Monday, December 28, 2009

Post Christmas

Some of you may have participated in Jane's Red and Aqua Swap a couple of months ago.  I did and loved it, although, I was a tiny bit disappointed that I didn't get any of my original blocks back and some of the colors just didn't jive with the red and aqua delineations (sp?)....but, that's OK - I'll do something with those rust and teal blocks with a little bit of yellow thrown in....
Anyway, I have some free time on my hands and I was itching to do something with my blocks, so I thought I'd put together another patchwork quillow.

I think I'll call this one Red and Aqua Windowpanes.  I can't really call it the "disappearing nine patch" anymore because there's actually more than 9 patches per block now and anyone who's not a quilter doesn't really grasp the meaning behind that title anyway.

All that's left is to hand quilt it.  I haven't had anything to do while watching TV the past few weeks, so this is a welcome addition!  I've been working on my hand embroidery and even some crocheted dishcloths while I'm waiting for something to quilt.

Christmas was wonderful here in Bonetown.  I was the first one up on Christmas Day - not unusual for any day of the week, as my back pain won't let me sleep past 6 usually.  So, I settled in the kitchen making breakfast.  We had a delicious cinnamon crumb cake

and this wonderful ham and egg omelet roll.

I was surprised the kids liked it so much as it has onions and dijon mustard in it!

Once everyone got up, we enjoyed breakfast in the living room and then our youngest daughter "played Santa", passing out the gifts, and we took turns opening - ooohing and aaahing all the way!  There weren't a whole lot of gifts, but we managed to stretch it out and enjoy the time together.

One of Rachel's gifts was a set of hand embroidered pillowcases.  As she was growing up, she would always say "sweet dreams" to us whenever she'd kiss us goodnight, so I thought the pillowcases fitting for her.  She said she wasn't going to use them because she didn't want to mess them up, but I let her know that if she didn't use them, I'd never make her anything again!  They were meant to be used, silly!!

My son got a new set of tires for his truck a few months ago, and that was destined to be his Christmas present AND his next year's birthday present...BUT, I'm a typical mom and I couldn't have anyone not opening a gift on Christmas day so I made him a quillow.  He's actually the first one in the family (me included) to receive a quillow!  I made 170 of them this year and only one stays in the family!

Anyway, I think he liked it!  (Hopefully the hair will be gone this week - he wanted to grow his hair out for a year, and this is the result - ugh!)

Saturday was probably the funnest day of all, although I don't have any pictures - guess I was having too much fun to stop and snap some.  We had an impromptu campfire out in the back yard, followed by a couple of games of horseshoes (in 40° weather!!) and then we moved inside and played about 4 games of Rummikub.  For dinner, we had a nice big pot of creamy turkey soup (leftovers from Christmas dinner) and then settled down for a movie.  We all had such a great time together ~ it's such a shame that these times usually occur only at the holidays...shucks!  Perhaps we appreciate them more since they do happen so rarely.

I've enjoyed my weekend of laziness, but tomorrow it's back to work at the construction project in Stumptown as we'll be laying hardwood flooring.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Week


I guess I do have one last post to get out before Christmas!  I finished all my "business" sewing last week and have been twiddling my thumbs lately, with nothing productive to do.  I really don't appreciate down-time when I'm in it like I should!  The first two weeks of December were crazy busy as I was inundated with quillow orders and even had to employ my husband to help tie them.  We had a great time together in my little sewing room watching TV and movies (he actually watched "27 Dresses" and liked it!)

Doncha just love his spidey pants?  He wears them year-round!

He also did a wonderful job as a packaging specialist, getting all my orders boxed up, taped up, and out to the mailbox promptly.  Now that my necessary sewing is done, I'm playing with a little patchwork quillow project.

My patchwork quillows sell wonderfully, and I really enjoy making them because they satisfy my desire to make quilts and yet they sell better than quilts because they're smaller, less expensive and have that wonderful pillow pocket feature of a quillow!

