Sunday, August 31, 2008

Come Back Chicken Come Back

This is a post from my family blog that I thought you all might enjoy. It's my oldest grandson Benjamin. He belongs to my oldest daughter Natalie. This video clip is from the day I took Benjamin swimming at the neighbor's pool and I thought you might enjoy seeing it. Kenna and the girls caught the rogue rooster that's been running around the neighborhood this past week and brought him over for Benji to see. He thought the chicken was pretty cool and kept getting in and out of the pool to have a look at him. In the video clip he's saying "Come Back Chicken"

My DD Kenna took these pictures of the Rogue Rooster.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Nuggets Purse Tutorial

This is the cutest thing I've seen in a long time. Really CLEVER Purses! Who doesn't like purses and chocolate anyway? I'm going to have to make some of these sometime soon. Just so, I could remember where I saw this tutorial I thought I'd just post it here so I had it when I'm ready to make my own nugget purses. There are lots of other great crafty tutorials you'll see when the videos done. Enjoy.

Thanks to Thimbleanna for posting a link to Beckie's blog on her post today. I couldn't find the post you made reference to and that's how I found this fun tutorial. Beckie has lots of great projects and tutorials that she's done. This particular tutorial she got from ChicNScratch (sorry I couldn't find a link).

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I Love Your Blog Award

Yippee!! This is my very first award. I'm so way excited! Thank you Jo-Anne for the sweet recognition and I'm glad you enjoy my efforts. I too have enjoyed reading your blog and I feel like one of your friends. That's what I've enjoyed the most about blogging is making sweet connections with other ladies that love doing the same things I LOVE to do! It's so inspirational and motivational. I think I spend more time blogging than I do quilting or cleaning. Especially now that I'm working I get my QUICK QUILTING FIX by looking at all the wonderful quilting blogs out in blogland. Keep Quilting and Blogging Ladies!!!!

Here are the rules to this little bit of fun!
1. The winner can put the logo on her blog.
2. Link the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 5 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of those you’ve nominated.

And the nominees are........

1. Nanette at Freda's Hive~ I've known Nanette for some time now and I just love her work and she's the one that inspired me to start a quilting blog. Thanks Nanette! Nanette has so many favorites of mine how can I pick just one but here's a recent favorite, I'm sure you'll agree.

2. Joanne at Applique Today~ She loves to applique and has some awesome projects. You will love her bright and happy colors. Here's one of my recent favorites.

3. TLC Stitches~ I don't know her first name but she does beautiful work and she knits too! This is one of my favorite posts about her "First, Worst, and Best" quilts she's made. Love it!

4. Patty at Sew Easily Distracted- Patty doesn't know me but I just love her blog. She's part of the Dear Jane Group that Anina the master and leader of our group. Her lollipop blocks are to die for and I can hardly wait to see it all put together. Here's one of my favorites.

5. Anina at Dear Baby Jane~ I just have to give a huge pat on the back to Anina. She is the master and leader of our Dear Baby Jane Group. She does a remarkable job keeping us all motivated and inspired. Her instructions and blocks are awesome! Check it out. Even if you don't join in the fun it's amazing to witness the process of making all of these wonderful blocks originally made by Jane Stickle in 1863.

My other most favorite sites that have already been given this award are Anna at Thimbleanna and Jo-Anne at The Carter Clan. You Go Girls!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

First Day of School

It's hard to believe but, it's that time of year again!

The FIRST day of school!!!

This year is going to be a different year for me because I decided to stop working as a Certified Companion Aide and I took a job position at my DD McKenna's school working as a teacher's aide in 2nd grade. I will be working more full-time (than part-time) at about 35 hours a week while Kenna is in school. I have every holiday and teacher prep day off and I'm off during the summer. So it's the perfect job to work while Kenna's in school. I will miss a lot of my free time quilting so that will be a big adjustment. Here are a few pictures from the first day of school which was two days ago on Monday.

The child I help each day took this picture of me.

Kenna standing in front of her outside classroom door. (See my shadow? How funny!)

Kenna is our fourth child (9) and Natalie (24 and married) as seen in the sidebar pic is our oldest daughter. We also have a son (22) and another daughter (18) both of which are attending the local universities and moving into their apartments in a couple weeks once school starts. My husband and I are almost empty nesters or at least we've felt like it during this summer when all the kids were either gone at work or playing until all hours of the night. It was a lonely sad preview but, it sure was nice having more quiet time than usual. I did get some sewing done but it's never as much as you imagined you'd get done!!! Oh, WELL!! I'm happy and there's always tomorrow to sew too!

