October 31, 2011

It's Not Bread, But It's Not Bad...

I love bread. Any kind of bread. Hot, fresh out of the oven, crusty outside bread is my favorite. It makes me happy...and it travels straight to my hips. Gaaahhh!

Over the four months we spent in the Flying Cloud, I managed to gain eighteen pounds. I didn't see it coming. I just knew that I had to buy a couple new pairs of shorts before we headed home...in a larger size. When I got home and weighed myself, I went into mild shock.

The reason I'm telling you this is so that you now know that I didn't eat any candy corn (my favorite) this Halloween. I'm gettin' up close and personal with Dr. Atkins. I've already lost the weight (over the past three weeks) that I gained on our trip and now I'm going for more. But I miss bread. (Aren't you proud of me that our girlfriend's group meets every Tuesday night at Paneras and I haven't been eating bread?)
My friend, Tammy is also on a weight loss regimen that shares some of the same features of the Atkins Diet, and she told me about a few recipes for bread substitues. I was particularly interested in the "bread" recipes. One was for Cauliflower Pizza Crust and another for Cauliflower "Bread" Sticks. I was intrigued.

Yesterday afternoon, I took a break from working on my guild competition quilt so Handsome and I could make the Bread Stick recipe. The main ingredients are cauliflower, mozzarella cheese and egg. I'm not going to go into the details of the recipe here, but I am sharing this link to Sandy's Kitchen blog so you can print out your own copy. (I took these photos after our baking adventure today.)

The Cauliflower Bread Sticks came out of the oven with a nice, crispy texture and were a great substitute for a real bread snack.

After further exploration on her blog, I found that Sandy also has a recipe for Revolution Rolls that I can't wait to try. (It's so hard to make a sandwich without bread, and I'm a little tired of using lettuce as the support for the rest of my sandwich ingredients.) We were actually quite pleased with the flavor of our bread stick substitute, and look forward to making the rolls. I promise to come back and tell you what I think of them after I make them this week!
REMINDER: In case you missed it, I'm celebrating my 900th Post with a giveaway. You'll need to leave a comment here to enter. Just my way of saying "thank you" to my friends for joining me on my blog. You have until November 4th to enter.
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October 30, 2011

Memory Lane Monday - Halloweens Past...

Of course, I have lots of childhood memories spent Trick or Treating in Wisconsin, but lucky for me alas there are no photographs to share. I can tell you that I do remember more than one Halloween where we had to wear long pants and warm, wool coats under our costumes because it had snowed. I know there are children in the northeastern United States who will be able to relate to that this year!

But...I do have photographs of my two yellow Labradors, Kes and Bannor who let me dress them up long enough to snap my camera to prove it. In 2002, I dressed Kessie up as a witch because that was always her nickname when she was younger. She was a willful, little witch, which I know is hard for you to believe considering how she grew sweeter as she got older. Handsome walked into the house and laughed out loud when he saw her sitting in the chair, all dressed up.
I had a giraffe costume that I slipped onto Bannor, and he rewarded my efforts by promptly flopping down on the carpet and refusing to stand up. He could be a real clown, but he didn't find anything humorous about this get-up...even though I thought he looked adorable. (The two black spots on the top of his head are the giraffe's eyes; ears out to the side and those nobby thingies on the giraffe's head are those tan appendages.)
These aren't our dogs, but I always wish we'd thought of it! Aren't they just the cutest, well-behaved,  little ghosties?

There was one Halloween (circa 1981 or 1982) when Handsome and I dressed up, but for the life of me I can't find the pictures to share. Handsome was dressed as Merlin and I was his black cat. I had made both costumes for us and we were quite the pair.

Merlin wore a long, hooded robe in a shimmering black/burgundy fabric. At that time, we powdered his beard and mustache so it would look grey. Now, imagine a black velvet swimsuit with a long tail attached, and you'll have a good image of younger, thinner me. I even made black velvet ears that I pinned into my hair. Oh, yes. It wasn't particularly warm that year either, so I kept my Icelandic wool coat close at hand. (Yup. I just spent another hour looking and can't find the picture, but I promise to do a separate post later if I locate it!)
I can't close this Memory Lane Monday without at least one photograph of our two sons when they were youngsters. Son #1 was about 10 and Son #2 was around 5. Zorro and Chewbacca. What a pair! I have a few others, but I don't think they'll let me get away with more than one, so I won't push my luck.
Thanks so much for sharing my Halloween memories today. I hope I helped stir a few memories of your own of ghosts and goblins (big or small) from years past. I also have a linky thingie below in case you've written about Halloween and would like to link back here to share them.

Don't eat too much candy corn tonight and let's keep all our children safe as they enjoy a fun tradition handed down through the years.
Happy Halloween, y'all!
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October 29, 2011

Sunday Scripture...

