Sunday, November 25, 2012

My Talented Friend

We met Cathy and John a little over a year ago. We have become fast friends. The boys like to fish together and like me, Cathy enjoys making things. She is amazing. She is one of those people who can do anything. I encouraged her to learn to quilt. Her first was made from a pattern, but she changed it up some. The second, she designed. Then she made this triple Irish chain from 2 inch pieces, and finished the edges her own way, different from the pattern.

She took a part time job in a quilt shop where she has learned to use the long arm. She custom quilted this quilt, using different patterns for each of the white space blocks. I love this quilt. Not only does she quilt......

She made this fishing rod holder for her husband. My hubby definitely needs one of these. She made it from wood they cut from their own property, used a jig saw to cut the grooves for the rods, and tilted the base boards to help hold them in. It is amazing. She looked through some fishing catalogs and got the idea. She is one talented woman!

English Muffin Bread

Found this new recipe on

It is a "rustic" bread, and it is very yummy. We both really liked it. It is heavy with a rough texture, a nice slightly salty flavor. Can't wait to toast some in the morning. I cut the recipe in half to make only two loaves. Here is the original recipe compliments to Jillee's blog.

Carole’s English Muffin Bread

5 1/2 cups warm water
3 packages RAPID RISE yeast
(Update: You can use regular yeast, but you will need to let is rise TWICE. Once in the bowl, til it reaches the top…and then again in the pans, til it reaches the top. With the RAPID RISE you only need to let it rise once in the pans.)

2 Tablespoons salt
3 Tablespoons sugar
11 cups flour (I used bread flour)

Mix altogether, then spoon into (4) well greased loaf pans. Let rise in pans until dough reaches the top of the pans, and bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown. (My oven runs a little hot so I ended up cooking mine for a total of 35 minutes. Just keep an eye on it. You’re looking for golden brown.) 10 minutes before done, brush with melted butter. Makes 4 loaves. Bread will be moist at first. Allow to COOL COMPLETELY before cutting. Makes terrific toast.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday Sewing....not shopping

Back to sewing. I pulled a couple of old projects out. This one is a circle jeans quilt that ends up looking a lot like a cathedral window quilt.

I had collected a few pairs of old jeans. Cut some big circles using one of my long arm tools.

Inside each circle you put a square of fabric. I recently cut up a bunch of five inch squares, thinking I was going to use them for another project. They fit perfect on the squares. This quilt is "all inclusive" backing and no batting. I'll sew them together and then I plan to sew the denim over the square and let it have a ragged edge.

Like this.....

After I cut up all the denim I had, I pulled out this project....

I still have a ton of shirt scraps left from all of the shirt quilts I've made. I started this one about a year ago. With all the little pieces, I expect it will be a project that will take a while.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Book Reviews

First, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! Just by living in America, we have so much to be thankful for. I am reminded of that even more so, in the last few days via the books I've been reading.

Fearless. A word to describe Adam Brown, a man who overcame much to be a Navy Seal. It brings home what "sacrifice" really means. To Adam, and all the others who have sacrificed their very lives, to ensure our freedoms, I am thankful. To get a better understanding of what our military does for us, while we sit in the comfort of our homes, read it.

This book...oh my. I have cried and cried as I read. I am not even half way through yet. It is an amazing story of a beautiful (homecoming queen), popular (class president) young woman who left her family and friends in Brentwood, Tennessee and is following God's call in Uganda, one child at a time. A stark reminder of the luxurious lives we live here in America, yet our material wealth so often gets in the way of being the hands and feet of Jesus.

You will enrich your life by reading these two books.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

More Fishing

I was off work today, and Jim left early go fishing....and again, I went with him.

Two of the three fish I caught. He only caught one....tee hee....none of ours today were very big, but we still had a great time. The weather has just been perfect. The water was so still, and beautifully reflective.

I am going to get back into sewing this weekend....I promise....y

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bass Fishing

The hubby and I both took off work early today.  I decided to go with him fishing.  It was fun.  He caught this nice 4 pounder.
I didn't catch any......but I had a great time anyway.  The weather seemed really nice......until we went 58 MPH running down the lake!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Lotion applicator

Ok, bear with me for one more post for the day....necessity is the mother of invention, right? I have very dry skin, and in the winter, my back drives me crazy itching. I've never found a ready-made lotion applicator apparatus that would solve my problem. So I made my own.

A cheap wooden back scratcher. A rough wash cloth. A rubber band. That's it. Put lotion on the cloth and it works great for getting those hard to reach dry places on your back.

Homemade mixes

Homemade laundry soap. I decided to make up some today. I have used it before. My friend felt like it faded her clothes, so I got a little leery of it, although I hadn't noticed that myself. I hate paying the price of grocery store detergent so I am trying it again. The recipe is all over the internet - 1/3 bar of Fels-Naptha grated, 1/2 cup Borax, and 1/2 cup Washing Soda, and water to make two gallons. I have started using Downy Unstoppables as a fragrance enhancer to the load before I wash. I like that smell. In this batch, I also added some citrus essential oils to enhance the smell. I used my Magic Bullet to grate up the bar soap. Worked pretty good.

I also mixed up some of the no-grate laundry soap. It uses Dawn dish soap in place of Fels-Naptha bar soap that you have to grate. I am just not sure about it. It looks like plain water with just a bare hint of the blue dish soap color.

One other thing I made today....

The recipe is very simple. 8 ounces of water with 10 drops each of lemongrass, grapefruit, and bergamot essential oils. Shake, pour in small spray bottles. I printed the directions on labels I applied to the bottles.

Actually, I think this is hilarious. You can buy it online....with names like trap-a-crap, royal-flush, crap-shooter (for the men in your life), déjà-poo, heavy-doody.....there are more. I guess each has a unique blend of essential oils.

