Monday, December 31, 2007

new header

What do you think of my new header? I have been fussing with Picasa today. Trying to find that site I asked about in the last post...getting frustrated! I may change it again soon..but I like it for now! Something a bit different for a new year...and I love blacks with brights! Now I think I will go sew...

DRAT! Falcons LOST...but they played well. The game was not a blowout...I hope Carney was not hurt too badly. Sad to blow out your knee on the last game of your Senior year!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year's Eve!

I have not made it into the sewing room ...YET! I downloaded Picasa. I am hoping it will help me put a collage together I can use for a header. Does anyone know of a site that has photographs of the alphabet? I saw it on another blog (where I have NO idea!). You could pick from diff pictures of all the letters of the alphabet. They were formatted for posting on a blog. I thought I had saved the site, but I cannot find it in my favorites.


This is one of my favorite free motion books. I may have shown you before, but I find myself going back to this set everytime I quilt. I am trying to decided what to quilt on the red/white/blue quilt on my frame. It seems this is an ongoing problem! I have the machine all ready to go..the quilt loaded...and then I cannot decide WHAT to quilt. I may get really brave and try that panto again.

I also add my own touches when I modify her ideas.

I'm off to have some lunch...leftover homemade alphabet beef soup...and watch AF/Cal game. GO FALCONS!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Getting ready for a New Year!

I am going to participate in Judy's stashbusting report this year. I have also added a list on the side to keep track of what is in progress. This is for me as much as it is for you! If I see it..maybe it will keep me on track...at least that is the idea!

This week I: ~completed a baby quilt (promised by Dec 24th) and delivered it. (no picture yet...I will ask. I was so focused on FINISHING...I forgot my camera!)
~completed putting blocks together for a top. They have been sitting there a LONG time!
~loaded the backing on the frame for a UFO/Quilt of Valor. I am hoping to load the top this afternoon..but hoping does not count for this list!
~I purchased enuf fleece to back my son's new Red Sox fleece he got for his birthday. No quilting fabric purchases.
~ I made 2 dog beds with leftover fleece pieces, scrap batting and left over polyfill stuffing. No dogs have layed on them as yet!


OK..Stashbusting report done!

Do you have any good recipes for using up leftovers? I have two I like. This is the one I made last night. NOTHING FANCY! Just making leftovers SEEM like a new meal. This one is considered comfort food..and there are NO calories in comfort food. (you didnt' KNOW THAT????)

This is Shepherds' Pie



You layer browned ground beef (you can add whatever you like..I cook for a preteen..so we eat what HE likes. :::SIGH:::)


corn...canned or frozen(cooked or thawed)


and mashed potatoes...ending with the potatoes and topped with cheese. I did two layers of each. The recipe says 350 degrees for 30 mins, but this was just warm in the middle. I did start out with cold mashed potatoes..that could be the culprit!


And of course, you need 'Hoover #1" to see if there is anything left on the floor!




My second leftover recipe is Turkey Lasagna. I will be making that next week for my Lunch Bunch so I will show pictures. If anyone is interested, I will post the recipe too. It also freezes well. I have used leftover Thanksgiving turkey in the past to make one and freeze it. Then when busy Christmas time rolls around, SOME day you need a nice dinner in a hurry. With a salad and a bread, you have a company dinner.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

getting organized


I added this small dry erase board just outside the sewing room. I am hoping it will keep me on track. I think I have sew-er's ADD! Somedays I just flit around from pile of fabric to pile of fabric. Next leaders/enders I need, I am starting to cut into my scraps. It will take me a bit, but I think I can get the room tamed for GOOD. I already have a bag of white elephant goodies to take to Lunch Bunch next week. You can just see my reflection! Good thing you could not see much..I think I was still in my jammies! lolol





I took 2 fleece remnants from my little sew-er's projects. I sewed them up...stuffed them with polyfil (sitting in the back of the studio for YEARS gathering dust!) and layers of batting scraps. The batting kinda evened out the lumpy parts of the stuffing. Both dogs now have nice fleece beds in there. That will help me keep the area 'fabric pile free' if there are dogs laying on them! There is just one problem...no dogs are laying on them yet! I may have to resort to putting them on top of the beds in our bedroom...