" ...Hold tightly to what is good. 
Love each other with genuine affection, 
and take delight in honoring each other."
- Romans 12: 9-10
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For my best friend, Lee, who is missing her sweet Emma.

October 28, 2011

Halloween Post Reminder...

I won't be dressing Taggart up for Halloween, but I will be sharing a few Halloween memories with you on Monday for Memory Lane Monday.
Today, I'm off to meet the girls at Sandy's Quilt Shop for Saturday morning coffee, and then I'll continue to work on my "Paws and Whiskers" competition quilt. I can't wait to show it to you! So, while I work play on my quilt, don't forget to go back to yesterday's post if you haven't entered my 900th Post Giveaway yet. You'll need to leave a comment there to be included in the drawing.

Have a great Saturday, my friends. Do something you enjoy with someone you love. I will!
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 P.S. No little weiner dogs were harmed in the creation of this post.
P.P.S. This little dog does not belong to me. I got an email with the image in it and just had to share.

October 27, 2011

900th Post Giveaway Time...

It's official! Today is my 900th Post. I can hardly believe that I've shared 900 separate thoughts with you...and that you've read them, too! Of course, this calls for a celebration - and another giveaway! Do you want to see what I've chosen to give away?

I'm going to offer all these goodies to one lucky follower. I have a pretty little round tray that could be turned into a chalkboard or used as a magnetic noteboard, or perhaps even as a...tray!
I'll also send along one adorable pair of vintage baby shoes, and a little ceramic bird to brighten someone's day.
Finally, there will be a hardcover copy of Where Women Create, so that you can dream of the perfect creative space in your own home! I'll add a few other little surprises for the winner, but if I show you, they won't be surprises, will they?

All you have to do to have your name included in the drawing is be a follower of my blog - and leave a comment to tell me so. That's it!

I'll choose the winner in one week - at 11 pm on Friday, November 4th and announce the winner on Saturday. Good luck! Thanks so much for being my inspiration to continue sharing each day. I'm looking forward to the next 900!

UPDATE: Drawing closed 11:30 pm, Friday November 4th. 
Thanks to all who entered!
Quick Reminder: NEXT MONDAY is Memory Lane Monday. I hope you'll share a story on Monday, and link back to my blog post. I'll post mine on Sunday along with the link button. I'd love to read one of your memories!
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October 26, 2011

I See You...

I sure wish I could show you more than a closeup, but I don't want to give away my design quite yet. This is my "practice" piece for our guild challenge.

I love the way the whole piece turned out, but it's a miniature version. Now I'll enlarge my image, trace the new templates onto vellum and then make my larger version to use in my actual challenge quilt.

I can tell you that I am having a blast "needle dancing" on the image. I'll be working on it again today and hope to have the main image completed by this evening. After that, I'll start choosing the rest of the quilt fabrics! I can't wait to show you!
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October 25, 2011

What You'll Be Seeing Soon...

I have new two projects on my drawing board, and the excitement is building in my studio. This is the fabric assortment for the most immediate of the projects. I'm creating an original quilt for our local guild's November Challenge. The theme is "Paws and Whiskers" and I can hardly wait to begin.

You won't be seeing these fabrics again until my project is finished, but I'm not going to be dawdling until the week before like I did last year! This one is going to take some extra effort and I want it to be worthy of a First Place ribbon!
As soon as I finish my challenge quilt, I'll be starting an extra special, heirloom-quality piece that will be a true one-of-a-kind...and available for purchase! That's the only hint I'm giving right now, but you'll see this finished piece before the end of November, so I hope you'll be watching for it. 

I know this post is pretty cryptic, but I promise you'll be seeing more soon. 
I just checked and I'm only two posts away from 900! I'll look into my bag of tricks and see what kind of treat I can offer one lucky friend (follower). Coming this week...my 900th Post Giveaway! Woo hoo!
 Reminder: Next Monday is Memory Lane Monday (October 31st). If you have a blog, consider sharing a memory on your blog and then linking back here so others can read your story. Perhaps you have a Halloween memory to celebrate the spooky holiday?
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October 24, 2011

Tuesdays With Tag - The Fetching Fool...

Many of you already know that Handsome and I raised and trained hunting retrievers together for over twenty five years. Handsome has at least that many years B.W. (Before Wife). It should come as no surprise then that we were going to attempt to train our Corgi to retrieve, too!

Well, I'm here to announce that Taggart is a "fetching fool"! Actually, he's a natural! He needs to learn delivering to hand (including turning to return the dummy instead of running for the hills), but it's so much fun to see his enthusiasm.
When he reaches the tossed dummy, he snatches it up as he runs past. He's going to make sure it doesn't get away! We won't even talk about how fast these little dogs can run.
Look at his style! Hanging on to his prize until Handsome can take it from him. He's already thinking about what's next! ("Come on, Dad! Throw another one!")
Just like in the movie, Babe. "That'll do, pig. That'll do." We'll work play again tomorrow and he'll get better each time! I can't wait until he doesn't need the "come back lead"! 'til next week...

