Tuesday, November 23, 2010


 Where do you find your inspiration?
 In September at the Creative Connection, I attended a luncheon where
Ree Drummond was the speaker. She told a story of when she first started blogging.
She created the blog to keep her mom up to date with the kids.
A few days later she received a comment. Ree said, "Mom, is that you?" 
 She started the blog because she loves doing it, not for the qty of comments
or readers. That all just happened on it's own.
Ree was incredibly inspirational and she does what she loves every day.
This is a woman that is famous and probably does not even know it.
Pioneer Woman has over thousands of followers,
so a few more people than just her mom are keeping up with the kids.

 I have (had) some what of an identity crisis when it comes to my blog. 
Unlike Ree, I do not blog for my mom to keep up with the kids. She calls me and tells
me she cannot get this "rat" to work.

"Mom, it is a mouse, not a rat!"

So she is not going to be sitting at the computer much.
I struggle with who would want to read what I have to say. I can't spell. I write like I talk which ultimately creates run on sentences. Ree told us that if she doesn't have anything to say,
 she takes a picture of her pantry and blogs about it.
She takes a picture of a shirt that has been in her closet forever that
she never wears. Just go out and do it!
Another person was at Creative Connection that shall remain
was a huge inspiration to me. I like to call her my personal life coach- You know who you are!
This post is a shout out to her, because I think of her every time I post.


Do you know what Flickr is? It is a photo sharing site.
Pictures can be uploaded, shared, linked and more.
Many bloggers store their pictures on Flickr and upload the pictures to their blog.

I found a cool site that searches Flickr for you.
I did a search on Moda Quilts which brought back 390 pictures.

When I searched moda quilt, (not plural) it brought back 2,631 wonderful pictures of creative work.
Need Inspiration, search for your favorite topic and leave me a comment on what you searched for. I would love to see what topic inspires you.
Do you know of other cool tools like this?
Since my personal coach (you know who you are!) has motivated me to blog more. That she actually likes hearing whatever random thing I have to say, I will have to raise the bar just because!

Thanks Coach!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Jelly Roll Dream Challenge

Did you know... you could win $5000 of prize money
■FIRST PRIZE is $2,500 and a JANOME Horizon MC7700QCP sewing machine.

■SECOND PRIZE is $1,500 and a JANOME MC4900QC sewing machine.

■THIRD PRIZE is $1,000 and a JANOME JP760 sewing machine.
Just for making a quilt from Moda Jelly Rolls?
Here are some of the rules from the website:
 Design and make a quilt making the best use of a jelly roll. Moda jelly rolls are available in most quilt stores plus it is also permissible to use strip rolls from other companies or you may cut your own forty 2½inx 42in strips. Additional background and border fabric is allowed up to a combined quantity of 3 yards (2.75 metres). Rotary cutting quilting rulers and squares and any specialty tools may be used. Any tools you use must be clearly stated in your instructions and must be readily available. You do not have to do any quilting as the longarm quilting and finishing of your quilt is part of the prize for the lucky twelve winners.
(Did you read that? No quilting. You could enter several times since it is only quilt tops! WOWZER) Submit your entry form along with a maximum of five photographs of your patchwork top with notes and instructions on how to make it as well as your entry fee of $25 (or UK£15). You can do this via the website by clicking here or sending your entry form and photos to us via post (addresses below) before the 1st June 2011.
Put 31st July 2011 in your diary (calender) to find out if you're a finalist!
To see all of the details along with the entry form, visit

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Cookie Exchange Tip

Welcome to the last day of the Mistletoe Make and Bake event.
Quite possibly you could have 65 new recipes to add to your rotation. I have some new ones I am excited to try out. I find the more I bake the less I want to eat it. Crazy, I know!
Today's designers are

Today's topic is....... A Cookie Exchange Tip
Having a large family was not very conducive for many cookie exchanges. We always seemed to eat the cookies before we could get them traded. I also have a few people in my family that will not eat anything from "strangers." So I started doing some research on this topic. I found there are many websites for the professional cookie exchange enthusiast. Cookieexchange.com is one of these sites. Robin started her exchanges in 1989. I thought I would pass on some of her suggestions. Make your cookie exchange a women's only event. Do not eat the cookies during the exchange. Serve
hors d'oeuvres and adult beverages. That seems pretty simple.
I hope you enjoy exchanging cookies as much as I have enjoyed exchanging recipes.

