Archive for May, 2010

I’ve been honored over on Mickey’s blog. ♥ She is a wonderful quilter that I met when she came to teach at our guild. We hit it off immediately and I’m thrilled to have a quilting friend and fellow mom of college students/ mom of an artist/ mom of a geek! 🙂

You can also find my etsy shop via the button on the side of my blog. Email me for a current list of soaps in stock.


Meanwhile, Phil & I returned yesterday afternoon from our 3 days and 2 nights behind the Cheddar Curtain. Fabulous is an understatement!!

Celebrating 27 years of marriage!

Beautiful scenery.

Nike Outlet.

Land’s End Outlet. ($9 jeans for me in one size smaller!! 🙂 )

Wow! Prime Rib at Sebastian’s!!

Quilt Essentials 🙂

Port Hotel in Port Washington (beyond description but I’ll give you more details & pictures later… )

2 + hours walking along Lake Michigan & watching boaters come & go


TLC by the owner of The Port Hotel

7 shower heads in one shower!

Sunday Brunch

The view from the top of a bluff (100 steps up from the beach!) overlooking Lake Michigan (we waved to Miss K!)

Port Washington local festival

Returning home to find all the animals properly cared for.

Topped off by a short nap for both of us and a bonfire with friends!

I can’t wait to tell you all about it and show you the pictures. Meanwhile, REALLY hoping the first step in repairing my computer arrives tomorrow!

Read Full Post »


I am finding by my clear deductive reasoning experience that for some reason I don’t sleep well the night after my massage. Do you know why this would be? So I’m writing.

And the no-news remains… I’m still without my computer. I am very thankful that the resident-geek is able to give me something of an old hop-along computer so that I can still check my email and Facebook accounts. 😉 Occasionally, I get to my blog list. And even less, to the Sonlight forums or my blog here.

He thinks we have a large hardware problem and has ordered a diagnostic part. Once this part arrives, hopefully it will tell us more accurately what we need fixed. Then we’ll either order said part or make a trip to Fry’s (and MM9’s 😉 ) for many parts.

Meanwhile, while on summer break, the resident-geek is fixing computers for others. 😉 He is helping a family he knows from band at church and is currently waiting on a new part for their 2nd computer. Their business has several computers that need sprucing up so he is happy helping them! His fee is MUCH less than a tech w/ a completed 4 yr degree. 😉

If I had my photos, first I’d be posting some old wedding photos. Old! haha!! Just those that are nearly 27 yrs old of Phil & me. 😉 Our anniversary is this weekend. 🙂

And if I had my photos and the photo editor, I could show you the 6 t-shirts I just gave a makeover. Shamefully, I saved them up but now with short-sleeve weather in FULL swing (to say the least!!!), it was time to get busy! It is super easy and makes a big, boxy tshirt more becoming to a woman. 😉 For some reason, I love souvenir tshirts and now I can make them presentable!

In the future (I hope near future…), I’ll show you the blocks my 4 students at Paper Piecing 101 class completed last night! They were super students!! Well, until they ALL did nearly the same goof and cut off one of their pieces… How could that happen??? Oh, the things the teacher didn’t plan for! Thankfully, everyone had an extra piece and I had my un-sewer. 😉 Here is a super peek via Shelly’s blog.

One non-met goal this week was to get another “month” of Dear Jane blocks going. I didn’t get to that. My thought was that I’d have fresh handwork for this weekend. But after mentioning Jane to my students last night, I did get some of the blocks out for show & tell. It was good to see “her” again. 🙂 My composite of blocks done that I have on the Dear Jane page is a bit out of date. I’m about halfway through row D. Not even halfway through the whole quilt! LOL!! It is a journey, not a race for me. 🙂

Meanwhile, my fibro reversal continues. 🙂 I’m at 4 1/2 yrs being reversed as of May 15. I’m nearly normal… in my (lack-of) physical limitations and energy. With the changes in the precription guai I get from CA, I’ve figured that my body is much happier taking capsules every 8 hrs than just 2 a day. Once I made that change, I felt like a new woman – back to my normal, in only 2 days. 🙂 I sleep better and feel better like this.

I’ll still be quick to switch back to the former tablets when I need my next refill but for now this works. I set my cell phone alarm for 3 p.m. to remind me of that afternoon dose. I get too busy and totally forget it!! And yesterday, I shut off the alarm, while standing next to the pill bottle and STILL forgot to take it!! LOL!!

