Friday, January 30, 2009

Trying to Stretch Budget - Random thoughts and ideas

Seeing the Rosie the Riveter poster reminds me that our ancestors went through tough times during their lives just as we are going through them in our lives now.

I've been trying to find ways to s...t...r...e...t...c...h my budget!!!!!!!! There is only Rich and I plus Misty(cat). We don't eat out a lot......just a couple times a month on paydays. I try to find coupons for our meals if possible.

If we go to Sizzler we both get the all you can eat salad bar and a drink. Sometimes we forgo the drinks and just have water. This way we can have soup, tacos, fried chicken, salads and dessert.

If we go to Wendy's, we order one meal with a diet drink, 1 small frosty and a burger from the $1 menu. That way Rich has the burger from the meal, the frosty, 1/2 the fries and I have the burger from the $1 menu, diet drink and 1/2 the fries. We found that this saves us at least $2 from when we ordered 2 full meals. We both get enough to eat and we've saved a couple of bucks.

We do the same as Wendy's when we go to other fast food places.

I want to try making my own Laundry Soap. It sure sounds like it will be a savings. I need to buy the Borax, Fels Naptha bar soap and Washing Powder. I can buy the first 2 at Walmart......need to find where to buy the Washing Powder. That's on my list of TO DO'S!!!!!!!!

We have started using Cloth Napkins instead of buying paper napkins. We also use cloth towels instead of paper towels so much. I've decided that 1 roll of paper towels a month is enough and we only use them for nasty spills, etc. I've found that the 1 roll is lasting for more than a month........I buy them when they are on sale and I have a coupon to put in the pantry.

I've been reading a lot of blogs about saving money, couponing, freebies, ect. There's a lot of good information out there if you have the time to search. I've joined a few newsletters and follow some of the ladie's blogs. Thanks to all of you who put in the long hours of research.

One of the things that I do to stretch my budget is recycle clothing into useful items for my home. I use the fabric for quilts, pillows, rugs, potholders, craft items and lastly rags.

I've started crocheting rugs out of old T-shirts. I cut them straight across under the arms (saving the upper part and sleeves to cut into rags). Then I start at the bottom on an angle and cut that piece into strips about 3/4" wide. I use a "K" hook to crochet the rugs. I like to make them rectangular. I crochet one row leaving a tail at both ends for fringe. WARNING: You need to put something on the bottom of them to keep them from sliding if using on slick floors.

At Christmas time I made some of the boys pillows out of recycled Jeans and flannel scraps from making Rich's shirts. I also used recycled stuffing from a couch that we had thrown away. That's another story. They turned out wonderful and looked very outdoorsy. I want to make some for myself. We have a outdoors theme in our living room and these would look great. I think I will make them a little bigger than the ones I made for the boys.

We decided to get rid of our couch because my back hurt something awful after sitting on it for a few minutes and I couldn't get up off it without help from Rich. Dad had given it to us when he found a couch he liked better. It really wasn't in that bad of shape.....a few spots where their cat had sharpened his claws. So when we decided to get rid of it I told Rich that I was going to recycle the fabric and the stuffing if possible. I got a lot of fabric to make totes, teddy bears, ect. It was overstuffed and there was a lot of nice stuffing that I could save. After gleaning all I could of the fabric and stuffing we broke down the couch and saved the wood for firewood. The rest will go to the dump.

Now I am using a chair until we find a different couch that is easier to get off and doesn't hurt my back.

I have been buying good quality hamburger and stretching it by using TVP (textured vegetable protein). The TVP picks up the flavor of the meat and seasonings or sauces. Since hamburger is Rich's favorite meat this really helps out a lot. Me, I could care less if I have meat or not.

Growing up we didn't have a lot of meat on the table.....mostly fruits and veggies that we grew or harvested free. Dad worked in a plywood mill and Mom stayed at home taking care of us 4 girls........yep 4 girls and no boys. We would help Mom in the garden and then help her can fruits and veggies for winter. Dad and Mom would buy staples when they were on sale for the pantry. They tried to stock up as much as possible because in the winter time Dad's mill would close and he would only have unemployment coming in to take care of the family.

Gardening........I've been looking at the seed catalogs that have been arriving in my mailbox lately. We only have a small raised bed garden and some containers. We are going to try to add to them this year if possible. We have to make sure that the area is fenced because of the herd of deer in our area.

Last year I had chicken wire around my wasn't high enough and they ate the tops off of my potatoes. We got a would have been better if the deer hadn't ate the tops. So this year we are going to add another 3 feet and then put a top on each of the containers. I found a site that sold Potato Bags for growing your potatoes. I didn't want to pay the asking price so I made my own. I took weed barrier sheeting and made the bags. I cut 24" diameter circle and then made a cylinder of the sheeting and sewed it to the circle to make a bag. We put about 12" of blended soil and then put about 5 potato chunks evenly spaced. We added about 6" of soil and waited until the potato plants started coming up and added more soil. We did this until we had the bags filled almost to the top with soil. We had placed cylinders of chicken wire around the bags as we started filling them to help hold their shape. At the end of the season when the tops die back you can dump the bags and harvest your potatoes. I can't wait to try this again this year......with better results. I had 3 bags last year and I want to make at least 3 more this year. We sure enjoyed the potatoes that we harvested last year. No chemical taste because we grow organically.

Well, I'm off to get the potato salad started for Superbowl Sunday! It was requested by Rich along with his Hot Chicken Wings. Being as Superbowl Sunday was between paydays I had to shop for the Goodies last payday and put them away in the pantry for this weekend. I've been dying to get into the Tortilla Chips since I put them in the pantry.....which is in the closet of the Craft/Computer room!!!!!

