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Thursday, October 30, 2008

What is Grandma Lila doing?

It's a soccer ball for the baby grandson. His first birthday is coming up, but this colorful cloth ball will be a Christmas gift. It will spend the next few weeks under a Christmas tree in the window of the sewing center where I now work. This is a project from the book, "Seams to Me" by Anna Maria Horner. I used the shop's embroidery machine to make embellished fabric for the ball....a dog, a porpoise, an angel fish, ducks in the rain, a "Nemo" type was a fun day at work!

After stuffing, as much as possible, the final seams have to be hand sewn. So (sew?) the fun continues at home to finish the project!

I am enjoying the creativity of sewing. Today's young designers/mothers/bloggers inspire many of us. Heather Bailey has a wonderful photo which captures the feeling of creativity in art and sewing here. She even has a delightful PEAR pincushion!
I wanted so much to share the photo directly with you....but don't want to violate copyright...
Our digital camera is not working well indoors....I had to use photoshop to lighten and bring out the photos above. They are still not clear. This will not do!
Being a visual communicator, I can't blog without photos, mine or other folks! LOL!
Afternoon note: I have been on the back porch starting a painting ...the digital camera works if there is plenty of light.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Two books I love.....for sewing ideas and for just "being" happy at home!

The first is "The Gentle Art of Domesticity" by Jane Brocket. Her photos are lovely and her life in England is interesting. This is a book I wanted last year, but had to wait until it became available over here. In addition to wonderful knitting and quilting, there are a few recipes which look wonderful! Jane writes the "Yarnstorm" blog.

Next is Anna Maria Horner's "Seams to Me". A lovely book to spread the joy of sewing. The photos are luscious in both books...I'm noticing lots of orange and red-orange. I think I may need another copy of "Seams to Me" for my she is interested in sewing....and "Project Runway"!

A good day for comfort foods.....this cooler fall weather makes me want to cook!!! Also, we are assembling some favorite family recipes for a bride-to-be.

This pork chop recipe comes from "Fine Cooking" (Tauton Press) September 2008

Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce by Jennifer McLagan
A fast, creamy pan sauce dresses up these simple seared pork chops; serve them with rice or noodles to soak up the sauce.Serves four.
Eight 1/2-inch-thick boneless pork chops (about 3 oz. each)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more as needed
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup lower-salt chicken broth
1/4 cup stoneground or country-style mustard

Season the chops lightly with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour, shaking off the excess.
Put the butter and oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. When hot, add 4 of the pork chops and cook, turning once, until golden on both sides and just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes total. Transfer the pork to a serving platter and tent with foil. Repeat with the remaining chops, adding another tablespoon of oil to the pan if necessary.
Pour off any fat in the pan, add the wine, and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Increase the heat to medium high and boil until the wine is reduced to about 2 Tbs., 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the cream, chicken broth, and mustard and boil until reduced to a saucy consistency, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Return the pork and any juices to the pan, turn to coat with the sauce, and then transfer back to the serving platter. Drizzle any sauce remaining in the skillet over the chops and serve.
From Fine Cooking 95, pp. 94a
September 1, 2008
photo: Scott Phillips© The Taunton Press 2008, All rights reserved


A wonderful Summer Squash and Cornbread casserole!

This cornbread uses a jalapeno cornbread mix, cooked summer squash, butter, onion, and cream style corn.
1 stick butter
1 large onion, chopped
3/4 cup cooked squash (yellow or zucchini)
1 can cream-style corn
1 pkg. jalepeno cornbread mix(mixed according to pkg. directions)
Preparation:Sauté onion until tender, but not brown. Mix all together and pour into a greased 13 x 9 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees, 20-30 minutes.
Notes: I like to make my own cornbread because I have stone-ground cornmeal.USE recipe for homemade cornbread (omit sugar) and add 1 can (7oz) chopped green chiles. Use more squash & only 1/2 stick of butter. May need to add salt. Top with grated cheddar cheese.

Read more wonderful recipes here....My Blog (The Southern Cooking Blog by Diane)


I love all things pumpkin this time of year!

Starbucks has their "Pumpkin Spice Latte" [I have found that sometimes adding cardamon and pumpkin pie spice to the coffee in my coffee maker makes a wonderful seasonal treat!]

