Monday, December 13, 2010

Hold that thought...

This time of year has always been very special to me. A time to share with my sweet children. We bake. We listen to carols. We craft. We curl up under quilts- yes to stay warm, but it's a way to be close, too. A joyful frenzy. Feast days are celebrated with so much thoughtfulness and anticipation. Each child shining like the stars that they are. A time to really appreciate our many blessing, especially of each other. Just being together.

In some ways, this year is no different than past years. We are counting our blessings. Maybe more so. We are spending simple times together- a whole afternoon styling barbie hair, coloring pictures, no baking- but the "spice cake" candle makes us think that we are. The lights twinkle just as brightly. The snow is lovely- perfect for this time of year.

But we've made the decision to "hold that thought." A gentle abiding is in the air. Festivities will come. Celebrations will be renewed. But for now, it is enough to enjoy the snow, the quiet, the peace of the season.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Bunny Stew...
It was amazing. He is a great hunter and an even better cook. You'll notice the weapon is orange tipped- that means it isn't real. It's the latest thing in plastic pellet guns and he shot the bunny in the cellar after a mad dash ala Peter Rabbit and Mr. MacGregor. All that's just logistics after you add taters, onions and carrots! Simmered in a cast iron dutch oven... wow.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies;
For the love which from our birth,
Over and around us lies;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

For the wonder of each hour,
Of the day and of the night;
Hill and vale and tree and flow'r,
Sun and moon, and stars of light;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of ear and eye,
For the heart and mind's delight;
For the mystic harmony,
Linking sense to sound and sight;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child;
Friends on Earth and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

For Thy church that evermore,
Lifteth holy hands above;
Off'ring up on ev'ry shore,
Her pure sacrifice of love;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Some sewing, at last...

first sewing project in over two months. This measures 50x50" and is for my 3rd son, Jacob. He helped me lay it all out because the "simple" pattern was really beyond me. They had you start from the center and work your way out. What's up with that? Not the way my mind works on a good day, and these wouldn't be called good days. So we did one row at a time. Took me four days and now I need to grow it to 60x 76" so that it will fit the minkee blankee that I bought to go with it. I wish it could have been green, his favorite color, but they didn't have any green minkee when I bought it a while back, so this will do. The minkee is a lovely russett color. Lots of chopped off corners in those HST, but not one of my boys would ever even think to mention such a thing. The rust fabs are from my uncle's stash- I weeded some out that didn't call to me, and the backgrounds are from my own even if they did suggest you use the same, but you know me, I like it all scrappy.

I have a new med and it is helping. an improvement. and any improvement is a good thing. Hey, I did laundry, yesterday. wow.

Monday, November 15, 2010


My sister says she needs to see an update here. I was wondering how long I could get by without posting before she started nagging. But she only nags because she loves me.

I haven't been well. Trying to get some meds adjusted so that I can feel more normal. Normal-a tall order, my sister would say. I really would settle for anything in the general vacinity of normal. I can see improvements in some areas, but on the whole, I'm still pretty miserable. I'm hunkering down and just trying to weather it out. These things take time. That's what sweet William keeps telling me, but I'm so impatient to get back to my life. Like it's slipping through my fingers. My days involve reading a little, watching Hulu, avoiding the phone like it's the plague- I'm just not up to casual conversation, and not a single lick of sewing. Maybe it's the lack of sewing that has me so distressed, huh? I've wandered out there a time or two and I still feel a familiar fondness for the colors and textures, but no strength to do anything but turn away from it. Yeah, it's sad and it's getting me down. Basically, it's a waiting game. Increase this med and we'll see you in two weeks. That didn't work? Well, let's try this and we'll see you in two weeks. So this is my life- in two week intervals.

Son, John, drew that picture with one of his Etch-A-Sketches. He is so good at that. I have some of the sweetest, most talented, kids on the planet. I'm not bragging, I'm just stating fact.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Two weeks and no sewing...

