A blog about my interests, which include crazy quilting and various and assorted other artsy pursuits and sometimes known to contain mumblings of a random nature.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just a quick post tonight...I'm on #2 son's computer in the city where we came for supper and will be spending the night.

I want to wish you all a very happy new year and all good things to come for you and those you hold most dear.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sites...for sore eyes?

Hi folks
Today I don't have a picture to show, but will give you a few sites you might like to check out instead....

- http://www.stitchesquiltshop.com (Canadian!)
- http://www.ccartwright.com (Thanks Arlee for the heads up on this one - lots of beads and sparkly bits...yummy)
- www.needlenthread.com
- http://znestore.com
- http://www.berlinembroidery.com (also Canadian)
- http://genealogybycindy.blogspot.com (for those who are interested in family trees)
- http://www.artsanddesigns.com/glossary (has a good stitch dictionery)
- http://quiltville.com (look for scrap quilt patterns)
- http://handembroiderygroup.blogspot.com
- http://simpleknits.blogspot.com/2008/03/500-patterns-to-knit-with-1-285-yards.html (this was found via Lime&Violet - all kinds of knitting pattern links using small amounts of yarn)
- http://stampington.com/html/the_studio.html


Have fun!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Cyclone or woMAN made??

But, but... I want to CREATE, not clean!!!!!!!!!!





Please note, there are only three pictures here. You REALLY don't want to see the rest of it!!!
Christmas at this house was wonderful. We were surprised when both of our sons were able to come home. We were told that #1 son had to work (which isn't unexpected when you're a chef) so were totally floored when he walked in the door. Family, friends, and good food. What more could anyone want?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!

This will be my last post until after the 'big day' (unless something really exciting happens that I can't wait to talk about). I thought maybe I would tell you about our Christmas celebration, which isn't all that exciting I suppose, but it IS tradition at our house!
Christmas Eve the gifts are placed under the tree (it only waits that long because we have animals who LOVE climbing in and around the presents). My dad (who lives with us) one year made the mistake of putting several cards containing varying amounts of money under the tree on Christmas Eve and we were totally mystified as to why we found half of a $20 bill in the middle of the floor when we arrived home. Obviously one of the dogs decided he prefered larger denominations!! Can't say as I blame him!
Christmas morning we have breakfast (which is something we've only been able to do in the last few years since the kids got old enough) and then open gifts. Most of our Christmas dinner has been prepared in advance - even the turkey is cooked and just needs to be reheated - sure cuts down on the mess in our small kitchen!
We have a fairly lazy afternoon when we chow down on some of the chocolate in our stockings, drink coffee, and scratch our lottery tickets to see if any of us were lucky enough to win. Mid-afternoon our friends arrive, as does Jack's brother.
Our meal consists of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed turnip, potatoes (done the day before with sour cream & cream cheese...yum), carrots, tea biscuits, and our friends bring a wonderful red cabbage. Dessert is the cake I posted the recipe for a couple of days ago and our friends also bring a chocolate cake.
There, that pretty much tells you about our day. Now I will simply sign off with this......
Merry Christmas to you and those you hold most dear. May it be all you dream of and, most of all, happy.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Look what came in the mail!

Sorry about the awful picture again...I promise I will figure out that new photo program and if not, I'm going back to the old one. Just look at the beauty that came in the mail for me today from my friend Marie ( http://sredeluxe.blogspot.com ). Be sure to click on the picture so it 'shows' better. She makes the most intricate and wonderful things from beads and this is one of them. It fits over a Christmas ball and looks so glittery and festive. I wouldn't begin to have the patience to tackle anything like this! Thank you SO much Marie!!!!! I love it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Laughter is the best medicine

I have long been a follower of a blog written by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (aka The Yarn Harlot) wherein she talks about knitting and the foibles of her life. She has the ability to make me laugh insanely and today's post on her blog is hysterical. Check it out at http://www.yarnharlot.ca and look for her Dec. 18th post entitled 'Fallen and Can't Get Up'.

Sorry, no pictures today. Just use your imagination to picture me, hobbling about with a hand to my back, and Jack, not-so-quietly hacking up a lung. Carry on.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Crock, Crockette, and Stupidity

Let it never be said that this family suffers from an over-abundance of brilliance. Last week Jack came down with a cold and then proceeded to blow snow out of six driveways...in the pouring rain. Of course he got soaked - to the skin. He (being of the dimmer light bulb sort) was trying to time it so that the snow would have stopped and before the rain started. Of course that wasn't the case. So....now he has bronchitis and has taken up permanent residence in his easy chair, unable to move without a horrible cough...which in turn seems to have cracked at least one of his ribs. Nice.

