Friday, January 30, 2015

Remembrance Quilt

Finished up the remembrance quilt today, with the exception of the label.  This one turned out fine even though I was a bit worried.  Several of the shirts must have been a rayon type fabric.  They frayed and stretched a bit.  The recipient isn't a quilter and it is made from her late husband's shirts so I don't think she will mind if it isn't exactly square.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Day three

I've been pretty sick. Now we think we've had the flu. Maybe a milder case of it since we did have our shots. The hubby is priding himself a bit on not being nearly as sick as I've been. My temp has been higher and for longer, and my congestion is worse. Yuck! I am so ready for this to be over. Got things to do!

Of course it helps to have a big warm kitty and a nice soft quilt to wrap up in.


Sunday, January 25, 2015


The hubby was generous enough to give me his cold. So I am not feeling that great today. Didn't go to church.

...but I still have a lot of stuff on my to-do list for the week, so I decided to get one thing done today. Make a run of homemade laundry soap. I've read that people either love it or hate it. I have gotten to where I love it. I put lemon and orange essential oils in one gallon to use for whites and lights. I put lavender essential oil in the second gallon to use for colours. You just can't beat laundry detergent that only costs 40 cents a gallon.

The recipe I use is from the book Dining on a Dime Cookbook by Tawra Kellam and Jill Cooper. If interested I'm sure the recipe is on the Internet.


Friday, January 23, 2015

Long run

On today's schedule was seven miles. So for my birthday present to me, I did seven long, slow miles at 5/1 intervals in the cold rain. Today I dedicate my run to those who can't, those who are battling injury, illness, or disability. Those include my mom, my pastor, and my husband. Love them all! Thankful I can. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Lots of layers to protect against the cold rain....winter tights, shorts, winter shirt, jacket, light rain jacket, gloves, headband, and hat.

...and on the track....a little boring....


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

DIY cough drops, protein smoothie, and running

Busy day. The hubby woke up coughing, which was a good excuse for me to make a recipe I was wanting to try -- homemade cough drops...

These were really easy and I had everything on hand...sugar, water, lemon, honey, ground cloves, and ground ginger.
You dust them with powdered sugar to keep them from sticking together. He liked them. I think the taste must be similar to the old fashioned horehound flavour.
For lunch I made this awesome smoothie. I didn't have milk but I used a good substitute. I'm one of those make do or do without kind of gals. I used a frozen banana, some other mixed frozen fruit (strawberries, blueberries, peaches), a scoop and a half of vanilla protein powder, some water, and a big dollop of sweetened condensed milk. It was one of the best I've made. And at 18 grams of protein, it's a winner.
Later I did my three miles I had on the running schedule. It was beautiful outside. Warm enough for a running skirt!
...I had other errands and things to do today so I didn't get to work on the remembrance quilt, but I finished all the blocks yesterday. They just need to be sewn together.
I hope it sews and quilts ok. Some of the shirt fabric is fraying and stretching some.
And one more picture.............
Today's picture of my grand baby girl, Emma, enjoying her bananas. She will be one year old in three weeks...sniff, sniff....wish I could be there to help her celebrate.




Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Pantry organization and homemade pudding mix

Worked on the pantry today.

I think we have enough pasta, beans, and rice....

Seeing all the rice let me know I need to be cooking more of it. Seriously, I was thrilled that I only had one bag full of expired stuff. Organising will help me know what I need to use before it expires. I see that I need new labels. On a different topic, I found a recipe for homemade instant vanilla pudding. I thought that was neat. I've been using a tablespoon of instant pudding in my protein shakes to give them a little more flavour. Might have to try this.

....although it doesn't sound like "instant" since you cook it.....And vanilla beans are expensive and a little difficult to find.




Monday, January 19, 2015

Favorite quilts

I tried to put together a collage of my favorite quilts. They all wouldn't fit in one picture. Here are a few....

The most intricate are those I did as block of the month quilts. I should do another. It is a great way to make a fantastic quilt without the stress of hurrying to finish the project. The ones I've picked have stretched my skills too, which is something I need every so often.



Sunday, January 18, 2015


Life happens. My 86 year old mom fell yesterday and broke her leg. She had surgery last night and has a long plate from her hip to her knee. She has been very, very unstable walking for quite a while now and I think this is her third break out of 4-5 falls in the last few years. Hip, ankle, now femur. The future is a little bleak but it is part of life for all of us if we live that long. She did really well with the surgery, better than with the others. Recovery will be hard. An assisted living facility or nursing home is probably in her future. She says she is fine with being on this side or the other.

After a hospital visit I came home to get busy. Working with my hands or running helps me deal with the stresses of life. I made a few more remembrance quilt blocks...

... And did some cooking....

We love homemade chicken pot pie......I forgot to add a bit of fresh was still yummy though.....

Then I whipped up some simple homemade brownies. Oh my goodness they were good. Does anyone else adore Press 'n Seal like I do?




Friday, January 16, 2015

Long Run Day

One day a week I try to do a long run. Today's was six miles. Trying to work up to eight before the 15k (9.3 miles).

My favorite place to run. Not many folk out today, but it was sunny and a balmy 38 degrees.

Once you start running it isn't cold.

Slow but steady gets the job done. Also got a new haircut.

