Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Music To Share

Music is what feelings sound like.
 ~Author Unknown

'Tis the season for a joyful sound! Music is everywhere. I love many kinds of music. Did you listen/watch that little video I linked to last week? I can become an emotional basket case when listening to music. When I listen to certain movie scores it has to be loud and full of base. If you do nothing else today, take a few minutes to watch and listen to this:

This was sent to me about two weeks ago I have listened to it several times now and each and every time I sit in front of the computer with tears just streaming down my face.  I'm just a sucker for great music!!!!!s



Kern County in the fall

This is a picture my DH took last fall up in the hills near a bird sanctuary. Kern County is called California's Golden Empire for a good reason. This grand and historic area, where settlers once sought the riches brought by gold and the "black gold" of oil, is now a place of golden opportunity. Kern County is filled with booming cities and an unparalleled quality of life.  The third-largest county in California -- larger than Massachusetts, New Jersey or Hawaii; or Delaware, Rhode Island and Connecticut combined.  My city, Bakersfield, is located in the heart of Kern County.


After five days off from sewing I was finally able to get to my sewing machine.  I'm a member of the Quilting Block Swaps Australia and completed my December swap block for Julie.  Her only request was that it be yellow and/or blue.
This block is called Wyoming Valley and is a 12" block.  The yellow is actually much brighter than it shows in this picture.  I hope Julie likes it.
I did get a couple of other things made but I will share them with you another time.


I don't think I ever shared the block I made for the Christmas Quilting Block Swap Australia. I made this block for Ann last month.
This block is called Christmas Star and is a 12" block.  There are little snowmen on the red and green fabrics.


Cotton Cocktails is have a Quit Show Giveaway. There are three possible prizes to win. You must enter by Monday, December 6th.

Stash Resolutions is having a giveaway to help announce the opening of her new etsy shop "Swell Cloth". She is giving away 6 fat quarters of your choosing. You must enter by Saturday, December 4th

You still have time to try win the Thimbleberries BOM Kit.  Just enter my BIG GIVEAWAY!



Are you being overwhelmed with all of the things that need to be done before Christmas?  I'm definitely feeling the time crunch and I'm not even giving anything handmade this year!  The hours seem to disappear and the days feel like they are just flying by.  In one way this is good because it means I will be able to see my DD and my darling grandsons.  We still have to pull out the decorations and wrap the gifts.  I wish a little magic Christmas elf would come along to help me.

Methinks I see the wanton hours flee,
And as they pass, turn back and laugh at me.
~George Villiers

Take Tuesday by the horns!!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Shout Your Thanks!

  Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we're here for something else besides ourselves.
~Eric Sevareid

'Tis the season when we happily think of others.  Trying to figure out what gift would be perfect for someone.  Hoping that all will be happy in the coming new year.  I try also to remember those less fortunate by increasing my monthly donations to the local homeless center.  And always remembering those that are serving our country both here at home and those overseas.  Project Linus is always in my thoughts and I try to figure ways to also increase my donations to them.  This year when going through the carpet cleaning out/replacing I found a mess of yarn I will be donating that I know will be made into afghans by others that work faster than I do.  Hopefully this will help ease the pain of some child in turmoil.  By the way, I hope you all had a very wonderful, full stomach Thanksgiving!!



This is Samson, my DD's corgi when he was a puppy.

Samson is such a smart dog!  Cardigan Welsh Corgi's are known as the Corgi with the tail, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is the older of the two Corgi breeds. Like the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, the Cardigan is low set with moderately heavy bone and a deep chest. Originally used as a drover and farm dog, the breed is small and powerful, capable of great speed and endurance. The Cardigan can adapt to country life or city apartments, but need some form of daily exercise. As a companion dog, they love to be with their people and are loyal, affectionate and even-tempered. I love my little granddoggy!


Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I was not able to get to my sewing machine for any creativity.  I did have the wonderful opportunity chore of some washing that needed to be done and could not be ignored (*sigh*).  I didn't want to do multiple loads but there was everything from colored items to white things that needed washing.  I threw caution to the wind and decided to wash them all together and added a SHOUT Color Catcher.  I had used these when washing new fabric but usually those were at least similar in colorways.
Here is what I ended up with.................

