Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Kitchen Pantry

 Here is the before. Things were getting so messy and the little girls wouldn't keep their sweet hands off the dehydrated food jars.
 This is much better. As I went along I made a list of things we need to stock up on and what we need to plant more or less of  in the garden. The dehydrated food jars are now out of reach.
 Used up 2 pints of sweet cherries making loves of quick sweet bread for desert tonight, sent one home with DD #1 along with extra broccoli soup for her lunch.
This little guy gave me fits today so I only got the kitchen pantry cleaned out. See those big blue eye's? He has a nice big set of lungs to match!!

Mason man was one fussy boy today!!!! By the afternoon the problem was solved, it is amazing  that something so little could produce something so impressive! Enough said, he was all smiles after that.

Getting the kitchen pantry and cooking done today was all I could manage. Between this little guys belly ache and my headache that was (is) pounding I feel pretty proud I got anything at all done. Tomorrow I will have Mason man and Karsyn, the back pantry clean up may or may not happen. Tonight I don't give a rats rump. As soon as the storms get past us my head should clear up until then its cold wash clothes, low light and little noise. Hubby is rocking out to some Simon and Garfunkel concert on the education channel right now. I am wearing ear plugs I don't have the heart to ask him to turn it down, it really is a GREAT concert!!

Back tomorrow with end of the month update and goals for March, off for now to track the nasty storms headed our way. BTW!!! Welcome to all the new members who have joined this simple blog, over 250 hits today, WOW!!! blush....

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

This and That

 This morning I cut the pieces for all 4 Christmas quilts other than all of the white fabric (afraid it would get to dirty) I would like to piece one of the quilts before our girls weekend at the end of March just to be sure I know what I am doing and have everything I need.
 I figured I should clean out this bookcase while I was looking for the missing cookbook.
 No luck on finding the cookbook but I did unload a pile of books to go to our DD's, sister, and a friend.  In addition the bag in the photo is for good will.
We ended the day buy cutting some flowers from the yard. Since it looks like we won't be having a winter I might as well bring in a little spring cheer.

I am so aggravated that I can't find the cookbook I am looking for. I don't know what in the world I would have done with it GRRRRRR. I am wondering if I loaned it out to my sister, tomorrow I am going to check with her to see. However the bookcase still needed to be cleaned out so all is not lost.

Before we head out for our girls weekend I wanted to make sure I am all set to work on the Christmas quilts. From looking at the cabin photo's on line I am not seeing a good place to do much cutting, I got that knocked out this morning. I have found that there is a mistake on the pattern, of course that is after I have cut everything out, durn it!!! It's an easy fix but still a pain in the rump. Also a few pieces of the fabric are directional, when the lady cut the fabric she asured me it would be fine, well not so much. I may go ahead and use it if it doesn't look to offensive. I would only need to replace 1 1/2 yards of  fabric so all is not lost if I decide to change it out.

Mason and I took a stroll around the yard today to cut flowers and check on the little bit we have in the garden. The garlic is looking good but the bulbs are really small, hopefully they will begin to fill out. I think I need to pull the carrots and reseed new ones in another box for spring. First I have to run 4 bags of onions I picked up last week through the dehydrator. We were down to one jar of onions from the summer garden, hope to have better luck this year!

Tomorrows task is cleaning out and reorganizing the kitchen pantry. Our dehydrated food jars are on one of the lower shelves, the perfect height for the little girls to get into. I know it's an accident waiting to happen. I try to keep the pantry door shut when they are around but sometimes I forget. They are like flies on you know what when the door is open so a change is in order. I also need to get a list together for some bulk buying next month as well as decide what we need to increase in the garden this spring to last throughout the year. The outside freezers are next on the list, I need to use up more of the veggies I put up last year before the new season starts. I did use some blueberries tonight for muffins in the morning, and a little snack after supper! HA

Off to bed it will be another full day in the morning.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Giveaway Winner and a little play time

 And the winner of this pile of fabric along with a few patterns is. CARLA over at 1/2 dozen daily. I almost feel bad about sending Carla more fabric since she just finished organizing all her stash!! PLEASE feel free to toss anything you can't use!!!!!
 Finished piecing one of the two baby boy quilts this morning. May be able to knock the second one out tomorrow.
 Played around with a quilt block for the Christmas quilts I want to do. One down 63 more to go!!
 Then it was on to the refrigerator, we have lots of leftovers than need to be worked into our meals for this week.
One thing I need to unload is store bought biscuits. Here is a trick to make the yucky biscuits taste a little better. Flatten the biscuit out with your hands as much as you can, then pat them in flour on both sides, add a pat of butter to the top and bake as directed. They taste almost home made.

