Friday, December 31, 2010

Girlfriends and Holidays

I was just discussing this evening's plans with my bff.
I love her. And we have lots in common. But, we also have lots not-in-common!

Like holidays.
We do not share similar visions for what makes the perfect holiday. I like hustle and bustle and friends and family and fun. She likes cozy and simple and healthy and quiet.


Take tonight for example.

She is hanging with her guy.
I am hosting a party with my daughter.
We will be having a house full of people.

They are going out to eat at a new (to them) restaurant.
We are planning a huge spread of appetizers.

They will probably eat fish and steamed veggies.
And a starter. She loves starters. But she'll deny it.
If anything healthy appears at our place, it will be by accident.

They are going to watch a sweet movie together.
We are having game night and a bonfire.

They are planning a nice bottle of wine.
We are serving Skip and Go Naked in the punch bowl.

They will probably be in bed by 10 pm.
We will be lucky to have the house cleared out by 1 am.

They will probably start their day with a nice little walk with their doggie to their favorite local coffee shop.
We will probably start with washing the dishes and chances are good that our little doggie will not be getting a walk tomorrow, at all.

As different as night a day.

Happy New Year BFF!!
I heart you.

And if you would like the recipe for Susan Branch's Skip and Go Naked, click here.

Runners and Rolls

Table runner's and pumpkin rolls took top honors on my giving list this year.
I have already posted about the pumpkin rolls.
So now it is time to post about the table runners.

This is an X-Block pattern called Lone Pine. It was so fun and easy to make. And, it looks great in so many different kinds of fabrics. If you are interested in the pattern, click here.

This one started off as a Lone Pine, but morphed into this beauty for my bff.

And last but not least, this 4 star runner for my sister-in-law.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I do hope that you are having a lovely and blessed Christmas Eve!
We are looking forward to serving dinner to family and friends in just a couple of hours. Always a holiday favorite.
I wish you were coming by too!

God Bless!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


2010 Advents

My girls have always had an advent, of some kind, to help them count down the days until Christmas. It was a beloved part of their growing up.
They have both moved out this past year and are busy busy busy. But, I did not want them to miss out on an old favorite, so I made them each their own Advent this year.

This is Becca's.

This is Courtney's.

They are both made with match boxes, and stuffed with Bible verses and Dove chocolates. (Cheap Christmas candy just doesn't hold the appeal that it used to!!)

I made this one for my little nephew. It is made from jean pockets and stuffed with Bible verses and hot wheels cars. He is loving it!

And I made this one for myself. It came together over the summer as part of a blue jean challenge.

I hope the Christmas season is filled with blessings and joy at your house, and that all of your favorite traditions are alive and well!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Orange and lime are Christmas colors too!

This pillow belongs to my bff. And I LOVE it. Very much!

She brings it out every fall. I have tried and tried to get her to give it to me.
"About that little pillow"...
"You don't love it like I do"...
"It would look better at my house"...
"You don't even like orange"...
"Your sister won't even notice that you re-gifted it"...
"Not even for your bff "...
She always says NO!

But look at what she gave me for Christmas!

She made it herself! She loves me.
And don't you think that the orange one would look perfect right next to this one!
At my house, of course.

And, in the interest of all things lime, check out this little dandy.

A porcelain tea mug from my friend Loris, a fellow tea lover. Isn't it fabulous!

I hope you have lots of holiday color filling your little corner of the world, too.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Hand Dyes and Dark Days

Look at these lovely hand dyes!

My friend Jan dyed them herself. And then she gave them to me! A little Merry Christmas love.
Thanks Jan!!

On a completely different note, it is dark around here. We are having ourselves a big storm. Originally, the prediction was for 6-10" of rain, but this morning the updated prediction is for 7-14". That is a lot of rain!! As of last night, we had gotten just over 6" here at our house.

This is what my home looks like these days.
Good and dark. and I took this picture at 11:00 in the morning!

