Happy Ho-Ho-Holidays!

Hola! Guttentag! First things first, what is that?!?!?
Any ideas? It's one big, freaky... fruit? flower? I just don't know. Whatever it is, I get the feeling it doesn't want to be touched. And or eaten. All I know is I can't stop singing songs from Little Shop of Horrors. Suddenly Seyyymooooore...
So what a good weekend! I'll have to take pictures to show you what the back seat of a Hyundai looks like when it's jam packed with champagne glasses. It's a sight, believe me. That's what a trip to Ikea gets you! That, and these cool shadow boxes that are really deep, just begging for a little art project. Literally. Begging. I heard them calling me from their shelf. Jaaaaanice! Buy us and take us home!! Well who am I to argue with little shadow boxes? They're Swedish, they've got to know what they're talking about. So I bought them and the champagne glasses, and other assorted stuff that you know you don't need but find yourself saying, "Come on! It's only $1.49!" I love Ikea.
And I managed to get a little sewing done too this weekend, I changed a zipper on my God-daughter's dress, (I know! A zipper! Who knew?!?) and I gave in to the peer pressure and made a few birdies. Now, the pictures I had in mind were just beautiful. Outdoors, natural light, maybe hanging from the camilla, nestled in the beautiful pink blooms. Unfortunately, Mother Nature laughed at my plans, the bitch, and hit us with a little rain storm. Not actually as bad as the weather man said, but positively ARCTIC! FREEZING COLD!! CAN YOU TELL HOW COLD FROM THE CAPITAL LETTERS?!? Cold, is what I'm saying. But my Sweet Baboo has been so good about keeping a fire going for the pup and I. Thank you Baby! 
So instead of those beautiful pictures, here are sad, sad, SAD pictures taken right in front of the monitor. Right here. It's like you're sitting on my lap. Nice! So here's the birds...
And that Cocker Spaniel taped to the monitor came with the computer. Don't know who she is, but I'm sure she's a beauty! I'll take better pictures once the fates allow. And them post them on Etsy so that they can fly free!! 
PS... I decided to bake today, my favorite cookies in the world, Molasses Crinkles. They didn't come out as tall as they should have, until the VERY LAST BATCH, when I finally realized that they needed more flour. Hmph! But hey, they taste good! And that last batch is magazine cover beautiful! Dang it!
Molasses Crinkles
3/4 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar (packed) 
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/4 cup flour
2 tsp soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
granulated sugar
Mix shortening, sugar, egg and molasses thoroughly. Sift together all dry ingredients; stir in. Chill.  Heat oven to 375 degrees. Roll dough in 1 1/4 inch balls. Dip tops into sugar. Place balls, sugared side up, 3" apart on greased baking sheet. Sprinkle each with 2 or 3 drops of water. (Hey! I didn't do that! I didn't even read that part! Oops!) Bake 8-10 minutes, or just until set but not hard. Makes four dozen cookies. 



I don't have much to blog lately. I've been very busy with the wedding. That's a statement that would have made my Mother sit up and begin the inquisition, but no, I'm officiating at the wedding of a friend, and I've also become the ipso facto wedding planner. I've just always wanted to use the phrase 'ipso facto', but I'm not entirely sure I'm using it correctly. But, ipso facto, there we are. So in an attempt to keep you interested, and so that you don't delete me from your blog list, here are some random pictures.
 First, my jelly rolls in the works.
EEEE!!! I love those jelly rolls!!! 
And this is my Ikea cabinet that is mounted to the wall next to my sewing machine.
What's in those drawers, you ask? Well, they are surprisingly organized. That missing drawer holds my safety pins and is currently in the back seat of my car waiting to baste some works in progress. I have one with specialty threads. One with die cut heart shapes. This one with donuts and beads for my embellished notebook covers.
And this one with the most commonly used feet and throat plates. I see some needles in there that should be in the needle drawer... hang on while I go fix that.
Thanks for waiting. Why are my pictures so yellow? I hate that. This is an apple slice garland that I bought for $4 years ago. It hangs over my sewing machine table. I just love it, even though it has "sugar" on it in the form of tiny, tiny beads that are prone to falling off. 
Here's some of my quilting books...
And this picture just DOES NOT DO THIS JUSTICE! This is some antique Japanese Kimono silk that was my Mothers. It's the most beautiful ice blue and it has a faint floral pattern. Now, this is all I ever saw of this fabric, since naturally my Mother wasn't inclined to let her little girl play with it, so this is what I thought it looked like. And it's beautiful. It really is.  
But IMAGINE MY SURPRISE when I opened it up and found out that the beautiful fabric that I had seen all these years was actually THE WRONG SIDE OF THE FABRIC!!! The RIGHT side is so unbelievable gorgeous, you just would fall over if you saw it. Fall right over. Boom. It's that gorgeous. I am going to take photography classes just so I can capture this beauty correctly. Or else send me an email and I will mail it to you so you can marvel in person. 
That's all I've got for now! Da Puppers is telling me that it's dinner time, in her sweet, delicate way, by chewing on my ankles. Must... Feed... Pup...


