Thursday, December 18, 2008

I'm a Popsicle lol

You are a coconut flavored Popsicle

You Are a Coconut Flavored Popsicle

You are easygoing. For you, summer is definitely a time to kick back.

You are a peaceful soul. You shy away from drama and stress.

You are a warm and compassionate. You give everyone a fair chance.

Your tastes tend to be simple. You rather have a few high quality items than a bunch of junk.

Snow day? ... Snow week!

The weather outside is snowy and icy and just plain nasty. We didn't have a 2-hour delay, we've had school cancelled for the last 4 days. The grandkids are loving playing out in the snow, but there's not enough snow (yet) to build a snowman and they are definitely looking forward to that. They have watched "Frosty the Snowman" about 20 times this week, and are fully prepared to make their own snowman. The only problem is that we can't find a magic hat.
I was at the store a couple of days ago and found a new musical book about Frosty. When you open it, it plays the music and the words of the song *are* the words of the book. It's pretty cute and, fortunately,
hasn't got too irritating, yet. :o) I believe they'll have that song memorized by the end of the winter.

Since I have a snow day today, I'm going to try and get a bunch of things finished. Of course, there's the non-holiday chores that need to be done... balance the checkbook and pay bills, but there's also, finish a couple of quilts and a set of hot pads, and make a set of curtains. And the very first item to check off of my list (after shower and dressing, of course) is to get the toys sorted that we're donating to people from Freecycle. Paddy and I sorted all the kids' toys and made a pile of them that are still nice enough to pass along to someone else. We've been matching up the toy to a child's age/gender and letting their parents know to come pick them up. It's nice to be able to get a less cluttered house and be able to help out others. I haveto gather and label bags of toys and then post an email to the parents. They have about a week to pick them up before Christmas, so hopefully the ice will melt enough for some safe driving.
Today, I'm thankful for time to be productive.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I'm getting stuff done, but there always seems to be more that I need to do. Of course, instead of actually *doing* it, I find myself on the computer... finding cool stuff. Here is my favorite version of "White Christmas". Even the video is amazing!
Another Christmas song that I really like is "Santa Baby" by Eartha Kitt.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

decorating or quilting?

I'm still sewing binding on that baby quilt, and at school, the students are putting up decorations. Wren & Ben want to put up decorations here at home, but we haven't got quite that far. Off to get some work done around here. Christmas cards *and* decorations...after I finish that little quilt. Oh, what to do first? :o)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

another baby quilt in the making

I'm slacking off on my auntly duties and I just had to tell you. My nephew and his girlfriend had their baby this week and I forgot to make a baby quilt. Well, it's all the way to the binding stage and I've got that about half done, so I'm not doing too badly. I'm very glad that I had some blocks left from a swap. Photo to be posted soon and you can see what I could do in a weekend. :o)

Monday, November 24, 2008

I'm a prolific procrastinator

I've been getting some quilts finished lately, but I still feel like I'm procrastinating. Friday, as I was sewing the binding down on Ben's quilt, I realized, "Ack! Tomorrow is the baby shower!" DS#2 and wife is having child #3 and I still didn't have the quilt done. Well, yeah, the top's been done for weeks, but there it sat, right on the edge of the sewing table. Believe me, Saturday afternoon/evening was all about finishing that baby quilt. It's finished and already delivered to the shower. I even remembered to take a picture .
Let this be a reminder to you all... finish that project and don't procrastinate like I did. It's not worth the rush-rush-rush feeling that you have to do to make the deadline. lol

Friday, November 21, 2008

Wants vs. Needs

Use it up
Wear it out
Make it do, or
Do without

This is a folk saying that I've heard all my growing up days. My mom was raised by her grand-parents, so they were grown-ups through the depression and grandparents before WWII. They taught me many ways of being frugal and being a good steward of what the good Lord saw fit to give. I know all that, and I can squeeze a penny hard enough to make it whimper, when I want to, but you know what? Lately, I haven't wanted to. Oh, I *do* want to, but I want to spend that proverbial penny, even more than I want to save.
Right now, I'm having a tough time trying to talk some sense into my head. I have a perfectly fine digital camera. A good camera. I chose it and it's been working just fine, for well over a year now, but ... I want a new camera. No, I definitely don't need it, but I sure do want it. I've even been pricing. Beach Camera has the best price. Sooooo........
Does anybody have a clue why I'm lusting after a sweet, tiny camera, small enough to fit in any pocket, or even in the top of my bra, when I've already been blessed with a perfectly fine digital camera already?
I really want that camera and at the same time, I don't even want to want it. Aaaauuggh!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

2 charity quilts finished Yay!