Must be some kind of record for me. I haven't been sick. Not very anyway. Just still having to lay low with the allergies, but they are improving everyday that we move away from the harvesting that has taken place around our house. I love living in the middle of farm land, but the harvest- and the spraying- are not my most favorite parts. Beautiful and kind of exciting to see the fields cleared, though.

Oh, I guess I did play some with those puzzle balls, but that's it. OK by me. I have been entertaining myself just fine. Whodathunk?

Hmm... so what have I been up to? Can't rightly recollect! I have been reading some. After two years on a particular medicine that completely scrambled my brain and made my attention span equal to that of a hyperactive flea, it feels so good to be off it and onto another one which, so far, seems much more friendly. So I have lots of reading to catch up on and I have been doing just that. Oh nothing too deep, just dime novels, but I am giddy to be able to do that! I have been cooking more(the c's- cookies, casseroles and cupcakes!) and having the children help me organize some. Months of stashing things willy nilly does catch up with you, eventually. Time to rotate and reevaluate storage. Coming up with some exciting new plans. Things must be bad when you are excited about cleaning out cupboards, huh?

The same quilt has been setting in the quilting frame for the last two weeks. I think it might be responsible for my downward spiril into allergyworld. At least the catalist. Must have been one dusty top- circa 1930. It is gorgeous and I am two passes from finishing it, just happy to see it there for now. Looking forward to showing it to you. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

A rather disappointing finish...
Bekah looks like I feel. No, she isn't pouting. That's the look she gets when she is concentrating. The bottom lip juts out and is too adorable not to snap a picture of. I surprised her, can you tell?

Now, I am pouting. I had such a glorious time sewing these little puzzle balls for my friends- flying up on the wings of anticipation, only to fall to earth with a thud. You'll notice that something is missing. They're rather flat, aren't they? I figured that I would make the balls and then buy the stuffing for them. Jenny Beyer recommends the cotton stuffing as it compacts better into a harder ball. None to be found locally. No problem as that is what the internet is for, right? Shopping. I found cotton stuffing at a wide range of locations- even some organic stuffing, which is what I preferred. It runs an average of $8.50 a lb. A price I was willing to pay. I needed 3 lbs. so $25 and my heart would be happy. Figured $8 for shipping. Nope. $16!! Really? I mean, are you kidding me? $16?? So the poor little balls will have to remain uninflated until I can justify spending $40 to stuff them! Think that will ever happen? I think not. I should have know Jenny would get me into trouble. And I'm kinda addicted to sewing them. Really wanted to try some of the more complicated balls now that I have my friends covered. Kinda takes the bloom off the rose. And to think, I was actually hand sewing! Oh the injustice of it! Waa! Somebody call the "waa-mbulance!"

Friday, September 24, 2010

Nines' tub of shame...

Sandy started the whole thing by asking how many quilt tops I have that need to be quilted... a lot, I figured. Quite a lot. But I hadn't actually counted in a long while so I went digging in the tubs under my counter. After sifting and sorting I came up with one large tub.

First, I would just like to say that this represents an extensive amount of piecing. Right? It's hardly like I haven't been doing anything. Right? The grand total? Well... there are 19 bed-sized quilts and another 10 or so smaller ones. And I call myself a quilter. Shameful. Sigh. And this doesn't include Mom's tub. No, Mom, I am not trying to make you feel guilty. Just stating facts. (amidst the quilt tops were numerous finished quilts. Too many to number, to be honest. I need some of my grown children to come home and take some of them away. And I need to make gifts of some of them. It isn't like I won't make more, you know. Something has to be done about this overwhelming urge to cut and sew...)

