Thursday, October 19, 2017

Happy Friday Eve!

Or Friday if you are in another timezone.  :)

I had to get back to work on Wednesday but I wish I could have stayed home a couple more days.  It did have a fun time off (even if I did have to clean in the first half of it).  I managed, as you know, to play with my Instant Pot and also put away some soups in the freezer.  I am loving that it is getting into soup weather.  I am making ham and bean soup for tonight.  It actually is in the crockpot (so it doesn't think I don't love it anymore).  Soaked the beans last night and put it over to cook while at work.  I'll put a couple of containers of it in the freeze also. 

I did manage to get my mini wall hanging done and it is now up at work.  I like it there.  I also like that I have something up that isn't seasonal so it doesn't have to be changed soon.  :)

It now joins my other quilted wall hangings on the wall. 

It's about time to change out some of them but I need to buy more command hooks so that I can get them on the back of the wall hangings. 

Did I also had to snip some more chives and sage today so they will be joining my refrigerator collection. 

I will probably use the chives tonight.  I am having fun with cooking again and made some applesauce over the weekend.  I need to get more apples and make some more.  I also want to make some sweet potato hummus.  I went to an event at Hy-Vee (grocery) store last night that was put on by their Dietitian.  It was entitled:  Dietitian Cancer Fighting Foods Class.  There was a brief discussion about foods and then we paired up to make 5 dishes and then we got to sample them.  The recipes were also given out at the event.  I think that the sweet potato hummus was the best but I might have been a tad biased since I made it with another woman.  :)

Brussels Sprout Slaw with Cranberries and Walnuts

Sweet Potato Hummus - YUMMMM

Chia Oatmeal Porridge with Blueberry Compote

Cauliflower Tabbouleh

If anybody wants the recipes, let me know.  There was a Turmeric and Cinnamon Masala Chai that was made also.  It was added at the last minute and I forgot to take a picture of it.  I was probably too busy eating.  I was surprised that I really liked it.  It was made with almond milk, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, pepper and Dark Amber maple syrup.  I might have to make that sometime when it's cold outside because it certainly warms you up and the spices are good for you too.  

That's it for now.  I just wanted to share some of the things I accomplished this week and to remind you to smile!  The weekend is almost here.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Gasp! The apartment is still clean.

That might not be great news for people but considering that I'm starting to craft again, that is pretty good news to me.

I haven't done much today except cook and think about what to make.  On the cooking front, I did some corned beef in the Instant Pot, some vegetables in the liquid from the corned Beef in the Instant Pot, a 15 bean soup in the crockpot, and planned what to make tomorrow.  Then, of course, there was the clean up and putting things away, etc.

In between that I ironed some fabric for a wall hanging that will be given as a Christmas present.  I haven't cut out the fabric yet, will probably do that tomorrow, but I did find a t-shirt that I remembered I wanted to turn into a little mini wall hanging to be hung by my work desk.  It is only 15 inches but I didn't want to just get rid of the t-shirt (it is way too large for me) so I decided to make the mini.

Hmm.  Maybe I will go peel some apples and make applesauce.  Will let you know how it turns out (the mini) as well as the applesauce.  :)

Later everybody.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Ohhh. what a wonderful day!

Yep, that's right.  It's a wonderful day today.  I finished getting the sewing room done.  Of course I still have my living to "re-clean" but that's ok.  My "get rid of" area is getting larger and I am happy with it.  In my living area is a lot of fabric that I want to cut down into squares.  That's ok.  I can do that at my leisure.  So what does it look like? 

That's not the only thing that makes it a wonderful day.  I got great things in the mail today.  My INSTANT POT arrived.  It arrived really quick.  I put in the order for it YESTERDAY!  I must have just timed it right.  According to the website, it can:

  • Instant Pot Duo Mini, the ideal companion to the Instant Pot Duo, the number # 1 selling multi-cooker, combines 7 kitchen appliances in 1, Rice Cooker, Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer.
  • Perfect for smaller families or to make a small dish for two, side dish or while traveling such as camping, traveling by RV, boating, sailing, hotel excursions Cooks up to 12 Cups of rice (Cooked), 6 Cups of rice (uncooked)
  • Features 11 Smart Programmable digital controls – Rice, Soup/Broth, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Sauté, Porridge, Steam, Slow Cook, Yogurt, Keep Warm, and Pressure Cook
  • Note: The Instant Pot Duo Mini max capacity is 6 cups uncooked rice (12 cups cooked), please use the rice measuring cup that comes with the Duo Mini.
  • Up to 24 hour delay start, automatic Keep Warm up to 10 hours, and sound ON/OFF.
  • Stainless steel (18/8) inner cooking pot, food grade 304, no chemical coating, 3-ply bottom dishwasher safe.
  • Accessories include: Rice measuring cup, stainless steel steam rack without handles, rice paddle, soup spoon, condensation collector and recipe booklet. To maximize performance of cooker only use genuine Instant Pot accessories.

