Saturday, January 6, 2018

New Year Goals

Boy - it has been quite a while!  One of my goals for 2018 is to use the stash of Stampin Up tools and supplies that I have sitting aside - things I have ordered but never used yet. So hopefully I will have some techniques and ideas to share here. Over the past week I have concentrated on using up some of the Designer Series Paper (DSP) that I have accumulated.   I chose several layouts from Pinterest and one evening while we were watching a movie I sat and cut up about 8 sheets of DSP into the shapes needed to complete the cards.  Then over New Year's weekend I put the cards together - making a few changes of course :-)   Today I grabbed a few more sheets of DSP and cut each sheet up to make 3 envelope liners (6 x 6 squares) and then with the last section I cut into shapes to use on the front of cards.  I cut a 2 inch strip from one side and then cut the remaining 4 x 6 into 2 equal rectangles of 4 x 3.


And I got 3 unique cards with coordinating envelopes.  So quick and simple.





And from some of the scraps I had in the package of DSP I made these cards.  I had a bunch of arrow die cuts from the colors in the designs stuck in the package from a previous project.







I also purchased a Rival CrockPot Express multi-cooker before Christmas.


I had 2 crockpots and did not like the smaller one as it did not have a Warm function.  The handle cracked and fell off in pieces in November and I found this model on sale at Amazon.com - so I am now venturing into Instant Pot cooking.   Last night I made Spaghetti with meat sauce and it was a big hit!  Tom especially liked that there was only one pot to clean up afterwards - and it cleans very easily!  I included the brand names in the recipe because several in a Facebook group I follow said they made it but there's was watery.  Mine was not - so may be the brands that make the difference.  I also hope to be adding to my recipes blog as I find 'keepers' for the instant pot.   My recipes blog is my online cookbook :-)

Other news - we hosted my family Christmas on December 30.  It was a good time with about 40 people ranging in age from 2 to 77.  Lots of good food and fun. And of course, our traditional ornaments. I'll be posting about that tradition and some other Christmas ideas.  Here is a picture of the siblings - one less this year :-(


So hope all you who are following will enjoy my posts.  Feel free to share them with friends or pin on Pinterest.  And if you use any of the ideas/designs - please leave me a comment or photo of yours.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Miscellaneous stuff

A fun thing I have done a couple times is to post a cross stitch project in progress on Facebook and ask my friends to guess what I am stitching.   I usually get quite a few guesses and always amazes me what others see in the stitching.  Recently I posted this series.

 Believe it or not, someone actually guessed correctly from these few stitches.


Added a few more stitches.  Lots of random guesses.  Even knowing what it is, I have trouble 'seeing' the picture here. 


And a few more on the other side.


Taking shape here.  

Pretty obvious now.

The finished piece.  I actually stitched two of the same design for some lap quilts.  These are for a couple gentlemen that are roommates through a charity, Quilts for Older Children and Adults.


 This is another project - a baby blanket.  Loves the colors in the "Sundae Stripes" yarn.  I'm making two of these also - twin girls.   How fun!


And I have to post some sort of food picture :-)  This was a weight watchers recipe - Salsa Stuffed Green Peppers.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Cooking, cards, and cross-stitch

Need to update on some recent recipes and cards.

Added some new recipes to my Recipes blog.  Check them out.   The bacon wrapped chicken breasts were a big hit.  Tom said I can make it any time I want.  It is a freezer meal and really pretty simple but looks like you slaved away in the kitchen :-)
Some others I added -
Slow Cooker Stroganoff
Skinny Southwestern Goulash
Sauteed Zucchini and Carrots
Greek Yogurt Pancakes

I've also been playing in the craft room.  Here are some of my favorite cards that I've made recently.

 I call this one "Rob Peter to Pay Paul"  It reminds me of that quilt pattern.  I tried to find an image of the pattern my mom did by that name.  The photo below is pretty close.



This card uses my new stitched shapes framelits.  The framelit cuts the circle and also makes the little stitching design around the edge.  


Another stitched shape framelit.  The sets has various sizes of circles, ovals and squares.  I think I'll be using them a lot!


Here I used some paper piecing.  I stamped the dress on the Very Vanilla and also on the piece of DSP.  I cut out the dress from the DSP and glued it to the design on the Very Vanilla card stock.  It is one of my favorite techniques.

I've also completed a couple cross stitch quilt squares recently. I have to limit my cross stitch time because of tendonitis in my elbow.  Gripping the fabric with my left hand aggravates the tendonitis. I think I'll be looking into some sort of frame to hold my stitching so I don't have to use my left hand :-)

 This Bassett Hound is for a Dogs theme stitch-a-long.  


