Friday, July 29, 2011

Dream On Finale

ETA: Here's a link to Christine's finished quilt.

It's finally finished! Read the reason for this quilt here.


Here's the binding.

I chose the fabric for the back to match the pattern on the front.

The back is two pieces which I put together matching the diamond shapes. The flowers don't match, but the angles do. Also in this picture, the tension problems are noticeable.

This one shows one block.

I got the idea to do this particular quilt from here. The whole thing was a stretch for me. I much prefer to sew rectangles rather than triangles, but I wanted to do something different for this quilt.

I did the quilting myself on the long-arm machine at the quilt shop. It was only the third quilt I've ever done on it and by far the largest. It's approximately 83.5x70.5.

Overall, I'm happy with the results. Mostly, I'm happy it's done!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Latest quilt

This latest quilt is sort of special. All the fabric came from Marie Madeline Studio for the purpose of helping the tornado victims in Joplin, MO. They live near there and posted about their project to make quilts for those who need them. They asked for volunteers, so I said I would help. They only asked for quilt tops because they have volunteers to do the quilting. Here's the first one. The second one has yet to be imagined let alone sewn.


I put two borders on it to make it queen size. I really like the black and red combination.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Wisconsin trip

I have to admit that I did not take my camera out of the bag even once. Fortunately, Amy got a few pictures, but not enough to tell what all we did.

This first pic was taken before we hit the Chicago traffic on a Friday afternoon. The GPS actually had us get off the interstate and routed us through town at one point. We have decided that the next time we go to or through Chicago we won't do it on Friday.

As I said in the previous post our main purpose for going to WI was to go to the American Girl sale. That was successful and fun. However, that's not all we did. We also went to New Glarus, a small town that has a Swiss feel to it. Well, it did, at one point. Now it looks as if the economy has taken its toll there. We did have an excellent lunch at a local restaurant and visited a few shops. We especially liked the antique shop.

We took in the Mustard Museum in Middleton. In the museum section of the place they have on display mustard from every where in the world. I saw one from Ukraine even. There's a section for each state. Ohio had quite a few shelves worth; Nebraska had half a shelf. I guess not much mustard comes from there.

On another day we had dinner and a great evening of visiting with some friends dh knew from college. We have maintained contact all these years and enjoy seeing them when we can.

Our way home included an actual stop in Chicago. We had lunch at the American Girl Place and then spent entirely too much money shopping.



We also went to the top of the John Hancock building. The view is spectacular.

On our way to see another friend we went by this store. It's the All Saints Co. All those sewing machines up the side of the building were intriguing. I didn't much care for the clothing inside the store, but the fixtures were made from old machines used to manufacture clothing.

An outlet mall was another stop on the way home. That was also very successful. ;-) So I guess you could say this trip was a shopping, visiting vacation. We had a nice time, but it's always nice to be home.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Two more dolls

We recently returned from vacation. This year we went to the Madison, WI area specifically for going to American Girl's benefit sale for Madison Children's Museum. I probably should not tell how many dolls we came home with! However, we did buy some as gifts, we finished our historical collection and I got these two dolls who need names.

Amy gave me the idea to have the one on the right be Hawaiian. Perhaps both of them could be. I prefer slightly out-side the box names. Got any suggestions?



Thursday, July 21, 2011

New doll

Back in May I won an ebay auction for "American Girl Doll of Today Pleasant Co." The description read:

"This doll is in the 2009 catalog, #P1-F880 Light skin, dark brown hair, blue eyes. In the 2011 catalog it has the same doll except with brown eyes. She is in good condition, no marks, scratches chewed fingers or toes, strings a long, sleep eyes work fine, and her limbs are still pretty tight. She is 18 inches tall, head limbs are vinyl the body is cloth jointed at arms and legs, she can stand along. The outfit is Pleasant Co. Buyer pays s&h for a 3 pound package with Priority Mail. Thanks for stopping by."

I won the doll for a great price for an AG doll. I've been watching ebay for quite a while to see what dolls sell for. A trashed doll will sell for around $50 on average depending on the doll. As a side note, if seller starts a listing too high no one will bid. But if a seller starts the bidding lower, bids will often surpass a high starting point.

When the doll arrived she had a strong perfume odor, which to me said it was there to cover up the cigarette smell. On further smelling, I could smell the cigarette odor.


Meanwhile, Amy's Josefina's leg fell off, so we then needed to send two dolls to Dr. Robin. She's a lady we know from various AG message boards. She does an excellent job of repairing ailing dolls. She restrings them, deodorizes them, conditions their hair and maybe other things. It usually takes several weeks to deodorize a doll, so the dolls arrived home early last week.

