About The Country Wife Blog

Friday, March 27, 2015


Not so long ago a young woman at our church was expecting a baby.  There was going to be a baby shower for which I wanted to provide a gift.  I have come to love the darling "onesies" that so many little babies sport these days. 

Because I have the use of a Cricut Expression machine and because I heard it was possible to cut fabric designs with this machine, I decided to give it a try. I found a very pink baby onesie, washed it in good shape, then went to work on a design.

A cupcake was one of the designs on the Wild Card cartridge so I cut out several different sized cupcakes from paper to see how they would look on the onesie.  I settled on a 2-inch cupcake.

The next thing was to try to cut out fabric.  In order to cut out fabric, the fabric needs to be very stiff.  To accomplish this feat, I made several false starts, i.e. failures.  Finally I came up with a system that worked.

Wash a piece of 100% cotton fabric and iron it smooth. Spray starch on the front of the fabric and iron it on.  Repeat two more times.  Next apply Steam a Seam2 or Ultra Bond and Hold to the wrong side of the fabric to be cut.  Leave the backing paper on the fabric and apply the fabric/Steam a Seam piece to the Cricut cutting mat and press down very well so there is contact with every bit of the paper backing.  Increase the pressure on the Cricut to max and the cutting depth to 5 or 6. Set the speed of the cut to about 3.  Cut the starched fabric/glue/paper sandwich.

Remove from the cutting mat then remove the backing paper from the fabric.  Place the design (cupcake) onto the onesie and iron on according to the directions on the Steam a Seam package.

You now have a cute little decorated onesie. 

Since I liked  the idea of "babycakes", I used Cricut Craft Room software to make the Babycakes label.  Fun.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Cards again

Recently I went to a Stamp Camp or some such thing.  A very nice Stampin Up demonstrator showed seven women how to make three cards.  There was a fifteen dollar fee involved plus two hours of time on a Monday evening.  I really enjoyed it.

Here are the cards I made:

It was a fun time and I got some good ideas, plus had the opportunity to try out the Big Shot some more with dies...maybe framelit dies?  Of course I did see a great deal of stuff I now need...!  I think I better not go to very many more of these occasions...

Friday, March 20, 2015

Another Card

With the Cricut Expression machine M gave me, I have been having a great deal of fun.

Cricut has some software called Cricut Craft Room.  This software allows you to do many things while connecting your computer to your Cricut machine.  Having seen a cute card somewhere with a penguin on it, I thought I might try a Br-r-r-day card.

With the Craft Room software I was able to nudge the letters in the greeting together which made a darling card, if I do say so myself.  Since it was several weeks ago, I have forgotten who received it, but...this is what it looked like:

I do rather think it is a cute card!  I am thinking of making more of them!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Oven Fried Potatoes

In our house a favorite treats is fried potatoes.  These can be hashed brown potatoes.  They can be French-fried potatoes.  They can be diced potatoes.  They can be thinly slice potatoes.  Any potato, bathed in grease of some kind, and brought to a golden brown, is just what is wanted on a pretty regular basis.  We never don't have potatoes lying around waiting to be turned into a densely calorie bit of tasty heaven.  Sad, but true.

Well...recently I was watching an episode of America's Test Kitchen where they were making oven fried potatoes.  This seemed like a likely possibility so I got started really soon after watching.

This is what I did:

1. Scrub several pounds of russet potatoes then cut into 1/2 inch slices.  Yes, this does see like they are too thick, but trust me, they are perfect.

2. Place a large rimmed pan in the oven at 450 degrees F. to preheat.

3.  Put the potatoes in a big pot and cover with water by only a little.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and let simmer until potatoes are nearly, but not quite,  cooked.  This will take about 5-6 minutes.

4.  Drain potatoes and return to pot. Drizzle 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt over the potatoes and gently stir to cover potatoes with the oil and salt.  When done, drizzle 2 MORE Tablespoons vegetable oil and 1 MORE teaspoon of salt over potatoes and again gently fold them to get the potatoes coated with the oil and salt.  By this time there will seem to be some sort of smeary stuff on the outside of the potatoes.  This is the starch, which is your friend here.

5.  Carefully removed heated pan from the oven, add 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil to the pan and dump on the potatoes and form a single layer .  Return pan to oven and bake for 10 minutes then turn pan around in the oven.  Bake another 10 minutes, until bottoms of potatoes are nicely browned.  Remove pan from oven and carefully turn over each potato slice so the other side can become brown.  Return to oven and let bake another 10-15 minutes.

They are delicious.  They disappear really quickly!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Cabbage Soup Project

Recently I acquired two big beautiful cabbages.  This happened at the same time that I wanted to "clean out" our freezer.  Since I had several containers of frozen vegetables, it seemed like the right thing to do.

Below is the recipe I used as a starting point.

Original recipe


  1. Place all in large stock pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Simmer for 1 hour.
  3. Refrigerate all leftovers.

What I actually did:

1 head cabbage, chopped
Onions, sliced (since they were little onions, I don't know how many but it was probably 1 1/2 to 2 pounds
Broccoli florets-three or four heads cut up
Zucchini--three medium, sliced and quartered
Celery--half a bunch...would have used more if I had had more
Red bell peppers--2,  chopped
Green bell peppers--2, chopped
Garlic-1/3 cup cloves, chopped
Carrots-one cup, sliced---would have used more if I had had them
3 quarts water
2 quarts vegetable juice
4 beef bouillon cubes
1 packet Lipton's French onion soup mix
Chop or slice all vegetables. Place in extremely large pot and cover with the water.  Bring to a boil then add onion soup mix and bouillon and stir well.  Reduce heat to simmer and cover pot.  Let cook until all vegetables are soft.  Add vegetable juice, which will bring the soup closer to a temperature that you can eat  a big bowl right away.

The original intention of this soup was to give you a tasty, low calorie soup that you could eat freely.  It is so good that you might want to eat several bowls a day.  You won't need to eat much else, though I do like a slice of whole wheat toast to dip in, but I don't recommend that if you are on a restricted diet for some reason.