TO VISIT MY QUILTING BLOG, Q-BITS, CLICK HERE.


Thursday, February 19, 2015

IN A QUANDARY ---

I crave change -- After all of these years of collecting and changing out stuff, I still want something different to look at in our home.
The problem is that I really do like the things that we have inherited and accumulated over our 56 years of marriage, and hate to pack anything away.

I love my great-grandfather's lamp sitting on a textile I purchased on Portebello Road in London.
Everyone knows I'm crazy over brown transferware, and love looking at it every day.
I'm sold on wool, handwork, plaid, and texture.
And, I can't live without color plus wood that has lived a previous life.
So, I guess I don't really want change -- just would love to add a HUGE addition to the house so that I could look every day at MORE of the stuff I love.

In the meantime, I guess the least I could do is put the Valentines away for another year.And pull out part of another collection that hasn't seen the light of day for awhile --- antique silver.
A sugar bowl with a birdie on top with slots to hold teaspoons.
A spooner with a collection of sugar spoons.
A covered butter dish with a butter-knife holder.
And, a beautiful little creamer.
I remember now why they were hidden away --- they really need polished!!!  A project for another day.
At least, tarnish is something different to look at for awhile.

I'm joining the following:
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Pieced Pastimes for Saturday Sparks
Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
Smiling Sally for Blue Monday
Our Home Away from Home for Tuesdays At Our Home
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style for WOW Us Wednesdays
Green Willow Pond for What We Accomplished Wednesday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
Common Ground for Share Your Style Thursday


Thursday, February 12, 2015

VALENTINE READING PLUS MY SPECIAL HEART TUGGERS

My friend, Marsha, is my personal librarian.  She loans me books to read that she thinks I would enjoy; and she is always right about my literary preferences.  I love that she is my friend in more ways than one!!

Recently, she loaned me two books with locations in Paris.  The last time, 2011, that I was in Paris; Marsha was also there.  She was with her adult daughter, and I was with my adult son.  The 'youngsters' had us running all over with busy schedules, so we were unable to meet up at the time.  But, it is a fun thought that we were sharing so many of the same places at the same time --- just not together.

The first book, "Paris in Love" by Eloisa James is a memoir about her family's year-long sabbatical in Paris.  This book was pure delight.  I loved her take on the schools, sights, and food of Paris.

The second book, "Hidden in Paris" by Corine Gantz is a novel also about Americans living in Paris.  I would have enjoyed this book more without the cuss words and intimacy issues.  Marsha warned me, as I'm a self-professed prude.  The house in the story and the plot were interesting enough to keep me engrossed, however.
If you have ever experienced the magic and love
 of Paris, or wanted to; these two books are fun reads.

My two special heart tuggers --
Wyatt was born late in the day on February 13th, so we have always considered him our Valentine baby.  He has an 'over the top' personality.  So if anyone should turn 13 years old on Friday, the 13th; and have a middle-school Valentine dance on his birthday, this is the boy!!
His sister, Caitlin, hates that he has passed her in height just a little and is now a teenager --- he is still her little baby brother.


Happy Birthday, Wyatt and love to both of you on Valentine's Day.

I'm joining the following:
Nancherrow for Fridays Unfolded
Pieced Pastimes for Saturday Sparks
Confessions of a Plate Addict for The Scoop Tuesday
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday

Monday, February 9, 2015

FROM WOOL GATHERING TO CARTIER

It was a beautiful weekend in Colorado.  Almost everyone heads to the hills to ski, hike and bike!  But in our usual reverse migration, we head to the city to explore our favorite V.A.T.S. 
(Vintage, Antique, Thrift Stores).

Antiquing was kind of a bust -- maybe because we don't need a thing.  I saw a couple pieces of large, beautiful brown transferware, but they were way out of my budget.  On the other hand, it was a good day at the thrift stores.  I'm always on the lookout for wool garments to cut up, felt, and repurpose in needlework projects.  I found nine (yes, 9) 100% wool skirts for the average price of $3.50 each.

The top three are Pendletons, the fourth is Ralph Lauren, and the rest are other notable designers.  That's a whole lot of beautiful yardage for a cheap price.  Now I just need to come up with some new projects to make, in order to not become labeled as a wool hoarder.

On Sunday, we had tickets for the "Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century" exhibit at the Denver Art Museum.  Our son came into the city to meet us at the exhibit and for lunch, so that was an extra bonus.  
The exhibit is magnificent -- not just the jewels (I could look at diamond tiaras forever!!); but the whole presentation was wonderful.  It included the cultural aspect from kings and queens to Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelley.  Plus, there were many displays about the making of the jewels including original designs on paper to actual work benches and tools.
If you are in the area, it is well worth the price of admission; and will be on through March 15th.

