Thursday, July 27, 2017

Things I like Jul 27

Greetings!

Hope ya'll are enjoying summer.  Here's this weeks list of things I like:

1. Cooler weather:

It finally rained yesterday and so this is the coolest morning in awhile. BUT, check out the humidity!
It's not even cloudy, but it rained so much (it's relative) the moisture is still in the air. This is very unusual for us. It'll still be 102 today but not a dry heat.  LOL

2. New adventures. My daughter and I took a pottery class a few weeks ago and it was so interesting.
    Neither one of us had tried it before but she got a Groupon and the class was worth it.


The top piece is my daughter's and the bottom one is mine.  I had to have a lot of help from the instructor to get a feel for handling the clay. At one point the clay flew off the stand!   It was a weird experience for me but my daughter loved it and we had a lot of fun together.  Of course, we invoked 1990 music from "Ghost".
We had to leave the pieces to dry at the studio for weeks and will go back to "glaze" them. It's kinda like learning to quilt in that I never knew it was such an expensive hobby or there was  so much  involved in making a quilt. Making pottery is definitely an art, takes time and it's not for everyone. We both were happy we tried it.

3.Specialty bakeries. I try to adhere a gluten free diet as well as soy free so when I find someone who bakes a good gluten free dessert I am a happy person.  For years, I baked my own bread and desserts but since we moved 2 years ago to a much smaller home and kitchen, I would rather someone else do the baking. Usually I spend a lot of money on supermarket gluten free breads and desserts.  I found a specialty bakery in Glendale,  Az. who is quite reasonable, so I am picking up cookies today. I'm excited. It's the little things.

Well, this is it for today, but I hope you visit other likes at Lee Anna's post:Not Afraid of Color.

Thanks so much for dropping by.
mary







Thursday, July 20, 2017

Things I like July 20

Greetings!

It's been a busy week.  I made a quilt about 60 x 53 from start to finish and did a bunch of cooking. So, I'd like to show you some of the things I like for this week:

1. The "Kip" quilt.  This is a nap quilt- no batting or binding.  I used a MSQC pattern from You Tube- The Two Step pattern. Combining 3 packs of left- over jelly roll strips from the Downton Abbey collection with a creme charm pack from Bella Solids, this was a super fast quilt top to sew together. I added a gray/greenish twin sheet to the back.  I just sewed right sides together and "tied" the front.


It is so light and airy!  I loved sitting in front of the tv and tying it together. My grandson was rolled up like a burrito in it yesterday for his nap!  Even tho these are hot days, it's nice to have a soft cover from the AC.

2.  Buttermilk Pie. This is not dairy free but is gluten free and oh so tasty.  I added fresh cherry slices which look weird but added a new taste to a very old fashioned, easy pie.

this is so good. I make it for breakfast. The recipe is at Food Network: Anita's Impossible Buttermilk Pie.

3.  Zucchini sauteed.  I'm not a big fan of soggy cooked zucchini, so I decided to try strings of zucchini sauteed in olive oil.  I used a peeler and removed the skin.  Then I still used the peeler ( not a fancy machine) and peeled strips just to the seeds.  I then used a sharp knife and cut a few if they were too wide.  With about a Tablespoon of oil, I sauteed them with salt, pepper and garlic powder for 1 minute. Really good.


Quick snack or side dish. Just sayin.

4. Beef Burrito Skillet from Betty Crocker. This photo is from Betty Crocker but my dish looked just like it. (hee hee).


Anything to not use the oven and heat up the house even worse than it is.  I even made my own taco seasoning in a jar for this one. I got tired of remembering all the seasonings I wanted so I  just combined them and  put them in a jar.  Gee- that was smart. But, that took time away from my quilting. Ugh.

Well, hope you enjoyed a peek into my life today.  Please hook up with Lee Anna at: Not Afraid of Color for more "likes".

Have a great day.
mary




Thursday, July 13, 2017

Things I like Jul 11

Greetings!

 I don't have jury duty today so I am a happy camper. I don't know how the jury system works in your state but every 18 months a legal resident is eligible (GEE-THANKS) to serve. I get chosen  to serve every 2 years and feel I've done my civic duty. Guess I'm lucky in a county of millions.  You are notified 6 weeks in advance for jury duty but don't know if you must appear until the night before.  So, I have been stressing about being absent from home all this time. I'm responsible for my brother, and it's important he not be home alone.  He is gone on the weekends to his girlfriends house. Now you see why I am relieved. Besides, I can't quilt at a court house.