I snapped a quick photo as she sat down in her desk.
I'm sure she's thinking, "You're embarrassing me Mom!"

Friday, August 15, 2008

Tumbler Crazy

With all of the TUMBLER Quilts I've been seeing around the blogosphere I felt the need to get in on the Tumbler Craze and make one or more of my own. I've especially loved Nanette's tumbler quilts and others I've seen here and here. I recently went on the hunt for a tumbler template and found an Omnigrid "Come Quilt With Me" tumbler template at JoAnne's while I was in California for the wedding I just got back from. It was $9.99 but if you use your 40% off coupon that would make it about $5.99 don't you just love coupons! I do!

This past week I've been busy rummaging through lots of fabric on my shelves and added them to my pile of civil war fabrics. While I was looking through my fabric stash I re-found lots of great fabric for lots of great projects, oh my, oh my, I wish I could stretch the days. It's hard to keep track of it all especially when I don't have a very functional sewing room as far as shelves and cupboards are concerned. I am lucky to have a pretty good size spare bedroom to sew in so I'm not complaining but I do have dreams of changing it someday in the future.

Here's just part of the mess I made.

Here's a stack of some of the fabric I cut.

My DD Natalie loved the tumbler template so much that she cut some of the fabric that she had planned to use to make a quilt for her DD Kora Belle. I think it's going to be awfully cute when she's done with it.

Here's a picture of some of the fabric I've been cutting. It's probably overkill to cut so much fabric but that's how I like to cut fabric. I love things really really scrappy. The more the better is my motto and since I'm cutting 3 1/2" strips anyway, I just may as well cut all of the strips into tumblers. Right? Right!!! I'm glad you agree.

Here's an aerial view of all of the blocks I've cut so far. Each tumbler stack has 12 different fabrics take that and times it by 9 stacks and that makes 108 fabrics up to this point. I think I've cut another 40 or so since taking this picture! Although it took forever to cut all of it, I know it will be worth it in the end and I'll definitely use it all up, eventually. I think I spent most of the day yesterday cutting fabric into tumblers. My feet really HURT today!

Above you will see a 3 1/2" strip of fabric folded twice toward the selvage edge. I trimmed off a slice and then cut 3 sets of tumblers with four individual tumblers in each set and then I took the folded piece (to the left of strip) and cut two more tumblers. In the majority of strips I cut I was able to get the two extra tumblers and that would make 216 extra tumblers from the 108 strips I had cut, not shabby!!! Just think, you could make a pretty nice little quilt with what you probably would've thrown away.

Did you notice Olfa's 12" Square Rotary Mat behind the tumblers? Well, it's SPECIAL! It's one of those rotating mats and it's definitely one of those gotta have-it's!! It sure makes it easier to cut the tumblers so you don't have to twist your hand or body in an awkward position just to cut them.

Here's a close-up of the fourteen tumblers I got out of one 3 1/2" strip of fabric.

Here's just a small pile of the scraps leftover from cutting the tumblers. I already threw away another pile just as big.

BTW if you've made a tumbler quilt in the past I'd love to come see it on your blog. Just leave a comment with your blog address and I'll come leave a comment! Thanks! Hope you enjoyed this post and I'll make sure to post more pictures as I start putting them together. The first project I'm making is a really long and narrow table runner for my dining room table. It's going to be really pretty on my table when I'm done with it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Extra Special Spinach Salad

This is by far the MOST requested salad I've ever made in my entire life!!! I first enjoyed it at a Cookie Exchange Luncheon at Christmas time over 9 years ago. I loved it so much that I did a bit of begging just to get the recipe. Over the years this salad has been enjoyed by hundreds of people and at many different kinds of functions.

This recipe was shared with me so I wanted to pass it on to each of you. It's just one way of saying thank you for sharing your creativity with me through all of your wonderful BLOGS! ENJOY!

Here's a close-up of the salad.

Extra Special Spinach Salad

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 bag baby spinach
  • 1 bag spring mix salad
  • 1 bag of sliced almonds (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 bag of Ocean Spray Craisins (more or less if desired)
  • 12 or more slices of thick sliced bacon (cooked and cut into slices)
  • 1 fuji apple (cut, sliced and diced)
  • Fresh grated parmesan
  • 1 bunch green onions (slice and dice)
Mix salad ingredients in a large bowl. Add dressing just prior to serving.

Poppy Seed Dressing:
  • 1 cup Canola Oil
  • 1/3 cup Red Raspberry Vinegar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. poppy seeds
Mix dressing ingredients in a 2 cup container with a lid. Shake dressing until sugar is dissolved. Pour dressing over salad and serve.

