At Plum Loco Ranch, Door County, WI.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Another GO! giveaway

GO! is sponsoring another blog giveaway - check out I'm Just a Guy Who Quilts and read his review of the GO! and for chances to win.

Monday, August 30, 2010

GO! giveaway

Check out A Quilting Life.  Sherri has a GO! to giveaway on Sept. 3rd.

Back from vacation

Greetings!  We're back form the great, green space of Door County, Wisconsin.  If you ever get the chance to visit - do it! - you won't be sorry.  It's pretty, friendly, and rural (i.e. slow-paced) - and COOL.  My husband has been checking the daily highs there for over a month!  Each day when I woke up around 6:30 AM, it was about 60 degrees!

We long for the cool temps due to our allergies.  Here in the St. Louis region we have higher temps and lots of mold, of which I'm reminded by the dark circles under rmy eyes.  This is also on my mind b/c it apparently did not rain while we were gone but it is now - WOO HOO.  It's a double-edge sword!  We need the rain but we know that it will bring headaches and sleepiness along with it.

Over the next few days I will try to go through some of our photos and post some to share.  I had some time, and energy, last night but I chose to work on a quilt top instead of sorting photos.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

planning for vacation

I just spent an hour searching the web for quilts shop in Wisconsin that are not far from our route to Door County.  It's easy to find quilt shops in Wisconsin!  It's harder to figure out which ones are close to I-43!  Oh - and that are open on Mondays. 

Last year we stopped at Material Matters in downtown Cedarbrug.  Beautiful shop with a park nearby that DH and son could enjoy while I shopped.  There is another shop in town, Ye Old Schoolhouse, that we did not get to visit.  I had hoped to stop at both but they are only open Tues-Sat.

Finally, I found one not to far off our route in Denmark and on the east side of Green Bay.  Printed the directions and maps - all prepared for DH's questions about how we get there.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Giveaway at Leona's Quilting Adventure

Head over to Leona's Quilting Adventure  to see what wonderful goodies she's giving away on Aug. 31st!

tomato woes

I am so envious of people that can grow tomatoes.  Our yard gets lots of morning shade and direct afternoon sun from the south, the kind that roasts the plants!  It also gets poor air circulation.  Success only comes with grape and cherry tomatoes in containers on the deck which is a story above the back yard.  Every once in a while I can get Romas to grow and produce, but not this year.  Here are how my tomatoes look - pretty from a distance, but close up you see the rot. 

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Last week I harvested my basil and made pesto.  I've been doing this for several years because basil grows so easily from seed in containers on my deck.  The only thing it needs is regular water.  This year has not been a good for basil - it's not as prolific as in the past.  Maybe it's the heat or long stretches of rain we had earlier, I just don't know.

I started with a big bowl, which I should have photographed from an angle other than the top!

This is some oregano that had gone to seed.  Makes a nice bouquet.


Here are the basil leaves ready to go in the chopper.  I don't have a large food processor, just a 2 cup chopper from Wal-Mart.

Here's the pesto bible!  It has all sorts of different pesto - it's not all about basil.  There are also recipes for using dry herbs when fresh aren't available.


Sorry this image of the the final product is blurry.  7 - 1/2 cup containers for the freezer.  That make s a total of 12 so far - not many, really.  Once the weather cools down we may have to have some pesto chicken pizza.

Friday, August 13, 2010

more Charming goals accomplished

Here are two more projects from my July/Aug Charming Club goals:

These are pillowcases for my son.  I bought the fabric at Hancock's b/c of the characters, I'd never seen Scooby-Doo fabric.  My!, what a difference from the quilt shop fabric, almost like paper.  But, he loves them!

Here are two sections, of four, from my 82x82 "guinea pig" quilt top that I am going to quilt using the Marti Michell "Machine Quilting in Sections" method.  Marti provide several methods for connecting the sections.  On this first attempt, I will leave 1" at the edges to avoid using strips to cover the seams.  Have any of you tried this method?  It was almost a pleasure to cut and spray baste the backing and batting - so easy doing the small sections.  I add pins since I roll the tops for space. 