So what do I plan to do about the situation? Well I worked at the LQS for two quilt backs, today. And I am going to seriously curb my fabric shopping in favor of backing and batting shopping. And I need to set a date with the quilting machine and stick to it. A little discipline. Wouldn't that be novel? Wish me luck.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I just didn't get any sewing done, yesterday. Now, ain't that sad? I was still beat from gadding about on Tuesday, I think. I did pick out fabric for the Ashes and Soot blocks and then I got busy cleaning house. Took a nap with Abe. I figure it won't be long before he is too big for naps with his Mama. I love watching him sleep. Plus it was a rainy, dreary day.

Isn't that a pretty journal? Darcy gave me one a few years ago with a composition notebook in it. I have used it so much, I must have switched the notebook out several times. This one is filled with sketch paper. Kathy made it- right down to the artwork on the cover. She's a retired art teacher. And one of the most skilled seamstresses you will ever meet. She sews almost all of her own clothes and I am thinking I will buy some batik fabic on sale and have her sew me up a tunic. She's very generous that way. I have been blessed with having some of the sweetest people in my life.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Whadda day!

  • Man, am I beat! Up early. Had a Dr. appointment. I don't know why I always schedule them so early! Guess I just want to get them over with. I do get nervous about them. Shouldn't, but I do. Everything went great.

  • Had lunch with the Wayward Fabric Club- which was yummy and so much fun. But then we needed to help Tanya organize her shop for the big "Going Out Of Business" sale. We just tried to stay upbeat and promised not to make Tanya cry. But it is a sad thing when the local quilt shop has to close. The quilt guild(of which I am no part) has been less than supportive and the economy stinks so... I picked out a bit of fabric at 50% off and plan on helping her out over the next few weeks as she tries to sell as much as possible. The Quilter's Toy Box looks great, and if you're in the area...

  • Ran by JoAnn's and used a 50% off coupon to replenish my batting supply. Tanya carries Dream cotton and I might pick up a few of those, but I really like Warm and Natural batting. It doesn't stretch and is cooler than poly batting. I might set out a few backings for myself, as well. She has some really lovely ones.

  • Now, I came home late. Bekah wants me to put that in. I think she is holding a grudge. I will have to make it up to her tomorrow. Tonight, I am thinking to put my aching feet up and watch a movie. Don't I sound ambitious?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Abe!
He had a birthday, last week, and we are celebrating, today. Sweet William's day off. Abraham is so excited- as only a 7 year old can be. He said he is going to have a fruit theme. Pineapple, pears, grapes, oranges. Then, there's the poppyseed chicken- which I suspect his brothers put him up to. Followed by a candybar cake. We'll be taking the kids to the apple orchard just down the road, later, today. Full of fun.
Non-Triangle therapy...
The top quilt is just a weekend project. I still need to join the blocks and make the checkerboard borders. The pattern called for plaids but since I don't have any... thought batiks would do. I used up a lot of my 2" strips. Makes one realize just how much stash one has! Might need to make another one to use up the rest of the my 2" batik strips. Sub-cut to 5". Cut some more 5" blocks to go with and the blocks are pretty much done. I started this as something to do between making flying geese blocks. I need 360 of them and well, it's rather tedious. Sandy said I was doing it all wrong- should have worked a little while on each project, just to keep it more interesting and give me a break from the flying geese. I have trouble setting aside a project once I pick it up. Oh well, maybe I'll get more flying geese done, today. In between birthday clebrations.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Magic Doilies...

