Thursday, July 18, 2013

Hot Today = Simple Supper

Today is going to be a hot one here in Iowa as it is over a lot of the country.  When it gets this hot, I'm sorry but I really don't want to turn on the stove or stand over a hot grill.  At 8:45 and already 90 degrees I'm leaving my workout thinking time to get errands done quickly before it really gets hot and what am I going to fix for supper.  I mulled over several ideas on the way to the grocery store and by the time I arrived I had a plan.  Today's menu is chicken salad on kaiser buns with sliced tomatoes, diced watermelon and a fruit salad I make with red seedless grapes, sliced bananas and a can of mandarin oranges in juice.  I use enough of the juice to keep my bananas from turning brown.  Simple but yet delicious and no standing over a hot stove or grill.  Oh, I did stop at the cupcake shop and indulge in an assortment for dessert.

While out I stopped at my local craft store and found this 14" serving platter clearance priced for $2.  I bought one this size about 4 years ago and use it all the time in the summer when grilling out - kabobs fit on it perfectly - and as a serving platter at gatherings.  I have been on the lookout for another since then as I find so many uses for it and today was my lucky day.
This same craft store had their DMC variations on clearance and bought a couple of skeins of each of these colors as I think they will make great pumpkin colors.
Made a bit more progress on Miss Peepers by CCN.  It won't be long and it will be headed to the framer.  I'm thinking to display on an easel on my bookcase.  I mean she is reading a book after all.

I once again have to thank rosek who recommended the author Dorothea Benton Frank.  I'm 1/2 way through a second one of her books and am thoroughly enjoying it as well.  A great summer read author.
Off to pour a glass of mango passion fruit iced tea and pick up Miss Peepers - nice lazy activity for a HOT summer day!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Another Year Older!

Hi everyone!  Seems like it has been forever since I've found a few minutes to post on my blog.  I really need to become more adept at using the app to make my postings.

On July 7th I spent the day at my beloved Iowa State Fairgrounds - sigh not yet time for the Fair but did attend the Good Guys car show with Bill and Keith.  Here is the car in front of one of my favorite old buildings - this is the Agriculture Building.  It was a hot day for sure but with an ever present breeze and shade trees in abundance it was quite bearable.  Bill had to go out early with the car so Keith and I went out a few hours later.  I wish you all could have seen his face light up when I asked him if he wanted to go - PRICELESS.  Let's just say I couldn't get us ready fast enough to suit him - LOL!  
I had to laugh at Teresa's comment that she did not see my family recipe for the homemade ice cream.  I feel a bit like the Bush's bean commercial.  Duke the dog trying to give the recipe - owner doing all they can to keep it secret.  I don't feel I can give out this recipe without the family's permission - LOL!  I feel I need to at least check with my brother's and dad before I put it on my blog.  Teresa, you will be the first to receive it if permission is granted.

I'm still have not spent as much time stitching as I would like but do have some progress to show on Red Riding Hood by Primitive Hare.  I could wait no longer to start the red.  I was a bit tired of stitching all black.  Switched to the red and it is going quite quickly - or at least it feels that way to me.
I was having sewing machine issues but figured out the problem and got it going again.  I was able to send Mary L.W. and Teresa S. their thank you needle cases for suggesting photo names as well as a project bag I had promised Teresa back in February.  In answer to your question Teresa - yes I did crochet the heart.  I used the pattern from Bythebayneedleart.  The needle case in the first picture is the 4th variation of a tutorial I found on Pinterest.  I never did like the large size of the original and never could get the binding to go on well.  Over the course of 2 years I have finally altered the original pattern to suit my sewing skills (thank you Teresa noticing my improvement).  In all honesty it makes me what to ask for the one I sent Teresa for Christmas back to redo - LOL!  I will be making another one of these soon taking photos of each step to add as a tutorial on my blog.  The needle case in the 2nd photo is a Lazy Girl design.  Both ladies received one of each needle case as a thank you.  The 3rd photo is Teresa's red wool project bag.  I had made one for myself on a whim back in July using the crocheted heart pattern and decided to add handles to it (my first attempt).  She liked it so well I decided not to wait until her birthday to gift her with one.
None of my photos were picked to be exhibited at the Fair.  I'm not sure if I will enter again next year.  There are usually close to 4,000 submissions for about 500 spots.  I understand with that many submissions not having the time for any feedback but it does make it difficult to know what needs improving.  I also know I'm up against many professionals as well as those who belong to camera clubs.  I have almost a year to make that decision so no rush.   I do like that Fabrics & Threads provides you a scoresheet as well as comments on your piece so you know what you did right and what you did wrong.  They have a volunteer who walks with the Judge and writes what the judge says as it is being looked at.  Most helpful!