Without further ado, here's some other "likes" I have today:

1. Home made pizza on the "Green Egg". Last week I had dinner at my son and DIL's home . They made pizza in the "Green Egg".  Years ago, we called it a Hibachi.  It is a Hibachi- very big and green.  Marketing is great cause this is almost exactly like the one my son's father used to cook or smoke a turkey 50 years ago.  LOL.  Anyway, the Green Egg is quite popular now.  My daughter in law made 6 pizzas and my son cooked them one at a time in the Green Egg.  Best pizza I ever had because the crust was super thin and topping ingredients were fresh. My DIL also has a real knack with the dough which contains olive oil!

 I wish we had smellavision.

2.  Toll House "cookies" made on the "Green Egg".  While we were eating our pizza, my son put those prepackaged cookie portions of refrigerated cookie dough in little bread pans and cooked them on the Green Egg, too! Since the Green Egg really is an oven, I think he cooked them for 20 min at 350 degrees. Unbelievable.


Needless to say I had a carbohydrate crash that night but it was so worth it. Oh- and nothing was gluten free, unfortunately. That was my one treat for a month.

3. Community Musical Theater.  We are taking my grandson to Seussical this month and I am so excited.  Peoria Theater works is  2 miles from my home, intimate but with great performers. And, they have ADA seating where parents can sit next to the wheelchair. JOB WELL DONE.


You know, it's the little things in life that really are fun.


4. Having a reputable vehicle maintenance shop close to home. In a few minutes, I'm dropping off my truck for service and hoping all will go as explained. The shop has been good to this single old woman which is saying a lot. (that's a story for another day).


I have a million things to accomplish today before I can quilt, so I'll close with a reminder to see Lee Anna's post at:NOT AFRAID OF COLOR.

Enjoy summer!
mary

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Things I like July 6

Greetings!

Thanks to Lee Anna ( she keeps me motivated), here's my list of likes for this week:

1.  Avocado Nachos.  I had just got home from a major grocery shopping. I was starving, so I just sprinkled Italian blend cheeses with a little piece of chipotle soft  cheese over tortilla chips, baked in the micro 25 seconds and added smashed avocado with a few shreds of lettuce. Sort of healthy but done!  Really good, too.


It was a quick, easy snack till I could get a lunch thrown together.

2. PBS show-The Story of China


We have watched 2 in the series.  The video and photography is outstanding while the host, Michael Wood, is delightful.  He presents the country's  long history while providing a glimpse of their many current day cultures simultaneously. This photo is from the PBS website. Please check your local listings if you want to watch these also.  The DVD's can be purchased and of course, you can watch them online at PBS.


3.Another finished quilt. This is the Scrap Slice quilt. I sewed informal scraps together to form 10 inch blocks with an added peach border. It's about 50 x 60 inches.  It will be donated to the ALS foundation next week.


This is the first time I "tied" a quilt and I have to say: I LOVED IT.  The tying was quick and easy while TV watching, but didn't hurt my thumbs as hand sewing does.  I machine stitched the sides of the blocks and borders then I just tied each of the block centers with embroidery thread.  ALS accepts all types of quilts whereas, other agencies require machine stitched quilting. There is a "Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS" on right now sponsored by Quilters Dream Batting. You can see it at Quilters Dream Batting.

I hope everyone enjoyed the 4th here in the USA.  Please join us at Lee Anna's blog for other likes:NOT AFRAID OF COLOR.

Thanks for dropping by!
mary


Monday, July 3, 2017

This is My Country

Greetings.

I wish I could be more excited about this 4th of July. My country is divided with a disgrace for the man in the White House and his cohorts. The Congress is no better in doing their jobs, but instead want to take health care away from the people who put them in their high paying jobs.

 I know it's not politically correct to state that in this arena but I have to write what's been bothering me for 6 months now.  I just hope and pray rational leaders will prevail in straightening out the White House and Congress.

In the meantime, this is MY COUNTRY.

Hope you are able to enjoy celebrating our Independence.



mary.


