Friday, February 29, 2008


I took a few days off, but thats allowed right? I have just been drained. Each time I sit down to write or work on something my mind goes blank and I end up needing another snooze. The weather has been up and down though and I seem to feel worse when that happens. My body may be needing extra rest this week but my Mind is whirling all over the place. I've been trying to work on my embroidery a little every day in the afternoon. It does take me awhile so Its helpful to have something on the old tube. I felt like I had been watching a lot of nonsense just to have something on, so I decided to try to watch all those documentaries I had been putting off. (the husband finds and saves them for me) I always love them when I do watch them, they make me do more research which is the point I guess. After seeing it win best documentary at the Oscars I had to check Taxi to the dark side out. This time in history is so confusing. I think it is important to see all sides of issues. But whatever side you are on this story will make you sit back and think, maybe even enrage. Sometimes thats a good thing I think. I just hate feeling so helpless in the position and actions of a country you believe in.
The next one was fascinating. "Guns, Germs and Steel". It is the theory of scientist Jared Diamond that those 3 things have determined the life and death of civilizations throughout history. Its 3 parts and extremely interesting. If it pops up on PBS, give it a go. It really made a lot of sense.

Ok last one, Ken Burns "The War". Now this is an 8 part series I think and I only watched the last one but if that is any indication of the others it is well worth it. It is so easy to forget the past and not try to understand it, but this war was only 60 years ago. Just 60! Most of the men in the film can only recently even talk about what they saw and experienced over in Europe and the Pacific. In order for them to lead semi-normal lives they had to put it out of their minds. That is how it was with my grandpas, but It had to have changed them forever. Learning about where my G-pa served and the situations he was in has really helped me understand partly why he was how he was. He could hardly ever talk about. My father lived in the tropics for awhile when he was younger. When he came home and opened his suitcase the tropical smells made my g-pa sick. Just smelling it. The husband is getting me the rest which I will have to watch little by little. I tend to take things to heart and get emotional, but I think it is so important to learn and try to understand. So ends my movie review of the day.

My mumsy is my best friend. Once I moved away from home, we started talking a lot and I got to know her as a person, not just a mom. She is simply amazing. She has so much charity in her heart. Well since we live 3000 miles apart, we have to be creative about how we spend our best friend time together. Sometimes we pick a meal for us both to cook, so its like we are eating together. Shopping online is the big one though, thanks to the wonderful World Wide Web. On Wed, we did a big dress shop. I usually have a horrible time finding dresses I like and would wear, but this time I found a jackpot. Mom gets a lot of her stuff from Coldwater Creek. She usually shows it to me first. So we were looking and I hit upon their spring dress line. Amazing! The dresses look very vintagy, which I love. There is one that I keep going back to. I don't know why I love it so, not my usual type but the colors are simply lovely. I'm going to have to check every day until it goes on sale the pray they have my size. I just cant get enough of it. I tried to copy it here but it just showed up blank so I will have to link to it here. If you look at it close you can see little copper sequins sewn in. My second love is here. It reminds me of something my great grandma used to wear. Check them all out, some really great ones.

Since I haven't done much the last few days I have had to live through the craftiness of others. I just love reading Lisa's blog, Dorky Homemade Quilts. She just cracks me up. On her latest post she has a video of her machine quilting and it is unreal. Her quilts are beautiful. I also found this other craft gem, Pandora's Button Box. If you scroll down on this link you will see the greatest dolls. I just love them, so very unique. She took a much needed break in Feb it seems, but is now back. I hope things work out ok, she seems like a very special lady.

