Saturday, June 26, 2010

And the Winner is...

I've placed all entries in my trusty tupperware bowl

and enlisted my favorite (not to mention totally handsome) assistant to draw a name



more mixing...


And the winner is...

Marcia wrote:  I like the jaybird and Oh! Fransson blogs, as well as many already mentioned: quiltville SewCalGirl v & co sewtakeahike Park City Girl p.s.iquilt Crazy Mom Quilts IHAN Red Pepper Quilts Cluck Cluck Sew. I do not have my own blog so this book would be most helpful to get me started (once I get the courage).

Here's what Marcia won...

Naturally, the much-desired book along with a couple of Mary Engelbreit emery boards, a little notebook I made for her to jot down notes from the book

and to give her sustenance (Bonetown style) while she engrosses herself in her reading - a cute little origami bag full of Cow Tales!

I wanted to include some chocolate as we know all quilters love chocolate, but wasn't sure it would ship unscathed thru this hot weather, so Bill suggested his favorite treat...naturally, because he gets to eat the leftovers!  :)

Best of luck, Marcia - I hope this book gives you the courage you seek to step out and start blogging!!!

Thanks so much to everyone who participated because now I have a long list of new blogs to check out once I have time after the construction project is complete.  I truly wish I had 25 copies of this book to give away to everyone who entered, but since I can't I'll tell you that you can get one at a really good price here.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Yesterday wasn't Today

Have you ever had one of those weeks that just flies's Thursday and really it feels like Monday or Tuesday so you get excited because the weekend is just around the corner instead of 4 days away?  Or, do you sometimes have one of those days when you think it's Friday and it's really Thursday?  Well, that's what happened to me yesterday.  Let me explain...

Yesterday we were scheduled to have our final inspection on the construction project, which would give us our C.O. (certificate of occupancy) and allow the homeowners to cash in on their first-home-purchase tax rebate....and we passed!!!!  YAY!  Definitely an answer to prayer!

Bill overseeing the installation of the septic tank and drain lines

So, Bill decided to take a much-needed break and we drove to town for lunch, and also ran some business errands.  The temperatures here have been in the high 90s so I was more than happy to clean up my paintbrush and pile into the car to go eat mexican food, even if it meant chasing around town!

This is Uncle Harold (aka 'Jorge') - he's a big 'sweat-er'

All these little details started putting me in a celebratory mood, and it must've made me start feeling like it was a friday.  Friday night is pizza nite at our house and so I say to Bill on our way back home...."what time do you want to eat pizza tonight - 6 or 8?"  He looks at me strange and wonders out loud why we're doing that a day early....Aw, crud!  I thought it was Friday!!...ha ha...I can tell by the way you're laughing at me that's it's happened to you, too, right!!!

Anyway, I wanted to show you what I completed this week to share at amylouwho's Sew and Tell Friday (by the way, here's a big THANK YOU to Amy for hosting this each week and for having wonderful friends who'll step in a pick up the slack while Amy's settling into her new digs  - Sew and Tell has really helped me meet new blogging friends and I LOVE browsing thru everyone's little projects!)
Thank you, Amy!

I've been collecting red, white and black fabrics for over a year now, as I wanted to do some sort of project with that trendy combination of colors.
This week, I made this little pinafore and bloomers set to add to my growing collection for sale in the shop

I also used crazymomquilts stacked coins quilt tutorial she posted last year as a guide, although this is made with 4" squares cut in half.

Starting with 4" squares instead of 5" charm squares proved to be a bit more time-consuming.  Of course, I started with fabric yardage and not charm squares, too, which didn't help.

I backed it in a red and black polka dot that seemed to fit the bill perfectly, and then spent about 2 weeks hand quilting it with stitches running the length of the quillow along the pieced rows.  It's now sitting happily in my quillow shop waiting patiently for a new owner!

I still have a tub full of scraps leftover and I hate to see them go to waste so I put them up for sale in my Etsy shop - I figure $5 is a pretty good deal, considering all the work I've put into the cutting!

Oh - and don't forget today is the last day to enter my blogiversary giveaway!

Thanks for stopping by and I wish everyone a nice, relaxing weekend!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Can't wait to get back to my STUDIO, STUDIO!!!

