For Today ~ 28 October 2009 ~ Simple Woman’s Daybook

FOR TODAY … 28 October 2009

Outside My Window… Cold grey sky…looks like there may be blue trying to peek out. Construction dudes working on the walk way that will be coming through my office soon.

I am thinking… I need a vacation. I don’t want to move my office. I’m tired of jumping through hoops. A wanna Black Rock pizza for lunch today.

I am thankful for… my job (blech)…a roof over my head…my family.

From the kitchen… Not sure. I haven’t made up my mind yet.

I am wearing… grey fuzzy pullover, blue jeans, tennies.

I am creating… Good grief. I’ve made up 70 pair of earrings (sterling, silver plated, gold plated, and surgical steel)…14 Christmas market totes, 36 soy candles (so far)…I’m gearing up for a craft fair that’s being held on 11/07/09.

I am going… to go to lunch pretty dang quick here!

I am reading… nothing…too tired at bed time.

I am hoping… My constant wish ~ That everyone that is looking for a job, finds one.

I am hearing… One of my faculty moving stuff around for the move, another cussing out their computer…construction bangs and beeps…me typing.

Around the house… beads, wire, fabric, canning jars.

One of my favorite things… warm gooey pizza.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week… continue planning our office move; make more candles; finish the market totes.

Here is a picture thought I’d share with you…



The Simple Woman is the original home of The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Pictorial Musings from WPRR & Ferrari Farms

Having a bad week…so today I’m going to just post some pictures. A few from up in Portola at the WPRR Museum and then some of last Saturday’s walk around Ferrari Farms in Reno.











1951 Singer 301 ~ My Newest Sewing Machine

Last week my newest sewing machine came…the one to replace my beloved Janome 6500, RIP.

My dear friend, April, was able to negotiate the deal for me with an eBay seller, niftythriftgirl, over the weekend the Genoa Candy Dance was on (I don’t have internet access at home…nor when I’m out and about 🙂 ) She bought it and I paid for it…a week or so later my pretty little mocha Singer was at my door step.

She’s a Singer 301 Sewing Machine ~ Mocha ~ Long Bed ~ Feed Dog Drop ~ Slant Shank for improved needle visibility ~ Light Weight (about 5 pounds more than the Feather Weight) ~ Comes with a great carrying case ~ Gear Driven…no belts ~ Built-in Fold down Handle ~ Front Mounted light ~ Great for Quilters with the free-motion capability.

I’m really happy with this machine! Extremely happy with the seller and the awesome packaging job they did.




I have a 1951 Singer 99-13 for sale should anyone want it! $75 if you’re in the Reno-Sparks area. Works great, comes with original wooden dome carrying case & key, foot pedal, and some of it’s attachments, bobbins, and footsies.


Portola, Ca ~ Western Pacific Railroad Train Museum

We like to go up to Portola and Sierra Valley quite a bit…and I always see something new at the Western Pacific Railroad Museum to take pictures of. Even though it’s probably the same thing I saw before, just in a different light.

So bear with me…going to post more photos of the area that I took on 11 October 09.

First three photographs are taken just east of Portola on the middle fork of the Feather River…dropped my husband off there and he rode his bike along the path to the train museum where by then, I was walking around waiting for him.

The rest are from the Western Pacific Railroad Museum…at the rail yard. You’ll probably figure out that I like textures.

Vinton – Chilcoot Cemetery ~ Sierra Valley, CA

We have a favorite area that we like to take rides up to ~ Sierra Valley (Chilcoot, Loyalton, Sierraville) and then on over to Portola, Ca.

I’ve driven by the Vinton-Chilcoot Cemetery a gazillon times, but have never stopped…that is until last Sunday.

There are some beautiful carved statues on some of those tombstones…thought I’d share. The place is dedicated to the Swiss-Italian Dairymen that settled the Sierra Valley in the mid-1800’s.



I absolutely LOVE this statue…she’s beautiful!





So is this pretty wee angel ~



Finished a May 2009 Birthday Quilt…

Ok…so it’s a bit late! But we finally finished my sister’s crazy quilt that we started last December.

I had a furlough day yesterday so I brought breakfast over to mom’s and we started in on hand sewing the binding on.

