"Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away?"

Author: Unknown

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas At Home

  I dont have much to say, but I just had to share some photo's that looking amazing in the Christmas lights.

and Many Blessings for the New year !

Monday, December 20, 2010

New Baby Shoes

    My newest grand daughter is due in a few weeks and I have been busy making things for her, among others. I found this cute baby shoe pattern online, and thought about trying it, but never got around to it. Then while shopping at target this evening, I found the exact same style shoe there for $8. It was so cute... but what isn't when its baby size,lol. Anyway, when I got back I decided to give it a try. The pattern is for 0-6 mo, but I wanted newborn, so I just took a generous seam allowance. I havent gotten the other one made yet, but I will get it done shortly. I just couldnt wait to share how cute this pattern is. The tutorial and pattern can be found HERE.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Baby Quilt For Coming DGD

    We are expecting out 4th grand-daughter sometime the middle of January. I started this baby quilt for her the first of September while on the road to Tennessee with our camper for the annual car show in Pigeon Forge. I finished it after our return the day before the baby shower the end of October. It is totally my design. i kinda winged it as I went along. I knew I wanted soft colors. I started with the center floral wreath then added the stars around that, then did a simple border. I want to embroidery the baby's name, birth date and weight ( the only time a woman ever truthfully tells her weight....well come to think of it, someone else is opening their big mouth even then,lol) into the center of the quilt. The mom loved it.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Snow Bunny Crochet Ponytail Hat

         My grand daughter has been bugging me since this summer that she needed a new ponytail hat. I had made one for her a couple of years ago, and forgot how I did it. Well I finally buckled down and created a new pattern. This one turned out so much nicer, with loads of feminine detail. The hat is open at the top to allow you to pull your ponytail thru the top so you no longer have to full with unsightly bulges in the back of your hat due to your ponytail.
        This time, for the first time ever...I wrote down my pattern as I went. I always tend to wing it, and make it up as i go. However sometimes that makes it rough when I need to create more than one of my design, and now I have 3 DGD and one more on the way.

This pattern is available for purchase at Stitch This Designs.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fantastic Giveaway at Stonegable!

I just followed THIS link to a FANTASTIC giveaway being held at Stonegable. She is offering a huge set of gorgeous Christmas dishes. Some lucky winner is going to be very happy at Christmas.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

My First Baby Wipes Case

         We are expecting our 4th DGD the end of January, so I have been busy with sewing and crocheting projects. I have a baby quilt that is in the hoop now almost done with the hand quilting, A crocheted baby blanket done. And today I made my first In-The-Hoop baby wipes case. These In-The-Hoop projects are so much fun. its hard to believe you can sew this whole case completely in the hoop (other than the two tabs on the ends). All I had to do when I removed it from the hoop was to trim the excess fabric around the edges and turn right side out.
I digitized the design myself. I havent done any digitizing for several years, and have just gotten back into it this year. I am also loving my new (to me ) Viking Designer 1 Embroidery/Sewing machine. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Laptop Case For My Daughter

      My youngest daughter is in nursing school, and just purchased her first laptop. It is a 17" computer and we couldnt find a ready made case. All the better. She picked out her fabric and style, and I stitched this up for her. its a perfect fit. More importantly, she is very pleased.

My New Fall Table Runner

    I just got my new Fall table runner completed this morning. I am having a blast playing around with my new embroidery machine. I digitized the pumpkin design myself. I used to digitize a lot, but was stopped for a couple of years. I am just getting back into it. The design file can be found on my Stitch This Designs website.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tomato Hornworm

             All I could say was "YUUUUCCCKKK!" when I was strolling thru the garden this morning, still in my p.j.'s. I found these two on one of my Early Girl tomatoes. I at first noticed a couple of tomatoes with areas kinda skinned. So I started looking closer for the varmint. Then I found the first. They are HHUUGGEE!.

I wasnt about to touch them. I wasnt sure what it was at first, since I have never seen them before. But the first thing that came to mind was a Tomato Hornworm. So I took these guys away for their moment in front of the camera, and then came inside to my "see all know all" computer. I found out my supposition was right.

According to this website: http://organicgardensite.com/bugs-harmful/tomato-horn-worms/
"Tomato Hornworms are the larva of a huge moth called five-spotted hawkmoth. Approximate size of the moth is around the size of a hummingbird so you can’t miss them. The hawkmoth is gray-brown with yellow spots on the sides of their body.
The hornworm caterpillars are pretty small at first and hard to see because of their pale green color, but they become huge – 3 1/2 to 4 inches (7-10cm) in 3-4 weeks. You can’t miss them then! They are green-brown colour with v-shaped markings on the body and unmistakable ‘horns’. Hornworm eggs are green and are laid on the underside of leaves."
Here is the google pic of the MOTH.

