Saturday, June 28, 2014

Finishing Up the June Challenges!

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - this is the last YELLOW Saturday for the month of June.  You can read more about my YELLOW Hootie HERE

and Soul Searching HERE.....

The day after I finished the YELLOW Soul Searching block, I put them all on the floor to see how they are looking -- and I just couldn't resist.....

 ..... I HAD to start pulling blacks for the center block to see how it was going to look!

I want the blacks to have the same colors in them to mirror the blocks as they move around the quilt.  Here is a closeup of the fabrics I finally chose ....

Before I knew it, I had started cutting and putting the block together!

And here it is in it's place.  

Can you tell that the colors move around the center block in a mirror to the blocks around it?  I'm really happy with the way this is turning out!!  You'll notice that I have already made the RED block :)  I went ahead and made it a few months ago when I washed my red fabrics.  It's nice to have that done!!!  Now I only have to do an ORANGE block for that center bottom space and these blocks will be DONE!

See more Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks HERE.....

June NewFO Challenge - July Calendar Quilt

I call this one Flowercrackers!  This quilt has been fused but still needs it's buttonhole applique stitching and quilting before it is ready to go on the wall.  I'm really loving it !!!

See more NewFO projects HERE .....

Vrooman's Let's Book It  - Calendar Quilts

I had just about forgotten about this book and how much I really, really LOVE these little quilts for each season!  Thanks Sharon for encouraging me to pick it back up and make this cute quilt for July 4th :*)

See more Let's Book It projects HERE ....

I'm glad I have a few more days before June is officially over - 
I still have lots to do before July knocks on the door!!!
Hope you are all enjoying your summer as much as I am :)

Hugs & Blessings!

Friday, June 27, 2014

On the Needles and On Pause .....

I'm sure you've noticed that my posts have slowed down...... Summer just seems to slow things down, at least for me.  Is that true for you too?

Not a lot happening On the Needles.....I've done more un-knitting than knitting on my Rocio summer sweater....

See that hole near the edge there at the top?
I have NO IDEA how that happened, but I had to go back & fix it.

So far, I have managed to finish up one full segment of the lacing for the back.  And that's an accomplishment, let me tell you!  I have put in and taken out every row at least twice, and sometimes more!  I thought it would get easier as I went along, but so far that has not been true. But it's actually beginning to look like it's supposed to, so I'm happy.

The Happy Dance socks have gotten very little love, but that's okay because I really only work on those when I have to fill time like appointments, etc.

One big reason I don't have time to blog much lately is that we are enjoying this sweet young lady granddaughter, Sara, and her puppy, Link, for a visit from their home in North Carolina ....

Having a sixteen-year-old in the house is a fun new experience for me and her grandpa.  Not to mention the addition of a puppy!!!  Needless to say, our elderly kitty, Gypsy who is accustomed to reigning supreme in this home has been very scarce these past few days.  Her nose is definitely out of joint!  Link would love to get to know Gypsy better and play with her, but Gypsy will have NONE OF IT!!!!

Our first activity when Sara arrived?   .....Grocery shopping of course for her favorite foods :)  Then our next stop was at the local Joanns.  Even though she is not really interested in learning how to sew or quilt, Sara loves to makes crafts.  We bought this fun kit to make a couple of cute pillows for her room.....

And she LOVES science!!!  We had quite a hard time trying to decide what to bring home from the many different science kits available.  Since our home survived my cooking experiments, we really didn't want to burn the house down with science experiments, so we ended up with this kit that has a lot of different simple experiments.

So far she has been happily making fun stuff like crystal rainbows, snow & crystal trees....

We also purchased fabric to make her a pair of shortie lounging pj's!

Sara loves anything with little woodland creatures!!
This is a soft blue knit - perfect for summer lounging!
I haven't sewn clothing in quite a while, but for some reason I've had a hankering for it lately, so we'll see how that goes!

What have you got going on for summer?  
Is it slowing you down?  
Maybe that's a good thing!!!

Hugs & Blessings!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Short and Sweet!

