Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I'm Back!!!!

The family and are back home from vacation in Maui. I never thought I would say this but I miss being home. I think that sometimes you need to get away to appreciate all that you have. I can't tell you how happy I was so see the San Francisco Bay as we flew in. I would have liked to seen the rest of what is familiar to me as I was landing but we took the "red eye" and got to the airport at a very sleepy 5:00 am on Sunday morning. Needless to say I was in no shape for church in just a few hours.

I went to a really nice quilt store while I was there called Sew Special. They gave me a card with their website but when I tried to go on to it I had a few problems and couldn't so that I why I don't have a link for you.

I will have pics of the fat quarters and some pics of the trip but just a few so that I don't bore you all to death!!

What I LOVED about Sew Special was that they had quite a Asian influence in their fabrics. I picked up a few quilt patterns and fabric to do them. I can't wait. Right now I am currently working on a Halloween quilt valled "Midnight Mischief" by Clothworks. As soon as I am done with this quilt then I will jump into one of my new patterns.

Well, I will try to get my pics up in the next day or so.

Thanks so much for stopping by!!


Monday, August 11, 2008

I'm somebody - I've been tagged!!!


I had been wanting to get tagged and I was so surprised when Ingrid tagged me with the "Tree of Happiness" award.

Now I get to share with you 6 things that make me happy:

1. Finding a GREAT deal one something at a garage sale or thrift store. Boy, is that ever exciting!!

2. Finishing a project of something that I never thought I could do.

3. Finishing a project and hearing "You did a good job on that."

4. Hugs and smiles from my family.

5. Watching my girl's accomplishments and seeing the happiness that it brings them.

6. A Random Act of Kindness from a person that I don't know. I know, this sounds so sappy but this can really make my day!

Now, being the recipient of the "Tree of Happiness" award, I get the fun opportunity to tag 6 more to "spread some love".

My six picks are:

1. Lera at The sky is pink.
Every time I visit her blog I am so inspired to do something creative. She can do so many things on top of raising 6 children!!

2. Shara at Monkeybox.
Love reading about her and "The Bean" and all their thrifting adventures. She finds a use for just about everything.

3. Christy at Mama Said Sew
She has some of the cutest stories about her and her family. Plus her latest bag that she made is BEAUTIFUL!

4. Brenda at She's sew pretty.
A truly talented person! I love reading about her daily adventures (and some trials) and her crafts are out of this world!!

5. Queen of Fifty Cents.
I always look forward to reading her blog every Monday. She has the greatest stories about garage saleing that make you just want to be there!

6. Red Geranium Cottage.
Can this woman quilt or what?? Her blog is an awesome read. Not only will you be inspired, but you will get quite a few giggles. She seems to have a great time where ever she goes and I love reading her "I'm just sayin." She rocks!!

I am going to try to get another post out in the next few days before my family and I scoot out of here for a R&R, hangin on the beach and sippin' at least 1 drink with an umbrella in it....yes I am talking about the Island of Maui. You can't believe how nervous I am though....I am such a chicken to fly....hate it, hate it, hate it!!!

Thanks so much for stopping by!!


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Me and Sara at the Farmer's Market

My youngest DD, Sara (Little Miss Sunflower) and I went to the Farmer's market that is just a 1/2 mile or so from my house. How convenient is that? And picked up a few things. Sara is holding the flowers that we were getting for our friend Sylvia, who is in the hospital with pancreas problems. We wanted to get something bright and cheerful because that is what reminds us of Sylvia. We got her some Teddybear Sunflowers (they are so CUTE!) Gerber Daisies and some white flowers that I have no idea what they are. We came home and I put them into a vase and Sara made her a card with a bee on it because Sylvia and her DH Dan are going to start raising honey bees.
Here is Sylvia's flowers and Sara's card for her. I wish I would have taken a close up of this sweet card. She put a lot of work into it. I was in too much of a hurry to get everything done so that we could get down to Walnut Creek to deliver them.
Anyhoo, here are some of the tasty treats that we brought home. The corn is white corn from Brentwood (a town next to us). The bread....OMG that bread was so YUMMY and gone by the next day. It was roasted onion and asiago cheese on sourdough. I am getting hungry just thinking about it. It is down on the list for next week of what to get. We also got green and red Pluots (Plum/Apricot hybrid) and the most Yummy Heirloom Tomatoes! The yellow one had a swirl of red throughout the inside. Oh, we also got cookies but they were gone before the camara was out of the case!

