Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Finishes, Starts and Flowers

Happy Tuesday from the rancho! It's a chilly 65 degrees here in California.  I know that's pretty toasty for some of you but I've put on wool socks, a sweatshirt and been carrying my blanket around the house all day.  LOL  I went for a walk this morning at 36 degrees.  Not bad after the first 1/2 mile but cools off pretty quick when you stop.   

Hubby has a cold and I've restricted him to anywhere I'm not.  It's sad to say but as soon as someone coughs...you look at them like they're spreading the black plague.  LOL  He went to the doctor last week for a check up and the doctor told him that he had a lot of fluid in his ears.  We should have seen this coming.  

This is a Sashiko stitching project that I finished for my son.  Traditional Sashiko is done on dark blue with white thread.  The original use was for patching clothes, but can be done as a form of art.  I chose red with black and though the patches were not really "patching" anything, I wanted to keep it true to the original use.   I drew the geometrics on the back and used a running stitch.  He and I have talked about this art form many times and this is a surprise for him.  Just because.  LOL

I've finished my La-D-Da bird.  Super sweet.  It has much deeper colors than this picture shows.  It came with a homespun fabric in black and oatmeal and was finished as a pillow.  We'll see...


Got started on my next stitch.  Not much to it...but I'm a bit slow stitching these days.  I picked it up as a kit in Tulsa last year on my road trip.  It came with the lace and charms.  I'm sure I've got some fabric to match.  Or maybe a hundred that match.  LOL

Here are a few finishes from last week for my friend.

Acorn needlebook. 



Bee Needle roll.


With the weather getting into the high 20's at night, I am surprised that some of my roses are still hanging in there.  I've moved my strawberry plants and citrus trees into more protected areas.  So far, so good.  Except for the lantana.  It's a bit crunchy these days.  LOL





Thanksgiving this year will be a small affair.  Three.  Just three.  I will still do turkey with MOST of the side dishes.  No whipped fruit salad.  I only know how to make a gallon.  And if I make it, I'll eat it.  All of it.  LOL  As long as there is turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry sauce...it's all good.

I ask that each of you think of five things that you are grateful for.  It can be big or small.  You are welcome to keep it to yourself.  But seriously consider the good in your life.  I will be happy to share.

I am grateful for my life.  Each day is a chance to change someone's life.  To be kind...to smile and to receive a smile in return.

I am grateful for husband.  Though we have definitely had our trials in forty years, we are still working together for a better life.

I am grateful for my son.  He is the light of my life.  My taco buddy, my thrifting buddy.  The person that stretches me to try new things, new arts.  He encourages me to keep learning.

I am grateful for my career.  Some days were better than others, but I am so blessed.  I worked at a job that I loved and it allowed me to retire with a living wage.

I am grateful for my hands.  I am 60 years old.  My hands and fingers hurt from years of turning keys and using knives.  But I can still stitch and sew.   I drop a lot of stuff, but thank goodness it's usually just thread and fabric.  LOL

So I am off to finish making soup for dinner.  Be safe.  Be kind to one another.





Saturday, November 14, 2020

Stitching, Finishing and a Recipe

Good morning and happy Saturday from the rancho.  A bit chilly, but no rain since last week.  Most of my morning walks were taken at below 30 degrees.  Funny.  I don't really notice it much anymore.  Or maybe I'm still sleeping when I start my walk.  LOL  

Working steadily on my Fraktur Bird.  Colors are very different but somehow work together.


Of course, more finishing.

Easter door/cabinet hanger.



This is a fabric bag.  I thought it could be used to cover a vase of flowers.  Or just filled with paper and used as a decoration. ???


Sweet little ornament on distressed wood. I made the bow from homespun fabric.  I love the way this fabric frays when you pull it instead of cutting.  Makes the cutest bows.  Smile.


One of my favorites.  It is a standup.


Came as a kit.  The flag fabric was BRIGHT!  Ten minutes in some brewed coffee and a dry in the microwave...works much better now.  LOL



Finished as a tart.  The second picture shows the pom poms.  I added the poms to hide the open area around the tart.  LOL 



My roses are starting to wilt.  It was 27 degrees for three night in a row.  A bit much for them.


