Friday, October 29, 2010

A No Peek Halloween

A grandmother pretends she doesn't know who you are on Halloween.
~Erma Bombeck

Sunday is Halloween.  This year we will be going dark - watching tv in the back room with the dogs, ignoring the pounding on the door and the ringing of the bell.  We have decided that we have had enough of the teenagers that come around not dressed in costume with their pillow cases for candy bags expecting a big handout.  We've had enough of the pregnant young ladies coming around saying they are 'trick or treating' for their baby and pointing at their stomachs.  We are tired of the rude children, unescorted by adults, who never say 'thank you'.  I will miss the little ones, with happy smiles and their soft little 'twick or tweats', all dressed up as princesses, batman, or their favorite Toy Story character.  So we say 'bah humbug' to Halloween this year, I'm sorry to say.  How about you?  Will you be answering your door to all of the little ghosts and goblins?


Asparagus Fern on my side yard

Asparagus fern or Asparagus densiflorus is a weed that belongs to the lily family or Liliaceae. Though asparagus fern is characterized by lacy fern like foliage, it is not a true fern. Rather, it is a close relative of the asparagus plant, with its bushy appearance and delicate foliage. Asparagus fern is native to South Africa and is often considered as a weed. But today, asparagus fern is a popular houseplant. The credit for popularizing asparagus fern as an ornamental plant in Europe goes to Carl Ludwig Sprenger, a German botanist.  I did not know the following fact:  Asparagus fern is considered as a toxic plant, when ingested. Ingestion of the berries can cause gastrointestinal problems like, diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain, while skin contact can cause allergic reactions or dermatitis. The plant is toxic to pets like dogs and cats. Therefore, it is advisable to keep asparagus fern and cats or dogs at a distance, or take adequate care so that your pets do not consume any part of the plant.


Yesterday I worked on my Cheryl's SAL blocks.  I managed to get the all squared up and some of them into rows.  I only have a picture of 8 of the blocks not yet assembled not yet put into rows.
I hope to have the quilt top completely assembled the first part of next week.  I'll share it with you then.


And since I didn't have anything else completed to show you, I thought I would share a picture of three fall pillows that I made last year.  They are getting rather tired looking and probably need a bigger pillow form but here they are.

My favorite is the center with all of the tiny blowing leaves on it.  The dogs, unfortunately, like to use them as their cushions to lay on - but then they always look so comfortable on them - lol!


How about a super easy recipe.  This is a slow cooker recipe that is yummy.  It has only a few ingredients and can cook up to 12 hours

No Peek Beef Casserole


2 pounds stew beef, cut into 1-inch pieces
1  -  1 3/8 ounce envelope dry onion soup mix
1/2 cup red wine
1  -  10 3/4 ounce can golden mushroom soup
1  -  4 ounce can sliced mushrooms, drained
1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca (optional)



Combine all ingredients in slow cooker.  Stir together well.  Cover and cook on Low 8 to 12 hours, or on High for 4 to 6 hours.  Serve over noodles or rice.  Serves 4.  This recipe may be doubled for 5 quart slow cookers.

No Peek Beef Casserole served over rice

Personal Notes

1.  I use just about any kind of beef that is on sale - it cooks so long any meat you use will soften

2.  The original recipe calls for cream of mushroom soup but I think Golden Mushroom soup adds more flavor.

3.  Reheats well.



Norma over at Quilty Giveaways is featuring Sonja of Artisania. Sonja is giving away two of her patterns to two lucky winners. (Make sure you enter at the Quilty Giveaways link). You might want to check out Sonja's site for the cute free paper piecing patterns she has.  This giveaway ends November 3rd.

My "Just Because" giveaway is still running.  If you would like to enter to win 5 fall themed fat quarters just click HERE.


Final Thought

I can hardly believe it is already Friday.  Where did the time go.  Coming home on Monday just totally messed with my brain's scheduling - I've been off all week by a day.  Maybe over the weekend I can reorganize my mind and by Monday be back into brain and day harmony.  Our weekend doesn't appear to be too busy for a change - a welcome respite.  Perhaps we will catch up on some much needed yard work, watch some tv shows recorded at least two weeks ago (thank goodness for the DVR), enjoy a cup of coffee while reading the morning paper.  I'm starting to sound old!  The following quote is definitely how I feel this week:

Middle age is when you're sitting at home on a Saturday night and the telephone rings and you hope it isn't for you.
~Ogden Nash

Happy Halloween to everyone!!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Autumn Into Christmas

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
~Albert Camus

Cooler weather is finally here.  I actually had to turn the heater on yesterday morning.  As I write this, I'm sitting here with my hood up to keep my head warm and have a quilt wrapped around my legs for warmth.  I also have Snickerdoodle being a little oven on my lap - under the quilt of course.  I am thoroughly enjoying this change in the temps - I was wondering if it would ever arrive.  Now I feel like we are on course to head into the holidays.  Bring it on!! LOL!


