Thursday, July 28, 2011

Taking a break

I was up until 1:30 AM canning tomatoes last night. Hit the floor at 7:00AM this morning dreading to face the pile of cucumbers that I had to turn into more pickles. Maybe a shower first would get my motor running, no such luck, the job looked even bigger. I called the soup kitchen to see if they could use more fresh veggie, they were so excited to have more. Decided to clean out the garden before I made the delivery, the temp was close to 100 already. Job done now back to the air conditioner to wash everything up then make the delivery. Somehow as I was shutting the back door I hit the lock, yep locked out of the house in 100 degree heat, went to 3 different neighbors houses, nobody was home :( After 2 hours of trying to break into the house I made it. Dripping in sweat and water where I had hosed myself down numerous times, decided another shower was necessary.
I finally made it to the soup kitchen at 12:30 just as they had started serving lunch. I have been to the center many times but always on off hours as the volunteers were preparing for the days meals or after when they were cleaning up. I was so surprised at the number of people that were there for a meal, must have been at least 100. The vast majority of them were elderly, many had small children that they had custody of. The atmosphere was jolly with lots of hugs and laughter as another person would come in. Each guest was greeted at the door by a volunteer who insured that they felt welcomed and wanted. What a happy sad place.... happy to see that so many in our community had a place to receive a meal were they were treated with respect, dignity and a hug. Sad that we have so many elderly in our community that can't afford one of the basic necessity's, food. As a country we can and should do more but thank God for people who are there with loving hearts and open arms to greet our poor and elderly. Some of the men in line wanted to know what I had in my bags. I told then what all I had pulled from the garden,. They were so darn cute, yelling into the ladies in the kitchen that there had better be some fried squash and fresh maters on the table tomorrow. It was a win win day, no canning for me and people who needed and appreciated real food will enjoy what I soooo dreaded dealing with today.
Here is a short video of Kara chatting with her Daddy when he canme to pick her up, you might now understand why I enjoy my quite time!!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Busy Day

Kara's Christmas quilt is finished
Doesn't this look like a Barbie doll torso and legs?

We really and truly we had a peach, stupid squirrels

So excited to be done with the free motion quilting!! I still need to do top stitching on the puffy quilt squares but that will take no time in the morning. Unless you are a seasoned quilter you could never tell this is my first try doing this cool trick, as far as I know Kara hasn't taken up quilting she just likes to pick up the little threads I leave behind and eat them so she will never know Nanny practiced on her quilt! HA

I did a round of canning tomatoes this morning along with a load in the dehydrator then an additional 2 loads of tomatoes in the canner tonight once the sun went down. It has been a very long day.

Tomorrow will be an early morning of canning and more dehydrating, if I can stay on track I think I will have the refrigerator cleaned out for at least a day. I didn't even venture out to the garden tonight I honestly couldn't bear the thought that I would have to clean more baskets of veggies. As soon as the canning is done in the morning I will clean out the garden again then haul it all over to the soup kitchen, I NEED a break from it all besides the fact I have Kara for the next 2 days then an 8 hour class on Saturday to learn how to at least turn on the embroidery machine. I don't want all the veggies setting around until Sunday when I will have the time to deal with them. I shouldn't complain it really is a good problem to have so I will share all that comes in until next week at least. I have no idea how in the world my Grandmother could do it all. I mean really, I have an air conditioned house with ceiling fans on high during the entire process, state of the art stove and every kitchen gadget on the market and I can hardly drag my butt up the stairs at the end of the day. What is wrong with my generation that we have turned into such wimps?

Next on the line up for sewing is the aromatherapy quilt, I will do traditional straight line quilting for everything except the border that I will do free motion on. I would love to have everything done so I can do the handwork on the binding while at the beach resting. I have been doing all machine sewn binding on the grands quilts, figured the seams needed to be good and sturdy to hold up to the little hands.
Please Lord let the zucchini sleep tonight they really shouldn't grow night and day, it's just not normal.

