Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year from me and the Gang!

Finnagan and Fiona
(with Foo Foo Bunny)



and Irish!  

He kept ducking his head and wouldn't let me take his picture so I just stuck the camera down and clicked.  It was the best picture of him all morning!  (He is 14 years old and blind and hard of hearing you would think that he wouldn't know when I was going to take the picture, but everytime right before I would click he would duck his head!  Stubborn dog.)

One More Christmas Quilt

It seems all I need to do is post about not having any moisture for it to totally contradict what I had just said and rain.  I don't know how much we got - it's not much - but it did rain here last night (maybe 1/2"? LOL).  It rained enough that Taegan was having a panic attach.  (no lightening - just a light rain - silly dog) He knows that thunder and lightening come with the rain so he has gotten "smart" and starts panicing early when it starts to sprinkle so I will be there when it really hits.  Once I get him calm he goes right to sleep, thank goodness.  I started this posting last night, but I had to jump in here and add this bit since mother nature was nice enough to contradict me.

One of my Facebook friends had posted this quilt to her Pinterest.  I really liked it and thought I might make one.  So, I looked up the original owner of the pinning and she had a tutorial on her blog.  Her name is Janice and her blog is Better Off Thread.   She calls this a Scrappy Lone Star.  There are several things I love about this quilt. 
Scrappy Lone Star Quilt Tutorial

1.  It's green.
2.  It is original.  It's not your typical lone star quilt.  It is only a portion of the lone star.
3.  The modern take on it.  I like that the fabrics are modern and there is no control to where the fabrics are placed.  I almost signed up to make a lone star quilt with a famous quilt teacher, but the directions for gathering the fabric just bored me to death!!  It was a gradiated quilt and she wanted you to pull/purchase fabrics that were only one tint/shade away from each other to create this lone star.  BORING!!  I told a friend that just the directions bothered me and after she took the class, she told me that the class would have driven me nuts.  It was a total control freak kind of class.  I can't handle that.  People that have to control every little thing (especially in someone else's quilts) really bother me.  So, I thought this would be fun since you don't have to control the fabric.
4.  last but not least, after looking at the tutorial, it looked simple to make.  Something I could whip up in one night if I wanted. 

So, I get into my studio and I decide I am going to make it with scraps left over from a previous Christmas quilt.  I have recently moved those scraps a couple of times and I needed to do something with them.  I originally made this quilt to be cut into a tree skirt.  However, I let my mother and sister talk me into just keeping it for a quilt.  I still don't have a tree skirt for that tree.  These fabrics were purchased at Hobby Lobby several, several years ago so I only have what is left over, which isn't much,

 but I thought I could make it work.  I cut my 2 1/2" strips from the 12" blocks and other scraps I have and sewed them together.  Even though I loved the scrappiness of the original block, I decided to go more traditonal with my layout of fabrics.  (Don't ask - I know that isn't one of the things I originally liked about this quilt, but I don't have 9 different fabrics and I only have one strip of a couple of fabrics plus I don't want to wait to pull some more fabric to go with it all) I sew it all together and add a little purple zing - one of the fabrics has some purple in it, but it's not really noticable until I added the zing. Then, the perfect fabric was laying in the pile next to me, a cream with green dots.  I debated about how that would look all cut up like I was going to have to do to make it work.  I even slept on it and tried to find some other fabrics, but my heart was now set on this polka dot fabric.  I took a chance, cut only two squares and sewed them in.  LOOKS GREAT!!!  I don't mind the wonkiness of the dots.  I even like it better.  I finished up the other half, put it together, added some corner pieces and this is what I have:

I really like this.  However, it's only about 17 inches wide and 34 inches long. The one thing I don't like about the original quilt that I didn't realize until I made up my quilt - it's only about 33 inches square. I didn't read that when I was looking through the tutorial. Anyway, on with the blog.  I think I will add about 20 or 24 inches of the green polka dot to the right side and then piece together some of the leftover fabrics to see what else I can do.  I would like this to be at least 50 inches square at the least.  50 X 70 would be better.  So, it's a work in progress right now and what I should be working on instead of blogging about it.  Just wanted to share what I am working on.  I also pieced together a pillow, but that is for another blog.  Since I haven't been sewing a lot lately I've got to spread them out a bit. 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Stocking Swap Gifts

It is Sunday, December 30, 2012.  the next to last day of the year and it is really, really cold here today.  There is no snow or moisture of any kind, but what is new about that?  It is just cold air and even colder winds.  A great day to be inside sewing and blogging.  So, as a result, there may be more than one posting today so stay tuned.  The camera finally made it up the stairs and to the office.  It has been down the hall in my bedroom for about a week now.  I don't know why it couldn't walk the 15 steps down to the office before now, but that is life.  Finally, I get to share with all of you the gifts I received from my Stocking Swap partner, Ellen of Ellen Gets Craftsy.  This swap was so much fun and I am so thankful to everyone who made the commitment and hung in there until the end.
Below are most of the gifts I received from Ellen.  I say most because I was so excited when I opened the large cardboard box and saw everything individually wrapped, I was like a child and started opening presents.  After the first two or three, I made myself stop so I could get a picture of everything.  Isn't that what bloggers do?  Take pictures of everything.  That is why I am not the best blogger.  I always forget to take pictures.  Anyway, she did an awesome job of wrapping each gift individually.
They each had their own handmade tags that coordinated with the month.  On the back of the tags it had what month it was and what we were to make that month.  Can you guess the months from the tags below?

A lot of work went into making each of those tags.  I love them and have them kept to show my Bee friends group in January.   Matter of fact, I have put all my gifts into the bag that I received so I can be sure to have them all together for the January Quilt In meeting.  I am forcing myself not to take anything out of the bag.  I wouldn't want to leave anything out of the sharing so after the January meeting, everything will be put to use. It's like a delayed Christmas present to myself!  Here is a picture of everything. 

 I thought I took pictures of everything individually, but I guess I only did a few items.  Below is the amazing journal.  I love the fact that Ellen painted and crafted the cover.  It is awesome.  I just can't find words for how wonderful this journal is.  See the beading on the right side?  WOW!

Then, there is this fantastic pin cushion with a gorgeous pin.  It is beautiful!  It also came with a package of pins, not just that one. 

I love everything!!  I can't wait until the January meeting.  I am going to use my mug that day to have coffee at the meeting!!  Everyone will be so jealous of me when they drink their coffee from the styrofoam cups! 

I was just over on Ellen's site Ellen Gets Craftsy and she has posted detailed pictures of the gifts she made.    

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Storm Naming

When did we begin naming winter storms?  I first noticed it with the last storm system that blew through the northeast last week.  I think it's name was Doug - or something that started with a D.  I made a comment to someone who blew me off because they thought I was crazy.   Now, we have winter storm Euclid.  Did I miss something? Was there an announcement about the beginning of naming winter storm systems?  I thought names were just reserved for hurricanes.  Do we name other acts of nature and I have just never noticed before?  When does a winter storm officially get named?  Hurricanes don't get named when they are just a little blip on the weather map.  I have seen on the weather channel where they are referred to just by their numbers.  Which I don't know what the numbers mean either, I guess it has something to do with the year and how many previous blips there have been and then which ocean in which it has come to life.  It's not until the hurricanes are a category 1 that they get their official name.  I think.  I know there is an official list of names that is made up before hurricane season even begins.  Because you can't have a second hurricane Rita or Katrina.  I think there is even a separate list for the east coast hurricanes and one for the west coast hurricanes.  (are they still called hurricanes on the west coast?  I think they may have another name entirely over there)  Is there a list for winter storms?  When and where were the A, B and C storms?   I don't remember hearing about storm Euclid until today.   Is this a new storm or is it the one that passed over Texas and dumped snow in Lubbock and Dallas?  Granted, I haven't watched the news a lot in the last 3 or 4 days and I don't watch it much on a regular basis.  I am just curious and wanted to put the question out there to see if anyone else knows anything about this naming of winter storms. 

It could be because I live in the desert of Texas that I haven't heard about it, but then again, we do - every once in a while - get a storm pass through here. Remember last year's frozen lake?  

Oops, that's not it, that was this year in January. 

Nope, not it again, that was a day later - still this year in January.

There it is, it was still snowing in this picture which is why it's so blurry looking.  This was February 2011.  Almost two years ago now.  The lake was frozen over and you could walk across it.  A big difference from summer of 2011 when you could walk across the lake, but that was because it was dry.   I thought I had a picture of that, but I guess I don't.  Oh, well, just imagine this picture, but instead of all the white or green, replace it with brown.  All tints and shades of brown and you have what it looked like a couple of summers ago.   Not a pretty picture. 

Neither one of those storms (the January 2012 and the February 2011) had a name that I ever heard of so maybe this naming the winter storms is new this year.  Well, so long to Euclid from Texas.  You have just about passed out of here and even though you didn't come all the way down to Odessa with your snow, you still left behind some really cold temperatures.  Tonight it's hard to imagine that a week ago we were in the upper 70's/lower 80's and today - I am not sure it got out of the 30's.  It's supposed to be another cold night in the teens again - which, since this is a windy part of the world - wind chill temps will be in the single digits.  Cold, cold, cold!!  I stayed inside today (except for taking a gift by to someone and a small Coke run this evening - okay, I don't have any cola here at my house so when I want one, I have to go to Dairy Queen or Sonic or even to Stripes if I don't mind getting out of my car.  I may have to put Coke on my grocery list along with the black eyed peas and Mrs. Renfro's salsa - the best pomegranate salsa!!  IMHO)  

I am looking forward to learning if anyone knows about this storm naming conundrum and if anyone knows what the next storm will be called while I sew away on my next Christmas quilt.  More on it and other items tomorrow.    

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Stocking Swap Call for Participants

Okay, Quilters, it's time to gather all those fun things you have been making all year long, pack them into a box and send them to their final home.   If you have participated in this swap this year, e-mail me at and send me your home address.  Please do this before Friday, December 7th.  That will be my deadline.  If I don't have your mailing address, you will get to keep all your goodies for yourself.  If I do have your mailing address, I will e-mail you on Saturday, December 8th with your mailing partners name and address.  Your job is to get it postmarked before December 15th, sit and wait on your gift to arrive to you and let me know that you have received it.  It's that simple. 

If you have been participating all year and have made a couple more items along the way, you should have Christmas gifts ready to go for the entire neighborhood!  If you are like me, I am finishing up the pillow cases - yes, I still don't have them finished!!  I should have never given away the original ones I made.  Now I can't seem to get in the mood to make another set.  Thank goodness that is all I have left to make and I have everything ready to go, I just need to sew it up.  Simple, yet one of the hardest things to get done.  Okay, back to gathering.  I am including a list again so you can simply check each item off and put it in the box. 

1 mug and mug rug
1 pillow cover for a 14" pillow - do not include the form - just the cover - this will save on shipping cost and
2 matching pillow cases - or coordinating if you wish - they have to go together, but don't have to be           
            exactly the same.
1 pin cushion and a package of your favorite pins
1 table runner
1 bag - any type - small or large, your choice
1 stocking
1 ornament
1 journal cover and a nice pen - you can send the journal, also if you want, but not necessary.
1 pot holder - be sure you used an insulation
1 book - any kind
some candy and nuts - because it's not a complete stocking without these items.  (if you are sending
            chocolate - be sure it is wrapped up so it won't melt all over your lovely handmade items! )

That is it!!  These are the mandatory items to go into your box.  You can add anything else you wish.  I would recommend you add a card or letter telling about yourself, maybe add a story about some of the things your made - why you chose that item or not.  Anything beyond the required items it totally up to you.  Have fun putting together this package for your quilting partner.  I look forward to receiving an e-mail from all of you.  By the way, you will receive a package from a different person than you sent to.  (just in case you were wondering)  

Friday, November 23, 2012

Stockings and Ornaments

I decided the stocking I made for the Stocking Swap needed a little extra umph so I added a scalloped border at the top and finished it off with some black ric-rac and then added three random buttons on his/her belly.  Now, it is perfect and ready to go to it's new home.  I still need to finish up some pillow cases.  I don't know why I can't seem to get in the mode to make some of those.  I will try to buckle down tomorrow and crank out 4 or 5 sets.  Oh, wait, I know why I haven't made any yet, I need to wash some fabric.  I don't like to make pillowcases from unwashed fabric.  It just doesn't seem right, you know.  When I get a new pillowcase I want to use it right away and if it's not washed, well . . . then I am not happy I have to wait a few hours (days) to get to use it.  So, I always wash the fabric I use to make pillowcases so if the person receiving it wants to sleep on it right away, they can.  I guess that means I need to put in a load of fabric in a little bit. 

In the new Crate and Barrel magazine mailer I recently received are some of the cutest little penguin , gnome and snowman ornaments.  They are all knit and so cute.  I wanted to make me some right away.  However, I don't knit.  So, I drew up a pattern for the penguin - still working on the other two - and made me a prototype penguin.  I grabbed the two purple batiks off the stack of freshly washed - see, I do wash fabric from time to time - purples and cut out a penguin.  I got him all sewed up and realized I had forgotten the feet.  I drew, cut and sewed him some feet and he looks so cute!  His feet need to be a bit bigger, but that's the only thing I needed to change.  I quickly cut out, sewed and stuffed 4 more in the more traditional colors of black and white and voila!!!  a bevy of penguin (or whatever you call a group of them) ornaments.  I put "hair" on a couple of them and all of them have hangers.  They are ready to be hung on the tree and one of them is going in my box for the Stocking Swap.  This is a much better ornament than the one I previously decided to use. 

While I was stuffing, I decided to stuff this owl doll.  A few years ago I designed this one and made up 4 or 5 and sold them all.  I had this one along with a few others all cut and ready to go, but didn't finish them in time for the bazaar/quilt shows that I sold them at.  I could have sold the pattern if I had it printed up and ready to go.  Maybe this next year I will do that.  Anywho, this one is ready to go to it's new home wherever, whenever that might be.  I still have one or two more that just need to be sewn around and stuffed.  Just one more thing to work on this weekend.  

It sure has been nice being off this entire week.  Not doing much, staying up as late as I want, not having to be anywhere at any specific time, it's been great!  A much needed rest from the hectic whirlwind that has been my life for the past month.  It should start to slow down a little between now and Christmas (only 5 or 6 things happening between now and the next vacation in less than a month - not bad for this time of year!)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Whirlwind that is my Life

I know, I know - it's about time!  LOL  I know I haven't been on here in quite awhile.  I have been busy, sick, busy and busy!  As most of you know, I teach culinary arts in the high school.  We have a restaurant there in the school and are open about 2 times a month.  Since I have been on here - way back in October - wait, let me check the date - October 24th - we (my students and I) have assisted with helping with our local Taste of the Permian Basin.  This is where the restaurants (okay, I had to respell that word three times and several others in this sentence a couple of times, also - what is up with my typing tonight? I know, it's been awhile and the fingers and brain aren't working together, yet)  ANYWAY,  (sometimes I can get so sidetracked LOL) Taste is where the local restaurants set up booths and offer "tastes" of their food.  There is a cost to get in, but once you are in, you can eat to your hearts content - or your stomachs discontent whichever comes first.  (I meant from being full - not from anything else.  My students and I go early that morning and help set up the decorations and tables for the preview party (companies purchase tables for their employees/customers to go and enjoy).  This year we were there from about 10:00 that morning until 9:30 that night!!!  I was exhausted!!  to say the least.  It was a long night.  Due to the shortage of employees here in the basin, one company sent food, but the culinary students from my class and the two Midland culinary programs helped to man that booth.  It was a great experience for my kids.  It was sad that so few of my students were able to make it that night.  I know they have other commitments and their life is busy, but with 2 months notice you would think they could rearrange everything, I know, they are teenagers.  Oh, well, they missed out on the fun.  Maybe next time they will pay better attention. 

A couple of days later we assisted the Chuck Wagon Gang in prepping food for the Merry Market (a junior league extravaganza - with shopping, meals, shopping and food!)   We assisted the Gang last year and they asked us to come on board again this year, but with more assistance.  We prepped and served appetizers for  300, assisted in the dinner for 750 and prepped and served and cleaned up for the luncheon for 950.  (no, those are not exaggerated numbers.  There really were that many there and after making 1200 fruit kabobs, 1000 cups of pink fluff and decorating 1000 cupcakes, I would know).  This was over a 3 day period of prepping and serving.

 In between the two events I was sick, sick, sick.  I was home for two days (plus the weekend) and I tweaked my knee.  (actually I did the knee thing before the Taste event)  After x-raying it the doctor told me to stay off of it and keep heating pads on it.  I just laughed and told her everything I had to get done before Thanksgiving and told her to get me well.  She just smiled and said to stay off of it as much as possible.  I guess she understood that it wasn't going to happen. 

The rest of November - so far - we have had two restaurant openings.  One with only about 20 people and at our Thanksgiving feast we served 93 people.  Needless to say, I am ready for this week I have off.  Yes, you heard me correctly, I have the entire week of Thanksgiving off.  No cooking if I don't want (I already had my Thanksgiving meal at school) Nothing that has to get done - well other than feeding the dogs and - - nope, that is all that has to get done.  (I was going to say doing the dishes, laundry, taking out the trash, cleaning the house, etc., etc., but really truly, the only thing I HAVE to do is feed the dogs and they let me know when 5:00 comes around so I don't even have to set an alarm if I take a late afternoon nap - Doctor did say I had to stay off that knee, didn't she? LOL)

I haven't gotten much sewing in - when did I have the time?  However, last night I did design and make up one complete and 4 partial penguin ornaments.  I am going to finish the other 4 today, but I may just have to go take that late afternoon nap right now. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Stocking Swap

Second Post of the Day!

I can't believe it is the middle (okay - 2/3 through the month) of October.  If you haven't worked on your potholder for the swap - you need to get on it!!  Not really - you have one more month to finish things up, but if you are like me, the year just gets busier and busier.  That is why I put for November a book - something you don't have to make and December - candy and nuts.  Again, something you don't have to make (unless you want to make something special)  By now, you should have most of your sewing wrapped up (I still need to make some pillow cases from March since I gave those away)  You can start gathering your items together and if you are like me and made more than one item each month, decide what goes in the box for this swap and what goes as Christmas gifts.  I will be calling for names and addresses soon from everyone who is participating in this swap.  If you can sew really fast and get it all together by the end of November, come join in on the fun!!  It's not too late.  Just go to this link - Stocking Swap - and start sewing. 

I have posted some pot holders before, but it has been awhile ago, so I will post some I made for this swap.   
OOPS!!  that is the only one I could find that I have a picture of.  It may just be the only one I have.  Now, I am the one scrambling to find out if I have made anymore pot holders.  If not, you all know what I am working on tonight!! 

Finally the Spider Web Quilt

I finally took my quilt tops and camera up to school to get some pictures to post.  I can't get a full pic at my house so I have to have my students hold them up.  Let me tell you, this was an ordeal trying to get one picture without all the heads sticking out around the edges.  Even though it looks like there is only one person behind this quilt, and there is only one person holding it up, there are also 5 guys who thought it would be funny to stick their heads around the edges or over the top of the quilt.    It took four tries to get one without heads!!  this is my spiderweb quilt.  It really is as bright and colorful as the picture shows, but I didn't realize the green bits in the border were sooo bright.  They don't normally jump out at you like that. 
I loved working on this quilt and have a similar paper pieced quilt in the planning stages.  I haven't done much more than pull fabric and get the paper ready.   This one just needs a back and binding and it is ready to quilt.  (like so many of my tops - they also just need back and binding)  I have been asked about the green background.  I really like this color green.  It is a Kona, but I don't know the color off the top of my head.  I had it a fairly large piece of it when I first started this quilt way, way back.  It kind of has an old fashion look and feel to it.  I used a similar, if not the same color, as a background for hearts about 20 years ago.  (that quilt is quilted and has been used many times) There is something about the color that just pulls me in.  (who knows, it might be the same fabric left over - I don't think so, but you never know)

This next one was fun and fast to make up.  I got the directions from a quilt blog, but can't remember which one.  It was only for the middle section blocks, but the directions I wrote down didn't make any sense, so I just started sewing pieces together. I need to go back and re-read her directions and  I might revise it before I give it to anyone else.  I had some fat quarters I picked up at Tuesday Morning that were just sitting there so I jumped in and made the cuts I needed from the directions.  (I still have one strip left over)  Then after sewing it all together, I picked up some Kona that was also laying around (really need to get on cleaning up the studio) Added a wide border of it (2 1/2" strips) Then with the leftover FQ pieces I cut 6 1/2" strips X width left.  Sewed them all together and added them on.  I really like this quilt and the girl holding it up (by the way, got this in one shot - the boys weren't even ready)  said this one was her favorite.  I am going to make the backing from the rest of the FQ's and the extra ones in that set that I chose not to use. 

This is what happens when you leave your camera on your desk.  Random pictures of students.  I also have one on my cell phone that I just deleted.  At least my desk was relatively clean. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Water, Water Everywhere

Woke up early Friday morning (4 a.m.) to rain that was coming down hard and was non-stop for at least two hours.  We got about 3.68 inches of rain before lunch on Friday. (according to our newspaper)  When I left my house around 8 o'clock Friday morning, knowing I would have to cross a couple of rivers to get to work, I looked out over the "lake" outside my house and saw that it was fuller than I had ever seen it.  I couldn't see the buffaloes at all!!  Water was about 2 feet from the fence and my house is an alleyway and a back porch from the fence!  The following pictures is what it looks like as of about an hour ago.  (11:00 Saturday morning)  I can now see both of the buffaloes, even though I can't see all of them.  I can see the sidewalk in front of them and even the sidewalk on the other side of the tree - couldn't see any of that yesterday.  (I would have taken a picture, but it was dark and cloudy yesterday morning, along with the rain still coming down.  You wouldn't have been able to see anything but water and maybe the tree shape)  The ducks are loving scavenging through the debris left after the waters have receded. 

The picture below is closer to my house.  This statue was mostly underwater yesterday morning.  I could see the chest and up of the boy in back and the heads of the other two children.  I have never seen it under like that before.  You can see all the trash and debris that were left when the water receded leaving the ground brown and ugly.  There is green grass under all that brown.  You might be able to see a couple of black ducks pecking away at the leftovers.  These small black ducks have been working hard all morning eating the bits and pieces before the mallards, geese and other brown ducks float over to grab a bite and then leave. 

Last weekend I was at the Ogallala Quilter's retreat and had a great time.  I left my camera at home so I don't have any pictures to share of the fun that was being had by everyone.  I finally got my piano key border on my spiderweb quilt - might get a picture taken of and posted by tonight.  I worked on the retreat project, disappearing 9 patch with a twist.  I like how it was turning out, but want to add more blocks so I still need to work on that and will post it in progress as soon as I put it up on the design wall.  My friends Kathy and Gerrie and I worked on another round robin (oh, yes, I added another border to mine) for a friend in our group whose robin went missing somewhere along the way.  We each had two rounds (well I only had one since I made the center square) so we finished that top as well and plan on giving it to her at our October quilt-in.  I HAVE to get my proposal for the classes I would like to teach at the festival done and in to the chairperson by the end of this weekend, so that is what I will be working on after a quick lunch.

 Just wanted to share a bit of my world here today and keep you updated on my quilting progress.  Got to get started on my list of HAVETOS, but it's so nice sitting here at the computer with the window open and the nice cool (64 degree) breeze.  Guess I will have to open the window in my studio after lunch.  OH, wait, my first order of business is my quilt proposal.  Guess I get to sit at the computer after lunch, too.  That makes me smile. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Journal Cover

DONE, DONE, DONE.  I have finished a journal cover and I have something made for every month of the Stocking Swap.  Now I just have to decide if I want to make another one of the items I have made or go with what I already have.  Since I have a few months, I will probably make some extra items so I can pick and choose which gift I send to my swap partner.   I have choices in every category except the stocking, ornament, journal cover and pillow cases.  Oh, yes, and the table runner.  I really, really like my table runner and I might just have to keep it.  Which means, I will make another one to swap.  The pictures below are my journal cover.  I started playing earlier this week and just sewed some fabrics together, added some more sewn together fabrics, quilted it and tonight, I bound it and hand sewed the inside flap down.  (that doesn't sound right, but the part of the cover the journal slides into) 

This cover has no definite front or back so the user can decide which side he/she likes best.  I may try to make another one that has a definite front to it, just to see if I like it better than this mixture of fabrics.  I may also look to see if there is a pattern or suggestions to making a cover to see if there is an easier way to put the binding on those open edges - light bulb!!!  I guess I could have treated it as a quilt and done just one binding all the way around the rectangle.  Huh.  I didn't do that - as you can tell by my rambling and talking in my head to myself.  I put a binding on the two ends - different fabrics - and then added a top binding and a bottom binding totally separate from each other.  Then I had to leave a bit of fabric to each end, turn the ends in, tuck them under and stitch them down.  Would have been way, way easier if I had just done one continuous binding all the way around.  Okay, it's a definite.  I will be making one more journal cover, just so I can get the binding done properly.  I won't say correctly, because the way I did it worked and it looks good.  Plus I love having two different bindings on the front and back flaps.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Snowman Stocking

 I finished my stocking for the stocking swap today.  I used batting for the snowman and the flower on the hat.  I put black buttons for his/her eyes and a burgundy one for the center of the flower.  I did not use any type of adhesive for this applique.  I just pinned it on and sewed around everything.  I used perle cotton for the hand stitched mouth and arms.  I couldn't find my black perle cotton so I used a dark navy blue thread for those areas. 

I think I will make another copy of the pattern for this stocking and stick it inside the stocking so whoever gets it can make a matching one if they want or use the pattern anyway they like.  This went together really fast and easy.  I cut out the stocking front and back, cut some batting to go with it and quilted the two together with a wide crosshatch.  Then I added the snowman and all of his/her accessories.  Cut some lining and a hanging tab and it is all done.  Not much time, but great results.  

One of the projects marked off the list. Now for the ornament - I think I know what I am going to make for this one and might already have one made - just have to look around the studio to see if I can find it or not. I may have already given it away. I did find a couple of older ornaments I made many, many years ago and I might use one of those to go in this swap. Then I don't have to make anything another one and can move on to the journal cover and making another set of pillow cases.  (hey, I have a set already made up I can use if I run out of time!!  Pluses all around) 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sewing in the Rain

This is the view out my window this morning.  I am sitting here with the window open listening to the rain coming down, the ducks quacking away and the sound of traffic driving through rain soaked streets.  Thank goodness the rain is coming from another direction and I am able to have the window open.  The picture looks a little blurry, but that is because I am taking it through the screen.  It really is a beautiful sight.  The park is once again decked out in thousands of American flags in remembrance of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  That one flag that is all stretched out is caught on the little tree and it made me smile this morning so I thought I would share it with you. 

