Monday, June 27, 2011

Cooking and the hot summer

When my kids were little I finally learned it was not what I could cook fast that would save me time. It was things that I could cook slow by putting it all in the pot and cooking over low heat. My family ran from baseball games to soccer games to school events and more. I would say pretty much what the typical American family with a house full of rambunctious boys does on a regular basis.

My cooking strategies have changed since I received my panini grill press as a gift from my daughter.

I love it! I cook on it all the time. It is amazing how yummy a grilled cheese sandwich is with those even grill lines. No heating up the kitchen or standing outside waiting for the grill to heat up. Perfect for summer meals.
I am not that creative in the kitchen so I was excited to get the panini press to try a friend's cookbook.

Even more great is that my niece has a recipe in this book. Just imagine a PB and J panini. Sounds weird but it is yummy.
Here are a few of the other recipes listed on amazon with the cookbook.

Did I also say that my panini maker also gives me time to get back to the sewing machine?

Stay cool!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Record winds in Dallas

The winds are crazy here in Dallas with red flag alerts. This is bad for brush fires but good if you are interested in flying a kite!! I guess not literally.
Are you interested in winning some great prizes?

I know the answer is YES.
So all you have to do is visit

On each of the pages you will get part of a code. Fill in the code on the last
stop to be entered for some super prizes.
If you win you will be so excited it will be hard to keep your feet on the ground, holding a kite or not!
Good luck!

Monday, June 20, 2011

And the winner is!

Check out Kathy's Blog for the ist of all the winners!

From Day 7: Lissa Alexander - Moda Lissa's Blog:

Deb said...

The quilt that you started is beautiful. I'm sure enjoying the book tour. Thanks for the chance to win but not to eat alligator! :)

I bet everyone will be taking a second look at the menus when they see alligator listed!!
Thanks for following along! Congrats Deb!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I am giving away a book!

Did my title peek your interest?

Today is my day for The Teacher's Pet
Strip-Smart Quilts Book Blog Tour
I have known Kathy for many years. She holds a special place in my heart for many reasons.
One is that she is Cajun and talks funnier than I do.
My husband
 thinks he is Cajun
 due to the time he spent with an
X-girlfriend that was Cajun but that is another story.
Every time I talk to Kathy she makes me think of my time spent crabbing, making Gumbo
(minus the okra) and Boudin. Kathy has included her recipe for Grits in the book which is
tame compared to the other things she could
be cooking up?

Yesterday you visited Elizabeth at Late Bloomers.We both chose the same quilt from the book. I would say great minds think alike. Right, Elizabeth?!

Well Kathy has cooked up some delightful patterns in her new book using 2 1/2 strips or
yardages cut into strips.
When Kathy asked me to be included in this Hop, I quickly agreed. I was to pick out my favorite quilt and tell why. Now rremember I am a middle child, so I had a hard time deciding on my "Favorite".
 I like them all.
I studied and studied.  I couldn't decide if I liked the quilt design or the fabrics used in the quilt the best.
Each of the fabrics Kathy choose for the quilts were perfect. I tried to choose something different than what she had pictured which was even a tougher task.

Hometown in stores August, Ruby in stores September
I choose a jelly roll from Sweetwater called Hometown. I mixed it with a teeny tiny grey white polka dot from Ruby by Bonnie & Camille for my background. 

I could use an entire bolt of this grey dot. Love it!

This is what I made. I may have to finish it up for perfect Father's Day gift for my X Cajun man.

Yes the header said I am giving away a book.
 Leave a comment on my blog and Kathy will be using a
random generator to pick a winner each day.
Each winner will be receiving a book and ruler which will
 be shipped at the end of the blog tour.

Tomorrow visit Vickie at Sugar Spun quilts to see her favorite
project and get another chance to win!

A Cajun gal told me there will be a grand prize also drawn for at the end of the book tour. 

If Kathy share more of her recipes, beware! Have you ever had aligator? It tastes like chicken.


Friday, June 10, 2011

JUNE Holidays

Every month one of the ladies at work (Nancy) posts the employees birhdays on all the bulletin boards throughout the building. She also posts a page full of  "OTHER HOLIDAYS" for the month. There are so many fun options every month. I thought I would share with you the month of June.

1 – National Go Barefoot Day
5 – World Environment Day

6 – D Day

12 – Raggedy Ann & Andy Day


17 – National Flip Flop Day


21 – First Day of Summer

25 – Leon Day
Leon is Noel spelled backwards.
6 months from today is Christmas
Have you started shopping, decorating and cooking yet?!
27 – “Happy Birthday to You” Day



A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty. Anonymous

You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do. Henry Ford

LOVE THIS ONE- We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
Winston Churchill

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Strip-Smart Quilts Summer Blog Tour

One of the great things about this industry is that you KNOW OF everyone.
It is a pretty small fish bowl.
But you don't actually know them. You could pass them on the street and not even notice.

I am honored to be included in a book blog hop with some new friends and some old friends all from the same fish bowl.

What is the girl scout song?
Make New Friends

Make new friends,
but keep the old.
One is silver,
the other is gold.

A circle is round,
it has no end.
That's how long,
I will be your friend.

Silver is precious,
Gold is too.
I am precious,
and so are you.

You help me,
and I'll help you
and together
we will see it through.
Across the land
Across the sea
Friends forever
We will always be

This version is a bit different from from I grew up singing but it still has the same message.

For the next ten days, make some new friends
as each us share parts of my
Old (not age) Friend, Kathy Brown's
great book,

Friday, June 10 - Pam Vieirra McGinnis - PamKitty Morning!

