Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tomorrow's the Date!

Yes, October 1st.
That's the deadline for getting your Iraqi Bundles of Love in the mail.
You can do it!

You'll be glad you did!

Make it a Wonderful Day!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cilantro Pesto Marathon

I had some fresh basil that needed to be used up, so I thought I'd make pesto. But I also had some cilantro...okay, Basil Cilantro Pesto it is... or should it be Cilantro Basil Pesto? Either way, we loved it! The flavor was a little lighter and brighter than an all-basil pesto. We used it all week- if you don't want some at every meal, freeze it in small portions to add zip to your favorites recipes.

First, I used it to flavor up some homemade chicken vegetable soup.

 And then I tried it as a spread on crostinis topped with baby spinach and a grated Italian Cheese Blend...

And it was great with sliced fresh mozarella and tomatoes with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar...

(Love my thrifted placmat and plate from Value Village!)

 I didn't get a photo of the Pesto Pasta Chicken Bake... Or the yummy breakfast of scrambled eggs with asparagus, red onion, and pesto.  Or the last of it in the spinach soup. Delish in so many ways!

Cilantro Basil Pesto
1/2 Cup Pine Nuts, toasted
2 1/2 Cups Cilantro leaves
1 Cup Basil leaves
1-2 Tablespoons minced Garlic (I used the jarred kind this time, but fresh is great too)
2/3 Cup Olive Oil
3/4 Cup grated Pecorino Romano Cheese

Place nuts and herbs and garlic in food processor and pulse to chop. Add olive oil, pulsing to blend well. Add cheese and pulse. Add a small amount of olive oil if you'd like a smoother texture. Use right away for brightest color.Store tightly covered in the refrigerator. (If you plan on freezing, leave out the cheese until ready to use.)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


They are so cute.

But not when they get in your attic. And your crawl space.

It's costing us a bundle to put out the "NO VACANCY" sign- cleaning out and sealing up.

Not to mention relocation. Our local rules allow these furry friends to be moved.... so peanut butter in the live trap, and then a car ride to some open forest far away. I feel bad not letting them stay, but as a friend said, they are like rats with furry tails- and they can do a lot of damage to roofs and wiring and insulation. So they have to move out. For good! (Sorry little guys....)

Make it a Wonderful Day!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Art Glass

A few weeks ago, I went with my sister and some of her friends to a ceramics studio that also lets you do fused glass. I wanted to try it out, to see if it might work for my Art Club kids.

While it was fun, I don't think I'll be doing it with my classes- too expensive to do anything but very tiny pieces. My 5.5 x5.5 tile was over $25!!! I think tiny pieces just won't offer enough of an experience. I asked about using recycled glass, and they said they aren't able to do that-it's not predictable enough.

But the smooth and shiny and translucent qualities of glass do intrigue me. I love having a bit of it around to catch the light. And glass always catches my eye when thrifting for home accessories...

My daughter brought back a piece of reverse painting on glass from Romania...

And my son Jon made this piece for me a few years ago. He first painted  black on the back of the glass, then scratched it away to create the image.

 He then used colors to define the spaces and backed it with white paper.

 I love the graphic quality- and I'm thinking this may be the year I do this with my students. I've been collecting thrifted picture frames with glass for this very purpose.

This is a little collection of glass- the commercial pieces are thrifted, and the two art glass pieces are ones made by art students from my college days. (I've had those for over 35 years!)

I have this small mobile hanging near my desk- it was purchased at a local fair when our kids were little. I remember that the artist had very large pieces too, but they were way out of my price range. I love the smooth feel and the quiet tinkling.

These two pieces belonged to Dave's grandmother. I don't know how old they are, or the story of where they came from. They look like they might be from the 20's?? I love the colors...maybe they'll inspire a quilt.

Make it a Wonderful Day!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Peace in a Package

There are lots of ways to help work toward Peace. This one comes in a box.