"More wagging and less barking!"
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October 23, 2011

Homemaking...

We all have different ways of making our houses homes, and making those we love feel cared for. I love it when I can spend a minimal amount of time to end up with something that has a big impact. It gives me a sense of accomplishment.

I was in the studio only for a few hours (total) over the weekend, but I ended up with four new sets of napkins for the Flying Cloud. I know, this is nothing big, but when you're traveling and eating dinner on the road, it makes one feel a bit more civilized. It feels more like "home".
Each napkin is two-sided with my signature acorn label on the side. They measure 12 1/2" square (but if I'm making them for the house, I think I'll upsize them to 14" or 16"). There are four napkins per set.
Some of the patterns are whimsical and some are more realistic. I really love the palm trees, but aren't these sea creatures cute, too?
Each napkin has a backing fabric that complements the main fabric. I think this vibrant aqua dot was just a perfect choice. It reminds me of the turtles on the front.
This fabric is one of the newest additions to my stash. Palm trees, sandpipers, seashells and sailboats. Could anything be more perfect for someone living in Florida? (And it coordinates with the plain palm tree fabric in the first set, so if there are more than four people at the table, I can mix and match!)
This set has a sand/beach theme on the back with seashells, sand dollars and other items you might find in the sand on our Florida beaches.
Of course, because there's such a strong music theme on the Flying Cloud already, I needed to make one more set using a little of my favorite Rhapsody of Grace fabric (I did manage to find four more yards when all of you helped me with my search!)...
backed with a one that reminds me of the feather quilting so popular on finished quilts. I think this just may be the quilting pattern I choose for the Farmers Wife quilt (when we're finally at that point).

I'm thinking of making some up as gifts for a few family members this year in their favorite colors/themes. I've been thinking about adding some of these napkin sets to the Boutique, too. What do you think?
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October 22, 2011

Sunday Scripture...

"In my Father's house are many rooms; 
if it were not so, I would have told you. 
I am going there to prepare a place for you.?
- John 14:2
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October 21, 2011

Cool Campers...

We saw every make, model, size and iteration of traveling abode while we were away for the summer. We were invited into large motor homes, impressive fifth-wheels and other Airstreams, but the ones that always drew my attention were the little, cute ones.

When we stayed at the Rock Island/Moline KOA in Illinois we were pretty much cheek-to-jowel with the other travelers. (The campsites were minimal allowable size and close together.)

Late one afternoon, this truck pulled in with a little (I suspect home-built) trailer behind it. My mind immediately transported to my childhood and memories of piles of old Popular Mechanics magazines usually stored in a window box in our front entry. I remember seeing photographs and plans of things like this little camper. I always thought it would be an incredible feat that someone could take all the raw materials, assemble them in an artful manner and create a mobile place to rest ones head after a day of traveling.
This couple pulled into their campsite, retrieved coolers and chairs from the back of their truck, and within a matter of minutes they were enjoying cheese, crackers and glasses of wine. The little camper had a comfortable bed in the main compartment with windows on the doors, a roof vent on top and (check out the arrow in the photograph). the back hinged opened to reveal a covered kitchenette! I love the quilt on the bed...and the pillow shams had moose on them! There was no bathroom consideration, but all the KOAs have bath houses to cover personal hygiene matters, so that's not a problem.

I was so fascinated that I just had to snap photos before they left the campground the next morning. I thought you might be interested in seeing cool campers, too. So, from time to time, I'll share photographs with you from our travels. When possible, I'll show you the insides, but mostly you'll see exteriors. (I hate to impose on our temporary neighbors.) Consider this the first installment.
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October 20, 2011

Spooky Mail Delivery...

The package arrived from my Blissfull ATC Swap partner, Donna L. of Postcards From The Studio yesterday. I knew the artist trading card was going to be in keeping with the "Movie Monsters" theme, so I couldn't wait to see what it looked like!
Donna chose The Creature From The Black Lagoon as her subject and created a fabulous card. She called it "Swamp Monster". Isn't it cool?
Of course, Donna added a lot of extra goodness along with her art card. There was a beautiful little stick pin tucked in among ribbons and trim and the sweetest papers! Look at the little deer on this tiny card.
There were so many pretty things enclosed in the package that I nearly forgot to be creeped out by her spooky monster!

Thanks so much, Donna for the great artist trading card and all the extras you so generously included!
Here is a link to Donna's blog. Please stop by and tell her you saw her Artist Trading Card for the October swap. I'm sure she'd enjoy your visit!
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