Sunday, December 22, 2013

Recipe: Cranberry Feta Wraps

A holiday party...and we needed to bring an appetizer.

I wanted something easy and a bit festive.

So what's the solution?

Pinterest, of course!

I began looking at my Yummy board and found an old picture I had tagged of Cranberry Feta Wraps...don't they look yummy?

Cranberry Feta Wraps
Approximately 36 pieces

2 packages dried Sweetened Cranberries
2 containers Whipped Cream Cheese
2 cups Crumbled Feta Cheese
1/2 cup Chopped Green Onion
6 large Wheat or Spinach Wraps

1. Combine first four ingredients and mix well.
2. Divide and spread mixture evenly among wraps.
3. Roll up tightly, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for a minimum of two (2) hours.
4. Slice into 1-2 inch pieces and serve.

Add a thin layer of ham to wraps before rolling.
Add a cup of chicken to cranberry mixture.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Sewing: Hello Kitty's BowTie Pouch

Such a wee little one....

With big, beautiful expressive eyes!

We met at dinner a few months back...she was there with her parents, the only child at a dinner party.

I brought her a simple pouch...just a basic zipper pouch...and filled it with inexpensive Hello Kitty trinkets.  She loved it...Hello Kitty is her favorite.

And she made a request....

Next time we meet could I make a zippered pouch with handles and pockets inside?

Of course I can, little one!

But there was no bling...and it needed bling!  How do you appropriately bling a Hello Kitty pouch?

With a big, obnoxious bow tie!  It works, doesn't it?

Meet the Bow Tie Hello Kitty fabric...with a pink polka-dot lining and two pockets (because a girl must have pockets for her phone and cards).

I'll be seeing her in a few weeks...I hope she likes it as much as I do!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Recipe: Cherry Kiss Cookies

An awesome cookie any time of the year, but particularly for your Christmas parties due to it's festive's one of my favorites.

Cherry Kiss Cookies
1 cup Unsalted Butter, softened
1 cup Powdered Sugar
2 teaspoons Maraschino Cherry Juice
1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract
Few drops of Red Food Coloring
2-1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Drained Maraschino Cherries, chopped
48 Hershey Kisses, unwrapped

My Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Cream together first five (5) ingredients until you get a smooth consistency.
Add in Flour, Salt and Cherries...mix well.
Let dough rest in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Form balls and place on your parchment-lined cookie sheet.
Smush cookie balls with a glass dipped in sugar.
Bake 8-10 minutes until bottoms are light brown.
Remove from oven and immediately press a Hershey Kiss into each cookie.
Let cool...if you can.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Family: Dear Texas....

Dear Texas,
Now that our daughter is stationed at Fort Hood, we paid your lovely State a visit over the Thanksgiving weekend to help her set up her first "adult" apartment.  Although I feel for the most part that you are amazing, there are a few things we need to get straight right off:

Those Boys and Their Big Trucks
It's true that everything is bigger in Texas.  Your natural beauty is so vastly breathtaking, and your churches are absolutely amazing pieces of art!  However, you sincerely need to do something about those boys and their big trucks!!!!  Like teach them how to drive without speeding, cutting people off, or parking without backing up into the parking space and blocking it off. PLEASE!

I expected better...a lot better!  But I can do barbecue better, and I'm a light should really get your restaurants to have a little respect for the art...maybe talk to my husband about it?  He's a master at the grill and smoker, and could definitely take down quite a few of your local joints easily.

Why in the world did you put an IKEA so close to my daughter's apartment?  Let's just say the credit card got an extreme workout...but my daughter is happy.

Most of all, please take care of her....she's the most amazing kid, working hard to help our soldiers and their families at the hospital.  You need to keep her safe while she's there.

Thank you!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sewing: Fall Leather Tote

Pattern: Leather Accent Tote by LRStitched
Fabric: Glimma by Lotta Jansdotter for Windham Fabrics
 Sewing Summit...a modern sewing and blogging conference.
   A place to put a face to a name to all your friends you talk with on IG...
  A place to expand your skills...
 A place to eat a lot of food and enjoy friends.

