Wednesday, July 31, 2013

sweet friends...

Today I am sharing another of my projects I made for my submission to the American Craft DT call. I love this one, so even though I didn't make it , I'm glad I have this little mini of my boys and their best friends!


BIg-City Bags by Sara Lawson is on AMAZON!!!!! WOOT WOOT!

Sara's book, Big City Bags Sew with Style, Sass and Sophistication published by the wonderful folks at Martingale is available on for pre-order!!!!! 

Sara from Sew Sweetness was a small girl with a big dream! As long as I have known her, she has wanted to be a bag designer, this IS her passion and she is AMAZING at designing.  She wakes, dreams, breaths and lives patterns.  This book is not a thrown together with no attention pattern book...this IS the best DARN bag pattern book available!  

Here is a small sampling of the bag patterns that are included.  All the bags in this book have been tested by regular sewers with AMAZING results!  Sara always has testers sew her patterns first to work out all of the small details making certain that every skill level can use her patterns.  I can even sew her bags and I am NOT a bag sewer!!!!

LOVE this Tula Pink fabric!!!!  And I LOVE Sara :o) Isn't she adorable!?!?!

Congratulations Sara on a much deserved and fabulous book!!!!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Over the river and through the woods to Kelly Ann's Quilting we go!

The online quilting community us FILLED with the sweetest people!  I have been blessed with having the opportunity to have them as friends online and  sometimes I get the chance to meet them in real life!  Kelly Ann, I did meet online through a facebook friend, we have seen each other at Market and keep in touch daily online.  She owns a shop, Kelly Ann's Quilting, about an hour away from where I live. I meant to go last summer but for some reason or another it never happened.  I was able to get my act together and the kids too and take the backroads up to Warrenton!!!!!

So cute!

YAAY!!!! I love Kelly Ann!!!!!

The most exciting thing happened at the shop!  Adam lost his second tooth!!!!
Look at the gorgeous summerhome by Kathy McGee for Red Rooster Fabrics behind him...YUMMY!

Kelly Ann has many rooms of fabrics and Katy was lost in the colorful Batiks.  She is smitten with Neptune by Timeless Treasures.  I have never made a quilt for her since she could never decide on fabrics.

This is a free pattern on the Timeless Treasures site.

Tonga Neptune-Beneath The Waves Quilt by Heidi Pridemore

I think with some white ( you knew that was coming Sara) it would be PERFECT for the girlie. Now to sneak back and snag a set for my special girl.

There were also these pretties!!!!

And my FAVORITE!  I need a tote made with this one :o)

Kelly has a wonderful selection of Aurifil ( she even had a new shipment in the back room and I took a sneak peek) right next to her cutting station and I am sure it is so she can glance over at all the beautiful colors whenever she likes,LOL!

I wish I had taken more photos but I was talking so much I lost track of time. I will be going back to visit again and i can get more photos of the great selection of embroidery patterns and the vintage sewing machines ( I was swooning).

Many thanks to Kelly Ann, she is such a sweetie pie!   If you are ever in the Warrenton area or even if you are not, make sure to go say howdy and look around a bit, this shop is really worth it!

Fab Friday and Rockwell's Colors: Hang In There

On Sunday, I did the nectarine card for Jackie's challenge at Rockwell Designs to use the 2013 Pantone Spring Fashion Colors.  I got there to load it up and she had moved on to Lemon Zest.  But that is OK, because each of the colors goes until September 22 - you can go back and play with any of the colors.

I also had my eye on the sketch at Fab Friday and I thought it would work well with a Lemon Zest sun.  Plus, I hadn't cleaned my desk from yesterday's use of the charming critters from Mama Elephant's Up and Away and they just were not ready to be put away!!

