Wednesday, December 28, 2011

twas the days after Christmas.......

Ho - ho - ho - hope your Christmas was filled with delight. I purposely stayed away from the keyboard over the holidays so I would spend my time doing fun stuff like baking cookies, visiting, sleigh riding, napping, eating, watching cheesy Christmas movies......... all that good stuff that goes along with Christmas and the holiday season. Fortunately , unlike my friend Karen, (poor Karen)
I didn't catch a cold nor did my hubby.
I did try some new Christmas cookie recipes though. I LOVE baking and this year I tried 3 new recipes.

The first was peppermint snowballs. They are cookies that get filled with a peppermint cream, baked and rolled in crushed candy canes and powdered sugar. Yummy! Speaking of candy canes my D.H. made me a set of 3 candy cane decorations for the yard. He's a real handy guy.

The next cookies were coco-mints. You make coco wafers and then sandwich them with green mint filling. Also yummy!
The third new recipe was double peanut butter cookies. You make the dough, which is peanut butter dough, form into logs, chill, slice and then add a small dollop of peanut butter, cover with second slice, seal the edges and bake. They are super peanuty flavorful! double yum!

Christmas eve we drove around to see some Christmas lights but didn't go to our usual light display neighborhood because we go there so much we know it by heart. So we picked a different neighborhood and we did catch a few ambitious displays.

We spent Christmas eve at my D.H.'s step brothers house for a tappas party and wow did they have a wonderful assortment! There were 2 kinds of shrimp, salmon and capers, lots of cheeses, chutneys, fruit, carved ham sandwiches, 3 kinds of ravioli, the squash ravioli was awesome! They had sausages, Italian wedding soup and then of course desserts - I will post the recipe for the nut yule log in a day or two for you.  It was unbelievable and it's a super easy no bake recipe. I usually don't even try fruit cake type loafs because they are not always very appetizing. You know all the jokes about doorstops and anchors right? Well, I had 3 pieces of this one - oink -oink!
Christmas Day was going to be in laws over for brunch but my FIL was in the hospital until late Christmas eve. He was too weak still to bring on an outing, so we shared the mid day meal with my FIL and MIL at their assisted living center then came home and took a short nap and then eventually got around to opening gifts.
Our Christmas dinner was quiet, we threw some nice beef tenderloins on the grill and relaxed the rest of the evening. 
I still have a few Christmas cards to mail out - yes really. I know it's almost 2012 but that's another story.......

Sunday, December 18, 2011

and the giveaway winners are......

..... hopefully going to be very happy with their prizes. I so enjoyed the comments that were shared and I truly wish everyone a glorious Christmas season. The reason I didn't post sooner is because I was busy wrapping gifts so I could get them mailed off to my family to the north. I was also pouting because the Packers lost the game today. I guess I shouldn't pout though,  it's the first game they lost this year.
Anyway, I also want to get the prizes mailed off to the lucky winners....
The first winner is Mippy and she will receive the $20.00 gift card Congratulations Mippy, I hope you enjoy treating yourself to something fun and unexpected. 

The second winner is Iluvmybugs and she will receive the big stack of wool squares. I would love to see what she will make with them wouldn't you. 

Thank you to everyone for entering and perhaps you won on another blog in the blog hop party. Thanks once again to Michele from quilting gallery for putting this all together and a happy birthday to

Tomorrow it's time to bake some Christmas cookies!

Friday, December 16, 2011

a stitch in (double) time.....

Calling all procrastinators.......If you know me, you know that I am the reining queen of procrastinators.
All hail the queen! NOT. Today was spent in my studio stitching in double time. I thought I would be farther along with my gift making but alas here it is a week before Christmas and I am frantically stitching away. Please tell me I am not alone....please don't tell me that you had your gifts done and wrapped before Thanksgiving, don't tell me your cards are mailed and your cookies are baked. That would just be cruel.
One of the gifts I am determined to finish tonight is a scarf made with this really fascinating yarn I found at the last quilt show I went to. Have you seen this yarn? Have you tried knitting with it yet?  I am knitting with 7 stitches cast on and as you knit it kind of twirls itself around and makes a unique accent scarf.

this is the yarn
this is the scarf, so far

I must say it was a challenge to cast on,  and will probably be just as much of a challenge to cast off. Guess I'll find out later.  Next up is to finish an apron....

