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Monday, January 30, 2012

Sunset at the Cabin

I had to share this picture of our sunset last night.  We had spent the afternoon walking the creek around the cabin and came back just as the sun was setting.  What a beautiful day with my husband and the dogs...

I would like you to meet my girls...  They we tired from running the creek, but I took a picture because it is rare they are standing still.
Deogie (black lab healer mix) and Mollie (Irish setter)

I snapped a picture of the sunrise this morning.  I'll take this winter weather any day.  It was in the 60's today..

I didn't realize I had removed the button to follow my blog.  It is fixed and hopefully all of you that have been looking at these crazy posts will come back and follow...

I'm learning,

Sunday, January 29, 2012

T-shirt quilt

This is a project that I put off for 2 years.  I had made my daughter a quilt when she graduated high school so, of course, my son expected to have his very own quilt when he graduated. To make up for the long wait, I made it a king size and really made it very personal by adding some new band t-shirts that I knew he would love.  A lot of family and friends helped find shirts I didn't have, which makes the quilt even more special.  Thank you Daryl, Trista, Sonja, Jon, Sheri, Bill, and Joe.  I couldn't have finished this without you!  I was able to present it to him at Christmas.

I backed each t-shirt front with fusible, feather weight interfacing and cut 14" squares.  The middle row of the quilt is 14" x 22" squares.  I had some shirts I just couldn't cut into 14 inches.  Some of the squares were pieced together when I wanted to include the front and back or had little pieces of shirts to include.  Here's an example:

I made more work for myself by sewing 1/2" seams and then cutting the seams allowances down to 1/4" to reduce bulk, but I found it helped keep the squares from sliding around on my ancient sewing machine.  The squares were window paned with 2" strips of grey cotton fabric.

I machine quilted by stitching in the ditch around each square.  Here, you can see some of the shirts.  My favorites are the ones he had painted or drew on himself.  Some of the shirts I bought as fillers (like the Chuckie Cheese shirt).  I wish I would have saved more t-shirts from his childhood, but you make do.  All of the squares are special in some way.  I loved making it!

My son, Randy with his t-shirt quilt

One over due project, DONE (with love),

Baked Oatmeal

I made this for breakfast this morning.  It's not sugar free, but LESS sugar.  I think you could use any fruit, but I prefer berries.  I didn't have any fresh berries, so I tried frozen. Worked fantastic....

Baked Oatmeal

Cooking Spray
2 Cups frozen fruit (I used Triple Berry Medley- blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries.)
1/2 T. honey
1/2 t. cinnamon (divided)
1/2 Cup pecans chopped (divided)
2 Cups quick oats
1 t. baking powder
1/4 cup brown sugar Splenda
pinch of salt
1 1/2 Cups milk
1 egg
1 t. vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray 8" x 8" pan with cooking spray.  Put 1 cup of fruit in the bottom of the pan and sprinkle with 1/4 t. cinnamon and honey.  Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, mix oats, 1/4 cup pecans, baking powder, Splenda, 1/4 t. cinnamon, and salt.  After fruit has baked, pour oat mixture over it.  Mix milk, egg, and vanilla.  Pour milk mixture over oats.  Top with rest of the fruit and pecans.  Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

Breakfast anyone?

Friday, January 27, 2012

We Made LOVE

LOL.  Yes at the kitchen counter.  My husband was involved in this quickie.  lol  This is my Valentine's Day Project. 

This isn't an old project, but an idea I saw on Pinterest.  I love words and all the scrap book paper frames I've been looking at.  I purchased the LOVE in paper mache' for $7.00.  I bought 2 sheets of 12 x 12 scrap book paper for $.79 (it was half price).  I usually have Mod Podge on hand, but we are in the process of finishing the room above the garage for my project room, so my supplies are scattered everywhere.  That purchase put this project over the $10.00 range, but I have enough Mod Podge to do this again 10 times.