Friday, December 28, 2007

my Christmas List

I never understood growing up...or even as a young adult, how my parents and grands could EVER say "there is nothing I want for Christmas"?? I do now! We are not extravagant..and SURE there is always some new gadget dangled out in front of us on TV and in the newspaper. There were two things I enjoyed MOST over the holiday. One was having my daughter home. She didn't need to be IN my house for me to enjoy her company! I was just happy to have her running her errands and seeing her friends. I got to see her everyday and even had Starbucks she brought me. Happy mom! The other thing I enjoyed was being able to volunteer at Church on Christmas Eve. Our church had candlelight services on Dec 23rd and on Christmas Eve. Since we had HAD our candlelight service on Sunday, we chose to stay home and have family time. I was able then to go the Childrens' area coordinator and offer to show up on Christmas Eve ready to hone my grandmother skills (they won't be used for a LONG time here!) She didn't have a set place for me..but used me where she needed me that night. I even told her she could send me home if she had enought help. She looked SO relieved..I think that was HER gift!~ I had SUCH a good time! I was in the 3 yr old room with a dad and his daughter...we had 10 kids total. Not ONE tear...I was amazed! I'm sure we had some that were new to our church..but everyone had a great time. Some did the craft..some played...we had our playground time...we said Happy Birthday to Jesus. The cheese puff balls for snack were a BIG hit! I told them about seeing one rolling down the ramp on Sunday! ESCAPING CHEESE BALL! Lots of giggles! The best part was that when the time was over..I got to go home to my BIG kids~








Did you have something on your list this yr that was...well..unusual? This is what I asked for:







I will show you pictures of WHY I asked for this...as my project unfolds. It will take a while as my husband has to 'ponder' on just where to PUT this organizer! I'm off to work on my projects.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

OK.....I'm a crossword puzzle fan!

OK..I'll admit it! Used to be I could read the Living section of the newspaper UNACCOSTED. I read ALL the comics and do the United Artist cross word puzzle. Our paper also has the LA Times one, but I have not 'graduated' to that one yet! All this week, the paper has had 'gifties' in it. Monday was a read-along story and yesterday was THIS:
It is a whole middle section wide! I started it yesterday and am about a third of the way done. I did find a hidden word! There is a word in the puzzle..but no clue. Today they published the answer..and the hidden word does not appear on IT either! I had a bunch of letters, but hubby got the word. Not bad for no clue! Yesterday's paper had 12 Sudoku puzzles in a little booklet. My husband fights me for the Living section now to do those. He graciously let our daughter have them for the flight home.
Here is a batch of Italian meat sauce simmering :it has mild Italian sausage and meat balls. I need it to make THIS:
Here is the eggplant frying up....
For my DD's favorite: Eggplant Parmesan. She will FIGHT you for it for her breakfast! LOLOL
This is my favorite t-shirt of Christmas presents. My daughter gave it to her youngest brother...he eats NON STOP and is under the impression I'm his STAFF! HARUMPH!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

AHHH!

Isn't it lovely to SIT down when you have just been FLYING around (low altitude tho!)??? Every room in my house looks like someone ransacked it. My loving husband decided we needed a new bed. (its nice..I like it!)..BUT..the old one is still in my living room! (hence dinner in the family room! lol!) He decided we needed some drywall and painting done (hence the painting supplies and ladder left by workman who is not done yet...in the living room AND the family room)..oh...and a cornice was 'living' right in front of the TV...:::SIGH:::: I finally gave UP and decided my family could really care less. I ignored it and enjoyed them instead.






here are the two big ones playing Guitar Hero...we actually had two of them in one room on PS2 playing..and the youngone on his new Wii playing Guitar Hero in the FAMILY room! too funny! (Note the red cornice laying on its side on the right! Oh and the spray bottle in the foreground..THAT is for ironing my fabric which never got put away!)





drawstring bags for gifties to the ladies I teach sewing with.




more pillowcases....

closeup of the penquins...this was WalMart fab..I rooted around and found two cute patterns with coordinating fab for the cuffs and contrast.


THIS was my favorite! It just followed me home! I didnt' feel too bad because as soon as I washed it, it was cut up and sewn..and out the door!

I have more pictures..but will wait till tomorrow so I don't post pictureless. I hope everyone had a nice holiday. Our Christmas was lovely. Quiet....all 3 kids here (even the one who lives in Mississippi made it all the way to AZ!)

