Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Crape or Crepe?

"In Seattle you haven't had enough coffee until you can thread a sewing machine while it's running"
                                                                           ~Jeff Bezos

Another absolutely beautiful, cool day here in the central valley was enjoyed by all yesterday!  What a tease Mother Nature can be!  Too bad we are supposed to shoot back up to the 90's again.  But, then, that is what we expect here through September.  My Monday was not very productive.  My house cleaner, Lorraine, showed up as usual, but then had to leave 5 minutes later for an appointment with the dentist to have a tooth checked.  She came back to clean but it messed up my schedule as I normally plan for every other Monday.  But I did get to catch up on blogs I like to read and email that I didn't get to over the weekend - so all was not lost.  And, most importantly, my house is clean!

My picture today is of one of the best plants/trees for producing color in hot weather.  It's a crape myrtle that we have in our front yard.  When I bought it I really was looking for the hot pink variety but have been pleased with this lighter pink version. 

Crape Myrtles are woody in nature and range in height from over 100 feet to as little as 1 foot.  Colors vary from deep purple to red to white, with almost every shade in between.  Flowering periods last from 60 to 120 days.  Many types have interesting bark that exfoliates in thin flakes exposing lovely cinnamon or gray inner bark.  The common name is crape myrtle not crepe myrtle.  It is called the because the flowers have crinkly petals that resemble the material called crepe but many references tell us that you're supposed to spell it crape when it's in front of the word myrtle.  Confused? I think somebody is full of crape when they came up with this name!

Yesterday I forgot to share my latest Project Linus afghan that I was able to finish on our way down south.  When it was completed, I looked at it and realized that it is West High's colors (the high school I graduated from). 


Today I thought I would share a new recipe I tried last week and really enjoyed.  It's actually low in calorie and tastes good too.



2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon season salt
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 medium sweet bell peppers, chopped
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 red onion, chopped

                       Here's what I used


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)

2.  In a medium bowl, mix the olive oil, garlic salt, parsley, pepper, Old Bay Seasoning, and season salt. Place the chicken breasts in a lightly greased medium baking dish and rub with 1/2 of the seasoning mixture.

3.  Toss the sweet bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onion with the remaining olive oil seasoning mixture.  Arrange over the chicken.

Bell peppers, tomatoes and red onion mixed with olive oil seasoning mixture

                                     Ready for the oven

4.  Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, until the vegetables are tender, the chicken is no longer pink, and its juices run clear.

Easy Chicken served with broccoli


1.  I chopped the bell peppers rather chunky

2.  I found that I could spread the seasoning mixture rather easily on the chicken using the back of a spoon.

3.  This reheats extremely well

I hope you enjoy this as much as my husband and I did.  I have been able to test the reheatability (is that a word?) of a lot of my recipes lately because I fix the meal in the evening for my husband and I usually have mine for lunch the next day.  I have been trying to drop a few unwanted pounds (thanks to the good old HRT's) so I have gone back to eating my main meal at lunch and having only veggies and fruits for dinner.  Works pretty well for me and my stomach really appreciates having a lighter meal at the end of the day.


Craftopotmas is giving away a beautiful quilt that she created for her blogs 100th follower goal being reached.  There are three ways to enter and remains open until September 12.

I had so much fun with the first giveaway, that I will be hosting another giveaway as soon as I reach 100 followers.  So gather your friends and send them my way to become a follower.

I managed to find another blog having an Accuquilt GO! Cutter giveaway.  Go visit Karen's blog at Sew Many Ways to enter but hurry, it ends September 1st.

Ryan Walsh over at I'm Just A Guy Who Quilts is also giving away a GO! Cutter.  Visit his blog for a chance to win - this one ends September 5th.

Stash Manicure is having a Halloween Themed Giveaway.  Check out the cute things she is giving away.  This ends September 5th

Another day has come and gone.  I hope your week is progressing nicely.  Tomorrow I will share my first hand sewn hexagon flower for my Flower Garden quilt.  Ta-ta for Tuesday!

Monday, August 30, 2010

AND THE WINNER IS.................

"Quilters aren't greedy, they're just materialistic"
                                        ~author unknown

Before the big announcement, I thought I would share my picture of the day with you.

