Where oh Where Again.... and new projects.

Well " the lost is all found" didn't last long and I am looking for my special tweezers I use to pick up the tiny button backs...  They have a curved tip and I will have to get another one as it is one of those  necessary tools.... not expensive but necessary...

And I asked for button image ideas and received several possibilities..  One is Raggedy Ann and Andy..  They were copyrighted eons  ago and are in public domain now supposedly but it is kinda murky waters I think, but since I love them I will add my version to the mix...

Also got a suggestion for a baby panda and   I am already tossing that idea around. Another suggestion was a dragonfly and I have tried that a couple times and it is a difficult image for a one inch button.

In the mean time I was going ahead with a raven and a few other birds that are star performers in my garden... When I start any bird the very first thing I do is hit the internet for a little research.  Besides colors, each bird has an eye,  a bill, and feather patterns  all of which are species specific and so I make sure I have all this information.

I was also interested how the black on black was handled by others and for this design I was especially interested in a raven's feet.  The last time I bought paint I got a good selection of greys with this project in mind.

I also made a list of birds that not in my area that I want to try...


Aunt Margaret's Sour Cream Fruit Tart

Next to Gma Krueger's Sour Cream Rolls recipe which are a lot of work, the most used family recipe is Aunt Margaret's Sour Cream Tart... It is so easy that it is the dessert I go to in a panic because it is so versatile.  I like tarts because they take less fruit, are less work and feed more people...

This week beautiful pears were only 75 cents a lb. and I immediately thought of a pear tart.  It took 4 large pears for this tart.  Although I always use fresh fruit, it could be also made with canned peaches, canned plums, etc.
Custard Filling:
Mix 1 c. sugar and 3 T. flour
Mix 2 eggs and 1 c. sour cream
Combine both mixes
Add 1 t. vanilla and spices as desired.  I use sometimes ginger, cinnamon, cardamom or 5 spice.... any one or any combination...about a teaspoon.  It is next to impossible to mess up this recipe...

 Pour sour cream/sugar mix in uncooked pie shell, add fresh fruit (pears, apples, plums, etc.) I like to arrange the fruit but Aunt Margaret just chopped hers up and it tasted just as good. and top with a few nuts or crumb topping.   Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

Here is the recipe ready for the oven last summer  using  fresh apples... I have raisins soaked in apple brandy in the middle.  Not only is this recipe easy, it is beautiful and feeds about eight easily as this is a 12" tart pan.

Here is the recipe coming out of the oven last fall that was made with fresh plums from our tree and topped with a crumb topping with almonds..

I noticed this product at the grocery store Saturday and thought I would give it a try.  I like ginger and even though I keep fresh ginger in the freezer I always forget about using it.  I like ginger with pears so added a bit to the custard mix for the tart.  They have a web site with lots of recipes using it so I will give them a try as well...



What next in buttons?????

 These are the buttons that went on Etsy yesterday and I have made a lot of progress since I started trying to get buttons back on track.  I had little trays of buttons all over in various stages of completion and I am just about done with these.  Some were unfinished, others needed fixing somehow, some needed to be just sealed, scanned or posted on Etsy. By the end of the week all that needed to be done should be up.  It has been a big job and glad it is done. 

  In fact I'm at a point that I'm actually looking for ideas to paint that I haven't done before.  I have started some loons as well as both sunflowers and poppies (neither of which I have ever done)  A good many of my ideas come from requests or special orders.  If you have an idea I might be able to paint ...let me know and it might get you a button if I paint it.
If it looks like I'm doing a happy dance I am... At this moment in time I AM LOOKING FOR ABSOLUTELY NOTHING THAT IS LOST.  It feels so good as I can't remember when I haven't been looking for something or multiply somethings.  Now that I can ease back on the buttons I went looking for the spider bag parts and much to my surprise found them quickly so that project is back in the frame of things.
As I have often mentioned I have family in Alaska and some in Anchorage.  Everyone is OK after the big quake  and my granddaughter Leigha, who was just here in Sept for a visit, is right out there volunteering wherever she is needed.  She has a heart bigger than the whole state of Alaska... love her dearly.


