I'm Never Going To Be Martha Stewart

Wednesday, July 27, 2011
This is all my sister's fault!  In December we were baking cookies and she said "how can anyone who sews so much have such worn out potholders??!"  So I cut out some potholders.  Of course I never got them made before Christmas!   I pulled them out and thought it wouldn't take long to whip them together.  Wrong WRONG WRONG!!  BUY THEM!!  Here they are--crooked thumbs, lumpy top stitching, uneven ends.

Ric Next Door

Sunday, July 17, 2011
Ric is my next door neighbor while I'm volunteering.  Here are a few pictures of Ric---

Ric Fixing Sign

Ric with "Popemobile"

Ric In Texas

Ric Relaxing Outside

Ric Using Phone While Standing On His Camper
Ric volunteers in Maintenance.  If it requires fixing, building, or painting--Ric does it.  Trees planted.  Grass seed spread.  You will see him driving the electric "popemobile" around the project.  Last night Ric's air conditioner wasn't keeping up, and I snapped a pic of him standing on his roof talking on his phone.   (air conditioner problem resolved!)  I've lucky to have Ric as a neighbor, coming back each year to volunteer is even better when I know Ric will be there.  

Exploring New Tastes

Saturday, July 16, 2011
No, I don't mean new tastes in fabric!  Henrietta encourages me to try new-to-me cuisine.  While on the road trip we ate at a Thai Restraurant.  

Henrietta said the food was very authentic.  We ordered Chicken Satay---

I forgot to take the picture until it was almost all eaten.  Peanut sauce and fresh cucumbers in a rice vinegar on the side.  

I ordered chicken, broccoli, and noodles with sweet black bean sauce.  Henrietta had a seafood Thai salad.  

They were both excellent.  We left full and happy!  I've made Green Curry (used the curry paste we bought in Sioux City) and Chicken Satay at home and they've both turned out well.  Ken, well Ken TRIES the food, but the Green Curry was a bit hot.  I ate my serving carefully--with lots of rice, bread and water!  I did better with the Satay.  Henrietta happily munches away--she likes her food spicy.  

A friend said we HAD to stop and get ice cream at Braum's as we went through Salina KS.  We didn't stop there--but look what was two businesses from our motel----

It was raining so we used the drive through--Henrietta had Peach Amaretto and I tried the Chocolate Almond.  YUM!  There are many Braum's located throughout Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. 

Very hot while on the trip, we're glad the air conditioner worked well in the car!  Its very hot here now (at the Visitor Center and at home)--humid humid HUMID with temps at +100F!  I encourage everyone to stay cool! Sewing in the air conditioning would be nice, or maybe a nap.......!  What is your favorite thing to do when its hot??

Road Trip

Friday, July 15, 2011
Henrietta and I hit the road Monday.  Along the way we stopped at our favorite store.

Lots of treasures at this stop.  I'm always on the lookout for pyrex and corningware.

Three casserole dishes, four plates, and two small Fire King dishes.  For now these will go in the camper.  

Its been very hot and humid and I thought Shamus would enjoy a bath.

He's shy when he bathes, when the camera comes out he quits splashing!


Sunny Sunday

Monday, July 11, 2011
Last night I worked on a Swoon block.  I did a lot of frog stitching.  Why?   Mostly because I was tired.  Switching the placement of the dominant color SEEMED like a good idea.

The light floral was the center fabric, and the darker blue the surrounding "crown".   Several times I had the colors switched.  But, look closer.  See the plain squares laying on the right side?   Yes, that is what the background was SUPPOSED to be.  Sigh  I accidentally picked up the Kona Snow I had cut for another project and used it instead of the Kona Bone.   I've left it for the moment, I just make too many mistakes when I'm tired.  

Today I did a bit of baking.  Henrietta keeps looking in my fridge at all the heavy whipping cream.  (insert Henrietta frowning, 3 quarts??!!)  Kuchen uses whipping cream!  I made the pudding filling, set it aside to cool and made the dough.  I use my bread machine do the mixing, kneading, and raising of the dough.  Much easier.

My kitchen is small and cluttered, I rolled the dough out on a cutting board balanced over my sink.  

The dough goes into the pie pan--you don't have to be neat.  Not thin like pie crust---not quite 1/2" thick.  I usually let it rest 5-10 minutes and raise a little.  Spread the fruit filling over the dough, then the pudding filling, and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.  Bake!

Voila!  My recipe makes 4 pans.  For filling I used one can of cherry pie filling (enough for 3 pans) and the 4th has cut up prunes.  Prunes??  Yes--I love prune kuchen!   We had one for dessert tonight, and put 3 in the freezer.  Henrietta and I are heading on a road trip tomorrow and I'm not sure leaving the kuchen unguarded in the freezer with Ken is a good idea.  Maybe a padlock for the freezer......

Henrietta has LOTS of blocks on the design wall.  I think she has 200 to lay out.  She's asleep, I went in there and stared at them for a while.  Hmmm--only found one block to relocate.   She has about half of them up,  she said she needs more pins.  She needs me to hand them to her while she's standing on the step stool! 

Having Henrietta here is wonderful.  I hope you have a friend like Henrietta.  Drat, it makes me a bit weepy thinking about her leaving. 

Henrietta Organizes

Friday, July 8, 2011
Henrietta organizes while she's here.   She spied my ZipLock bags with handles that projects should be stored in.

She folds stash as she uses it.

She keeps a box beside her sewing machine and neatly stacks blocks in it.

I'm not so neat.  I needed a laundry basket for the bagged projects.   This is more my style---

I dumped the laundry on the couch to use the basket! 

And this photo is for Fred.  I made 4 loaves of bread yesterday.   Henrietta loves the homemade English Muffin bread toasted.

One of our stops on Tuesday was a couple of Asian markets.  We were looking for Aloha Shoyu soy sauce.  And I've always wanted to try curry after reading about it on Tanya's blog.  Tanya--do either of these look familiar??


Friday Check In

A beautiful day in South Dakota.   85F, blue sunny skies with a soft breeze.  Henrietta and I have been sewing on various things.  

The Swoon blocks are addicting.  

Henrietta's Swoon blocks

Lori's Swoon blocks
Henrietta carefully chooses her fabrics for each block.  She may decide she doesn't like the block when its made and not use it.  I pick fabrics I like--make the block--and it better decide to "play well with others"!!  When we were road tripping on Tuesday, we did a bit of stash enhancement.  

Purchases on Tuesday
Henrietta has a joint project planned for the bundle of FQ's.   It was a free pattern received in the mail called "Summer At Mom's"  Soft pastels with lots of delicate flowers.  

I picked FQ's for more Swoon blocks--here they are paired up.

Swoon FQ's paired up
No rhyme or reason to the group--I just paired up fabrics I liked.  

We're running errands today and plan to sew more later.  Tomorrow we're heading to an auction, you never know what you might find.


Volunteering, Sewing, and Just Having Fun

Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Henrietta and I are relaxing.  I've been volunteering, and she's been sewing.  Ken is here now too, but has declined our offer of a road trip.  I think the mention of quilt shops maybe put him off!

I made another Swoon block before I left home---

I really like this block, the colors are more intense.  9 Swoon blocks make an 80x80 top.  I like the 24" blocks, and the directions are very clear on how to make a block using 2 FQs (and a bit of background--I have used Kona bone).   Very efficient use of a FQ.  Maybe I will look for a couple of FQ's today just to play with.  

And here are a few random pictures---

View across the river

Lots of water

Henrietta's robin--He was shy and kept a close eye on her. 

We hope to take more pictures today, Henrietta has been practicing with a new camera.