Monday, June 30, 2008

Lazy Day and Yellow Brick Road Baby Quilt

I think Bruno has the right idea for days like this - so hot all you want to do is take it easy.

I finished the Yellow Brick Road Quilt I've been working on for my niece's baby, due in November. So, another minor miracle - I'm ahead of the game for a change :).

I had a lot of fun with this quilt, and though I am nowhere near the level of skill I would like to possess, it still turned out pretty well. I hope she likes it.

I think my next project will be making another one of these for my other niece's daughter. For sure I've got plenty of fabric!

Isn't it fun to create something entirely new out of things you have!


Sunday, June 29, 2008

What to do with figs and a new baby quilt

Last night I managed to can eight pints of fig preserves. Here they are in all their glory. I canned six pints on Tuesday night and sent four of those to Mississippi with our son to restock my Mother's supply.


Not everyone likes figs. I don't understand this at all, as I think they are wonderful! I like to eat them fresh off the trees and the fig preserves are mighty good on a hot buttered biscuit. Yum!

Here's a recipe for a cake made with fig preserves for those of you fortunate enough to have access to fig preserves. They are hard to come by, which is why I started growing my own figs and making my own preserves :). This is from my friend Irene and is very sweet, rich cake.

Fig Preserves Cake
2 cups flour
1/2 tablespoon nutmeg
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup pecans (optional)
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup fig preserves, chopped
Sift together the dry ingredients; add oil and mix well. Add eggs; mix well. Add buttermilk; mix well. Add figs and pecans. Bake 40-45 minutes at 325 in 9 x 13 greased pan.
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 stick butter
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1/2 tablespoon baking soda
Mix all ingredients together; boil 3 minutes. Remove from burner. While hot, pour over cake. Punch small holes in cake with fork as topping is poured on.

A friend at church has a new "preemie" grandson, and I wanted to make something for him. This is the result.


I love those happy airplanes with the cat and dog pilots.

The cloudy sky on the back is pretty, too.

Have a great evening!


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Figs and Flowers

I've been picking figs today. The ladder in the picture is six feet tall, just to give you an idea of the size of that fig tree! No way can I get all the figs on there, but that's okay. The birds enjoy the feast!

And this is what's in the bucket you can see in the picture of the fig tree and the ladder. It's a "Hansel" eggplant. There are three of these little babies on that plant right now.

And this little fellow is a cucumber, believe it or not. They have very pleasing taste in spite of their lack of color. It was an experiment this year. You know how it is, I just wanted to see what it would be like. :) And there are lots of them out there in the little garden.
This supposedly "dwarf" black fig is growing next to our chicken house, and if you notice, on the other side of the chicken house is a rather tall sunflower that I did not plant. My guess is a bird dropped a seed. That plant is well over ten feet tall.

These four-o'clocks are some of my favorite flowers. They bloom in the afternoon and as it gets closer to dark, they are wonderfully fragrant.

These white ones really show up in the evenings. If you ever get these plants started, they just keep on growing. Their seeds look like little hand grenades, and as they fall to the ground you end up with a never-ending supply of these happy plants. They will still be blooming in the morning, but as the sun rises these blooms will be done.
I love my little corner of the world. Can you tell?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Birthday Cake + Quilt = Happy!

I made this little birthday cake for our older daughter. De - licious!

And I finally finished her Yellow Brick Road quilt. She's happy with it, and so am I.

Are you picking up on the fact that she really likes purple:)?

Have a great day!


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Fabric Bonanza and Snickerdoodles

I have found a wonderful new friend in my wanderings on ebay. Her name is Michelle . Turns out Michelle's fabric store is moving because her landlord has not been very diligent about keeping the air conditioning in good working order. Rather than move all their stock of fabrics, they have been selling (at really great prices) a lot of their stock on ebay.

This is some of the loot that came for me today. I am in fabric heaven.
I hardly know where to begin, but I can tell you - there's going to be a whole lot of sewing going on around here!

Happy, happy, happy!!!!

Oh, and I made the mistake of showing my Sweetie the picture of snickerdoodles Oiyi had posted on her blog. Guess what I made today?
I think hers look a lot prettier than mine, but these are still mighty good!

Have a great evening.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

That Still, Small Voice

I just read this story in a newsletter I get in my email each Tuesday::

We’d seen eight inches of rain fall in our hometown in a matter of hours, swelling the ditches and bayous and making lakes out of front yards. My friend was outside her house with her kids talking to another buddy on her cell when her children began asking if they could wade in the ditch. Vicki nodded, unwittingly setting in motion every parent’s nightmare. Within
seconds someone was yelling that nine year old Kenley had disappeared. She’d gotten too close to the culvert, and a current no one was aware of had pulled her under. Kenley was underwater, struggling unseen to hold onto the concrete sides of the pipe against the current trying to suck her on in. She was losing her grip when she heard these words, “Keep your arms stretched out above your head and you’ll come out the other side.” That’s exactly what she did. Kenley, seventeen inches in diameter, went through the eighteen inch pipe, face down, arms extended. Her frantic mother saw her pop out the other side. The seconds had felt like years. Her grateful family believes Jesus was with Kenley in that storm drain, telling her what to do; so do I.

I share their story as a reminder to parents of the very real dangers of an innocent looking ditch. But this story also holds a beautiful analogy for us all. Regardless of the trial you’re facing, going through face down with
outstretched arms will always be the best posture to bring you through and out the other side.

~Shellie Rushing Tomlinson~

Well, that IS an awesome thing to have happened. It reminded me that pretty much the same thing had happend to our son. He was a teenager, and a fairly new driver. He was driving our brand new car to pick up his paycheck from the Sears Outlet Store where he worked, about a mile away from our house.

He was on the access road of one of our Houston freeways - not quite as bad twenty years ago as it is now, but still. He overcompensated in steering, trying to avoid hitting a schoolbus that changed lanes in front of him and lost control of the car. He heard an audible voice saying, "Take off your seatbelt and lay down on the seat." He did. The car flipped totally over on its top side and actually slid up the on-ramp to the freeway.

The car was a total loss, the top of the car was flattened to the level of the seat tops, but our son had absolutely no injuries! Glory to God!

I don't know exactly how people get through this life without the guidance of the Holy Ghost, the third Person of the Trinity, but I am so glad and so thankful that He is there for us all the time, always warning us of things to come. All we have to do is listen and obey.

Have a wonderful day!


Log Cabin the Easy Way

Okay, seriously, why did I never know this? I am so intimidated by the whole quilting thing. I've made a couple, but still, I'm nowhere near where I want to be with quilting. :)

I recently found that I could actually order quilt blocks already cut out and ready to sew together. I ordered a set on ebay (one of my favorite places!). It came with all the beautiful fabrics cut out and ready to assemble.So, I set up a little assembly line on the extension of my sewing machine and got started.

Before I knew it, I had four blocks completed!!! How awesome is that!I had to take them outside into the natural light so you could see how the fabrics really look. Aren't they gorgeous!

This is so much fun. I've got to get back to it and make some more.
Here's where I got this batch, if you're interested: Jordans of Oregon

Have a great day!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Goodies in the Mail (I Love ebay!)

I just met the nicest lady on ebay. Her name is Rose of RAGGSTOROSES. And she sold me these beautiful fat quarters. They just came in the mail today. Yummy! They are so much prettier than the picture in the auction. I'm glad I bought them. And Rose was so nice, she even included a bonus - the piece of fabric on top of the pile:). I just love it when what I buy is better than I had hoped for, and when the seller is so nice!
Now I just have to make something extra special with all this goodness.

Have a great evening!


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Baking in the Hot Texas Sun

Yes, it is HOT! So far we're keeping it all alive and well, but it's taking careful watering.

Even the things that love the heat, like these crepe myrtles are feeling the lack of moisture, and if you look in the lower left of this picture
you can see the angel's trumpets wilting in the heat.

It is beautiful though, and as long as I don't have to spend large amounts of time out in the heat, I love it!

Here's a sneak peek at the quilt I'm making for our older daughter. Far from perfect, but made with a lot of love!

Have a great day!


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Catching Up

Wow! Two postings in one day.

I was just reading Jessica's blog and saw this great test for choosing paint colors for home decor. Don't know how accurate it is, but it was fun.

Here's what I ended up with for my number one color choice. Pretty good, especially considering that virtually every room in our house is blue:) !

Give it a try!

Have a great day.


Could It Be the Dog Days of Summer Already?

I'm going to blame the heat. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
I do have several projects going right now, but I haven't been able to make myself blog about them. One of the things I'm making is a Yellow Brick Road quilt for our older daughter. Here are the blocks all completed and ready to put together. I'll let you see what it looks like when I finish it.
I'm going to make a baby quilt in that same pattern for a niece who's expecting in October - a girl. I have the generosity of my neighbor to thank for these two endeavors. She's showed me the basics of this particular quilt and let me use her pattern. Score! Thanks, Sandy!
I'm really loving working with fabrics right now. Something about the coolness of cotton on hot days. Not that I'm out in the heat that much. Cave dweller in the air conditioning - that's me!
Hope you're finding something bearable to do right about now!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Yesterday's Wisdom

How true it is that we usually don't value what we have until we don't have it any more. Or in the words of the old country song, "You don't miss the water 'til the well runs dry".

As I was preparing lunch today, I was thinking about my grandparents. I was unusually blessed to have both sets of grandparents all the time I was growing up. I was especially close to my paternal grandmother, and not a day goes by that I don't miss her. She lived the longest of the grandparents, until I was a grandmother myself.

I learned so much from all of them. They were Godly men and women, my maternal grandfather a pastor, all pillars in their local churches and respected in their communities. They had all lived through The Great Depression and knew how to stretch their resources. They knew sadness and loss, but all came through that fire of testing strong, faithful, and with a great sense of humor. They showed me that a good laugh will always make you feel better.

Both my grandmothers were excellent seamstresses, cooks and gardeners, and my grandfathers could turn their hands to most anything that needed to be done. How I'd love to go back and really listen in all those times I just let their wisdom pass by unheeded.

Hope you're listening to that wisdom!
Have a great evening.