On the right is an unused sheet of the SHOUT Color Catcher all white and pretty.  The one on the left is what I pulled out of the washer after my mixed load.  WOW!  I was amazed how much color was taken in by that one little sheet.  Everything that was in the washer came out true to its original color.  The whites weren't tan and the orange wasn't brown!  I knew that these color catchers were supposed to do exactly this, but who would have thought that they could actually do precisely what they were advertised to do.  Now, I'm not being paid by SHOUT to endorse their product but I can't help but proclaim their effectiveness.  This is a truly independent review of my very own results.  If you have been considering trying these color catcher sheets, I highly recommend the SHOUT Color Catcher brand!!


Recently I mentioned Rice Pilaf as a possible side dish for one of my recipes.  I had a request from Julie, of Joe Tulip Quilts, to post my recipe for Rice Pilaf. My recipe was given to my mother by an Armenian friend about 45 years ago. Now your rice pilaf may be different, but her friend assured her that this was the authentic way to make true rice pilaf.

Rice Pilaf

1 small can Swanson chicken broth
1/2 can of water
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 cube butter (no substitutions of margarine or fake butter)
1 cup Uncle Ben's Rice
1 cup vermicelli

1.  In a small sauce pan, bring chicken broth, water, and bullion cubes to a boil.  While doing this, melt the butter in a fry pan.  At the same time, measure out your rice and break up the needed amount of vermicelli.
2.  When the butter is lightly browned (very bubbly), add the rice and vermicelli and stir until all is coated.  Then add the boiling broth mixture to the fry pan - DO NOT stir the rice and vermicelli after the broth is added the the fry pan.

3.  Cover the fry pan and cook for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  If you need to let it set because the rest of the dinner is not ready, just turn off the oven and the pilaf will hold nicely.

Personal Notes:
1.  I usually add a little more vermicelli than 1 cup.  I just add broken vermicelli until the glass two cup measurer is full (as pictured)
2.  Reheats well. 

Your response to my two new blogs has been so much better than I anticipated!! 

The membership for Let's Bee Together was quickly filled. However, do not despair!!  I have decided to start a second group, known as Group B so you can still join in the fun of a virtual quilting bee. If you would like to check out a Bee that will be starting in January 2011, then click on the link here or on the button on the right sidebar. This Bee is open to all skill levels and is also open to international participants.


Block Swap Adventure currently has 16 international members.  Would you like to be involved in a new block swap group?  We are there to have fun and meet fellow quilters.  Check out or join in the fun here or by clicking on the button on the right sidebar.  The more the merrier!!  All skill levels welcome and is open internationally.



With the Thanksgiving holiday and all of the preparation and family visits, I have gotten sorely behind in finding giveaways.  Here are few that I have found.  If you would like me to post about a giveaway you are hosting, please email me with the info.

Samelia's Mum is have a 100th Post Giveaway.  She is giving away  a "Flower Girls Bag" pattern by Bronwyn Hayes of Red Brolly.  She's also throwing in a couple of fat quarters with the pattern.  For a second giveaway there are 3 Christmas fat quarters available.  Winners will be drawn on Sunday, December 5th. 

Blue Bird Quilts is having a Christmas Giveaway.  She is giving away one Lilac Hill Charm Pack and one Mystery Gift will be added if Bluebird Quilts - Patterns reaches 50 or more followers.  You must enter by December 6th.

Rebecca over at Merry Made Quilts is have a 100th Post Giveaway!  She is giving away 9 fat quarters (2.25 yards) in a fun sunset colorstory.  She doesn't say when this giveaway will end.

Leona, blogger of Leona's Quilting Adventure is having a special kind of giveaway.  She would like to honor your birthday!  If you become one of her special followers and email her your birthday, she will send you "Happy Birthday across blogland, and know that you are Remembered" gift.  Leona is a very special person to me.  Check out her posting for the very special event.

Don't forget about my own Big Giveaway.  Thimbleberries 2006 BOM Kit is involved.  This giveaway must be entered by Friday, December 10th.