According to THIS site, solanaceous plants, mostly tomato.but larvae can also attack pepper, potato, and eggplant. The eggs of this worm grow into the adult moth often referred to as "Hummingbird Moth". It is a large heavy bodied moth with a wingspan of 4-5 inches. It is not uncommon for some people to mistake them for deformed hummingbirds.According too THIS site, it is in its last instar of development since it has the cream colored "V" shaped markings.It could soon be pupating and then the large moth emerge in about 2 weeks. 
The larvae are the damaging stage.They are capable of destroying several leaves and fruit, and leave behind large black droppings.
Handpicking off small crops works the best (eeewwww). Early instars are often preyed upon by ladybeetles and green lacewings. Later Cotesia congregatus, a small wasp will lay her eggs on the hornworm, which then form cocoons in her body.  These white coccoons stick up on the worms back. If you see this , leave the worm. When the wasps hatch they will destroy the worm, and seek out others to kill. 
So observe your gardens from early July into August for their eggs and small caterpillar.  Well Time to dress and head back into the garden, armed with a bucket of water, prepared to do battle. 

PS: While I was inside loading pictures onto the computer and starting this post, I had left the little (and I use that loosely) worm's  sitting outside on my deck. When I came back to take care of them, I found a few of these little droppings:

These are approximately 1/4" in width. The worms themselves are pretty hard to locate, since their coloring blends in with the tomato plants so well. The best times to look for them is early morning or late evening since they dont like the heat so much. You may also look around the base of your plants for these green to black droppings. Finding these would be a postitive sign you plants have unwanted company.
Note: As always, you can click on the image to bring it to a much larger size for close-up viewing.
Also, someone on the gardenweb forum said to plant Borage near by. This is supposed to deter the moth from laying her eggs, and "gently" re-seeds so you wont have to replant them again. I think I will try and remember to plant a few next year.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

July's Flowers

          I finally have some blooms on my new Japanese Morning Glories. They are beauties. i cant wait till they get fuller.
Chocolate Silk 

And Morning Glory Cameo Elegance

Friends visited the other day, and as they were leaving and looking out over my large raised bed, he commented about me having so many Hummingbirds. I also have loads of butterflies too. Thank You Winter Sowing.

Cosmos Rose Bon Bon. I have noticed some of these are more a single form with just slightly extra center petals, and some are what I was expecting with a real full look like this one:

                                                           Heliopsis Summer Sunshine:

                                                                        Seed grown Marigold
                Zinnia Fruit Smoothies. I love the multiple colors of these. I plant to grow them again next year.

Red Gladiola
Scabiosa ,Summer  Berries I love these cute little flowers. These are getting re-sown  again next year too.

And last but not least...California Poppies

Making Napkins

          I have been reading online tips about how others are saving money on their grocery bills, running their home etc. That, plus the admiring Yvonne at StoneGable's beautiful place settings. So I decided to try my hand at making a few napkins. I have a link to her instructions for making their mitered corners in my sidebar. You cant improve on perfection, so I didnt try doing my own tutorial.
I made four of these napkins from some scrap that I already had.

Then as usual, I got on a roll, and made 4 new placemats. The fabric I used was from a new tablecloth I had bought from Gabriels Brothers real cheap, but it was too long, so I cut about a foot and 1/2 off one end. Then I already had the binding made (although I would have preferred a wider binding, but I wasnt in the mood to make more).

Then this morning, I was so proud of myself for how well these turned out, and that they looked so fantastic on my table. So I made 4 more napkins. While looking for info on making napkin rings, I run across this youtube video on folding your napkin into a rose. Yep.....I had to try that too. So I took one of the last napkins I made (that incidently was the same fabric I had used some time back to make my kitchen curtains). I played with it some, re-watched the video another time, and voila! It worked. They are soo cute!

You can watch the youtube video HERE. These were lots of fun. But this morning my husband still reached for a paper napkin, because he didnt want to get the new napkin dirty. Awwww how considerate of him. 

