Ooh, Woohoo and ... Boo!

So ... it's been an eventful couple of days ... busy ... exciting ... somewhat humiliating ... fun ... and downright scary.

#1) Before I forget ... Happy Halloween. I wanted to show off these darling treats that I received from my friend Louisa, just because she apparently likes me and she thought they would remind me of Mr. Gee and Miss Dub. (Which they do of course, because they are cuter than words.) The odd thing is that she brought them over yesterday, which was her birthday. I would hang my head in shame (no ... I did not have a little something for her) but I am too busy planting little kisses on these two.

#2) I won another Give Away!! Yeah! From those sweeties over at Jolly Jabber who are the queens of Fabric Fun! Here's the bad part: I won this ... um ... last week and didn't know it until she hunted me down. If you are somewhat new to this blog you may not know that this is the second time this has happened to me. Yep. That's twice this year I've been in need of a good finger-wagging. Aah ... who cares. I Won! And it's fresh new stuff from the Quilt Market in Houston.

#3) Last night, say ... past 11 p.m., as the PDaddy and I were just about to settle down for a long winter's nap, we heard what can only be described as an explosion at the window which was about 2 feet from my head. I had already gone about half way to sleepyland and I nearly bolted across the room. After some careful detective work we were finally able to determine that the tension hung window ... had blown the tension rod. We may not sleep again for years to come.

But that's OK, because I won some fabric (did you hear?) and I'll be playing with it all night long.

And just so you know, I have officially decreed that Halloween (or the day after) is the day to get out last year's Christmas magazines for dreaming and other practical purposes. I thought you'd want to know.

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Clean up on aisle one ...

So ... on Saturday ... when I had many, many better things to do ... I played with my fabric. I didn't sew with it, mind you ... I just played with it. I really should have taken some 'before' pictures, but suffice it to say that it appeared the shelves were throwing up the fabric ... after a very large, very colorful meal.

I took each piece and lovingly stroked it and folded it. I smiled and oohed but mostly made comments like "I have no clue when I bought this" and "I have never seen this piece of fabric before in my life". Which pretty much made Saturday morning ... Christmas.

I had one extra space as things came together so I made a separate pile for my dots. I do love my dots. My dots make me smile.

(You do realize, of course, that what I have in these bookcases represents less than half of The Stash. I split them up over a year ago, and contrary to what either of us thought at the time ... I have pretty much used each half of The Stash equally.)

So ... let me ask you ... when is the last time that you played with your Stash? (fabric, paper, buttons, ribbon, you name it)

And if no one answers yes ... do I need an intervention of some sort?
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how does my garden grow?

So ... this is the last week of October. By this time next week it will be November. Mothers all over America are trying to figure out if the Halloween costume will fit over the coat so as not to ruin the effect. People are going on hayrides and having discussions about frost.

It will still be in the 90's here this week. No fooling.

But at least I have my pumpkins. The one in the top picture is ceramic. I think it's cool that it looks like it was painted into the middle of the photograph. Can you see it? These ones above are actually real. But are they actually pumpkins, or are they gourds?

These little ones are wooden. I have had them the longest. I'm not much of an orange person as you can see. I used to carve a pumpkin and set it on the front porch but I haven't done that in several years. Think about it people ... at 90 degrees that is just not a pretty picture.

Happy Fall. I hope your pumpkins bring you joy.

I also hope they don't rot.
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Ode to Grandkids

So ... sometime this week, while perusing the comics ... I came across these two pictured above, that eerily describe my own progenity.

Yep, here's l'il gee indulging in his favorite pasttime ...

... and here's miss dub preparing to take over the world. (You know you want to vote for her ... it would make the choices so much easier.)

Miss Dub does indeed turn two years old tomorrow.

So ... she has the experience.

And because my heart was aching for my own grandchildren ... I went out and stole some from my friend Glamma Fabulous. We had a most lovely time and my aching heart was soothed.

Grandmothering is the best thing ever! Bragging was never so socially acceptable and it was never so much fun.

So ... go ahead and indulge yourself.

Brag Your Brains Out.

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I'm trying ... really I am!

So ... I am sewing as fast as I can, but this one's taking F O R E V E R!

I kept thinking I would wait and blog about the finished product when the product was indeed ... finished.

But I have pretty much exhausted all my culinary topics.

So deal with it.
In pieces.

Or provide me some fresh ideas to blog about in the meantime.

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Web News

So ... I swear to you that this is my last food related post for awhile. I'm starting to look like I'm a wiz in the kitchen. Worse yet ... I'm starting to feel like I'm a wiz in the kitchen.

And we certainly can't have that now, can we?

As part of a Halloween Party on Friday night over at Glamma Fab's* house ... I made the above pictured "finger-food". I googled "Halloween finger foods" and this came up on a Family Circle website ... I think. I went to Cooks.com ... my favorite recipe website ... for the crust recipe and ... voila ... spiderweb pizza.

(Note: The cheese is supposed to be layed out into a spiderweb shape using string cheese. I clearly didn't cut the cheese into thin enough pieces. I think the web shape would be more evident had I cut thinner strips.)

The best part of this recipe is that it involves black olives. I love black olives. They are probably my all-time favorite non-sugary food.

And yours?

*The party was most delightful as all parties are at the Fabulous House. Watching her five daughters dance is like tasting just a wee bit of Heaven. (PDaddy and I did not get our pictures taken, but then our costumes only involved t-shirts and head wear. Let's face it, we're wimps. )
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Foodies Unite!!

So ... the pie was delicious. Seriously, the best pumpkin pie I have ever made. (You probably should know that I am prone to making these kinds of statements ... particularly at Christmas ... but they do actually have some meaning.) The first pumpkin pie I ever made was as a newlywed of 3 months. The crust was literally 1/4" thick. I have made it my mission since then to perfect my pie-making skills. "Perfect" doesn't describe the results of 34 years, but "progress" definitely does. However ... I have never thought of myself as a wiz in the kitchen. It's never really been a hobby. I have never been a big cook-book peruser.

Until two years ago.

Two years ago I spent a week with my daughter when our precious Miss Dub was born. It was late October ... it was Chicago ... it was cold. With a week-old baby we didn't get out much.

But we sure did watch the Food Network.

Since that time I can't say that I cook a whole lot more, but I really like to think about it. What is it about watching someone else chop stuff that is so, so mesmerizing? How fun is it to watch Ina or Paula cook with 17 cubes of butter with nary a single calorie transferred? And why do hours and hours of watching translate to many, many new cookbooks and Sur Le Table purchases, but not so many new meals?

Who cares?!

I love it and I am not ashamed to say it. I will also go so far as to say that Ina (aka the Barefoot Contessa) is my favorite. Her uber-relaxed ways put some people to sleep I know, but I just like the fact that she makes me feel uber-relaxed. (This may or may not explain why I don't jump up from watching her and scurry into the kitchen.)

So once again ... let's VOTE! (There will be no prize this time as we have already consumed the aforementioned pie.)

Who is your favorite Food Network Chef?

And most importantly ... does watching the show actually inspire you to cook?

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Martha, Me and Miss Dub

So ... it still feels a little like fall and I am relishing it. So much so that I decided to bake a pumpkin pie. Now PDaddy loooooves him some pumpkin pie and although he won't be able to eat the crust (do you remember the part about PDaddy not having much of a stomach anymore?) he will truly enjoy the filling.

And I will truly enjoy watching him truly enjoy the filling.

And then I will promptly eat his crust.

I even went so far as to add some fall touches with the left over crust. Very Martha. Except she probably would have put hers on the pie sooner than I did, because I'm not sure mine got totally cooked.

And because I am an EON (Equal-Opportunity-Nanny) I wanted to show off this very fall-ish picture of Miss Dub during a trip to the apple orchard. Is she not soooo beautiful?

