Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tuesday's Thrifty Tidbits............

THRIFTY - Careful management especially of money 
TIDBIT - A choice morsel

Tidbit #1
I don't know if you're like me but come the New Year (and the 4th is my birthday too) I start refreshing my thinking and my objectives for the next year.  This website hopefully will help me you get off on the right foot........Becoming Minimalist
The title says it all and if you tend toward being a pack rat saver then this is the blog for me you!  Good information, good attitude and finally one written by a guy who's "married with children" lest you think he's a bachelor which many times emulates a minimalist lifestyle.  Here's an Excerpt.....
" Welcome to Becoming Minimalist. If you are new, welcome! We are honored to have hundreds of thousands of regular readers, and brand new readers every day. If that’s you, welcome. I’d love to make your experience here as comfortable as possible.
Most importantly, Becoming Minimalist is designed to inspire others to pursue their greatest passions by owning fewer possessions."

 Tidbit #2
Awhile back, I was browsing Lucy's blog over at Attic 24.  Now, if you're familiar with Lucy, you will know she is all about crochet and color but this time she veered off course and went into beading!  She calls them Hama beads and after seeing it I remembered my children did this in school many moons ago.  Here's Lucy's version of Hama Beading.  At first I wasn't excited but after scrolling down and seeing what she made from them I found myself "googling" the darn things and found a grand selection of supplies on Amazon.  There are Pinterest boards about them too.  Look at this holiday pattern.....a far cry from the little hearts my children brought home to me.
 Tagged Hama Beads
 and look at these cute little ear rings...........
 loritos hecho con hama beads -2€
   I didn't order any and went about my day but when I was at Wal-Mart a few days later I ran across these......
I had to pick them up and satisfy my curiosity.  Unfortunately, in order to follow some cross stitch patterns like Cath Kidson ones that I have, I would need a bigger bead board to work on but I will see what I can come up with.  At least they would make cute coasters, I think.  Lucy seems to really enjoy making them.  I'll give it a whirl so "stay tuned for further developments".

Tidbit #3
Rag edged placemats....who knew?  I remember when they came out with the quilts that were "ragged" on the edges but it still looked like a lot of work...all that snipping but placemats?  Now we're talking! Us knitters and crocheters  have to give it a break once in awhile and Susan B. Anderson's  blog did just that!
 These are so cute....and to hear her tell it she used another placemat she had as a template, didn't measure anything and just quilted freehand.....how simple is that and they turned out so cute she was using them for Christmas and giving them as gifts and each one is unique with a different pattern on the other side so no "matchy-matchy".  Now that's what I call stress-free Christmas creating/gifting!

Visit Susan's post about it here and there are even special scissors you can purchase at Amazon (she has a link in her post) that are specially made for the "snipping" and make it easier on your hands.

 What a great way to use up bit and pieces of fabric and create something so practical at the same time.  And now with the Christmas fabric going on sale you could even start making for next year right this very minute! LOL!  Okay, now what should I do...bead or minimalize or sew?  Hmmm.....not sure but other than the little bead kit which was about $10.00; I have everything I need to work on some fun things over "my Christmas vacation". 
What plans do you have for the New Year?  HappyTrails!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

