer. I like that they are thinner over the shoulder yet cover a good portion of your clothes. What do you guys think? Do you like the shape? What things do you look for in a good burp cloth or what were your favorite burp cloths?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pink and Turquoise Animal Prints

In the new house Sydney will have her own room. After looking at too much inspiration and becoming overwhelmed by the possibilities we have settled on a pink and turquoise room. I did not want a theme that was too specific that we would be limited or tied down to it. Sydney is very eclectic and definitely has her own style and I wanted to give her the freedom to express that through her room. 

Now that we have a general idea of what we are going to do I am having fun looking at different prints for her walls. Above are some animal prints I saw, here are the links.

  1. Hummingbird and Nest
  2. Narwhals
  3. Elephant
  4. Turquoise bird
  5. Egert
  6. Two-part Alligator
  7. Pink on pink Deer

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Quick Matching Skirts for the Girls

Michelle and Bryanne at Michelle Patterns had a little Pinterest challenge going on this past week. Pinterest is such a fun site and I keep finding myself on there adding all kinds of goodies and ideas to my boards. I have slowly been making stuff but when I saw her challenge to sew up something I had pinned I jumped at it.

I have a bunch of skirt patterns and tutorials pinned that I'd love to make for Sydney. As I've mentioned before my oldest daughter is very tall for her age and the styles right now are short. This leaves my sweet girl with not many dresses and skirts to wear so I have wanted to make her some so that I can just add a little length to them.

I decided to start with a simple pattern so Saturday morning I pulled out some fabric I had been saving and got to work. Of course once I was making one for big sister, little sister wanted one too. The fabric is two prints from the Early Bird line by Jane Sassaman, it is a quilting weight and just right for summer skirts. I used this great tutorial from Hickety Pickety Handmade. I love the lighter weight fabric with this pattern because that bottom band of fabric is folded giving it double the thickness. This works perfectly to keep the skirt in place when the girls are running all over. They have already worn them twice.

This exercise showed me that with just a little time I can be turning those inspirational pins into actual items for my home and family. Now if I can just fins a little more time maybe I'll make some more skirts and dresses. What have you pinned that is at the top of your list to sew, craft, or bake? I think next I'll be trying some fabric flowers and orange push-up smoothies.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Winner

Wow what a fun week. Thank you to all of you that took the time to come visit me this week and comment. I had lots of fun finding new blogs and I hope you did too.

The Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day winner of the 2 yards of fabric is Lynne. I've emailed you.

Now I don't know about you but I sure put a lot of things on the back burner in order to browse through all the lovely blogs participating in the giveaway this week. I really need to get back to finishing up a couple projects and working on more packing. What did you procrastinate this week in order to look through all those blogs?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Banana Fosters Bread Recipe

If you are looking for the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway it can be found here.

I mentioned making Shane banana fosters bread for his birthday. We have made this bread three times this month. It is that good. In fact I'm already trying to figure out an excuse to make it again. I combined a couple recipes to make the first round and then adjusted and perfected it along the way. Would you like to make some? Here's the recipe and tips for a great yummy bread.

Recipe for Banana Fosters Bread
Adapted from the Basic Banana Bread recipe from the Better Homes & Garden Cookbook

2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 beaten eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 5 medium)
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup rum
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Rum Drizzle Ingredients:
1 tablespoon rum
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9X5X3 inch bread pan.

2. Mash the bananas and combine with rum, butter, and 1/2 cup of brown sugar in a pan on the stove. Heat over medium heat until the butter is melted and all the ingredients are well combined.

3. Beat the eggs in a large bowl or mixer. Add the other 1/2 cup brown sugar. Pour in the banana mixture and combine.

4. In a separate large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. When finished make a well in the flour mixture.

5. Pour the wet ingredients into the well made in your flour mixture and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula just until combined.

6. Add chopped nuts if you want and fold gently into dough.

7. Pour dough into pan and place in the oven. Bake for about 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the bread.

8. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then run a butter knife along the edges and remove the bread from the pan. Allow bread to continue to cool on a wire rack.

9. Meanwhile, combine rum, powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk to make the frosting. I like to make mine a bit thicker by added a touch more powdered sugar. This way it will not all run off the bread.

10. Place bread on a plate and pour frosting over the top. You can serve immediately or once the frosting is set, wrap in plastic wrap for later.

Tips for a great bread.
  • Use plenty of bananas. If you error on the side of fewer bananas your bread will be a bit dry. However, if you add an extra half a banana your bread will be moist and have lots of banana flavor.
  • To mash my bananas I simply peel, lay them of a plate, and use a large fork to mash them up. 
  • Do NOT over mix your bread when you combine the dry and wet ingredients. Over mixing will make your bread tough and dry.
  • If you prefer you can make use two 7 1/2 X 3 1/2 X 2 inch pans. Only bake them for about 40 minutes.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day **Now Closed**

If you are visiting for the first time, welcome to Mulholland Homestead. You can find out a bit more about me here.