One of the first autumn leaves to arrive in my yard

Autumn is another word for fall. It is defined as the season when the leaves change the colour and fall from the trees, leaving the ground with a splendid array of brilliant red, yellow and orange dried leaves. It is the season the marks the end of the summer season and the beginning of the winter season.  It occurs approximately at the same time when the sun is close to the winter solstice. It is the season that usually begins in the month of September and goes on until the month of November in North American and Europe, which lie in the northern hemisphere, and the season that occurs between the months of March and May in the southern hemisphere, which includes the continent of Australia.  If expressed in astronomical terms, the autumn season refers to the season which starts from the autumnal equinox and extends up to the winter solstice. Autumn or fall, in fact, mark the period of transition between the summer and the winter seasons.  Autumn - my favorite time of year!


I was able to sit at my sewing machine yesterday and it certainly felt good after leaving it idle for 6 days!  Poor thing is not used to such a long hiatus.  But it purred along as usual :)  I was in the mood for another Designer Mystery BOM - follow along and see if you can guess what I made before the final picture.

This is the fabric for the third block - bright and Christmasy like the others.

First I made these four blocks.  Any guesses yet?

Those four blocks turned into this block.  What could it be?

Next it was snowballing two corners.  Still no ideas?

Then this block was created.  Do you think it might be a present? 

Another rectangle with two snowball corners.  Not much help, is it.

Put the three units together.  I bet you have some ideas now!  Did you notice the cutting error on the middle block?  It ended up 1/4" of an inch too narrow so I had to be very careful when sewing on the next two pieces.  I ended up double stitching the seams so it won't come undone from washing.  I know.......measure twice, cut once!!

These are the final two pieces to the puzzle.  Now I know you know what it is........

It's a Christmas Wreath.  And you can't even tell I made that cutting error (thank goodness!)

I have had a lot of fun making these first three blocks and look forward to making more BOM's.  I hope you have had a little fun too trying to guess what they will be.



Don't forget to enter my giveaway.  You could be the proud winner of 5 fall colored fat quarters.  This giveaway will be open until November 2nd.  You can enter my Just Because giveaway HERE.


Final Thought

Cooler weather means time to snuggle, time to relax, time to reflect.  Enjoy this cool weather while holding a warm mug of coffee or hot chocolate.  Enjoy the sites of changing colors, the Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations appearing on front steps, being able to see your breath as you step outside first thing in the morning.  In other words.......Enjoy Life! 

Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars.
~Henry Van Dyke

Thank goodness it's Thursday!!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Flowers! The Wonders Of Diversity.

To be overcome by the fragrance of flowers is a delectable form of defeat.
~Beverly Nichols

Flowers are the theme for the day!  Where would I be without One Flower Wednesday?  This week I would be lost.  Being away from the sewing machine for 5 days has really put a crimp in my creative sharing.  Sometimes falling back on the ol' hand sewing has its advantages.  Two flowers were created on the way home Monday in the car - if it hadn't been so darn windy and buffeting the car around so much, I could have completed at least one more.  But two in the hand is better than none for the screen.


Photo Of The Day

A gerbera in my yard in green leaves
Green.  My favorite color.  Green is life. Abundant in nature, green signifies growth, renewal, health, and environment. On the flip side, green is jealousy or envy (green-eyed monster) and inexperience.  Green is a restful color with some of the same calming attributes of blue. Like blue, time moves faster in a green room.  With both a warming and cooling effect, the color green denotes balance, harmony, and stability. Use several shades of green for a fresh, Springtime feel. Olive green, also called olive drab, is a not so drab summery green that may have military overtones for some people.  Many people will not use green in their quilts - maybe they just haven't found the right shade.  Green!


It was a great mail day for me today!  I recently won a giveaway from Kim over at Live Well, Love Much, Laugh and Quilt Often and received it in the mail today. 

"What's in here, Mom?  Something for us?  Can we eat it or squeak it?"  Weasley and Snickerdoodle had to check it out first.