So, from thrift-store skirts to million-dollar jewels, it was a great weekend.

P.S.: And yes -- one small purchase, a brown transferware bone dish in the same pattern as some other pieces I have!

I'm joining the following:
The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Monday
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Inspire Me Monday
Coastal Charm for Show and Share Tuesday
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday
Savvy Southern Style for WOW Us Wednesday
From My Front Porch To Yours for Treasure Hunt Thursday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday

Monday, February 2, 2015

PURSE PROJECT - PART TWO

In my previous post (here), you can read about my purse issues and what led up to making a purse to test what I need for size and function.

 I have finished my 'test' purse, and it seems to function well.  Still not the prettiest purse, but that will come when I find the PERFECT purse to purchase.

The outside pocket works really well for the two main necessities in my life - chap stick and a cell phone.
Even though I rarely have cash on me, an inside zipper pocket will function when I do.
I made a small pouch to corral all of the little stuff that I do not need everyday.  It fits nicely in the bottom of the purse.
The purse ended up being 9" wide x 7' high x 2" deep, and holds all of this stuff with room to spare.  For aesthetic reasons, I probably should have inserted a 7" zipper instead of a 9" one, and then squared off the top corners of the purse.  Possibly that would have been too small an opening to function well, however.  Good thing I'm not going into purse production!
Now that I am sure of size and function, I'm ready to go out shopping again for that PERFECT purse.  I'm confident enough now that I may even raise my budget to get my forever purse!!

I'm joining the following:
Coastal Charm for Show and Share Tuesday
Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Pieced Pastimes for Saturday Sparks

Friday, January 30, 2015

A PURSE - THE BANE OF MY EXISTENCE

I hate a purse.  I dislike even more having to carry one.
  I'm sure any psychologist would tell you that I can blame that one on my grandmother.  She loved her purse (she called it her 'pocketbook') -- she kept her secrets and her whole life in her 'pocketbook'.  And, under no uncertain terms, she said that no one was to go near it or touch it.  If there had been a fire or a tornado (she lived in SE Kansas), her first priority would have been to grab that purse, I'm sure!
 Later on, she was one of those little old ladies in the nursing home that had to carry her purse EVERYWHERE.

I'm beyond where I need to carry an extra diaper, Cheerios, a pacifier, Legos, etc. in my purse; so something small will work. 
 This ugly thing has carried all of my stuff for a lot of years -- it is just a little bigger than a passport, and worked great traveling all over Europe a couple of times plus in my daily local travels.
But now---- a larger smart phone has entered my life.  It fits (barely) in my pocket, but it sure isn't comfortable.  So, I decided that because of the decaying condition and the ugliness of the old purse, and the need to carry the phone somewhere outside my pocket; I would shop for a new cross-body purse.  I have spent the last three months looking -- I don't want a fashion statement; I want function in black leather at the perfect size and preferably under $100. So far, no luck.

In the interim until I find the PERFECT purse, I have decided to make one to test out just what I need for size and function.   As usual, I have more time than money; so my goal is to keep the project cheap.
For fabric, I'm using a 100% wool gray skirt from the thrift store that I'm deconstructing and felting in hot water and a hot dryer.  And, then maybe for just a little hidden fashion statement, I'm lining it with some red plaid.  In a day or two, I should have it finished and will post on how this experiment turns out.

There have been some good posts on purses recently -- check out this one on Margo's Junkin Journal.  She covers a lot of thoughts I have about the use of a purse.

Do you have purse issues, or am I the only one ruined by a grandmother's purse attachment?????

Thursday, January 22, 2015

BAKED CHIMICHANGAS - A FAMILY FAVORITE

There was no school here on Martin Luther King day, so Wyatt came over to spend the day with his Papa Bob.  They went over to the church parking lot to try to get the bottle-rocket car they had built to travel for more than 10 feet by using vinegar and baking soda as fuel.  But, alas, no success again!  However, an engineer and an inquisitive kid are not deterred -- they are out in the garage again dreaming up something else.

