Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas (a little early) & Gooey Butter Cookie Recipe

I have been busy and I am still am...
But here is a recipe to one of my most favorite cookies!


Gooey Butter Cookies
1/2 cup Butter - Softened (1 stick)
1 (8oz) Pkg. Cream Cheese - Softened
1 Egg
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 (2 layer) Pkg. of Butter Recipe Yellow Cake Mix
1 to 2 cups of Powdered Sugar (Confectioners)

Beat the butter, cream cheese, egg, and vanilla in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
Stir in Cake Mix.
Chill covered for at least 30 minutes.
Drop the dough by teaspoonfuls into a bowl of powdered sugar and roll into balls.
Arrange on cookie sheet that is lightly coated with non-stick cooking spray.
Bake at 350F degrees for 12 minutes or until golden brown on bottom.
Cool on wire racks
Makes 3 dozen
I redust the cookies with more powdered sugar after they are baked.

You can also fold in Chocolate Chips or M&M's to the dough before chilling if you like.

For the chocolate version just use a Chocolate Cake Mix.


Merry Christmas !

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Getting a Walking Foot to work with a Singer 301 Sewing Machine

Click on pictures so you can read the notes on them.

Step 1

Step 2



Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

















The reason I posted this is because many people have a hard time getting their slant needle walking foot to work correctly with their Singer 301 Sewing Machine. The problem is the thread cutter is in the way and it has to be removed when using a  slant needle walking foot on the Singer 301.


Note: The Singer 301 (aka 301a) is an excellent machine for Free Motion Quilting!
But I suggest you buy a more modern foot control to use with your 301 when you do free motion quilting with it. Just buy a new foot control and a new 301 cord from any online Vintage Singer Machine Part Suppliers. Here (pic below) is the foot control I use with my 301. I had a 1960 or 1970's junk Singer Machine that I pulled from a curbside clean up day. I salvaged the foot control from it and I just bought a new 301 Foot Control cord for it and wired it up. (The cord was like $7.00) (I hate the old one toe Singer Foot Controls).

Thursday, November 18, 2010

So many fun projects - so little time !



Cara, who is a fellow STLMQG member is having this cool quilt-along! I have too much going on myself to join in but I thought I would announce it on my blog for my readers in the event they might want to join in on the fun!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Yummy... Variegated Thread Colors !

The best price I have found on these is at Quilting-Warehouse for $3.79 a spool.
Create For Less also carries them.
(There are better pics at the CFL website of the colors)
Each 500yd spool should allow me to machine quilt at least 1 quilt each.

Burning Trees in my yard !

Make sure you click on the pictures for a larger view


The above picture shows how the young white peach tree looks like it is burning.

The above picture is a younger Bradford Flowering Pear. It is down at the beginning of what we call our lower south 40. You can also see how high up we are on the bluff.
The Mississippi River is about 1 mile away. We own 5 acres of land (3 acres are cleared while 2 are still wooded and back up to other wooded property). The area behind our home consists of a active freight railroad track which is about 1/4 mile away and beyond that is a state nature reserve. Oh... that big oak tree on our property is one of 2 massive old oak trees we have. It is at least 100 years old and it is close to the end of it's life. I am scared to mow under it if it is a windy day.


Directly out my back door - Big Flowering Bradford Pear

Directly out my back door - Big Flowering Bradford Pear and young two white peach trees, along with part of our wooded area that backs up to the nature reserve.

I took these this morning

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Black Friday Deals - Links to

A few of the ads are already out... Target etc...

http://blackfriday.com/

As far as which flat screen LCD I plan to go for. I want a LG, or maybe a Samsung, or possibly a Sony or Toshiba. (unless someone talks me out of one of these brands)

I plan to stay away from the off brands Element (aka Emerson), Apex, Vizio (Vizio because I don't like the quality of the pix on them), etc.

I may find what I want on Black Friday, but if not I am sure I will find what I want before Xmas or even after Xmas. Our country Walmart's had a ton of Black Friday deals left over last year. It was rather shocking to walk in to Walmart on Black Friday afternoon and see ton's Black Friday stuff still in the stores. That just shows how bad the economy is and I think it is worse this year.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thread & Machine Quilting

I decided that I wanted to use variegated thread for the hand dyed charm squares quilt. I went to may thread stash and found I did not have enough variegated on the spool to quilt the top in the thread colorway I decided to do it in.

