Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Home Again

I've been busy pet sitting in Benicia, keeping Grizzy (above) and Ferris company while their owners were up in the mountains. I love Benicia, it's a beautiful little city right across the delta from where I live. I took my camera with me, prepared to show you the sights that I enjoy so much. Unfortunately not all goes as planned. My camera wasn't cooperating. Here are a few pictures that I took when I stayed in June or was it July? I love old houses, the house I stay in was built in the 1800's an old victorian with lots of little rooms and high ceilings and room for REAL furniture! These are pictures from the neighborhood when walking Grizzy (none are the house where I stay) So this all means that I don't get much sewing done, I do a lot traveling to and from their house, to my house, to work, yada yada. Usually by the time I land I'm too tired to accomplish much. I took a block from Happy Hauntings with me and did a little applique and when I was home I did get a couple of the placemats finished. I realized that I need to go purchase some more of the stripe fabric. Using the salt and pepper shaker print and the stripe was enough without adding a 3rd fabric. So I'll be doing just a little shopping on Friday. I guess I fail at stash busting. But I really really need it! LOL and I'm not keeping it, it will not rest in my stash... there, is that better? Have I justified this purchase yet?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Use it for the Holidays

So did everyone have a good Thanksgiving? My granddaughter and I spent a few hours traveling to and from Pine Grove, a little town above Jackson Ca. It was sooo worth the trip. It was wonderful to spend the afternoon with my brother and his wife visiting from Arizona, my stepbrother and family from the bay area and of course my Dad and stepmom. Great meal, great company. And great news too! My stepbrother and his wife are expecting. It was surprize for all of us! And of course the dinner was awesome.
Today I've been pretty wiped out. Did you go shopping today? I went to the grocery store and the dollar store, no crowds there! I seem to remember when we thought that 7am was awfully early to go shopping the day after Thanksgiving. The sales were so great, I mapped out where I would go and stood in lines. Not anymore, any sane person is in bed at 4am and I really feel for those who work retail now.
4 am ??? NUTZ !!!
Thank you for all of your ideas and links to crafty gifts. As soon as I posted the question, my friend Deb sent me a link for roll-up placemats. They're cute and have a pocket for utensils. I went digging in my stash and found a few yards of Barb's Kitchen line, you might remember, it has all of the little salt & pepper shakers. Very cute! So had exactly enough of that to make twenty tops and found some vegie fabric for the backs and some stripes for the untensil pockets. I even found some cute fabric napkins at the dollar store. I was looking for utensils, but they weren't very nice. I think I will look at the thrift stores, Ross and stores like that,they really don't need to match. I'll post picture when I'm done, I've got them all cut out and the tops pieced so far. And thanks to all of you I have great ideas for next year.
I received the most wonderful gift in the mail today, from one of the sweetest bloggers we know. How Darlene finds time to shower us with such sweet little gifts, I will never know. I just know that I feel so blessed and special to recieve this little piece of her. I was going to hang it in my sewing room. But now I think I will put it in my office so that I can spend more time with it! Isn't it CUTE???
Thank you Darlene, I love it!!! Just looking at it puts a smile on my face and a song in my heart.

And speaking of special blog buddies, I think Vicky may be feeling a little better cause she is talking up her stash! She sure gave us a scare. Keep up the good thoughts for her. Since I'm using what I have for my gifts this year, I'll be linking up to Judy's Stash Busters. Wish me luck, the new lines are so tempting!

Well, I need to go prep a block to take with me to pet sitting tonite. I just know that all of you are already busy with holiday preparations. I'm not even going to mention how many days we have. :-)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I am thankful for all of you who visit me and so much more. Hope you all have a wonderful day with your families. xoxomar

