Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas Cards

I just talked to my sister and she said I sounded like Lauren Bacall. That's not good. I feel fine but it is ten in the morning and I should have gotten rid of the sleep voice, considering I have showered brushed, flossed, used my inhaler and drank two cups of coffee. Stay away from me.



Let's talk Christmas cards. I am thrilled that everyone hasn't given up the ritual like I have. I love to get them; not so crazy about the 'LETTER' enclosed but other than the fact that I accidentally on purpose drop the 'LETTER' in the trash, the cards are great. I had to get rid of a couple holiday tasks, finding that I could no longer get it all done in the fashion that I wanted to, so card sending took the bath.
I did however, help my sis to assemble her cards this year.

 
I suggested going down to one 'ho' versus three to save time but she was having none of that.  Pretty cute wouldn't you say?

And then there are the photo cards.  They are sent to me on purpose


because there is no way in hell that I can throw them away after the holidays are over.  I have every kids picture since birth saved.   Saved for what I do not know.  Look at sweet Kalee, trying to one up Santa.  I think she wins!!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wrapping It Up

G eats a half a banana in the morning with his granola cereal. Every single day. That means that we don't buy a bunch of bananas at a time. If we do, most of them go in a ziplock in the freezer to wait for banana bread. So, when we shop for bananas, we usually try for three; one ripe, one not so ripe and a green one, that will be ready in five days time.


Okay Tommy, get back on point! Somewhere, maybe Pinterest or some other thing on the world wide web I read that if you don't take the banana off the bunch before you need it, it will last longer. Okay, that makes sense. I then read that if you do take the banana from the bunch and cover the end that was torn off the bunch with cling wrap, it would last much longer. Again, in my little brain, that makes sense.

So G and I did the experiment, or at least part of it.


 
We took two bananas off the bunch that were most similar in appearance.  One was the constant and the other got it's torn off end shrouded in syran wrap.

There was not a particle of a difference in the maturing between the wrapped and control.  The only reason that I don't have a picture of the days old banana is because G already thought I took a picture of them and he was ready for his cereal and you get the picture.

Don't believe every thing you read.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Happy Anniversary To Me and G

I had the day plotted out so much so that I forgot it was my anniversary.  I was in the kitchen finishing up some baking preliminaries when G came up and said Happy Anniversary!!!  First time I didn't say it first.  After 42 of them, it's not what it used to be, as much as I hate to admit it.

I just got back from TSA Prescreening so that I can skip the taking shoes off and all that stuff.  It was very simple and with a cost of $85, someone is making a profit out of it.

I am meeting up with my old bowling team today for some food and fun, for old times sake.  The days seem to be really busy these days!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Girl's Weekend


This is gonna be a stripped down tally of my trip to Chicago with Mike and Martha.  I just made a list of what I need to do today and it's got seven time consuming things on it and I do hate to let myself down.


This is my first selfie on my new camera, which is a bit big and unwieldy  for me still.  We were in a store, enjoying the Christmas decorations.


As usual, Michigan Avenue was festooned with beautiful arrangements.  We did a bit of Christmas shopping and then hit Crate and Barrel which was so crowded we couldn't get around at all.


We did manage to see this adorable tree collar which you use instead of a tree skirt to conceal the tree stand.  I need to get one of those in the future.

Next up we went to Mario Batali's Eataly.  It was massive and not at all what I thought it would be.  It's sections of food stuffs that are very specifically contained, like meat, fish, pasta, cheese, wine, dairy etc and beautifully arranged.  It had no brand names at all.  There were tons of places to eat, both as in restaurants and quick food court eating, and deli stand up eating.  What we really wanted to do is get a glass of wine

from the wine bar and walk around drinking it, as I heard you could do.  And so we did.


I was intrigued  with the idea but it's difficult to hold your purse, coat, any packages and a glass of wine and still put your hand on something to look at. Here is Martha and me looking over cookbooks while drinking heavily.

The produce was more captivating than anything I have ever seen in a quilt store.


It was simply gorgeous.
 
The sections were lined up next to each other.  My favorite was this one that except for the bottom row was all mushrooms, much that I have never heard of.  I want the whole group of rooms for Christmas.

In fact, this would make a lovely group quilt.  Hummm.

The purple and yellow/gold cauliflower got our attention.

Then on to the most crowded place on the planet, Grand Luxe, for beignets.  We had the beignets and they were fantastic, but I never took a picture of them.


