Boy, I feel like I’ve been MIA. It’s only been four days, but it seems like a lot more. Especially when I go to bloglines and see that several of you have posted multiple times in those 4 days! Sigh. Behind again.

I spent the weekend cleaning. Most of the time in the kitchen doing some much needed, heavy cleaning. And then, because it was so clean, I had to make some cupcakes.

Cupcake 1

I’ve had the Magnolia cookbook for a few years now and I’ve been meaning to try their cupcake recipe. You know, see if the homemade version tastes like the bakery version. Oh. My. Gosh. They were fabulous. SweetiePie declared them just like the original. Clearly, we don’t have the decorating flair that the Magnolia bakers have, so we’ll have to work on that.

In other cupcake news:

  • Did you notice the new little cupcake picture over there to the right? It’s no longer coming soon — it’s here! This week. This Friday to be exact. Tune in with Ms. Hollycakes and her baker’s dozen for some fun stuff on Friday. (I love Holly’s new banner — go feast your eyes!)
  • I think I want this pan. If a normal sized cupcake is good, wouldn’t a jumbo one be better? I saw this one somewhere in a stand-up version — you make two of them and put them together — very cute.
  • Check out for more cupcake inspiration.

I’ll leave you with a picture of SweetiePie pinching a cupcake!

Cupcake 2


The Wedding Planner

You may remember that there is going to be a wedding around here next spring. And by the time it’s over, you’ll probably be a) glad I’m not the Bride’s mother, and b) sick of hearing about it.

(Note to quilty peeps: You’ve already seen this, so you are excused to go spend your time more wisely! ;-) )

Wedding Planner 1

When TheFirstChild and SweetiePie got engaged we had a quick, fun, little impromptu champagne (how many adjectives can one noun have?) party. In addition to a REALLY big hug, I gave SweetiePie this wedding planner in a box.

Wedding Planner 3 Wedding Planner 4
Wedding Planner 6 Wedding Planner 2

It was lots of fun to make and SweetiePie has started to use it. My favorite cards are the Cake divider (’cause I liked the ribbon coming out of the top of the cake) and the little card with the “something” tags to put behind the Traditions divider.

Wedding Planner 5

I hope everyone has wonderful weekend plans. I’ll probably be cleaning — this place is a pigsty, I haven’t really cleaned in a long time. The change of seasons always puts me in the mood!


Back to Work.

All good things come to an end, and now, it’s back to work. Enjoyable time off is always too short and fleeting. I didn’t get as much done this weekend as I would have liked, but I had some good family time, and that’s what’s most important.

Yesterday, we all met at BigDaddy’s and split firewood so he’ll be stocked for the winter. Goofy me, I didn’t take my camera. I was very sorry about that as the picture of TheFirstChild and BigBurlyBIL both swinging axes at the same time would have been a good one. They worked up a soaking sweat chopping wood, while TheManoftheHouse, SweetiePie, and I picked up the pieces and stacked them. After all the work, we had a little cookout. MyDadLovesMeBestSister outdid herself by bringing four fabulous salads. Bratwurst, end-of-season corn on the cob and Cowboy Baked Beans rounded out the menu and filled us over the top.
I made Karen’s S’more dessert. Being a S’more fanatic, when I saw Karen’s recipe I knew I had to make it. It was a VERY BIG hit — even with TheManoftheHouse who doesn’t usually like desserts. Karen jokes about all the Fudge sauce — holy cow it takes two bottles. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think it was almost too sweet for me. I would have been happy with more ice cream and less fudge sauce. I was overruled though — everyone loved it just as it is!

I did manage to get a little bit of sewing in over the weekend. Back in May, I saw this cute celery crisper on Monica’s blog. Now, MeMum makes The Best green salads on the planet. They’re always crisp and delicious. She washes the lettuce, spins it, and then wraps it up in a flour sack towel and puts it in the fridge for 20 or 30 minutes before dinner. So, when I saw the celery crisper, I thought how fun it would be to make a lettuce crisper for her. I mentioned this idea to my quilty friend Junie a few months ago and she found a picture of a lettuce head similar to the one I put on this little bag. Thanks for your help Junie, MeMum thinks it’s really cute!

Lettuce Crisper

And one last thing, the lovely Holly has tagged me for the middle name game.  Ahem.  I don’t have a middle name!  It’s been a long-standing tradition in our family that the girls don’t get middle names.  There have been a few dissenters though.  One of my cousins, feeling gypped, just made one up when we were little and it stuck.  And MyDadLovesMeBestSister gave one of her girls a middle name.  ???  The one without the middle name was feeling left out however, so she now has one too.  I’m afraid if I’d had girls, they would have been middle nameless.  Tradition, you know.  Oops, I digress, another tradition around here.
Anyway, I read somewhere that if you don’t have a middle name you should just use one that you like.  I’ve always loved the name Tess (thank you Thomas Hardy), so I’ll use that one.  Anna Tess sounds pretty stupid, but that’s not the point now, is it?