Rich's Dream Van

Last night Rich asked me to look and see what Split-Window Volkswagen Vans were selling for on the internet. Believe me.......we can't afford one no matter how much Rich wants one. They are going for between $3,000 to $13,000. I asked him why he didn't buy one when he was in the Army stationed in Germany and have it shipped home??? His answer: I was interested in a lot of other things and not thinking of the future! Well, I guess that answered my question!!

Rich has had the dream to own one of the split-window Volkswagen vans for years. Being a good wife I did buy him one for his birthday one year.........he didn't see the humor of a split-window Volkswagen van keychain. I think he should have been more excited........after all I did have to search for the darn thing in several stores before I found one in a Dollar Store! Did I mention that I also gave him a framed photo of a van to match his keyring that year???????? At least I tried to give him his have to give me credit for trying.

Maybe one day when I either win a sweepstakes or a lottery he can have his dream fulfilled.........until he will have to keep dreaming. Maybe he might settle for a framed cross-stitch of his beloved van. NOT!!!!!!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Soft Rolled Sugar Cookies

I thought I would share the recipe for Soft Rolled Sugar Cookies. I was given this recipe by a friend, Jeannette. We was visiting with her and her husband, Steve one evening when she served these cookies. They were so good!!!!!!!! I swear that Rich ate at least a dozen and a half of the cookies that night. Jeanette asked if I would like to have the recipe. That was 20 years ago and Rich can never get his fill of these cookies.

Instead of rolling them out I pinch off dough and roll into balls about the size of a walnut. Then I place the balls on cookie sheet and press with the bottom of a glass...the one I use has a pretty design on the bottom. Then I sprinkle with plain or colored sugar and bake. The secret to these cookies being soft is the amount of baking time. DO NOT OVERBAKE!

I'm sharing this recipe on I'm sorry there isn't a link......couldn't get it to work today.


1 cup soft margarine
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 1/2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Cream margarine and sugar. Add eggs, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir flour with baking powder and salt; blend into creamed mixture.

Divide in half. Cover; chill 1 hour.

On lightly floured surface roll each half to 1/8-inch thick. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters.

Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 6 to 8 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE!!!!!!!!!

Makes 13 dozen cookies (I don't get that many when I roll them into balls.)

Dreaming of Spring

While sitting here looking out the window at the dreary, foggy, cloudy morning I've been dreaming of Spring. It's right around the corner waiting to bring us beautiful flowers and springtime babies.

We love to go to Wildlife Safari (Winston, OR) to see all the springtime babies that are born. The babies are so cute romping, jumping and being playful. When driving thru the park you get to see all the little babies and their mothers. We have seen all kinds of deer and elk babies, goat babies, lion babies, cheetah babies, zebra babies, camel babies, ostrich babies, the list goes on and on.

They are all so sweet it is hard to pick a favorite!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Morning in Rainy Oregon

Enjoying another rainy morning in Southern Oregon. We have been fortunate to have a mild winter so's been foggy and cloudy but not much rain or snow. This morning it has been raining cats and dogs. We live in a mobile home and the rain was hitting the roof so hard that I could hardly think. Thank goodness that we have a double roof on our mobile home that does mute the sound somewhat.

Speaking of sounds........we have neighbors 4 houses down from us that play their music so loud that we can hear it above our conversations and TV or radio. They play this thumping music so loud it vibrates the mobile home at times. They don't care how late they play their night it was on from around 5:30pm until 6am the next morning. We have talked to one of the neighbors across the street and he said that the sheriff's department cannot do much about it unless we call them and report it. The sheriff's department said they would monitor the complaints and after they got so many (didn't say how many they needed) they would respond to the house where the music is being played loud. By the time they respond we will be deaf!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm already deaf in my right ear and my left ear intensifies sounds.

I better quit blogging and prepare breakfast. Then I need to get ready for church services this morning.

After church I hope to sew some. Yesterday I didn't sew much because I worked on a cross-stitch project. I haven't worked on it for a while because the lighting needed improvement in the living room. Now, I have better lighting and it was easier to cross-stitch yesterday. I'll post a photo of my cross-stitch project later.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Stashbuster Retreat Weekend

My Yahoo group....Stashbuster's is having a Weekend Retreat. I've been busy this morning finishing up a few chores that I didn't finish yesterday. I had a couple of load of laundry and some fabric that I bought for a block swap to launder today. I had to finish packaging up the bulk hamburger that I bought yesterday to put in the freezer. Then I threw ingredients in the bread machine for a loaf of bread. I always use the dough cycle and then let the dough rise in bread pan before baking. It just came out of the oven and smells so yummy. I also stirred together a big batch of Sugar Cookie dough to bake later for Rich's lunch.

I hope to be finish sewing the last 2 blocks for the Block Swap so I can get them mailed Monday.

I'll probably work on my Double Delight Mystery quilt more this weekend.

I'm off to go play with my sewing.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I don't think I like Grocery Shopping anymore!!!!!!!!!

When I was in my freshman year of high school I took Home Economics! I learned how to prepare my menus, how to shop, how to store our groceries, and how to cook. I really enjoyed learning how to prepare my menu by checking out the newspaper ads and building my menu around them. That was a lesson I continue today......well, let's just say its been a few years.

Yesterday I sat and prepared my menu for the next 2 weeks using the on-line ad where I do most of my major shopping. I always allow 20 main entree's.....that way I have extra for weekends. I prepared my shopping list. Then I checked in the kitchen and pantry and marked off the items I already had and added items that I needed.