Mostly for me, Sewing Summit was a place to try something you never thought you'd do before. Leather...not pleather...the real stuff that smells fabulous...the thing that you'd never thought in a million years you'd work with.

It was the unknown, but Lindsay Rhodes soon cured us all the facts we needed to proceed in sewing with it in her lecture before we tackled the tote. Her lecture was two hours, but I think I could have easily sat in that classroom for another two hours soaking up her knowledge of leather...she is just that amazing and knowledgeable.

Her pattern was really easy to follow and user friendly...and she was there to hold your hand when things got scary.  It was an amazing experience...
   And I made myself a Fall LEATHER tote...
   By myself!
   And I'm not's mine!

Things I will share about working with leather:
  - You need a leather needle.
  - You need a heavy-duty polyester thread.
  - You need fabric glue.
  - You need to work with scissors other than your fabric scissors.

If you have all of those things, just have a bit of faith in yourself and do it...I promise it will be okay, and you'll have a fabulous leather bag like I do.

And if you ever get the chance to take a class from Lindsay, run to her classroom...she willingly shares her knowledge and is the best teacher.  I hope I get an opportunity to learn from her again next year!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sewing: The Aragon Bag...aka Hello Kitty Does Elvis Bag

The Aragon Bag by Sew Sweetness
I've been getting a few requests for baby bags lately...
  However, I didn't have a baby bag...especially one in Hello Kitty that they were wanting.

Enters Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness stage right...
   Would I please test her new bag pattern?

She describes the Aragon Bag as:
 Whether you have a new baby or just a ton of stuff to carry around in your bag, this one is for you! On the exterior, this bag features two elastic pockets, a three-dimensional snap pocket, and a back zippered pocket.  On the inside, there are four elastic pockets and a zippered pocket.  All of your things will have their special place!  

And when Sew Modern posted a picture of their new Hello Kitty Elvis fabric, I knew it was a match made in heaven!  Who wouldn't like a baby bag with Hello Kitty Elvis fabric?

- For a big bag, I was surprised at how lightweight it actually turned out to be.  It finishes at 16" long x 12" tall x 6" wide, and is very easy to carry about.
- Pockets everywhere, and they're elasticized with plenty of room for bottles formula, whatever my friends would need for their little ones.
- Very versatile bag...I would be happy to use one myself on an everyday basis, as it's very roomy and plenty of places to keep your things organized.
- Overall the bag was very easy to make, although I would consider it to be an intermediate-level bag in construction. Sara's instructions were great and very user-friendly, with plenty of pictures to help along in the process.

- I had a bit of trouble with the final step of using a bias tape on the lining side to finish up the bag, but went very slowly and got it done!

Overall, I believe this to be a beautiful bag....and think the next one I make will be with bunny fabric for myself.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Sewing: Elephant Backpack and Lunch Sack

It wasn't even a yard...
  and it was oh so cute!

I couldn't let it stay on the shelf...
  it just needed to come home with me.

And it needed a special project...
  something to make it shine!

Back to school...everyone around here is getting their little ones ready to go back to school next week.

Just perhaps it would make a lunch box...or a backpack...or perhaps both?
   But that was wishful thinking, as I didn't even have a yard.

Maybe, just maybe I could make it work...
   And maybe, just maybe I would do it my way.

A lunch bag with a drawstring interior and a top closed by a big button...
   Oh so easy for your little one to use, but secure enough to keep everything inside.

The backpack...yup, it also has a drawstring interior and a top closed by a big button...
   A zipper pocket on the front for your pencils and erasers...
   And a big pocket inside because maybe you want to take a pink pony to share. first creation from pattern...
   And I'm pretty proud of myself!
   Might just half to do a few more!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Sewing: Peas and Corn Lunchbag

Peas and Corn Lunch Bag by Sew Sweetness
It's the time of year Mom's seem to love most...
   Summer's coming to an end...
   And the kids are going back to school!

