Paper Piecing for the Scardey Cat

Prettified Pin Cusion

Prettified Pin Cushion

Not many people would call me a scaredy cat, quite the opposite, I think. But what goes in on the inside is often kept from everyone on the outside. Something about me: I learn best by viewing, by someone taking me by the hand and saying, “Here’s how you do it.” The biggest problem with this method of learning is having the person with you at the moment you’re ready to learn. Like 10:30 on a Saturday night.

I’ve been wanting to learn the technique of paper piecing for a few months now. I’ve been seeing these wonderful QALs (quilt alongs) on different blogs that I read. I even signed up for a BOM (block of the month) with blocks that are only paper pieced. I DON’T KNOW HOW TO PAPER PIECE, YA’LL! If you’d like to see what I’m talking about, you can find it here.  We are about to finish out April and there’s a new block being sent my way any day for May . . . that’s 5 – count them: 1, 2, 3, 4, FIVE blocks to paper piece and here I sit. PARALYZED with fear. Of course, no one would know because I don’t talk about it. Well, until now.

One thing about secrets (is secret too strong a word? mmm, no, I don’t think so) . . . or in other words, if people we know and love, i.e., our mate, our closest friend, or spiritual leaders, don’t know what’s going inside,  it kinda keeps us captive. For me, the fear of not being able to figure out how to do something (like, so what? do I have to know EVERYTHING??), it keeps me in a state of procrastination (continuing to want to do it, but never doing it). Bottom Line: it keeps me under its ugly thumb. Like, paper piecing. I want to know how to do it. I’ve joined a group to do it, for goodness’ sake! I am reminded of these words: “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (ESV)

So, out comes my proverbial sword to say enough is enough. What did it take for me to finally decide to go for it? A project. A pretty project book with a pretty pin cushion on the front. It took me buying that book, finally having the time to open it to begin making said pin cushion, and finding out that it was a paper pieced pin cushion! Imagine my horror!!

Patchwork, Please! by Ayumi Takahashi is a sweet book of sweet projects. Many of which are paper pieced (which I had failed to know until just this weekend).

So, I pulled up a chair and called out for help to the only source I had available late Saturday night. YouTube. It was CraftyGemini’s tutorial, to be specific. She showed me how, she talked while she was demonstrating. Ahhh.

So, wanna see pictures? Keep in mind that each of these blocks are 2 1/2 ” square, giving a 2″ block when sewn together. You should see the mess I created in making these little blocks!

First Lady

First Lady

Isn’t this black and white vintage Vogue looking  fabric perfect for this? It’s a new fabric with a vintage flair. It’s Blank Quilting fabric 2011 Pattern 6375. A pretty simple name for such a gathering of ladies. This only shows a portion of the ladies, the fabric actually has each of the ladies dressed, head to toe, in various 40’s and 50’s fashions.

All Four Ladies

All Four Ladies

Here I’m sewing the sides to the top of the pin cushion. Unfortunately, I had to rip it out because I sewed it backwards . . . *sigh*.

Sewing pin cushion together

Sewing pin cushion together

It isn’t perfect, but it’s NEAR perfect! And I’m thrilled!

The Ta-Da! Here is finished pin cushion shown with the pattern pictures

The Ta-Da! Here is finished pin cushion shown with the pattern pictures

I think even the back side is pretty. Two of the sides has a gray background with black polka dots, the other two have a black background with beige polka dots. A black button on the front and a grey button on the back. The buttons are the kind you cover yourself and you can find the kits at most any sewing/craft store. These are from Joann Fabrics. They’re 5/8″ buttons.

The back with only the linen fabric with the grey polka dot button

The back with only the linen fabric with the grey polka dot button

I’m so pleased with this that I actually got the block patterns out from the BOM mentioned earlier. I SHALL slay the fear of paper piecing! Take THAT fear and procrastination! Maybe that’s why I’m not known for being fearful, I fight.

So what are you fighting for today? Whatever it is, you don’t have to fight alone, but you must raise the sword.

*sigh* feels. good.

P/S Just so you know, I wasn’t asked, nor was I paid for mentioning the book, the fabric, the tutorial, nor the blog. This is very much my own opinion.