Sigh. I need new fabric.


Sooo... yeah, then...

I have nothing to say. Not working on anything, not anything real anyway. Do you ever have days (weeks? months?) when you feel like doing SOMETHING but you just can't figure out what? Nothing sounds good, nothing seems to work. Kind of like when you're driving in your car listening to the radio and no song sounds good, no station sounds good. Do you do that too? It's all just so "meh". Sigh... 
So here's some random pictures just for your amusement. 
Here's my "Autumn" quilt.
I cropped it so you can't see the wonky edges since I hung it on the wall while it was still damp. Here's a close up of the quilting...
 a fabric line that amuses me. I think I might need to make a Christmas quilt out of it.  
Here's my new DVD 
Have a great day! 


Look what I found!It's a blue jean quilt that I started a hundred years ago. It's a simple design, but I think it's pretty cool too. You cut circles out of the denim, then sew them together as a square. That didn't make any sense at all, did it? First you get a can of coffee, then sew the circles into squares, but don't sew them closed... So you've got your denim circle, and you draw a square that fits inside of that size circle and sew on that line. Let's see if I can find a tutorial that explains it better. Here you go...  http://www.equilters.com/library/jeans/jeans_gallbaros.html
It's not a Cathedral Windows design, but more like Cathedral Window's white trash cousin, showing up at the family reunion in her cut off jeans with the pockets hanging out, having only brought one bag of Fritos to the potluck. Cathedral Windows are hard. There's origami involved, and a lot of layers, and folding curves and baking soda and walnuts. I don't know the recipe, I'm just saying. This one is much easier. 
I'm thinking that I got frustrated that I was doing SUCH a horrible job sewing it together and stuck it away,  thank God I've mellowed over the years and have come to appreciate that done is better than perfect. And I'm thinking I was making it some sort of scrappy memory quilt, because there's a lot of fabrics out of other quilts that I've made, like this one, from a baby quilt I made...And this one, from a beloved co-worker who passed away...
And this was a piece of one of my favorite outfits when I was a kid...
And this one too. What can I say? I was a stylin' kid! It WAS the 70's after all!Wanna know what the back looks like? There ya go. And when you're done - you're ALL done! No finishing, no quilting, no tieing. Just throw it on the dog and it's good to go. And speaking of da puppers, she stunk had to get a bath.
Awww! Poor baby. Is there anything more pathetic?
She would tell you "No". 



What do you think about this little gem? I call it "Bird With a Broken Toe" or perhaps "Broken Toed Bird", or "Ow! My Claw Hurts!" 
Something along those lines. 
He's a prototype, to be sure. That teeney little black wire was a little iffy. Maybe some piping instead? I kind of like him though. See how I cut him so that the swirl kind of makes a wing? Oh, the possibilities. 
This one's for you, Lisa.


Happy Labor Day!

Good evening Cats and Kittens! Happy Labor Day! And what better way to celebrate than by laboring? So here we are with the fruits of my weekend labors! As you may remember, when we last saw our plucky heroine, she was in a complete quandary, a pickle if you will, about how to arrange the blocks for Lil' Olivia's Olivia -the-Pig quilt. Well, the votes are in; check out the winner! 
POW! Like THAT! 
You see what we did there? You see how the dark background blocks sort of anchor the corners and how the sashings are all mixed up? 
I wanted it to be totally crazy-nutty-koo-koo, but I guess this is as nuts as it's going to get.
 I tinkered with adding piping in between the blocks, but it really didn't add anything, so pphftt to that. But wait! Act now and we'll double your offer! 
Here's a little summpin that I threw together out of scraps and leftovers, old tin cans and dryer lint. That old thing? Oh no, t'wernt nothing. I had fifteen minutes between Project Runway reruns, so I just threw it all together and stirred. It's destined to go to Reese, the grandson of good friends of ours
. He smiled at me when I talked baby talk to him, and that's really the only thing I ask for. I'm sure if I saw him now he wouldn't give me the time of day, but hey. He smiled at me once, and that's good enough. 
How much would you expect to spend for this fabulous offer? $99.99? $299.99? Well if you call in the next five minutes, we'll sweeten the offer with THIS! 
(Sweet Baboo's hand not included)
How awesome is that? I can't tell you how much I love these colors. Mark's niece Lisa had a sweet lil' baby recently. Little Dixie Lee will love it, I'm sure. How could she not? It's fabulous. It's clashy and exuberant, like overblown, blousey homegrown roses. Like Ethyl Merman at cocktail hour. Like the Southern lady that I'm sure she'll be, with a name like Dixie Lee. 
My Mother would tell me the story of when they moved to Georgia, and she was so excited to meet honest-to-God Southern belles. She pictured afternoon teas and beautiful well coiffed women in big skirts, hot summer evenings fanning themselves on the veranda. Well she met one, all right, in her next-door neighbor who would sit on the porch in her shorts, (scandalous!) with a full glass of whiskey and her spittoon at the ready. And apparently, she never missed. She and Mom became good friends, but I'm sure she still wished for the occasional afternoon tea.
Hope you have a wonderful holiday! 


It's the Berries...

This is what I came home to.

She likes to sneak off behind the house when no one is looking. Through the gate, down the hill, into the wild blackberries that grow there. Then she can just graze to her little dog heart's content. Then she comes back COVERED in stickle-burrs, with that "What?" expression on her face!! It has to be the berries, because she wouldn't get off the couch unless food is involved. Seriously. This morning I left for work and said "Goodbye! I'm leaving!"
No reaction. 
"Seriously! I'm going now!" 
"I'm off to make money to keep you in dog treats!" 
Not even a twitch. 
So I walked over to her, (and checked to see if she was still breathing) and ruffled her fur and kissed her sweet doggie head and inhaled her warm puppy smell and smoothed her soft little belly and told her to have a good day, and that her Mama loves her. 
Nothing. Couldn't be bothered to lift her head! What a brat. But let me shake the treat jar, and it would be all loving concern!
 I had a conversation with a man at work a long time ago who is also a dog nut. We talked about how dogs teach you unconditional love, and I said, Wuhl YEAH! But not on HER part! She couldn't care less who feeds her or takes care of her, as long as she gets fed on time. If someone parks on our street and makes the mistake of leaving their car door open, she will happily jump in and investigate all their belongings. If they have so much as a stick of gum; she lives with them now. All the unconditional love comes from MY side of the relationship! She can growl and snarl and bite and kick and I still love her. The most disgusting things can come out of every orifice, and I will happily clean it up, and try not to embarrass her in the process. She can lay there on the couch and not even acknowledge my existence, and I still love her with all my heart. 

On another note, have you been watching Project Runway? Well you should, you really should. I have little paper dolls of all the competitors, and when they get eliminated I do something horrible to them! I really do love that show!! 


Johan Gutenberg ain't got nuttin on ME!