Today is Sew Mama Sew's big Giveaway Day. In the past I have loved finding wonderful new blogs and winning great prizes during their giveaways. This year I thought it would be fun to participate and give away some beautiful fabric.

I am giving away these two one yard pieces from Jane Sassaman's line Early Bird for Free Spirit Fabrics.

Thanks for stopping by. I love meeting new people and discovering new blogs. The sewing/crafting online community is such an inspiring place. Here are all the details of the giveaway.

  • To win please leave a comment on this post. And just for fun, tell me your favorite thing to do with your family or friends. 
  • If you would like an extra chance to win please become a follower, you don't have to but it makes my day to see new people over there! 
  • Don't forget to include a way for me to contact you!  
  • This giveaway will be open all week, closing on May 25th.
  •  I will email the winner as well as post that info here on the blog by the 26th.
  • I will ship internationally, since I love having visitors from all over the world.
  • I will choose the winner at randomly.

Now hop on over to Sew Mama Sew and visit more of the great blogs hosting giveaways today.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

More Gifts for Luke

Too much time has passed since I shared the first set of handmade goodies little Luke received. Our little man is now five months old. It is so weird to even type that out. So without further ado, here are a few more of the awesome gifts we received for Luke.

Knit sweater

My auntie knit this sweater for Luke. I love the gray color and the cute little button. I love that Luke has a hand-knit sweater to wear next fall. This really drives my desire to learn to knit. Maybe after the move I will give it a try again. I may just need to spend some time on a couch next to my aunt with some knitting needles and some tea. I'm sure the kids would all sit quietly while I practice, right? I just think they all need a couple of these simple, beautiful sweaters.

Appliqued blankets

A dear friend made these amazing flannel blankets with applique details. She simply cut the flannel into a large square, hemmed the edges, added little crocheted edgings, and finally stitched on those cute appliqued touches. I use these every day. They are big, about 44inches square, and since they are just one layer they are nice and light. These blankets are perfect for nursing my babe who always seems like he is hot.

Flannel Quilt

Like I've mentioned before, we are so blessed by friends and family. Here is another example of the love little Luke has been shown. This little quilt is two flannels patchworked together for the front. I just love the combination of the two prints. The half square triangles are pieced wonderfully and make such an interesting pattern for my little guy to study. It is backed with minky making it super soft and warm. We've used this quilt alot as a playmate.

Crocheted R2D2 blanket

And finally, look at this amazing blanket. It was crocheted to resemble R2D2. I think it is just brilliant. I love that she even included a bit of red. I know this blanket will get lots of love. Violet still loves her crocheted blanket our friend made her.

I hope you enjoyed seeing a few of the gifts Luke received. These ladies are definitely inspiring. I have six friends expecting right now; as well as, both my sister and sister-in-law. Needless to say I have lots of fun making and creating in my future. What is your favorite baby gift to give, make, or receive?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Little Game of Tag

Tara at True, Pure, Lovely tagged me awhile back with a few questions. Hopefully she will forgive my delay and enjoy the answers to her thoughtful questions. If you haven't checked Tara's blog out before you definitely should. She has some inspirational kids clothing posts. She is always creating something fun and inspiring me to make more clothes for my kids.

So want to find out a little more about me? On with the questions. 

1. When you were little,what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a mom. Lucky for me, I met the man of my dreams and he works hard so I can stay home with our three children. I feel very blessed!

2. What skill would you like to learn?
This is a hard question because there are so many. I love the learning process. Currently increasing my knitting skills, learning to sew and even draft patterns for kids clothes, and becoming a better photographer are all high on the list.

3. What is your favorite season?
Autumn. I love the colors, the holidays, the food, the weather...I could go on and on.

4. What is your favorite t.v. series (past or current)?
Hmm. Nothing comes to mind right away. We don't have cable and don't watch too much television. However, recently I've been watching, and loving, Mad Men and I can hardly wait for more Downton Abbey.

5. If calories didn't exists what food would you eat all the time?
Carbs! Hands down.

6. What was the first book you remember really liking?
I read a lot as a kid. I remember always loving time spent with a good book. Not sure what the first was but Little House on the Prairie, Nancy Drew, the Secret Garden, and the Babysitter Club books would all be at the top of my list.

7. What is your favorite time of day?
I'm usually a morning person. But that only counts if I've had enough sleep.

8. What  was your first job?
Doing filing and basic office work for my dad.

9. What was your favorite birthday?
I remember many birthdays growing up fondly but this past year was really fun. My husband really spoiled me.

10. What was your worst cooking disaster?
Ok this could be a whole blog post itself but here's the shorthand version. It was a few months after we were married and it was Shane's birthday. I wanted to be a good wife and surprise them with a special cake when he returned home. The baking went alright but moments before he came in the door I was pulling the pan out of the oven and burnt myself badly. I did not want to ruin his birthday so I still tried to sing him happy birthday through my tears. Good intentions but completely ludicrous.

