Like Lois Pearl

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Birthday Surprise at Kelsay Farms

For The Bug's 5th birthday yesterday I told him that I had a day of surprises planned. He was so excited!  We started off with lunch at our favorite spot, Jimmy Johns, and then headed just south of Indy to Kelsay Farms for a day of fun outside on the farm.

The kids were so excited when we pulled up and they saw this giant Bale Mountain.  This is every kids dream!

We toured the milking parlor, where our wonderful friend, Amy, was giving the tour.  Amy and her husband Joe have been great friends of ours ever since our Purdue years.  One of my favorite things about our Indiana Ag friends is that no matter how much time passes, things always seem to stay the same.  Amy, Joe, and their three children all work on the farm, along with the rest of their family . This year, the farm is celebrating an amazing 175th anniversary!

After the milking parlor we checked out the barn where the cows get to hang out.  The kids thought it was so cool that the cows get to take naps on water beds!

One of my favorite parts of the farm was getting to see some of the babies.  This sweet little calf named Sprinkles let the kiddos snuggle right up to it.  She even sucked Nate's finger.  He learned all about how calves don't have top teeth.

We made sure to check out the corn maze, and big and little tractors.  It's amazing how BIG farm equipment is these days!

The rides on the Moo Choo Express and the hay wagon were big hits too!

We finished the day with a wallow in the corn pit & milkshake.

Finally we picked some big fat pumpkins that will make great Jack'O Lantern in a couple of weeks.

If you are interested in experiencing the Kelsay Farm Tour, be sure to check out their website.  They are open all weekends through October 28th.

Whether you know a lot, or a little about farming, I promise that you will learn something new and have a ton of fun while you're at it.

Thanks Amy for a great day!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What I Learned

Since my last post, I've had several questions about my method of putting the quilt together.  Here's a quick list of tips that I found to be super helpful.

1.  Once you have your blocks pieced, and have laid them out just the way you want them, take a picture!  I took a quick pic on my phone, and referenced it when piecing the blocks together.  It helped ensure that I didn't sewing any of those little houses upside down!

2.  Press as you go, and then press again.  If you want a crisp quilt with blocks that line up in the end, be sure to carefully watch your seam allowances and press them well.  I used a 1/4" seam allowance, which is pretty standard.  Here is a good tutorial for learning to line up all those blocks.

3.  I used Dritz Adhesive Spray to make my quilt "sandwich".  Here is a great tutorial on this method by A Quilt is Nice.  This eliminated the need to pin it all together, saving loads of time.  Everything held together extremely well while I quilted, and my needle didn't gunk up at all.

4.  After quilting, I trimmed all of the edges to the same size, and then did a quick straight stitch all along the very perimeter of my quilt.  This keeps everything secure when you get ready to bind.

5.  I used a walking foot to stitch my binding onto the top of my quilt.  This helped keep the bias binding from stretching.

6.  To secure the binding to the back, I used a simple whip-stitch.

And that's it!  Sounds simple huh?  Now what should I quilt next?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Quilt for a Cause

One of my goals for 2012 was to complete my first "real" quilt.  I've tackled baby quilts  in the past, and cheated a bit on the binding.  This year I felt like I needed to teach myself to make a true quilt, piece it, sandwich it, quilt it, and bind it all by my big girl self.

With so many shows over the past couple of weeks, I was ready for a little break from dresses, and it was the perfect time to tackle my quilt idea.  My ever overflowing scrap bin was calling my name, so I set to digging for the perfect pattern combinations.

I following this great little pattern tutorial by Diary of a Quilter.  It was so fast and simple to cut out and piece.

The fabrics that I chose are super soft Michael Miller and Riley Blake prints.  I used the softest cotton batting in the middle.  Someone is going to love snuggling up with this pretty piece on cold winter nights!

The quilt will be raffled off this weekend at the Megan S. Ott Foundation annual Kickball Tournament. Proceeds will go directly to families of women and men battling breast cancer.  What a wonderful cause, and a great excuse to try my hand at quilting!  

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Fall 2012 is Here!

Thanks to Lauren Lewallen Photography we have beautiful pictures of the newest Lois Pearl pretties!  We met at a local park and had such a good time playing dressup with four darling little ladies.  They all walked away with apples, suckers, dresses and smiles!  Lauren did such a great job of capturing not only the outfits by LP, but each little lady's personality too!

Love this chevron!  Miss Layne is so cute eyeing her apple.  She was really just thinking about throwing it :-)

Lo is a model in the making.  So sweet and polite!

