Sunday, December 30, 2007

Cleaning up and clearing out

Every year right after Christmas and before the New Year, I find myself cleaning and purging not only my home, but myself of junk I no longer need. This of course leads me to things I need to do in the coming year and things I'd like to do for myself.

This year, instead of New Year's resolutions, I'm going to have New Year's accomplishments. I've starting my list.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A sashing we will go

I pulled out the Courthouse Square quilt blocks and cut the sashing this morning. I decided of all the colors in the block that I liked the navy blue the best. It's the least represented color and so it's not overwhelming.

I plan to do 3 across x 5 down. That will make a nice sized lap quilt and use all of the blocks.

Sadly, the muslin in the blocks was cut on the bias and so it's very easy to stretch a block out of shape. I've become very familiar with my seam ripper today.

I hope everyone is having a lovely day and wish you all peace and love in the new year.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Handmade breakdown

The rosy glow of Christmas is nearly over at my house. Wrapping paper is picked up and I think I've found all of the bows that the cat got off with.

I took the handmade pledge this year and made a bunch of our gifts. I have to say, it sure beats fighting the crowds and is a lot more fun. I plan to do even more next year.

This year's handmade gifts included:
14 aprons
3 dolls
6 scarves
1 baby blanket
20 Morsbags
needle book
4 pairs of sleep pants

That's what...49 gifts...all handmade. Out of those 49, only one recipient was an ungrateful brat and one of my nephews was mad that I didn't make him an apron too.

Now, the bad news is that I didn't get pictures of most of this stuff. I'd think about it and then get distracted by something shiny and completely forget. I'll have to see if everyone will send me pictures of them using their handmade gifts.

My only regret is not starting a lot earlier. I need to start thinking about it in February or March at the latest and get a plan together and then get busy making gifts.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I just want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year.

My blessings are many this year and I am so glad that I can count each of you as one of my blessings. Thank you for your friendship.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A day spent doing

Finished this apron. Cat print on one side, 'Meow' on the other. This one's on Etsy.

A primitive, needle-felted sheep. I'm trying to make a pull-toy. Isn't he ugly? I love him. He looks well-worn. I used black, brown, natural, and a bit of white roving.

I'd better get back to making little britches.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Did you hear that?

It was a huge sigh of relief. Finals are over and life can begin again.

I'm not going to have much time to pull off a fabulous Christmas, but I'm going to do my best. Better late than never certainly applies this year.

I've got gifts to make, a house to clean and decorate, and sleep to catch up on. I'll bet I don't get much sleep though.

I'm off to visit my bloggy friends and see what kind of trouble they've been up to.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Thrift quilt blocks - $1.75

I found these quilt blocks at the thrift store.

Courthouse Square: There are 15 of this one. At one time it was sewn into a top (you can see the seams), but for some reason taken apart. The blocks measure 15" x 15". $1.00

Double Monkey Wrench: There are 29 solid light background and 30 floral background with brown center. These blocks measure 13" x 13". 75 cents.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Holiday Cheese Ball

This recipe comes from my husband's cousin's wife, Jane.

2 8-oz packages of cream cheese
1 small jar chopped pimento
as much chopped green onion as you like
5 pieces of crumbled bacon

Let the cream cheese come to room temperature so it's soft enough to mix. Cut the green ends of the onions into tiny pieces and mix with the drained pimento. Add that mess to the softened cream cheese and finely crumbled bacon.

Mix well and roll in chopped pecans.

****My changes****

Jane's recipe calls for a measly 5 pieces of bacon. Who can stop at 5 pieces of bacon? I normally buy the really thin stuff and cook the whole package. After I drain the bacon I run it through the food processor and chop it up pretty fine.

Once I mix the cheese, bacon, onion, and pimento together I pack it into a bowl lined with plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge until it firms up a bit. Once it's a little firmer, I take it out of the bowl/plastic wrap and roll it in chopped nuts, normally a mix of different kinds or a mix of chopped parsley and nuts.

The longer this cheese ball sits in the fridge, the better it is. Serve with crackers or veggies of choice.

I could eat my weight in this stuff and that's a bunch of Holiday Cheese Balls.

Feedback questions

Okey-dokey. Here's a question for you loyal readers. I guess this applies to Ebay, Etsy, or where ever.

As a seller, do you give feed and when?

As a buyer, do you give feedback and when?

