Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Meet The Yorks


I am owned by three of the cutest, craziest, most loveable yorkshire terriers you'd ever want to meet. The Yorks, my babbacheekies. Yes, the babbacheekies. Sometimes strange words for people, places and things pop into my head, and they stick, ask my kids...on second thought, it might not be a wise thing to do. 
Anyway, back to the Yorks...Presenting Samson, better known as Sammy. He is almost 13 years old and he is the boss. He is so sweet and very demanding. Here he is with his favorite toy, Squeaky Man. This is probably the fifth squeaky man he has owned. We once bought a HUGE squeaky man for Sammy as a joke. It was at least twice Sammy's size. It didn't deter him in the least. He dragged that thing all over the house for years. It was hysterical watching Sammy with giant squeaky man. Guess the joke was on us, he loved that super sized toy.

Sammy has a little,  slightly extremely annoying game he like to play. See that metal cat lurking below??  There is something about it that Sammy does not like. After all of these years, I have yet to figure it out. Sammy will take whatever toy he is playing with and plop it down in front of the cat, then he barks. He really barks. Did I say he barks?? It's a "come get my toy away from this thing," bark. I know as soon as I hear this bark, exactly what has happened. I have to stop whatever I am doing and rescue Sam's toy from the metal monster residing in our home. We do this EVERY day. I haven't had the heart to put the metal cat away. It's good to have a little routine in one's life, and this is ours.

The Cat~ AKA metal monster

Sammy barking because the cat has his favorite chew ball

Now I'd like to introduce you to the "twin terrors", Bradley and Bailey. These two little cuties are brothers. They are 5 years old. They are good boys for the most part but have been known to get into some mischief together.



They somehow communicate to each other that it's time to run amok in the house and boy! look out! They like to take Sammy's cherished squeaky man and play tug of war with him.

And they have a hard time waiting for Santa to put their presents under the tree, before they open them.

But at the end of the day, quiet reigns. I'm thankful I have these little ones to share my life with.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Homemade Granola

Recently a friend had given me some granola she had made, and it was delicious. The recipe she used did not specify amounts to use. That led me to scour the web for a healthy granola recipe. So with a little of this, some of that and a few of these I came up with a yummy, healthy granola recipe.

Here are some of the ingredients I used.

All mixed together, except for the dried fruit...

...and baked in my roasting pan. My roasting pan only sees the light of my kitchen once or twice a year, so it's nice to get more use out of it.

Toss in some dried fruit and there you have it. Yummy healthy granola. I have about 1/4 cup of granola with some non-fat greek yogurt and it's delicious and very filling! The following is the recipe I came up with. Give it a try, let me know how you like it.

Preheat oven to 325º
4 cups rolled oats
1 cup ground flaxseed
1 cup ground wheat bran
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup slivered almonds, chopped pecans or chopped walnuts
1 cup unsweetened coconut
1- 1 1/2cups dried fruit~ cranberries, raisins, cherries. If you have a Trader Joes, they have a Golden Berry Blend that is perfect for this recipe

In large baking dish or roasting pan stir together all ingredients except for the dried fruit. In a 2 cup glass measure, stir together~
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup natural unsalted peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
Heat this mixture in the microwave on 50% power until it is hot, about 2-3 minutes. Pour over granola mixture and stir well. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. After granola cools, stir in dried fruit. Store in refrigerator or freezer.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday Miniatures

Today shall be Miniature Monday because I have a couple of small quilts to share. The first quilt is an Amish Bars quilt I made and entered into a contest for Miniature Quilts magazine. I did not win but they wanted to feature my quilt in an issue of their magazine. My little quilt was on the cover of the magazine. The pattern to make a version similar to mine, was inside along with a little blurb about me and my show quilts. What an honor this was for me. The quilt is hand pieced and quilted and 12" x 14" in size.

Detail of quilting

Miniature Quilts Issue #46

The following Lily quilt is a doll quilt I made in 1985. It is 20" x 15", hand pieced and quilted.

Lily quilt detail

Thanks for reading...

Friday, March 26, 2010

First Quilt Friday ~My First Quilt

I've decided to make today "First Quilt Friday" and show the first quilt I made.
This is my house quilt. When I decided I wanted to learn how to make a quilt, I bought a book and began to teach myself. Well the book I bought had no templates, so I learned how to draft patterns. I thought this was how everyone learned to make a quilt. I did not realize at the time how invaluable this lesson would become. I can resize any quilt block to suit my needs. Knowing how to draft a pattern has also been helpful when I designed my own quilts. Graph paper has become a lifelong friend.
This quilt is all hand pieced and quilted. I quilted shingles, bricks, grass and window panes. Each block has a different design quilted in the sky, wind, sun and a kite to name a few. This quilt is 35" x 52" and I made it in 1984.

House quilt detail

Thanks for taking a look!

Monday, March 22, 2010

In The Beginning

This little bunny is how my creative life began. I love to read and when I was very young, I would walk a few blocks to the library. Doctor Doolittle, Winnie The Pooh and Nancy Drew were some of my favorite books to read. I also discovered craft books and realized I loved to make things. I made this bunny in second grade. I have had this sock bunny for 45 years. She was naked, a friend taught me how to knit. I made little overalls for her. The buttons came from my Mom's sewing basket. I never gave her a name...hmmm.
My children played with her when they were young. I had to replace her worn little body. She's been in my cedar chest for many years and now sits atop an antique quilt on one of the guest beds.
Through the years I have learned so many crafts. Clothing for me and my children, reproduction antique baskets and dolls, drawing, painting, embroidery and cross stitch, knitting and quilting. I have been student and teacher. I love my creative life.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

No Flair For Gougéres

Sooo...don't know what possessed me, but I decided to try a recipe similar to this one, for herbed gougéres. Not such a great idea it seems. My batter is too watery and I have a blister on my finger from the part that says "with a wooden spoon, vigorously stir in flour all at once until mixture forms ball and leaves side of pan. Well, I stirred vigorously and that mixture never formed a ball, it never left the pan, let alone the sides of it. I have been working on this for over an hour. I am now supposed to "drop by rounded teaspoons onto prepared cookie sheets". My batter is more of the consistency of  "pour into a pan, and see what happens".  Gougéres cupcakes? I think it's time to throw in the towel and admit defeat!

Perhaps I do have a flair for gougéres, well sort of. I poured some of the batter onto the parchment paper, popped them in the oven and voila!!  Gougéres crisps, crunchy on the edge and chewy in the middle. They are quite tasty, but not quite ready to grace my mom's Palm Sunday dinner table next week. Now who's going to help me eat all of them?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Perching Precariously

After a year of fits, false starts and being easily sidetracked, I have started my blog. I kept getting hung up on what to name my blog, what to write about, why don't my socks match...all of a sudden inspiration strikes, I have a name and here I am. The rest should be easy. I'm going to do some fiddling around here, find out what's what and I'll be back. Thanks for reading!