November 29, 2013

I've Got This One...

I decided what I'm going to make for our guild Christmas gift
exchange Tuesday night. These are the fabrics I chose for it.
I'm going to make a sweet, sewing organizer this year. My favorite 
fabric will be on the outside, and these soft colors will go on the 
inside. I'm going to sew it all together after Coffee Club today. I'll
take a picture to share with you before I wrap it up for the party. 

Oh, and I have to make a dozen cookies for the dessert table, too. 
Hmmm. I wonder which ones I should make this year? (I cheated 
and took bakery cookies for our last party because I forgot.) Not
this year, though. I'm gonna make a batch of goodness to take...
as soon as I figure out which ones. Any ideas, girlfriends?
(If it's something unique, please share the recipe.)

Hope you all have a great Saturday. I'm so thankful for you!

November 28, 2013

It's Official...

Thanksgiving 2013
 We had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday. Just the right amount of
food, dessert made by our friend, Richard, and Tag had a canine pal to
chase around for the day. The weather started out chilly, but warmed
up in the afternoon, so we had all the doors open as the kitchen heated up.

Tag was more interested in his pal, Stout, than in having his photo taken.
Maybe he'll behave better for our annual Christmas pic! A girl can hope, right?
 Now, here's the "official" part...It's officially the first day of my Extended
Birthday! My first package arrived in the mail from my beautiful friend,
Sherry! I saw this package in the mailbox and had no idea why I was
getting something from her, so this was a complete surprise, my friend!
 When I opened the box, there were wrapped goodies inside. Her card
warmed my heart, and then I realized that she was sending Birthday
gifts to me!  She sent stunning acorn fabric, an acorn cookie cutter, and
hand-crafted elf shoe ornament, and a gorgeous glass acorn ornament.
I was overwhelmed with her generosity! I already know exactly what
I'm going to do with the fabric, and I can't wait to use the cookie cutter.
 The elf shoe will hang on our Christmas tree this year and I immediately 
headed into the studio to hang the ornament with my other acorn ornament 
treasures. (I didn't have one like this, Sherry! It's perfect.) So many fun gifts!

Thank you, my dear friend for your thoughtfulness. You've officially kicked
off my Birthday celebration for 2013. (Handsome said "thanks", too! lol)
Let the festivities commence!
I really can't tell you how much I appreciate you in my life. 
I love ya, girlfriend.

November 27, 2013

Home For The Holiday...

We'll be taking the day off to spend time with family and friends.
Happy Thanksgiving
From Our Home To Yours!

November 26, 2013

Creating Continues...

 I did continue with my projects from last week, but I'm also working
on a new project. I can tell you that it involved cutting three different
sized pieces with my Nifty Notions 22.5" wedge. I've seen this project
completed multiple times and the fabric combinations are endless.
 Finished layout will be something like this, but the pieces will look
different when I'm finished with them, of course. You'll recognize them.
 This is the first step in the actual assembly process. Pressing and joining will
come next. Then, I'll arrange them per the pattern instructions and applique'
them to the ground fabric. I'll have this one put together by the end of today.

This is the only view you'll see of it before Christmas, though. The recipient 
reads all my posts and I don't want to give away any more of the surprise than 
this. It's okay, though. I'll have other things to share with you when you visit 
next time. I'll also do a Christmas recap after I know everyone has their gifts, 
so you will see this one again later. Don't you just love surprises? hee hee

Back to the "workshop" for me. The elves are getting restless again.
I'll be back tomorrow.

November 25, 2013

Tuesdays With Tag - Giving Thanks...

Hi, Everybody
It's Thanksgiving week, so I wanna tell you what I'm most thankful for.
(I hope you don't mind if I clean out this dish for Mom while I share.)

First, I'm very thankful for livin' in a house where I'm loved and appreciated.
Mom and Dad take good care of me. Mom brushes my coat and teeth, and
even cuts my toenails when they get too long. That's important stuff, ya know.
Just how cute do you think I'd be with no teeth and a blurry coat, after all?

I'm thankful that I have a warm bed to sleep on and I get to cuddle Mom.

I'm real thankful that Mom and Dad remember to feed me. Food is veeeery
important, and they know the best stuff to put in my dish - includin' bacon!
I'm thankful for bein' able to sit on my chaise next to the pool... to
have the warm sun beatin' down on my face. I like doin' that...a lot.

I'm thankful that Mom and Dad keep me safe, and that there are many 
other moms and dads who take good care of their children. I love little
boys and girls and they need to be loved, protected, and kept safe, too.

I'm thankful for our kids. There's nothin' better than family and mine's
is just perfect for me. They're the best. Spendin' time with them is what 
memories are made of, and I'm thankful to be a part of their memories, too.
It's important to us dogs to feel like we're part of the pack and I love mine.

