Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Sweet Baby...and a Big Pot of Beans

Happy Saturday! Hope you're all having a wonderful day with family. We've had fun today--hardly home at all. I love busy days, but I DO love being home...especially on days like today. Suddenly, it really feels like fall! It's chilly, and even my cozy flannel shirt wasn't warm enough today at my daughter's soccer game.

Just got one project to share with you today, I've got more in the works (too many more!) but nothing ready to show you yet!

I love these new Vintage Postcard Kits from Crafty Secrets--what's not to love?!!! This one, "Baby Girl", is just filled with precious, vintage images. This one is especially dear to me--looks just like the cover of my old, satin-covered baby book. Wish I could find's around here somewhere!

I sponged the edges with my favorite "Vintage Photo" ink, surrounded the chipboard with pink pom-pom trim, added just a touch of Dazzling Diamonds to the star-shaped image at the bottom.

Here's a close-up of my favorite part--I just thought to add a little sentiment in the old-fashioned looking baby name beads and to put them on safety pins. Love the way it turned out! Then I added another vintage touch--those sweet paper flowers I remember so much as a little girl. I used to love these, and had a little basket filled with them.

Now, I'm off to fix dinner. Been cooking pinto beans today, and we'll be having huevos rancheros for dinner. We like to do breakfast dinners once in a while--a fun switch!

I'll share my Grandma Smith's bean recipe with you--very simple, and SO delicious!
Here's a young picture of my beautiful Grandmother--LONG before she was a grandmother... I just love this picture, so thought I'd add it here.

Ruby LaPriel Riggs Smith

My Dad tells me that almost every Friday, she would cook up a big pot of pinto beans, and then they'd have a simple meal of deliciously soft and warm corn tortillas, the beans and some homemade chili, which I usually prepare with it. I'll share that with you next time I make it.

I love cooking traditional family meals for my family--helps me to feel connected with the generations past. This is one of those for me--simple, but special, and I think of my Grandmother each and every time...

Here's what you do for some of the BEST beans you will ever eat!

Take a 4-lb. bag of pinto beans--rinse them well and add to a large pot of water. Add a fair amount of salt (a few shakes!) and let them soak, covered, overnight. As soon as possible the next morning, bring them to a boil. Add a stick of butter--yep, that's the secret! Then, just let it simmer till the beans are nice & soft. Heavenly!

(You can obviously use a smaller bag of beans--I just do a big bag as my family loves Mexican food, and we'll probably use the beans for 3 different meals throughout the week.)

My husband likes to take some of the beans, mash them up and make refried beans--I let him do this part--makes him happy!

Well, that's it for tonight. Hope you have a wonderful evening with those you love. I'll be back soon with something new.

***Funny how things all seem to be connected.....I was just reading over my post to see if I'd messed anything up in my hurry to get it done, and I thought of my Grandma Smith again...and remembered my Mom telling me this little thing... This won't be interesting to anyone else but my family, probably, but I really wanted to add this here.

I was the first grandchild born to both sides of the family--a big deal was made, of course! Once, my grandma convinced my young parents to leave me with her for a while & go do something together--don't recall what they did, but after they left, she called & arranged for a photographer to come to her home and take portraits of me. I have probably 3 or 4 sheets of proofs from that day--I love them! Here's one I'll post, taken on my grandparent's bed, all those years ago. They are both gone long ago, Grandma when I was only 3 1/2 years old, but I still have a little girl's memories of her...So a "sweet baby" and a pot of beans have a connection after all...and I started this post thinking they had nothing at all in common.....


  1. This is absolutely exquisite!! I LOVE the baby bracelet beads, the sponging and the ball fringe!! I love everything you make, actually!

  2. Julie--I love your blog. It is so fun to see and read about your "works of art" Truly treasures. Mom's bean were absolutely the best. I also loved them when she made fresh bread to eat with them. We also always had baked beans from them every Sunday dinner. Try as hard as I can, I have never been able to duplicate those baked beans and often as I make a Sunday roast I think about those beans. Dad loved a good bake bean sandwich sometimes Sunday night on Moms breqad. Those were the best days....Where can I get the Storytime Vintage Postcard KIt? I really want it. Also, can you possible email me a copy of the postcard written by grandma pauline and a copy of Augusta's pictur??? No, I will not duplicate your card--but I do like it lots. Did you remember that the photo of my mother was taken when she was 17 and had been named Miss Boise Idaho. I remember when those pictures were taken of you--you were the princess for sure...As I make beeded bracelets with my grandaughters I remember back to the sweetest, cutest little neice in came in our back door and ran to my room and came out wearing every bracelt I owned. It was your routine for a long time. Keep on posting your cards---they brighten my day. Lots of love to you and family...Aunt Diana

  3. ps--sorry for the misspelled words--it is late for me. My email is

  4. Great post! I have, in my baby book, my little beaded bracelet with my name on it. My sisters don't have one in theirs but I think I remember my mom telling me that they accidently didn't take mine off when I left the hospital so she got to keep it. Do you know if these really were hospital bracelets at one time? I'll have to ask my mom about that. Thanks for the memories...and isn't it funny what we ate growing up? Kids now would think eating beans and bread was no treat! Good reminder to simplify!
    Snow....this is so unusual here and we might get more tonight. NOT good for trying to harvest. Local orchards have lost some of their apple crop due to the hard freezes we've already had. The trees are still green but the leaves are falling like rain. Praying we get a nice long "Indian summer" yet.

  5. Beautiful "baby girl" tag - I love the safety pins, too. And a beautiful grandmother!

  6. I love it when aunt diana posts comments she has the sweetest and neatest things to say. I love you sister.... you are truly talented! I couldn't be prouder.

  7. FANTASTIC post my friend! Your creation is precious ... Grandma is BEAUTIFUL and of course the sheet of proofs is priceless! The beans I can do without ... not much of a bean lover although I'm sure it's a wonderful family recipe! I'm so glad you started your blog and can share all these treasures with everyone!!!

  8. You just might have been the cutest baby EVER{and I have four kids}those are the sweetest baby pictures, LOVE the hair♥♥ Grandma's are the best!
    Also, Thanks for the bean recipe. My kids miss their Dads cooking, he used to make the best beans, rice, salsa & soup...unfortunately he passed away and I forgot how to make everything~ they will LOVE the beans :)