"Creativity can neither be taught nor mass-produced."
I love to write and create. I also want to share my interest in photography, gardening, family, art, decorating, Christian faith and my enjoyment and gratitude to God for creating me and allowing me to thrive in my home setting. I love making my house a home. I am determined to 'bloom where I am transplanted'.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Look What the Cat Dragged In

As I was driving up our alley today, look what I spied (a headboard).  Didn't think much about it, but just now walked back to the dumpster this was next to, whipped out my stethoscope and did an examination.


Looks to be about the size for a double bed, all wood, just a smidge of repair needed on one foot. Paint needs to be stripped of course, but other than the minor repair ("Oh Handyman... Handyman!"), and of course some stripping of paint and what will take the most time--deciding how to finish it-- this girl is good to go.


It's all wood, looks to be from the 1940's.  And remember kids, 'FREE' is the operative word here! Always has been, always will!
Looks like I have (another) winter project on my creative hands!

Measures: 54" wide X 49 1/2" high, from top to ground.

Summer: Re-cap.



A short jaunt out in the country for a demonstration of old-time farm equipment. The person who owns this land and equipment, is also slowly restoring several historic outbuildings, one being a one room school house.


My husband and I attended this demonstration a couple of years ago:




... but what I really wanted to see was the quilt display.  Fantastic work, puts my measly efforts to shame.


Lots of pattern, creativity, color and inspiration (for my next year's county fair entry!). 
I loved all of them. 


Apologies for the not-so-sharp photos as it's easy to use a camera phone, but alas, not the best shots. 


In addition to the quilt displays, a local woman sold her home made jams and jellies--hard to choose which flavors, but I finally settled on Choke Cherry, Wild Plum, Strawberry Mango and Peach. Yummo!! Even purchased extras for gifts! 

A fun and interesting event, a good way to spend a few hours in the country. So many times we are so busy with our every day duties and obligations that we don't feel as if we should take time to 'smell the roses' and do a little something just for ourselves, a little respite in life. Do try this season to set your to-do list aside and take a break. It will refresh your mind and soul.  As I heard a person say, "We need to leave some work for the next generation to do!"

Friday, August 29, 2014

Refrigerator Pickles

Handyman's Dill
(He is so proud of it)


I'm not the most proficient canner and freezer when it comes to summer time garden produce, but I was quite proud of myself for whipping up this little delight. Yes, pickles can be a delight. So many cucumbers, so little time, right? I found a recipe on Facebook for these easy pickles... and I'm into easy when it comes to food preparation. I'll take you through this one step at a time. 

I'd say start with at least 8 cucumbers, depending on size. I don't use those huge ones that have the large seeds, I used some medium sized cucumbers. Wash and gently scrape off those little stickers and dirt. I took a potato peeler and peeled about 4-6 strips length-wise on each cucumber. I wanted it to look kinda fancy, you know, like it looked like I knew what I was doin'. Also, cut off the narrow ends.


Throw 'em in a bowl with onions--the recipe called for 3 onions, but I'm not a huge onion fan, so I used not even 1 full onion. (Handyman has since advised me to add more onions).


Next, mix up your brew: 
1 Cup of water
1 Cup of white apple cider vinegar
1 Cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1-2 teaspoons of celery seed (I think 1 is plenty)

BTW, I love this green spoon. I can't remember the brand, but it came from the store where I work and it is so easy to work with. A really nice sturdy and thick handle which comes in handy when I am mixing stiff cookie dough. The thicker handle is a godsend for my thumbs which have a touch of that old malady, 'Arthur Itis'...  I know many of you are familiar with him. Of course, water, vinegar and sugar are not thick, but that proves my point of why I love this spoon so much... it is my go-to spoon for nearly everything. Also, check out that awesome color. 


Okay, back to business here, I do tend to get off-track cause I like to write. Here is where my creativity entered the picture (literally!) You know about Dill don't you? Dill is great for pickles amongst many other food stuffs. The light bulb went off and I remembered that we had a heapin' helpin' of Dill in our garden out back. Grab some Dill, Joy, add it to the pickles...

Isn't this just lovely?

Here's the result: 
Place the sliced pickles and onions in the bowl of liquid and add a modest amount of dill--not too much-- just enough to make it look pretty.  See? It does look like I know what I'm doing, and you will look like you know what you are doing too because this is the easiest recipe ever this side of the Mississippi. Or Missouri. Or Platte River, or whatever. It's just plain easy.


Now cover and place the bowl of pickles in the fridge for a day. I stirred a couple of times, and then the second day, I ladled it into individual plastic freezer containers--but you can't freeze these, I just did this to make it more convenient for grabbing and noshing. The recipe says the pickles will be ready to munch on by the second day--if you can wait that long. It also claims that these will be fresh for 1-2 months, but that won't be an issue around here because these taste so good you won't be able to stay out of them. I stood at the kitchen counter and ate nearly the entire container in one fell swoop. The flavor is like 'Bread & Butter' pickles... a little sweet, a little sour, and a whole lotta goodness. 


See, it's that easy! Okay, once again we'll go over the recipe ingredients:

1 Cup of water
1 Cup of white vinegar
1 Cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1-2 teaspoons of celery seed
And...
Don't forget the dill. 








Saturday, August 23, 2014

Have I Ever Mentioned...

... my play house?


 My husband, 'Handyman', built it for me out of wood pallets. 
It was quite the deal. 


He said the only thing he'd ever build out of pallets again would be a fire.


He had the difficult part, I had the fun part...


I got to wave my creative wand and choose paint, fabric, and furnishings. 


Most items, I already had stashed away, just waiting for the perfect opportunity.  I did purchase the 'bed' skirt for approximately $12, and the rug was $3.


This is where I hide from the world.  
The rest of the story is on my Pinterest Board. 

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Four Blue Ribbons!


Seriously, I was shocked. But at the same time, giddy! I couldn't believe it... I got 4 blue ribbons for my 2 lap quilts, 1 batik wall hanging, and this little pillow I made out of a vintage calendar towel.  


 When I first went to the county fair and saw my projects with the blue ribbon 'stickers', I was disappointed. I thought people actually got a real live, blue ribbon. I began brainstorming of how I could make my own... but when I went to pick up my items after the fair, I found that I really would receive an in-the-flesh, honest-to-goodness, blue ribbon... plus $5! The ladies must have thought I was crazy... I have never in my life entered anything in a fair, never did 4-H projects, never was in a setting that anyone did 4-H projects, and here I was, as excited as a little kid. My husband says I am a '60 year-old 4-H er'  Better late than never, right?  


If you have ever been to a quilt show, you know how beautiful many of the quilts are with detailed patterns, intricate machine or hand quilting, beautiful applique and embroidery. Mine are very simple and a Blue ribbon is actually second place. First place received purple ribbons. Maybe next year? I know now I will enter a quilt or something similar next year; I've been inspired... next year's entry will be even better. I won't hope for a purple ribbon, I really won't. But maybe I'll be surprised. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Finished Batik Quilt


Is it perfectly made?  No.


I really, really, like it. The colors are beautiful and juicy.  


I did some applique and embroidery. 


The backside is pretty too.


This was sort of an experimental quilt. It gave me ideas for future quilts.


 It is so pretty. I'm biased, you know.


As always, I'll be posting these photos on my Pinterest board. Now for my next creation. I'm having fun. I may enter this quilt/throw in the county fair.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Batik Quilt Update


I have finished the machine quilting-- 'stitch in the ditch'-- and at this moment I am hand stitching the edges. I'll post the finished product soon!  I'm thinking of entering this small quilt in the county fair next month.
I am loving the colors!  I LOVE Batik!