Hang in There

I'm just happy I got to craft for a couple of days in a row.  My summer break from college courses was only two weeks so I have been back to a full-time schedule.  It's not so much that I don't have the time to craft, after all, many of you do it with full-time jobs and young children.  I just don't always have the brain power to craft.  I haven't had to read textbooks, do problems, study and write papers for a very, very long time.  I'm hoping my brain wakes up soon as the plan is to go back into the work world next summer after I graduate and I'm going to need the gears to be moving a little faster at that point.  I'm not consistently making it around to everybody's blogs to comment but please know that I am loving seeing what you do.  Even when I don't have the brain power to create a card, I can alwayts relax by looking at all of your beautiful creations!
  • Stamps: Mama Elephant Up and Away
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Summer Sun, Echo Park Dots and Stripes Candy Shoppe 6x6
  • Ink: Memento black and Copics
  • Accessories: Spellbinders dies, Avery Elle Lemonade sequins, dot of Liquid Pearls on his tail

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Paper Players: Sending Smiles

I hadn't treated myself to "cute" stamps in a long time, but this set from Mama Elephant was a must!!

Sending Smiles

Check out the clouds that this sweetie is floating through!

Sending Smiles close-up

I had so much fun making this card.  I realized that I don't color very often anymore but I LOVE it and need to do more!!

I also had a great sketch to work with.  The Paper Players had a tall panel and I knew it would perfectly!

  • Stamps: Mama Elephant Up and Away
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Coastal Cabana, Simple Stories I {heart} Summer dsp
  • Ink: Memento black and copics
  • Accessories: Taylored Expressions clouds impression plate, Mark Richards White Glitter Dome stickers

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Potato and Red Pepper "Cheesecake"

Smartphones.  We have a love/hate kinda relationship.  I believe there is a time to use your phone and lots of other times when you shouldn't. When I say lots of other times I really mean a good majority of the time.  For example, you're out to dinner with friends, family, etc.  Your phone does not belong on the table.  You're in the waiting room at the doctor/dentist office having a conversation with your husband.  Newsflash: I don't really want to hear that conversation.  You're in the checkout line and you're holding everyone up because you're messing around your phone.  My reaction might not be so nice.  Of course, I might be the only one who feels this way but I really do expect people to practice consideration when using their phones.

On the flip side, my iphone really comes in handy when I'm at the grocery store.  I use my phone to look up recipes nearly every time I'm at the store.  It's been a real lifesaver.  Recently, I bought my first cooking related iphone app, Ottolenghi, and it has also really come in handy.  When I needed something for this week's IHCC theme, Eggscellent, I found this tasty Potato and Red Pepper "Cheesecake" right on the app. 

I've been wanting to try a savory cheesecake for a long time so I decided to give this a go.  It was really tasty, but it was almost verging on being a little too rich or decadent.  I think you definitely need to serve it with a little salad on the side.  Otherwise, we really liked it.

Potato and Red Pepper Cheesecake
Adapted from Ottolenghi iphone app
Serves 4 - 8

about 1/3 cup olive oil
4 large red peppers, halved and seeded
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 large round white or round red potatoes (about 1-1/3 pounds, peeled and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices)
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
2/3 cup cream cheese
3 eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup pitted and halved black olives
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425F.  Line a 9-inch baking dish (round, square, any shape will do) with parchment paper and brush with olive oil.

Mix the peppers together with the garlic, 2 tablespoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a good grind of black pepper.  Spread out on a baking pan and roast for 25 minutes.  Remove and set aside to cool.  Reduce the oven temperature to 300F.

Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil.  Add the potatoes, cook for 5 minutes, then drain.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet and add the potatoes.  You may need to fry them in two batches, so the pan does not get overcrowded.  Fry for 4-5 minutes, turning once to give both sides a light crispy surface.  Remove and set aside.

Place the feta, cream cheese, eggs, cream, and some black pepper in a mixing bowl and beat with a whisk until smooth and thick.

Cut each of the roasted pepper halves into two or three strips, about 1-1/2 inches wide, and place them and the potatoes in the baking pan --they should lean against each other, almost standing on their sides.  Put the olives into the gaps between the pieces and sprinkle with half the oregano.

Pour enough of the cream mixture into the pan to leave some of the vegetables exposed.  Bake for 30 minutes, or until the custard sets.  Five minutes before the end of cooking time scatter the remaining oregano on top.  Remove the cake from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature. 

Remove the cake from the pan and cut into four wedges.  Brush the top and side of each piece with the remaining olive oil and serve.
Theme: Eggscellent!