I don't want to get all mushy and stuff, so I just want to tell you one more
thing that I'm really thankful for...YOU! You come and visit me every
Tuesday, sometimes you leave a message for me, and you always say the
nicest things. You welcome this humble (and highly intelligent) Corgi into
your home and life, and for that I could just run around and howl at the moon.
"Wishing you and yours lots of love and turkey!" - Taggart
I'm gonna sign off by sayin' that I hope you have a great Thanksgiving.
Don't eat too much good food, be sure to play games (I like "fetch" myself), 
and laugh a lot (it's good for digestion). Thanksgiving only comes once a
year, but I'll be back again next week. Same dog time. Same dog channel.
'til then, remember...
"More Waggin' and Less Barkin'!"

November 24, 2013

Give Thanks...

I finished another one of my Sweet Stitches embroideries over the weekend. 
Because it's meant for July, I'll wait to show you that one until later. (I asked
Handsome to choose which one I should do next and he liked "Liberty".)

Instead, I'll show you the second embroidery I did in October. I only showed
 a little bit then, and decided to save it to show you until Thanksgiving week. 
I know you were expecting to see "peeks" of the project I was working 
on at weeks' end on Friday and Saturday. Change of plans. So close to 
being finished with FIVE more gifts, I was informed that there won't be 
a gift exchange between us this year. Whoa! I didn't see that coming.

One of the gals lost her beloved husband three weeks ago, and is understandably 
not in the holiday spirit. Another has family that has temporarily moved in with 
her for an extended while and has put a damper on her creative endeavors.

I'm still going to finish those projects, but they won't be Christmas gifts, so 
I decided to take a weekend break and regroup. I spent Saturday starting the
"Liberty" Sweet Stitches block and finished it Sunday during the Packer game.

Today, I'll begin another Christmas gift. I'll show you my progress on that
when you come back to visit on Wednesday. If you're traveling during this
holiday, please be safe and have a wonderful time with family and friends.
 This time of year, I'll be reflecting on all of the blessings in my life. It's not
 about gifts or "what's in it for me"'s about taking care of each other. Those
relationships based on give and take, mutual love, and respect that lasts a lifetime.
On the top of my list is my own beloved, Handsome. I'll write more about my
list over the course of the week - along with pictures of finished projects.

Tag will be back tomorrow. He has his own list, too...and you know him.
He's just too excited to keep these things to himself. He can't wait!

Although many people don't like Mondays, I personally love them. I
view each Monday as a new beginning and another chance to get it "right".
So...Have a great Monday, my friends.

November 23, 2013

Sunday Scripture...

Scripture for Thanksgiving Week • Image from French Press Mornings

November 22, 2013

My Recipe For A White House Sandwich...

 When I was single and in my twenties I lived for about eight years in
Portage, Wisconsin. It's about thirty miles north of the state capital, Madison.

I worked as a paralegal and office manager for the city attorney, and on many
occasions walked across the street to a restaurant called Lord Chumley's Pub.
My favorite meal, by far, was their signature White House Sandwich. Of course,
I never ate it as much as I would have liked, as I consider it a bit decadent.

I don't believe the restaurant is open anymore, but I've been making my own
version in our home for years. I think it's the perfect cold weather/comfort food.
 I don't really measure things for this recipe, but I'll tell you just how I make it.

Liljegren's White House Sandwich
two slices of toasted bread (I used Paneras' Country Miche)
fresh-sliced deli ham and turkey (four slices each per sandwich)
1 cup of sliced baby portabella mushrooms
sliced cheddar cheese (four thin slices per sandwich)
White sauce 

Begin by sauteeing the mushrooms just until tender. Make the white sauce: Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add white flour and mix (using a whisk) until paste forms. Slowly add milk (or half and half), whisking to keep from getting lumpy. Be sure to bring to a boil to avoid a flour taste. Salt and pepper to taste. At this point, you can add the mushrooms to the white sauce, or keep them separate to layer when you make the sandwiches.

Toast sliced bread (I butter it when it's comes out of the toaster). Now it's time to make your sandwiches. Place one slice of bread on a plate. Add two slices of ham and two slices of turkey. Place two slices of cheese on top of the meat. Top with mushrooms and spoon white sauce onto the sandwich. Repeat for a second layer, ending with white sauce. Place under the broiler just until the sauce starts to bubble. Serve.

 It's just that easy, and I believe it's a really delicious meal.
(You can always add less meat or make as a single layer, too.)
Add a tossed salad and you won't even have to feel guilty!
I nearly finished my production-line project yesterday. I can't show you my 
progress because there are Miss Nosypantses who might see their gifts. I'll
get them completed today after I get back from Coffee Club. I promise to
share little peeks next week so you have some idea what they look like...but
only very little peeks. I won't be stingy with pictures of my next project, though.