This hot pink gerbera is one of my absolute favorites.  I have split this plant many times so I have several of them throughout the yard.  It is a very hardy grower and adds so much color to the garden.

I suppose you all want to know who the winner is of my first giveaway.  But first I want to thank you all for participating!  Without all of you there would not have been any reason to have this giveaway.  I hope that you will spread the word and encourage more to follow because once I reach 50 followers (that's not that many more), I will have another giveaway.

Okay, no more delay.  The winner was selected using random.org.  And the winner is.................

Congratulations, jillquilt

I have sent jillquilt an email notifying her that she is the big winner and hope to hear from her soon so that I can send her all of the loot.

So, now everybody but one is let down and sad - sorry - but maybe next time.  What was your weekend like?  Mine was a big blur.  It was both fun and tiring.

Friday I managed to complete another row of my blue and brown quilt.  Five more blocks, one more row and I will have completed the top.  That is my goal for this week.  Do you have a quilting goal for this week?

                                        One more completed row!

Saturday morning started out with a cup of coffee on the patio while we read the morning paper.  The weather decided to take a cool down and we relished the cooler morning temp.  Then it was on to the local farmer's market.  I definitely needed to go as all that was left in my vegetable drawers was a few new potatoes and half of a red onion.  I needed absolutely everything else.  We picked up romaine lettuce, carrots, potatoes, purple potatoes, strawberries, yellow onion, red onion, broccoli, white corn, and summer squash.

We did our normal out to lunch at The Village Grill.  Luckily, we were able to get a table on the patio because the weather was absolutely gorgeous!  And, of course, the food was great.  Our next stop was Trader Joes to pick up a few things - brown rice, frozen fish, and 2 buck chuck.  After taking the fish home, we headed for Kohls where we made some really good deals.  We headed in with our $10 of coupon to look for a pair of sandals which I found on clearance. They were regularly $40 marked down to $7.99!  I decided I couldn't beat that deal.  Heck, I could wear them twice and throw them out and still felt like I was ahead.  Picked up a couple more things and went to pay.  We spent about $32 after saving $73!!!  We were quite pleased with ourselves.  When I got home and looked at the receipt I noticed that besides the $10 coupon savings, we also received an additional 15% off!  Sometimes you just gotta love Kohls and their deals.

Sunday we headed down to Simi Valley (southern California) for a 40th wedding anniversary celebration.  What was supposed to be an hour and a half drive turned into a 3 hour drive.  Half way there we were completely stopped on the interstate for over an hour.  When the big rigs turn off their engines, you know you are in trouble.  There were people walking up the hill to see if they could see what was happening, someone was blowing bubbles, and we could even see one person flying a kite.  Apparently a semi truck had gone over the side (this happened in the mountains between the central valley and the Los Angeles basin) during the early morning hours and they were attempting to pull it back up to the road.  As a result, we missed the church service.  But we did make it to the restaurant for a great celebration and some wonderful food.  Unfortunately, had to get back on the freeway and head home along with every other nutty southern California driver heading home on a Sunday evening after a busy weekend.  It was a very long day!

If you still haven't won a new AccuQuilt Go! (and I'm still trying!) check out A Quilting Life - they are running a giveaway until Sept 3.

If any of you know of any giveaways you would like me to post, just drop me a line and I would be happy to do so. 

Final Thoughts:
For the rest of the week I hope to share a couple more recipes with you, share my first hand sewn hexagon flower, and talk a little about living with ALS.  I hope you all have a great week planned!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Giveway Reminder

Just wanted to give you a quick reminder about my giveaway!  Today and Sunday are the last days to enter.  I will be drawing and announcing the winner on Monday.

Here is what you could win:

All you need to do is click on this link - GIVEAWAY.  Follow the instructions and maybe  you will become the winner!  Good luck!

Friday, August 27, 2010

If It's Friday, It Must Be Chicken?

"The chicken came first - God would look silly sitting on an egg"
                                                                        ~author unknown

Today is Friday!  Supposed to be cooler today and much cooler for the weekend.  It's actually supposed to be in the mid to low 80's.  I can't wait.  But it is only a three day tease as it is going to warm back up into the mid 90's by the middle of the week. 