The farmer continues watching his fields burst forth with new growth. JP & I are thinking we’ll have knee-high corn by the 4th of JUNE!! 🙂 This week we’ve had high temps in the 90’s and humidity in the 90% levels as well. Some years we need the furnace in May, hardly ever do we need the AC in May.

Hope to hear from you soon! 🙂

Read Full Post »

Thursday Report

As an intro, you need to know that my computer crashed (BAD!!!) as I was finishing breakfast on Friday. (No, I didn’t spill hot cocoa or anything on it… JP thinks we have hardware problems of the BIG variety.) JP has us on a hop-along computer so that we can get online without having to use HIS computer. But my pictures are either on the camera or the old hard drive.

But I still have words!! 😀

A few weeks ago when other not-so-good news rolled in, I also got a jury summons for Thursday. Bummer. I was OK with the jury part, but this was for a coroner’s jury. Frankly, I don’t want to see the pictures.   I figured there wasn’t another side deciding to settle the day before, KWIM? And I was right. When I called for the recorded message on Wednesday night, they said to report at 9 a.m. as printed in the letter.

I did.

I arrived about 8:58, seeing no reason to be early. (Except that I had NO idea where to go once in the building.)

Point 1: small county = we all know everything, no need for signs. 🙄

No metal detector. No check of my purse. I was only asked to turn off my cell phone.

I was the next to last to check-in with the bailiff. I entered the court room and found a seat on the benches/pews along with about 25 – 30 others. In another minute, the bailiff went through the courtroom to the back. He walked back through. Another man came in the courtroom in a white shirt & tie. He shuffled some papers on a lawyer table and then came to talk to us.

He explained that in some cases a Coroner’s Jury is called in on a homicide or suicide case. In this case, someone had died while in the county jail so they needed public input to settle the case. I assume so that the coroner isn’t in cahoots with the police officers running the jail type of situation.

He asked us to introduce ourselves and give our occupation. I’m a SATW and help my husband who farms. (Stay At Home Wife 🙂 ) I raised my hand to ask who he was and he looked me square in the eyes and didn’t stop or “call on me” to ask my question. I wasn’t going to interrupt him so did nothing.

I just wondered who HE was!! Did he miss Public Presentation 101 where one introduces oneself to the audience??

If I had to introduce myself, why didn’t he?

Was he the judge without his robe?

Was he a lawyer?

Or the other lawyer?

Who is he and why should I answer his questions?

(Point 2: we are a small county so we know everyone. BTW, I only knew one other person in the jury pool, so NO I don’t know everyone!)

He then (as he ignored me) asked if anyone was having trouble hearing him. Three people raised their hands and were excused.

He asked if anyone had a recent death in the family; that talking of death would be difficult. One raised her hand and was dismissed.

He read a list of witnesses to be called that day and if we had any aquaintance with them, we were to state that. One lady worked with one of the persons named so she was excused.

Next he asked for any volunteers that wanted to serve on the jury. He counted raised hands and got his needed 8. Those people moved to the jury box and THE REST OF US WERE DISMISSED!!! Just like that.

We checked out with the bailiff and left!

I was down the steps, out the door, down more steps, and walked to the car on the side of the block. I turned on the car and the radio announcer said it was 9:09 a.m.!!


I got home at 9:30.

I was almost glad I got to clean my bathroom (since I was home!) and start a load of laundry. Lunch was already in the crock pot for the men so I went to sew. Delightful!! 🙂

I did ask the one person I knew that I was sitting beside WHO the guy was that was speaking. Oh! He was the county coroner. I guess we are all supposed to know that. Sorry I’ve never had the “pleasure” of meeting him. Phil thinks he just lost my vote in the fall! LOL!!

In today’s mail was my check for $30 for serving on the jury.    🙂    (I think $15 for jury and the rest is milage.)  Phil said maybe my 9 minutes weren’t so bad after all!!     🙂

Read Full Post »

I finished my to-do list much sooner today than I expected.  Yeah!!  And not without some blood, sweat, & tears!    😉

(I thought I’d put a 1 1/2″ flange on mom’s pillow but there wasn’t enough fabric.  She’ll have to do with a smaller one.   Beggars can’t be choosers, right?  🙂 But the book is done and will be in the mail tomorrow! )

So back to Monday….

Quilt Guild had an all day workshop – 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. by Linda Halpin.   I left here about 8:10 so I could get moved in and settled before 9.  I had my sewing machine in its cart, a suitcase of fabric stash (as per the class supply list), a large tote of odds & ends for class, my big cutting mat, my big pressing surface, a 13 x 9″ pan of noodle-less lasagna, a 13 x 9″ pan of sugar-free raspberry cheesecake, my lunch, a snack, a water bottle, my hot cocoa, and a pillow for my chair.  WHEW!

