31 October 2011

Double Double Toil and Trouble

Happy Halloween! 
Halloween means Shakespeare to me.
If I were to go back to high school forensics,
I would LOVE to have chosen this instead of
the boring ol' Emily Dickenson poem that I performed.
Nothing against Emily Dickenson but how
fun would it have been to do this,
playing the part of all 3 witches? 
Ooh, the evil I would have brewed!
(check out the pumpkin patterns at the end!)

 Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd.
       Thrice and once, the hedge-pig whin'd.
      Harpier cries:—'tis time! 'tis time!
       Round about the caldron go;
    In the poison'd entrails throw.—
    Toad, that under cold stone,
    Days and nights has thirty-one;
    Swelter'd venom sleeping got,
    Boil thou first i' the charmed pot!
      Double, double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
       Fillet of a fenny snake,
    In the caldron boil and bake;

    Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
    Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
    Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
    Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing,—
    For a charm of powerful trouble,
    Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
       Double, double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn, and caldron bubble.

       Scale of dragon; tooth of wolf;
    Witches' mummy; maw and gulf
    Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark;
    Root of hemlock digg'd i the dark;
    Liver of blaspheming Jew;
    Gall of goat, and slips of yew
    Sliver'd in the moon's eclipse;
    Nose of Turk, and Tartar's lips;
    Finger of birth-strangled babe
    Ditch-deliver'd by a drab,—
    Make the gruel thick and slab:
    Add thereto a tiger's chaudron,
    For the ingrediants of our caldron.
      Double, double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
       Cool it with a baboon's blood,
    Then the charm is firm and good.

Follow this link for free pumpkin patterns
Other patterns are listed for a price but lots of ideas there!

Mix It Up Monday: Spicy Chicken Linguini

It's no secret that I love to treat the family
to a good dinner.  Sometimes, I even put on music
 for the type of food I'm serving--
like this one would be Italian.
You know, those cheesy Lifescapes CD's that
Target sells?  Pop one in, serve up a great dish
and the fam will feel like you've taken them 
out to eat...only, I'd like to think the service
is better, the meal is usually more heathy
(okay, maybe not today's...!) and nobody even
 has to take off their bunny slippers. 

This is one of the hub's very favorites.
I think it's kind of an odd combination:
Mexican (anaheim chilies) and Italian (pasta & sauce)
but somehow they blend together for one
pretty yummy dish.

I think it's also quick and easy so, here we go:
(and, oh yeah, this is pretty "heavy" so salad and wine are a good idea)

Spicy Chicken Linguini

                1/4 c butter                                        3T flour
                1 t pepper                                          2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
                2 1/2 c milk                                       1 pkg cream cheese
                1 c fresh parmesean                        12 oz linguini
                2 green chilies                                   chicken breasts (4 to 6 halves)
                Italian dressing (opt)

Just choose the amount of chicken you need according to how many you'll have at the table.   I grill it with an Italian marinate--either I make my own (preferred but takes more time), use a pkg mix, or just use about a half of a bottle of pre-made.  Any of these will work.  While you are grilling the chicken:
  • Saute chopped green chilies and garlic in butter in saucepan.  Stir in flour and pepper till smooth.
  • Gradually add milk.  Bring to a boil and stir for 2 min or till thickened. 
  • Reduce heat; add cream cheese and parmesean.  Cook, stirring till melted.
  • Cook pasta & drain. 
  • To serve, place a small amount of pasta on individual plates; top with sauce.  Slice chicken thinly (I think cuttin them thinly somehow makes them taste nummier!) and place desired amount of slices on top of pasta/sauce. 

30 October 2011

A Second Give-Away!

Guess what?  I've made too many! 

WHOOO wants to try for an owl pin cushion again? 
There seems to be a little bit of screeching
going on over them.  I'm so glad everyone
seems to like them as much as I do!

Check out what Sew Many Ways said.
I'm screechless speechless!

This time I will be giving away just the owl
but I think he'll make you happy all by his little self!

Again, you MUST be a follower.
Just drop me a comment here, letting me 
know if you are a current or new follower--
and a name if you've picked one out for him!

Good luck to all!
And remember, if you'd like to make your own, you can find the pattern here.
I do not sell the pattern, nor am I affiliated with this company.
I just love sharing a good thing to fellow crafters!

