Thursday, December 22, 2011

Last Minute Homemade Gifts

It's the most wonderful time of the year! You know, the time when you need just a few more gifts to have to pass out to neighbors and other people you haven't thought of ahead of time! Here are a couple of projects that I enjoyed making and giving this year. I found these on Pinterest and they were hits with my quilting friends and book club ladies. The To Do List is made with a sale frame and fancy scrapbook papers. A dry erase marker means it's reusable! The recipe for the scrub can be found here, and you may even have the ingredients in your pantry already. Don't forget to make one of each of these for yourself!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

More Slice Stuff

Here a couple of more designs from the Slice Fabrique. I used these cute "manly" Carter's onesies that I found at Marshall's. I finished these while in Washington with my fabulous friend, Ellen. It's a good thing that my SIL has custody of the Slice at this time, it's really addictive! I'll share some more of the projects from Washington in the coming days.

Friday, December 2, 2011

It's Finally Here!

Our Slice Fabrique, that is! My SIL and I purchased a Slice Fabrique Digital Fabric cutter at the Houston Quilt Show last month and it has finally arrived. You can see the info here, I just spent a couple of hours getting acquainted with it. By that I mean a couple of frustrating hours shredding copious amounts of fabric trying to figure out the best size to cut the fabric and the best place to position it on the board for cutting. Long story short, you need at least a 6 inch square piece of fabric even if you are cutting an eyeball for a mouse applique! Live and learn! It is a great concept and I hope to get much more proficient soon because the designs are so cute and the possibilities are endless!

The owl onesie is for our new great nephew. I never knew it could be so fun to sew for boys, but there are so many cute projects. I would love any recommendations of patterns or ideas that any of you would like to share.

And finally, thanks to my SIL for letting me have first dibs on the Slice ;)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Intervention, Please

Hi, my name is Gretchen and I'm addicted to Pinterest. If you have not joined Pinterest, I cannot stress enough the importance of doing so immediately. Go ahead, I'll wait, You have to request an invitation and wait for a reply, but don't let this discourage you. It's worth the wait. Pinterest is a way of organizing and keeping track of all the neat things that you see online every day, all in one place. Another cool thing is that you can "follow" your friends, or complete strangers, if they consistently pin things that interest you. I have found it especially handy for keeping up with all the sewing and cooking ideas that I am inundated with daily. Give it a try, but don't say I didn't warn you! If you do join, look for me so I can follow you.

Mineral Wells State Park

Well, it's been a while and I have missed you all terribly! I am so sorry to have been so neglectful of my blogging responsibilities. I have had a lot on my plate in the last few months. My sister was critically ill during the summer and is finally recovered from surgery and Cyberknife treatment for a benign tumor near her C1 vertebrae. We have also had a birth and a death in our families. Needless to say, it has been a roller coaster of emotions around here. Things are finally returning to normal (whatever that is!) and I am looking forward to a happy, blessed holiday season.

HD and I like to go camping during this, our very favorite time of the year. A couple of weeks ago we joined my aunt and uncle for a couple of nights at Mineral Wells State Park. MWSP is about 30 miles west of Fort Worth and about 3 1/2 hours from our house. It was like a beautiful, different world! They had fall color on the trees and water in their lake! We had a great time sitting around the campfire visiting, eating and being schooled in the finer aspects of playing poker. Here's a link to a slide show of our trip,

Thanks for your patience, it's good to be back!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Possibly the Fastest Quilt Ever!

I got this link from my friend, Ruth. It uses one jellyroll and takes under one hour to piece. I can't wait to try it! Check it out here,

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Spicewood Sunset

I took this last night on the way home. We got a wonderful rain shower yesterday afternoon and and this was the result!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sewing Machine Cover Tutorial

She's back! Bari J., that is. You may remember me raving about taking classes from Bari in Sisters last year. She is so talented, inspiring and fun. And generous. Today on Sew4Home she is providing a free tutorial on how to make a sewing machine cover. You can find it here, Sew4Home is a great resource for tutorials and free patterns. They are even having a giveaway of kit containing some of Bari's Paris Apartment fabric to make the identical machine cover in the tutorial.

Bari is also a passionate hand stitcher. She has a new website devoted totally to the art of embroidery. You can find it here,

Sew much inspiration, sew little time!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11

It's not a day any American who was alive in 2001 will ever forget. I spent this anniversary like a lot people, remembering what I was doing that day (not much, except watching TV) and praying for the survivors and for our country. I also spent some time doing what I have done during good times and bad since I became a quilter in 2000, piecing a quilt.