YOP Week #26

I don't have much to show but here goes.  Actually, I'm trying to get back to my personal projects after doing months of gift making and now my tools and patterns are scattered to the wind.  Next week I will hopefully have reorganized things and gathered "my flock".
I finally got the hat done for my SIL....13th try was my lucky number and it just so happens it's his.
(Pardon my exuberance but I just found a fun, new to me, free photo editor called Ribbet supposedly just like the old Picnik which is no more.)
He loved the hat but it is too small which I was afraid of so I will get head circumference and make him another one (really????).  This one fits my daughter so when it's all said and done they'll have matching hats.  I hope there's no "second hat syndrome".
After the hat I decided to take a break plus I had cleaning and Christmas to do.
But I did a couple little things....like some hexies or rather pentagons in this one........
These are great for mindless t.v. watching and addictive too!  I'm going to make a bunch just to put in a bowl for decoration.
But one is going to go into a vintage jello mold like it was meant to.........this pattern is for sale (including the pentagon papers for making them) over at Pam Buda's Heartspun Quilts
She has lots of other interesting things there too.  Check her out.  No yarn though that I remember.  I'm a little "yarned out" at the moment.
I have started back working on the crocheted "Jesus" bookmarks for my daughter's Bible study group.  I have 5 of the 10-12 done so far and I'm getting pretty good with that tiny hook.  At first it was like pulling hen's teeth.
Last night I finally got around to making some Christmas cookies.....and eating some too!
 That's all for this week....hopefully by next week I'll have a few more projects...at least something different than my same old projects every week.  I also need to update my original project list and Ravelry list so I know where I stand.
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas or Hanukkah or whatever you celebrate and here's wishing everyone a safe and Happy New Year!  Happy Trails!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Best slow cooker vegetarian chili EVAH!!!!

 Yes folks, I kid you not, this chili is THE BEST and easy and slow cooker and gets better each day!
I actually got it from Kristina over at Pioneer Woman at Heart 
Her family raved about it so I thought I would give it a try and they were right on!  The recipe is actually from Real Simple magazine
Their picture is prettier.
I was playing around with a new photo editor called Ribbet which is supposed to be just like the old Picnik photo editor.  I did not touch up the "fog" pictures other than to put a watermark on them.  This was what I woke up to this morning......so cozy.  It's the closest to snow we're going to get! LOL!  I have no idea what made the trees sparkle as there was rain but no light to speak of but there they are..... it was just as if someone had strung little white lights on them.

 I've made some sugar cookie dough so I'm off to finally make some Christmas cookies.  Remember, Christmas is a season, not just one day so this is par for the course for me.  In fact, I do try to live Christmas every day in my heart just not my pocket book! LOL!
I hope you are all recovering nicely and not regretting your Christmas spending.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the gifts I sent and that is such a great feeling. 
Happy Trails!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Happy Day After Christmas!

It was a beautiful day here yesterday and got into the 50's with the sun shining all day
I was going to fix a ham dinner but I'd been feeling really tired and drug out so I didn't but I did take a walk with the girls thinking the fresh air would do us all some good.  I felt really tired this morning and achy and wondered if I caught something when I went to Wal-Mart the other day? I went to make my second cup of coffee this morning (the first had done nothing to get me going) and looked down, only to realize I had been drinking decaf for the last few days!  OMG!!!!  No wonder I've felt so terrible!  I quickly made myself a cup of the full-strength variety and I am happy to report I am back to my old self and all the aches went away too!  Whew!  For a minute there I thought I was getting sick or old or both!  LOL!
I received some really cool things for Christmas...cool to me anyway.......I love anything cowgirl and this zippered bag is awesome!   I like the "boss lady" part too....lol!
I got this sign from Sam and Grayson...so cool......did I mention I love rustic signs too?
and what's not to love about Mary Engelbreit anything?
  I got tags, a journal, stationary and a pen!  I hope she does more of the animals dressed up in clothes...I have a thing for critters dressed up and living "human type" lives.
A hand carved wooden tray that benefits women all over the world.........
Some handmade Lemon Grass soap that smells SO good and 2 paper mache moons for me to decorate...did I tell you I love the moon too?
And Penzey's Hot Chocolate Mix...always a winner!  If you have not tried it you must...THE BEST!  There's a mint flavored one too.
The little blue can is magnetized on the bottom with a see-thru top which I have seen people put on the side of their frig with spices in.  I just need about a zillion more! LOL!  It's a start though.  How handy would that be?  And you can write on the lid with magic marker.  I think I might have seen it in Mary Jane's Farm magazine.
And last but not least, my new neighbor came over this morning (thankfully it was AFTER I had some real caffeine) and brought me a card and some cinnamon rolls for Christmas.  First time in 13 years of living here that a neighbor has done that even though I did it for the first 3 years I lived here.  She said she is so glad she has me for a neighbor and that goes "ditto" for me! 
Happy Trails!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all my wonderful friends that visit here!

