Monday, August 31, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday

This weekend, while sunning at the pool and looking at 6-7 magazines, I noticed one item being shown throughout, a ribbon necklace. They were on models and stars, in advertisements and shown in the fashion section as a must have for the fall and winter season. Saucy Sprinkles has a quick, easy and inexpensive tutorial for just such a necklace. I also noticed there were many different styles and colors of the same general idea. So go crazy and make it your personality. Wouldn't this make a fun and creative Christmas or birthday gift?

Recipe Monday

I am sorry for the lack of photos over the last week and this one. My son borrowed our camera and took it with him to Charleston to visit his sister. He left it there. I have to get her to ship it but her schedule is so crazy with classes, internship and working that she has not been able to get to the post office. Maybe this week.

This recipe is the very best Sloppy Joe recipe I have ever eaten. I think it is the soup that gives it just a bit of different flavor. I have been making this for about 8 years. Let me know if you try it.

Sloppy Joe

2 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped small
2 1/2 tablespoon, Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon mustard
1 can cream of mushroom soup (I use the low-fat, low-sodium)

Fry meat with onion. Drain and add salt and pepper to taste. Add remaining ingredients and simmer. Serve on hamburger buns. Makes 8-10 sandwiches.

This can also be put in a sprayed Crock-pot to simmer for no more than three hours.

I serve with slaw and some type of potato and fruit.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thankful Thursday


I am thankful today to fine out I am not going crazy but instead am going into menopause! Yes, that is right. The difficulty with sleeping, the morose feelings, hot flashes, the tingling and numbness around my chin and mouth, yep even that, is caused from an estrogen deficiency! Bless my husband and pray for him! He has never, ever been married to a weepy, low-energy, moody woman. This should be fun. I am sure there will be more to follow... In the mean time I plan to make the very best of this new phase in my life. I just saw an advertisement for a menopause medicine and the first line said, "Are your menopausal hot flashes contributing to global warming?" Hysterical!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fabulous Fabric!

Have you seen this new fabric line? It is Lantern Bloom by Laura Gunn for Michael Miller. I love the design and colors. My daughter's bedroom is done in this exact shade of purple, blue and orange and it is very hard to find fabric that pulls all those colors together. We both fell in love with this fabric and I am ordering some to make pillows for her bed and her chair. has the entire line for sale, along with some other great fabric.

What do you think about this fabric line? Is it too modern or just right? The only design I am not crazy about is the polka dot fabric. The bird cage fabric is my favorite but I like the hanging vines and the mosaic tiles alot.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday


J Caroline Creative has a free and easy tutorial to make these adorable Ribbon Key Fobs. These would make great gifts for teachers, co-workers, or even a new teen driver. I always like to have a few generic gifts on hand during the holidays and this would definitely be a great one to have stocked. It would work as a nice addition to a stocking, as well.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Recipe Monday

Our family loves appetizers and we love cheese. When you can put the two of those together, it makes us very happy. The following recipe was given to me by a high school friend (yes, while I was in high school) in 1982. It is a staple at any holiday get-together and is an easy one take to a party.

Cheese and Nut Roll

1- 3 ounce package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1- 8 ounce box Velveeta cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
dash or two of Worcestershire sauce
dash or two (or three if you like spicy) hot Tabasco sauce
1/2 cup chopped pecans
chili powder

Mix both cheeses, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauce. Work it till soft. You may use a mixer on low or it is easiest to use your hands. Form into a ball.

On aluminum foil or wax paper, sprinkle the nuts in a line and shake the paprika and chili powder over the nuts until well covered. Roll the cheese into a log, with the dimensions about the size of a half-dollar coin. Roll the log in the nuts and spices until covered all around. Use the same paper to wrap the cheese log in and refrigerate until firm, at least a few hours but best if left overnight. Serve with an assortment of crackers.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Amy Butler Birdie Sling Bag Completed

I had a very relaxing weekend. Yesterday I slept in, went out to lunch with my son and husband and to run a few errands and back home to piddle about in the house. And yes, I did get some sewing done!

I finished the Birdie Sling bag for my daughter. I really like the combination of the two fabrics and think it will work great for fall. Hanna wanted a bag big enough to put a couple of college textbooks, a notebook and her purse items. This bag is large and roomy with four large pockets. Next time I make this pattern I will add a magnetic snap or a big button for closing the top. It does not call for one but I always like a bag to fasten. Other than that I think this is the easiest Amy Butler pattern I have made. I did change one thing: it called for the outer fabric to have interfacing but I was using a very heavy home dec fabric and chose not to. I used linen for the lining and used an iron-on fleece for the interfacing. It gave the bag plenty of support.

Inside of the bag. I used linen and the handle and band fabric to make the pockets.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Local Produce = Delicious!

I love summer and all the wonderful things it brings, sunshine and warmth, swimming and beach time and fresh local produce. I stopped by my local farm stand and picked a few favorite veggies on Tuesday. We have already grilled some of the corn, squash and zucchini. All of it was delicious. I had a slice of the tomato for lunch today. Wonderful! I am thankful I can go four doors down to purchase all this wonderful produce and so much more at a wonderful price.

