Saturday, April 28, 2007

My Treat

For the last few years, I've tried to follow the rule that I can only bring something new into my house if I have gotten rid of something first. All my kitchen cleaning and sorting has yielded a box of things to go. So.... I decided to replace the creamer that had been broken. Well, I also added four cups and saucers. I'm not a bone china person but I really like these. Can you come over for tea?

As you can see I got the books back in the bookcase and it is really nice to have everything dusted. I need to cull down some of the books but just put them in the case for now.

Good news. I finished my Hawaiian quilt top. I'll get a pic today and let you see it. Still thinking about a small border and some other trim and then the quilting. I don't have a backing chosen yet either.
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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Not My Plan

Thought I'd be able to spend time today in my sewing room. Best laid plans of ... My TV wasn't working good so the cable guy came. He decided he needed to change a cord behind my bookcase. Yup, everything had to come out so he could move it. TV is working fine now and I'm trying to do some sorting and tossing and definitely dusting as I put all my goodies back. These pics show the books and tapes. The breakable treasures are a bit safer in out of the way places.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Lights Out

With yesterday being Earth Day, it seems every publication and radio/TV show has been detailing what we can do to save energy. When I turned a spare bedroom into a sewing room a few years ago, I had the track lighting you see in the pictures put in. Also the large ceiling fan. I never use the lights on the fan but I do love the fan during the summer. The track lights are great because they can be slid along the track and aimed to the area I want them. I have decided that I don't need so many of them and am just using the ones pointed to my cutting board, sewing machine and ironing board.
What things do you do to conserve energy? I use cold water in my washing machine and have decided to try using the shorter setting that using one less rinse. I'm also using the dish washer on the regular cycle rather than the heavy duty one that uses an extra cycle. I hang up most of my laundry - outside whenever possible. I find it crazy that we have places that prohibit outdoor clothes lines. This is suppose to be because they don't look so pretty. I think they look great and am glad I live in places in both MI and FL where I have an outdoor clothes line. Have you ever hung up clothes using the navy method? Instead of hanging the clothes along one line, you hang them between two lines. You can really get a lot more clothes hung in a given space. I used to do this in my basement. The house we lived in when our daughters were little had only a space heater. I set up two wooden clothes racks near it and put their clothes on it to dry and stay warm for those winter changes. Of course, this was before disposable diapers.
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Friday, April 20, 2007

Back to Hawaiian Quilt

I squared up the 20 twelve-inch blocks. I had to do this because I'd forget to move my needle one click over when I'd turn it back on. Grr I have an Elna and it has been a fine machine except for this. Do all machines go back to a set stitch length and needle position when the machine is turned off? I arranged the blocks on my spare bed and will look at them again tomorrow. I have a couple ideas for finishing them.

Finally getting sunshine and warm weather here. I have my windows open. Yay!
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Thursday, April 19, 2007

More Goodies

The top pic is the tea pot and sugar bowl that belonged to my mother. They were part of her everyday dishes and I'd guess were from the 1940's The creamer got broken. Boo Hoo. I need to get on the web and try to find more info on it and find a creamer replacement.

The cookie jar
was always in my childhood kitchen as long as I can remember. The cover has been broken and glued back together. This was a common cookie jar about 60 years ago. My mother taught school so this jar usually had store bought cookies in it.

Last fall just before I went to FL, my SIL came over and said she was on her way to the store to get some fleece to make robes. I told her I had a fleece store. I took her to my spare bedroom and emptied two drawers of fleece for her to take home. When I got back to MI this spring, she had a robe made for me. What a nice surprise. VBS
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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Pie Crust
Cleaning out my kitchen has given me lots of time to think. When was the last time I took everything out of all the cupboards? Well, my house is over 50 years old, although we didn't move here until the early 1960's. We did get new cupboards over 30 years ago so everything was taken out then. About 15 years ago I took all the doors off and refinished them but everything did not come out then. Sure, every so often I take things out of one or two of them and clean and sort a little but this time I'm doing all the cupboards. And I do have a lot of them, but I'm not complaining about that. I'm not emptying all of them at once but I will get them all done. Please, oh please, I will get them all done. I think I am over half way there. Please, oh please let half of them be done. I thought I could throw out or give away a lot of contents. Actually, there doesn't seem to be that much. I did get rid of about half of the canned food, all of which was outdated and some of which was way outdated.