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered

Oh what to do, I'm spinning my wheels trying to figure out what to make for my staff of twenty for Christmas. I had big plans of making them all table runners, but just realized after working on them for the last 3 days I could never get them all done in time. I only got 5 put together and they still need a little machine applique. I guess they will be gifts for others. Have any good ideas for me? Last year I made pot holders and gift jars of soup mix. I do have one idea, but need to work up a pattern. Thinking along the lines of a personalized pocket placemat for their lunches at work. Maybe I could find some inexpensive place settings to include? Seems that I have a thing about food. hmmmm.... Wish I would have thought about this sooner. LOL, I could have been done!!! Oh and I'm all about "Homemade for Christmas", I've seen that logo on other blogs but haven't looked into what it is all about. Also I'm REALLY all about "Use What You Have". I've seen that logo on other blogs also, but I'm just doing my own thing.
Speaking of food, I participated in the chocolate swap over at Red Geranium Cottage. Sharon paired me up with Subee. What fun! you can check out what I sent Subee HERE!
This is the fabulous box I received. Su was a little more timely than I was and now my chocolate is all gone. Boo Hoo, it was delish Su and the box was adorable.
Guess I'd better get back to work! xoxomar

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Alone Again ! Where do I begin?
How do I tell you what an awesome time I've had without boring you to tears? Maybe just the highlights....
Saturday 11/3 - Pincushions are done, condo is clean, I'm ready!!!
Sunday 11/4 Pick up Cheryl at the Oakland airport, out to dinner with son and Daja. Yum, ClaimJumpers!
Monday 11/5 Carol and Syl arrive in afternoon. Carol is here from SC and seeing her grandson for the first time in 3D. Syl is staying with Cheryl and I. Carol is off with her son and family to get some grandma time in. She will meet us at the retreat.
Tuesday 11/6 Visiting, laughing, crying, yak yak yak!!! (and Dancing with the Stars!)
Wednesday 11/7 Haircuts, carwashing, last minute shopping. Deb is coming! off to Thimblecreek, home for dinner, baking,packing watching Miss Potter.
Thursday 11/8 Packing, loading the car, off to retreat! shopping at Inbetween Stitches, hugging on Vicky and Jane, seeing old friends, meeting new ones!! Dinner, Alex speaking, gifts & prizes, laughing, crying, sewing, sharing.
Friday 11/9 COFFEE... Alex demo applique prep, brunch, group picture, Shopping caravan to Quilter's Inn in Danville, Thimble Creek in Concord, (where I ran into my stitch & bitch friend, Wilma who made this quilt!), stopped at my condo to tend the "girls", Main Street Quilts in Martinez and InBetween Stitches in Livermore. Out to dinner at MIMI's in Pleasanton. Back for sewing, laughing, sharing and sewing!
Saturday 11/10 COFFEE!!!... Paula demos machine applique, brunch, show and tell, sewing, seeing Pam, sharing, laughing... Dinner, gifts, drawings, sewing, margaritas, sewing, laughing, unsewing, sharing, FUN!!!
Sunday 11/11- Packing, saying goodbyes, promises to keep in touch. Home.
Monday 11/12 - Visited the second session retreat, shop with friends, finally stop at the Polka Dot Attic in Danville. Home to Rest and Relax!!!Tuesday 11/13 - Off to shop at Queen B's in Antioch, on a mission to spend the gift certificate my staff gave me on Boss's day! Bought Roman Holiday fabrics for All Things Christmas. To the PO to mail my chocolate!(more on the chocolate swap later)
Today Wednesday 11/14 - Cheryl left for Mass. at 4 am this morning. Alone again. Good thing I've got the girls to keep me company. I won't even mention the work crew making all kinds of racket working outside on the condos!!!
I'm sorry the pictures I took didn't turn out, I was either too far away or they blurred.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Yippee Skippee it's my Friday again. But this time I'm grinning from ear to ear. I don't have to face that office again until November 19th!! Yep it's time to have some fun! Time to get some quilting done and visit with my very best of friends. I'm so excited to see everyone, it's been a long year!
I know Halloween is over, but I forgot to share this with you. This was from a kit purchased from Keepsake Quilting, on clearance! I probably bought in Feb. to get it on clearance, but I have a friend who loves fall and all that goes with it. This gal hangs in her office all through the year :-)
The chili and pumpkin cake were both a success! Here is the cake recipe, Rebecca gave me permission to share it with you. It's so simple you won't believe it! It's almost the consistency of a bread pudding, very moist.
Pumpkin Angel Food Cake
1 box one-step angel food cake mix
16 oz. can pumpkin
1-2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice*
Mix together; pour into 9" x 13" pan.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
*1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ginger, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg or allspice, 1/8 tsp. cloves
I've also made this with a can of crushed pineapple and hear that it it fabulous made with a can of lemon pie filling or a can of cranberry sauce.