After I got moved in to the church basement, I helped set up tables.  There were 20 of us for the class and then a table for Linda to use — made for 21 tables out of the back dungeon!   We were exhausted before the class started!

When I packed on Sunday, I bemoaned packing MY stash as my stash is old.  Back in the 80’s & 90’s, I shopped and it got put in the stash.  These last few years, I only buy what I need for the current project (and some of those aren’t done yet!) so there isn’t much that goes in the stash.  I thought I’d learn what I needed to learn and at least have fun.

Linda's example quilt

The first part of the workshop, Linda showed us how she builds her modified scrap quilt with her stash.  It was STUNNING to watch her!  (She doesn’t make a scrap quilt by just pulling something out of the brown bag and sewing it.  This is more planned and more pleasing. )   She went to 3 tables and using that person’s stash taught us how to find our fabrics for the project.  We were in awe!!

She gave us 10 minutes to choose 4 background fabrics, 2 greens for leaves & stems, and 4 lily fabrics each out of 2 different colors (I used blue & rust).    Then she went around to all our tables, and we students followed to watch, as she helped with sorting what we had started.  Knowing her help was coming, I had probably 8 or 10 in each pile that only needed 4.    But that was OK, I was at least sorted to the right departments.   She quickly talked through my choices and why or why not each fabric would work.  It was so fun to watch this and it all made sense!

(I should have taken a picture of this before & after sorting…. go ahead throw something at me….)

Next she told us how to cut our fabrics.  Not ALL of them for a whole quilt, but just enough to get started.  Our handouts had the total cutting and the “get started” cutting amounts.  Smart!

We had our pieces cut to make 2 lilies by the time for our lunch break.

Nancy & Pat were my table mates.

Then she gave us our sewing instructions.   All the pages in the hand-outs had very detailed illustrations and instructions for sewing.  It could have been easy to sew the wrong diagonal line but when we followed her diagrams it was all so slick.

We were also to have a flannel piece for a design wall so we could arrange our blocks and put the fabrics in various arrangements until we found the way we liked it.   I had my 4 blocks done by 2 or so.

My first 4 blocks; the stems & leaves are added after the blocks are sewn together. I won't put both blue and both rust blocks together.

Then Linda went over  the instructions that are included in our packet for the bonus quilt we get. When we sewed our flying geese units, she had us sew another seam so all our cut-offs are already sewn into tiny half-square triangles!    🙂

Linda had packets for us of finishing tools & templates for the leaves & stems.  Did you know that cable ties make great bias pressing bars?  LOL!!  Cheap & plastic so they don’t get hot!

She gave instruction on hand appliqué and I was pleased to know she does it the same way I do!!   🙂   🙂   So I didn’t stay there and practice that part.

appliqué instruction | the small bonus quilt is on the table

Bunny W was working behind me on these batik lilies.

Susan's blocks ready to sew together.

A lot of people quit at that point.  I wanted to choose fabrics for a few more blocks so that I was ready to jump back into this at home.  Linda agreed with the 6 or 8 pink fabrics I had chosen so I cut out enough for several more flowers, not just 2.

After packing up all our stuff, we hung out until our potluck at 5:30.  Several other members came to join us for the potluck.  It was such fun!! We were all tired but still stayed for the program and meeting.  I’ll fill you in on that later.    🙂

Read Full Post »


I’m super busy but soon will post about the all-day workshop we had at quilt guild Monday.  I’m so excited!!   🙂

I’m finishing another funky fabric paper book, a pillow and chair covers for my parents, an appt this a.m., and jury duty for tomorrow.  Meanwhile, there is laundry calling and the men continue to like meals prepared several times EVERY day!

Read Full Post »

Fun Saturday Adventure!

I got to go to my 1st flea market on Saturday!!   🙂   It was fun!!

I picked up Shelly about 9:30 and she is one smart shopper!  Her hubby had cleaned up the kiddie wagon and she had it ready to go.  I’d have never thought of that one!    🙂   She really has a lot of great pictures here on her post.

It was a good thing we had the wagon!  We parked back past 5 (or more) trees — the parking area was FULL!!  We aimed for the top of a hill since I don’t have 4WD and our area has had a ton of rain this past week.   We were fine.   🙂   (There was no way I wanted to have to call my dh b/c I got stuck in the mud, 45 mins from home!!)