My assignment ----- lunch!  Since Wyatt is growing outrageously fast and is always hungry, I try to fix something half-way healthy and filling when he is here.  On this day it is Baked Chimichangas.  I don't remember where I got the recipe originally, but it has been a family favorite for years.
Brown one pound of hamburger, drain and add:
2 tablespoons of salsa (homemade or purchased)
Salt and pepper to taste.
Cook and stir; then spoon some of the mixture on center of each flour tortilla.  Add grated cheese.
 Fold edge closest to you over filling; fold both sides toward center; roll tortilla.  Arrange on cookie sheet, seam side down.  Melt 1/4 cup butter and brush each tortilla with butter.
Wyatt came in to help with what he calls "Butter Painting".
 Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes until hot, lightly browned, and slightly crisp.
Serve with more grated cheese, salsa, sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, and black olives.

I may be fooling myself, but these have to be healthier than deep-fried chimichangas -- I do know it is easier and less mess to bake them.

I'm joining the following:
The Dedicated House for Anything Blue Friday
Nancherrow for Fridays Unfolded
Pieced Pastimes for Saturday Sparks
Smiling Sally for Blue Monday
Confessions of a Plate Addict for The Scoop Tuesday
Green Willow Pond for What We Accomplished Wednesday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday

Thursday, January 15, 2015

THIS, THAT, AND THE OTHER ----

A post of randomness --
Image from Royal Gorge Bridge and Park Facebook page
The weather geniuses on local TV and on my smart phone tell me that we will have dry, sunshiny, and balmy (in the 60s) weather for the next six days.  We have had a rather long snap of cold, icy, snowy weather; so sunshine will be appreciated.  I'm encouraged that winter will return next week, however.  Guess I better take this opportunity to take my heavy coat to the cleaners!

Bob reminds me that it is two months until he and Wyatt plant the peas in the garden on St. Pat's Day.  That's a good thing as I only have about one cup of peas from last year's garden left in my freezer.  I'm saving those for the perfect chicken and biscuit casserole on a future, snowy evening.

After dropping my coat off at the cleaners today, I have the fun of picking up my favorite granddaughter, Caitlin, at the high school.  I love it when she needs a ride, and thinks of me.  As a busy senior, it is hard to fit in school work, a boyfriend, etc., etc., etc., and Grammy-time!  We still manage, however ---- and there is nothing better than to encapsulate a talkative teenager in a car, go to Sonic for something to drink, and get caught up on the news!
I'm going to miss her next year so much!!!!

You would think that after all of the Christmas goodies, I would be tired of sweets.  But, oh no, I think I'll make Turtle Cookie Bars this afternoon.  
Turtle Cookie Bars
I spied the recipe on The Shabby Creek Cottage blog, and now I can't stop thinking about them.

What's another calorie (or two---) when the sun is shining?


I'm joining the following:
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Smiling Sally for Blue Monday
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Inspire Me Monday
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Our Home Away From Home for Tuesdays At Our Home
Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday
Imparting Grace for Grace at Home Thursday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

MOUNTAIN CAMPING

One of my goals in 2015 is to organize the 100-plus years of family pictures.  This seems to be my goal every year.  The problem is I get side-tracked, and never seem to accomplish completely the task.  I love finding the tie that binds our generations together, and get so involved that nothing gets really organized!  Here's an example of how my brain is all over the place when I am trying to organize those photos:

My great-grandparents loved to go camping in the mountains every chance they had.  
 I suppose camping in those days was not much different from living at home -- no indoor plumbing and cooking on a wood stove.  However, it was much cooler in the summer mountains than on the hot, arid Colorado plains.

My mother was raised by these grandparents, so she was well acquainted with camping.  She never complained about anything; but I don't think she was as enthused about it as my dad.  He was raised in a family of sheep and cattle ranchers, so he knew about camping-out as a part of rigorous labor.  But, he also enjoyed going camping as a social activity and showing off to friends and their families his considerable culinary skills on an open fire.
Fancy duds for social camping in the 1940s.  My mother on the left in both pictures; my dad on the right in first picture.
I reluctantly was taken along on these social excursions to the mountains.  On one particular trip, I must have been a really obnoxious 11-year-old complaining about the lack of comfort and facilities.  After a couple days of my complaining, Mother packed me up into the car and drove into Leadville, Colorado.  She secured me a room at the venerable Vendome Hotel; generously tipped the desk clerk; arranged for room service; gave me a sack of coins to play the pinball machine in the lobby; LEFT ME; and she went back to the camp site for the remaining two days.  I had a wonderful time alone and remember every detail of that corner room on the second floor.  Today she probably would be arrested for abandonment; but she taught me a very important survival skill ---- a nice hotel trumps a dirty camp site any day!!

  In 1967, Bob and I were planning a road trip to Saskatchewan, Canada.  He wanted to camp out in Prince Albert National Park.  I thought, "OK, I'm a married adult, I can compromise, I can do this."  Being the smart man that he is -- before we left home, he outfitted the back end of our Chevy Suburban with a mattress.  Since I was in the first trimester of a pregnancy, all I wanted to do was sleep anyway!  
Don't we look like we're having fun?  I hope I didn't complain too much, but that is the only time he has suggested we go camping out in the wild in the 56 years of our marriage.

BUT, we sure have stayed at a bunch of nice hotels over the years.  Have you ever stayed at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs or the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver?  Now, that's my idea of mountain camping!

I'm joining the following:
Coastal Charm for Show and Share Tuesday
Kathe With An E for You're Gonna Love It Tuesday
A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
Be Different Act Normal for Show and Tell Saturdays

Friday, January 2, 2015

A PRESENT TO US FROM US

HAPPY BIRTHDAYS, MERRY CHRISTMAS TO US!

Years ago, we stopped buying each other gifts on special occasions.  We find more joy in buying together something special.  Our birthdays are in November and December, so in some years we splurge on a three-in-one gift.

This year we bought a new/old hand-knotted wool rug.
This year I suppose it was more of a present for me than Bob, as I have had my eye on it in a local antique store forever!    
We've lived with it for almost two months now, and are thrilled with the way it brightens up our living room.  The colors are luscious!

I'm joining the following:
Pieced Pastimes for Saturday Sparks
Be Different Act Normal for Show and Tell Saturdays
Smiling Sally for Blue Monday
Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
Coastal Charm for Tuesday Show and Share
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday

Monday, December 29, 2014

THE CRUD, ETC.

Well, I haven't been out of the house since going to church on Christmas Eve.
I have what is known in our family as "the crud" - really nothing more than a nasty cold with runny nose and a cough.
But, I haven't moved out of my chair for three days.

Bob just brought in the Christmas tubs - I think he is telling me that it is time to get on with it.  I literately just turned around from my computer and took this picture - that's how much energy I have.  You know -- what's a blog post without a picture?

Christmas was good -- everyone was here - I cooked, and cooked some more!


When did boys start wearing culottes disguised as basketball shorts?  
At any rate, I was informed they were b-ball shorts!!!!

I'll be back when Christmas has been cleared away (but not from my heart!).

PS:  Guess I need to make a new header for the blog, also.  Tomorrow, tomorrow!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

JOYOUS SEASON



I will be taking a little break from the blog world so that I may concentrate on
  the celebration of the birth of our Savior.
It is time for me to focus on what is really important -- our faith and our family.

May you also experience the joy and hope of this special season.

Sally

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

THE YEAR OF THE PLAID!

Did you think I would let the season go by without a post on plaid for Christmas?  For years I've loved plaid, especially at Christmas.  I can't believe how much plaid I have seen on pinterest and the blogs this year --- I'm finally trendy!!!  I know, however, that next year I'll probably be out of style again; but that won't stop me from pulling out the plaid during the month of December 2015.  It's just part of the Christmas season to me.
"Tartan" Christmas quilt I made in 1988 

Here are some pictures of the plaid that has exploded at our house this year ------







Christmas card I made in 2011
I'll always believe in plaid!

I'm joining the following:
Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Pieced Pastimes for Saturday Sparks

Saturday, December 13, 2014

FROSTY FRUIT

 Every year about two weeks before Christmas, I make this Frosty Fruit recipe.  It's great to have in the freezer to pull out during this busy season when you want a "not-so-sweet treat".  My family likes it as a side dish, a dessert, a snack, or even for breakfast.
Here's the easy and fast recipe:

FROSTY FRUIT

1 12 oz. can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 12 oz. can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 16 oz. package frozen strawberries, thawed
1 40 oz. can crushed pineapple with juice
6 bananas, chopped
5 cups water
Mix well in large bowl, and set in freezer until slushy.
Pour into 9 oz. plastic cups and cover with plastic wrap.  Freeze solid.
Partially thaw (slushy and fruit still frozen) before serving.  Makes about 20 cups.
P.S.:  Gift giving spanning the generations -- that adorable Santa in the background was made by my grand daughter when she was in pre-school 15 years ago; and the pedestal wooden stand was made by my father in his high school wood-shop class 84 years ago as a gift to his mother.

I'm joining the following:

Art and Sand for a Sweet and Simple Christmas
Be Different and Act Normal for Show and Tell Saturdays
Boogie Board Cottage for Masterpiece Monday
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Inspire Me Monday
Our Home Away from Home for Tuesdays at our Home
Coastal Charm for Show and Share Tuesday
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday