Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December 31, 2013











Think positive, be positive, do positive,

 encourage positive . . .

The possibilities ARE endless.

Thanks for stopping by,

Thanks for following me,

Wishing you an absolutely Blessed, Creative NEW Year.


Monday, December 30, 2013

Learning new things

Got up to this this morning to this . . .

(First thing this morning)

I opened my curtains so that I could look out all day and watch the snow come down.  Honey Do said the forecast is for snow off and on until Wednesday.  Today is only Monday.  And it snowed . . .


And it snowed . . .

(this evening - around 5 p.m.)

I'm one of those people that if I don't have to go anywhere, I don't care if it snows and keeps snowing.  I planned with my guys being home for a couple of weeks enough groceries that I wouldn't have to go out.  I have more than enough projects and cleaning to keep me busy.  It looks like we got a good four inches :)

Dinner was in the crock pot - bean soup with leftover Christmas ham :)  Unfortunately, by dinner time the beans were still hard - even with soaking overnight.  So they will continue to cook and I dropped back and regrouped:  Spinach pie.  Yummy :)

I'm spending my morning making my first ever hexies :)  I purchased plastic templates a while back and never used them.

I've seen a couple of different blogs with tutorials.  This is the most recent one I've been referred to.  The Zen of Making has a three part tutorial that is really good.  Not only is she teaching how to make them, but is offering some suggestions to use them.  I'm going to attempt to make the little sewing kit and encourage BFF to learn to make them.  Her goal is to learn something new every year.  I think I'm going to give her a push in that direction :)  To keep me company, I'm watching a movie called 84 Charring Road.  It's an older, but really good movie. I've decided for future hexies, I'm going to use the 1/2 inch seam allowance instead of the 1/4 inch.  It gives you a little more to hold on to making it easier to baste them.

I was surprised how time consuming they are, but I have to say I really enjoyed them.  I can see why they become so addicting.  I thought they were hard on the hands, but it may have been the fabric.  The red dot was pretty stiff - seemed like a lot of sizing.  For my very first attempt, I'm very happy.

The postman brought me a new book, Pretty Little Potholders.  I've been wanting to make some of these from my stash of fabrics.  One more idea for Christmas gifts next year, or even the Love Gifts.
As you can see, I've already marked some pages for ideas.

Can you tell he really doesn't like having his picture taken?  He kept moving.  I finally found an angle that didn't bother him.  He was looking out the front window watching the snow fall :)

Thanks for stopping by,

Wishing you a creative day.



Sunday, December 29, 2013


How quickly a day of rest goes by . . .

I didn't rest as much as I would have liked today.  You know how you come across something and it just needles at you until you take care of it?  That was today.  I'd sit down, then find something that needed done, moved on, came back, sat, found something else, etc., etc., etc. (Yul Brenner accent)

It started with digging out leftovers for lunch after church. The ham I made for Christmas will become bean soup tomorrow.  It's all ready in the crock pot waiting for the beans that are soaking.

That led to vegetable stock. As I was preparing celery, onions and carrots for the bean soup I decided I needed to replenish my supply of stock. I pulled the frozen nuggets out and put them in a pot. These "nuggets" are leftover pieces of vegetables that were still good, but weren't going to be used for anything in the near future. Rather than dispose of them to the compost bin, I put them in a zippered bag and in the freezer. I pull them out, add water and salt and simmer.  I also added some potatoes that were passed their prime, carrots, celery, thyme (fresh from the garden - even though it's winter) and Honey Do snipped some rosemary from the pot in the kitchen.  I try saving the plant every year.  This time I'm saving it in my kitchen and am finding that I use it more too.

Once the stock was on, the beans soaking, the dishes caught up. . . I started on the mushroom strudel.

I don't care for mushrooms.  Have tried, just can't, don't, won't . . . ever :(  Anyway, it was a new recipe.  He said it was OK, but nothing to write home about.  We tried.

On to the crafting.  Working on granny squares.  In between those I worked on getting this mass of yarn rolled into balls.  I got all of this for $8.00 at the local craft store.

 It's all cotton, not sure what I'm making out of it yet but couldn't pass up a good price.  I try only to buy the things that I know I'm going to use.  There's a lot of talk lately on different blogs about using what we have, getting rid of what we don't need or want and not purchasing new on whims.  Here are some blogs that I've come across that are making those promises to themselves and inviting us to join them:

Lilabelle Lane Creations

The Elven Garden

Clean Mama

I'll link you up as I run across more.  Any inspiration and motivation to help us along is a good thing.

Thanks for stopping by,

Wishing you a creative day.



Saturday, December 28, 2013

Working toward normal

It's Saturday - I can't believe how quickly the last week has gone by.  For the most part I have enjoyed having my guys home.  Unfortunately, changes in routine sometimes lead to undesirable behaviors but we are attempting to work through that.  Much has to do with age, just being a boy and ADHD.  Yes, most of the time we have our hands full.

Working toward normal means keeping up my chores even though I have extra company at home. I planned the Christmas break with a menu, grocery shopping and a handful of new menus to try. So I've been cooking and doing a lot of dishes.  I've kept the laundry up and have managed to squeak out some crafting time.

BFF and I are planning on breakfast and our gift exchange after everyone goes back to school and work.  This has given me a little extra time to get her gifts finished and even add a few more.  I'm not done yet, but getting there.

I did manage a finish today:

I am so excited to have something new for my kitchen and it seems so are my pups. I used scraps of yarn generously gifted to me from Mom and Sister. I stopped making baby afghans for charity about a year ago - too many demands at home.  I combined all my scraps and come up with a scrap afghan or, now, rug.  The yarns that are really thin (baby weight) I combine with a similar weight yarn and use them doubled up. Consequently, I end up with my own version of a variegated yarn.  I'm rather pleased with my end result.

I still have yarn scraps left. That just means another project.  So I've started making granny squares from the scraps that are left.  I'm not sure what they will become, but they won't take up much room and at least I can get the bin that holds all my yarn empty and put away.

Look what I got in the mail yesterday :)

I was very excited.  I know that winter has just barely begun and it's along time until spring planting, but it does mean that I can start planning my garden. That makes me very happy. I don't always order from the catalogs, but I sure enjoy looking through them.  I always try to find something new and different to try.  I also try to collect as many seeds as I can, that way I cut down the expense of purchasing new seeds and/or plants.

I'm going to spend my evening watching movies I borrowed from the library and continue making granny squares.  Hope you are equally relaxed.

Thanks for stopping by,

Wishing you a creative day.



Thursday, December 26, 2013

Enjoying holidays

My normal routine is being interrupted for a total of 12 and 14 days while Honey Do and Newton are home for the Christmas break.  Mind you, I'm not complaining.  I have enjoyed the company.  I get too used to being by myself, almost to the point that I would prefer to be that way and that's not good.  So I am treasuring this little break.

My days are off - today is Thursday, but it feels like the weekend and has all week.  That's a little rough, but we'll get through it.

I have been doing a lot of dish washing since the weekend, so I've had more time than usual to admire my little winter garden.  Not only is it growing, but the number of containers are multiplying.

This is the first celery I attempted.  There are now two of them.

This little container is holding onions and a romaine lettuce.  It's only been in water for a couple of days.

This one is beginning a second romaine and has a carrot top.

I have to remember to water them at least every other day.  But I am very pleased with their progress.  They are extremely forgiving when I forget the water and bounce back almost immediately on getting a drink.  I was so excited about them that I told my father-in-law and he has now started his own winter garden in Texas.

I made some time this morning between loads of laundry and dishes to finish up my dish towel.  I am absolutely in love with it.  I began a second one today.  Same design, but I'm stitching in a variegated blue.  The small scrap squares were cut at 1.5 inches square to finish at 1 inch.  I am very pleased with the end result.  The recipient is a crafter and will definitely appreciate all the effort and display it proudly in her kitchen.  I can't wait to give it to her.

I also managed to make a batch of cupcakes.  Yes, there are still Christmas cookies but I've been waiting to make these since about mid-October when I was planning Halloween.  I couldn't wait any longer.  I'm not a master baker, but I do love to have fun when I do get to bake.

Thanks for stopping by,

Wishing you a creative day and 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


I don't have any great blog planned for today.  I, like I hope all of you, are celebrating this most wonderful of seasons with your loved ones.

I wish you and yours the merriest and blessed of Christmases.

Merry Christmas.


Monday, December 23, 2013

Weekend Recap

Friday Night Sew-In was a very slow start.  Originally, Honey Do and I were going to go out and talked ourselves out of it when we realized where we wanted to shop was at two large shopping malls and we really didn't want to fight with traffic.  Honey Do had a rough week at work trying to get ready for his time off.  Of course, everything that hadn't been done by now had to be done this week.  I made pizza for dinner and we just relaxed :)

I got a new pattern in the mail.

Can't wait to start working on this, will make some fun ornaments, cushions, etc. for next Christmas' gifts.  No - it's not too early to start thinking about that.  In fact, I have been organizing some of my pins on Pinterest for some ideas for gifts next year that I'm going to start working on in January.

I've come across a couple of blogs that are making promises to not purchase new fabric for their stashes and work through what they already have.  I've linked you up to Sharon and Jess so you can follow them, sign up and get a list of the rules they are planning to live by as far as de-stashing.  Honestly, I made myself this promise at the beginning of this year.  It's really hard not to look and purchase new fabrics even when you are getting supplies to finish other projects, but I can tell you that I didn't purchase nearly as much as I have in the past and have done a fair job of using what I already have.  I put a pretty nice little dent in my fabrics for Christmas gifts already.  My bigger challenge will be working through the UFOs :)

So back to FNSI, after several phone calls, I finally got started.  First, a movie - It's a Wonderful Life. I continued to find and watch Christmas movies all weekend.  I worked on the scrap yarn rug.

Saturday morning I spent thoroughly cleaning my kitchen and beginning the preparations for meals for the weekend and I threw a couple loads of laundry in, just to keep it up.

Sunday after church, my niece, her husband and son were coming to spend the afternoon.  We have a child's loft bed that they mentioned wanting to purchase for my great-nephew and I told them we had one we would like to just leave our house and Newton has out-grown.

My great-nephew is only seven years old and is the perfect age for it. He was very excited to get it. And we had a lovely visit.  Unfortunately, they did come for the visit - unfortunate because my niece is 8 1/2 months pregnant and we keep hoping and praying she'll have the baby.  Her due date is January 7 and the doctor has said anytime.  So we are impatiently waiting :)

Here's a list of my projects:

1.  Scrap yarn rug - one of my precious pups sleeps on the landing at the back door.  She's an older dog, so I worry about the cold on her bones and joints, so I made a "rug" for her to sleep on at night.

Doesn't she just have the sweetest face?  She is such a sweet-tempered girl.

Lots of good company :)

2.  Pillow - I found this idea in a catalog.  I didn't keep the ordering information.  So I decided that it would be easy to design my own.  After all, it was the saying that I really liked.

It's a really rough draft - but you get the idea.  I'm thinking a Valentine's gift for Honey Do - or maybe "Just Because".

3.  Scrap yarn rug - number two.  I've decided that I have enough scrap yarn afghans, so I'm going to use up my scrap yarn and make rugs, similar to the one I made in the first project.  They are small, quick and will be easy enough to care for. Winter is very wet and messy in these parts, so I will just wash and replace them as needed.

4.  Towel - Finished embroidering, I know it's not done in this shot, but it was on the ironing board and I was too lazy to go get it.  I'm trying to figure out how to finish it  with some sort of trim.

That catches up my weekend projects.  I spent a good portion of my time in the kitchen doing make-ahead meals and we've knocked out some of the leftovers from during the week.

This quiche has bacon, onion, zucchini and egg in a shredded hash brown crust.  Warms up nicely for a quick snack or meal.

These lovelies are an almond, caramel sweet, yeast bread.  Almost like a monkey bread, but better.  As you can see, we've put a pretty good dent in them already.  The rest will be for breakfast Christmas Eve morning.

Today is Monday, December 23.  I have both my guys home today and for the next 12 days.  I have discovered that between making meals and cleaning up the kitchen there is very little time for much crafting.  I'm sure many of you are having the same issue.  Projects will not be a high priority over the next couple of weeks.  We all should be prioritizing our families and the true meaning of Christmas.

Earlier today I was reading Jenny's blog.  She opened her Christmas Eve blog with an absolutely beautiful prayer.  Please take some time and read it.  I wish I could be so eloquent in my prayers.  It is beautiful, heart-felt and honest.  She has expressed the true meaning of Christmas in my opinion and all I can say is ditto.

With my guys being home, blogging is going to be short and more than likely, spur of the moment.  Know that I enjoy blogging and hope and pray you all enjoy following me.  My blogs are basic, lack experience and have a long way to go, but I do enjoy this experience and am glad for the company.  I don't design or sell or make a living doing this.  I just enjoy sharing and making new friends with similar interests.  All that to just say I'll pop in when I can and we'll see what we can all get accomplished in the new year.

Thanks for stopping by,

Wishing you a creative day.