My blogging friends continue to surprise me!  I never dreamed that you would respond so quickly to my two new blogs and with such enthusiasm.  I am truly blessed to have such a such a wonderful bunch of followers.  I don't know what I have done to deserve you all.  Thank you seems like a small way to express my gratitude to you but I hope it will suffice.  I hope you will continue to enjoy my blogging ramblings and to express yourself freely by leaving me your comments.  I do read each and every one and try my best to respond.  Bless you my readers and thank you for making my life ever so much better!  May your coming Christmas season be filled with happiness, sweetness, and joyful blessings!

Friends are kisses blown to us by angels.
~Author Unknown

Have a marvelous Monday!! I'm off to start some sewing :)

Friday, November 26, 2010


Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice.
~Dave Barry

Is everyone going out shopping today?  I'm not.  I'm enjoying family, relaxing, and just enjoying the day.  I haven't gone shopping on Black Friday in many, many years.  I do most of my shopping online, away from the crowds and the noise.  Did everyone have a wonderful Thanksgiving?  I DID!!  Ate too much but had a great time with family and friends around the table.  And the smoked turkey made by my DH was absolutely delicious!!  Thank you, honey!



My Santa collection

Since it is now officially the Christmas season, it is time to bring out my Santa collection.  Do you know who Santa Claus is?  He is based on a real person, St. Nicholas.  St. Nicholas, or Sinter Klaas in Dutch, was a very shy man and wanted to give money to poor people without them knowing about it.  It is said, that one day, he climbed the roof of a house and dropped a purse of money down the chimney.  It landed in a stocking which a girl had put by the fire to dry!  This may explain the belief that Father Christmas comes down the chimney and places gifts in children's stockings.  When the Dutch introduced him to the Americans they called him Santa Claus.


No sewing yesterday, or even Wednesday.  Too much preparation, too little time.  Did you check out my two new blogs?  If not, please do.  The are Block Swap Adventure and Let's Bee Together.  If you are looking for something to start after the first of the year, add these to your list!  We are still looking for new members.



The day has finally arrived for my next giveaway!  No special reason this time other than I found this when I was putting back all of my sewing crap mess.  Wouldn't you like to see?

Doesn't help much does it?

OK.  Let me tell you about it.  What I am giving away it the mostly complete set of Thimbleberries Quilt Club 2006 BOM Quilt Kit.  It appears that I am missing the fabric for the outside borders and maybe a little of the backing.  I did a google search for fabric from this collection and there are still some pieces available.

Here is what is included in this giveaway....
12 months of quilt blocks, fabric for sashing, binding, and most of the backing.  The backing is supposed to have a center piece with some blocks in it that I apparently never got (who knows why not). 

This shows each of the twelve months.
This is the sashing, binding, and some of the backing fabric (8 3/8 yards of fabric just in this grouping alone!)

This is a sampling of the fabrics in a few of the monthly squares.  Pretty, rich, fall colors.

This is a picture I found online of the finished quilt.  See the outer border fabric?  That is what is missing.  Perhaps you already have something that will work or you can find something online.

Anyway, that is my giveaway!  What do you think?  Worth waiting through my hints the last couple of days?  Even with the missing fabric, you have to admit that this is a pretty good haul.

Here's how to enter to win this Thimbleberries BOM from 2006...

1.  Leave a comment telling me what you favorite movie is. 

Mine?  I have three - Steel Magnolias, African Queen, and Twister.  Yes I know, Twister isn't much of a movie acting wise but for some reason it just keeps me glued to the screen every time I watch it.  And I can only watch Steel Magnolias if I want a good cry and nobody else is home.  Love Sally Fields!!  And for a classic you just can't beat Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn.

2.  Blog about this giveaway, then come back and leave another comment telling me you did with a link to your blog for that day.  (If you leave it with the first comment then it will only count as one - make sure this is a separate comment).  So now you have two chances to win.