Here's is my picture for the day:

This is a Rose of Sharon just off of my front porch

The name Rose of Sharon first appears in English in 1611 the Kings James Version of the Bible.  The bushes can get 6 to 8 feet tall and have a spread of 4 to 6 feet.  It actually isn't a rose but the large flat blossoms attract hummingbirds and tiny insects that hummers eat.  It's leaves don't come out until late spring, causing false alarms in gardeners who think their plants have died.  Native to East Asia and India, it is the national flower of Korea. 

How would you like a super simple, super tasty chicken recipe?  Well, I'm here to provide.  The chicken is glazed with mustard and honey, then baked with bacon and cheese.


4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
lemon pepper to taste
4 slices bacon, cut in half
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Here's what I used


1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

2.  Place the chicken breast halves in a baking dish, and drizzle evenly with honey and mustard.  Sprinkle with lemon pepper.

3.  Bake chicken 25 minutes in the preheated oven. Top each breast half with 2 bacon slice halves, and sprinkle evenly with cheese. Continue baking 10 minutes, or until chicken juices run clear, bacon is crisp, and cheese is bubbly.

Chicken dotted with mustard and Dijon mustard.  Sprinkled with lemon pepper.

Cooked chicken with bacon and cheese on top - ready for the last 10 - 15 minutes

Completely cooked.  I guess I was really hungry because I forgot to take a picture of this served on a plate with the summer squash we had that night :)

Personal Notes:

1.  Recipe called for regular yellow prepared mustard - I substituted with Dijon mustard

2.  I used buckwheat honey that I bought at the farmer's market - mmmmmm - so much better than the store bought stuff

3.  I didn't measure the honey or the mustard.  I just dribbled it on until I thought there was enough

4.  After adding the bacon and cheese, I continued cooking for 15 minutes - bacon was nowhere near crispy.  If you want really crisp bacon, I would suggest partially frying the bacon before placing on chicken, or use the precooked kind.  The bacon stayed rather fatty (which we like) even after 15 minutes of cooking.

5.  It warms up in the microwave okay, but the cheese sort of melts away.  I would add more cheese after mostly reheating it and then heat again just long enough to melt the cheese.

6.  Delicious and so easy!

A great new giveaway is happening over at Canton Village Quilt Works. She is giving away a new book by Barbara Cline and Jackie is also giving away a $20 gift certificate to her shop!

LAST REMINDER! Don't forget to enter my giveaway.  The winner will be announced on Monday!

If you or someone you know is having a giveaway, drop me a line and I will include it in future postings

Do you have big plans for the weekend?  We will be attending a 40th Anniversary celebration for my brother-in-law and his wife.  First a gathering at the church where they were originally married followed by a lunch at an Italian restaurant.  Lots of family and friends - should make for a good time. 

Have a great Friday and a super weekend!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


"I keep my end tables full of needlework and quilting so I don't have to dust them"
                                                                          ~author unknown

Ice Cream Truck In Bakersfield Yesterday

This is how hot it was in Bakersfield yesterday.   I was sent this picture via email and knew that I just had to share it.  It really did feel this hot yesterday.  Officially our high was 111', but in my backyard we reached 112'!!!!!!  I know I said I wasn't going to complain, but come on now!  I only ventured outside to feed my bird friends and to collect the mail.  So, this is my picture for the day.  I hope it made you chuckle.

I thought today would be a good day to do a nail laquer review.  I recently gave myself a mani in China Glaze Street Racing.  I know it's not a new color, but then, I have only started doing my nails about a month ago and several years of naked nails.  This is a much brighter color than I normally wear but the color in the bottle was just irresistable.  I think this color could be worn in both summer and winter.  The best description I can provide for Street Racing is it is reddish with a rosy gold metallic.  It's not quite a duochrome but it does show two different tones in different lighting. 

