Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Homemade Christmas Gifts

The girls are both back home safely and I have more computer time, so my next posts will be of some of the neat Christmas presents I received.
Jenny made me a table runner using my favorites, purple and leaves. It will look good on the table any season of the year.

Ang made jars of Roasted Garlic & Onion Jam and Pear Butter to give to all the family. She has a tiny kitchen to work in, but still managed to can the jars of goodies. Unfortunately because of weather problems in Chicago, Ang's flight from New York was delayed a day and she missed Christmas Eve with one side of the family. We were going to give her gift out later when we saw family members but again the airline wrecked the plan. Most of the jars unsealed during her flight, so only the family she saw on Christmas were able to receive the jam and butter.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Mighty Nice Mice

For my birthday, Jenny made me two cute mice pictures. (I like mice in pictures, photos, ceramics, but definitely do not want the real animal in my home.) Since I didn't have a good spot to hang the crewel work, I told Jenny that I would make some pillow using them. While she was home for Christmas, Jenny decided they could be made into a table runner. She bought some fabric to make a braided back and frame the mice. Jenny finished the runner before she left for home. She did a very nice job. I will enjoy the mice on the table, but will turn the runner over when I serve food to protect them.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Little Red Riding Hood

At Thanksgiving when Ang was visiting Jenny she bought a hat-scarf-mittens. When we went to Fabric Fair shopping after Christmas, she decided she should have a red hat too. She picked out red wool and fur for the inside. After she made a pattern from the purchased hat, Ang asked me to sew it together. The hat-scarf turned out reversible. We didn't add the mittens at the end of the scarf. She was happy with the finished hat. It will help keep her warm on her walks to the subway and bus in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Michigan State Santa

I made a MSU Santa wall hanging for a Christmas gift. None of my immediate family attended MSU, I graduated from CMU, my husband - Ferris and the kids graduated from Kettering, EMU, UNC and WMU. However family members on both sides of the family graduated from Michigan State and are still MSU supporters. I used the Clover yo-yo maker to make the beard and trim the Santa hat. To make the patchwork hat, I used 2 in Quilt Fuse, which allowed me to lay out the pattern and move squares around. When I had the arrangement I liked, I ironed the pieces to the grid and then sewed the vertical and horizontal seams. The fusible grid is designed for watercolor quilting.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snowy Day Baking

Friday we were snowed in. Luckily Jenny made it home before the snowstorm. We baked some White Chocolate Dipped Cherry Cookies. They are a shortbread cookie with white chocolate and maraschino cherries in them. Jenny, the cookie visionary, had the clever idea to add some red sparkle on the white chocolate.

The adorable salt and pepper shakers were my mom's.

I also made some peanut brittle in the microwave. The first batch was brittle brittle but I made two more batches that had the airy sort of texture that I intended.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fabric Fair

The nicest fabric store in Bay City offers a discount if you use a shopping bag with their name on it. I was very green and used a free tote with a logo I covered up. Then I used old fabric scraps to make a frame for store's name. I used print shop and a Print 'm Press transfer to do the center.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Table Runner

In November, our quilt group made blocks by cutting nine patches into four and resewing them in a new way. I made a table runner out of some of my new squares. We have glass on our dining table and I use a table runner to put serving dishes on. I line my runners with Warm and Natural and a layer of Insul-Bright, that way the glass is protected from the heat of a hot dish.

I have enough fabric left to make another runner but I'm not sure if my fabric choice would make for a good gift. I like critters but know that not everyone does.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Snowman Wallhanging

Linda asked me to post a picture of my snowman wall hanging. I made it a few years ago. I didn't use a single pattern but put bits and pieces of different patterns together. We enjoy watching the birds at the bird feeder and until recently I had a cute birdhouse my dad had made near the bird feeder.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Quilt Group Squares

Our quilt group met today for our December meeting. We exchanged 12.5 inch blocks. One of the two I got, has an appliqued poinsettia on it. The applique was done by hand using a blanket stitch. The other block was made using the arrow star pattern. Both are very nicely done and will look great in a Christmas quilt in a few years. I'm not sure about blog etiquette, so I cover up the name of the lady who made the arrow star pattern.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Cottage Pillow

My friend, Linda emailed me a picture of her grandchildren. I thought it might be neat to have photos in the windows of the cottage block. I made the completed block into a pillow.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Cottage Blocks

For my quilt group we are exchanging 12.5 Christmas blocks at our meeting on Wednesday. We are to take two and get two in return. I made one for myself too, figuring in about 5 years I could have 15 squares and make myself a Christmas quilt. Jenny suggested I make cottage blocks. She follows a blog and they were doing a cottage block exchange. I've also been watching the blog because the author (Nanette) is always making neat quilts or showing unique fabric. Nanett's blog is . She had a pattern for the cottage block and a tutorial. I had to alter the pattern a little so it would turn out a 12.5 in square.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Addition to the Birdfeeder

Monday when it was snowing the birds were hanging out in the tree in the backyard. This blue jay really stood out in the white snow.
The chickadees are really cute and have been spending time at our feeder. This chickadee was standing on the shepard hook holding the thistle seed.