3.  There will be an additional chance to enter next week, but you will have to wait until I post that.

You do not have to be a follower of my blog but I certainly would like it if you were!  This giveaway is open to everyone!  Make sure that I have some way to reach you!  If your name is drawn and I can't reach you,  you can't win.  So, if you have a no-reply blogger then leave me your email.

This giveaway will end Friday, December 10th at 9:00 pm PST.  The winner will be selected by random.org.




As you head into the holiday season it is important to remember why we are actually celebrating, no matter what your religion.  It seems that commercialism has taken over everything.  Children do not understand the true meaning of any of the holidays except that it means they will probably receive gifts.  And I'm just as guilty as the next person in perpetuating this practice.  I lavish toys on my grandsons and buy too many gifts for other family members too.  Today I will stop and think about what Christmas means to me.  I will try to do this at least once a day until that special day arrives.

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.
~Burton Hillis

Enjoy the rest of your Thanksgiving weekend!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

May your house be Blessed
Your love be Rewarded
and your life Enriched this

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving & Some News

The funny thing about Thanksgiving, or any huge meal, is that you spend 12 hours shopping for it and then chopping and cooking and braising and blanching. Then it takes 20 minutes to eat it and everybody sort of sits around in a food coma, and then it takes four hours to clean it up.
 ~Ted Allen

Isn't that the truth?  My husband has decided he will smoke the turkey this year!  Woohoo!!  He almost changed his mind when he found out it would take 10 1/2 hours to cook!  He then said "We'll be eating dinner around 9:00, right?"  Of course not - lol.  Guess who will be up early on Thanksgiving?  And guess who will be up right there beside him.  I am thankful that he is preparing the turkey this year.  That means I won't be sticking my hands inside the cold cavities, pulling out only partially thawed guts for a change.  I have even found a recipe for making the dressing in a slow cooker.  I'll let you know how that turns out.  Hooray for guys and barbecues/smokers!!



The sky as the sun was setting as seen from our backyard
Have you ever wondered why the sky is blue?  The sky appears blue to us on a clear day, because the atoms of nitrogen and oxygen in the atmosphere separate the suns white light into its many colors, and scatter them throughout the atmosphere.  The wavelength of the blue light scatters better than the rest, predominates over the other colors in the light spectrum, and makes the sky appear blue to us. Isn't that enough of an answer?  The rest is so scientific that it's enough to put you to sleep!


Today is Wednesday which makes it One Flower Wednesday.  Here is my contribution.....

I have liked the little Scottie dog fabric since I bought the fat quarter years ago.  I never had a chance to use it until I made this flower.  I thought the center fabric with the little paw prints was rather fitting.  Some day I will make more than one flower a week - or at least I hope I will.



I am starting two new blogs!  One for a block swap and one for a bee. 

 First I would like to introduce you to Block Swap Adventure.  

This is a block swap for everyone.  No special skill level is required.  You can be an advanced quilter or just starting out, or maybe you fit some place in between.  Block Swap Adventure is a gathering of friends for the purpose of making and swapping quilt blocks.  Each month we will be swapping 12" quilt blocks made to the recipients desires.  You do not have to have a blog to join.  This swap will start January 2011.  Please click on the link above or on the button on the sidebar if you are interested in joining our brand new Block Swap Adventure.  Or email me at blockswapadventure2@gmail.com

Secondly, I would like to introduce you to Let's Bee Together

This is a virtual bee that anyone can join.  No special skill level required for this one either.  You can be a beginner or advanced quilter, or fit anywhere in between.  You do not have to have a blog to join. 
There will be 12 members.  Each member will select a month and for that month will be responsible for sending out fabric to the other 11 members.  Those 11 members will then make a block from the fabric sent to them using the directions given to them. 
Doesn't that sound easy enough?  Additional information can be found by clicking on the link above or by clicking on the button on the sidebar.  Or you can email me at letsbeetogether2@gmail.com

Tell your friends, post it on your blogs!!  I hope you will join me in one or both of these two new groups.



A quick reminder for Leona's Christmas giveaway.  Hop on over to Leona's Quilting Adventure before Friday to enter her great giveaway!
Lucky Duck Dreams is having a great giveaway.  Colleen is giving away a bundle of 5 vintage VIP fat quarters and 2 yards of a vintage Concord Fabrics print by Joan Kessler all in a holiday print.  She will pick a winner on November 30th.

