April 9, 2010

I don’t know about you, but the quiet in the morning when everyone is in bed is just heavenly.  Of course I’m not talking about  the 5 a.m. morning, but 9:30 a.m. during Easter Break.  The cats are running around, the TV is off, hot tea is at hand– ahhh…..

I have lots of catching up to do- and I will!  I think I will even try to schedule posts for publishing on subsequent days—ooooh!

First up- those Christmas gifts I said forever ago I was going to post.

For the kids I made Christmas quilts and matching pillowcases. The quilts are just a simple checkerboard of 2 fabrics. Flannel on the backs.

 girl quilt

 boy quilt

Sorry for the bad photos!  Bad lighting and all…

For the grandparents I made silhouettes of the kids. Easy-peasy, looks fancy- just takes time.   I photographed the kids’ shadows (or you could photograph a side view of their heads on a light background) and then printed them on regular paper in black and white.  [Mind you, I don’t have Photoshop or such, or this could be a LOT easier] I outlined the heads in pen, cut them out, and then scanned that into the computer again.  I did this so I could print the silhouettes directly onto nice paper in the future.  I printed these onto blue paper in this case, cut them out, and mounted them on scrapbook paper in frames (all cheap, from Michaels).

Lastly I made a doll for my daughter!  I used the Mimi Kirschner pattern on purl bee.  “Virginia,” as she was named on Christmas day, was not hard to make- just time consuming.  It took me probably 6 hours to do the doll itself. (I’m sorta guessing- I started after the kids left for school and finished right before they got home. I DID have lunch and all in there too…) The dress and embellishments took a few more hours.

I used a combination of purchased wool felt and wool I felted myself.  I really like her hair- it’s plaid! I thought that was cool to infer highlights and shades and all instead of plain monotone brown.

I have 2 more partially done- well, one started and one planned in my head!!

And lastly I decorated these houses (for ME!)- bought at Michaels. I wanted them to look vintage, and they came out more Mary Englebreit. Still very cute!  I used those crazy cheap Christmas picks for decoration- I thought I was smart to use them for trees and bushes.  The only problem was that they melted easily in the hot glue- made it tricky.  The other decorations were tiny tree ornaments and pipe cleaners.

That’s it for now!


How can it be July?  I mean seriously, the kids have been out of school for like a week, right?  What?  It’s been more like four weeks? Really?!?

I don’t know why every year I kid myself by thinking that summer will be relaxing.  It’s been CRAZY busy- parties and funerals (not funeral parties- that’s weird!), trips here and there, worrying about relatives with cancer, orthodontist appts., speaking engagement, trip to the lake, etc.  And now I’m getting ready to leave on another trip for a few weeks.

I’d love to say I’ve been sewing and crafting, but I haven’t much.  Well, I have been in the past week though- I’m trying to get Christmas presents [did she really just say that?!?] done so I can take them on my trip, which is also where we will be for Xmas (14 hours away by car).  If I get them done NOW that one less thing to worry about LATER.

I’ve been making Xmas pillowcases for all the family members who will be there in December- aw!!!  I thought it was a cute idea.  I’m using the pattern from Connecting Threads.  And I’m making quilts for the kids- I’ll have to show you those and explain them later.  Nothing crazy complicated-

And for myself, I made and am in the process of making more of these adorable and simple buttercup bags.   The pattern is easy, it goes together quickly, and only take a fat quarter of fabric for each the outside and the lining!  What a great use for a gorgeous fat quarter. My only suggestion is to add interfacing to the lining fabric- it’s a bit floppy if you use fine fabric.

Buttercup Bag

I made my first because I wanted a bag to go with the dress I purchased to wear to the UFDC convention banquet. (Yes, I’m going to the doll convention next week!) I like how it’s similar but doesn’t match. ( I say that because I picked the bag fabric while trying to remember what the dress looked like, and it’s exact shades of blue!)