But back to school usually brings it's own school clothes and supplies...with a cost that's not very budget friendly. So when Sara of Sew Sweetness asked for volunteers to test her Peas and Corn Lunch Bag pattern, I immediately raised my hand...quite a few kids I know could use a new lunch bag this year!

The dinosaur lunch bag...isn't it too cute?  The pattern includes two different types of lunch bags plus directions for zipper snack pouches...and I chose to do the rounded lunch bag.  \

Easy enough to do in an hour or's a winner of a pattern!  The directions were clear and concise, making this a project a breeze to complete.  And the bag is the perfect size...big enough to hold two bento boxes, a wash cloth holder, a small bottle of water...and I added a pocket to hold an ice pack!

Thanks for another great pattern, Sara!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Sewing: Siggy Swap Surprise!

It's just not the right blue to match the other blocks!
What? I have no orange fabric? I really wanted orange siggy blocks!

Those are words I have said many times with new projects...and are you saying them right now as you look through your stash for swap block fabrics?

If you are, I have some AWESOME news!

Amanda from Westwood Acres has agreed to sponsor our swap!

Haven't shopped at Westwood Acres before? It's the best...low shipping rates, lots of selection, and quick their customer service can't be beat!

All participants will receive a 10% discount on orders over $ if you were wanting that Chicopee, Briar Rose, or Belle fat quarter bundle, go get it...your husband/partner won't get mad because you got it with a discount!

I'll put the code in our Flickr group discussion page so it's easily accessible to all...however, please don't share's for participants of this siggy swap only!

So join in the fun (if you haven't already) and share the information on the swap if you're already a participant...the more the merrier, right?

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sewing: Siggy Swap

I covet signature block quilts, especially antique signature block quilts.  I makes me want to find out all I can about why the quilt was made and the people who made the quilt.

I'm lucky, as I have two signature block quilts in my from the 1900's and one I made that has over 400 signatures with participants from all over the world.

And I want bright and beautiful with signature blocks from all my friends.

A few little details to get you thinking about it....

Fabrics:     Quilt Shop quality fabrics only
    Background: Solid white (Kona White or equilvalent)
      Not gray or cream or offwhite
      No White-on-Whites or prints of any type
   Corners: Modern prints or solids

  Rachel Griffith from ps I quilt has a great siggy block tutorial:
 These blocks are really easy to make and go together super quick! They're also a great stashbuster.

The number of required blocks will depend on how many decide to participate.  I'm also asking that you make and send one extra block as a donation for a charity quilt.
  So if we have 32 people sign up, you'll make 33 blocks.
  If we have 58 people sign up, you'll make 59 blocks.
And don't worry!  This swap is limited to 100 swappers, so the maximum blocks you will need to complete will be 101 blocks.

Submission Date: SEPTEMBER 30, 2013

Participation Deadline: Signups close when we reach 100 participants or August 9th, 2013...whichever comes first.

Interested?  We'll be communicating through a Flicker please send me an e-mail with your name, e-mail, and Flickr ID to participate. My e-mail is

Besides sending me an e-mail, would you please leave a comment below?  We all want to know whose playing along....

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Recipe: Chicken Parmigiana ala Martha Stewart (Maybe?)

Great Fast Food from the Kitchens of Martha Stewart
I blog a lot of recipes, but do you know why?

Because I have friends and family that don't cook...and when they do cook, they call me to ask how to create a recipe or ask me where I found the recipe.

It's just easier to have things I've enjoyed and shared in one central location that's accessible to all...even if they're in Southern California, Indiana, or Georgia.

So tonight you're getting my version of Chicken Parmigiana based on Martha Stewart's recipe....
  and yeah, I'll admit it....I love Martha Stewart's recipes.

This is one of my favorite go-to recipes because it's quick to make (30 minutes total) and good food for everyone.  Just add a side salad and you're good to go!