Come back here to Stray Stitches on Friday to see what my fabulous giveaway will be!!  You won't be disappointed.

My thoughts are completely in line with the upcoming holiday tomorrow.  Thankful for so much, too numerous to mention here.  I hope that you all have an absolutely stupendous Thanksgiving.  Eat, celebrate, enjoy, but most of all, be thankful.

Instead of a closing quote today, I hope you will click on the link for something totally amazing that happened earlier this month.  I certainly wish my shopping break turned out like this.
Christmas Food Court - Must See and Hear


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fudge and Oatmeal :) !!!!

Thanksgiving is America's national chow-down feast, the one occasion each year when gluttony becomes a patriotic duty.
~Michael Dresser

The above quote is a little Thanksgiving humor for you.  Now don't get me wrong - I'm very thankful for many, many things.  But you must admit, aren't we expected to stuff ourselves right along with the turkey?  I can't think of a single Thanksgiving when I didn't eat too much and wish I hadn't.  And it probably won't be any different this year.  To heck with the diet this one day of the year.  Let us eat well and enjoy! 



My Japanese Maple is starting to turn. The tips of the leaves were burnt a little this summer.

Have you ever wondered why trees lose their leaves in the fall or winter?  I have, so I went searching for the answer and this is what I found:  As winter approaches, the days get shorter and cooler. This change in day length and temperature triggers some trees to go dormant, essentially hibernating for the winter. A tree's woody roots, branches and twigs can endure freezing temperatures, but most leaves are not so tough. 
It is also very energetically expensive for a tree to run its leafy food factories in the winter, when there is often little sunlight and freezing temperatures make water transport (from the ground into the tree’s trunk and leaves) a problem. So it’s more energy efficient for a leafy tree to close down operations in the winter and go dormant.  So now we know why trees lose their leaves each year.


Yesterday I was able to get a couple hours of sewing in, along with a little ripping out too.  I began sewing blocks for the Le Petit Butter Churn Quilt.  I had to make 4 inner butter churn squares and 4 outer butter churn squares.

And this is where the seam ripper and I became reacquainted.  I didn't do this only once, but four times!  At least I was consistent.  Why make a mistake only once when 4 times is even better.  Oh well, rip away I did.

I finally made all four of the outer butter churn squares......

I made 16 of these squares.........

And 16 of these HST.  These two batches will be made into the inner butter churn squares.

Tomorrow I hope to make better headway on this little quilt.  I still don't think I will have it finished by the end of the month.  I know that I won't be sewing over the four days of the Thanksgiving weekend :(


I'm going to share one more recipe with you this week.  Something very decadent but oh so very good!!  I found this recipe on the blog Baking and Mistaking - she has some of the best recipes!!

Oatmeal Fudge Sandwich Cookies

2 cups oats
2 cups light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, melted

3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 stick butter
2 egg
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon instant coffee
1/2 teaspoon salt

1.  Mix together the oats, sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in melted butter until combined.  Press 1/4 of the mixture into the bottom of a greased and foil lined 9X13 pan. Reserve the rest.  Bake for 8 minutes at 325 degrees F, then let cool completely.

2.  Melt the chocolate chips and butter together.  Let cool slightly and whisk in the eggs.  Stir in the flour, sugar, coffee and salt. Spread it over the cooled crust.

3.  Sprinkle with the rest of the oat mixture.

4.  Bake at 325 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes.  Let cool 2 hours before cutting.

Don't these look delicious?!?

Personal Notes:
1.  The recipe says to 'spread 1/4 of the mixture into the bottom of the pan' which is what I did, but I really think it should have about 1/3 of the mixture on the bottom.  This would still leave ample for the topping.
2.  Baking and Mistaking suggests cutting them into circles or other shapes with cookie cutters.  This would be a great idea for serving to guests for a little added flair.



Susan over at Country Blossoms is having a Christmas Giveaway.  There are lots and lots of goodies to be won here but you must enter by December 8th.

