Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A birthday present for Sandra

Yesterday was my daughters birthday, we won't talk about age, but I don't know when my children's age caught up with mine.
Sandra is a Literary Agent, and works from her home office. She has created this great environment to work in, I don't know how she gets anything done, I would be staring out the window all day.
This is the view from her desk of her front yard,
with the window open you can hear the water bubbling in the stream.

This was a kit I made while working at the quilt shop, when I saw it I knew I had to make it for Sandra's office.
I only had the top done when the shop closed so it has been on the UFO list for awhile.

I woke up one morning last week and realized it was almost Sandra's birthday with the quilt unfinished.

With minimal quilting I was able to finish it in time to get it in the mail so it arrived on her birthday.

She called yesterday after recieving it to tell me she had the perfect place for it in her office. Happy Birthday Sandra.

Happy Quilting!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Ok, lets stop with the plastic bag!

Yesterday was garbage day in my neighborhood, the bags were everywhere as I drove to the store. I guess the garbage has a way of escaping when the garbage is dumped into the truck. The truck is enclosed so it must be while the can is being dumped, I can't blame these hard working men that pick up the cans and physically dump them in the truck. Yes they still do it by hand in my neighborhood, but I can blame the consumer.
Here is a link for making an free easy tote bag pattern anyone can make.
I especially hope you quilters are not using plastic, lets make our own and make a difference.

Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Cherries and Crows quilted place mat tutorial


Begin by cutting the backing and batting, I use Therolamb, layer these together, pin in place.

Cut 5 strips the width of your fabric, I cut these 3" wide, sometimes it depends on the design in your fabric, especially if you choose to use a stripe. But no less than 2.5".

before sewing press under 1/4" on the outside edge. Using a 1/4" seam with right sides together, stitch around the edge, much like sewing on binding. Stopping to pivot at each corner.( One 45" strip will not go all the way around, just stop at a corner, backstitch and begin with a new strip butting up against the last strip.) If this is a little confusing, just sew 2 strips together end to end .

Press all the darts to one side, making sure the un sewn edge match evenly.

Stitch the dart on the pressed line, starting at the outer edge, stitch toward the point.

Trim and press open.

Clip outer corners, just to stitching.

Turn right side out, and press.

Measure and cut a piece to fit in the center, pin in place, then top stitch. I like to top stitch a couple times, and also a 1/4" from outer edge.

Whaooooo! you are done.

These make great gifts, wash like a dream and they re reversible.

Below is an example of a set I made for Marge.

Happy Quilting!

Email me or leave a comment if you would like the dimensions.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I'm sure no one wants to hear more about my porch, except the repairs will be finished up today. We had several down pours on Saturday that brought the repairs to a halt. Now it looks like I need some work done to my gutters. When you own a place "there is always something needin fixin" my hired man said. He is a true Arkansas native, moves very slowly and has to do a lot of pondering, but he works cheap and says he just like to have "somthin a goin on".

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Friday porch fix

Instead of being a fun day working on the mosaic for my front steps, I get to tear apart, the outer part of my porch. While out there yesterday, I discovered the outer edge was about to fall though.
Further discovery led me to the major problem, the outer board that supports the floor is rotten.
I have someone coming to help me today, hard telling what we will discover as we tear into it.

But all is well, remember I like breaking things.

Saturday follow-up.

This task was a bit bigger than I could handle by myself, I had to hired some help.
Of course you never know what you are going to run into when you start demo on a project.

A little more than I anticipated needed repair. After a trip to Home Depot the new lumber is in place, today we will be putting down the new floor.


I haven't posted for a few days because I have been sick at heart. If you have been following Rhonda's story, we received good and bad news,about her cancer.

The doctor received the analysis for the kidney they removed last week. The good news is her cancer was a T-1, on a scale of 1-3. The bad news is it was a progressive cancer on a scale of 1-4 hers was a 3.

As soon as she heals from the surgery she will be seeing a oncologist, to see what her options are for treatment and monitoring.
We are kinda left in the dark until then, so "friends and neighbors" please keep Rhonda and her family in your prayers.

I have been trying to stay busy playing in my little studio breaking dishes. It really is pretty good therapy.

This piece will either be a gnome house or a mushroom, depending on how you look at it. It will need to cure a few days before grouting.