Here is it is….the blocks are 14″ square. Fabrics are from clothes of my sister’s, mine, mom’s, my sister’s two kiddos, new fabrics, raw silk, wedding gown lace, family plaid, grandma’s hankies, doilies, embroidery work, ribbons and lace.


Jelly ~ Beautiful Autumn Grape Jellies!

I was busy making jelly Friday night and Saturday afternoon…using up all of that grape juice I made from my sister’s and neighbor’s grapes.

Beautiful Autumn colored jellies ~ no?

(Grape Jellies clockwise from top left: lemon & ginger, pomegranate, apple cider, red grape)

Here’s the finished product ~ 10 1/2 pints and 4 pints of red grape jelly; 9 1/2 pints of grape with lemon & ginger; 8 1/2 pints of grape & apple cider; and 8 1/2 pints of grape & pomegranate. I also made 6 1/2 pints of red raspberry wine jelly and 8 1/2 pints of carrot cake jam (this time I added more yummy spices).


Carrot Cake on top…raspberry wine on the bottom.

Basic recipe I used for the grape jellies ~ bring to boil 5 cups of homemade grape juice (1/2 grape and 1/2 other juice with the others) with one box of pectin, once at a rolling boil add 6 cups of sugar. Once you’re at a rolling boil again…stir for 1 minute (but here in Sparks, NV I found TWO MINUTES is better). Scrap off foam and pour into prepared canning jars. Can in water bath for your altitude. 20 minutes for me 4500 feet.

Grapes ~ Grape Juice ~ Soon to be Grape Jelly

My sister brought me two big bags of green grapes from her back yard yesterday…and the day before I picked one grocery bag full of reddish-purple grapes from my neighbor’s back yard (yes, he knows I was there…he’s expecting some jelly when he gets back!).

Last night I washed them off and picked them from their clusters put them into my big stainless steel pot, put in enough water to almost cover them.


Bring it to a boil and then simmer for about 10 minutes, slightly covered. I smash them while they’re boiling, then put the lid on during the simmering part.

Then off to the strainer/sieve they go to drip into a bowl for about 1-2 hours.



I didn’t have the time to go from this part to making the jelly, so I put the juice into quart jars and then into the refrigerator.

I got 3 quarts of juice from the red grapes and 4 quarts of juice from the green grapes. I’ll strain the juice one more time before making jelly…will put some cheesecloth in the strainer then pour the quart jars into it.


Craft in America ~ PBS

On Wednesday nights I usually watch Ghost Hunters but for some reason I clicked on PBS instead…am very glad I did!

CRAFT IN AMERICA ~ a journey to the artists, origins and techniques of American craft.

We have a deep sense of longing for the handmade. Perhaps because each of us, in our own way, has had a craft experience. Sometimes it’s an object passed down to us, or one that crosses our path, and connects us to others in traditions, heritage, and rituals.

Craft gives pleasure as well as function. It is inspirational as well as useful. It is the best representation of who we are as a culture. Craft is democratic. It is broad enough to accommodate anyone who makes something or appreciates the handmade. Craft is all around us. You’ll find it wherever you look – hiding in plain sight.

Craft in America offers you a place to explore these connections and to inspire your own creativity – through the PBS documentary series and this website. Join us on this voyage of discovery.

Last night my local PBS channel, KNPB, was showing Episode IV: Origins ~ “Craft traditions didn’t just appear, fully-formed and mature. Artists tie their work to early techniques and pass these practices on in a continuum of creativity”.

They showcased the following:

Jugtown Pottery in Seagrove, NC. The history of Jugtown and followed the main potters there now, Vernon & Pam Owens and their son Travis Owens.

Philip Simmons ~ a renowned blacksmith in Charleston, SC. Very fascinating! I love the iron work.

Teri Greeves ~ a beadwork artist, who is half Kiowa, and lives in Santa Fe, NM. I loved her story.

Jim Bassler ~ a weaver inspired by ethnic textiles, especially Central and South American.

Paul J. Stankard ~ a glass artist from Mantua, NJ. Using European lampwork techniques to form botanical paperweights. He even adds root systems to his flowers.