Wednesday, November 30, 2011


My friend Dotty sent me her latest selvage creation. I wonder if I could get away with calling this our Christmas decoration? Bah humbug!

I can't quit making these travel tissue holders.

Bones has been enjoying the food of the holidays. The little pill stole an entire pack of pumpkin Pop Tarts out of Hollywood's purse (see the wrapper?). He managed to get it open and gobble down two(!) Pop Tarts. Not a crumb left. He only weighs 10 lbs., so I'm sure he was quite full. But no, later in the day Inspector Gadget made him a huge bowl of turkey and fixings. Needless to say, Mr. Bones has been going on extra walks this holiday season.

This is how I found him yesterday. Somehow he had managed to get his monkey blanket up on the TV stand. What a silly pup. Ignore the dust, the maid is on strike.

Wasting Flea Market Fancy jelly rolls strips is kind of fun. I hear they might reprint this coveted collection. It doesn't do much for me, but there are big time fans out there.

Not much sewing go on here, but I did make a mug rug yesterday. I'm hoping to fit in some time at the machine today. I'm sure that kitchen will scrub itself while I get some work done.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cyber Monday

Our three days after Thanksgiving meal was wonderful. I made a half version of this delicious pumpkin pie cake. I used the last of my walnuts in pesto (yuck) so I had to top it with pecans. Either nut is delicious on this super easy recipe. It's like pumpkin pie cobbler. I've heard it's good warm with vanilla ice cream.

The French lentils were sublime. I flavored them with half a turkey neck and cloves of garlic. You aren't a serious food geek until you've snapped a turkey neck in half with your bare hands.

I try not to eat white potatoes (glycemic thing), but I do cheat on occasion. I used the last of my red potatoes and some of those fancy little designer potatoes. And yep, I leave the skins on. I hate peeling potatoes. Those little ones would be hard to peel. My turkey gravy turned out great even though the recipe I wanted to try involved white wine and I didn't have any. I know. There's always next time!

The turkey stock is bubbling on the stove as I type. Once again, my house smells wonderful. I actually found turkey stock in the grocery store this year. It's always been so elusive before. And after 25 years, Inspector Gadget didn't try to throw the turkey carcass in the trash. He actually asked what container I wanted it in. Progress, people. My family calls turkey stock "elixir" after we all left a pot of it simmering on the stove all night long and it turned a deep, golden brown. That stuff was money!

CSN Stores has recently changed it's name to Wayfair and still provides affordable home furnishings, decor, kitchen and dining items, bed and bath goodies, and much more. The best part is that everything is below retail and shipping is usually free. I am such a sucker for free shipping.

I'm going to review these lovely Calphalon nonstick skillets, but while I'm waiting, I'm going to admire this gorgeous penny rug. I've always wanted to make a penny rug quilt. You should see all of their pretty kitchen rugs. See how easily I get distracted? It's Cyber Monday. And my wrist hurts.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday Stash #39

No stash to show, but I did hit Jo-Ann's sale for 60% off Fiskars cutting tools and snagged a pack of rotary blades and a cutting mat that is the size of my drafting table. Also snagged another 25% off my total purchase. Malibu Barbie went with me and picked up some crafty stuff too. I hope Fiskars isn't the cutting mat brand that stinks. Have you heard of cutting mats that smell? So far, no odor. And you can bet I was sniffing it at the store.

I played with these Kaffe Drunkard's Path blocks a long time ago and decided to finalize a setting.

Even the leftovers were sewn together. Potholder, maybe? My WIP pile is taking a beating. I crack myself up. My WIP pile is epic and kind of scary.

Check out this puppy picture made from candy sprinkles! It took eight months to create. Now that's a huge work in progress.

It's turkey cooking day here. I'm so excited! What a cooking geek I am. We went out for Thanksgiving, so have been missing leftovers. I'm not doing the whole Thanksgiving spread, but Inspector Gadget has requested green bean casserole and stuffing. I need lentils and mashed potatoes with gravy. Cranberry sauce is easy to make and a must have for leftover turkey sandwiches. There's leftover green salad from last night's dinner. My mouth is watering already!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Fun and Finishes

Dachshund house block for Beth's House Block Party. I never pass up the excuse to sew a house block.