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Things I Like Jun 29

Greetings!

I've been doing chores already this morning so I'm  a little later than usual for posting. Sorry.
Here's my "likes" list for this week:

1. My new Dream Catcher I made for the living room. As is usual for me, I was sitting in my rocking chair and decided that part of the room"needed" something. I knew it needed something "fun". So, I purchased a hoop for a couple dollars and some inexpensive yarn ($5 total). Then, I took colorful ribbon and wrapped it around the hoop (oh, I only used one part of a wood 12 inch embroidery hoop, so I could make another one I suppose but I would recommend a one piece metal hoop instead).  Anyway, I then took the yarn and sorta made a design in the middle. I gathered a few jelly roll strips, some of the yarn, a few scrap pieces of ribbon and finally some selvage strips I saved. Wrapping them individually around the hoop with a loop knot, the project only took an hour!

I LOVE IT!

It's so fun to just drop everything and express myself. Someday soon I'll make a macrame hanging for the other side of the room to get more retro. (hee hee)

2. Cold Brew Coffee.  I like cold coffee in the summer and I also use half decaffinated so I have to make my own.  But, I don't like the watered down by ice version.  Sooooo I went online and found many recipes for cold brewed coffee.


It was so easy I wish I had tried it earlier.  You can purchase fancy machines or a french press ( which I have and never use) but it all "boils" down to this: Using a 1:8 ratio of coarse ground coffee to cold water, place the grounds in a large jar, add water, brew in the fridge (or on the counter) for 8 hours. Pass the mixture over a cheesecloth on a large bowl to remove the grounds-twice. Pour back in jar and refrigerate for a week. I used that ratio the first time but today changed it to 1 to 4 to get a more concentrated result where I can add creams, etc. You can use this brew to make a cup of hot coffee-just add hot water to your cup. The best part of this type of brewing is the much lower acidity and a better flavor in general. Plus, I don't have to brew coffee every morning! I am so lazy first thing.
If you want further ideas for cold brew, visit jamieoliver.com.
I label the jar so my brother doesn't confuse it for tea.

3.The day after the Summer Solstice (longest day of the year) here in the Northern Hemisphere. This year it was June 21st.  This means we are getting closer to Christmas and cooler weather. Just sayin.

I hope everyone is healthy and happy.  Please check out my favorite blog with Lee Anna at Not Afraid of Color for a lot more "likes".
mary

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Things I like Jun 22

Greetings!

Well  I'm feeling a little better this week about the news from the government, but not much.  Of course, stabbings, shootings, vans being used as weapons seems to be increasing world wide so that's not good news.  But, I was able to focus more on the things I like this week than last week. Having other bloggers encouraging positive thoughts is priceless.
So, without further ado, here is my like list for this week.

1. Having breakfast for the first time at Panera Bread.  Oh .my. goodness.  I had an individual ham and cheese quiche , passion tea and saved a mandarin orange muffin for the next day.  I highly recommend all of them.  Of course they were not gluten free so it was my treat day. There was no time for photos, people.

2. My new project on the design wall this week -Christmas Garden quilt. I combined three charm packs plus some  extra scrap charms to make these blocks.  I did not use all the charms so the others will probably be put together in another quilt or runners. I love how the jewel tone prints I did choose are offset by lighter charm edges:


THERE'S A DEER IN THERE. The blocks were made from Pine Fresh by Sandy Gervais for Moda, Basically Holiday by Benartex and Turning Leaves by Holly Taylor for Moda.  I've had these charm packs for years and just need to get them put together! On some of the blocks I used prints for the triangles and others I used solids. Not sure what kind of borders I'll add yet. It will hopefully be a throw size.

3.The Tokyo Train Ride top I put together this week also. The charm pack from the same name is from Cotton and Steel by Sarah Watts. I used an olive green Bella Solid jelly roll for the sashing. It's a baby size to throw size right now:


I wish the prints were more visible. They are of Japanese hillsides, cartoon characters etc.

4. My most fun project started this week: A Tea Cake quilt with tutorial from MSQC,  Layer Cakes  used were from Quilting Treasures=Notting Hill by Kensington,  plus using the Cake Mix Recipe book #2 Block 5 from Moda :

I saw Jenny's tute and just had to try this.  Designed by Miss Rosie's Quilt Co, the book  contains these papers you pin to a layer cake and sew on the dotted lines (in a specific easy order) and then cut on the solid lines.

I don't do paper piecing per se , but this was simple and accurate.  One sheet made enough pieces for 2 blocks at one time. I think there's 45 sheets in the book.

Here is one block:


How sweet!  I enjoyed this and like the idea I can sit even for a few minutes and make a block easily but appears intricate. Yes.  And, the above block is just one pattern made from these cut pieces.  I think there are 5 different patterns on this recipe card.

Thanks for stopping by and hope you enjoyed the post. Please go on over to Lee Anna at Not Afraid of Color to see more "likes".

Have a wonderful day.
mary




Thursday, June 15, 2017

Things I like Jun 15

Greetings!


I hope and pray everyone is healthy and happy. I appreciate visitors to this site!  In these uncertain times (am I the only one who feels this way?) it's a good thing to focus on things I like .  Here is my list for today:

1. Crock pot beef stroganoff.  I like to use the crock pot as much as I can.  Since I started quilting 5 years ago, I don't enjoy cooking as much as I used to and definitely don't bake as much.  Standing at the stove or oven is no fun in the summer so I like to try new ways to use the crock pot.


The recipe is at Eazy Peazy Mealz.  It. is. so. good. Took about 4 hours on high.  The secret ingredient is cream cheese!! I know!

2. COOL WEATHER!!!  This is not that:

I just pulled this up on my phone. We are setting heat records again. I've lived here over 60 years and cannot handle the heat. I love going to colder climates in the summer, but with family obligations and just life in general I don't get a chance to.  So, I will be sewing a lot the next week if the air conditioner holds out. If not, on to a hotel. My grandson is on vacation to the beach so I won't be seeing him for at least a week.  Thank God for sewing!

3. A new Christmas quilt project.  Maybe this will feel cooler. (hee hee).  I have a ridiculous   large stash of charms and thought I would combine 3 packages for a quilt, There are 2 different lines from Moda and one from Benartex. I haven't decided for sure which blocks to use yet for a pattern.





4. My "Just One Tree" quilt. I saw a similar quilt pattern on MSQC but changed the pattern to one I liked. All of the fabric was stash or leftovers except the green.  I found the green higher- end cotton at Joanns on sale and then used a 50% off total purchase coupon. Score.  It's a baby quilt I will donate. The cream corners seemed so plain, so I sewed a green tree in one corner. Can't believe I did that AFTER it was quilted  This little quilt  just needs binding which will probably happen this weekend.



Well, need to get outside and water the plants before it gets too hot (at 7 AM). Please join us at Lee Anna's "Likes" post at NOT AFRAID OF COLOR .

Keep cool and carry on!
mary









Thursday, June 8, 2017

THINGS I LIKE JUN 8

Greetings!

Hope everyone is keeping cool.We will be 109 today so our fun days are here.(hee hee) I usually hibernate and sew in the summer because I can't handle the heat but it seems I have lots of errands this week, so I'll be careful.  Thanks to Lee Anna at Not Afraid of Color for encouraging our "likes" posts. Here are my Likes  for this week:

1. Strangers  coming to the aid of Londoners and Manchester residents this last week in the midst of their attacks. It is heart warming to see the good in people especially in traumatic times.  Also, I watched the Ariana Grande benefit concert and was touched by the artists and audience members' response to these attacks.

2. My new Fabric Back splash. So, here's the deal. I don't like the paint used over the sink back splash so I decided to make a table runner and hang it there!

Isn't it cute? It blends well  with my dark cupboards. And, if it gets dirty, just place it in the wash!

3.  How my mind wanders when I see quilt patterns in everyday designs.

While waiting in my car line for the ATM, I noticed the wall design on my bank. Pretty fancy.

And this is my napkin while eating lunch. Check out the fancy borders.  Someone went to a lot of trouble to make these pretty. And, I bought them at Walmart. Score.

4. Passion tea with orange juice.  I made some decaf passion tea but wanted it cold.  I added ice cubes and about a third match of orange juice. I was pleasantly surprised. Hope you try it.

