Wednesday, May 17, 2017

New Quilt Pattern Shop on Etsy

Wow! I can't believe it is so long since I wrote a blog post. 

What I thought was just a virus turned out to be one of those fatigue diseases. I'd just lie on the sofa and think about things to do and then never do anything! Thank goodness for Netflix and Kindle Unlimited. 

Dan and I just got back from a long--4 month--visit at our daughter's and oh what fun we had with our adorable little granddaughter. It certainly got my motor running and me off the sofa!

While there, my daughter and I talked quilts, quilt designs, and patterns. It ended up with her opening an Etsy shop..check it out. MamaNanaPatterns. I'm the  pattern tester :) 

The picture at top is Jitterbug and is lap quilt size and great on a kids bed.

The other pattern is called Tutti Frutti and is a baby quilt and a variation on a postage stamp quilt. A Honey Bun makes it so easy--instructions are included for scraps too.

Its good to be back.

Monday, February 4, 2013

A Meatless Monday Recipe: Shakshuka-Eggs Poached in Spicy Tomato Sauce

 Shakshuka: Poached Eggs in Spicy Tomato Sauce

¼ cup chopped onion
2 Tbls. chopped sweet red pepper (or yellow or green)
2 Tbls. chopped parsley
1 glove garlic chopped
1 hot red pepper or pepper flakes**
1 tsp sugar, optional
1 tsp. olive oil or spray
2 cups canned tomatoes with juice, chopped
1 Tbls. tomato paste
Salt and black pepper (optional)
**How hot and spicy you want your shakshuka to be-very hot: use a whole red pepper and leave it in all the time, medium hot-use a whole red pepper but remove the seeds, mildly hot-saute the hot pepper but don’t cook it in the tomato sauce. I make the mildly hot and then my husband adds some hot pepper flakes or tabasco sauce to his.

  1. Saute onion and pepper.

  1. When the onion and pepper are soft, add the chopped garlic and parsley and sauté for 1 minute. If using the hot pepper, add it with the chopped garlic and parsley.

  1. Remove the hot pepper for mild heat, and add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste, (For a hotter dish, keep the pepper in. Add the sugar if using. Add a shake of salt and pepper

  1. Let the sauce cook about 15-20 minutes covered, Remove the cover for the last five minutes if you see there’s a lot of liquid still.

  1. Crack the eggs, one at a time, into a cup and gently slide them into the sauce. Cover and let the eggs cook a bit to firm up, then gently spoon sauce over the tops. Cook until done.

 Here's how the eggs look as they firm up enough to spoon the sauce on top:

 And here's the dish plated and ready to eat. Serve with bread and salad for a delicious lunch or light supper.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Pride and Prejudice: Happy 200th Birthday

200 years and 10 days ago, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen was first published. Now you all know that it is my and many others favorite book but for those of you who haven't yet read it I though I'd add some links so you finally can and for those of you who know and love it, some links to reread it and for some Regency fun.

You can download the free e-book here or if you would rather listen to Pride and Prejudice you can download this wonderful free audio book read by Elizabeth Klett here. This reading is as fine as any you could pay for.

The English media is just full of fun articles celebrating the 200th's one that I enjoyed-a slightly bizarre review of favorite characters by well known authors and scholars-from The Guardian. 

Even if haven't been to Bath, you can enjoy the Jane Austen Centre  events and bookstore here  That's also where you can read the on line magazine and try out some of the quizzes.  Today, you can listen in on a read-athon

You can purchase  the wonderful BBC mini-series from 1995 starring Colin Firth here at Amazon or watch it for free on You-Tube (it starts here) and I'll even get you started:
Happy Birthday  and thank you Jane Austen.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Some highlights from our trip

We're back from our month long trip to the US...of course, we had a wonderful time with family and friends. I thought I'd share some pix starting with: the grandbabies!
I caught them coloring! That's Ella first and then Mika-they're 22 months old now.

We had so much fun with them in Boston-just hanging out, going to the park, reading them books-you know-doing grandparent things. :)

We spent about a week in Philadelphia and had several outings planned but then I got sick-nothing serious just it put a kibosh on the outings. We did take a one day trip to Washington, DC-our daughter was testifying before a joint Congressional committee on human rights in China! Proud Mama? You bet!
 I finally got to the DAR Museum-every time I've been in Washington, its been closed.
Here's a bad hat hair  picture to prove that I actually finally got there.

