Celebrating the next Mrs. K

I’m going to be a mother! -in-law (again). This time to a daughter (-in-law)!

Our son married in early June. His bride is a sweetheart. They’ve been together for a number of years now, she is already a part of our family, and very loved. So, when they became engaged I looked forward to the parties and celebrations. Beginning with the Bridal Shower.

Now this bridal shower has already happened. Heck, the wedding happened, too, and I’m already recovered. My spring has been so busy that I had to let some things go. So here’s a recap, beginning with the shower:

I have to tell you, she had to be talked in to letting someone throw her a bridal shower.


This is the girl who is loves doing things for others: sending cards, doing special things, you know, going the extra mile … just because she cares. She didn’t think she wanted a shower. Fortunately, one of the bridesmaids twisted her arm a bit and it was settled.

I was thrilled to be asked if it could be in our home. YES!

My husband and I emptied our family room of the furniture and moved in tables and chairs for the guests, as well as tables for the food. We’ve had so many parties in this room. It’s a bit rustic – white walls and floors with  an open rafter ceiling and it just feels good.

Family Room Rafters and Birds

The tree branch gets decorated with birds in the spring and summer

We decided on a brunch and had a bit of a winery theme as the wedding and reception, both, will be at wineries. I set up the room with the tables and chairs (ahem, Wayne played a major role in that) and volunteered to do the menu and cooking (my preference). A couple of the bridesmaids took the lead on the decorations and a mimosa bar.

Let me show you

Bridal Shower

It was a brunch buffet

This is Rachel Ray's Mostly Meat Cobb Salad. DELICIOUS.

This is Rachel Ray’s Mostly Meat Cobb Salad. DELICIOUS.

I was so happy I served the blue cheese on the side, the guest of honor is allergic to blue cheese! I didn’t know! (plus, expectant ladies don’t eat certain types of cheese). The fruit kabobs were delicious and so pretty. Did you see that giant wine glass filled with donut holes?


Orange Muffins

 Making these muffins with freshly squeezed orange juice makes all the difference.


Yoghurt Parfaits.

These little parfaits are one of my favorite things! I keep these little jars around for parties for just this type of thing. You make these the night before and just set them out the morning of. They’re healthy and so good. If there are leftovers, they keep in the fridge for days!



I used whatever I could to give the tables a rustic flavor. I’m using an old milk carton to give height to the parfaits and an antique chenille quilt for a table cloth.

The morning of the party I still hadn’t made little sign for the dishes. I had left over labels that I stamped with an engagement ring stamp and wrote the dish name on it. I’d cut a slit in corks and glued them in, sliced the bottom of the cork so it’d lay flat. Ta-Da!


I made glitter handled spoons with engagement ring tags and a talented friend made the cookies for the guests to take home.

There was a wonderful game, He Said/She Said where we had to guess who said the given quote (terribly sweet!) and then a sheet where the guests could write sweet wishes for the couple. As party favors, I ordered these beautiful cookies from a friend and I made the glitter handled wooden spoons. I got the tutorial from the Something Turquoise blog. You can find the tutorial here. They were so beautiful. Sorry, this table setting photo just doesn’t capture it. (It does, however, capture how I didn’t press this table cloth!!)

And then it was gift opening time! And you know the saying is that you have as many children as broken ribbons for your bridal shower? Let me just say that if you register someplace that has tulle as ribbon, breaking ribbons isn’t easy!


This ribbon will NOT break!


There’s more than one way to “break” that ribbon!

It was a wonderful morning filled with laughter and we all got to show the bride how loved she is.

And the celebrating isn’t over yet. There are still a couple more parties that have to happen. The rehearsal dinner and the WEDDING!


 I think she’s ready!

I can’t wait to tell you about the Rehearsal Dinner. SO.MUCH.FUN!

The Best Quiche Ever

Zucchini Quiche

Zucchini Quiche (aka The Best Quiche Ever)

I’ve hosted and participated in many bridal showers, baby showers, and brunches. If there’s ever a request or need for a quiche – or any egg dish for that matter – I bring out the big guns. This was even served at my daughter’s wedding, which had a brunch reception. This was served most recently at a bridal shower I hosted for my daughter-in-law-to-be. As usual, there were lots of requests for the recipe.

So, here you go. Enjoy and spread the love.

Catching Up


Hey there stranger!

Yep, it’s been a while. A long while. I started writing and  ‘splaining why, but, I’ve decided, you know, let’s just wait until I have the right words. BUT, I WILL say right away, like the phone call in the middle of the night, “Everything’s okay”. Well, everything’s mostly okay, some things are even good!

Here’s some of the good stuff – I have been having SO much fun working on a few things!

I signed up and participated in a couple of swaps. TWO! They both were mailed out today! A swap is where everyone makes the same thing, with their own personal spin, and it’s all anonymous. The organizer divvies out the names – you don’t who is making yours, and your partner doesn’t know who is making theirs. Some are national, others are international. Fun, huh?

