Sunday, July 31, 2011

I Heart Macro

How often do you unwrap a perfect Hershey Kiss?

I'm joining Lori at Studio Waterstone for I Heart Macro.
You won't believe some of the amazing macro and up close photos!

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thankful Thursday ~ Memories of Grandma

Every Thursday I share something I'm thankful for.  In the midst of our everyday lives, the ups and downs and the negative, we sometimes forget there are things to be grateful for, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem.

Today I'm thankful for the memory of my Grandma.  Yesterday would have been her ninety-sixth birthday!  She passed away four years ago after suffering from dementia.

I didn't grow up living close to her.  My dad was in the army and we lived all over the country but went to visit her and other relatives in California every time we moved.  I can remember her coming to visit us everywhere we lived.  She loved to fly and never passed up the opportunity to do so.  When I left home and got married, I didn't see her very often until she retired and moved to Arkansas to live close to my mother.  So I got to spend time with her when I would go home or often times when my parents came to visit me and she came too.

Grandma made the best ever banana nut cake with a hard caramel frosting.  She made it for me every time I came to visit.  She LOVED strawberry ice cream and her freezer was always full of it!  She loved to have her picture taken, loved to be complimented, and worried about how her hair looked when she went out.  The one memory I will never forget is when she called me after my first miscarriage.  It was the one and only time she called me and she wanted me to know that she had a miscarriage many years before and she understood how I was feeling.   She is the only person who told me it was okay to mourn the baby I didn't have.

I miss her, but I have good memories and I'm thankful for every one of them!

I'm also thankful for
     an understanding husband
     the kindness of strangers
     a/c in the car
     ice cold water

What are you thankful for today?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I Heart Macro ~ Watermelon

One of summer's simple pleasures!

I'm joining Lori from Studio Waterstone for I Heart Macro.
If you have a minute, pop on over there to see some incredible macro and up close shots!

Happy Sunday!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Our Favorite Chicken Salad

My husband discovered this recipe many years ago and after some tweaking it became our favorite chicken salad.  It's a great dish to prepare for these too hot to cook evenings, especially if you use leftover or rotisserie chicken.  Here is what you will need.

1 cup mayonnaise or yogurt (I use light mayo)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp seasoned salt
3/4 cup Craisins, coarsely chopped
1 cup chopped celery
2 green onions, thinly sliced (the whole thing)
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
4 cups cooked chicken, cubed
Black pepper to taste

Toasting the pecans is optional but the flavor of the nut is intensified and is sooooo good!  Place the pecans in a small skillet over medium heat.  Stir often and remove from heat when toasted; set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the mayonnaise or yogurt with the paprika and seasoned salt.  

Blend in the Craisins, celery, green onions, and pecans.  

Add the chicken and mix well.  Add pepper to taste.
Chill for at least one hour.

My favorite way to eat it is on a fresh croissant.  It is just as good in a wrap, stuffed in a pita, or with crackers.  I've served this many times at tea parties and it is always a hit.  

I'm joining Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Every Thursday I share something I'm thankful for.  It's so easy in our day to day routines and problems to forget we have things to be thankful for.

As the temperature and the heat index reach into the triple digits, I'm thankful for air conditioning!  But I'm even more thankful for the men and women who are serving in regions where the temperature reaches as high as 130 degrees.  I can't imagine how difficult that is to cope with on top of everything else.

Afghanistan July 15, 2010 U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Russell Gilchrest

So the next time you are tempted to complain about the heat while sitting in an air conditioned room, remember our troops and all they endure for us!
What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

An Apron For A Bracelet

A couple of months ago, my bloggy friend Patty from My Life Under the Bus and The Junquerie on Etsy, asked me if I would make her a custom apron.  After explaining what she wanted and agreeing on a price, I told her I would be happy to make one.  Not long after that she asked me if I would be interested in a trade.  She had made a bracelet that I just fell in love with and she would trade the bracelet for the apron.  Well, I jumped at that suggestion!  Who wouldn't want this bracelet?

I waited for Patty to send the fabric and I just couldn't believe what came in that package.  I couldn't believe how wonderfully decorated the envelopes were.  I felt special before I even opened it up!  There were two envelopes.  One contained the fabric and the other was full of goodies I wasn't expecting.

There were the sweetest paper dolls and these wonderful teacup prints 'wrapped' in toile.

Don't you love this wrapping?  I was just in awe of it.  It is a page from a book and Patty did a tutorial on book paper that you can see here and here and here.

These little note cards were in there!

And then of course there was THE bracelet!  This bracelet won a Facebook contest and you can have one of your very own because there is one in Patty's Etsy shop, The Junquerie!  My photos don't do it justice.  Trust me when I say it is simply beautiful.

Patty wanted a full apron that she could wear to do craft shows.  She wanted the skirt to be ruffles and she wanted pockets on the inside so she could use them for money at the show.  Isn't that just a great idea?    This is what I came up with.

