Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Where did 2013 go?

It's been just a year ago that we were ringing in 2013. Now it's GONE! It went by SO FAST! Time for reflection and planning for a new year. Can you believe it?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I can't believe Christmas is here already! Lots and LOTS of things I didn't get accomplished for Christmas. It's a VERY busy time of year. Sometimes TOO busy! Whatever doesn't get done.....Oh well.

It's time to celebrate the birth of Christ and to gather with friends and family (which of course includes our pets). So here's hoping you have a joyous Christmas!

Happy Christmas!


Saturday, December 21, 2013

The First Day of Winter

It's the first day of winter. I have to tell you though, After the FRIGID temps we had at the beginning of December, I kind of feel like winter has already been here!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Gift Baskets Made Easy

My hubby and I always give gift baskets to some of our neighbors. We REALLY appreciate our neighbors. They are people who you can always depend on.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Cranberry Bog Bark

I thought I'd share one of my favorite quick-to-make holiday candy recipes. I got this recipe from a co-worker YEARS ago and I make it every year around the holidays. It is SO YUMMY!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Last Minute Hat Pattern

Let me start by saying I'm running WAY behind on the whole Christmas gift making thing. I've pretty much given up thinking I'll get any sort of knitting project finished before Christmas. There's basically only 10 good knitting days left. That's not enough for me.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Spiced Cranberry Jam


It's our first snowy day of the season. I decided I wanted to make up some of this yummy sounding Cranberry jam from The Self Sufficient Home Acre. I thought it would be a nice addition to the gift baskets we make for our neighbors. I also thought it would be very good to substitute the cranberry jam for the apple butter in these Apple Butter Bars. I hope to try this, but, I've gotta get the cranberry jam made first!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you all have a wonderful day full of food, family & friends, football and all the beauty of the fall season!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Festive Holiday Stocking Cap

It's OFFICIALLY Christmas tree selling season. I know. I know. Thanksgiving isn't even here yet. Still, I received Christmas trees at work on Monday. I've been wanting to make a festive holiday hat to wear while selling Christmas trees for a while now. I decided THIS was the year!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Apple Butter Bars

I don't know what it is about fall and baking. They just seem to go together. I made these Applebutter Bars the other day and they were So-o-o-o good! I thought I would share the recipe with you (in case you wanted to do a little fall baking of your own).

Monday, November 4, 2013

Getting Organized!

Even though I didn't have enough maple leaf blocks to complete the quilt top yet......I began sewing the blocks together. I really didn't have a plan when I started this quilt top. I had bought 2 yards of the leaf fabric to incorporate into the quilt somehow....just wasn't sure how? I thought about setting the blocks in vertical stripes with stripes of the leaf fabric between. But, then, I saw a scrappy quilt set like this. Pieced block next to fabric block, set on the diagonal.....LOVED it! I had JUST enough fabric to cut the blocks/triangles for the size I was planning! I think it's turning out pretty good for having NO PLAN!

Friday, November 1, 2013

"Quick" Gifts to Knit

WHAT?!?!? The 1st of NOVEMBER! Only 54 days until Christmas.....WHERE did this year go? BUT......don't panic, I have a few "quick knit" gift ideas for you!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Cookies

I did a little more fall baking! Yum! I still had some canned pumpkin left over from the Pumpkin Cranberry Bread. What should I do with it? I had a craving for Oatmeal cookies.......H-m-m-m-m-m.....

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

I've been enjoying the colors or fall SO MUCH! Aren't these aspens GORGEOUS?!?! If that's not enough fall color for you......take a look at the leaves of the strawberries in the garden.