Thank you to Sherri Falls and the other designers for inviting me along.

Have a wonderful holiday and as the song goes, "Don't get caught under the mistletoe
with anyone else but _____ (you can fill in the blank here)."

CLICK HERE for a printable version.
This recipe makes a ton of cookies, perfect to share.
The winner of my drawing on Thursday is
Karen said...

We have still have ornaments the kids (now 26 & 29) made in Kindergarten and first grade on the tree. Some have school pictures on them - these are priceless to us! Thank you for the recipe and for sharing about your ornaments and tree.
Karen, send  me an e-mail with your mailing address.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Holiday Tradition

Welcome to another day of Mistletoe Make and Bake.
Have you made any of the wonderful recipes yet?
Today's designers are

Today's topic is.....
Holiday Tradition that has to be done no matter what!
When I was married and celebrated my first Christmas as a "grown-up!", my tree was very bare. I grew up with a mother that loves to decorate. If you stood still very long, she would wrap garland around you and add bows. So I had a hard time with my version of Charlie Brown's Christmas tree. My mom shared with me many of her ornaments as I made our holiday traditions our own.
I have always remembered stripping my mom's tree of the decades of ornaments. She would have it no other way. I am a bit more selfish than my mother was. I want to keep my ornaments, so a new tradtion begins.......
Everything Thanksgiving  each of the kids recieve a new Christmas ornament with their initials and date on it. Once the tree is set up, they add their ornament to the tree.
As the kids grow up and set up their own homes, they will have their own ornaments to display on their tree. These items are much more than a trinket to hang on a tree limb. The ornaments are full of memories that reflect what each of the kids were "into" that year.
Possibly a Texas Ranger World Series ornament for Grant and Bo this year?
I am known to keep alot of "stuff." You know those things you accumilate in everyday life, such as
ID cards
(travis is 21 now. I don't think I could use this Id card to identify him now)
playing ball on the field of dreams!
SPORT PINS and more..

Some years I even get ornaments.
 the year we were married

an ornament to celebrate the birth of each of the kids 
Gary and I trade ornaments. I get whatever comes with a "meal",
but I love them just the same. 
 When the boys collected baseball cards, they gave me a "Head Coach" baseball card.
What do you do with all your treasures? If I can put a hook on it, it becomes an ornament.
I get to enjoy these and many more memories just like me mom did with me.
EACH year we all watch Charlie Brown's Christmas together. I no longer worry that my
tree looks like poor ol' Charlie Brown's.

Each market we have these delicious ginger cookies from World Market.
My recipe for today is for a yummy dip to go along with these cookies.
CLICK HERE for a printable version.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Go-to Book

Todays Mistletoe Make and Bake
designers of the day are:
ME - You are here.
Todays topic is...
What is your Go-To Holiday book?
I have made my own Go-To Book. Now I know there are all kinds of great writers, artists and designers out there. Pick one? I just couldn't do it. Maybe it is the middle child in me.
Make my own book? I have notebooks full of decorating ideas for the holidays. You may remember that yesterday's post was Holiday Sanity Savers. This notebook is definetely not a sanity saver because there is no way my home would ever look like the pages out of a magazine. Someday, I may be able to twitch my nose and make it happen but until then I will enjoy using the pages as design inspiration.
I am not worried about anyone knocking on my door to publish my work of art.

I have notebooks for all kinds of topics, yet my favorites are Christmas and Fourth of July.

I have a book of articles about people. Some I know and consider my friends, some I hope to someday meet.
A book of gardening ideas for when my thumb finally turns green.
A book of quilting ideas.
A book of baby (grandbaby?) ideas.