I am sure you have heard about the horrific wildfires that have plagued Central Texas over the last week. We live in one of the affected areas, although we were personally very blessed to be spared. About 7000 acres and over 30 homes in our area have burned since last Sunday and although the fire is 100% contained, 50-60 firefighters are still working round the clock to keep it that way. A neighborhood just north of my SIL's subdivision also burned with over 20 houses lost. The largest fire is east of Austin in the community of Bastrop and is less than 50% contained a week later. It is over 50 square miles in size. Hundreds of homes have been lost and now at least two lives that they know of.

I got a message on Facebook a few days ago about a local quilt group that is trying to get enough quilts donated to give one to every child whose home has been lost in the fire. The estimate I heard from one local quilt shop owner is over 1000 quilts are needed. So with a very valid reason to start yet another project, I dove into my stash and came up with enough FQs to make this boy's quilt. It's a variation of good old Turning Twenty called Around the Block. I also quilted up a girlie scrap quilt top that I had made last year. I am hoping to get them both to a drop off point by the end of the week.

So, on this solemn anniversary, I helped myself with some fabric therapy and hopefully someone else, as well. I've said it before and I'll say it again and again, God bless America, today and everyday!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Big 2-0!

Back in July, HD and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. He had to work so we had to celebrate close to home. Being the great husband that he is he asked me what I wanted to do. Maybe a fancy dinner out? A night on the San Antonio Riverwalk? A night in the Four Seasons Honeymoon Suite where we stayed the night of our wedding? Nope, I said. What I really want is to get some of the fam together and go to dinner and karoake. "Really? Are you sure?" he asked. Oh yeah, I'm sure! So away we went!

We were able to eat and karoake at this great place in Austin called The Highball, They even have an iPhone app to help you plan your song list! The music you are hearing now is a sampling of the tunes from our evening. The following slide show contains some photographic evidence of our performances! Some of the fam escaped the camera, but I assure you, fun was had by all. HD also finally got the Groom's Cake he had been deprived of for so long. So, for some, the traditional 20th anniversary gift is china. For us it will always be karoake!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Hatch Heaven!

That's a little bit of heaven, right there! A half bushel of roasted mild Hatch chilies from a nursery in Ruidoso. That was our last stop on the way out of town. They roasted them while we waited. We loved on the resident Golden Retriever, Maggie, and let her and Valentine play while we waited on the chilies. It was wonderful! We also got to smell the intoxicating aroma all the way home. The aroma of the chilies overpowered the aroma of Valentine in the back of the Jeep, it worked out very well! The chilies are now squirreled away in the freezer for fall and winter casseroles, soups and quiches.

First up will be Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas, . I've shared this recipe from my friend Lisa before, and it is worth sharing again. It is the best Chicken Enchilada recipe I have ever made. I hope you will set aside your diet and give it a try!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Portrait of Me

Here I am. Well not really, but that is about how I have felt lately. I have mentioned before how the heat always depresses me and it has been particularly brutal this summer. Also, my younger sister has been ill for several months and that has been ever present in my mind. Well, things are looking up! My sister has been diagnosed, operated on and is now making a very good recovery. Many thanks to all who emailed, called, sent cards, prayed and gave any kind of encouragement. It is so appreciated and such a blessing to me and my family! It is also now September and hopefully we will see a break in our heat soon.

A couple of hours ago, HD, Valentine and I arrived home from a few days in Ruidoso, New Mexico. He needed to get away and so did I and Ruidoso is the closest place we can go to get cool and see some pine trees and mountains. They also have rain there. Really. I don't think I have ever said, "I really hope it rains on our vacation!" until this trip. It rained every afternoon and I sat on the porch of our cabin and savored every moment. I feel rejuvenated and hopeful and very excited for fall to finally arrive in Central Texas. We are also anxiously awaiting the arrival of our great nephew any day now. So, I am glad to be back and I have a lot to share in the coming days. I'm so glad you stopped by and I am going to try to be more consistent with my posts!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Soldiers Angels

With news of the tragic helicopter crash in Afghanistan I felt helpless. What can I do as an individual thousands of miles away to help our soldiers? Hopefully we are all praying for their safe return and for the families of the fallen, no matter how we feel about the war. But I was also thinking about a tangible contribution. The charity sewing group that I attend, Creative Hearts, contributes quilts for soldiers and I got this link from one of the ladies in that group, There is lot of info about what has already been given and what they regularly need. With unusually high casualty numbers this summer, the need is greater than ever. Since I am a coupon queen, I think I will start to clip coupons for the needed products and start stockpiling and I hope you will join me!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Help

