Monday, May 24, 2010

No sewing for 2 months. Please help me

I'm not kidding. 2 months, no machines. We are moving out of our rental and are temporarily displaced until we find another place to live. So, we got the bright idea to be nomads. The hubs is staying in TN with a buddy while he continues to work. DS #1 and DS #2 are staying with their dad for 2 months. DD and I and 3 dogs (2 50lb, 1 25lb) are staying with my sister & partner in a 2 bdrm, 1 bath home shared with her 3 dogs (1 70lb, 1 50lb, 1 4lb).

About the only thing going for us is the doggie door.

I was going to bring my sewing machine but decided there truly is not enough room.

Again, I'm no kidding.

I need help. I think I might start a crochet project or cross-stitch or something, anything!  Then I realized, I do have lots to do this summer plus working so maybe, to ease the pain, I'd actually ask my blog friends and ask them to ask their friends if they can keep me in the loop of this community of quilters, even if I can't sew new blocks.

Here's my thought... 1x per week, a MYSTERY MEAL.  The day before or maybe 3 days before, I will post ingredients (with an effort on some suitable substitutions also). Then post instructions with photos on the meal day.  I will create a flickr group and we can all share photos of our finished meal.  I don't know. It sounds kind of crazy but since everyone does mystery quilts, then I got to thinking, why the hell not?

What do you think? Should I formally announce or ban the madness?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

O-M-G. Preakness Stakes and quilting. Sad day.

Yes, that's right. Maybe 3rd time will be the charm.

Preakness Stakes today and the hubs wasn't around to bet but I gave it a go. Just a little history. This post was written after the Kentucky Derby earlier this month.

What I didn't say was the horses the hubs chose were the same my gut instincts said to bet on but I talked myself out of. So, this time, I decided to bet straight from the gut.

Did I do it? Nope. I didn't. And again, if I had, I might have won a little spending money (I'm a $2 bet kind of gal so a win wouldn't net much.)  I looked at the horses and thought, "Lookin at Lucky is good." Then I thought, "I have to go with a horse named First Dude."  Finally, I looked and thought, "Jackson Bend is going to place today. I'm sure of it."

Those were my first thoughts. If I had boxed em, well, I'd have some quilt stash spending cash. But nope. I said, no way. Calvin Borel on Super Saver is a favorite. He's a great rider, he's messed me up before, I have to put him on the top 3.  I wondered who to shoo out, Jackson Bend or First Dude and decided I was strong in feeling Bend would hold up.

I bet Lucky, Bend, Saver.  I lost. Dumb.  lol  So, anyone want to lay odds on whether I'll actually go with my gut insinct. First draw for the Belmot Stakes and if I do, bet that I'll actually lose it?  

LOL - hope you've enjoyed it on my behalf.

In quilting news, I've been quilting my pinwheel quilt in an attempted diagonal lines. Its awful. I've got more ripping than I've ever had to do (and NOT becuase I've been worried about straight lines, either).  I walked away today feeling like I was going to chuch the entire quilt!  No nice words, please. I'm certain IT doesn't deserve them.

I won't chuck it but walking away did give me perspective to say I won't be using it for us like I thought. THe dogs will get it. I'll chalk it up as a "practice different patterns" quilt.  Man, oh man, I was cussing like a sailor I was so mad.

Thank goodness for the wine. Wine has given me perspective. I may hate it but the dogs don't care how its quilted!

Cheers! Beck

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Peach Trip Around the World - complete

I have edited this post to add it's my "Friday Sew & Tell" which is linked off AmyLouWho's blog. Go to the sidebar link for some great eye candy as others, including you?, add their updates! :)

At the same time as my pink trip around the world, this one was started as part of the mystery quilt challenge with my OST Yahoo Group.

See that white in the binding? I ran out of peach, had a small strip of white left and figured, what the heck. "I'm not trying to impress anyone."

It screamed for my daisy and loops but I swear, this is the last one for a long time I'm using that pattern on. lol I'm tired of it.

Dogs love it, as usual.  My biggest fans can't even let me enjoy it in peace!

Cheers! Beck

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Simple Venison Stew and Mango Blueberry Ice Cream

No step by step photographs today. The recipes are too simple.  So, I'll start with the main course then give you dessert.