Categories: My hands at work | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Seasons of Sewing

I am a re-emergent sewist (self-proclaimed). I learned as a young girl from a neighbor lady who had an old Singer treadle. I made a black and white bag and loved it. My mom sewed a lot, but I don’t remember sewing with her. She was, however, my inspiration. Like my dad, she seemed to be able to do anything she set her mind – and hands – to.  And there was the t-shirt I made in my 8th grade home economics class. It was red and turned out fairly well, except for the fact that I couldn’t get it over my head. Thus began my fear of sewing with knits… Anyway ….

My mom gave both my sister and I a Singer sewing machine the year my daughter was about two. I cried. It meant so much to me. I sewed children’s clothes, curtains, dresses for myself, Halloween costumes – you name it. When we moved from California to Illinois, my kids were in fifth grade and kindergarten. I rarely used my Singer and when I did, the tension was a mess, leaving a mound of knotted thread under my sewing piece.  My original love affair with my machine had turned to bitterness, resentment, and dread.

Now, in the third chapter of my sewing life, I’m a grandmother of two sweet little  boys. My daughter and SIL bought and renovated a home and she, too, began to need curtains, and sweet things for her young. Pulling out my old Singer, I decided I’d take it in for a fresh cleaning and repair so the before-mentioned emotions would not return. “Well,” said Mr. Sewing Machine Repairman, “it’ll be more to clean it than what it’s worth.” If it had been a classic Singer, I would have perhaps not agreed, but I was tired and not willing to fight with the old gal.

They, conveniently, not only repaired sewing machines, but sold sewing machines (mostly Bernina, Baby Lock, Janome) and I discovered a lot has happened in the last 25+ years in the sewing machine industry! I decided on a Baby Lock Sophia 2, and everything was an improvement! It had an auto threader, needle up/down, a large selection of stitches, as well as an embroidery capability. I didn’t want to upgrade beyond what I thought I would use, and this model was on sale, so I committed. That was a year and a half ago.

Since then, I’ve made lots of crafts and home decor items (pillows, a quilt, pouches, purses, pillow cases, etc., etc.), but no garments. Having received a dress form for Christmas, I’m looking forward to making things for myself, as well as for family.

I really enjoyed making clothes for my daughter when she was young. I had sweet little tags I’d sew in them and loved to see her face when she’d put it on for the first time (without the pins!). So when a close friend of mine was having a birthday party for her sweet little one-year old daughter, I decided to make something for her, something she could wear while working alongside her Momma-the-very-good-cook, – an apron!

By nature I have a more subdued aesthetic, but sewing for little girls you need lots of color, especially pink! The fabrics I chose for the apron are bright, playful and fun.  I picked up the main fabric from Joann’s, the coordinating green from Hobby Lobby.  I made the apron from McCall’s 5720 and it was an easy, straightforward pattern. There’s a matching apron for Momma, if you wanted to make one.

I wanted to personalize it by adding embroidery using a pattern I purchased from Sarah Jane Studios,  She has a set of little girls in each month of the year, and I chose the birthday girl’s month, which is March, and she is flying a kite. Sarah Jane is a wonderful artist and I love her work and you should check her out! Anyway, I drew it out and embroidered it – before purchasing the fabric. Don’t do this! You’ll fall in love with colors that don’t work!!

I had been hearing about the Pilot Frixion erasable pen. It was perfect for this!

I had been hearing about the Pilot Frixion erasable pen. It was perfect for sketching out the pattern!

I embroidered her before purchasing the fabric. I was going to make her into a pocket

I embroidered her before purchasing the fabric. I was going to make her into a pocket

You may think it matches enough, but she really disappears. So, I have this sweet child waiting for something else.

McCall's 5720

Didn’t the apron turn out pretty? That pink ruffle at the bottom really makes it pop! I didn’t make the ruffle, it’s a by-the-yard pre-ruffled trim from Joann’s. The giant ric rac is playful, tying in the green pockets and straps.  The flower buttons on the front are decorative only, as they were sewn over the ric rac.

Arpon Back

Here’s the back. The morning of the party, I was concerned about the adjustment of the neck strap, so I cut the neck strap (2 hours before the party – am I crazy or what!?) and added two button holes and one smaller, matching button to make it adjustable for a growing girl. Only one button because I’m afraid her hair would get tangled in it, and if that happens, she may never want to wear it again! I made the size 3-4, which was the smallest available. It turned out pretty well, but I would would do that step before sewing the neck strap into the apron next time, just to make the edges neater. Off it went to the party and my friend loved it. Success!