But wait, there's more! At least that is what the commercials usually say.  Two of my three orders for yarn came in.

Now off to go relax and play with my mail goodies.  LOL.   Everybody have a great day/night!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

More work on organization

I still will have boxes/containers that aren't organized as I want them to be but I'm getting closer.  My body only allows so much bending over and moving things at a time.    I am still making progress though.  I finally decided that I needed to take down one of my white folding tables.  For some strange reason, I couldn't get it to cooperate enough to totally fold down but the legs are put in and I have it leaning against the wall.  That will work since it couldn't lean against the wall totally flush because of a baseboard heater that I never use.

The other stack that seems to be growing is my "get rid of " stack.

That stack includes clothes I can't wear any longer and other crafting stuff that is either broken or I don't want any longer.  I am forcing myself NOT to quilt or cross stitch until I get the apartment back into some sort of order.  I am, however, crocheting some pot holders to replace the ones Mom had given me.  She taught me how to crochet these so it's good that I make some periodically and don't forget.   This is one that I finished.

They are nice and thick so they can double up as heating pads.  This one is nice and bright.  The other one I'm working on is in camouflage colors.  I had forgotten how much I like making them so I thought I'd order some more yarn.  These are the colors that are being shipped to me.

That's about it for a report right now.  I have to clean off my bed so that I can GO to bed and my pain meds are starting to kick in.  My body and I should, hopefully, sleep well tonight.  I will have to take it easier tomorrow or else I won't be able to get to work.  LOL.

I hope everybody has a safe and great day/evening.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The organization begins!

Wow!  I am tired and the day is only half gone.  My back is hurting and my ankle is swollen but I am still smiling because I felt good enough to get my organization plan started.  Doesn't that sound so much nicer than "the cleaning begins!"  I managed to get my living room, only named because it is the room I live in, where I wanted to. 

I also managed to put some UFOs in their own little box and labeled so that I will know which project is in there and it will be easy to identify them.

The boxes are sitting on my couch now because I still have to clean up the sewing area.  Right now it looks like a dump.  Probably because dumped some of the things from the living room in there.  They GO into that room so it was legitimate excuse.   Really it was!  So now my sewing area looks like this.

I will be getting more boxes and such so that I can organize projects a bit more.  I have no shelving units where I can put them and if I buy anything then it can only be 3' tall because of slanted ceilings on both sides of the room.  It will take me a bit to do it, but it will get done.    I don't want to leave you with the horror picture of that sewing room, so I'll leave you with this picture instead.

I entered a trade with my friend Marsha and she sent me a jelly roll and other items.  This is one of the other items. 

I like the variety of labels on this panel.  I know I'll find a use for them.  Perhaps it will be incentive to use labels since I don't normally label my projects.  These, however, I can use.

I hope everybody has a great day.  It's time for me to take some Ibuprofen and allergy pills.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

What I have been up to

I'm not going to tell you EVERYTHING that I've been up to.  A girl has to have SOME secrets right?

I've started new projects (and haven't finished any of them).  I'm trying to get my creative juices going again and they are still being stubborn.  One day I get it together enough to decide on what to work on.  In the meantime...

I have been busy freezing tomatoes that my ex has given me.  They only had 4 tomato plants but it was too much for them. 

1st batch I tried

2nd batch just done last night
I also took the 1st batch which was frozen out of the plastic container and put it in a freezer bag.  That way it won't be as bulky in the freezer.  Yes I know that if I had waited for it to cool down, I could have frozen it in the freezer bag in the first place and by laying it down flat it wouldn't have taken up hardly ANY room.  I don't think of those things until a) after it is frozen and b) I'm fighting for room in the small refrigerator freezer compartment.

Then I also made another batch of pumpkin butter.  Will make another batch over the weekend.  The recipe doesn't make very much so it's easy to make up one batch at a time.  My ex also gave me pears so I might make some pear butter.  Found a recipe that looks pretty simple.  Simple is good for me.  :)  I will put those in the freezer too.

I will have to label them so found these which should work.

The weather is starting to get cooler so I am thinking of all the flavors that I love in this season.  Pumpkin is certainly one of them.  I will use the tomatoes to make chili or spaghetti with. 

On the crafting front, I have been unstitching more than I have been stitching.  Here you can see two of my works in progress. 
On the left is The Holy Grail; on the right an Owl

The owl might not get finished.  I've already run out of one color and they didn't give DMC numbers for it so it's a "let's see if I can match the color" game.  If I can't match this color I'll just get rid of it and keep the Aida fabric for another project.  I only paid $2.50 for it on clearance so it's not bad.

I was pissed at them so I switched to crochet some pot holders.  They also aren't finished yet but they are colorful and the bright colored one should be finished today.

I have taught another woman at the office how to make them.  It took awhile to get her NOT to turn the yarn when you get to the end.  You just keep going around and around in circles.  Then eventually they will meet up (I will take a picture of that when I get that far) and then you sew/crochet the two sides together.  I know it doesn't make sense when you read this.  It is one of those things that is easier shown than explained.