This morning I took Rich to work and then went grocery shopping. The store I shop at in open 24 hours a day. I love getting there at 5:30am............not a lot of people shopping just the people stocking the shelves.

I didn't have a very big grocery list this morning. Thank Goodness!!!!!!! I only purchased 39 items and it came to $62.94!!!!!!!! I used to be able to almost fill a grocery cart for that price........for crying out loud I didn't even buy ground beef this morning. We'll be eating ground turkey when I get that big bird thawed out that I bought on sale before Thanksgiving and all ground up. I bought very little produce or dairy products.

I hope that we get a tax refund this year. I want to go to the grocery wholesale store and stock up on staples......flour, sugar, pasta, oil, etc. It costs quite a bit to stock up on these the long run I feel it is a savings.

Well, I better get off my soapbox and return to town. I need to visit with Dad and Mae for a while and then I have a couple of errands to run before I pick Rich up from work at 2:30pm. After he gets off work we have to go to Walmart for Rich's eye exam.

Hmmmmmmmmm......wonder if I can talk Rich into going out to eat after his appointment.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Butterfly Block from He--!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As you notice I have found the perfect place to take photos of my blocks.......I pin them to the Wolf Blanket that hangs on my living room wall.

I have spent more time today Ripping and Snorting on this block than I have the last 6 months of quilting and sewing. That's why I call it the Butterfly Block from He--!

I'm in a Block Challenge Swap with 12 other ladies. Each of us got to choose the block we wanted and the colors. One of the ladies said she wanted Butterfly blocks in any size, color or way of making them. I haven't appliqued much since I did appliques back in the late 60's.....early 70's. Then I just did appliques on my little sisters playclothes......teddy bears, dogs, ice cream cones, etc. Anyway I wanted to find a butterfly that was pieced. I looked for months and finally found the above pattern. It was 12-1/2 inches unfinished. The same size as all the other blocks in the swap.

I decided to use butterfly fabric as the main wings and chose a complimentary color to go with it. I chose to set it together with a white background. I had decided to use black for the body and then embroider the antennae.

Everything went fine cutting out the pieces required to assemble the block. The problem started when I was trying to read the instructions and sew the block together. The instructions were not clear about having to do the sides opposite....I got confused about which color was which number......finally after ripping and snorting several times I tossed aside the instructions and just looked at the photo of the finished block and put my block together. Then I went to embroider the Black embroidery floss to be found in the 5 boxes of embroidery floss that I own.......not a single piece of black floss. So I decided to use a black/brown floss. Embroidery is not really my cup of tea......I would rather cross-stitch. My mother did beautiful embroidery pieces up until she began to lose her eyesight from complications of Diabetes. Also, my sister, Bobbie does beautiful embroidery and cross-stitch.

As you can see after 5 hours of ripping, snorting, sewing, and ironing I finally got the block finished.

And I had thought of making an entire queen size quilt using this pattern.......Yeah, right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Finished Bright Hopes Baby Quilt

I finished the Bright Hopes Baby Quilt last night. Rich took it to work this morning for Baby Alicia. This is her Papa's last day of work for a few weeks. I loved the way it turned out with all the bright colors. It was approximately 45 x 54 inches.

UPDATE: Rich said the Proud Papa was speechless when he opened up the package containing the quilt. He told Rich that it was beautiful and he knew that his wife would love it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Weekend Retreat

The first 2 photos are the Mandarin Oranges that I canned last week. They will make a nice addition to the pantry.

As you can see in the above photo........I was enjoying my Weekend Retreat sewing. I enjoyed sewing in my housedress most of the weekend. Rich and I had quick and easy meals throughout the weekend.

On Monday I cut out and started sewing 18 heart blocks. I belong to Quilt N Friends Yahoo Group and we give Love Quilts to members who have had losses in their families or tragedies. We were getting low in our stockpile of blocks so everyone is making as many blocks as they can to send to Karen.....who keeps the blocks until a quilt is needed......then she sews together the top and other ladies who have long arm quilters will quilt them. We also send in $$ to help out with batting, backing and postage.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Busy Saturday

I had a busy Saturday. I spent most of the day sewing on my Double Delight Mystery Quilt. I was able to sew lots and lots of the square in a square blocks. Now I have to trim them. I completed 12 of the Rolling Star Blocks and 6 of the Double 9-patch blocks.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Two Wolves

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, "My son, the battle is between two "wolves" inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace , love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather:? "Which wolf wins?" The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Letter From Rep. Peter DeFazio, Fourth District, OREGON

I was concerned about the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and how it would effect my selling on Etsy. I wrote to Rep. DeFazio and voiced my concerns. Below is a copy of the email that received from him this morning. It makes me happy to know that my concerns were heard by my Representative.

Dear Ms. Bishop:

Thank you for your recent message regarding the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. I appreciate hearing from you.

As you know, on February 10th the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act becomes effective. The bill was a response to importers bringing in dangerously unsafe products from China. The bill passed the House by a vote of 407 to 1 as it was considered a common sense piece of legislation that was designed to keep our children safe.

Unfortunately the Bush Administration's Consumer Product Safety Commission, which is in charge of drafting regulations in order to enforce the new law, did a poor job of explaining what was expected of retailers and consumers and have written what I believe are overly strict interpretations of the law. As a result, countless retailers, thrift stores, charities and even small toy manufacturers have contacted my office in confusion not knowing what they are or are not allowed to do when the law becomes effective.

One if the main points of contentions is the new provision that bans lead in excess of 600 parts per million in children's products. While we can all agree it is important to protect our children from this dangerous substance, the CPSC provided little to no guidance to consumers, retailers or manufacturers on exactly what is expected of them when the law becomes effective. As a result rumors spread across the internet and amongst retailers about the new law, many of them untrue.

