Feb 03 2016

Dying Fabric

Published by under creating

I remember, back in the 60’s, when tie dye was the in thing. We wore tie dyed shirts of many colors. I may have even dyed a shirt or two myself. It was fun to see how the shirts would come out. I suppose we used Rit dye packages for our dye. I really don’t remember. I do remember rolling the shirts and placing rubber bands in intervals down the shirt tube. We then soaked the shirt in the dye and, after making sure the shirt was saturated, took off the rubber bands and hung the shirt to dry. Did we roll the shirt again to add colors? Wish I could remember.

At our quilt guild meeting last night, we dyed fabric. The girls who taught the class had bought fabric that would dye. I thought all fabric would dye but in any case, they provided us with dye able fabric. They had teeny, tiny bottles of dye that we used droppers to gather the color of choice and dropped the dye onto shaving cream that we had spread out on a paper plate. We used tooth picks to gently swirl the dye through the shaving cream. Laying the cloth squares on top of the shaving cream, we pressed them down until the cloth was saturated. We laid the cloth on a flat surface and used a credit card to scrape off the excess shaving cream. Then we took the fabric piece over to the ironing board, laid a pressing cloth over it and ironed until the cloth was dry. We had dyed fabric!

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Jan 26 2016

Oh The Story

Published by under entertainment

I have heard that one of my favorite television shows will be ending after this season. I love Downton Abbey!

I enjoy the interactions between the characters as they portray citizens who lived in the 1900’s. They are affluent yet very caring in their consideration of the people in their employment. Their concerns for the important aspects of society such as, healthcare show how things have evolved into how things are today. Too bad we can’t go back in time!

I love looking at the magnificent paintings and statues in the large homes. I can’t imagine paying the heat bills for a house of this magnitude.

The clothing is beautiful. Even the underwear is made beautifully. Yes, we see servants dressing the ladies and get a peek at the under garments of the period.

I have enjoyed this season but I find myself wondering how they will tie all the story lines into endings. How can they do that? I will be sad when the show ends.

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Jan 24 2016

Recommended Book

Published by under entertainment

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I might have to read The Book Seller by Cynthia Swanson again. It was such a page turner that I could not put it down. I was intrigued by the main character and how she was one person while another at the same time. It is difficult to explain how the story evolved. You just have to read the book! I’ll just say that the mind is an intricate organ and can evolve in ways we know nothing of or at least I don’t.

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Jan 23 2016

So Many Quilts

Published by under creating

but not enough sewing time!
I belong to many online quilting sites and that means I am always seeing another quilt I want to make. I keep a file on my computer desk top that is full of inspirations.
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My latest interest has been in making a double wedding ring quilt using batik fabric. Batik fabric is expensive because it is hand dyed. Each piece is unique and beautiful. Wax is sometimes used to make the ink go around the waxed areas leaving a lighter shade of ink. Waxing makes patterns such as turtles, stars and shapes in the fabric.

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The Double Wedding Ring pattern was first published by Capper’s Weekly in 1928. This Topeka, Kansas publication added a bit of mythical romance to go with the pattern by writing, “When some good but unknown man conceived the idea of a double wedding ring ceremony it gave his wife an equally good idea. She worked two circles into a double wedding ring quilt.”

I belong to many online quilting sites and that means I am always seeing another quilt I want to make. I keep a file on my computer desk top that is full of inspirations.

I need to download all my files onto a hard drive as I have begun to receive error messages that my starting disc is full. I have no idea what that means but it makes my palms sweat just to read the message.

I don’t know what to give up. When I want to locate a file, I want it to be easily found. I have our store price lists, guitar center hours, and directions to local quilt shops. I have a lot of pictures of all the Civil War blocks I have made. Of course, I have many pictures of my beautiful grandson!

Oh well, time to quit worrying about the computer and start sewing during our winter storm!

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Jan 11 2016

Taste Test

Published by under food

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I discovered that I had most of the ingredients for the chocolate crinkle cookies so I made a batch. I only had 3 ounces of chocolate instead of the 4 ounces the recipe called for but I didn’t think that would matter much.

They are pretty good and were so easy to make! I do think that fourth ounce of chocolate would have made them even that much better.