So...last night it snowed....again, leaving a nice few inches of the dratted fluffy stuff in our driveway. He's in no fit state to deal with it, so out I went. This was the dim light bulb moment for me. You guessed it...shovel and I connected (despite my best efforts to the contrary) with a piece of ice and did in my back (which is tricky anyway). So now there's TWO of us parked in our respective chairs. Yep...there's a huge amount of brilliance running rampant around here!!

Picture today is of another of the recycled denim totes I make, which someone will be getting for Christmas this year.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Done, Done and Done!!!

Yee haw! I have finished making the last present! What a relief.
The picture is what I made using a great idea my friend Sue showed us at the last CQTeers meeting. These are SO simple and fun to make. The 'base' is just a cheap L-shaped picture frame from the dollar store (these happen to be made of metal and have glass where the picture is supposed to go, but you can get the acrylic ones too). Turn it so that it is lying down and forms a perfect 'rest' to write on. Insert pretty paper inside (instead of a picture) and then I used double-sided carpet tape to stick a pad of Post-It notes onto the front. I personalized them with the recipients name and also did a co-ordinated pen (took the pen apart carefully, stuck double-sided tape onto the refill, covered with same paper as I used in the frame). Easy, cheap, and makes a great little giftie. Thanks Sue for the idea!!

Now it's time to start wrapping all the creations!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Now I'm making garbage bags??????

Yep, you know you've lost what's left of your mind when you start making garbage bags!! However, in my defense...this is for putting in the car. For some reason manufacturers don't seem to think we create garbage while in the automobile, and then they wonder why people just roll down the window and toss it out?? DUH!!! The bag solves the problem and therefore I think it's a good idea (even tho' the friend I'm giving this to might just think I'm looney). The strap simply slips over the headrest and hangs on the back of your seat. Line it with a plastic bag (which is held in place by 4 bulldog clips, which I'm including with the gift) and you're good to go. Best of all, it's washable.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Cake?

Today was spent working on another secret project so there are no pictures again and I don't really have anything to mumble about, so...you're getting a recipe!

My mother used to make one of those Christmas 'puddings' with the super-sweet sauce and I hated it. Too sweet!! She finally decided I had a point and found this recipe which has been our 'pudding' ever since.

CHRISTMAS 'PUDDING' CAKE
1 cup margarine
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
3 eggs
2 1/2 cups white flour
1 teaspoon each of: baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 cup sour cream
1 cup chopped peeled apple
1 cup raisins
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Cream margarine, sugar and orange rind until fluffy. Beat eggs into mixture, one at a time. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Combine sour cream, apple, raisins, cranberries & nuts. Add flour mixture to sour cream mixture. Mix alternately with wet ingredients until creamed. Bake in a greased and floured Bundt (or tube) pan at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes. Let cool. Wrap in foil and freeze until day before Christmas. Allow to thaw. On Christmas day we simply pop the whole thing (in the foil) into the oven to reheat (not sure of the exact timing on that!). Serve with 'dip'.....
2 cups packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons white flour
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups water
4 tablespoons margarine

Combine dry ingredients in top of double boiler. Add 2 cups of water (gradually) & margarine. Place some water in bottom of double boiler and simmer 'dip' over heated water. I usually thicken it a bit with some cornstarch & cold water mixed together. No amounts for that, just depends on your personal choice.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Oh yeah. And THIS picture is recognizable?

First, I must apologize for not being able to spell (thanks Paula for letting me know!)... in yesterday's post I directed you to check out Chrysti's site and then promptly misspelled the addy (DUH). So... http://chrysti.wordpress.com is a better one to try!! I will edit the previous post to reflect it too. Maybe I should give you three guesses to figure out what this picture is? Because I know we all have enough on our minds at this time of year, I'll fess up....it's a fleece throw I put together in less than two hours this afternoon. So easy...two layers of fleece. I cut a 4" square out of each corner and then stitched a 4" hem all around it (cut the selvedge edges off first). Then I made myself a little template with marks 1" apart and used that as a guide to cut the edge up to the stitch line. To finish I took the top & bottom layer of each 1" strip and tied a simple knot. Finished! Too simple for words!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mumblings....