The pups were very disappointed but I was very happy.  Besides the winnings, Kim included in the little parcel a sweet little note, a darling little Crafter's Jewels keychain that says "I love Quilting" and a cute little handmade buttoned pouch that has so many uses.  What I actually won was a beautiful fall table runner and a super soft little pumpkin.   I'm such a lucky gal!!  Thank you Kim!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'm going to join in another Sew Along.  This is being hosted by Thread Head.  The quilt is made with 40 scrappy blocks and finishes out at 97" square. I have yet to decide if I'm going with a fabric theme or just going truly scrappy.  I'm leaning toward totally scrappy as I'm not sure I have enough of any one type of fabric.  Here is what the quilt will look like:

It looks like lots of fun.  It's not too late to join in as she has only posted three blocks plus the Alabama Variation Block.  You can either connect through the link above or through the button on the right.


One Flower Wednesday!!!  I had a hard time deciding which flower to share today.  Which one?  Bright and cheery?  One full of critters?  Okay - here it is...........

I selected the bright and cherry one.  See the little bees checking out the petals?

Are you looking for a new swap group?  I recently joined The Inchy Flower Swap.  This group is looking for new members!  Each month you will be making and sending a hexagon flower to someone, somewhere in the world.  Click on the link above or the button on the right for all of the info and to join.



Would you like another try at winning a GO! Cutter?  Then you must go to Irish Muses before November 5th!

Lisa over at Inspired Quilter is having two giveaways as her birthday celebration.  Check this out before November 6th.

Little Bluebell is giving away a gorgeous stack of Bliss!  Now I know you all having been drooling over this beautiful fabric so enter before November 3rd.

Sarah is having a birthday celebration!  Jump on over to Confessions of a Fabric Addict and enter to win a charm pack of Bliss or charm pack of Moda's 12 Days of Christmas.  This giveaway ends Friday morning.

Karen from Lisnaweary Quilts is having a giveaway.  She is giving away some beautiful Irish linen.  This one end November 9th so check it out today!

Don't forget to enter my "Just Because" giveaway!  You don't even have to be a follower to enter - but I would love it if you would like to.  This giveaway ends November 2nd!


Final Thought

The middle of the week is here bringing us closer to the end of the month.  I can't hardly believe that Halloween is going to be here in just 5 days, to be followed quickly by Thanksgiving and Christmas.  How the time does fly.  How does the day pass so quickly when I have so much left to do?  It is especially important this time of year to remember to live in today, appreciate what is here now, accomplish what you had hoped today.  The future will be here soon enough.  So I leave you with this quote: 

A preoccupation with the future not only prevents us from seeing the present as it is but often prompts us to rearrange the past.
~Eric Hoffer

Have a wonderfully wasteless (is that a word? blogger says 'no') Wednesday!!!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I'm Back!!! Time For A Giveaway!

There is a very easy way to return from a casino with a small fortune: go there with a large one.
~Jack Yelton

Bet you didn't even know I was gone!  Thank goodness for blogger I was able to prepare postings in advance and then have them post on the days I wanted.  We just spent five days in Las Vegas attending the Pro Bull Riding Finals.  We had an absolutely wonderful time.  Gambled a little, ate too much, and watched three days of bull riding!  This was the most relaxing time we have ever had in Sin City.  Pictures further down in the post.


Picture of the Day

Salvia in my backyard

Blue Salvia (also known as Mealy-Cup Sage) has a wonderfully long blooming period and looks absolutely incredible planted in mass or in containers. An excellent cut or dried flower, Victoria Blue Salvia has particularly deep purple/blue flowers and is a dwarf, attaining a height of only 18 inches. Does well in hot, humid climates. Drought tolerant - grows on dry hillsides in it's native Texas and New Mexico.  Butterflies and hummingbirds just love this plant.


As stated above, we had an absolutely fantastic time in Las Vegas.  We didn't stay on or go to The Strip or Downtown.  We stayed at the far end of the city at South Point - also the lodging place of many of the PBR members such as the bull fighters and commentators.  I won't bore you with a whole bunch of pictures but I did put together a few collages.  You can click on the pictures to see a larger view.
Assorted views of the scenery we viewed on the trip to and from Las Vegas.  If you would like info on an exact picture, please let me know.

Different views of The Strip as we passed by on the freeway.  I was overcast for most of our stay so most of the pictures are rather muted.

Different bull riders and entertainers.  I was even able to have my picture taken with a few of the bull riders.  They are all such great, down-to-earth young men!

This is just a quick glimpse of the Finals.  So much fun!!  It was hard to get a decent picture of the actual bull riding as the lighting was low and there is so much action.