A mom and her little girl, about a year and a half old, were in need of everything to set up house. They had escaped from an abusive situation, so my contribution was a couple of quilts. I used a few charity blocks, a lot of my blocks and fabric from my stash to make these 2 quilts. Both of them are green and pink and they both have 20 blocks with sashing in between. I thought the mom might think it was nice to have similar quilts. The little girl isn't going to be toddler size for know how fast kids grow, so I made it a bit bigger and then each block is a bit different, kinda' like a super-easy "I Spy" quilt.
Look at the blocks in the mom's quilt. You just might recognize something you have sewn. If you see your block, let me know. I love to find my block in someone else's quilt, too. :o)
The embroidered blocks were drawn up by my very first Quilting Sister. I took one close-up, so that you can see what I'm talking about. They kept my hands occupied for many an hour and now they have the perfect home in this quilt. I hope the words are inspirational to a new single mom.
Wren and Ben both are old enough this Halloween to choose their costumes, so Wren was a princess

and Ben was a pirate. What other costume can you get a cool sword with?

Jack 'o Lantern

When your kids get older, pumpkin carving takes on a whole new look. lol

Friday, October 17, 2008

Life has been too busy for blogging

It's been about a month since I posted. Since that time, school has been going on, both of my kids have started another year of college, my mom passed on and I've inherited the Elvis quilt that I made for her.
I've been slowly working on some quilty stuff, but not much. I have a top and backing of a Bob the Builder quilt done, for Ben. Now I just need to actually put it on the machine and quilt it.
Want to see it, so far?

My strip blocks are all sewn, but it's taking forever to get all the paper backing torn off. I think if I ever do this again, I'll sew onto a fabric foundation, so there's no ripping involved.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Wanna' see some of my string blocks?

Courtney, from an online group, asked to see the string blocks I mentioned, so I took a couple of photos. First, are some blocks in progress--

I sorted through my scraps and couldn't believe how many strings I had, so after having them boxed up only for about 2-3 months, it was time to make a string quilt. I had seen many of them on line and I think they are cool. Very scrappy and I know that I'm using up what others might consider "trash". I love making quilts out of "trash". LOL
I decided to use old phone book pages for the foundation and started sewing strips onto them. Then, I know when I have roughly the right size. After I get the whole page covered, I turn it over and trim the edges down, so that all the pages are the same size. For my phone book, I can cut an 8"x10" block.
Now, here are a few finished and trimmed blocks. When I get further along, I hope that I'll remember to post a quilt top photo.

Not getting much quilting done

Here is the view from my patio door now. Lovely, isn't it? We are ripping out the old rotting deck and it's a lot of work.

Rick and Jack working on ripping the foundation of the deck off of the house.

Here is a big pile of boards that have all the nails removed from them. My brother Jack and I were on nail detail. Most of these boards will be reused in another project. Making porch steps for the shed, as a floor in the wood shed and maybe even making some temporary steps to get out of the patio door.

Here is my brother that came over to help and reminded me how to get those stubborn nails out of rotting boards. Easier said than done, believe me!

Here is just another view, looking into the house.
We're making progress. :o)

And this is the 'Possum Patio. If you look close, you can see the the 2 cement blocks in front of the entry way. If I can get this fixed, maybe I won't have to use my possum trap anymore. Now, back to clean-up and with luck I'll get to work on my string blocks later tonight.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

We are "writing" letters

Wren and Ben have many grandparents and great-grandparents, so today I helped them write letters. To you and me, it looked a lot like using stickers and crayons, but they had fun, as you can see.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I can't believe how much stuff I have in here

The stuff from sewing room exploded all over my living room, in preparation for having the carpet ripped out.

Even more of the "explosion"...

The ugly carpet. Yuck.

The totally cleaned out sewing room, now with oak floors.

I'm so tired of moving so much fabric.

Here is my neat and straightened studio...with Ben helping to show it off.

Monday, August 4, 2008

I'm tearing up carpet - We have oak floors

Our carpet was too yucky, so it was finally (past) time to rip out the carpet and explore the wood floors that we knew were underneath it. Some of it's gorgeous and some, well, let's just say that it's a good thing the "shabby chic" look is in. It's worn, but we're not ready to refinish it yet. At least, it's clean. Wanna' see some pictures? I'll post more later as we work on my sewing room.