I'm Hooked!
I know most of you need another hobby like you need another hole in your head. But this is one that I just enjoy so much. I thought I'd be selfish not to share. Most of you know I crochet doilies. Lots of doilies.
Funny thing, I can't follow a standard pattern to save my life. All the symbols and abbreviations just wear me out. But this Magic Crochet... that, I can do. Sandy introduced this to me a couple years ago and, as long as it is round, I can crochet it. I showed my Mom and she has shared it with neices and nephews of mine. All of them have picked it up with no trouble.
First, there is the graph. It is just a pie sliced version of the doily that you will be crocheting. It has numbers for the rows and sometimes they have numbers for the chains. But the coolest thing about the graphs are the symbols. Each symbol represents a different kind of stitch. And these are mostly self-explanatory, but there is also a key in the front of the magazines to help you keep it all straight. They are just your standard crochet stitches- chain, single, double, triple. Nothing mysterious. You just repeat the symbols of each row until you are finished with that row.
I have never timed myself, but I figure that if I work on a doily, in my spare time- when I'm not quilting, an average-sized doily would only take me a week or two. The larger ones take longer, of course. Getting used to the tiny hook and thread is one of the hurdles to jump, and when I first started, I felt like a two year old trying hold a crayon and draw between the lines. It was kind of comical. But now I find the yarns and larger hooks quite clumsy to work with.
And doilies aren't just decorative. I love making small ones to use as coasters. Darcy gave me that beautiful variegated orange thread. It is a woven thread- so perfect for coasters. That just takes and hour or two. East peasy!
The Magic Crochet magazines are out of print, but you can still find them on the internet. Ebay, used books, you know. Hope you give it a try.
(Dear Joe, I'm sorry I didn't get any pictures of hearth and kin in this weekend post. That doesn't mean I don't love you, just means that the children probably looked like no one was tending them- think lots of mud pies. Quote of the week goes to Abe- "Light me!" Followed by lots of uproarious laughter. You have to figure out what they were up to as I am not telling. Only the boys... I'll try to do better next week. I love you son. Give my love to Laurie.)

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Nines' stash enhancement!
Had a great time at Sandy's on Tuesday. We organized her fabric and Sandy did a wonderful job at being decisive and choosing what she would keep and what she would get rid of. Took no time at all. Most of what she got rid of was added to my stash. I haven't had the time to sort through it but it got me to thinking about ways that I could better use my space and fabrics that I don't guess I'll ever get around to using. Fall organizing.
See, I had a serious allergy attack yesterday. No, nothing life threatening but I must have sneezed a 1,000 times! Wears a body out. Rebekah, who is 9, sent me to bed at 10am and I took a benadryl. Won't do that again as I slept the day away. What a waste, but I really couldn't function anyway. They are cutting the soy beans and you can see the plume of dust a mile away. It looks like rain, today, and I am joyfully anticipating it settling the dust down. As it is, I have shut the house back up and have the air conditioning running again. I am feeling better if a little stuffy headed and still dripping from time to time.
When I woke up from my drug induced sleep, I found that Bekah had cleaned my sewing table off and had also done some work on my counter in the quilting room. How sweet was that? Got me all inspired to sew- doesn't take much to do that! We did have a productive morning of school and canning salsa- black bean and corn. Might be the last of the summer. Today, I might just sit on the couch and crochet- a good rainy day project.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A story to tell...
That little quilt was my first little quilt. It was a challenge from Sandy and we cut them out together. I figured out that, for me, it was best to nibble on it. Just a bit at a time and then sew something else, come back and nibble some more. Before you knew it and it was done. I'm hooked and still enjoy making small quilts- as the walls in my dining room will attest. Bill has promised me that he will finish the dry wall so that I can paint before a big party here in November. Might even get the floor finished. All a big deal around here.
That peice of McCoy pottery on the chest of drawers sat on my Mom's dresser when I was a little girl and now it sets on mine. Not only do I love McCoy, but I love crockery of any kind. And this set has sentimental value as it reminds me of home. I'd be intersted in seeing others' sentimental pieces.
Off to sew- took the day off yesterday. Can't wait to get back to it!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A little bit of sewing...
Here's Jacob with his new pillow case. This one is from that pattern where you put all the parts together and then stuff the whole thing into the cuff, sew that down, pull it right side out and tada! A pillow case. Was that totally confusing? I have made quite a few of them, but it has been a while and thought I better get his done before I forgot how. But it all came back to me and I whipped it up in no time. And kids love new pillow cases. Jacob said this one was "pretty much awesome."
Of course, he isn't much of a kid anymore. He'll be 18 in the Spring. He works for a construction company a few days a week and seems to like it. He does all sorts of work- drywall, windows, ditchdigging, painting and cement work. He really is a good guy and he loves all things coffee. He would love to open his own coffee shop. He has even some really great expresso soap. He would make a good shop owner as he is very personable. More naturally outgoing than our two older sons. Used to drive me crazy how he would talk to everyone- he was that baby in the buggy at the grcoery store that would wave you down and always say, "Hi!" Took me hours to get done with my shopping as he charmed his way through the store. I rather like that quality in him now.
Well, I am off to help Sandy organize her fabric cupboards. I am really looking forward to seeing what she has in there. I made us a nice lunch of poppyseed chicken casserole. We plan on spending the day "working." I can hardly wait to get started. Have agreat day!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Ashes and Soot...