I hope you weren't too bored with my little picture trip.



I am waaaaaaaaaay behind on reading blogs and so haven't been keeping up to date on giveaways out there.  If you would like me to include your giveaway in my posting for tomorrow, just let me know and it will be included.

So, since I don't know of any giveaways - how about if I have a giveaway of my own.  Let's call this the "Just Because" giveaway - because I can and because I want to!!  I'm giving away 5 fall colored fat quarters from my own collection.  I guess you could say I'm de-stashing a little.  I should probably do this more often but this is it for this giveaway.

To enter this giveaway just leave me a comment telling me what your favorite animal is and why (something different - right?).  You do not have to be a follower (I would love it if you would become one) or have a blog.  However, please make sure that there is some way to reach you.  If you have a no-reply then make sure you leave an email in your comment.  If I can't get in contact with you, then you will be eliminated as a possible winner.  This giveaway closes Tuesday, November 2, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. PST.  I will use to select the winner.  Good luck to you all!!!!!


Final Thought

This morning while starting this blog, our main computer became ill :(  Hopefully the techie will be able to come out today to fix it.  Now I'm using the laptop which I have a love/hate relationship with.  So now you know the reason for my blog being posted late today.  For today I will leave you with this final quote:

Those parts of the system that you can hit with a hammer (not advised) are called hardware; those program instructions that you can only curse at are called software.
~Author Unknown

I felt like hitting and cursing this morning!  Ta - ta for Tuesday!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday Burger Mystery

The best cure for insomnia is a Monday morning.
~Author Unknown

Isn't that true?!?  Actually, I am usually ready to start the day come Monday.  I'm rested and have restored my energy banks over the weekend - watch out Monday!!  Do I have big plans?  No.  But I don't have a lot a little things I would like to accomplish.  How was your weekend?


Photo Of The Day

Red leaves on a Nandina bush

We all enjoy the colors of autumn leaves. The changing fall foliage never fails to surprise and delight us. Did you ever wonder how and why a fall leaf changes color? Why a maple leaf turns bright red? Where do the yellows and oranges come from?  As summer ends and autumn comes, the days get shorter and shorter. This is how the trees "know" to begin getting ready for winter.  During winter, there is not enough light or water for photosynthesis. The trees will rest, and live off the food they stored during the summer. They begin to shut down their food-making factories. The green chlorophyll disappears from the leaves. As the bright green fades away, we begin to see yellow and orange colors. Small amounts of these colors have been in the leaves all along. We just can't see them in the summer, because they are covered up by the green chlorophyll.  Whatever the cause, I enjoy autumn for the beautiful show it creates.  Thank you Mother Nature!


Last week I completed the 2nd Designer Mystery Block of the Month

First I created these blocks.  Can you guess what it might be?

Next came this assemblage.  Any guesses yet?

This is the next block completed.  I bet you have an idea as to what it is now!

Ta-da!!  This is called Santa's Lucky Hat.  Isn't it cute?

You can still get in on this BOM through the Fat Quarter Shop.  I just love the colors - so bright and cheery.  I am still three months behind but at least I'm making some headway.


How would you like a recipe today?  Since I did a cookie recipe last time, maybe I should balance with a main course.  A different type of hamburger maybe?  OK, done.......

Emeril's Pork and Chorizo Burgers


6 oz smoked chorizo sausage, casings removed
1 pound ground pork
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 slices pepper jack cheese

1.  Heat grill to medium. In large bowl, add ground pork, chorizo, garlic, Worcestershire, cajun seasoning, salt, and cayenne: mix gently. Form mixture into three 1 inch thick patties.

Burger mixture before blending in spices

3 burgers formed

2.  Grill burgers until cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes per side. Top with sliced pepper jack cheese

Personal Notes

1.  Since mixing the meat mixture requires sticking your hand into sticky icky cold meat, I wear gloves.

2.  My daughter is turned off by the texture, something I have never noticed.

3.  The burgers are a little on the spicy side but definitely not overly so.

4.  I have a hard time eating any other burgers since discovering this recipe.

5.  I could only find the ground pork at an independently owned grocery store.



Final Thought

The beginning of the week, a fresh start, uncharted hours ahead - Monday!  I'm not a Monday hater.  It means I can get back to sewing.  Back to some sort of normality and routine.  I'm very much into regular and familiarity.  Some people would consider me boring.  But that's okay.  It's what I like and what I am.  So, I leave you with this thought for Monday......