Outside it picks up more of the deep red and definitely shows the golden shimmer

In the shade, it has a softer look appearing more orangey

And, then under indoor lighting, it picks up both the deep red with highlights of a warm orange

I used my normal 3 coats and a top coat.  Speaking of top coat, not long ago my daughter made a comment on her blog how the polish she used "shrunk" (you can see this example at Kitschy Suburbia).  It looked like it had several days of wear at the tips after just a couple of hours.  One of her followers asked her if she used Seche Vite top coat, and she had.  The follower stated that the Seche was probably the cause of the shrinkage.  After reading that, I thought maybe that is why my manis always look worn at the tips after just 24 hours.  So, with my lates mani (not the ones in the pictures) I switched to China Glaze No-Chip top coat.  I still topped it off with Zoya's hurry up speed dry drops, but this time my mani still is looking worn at the tips and it's been over two days and lots of time on the keyboard.  So I'm thinking there is something to 'shrinkage' and the Seche Vite.  Have any of you had a similar experience?

Only a couple of more days to enter my first giveaway

Another chance for the Accuquilt GO! Cutter can be found at Sew Many Ways...  hurry on over and enter for a chance to win (or not, so maybe I could win - lol!)

One more AccuQuilt GO! Giveaway. Check out Sweet P Quilting and Creations to enter!

Do you like aprons?  Bobby over at A Vision to Remember is having a great giveaway!

Do you know of any other giveaways that you would like me to include?  Drop me a line and I will try to post them in future postings.

Off to The Village Grill for lunch - definitely a good thing.  Not sitting out on the patio today because I don't care how much shade there is, it will not be cool.  Not much else doing around here.  Still working on the blue and brown quilt and stitching the Christmas Stocking.  Stay cool and keep creating!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Family Heirlooms and Memories

"Our lives are like quilts - bits and pieces, joy and sorrow, stitched with love."
                                                                                            ~author unknown

Here's my picture for the day:

This is a White Spider Gerbera that I raised from seed this spring.  My first success doing this.  I had read that gerberas are very difficult to grow from seed and I agree.  Out of the 32 seeds I potted, only six sprouted.  I think I will just go to the nursery and purchase grown plants from now on.

I have been thinking a lot about my paternal grandparents lately.  Don't know why as they have been gone for over 40 years.  They were an unusual couple but you could never find a more loving and caring couple.  Grandma was a full blood Italian and quite a feisty 5'2" fireplug. Grandpa was a full blood Norwegian, 6'4" very stoic, blond (well, gray when I knew him) man.  Both came over from their respective countries as young adults.  I can't imagine how they ever met - I was never told and never thought to ask before my father passed more than 30 years ago - just one of those things you don't think to ask when you are young and figure you have all of the time in the world.  I can imagine, however,  when there were arguments and their native languages came out - neither one would be able to understand the other (and perhaps that was a good thing)! 

I know at one point my Grandpa was a cattle rancher in eastern Montana.  I used to hear stories of the fights between the cattle ranchers and the sheep herders - of course, the cattle ranchers were always right.  My Dad used to tell me that in the winter, it was so cold that sometimes a part of the cows tails would snap off from being frozen.  He would also say that you couldn't run when it was that cold out because it would hurt your lungs.  By the time I knew my grandparents, they had retired and moved to the western side of Montana to a beautiful little logging town known as Thompson Falls.  I haven't been there in many years but remember one of my favorite things about the town was how the railroad ran straight through the middle of town and that you could go to the movies for a dime.

Both of my grandparents were very creative.  Grandma quilted, embroidered, created porcelain items, and was a fantastic cook.  Grandpa was a weaver, a carver, and a latch hook rug maker.  Maybe this is where I get my need to always have my hands busy - quilting, cross stitching, or crocheting.  I remember going into what was supposed to be a one car garage and seeing Grandpa's loom taking up most of the space with some work always in progress.  Unfortunately, I don't remember ever seeing a finished work, nor do I know of any that exist.  Perhaps my aunt inherited some of them but she also passed many years ago and I do not know how to get in touch with my cousins that I haven't seen in 30 years.

I feel very lucky to have inherited three of my Grandma's hand sewn quilts.  Here are pictures of those.

I like the blue sashing used on this one

A close up of the hand stitching and some of the fabrics used.

