Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Mid week Check-In

I was just reading our local newspaper and found out February was a record snowfall -- 52.6 inches--over 4 feet of snow. I knew we had gotten a lot of snow, but did not realize it was a record year.

I just hope it does not snow this weekend. DH and I are planning a weekend out of town and I hope we don't have to cancel it because of bad weather. We love to get away for the weekend, but don't do it very often in the winter.

I am loving Carol Doak's book, 300 Paper-Pieced Quilt Blocks.

I can see myself making at least 150 of the 300 patterns in the book (mostly for borders).
But what I like best about the book, is the handy dandy CD that comes with it. You can make the block whatever size you need and print it off on your computer.

It just doesn’t get much easier than that.

So last night I decided to start making blocks for a border for my Log Cabin. I have decided to make a series of borders to finish this simple design.
So I measured one of my log cabin squares.
It was eleven inches.
I divided by 2 and came up with a 5.5 inch block.
When I sew them together, I will have exactly 11 inches…....
So simple, sheer ecstasy…......

Hmmmm...........So what happened?
Why is it 1/2-inch off?

Ah, it says finished size is 5.5 inches; finished is the operative word here.
My 11-inch block is not finished. When I take the 1/4" seam on each side, it will only be 10.5 inches.

ARRRGGGGGGG.....I will start over again tonight.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Sorting Favorites

Wouldn't you think your favorites would automatically be alphabetized?

This morning I was looking for a particular site to visit before I have to jump in the shower and I couldn't find that darn thing in the jumbled mess of over 100 "Quilt and Crafty" blogs.

I can never remember how to sort them. Finally I looked it up in my trusty "Computer Tips" folder.

Here's how in case anyone else has forgotten:

Click on FAVORITES on the menu bar(top line) (NOT the one with the yellow star)
Go down to your first link
Right click on the first link in your favorites

Now I must run...busy day at work today...it's payroll day (meaning I have to do payroll so everyone gets their checks on Friday). I like Mondays because they are a pretty busy day for me.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

I Can't Wait to Get Into Bed Tonight

I am pretty pooped.

I had to do some cleaning today even though I didn't really want to. I can't stand dirty floors and the kitchen and bathroom were in need. Does anyone other then me still do this on hands and knees? I never could get mops into the corners without beating up the wood.

My sewing/computer room was beyond belief -- fabric strewn all over the floor with all the threads,bits of paper I ripped off the back of the paper-pieced blocks,etc. I made 16 log cabin blocks today and at least half of all the fabric I snipped off missed the wastebasket. I had envelopes all over from patterns I printed off the net....whew! I think it was the worst it has ever been. Every time I walked in there threads stuck to my socks and were transported to every room in the house. So I cleaned it up a bit...stills needs more...but I am done working for today.

I made a DUD cake from scratch.....boy, I hate when I see a recipe in a magazine that looks so good and I make it and it's just awful. Some cake called Tres Leche from a restaurant in New Mexico. The patrons rave about it.......hmmmmmmm.....mine ended up the garbage--that's how awful it was....

Tres Leche means 3 milk. There was a whole can of evaporated milk, a can of sweetened condensed milk and 1 cup of whole milk which was all mixed & poured over the vanilla cake when it came out of the oven. After four hours in the refrigerator it all gets absorbed into the cake and you put whipped cream on top of it.
You should have seen DH's face last night when he bit into it.........it looked like a vanilla cake, until you put it in your mouth and got something with a very wet, mealy texture. I thought he was going to need a barf bag! LOL. He thinks I should stick to cake mixes.

If you see a recipe like that, don't bother with it--it tastes like a milk-soaked cake, which is exactly what it is (of course that's just my humble opinion).

Saturday, February 25, 2006

So Much For Cleaning

About 11:30 a.m. there was a knock on my door.

The mailman brought a package -- all my new books and a Cottage Living magazine.

What fun I will have now trying to decide what to make first.

You can bet it won't be anything from the flower book. Yikes! Just look how complicated and what tiny little pieces....

I did manage to do a little cooking.
This cabbage/beef/lentil soup with some garlic cheese bread made a hearty meal for a blustery day.

Oh, I almost forgot...when the mailman came, I was in the middle of making another block. I have been wanting to make a house block

and now I have.
I actually made it to see if it was something I might want to use as a border for this log cabin quilt I started last spring. I want to finish this quilt with a wide border, but the house doesn't seem to work for that, so back to the drawing board.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend.