I love variegated thread. I like the Coats & Clark Star brand of variegated thread. So off I went to search Google for the best prices on the thread I like the best. Once again Quilting Warehouse had the best prices on it. They also had 500 yd spools of variegated thread by American & Efird. So I also bought a few spools of it to try out.

Quilting Warehouse has just about the same prices as Create for Less has, but at that Quilting Warehouse you don't have to in bulk. My thread should be here by Friday as I already received a shipped email from them. I really can't wait to get the straight line quilting done on the hand dyed charm squares quilt.

I also have been practicing with free motion quilting again. This time I am trying it on my Viking 500 machine. I finally have the tension set right but I just can't get past my mental block of figuring out which way to move once I get going.
I did get me a pair machingers gloves and a Supreme Free-Motion Slider a while back. I paid about $20 for my Supreme Free-Motion Slider though. I would say both are worth the money and they made quite a difference. The slider will probably last a long time and it is slick on top and it stays put on the machine bed.

I also feel the DVD's I have on machine quilting help also. I have the Skillbuilder Studio Vol. 1 "Machine Quilting" with Renae Allen (less than $20 at Connecting Threads) and the first two Fast & Free DVD's by Patsy Thompson. I also have Ricky Tims Grand Finale DVD. I just need to practice practice practice and practice!

I also need to learn how to not fall down any stairs!
I am tellin' ya... I am so lucky I did not break anything. The bruises on my body tells exactly how my body is feeling. I have been sleeping and pretty much staying seated today. I am so glad that I have a nice comfy computer chair and ottoman and a 25" TV also on my huge "L" shaped computer desk in my computer room.

My little 35# dog man "Rocky" (my rock) has been staying by my side all day and he has been giving me soft little kisses on my arms and feet all day. He is such a good boy and is just as sweet as can be. I have had a lot of dogs during my lifetime but this dog is completely in tune with me and is fully devoted to me. It is rather strange.



video
Do you like chicken?
(never say the word chicken around my dogs - Rocky is the barker in the video - he is also watching out for one of the cats who is just out of the camera's view)

------------------------------

FYI... Cheapest price I have found on the Slider is for $24.99

But I bought mine for under $20 from J Hittle. You have to sign up for his email newsletters FIRST... http://jhittlesewing.com/visitor/log.php - They send out sale ads twice a week via email and the email has a link to the online ordering page. They take PayPal or you can call in your order directly to them. They still offer them for under $20.


Humpty Dumpty Me and 7 stairs

Well I took a good backward fall down 7 stairs last night. I tried to step over (backwards) the baby gate (dog gate) that sits at the top of our first set of stairs in my spilt level home. I had a bucket of soapy water (to clean a floor downstairs) in my hand and the last leg over the gate caught the top of the gate and backwards I went. I hit my left hip and lower back hard on the stairs and my head hit the wood floor landing pretty hard. So hard that my lower jaw went sideways and I had some major pain in my left ear.

The noise woke my husband up and he was in complete horror as he ran out of the bedroom to find me on the stair landing moaning, soaking wet and not able to quite move yet.

Thank God I did not break anything. But I have some major black bruises (can you say Kona "Raisin" black purple) on the left side of my body in my hip and buttock area. I am sore as can be and I cannot put my full weight on my left hip just yet. I will probably be laid up for about a week.

So once again I cannot make the Saturday STLMQG meeting again!

I sure know this fall is not doing anything for my already bad lower back. (Dr. believes I have spinal stenosis and wants me to do a full spinal MRI to confirm this but an MRI will only confirm it and there is no cure for it.)

My husband is still cussing about the damn baby gate but the reason we have one is because the 10 pound cat poop loving dog we have. It keeps her from sneeking down the stairs to get a belly full of tasty kitty produced treats.

As soon as I feel better I am going out and buying a baby swing gate.

Back to bed I go...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Finally ! - CC Trial Set for Feb 15th 2011

Note:
You will not see me using the suspects (CC) or victims last names on my blog as I don't want Google picking up my blog posts an attaching them to this case.
The community here is very small and CC's family has a lot of brainwashed followers who are part of CC's father's "new age" cult like church. This has been going on basically in my backyard. I live in the community where CC's parents and siblings live and where CC ran too, to get away from the heavy STL media attention before he was finally arrested at his parents home. Things have settled down for now but this community will be in a quiet whispering frenzy again once the trial starts.