Last week, during Joann’s 5 patterns for $5 (saving $73!) I bought 3 patterns for myself and 2 little boy patterns. My next project is a dress for myself and I’ll let you know how it’s going. Until then, if you make this apron, I’d love to see how yours turned out!

I’m loving this sewing season!

See you soon, Terry

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Easter isn’t what it used to be. It’s easier. It’s harder. It’s bigger.

I remember my mom dressing me up in a poofy dress, with a hat, ruffled socks and shiny white shoes, a pair of white gloves and a tiny white purse (really!). I have to find one of the pictures. I loved dressing up! We’d go to church and I’d hunt Easter eggs on the church lawn. In later year, our family would make a large picnic lunch and take it, along with our colored Easter eggs and baskets, and we’d hunt eggs amidst the Civil War artifacts in Chickamauga Park, in northern Georgia.

I remember sewing matching Easter clothes for my little ones and helping them hunt eggs, sometimes the older one taking the younger one’s eggs out of their basket, unbenownst to them. Their grandmother having a winner’s bag for a dozen different categories so there were never any losers.

These days, as my faith has deepened and matured. It has become much bigger, much more important – and more personal. We still celebrate with eggs and food and decorations, and we now have a new generation to enjoy – and teach.

Hang with me for a moment, there are pictures at the end. :)

When Good Friday comes each year, I know and understand the reason it’s called ‘Good’. It is only from the act of Jesus’ sacrifice on Friday, that Christians can have hope for Sunday. It is always a somber day for me. I don’t automatically move on to Sunday. Friday is a day of reflection for me, of meditating on what the cost was, what I had to do with it. You see, I understand that Jesus died not only for mankind, but he died for me.

Ahhh, but then blessed Sunday morning comes, and the sadness lifts, the joy to know that when Jesus resurrected, He was no longer God/man, but God/Son. And when our God sees me, he sees Christ, because Christ paid my debt. And I am very thankful.

Now …

I have some good news, and I have some not-as-good news. We took food pictures! I took crafty pictures! People pictures? Um, anybody?? Apparently there were a couple – just not by me … (head drops in shame). So, maybe we’ll just celebrate Easter for a few more days… :)

Ready for some pictures? I decorated eggs two different ways this year. I had some blown eggs that I Modge Podged, and then I boiled some eggs, cracked them to smithereens and then died them – so they looked all crackly colored for deviling. I’ll show all of the food next time.

Here is how I decorated my eggs:

Pin hole in each end, blow out egg, wash thoroughly, dry, decorate!

Pin hole in each end, blow out egg, wash thoroughly, dry, decorate!

The Great Commission

The Great Commission. This is my old NIV bible, we now use the ESV at my church. I’m so happy to be able to reuse/recycle this one!

I painted the eggs lightly with Modge Podge. I cut a portion of a page of scripture and clipped the ends to fold over the eggs. Covering the paper with another coat of Modge Podge

I painted the eggs lightly with Modge Podge. I cut a portion of a page of scripture and clipped the ends to fold over the eggs. Covering the paper with another coat of Modge Podge

You can read the words through the glitter, so pick what you want to emphasize

You can read the words through the glitter, so pick what you want to emphasize

I love how the women were there and first discovered Jesus was no longer there!

I love how the women were there and first discovered Jesus was no longer in the tomb!

A nice, low profile decoration for our dinner table

A nice, low profile decoration for our dinner table

I really loved how these turned out! I hope you do, too. They’re super easy to make and I used materials I already had around the house, so they were cheap to make, too. Here’s one more tip: Don’t wait until one week before Easter (or any holiday) to make decorations. It can suck the joy (and life) right out of you. DON’T DO IT (self)!

Thanks for hanging in there with me. It’s always better to travel with friends.


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To be a Fighter

We can’t usually look back and pinpoint a specific moment when we are impacted in such a way that defines our future. Certainly there are those moments in which we are powerfully impacted, deeply moved. And how does it happen, that we are not all, each one of us, able – or more accurately – willing?