Garden Update

Someday this cute white fence and gate will be all around the garden, all in good time
Rambo man extended the fencing to include the raised beds, AJ the beagle just couldn't help but do a little digging in the nice soil

Day ones thinning of the carrots, welcome surprise!

Gotta can tomatoes today, this is only 1/2 of
the tomatoes Today's project, clean out the refregerator

Today is preserving day, I need to can tomatoes and pickles along with dehydrating bell peppers and carrots The rest will be loaded up to take to the local soup kitchen, as you can see by the looks of the refrigerator I don't have a lot of room for anything else right now. Next week will be peaches, I plan on picking them up at our local farm, he brings them in from a friend down in SC. We did get 1 peach from the trees we planted this year but of course the squirrels got it yesterday when it was ripe and juicy. I wanted to go ahead and bring it in but Rambo man insisted he wanted to bring in the first harvest when he gets home next week, we both lost out:(

Our garden has done so well this year giving us more than we can use or preserve for the most part which is cool because now we can share big time with our local soup kitchen. I need to thin the carrots a bit more so whats left has a chance to get to a good size. I never got around to thinning them back when I planted the seeds so we are super excited at how large they are at this point since they are so crowded. I don't think we will have enough carrots to preserve to get us through the entire year but its going to be a heck of a good first try! I'm thinking of pulling the potatoes this week, the plants look really bad. I need to see what I can rotate into that spot for the fall or if it's to early to start the fall planting. The sweet potatoes are looking a little puny as well as the butternut squash, not sure how they will turn out. All in all with no more time than I had to devote to the garden and tomato patch I'd say it has been a super growing year.
Free motion quilting update; The ladies at the quilting store advised me I needed not only quilting gloves but also a "Supreme Slider" for the bed of my machine if I wanted to have any real success with stippling or free motion quilting. I had to trust their judgment or sign up for a weight lifting class to get in shape enough to fight the quilts. As always they were correct!! The combo worked like a charm, I was able to get 4 squares quilted on Kara's Christmas quilt in less time than I did one before and I was able to lift my arms afterwards!! I hope to finish all the quilting on her quilt today while I am waiting on the loads in the canner. My goal is to have all the Grands Christmas quilts done before the school year starts, it's gonna be close.

Here is a quick overview of our weekly spending, the fabric store was the budget buster once again however the majority of the fabric is all destined for Christmas gifts. I think I have all the fabric and material I need to finish the remaining 3 quilts I have to do and I was still $20.00 under the spending plan.

Weekly spending

Groceries - $4.19

Gas - $44.60

Christmas gifts - $20.00

Fabric store - $112.00
Total spent $180.00 under budget by $20.00

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

GRRRR lost the post

First try at free motion quilting
One block done on Kara's Christmas quilt

Quilt in a bag for Daughter #2

How stinkin cute is this going to be!!

I spent a ton of time working on the weekly spending post this morning only to have the screen go blank, breath deep. I need to head out on some errands so I will try and post later today when I have more time, for now I wanted to share my first attempt at free motion quilting. I was so excited that the free motion presser foot was only $27.00, I think the lowest I have paid for feet so far has been $85.00. I did have a very small list of other things I needed to pick up, backing for Kara's quilt, shashing for a quilt for my sisters Grand, and backing for an additional Aromatherapy quilt for myself. I should never leave the house with money in my pocket!!

After feeling so smug from my frugal weekend of sewing you would have thought I would turn my nose up to any temptation, not so! Everything I purchased was for gifts with the exception of backing for an Aromatherapy quilt for our home and the material for the Halloween table runner pictured above. In all honesty I bought enough material for 2 table runners, cause they were almost out of the material and it is just so darn cute. After studying on it a bit last night I think I can stretch the leftovers to get a 3rd table runner with a different design.

