Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas quilts received....

I am having fun with some new Christmas presents...I will be back in a few days. In the meantime here are photos of the grandkids with their Christmas quilts.

Enjoy....









Happy New Years Eve,
Nancy

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Rock Star and the Telemarketer.....

Actual conversation -



Phone rings ................



RS - Hello



Telemarketer - I am calling to do a survey on Movies. Is there a male in the house?



RS - No



Telemarketer - Oh, do you go to the movies?



RS - No, I make movies



Telemarketer - Oh, what kind of movies do you make?



RS - mostly independent films



Telemarketer - Oh, would I have heard of any of them?



RS - have you heard of E.T.?



Telemarketer - yes, I have. Is that your film?



RS - Yea.



Telemarketer - um....what's your name?



RS - Steven Spielberg



Telemarketer - Oh, well...goodbye.



FYI - I am NOT Steven Spielbergs mother, but I will let the Rock Star continue to answer the phone....



Happy Christmas Eve,

Nancy







Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Holiday Planning list....

For those of you that are interested, I have been following this list since December 1st. Maybe next year we could all do it together??

December 1
Blanch carcass from Thanksgiving turkey. Spray paint gold, turn upside down and use as a sleigh to hold Christmas Cards.

December 2
Have Mormon Tabernacle Choir record outgoing Christmas message for answering machine.

December 3
Using candlewick and hand gilded miniature pine cones, fashion cat-o-nine-tails. Flog Gardener.

December 4
Repaint Sistine Chapel ceiling ecru, with mocha trim.

December 5
Get new eyeglasses. Grind lenses myself.

December 6
Fax family Christmas newsletter to Pulitzer committee for consideration.

December 7
Debug WindowsNT.

December 10
Align carpets to adjust for curvature of Earth.

December 11
Lay Faberge egg.

December 12
Take Dog apart. Disinfect. Reassemble.

December 13
Collect Dentures. They make excellent pastry cutters, particularly for decorative pie crusts.

December 14
Install plumbing in gingerbread house.

December 15
Replace air in mini-van tires with Glade "holiday scents" in case tires are shot out at mall.

December 17
Child proof the Christmas tree with garland of razor wire.

December 19
Adjust legs of chairs so each Christmas dinner guest will be same height when sitting at his or her assigned seat.

December 20
Dip sheep and cows in egg whites and roll in confectioner's sugar to add a festive sparkle to the pasture.

December 21
Drain city reservoir; refill with mulled cider, orange slices and cinnamon sticks.

December 22
Float votive candles in toilet tank.

December 23
Seed clouds for white Christmas. I am totally doing this today....

December 24
Do my annual good deed. Go to several stores. Be seen engaged in last minute Christmas shopping, thus making many people feel less inadequate than they really are.

December 25
Bear son. Swaddle. Lay in color coordinated manger scented with homemade potpourri.

December 26
Organize spice racks by genus and phylum.

December 27
Build snowman in exact likeness of God.

December 31
New Year's Eve! Give staff their resolutions. Call a friend in each time zone of the world as the clock strikes midnight in that country

Ok, really it's Martha Stewarts, but maybe next year???

Happy Holidays,
Nancy

Saturday, December 20, 2008

ok. just one more....

Thought I would share one last recipe...

This is my sister's (not the sister that occasionally hi-jacks my blog, it's the other one, the one that doesn't cook very often)...

Orange Sherbet Jello (I bet she named this herself, because she is clever that way)

1 large pkg orange jello

Dissolve in 2 cups hot water

add 1 pint orange sherbet to hot jello mixture to dissolve

add 2 small cans drained mandarin orange sections and some sliced bananas.

Put into bowl/casserole dish/Tupperware, whatever you have and let set.....

You can use sugar-free jello and is there a sugar free orange sherbet? I don't know, but maybe that's ok? since there is fruit in it?

I have all the kids and grandkids gifts wrapped. Now I just need to do some Santa and DH and miscellaneous ones. Oh, and I think I have to send some cookies to Virginia!!
Of course, I don't have an address, but if someone is reading this and sends me her address, I have to go to the post office Monday and could possibly put some in the mail to her??

LMK,
Nancy

The last Christmas post....and cookie recipe




ding ding.....update - Here are your pictures, Pat. I couldn't bear to cover Santa's face..lol

This will be my last post until after Christmas....I am overwhelmed right now. There are lists to be made, food to be shopped for, presents to be wrapped and maybe some more shopping.

Of course that means that I totally spent today baking cookies. I was looking for a traditional macaroon cookie recipe and stopped when I read this one. It is NOT the traditional macaroon recipe. This one is AWESOME!! I love coconut and I love oatmeal cookies. I love a crisp cookie and this one fits all three criteria....