Remember the Iraqi Bundles of Love?
Major Art La Flamme of the US Army is back again with IBOL II!
The original IBOL was such a success- 3445 bundles of fabric and sewing supplies were shipped to Iraq and distributed by US Soldiers to sewing co-ops and women who are in need of basic supplies for their families. That's about 30,000 pounds of supplies.

You have the opportunity to help! Go to  and ask for the address.

 I'll show you what you do- it's an easy way to help someone just by going through your stash!
First, get a large flat rate box from the Post Office. You can get the plain ones, or the ones designed to go to military addresses. The boxes are free.

  Next, lay out some ribbon, string, fabric strips- something to tie the bundle with once you've made it.

Use a large piece of fabric for the "bundle". Lay it on top of the ribbon.

Now fill the bundle with fabric, thread, yarn, pins, etc.- whatever you can fit!

Secure the bundle by folding the fabric over and knotting the ribbon...

Seal up and address the box, and get it to the Post Office no later than October 1st! The flat rate for this box is $12.50 when shipped to a military address. (Ask your friends to join you- they can donate sewing supplies, or sponsor a box!! Or both!!)

Make it a Wonderful Day!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Service Sewing

Saturday's service projects were a lot of fun, and so much was accomplished! Our church sponsored and participated in lots of local projects-I love it when we're part of something as big as a National Day of Service!!

Nan, (who also happens to be the fabulous leader of the quilt group I'm in), was asked to head up a project. A quilt was first suggested, but that seemed a bit daunting given the time frame and the variety of skill and experience levels of the volunteers. But pillowcases fit the bill. Here's our recipe for a great day of sewing service:

Start with a bunch of donated fabric...

Gather lots of sewing machines, cutting tools,and ironing supplies...

And then let the fun begin! Everyone helped- choosing fabrics, cutting, sewing, and ironing.

We set up a makeshift clothesline to display the finished pillowcases...

We had about 25 volunteers for this project, and made 125 pillowcases! They'll be donated to Fisher House, a home near the hospital for families of wounded and hospitalized veterans.

(And the leftover fabric will go to another project that I'll tell you about tomorrow!)  

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

National Day of Service and Remembrance

Today is a good day to do something good!

We're making pillowcases for American Hero Quilts. And my husband's helping build a sandbox for the YWCA.

Everyone can do a little, and a little can mean a lot!

Make it a Wonderful Day!

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Buying fabric is a lot faster and easier than making a quilt.

And when it's on sale, it's hard to know when to quit...

...But it sure makes it fun to go to the mailbox!

Make it a Wonderful Day!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

She Put Her Foot Down

I thought I'd share a little piece I made a few years ago.

(She Put her Foot Down, 20"x27")

It's based on a child's drawing. First graders did drawings for their teacher who was getting married. Their sharpie-on- paper artwork was adorable, and it added such a sweet touch when displayed in the hallway at her wedding reception.

I loved the way "Ryan" drew the couple inside an arched structure. But my favorite part was his solution to a drawing dilemma.  He solved the problem of running into the shoed foot he had already drawn by simply drawing around it. I loved that little detail. (And I had fun with the double-meaning of my title too...) 

My appliqued version was intentionally primitive, and I used black thread so the stitches would show a bit. (Okay, let's be honest. The only way I can applique is primitive.) It has a backing fabric, but no batting.

Right now, I have it hanging in our dining room.

I've always loved buttons, and these tiny ones from my collection were perfect to add as details.

The fabrics were from a friend's scrap collection- I had just started quilting, and so  I didn't have my own scraps yet to play with!

I made this for our 25th Wedding Anniversary-wow, that was already NINE years ago!!!
 Life really does fly by.  (Glad I get to share it with someone I love!)

Make It a Wonderful Day! 

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

August Quilt Group Revisited...

Helen's been at it again- making these ADORABLE Log Cabin houses, and then hand quilting them...

She used them as end borders, and can I just say I love this whole thing?

And then there's Nan. I don't think I'd ever tackle DIAMONDS. Ever. Too much bias for me. But she's pulled it off beautifully..., though my photo's not that great. But you get the idea...GREAT!!!

Make it a Wonderful Day!