My quilting goal for Christmas is to make a quilt for all 4 of our Grands and a "Charlie Brown" quilt for Rambo man. I know I won't have the time to make a quilt for each of our girls by Christmas but I was planning on having one ready for their Birthday's next year. That's the excuse I have for buying the quilt in the bag. If I could leave well enough alone the kit cost $50.00 for the top only, not a bad price but no bargain. I of course don't like the black strip shashing so I picked up a teal print from the same line to use instead. Once I dug into the kit this morning I found another fabric that is putting me off so I will have to switch it out as well, crap, more more money. I have a class on Saturday so I will pick the extra up at that time and receive 10% off for being a student, but still I coulda, shoulda done better. Still stayed under budget but not by much!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Leftovers never looked so good

Leftover fabric from the table runner I made for a friend

Leftovers from the beach quilt cut into a charm pack, the tiny leftover scraps I can live without!! Made several charm packs with leftovers this weekend

Kara's Christmas quilt top finished, now on to the quilting

Kara's favorite book is about a kitty, this $2.00 a yard fabric is prefect.

Remember the chenille rug I made in class? This is the leftover fabric made into a reversible dress, have 2 more cut out as well

Reverse side of the dress, I should have ironed it :)

This weekend was all about leftovers, fabric that is I am out of leftovers in the refrigerator so it looks like I will be cooking today! It makes me crazy to have leftover fabric, it is nice sometimes to use on small projects but I have so much, I needed to figure out a way to use some of it up. Since the heat index was over 100 all weekend I was stuck in the house with time on my hands so I began tackling some messy piles.

I started with the little pile of leftovers from the chicken table runner I made for a friend, turned out I had enough fabric left with substituting a different fabric on the binding and backing to make 2 additional runners. That's what I call using it up.

The scraps from the beach quilt didn't strike me as something I would want a coin purse or some other little project made out of. Then I remembered a tutorial I saw awhile back on making a baby quilt using a charm pack with a little additional fabric for a border. I know I have a book or magazine with patterns for using charm packs on a quilt, the cute little things run $9.95 at our local shops. I made a few of my own from different projects I have finished. I will be using them up at some point on a charity project I want to participate in.

I had a nice size pile of scraps from the chenille rug I made awhile back but nothing big enough to use for a purse or something I might really use, it was to much of the same fabric to make charm packs out of, then I remembered the cute reversible dresses I made for the girls. Woohoo got 3 little dresses cut out with not a speck of leftovers, I can't make a mistake on the dresses since I have 0 material left! Paired with a shirt and leggings the girls can wear these all winter then use them for cute tops next summer.

Last but not least I found 60 in wide children's fabric on the clearance rack Friday night for $2.00 a yard!!! I picked up 2 yards of each of the 4 different prints to use for the "Linus Project" I want to participate in eventually, check it out As I was moving and sorting fabric I realized the kitty piece would be perfect for Kara's Christmas quilt, checked my stash and came up with enough fabric to use for the shashing without leaving the house or spending a dime. I worked her quilt top up the same as Karsyns, simple easy and sturdy to hold up to the lovin these quilts will see over the years. I will put the super easy recipe for the quilt at the bottom of this post.

I worked so late last night I didn't have the energy to post after I cleaned up the huge mess I had made. I'm thinking as soon as I get all these leftovers worked up I need to go back in my room of sin and dig a little deeper, who knew using it up, wear it out or do without could work in your fabric stash so beautifully!!

Today I am off to deliver the pillowcase dresses for Haiti as well as a load of veggies to the charity soup kitchen then over to the quilt store to get some tips on dressing up the quilting on the Aromatherapy quilt. From doing some google searches it looks like I will need to invest in a special presser foot, fingers crossed that it's not one of the $200.00 feet!! I am doing so good on our weekly budget I don't want to blow it on the very last day!!!!!

Children's quilt;

used 1/4 inch seams, measurements are in inches

This top can be done in a morning!