And here is the birthday boy! He now has his Wii FIRMLY ensconced in the family room where his mother has to listen to him play guitar ALL DAY LONG! :::::S I G H::::: He would not let me take a picture of his face...so you will have to be content with a picture of the back of his Red Sox/Ortiz jersey and his long hair (NOT FOR LONG!)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

need a quick homemade gifty?

Oh drat...I hit enter and the blog published...and all I had typed was the TITLE!







It is a gray rainy day here in the desert of AZ. Yes it DOES rain here! ( We are a desert..but not the GOBI desert!

(yes I KNOW this is really White Sands National Park in New Mexico...) I believe most people think this is what Arizona looks like. We are in the Sonoran Desert..and THIS is what we look at:



All those plants need water too! They are just adept at living inbetween waterings.



Norma has a great "time consuming' recipe for gift giving. I have one too..but no pictures to go with...so if you need a quick gifty..here is the recipe, and I promise pictures when I make mine next week:

Mock Turtles

small twisted or square pretzels
Rolo candies
pecan halves


Put pretzels on waxed paper on a cookie sheet. You can put as many as you like.
These do not spread. Top each pretzel with an unwrapped Rolo candy. (this takes the longest...unwrapping the candies!)

Put in 200 degree preheated oven for TWO minutes. Press a pecan half down so the candy smushes into the pretzel. (don't you LOVE those very TECHINCAL terms...SMUSH)

I like to pop the cookie sheet into the oven when its cooled a bit. It helps the caramel in the candy to set. You are done!

A good box to put them in are the Chinese food boxes you can buy new (and in lots of colors!) at Micheals. Be sure to include the recipe!

Sometimes I need just a bit more time in the oven. If the cookie sheet is full...or if your oven is not quite at 200...you may need a little more.

Friday, December 07, 2007

snowflakes!



I'm on a snowflake kick...Here are the one hanging on either side of the front door. I had a hard time getting a decent picture. too much glare! The middle one was a dollar store snag. The flat ones were a Micheals purchase. I like how they kinda of turn around through out the day. ( I had promised Norma a picture yesterday...and you know what happens when you make plans??? Well, God had a good chuckle at my expense. I ended up squiring all three of my men around...1st trip at 7:30 am...ending up with a quick trip downtown getting home around 9pm! No wonder I feel washed out today! Sorry Norma!)


Today was my Lunch Bunch Christmas potluck. We all brought a gifty (the dollar limit was $10..but you will see what I got was MORE than that!) We drew a number..and then picked a present according to that number. Look what I got!! My friend made one of these last year...and it was a HUGE hit! I'm the lucky one this yr.





Cute bag...sewing fabric...open the flap...CHRISTMAS!

Look at all the sewing gadgets! They include a small olfa green mat (have you ever seen them this small???, small rotary cutter, scissors, mechanical pencil, seam ripper, tape measure. 1X6 inch ruler ...needles and a chalk wheel! I'm guessing I will grab THIS as I head out the door to class! I think I'm headed off to the sewing room to try them out. ((If I don't get headed off at the pass by a raving, starving, BORED 11 yr old boy!)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A Christmas mess!

How is the level of STUFF at your house? It used to worry me...I wanted everything neat and tidy. But I got over it a few years ago, and now I just enjoy the process. I'm finishing up 2 table runners destined for gifts. They are the same pattern ..just different themes.



Here is the 1st one

close up of the center ...I love the feel of grape leaves!




The small squares are wine corks! I also chose a fall fabric for the back so it is reversible...and heat resistant (insulbrite inside...a bit of a challenge to quilt tho..it was puffier than what I usually use)





The center fabric on this runner is a childrens' Chrismas pagent. I hope I have enough to make one for me too!




Here are the cookies in a jar for teacher /school presents. I had fun making a MESS! Now off to print out the baking instructions. If you would like the recipe I found it
here



PS ignore the crock pot in the picture. I made oatmeal in it this morning. After I take out all the rest of the leftover oatmeal, I fill the empty (sticky) crockpot with water...turn it on low for about an hour and VOILA! Easy clean up! It just has not made it over to the sink yet...but it WILL! HA!


Off to sew up some pillowcases. I have a set to get in the mail to my mom...see you tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Remember the fabrics I picked out for totes...the cursive fabric?
Well, here are the bags...ready for mailing. Didn't they turn out cute?
I wonder what they will use them for?


