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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WS1aLYBhliA

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."


https://celebratingsweets.com/chocolate-mousse/


https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/death-by-chocolate-chocolate-mousse-recipe-2011503


https://www.onceuponachef.com/recipes/chocolate-mousse.html

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!


Thursday, October 20, 2022

NEW VIDEO RELEASED! Cellphone Holder/Case

 


It is finally here! My most requested video. It may look complicated, but it's really quite easy. Stop by and check it out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9t8AcBJY5Q

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Planners and Logs - Printable and Samsung Notes Format

FREEBIES FOR YOU!

For the past several years I've been using a (not free) note-keeping app. Now I use Samsung Notes exclusively. No, I'm not connected to them in any way, I just love their note-taking system. The most important thing you need to know about this FREE app is that it's only available on Samsung devices. I can also view and edit all my notes on my Windows (10 or 11) computer. I downloaded the app from the Windows store which works perfectly. Before that, I would connect my phone to my computer via the "Link to Windows" app that is already installed on my phone. You can also download it from the Google Play Store. It simply puts your phone screen on your computer screen so that you can open all your apps, and photos, and even respond to text messages from your computer.

I like to keep organized so I created some sheets that are compatible with my Samsung Notes app (A4 size) and also made them so they are printable (letter size). I'm sharing those with anyone who might find them helpful. They are free to use, ad-free, no strings attached, etc. Just download the ones you want and you can import them into your notes app. If you are new to Samsung Notes, you might want to download my helpful info and instructions.

You can find the templates and instructions on my website at:

These templates are for personal use only. Please do not share them. 

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Bobbin Storage Solution - Keep Them Neat

 


I was starting to get so frustrated when choosing my bobbins because of all the loose threads. I don't remember where I saw this idea but I thought I'd try it and it works beautifully.


I went to a home store (Menards, Lowes, Home Depot) and picked up some vinyl tubing. I picked up a whole lot of it (more than enough to share) for under $10. What you need to get is the following:

1/2" I.D. X 5/8" O.D. Clear Vinyl Tubing

The I.D. means inner diameter and the O.D. means outer diameter. 


I found that the easiest way to cut them is to cut off about an 8-inch length. Cut a slit lengthwise then open up one of the ends and cut it into thin (under 1/4") strips. I didn't measure, I just judged by eye. They just need to fit in the bobbin to cover the thread.




Then you just wrap the plastic piece around the thread. That's it, you're done!


Friday, January 7, 2022

ALWAYS Trust Your Gut

 


I know you've heard it over and over again, but are you really listening to that little voice inside your head? Well, you should. If something doesn't feel right, then more than likely it isn't. This is for every life situation. It could save your life or prevent a disaster.

We and our dog traveled for ten days during the holidays. Our first leg of the drive started at our home near Lake Michigan heading to San Antonio to visit our daughter and son-in-law (and all the grand pets). The drive was quite nice with little traffic. We stayed over in Little Rock to break up the trip. The next "leg" we drove from San Antonio to the Tampa area to visit my dad and bonus mom. Again, breaking the trip into two days. Light traffic as well. 

As we left Florida for our return trip home we stopped in Manchester Tennessee for that break. The only bad traffic was through Atlanta, but that seems to be the norm, though I've seen it worse. We arrived at our hotel around dinner time. We stopped and picked up some salads for the room. We got all checked in and sat down to eat our salads. I remember the lady behind the desk mentioned snow was on the way so I thought we should put on the news and see exactly how bad it was. Where we live snow is a winter-long occurrence and everyone is used to it. But here in the south, not so much. They have very little equipment to clear the roads. The weather lady started with the mention of a snowstorm that is definitely on its way in the morning hours and they will be watching it closely. I looked at my husband and said, "lets get out of here." He thought I was nuts since we had just checked into our non-refundable and pet-friendly hotel room. But he trusted my instincts because I had a strong feeling. So we loaded up the car and headed home immediately. We were tired from the drive there but I gotta say, even in the cities, we pretty much had the roads to ourselves. Zero to very little traffic.

When I woke up in the morning and looked at the Nashville area news they were calling it a CODE RED STORM. Telling everyone to stay off the roads. Had we stayed, we would have either been stuck on the highway, sliding all over, or possibly in a serious accident. I suppose we could have rented two more nights in the hotel but who wants to do that? I woke up this morning and the highways along our route was still in the red and orange.

Long story short, when your instincts kick in, LISTEN TO THEM!

Photo credit: Google maps on my computer screen. 