Enjoy your day and don't forget to read the likes posts at Lee Anna's site.  Thanks for joining mine.
mary

Friday, June 2, 2017

CLIMATE CHANGE



thankfully, there are mayors, governors and businesses with a conscience on climate change

Thursday, June 1, 2017

THINGS I LIKE JUNE 1

Greetings!

Hope everyone had a pleasant May. I can't believe it's June. This is normally our worst month of the year-110+ days and monsoon season starts. Ugh! I will be hibernating except for necessary trips to store or to grandson's house. There are priorities. Thanks to Lee Anna's weekly "like" hookups we get to focus on good things.  Here are mine this week:

1. My new glasses.  I know, it's a small thing but an important one.

Aren't they pretty? They're pink!

Here's the deal. My brother and I got our eye exams done at the same time at the eye doctor. Then, I took my brother to the insurance company's facility.  Those glasses cost $183 using the existing frames! it will take 3 weeks. Nothing special, just line- in bifocals.

Later that day, I went to Walmart Vision center and got a complete set of glasses for myself for  $153.  Mine took 4 days. Just sayin. And, they fit perfectly with the correct prescription. That was the first time I used Walmart. I'm very glad I did.

2. My new Rainy Day baby quilt. The top was made with a $5 grab bag of scraps from my local quilt shop! I added some scraps of white to various strips of these prints. to make 10 inch squares. Love the fabric line from Me and My Sister. It measures 40 x 40.  The backing was in the stash from Joann's MA Ditsy Bouquet and the binding was made with Robin's Egg Blue.


3. Cloud Bread. I saw this on Facebook and had to try it.  No flour or water. Just eggs, sugar, cream cheese and cream of tartar. Weird but very tasty and light. (Not too good 3 days later- too moist).


4.  Mini carnations in this heat!  Can't believe these are not only surviving but doing well. Makes me smile;

I hope you enjoy these thoughts and pics! Check out Lee Anna's post for more at Not Afraid of Color.
Thanks for dropping by!
mary




Saturday, May 27, 2017

MEMORIAL DAY 2017




I hope everyone has a safe and nice weekend.  It's hard to wish happiness when we are thinking of all current and past armed services members who were or are in harm's way.  Thank you to all.
mary

Thursday, May 25, 2017

THINGS I LIKE MAY 25

Greetings!

Where the heck did the week go? I can't believe it's another Thursday. Here are the things I liked this week:

1. My new Lime Table Topper made from a charm pack -Mimosa by Another Point of View onto a blue background. It finished about 12 inches square:

It was an experiment to join half of a charm to another half and cut out a 5 inch dresden plate, so fun.

2, A retro Red Vinyl Tablecloth for my kitchen table. I had never sewn with vinyl before and loved making this in about an hour!  I cut the vinyl to the circle measurement of the table and added a white 2.5 inch border:


Isn't it cute!  With a klutzy adult brother and then my 12 year old grandson, this is so much easier on a glass table  then just placemats.  LOVE IT!  Too bad I couldn't remember how to calculate the circumference of the table (Ugh-Geometry was 50 years ago!) so I just kept sewing jelly rolls together to fit the tablecloth.  yes, I was too lazy and too much in a hurry to Google the formula. Oh well.

3. Sweet Chili Chicken. I am so into easy. I put 3 boneless skinless chicken thighs (spread out) in the crock pot. Added Thai Sweet Chili Sauce to each one and drizzled agave syrup all over.  Adding the slice sweet pepper and then Tarragon sprinkled on top makes it pretty.  I covered them with a parchment paper tent, then the lid.  Cooked on high 3 hours and done. Really good. Not too spicy. Just right.This meal for 2 cost a buck-thighs were on sale for $1.77 a pound.


You're welcome.

On a serious note, I DO NOT LIKE WHAT OUR WORLD HAS BECOME with such violence to innocent victims at a concert in Manchester England. I don't have any answers. I just wish they could stop terrorists. Quite frankly, I don't think they can. Sorry to end on a sad note.

I do hope everyone has a safe happy weekend.
mary






Thursday, May 18, 2017

THINGS I LIKE MAY 18

Greetings!