this is an apron yet to be completed....
 I better step away from the computer now if I want to get these done tonight...tomorrow is another day.
Speaking of tomorrow - (Saturday) it's the last day to enter my giveaway. Scroll down to the last post for entry info. 
It's super easy, and I am loving all the delightful comments you are all posting about Christmas. 
I so miss my family up north. I guess the only thing I don't like about Christmas is not being with them.  (don't mind me, just a small pity party in progress. If you're missing your family you're welcome to join in )

Well... off to knit and hug my darling DH

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Holiday giveaway..... with a little extra something

Do you like gift cards? How would you like a $20.00 gift card to Barnes & Noble?  Then you'll want to enter my new (and long overdue) giveaway and perhaps you'll be the one to win it.
In this giveaway I wanted to give a gift that everyone can use and I'm sure that you can find something fun there to treat yourself to.

The $20.00 Barnes & Noble gift card will come in a little handmade gift card holder (yes, I made it)  that you can keep, or reuse to give a gift card to someone on your list. (yes, you can even re-gift this gift card - I won't tell).

This is to help celebrate the 4th birthday of the host of the Blog Hop Party. Happy 4th Michele and thanks for throwing the party!  There are oodles of other fabulous blogs participating in the Blog Hop Party with oodles of other great giveaways. Click here or over on the link box to the right for the Blog Hop Party to join in if you want to have fun hopping around.
But wait there's more......

Also for this giveaway there will be a second place winner. The second place winner will receive a stack pack of 35 100% Wool 5"squares, after all, this is a blog about creative pursuits.
p.s. just so you know, Woolfelt by National Nonwovens is made in the U.S.A. Hooray for that.
If you're not a stitcher or you don't want to win the Woolfelt charm pack just put a note in your comment and we'll draw another winner. 

So how do you win one of these giveaway prizes? All you have to do is answer the question  "what is your favorite part of the Christmas season" That's it. I'm not going to make you jump through a bunch of hoops.  You do need to post your answer on this (Dec. 9th) post but you have until Dec. 17th to do so. The winners will be chosen by random and announced Dec. 18th. 
Good luck and be sweet and share this event with your friends. If this is your first visit to my blog welcome and read on there's more........

An extra little something for all of my creative friends.....
I put a free download on my site for the instructions on how to make these holiday napkins ties. They're easy and you still have plenty of time to make them to add a cute little accent to your holiday table or to give as a gift.  Click here to get the free project download.
holly and sleigh bell napkins tie
gift box napkin ties

 Now I have to go get busy in the studio with some Christmas gifts I'm making and finish trimming the tree.  Have fun and savor the moments of the Christmas season - Linda

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

something new - something old

You know the feeling... the feeling you get when you finally put the finishing touches on a quilt you've been making or a room you've been decorating, or even a junk drawer that needed cleaning.
I have just finally finished up an exciting project that I have had in the works since the summer. It is such a nice feeling to have it all come together.
I'm guessing that you have children or grandchildren that you love to make things for. Of course we love to make gifts, that's all part of being a quilter/crafter, isn't it? 
This new pattern is a wholesome toy and quilt all rolled into one.
 Color My Garden.... is a pattern for a playful, interactive quilt that includes a pre-printed fabric panel with 11 fruit and veggies for kids to color with crayons or washable markers, and then "plant" in their quilt garden.
This is easy to make and the instructions are very complete and well illustrated.

I  also added a free download on my site for instructions to make a cute little matching harvest bag for their quilt garden. 

If you want more details you can click on this link or go to my site. I am also going to have a limited quantity of finished quilts available for purchase.

So...what's old you ask.........that would be me!

Actually..... I was going to say the stack of unfinished projects that require my attention. LOL

Of course now I am also working on some Christmas gifts in progress. I have enjoyed seeing that so many people are making gifts again. I know that handmade has always been popular with avid stitcher's and crafter's, but now it seems that even more people are getting into the handmade spirit.
I am happy to see the next generation finding their way to handcrafts and foodcrafts. I believe that taking the time to "craft" something is good for us. 
With today's fast pace, "crafting" makes you take a breath and connect with your creative side,  physical elements, and time.

How many handcrafted gifts are you making this year? More than last year or about the same?
How many did you have the intention of making :) ?
Well, I'm going to go work on my gifts so I don't have to use next day shipping to get them there in time :)

play like you mean it....

Thursday, November 17, 2011

giant chocolate or UFO?