Pantone Colors on Rockwell Designs: Nectarine

The latest color that is highlighted on Rockwell Designs as a Pantone Spring Fashion 2013 color is nectarine!  I thought it bore a remarkable resemblance to the new Stampin' Up Color Crisp Cantaloupe. Hmmm...nectarines and cantaloupe!!

But instead of going fruity, I decided to use feathers.  There are so many lovely feather sets out there and it's such a gorgeous look.  I went with the Clearly Besotted set Fancy Feathers. (FYI: in the U.S. Clearly Besotted is available at Simon Says Stamp.)  I hesitated to use this set mostly because I was inspired to get it based on two cards from one of my favorite designers: here and here.  Kara's cards are truly stunning and I knew nothing that I made would quite measure up.  It doesn't...but I'm still happy with's hard to go wrong with these graceful feathers!!

Birthdays are Feathers 1

(FYI: I took the wrapper off of the ink for this card and discovered
that the cantaloupe paper is more nectarine-ish than the ink is!
I hate it when that happens!)

  • Stamps: Clearly Besotted Fancy Feathers
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Smoky Slate
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Smoky Slate and Crisp Cantaloupe
  • Accessories: Clearly Besotted Fancy Feather dies, Avery Elle Citrus Blend sequins, Divine Twine Oyster Twine


This layout was recently up on the Heidi Swapp blog. I was inspired by Heidi's online class Stencil Magic.

I used her 6x6 Polka Dot stencil and Mustard and Sweet Cherry ColorShine mist to create my photo mat.

I overlaid a Clear Pop Tag over my focal photo.

 Here I used a Greatest View Flair.

and to complete I  finished off with a Color Pop Banner Delight which I layered under my photos.


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Caution ahead...tie dying with children!

This summer I have been making an extra effort to do MORE with my children.  I have always tried to be that mom, the one that plays games and takes my kids to the beach and museums and do all the fun stuff in life.  But it does not always work like that when life happens, you know, the laundry, dishes, people wanting to eat...sometimes I think I need at least 24 more hours in my 24 hours!

I sometimes compare myself to what other people are doing.  How they HECK do they get so much done and STILL have time to sew and blog and cook those beautiful meals and I bet they do not have four ( or seven) piles of unfolded laundry on their sofa!  At this point I convince myself I SUCK!

This summer, I am putting all of those doubts behind me.  I don't suck!  My family is fed and they have clean clothes even if sometimes they may have to find them on the sofa.  I am pretty happy knowing I am raising awesome hunters and gatherers :o)  I have been sewing even if I cannot share it all.  I am doing what I am able to get done.

Ignoring the laundry, I decided we would tie dye!  What is summer without a fun tie dye session!?! What kid would not want to make this hippie fun wearable artwork!!!!???!!!!

The set up was in the basement on an old table wrapped in plastic, lots of paper towels and the mandatory gloves. and yes, my basement is a mess too ;)

The kids did shirts and I had some white fabric that I HAD TO dye!!!! I know you would too!!!!

I had to put up a line to hold all of our fabric art and I am sure my neighbors were thrilled!

The kids have already claimed the fabric I dyed and want me to make it into quilts for them!

The little man has dibs on this one

and Little Miss wants the one that Adam calls the Fireworks fabric.

The shirts I bought for Adam to use are too small  so I know we will be doing this again in the next few weeks before the children are back in school and my life goes back to it's somewhat normal schedule.

This summer is FANTASTIC!

Friday, July 26, 2013


HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!!  I did it!  I made it through another year to FORTY SEVEN!!! OMG!!  I may pass out at even the mention of being that close to FIFTY,LOL!  I am not upset about getting older, other than the obvious of my body parts just ain't what they used to be and every time I get up from sitting on the floor I sound like a bowl of Rice Krispies ( SNAP! CRACKLE! POP!).  I actually like getting older, it means I have accomplished one more year of something other than nothing.  This year was filled with quite a lot and I am just GIDDY about one of the events in particular!