I slept in a bit this morning and then hit a couple of estate sales around 10.  (I love half price Saturdays!) Yesterday I got a small Le Crueset skillet they had already marked down and spotted a cut glass serving tray however, I didn't want to pay the full price of it.  I had planned on getting there early this morning to get it for half, but I slept in.  I did get some other great cut glass/crystal pieces to use as serving pieces for the restaurant. I have quite a collection now since I added four more trays, a wonderful heavy bowl and a crystal (yes, real crystal) candy dish.  I also scored on some unopened ink pads for rubber stamping.   I don't do much of that anymore, but I do like to make some cards from time to time and a lot of my ink has dried up.  I am hoping this ink is fresh since it is still shrink wrapped.  However, for a couple of dollars for about 8 packages, I couldn't pass it up.  Below is the my spiderweb quilt.  I will be working on adding an outer border this morning - okay, this afternoon.  Didn't realize it was already after 12.   I am thinking I will add a piano key border using my leftover strips - I still have a full box of multiple size strips that I cut over 12 years ago for a Fons and Porter Crazy Cabin quilt and this is my third or fourth quilt I have made from that box of strips.   When I bring the box to our Bee meetings and work on a strip quilt, my friends come and dig through the box and take what they want and then add more strips to my stash.  It's fun to pull out a fabric and wonder where it came from since I know I didn't buy that fabric.  I have boxes that are designated to 1 1/2", 1 3/4" and 2 1/2" only, but in this box, I have from 1" to 4" strips.  I don't worry about the width when I am working on a strip/string quilt.  I just use whatever I pull from the box. 

My friend, Molly, introduced me to one of her quilts that is string pieced and I am going to start this week.  However, I want it to be in some of the modern fabrics and none of those are in this stash box.  However, any leftover strips from that quilt will join this box when I finish it.  It also, is paper pieced.  I have a ton of little paper pieces all over my studio floor and I have got to get the vacuum out before I get back in there today. 

Okay, I may not get this quilted before Thursday to take with me for the Botanical Conundrum so I thought I would post a picture anyway.  This is from a challenge by the Modern8Create group.  I took a picture of my Puffs tissue box and then stretched it out, to make these "flowers"  I added a bit of yellow/gold flat piping that really gives it a boost of color.  Who knows.  I might get a some inspiration and start quilting it tonight or tomorrow.  If not, it can wait until the perfect time. 

The other item I need to get quilted is my round robin wall hanging.  This one had a hard time in the rounds and was totally re-made at one point in the rotation.  The center block is about 5 inches so it's not a large wall hanging.  I am not sure how I want to quilt this one either, probably something simple.  I might even add a dark border before I do that.  (that thought just came to me.  I hadn't planned on adding anything else, but I might like having that Kaffe Fasset fabric on the outside.) 

Along with all of this, I desperately need to get going on my September (July, August and March) Stocking Swap items.  How are you coming along with these?  Aren't you glad now that November and December are non-sewing months?   Push to have everything done, collected and packaged by the first week in December so when you get your exchange partner you can ship off that week!! 

Have a great day sewing in the rain - or whatever the weather is like where you are.  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Once again, I had a hard time logging into Blogger.  I don't know why I can't remember my password.  It's a sad, sad world when we have way toooo many passwords to get into everything.   Thank goodness I finally remembered the sequence everything goes in and didn't have to re-set it again.  

I went to the fair tonight and demo-d some English paper piecing I have been working on - well, really more off than on - for the past year or so.  It's a grandma's flower garden pattern in muted batiks - very modern!  I added about 7 flowers this summer - along with the garden pathway.  It's still not very big.  I think the hexagons are about 1 1/4" so it takes a bit to make anything large.  I prepped enough hexagons to make 4 more flowers, but didn't take the right color thread to put them together or even attach them to the quilt. 

While I was there, my friend took me to try out this wonderful vibrating machine.  I was on it for ten minutes and since it was on high the majority of that time, it said it was the equivalent of walking 8.4 miles and using up 420 calories.  (not many calories for all that jiggling going on!)  Now, I am tired and ready to go to bed.  Well, it is my bedtime anyway.  So, I will have to say goodnight.  (I am going to dream about owning one of those machines - a bit pricey, but I am considering it!) 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Long Time Coming

You know it's been a long time since you last blogged when you can't even remember your password to log into blogger.  I tried three times, then asked for help, tried again, asked to re-set my password and finally, finally I got in.  (I wrote it down so the next time I can have a bit of help remembering)  I know I turned 50 this year, but this is ridiculous.  I couldn't even spell ridiculous correct and had to look it up.  Maybe it's just because I am tired.  I was on the computer earlier playing Words With Friends and was nodding off.  I should have gone and gotten in bed right then, but I think 6:30 is a bit early to go to bed if your not an infant. 

In the missing time from the blog, I have gotten absolutely nothing accomplished.  NOTHING!!  I have been a lazy slug.  (well, not all the time - more on that in a bit) I look in my quilt studio and then walk on by.  I have even, on some occasions, gone and sat at my chair, but have yet to produce more than a couple of pillow cases.  I think I am avoiding working on something, but once I figure it out I will snap out of this funk and continue on.  Maybe it's . . . no, nothing is coming to me.  Oh, well.  I need to get things together for this weekends meeting/workday with the Bee Friends Quilt Group so I can't continue on much longer in this slumpy mess.  I did work on finishing up the top for my modern8create challenge (I am not a member - just used their challenge to challenge myself.  I think I will quilt it and enter it in the botanical conundrum challenge for the Ogallala retreat.  (so, no, I will not show it yet)  (the retreat is toward the end of September so you don't have long to wait)  That may be what I am avoiding.  I don't know how I want to quilt it yet and am stewing that in my head.  Along with about 10 other things so it's a big jumble up there.  Speaking of which, anyone know a great recipe for a marinated vegetable sandwich?  Or what about wonderful sandwich recipes - vegetarian or not.  Our first opening for the restaurant is in a couple of weeks and I haven't decided on a menu yet.  (haven't even gotten the students in the kitchen yet)  Lots of things going on, just haven't made the time to sew.  Maybe if I do that, everything else will come together.  I will plan on getting into the studio tomorrow night and see what happens.  If nothing else, I have a few movies I need to watch. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Just finished putting together a list of quilt classes that I have previously taught as a proposal for another quilt group.  I am so excited to be able to teach in other places and that people are enjoying my classes and requesting more.   Now, I need to come up with a new class to teach at Ogallala next year and start working on that proposal. 

I still haven't gotten any quilting done this week.  I plan on getting in the studio tomorrow.  Judy Laquidara at Patchwork Times is hosting a Quiltathon.  I haven't done any preparations getting my house ready for me to quilt all day long for the next 4 days like she has, but when has that ever stopped me?  Also, I don't have anyone expecting food on the table except for me and the dogs.  I am sure the dogs will let me know when 5:00 gets here, so I plan on doing a bit of sewing in the next four days. 

