Keeping it Simple: December 2012

Monday, December 31, 2012

Top 10 Posts of 2012

Another year has come and gone. It's hard to believe how fast they are going.  I remember as a kid thinking that the school year lasted for ever and went by so slowly.  Well it doesn't anymore, it just flies by!  And the more kids you have, the faster it seems to go.

I thought it would be fun to go through the year and show you what my top 10 posts have been.  It's been a great year and I can't wait for a new one to come!

Starting with number 10
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craft room (41)

And the number one post of 2012 and still one of my favorite refashions that I have done....
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What a fun year it has been!  I look forward to the new year, with new adventures and new projects!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!



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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Motivate Me Monday #154

Hello everyone!!  Welcome to the last Motivate me Monday of 2012!  I love this party and I'm so grateful for everyone that participates!  I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  5 out of 6 sick of us was sick with the flu this week, so we really didn't get the relaxing week that we were hoping for.  We are on the mend, so maybe New Year's will be more relaxing.  :)

And now for the party!



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Friday, December 28, 2012

5 Must Have Sewing Supplies {Melly Sews}

Hello Keeping it Simple Readers! I hope you had a wonderful holiday and you're taking a chance to catch your breath before New Year's celebrations.
I'm also wondering if any of you got a new sewing machine for Christmas? Or maybe you know a new sewing machine owner?
If you do, you might be wondering what kinds of accessories are must haves for sewing. Well don't worry, today I have you covered! First and foremost is thread.
I store most of mine on this thread rack I made, which you can read more about HERE. The storage isn't so important for a beginner, but thread is. I mostly use Coats & Clark Dual Duty All Purpose Thread. I know other home sewists prefer other brands/types of thread, but this kind is readily available and cheap. The main thing is to make sure to buy the All-Purpose kind from the racks, not the cheaper kind that is often sold in only black and white in big bins. That kind is often cheaper and breaks much easier, which can be frustrating no matter your level of sewing ability. Next are machine needles. For a beginner, you're going to want to start with Universal needles, in an assortment of sizes. Ninety percent of the time when I sew, I'm using a size 80 needle, but once in a while the 70s and 90s make it onto my machine.

Next, you're going to make mistakes, whether you are a new or experienced seamstress. So you will need a seam ripper. Don't even bother with those little 3 1/2" ones that might come with your sewing machine unless you are on a super tight budget. They break, and more importantly, hurt your hands. For a dollar more you can get the 5 1/2" one, which is much, much more useful.

Every seamstress needs a measuring tape - personally I like the retractable kind. I don't have this exact kind, but aren't they pretty?

And finally, you need some kind of marking tool. I started with a tracing wheel and tracing paper since I mostly sew garments.

So that's it - my list of 5 Must Have Sewing Supplies. Thanks for having me, and I'll see you in the new year!
Keeping It Simple

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Amazing French Bread

I am NOT a baker, I do not love to cook.  I do it because my family needs to eat.  But when I find an amazing recipe, I just have to share it with you.  Being out in the middle of nowhere, I’m going to have to do more baking, because you just can’t get to the store or the store doesn’t have it.  I have an awesome spinach dip recipe and it tastes great with French bread.  The problem, the grocery store that is 45 minutes away from us doesn’t have good French bread.  Luckily the women out here are amazing cooks and my friend had this super yummy and easy recipe for French bread. 

If you don’t usually make bread (this was my first EVER), here are a few tips you should know before you try it.  Hot water kills the yeast (yup did that on the first batch).  The recipes calls for warm water, so in my mind putting it in the microwave for 30 seconds wouldn’t hurt.  I was wrong.  Go with luke warm water.  And put the sugar in before the salt.
French Bread (2)
This is how you make it:
1/2 cup warm water (not hot)
2 Tbsp of yeast
Mix these two things together and let yeast dissolve in water for 10 minutes.  While you wait add these ingredients into a large bowl:
5 Tbsp oil
2 cups warm water
3 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp salt
3 cups flour
Mix the ingredients with a large spoon. 
Add yeast mixture and stir
Add another 3 cups of flours into mixture and stir.
Place dough on floured surface and then knead with your hands for 10 minutes, until the dough isn’t sticky anymore.  Add more flour if it’s too sticky.
Divide the dough in half and roll into rectangles (or as close to rectangle as you can), about 9x12 inches.
Roll the dough onto itself (like as if you are rolling a cinnamon roll) starting at the long edges (so the width of the roll is about 9”). 
Grease a cookie sheet and then put the seam of the dough down, facing the sheet.  Then with a little water, close the ends with your fingers.
Cut three diagonal slits on the top using a knife.
Let raise for 30 minutes.
Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
French Bread (1)
This is seriously the most delicious French bread that I ever tasted!  I’m going to be making this recipe over and over again.

I would love it if you followed along.
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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Snowflake Wreath

Wreaths are so much fun to make and decorate with.  I found that here is windy Nebraska I can’t have a wreath on my outside door or it will blow away.  So I’m just putting them in my living room and love how it adds to it!  
For my winter d├ęcor, I’m sticking with red and turquoise.  I love the two colors together.  So I took a normal straw wreath and then wrapped it with red yarn.  Then I added some snowflakes that I found at the dollar store.  I spray painted the blue ones and added some glitter. 
snowflake wreath (1)
Here is the close up of the snowflakes. 
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I love how simple it is!
snowflake wreath (3)


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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Motivate Me Monday #153


cmaspicgreen3
Merry Christmas!! 
 I’m not going to be on the computer much the next couple of days, going to spend some much needed time with the family.  So I will have Motivate me Monday go through Tuesday.  I hope that you all have  a wonderful Christmas!!

I didn’t have the link party last week because of the blogger day of remember for Newtown, CT.  So here are some features from the previous week:

Wood Snowman by Mom on Timeout
Wood Snowman Ornaments

Christmas Iphone case by Mellywood's Mansion

M&M gift set by Will Cook For Smiles

How to remove spray paint by Creative Passage
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Paper straw wreath by Just Us Four
Boy Christmas shirts by Christy's Cuties
Ruffle tree skirt by The Thinking Closet 
D.I.Y. No-Sew Ruffle Christmas Tree Skirt by The Thinking Closet

And now for the party!


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