Friday, November 28, 2008

Weekend Wisdom

" Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being."
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe~

Monday, November 24, 2008

She's on her way!

I just got back from the Post Office, and sent this lovely lady on her way! I like her so much that I plan on making one for myself, too!

My partner asked for an apron with frills and sparkles. I am absolutely terrible at ruffles, so the plan was to find some cute frilly trim. Once I had the fabrics picked out, I was afraid that a frilly trim would be too much, though. However, I believe this apron sparkles quite a bit without any trim. The red has a pretty shine to it when the light hits it. For the waist band and ties, I used white costume satin. The bottom wedges were created with two fabrics - a silver costume satin underneath a sheer white fabric with snowflakes (and the snowflakes are very sparkly - not that you can tell from this picture, though)!

The pattern is the "Twirl Girl" from A is for Aprons. I have to admit that I was not particularly fond of this pattern until my partner from the last FAS sent me her beautiful creation using this pattern!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Christmas Must-Watch Movies

We have a list of movies that we absolutely MUST watch between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We usually watch the same classics every year, and add in one or two newer movies. Here's our list so far:

A Christmas Story

Christmas Vacation

Frosty the Snowman

Holiday Inn
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

Yes, we watch both of them. We can't get enough of Whoville!

It's A Wonderful Life

Miracle on 34th Street

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

White Christmas

Last, but not least, we always watch "A Claymation Christmas Celebration" at my mom's. Does anybody remember this? The California Raisins were just one of the "acts" singing Christmas Carols. My mom recorded it way back in 1987 when it was on TV, and I've yet to find it on DVD. Luckily, I was able to find it on YouTube!

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Friday, November 21, 2008

Weekend Wisdom

"Don't gossip - particularily about other women. Don't make sarcastic and catty remarks. Kindness is the secret to true femininity."
~Carol Landis~

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Vintage Thingies Thursday - My mom!

If I had to use one word to describe my mom, I think it would be BEAUTIFUL.

She first brought joy to my grandparents in 1955 at a time when they desperately needed it (mom's sister was still born the year before). Since then, she has brought love and kindness to everybody she has come in contact with. Everybody who has met my mom loves her. She makes you feel good about yourself even when you're at your lowest point.

As a mom, she has worked hard to give my brothers and I all the important things in life: love, trust, support, generosity, independence, honesty. When my brothers or I are faced with a difficult decision, she listens to our worries, talks to us about all the possibilies, and lets us know that whatever we decide, she's there.

We had a conversation a while back when I told her that I try to be as good a mom to my kids as she has been to me. She said that's how she has felt about my grandma (another amazing woman), so it's no wonder why my mom is the person she is.

So, how can I forget to tell this beautiful person Happy Birthday? I don't know.

Happy Birthday, MOM (11 days late)!
My mom and uncle Tom on Easter in 1958 or '59.
If you ever go to Fort Robinson in the Nebraska panhandle, my mom lived in Adobe 9A until she was 11 years old. Grandpa used to work for the Meat Animal Research Center, and they were located in Fort Rob before moving to central Nebraska.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Happy 8th Birthday!

How can this little guy...

turn into this so fast?

Happy 8th Birthday, my first born, my Tater Bug!

Monday, November 17, 2008


Wednesday morning, we will be saying our final farewell to a good man. Jeremy's Grandpa George left us Saturday night to go be with his beloved wife, Nellie.

Life was pretty unkind to George in his youth, but he grew up to be a very good man who will be missed by all.

The photo above is from George's 100th birthday party in March 2007. There's my father-in-law Jim, Jeremy holding Landon, George, and Taylor. Four generations of strong, proud, and kind Nabower men.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Weekend Wisdom

"We make a living by what we get but we make a life by what we give."
~Winston Churchill~

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank you

What do you say to someone who willingly put themselves in danger to fight for your freedom? What do you say to the families who loved someone that gave their life trying to make our world a little better? There aren't words, so I'll just say this;

To all of America's veterans, current military men and women, and their families, thank you. You have my deepest gratitude and highest admiration.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Knit Your Bit

Veterans Day is less than two weeks away. In honor of our veterans, I have decided to host a “Knit your Bit” event. Knit your Bit is a program the Red Cross started in WWI and brought back again in WWII. Then, the American men and women (and even children) at home were asked to knit items that could be sent overseas to help keep our soldiers warm. Recently, Knit your Bit has come back through various organizations, asking people to knit or crochet items that can be given to our veterans.

It breaks my heart to know that there are many men and women who are now living in nursing homes around the country, whose families rarely (and sometimes) never visit. I am asking for your help to bring a little joy into the lives of our veterans. There are a few ways you can help, whether you're a knitter or not:

1- Knit or crochet an item such as a scarf, hat, or an afghan
2- Quilted items (lap blankets, and I’ve also seen quilted scarves) are welcome
3- If you’re not a knitter, crocheter, or quilter, but would still like to help, I am also accepting monetary donations to help with the cost of postage
4- If none of the above options appeal to you, a simple note of thanks to our veterans would also be very much appreciated

How do you sign up?
It’s easy. Just send an email to Summerstead(at)gmail(dot)com with your name and how you would like to help with this cause.

