Monday, December 29, 2008
So I let all my listings expire so I can work on my new business plan for the new year. I guess all those watchers who weren't ready to buy on ebay must have paniced when the quilt kit listings ran out and I didn't relist them, so they found my ecrater store and I have sold a couple over there this week and even sold one of Missy's checkbook sets. But otherwise I am kickin' back a little and working on fun stuff for a while.
Like swaps, that I really shouldn't be doing because I really don't need any more stuff. Thanks so much Missy for getting me hooked on that! But they are just so darn fun and tonight I spent the night looking at cool patterns for "penny rugs" that really aren't even rugs, but are actually table runners made from felt. I am in a spring swap at the HGTV quilting forum and for some reason decided that these would be fun to make for my 7 days of spring gifts. I haven't quite decided on them yet but it was fun looking at the patterns.
Another thing I have been working on is 2 new blogs. I have decided that this blog didn't really end up to be what I intended it to be, which was a site for me to promote my business and talk about my crafty endeavours. Since this has turned into more of a family blog I felt that I should separate the two and I am going to be moving my family chatter to a new site, so Up the Rainbow Creek will be more focused on business. I also opened a "cooking school" blog last night, since cooking is something I really enjoy and I have an interest in sharing my knowledge on that subject, but it will also be an advertising /commercial enterprise eventually I hope. I will let you know once I figure all this out.
Matt Update: finally got to see the orthopedic doc today and it was pretty good news, except Matt didn't take it that way. The broken vertabrae is lined up and should heal well, he has weakness and tingling on the left side because the nerve bundle that goes through the vertabrae is the nerves to his left arm and should clear up when everything heals. The important thing is to stabilize the neck and and allow time to heal. That is the part Matty didn't like, he wants this to be over and to get back to work. There is still a chance that he may need surgery for ligament damage if there is soft tissue injury that could make his neck unstable, so they are going to schedule an MRI to check that out. I think we all feel better knowing what is going on and he will be OK, even if he doesn't feel that way right now.
Today is the last day of 2008, had a few ups and downs, bumps and bruises this year as always, but with 2 new grandsons and so many wonderful memories and all the love and support we have in this family this was one of the best year's ever, and I am sure next year will be even better. That's all the chatter I got for today, catch ya next year.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night's sleep, I sure need it!
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Kaisha and I decided last night that they could make it out here for Christmas if they drive in the new family truckster.
See how happy the kids were that last time they were here for Christmas. They were just tiny bugs then.
Since we are going to be driving to IL the day after Christmas we can caravan together with them and the kids. It should be so much fun!
Monday, December 1, 2008
That pile is actually most of my quilt kit fabrics that I work from every day. Is that a disgrace or what?
And I did get the pattern mostly done. And it actually really looks good. I got the pictures sized and layed out in the right places with the words wrapped around them in a pretty attractive way. Which is more than I can do on this blog site. But that might come to me one day soon.
Anyway I think this pattern should be well worth the $12.95 for all the comprehensive knowledge I am passing along. It took me quite some time to design all these projects and perfect the construction of them all from my own little brain. Now here I am for a mere $12.95 plus FREE SHIPPING, willing to give it all up.
I have had some debates with a few folks on this subject, but what I maintain is that there are two completely different markets for patterns and supplies and handcrafted items. Those who are do it yourselfers are not going to buy finished items because they know that they can do it themself. But they will buy patterns and kits because they don't have the time or the skill to just design something on their own.
I have had a few people contact me to say how much they liked my purse tutorial on this blog. They seemed surprised that I would post the instructions for free. That makes me happy too. I love free tutorials and have found some really good ones that have inspired me. It's not always about the $12.95 to me either. Sometimes it just feels good to give something. More about that later.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
But my house is trashed from absolute neglect so tomorrow is going to be a marathon of cleaning, cooking and looking forward to the kickoff of the official holiday season. Missy says Morgan is already getting excited. Like mother like daughter. She is planning to come to grandma's and decorate and play with her friends. I have some baskets and pinecones and floral picks for the girls to make centerpieces for the tables. How fun is that?!!