Grandma's Pinwheel Quilt

A close of the hand stitching.  All the colors have held well as you can tell by the purple in this one

This my favorite one and has inspired me to create one like it soon

A close up of the stitching.  On close inspection, I noticed that many of the hexagons are sort of lopsided.  But that doesn't matter because I know they were all made with love!

All of these quilts have been well handled and have very little staining or fading.  They are all so soft and I could easily cuddle under them when it's cold.  Thank you for taking this stroll with me through some of my family memories.

Here are some giveaways that are happening this week.  Take a tour and maybe enter a few (but not too many so maybe I can win - LOL!)
Check out the $100 Visa gift card giveaway at V and Co. sponsored  by Kellogg's and blogher. 

Another great giveaway for the AccuQuilt Go! Cutter can be found at Freckled Whimsy.  (I really didn't want to tell you about this one but I had to get an extra chance at winning.)

Want another try at and AccuQuilt Go! Cutter?  You can enter another giveaway at a la mode fabric.  (Please don't, I really want to win - LOL!)

Do you like scraps?  Then here's a giveaway for you - Lilac Lane

Cathy over at Wonderous Woven Magic is having a giveaway of a 1/2 yard bundle of the McKenzie Line by Dena Designs for FreeSpirit Fabrics (a total of 3 1/2 yards!)

Megan at Lucy & Norman is having a Blog-aversary giveaway - lots of fat quarters.  Check this one out too.

And, of course, don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY.  There's quite a lot of stuff going to some lucky winner to be announced on Monday!

I have a confession to make.  I gave up on my Hawaiian Quilt.  After three days of trying to do a decent job on my hand applique, I decided to concede.  It beat me.  I'm not a perfectionist but I was not at all pleased with the way it was looking.  I'm normally do not give up on a project, but this was just driving me crazy.  So it is packaged away in a 2 gallon Ziploc bag, perhaps to be taken out at a later date, or to sit and collect dust as my second official UFO.  Time to go back and complete the blue and brown quilt that I started several months ago.  I am actually looking forward to completing this quilt.  Just 9 more squares and two more rows and I can create my quilt sandwich!  By this time next week I should be well on my way into the quilting phase.

Well, that's it for this Wednesday.  I hope you are cooler than we are here.  It's supposed to reach 108' for the high today - YUCK!  I know I'll be staying inside under the A/C.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Comfort Food Via The Slow Cooker

"I really don't dislike to cook, but what you cook is eaten so quickly.  When you sew, you have something that will last to show for your efforts"
                                                                            ~Elizabeth Travis Johnson

It's Tuesday!  I was actually able to get about four hours of hand sewing in on my Hawaiian Quilt yesterday.  I hope to get in more today.  I did have to take some time off to give myself a mani since my nails had been naked since Saturday afternoon.  I went with a new color for me, Zoya Clara.  I will post pics on that at a later date. 

I have been following the tutorial from Jaybird Quilts on hand sewing hexies.  She is giving a wonderful step by step tutorial!  I haven't started mine yet as I'm waiting on an order of Quilt Patis Hexagon Templates.  I had ordered them for a shop here in California but they were back ordered and finally said that I should try ordering them straight from the creator.  So today I called the "Home of the Original Quilt Patis" and placed an order and was told they will ship out tomorrow!  I can't wait.  Of course, I should probably finish the hand sewing on my current project before starting another.  I am going to be strict with myself and make myself finish the Hawaiian Quilt before beginning the hexies (well, I'm going to try really, really hard).

Here is today's photo:

This is a cactus on my back porch that I inherited from my friend, Garry.  I have no idea what variety it is so I am unable to give you any facts on the cute little plant.  If any of you know the variety, drop me a line and let me know, please.

Today I thought I would share a recipe with you.  One day last week I decided I really could use some comfort food and what better and easier way to prepare that than in the slow cooker.  This recipe comes from my favorite slow cooker cookbook "Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook".   I did alter the recipe slightly from the original.

