Monday, July 30, 2012

Design Wall Monday/Sewing for Vets

From my previous post you can probably guess that not a lot of quilting has been going on here so my design wall is blank. On the design floor however I have four adult bibs completed for the Sewing for Veterans project. Dismal output I know but the best I could do this week.

Why not head over to Patchwork Times and take a look I'm sure there's lots of great inspiration at Judy's as always. Next week I hope to have a fun project started to show you before my summer company descends. 

Until next time,

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Clearing the Cobwebs

Yes, that's what I've been doing this week and I don't mind telling you that I've about had it with the house work routine. I'm an indifferent house cleaner at the best of times, a lick and a promise as my mom would say, but we're expecting a slew of house guests over the next few weeks and I figure they might not appreciate the wildlife/spider habitat that we like to call our ceilings so out came the heavy duty cleaning arsenal. 

Dusters, vacuum hose extensions, bleach solutions and extension ladders. Have I mentioned that all, I mean ALL our ceilings are 15 feet high! I kid you not. There's a reason why those cob webs have been up there a while. And what idiot (probably a man) decided it would be a swell idea to leave a shelf space like this one high over head IN A KITCHEN to collect greasy dust? 

 The ceiling fans are spotless, not a cobweb in sight and I only fell off the ladder once. My husband has been a trooper hauling and scrubbing right along with me and the house has never looked better. His brothers and their wives had better stay longer than over night and they'd better look up!

Until next time,

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Dump Cake

I know what you're thinking... yes dump cake is processed food at it's finest. In fact regular dump cake has absolutely no redeeming qualities except it's soooo darn good, and fast and easy and my family loves the stuff. I mean LOVES! The first time I made dump cake for my new husband in 1969 I knew he was mine for life that's how much he loves this thing.

Over the years I've manage to cut out the canned element and cut the margarine so I can fool myself that MY dump cake is healthier. HA!

Grease a 9x13 baking pan
preheat oven 350*

4 cups any fruit you like fresh or frozen or canned (believe it or not canned or frozen works best here)
 1/4 cup sugar or less
1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter

I'm baking bread too as long as the oven's on.
Dump fruit into prepared pan sprinkle with sugar to taste. (We don't like too sweet fruit so I go easy.) Dump dry cake mix over the top of fruit and spread evenly. Make dimples with your fingers. Slice butter over top and distribute evenly. (See what those dimples are for?) Sprinkle with cinnamon to taste. You know how I like raw sugar for sparkle so sprinkle a little of that on top too.
Bake about 45 minutes until golden and bubbly.

This dump cake made with frozen mixed berries.
When this is cooled serve with vanilla ice cream and never you mind.

I used frozen cherries for this one.

Until next time,

Monday, July 23, 2012

Design Wall Monday/Mug Mats

Not a lot of sewing action going on here on Dogwood Lane. It's hotter than blue blazes in my sewing room upstairs and I'm too cheap frugal to turn on the air conditioning just so I can sew. That being said I did do a little something this week. 

Back when mug rugs swept the quilting world I just did not get the point. I mean they're cute and all but all that work for an overgrown coaster? Still, some of those things are so darn pretty! This week I was putting away some scraps and had the urge to play around and you can guess the rest. 

No fussy bindings for me though. Instead I used a turned pillow case finish (I think that's what it's called) where you sew the three layers of fabric and batting right sides together and turn right side out through a small opening ( clear as mud here.) And then I top stitched the whole thing for a clean finish and no hand sewing.

I took the opportunity to practice quilting with my 'in the ditch' foot and that thing is amazing! What a great tool. If you don't have one I suggest you go out and get one right away that's how great I think they are.

Now that I've made some mug mats I'm finding all kinds of places where I need one. Beside my reading lamp in the living room, beside my bed, my husband definitely needs one instead of a dinky coaster. See what I mean? I'm officially obsessed!

Linking to Patchwork Times check it out for more design ideas.

Until next time,

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Nesting Instinct

Since at least one hen has laid an egg surely there will be more to follow so I figured I had better be sure those nests were nice and cozy for the girls. I had done a so so job of providing materials for them to nest in but now it's time to get serious.

First I cleaned everything out and put in a layer of shavings, something cushy for the tushy.

Then I gathered pine straw for extra padding. There certainly is plenty of that stuff laying around. Mound it up nice and high, the girls will rearrange it all to their liking later.

Add golf balls to get them in the mood. Believe it or not some of these chicks don't know what to do with these beautiful nests without a little prompting.

All ready to party!!

One of the girls has already been in there redecorating! 
Linking to Farm Girl Friday, check out all the wonderful ideas.

Until next time,

Saturday, July 21, 2012


The theme today is thread. Karen at Sew Many Ways is hosting a fun blog hop asking us to show our thread storage. I ran upstairs and took these pictures of my thread. I didn't clean it up or stage it. It is what it is. 

Aren't the colors fabulous? They just get my motor running looking at them. I do a lot of machine embroidery so I have to have just the right shade of green, yellow, blue whatever. No one ever told Michelangelo he could only paint with three or four colors!!

These are the variegated threads - love those too. Some haven't been opened yet, just waiting for the right project.

Just because they're beautiful. Polyester, rayon and cotton, 40, 50 and 60 wt. love them all.