I spent this sweltering Texas afternoon in the cool comfort of a movie theater with my sister in law and niece. We went and saw "The Help". It was fantastic! Sometimes when you love a book, and I really loved this one, the movie can be a disappointment. Definitely not the case with "The Help". If you have not read the book, in my opinion, you must. You will laugh, you will cry, you will cringe and you will cheer along with these incredible characters. Here's a link to the official movie site where you can find out more,

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


That's what I said when I ran over a pin while working on my latest project. I know you're not supposed to sew over pins. But I couldn't see it and I was easing in a seam and then it was too late. Thankfully my machine still works perfectly-those Janomes take a lickin' and keep on tickin'! I would like to tell you and myself that it won't happen again, but I'm not gonna bother.

It's kind of like over the weekend. While working on some tape measure bags, I set my machine for a zigzag stitch and forgot to take off my quarter inch foot. Until the needle slammed down and shattered on the foot. That wasn't pretty either. Again, the machine still worked perfectly.

I'm giving my machine the day off. It's earned it!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

By Request...

A couple of friends have requested the recipe for Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole that I took to Creative Hearts today. This is what I call "Elegant Comfort Food"! I got this out of Southern Living years ago and you can find it here,

I made a couple of changes. I added chopped mushrooms and flat leaf parsley to the onion and celery saute then I added about 1/4 cup white wine to the pan for more flavor. I also used one can Cream of Mushroom and one can Cream of Chicken soup, the light varieties of both and I did not use all the sour cream called for. I reduced the grated cheese to 1 cup and left off the breadcrumb topping. I think it is delicious and I hope you do too!

Beware-this recipe makes a lot. A LOT! Thankfully it freezes well and you will never have trouble finding people to help you eat it!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Lotus Dress

This is my latest creation, Amy Butler's Lotus Dress using fabric from her "Love" collection. I don't know about you, but shopping for a dress is about my least favorite thing to do. It's almost as bad as shopping for jeans. When you're one size on top and another on the bottom and long waisted, among other issues, it can be a challenge. So when we received an invitation to a summer wedding, I decided I would attempt making my own dress.

I had already made the cami version of this pattern and loved it. I measured myself and used the recommended pattern size, plus 2" added to the length. I made the dress in the same size, plus 2" added to the length. It was too big!!! Imagine my elation when I had to take it in a total of 4" in 4 different places! I will definitely be making this dress and cami again.

I have also had similar success with Amy's Barcelona Skirt and Liverpool Tunic patterns. I would consider her patterns advanced, but her instructions are clear and well illustrated and will guide you step by step. I am mastering darts because of Amy!

I guess what I'm saying is when life gives you hips and curves, try making your own clothes!

By the way, I have also recently found a perfect fitting pair of jeans. I know, miracles really do happen people!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Beautiful Bracelet

My friend Ellen made this beautiful bracelet using Kumihimo. Kumihimo is a form of Japanese weaving that, in this example, resembles bead crochet. I have done bead crochet , it wasn't pretty. I am not coordinated enough and now I am pretty sure that my eyesight would make it even more challenging! Ellen assures me that I can do this. She is so confident that she has purchased a kit for me to make when I visit her next month. I may or may not post a pic of my bracelet. If I never mention Kumihimo again, you'll know how it went!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Where I Sew

Are the dog days of summer getting you down? Hunkered down in your air conditioned sewing room? Yes and yes for me! Well, how about a tour of the sewing rooms of some of your favorite designers and bloggers? Did I mention you don't have to leave the A/C? Check it out here, I especially loved Jennifer Paginelli's room, of course I love everything she does! For those of you who haven't seen my room, here's a pic. It is rarely that clean. Okay, never.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dish Rug

Once again I have been inspired by Jennifer, you know Jennifer. She's that girl who loves to quilt! This is my version of her dish rug. Here's the link to her blog and tutorial,

These are very handy and, of course, way cuter than a plain towel. Jennifer used a "broken in" towel and I used a new one. Either way, you really need to square it up before sewing. There's a reason I know this, trust me! I got my microfiber towels at Walmart, 2 for $3 and used one whole fat quarter and a scrap from another project. This is a very budget friendly project and a great gift.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth!

I found this link over at the lollyquiltz blog. I hope you enjoy this blast from the past as much as I did! Have a safe and happy Fourth!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Patriotic Runner

I'm so sorry I have been away for so long! The heat pretty much drains my energy and my motivation so I don't usually get a lot done this time of year. Some people struggle with the blues in the dead of winter, but it affects me in the heat of summer. Not a hot weather girl, never have been, never will be!

