Jam and Thoughts on Going Sugar Free

Hello there! We went berry picking on Tuesday and I made some jam with half my berries. It turned out runny (drat!) but still very tasty. I think it is runny because I left one of the cups of sugar out. Maybe?

(pardon my incredibly dirty window)

It got me in the canning spirit and I went through my canning book and chose some recipes I want to make and can this year.
1. Strawberry jam (check!)
2. Pickles
3. Tomato sauce
4. Applesauce
5. Apple-maple butter

Of course, I haven't had any of my jam, since I am on my Sugar Free Challenge, Day 9. No sugar, artificial sugars, honey, or maple syrup. The only sweet things in my life have been fruit. I did have one little slip up yesterday. We went for ice cream and Ruthie only wanted the cone, not the ice cream. I mean, come on kid, I just spent $3.00 on that scoop. I wasn't going to let it go to waste...but after over a week without sugar, my body was very unhappy with adding it back in. I had a headache the entire day and huge water retention or something. It sucked, and it confirmed what I already knew, that sugar is bad bad bad for you. My challenge is ending tomorrow but I have a feeling I will be consuming much less sugar in the future. Except for chocolate. Let me tell you, there is a reason people add sugar to chocolate. I had a couple chocolate cravings, which I tried to satisfy with unsweetened chocolate. Blech. Disgusting. Although I have been enjoying berries with a drizzle of coconut milk and unsweetened chocolate as my dessert of choice.

I haven't been sewing much this week and I haven't knit anything in over a month now (maybe I should change my blog name?). We've been going on our summer adventures and enjoying the weather and the yard instead. But I do still need to get some dolls sewn for the shops that sell them, so that will be taking up my next few evenings, I'm sure.


Shorts & Pillows

I made Oliver some PJ shorts. Very comfy and oversized, which is perfect for the ever-growing boy.

 I also finished some pillow covers out of scraps, to match the new curtains. Now to paint and get some new pictures for the walls.

This week is all about making a new batch of dolls for the shops to stock and test sewing a cute little pattern for an amazing designer! Yay for that!


Baby Gifts and Missing Daddy

An old friend is having a baby boy and I was lucky enough to go to her baby shower this week (thanks Mom for babysitting!). I decided even baby boys need a hat of sorts, and I found a very cute pattern here. I had enough leftover fabric for a "daddy" doll.

In fact, I had enough for two daddy dolls, so I made one for my kids who are missing their daddy pretty hard right now. 


Swing Top

Reversible. Cute and easy. I used snaps because my buttonhole maker is on the fritz. Tutorial was found here. This is the original 6-12 month size; Ruthie is a peanut and it fits perfectly as a tunic type thing. But of course, Ruthie prefers to be in the buff. :)


I'm still making things. Sorry for the low post levels this summer. I'm busy! My kids and I are solo this week and we're packing it full of activities to keep our (my) sanity. I'm very thankful for grandparents and the relief they offer me!

I have a few half-finished things I have been working on in the long evenings after the kids go to bed. Some are for a baby shower, so I can't show you photos yet, but rest assured they are cute cute cute. I may have even made a few to sell in the shop. Stay tuned.

I have a swing top finished for Ruthie except the buttonholes. My machine decided it wants to eat fabric instead of creating buttonholes. I need to get it repaired. Maybe I will stop and get snaps for the top just to have it done. I have some little train shorts cut out for Oliver that I just need to sew together (easy), and then I have some curtains to finish up. Think I can do all that before Ben gets home on Saturday? I bet I can. The evenings are boring without him around.

In other news, I finally hit 15 pounds lost in my little weight loss adventure. Yay, me! I decided on a whim I am doing a sugar-free challenge for the next 10 days (June 20-30). Dangerous timing with being a single mother, too, but I think it will be good for me. If you want to join too, the sign up is here (one of the millions of blogs I follow).

June is half over now and yikes, didn't it just begin!?

(By the way - not a single photo in my post - WHAT! Sorry about that.)


Little Pillowcase Lace Shirt

I technically made this as a dress for Ruthie, but Clara saw it, gasped, and asked if she could keep it. It fits her perfectly as a shirt, so it's hers. Of course now she tells me it needs a flamingo on the front. Hmm, not so sure about that.

I used the sweet little dress pattern, but omitted the sleeves, making it a simple pillowcase dress. Then I just hemmed the armholes and added some lace at the bottom and through the top casing. Easy. All together it took about 30 minutes. The lace is from my pile of vintage notions, and the fabric is Kona cotton.

I also did a quick hem to some of Oliver's old pants to make them into shorts. That boy grows like a weed, and all of his pants that fit in the winter are now fitting like capris. Luckily, it's easy enough to chop them off and make them into shorts.


Chocolate Chip Spice Doughnuts

I've been playing with my grandma's old recipes. My mom compiled all her recipes into a book and I've been making recipes here and there from it. One is a doughnut recipe, but it called for frying the doughnuts and I wanted to bake them in my doughnut pan and add a few flavors to it. Here's the result. I wasn't going to post this today, but hey, it's National Doughnut Day, so enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Spice Doughnuts
Makes 12 doughnuts

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking spice (I got mine from Penzeys Spices, but you can sub a mix of nutmeg and cinnamon if you want)
1 egg
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
3/4 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (I was out and used regular, slightly chopped up)

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a doughnut pan. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk dry ingredients. Separately, whisk wet ingredients together, then mix wet into dry until well blended. If dough is too thick, stir in additional milk (I had to add another 1/4 cup the second time I made these). Stir in chocolate chips. Fill doughnut pan basins 3/4 full. Bake in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Turn out of pan and let cool on cooling rack. Remember to re-grease the pan for the second batch if you only have a six slot pan like I do! Once cool, dip in glaze and let harden.

1 cup powdered sugar
4 Tbsp milk
dash of vanilla

Whisk ingredients together in a bowl. Dip doughnuts and let dry on a cooling rack set over wax paper (to catch the drips). Let harden.

I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

1950s Baby Pinafore

No more photos, please!