May 2016 Holidays

May 2016 Holidays

May 2016 Holidays

Hello!  It’s the last Friday in April soooooo…..it’s time to start planning our days to celebrate in May!  If you like burgers, pizza, chocolate chips and the chicken dance then May is the month for you!

Below is a list of the dates in May and what you can celebrate on each day.

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The Art of Homemaking: How To Get The Clean Laundry Put Away

Indiviualized Storage Bins 2

Laundry is the thing that never ends.

Ever.

Even when I am “all caught up” on laundry I’m really not because the clothes that I am wearing right then will still need to be washed.

It’s a vicious cycle and at any time you could drop by my house and find a pile mountain of laundry on my couch waiting to be folded.

But awhile back my mom had an idea that has helped in my battle against laundry:  Individualized Storage Bins

 

Indiviualized Storage Bins 2

One afternoon she arrived at my house with some storage bins.  There was one bin for each person in the household and we labeled each bin.

The bins live (stacked inside one another) on top of the dryer….until the couch becomes Mount Laundry.  At which point they are spread out on the family room floor.

Clothes are then sorted into the appropriate bin and the owner of the bin carries it off to their room where the clothing is put into drawers or on hangers.

After that the bin is returned to it’s home on top of the dryer where it awaits the next sorting session.

I can’t say this has solved all my laundry issues but it has helped in the process of getting those clean clothes picked up and put away.  (Especially on those days when I have the bins loaded up and ready for when the kids get home from school!)

If I was really efficient I would spread out the bins in the laundry room as I am emptying the dryer and cut out the couch all together…but let’s face it…that’s never going to happen.  So for now I am happy with our laundry sorting plan.  It’s helped me get the clothes put away and it might help you.

-liZ

PS:  If you do try this, the bins we got were on the small size with handles to make them easy for the kids to carry….which has proven to be a good idea.

How To Make a Kimono Cardigan

easy kimono cardigan _edited-1

easy kimono front_edited-1

Have you been admiring all those cute kimono cardigans that are everywhere?  Well, now with just over a yard of fabric you can make your own—for probably half to one-third of the cost.  Here’s how to make a kimono cardigan….

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Simple Simon: Off the Blog

Simple Simon Guide to Patchwork Quilting Amazon COver

Even though it’s only April we feel like 2016 has already given us an entire year’s worth of events.

For me, at home, it’s been a bit of a catastrophe carnival….both vehicles, my computer, my camera, and my phone have all died.  (However, we resurrected my computer with a combination of electrical and duct tape!  It was a miracle!)  And then of course you have heard me talk about my mom and the stroke she suffered during an operation last month.  (Although, as you read this she will be on her way home…which is both a happy and terrifying day as we try to navigate through the process of how we will be taking care of her full time.)  But I am not complaining….I am hoping that we have used up all our bad luck for the year and that only sunny skies are ahead!

Meanwhile over at Elizabeth’s house she has been learning a lot with her foster children.  So far in 2016 she has housed 4 refugee foster children from different parts of Africa and ranging in age from 7 to 18.  At some point I am sure Elizabeth will share more of her story with foster care…but that day is not today and it’s not my story to share so for now I will suffice it to say the Elizabeth has been busy and has learned a lot and is awesome.

So what else has been happening off the blog in 2016?  A lot.  So I’ve made a list:

THE BOOK:

Simple Simon Guide to Patchwork Quilting Amazon COver

Last month we received an advanced copy of our book!  It won’t officially be released until next month (although you can pre-order it HERE on Amazon).  It was exciting to actually hold the book in our hands!  I couldn’t believe it was for real.  Next month we will giving you sneak peeks and hosting book related shenanigans…so watch for that!  (We are really excited about it!)

 

THE FABRIC

WhenSkiesAreGrey_COLLAGE_72dpi_png_400x400_q85

Next month at quilt market we get to debut our new line of fabric with Riley Blake Designs!  (You can see the entire line right now by clicking HERE.)  The fabric comes in three color waves and in three different types of fabric…quilting cotton, double gauze, and knits!  (Although not all prints will be available in all fabric selections .)   The fabric line was finished last fall and so we are sooooo happy to finally be able to talk about…which we will do a lot more of coming up next month as well!

 

THE MAGAZINE:

This month we were lucky enough to be featured in the beautiful magazine “Where Women Create”.  We feel blessed to have a 10 page article about our spaces shared within it’s pages….even if we are out of our league….I giggle thinking about my in home basement work space featured next to elegant studios but the editors wanted us how we really are so that is what they really got!  🙂

 

THE VIDEOS:

We have been having so much fun this year making videos with Cindy from Riley Blake Designs that they have been hosting on their YouTube channel!  Riley Blake Designs has the greatest office…aside from everyone being so nice they also have a work room to die for and a filming studio in the basement!  So if you are ever looking for fun tutorials check out their YouTube channel to see videos like this “3 Step Double Gauze Baby Blanket.”