Old dog with her new trick

I'm still hanging in there with my "no cut  the hair" vow and looking pretty shaggy at this stage... but my lovely DIL was here a few days before Thanksgiving and bought me some hair curlers at the dollar store.  I have never owned a hair curler or used one and she gave me instructions.  It turned out great when she was here but the next time when I did it myself it was pretty wonky.  Tried again yesterday and it wasn't quite as awkward...  Had to send her pics this morning.

She sent back more instructions. "When you're putting in the ones on the side, make sure that they’re going towards the nape and not down and perhaps more curlers on the top. Pull the hair forward as you curl it around the curler and then back."  DH is fairly silent on the subject now as my response to any comment is "You  married me with long hair and you will bury me with long hair."

I missed Thanksgiving altogether.   After the 3 1/2 drive from Redmond to Olympia in horrendous traffic, I no sooner got to my niece's house on Thurs and I had a massive headache and nausea.  I missed the entire party and spent the whole day in her bed.  In the evening they laid me out on the back seat and drove the 2 hours back to Redmond and got me into the hotel.  In the morning it was in the backseat again and the long drive to Spokane and then I was in bed for 2 days.  Have no idea what it was and it left me wobbly for several days... On the mend now.  I had really wanted to try the Sour Cream Lemon pie...will have to bake another.  Not my week altogether...still finding spots of cocoa I missed in the clean up.


You MUST have this lamp.....

You MUST have this lamp....even if you can see.  I have raved about it multiple times on  blog.....  I first bought it to use on my foldable craft table I made from an old walker.  I move that little stitching table all over the house and right up to the windows with the best light and best view and when weather permits I move it outside. 

When we travel the little flexible gooseneck rolls right up and it along with my chatelaine, stitching, extention cord, and needle book ALL fit in my sewing tote.  I love love love it. You  don't need a table for it as it easily attaches to the back of a chair, door, or most any things and the light is fabulous.

It has becomes a "traveler" even at home as I move it to wherever I need extra light... cleaning and sorting the pantry, by the old printer or in a closet.  I even take to other people's home when I'm playing cards and can attach it to my chair or to the table.

And this morning I was trying to clean up the inventory pockets for my painted buttons. Buttons had expired on the internet and they were still in pockets and people had bought buttons from pockets and they were still on the internet and not in the pockets.  There are 100 pockets and each pocket holds 6-8 buttons and even by the window with an extra floor lamp I was having trouble. Even though most of the pockets are empty now it was a mess.   I dashed and got my wonder lamp and attached it to a stool.  I could raise and lower and adjust the light as I worked from row to row.  In no time I was done and thought why am I always stealing this light from my stitching table all the time  and went to Amazon and ordered two more for me for Christmas.
                without wonder light                                             with wonder light
Put it on your want list as it would be a affordable gift for anyone who loves you..  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B019R1BN3U/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1  At $25 it is the best light bargain you will ever find.


Thanksgiving pies and cocoa!!!

 Tomorrow we are headed to the Washington coast for a family Thanksgiving and will drive back on Saturday.  It is about a 300 mile trip both ways and we have to go over Snoqualmie pass in the Cascades.  This year it looks like we are lucky and have nice weather both ways.. Many time when we plan a trip in the winter the pass is closed.  So right off I'm thankful for good weather and good roads.

Yesterday I tried to make pies to take to the coast for Thanksgiving and when I went into the pantry to get salt a container of Hershey cocoa fell and the lid flew off  as it fell.  The pantry was covered with cocoa, I was covered with cocoa and when I went to get the broom a cloud of cocoa followed me..  It even went into my shoes.... what a mess.  I had to put all my clothes in the wash, mop the kitchen and wash down all the shelves and their contents.   It was everywhere.  Not one of my better days.. Pumpkin pie got too brown, the apple pie crust was too thick, the  shell for the lemon pie shrunk even with weights. Maybe no one will notice.....  Happy Thanksgiving to everyone..


This and that and banana bread update!!!

It snowed yesterday...enough that it will be here a few days anyway.  We had a long gorgeous fall with beautiful sunsets day after day.  We had a long enough fall that I am actually ready for winter.  I love the change of seasons. and would hate to live where there weren't any... A change of season....any season ...gives me a boost of spirit and energy.

