Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Quilting: My Machine Applique Secret

Today I'm busy...

I have THE most important quilt top to finish...

The daughter's GRADUATION QUILT top...

Which has a lot of machine applique to finish...

Today, as tomorrow it must be delivered to the quilter to be finished in time for graduation.

Yes, I fully admit I've procrastinated on this quilt.  It was started four years ago, but somehow I kept on putting it off...thinking four years was a long time off...well, I only have one day before it needs to go to the quilter tomorrow.

The center of the quilt is the Nursing School's logo...all of which has been fused to the fabric, but still needs to be machine-appliqued down to the fabric.  I know I could just leave it and let it be quilted, but I'd always worry about those edges....for years and years to come.

The tools I will be using today are pretty standard...a new needle, lots of black thread (satin stitch), and handy-dandy box of Deli Wrap.

Yes, I said Deli Wrap...we're extremely budget conscious in this house, and I use Deli Wrap as my stabilizer for machine applique.  It works's totally inexpensive...and it rips off real easy.

Now to go hunt down a large diet Dr. Pepper and some's gonna be a long night!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Recipe: Crockpot Honey-Apple Pork Loin

Today is one of those days...

Woke up late...

Have lots of errands to do...

Need to clean the kitchen floors...

And need to work on my project.

Days like today make my crockpot one of my favorite friends.

I found the recipe a few weeks back on Pinterest (again) and knew I needed to try it.

Right now the house smells like Fall...enough said!

Crockpot Honey-Apple Pork Loin

One Pork Loin (2-3 pounds)
Four Apples (I'm using Granny Smith, but use whatever you like)
Four teaspoons Honey (more or your taste)
Two teaspoons Cinnamon (more or your taste)

1. Prep crockpot for cooking (make sure to line your crockpot for easy cleanup).
2. Core and slice your apples in eighths.
3. Lay two sliced apples in the bottom of your crockpot to form a base for your Pork Loin.
4. Sprinkle with some of the cinnamon.
5. Cut slices in your Pork Loin, approximately one inch apart (about eight total).
6. Flavor your Pork Loin with garlic, salt and pepper to taste (if you wish).
7. Drizzle honey into the slices of your Pork Loin.
8. Place a piece of apple into each slice of the Pork Loin.
9. Sprinkle with some of the cinnamon.
10. Cover Pork Loin in remaining apple slices and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon.
11. Place lid on crockpot, secure, and cook for seven hours on low

Recipe: Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

Quick and easy and fast...and good!

That about describes how I want to cook dinner every night after spending the day running errands, cleaning the house, and getting some time in the studio.

I'm always on the lookout for recipes fitting my requirements, and lately Pinterest has been helping.

Garlic/Brown Sugar Chicken
4 chicken breasts (bone-in)
4 teaspoons garlic salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line baking pan with foil (for easy cleaning).

2. Place garlic salt, granulated garlic, and brown sugar in a large plastic baggie, and combine well.

3. Add chicken pieces to baggie and shake until well coated.

4. Place chicken pieces on baking pan, put into the oven, and close the oven door.

5. Bake approximately 30 minutes, until chicken is golden brown and no longer pink in the center.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Family: Pretty Pink Packages Tied Up with String

I have a confession...

It has to do with song lyrics in my head...

Just think of the movie The Sound of Music...

What song do you start singing?

My Favorite Things, of course...

But I simply must need to change the lyrics a bit....

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens 
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Pretty pink packages tied up with string
These are a few of my favorite things!

Pretty pink packages sounds so much better, doesn't it?

Well, doesn't it?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Sewing: Favorite Hello Kitty Bag

I'm getting pretty good at this Hello Kitty bag....

I remember how to do them without consulting the original pattern....

I have developed a few tricks/shortcuts to make them easier....

And have found Hello Kitty canvas in several colorways...even in this black and red print!

Isn't it just too fab for words?

Thinking I might just have to keep this one for myself...but then again it will be loved in its new home, so I tell myself I must share.

Maybe I should actually make one for myself?  Nah...then I'd have to actually use it to pack a lunch...but then again I could use it to carry around my yo-yo fabric when I'm out and about.  Hmmm.....

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sewing: This Dork Owns a Zipper Foot

Ever feel like a complete dork?

Yup, that's me right now.

Since I've committed to making the Weekender Bag and it has a zipper to be put in, I figured I'd better get my patootie down to the LQS for some help on installing a zipper.

Let's just say my first attempt did not go well...involving numerous bad words, throwing things at walls, using my seam ripper, and finally just giving up and taking it to the alterations place for them to install.

I wasn't ever planning on doing a zipper again.

But I really want to do this bag...

I've scrounged the seven seas for the perfect fabric....

I've ordered the obsessively long zipper for this bag...

So I signed up for a class this Saturday....and the supply list for the class includes a "zipper" foot....duh!

And guess who found the zipper foot in her Bernina foot cubby....ME!