November 11th was the second anniversary of my father's passing.  Here is one of my favorite pictures.  This was taken while we were out running cattle.  We have the same smile.


As of yesterday I am 60 years old and been been married for 40 years.  I did well at being 59 so I'm very hopeful for 60.  LOL  Forty years is a long time to be together.  There have been good years and not-so-good years.  But...I'm too old to retrain anyone.  LOL

Each year I make fudge for Christmas gifts.  Jocelyn over at Canadian Needle Nana remembered and asked if I could post the recipe.  I was given this recipe over 30 years ago.  At the time, it was labeled See's Fudge.  Since I don't want to get in trouble for using their name...I've got a new name.  LOL  I've never had this fudge be grainy.  The only problem is if you choose to use chips other than Toll House, too many chips causes the fudge to turn into one, big, solid mess.   I have also used the big chips from Michael's and added flavoring from the baking area.  It works...but takes a while to set.  I would suggest you use regular cookie chips until you are familiar with the feel of the fudge. 

My Fudge

Mixture One:

½ cup butter

1 cup nuts

3 cups of chips

1 tsp vanilla

Measure all items and cube butter into small cubes.  Allow to soften.  Set aside.

Mixture Two:

2 cups sugar

2/3 cup heavy liquid whipping cream

10-12 large marshmallows

Stir and cook Mixture Two over medium heat until bubbly, about 7 ½ minutes.

When Mixture Two bubbles for about 30 seconds, remove from heat and add Mixture One, stirring until chocolate chips and butter melts completely.  Pour into buttered pan and cool.  I use a 9x13. 

This recipe works well with peanut butter chips, white chocolate chips, mint chips, pumpkin chips, etc.  I have also added Heath Chips, Peppermint Chips, etc, as part of the original 3 cups.  Be careful to not add too many chips, it will cause the fudge to “seize” and separate.


I'm off to clean house and make cookies.  I know how the house gets dirty but I just don't know where all the cookies go!  LOL  Really.  LOL

Be safe.  Be kind to one another.


Saturday, November 7, 2020

Sound of Silence? Nope...Sound of Rain!

Happy Saturday from the rancho.  I woke up about 4 am...what is that sound?  Did my fish tank blow a filter?  NO!!  It was rain!!  If it wasn't so chilly and I wasn't in my jammies, I would have done a happy dance in the front yard.  California needs rain so badly...the fires this year have been catastrophic.  We need the ground soaked.  Well soaked.

Other than my excitement over the rain...I have been pretty busy the last week.  My garden is about ready to go to sleep for the winter.  I have quite a few tomatoes to pick but the zucchini and lettuce are done.   I wanted to share a picture of my breakfast using half of my potato harvest.  If you look closely, you can see tiny pieces of potato.  It was very yummy.  LOL


When I was growing up, my grandparents always had a package of store-bought shortbread cookies on the kitchen table.  Those cookies are still for sale in the grocery store but I thought it was time to try and make some for myself.  Somehow I had the idea that they were difficult to make.  Ummm.  Nope.  LOL  I have one of the small commercial mixers, but the older I get, the more I enjoy the feeling of hand mixing my cookie and bread mixes.  I use an old Pyrex bowl and a lard/ice cream scoop.  Both from the 50's.  It just feels right.  Here is my first try.  I used almond extract and put in some roasted, sliced almonds.  


First one was pretty tasty.  Need to shorten the baking time.  But by cookie number four...I was feeling proud of myself.  Definitely making these again.  Thank goodness the recipe only made twenty cookies.  LOL

I am caught up with my SAL.  Still kicking myself for measuring incorrectly but I'm considering how to straighten the bottom.  Maybe a quote?


I have a few more finishes for my friend.

I did the wool work on the strawberry and scissor keep.  Both came as a kit and had French knots.  Not happening.  LOL  Poof! Buttons!