I just changed it up a bit...almond meal instead of bread crumbs, and buffalo mozzarella instead of the regular cow's milk mozzarella...because by doing so, it doesn't kill my stomach.

Chicken Parmigiana
3/4 cup Almond Meal (or bread crumbs)
3/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
4 boneless, skinless Chicken Breast Halves
1 large Egg, lightly beaten
1 jar Spaghetti Sauce (your favorite)
1/4 cup Olive Oil (preferably garlic)
6 ounces Mozzarella Cheese, Fresh
  Cut into 1/4 inch slices

1. Heat your broiler....and remember to have your fire extinguisher close-by just in case.
2. Combine the Almond Meal and Parmesan Cheese in a shallow bowl.  Lightly season both sides of your Chicken Breast with salt and pepper.  Dip the chicken in the beaten Egg, then dredge in the breadcrumb mixture making sure both sides are totally covered.
3. Spray a 10-by-15 inch baking dish with a non-stick spray.  Spread your Spaghetti Sauce into the bottom of your baking dish.
4. Heat your Olive Oil in a large non-stick over medium-high heat.  Place your Chicken in the skillet and cook until golden, approximately 2-3 minutes on each side.
5. Transfer the browned Chicken to the baking dish using a spatula to place them on top of the Spaghetti Sauce. Top each piece of Chicken with a slice of the Mozzarella Cheese.
6. Broil about 4 inches from your heat source about 5-8 minutes, making sure your sauce is hot and the cheese is melted and slightly golden in spots.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sewing: Travel Duffel Bag

It hasn't been all baking with zucchinis lately.

I have been sewing a bit, but not as much as I'd like to....
  but then again, do any of us get to sew as much as we want?

Studio Cherie Travel Duffel  Tote -  Simplicity 2274

Since I'm going to Sewing Summit later this year, I need a few things...beginning with a duffel big enough to carry my clothes.

This duffel is absolutely huge...I have three sofa pillows in it to puff it out a bit for the picture, and it still could hold one or two more.

I changed up the pattern a bit...covered the jute with the purple fabric, as I didn't like the look of the jute but still wanted the jute would give the bag.

Added a lining...why do bags not come with lining instructions? Ugh...sorry, but it's my pet peeve.  It was easy enough to create using the original pattern instructions I used a lightweight cotton fabric, used the soft batting interfacing, added lots and lots of pockets, and hand-stitched it in so I have something nice for my stuff to lay against.

It's ready for onto a smaller bag for my quilting supplies.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Recipe: Lemon Blackberry Zucchini Cake

Zucchini seem to be coming out of our ears right now....

I've done Lemon Zucchini Bread, Lemon Zuchini Blueberry Bread, and Turkey Burgers with Zucchini.

Time for something pretty...

A cake is pretty, especially if it's done in a bundt pan.

Doesn't it look pretty?

And I didn't even frost it this time.

Lemon Blackberry Zucchini Cake
3 cups shredded Zucchini
1-1/2 cups Sugar
2 large Eggs
1 cup melted Butter
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
3 cups Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
Zest of one Lemon
2 cups Blackberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a bundt pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients except blackberries just until mixed.  Fold in your blueberries every so lightly.
3. Pour into your prepared bundt pan and bake 60-75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
4. Remove from the oven and let cool for five minutes.
5. Give the bundt pan a few taps on the counter to help loosen the cake and let it continue to cool ten more minutes before inverting onto a serving plate.

If you want a frosting may I suggest a simple Cream Cheese Frosting? Cream together 4 oz cream cheese that has been softened, 3 tablespoons butter that has been softened, 2 cups powdered sugar, and one teaspoon lemon juice....beat just until smooth and frost your cake.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Recipe: Silas' Lemon Zucchini Bread

The zucchini have invaded, the zucchini have invaded!

And this time I wanted something a bit healthier than the Chocolate Zucchini Bread.

However, I must admit this is the second time I did this recipe before posting...everything has to be perfect to take the picture, right?

