Monday, October 29, 2007

October 29 and it's 60 degrees


Just three days ago I ordered a pair of Felco pruning shears and today they arrived. I am just amazed at how easy and fast this Internet ordering is!

Anyway when I got home from work it was so warm outside that I decided to try out the new shears.

In about one hour I had three big wheelbarrows full of debris. The Felcos worked great--very easy on the hand. Thank you, Carol at May Dream Gardens for mentioning them in your post last week! You see, I keep meaning to buy a pair, but I always forget. When I read Carol's post, I immediately went to the site and ordered a pair. I think they will serve me well for many years.

Look at my Thanksgiving cactus. It's loaded with buds. I know most people call it a 'Christmas' cactus, but I read someplace that there are two different kinds and one of them blooms at Thanksgiving. Mine always blooms in November so I call it a Thanksgiving cactus. I actually have two of them, which you see here.


I've been working on the gigantic quilt, which you also see in the background.It's getting huge! Remember the "flying geese" border that I told you I was going to put on? While it's on.
For the nonquilters, it's the little triangle border. I had planned to put two on each side, but guess what?

I ran out of the background fabric again! It happens all the time and it just forces me to become creative. I found this purple fabric I just bought on my fabric spree last week.


I decided just to add 6" of that fabric. It's the part that will be the beginning of the fabric that hangs down the side of the bed. I wasn't really happy with it. Finally the idea occurred to me to make three of the corner blocks with the same background. I am more pleased now because I think it looks more like I had planned it to be that color.


You may have noticed that I have not sewn all of this on yet. I need to lay it all out on the bed first to make certain that the purple falls down the side as I am planning. If it does not, I am in big trouble! That, by the way, is one of the big pluses of making your own quilt. You can really custom fit the pattern to your bed. Personally I like a few extra inches up toward my neck so I can pull the quilt way up to my nose. I always make my quilts with plenty of extra fabric at the top.


Wow, 6:24 p.m. already. I must run to check my pot roast. DH will be home for dinner soon.
This looks a little more nutritious than my popcorn dinner from last week, doesn't it?


I hope you are all having a great Monday!


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Poll


While slicing tomatoes for this luscious salad for dinner, the idea for the poll (on the right side) sprang up.

I am just curious what people think of getting whole cherry tomatoes in their salad.

If you can spare a second to cast your vote, I would be very appreciative.

Of course, if you have a very strong opinion and want to say more, you are welcome to use the comment section.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Bargain Sleuthing Continues.........

One of the good things about working in an office environment is you simply MUST buy new clothes all the time. With winter coming I do need some long sleeved jackets to wear with pants.

I received a little postcard in the mail telling me of a 50% off sale at Coldwater Creek. I threw it next to my computer where I toss all the mail I never have the time to read. This morning it caught my eye and I picked it up, read it and discovered that EVERYTHING was 50% off--even the already reduced items--and it ended tomorrow.

Oh, my! I think my excitement surpassed yesterday's level when I saw the 50% off sign in JoAnne's. And how convenient that I just had a recent monetary windfall!

I decided to let my fingers do the shopping..............

Look what I bought..........

I saw this in the recent catalog and loved it. I wanted to buy it, but the $100 price tag made me reconsider. ..Yes, it is indeed ORANGE. But just look at the way the waistline is accentuated..........at 50% off, I decided to throw caution to the wind and give the orange color a try.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr..............this one looks like it could growl at you. Lucky me, they have it in my size.

A quick mouse click and it's mine!

I'll wear it just the way you see it...black pants and black tank -(with a heavy dose of gold jewlry)

Mandarin collared, crinkled teal jacket.......love it (except for the cuffed sleeve---but at 50% off, you can't always aim for perfection. I will have to find a light yellow sleeveless tank because I love the way it looks here.

Wing collar, buttonless front. Darted bust. Fully lined white jacket.
This one could accentuate the hips and believe me, mine do not need any extra attention, but I'm willing to risk it for the amazing $20.00 price tag. Fully lined for $20.00. Be still my racing heart!

And I just loved this red jacquard shell--Was $49.00 Reduced to $14.99. When you get to the checkout, guess what? They take another 50% off!

$7.50 is all it cost!

How could anyone in their right mind resist? It does not go with any of the above, but I am sure I have something in plain black to wear over the top of it.

I also purchased two white sleeveless tops to wear under jackets. I got all of this for just under $200 (including the S/H).

