Tuesday, December 3, 2013

From Tablecloth to Stockings.

I love this time of year. Time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. Time to reflect on past Christmases and remember the magic that Christmas brings with it. In addition to the good deeds, good food and good gifts, it is a time when I remember my love for my family and those memories we cherish of Christmas together.

My favorite Christmas memories are those of watching my children experience the pure joy of believing in a Savior and Santa. My other favorite Christmas memories are from my very own childhood. As a child, every Christmas Eve was spent with with my Grandparents. How lucky was I to have 30 wonderful Christmases close by my family?!!

Christmas eve at Grandma and Papa's consisted of matching fancy dresses that my Mom had sewn for my sister and I. There was a quick dinner of finger foods because Grandma had learned making a quick meal was easier than trying to control excited children during a long fancy feast. After dinner we would all gather round in the tiny living room in our own special spot. Then as most families do gifts would be past out, we would go around the room and take turns opening them, then there would be laughter and fun as we all enjoyed our gifts and each other. There would always be a moment when Papa would get his pocket knife out to open a package we couldn't get into fast enough. Or a loud shout from Grandma "oh, how I needed one of these." The carpet would disappear under the mounds of ribbons and wrapping, and no one seamed to worry until a present had been thrown away! Then there would be Christmas pajamas and we would head for home always with leaving Papa and Grandma with a lot of "sugar" (big hugs and kisses).

As you can imagine when my Grandparents past and we sorted through their old things going through the Christmas decorations was the hardest. Imagining Christmas without them in it has seamed unfathomable. I took home with me my ornaments I had made them and some old decorations of theirs I couldn't part with; their felt Christmas tree skirt and Grandma's Christmas tablecloths.

That brings me to the reason for this post. Grandma's tablecloths now hang from my mantle as stockings. Yes, I cut them up an re-purposed them. Now every time my children's joyful squeals fill the room on Christmas morning and they see their stockings filled I will remember those beautiful Christmas eve's at my Grandparent's home. I would like to share the pattern and a short "how to" so you can make your own stockings. Merry Christmas. Remember to make beautiful magical memories this Christmas.

Easy Christmas Stocking Sewing Steps.
1) Download and print each pattern piece as an 8 x 10 picture.
2) Tape toe, heal and top pattern together.
3) Cut out 2 front pieces and 2 back pieces for entire stocking.  (4 total)
4) Cut out 4 Band Pieces.
5) Sewn 1/4 inch seam of right sides together of 2 front pieces and then turn right side out. Sew up hole.
6) Repeat for 2 back pieces.
7) Repeat the same steps for band. Front and Back
8) Add iron on fabric pieces to heal and toe and extra fabric across center. Sew on any extras you want now before the stocking is sewed together. Like ribbons, initials, fabric additions, etc.
9) Sew on top bands to each front and back piece. Pin right sides together. Sew 1/4 inch seam across top. Remember to pin down pleat folds.
10) Pin right sides of stockings together and sew 1/4 inch seam around the entire outer edge. 
11) Sew a strap of ribbon to the top edge for hanging. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

9 Fun Crayola Dry Erase Crayon Uses and A 10th GIVEAWAY

Lately I have been kind of obsessed with these crayons. I love them! They wash off of pretty much everything, (including clothing).  They write really well on my chalk board with the benefit of no smudging like chalk. With a little water and glass cleaner you can take it off of most smooth surfaces. 

These crayons have brightened our home. Literally! My kids have loved getting notes on their lunch boxes, and rewards out of the "Good Job Jelly Bean Jar" I have been surprised to see notes on my mirror from Mr. Kirk telling me he loves me. A great way to start off your day. The best idea was letting the kids go wild on the windows. You would have thought they were at Disneyland. They are never allowed to color on walls or windows. This was a special treat. PURE HAPPINESS!

I have had a lot of fun creating this post and sharing all the fun ways to use these crayons with all of you, but... I am missing a #10 for an idea of what to use these crayons on. Surprise, Surprise my brain does run dry of creative juices. I have decided to turn it into a contest! Submit a picture with your  BRIGHT idea using the crayons and win a 2 FREE packs of CRAYOLA BRIGHT DRY ERASE CRAYONS. Contest is open today and ends Halloween Day.  You can submit your ideas via email.

So many ways to use these crayons. Let your mind go and create something fun. Brighten up your own home! I look forward to your submissions.