The CPSC recently released a press release (located at ) intended to provide guidance to consumers that did speak to some of these concerns. The release stated:
The new law requires that domestic manufacturers and importers certify that children's products made after February 10 meet all the new safety standards and the lead ban. Sellers of used children's products, such as thrift stores and consignment stores, are not required to certify that those products meet the new lead limits, phthalates standard or new toy standards.
The new safety law does not require resellers to test children's products in inventory for compliance with the lead limit before they are sold. However, resellers cannot sell children's products that exceed the lead limit and therefore should avoid products that are likely to have lead content, unless they have testing or other information to indicate the products being sold have less than the new limit. Those resellers that do sell products in violation of the new limits could face civil and/or criminal penalties.

Furthermore, in response to complaints from small manufacturers, the CPSC is now considering some exemptions to the new regulations. Specifically, they are considering an exemption from testing certain materials that are not scientifically known to contain lead (like wood, cotton, gemstones, leather, etc), as well as looking into easing restrictions on batch testing for small manufacturers. The current regulation mandates all products be tested for lead, as well as all of its components. This is a burden for small manufacturers.

Some groups have responded to this confusion by trying to delay or even eliminate the implementation of the new lead standards. Others have asked to exempt these new standards from unsold or used inventory. I am opposed to this. If a product is unsafe, it is unsafe. It doesn't matter when it was made.

That being said, I feel the recent efforts by the CPSC have provided some clarification for retailers and manufacturers, but more can be done. I recently sent a letter to the CPSC asking them to respond to a series o f detailed questions so people will get accurate information about this new law. Once I receive a response I will forward it to you.

Thanks again for contacting me. Please keep in touch.

Rep. Peter DeFazioFourth District, OREGON

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fab Hop Shop

Several times a year they have the Fab Hop Shop where you find the bunny (above photo) and register to win prizes. I've participated in several of the hops the last few years. I've won 2 $10 gift certificates from 2 different stores. I had fun shopping with my gift certificates. One I used for fabric and the other I used for a acrylic ruler.

I've found all but 1 of the bunnies in the January Hop. I know where the bunny is supposed to be........just can't find it where the hint tells you to go. I can't see all the page where the bunny is supposed to be located.....tried moving up the window and I still can't see the bottom of the page. I emailed the quilt store asking them about the hint and what happens when I try to view that page. No reply back yet.

I'm still working on my Bright Hopes Baby Quilt. I have it ready to tie out......hopefully tonight. Update: Rich said that the Proud Papa's last work day is not Friday but the following Thursday. That gives me a few more days to finish it.

I will be doing some canning this afternoon. I bought a couple of boxes (5 pounds each) of Mandarin Oranges over the holidays. Usually Rich loves them in his lunch.........he says he's tired of them now. So, I'm going to can them in half pints and I can use them in salads, desserts, ect. I also purchased 20 pounds of apples the other day when they were on sale. I'm going to can them as slices to make Apple Brown Betty, Apple Pies, ect. Soon it will be time to start canning asparagus. I haven't canned asparagus before as I didn't have a pressure cooker. Rich and I bought one when Bi-Mart had them on sale a couple of years ago. I've used it to can Veggie Soup and it was wonderful..........that's something I need to can several pints of this year. I love to open one of the pints up and have it for lunch.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Quiet Day

It's been a quiet day for me so far. I've been working on the Bright Hopes Baby Quilt this morning. I have the top all sewed together and now I need to get the top, batting and backing basted. I had thought about free motion quilting it yesterday. I've changed my mind and I'm going to tie it out. I think that will make a fluffier quilt and give it an old fashioned touch.

I've also been doing some research on the internet........finding lots of new to find time and money to do them. I'm already trying to plan projects for next Christmas' gift giving. The ladies are easy to figure something's the men and young boys that stump me. After all I grew up in a household of 4 girls........that's right Dad was the only male in the house...........unless you counted the dog. For Dad we had our standby gifts........socks, after shave lotion, flannel shirts, Levi's, tools and Goodies!!!!!!!!!! I think Dad likes the Goodies best of all. It is a tradition that I always buy him a bag of Brach's Coconut Sundaes to put in his Goodies. He also likes Black Jelly Beans, Fiddle Faddle and Cashews. Those 4 items are his favorites.

Okay...........I have Dad's gift I need ideas for the rest of the men in the family. I did buy a pattern to do car organizers. There was a real nice one that hangs on the back of the front seat. That would work for some........some of the guys don't have cars or they drive pickups......back to the drawing board. I have a while before I really have to decide what to do for the guys. After all its only January and I'm already thinking about Christmas. What happened to Valentine's Day, St. Patty's Day, Easter, 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving???????????? Seriously.......Christmas time will be upon us before we are ready............just as always.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New Project-Bright Hopes Baby Quilt

One of Rich's co-workers is going to be the Proud Papa soon of a Baby Girl. I thought I heard Rich say that the baby wasn't due until the end of February. It seems she is arriving sooner. This Friday will be the Proud Papa's last day for 6 weeks. I wanted to get the quilt finished before he took off. I decided to use the Bright Hopes block for my baby quilt. I'm not a typical person when it comes to colors...........I love bright colors. I found the fabric for the center blocks, backing and binding at the Salvation Army Thrift store. There was about 3 yards of the fabric and it hadn't even been washed. I decided to use reds, greens, blues, yellows and purples for the block borders. The above photo is the blocks that I have finished so far. I'll rearrange them after I get the next 15 blocks done. I hope to have all the blocks sewn today and maybe sewed into the quilt top. That will give me Wednesday and Thursday to quilt it. I will wrap it and send it with Rich on Friday and he can give it to the Proud Papa!!!!!!!!! I'm going to quilt it on my machine using a meandering pattern. I can quilt the smaller projects on my regular sewing machine with no problem. It's the queen-king size that I have problems doing. I'm going to have to experiment quilting the larger quilts in sections one of these days.

I'll post a photo of the finished quilt in the next few days.

I'm still sewing and cutting on my Double Delight Mystery Quilt. The more I sew on the blocks the more I'm glad I changed the pinks to reds.........cheddar to yellows........and the brown to black. If I have calculated right there are 2,172 pieces in the Double Delight Mystery Quilt.

I can't wait until I can order Bonnie Hunter's new book........Scaps and Shirttails. i'm ordering it from her website and she will autograph it. I hope by chance that I'll be able to meet Bonnie at the Sister's Outdoor Quilt Show in July.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I've been busy so far today!!!!

I'd love to make one of these cute Scottie quilts. They were popular......I the 1930's.

I've been very busy so far today. I've been cutting more strips, squares and triangles for my Double Delight Mystery Quilt. I bought 2 different yellow fabrics yesterday to add to the 2 I already had purchased. I also bought more beige and tan neutral colors........didn't get enough so will have to buy some more tomorrow when I go into town. I still need more for my 3 1/2" squares and 2 1/2" triangles. I knew that I should have bought a 1/2 yard of each of the neutrals yesterday instead of 1/4 yards. Then I would have had enought to finish cutting all the pieces of the quilt today. Oh, and learn.

I can't believe all the fabric I have been using since I started making Bonnie Hunter's Mystery Quilts. I really need to start replenishing some of my colors. I'm low just about every color in the rainbow. I've also made 12 blocks for a Block Challenge swap, 5 blocks for a Block of the Month Swap and made 8 Love Blocks for one of my Yahoo Quilting Groups out of my stash recently. Plus I made several Christmas gifts using fabrics from my stash. Now you know why it's getting low.

The Love blocks are 8-inch pieced Heart Blocks. We use red or pink for the heart and white or white on white background. The blocks are put together into a quilt for someone that needs love due to losing a family member or other tragedies in their lives. When a quilt is needed one of the ladies sews them together into a quilt. Then someone on our group will quilt and bind them. We send donations for backings, batting and postage to the lady who is in charge of storing the blocks. I think it is a neat idea.

We also do Baby Blocks for making Baby quilts for our members. They are 6-inch 9-patch blocks done in pink and white or blue and white. When a quilt is needed the procedure is the same as for the Love Quilts.

I've even been using out of my Birthday Box that I received in September. One of my Yahoo Quilting Groups has a Birthday Box swap each year. I have participated in it for 2 years now. I received my box with 45 Fat Quarters in it last September. I had listed dog, cat, wild animal, wolves and a rainbow of colors. The ladies picked out exactly the types of fat quarters I had in mind. I can't wait until my birthday this year to see what the ladies picked out for me.

I better get busy and get all my fabrics and scraps cleared off the dining room will be time for dinner before I know it. I get so wrapped up in my sewing and quilting that I forget time.

Did I tell you that I purchased the Simplicity pattern yesterday for making Miniature Vintage Aprons to use as ornaments, etc. I need to go through my stash and find some vintage looking fabrics to make some of them.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Change of Plans for Double Delight

As I wrote about earlier I had to get a different yellow for my Double Delight quilt top. Well.........the color will blend in great and look fantastic............but there is another problem. I need 30 of the Rolling Star Block to make my quilt a queen size. That would mean I would have to do 15 blocks using each of the yellows.........I only have enough of the original yellow to do 9 blocks. Either I have to just scatter them in amongst the other yellow block or put the Rolling Star Blocks on hold until I can buy so I can buy more of the original yellow print.

I think what I have decided is to buy at least 2 more yellow prints that would match the 2 yellow prints that I have now. I will make the blocks using the different yellow prints.........each block will have the same yellow print throughout. When I go to set all the blocks together I will just place the different yellow Rolling Star Blocks randomly.

Yep, that's what I will do. I would rather do that than put the quilt on hold. Unless I tell anyone what happened they will think I'm creative and planned the different yellow print Rolling Star Blocks to be different.

Good thing that Joann's has Keepsake Calico on sale starting today for 50% off. After church this morning we will stop by Joann's.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Price of Groceries

Yesterday was my bi-monthly grocery shopping trip. I carefully planned my menu for the next 2 weeks and prepared my shopping list. guessed it!!!!!!!!! I left it sitting on the counter instead of putting it in my purse when I finished writing it. I didn't want to go back home (30 miles one way) and get it so I tried to remember everything on the list. When I got home I discovered that I had forgot fresh potatoes. Oh, well.........we have instant potatoes and frozen hashbrowns.

I almost fainted in the store when I looked at the price of canned tuna........we're talking about the little cans of ordinary tuna packed in water. The last time I shopped it was 65 cents a can for Chicken of the Sea.......I refuse to buy Western Family Tuna as it is a product of Vietnam........yesterday Chicken of the Sea was 88 cents on sale. The other brands were 98 cents a can. I wouldn't mind paying the higher price if you got a can of tuna. When I drain off the juices I usually end up with about 1/3 tuna and 2/3rds empty can. I told the checker if tuna went up anymore I would have to start eating Misty's cat food.........actually it looks better than the tuna I have been buying.