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Day Of Excesses

       Today was really a bad day for me to have taken on so much. The fibromyalgia has been acting up for the past 4 days. I have been feeling exhausted most of the day. On top of that I havent been sleeping again. Last night I got about 4 hours. This morning started out fair. I did some cleaning, had my kitchen cleaned and scrubbed in the bathrooms some. Then I decided I wanted to do some baking. I have been jotting down some recipes from allrecipes.com/ . I love this place. You get reviews, and can adjust your recipes according to servings.I started out this morning with making ten 8 oz jars of Strawberry & White Peach Jam. My first jam in a long time. It was going to be just strawberry, then I thought, "What the Heck!, I have some white peaches I just bought, so I will add a couple of them". Aside from a few screw ups in steps, everything was going pretty well. That is until my daughter called wanting me to make a phone call for her while the strawberries were boiling. Let me tell you, It doesnt take long for this stuff (in a too full pot) to violently boil over. All over my nice clean electric stove. Plus the burner is hot , and it gets cooked on, actually burnt on in some spots. The SMOKE is a flying! One thing in my favor, is that it is a smooth top. Took me OVER an hour to get that nonsense scrubbed, and scraped off with a blade. Aside from that, the jam turned out wonderful!

  When I am feeling so fatigued, I dont think clearly, and frequently screw things up. get sidetracked etc...you know the drill. I should have quit there, I knew better, but I wanted a nice supper for my husband. I then burnt the green beans I had picked from the garden.....again. Then   I decided to concoct and make a couple of loaves of white bread. I read that by reducing the sugar, you can get a lighter, fluffier bread. So I put together a recipe that should have been fantastic. YEAAA, I said "should have been". It raised beautifully. Dough felt fantastic. But I baked it too long. Crust got a little too brown, and too thick. It still tasted great tho, especially with that fresh jam :)
        Then I decided to make a meatloaf to go with the bread.....Wait a minute...Didnt I just say "I should have stopped" a little ways back? I guess I missed that. here we go again, back to allrecipes.com. Did a little research on favorite recipes, and came up with THIS one. But I changed several things, and came up with my own recipe which I will post below. This was hands down, the  MOST best tasting meatloaf I have ever had, including Cracker Barrel's.
Well, maybe my luck was turning. After all, this  worked out well. Then i fixed Mashed Potatoes. Another well made dish. Kind of hard to screw up mashed potatoes. But believe me I have done it. I burn a LOT of things by forgetting they are on the stove cooking, or falling asleep on the couch.
By this time, I was too tired to make the salad I had planned. I had even picked the lettuce from the garden too. So I just sliced up my first Early Girl to eat plain. What a SPECIAL treat that was!

While I was working on these things, my daughter and her daughter decided to make cookies. They made sugar cookies, and chocolate chip.

Now my nice clean kitchen is destroyed! More work to do..........

3/4 cup Packed Brown Sugar
1 TB Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup ketchup
2.25 Ib Hamburger
1/2 cup of milk
3 eggs
2 and 1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 medium onion chopped fine
1/2 green pepper chopped fine
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 and 3/4 cup cracker crumbs

1 cup ketchup
1 TB vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1 TB mustard
1/2 cup brown sugar ( my husband liked it this sweet, but I think I would have preffered a little less)

Combine loaf ingredients in a bowl. Dont overwork. Place into loaf pan or other dish and form into a loaf.
Combine your sauce ingredients and pour over loaf. Bake at 350° for about an hour and 10 minutes.Depending on your oven, you might want to check it in an hour.

                                                                White Bread
1 cup of warm water
1/3 cup of sugar
2 packs of yeast
1 and 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup of warm milk
1/3 cup butter or vegetable oil
1 egg lightly beaten
6 cups flour ( I used unbleached King Arthur)

Mix together first 4 ingredients and set aside to allow yeast to activate. Then add the rest of the liquid ingredients. Measure in the flour, reserving the last cup to add in increments . Knead by hand for about 10 minutes, or about 5 minutes by electric mixer with dough hook, then finish by hand. (just my preference). Could be all done on machine. Pour small amount of oil in bowl, and grease bowl, then turn dough into bowl, greasing all of dough. Cover with towel, and let rise in warm area for about an hour or until doubled. then pan out into 2 loaves and allow to raise again till doubled. About 45 minutes. bake at 350° for about 25 minutes or until sounds hollow when tapped.

                                          Strawberry & White Peach Jam
4 cups mashed strawberries ( also put mine thru a blender so there were no large chunks)
1 cup mashed white peaches (blended with strawberries)
4 TB lemon juice
1 box sure jell pectin
7 cups of sugar
I just followed the directions that come in your Sure Jell box for cooking. Pour into jars, and seal by hot water bath.