These two sisters could not be any more darling together.  They had such fun playing dressup!  My little dolls for the day.  Their mommy, my good friend Kimberlee, has an amazing blog.  It's all about crafting, cooking, and fun mommy stuff!  Be sure to check out Hanging on By a Thread!

The apples were a huge hit!

Layne's dress in this shot is a favorite if mine.  It's just so feminine!

This one has her little model poses and smile down pat!  Seriously, gorgeous!

Anyone who can get even a hint of a smile from Evy for a picture is a big winner!  I'm might be a bit obsessed with this picture!

Check out these pretties and more in the SHOP!  

And be sure to check out Kimberlee's blog, Hanging on by a Thread, and the amazing Lauren Lewallen Photography!

We're all so excited for fall around here!  Check back soon for a list of my fall shows!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Giveaway time!

The beautiful weather here has put me in the mood for a giveaway!  

Head on over to my facebook page, and share for a chance to win a one-of-a-kind dress in these gorgeous designer prints!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Another Red Front Door

It's becoming a family joke that I've always lived in a house with a red front door.  According to the websites, red is supposed to represent warmth and vitality.  Not a bad first impression for a home eh?

When we recently moved, this was the front door color.

I wonder what brown says about a home?

After debating on just the right shade a cheerful red, I had Hill remove the door hardware, and I got to work with the sander.

I used 150 grit sandpaper to remove any bumps or uneven places in the current paint.  We discovered that the brown door had formerly been blue.

I then coated the door primer and allowed it to dry for a couple of hours.

Then it was time to go red!

I love this cheerful pop of color when we come up our drive!  

And a few rosettes and vintage buttons made for a quick and cheerful wreath to complete the look.

What does your front door color say about you?  

Happy Crafty!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Fruity Baked Breakfast Oatmeal

Last winter a someone brought a yummy baked oatmeal to our MOPS breakfast.  I didn't think quick enough to find the source and ask for a recipe, and having been kicking myself ever since.  It was the perfect balance of tart, sweet, fruity, and firm.  Today, I decided to experiment a bit and found a winner!

My original recipe was based on this Gluten Free Baked Oatmeal by the Urban Nester.  Her version called for a lot of brown sugar as well as chocolate.  I wanted to try to make a bit healthier version, and it's a hit!

Fruit Baked Breakfast Oatmeal

2 c. oatmeal (I used quick cook rolled oats)
1/2c. chopped walnuts
1 c. shredded coconut
3 T. brown sugar
1 t. baking powder
a dash of cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1 c. fresh raspberries
1 large egg, beaten a bit
2 c. skim milk
1 t. vanilla extract
1 ripe banana

Mix the dry ingredients together and place in a well greased 9x9 pan.  Mix the wet ingredients, taking care to the incorporate the egg, and pour over the dry mixture.  Slice the banana in 1/4" slices and spread evenly over the top.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes until the casserole is set in the middle.

Bake this dish the night before, and reheat throughout the week for a hearty breakfast option.  If you prefer a sweeter alternative drizzle with honey.

Next time I think we may try some blueberries, strawberries and almonds.  It would be wonderful with a side of fresh fruit or yogurt too!

I'd love to hear of any other great fruit & nut combinations you create!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

It's Raining, It's Pouring.....

....The Old Man is Snoring!  Ever sing that as a child?  I remember my mother waking me up on rainy mornings with that song.

Unfortunately, we haven't been able to sing that song around here this summer.  The extremely hot dry days for the last couple of months have worn on everyone.  Coming from a family of farmers, we feel the worry and stress of this summer as our families watch their crops with worried brows.

This morning the kids were in for a treat when they woke was raining!  Not just a drizzle, or the sound of thunder from a cloud that doesn't roll over our house, but big, fat raindrops were falling.  It was like a new snow.   The little Hills quickly put on their rain gear and ran outside to run in the puddles.  What a fun treat after so many hot dry days!  The crops are too far gone for it to make any difference, but the rain helps our pastures grow and brings smiles to our faces!

Happy Rainy Day!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pure Michigan!

I love nothing more than spending time as a family digging in the sand & staring at clear blue water.  We made a quick trip to the lake last weekend, and I thought that I'd share a few quick photos with you!

All photos were taken at Franfort Beach, MI

My kiddos are so fortunate.  They are the 5th generation of my family to enjoy summers in Michigan.  The clear water, white sand, cool breezes, and charming towns make it the perfect summer destination!

And today I'm back to the real world.  Tackling piles of laundry, cleaning, planning some food preservation, and dreaming up what to create with this.  

I'm thinking that a Lois Pearl giveaway may be in the near future!