Oh yes ... continuing in my Martha ways I will give you a very Helpful Hint about preparing a flaky pie crust. After you have rolled it out and put it in the pie plate and crimped it like a pro ... stick in in your (self-defrosting) freezer while you prepare the filling. The very purpose of such a freezer is to suck moisture out of the air. Because it sucks some moisture out of your crust, you can add a little more water while preparing it and make it much easier to roll out.

Because ... I love patchwork quilts, but I really hate a patchwork crust.

How about you?

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So ... I hate to beat this GiveAway into the ground ... but it's all I have for now. My package is ready to be mailed to Ginger, but it won't be happening tomorrow (an all day class to teach) and possibly not the next day, either (um ... laziness.) Oh ... I decided to throw in a copy of my pattern. I think you can see why.

In other news: it was in the 70's here yesterday. This is big. Possibly ... Huge. I also try not to beat the whole we-live-in-Arizona-and-it's-hotter-than-Hades-even-in-October thing into the ground. But someone needs to.

Why not me?

Here's Li'l Gee perusing the pumpkin patch where he lives. It's always in the 70's there. He is wearing a sweatshirt. Sigh.

So ... someone tell me something about real ... fall ... weather. Make me smell the cider.

I dare ya.
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Retro Rejoicing!

So ... it's Friday ... finally!! The day I get to put the names into a bowl and come out with ... Ginger's name! Congratulations to Ginger who picked Butterfly #7 and will be the happy recipient of some very happy fabrics. I have seen Ginger's work and I know that my fabrics are going to a good home.

It's not a surprise that the winner's choice was #7 (thirties/retro) because that was also the winning block ... by far! Coming in second was butterfly #4 (two/tone/red/white) and in third place was #5 (kids) because ... well, who doesn't love a happy face in the middle of a butterfly wing.

As you can see, I have been ... playing ... with my butterflies since we last spoke. I cannot tell you how much fun I have had. This has been some of the most fun sewing I have done since ... I last had a lot of fun sewing. I will show off all the blocks eventually (I currently have 7 out of twelve completed) because each one comes to life with a handy/dandy border.

So ... I suppose you are still wondering what I am doing with these. The truth is that they are all going into the same quilt. (What the heck!?!) It will be the sample for a new club I am starting over at Bernina Connection that is just for quilters. I have felt strongly since I started teaching quilting classes that I want to encourage new (and old) quilters to make quilts with the fabrics/styles they choose ... not just like the one in the sample. I'm calling this the Patchwork Pilot Club ... because I hope to teach quilters to fly. No doubt you will be hearing more about this in the future.

Now back to the Kingdom to sew some more. Thanks to you all for participating in the infamous Butterfly Vote.

You guys are the best.
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Register to VOTE!

So ... I have finished all 12 of my butterflies. Each one from a different genre of fabric style. Each one more fun, fun, fun than the last one. Each one from fabrics in The Stash.

Here's the deal: All you have to do is VOTE for your favorite butterfly/style/fabric group. One Comment/One Vote. On Friday (October 10th) I will put those comments/votes into a "hat" and the winner gets a fun stack of fabrics from me in that same, favorite group. Free.

Aah ... butterflies are free afterall.

So ... do you vote for ...

#1: Soft pastels/florals

#2: Bright florals

#3. Solids

#4: Two/tone -- Red/White

#5: Kid Motif -- "I Spy"

#6: Civil War

#7: Thirties/Retro

#8: Pinks/Browns
#9: Batiks

#10: Homespun/Primitive

#11: Black/White/Graphic

#12: Polka Dots
p.s. The actual explanation of this strange group of blocks will come when I announce the winner.
p.p.s. If you haven't actually registered to vote in the actual election, please do so NOW.
p.p.p.s. Admit it ... this is less stressful than the actual election.


Gee Whiz

So ... guess who came to town? The Gee Fam.

A trip to the park ... a ride on the carousel with mommie ...

A snuggle with Nanny ...

A train ride ... a tunnel ... a (momentarily) terrified toddler.

More snuggling.

A good day all around.
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