The new hallway

Some gorgeous wood flooring

The hearth - looks like the fire escaped at some time in the past

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I have thimbles

I am hand quilting a big ole' huge quilt for Rick, and a while back, I set it aside. When I wanted to work on it again, I could not, for the life of me, find the thimble. I looked and looked ... and looked. For months, I've been looking for my super-favorite-est goat leather thimble, but no matter which nook or cranny I peered into, could not find it. I knew if I bought a replacement, I'd find it, so I stalled on getting a new one. Finally, Thursday night I bought a new jelly thimble. It was only $2.50 and I found one that fit perfectly. Yay! Now I can quilt again, well, as soon as I get the sewing room cleared out the rest of the way, and rip out the carpet. And put the sewing room back together. :o) But I'm ready to go.
Guess what I found yesterday? Only a day and a half after I bought the replacement? Yep, my leather thimble. :-) (Now, I can't find my camera.)
P.S.-Monday morning-I found my camera. Yay!

Monday, July 28, 2008

What is your outlook on life?

I'm watching a video by Randy Pausch, amazing, by the way, and there is a very good question he asks, on your outlook on life ...
Are you a Tigger?

or an Eyeore?
I'm watching the video called "The Last Lecture" that I learned about from This Is True

I *so* like to think I'm a Tigger. :o)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Happy Anniversary to me! :o)

Rick and I have been married for 23 years today. Happy Anniversary to me!

catchin' up on quilty stuff

Each month, one of my online quilting groups gathers quilt blocks to make a charity quilt (or 2).
July blocks, so far. Look, we have 12. What a nice start. :o)

Thank You card
What they really mean is Debi and group...
Here is a Thank You card that we received from the Susan G Komen foundation.
They were so pleased that we thought of them when we were making charity/lotto blocks and then turning those blocks into this beautiful quilt. They are having a fund-raising luncheon and as part of that, there will be survivors attending. One of the survivors will win this. So, we are helping to raise funds AND it will help wrap someone in love. Thanks! to each of you that had a part of this. This is just one of the ways that we can help when we send in blocks each month.

Something easy for dinner

Easy Enchilada Stuff
Here's what we had for dinner the other night and it's so easy that I wanted to share it with you.
Have you ever made enchiladas? I love them, but they are labor intensive. My daughter and I, over the years have pared it down to this easy recipe.
First, brown 2 pounds of ground beef. You could add a chopped onion in here, like I usually do, but we didn't have any onions for this meal and I was too lazy to run to the store for one onion.
Drain it, if necessary. We had extra lean and there was nothing to drain. We've also made this with ground turkey and with cubed chicken breast. Both were yummy, so feel free to be inventive.

Get a bag of 3 dozen corn tortillas and rip them into bite size pieces. I tear up about 4 at a time into a big bread bowl. Rip up all 36 of them.

Get out the 2 pounds of shredded cheese (my favorite style is Monterrey Jack or the Mexican blend, but cheddar or mozzarella will work nicely, too) and a couple of cans of enchilada sauce. For this recipe, I use 2 large (about 30 oz) or one large and one smaller. My favorite is green sauce, but if you like the red, go for it. Open the bag and open the cans and dump it all into the ripped up tortillas.
OK, maybe you might want to save a handful or two of the cheese to sprinkle on top. I forgot to do that step this time. Guess I was in too much of a hurry. :o) Had to get back to quilting, you know.

You've got the corn tortillas, hamburger, cheese and enchilada sauce all together in a big huge bowl, now make sure you stir it up well. It works best if the tortillas get coated well with the sauce. Now, dump it in a pan (or two). Sometimes I cook it in a 4-qt Dutch oven pan, but this time,

I baked it in a 13x9x2 pan and there was still enough to fill a 9x9x2 pan and put it in the freezer for a different meal. Once it's in the pan, you can sprinkle it with cheese, if you'd like. Not necessary, and a bit messy.

Now, cover it with foil and put it in a 350 degree oven and bake for about 45 minutes. That's it.
Of course, I forgot to take a picture of the baked version, but it looks about the same. It's goes well garnished with sour cream and salsa, and with beans and/or rice as a side dish. Yum! Let me know if you try it and if your family liked it.

***It tastes even better as microwaved leftovers.