In the first row of treasures, I found 2 old windows… on my list!!   🙂   And my kind of price — $3 each.   🙂   In hindsight, we should have hauled them back to the truck right then.   We didn’t.  I had no idea how far we’d pull those windows that day!!

I tried to get some pictures of how big this place was… but they don’t give a very good perspective.   We kept a fairly good pace, I thought, and walked from 10 – 2:30 to cover it all one time.   And later we laughed at the booths set up in the livestock buildings!!  LOL!! Bummer to get that booth, I’d say!

We did some outside rows and honestly, I found the prices a tad high.  Maybe just enough time at auctions where I can pay a buck for my treasures has tainted my priceline.    I tried bargaining a few times… No.  No.  No.    :p   I walked away!

In the first building were LOTS of treasures we wanted and some we snagged.  🙂   I was happy to find a pretty good shape washboard from Columbus, Ohio in there for $6.   Earlier, I saw a cabinet made from barn board with the washboard for the front door of the cabinet.   An old spool was the handle.   Hopefully, I can get my dh to build the rectangular box for the cabinet.   🙂

Two other purchases in there kept my total under $20 but I think those items need to remain a secret for a bit.

Shelly is a “master of lots” so soon she & I are going to have a wood working workout in her husband’s shop!  Shh… don’t tell!!   But won’t our version of this look cool?!  We plan on skipping the beer bucket & signage….

She says we can do this!!  And she says she can use a saw.   🙂

I just lovedlovedloved this!! –>

So Shelly is going to help me make this, too.    🙂

And because we seem to like old springs, get a load of this!!  –>

It was at this wire place.

I reallyreallyreally wanted a wire dress form in bubble gum pink but NOT for over $30.   Bummer….

But really… the people watching…. how entertaining….

Hey, K!  Lovin’ this coat!!!

And as we headed out….

If the HIGH jeans (in more than just the length) weren’t enough and if the rings on the leather jacket weren’t enough, she topped it off with OLD flowers tucked behind her ear. I really want to know what she bought.  🙂    Call me rude, but this just cracked me up!!!

We checked the local ice cream shop for sugar-free ice cream but they didn’t have it.   I took Shelly home and got back to my house about 3:30.   I grabbed a snack and was just getting ready to head to the couch for a nap when I saw Phil coming in!!  This meant he was planning on early church!!  He had thought of heading out to do some spraying in the late afternoon.  However, I didn’t know he had given up that idea and thought leaving the property would be the best option for his mind.   OK.  No nap and I worked at cleaning up and being presentable.   haha!!

A great fun day!!

Read Full Post »

Recipes to Share

I follow a sugar-free and carb-free eating plan and sometimes it just gets hard to find new recipes.   I hope you like these 2!  🙂

Family-Style Chicken

1 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces (or whatever pieces you like)  ETA: I cook it with the skin on so as to keep the moisture inside.  Then tell everyone they can take the skin off as they eat it!     😉

1 tsp salt

1 tsp paprika

½ tsp black pepper

½ tsp poultry seasoning

½ tsp ground oregano

1/8 tsp garlic powder

4 bay leaves

Preheat the oven to 350’F.  Lightly coat a roasting pan w/ vegetable oil spray.   (I use my 13 x 9″ pan.)

Place the chicken pieces in the center of the pan and sprinkle each piece evenly with the ingredients.  (I find it much easier to mix the spices in a custard cup first, sprinkle over the chicken, then tuck in the bay leaves.)

Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour.

Baste with the drippings.  Continue baking uncovered until well browned, about 1 hour more, until the meat is falling off the bones.


Baked Spinach

(this is really my SIL  Sue’s recipe for Spinach Quiche, doubled, and how I make it.    😉  )

2 -10 oz. pkg. frozen spinach, thawed and drained (liquid squeezed out)
6 oz. Swiss cheese, grated
2/3 c. Parmesan cheese
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (or ham bits)
4 eggs
1 ½ c. yogurt
½  c. cream

½  c. water (added to cream)

1 T. flour
½   t. each of salt (optional), pepper (or less)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Spray an 8×8” pan with PAM if desired.   Beat the eggs in a bowl with a whisk.  Add yogurt, cream, and water.  Add remaining ingredients and stir well.  Pour into pan.  Bake 35-40 min. (375 degrees).  Cool 10-15 minutes before serving.

