A Wednesday Round-up ~ It’s been a while!

Wow…it’s been quite a while since I last blogged. Pop some corn, grab a beer. :)

Quilting & Sewing:

Since I brought my new Brother sewing machine home, I’ve putzed around with it. I’m still learning what it can and can not do, but all in all am getting the hang of it.

1930's HST baby quilt.

1930′s HST baby quilt.

Patch quilt top in the making using Nordika.  I have 1/4 of it sewn together now.

Patch quilt top in the making using Nordika. I have 1/4 of it sewn together now.

I’ve made up a few of these cute totes, modifying a free pattern.

Totes with pencil/crayon slots.

Totes with pencil/crayon slots.

Had one crafting day with friends…another one coming up. We’re gearing up for a November craft fair.

Day of crafting with friends.

Day of crafting with friends.


Made up another batch of mustard! Loving the smell and taste of this one! I used Stone Smoke Porter, yellow & brown mustard seed, apple cider vinegar, ground mustard, salt, pepper, allspice, nutmeg. I adapted two recipes I found (Homemade Beer and English Mustard)…it made up 10 4-oz jars. I plan on making a Cranberry Mustard too.

Spicy Beer Mustard

Spicy Beer Mustard

I was given a bag full of clipped lavender from my MIL’s garden earlier and dried it. Part of it is now in a big old canning jar of local Nevada honey with my own dried rosemary. I’ll be putting this into 4-oz canning jars in about two weeks after it’s been strained.

Lavender Rosemary Honey.

Lavender Rosemary Honey.

Ghost Hunting:

My sister has quite a few ghost hunting equipment and she booked the Miner’s Shack up in Gold Hill (just south of Virginia City on the Comstock). My niece, Hannah, and her friend Maddie, my sister and I all spent an afternoon in VC and the night in Gold Hill. That was fun! Definitely want to go up with them when they do the Washoe Club in VC.

Miner's Shack, Gold Hill, NV

Miner’s Shack, Gold Hill, NV


Yellow Jacket Mill

Yellow Jacket Mill

Fourth Ward School, Virginia City, Nevada

Fourth Ward School, Virginia City, Nevada

Fourth Ward School, Virginia City, Nevada

Fourth Ward School, Virginia City, Nevada

Bottle Tree.

Bottle Tree.

I know my niece, Hannah, took a bunch of photographs, but I never see them…hint, hint…if you’re reading this, Ms. Hannah.



Mackay Mansion grounds.

Mackay Mansion grounds.

Carnelian Bay, Lake Tahoe:

Took a Monday off so we could spend Sunday night up at Tahoe. Spent Sunday at one of the free public beaches and Monday morning we tried kayaking (waterman’s landing). So…I’m saving my money up for a sit-in kayak now. :)

Carnelian Bay from the Gar Woods pier.

Carnelian Bay from the Gar Woods pier.

Kayaking on Lake Tahoe.

Kayaking on Lake Tahoe.



Truckee Trestle Tour:

We finally made it up to Truckee, CA for the Hobart Estates Trestle Tour! They’ll be having another one in October if you’re local! We toured the lumber railroads and mills.

Remains of a flat car near Hobart Mills.

Remains of a flat car near Hobart Mills.

Railroad maintenance shop, Hobart Mills.

Railroad maintenance shop, Hobart Mills.

Lumber railroad trestle remains.

Lumber railroad trestle remains.

More trestle remains.

More trestle remains.

Baseball Bingo:

How to have fun when your minor league team, the Reno Aces (Arizona Diamondbacks), is losing. Sorry guys for wishing one of you got beaned by the pitcher! :)

Baseball bingo!

Baseball bingo!


God-Awful Rim Fire smoke from Yosemite...Reno/Sparks, we can't breathe.

God-Awful Rim Fire smoke from Yosemite…Reno/Sparks, we can’t breathe.

Scheaffer's Balance Blue fountain pen my husband found for me.

Sheaffer’s Balance Blue fountain pen my husband found for me.

Sunrise with a little bit of Rim fire smoke in air.

Sunrise with a little bit of Rim fire smoke in air.