Ah, the weekend is here

And it's another snowy one for me. We have a weather advisory in effect until 6:00 p.m.

I like snow on the weekend.

Since I am confined to the house, I get to "pursue my creativity" and play around with crazy things like this silly chicken block (I found it at Quilter's Cache).

I have no idea what I will do with it now that it's made. I think it's cute though.

I will probably do a little cleaning, a little cooking, a little laundry....just whatever I feel like today.

It will be a good day.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Change Case in Word

Kerri made this comment to the post below:

I wish there was a way to change the text back into lower case or vise versa. That would be handy.

After answering her in the comment section, I decided I should post it here because I think many others probably are unaware of how to change a whole bunch of text from upper case to lower case (or vice versa).

Just highlight the text you want to change
on the Format menu,
click Change Case.

After you click, Change Case, you will have the option of upper or lower case and a few others. Just click whichever one you want and,like magic, all of the text you highlighted will be changed at one time.

Not sure how far back in word this works--at least Word 2000 and above.

Caps Lock Warning

I haven't done much in the post-worthy category the past two days.

So I thought I would post this computer tip that I found in hopes that one or two of you will also find it useful.

Have you ever been typing along in Word and looked up and found you had been typing in all caps? Very irritating, isn't it?

What you did was hit the Caps Lock key when you really wanted to hit the Shift key to capitalize the first letter. It happens to me all the time.

Now when it happens I hear a sound to alert me to the fact that I hit the All Caps key by mistake.

You, too, can turn on an alarm sound that alerts you whenever you press Caps Lock, Num Lock, or Scroll Lock.

If you are using Windows XP, here's how:

1. Click Start, then Control Panel.

Make sure you are in the Classic View. It should look like this:

If you are in Category View, your screen will look like this:

You need to change it by clicking where it says "Switch to Classic View".

Once you are in classic view:

2. Double-click the Accessibility Options icon.

3. Click the Keyboard tab and then click to put a
check mark in the Use ToggleKeys box.

(I also have the bottom one checked, but you don't need that.)

4. Click OK.

Now hit the Caps Lock key and you should hear a beep.

Neat, huh?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Working Woman's Fried Chicken

I never got around to making fried chicken this weekend.

I had planned to do it Sunday, but I forgot we had to go to my FIL's birthday dinner.

Today at work we had a big food show. One of the major food purveyor's holds a show every year to demonstrate their products. All the restaurant/bar owners are invited to come and sample their new items.

When it ends they always have TONS of stuff that they did not use. Instead of packing it all up, they give it to us. I am usually gone before the event ends, but today I got hit with some last minute bookings and I was about an hour late leaving.

That is how I became the lucky recipient of a bag of big fat fried chicken
wing-dingy things already cooked and frozen.
A bag of pure bliss in the eyes of a woman who just spent 9.75 hrs. at work and still had to come home and make dinner.

I brought the succulent poultry appendages home and threw them on to a baking sheet. Thirty minutes in the oven and dinner was done with no messy stove to clean up

So it may not be "just like Grandma's", but it's as good as we are getting this week!

Monday, February 20, 2006

In Honor of President's Day

Let's play a little presidential trivia....

Who was the youngest president of the United States?

4pm Update:

I see only two brave souls took a guess--- and
both are incorrect. It was not JFK.
I hear gasps out there in cyberland!
Yes, everyone thinks JFK was the youngest president, but he was, in fact, only the youngest president ever elected.
There was someone else who was younger, but was not elected. He took over upon the death of someone else.
You really didn't think I would give you an easy question, did you? LOL

Just click the comments and take your guess.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

I am happy NOT to be famous and gorgeous

As I was flipping through TV channels, I came across the Home Shopping Network where Suzanne Somers was pushing her wares.

Has anyone seen her face lately?

OMG, the skin is tighter than a pair of size 3 jeans on a size 14 body. It looks like it’s painful to talk when her lips move.

The host says everyone keeps asking Suzanne how she stays so young looking.

She says, it’s good genetics, amazing face care, but mostly the Facemaster facial toning system (which she is conveniently pushing for only $99.90).

How sad that at almost 60 years old, she still feels that she has to look like a
s e x symbol. I don't think too many people believe she has not had multiple facial surgeries.

I thought she looked just fine 7 or 8 years ago when I saw her and noted that she was beginning to age (but so what, she was over 50 then).

So sad........