Here's a really cute project that can be made inside your cool sewing room! Head on over to get the details on this runner. She has even provided a set of printable instructions.

Have a happy and safe Fourth!

Monday, June 20, 2011

My Way

I saw this idea and I loved it! It's called "Kitchen Sink Bunting" and I knew I had to make one. Here's the link to the tutorial, Here are some pics of my version. I also included some pieces of ribbon and some selvages. I plan to make several more of these babies and string them across the ceiling of my booth in Johnson City, maybe with some twinkle lights in between. This would also be cute for a Fourth of July get together made from reds, whites and blues with some star fabrics mixed in.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Moda Bake Shop

Moda Bake Shop is a great resource for free patterns. Here's a cutie that I just found, Of course they want you to use their pre cuts, but wouldn't this look great in batiks? Maybe with wider strips to make the ruffle fuller? Or in Amy Butler's "Soul Blossoms"? Oh the possibilities!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I'm In Love,

I'm in love and I don't care who knows it! Anybody recognize that movie reference? Anyway, I finally broke down and invested in another high end iron. I had been burned (insert groan!) in the past by a certain brand that starts and ends with an "O". You know the one that pops up. I'm not bitter. Not much.

After using a cheapie for about a year, it died when I needed it most, during a tshirt quilt. So I found a Rowenta Professional model that does not have an automatic shut off and I took the plunge. It is the best iron I have ever had. Lots of steam, a really slick stainless plate and a heavier feel make it a winner for someone who sews as much as I do. Since I am getting more forgetful in my advanced age, I am using a tip from my sister in law. I plugged the iron into a surge protector that also has a lamp plugged into it. If the lamp is on, so is the iron. Pretty smart, huh?!

So now I think I may need a new cutting mat. This one has not "self healed" in quite a while! I do plan to recycle the old one by cutting it into rectangles for tote bag bottoms. We'll see how that goes. What does one use to cut a cutting mat? That may be a question for HD to figure out!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Tape Measure Bags

No, they are not used for carrying your tape measure. I guess they could be, but there are a lot of other things I would rather use them for! They have sections of retractable measure in their casings to give a type of "snap" closure. I got this idea from Superquilter and her partner in crime. You can adapt many bag patterns for this method and it's a LOT easier than putting in a zipper.

The only complication that I for see is having enough tape measures. I shall have to begin prowling dollar stores to support my habit! Here's a link to a tutorial to make a coin purse with a tape measure closure, .

I made these bags with some scraps that my friend Kelleigh gave me after our last retreat. Recognize the flowers? Yep, those are from the Kanzashi in Bloom book that I gave the stellar review of in the precious post!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Book Review

Great! That's it. That's my review. Can you tell this is not a paid endorsement? If making flowers out of folded fabric interests you, this book has clear instructions and great pictures to demonstrate each step of the flower making process. It seems that these little folded flowers are popping up everywhere. Warning-they are addictive. Here's the Amazon link if you should decide to join the madness, These are a great portable project. The middle pic is my small, folding table all set up to be moved in front of the TV. Stay tuned, in a couple of days, I'll have some pics of what I am doing with these cuties! It also involves using scraps. Surprising, I know!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Susan's Spin

This is my friend, Susan and this is her spin on the wildlife applique patterns created by Toni Whitney. Susan paints the design onto fabric and then uses many different embroidery stitches to embellish the image. She surrounded this one with log cabins made from batiks. She says she plans to do all the animals, but will definitely make the next quilt smaller!

What a great example of thinking outside the box!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Where In Texas Are We?

HD, Valentine and headed out this morning to officially break in our new Jeep. Although it was pretty overcast, it turned out to be perfect! I was wondering if any of you Texans could guess where we went. Here's a hint, it is less than an hour from our house, on a river that actually has water in it and we picked up burgers at place a "Kingpin" would hang out. This is purely for fun, sorry there are no fabulous prizes!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Check this out!

I just got this link from Super Quilter. Don't let the title deceive you, it is super cute. Here's the link, I have been a little light on motivation lately, but this blog may just be the cure! Be sure to click on "Tutorials" on the right sidebar, there are some really good ones.

Monday, May 9, 2011

What I Learned on Retreat...