SPECTACULAR! Wouldn't you agree? All this fall goodness made me feel like baking!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A "Scant 1/4-inch"

HOW do I not know these things? I'm about to share with you my most recent discovery. It's called a "scant 1/4-inch". Of course, I had HEARD of a "scant 1/4-inch". It wasn't until recently that I truly understood it though!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Waves of Grain Hat

I think I've mentioned that I had been working on a few projects. Well, this is one of them. May I introduce the Waves of Grain Hat. I needed to make a hat for a project, so, I turned to my stitch pattern book and found the PERFECT stitch pattern.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Planting Blooms for Spring

It's been a few weeks since I've had a blog post. I believe I mentioned in this post about how crazy October is for me. Well, it REALLY has been. Despite October, I have been getting some stuff done.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Lined Gift (or Project?) Bags

As I was making the (pink ribbon) project bag for the contest prize, I decided the bag would also make a cute gift bag. Unfortunately, Christmas is NOT that far away! EEK! Time to get crafting!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Pink Squares for the Cause

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. We at JCCF normally knit and crochet blocks to make blankets for injured cowboys and cowgirls. Last month though, we began knitting and crocheting our 12" blocks in shades of pink to make some blankets to be raffled off for funds for Breast Cancer Research.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Rainy, Blustery Fall Day

The weather was like this today. Actually, it was worse than this. I just didn't go out when it was pouring down rain or when the wind was gusting. I had a whole list of garden chores I wanted to get done. Irises to divide. A tree that needed planting. Weeding. Cleaning up the vegetable garden. Oh well! It seemed like a good day to stay in and get some inside stuff done!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Assembly Line Maple Leafs

It's starting to feel like fall! My ABSOLUTE favorite time of the year! There's a crispness in the air. The leaves are beginning to turn to brilliant shades of reds, golds, and oranges. This has inspired me to get back to making Maple Leaf Blocks.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

New & Shiny

Let me begin by saying, I've been accused (by several people now) of being attracted by new & shiny. I'm not totally denying that, it's probably part of the reason I lose interest in projects halfway through. BUT. I also am a practical person. For instance, I've sewn on the same sewing machine for 34 years (OW! that was hard to write!)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Knit or Crochet Pink Squares for Breast Cancer Awareness

Even though October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, we at Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund (or JCCF) are knitting/crocheting pink squares in September to make into a blanket (maybe two?) that we will donate to be raffled to raise funds for research.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Easy to Grow Perennials-Yarrow


Another easy to grow perennial is Yarrow (Achillea). The variety above is Paprika. Don't you just LOVE the variety of colors in this plant. It starts out as a beautiful coppery red color then fades to the coral/tan shades. BEAUTIFUL!

Friday, August 16, 2013

What to do with all that Zucchini?

Is your zucchini (or maybe a neighbor's or friend's) starting to take over your kitchen? What CAN you do with it?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Faux Isle - Free Pattern

This has to be one of my favorite techniques. It's the EASY way to do colorwork. Here's the basics....combine a Self-striping yarn (or variegated) with a contrasting solid color yarn.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Magic Self-Striping Yarn

I found this yarn on clearance the other day. Because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it and it was on CLEARANCE, I bought a few skeins. Aren't the colors AMAZING (get it)? I have about 420 yards of two different colorways. Now, I just have to come up with the perfect project.....H-m-m-m-m-m.....what will it be?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

July Block of the Month CAL for JCCF

Over at Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund (JCCF) we've been hard at work crocheting blocks to make blankets for injured rodeo cowboys/cowgirls in our first Block of the Month Crochet-a-long (CAL). July's block actually ended in a tie. That means there were TWO blocks to choose from to crochet.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Canning Berries

Last fall, I canned the blackberries I picked. I usually freeze them. I was running low on freezer space though, and canning seemed like a good alternative. It was the PERFECT solution! When I needed berries for a recipe, I just opened a jar, drained, and I was ready to go. No thawing. No chiseling the frozen berries apart because I FORGOT to thaw. I LOVED it! There's really nothing like opening a jar of fruit on a winter day. It's like getting a tiny taste of summer.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Easy to Grow Perennials- Beebalm

Continuing on with my list of Easy to Grow perennials. We're moving on to Beebalm (Monarda). Also known as Bergamont or Oswego Tea

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Easy to Grow Perennials-Catmint

I wanted to share some of my favorite, easy to grow perennials with you. These are plants that despite the gardening challenges I have (deer, rodents, rabbits, cold winters/spring, short growing season, etc.) they not only grow, but THRIVE!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Thanks Simply Notable Group

Let me start by saying, the Simply Notable Group gets me into all kinds of trouble. Whatever KAL, monthly goals, mini swap, , or What's flew into your queue they post. I, somehow, end up right in the middle of it. How does this happen?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy July 4th!

