Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Dreams Can Be Crazy - Keep a Journal for Them

Every night before I go to bed I wonder where I'm going to go before waking up. My dreams are so real that I really think I'm living them. Some are so crazy that I wonder how my mind can actually make them up.

I've recently been journaling them because some of them are so out there that I don't want to forget about them. They are actually fun to read later.

I'll share two favorites of mine that I never want to forget:

Our parents live in Florida and we were down there visiting one day (yep, 2000 miles for just the day) and they put out a big spread for lunch. The only thing funny about it was that the sandwiches were made from felt. Fabric felt sandwiches. Yummy!

My all time favorite dream was about three years ago. My friend and I were riding our bikes to the Gary, Indiana lakefront. I actually live by the lake several miles from Gary so I don't know why we rode to Gary instead of our own part of the Lake. The best part of the dream is that my friend and I were riding our bikes while carrying ironing boards. IRONING BOARDS! One of us got a flat so we stopped at a gas station to fix it. While we were there someone stole our wrench. I then said to my friend that we could buy another ironing board at WalMart for around $20 so we left our ironing boards at a laundrymat and went on our way. I seriously can't read that one without laughing.

If you plan to keep a journal for them, be sure to jot them down right after waking up. They are so easy to forget about if you don't do that. I always have a notepad everywhere in the house where I can quickly jot things down. If I don't have time in the morning, as long as I jot down some notes, I can record them in my dream journal later.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Designing Back In The Day


Long before PDF patterns and in the hoop embroidery designs there was Craft Magazine among many others. There were also so many hard cover craft and sewing books. It was so hard to get your designs published. You had no control over where your designs were used or seen. Once you submitted a design for publication, if you were accepted and hired, you usually signed away all rights.

One thing that was definitely different was the publication schedule. You'd submit your design in February or March, then if it was accepted, it would appear in their November or December issue. You also had to wait that long for your payment. It was fun and I was a regular designer for some of the publications but these days, it's so much easier for us designers. With that said, the competition wasn't as fierce as it is today. Today anyone can sell their designs and even their finished items. The internet has completely changed the sewing, embroidery, and craft design industry.

You want to know the worst part of it all? Back in 1993 when my first design was published in a magazine, I had to type the instructions on a typewriter! Can you imagine that? No backspace or delete button to be found. It would take me a week to get my instructions just right. Plus, different publishing companies had different requirements. One would want everything typed up with a two inch margin on the left and all pattern images had to be made with a technical pen while others wanted double spaced and wanted your pattern writing to be with a special blue pencil that didn't show up on copiers. I wonder if today's copiers could read that blue pencil?

I was so excited to get that first pattern published! Then when I saw it was on the cover, I was over the moon with excitement! I don't know if you can read the price on the image, but it was $3.95 back then. That's a lot of patterns for $3.95.

I'm sharing some links below about the pencil and technical pens so you can see what I'm talking about. Some of you might know already but the younger readers may not have heard about some of them. I didn't even know what a non-photo blue pencil or technical pen was until I was told to use them. I also want to mention that I dreaded using that pen. I had to use it for one of the publishing companies and it had to be filled with ink. I always made such a mess filling the pen!

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Homemade Vanilla - So Easy!

If you've never made homemade vanilla, you really need to do it. It's so super easy. I made several batches last Christmas as gifts. I first had some when my daughter made them for Christmas about ten years ago. When it comes to flavoring your baking, it doesn't get better than that! If you plan to give some as gifts, you'll want to make it about three months before giving because the flavors need to mingle for that amount of time. How you make it:

Get yourself some glass jars (got mine from Amazon)

A bottle of liquor. I chose bourban, but any will work.

One vanilla bean for every one ounce of liquor.

Slice your vanilla beans down the length and put them in the glass jars. Pour liquor to fill. Set them to the side and give them a nice and vigorous shake every other day. That's it!

They really make great gifts especially if you're going for a baking theme.

Thursday, February 9, 2023

The Nerdy Side of Me

I'm not sure if you all know that I have an extremely nerdy side!