Another Quilt Top Finished Waiting to be Quilted

I’ve had a very lovely Brother Innov-IS NX-800 at Windy Moon Quilts waiting for me to pay her off and take her home. With the help of my dearest friend, APRIL, and me penny-pinching since February, I should be able to bring her home next week!

Brother's Laura Ashley's Innov-IS NX-800

Brother’s Laura Ashley’s Innov-IS NX-800

Which is a good thing as I have FOUR quilt tops that I’ve pieced on my wonderful work-horse, the Singer 301 Long Bed. While I love piecing quilts with the 301, I don’t like quilting with it.

Singer 301 - Mocha Long Bed

Singer 301 – Mocha Long Bed

I finished my latest quilt top last night. I had a lot of 1930 reproduction feed sack fabric squares leftover from the WONKY STAR quilt along so I decided to make them into HST’s (half square triangles).

Diamond/Square Dance

Diamond/Square Dance

I’m just calling it a diamond pattern, but I’ve seen it called Square Dance too. Fun and easy to make. I’ve lots more HST’s left to make another quilt top, been looking at my PINTEREST quilt board trying to decide which design to use next.

Just one more picture to throw at you ~ my quilting partner, Lucy, plumb tuckered out from helping me arrange the HST on the design board.



Holiday Craft Fair ~ Sparks Christian Fellowship ~ November 3rd, 2012

Hey all local folks!

I’ll be sharing a booth with two of my friends this Saturday, November 3rd at Sparks Christian Fellowship’s Holiday Craft Fair.

FREE ADMISSION! Last Sunday we were told there will be over 75 vendors.

9 am to 4 pm.

510 Greenbrae Drive (for all us “oldies” it’s in the old $1 Movie Theatre)
Between Pyramid and 4th Street.

I’ll be having 4 different cold processed soaps; about 6 quilts; lots of leather wrapped bracelets; hammered copper bookmarks; earrings and pendants; made some of my photographs into notecards…my friends have made lots of jewelry (silver, copper, swarovski Christmas trees and snowmen).

We’ll take your hard earned cash and credit cards! :)

For Today ~ 20 August 2012 ~ A Simple Woman’s Daybook

FOR TODAY … 20 August 2012.

Outside My Window…

Reno, Nevada sunrise ~ 20 August 2012

I am thinking… It sure would be nice if autumn would come sooner than later. I’m really tired of the heat and wildfire smoke here in town.

The red maple out front is starting to turn colors.

I am thankful for… Friends. Love them to pieces.

From the kitchen… Pork chops and rice for dinner tonight. One of my favorite dishes that my Great Aunt Hazel would fix my sister and I when we visited.

I am wearing… cropped olive green/tan pants, olive green shirt, and sketchers sandals.

I am creating… I’m multi-tasking at the moment. Just finished another wire-wrapped pendant yesterday. Am still hand-piecing a Farmer’s Wife quilt block.

Wire-wrapped piece of petrified wood.

First pendant…with the copper “antiqued”

I am going… have to start looking for craft fairs coming up! Ruth, Reva and I have been making stuff all year long. I found one in Portola, this October, for $25/table. Need to find some in town.

I am reading… Finished all three stories in Mary Downing Hahn’s Haunting Tales, will have to just close my eyes and pick another book on my nook.

I am hoping… That I my copper wire wrapping becomes better as I really would like to use the silver wire! LOL!

I am hearing… a small plane overhead; traffic on McCarran; me.

Around the house… Laundry.

One of my favorite things… creating with my hands.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week… Try out a few new dinner recipes; buy a good pair of flat-nosed pliers for jewelry making; finish up a few leather wrapped bracelets.

Here is a picture thought I’d share with you… (LOL! I’ve been sharing pics like crazy up above, but will find another)

Spent wildflowers outside of Portola, CA.

What’s Your Favorite Handmade Soap Scent?

A couple of friends and I are busy making up things for an undetermined craft fair (later in the year)…I’m quilting, sewing, printing photographs, and will be making cold-process soap.

Put an order into Brambleberry and received my oils, butters, and lye (figured I can buy olive and sunflower oil here in town).

What’s your favorite smellies for soap?

HINT HINT…I like to make Oatmeal Milk & Honey, Peppermint, and Lavender. But was wondering what other people liked.