Does life get any better than this?

All that shopping leaves a girl hungry. I dined alone again tonight. This is what I cooked (in four minutes flat--can't be wasting time cooking while someone else snaps up all those bargains).
Scrambled eggs,1/2 of a hot dog, & mozzarella and cheddar cheese. I must be on a cheese kick the past couple of days.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Do You Ever Feel Daily Life is Just Too Rushed?

I've been up for thirteen hours and am just now able to consider my time my own.

After work I rushed to the library and then to JoAnne's because I needed thread. I had a 4 o'clock nail appointment so I didn't have much time to stroll around the fabric store. Almost immediately upon entering my eye caught the 50% of sign on the already reduced fabric.

Oh, boy! I LIVE for the 50%-off-already-reduced-fabric sales. I dashed through the 4 rows of bolted loveliness and filled my arms to overflowing. Within 10 minutes I had 21 yards of cut fabric and 6 spools of thread at the checkout stand.

I am sure I could have found even more IF I just had the time to explore.

Look at this green fabric with the gold fish on it.

Are you wondering what in the world I would use this stuff for?
LOL.
When I use it, you probably won't even recognize it. I will be using it in such narrow pieces that the gold animals/fish will not even be visible. You will only see the green with flecks of shiny gold & black. I think it will look great as star points.

Have you noticed that I have been sticking my freshly-manicured nails in the picture to show off my nail art? The pictures are too small to show the detail, so forget the subtly, here's an in-your-face macro shot:

It's all spiky and reminds me of the quilt border I am working on!


Who's read the Joanne Fluke culinary mystery books? You may have noticed in the first pic that I got two of them at the library today. I have never read her books, but I've enjoyed the Diane Mott-Davidson catering mysteries so I am expecting to get right into these two novels. I noticed quite a few more of the same type on the library shelf. So if I like them there are plenty more to entertain me.


See this?



It's my dinner --nuked popcorn with a sprinkling of cheddar cheese. YUM!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Alternate Use for Egg Cups


There is something about egg cups that I like.

I especially like these blue/white ones.


I must admit I have never eaten an egg out of an egg cup. I don't even like soft-boiled eggs, which is what they are made to be used for.

So for years, I have just admired the beautiful color and form of these objects and used them only for decorative purposes, usually with artificial eggs.

One day last week I had an extra onion and voila!

A new purpose was born! Instead of walking the extra 22 feet to the pantry to get an onion, I now have them right on the counter top where I need them. They are just the right size for cooking for only two people.

Friday after work we immediately took off for the weekend. We went to a casino where we were both in a slot tournament. It was such fun. We had to play 5 different rounds and all five scores were added to determine the winner. There were 96 people in the tourney. After the first round, I was in FIRST PLACE! What a thrill it was! I had visions of winning the $1000 top prize...at least for two hours until the next round when I bombed---I think I had the lowest score of all 96 that round. Nonetheless, I finished in the top ten, but there were only five prizes, so I may as well have been number 96. Oh, well, I didn't win the tournament, but I did hit a which required I fill out a tax form. If you gamble at all, you may know that you only have to fill out tax forms if the haul is $1200 or more. So, it was a good weekend!

I finished reading "The Quilter's Homecoming" by Jennifer Chiaverini. Is anyone else reading this? I feel like I missed something........whatever happened to Mae? I sure thought she would make another appearance at the end. Did she and I missed it?

On Friday my bulbs from Breck's arrived. When we got home at 1 p.m. today, I ran inside changed into grubby clothes and went out to plant the 55 tulips and 24 allium. I really wasn't in the mood, but knew I had to get it done. I didn't even take the time to pull up pictures of this past spring to see where I have tulips planted. I just grabbed a shovel and dug. I only overtuned a couple of other tulip bulbs so hopefully I remembered and they will look fine where I planted them.

Well, off to get a few things done before I have to get up to go to work. Weekends do zoom by, don't they?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Did They Ever Emerge?

Tricia left a comment on an old post asking if my pupae ever emerged.

Tricia, Welcome and thanks for taking a moment to comment.
Since you don't have an email address, I thought I'd answer your question here in case anyone else is wondering.

The pupae are still just hanging around on their stick. Either they are dead or they are overwintering in the chrysalis form. I was so disappointed that they didn't make the full metamorphosis.