Got the current 8 blocks done. These are the sweetest little 5" blocks. And so easy! (I have been trying to work on my Dear Jane, but those blocks I, mostly, do not enjoy. Maybe they are a bit too much of a challenge.) I was woefully behind on the Ashes and Soot blocks but quickly got caught up in an evening. I am having quite the challenge of finding the softer, dull colors for these blocks. You know how I usually am drawn to the more satuarated colors. I might need to make a set of those, also. Don't tell, but I was able to work some batiks it there. It'll be our little secret.

That end of the kitchen table certainly gets a workout when it is harvest time. Abe is being a goof ball. We were making applesauce to cook down to apple butter. I have such good helpers. Reminds me of when the older children were home and they were my helpers. I really miss them. But I must say that the girls seem to be even more intuitive about what needs to be done. They even clean up the mess! How fun is that? So the apple butter has been simmering in the crockpots for two days and is ready to be canned. I was thinking about how Grandma used to make apple butter over an open fire in a big cast iron pot. What hard work she must have put into it to keep it from scalding. I almost feel guilty. Almost. And what a treat apple butter would have been for her family. It's creamy sweetness spread on one of her biscuits. Now that was an act of love if there ever was one. Yes, a treat indeed. My Daniel has always been a big fan of my apple butter and I am going to be sure to hold a jar back for him. I don't think I'll risk mailing it to him.

Hope you have a great week!

Friday, September 10, 2010


Just made this flannel quilt from some 3.5" blocks Sandy gave me. She was in the habit, at the time, of cutting all of her scraps into squares. But she doesn't care to work with flannel and was clearing some room in her stash. I rarely visit Sandy that she doesn't send me home laden with lots of really great loot. She is happy to have it out of the house so she doesn't feel guilty about it and I am happy to have her lovely cast offs! So it was my lucky day!

I whipped the blocks into 4-patches and that was as far as I had gotten. I have a box full of flannels from Kathy and when I uncovered the red flannel for the backing of the couch pillows, I came across this luscious burgundy wine... See, I was trying to pick a new project and pulling out boxes of UFO's ( Unfinished Projects) and I thought, why not? From the burgundy flannel I cut some big blocks(12.25"- yes, technically it should have been 12.5" but somehow I lost that quarter inch. Maybe it is from the flannel being so thick. It really is excellent quality.) Put the two together and now I have a warm looking and feeling quilt to cuddle under when the snow flies. How easy was that? A very fast project. I think Kathy gave me enough flannel to make a backing, even. So the whole quilt cost me zip- except for the spool of thread I used up.

This is the third UFO I have "finished" this week. I say, "finished" because they still need to be quilted and bound. sigh. Such is quilting.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

A change of pace...