I've been also thinking about some of the contents. In the big drawer, I have so many things. Some are very modern and some very old. These items bring back memories. Yes, I used to make donuts. The best ones were made in the fall with fresh apple cider. I shouldn't eat these deep fried delights any more and I can buy them at the orchard. I can't even remember the last time I made noodles with my mother's noodle cutter. The Amish noodles I can buy are almost as good. This is definitely not true of pie crusts. I've always made good pies. I remember I won an award in my High School Home Economics class for my pie crust. At that time I made them by the hot water method. Boiling water was beaten into the Crisco and then the flour was added. I've tried other methods over the years but for many years now I've used the recipe containing an egg. It is fail-proof. Sometimes I put the crust in a cookie sheet with raised edges and when baked I add the lemon or chocolate filling and top them with meringue or whipped cream. This is an easy way to make a lot of pie. I also use it for regular pies. I used to freeze fruit pie fillings. I'd prepare the fresh peach, apple, blueberry or cherry filling in a bowl but instead of putting it in the crust to bake, I'd put it in the empty pie pan and freeze it. When frozen, I'd take it out of the pan and wrap it and back into the freezer it went. When I wanted to make a pie, I'd make the crust and add the frozen fruit mixture and walla - fresh homemade pie. This is my great pie crust recipe:
4 cups of flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoons sugar
1 3/4 cups Crisco
1/2 cup water
1 large egg
1 Tablespoon vinegar
Mix the salt and sugar with the flour and cut in the Crisco. Then add the beaten egg that has been mixed with the water and vinegar. You can roll this out over and over and it never gets tough. Bake at 400 - 425 degrees (depends on your oven) for 10 minutes. It also makes a great top for Sheppard's pie or dough for pasties.
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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Cleaning Out

Sometimes it becomes necessary to clean out the cupboards in a room other than the sewing room. In the top pic, Kipper is questioning the mess. I don't know what is bothering him as I left him a path to his water dish and another to the back door. Good to get things sorted and cleaned out. Container in bottom pic with bugs is Kipper's biscuit jar. Still more to do.
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Friday, April 13, 2007


This was Kipper covered with snow on April 11th. He said if I made him, he'd look at the camera but he wouldn't smile.
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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

More Tries

Please help. See next posts.
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Another Try
I'm having trouble posting.

Top pic is 6 and 12 inch bocks. What else could I put where the 6" one is? 2nd one is only 12 " blocks and I think there is too much blank for the background. 3'd is 6 inch blocks but I like the bigger ones. Last one has yellow in each block. Please comment! I need help.

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It was fun putting the 6" squares into 12" ones. But what now? Should there be be lattace? What width? Should every other block be yellow background as in this photo? What about the blue at the bottom? What color would be better?
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Monday, April 09, 2007

This is Spring?
I'm having trouble posting so here is the message for the following pic.

After a week of cold snowy, blowy, wind, this is it. Today is more snow flurries. Much colder here in MI for Easter than at Christmas time.

More tomorrow on my Hawaiian fabric quilt. I'm making 12" blocks now by combining the 6 " ones.
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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter Post Cards

My friend NL has the greatest collection of postcards that her grandmother received and saved. NL was kind enough to let me take pictures of a couple of them to share with you. They are dated 1911. The bottom one was my favorite Easter one. The caption says, "Out with the youngest." Thanks so much NL.
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Friday, April 06, 2007

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Five More Patches
This is so much fun. I'm not sure of the bottom yellow and blue one but it may be just what is needed when I'm done. The one above it actually is two different blue fabrics.

Easter Eggs
It was about 1970 when I took my Girl Scout troop to the International Institute. They had displays of Easter eggs and were showing ways they were made in different countries. I bought a metal tool that looked like a large flat-headed pin or a small nail. You heat the metal over a candle, then put it on a crayon (or wax) and finally put it on an egg that has been blown out (or hard boiled). You can pull the nail tool too make a design that looks like a comma. When the design is complete, you drop the egg in dye. Then dry, you rub off the wax. You can also dye the egg and when it is dry, add the wax and finally add a second color. I made these eggs for a few years but have no eggs or pictures left. At the Institute, I bought another egg that I loved and still do. It is wooden and designed by using wood burning. There are three eggs nested together. It was done by a person from Eastern Europe. I think it was Czechoslovakia but I'm not sure. Can anyone help with information? I see that when I was taking the picture, I forgot to line up the top and bottom of the biggest (2 1/2") egg correctly so it is easier to see the division. The smallest egg is 7/8 of an inch high.
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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

First I want to express how much your comments to my last post are appreciated. Thanks Maybritt and Dawn for the encouragement that I'd find something to do with all those buttons. Paula really saved me with her great instructions for how to shrink my very long pieces of trim. It worked great. Maizie said her Hancock store closed too but did so without notice and did not sell their merchandise. I wonder if it was sent to another store. I was on my Hawaiian trip when my local store first started selling everything. I'll bet all the quilting things went the first day - maybe the first hour. They are suppose to be open until the end of April but now say they may have everything sold before that. Even all the racks of every kind are marked "sold."

Hawaiian Fabric
I found a really big fabric shop and the pieces were very reasonable. Ignoring the fabrics I could buy other places, I was so fascinated with all the Hawaiian prints. There were tons of them. Now I think I should have bought six yards of one fabric instead of one yard of six different ones. My favorite is the blue one on the bottom of the pic. After much looking and thinking, I was so excited to cut 6 1/2" squares and put them together with either the yellow or a white nine patch to make an Irish chain. Well, it didn't work. Why do I have to actually see it to know that? After trying some things, I came up with just doing nine patches. Aren't they neat? These are only using the pink, yellow and blue fabrics. I have ten more blocks laid out to be sewed. I always made nine patch blocks using the strip method. I was afraid of making these with 2 1/2" pieces but using the method of sewing and not cutting apart has worked great.

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