                               4. ON A IKEA JAR FOR REWARDS



                                     7. ON A CHALKBOARD MAKE A MENU

                                    8. ON A MIRROR LEAVE A LOVE NOTE
                                                      (contributed by Mr. Kirk)

                                   10. IS YOURS TO CREATE!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Inside My Family

I hope you are enjoying my new blog?! I love getting to share my ideas with all of you as well as a little bit more about me and my family on here. Today, I would like you to learn more about one of my all time favorite and all consuming passions, genealogy! Some of you may be thinking, "What is that?" Let me tell you what it isn't. It isn't the study of bones, or a complicated science experiment. It isn't a complex look into the history of random people in the past. It is the study of your ancestors! Your blood. Your people. The people that paved the road for you to live. The people in your family who may have struggled and sacrificed for a better life, for freedoms and sometimes just to feed their family. My ancestors are my passion. I love to learn about their stories and I enjoy finding new names that can connect branches in my family tree. The mysteries and stories of "my people" excite my soul and give me purpose in life. Have you ever taken the time to get to know your ancestors?
Last year I created a family history book for my father for Christmas. With pages I designed in Photoshop, then placed into a leather bound book from Costco. This year I am searching and creating a book for my mothers side of the family. Shhhh, don't tell her!! (Mom, please act surprised!) These books are filled with family stories, notes, family pictures, gravestones, and maps of travel.

I really wanted to be able to share with you those pages so you can make your own. However I used copyrighted scrap booking material to make them and so cannot share! But you are in luck, I will be making new pages just for my blog and sharing them individually with all of my "genealogy" posts on here from now until Christmas. I would like to also include and share some of my own ancestry stories with you. Even give you some tips on how to get started if you have never looked into your genealogy before.

Below you will find the first page to start your book with, your family tree. You can  download, edit and add names in Photoshop then save this page for your book. Or you can print it and make it into a binder book. I printed mine and hung it on the wall! See below.

I hope you love my stories and they inspire you to get started finding "your people," and maybe create your own family history book.

On my mother’s side of the family I had an amazing, spunky great grandma, I called “MEMA." Her and her husband came to California from Oklahoma and the south.  Mema and Grandpa Crews moved around often in the south. They came to California with their four children during the great depression. Papa crews worked in farming when they first arrived but later worked as a train engineer for Southern Pacific Railroad. In fact, he drove one of last steam engines left in California. My “Mema” was a strong women.  During world war II, while men went off to fight the war women had to take on men’s jobs in factories assembling planes and war supplies. These women are often represented by the American icon  “Rosie the Riveter.” My Mema was a Rosie. She left her four children to work on the assembly line and build airplanes. Her example of strength blessed the lives of her children. My Noni, (my mom’s mom) ended up raising her four children all on her own, while working full time. A legacy of strong women being passed from generation to generation.

Monday, September 23, 2013

3 Loop Bow Giveaway Winner

THANK YOU to all those that liked and shared this giveaway! They will be receiving their new bows and bow supplies this week. ENJOY!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Grandma's Texas Sheet Cake- G.F.

I was just telling a friend the other day that I don't bake as much as I did in the past. I miss making those amazing desserts I loved before I became gluten free. The desserts like the ones your Pinterest friends flood your wall with, and get you drooling all over your desk. You know what I am talking about!

Today I needed to make a dessert like that and I needed to make it GF. I turned to Grandma's recipe box and found one of my favorite treats she used to make, Grandma's Texas sheet cake. Oh, this cake is so yummy. Moist chocolate cake with a thin flaky frosting. Plus, I love the name too, since I ended up marrying the greatest thing ever to come from Texas!

I think this is one of my Grandma's favorites. It was one of my favorites too. Her recipe includes nuts but she would always make a special section without nuts just for me. Nuts are not my favorite. I miss Grandma making this cake. I also miss gluten!

Today made up for the missing.  It tasted just as good as I had remembered. A whole series of memories and good times came flooding back to me with a single bite of cake. I love how tastes and smells can take you to another place and time, even if just for a small moment. I hope when you make and eat this cake it takes you somewhere special too. Like maybe chocolate Heaven!

Just to give you a heads up, as I was preparing to make it I hauled out the big Kitchen Aid mixer only to realize that it is all made in sauce pans. It is cooked and mixed by hand. That is old school huhh? What really took me back in time was using my Grandma's old cast iron skillet to make the cake!                                                                                   

Texas Sheet Cake

Sift 2 Cups sugar & 2 Cups flour together (See below my CUP for CUP Gluten Free Flour Mix)
Set flour mixture aside.
Put in a sauce pan & cook on med:
1 Stick Margarine
4 Tbsp Cocoa
1/2 Cup Buttermilk (Can Substitute with Almond Milk)
1/2 Cup Oil (Can Substitute with Applesauce)
1 Cup Water
Bring to a boil and add flour & sugar mixture, stirring constantly.
Turn heat off and add in:
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
Bake in 11 X 16 cookie sheet. Smooth in pan.  
Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes                                                                                 

In saucepan combine:
1 Stick Margarine
4 Tbsp Cocoa
6 Tbsp Canned Milk (Can subsitute Almond Milk)
Bring to boil

Turn off Heat and stir in:
16 oz powdered sugar
Poor over hot cake.

