Sunday, July 28, 2013

Where Have I Been?

Well, I can tell you where I haven't been. On here, keeping up with my blog!!!! It's the funniest thing, life just got in the way of blogging. Go figure!! It got in the way of a few other things as well, like cleaning, cooking, laundry....the list goes on. Oh, don't get me wrong, I did manage to squeeze a little of those in here and there, but not as much as I should. I've managed to keep the fam in clean clothes, a little nourishment, and the dust balls at bay.
But during all of this I have gone on a retreat, fabric shopped entirely too much, helped our daughter pick out a prom dress, get ready for prom, watched her graduate, done all the outside yard and garden work, prepare for a graduation party pig roast, shopped for more fabric, worked on numerous quilt projects, worked (had to get that in somewhere), baked, put up blueberries, and a bunch of other stuff that eludes me as I'm writing this.
I went on the retreat in May. I traveled to Rehoboth, DE along with a fellow quilter, Debbie. We also managed to drag our hubbies along for the trip. Of course, they have alterior motives. There was a weekend long car show in the neighboring town so they spent their days there, hanging out with buddies and drooling over cars. But that made it nice for us girls, as we could do what ever we wanted, and we did (did you doubt we would?). We did spend some time with them in the evenings, allowing them to buy us dinner and drinks, and letting them walk beside us as we strolled up the avenue. Weren't we nice (snicker). All-in-all we had an AWESOME time. Debbie got some projects finished and I took one class and got a good start on a great quilt. It's on my Longarm now, and I'm hoping to have it done sometime next week. I won't post a picture until October when we go back on retreat and I take it for Show-n-Tell. I will post a picture of the purse I made out of the leftover blocks from the quilt. Here it is:
I call it my "Goose Bag", since the pattern was paper pieced flying geese. I designed the bag myself, and I'm very proud of it. And look, you can see my "chubby charmer" bag in the background. To funny!!
Another quilt top I just finished was from a block swap. 12 ladies swapped 12, 12 1/2" blocks in patriotic colors. So we each got 12 different blocks back. We did this swap sometime last year and I just got on the stick and finished mine after helping a friend put hers together for a gift for her father-in-law for his 90th Birthday. It inspired me to do mine, which I now love love love. Definately staying at my house!! Here it is:
The backing is purchased and now it's just waiting for its turn on the Longarm and then binding. I'm thinking maybe a dark blue binding, not sure yet. Its got 2 quilts ahead of it though, so I have some time. And I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to  quilt it. Was going to do an all over, but now I may pay attention to detail in each  of the blocks. We'll see what happens once it's loaded on the  machine.
Well, that's it for this entry. Right now I'm taking the basting stitches out of a Grandmother's Flower Garden table mat I've been working on for Fall - but I'll post that later when it's done.

Friday, May 3, 2013

More Baking.....mmmm

Well, I've been baking a little more. I experimented with some other recipes that I found on the internet. My most recent, and favorite, is homemade brownies. I've made these a couple times now and I must say, we like them better without the chocolate chips that it calls for. Also, I don't have expresso powder so I substituted instant coffee in the last batch. It did bump up the chocolate flavor - which is a good thing!! The recipe I use is from The King Arthur Flour website. You can check it out at: Brownie Recipe.
Another recently tried recipe is the Angel Food/Crushed Pineapple Cake. Talk about easy!!!! And the Fam loved it!!! Basically you need an Angel Food Cake box mix and a large can of crushed pineapple (juice and all). Preheat the oven to 350. Put the cake mix into a bowl and mix in the pineapple until everything is mixed. It will foam a bit, which I found interesting. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 cake pan and bake according to the box directions for that size pan. Make sure to test the cake before you pull it out of the oven. I found mine needed to go about 5 more minutes than what the box called for. The top will have kind of a brownish crust to it. I let mine cool completely and then I mixed confectioners sugar with a couple tablespoons of pineapple juice I had in the fridge to make a kind of drizzle for the top. I served pieces with a dollop of whipped cream. It was also nice with a few strawberries and bananas on top. Such an easy recipe and tastie too!!
And the last one I'll leave you with is a Lemon Bread. This recipe came to me in my email from Taste of Home. I subscribe to the magazine, which always has tons of wonderful recipes in it. Since my husband is a huge fan of Lemon I'm always on the lookout for something lemony for him to snack on. This fit the bill nicely!! For some reason I can't get the Taste of Home website to come up at this time, but if you go on their website and type "Lemon Bread" into their search bar you'll find the recipe. This was nice warm from the oven (hubby couldn't wait) as well as when it had cooled off the next day.
And for those who thought I'd forgot how to sew, I haven't. I've just been busy. I have been working on a few things. Most recently I discovered a pattern from I believe the All People Quilt website labeled the Pick-A-Pocket Purse. It's super easy to make. I whipped 2 up this past weekend in about 4 hours time. I varied mine a bit, putting more stitching on the bag handles to give it a better feel and more stability.
And don't you just love the fabrics?!!! The one on the right is fabic from the RJR Fabrics collection titled "Love & Liberty". I love this collection. I may have to get some of the other fabrics in the line to make a couple more of these cute little bags. The fabric on the left is fabric that I put together from my stash. Love it to, and I'm glad I found somewhere to use it. That bag will go to my Mother for Mother's Day - won't she be surprised!!!!
Well, I'm off again. I'll either be Quilting or Baking - or BOTH!!!! But I'll be back to share!!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Best laid plans of.......ME

