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Monday, June 30, 2008

Quilting and talking with friends....
a cool summer afternoon, we enjoyed having all the windows open to catch any breeze!

Today, my little helper "Shadow", sitting here on some fabric, and I are working on a new quilt top..... (sorry that the photo is not in focus...can't totally blame the moving kitty for that!)
This is a layout of some of the scrappy, wacky blocks which will be trimmed and sewn together to make the quilt top. It is called "Just Breathe" and is in a book called "Tried and True" from quilt designer Sandy Bonsib.

I have made this quilt before and shared the pattern with several friends. I recently gave my finished "Just Breathe" quilt to my brother for his birthday. So time to get into my stash of fabrics and recreate it!!!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Yummy Yogurt Cake

- 2 eggs-
(1 cup) plain unsweetened yogurt
(1 cup) sugar [I used a scant cup....saved some to sprinkle over the top before baking]
(1/3 cup) vegetable oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract-
1-2 cups blueberries, blackberries or other fresh fruit (or frozen berries) [optional]
1/2 c sliced almonds [optional]

Preheat the oven to 350° F, line the bottom of a round 25-cm (10-inch) cake pan with parchment paper and grease the sides. In a large mixing-bowl, gently combine the yogurt, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and oil. In another bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Add the flour mixture into the yogurt mixture, and blend together -- don't overwork the dough. Line the prepared pan with the fruit if you are using it...or you can add the fruit carefully after the batter is in the pan. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Sprinkle the top with almonds and dust with sugar. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean. Let stand for ten minutes, and transfer onto a rack to cool.

I found this recipe while reading through the earlier posts on Caroline's blog. She referred to a recipe from Chocolate Zucchini's blog. This cake is so easy, not overly sweet and good anytime day or night! LOL!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A new project!

This old suitcase has seen better days....the inside was musty and fabric faded.

Thinking that doing an "altered suitcase" would be fun, I resisted passing it on as a donation. I pulled out one side of the faded fabric and cardboard.

This revealed an old page of newspaper from 1946.
The "Evening Bulletin" from Philadelphia. Ladies wool coats were on sale for $12.00, shoes for $12.95 and furs for $169.00.
The news of the day was an article that the reigning "Mrs. America" was giving up her title in order to be home with her family. [ Her husband was proud and happy.] Also a personal note about a veteran's wife who was granted a divorce. When opening their holiday mail, she found a note to her husband from a girl thanking him for the black chiffon nightgown...

So, I may start some collage and decoupage on the outside, will try to work the old newspaper into a collage in the interior....should be fun. I'll post more photos as it evolves!


Working on the outsides of the suitcase.......both sides started. One side says "My Wish for You"...."Life's Journey" and "Enjoy", the other side has antique manuscript with "Principles of Music" and a girl with a recorder or flute-type instrument. ("Thanks, Gemma" for the book with those images!) I am using a tacky craft glue to hold this on....after I have every thing glued on, I plan to use polyurethane varnish to seal it, as it will not be "tacky" in our humid climate.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Home again, home again....

I came home in a tow truck, up the new interstate through the beautiful hills and mountains on Northwest Arkansas!

This trip could have cost more than flying.....thank goodness for insurance covering the tow charge!

This interstate has many high bridges (see photo) and a short tunnel. The scenery was even better from the high cab of the tow truck. I could see the gurgling streams and winding roads below us.

I have always felt, when going through the tunnel, that the climate changes dramatically and that I am entering a different "zone". Sort of like "Brigadoon"....but that is only my imagination.

Our area is changing and growing rapidly with world headquarters for Walmart just up the road (I try not to shop at any Walmart stores, BTW)....inspite of all the new arrivals, we still have cool breezy summer mornings and plenty of "local color".

I will be home now to enjoy those as my car will be at the dealer's repair shop until they can get to it later in the time to garden, read, sew and do art. Next week, I may be going back to work....
My new garden flag which says "Welcome" when the breeze blows. (Of course, having hung it out, I will have to be hospitable to most who drop in on me! LOL!)
And while dealing with my broken down car, I found a "greenman" planter on sale!
He rode home with me in the tow truck and is now adding his happy spirit to our backyard!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Enjoying a lovely day in rural Clark County Arkansas!

My sister-in-law's green thumb and recycling genius are in evidence here!

[Besides the flower and vegetable garden, chickens are a big part of the outdoor scene.]
My SIL says that these wonderful canna lilies are for the hummingbirds!