One of the things I have to contend with this weekend and am currently having problems typing with, are my nails.  Normally, working in a kitchen and due to sanitation standards, I keep my nails cut short with no polish on them.  However, since I have been out of school this summer and I didn't work in a kitchen, I have let my nails grow out.  My nails have always been really hard and grow very quickly, so they have gotten quite long in just the few weeks since I decided to let them grow.   Almost four weeks ago, I went to the nail salon to have a pedicure and maybe have my nails done, also.  I normally don't have my nails done since 1) I teach culinary classes 2) I am hard on my nails and polish usually chips off in a couple of days 3) I am cheap and don't want to waste my money.  So, when the owner asked if I wanted my nails done, also I told her about being hard on my nails and she recommended that I get them shellac-ed. (however it's spelled)  (how many times can I say, "have my nails done?")  I had read the blog when Ree (Pioneer Woman) had done her nails and it seemed to work for her so I said, "sure, why not?" I was indulging myself since I had finished volleyball and had taught a quilt class. I love them!!! I have since had to go back and have them done again - not because they had chipped off - no, quite the opposite - my nails had grown out and I had a 1/4" between my color and my cuticle. I didn't like it and thought about just cutting them off, but I still have another week before I have to be in the kitchen to teach a class for teachers so I got them done again in a brighter pink. I really love them and highly recommend this technique to anyone who is hard on their nails or might even have weak nails. This adds a hard layer on the top and might help them.


You may can see where my nails have already grown out some since it has been a week - okay, you might not be able to tell, but I can.  After it's first applied, you can't see any space above the cuticle.  Now, to get it off, I may have to do it myself - I read how Ree took her polish off - but I may just have to get them to do it for me since that was a good 30 minute ordeal by a professional and it might take me a couple of hours.  I can't wait until next summer when I can do this again!  Who knows, I might even have her put some kind of design on them, but that may be a little wild for me. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

School Registration

Way back in late April or early May, I told my principal that I would assist with registration at one of the high schools here in town. Registration can be a crazy, crazy time with 3000 students, their parents, their siblings and sometimes Grandma all coming to register their one student.  I signed up to work 2 days, Tuesday and Wednesday.  As it got closer to my appointed time, I dreaded going.  I was giving up my free time to work?  Who does things like that?  Oh, yes, I forgot I was getting comp time for working.  Then, the television newsman - which I very rarely watch - was saying that registration had changed and it was only going to be for new and incoming students to that high school.   The next day I called a friend of mine that is an AP (assistant principal) at the high school I was volunteering for and asked if they needed me.  The answer was no, they didn't think so, but to remember they were just an AP and not the Principal.  YEA!!!  I made appointments with a plumber and a small appliance guy to come an fix several problems I was having with my kitchen sink/disposal/dishwasher for the next Tuesday.  (I called a week before I was scheduled to work and the maintenance guys were super busy.  Tuesday was the first day they could get me in!!)

Anyways (lol  I know, it's not a word and I am only putting it in there since my friend and I just talked about it not being a word!!) Anyways, I get a phone call at 9:00 a.m. the Monday before I was scheduled to work on Tuesday, that I am to report to the other high school (I had been traded) to work registration!!
WHAT???  I told my story about checking in, etc and was told they would get back with me. Then at 10 a.m. I got a call from my friend and was told that I was needed to work at their school on Tuesday.  I told them the entire story about the phone call from my school, being traded, checking it out and said I would text them back.  Next phone call 2:00 p.m.  - "yes, you are to work on Tuesday at the second high school, please check your e-mail."  Who checks their work e-mail when they are on vacation?  WHO??  Not me, says the little pig!!  So, I go to my school e-mail, wade through all the junk and guess what?  I was supposed to be at a meeting at the second school that morning at 11:00 a.m.  Can't be at a meeting you didn't know about, now can you?  So, long story short - yea, now I shorten it, huh?  I go up to the second school, (tried calling twice, but no answer - typical of this school) wait for the VP to get out of a meeting (school is closing down in 5 minutes!) speak with the VP telling them about my Tuesday appointments and can I come in on Wednesday as scheduled and then on Thursday instead?  The answer is yes and can you work on Friday?  Well, I have nothing better to do and it seems like he may be shorthanded on Friday, so I say yes, but . . . I check in with MY Principal to see if it's okay - since I am working for comp time.  So - - worked three days - - get three days off later in the year to go quilting - - life is good! 

Well, maybe not so good.  This is what I looked at for three days - - three looooong 8 hour days - - -

NOTHING!!  See how empty the tables are?  This is on day two of working and I told my table partner that I was going to take a picture.  He said, "there isn't anything there".  Of course, that was the reason I was taking the picture so you could see 1) how busy we were 2) how gray my scenery was and 3) how bored I was to be taking a picture of NOTHING!!  (okay, I know there are chairs and tables and I know it's not nothing, but there aren't any people there registering their students) 

I think in the three days, 48 hours, 2880 minutes, that I worked I may have helped or spoken with about - 15 families (max)  to assist them or just to have them put their final check-off papers in the box.  (Check-off papers:  papers that tell you where all you need to check in and take care of so you can be finished with registration.  Papers that were printed before they decided to change up registration and so they decided to use them anyway.  Papers that did not have ANYTHING to do with how registration was run this year.  Papers that were going to be thrown away at the end of registration.)  When someone would ask about what to do with their paper - can't they see that the box in front of me has a copy of that paper taped to the outside and others had left their paper inside the box - now I know where the student gets it from - I would smile and tell them to just drop it in the box.  They would then ask for a pen so they could put their name on it - WHY?  I would just tell them not to worry about it and drop it in the box. 

It wasn't as bad as it could have been if I didn't have a great table partner to talk to and if I didn't have my tablet with a kindle app so I could read and when I got bored with reading - or had too many interruptions from all the workers talking (not people registering)  - I could play angry birds or any other games I had downloaded. (don't you love a run on sentence?)   Now, it's over and I only have about a week before we start 10 days of inservice.   The good news is we don't have convocation anymore!! (hated that - total waste of time and money!)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Union Jack Block (with edit)

Last night I watched the opening ceremony of the Olympic games and decided I had to make me a Union Jack block.  I had seen many tutorials on blogs so I thought it would be easy to find those tutorials again and make me a block.  After 30 minutes of searching the blogs I finally found a tutorial that made sense and was simple to follow.  I didn't want to make the traditional flag so I chose my colors and fabrics so it would not have a traditional flag appearance or would be considered a part of any country.  I wanted a "neutral" modern look to this block.  Since the tutorial had three different fabrics plus the white, I also went with three fabrics.  Here is my block:

In making this block, sewing the white strips to the fabric takes the longest time, but that could also have been because I cut two strips of each color and 8 of the white strips (which is what I thought the directions said to do) Now, since it only took one strip of each of the stripe colors, I have two strips left and I am going to make another block or two.  I think I will change up the background color a little or maybe make one exactly like this and then make two blocks different from this and set them in an AB/BA pattern.  Who knows what will come out of it.  I am also working on my 16 patch quilt that needed a few more sashing strips.  After sewing the star points onto the strips last night I started sashing the remaining blocks I have and they are a bit off.  I am not sure what I have done wrong, but I am totally frustrated with this quilt and can't wait to finish it off so I can donate it to our Hope house. 