Yep, I had great plans. Gonna start the year, my blog and everything off right. And then guess got in the way, plans got pushed aside for adventures, and needless to say, I neglected my blog.

So here I am, back again and giving it another poke. We'll see how well I do this time. I've been thinking about this for a while, and even though my major love (besides hubby, kids and god) is my quilting, I also have passion for other things as well. Cooking/baking is one of my major loves, along with photography, reading, antiquing, all things old, and some other things. So I decided that instead of just posting quilting stuff on my blog, I'm going to share my other passions too in the hopes that I can put a smile on your face and inspire you to get out and explore your passions!!

Recently I was on the hunt for a cake that would be an awesome addition to my families Easter meal. While hanging out on facebook and checking up on my friends I discovered a post for just such a cake, and the plus, it was a vamped up box mix. Now I have to tell you, one of my loves is Orange Crush soda (and Dr. Pepper). I partake of them sparingly, but those are my go-to's. And this cake requires the services of Orange Crush (or the orange soda of your choice). I liked the recipe, but thought it could use something else, something to make it a little more special, so off to "google" I went in search of some interesting additions. I uncovered this recipe for Orange Creamsicle cake at: Check it out. I can honestly say "it's awesome!!!!". I made it last week and my husband and daughter loved it, as did I. Sorry to say though, it didn't make it to the Easter table as I had plenty of desserts being brought. But it will pay a visit to my quilting group tomorrow night. I'm sure the ladies will love it too!!

I find a lot of great recipes on the Internet. Some I have made, adjusted, remade, and loved. Some have gotten terrible reviews, and others have been printed out and put in a stack. I am slowly going through them and I will post some of them here as I test them. Hope you enjoy them as much as my family and I have!!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

First Post of the New Year

Here were are, at the beginning of 2013. It's the start of a new year, and so I always have big plans. Plans to be more organized, get more accomplished, make more quilts, get out more, have more fun (not that I don't have a ton now), go on new adventures, and so on and so on.

I don't make resolutions. I use to when I was "younger". But then I found out that you're just setting yourself up to fail. I can't name a single resolution I made that I ever kept - heck, I probably didn't even make it out of the month of January before I failed. Instead - I make plans!! And I don't just do it a the beginning of the New Year. I do it all year long. I have a list, well, a few, for different things. Like things I want to get done around the house - i.e. painting, flooring, curtains. There's one for my quilt projects - what needs quilted, what needs finished, what needs started. There's the running grocery list (who doesn't have that one). You get the picture. These lists are my reminders that I need to keep moving, doing, accomplishing, growing, sharing, broadening my horizons. And I keep them with me in my iPhone. It's a handy little thing to have. I have apps for all sorts of things, and yes, I have a personal organzier for my life on that things too. It keeps my lists, my calendar, my budget and even my running grocery list. I use to carry a little notebook in my purse for all this stuff. Now I just carry the iPhone in my purse. I can say one thing, my shoulder doesn't hurt as much.

So, since this was the beginning of the New Year, I found something, and I wanted to share it. I don't have many subscribers (which I'm hoping will grow in 2013) but I thought those of you who read my blog might enjoy this. This woman is very smart and this is an excellent list. I'm going to post it on my fridge and pass it around to my friends. Words of wisdom!!

45 Lessons Life Taught Me
Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer Newspaper, Cleveland, Ohio.

 1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
 2. When in doubt, just take the next small step..
 3. Life is too short - enjoy it..
 4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.
 5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
 6. You don't have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.
 7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
 8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
 9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
 10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
 11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
 12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
 13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
 14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it...
 15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye But don't worry; God never blinks.
 16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
 17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.
 18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
 19. It's never too late to be happy. But it's all up to you and no one else.
 20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
 21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
 22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
 23 Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
 24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
 25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
 26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'
 27. Always choose life.
 28. Forgive but don't forget.
 29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
 30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
 31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
 32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does..
 33. Believe in miracles.
 34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
 35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
 36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
 37. Your children get only one childhood.
 38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
 39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
 40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
 41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have not what you need.
 42. The best is yet to come...
 43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
 44. Yield.
 45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."
And so with these words of wisdom offered up to you, I wish you and yours a truly blessed and joyous New Year!!!!! Let's see what 2013 has in store for me.........what adventures await!!