And if packing and all wasn’t enough, we were adopted a few weeks ago by a sweet, and pregnant, cat.  So we set up a nursery on our screened in porch, and late Sunday night she had the kittens.  We were excited- three kittens! I thought, I can probably find home for 3 kittens…… The next morning we got up to check on them- there were SEVEN kittens.  Whoa.  (she obviously wasn’t done)  Hubby will have to be their nurse while we are gone!  But Rose is a good mama, so we know they are in good hands.

one day old

And to close, I will leave you with a great recipe I’ve made three times in the past month.  It’s from a publication called “Let’s Do Lunch” In Southwest Virginia: A Memoir . (I think it’s out of print- it was a limited edition printed last year by a lovely lady at my mom’s church. ) This recipes is very economical too if you buy the peppers from Dollar Tree- seriously!! That place is a gold mine.

Roasted Red Pepper Spread

  • 1- 8 oz. pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1- 8 oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/4 t. garlic powder

– Gently beat cream cheese at low speed with hand mixer; set aside.  Drain the peppers, chop, and add to cream cherese with the thyme and garlic powder.  Transfer to fancy serving bowl and serve with crackers.

[Sam’s note- I just whiz it all in the food processor- quick and easy. And bec. the peppers I get at Dollar Tree are 12 0z., I just add more cream cheese and spices accordingly.]

I’ll be taking my laptop with me, so hopefully I can post some more while I’m gone.  And I’m going to try to work on my hexagons too!

Bye till later!


It’s May

May 15, 2009

Goodness time flies!

No new soups recently.  I’ve been busy, and the weather has been crazy- hot, cold, rain.  I’ve also been subbing in our school district.  Quite the shock to my system!  As one girl said, I need to “get mean.”  I usually have to get another teacher to give the class the evil eye to make them quiet down.  I did high school ONCE- they scared me!  The middle school wasn’t too bad- still were loud.  My favorite so far is subbing in the preK special education class.  I was an aide to one student yesterday-that was good too.

My doll bed?  Still not painted, but more hexies have been made.  I haven’t tried to assemble them yet- guess I better get started.

I have to go sub soon, but I wanted to post about a MAY GIVEAWAY over at Sew, Mama, Sew !!!!!

I might even pull myself together and participate!!!! (Beyond going to EVERY blog and entering their drawing)

Ok- off I go.  Lots to do.  (Strawberries ame in early this year- for you too?  I have jam to make…….. tomorrow though!)


Say it Ain’t So!!

April 21, 2009


Hallmark Magazine, which I really like, is no more.  This sucks.  Too many good magazine are folding.  And WHY don’t they keep their websites up?!?!  Mary Englebreit, and now Hallmark- all the templates and recipes and stuff are gone.  They are big companies- can’t they just stay there, static??

Moving on……… I’m glad Easter is over. I mean I love Easter, but all the hoop-la of the past month is done, and I’m glad.  We had a quilt raffle at church (no I DON’T know how much we made yet, thank you for asking- we are counting this week!) and it is over.

Right now I’m working on a project- very cute.  I’m going to the UFDC convention in Atlanta this summer (my 1st time), and one thing they ask for is donation for their “helper room”- technically NOT a raffle.  You can buy chances and put your name in the hat for whatever you like. Well, I saw a doll bed at the Salvation Army and decided I’m going to fix it up and take it.  This is what it looks like now:

doll bed- before

Why did everyone paint everything that yucky brownish- yellow color anyway?  I’m going to repaint it, sew a mattress and pillow and linens.

And on top of that- (literally)- will be what I’m currently working on- a bed spread or quilt of some sort.  I sound so wishy-washy bec. I have a few irons in the oven at once- I’m not sure which will get done first!  I have daughter working on a yo-yo coverlet- she’s really taken to it and can make them from knotting the thread to the end. (I love to see kids sew!) 

I myself and doing what I said I’d never do, unless I was incarcerated for life- English paper piecing, or Grandma’s Flower Garden.  It’s all by hand. Yup.  And for a doll bed, the pieces have to be pretty small.

little hexies

I have more than just these made- this is just an illustration of what it will look like.  I’ve estimated that I will need over 200 of those buggers- HA HA HA!!!  And not just basted, as shown, but actually sewn TOGETHER.  And going full circle, this is why I say I have a couple irons in the oven for the doll bed covering.  But it’s fun.

I need to get some things done today, but I did make this soup last night- Spinach Lentil soup.  As always I kinda followed the recipe.  More lentils (about 1/2 lb.), more sausage, added garlic, cumin, garam masala, more broth than water, etc.   Mine turned out very thick- less a soup than just a dish.  Daughter amazingly liked it and asked for it in her lunch tomorrow!