Pork Chops and Mushrooms

4 boneless pork chops, 1/2-inch thick
1 medium onion, sliced
4-oz can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
10 3/4-oz can golden cream of mushroom soup
3 tablespoons red wine

Here's what I used

1.  Place pork chops in greased slow cooker. Top with onions and mushrooms.

2.  Combine soup mix, Worcestershire sauce, red wine, and mushroom soup. Pour over mushrooms.

3.  Cover. Cook on Low 6 to 8 hours.

Pork chops in my slow cooker

Pork chops with the mushrooms and onions on top

Pork chops with the soup mixture on top

This is so easy and smells so good cooking for most of the day.  The meat is extremely tender and my hubby loves all of the mushrooms (I scrape mine off - not a mushroom fan).  I served this with mashed potatoes.

My mother turned me onto to these frozen packaged mashed potatoes called Ore Isa Steam n' Mash Garlic Seasoned Potatoes

You just pop the whole unopened bag of potatoes in the microwave and follow the directions for cooking.  When finished cooking, dump them in a bowl and add some milk.  With minimal mashing, you have real mashed potatoes without all of the hassle of boiling the potatoes, endless mashing and trying to get the milk to potatoes ratio just right.  The one hint my mother did suggest was to warm the milk before adding it to the potatoes (the package doesn't tell you to do this) so that way your potatoes don't cool down from cold milk.  You might want to give them a try some time.

I have decided to join in Amy's Creative Side "One Thing, One Week Challenge".  My goal this week is to get at least half way through the hand stitching on my Hawaiian Quilt.  So today is a fairly short blog today as I want to get an earlier start on my Hawaiian Quilt.  I hope all of you are getting accomplished what you hoped to do this week - at least so far. 

And, of course, don't forget to enter my first GIVEAWAY!  The winner will be announced Monday!

Ta-ta for Tuesday!

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Lesson I Learned

"The only place housework comes before needlework is in the dictionary"
                                                                                      quote by Mary Kurtz

Most days this is a very true quote in my house.  No matter if it's quilting, cross stitching, or crocheting, it all takes precedence over housework.  Guess that's one of the reasons I have a house cleaner come in once every two weeks.  Thank goodness for Lorraine!

Today is my daughter, Megan's, birthday!  Happy Birthday, Megan.  Megan is the reason I even started this blog.  I so enjoyed reading hers that it inspired me to take the leap.  Take a hop over and check her out at Kitschy Suburbia

Did everyone have a wonderful weekend?  Mine was busy but we got a lot done.  Saturday morning we started out running.  First we visited the Farmers Market for lots of yummy fresh veggies and fruits.  Home to fridge the goods - summer squash, white sweet corn, romaine lettuce, buckwheat honey (I didn't fridge this), asparagus, new potatoes, purple potatoes, and strawberries.  Then on to what I fondly call "Our Costco/Walmart run".  We usually hit Walmart first where I always seem to end up in the crafts department for one thing or another - usually yarn for my Project Linus projects.  Then on to Costco.  We try to get there early enough to beat all of the sample kiosks being set up but no such luck this time.  It was a zoo!    Nothing makes the aisles harder to navigate than having whole families trying samples!  Then out to lunch at our favorite spot, The Village Grill, of course, and a trip up the hill to Petsmart and Lowes and on to Bed, Bath and Beyond.  Had to get a new hummingbird feeder as the one I had developed a leak and was attracting lots of bees.  At Lowes we had to buy a new sprinkler clock since the old one kept going on and off when the sprinklers were running causing the pipes to really rattle under the house, a new flag pole for my seasonal flags, and a bag of lump charcoal.  Then we went back across town to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to pick up a package of Debbie Meyer Green Bags (more on those at a later date), a new adjustable two cup measuring cup (I absolutely love this), and a basting brush for the hubs to use while barbecuing.  Our last stop was to purchase a Super Lottery ticket - which wasn't a winner this week :( 

We had an unexpected run up to Target yesterday morning.  We finally 'entered the dark side', as my husband called it, and purchased ourselves a Wii.  We originally planned to wait until Christmas to gift it to each other, but Target had it on sale for the lowest price I have seen yet, so we figured we better not wait.  So, of course, we wasted the afternoon away play Wii Sports and Mario Kart.  We had a blast!