Potted up few "Hen & Chickens" yesterday for my friend Marge.

My next project will be mosaicing on my front steps, just on the risers, this will be a challenge, I'll keep you posted.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Looking for hydrangeas & I hate snakes

I recently had these nasty shurbs pulled out,
leaving a new planting area. I decided I wanted a few hydrangea bushes along this area. I figured this was the time of year to plant them, so yesterday I went on a quest to find some,(that I could afford).

I stopped at Home Depot first, the gal in the nursery dept. didn't even know what they were. So I broused around and found 2 very sickly looking plants that they wanted $19.00 a piece for. Moving on I went to Lowes, there I found nice big plants full of blooms, but they were $29.00 each and I am sure well worth it, but way over my budget, I wanted at least 3.

So on to Zamzoa's a local pet/garden store. All thier hydrangeas were gone, BUT as I was leaving a man, shuddering just think about it, was entering the store with a 7 foot yellow snake wrapped around his body. Now that I think about I am not sure it was 7foot but it wrapped his body at least twice YUCK.

OH MY GOD, I somehow kept my composer until I got to the car, I think it took a moment or two to sink in. (They shouldn't be allowed out in public, or at least transported in a cage)
As everyone who has ever met me knows I am terrifed of snakes. A phobia I have had since childhood, when some nasty little boys put a bunch of snakes down the back of my blouse.

I was only a few blocks from home luckily, but I was so shook up I ran into the side of my carport, knocking my mirror lose on the pasengers side, I had the car wedged against the side of the carport and everytime I moved it I heard a terrible scraping sound. I had to get a neighbor to come over and help me get it untangled. Fortnuately no damage to the car, and the mirror snaped back in place.

Back to the hydrangeas, I decide I am going to take cuttings from my friend Marges' bushes. Much cheaper and I won't be running into any damn snakes.

how to take a hydrangea cutting

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Houston we have a problem and other musing

I have a dear friend, Larry, living in Houston. He says he is a "old tough marine" and Ike doesn't scare him. If I lived there I would have been very scared. I thought about the people in Ike's path all night.
Larry was going to spend the night at his daughters so they would all be together. I received a email yesterday before the storm hit. I told him to call as soon as he could, but I expect it to be several days.

On a lighter note I have finished a few mosaic pieces, I am anxious to start on this fountain.

Bird FeederAdded the state name just in case the birds are lost on thier way south.

My latest piece finished. Isn't the teapot the cutest, I don't collect teapots, but I couldn't resist this for $2.00 at a recent yard sale.

I also have been thinking of doing the risers on my porch steps. Mosaicing can be as addictive as quilting, but much cheaper, especially when you use yard sale dishes. Hunting for just the right color is as much fun as looking for the right piece of fabric for a quilt.

For those of following Rhonda's surgery, I spoke with her on the phone this morning and she is doing as well as anyone that has had major surgery. As soon as everything starts working again she will be able to go home. That is when the real recovery begins. God Bless you Rhonda.

Drop in on Jacquelynne she is having a fabulous quilting giveaway

Friday, September 12, 2008

Vegetable Soup or my way of losing weight

While on my recent trip I picked up a few pounds that I want to shed. This soup helped me when I was losing weight, and it is soooo good. I lost 30 lbs last year, now my challenge is to keep it off so I always revert back to this soup when I gain a lb or two.

I make a large pot of this soup, divide it into individual servings and freeze. All the vegetables the recipe recommends are so plentiful and inexpensive right now, I may make two batches it freezes so well..

I ate 2 bowls before I took the photo,yum yum..

2 med cloves garlic minced
1 med onion, diced
2 med carrots sliced
1 med sweet red pepper diced
1 med stalk celery sliced
2 small zucchini
2 cups chopped green cabbage
2 cups Swiss Chard chopped
2 cups cauliflower small florets
2 cups broccoli small florets
2 tsp thyme
6 cups vegetable broth, I use fat free chicken broth
2 Tbsp parsley, & or chives, chopped
salt & pepper to taste
2 tbsp lemon juice optional

Put garlic, vegetables, thyme and broth into a large soup pot. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. reduce heat to low and simmer, partly covered, about 10 minutes.

Stir in parsley or chives, season to taste with salt pepper and lemon juice.
Makes 12 to 15 cups. 0 points if you follow weight watchers.