Allison Anderson over at Strandz is having a giveaway of a charm pack.  You need to enter this giveaway by Monday, November 29th.

Kim over at Chatterbox Quilts Chitchat is having a giveaway too.  She is giving away a copy of "Fast, Flirty, and Fun".  This giveaway closes on Friday at 11:59pm.

Another tease about my upcoming giveaway.....You can no longer find this on any sites or in any stores.  Not much help is it?  Just remember to check back here at Stray Stitches on Friday to find out exactly what my giveaway will be!



Aren't you getting a little tired of the news always giving us the failings of mankind?  The doom and gloom of things to come, how much better it was before?  I believe that we, as people of this day and age, and lucky to be here, in our world today as it is.  Every day we should be thankful for where we are, who we are, and for what we have accomplished.  We are a great and wonderful people.  Celebrate life as it is handed to you.

Stand up, on this Thanksgiving Day, stand upon your feet. Believe in man. Soberly and with clear eyes, believe in your own time and place. There is not, and there never has been a better time, or a better place to live in.
~Phillips Brooks

Was I on my soap box a little too much today?  I promise to step down a bit tomorrow.  Take on Tuesday like there is no tomorrow!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Flaming Pumpkin!

Teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success.
 ~Author Unknown

Hooray!!  Woohoo!!  It's time to celebrate!  Happy dance, happy dance!  We finally finished putting everything away!  I can't believe it's all done.  Teamwork does make the difference.  After a totally exhausting week it's nice to see a job come to completion.  Thank goodness for my DH or I would still be working on putting stuff away come Thanksgiving day.



Flaming Bush in my backyard

The Burning Bush, Euonymus alatus 'Compactus', is most outstanding for its brilliant fiery red leaves in the fall. The Dwarf Burning Bush is so spectacular that the shrub looks like a "bush on fire." Also famous for its unique lush green foliage in the summer, and bright red berries in the fall.  The plant's primary common name, "burning bush" derives from the shrub's brilliant fall foliage, but may also contain an allusion to Moses' "burning bush" in the bible.  Finally a little fall color in my yard.


I have not had time to do any sewing for the last three days.  As a result, I'm going to do something a little different today.......................

My Day Journal
For Today ~ November 22, 2010

Outside my window.....it's a partly cloudy, cool and breezy morning

I am thinking.....of Thanksgiving and looking forward to my DH and SIL's arrival

From the kitchen.....left over slow cooker pork chops from Friday - easy and good

I am wearing.....my normal uniform of jeans, long sleeve t-shirt and hoodie

I am creating.....a sew along block

I am remembering.....days spent with my grandsons - so much fun

I am reading.....The Interruption of Everything by Terry McMillan

I am hoping.....to have a stress free holiday season

I am hearing.....Weasley snoring

Around the house.....birds are coming in for their morning feedings of seeds and peanuts

I am going.....to remember to be thankful for everything in my life, no matter how small

One of my favorite things.....is sharing my life with my blogland friends.

I want to thank Happy Cottage Quilter for graciously letting me borrow and use her idea from one of her blogs last month!


How would you like a recipe?  Another very simple and absolutely delicious dessert recipe!  You just can't get any easier than this......

Easy Pumpkin Cake Squares

1 box spice cake mix
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2.  Sift the cake mix into a mixing bowl to avoid dry lumps in your batter.
3.  Beat in the pumpkin.  It will be thick.

4.  Smooth into a greased 9" X 13" pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until it tests done with a clean toothpick.
5.  Cool before cutting into squares to serve.

Personal Notes:
1. I haven't owned a sifter in years. I used a whisk to reduce any lumps in the cake mix.
2. Extremely moist!
3. Thanks to my DH, I slightly warmed each serving in the microwave for 20 seconds at 70% power.  This really brings out the flavors.


Saturday brought me a happy package in the mail.  Just over a week ago I was one of two winners of a giveaway hosted by Becky of Quilting Book Lady.  She was giving away two great piles of scraps and I am now the proud owner of some very wonderful scraps to add to my stash. 
I can see hexie flowers being created.  Perhaps some great additions to a future scrappy quilt.  Thanks Becky for the super selection of scraps!!