And the last time it was eaten before I could drizzle the lemon glaze across the top of it.

Not even five minutes after I had taken it out of the oven, Silas ate it...yes, I said Silas ate it.  He was so enthralled with the smell of this bread that he sat by the oven as it was baking.

I take it out of the oven, wait five minutes for it to cool before taking it out of the pan to put it on the cooling rack...all with him sitting patiently at my feet.

I pushed it back on the counter, obviously not enough, turned my back to get something out of the refrigerator, and BAM! He's grabbed the cutting board, pulled the wire rack with the bread off the counter, and ran outside with the loaf!

This bread shall forever be known in my heart as Silas' Lemon Zucchini Bread.

Silas' Lemon Zucchini Bread
Bread Ingredients
2 1/3 cups All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Lemon Zest
   Note: Meyer Lemons are the best for baking
1 cup Sugar
1/3 cup Canola Oil
2 Large Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3/4 cup Light Sour Cream
3 cups Grated Zucchini, patted dry before use
 Note: peel the zucchini before grating if you don't want to see green flecks in your bread
Glaze Ingredients
1 cup Powdered Sugar
2 tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
Yellow Food Coloring, if preferred for a yellow glaze

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grease/flour or spray your loaf pan and set aside.
2. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl.
3. In a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add all the remaining ingredients and mix just until blended.
4. Pour batter into your prepared pan.
5. Bake 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
6. Cool 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack, remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
7. Whisk together ingredients to create a thing glaze and drizzle over the top of loaf once cool.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Recipe: Banana Blueberry Bread

It's not usually a problem to buy bananas in the spring.

But earlier this week the temperatures rose into the high 90's, and my bananas quickly turned to sugar.

Banana bread was needed...and since there were blueberries in the refrigerator, they got thrown in there too!

Be warned: this recipe is a miss-mosh of several recipes I've done in the past....totally made to the taste of my family.  Feel free to add nuts or chocolate if you want....bread needs to be happy!

Banana Blueberry Bread
3/4 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Butter, softened
2 Large Eggs
1 cup Mashed Bananas (usually 2 medium)
  Note: make sure those bananas are definitely ripe
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (do not thaw)
1/2 cup chopped nuts, if desired
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, if desired
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8-1/2" x 4-1/2" loaf pan.
2. Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix together just until well combined.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and place in oven.
4. Bake the bread for 50 to 60 minutes minutes, until the loaf tests done.
Note: remember your test might have a smear of chocolate chips.
5. Remove the bread from the oven, and let it cool for 10-15 minutes before turning onto a rack.
6. Cool completely before slicing; wrap tightly and store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Recipe: Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Because we have the first zucchini of the season....

Because it's National Chocolate Chip Day....

And because I haven't posted a recipe in a while....

May I present Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread for your enjoyment?

PS: Triple Chocolate Zucchini Bread? Just add a drizzle of chocolate ganache on the top of the loaf

Double Chocolate Zucchini
   adapted from King Arthur Flour's recipe
2  Large Eggs
1/3 cup Honey
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/3 cup Dutch-Processed Cocoa
1-2/3 cups All-Purpose Flour
2 cups Zucchini, unpeeled and shredded
1 cup Mini Chocolate Chips
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease an 8-1/2" x 4-1/2" loaf pan.
2. Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix together just until well combined.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and place in oven.
4. Bake the bread for 65 to 75 minutes minutes, until the loaf tests done.
   Note: remember your test might have a smear of chocolate chips.
5. Remove the bread from the oven, and let it cool for 10-15 minutes before turning onto a rack.
6. Cool completely before slicing; store well-wrapped at room temperature.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sewing: The Commissionaire Bag

Pattern: The Commissionaire Bag by Kristi and Charlene of schnitzel & boo
Exterior Fabrics: Echino Decoro Dahlia and Robert Kaufman's Brussel Washer
Interior Fabrics: Kokka's Daisy Chain in Chartreuse plus a little more of the Brussel Washer

Of course a girl needs a new bag...don't be silly!