Hexagon Dish Towels

Over at In Color Order’s blog I saw a very cool tutorial on embellishing dish/tea towels…and I needed a fast Christmas present!

Since I’ve already had a bunch of 1″ hexie card-stock cut out for my batik Grandma’s Flower Garden quilt, I used them…along with a Lauren & Jessi Jung Flora charm pack cut into quarters.

They’ll be perfect with a jar of my home-made jam!



Craft Challenge using Monastery Windows Pattern

In one of my my crafting groups our Craft Challenge for May/June was to make something with the quilt pattern Monastery Windows.

Originally it was a May Challenge and I was running out of time so I made up 8 of each block and tried my hand at making a pillow. I used two batiks (the pinks) that I got from a quilt show in Portola, CA (Cabin Fever Quilt Show) and a cream (with grey and blue) batik from Windy Moon Quilts here in Reno.

I thought the darker of the pinks would make a great piping around the pillow…only thing, I really hate making anything on the bias, so I cut the fabric for the piping as I would for regular binding thinking I’ll make the bugger curve no matter what! :)

After making the top part I quilted it; sewed on the piping to the front quilted piece; sewed the backing on and left 4″, turned inside out and stuffed it. I used polyester pillow stuffing as it dries faster after washing.

The pattern is great! I will definitely use it to make a lap quilt! Very pretty indeed.

Ok…here is my pillow (I put the pictures through photoshop’s artistic dry brush filter)!

Here’s a link to Sharon’s entry ~ she made an awesome Red/White/Blue quilt! Just LOVE that binding! :)

I know there are a few others that have an entry, but they haven’t posted anything online.

Panorama Sugar Easter Eggs ~ Ready for Easter & Spring!

My family makes these eggs every once in a while…mom started making them WAY BACK to help pay for family vacations. The last time we made the sugar eggs was back in 2008.


Mom and I made them up over the past week or so. The shells are made of sugar, cream of tartar, and water….molded, scooped, and flipped to dry. The flowers and critters are made from royal frosting. There is NO PLASTIC in these, folks! Just the wrapping we used. :)

The larger of the two is almost 5″ in length, we sell those for $15. The smaller of the two is 3″ and they sell for $8.

Roses, wee flowers, daisies, violets, and pansies. Bunnies, swans, and chicks are inside. Some with crosses.

These guys last a long time if kept properly…ie: in a dry place and if you don’t eat them! :) Which by the way, they are totally edible, but come on! Don’t eat them! They’re too pretty!

And BOYS LOVE THESE just as much as girls, folks!

Aubrey & Nissa ~ a garden angel and her bird

My very good friend, April, is a bad influence on me. bad. bad. bad. Are you listening, April? bad! hee!  :P

She showed me a book on Amazon, Scandinavian Stitches, by Kajsa Wikman. Of course I had to get myself a copy.

Once I started flipping through it, a light went off in my head regarding what I can make for the next craft challenge in a group I’m in. March’s challenge was to use recycled materials.

I gathered up an old pillowcase, a table runner, cutter quilt, wee branch/sticks that fell out of our next door neighbor’s elm tree during a wind storm (lots of those lately), some wire I saw next to the out door trash can, and some needles/thread/glue.

Meet Aubrey and Nissa!

I made Aubrey out of the pillowcase, her wings are from the table runner. Her legs and arms are scrap fabric I had in my scrap basket. I used very thin twigs from the elm tree for her hair. Stuffed her with scraps of quilt cotton batting that I have so much of after making quilts.

Nissa was cut from an old wedding ring cutter quilt. More elm twigs for legs. She is also stuffed with cotton batting.

Sweetwater Labels & Patterns

While Moda’s Bake Shop was having a giveaway a while ago, I discovered a blog of a fabric designer that I really liked (sunkissed, pure, authentic, make life…I have some of them all!). Then noticed that they made labels! :) I fell in love with them. Big Sigh.

Some of the labels and patterns I have gotten (missing are the animal ones), I can’t wait to make a bunch of those cute buckets!

Their ETSY shop ~ Sweetwater Scrapbook

Their website ~ Sweetwater

Their Blog ~ Make Life Sweet

Their fabrics.

I had some custom labels made up for a few of my quilts that I just made…and will definitely get more for my future quilts.