Since my last post I have turned another year older (and was spoiled terribly by my friends).  It was so nice that Mary and Belinda took me to lunch on my actual birthday.  It was such a treat!  We just went to a favorite restaurant (On The Border) and had a fabulous time catching up!  These lunches do not happen often enough to suit any of us!
From BFF Allison
From Dear Friends Mary and Belinda
I just have to point out a few things that are particularly delightful to me.  

Allison (who knows me so well) included some vintage hankies (one was labeled a wedding hankie) as well as some gorgeous fat quarters of fabric (there are 6).  Can't wait to make something with these beautiful fabrics.  There is also a photo holder that she picked up that is made out of a doorknob.  It is the coolest thing - I have it in my kitchen to hold my recipe card while cooking.  SPOILED!

 Mary somehow managed to pick up a sewing basket at a flea market almost exactly like I've been looking for at the antique shops.  Amazing - she can read minds now!  I am also delighted by this little bird by Isabel Bloom.  It already has a home on my coffee table.  She also included so many one of a kind items I've never seen before.  SPOILED!

Belinda was just as creative as the other 2 with her choices as well.  She made this amazing Friendship Memory Book that includes photos from various outings we gals have taken together.  Such a thoughtful and unique keepsake - love it!  She also took the time to stitch a small piece to make into a necklace for me.  The backside has a piece of sampler fabric that you see through the glass.  SPOILED!

I really can't thank them enough for their generosity and thoughtfulness to make my day so special.  Tomorrow I get to have my birthday lunch with my BFF Rene' and then Friday is a short get together with Harriet to celebrate both our birthdays!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

I hope everyone has enjoyed a wonderful  4th of July!  This was the first one in a very long time that didn't involve a family or neighborhood potluck.  It was just the 3 of us.  This, however, does not mean we don't celebrate.  I still make some holiday themed vignettes inside and out and cooked a downscaled but tasty meal of delicious summer foods.  This year's menu consisted of mom's potato salad recipe, barbecued ribs, coleslaw, baked beans and for dessert a batch of homemade ice cream using the recipe handed down for generations in the family.  It was a delicious meal and both Bill and Keith seemed appreciative of my efforts.  Head on over to A Stitcher's Snippets Cooking for a couple of the recipes.

I've managed to put a few stitches in the 2 projects I'm currently focusing on.  On the left is Miss Peepers by Country Cottage Needleworks and on the right is Red Riding Hood by Primitive Hare.  I really am making fast progress considering I've not spent more than a couple hours on them all week.  Tonight - I'm thinking will be a stitching night - we'll see if the guys agree with that.

On the reading front I finished Saint's Gate by Carla Neggers.  It was a good mystery but as always I knew who the killer was as soon as the cast of characters was revealed.  Some think it would ruin the book for me but then again I don't really know if I'm right until the end and I don't peek.  

I'm still reading Inferno by Dan Brown.  It is a page turner but am trying not to read it as fast as 11/22/63 as it is so hard to find a really good book these days.  I also started Porch Lights by Dorothea Benton Frank  and thank rosek for the recommendation.  It is my porch book to read while waiting for Keith's bus.  I have to say in 3 sittings I'm already 1/3 of the way through the book.  I am really enjoying the book and the author's style of writing.  I see myself reading more books by this author.

I want to share that my friend and designer, Belinda Karls-Nace of Blue Ribbon Designs has designed a special piece to raise money (she has to raise $2,300 to walk in this walk) for the Susan G. Komen 3 - Day Walk in San Diego in November.   It is titled Red Rosies and Pink Posies.  Click on this link and it will take you to her website and will tell you how you can get this lovely design and donate to this worthy cause.  It is a cause near and dear to my heart as my mom lost her battle with breast cancer in 2010 and a day doesn't go by that I don't miss talking to her!

On the fitness front I'm really enjoying my membership at the Y.  I've taken a variety of classes and have already identified a couple of favorites to go with my cardio workouts.  I think in the next couple of weeks I will meet with the Wellness Coach again to learn how to use all the weight machines so I can incorporate them into my routine.  I have to say I'm already noticing a difference in my body shape.   I've not yet stepped on a scale to see if there is weight loss and as that is not my main goal I may not.  My doctor tells me to quite worrying about that number and just concentrate on the healthy eating and healthy exercise.