Main blocks cut 12 7 1/2 x 7 1/2

Shashing on top and bottom of blocks 2 1/2 x 7 1/2

Shashing on each side of blocks 2 1/2 x 12 1/2

build quilt squares by adding top and bottom shashing, press, add shashing to each side

connect blocks in rolls of 3 you will have 4 rolls

then connect rolls into the quilt top

I finished the binding by machine stitching it on, figure these things are going to be receiving lots of wear and tear they need to be sturdy!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tackey Post

This is going to be a tacky post, I can't help myself. I got the entire Aromatherapy quilt top done today!!!! In all honesty the piece work was really simple just took lots and lots of time. I started at 6:00AM worked until 1:30 PM when Kara arrived then got back on it around 7:00PM until now 11:40 PM, holy cow I have got to get to bed. Kara will be here bright and early tomorrow, I still have to clean up the mess I have all over the kitchen and breakfast room from quilt construction. The little girls can find the tiniest piece of dirt or lint on the floor, to bad my big girls can't see a dirt pile that's knee high!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pearl is a Trooper

23 Super Hero capes are ready for Tyler's party
Decided to finish the ugly dress from a few months ago, not so bad after all

Pearl and I stayed in today the exception of course was to pick from the garden and overlook the weeds, it's to hot to worry with weeds. I did have to run out tonight when I realized we were out of milk, it was 89 degrees at 11:00pm. It's just hot.

Before I will let myself start the Aromatherapy quilt I needed to get a few more things finished up. I don't think Pearl was expecting her first fashion item to be super hero capes but she hung with me she such a trooper. First was getting Tyler's super hero capes ready for his upcoming party.. check. I was sick of seeing the ugly dress I started back in March or April just laying around. I tried it on after it was finished, not what I wanted but it will do for the beach.. check. Three table runners were waiting to be quilted and bound, got the quilting done just need to add the binding in the morning..almost check. There are a few more things lined up to finish but they are all for Christmas so I am putting them on hold until I get a handle on the new quilt. I do believe I will be able to get started tomorrow for a few hours before I have Kara in the afternoon.

I think my pity party is over for now, thank goodness!! I hate to be a whinner.

Are you having the same heat wave we are experiencing? What are you doing to stay cool? I have the air set at 75, all the ceiling fans running and wearing the lightest weight sleeveless dresses in the closet. This is the perfect time of year to get a jump on some of the holiday gift making, it's to hot to do anything else!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


6 little girls dress ready for Haiti
Quilted table runner is done

This was a way fun project, I like it even more now that it is done and ready for the linen closet, fall will be here before we know it.

We had a pretty restful day. Had an early morning Harley ride followed with breakfast out, picked up my car then headed home for the day. The heat is on high in the south right now, looks like most of the country is in on the latest heat wave, it was just to darn hot to even be out on the bike after 11:00. I was able to finish up the dresses for Haiti in the comfort of air conditioning along with all the ceiling fans on high, finished the hand work on the fall table runner as well. I would love to finish up all the little projects setting around waiting for attention before tackling the in lieu of quilt. I have enough leftovers from supper that I won't have to cook for 2 more days so its sewing and garden only for at least 24 hours. Rambo man is headed out in the morning, we made an effort to just be.... for the short period of time he was home. We are both sick to death of cramming in 101 things to do in our brief time together. I am feeling cranking with the constant out of state projects, then guilting for being cranking when so many people would love to have the opportunity to have a job no matter where they would have to go. I plan on hanging at the house tomorrow with my BFF Pearl together we should be able to lift this yucky mood.

Weekly Spending

Daily canning

We have had a couple of crazy days of reorganizing life the best we can while still keeping up the daily chores. Rambo man was pulled from the project in TX Saturday only to be reassigned beginning Wednesday to Marquette, MI for 6 to 8 month's. The one thing that has Rambo man a bit taken aback is Marquette is the 5th most snowy cities in the US. Snow and cold weather are not something he enjoys to say the least!! I was sorta floored that for 6 to 8 monthes longer I will be the lone ranger, s... I need a super hero cap of my own!!!