This is a piece I found in the drawer that was half done.  I finished it up and it can go in the Dogs theme stitch-a-long too.

Easter weekend

I spent Easter weekend in Minnesota with my sister Jane and family.  My daughters, grandkids, and I took a road trip - stopping off at my niece Jill's in Iowa on the way there.   Such a good time - the kids did very well.  It was so much fun to see them get better acquainted with these family members.


A few pictures from the weekend -

 Story time with Cousin Jill.  Derek sat there for about 2 seconds :-) 

 Saturday donuts at the local bakery.  

Dying eggs

Sidewalk art

Chasing bubbles

Red Leaf breakfast - Chef Josh is peeping out from the kitchen.

Easter Sunday



Monday, March 6, 2017

Cooking and Pearls

I'll gotten serious about cooking again.  I have been pretty lazy this winter and not really planned my menus, just grabbed something from the freezer.  And at least once (usually twice) a each week we have picked up something.  And my clothes are telling me it is time to stop that nonsense and plans some healthy meals.  So I've been browsing Pinterest and Wildtree and have a plan for this week at least. 

 Last night was Pork Medallions and Mushrooms.  Sliced pork tenderloin is browned in a skillet while mushrooms are roasting in the oven.  Both are combined in a the oven with some Wildtree Piccata Sauce.   Served over rice and I make some quick and easy frozen broccoli for our side.
It was a big hit!

Another Wildtree meal tonight - Sweet Onion Chicken and Spinach Salad.   This is from the Easy Breezy freezer meal workshop.  The chicken cooked in the crockpot with sliced onions and the Wildtree Sweet Onion Dressing.  Served it on a bed of spinach with diced apples, yellow pepper, scallions and bacon.  Top with a little more of the Sweet Onion dressing and had a couple Cheese Twists on the side (my daughter helped make those using canned pizza crust). 

I've also developed a fondness for an online pearl harvesting show - Shuck It is the name of the company.  People order the pearls - sight unseen - and the ladies shuck the oysters on a live feed.  It is really fun to watch.  There are several but Shuck It is my favorite. You prepay for the number of oysters you want - discounts on larger orders.  They let you know what evening they will be opening your oyster.  I never realized there were so many natural oyster colors. These are not dyed like some are.   

 This is a screen print from my phone of some one person had purchased.  The lower right is a dark lavendar - not very common.   These were all for the same person.  In the center column, the two side by side were from the same oyster - twins!   If you happen to get twins in your oyster, it's a bonus.   And if the oyster is empty, they pull another one for you.  I have watched several times and have never seen an empty one.  There are a good number of twins though.


The bottom one here is called a 'gold nugget'.  It was such a dark gold and it very rare.  The gal that was shucking just kept saying "Oh my malanta!".  She couldn't get over how dark it was.  
It's really fun to see what each person gets.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Be the change - Kiva

Thanks to a friend, Margaret Davaz, for introducing me to Kiva.  Kiva is a nonprofit organization that matches up borrowers with lenders.   You can choose who you want to loan as little as $25 to help them toward their goal. The website has information about the person and the reason for their request.  Your $25 loan is added to others to complete a request from the borrower.   And as they pay back the money you loaned, you can relend that money to someone else.  The website shows you the loans you have made and the repayment for each one.

I have loaned to people with small businesses in Haiti, Cambodia, Kenya, Paraquay and the United States.   You can choose from 78 different countries.   Of the 8 loans I have made, 2 have been completely repaid and I have re-lent that money to others.

Check it out and 'be the change you want to see' by helping out someone else.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Be the Change

One of my favorite inspirational quotes comes from Gandhi - "Be the change you want to see in the world."   Instead of expecting politicians and government to fix things, why not do what we can to make things better for others?     I like the idea of random acts of kindness, but I think we need to go a little bit further and be intentional about being kind and generous.  Look for ways to help others.  Seek out ways to give not only financially but also to give of our time and energy.
Between now and Christmas I plan to share some of my ideas of how to  'be the change'.

Recently Haiti has suffered massive destruction from Hurricane Michael.  There are many organizations that have popped up seeking donations to help the Haitians.   Who do you choose?  Who can you trust?   Many have such high overhead that most of your donations would never reach the Haitians. And others are corrupt and not doing the work they have promised.

I have a young friend who is a midwife in Haiti and she has shared a reputable organization that has been in Haiti for years.  She works through the organization, Heartline Ministries. (heartlineministries.org)

For donations -

Send check payable to Heartline Ministries and designate "Haiti Housing Fund." 
Mail to:
Heartline Ministries
P.O. Box 898
Sunnyside, WA 98944