I have stuck them out in the garage for the winter. I will bring them in next spring to see what happens. I just hope they don 't become dinner for a mouse! I wonder if mice eat them????


Yesterday at work we had a group who did a fashion show featuring Victorian clothing. They made these cute centerpieces:

In thought they were cute (and easy). Years ago I made the same type of wallpaper fans to use on my Christmas tree.

I believe this tree was done over twenty years ago!


I think I have finally hit upon a border that will work for my quilt.
I am liking this spikey one (but I have always loved spikey borders!). I think the light purple background works--that's my big problem--I don't have much of that blue fabric left. I felt I needed at least a bit of it and had enough to use it for the center point in each block.

All the reds/purples/rusts are the same fabrics that are used in the flower blocks. Before I add this border, the quilt is 88" x 66". I am tossing around the idea of squaring it up by adding 11 inches of double flying geese border to each short side before I do the spikey border. So I sort of have a plan...we will see how it evolves!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Another Great Day Trip


We took a little day trip Sunday and saw some nice fall color.

We stopped at a Kohl's and I found these big heavy purple stemmed glasses that I just couldn't resist. I put them in the window to try to get enough natural light to give you an accurate picture of the color(that first one looks too blue on my computer so I guess I failed).

I bought six of them. I don't know what dishes I will use them with yet, but I must have some that go with purple. It seems that I once wished I had purple glassware to go with some table setting I was doing.

The fall color was not bad, though I've seen years when it was much brighter. I didn't see many reds this year.



I had fun looking for old dilapidated barns to take pics of...these were two of my favorites:



I think they turned out pretty good since I took them while in a car moving at 60 mph.

I had a big failure with my quilt in progress this weekend. I spent quiite a few hours making 11 blocks for the next border. When I layed them out to see how they worked..........UGH! No way.

This is the second border that has not worked.

It's back to the drawing board for me.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Remember My Sled full of Persian Shield?

Today I removed the Persian Shield and put it in a big pot to overwinter in the basement.
It's really getting big, isn't it?
This will be its third year in the basement. I give it a little bit of water once a week--just enough to keep it alive. All of the leaves will fall off. It will make a big MESS and look like a sorry example of its beautiful self. But by next June it should leaf out again and start to look lovely. I think it's worth saving because I could never buy one as large as this.

I cleaned the sled with soap, water and bleach. I am thinking of bringing the sled inside the house and putting a Christmas tree in it. So don't be surprised if you see this old sled again in about an month!

I decided to try to overwinter my two pots of Purple Fountain Grass. From what I have read it's a tough plant to successfully overwinter without a greenhouse. Has anyone overwintered it?

I am expecting that the grass will go dormant and I can hold it over until spring with no water.

When I planted it, I left it right in the black plastic pots that I bought it in and just buried the pot inside my barrels. It was pretty easy to dig the pot out of the barrel. Then I cut it back and

dipped it into a bucket of soapy water in hopes of getting rid of any bugs.

After it dried, I just stuck it in the crawl space. It will sit there until next May when I will pull it out with the other overwintered plants and begin to water it.

It is dies, it dies. I thought it was worth a try since it took such a small amount of effort.

I worked pretty hard today and have almost everything done for the winter. I have a few containers of dahlia tubers drying out in the garage. I will bag them up in a few days and then I can forget about plants until next May.

I must say I am glad to have it almost all done!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A Few Fries Short of a Happy Meal

is what the guy must have been who tried to pass this million dollar bill to a cashier at a Pittsburgh supermarket this past Saturday.

Needless to say he spent the weekend in the PA slammer.

It takes all kinds...

The Last of the Dahlias

Who would have thought I'd still be picking dahlias in mid October?

Usually I have them all dug up and put away for the winter.

Not this year. It was 88 degrees yesterday.

My plan is to dig them up later this week. It won't be today because immediately after work I get my nails done...and not a moment too soon. :) It was a rough weekend.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Wowza! What a Positively Prolific Paper Piecer I Was in 2007!



My sister came over Sunday afternoon and wanted to see my latest projects so I brought them all out into the family room. I didn't really realize that I have made six quilta in 2007! That's in addition to about 4 table runners and oodles of hot pads.

I think I have an addictive personality. When I get hooked---watch out!

The quilts are all in different states of completion. I just finished hand quilting the big green log cabin a few weeks ago (I began piecing it n 2006). It only needs a binding which I could finish in about three days if I set my mind to it. It was on my weekend list of things to do, but once I got sidetracked rearranging the living/dining rooms I had no time or energy left.