This is an A.E. Nathan pattern and I'm only going to make 8 of the diamond patterns for the quillow body and one for the pillow.

It's a lot more difficult than I thought it would be as I've never put together a quilt made completely with 2" squares.  I have new respect for quilters who tackle the "Dear Jane" quilts!!

Six down and 3 to go!  I miss having something to hand quilt while watching TV so I'd like to get this done quickly, but I'm still trying to take my time as hurrying does nothing but mess it up.

Monday I spent the entire day baking cookies, and they are quickly disappearing!

My back suffered from standing all day so on Tuesday it was a bit of a "down" day for me.  I drove my mother to the airport as she was catching a plane to spend Christmas in Montana with my brother and his family.   I am babysitting her cat, Frankie, while she is away.

I was so bored on Wednesday that I decided to return the favors of my helpful husband and go up to our "Stumptown" house project and help him work on the electrical.  My duties consisted of taking this

adding these

and turning it into this

Believe me, anyone who thinks electrical work is for pansies, just because there's not a whole lot of lifting and hammering, is totally wrong!  My hands were so sore and dried up and just plain old yukky after a day of that!

I desperately need a manicure!  Even my husband complained that his hands hurt, too, and he does this stuff all the time!  Our backs were stiff from bending over or sitting on the floor to do the outlets.  It helped that I had my mp3 player and listened to my Jane Eyre audiobook while I worked.  It was fun to be with my husband, though, as we are getting along wonderfully these days.  Needless to say, I'm glad that task was over!  As we were heading home we both got the urge for chips and dip and stopped at the grocery store and picked up the fixings for sausage cheese dip!!  YUM!  Funny how at Christmastime you can get away with doing fun spontaneous things that you typically don't do on a regular basis!

So, today, the hubby headed back up to the house to do just a few more things, but he promised to be back by lunchtime.  I did a bit more sewing on my patchwork quillow this morning and I'm headed to the kitchen to make chocolate dipped pretzels and rosette cookies.

My mom used to make these when we were kids so I borrowed her iron and will "attempt" to make them myself!  I've never done them without her help so I'm not expecting easy results.

All my children will be home tonight and I'm truly looking forward to it.  My son has to close (he works at Ruby Tuesday) and the girls will be going to their grandmother's house for their traditional family get-together.   My husband and I have taken to going out to eat together on Christmas Eve and we're excitedly looking forward to a shared dinner at Chili's tonight, in addition to stopping at Wal-mart for a few last minute items and also delivering some cookies to friends.  Then, we'll snuggle up and watch "Elf" tonight! Fun, fun, fun!
Merry Christmas from me and Frankie!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Oh, the Busy-ness...

Hello, folks!  I'm writing to you from the fourth floor of the Springmaid Resort in Myrtle Beach, SC!

I've been so busy for the past few weeks that even thinking about blogging doesn't last more than a millisecond!  Today I am taking advantage of my situation and sneaking in a quick blog as I happen to be knee deep in a weekend-long craft show here in Myrtle Beach, SC - sitting on my butt, waiting for customers to walk into my booth and then out with an armful of Christmas presents - yeah, right!  I wish!!!   No, really, I am at a craft show, and it is in Myrtle Beach, although I am not enjoying lots of sales nor am I enjoying the beach!!!  Bummer, huh!  I was able to snap a few pictures before the show started and I'll share those with you.  If you're landlocked, you'll definitely enjoy them!!

It's been a cloudy weekend so far, but the ocean never ceases to be beautiful, no matter where the sunshine is!

Regardless of the lack of sales, I am thankful for the break from sewing and the chance to meet my fellow vendors and just to relax and do some people watching.  This lady has the booth between me and my husband and she has the most beautiful handwriting and uses her talent to decorate Christmas ornaments! 

I am also enjoying the adventure of camping with my husband in our little home-away-from-home.  We drove our motorhome down and are staying at the State Park.  Here we are parked at the resort for the big unload on setup day

We did this same show last year with such great success that we decided to get an additional booth for ny husband to sell his crafts....marshmallow shooters, water balloon slingshots and folding wooden chairs.  He's so proud of his own little booth!

