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My Name is Missy & I’m a Bibliophile

This month was another pretty high volume reading month.  There also seemed to be a theme: Regency Romance (with a couple YA fiction thrown in).  I won’t give a little run down of each one like I usually do since they were all pretty similar and great but here are my 3 favorite: Just Ella, The Kiss of a Stranger & The Rejected Suitor.  And don’t worry, they’re not as cheesy as their covers make them – just as cheesy as the average clean romance :)

*please excuse that the covers are cropped.  I couldn’t find a rectangular template :)*

Just Ella – Annette K. Larsen
Timebound – Ryse Walker
Reforming Lord Ragsdale – Carla Kelly
The Defiant Governess – Andrea Pickens
The Kiss of a Stranger – Sarah Eden
Miss Grimsley’s Oxford Career – Carla Kelly
The Rejected Suitor – Teresa McCarthy
The Princess of Egypt Must Die – Stephanie Dray

Stenciled Tote Bag

I decided to finally try something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time.  Stenciling.  I don’t know why I never did it before.  It really is easy.

Stenciled Tote Bag

I had planned to do freezer paper stenciling, but I knew I would have to use my Silhouette to cut out the text and I wasn’t sure if the cutting mat would be too sticky to release the wax paper once it was cut.  In the end I just went with some scrap vinyl I had on hand.


Here is a list of my supplies:

Tote Bag (I just bought a blank from Michaels)
Sun & Clouds Die (from Lifestyle Crafts)
Fabric Paint (or normal acrylic with a fabric medium)
Sponge Brushes
Wax Paper (to put inside bag to keep paint from bleeding through)

Now it’s a pretty easy process.

First I cut out the dies and the text.  I used my Evolution machine to cut out the dies, but used my Silhouette to cut out the text.  You don’t have to worry about reversing the text since you’re using the negative space as a stencil rather than the positive space.

transfer tape

Next, to keep the letter centers (like the circles in the o’s) in place and everything nice and straight I used some masking tape as an alternative to transfer tape since I had none on hand.  It worked pretty well, but was a little more sticky than I would have liked.  I’ve heard that lint roller sheets make a great and inexpensive alternative too.

stencil set

Once you’ve got that all set, just remove the backing and place the stencil on the tote bag.  I used my rub on tool to really make sure that the edges were sealed.  I still ended up having a little bit of bleeding, but not too much.

painted stencil

Now you paint it.  I kind of pounced it on then gently brushed to get rid of any air bubbles.  I’m not sure the brushing part was too necessary, but it made me feel better :)


Then you just wait for it to dry!  It really was such a fun project and I cant wait to try it again!

LSS Coupon Code

Disclosure: I am a member of the fabric team for LifeStyle Crafts/We R Memory Keepers. I receive products of my choosing in exchange for tutorials and projects shared on MissyDear.

Crochet Baby Blanket

As I’ve mentioned before we just moved to North Carolina.  And for a few months we’re living with my sister while we look for a place that we like.

When we were about an hour from pulling up to their house with our big moving truck I sent her a text message that said, “We’re an hour away and I brought the best surprise to show you guys.  I think you’re going to like it.”

Then, an hour later, I walked into her house with my little prego belly and Sue started yelling and jumping up and down.  That was the first that she had heard for my pregnancy and I was 17 weeks along.

Crochet Baby Boy Blanket

We had told all our other family (except my dad who came out 2 days later. I told him then and he cried :) ) at Thanksgiving when I was about 14 weeks along.  We wanted to wait until the doctors took me off of “high risk” status before we let people know.  I waited the few weeks later to tell my dad and sister because they were the only family that we would see in person to share the news.  I wanted to see their reaction, not just hear it.

Well anyway, the point of that little story/tangent was to get to this.  My sister was so excited that the day after Christmas we went out to the yarn store and bought some fabulous yarn for her to crochet a baby blanket for the little man.

Isn’t it gorgeous?  We decided to go with a very simple stitch in a very simple palette and pattern.  I am in love with it.

Crochet baby blanket

The colors we used are (all Kraemer Perfection Worsted Yarn):

Fluff – full skeen
April Shower – full skeen
Winter Lake – half skeen
Sand – full skeen
Winter lake – half skeen
April Shower – full skeen
Fluff – full skeen

and it’s a double crochet stitch with an H hook.

Crochet Blanket

The finished blanket is about 36in x 36in.  Perfect for a little stroller or cuddle blanket.

Good News Minute: Mini Mr. Harding

If you guys have been following me for awhile then you may already know that I have struggled with infertility and pregnancy loss for the past 4+ years.  If you didn’t know that I guess now you do :).  Since 2008 I have had 7 pregnancies, 1 live birth (our amazing 5 yr old Abi) and 2 failed adoptions.  You could say that the “get Abi a sibling” track has pretty much sucked.

Well, guess what?  Prayers are answered and 7 is apparently our lucky prego number.  I am currently 21 weeks with a healthy, and judging by how much he dances, happy little baby boy.  As you can imagine we are BEYOND THRILLED and can’t wait for June to get here so we can meet the little man.

And since every post needs a picture, here is a horrible phone pic from a few weeks ago :)

mini mr harding

Picked From the Tree: German Chocolate Brownies

I come from a long line of divine cooks.  Their recipes were written on hundreds of little cards and shared. Eventually some of those cards were passed on to me.  Every once in a while I like to pull one of those recipes from my ‘family tree’ and get all nostalgic.  ’Picked from the Tree’ is a series where I document those recipes from my family tree and maybe share a memory or two.

German Chocolate Brownies

All my life I had heard about these brownies that my mom used to make.  They were glorious brownies by all accounts.  In fact, Mom had won a few blue ribbons at fairs with the recipe.  I don’t ever remember my mom ever making them (she was battling cancer for most of my childhood so she wasn’t doing much baking anymore) but I really wanted to try them.  They’re German Chocolate which is my very favorite so I just decided to jump in and try them.

German Choco Brownies

German Chocolate Brownies – serves 10×15 pan

1 1/2 cup margarine or butter
3 cup sugar
3 tsp vanilla
6 eggs
9 tbs cocoa
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup chopped nuts

Blend butter & cocoa until light and fluffy. Add eggs, flour, nuts & vanilla.

Bake at 325* for 40 minutes.

1 cup sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 tsp vanilla
1 1/3 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans

Combine sugar, milk, egg yolks & shortening. Stir over med heat until boil.  Stir in vanilla, coconut & pecans.

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