There were lots of other things that I would have liked to look at (homemade soaps and many different flavors of honey to try) that I will have to save it for next time.

WELL.......Mr. Blue Cottage and I will be celebrating our 18th wedding anniversary tommorrow. Sometimes it seems like only 10 years and other times....well..let's just leave it at that. :) hee hee!

Thanks so much for stopping by!!


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Cool Finds at the Flea Market

Took myself on a little field trip to the local Flea Market on Saturday. Had to go early in the morning because we were in for a scorcher that afternoon. Normally, this Flea Market has many sellers on Sunday but they are mostly those that sell knock-off purses, mass-produced items, and to me, things of little character. Saturdays is like a HUGE garage sale with multiple sellers and the plus side of this is I don't have to drive from sale to sale!

I tell ya, if I was in the market for power tools this is the place to be!

Here are a few of my treasures:

These 12 pkgs of Peet's Coffee will come in very handy. I can't see them going to waste. Peet's is a well known Northern California Coffee Company. I am not sure if they are in other parts of the country but they have GREAT coffee. Not too bad for $5.00

In the pics below are somethings that I got from a seller for 25 cents each. Folding scissors for me, a Hello Kitty rubber stamp for little DD and measuring tape for big DD who is starting to get into sewing. The "not-too-pretty" brown plastic thingie is for me to carry all my treasures around in so that I can still shop. I guess this will be my sidekick when I go next time. Wonder if I can spray paint it a more fashionable color? What do you think?? Maybe Krylon indoor outdoor paint?

Can you believe that label....Woolworths....are they still in business?? I haven't seen a Woolworths here in Northern California for many years...I don't want to think how long it has been. Didn't they have one of those counters where you could get a sundae or a grilled cheese?

Above pic is a one of those tortilla thingies that you can make a taco salad with ($5.00), a little milkglasss bowl ($2.00)and a child's pair of pants. The pants are a 4T and since my youngest is 10, I highly doubt that they will fit but the whole reason that I bought them was because 1.) I can take them apart and use them on a quilt or something (the print is of strawberries, flowers and butterflies....awwwwww) and 2.) they were 10 CENTS!!! Sure wish they fit me!! I am thinking that I would like to thread a red & white gingham ribbon through the holes in the milk glass and put candy in it at Christmas time. I have some Halloween ribbon that I could thread through and put out orange and black M&M's.

This cutterpede was one of my finds. It looks brand new. I gave this to my 14 yo dd who is always using my papercutter for school projects or making banners for her HS cheerleading team. She gave me a huge "YES!" when I handed it to her her so I guess I made a good choice. I am not sure how much they go for retail but I am hoping that it is more than 25 cents!

Do you go to Flea Markets? What are some of your cool finds?

Thanks for stopping by!!


Saturday, August 2, 2008

An AWESOME quilt book!!

While hanging out at Barnes and Noble with my DH, I noticed the title of this book and thought, "Come on....5,500 blocks?" But yea, they are not kidding. There are 5,500 different block designs in this book by Maggie Malone (love that name!) There is a section for 4 patch, 5 patch, 9 patch, 10 and 12 patch. There are also diagrams for doing circles, octagons, diamonds, curves, animal shapes, HUGE stars, pumpkins, cowboy boots, etc. There are approx 434 pages (not including the index). Each block has it's name listed and what other names it is known by. Some of them show the date of when they were first published in a book or a magazine. It is so interesting to see when some of these first came out.

Well, back to work on my "Little Star" quilt top and then I have to finish the Star quilt along. I will post pics as soon as I can.

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A ton of stars!

This is what I am currently working on know. It is called "Little Stars." I have not sewen the top all together, they are just layed out on the carpet for a better idea of what it looks like. Once it is all completed, I will take a pic and post it.
This is the page where I got my idea. At first, I was going to change it up a bit and not do the colors that they have here. BUT I am working on a quilt top (from Amanda Jean's Star Quilt along) that is in different shades of pink and white, I needed a change. Blue is another favorite color so I just went along with what they have here.

This is the book that I got the pattern from. Have you seen this book before? There are so many great patterns in this book. You might be wondering what are all those bright colored pieces of paper on the side of the book....well, those are future projects of course!! Can't buy a book and just do one thing. Well, I can't.

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, July 28, 2008

More Thrift Finds!!

A few days ago, my family and I were out getting some books for my girls for summer reading. I am giving them $1.00 for each book they read and give a short summary on (to make sure they are reading it). I will give $2.00 or more for the bigger books. While they shopped for books, DH and I shopped for treasures. Not too many great finds but I did manage to get a few things.

The milk glass vase 50 cents and the cup I just had to have. On the bottom it says "Furnival, Limited, England." It reminded me of dishware that my mom told me that she saw a lot of when her and my dad where visiting Denmark and she fell in love with it. It is so cute. I am now on the look out for more like it.....wish me luck!!

Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Thrifty Finds!!

Who loves finding awesome treasures at a GREAT price? Well most everyone I know and probably you since you are reading this blog :)

My youngest DD, Sara and I went to a Rummage Sale at a local church here in town. They had lots and lots of tables with the usual stuff (drinking glasses, wine glasses, coffee cups, books). But, as I looked under the tables (as I learned from going to this blog) I found this item Nordicware cake pan for $3.00.

It still had some cake batter( they couldn't even clean it before they donated it) which maybe scared some people off. Who knows. Anyway, after a good washing (or two) it was perfect, espcially for $3.00!!!

Anybody else have any luck this weekend? Let me know what you found. I always love raeding about great thrift stories. It is almot like reading about finding buried treasure!!

Thanks for stopping by!!


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Staycationing with the Family

What do you do when it is 102+ outside, gas is up to $4.50 a gallon and you have two kids, a husband and 1 dog?

You take a Staycation!

My family and I took a drive away from "the furnace of Contra Costa County" aka Antioch and went to a town that seemed to have their AC blowing outside. It was 20+ degrees cooler and a breeze!! I have not felt a breeze, or maybe I should say a cool breeze, for that matter in quite some time.

In the above picture is the DH, next to him is DD Sara and next to her is DD Jessica. In the middle is our fury son and their brother, Murphy.

We only stayed in Benicia for a couple of hours, had lunch at Kinders (YUM!) and checked out some of the antique shops. Not really exciting BUT it was nice to get out, enjoy the cool weather and see the sights. Unfortunately, the shops were closed because it was Monday but no big deal.

Thanks for stopping by!!


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Leapin' Lizards! Did you see my pizza?

Did you think, by my title that it was a Lizard Pizza?

Nope, no lizard pizza in this house!

BUT....this is a lizard.One warm afternoon, I was out in the backyard watering the plants below and I saw something move. I looked a little closer..not sure if I should run for the hills or maybe stay and see what was moving. Well the moving thingie was this little blue-belly lizard. I yelled for my family and told them about the lizard. It was just too darn cute for them to miss. Anyway, Warren (the resident DH) picked it up for us to take a closer look. That is his thumb. I told he would be famous and everyone in the world would see his thumb. I asked him if he will still want to know me when he makes the big time with his famous thumb. All I got back from him was a look. I am sure you know what kind of look!

Now about the pizza....this is the pizza.

It has been a little warm and I was not really into cooking dinner. I get a bit lazy and a little grumpy so I wanted to make something cool, quick and tasty for dinner. This is called "California Appetizer Pizza"

1 pkg (8 ounces) Ref. Crescent Rolls
2 ripe avacados, peeled and mashed
2 Tbsp onion, finely chopped
1 lemon
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp salt
4 ounces grated Montery Jack Cheese
4 ounces imitation crabmeat, chopped
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 tbsp gresh cilantro or parsley, snipped

Preheat oven to 350. Unroll crescent roll dough, seperate into 8 triangles. On a 13 inch round baking stone (or pizza pan that is sprayed with oil), arrange triangles in a circle with points in the center and wide ends toward the outside. Using a roller, roll out dough into a 12-inch circle pressing seams together. Bake for 12-15 mins.

In the meantime, combine the mashed avacado, onion, juice from the lemon to equal 2 tsps. Mix well. Add the sour cream to the mixture and mix well and spread evenly over the "crust" after it has had a chance to cool. Sprinkle the grated cheese evenly over top of the avacado mixture then the crab meat, tomatoes. Add the snipped cilantro.

Makes 10 servings.

Thanks for stopping by!!


Thursday, July 10, 2008

My Crafty Girls!!

My two girls have been busy this summer being crafty. I guess that is a good thing when the thermometer is showing 110 outside! Not at all my idea of a good time.

Anyhoo, this is my 14 year old, Jessica. She has really been busy making pillows for the family. This is one of her own creations. She took some fabric and sewed the pillow and then has added candy wrappers that were destined for the trash onto the front of her pillow. Can you believe she hand sewed this? She created the design in the front too.
This is the back of the pillow.
Here is a closeup to show the handstitching. I asked her how she will rest her head on it without being bugged by the constant "crinkle, crinkle" of the wrappers and she laughed. Oh well.
This is my youngest, Sara who is 10. She was also busy being a crafty girl! She was looking for something to do one day and I handed her a bunch of beads and some clear elastic wire and told her to have fun with it and call me if she needed any help. This is what she came up with:
Bracelet 1: "I (heart) Hello Kitty.

Bracelet 2: Miley...as in Miley Cyrus. OMG, what girl age 11 and below has not been bitten by the Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana bug? Sara was bitten pretty bad. I guess it could be worse.

These are some more of Sara's creations. They are erasers that you form out of clay and then bake in the oven for a short time. Don't ask me if they erase. I have not seen them in action and I have a pretty good feeling that they will never see the likes of any paper. Kind of like Pampered Erasers!

Eraser 1 : Mohawk Dude (not my words!) :)

Eraser 2: Donut

Eraser 3: Hamburger

It has been fun watching them make their own creations. I will post more as they are completed.

Thanks so much for stopping by!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Who turned the heater on??


According to the weatherman, we are expected to see temps today at about 105, 107 tommorrow and 105 for Thursday. We will be getting a "cooling trend" of 99 on Friday. What ever happened to those stories about cool breezes off the ocean and the palm trees swaying in the breeze?? I guess not in this neck of the woods. I am on the outskirts of the San Joaquin Valley so the only thing I may see swaying in the breeze are tumbleweeds. Lovely thought, isn't it. Oh right, oh right....enough of the belly-aching. Well here is my next project. It is called "Little Star" and it is from the book below. If it is hard to read, I will tell you that the title of the book is called "Simplicty, Simple is Beautiful" by Allison Jane Smith and Hollie Ann Milne. There are many beautiful quilts and some of them seem very "do-able"....is that a word?....well it is today :)

Sorry folks, heat gives me the "grumpies".

On my next post, I will show you all a pic of a pillow that my Jessica, who is my 14 y.o. daughter is working on. She is sewing together "Mamba candy" wrappers and then attaching them to fabric to cover the front of her pillow. I guess you could say that she is going green and repurposing things. Pretty cool! She kind of came up with the idea from looking at a friends bag made out of Capri Sun Juice bags. Who would have thought?

I will also have to show the quilt block that I have finished from following Amanda Jean.

Thanks for stopping by and stay out of the heat!!


Sunday, July 6, 2008

Another completed block!

Another completed block. Yaaaayyyy!!! This one according to Amanda Jean at "Crazy Mom Quilts" is called the "Martha Washington" Square. I thought it was very fitting for the holiday that we celebrated last Friday. I believe that this is block #9 and there is either 3 or 4 more to go after this.

Here is a family favorite recipe that I would share. SUPER simple to make and it makes alot!

Chinese Noodle Candy

1 cup chocolate chips
2 cups butterscotch chips
2 cups Spanish peanuts
2 cups Chinese Noodles aka crunchy chow mein noodles that come in a can

Melt both chocolate and butterscoth chips together then remove from heat. Stir in remaining ingredients and drop by spoonfulls onto waxed paper. Sets up in a few mins.

Let me just say that if your house is warm from the summer heat that it will take longer for the candy to set up so don't think you did something wrong. Also, for a different kind of twist, I substituted Macadamia nuts for the peanuts and my husband Warren prefered it over the peanuts.

Let me know if you try it and how you like it. I will warn you that they are addicting!!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, June 30, 2008

All caught up....for now

Has anyone else been following with the Star quilt along over at Crazy Mom Quilts with Amanda Jean? I have but I started a little late. I came into the quilt along when they were on week 7. They are now on week 9 . If you have not started, don't worry, you will have time to catch up. They are going to do 4 more blocks . It has been a great learning experience for me. I completed one quilt last month but it was very easy compared to these blocks.

This is one of my favorites so far. I forget what Amanda called this one. I think it might be the Ohio Star. If not , please let me know the proper name. I really enjopyed making this one.

This come is called "Optical Sawtooth." I am not so sure I like the results on this one. Not that Amanda gave bad directions or anything, I am just not sure where I made my boo boo at.

The next star that we are on now is "Martha Washington" star. It is very pretty and I hope that I can do it justice. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

My youngest dd and I went thrifting today. We hit a few in Antioch and then one in Oakley. We had some good luck but nothing to post pics about. I did manage to find 13 Martha Stewart, Victoria, Country Living, and Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion though for 50 cents each. They are a few years old but HEY, good ideas never grow old, right? Maybe the pickins will be better next week.

If you want to see someone that always scores in the Thrifting department check out Monkeybox. I am forever drooling when I go to her blog!!

Well, I must run, my youngest is coming home from Cheer Camp and sent me a text message that she is really sunburnt.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Have you tried this tool?

When I first started making yoyos, I didn't really have a tool to use to make them. I traced out a circle on cardboard (because it was sturdy) and then would trace all my circles out on the back the fabric and then cut them all out, one at a time. It was very time consuming and I thought "Man, there has got to be a quicker and easier way to do this. Well there is! It is from a company called "Clover". It is so easy to use. For those who have not used one, yo u put the fabric in the one that looks like a doghnut and then click the solid one inside . You turn it over and then trim around the circle and then pop the solid piece out. I actually use the larger one that is orange in color. They are such a lifesaver.
Like I mentioned before, I use clothes that my girls and I had worn at one time or another. Above is a dress that my parents bought my oldest DD when she was about 4 or so. When my next daughter was old enough, I let her wear it awhile. As I was going through my bag of clothes to cut up in yoyos, I came across this sweet dress and was almost in tears at the thought of cutting it. It now is on a hanger and I will give it to one of them when they have children. I am such a sentimental fool!

That's a good thing, right?? :)

Have a good weekend everyone!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The ups and downs on yoyos

Here is a closer look at the yoyos.

A couple of years ago I started a yoyo quilt made from pieces of clothing worn by my children and I. Atfirst I started with a simple idea of just sewing strips of yoyos together and then putting them together. Then I decided that idea was not good enough and took them all apart and was going to sew them in the shapes of flowers and put them altogether, kind of like the "Grandma's Flower Garden" Quilt. I decided that that idea was too complicated and took all those flowers (approx 50 of them) apart. I am back to the orginal idea of sewing them in strips. So far, I am at 6 feet long and 950 yoyos sewn together.

These pics should have been the other way around but this is my first time posting pics and I am about to toss this computer out the closest window!!

I have two more pics about yoyos but I now have a computer induced headache soooooo, I will post the others tommorrow.

Thanks for stopping by.


Sunday, June 22, 2008


This is my first attempt at blogging. This is my first of many (I hope) posts. At the moment I don't ahve any pics to share but will soon.

It has taken me awhile to get this going the last few weeks. For one thing, it has fairly hot and that makes me a little grumpy. It was 103 mid day. Today it is much nicer and we actually have the windows open and letting some real air in.

Currently, I am working on a quilt along that is being put together by crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/(I don't know how to add links yet so please be patinet with me) and it is alot of fun. I will try to post some of my blocks. This is will be my 2nd quilt and she makes it so easy to understand. I am on star block #2.

Thanks so much for stopping by. I will try to have more interesting things in my next posts.


Friday, June 13, 2008

This is a test......

This is a test. I will soon be blogging away but for right now I am just setting up.