I hope I have inspired you to make your own Go-To book.
Supply List: Large 3 ring binder.
(I use the kind with locking rings so the notebook doesn't accidentally come open and the pages spill everywhere.)
Sheet protectors
Favorite pages from all your magazines 
Pages from the pile of mail order catalogs such as Pottery Barn, Garnet Hill, Anthropologie, 
and many, many more.
Today is my turn to share a holiday project idea. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it.
Girl Scout Scarf
8.5" x 60"
A girl scout is always prepared. This scarf is full of hidden pockets and sections to hide just about anything.
I picked out with the back of the scarf first. I really wanted to use the Oliver + S interlock, so the scarf would drape nicely. This fabric determined the length of the scarf, approx 60".  I choose assorted prints at least 9" wide.  I decided to challenge myself on this project and try some new techniques.
ZIPPERS: Yikes, egads! I haven't done a zipper since I flunked my sewing project in 5th grade. Due to the great tutorials and Terry Atkinson's colorful zippers I decided to make zipper pockets.
I added a bit of embroidery because I love the look but rarely sit still long enough to do any.
I used different feet on my machine and gave my #37 quilters' foot a rest.
(feet used but you do not have to have them to make this project-Zipper foot on the zippers and walking foot for joining the interlock back to the pieced front.)
Supply List:
Backing 9" x 60" (backing can vary depending on the size of the person and the type of fabric.After making this one I think 6-7"wide is ample.)
Assorted fabrics for front
Additional items to personalize your scarf such as zippers, trims, medallions, floss.

Zipper Tutorials:
the pictures below are from the orphan block scarf shown below
Step1: Zipper and fabric right sides together.
Step 2: Add lining fabric right side together making a zipper sandwich.
Step 3: Sew along the edge of the fabric and zipper. Your piece will look like step 3.
Step 4: Fold the fabrics back wrong sides together and top stitch.
Repeat steps 1-4 on the other side of the zipper. Completed section shown above.
Once the zipper sections are completed, decide where you want the zipper pockets on your scarf. Continue joining fabrics together to make a 60" long strip. Add assorted trims between fabrics paying close attention to placement on the scarf.
Do not add "things" to the middle section of the scarf. This area will be around the back of the neck and not seen. Add embroidery if needed.
Join the back to the front, right sides together, pinning sections in place.

Before sewing the scarf together, unzip one of the pocket sections half way. Sew the scarf all the way around the four sides. Trim the four corners to have nice sharp corners when the scarf is turned right side out. Use the opening at the zipper pocket to turn the scarf right side out. No hand work to close any openings.
Press the scarf. Top stitch above each of the zipper sections to create a pocket.
Ta Da! Just the perfect scarf to hold a spare key, cash, drivers license, chapstick, etc.

Additional ideas to Personalize your scarf:
1. Add pieces of repurposed clothes. I added the button placket from my son's shirt making an additional pocket. (I love buttons but did not want to tackle buttonholes) This scarf is for his girlfriend. It will come in very handy next time he locks his keys in his car after a concert in the rain. Maybe I should go ahead and put a spare key in one of the pockets!
2. Add fringe made from interlock.
Keep in mind the size of the person you are making the scarf for so the added fringe will not make the scarf too long.
Cut an interlock section 9" wide by 12" long. Fold in half and sew along the 9" side to hold in place. Mark every inch, sew from the bottom fold up 6" on each of the markings. Cut  1/2" from the sewn lines. Wet and toss in the dryer to fray the fringe. Size of fringe can vary according to what size you cut this section.

3. Monogram initials.
4. Add a loop and a covered button to roll the scarf into a handy take along.

This was FUN to do using the brad/button maker. This item should be on everyones' Christmas list. (Stock # 001309 suggested retail $29.99)  It is on my list, I borrowed this one from Ducky. The package says (WARNING: Making custom brads and buttons has been shown to become addicting.)
5. Sew with unusual fabrics such as snuggles, old sweaters, sweatshirts, and school t-shirts.
6. Tuck a gift card in the pockets to surprise the recipent.
7. Use orphan quilt blocks for scarf sections. I wanted to use BLISS flannel for the back of the scarf so, once again I started with the back to determine the scarf. This one is 43"long.