Mason man and I had a very busy day today, we spent the morning playing in fabric before moving on to the task of the day. Having 1/2 finished projects floating around makes me nuts, at least I was able to get one of them finished today!! The Christmas fabric was too tempting to keep walking away from so I worked up one quilt square. I need to get better at keeping my points clean looking. I figure by the time I work up 63 more I should be good at it.
The domestic project of the day was cleaning up the refrigerator. We have so many leftovers from the weekend I needed to figure out what to do with so we wouldn't have any food waste if possible. By repurposing some of it I will be able to get by with very little cooking this week other than some baking. Here is what we had leftover
Lasagna - Lunch tomorrow
Vegetable beef soup - Lunch today and a container delivered to a single friend who always enjoys a home cooked meal.
Roast beef and gravy - Beef and noodles for tonight's supper an additional container is headed to DD#1 home tomorrow for open roast beef sandwiches
Steamed broccoli - Will be broccoli soup this week, I have some leftover 1/2&1/2 from making ice cream yesterday I can use up as well.
Canned cherries - Gonna give cherry bread a try, hope it will work out. I put up way to many cherries last spring. 
Store bought biscuits - Used the recipe from above tonight, I will make some monkey bread later in the week and maybe donuts to finish it off.

Tomorrow I hope to get the second baby boy quilt pieced then on to cleaning out a bookcase :( Somehow I missed decluttering this during our family space area clean out. I have a missing cookbook, I know must be in the piles of books that may need a new home. Lord knows my girls borrow lots of things from our house but a cookbook isn't one of them!!
 Have you finished all your decluttering challenges for February? I thought I was almost done but maybe not!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Christmas in March

Not MY Photo
 How cute is this quilt. I saw on a blog someplace last Christmas where a lady had embroidered each person in the family's name on a fabric tag then attached them to one of the quilt squares. I so want to do that.
 I had a $20.00 off coupon for one of the quilt shops in my area, now we wouldn't want that coupon going to waste would we!  I have had my eye on Christmas fabric prices since the after Christmas sales started in January. This week it was down to $4.99 a yard, BINGO the price was good enough for me. I think I have enough to make 4 Christmas quilts, one for each of our girls and one for here at home. The added bonus is I have 10 month's to get them done.
I HATE big box fabric stores!!! Can you see what a crappy job they did of cutting this flannel? I am working on a beach quilt that I didn't want to use regular batting on. I find flannel diaper fabric works great, that is if they cut it correctly. GRRR  Glad I bought a little more than I needed or I would be SOL.

I have decided March will be devoted to a little Christmas sewing. I was inspired by she is already working on Christmas nativity sets!! I have a program I bought at the after Christmas sale I want to do for this year with the embroidery machine, I should so get started.

Then I ran into the sale on Christmas fabric. I think it is a sign that I need to get at least a little Christmas cheer going on. Added to all of  that we have our girls craft weekend coming up at the end of March it seems like the perfect time to get ahead of the game. I still have a back log of quilts to be quilted, one is so close to being done. I know I could finish tonight but after our family dinner )cooked for 14) and BD party for DD#2 I just don't want to take anything else on tonight. DD#2 told us at dinner she has decided she really likes being 29 so she will be forever more 29 (30 is the real age), works for me. I have a second quilt (baby) pined and ready to go, maybe later in the week. A "Quilt of Valor" is in need of quilting in addition I started piecing 2 baby boy quilts today. I seem to be getting a bit quilt crazy this year!!

Speaking of quilts I found a cute blog from a fellow NC lady that is having a giveaway, check out her blog here, she is also on my blog roll to the right. Get your name in the hat for  some blog candy, I have my heart set on the cute fabric!!!

Off to bed with an OK book that I hope will put me to sleep quickly!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Week is Done!!

 I stayed up late last night to get the blanket for a friend finished.
 This morning the little girls stayed busy cooking up a storm, I was the taste tester, lots of yummy slobber was consumed. EWWW.

After nap time they hung out chatting. As you can see by this photo I can't turn my back for a second. While I was grabbing the camera Karsyn took off her diaper.

Today I survived. The grands were all fat and happy when they left, the Mommy's had a nice pan of lasagna to take home for supper, AJ the beagle and I hit the couch as soon as the door shut the last time.