Stan and I at a Marriage Retreat in March of this year.
Even more than this bountiful harvest, I am thankful for my marriage. Stan's and my wedding anniversary is today. Twenty-seven years and we have never had a fight! Okay, well that may be stretching it a little but I can say we rarely have a fight! :) Stan is a wonderful husband and father and the best friend I could ever wish for. Our marriage is in the best place it has ever been and I thank God daily for allowing me to be married to this man.

I am also in the sewing room finishing up an Amy Butler Birdie Sling Bag for my daughter. Pictures to come!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday

Eye Spy Bags

Ashley, over at Make It and Love It, has a cute Eye Spy Bag tutorial. Parents are always looking for activities to entertain children during situations where we need them to sit quietly. Eye Spy Bags are a great answer. I have seen these all over Etsy and Artfire. One addition I have liked is an attached tag or an iron-on printed list of all the small pieces in the bag. I have seen the bags in plain squares or circles but also as creative as the above crab and fish. Head over to Make It and Take It for this cute tutorial.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Recipe Monday

As I have mentioned before, not only do I live in a southern state, South Carolina, but I also grew up in the deep south of Mississippi. One of the staples in our home was cornbread. If we had a meal with any vegetable, especially any type of bean or pea, we had cornbread. Naturally, I love cornbread. One of my favorite ways to eat cornbread is in Cornbread Salad. I hope you are intrigued enough to give this recipe a try. I promise, you will not be disappointed. :)

Cornbread Salad

1 package of cornbread mix, make according to package directions and let cool
1 can Pinto Beans, warmed (I like Bush's)
lettuce, I like romaine but you can use iceburg or your choice
1 large tomaoto, chopped into small pieces
1 green bell pepper, chopped into small pieces
1 medium onion, chopped into small pieces or green onions (3-4)
2 cups cheddar cheese
6-8 slices of bacon cooked crisp and crumbles or 1 small package of pre-cooked bacon
Ranch salad dressing, 1 small bottle

In a casserole dish or large bowl, layer in the following order:

Cornbread, crumble in the bottom of the bowl,
Pinto Beans, pour evenly over the cornbread,
Lettuce, tomotoes, bell pepper, onion and salad dressing,
Bacon, and sprinkle the cheese over everything last.

Serve immediately. This is hearty enough for a complete meal but also works as a side to any grilled meat or other veggies. To make this dish vegetarian, just omit the bacon. :)

I have one friend who always request this salad for any dinner we do together. Yes, it is that good and simple.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Two years ago, August 13 2007, my husband and I had a very close friend who was killed in a tragic work accident. Wade was truly part of our family. He and his wife, Connie, are 12 years older than Stan and me. They were that far ahead in the marriage and parenting part of their life. We have turned to them for wise and godly advice on more than one occasion. We still miss Wade, as does his wife, children and grandchildren. In our missing him, we are always thankful for the years of friendship and the influence he had in our families lives.

I took this photo of Wade and Connie at the wedding of one of their sons.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ikea, OH MY!!!

Today I took a road trip to Charlotte, NC. Charlotte is about an hour and a half up the interstate. It is an easy drive, especially when you share the ride with a wonderful friend and her daughter. :) We first went to Mary Jo's, the most incredible fabric store. Their store statement is, "Mary Jo's Cloth Store is a mecca where you will find mountains of fabric at thimble sized prices". It is 32,000 square feet of fabric and sewing tools and is a seamstress dream come true! There is no way to stop for a quick trip but instead I always plan for a several hours visit. You can visit this link for a virtual tour.

After our three hour stop at Mary Jo's we drove twenty more miles to visit the Ikea store. I have heard about Ikea from my friend, Maddie, and I have looked online but nothing compares to being there. Oh my, there is just so much and at such wonderful prices and varieties and well, it was just incredible. My friend, Tracy, and I are already planning a second trip next month! I did find some drapes I really love for my son's old room. The room is sitting empty, in need of paint and then it will become a guest room. I think the drapes will give me some wonderful colors to work with for the bed and accents. What do you think? The leaves are a medium slate blue, dark gray, chocolate brown on a creamy background. They are lined with a cream fabric as well. They come in a 97" length, which I can cut off the extra and use it to make throw pillows. I think I will go with a silvery gray or a chocolate brown for the bedding or maybe even combine the two. Any suggestions for wall color? I really want some color and not the ivory cream.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday

Arm Band Pouch

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have started walking for exercise and my husband has started running. He has done several 5K runs and I did a 5K walk in June. I thought what a terrific idea when I saw this great Arm Band Pouch over at Make It and Love It. Whenever I walk I have a cell phone in hand and keys and sometimes a water bottle. It seems I should have just carried my purse with me but with this nifty Arm Band Pouch it will hold the phone, debit card, driver's license, keys, etc. and free your hands.