 

THE COURSES:

Last month Elizabeth and I were able to travel to Golden, Colorado to shoot some quilting courses for Craft University.  The trip itself was an adventure that included us being snowed in during a blizzard ( a blizzard in March!), running our car off the road, and being saved by a kindly truck driver.  BUT aside from all of that the courses were a lot of fun to film and we will be sharing all the info about them shortly!

 

THE SHOP:

four corners yard bundle

We would like to thank everyone who has made Our Shop feel so successful already this year! For those of you looking for more pom pom trim we will be stocking up again soon and will be adding more items to the shop again shortly!!!

 

THE PATTERNS:

Behind the scenes we have been working on both a line of clothing patterns and a line of quilting patterns.  Fortunately we have quite a bit finished on each line.  Unfortunately with the events so far in 2016 we will only be able to launch one of those pattern lines at market next month.   Happily we have chosen to launch the quilt patterns next month and will be releasing the clothing patterns in October.  (However….we still may release a clothing pattern or two before October if I can’t contain myself….)

 

THE FACEBOOK PAGES:

First of all…thank you to all of you who read, like, and comment on our Facebook page.  It really means a lot to me and I feel like all of you are my friends…whether I am talking about family tragedies or going pantsless in public you always have the best comments and make me feel both loved and less crazy than I actually am!

Secondly we have started two new Facebook pages that are dedicated ONLY to what they say in the title:  Simple-Sewing and Simple-Quilting where Elizabeth has started filling the pages with links and ideas that are only about Sewing or Quilting.  So if you are looking for pages dedicated solely to either pursuit pop on over and check them out.

 

OTHER ITEMS:

There are a few other items…one in particular that I am so excited about that I kind of want to cry…I feel like we are so lucky and so blessed for the opportunities we have been given.  But we can’t announce anymore than we have announced today.   Just know that we appreciate you who come to our blog, that leave us comments on Facebook, that send us emails, that like our IG photos, that read our newsletters, that pin our photographs.  If it weren’t for you we wouldn’t have the opportunities that we have…and we appreciate you.

Now it’s late and I need to get some sleep…tomorrow is going to be a busy day….

-liZ

 

 

The Art of Homemaking: Homemade White Bread Recipe

bread and tea towel.square

bread and tea towel.square_edited-1

On Monday I promised you my homemade white bread recipe and today I am delivering good on my promise.  I really love this bread recipe because it turns out every time and is easy enough to still make for dinner if I start it by 4 pm. From start to finish it is about 1 1/2 hours and makes the house smell delicious.  And the best part about it…..I can make the kids eat leftovers (or soup!) if there is a loaf or two of fresh bread to go with it 😉  A mom’s dream…

Homemade White Bread Recipe

(makes 2 loaves of bread)

5 cups of white bread flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 heaping Tablespoons of yeast (I like SAF brand of yeast)
2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 cups of hot water
1 1/2 tsp. salt
In a large mixer, place hot water, yeast and sugar and mix for one minute.  Let the yeast mixture sit for 3-4 minutes. Then add the rest of the bread ingredients and mix for 3-4 minutes. The bread dough should be very sticky. If it is not add 1-2 T more hot water. Then mix the dough for another 5-8 minutes. Place the bread dough in an oiled bowl with a towel over the top for 15-30 minutes. Once the dough has risen (almost doubled), turn the dough out onto a well-oiled countertop and knead into 2 loaves of bread.  Place each loaf into a greased bread pan and let rise again another 20-25 minutes.  Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. After the second rising, bake the bread loaves for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
(And you can find the tutorial for the tea towel coming up next Monday!)

Featured Article

May 2016 Holidays

May 2016 Holidays

Hello!  It’s the last Friday in April soooooo…..it’s time to start planning our days to celebrate in May!  If you like burgers, pizza, chocolate chips and the chicken dance then May is the month for you! Below is a list of the dates in May and what you can celebrate on each day.

Indiviualized Storage Bins 2

The Art of Homemaking: How To Get The Clean Laundry Put Away

Laundry is the thing that never ends. Ever. Even when I am “all caught up” on laundry I’m really not because the clothes that I am wearing right then will still need to be washed. It’s a vicious cycle and at any time you could drop by my house and find a pile mountain of laundry…

Read More »