Also keep in mind that I was not born or raised in this community and that I am a native of St. Louis. In this community I will always be considered an outsider.

I am hoping and praying that CC get's exactly what is due to him and it is a damn shame that Illinois will not fire up ol' sparky for this wife and child killing POS after his trial is over.

New search warrants issued for C. murders

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/article_ecda9708-e211-11df-b107-00127992bc8b.html

CC Trial Set for Feb 15th 2011

http://www.ksdk.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=224238&catid=3

Thank You Dish Network CEO !!!

October 29, 2010, 5:36 pm

New Deal Ends Channel Blackout on Dish Network

http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/29/new-deal-ends-channel-blackout-on-dish-network/

I have been a satellite TV user at least 14 years. It started with Primestar and then it was Direct TV when Direct TV bought out Primestar. I grinned and bared it when I had Direct TV as my satellite provider for many many years. (Primestar customer service even was better than Direct TV's)  I switched to Dish Network about 7 years ago and I have never once been sorry that I made the switch from Direct TV to Dish Network.

I have always been an avid fan of FOX (House, etc), FOX Midwest (Cardinal Games) and FOXNews (for more fair and balanced news without all the vomit that CNN or MSNBC pukes out).

I had been missing Fox Midwest and I surely would have missed seeing House but I was 110% behind Dish Network on this whole contract settlement with News Corp. These networks have to start waking up and learn that they can't mess with Dish Network's CEO. This is not the first time he has put his foot down to a network and it won't be the last. News Corp's profit has been twice the amount of what Dish Network's has been.

Sure the end result will be if News Corp can't get the extra money from Dish Network (and Dish's customers) then they will raise the advertisers rates and that just means the advertisers will stick it the consumers who buy their products. But you know what I don't have buy these overly priced and overly advertised products! There are plenty of other "product" options out there on store the shelves. But to this satellite consumer who's only choice is between Direct TV or Dish Network it makes me very happy that Dish Network's CEO has and continues to watch out for his customers.

(sorry for the NY Times link - but it was the only article I could find that wrote at least something about what truly happened - the media has been trying to make Dish Network look like the bad guy instead of News Corp, who was the really the bad guy in this situation)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Words that describe Modern Quilt to me...

Modern Quilt...

Simple
Non Fussy
Geometric
Easy
Eye Catching but not overwhelming
Uncluttered
Slight Curved Lines or Simple Angles
Using Colors that most would not use together
Current
Non Traditional
Quick
Different
Fresh
Unusual
Abstract
Improvisational

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hodge Podge Post for Today...!

I didn't know what to title today's post !

I had thought that I changed my blogger settings to send me an email when someone leaves a comment. I guess it is not working properly. I am sorry that the comments to my last post took so long for me to notice that they were there.

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Briefly back to the hacking of Accuquilt dies... The best prices I have found on the dies were through the Quilting Warehouse. They also shipped them super fast. The Hexagon Die retails for about $35 and Quilting Warehouse sells it for around $24. I do want to mention again that cutting the edge off the dies was very easy. If I tire of them before I wear the die knifes out. I am sure I can sell them in the altered condition they are in.

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I did become a step-grandmother again and I am very excited about it. Out of respect for my step-daughter and expanding her family you won't see many posts on my blog about them.

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I had two doctors visits last week and I had blood drawn on Friday. It was time to check my thyroid levels, my cholesterol, and my blood sugar. I had the same tests ran 2 1/2 years ago and everything came back normal back then. This time around everything came back normal except for my thyroid counts. I have finally reached the point that my thyroid is not working properly (hypothyroidism). I knew it was going to happen at some point because thyroid problems run in my family. So I start taking 100mg of Synthroid everyday for the next 6 weeks and in 6 weeks I get my blood drawn again so that they can check my thyroid level again at that time. I may need an increase or decrease in mg amount of the Synthroid then.

I am praying that the Synthroid helps, as I am tired all the time. Hopefully I will be able to lose some weight also since my damn hormones have been out of whack.

This week I have to call and schedule my yearly mammogram.