Our guild made blocks for charity quilts from the free fabric we received. Anything leftover, we were supposed to make a small item. I was mesmerized seeing these log cabin style hexagon blocks in blogland. This mini used up the Habitat scraps. Purple power!

I unearthed this whirlygig quilt top I made eons ago. It's another mini and I used vintage fabrics. I think this one will look wonderful after it's washed and gets all crinkly.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Forever Thankful

This is going to be my go-to appetizer for the holidays. Greek Feta Dip. I found the recipe right here. It is the easiest dip to throw together. It's perfect at room temperature, but can easily be made ahead and brought to room temp before serving. The red and green is so festive for the holidays.

Greek Feta Dip

Olive oil (use the good stuff)
A brick of feta cheese, crumbled
Chopped tomatoes (about 1-1/2 cups)
Bunch of scallions or green onions, thinly sliced
Greek seasoning or dried oregano and pepper
Pita bread or a French baguette sliced

Pour a healthy amount of olive oil onto a platter or serving plate. Top with chopped tomatoes, scallions, crumbled feta and seasonings. Stir gently. Serve with pita triangles, sliced baguette or crackers.

The picture shows a mini version. You're going to need a full platter of this stuff for a crowd. I mistakenly picked up reduced fat feta cheese and it was fine. I normally don't care for reduced fat cheeses, but it worked fine for this dip. You can eat more! I love the simplicity of this recipe, but some minced garlic, fresh parsley and kalamata olives might be kind of fun in there too.

Today's small project was this little bag. It was designed to be a reusable snack bag, but I didn't have polyurethane laminate, so I just lined it with fabric. I thought this Boxed Grocery Bag tutorial was kind of neat too. Maybe that will be tomorrow's project.

Jazzy, 9" x 9"
In Tune, 9" x 9"
Yumi sent me a goodie package from Japan. We challenged each other to create an AAQI quilt using solids. I haven't even started mine, but she made two! Aren't they gorgeous? Her hand quilting really adds so much to these little beauties. Swoon!

I also received a cool Starbucks Coffee mug, coffee, sake, Cheezas (my favorite), miso soup, cozy socks and this funny little charm. Little Miss is performing dogeza (sitting right on the ground). Read more about dogeza here.

And just to spoil me even more, Yumi sent these gorgeous indigo blue fabrics and a colorful batch of pretty prints. I'm going to have to find a special project for these fabrics. It was better than Christmas around here yesterday! I always love getting a package from Japan.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Stash #38

I love this new fabric collection by Lotta Jansdotter. It's called "Echo" and the colors and design are so modern and clean. I have no idea what I'm making with it, but it was on sale and I had to have it.

 Mrs. Bobbins is such a cute quilter's cartoon. Somehow I can relate.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sew Day Eve

These Star Flower blocks went together pretty easily. I may add some sashing and cornerstones and use this for a doll quilt swap.

Our guild's December BOM in organic colors. Someone will win all the blocks that members turn in. It's always a fun challenge each month. Rene' chooses great blocks and color schemes and we have a lot of participation. The finished quilts have been amazing.

My mouth is watering for turkey. We have two 13 lb. turkeys in the deep freeze. Inspector Gadget bought one last week and College Boy got one free at work yesterday. Also, Publix has them on sale for 59 cents a pound, so I'm going to have to walk by that section quickly today. Three turkeys is overkill! Naw, I love turkey. I could eat it a couple times a week. I'm thrilled to have two birds to play with. One I can roast and make a new turkey gravy recipe I found (it involves wine!) and the other I'll barbecue. I love barbecuing turkeys on my charcoal grill.

Tomorrow is Sew Day. A full day of sewing, eating and chatting with friends. Heaven, no? I'll be there with bells on and my usual method of throwing unfinished stuff in a box and/or bringing new stuff I may or may not be inspired to chop.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What Day is It?

Stumbled upon a cute circle pouch this morning. Now my earbuds have a cozy home. I loved how easy the zipper was in the tutorial. A bigger circle pouch may be tomorrow's little "sew before you have to do real stuff" project.