I did take pics of the other food we sampled there, including these Asian nachos,
 
pot roast fries, and

double stuffed (with potatoes) spring rolls.

We did tons of other stuff, including more eating, and then settled down to our hotel for the night after checking out the light display on all the store fronts.

We had breakfast and went our separate ways, all of us having somewhere else to go.  I met up with my children and grand girls for lunch after Hansel and Gretel childrens play followed by a little play time at the Lego store before we all separated once again to go our directions.  It was a great weekend.

Friday, December 12, 2014

I am taking a 7:30 train tomorrow morning to go to the city for an overnight with my sis Mike and my BFF Martha.  It is supposed to be good weather so I am very excited.  I will finally go to Eataly, which I have been dying to see and walk around the place with a glass of wine, which I hear is not only possible but encouraged!!!


I will take lots of pictures with my new (two days old) iPhone 6, replacing my old 4 series.  I also got my self another Christmas gift of a new iPad that has a sim card.  Not only did my old one not be able to use satellite but it was cracked when my Violet dropped it last summer.  I refuse to pay for internet so it may be a day or two before I do another blog.  Pleas

Let's Make Lasagna Cupcakes


These are the ingredients for lasagna cupcakes.  Piece of cake.  Here we have grated parmesan and mozzarella, along with wonton wrappers, ricotta cheese, store bought marinara and ground meat (I used beef).  That's it.  Easy peasy.

First off, cook the meat and drain of any liquid (basically fat).  Then take your wontons and cut into a circle to easily fill a mini cupcake pan .



I cut several at a time; maybe five or so.

You them smash the wonton to fit into the cupcake opening.  It doesn't have to be exact;  it still looks and tastes fine.
 
When they are all filled with wontons, place a dollop of the three cheeses combined, leaving out a bit of parm and mozz for a nice sprinkle on top.


Then top with a mixture of marinara and meat.  To that, sprinkle some cheese you saved and bake them in the oven until done or do as I do and bake until set, take out and cool, line a tray with them and

freeze and bag for later.  It's as easy as that!  So, what are you making today?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Late Post

This has been a very trying couple of days. I don't have internet. Xfinity keeps overtaking my belkin server from out of no where. I don't have xfinity. Then there's the text problem. Everyone I know has had untimely jumbled and confusing texts. I finally realized that making a phone call in the old fashioned way was the way to go.

 
And here's my office.  Pretty pathetic, right?  I think I will go and sew.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Don't Have A Meltdown

Nothing is easy. We had a couple guys come from work yesterday to bring back our front gate and had a list of things for them to do while they were here (they are young and they have a truck). On the list was hauling away one of those big tv's that we haven't been able to get rid of, the box springs of our bed which we no longer need and my desk that holds all the phone and computer stuff. When the desk was partially removed from it's cubby, we lost the internet and phone. Wow, isn't that a big surprise. I managed after a couple hours to get it back to working but now that I am not right at the desk, my wifi is iffy, which is odd, considering we have every kind of booster known to man. Another day in my life.

The last pillow (a toss up between California and Florida) has been received so I am happy to show the reveal of this years, 2014 Christmas pillow.

It is a melted snowman and the idea was given to me by my sister.  It is prominently displayed in front of a couple new windows.
 
The back is, well, the back.


As you can see, all the background fabric was not the same.  I wanted to get rid of some red and green and this seemed to be the way to do it.


Here we have the California recipients of the pillow, proudly posing with it.  It is my dear friend Nancy and her very handsome grandson Calvin.  It's nice to put a smile on peoples faces.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Photo Finish

I have to go to the skin doctor today. Always something that I love to do; get almost naked in front of a 40 year old doctor in a freezing room while every inch of my body is inspected under a very glaring light. Yeah! Bella will be going to day care. It's too long alone for her. Actually it's too long for me to leave her; she probably could care less.

Here are some random pictures on my computer that I am sure you are anxious to see.  I think the pillow reveal will be tomorrow.  There has been some delay in the mail.  The pillows were sent before Thanksgiving.

 
This is a monster amount of shrimp shells that I am 'browning' to extract flavor for stock.  The pot it is in is the biggest in my kitchen.  That's not to say that they are the biggest I have but the big BIG stock pots are in the garage on the shelf.

They are combined with mire poix, water and wine for a few minutes and voila!  Seafood stock.
 