Faithful Quilter is having a Thanksgiving giveaway.  The drawing will be held on Thanksgiving day.

Pink Fig Design is having a giveaway of a quilt.  Entries will be accepted until Dec. 1 at midnight.

Here's another tease from me.  The giveaway I'm starting on Friday includes months.  Any ideas what that might be.  Make sure to check in for my Friday posting to find out the answer!



It's such a relief to finally be done with the job (moving things in and out of rooms) I have been dreading for a very long time - over 3 years really.  I am sure that is one of the reasons we delayed in even selecting carpet.  And it really was as big a nightmare as I imagined.  It just reminds me once again why I never hope to move - well, at least not without a whole lot of help.  Since this is Thanksgiving week, I am concentrating on everything that I am thankful for.  For today (and always), I am thankful for my family! 

The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.
~Erma Bombeck

So long for Monday! I'll be back again tomorrow!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sweet & Sour - 2 Ways!

There are so many things that we wish we had done yesterday, so few that we feel like doing today.
 ~Mignon McLaughlin

Isn't that the truth?!?  I wish I had done more organizing yesterday because I certainly don't feel like doing it today.  Actually, I did get quite a bit accomplished yesterday morning.  There are a few less boxes in the living room but I think more of a mess in the second room.  I need to get some plastic storage containers so I can better organize my scraps - that will happen Saturday.  Ziploc bags work great until one bag shifts and then they all shift and a new mess starts.  It's Friday and less than a week until Turkey Day! 



These are a part of my collection of teapots that sit on top of the shelves in my kitchen.  The top one on the right was painted my daughter, Megan, just for me!

Teapots are relatively a new invention compared to the amount of time that tea has been around. In the 7th century, tea came in bricks. A chunk was cut off and then broken up so that it can be boiled in water. They were boiled in cauldrons and then the tea was sipped from wide bowls. The traditional teapots weren't needed until the type of tea changed. In the 1300's, leaf infusion started and now teapots were necessary to allow for the tea to steep. Teapot-like vessels have been around in China for thousands of years, but they were used for wine and water. These vessels had a spout and handle and eventually were adopted for the steeping of tea.

The other day in the mail I received a very nice surprise from my friend, Leona, of Leona's Quilting Adventure

She made a scrap bag just for me!
I had been thinking about making one for myself, but you know how that goes - I will get to it eventually.  Now I don't have to.  After using it for the last two days I don't know how I lived without it.  I'm no longer throwing scraps and threads on the floor.  Who knew that I could be so neat ?!?  Thank you so very much Leona!!!


Yesterday I took a break from unpacking, putting away, and arranging.  I decided I needed some sewing time.  I had achieved quite a lot in the morning and deserved a break (at least that's what I told myself).  I elected to make the second block of the Layer Cake Quilt Along......

This block was designed by Vickie Eapen of Spun Sugar Quilts.  I used the same line of fabric, Sweet and Sour by Connecting Threads (which happens to be on sale this week at 50% off!), as I did for Block #1.  I think it looks rather citrusy (is that even a word?).


How about a recipe today?  I haven't shared one with you for awhile so I think it's about time.  With all of the busy and hectic schedules, how would you like a super simple yet super tasty chicken recipe.  My mother gave me this recipe back in the 70's.

Sweet And Sour Chicken
4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 jar Kraft Russian Dressing
1 package onion soup mix

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
2.  Lay out chicken breasts in a 9" X 13" baking dish.
3.  Sprinkle onion soup mix over chicken
4.  Top off with Russian Dressing
5.  Cover loosely with foil and bake at 325 degrees F for 1 hour

As my Mother said "Voila!"

Personal Notes
1.  I used 2 breasts and used the full packet of onion soup mix but only enough dressing to cover the chicken well.  This leaves enough in the bottle for later or to use on  your salad.
2.  Excellent served with pineapple and rice pilaf.
3.  Reheats well but tastes great the first time around.