Tuna is the lastest grocery item that I have noticed that has really increased in price lately. Pasta products are pretty expensive too!!!!!!!!!! I normally buy pasta products at the wholesale store in 10 pound boxes. I haven't had a chance to get to the wholesale store.........I had to buy spaghetti and elbow macaroni yesterday. I guess you know that I only bought 1 pound of spaghetti and 2 pounds of macaroni.

I better get off my soapbox and finish putting away the groceries that I bought yesterday.

Double Delight Finale!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love the way that Bonnie added the simple border. See Bonnie's quilt at her website The quilt itself is busy and I think that a pieced border would have distracted from the beauty of the quilt.

I can't believe yesterday when I went to Joann's to purchase the yellow fabric that I was using for Cheddar.......they didn't have a single inch of it available. The yellow print fabric has always been available as it is one of their basic fabrics they carry at all times. The lady told me that they would get it in but she wasn't sure exactly when or if it had been ordered yet.

I decided to use another yellow print that will blend in with the yellow print fabric that I have already used. I will make the Rolling Star blocks identical except the yellow print. I will alternate the blocks and it will look as if I planned to do that all along. I have enough of all the rest of the fabric to finish the quilt....fingers crossed. If not......I'll figure something out!!!!!!!!!

Yesterday I checked out the Sally Shop (Salvation Army) to see if they might have men's shirts on sale to recycle. NOPE...........they are now charging $2.75-6.50 for shirts. I'll wait till they have bargain days on them or find them elsewhere. I won't pay over 50-cents for shirts if I'm going to recycle them. I did happen to run across some yardage while I was looking around. I found 2 yards of the cutest children's fabric for only $1.45. It is white background with red, blue, green, purple elephants scattered randomly. I'm thinking about using it to make a baby quilt for one of Rich's co-workers. I'm not sure yet! I aso found some beautiful white fabric and some shirting fabric. The store was having a storewide 25% off sale for the I saved even more.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Quilter's Poem

Antique Nine-Patch set on point.

This poem was posted on one of my Yahoo groups this evening. She said it came from the back of a Country Woman magazine.

Quilter's Poem

I can shop all day
and hardly spend a dime.
But let me in a fabric shop-----
I nearly lose my mind!
I see those lovely fabrics
so pretty and so bright
My eyes take on a glassy look
(it really is a fright).
My knees, they start to shaking,
my nose begins to twitch.
As I look at all the colors,
my fingers start to itch.
I picture Dresden Plate
done up in yellows and blue
Oh, look at that lavender
just right for Sun Bonnet Sue!
Across another aisle
It's true I almost ran
For a shade of brown I had to have
to make for Overall Dan.
Drunkard's Path or Ohio Star
pieced in that real bright red
Would be absolutely beautiful
covering my bed
I gasp, I pant, I simply
lose all sense of time
As I pick out all the colors
that I have to have as mine!
I hurry home, my purchases
clutched tight beneath my arm,
Dreaming of the quilts
I'll makeand how they'll keep us warm.
Housework gets forgotten
butI have no pangs of guilt
As I start cutting and a-piecing,
`cause I'm going to make a quilt!
Beverly Page

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Double Delight Update

I'm still cutting and sewing the smaller Nine-Patch blocks together. I just had to finish a few of the 2 main blocks and lay them out to see how my colors blended together. I was really worried about the red being too much. I'm still not sure if the red around the edge is going to overpower the inner blocks or not. I won't know that until I cut some of the outer triangles and sew them onto the rows of blocks.

Before finishing this top I'm going to have to buy more of the neutral colors.....tan and beige prints. I see that Joann's has Keepsake Calico Prints on sale for 50% off Jan. 11-17th. I will have to go into town on Sunday after church and get some of it for my Double Delight Quilt and to add to my stash.

I see that they also have the one pound skeins of yarn on sale for $4.99. I need to buy some white and either pink or yellow to make a baby afghan for one of Rich's co-workers. He and his wife are expecting their first baby (girl) in February. That will give me something to take with me when Rich and I have to ride the DAV shuttle to the Portland Veteran's Hospital on Feb. 5th. I can crochet on it while traveling and while waiting for Rich to have his tests done.

I see to that they are having Simplicity Patterns for 99 cents each........limit 10. I was looking at the pattern book before Christmas and made note of some patterns I would like to have. I'll have to see if some of them are available. Also they are having 90% off selected Christmas items. I'll have to check them out Sunday when I go shopping.

Okay, what else can I find in the sale brochure??????????????? On Jan 18 and 19 they are having a 2-day sale. I see they will be having all Rotary Blades 50% off. Hmmmmmmmmmm................I'll write down the exact description of the rotary blades that I need and have Rich pick them up after work on Monday. After all he does just work across the street from the shopping center where Joann's is located. I already asked him if he would stop and get the rotary blades for me. I told him that it wasn't worth driving 30 miles one way to Joann's on Sunday for 1 item. He told me that he didn't mind stopping and buying them for me. What a SWEETHEART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mystery Quilt Revealed!

All teasing can find the photo of the finished quilt on Bonnie's website at

I plan on adding another row across and another row down to make it bigger. Which means I have 12 more of the Rolling Star blocks and 11 more of the Double Nine-Patch blocks to make extra. I have it planned out on paper so that it comes out with the Rolling Star blocks on the edges like Bonnie has in her photo.

The colors Bonnie chose for her quilt give it a old-fashioned look. After seeing her colors I am questioning my choice of colors.........mine are brighter especially the red that I used instead of the Double Pinks. I'm hoping that the red around the edges don't overpower the rest of the blocks. Time will tell.

Found a Butterfly Block!