One thing I did manage is to make the soup I posted about. It turned out great. I will get a picture of it and put it up later I hope. The other night I looked outside and a little snow storm had appeared. The snow had no foot prints and because of the wind they would dissappear soon after they were made. I got all bundled up to go out. By the time I did, one lone set had appeared in the middle of the street. It was still beautiful. Have a good night , and may your dreams not be scary.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


My little sock creation wanted to share in the excitement of getting my first comments. She says "Thank You, Thank You! for putting my mom in a good mood and giving her motivation to keep writing and crafting away. You know how crazy moms can get, thinking everything has to be perfect. I keep telling her just keep going, if you mess up just deal and move on. For example I have an extra leg on my head. I'm glad she left it though cause now if I fall upside down I still have a leg to stand on. He he he"

Whoa, I cant believe I let her go on like that. In my Christmas haul I got this book to make stupid sock creatures. The husband thought it would be good cause if I messed up it would make it more unique. And sure enough, and extra leg landed on this girls head. Lucky I had some feathery strands to cover it up and make her feel pretty :). These creatures have been great therapy for me. I mentioned before that suddenly I needed my socks to match. Well that left me with dozens of crazy matchless socks...Perfect. So to my new blog friends, you better not be too nice to me or you may have Extra Foot Girls little sister show up at your door..and you can see the trouble she causes. Speaking of trouble makers...heres a quick pick of Bertha child on her special heart blankie she stole from me. Her eyes make her look scarier than she is, I told you she is off that medication!

Well I finally went out and wrote comments on a few of my favorite blogs today. And guess what! These ladies are even cooler than they seem! I see all the mail they must get and cant thank them enough for popping in to see crazy ol' me. I noticed that Niki Ventures was having a little give away and thought that may be a good place to start. It goes til March 17th for those of you that haven't jumped in yet, the link is here. Her blog is so honest and fun. Honesty is so refreshing in this world. She left a great little comment ....then left a little post about my new endeavor right on her site!!!! I was so touched and felt like a little girl with a big chocolate bunny. Thank you again Niki for that. Since then I have received a few more comments...yay! More blogs for me to visit.

I am almost set to start cutting out squares for quilt #2. I got all the supplies in the mail this week, including my 24in quilting hula hoop!

Check that thing out, it is humongous. Now I know what to do when I have kidlets and we cant afford real toys. Throw some ribbon on this thing and tell them to go hula! Actually, I can get 2 out of this, sweet! For some reason, in my head 24in only seemed like 12in. I was always really horrible at math. So as I was saying, I have the I just need to get to work. I am pretty good at teaching myself things but I'm thinking it might help to take a class, since I've never used the rotary cutter and all. I found a quilt shop not far from me that is having beginner classes all through March so I think I better sign up, give myself a kicking start. Until then I might try some little coasters just to get my sewing fingers and foot warmed up. I am hoping the blizzard like conditions we had today will have disappeared by tomorrow so I can go check the shop out and sign up.

Thank you all again for your lovely words. If any of you try the soup let me know, unless you hated it, then keep it to yourself. lol. I better get some time in with the darling husband before he gets lonely. Sweet Dreams.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Introducing the Cat


I had planned a picture full post today but time got the best of me I guess. I've felt pretty tired the last few days and am trying to get a lot done on this latest embroidery...sooo...not as much time in front of the computer. I embroider pretty slow, mostly because I have to make every little stitch perfect. I stop and redo a lot, maybe more than I need to but its more important that I am just doing it no matter how long it takes. I do have a deadline now though. Mumsy and I have planned our quilting rendezvous! I will be going home to Arizona at the end of April for 2 weeks. Yay! It will be the longest I have been home in 12 years but I think I can handle it. After all, we have 2 quilts to quilt and finish. She will have the top ready for quilt #1 and I will hopefully have one ready for #2...the one for g-ma's big 80th. I have the pattern and fabric picked out. I will show you the progress as soon as it gets going.

I am going to start adding blog links to a list on the side. These will be the ones that inspired me to begin this journey; the ones that lose and inspire me for hours. I know in order to be involved on here I have to involve myself. I kind of want to build up a few posts though before I go crazy. Right now my ol' blog looks and feels so primitive but I am still happy with just getting started. I have commissioned the littlest sister to get a header photo for me. She loves that kind of thing and seemed really excited about it. So chop chop littlest sis, this thing isn't gonna decorate itself. LOL. Once I get more comfortable with what I want and like the computer whiz husband said he would help me sharpen her up. Sweet. So for now I guess I just need to keep posting.