I guess the more grandkids you have the better it gets. So much to be thankful for and so much fun to look forward to. I love Thanksgiving! And pumpkin pie.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I write in my head all day, for as long as I can remember. But as soon as I put a keyboard in front of my face it all goes POOF! Gone. Now what was it that I had to pontificate on and on in my brain about?
So when I am actually forced to write something other than a grocery list (which I will forget to take to the store anyway) I guess I can come through with some appropriate and understandable language. Which is to say that I can bang out a pretty decent ebay listing without too much trouble now. Everything else is a start and stop effort. I use the backspace key so much I am surprised it hasn't worn out.
I am wondering if technical writing really counts as writing. 'Cause I decided a while back that patterns seem to be pretty profitable and on a whim I listed a pattern for sale for 12 quick and easy rag quilt projects. This seems like a great idea for the holidays because people love handmade gifts and with the economy tanking people are looking for cheap gifts to make. I figured if anyone buys it I would just whip it up and send it out. I originally listed it on craig's list and got one buyer who never paid. Of course. CL is just loaded with beggars who never want to pay for anything but will drive you nuts with emails and phone calls asking 101 questions and hoping that you will get sick of hearing from them and just give them the damn widget to get them to stop calling. Which has actually happened to me. But that wasn't really my point.
My point is that now I have to write the instructions for this pattern and it turns out that it is really harder than I pictured it in my head. I thought I had the wording all right there on the tip of my fingertips when I was writing this pattern in my head. And now that I have the keyboard in front of me, where did the words go? Well I am off to look for them. Will let you know how the pattern sells. I think it will be a blockbuster!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I planned on finishing the purses tonight but was stahhhrvin' when I got home so I set out to make a decent dinner. Chicken Alfredo casserole which I just made up, kind of a mac 'n cheese redux, but much better with parmagan reggioano cream cheese sauce, penne pasta, chicken and peas and carrots.
Then I was going to clean the kitchen up, but I sat down and promptly fell asleep, until the phone rang. I got up and thought maybe a little something for dessert would be nice too. So I made up another Jiffy muffin mix recipe and it turned out really good. So, in case you are tuned in Mona, this is a pretty good little cheater recipe and it makes a small cake to serve for a few people. I did it in a loaf pan but could probably use an 8x8 if you want.
Jiffy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake
In small mixing bowl soak 3 Tbl oatmeal in 1/4 cup very hot water til water is absorbed
Add 1 Tbl cocoa powder, 1 box Jiffy Oatmeal Muffin Mix, 1 egg, and 1/3 cup milk
Stir in a handful (about 1/2 cup?) chocolate chips
Spray large loaf pan or 8X8 baking pan with nonstick spray, pour batter into pan
Sprinkle the top with another handful of chocolate chips and chopped nuts (optional)
Bake in 350 degree oven 20-25 mins until edges are brown and center is set.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Really people, I think we could do better than that for coming up with ideas to economize. In fact I don't even think at $2.49 for 12 ounces that SPAM is that cheap. I got a 3 lb. bag of chicken breasts on special at Wally's for 5 bucks the other day. The pieces were small but 3 lbs is 3 lbs. With a .96 box of stuffing and 6 pieces of chicken that is $3.46 for dinner for 6. "So what are people doing with this SPAM anyway?" I wondered. Of course I googled it and sure enough there are websites like this with recipes for things like SPAM Carbonara and Cheesy SPAM Rolls. Yummm...
So this is the kind of stuff that I actually spend my time contemplating while I am creating fabulous quilts and table runners and potholders down in the batcave. Unfortunately I didn't get any of them finished yet because I ran out of the fabric I needed for binding the runners. I did get a few raggy runners and coaster sets done yesterday, but they are not washed yet so no pics 'til tomorrow.
Here is what I am going to do tomorrow with the rest of the bag of chicken.