I have a new side hustle! Part fun, part business, and showing the nerdy side of myself! I hope you'll stop by my nerdy blog to see what I've been up to lately. But don't worry, I'm still creating fun and new things in the embroidery studio! And I'd love to hear what you think, especially about the youtube channel.

Sunday, January 29, 2023


One of my serious obsessions is sculptures of all kinds. I especially love to see the ones where the artist is mentioned and information is displayed. Here is one that I saw while leaving San Antonio. The thing about this one that got me excited was the old suitcases. I'm probably going to age myself here but those are the suitcases our family used when traveling as a child. I can still smell the rubber in my mind. This must have been so much fun to make! And the memories of long ago trips are now flooding through my mind.

And for the record....

We had the suitcases in navy and beige. We even had the toiletry case and hat box case. Do they even make hat boxes anymore? At least I don't think so in the United States.

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Shelf Ice - Beautiful But Deadly

I have lived along the shores of Lake Michigan my entire life. It is magnificent and beautiful and I feel so blessed to live here and I'm able to stop by any time I want. I, as well as others who live near any of the Great Lakes learn at an early age that the Lake needs to be respected. As beautiful as she is, she can become dangerous and can take anything in her path.

The photos above were taken yesterday. The hubster and I were out running errands and I suggested we stop by and see the shelf ice so we did. We've thad such a cold snap that I was sure there would be lots of ice. Lake Michigan did not disappoint. It looks like you can climb up the ice and you can, you just may not make it back to the shore. Shelf ice is dangerous because it looks frozen and solid, but it's not. There are pockets under all that frozen stuff and if you fall into one of those pockets, you won't make it out alive.

I've seen so many people on the ice (some have not made it back to safety) and I'm thinking they may be tourists who have no idea what shelf ice is all about. Probably some not very bright locals as well. There are signs everywhere warning of the dangers but not everyone takes it seriously.

I've added some links below if you want to learn more about it. If you are near any of the Great Lakes during the winter, I highly recommend you stop by and see the shelf ice. Enjoy it and photograph it from a nice and safe distance.

Monday, October 31, 2022

New Video - Assembling Your ITH Mini Quilts

A new video is ready! This one will show you how to assemble your mini quilts after stitching the individual blocks. They come out nice and flat every time! You can watch the video right here:

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Une Mousse au Chocolat or A Chocolate Mousse

This year my granddaugher wanted a Parisian theme for her 9th birthday party. She loves Paris (from what she's seen) and is learning the language. She even changes my google assistant to speak French. After she goes home from a weekend with us I have to change it back to English. Love that child!

I came across this unopened box of plastic wine glasses that we had left over from a party several years back. I almost threw them into a donation box. A few days after that, I was happy I didn't because they were so perfect for our chocolate mousse.

When she's here she likes to bake. Her new favorite is food imposter desserts. Since her birthday was coming up we tried a couple of mousse recipes and we decided on the top one on the list. It's the easiest thing in the world to make and only a few ingredients. We used bittersweet chocolate chips, heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla. That's it. For a fancy dessert, it sure was easy and not expensive at all. 

The main reason we used the top recipe is becuase of the taste and the texture. It was perfect! Another reason this one appealed to me is because it didn't contain eggs. 

Give them a try and you will have a beautiful and delicious dessert with just the right amount of "fancy."

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Hit the Reset Button - Get Out in Nature!


Some people love a vigorous workout. I am not one of those people. But mention a hike in the Dunes or any other trail, and I'm there! There is something about nature that makes me feel alive, energized, and renewed. We had some unseasonably warm weather today so when the hubster mentioned going for a hike on a trail, I grabbed my water bottle (OK, it had iced tea inside) and my gym shoes and away we went! You can take the same trail every day and see something new. I also feel like the creative energy flows so much better during and after my hikes.

One of the things I noticed today were these two yellow leaves in the front of the picture. Do they look like dinosaur feet to you? Or is it just me? I did do a little research when I came home and found out that they are Sassafras leaves.

They say we have a couple more days like this. Looking forward to another hike!

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