The employees at our work love LOve LOVE rum cake so I start the holiday season with a taste and then send them some a couple weeks from now.  I get the email from G mid day that states something like 2 and a half cakes gone before noon;  updates like that.  Are you thinking what I'm thinking and he needs more work?

Did you know that if you are looking at a picture on your phone, from Facebook or someone and you want to save it that you press down the button just beneath your screen and the top button (the turn off one) at the same time and the picture on your screen will be saved?   I  learned that this weekend.

I love my outside planters this season.  I had to wait until the soil wasn't frozen to do them.


Peggy showed me a picture of some dolls she took a picture of at the Houston quilt show.  Can you see what this chain of dolls spells?  They had me in mind!!

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Animal Kingdom

My gal pals are here and that calls for a converting of the studio to accommodate

five sewing machines and enough stuff to fill a crater.  It doesn't take long to settle in.
 
I finished this sweater to give to my girlfriend Anne, for her almost due first grandson, who is ready to pop out any time.

I didn't get home in time to attend Jeri's baby shower so I am sending it home with her mom.  Did everyone get their pillows yet?

Friday, December 05, 2014

Mims




When my BFF Jayne was here this past weekend she shared a story of her son and DIL becoming foster parents for dogs waiting to be rescued.  Not long after they had Mims (her name) they fell in love and adopted her.

They took her to the vet later and found out she was pregnant!!!  While Jayne was here she got the pictures of the babies with mom that were born on the weekend.

It looks as tho she has no clue as to what to do with these four wee ones.  Tina (dil) says that she loses interest in the babies and just walks away from them.



What a surprise to do something so nice as to be a foster, adopt and end up with five dogs.  Yikes!

My sis and my girlfriend that quilt with me will be here this morning.  Another busy weekend, just like I like.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Jayne's Cards

While my pal Jayne was visiting she wanted to learn how to use all the gadgets that we (Mike and I)  use to make cards.  She also wanted a start on a hostess gift she was giving for a brunch this coming weekend.

We assembled all but the last two cards before hand because we felt that we wouldn't have time to do it all, teaching as we went.  Here are the first eight packs of ten cards we made the first card to show what it would look like and then the various parts that make it up.



This dress is cut out of card stock and bends at the shoulder.  the buttons are added with a glue dot and the ribbon is held in placd with double sided tape.  The curly bottom and sleeve was done with a zig zag blade on a rotary cutter.



The blue onesie is done the same way but the front flap was embossed.  The bone buttons are held in place with glue dots.


These lady bugs for the happy birthday already are sticky.  The black ribbon is attached with double sided tape.  Happy Birthday is a stamp.


The Fall Colors is a stamp with the tree included.  The five little leaves give it a lot of dimension and are held in place with a glue dot.  All the multi layering of card stock is double sided taped down.


These very lovely flowers came as is with a decal on the back of it and three layers of card stock detail. The ribbon lays down flat with double sided tape.

The stripe is a panel of printed card stock on a plain white card.  The thank you is a stamp.  Double card stock make up the background for the flip flops that are self sticking.

The packages are just colored card stock taped down on a couple layers of card stock and bound with ribbon.

The windmills are made of double sided print card stock.  They are held in place with a brad.

These last two were completely assembled with Jayne to show her the process and to teach her how to use the Cricut.

Multi layering of card stock on a white card is the background for the various leaves we cut from the cricut.  We showed Jayne how to use the Xyron glueing machines.

We cut out the black eyed susan on the circut and added a black background and a green strip of card stock.

We had tons of fun.  Like it was when I was a little girl; I would rather make the paper dolls and clothes than play with them!!!

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Wrapping It Up

This morning before 8 a.m. I had a furniture delivery.  It took a  long time to get it in the house.  I will show you it later.


Years ago when I had a monogram store, I used to buy wrapping paper from the same place where ribbon and boxes came from.    
I loved having large rolls that seemed to never run out.  Back in that day I had cutter frames for them but they were bulky and heavy so I no longer use them.  Recently I ordered these on line and because of their bulk I

I
rolled them up into useable sizes.

While we were busy creating this past weekend G came into the studio to call out that there were swans on the lake.  This is a first for me.  I have never seen a swan on the lake before.  They looked beautiful and I wish they would come more often.



I used up some more turkey in making turkey soup.  I just made it up.  It was small pieces of everything along with stock, poultry seasoning and sage.  Yum.