T – Tired.  Had to go back to work today, that makes me tired.

E – Embroidery, of course.  I LOVE embroidery.

S – Sewing, I REALLY love sewing.  Anything.  All kinds.

S- Sorry.  I’m very sorry I don’t have something really incredible to blog about today.  Like maybe I whipped out a beautiful quilt this weekend.  Nope.  But I sure thought a lot about it, does that count?

Now, I’m supposed to tag one person for each letter in the name.  Just so that those who are blog-less don’t get left out, I’m tagging Judy (MSN Judy are you there?) and the three quilty peeps, Gurney, Junie, and Jewels who can play in my comments if they want.  Let’s hear it for your middle names!

Busy Puttering

I’m having a nice busy break, but there’s not much on the crafting front to report. BigDaddy has been a BadDaddy this week. On his regular visit to his Dr. on Thursday, he mentioned that he’d been having a little bit of chest pain. (When BigDaddy speaks of chest pain, doctors listen. He’s had two quadruple bypass operations, and a mild heart attack!) So, the Dr. decided to put him in the hospital overnight to run a few tests.

Me: BigDaddy, did you happen to mention to the Dr. that you’ve been playing Paul Bunyan again?

BigDaddy: Um, well, no.

That’s what I thought. BigDaddy had a few BIG trees blow down a few weeks ago and last week he whipped out the chainsaw and proceeded to cut up those trees and then haul those big logs all over his lot (because Babe the Blue Ox was apparently unavailable for the hauling.) BigDaddy has chest pain. Hmmph. The rest of us would all have had heart attacks over that much work. BigDaddy, don’t make us take your chainsaw away! There will be more tests next week and hopefully he’ll only need some medication adjustments.

While the nurses were checking under BigDaddy’s frock, I took MeMum and her FloridaFriend to JoAnn’s for a quick visit. I picked up this issue of Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Crafts.

Holiday Crafts 1

I’ve always loved the BH&G family of magazines.  (American Patchwork and Quilting is my favorite quilting magazine.)  They’re usually full of lots of inspiration.  But the past few years, the Holiday Crafts issue hasn’t held much of interest for me.

Holiday Crafts 2

This year, however, I was pleasantly surprised.  I saw several projects that I’d like to try.  Especially the paper mache (hmm, I wish I knew how to make the little hash mark over the “e” in mache) items.

Holiday Crafts 3

I hope you’re all having beautiful weather like we are.  I’ve finished my yardwork today — our weather is spectacular — a wonderful unofficial end to summer.  Now, I’m off to decide which sewing project to work on.  There are many choices, but I’ll have to wait on the one I really want to start.  Holly if you’re reading, throw more peanuts to your hardworking squirrels on their treadmills.  I ordered your champagne dots for the wedding quilt and they’re on backorder!  And speaking of Holly, did you notice that cute little “coming soon” button in my sidebar?  Busy little Holly has a fun surprise up her sleeve, so stay tuned!

P.S.  To you all of you blogspot bloggers:  I think I figured out why my e-mail wasn’t appearing when I commented to you.  It was an ugly fix.  I comment under a google username that has no blogspot blog associated with it (apparently a typepad or wordpress blog aren’t good enough for a google account.)  I ended up creating a fake blogspot blog and hopefully that will solve the problem.  I know you’re getting comments from other people whose e-mail addresses don’t show up and perhaps they have a similar problem.  Lack of e-mail addresses in comments was my biggest complaint with my old blogspot blog, so you have my sympathy!

Caution: Slow Week Ahead

There’s not much going on around here this week. I’m in the slo-o-ow countdown to a four day weekend. Yipee! I’m hopeful that there will be a little time for sewing, shopping and visits with BigDaddy and MeMum. (We certainly know there won’t be any grilling happening around here. The new grill is on order, but sadly won’t arrive until after Labor Day.)

Gauze Shirt 1

Before we left on our roadtrip, I managed to get the third of my three shirts sewn. The pattern is Simplicity 3786, view D, sort of. I altered the sleeves. The original sleeves were straight to the elbows, then there was a seam around the elbow and gathered poofy sleeves fell to the wrists — sort of gypsy style. I didn’t like the seam at the elbows, so I eliminated it, and just widened that straight sleeve to the wrists, which you can’t really see in these pictures.  The wrist cuff looks like a little 1/2 inch quilt binding.

Gauze Shirt 2

I really like the way this shirt fits, so I’ll probably make it again. The styles now crack me up — they’re the same styles that we wore as teenagers. I don’t care though — they’re lots more comfortable than the fitted shirts we’ve had the last several years.

Gauze Shirt 4

Now I’ll go and try to plan a little for a sewing project this weekend.  There are so many choices, it’s hard to know what to do.  While it seems a little overwhelming at times, I think its a very lucky problem to have and I feel very blessed.  I’m also feeling very lucky to live in internet times that allow me to be so inspired by all of you!