While our eyes are feasting on the flowers, (and "yes" I will be painting some of these!) we are feasting on fresh produce from local garden patches...summer squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, okra. Life is good!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The passing of a peaceful spirit......

Visit the memorial site here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My peaceful world this week.....

(newly painted front door)

I am reading a "Hamish Macbeth" mystery by M.C. Beaton called "Death of a Cad".

We discovered Hamish Macbeth DVDs at our local library when our friend Cheryl was checking out the series. It only ran for 3 years in the mid 1990's, we have seen them now I have to read in order to visit the imaginary village of "Lockdubh" (Gaelic for "black lake") in northern most Scotland. Hamish is the laid-back village constable. The series is imaginative and "campy" and always graced by the beautiful highland scenery!

Thanks to YOUtube, you can see a wonderful moment from the series here.


When not escaping into the pages of a book, I am in the process of finding a job.One I am currently interviewing with is a local Montessori school. Today, Caroline of Caroline's Crayons posted about her new job! [If you haven't visited Caroline before, you are in for a treat! Her former blog was Potato Prints.]

I found it quite synchronistic (may not be a real word, but I like it) and encouraging to read her post! I will be making a decision thing, the school is less than a mile away so I won't waste too much salary on filling my tank, (as I would have with the quilt shop 30 miles away who want me to come and work/play for them!) and I won't be tempted to spend said paycheck on merchandise if I am with babies and toddlers all day!

One last thing, I will show more garden photos eventually...things are growing nicely now. Only problem is an uninvited guest....Mr. (Ms.?) Mole now plowing tunnels. I'm afraid this means "war"...and Mr. Pear will surely win!

(the door downstairs going out of my studio, also newly painted!)

Monday, June 09, 2008

[UPDATE: these three were just finished Saturday June for daughter, one for a friend and the bright one for ME!!!]

Tunics for everyone.....

I have started sewing once again. This time making tunics for all the "dolls" I like to dress. This black and white with turquoise ribbon trim is what I wore to the birthday party last Friday night...

This scanned piece of fabric and aqua ribbon is for a tunic for my daughter, Laura, and of course, then granddaughter, Lilia, will be having a bright pink matching tunic for the "mother/daughter" look!

So (sew?) if you don't find me in Blogland this week, you may find me at my sewing machine (and serger).

I did make an extra tunic....these are selling for $170.00 in boutiques. I have it in my ETSY shop for much less.

Saturday, June 07, 2008


Outside, beautiful arched windows in an old Arkansas church....

and inside.... a curtain of memories.

[P. S. (added June 9th)... behind that curtain, the memories, the reason I was at this old church, was for a birthday party for my brother and a good friend of his....who has a home and artist's studio in the church building! ]

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

A few scenes from a corner garden.....

It is still early in the season, and inspired by my friend, Paula's garden, I set to work last week. [Now, I am not one to "dig" and make "beds", so it is all done with creative containers!] These plants and the old watering can will look even better as they grow and blossom!

Outside my sewing room window is a small corner of the backyard where I have a special place! Sitting here with my friend Cheryl and our cat, "Shadow" is delightful late in the day!

Iced tea beside the garden angel and ornamental sweet potato vine! [My special "thistle" cup from Scotland became part of the display after it was broken.]

I am now on the "look-out" for nice large rocks to work with out here. This part of the garden, with the watering can again, is on the other side of the sewing room door.

This pink lily will eventually be moved into a flower bed in the front yard, near other lilies.

Shadow as a prowling jungle cat in our holly bush....looking for bird's nests!

This little corner garden has lots of blooming ahead....meanwhile, I went to Mr. Pear's perennial beds out front and found a wonderful bouquet of flowers and herbs! (yes, including a hosta leaf!)

Monday, June 02, 2008

I'm back...I could go pick up the paint brush and finish the trim in the breakfast room...but I stopped to read e-mails.
I get this little comic strip daily in my e-mail (because my name is Lila and I couldn't resist), The Meaning of Lila. Today's strip shows that Lila has a blog. Funny! ?

[I really think she is a more shallow and superficial "Lila" than I am! Also a generation younger???]

In addition to the comic strip and e-mail, I have been reading "Three Cups of Tea" which I highly recommend!

I have just started reading, "The Kite Runner", and think I will like it, too ( though I know it is intense, so we'll see.)

I'll post some photos of my backyard "secret garden" soon....I was inspired by visiting my friend Paula's garden!

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