Here's my daily photo:

One of our hummingbirds coming in to feed -  Black Chinned Female

Do you know that a group of hummingbirds is called?  There are many collective nouns, including "bouquet", "glittering", "hover", "shimmer", and "tune" of hummingbirds.  It is also an interesting fact that their nests can expand while the nestlings grow.  In cold weather, Black Chinned hummingbirds ingest three times its body weight in nectar in one day.

Friday was the third lesson in the Hawaiian Quilt with Quilt University.  I learned how to do needleturn applique.  Well, I'm still learning but I thought I would share a couple of pics with you anyway.

Here I am turning under the seam allowance using just the tip of the needle to push under approximately 3/16"  - it's a guessing game for me at this point

This shows the needle still holding the seam allowance in place.  It looks straight, thank goodness.

To make a stitch, the needle should enter the background fabric right up next to the applique fabric.

Take a small stitch with the needle coming up to catch only a couple of threads (2 or 3) of the applique fabric.  Pull the thread through and repeat the above step.

The underside of the background fabric.  My stitches aren't very even yet, but hopefully with time they will become more consistent.

Here is some of my first completed stitching.  The stitches don't show too much (especially from a distance)

Now I have two weeks to complete all of my applique stitching before the next class.  I'm going to try to keep careful records of the total stitching time on this.  It will give me an idea for future projects.  I hope you weren't too bored by this!

Check out the big giveaway at Nailstah.  She is giving away a 'ton' of polish.

Another super giveaway is happening at Canton Village Quilt Works.  She is giving away a GO! Cutter courtesy of AccuQuilt!  (Maybe I shouldn't tell you about this one, because I really want to win it myself!)

Rose Room Quilts is having a giveaway - 7 fat quarters of the new Daisy Doodle fabrics.

Also check out the giveaway at Quiltstory.  They are giving away two sets of fat quarters that are wonderful!

And you can't forget my first giveaway. Don't forget to enter soon, the winner will be announced next Monday, September 30th!!

On with the week.  Obviously I have a lot of hand sewing ahead.  I hope to nearly complete the cross stitch Christmas stocking I'm working on since I wanted it done by the end of the month.  Hope your week is productive and happy!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fun On Friday

Finally it's Friday!  Freaky, fantastic, fish, fun, fruity, free,   Friday is named after the Norse God Frigg or Freyja.  Friday's child is loving and giving.  Friday is furlough day (for some).  Only Robinson Crusoe had everything done by Friday (author unknown).  Friday was the youngest member of the Adamms Family.  I am going to stress the Fun Friday today. 

I actually was able to air out the house for a little while this morning.  It went down to 65 degrees early this morning!  The fresh air was nice and no a/c for a couple of hours!

Here is my photo of the day:

I took this photo soon after the sprinklers had finished running.

"The meanings of gerbera daisies stem from those attributed to the general daisy family.  These meanings include innocence and purity, and daisies are also a classic symbol of beauty.  However, the gerbera variety holds an added meaning of cheerfulness, which stems from the assortment of colors available."
quote from ProFlowers

Now on with the fun.  I saw this fun little game on Kitschy Suburbia (my daughter's blog) and had fun playing it.  It doesn't take a lot of time and you don't even have to leave your computer.  The game is My Life According To Google -  Go to Google and type in the following and choose from the first description found....Be honest, don't just pick one out to be funny!

1.  Type in "{Name} needs" in the Google search: Linda needs to be part of a loving and committed marriage.  But I already thought I was - Yes, I know I am!

2.  Type in "{Name} looks like" in Google search:  Linda looks like she should be playing the mother of the Exorcist kid.  I did for awhile but she grew up and become a beautiful, wonderful, loving,  hardworking mom!

3.  Type in "{Name} hates" in Google search:  Linda hates doctors.  Only a select few!

4.  Type in "{Name} goes" or "{Name} has gone" in Google search:  Linda goes on the hunt for coyotes.  Hmmm....wonder why?

5.  Type in "{Name} loves" in Google search:  Linda loves life!  It certainly is better than the other alternative!!

6.  Type in "{Name} eats" in Google search:  Linda eats her candy.  That certainly could explain the weight gain!

7.  Type in "{Name} has" in Google search:  Linda has two mommies.  Really?  Are you sure?  Some times she can be as bitchy as two people.