Here is a "cookie" recipe. The cook who created it says that it is very much like a muffin top....which is perfect for me as a favorite treat has been a local bakery's Pumpkin Muffin Top!

[For a wonderful Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe, see my post from September 10th!]

Oatmeal Pumpkin Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick-cooking oat
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
2 cups raisins (or nuts and chocolate chips)
1.Preheat oven to 350°F Combine the flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; set aside.
2.In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla then stir in the pumpkin puree. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients until well blended. Mix in raisins. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
3.Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

We are making a loose-leaf notebook for the bride, Natalie. Each recipe page will be in a plastic page protector. Hopefully it will be a real treasure for her! I'll post photos as we get it "pulled together!

[Note: I am writing this away from my home computer so have used images from the internet which go with the recipes!]

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Good-bye dear Shadow!

Photo of Shadow last October. We had to have her put to sleep today. We will remember her very fondly! [Below, Shadow "helping" me quilt last spring!]

Sunday, October 19, 2008

[Note: Blogger is reformating my text near the end....sorry about the "strung-out" words...!!!]

A perfect October morning.....leaving around 8:00, we reach the craft fair just as it is opening....

Mr. Pear with the morning sun behind him......

Chatting with friendly this case, my friend Liz who has a booth!
We find some wonderful things which will be Christmas gifts for the family. Supporting artisans at the craft fair rather than factories in the third world feels good!

After touring 4 tents of vendors, we go back outside to enjoy the fabulous setting and weather.....oh, !!! and music too!

Finally, we go back through some tents once more and I see this...I'm sorry the image is blurry...our camera was not co-operating. But you can see it is a tree full of mermaids! These are needle felted and were in the booth of The Augres Sheep Factory all the way from Michigan!

These were truly the most unexpected thing I saw there...but they stayed on the tree, as we were already through with the urge to shop! [here is a better mermaid photo from the maker's webpage.]

Friday, October 17, 2008

More catching up and "making do".

While at Mom's last weekend, I came across the October 2008 "AMERICAN PATCHWORK AND QUILTING" magazine as we were checking out of K-MART.

I loved the seasonal pumpkin quilt on the cover. Once I read it, I chose to start a different quilt called, "Scrap Happy". As Mom has sewn for us and saved every scrap, I was able to start these blocks....however, not without shopping for and adding a few more current quarter yard pieces to the mix. So it's not entirely "making do", LOL!

I brought the project home with me. Today is one of my days off so I have time to get back to it and I will now be adding my scraps from the things I've been sewing. The blocks are easy and fun.


Back to my October 15th Birthday Giveaway!

Mr. Pear was home, under the weather, yesterday, so I couldn't get a post written. We did. however, manage to draw a winner in the contest for my painting, "Autumn Song". Sioux is our winner!!!! Congratulations! I know that my painting is going to a good home! The nightingale should love being with such musical folks!
Sioux, I will be e-mailing you for your shipping address.


This is a big craft fair weekend in our area. We have tenative plans to visit the famous "War Eagle Arts and Craft Fair" on Sunday. It is in a beautful setting here in the Ozarks, and our trees are beginning to turn nicely. I'll post about the event if we go!
From this morning's paper....but of course, you didn't see this on my sweet blog!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sometimes, I really love sewing. It centers me and relieves stress (unless of course, the project runs into difficulty! LOL!) This is a jumper I just finished for my granddaughter. I'll have to get it into the mail for her tomorrow.

Here is a birthday bouquet from my friend Cheryl...picked right from her yard. My favorite
type of bouquet!

Lastly, a detail of a watercolor painting of fall flowers and acorn squash....


You still have time to visit my October 1st post and leave a comment to be included in my birthday giveaway. Tomorrow, the day after my birthday, I am drawing names for the winner of my original watercolor painting.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


When I returned from work yesterday, I needed to rest, so I sat down with a magazine I had picked up at mother's. "Good Housekeeping" for September 2008. Opening the magazine at random, it opened to a page which was an essay by Kate Braestrup entitled "Open Your Heart". Perfect, I thought,.... and it was!