I saw where there was a statue uncovered today in Washington to honor Rosa Parks. It’s a statue of her, sitting, as she did the day she refused to give her seat to a white person. A seat she had paid for.

Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks

I don’t understand.

It makes my head hurt. It makes my heart hurt.

I was born in the south and I lived there until I until I was 13. I’ve seen racism. In family, in community, and I have to say I didn’t understand it then, either.

When we moved to Los Angeles, a girl in my school asked me if I was prejudiced against Mexicans. I didn’t know what to say, because I had honestly never met anyone of Hispanic heritage – until then. Or Asian. Only African Americans and there was only one kid that I had known before. One.

And Mrs. Parks, sat there looking out the window . . . waiting for the sheriff to come. I don’t imagine she had planned to fight that morning she left for work.

But, she did


And today I’ve been thinking about her, about you, about me.

Are you a fighter?

There are the obvious big fights



But today, the stuff that keeps mulling over and over are those private fights that are big in our heads, in our spirits, our hearts





(note:  very partial lists)

And you gotta know, I’m a  fighter.

At times I’ve fought poorly and at other times I’ve fought hard, but this is the most important part ya’ll, I’m still fighting.

With a Cup and a Sword refers to my love of a good cup of coffee that I often have in my hand, and of my determination to fight

through the junk that tries to hold me back

to the most excellent plan GOD has for me.

‘Finally, be strong in the LORD and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the spiritual powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.’ Ephesians 6:10-18 ESV

Mrs. Parks continues to be such an inspiration to people; men and women, of all races, alike.

May her example

grace and determination

be contagious

to you and to me


Categories: I have something to say | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A very special cake and ice cream

Birthdays with cake and ice cream is a tradition for most families, here in the U.S., anyway. With my family, though, we have loosened that a little to say for your birthday, you can have any dessert you’d like. When my son was very young, his favorite was a mint and chocolate chip ice cream cake. My daughter’s palate has matured to request desserts like Tiramisu. So, whatever their request, I tried my best to accommodate.

At a recent birthday party for a girlfriend, I planned a dessert I hoped she and the other guests would enjoy. So, we had an Italian birthday dessert. Um, well, two desserts.

I will back up and say, I don’t make up most of what I make. I’ve learned over time what ingredients and preparations have a good chance of being delicious, and I’ve learned to trust certain cookbook authors and chefs. Sometimes I modify these recipes, sometimes I don’t. I will respectfully give recognition to those whom I share.

The desserts: Affagato – Ice Cream with Strong Coffee or Espresso

We six ladies all drink coffee, so I wanted this dessert. For the ice cream, I made Tiramisu Ice Cream which is divine. DIVINE, I tell you!! This is from David Lebovitz’ ice cream book, The Perfect Scoop. I’ve made many of the recipes in this book and I’ve loved every one of them. My husband’s favorite is … well, that’s for another time, I guess. The Tiramisu Ice Cream is made with mascarpone cheese, half and half, Kahlua, and a few other ingredients – except eggs. There are no eggs in this recipe. I used marsala wine instead of the Kahlua, which is a traditional fortified wine in the traditional Tiramisu dessert.

I served it in the pretty, dainty pink bowls with a strong coffee poured over it. As soon as the coffee hit the ice cream, it melted just the outside and made this luxurious creamy sauce. It was delicious. Yes. Yes, it was.

Tiramisu Ice Cream with Coffee

Tiramisu Ice Cream with Coffee

The cake part of the dessert is an Italian dessert that I can say in my head but sound totally ridiculous when I say it out loud. Zuccotto – a recipe by Giada De Laurentis.

This was a simple, no bake dessert. It is, however, labor intensive. There are steps. I’m not new to this and I actually enjoy making the separate elements and then bringing them together for something special. I’ve now made this twice in three days. Once for the birthday party, and it was so good that I wanted to share it with a group of people we had over just last night. And folks, they loved it, too. It is shake-your-head good.

The ingredients as I made it:

  • 16 oz. frozen Sara Lee Pound Cake
  • 12 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 5 cups chilled whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon almont extract
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted and coarsely crumbled
  • 2 – 3.2 oz. bittersweet chocolate bars, I used Lindt

The ganache was made by heating one cup of cream to a slight simmer and pouring over the 2 chopped Lindt (or whatever brand you want) bars. I added a teaspoon of butter, too. Let it sit for a minute and then whisk until it looks like it belongs to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.

The components are the pound cake sliced 1/3″ thick to line the inside of a 6″ bowl that has plastic wrap lining the bowl. A chocolate cream filling (that I doubled), an almond filling that I doubled the cream but not the almonds, sugar, or extract, and I coated the cake after it has set and not long before it is to be served with a chocolate ganache.

Like I said, there are steps, but you have to try it. It will be a dessert you’ll be so proud to serve.

Here are pictures of the process:

A few of the ingredients. Use the good stuff.

A few of the ingredients. Use the good stuff.

After lining the bowl with the sliced cake, add the chocolate filling. I had to double the recipe for the size and depth of my bowl. It doesn't spread easily, either

After lining the bowl with the sliced cake, add the chocolate filling. I had to double the recipe for the size and depth of my bowl. It doesn’t spread easily, either

This is the cake after it has chilled and turned out of the bowl. The original recipe says to dust with cocoa. I prefer the poured ganache for look and taste

This is the cake after it has chilled and turned out of the bowl. The original recipe says to dust with cocoa. I prefer the poured ganache for look and taste

I poured the ganache over the cake as it sat on a baking rack over a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. I didn’t want to waste the chocolate goodness!

I poured a dollop of ganache on the cake plate before placing the cake on it. It stabilizes the cake and prevents sliding

I poured a dollop of ganache on the cake plate before placing the cake on it. It stabilizes the cake and prevents sliding

Oh my gosh. I love this part. Pour slowly with a ladle in a small circle motion at the top until the entire cake is covered.

Oh my gosh, I love this part! Pour slowly with a ladle in a small circle motion at the top until the entire cake is covered.

I poured and let it set. Then I poured again. This did not produce the smooth shiny look, it was more like a OMGosh, let's eat this now look.

I poured and let it set. Then I poured again. This did not produce the smooth finish, it was more like a OMGosh, let’s-eat-this-now finish.

Now, here’s what else I learned. Do not turn the cake out and glaze it hours before it’s to be served. The cake will settle and it will crack the glaze. Trust me. It cracks. It’s no disaster, but you’ll be frustrated. The second thing is it needs to be kept really cold. The fillings will not slice cleanly and give the beautiful slices you want if you don’t. Plus, have a glass with warm water near you while cutting with a sharp knife. Dip the knife in the water between, catch the drips with a paper towel and then slice. Again, trust me. Hence, the no sliced cake picture.

If you make this cake, tell me about it. I’d love to see and hear how it went for you. You won’t need to tell your friends, they’ll all be talking.

Categories: Come sit in my kitchen | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

It’s in the Details

I like parties, but I love to plan parties. Planning themes, color schemes, menu, and those wonderful extra touches.

In last weekend’s birthday party, which was for a very loved girlfriend, I knew I wanted to use those beautiful pink dishes I have and have never used which I inherited from my mom – years ago. It was a 11:30 a.m. birthday party, so that helped with the menu choices. (I’ll talk about the food in another post.)

So I started thinking about what I’d like the table and the food table to look like. I looked in my pantry for dishes and service pieces I might be able to incorporate. I looked in studio for materials I might be able to incorporate. I also checked out my Pinterest boards to see if there was anything there I’d like to incorporate. Use what you have first, and don’t only look in the obvious places.

Then I got out my notebook and drew a couple of pictures that proves I’m not an sketch artist … :)

I really like the burlap sleeves for the silverware settings that I’d seen around, and had already bought yards of burlap months and months ago. I drew up another couple of drawings and began making prototypes. I first made one with a flap that covered the front of the silverware, but the burlap I have is pretty floppy and only looked messy. I tried a couple of fabric flowers and thought they looked too rustic and amateurish. What I came up with was using some vintage brooches I’ve had for years which my mother-in-law had given me. They belonged to both her and her mother. I had five and needed one more for my party of six. I pulled out all of my blings that looked similar and decided to use a couple of rhinestone shoe clips put together. No one knew (and yes, of course they were cleaned!)

Bling and Burlap

Bling and Burlap

Cut 10x14, stitch 4 inches folded up to hold silverware. Trim frays

Cut 3.5″x14″, stitch sides 4″ folded up to hold silverware. Trim frays.