Monday, August 9, 2010

School starting

There are many differences between my school life in a rural area, with 88 people in my graduating class, and in a large metropolitan area with, what?, 300-500 students per class.  For example, my husband and I both marvel at how much attention the local high school, which we both drive by daily, gives to its practice field.  It has been re-sodded at least once each year since we lived here - that's going on 12 years.  It's a practice field!  Last year they added a retaining wall for proper drainage and last week I noticed that there is a sprinkler system now.  Again, it's a practice field! 

Here we go:  "where I grew up", in the high school situated between two corn fields, the football field was mowed and holes were filled in so the guys didn't trip and hurt themselves.  The field wasn't zoysia or bluegrass  - it was just green and probably full of plenty of weeds that were mowed routinely.  And the practice field, you ask?  Ha - what practice field?  There was some field beyond the official playing field that was used if the field was too wet close to a home game. 

My neighbor, who is a native to the metro area and specifically to this area, was telling me how the schools are cutting back.  There will no longer be any after school buses.  Now, I took this to mean that the schools were cutting back on transporting kids to after school activities.  After all, how far do they have to go, right, 10 miles?  It's not the 2 hour drive along country roads from my neck of the woods.  No, she meant that if the kids stayed after school for some reason there was another bus they could catch to come home!   We live a 10 minute walk form the schools.  Now, where I come from, if you didn't get on the bus to come home, then you had better have another form of transporation.  Heck, it hasn't been that long since I had my last dream about missing the school bus!  Funny how 12 years of being told not to miss the bus can stick with  a person, huh?

Now, I could try to explain these difference to someone around here but they wouldn't get it!  That's what I find so frustrating about living here - I lack this common point of understanding.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Peanut Butter chews - No bake recipe

Here's the first no bake recipe we tried from our freebie fair cookbook:

Peanut Butter Chews
1 c corn syrup (I used light)
1 c sugar
1.5 c peanut butter
4 c corn flakes (or any cereal)

Boil sugar and corn syrup, remove from heat. Add peanut butter, mix well. Pour this over cereal, mix again. Drop by teaspoon on wax paper. Allow to set and dry.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

More finished projects!

Two more Charming Club goals met - two swing bags for birthday gifts. I also finished 3 of the easy zipper bags from the tutorial.

Here are the backs of the little zipper bags.  I think I need to make some more of these - maybe a little bigger.

Here are the 2 swing bags from the free pattern at  I made one of these for myself when I went to Paducah this spring and I love it.  One is for my sister-in-law and the other, with the strap adjuster, is for her 3 year old daughter.  One has a yellow lining and the other has a pink polka dot lining.

Cornbread recipe

Here's the cornbread recipe I tried yesterday. My 3 year old loved it. It was a little sweet to my taste. Maybe next I will reduce the sugar to 1/2 cup.

Grandma Woodard's Cornbread

1 c milk
2 eggs
1 c flour
3/4 c sugar (or less, to taste)
1 c cornmeal
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix milk, eggs, flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Mixture will be lumpy. Pour into a 10" iron skillet or a greased 11x8 baking dish. Bake 25 minutes.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Freebie from the fair

When we went to Indiana for the county fair I picked up a little cookbook in the manufacturer's tent (that's what they called it when I was a kid, now it's probably the commerce tent or something). I have a handful of these little cookbooks and most don't really fit with trying to eat naturally in the 'burbs. Lots of canned soup casseroles and pre-mixed stuff that we now know contains all those trans fats, etc. Well, I've already made 4 recipes in a week!

Today was cornbread, not from a box but w/ cornmeal and the Montana whole wheat bread flour that I found at Wal-Mart. A few days ago it was Oat pancakes, also not from a mix, made those twice! It has several no-bake cookie recipes and we chose to make the one with corn flakes and peanut butter. There is a corn salad recipe that made good use of left over corn on the cob. So, I am mighty pleased with my little book.

Cant' wait to try play-doh and fingerpaint and the coconut cream cake recipe!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sewing time!

My dear husband entertained our 3 year old all afternoon and most of the evening yesterday while I got to go downstairs to my sewing corner and sew. Now, given my headache, etc., my mind wasn't in the game and much as I would like it to have been, ended up ripping almost as much I sewed. The time and some measure of productivity helped me get my sewing legs back. I hope to get back down there and finish up 3 easy zipper bags from the tutorial.