Good thing I have those fabulous hand dyes to brighten things up!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Last night my little friendship circle, Piecemakers, held our annual Christmas Party.
We had such a lovely time! Friends, food and fellowship. What more could a girl want? Oh yeah, presents!! Don't you just love girlfriend gift exchanges? They are always so much fun!

My dear friend Barb drew my name and made me this beautiful reversible apron:

I have made this particular apron myself, and it is not an easy pattern. So, I appreciate it all the more!! Thanks Barb, I love it.

Oh, and let's not forget about the lovely little pie dish that came along with the apron. I'll be baking something in that tonight!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Smelly Update

It wasn't in the garage. It wasn't under the house. And it wasn't in the yard.

It turns out it only left a special little calling card. Right outside of our living room, next to the vent that services the blower to our fireplace insert. Which, coincidentally is not too far away from where the cat food bowl resides. Humm....

Things are smelling better, so feel free to stop by for that visit you may nave postponed last week!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Skunks are Bad

Last night, shortly after we went to bed, I heard noises. So, I got up to look out the bedroom window. I did not see anything moving around, but I did see that there was light coming out of the living room window. Now, I was the last person to go to bed and I had turned those lights off on my way!!
"Honey, wake up! I think someone's in the house."
"I think someone's in the house. The light is on in the living room."
"Wait here."
I did not wait. I followed him down the hall. A good 10 paces behind.
Nothing. We checked every room and closet.
"Honey, I turned this light off myself and I heard noises. That's why I got up."
"I'll check the garage."
This time I waited.
"No one is here."
"Honey, I am telling you I heard noises and I know I turned this light off!"
"So someone broke in and turned on the light?" Now, my guy said this in complete earnest. And he had this look on his face that he gets when he is serious and trying to work something out. And it is always hilarious. ALWAYS.
So, I laughed. Because he is so funny. But I did not want to laugh, because I was a little freaked out.
And with that he said, "I am going to bed."
"Oh great. There is no way I am going to sleep anytime soon. And you are just gonna go to bed?"
"Good night."
That was at 10:00.
I sewed until 1:30.
Tried to go to sleep until 2:30.
Got back up and pulled out fabric for a project that has been on my mind. And then played spider solitaire until 4:22. At which time I was finally tired enough to go to sleep.

Don't worry, I am getting to the skunk.

Three and a half, very short, hours later I woke up to the smell of a skunk. But, I thought I must be hallucinating. Lack of sleep and all.

I had gone directly outside to get a couple of things done, and had promptly forgot about the skunk, because it did not stink outside. About a half an hour later I walked back into the house and was greeted by that awful smell. And it got worse as I made my way down the hall.

And that is when I realized that there must be a skunk in the garage. That's what was making all those noises last night. And it was probably still in there. Just waiting.

I called my guy. No answer.

So, I moved on to Plan B. I called Grandpa George.

"George, there is something wrong and I need your help."
"I think there's a skunk locked in the garage!"
"Well. I see." (Now let me just point out that this comment was filled with the unmistakable sound of gleeful mischief! As a matter of fact, if you were to look up the word "mischief" in the dictionary, you would find a full page, color photo of Grandpa George. No words. Just the picture).
"I'm serious George. What are we going to do about this?"
"By 'we', do you mean you and your husband?"
"No, George I mean you and me! And mostly I mean you. I am doing my part by calling for help."
"I see. Now what you need to do is go down and open the garage door."
"No way, George!! Not me! It is probably curled up on the other side of the door just waiting for me...And, it's probably rabid."
"Oh yeah. It could be." More gleeful mischief here. "Just use the clicker to open the door."
"I don't have one."
"You don't have one?"
"Nope. Do you have one?"
"No. I have asked for one many times, but no one has bothered to get me one...yet."
"Do you think that your garage door clicker would work on our door?"
"I don't have a garage."
"Oh yeah."
"So it looks like you are going to have to go down there and open the door."
"Gee, thanks for the help George."
"I'll stay on the line while you open the door." (I am pretty sure he just wanted to know what it sounded like when someone got attacked by a skunk).