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Chicken & Rooster Tablescape

I am contemplating making fried chicken.

In my 30+ years of cooking, I have probably made fried chicken three times.
I shy away from frying anything --not only is it not healthy, but I don't like grease spitting all over the stove. (As this household's Chief Executive in Charge of Sanitation all clean-up duties fall to my department and I lean toward less messy cooking methods .)

Because DH does enjoy a piece of fried chicken now and then, I may just throw caution to the wind and present him with a platter of crispy fried chicken strips (I am not planning to go all out and fry up the whole bird --just small breast strips--but that's a start).

When (and if) I do, our dining room table is prepared for the awe-inspiring presentation (Not that it is going to look that beautiful, but DH will be in awe because fried chicken is being served at our table).

This morning I did a whole table to commemorate the chicken...

Yes, I even have dishes with roosters on them
(Bob Timberlake's "Ella's Rooster" is the pattern).

I have Mr. and Mrs. sitting in the center of the table. Mr. is holding his bucket of eggs and a bag of his favorite chicken chow (popcorn kernels).

Mrs. finally has a moment to relax, and she is reading her favorite book, The Little Red Hen (she feels that she can relate to the story).

The chickens around my house lay unusual eggs
These are real eggs that I have blown out and decoupaged (see the little hole in the end of the egg?).

For napkins, I used bandanas

Just a fun quirky table. It won't last long (because, well...it's quirky!)
These long cold Michigan winters tend to make people a little crazy (wind chill this morning is 11 below zero).
Do you think perhaps I have lived through one too many already? LOL

Friday, February 17, 2006

I am so happy to have a caring Husband

I sat down at my computer and this note is there:

Wake me up at 6:00 a.m.
I don't think you will
be able to get out
in the morning.

What a wonderful man. He must be planning on driving me to work today. It is still too dark to see how bad it is outside. He got home late last night so he must know it's not good.

I am sure most businesses will be closed. Yesterday the schools were closed, too.

Unfortunately hotels never close for anything short of a natural disaster.

6:30am update:

Well, I am usually at work by now, but I am here blogging because DH's truck is stuck in the driveway. He is out there snowblowing and then we can (hopefully) make it down the road to the main highway. There is still a storm warning out until 6pm--guess there will be lots of blowing/drifting -- and my dear Aussie friends -- wind chill of -12 degrees! BRRRRRRRRRRRRR Your 100 degree weather is looking mighty good to me right now :)

Thursday, February 16, 2006

In the Midst of Another Blizzard

I drove home from work at 25 miles per hour, with both hands tightly gripping the steering wheel as I navigated the icy road with snow swirling in all directions.

I detest winter driving. I always say a silent prayer of thanks when I pull safely into my garage.

We are having another blizzard - up to 15 inches of snow.

I changed into my grubs, brewed a nice strong cup of coffee, added some French vanilla cream, and stood at the window watching the snowflakes as they turned into drifts across the driveway.

I opened the front door to take a picture and I heard loud rumbles of thunder. Thundering during a blizzard! I thought I was hearing things, but the radio announcer confirmed that I had heard correctly.

Very strange weather this year.

I was throwing a load of laundry into the washing machine, & I noticed my big rubbermaid container of (too small) jeans--unfortunately that container is getting more full every day. On the top I had thrown some practice blocks I had made when I was deciding what kind of jean quilt to make.

I had a spur-of-the-moment idea to turn those blocks into pot holders.

But what could I use to make them more heat resistant?

Right next to the jeans happened to be a big stack of old towels that we use to dry the car when we wash it at home. (I am being quite liberal with the "we" as it is DH who washes the car. I don't think I have ever done it).

I found a nice heavy blue towel that worked out quite nicely as a backing. It was so heavy that I did not even need any filler. I just cut out a back piece for each block, used some striped denim for the binding and sewed it all together.

Very quick and easy. Now instead of useless blocks of denim, I have 3 new trivets to throw under hot dishes.

Oh, I wonder if this may be why all those jeans are getting too small?

Muffins Galore

I may have to get those silicone muffins pans out this weekend and give them a second chance to impress me (this time I will spray them).

My current issue of Taste of Home is chock full of mouth-watering muffin recipes.

Does anyone else get this mag? Did you try any of the recipes that you can recommend?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Interesting Stats

My last 100 visitors and the countries they came from

Welcome to all of you!