They are called Button Macaroons ... I am guess they are called this because you only use 1/2 tsp dough per cookie and they turn out about the size of a button...who knew??

1 egg separated
1/3 c sugar, remove 3 tbl for egg whites
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla
3/4 c quick oats
1/2 c coconut
1 tbl butter, melted

Beat egg white until foamy white and double in volume in a small bowl with electric mixer at high speed; beat in 3 tbl of the sugar, 1 tbl at a time until firm peaks form. Set aside

Beat egg yolk well in a medium size bowl, beat in remainder of the sugar until fluffy-light. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Fold in beaten egg white.

Drop by half teaspoonfuls 1 inch apart on well greased cookie sheet. Bake at 325 for 12-15 minutes. Cookies will spread. I got better luck spraying the cookie sheet with Pam than when I used a silpat sheet.

Cool on wire racks, store in airtight container. Yield 3 dozen (although I only got 2 dozen plus 4 cookies....)

I had good luck doubling this recipe and got a about 4 dozen cookies. Of course I counted them after sampling them. So maybe it did make 6 dozen and I ate 2 dozen? No, couldn't be!!

I wish you all a Happy Holiday Season...

See ya next year...

Nancy

Friday, December 19, 2008

another quick Christmas gift idea....

DING DING DING UPDATE!!! For a sugar-free, fat-free version try this link.... I have not tried it, so if you do and it is good, let me know.....(my sis is "the cook" of the family and searched this out for me..THANKS SIS!!)


I think there are some people on my list that would love some Hot Chocolate for those cold wintery nights.... I found this recipe on line and wish I could remember where so I could give kudo's. It is the best hot chocolate mix I have ever tasted. Great to put under the tree for last minute "uh oh, they brought us a gift and we didn't know it" times...

For this you will need the following -




4 cups nonfat dry milk powder

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup non-dairy coffee creamer

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 (4 oz) pkg instant chocolate fudge pudding (I couldn't find the fudge kind, so I used plain chocolate pudding)

Mix all together in a large bowl. I used a rubbermaid container with a lid and shook it all up.

This recipe will fill 2 quart canning jars. Add a ribbon, bow and instructions.... You could also package it in reusable plastic containers with a nice mug on the side.

To make add 1/4 cup mix to 8 oz hot water. The Rock Star loved it, but wants to try it with hot milk next time...

Wah Lah....another quick gift ready to deliver. Yes, there are only 3 jars here. We have the other jar almost empty. We are drinking a lot of hot chocolate in this cold weather.


Happy Holidays,
Nancy

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Is it illegal......or just thrifty?

About 6 Christmas seasons ago I bought one of those high end fudge kits. My DH loved it, so I went back and bought another....the next day (hey, he likes fudge!!).... I knew I couldn't keep buying these kits as they would all but disappear after the holidays. SO...(and here is the possible illegal part) before making it, I measured all the ingredients....
I decided to make you all accessories to my possible illegal dealings so I am going to share with you the
Easiest Christmas Fudge of all time....

You will need the following....



1- 14 oz can Sweetened Condensed Milk

1-12 oz pkg Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

4 tbl butter, cut into small pieces

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Put Sweetened Condensed Milk, Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels and butter into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute 30 seconds. It will look like this....YUK!


Add 1 tsp vanilla and the walnuts. Stir til glossy. Pour into greased 8x8 pan and refrigerate for 2 hours. Turn out and cut... Are you there Santa? 'cause I could sure use a new cutting board...Mine broke in two pieces cutting pizza a couple of weeks ago..

TA DA!! All ready for the fridge....This batch goes with DH to work tomorrow for a Christmas all day eat as much as you can food feast lunch...

Tomorrow I will share a quick, easy gift for everyone on your list.

Happy Holidays,

Nancy

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Quick Christmas Gifts.............

HEY SIS, STOP READING NOW IF YOU WANT TO BE SURPRISED........

Ok, lets tell the back story...

A couple of years ago, I made my Mom a heavy muslin laundry bag. I used my embroidery machine and put a little clothesline and a couple of little baskets of overflowing underwear on the front. Fast forward a couple of months. My Aunt comes to visit my Mom and admires said laundry bag. My Mom GIVES it to her...whatever, and then asks me to make her another one. Once again I haul out the embroidery machine and embroider the little clothesline and little baskets overflowing with underwear. Mom is pleased because it matches the other one she gave away.

Fast forward to last Sept and they traveled together to parts unknown. My Aunt proceeds to not only take HER laundry bag home, but Mom's also. We know this because my aunt washed my Mom's undies and mailed them back to her in a ziplock. If she didn't have mom's laundry bag she wouldn't have had her dirty undies...