For printable directions, please CLICK HERE.
Leave a comment on my post today to win a chance at this adorable "cookie bag" of moda fabric. I will draw the yummy name and post the winner tomorrow morning.
Please make sure if you leave a comment that I have a way of getting
a hold of you if your name is drawn.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cocktail Party Starters

oh I am at a total loss on this one....I am not a party person.
I asked my best friend for suggestions. She reminded me that I would go directly to any of the kids at the party. I guess I relate best to the young 'ens. This does not help me at a "cocktail party."
So I had to consult the expert, Gammy. (that's my mom) Artist and Salesperson who has never met a stranger should be able to give me lots of pointers. My family also threw in their suggestions. Keep in mind they majority of them are males and in their 20's.

Depending on what type of cocktail party, Muy Guapo! is usually what Gammy says to all the males.
(Spanish for Very Handsome.)  Cocktail party or waiter bringing a frozen margarita, doesn't really matter. Works on both. She would be dangerous if she knew any more Spanish.
Other tips from the family:
Don't wait for them to come to you.
I thought you were a movie star...
Did it hurt when you fell from heaven? (this son was confused between pick up lines and opening lines)

Are you with the bride or the groom?
Are you on FACEBOOK?
Are you from around here?
Didn't you hear me?
Remember their name and use it in conversation.
The rest were not suitable for print.
Never ask a yes or no question. Ask about their family, hobbies, etc.  What my dad always taught me comes into play here. God gave you 2 ears and 1 mouth. Use them accordingly. You will be surprised at how much you learn.

What I am lacking on Cocktail Party Chit Chat,
I have made up with my sister in laws, Oreo Cream Cheese Balls recipe.
CLICK HERE for printable version.

4 ingredients, easy to make,
looks and taste like Godiva chocolates

 Tip from my son Grant, Serve with "shooters" of milk.
Now be sure to check out the holiday projects that have been whipped up for you at Perkin's Dry Goods , Patrick Lose and Kelly Ann's Quilting

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sanity Savers

Today's Mistletoe Make and Bake
designers are

There is no such thing as......Holiday Sanity Savers, but I will give it a try.

Get up an hour earlier or stay up an hour later every day... that will add one work day to your week.

Make lists for EVERYTHING. You may not be able to get it all done but at least you will be able to sleep. "They" say if you write things done it frees your brain from trying to remember it for you. (Your brain usually does this about 3:00 a.m.)

Don't worry about finding all the presents you have hidden. Your kids will love the surprises when you come across the gifts in February.

Do not allow Santa to bring any gifts that say, "Some Assembly Required."

Buy your own gift, wrap it very poorly, put a gift tag from your husband. Open it, act very surprised and  gush greatly. I am sure "he" thinks one of the kids did that for him. Works every time!

Don't over scheldule! I finally learned not to set myself up for unrealistic expectations. The best things happen when unexpected.

Sanity Saver tied in with the recipe listed below.
CLICK HERE for printable version of recipe.

 When baking you must double the alcohol in any recipe. Do not put it in the recipe.
Drink it while you are cooking. I often add this to my Sonic Route 44 drink cup and
no one knows why mom is in such a good mood.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Christmas Trivia

Welcome to day one of the Mistletoe Make and Bake event.
Today's designers is
Sherri Falls of This n That

Each day the designers will post about that days topic. They will each have a recipe to share with you. The designers of the day will also include a project that can be easily made as a gift for the holidays.
Leave a comment on each designers blog every day for chances to win the Grand Prize drawing.
So let the fun begin.... Today's topic, Christmas Trivia.

A bit of information about Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer from Wikipedia.

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer is a character created in a story and song by the same name. The story was created by Robert L. May in 1939 as part of his employment with Montgomery Ward.
The story is owned by The Rudolph Company, L.P. and has been sold in numerous forms including a popular song, a television special (done in stop-motion animation), and a feature film. Character Arts, LLC manages the licensing for the Rudolph Company, L.P. Although the story and song are not public domain, Rudolph has become a figure of Christmas folklore. The song tells the tale of Santa Claus's ninth and lead reindeer who possesses an unusually red-colored nose that gives off its own light, powerful enough to illuminate the team's path through inclement winter weather.