Follow the link to a wonderful, detailed tutorial with easy to read and see text and photos.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Recipe Monday

Chessy Chewy Cake
1 package plain, yellow cake mix
8 tablespoons (1 stick) melted butter
1 large egg
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
1 box powdered confectioners' sugar
Place oven rack in the center of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray or grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
Crust directions: in large mixing bowl, pour cake mix, melted butter and egg and blend with an electric mixer on low speed for two minutes. Stop mixer and scrape down the sides fo the bowl with a rubber spatula. The batter should come together in a ball. With your fingertips, pat the batter evenly over the bottom of the pan, smoothing it out with your fingers until the top is smooth. Set the pan aside.
Filling directions: place the softened cream chesse in the same bowl and use the same beaters. No need to clean either first. Blend on low speed until fluffy, about 30 seconds. Stop mixer and add eggs, vanilla, and melted butter. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Stop mixer and add the sugar. Beat until the sugar is completely incorporated, about 1 minute more. Stop and scrape the sides down. Mix a bit more, if needed. Pour the filling onto the crust and spread with the spatula so that the filling covers the entire surface of the crust. Place in the oven and bake until well brown but the center still jiggles when you shake the pan, 45-47 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on wire rack to cool, at least 39 minutes. Cut in to squares and serve. Store covered with aluminum foil at room temperature up to 4 days or in fridge up to 1 week. May be frozen for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

On Friday I made a Chess Chewy Cake, aka Gooey Butter Cake. I made it to take to my daughter's in Charleston. She lives with five, yes five, men. Last year she lived with eleven women and she declared never, never, never again! Testosterone is much easier to deal with than estrogen starts monthly cycling all at the same time! The crying, the screams, the name-calling, the hurt feelings were just entirely more than she wants to ever deal with again. You see my daughter is in college. Last year she lived on campus but in one of the school's historic houses. It is in an incredible area, beautiful and handy to all her classes and across from the library. She gave all that up, moved to a much less desirable area about 9 blocks away just to NOT live with women!!! Anyone relate? She has one girlfriend who will show up in two weeks and will also be living there. She was one of Hanna's roommates last year and is definitely more like Hanna, calm, easy going and no screaming. Well, all six of these 20-somethings loved this cake and I think you will too. I have been making it since the 80's and it is always a hit. It is very rich and can be cut in small serving pieces and served at showers or luncheons. It is a great afternoon tea dessert and is wonderful with a cup of hot coffee.

I don't have a picture of the cake. I forgot to take my camera and I left the small amount that was left. Instead, I will share a picture of my beautiful daughter instead! This picture was taken while she was on vacation in San Diego. The second photo was taken on the same trip. It is Hanna and her boyfriend, Kevin. He is from San Diego.
My sweet daughter, Hanna. I love her fun spirit.

Hanna and Kevin
San Diego, CA
at the famous San Diego Zoo.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thankful Thursday

It's another Mug Cozy.

This time I made it in the retro Christmas fabric and included it in my Christmas in July swap package. I want to make one for me personally. I am hoping it does a good job keeping your beverage warm. Between the lining and outer fabric I used an inuslated interfacing called Insul Brite. It is supposed to keep your drink either warm or cold.

I love coffee in the morning, warm with some fat-free half and half, and a touch of sweetner and I love sweet, iced tea. I am trying to cut back on my sugar intake so I am not drinking anywhere near the amount I was but sometimes a southern girl has just got to have some sweet tea!

Are you a coffee or tea drinker? Hot beverage or cold?

Today was a wonderfully, relaxing day. I spent the morning working with business partner, and good friend, designing and making jewelry and we spent the late afternoon hours at her neighborhood pool. We lounged and relaxed and caught up with one another's lives. I am so thankful for our time together today.

Tomorrow evening my husband and I are going to see our daughter in Charleston, SC. Charleston is one of my favorite places. It is a beautiful city, rich in history and traditions but also has a huge art scene. It is also just minutes from mulitiple beaches. Our favorite beach is Isle of Palm and I hope to spend some time there on Saturday or Sunday.

Have a wonderful weekend and I will see you Monday with a new recipe!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday

Drawstring Bag Tutorial
Yarnmonster has a great tutorial for a reversible, drawstring bag. I made one using the Christmas fabric for my Christmas in July swap. The tutorial is easy to follow and a great bag. It can be used for books, toys, makeup, gift-giving, etc. I used a polka-dot, coordinating fabric for the reverse which allows it to be used year-around. I did accent with pink and green rick-rack. I sewed the rick-rack on the panel pieces before sewing the sides together. I used a coordinating ribbon for the drawstring and was very pleased at how it all came together.

*Go here for free tutorial:

Monday, August 3, 2009

Recipe Monday

My friend, Maddie at, makes the best and easiest lemonade. Whenever my family wants some of it, they ask for Maddie's Lemonade and so we have dubbed it that name! It is so refreshing and goes great with any summer time meal.

Maddie's Lemonade

Country Time Pink Lemonade - measure in the cup up to the 2 quart line
Country Time Lemonade (yellow kind) - measure in the cup up to the 2 quart line
2 large naval oranges

In a gallon pitcher, add lemonade mixes. Cut one naval orange in half and squeeze juice over the mix. Add water and stir until mixed well. Slice second orange into thin slices and float on top. I know this sounds so easy and it is but it is also very delicious. The oranges give the lemonade a wonderful flavor. You can half the amounts for a 2 quart but I promise, you will need the gallon. It goes quick!