Dork! Dork! Dork!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Recipe: Slutty S'mores

It's really not my fault...

I just shared a recipe on Facebook...

The friends started talking...
  And the recipe just sorta morphed into something fast and easy.

Or maybe it's the heat, as it's 96 degrees outside today...
 And I'd really like some cooler weather with some rain.

So without further ado, may I present the recipe for Slutty S'mores!

Two squares Nestle Tollhouse Refrigerated Cookie Dough
One Graham cracker
Two Ghost Peeps
One-half Hershey's Chocolate Bar

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Spray a cookie sheet with Pam.
3. On your prepared cookie sheet layer:
    - One-half Graham Cracker
    - One-half Hershey's Chocolate Bar
    - Two Ghost Peeps (side-by-side)
    - One-half Graham Cracker
    - Two cookie squares (side-by-side)
4. Bake 11-13 minutes until your cookie is done.
5. Plate and enjoy while warm!

 Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzle with chocolate syrup.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Tasting Halloween Treats

Yes, I had to go there and try the new Halloween goodies...

The "Limited Edition" Candy Corn Oreos....
  Tasted like cupcake frosting with no special flavor...definitely not worth the price!

The Candy Corn M&Ms....
 Tasted like white chocolate M&Ms with a bad candy corn aftertaste!

And the Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses.
 Almost made me vomit in my mouth!

If you have to go there just to try them, I understand...I did just that.  But your dollars would be better spent on a White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcake if you ask me....

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sewing: The Manly Lunch Tote

After seeing all the mini lunch totes I did last week, the DH put in his request...

A "manly" tote...
  Meaning something I can carry around and use without being embarrassed.
  Meaning no Hello Kitty, no florals, and especially no PINK.

It had to have a zipper...
  Really now?
  Don't you remember the last time I attempted a zipper and ended up taking it to someone else?

It needed to be large enough to hold one soda can, one sandwich container, an apple and a package of cookies...

May I present the "manly" lunch tote...complete with a ZIPPER?
Yes, I did it all's not perfect, but it's in and it works!

And, more importantly, it is DH approved!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Edgar: Eight Month Update

Eight months...can you believe it?  I can't quite grasp how we got here!

Edgar now weights 71.6 lbs and is on the fast track to becoming the biggest dog in our home.  If his track record continues, he will win this title by next month.

He is the tallest dog in the house.

He sheds the most hair in the house.

He still loves his tennis balls.

And Pheobe still hates his guts...oh well! Life will go on!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sewing: Hello Kitty Stash

I picked up Delilah from the repair shop on Saturday and then took the really long way home....about an hour out of my add some more Hello Kitty canvas to my stash.

I think the detour was worth it...don't you?  Those prints are really cute!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Quilt: Stitching Blocks

There are some days I wake up knowing I need to create...and today I'm wanting to stitch a few quilt blocks together.

Many different fabrics, many different colors...

Just a block or two will satisfy the craving and then I can move forward with my assigned tasks for today. But then again, I might just get lost in the world of creating blocks and not accomplish anything but a quilt that so bad?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Cake

Although fall hasn't officially begun yet, I'm ready for it to start....and since today we'll have a few friends over, I wanted a Pumpkin Spice Cake.

No one told me canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix) would be hard to find this year.

No one told me cream pumpkin candies weren't out in the store yet.

But I managed to find all the ingredients to pull it off...and the house smells amazing as it bakes.

Pumpkin Spice Cake
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Powdered Ginger
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cloves
1/2 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
2 cups Sugar
4 eggs
1 cup Vegetable or Canola Oil
1 15oz can Solid Packed Pumpkin (do not use Pumpkin Pie Mix)

Step #1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Step #2: Place all dry ingredients in a large bowl and sift together.

Step #3: Add eggs, oil, and pumpkin to dry ingredients and stir well (about thirty strokes by hand)

Step #4: Pour into greased 9X13 pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remember to insert a toothpick in the middle comes out clean...if not, bake a few minutes more.

Step #5: Let cool on a wire rack, frost with cream cheese frosting, and add creme pumpkin candies for decoration.

Cream Cheese Frosting
8oz Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, softened
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
1 tablespoon Milk
4 cups Powdered Sugar

In your mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and milk.  Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, blending between additions.  Add more milk if necessary.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Sewing: Hello Kitty Lunch Tote Revised

Finally using the Hello Kitty English and blue and white...and the hat!

I've been playing around a bit with the design of the bag...the height and bag handles were both increased by two inches. Trying to simplify the design, I used 1/3 yard canvas (main bag print), 1/3 yard oil cloth (interior print), 1/3 yard cotton (handles/bag border), and a fat eighth cotton for the bag top.

Now I'm I share the Hello Kitty pink or Hello Kitty English lunch tote with Ms. Cutie Patootie?

Or should I just tale a trip up to Sew Modern to get a few more cuts of Hello Kitty canvas to play with? I saw three more prints on their site yesterday.