Friday, November 28, 2008

Martha Stewart Didn't Make It, Again

Oh I always fancy the thought of a perfect holiday, my house perfectly clean, the tables perfectly decorated, the perfect dinner perfectly served in an orderly elegant manner. HA!

Of course none of that ever happens. But the food is awesome, the kids have a blast and we laugh and get really loud. A scandalous mess awaits me when I wake up the next day.
I guess that is just a different kind of perfection. I wouldn't trade a minute of it for that fantasy perfect dinner.
Morgan and the twins made these beautiful centerpieces for the tables. If that isn't perfect I don't know what is!

Well there was one minor imperfection. NO PUMPKIN PIE???!!! Ahem, Marly ... I sure did miss that leftover pie I was counting on for my afternoon snack.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Ok, let's get cookin'

I got so much work done the last couple of days, I am even impressing myself. I got a couple more purses done and listed almost everything I have left from the craft show. So I am ready for Black Friday or Cyber Monday or whatever happens. I might even sell something if I am lucky. If not I work for the sheer pleasure of existing in my happy little batcave.

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

Challenging My Inner Writer

or some such BS.

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

Sunday Funday

I survived the craft show and I am not going to bore you with the details, but I think I am getting too old for that kind of stress, but probably too dumb to remember that next year when someone mentions craft fairs. I learned a little bit of the do's and don'ts and might try it again if my memory fades enough by then.

So I guess Sunday's are my goof around day, even though I don't ever mean them to be. I start out thinking that I am working on something and end up piddling around making something that I find personally satisfying even if it isn't going to sell. Like all those crazy quilt stocking ornaments and table toppers that Ididn't sell. That's OK. Today I was working on instructions for a pattern I am going to sell. It is "12 Quick and Easy Rag Quilt Projects" and it includes 3 raggy ornaments, a heart, a star and a stocking.

Since I have never actually made any of these raggy ornaments I decided that I should try some so I would have a better grasp of how to write the instuctions.

So I fooled around all day and ended up with 6 pretty cute ornies. The star somehow turned into a Santa star. Was supposed to be a plain old raggy star, but I like him and might even include him in my pattern instructions.
So Sunday Funday is fine with me. Tomorrow I will work.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

All Ragged Out

Well I made it to the craft show setup and was only missing 6 purses, 5 wallets, and two baby quilts. The purses still need buttons and the quilts need to be clipped and washed. I will get them there by Friday. Of course I forgot my camera, so pics tomorrow.

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

Spam... Really!

I heard a news report that due to the economy the folks at Hormel are doing double shifts to keep up with the increased demand for SPAM ... the so called "everyone's favorite canned ham."

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

A Bed of Roses

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.

I am hoping this will be an eye-catcher in my craft booth to get buyers in to look!

What do you think?

Did you know? If you click on the pics in this blog you can enlarge them. I just figured that out.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More Comfort Food

I am obsessed with sewing and trying to get enough stuff made for the craft show now. Actually if I wasn't working on craft show stuff I could probably be selling some quilt kits and purses on ebay and making money. But I am having fun being creative and if these things don't sell at the show I will have plenty of time to list them or else I have everyone covered for Christmas gifts.
This table topper is one that I made from a charm pack of Moda Peace on Earth. It is really pretty, the picture doesn't do it justice.

My other obsession seems to be the economy. Trying to save money has become kind of fun for me. This oven stroganoff recipe is cheap and really good. And the jiffy mix Reeses Muffin recipe I made up tonight was awesome. For 84 cents or so Jiffy mix or Martha White muffin mixes are great!

Oven Stroganoff:
1 pkg beef stew meat, or sirloin cut into 1" cubes
1 pkg onion soup mix
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can beef broth
sliced mushrooms and onions
Stir all ingredients together in a large casserole dish, bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2-2 hours until meat is tender. Stir in 1/2 cup sour cream. Serve over noodles.

Jiffy Chocolate Reeses Peanut Butter Muffins
1 pkg Jiffy Mix Chocolate Muffin Mix
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
3 tsp peanut butter
1/4 cup chocolate chips
Mix jiffy mix, egg and milk, stir in the chocolate chips. Fill 6 paper lined muffin cups, spoon about 1/2 tsp peanut butter in center of each, push down a bit to cover with batter. Bake at 400 degrees 12-13 mins.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Our craft fair debut was fun. But we could defintitely use a little work on our display!

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

4:30 a.m. Ready For the Craft Show

I am ready for our big day at the craft show. Got everything packed. Set up time is 7 a.m. so I am really ahead of time. Only thing is I have not gone to bed yet. Maybe an hour or two of sleep would be a good idea. But I am thinking if I go to sleep now there is no way I am making it anywhere at 7 a.m. I don't do mornings and at my age pulling these all nighters is rough. This is two in one week since I spent the night at the hospital with Matt and Krissy on Wednesday. That set me back a little on my crafting, but hey, I do what I can. Thanks Gail! for the kleenex pouch pattern. If it wasn't for that I wouldn't have anything to sell. This should be fun, I haven't done a craft show since Marly was expecting Benny and we had the Pecan Pie Incident. I am doubting there will be any pecan pies for sale. Too bad, I could really go for a pie right now.
Template: Blog Designs by Sheila