Chicken Pot Pie
Dice chicken into bite size pieces and saute with chopped onions in a little olive oil. Add 2 Tbl butter to pan and 1/4 cup flour, stir to blend, then slowly add one can of chicken broth, this will make a thick gravy. Add about 1 cup of milk and bring to boil, thin with more milk if needed. Add 1/2 bag of frozen mixed veggies and one potato diced small, salt and pepper to taste. Bring the pan back to a simmer. Pour into 13"X9" baking dish. Separate one can of Pillsbury Grands Biscuits (actually I use Great Value if the are cheaper) and roll them out to flatten a bit. Lay on top of chicken mixture and bake at 375 degrees about 25 mins until biscuits are golden brown.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I just couldn't resist buying these fabrics when I saw them at Hobby Lobby a few weeks ago. I am not even into shabby chic style, but I could just picture this quilt as soon as I saw them. I think it turned out gorgeous.
I also made two dresser scarves/table toppers and a couple of purses and wallets with the rest of the fabric.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
It was tight quarters but we managed to get all our wares displayed and even sold a few items. Being rookies at this it didn't take a whole lot to make us happy.
Kleenex pouches were not such a big hit. I sold 1 of the 38 that I stayed up all night making. It was one that matched the purses that Andrea and mom have. I figured if it didn't sell I could give it to Andrea. Went out for a break and when I came back Andrea was paying Marly for it!
I lowered my price on those potholders to $12 and sold a couple. WhooHoo!
Now we are psyched for craft shows and looking into getting us into one more before the end of the year.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
So suddenly I got a craving for mac n cheese yesterday. I guess since I am still in my zone of serenity and feeling so content that mac n cheese hit me as a comfort food. My mom used to make the kind that starts with a bechemel and then you add cheese, etc. I didn't want to muck around with all that. So I looked up some recipes for the kind of mac n cheese that really is comfort food and then chucked those and made up my own recipe as usual. Here is what I came up with from ingredients I had on hand:
Melt about a 3 inch chunk of Velveeta diced with 1 cup milk and 2 Tbl butter in the microwave.
Add about 2 big handfuls of grated cheddar cheese to the hot milk mixture, let stand
When noodles are cooked (I used 8 oz. mini penne) put them in a large bowl and pour the mixture over them. Add a big spoonful of sour cream, 1 egg and more milk if needed to make it really creamy. Pour into sprayed casserole dish. Chop up two slices of bread and top the casserole, drizzle with a little melted butter or olive oil, bake at 350 for about 30 mins.
Now don't have a heart attack, this makes enough for 8-10 servings. The trick of course is to only eat one serving.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Anyway I got 8 pints and 8 half pints done and can hopefully get the rest done tomorrow night. That should be plenty to keep us through the year and some to share with Miss Cassidy, who loves her "doni jelly."
I think I want to get a bread maker. With all this jam we are going to need a lot of bread and I hate going to the store. I could just buy those big bags of flour at Sams and make my own. And while the bread is making I can be down in the batcave sewing instead of taking the time to drive to the store.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
The grapes are just beautiful and the fragrance from them is amazing.
I came home with:
34 1/2 lbs of gorgeous ripe tomatoes
3 1/2 lbs of cherry tomatoes
19 lbs of grapes
I have never made grape jelly before and can't wait to see how it turns out.
I decided to make freezer salsa from the tomatoes. After reading all the info online about canning salsa I am not sure I want to go for that yet. You have to have the acid content just right to prevent spoiling, that's something I didn't know. I am new to canning and try to follow all the rules. Also Wally's was out of canning jars so I had to go to King Soopers for them and paid $3/box more than wally's. That sucks, but maybe next year I will plan ahead and get them when they are abundunt. Right...
Tomorrow: The Great Grape Massacre!
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008
Morgan loves to paint and Marissa got some projects for her to paint for us. She brought TaTa a present for his birthday. It is a wooden plaque with pictures of Morgan and Carter.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
So Mark totally doesn't get it why someone would go online and sign up to send gifts to a perfect stranger for absolutely no reason. I guess if you put it that way it does sound a bit strange.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
My peach salsa recipe called for 4 jalapeno peppers, but I thought it could have used a little more heat for my taste. Maybe it will develop a little more spice after it was processed. I am planning to pop open a jar next time I have a little party.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Here is my charm pack, it is called "Portugal"
Next I cut 25 5" squares from the coordinating fabric for the lining.