(they have asked for quilt donations and I really was excited about making some quilts for them until one of the directors said they would be giving them away to anyone that wanted to take one.  I thought we would be giving them quilts to be used in the house.  It makes it really hard to donate a quilt when the people you donate to really don't value them the way you think they should be valued and just haphazardly give them to anyone.  Makes me wonder why I should make a $200 or more quilt for them to just throw away like that and then expect me to make them another one.  Some people just don't understand the time and energy, much less the money that goes into making a homemade quilt.  I may have to go to a thrift shop or Wal-mart and buy them a quilt or two.  It will be cheaper and then I don't care if they just give it away.  They will be happy to get some quilts and I will be happy that my creation isn't just thrown away)

Sorry about the rant.  Just stating my opinion and my opinion only. 

for those of you wanting to know where I got my tutorial - here it is:

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Words to Ponder

Back in January, the crew over a Modern 8 Create had a challenge to come up with their word for the year.  I always have great intentions to challenge myself and do their projects, but I have yet to complete on of their challenges.  However, I still want to do this one.  (and I will finish the April Challenge since it just needs borders and quilting)  So, my thinking is that I could have a word for this upcoming school year.  The problem is, I can't think of or decide on the right word.  You know the feeling when you hear the word and it just feels right?  Well, I haven't had that feeling yet.  Of course as a teacher I want there to be "LEARNING" (Nope, doesn't feel right) and in my class there will always be something "COOKING" or "STEWING"  hopefully nothing will be "BURNING"  ha ha!!  I don't think I want an "ing" word at all even though it is an "ing" type of classroom.  Maybe I don't want a "classroom" word, but a life word, hmmm.  Maybe a word for thought.  Looking at the words that were chosen by the 8 women:  "TRUST", "FINISH", "TRY".  The only one that sorta fits is "try", but it's just not right.  My favorite one that would be totally appropriate for this situation is Glen's word:  "ALBONDIGAS".  It's a Spanish word for meatballs!  So, maybe my word could just be a random word that can be shouted when things don't go our way or something burns or is just not right!!  Let me know what you think and send me some words to ponder . . .

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Thunder, Bangs and Sleep

It's that time of year again for Thunder in the Desert.  It's not what you would think.  We aren't getting major thunder and rain storms - which we would welcome just as much - however, drum corp international is here this weekend for another showing.  Do you know how I know it's that time of year again?  They are rehearsing and staying at the junior high and elementary schools surrounding my home.  (one a couple blocks to the north and one a block to the west)  I can hear them practice over and over and it's not helping my headache at all!!

I have been crashing out since I got back home from teaching a class in Andrews.  The class was awesome and I think the ladies really enjoyed it.  I taught my funky stars quilt and threw in a couple of other things, also.  Anyway, about 7 that night I was nodding off watching television so I made myself get up and go to bed!  That is how tired I was!!  SEVEN O'CLOCK!!!!!  I slept until about 11:30, played on the computer for a bit and went back to sleep until 11.  Needless to say, I have slept a lot in the last couple of days.  My body really took me at my word that it could crash after Saturdays class and it did!!  I have been trying to fight off a sinus infection for over a week now and it may just now be clearing up after all the sleeping I have done (and taking NyQuil) for the past couple of days.  Now I am ready to sew.  I have a couple of quilts on the wall that need just a bit more to finish up.  Once the tops are done I will photograph and post them.  So, here is the list of quilty things to work on in the next couple of days:

1.  Olive garden quilt - add a couple of borders
2.  16 patch quilt - finish sashings for last row and add borders
3.  Blogger's BOM - make blocks 10 and 11 (due out tomorrow)
4.  catch up and make all the blocks with the color challenge from 15 minutes play
5.  decide on a layout for the color challenge blocks.

Now the squirrels are adding to the banging and noise by throwing down the green pine cones from the tree next door onto my porch roof which in turn causes McCallum to bark like someone is attacking the house.  Which, if you think about it, is what the little squirrels are doing with their pine cone bombs. 

Taking some Tylenol and moving on to the sewing room to block out all the excess noise with the sounds of sewing and a movie. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Business Cards

I used to teach Coop or Career Preparation and I was out in the community checking on my students that were working and always had a business card to hand out or to introduce myself.  I did this for about 8 years.  Whenever I would make a change in classrooms or course titles I would change up my business card and really enjoyed making the changes in style from time to time.  I think I had three or four different cards in those 8 years.   I wish I had kept at least one of each of them, but didn't want to keep old information around  so when it was time for a change, I would tear up or shred the old cards and move on.  When I started teaching Culinary Arts two years ago, I knew I needed business cards for this new venture in my life.  I would go to meetings or meet someone new and they would say, "do you have a card?"  and I would have to say, "No, sorry, I don't."  They would hand me one of theirs and look at me pitying the poor teacher that didn't have a card to hand out.  I would leave that encounter embarrassed and depressed that I hadn't gotten around to making new cards for myself.  WELL, NO LONGER!!!!

I just got my cards in from VistaPrint.  If you haven't used them before, give it a try.  I have gotten business cards from them for the last 10 years!!  They are wonderful quality and I really enjoy being able to get on there and arrange my cards just the way I want!  Also, they are really, really reasonably priced considering I paid almost $70 for my first set of cards from a local shop and I paid $10 for 250/one side printed cards and $22.50 for 500/two side printed cards.  Below are my new cards for Culinary Arts.  The front has my name and all my information and the back, has the name of our student run restaurant.  I just love these!!  The colors are the same as the walls in our restaurant.  A perfect match.  I can't wait to start handing these out to everyone.  I may even have to mail some to friends I made at Culinary Educators school a couple of weeks ago.  I want to be like Maxwell,the pig, and yell, "Whee, Whee, Whee" out the window.  : )

 While I was ordering cards for me at school, I decided I needed cards for my life as a quilter, teacher and designer.  I needed contact cards for students in my classes to have that included my blog address - I know it's weird and long, but it really fits my life.  So, I ordered some cards for me.  I saw the pink background and knew right away that this is what I wanted my cards to be.  I debated about using the fun font on my name, but when I would put it back to the original font, I couldn't do it.  I needed my name to be in a totally different font and to stand out.  I put a slight rush on the the printing so these cards would be here for next weekend when I teach a class for the Andrews quilt guild.  I now have professional cards to pass out to everyone in my class.  Just what I wanted!! 

P.S. This is not an advertisement for VistaPrint.  They have no idea who I am, I just love their products and can totally recommend using them the next time you need business cards, postcards, etc.  Check them out

Monday, July 9, 2012


Have you seen this yet?  I just saw it on Alissa's site:  Handmade by Alissa.  I WANT TO GO!!!!  The good thing is it's in Texas so not too far (only 5 or 6 hours away) and I have already looked at the class selections and have made my choices.  Of course, I can't register until August 30th, but I still know what I want to take.  Now, I just have to suck it up the next two weeks of summer league and earn that money so I can go have some fun come February!

Screen shot 2012-07-09 at 9.29.08 AM

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Things I Love - in my Kitchen

I know I haven't been blogging in awhile.  I have already been yelled at by my mom.  (not really yelled, but she did ask what I was doing since I was NOT blogging! ) This Summer League Volleyball just turns my days upside down.  I am thinking that this might just have to be my last year to do this.  It lasts for 6 weeks, the pay is good and the job is easy, but I become extremely lazy when I am not working. 