As a buyer I give feedback as soon as I receive my item and as a seller, when I receive payment.

What would be your reasons for not giving feedback as a buyer or seller?

Ebay is notoriously bad when it comes to feedback. So many sellers just don't bother with it and as a buyer it's frustrating.

Tell me what you think.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Aprons on Etsy

I talked it over with my mom and the apron I made for my sister just isn't going to fit her.

I listed two aprons just a bit ago, the one I made for sis and the blue/veggie print.

Decorative dress form

Yesterday I intended to sew and pester my dear readers with drivel. Instead, I got 'the' call.

The phone call was the sweet lady calling to tell me that my decorative dress form was in the store and I could come pick her up. I called my mom, gave her 15 minutes to go from sleepy granny to shopping diva, spiffed up the kids and myself and off we went.

Introducing Ingabo Mazel Barthena Zerilda a.k.a. I'm Busy.

Naturally I forgot to unload the junk out of the car trunk and for a while thought IMBZ would have to ride in the backseat with the kids. Fortunately for them, she comes apart and I was able to wedge her in the trunk. Being a ham-fisted sort of girl, I managed to break one of the little welds holding her upright. DH is handy with a welder and I don't think she'll be hard to fix. Until then, she's got a piece of wire keeping her from flopping over or listing to one side.

As dress forms go, she's worthless. As a prop for aprons and fun stuff, she's going to be great. The price was certainly right and she doesn't take up much room at all. I may still have my wedding dress somewhere around here and if I do, she gets to wear it.

My number one fan

Meet L.T.(Little Tigger). She's named after her father, Tigger, who she resembles right down to the mustache mark on her face. This is her new bed. She loves sleeping in baskets and most cat beds are too small so we went with a doggie bed. Shhh! Don't tell her.

She was born in February of 2001 and came to live with me at the beginning of April, along with her half-sister/cousin. That's a story for another day.

From the beginning, she followed me everywhere. Two weeks after coming home with me, I stepped on her in the dark, tried to get off of her and tore the tendons in my foot. We were quite the pair. Her little foot was swollen to beat all and mine was black and blue. DH fished her out from under the bed and we sat in the chair with our feet up, commiserating with each other. She's been my number one fan ever since.

When the time came to spay the girls, she was so frightened of the cat carrier that she bit DH and tore up his arm trying to get away. She succeeded. DH came to my work and showed me what my cat had done to his poor hand and arm. He was bloody from fingertips to shoulder and his dress shirt was in shreds.

I managed to get her in the carrier and to the vet on time for her surgery without so much as a hiss or complaint. To this day, she has nothing to do with DH.

We almost lost her to pneumonia in December 2004, right after we moved from NM to OK. DH had insisted that we get the girls de-clawed since they would have to be indoor cats due to living in town. On the farm they went in and out as they pleased. I knew something was wrong a couple of days after the de-clawing and took her back to the vet. The vet said it was just allergies and she'd be okay. She just kept getting worse and worse and I finally had to find a new vet, in a new town, two days before Christmas. Once we got her treatment started it took almost two months for her to fully recover. She's been fit as a fiddle ever since.

She greets me first thing of a morning and waits for me to come in the door after class. Of the feline variety, she's my best friend.

I guess this is the long way of saying, "Here's my cat. We love each other."

Saturday, December 8, 2007


I haven't been to the thrift store all week. Something about a dozen ridiculous papers looming overhead. Anyway, I turned in the last one yesterday and drove immediately to the thrift store where I was rewarded with all kinds of goodies. My total bill was $6.75 excluding tax.

9-1/2 yards of this fabric for 50 cents a yard. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with 9-1/2 yards of this, but I've got lots to play with. Hey! I could make curtains for the kitchen or something.

An embroidered piece with tatting around the edge, an old scissor keeper, and a length of trim.

Various lengths of eyelet and lace trims.

A nice piece of wool fabric and blue calico

Zippers. The one on the left with the orange tag says 'TG&Y'. Anybody remember TG&Y?

The mailman brought me gifts

Annie contacted me earlier in the week wanting my address. She said she'd found a doo-dad and thought of me. Awe!

Today, the mailman brought my doo-dad and I love it. Thank you so much Annie!

How cute is that? It's a tiny little pincushion to be worn on the finger or thumb. Genius!

Please ignore the wedding band that appears to be cutting my finger in half. I might have had a bit too much salt yesterday.

