Daily Post-Object Lesson (Sewing Machine)

This is going to be fun! The Daily Post has asked what object our friends would immediately associate with us if asked.  Their examples were Dorothy’s red shoes, Sherlock Holmes’s pipe, and the Batmobile.  I think my friends would associate me with my sewing machine.   It goes many places with me and has many adventures.  It hems pants and sews curtains.  It fixes rips and creates beautiful quilts and even decorates my home and family for the holidays.  It has its own waterproof rolling bag with “Sew on the Go” embroidered on it.  My sewing machine has seen libraries and community centers and even a local park.  It’s visited many a friend and relative’s house with me.  We do many things together my sewing machine and me.  It even has its own spot at the dining room table that it visits often, sometimes staying for weeks at a time….like now.  We have seen good times and bad together, celebrated accomplishments, fought, and not seen each other for months at a time, but I know that it is always there for me.  My sewing machine is my best friend and the bane of my existence…..or is that my husband?

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/object-lesson/

Productive Laziness! OK I Might Be Pushing It A Little

So, the past few days were pretty productive which, naturally, means that today was not….at all.  I woke up with a headache, yuck, but I managed to get rid of it by 10:00.  I did that by drinking pop and playing on my computer.  Well, the pop does help my headaches, probably because I’m addicted to caffeine, but mostly, it was probably the aspirin I took that helped.  I generally don’t recommend playing on a computer to help a headache.  After that, I went to visit my father-in-law.  I gave him a couple of planters for Father’s Day and he hasn’t pulled any weeds because I planted spinach and kale in them along with tomatoes and peppers and he didn’t know what was what.  As it turns out, there weren’t too many weeds.  It was mostly spinach and kale.  Yay.  I stayed and visited for 4 hours…yeah we all got a lot done today.  When I got home I played on my computer some more and picked up Chinese for dinner.  After dinner, yep, you guessed it, I played on my computer even more.

It’s been really fun though because I found a website that is all color palettes.  I spent a couple hours there looking at color palettes and creating a new Pinterest board just for them.  I also found a website where I can make my own color palettes from my favorite pictures!  That is really cool!  It’s called Colourlovers.  I signed up for free and can save all the palettes that I make.  I guess there is a lot of other stuff to do there too, but I haven’t explored all that yet. 

I need to sit down and write a list of all the stuff I need to keep up with between making crafts, and selling them at the market and online, and writing the blog.  I also started a Facebook page called Gardengirl Creations to promote the DeMotte Market and my Etsy page, but I really haven’t done much with it.  I also need to add some more items to my Etsy page and figure out shipping….etc….etc….etc…..  I think I’ll start that list tomorrow.

While I was at the market yesterday I pinned the next step of my quilt together.  I should sew those together tomorrow also.  Just today, about an hour ago to be exact, I got a request to make a t-shirt quilt.  I really hope she doesn’t want it done before her daughter leaves for school.  I’ll just have to tell her that it’s just not possible.  It’s weird how I feel so busy, but sales at the market are really slow, yet way better than last year.  I’m excited about how everything is going, but to most people it doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere.  I think the issue is that I have started a lot of projects and now I have to do things a little differently to keep them going and see them through.  The market has not been profitable and someone, who shall remain nameless, doesn’t see why I want to keep doing it.  I don’t think he’ll pay for it next year which means that I have to make (and save) enough money to do a couple of indoor craft fairs and really promote my Etsy shop so that I can make enough money to do it again next year.  I look at it as a small business where you always start out in the red and it may take a couple of years to show any profit.  I really want it to be successful so I’ll keep plugging along until it is.

So, while today was an incredibly lazy day, I did learn something new that will benefit my quilt making and possibly some other crafts.  I got a lot of thoughts and ideas on what I need to do to promote my crafts which I will put into a list tomorrow. I had a good visit with the in-laws.  I relaxed and picked a couple of cucumbers, and I got an order for a t-shirt quilt.  I guess it’s ok to be lazy sometimes.  Sheesh!  Who ever heard of productive laziness, but I think that’s how I spent my day.  Haha!  No one can tell me I don’t have a positive outlook!

Have a Creative Day!

Gardengirl

 

Productive Procrastination

Today was a very productive day.  Even my procrastination  was productive!  I started on the quilt at about 8:30 this morning.  I pieced a few strips together and then a few more.  Then I got up and made another cup of tea.  Then I pieced a few more and got up and looked in the refrigerator….then the cabinets.  I don’t know what I was looking for and I certainly never found it.  After sewing together 32 strips (my halfway mark) I went outside and wandered around the garden.  I started pulling the onions since I was supposed to do it last weekend, but didn’t get around to it.  Matching all the little corners was too tedious for me to do straight through I guess.  Here’s what I was doing:

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I took these pieces ^ and those pieces  ^ and sewed them together to make them pieces ^.  Lots of points.

When it all got to be too much I got up and procrastinated.  Working in the garden was my chosen method of procrastination today (after searching blindly through fridge and cabinets).  My daughter even came out to help me.  Smile  We got all of the onions harvested and put in the greenhouse to dry out and I got most of the garden weeded…..again.  I promised a picture of what the cucumber vines look like now so here it is.

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I’ve gotten several pickling cucumbers off of the vine already and today I picked one regular cucumber.  It turned out to be kinda small, but it’s all good. 

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The three on the left are from the pickling vines and the one on the right is a Marketer cucumber (slicer).  I didn’t even see the giant one growing until today, obviously, or I would have picked it sooner.  I dug out Mom’s dill pickle recipe today and it says that I need about 24 cucumbers.  I have about 10 right now so soon I can make a batch. 

Here’s my onion harvest.

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They’re kind of on the small side, but better than last year.  It’s a learning process. 

Back to the quilt.  Do you see how easy it is for me to have squirrel moments?  I’m easily distracted.  I now have 32 short rows and 32 long rows that need to be sewn to the nine patch squares.  Oops, didn’t take a picture of the nine patches.

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What I’ll end up with is 16 flowers.  The colors of the flowers are all different.  I used batiks for them and for the dark green leaves.  You can see small parts of the flowers and the dark green leaves in the picture above.  They’re all on a light blue background.  I’m finally starting to get excited about this quilt even though matching all the corners and seems is tedious.  That seems to be the best word I can find for it even though it’s a bit more negative than I would like.  Anyway, I feel like I’m finally getting close to having a complete top.  I’ll worry about the quilting later. 

All in all, it was a good and productive day.  I finished another step on the quilt, harvested the onions, weeded the garden and was still happily Mom and wife also.  I’ll be at the Market tomorrow so no working on the quilt.

Have a Creative Day!

Gardengirl

A Good Day

So today ended up being very productive.  Smile  As it turned out, I had all the pieces that I needed for the quilt that I am working on.  I didn’t realize that some of them were already sorted into plastic baggies with the pieces that they would be sewn to.  I sewed about 192 pieces into 64 2 1/2 inch squares.  Once I got going, I lost track of time and knocked them all out.  After dinner I started sewing those 64 squares into strips with the half square triangles I thought I didn’t have this morning.  I’m not sure if that makes sense to anyone, but it’s all my brain can handle right now.  Tomorrow I’ll keep going and hopefully have 16 squares all sewn together by the end of the day.  All that’s left after that is the two borders and the top is done.  With any luck, I’ll be quilting it by this weekend.  Then on to the hemming and mending…..yay.

Well, I actually feel better.  It’s not so overwhelming after all.  I even managed to make chili for dinner and vacuum. 

In other news, my pickling cucumbers are growing quickly.  I’ve picked about 6 or 7 and will soon have many more.  By Thursday I’ll probably have enough to make a batch of dill pickles.  Haha!  Another thing to add to my list!  That’s ok.  The recipe I’ll be using is from Mom’s Recipe Box.  I better make sure I have everything I need.  My vegetable garden is doing great.  I’m even keeping up with the weeding this year.  My flower beds are another story completely.  Sad smile 

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I can’t believe that these pictures were only taken 2 weeks ago.  The fencing is now covered with cucumber vines and the onions are ready to be harvested.  It’s literally overflowing.  I’ll take some pics tomorrow.  My tomatoes are nearly as tall as I am…granted that’s not much (5 ft.) but it’s pretty good for tomatoes!  They have a gazillion flowers and small tomatoes are forming, but I imagine it will still be a few weeks before they’re ready.  ‘’

I’m so happy with my garden this year because all of the plants except the bell peppers were started from seeds in my greenhouse.  For some reason, none of my bell peppers sprouted.  The jalapenos did fine though.  I also bought one squash or zucchini plant.  I can’t remember which….oops.  The squash plant that I started myself has 3 small yellow squashes on it already.  Everything is growing really well and it makes me smile.  That’s where I go when I need a break.  Smile

Until tomorrow…..Stay creative

Gardengirl

Overwhelmed

Good Morning!  Well, it’s morning for me anyway.   I’ve had a busy week and I keep thinking about writing here, but then I don’t have pictures of a lot of stuff, so I don’t.  I’ve decided that that is going to end.  I’m going to try to write even without pictures.  I will just have to try to paint a picture for you with my words sometimes.   This morning I’m working on a quilt that is going to be a gift, but I keep falling asleep at my sewing machine.  I really don’t know why other than it’s psychological because I’m at a tedious part of the quilt, putting a lot of little pieces together.  I also realized that I only have about half of the half square triangle squares that I need…..ugh! This quilt is already a year late and I want to finish it.  I tried for a change of pace and went downstairs to THE ROOM to look for a different project to work on.  There were many to choose from and I decided that the best course was to stick with the one I’m working on and finish it.  I REALLY need to start finishing projects before I start anything new.  I’m hoping this will motivate me because I have some new projects that I need to start and finish on a deadline. 