Since I am caught up on my SAL, I got back to my La D Da kit "Fraktur Frieda".  It is a kit I got a few months ago.  I love the color of this fabric, Havana by Week's.


I've finished my cookie and my second cup of coffee.   The dogs are outside and hubby is still in bed.  The quiet is beautiful but it is time to get this show on the road.  LOL  

Be safe, enjoy life.  Be kind to one another.



Sunday, November 1, 2020

Sunday is Here!!

And here we are...Sunday morning at the rancho.  Very quiet and enjoying the sunrise.  My coffee is pretty darn good today.  Well, the coffee is good but the creamer makes it awesome! LOL

My roses are blooming like it's early summer.  They seem completely unaware that we are getting into the 30's at night.  I don't prune until after the first heavy freeze.




Lots of finishes for my friend.  I really like how this cube turned out.  I used ribbon and burlap and made the pins.  Not your usual Easter colors, but darn cute.



Sweet little bunny.  I made the template so was sure to save it for next time.  Hearts are hard.  LOL


These eggs were too big for the egg shaped wooden ornaments I had in my stash, but these turned out just as pretty.


Stand up.  I think she stitched this in the early 2000's.  LOL


I LOVE this one!!  The chipped wood and the twine came together perfectly!


Here is my 2020 potato harvest.  I threw some old potatoes in the ground since they already had roots.  I didn't get a lot...about the same as I put in.  LOL  But they're edible and will be tasty with scrambled eggs and sausage.


This is the update on my SAL.  November came out yesterday, so hoping to get stitching on that today.


With the cold weather, my walk at 7 am has been pretty chilly.  I made this hat to wear to Iowa last year.  Works just as well in California! LOL


I came across this on Pinterest.  I can say that it definitely fits my crafting style.  LOL


I'm off like a herd of turtles.  I did most of my yardwork yesterday, so this will be a stitching, sit-on-my-behind kind of day.  Hmmm...to be honest, since retirement a lot of my days are like that!  LOL

Enjoy your week.  Be safe.  Be kind to one another.


Sunday, October 25, 2020

Quiet...Stitching and Thinking...

Good morning from the rancho.  Very quiet here in Central California.  The heat seems to have moved on and I am enjoying the cooler days.  I walk five days a week, so the weekend is my time to sit and enjoy my creamer with coffee.  It is soothing to listen to the day wake up.  I brought out my slippers this week.  Flip-flop season is almost over.

I spent some time up north with my friend and her family.  Her husband is doing better on the new cancer treatment, but she is feeling unsettled.  There have been so many mountains the past ten years and she is waiting for the valley.  I understand the waiting...you know that there is not a true chance of recovery, you are simply waiting for the end.  My heart hurts for her.

I've been working on finishes and getting in some of my own stitching.  I finished my Remember Me pillow for my dad.  At the bottom edge, there are keys on either side.  I have our initials under the keys.


Completed a few woolies for my friend.  She picked up these kits in 2002 and 2006.  The stitching and finishing are mine.




The chick and bunny are darn cute.  I may do them again for myself.  I'm not a real Halloween gal, but had a lot of fun with the hat.  It is both a scissor keep and a pincushion.  I can see me doing this in bright colors as a jester's hat.

I am caught up on the Linens and Things 2020 SAL.  One motif had aliens and ghosts.  Not really my thing, but the designer was so sweet to do an alternative motif for those of us with issues. 


Knitting on my shawl.  Slow going.  I love the color and the weight, but sure does work up at a snail's pace.


My roses are still blooming.  It is nice to look out the window and see some color.  California really doesn't get a lot of trees with changing leaves, so I'll take the roses.



Our area continues to see a small rise in Covid cases.  Last year at this time, I was visiting my son in Iowa.  I miss him so very, very much.  Talking on the phone and doing video is okay, but it's just not the same.  Of course, FB loves to remind me of my travels and that does nothing to improve my attitude. Sigh.   Between elections and Covid, I'm beginning to loose my sunny disposition.

I wish each of you a good week.  Be safe, be kind to one another.