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I was also on the hunt for some Arcadia (Moda) Charm Packs which are nearly impossible to find now. I am kicking myself for missing out on this fabric line when I could have bought at least a 1 yard of the favorite prints from this line. You can't even find yardage now. (trust me I have done deep searches for it). I posted a message on one of the Flickr groups I belong to and someone actually emailed me to tell me that she was in a quilt shop on Friday and saw 2 packs at the shop. The shop is in Texas. I called the shop Monday morning and scoop up by phone what they had left of the Arcadia Charm Packs.

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I worked on the STLMQG CO-OP some, but I am having a hard time getting back to it. Hopefully I can up and running very soon. I am just so busy with doctors appointments, my 70 year old mother, grandbabies, and getting the gardens ready for winter.

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Since I am an earthquake buff. (I get email notices of all 1.0 and higher earthquakes that are within 400 miles of me). I am starting to wonder why the media in the St. Louis area is not mentioning the increase of activity on the far southwestern end of the New Madrid fault line which sits just above Conway, AR and is closest to Guy, AR. There have been at least six quakes there in the last 7 or so days that have been around 3.0 and up to 4.0. There has also been an increase of quakes under 3.0 in the same area. Lately there has been 5 or so quakes a day down there and sometimes as many as 12 or more a day lately. I imagine that we will be seeing some soon that are closer to the northeastern end of fault. I know that the folks up in STL are not feeling these quakes right now, but I have been feeling them ever so slightly where I am at.

Friday, October 8, 2010

HACK Tutorial: Altering Accuquilt GO! Dies to use in the Cuttlebug!

I like to hack things and I am a cheap person wanting to use the Accuquilt GO! 6"x12" dies (dies that require the 6"x12" Accuquilt GO! Mat) in my manual Cuttlebug die machine.

Some basic info...

The 6" x 12" Accuquilt GO! Dies are actually about 6 5/16" wide x 5/8" thick.
The 6" x 12" Accuquilt GO! Top Die Cutting Mat is about 6 1/4" wide
The 5" x 10" Accuquilt GO! Dies are actually about 5 3/8" wide x x 5/8" thick.
The 5" x 10" Accuquilt GO! Top Die Cutting Mat is about 5 1/16" wide
The Accuquilt GO! Top Die Cutting Mats are about 1/16" to 3/32" thick

The Cuttlebug Die Machine maximum die width is 6" or 5 15/16"
The Fiskars Self Healing Mat shims I used (made) are about 1/16" thick - 3 of them on top of each other is about 3/16" thick

The Solution...
Cut "one" long side off the 6" x 12" Accuquilt GO! Dies and the 6" x 12" Accuquilt GO! Top Die Cutting Mat.

(Note: I did this with the dies I recently purchased. Which are the 3 Circle 55012,  3 Hexagon 55011 and 5" Square 55010. The 5" Square die had one die knife that sits fairly close to where the die edge needs to be cut off. It can be cut down without hitting the edge of the die blade but be very careful when cutting this die down or any other die that has a die knife that rests close to where you need to cut die edge off.)

When I opened my 6" x 12" dies I decided to remove the green plastic shell that is glued to the actual wood die body. I thought if I removed the green plastic shell that the wood die body would then be small enough to fit though my Cuttlebug and that I could shim the wood die to make it thicker if needed. This did not work as the wood die body was still too wide and part of the wood peeled off and stayed on the green plastic thus making the back side of the wood die rough. So I heavily reglued the die back into the green plastic shell without a problem.

I decided that I would just trim a long edge off of each of the 6" x 12" dies using our stationary band saw. I decided that I should cut 3/8" of an inch off only ONE side of each die, this is so that I would have at least one truly straight side still left on the die. I picked the one side that does not have ID label on it.

I used a ruler and masking tape to mark my cut line on the die. (rubber side up - pic below). I measured exactly 3/8" of inch in from the side and I included the green plastic shell edge in that 3/8". You want to do this if you are using a band saw, scroll saw, jigsaw, etc. to help you keep your cut as straight as possible. (click pics to enlarge if you need to)



You can see in the picture below just how close I had to cut to the die knife when I cut the one side off the 5" Square die (each side of "this die" had the knifes running close to each edge - the other 2 dies I cut has plenty of room between the knifes and die edge). It took less than 5 minutes to alter each die that I had.



As you can see my cuts with the band saw were not perfectly straight. I am not too good with our band saw probably because it could use a new blade on it. They don't have to be perfectly straight. Just make sure they glide easily through the die machine with no side rubbing and that you only cut off one side of the die so that you always have a straight edge on the other side of the die as a guide. You will need to file down the cut edge of the die some as the plastic and wood may have a rough edge. Use sand paper or a rasp file to smooth the edges


(Picture below) One die with edge cut off inside my Cuttlebug Die Machine. Make sure your die does not drag on the sides of the machine when you test fit it and make sure your cut edge is smooth to prevent drag.


(Picture below) Now cut the Accuquilt 6" x 12" Top Cutting Mat down by 1/4" of an inch. Mask it off and use utility kitchen type scissors to do this. (the mat is slightly less wider than the dies and this is why you just need to cut off a 1/4")



(Picture below) I decided to make "shims" to use with the Accuquilt Dies as I did not want to use my Cuttlebug plexiglass cutting mats for this. I had an old Fiskers cutting mat that I cut 3 shims out of. The 3 shims go under the Accuquilt Die.
You can see the 6 large white muslin hexagon I cut with my Accuquilt Die and Cuttlebug laying on the table.



(Picture below)
Stacked Layers from bottom to top...
3 self made Fiskars (self healing mat) Shims (cut 5 15/16" wide x 12" long)
Hacked Accuquilt GO! 6" x 12" Die with foam side up
6 Layers of Fabric
Hacked Accuquilt GO! 6" x 12" Cutting Mat
I should point out that if you go to accuquilt.com you can find which dies are 6" x 12" by reading if it requires the 6" x 12" top cutting mat. These dies will have to be cut down by you to work in your Cuttlebug. If the die requires the 5" x 10" top cutting mat, they can be used in the Cuttlebug without having to cut the die down nor the 5" x 10" top cutting mat down. You will have to bottom shim all the Accuquilt Dies when using them in the Cuttlebug. You may need more or less "shims" depending on how many layers of fabric you are cutting and the thickness of the fabric you are cutting.

If you have a different type of die cutting machine and if it has a 6" throat you can pretty well follow what I did here to get the dies to work in your die machine. You may have to cut off less than the 3/8" I had to cut off the Accuquilt Dies so that I could use them in my Cuttlebug.

One more note: I would assume that the new Accuquilt GO! Baby will have a die bed width of at least 6 5/16" up to 6 7/16" wide die bed so that it can handle the Accuquilt GO! 6" x 12" (6 5/16" x 12") dies.

Other Helpful Links...




Saturday, October 2, 2010

I love me some Chilly Dogs !!!


Smokey Jo (the cat) is thinking... "And those damn humans call me a PUSS!"

Rocky (left) - the bigger 30 lb dog loves everyone including the cats - he snuggles with them, he cleans them and they clean him. Rocky is devoted to me.

Tess (right) - the smaller 10 lb dog hates the cats and loves to chase them and get a mouth full of cat fuzz every chance she gets but she is afraid if my husbands big 16 lb cat to some degree. Tess is devoted to my husband.

BTW... The dogs cover themselves up without my help.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Update on Charm Squares Baby Quilt (Hand Dyed Fabs)

LOL... I had wrote that this was a future project... as in one that I had planned NOT to start sewing on for quite some time. Here it is some 24+ hours later and I have half the top already sewn together. (Actually this quilt is so simple that it only took me about 1 hour to sew the 5 rows together that you see in the picture below)

The reason I decided to sew the hand dyed fabrics together is because I wanted a better feel for how they were going to look with a solid Kona cotton sash. It looks like I am going to go with the Kona - Amber. This quilt just reminds me of fall (or striped wool socks). The hand dyed fabrics are much more attractive when seen in person. They appear to look like rich colored brushed dyed leather suede squares when seen in person. (note: I have not ironed the seams yet and how do you like my Silly Putty colored walls! I really need to paint !)



I also wanted to note that I am not following the pattern exactly. I am using 6" squares instead of 5" and the sash strips will be cut 6" x 40" (top & bottom sash) and 3" x 40" (in between block row sash's). The increased sizes will result in a 40" x 48" (approx) modern baby/toddler quilt. (I think the original from the pattern is 33" x 37").

Another Update... 7:30am

I pressed all the seams and cut all the Kona Amber and pinned it to my design board.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I need some opinions on this future quilt project

I want to create Oh Fransson's (Elizabeth's) Charm Squares Baby Quilt using hand dyed fabric squares and a solid Kona Cotton. I want to use a solid Kona Cotton for my sash fabric.
You can see this same quilt pattern done up with many different fabrics here on Flickr. Most of them were done with prints for the charm squares but I am determined to use these hand dyed fabric squares.

I set out the hand dyed fabric squares next to some Solid Kona Cottons.
Please tell me which option you like the best. (Be honest, please - you will not hurt my feelings)

Two of the hand dyed pinks are probably going to be pulled from the hand dyed group.

I pulled the Kona Amber because I thought it might make it look it different (unexpected/modern) but I am just not sure about the Kona Amber.

Option A - Kona Amber
















Option B - Kona Medium Grey
















Option C - Kona Stone
















Option D - Kona White (no picture)
Option E - None of the above
Option F - Try Kona _______ (you make a color suggestion)

Update... Here are the hand dyed fabrics in natural light but in light shade (they are sitting on the Kona Amber)


















Thanks for your feedback!

Also I will be making another quilt with the same pattern using these prints with Kona Stone as the sashing.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Can't Sleep - Late Nite Blog Surfing - Fun Projects

I went to bed just before 10pm tonight and of course I woke up at around 1:30am.
I woke up because sometimes I have a hard time sleeping and I go through periods where I only sleep in short spurts at a time. (either it is chronic hives, lower back pain or the feeling of my core body temperature being to warm that prevents me from sleeping for longer periods at a time)

I forgot to take pictures of the prepared pulled pork sandwiches we ate for dinner tonight. We have plenty of leftovers and if I think about it I will take a picture when we eat pulled pork again over the weekend. We might eat pulled pork tacos with the left overs. Anyhow the meat was tender and moist. It was delicious!

Tonight I was surfing around looking at some blogs I have never visited before. I came across this one tis early morning. I am really loving these freebie tutorials...

Twin Sheet Tepee Tent (to make for my soon to be 2 year old grandson)
Toddler Dish Towel Bath Robe (cause it's cute for any 12 month to 18 month toddler)

I have been thinking that I should change the name of my blog because I have not written much about "quilting" as of yet. But to be honest with you I don't sew that much during the summer months. Most of my sewing happens during late fall, winter and the early spring months when the cold or wet weather is just too much for me to be outdoors in.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pork Butt Update

After letting the pork butt marinate in the fridge for 36+ hours. I finally slow roasted it today in my electric turkey roaster for over 5+ hours until it was perfect for tender fall apart (non-greasy / aka "dry") pulled pork sandwiches. (17th Street Bar & Grill style). After it was done slow roasting I wrapped it tightly in foil and put it back into the fridge. I will hand shred it tomorrow. I will also make some homemade hand cut V&O slaw to go along with it. I will take some pictures of everything tomorrow. (BBQ Sauce is optional and you just pour it on top of the pulled pork. Typically a vinegar based BBQ sauce is used.)

BTW the house smelled great while it was cooking!

Today was the last day of summer and the harvest moon is really shining in the dark sky tonight. I look forward to fall but I don't look forward to winter.

I was outside tonight after 10 pm with the dogs. I was letting them go potty before I put them to bed for the night. There was two large owls in the trees across the road from me. They were really calling to each other for quite some time. (it wasn't the typical "who", "who" kinda call)
It must be owl mating season... LOL it was pretty funny sounding.

The other night I went up into town (my mother lives up in town as we moved her down here a couple years ago from STL). A large owl was flying low and he almost flew into my truck window (my window was down) while I was driving. I saw him coming out of the corner of my eye and I actually prepared myself for a facial hit with it. The owl just made it across the top of the truck cab and spared me (and himself) from a direct hit with my face or my truck. Right before that I had came across 3 bucks and a doe crossing the road. (I am always on my guard due to me living along side the wildlife here.)

Monday, September 20, 2010

(Love Me Some) Big Ol' Pork Butt

I love dry rubbed pork butt. This one is about 4.5 lbs. I just got done dry rubbing it with seasonings and some brown sugar.