When we are in times where fear is being spread, we must breathe deeply and learn to reach out to those around us. Here is my favorite paragraph from her essay....
"The spiritual challenge we're offered as human beings doesn't vanish when times are hard. If the economy is contracting, a human heart can nonetheless continue to expand, finding new opportunities for gratitude, compassion, and generosity. To stay open to love is doubtless an effective way of weathering a recession, and I could recommend it for that reason alone. If I am honest, I have to say it more plainly still: To stay open to love is simply and always The Way. "

Other blog posts encourage us to open our hearts. If you missed the trip Maryam made to Rwanda, see my previous post.

Colette of "A Bird in the Hand" had a post about more local needs.

[note: the photo above, of the open window, was saved in a desktop file. I save photos for inspiration. However, I have no record of whose photo this is. Please leave word for me in the comments or email if it is your photo....I apologise for using it without permission and would like to correct the issue!]


Don't forget to leave a comment on my October 1st post if you'd like to be entered in my birthday art giveaway... through tomorrow. I will be drawing a name on the 16th.

AND.....please go by Julie's blog (Celtic my sidebar) and vote for a winner (vote for me!!LOL!) in the Fireside Fancies art contest!


Another place to open your heart, for a young friend with ALS.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Your help is needed!!!!!

I am an armchair traveler who loves blogs from other countries. One blogger, Maryam, is just back from a real journey. Maryam, who lives in Morocco, visited Rwanda.

Of course, this was not luxury travel. During her time there, she met Vestine, a survivor of the years of genocide in that area. Now, hoping to help Vestine, who has only just begun to dream and hope again, a fund has been established. Read about Vestine here. Read other posts on Maryam's blog, I think you will love it, (if you aren't already a regular reader!)

[note: the photo of Morocco above is from "Holiday Destinations- Travel Blog"]


I'm still here at my mom's, we just picked up a beautiful chrysanthemum to brighten her world....along with a pumpkin. Both are at the front door. We are celebrating all the years of blessings we have enjoyed!
This apple cake was our birthday cake. Yumm! I cooked it in an antique granite ware cake pan from my grandmother. In making this, I used whole wheat flour for half of the flour and reduced the amount of sugar. The recipe is HERE.

There is still time to visit my October 1st post and enter in the drawing for my birthday giveaway on October 15th!

Thank-you for reading my blog, and of course, I love comments (whether you enter the give-away or not!)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

[painting by Van Gogh]

Today is my mother's birthday. I will be going to stay with her this weekend.

A couple of weeks ago I was staying with my daughter (except she went traveling while I stayed there!) . Laura is a travel agent who has specialized in the Caribbean. Here is a link to what she and my son-in-law did (her blog) while Lizzzie and I were babysitting in her home in Georgia!
[If you read the last 4 posts you will feel like you have visited the area too!]
Never forget to stop by my October 1st post to leave a comment and be entered in my birthday drawing! Caw! ( or Krah?)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Leaving my post about my birthday giveaway for a bit.... I want to spread some other information! First, don't miss the art contest based on this art print of the young girl dreaming by the fire. It is sponsored by Julie (Celtic Lady) and Mary (Back of the Moon)! Even if you don't do an art piece, we need you to vote after they are all posted on Oct. 10th...OK, I'll remind you again then!
My collage for this dreamer, has just been posted on my "Arty Collages and Dolls" blog (see link at the right--in my other creative blogs.)

[You can find their links in my blog roll and visit to find out more!]


This movie opens this week! Many of us have read the book and eagerly await this film version.

So bee good and visit my October 1st post to enter my birthday art giveaway!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


This will be where I post for the next week or so.[I think!] I will add to the bottom of this post, so that more can comment here to be in the drawing...

Lila's Birthday Giveaway.....

On October 15th, I will have a birthday! To celebrate, I will give away a framed original watercolor, "Autumn Song". This painting has a fall theme featuring mums, pears, and a nightingale. I will post more about it soon! If you leave a comment anytime in October, through my birthday, you will be entered in the drawing!
[added later] The painting is 16 X 20 in the frame. Yes, I am the artist. It is signed, though you can't see that here!!


Saturday October 4th...

I have decided to sew for my granddughter. There are so many cute things to make and since I have a machine and a serger, I really MUST do this. [Besides I enjoy it!]

The first is a cotton flowered jumper with orange-red contrast bands.

Next will be a "swing" jacket from pink and brown houndstooth corduroy. It will have large brown buttons.

Off to the cutting table now!...

October 7th....the jacket is finished! (see photo) Off to post office and on it's way to Lilia!


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