I've been trying to let it grow into a longer style but my hair is so curly, when it is longer it ages me. Short and spikey gives me a more youthful look....if you can be "youthful" with hair that color!



Thursday, January 15, 2015

Small things

Sometimes it is the small things that make us happy, right? I spent the first half of the day doing the biweekly cleaning.....tubs, sinks, shower, toilets, vacuuming, mopping, dusting...then In the afternoon did the grocery shopping. I wanted to try to organize something today but didn't have a lot of time. I saw something on the internet I wanted to do....

I used command hooks (love those!) to hang my measuring spoons in my spice cabinet.

I love this little spice rack. It was only a two shelf unit, but a few years ago I found a small wire basket and wired it in the center to make a third shelf. We write the name of the spice on the lid so it is a bit easier to tell what we have except on the ones with black lids....

That little quick project of hanging the spoons, made me happy!


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A little organization

I did a little bit of organization in the laundry room today. Just one cabinet but it is a big one.



This is where I store all my homemade cleaners. I'm thinking maybe I can tackle my organization needs like I am tackling the star blocks, just shoot for one or two cabinets a day. Sounds like a plan.

I also got in a good four mile run today. Kind of cold to start with but felt great. I am continuing with the 5/1 intervals and that seems to be working well. No soreness, no injuries. Trying to remember to stretch good afterwards. I'll continue that until after the 15k race in February. I'm kind of excited about my first 15k race.



Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The continuing scrappy wonky star saga

I've been working on these blocks for ages now. This week I decided to try the block a day method. It has actually worked pretty good. I'd like to shoot for ten blocks a week. I've made ten in about a week or so just doing two at a time.

When I first started making these star blocks I wanted to use any kind of light, but I really don't like the ones with all the busy lights or darks. The top two are those I am not that fond of anymore. I am not sure if I'll keep them in the quilt. I figured out that I can use the wrong side on some of the lighter printed fabrics and it mutes the busyness a bit. Making progress. I like that. Ten a week will put me ready to make the top in about 5-6 months.....certainly better than the six months I've done nothing on them.

....yeah, looking at the busy ones just now.....I probably won't use those.....the others look so much better. Just hope I have enough scraps using the muted lights and the true darks.


Monday, January 12, 2015

Over fifty fashion

I follow a fashion blog or two and sometimes I get some good ideas for what to wear. One blogger used the Pinterest picture on the left for inspiration for an outfit. So did I.

The tan/beige isn't good with the gray hair. Maybe I'll add a teal scarf rather than the animal print. I do like the sweater. I found it on sale at JCPenney and with my reward points it only set me back $3.28. The scarf is one I recycled. The pants are capris I had, along with the white t-shirt and boots. Do you ever look to Pinterest for fashion ideas? I think it is kind of fun to get ideas and see if you can reproduce the look with what you already have.


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Remembrance Quilt

My next project is a remembrance quilt for a co-worker. Her husband passed away last year from Parkinson's. She brought me the shirts on my last day at the job. I would love to have this one done in a week or so. It might be a little tricky because a couple of the shirts don't really stretch but the fabric moves when I cut it. We shall see how it turns out. This is the best pattern for remembrance quilts. It goes together really quick.

I've found a lot of men have similar shirts. This pattern uses one lighter than all the rest and one darker. I had to use some of my black fabric and actually will have to buy more or maybe pick up a large black shirt somewhere. He only had seven shirts, but I've made them before with only that many, so it will work. It should turn out to be 64x72, which is a nice lap size, with no border. I think lap size are the best for remembrance quilts. Good size to snuggle up under.


Saturday, January 10, 2015

New life for old scarves

I've had these old scarves for around 12-15 years. Tonight I realized how easy it would be to make them into infinity scarves.

Just sew them end to end but place a right side against a wrong side. Wallah!

New stylish infinity scarves.



Thursday, January 8, 2015

Iron and blocks

Seriously, how does an iron get so gunked up? I used baking soda, vinegar, a magic eraser, then borax, and lots and lots of scrubbing.

I read on a blog where a quilter is doing a block a day strategy to try to get enough blocks for a quilt without getting burned out. I burned out on this one last year. Each block takes so long and they are small at 6" finished. But I made two today. Now I have 34, only......about 220 more to go for a queen quilt.

I also made another little zipper pouch.




Second finish for 2015

I think I'm on a roll here. Love this quick quilt. It is from the book Growing up Modern by Allison Harris. Her blog is Cluck Cluck Sew.

I'm still trying to be very frugal with my quilting. Everything came from my stash/scraps but the navy and striped binding. Love the punch the binding brings.



Monday, January 5, 2015

Update on grout cleaning

I spent several hours today cleaning the rest of our grout. I am SO PLEASED with how it turned out, even though it took time and elbow grease.


I realise it wasn't really bad, but I knew it was dirty and could tell in places.
...and in the master bathroom....
I have hated having tile because of the grout stains. Now it looks great. The hubby is happy because now he isn't worried about coming home one day and finding the tile all broken up! ....I've threatened to do that, and replace it with vinyl.
I already feel like retirement is making a huge improvement to the cleanliness and organisation of our home. It does something uplifting to my mood to have a clean and organised space. And I really enjoy the work it takes to get there. Likewise clutter and dirt in my home really bother me. It stresses me and puts me in a bad mood. So yay for time to really clean and organise!