I'm getting SO MANY wonderful blog suggestions from my giveaway that I am dying to check out, but time limits me lately as we've been spending every waking hour on our construction project.  The final inspection for the certificate of occupancy happens today so last night we worked until 9:00 PM!

stairs off the back patio of the new home leading to the pond

My husband told me just this morning that we've only got to finish painting, put rock on the fireplace and finish the hardwood floors and then I can stay home every day and SEW!

rock that needs to go on the fireplace

That sounds like just a little bit to do, but it's really a lot since this house is over 3000 sf - it's going to take a whole week just to finish the floors!!

homeowner hard at work painting

So, keep those suggestions coming as you enter my giveaway because I'm making a list!!

A lot of you have mentioned SewCalGal as one of those blogs you just "have to read" and I happen to follow her blog, too.

SewCalGal is hosting a Pet's Quilt Show August 2010. While more info will be shared on this quilt show soon, this is a great time for you to start:

- working on quilts with any animal theme
- take photos of your pets on your quilts
- make a pet bed(s) or quilt(s) for an animal living in a local Animal Shelter. If you need information on this, check out

If you are interested in being a sponsor for this event, please email SewCalGal.

It sounds like a wonderful idea and I definitely plan to get involved once I can get back to my "studio, studio, o, o, my studio, studio!"  (did you watch America's Got Talent on Tuesday?  I laughed so hard at that audition - especially when the host got out there, made her sing it again after being told "NO" by all three judges and started dancing like a monkey!!!) - PRICELESS!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

What the heck is a 'gauguin' ?

This is what I said when one of my customers made this special request for a custom quillow...

"Oh, and while I have you in the quillow-making mood, how about one with yellow and orange, a little blue, a little green, with a Gauguin feel?"

To which I replied (in my head, of course) with the above-mentioned phrase.  I'm sure you know what I did next...YEP - I googled it.

Turns out Gauguin is a French post-impressionist painter (1848 - 1903).  I found this website that gave a good bit of information about him.

I was a bit stumped as to how I was going to find any fabrics with her description of how she wanted the finished product to look and how on earth would I even go about searching...what words would I use to search with.  Fortunately, after a search for "gauguin fabric" ebay came thru for me with a copy of one of Gauguin's famous portraits titled "When Will You Marry?" (or something like that) on cloth.

Long story, short....I found some batiks (absolutely beautiful colors) at and this is what I came up with.

Looks Tahiti-ish, doncha think?  Now it just needs to be tied.

While I was working on that this evening, this is what the hubby was doing.

One of our neighbors is an avid gardener/farmer of sorts and every summer he lavishes us with all sorts of fresh veggies.

Bill is shucking these and putting them in the frig and it looks like we'll be cutting and freezing some more corn on Saturday.

Anyway, it's late and I'm headed to a hot bubble bath!....CALGON - Take me away!!!

Oh, and don't forget about my giveaway!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Day Late and a Dollar Short

Ok, so I lied...I said I was having a giveaway on's Saturday.

So sorry, but I was just too busy yesterday with my hands immersed in grout up to my elbows!  My husband scheduled Friday as the day for me to do the grout on all the tile work he did at the construction project and I'm thinking..."this is going to be easy - nice, quick work-day for me and I'll be back at home sewing and blogging away by mid-afternoon."


I started at about 9:30 AM and was still spreading the gritty stuff at 6 PM last night!  Needless to say my knees, back and wrists were all worn out and terribly sore!

But, it was all worth it to see the final product...did I do a good job??

I even got to help make this - the tile around the master bathtub

Today my body is feeling much better, thank you!

Back to last night...Friday night is pizza night here and I usually make homemade pizza crust and whip up a lovely pizza, but last night I was just not in the mood.  You'll never believe what I resorted to.....SPAM pizza!!

We had some leftover SPAM (my husband loves this stuff) and I really didn't have anything else in the frig, so I pulled a white pizza kit from the freezer and threw on some spinach and chopped up SPAM.  Yeah, had to make it a little bit healthy with the addition of the spinach and a whole wheat crust to counteract the fatty-ness of the SPAM.  You'd think it was just ham, if I didn't tell you it was nasty chunks of processed meat-stuffs, right!  It didn't taste like ham, and I will probably never sink that low again to putting the stuff on my pizza!

Anyway, yesterday was my one year blogiversary.  I stepped into the blogging world and have met many new friends and discovered lots of interesting blogs along the way.  Yet, there are so many other great blogs out there that I would love to visit, but don't know where to start.  So, I thought maybe you could help me. 