 Unfortunately, in this situation, we don't have the luxury of being able to take turns walking around the 4 floors of crafts checking things out and visiting with other vendors.

Both my husband and I have been crazy-busy trying to get our stock built up for this show - his chairs and my quillows.  After this show, our last for the year, he'll get a break from the woodworking but I've got a TON of orders to fill from online requests off my website.  The NFL quillows seem to be really popular this year and I have stocked up on pretty much every team I can get my hands on.  So, after this weekend I'll be even busier (sp?) and I've promised my husband he's going to learn how to tie quillows next week!!!  That'll be fun!
So, that's where I've been recently and this will probably be my last post of 2009.  I enjoyed the few comments I received from fellow bloggers and the friends I have made thru this blog!
God bless you all in a very special way and thank you for your friendships and all the bloggy love!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Something for ME!

I make stuff....lots of stuff....but I don't keep any of that stuff!....until now.

Just this year I have made and sold over 120 quillows and lots of other little things (you can see it all in my shop), and I've never made myself a quillow, nor anyone in my family!  I'm much too frugal, always thinking that I need to sell everything to earn my keep.  Besides, we all have too much junk anyway and the last thing we need around here is another blanket!  But, I wanted to try "pebble" quilting and I wanted to use up some of my scraps so, I finally made something for me!

I started this quilt when amanda jean invited everyone to her quilt along to make a scrappy nine patch quilt with her and I quickly jumped on board.  I've been working on mine over the weekends, when I like to work on "fun" things and not necessarily "work" items.

I was determined yesterday to finish the machine quilting and by the time I was done, I was convinced that I was NOT a machine quilter!!  I still feel like I struggle with moving the quilt around smoothly, so I think I'll limit my machine quilting to baby quilts and smaller lap quilts.  This one was 62" x 68" and it just got too big for me.  My fingers and my back ached from wrestling with it, so I was glad to be done.
Once I got it bound and tossed in the dryer for a good wrinkle-up, I fell in love with it!  I may not love to machine quilt, but I LOVE scrappy quilts!

After I finished that one, I dreamed up this top for a new patchwork quillow to add to my shop.

I'm having trouble thinking of a good name for it, so maybe y'all out there in blogland could help me out.

Any suggestions?  I keep throwing around the words 'rainbow', 'jewels', 'diamonds' but can't come up with something that doesn't sound dorky.  Anyone....?  Anyone...?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cake Cookies

Have you ever made "cake" cookies before? We learned about them several years ago and ever since, they have become a staple in our house! They're made from just a standard cake mix, 2 eggs and 1/2 cup of oil. Cake mixes are very inexpensive and quite often the grocery stores put them on special for less than a dollar, and if you have a coupon, you're doing real good!!  So, once you add your eggs and oil and throw in a few goodies you might have in your baking cupboard, you've got some wonderful, quick and easy gourmet cookies!

I made these with a devil's food cake mix and threw in some of those cutesy swirly chippies. The dough is pretty dense and you'll be tempted to put in some water to make it easier to mix, but don't do it! They'll mix up just fine, be patient! Drop onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350° for 10 - 12 minutes know, the standard cookie baking time and temp!

My mom always cooled her cookies on a brown paper bag because she could never afford to splurge and have cooling racks. I still do this because the bags work just fine and it's a great way to use them.

Oh, they look so delicious! So, do they taste as good as they look?

Hold on, let me check...

Yep ~ 'sgood!!

Cookies and milk, here I come! Whoever invented that combination is one of the smartest (and probably the fattest) people on earth! What's also great about these cookies is that they stay moist and soft for several days ~ althought they're not likely to make it to the second day! I'm packing up a few of them to send to my son in college.

If you've never tried them, now's the time! Throw in whatever you've got - chips, nuts, coconut, marshmallows, spam, pineapple (sheri, the last two are for you :P)... and have a good time!

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