I really must stop making quilts until I finish these. It looks like a good two years of just quilting to get these finished!

I am getting hungry. I cooked this pork loin on Saturday.

It was really good with the fresh apples I sauteed in butter and brown sugar.

Tonight with very little effort, I have turned it into this colorful entree...


Sweet and sour pork.
Isn't it a pretty dish? I hope it tastes as good as it looks!
Bon App├ętit!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Peach Lustre and Black Tablescape


While looking for my black linen tablecloth, I came across this piece of fabric I bought last year.

Hmmmmm....my black octagon and Fire King peach lustre dishes might work with this animal-like print.

It won't be the black/peach Halloween-type table with the pumpkin floral centerpiece I had originally envisioned, but I decided to go with the flow and see what emerged.
It was the first time I used the swirled caramel-colored chargers I got last Christmas.

The octagon black plates worked fine on top of the round charger.

Then I added a peach lustre plate and a peach lustre dessert bowl. I put a faux squash in each dessert bowl to bring in a sense of autumn.

I used black-stemmed octagon champagne flutes with black linen napkins rolled tightly in a cigar shape and inserted inside the flutes. Another stemmed goblet is used for the main drinking glass. The coffee cups and saucers are peach lustre.



I scattered a few real green pears (from the tree in the empty lot next to me)and added six earth-colored large candles. For sparkle I tossed a few clear glass cubes and some shiny gold circles and squares.


For the centerpiece I used my animal print ladies purse vase filled with orange dahlias.
Because I did not have enough dahlias blooming, I used last year's dried/painted allium seed heads as filler.




This was a fun table to do. I am glad I didn't find the black tablecloth. Maybe I don't even have a black tablecloth. I buy so many that I can never remember what I have!




3:00 pm. Update:
As often happens doing one thing turns into a whole day of work. I have climbed up and down the stairs to the basement more times than I care to remember, cleaned more china cabinet shelves than I ever want to do again in one day and lost 3 fingernails!

I have rearranged the entire living room--including moving a curio cabinet into the dining room. Once moved I had to change the items in it so they worked with the table. Then I had to redo the china cabinet that is already in the dining room. Then I had to redo the one in the living room because I had the peach lustre in it. Remember this post from January 10? Well, now all of that stuff has been moved to the two dining room cabinets.



Anyway, it was all too much work and I am pooped! Time for a glass (or two) of wine. I put lasagna in the oven (premade stuff--just heat and eat. I've worked enough for one day!) Staying home on the weekend is WAY TO MUCH WORK!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Fall Harvest Days

Every year our local museum (just two miles from where I live) has a fall festival where they open the old local buildings they have restored. Some of the local clubs like Zonta, Kiwanis, girl scouts, etc. act as guides and demonstrate life in the early 20th century.

I have not gone in years. Since DH and I are staying home this entire weekend we decided to take an hour and walk around the exhibits. We always go to festivals, etc. in other towns, but rarely support those in our own city.

This is an old home of a local resident. See the lady in the doorway all dressed in period clothing?
Look at this hand quilted apron. It's 100 years later and I am doing the same craft. Things don't change as much as we think, do they?
Here's an old school house.
What caught my eye here is the coal bin on the floor.


It looks pretty familiar to me. I am not using it for the same purpose,but one just like it sits on my deck every summer.
This is a porcupine exhibit inside the museum.

The interesting thing here are the boxes made from the quills. If you click to enlarge the pic below you will be able to see the quills. Amazing craft!
Ah, quilts! I couldn't wait to get inside this room.
It's a display from the local quilt guild.
I thought this table runner was cute (though much wider than I like mine to be). The wide ones get in the way of my place settings.


I talked to the president of the guild for some time and got all the info. I might go to the next meeting in November. I am not a "joiner" of things, but this sounded like something I might enjoy. It wouldn't hurt to check it out. They even have tour buses to go to the big quilt events, like the Paducah, Kentucky show in April '08. I would LOVE to go there!

I am hoping to get some fall decorating done this weekend. So far I've only worked on my quilt (am having a time trying to find fabric for the next border since I ran out of what I used for the first one), went to the museum, and did a little cleaning. It's already 4:00 p.m. so now I have to get a pork loin cooked for dinner.

I need more hours in each day!

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