Till next time!


And Now It’s Saturday

January 24, 2009

One of my kids had an overnight guest, so yesterday was a flurry of cleaning, making beds, buying chips and pizza.  AND my sewing machine was put away- I can’t wait to get it back out!! 

I’m WAAAY behind on my birthday quilt- surprise surprise!  “Stuff” has just come up, as stuff does.  I’ve also been working on items for my church’s craft bazaar this Spring.  I belong to a few church groups that will be selling things, one of which is my quilting group.  We are making coasters – yeah, I know it’s not an original pattern, but it’s quite basic, and it’s not like we are selling these on etsy.  So I’ve made LOADS out of all kinds of scraps and other donated fabrics not suitable for quilts (frugal!).


Did you celebrate National Pie Day yesterday?? I did!  We went with a basic apple pie.  DH requested peach, but I had to remind him that it’s not peach season (I like to eat seasonally- kids need to know strawberries = May/June where we live!!!).

I need to make my soup swap soup today too- YES!! anyone  in my swap reading this- I put it off to the last minute. Happy Soup Swap Day too!

Off to get ready to go to a memorial service- I’ll leave you with a TNT bar cookie recipe I’m taking with me.  Quick tonwhip up, fairly healthy, and everyone always likes them.  I’ve used all kinds of preserves too- blackberry, apricot, strawberry, etc.  My only change- I often don’t have fruit juice, so I just use water.  With the sweet fruit spread you can’t taste the difference.

Apricot Oatmeal Bars

1 c. quick oats
1 c. flour
2/3 c. packed light brown sugar

1/4 t. salt

1/4 t. baking soda

1/4 c. vegetable oil

3 T. apple or cranberry juice

1- 10 oz. jar apricot preserves, preferably “all-fruit” (1 scant cup) (or other flavor all-fruit) (Regular preserves work too- just has more sugar)

– Preheat oven to 325*. lightly oil (or spray with non-stick spray) an 8×12″ baking dish; set aside.

– In a large bowl, work oats —-> soda until no lumps of sugar remain. Drizzle with oil and juice and mix with fingertips until evenly moist and crumbly.

– Set aside 1/2 c. for topping; press remainder evenly in bottom of dish. Spread preserves over top. Sprinkle with reserved oat topping.

– Bake 30-40 minutes or until golden.

– Let cool in baking dish on a rack. Cut into 15 bars. Store at room temp. in airtight container.




Soup Monday

January 6, 2009

Yes, I realize today is TUESDAY, but so what!!!  I think I’m going to start having Soup Mondays- hopefully often featuring a soup recipe I made that day. Or…..in this case, the night before.

Last night I made Hungarian Mushroom Soup – two thumbs up!!!  It was very easy, I actually followed the directions (not something I usually do)- except I didn’t have any parsley.  My kids liked it too- REALLY!!! (But my kids are weird- they like beets and asparagus and such).

soup (not my photo!)

Daughter asked what we were having for dinner, and I replied “hungarian mushroom soup.”  She said that’s good, because she was very “hungar-y.”  Ha ha!!!

I also made herb bread in the bread machine.

Onward and upward- I need to get on with the day.  I also need to start on my birthday quilt- I’ll show you later, when it’s underway.


Little Quilt

November 12, 2008

I finished my little quilt for the ALQ swap. I hope my partner is happy- it’s not perfect, but I liked my use of color with the pattern.


I used fabric I had in my stash- amazing, considering my partner likes lime green and cool blues- which I like too, but I don’t have many.  I got a little off that though, with my chartreuse there in the center and that cool striped fabric, but it’s close.  And of course, it wasn’t until AFTER I planned it all out and started sewing that I remember paper-piecing with directional fabric is nearly IMPOSSIBLE.  Sorry swapee!!!  But i liked the vintage dark blue/green fabric in the center of the stars.  The background was a challenge and I did buy that one- I envisioned a very light chartreuse/yellow (impossible), but found and chose that olivey green.  I’m happy with it.

I also enclosed a few other goodies- one of my favorite recipes (I think my swapee is a vegetarian, maybe even vegan), some tonal green fabrics and a cute frog pincushion.