My hope for the weekend is to rest! Hubby is headed home, should arrive back sometime tomorrow, the only plans we have is DD#2 Birthday dinner Sunday. I know hubby will be ready to head out to see the grands as soon as he has unpacked his truck, I will send him on his way with my best wishes. I am worn slap out, maybe a good nights sleep will change my mind but I think it will take more than 24 hours to recover. I still have an additional quilt to finish before the end of the month but until I recharge my battery there is no reason to set at the sewing machine, I am not that attached to my seam ripper!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Teen "Linus Quilt"

 Using the leftovers from DD# 2 quilts and a few things from my stash I made this quilt for a teen with the "Linus Project" Love using up leftovers instead of adding more scraps to my stash.
 Here is the back, It's had to see the colors well as it is so close to the sun going down for the day. It is a bright green with black polka dots, young and hip. I'm not much into the lime green black look but I am also not young and hip. Hells bells I am old and just thankful my hips even work.
 Karsyn hung out in Mason's swing this morning with her snack, I keep Mason far away from the little girls!!! They would love to have their way with him.
Caught Karsyn working on her cooking skills when my back was turned, water from her sippy cup is her secret ingredient.

I did get a nap in today but it was after the little ones left. A 6:30 in the evening nap was not what I had in mind.  DD# 3 was able to have her schedule adjusted so I only had Mason and Karsyn today, tomorrow it will be all 3 of them. In the past the little girls played pretty nicely together but times they are a changing!! I put Karsyn down for her nap today then was having some one on one time with Mason when I heard a small knock on the door.....what the heck it was coming from the play room. Karsyn had gotten out of her crib after a short rest and was knocking on the kitchen door to let me know, grrrr.... I put her rump back in the crib then kept my eye on her through the french doors, in a quick minute she threw her chunky leg over the crib rail and down she fell. She didn't blink and eye just headed to the door to knock again letting me know she was loose. After some rearranging in the play room I then put her down in the pack and play, thankfully she wasn't able to escape, she slept just long enough for me to feed Mason and take a quick shower.

I am headed to the grocery for milk and ricotta cheese tonight, maybe even spring for a special Nanny snack then back home to put together a couple of pans of lasagna for here and to go meals for the DD's tomorrow night. I still need to get the binding on a blanket I am making as a favor for a friend done tonight, sure hope it will go fast and easy, I don't have the energy for much more!!

I do have one more quilt to finish before the end of the month, I should have a little free time on Saturday to get a good start, the rest will have to wait until next week on the days that I just have Mason, he seems to enjoy the sound of the sewing machine. I am thinking any sound other than his sister Karsyn is a welcome relief

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Quilting Continues

 DD# 2 will now have 2 quilts to pick from on her BD.
I used a little of the leftovers from the front to the back.

Mason and I have been quilting out tails off this week. I am finishing up the binding on an additional quilt tonight with one more taped to the den floor ready for pin basting while the little ones nap tomorrow. If all goes well I should be caught back up by next week.

I haven't been able to do a thing on this weeks challenge, our desktop PC has decided it doesn't want to cooperate this week, fine with me, I have plenty to do already. Sorry for all the short posts this week. I need lots more sleep now that the grands are back in full swing. Hope to get my stamina back up soon!!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Quilting time

Finished the free motion quilting on DD#2 second quilt she will get to pick from for her BD Sunday.

Lots of quilting, sewing and catching up on odds and ends today. I am so happy I was able to finish the quilting on DD#2 quilt, all that's left is to relax while working on the binding. Another day maybe two and I will be able to get this one on the clothes line, YAAA ME!! I have an additional quilt I have to get finished before the end of the month, thankfully it will be straight line quilting so it should go pretty fast to finish. A third quilt is taped to the family room floor to be pined, all in good time.

The decluttering challenges have put me a little behind on some projects add to that DD#1 has been called back to work 2 weeks sooner than we had planned. Mr. Mason man will be joining me tomorrow full time until the middle of June when Mom's summer vacation starts. Mason is such a sweet natured little guy we should get along just fine. Thursday and Fridays however will be a different story. I will have both little girls back along with Mason, the house will be rockin for sure!!! Both of the girls are FULL of energy and think the rule the roost, heaven help us all!! HA                        

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Scrap/Sewing room is Complete!!!

 This room had gotten out of control during the Christmas rush and quilting marathon in January.
 Digging around in fabric to find just the right piece was a pain and left a mess. When I was done with a project I just threw everything back in then moved on to the next project.
 While I have been careful in my spending where magazines were concerned I still had a pile that was holding me back from finding the pattern I wanted to use. The ones I LOVE are now in page protectors house in 2 binders, the rest are in the recycle bin.
 Little scraps are no longer shoved here and there or setting in piles on the floor. They are now in clear plastic shoe boxes sorted by color. Holiday fabric has their own larger bins, I no longer have to dig around in Christmas fabric to come up with a nice pink, green or whatever color I am looking for.
 This is my time out teddy bear, he keeps me on task. I set this little fella for an hour and see what I can get done under the pressure of the ticking timer.
 TA DAAAAA, its done. It's not just clean but it is now organized in the way I think and work.
Everything has a place and space that should make clean up a bit easier. The side board from DD# 1 is the perfect height to cut fabric and it doesn't have a ton of storage space that will tempt me to shove more in it!!

Can I just tell you how thankful I am to have this whopper of a challenge done!!!! It has been a LONG hard week and several days earlier in the month tackling diffrent organizational ideas that will work for doing things my way. Having the excess removed from this room feels like a breath of fresh air has blow through. I can now work in peace and not have the mess making me frantic over what the h... should I do next.

I still need to pull together more fabric for the "traveling Sewing Box" tomorrow then post the photo's. I will do the drawing on Tuesday so get you name in the hat if you want a chance!!

Off to bed for one last day tomorrow with no little ones running around. I have lots of work to catch up on for quilts that HAVE to be done this week.

How are you doing in your decluttering challenge? Only one more week to go and we can all go on vacation!! Ha I wish!!!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Closet, Before and After

 This is what my scrap/sewing closet looked like last week.
 I pulled it all out and dumped it in one of our spare bedrooms.
 Along with the closet I threw some stuff that was just floating around the room in here.
The only things that went back in the closet were things I LOVED and knew I could use up in this lifetime, God willing. Everything else has been donated to charity or friends who could use some things.
 The spare bedroom is back to normal.
Clean sheets are back on the bed, vacuuming and dusting complete.

Slowly my scrap/sewing room is coming together. I will work a little today and tomorrow then post the finished product Sunday night. This room was my productivity and dreaded challenge all in one. Next week I do have one more dreaded challenge but there won't be much to share since it is all on organizing files in my PC, mostly photo files. I had thought I would be excited doing a room gutting and makeover in this room but I ended up being more depressed each day as I cleaned out.
 Way back when, maybe 15 years ago I started scrapbooking with just a little box I could shove under my bed when I was done working. Over the years it grew and grew. When I was working full time I would shop for supplies to get ready for a weekend of scrapbooking, maybe a girls weekend away, a retreat and at times just because everything was oh so cute. I began giving individual instructions, group classes and such in our home when hubby was away, then branched out to working retreats and classes in a few scrapbook stores locally and away from home. Things continued to grow and grow, I realized I loved teaching classes but being away from home on the weekends was not something I was willing to do, family time was to important to me. Many of the products in my room were free from manufactures to use as samples, some I won in contests, but WAY too much I bought myself.
 I consider this room clean out an example of  my past wasteful spending. It's not like we couldn't afford what I bought but still....... This morning I am over my funk, I am thankful for the lesson learned with this clean out. I am happy that I know of organization's that will be thrilled to have some play things to brighten many of their days. I think  I will be more productive now that the excess has been removed and I am dancing with joy that the $$ once wasted so many years ago are now setting in an EF, savings and retirement.
Have any of you had regrets of how much excessive stuff was in your home during this month long decluttering challenge? I had stopped my overspending years ago when we saw that the US economy was in for a bad time. When the you know what hit the fan we were in better shape than many in our income bracket but I knew I could do more so I did. This clean out has been a GREAT reminder to me that even if you are spending cash only, personal boundaries on spending must be in place no matter what income level you are at. Thanks to Carla over at for forcing me to get with the decluttering program and giving me the kick in the.... to reflect on past spending mistakes.

Friday, February 17, 2012

 Well the photo's loaded all out of order, grr This is the end result of organizing what I hope will be quilts some day. All the patterns are in sheet protectors then organized by holidays, baby, teen etc. Once I land on a pattern I want to do I can add it to the quilt kit box and I am ready to roll.
I spent most of a day pulling patterns for magazines I need to stop hanging on to.