The Commissionaire Bag is just the right size for me...holds my wallet, cell phone, iPad, sunglasses and that all important pouch of lip gloss (guessing about ten in that pouch).

I used one of my favorite fabrics I've been hoarding...doesn't that bird just look oh so perfect on the front of that bag? I think Kristi and Charlene designed this pattern with her in mind!

The pattern was perfect...directions were well written plus plenty of pictures to explain the directions.

But the best thing yet?  Dear Husband gave it a THUMBS UP, saying it was very classy and elegant, suitable for wining and dining in Downtown Los Angeles.

Love this bag!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Sewing: Aeroplane Bag

Pattern: Aeroplan Bag by Sara Johnson, Sew Sweetness
Fabric: Echino Buck in Pink and Kokka Black with Pink Dots

I love this bag...
 It's sewing machine will fit inside perfectly.
 It's soft-sided, so I can put it in the bottom of my dufflebag and pull it out to bring my swag home.
 It's insulated...I used Pellon's Insul-Fleece on the inside of the bag so I could use it on a picnic.
 Besides it's pink with deer and dots...what else do you need?

And I loved making this bag?

Yup, you heard me correctly.....I loved making this bag.

It was easy-peasy, as the directions were well written. There were lots of pictures to show me how to do each step. Plus I did the whole bag in three hours...even with a zipper.

Thinking this will be the Momma's gift for Mother's Day...but, of course, hers would need to be blue floral because that's her favorite.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sewing: Ruffle Hobo Bag

She picked the Ruffle Hobo Tote.

It had to be in teal.

And after working on it intermittently during the past three months it is finally done!

Three months? Yes, three months....because I get frustrated easily.   If I don't understand directions and there's no pictures to match, I put it off to the side to work on another project until I muddle it out.  If the pattern pieces name don't make sense, I put it off to the side to work on another project until I muddle it out.

Needless to say, there were quite a few things I needed to muddle out.

But the worst? I broke my ruffling foot and had to wait for a replacement!

It is an absolutely beautiful bag, and hopefully we'll get together this weekend so she can start using it.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Quilt: Rooftop Garden Facade

It's finished!

First thing I do when I've finished a quilt is show it off to the Hubby.

Sometimes he likes them...
 sometimes he dislikes them....
 then there's the one he told me needed to leave the house because one color didn't work.

This one is different.

It's Hubby approved...only the second time in years that he's approved a quilt that I've done.

Direct quote: It's one of my favorites, ranking up there with the Canyon Sunset quilt. The white with the colors...the design makes it pop!.

A little close-up of the front of the quilt.

A little close up of the back of the quilt...a large floral on gray.   Isn't it just scrumptious?

The color of the fabrics, the pattern design, and the quilting make this a wonderful quilt that we're proud to display in our home

Pattern: Facade by Rachel Griffith Designs,
Fabric: Rooftop Garden by Moda Fabrics,
Quilting: Lisa Alexakis at Sew Modern,

Monday, March 25, 2013

Edgar Update: He's a Moose Now!

Today Edgar went to the spa.

He had an oatmeal bath...
 His hair and nails were trimmed....
 And he was blown dry.

In order to determine their fees, they weight the dog...Edgar sits williningly on the scale because he gets cookies for being good.

96.4 pounds...can you believe it?

I've officially declared him to be a moose!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sewing: Coin Purses

Yesterday he asked if I could make two gifts...

Yes, you heard correctly...yesterday!

They needed to be little..only big enough to hold a silver dollar.

And one had to be teal and one had to be pink/purple.

So today I was a sewing fairy...working all afternoon on two little coin purses.

It's a good thing I went to Sew Modern last Saturday..I used some of the Birds and the Bees from Tula Pink  for the pink/purple purse that I had picked up...with a pink hummingbird lining.  And the tree almost stands perfectly center!

I had to dig into my Japanese fabrics for the teal. I love this print, practicing my fussy-cutting skills again to show off the bright green bird.  As for the lining, it's a teal dot...perfect for this bag.