After months of looking for a butterfly quilt block pattern I have found one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wanted one that was pieced and not appliqued. I can applique but not good enough in my opinion to give to someone in an exchange. I'm going to use White on White fabric instead of the black. So far, everyone that has posted in the forum has used white for the background for the butterfly. I haven't decided what color to make the block. The lady that choose butterflies for her blocks told us that it didn't matter what size, pattern or color we made her blocks. I'm leaning toward a blue and yellow..............or green and yellow...............or orange and yellow.................rats too many color combinations that would be pretty. Guess I'll have to make a butterfly quilt and use a rainbow of colors. I think that if I make one I will use black as the background..........its so dramatic looking.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Death of a Friendship

It feels like death when a friendship ends. I met a lady on a weight loss group that I belonged to last year. We became best of friends. We are both very creative and we exchanged lots of creative ideas with each other for months. Suddenly she drops out of the weight loss group without any explaination. She sends me a email telling me that she can no longer email explaination.......zilch. For about 6 months I did not hear from her and then I received a message through my Etsy store from her. She told me that her husband had hacked into her emails and her weight loss site...........he didn't like my emails to her so he forbid her to have anything else to do with me or any of the weight loss ladies. I emailed her back and told her to take care and I would miss her.

Right before Christmas I received another message from her..........she then started sending me messages frequently. I thought that everything was okay and she could email me once more.

Wrong!!!!!!!!! Today I receive a message from her telling me that she was grateful that we had reconnected again. Then she went on to write that she was sad but she couldn't talk to me anymore.

I send a reply to her message............I told her not to bother sending me any more messages or going into my Etsy store and looking.......I cannot handle a friendship that is on one day and off the next. I told her that I hoped one day she would free and be able to have friends. Maybe I was wrong.........I just don't need the stress of that kind of friendship in my life.

I will miss my dear friend!!!!!!!!!

Busy, Busy, Busy

It's a busy, busy, busy day for me today. I've set goals of completing 2 quilt block swaps that I'm participating in right now. One is a Block Challenge and I have 2 more blocks to make out of 12. I'm struggling with a butterfly block......can't find a pattern that I really like. The other block is cut and and just needs to be sewn together. The other swap is for the January BOM swap. I have 5 Contrary Wife blocks to make. I have most of the blocks cut and just need to sew them. I want to get both of these swaps finished, packaged and ready to mail Friday when I do errands .

I'm still working on my nine-patches.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Step 6 has been posted.

Bonnie posted Step 6 this morning. We are finally getting to lay out our blocks to form the quilt. I don't have all my blocks sewn yet.......I'm still working on those pesky little nine-patches.

After looking at the layout and what size the center of the quilt without the borders will be I'm going to have to go back and make more of Steps 1, 2 and 3 because I want more quilt hanging over the edges of our bed. I hate to have a quilt that just barely goes over the sides and ends of the bed. One quick roll by Rich or I and the other one has a bare b___!!!! Not ideal sleeping conditions in the winter months.

Bonnie said she will be posting Step 7.....borders on Wednesday or Thursday. I think I will have plenty of cutting and sewing to last me until then. It will be a while before I'm ready to put on the borders.

Off to calculate how many more blocks I need to make in Step 1, 2 and 3.

Cell Phones........Pro and Con

I have just spend the last half hour activating my new TracFone cell phone. I think my eyes are permantly crossed from all the numbers in all the different codes required. I kept at it and now I once again have a cell phone available for my needs.

I had a perfectly good one until Christmas Eve afternoon. Rich and I both have cell phones as we did away with our in home phone........that's another story. We had stopped on the way home from Dad and Mae's to buy more minutes for our prepaid phones at the Truck Stop. No problem so far........I bought 120 minute cards for both of our phones. Rich added my phone card to my phone while I went into the store to get a couple of items. After putting the groceries in the back of the van........I got into the driver's seat. Rich handed me my cell phone and I put it in my jean pocket where I always keep it. I had to stop at the post office and drop a letter in the outside box. I couldn't quite reach the opening so I opened up my door and leaned out to drop the letter in the opening. I shut the door and we drove home.

After getting home I went to use my phone and couldn't find it. Rich used his phone to call my phone. We couldn't hear it ringing so Rich went out to the van thinking I dropped it in the van. No ringing phone in the van. The phone must have dropped out of my pocket when I leaned out the door to mail my letter. Rich called the post office. The lady said she was going out to clean the parking lot and she would call back if she found the phone. No call back. About that time Rich's phone rang and somebody was calling from my phone that I had lost. They would not talk.....Rich told them that it was his wife's phone that they were calling from and she had dropped it at the post office. Would they either let him know where he could pick up the phone or take and turn it in at the post office where it was found. They hung up. They called several more times that evening......they still would not talk. I do hope that they enjoyed using my phone that was my only means of communication for emergencies and other times.

I ordered a new phone from TracFone on Dec. 26th. It was to be delivered by FedEx in 3 days. I realize with the holiday and weekend that it might take a few extra days...........I didn't realize it would take until Jan. 5th to receive my package. My 3 day delivery turned into 10 day delivery. Next time........I'll wait and go to WalMart, KMart, etc. and buy one. I would have really been upset if I had to pay for the was FREE!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

A Gift from a Friend

George is one of the members of our church and shares a passion for wolves with me. This morning before church he told me that he had something for me out in his car. After church services we went out to his car and he gave me this beautiful wolf lithograph. He said that he had accidentally bought a second copy and he hadn't know what to do with the extra copy until he found out that I loved wolves as much as he did.

George invited us to stop by his home after church to see his wolf collection.......which includes a real 2 year old Wolf. His collection was awesome.........I looked and looked and looked some more. He also had a 1942 Chevy pickup sitting in his driveway............old vintage pickups are another passion of mine. He then had to show us his new touring motorcycle. Of course, it was sitting in the garage.

You would never know that George is 80 years young. He is so full of life and loves to share with others.

Step 5 has been posted!!!!!!!!!

This is my Double Nine-Patch block
I'm still working on Step 3 blocks.....those darling little 3 1/2-inch nine-patches. I have several done and several more to finish.
I did jump ahead and use some of them together with my 3 1/2-inch neutral prints to put one of the Step 5 blocks together.
I really like how the colors I chose are coming together. I think pinks in Bonnie's block are pretty.......but I love the way my red pops out.
Well, back to the sewing machine to sew more nine-patches.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Step 4 Block Finished This Morning

I'm still working on Step 3 blocks(which are the small 9-patch block in center). I just had to take some of the small blocks and put them together as directed in Step 4. The block is 9 1/2-inches after sewing the nine 3 1/2-inch blocks together. I love the quilt so does Rich.

By the way there is already over 3,000 pieces to the quilt. I don't know how many more pieces there will be to cut and sew yet. Stand by for update.

Step 4 has been posted

Step 4 has been posted. We are combining our small blocks to make 1 large block called Rolling Star Block. We are to make 30 of these large blocks.

I have Step 1 and 2 finished and I'm still working on Step 3. I have my three 1 1/2-inch strips sewn together and I'm in the process of cutting those pieces into 1 1/2 -inch strips. Then I have to sew them into 9-patch blocks.

Back to the cutting mat!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Curiousity killed the Kitty Cat......Satisfaction brought it back!!!!!!!!!!!!

Step 2
Step 3 a Lighting was bad when I took photo.........the light blocks are not yellow.........they are different tans and beiges.

Step 3 b Lighting was bad when I took photos..........the light blocks are not yellow.........they are tans and beiges.
Yes, curiousity killed the kitty cat........but satisfaction brought it back. I was so curious about how my colors for my Mystery Quilt was going to go together that I did samples of Step 2, Step 3a and Step 3b before I finished all of my Step 1 blocks.
I think my colors are going to be beautiful........patting myself on the back.
I have to quit sewing for a while as Rich is home and its time to prepare dinner.

First Friday of the New Year!!!!!!!!

Farmyard Angel Kitty
Farmyard Angel Piggy

Farmyard Angel Bunny

Farmyard Angel Cow

It's the first Friday of the new year. Wow!!!!!!!!! I've been very busy this morning. I checked in at and downloaded Step 3 of the mystery quilt early this morning. When I get to that step I will be using red instead of pinks and my neutral colors as used in step 1.
I finally took photos and got the Farmyard Angels (above) listed in my Etsy store. My best friend, Jen (her store is Boogalooloo Bedding) has been encouraging me to list more items in my Etsy store (Squirreltree). In fact, she challenged me to list 5 items by the end of January. I'm proud to say that I met that challenge this morning and have listed 5 items. I have more items that I will list later this month.
I have all of Step 1 blocks sewn together. I just have to finish pressing and then trimming them to size. I cut all the triangles for Step 2 this morning and 45 of the 120 2 5/8-inch blocks. I thought I had enough of the Dark Yellow/Gold fabric and I didn't. It is a fabric that Joann's carries all the time. I never thought I would use that much of the color so I only bought 1 yard. I told Rich this morning that I'm going to buy 2-3 yards of it when I go shopping. Of course, you can see his eyes rolling up.........actually he never complains about any crafting or quilting supplies that I purchase. He loves to see me crafting or sewing. Thank you my dearly departed Mother-in-law for being a sewing lady.
I'm off to have lunch and then back to working on Step 1 blocks.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year and Double Delight Clue 2

Happy New Year everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was quiet noisy around our house last night. Poor Misty spent most of the night right next to the bed or on it. There was gunshots, fireworks, and loud music until around 4am this morning. We have these neighbors that shoot off fireworks.........we are talking the kind that you usually see on the 4th of July......the bombs bursting in air.......they light up the night sky in reds, blues, whites, greens, get the idea. Anyway they shoot off fireworks for the slightest thing.......we're talking holidays, birthdays, Saturday get the picture. They also shoot off ones that are just sound.........we're talking the noise shakes the home. Yes, its illegal to shoot off fireworks privately.........that's a little technicality that doesn't stop them. The police says they have higher what do you do????????? In the summer when its dry you pray that they don't start a fire. Off my soapbox and back to quilting.

Bonnie posted the second clue for the Double Delights mystery. I will be using my Dark Yellow/Gold for her Cheddar. I will use Black with Silver print for her brown print. We are to make 120 of these blocks.

I'm still working on Clue 1. I have 2 triangles sewn on all my blocks. Now I have to cut off the dogears and press all 120 blocks. After that I will sew on the 2 opposite triangles and press all 120 blocks again. Then they have to be trimmed to 3 1/2-inches...........yep all 120 blocks.

I'm so happy that I have learned how to use rulers since finding Bonnie's site. That and getting a rotary cutter and mat. They sure make the cutting go faster. Of course you have to be careful in cutting your strips or you will get a valley and hill in the middle of your strip. I did that at my strips are getting straighter.

I was very fortunate to win my rotary cutter and mat. I belong to Quilt N Friends Yahoo group. Ann was having a quilt-a-long and I participated. She gave out prizes for the first one to finish sewing a themed top and a scrappy top. I was the first to finish a scrappy top. She decided for the prizes to let the winners Make A I wished for a rotary cutter and mat.

Well, off this computer and back to sewing and sewing and sewing and then pressing and pressing and pressing then cutting and cutting and cutting.