So, to give my mom, and the rest of you, something to read I have come up with some of the things I love.  They are not in any particular order so number one is not my most favorite thing, etc.  Just a few items for this first "things I love" posting. 

1.  Fiesta Bakeware

A couple of years ago, I was looking in my cabinet at my choices for an  8 X 8 inch pan.  I realized that my pans were in bad shape and the best one I had was one I inherited from my grandmother's kitchen that had a pin hole in the bottom.  It had that pin hole in it when it was in her kitchen so I wasn't afraid to use it or anything, I just had to be careful that the batter wasn't too thin and might leak out.  I started looking around at my bakeware and realized my choices were limited and not in the best condition.  So I decided to splurge on some Fiestaware and purchase an 8 inch square pan (in tangerine)

and a 9 X 13 pan (in turquoise)


(pictures taken from dinnerwareusa)

I had been wanting to get one of these for awhile, but just didn't want to spend the money.  (about $40-$60 dollars, depending on where you purchase your dishwares)  I highly recommend these pans.  Not only do they do a great job of cooking evenly, but clean up is a breeze!  I made a blackberry dump cake in my 9 X 13 pan on Wednesday.   I cleaned out the pan today thinking I would just put it in the sink to soak for a bit since that blackberry pie filling is uber sticky, but I didn't have to do that.  I just ran some water (wasn't even hot) and lightly brushed at the blackberry and voila!  it was all cleaned in less than a minute!  This is a totally awesome bakeware and worth every little extra penny.  So, save up and get you some.

2.  Bubble and Brown

Here is another stoneware that I just happened to run across and since it was on clearance at QVC, I thought I would order it and try it.  One good thing about QVC is that if you don't like it, you can return it.  Not that I have ever had to return anything.  I have liked everything I have gotten from there.  Anyway, we all love Rachel for her made up words (Yum-O and Sammies) and bubbly personality, but now you can love her for her bubble and brown cookware.  I purchased her bakeware set of an oval covered baker (picture taken from Amazon), an oval open baker and 4 gratin bakers in green (wished they had this purple then and I would have gotten it!!)  I was worried about things coming out the sides of the handles, but the pan is deep enough that you don't have to worry about that and the handles really help get things in and out of the oven.  (or fridge)

Product Details

I baked a roast in mine on Wednesday with some potatoes, carrots, onion and garlic.  Clean up, just like on the Fiestaware, was a breeze.  Just run a little water, swipe it with the scrub brush and done!  Ready for the dishwasher.  I love the fact that these first two items can go in the oven, fridge, freezer, microwave and they are all dishwasher safe!!  You can find these products at QVC, Amazon and even at Target.  Just google it, there might be a store near you - but I really like when it comes to my front door : )

3.  Pampered Chef Stoneware

I love Pampered Chef products.  I even sold these several years ago, but didn't like having to schedule the shows or feeling like I had to get in a certain amount of shows each month.  I just wanted to sell the products because I truly believe in the quality you are getting when you purchase a pampered chef product.   Needless to say, I have a LOT of items in my kitchen that are pampered chef.  None get used as much as my stoneware.  Yes, you read that right.  I have more than one piece of stoneware.  My pizza stone gets used the most, but I also like my small bar pan for re-heating leftover items that might get lost on that large of a pan or for making one or two chocolate cookies from store bought cookie dough.  

 Now, you are asking why didn't I get the rectangular baker and the square baker instead of the Fiestaware and that is a good question.  I could have gotten those, but when  you really use and season your stoneware, it turns brown and is not as pretty to look at as my Fiestaware.  And besides,  I just don't like the cranberry color they now have on the outside.  I have a couple of older pieces that have white or blue on the outside, but they are smaller bakeware. (I love them, also!!)  So, what do I recommend in the stoneware?  If you can only afford one piece, get the round stone.  Mine is old and doesn't have those handles on it, so if you don't like the look of the handles, get the rectangle stone.  (I have that one, also)  If you really like to cook and can afford it, I can highly recommend:  the muffin stone, the fluted pan, the mini loaf pan and if you make pies or quiche, the pie plate.(mine is blue) I use my muffin stone all the time for making my pumpkin muffns. 

One thing you need to remember about these pans - DO NOT EVER wash them with soap.  These are a natural product and they will just absorb the soap and your food will end up tasting like your soap. I just use hot water and the plastic scrubber it comes with to wash it off.  The more you use it, the more it seasons and the darker it turns.  The darker it turns, the better it is.  -Sorry, couldn't get a picture to post.  Click on the title and it will take you to the site. 

4.  Kuhn Rikon Can Opener

Once again, thanks to QVC I have a can opener that I love.  These were also clearance priced so I grabbed up a couple and I am really glad that I did.  I keep one of these in my desk drawer at school and it has come in handy when we need to open those smaller cans or when someone needs to borrow an opener. 

Auto Safety Master OpenerThese are the Auto Safety Master Openers.  I borrowed the picture from the Kuhn Rikon website.  Mine is in turquoise and I also have one in the lime green.   As you can see, it will open almost any bottle or can.  I have taken it up to summer league this past week because we were having such a hard time using the can opener up there and after breaking a pair of scissors (don't ask) I brought up my handy dandy Kuhn and everyone has loved it and asked where to get one.  I have linked to their website, but if you google, you might be able to find it in the states.  I am not sure if QVC has them in stock now or not.  These open the can from the side (like the pampered chef one - yes, I have a pampered chef one at my house, but this one does more)

5.  Keurig Coffee Machine

Keurig® Elite Brewing System

I love my coffee maker!!  I have this exact same Keurig Elite machine (picture taken from Keurig website).  Did I say I loved it?  I do, I really do.  Whenever I want a cup of coffee or hot chocolate or even a fresh brewed glass of iced tea - yes, it does that, too - I can have one in just a minute!  I can have a cup of Gingerbread and then a cup of Golden French Toast.  I love being able to try all the different flavors or just being able to use my own coffee (that I get at Eggemeyer's in San Angelo) in a special K-cup container.  It is perfect for me since I may only want one cup in the morning.  I don't have to dump and clean the coffee pot out and no coffee is wasted.  I got mine after seeing my sister use just the hot water to make instant oatmeal for one of the boys.  They could even do it themselves, if they were old enough or awake enough.   It  was one of those - "no, I am not getting one of those, we have one at school" - items that I had a complete change of heart about and now, I don't think I can do without it.  I even take my k-cups up to school and use the one up there for a morning pick me up coffee in my own flavor.  I might have to break down and purchase another one for my classroom so I don't have to go all the way to the break room.  Maybe a mini one in red?  Cute, isn't it? 


Well, that is it for now.  Hope you enjoyed these 5 items I love from my kitchen.  I am not a sales person and these companies do not know me or have anything to do with me.  I just wanted to share with you some of my favorite things.  Okay, do you find it weird that spell check clicked on sammies, but not on Yum-o?  Oh, well, until next time.