For a first attempt at coin purses, I think I did pretty good...I only stuck myself once with the needle while sewing the bag to the frame, and now they'll sit on the table overnight while the glue dries.

I think I need to make myself one now....

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey...

The season three finale was last Sunday....

I prepared....with a large Diet Dr. Pepper and a bag of Hershey Kisses.

I sat...on the sofa nearest the television so I wouldn't miss a word.

I watched...with Edgar on the floor beside me.

I wept....because some awesome things happened, but then again some things were downright sad.

As always, though, I loved the Dowager Countess...she had the best quote of the night:

Robert: "I'll do it on one condition – no, two. First, Matthew must agree . . . Second, you will both admit it when you realize you were wrong."
Violet: "Oh, well, that is an easy caveat to accept, because I'm never wrong."

Doesn't that sound just like me?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sewing: Ruffled Hobo Bag

I need another project...a filler if you must.

You see...I'm a few strips short of fabric on my Scrappy Trip Along Quilt...five to be exact.  I've scoured the internet and have found a few that will work, so now that project is in wait mode...hopefully no more than a week.

And I haven't done a bag in a while...since before the holidays...and Dylan's hobo bag needs to be done.

It must be teal...and the majority of my teal stash is Japanaese fabrics..
   The ruffles will be the teal bird.
   The outer bag panels, zipper panel, and exterior handle will be the teal dot.
   The panel around the bottom will be the teal/purple/pink stripe.
   The inside handle fabric with be the chocolate teal dot.
   And I'm not sure what will be leftover to do the interior...but it will be teal with a few pockets.

While I'm at it, I might just make a bag for me...but mine will be more pinks and grays, using the fabrics I picked up at Crimson Tate in Indianapolis.

Now I just need to find my teal thread and I'm ready to start.  Anyone done this bag before who could share some hints?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Recipe: Chocolate-Covered Cherry Cake

Chocolate-Covered Cherry Cake.

I found the recipe a few years back in The Cake Mix Doctor cookbook by Anne Byrne.  I knew I needed to make it right away, and it was an instant hit with the family.

Over the years I've morphed the cake into a one-bowl recipe...probably because I'm way lazy and don't want to use my mixer unless absolutely necessary, as it requires handwashing all the parts. 

Last night I made a Chocolate-Covered Cherry Cake...

Now there is only one piece left...

To tempt me all night long...

Might just need to eat it, right?

Original Recipe from The Cake Mix Doctor by Anne Byrn


Vegetable oil spray for misting the pan
One (1) package plain devil's food cake mix or devil's food mix with pudding
One (1) can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
Two (2) large eggs
One (1) teaspoon pure almond extract

One (1) cup sugar
One-third (1/3) cup butter
One-third (1/3) cup whole milk
One (1) package (6 ounces: 1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly mist a 13- by 9-inch baking pan with vegetable oil spray.  Set the pan aside.

2. Place the cake mix, cherry pie filling, eggs, and almond extract in a large mixing bowl.  Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for one minute.  Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat two minutes more, scraping the sides down again if needed.   The batter should look thick and well blended.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the rubber spatula.  Place the pan in the oven.

3. Bake the cake until it springs back when lightly pressed with your finger and it starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, 30 to 35 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack while you prepare the glaze.

4. For the glaze, place the sugar, butter and milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips.  When the chips have melted and the glaze is smooth, pour it over the warm cake to that it covers the entire surface.  The glaze will be thin, but will firm up.  Cool the cake for 20 minutes more before cutting into squares and serving.

Cake Notes:
 1. I just throw all the cake ingredients into a bowl and stir by hand until well blended.
 2. Optional: add in one cup of semi-sweet mini chocolate chips to the cake batter.

Glaze Notes:
 1. This cake tastes great without the glaze; however...
 2. Most of the time I'll use chocolate frosting instead of the glaze as it's quicker.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Recipe: Sam's Pasta

Because my daughter asked for the recipe....