11. What is your favorite color?


Thanks Tara for the fun questions. I hope you all had fun getting a glimpse inside my head. Until next time.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Felt Coffee Cozy

I won this beautiful coffee cozy from the amazing Chirpings of Little Bird. It is made with the softest felt and she even added this adorable appliqued bird. I think it is just beautiful. If you have a minute go check out her shop. You can pick up a cozy for a great price or look at these mustard seed necklaces. The teal one is on my wish list.

Friday, May 11, 2012


Lately I've been...

- packing boxes and getting ready to move into our first home. Yay!
- dreaming of paint colors, decorating ideas, and future projects for previously mentioned new house.
- celebrating my favorite person with bananas foster bread, cupcakes, and snickerdoodle cake. (We know how to eat around here.)
- trying to convince an adorable boy to sleep just a bit more at night.
- watching a beautiful butterfly perform with about 300 other first graders. Such fun chaos.
- seeking moments out to cuddle and play trains with my 2-year old.
- wishing I had more time to make this granola and try other recipes found on pinterest.
- needing to spend less time on pinterest.
- preparing and planning gifts and celebrations for two nephews due later this year.
- spending time with cousins.
- savoring every quiet moment with family and reminding myself that all the craziness lately is due to God's abundant blessings.
- enjoying the warm weather with picnics, walks, and trips to the zoo.
- celebrating a milestone 80th birthday for my grandpa who is such an example of Christ's love to me.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Swoon Quilt in Progress

I've been turning all these pretty little stacks into Swoon blocks. This pattern comes together quickly especially after the first block is complete. I'm close to finishing it up and I'll share more pictures soon. It has been good to practice half square triangles and flying geese blocks.

I have lots to learn for perfect piecing but I'm definitely happy with how they are coming together. Just needs a little ironing.

What are you working on right now? I'm linking up with Freshly Pieced today so if you have a few minutes go check out all the fun craftiness people are working on and be inspired.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Striped Crocheted Beanie

I recently was asked to make a brown and green beanie. I really enjoyed a smaller project I could do while sitting on the floor with all the kids playing near by. This beanie was made with Simply Soft yarn so it is machine washable. I worked it in rounds from the top down with double stitches. Then I finished it with a few rows of single stitch. It is basically an adult version of Luke's hat. Both of the girls want one now and kept asking if this one was for them. Even though they have numerous Mama made hats I think I'll make them some striped ones. Maybe next fall since our cold weather seems to be about over already for this year.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Project Simplify: Week 1 Kids' Stuff

Tsh over at Simple Mom is spring cleaning and organizing four hot spots this month. First up is those pesky kid spaces. It is funny how quickly craft supplies, books, and projects can multiply around my house. I definitely needed the motivation and weekly goals to keep me accountable and working towards completing some of these trouble areas so I decided to join in. I also have a little extra job. We will be moving into our new home in about three months. I really want to organize and reduce our stuff before packing and taking all the mess into the new house. Further, with three kids running around I am trying to pack a few boxes a week to make things easier this summer. So what two areas did I tackle this week?

First was Sydney's desk area. This is the only area that is just her's. Her sister is only allowed at the desk when invited. This means that all prized possessions get put thrown on the desk for safe keeping. Between school, church, Awanas, and projects at home this desk quickly gets lost. So with her help we went through everything. We wanted her to be able to use the desk again so only her radio and a couple pictures were going to be kept on there. We hung up a couple favorite pictures and projects on the cork board and the rest either were thrown out or filed in our keepsakes for last year. As you can see things look much better now. We will see if she can keep it that way.

The second area was this area of their bookcase. These four cubbies are supposed to hold art supplies that they are allowed to use any time like coloring books, sketch pads, crayons, markers, stencils, etc. It is also for their small but growing collect of Korean books. No wonder they can't find the pencils they want to use without help.

Although it took a bit longer, I had both girls help me. First we took everything off the shelves. I had Violet organize all the pencils, crayons, and markers while Sydney picked out which coloring, sticker, activity books she wanted to keep. I helped her narrow down a bit more and then we put all her books up high and all Violet's on the lower shelf so she can get then herself.

It worked well to tell Sydney she could keep everything she wanted as long as it all fit in a magazine holder. It also is making clean up much easier. They will each put all their books right back into the holder and back on the shelf. I noticed that they are using them more now and Sydney has been reading her Korean books more these past couple days. I think that while the kids have trouble keeping things simple and organized they really like to be able to see what is available, are more likely to play with it, and have an easier time picking it up. I'm thinking that we need to do a major simplification of all their toys before we move.

How do you keep kid's toys and stuff organized? Any tips or tricks you can share? Next week is all about the kitchen and/or pantry if you'd like to join in.