I'm on the road all day today - on the way to get our sweet granddaughter so she can spend some time with us!  Yippee!!!!

So I'll just quickly share my Yellow Hootie...... yes, I chose THAT one for the feathers LOL!!!

And also as a bonus - because you're all so nice! -  a new Happy Dance Block from my wonderful YELLOWS....

See  more lovely yellow projects HERE for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge!


I'll share more tomorrow about some of the other things I have been up to :*)
Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!!!

Hugs & Blessings!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


The Parmesan Pork Chops last night were wonderful!!!

Fortunately I managed to put dinner on the table without burning down the house!  However, I cannot tell a lie or even a small one by omission..... I did burn the first batch of little Ramen noodles I put in the oven to "toast" for the Crunchy Salad.  I overcame that setback pretty quickly by crushing up the other half of the package, popping them in the oven and setting the timer for half the time before - worked like a charm!

The pork chops got gone pretty quickly - I almost forgot to get a picture!  There's just enough left for us to have for lunch tomorrow.  They were very tender, even though they had been frozen and thawed.  I have found that often makes chops tougher.  I like the fact that they are baked rather than fried :)  And the spices were just right, giving them a really nice flavor.  When it comes to spices, I have to depend on the recipe to know what it's doing, because I don't cook enough to know if I should add or take out a particular spice.

This is not a recipe for the weight conscious.... it takes TWO sticks of butter!  But I'm here to tell you, they were GOOD :)  And although the recipe was not particularly easy, it wasn't too terribly complicated either.  It was enough that I felt as though I had accomplished something when I was done.  But it wasn't so hard that I would shy away from making them again.

With all that butter, I was glad to have my apron on - don't you love it's brightness?!?  
No, it's not "loud" - it's just nice & bright!!!

The Crunchy Salad was really, really easy!  The recipe called for pre-packaged slaw mix and broccoli slaw mix, and I diced up a small onion to add to them.  All I had to mix up was the sauce that went over it - and to toast the noodles of course :)  This side dish was not particularly to My Guy's liking, but I liked it very well and was pretty happy with the way it turned out.  Both dishes would have made Miss Jennifer at the Red Rooster very proud!

All in all, I felt very happy with my little experiment, even though I made quite a mess and had a pan full of dishes to clean up.  My husband says he's never met anyone who could destroy a kitchen as quickly and thoroughly as I can!!!

I'm already contemplating what my new recipe will be next week.......

Hugs & Blessings!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

What's for Dinner, Pop?

This morning I was pondering that same, tired, age-old question - What's for dinner?  

From Pinterest HERE

When my husband's daughter was still at home, we lived in North Carolina and both my husband and I still worked.  Because My Guy enjoys cooking - and unfortunately I do not - he often used to cook our main evening meals.  Renee would come home from school every afternoon and ask, "What's for dinner, Pop?"  She still asks that when we FaceTime occasionally - it reminds us all of good memories!  And isn't that one of the wonderful benefits of sharing good food together..... the happy, satisfied memories we take with us afterward?

Today, I do most of the cooking since I am blessed to be able to stay home while My Guy still works.  I'd love to say that I repay his kindness in working our finances out so that I can stay home by preparing wonderful, healthy meals at the end of each day...... 

From Pinterest HERE

..... but alas (I really do love that word!) this is not the case - the ugly truth is that I cook just well enough to keep us from starving to death !!!

From Pinterest HERE

I SO admire good cooks!  My mother is one.  Indeed, we look forward to visits to Mom's so we can get a lovely, well-balanced, delicious meal.  Needless to say, my husband takes care to stay in her good graces so he can be gifted with her amazing meat loaf at least once a year!  Many of you are good cooks - I know because I read your blogs and see all the lovely food you present to your family.  I even print off and save every recipe you share.  Have I actually made any of them?  Well, no, not so much!