Next up is my handcrafted gift for our gift exchange for the quilt guild.
For now, I'll be heading out to Coffee Club.
I hope you all have a great weekend.

November 21, 2013

Measure Once, Cut Five Times...

 My next project was prepared yesterday. Don't worry. I haven't lost my 
design sense. The fabrics you're looking at are parts of five different gifts. 
I'm going to be starting a little assembly line here in Santa's workshop.
 Customized gifts for five special people. No hints. I might let the cat
out of the bag, you know. By the time I cut out all the components, I
was too gassed to start sewing. I'll begin the construction today. 
I love it when a plan comes together!

November 20, 2013

This Was Fun...

 I dipped into my "wooly" stash and chose a few fabric colors for this project.
I wanted to make a little something extra for our granddaughters' gifts. I
actually got this idea from the "Wee Folks" book I recently shared with you.

I chose floss colors, and then started drawing my designs. Of course,
there's a Corgi for Granddaughter #2. She's crazy about our little boy.
I cut out the components, sewed them to the ground fabric, and then 
embroidered the floral designs. I just free-handed them as I went along.
 I thought a pretty bluebird design would be perfect for Granddaughter #1.
(Although the ground fabric looks brown in this photo, it's actually green.)
 After two days of stitching, I have two sweet coin purses for our girls.
 We'll tuck a little pocket money into them before they're wrapped up.
I hope they like them and are able to use them for some time to come.

November 19, 2013

Mom's Christmas Gift...

 I found the perfect gift for Mom this year. Since she moved to the nursing 
home, she's done a lot more handwork than quilting. Quilting takes up too much 
space in her living quarters, so she just moved to one of her other pastimes. 
She's gone back to crocheting for now, but she also does other handwork.
Anyway, I didn't want to make anything that would take up too much space, so
I decided to make an armchair caddy for her. It's perfect to hold her tools, or even
a little treat while she sits in her favorite chair making something wonderful.
 I used two of Lillalotta's beautiful twill to adorn each pocket.
They say exactly what I want, reminding her that her daughter in Florida 
loves her.  (She tells anyone who asks that she has five children - not four - and 
one of them lives 1500 miles away. Me!) The tapes also coordinate perfectly
with the fabrics. (I used a few "Dandelion Girl" fabrics from my stash.)
I used crushed walnut shells to stuff the pincushion. They add weight for stability 
and keep pins sharp at the same time. This is a really great pattern, too. I made 
this gift in two hours - start to finish (including hand sewing the binding)! I just
may have to make a few more of these as gifts, or to sell in my Etsy shop, or our 
guild quilt show boutique in Febuary. Do you think they'd be "good sellers"?
I'm working on a few hand stitched pieces right now. They're also on
my list. I'll show you those photos tomorrow. Gotta run. Lots to do!

November 18, 2013

Tuesdays With Tag - Aliens...

 Hi, Everybody!
This is a really serious subject this week. 
I need to tell you about the aliens that have invaded our house!
 They're tiny, but they're also sneaky! See? Inside the circle?
That's a small colony right there!
 And here. Look!!!
They're herdin' up in mini-colonies right on my bed! I tell ya. I get nervous sharin' 
my space with them. Mom doesn't see them when they're in small groups, but 
when the patio doors are open, they start rollin' all around the house. I think they
might be multiplyin'. They show themselves to me only because I'm right down at
their level. They might even be tryin' to communicate with me or somethin'. 
 Once a week, their "Mother Ship" comes to collect them.
It's a noisy ship. They seem to be attracted to it, too.
They run right up to the front of this huge monster and jump onboard!
 Every week it's the same story.
As the Mother Ship hovers around in our house, I have to run after it and bark 
at it. I practically bark my skull off sometimes. It's my way of makin' sure they
all leave together, and the ship doesn't leave a single one of them behind.
 It has to move through the whole darn house to collect all the aliens,
and then it takes off and leaves through the garage. I'm not exactly sure
where it goes, because Mom always follows it out to the garage - and she
always shuts the house door on me before it departs for its own world.
 It won't be long before Mom and I notice that the next group of aliens lands
 in our house again. It's a viscious circle, I tell ya. I guess I have to consider
  myself lucky that they don't want to take me back to their planet with them.
 They might want to do icky experiments on me or somethin'. (shiver!) 
It would be scary if I weren't such a brave Corgi! 

I don't want to make you afraid, so I'll stop my story for today. I'll be back
next week with more adventures from south Florida. 'til then...
"More Waggin' and Less Barkin'!"