Sunday, January 31, 2010

Warming Back Up

It finally stopped raining, but the temperature dropped significantly overnight and we woke up to an icy wonderland.

We lost power for a couple of hours thru the night and I was prepared to spend the day in the cold without electricity (I had plenty of hand quilting ready), but everything fired back up by 7:00 this morning.  I was mostly worried about losing all the food in the frig and freezer, so that was a relief.

But, the sun is out now and everything is melting quickly, so I rushed to get my photo op while it lasted.

My husband took advantage of being cooped up in the house for the past day or so.  Yesterday I mentioned that he wanted some candied sweet potatoes and using Gramma Baker's recipe, they turned out pretty good!  I was impressed!  Later that day, he decided to make us all an afternoon snack - quesadillas!  Why does food always taste better when someone cooks for you?  Is it because it's so nice to have someone make you a tasty little snack and you didn't have to lift a finger to do it!

My husband always cooks breakfast on Sunday mornings, but this morning he decided to get creative.   Wednesday night I had dinner with a friend at a local Greek restaurant.  As I was paying my bill at the counter, I noticed they had cannollis in the dessert case.  My husband loves them so I decided to bring him home a treat.  While he was enjoying his treat, he got to thinking...that can be dangerous when he does that sometimes!  :)
So, to the point, he decided he would make some breakfast cannollis.  He used pieces of steel pipe and wrapped them in foil.

Then he wrapped crescent roll dough around each pipe, baked it according to the package, and stuffed the cooked rolls with sausage and eggs and topped it with cheese.

Quite a creation and they were definitely tasty!  He was going to make some "dessert" ones by mixing up some cream cheese with sugar and perhaps some jam and stuff the rolls that way, but we forgot to get cream cheese at the grocery store this week.

They have cancelled church today in our area, so we will be staying inside and watching it thaw outside.

Stay warm, wherever you are!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Baby, It's Cold Outside...

Yes, it is definitely cold down in the South today.  We are currently experiencing an ice storm and it's supposed to keep raining all day today in addition to the temperature dropping.  Right now it's about 34°F and dropping.

The ice is very pretty and it's amazing how it can weigh things down and cause even large trees to droop.

Icicles are a rarity here in South Carolina, and just seeing these reminds me so much of growing up in Montana where icicles were abundant during the winter.  It was always a contest between my brothers and I to see who could find the most massive icicle hanging from eaves of the neighborhood houses.  Of course, we always had to break them loose and suck on them!!!  Grosses us out as adults, now, doesn't it?!  :)

Although this ice is so pretty, I hope it doesn't hurt these little trees.   We transplanted them about 7 years ago to line our driveway and they are getting so big.  They normally stand straight up, at least 10 feet tall.

This one is bent all the way over, laying it's top on the ground

Happily, I'm snug as a bug in my warm house today, browsing blogs with a cup of hot cider.  My husband got a craving for candied yams and since I have never made them, he asked Gramma Baker at the pizza party last night and she told him how she makes them.  So, he's in the kitchen now, working on that....should be interesting...  :)

These little sweet treats came in the mail yesterday and I'm contemplating all the things I want to make with them.  They were on sale at Christa Quilts for $6.80 each - what a bargain!

I also ordered an entire bolt of Osnaburg from Joann's and got it for half price - that comes out to about $2.50 per yard - another bargain!

Here are the pictures of the little dresses I was working on this past week.

I also hope to get some more done on my string project this weekend.  I'm planning on making a quillow out of my blocks.  I have about 16 blocks done and need a total of 36 to do the quillow.  As I've been going through my scrap pile, I haven't been too selective about what I use, except I'm excluding solids, and I was concerned that my quilt would be too scrappy, but I'm content with how the blocks are turning out.  There's not a lot of trendy fabrics in there, but I think it looks OK.

I've got a good 80s flick to watch tomorrow afternoon while I sort through some more scraps.  I'm going to have a "Back to the Future" blowout.