For just paper, it really looks rich.  It goes great on the ledge in our bedroom.  I have a lot of decorating to do in there and this is a great start. 

Supplies:  Paper mache' letters, acrylic paint, scrap book paper, Modge Podge, foam brush,  exacto knife, scissors, cutting surface
OPTIONAL:  scalloped edged scissors

more detail

This is what we started with.  The letters look like thick paper bags but are hard like wood.

  I painted the letters with brown acrylic paint and let them dry.

This is my husband, Daryl, gluing the paper to the letters.

We traced the letters onto the paper and cut them out. I used scalloped edged scissors on the L and V to add a little interest.  This is optional to your taste. Next we glued the paper to the front of the letters.  Be careful with this step.  Make sure you have the letter positioned on the paper so that the right side of the paper will be on the letter the correct way.  Once the glue was dry, we laid the letters down on a cutting board, paper side down, and trimmed the excess paper off with an exacto knife.

I applied two coats of Mod Podge with a foam brush allowing 1 hour dry time between coats.

 The ledge in my bedroom that needs some attention

Love is in the air,

Monday, January 23, 2012

Rag Quilt

This project was started about 8 years ago.  I finished it this week.  The best part of finishing it, I love it.  I want to make more of these, but that will have to wait until I have more of the started projects completed.  And it is tax time.....

This was stitched with 6" flannel material squares.  120 black flannel and 120 leopard print squares. 
I'll do a tutorial on the next one.  I'll be able to take pictures of the beginning.  lol

closer look of the pattern.

So I have finished another project this year.  Hope I can keep this up for 2012.  I have a lot to go.....

Unfinished project 2, done....

Tater tot casserole

One of the easiest and yummiest casseroles.  I'm a fan.  This is the way we like it.  We prefer no cheese or vegetables in ours.

2 lbs. ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion (or onion powder to taste for my non onion family members)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk
1 32oz. bag of frozen tater tots
salt and pepper

Cook beef and onion until beef is no longer pink and drain.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Combine beef mixture, soups, and milk.  Spread into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.  Top with tater tots.  Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Projects to come,

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sugar Free Strawberry Pie

I'm always trying to convert recipes into sugar free versions to give my husband a treat once in awhile.  He is very good at staying away from foods he shouldn't eat, so it's nice to give him a little splurge.  This recipe is one I converted very easily and he LOVES it.  In fact he took this picture and put it on facebook. :^)

Strawberry Pie (sugar free)
Strawberry Pie (sugar free version)

1 small box sugar free cook & serve vanilla pudding
1 small box sugar free strawberry jello
1 1/4 cup water
2 1/2 cups strawberries (washed and cut up)
1 baked pie shell

Mix pudding mix, jello mix, and water together in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave pudding mix, jello mix, and water 5-6 minutes or until the mixture is clear, not cloudy.  Put strawberries into the baked pie shell.  Pour cooked mixture over the stawberries in the pie shell.  Chill til set.

Check out Alton Brown's pie crust recipe on the Food Network.  It's my favorite..

I'm hoping to make one of these for the hubby on Valentine's Day. 

Now I really need to go finish a project,

Friday, January 20, 2012

T is for Trista Quilt

When my daughter graduated a few years ago (OK it was 2006) I wanted to give her a keepsake.  I decided to try my hand at quilting.  This was my very first quilt project:

T quilt pattern

I started about a year ahead of her graduation picking up fabrics I thought would be great in a quilt just for her.  I found things like Little Mermaid, Rug rats, Ballet, Harry Potter, Violins, Star Wars, well - you get the idea.  I would just purchase a yard of fabric and  put it away.  I was new to starting a quilting stash and became quite a fabric hoarder.

One weekend I talked my husband into a road trip to McPherson, Kansas (about 3 1/2 hours away) to a quilt shop I had heard about.  I had never been to a quilt shop, but as it turns out, I have a lot of friends that quilt and suggested I visit one.  I was going to provide a link to the shop, but looks like it is closed :( .  I was overwhelmed by all the selections at the shop and could only bring myself to buy a magazine.  I lucked out though.  The magazine contained the perfect inspiration for my quilt:  T is for Truth.

Better Homes and Gardens Creative Collection Publications Quilt Sampler 2003

I made the pattern a little larger to work with the fabrics I had.  This was a memory quilt of the interests and accomplishments through her first 18 years.  It was so much fun to make and she loves it.

Trista and I holding the quilt at her high school graduation party.

The black pattern was music notes.  I quilted around each T.

I better get busy on an unfinished project,

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Blog Banner

I've had some visitors ask me if I would do a tutorial on how I made my banner for my blog, when in reality I myself found a tutorial that guided me through it.  lol  First I checked out Picnik.  It's a web site for photo editing and lots of fun stuff.  I've seen it on other blogs for projects, so I decided to purchase the premium version.  I see a bunch of projects in my future on this site.  Next I went to this tutorial at The Mother Huddle (which is a fantastic blog).  It guided me right though it.

Then I went a little crazy with it and made a signature and a Favicon (that little box next to the address). 

Hope this helps,

Monday, January 16, 2012

Grandma's Pudding Cookies

I want to throw some recipes in once in awhile because that is another unfinished project I'm working on.  I want to make one of those cookbooks for our family.  I think that would be something I would use and enjoy.  I hate it when I want to make a certain recipe and have to look through every book and file until I find it. 

My Grandma Haskins was an excellent cook and was the cook at the Argonia Cafe when I was growing up.  I loved to stay the night with her, because that meant I could get up at 4:00 am with her and head to the restaurant to start making pies and she would make me breakfast. 

My Grandma Haskins with my kids, Trista and Randy in 1994
I chose to start with this recipe because it is simple and it is January.  January is not my best month.  I love sunshine and warm weather.  These little cookies, when made with lemon pudding, are little bits of sunshine on a plate...and they remind me of my Grandma.  She very seldom made simple things, so I will struggle with some of her recipes... lol

Grandma's Pudding Cookies
1 cup Bisquick
1 (about 3 1/2 oz) pkg. instant pudding
1/4 cup veg. oil
1 egg

Mix all ingredients until dough forms a ball.  Shape dough by teaspoonfuls into balls.  Place on ungreased baking sheet.  Dip bottom of glass into sugar; flatten balls.  Bake about 8 minutes at 350 degrees.  Makes about 2 dozen.  Good with lemon pudding or the flavor of your choice.

Lemon pudding cookies

 I've tried to make this recipe with sugar free pudding, but I need to perfect it before I put it on here.  We don't eat a lot of sugar in my house because of my husband's diet, but there are always exceptions.  He has type 1 diabetes and I do try to help him avoid eating sugary foods by trying to make them sugar free.  I'll blog some of those recipes as they happen.  Stay tuned...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Collage Photo Frame

I'm starting this year with a new attitude and I am going to finish projects that were started and packed away to be finished later.  I am blogging in hopes it will motivate me.  Here it goes:

Collage Photo Frame
I bought this frame at Hobby Lobby for $25.00 and stuck it in a closet months ago.  You can always count on Hobby Lobby to have things 50% off.  If it's not on sale I just pull up this coupon on my phone and they read the code and you get 1 item for 40% off.  I love to save money... I uploaded pictures at Walgreens and with a 60% off coupon code, I paid $4.00 for the pictures.  I was able to make them black and white on the editing tool on the web site.  1 hour later I was able to pick the pictures up at the store and put it all together.

From this....

To this.
(maybe it's time to find a window treatment..)

I have pictures of family everywhere in our house.  Here are some examples..

This is in our basement

Another Hobby Lobby frame in color..

My friend made this one for me after I was in her wedding.  I think it was a great bridesmaid gift.

My daughter's graduation.
I put them together for vacations, weddings, or any special event. 

One project down......