That's right.....it's the 4th of July already! Can you believe it?!?!?! To celebrate, our JCCF group decided to make our afghan blocks in patriotic colors. Above is the yarn colors I chose.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Only 174 Crafting Days until Christmas!

Yesterday (July 2, 2013) was the halfway point of the year. That's right 182 days.....gone! What does that mean to knitters, crocheters, quilters, seamstresses and crafters everywhere? ONLY 174 crafting days left until CHRISTMAS!
It's time to find the perfect patterns to get crafting for gift giving. To get us started.....may I present the Calorimetry.

It's the cutest headband. Shaping with short rows give it that perfect taper for the back. Knits up SUPER fast. It's the perfect quick project for any female on your list. If you get started now, imagine how many of these you could get knit up!

Friday, June 28, 2013

.....Plan B

We just returned from a camping trip in the eastern Oregon desert. Once again, the Leave No Trace Principles came into play. This time, principle #1.....Plan ahead and prepare.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Leave No Trace

It's that time of year. Summer camping, hiking and in our case, trail riding. Yesterday, we spent several hours cleaning up this mess. This just boggles my mind. How on earth could anyone leave all this junk out in the forest?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

How to get FREE Plants from your Garden

I can hardly wait until summer and my garden looks like this! Right now though, things are in the growing phase. As I weed, I'm also looking for free plants.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Man's Best Friend

Tiel came to live with us 3 years ago. She's a 7 year old Lab/Border Collie mix. She LOVES to play in the snow.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Slow-Cooker Yogurt

When I first learned how EASY homemade yogurt is to make, I just couldn't believe it (see this post)! Where had I been all these years? Then, to make things even easier, I found this tutorial to make yogurt in a slow-cooker. GENIUS!

Friday, May 3, 2013

How to Grow Onions/Shallots

Don't ask me why I haven't gotten any planting done before yesterday. It's not like I've been getting a lot of knitting/crocheting/sewing/quilting/house cleaning done. The weather has been beautiful for MOST of April. For whatever reason though....nothing. Not one thing planted. That is, until yesterday.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

How to Grow Potatoes

The weather here in eastern Oregon has been FABULOUS! Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to get ANYTHING planted......Until today!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Oatmeal Mix Pancakes

If you notice.....these pancakes are not perfectly round. I think the mix might have something to do with that. I'm SURE it's not the COOK! Anyway,  here's another simple recipe using the Oatmeal Mix.  Serve with fruit or your favorite syrup for a YUMMY hearty breakfast.

Monday, April 8, 2013

EASY Fruit Crisp


Our first recipe for the Oatmeal Mix is a SUPER easy & quick Fruit Crisp. I used some frozen peaches that I put up last summer. You can use canned fruit also. You could probably even use fresh fruit (maybe adding a little minute tapioca or cornstarch to thicken) and your favorite sweetener.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Oatmeal Mix

It's "thyme" for another "Thyme-saving" mix. Oatmeal Mix. You're going to LOVE this mix! Very versatile.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Dyeing More Yarn

All right, I'll admit it. Dyeing yarn has become somewhat of an obsession lately. I'm just shopping for solid cream colored yarns these days. I don't even look at colored yarn anymore. Okay, that's not really accurate. After all, yarn is yarn. You HAVE to at least look at it!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Breakfast Casserole

Easter is almost here, so I thought I would share one of my FAVORITE breakfast/brunch recipes. You can prep this the night before and pop in the oven Easter morning. YUMMY!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Dyeing yarn for Easter

Easter is on it's way and look what I've found......Easter egg dyes!!! (this post will explain my excitement) Am I gonna dye eggs? NOPE, I'm gonna dye YARN!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Tropical Banana Nut Bread

I've adapted one of my favorite Banana Nut Bread recipes to use the Sweet Bread Mix. I love how the mix speeds up the prep time in a recipe. Oh, sure, you have the time spent making the mix. That time is so -o-o-o-o worth it to me!
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