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Family Heirlooms

 

There is a cute story to the spoon in the photo above. Several weeks ago I was cleaning out a drawer and came across an old jewelry box I had forgotten about. I opened it up and along with some old jewelry from my teen years was this silver spoon. Well, it was actually black because of sixty years of tarnish. Once I cleaned it I noticed it had my name engraved on it. I found a shop on Etsy that turned it into a ring for me. Now I can enjoy it a whole new way! I didn't know who had gotten it for me so I asked my cousin if she knew. She told me that it had been her! I was so excited because I love this cousin so much and she is also my Godmother. This makes this spoon even more special. I have this vision of my granddaughter wearing this ring as an adult or at least tucking it away with her special things. I'll bet that when my cousin bought that spoon she never in her wildest dreams would imagine me wearing it as a ring sixty years later!

Family heirlooms don't have to be expensive pieces of jewelry that are passed down for generations and generations. They can be anything that is loved and cherished by the original owner or the loved one(s) who want the items for reasons that may be special only to them. 

When my bonus dad passed away in 2015, there were a few things that our family wanted to keep for very special reasons. For example, my brother wanted his WWII items. While cleaning the basement out that year, I was lucky to find his war documents. Right now they are in a fireproof box in my studio. I pull them out regularly to look at them. I also kept his gloves, a jacket, and a scarf. I wanted those items because he was always worried about everyone being cold. He loved his family so much and always wanted them to be happy and comfortable. My daughter wanted one of his handkerchiefs and white undershirts. He was the King of cooking breakfast and when the kids would be there overnight or for breakfast, he'd be in the kitchen in his white shirt cooking up a storm! Such simple items that bring comfort to those he left behind.

Another thing that you'll find in my fireproof box is the many letters and notes my kids wrote to me while growing up, and even after they grew up. Some of them are sweet and loving while some are just plain silly. But I love them!

I'm not a materialistic person, but I do enjoy looking at and holding things that remind me of a special person or time.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Favorites - This Pet Stain Remover!

In the earlier days of my blog I did a feature called "Favorites." I simply shared the love of a product that I have used. No paid promotions, just my personal opinion from my experience. I thought it would be fun to start that up again!

As some of you know, I have a beautiful little rescue pup (photo above) who has been a nightmare to housebreak. There is a reason for this. She is a rescue from an Amish puppy mill. If you've never heard of them, I suggest you google it so you can see what my poor baby had to live through for the first three years of her life. Long story short, she was used for breeding and lived in horrendous conditions until she was of no use for them anymore. Fortunately, there is a rescue group that is close in location to the Amish community and takes their "throwaways" and finds them homes. Living three years in a dirty cage, you can probably understand why we struggled with housebreaking. Fortunately, she has come a long way in the two years we've had her but still has accidents on the carpeting.

I have a very long list of items I've tried to get the smell and the staining out of the carpeting and they just didn't get the job done. But this product, right here, is my hero in a bottle! I purchased mine from Amazon, but I'm sure you can find it locally as well. I wish I would have taken a before picture but to be completely honest, I was embarrassed to do so! Her favorite place to pee was near the front door. There must have been 30 or more round spots that I just couldn't keep up with. It was embarrassing when someone would visit. Someday we may rip up the carpeting and put in different flooring, but for now I'm happy to have found this.

NOTE: I do not get paid by anyone for sharing my favorites. They are just things, places, food, etc that I truly love.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Renting Cabins - Check Every Corner of Your Room!

Now that the weather is getting nicer and the hubster and I almost fully vaccinated, it's about time to hit the road! Because of the events unfolding last year, we weren't able to travel at all. As I was looking through my travel journals (more on that another time) I was reminded of a recent trip to Tennessee to visit with family. The Gatlinburg area has always been a favorite of ours. We have family there and sometimes we take a bunch of other family members and rent a huge cabin in the mountains. Love the mountains! 

On one particular trip, we got quite a surprise when we were just getting into our room. We had just brought in our luggage and my dad and bonus mom stopped in to greet us, they were staying in the same RV park, but instead of a cabin, they had their RV. We're all sitting around chatting and I look down at the floor and I saw what appeared to be a toy snake behind a dresser. I bent down to pick it up and that's when I saw the tongue poking out. Nope, not a toy! The hubster and my father were looking for a broom to shoo it out while my bonus mom was laying on the bed with her feet up in the air screaming bloody murder. During this time I sent a picture of the snake to my then boss who is a veterinarian and an expert in reptiles and exotics. He assured me it was a simple rat snake that was not a threat at all to humans. Relief! 

The men did get the snake out of the room and even went as far as shooing it into the river. Seriously? Apparently, they weren't aware that rat snakes are quite good swimmers. Yep, it swam right back and went under our cabin. We called the park office and they sent someone out to capture the snake. They promised me that they were going to release it at the other end of the property and no harm would come to it. I mean, seriously, I think we traumatized the poor snake enough as it was.

So why am I sharing this particular story? Because the weather is getting nicer and you'll all be traveling and those that will be out in the wilderness, nature, the mountains, cabins, etc, need to check your space!

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