Sewed up some pillows, yesterday. They certainly brighten up the room. I am thinking I might put them away until winter. A friend gave me the fabric and I have had it draped over the door of my hutch- belonged to my grandmother. I liked it so much but what to do with it? It is an odd type of fabric. Looks like cotton but is very stretchy in one direction. It made easy going for making the "pillow sheets" as the girls call them. Stretched right over my old pillows. I had some red flannel- also given to me by a friend- and I used that for the backing- just overlapped it so I can take them off to wash them. Nice to have a freebie project to give the room a little lift.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Finished the string project- finally! I started making my blocks quite a while ago. It always amazes me how fast time flies by. I usually date the projects that I make from patterns in books. Did I really make that block two years ago? See? time flies. Anyway, I finished the string quilt top and I'm happy with how it turned out. I was hoping to get by without any borders and it all worked out- even though I did have to make four extra blocks at the last minute. Isn't that how it always goes?
I love boxes and bins and baskets. Keeps me somewhat organized and it is ever so pleasant to be able to just pull out a box and sit down and start sewing. When I get tired of it, I just return it to the box and put it back on the shelf to stew for a while. When I pull it back out, it's all fresh again!
The one thing I hear complaints about when it comes to strings is removing the paper backing. Well, I have a few thoughts on that. As I do on most things, huh? Well, great grandma would certainly not have bothered with removing the paper. It makes a good insulator. But I like to get the crinkly stuff off. So I sit at the couch and start ripping- throwing the scraps of paper willy nilly about the room. That is the only way to make it fun. The willy nilly part. And the kids notice what a "fun" time you are having and they can't resist begging for the privelege of making their own willy nilly mess. Bekah is particularly good with her hands and we had the entire quilt stripped of its paper foundations in about an hour. And we had fun listening to a movie and talking.
Well. now what? Dontcha just love getting a project done and the anticipation of digging into another? I really need to spend some time quilting, but I have been out of batting- gasp! shocking I know. A sad state of affairs, indeed! I quilted a couple quilts for a friend and have managed to set aside a little for a batting buy- need to organize the coupons. Then I will be quilting up a storm. Mom and I have quite a few tops that are calling for some attention. Plus there is still a client quilt in the hopper. Until then... hmmm... the possilbilities are endless.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Soot and Ashes...

Here is the second block by Cheri. I am loving their tiny sweetness. I usually cut one out and bag it up for some fun sewing in the evenings or mornings. What time of day do you like sewing?

I have to admit I sew just about any ole time, but my very favorite time is on a crisp morning with a pot of tea at my elbow, a little music in the background. Ah what a way to start the day! The children are doing their chores and that gives me an hour or so to completely wallow in one of my most favorite things. Then school begins and I might get some sewing in before lunch. After lunch we have our quiet time- used to be nap time when the children were smaller. Now it is reading time. For at least an hour and a half. You would think that this would be a good time to sew, wouldn't you? But the house is so quiet... too precious to interrupt with sewing machine noise. So I read or crochet, protecting the silence which is golden in a house with so many energetic children. After naps, we might spend some time outside, weather permitting. Bike riding and tire swinging. Tree climbing and playing "base"- their version of "house." Then it's dinner time and a few more chores- and maybe more time to sew. I don't usually like sewing when my sweet William is home. His desk is a long way from my sewing room in the back of a pretty big rambling farm house. But I still might do it. He'll come and get me when he needs me- how I love to hear him walk into my sanctuary and tell me he is lonely for me. How sweet to be needed. So he is off, today, and I am off to... well, I don't really know. Maybe sew a bit while he works on the roof. The kids have the day off school as well. Have a wonderful day and I hope you enjoy some sewing time of your own!

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Fall weather is here- clear skies and cool temps. Apple picking weather. Can you spot John near the top of the tree? Made a big pot of rabbit stew for lunch. Perfect for a cool day. What does rabbit taste like? Hmmm..... a lot like chicken, but more like turkey. In my opinion.
The art work above my ironing board. Always an inspiration. Thanks to my Aunt Isobel and the girls for that.

Ain't she sweet? Got the pattern over at... I just thought it was so... sweet. It's from some that Cheri is making up called Soot and Ashes.