....hope this doesn't offend anyone......just a little fun for the day!

Egg in the Hole

I watched The Pioneer Woman on Food Network this morning and decided to try out her "egg in the hole" recipe. Easy, peasey, simple.

Melt butter in pan.

Use biscuit cutter to make the hole.

Put the bread and the cut out in the pan. Open the egg into the hole. Add salt and pepper, flip, cook both sides and add a slice of cheese if you are like me. Yummy. I thought this might be a neat way to get kids to eat their eggs! Wish I'd known this when my son was little.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

T-shirt Quilt Class

Tonight we had a quilt show from the finished t-shirt quilts made in our class at church. This one was my favorite. I loved the black cross in the center and I loved the big designs on most of these shirts.

The two below were made for a brother and sister by their mom and grandmother.

You gotta love the one made from smiley t-shirts.

Of course, being good Baptists, we brought food.

I helped this lady teach the class. It was so much fun. If there is enough interest we will do it again after the first of the year. Many of the ones made in our class were for Christmas gifts for their children. We are standing in front of the one she made for her son, which led to the class.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Recipe Organization

Before I started quilting I thought my most prized possession to hand down was my recipe books.  I love to cook and try new recipes.  The best way I found to organize them is to put them in three ring binders.

I've been collecting recipes since 1978. A few years ago I had to add volume two.  I took some pictures of my kitchen to use for the front and binders.  I use simple clear page protectors and dividers.
I thought one time that I should type them all up to make them neater.....
and I did that for a few of the recipes, but I realized that aside from the tremendous time that was going to take, I really didn't want to lose the original handwritten recipes that I had been given, or that I had written down while at a get-together or when having dinner at someone's house.
Some were written on a napkin, some on the back of an envelope as in the above picture.
Some I had written the date.  The sleeves make it easy just to slip the recipe in, and wipe it down when it gets spills.  I used to collect cook books, but soon found out that was a waste of storage space.  I would copy my favorite recipes from the books and give away the original cookbooks. I've  kept a few over the years, but I don't want more than my little shutter/window frame shelving unit can also holds the cat food and my lunch bag.
I am on my second set of binders, and it is time to replace them.  They do wear out. I hope someday a grandchild or other relative will think these two cookbooks are worth keeping.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Flying Geese Quilt

I thought I would post a few pictures of my current favorite quilt.

This is the paper pieced flying geese quilt I finished a few weeks ago. We are using it as our third quilt on the bed.

The flannel backing was really a great idea. It is soft and cuddly.

I made it a large lap size thinking the hubby would use it in the recliner by the fire, where he often falls asleep. However, it is almost too big for a lap size, and we have used it mostly on our bed on chilly nights. I don't mind that it is a little short for our queen bed, because it is made from the same fabrics as the large quilt it covers.

T-shirt quilt extraordinnaire

Check out this beauty.

One of my quilter friends stopped by this afternoon to show me some of her creations. This T-shirt quilt is one of the best I have ever seen. She made it from her son's Boy Scout t-shirts. One of the blocks has his name and the date he attained the Eagle Scout recognition. She found some great Boy Scout fabric that she used in the sashing and backing. The picture really doesn't do it justice. Thanks Nancy for bringing it by!

One of my new favorite blogs, One Good Thing (linked at right), had the recipes to make your own sauce mixes. I was interested in the taco sauce but ended up making all three of them. She also has a great post on making your own crunchy taco shells to make them more fillable friendly. Gotta try that.

Yesterday I stopped by my best friend's house and got to see her beautiful grandchildren. This little one reminds me so much of her daddy when he was small. I used to get down in the floor and play with him too....about 32 years ago.

And one last picture of my little furry friend, Jesse. He also loves quilts!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

How to remove gray marks from dishes

A few months ago I took a set of white dishes to Goodwill because they had gray utensil marks all over them. I kept the bowls only because my husband like them for his cereal. I learned that Bar Keepers Friend will get those marks off.

Wow. Look at the difference. Now, I hate I gave away those plates. I love white dishes.

I have spent the afternoon today learning all kinds of things from a blog called, "One Good Thing". Check it out. I've got a link on my blog role to the right. You can find out how to make homemade hand sanitizer, natural bleach alternative, spot remover, lip exfoliation, body scrub, oatmeal shower bags, homemade lotion, and many, many other, DIY, crafts. It was a great way to spend the afternoon. Thanks Jillie!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Homemade bread

I've made homemade bread for about 30 years. I don't eat store bought sandwich bread. My breakfast routine always include a piece of bread with my coffee-- either with melted cheese, toasted with cinnamon and sugar, or toasted with butter and jam. For a couple of years I've been using a honey wheat recipe that makes three loaves.

I like this recipe because with one to eat and two to freeze, I don't have to make it as often.
See the blow out? That is what happens when you let it rise too long before you bake it. That loaf had a huge air bubble. I tried to make one loaf into cinnamon raisin bread. It looks pretty, the one on the left, but when I cut into it, it too, had a big air pocket. Oh well. They will still taste good, just not look too pretty.
I'll try to get the recipe on the recipe page soon.

Friday, November 2, 2012

His Birthday

Today is the hubs birthday. Fifty-nine and he still acts like a big a good way though.

I made him one of his favorites, Texas Hot Cocoa cake. Yummy. His day didn't start off too well because he was scheduled for a CT scan of his heart. We thought he would be sedated and it would take all morning. Nope. About twenty minutes or so and he was finished, with no sedation. Not too long afterwards he went back to work.

And I decided to clean out my spice cabinet. My, oh my, I can't believe all the out of date stuff....

Really nice fall day....enjoying chillin' at home. Birthday dinner tonight. Life is good.