I get such a kick out seeing how many different countries have visited my lowly little blog. This print may be too small to read. It says:

US 58
Singapore 23
Canada 8
Austrailia 4
Japan 1
United Kingdom 1

Now, why don't any of you comment? LOL

Actually I think two of you left a comment out of the last 100.
That's a 2% comment rate which seems pretty low, but maybe it's the norm.

I am not complaining--just wondering.
I am happy to have you all visit whether you feel like commenting or not.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Maytag Double Oven

Does anyone happen to own a Maytag Gemini stove?
I am thinking this is the one I want to buy. I like the idea of two ovens. One is very small and I am thinking I would use it often since there are only two of us. The second is supposedly as large as any one-oven model. I have not been to an appliance store to actually see one of these (got my info off the net, of course.)

The space for oven #2 comes from eliminating the storage drawer on the bottom.

The only thing I am not too sure of is the flat top. I have heard that staining and discoloration is a problem.

Does anyone have an electric flat top and feel like commenting on the positives/negatives?

I want to be well informed before my 27-year old stove decides to die. I am actually hoping it dies, but it just keeps going.

I am thinking I should just go out and buy a new one--life is short--and I might croak before it does!

Just Joined Crafter's Choice Book Club

and purchased all of these books! I got 4 books for $1 each (+s/h) and a fifth for 50% off. The total came to $23.73 with the shipping/handling.
Now I only need to buy 1 more book for the year.
What a bargain!

Happy Valentine's Day from me to me! LOL

Grandma's Teacup

Isn't this the most beautiful little teacup and saucer?
My grandmother gave it to me when I was a teenager. I have saved it all these years. Every now and then I get it out and drink a cup of tea from it.

I doubt that my grandma ever really used it. Maybe it was a gift from someone.

I think it is the only item I have that was hers, so I do treasure this delicate little piece.

Is anyone doing something special for Valentine's Day?

I will just be working as usual.

The only thing out of the ordinary for me today is that I have to take my car in for an oil change--LOL--

Fruit Fabric

I pulled this little grouping of fruit fabrics out last week and they have been sitting in my sewing room since. I love the bright fruity colors, but I just can't think of what to do with these fabrics????

I only have a small piece of each.

Anyone have an idea of what these fabrics could become?

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Bitten by the PP Bug

Has a week gone by already?

I don't think I have ever gone this long without blogging!

I have been busy surfing the net for paper-piecing patterns. As you can see I have found many.

I have been fiddling around with different blocks.

Look at this little signature block. You sign and date the quilt in the center of this block and sew it to the back of the quilt. Those black triangles are so tiny that a dime almost covers the whole thing! I could never conventionally piece something that small.

Yesterday one of the practice blocks inspired me to do a mini redecoration of my kitchen.

Flawed PP block inspires Decorative Kitchen Redo

See this little pinwheel block under the chicken?

Well, it's not exactly a pinwheel because I put the wrong fabric in one spot.

But I liked the blue toile fabric with the gold so much that I decided to to make another block (a square-in-a-square pattern) of the same fabrics. (the blue toile is the fabric I made my kitchen valances out of last year). This block turned out perfect.

I had originally combined the valance fabric with the lighter yellow in the blocks. I never really like that lighter yellow fabric on the windows - found it a tad too blah.

So yesterday morning I decided to make insert valances out of the gold fabric. They are lined valance inserts and very easy to make. Probably took about an hour.

As usually happens with me, a simple project escalates....

Once I had the valances up, I needed more gold around the kitchen. I thought sunflowers might do the trick.

While climbing up to add sunflowers here and there to the top of the cupboard vignettes, it was evident a good cleaning was in order.

So I hauled stuff down, washed it all (even the greenery) and put it all back up. I added more fabric to the square-in-a-square sample block so it was big enough to add a toile punch (to carry the fabric over to that area of the kitchen), and put it under the plant over the stove.

Since I had the murphy's oil soap out from washing the cubboard tops, I decided to wash all the lower cabinets, too. Out came the toothbrush........to get all the dust out of the little crevices in the moldings, etc.

I then decided I couldn't have a clean kitchen with a dirty floor. So I got on my hands and knees and did that, too.

I ended up spending a good three hours before everything was done.

ALL THAT WORK created from a little paper-pieced block of fabric!

At least my kitchen is VERY VERY clean today.

Sunday, February 5, 2006

Do You Ever

go back and read your own blog?