This second--and final--owl give-away will
end on Saturday, Nov 5 at 11:59 pm.

28 October 2011

A Transformation Part 1

(see my Second Owl Give-Away here!)

 Craft/Sewing Room Inspiration
When I was searching for ideas, Sew Many Ways proved to be a gold mine. 
(She says it's ok to use her pics so I hope I'm okay here!)

I love her organization, color, everything!   

I love using "free" space.  I used a black curtain rod instead
 I also like the idea of using (hanging?) little mini buckets to store pens, scissors, etc. which I've seen on pinterest--just file that info away for now.
 (I hope to provide more pics in part two.)

A Real Need 
 Better organization for the table in my sewing room.  Ideally, mounted on the wall ("free" space!) to open up more work-space on the table, but keeps the items I'll be needing within quick reach.
And I have a big blank wall in there, just waiting...

The Find
 (temporarily on my fireplace hearth here)

The Story & A Transformation
When I saw this, it was love at first sight.  Really.  “I shall name you Robert and you shall come home with me.”  Well, something like that but less cheesy.  I didn’t even care how much it was—that says a lot because I ALWAYS care.  (I’ll be more blunt--I’m pretty cheap.  I didn’t get to be a SAHM of 4 for seventeen years by luck!)  So, home came "Rob". 

First order of biz, pull off that price sticker on the bottom.  Rob is very heavy and beyond my hanging skilz so DH will be hanging this thing, and we wouldn’t want him passing out on the job.  I know my sewing room has had at LEAST 100+ days with no injuries and that’s a pretty good record, what with all the sharp objects around.

Now, it’s not quite the look I want—too rustic—so I'm actually going to paint it.  Brand new, not even on clearance, scratched or broken, and I'm painting it!  Well, whatev.  More on that later.  We’ll focus on this next thrifty part:  I found these cute little pastel-painted metal buckets last spring for—are you ready?--9 cents each.  (The cashier and I both agreed that it couldn’t be right but all of the clearance items were ringing up that way so she said it must be and hey, who am I to argue with such logic?)   My new organizer has 7 sweet hooks hanging from it.  You thinking what I’m thinking?   Uh huh—a little black paint.  That helps make up for some of the $recklessness$ at the store, right?  A more recent post on Sew Many Ways shows Karen doesn't hesitate to paint--unlike me--and the results are fantastic.   (I really want to paint the legs of my table and chairs black just like Karen's--does that make me a creeper?--and they'd look awesome...but I'm a "play-it-safe" kind of person...for now).   

The Question
Do you see that top shelf? 
It's a very dry, kind of a grayish wood--hubs says it's poplar.  The table tops in my sewing room are all pine with kind of a yellow-tint so this kinda clashes.  My options:
1) Leave it, and the whole thing'll be up and running by tonight.  Besides, it won't be all that visible when it has stuff sitting on it.
2)  Try a light stain & polyurethane--not sure about the result but I'm sure it'll be a  long time before I get to play with Rob. 
3) Simply paint it black along with the metal part. 

I have to tell you, I'm leaning toward #1.

Weekend Bloggy Reading

25 October 2011

I Will NOT...

I will not listen to Christmas music yet,
I will not listen to Christmas music yet,
I will NOT listen to Christmas music...

Do you use Christmas music to put you in the  
mood to sew Christmas gifts &/or decor?

(I'm open for suggestions on this Riley Blake layer cake, btw)

Halloween is still days away.
The weather is predicted to turn cold inspiring
 tonight--I have Christmas fabric calling my name.
I may not make it!

Winner of Owl Give-Away!

This give-away is now closed but
here is a new one!

Thank you so much to everyone who joined in
on this give-away!  I loved reading, and really
appreciated, all the comments,
 especially of all the owl-lovers out there!
If you are not the lucky winner, the pattern is
available at Susie C Shore Designs
(Susie is not sponsoring this give-away)

And now, without further ado,
The winner is Kathleen (#4)
who commented:

Hi! I found you through Creation Corner and now I am your follower.
These owls are so cute!
(I cut and pasted this little thing because I was afraid I'd
mess it up but here are the official results)
True Random Number Generator
4 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

I will be in contact by email.  :o)

24 October 2011

Three Long Over-Due Thankyou's.