Knit your Bit Requirements:
1. If you are sending an item, please include washing instructions
2. Be sure to also include your name and address so that we can thank you for your generosity.
3. Please have your gift in the mail no later than December 5th (although late items will not be turned away). The plan is to have your gift in the hands of a veteran before Christmas.

I should also mention where your gifts will be going. They will be going all over the country. With each gift, I'll randomly pick a town somewhere in the US, and find a veteran in that town. If any of you have any suggestions, feel free to share them with me.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Weekend Wisdom

"There's a magical tie to the land of our home, which the heart cannot break, though the footsteps may roam."
~Eliza Cook~
The above photo was taken by my great-grandma of our family farm, standing by the house, facing the chicken coop and barn. While there is now only one person left who physically lived there (and even he is no longer able to live at the farm), the farm is the one place we have all always felt at home. When the farm was sold, I took some jars and filled them with some of the land, so we can all keep a piece of the farm with us.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Vintage Thingies Thursday - Hats

These two stylish ladies are wearing a couple of my great-grandmother's hats. There are more of her hats "on loan" at my mom and uncle's houses until I can find a more suitable way to display them all (these ladies really freak my husband out)! We have several pictures of Grandma Alice in her hats during the 1920's through 1960's.

I love this navy hat with the tulle and flowers, also the way it sits on a lady's head.

I've always been a fan of hats with veils. I need to take this one to Stuhr Museum, and ask the ladies there if they know of a way to fix the hole in the veil.

You never see ladies out in their hats and white gloves anymore. Maybe we should see about bringing that style back...

For more vintage thingies, visit here.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Congratulations to our new President-Elect!

Like I said in my previous post, I didn't vote for him, but I do like to listen to him talk - now I'll get to!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I voted today, and I have to admit that it was a tough decision. Had it been a choice between McCain and Clinton or Obama and any of the other Republican candidates, it would have been easy.

I like both McCain and Obama. I wrote up a list of pros and cons and a list of what I agree with and disagree with for each candidate, but they were equal. I decided that politicians will say pretty much anything to get elected, but once they're in office, what they say and what they do can be two very different things.

I love listening to Obama talk. I could listen to that man all day long, and I think he's an amazing man with some wonderful ideas.

But, I voted for McCain. It's my opinion that he has proven himself in ways that Obama just couldn't.

Our country desperately needs a change, and I think both candidates are fully aware of that.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Scary Pumpkin Tutorial

Supplies needed:
plastic bag (any size)
Wire cutters
Dowel/small block of wood
Cardboard egg carton
masking tape
Wallpaper paste (mix with water)
Monster Mud (mix paper insulation with the wallpaper paste)
Glue Gun
cardboard (we used Pepsi and Mountain Dew cases, and they worked really well)
Latex Paint
-light brown/tan
Pumpkin light (NOT a candle)


1. Fill plastic bag with crumpled newspaper (we used a Wal-Mart sack for the little one, and 13-gallon trash bags for the larger pumpkins)

2. After tying & taping the bag shut, you will need to stick a piece of wire into the bottom and up through the top. Wind each end of the wire around a 2-3 inch length of a dowel (ours was about 1" thick and 2" long). Hold one dowel while continuing to wind the other one to form the indents in the top and bottom. Secure with tape.

3. With the string (cotton kitchen string works well), make 6-8 creases by just wrapping your string tightly around the bag, and secure both ends with tape. Then, cover all the string with tape. We found that we were able to make the creases deeper as we were taping.

4. If you want a stem, simply take a few separate cups from a cardboard egg carton and stuff eash with newspaper. Place and secure cups one at a time until you have the desired shape and size of your stem.

5. Rip a LOT of newspaper into strips. The bigger the pumpkin, the bigger the strips you can use. Just be sure to have some smaller ones to use on the stem.

6. Mache, mache, mache. Then paper mache some more. You'll need many layers (I think we put on between 8-12).

7. Cut a good sized hole in the bottom of your pumpkin, and pull the bag and all the stuffing out (it works best to put a hole in the bag, pull the newspaper stuffing out, then unstick the bag from the sides).

8. Draw your face on the pumpkin and carve it out.

9. Cut strips out of your cardboard and hot glue the strips to the pumpkin face to the strips stick out about an inch or more.

10. Make your monster mud by mixing the insulation with the wallpaper paste. Use the mud to build up the shape of your pumpkin and the pumkin's face. Be careful not to put too much mud on or your pumpkin will collapse (trust me on this one)!

11. Once it is all dry it needs to be painted. This is the order that worked best for us:
- Do the outside base coat in black
- Paint the inside of the pumpkin - we tried spray paint, but we couldn't bend our arms to get into all the places that needed covering, so we went back to regular paint. We also painted ours black, but I think if we had gone with orange or yellow, they would have been easier to light.
- Dry brush the outside white, then orange
- Use yellow to accent the "humps" on top and around the face.
- You can also dry brush brown or tan into the creases and to help blend the colors together.
- Paint your stem

12. Light up and display!
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