Meet me at Mikes is having a little give-a-way this week that I thought I might jump in on. She is looking to share some sweet soup recipes and I LOVE SOUP! My family lives in Southern Arizona, where I spent most of my teen years. I think I miss the food the most. This is a great little soup my mom gave me the recipe to, it reminds me of AZ. Hope you enjoy!

Chicken-Avocado Tortilla Soup
1/3 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3/4 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
8 cups fat-skimmed chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes (14 oz.)
1 can diced green chilies (4 oz.)
10 corn tortillas
1 1/2 pounds boned, skinned chicken breasts
1 firm-ripe avocado
2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
about 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1. In a 5-6 quart pan over med. heat, stir onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, chili powder, and pepper until spices are fragrant, about 1 minute. Add broth, tomatoes (including juice), and green chilies. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.
2. Meanwhile, stack tortillas and cut into 1/8 inch wide strips. Add to boiling broth. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Rinse chicken and cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Peel the avocado, pit, and thinly slice. (Mom always cooks the chicken first and then puts it into the soup but I just put it in not cooked, like the original recipe) You can decide.
4. Add chicken to broth and return to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until chicken is white in center, about 5 minutes. Stir in cilantro (optional) and salt to taste. Ladle into soup bowls, garnish with avacado, and add cheese to taste.
Note: The thinly sliced corn tortillas thicken the soup as they dissolve.

I'm going to say goodnight with a picture of Bertha, our cat child, and her fancy schmancy cupcake place mat. She just loves it! (both those dishes were separate gifts, apparently not everyone feels the same way about Bertha as we do. Hey, she's been off that anti-psychotic drug for years now. Ha ha). I promise more pics and links and goodies are coming soon!

Saturday, February 23, 2008


I love Saturdays. Really they are just like every other day for me but they feel different. It just feels like a break day where I can say, "i could go here, or this needs done, but i'll wait til monday". Of course during the week I always think I'll wait til the weekend so maybe I should work on doing a little on all the days.

Over the past year I have noticed a change in myself. Just little things. For instance, I never used to care if my socks matched. I have tons of crazy socks and I used to just grab 2 and put em on. Also, I would pick the craziest lounge pants and shirts I could find. Lately, when I look at my clothes or even shopping I am amused at what I used to love when I was still in that young, wild stage. Now, though my socks may be crazy, they always match; and I reach for the plain black or gray pants, thinking I'd rather blend in these days than stick out. I have kind of settled into the music and t.v. that I like, not really needing to add anything new since I am content with what I have. I would usually rather stay home and cook and craft than go out, and my frugal tendencies keep getting stronger. I think we all go through changes like this. Maybe it is getting married or finding those first gray hairs. Maybe it is learning to be content with ourselves and knowing life is a series of changes based on experience, wisdom and age. Things we used to see our parents doing and thought we would never do, now seem to make sense. I'm not saying that the youthful spirit and fire goes away, it just doesn't seem to need to be something that drives us completely. Sometimes taking a break and retreating inside ourselves, and noticing the power of the simple joys of life, is more powerful than making a statement. I guess I am just noticing that these little changes aren't a bad thing, and a box of air dye is only 3 $ at Target.

Onto the creative part of my day... At this point in my crafty life I don't own that much fabric. I have mostly embroidered until now and didn't need much for the projects I was working on. I know very soon I will be searching for ways to use up my stash but for now I am trying to build it up. It occurred to me that My grandmother used to have tons of fabric that she used to let me play with. This was over 20 years ago. She doesn't sew much so I figured she still had a lot of it sitting in a dark corner crying out to be used. Grandma turns 80 this year so I thought if I could get her to give me some I could use some of it to make her a birthday quilt. I told her it was a project for my mom and hoped for the best. A package came yesterday and JACKPOT!!! Some of it is 40-50 years old. In the meantime I found some beautiful fabric for her quilt so this stuff is all for me. whaaa haa haa. The sun was barely peeking out today but I did my best with the pics.

These 2 are canvas..big whole pieces. How awesome! The rest is mostly cotton. Its old but the condition seems brand new. Thank you! Thank you grandma!