ENOUGH SAID....

So Mom asked me to make her yet another laundry bag and put her name on it. I didn't want to haul out the embroidery machine (I really want to sell it, anybody want to buy one?? Babylock Esante Ese2 capable of 5x7 designs with all the accessories???) so I made her a blue/white ticking one. She loved it. My niece also loved it...and asked me to make her one...

So this year, every lady in my family will be getting a laundry bag for Christmas.

Easy Peasy and not expensive....



11 yards of fabric, 16 1/2 yards of cording and a few days later I have 11 laundry bags waiting to be wrapped.

I think all of them will be able to put these to good use. Now I need to make one for myself....

Happy Holidays,
Nancy

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Because that's what Grandma's do....

We drive 2 hours to watch a 20 minute Winter Program..

That's what I did Friday. I left home at 9:30am to stand in line at the school to be paraded into the gym to watch my grandkids sing 3 songs each with their class and then I drove home.....2 hours.... Because that is what we Grandma's do. And the smile on their faces when I showed up was priceless. I won't bore you with 20 minutes of video...(mostly because I can't get it to upload). But oh my...it was spectacular. The oldest granddaughter's class sang "The Three Little Kittens" which I have never heard sung before....it was all jazzy with shoulders flapping up and down and hand signs and everything. So dang cute...I can't tell you.


Then the grandson's class came out and were adorable. Imagine 60 odd 5 year old's attempting to sing all the words in the right place. LOL One little boy in the front row spent the entire 10 minutes pounding on his neighbors foot. One little boy started crying. One little girl yelled "HI HANK" as loud as she could. Absolutely priceless. I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

No sewing today...I did get the rest of the fabric and cording to finish some Christmas Presents. Made some banana bread. I am trying another new banana bread recipe. I can't seem to find one I like. This one was forwarded from someone at my redwork club, so hope it's good. We decided to have dinner instead of lunch, so dinner will be quick, maybe pancakes and bacon. Need to wrap some gifts. Need to finish some Christmas shopping. Busy week ahead for me I guess.

We are supposed to have a huge storm coming into the Midwest tonight. School will probably be closed tomorrow if we get the ice we are reported to be getting. Maybe I can sew tomorrow. And iron some dress shirts.

So, hope your weekend was much more productive. I keep bringing up the video's of the grandkids singing and laughing...

Happy Holidays,
Nancy

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Quilt Alert....

I just added a photo of my Mom's Christmas Quilt. It is down there on the right sidebar. #7...

Now to find something for my step-father. I don't have time to make another quilt...

Merry Christmas,
Nancy

PS. Pattern is called Bit's and Pieces. I will hunt up the designer if anyone wants to know...

Sewing day.....

One Tuesday a month three of us get together to sew. We met first in our local redwork group and hit it off immediately. I love these girls. We go shopping (and have tire blow-outs on the side of the road), we eat, we laugh, and next year we are heading off to a sewing retreat.
Yesterday was a sewing day at Annes. Of course we all brought Christmas presents...

This is what I got -


Anne is from Australia and is in the states for 3 years with her family while her DH works with Boeing. Her Mom and Dad recently came for a visit and was nice enough to not only shop for us in Australia, but bring the patterns to us. Miss Nancy and I each got a Red Brolly pattern. So exciting....
Then Miss Nancy made us each a cell phone carrier (I am forever losing my cell phone in my purse!), a stitchery pocket she made from a pattern in a magazine (Maybe she can leave the name/issue number in the comments), a Christmas notepad and a snowflake. Weren't we lucky??

Then I made them each a tote bag....

Don't they look like famous models?? LOL If you click on the photo you can see that the fabric has little tape measure on it...I made one of these in blue for my secret Santa gift for Quilt Guild. Patches has it in Red/White and I think I need some of that too... You can't have too many totes....

I finished the binding on my Mom's quilt yesterday. If the sun comes out I will take a photo and update this page....it turned out really pretty I think...

And I will leave you with a photo of Oliver the dog....

This is where he sleeps when "daddy" is gone...(this is "daddy's spot"...



Merry Christmas,
Nancy

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Big Surprise.....

Last Saturday dawned clear and cold.... I was up early for it was THE DAY!! My sister and I have been crazy planning this for the past two months.... Friday I baked all of these.....

and made some other appetizers that were eaten so fast I couldn't get a photo of them...LOL
At Noon, I took off in my little VW bug with a truck traveling behind (driven by DH with son)loaded down with cake plates, platters, cranberry sauce, crystal pitchers, meatballs, cupcakes, toothpicks and so much more....
J.(younger sister) and I met and swooped into the birthday girls condo. Oh, did I forget to tell that little detail. Since neither J or I wanted to clean our own homes, we decided to throw the party at the birthday girls house.. Lucky for us she keeps it clean, so all we had to do was take over the kitchen and set up the food.