I hope you enjoy!   🙂

Read Full Post »

A few weeks ago, my friend asked if I’d make some funky little books for 2 guys retiring from her workplace.  She liked the style & idea of this book I had gotten from Kelli Perkins.

I customized the fabric paper layers for these 2 that were in business.  I used stock market reports and some pages from the college catalog, the Business Department.

I gave each cover a masculine glaze.

The inside of the covers is dyed interfacing.

I added 2 signatures (sets of pages) of 8 pages each.

(some pages get a paint wash and some have glimmer mist)

The front has a large capital letter and then the rest of their nickname written out.

Dear Friend and her Boss were pleased when I delivered these the beginning of the month.

Tuesday evening, her Boss called and ordered another book like this for his daughter’s Sweet 16th birthday and could I deliver it on Friday?    🙂     So that is where I’ve been since!  (not really!)

(I didn’t mean for her favorite American Idol star’s name to hit right there on the front…. *sigh*  Once I saw this… it was too late. )

This is Sarah’s book with an emphasis on the American Idol show & the local town.


And while I had out the purple paint, I continued and made extra purple fabric paper for a dear SL friend’s daughter.  Eliz’s daughter, Megan has Down Syndrome and was just diagnosed with early stage leukemia.

We are sending cards for Megan and knowing my guts, I had to make something.  Megan is soon-to-be 5 and is a girly-girl.  So purple and pink and girls and fairies seem to be up her alley.

This is like a tri-fold brochure,  lined with dyed interfacing, edged in some knobby yarn.

The 3 pockets hold the 3 ATCs.    The ATCs are fabric paper with an image printed onto muslin stitched on top.  The fairy girl has beads sewn on the flowers in her hair.  The backs are pink fabric.  They are edged in yarn.

I was delighted to find bright pink velvet ribbon to tie this all closed.

Please pray for Megan (she is being a real trooper with her treatments and hospital stay) and her mom & dad and 2 big brothers.

Read Full Post »

Soap-making Demo

On Tuesday, I gave a demonstration on soap-making.   This is an annual Craft Camp Day, sort of like an extension group.  Seven ladies took my class and their day was full of various classes.

My demo table before class.

I had great students!  They were interested and asked good questions and took notes. Since my class was the only demonstration and not an actual hands-on for the class, they each got a bar of my soap for their take-home.

My class was from 10 – 12 and I was heading home by 1.  I am thankful they also allow me to take soaps & lotions for sale and I had good sales.  I did this Craft Camp in 2008 and 3 people this time said they were hoping I would be there with products.  That is a good feeling.   🙂

It is a ton of work to have all the supplies and equipment there so I am glad it pays for itself as well.

On Wednesday, I did an inventory of my soaps and checked my etsy site so that is accurate with the fragrances available.   I am also been thankful for the sales that happen here at the door.

I really need to spend a few weeks soaping.  Not sure when that is going to happen!  I have 2 batches needing cut now.  NOW!

Read Full Post »


Last Wednesday when I was SUPER busy, Phil peeked at the garden.  He had tried the rototiller the night before and felt it needed more help than that.  So he hooked up the small disc they have for working on waterways and other small spots. (First, he dropped the disc on his foot, but I didn’t tell you that…..  It is old, there isn’t a jack, he had to move the tractor, it was heavy.) A few passes with the disc  and the garden was luscious!

He came in the house with THAT look.  I said (before he could open his mouth), “I’m not doing the garden today!”  We negotiated and I wrote on his flags  and he planted onions.  Just one row of the 2 that will go in.   The flags identify the start & end of that kind and the kind: sweet, short term.  (something along the line that they AREN’T the keeping – long-storage kind)   🙂   Last year someone ran over the markers with the lawnmower so we didn’t know which row was which.  We do now!!   🙂

The Vintage Workshop is having a giveaway and they asked what is in my garden.  (I love their designs & books.  My altered denim jacket idea and images came from their books.)

We have seeds for chard, lettuce, & spinach.  Seeds for green bush beans, zukes, cukes, watermelon & cantelope.  We’ll buy tomato plants & pepper plants.  Some grape toms and some yellow tomatoes if there are any left when I finally shop.  As for peppers, I try to get some green/red peppers and then some form of a hotter variety.  Just for fun.

I don’t really like gardening but the harvest is good & necessary.  So we do.  Phil helps some.  And mostly, it won’t get planted until his first 500 + acres are done.  Only 45 acres to go but it has been raining since Monday night and is to continue all week.  Not constantly raining, but no drying  spells in between.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »