Friday, December 30, 2011

Apple Kolaches

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These are easily my family's favorite. In fact, by tomorrow, this plate will probably be empty.  If you have some apples to use up, a package of cream cheese, and a couple of hours to let the dough chill, you should definitely try these out! You won't be disappointed!

Apple Kolaches
  • 2 cup flour
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups apples, finely chopped and peeled
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 4 1/2 tsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
In a large bowl,  beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually add flour and mix well. Divide dough into two portions; cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until easy to handle. 

When chilled:
In a small bowl, combine apples and cinnamon. On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion of chilled dough until approx 1/4" thick or less (depending on how thick you want your dough, I like mine thinner). Cut into 3" squares. Place a tsp of apple mixture in the middle of each square. Overlap two opposite corners of dough over filling; pinch tightly to seal.

Place 2" apart on ungreased baking sheet (or on parchment paper, which is how I prefer to do them). Bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes. Cool for 1 minute before removing to wire racks.

Combine icing ingredients; drizzle over kolaches. I usually put parchment paper under my wire racks and then drizzle the icing. Less clean up! Just toss the paper away afterwards.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Grab a Kleenex

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And shed a little tear.

We used the tablecloth Christmas Eve, and it got few stains on it. I mean, that's what I made it for right? To be used.

I made the decision long ago that things in this house had to be able to handle normal washing.  Dry clean only items get tossed in the washer. You have to be strong to survive in this house.

So even though I had tested a transfer on this same cloth, and washed and dried it and it came out fine, apparently the new tablecloth couldn't handle it.  But fear not! Because in my pile of most excellent Christmas presents came this new beautiful table runner.

Mom took six left over squares of Christmas material that I had sitting in my container since I made my Xmas bags two or three years ago. She said she was going to maybe make them into bags for me. She's sneaky that way.

She had the kids sign their names in fabric marker and then she added some details, such as long black hair for Clayton and a gift in the hands of Blade's snowman. This is why my mom will always be more epic than me.

Hunter's had black thread buttons added down the front, and Storm's got long blonde hair added to it. How cute is that?

Hunter signed Ryan's name to his and it received a cute red moustache, while Storm penned my name and my snowman got some added buttons. I love this tablecloth so much that I'm not even sad over mine.

My uncle once called me fickle. I think he may have been onto something....

Thursday, December 22, 2011

With a few days to spare...

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The wall hangings are done!  Thank goodness for my Mom, again. She's always willing to design, iron, measure and make that first cut I'm always holding back on.

In this house they are hanging by push pins. I did put tabs on them for them to hang by rods later on.

Don't worry, Hunter's got done too. It's hanging above Clayton's. These babies are long. So much so, that I was kind of starting to wonder where exactly I was going to hang them. Let's hope the next house has a really long stairwell!

They definitely won't win that red ribbon at the County Fair (so don't look too closely) but they'd probably get one of those Participant ribbons that they hand out in elementary school...

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Tribute to Dad

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There once was a young man:

Who married his teenage dream:

He almost always had a smile on his face:

Even after he had a couple of kids who sometimes looked like this:

He worked a long time in gravel construction. Many summer vacations were spent in a holiday trailer in the middle of nowhere:

When he wasn't at work, he was at play, (which seemed a lot like work to a couple of kids):

There were a few memorable vacations:

He was always willing to stop for some real fun:

And have some serious construction discussion:

He always had a beard which he sometimes let his bored daughter braid:

He loved his kids more than most:

Which he proved when he shaved his beard for the first time in over 20 years for his daughter's wedding because she asked:

He always knew what to do and taught how to do it:

He held a lot of babies:

And got roped into a lot of projects:

He will be missed more than words and thoughts can imagine:

Garfield James Scheie
October 18, 1947 - December 16, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011

Tablecloth Finite!

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I can see! I can see! LASIK is done. Vision is 20/20. Inflammation appears to be gone and I'm down to the end of my eye drops. Thankfully. Ryan and I are both more than tired of them and the trips to Calgary.

So I can see, but I'm extremely behind on every thing else.

Christmas? When? How long? Ohhh shoot.

I've had the transfers for the rest of the tablecloth printed out since before my LASIK, but that's about as far as they got. So after deciding I was done acting like an invalid, I wrangled Mom into coming over again. After all, we'd already wrecked the finish on my table, might as well not stop now.

There was a bit more double and triple checking going on this time to make sure we didn't have any years upside down, but it also went way faster. I wasn't quite so hesitant to iron them, plus there isn't 15 years of pictures for the little kids yet!

Storm's section
Blade's section
Hunter's section.

We were trying to conserve as much space at the bottom of the sections as possible. And Mother has strict instructions to not make the next 10 years of ornaments BIG.

It's a hard thing to get a full photo of!

So whadda ya think? Good enough to spill gravy on??

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Christmas Memory Tablecloth Part Deux

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Whew. What would I do without my mom?

I finished cutting out the rest of the pictures while chatting on the phone with my dad and waiting for my mom to arrive. We laid out all the transfers and thankfully they all fit with room for this years too!

I was a little freaked out to start actually ironing them on. I mean what if I overheated one? What if they moved and were wrinkly? What if, what if??

terrified to actually commit to ironing!

I bit the bullet though, and with mom helping to hold them and reposition any that moved around, I managed to get them all ironed on without scorching anything!

The real moment of truth though was taking off the backing.

Tada! It turned out sooo good.

Can you spot the oops?

I'm so thankful for my mom. I mean we may have wrecked the table's finish and we may have put one of the year's upside down, but without her I'm pretty sure I'd still be sitting here thinking about getting it done!

And now that I've seen results I can't wait to get the rest of it done! And make four wall hangings too.  I'm going to go back and grab another clearance tablecloth but this time not cut off the excess length and make four longer wall hangings with their names and birthdays at the bottom. I sincerely considered just cutting this one apart! I mean how often do I use a tablecloth? But mom wouldn't let me! I think she just wants me to do another one without the mistake..and possibly make her one too!

All the hand prints are true to life size, so next time you're here, feel free to put your (clean) hands on there and see how you measure up next to the kids!

Christmas Memory Tablecloth

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So many titles for this post. The Never Ending Project. What the Heck was I Thinking?? How Long Can One Person Really Delay?

Every year for the past fifteen years my mom has gave me a tree ornament with the a picture of the kids and their hand print on the back. Well they started out as tree ornaments with Clayton but as he's gotten bigger so have the 'ornaments'. Usually I hang them on the wall instead on a bead rope with all the years in order. The kids love looking at them and remembering when. 

Earlier this year, I was purging out my Christmas stuff and thought I had better do something with those ornaments to preserve them. I debated laminating but some are too thick to go through the laminator. Or perhaps scrap booking them, but that idea was quickly tossed as I liked them out on display. Then I remembered when the quilt my mother-in-law made for Ryan's sister for her wedding. She took family pictures and used transfer paper to put them onto quilt squares for a really nice quilt.  I figured I had too many for a quilt but I could make a tablecloth with the same idea.

I decided to take a picture of each ornament, crop it out on Paint and flip it, paste it into a word document and print it out on some iron on transfer paper. Oh, doesn't that sound so simple? Like a quick little weekend project even? Yea, started this in April, crunch time aka Christmas is quickly approaching,  and we're not done.

The cropping took forever. I'm sure there are many easier ways to do it than the way I did it, but I don't want to hear about them as I'm finally done every last one of those 60 billion pictures. Work got in the way. Avoidance got in the way. You get the picture I'm sure.

Anyways, Mom and I stopped in Bed, Bath and Beyond and grabbed a really big white tablecloth that was on clearance. It happened to be so long that I could use the end of it as a trial area as I was going to have to cut it off anyways.

I wanted to see if the fabric was even going to hold the picture or not. It's not cotton like it's supposed to be but it was only 8 bucks for a huge tablecloth!

The test picture after washing. Success! Although I did learn not to leave the iron on as long as the directions said. You can see the outline of the iron in one spot where it got too hot.

I decided that I wanted the tablecloth to be just a little more, so Mom and I grabbed some green cloth from the fabric store and sewed on a strip around the outside and also down the middle, sectioning off each kid's area.

Ignore the fact that's it's wrinkly! I just grabbed it out of the bag a few minutes ago to take this picture. I've now got all of Clayton's pictures printed out onto transfer paper and need to cut them out.

Then comes the real test. Can I fit all of his pictures onto his area leaving room for this year's and possibly next year's too? Also, how long can I delay doing this? Will I ever get the rest of the kid's pictures printed out? Did I mention that we rarely, if ever, use a tablecloth??

I think I'll have a shower and call my mom. She'll make me finish it. And she'll iron for me too!

Monday, November 14, 2011

A different kind of Before and After

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Saturday was Ryan's appointment to go in and get his tattoo re-inked and expanded.  It started off looking like this.

He had this tattoo when I met him. I never did like how it just ended at the top of his shoulder and after 15 years it was looking faded and needed to be re-colored.

We went into the local place and had them draw out a revamped tattoo that would be slightly larger and all black. He also has plans to tattoo down the front of his chest so they made that drawing as well. After some tweaks in the initial drawing here he is partially lined in.

Sorry about the quality of pictures. I, of course, only remembered to bring my iPad and not my actual camera. The purple part was where a lot of redraws were happening to make the shoulder look right to me.

A wee squint of pain. There was a lot more squinting, tensing and general breathing through his teeth by the time the top was colored in!

All outlined. I love it so far. You can hardly see where the original tattoo was. Too bad the real pain was about to start.

Oh, there's the real pain! Sorry if the picture's making you squeamish. It's mostly smeared black ink if that makes it any better!

All done! Well except for the healing. See all the red area. Yea, those muscles are going to hurt for a bit!

After bandaging it for 6 hours, and avoiding taking any really gross pictures of what it looks like then, Ryan had a shower. The tattoo looks amazing. She did an excellent job. If you're local and need a tattoo artist, let us know!

Doesn't even look like the same tattoo does it??

I think he might wait few months to get the chest one. The pain is still fairly fresh in his mind! I didn't feel a thing...but I do get to enjoy the results!!