I hope all your Christmas wishes come true and that you have a day full of peace and love!
Happy Trails!

Friday, December 19, 2014

The magic of the Christmas season.............

I'm sure you're all busy with preparations for the coming holidays but I wanted to take the time to thank you all for visiting me here and for your sweet comments over the past year(s).  I can't express how much they mean to me and what good friends I consider you all.  I hope you are all enjoying every minute of this magical time of year!
As for me.....I've been wrestling with the USPS.  For some reason my packages make it to Des Moines, IA and then they turn around and send them from there to Memphis!  Really?  They must have a glitch in their software in DesMoines.  3 of the 5 made it to their destinations and one went to Memphis and then yesterday there was a package delivered to me and lo and behold it was the Christmas present I had sent to my little Uriah!  Evidently the address label fell off somewhere in transit so I quickly relabeled it and took off for the post office to re-mail it!  The poor man at the post office looked like he hadn't slept in days....those poor people.  It's on it's way again and I checked this morning and the one in Memphis  has been sent back to DesMoines. LOL!  Good thing I mailed them early is all I can say!    
Meanwhile back at the ranch.........I've been cooking and baking.........my fried potatoes cooked up great in my new cast iron skillet.......yummm....nice and brown and crispy just like my Aunt Bernice used to make them.  I'm pretty sure she was standing there ensuring they would turn out!

I also made a chocolate cream pie like my Aunt Alice used to make...she was the best baker!  It was very rich too.  I used the "old" recipe and I can barely take all the sugar we used to put in our recipes back in the day!  A little slice goes a long way.

The tree is up! LOL!  My Aunt Alice made this ceramic tree and although I used to get a real tree I don't now unless the family is coming.  It's just me so as long as I have lots of lights I'm good.
I put it on a milk crate so it would be in the window for all to enjoy and then I took fiberfill that I stuff things with and put it on the sides and took my little houses that I got at the thrift store for .50 each and a few bottle brush trees and there's my Christmas village.  Ha! Ha!
This village got "blanketed" in snow! :)
There was cleaning also as who can decorate when there's dust on every surface?  Plus....it was time!

Today I looked out and there was a package hanging from the mail box and I thought "Oh no, not again", thinking it was one of my packages being returned but as I got closer to the mailbox I could see it wasn't.  It was a real package for me this time!  From Diane at Lavender Dreams
A Gooseberry Patch Christmas Cookbook!  I love Gooseberry Patch and I have a few of their books but not this one!  Thank you, Diane!  I will really enjoy snuggling up with this and reading it....what fun!  She also sent this so cute card from Florida where she lives...........I love the snowman made out of sand....precious!
She also included some book marks....she evidently knew I would need them to mark all those recipes I'll be wanting to make!  Diane you are a sweetie pie!
 Hope all is well in your corner of the world and say a little prayer for those who aren't doing as well this Christmas for all sorts of reasons. 
Happy Trails!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A little walk down Memory Lane...........

Many of the people who were the dearest to me are now gone but not the wonderful memories they gave me......this is a little post to honor them at this time of year........if you can hear me.....thank you all....I will always love you.............
My Mother is in the middle row 3rd from the left......my Aunt Alice is the first one on the left in the top row......... this was their graduation picture from High School 1933
 Below is my Aunt Alice and Uncle Ben who had this little restaurant called The Coffee Cup.......they lived upstairs and they owned the building and lived there all their life. 
 Below are my Uncle Homer and Aunt Bernice who I spent every summer with until I went to college.  My Uncle Homer was famous for his homemade bologna and rightly so!  They owned the meat market and grocery store in town.
 My Uncle Buck  is the tallest one in the picture below.  He had his own gas station and also drove a school bus for years.  He was a bachelor until he was 60 years old.....I still can't get over that one. 
 The man on the left is my Uncle Chuck with his business partner Mr. McCormick...they had the insurance business in town.
 I had the gentlest and kindest relatives and I learned so much from them.....the best role models a child could have.
Below are the only ones left alive today....me with the eyes looking up (probably in trouble for something lol!).  My cousin Allen is in the middle and my cousin Ellen Kay is on the right.  We have no idea where the "Creepy Santa Claus" came from but we're all glad he's not around anymore!
 And my wonderful hometown that I miss so much especially at this time of year.........