My birthday gift from Sara!  I have known Sara for at least five or more years, we met online when I was buying fabric from her,LOL!  She noticed I am an Oma and we started chatting.  We share a love of fabric and sewing and  well isn't that how most all really great friendships start ;o)  Over the years we have shared quite a bit, excitement over new projects, tears over events, our growing children and of course, our continued LOVE for fabric and sewing.

I am loud and Sara is NOT,  I am forward and Sara is NOT, I can be bold to the point of BRAZEN and Sara, not so much! We mesh in a certain way that really works for us and it is comfortable and lovely and well perfect!

Sara is the kindest, sweetest, most talented person I know. To top it off , she is beautiful and can eat ANYTHING and not gain an ounce and I would kinda hate her if I did not love her so much,LOL!!!!

So Sara, sneaky girl that she is, emailed the in house engineer and my children and gave them homework.  She asked that they outline their hands and send them back to her.  She emailed another friend of ours asking what fabrics I liked...very very sneaky,LOL!!!   In three days (seriously...if I did not love her...) she WHIPPED together this stunning quilt!  I am really beginning to wonder if she has a sweatshop in her basement! I received the package the day before my birthday and Sara COULD NOT WAIT for me to open it and when I did, I understood why...

There were the handprints of my family!

My oldest son and his wonderful wife and my two grandchildren that live far away so I do not get to see them second son, who is in the Air Force and will be deploying to Afghanistan in November, my in house engineer that puts up with the 25,000 words I have to use every day, my daughter that is now as tall as me and growing faster than I can breathe, and the little caboose son that  wears me out and I still wake up wondering what wonderment he will bring.

To top it all off she added one more block...a block with her hand and her son and daughter. Guess who was crying...

I was speechless...and that is HARD to do!

I am so SERIOUSLY blown away by this quilt!  It will be cherished for MANY MANY YEARS!!!!

THANK YOU SARA!!!!  I am not sure what I ever did to deserve you but I LOVE YOU!!!!!

Catered Crop: Let's Make Lemonade

The current challenge at Catered Crop is Summer Lovin'.  Here's my problem.  I do not love summer.  I truly hate being hot and Colorado just seems to get hotter and hotter every summer.  Older homes, like mine, weren't even built with central air.  We did add a swamp cooler - but swamp coolers rely on dry air and the storm clouds seem to come in every day just to raise the humidity and make me miserable. So I just can't get away from the heat!  (Of course, those of you who live in Colorado are shaking your heads right because we have actually had a couple of wonderfully cool days in a row!!)

So Summer Lovin' challenges are always a problem for me.  My inspiration this week comes from my children's complaints!!??  I have a frozen drink that I make a batch of at the beginning of each summer and my kids have just reminded me that I forgot this year.  It's a fruity frozen slush drink that does include lemonade.  There is nothing redeeming about it - as it begins with a sugar syrup (not only not healthy but it also takes forever to get the sticky remnants out of the kitchen each time a drink is made!)  This whole discussion put summer drinks into my mind and, while my frozen drink isn't lemonade, what is more representative of summer than a frosty glass of lemonade!

Let's Make Lemonade

I also used the sketch from Freshly Made Sketches.  I used it exactly as is because I loved the fresh, clean and open look for my summery card.

I've had my frozen slush drink recipe for 40 years.  I got it from a family friend when I was just a child and typically make a batch every summer.  If you are not concerned about the sugar - nor the mess - here's how you do it...

4 cups sugar
6 cups water
46 ounces pineapple juice
24 ounces frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
12 ounces frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
5 bananas, mashed
6 bottles ginger ale

Measure sugar and water into saucepan.  Heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.  Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute.  Refrigerate until cold.

Mix chilled mixture with pineapple juice, OJ, lemonade concentrate and mashed bananas.  Pour into 5 1-quart containers, cover, label, and freeze.

At serving time, half fill glasses with ginger ale; spoon in frozen mixture to fill.  Stir. Enjoy!

  • Stamps: The Alley Way Stamps Lemon Squeezy
  • Paper: Simple Stores I {Heart} Summer 6x6
  • Ink: Memento black, copics
  • Accessories: Avery Elle sequins, Papertrey Ink tag die, The Twinery Caribbean Twine, Martha Stewart Crystal Fine Glitter