Here are 3 ways you can get points to win the giveaway...

  1. Leave me a comment telling me your favorite blog that you just have to read, no matter what - and I'll throw your name in the hat once
  2. If I see your pretty face in my sidebar because you are a follower or have become a new follower now, I'll throw your name in the hat again
  3. Finally, if you mention my giveaway and blog on YOUR blog, I'll toss your name in the hat once more
So, now you probably wanna know what I'm giving away, right?  Well, what more can I give away to celebrate a blogiversary than an excellent book about blogging!

How about this one?

Tara has written a wonderful manual here that can help anyone get started blogging or even help current bloggers with more inspiration and ideas to make their blog a great place to stop and visit.

She gives helpful hints on photography

Tips on computer language, formatting and codes

and "interviews" several popular bloggers of various interests...

She even uses her own blog as great example of the need to update once in a while

I really love it!  It's been a huge help to me on my blog journey and I'm sure I'll be using it a lot more as I enter my second year in the blog-o-sphere!

Heck - I'll even toss in a few extra goodies!  :)  (maybe you'll find that short dollar in the goodie bag!)

So, please stop by for a visit (I guess you already did that if you're reading this - duh!), leave a comment or two (don't lurk) telling me your favorite blog to follow or some other sort of blogging tip you've discoverered and then be sure to come back next Saturday, June 26th, when I let my hubby draw the winning name out of the hat!

And, if you're in the mood for yet another giveaway, Kerri is giving away the cutest fabric she and a friend designed on Spoonflower!

It's absolutely adorable!!  So, be sure to pay her a visit and even stop by her Etsy shop where she has some great prices on the latest fabric trends!

Until then!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cooking for Two

My husband and I are brand new empty-nesters since our oldest daughter was the last of our three children to move out this past May.  You would think that since I had been cooking for three up until then, that cooking for two would be just about the same....well, it's not.  Even when our daughter was home, we still had lots of leftovers so I already needed to gear down the amounts I was fixing for meals.

Sometimes I can cut a recipe in half easily.  I also like to make the whole recipe, divide it into two separate containers and freeze half of it before cooking, then I have a meal already made and all I have to do is thaw it out and pop it in the oven, and decide what to serve with it.

This recipe has been cut in half and it still can serve 4.  It's called Reuben Casserole and my husband thinks it's FABULOUS!

I got the recipe online and tweaked it a bit.  Like a reuben sandwich, it calls for corned beef and caraway seeds.  Living out here in the boondocks I don't often get my hands on corned beef and I HATE caraway seeds.  So, I like to use sausage instead of the corned beef and I just nix the caraway seeds altogether.

I get the munchies when I'm cooking sometimes, so tonight I am indulging in kettle cooked jalapeno chips and diet ginger ale....quirky combination, right?

Anyway, back to the cooking...first you mix water, milk and margarine in a saucepan until slightly boiling.

While that's heating up, slice up some sausages (you can pretty much use anything...kielbasa, smoked sausage...these are some sort of smoked sausage with ham and swiss cheese inside).

At our home, it's always been tradition that if you are cooking any sausage of this sort, you must deliver a chunk on a toothpick to everyone in the house - sorta like an appetizer-thingy.  My mom always did this when I was a kid, so I carried on the tradition and my kids always loved it, too.  Unfortunately, while I was cooking this tonight, no one but ME was home!         So.....I'll eat yours, thank you!  YUM!

Once the milk-stuff starts boiling, remove from heat and stir in mustard and mashed potatoes

and whip it good....whip it into shape...shape it's not too whip it....oops, sorry

Layer half the potato mixture in a greased baking dish and cover it with all the sausage

and then you layer some sauerkraut and some swiss cheese

and then the rest of the mashed potatoes along with more swiss cheese on top of that.

Bake at 350° for about 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
Now, I know I've made a huge cooking faux pas by serving such a monochromatic meal, but, really...who cares!

We picked the corn fresh on Sunday night from a friend's garden and I just can't get enough of it, it is SO GOOD!

I know...I'll have a glass of wine - that should add a little bit of color!

Oh, and for dessert....I'll be having some of these cookies and homemade coffee ice cream

yeah, I know....more monochromatic food...oh well...shoot me!

Here's the link to the original recipe if you want to try it:
Reuben Casserole

Don't forget to stop back by on Friday to help me celebrate my one year blogiversary with a GIVEAWAY!!!

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