Tuesday, March 30, 2010

March is going out wet!

Raining again here - after a lovely taste of spring last week. At least the break in the weather afforded us the opportunity to get some yard work done. Still haven't taken the motorcycles out. (I choose to ONLY ride awesome weather when I'm at home.)

Shadow continues her basic obedience training. She likes the training and does well for a 6 month old. I wish she was just as enthusiastic about house training! Obviously she needs to train me better!

Last Saturday she helped us raise funds for Chapter 951 of the Vietnam Veterans of America...

I made this little smock type apron from a free online pattern...The embroidered rose and heart actually cover up some "oops". I managed to cut a slice where the rose is and the heart covers up a name....I had intended this for a friend and realized that it was too small. Yet another good reason to have the embroidery machine!

This little bag was a gift to Shadow's friend Hydro. Hydro is an 8 month-old golden retriever who is so good with her. He crouches down on the ground to play!

I broke down and purchased a smock apron pattern....one of those aprons that you slip on and it covers everything! The biggest challenge was making the bias binding and sewing it NEATLY on the apron. I made the medium size and it fits hubby....at least it won't be too small!

Looking forward to April....and better riding weather!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Recipe for Noodles and Ground Beef

This recipe comes from a chemist that worked with us in the Geysers in Northern California. The chemist was from Pakistan, but I'm thinking this is a very American version of something else!

Guys REALLY like this. It is inexpensive and easy to prepare.

Noodles and Ground Beef


3 tablespoons oil
2 pounds extra lean ground beef
1 onion (chopped)
1-teaspoon garlic powder or chop up some fresh garlic to taste
Spaghetti to serve 6
1 head green cabbage – sliced
1/2 cup light soy sauce
1/2 cup vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper.

Step 1. Boil spaghetti and drain – set aside.

Step 2. Mix together vinegar, salt and crushed red pepper. Set aside.

Step 3. Sauté half of the chopped onion in 2 tablespoons oil until golden brown. Add ground beef, garlic, salt and pepper and cook meat until brown. Set aside.

Step 4. Heat one-tablespoon oil, sliced cabbage and the remaining chopped onion, sauté for two minutes and add soy sauce and 1/4 cup vinegar mixture. Sauté another two minutes.

To Serve: Layer spaghetti, beef and then cabbage in a 9 x 13 pan or dish. On the side have the vinegar mixture for those who prefer it hot.

I sometimes cheat by preparing the onions, adding the ground beef and the cabbage and when they are cooked I add in the cooked spaghetti and toss in a bowl!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ruffled Apron Tutorial

Feel free to use as you like, just don't sell my tutorial!
This tutorial is for a lined or reversible apron (If you put pockets on both sides). So you may use the same pattern fabric for both sides OR have a different pattern for each side. Making it lined takes more fabric, but it really makes for a better garment and is easier to make because you don't have to press the edges in and then sew.
The size of this apron is generous.
This tutorial assumes that anyone wanting to make it knows how to sew. Therefore I have not gone over every single step of the process. If anyone finds an error, please let me know!
If you don't know how to do something - Google it and I'll bet someone has posted the answer.

Supplies needed
Fabric – two coordinating patterns – 1 1/4 yards of each pattern. (I will refer to them as A and B)
Optional - Wide or Jumbo Rick Rack – two packages (you don’t need all of both, but you need more than one package)
Optional - Buttons – At least four or other embellishments
Coordinating thread
All seams are no more than 1/2 inch - your choice.
Measurement of individual pieces:
RUFFLE – cut TWO (from both fabrics) 4 – 6 inches by 30 inches. Sewn end to end to make two 60 inch long pieces.
NECK TIE – cut one on the fold from either A or B fabric – 3 ¾ inches by 12 inches
WAIST TIES – cut two from either A or B fabric - 3 inches by 31 inches
POCKET – cut two from both fabrics – 10 inches by 14 inches (modify to appear like a rocker bottomed triangle) (I cut the pocket sections from the remaining fabric from the curve of the apron pattern piece.
NECKLINE EMBELLISHMENT - cut two from B fabric – 5 inches by 10 ½ inches (modify to a 10 ½ inch wide triangle)
BODY – cut 2 on the fold (30 inches by 30 inches piece of fabric) The shape of the apron measures likes this:
7 inches wide at top edge
Approximately five inches from top edge the width is 8 ¾ inches wide.
Approximately eleven inches from top edge the width is 17 inches wide.
Approximately seventeen inches from the 11 inch mark – the width should be 18 inches. You will begin making a curved edge starting at 12” down from the 11 inch mark – between the 12” mark to the 18” mark at the fold you will make a gradual curve.
Cut out all pieces.
(If the fabric is NOT directional you may cut some of the pieces on the fold.)
Sew RUFFLE -Right sides together, sew 60 inch pieces at the long side and ends. Sew the wide rick rack to finished edge of side B. Or sew the rick rack on the unfinished edge of side B so it is sandwiched between the two sides.
Prepare the raw edges for gathering and gather. (I have found the easiest method is to hand baste a heavy weight thread into the raw edge.)

NOTE: After sewing the two ruffle sides together you may also create pleats rather than 'gathering' the fabric. (Pin right sides together to A at the right, center and left. Then, in each 'section' you will pin smaller, equal, sections. Each time you create a smaller section. When the sections are small enough you will have pleats. For me, this is a lot less frustrating than messing the creating a ruffle with a gathering foot or the heavy weight thread method.
Neck Tie: Fold the fabric in half, wrong sides together and press. Open and fold one side to center, press. Fold the other side to the center and press. Fold together, press and sew starting at the short side and continuing on the long side sew the edges together. Turn and press and top stitch. Set aside.
Waist Ties: Fold the fabric in half with right sides facing. Starting at the short side and continuing on the long side, sew the raw edges together--leaving one edge open. Before turning – create a point on the closed short end ‘^’ then turn, press and top stitch. Set aside.
Pocket: Place A and B fabric right sides together. Sew on all sides leaving an opening to turn the fabric. Turn, press and top stitch. Fold the point down four inches and press. Sew rick rack on side B point—sew on enough rick rack so that the edges are hidden inside the pocket. Set aside.
Neckline embellishment: Place A and B fabric right sides together. Sew on all sides leaving an opening to turn the fabric. Turn, press and top stitch. Sew rick rack on side B. Set aside.
Sewing on ruffle:
Using Side A body pin on the ruffle – because you want the side B pattern showing when you place the ruffle it will be Side B facing side A. On the sides place the edges of ruffle so that they will not be caught in the seams later...indent a little more than 1/4 inch.
Sew ruffle to Side A….check alignment.
Sew the neckline embellishment, pockets, neck tie and waist ties in place on A fabric. Make sure the waist ties and neck tie are folded in, away from edges. (This way you may remove all pins before completing the lining. Make sure you position the ruffle 1/2 inch from the sides (short edges) of the ruffle and folded in so they are not caught in the side seams.:
Pin Side B, facing down on Side A with all its pieces sandwiched between.
Sew raw edges together – leaving a 3 inch opening to turn. Turn. Press. Top Stitch.
Sew two buttons on the neckline embellishment and two buttons on the pocket point so that the ‘flaps’ are secured in place.
Press. Make sure all pins are removed. Enjoy.
Here is photo of the finished apron.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Larry, Suzanne, Charlotte and Ray
Photo of infield RV parking - the flag pole with the Wyoming flag is Ray's!
Larry with a couple of show girls at the Neon Garage.
Tucker and Shadow - best buds!
Larry and Ray setting up the race radios.

We just returned from the NASCAR weekend in Las Vegas. Awesome infield parking in our friend's motor home.

Had a great time. Weather was crappy on Saturday, but Friday and Sunday were very nice.

We enjoyed visiting with Charlotte and Ray as much as seeing the race!