I better stop now or I'll be shedding tears all night..........Merry Christmas everyone!
Happy Trails too............

Friday, December 12, 2014

Wrapping is all done!

Whew!  It was a marathon day today.  but I "got 'er done".  Tonight I will pack it all in the boxes and take it to the post office in the morning.  One day late according to the post office but I'll just have to take my chances now.

 A bed full of presents......lol!
I got some Pinterest presents made too...............
The 2014 ornament...........
and some potpourri...........

and the Christmas cactus was blooming all through my wrapping and carole singing.............
I still have Christmas baking to do and a tree to put up but the presents for the grands were the most
It was so funny that before Thanksgiving Sam, my grandson who's 7, kept asking my daughter if there was anything in the mail and she finally said why are you so interested in the mail every day?  Sam said "because I'm sure Grandma will be sending a box for Thanksgiving!"  LOL!  I've spoiled them I guess.  I sent one at  Halloween and so Sam thought for sure there would be one for Thanksgiving too and every holiday after that I guess! LOL!  I sort of felt bad but it really made me feel good that they really like Grandma's "boxes".  I was going to send a book and homemade cookies each month but I couldn't afford the shipping costs.
I hope your holidays are  coming together for you just as you wanted.  Happy Trails!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Santa's Workshop is in full swing!

Instead of an advent calendar I need a calendar with all the Christmas deadlines on it!  Yesterday was grocery and the last of the Christmas shopping and I took Nitty to get her allergy shot.  Then it was unload them all and put away.  There was supper and clean the litter box and then I plopped into bed with my crochet and watched Christmas Light Fight where they compete for the best outside decorations for Christmas.
I feel most days like I'm running from pillar to post and not getting very far but God whispered in my ear the other night while I was sleeping and now I have a plan.  There are areas that need to take precedence so each day I am trying to do something in that area first before just the regular chores.
So, today the plan is to label a plastic container (big one) for Fall and wrap and pack all the Fall and Thanksgiving decorations away in it.  I bought a big container yesterday.  I also need to make one for garage sale items for Spring, clean the bathrooms, make some cookies and crochet #1 of 10-12 bookmarks.
I did buy myself a cast iron skillet yesterday as I lost mine in the move here and I can't make my Aunt Bernice's fried potatoes without one.  It's been long enough.  What's nice is now they come pre-seasoned....Merry Christmas to me!

The last of the Christmas shopping.  Just some little items to tuck in...stocking stuffers without the stocking. LOL!
 There's some last minute crafting going on too......can you guess what this might be?
but wait...there's more.............
and then of course it all needs to be wrapped...........boxes and tissue paper for all those handmade gifts!  The ones that got finished that is....
 Before I blogged I told myself I had to get one of those "plan" items done and here it is.......
I created a nice BIG label for my plastic bin...........
and labeled it.......I used packing tape as regular tape just falls off after awhile.
It's down in the basement now waiting to be filled.  I figured it was better to fill it down there than upstairs and then try and carry it down. My Mother didn't raise any dummies...Ha! Ha!
I have the last "S" done in "JESUS" for the first bookmark and a total of 9 rows finished of bookmark #1.  There are 37 rows for each bookmark......it's not looking good.  Maybe Easter?
It's cotton thread and really stretches so they will have to be blocked for sure.  It doesn't look good but I've counted each stitch and if I pull it straight it looks fine....really, it does.  I hope you're enjoying the season however and whatever you celebrate.
Happy Trails!