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Jan 09 2016

Chocolate Crinkles

Published by under food

My daughter and I were discussing how much we love those chocolate cookies that have powdered sugar sprinkled on them. They remind me of a molten lava cake! My mouth is watering just thinking about them. I wish I had the ingredients to make them because I sure could use one right now.
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Here is the recipe from the Betty Crocker website.

Ingredients

1/2 cup vegetable oil

4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, melted, cooled

2 cups granulated sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

4 eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup powdered sugar

Directions

In large bowl, mix oil, chocolate, granulated sugar and vanilla. Stir in eggs, one at a time. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt. Cover; refrigerate at least 3 hours.
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease cookie sheet with shortening or cooking spray.
Drop dough by teaspoonfuls into powdered sugar; roll around to coat and shape into balls. Place about 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until almost no imprint remains when touched lightly in center. Immediately remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks.

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Jan 06 2016

Music in Our Schools

Published by under entertainment

While attending a New Years party at a friends, I listened as two veteran teachers discussed how music influences kids in ways I had not realized. I noticed that my daughter began to be on time for events after she started performing with the high school band. I saw her confidence grow. Every dime we ever spent on trips to concerts and contests was well worth the cost.

Whether a child is a beginner cello at wwbw student or an advanced percussionist, music is important.

Think of how much memorization is involved in learning a new piece of sheet music. A child will be so proud to have achieved this goal. The comradeship aspect of being in the band is another important reason to get kids involved with music. Kids are less apt to quit school when they know their fellow band cronies would miss them. Music is also a great stress reliever. When all those hormones are raging, music helps sooth their soul.

I could go on and on about the value of music and how it is important that our schools offer music classes. I will leave with my thought, music enhances lives.

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Jan 06 2016

Christmas Reading

Published by under entertainment

One of the nice things about having a few days off during the holidays is the chance to read. I was able to stay up a few nights and read to my hearts content without worrying about having to get up early in the morning. One of the books I read was The Christmas Pearl by Dorothea Benton Frank.

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It was a nice book to read. The story was about a dysfunctional family and how they treated each other. Circumstances had brought them to their uncaring attitudes and the way they hurt each other without seeming to care. During the holiday season is when many families hope to have the type of Christmas that the movies portray. Children who behave and grownups who look out for each other in all types of situations. The main character in The Christmas Pearl wishes her family would be more like the one of which she grew up. This story might be a little far fetched but it did make me think about how each person in a family is an individual yet makes up the family as a whole. I recommend this book for anyone who likes to end a book with a smile on their face.

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Jan 05 2016

Nostalgia

Published by under family

Those of you who read my blog, know that my husband and I recently made the decision to place my mother in-law in an assisted living facility. I had always thought that Betty would live with us when and if the time ever came but now that it has happened, other factors helped make the decision for a different arrangement. Betty has to have her sugar checked and takes medication. She needs to eat healthy foods. While I think we could have done it, she is getting such good care where she is. She lives in her own apartment and has her own furniture. She just told her son, my husband, that she really likes it there. That is a relief.

We usually go over on Sundays and spend the afternoon watching football. We really get excited watching the game!

While going through Betty’s Christmas cards while watching the game, we started discussing all the people who still send cards. Sometimes, this is the only time she hears from old friends. One such friend, Carolyn, still writes even though it was really Betty’s and Carolyn’s husbands that were friends. Both were named Max and belonged to the Masonic Lodge. Max and his friend, Max, shared so many neat experiences in the group. The wives were also in a group and it was a great way to make friends. One of the members gave his Masonic ring to my husband’s dad. I can’t remember why he did that but when Max died, the ring would up in my husband’s jewelry box. The man’s son and my husband got acquainted through business dealings and my husband returned the son’s dad’s joy jewelers masonic rings to him. He was so grateful to receive something that meant so much to his dad.

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Dec 29 2015

Caught Up!

Published by under creating

Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone that I have made all the Civil War Love Letter quilt blocks. I needed something to work on over the holidays and since I had all the fabric spread all over the family room, I decided to get them all done. I am working with an online group and we were to make the blocks as the leader posted the directions. I never really understood her directions but it was fun to have some guidance as to which block to make. Well, now I can post pictures of my blocks as she posts the instructions. I enjoy seeing what colors the other quilt block makers pick to make their blocks. I hope I find a pretty way to put all the blocks together. I’ll have to do a little research on that part. I also want to find a fitting backing. It will need to be a Civil War replica fabric. It feels good to have the blocks finished!
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