We have agreed that the 16 to 18 hour work day I have been trying to keep up for the past year or longer needs to stop. I know it's time to let go from doing so much but it's hard to pay people to do things I know I am capable of, however he is right in pushing to let some things go. We will be hiring out the yard work starting next week. I really do enjoy working in the yard but this will free me up for more garden time. I committed to keeping the little girls full time for their first year then helping out when needed after that. Kara turned one a week ago, Karsyn will be one in October, when the school year starts back I will be cutting down to 2 days a week with the little ones. I hope to have them both on the same days but not sure it will work in the Mommies schedules. The Mom's or Dad's will also need to start bringing the little ones to me. Rambo man is right, I need to stop the picking up and delivering of babies, free childcare is one thing but taxi service is a bit to much. Sometimes you need someone to give you a little reality check, I am getting mine this week!HA We have a large home, a huge yard and a good size family one person really can't do it all for an extended length of time.

Now on to the weekly spending. I went over budget this week but I accomplished some Christmas shopping so I get a pass on being over budget. My car was finally done at the body shop, it of course needed gas, we also had to fill up the rental car before turning it in, lots of money on gas this week. With my sweet hubby headed back out of town we drove my car straight to the repair shop to have new brakes put on and whatever else needed to be done before he has to head back out. We have agreed I don't want to know what the cost is!!! Whatever it cost it is sure to be cheaper than a new car Rambo Man seems to think I need.

We are headed out this morning to enjoy breakfast with some friends then an early ride on the Harley followed by some us time. There are so many things we need to get done but our time is so short together to heck with it all, we need some down time.

Gas - $83.40

Groceries - $3.19

Eating out - $12.00

Fabric - $64.00 (gift)

Books - $32.00

Hallmark Store - $86.00

Spent $294.00 over budget by $94.00

Monday, July 18, 2011

In Leiu of Flowers

The flowers are looking a bit orange in this photo, they are really more on the peachy pink sherbet side
See in the top left corner "Easy", well see about that

First off let me thank Carla over at for spotlighting this little blog last Friday. Carla is a young mother with a large family who oozes creativity and has nailed this whole frugal living thing. Thanks Carla!

We received a letter last week from a long time friend of my Dad's informing us of her husbands death. Jim had been having a few health problems typical of his age, he went in for gall bladder surgery and unexpectedly passed away. His wife Marty has been one of the many mentors in my life who has filled the gap of living without a Mother. I quickly got a card in the mail with a copy of "Heavens For Real" off to her but it's been on my heart to do something more. His burial is at Arlington cemetery in late August, we would love to attend but with Rambo mans crazy work schedule it's iffy at best. I started thinking maybe I could make her a quilt, if we can attend the services I will give it to her then, if not I can mail it so when she arrives home it will be waiting for her. I began searching for a pattern that was geared towards beginners when I landed on "Aromatherapy", it seems simple enough for my limited abilities without looking like a beginners quilt. They moved to FL years ago when Jim retired from the military so I need to make it lightweight, I'm thinking I will use the flannel diaper material like I did on our beach quilt instead of standard batting. The fabric I found feels happy and girlie to me. The shop I have been taking most of the sewing classes at has offered to show me some techniques that will make the quilt just a little more special and assure me its in my ability range (if they say so). If I can stay on task I believe I can get this finished and in the mail on time. Thinking outside the box a bit I hope to have come up with a more memorable useful gift that will bring years of comfort to Marty instead of overpriced funeral flowers that will be thrown out in a day or two.

I feel gifting Marty a quilt falls right in line with our more frugal living this year. Frugal living doesn't mean chepo living to me, it's more of being a savey shopper, purchasing quality items that will last a good long time and giving a bit of yourself to others.

Ah but I'm not crafty you say, then take a few classes in something you would like to have for yourself, invest in you, everyone can learn. Sewing is a life skill that is fading away, people are sending good items of clothing to the dump because it has a missing button or hole in the sleeve, learn to sew and save yourself some cash, you can eventually parlay that skill into gift giving saving your family even more money

Friday, July 15, 2011

Meet Pearl

Miss Pearl my BFF

Kara's dress

Reverse side

I'd like to introduce you to Pearl, my new creative BFF. Pearl doesn't have much between the shoulders as far as brain's but that's cool, I won't have to worry about our opinions clashing. She is strong and steady as a rock (made of rod iron) we all need friends like that. Her tiny waistline could be a problem if you are a little insecure which I am not, some family's just have good genes I can't hold that against her. I ran into Pearl last weekend when I was scoring a deal on pillow cases for the charity dresses headed to Haiti but I stopped myself from spontaneous spending. After kicking the idea around this week I decided to take some of my surplus cash from our weekly spending and give Pearl a home where she will be appreciated and decked out in some home made threads (all in due time), she was on clearance for $49.95, I think that is a bargain for a super cute gal like Pearl. They also have Pearls little sister that looks to be around 5 years old, I hate to break up the family but the little girl was the same price as Pearl, not such a good deal for 1/2 a woman. If the little one goes down in price she will have a home for sure. Now before I go any farther with my imaginary friend let me be clear, Pearl was a want not a need!! The only way I would spend money on an imaginary friend is when we have excess money after our needs are meet and the savings is tucked in the bank.
The dress pictured is for Kara, the one we made in class last night was for Karsyn. Kara's dress came together in less than 3 hours thankfully!! I cut out 2 more tonight with the leftover fabric, I already have in mind a sweet little girl one of them will be going to, the other I'm not sure about yet.
Tomorrow I will be meeting Daughter #1 for some Christmas shopping, I have some great coupons and rewards dollars for the Hallmark Christmas Premier that runs Saturday and Sunday only. I think I can pick up what is on my list from the last few weeks surplus weekly spending budget, if not then I can always use funds from our Christmas stash but I am behind on funding for Christmas so I would like to hold onto what we have. It's off to bed for me with sugar plums dancing in my head!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sew Much Fun

Reversible dress for the babies
The inside pattern

Hard to see but cute little box pleats and lots of top stitching

Sewing class ran from 6:00 PM until 11:00 PM, I am going to hate myself in the morning!! But tonight I am super excited over the dress we made. The photo's don't show up well seeing as how it is 12:01 AM. We used "Sew Sensible" Children's boutique sewing pattern/ number 2355
You can bet I will be making more with this pattern!! Some of the terminology in the instructions was a bit odd but the instructor was wonderful helping us understand in terms we were use to working with. You can download the pattern off the Internet if your local store doesn't carry it (size 6 months to 6 years)

Ahoy Matey

My play date with Karsyn
Quilt is ready for the beach

A good nights sleep makes a world of difference. I was so dragging butt Tuesday night I was ready to mow down the garden, concrete over the yard and go on vacation for a month! After a good night sleep I was up bright and early (before the sun came up) got the tomatoes tied, did the day's picking and got a little weeding done before the heat of the day got cranked up.

Daughter #1 came by to drop Karsyn off for a play date with me, but before she took off for the day we made a trip to the local fabric store to pick up materials for 23 super hero capes. Yes you read that right she needs 23 super hero capes to use as goddie prizes for Tyler's upcoming Birthday. All of the children will receive a cape then head to a creative station to add their name and decorate the way they want using the little foam stuff you get at the craft store. When she first ask me to make capes I was like heck ya no problem, I cut out 6, added a sloppy 1/2 inch hem then used seam binding for the tie, easy peasy. When she later informed me she needed 23 I did something I have never done, I told her I would make them but she needed to purchase the supplies. It's time our girls had a little skin in the game, I make things way to easy for them. I will make the capes using materials Mommy purchased, a first around here! While at the fabric store I picked up packaged quilt binding to finish up the beach quilt. I was making myself crazy trying to figure out a cleaver idea to make the binding out of the leftover fabric. It's done now and ready for the beach, who cares if I took a short cut!

I have Kara for part of the day today then a night class making a little girls reversible dress so I need to pace myself, maybe even get in a little nap while Kara is resting this afternoon. Headed to the garden with hopes that I am not overwhelmed with more zucchini!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lots of unfinished projects

Last nights all nighter, this was 1 of 2 batches I did yesterday of pickles and tomatoes
Table runner from class today so far up to 27 x 20

Table runner 31 x 17 gift for a buddy

Check out the fabric, Chickens and fried eggs, love it!

One of 6 pillow case dresses that need to be finished

I am going to bed.... I did start picking from the garden this evening but the tomato plants are in such bad shape I had to walk away, maybe tomorrow I will be in a frame of mind to try and save them. Between the rain and now 100 degree temps most of them are laying down, the sprinklers are running for an hour in hopes that everything will perk up by the AM, including me! I did bring in a dozen more zucchini and over a dozen yellow squash along with a few bell peppers before I gave up, looks like another day of canning, freezing and dehydrating tomorrow.

I'm not finished with the piece work on the table runner from class today, I need to add more quilt blocks, I am thinking at least 2 more rolls to get it to the size that will work well for my table, then comes the quilting and binding. I have a Halloween and Thanksgiving runner but I don't have a general fall table runner, hope once I finish this up it will look a little more fallish. I didn't want the traditional fall colors.

The chicken and fried eggs runner is for a sweet young Mom who started her chicken flock this spring, she needed a little pick me up. She is having rabbit problems in her garden and her chickens are not laying yet, saw a post on FB that she now knows what Elmer Fudd feels like. Mama T this will be on its way to your kitchen table as soon as I finish up the binding. I think I took enough photo's as I was coming up with the design to post a recipe later in the week for the design, really simple.

Last but not least here is one of the 6 pillow case dresses I have finished for the charity drive one of our local quilt stores is hosting. A young lady in our area has taken on this project for her Girl Scout Gold award, she needs 300 dresses by the end of July to donate to an orphanage in Haiti. This is a combo right up my ally, sewing, charity and a kick butt deal on pillow cases at only $2.00 @, pinch me I am in heaven.

I have one other LARGE sewing project started but I know it will turn into a whinny post if I get started on my feelings of this monster, maybe by the end of the week I will find the humor of it!!

By the way other than the pillow cases all the projects are from the 60%-70% off fabric I picked up awhile back and I walked out of class today with NO SHOPPING bags!!

Weekly Spending

Birthday Girl
A swim party was the perfect place to host Kara's 1st Birthday in this heat!

Traded a lady who makes Birthday number signs for a BD place mat, just blinged it up a bit with my stash, little girls need some sparkle.

I was under budget again this week, well sorta I'm not counting the new sewing machine. This being under budget is beginning to become a habit I could get use to! One of the biggies that has been keeping us under is on gas, now that I am not picking up and delivering Karsyn everyday my gas spending is half what it use to be. The downside is the smiles and giggles around here are half what they use to be, I do see all the Grands on a regular basis but it's not the same as greeting Karsyn when she wakes up from her nap with that big old smile. I am gonna give Mommy a call tonight and take her baby for at least part of the day, I know she won't put up much of a fight (that's an understatement) We are spending next to nothing at the grocery store as well, the house is so stocked up I can't even justify getting in on the coupon deals, milk and eggs are about all I will be buying for awhile.

Today was an all day quilting class using different quilt blocks to make a table runner, it's turning out cute. I of course couldn't just go with what the instructor made up I needed to add a few more quilt blocks. Our table is 41 x 67 without the leaf in, the size we were doing in class would have looked like a pot holder on my table. If I can cool off a bit, get the picking in the garden done put away the canning from last night I will try and get caught up on posting. I stayed up till 1:00AM talking to a friend while I canned tomatoes last night, what was I thinking!! It was good to chat with your Jackie!! Miss you guys so much, just think of the trouble we could get into with both of our machines going.

Groceries - $5.49

Gas - 42.60

Sewing Classes - $50.00

Pillow cases - $12.00

Eating out - $5.45

Total spendt $110.09, under budget by $90.00

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Ice Cream Social

Don't you want to just grab a glass of tea and hang out?
My buddies new screened in porch, not fair, she has both of my dreams!!

