Monday, November 30, 2009

A Simple Christmas

….in my mind that’s what I want.

I feel like I have a bit more time this year to do “crafty” Christmas things.

An idea I like…..

  • wrapping gifts in brown paper and tying with stamped muslin strips like this

Picture is from The French Nest Co. on Etsy  2 yards for $6….so beautiful!

I saw this idea in the new Somerset Life magazine when I was at Borders drinking coffee with my husband this weekend.  I believe in their project the muslin was tea-dyed, then ripped then stamped.  Not sure how long it would take, but I love the look!

Or you could make the ribbon and wrap it around a big hang tag and give it as a girlfriend gift.  Please take a look at her Etsy store and see all the uses she has for it…..simple and beautiful!

Here are some of the pics from Somerset Life.

I also loved the velvet bookmarks on the cover of the magazine

Made with velvet ribbon, ribbon clamps, jump ring and wayward jewelry…love them!  Hope to make them!

Wugmuffin has a home

I'm assuming this is the gentleman who adopted him. How nice that this group posts a picture of the dog with their new owner...nice!
Good luck Wugmuffin!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

So slow…

….that’s how I feel about the progress on the garden rugs.

Of course, it would go faster if I would actually sit down and put in some hooking time.  It has just seemed so hard to do with the holidays, but I really need to make more time, or make it more of a priority.

The first panel is almost finished….I just need to finish up this flower here and outline the other lilies in purple to make them pop.

However, I have forged ahead and started working on one of the other panels….

Something about that vibrant red that just makes me happy!

The red flowers will be carried through all 3 of the rugs to unify the project.

Have a great day….probably not hooking today…today we’ll be decorating the tree…but perhaps this evening would be good for hooking.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Pictures from the day after


….and this would be the type of marketing that “I” succumb to….. ….saw it at TJ Maxx and had to have some!

In the meantime, MY “Tall Dark and Handsome” has headed off to work and both of the dogs piled in bed with me after he left….see the spot between the dogs?  That’s where I was a few hours ago….the dogs have no problems sleeping in.

So does your refrigerator look something like this this morning?  Left-over city? Now keep in mind when you look at this….we are a household of 2!  Granted, a lot of the space is taken up by drinks….milk, orange-pineapple juice, ice tea, wine, beer, water, Smirnoff Ice.  The entire door panel is taken up by condiments….we are king and queen of condiments here!

Oh yeah, and then there is the paintbrush…..I really need to do my red paint touch-ups and get that out of there….it would make Kenny so happy….not so much that the touch-ups are done, but that the red paintbrush in a baggy is GONE!

One of Kenny’s ferns in the kitchen, along with the last of the coneflowers in an Ikebana vase…..something that everyone really needs to have.  You can put a single flower in it and it looks like a piece of art….no skill of flower arranging required. We did go out yesterday afternoon, after the BIG FEED, and get a cut Christmas tree…..we haven’t had one of these for years….I just love the way it makes the house smell!

Kenny found a vintage rotating Christmas tree stand and it makes the tree rotate and it plays a little tinkly tune as it turns…..FUN!  The decorating will start tonight after Kenny gets it lit with twinkly lights.

We also picked up some poinsettias…..just $3.50 per plant….it’s starting to feel a little Christmassy around here now.

Have a blessed day!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Gearing up

What do you have on tap for today?

It’s the day before Thanksgiving, so I know that many of us will be busy in the kitchen preparing for the big feast.

Today, I’ll be making my cornbread for cornbread dressing.

By the way, do you have dressing

or stuffing?

We have dressing as I think the whole idea of stuffing the bird with stuff when it’s raw just kind of grosses me out!  I would love to try out some new sort of dressing, but everyone in the family loves the kind I make, so I’d best do my experimenting on another day.

Here is the dressing I make…..I find it a little sweet and a bit plain for my taste, but it gets raves every year….it’s very traditional for this part of the country and is very similar to what my Mama at the Puppy Dogs used to make when I was little.

Growing up I was blessed with 2 sets of grandparents and 2 sets of great-grandparents. This was confusing to me when I was little and when my mom would say that we were “going to grandma’s” I would always ask which one. She might say we were going to grandma Stokes’. Then I would ask which one that was and she’d say, “the one with all the puppy dogs”…..and that’s how she became “Mama at the Puppy Dogs”.  I also had  great-grandparents who were known to me at “Guy-Guy and Grandma at The Dairy”

So, I guess what I’m saying is,  Thanksgiving is a time for tradition, but perhaps on another day I’ll try this dressing here: Cajun Corn Bread Stuffing

Also, I can’t have Thanksgiving without  cranberry jell-0 salad or Aunt Donna’s stuffed mushrooms….I could eat just those 2 things and be perfectly content!

The turkey and ham will go in the oven

  in the morning and I’ll get up early to set out the rolls to rise. Thanks Mrs. Rhodes!

I love to cook, but have had limited success as a baker using yeast….I either don’t get it warm enough to activate it or I get it too hot and kill it!  I’d really love to be a baker of breads,

but so far I haven’t had much luck with it.

Other family members are bringing all of the trimmings and side dishes and desserts….for this I am thankful!

I’ve also got an extra supply of these containers to send food home with people… much easier than having to wrap foil around a paper plate!

Since I have a little extra time today I might make some of these:

as seen here to tote the goodies home in.

Then maybe a bit of hooking!

Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way,


Monday, November 23, 2009

Studio Re-Do

Ahhhhhh, not perfect, but so much better than it was yesterday!


1.  Summer clothes have been packed away

2.  Junky shelf is still junky, but moved it to the corner

3.  Slate sealer has a new home under the kitchen sink

4.  4th of July doll and pillow have been packed away.



6.  Selvedges have a new home on the wire shelves

7.  Puritan frame now has a home on the wire shelf

8. Cutter has a new home as well

9. Knitting also has a home on the wire shelf…hope to knit it up and complete that off my check list



10.  Air has been sucked out of the bag and quilts are put away in the linen closet

11. Shark’s head from Halloween costume got put in the trash

12.  Cleopatra’s rug was hung and some other rugs got new spaces on the floor….now that you can see it!

13. Random books, put away or put in piles to be returned to their rightful owners.


I still have a few places that I’d like to tweek, but overall it feels so good not to have to walk into my studio and trip over EVERYTHING!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My studio has become a dumping ground!

…..and it’s driving me crazy! I’ve been looking at beautiful craft rooms today on other blogs and I really need to get mine in order.  If you’ve known me for a long time, you know that organization is a constant battle for me…..I’d love to at least get the bed cleared off…it’s such a pretty antique iron bed.

1. pile of summer clothes that need to be put away

2. wire shelves that are just holding junk….these are just not working here, plus they are pretty darn ugly

3. Slate sealer that needs to find a proper home

4. 4th of July doll and pillow that need put away

5.  Cookbook

6.  basket of selvedges

7.  Puritan frame…really needs a home

8.  cutter….again…needs a home

9.  knitting project for Sheri’s challenge at Shabby Sheep

10.  one of those bags that you suck the air out of holding quilts…need to suck the air out of it and put it away

11.  Shark head…part of dog Halloween outfit

12. Rolled up rugs that need to be displayed

13. Random books.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Things are still evolving here at home….we have a gas log….still in the box…that will be installed the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  We are having Thanksgiving at our house….wish the log were in place, but oh well.

Like they say….if you’re coming over to see me drop on by….if you’re coming by to see the house, call 1st!

The big, spiky agave plant has moved….there is a sago palm in it’s place….much better and not so menacing. Kenny made this centerpiece using old barn pulleys, gourds and Indian corn.  He’s SO CREATIVE!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 20, 2009


Multi-tasking is something that I am trying to NOT do so much anymore.

However, does this count?

Last night I went to prop myself up in bed to knit on a scarf, for Sheri’s challenge over at Shabby Sheep, while watching “Real Housewives of Orange County” marathon.

Next thing you know, Lonnie has decided he needs some “mommy time” and wiggles himself as close as he can get to me while I’m knitting……


Watching “Housewives” marathon

Loving on your dog

Multi-tasking at it’s finest!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Baked Potato Soup Recipe

I've had lots of requests for the

Baked Potato Soup recipe

so here goes

This is easy-peasy!

6 slices bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
4 medium baked potatoes (skins on)
I cook mine in the microwave to save time
(don't forget to pierce them with a fork or you'll have a huge microwave mess to clean up)
2 Tbs butter
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup 1/2 and 1/2
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
sour cream
your favorite cheese (grated)...I like cheddar or co-jack
fresh chives, parsley or green onions for garnish

1. Bake potatoes, cool
(they don't have to get too cool....just cool enough to handle)
and cut in small chunks

2. In medium pan, melt margarine and sautee onions

3. Add potatoes,
chicken soup,
1/2 and 1/2,
salt and pepper to taste;
simmer until hot but do not boil

4. Ladle into 4 individual soup bowls

5. Top with grated cheese,
crumbled bacon,
a dollop of sour cream and
green garnish of your choice.

Den Re-do & I’ve been holding out on you

The den remodeling is almost complete.  It’s so much cozier than it was before and I love that my caribou rug finally has a real home in our house.

Just a few things that need tweaking….

We are still looking at gas logs to put in the fireplace and also an area rug….the red one is just a remnant that is not even bound….basically we have it down for the dogs to lay on…they are not big fans of the slate flooring.

The canoe was SUPPOSED to hold the components for the TV and surround sound, but it was not deep enough, so it still needs a few bits and bobs to fill it up…..Kenny loves to antique and he has LOTS of stuff up in the attic, so it shouldn’t take him long to do that.  I told him that I thought the agave plant has bad Feng Shui with it being so sharp and spiky, but he wants it there for the “good light”….okay…I guess I can live with that until summer :) At least he didn’t put it by the windows by my side of the bed like he put some spiky thing last year!

I think we also need something sitting under the table on the left to cover up the cord coming down from the lamp….hmmmm…funny how things jump out at you in pictures isn’t it? Maybe I should also paint the outlet cover red while I’m at it?

Today I’m waiting at home I love waiting at home on my days off for repair people for them to come and do more repairs on my bottom oven…..a while back I did the “self-clean” on the bottom oven….first time I’ve ever used it since we had the kitchen completed…..well, it should have been marked “self-destruct”!

It ended up busting the oven door glass into a jillion little pieces…

and they also came pouring out between the crack between the oven doors and went all over the floor!

Talk about FREAKING!!!! Well, this happened around October 7th and they came out once to replace the glass and KitchenAid had sent them the wrong size, soooo, they re-ordered and came out and replaced the glass……once they left I turned the bottom oven on to pre-heat it to 350 to make sure that worked……nope….no heat.  GREAT, REALLY NICE! So the nice people at Cook’s Appliance (they really are nice) came out to check on that and have ordered a thermostat, so today they are supposed to come out with an appliance dolly….pull out my double oven and replace that….cross your fingers that it will be working after that, because I’m hosting Thanksgiving at my house…’s my one big “thing” that I do every year.  Just thankful that I didn’t decide to “self-clean” the oven a day or two before Thanksgiving!

That would have REALLY been a nightmare!

I’m sharing the oven story NOW, because I am finally calming down about it and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Anyone know of a good cleaner to use on “self-cleaning” ovens? I’m absolutely scared to death to try and “self-clean” the top oven now……the ovens had JUST gone out of warranty about 5 months when this happened….I’d give it a try, but then I’m afraid they wouldn’t cover that one and I’d be SCREWED “up a creek”!

Our “original” double oven from 1954 still worked like a charm when we had the kitchen gutted and remodeled…..and it even self-cleaned. You’d think if you spent $x,xxx on a nice double oven it would work like it’s supposed to….things like this make me crazy and worse than that I feel like a sucker…spending my hard-earned money on something that doesn’t deliver…..maybe I should make another call to KitchenAid….I just don’t know what to do in cases like this. I’m thankful that they are repairing everything at no cost to me, but just disappointed that I have a self-cleaning oven that I’m afraid to self-clean.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Can you hear the heat?

I love that sound….when the heat kicks on….like my house purring that it is so happy to wrap me in it’s warm embrace.

Tonight it feels like winter is nipping at the heels of autumn…..


misty rain

snow to mix in about 1 am

I love this time of year,

I bustled home from work so I could make us some baked potato soup….heavenly

the scent of green onions sautéed in butter

mingling with the potatoes and cream

all adorned with crispy, salty bacon

a tangled mess of grated cheese

generous dollop of sour cream


heaven I say, heaven

These cold and blustery evenings tucked away in my

snug little home