Look what I found! Actually my hubby stumbled across it and took me to see it. We didn't see Gort or Klaatu anywhere around so maybe it is filled with chocolate....mmmmmm!

Anyway it's pretty cool looking.
Got a new camera today, an early b'day present from my family so I'll be back to taking more pix again. Didn't realize how much I used my camera until my old one broke. Had a hard time finding one with a view finder.  With sunshine almost every day here a view finder for outdoor shots is a huge benefit. Ended up ordering a gently used one because it had a view finder. It's a Cannon power shot SD770 , and I'm looking forward to putting it to use.
My Dad is an extremely talented photographer and I used to help him develop prints when they were done the old fashioned way, in a dark room with chemical trays. He has a lot of really cool black and white pix from way back that I hope he will put into a book. He along with most the population has gone digital. He really embraced the new technology and I'm very proud of him for that.
This week he is facing complete shoulder reconstruction and I know it's going to be a rough road ahead while he heals. It's hard being far away when you want to be by your family's side. So thank goodness for technology.....because at least we can talk, and facebook, and email. Darn it, why haven't they invented the transporter yet???  Maybe I can hop on this UFO and get there.

Monday, October 31, 2011

it was a dark and stormy night......

Well, it was dark anyway. It did threaten rain last night, and after the 3 or 4 inches we got the other day it's a bit soggy out there. Today is gloomy and drizzly, perfect zombie weather, but hopefully the rain will abate in time for all the costumed kindlings to trick or treat to their hearts content.  Our candy supply is dwindling though, hmmm wonder how that happened?

I knew I should have bought the candy we didn't like -  LOL - oh well, guess I may have to run out for more.

What is your favorite Halloween candy? Or, maybe the easier question would be, what is your least favorite?

I think the scariest part this Halloween, besides all the zombies, is that the next day brings November already! Yikes!

Tomorrow I also start my new part time employment.
Yes, I will be working and teaching at our local quilt shop, SEW Studio.
They just expanded their retail space and it's fantastic.
I'm really excited for them.
Stop in and say hi if you're in the area.

Happy Halloween and watch out for those zombies, they seem to be everywhere..........and they steal candy!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

don't swoon......

I don't want anyone to swoon by posting again so soon but I have a little time before calling it a day...
Back to our latest quilt retreat.... My friend Peggy had made some pretty Christmas ornaments and when she came back from lunch one afternoon one was missing....

 There was however a ransom note on her table....
                     (it reads, "Your ball is mine, leave 5 bucks on piano")

Poor Peggy was beside herself and after much finger pointing, hand wringing, and contemplation, she decided not to call the authorities, but to pay the ransom of 5 bucks to get her precious ball (ornament) back unharmed.....

here's the piano with the ransom demanded....

                                                 5 bucks !!!!!
                                 Peggy outsmarted them......

What can I say, she's a shrewd one that Peggy. She did get a confession from the culprit, but they were still trying to locate the ornament last I heard......

On that note I am calling it a night...sleep well

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Deja Vu all over again....

 I am happy to report that the lights are back on.  LOL
Since my last posting of July 22nd, (OMG not kidding) the lights again went out Tuesday night when our latest storm rolled through.
Now however, we are thoroughly enjoying the cooler temps here in South Florida. Only in the 70's today!
So where have I been all summer?????
It's been a bumpy road....

 it's a long story that I will edit extensively for your sake.

I had been feeling increasingly tired, and lackadaisical, along with a whole host of symptoms that kept piling on since late spring.
After several visits to several Drs. I finally found out why. I have thyroiditis.
The good news is I will be fine and I am feeling better than I did.
I am at least getting my energy and concentration back and will now try to keep up my blog once again and get back to visiting my favorites.

I did go to our summer quilt retreat over Labor Day weekend and took a few pix to share....

My dear friend Cathi is always prepared for fun creative play and this retreat was no exception.
She brought along tons of fun tools for creating journal pages.

lots of fun stuff to play with!

She and my friend Karen have started playing around with creating art journal pages and for a change of pace during retreat I gave it a try. It was fun getting paint all over, we finger painted some, but alas I didn't want to pick up my camera then.
Here are a couple of their pages. I still need to shoot mine.....
this is one of Cathi's pages

one of Karen's pages

unfortunately my camera dies just before retreat and I picked up a cheapie at the drugstore. It is very touchy and I didn't get a lot of good pix. Karen decide to try her hand at making a quilt ala Susan Carlson from her book Serendipity Quilts. She decided to make the sun project and needed lots of yellows and oranges. Can't wait to see it finished. Susan's book and quilts are really stunning. If you haven't seen them check them out here.