I had heard of the "Magic Pillowcase" since I started quilting, but had never seen one made. My friend, Linda, gave me a tutorial while on retreat and I am hooked. Here's a link to a tutorial so you can see for yourself,

These make great gifts for children and adults alike. Think of one for each holiday or a special one for birthday or a favorite sport or animal. You need 3/4 yard for the body (unless it's directional, then you need 1 1/4 yard), 1/4 yard for the cuff and 3" for the accent strip.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

I Have Seen the Light!

And I hope you will, too! As a devotee of cinnamon toast from way back, I didn't think it could be improved upon. I was wrong. HD has taken to making cinnamon toast for himself several mornings a week, today being one of those. As it happens, today I saw this post on PW's site, I won't say which approach HD used. My shame won't allow it. But I just tried her approach and I must say, it is bliss! I plan to keep a bowl of the butter mixture in the fridge in order to be ready to make cinnamon toast at a moment's notice!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pans from P-Dub

The Pioneer Woman is having another one of her fabulous giveaways! Here's the link, If I don't win, I hope one of you does. Of course, you will then be expected to have me over for dinner!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Calling All Kindle Junkies!

Bonnie Hunter of the "Quiltville" blog has some links to free ebooks on her site. I have not read these so if they are terrible, please don't shoot the messenger! But for free, what do you have to lose? I have not downloaded any simply because I live the land of old, fat televisions, land line phones and hard wired computers. I have to drive somewhere to access wireless internet! Heaven help us, we even still have HD's ginormous speakers, circa 1983, that he bought at JC Penney with his first credit card! Sorry about the digression, here's the link,

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

It's a Flower in a Pot, Not!

It's actually Dirt Cake! Yes, an edible and delicious creation from the mind of a friend of Martha Stewart. I saw this years ago on her show and have made it several times. It is easy and feeds a crowd. You can find the recipe here, http// For kids of all ages, you can also add gummy worms to the dirt.

For the record, this is definitely the best kind of dirt to dig into!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Multi Tasker Tote

Recently a few of us got together at my friend Barbara's and learned to make this darling bag. My "Super Quilter" friend, Ardis, was our teacher. The pattern is called the Multi Tasker Tote and it is by Anna Maria Horner. I love Anna Maria!

I used 4 different fabrics on mine, but you can use just one if you like. It does take a good amount of fabric, but it is a large bag. It will eventually have an insert in the bottom to give it more shape. I love the pockets on the ends. They are perfect for bottled drinks. I think this bag would be a great diaper bag, also.

Thanks to Ardis, Barbara and Margaret for a great day!

Here's where you can find all things Anna Maria,

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bake at 350

I just heard about this blog from Ellen. It is really cute and will definitely appeal to all who love to bake. She is even having a giveaway so it is a good time to check it out!

Monday, March 28, 2011


Finally finished, oh how I love to say that! Ellen and I bought these tulip fabrics in 2007 when we went to the tulip festival in the Skagit Valley of Washington. This is an incredible annual event. Especially for someone with a black thumb, like me! Fields of tulips as far as you can see in every direction. There are even some local pilots who will take you up to view it from the air. Amazing! Here's a link, to give you an idea of it's fabulousness (wait til you see, that is the best word to describe it!).

I have been inspired by my friend, Genie, to begin finishing my UFOs. I am not as brave as sweet Genie, however. She has boldly and fearlessly listed and, gasp...numbered hers! I am simply plunging my hand into a random drawer and working on whatever I happen to withdraw. I hope you will face the fear with me, together we can conquer the UFOs in our lives!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Great Giveaway!

Today is the last day to enter the giveaway at Kim, of Fat Quarter Shop, is giving the winner 5 yards of the fabric of their choice! And, you can get up to three chances to win! Free fabric-FABULOUS!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring Green

When I saw this post yesterday,, I fell in love with it! This is the first time in 11 years of quilting that I said to myself, "Wow, I think I might make a Dresden Plate Quilt!". Keep in mind that I said "might"! I really love the combination of very modern fabrics (Soul Blossoms by Amy Butler) with the very traditional pattern.

I also found this delicious sounding recipe this morning on Tasty Kitchen and I thought I would share, It uses the Starbuck's instant coffee called Via. I am not particularly fond of drinking the coffee because I think it is really strong, but these sound scrumptious!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I Couldn't Resist!

I couldn't. I love this photo! I got a new camera from HD for my birthday. It's a Lumix FZ40. Pretty appropriate, don't you think? I have been practicing with all the settings and Valentine has become my regular subject. She's finally getting into it. For the first couple of weeks, she wouldn't look at me or smile. I think she is over it!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Magnificent Marinade!

Gotta try this one!

I used it on flank steak that I then grilled in my grill pan. I put the sliced steak over a mixed green salad with tomatoes and avocados. It was amazing!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Double Diamond Bookmark

I got this bookmark as a gift from two of my "Super Quilter" friends, Ardis and Jan. They used the Double Diamond Ruler to get this beautiful effect. You can see a tutorial here, / .
It is hanging on my design wall because I hate to hide it in a book! Thanks, Super Quilters!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

From the Scrap Bin-#3

Recently, while reading magazines with HD at B & N (got that?), I saw a bow tie quilt made by Alex Anderson. I loved it! Until I read the sizes of the pieces. 2 1/2" and 1 1/2" squares. Seriously? Then it occurred to me-the unchanging, unconquerable scrap bin! Yes (insert fist pump)! So I began cutting, a little at a time. I am about 1/4 of the way to what I need, but I really like how it is coming along. I hope you do, too!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Enchiladas From Lisa

I had to share this recipe. I have tried many variations of Chicken Enchiladas over the years. This is the best, most flavorful recipe I have found. It's from my friend, Lisa, who, by the way, has successfully lost a ton of weight in the last few months. Not by eating these babies, obviously!

I added some of my roasted Hatch chilies to the enchilada sauce to extend it and make it a little chunkier. My quilting friends and my hubby thought they were the bomb. Yes, I just said, "the bomb"!

To Lisa, thanks for the great recipe and congrats on making 40 fit and fabulous!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I'm Too Sexy for a (Regular) Collar!

I finally got this made and I can't wait to make more! I also made one for Val's "cousin", Sage. Hers is out of butterfly camo since she is a hunting dog. I received this pattern and hardware from Ellen a while back (please don't ask how long of a while). Here is a link to obtain the pattern and hardware,
I looked at my local craft store for more hardware and it is pricey. Did I mention that my "local" craft store is 30 miles away?! I have purchased cheap collars ($5 and under) at Walmart before and I plan to do so again to pillage their hardware! Problem solved, redneck style!
I made both collars in under an hour, including cutting up an old, filthy collar for more hardware. You need small scale prints, even for the XL collar so keep that in mind. You use less than 1/4 yard for the XL!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Texas, Our Texas!

Today we decided to get out and enjoy this amazing weather! We went to Colorado Bend State Park, located about 1 1/2 hours from our house, in San Saba County. We hiked to Gorman Falls. On the little park sign, you know, the one that says, "You are here", it looked like an easy 3 mile round trip hike. Well, it was 3 miles. Three treacherous miles, the last part of which was almost straight down. It was totally worth the peril! The last pic in the slide show is the waterfall. Yep, I said waterfall. Right in the middle of the drought-ridden Texas hill country. Gorgeous! The river is, you guessed it, the Colorado! We had a picnic lunch of barbeque jars and fruit and then headed home, via a "Texas Stop Sign"-Dairy Queen for those who aren't familiar!

Thursday, March 3, 2011


I have been experimenting with making smoothies recently. I got a new blender for Christmas, after having been without one for a while. They seem to have a short life span at our house.

I really like to use frozen fruit. It makes an icy cold, thick concoction and you can use it anytime instead of trying to use fresh before it goes bad. You can certainly throw in fresh, if you have it. You can even throw in vegetables like carrots if you have them. Here is our current fave recipe.

Pineapple Mango Smoothie

6 oz. frozen mango chunks
8 oz. frozen pineapple chunks
1 cup Greek yogurt, I use the Oikos Honey variety
Vanilla Almond Milk (which I, the non-milk drinker, am now addicted to!) and orange juice to fill the blender pitcher

Put the fruit and yogurt in the pitcher of your blender. Add milk and OJ until the pitcher is about 3/4 full. Blend it up on the highest speed, on mine it is "Crush Ice". At this point I always have to add more liquid, it doesn't matter which one. You want it thick, but it should be moving around it the blender. I realize this is not real exact, but it doesn't have to be.

Some people use ice cubes in their smoothies. I don't like to use ice in my smoothie because, even with HD's help, we rarely drink the whole pitcher in one setting. I put it in the fridge and whizz it up later in the day for a snack. If you use ice cubes in the morning, in the afternoon your snack is a watered down puddle.
I have a plethora of bags of frozen fruit in the freezer, so stay tuned. I will continue the experiment. After all, a smoothie is a better breakfast than a chicken fried steak smothered with green chilies and cheese. If I keep repeating that, maybe I will believe it at some point!