Organizing magazines patterns and free patterns I downloaded from the Internet took up a big chunk of a day a week or so ago. I learned from my scrapbooking mistakes to NOT buy every magazine on the stands!!! But still I had a pretty good pile of quilting and sewing magazines I needed to pitch out. The problem I was running into was I would see a pattern I wanted to make but forget what magazine it was in. I would spend hours looking to find the project then finally just give up.
Everything is now housed in two binders, one for quilts the other for project sewing. I have sub categories in the binders for holiday's, babies and such. It will be much easier to find what I really like and want to do without digging around for hours.

I made really good progress yesterday on my scrap/sewing room, after DD # 3 ended up not having to work, unexpected free time but I did miss having Kara for the day!! I think another 24 hours should do the trick. Last night on my way to DD# 2 jewelry party (UGH) I dropped off 3 bags of scrap/sewing goodies to a friend who is in charge of doing crafts for a nursing home in our area, it was my second drop off to her. I love that my wasteful spending of the past is finding good homes!!!! The "Traveling Sewing Box" Is filling up nicely with some cute patterns and fabric for one lucky winner. I have 3 more boxes I have been sorting into for friends who could use some excess scrapbooking supplies I have. So far nothing has gone in the trash other than magazines I destroyed getting the good stuff out of.

Over the years of teaching scrapbook classes, retreats, doing workshops, and some design work I had PILES of really nice things for scrapbooking that I could never in several lifetimes use up. This challenge has given me the kick in the rump I needed to pare it all down but get it to folks who can use it so no waste is going on. I just might get to post a few before and after photo's tonight. WARNING it will not be pretty!! I do have Kara today but since it's just she and I maybe she will accidentally take a nap so I can work a little more today. I need this challenge to be over by the weekend as I have so much on my platter that has to be done next week that can't be put off any longer.

How are you doing with your decluttering, is it giving you a peek into where you might be overspending? This week has been a real eye opener for me.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

When Life Gives You Lemons on Sale

 You should make some dehydrated lemonade.
 First wash the lemons really well.
 Then slice them up into 1/4 slices. ALWAYS wear a protective glove, the best money can buy!!! Cutting off a finger or two is not cool.
 When you get bored with the process juice some lemons the old fashion way. I had a yearning to use hubby's grandmothers juicer in the middle of this process so I did. The lemonade was delicious!!!
 Then throw them all in the dehydrator overnight.
 And like magic 2 bags of lemons turns into only 1/2 a gallon once its dehydrated. To make the lemonade in the glass shown in the first photo. I added  1/3 glass of warm water with 3 lemon slices and let it set maybe 20 minutes or so, then added sugar, filled the glass with cold water and ice, perfect!
Finally got a card made and the baby gift in the mail, whee, one more thing off the to do list.

This is going to be a really short post!! I have been at it in the scrap/sewing room most of the afternoon and evening after spending all morning setting in ridicules traffic trying to get some errands done. I will hit the "Room of sin" again in the morning and hopefully finish it off by Friday night....maybe. I have Kara for the next two days and maybe Karsyn and Mason as well on Friday. If I have any energy left I can finish it in the evenings. I am thinking Sunday will be a more realistic goal!! HA My body and mojo are telling me slow down, I think I might better pay attention!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Little Each Day

 This Is what DD#1 and I purged from her closet yesterday. Today we finished her bathroom, linen closet, and hall closet. She is in good shape now so I can concentrate on my own mess!! 
 Last week I began sorting out fabric for quilts. Each of these containers now hold one or more quilt kits. I did have to buy a few more containers than I had on hand but at least they were 40% off. I so wanted to get this done I just might have paid full price!
 How yummy is this fabric. After I pulled the fabric together I hunted down a pattern that I might like to use. This one will be a table runner for spring and a summer quilt for MEEEEEE
 Once I found the pattern to use it went in the box with the quilt fabric so when I am ready to work it's all in one place.
Remember that closet disaster from yesterday? The quilt kits are now in the bottom of the empty closet. I went all out and even vacuumed.

Kody Jackson our grand dog is loving the new Valentine pillows I made. How sweet is this big old baby!!!

I am moving VERY slow today, yesterday's marathon decluttering in DD#1 closet kicked my butt. I should have taken photo's after we had finished, it looks wonderful!!!! They have a new house with the super fancy closets like you see on TV, all the wood built ins for shoes, sweaters, socks, dresses, even a pull out rod to hang your outfit for the next day.

I give up, headed to bed for some reason part of my post keeps going away, we must have a connection problem tonight,GRRRRR