Since I have been snowed in this weekend, I did a bit of that yesterday. Boy, the things I had forgotten! I only went through a couple of months because Blogger went down. What's going on with Blogger anyway? I have noticed it being down a lot the past few days.

I found new plants I put in last year (forgot all about that cardinal flower and that autumn hirta rudebeckia...)

I found out how many new allium bulbs I planted. (I thought 50, found out it was only 20) Can't wait to see these little beauties in a few months.

I saw a combination deck planting that I posted so I would remember it for next year. (good thing I went back and read about it)

Anyway it is amazing how much valuable info you have probably forgotten about your own garden. Just try it.

Remember Kathy Renwald from Gardener's Journal?

I taped a lot of those shows.
I think I am going to curl up under a quilt and watch a few episodes before I have to start cooking dinner.

For My Aussie Readers

who enjoy seeing our miserable weather :)

I am so glad DH is out there and I am warm & toasty inside taking pictures.

I am going to reward that dear man with a big breakfast of hash browned potatoes, eggs, and sourdough toast.

Off to make it now.

A Little Corner of My Home

I have been to a lot of blogs lately where they are posting little areas of their home that they like. I decided to jump on the bandwagon (even though nobody asked me too-LOL).

I just rearranged a few things and thought I would show you my little Romantic Homes magazine holder corner. It is a big wooden box. It holds a few years worth of magazines.

I have embellished it with some of the old ladies gloves I have, a little quilt, and an old French ladies purse.

Here is the French purse

On the china cabinet top I have an old metal TV tray. Anyone remember those? I think they are probably from the 1950's. I bought a set of four quite a few years ago because I loved the floral design. I used them more as art work. I set a little bird in the center and sprinkled some potpourri around.

Saturday, February 4, 2006

Valentine Quilt Tablescape

DH came home from the grocery store with another bouquet of flowers (beautiful bright daisies). I decided now was the time to do the valentine table.

I used this very old flower vase with a cute couple of children in love for the centerpiece.

We are supposed to get a winter storm tonight and tomorrow.

Snow heavy at times. Gusty winds will lead to blizzard conditions. Low 23F. Winds N at 25 to 35 mph. Chance of snow 90%. 6 to 10 inches of snow expected. Winds could occasionally gust over 50 mph.

TomorrowFeb. 05

Snow Squalls
Hi: 23° Lo: 18°
Day: Flurries and squalls. Significant blowing and drifting snow. High 23F. Winds NW at 25 to 35 mph. Chance of snow 90%. 8 to 12 inches of snow expected.

Yikes! That is close to a possible 2 feet of snow.
I am glad I do not have to go to work.

It Pays to Hold Out

Remember my rant about Country Garden Magazine charging me (a customer for years) more to re-subscribe than they charge new customers?
You can read it here if you are interested.
Their charge was $33.97 for two years (16.99/year).
I threw it in the garbage can.

On Sept. 19 they sent me a letter. I could get 2 years for $24.00 ($12/yr).
I was tempted, but had to stand by my principles....after all, I vowed I WOULD NOT subscribe.
I threw it in the garbage can.

Yesterday I got another letter.

"Just tell us "yes" or "no", it said.
Now the price is $9.99 for one year. (They did not offer a 2-yr price).

I am afraid I have to cave in and send them the ten bucks.
I mean, how can I resist???? My principles are not that strong.

Tooth is much better and

I have completed everything for the deck. I decided to make pillow forms and stuff the pillows now rather than store them flat. Better to get it all done at one time.

This project was not really as fast I had originally planned. These items have taken up almost all of my spare time for almost two weeks.

You know how we get enthused with a new project and the project keeps growing? That's what happened with this one. Originally I only planned to make a few heart blocks and turn them into a throw for the glider.
They didn't work as a throw because half of the hearts would be upside down. So I decided to turn the hearts into pillows....then I needed something else for the throw...then I remembered the two other chairs....they needed a throw, too...and a pillow.........it just grew and grew!

I did use the orange binding (only on the large throw and you can't really see it in the picture)

I made all of this stuff and only spent $3.00 for fiberfill for the pillows. When I went to buy it, it was 50% off--talk about lucky.

Everything else I had in my stash. The binding and thread for tying must be over a decade old.

I did not actually reduce my fabric stash, though. When I went to buy the fiberfill, they had GREAT sales and I ended up bringing home over 16 yards of 5 different fabrics. Now I have to come up with a new project to use some of it.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...