It's a daily thing now, just like brushing your teeth

As I was digging around in the refrigerator today figuring out what to have for lunch I ran into the heavy whipping cream and 1/2 & 1/2 we had leftover from the 4th. With Rambo man out of town I thought hey why not make a few batches of ice cream, get some girl friends together for a little ice cream social over at one of my buddies homes who has added a new screened in porch. I love hanging out at my buddies, she has the front porch of my dreams and now this cozy little screened in porch, I have porch envy!! I made up a batch of vanilla, chocolate and chocolate chip mint to share with the girls, we had a little of each flavor and thought of lots of other combo's that would be great to try. If I can pull it together tomorrow we plan on polishing off the rest of the ice cream along with a few loaves of zucchini bread. The zucchini fairy has gone crazy around here, enough already I can't keep up. I need to take time out to hang with friends more often it has been to long.

Canning has been a daily thing lately, I really should have worked up and canned another batch of pickles I brought in tonight from the garden but I am just to tired to deal with it, tomorrow is another day Scarlett. Pulled over 30 tomatoes tonight as well that aren't quite ripe but due to the hot humid and rainy afternoons this past week they are beginning to split. I would rather cut off the green tops and can the good part than let them all go to waste. I was reading on line tonight that they have what is called green shoulders due to the weather. I also need to get back in the tomato patch and tie up the plants, we have had some wicked storms the last few days that have done a number on the plants. I hope I can save them, some are looking very bad. It's super cool to bring in what is now 3 or 4 baskets of veggies each day but the not so fun part is keeping the weeding done, repairing the poles that get broken in storms and cutting back some odd looking limbs that may or may not be good for the plants. I need a gardener to do the crappy stuff so I can put on a cute floppy hat and just wonder around plucking the fruits of his/hers labor. OK, that ain't happening so I will hit the garden in the morning before the heat gets up to 95 degrees.

I am working on a new project for a friend who is raising her first flock of chickens as well as some pillow case dresses for a charity drive at a local quilting store, my kitchen is in disarray. I moved the sewing machine downstairs to the kitchen table for now, climbing the stairs is a bit of a struggle with my bum leg. So one side of the kitchen is all about sewing the other is all about canning and dehydrating, multi tasking is messy work!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

New toy, just had to share

No more paying the ridicules prices for monogramming, this baby will be getting lots of use when I learn how to drive it

Thursday, July 7, 2011

This and That

Bread and butter pickles
Quilting is done on the beach quilt!

Before Kara arrived this morning at 10:00 I had the bread and butter pickles ready for the canner. Now that might not seem like to big a deal to make 5 measly pints of pickles but trust me it takes just as long to get 5 pints done as to do 15 pints. That's one of the stinky things I will be dealing more with this year. Instead of supplementing from the farmer down the road so I could do all the bread and butter at one time I will be doing smaller batches as they come in from our own garden. I would like to put up 20 pints of bread and butter this year along with maybe a dozen 1/2 pints for gifts. It took 6 pounds of cucumbers that I picked over 2 days to make this batch, looks to be a long summer over the canner! I won't be doing as many different dills as in the past, we just don't go through them as much, maybe a 1/2 dozen of each variety, at least I am off the hook on those.

While I was waiting on the cucumbers to cure (3 hours) this morning I worked on some quilting, nothing like a little mindless sewing before the sun comes up. I finished up the quilting tonight instead of canning the tomatoes. At least the tomatoes are ready to heat up, cook down a bit then just can tomorrow I did all the rest of the work while Kara was napping this afternoon. By Saturday it will be back to pickle making and possible more tomatoes, I brought in 14 tonight from the garden, the tacky owl has already paid for himself in saved tomatoes!!
I have and unexpected day off tomorrow as our Son-In-Laws folks are in for Kara's 1st Birthday and want to have the day with her. Figure I will get the canning done early, putter in the garden a bit then start working on making the binding for the quilt. I would like to use up the scraps from the quilt top for the binding but have no idea what would be the best way to go about it. Looks like I will be searching for tutorials on that step.
Is anyone else trying to make due this year as far as veggies are concerned from your own back yard? I have been amazed at how many of our neighbors who have never had a garden put one in this year, how cool is that? In the last 2 years just about every house on our street has a little something to eat growing, the ladies across the street from us have a massive garden along with a mini orchard, I have garden envy. Keeping up with the Jones has a whole new meaning these days!!