8.  Type in "{Name} works" in Google search:  Linda works to improve health and wellness in Malaysia.  Gee, aren't I the conscience type.  Never traveled out of the country, as far I know.

9.  Type in "{Name} lives" in Google search:  Linda lives in truth.  Does that mean "little white lies" don't count?

10. Type in "{Name} died" in Google search:  Linda died in poverty in 1962.  That's news to me and I think would really surprise my family!!!

11. Type in "{Name} does" in Google search:  Linda does Hollywood.  Is this like "Debbie Does Dallas"? So I was a porn star? Shhh - don't tell the hubby!!

12. Type in "{Name} will" in Google search:  Linda will come to your school.  It that a threat or just a promise?

13. Type in "{Name} is" in Google search:  Linda is now engaged to her 21 year old boyfriend.  Talk about spring and summer, well, more like spring and fall.  Nobody tell my husband!

Were you as surprised by your results as I was?

Just thought a little fun was called for since we always try to start the weekend off right.

Just a quick reminder, if you haven't already, to check out my first ever GIVEAWAY

And one thought for today:  "To the world you may be just one person.....But to one person you may be the world".  I saw this in the Pickles comic strip this morning and just had to share it with you.

That's it for today.  Hope you all have a fun filled weekend whether it's just being with the family or working on your favorite craft project.  Mine will be wonderful, just spending it with my better half!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Different Chicken Fajitas Anyone?

It's Thursday - as if you didn't know that already.  Thursday's child has far to go.  Thor's day.  Born on Thursday, merry and glad, Abba (girl) and Baba (boy) both mean 'born on Thursday' in African. Thirsty Thursday. Tolerence Thursday. Thursday - the fifth day of the week, the fourth work day of the week.  There's not much written about Thursday.  So how is your Thursday going?  Do you have any special sayings for this day of the week?

This is a common view from my kitchen window.

Mourning Dove feasting on sunflower seeds

It totally amazes me that the Scrub Jays are completely intimidated by these docile doves.  The dove just puffs himself up and the jays won't bother him.  It's not like the jays aren't bigger, noisier, and usually much more daring.  There must be some sort of history between the two breeds of birds.  One little tidbit on this bird that I found interesting is that the oldest documented wild Mourning Dove was just over 19 years ago.  I never stop to think that these were once only a domesticated bird.

Today I am sharing a recipe that is especially good for warm summer evenings.  It doesn't heat up the kitchen and doesn't take much prep time.

"Lime, vinegar and Italian salad dressing mix offer an alternative to the usual Mexican-spiced chicken, onion and bell pepper saute.  Serve in the traditional manner with a tortilla"


1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
2 (.7 ounce) packages dry Italian-style salad dressing mix
3 whole boneless, skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
2 sweet bell peppers, sliced

1.  In a large glass bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, lime juice, and dry salad dressing mix. Mix together. Add chicken strips, onion and bell peppers. Cover dish and refrigerate. Marinate for 3 to 6 hours.

2.  Spray a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Remove chicken, onion and bell pepper from marinade and saute in oil until chicken is cooked through (juices run clear) and onion is translucent, about 20 minutes.

1.  The original recipe calls for green bell pepper, but I use just about any color but green

2.  This can marinate all day - I have marinated it for up to 12 hours.

3.  I usually have to strain off more of the marinade after it has been sauteing for about 10 minutes.

4.  Serve on warm tortillas.

5.  Makes 4 to 6 servings


Chicken and onions in marinade mixture

Sliced red and orange bell pepper

All mixed up and ready to hit the 'fridge


Serving on a warm tortilla

Served with fresh corn on the cob dripping in butter!

As I previously stated, this is so easy and so good.  I was pleasantly surprised that the onion was not overpowering, even with the wider strips, it just added a nice flavor.  This dish also reheats well.  I can't wait to have it for lunch on Friday.

A quick reminder - don't forget to check out my first giveaway!

That's about it for today.  I'm off to lunch later - after all it is Thursday - I can hear the Village Grill calling!  I hope to complete a couple more squares on the blue and brown quilt I have been working on for months.  Take care and have a thoroughly thoughtful Thursday!
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