But, for today, I'm not sure what I'll do ~ possible some baking and definitely some sewing...  I do know that I've got laundry to do, so I'll leave you now and head back to my frigid little laundry room.

Have a cozy weekend!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Mexican Pizza Party

Let me just start off by saying "welcome" to my new readers!  It's ALWAYS wonderful to see new faces and know that someone out there is actually reading the things I write!  Thanks, also, to those who helped make my decision on the pansy pinwheel quilt - I won't share my decision until I finish it, and then I'll surprise you with a picture!

I also want to publicly thank Karen of Sew Many Ways for her generous giveaway prizes!  It came in the mail this week and I'm still in awe of her generosity and I feel so awkward and undeserving receiving it - is this normal for a first-time giveaway winner?  Thank you, Karen, and happy blogiversary!

I'm really making an effort to keep my internet time to 1/2 hour, because I need to make the most of my "freedom" while it lasts.

This is the construction site - the pond will be the view out their back porch

We broke ground on our construction project this Monday, and I've got to report to duty next week - just found out that I won't have to work until Wednesday, so that means two more days of sewing for me!  I'm trying to cram in as much sewing as possible because I know I'll be missing my dear Singer next week!  Most of all, I'm just dreading working outdoors in this cold weather.  I'm not looking forward to slinging a hammer during the two coldest months of the year, but I know my husband needs my help, even though my two little hands can't do very much...

My husband has assembled quite an interesting construction crew out of various family members, me included.  He likes to refer to us as his "mexicans" - believe me, this is not any kind of racial slur and I take this as a compliment, because since I've been working in the construction world for at least the past 15 years, I know that Mexican construction crews are some of the hardest working people in that field!  My husband, Bill, has hired Uncle Harold, Uncle Smiley and myself to work on this project (of course, I'm not really "hired", I'm just expected to help!)  Our daughter has decided we need mexican names to go with our status - Harold is "Jorge", Smiley is "Jesus" (pronounced "hay-soos") and I am "Juanita".  We joked that my husband needs to be called "Juan", but decided the boss will just be "boss".

Gramma Baker's house in the background

The footing is dug, the batter boards up, and today the concrete truck is coming to pour the footing.  The foundation block will be delivered today, too, and the masons will begin work on Monday.  While they are laying block, us mexicans will be doing some pre-framing on the ground - making walls to stand up once the floor is laid on the foundation.

The electrical company installed the temporary power pole yesterday

So, until I must brave the hard, cold, outside, I plug away in my sewing room.  Here are a few things I've been working on:

COKE quillow - special order for a customer

Kaleidoscope quilt blocks from some of Paula Nadelstern's Luminosity fabrics - another patchwork quillow in the works for my goal of 26 this year.

Custom Toddler Nap Mat
I've also been making more little dresses and coloring notebooks for toddlers to sell at craft shows, but my husband has had the camera all week and my picture-taking is limited.

Take a trip over to amy lou who's place for more Sew-n-Tell Friday entries!  Lots of neat things to see there!
We've made Friday night our Pizza Night, and my husband has turned tonight into a pizza party at Gramma Baker's house.  Guess who gets to make the homemade pizza for 9 people?????  I'm not sure my little bread oven can churn out enough dough for that many people, but we'll give it a shot!  Honestly, it's a luxury to be able to have dinner with Gramma Baker.  She's 94 (going on 95 in April) and LOVES pizza!  I know it will be a wonderful family time!

So, without further ado, it's time to head to my sewing room for the day - I've got my ballet slippers on for Red Shoe Friday - do you have your red shoes on?

P.S....Oh, the cupcakes were delicious!  Gone too soon!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Cupcakes and Construction

For some reason, I am just craving a cupcake!