NOW for the Trivia Part
1.Which reindeer was identified as Rudolph's father?
2.The Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Television special was originally aired on NBC in what year?
3.What comic book company based a series of 13 Annuals titled 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer'?
None of the above
4.This reindeer helps Rudolph fly at the reindeer games by telling him he is cute.

5.What do they call the Abominable Snow Monster who pursues Rudolph throughout the adventure?
King Cold

6.Who is the name of the jack-in-the-box at the Island of Misfit Toys?
(clue in picture above!)

7.Also on the island of misfit toys was a toy bird who instead of flying did what?
8.This Johnny Marks song featured in the special has become a Christmas Classic.
Let it Snow
Santa Clause is Coming to Town
A Holly Jolly Christmas
Deck the Halls
9.What does the misfit cowboy ride on for transportation?
A Horse
A Pony
An Ostrich
A Bicycle
10.Which of the following toys was NOT on the island of misfit toys?
A toy boat that sinks
A train with square wheels
A bicycle with no handle-bars
A squirt gun that shoots grape jelly

And the recipe of the day is Soft Pumpkin Cookies
Click here for a printable version of the recipe.

And the answers to the trivia questions are:
1. Donner 2.1964 3. DC 4.Clarice 5.Bumble 6.Charlie 7. Swam 8. A Holly Jolly Christmas 9. An Ostrich 10. A bicycle with no handle bars

Be sure and visit all the Mistletoe Make and Bake designers, leave a comment on each to be entered in the Grand Prize drawing. Here is the complete list.
November 15
Sherri Falls – This and That
Monica Solorio-Snow – The Happy Zombie
November 16
Heidi Kaisand – Hen and Chicks
Monique Dillard – Open Gate Quilts
November 17
Celine Perkins – Perkins Dry Goods
Patrick Lose – The Latest News from Patrick Lose
Kelly Ann Richardson - Kelly Ann’s Quilting
November 18
Lissa Alexander – Moda Lissa
Julie Stewart – Quilts4Julie
November 19
Roseann Kermes – Rosebud’s Cottage
Brenda Riddle – Little Acorns
November 20
Vickie Eapen-Spun Sugar Quilt
Melisa Morrison – Sweet Home Quilt Co.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cooking and a bit of news

Happy Saturday morning,

As I begin cooking 5 recipes for the Mistletoe Make & Bake event happening next week, I thought I would share a bit of news. Gene, a moda salesrep sent me the following news.

Sad News

Please join me in remembering a great icon of the entertainment community. The Pillsbury Doughboy died yesterday of a yeast infection and complications from internal trauma associated with repeated pokes in the belly. He was 71.

Doughboy was buried in a lightly greased coffin. Dozens of celebrities turned out to pay their respects, including Mrs. Butterworth, Hungry Jack, the California Raisins, Betty Crocker, the Hostess Twinkies, and Captain Crunch. The grave site was piled high with flours.

Aunt Jemima delivered the eulogy and lovingly described Doughboy as a man who never knew how much he was kneaded. Doughboy rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with turnovers. He was considered a very smart cookie, but wasted much of his dough on half-baked schemes. Despite being a little flaky at times, he still was a crusty old man and was considered a positive roll model for millions.

Doughboy is survived by his wife Play Dough, three children: John Dough, Jane Dough and Dosey Dough, plus they had one in the oven. He is also survived by his elderly father, Pop Tart.

The funeral was held at 3:50 for about 20 minutes.

If this made you smile even briefly, please rise to the occasion and take time to pass it on and share that smile with someone else who may be having a crumby day and kneads a lift.

Hope you enjoyed this bit of humor. Wish I could pass along the smell of my kitchen. I am sure my family will wake up soon thinking I am cooking a big breakfast! Ha ! Ha!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day

On this Veteran's Day I wanted to share with you 2 of my favorite things, Flags and Quilts.
You can only imagine how thrilled I was to see this exhibit at Quilt Festival.
America Collects Quilts: Patriotic Quilts from the Collection of Cindy Rennels.
Enjoy these wonderful pieces and a moment of silence.
Celebrate America!


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