If you haven't bothered to enter a blog give-away because you think
 you won't win...please ignore your inner, pessimistic self! 
 I had only been at this blogging thing for about a month when
 I decided, "Oh, what the heck?"  and do you know that in 1 day
I actually won 2 give-aways?  And then a week or so later, I won another!
Go enter! and have some fun getting packages in the mail!
Fyi, my own owl give-away ends tonight (10/24)!

Big "Thank You!" #1
Here's an adorable Hallowen bracelet that I won
 from Bree at Distant Pickles  (courtesy of Cherry Creations). 

I love it and have been wearing it every day! 
Cherry Creations will custom-make these
any way you like so I'm thinking they'd be so fun
to give as unique Christmas gifts
--and reasonably priced!
(The above link to Distant Pickles will get you more info and
a link to Cherry Creations Etsy store)
Thanks again, Bree, for hosting the give-away!

Big "Thank You" #2
I'm guessing you've all seen the
WantobeQuilter Buttons splashed all over blog-land.
Madame Samm has a been very busy bee.
In fact, I don't see how she sleeps!
For more info, you can visit her blog. 
And sign up!  The give-aways are still going!

This fabric is so beautiful--I have some ideas
 in mind and can't wait to use it! 

Thank you, Madame Samm!
And thank you for your blog help!


Big "Thank You" #3
And, lastly, UCreate hosted a give-away from
Mixed Bag Designs. 
mixed bag designs 1
 Honestly, this is something I never would have
splurged on for myself.  See, I've been planning on
making a set of my own forever...of course,
that never happened.  I chose to get 6 big,
beautiful shopping bags, all in different patterns
 of black/white and several different sizes. 

(ever wonder why, no matter what you do, a picture just won't center???)
It's amusing to see other shoppers raising
their eyebrows at these uh-mayz-ing bags. 
Now that I've used them (a LOT), I sing
their praises to everyone who asks me about them.
I generally do 2 weeks of shopping on one day  
so I use every single one of these bags.

And these are very durable, easy to clean--
pretty sure I'll have them a long time.
Thanks, UCreate!  What a treat!
 Again, Christmas presents....!


Mix-It Up Monday: Vanilla Apple Crisp

This morning I'm sharing another apple dessert.
Tis the season and all.
(so much for keeping desserts to a minimum!)
This is from one of my favorite recipe sources,

Vanilla Apple Crisp with Caramel Sauce

If you think of crisps as being a little ho-hum,
this one will change your mind. 
Is the difference here the vanilla?

I didn't use the bean as the recipe states--
didn't have one on hand
 Instead, I just poured real vanilla
(a relative gets it for me in Mexico--lucky me!)
over the apples with the lemon juice.

Or maybe I just have some really good apples?
Or is it the nutmeg?  I [heart] me some nutmeg.
Anyway, this apple crisp has made it's way into
our family cookbook.  Trust me--it's an honor.
 [wink] [grin]

Bonuses:  Wonderfully quick & easy.
And you only dirty a few dishes in the
preparation process! 

Unless you're rushing around to have it done
 by the time the kiddos get home from school
(because you were playing too long on the computer)
and you do something lame,
(because you fried your brain on the computer)
without thinking,
(ok, well duh! Who would do something lame with thinking?)
like put the unneeded portion of butter in the
microwave to be melted while putting the
pre-measured, needed butter amount
(which was in a nice BOWL!)
back in the fridge and ended up
with this little mess. 

Well, you've got to keep your humor while
working in the kitchen, I say...   

As you pull your crisp out of the oven, you'll notice
the house is really smelling nice.  
Take a moment to admire at your work--
but strive to keep some sense of humility.
(not hard with the butter incident, right?) 


Oh, yeeeeaaah. 
Wait--something is missing.
Lookin' a leeetle dry there...

Mhm.  There it is! 
Drizzle just a touch of caramel over the top.