Now that our kids are grown up, we don't have cupcakes too often, if ever, actually!  No need to bake 600 cupcakes for the girl scouts bake sale, or for the sunday school function, or even for the class valentine party.  Nope - we are DONE with those days!......*sigh*

Also, my husband really doesn't like cupcakes because it's hard to get your mouth around one, getting both cake and frosting in one bite, without shoving the frosting up your nose!  Well, that's his problem that he hasn't learned the art of gracefully eating a cupcake.  Perhaps I haven't either, but at this point, I don't care because TODAY, I am going to make CUPCAKES!  And I think they will be my favorite flavor - the flavor of a wedding cake - white on white!  Yuuuu-UM!

BUT, before I get to play in the kitchen today, there are things to be done.  Yesterday I literally spent all day sitting in front of the computer, shuffling papers, paying bills, processing shipping labels, paying sales tax, blah, blah, blah....and I STILL didn't finish!  Today, I really need to sign up for some craft shows for this year before Spring is upon us!  We'll be starting the new construction project on Monday and I'll have to report to "cute construction girl" duty by the first of February.  I have to admit that I am looking forward to it a bit, but I will definitely be missing some sewing time.  You'll also be seeing a lot of construction pictures from me as I plan to take progress photos for the homeowners.

That's me, the "truss monkey", on one of our previous projects

Today, I also must run some errands - yes, I get to see people today - and I'll be wearing my red moccasins in support of my friend's cause.

Please take time to visit her blog, Red Shoes for Rwanda, and find out what all the red-shoe-hoopla is all about!  It's definitely worth your time to either make a donation or a pledge (it can even be a dime a day) or to wear red shoes on Fridays, thinking of her!

One more thing...I need a favor from y'all (yes, we do say that down here).  I am trying to get the borders done on this quillow, but I can't seem to make up my mind between these three options for the inner border....perhaps you can give a shout out about which one you think looks better - PUH-Leez!!!
Leave me a comment as to which you think looks best - blue, lavender, or yellow.

Thank you and have a great Friday!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Speech! Speech!

I feel like Drew Barrymore at the Golden Globe Awards – hyperventilating and so giddy that she forgot all the things she wanted to say when she won her award! (By the way, what WERE those spiny little things doing on her shoulder and waist?) I had all these wonderful things to say about winning my FIRST giveaway, but, alas, they have slipped my mind!

I do want to send a shout of thanks to Karen of Sew Many Ways for giving so generously in celebration of her one-year blogiversary. It feels odd to receive a gift from someone who is the one deserving of the gift! And what a wonderful gift she gave – not one, but TWO packs of Warm and Natural cotton batting!

Wow! This whole thing just goes hand in hand with my latest goal. I’ve recently been inspired by a new blogger friend, Rae Ann of Cutie Pinwheel, about a sewing/quilting goal for 2010. I actually hadn’t made any resolutions or goals, and didn’t plan on it, until she shared with me hers. I got to thinking that maybe it would be good for me to set myself a quilting goal, too. I had already decided that this year I would not be making any bed quilts to sell in my shop because they are just to hard to unload – custom quilts are a better way to go, that way the customer can choose their pattern and color scheme. Anyway, I still love to quilt and my patchwork quillows sell wonderfully, especially near the holidays. Each year I make about 15 of them and they are all gone by the start of the next year. Plus, it gives me something to hand quilt while watching TV (I’m not a huge fan of machine quilting large items). A quillow is basically just a quilt, usually about 42” wide by 70” long and but it has a pocket at one of the ends where you can fold the quilt up tuck it into this pocket and it then becomes a decorative pillow.

A quillow is just the right size for snuggling under in your recliner or on the couch, and the bonus is that you can tuck your feet into the pillow pocket and they stay extry warm!!!

So, what I’m trying to say is that I have set myself a goal of making at least one patchwork quillow every two weeks for a yearly total of 26! I’ve already completed about 4 or 5 and have a few in progress now.

Karen’s gift of batting fits my needs perfectly!

Thank you, Karen, for your extreme generosity and your friendship! I wish you many more TTT blogs!!!  I also hope someday I have HALF as many followers as you do!  :)

Now, all I have to do is win a Kitchen Aid mixer from Pioneer Woman and I will be a complete woman!!!

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