I might as well warn you now. This is going to be a multi-post kind of day. I've got tons to talk about.

The ugliest apron ever

Okay, here's the ugliest apron ever. Ignore the grumpy looking old goat. He was ironing and I interrupted him. He wouldn't let me tie the apron so he's holding the strings in the back. This fabric has little snowmen all over it.

Wait! Where did the grumpy guy go? I tripped over a cat and nearly fell. That's why he's smiling. Again, he wouldn't let me tie the strings. Men!

I thought about sending a really pretty apron for the white elephant exchange and then decided that after 12 years of receiving half-burned candles and 20-year-old boxes of candy as gifts, an ugly apron was appropriate.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


School is about to do me in. I have 8 papers (just from one instructor) due on Friday before 5pm. He didn't assign them until yesterday during a temper tantrum in lab.

Friday is day after tomorrow and it's coming way too soon.

I skipped Chemistry today so I could stay home and work on this mess. I managed to get five written and sent in. Naturally, I left the hardest for last and hope I get a sudden inspiration tonight sometime.

In other news, I still don't have my tree up and the decorations are still in the attic. Honestly, it may have to wait until finals are over and done.

My dear husband is leaving tomorrow to go see his folks for Christmas. They're having the family get-together on Sunday and then on Monday my FIL is having a colonoscopy so DH wants to be there for that. The doctor fears he may have cancer. Prayers would be appreciated for J.E.

I squeaked out the ugliest apron in the world for the white elephant exchange. That would be the extent of my crafting this week. I had DH wear it so I could get a picture of it. I'll try to get it posted sometime soon.

Take care dear friends.

An author among us

Imagine my surprise, I'm reading Small Town Living and spy a name that looks very familiar. It's Sue from Country Pleasures.

Sue has written a delightful article and I encourage everyone to run over and read it. Small Town Living is a pleasure to read, but when you 'know' one of the contributing authors, it's even better.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Jumpin' up and down

I'm jumping up and down, grinning like a fool.

I just had my very first sale at Etsy and I'm soooo excited.

I've already got it packaged up and ready to hit the PO in the morning.

Thank you so much NancyJo!

New fabric


I've lived in three states that Route 66 passed through and always get a kick out of the diners, drive-ins, motels, and billboards that honor the Mother Road. I still drive on old 66 every time I hop over to Hydro.

I can't wait for this fabric to get here.

Discipline...Grandpa style

Growing up I had my share of spankings and such. I grew up okay and don't seem to be damaged. That said, my grandpa had his very own way of getting us kids to behave.

Grandpa was a tolerant kind of man. He put up with kids jumping all over the place and hanging on him when he was outside working. He put up with us playing in the well-house, rearranging his boxes and jars of nails and other Grandpa stuff.

He refereed boxing matches, turned fist fights, between the kids making sure nobody really got hurt. He was really pretty easy-going until Saturday night wrestling was on and then, well, we'd better behave.

He would finally get fed up with the bickering or what ever nonsense us kids were up to at the time and then he'd holler at us. That was our one and only chance to knock it off. After that, he'd thump the floor.

His chair sat almost in the corner of the living room. On the right side of his chair was an end table and on the left, his spittoon.

After our one and only chance, those of us foolish enough to continue acting like apes, were summoned to the living room where Grandpa would thump the hardwood floor with his knuckle and tell us to sit down.

Being the oldest, wisest and fastest, I always got the spot between the end table and his chair, leaving the less desirable spittoon side to another sibling. Nobody wanted to sit on that side of the chair and I mean absolutely nobody.

I would sit on my side of his chair with the Reader's Digest I'd stuck under the end table and giggle at the gagging sounds coming from the other side. As a rotten kid I took great pleasure in the misery of my unlucky siblings.

Yesterday, the kids were cranky and constantly at each other. I found myself doling out discipline like my grandpa did.

I needed to get some fabric ready to wash and was serging the cut ends. I could hear the kids over the clacking of the serger and so I hollered at them. Into the third end of fabric the noise level had risen considerably so I summoned them both.

I put one in front of the door and the other in front of the dresser and told them to sit and be quiet. Nothing makes a kid more miserable than to be required to sit and not talk while under the watchful eye of an adult. They just can't help but squirm due to the discomfort. The pain of it is intolerable, to a child.

They dont' know how lucky they are I didn't have a stinky spittoon.