The 19 batting squares will be cut to 4".
Here are all the materials ready to go.
Now you make the 3 layer "quilt sandwich" by laying the top face down, the batting square is centered on the top, then lay the backing square face up.
Make 19 sandwiches, set the other squares aside for now.
If you have any doubts about your ability to sew a straight line you may want to mark an X on the back of your sandwiches.
Do this using a fabric marking pencil or a water soluble marker.
You might try stitching a few Xs and see how accurate you are, these do not have to be perfect so if you get them pretty close you can go ahead and skip this step.
The quickest way to sew the Xs is to chain stitch the squares. Stitch from corner to corner in each direction.
Here is a nice pile of finished squares. Clip them apart.
Lay out your front, back, two sides (gusset) and the bottom. I chose to alternate light and dark squares, but since this is a charm pack you can just lay them out randomly and they will look great I am sure.
Yes, that is my real sewing machine. I call her The Beast.
Now using a 1/2" seam allowance for all seams,
stitch the 3 rows of the front and back together. Stitch top and bottom squares to make the 3 rows for each side.
Be sure to stitch the squares WRONG SIDES TOGETHER so the seam will be exposed on the outside of the bag.
Make 3 pockets from the 6 left over lining squares. Stitch across the top, Right Sides Together, press the seam and topstitch on the outside. Lay two pockets down on row 1 of front of bag. Lay row 2 on top of row 1. Stitch from top to bottom.
Repeat this step, adding row 3.
For back of bag stitch the 3 rows together with seam exposed, of course.
Stitch the bottom 3 squares together now too.
Stitch the front to the bottom, starting at the the intersection of the X and the 1/2" seam allowance. Stitch across the bottom of the bag leaving 1/2" open on each end.
Stitch the back side to the bottom in the same manner.
Now you will have something resembling a little mini quilt. The top two rows are the front, the middle row is the bottom and the last two rows are the back.
Stitch the two squares for each side together too.
Lay the side piece on top of the front of bag and stitch from top to 1/2" from the bottom. This will be at the intersection of the X. Now stitch the back and side together from top to bottom, leaving 1/2" seam allowance open.
NOTE: Take care that you align the edges of the pockets with the front and side before stitching.
Repeat this for the other side.
This is what the side will look like when stitched.
Now pin the bottom and side together.
Stitch the side panel across the bottom between the X intersection. I usually backstitch a couple times to make sure the corner is nice and tight.
The body of the bag is done and ready for the finishing touches! WHEW!
That wasn't really so hard was it?
Here is and inside view of the bag and the 3 handy little pockets.
Take the remaining 6 squares and stitch them together with a 1/4" seam allowance. Press the seams to one side.
Cut the strip in half to make two 2 1/2" strips.
Cut a strip of batting 1 1/2" wide X approx 28" long. Center the batting on one strip and then pin the other strip in place on top.
Stitch the strap together with a 1/2" seam allowance. Stitch again 1/4" inside the first row of stitching.
I like to clip the strap before attaching it to the bag. Using a sharp scissors or spring type snipper, clip the edges every 1/4" to just outside of the stitching line. Do this on both sides of the strap.
Pin the strap in between the layers on each end of the bag taking care to center them.
Make a button loop with a 2" X 10" scrap of lining fabric. Fold in half wrong sides together and stitch, using a 1/4" seam allowance. Turn with a safety pin. Topstitch close to edges. Fold in half and lay flat to form a point. Stitch across the upper edge of point. Pin in place between layers of back center of bag.
Stitch around the top of bag 1/2" from edge. Stitch again 1/4" outside first row of stitching.
Clip all exposed seams, taking care not to clip into your stitching lines. Clip 1/2" - 1/4" apart. The smaller your clips the fluffier your "chenille bloom" will be.
Run your raggy bag through a gentle rinse cycle in the washing machine. Dry on low heat. I add a sweatshirt or a couple of towels to the dryer to help it dry faster and come out nice and fluffy.
Add a button to the front. I used a covered button on this one. Vintage buttons or a large decorative button are also a nice finishing touch. Enjoy!