See? Abe is as tall as the hemlock tree! My Dad planted these a few years ago from some given to us by Paul.

Round three! Sandy made the center block and then Mom sewed round two and I just finished round three. Now it is back at Sandy's for round four. It's getting more wonky as it goes. But still quite pretty, I think. We have only one rule and that is: no buying fabric. You can only use what is in your stash. A fun challenge. Hope everyone has a lovely holiday weekend!

Friday, September 03, 2010

Handy dandy...

A couple years ago, Sandy gave me the neatest little applique "tool." It is called the Applique Pressing Sheet, by Bear Thread Designs. I LOVE it! What is it and what does it do? Well, it is basicly an opaque sheet of teflon. You lay your applique pieces on it- after they have the iron-on adhesive applied and the paper removed from the back- and press them together directly on the sheet. Allow the sheet to cool and you can peel the entire ironed unit off- ready to be pressed onto your fabric in a very easy way. No more shifting of the pieces when you lay it on your fabric and the applique ending up where you don't want it. Because it is opaque, you can match the pieces up with a drawn pattern- just place the pattern under the sheet! It really helped when I was making all those flowers for my wreath wallhanging- I just ironed all the layers and the flower centers together and then peeled them off. Now it was easy to decide exactly which flowers I wanted where. A 13x17" sheet runs around $16-18 and is a very helpful aid when appliquing. Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

none of those spellings look right, but I guess I'm too lazy to look them up... This is a good one- the type without quantities because I don't see how you could get it wrong. It is vegetarian, but I don't think anyone will miss the meat. My kids love it.
  • Brown some chopped bell pepper and onions in a large oven-proof pot/pan.
  • Add red beans, drained and rinsed- I hate that slimy, starchy stuff in the can, don't you? and shoe peg corn(regular would do just fine)also drained, a little bit of tomato sauce(easy does it) and cooked rice.
  • Spice up with your favorite Southwest seasing mix- I use one my friend Sandy makes up for me. I have no idea what is in it. It tastes good and chili-ish.
  • Make a basic white sauce(You know, a little melted butter, some flour, milk, salt and pepper- I am sure it is online and pour over rice mixture, top with shredded mexican cheese.
  • Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes until hot and bubbly.

It looks more cheesy than it really is because of the white sauce- fools the kids every time! Comfort food, for sure.

The blocks are some of my sampler quilt blocks that I have finally finished. The blocks not the quilt. Made 12 different ones. The reds in the card trick block are from my sweet nephew and sis which they generously gave me for my birthday. They're just sweet that way. The rest are made from scraps. I found some great fabric on sale at Hobby Lobby and I think it might work for settings. But first, I need to adjust to my new meds- feel like if I move my head too quickly, it will roll right off. I have been ripping out an awful lot of seams, lately. Might be a good idea to put any major sewing on the back burner. So I'll just putter along, do some noodling...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Good Clean Fun...

What fun we have been having! The kids and I have had art class, yesterday. We saw this on facebook somewhere- sorry, I couldn't find the link- and loved the look of it. It just sounded like a lot of fun! Fabric dying at it's most basic- and cleanest- level.

You take a large mouth vase- the type you get a dozen roses in- and strecth some cotton fabric over it- hold in place with a rubber band or in our case, a hair band. Then you take some Sharpie markers, yes the permanant kind, and make rings of dots. Then you drip a few drops of rubbing alchohol in the center of the dots with a cotton swab and watch it work. They spread out into a lovely kaliedescope of colors- blending and merging into a ring. How cool is that? And then, of course we had to do something with them- made a dozen fast postcards- just cut then out, the kids glue sticked them onto fabric and I machine appliqued them down. Ta-da! A fast, easy, clean, cheap, fun little project.

Monday, August 30, 2010

More scrappy blocks...