You would have to make your own to fit your silverware, but mine were finished at 3 1/2 inches wide and 10 inches long. I zigzagged the edges along each side, except for the top. The top was originally sewn, but when I cut off the flap part, well, um, I just left it unfinished.

These brooches are so beautiful and a pretty contrast against the burlap

These brooches are so beautiful and a pretty contrast against the burlap

All the pins I used were clear rhinestones. One was blue, and this pink one.

All the pins I used were clear rhinestones. One was blue, and this pink one.

I knew I needed napkins (actually, I didn’t need napkins because I found some vintage white ones I’d forgotten I had until I went to put my new ones away!!), and with the pink and gold  (I wanted to add my gold-rimmed white dishes to help the pink dishes stand out against the white table clothes) color scheme, so I headed off to the fabric store.

  • I bought 2 yards each of a lovely solid pink and a metallic gold and white fabric.
  • I washed them and cut them into 18″ squares, yielding 8 squares of each fabric.
  • I pinned one of each fabric, right sides together, and sewed 1/4″ seam allowance around all four sides, leaving about 3″ to turn them inside out. Trim corners without clipping stitches.
  • One thing I’ve found that really helps is to press the 3″ opening. It’s easy to see where the fold should be when you stitch it closed.
  • Once sewn, pull the fabrics through the opening and press flat. I often use a large wooden knitting needle to push out the corners so they are sharp points (don’t poke a hole in it!)
  • Then, top stitch 1/8″ around the napkin on all four sides. Press again, on each side.  Voila! Lovely napkins that are a fraction of the cost of those you would purchase at retail stores. The finished napkins are so beautiful, their ‘feel’ (i.e. the weight and size) are luxurious, and they were absolutely perfect for the place settings.
Right sides together, pin, stitch, and leave an opening to turn

Right sides together, pin, stitch, and leave an opening to turn

Yes, they took time, money, and effort, but I know I’ll get lots of use out of them and will be proud to have them grace the laps of the many wonderful ladies who visit my home.

A set of 8 napkins. A gold metallic with the backing a nice shade of pink to add the perfect pop

A set of 8 napkins. Gold metallic with the back a nice shade of pink to add the perfect pop

I love them, don’t you?

So, next time I’ll tell you about our food. Basically it was a soup and salad lunch with cake and ice cream for dessert. However, don’t be fooled friend, it was pretty special.

Talk with you soon.


Categories: My hands at work | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A birthday with the Girls

I am not a ritualistic person. I get bored easily and like to do too many (really lots, too many) things to be held down doing the same thing over and over again. And, I’m kinda a loner even though I am surrounded by amazing people. Here’s a confession: I’m selfish with my time.

But one thing I’ve been a part of for almost decade now (wow, that’s a long time) is meet with girlfriends for breakfast every Wednesday morning at the same local restaurant for coffee, breakfast, and chat. We were once five in number, and we’re still meeting, though we’re now the three amigas. I love these women. They challenge me,  inspire me, and love the real me.

And we love to have parties!

Since I was hosting this one at my house, I wanted to have a girlie, think pink, party using my mom’s pink dishes. The party scheme was pink, orange, and gold. Such a pretty, elegant, combination.

Here are are few table shots.

Table for six, please

Table for six, please

Burlap silverware holder

Burlap silverware holder. They originally had a long flap to cover the front, but the burlap was very flimsy. So, I cut it and embellished each one with a vintage brooch. Lovely, aren’t they?

Not quite finished table food

Not quite finished table food

I can’t wait to show and tell you about the food. I would make any of them again – and often!

The menu:

  • Carrot Soup with Dukkah and Pistachios
  • Cobb Salad
  • Crouton rounds
  • Zuccotto
  • Affogato with Tiramisu Ice Cream

I will share more this week: the planning, the details, the sewing (don’t judge me).

Workin’ it out,


Categories: Come sit in my kitchen | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

(Im)patiently Waiting for Spring

I am not a winter gal.


I love the color changes of the leaves in the fall. I love Thanksgiving and all of the holiday preparations for Christmas. I even love the snow – especially when I don’t have to leave my house.  I am one, however, that is ready for my pj’s as soon as it gets dark. That’s hard when it gets dark even before I leave work.