A few years ago Jeff built me a birdfeeder for my birthday and set it up near our bay window. So we get to enjoy watching the birds eat close-up. Tom put an additional platform feeder on the one Jeff made. The mourning doves and some of the other larger birds had trouble eating from the smaller feeder.
I haven't figured out how to post my photos and description yet. I lost the photo with the mourning dove, this one has a blue jay and woodpecker.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Snowy Day 2

After playing with my camera I couldn't resist posting another photo.

Snowny Day

All the kids in the area are happy school. We got a lot of snow yesterday and overnight. This morning the trees looked beautiful so I had to go out with my camera.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Redoing Our Bedroom

We have been busy for the last month having all the woodwork in the house replaced. We also changed cabinets in a bathroom and the pantry in the kitchen. All the wood now matches the cherry kitchen cabinets. We hadn't changed our bedroom for about 25 years, so we got a new bedroom set, painted the walls and put in new carpet. I've been making window treatments. Originally we were only going to have valances...better to show off the new woodwork. However when I completed them the windows looked a little bare, so I had to buy more fabric to make some drapes. I couldn't get all the fabric I wanted and now I wonder if the drapes are too short. I could add a border on the bottom to match the tabs at the top. Any thoughts?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Apple Dumplings 2

I tried another apple dumpling recipe, we liked it a lot better than last week's. My sister in law, Pam sent me the link to the different recipe (below). I changed the recipe a little... used 3/4 C brown sugar and 3/4 C white sugar and added a teaspoon of vanilla before pouring the hot mixture on the dumplings. I purchased crescent rolls with 6 rolls instead of 8 but that didn't seem to hurt the finished product. In the photo the dumplings appear too browned, but that is really the brown sugar and cinnamon.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Apple Dumplings

I found a new recipe for apple dumplings. The recipe I used had orange juice for the liquid, my neighbor told me she had made them using Mountain Dew and I heard that recipe talked about on WSGW. We enjoyed the batch I made, but next time I might try less liquid and use apple juice or Mountain Dew.

When the book club meets in December, we are going to have a bookmark exchange. I had thought about making a quilted bookmark but decided that might be too thick. I ended up adding some glitter to Laura Burch fabric bonded to card stock. I printed a saying and picture on the paper side. I've been thinking I would like to learn beading so I made the tassle using ribbon and beads.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Big 60

Turning 60 was a pleasant experience. I was already feeling old because while at the dentist last week another patient asked my advice about her Halloween costume. She pointed out that since I was older I would be able to tell if her 1967 costume was correct. No problem, I remember 67 styles--I was at CMU at the time. What bothered me was she looked about my age, at most a few years the question seemed an insult.

We went to Jeff's house on Sunday(my birthday). Some of my brother and sister-in-laws met us at Jeff's and we went to a nice home town tavern-restaurant in Milford. After an enjoyable time at the restaurant, we went back to Jeff's for birthday cake. He actually made a cake for me...a pudding cake. He wasn't sure if it would be enough so he had also bought a cake at Meijers. His cake was much tastier. It was great to celebrate my birthday with family members.

On Monday, my best friend Linda invited some of our friends to her home to celebrate my birthday. She went all out...great food, beverages and decor. We always have a great time together, we spend so much time laughing. Linda and I have been best friends for about 40 years but don't have that many photos together. Her daughter was kind enough to take our picture.

Many thanks to my family and friends for making turning 60 a fun time.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Mr. Peanut

New Yorkers are big into celebrating Halloween. Angie received complements on her Mr. Peanut costume on the bus and subway. She made it out of foam which she painted. She purchased the hat and cane and painted a monocle around her eye. Nice to see some people enjoy Halloween, we didn't have a single trick or treater.

Friday, October 24, 2008


We went to Flint last Saturday to watch a silent movie. The Flint Theatre Organ Club showed Nosferatu with a Barton Pipe Organ accompanying the movie. The movie was from the 1920s and had a Dracula theme. The organ and its music were inpressive. I found the movie online at

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fall Colors Just Outside The Door

I just love fall colors. I haven't had my camera when I've been riding in the countryside loving the view. I decided to check for colors from my own yard.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Pikes Peak

Since it takes so long to upload pictures, I've put the pictures of Pikes Peak together.


Tom and I got back on Monday from visiting Jenny in Colorado. We went to the Flying W Ranch for supper and a western show on Thursday. Friday, we went to the Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak and toured the Coor's Brewery. Saturday Jenny and I went to a quilt fair in Longmont, of course we both bought fabric. Sunday we walked around Pearl Street in Boulder before going to dinner. Pearl Street is blocked off for a few blocks and has neat shops, a lot of trees, park benches and musicians performing. Before we came home on Monday we toured the Celestial Seasons tea factory and ate Japanese and Korean food for lunch. We had a great time and the scenery was gorgeous.