Designs By Kassie is giving away a custom Christmas card design.  Kassie is the one I used to create my beautiful blog.  Enter this great giveaway by November 23rd.

Leona is having another great giveaway!  She says "Let's Get Ready For Christmas!"  .  She is giving away a gorgeous lap size quilt and a copy of Aunt Bea's Parlor.  This will close on Friday, November 26.

Green Fairy Quilts is having a big giveaway - but hurry - this one ends tonight!  They are giving away an Origins fat quarter bundle - beautiful fabric.

It's almost time for my to have another giveaway!!!  Come back next Friday to see what I will be giving away!  I don't think you will want to miss this one.  I will give you a hint - it involves a lot of Thimbleberries from 2006!!


I know that I have been doing a lot of griping and complaining lately.  That will stop as of today - immediately.  Negative feelings just bring me down so I'm gong to be positive and up.  I look forward to completing the chores I have in front of me.  I look forward to this weekend when I can spend time with my dear, sweet hubby.  I look forward to seeing the sun set tonight and rise again in the morning!  I am ready to take on the day!!!

Every day may not be good, but there's something good in every day.
~Author Unknown

Here's hoping you have a super Friday that will lead into a stupendous weekend!!  See you next week, my friends!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thursday Has Gone To The Dogs

Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.
 ~William Morris

In the process of moving things back to where they belong I'm also trying to de-clutter.  I find myself going in circles trying to decide where I should be working, what needs to go where, and trying to find the right box.  My brain is so frazzled that I didn't get a lot accomplished yesterday.  I think I hit a temporary proverbial wall.  Today will be better!  I will get more accomplished!  I will only keep those things that I believe to be useful and/or beautiful!!



If you are regular readers of my blog, you will recognize these to little furry creatures.  This is Snickerdoodle (left) and Weasley (right).  They are both Miniature Long-Haired Dachshunds, or easier to type and say - mini doxies.  The Dachshund, meaning "badger dog" in German, is a lively breed with a friendly personality and keen sense of smell. They are known for their long and low bodies. Miniatures are supposed to weigh right around 11 pounds - Snick weighs in at a lean 10 pounds while Weasley is a very chunky 14+ pounds.  Dachshunds were first bred in the early 1600s in Germany. The goal was to create a fearless, elongated dog that could dig the earth from a badger burrow and fight to the death with the vicious badgers.  Both of my little couch potatoes would run in the other direction if they came face to face with a badger.  They are the little spark of life in our lives that give us unconditional love, undying devotion, and heaps of happiness.


I did take a break from unpacking boxes today.  I belong to the International Friendship Quilters and joined in the fun of the Mosaic Color Play swap.  For this you send your swap partner a 4 1/2" block from your fabric.  When you receive your partners square you are to take fabric from your own stash (or you can purchase some) to coordinate to make the Mosaic Tile Block. 

This is the block I made for Lynn from Canada (she don't think she has a blog).  The center block is actually almost a gray blue with off white.  She said her colors are blue, rose and off white.  The blocks around the center are actually off white, not white like they look in the picture.  I was pleased with how the block turned out and hope she likes it.


The other day I managed to cut out the pieces for this month's Le Petite.  The pattern is Butter Churn by This & That Designs.

If I don't put sticky notes on my blocks, I will forget my color order.  How many of you do something similar?  I don't know if I will make the deadline this month but I will certainly try.


Heirlooms by Ashton House is giving away Allie, a darling owl pincushion.  You must enter by Wednesday, November 24 to have a chance to win.

Canton Village Quilt Works is having a Big Giveaway!  One prize is Rapid Fire Hunter's Star ruler and the second is  The V Block that Deb Tucker introduced at Fall Quilt Market.  You must enter before midnight on November 22nd.



With Thanksgiving only a week away, I'm sure we are all thinking about what we will be preparing for the wonderful feast.  But have you taken the time to ponder what you are truly thankful for?  I'm thankful for so many things but mostly for my family, for having a roof over my head and food to eat, and for my many friends, especially you, my blogging friends!!

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.
~William Arthur Ward

Have a thankful, thoughtful Thursday!!

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