Over the years, I have cobbled together a group of simple recipes that we both like, and I seem to manage to put these meals on the table without burning the house down or sending us to the bathroom for the rest of the evening LOL!!!  Mom has shared a few of hers that I can do pretty well, so long as I follow her recipe to the letter.  My meat loaf never tastes exactly like hers, but it is usually edible.  But quite frankly, as I already mentioned, I don't enjoy cooking, so I often look for excuses - any excuse will do! - to have a meal that is simple and quickly done!  And we do get tired of the same-old-same-old, you know what I mean?

I often Pin wonderful looking recipes to my Pinterest Board - "Recipes I'd Like to Try" - you can see it HERE if you like.  Some yummy stuff!!!!  Have I tried any of it? Well, no, not so much!

If you've been following my blog for any time at all, then you know that one of my favorite places to go on quilt retreat is The Red Rooster, right?  And one of the reasons we love it so much there is because Jennifer is SUCH a good cook and the food is always amazing!!!  We look forward to meals there as much as the fellowship and the quilting - no kidding!

The last time I was there, I told My Guy about the yummy Parmesan Pork Chops we had been served that night, and his voice got that wistful, little boy quality - you know the one? - as he asked, how would one make parmesan pork chops?  I had to admit to him that I had had Jennifer's cookbook in our house now for at least 2 YEARS and never cooked even one recipe!  *hanging head in shame*  I felt like such a BAD wife!!!!  So, I determined that when I returned home I would begin to try to make Jennifer's recipes, one by one.

So tonight I'm planning to prepare Parmesan Pork Chops, with Crunchy Slaw as our side dish - two new recipes from the cookbook!!!  Of course, I'll take pictures and update you tomorrow on how it goes!  Note:  If you don't hear from me after today, you'll know that I burned the house down and it may take a while to relocate, set up a computer, and get back to blogging! :*D

Since our granddaughter is coming for a nice, long visit this summer, I'm hoping to try out quite a few new recipes ..... some from the RR cookbook, and some from all of you that you have shared in the past.  My plan is to try out at least one new recipe each week, maybe more if I begin to feel really adventurous.  Perhaps Sara would even enjoy learning to cook some of these with me?

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn't give you a link to this wonderful cook book!  You can contact The Red Rooster HERE to get your own copy of Jennifer's most delicious recipes!!!

Hugs & Blessings!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Design Wall Monday - 6-16-14

There are a lot of projects going on in the Ivory Tower this week!

And I'd better get get crackin' too, because our sweet 16-year-old granddaughter is coming next Friday for a nice long visit with us, and I want to spend as much time as I can just being with her!

First of all, I'm wrapping up a few little designs for Jacquelynne Steves' adorable new fabrics from her Cottage Charm line ....

Just a few peeks....

My mother always taught me to make lots of pockets - in everything!!!!

You won't believe how easy this pocket zipper can be!!!!

Yep, this fabric line makes me "Imagine" all kinds of wonderful project ideas!

The completed projects, along with instructions to make your own, will be included in Jacquelynne's new summer e-magazine, The Art of Home, coming out in July, so be sure to sign up to receive it HERE!  The magazine is FREE and contains all kinds of wonderful ideas for you to enjoy .... recipes, sewing and craft projects, printables, and much, much more!

Next up, I'm putting the final touches on a pattern that I will be teaching at Runaway Quilters Retreat in September - Amish Beauties!

Another sneak peek!!!!

And of course I can't forget - the new July Bertie BOM came in the mail last week!!!  Boy-oh-boy, does Bertie play the part of "hayseed" this month, or what?  Love her spitting out that watermelon seed!  And these red fabrics are so deep and rich - such a joy to play with!

Google defines "hayseed":  A person from the country, especially a simple, unsophisticated one.
Just sayin' >^.-.^<

I hope to at least get started on that today, but I'll have to see how the day goes :)

To Do List for the rest of the month:

*  Get Baby Bargello quilted and bound....

This little quilt is for Phyllis' Angel Babies,
a Music City Guild charity group that provides quilts
to Down Syndrome babies born in Nashville hospitals.

*  Yellow Hootie!

*  Get busy stitching down my pieces for Tree O' Life!

*   And maybe somewhere along the way get this July Calendar wall quilt done ...