I also made her a lavender sachet to let her know how special she is to me.

Patty was one of my very first blog followers and has been a constant source of encouragement and support.  I was happy to make her an apron and even more happy to have one of her original bracelets.

Thank you Patty for everything!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I Heart Macro

More thread, I know, but I was struck by the pattern of this spool of crochet thread.  Something I never really paid attention to before.

I'm joining Lori from Studio Waterstone for I Heart Macro where we share our macro and close-up photos.  Every week there are some truly incredible pictures worth viewing.  Why don't you join us!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thankful Thursday ~ Time

Every Thursday I share something I'm thankful for.  Sometimes we get so caught up in the everyday struggles and problems that we forget we have something, no matter how small, to be thankful for.

This week I'm thankful for the time I have every day to do what I want to.  I don't have a job I have to get up for every day.  My time is my own and I'm very thankful for the that.

I'm also thankful for
     my cyber friends
     prescription sunglasses
     phone calls and texts from my kids
     summer fruits and veggies

What are you thankful for Today?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Help

I'm joining Sarah at Yes Teacher for Tickle Me Tuesday where we share what is tickling our fancy this week.

I finished reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett after it sat on my end table for over a year!  I kept hearing about how good it was and the movie is coming out next month, so I decided to read a book before seeing the movie for a change!

The Help takes place in Jackson, Mississippi in the early sixties.  The story is told by three different women.  Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan, is fresh out of college and dreaming of being a writer while her mother is dreaming of her getting married.  Aibileen is a maid who is raising her seventeenth white child.  Something inside her changed when her son died at work while his white bosses looked the other way.  Minny is a maid who can cook like no one else but she can't control her tongue.  The three of them join together to work on a project that puts them all at risk.

It is a great book that grabbed me at the beginning.  It is funny, sad, heartwarming and thought provoking.  I recommend it and hope you let me know what you think if you decide to read it.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I Heart Macro ~ Pins

This is the box of pins that sits next to my sewing machine.  

I'm joining Lori at Studio Waterstone for I Heart Macro.
Go on over there and see all the macro and close-up shots.  You won't be disappointed!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Every Thursday I share something I am thankful for.  It is so easy to get caught up in the every day struggles that sometimes we forget we have things to be grateful for. 

Today I am thankful for my son, Sean, and the time spent with him this past weekend.  I don't get to see Sean as often as I see my daughter or even as often as my husband gets to see him.  They work for the same company although in different towns, but they see each other about once a week when Michael travels to where Sean works.  I mostly get to see him when the whole family gets together.  So I was thrilled when I called Sean at three in the afternoon to invite him to dinner and he said yes!  He had over a two hour drive each way so I didn't really expect him to come!  But he did, and it was so nice to have him for a few hours even if I wished he could have stayed longer!

I'm also thankful for
     the rain we needed so badly
     an ice maker in the freezer
     Michael's love of cooking on the grill
     the long daylight hours of summer

What are you thankful for today?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

I Heart Macro ~ Thread

There is a box behind my sewing machine that I throw the thread scraps in.  This is about a year's worth of thread.  I found a magazine article about making things with the scraps, so I started saving them.  I have no idea if or when I will ever make anything because I love looking at this colorful tangled mess.  It's just another one of those things that make me happy!

I hope you are all enjoying your holiday weekend!

To see other macro and up close photos visit Studio Waterstone for I Heart Macro

Friday, July 1, 2011

A Peek At My Sewing Table II

It's been a while since I've done anything in the sewing room.  I've been busy the last few weeks but that isn't really the reason for neglecting my sewing machine.  In all honesty I just haven't been motivated.  I have definitely been inspired but the motivation to do anything just hasn't been there.  Has that ever happened to you?  I finally made myself get in there this week and get started on a custom apron for a bloggy friend.  We agreed on a swap, an apron for a bracelet, and it was time to get started.

When I noticed I was running out of thread, I decided to take a break and take pictures of my sewing table.  This is just what it looked like when I grabbed the camera.

The table sits under the window and gets the afternoon sun.  This stuff is generally always to the right of Vera. Yes, I named my sewing machine!  Have you named any of your tools?  (Calling it names doesn't count!)

I think I've had this pincushion since my husband bought me my first sewing macine over thirty years ago!

This is my first attempt at a fabric flower.  I need more practice but it's not too bad for the first try.

To the right of Vera is the fabric.  The apron will have three ruffles for the skirt and they will be trimmed in lace.  Isn't this fabric pretty?  I just love the color.

I hope to have this finished by the end of the weekend.  I will show you how it turns out and also show you the most amazingly beautiful bracelet I got!

I am joining these fabulous blogs 
My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
At The Picket Fence for Inspiration Friday
French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home

I hope you have a fabulous weekend celebrating America's birthday!