I have absolutely no desire to be critical of Dr. Robin's work, but my doll still smells like cigarette smoke when I hold her up close. The perfume smell is gone and, generally, she smells good, but not completely.

This doll was originally intended as a gift, but since she still smells a little I don't feel comfortable giving her away. So now I am "stuck" with a new doll. However, after she arrived home from the Doctor Amy said something in passing about her that really didn't register in my mind until yesterday. I was putting clothes on her or rather trying to put clothes on her when I found out that most of the dresses I tried were too small. I mentioned this to Amy who again said that's because she's pre-Mattel. Wow! I ended up with a Pleasant Company doll! Those dolls are fatter than the Mattel dolls, thus the reason most clothes don't fit her.

Picnik collage

Introducing Eilis Maureen
Her name is Irish because of her dark hair and blue eyes. The first name is pronounced isle-esh.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I had never heard of snickerdoodles until I was in junior high. Then a sharing-type friend brought them in her lunch one day. They were homemade by her mother and totally yummy. Since I liked them so much I found a recipe and learned to make them myself.


Since being on the candida diet I have not had any kind of cookie for well over four years. Over the last several months I've been adding things back into my diet to see how it would go. I blogged about the brownies here. I have made that recipe several times and I think I've got it to where I like it best. I added 1+ tsp of liquid stevia which tones down the strong chocolate flavor. In addition to the brownies, I've also added fruit, mostly berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries).

I admit I just added homemade ice cream and dessert from various restaurants. ;-) Learning as I go, I decided I must be very, very picky about eating desserts. For example, Amy & I went to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner recently and after dinner we shared Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Cheesecake. "Shared" meaning she had about three bites and I had the rest. It was that night I made my dessert decision. Eating the rest of the cheesecake was excessive and after the first few bites I could have stopped and been very happy. But no, I had to finish it and by the time it was gone it was no longer good. While nothing overly bad happened, I was more full than necessary and slightly uncomfortable. So in order for me to have dessert it has to be something I know I'll love, if not I don't order any.

On to the snickerdoodles. I came across a recipe that uses almond flour instead of wheat flour. Here's the recipe.

Almond Flour Snickerdoodles
2 ½ cups blanched almond flour
½ cup arrowroot powder
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp sea salt
5 tbsp butter, melted
½ cup pure maple syrup
2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp ground cinnamon

In a large bowl, combine flour, arrowroot powder, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together melted butter, maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon, until well blended. Add wet ingredients to the dry, using a fork to blend until thoroughly combined. Chill dough in refrigerator for a half-hour (or up to 24-hours).
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scoop dough, one tablespoon at a time, and roll into a ball using your hands. Place dough balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet and gently flatten them slightly using the palm of your hand. Then, lightly sprinkle tops with additional ground cinnamon.
Bake for 8-9 minutes, until lightly golden around edges. Allow to cool on baking sheet for five minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Makes about three dozen cookies.


These cookies were good enough that I ate all of them in a few days (yes, apparently I have food issues). They are not as sweet as ones with sugar, but a very good substitute.

Now, here's to being self-disciplined about these "new" foods.

Monday, July 11, 2011

My new dress

Well, it's not that new anymore since I made it a little while ago, but here it is.
I used the Prairie Girl pattern by Favorite Things.



I had to alter the arm hole to be smaller and now it's almost too small. It's still wearable, but it could be better. I also made the dickey two inches taller to be modest and I sewed it in instead of snapping it in.

I've also made two dresses for Amy that are almost finished. And I really need to finish the Dream On quilt, but that requires a trip to the quilt shop and there has been no time to do that.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Travels and happenings

Amy & I took off for Pennsylvania Thursday the 23rd. We were both feeling sickly, especially Amy, but we went anyway. Our first stop was to see these wonderful people. We met N last year and this year we added Rebecca to our list of friends. I'm oh so glad we did!



Meeting people we've known via the blogging world has been amazing. Who would have thought!
By the way, I like to show off Amy's guitar-playing.

Next stop was to see The Gothard Sisters. They were in Manheim, PA for the Celtic Fling at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire. The fair was a two-day thing.


Having never been to anything like this before I have to say it was certainly interesting. There were people dressed for it.


There was lots of beer, but not a lot of drunkeness. There was lots of loud music and some that was not so loud.

The family group Irish Blessing shared the stage with the Gothards.

Both nights all the bands got together for a Ceilidh (pronounced like Kaylee). The bag pipes started it off.


After the evening was over we went to dinner with the Gothard family at a 24 hour diner. two nights in a row we had dinner just before midnight. While we had a great time we were ready for sleep. So it was nice to be home come Monday evening.