I'm SURE this salad will become a Family Favorite too!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Machine Quilting Tutorial

I found this really cool machine quilting tutorial at Elaine Adair Pieces and there are 14 other quilting videos that you'll see when the video ends. Just click on them. Have fun! Thanks Elaine!

Disclaimer: There is NO sound on the video but it's still fascinating!! Maybe I'll give it a try sometime.

Baked Potato Soup

With all of the Klutz's at our house I needed to make some COMFORT food. Yum! Yummy! Yum! So, this is what I made . . . It's everyone's favorite soup so here it is my "Baked Potato Soup" recipe that a friend gave to me almost 10 years ago. Enjoy another low fat recipe. LOL! You can make it lower fat with 1% milk or 2% instead of whole milk and use lower fat sour cream. That should help!

Baked Potato Soup

Thick and creamy. Uses leftover potatoes.
Prep time: approx. 10 minutes
Cooking time: approx. 25 minutes
Makes 4-6 servings

  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 7 cups lowfat milk
  • 4 potatoes- baked, cooled, peeled, & cubed
  • 12 slices bacon- cooked, cut up into narrow slices or crumbled
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic chopped (optional)

In a soup kettle or dutch oven melt butter. Stir in flour. Heat and stir until smooth. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly until thickened. Add potatoes and onions. Brint to a boil, stirring constantly.

Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Add bacon, cheese, sour cream, salt and pepper, and stir until cheese is melted.

Serve the soup with a garnish of grated cheese, dollop of sour cream, bacon, and green onions if you like. My husband added asparagus to his soup and he said it was delicious!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Klutz x 4 = Pain~Pain~Pain~Pain!

It's unusual when more than one or two people in our family have to share the sympathy. But, in the past few days 4 out of the 5 people living in our home have needlessly hurt themselves. I say needlessly because it was just dumb how we got hurt. You'll understand if you read on. LOL!

Definition of Klutz: a clumsy, awkward or foolish person. I think that describes how I'm feeling.

Klutz #1- DD Kenna
While I was away in California Kenna managed to skin off a part of the top of her foot while trying out her friends Long Board. It's much like a Skateboard. Well, One foot remained on the moving Long Board while the other foot was dragging on the ground and of course, she didn't have any shoes on.

Klutz #2- DH Mark
While playing tennis with a bunch of younger guys in the neighborhood he took a dive for the ball and scraped up his knee pretty good and his backs been hurting him now too!!! It stinks getting older!!! Luckily he didn't break anything!

Klutz #3- DD Ariel
While playing night games with lots of friends Tuesday night Ariel decided to take off her shoes. They were playing kick the can. The can was plastic so that wasn't the problem. While moving toward the can she happened on something that cut the bottom of her big toe. It's still a mystery what could have sliced it open. Today she received SIX stitches on the underside of her big toe.

Klutz# 4- ME
While hurrying to the bathroom (in the dark-big mistake!) before going to bed I missed the doorway by a pinkie toe and it hit the door jam with a big whack! I heard a crack and thought, "I hope I didn't break it". I rubbed my toe and wrapped it with an ace bandage to keep it from getting more hurt while I was sleeping. When I got up Wednesday morning it was stiff, swollen, and bruised.

That morning I found out that Ariel had also hurt herself just a short time after I went to bed. When she came in to tell me I looked at her cut and thought we should go to the doctor. She called and made an appointment. After she hung up I thought maybe I should call and get an appointment too! Dr. Johnson saw both of us during that same appointment.

Results from Wednesday's Doctor appointments:
Ariel~ Six stitches. Healing: 7-10 days then remove stitches
Kim~ Broken Pinkie Toe in 2 places. Healing time: 6 weeks then retake x-rays.

I'm glad we went to the doctor's office because I know I probably wouldn't have gone if Ariel hadn't hurt herself, too! Now, I can take care of my toe more than I would have and Ariel's toe will heal faster and will be less likely to get infected.

Our New Family Rules:
  • Rule #1: Wear shoes while skateboarding!!!
  • Rule #2: Remember your NOT as young as you use to be! Even if you want to believe it!
  • Rule #3: Absolutely NO diving for tennis balls even if it's a match point!
  • Rule #4: Wear shoes while playing night games with your friends!
  • Rule #5: Bring a flashlight when playing night games; just in case!
  • Rule #6: Remember your vision is NOT what it use to be so turn on the LIGHT when going to the bathroom late at night or be more careful and don't be in a hurry!
Today's update:

Ariel's toe is killing her and it's hard to walk. She can't wear a closed toe shoe.

