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!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I have a great husband!  Plain and simple, he's just perfect for me!  Granted, we've had a lot of ups and downs in the 16+ years we've been married, but I think all that is necessary in order to fully appreciate a good great relationship.  I won't go into details as to why I think he's so perfect for me and list all the things we've been thru, both good and bad, I'll just tell you what he did for me today.

He brought me tea.
Yes, just a simple cup of green tea.  The gesture was sweetened because he brought it in my little corelleware teacup, with a spoon and a saucer, delivered directly to my sewing room where I was furiously sewing away on my quillows.  He's taken to doing this occasionally since we're both working at home the past few weeks and when he fixes himself a cup of russian tea, he'll usually bring me a cup of green tea - without being asked!  Sometimes I really am not in the mood for tea, but I'll never tell him that!  I would never want to discourage such a sweet gesture - EVER!

So, I am enjoying my tea while I write this, and thanking God for the gift of my husband!

Last night I baked the Earthquake Cake that Rae Ann shared on her blog.  My husband said that it registered a 10.0 on his Richter Scale!!!  It was delicious!  Thanks, Rae Ann!!  If you get a hankerin' for a good, gooey, surprise-filled chocolate cake, visit her blog and try it out!

Well, I'm headed back to my sewing room to work on some more custom quillows....the orders are piling up for the holidays...another thing for me to be thankful for!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Oh, what a beautiful morning!  I just had to share my sunrise with you...

"The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard."

~ Psalm 19:1-3

Monday, November 16, 2009

Craft Show Weekend

I was super excited to go to the craft show this past weekend in Orangeburg.  We went for the first time last year and came away from it then, excited to come back again as we had a great time and had a good profit.  The gal that runs the show is super nice and takes care of all her vendors very well.  She's good at what she does!  She's much better than I am with grumpy vendors wanting every inch of booth space they paid for...

The road trip on Friday morning was very pleasant....we started early and enjoyed the ride as the sun came up.  I tried to take pictures of the cotton fields we drove past and the bundles of cotton packed up and ready to send to the factories, but the motorhome was moving too fast for me to get good pictures.  No way, was I going to ask my husband to stop so I could take a picture of a cotton bale...he wouldn't go for that!  I'm thinking of investing in a new camera anyway, because I rely on it so heavily and this one just isn't meeting my needs in certain areas.

We parked the Bounder

and stopped for breakfast at one of our favorite spots.

It was warm and cozy and the cook and servers were super friendly!

We hit the road again for the last little leg of the trip which was about 6 miles.
Once we arrived, we started the set-up which usually takes us 1-½ to 2 hours to get it all perfected and ready for the crowd.  After that, Bill went down and hooked up the camper.  He called me to say that he was going to stay outside for a bit and "cash in" on a little bonus he saw next to the campsite....hmmm, I wondered...what could be more rewarding than selling a bunch of marshmallow shooters?

Turns out, the fairgrounds, where the show is located, is covered in pecan trees and we were welcomed to take as many of them as we could carry.  Bill filled a 5 gallon bucket and a few grocery bags full!  What a booty we got to take home with us!

We always enjoy meeting the other vendors and this show was no exception!

On Friday night, as all the other vendors were complaining about having to drive all the way home, we just closed down our shop, and walked down the hill to our cozy little camper, where we donned our comfy clothes and settled down to a homemade meal of lasagna (actually a Bertolli frozen meal) and salad.  We watched a little TV but soon realized we were more tired than we thought we'd be from just sittng around most of the day and ended up in bed shortly after 9:00!!  A good rest and a hearty homemade breakfast and we were ready for day 2.

All in all, we didn't do quite as well as the previous year with profit...well, I should say I didn't do as well, because my husband knocked my socks off in sales!  We like to "compete" in a sense, comparing who sold more than the other.  He sold 3 chairs and plenty of his other little products!  I only sold one quillow and a few other little things.  I guess what put me in a sour mood thru most of the show was that I had worked my buns off making all those little things that sold wonderfully last year at this show and then didn't sell a single one this year!  BUT, I remembered what was important and it's not the money....we had a wonderful time together, meeting people, selling our wares and having a mini camping adventure.

But the best part of the whole trip is this:  every year for Christmas, Bill's grandmother (94 years young) gives us a margarine tub full of shelled pecans that she picked from her yard, and this year, we're going to give her one!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Meet Relia-Bear. He is a true friend and I LOVE him! I mean, I really love him!
Why do I love him so? Well, for starters, he's been my companion for about 8 years or so.
I got him when I was working as a bookkeeper/office manager for a home construction company. I was the one who ordered office supplies and I ordered frequently from Reliable Office Supply Company.

He was one of those prizes you get when you order $150 or more of supplies and he came with a steady supply of those yummy little chocolate chip cookies in a tin that are SO hard to stop eating!! He stood watch on my desk daily, with a belly full of cookies - my desk was the favorite stopping spot for everyone in the office because of this.
One day, the cleaning lady knocked him over and he broke. Fortunately, he was fixable and I glued him back together and he resumed his duties as faithful cookie keeper. He still bears those awful scars....*choke*

When I left the "working world" a couple of years ago, Relia-Bear came with me.

Now he lives on my desk here at home.

I love him because he has always been there, watching over me when I'm stuck at my desk, but there's another reason why I love him even more.

Need I say more?

I love you, Relia-Bear! You are so reliable!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Finding a Groove

Guess what?....I sold my 99th quillow today! And that's just for this year!

Me so happy!

For as long as I can remember, whenever I do a lot of sewing, I prefer to do just one task per day. What I mean is, instead of cutting fabric and then sewing it together and then adding finishing touches all in one time span, I like to spend one day doing bunches of cutting and then maybe the next day or two spend my time doing all the sewing part of it ~ kind of like getting in a groove and staying there ~ it always makes me feel like I've accomplished more.
Back when I used to make clothing for myself and my kids, I would always begin, naturally, by laying out the pattern and cutting it the time that was done, I just wasn't in the mood to start sewing, so I would grab the next item and stay on my cutting highway! Then, when I had time to get back into a new groove, I'd do all the sewing parts. I've noticed that this method works for me even today when I'm making quillows. I like to start out with a day of designing and cutting out the quillows and grouping the parts together, tying them with selvage scraps.

Then, the next day I'll be able to chain sew all the parts together, working on several quillows at a time.

Finally, I'll carve out a day or a couple of evenings and just work on marking and tying the quillows, although that part definitely gets hard on my fingertips after several quillows. I'm gearing up for just such a day.
I've got my stack of movies to watch while tying

These came from my local library...all except the cartoon on the bottom...that came from my kids' stash ~ I enjoy watching those occasionally - brings back memories of when my kids were little! :)
Here's a stack of quillows waiting to be tied.

Since it's getting close to the holidays, the Christmas orders are coming in more often and soon I'll be very busy mailing them out! It's really nice when the order is for something already made and not a custom order. I love to do custom quillows, but at this time of year, tracking down special fabric and getting the quillow together and in the mail on time can be more trouble than it's worth. The hard thing for me is that sometimes I hate saying "no" because I don't want to lose a sale!

What's really great is that tonight is "leftover night" and I don't have to cook! (that's been the Wednesday night tradition in this household for as long as I can remember)
This frig needs a good cleaning out every week!

So, bring on the quillows! I'm ready!

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