Quilt by Karen Schaefer
Copyright Calendar Quilts

I love Karen Schaefer's Calendar Quilts!

I've made a good many of them, but I've been wanting to do the July quilt for quite a while now.  This will take care of my NewFO and Let's Book It challenge projects for the month if I can manage to squeeze it in :*)  (If you're new to my blog, see my sidebar to learn more about these fun challenges!)

So included in this post is a camera lesson for you - free of charge LOL!!!  Today's pretty pictures come to you courtesy of some research I had to do on the web because I was so unhappy with how my camera was taking pictures last night!  Yes, it was nighttime, but usually if I get some decent lighting on the subject I can get decent pictures.  Last night, everything had a dingy cast to it, no matter how much light I put on it.  Then I noticed that the same dingy look was happening this morning in the bright light! This is a fairly new phone too - the camera is supposed to be a really, really good one for a phone camera.

Ever feel like you're getting "pooped" on?
(I followed this truck down the road the other day and 
couldn't quit laughing long enough to take a picture LOL!!!!)

So I did some research on the web, and guess what I found?  OPERATOR ERROR!!!!  Yes, really.  I know some of you are totally stunned that I am not a knowledgeable, professional photographer, but so it is!  What was my problem?  Somehow, inadvertently and without even knowing there was such a thing, I had turned on the Yellow Filter on my camera!  See the below "Before" and "After" pictures.....

See the colorful dots at the bottom of the left picture?  That was supposed to tell me that a filter was in place on my camera.  What did I know?  I thought that was just for me to push if I wanted to split it into 9 different pictures!  The picture on the right shows the corrected camera view (notice the dots are now colorless).  To fix the problem, I touched the colored dots and got this menu....

Then I chose "None" - and voila!  
My pretty unfiltered view was back!!!

So I'm wishing all of you a "Poop Free" week, my friends!!!

Hugs & Blessings!

Linking up with:

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Getting Mellow with Yellow....

Okay, so I know that's not the most creative or original title for a blog post about YELLOW, but it's the best I could do at midnight with fried brain cells LOL!!!  Will you forgive me if I show you my YELLOW Soul Searching block for this month's Rainbow Scrap Challenge?

It's really bright and happy, just as it should be! 

I had a lot of fun picking out YELLOWS for this block.....and I even strayed outside my comfort zone, choosing a few fabrics that had a lot of other colors rather than just YELLOW!

You can tell this is a working corner ... those polka dots are the cover of my ToDo project folder,
my EQ books are right next to my computer for easy reference, and there's a whiteboard
just above my computer to the right of the picture that you can't see;
hence, the eraser and some batting for cleaning it :) 

I just love some of these fun prints that ended up in the block .....

Don't you just adore that library print???  I have a lot of different prints in this line that will someday become a nice cuddly quilt for me to snuggle under when I read :)  As you can see, I used a lot of the black-on-yellow prints I picked up during my travels last month.  In fact, I'm not sure I could even have made this block if I hadn't collected so many new and exciting yellows during my trip.  Of course, my favorite is the sunglasses print!  Here's another close up of some of the fabrics....

I'm playing with different fabrics for the feathers of my Yellow Hootie block next.  I always start with the feathers and choose the other fabrics to go with them......

Taking pictures at night means the colors are off, much darker than normal - UGH!!!
I do love the movement in the fabric on the right even though it has a lot of really deep orange it it!

The fabrics on the right are really not as browy-orange as they look here.
I'm not too crazy about any of these, although I'd maybe like to use those dots in one of his "belly layers"

Again, the colors are off here -
the fabrics on the left are a weird greeny-yellow, but they don't have nearly that much green in them.
I really love the "feathery" movement in the two end fabrics .....
I hate to leave you with such a life-or-death cliffhanger, but you'll have to come back next week to see which one of these I choose for Hootie's feathers - mainly because I don't even know myself yet!  :)

You can see many, many wonderful projects made with YELLOW's
at SoScrappy's Rainbow Scrap Challenge HERE

And lots of wonderful stash can be found
at Judy's Patchwork Times HERE
Hugs & Blessings!

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