The first swap is a Skinny Pinny Swap, hosted by Amy Made That! You can see all of the sweet pinnies on Flickr here. It’s a cute little pincushion that fits so conveniently and neatly next to the front of your sewing machine.

Here is my first prototype, the one I made one as a trial.

Skinny Pinny Prototype

I made mine a little bigger and customized with a bit of piecing. The back has just a little piecing, too!


 The ground walnut shells I filled them with keeps them heavy and stable. The pins don’t go all the way through, either.

Pouring Ground Walnut Shells into the pincushion

Pouring Ground Walnut Shells into the pincushion

Here’s the one I made for my partner. I was told she likes red.

Bonnie Christine and linen with appliqued flower and embroidered stems

Bonnie Christine and linen with appliqued flower and embroidered stems


Seeing all angles, front and back.

I love that little trim. I picked it up at a LQS when I was staying at a friend’s house in South Carolina last summer. What a great little place!

I also signed up for a Triple Zip Pouch Swap. I’ve always liked making pouches and this one looked challenging and super fun! I will make this one again and again!!

The swap was hosted by A Quarter Incher. There is a free tutorial for the pouch by A Quilter’s Table that everyone used, but you wouldn’t believe how different they all looked from one another, with the different preferences of what people wanted added to the different styles of the sewists making them. Again, there is a Flickr group that you can see all of the talented sewists. Ah-mazing!

As I always try to do, I made a protype using a combination of some great Japanese fabric a friend gave me, new pieces, and even some vintage fabric.

This was my first attempt at the Triple Zip Pouch. Not bad, but I wanted to make the zips and fabrics a bit more straight.

This was my first attempt at the Triple Zip Pouch. Not bad, but the zips and fabrics were just a bit wonky. No bueno.


Here’s what I made for my partner:

Here's the cut pieces and zips. I used the crossword fabric as the lining throughout the pouch

Here’s the cut pieces and zips. I used the crossword fabric as the lining throughout the pouch


I, again, added a bit of hand embroidery to the main body fabric. (and what do you think about that background fabric? That’s a funky green chair in my office at work!)


Almost ready to go!

Almost ready to go!

I took some felt and embroidered a little hexie to match the honeycomb of the pouch fabric on the bookmark of the moleskin book so it was embellish just a bit. I almost kept that little scissors stamp – too cute! And then I found a washi tape with scissors, too. Perfect! I added some dark chocolate truffles and wrapped it up in a sweet handmade paper envelope. I hope she likes it.

Wanna see what I received? Not to be too dramatic, but I hit the jackpot, ya’ll! I’d favorited her Flickr picture of it when she first showed what she was doing on the Flickr group!! What great fabric and all of that piecing!  Do you see the little zip charms? I love every inch of it! And the goodies she stuffed that sweet bag with! So generous!! Thank you, Heather!! I wish I could give you a hug in person!!

OMGosh! This was one of my very favorites! How did I get so lucky? And do you see all of those thoughtful goodies? I almost cried!

OMGosh! This was so much fun opening!



Last weekend I hosted a bridal shower for my daughter-in-law-to-be! Eek!!! I can’t wait to show you pictures and tell you all about it. The decorations. The food. It was a great brunch for our sweet ChaCha. It was wonderful honoring and celebrating her. Amidst the crazy winter we’ve had, the day was glorious, reaching into the 60’s. It took a lot of planning and work, but it was totally worth it. She and my son marry in June.

I also bought some great fabric from Fabric.com for curtains in my bedroom that is a very modern print in indigo and grey, a favorite color combo. So excited to update that poor bedroom. It’s been too long! That’s on my ‘very soon’ list.

There is so much more going on, and I just can’t talk your ear off with everything, so I’ll share more next time.

I’m so glad to be sharing my fun stuff with you again.

Thanks for letting me lie low for a while and being here now that I’m sticking my head up again.

Grace. Right?

It’s good to be back.


My living Snow Globe plus a Giveaway!

We have a winner!  Congratulations to Raina for winning the Burlap Christmas Stocking and bunting!!

My favorite gifts are the handmade ornaments my kiddos make each and every year in school.

We had comments from all over the globe with wonderful memories of Christmas pasts (and some good ideas for Christmas future, eh?). Again, thanks to everyone for participating. I wish I could tell you face-to-face how much I enjoyed this giveaway and your memories. It was great.


I have friends who lament all summer about the heat and wanting scarf weather. Well, summer is over and we are in the midst of a white winter here in the middle of the U.S. It started on Thursday with snow coming down in a blizzard-y fashion that evening and continuing for 24 hours. The result was a beautiful snow globe of a world that kept us off the roads (hopefully, as the roads were treacherous). Schools closed. Businesses closed. Even MY workplace closed! So, my day was spent making sure animals were taken care of and our sidewalks were clear. In the midst, I  a wonderful cup of hot cocoa with homemade marshmallows. YUM.

Here are a few shots of what it meant for us here in southern Illinois the next morning:


This is my back yard, where you can see through the woods and up the hill. This is the ONLY time you can see through the woods!