You've got a lot of choices. If getting out of bed in the morning is a chore and you're not smiling on a regular basis, try another choice.
~Steven D. Woodhull

Merry Monday to you all!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Creative C Collection

Every day is an opportunity to make a new happy ending.
                              ~Author Unknown

Friday!  The last day of the work week - on to relaxation, crafting, traveling, or to whatever you may have planned for the weekend.  I didn't get any sewing of any type done yesterday so I am going to fall back onto one of my other plans for today's post.  Back to the alphabet.  So today is all about the letter C!


Photo Of The Day

California Coast near the town of Cambria

Yes, I know this isn't my backyard  (wouldn't it be nice if it was?).  Could I find anything in my backyard that started with the letter C?  No, except maybe a clump of dirt or a crushed flower - not something for a nice picture.  Cambria is known as "Where the Pines Meet the Sea".  Cambria enchants visitors with its historic architecture, distinctive shops, art galleries and walking trails along Moonstone Beach. Cambria is also home to a gourmet food and wine experience that is shaped by local farms, seafood and wineries.  Free of chain stores and brimming with charm but no place to shop for quilting supplies.  A wonderful place to go for relaxation and a beautiful view.


I went around the house looking for things that started with the letter C - trying to stay with craft related objects.  This is what I found....................

Cutter, Rotary - We would all be lost without our trusty rotary cutter.  I'm having to cut my hexagons by hand and can't imagine having to cut an entire quilt with only scissors.

Cubby holes - for storing all of those much needed sewing notions!

Clippings of Cotton Christmas fabric - not many scraps big enough to save but I did manage to salvage a couple out of this mess

Cotton batting - here are two of my favorites:  Warm & Natural and Warm & White

Cords - And all of these are needed for my sewing area - sewing machine, two lights, router, and a heavy duty extension cord for the iron

Camera - This is a clipart of the camera I use - couldn't hardly take a picture of the camera I was using now could I.  But where would we be if we couldn't document all of our creations!

Cutting mat - This is an Olfa self healing cutting mat - the smallest of the three I use

Clips - for holding the binding in place.  I am cheap and use hair clips - works just fine for me!

Chocolate - an absolute necessity for every quilter!  MMMMMMMM!!!!

Counted Cross Stitch - This is the Christmas Stocking that I'm working on for my SIL.  See how close I am to completing it?

Chair - A supporting, comfy chair is a must for all of those hours sitting in front of the sewing machine!  This is mine and it has lots of back support and those all important wheels to enable sliding across the room.

Coffee - good for the caffine kick or to have a cup and relax.  I get my one fix in the morning and then it's decaf for the rest of the day.

Computer - Now would I be able to work on this blog without one?  Not to mention all of the internet shopping, blog hopping, tutorials, and advice I would miss if I didn't have one of these machines!!!!  Gee, whose blog is up there on the screen?  LOL!

Catalogs - Another great resource for shopping or to find out what the newest and latest gadgets are.

Candy Corn - Not a necessity but something nice and sweet to have this time of year.  I probably wouldn't have bought any if I didn't see it in so many blogs - they started up my yearly craving for this sugary treat.

Crochet and Crochet Hook - I crochet in the evenings while watching tv.  All of the crocheting creates afghans that are donated to Project Linus.

Colored Pencils - Helpful when designing quilts or arranging color layouts

Charts - This is a chart for the Christmas Stocking I hope to finish before the end of the month (Yes, I know that the end of the month will arrive in 9 days - I better get stitching!)

Countless magazines - I know that this was a stretch for the letter C.  This is a stack that I still need to go through to cut out the pages I want to save in binders.

That's it for my trip through C-ville.  I also thought of Crafts, Coupons, and Calendars but thought I better stop before you were just completely bored, and that's presuming you are still reading - lol!  How many more crafty C words can you think of?



Just a quick reminder to enter Leona's giveaway!  She has so many great things included for this giveaway.  Check it out at Leona's Quilting Adventure today.

Green Fairy Quilts is having a giveaway of Breakfast at Tiffany's fat eighth bundle.  Winner will be announced Monday night, October 25th.


Final Thought

The weekend is only a few hours away.  Ours will be a busy and an enjoyable one (more in my post on Tuesday).  The forcast is great - cool weather and the possibility of a few showers - who could ask for more?  Hopefully you will get some of that much deserved down time in along with a lot of fun.  I will leave you with this quote:

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop to look around once in a while you could miss it.
~From the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Friday is here - enjoy the day!

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