Here's the start.....just call him "Ray"

Well, I need to pop over to the grocery store before dinner. But I will be back with more....
no, really I will. LOL
There was a ransom demand that took place at retreat, more on that next time.
until then, be well

Friday, July 22, 2011

boom - boom out go the lights.....

Ah yes...just another ferocious afternoon thunderstorm in "sunny" Florida.  There were some real window rattling booms today. The lightning was super intense and had us scampering around the house unplugging vital equipment such as the computer, phones, printers, tv's, etc. We're a bit gun shy since getting zapped by a lightning hit last year which took our tv's, modem, intercoms and phones. Naturally our deductible was about the same as the damages - oh well.
 We just added some new phones a few weeks ago because we were using some backups we had but they needed replacing. My SIL bought my hubby a Vtech cordless for the garage for his b'day. We liked it and so I popped over to the CSN online store and found the same Vtech cordless set to complete the set for the house.
Happily we didn't get hit by lightning today but we did lose power for several hours. Luckily the buckets of rain had cooled things off considerably because without the A/C running it could have been very hot. Yucko.
I was working on a clients quilt when the weather went bad. I always unplug my machine during lightning storms.

Turns out a branch came down in the neighbors yard across the street and started on fire. He showed us the pic. Anyway....the power company showed up, cut away some branches and they had it back on in time to make dinner....drats, if it hadn't come on we would have had to go out LOL

Speaking of boom boom....I heard the double sonic boom when the space shuttle came in for it's final landing the other morning. A sad day indeed. We went to a shuttle launch years ago and it is an amazing thing to see in person. I hope that private enterprise will pick up where NASA left off and that the employees will all find work and the U.S. shuttles will orbit again.

Stay cool.......

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

literally.... over the rainbow

Yes we were over a rainbow!
On our way back from our Wisconsin visit to see family and friends we flew over a rainbow! Our very nice flight attendant came over and brought it to our attention and it was so beautiful. I have never been right over a rainbow before. Anyway, were' back home and had a fabulous visit.
It was my parents 6oth anniversary - yes 60th! They are an amazing couple and truly an inspiration.
They have known each other since grade school and he teases about how he used to pull her pigtails in class. They had a fantastic celebration party and we were so happy to be there to celebrate with them.
The week went by all to quickly as it always does when we visit but we got a lot accomplished around their house and did a lot of visiting too.
We of course had to go to a Friday night fish's truly a Wisconsin tradition and when you find a good fish fry- oh my! We went to a family style fish fry with a group friends and family and it was all you can eat. They just keep bringing platters of fish and I confess, I didn't keep count, I just kept eating. It's not a batter fried fish, it's lightly breaded and oh so good.
It was so wonderful to see our families other than on facebook and spend some much needed quality time with them. Now comes the bad part....we forgot our camera! arghhhhh- oh well you'll just have to use your imagination.

Picture this.... family dinners, lots of laughing, cows, cheese, rolling hills, fireflies (there were tons of those) rainbows, bluebirds, chipmunks (so cute), morning coffee on the deck, anniversary celebrations and toasts, blooming flower beds, pulling weeds,  and then of course the tears of departure.
I hope you have the chance to connect with your families and friends this summer....

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Independence Day

Wow! It can't be July 4th already, but it must be because an increasing amount of American flags are lining the streets, there are red white and blue yummies at the bakery, firework tents have sprouted up at all the shopping centers,  mosquitoes are buzzing about, and the smell of charcoal is wafting through the air. Yikes...where has the year gone? Do you realize the Christmas is only about 5 months away? The Christmas fabrics are already on store shelves..... That's pretty scary huh?
But I digress.....
Tomorrow we will celebrate our independence and be grateful of the outcome of the war fought so many years ago in the name of freedom. We will salute our men and women in the military past and present for their bravery and allegiance to our country. I do believe that America is special, not perfect, but perfect enough that I am very proud to be an American.
Check out craftgossip or foodnetwork for some amazing looking 4th of July dessert recipes if you need some inspiration.

This is the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Have a wonderfully Happy Independence Day and celebrate like it was 1776!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

do you have any three's?????