But no more! The days are getting longer, with a few days of less than freezing temperatures.  I am straining toward the spring, toward the warmer, longer days ahead. Did you know Daylight Savings Time begins March 10th!!!

While I try to ‘be in today’, I am a self-diagnosed ADD woman inherited directly from my mother. I love to do things, too-many-to-do things. Here’s a confession: I have spent the entire month of January starting new projects. Well, in my head at least. And I’m already over-whelmed and tired and stressed. Yikes. Do you ever do that?

I’m really longing for Spring. The longer days so I can cram more into them without falling asleep. Spending more time outside because I need to breathe warm, fresh air. I need to get in my dirt and play in my garden. See my herbs from last summer?

My uncovered covered herbs, being guarded by Mr. Rooster and MIss Piggy

My lovely herbs being guarded by Mr. Rooster and Miss Piggy

Last summer Mr. K built me a wonderful red fence around my raised beds to keep out the rabbits and deer, and over the winter he has been building me a two-bay compost bin. I can’t wait to move it into my garden and show you. What’s that, you say? I’m being impatient? Yep.

Here’s my garden entrance after a snow this winter. The gate is from the 1904 home my daughter and son-in-law purchased a couple of years ago. Yet, as beautiful as it is, I can’t get in yet, everything’s still sleeping.

Our lovely vintage garden gate

Our lovely vintage garden gate

So, I wait. Impatiently.

I will list out my wills and won’ts, my hope to’s  and my have to’s, and it will straighten out. Writing it out helps me be realistic and organized.  This life is so full of so many wonderful and beautiful and delightful things. I can’t do all of them as much as I would like to, and some will have to fall to the side. Yet, I know many will happen and I’m so excited.

LORD, I thank you for today and what it will bring. To you I offer my day and myself, and I thank you I don’t have to wait until spring for the goodness and love you’ll show me.

Enjoy this not-yet-spring day.

Categories: Outside my window | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

It’s Friday!

It’s been a fast week for me and it’s already Friday! I’ve been productive in some things, not so much in others. I know it’s only the 17th of January, but I already feel like I’m somewhere between Week 3 or 4 of November. Why? Because I follow a lot bloggers who are so creative, so productive, so inclusive, that when I see a project I admire, I’m drawn to it.

It’s sort of like the commercial that shows you this awesome deal and then says, “But wait! There’s more!!”

I have to continually reel myself back, breathe, and see what’s realistic.

  • Do I have the time to do it and finish?
  • Do I have the resources? (the materials needed or the money to buy the materials)
  • Do I really want to do this – why?
  • Do I really have the time to do it and finish? (I know this is redundant, but I have to make sure I’m honest with myself!)

So, I said earlier that I’d been productive, right? What’ve I done,  you ask?

Well, I finished the index card cover for myself that I’d mentioned in an earlier post. The evidence:


This is before I made the front/back cover inserts. The clippers are obstructing the view you say? It’s hiding the fact I don’t have matching points!

I was going to embroider on the white fabric the word remember, but had sewn it together before I remembered! Good grief, Terry! ha! So, instead, I added two wooden buttons from my grandmother’s button tin that matched the green exactly! What do you think?


I’m now ready to add my scriptures to memorize. Every 1st and 15th of the month I will add a new verse.


Ready to go!

 I also made a sweet little something I’d seen some time ago from Sew.Set. It’s a free pattern by blogger and pattern designer Dog Under My Desk. I got myself this funky, vintage-y fabric by Melody Miller that’s PERFECT for this. It was just what I’ve been waiting for. I can’t wait to make more. What do you think?

IMG_2498 IMG_2504

I know you can’t tell from the picture how big it is, but it’s meant as a ear bud pouch and would be great as a coin purse, too! Don’t you love it???

So, I’ve made these two little goodies, I’ve participated in my small group from my church, babysat my two favorite boys, and I’m getting ready to begin DATE NIGHT with Mr. K.

So, it’s been a busy, hectic week. Good things have happened, and I’ve dealt with a lot of self-induced stress. I’m letting it all be where it is – in the past. I’ve wielded my sword this week and I’m ready to enjoy my three day weekend.

How was your week?

Categories: Come sit in my kitchen, My hands at work | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments