Monday, November 13, 2017

I Made More Hanging Dish Towels.

I've got a deadline which is Turkey Day so I have been crocheting more oven door hanging towels.

Here are just a couple of them.  I bring several pairs with me to Turkey Dinner to give to the other guests as their pre-Xmas d├ęcor gift for this season.  Most folks like getting them.  They are very useful and they are cute as well.

I can't believe it folks, we are getting snow.  Its the first snow of the season here in southwestern Maine.  I just don't want to see it this early.  Our winters last much too long as it is with Dec., Jan, Feb, and into March for sure.  They told us rain today, not snow.  What other job in the world can you be wrong so often and still keep your cushy and well-paid position.   It must be great to know that no matter how many times you get it wrong,  you are safe in your job.

Have a Good Day.

Friday, November 10, 2017

"Iris in Season" WH is Completed

I started this quite some time ago, many months in fact.  I just finished it today.
This measures 20.5 by 26.5 inches.  In the lower right in the picture you can see my corgi, Penny, lying on her blanket keeping watch.

Here's a closer view of Iris in Season.

Now with my slate clean, I can begin my Xmas and Winter Wall Hangings.  I have some rather cute ones drawn out which I can begin this weekend.  I am also crocheting Xmas hanging dish towels for T-Day gifts when I go to dinner.

Have a nice Day.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Guardian Goat Gargoyle Comes to My House

In checking my ancestry, I learned that gargoyles were placed on Lithuanian housetops to guard homes from evil.  Their scary features were meant to scare away any evil creatures coming to do harm in a home.  Being of Lithuanian descent, they are part of my history.

My Father came to America from Lithuania in the early 1900s and served in the U.S. Army, earning a medal at the Second Battle of the Marne.  His brother and sister also emigrated from Lithuania.  My Mother was born in America, but both her parents came from Lithuania as well.  So you see, gargoyles are in my past on both sides of my family.  Also amber in a unique gemstone from my ancestry and I will be looking to add that to my ancestral collection soon.

For now, meet my latest acquisition.  He's a cast iron, winged, half man, half goat, Guardian Goat Gargoyle.
I named him Gamma Ramma, my guardian goat against evil.  He sits in my window since I have no way of putting him on my rooftop, but he can look out into the world and protect me from evil doers from his post.  I think he's rather handsome.  I also like goats in general, so I'm happy to add him to my household.

Its a cold evening here in Maine.  I will be sitting, cozy and warm, with cotton dish towels on my lap and crocheting happily tonite making inroads in my stash of Holiday gifts.

Have a Nice Evening.

I Finished Two Turkey Wall Hangings

Its nice to have these finished.
This Wall Hanging, Turkey Duo, measures 13 by 15 inches.  Just right for my front door.

This one, Turkey in Colors, measures 13.5 by 15 inches and will share space on the front door in between the others.  I think a week at a time is sufficient for each of them.

Tho I have another floral one ready to layer, pin, and quilt and bind, I will not finish it today.  I am also deciding which pattern I want to use for my Xmas wall hangings.  I keep changing my mind.  I have so many of them drawn out and no time for them all this year.

I shopped yesterday and bought over half a dozen more dish towels, these in Xmas scenes, so I will be working on those to get ready for T-Day when I will give them out to those that share the T-Day dinner so they can use them up to and including Xmas Day this year.

Its a cold one today, only in the low 40s today with the nites being below freezing now.  Brrrrr, winter is right around the corner for us this year, I think.

Have a good day.

Monday, November 6, 2017

I Worked On Wall Hangings Today

I finished Turkey in the Marigolds on Oct 19th but didn't care for the eye so I bought some wiggly eyes and added one.  He's much cuter.
The eye makes him more alive.   This one is 13.5 by 14.5 inches finished.

I also worked on my two other turkey wall hangings.
I finished the satin-stitching around my Turkey Duo today.  I will add wiggly eyes to these as well.

This one I veered from my usual more traditional style.  I made this one colorful.  This is Turkey in Colors and it, too, has been satin-stitched at this point.
I have to rest now.
I find that I can work at my sewing machine about two hours.  After that, I can push myself a little more, but I get an awful aching back when I do.  I find its not worth it.  I have plenty of time to finish a few more Holiday wall hangings before the Holidays.  I want to work on snowmen and penguins once I finish quilting these above.

This evening I'll be back to crocheting another pair of hanging dish towels while I watch TV.

Have a Nice Day.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Fall Harvest Dish Towels Done

I wanted something that said fall, without being specifically Thanksgiving and found these cute Harvest Pumpkin dish towels.  I made myself the first pair and hung them on my oven door.
I even used my signature honey bee buttons for them.  I really like these.  I will put up the ones with roosters closer to Thanksgiving since I could not find anything with turkeys on them.

Have a good day.

I Sewed Today, Working on WHs

I thought it was time for me to get cracking on T-Day wall hangings.  Today I made inroads.

I finished "Cornucopia" today.  Its small, but perfect for hanging on my front door at 9.5" by 11" so I'm content.   Now I have two T-Day wall hangings finished so I can switch them around each week.

This one is "Turkey Duo" which is larger and its all tacked down but lots more stitching needed before its complete.  The background fabric is chicken wire.

And I've wanted to do something about my beloved pet, Penny.  I'm making a portrait of her as well.   I also love the color turquoise, so the background fits perfectly.  Here it is tacked down at this point.  I will work on it in between T-Day and Xmas projects.

Right now my back is aching.  Sewing does that.  I must sit awkwardly at my machine and bending forward to look closely at my work doesn't help solve the aching problems.  For now I will rest up a bit.  Its a dark and gray day today anyway and the lighting by my machine isn't really bright for close work.  The lamps I have do not do the trick.  So rest and TV and a good book are on my menu this afternoon

Have a good day.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Tuna Fish for Sandwiches.

I like very little seafood, but canned tuna is one of my favorites for sandwiches.  I don't like chunks of tuna, so I flake mine.  I also only use solid white tuna or albacore.

1     4 oz.. can Albacore Tuna Fish, water packed, drained in the can
1     Stalk Celery, finely chopped
1/4 to 1/3 of a  Medium -sized Yellow Onion, finely chopped.
2     Tablespoons Mayonnaise (or Salad Dressing, if you prefer)
1-2  teaspoons lemon juice, if desired
Salt and Pepper to taste

When you open a can of tuna, the solid white and the albacore, are one solid piece, not like above.  I have already started the flaking process on my can of tuna.
I like to flake my tuna.  Chunks are not to my liking.
To flake it, just take the tines of a salad or dinner fork and scrape it over the tuna in the can.  Keep scraping it across the tuna so it flakes.

You keep flaking it until it looks like you want it.

Place your finely chopped onion and celery in a bowl.  Scrape your tuna in the bowl now.
Add your lemon juice if you are using it, plus your salt and pepper to taste.  Mix it all up.

If you want more green, you can add some lettuce or whatever greens you prefer.
Add your mayo and stir to incorporate it all together.
Cover and refrigerate.

I enjoy this spread on toasted white or wheat bread and also on toasted hot dog rolls or stuffed into small sandwich rolls for a party.

Have a Nice Weekend!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Mash Right Potatoes

I am a meat and potatoes gal and one of my favorite type of potato is mashed.  I detest any gluey taters and I don't like lumps and clumps in my potatoes.  These come out right every time.

You will need several peeled Russet potatoes.  They have the right amount of starch to make them smooth and with a perfect texture.

Russet Potatoes
1 Tablespoon Salt
1/2 C or more of warmed Half and Half (or liquid you desire)  Half and Half and milk combo, a touch of Sour Cream, Cream and Milk combo, the choice is yours.
4-7 Tablespoons Butter, depending on how may potatoes you make. (I use about 4 T. with 4-5 med. to lg. Russets but add more if you really like butter).
Salt and Pepper to taste for flavoring

Slice your taters lengthwise, than cut them at an angle across.

They are sliced to about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in size, or thereabouts.

Rinse and place in a saucepan with 1 Tablespoon salt, with water just covering the tops.

Here are some of the tools you'll need.  Do NOT use an electric mixer, hand or stationery.  It will change the chemistry of the potatoes.  You need to mash them then use a whisk to finish them off.

I found that a sharp paring knife was my best friend.  Stick the point into some of the taters and if it slides in easily to the center and beyond, the taters are done.
Bring taters to a boil, then lower to medium and cook til taters are tender.

Drain your taters in a colander than return them to the same pan.  Its still warm.  If you have an electric stove, your burner will still be hot which is perfect.  Place your pot on it and stir the taters with a wooden spoon so they can dry out, releasing the moisture as much as you can.  Its the moisture in the taters than makes pasty taters.

As the taters dry on the burner, break up the taters with your wooden spoon.  It will make mashing them later, easier.  Just break up the larger pieces.  Keep stirring to release the moisture.

I don't like to mash in my saucepan because I don't want to scratch it, so I use a mixing bowl.  Place the bowl on your burner to warm it a bit before transferring your taters from your pan.  If you mash in your pan, the bowl is not needed.  You mash in the pan as well.

Now you add the butter to your taters.  You also need to add salt and pepper to your taste. 
Think of your bowl as a clock.  At the noon point, start with your masher and press down at every hour going around the 'clock' about 2 or 3 times.  This will assure you of getting rid of the lumps.

When your taters feel lump-free, go to the next step.

Heat your liquid (I like Half and Half best) til warm.  Add to the taters and using a whisk, whisk the taters and liquid together a little at a time.  Add more liquid as you whisk.

When it feels to your liking (some of us like it thinner and smoother and others like it smooth but thicker), you can taste it.

That first spoonful should be smooth and creamy, no lumps, no gluey/pasty taste.  Now is the time to add more salt or pepper if you feel you need it.

Place taters in a serving bowl and serve as is, or with gravy.  Both ways are Greattttt!
Place leftovers in  a covered bowl and refrigerate.  They'll stay nice for a couple of days.  If they feel a bit dry just add a touch of milk and stir it in to make it more creamy.

Have a good day.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween Comes to Our Building

We wanted to share in the Halloween tradition this year so we set up a couple of card tables and bought candy for the kids.  There was a lot.
Some dressed for it and some just wanted to view the kiddies.

Our two tables were well-laden with goodies.

Mmmmm such good flavors abound.

We had about a dozen and a half during our stay in the lobby.

They had to be lassoed because they weren't used to having candy from this bunch of old fogeys.

I roped in the first group.  I was walking my Penny and saw the kids across the road coming out of their house so I shouted across the road to come and see us for lots of candy.  The 3 came bringing the first smiles from our group.  Unfortunately, I did not yet have my camera so have no pics of the first gang.
Our Zombie did a good job of lassoing others.  I brought down my two battery camping lanterns that have a flashing feature and our resident Zombie went outside carrying her doggy skeleton and flashed down a couple of cars going by to bring in the kids.  They'll remember for next year.

We had little kids and big kids and enjoyed them all.  Maybe next year they will remember us and bring along some friends.

When we shut down for the nite, we had our pizza delivered for a Pizza Party for us in the Gathering Room.  We even shared the leftover candy among us and there was plenty left.  It was a fun time and brought a smile to all of us.

Happy Halloween to all of you.
See you again soon. 

Monday, October 23, 2017

I'm Crocheting Hanging Towel Gifts

Since I give them out on T-Day so they can be used during the Xmas Season, I am making more Xmas hanging dish towels.  These can be hung over the oven door or on the refrigerator doors.  I use them both ways.
The theme on these towels are Xmas trees, so I did a pair in red crochet tops with green buttons.......

...and a pair of Xmas tree towels with green crocheted tops with red buttons.   I will make another two pairs with these colors as well.

I really want to buy some with different Xmas scenes this week.  I don't have many with Xmas as a theme yet.  I also want to get some with roosters which I can use for a T-Day theme.  I have a pair of them made which I really like.

Shopping for candy-making supplies is also on my list this week.  I have fudgy wreaths on my candy list and Italian wine cookies along with chocolate and peanut butter fudges, with and without nuts. Of course, peanut butter balls are on that list so I hope to find red and green colored sugars to dust them.   I am eager to enjoy my cooking this year in my new apartment.  Its cozy and I feel so good about living here that I enjoy my days so much more.

Have a good day.  Hugs, S

Thursday, October 19, 2017

I'm Working on "Cornucopia" for My 2nd T-Day Wall Hanging

There isn't much I can think of for patterns for T-Day except Turkeys and Cornucopias.  This is my version of the latter......
I guess the lighting wasn't right because the cornucopia is in a beige print, not this color and what looks like blue is light green.  Its tacked down only and not satin-stitched at all at this point.  I'll make sure I have it in better lighting when I finish it so you can see the true colors.

Have a nice day.

I Finished "Turkey in the Marigolds" Wall Hanging.

Yes, my first T-Day wall hanging is finally done.
Here he is, at 13.5" by 14.5 inches he's suitable to hang on my door.  The colors aren't exactly as I thought they would be so my next turkey wall hanging will have brighter colors.
As you can see, my signature fairy (upper left corner) and a honey bee button (lower right range in the flowers) are added to make it complete.

I drew several Xmas patterns the last few days and among them are Xmas mice, penguins, and snowmen.  I even drew a corgi dog which I want to hang on my door between times when a Holiday is not looming.  The color pattern will look much like my Penny.

Have a nice day.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

I Made Some Oven-Door Hanging Dish Towels.

I had to wait around today for the maintenance fellow to drop in and remove my air conditioner from my living room window.  I felt I could not get deep into my sewing so instead I made another pair of hanging dish towels.  I made a pair yesterday in the evening and had out my yarn and needles and such, so thought its a good time to make more.
This is from yesterday the ones with apples on them.

Today I did these......
The theme is olives.

I like to have a stash ready in case I have company or for gift-giving at Thanksgiving so they can use them during the Holidays.

Nice sunny day here in southern Maine, in the high 70s.  I put on my big fan in the living room after the a/c was removed.  I know I will be using it probably into December, this and the big one in my bedroom.  This apt. is very warm, probably because I'm between the 1st and 3rd floors.  I also have windows open in both rooms  this evening.

Have a good evening.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

I Did A Little Sewing Today.

I sort of felt a bit guilty for not getting back to my projects, so today I made an effort to sew again.

I finally got back to Flowers in Season which I haven't touched for several months.  It will be a good one for next spring because the flowers are Iris and Roses, so I have plenty of time to finish it.
I'm back to satin-stitching down the pieces and made good headway.

This one is Turkey in the Marigolds.  I had this lovely marigold fabric I could use for the background.  Mr. Turkey is tacked down so tomorrow the satin-stitching can begin.

I took a break but came back after a short rest to satin-stitch my turkey but also to add my signature fairy in the background.  I like to add a fairy or a honey bee to my work.

Right now I have an aching neck from working on my sewing machine.  It needs rest and some exercise to make it feel better.  I won't be sewing again til tomorrow.

Today is such a lovely day in southern Maine.  Temps in the 60sF with sunshine and a lovely breeze off the river making it such a pleasure to sit outside in the back garden and just enjoy the day.

Have a good one yourselves.   Hugs, S

Friday, September 29, 2017

"Ghost Under a Full Moon" is finished.

Voila!  The last of my Halloween wall hangings is done for this year.

Ghost Under a Full Moon measures 11.5" by 16 inches.  I really love ghosts for Halloween and also black cats.

Its been a lovely day in the high 60s and sunny.  Last nite it got rather chilly.  I went out this morning dressed in a quilted light winter jacket and it was perfect.   I think we dropped into the high 40sF last nite.  A long-sleeved corduroy shirt would have been too light.  Penny and I enjoyed a brisk morning walk.

The week looks like more of the same and I see many brown leaves have fallen over the lawn.  I expect we will have our usual fall colors bursting around Columbus Day, October 10th.  Fall is so lovely here in Maine every year.

Have a nice day.