Simple Venison Stew
(substitute any red meat wild game or domesticated beef)
Serves 6-8
Prep Time: 10 min.  Cook Time (Crockpot): 5-6 hours

2 lbs. venison stew meat (simply put, meat cut into cubes)
1 can chopped tomatoes with juice
1 can tomato paste
2 cans cream of chicken condensed soup (substitute for one a cream of mushroom or cream of celery)
4 Tablespoons steak marinade (I used Dale's)
1 whole onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
sea salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
2 Tablespoons onion powder
2 Tablespoons smoked paprika
1 lb. fresh asparagus, cut into 1.5 in. lengths
carrots, chopped (optional)
Brown rice, cooked just prior to serving
  1. Season meat with salt and pepper and brown in a large skillet over medium high heat.  About halfway through browning, add 2 Tablespoons of steak seasoning. Once browned, dump into crockpot.
  2. Put onions and garlic in same skillet, reduce heat to medium and sautee just to soften for about 2 minutes.
  3. In medium bowl add the remaining steak marinade, the tomato paste, the two cans of cream of chicken soup, and about 1 tablespoon of the juice from the canned tomatoes. Mix together. Pour into crockpot.
  4. Dump the can of tomatoes and juice into the crockpot. Add paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and asparagus (also carrots).  Mix well.
  5. Cover and cook for 5-6 hours. Serve over brown rice.

Mango Blueberry Ice Cream
Prep/Cook Time: 5 minutes, soft serve style
Serves: 1

1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk
small handful of frozen blueberries
handful of frozen mango chunks
2 tsps Splenda sugar substitute
1 oz. chocolate chips, optional

Add frozen berries, mango and splenda to food processor and chop well. Add in buttermilk and blend until creamy. Serve topped with chocolate chips.

I use this approach for anything. I made banana peanut butter ice cream for my son yesterday. The key is frozen fruit. You can substitute regular milk but be careful not to get too much in there or to take time to refreeze the result otherwise it may be more of a smoothie than ice cream.  See?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A happy Mother's Day = sewing time

First for all you moms out there, I hope your day is going beautifully.

For me, it's good. I woke up early, before everyone and had a good 1.5 hrs uninterrupted sewing time. I was able to finish the pinwheel top and start quilting on my peach trip around the world. I may try to finish that tonight, maybe not. It's a small one but right now, it's cocktail hour.

Later, hubby and I ran a couple errands. One of which was to  go to a new friend of the hubs so the hubs could sight in his two 12 guage shot guns and where I had the opportunity to shoot a 20 gauge. I hit dead center no problem. Go me!  lol

Now, on to real quilting news. Here's the pinwhweel quilt along top. Completed quilt to show soon, I am determined.  (Yeah, yeah, I don't care if you've heard that before. It's mother's day and I'm a momma. Shut it. -wink-)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Someone Slap me! Kentucky Derby

So the hubs was taking a nap when I placed bets for the derby. I don't bet horses much, only the Triple Crown races. It's a family thing.

Well, he picked the trifecta (the top three in the correct order) just before the race started. My dad said, call in the bet, I said, "nah, we won't bother."

DUMB, DUMB, DUMB!  The hubs would have won $2300 and change off a $2 bet or $23K if he had bet the $20 bet he would have laid down if I called.

Ahh, oh well. It is at least bragging rights for the hubs!

:-)  Good job, hubby. I promise, I'll bet your picks when the Belmont and Preakness Stakes come around.

Revamping a koozie - Tutorial

Finally, the tutorial on how to go from this freebie to this.

1. Start with a cheap koozie.  Those free promotional ones are nice. Start getting those when they hand them out, these make good gifts.

2. Tunr the koozie inside out and rip out the seems so it will lay flat.

3. Put paper under and trace a template. (Note, this will create a template for future koozies. You could buy thin foam if you don't have more koozies.)

4. Cut out the template.

5. Place it over the fabric and pin in place. Cut 1/2" further out from the edge of the fabric.

6. Remove the template and pin fabric to the foam. Be sure to pin wrong side of fabric to right side of foam and center the fabric over the foam.

7. Trim diagonally in corners so you can fold fabric over foam to the wrong side. Only do this at the nec, shirt tail and sleeve cuffs.  (This step is not necessary if you are using a koozie that is just a cup shape to put a can in  and not a shirt to go over a bottle.)

8. Fold edges over, pin and sew seams over loosely using a stretch stitch. Careful, if you pull these tight, there will be no room for the foam to stretch over the bottle.  It should leave you about 1/8" of folded fabric hanging off edge of foam. Or rather the fold is 1/8" away from the foam.

9. Line wrong sides together and sew 1/8" seam. Sewing only where sewn on the original.

10. Trim extra fabric to 1/8" and corners. Turn right side out and enjoy!

A warning again. If you do not use a STRETCH STITCH of some sort, you will end up with a koozie like this... one that doesn't go over the bottle. I forgot when I started the tutorial so you get to see the one that works and the one that doesn't.

Cheers! Beck