Generally, I like to leave off toppings and such
(like the icecream and the over-abundance of caramel pictured
with the recipe--clearly Kevin has a metabolism I can only dream of)
because I think it takes away from the flavor.
I want to taste freshness.  I'm often a minimalist.
However, a slight drizzle of caramel sure added to
 the appearance--as I said, I thought it looked
a little dry, tho it sure wasn't underneath!
I'm kind of cheating today and just posting
the link for Vanilla Apple Crisp
Eh....sue me.
 I don't know the author of this blog, but I
believe that, when it comes to cooking, Kevin
and I just might be kindred kitchen spirits. 
(I [heart] me some Anne of Green Gables, too!)
I've loved every single recipe of his that I've tried.
We have similar cooking skillz but he'll
occasionally throw in something new,
whether it be an ingredient or method. 
And I like that.
Always up for trying new things.
It's all about personal growth.
(okay, when talking food, maybe growth isn't exactly what I'm after!)

Hope you're enjoying the fruits of the season!

20 October 2011

An Owl Give-Away!

but here is a new one!

Whoo wants to win one of these cuties
Because I made one just for YOU!

They popped up at The Morning Latte
yesterday when I shared my latest project

"Buy us!  Make us!" they screeched
from across the quilt shop! 
(Above is their version.) 
And I'm so glad I did!

Today, I'm giving one away!
The winner will also receive a pattern for making
more owl pin cushions in two different sizes! 
(Yup, you can just have a whole pin cushion family!
Btw, did you know that a group of owls is called a parliament?!).
Plus, included with the pattern are instructions
to make Christmas tree ornaments!
I know, right!? 
(Are your creative wheels turning?  Mine are!)
And to top it off, I'm throwing in this set
of beautiful pearlized pins.

Think of all of your crafter friends and relatives
whoo would love one of these for Christmas!

They're a hoot to make.  Really!
Quick and assembly-line do-able!

To be eligible, you must become a follower;
Then leave just single comment letting me know
whooo you are and which owl is your favorite! 
(we'll call them Blue, Green & Pink for now)

For an optional second entry, mention this give-away 
on facebook, including a link back to this post.
Then leave a comment letting me know.

And that's it!
Give-away open till Monday 10/24 @ 11:59 pm CST.
Good luck!


Linked to:

Jalapeno Jams -- the PCR Keeps Going Up!

Yesterday, I canned 10 half-pints of blackberry
 jalapeno jam and 9.5 pints of candied jalapenos. 

I really need my Excel-expert DH to make a nice
little project-completion rate graph for me.
Maybe even a Power-Point presentation?
Visuals are good, you know.

Ever wonder how many jalapenos one needs
to make 9.5 pints of candied yumminess?
(one cel phone pic coming up...)

Observe the large 8-qt kettle up there.  Yeah...
(Best prep method here?  Put on a movie--and gloves--and start dicing.)
Now, if you're thinking these sound odd, wait. 
You really need to try them.
 I'm not even a big jalapeno fan.
But once I tried them, I was hooked. 
And so are my brothers and brothers-in-law
who get them for Christmas. 
(so, yay, I can now mark them as "done" on the Christmas list!
And it's not even Halloween.  Boo-yah!)

No, you do not eat these like normal jams. 
You simply put a softened brick of cream cheese
on a serving platter.  Pour jalapeno sauce of choice
 over the top and serve with tortilla chips. 
EASY PEASY and sooooo yummy! 
Great "football food"!

I've made strawberry and blackberry jalapeno jams
and the regular candied jalapenos but I'm really
thinking something with cranberries would be
festive and quite nom.

For the jams, I use this recipe:

But I put a good cup or two of jalapenos in it,
leaving the seeds in for heat and texture--
makes it better for dipping.
(is it me or is that an anaheim chili in the pic--not a jalapeno??)

I grow my own peppers, strawberries and
blackberries so it's a gift with a lot of heart in it. 

Happy harvesting, cooking, canning, 
home-making, gift-making...
Aw, heck.  Happy fall.  :o)

Check out my Owl Give-Away!

Linked to:
Weekend Bloggy Reading

Creation Corner Friday Linky

I Heart Naptime

Sew Darn Crafty Party

I really enjoy comments and usually respond to all. Please follow away, visit often and let me know your thoughts. This blog is only to keep a personal record of my creative side. I may occasionally accept products to review but I do not collect anything else for this blog, especially not cookies or email addresses.

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