A snowy gate into my garden

The door to our screened room belonged to my husband's grandmother. It was a joy to install it. The snow blew through the screen into the room. It's now my large walk-in freezer!

Can you see the bird tracks? It's like it said, "Uh, no thank you!"

One of our beautiful large pines that is a windbreak to our home

One way in. One way out.

This is the day after the snow had fallen. It drifted in many places, so the depth was surprise at every step


Are you still with me?

I want you to check out the Giveaway I’m participating in over at Sew Mama Sew! This event is AH-MAZING!

This is in the Handmade Category and I’ve made a burlap Christmas Stocking (or sock as some call it) with a velvety gold cuff. It’s lined with a muslin cotton and embellished with a pretty gold bow with a little bling. Inside, you’ll find that I’ve added a burlap bunting that reads Merry Christmas in red. You may even find a peppermint stick with other Christmas treats inside!


A beautiful Burlap Christmas Stocking and a Merry Christmas Bunting


Waddya think? It’s full size, measuring 14″ from cuff to heel. It will hold all kinds of goodies! The Merry Christmas bunting is 64″ from “M” to “S”. I hope you like them, I do!

To win, tell me, what is your favorite-est gift you’ve ever gotten in your stocking? Are stockings even part of your tradition? You don’t have to be a follower, but if you are, enter a second comment letting me know and that’ll count as a second entry. The giveaway ends on December 13th at 5 p.m. I’ll contact the winner and have it sent out soon thereafter. I am willing to ship internationally for this giveaway, however, I can’t promise it’ll get there by December 25th if an international winner is selected.

Also, make sure you head over to Sew Mama Sew and check out the other giveaways. It will truly make your head spin!!

Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate you stopping by and visiting.

Merry Almost Christmas!


Our Poultry Aviary

Del is a Delaware breed. She is one of the more dominant hens.

Del is a Delaware breed. She is one of the more dominant hens.

It seems to be a ‘thing’ around here where I live.


Free range, organic, local. These are all key words that are equated with being conscientious, healthy, and proactive. Some elevate these things, other snicker and scoff.

Well, for me, these are good things and I support them. The thing is, eating and living this way is expensive. It shouldn’t be, but it is.

And I love eggs.

And I am an animal lover.

I’m thankful for my husband, because if I lived alone, I could become one of ‘those crazy ladies’. He sets boundaries for me.

I have a lot of friends that have gotten chickens lately. As in the last 2-5 years.

We live in a university town, with lots of rural space in the outlying area.

My girlfriend, Kathy, has kept chickens for a while and she knew I was thinking of getting a couple. They had a pre-fab coop and since they were getting a newer, bigger one, they offered us there first one. And they also had a couple of chickens we could fill the coop with.

How can it get better than that?

I wanted to name them Hagar and Tamar (it’s up to you to figure out why), but settled with Ophie and Evie.

But then … (here’s where the story gets a little complicated and isn’t very short)

Evie turned out to be  Everett (no bueno), so I found a home for him. I wasn’t ready nor did I have room for a rooster.

Did you know chickens aren’t loners? They’re not. They don’t do well alone.

So I got a couple more young ones. These two never seemed to ‘take’ to me. I tried, but they would NOT let me be their friend. So I planned to give them to another girlfriend.

And when I heard of a woman who had lost her lease to a barn and she needed to find a new home for hens, I contacted her.

She liked me and I liked her hens. And we arranged to bring them home.

TWELVE of them. Many different breeds – so colorful. So fun and exciting.

So, I gave the two young ones away.

But there was no way those twelve would fit in the little coop we had.

And that little coop? It was place inside our dog pen, which was displacing the dogs, of course.

So, my man began building.

And boy can he build. He’s built our Pergola, our screened room, my garden and compost bins. He’s done wonderful things inside our home, too.

In making the coop plans, we joked about what we’d call it. We have a history of having silly names for things. For our chicken coop, we decided to call it a Poultry Aviary. We’d have ‘activities’ for the hens, etc. etc. Of course, he built with the hope I’d get bored or tired of hen raising after a couple of years and he could convert it to a garden shed.

We’ll see.

But, with the little coop not being big enough, we asked our friends to be foster parents to the 12 until the coop was finished.

I told them they could keep the eggs. They kept some, but shared them with us. We fed them along with theirs. That was the least we could do.

We brought the hens home to roost in their ‘real’ home just two weeks ago. They’d been at our friends’ house for 3 months. It’s been an adjustment, but everyone seems happy now. The coop is 90% done. We just need to add windows and finish some trim, and that’ll come soon.

But, for now, we have a baker’s dozen in hens.


Our lucky number.

(for realz – our two children were both born on Friday the 13th – just different years)

True story.

So, here are some pictures of the progress. I’ve captioned them if you’re interested in details.

Ask questions if you have any.

And, you can laugh at me. My dad does.

That’s okay, ’cause I got me some fresh and beautifully colored eggs, ya’ll.

Do you have any interest in chickens?