So, I crept down the stairs and cracked the door. No scurrying. No smell.
So I opened the door wide enough to get my hand through to flip on the light. No sounds. No smells.
So, I opened the door all the way. Nothing.
So, I dashed down the stairs and pushed the button to open the big door...And nearly killed myself trying to get back up the stairs before anything came to get me.

So, now I think that the skunk must be under the house. And I am waiting until my guy gets home to take care of it!!

In the meantime, I have every door and window open and all of the ceiling fans on high. Thank goodness it is supposed to be in the mid to upper 60's today.

And, if you were thinking of stopping by to visit me today....I wouldn't.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pumpkin Rolls!

Yesterday was our 2nd annual pumpkin roll making day.

Only half of the group showed up this year. Me and Theresa!

But, we had a lot of fun. And made a lot of rolls.
All for gifts, of course.

Except for maybe one. Just this one. We will give ALL the rest away. To our friends. For sure.

You can trust us :)

Friday, December 3, 2010


We three sleds of wintertime are
Decorated, we travel no more...
Just kidding.

How is the holiday decorating going at your house?

Here are three of my favorites:

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Rana's World Famous, Thanksgiving Weekend, Turkey Potpie Recipe

I hope that each of you had a very blessed holiday!

I sure did. Friends and family from afar, good food, endless fellowship, holiday music, decorating for Christmas, and pie. Let's not forget the pie. Can I just tell you that my bff made us a pecan pie that was SO VERY yummy. And she drove it over, hot from the oven. Just because. She is THE BEST bff ever!

So, did you notice the little recipe swap/hop icon that recently appeared on my sidebar? Well, it is time for the swapping and hopping and cooking to begin!

My recipe is adapted from one given to me by a lady I met several years ago at a quilting retreat. We were all making story quilts and her's was about the time she had spent studying at the Le Cordon Bleu in Paris France. (WOW!) And as we sewed, she shared some fabulous recipes with us. All from memory, mind you, because that is one of the requirements of the school. You have to KNOW how to make the dishes. Apparently recipe cards are just for us whimpy, novice cooks!!

Now, you may think that you don't really like butternut squash or that you have never bought a fennel bulb in your life. Believe me, I understand. My guy hates squash and I had never bought fennel either, but this recipe is absolutely worth it. And my guy can eat the entire pie all by himself, squash and all!

Rana's World Famous, Thanksgiving Weekend, Turkey Potpie.

4 cups of leftover turkey
3 med potatoes
7 med carrots
1 med butternut squash
1 fennel bulb-sliced
2 med yellow onions-sliced
2 sticks of butter
1/2 cup flour
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 bag frozen peas with pearl onions
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 recipe of Martha Stewart's Pate Brisee (freeze the other half to use later)

1. Make the pie dough (Pate brisee) and put into fridge to chill.
2. Chop turkey into bite sized pieces. Set aside.
3. Peel and chop potatoes, carrots and squash.
Place in a dutch oven, cover with water and bring to a boil.
Boil hard for 10 minutes.
Drain veggies and set aside.
4. Using the same pot, melt butter.
Add onions and fennel and saute till soft.
5. Stir in flour.
6. Add chicken broth and stir well.
7. Continue to stir while adding the cream.
8. Gently fold in the cooked veggies, turkey and peas/onions.
9. You can add up to 1 more cup of cream if needed.
10. Turn off heat.
11. Roll out pie dough and place it on top of the hot filling.
12. Place in oven, uncovered, and bake 1 hr at 350.
13. Get some spoons and enjoy the best potpie you will ever eat!!

Mine bubbled over the crust, but not to worry. It will still be de-lish!

Monday, November 22, 2010


Turkeys are as American as apple pie. No other country makes such a fuss about its native bird. Explorers to America praised the turkey, Indians feared it, and Benjamin Franklin, the turkey's greatest champion, immortalized it as a "bird of courage" and a "true original native of America who would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British guard who would presume to invade the farmyard with a red coat on."
~Jerome Agel and Jason Shulman from The Thanksgiving Book

Just look at these 2 big boys!

I know that I have mentioned many times that we live in deer-ville. But, we also have a lot of turkeys roaming around here too!

