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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Pumpkin butter, pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie OH MY.

I love this time of year.  All the special dishes and deserts that are made.  The house smells so good from the holiday cooking.  It's the time of year where our family and friends get together for a bit of good food and conversation.  I am so looking forward to giblet dressing!  It's my favorite part of Thanksgiving.  I never tell anyone what is in the dressing, and I always get so many praises on how great the dressing is.  Why ruin a good thing for people who are afraid of gizzards!  To me, well you can't have a good dressing without them.
Anyway I know it's a bit early but I'm already getting ready for Thanksgiving.  Every year I made my special pumpkin butter, pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie (made using the pumpkin butter) for the neighbors.  Five of my neighbors get a loaf of the pumpkin bread with the pumpkin butter of course and a pumpkin pie.
I've made the pumpkin butter, you can also make this delicious treat too if you like.  The recipe is listed on the right hand side of this blog page along with the pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie recipes, all of which are so scrumptious!

Making your own thank you cards!

I don't know about you but I absolutely love getting handmade cards.  I rarely get them in the mail these days but years ago people did send letters in the mail and sometimes you'd be lucky enough to get a note from a creative friend that took the time to hand make the note card!  On the other hand there are people like my husband that when he gets a homemade card he will accuse you of forgetting to get the card from the store and had to make one at home....I laugh at this, cause it's so hard to believe there are people that don't have an appreciation for ALL things handmade!
Years ago, maybe 10 or so, a friend dragged me to a card making bee of sorts.  I'm ashamed to say I do not remember what friend it was.  We made three cards and that was my first group project ever.  I had fun but never have done too much with card making.  Since I have so many hobbies I only make thank you cards and the occasional birthday card for the most part.  Here lately I have been making note cards that I write little notes in for my niece who is currently deployed.
Well as the boutique workshops are winding down and the end of this year and a half long project is almost over, I decided to make handmade thank you cards for all the wonderful ladies that attended our workshops.  We have been so blessed with so much participation that I had many cards to make.  I found this video on YouTube for the cutest thank you card and decided I'd set out to make this card.
Here is the video:

The unfortunate thing was, I didn't have the Cricut cartridge "Country Life" so I had to go get that and I didn't have the cute rubber stamp "Thank you sew much".  I wasn't able to get that stamp because it was retired, but I made due with a "Thank You" stamp I already had. I also had to get a couple Tim Holtz rubber stamps, I was so glad they were not retired!  This project took nearly two whole days to complete.  I had 45 thank you cards to make! The little sewing machine took the longest to make because there are so many tiny pieces to it.  It would have been less time consuming if it wasn't a Cricut project, Sizzix dies would have been so much faster. Here are pictures of a few of my finished cards...I couldn't make up my mind on the design.
I ended up choosing the one on the left but using brown ribbon instead of the tape measure ribbon.  Adding thread and a needle to the spool was just too time consuming since I had so many cards to make.
Here are some more pictures and close up's of the cards.  Also a picture of the huge mess card making makes!  I had to use my spare bedroom for this project because I already had a project going in my sewing room.  It was a bit tight but with two tables it worked out fine.  The mess is cleaned up now but I've left the tables and machines in the room for when I make my Christmas cards in the next couple weeks.  (Hoping to find time!)
I used my printer for the sentiment on the inside of the card.
Here is a box full of some of the cards.
Here are the tiny pieces needed for the sewing machine.

Here is the mess....

This would have been a faster machine to use!  I did use it to make my niece a thanksgiving card with a pumpkin on the front!
Another pile of junk!

The good news, everything is cleaned up, all dies are back in their boxes and this mess above looks like I was never in that room except to set up some tables and my machines ready for a project!  :)  

Saturday, November 23, 2013

This is hilarious!

If you remember, my son adopted a little Min Pin named Artemis.  Well of course he is spoiled rotten.  I get to dog sit often and have fallen in love with this crazy little dog.  He loves to wear cloths, he is the nosiest little bugger I've ever met and he is absolutely hilarious!  My son sent me these pictures and I nearly peed myself laughing so hard!  Here is Artie in all his glory...
Can you believe they caught a picture of him in his P.J.'s yawning????
WT HECK ????

Sleeping with his tongue hanging out????

So adorable!
He makes the weirdest faces...what is he thinking here?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Table runner in redwork

I did a post a while back showing some red work and some cross stitched items I've made.  Of course cross stitch is very very very did I say very time consuming but it has hit the scene again.  Red work on the other hand is a very fast satisfying art.  The red work on this piece is about 16x20 and took me 4 - 2 hour evenings in front of the TV.  I was thinking of doing a crochet edge and making it into a sort of doily but then I remembered the 10 minute table runner Carla Kennedy made at the retreat and decided to give it a go!  I am happy with it.  I am sending this to Donna so she can see how red work looks in all one color.  I choose a color that is close to her heart or at least I believe to be since her entire house is made up of this blue teal color.  Anyway another project completed....what to do next???

It's a show and tell bag!

I am so excited about this project for the boutique.  Katherine from the guild has a friend from another guild that shared this pattern with me.  She is also going to let us sell the pattern as well as the finished bags.  I made 6 of these bags for the boutique (none for myself yet, but soooooon).  The first one I made was fairly expensive because the pattern calls for 1 1/2 yards of lined quilted fabric.  Even with the 40% off coupon the bag cost over $20.00 to make.  Well since we don't really know what people are willing to pay for stuff like this I thought to myself...hm.....how can I do this cheaper.  The bag is so huge it will hold a king size quilt to take to the guild for show and tell.  It is the perfect bag for this so I didn't want to scrap the idea...
So what I came up with is using bed spreads.  There are some really cute bed spreads that don't really look like bed spreads and you can get them at Marshalls, TJ Max etc...for dirt cheap.  I bought a king/queen for $23.00 and a queen/full for the same price.  I was able to get three bags out of the king/queen and two out of the queen/full bed spread and well that is a bargain!  So I made my six to sell at the boutique and we can sell them for 20/25 and make a profit but the one I made using pre-quilted fabric we will have to get 35 out of it to make a profit.  Sometimes it really does help to think "Outside the Box"...hehehe
Here are our bags for the boutique...and remember we will also have the pattern, YIPPEEEEE.  Mary was so sweet to model them for me.  She is holding on the left the one that cost so much and the one on the left is a bed spread.  I didn't take a picture of the wild pink ones but I think you get the picture.  Very useful bags...come get one!

French Macaroons at Sur La Table

I decided to take a class on French Macaroons at Sur La Table this past week.  I have made them before and they did turn out nicely but I thought they might have some secrets to share since I love these delicate little cookies.  Here are the ones I made about 6 months ago.
Okay so they are not so beautiful but oh they did taste good.
So I took the class and well, there were no secrets to be had but it was tons of fun.  I did not take a picture of the finished tiny little macaroons mostly because they were not very pretty.  They actually had over cooked them.  I was a bit disappointed in the class but oh well, it was FUN.  We made pistachio, pumpkin and chocolate and I do have the recipes for these so when I make them I'll be sure to try not to over cook them.
They have a class in Nov. for tamale making.  I have made empanada's and enjoy making them so tamales are basically the same thing but not deep fried.  I am hoping they show easy technique on how to roll them.  I am excited about this class and am hoping not to be disappointed ....since I've not made tamales I think I will not be...:)
Here are some pictures of the macaroon class:

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A much needed get away....Quilting Retreat

If you have never been on a retreat I highly recommend it.  There are so many available retreats from card making, scrap booking and Quilting but the list goes on and on and on.  Going on a retreat is so much fun, you get so much done and you get to meet like minded people that inspire you to be the best you can be!  You might even make a new friend or two or three or eleven!!!!
A friend from our quilt guild, Carla Kennedy <<<her blog  organized a quilt retreat at the most beautiful place you can imagine Retreats by Marge <<< a link to the retreat.  It was magnificent and I do mean magnificent!
I meant to get there early so I could visit the quilt museum and the local quilt shop but all the yard long beans I had picked and put in the fridge to can "later" were starting to look sad so I had to can those before I could leave.  Here are those delicious beans all canned and ready for winter munching!

Everyone had the most beautiful project they were working on.  Some would make you cringe with envy!  We laughed, talked, sewed, and of course we ate, and we ate well!  I don't know about everyone else but I had and awesome time and am so happy Carla took the time to organize it.  I can't wait till next time.

So here is that view I was talking about... Honestly it was hard to drag myself off of the porch to go and sew. The weather was awesome, the view was awesome...but so were the ladies!  So next time you want to just get away think about doing a retreat!