Mix 1 tsp of vanilla with 1 cup of nuts and sprinkle on top.

GF Flour Mix = CUP for CUP Ratio
1/3 Cup Almond Flour
1/3 Cup Tapioca Flour
1/3 Cup White Rice Flour
1/3 Cup Sweet Sorghum Flour

To Add Texas in Sugar Simply...
Print out an outline of the state of Texas on regular computer paper. Cut it out carefully.
Lay template over each piece and sprinkle/sift lightly with powdered sugar over template.

Until the next recipe,

Saturday, September 14, 2013

September Giveaway and 3 Loop Bow Tutorial

It's here, my first giveaway with a real sponsor. I have been so anxious to share this with all of you I am practically bursting with excitement! This giveaway is sponsored by my favorite ribbon/bow company THE RIBBON RETREAT. I have been using The Ribbon Retreat to buy my bow/craft supplies for years. They are the best in the business. They have the biggest selection, best prices and fastest shipping by far. Plus, they also have fabric and so much more. They generously offered me the supplies to do my first giveaway and I am so grateful. I love them! Can you feel the love?

There will be 2 winners for September's giveaway. The first winner will receive the two pig tale sets of  3 loop bows. The second winner will receive the supplies to make their own set of 3 loop bows. To be entered to win either prize you must do EACH of the following...

1) Sign up as an email subscriber to Turtle Dove Love in the top right corner, or sign up to be in my Google+ circle on the lower right.

2) Like Turtle Dove Love on Facebook HERE.

This giveaway will close at 3:00 pm on Thursday, September 19th. Two winners will be randomly selected. Winners will be announced on Facebook Friday morning.

The 3 loop bow is one of my favorite styles of bows to make.  Different ribbons and additions can make even the simplest bow unique. The giveaway bows are made exactly the same but they look so different just by using the different ribbon. Here is picture tutorial so you can make your own 3 loop bows at home! Also, check out The Ribbon Retreat Blog for more ways to make bows and other crafts.

                                1&2- Fold ribbon as shown, keeping loops the same size.
                                3&4- Fold ribbon as shown, keeping loops the same size.
                               5&6- Loop ribbon behind and in between the previous four loops.
                                Repeat on the other side and lay last tail flat in the front. Cut ribbon
                                tails to be the same length.
                                7&8- Pinch bow in center, use floral wire to secure. Lay wire over 
                                top and pinch in back and then twist together.
                               9&10- Cut wire off and push flat. Cut 3 inch ribbon and fold in half.
                                11&12- Tie not in ribbon. Use a dot of hot glue on center front to
                                secure, glue down ribbon in the back. Overlapping and glueing one
                                end on top of the other.
                                13&14-Hot glue directly on banana clip. Glue it directly onto bow
                                back, pushing down hard to secure. Finish ends with lighter to
                                prevent fraying.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Love and Feed Your Dino Daily

Today is the perfect day for this post. My middle child has been testing the limits lately. In fact, I was told at his first week of preschool that he has a strong personality, he was not listening, and he was leading the other boys to also not pay attention. Wow, that will make you question your parenting methods!! At first I was really angry, then I was really sad and then I realized that after two days of being with him, his teacher hardly knew this sweet, active, dinosaur boy of mine. I am not making excuses for him. I am very aware of where he lacks in "good" behavior. I just know that if she had taken more time to know him she might see he is not just strong but he is capable. He can name every dinosaur, what they look like, what they eat and why he likes them. He can carry on a pretty emotional and intellectual conversation. He is so physically strong that at 4, he can already ride a bike and do the monkey bars. After my parenting was questioned and I started to doubt how "good" this boy actually is, I was reminded by my mother and husband of the amazing qualities he possesses. My favorite part of him is that he is usually in his dinosaur mode. Roaring and stomping with his T-Rex claws ready for attack!! I love him and all his animalistic ways.

This post is for him. These are some of the wonderful dinosaur adventures we have done together. Some of my favorite ways to feed the dinosaur in my boy! Remember the key to happiness with little dinosaur boys is to find those joys that make you smile and to "KEEP CALM and ROAR ON."

2) The best Preschool Worksheets about dinosaurs by overthebigmoon.com. 
I love this pack! 

5) This review on our favorite dino storage at livingathewhiteheadszoo.blogspot.com

6 &7) Our favorite Books

8) The best dinosaur sandwhich makers and other dinosaur food.

9) Dinosaur world swimming pool by me at turtledovelove.blogspot.com

Below you will find a quick recipe to make your own dino world for your dino loving child! 

10)  Dino printable by me at turtledovelove.blogspot.com