I will tightly wrap it in the foil and put on a platter and into the fridge it goes for at least 12 hours. I may cook after 12 hours or I might let it sit for 24 to 36 hours in the fridge.

I will cook it in my handy dandy 22qt electric turkey roaster. (The one kitchen tool that has changed my life because it has been fool proof for me!) I love to cook in the thing (to hell with a crock-pot and a big oven, nothing cooks like a electric roaster). Every kitchen should have one and it should not be only used for (or by) Turkeys. Even my husband has fallen in love with it. Over time you will see posts about what I cook in my electric roaster or on my gas grill.

I will take a picture of it after I have cooked it. It may be later today or within the next 24 to 36 hours.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Will I ever finish it ? - Baby Amy Butler Coin Quilt


This quilt top as been hanging up unfinished and un-ironed for a couple of weeks. I am not following any written pattern but there are plenty of coin quilts on Flickr like this. It does not take too many quilt math skills to design your own "coin quilt". But my math with this one had this quilt coming out too large IMO for a baby quilt. This is why I have not proceeded to sew the last row of "coins" on to it.

Sometimes it really helps to walk away, take a digital pix of it and then sit back and look at it on your computer monitor. As soon as I did this... I found my answer on how I will resolve the issues I feel I am having with this quilt. (I am not the quickest light bulb in the house to light up sometimes and maybe it is because I have not been feeling too well lately.)

I am going to remove the left white sash from the quilt top and then I will use the current unattached coin row on the back side of the quilt. Then comes my most dreadful part... quilting it. I am just going to quilt it in straight lines with my walking foot. I have to keep in mind that this is a baby quilt that will be used and does not need to be quilted heavily.

I really need to get it done as the baby it is for is due in early December. (It is for my oldest step-daughter's latest baby which is expect to be a boy).

I still have not started my second oldest step-daughter's latest baby quilt that is due to be born on 10-10-10 (how cool is that?). I probably will not start on it until after the baby is born as they like to not knowing the sex the baby before it is born.

On top of all it all I have a few quilts I really need to sit down and make the binding for and then attach it before I start any more new projects.

Feeling Much Better ! (warning slightly gross post)

Wow !

It has not been a fun week. I have been waiting for the swelling to go down in my face and for the so called deep tooth abscess to show up somewhere on my upper right gum. This had to happen before a dentist would attempt to drain the abscess.

Well the majority of the swelling went down in the last 2 days and the abscess appeared overnight on my upper right gum and at the bottom of my sinus. All along I have not thought that this was truly a tooth abscess because I was not having any tooth problems to speak of before, during or after. I thought that I was having one of my typical sinus infections that I get once a year between August and October. I had thought the sinus problems I had been having before this had cleared up a few days before my face started swelling up last Friday afternoon.

Anyhow to make this short and sweet (and not too gross)
The abscess that appeared overnight last night actually opened up and fully drained tonight around 9pm. As soon as it started I knew what was happening and ran for the bathroom. I am so glad that it did not happen later when I was asleep.

It was really gross and the amount of fluid that drained out was shocking. I know there is no way that it was from a tooth. This was a sinus abscess that was just above the teeth roots. I am so glad that I went to the ER early Sunday morning instead of waiting until Monday before I could see my Dr. in her office. (ER doc thought it most likely was a tooth abscess but there was no serious pain in my teeth or signs of the abscess on my gum line. The worse pain I was having was on my lower sinus but the swelling was everywhere on right side of my face, he was kinda stumped by it)

The ER doc got me started on the right antibiotics and pain killers. I even went into Walmart to get the prescriptions filled on Sunday after a short nap at home before the pharmacy opened up at 10am. I had my huge pumpkin head swelling thing happening and it was even bigger than what it had been while I was in the ER that morning. I wore a pair of sunglasses as I did not want anyone to see my right eye as it was nearly swollen shut by that time. I didn't care if they saw my large cheek sticking out. (you have to remember I live in a small town and everyone knows everyone)

I took a picture of my pumpkin head face and sent it to my sister in SC. She called me and said it didn't even look like me because I was so swollen. (We had a few laughs about it. We tend to find humor in everything)

So I am feeling sooooo much better and there is no pain at all in my teeth, but there is still some pain in my right sinus but even that pain is not as bad as it was.