I also received a couple of new quilting books for inspiration.

No patterns, just stories and pictures

 Patterns, pictures, guidance and a DVD!  WOO HOO!

I think that was all I was going to post to catch you up on.  So let me get back to work (sigh) and leave you with a picture of what was outside my work building the other day.

Everybody have a great day/evening.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Some other new things. :)

I managed to get some more new things in the mail.

My mini white (blanc) cone.  This is about half the size of the black one I got but it was the only white one Amazon had.

Then I received some redwork designs which I can turn into mug rugs for Christmas presents.  I might give them out at the office.  Not sure yet on that.  That assumes that I will get them done in time.  I need, therefore, to have some red thread.  Gee, guess I will need to get another small cone from Amazon.  They had a dark Christmas Red on a cone so I ordered that.  Amazon knew what they were doing when they gave me a store card.  LOL.

Behind that cone of white you can see a close up of the ruler that I ordered.  It's called the T-shirt Transformation Rules by June Taylor.  There is a video on YouTube on how to use it.  It is good for three sizes and you can use those corner slot to mark you corners, etc.

My 16 1/2" ruler hasn't come in yet but it will.  I needed larger sized square up/rulers/templates for t-shirt quilts.  I might make larger blocks once I get these too, who knows.  I will have to get back into quilting first.  That might happen this weekend.  I'm not sure yet.  I have been known to change my mind at the last minute.  If not I'll work more on the cross stitch.

Speaking of cross stitch, I read on one of my Facebook groups about somebody who uses their hair clips to hold the extra fabric that you aren't stitching on.  I tried it and it wasn't too bad.  I think I'll get some more, perhaps from Dollar Tree, and use them with my Mini Owl HAED.  This is what it looks like on The Holy Grail-Left.  You can also see my progress in this picture.

That's about it for this entry.  Have a great day/night!

Happy Stitching

Sunday, September 10, 2017

WOO HOO! Good mail!

Isn't it great to get stuff you want in the mail instead of bills all the time?  I ordered some things and they came in.  Of course the bills will come in soon enough since I put them on the cards.

Want to see them?  That's good because I'm going to post them anyway.  :)

First up is my new earrings.  Aren't they cute?  I'm not sure when or where I'll wear them but I couldn't resist.

 The next purchase that came in isn't THAT exciting but they are colorful. These are the little clips that I use when I put on binding on my quilts.  I've think I've seen some pictures of people using them in cross stitch also to hold threads on large projects and they park the threads.

This is another not too exciting purchase but more of a necessity.  Really I did need this.  I'm positive that I needed another ruler.  We all need more rulers.  I like this one because it is a 2 1/2" x 6".  I wanted a six inch ruler because it is easier to move around.

I have some larger templates/grid square up rulers or whatever they were called ordered but they aren't here yet.  I also received something else but can't show it quite yet since I am giving one of them to somebody.

This week I should get my cone of DMC white six strand embroidery floss.  THEN I will be taking out the white that I have stitched on The Holy Grail and restitch it so it all is the same dye lot and I know it will match.

That's about it this time.  Have a great evening everybody.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Quilts and Human Rights Exhibit

During lunch today, my friend Theresa and I went to the Pick Museum of Anthropology at NIU and looked at the Quilts and Human Rights Exhibit.

The Pick Museum of Anthropology is a teaching museum for the university.  They use special exhibitions to promote cultural awareness and solidarity in support of global social justice.  This month the topic is Quilts and Human Rights.

I'm sorry that I couldn't get the descriptions of the quilts but I couldn't use my flash and some of the pictures didn't turn out.    I hope you enjoy looking at these quilts and it makes people think.  Some (if not most) of the quilts are of a sensitive nature and I mean no offense by putting them on my blog.

This is one of my favorites

This Quilt is one of Four (I believe) that was made from blocks in remembrance of the 2008 shooting at NIU.

To remember 911

Made by Diane Johns who used to work at the Graduate School

At the time, this caused a big split in the local quilter's guild.  I hope you can read about it in the picture below.  You might have to enlarge it.  Diane has given me lots of advice on quilting and took me to my first International Quilt Show in Rosemont.  She is a marvelous quilter and it was a true shame that they didn't let her display it at the Quilt Guild show that year.  

This was done by an expert appliquer and was done as a reverse applique quilt.

A close up of the reverse applique quilt

I also liked how they mentioned how to make a quilt and showed how the sewing machines had changed over time.  What they didn't mention was that these machines and even older ones are still coveted today and in use.

They did, however, tell the process (simplified of course) of the path a quilt goes through to be made.

I hope you enjoyed these pictures.  There are more quilts than I took pictures of so I might have to go back. 

If you are in the neighborhood you might want to stop at the museum (VERY close to visitor parking).  The hours of the Pick Museum of Anthropology are:  

Tuesday - Thursday 10 a.m.  - 4 p.m.
Friday - Saturday  10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Closed Sunday and Mondays.