Maybe if I list some of my current projects it will help me organize my brain so that I can finish them. 

1.  Gift Quilt

2. Hem jeans (they’re mine…I currently have only 2 comfortable pairs)

3. Danielle’s Quilt (almost 2 years late)

4. Shorten straps on sundress for my niece.

5. Hem coveralls for hubby for work.

There are a lot more little projects, but I’m sticking with the major ones.  I would like to finish 1,2,4 & 5 in the next 2 weeks so that I can make Christmas cards and ornaments for Christmas in July at the Market. I will have to squeeze the cards and ornaments in between somewhere because Christmas in July is July 23rd…..2 weeks from now. Then I’ll finish 3 so that I can start on some new projects.  First on my list is a throw quilt for the hubby.  We picked out all the fabrics together a couple months ago and I created a pattern for it.  He’ll be upset if it’s not done for the cooler weather this fall.  I have a few other quilts to make also for my family and crafts to make in between for the Market.  I’ll be happy if the quilt tops are at least done by Christmas.

I’m not sure this is helping….starting to feel like it’s impossible to do all that.  I made some iced tea for a caffeine boost so back to work for me.  Hopefully, I’ll remember to update this tonight.

Have a Creative Day!

Gardengirl

Mom’s Recipe Box-Alfredo Sauce

I don’t know how it happened, but I did not get a picture of this dish finished.  Let me tell you, though, it was very good.  I have my own recipe for Alfredo sauce that I found online called Better Than Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce and it is delicious.  My husband asks for it all the time and he’s not a big pasta guy.  It is very heavy and fattening, but definitely worth the splurge.  THIS sauce from Mom’s recipe box is also delicious, but much lighter and easier to make.  As the person who cooks in the house, I would definitely pick Mom’s recipe over the BTOG, especially in the summer.  It is creamy and smooth and oh so tasty!  I also like that the recipe is written in Mom’s handwriting on a piece of stenographer’s paper.  She didn’t know shorthand, but she always used a stenographer’s notebook for writing down her notes.  I guess they are the perfect size, not too big and not too small.  Here’s a picture of Mom’s recipe and then I’ve typed it out for you.  If you like Alfredo, or if you think all alfredo is heavy, you should definitely try this one.  I added chicken breast to mine, but you could also add shrimp, or vegetables, or anything you like.

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Alfredo Sauce

6 Tbsp. butter

1 1/2 cups half & half

3/4 cup parmesan cheese

1 clove garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. chopped parsley

1/8 tsp. pepper

Heat butter in 2 qt. saucepan 3 min.  Add garlic, saute 2 mins.  Stir in half & half, cook 3 min.  Stir occasionally.  Stir in cheese, parsley and pepper.


You can’t get much simpler than that.  Give it a try!  I hope you enjoy this recipe from Mom’s Recipe Box.  Coming up this week is “Drumsticks” (The recipe looks easy and I bet kids love it!),Jell-o Popsicles and Taco Burgers…YUM!

Have a Creative Day!

Gardengirl

Mom’s Recipe Box-Double Chocolate Treasures

Hi!  I have another recipe from Mom’s Recipe Box.  These cookies are definitely a treasure!  They have whole chocolate chips, melted chocolate chips and powdered sugary sweetness.  They were really easy to make and quick to cook because you can fit more than a dozen on a baking sheet.  I fit 16 easily.  This is a recipe that Mom cut out of the newspaper in Florida and I doubt that she ever made them.  She didn’t really like sweets, but she loved finding a good recipe and having it ready if an occasion ever came up.  I, personally, am very grateful for that practice and especially this recipe.  Thanks, Mom! 

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Double Chocolate Treasures

1 12 oz. pkg. semisweet chocolate chips, divided use

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups rolled oats (quick or old-fashioned, uncooked)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder’’

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)

Preheat oven to 350Melt 1 cup chips in heavy saucepan over low heat.  Stir until smooth; cool slightly.  In mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Blend in eggs, vanilla and melted chocolate; set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine oats, flour, baking powder and salt.  Add to chocolate mixture; stir well.  Stir in remaining chocolate chips.  Shape dough into 1-inch balls and roll in confectioners’ sugar, coating heavily.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake 10-12 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool 1 minute; remove to wire rack to cool completely.  Store in airtight container.  Makes about 5 dozen.


Apparently, the “Store in an airtight container.” part is rather important as the cookies tend to absorb odors from the air, at least according to my husband.  The recipe was submitted to the newspaper by Joanne Cherry.  There is no back story with it so I don’t know if it is original to her or not, but thank you, Joanne!  These are delish!

Have a Creative Day!

Gardengirl