Saturday, October 31, 2009

What a Beautiful Day to Be Out and About!

Yep, there's plenty to be done here at Muddle Manor, but Mr. Sweetie Pie and I took the day off and went for a little ride. I wanted to visit a few resale shops. It's been a while since I've been out of my own little area and there were some good shops we visited years ago. To my surprise, they were all right there where I had left them. :)

And some other interesting looking places I need to go back and check out later. ; )
These guys, on the other hand, just creep me out! (They are selling used cars.)

It was such a gorgeous day, people were out everywhere enjoying the day and catching up on work outside.
I couldn't resist taking a picture of this building, mainly because of the little travel trailer in front. It looked to be piled high with stuff inside, but whether it was storage or someone is living in it, I couldn't tell.
I found the sweetest little Anchor Hocking baking dish in the first shop we hit, and it was my only buy of the day, believe it or not.

If you look closely, you can see on the bottom of the dish some of the words I love to see on things I buy, "Made in the U.S.A". It's getting harder and harder to find those words. Seems most everything now is made in China.

This is a passing glimpse of one of the sweet old houses in the Heights. The Houston Heights is a historic district with many lovely old homes, some very nice newer ones and just about every other thing you can imagine.

This little collage is all fairly new, recently built houses in the Heights, though some of them look quite old, too. I love that some of them have ceiling fans on the upstairs balconies. Wouldn't that be a nice place to sit and watch the world go by?
Hope you've had a wonderful day, too. Enjoy Sunday!!
Hugs and kisses,

Saturday, October 24, 2009

No Sewing, But.......

Mr. Sweetie Pie and I worked hard all day putting in a new kitchen counter with a new sink and faucet.

From bare, horrible looking cabinet base (after ripping off the old counter), we have moved on to something a whole lot better looking.

I still have to put everything back in the cabinets and it's still a mess, but our new sink and countertop is so pretty and such an improvement.

Mr. Sweetie Pie is a keeper!

Hope you're having a great weekend.

Hugs and kisses,

Friday, October 23, 2009

Happy, Happy!!

It's a really good feeling to have my sewing machine back in its cabinet and back in the sewing room.

Not a perfect paint job by any means, but still happy.

This little baby quilt is ready to be quilted. Matter of fact, I had started it when my machine decided it needed a tune up.

And this one with Miss Jump's Scrapbag fabric is also ready to be quilted.

I have lots to do, don't I? And I am so happy!
Hope your day is going wonderfully well!
Hugs and kisses,

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Working My Way Back to You, Babe

I know, weird title. But I've been gone so long it seemed fitting. I have finally recovered from that virus that ran rampant around here. Thank God!

My faithful sewing machine had "issues" last week and I put it in the shop. It's close to 40 years old, a basic Brother model, and I haven't had it serviced in 30 years, so that's a pretty good record. I got it back on Monday of this week.

Trouble is - - - - it still hasn't made it off the dining room table where I put it when I brought it in.

You see, in my great wisdom I decided that it would be a good time to repaint the sewing cabinet. I sanded it and put two coats of paint on it. I thought the green would be good since I have an armoire in my sewing room that is the same color. Coordination is everything, don't you think? Anyway just before putting the sewing machine back into its cabinet I noticed a little flaw in the paint and thought a fine grade sandpaper would take it right out. It did. It also started the horrible process of every bit of paint peeling right off the cabinet.

So, after scraping, sanding, priming and repainting, I'm still waiting for the top to dry so I can put another coat on the inside. Fingers crossed!

On to happier things - - - Banana Pudding!

But first, I've got to tell you, I think this is a brilliant idea - cornstarch in a re-sealable container.

Anyway, for banana pudding, a staple dessert of the South and my all-time favorite, you start off with a cooked vanilla pudding. Here's my recipe:

Vanilla Pudding

1/2 cup sugar

4 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 cups milk

4 egg yolks, slightly beaten (save the egg whites for meringue)

4 tablespoons butter

4 teaspoons vanilla extract

Blend sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a 2 quart saucepan. Combine milk and egg yolks, then gradually stir into sugar mixture. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils.

It helps to have a willing daughter to do this. :)

While she's stirring and you're waiting for it to thicken, layer a 15 ounce box of vanilla wafers alternately with sliced bananas (usually about three bananas will do it) in a 4 quart baking dish.

After pudding has thickened, remove from heat and add butter and vanilla. Stir until butter has completely melted. Then pour over the layered bananas and vanilla wafers.
Make meringue with the four egg whites you saved from the pudding.
4 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mix egg whites and cream of tartar. Beat at high speed, gradually adding sugar, until stiff peaks form. Add vanilla.
Mound meringue on top of the pudding mixture. Bake at 400 degrees F until lightly browned.
This is traditionally eaten chilled, so mine is resting in the refrigerator right now until Mr. Cutie gets home for lunch. I've been known to eat banana pudding before it has cooled, and to me it's every bit as good. I know it sounds complicated, but it really doesn't take long at all, and it's so worth it! Of course if you want a not-nearly-as-good version, you can use instant pudding mix instead of the cooked one and forget the meringue.

This is patiently waiting for the weekend when Mr. Sweetie Cakes and I have a project planned. I'll show you more later!

On a totally unrelated note: Chloe has discovered running water.

Have a great day!

Hugs and kisses,

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Quilt Market

No, I'm not there. I'm here at home, still recovering. But, my good friend Karen Overton a trooper if ever there was one is on hand at the A-1 Booth (she's a local dealer and longarm quilter extraordinaire). This wonder woman is at the show, attending classes, manning a booth, AND posting about it! Her blog is .

Hugs and kisses,

Friday, October 9, 2009

Moving Very Slowly

I have had to really push myself to get anything done this week - achy, coughing, mostly miserable feeling stuff going on here. Mr. Sweetie Pie, Beautiful Daughter and I are all still fighting with it. Not fun. With the best will in the world, I find that I still have to stop fairly often and just go lie down and rest. Also of course, plenty of hot tea with plenty of lemon going on here.

Before it all hit, though, I did get the baby quilt pinned together and when I'm up for it, I'll get it quilted and bound.
I wouldn't exactly call it a moment of insanity, but in one of those moments when I was feeling strong I decided it was a good time to start another quilt. I've had charm packs of Miss Jump's Scrapbag for a while now with this project in mind. (Am I the only one with a head full of quilts trying to get out??)

Don't you just love the bird on the nest!
It's raining and supposed to be much cooler tonight, thank God! So in some of my slow moving I'm here watching the rain and the chickens and the birds. The sparrows make me laugh. They always move into the chicken yard when the weather gets bad. Pretty smart, huh!
Solitaire is a good thing. I don't care what anyone says. It just occupies one part of your mind and lets the other parts wander free!
And Miss Chloe is under the stool beneath my feet. That is when she's not rearranging my fabrics and stealing the quilting pins. Can't imagine what we ever did without her.
Hope your day is full of good things and that you have a wonderful weekend!
Hugs and kisses,

Sunday, October 4, 2009

News Flash!!

Among the Gum Trees is a collaboration of nine very talented sewing bloggers from that wonderful land Down Under. They have very generously made a pact to give away a Christmas design from each one for Christmas projects. The projects will be posted each Monday beginning tomorrow. (Actually it's already tomorrow there. )

You have GOT to go and take a look. The first is by Judith Tetley of Creative Studio, titled "Christmas Rose". Oh, it is SO pretty! I am not that great at embroidery, but I think I may have to dust off my skills and get busy.

Seriously. Go look!

Hugs and kisses,