Yesterday I said I was working on my 3rd embroidery block for my 1st quilt. The picture is my current progress and the original design can be seen here. I'm really excited about this one for some reason. I am using the chain stitch for the tree and I think it adds the perfect dimension. The file came in a pdf instead of a jpeg (whatever those mean, thank heavens for the husband!) Anyway, on my windows viewer I could get it to the right size but it would only print in huge or tiny. Soooo.....I had this great idea to just trace it off the screen. Not as easy as I thought. Tracing paper was too thick. Ahhhhh. I was distraught. Then I thought I could get some plastic wrap, cover the screen with it and directly trace it onto the plastic wrap with a black sharpie. Well, the actual screen is about and inch from the picture so it was a little tricky but I did it! I then covered a big piece of card stock with the plastic and then traced it onto tracing paper, then onto the fabric. I think it was worth it though. I'm sure there is millions of easier ways but like I said before, Have to start somewhere! Click on it to see it closer. I added the little butterfly.

Have a great day everyone...take a nap. After all, it is Saturday!

Friday, February 22, 2008

I'm coming in..Head first.

I am banking that everything after this first sentence get easier so lets just get this out of the way. Whew. I never thought I would get up the nerve to write in my own space online. It always seemed too daunting a task. But the last several months I have found myself drawn to all the craft and quilty blogs I can get my hands on. I read through the daily chronicles of other women in my position or in a position I will likely find myself down the road. Mothers, wives, crafters, creators, but most of all individuals. I see the balance they strive for between being a caretaker and a woman with thoughts, dreams and desires. I see the creativity that comes from their experiences and their desire to always learn and create more. I see the friendships they form that become invaluable in their lives. I see all this and think...I want in.
I have always enjoyed doing crafts and sewing here and there but have never really used that desire to obtain skills and growth in the area...until recently. At the moment I am a stay at home wife. My battle with health and energy has left me with different options than I expected for my life. In that turn of expectations over the last few years I have found there are things I can do and have the time for. So I picked up a needle, googled "embroidery" and off I went. My earlier stuff was all given away as gifts without photos ('ll have to track them down for memories sake). Now I have a me a digi camera and a desire to learn and improve.
A few months ago I thought "hmmm, I should make a quilt. I don't know how but surely one as bright as me can figure it out." I didn't even know what a fat quarter was and had never heard of a rotary cutter. All things in good time I suppose. My mom said she would help me, and it would be for my little(but not so young any more sister). I figured I better decide what it would look like first then mumsy and I could pick out the fabric and discuss when one of us would travel the 3000 miles between us to put it together. Well quilts come in squares sew together a bunch of squares...yea! I got this great idea to make a tiny replica of it first using tons of 1 in paper squares I cut out. Some how I got the dimensions wrong in my head and cut out 3 times as many as I needed But I was on the right track! This is what I came up with. I was so proud!

Of course I would add some embroidery, those will be the four squares with the little flowers penciled in. I even added a creative. Ha. Well, now I know there is actually software to do this for you but I still feel it helped me get a nice picture in my mind. Each square will be 10"x10" so it will be throw size. My first one remember. Pattern to the fabric.
We decided to go with shades of blue since first little sister loves that color. I went to and found a line I loved. I told my mom the site I was looking in and to see if she liked anything. Sure enough we both picked the same exact fabrics. Destiny! I just tried to find the link but they are all sold out. I think you can see them ok in the pic below though. So mumsy got the fabric and has cut and organized the squares. (for the next one we are getting her a rotary cutter and matt) Here is that progress.

So we are coming along well, and I even finished 2 of the 4 embroidery blocks. I wanted them to be simple yet elegant. There will be blue birds in all but one...which I will get to later. I tried to pick colors that will go well with the blues and browns of the fabric. Heres the result. I'm a little nervous. Hope fully my pictures will improve with time. Good light is hard to come by in the winter. I got all 4 patterns free off of There are tons of great vintage pattern to print out. I am now well into my 3rd one, each time trying to add a new stitch. I love how each stitch tells a different story and gives your work a special element.

Well I did it. I busted through the blog barrier! Now I can leave comments on yours without feeling silly. Thanks for bearing with me through post #1. Have a great night.