Go fish...........we had a whopper of a storm roll in last night and lost power about 7:30. Of course.....just before I was going to make dinner. The winds were ferocious and brought down some large limbs and toppled our ginormous potted cactus on the deck.
before the storm

 After digging out our battery lanterns, battery radio and battery fan, we dug out an old deck of cards and played "go fish".
Mind you it has been forever since we've played and we had a good laugh over trying to remember how to play. I think we had it quite wrong. Oh well.

 After fumbling through a few rounds of "go fish" we moved on to playing "war". This time I had to make some calls (phone was still working). I called my SIL and she googled "war" for us. We each won a round of war and then we decided to walk down to the street to see if we could see any power repair trucks.
Turns out a very large pine tree had fallen over the lines and snapped a power pole in half. The lines were across  the road and some of our neighbors could not get past and we could not leave to go out.
we knew the power wasn't coming on anytime soon and so peanut butter and jelly was served by lantern light, how romantic  :)
We were very thankful for the rain and it cooled things down nicely so it wasn't too hot to sleep. Summer in Florida is not where you want to be without air conditioning :(
Living in hurricane land we are prepared for bad weather,
I even have a treadle sewing machine for emergencies such as this, but I toughed it out (LOL) and the power came on this morning around 9:30.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Karen's stencil from our "art camp" reflects my feelings right now. We've been in upheaval around here since my father-in-law went into the hospital the day before Mother's Day. We were very afraid that we were going to lose him and are so very joyful that he rallied through. We are also very grateful for my DH's step family that have been by our side through it all. We ended up having to move my FIL and his wife to assisted living over the Memorial Day weekend along with our stepbrothers' mother-in-law (by coincidence).
Needless to say we have been quite busy. The Lord does work in mysterious ways though .....
My DH was off work for 2 weeks and my hours have been cut for the summer, which in turn gave us the time we needed to devote to getting them moved, settled and to be able to spend a lot of time with them during this transition. We continue to pray that my FIL will respond to continued therapy and get stronger and healthier.

I hope to get back to keeping up my blog on a more regular basis, we'll see how that goes... in the meantime...... here are the last few pictures from our Saturday "art camp" .....

This was a piece that Marti did using Shiva paintstiks and textured rubbing plates..... I'd like to do more of this.

This is a piece Karen painted using watered down fabric paints. It will be a background for future playing. I also painted a background....

Here is my palette plate and the table after our day of "art camp"

Looks a bit different from the start....

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

more fabric play......

Let's see, where did I leave off????
Oh yes, we rust dyed our fabrics and then we were playing with creating our own stamps to use on our fabrics.  We used all manner of things to make our stamps.....
Cathi used some sort of discarded kitchen utensil for this one. Hmmmm, Cathi, won't you miss that in the kitchen???? LOL Then she over-stamped it with a small commercially made texture stamp. This turned out very cool, I also like the way the brush strokes still show up from painting the stamp surface with the fabric paint.
Cathi's stamp work
Cathi also made this stamping using two different stamps and two colors, one stamp was made with assorted washers and the other was the toothpick stamp. Stunning!

Cathi's double stamp fabric
Karen made her stamp using assorted washers and created a tone-on-tone look by using a
subtle, neutral fabric paint.
Karen's stamped piece - step 1

 Karen then over-stamped it using a metallic paint achieving a dimensional effect...
Karen's stamped piece - step 2

Here is Marti's stamped piece showing the two distinct stamp designs and colors she used.
I love the paper clip stamp. This was so much fun!
Marti's double stamped fabric
This is my stamped piece that I did using a stamp made with metal bobbins....
I stamped onto a white-on-white print fabric and then over-stamped it with a 
commercially made dot texture stamp.
Linda's stamped fabric

Karen enjoys calligraphy and so she was drawn to this commercially made 
stamp, and I can see why....

Unfortunately, Marti was going to have to leave early and our day was ticking away......
 So we moved on to surface design using stencils and rubbing plates but more on that next time....

Thursday, May 5, 2011


A Monarch caterpillar decide that this wall plaque on our patio, was where it wanted to make it's amazing transformation. We came out one morning and this lovely chrysalis was hanging form the edge of the wall plaque. 

several days later it was changing........

then we came home the next afternoon and .....

we had missed it..... but one of the monarch butterflies fluttering about our yard started it's flight right here.