It's been another crazy week and things are going to get even crazier. I'm going to spend 2 days a week watching, playing, pretending school, enjoying my grandson this summer.  In the past, he went to summer school or UCP for respite care every day in the school summer vacation. So, I will cut back (pun intended) on my quilting until August when he returns to school. What happened to being off ALL summer from school? Since it is unbearably hot here in the summer, it's really hard on special- needs, wheelchair bound persons  to transport in the heat. Oh well, who knows how the school calendars are decided. Anyway, I am so looking forward to spending these fun days with him.  I plan to try teaching him more life skills as well. I can't believe he will be 13 in June!

I do plan to keep up my blog especially on Thursdays for our "like" posts.  I NEED IT! for my sanity based on the daily news. So, here is my list for this week:

I like:
1. Coconut milk. I have become lactose intolerant the last few years (added to my other allergies). But, lactose free cow's milk is so expensive. So I've been trying different alternatives. I especially like coconut milk by this brand and unflavored so I can add to it if I like.

Recently, I made tapioca pudding with this milk and it was divine.

2. Feeling better. Gee, that's a no- brain-er.  My allergies went bonkers 10 days ago and I developed bronchitis because of it, so I have been suffering.  It's not a pretty picture.  Can I say with all the over -the -counter drugs which I cannot take, Vicks Vaporub is still a great standby at night. Just sayin.  I can't take hardly any of the sinus, cold, flu, pills or liquids because I feel worse from the side effects.

3. My new May plants.  I received a gift card for my local nursery and picked up a few new plants.


The tall purple one is Salvia and has the most unusual fragrance. It's a new one for me. I also purchased another stand -by for the summer, Vinca and a baby Kolanchoe for the kitchen.

4. My new Tea Wallet. Sometimes, while dining in a restaurant or I'm visiting my kids' house,  I want caffeine free tea( hot or cold) but it is not available. So, I made a Tea Wallet to carry tea in my purse.


Here is a photo of the template I made on card stock.




I cut out 2 from layer cakes (one for exterior and 1 for lining) and a matching piece from Pellon 808. I attached the interfacing to the lining and sewed the exterior to the lining right sides together leaving a small opening.  I top stitched the edge and quilted a few lines. Then, it was just a matter of folding the four sides in, tacking the left and right to the bottom piece and I attached a small piece of black elastic to the back of the top piece. The picture above is when it's open. The elastic is to keep the wallet closed.  Sorry for no tutorial. I really didn't know if this would work.

I hope you are healthy and happy.  Please hook up with Lee Anna at NOT AFRAID OF COLOR for all our likes!
mary



Thursday, May 11, 2017

THINGS I LIKE MAY 11

Greetings!

Happy May to everyone. Here are my "likes" this week even tho I am sick with allergies! I'm trying.

1.  Tomato Harvest. Ok, maybe that's a little exaggerated. Here's a pic of my one small tomato. So cute. The plant grew too fast in 100 degrees in April.


2. Gluten Free  Zucchini Waffles. Wow- veggies for breakfast.  I use Gluten Free Bisquick for pancakes and waffles(the best). I thought I would try adding one small zuke peeled, shredded and added cinnamon, dash of nutmeg and vanilla to the batter. SCORE! Try it- you can't taste the zucchini and it's better for us.

3.  Making a Dog Bowl Pad for my son's new home.  I went to visit their new finished home. It is just beautiful. They have 2 large dogs with large water bowls. But, with those nice new floors I could see the water staining the wood, so I asked if they would like a pad for the water bowls and they said "YES!".  So, I took some layer cakes and scraps and made one 48 x 18. Plenty of room for the big water bottle as well. Perfect colors for their floor also. I used scrap battings sewn together and a left over gray scrap for the backing. I consider that free.

I don't know why it looks green here.  It's a dark gray with beige and brown.

4. A new quilt basted and ready for quilting. The Courage quilt.  This is a small throw 37 x 46. I used a charm pack of Heritage Reds and Blues from Benartex and half pack of Bell Solids Zen gray charms. I bordered and backed it with a navy/gold small print fabric. Only 75 pins used for backing. I usually use at least 100 but this is a small one. It's for my daughter to accompany the patriot pillows a few weeks ago. It was so quick to put together- maybe 10 hours total. Love it.



Hope you enjoyed my likes today.  Please join LeeAnna at:Not Afraid of Color for more likes.
mary