So the plan was set...Birthday girls daughter takes her to get a mani/pedi and they return close to 2pm... Oh, slight snag in the plan. Birthday girl "is starving" wah wah....lets go to lunch after the mani/pedi...Uh NO!!! Appt is at 12:30pm, they are never on time. Going to lunch after is not gonna work. Frantic call from daughter to Aunt Nancy.. "what do I do?"....we discuss it and daughter decides she can "fake" having to "poo", "really bad" and make them have to come home...."um...whatever", I say...

It works... daughter comes running into the condo about 1:30pm and says "Mom is right behind me!!". Birthday girl opens up the door, we yell "SURPRISE" and she slams the door again. HA HA HA We got her!!! She kept saying over and over "you took over my house", "oh, there is food", "who else is coming"...we decide not to tell her.

We surprised her by getting in contact with some old High School friends, her boss, people she works with, old neighbors and family...

Here are some pics.....

From the left is J, Me and the Birthday Girl..

some of the food

high school friends

general friends, family and such... that's the daughter on the way left, oh no, it isn't the daughter it's a niece...Sorry about that.

So here is the Birthday Girl with my present...I forgot to snatch a photo of the label and her camera and my software don't get along and the photo she sent is too big so I will just have to tell you what the label said...

Of course it has her name and date, my name and then I named the the quilt....

The name you ask?

Thanks to Pat who was nice enough to resize the photo here is a pic of the label....



Ha ha, isn't that funny...(well, I thought it was!)



So now the party is over (we left the house as clean as we found it, thank you very much) and life goes on...

Oh, side note to Birthday Girl...I heard Mom ask your boss to guess her age!! ROTFLMAO....


Off to make Christmas pressies....I think I am going to attempt a tutorial for the simple little gifts I am making if anyone is interested. Fabric in the dryer awaiting me...

Happy Sewing,
Nancy

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Until then, I leave you with this....

Yesterday was the BIG SURPRISE party for my sister's 60th birthday. I am tired and have a filthy sewing room to clean. I promise to post embarassing photos, food photos, and the Mystery Quilt will be revealed..... tomorrow.

In the meantime, please go visit Carrie at LaVieEnRosie. More than a label, make a birth ceritificate for all of your quilts. She tells you why and how....

Happy Sewing,
Nancy

Saturday, December 6, 2008



To my OLDER sister!!!

Have a wonderful day with your daughter being pampered.....



From your younger sister,
Nancy

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Do you do Redwork??

Then CLICK HERE!! Gail Pan is one of those wonderful Aussie Designers and she has a Christmas Present for us....

Happy Sewing,
Nancy






































DH and I are celebrating our anniversary....

I Love You!!

Nancy

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

M.I.A.

I might be missing, but the action is there...all behind the scenes. I finished my gift for the Redwork Club exchange. We have a $5 limit and it CAN be handmade, but doesn't have to be...I think I've got the perfect thing. Can't show yet as some of them read my blog (at least I HOPE they do!!).

I picked up the last Christmas quilt yesterday. I thought I was done, but then realized I have never made my Mom a quilt and she will turn 79 in January (but she doesn't look a day over 50! does she big sis??) little inside joke there....
My Mom will strike up a conversation with ANYONE and eventually the conversation will be turned (by her!) into...."How old do you think I am?"...DRIVES US CRAZY...I am sorry, but she looks her age. You guys out there are just too nice to tell her..LOL

I got all the Christmas decorations up except for the front door wreath. For some reason the door won't shut with the hanger over the top. I think a hammer will have to be used to pound it into submission, So just wait til your father gets home!!

Our Quilt Guild had it's annual Christmas Party on Monday. I recieved a lovely handmade apron from Louise... such a cute idea... I am afraid my daughters are going to fight over it at Christmas.






There are other things going on behind the scenes, but nothing very exciting...trying to buy online Christmas presents for DH. He was kind enough to send links to tools... Wrapping some Christmas presents and adding labels to all of those Christmas quilts....

BUT WAIT!! Something really nice happened.... I was given an award by Pat of A Little of This and a Little of Pat... Is that not the cutest, cleverest blog title of all... Pat is a new blogger, so head over there, read and leave her a comment. We bloggers love us some comments...lol
You can see the award over there on the right sidebar. Thanks Pat....the rules are I have to pick 5 blogs to honor and since I have 205 blogs in my google reader (and yes, I read them everyday which is why I still have my pj's on!!) I will award it to all of you ... You inspire me!!


Happy Sewing,
Nancy