"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'.

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
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!

Friday, May 30, 2014

New Quilt Beginning

Ack! Phone photos don't do things justice, but just wanted to show the beginning of my latest quilt. It's a Batik quilt, I'm doing it in strips of every Batik fabric print I own as I love Batik prints.  It's going to be a small quilt, more like a hanging and I'm calling it an art quilt. I believe I'll be doing more of these, as I want to combine some techniques, perhaps even painting on some fabric and adding it in, as I've painted on fabric before and it was great fun. A combination of sewing, painting, design, maybe even story telling?

Monday, May 19, 2014

My Latest Pinterest Board

Who couldn't spend hours on Pinterest? Wa-la, my new board that features all sorts of nifty, money-pinching ideas and schemes. Might even be an actual steal on there some day... The inspiration came from my honkin' awesome deal on a used dishwasher flatware basket. Details on the board!

My Deals & Steals + 'Spend Less, Be Happy'!