One thing that I hope goes away are the deep wrinkles that showed up under my right eye after all the swelling went down. It looks really odd because it looks so much different than my left eye. (wrinkles are fine as long as they match on both sides of my face!)

Yes it is late. I have slept so much since last Friday due to me feeling like crap from my pumpkin head that I am tired of sleeping. I had to stop taking the pain killers because they were making feel like I had been riding a roller coaster backwards. (like motion sickness)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Happy Early Hallooooweeeenie

The reason I missed the first STLMQG meeting. I have a deep abscessed fang (aka/canine or upper right cuspid) tooth that came on quickly. I went to the ER Sunday morning at 4:30 am because I woke up with a pumpkin face. Before the ER doc examined me he asked me what was wrong, I said "I have an infection in my face". Then he says to me, "tell me what really happened" !
I laughed and told him again "really... I have an infection in my face". I guess he thought someone had slugged me in the face.

I am on a pain killer (Tramadol) and Augmentin (antibiotic) until my face goes down. Then off to the dentist I go, probably for a damn root canal or removal of the tooth.
I had problems with this tooth 5 years ago after I had a bad sinus infection. The end root of the tooth lays right at the corner of my right nostril which is right next to the sinus.

I was going to post a picture of my pumpkin face (the whole right side of my face is swollen and my right eye is almost swollen shut) but I decided not to do it as it might frighten all the little ones.




Saturday, September 4, 2010

Lovely Weather - HOP Catalog - Earthquake

Here it is alittle after 6:30 am. The weather is so nice that I decided to open up the windows in the house today. I want to air out the house and let the cats have some fresh air while they lay on the window ledges. Now with my luck the farmer who has a corn field across the road from me will decide to harvest that field today while I have my windows open. (it kicks up the dust)

Harvest season has been happening early this year. Almost all the corn is ready for harvest about 1 month earlier than normal this year. Last night when I took the dogs out for a potty break at about 10:30 pm I could hear a local farmer out harvesting his corn field in the dark.

The lastest HOP (Hancock's of Paducah) Catalog arrived in the mail. There are some awesome modern and geometric batiks in it this time around. I have not made it through the whole catalog yet but there is way too much "civil war" style printed fabrics in it so far.

I see that New Zealand had a 7.1 (or 7.4) earthquake. (Prayers for NZ)
A 7.1 is a pretty major earthquake and I hope and pray we never see one here like this in Southwestern IL. We have two zones to worry about here. The New Madrid and The Wabash, the The Wabash worries me much more than the New Madrid does. If the The Wabash kicks out a 2.5 or higher quake I can feel it. But if the New Madrid kicks out a 2.5 I don't ever feel it.

There is not much to report on in the quilt making front. I am working on a coin quilt made with AB  (Amy Butler) fabrics and plain white cotton (P&B Muslin). I am not liking it how it is piecing together. I also got my YLI Wash-A-Way thread (for basting) and Clover Hera Marker from createforless. These will be used it prepping the quilt tops for machine quilting.

I have finally decided to just start posting to my blog even if the posts are not about quilting every time. It will take me a while to get into posting on my blog. I know the blogs I like to read daily are mainly written by quilter's. I love reading about even the small things that are going on their lives even if they may seem boring to most readers.

My country view from the window that is at my computer desk (ignore the window screen and our dead grass/weedy driveway - we need a load of gravel hauled in). This is facing directly North.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I need your feedback

I need some feedback on how my blog appears in your browser and on your monitor.

On my end everything looks normal but I do use a 23" widescreen LCD monitor. I use both browsers... IE and Firefox and everything looks ok on my end with those two browsers.

Let me know if anything is cut off on the left or right side of your screen or if anything looks odd. Let me know what browser you are using and what size monitor you are using and if it is a wide screen monitor or not.

I do know I have a lot of stuff on the main blog page but I plan to put some of the info from the main page into the "tab" areas. (I finally figured out how to create tab pages after I had finished up putting all the stuff on the main page.)

Thanks so much for your feedback

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tweaking my blog design and layout

It will take me a little while to get this blog just the way I want it, so please bear with me.
In the meantime I will post pictures of my 2 dogs (I also have 3 indoor cats) so I can check out the picture feature of the blog.

Rocky (German Pinscher)


Tess (Min Pin / Rat Terrorist Mix)