Until next time,

Friday, July 20, 2012

Omlettes All Around

Not quite, not yet but we are on our way! Some lovely lady laid her first egg today!  Yes, those are a lot of exclamation points but I am so eggcited! Finally we get a reward for all the pampering we a have been lavishing on those babes. 

Here it sits in the palm of my hand. Not bad for a first attempt, not bad at all. Usually a pullet egg is quite small but this one is almost full size large.

This is it compared to a large free range store bought egg. I weighed them both and mine weighed 1.9 oz, the store bought one weighed 2.3 oz so not a big difference. Good job to my girl I say!

In the carton and into the fridge. Don't worry I won't be boring you with the stats of every egg that comes our way but the first is pretty special and an event around here.

Until Next time,

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Forest Spirit Table Decor

With all the back and forth driving that's been going on around here there really hasn't been a lot of sewing room time but I have managed to squeeze in a few little projects. When I was embroidering the blocks for Paige's baby quilt I tested the tension on a single color design and then set it aside. The other day I decided to do something with it rather than let it languish in the orphan block pile.

A while back Mdm Samm at *Sew We Quilt hosted a blog hop featuring these cute wire block holders for your table top and I bought one thinking I'd like to spruce up the dinning room a little.

Linking to

Until next time,

Monday, July 16, 2012

Design Wall Monday/BOM #6

We're at the half way point with this Memories of Provence block of the month and I'm managing to keep up! It must be some kind of miracle especially considering all the trips to the Southland we've made in the last two months.

Not sewn together yet.
This block was not too bad thank goodness because the last two blocks really tried my patience. I love, love, love it when the seams come together like this so nice and perfect without having to do any stretching or fudging. Maybe I am getting better at this whole piecing thing.

Seams meet perfectly. Once is wonderful!

Four times is a record!
 With this many pieces I'm careful about having a pressing plan and I usually press my seams open to keep the bulk down. Things are laying flat and square.

 Here are all six months together. I think I'll get started on the setting squares so I won't be in a last minute crunch to get this done.

Check out Patchwork Times to see everyone's design wall. So many talented people out there, you're bound to find some inspiration.

A fun thing happened this week. I met one of my followers!! It turns out that Julieanne read my post about Sewing for Vets and we met there last Thursday for a sew day. It was so great to meet her, we just chattered away like old friends. It turns out that she's also doing this BOM at Shared Stitches so we shared notes about that too. Hi, Julieanne it was such a pleasure to hang out.

Until next time

Featured Farmgirl

FEATURED FARMGIRL at Deborah Jean's Dandelion House

My Homemade Ice Cream post was featured here. How cool is that? Deborah Jean has a blog hop every Friday where you can share all about your urban or suburban homestead. Her site is so interesting and the photos are to die for.

Thanks for the shout out Deborah Jean.

Until next time,

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Saying Goodbye

In all the excitement over our new arrival I did not get the chance to tell you about our sad good bye. The week before the birth of baby Paige we were in Southern California saying farewell to our wonderful Aunt Tass. I told you a little about her here. We had the chance to visit her twice in the last two months and it was such a blessing to spend time with her.

Catherine Schmidt Ryan
Aunt Tass was my husband's aunt, his mother's older sister and the last of her generation. She passed away at the age of 99. She had a competitive streak and really wanted to reach the 100 mark and beat out her brother Dick (96) and sister Betty (93) soundly. The three of them loved to play cards or any game and they never let anybody win no matter how young they were. You had to earn your victory with those three.

Tass knew the tragedy of widowhood as a young woman and the fulfillment of second chances with a new marriage and motherhood. She knew the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression, World War II and contributed to the Baby Boomer generation. She was foremost a mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She was funny and thoughtful and kind and had a family that absolutely adored her.

What an amazing life span. I'm so glad that she was independent and clear headed right until the end and that her passing was swift and dignified. What we always pray for at the end of each rosary and call a merciful death.

Our Paige Elizabeth is named for her three great grandmothers from the same generation. Three Elizabeths. Strong, steadfast, intelligent and beautiful women. It's a legacy worth preserving.

Until next time,

Friday, July 13, 2012

Into the Wild

It that time again. What time you might ask? Time for the Annual Boys Only Spittn' Scratchin' No Girls Allowed Camping Trip! Every year the men in our family converge on some designated spot in the west and hang out for a week or so leaving us women to our own devises. Our sons and grandsons come from all over California for this event. Josh will be missing this year, after all he has a two week old baby. This is considered a valid excuse. C.P. is also missing in action, he is on babysitting duty as well. So the contingent is quite a bit smaller than usual but spirits are not dampened. 

Last year they ended up in Montana at Glacier National Park this year it's off to Lassen. Wherever they end up there will be hiking, fishing, kayaking and man stuff. No Girls!! What a relief - we girls are so happy to be let off the hook! That means we don't have to plan or pack or cook or clean up this expedition! However, my dining room has been turned into a staging area for camping gear. Notice the all important duct tape.

 Chris woke me at the butt crack of dawn to say good bye and because I care I staggered out of bed to kiss him and take a picture to post for you. Silent Bob saw the house lights blazing and started crowing like mad at 4:30 in the morning endearing us to all the neighbors far and wide. We may not be able to see them but they do exist and I'm sure they are none too pleased with Bob this A.M.

What will I be doing while the boys are away? How does a mani/pedi sound? Pretty wild!

Until next time,

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cuddle Time

 Guess where I'm heading...

Oh, that new baby smell. I've waited long enough.

Until next time,