I found these cute wreaths at IKEA this week. I had seen them in a flyer I got..but thought they might be sold out. I did buy some fall ribbon, but I'm not sure I will add it just for tomorrow! I never did put out my pumpkin collection. All that traveling thru me for a loop!

And last but not least...look what I'm thankful for! I'm starting with an EMPTY sink in the morning! I can PROMISE it will not stay like this for long...But after 4 pies and 3 batches of homemade rolls, the fact that I will start the day that way..>AND there is a counter that has been wiped down also,....its a minor miracle!


I hope you all enjoy your day of Thanksgiving. I will be waiting patiently ( I really WILL try!) for my husband to arrive tomorrow afternoon. We will have our dinner when he gets here and watch the ASU/USC football game. It should be exciting! Just us and the two boys...we will miss our daughter. Actually on such a quick weekend, I'm more thankful she is staying put...and calling for recipes! See you after turkey!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

2 quilts delivered...

Here are the 2 quilts I delivered last weekend. The 1st one went to my husband's best friend. It is a t-shirt quilt...and all the t-shirts were given to my husband by this friend. They are from their high school alma mater. The quilt's name is "Here's the shirt off my back" as I literally had to make my husband stop wearing them so I could fuse them for the blocks! I love how it turned out and I love the border fabric. It reminds me of old newspaper clippings and was perfect for a man. The only other football fabric I found was for little boys...


He could not figure out at first how I got the designs on the fabric. They don't actually feel like t-shirts when they have been fused.


Close up of center block. I cheated on the miter and used a half square triangle block. I dont' think it detracted from the quilt..and sure made it go together fast!
Ideas for this quilt came from a book called "You did WHAT with my T-shirts?!" Great book...has about 6-8 different t-shirt layouts.






Back....There is a fabric I used on the back I fell in love with!
Can you see what it is? (this picture makes it look brown..its really black)


It is diagrammed football plays! I went back to get somemore for the hungry stash...and the lady who cut it for me asked me if I knew what it was! She had a customer come in for some black and white fabric. They thought it was something mathmatical. We had a good chuckle over that!





Here is the 2nd quilt. I made this as a class sample...and then no one took the class. It went to a friend for her grandson. She watches him weekdays. I hope they let him drag it around!





Close up of blocks around the center....




back....sorry its so dark. I have used this pattern many times.The center is a 27 inch sq, so it is perfect for those fabrics you just HATE to cut into! I have even changed the blocks as they are 6 inch blocks...easy to substitute. It is an Atkinson Design pattern. I would be glad to look it up if anyone is interested.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Traveling over!

Well, I have to admit I really enjoyed all three trips (that is 3 weeks out of four!), but I'm totally happy being home doing laundry today!

trip one was to Southern California for our niece's wedding. It was fun to see all 7 cousins together...I'm bad..no pictures







trip two was to my husbands 30th college reunion. Our daughter was the back up flyby for the football game. We didnt' get to see her fly..they didn't need her. (family joke: she has been flying about 6 yrs ...counting her soaring in college...and I have never gotten to see her fly. This trip was no exception!) She was, however, a total surprise for her dad. He had NO idea she would be there. He had fun showing her off to all his college buds. He also introduced her to her big boss's big boss. Fun to watch her eyes that wide! lolol Driving back to the airport in Denver not so fun for me....I don't ride in snow very well! Wimpy AZ girl!


Here is the AFA mascot falcon. They fly them before the game and then go up into the stands to let the fans see them. Beautiful bird!













trip three to the central CA coast with husband's high school friends. Too much food and a BIT too much football (did I ADMIT that??? Julie...don't spill the beans!) We had a wonderful time as always. I got a side trip to Susan Branch's shop in Arroyo Grande. I wish she would come decorate for me!My friend and I got to do a bit of shopping the last morning. Our husbands were SO happy we had each other so they could sit and visit. hehehehehe. Little do they know that when we shop together...we shop LONGER than if they came with us! Lets keep that our little secret, shall we???
Look what I snagged:





I did have a couple of humbling experiences! I broke my toe the night before the Colorado trip. (how in the HECK I broke that one and not either of the toes on both sides I will NEVER know!) Hobbling thru airports on your own with a broken toe gives you a WHOLE new outlook!