We had dinner guests last weekend and I was actually tired of using fall colors for the table and chose the crispy green and white.
DH had left for the store and I was thinking I should have had him pick up a few mums because the garden was pretty dead.  But to my surprise I was able to make a great centerpiece.  I used the large gold leaves from a peony I missed cutting back along with the glossy green leaves of the mahonia (Oregon grape) and for the white touch lots of fluffy seed heads from the autumn clematis..

Found a recipe for equal parts mashed roasted yams and cooked quinoa and added crumbled bacon and caramelized onions..  It was so delicious that I am going to fix it with the turkey this year.  A real keeper.

And speaking of recipes I will add an update on banana bread.  A while back I tested about a dozen banana bread recipes and this winner topped all...  It is so good I would never even think of tweaking it but it called for 1 cup of butter and I only had 1/2 cup so I substituted 1/2 cup shortening and I think it was even better.

Another hint:  This recipe calls for 8 bananas and I usually have that many in the freezer as I pop them in them when they start to get overripe.  It is this many bananas that put this recipe over the top in flavor...  But when I thaw out frozen bananas there is a lot of extra liquid so now I put them in a strainer for a couple hours and they work much better.

Haven't posted for a while as I've had my computers disconnected trying to backup and move files and get both computers working with only one printer....the newest one.  I was able to do all the backing up but the oldest computer just wouldn't allow the new printer's drivers to be installed.  After the second blue screen of death I decided to leave well enough alone and hang it there with both printers.  Eventually I won't be able to get ink cartridges any more for the old one..  I hate to let go of my old programs and learn new ones.... the old Pagemaker and Image Composer are like old comfortable friends of many years......and it was a shame they were both discontinued.  Haven't touched a needle for about 10 days... but I did paint some buttons... will show them soon.


Not a "get-by" gal

I have a couple more small spider pins that will be on the bag some where...not sure where just yet.  These are about 1 1/4" ... small enough to tuck anywhere.
The one on the left is beautifully crafted piece of jewelry.  Not even sure where I got them as they have been in the jewelry chest forever.

The buckle is the star of the front of the bag but this magnificent large jeweled spider brooch is the star  of the back.
You might notice it is  missing one leg.  It was that way when I bought it from a street vendor in London.  I can artfully use a leaf or flower to hide that shortcoming.

You will also notice I had planned for three cats on the back... Well actually I had thought I could "get-by" with a plain velvet back but the more I thought about it the more I wanted a magnificent back....  But now that the time is approaching I began thinking maybe I could "get-by" with just one cat on the back.

But the more I thought about it and the fact that I had three
already transferred and ready to stitch, I finally decided that I am not a "get by" kinda gal and three cats it will be.

Today I had some friends for lunch and bridge and lots of laughs.  I served cream of carrot soup... actually lots of carrots plus sweet potato, squash and red peppers also with some allspice and cardamom as well.  It was served with an fennel and apple salad and  a sour dough roll from some of GD's Alaskan starter.  People often comment that it is so far to come out to the farm but if you feed them the farm is not so far after all... and I'm glad as the company does me a world of good.


End of this side in sight!!

 The end of this side  is in sight now.  All the blues and lavenders are on.  I am really happy with the final colors.  It never looks quite true on a monitor but they are muted as I wanted.  It is ready for the white accents and beads and buttons..

But before that can happen it will have a good long stretch and blocking on a cork board.  I urge stitchers not to skip this step.  It makes such a difference in the final piece.

We have had one of the most spectacular falls that I can ever remember.  The weather was warm right until just this week and the colors have been breathtaking.  We deserved it because we were robbed of the best part of the summer by wild fires smoke.  It was so bad that most outdoor activity

was cancelled.

It's the litttle joys!!

I love the little joys that just brighten my day...  and one that does it every day with a splash of color is "Design Seeds" blog.  If you subscribe every day you receive a color palette in your blog reader list.  No sales pitch, no hard sell...just inspirational joyous color..

It is a reminder just how exciting and dramatic just subtle changes in color can be...

 These are three recent ones... The bluish purple grapes were especially timely as I've been using those colors on my spider bag.
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