Hey! What's that thing?
Doesn't this girl know how to rotate her pictures?
That's pretty cool though, I must say...
What's that you ask? Why, that's a printer's box! It's a drawer that printers used to keep their letter blocks in. Block letters? You know, the little cubes that each had an individual letter carved into them so that they could spell out whatever they wanted. Not that I'll be keeping it next to my basement printing press, I just think it's cool. I see it ending up as an art project, sort of a wooden quilt, with little two inch blocks. Although, I have to say, in the night I dreamed of it being a Christmas decoration. Can't you just see it painted up with a tiny little Christmas vignette in each box? Finally, a use for those miniature ornaments that are so adorable, but that get lost on the tree. I can already tell that we're going to be fast friends, and that it's going to be many different things over the course of our life together. It called my name in an antique store this weekend. (And by the way, every time I spell the word 'antique' I hear Bugs Bunny in my head pronouncing it 'anti-que'. Just so you know.) And I couldn't leave him behind. He had a friend too, with different size rectangles, but the symmetry of this lil' guy with his perfect squares appealed to me. That, and he called my name louder than the other, and said that I was looking good, and did I do something with my hair? and hey, baby, how'dja like to take me home with you? Well how could I resist? I bet you couldn't either. He's fabulous.


Mmm... Lemons

Aren't they beautiful? My brave little soldiers, awaiting their fate as a jar of Limoncello. Lemon peels, 100 proof vodka, and time equal Italian sunshine in a bottle. Has to be 100 proof, apparently, so my Sweet Baboo is off to the local liquor store for a bottle of moonshine to indulge his sweetie. I can't wait! but I guess I'm going to have to, since you let it steep for 40 days, then add MORE vodka and some sugar and let it sit for another 40 days. Then, the websites say, you can drink it as a liqueur, pour it on ice cream, fresh fruit, pork chops... Ok, I made that last one up, but I bet it'd be good. 
Pepper is thrilled, you can tell. I know it seems like all she does is sleep, but it's either pictures of her sleeping, or close-ups of her nose, as she investigates the camera.


And Another Thing...

But wait! There's more pictures that you need to see! Doesn't she sit like a lady? I'm so proud. But I actually AM proud of how much fur she has, after all the medical issues she's had. She's a fluffy girl. Oh, Fluffy Butt! How could I forget her nickname "Fluffy Butt"! I call her that a lot.She's a good car dog. She never gets sick, and she's always up for a ride! 

Beautiful Girl. I love her so. 

Velcro and Velvet(Dog)

Here's the thing. I don't like velcro. I mean, I don't HATE it, it's not like I was frightened by a roll of velcro as a child. It's more of a I-think-it-looks-cheap sort of thing. But hey, it's velcro, right? And nothing does as good a job of being velcro as velcro. It's thin. It's easy. It doesn't have to line up perfectly in order to work. It is what it is. So I can see that I'm going to have to get over my velcro bigotry and eventually embrace the fuzzy little guy. Like this, for example...

It's cute, right? It's got a closure! Cause we all
 need a little closure. (I hope my shrink isn't reading this) But when I was sewing it up, all smug and sassy and self-congratulating on my closure, I forgot to put a snap on it. Or a piece of (shudder) velcro. Or an ANYTHING. SO it's very cute, but instead of a closure it has more of a... flap. A cute flap, sure, but a useless flap all the same. So what did I do on my next one? I was all smug and sassy and
 EXPERIENCED now, so I sewed a little design on the flap before turning it and sewing it on... and I forgot the velcro again. Ah well... Clearly I have some more work to do. In therapy. In my velcro-rehab. Sigh.

And here's a new design of baby bib. I love rick rack. As much as I DON'T love velcro, I love rick rack that much and more. 
So how cute is this with the rick rack around the edge? Pretty darn cute.

But don't you really want to see pictures of Pepper? She's the cutest little pup in the world! 

Here she is on her "cooling mat" (www.chillow.com) with her cute (if I do say so, and I do) lime green and floral cover. One leg out, like usual. 

And here she is putting up with me wrapping her up in a blanket. She's such a good sport! (That is my favorite quilt out of everything I've ever made, by the way. I'll show you that next time.)
She has a lot of nicknames. Pepper. Pepperoni. Pepperoni Pizza with Extra Cheese (Her pedigree name) Pep. Puppy. Petunia. Fleabag (from her father) Poodle. PoodleHead. PoodleButt. Baby Girl. Muffin Head. Tumor Head. Petunia Pie. PunkinButt. Princess P. Princess Petunia and the Deep Blue Sea. Beautiful. Precious. Magnificent Seven. 
Ok, I made that last one up. But she is magnificent, isn't she? 
And she'll be 10 years old on October 15th. Still just a pup.