Thursday, June 30, 2011

I actually made a THING, but I did it with..... BITTIES! lol

 From this ugly thing.... (already disassembled, sorry) ...given to me by my mother-

To this!

Made with bitties from the sewing theme- this is the other side of it-

 The bottom- the straps keep it from opening up too wide and putting too much stress on the corners of the tote at the top.  The little straps are sewn to the bottom of the bag, just tacked in the middle to keep them from drooping and dragging on the floor when it's folded closed.

Inside- a long gathered pocket divided into 3 sections and a strap for carrying.  Lining is Amy Butler fabric, just soft and lovely to work with.

The 2 sides- pinks on one side, yellows on the other....

All folded up and ready to tote! 

 I'm really pleased with how this came out.  I finally got to use some of my accumulated bitty blocks and for such a useful item, too.  I was going to use the old cover for a pattern but it was so complicated once I got it all apart that I decided it would be easier to start from scratch.  Plus- I was only able to get one piece of the dowel loose, which made it even harder to recover.  It was just easier to start anew.

Our new theme is Modern/Solid blocks- these are what I made.  The black bit is raw edge appliqued, I couldn't piece anything that small with curves. The blocks are 3.5" square.

And the other group is Clothing/Accessories- I made little ponchos with hangers.  I had a poncho in the 70's that was my favorite thing to wear, next to my jeans.  :)  I still have it, too!

 And my little helper, Gravey! 

So what are YOU working on these days?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

No, She Doesn't Worship Me, It Just Looks That Way!

Nosey Parker spends a lot of time outside these days and it's really hard to get photos of her when she's on the move all the time.  Tonight, though- she's parked herself on the bed and she's loving our new "quilt" from Target.  *Did a dozen of you just faint and fall over?  TARGET?  A store-bought quilt?  Yes, we needed something new and we needed it now.  I've shopped for weeks and the only thing I found that I liked was at Target, and it was faster than me making a king sized quilt that wouldn't even fit in our washing machine later.  So hush- I like it and I couldn't make anything for the $80 this cost.  End of disclaimer. *  ;)

Anyway, Parker hasn't budged since we put on clean sheets and this quilt- she's hogging the bed and having the best pre-nap nap.  :)  That's what my mum calls a nap before nap time.  She is still as cute as ever and is even wearing a matching purple collar, not that you can see it...  She still occasionally comes to me in the middle of the night and asks for a cuddle.  She stomps around on me until we both find her just the right position and she throws herself down and then we snuggle for an hour or two and I whisper in her ears and she gets all wiggly and cuddly and purrs and slobbers on me, it's so adorable and makes me feel good.  Used to be every night, but now it's just once a week or so, which is better for my sleep. 

 Gravey is usually asleep on her daddy's ankles.  He loves that.  Gravey is funny, you can move around all you want, once she stakes a claim to a spot, she won't move all night.  Not so with Parker, if you mess with her, she's out of there, she has 10 other places she likes to sleep in our room.

And there you have your Nosey Parker Unusual Sleeping Position of the Day.  :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Here's a first from me- a cooking success story!

 OK, so don't get too used to this, you won't see too much from me in the cooking or cleaning dept, because I don't really enjoy either one unless I have a real purpose, like company.  But, I got this recipe the other day in the little magazine that our local electric co-op puts out every month and it sounded good and looked OK and I decided we should try it.  (There's no indication of who wrote this recipe, sorry.)

Spinach Artichoke Pizza-theirs looked good, but ours looked better- bigger, thicker, beefier!

Here's their recipe and then I'll tell you what I did differently.

Spinach Artichoke Pizza

3/4 cup spinach artichoke Greek yogurt veggie dip
1 prepared pizza crust or homemade pizza crust, 10-12"
1 cup packed baby spinach leaves
1 cup canned artichoke hearts, slivered
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup pitted and halved Kalamata olives
1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400ยบ.  Mist a pizza pan with non-stick vegetable oil spray. Pre-bake crust for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown.  Baking times vary, for different crusts.  Spread artichoke spinach dip on hot crust.  Cover with spinach, artichokes, tomatoes, olives, feta cheese, and pepper.  Bake again for 5-7 minutes.  Cut and serve, serves 6.

OK, here's what I did differently.  I used pita bread for the crusts- I took three of them, oiled them up with some nice olive oil, sprinkled with oregano and baked them until both sides were brown and crusty.  Then I spread on the only yogurt/spinach dip I could find in our store, it wasn't greek or artichokey, but I made up for that later.  It's really tasty though and has water chestnuts in it which adds a little crunch, fun! Covered that with spinach, added pepperoni slices, piled on diced tomatoes (I'm too cheap to buy cherry ones) and then lots of artichoke slivers and slivered olives and lots of cheese and pepper.  Then baked again.  We quartered them for ease in eating.  
So I didn't do a lot differently and they turned out yummy!  Jim ate 1 3/4  and I ate 3/4 of one and then I zapped the 2 remaining quarters for lunch the next day and it was scrummy, even better than fresh out of the oven.  Served with salad, it's a feast!

Edit- GOAT CHEESE added on top of the spinach dip, but under the spinach, makes an amazing addition to these pizzas!  Also, some slivered red onion.  :)  Our pizzas are now coming out of the oven about 4" thick with goodies!  They're getting better and better, too. Also, if you can find the mini pitas,the pitettes, what great little appetizers these would be!

We'll have these again and they'll be great for summer entertaining, you don't have to have the oven on for very long and a clever person could probably figure out a way to do them on a grill, too. 

So there you have my one and only, probably, bloggy food recommendation.  :)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Scrappy Mug Rug 4 is complete! And some.........bitties, who'd have guessed? lol

 Another mug rug swap is finished- this is what I sent- a mug rug, a small wallet pattern and a wallet made from it, some round paper clips and a FQ of lime green, lime fabric. 

The wallet is made from Kaffe Fassett material, which my partner, messygoat/Elaine, just loves.  And she also loves circles, so everything here has a circular theme to it.  :)  She had commented on the mug rug as I was making it so I knew she'd like it.  I waited forever for that pattern to arrive so I could make her a wallet and give her the pattern, too.  (Please notice I didn't say I "gifted" her the pattern.  I hate the new, over-usage of that word, it just sounds pretentious to me and it's one of my few pet peeves.)  I'll give it or get it or receive it, but I'll never gift or be gifted with it, ugh.  OK, mini-rant over, sorry!

Anyway, she was happy!  And it made me happy to make her happy!  And I got even happier when I opened the package that came to my house the same day my package was delivered to Elaine's!  :)

Look at what I received!  My partner was freezeframe03, her name is Ann and she lives in CA. She is crazy talented and just the best sewer/crafter I've ever "met".  And she's sweet, funny and very entertaining and knowledgeable, too.

Not only did Annie make me the most perfect mug rug, she added all sorts of wonderful things, too.  Little rubber stamps with a sewing motif, buttons, a decorated envelope for the whole package AND the card, and a NP postcard!  I love all the goodies, what a great fun package to open. 

The mug rug is sheer artistic perfection.  She fussy cut the word fabrics for the borders, quilted it with NO backstitching, just buried knots and thread tails, did a fabulous job all around and I love it!  I liked this so much when she started posting sneak peeks and I had been hoping it was for me and I kept worrying that it would show up at someone else's house because I would have been disappointed to not get it!

 And she made this adorable postcard that looks just like Nosey Parker! 
Isn't it wonderful? I adore this so much!  Lucky, lucky me!

 The back of the mug rug is beautiful, too!

 I am thrilled with this swap, I had great partners both coming and going and you can't ask for more than that!  My swap mama, Kandra, did a great job!  Thanks, Kandra, and for going to Hobby Lobby for me, too.  :)

I am making Wonky Stars for the bitty group this month- My first batch is done- I did a set of 14 in shades of the rainbow.  They look pretty snazzy on the solid black background!  The swappers got to choose which color they would like.  I really hate to break up the set, they look so good together, I think. 

And Jim and I went to a Fireman's Appreciation picnic the other day, put on by the local business association, and they did some door prizes.  Jim's ticket won this- a great pottery candle holder.  It's really pretty and matches some pottery I already have, how cool is that?  It has a neat metallic sheen on one side where the glaze got smoked, I love that!  Paradise Pottery, outside Eureka Springs, if anyone is interested.  :)  (And I think it was the best prize given away, too, woot!  It was fun to jump up and claim it, he gave me his ticket to watch while he schmoozed with some other people.)

So all in all, it was an outstanding week!  I hope yours was too.