I love this blue block. Yes, I know, I don't usually "do" blue. But this scrappy one I love. Can't say why, just do. I am having fun going through the "Around the Block" by Judy Hopkins... just picking out 12" blocks and trying the pattern- correcting some. (Sorry Judy- but, honestly, the only mistakes I have found after making about 75 different blocks are the quantity of pieces- and if you look at the pictures, you can figure that out.) I think this block would be great set with other blocks just like it in the same colors. I do like a blue and white quilt.

I have two more blocks to go and then I will have enough to sit in the closet(Not me silly, the blocks!)...until I get around to setting them. Need a medalliaon for the middle of the quilt. And I also need setting fabric- plenty, as I plan on setting the blocks on point... after coping strips. I've been using only scraps from the scrap drawer- lots of fun to use up some of the surplus.

Have any big plans for the week? My friend, Kathy, is coming over with a quilt for me to quilt- haven't quilted in nearly a month so this should be fun. Hope I haven't lost whatever I had. Really need to clean the quilting room- it has fallen into a state of confusion while I have been playing. That's life. I think the second apple tree is ready to give up her fruit and apple sauce is ready to be made. And then I plan on visiting my friend Sandy. Can hardly wait. Hope you have a great week!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Something quilty at last...

I know, I know, Joe, you've been waiting with bated breath for me to post a quilt. You just have to be patient with these things.

This is one of the challenges that Sandy got me into. She is such a slave driver. Applique. Blech. But the end result will be worth it. the end result will be worth it. the end result will be worth it. Figure if I say it over and over, I'll believe it. Shew. Now "all" I need to do is the machine applique. The ribbon on the wreath and the wreath is done... now a gajillion flowers. and holly leaves. Lots of holly leaves. Need to purchase some matching thread. Of course the project was supposed to be in more traditional colors and fabrics. I like batik and that's what I had, so... yep that's what I used. Batik in reds are hard to come by so I used a lot of rust and hot pink and I think they blended into a nice reddish hue. Oh OK, there's some orange and purple in there. But they made me smile and that's about all it takes for me to put something in a quilt. (Noble Needle quilting and Sewing, Yultide Ribbon Wreath, Catalog Item NNQ-68.)

There you go, Joe. Something of interest to you. I never seem to make pretty pies anymore, but they are mighty tasty.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Caught them!

They do like to read. Especially Bekah- her lips move when she reads- so cute. Abe is a big fan of Richard Scarry- some of my kids liked him and, they just didn't get it. Abe definitely gets it. John likes good adventure. And Eva likes something scary. My Mom recently cleaned out her basement- with my sister's help. Yes, she has always been the good daughter. giggle. I do OK. Anyway, Mom sent me several boxes full of books from when I was a kid. A looooooong time ago. Bekah especially is snarfing them up- even reading old textbooks. I don't let her know that, as I figure as long as she is entertained, it's all good. Another thing about them- they are like little puppies all piled together. They like to line the love seat- not the couch- with a minkee and then use the other minkee as a blanket. All squished together. Makes me sweaty just thinking about it, but its how they like it done. And they're quiet and they're still... amazing.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mummy , it's yummy!
That's Abe's opinion, anyway. How could one mind spending hours in the kitchen with such a happy, helpful crew? We canned 40 quarts of apple pie filling, today. One of them exploded upon removal from the canner- long story. Suffice to say, no one was hurt and we had a very tasty snack with a pie crust rolled out and baked on a cookie sheet. We even had whipped cream. Yes, it was yummy. John and Abe were the main apple pickers- we are so thankful to have our own trees, Bekah washed the jars- she has the smallest hands, and Eva peeled and peeled and peeled. (Yes, Grandfather, she has a bad rash that has migrated to her eye. Poor thing!) The nifty new apple peeler Bill bought is replacing my old one- which I loved, but this one has a swivel head on it and even slices and cores it for you. All I had to do was make the syrup and pack the jars. $15 well spent. And the helpers were all you could ever hope for. So... apple pie? Apple crisp? I think we have that covered for the winter.