Yesterday, I made four more of those cute travel tissue holders. Now these are really easy.

This Star Flower block looked fun. Trimming half square triangles gets a little tedious, but hopefully it will help construction. I'm good for about four of these. Big talk since I haven't sewn one together yet. Everything is cut, sewn and trimmed though. Wish me luck.

Am I the last blogger using Blogger's new look? I tried it a while ago and it seemed so unfriendly. I'm trying it again. Maybe a little brain exercise won't be so bad for me.

Procured me another butternut squash. I can't get enough of this veggie. I'm making a vat of soup again. Too bad I'm the only one here that eats it. At least it's good for breakfast. I guess I could freeze some.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

It's the Little Things

I found this cute wonky teacup block tutorial this week. Had to play. Why do I always get bored at the odd numbered block?

Finally finished the little pear mini I painted. I love the jello mold backing fabric. My son is a no fruit in jello kind of kid. Myself, I loved bananas in red jello when I was growing up.

My friend down in Miami asked me for some handmade items to sell at her craft booth. I whipped up these simple travel tissue holders to send. Might have to make some more of these for stocking stuffers. Fun and easy.

Over the weekend we attended "GumboPalooza" at our local watering hole. There were 24 different kinds of gumbo to sample. Gumbo city! We have to quit attending these cook-offs or exercise more. I think I need to find a celery cook off next week.

I practiced paper piecing yesterday. Man, I'm all over the place. Just call me no-attention span Michele.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Happy Veteran's Day. We opened one of Inspector Gadget's MRE's (Meal Ready to Eat) the other day. I've learned not to ask why we have things like MRE's. Maybe my cooking got bad for a while. Anyway, it was fun to see what was in one and use the cooking bag to heat up the meatloaf and mashed potatoes. The instructions were kind of funny and I cannot recommend the cracker. Maybe I should have put some of the jelly on it. The MRE experiment made me appreciate our veterans even more. I think I'll Adopt a Soldier and get a care package together.

It's also Corduroy Appreciation Day. Nifty quilts has a great post linking to 30 corduroy quilts. Save the wales.

Crafty Gemini has a neat tutorial for Grab-N-Go potholders.

Finished! I hope this wheelchair lap quilt keeps one of our veterans warm and cozy. It's pretty great living in a country that works so hard to protect us. I wish I could make everyone a home-cooked meal to show my appreciation.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


What a yack-a-holic. I can't believe this is my 400th post. I started this blog to enter giveaways and here I am 400 posts later. Thank you to everyone who reads my blabberings and especially those who comment. I love interacting with all of you. And if you just stumbled across my blog, there's a giveaway here.

Yesterday's breakfast. Lemon-flavored sardines, dijon mustard and deli rye Triscuits. Thank goodness I work alone. I think my co-workers would have reported me to management by now.

I made some progress on my little lap quilt. Hoping to finish quilting and binding today.

My kids don't like my meatloaf. I love it, but for some reason they don't like traditional meatloaf, especially the sweet tomato, mustard sauce on top. Yesterday, I combined a couple of different recipes and made a Greek turkey meatloaf and served tzatziki with it. I always forget to take pictures of the finished dish, but turkey turns kind of grayish when you cook it, so you're not missing much. I did cover the top of the loaf with slices of tomato and lemon.

Greek Meatloaf

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, diced
1 cup packed fresh spinach leaves, chopped
fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
oregano, salt and pepper
white wine

Saute onion, garlic and peppers in olive oil until onions soften. Add spinach, parsley, lemon and spices. Deglaze pan with a splash of white wine or water and let everything cool a bit.

1-1/2 lbs. ground turkey
3/4 cup oats
1 egg

Gently mix vegetables with turkey, oats and egg. Loosely pack meat mixture in a greased loaf pan. Top with slices of tomato and lemon if desired. Bake 45 minutes at 350. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with tzatziki.

Simple Tzatziki

small container of plain yogurt
lemon juice
grated cucumber
minced garlic

Mix all ingredients. Refrigerate to let all flavors combine.

Yeah, the kids still wouldn't eat it. I think a meatloaf sandwich is in order for today's breakfast.
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