 They allow no pictures inside-We saw a wonderful fashion exhibit and some quilts. DH always has my best interests at heart-I saw 2 quilts and thought that was it. He brought over a guide and she showed us how to pull out sliding display doors and there were 6 more quilts! Not one was one of the famous DAR quilts however. :( 

We had a wonderful week in New York with our daughter-we went up to Hyde Park (FDR's home) and just generally enjoyed the snow! I stayed an extra day with her and went to the Metropolitan Museum and my most favorite place: the New York Public Library where I read some Godey's Lady's Book magazines from the 1870s, (See why its one of my favorite places?)

Happy New Year to all...its good to be home.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Butterfly Embroidery Mystery Quilt Flimsy is Done!

I can't tell you how good it feels to be able to write this post's title! I feel like I'm getting back to myself. 
After I got the center of the quilt top assembled-which was handling a bit more weight than just blocks and I had no trouble-I had to think about what I wanted for the border and I knew I would have to rotary cut fabric. LOL! doesn't sound like it should stop me but I was a bit apprehensive-would my left arm be strong enough to hold that ruler straight! I decided I would cut 4 layers of fabric and not 8 as I formerly would have and it worked! So I cut the borders from the white fabric and then squares from the strips that were left over from the center.

I pieced the top/bottom and sides because I had the idea of a 9-patch for the corners...

But once I laid it out on the bed, I didn't like it-I thought there was no point to that being the corner. So I just reworked it-as a sort of 9-patch variant...

But I didn't use 3 little squares for the outside-I cut 2 1/2" x 6 1/2" with a  few extra seams the border looks like I added each border separately (and I must say this way was much faster and much easier to fit that pieced border in.)

I wish I could now just layer this up and see how I do with machine quilting but...we're off to the US on Thursday! Yippee, we'll see our older kids and our sweet little granddaughters! We'll be gone a month so I'll be back in 2013!  (I must say this has been a year with little blogging by me-hope next year goes smoother.) I'm not taking my netbook-I have to worry about how much I'm carrying as it all has to be done with my right arm-so I'll only be able to post from my iPod. 

Happy Hanuka (I've been eating too many jelly doughnuts this week).

A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Progress on the embroidered mystery quilt

I've made some progress on the embroidered mystery quilt. I finished sewing all the setting squares and put them up with the embroidered squares on my - rather clever I think - make shift design wall...I don't know what happened to the flannel I used to use (I think I cut it up for something) so I took a twin sized flannel flat sheet, folded it in half wrong side out and taped it to the wall. 

When I designed the mystery quilt, it was with this layout.

If you squint, can you see the stars? It was a great layout for a mystery quilt with the surprise secondary pattern and the Redwork club participants really liked how their quilts came out. I didn't finish mine because that was just when I got sick with the CMV fact, I missed the last session and had to e-mail Barbie the layout.

Well, I just couldn't resist moving squares around...

and I've decided that I'm actually going to use this layout instead. (Don't tell on me! :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

More exercising going on than sewing

I've been trying to get some sewing done but it hasn't been going that well. My biggest problem is pinning...I'm alright sewing on the sewing machine but pinning is tough. Crazy, huh?

I spend a lot of time exercising. I go to Physical Therapy at least once, sometimes twice a week plus I now go to Hydrotherapy as well. Do you know what that is? I didn't...essentially I just do exercises with a physical therapist in a warm swimming pool. I told Dan I'll feel I've passed if I can actually swim the crawl again-breast stroke wouldn't count. So far, there's been no swimming at all-my feet are always firmly on the bottom.

I also exercise three times a day at home-every day though the exercises change. Thought you might like to see my exercise aids-no Nautilus here.

This is my pulley don't laugh-it actually works. When I first sat in this chair I could barely pull my left arm up to the bottom of the picture frame on the wall. When I reached the top of the picture frame I was ecstatic. Now my arm goes straight up all the way and I do this just as a stretch warm up.

Here's the rest of my high tech equipment. The towel and little swooshy ball are for my elbow and hand really...when I started I told Dan-gee, in the states these balls are soft and swooshy but this is hard. Then I squeezed it with my right hand-ah, swooshy ball-weak hand. My shoulder rests on the towel so my elbow is off the bed as I bend my elbow and squeeze the ball...simple but effective but the pinning problem tells me I'm not stopping this one soon. 
The big green ball also is for my hand (wrist) and elbow-I just roll it on the kitchen table back and forth to straighten the elbow and flex the wrist and then I roll it side to side to turn the wrist in the both directions. I also use it now with my only real exercise equipment -the little 2 kilo (2.2 lb.) weights. I stand against the wall with the ball in the small of my back and raise the weights above my head -the ball keeps me just enough away from the wall to move and still be supported. Other weight exercises-I lift the weight from the kitchen counter and put it on the bottom cabinet shelf...I'm telling you, it is not easy but its working! 

Aren't these physical therapists clever? Here's a shout out to all PTs. Thank you!