We see them year around in small numbers here and there. But they are really active this time of year.

Even the squirrels sit up and take notice!

An autumn migration, just in time for you-know-what!

And I can tell you that most years we enjoy watching a flock move through the yard while we are enjoying one being passed around the table!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hexies need a home

Hello to all of you One Flower Wednesday gals. And to all of you bloggers at large.
Do you all remember this project?

It needs a home. I am realizing that there is a reason why this project has sat in my ufo pile for so long. I don't want to make it! So, if you would like to have these blocks for your very own, just let me know and I will send them your way.

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Keeping You Posted

Of mice: he caught one!

Of Yahtzee: he is still losin'.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Of Mice and Yahtzee

My guy, aka Mr. Competitive, is having a rough go these days.

First of all there are mice. In the house. Again.

Now, we developed an off and on problem with mice 7 or 8 years ago when our daughter got her first horse. When you get a horse, you need hay. And apparently, hay comes with mice. I have tried buying mice-free hay, but it simply does not exist. no-such-thing!

So, we have mice. Lots of the them. Mostly over by the hay shed (where the cats have taken up permanent residence). But sometimes they wander over to the house. The mice, not the cats.

And when that happens my guy becomes the Great White Mouse Hunter.

He has a system. Old fashioned traps and peanut butter. Works every time!

Except this time.

This time, the mouse has managed to lick every single trap clean. Night after night.
And my guy is ticked!

So, he is upping his game. No way is he gonna be out done by a mouse.

This is what he calls "sensitivity adjustment".

"And it will work, too. You just watch".

I'll keep you posted.

His second issue involves a little hand-held, computerized Yahtzee game. And me.

Now, I am not that competitive. I like to play games for fun. But, when I manage to beat one of these uber-competitive players...well.....I like to rub it in.

I know, I know! It is so NOT nice. But there is just something about that kind of pot-stirring mischief that appeals to me. Pray for me friends. I really do need it.

So, back to the game. I think that Yahtzee is a game of chance. You either win or you don't. But, my guy disagrees. He has a "system". He absolutely refuses to reveal his system, even to me, but I can tell you that he wins at Yahtzee A LOT. So, it must be a pretty good system!

Well, a few days ago I was playing the game and came up with the new high score, 421. And then, later that same night I won again with 454. That's right people, 454. Mama's new high score.

Well. my guy flipped. He has never gotten out of the 300's. Ever.

"How many yahtzees did you get"?
"What is your system"?
(What! Reveal my system! Never!! Never mind that I don't have a system.)
"Are you crazy? I am not just going to tell you my system. It is a secret".
"You don't have one, do you"?
"Yes, I do". (liar liar pants on fire!)
"Then what is it"?
"You go first. What is your system"?
"No way. I know that you don't actually have a system".
"Yes I do. And it happens to be called the "Kick Armando's Butt at Yahtzee System. And it is clearly better than your system, because guess who has the highest score. That's right, 454".
Grumble, Grumble.

So, everyday my guy comes home and plays a few rounds of Yahtzee. And he is "modifying" his system. To date, the only thing that the modification has produced is his "lowest score ever"!

I'll keep you posted on this one too!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Quilted Inspiration From HIQF

Here are some beautiful quilts to inspire you!

This one is for Becca, my little violinist.

This one is for Courtney, my little bookworm.

Time and seasons. Isn't it great!

The beading on this one was just great. It is practically encrusted!

Storm at sea quilts have been catching my eye lately.

These gorgeous roses were made of velvet.

This one is also for my girls.

This one is for Loris.

Beautiful hollyhocks.

A beautiful Beauty.

And a close up of the quilting, and hand coloring. Fabulous!

Lovely cranes (or maybe Herons).

Love these girls!!

And a pair of sweet little birds.

Now, there is one more quilt I want to show you. But, it was hanging in the "no photographs" area. So, here is a link to the Sacred Threads 2009 gallery. It is nearer to the bottom and is titled "Pastoral Disturbance". It is amazing.
Let me know what you think!