Monday, June 27, 2011


I have a tradition of making something for my goddaughter's birthday. It has been clothes in the past, but this year I decided to do something a little different - puppets! Although my own kids were only mildly interested in puppets, I have great memories of my own puppet theater, and the time I spent making up stories and performing shows. My little goddaughter is a bundle of energy and is a natural performer, so I thought she might enjoy a little dramatic play. 

The puppets are simple felt creations, with the clothes and details sewed by hand on the top piece, and then the front and back were machine stitched.
The eyes and mouths were embroidered. I took a general fairytale theme, but tried to make the puppets simple enough to be used in a variety of stories.
I think Red is my favorite, but when she was removed from the bag, her brother exclaimed that she looked like a ketchup bottle! I just had to laugh, because she does, really. Inside the drawstring bag is also a portable theater; simply a tension rod that fits in a doorway, with a simple curtain made out of the same princess canvas as the bag. It's easy to put up, easy to take down, and everything (plus any extra puppets of her own) fits inside the drawstring bag.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Upcycled Picnic Blanket

I love vintage table cloths, but this one my mother gave me really didn't match any of the colors in the house, especially in the dining room. So I pulled out an old cotton mattress cover I had been saving, and used it for the backing. It was already lined with batting, so I simply pinned right sides together and seamed it. I top stitched around the edges, but did not quilt the top.
It adds a nice little cushioning for a summer lunchtime picnic!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Dried Cherries

We went cherry picking earlier this week, and brought home over 10 pounds! Three days later we are down to less than half that amount, but some of that box ended up in my dehydrator. I invested in one last summer, since Max is so limited in his snack choices, and now is the season it seems to keep a permanent place on my counter. I own this stacking tray style, and it has worked just fine. Some day I might trade up for an Excalibur, but at the time I wasn't interested in spending that much money.

If you are going to dry cherries (or cook with them, for that matter), you need a cherry pitter. I think I spent $12 on mine, and it was well worth the money! Of course, if you are going to dry cherries, you need to pit them, first. I like to do this at the table with a movie playing  on the iPad. It's repetitive work, my friends.

When you are done, you'll have a nice big bowl of pits.
And a big bowl of pitted cherries! You will need to cut them in half for drying, but since the pitting tends to split them a bit, I find it easiest to just tear them with my hands.
Lay them on you trays, with space between for the air to flow. Mine took about 16 hours to dry at 145 degrees.
They are shriveled when done, but not crispy. They should have a similar consistency to raisins. If you are not sure, stick them in a glass jar with a tight lid for a couple of days. If you see any condensation form, throw them back into the dehydrator for another few hours.
Easy, wasn't it? We like ours in granola (my GF recipe is here), in oatmeal or chocolate cookies, on cereal, or just straight out of the jar for snacking!