....AGAIN?....don't I mumble ALL the time?? I can hear y'all grumbling about my mumbling again.

However, to be fair, you ought to check this out. Chrysti of 'Art By Chrysti' ( http://chrysti.wordpress.com/ ) is doing 29 days of giveaways and there's already been some pretty nice stuff. All you have to do is answer her question(s) of the day to be entered. Reading the answers she is getting is great fun! NOTE: I just checked the link to Chrysti and it seems to go directly to wordpress. If it doesn't work for you try typing the addy in, or barring that Google 'Art By Chrysti' and you can find it that way.

And....I want to announce that FredaB has a new blog and it would be nice if we all welcomed her to blogland (she's incredibly talented). So.... http://sewwhatsnew-fredab.blogspot.com/ is the place to go.

Also...I have written down that http://twistcollective.com/ is a place worth visiting. Can't for the life of me remember why, but obviously I must have liked it! UPDATED: it's a knitting site ith a free on-line magazine.

Anybody looking for scrap quilt patterns might want to check out http://quiltville.com/ and see what they have.

Today I finished two top-secret projects, one of which will be heading out in the mail tomorrow. Of course, being the ninny I am, I forgot to take a picture before I boxed it up. The other is a present for one of my kids and, because they read my blog occasionally, I don't dare show it.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Merry Christmas (to meeeee)!

Look what arrived in the mail! I've heard a great deal of 'talk' about 'Living the Creative Life' and, because Amazon had a free shipping deal, I ordered it for my collection. So far I've only had a quick look but it seems pretty good. The other book is absolutely fantasticly chuck full of eye candy by some of the most amazing quilt artists. Over four hundred pages of inspiration. I originally borrowed it from our local library but it's one I HAD to have for my very own. So...I thought I'd treat myself to something special. Specs are as follows:
- 'Living The Creative Life' by Rice Freeman-Zachery, published by North Light Books, c2007, ISBN# 978-1-58180-994-7
- 'Masters Art Quilts' by Martha Sielman, published by Lark Books, c2008, ISBN-13:978 1-60059-107-5

Monday, December 08, 2008

Another project done

A few people will be receiving these this Christmas. They were fun to make while I was sitting in front of the tv at night. The pattern came from http://crochetroo.blogspot.com.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Rotten picture!!

It's a bad time of year to get a new program for the computer because I have absolutely no time to fiddle with the settings, so...this picture is too dark!
It's the 'Noriko Handbag' which is a free download from http://www.lazygirldesigns.com/. The fabric is a beautiful dark (obviously) peacock feather print. It was an easy make and took less than two hours from start to finish.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

These blobs are aprons?

Why yes, yes they are. How does one take a picture of aprons and have them look like aprons? And no, before you get any ideas, I'm not about to do any modeling!! Anyhoo...two more presents done. Today was more or less a lost cause when it comes to creating anything. I spent a lot of the day volunteering at a gift wrapping booth in the mall. Is it a sign of the times that we only had five gifts to wrap in the four hours we were there?

The only thing I can honestly say I got done today was to tea dye a doily. Oh, wow...SO very stimulating!!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I'm here...despite evidence to the contrary

I will figure this new photo program out, I will figure this new photo program out, I will.... ...but for now you will have to put up with the quality and that they're not cropped. The fact that it takes me over twenty minutes to get a picture from the camera to the blog is effort enough! Technology is a wonder, IF you can push the right buttons (and then manage to remember what it was you pushed to get the result you want).

Monday we had one of our 'sanity' days and skipped town. Actually we were shopping for a new coffee and end table set for our living room and did a little Christmas shopping too. This year I'm determined to shop locally as much as we can but there are some things that just aren't available here. We even went so far as to have a date night too and went to see 'Twilight'. Not bad - although I do have to admit that the target audience is definitely the younger crowd. I liked the books so had to see the movie to see how well it was done.

Yesterday was a sew day with my friends which I always look forward to. Not much sewing got done but we sure did have fun.

Over the weekend I worked on the coaster set you see in the picture above. It's a Christmas present for someone we give a little token to. I saw the idea on the 'About A Bit of Everything' blog. Pretty simple to make...a rubber stamp, StazOn ink, sealer, and some cheap ceramic tiles (45 cents each!!). They're baked in the oven for a few minutes to help set the ink. I'm putting peel and stick felt on the back. Tied up with some rafia and they should be a great little gift.