And to round it all out, trying to get to the parking shuttle when we arrived home, I tangled up with my suitcase and took a tumble. Scraped up my knee pretty well, but when my PRIDE stopped smarting, I really didn't hurt myself too badly. I have two things to say: #1 I wont' be doing much kneeling on that knee for a week or so...and #2 My middle name is NOT Grace!

I'll be back on later to post the 2 gift quilts I delivered last weekend....

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

hangover

I'm temporarily in a whirlwind of STUFF...I should be back up to sewing capacities by Monday! Picture to follow...

We were lucky enough to be able to attend our niece's wedding this past weekend. Sorry to say, I forget to take pictures till we were driving away. It was fun to have all the 7 cousins together...it made me miss my mother and father in law. They would have loved seeing them all too!

Last night, our son and I were out late..(well for ME!). It was a soccer event. The whole club was asked to attend a men's soccer game at a nearby university. They announced them..they got to march on the field....and they got to see how the "big boys' play. I did not eat before (mostly because I was not hungry!), but by the time we left at 9:20, You guessed it...I was STARVED. Then, as there are VERY few places open that time of night...and my visiting daughter had eaten the rest of the pasta leftovers, I found myself eating chicken Mc Nuggets...(let me interject here...I think that is the 1st time in my WHOLE life I have ordered those for myself). They were ok...but I rummaged thru the pantry and found some leftover chocolate chips. I only had a few handfuls...THAT WAS TOO MANY!



I woke up to a chocolate hangover...or at least I think that is what a hangover feels like! I'm a light weight when it comes to alcohol. ...HUGE headache...slightly nauseous...needed sun glasses. I could not even choke down a cup of coffee. Chai tea was ok until the Advil kicked in. I will NOT be eating chocolate chips by the handful any time soon!

I am just about done with a gift quilt. I did a t-shirt quilt for my husband's best friend. They have known each other since at least 8th grade. I didn't show it as I was making it..well..cause it is a SURPRISE...and his dear wife (my favorite quilty buddy) reads this blog. Her work is 5 minutes from where we stayed at my sister in laws in CA...so my husband just HAD to show it off...I will post you a picture later. I am being told my turn is up on this computer...so I will be back later...

Thursday, October 04, 2007

No Title

Well...ever have one of those...not weeks...not months...LIFETIMES? I feel like I have been spinning my wheels...and then rolling RAPIDLY backwards. I have some deadlines coming up...and TA DA! POOF! I'm overwhelmed and starting to PANIC! (OOOH I HATE THAT!) A couple of things help...lists...i LOVE Lists! Then I can cross things off. That reduces my stress. Oh ..and Sewing helps. Not what is DUE...but working along helps. Children that play two sports at once do NOT help. Especally when YOU told they could NOT play both at the same time and another parent told them they COULD...and then carted them off to the practice. Since then, I have done all the carting. Enuf said. I didn't want this to turn into a vent about my family!

Thank you for your suggestions on the cursive fabric. Quiltingfitzy suggested the red crackle fabric. BOY I have hit the JACKPOT lately in my stash diving. This encourage me to do it MORE! Here is the black/gray selection. I think I will do the handle in the red.







This is not a good picture of the green 'blackboard. It shows up more like the black one. The other green is just a bit darker..but same hue with a small flower that picks up the yellow. I found 'chalk' yellow in the stash! Makes me wonder what I had planned for it THEN! HA!



I probably wont' get to work on this for a couple of weeks. I have 3 quilts in the works...none of which I can SHOW you..but I promise to save pictures for when I can!
Thanks for stopping by...your encouragement means so much to me...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Opinion anyone?

I found this fabric in a give away pile at my sewing class.














I would like to use it to make 2 of these bags. Any ideas on color to coordinate? I have red on the brain for the black "blackboard" but am lost on the green 'blackboard". The pattern calls for 3 FQ..but I'm in a stash diving mood lately. Amazingly, when ever I dive...I usually find JUST what I'm looking for...IF I'm patient! It has happened about 4 or 5 times in the last week! I think my fabric angel is trying to tell me something!








I'm not a huge Halloween fan...but the stash coughed up this CUTE fabric. Don't you love the googly-eyes and candy corn. This bag went to a little girl whose mom is in my sewing class. Her mom was making a dress from the purple fabric. I just HAD to try this pattern to 'go with'