My toe only hurts when I walk and put pressure on it. Can't wear a shoe, either. I'm trying to sit down a lot and read my book but, the phone keeps ringing. Oh well, I'm just glad it's not worse.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wedding Quilt

Here's the quickie wedding quilt I made for the Bride and Groom. I thought it would be fun to help them start a family tradition with a quilt and a couple Christmas books. They can add a new book to their collection each year.

I almost forgot to take a picture but, here it is.

I used a 120 different Christmas Fabrics without one repeat.

Here's the two books I bought for their new collection.

Here's the Quilt Label I put on the back of the quilt.

This is a copy of the letter I wrote and stuck in one of the books.

Christmas Family Traditions

Dear Skyler and Lauren,

As you begin your new life together I thought it would be fun to share a family tradition from our Family. Each year I add one or two Christmas Books to our family's collection and I also buy a Christmas book for my married childrens family's too. So, I thought it would be fun to start you both out with two Christmas books for your wedding and each year I would encourage you to add to the collection I've started for you today.

The first book has classic "Christmas Songs" that you can sing with each other at Christmas time and then as you welcome children into your home you can sing with them. The second book is a story book about Bob the Snowman. It can be a lot of fun reading Christmas books to your children and I've found some really special ones over the years.

Here's what we do with the books. Each year I wrap the books we have in different Christmas wrap and then put them in a nice box or container of some sort. Then depending on how many books we have we start reading them before Christmas Eve. So for example, if you have 10 books then you would let a child pick a book each day starting 10 days before Christmas. So each year as you add a book to your collection you would just add a day out from the previous years days before Christmas (example: 11 years before Christmas) and so on and so forth. This gives the kids something to open each day before bedtime and then they get to read it or have it read to them. I like to gather the family together, have hot chocolate, read the book and share special Christmas Memories. This is a great way to do that. The memories grow as the years go by. Another fun idea is to make a Christmas Binder that you add pictures, cards, family letters, document family service projects and neighbor gifts and whatever else you'd like. Make it your own! It's a fun way to remember and the kids will love looking at your family's book every year.

Start NOW to make your family traditions!!!

I've also given you a Christmas Quilt that you can use during your family reading time. You may have to add Christmas Quilts for each child as they come into your family or just take turns with the one I made you. Maybe the reader could be the one to use the quilt.

Another fun idea is to make Christmas pillowcases for each child that you put on their pillows at the beginning of the Christmas Season. My kids have really enjoyed this tradition and I made pillowcases for all my nieces and nephews a few years back.

We love making Sugar Cookies and giving out neighbor gifts. This can be a great family tradition and teach children about service and doing kind deeds for others. We have lots of wonderful memories when it comes to giving service to others.

I hope you will enjoy this gift for many years to come and will remember how much your family and friends love you!

With Love Always, The Walus Family

Mark, Kim, Natalie & Family, Mark, Ariel, and McKenna
Wedding Day August 2, 2008

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Hexagon Stars

I had a great time at the wedding in California but the heat nearly killed me. I still feel a little wiped out and tired but, I'm better today than I was yesterday. My friend Suzette picked me up at the Oakland airport and I spent Thursday night with her and her husband Jerry. When I arrived at their house Suzette showed me where I'd be staying and I instantly caught sight of the quilt folded up on the bed. Suzette told me that Jerry's Grandmother made it and she gave it to them.

She didn't know very much about it but, I told her that each hexagon had been carefully cut out and hand pieced together to form the star along with all of the other little pieces found in the block like the yellow six pointed stars and the green diamonds and triangles that connect all the pieces together. I also told her that the most common usage of the hexagon shape is used in a quilt commonly called "Grandmother's Flower Garden" I also told her I had never seen a hexagon quilt made like this before. I asked her if I could take pictures for my blog because I thought that all of you might be interested in seeing it. She was more than happy to let me take pictures and share them with you. I hope you enjoy seeing it as much as I did.

I just loved the colors in this quilt!

What an AMAZING Quilt!

I love the detail on the stars. See the small green diamonds and triangles that frame each star and the six pointed gold star in the center of each block. It's pretty amazing, I think!

I love the pattern and the colors she used!
I know Nanette will LOVE this quilt~Right, Nanette?

A closer look at the details! It's all hand quilted too!

My friends Jerry and Suzette now have a greater appreciation for their Grandmother's quilt and the time and effort that went into making this wonderful HEIRLOOM Quilt!