Sun-Dried Tomato and Garlic Chicken's original name.

My family loves it...

Unfortunately so did Sam!

Sam was one of our dogs many moons ago...who loved to counter-surf whenever we weren't looking. Anything on the counter was fair game to him.

One night I was making the sauce...

Pushed it to the back of the stove to go pickup the daughter from volleyball practice...

Pulled the pasta sauce back to the front burner to warm when we got back home...

And noticed a great big SNOUT imprint in the front of the pan.

Needless to say we had take-out that night...and I never again made this recipe when I needed to leave Sam alone in the house.

Ingredients Needed
One (1) jar Sun-Dried Tomatoes
One (1) pound Bacon (because everything's better with Bacon)
Garlic Powder (to taste)
Two (2) packs PreCooked Chicken Strips
Chopped Garlic (to taste)
Two (2) pints Heavy Cream
One (1) bunch Green Onions
Two (2) boxes Pasta, cooked according to package directions


1. Drain sun-dried tomatoes on paper towels, using a heavy weight to compress for extra oil.

2. Fry bacon in heavy dutch oven, removing to paper towel to cool.  Once cool, chop into bite-sized pieces.

3. Drain bacon grease from pan, leaving approximately three (3) tablespoons in bottom of dutch oven.

4. Add chicken pieces to bacon grease.  Stir to coat.  Add lots of garlic powder so you don't see the grease in the bottom of the pan and the chicken looks as if it has a heavy breadcoating.  Add as much chopped garlic as you can stand.

5. Turn down heat to medium.  Add both containers of cream, bacon pieces and sun-dried tomatoes, and let simmer (not boil) to reduce cream and meld flavors...approximately 30 minutes, but preferably an hour. not boil the cream!

6. Just before serving, add green onions to the cream mixture and stir lightly.

7. To serve, ladle cream/chicken sauce over cooked pasta.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Last Week In Review

Hey there!

It's been a busy week or two...

First, Edgar celebrated his first birthday!  Look at the difference between puppy Edgar and teenage Edgar...he's grown up!  He's a total redhead, weighs in at 82.5 lbs at the moment, eats four cups of dog food a day, and loves to play ball.

Next, I was lucky to take a class with Emily of Carolina Patchworks at Road to California. I learned a lot, especially the fact that I could actually handle a quilt with a lot of small pieces.

And finally, I attempted to make a Scrappy Lone Star with Janice of Better Off Thread.  Janice gave me the confidence to actually do this and not to worry if things weren't exactly perfect.

Other than that, I managed to finish my Scrappy Trip Along quilt top...or at least I thought I did.  When it came to laying out the quilt, I found myself ONE block now I'm scrounging around a bit for matching fabric to finish that last block.  (p.s. If you have any old Lakehouse in your stash, would you let me know? I need a strip of the pink and orange and green...)

So what have you been up to???

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Quilting: Scrappy Trip Around The World

If you haven't figured it out, I'm an InstaGram junkie lately...even my husband comments that I can't put it down.

And on InstaGram there have been lots and lots of quilters starting out the New Year making a Scrappy Trip Around the World quilt...simple, colorful, and uses up your scraps/stash...seamed perfect to me.

So I went to my stash to pull a few things out...and instead of scraps came out with two old jelly rolls...colorful and bright...just what the cold, rainy days here in Southern California needed.

However, there was no backing fabric anywhere near those colors in my stash...nor was there anything close to a binding fabric...those colors were a bit out of my colorway back then.

Scoured the internet for a bit provided some yardage, but I will be doing the scrappy back as I only found enough for the binding and two pillowcases with a bit left over for the back.



Scrappy Hearts...check! did that get in here?

Can you say unexpected inspiration?  Valentine's Day block + Pellon's Quilter Grid made it easy to put together...thinking either a pincushion or a throw pillow...haven't decided yet.

Now that everything's settled I'll start working on the quilt blocks...want to join in?