Saturday, June 11 - Laurie Simpson - Minnick and Simpson

Sunday, June 12 - Tara Darr - Sew Unique Creations

Monday, June 13 - Joan Ford - Hummingbird Highway

Tuesday, June 14 - Linda Lum De Bono - Linda Lum De Bono

Wednesday, June 15 - Elizabeth Scott - Late Bloomer Quilts

Thursday, June 16- Lissa Alexander - ModaLissa- That's Me!

Friday, June 17 - Vickie Eapen - Spun Sugar Quilts

Saturday, June 18 - Camille Roskelley - Thimbleblossoms

Sunday, June 19 - Debbie Field - Granola Girl Designs

Friday, June 3, 2011

A few random after Market items!

I love what  Karla, Lisa and Susan from Sweetwater  create. They came up to me at the end of Market and handed me this wonderful print that had all the names of every collection and designer from Market. The print was tied with a polka dot ribbon and a moda charm. How did they know I love words, polka dots and moda? One gift that covers it all! Super. Did you know you can order labels from Sweetwater? I ordered some and I love them.  I sew them on anything and everything I make.
Check out all the cool designs. You can even join a monthly club of labels.

When you go to Market twice a year you get to see and catch up with your old friends. I saw Jan Patek in the aisle during set up. She said congratulations on being a cover girl. I politely thanked her and went about my business. I hadn't seen Jan for months and I just assumed she was talking about APQ October.

Well Jan had just returned from France where she was a guest teacher for Quiltmania. She had already seen issue no. 83 of Quiltmania. Guess what! There was my quilt. You can't begin to believe the amount of time that  passes from the date you complete your quilt to the date it is published. I feel as if I have sent one of my children off to boarding school and they finally have come home all grown up. Actually I had forgotten all about them having the quilt. Reminds me of when we forgot Travis at the baseball field.That is another story, he made it home safe and so will my quilt. Anyhow I was surprised and delighted!

I love this quilt. It is a double irish chain that has a watercolor or blended feel. I used lots of big prints from French Generals Pom Pom De Paris line. I even cut up the big stripe and used it as a background square.
When i start something like this that is "out of my comfort zone", I never know how it is going to come together. I am pleased with this one. I am glad Quiltmanina liked it as well.  Thank you Carol!
The only change I would make is that you got to travel with your quilt when you sent it to France.
By the way Quiltmania magazine is available at quilt stores.

During the Memorial day weekend, I was perusing through the stack of books from Market. One of my new favs is Red White and Something Blue from That Patchwork Place. Those are 3 of my favorite colors along with brown, aqua, grey and on and on and on.

Then I come to this masterpiece!  Just kidding! There was one of my quilts that McCall's had published. The entire book is a collection of quilts from past issues. So if you missed it then now is your chance.

I couldn't believe this quilt also featured French General fabrics. I didn't know how l much loved working with this line.

And last but not least I got to drool over something else that was a year and a half in the making. I had a very small part in this but I know several people that worked very hard on making it all happen.Thank you to Angela, Susanne, Jenny, John Natalia, Vanessa, Vickie, Rachel, Julie, Roslyn, Melissa, Amanda jean, Monica, Sweetwater, and Kimberly.
Vanessaa's project. Which is cuter the quilt or the kid? Of course the kid wins every time!

Moda and Stash books sponsored a schoolhouse at Market. We all had lots of fun.
We had all worked long distance on the project, so it was nice getting to meet many of the chef in person,
Check out the moda bake shop for lists of book signings in your area.
I don't know about you but I am tired of talking about myself. Toddles for now!


Thursday, June 2, 2011

what can google do for you?

I am a google junkie. It is another one of those words that is a noun and a verb! Here are a few reasons you should become a google junkie also.

Google Documents
Google has created several ways to create documents that can be edited from any web browser. Google docs can be used to create customer questionnaires, surveys, pattern illustrations, and many other types of forms. Google documents can easily be added to your website. To read more, go to

Google Images
Do you have a newsletter deadline looming? Stumped what clip art to use? Visit google images for tons of free images. Many of the images are copyright free, but please do not use the ones that have restrictions.

The following two items I encourage every shop owner to spend a few minutes checking out.

Google Maps
With the summer vacation season starting, you will want to make sure you are represented on Google Maps.
Using your business phone number, google adds you to the biggest yellow pages in the world. It doesn't stop there. Add your website, store hours, pictures and videos. If you are offering children's sewing or quilting classes be sure and post that in your description. How many moms will be looking for things to keep the young ones entertained this summer? This is a great way for potential customers to learn more about you and what you have to offer. This is FREE! FREE! FREE! and takes about 15 minutes.

Google Alerts
I have talked about this before but it bears repeating. Have you ever wondered what people are saying about you and your store? Google Alerts will find out for you. When you create a google alert, you select the keywords that you want to be included. The keywords could be anything from the name of your store, our own name, etc. Each time it appears on the web, google will send an e-mail with a link to the mention. Alerts include web entries, blog posts, news articles and consumer reviews. I have my alerts to come once a day in one e-mail per topic. You can quickly scan the posts to stay on top of what is being said about your store.
Alerts are available for any topic. Do you have a favorite designer? Set up an alert for them.

I have a google alert for Quilt Market. This allows me to keep up with all the new things happening before during and after Quilt market. You may have an event that happens in your area, for example Outdoor quilt show, add that to your google alerts and  watch the buzz. I even have a google alert set up for myself. I have an usual spelling so I thought my name would be a rarity. There is at least one other Lissa Alexander. She is much more prolific with her words than I am. I now  know there is someone else that spells their name with 2-s's.

These are just a few of the many Google tools to implement for your business.

How many times have you said, "Just google it?"


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