Saturday, August 10, 2019

Random Notions - Sharing a Cake Recipe

A quick note - I haven't been around for awhile because I have a sick cat. I am doing everything I can to save her and she is looking better. Fingers crossed.

But I did want to pop in here and share a cake recipe my Aunt Frances gave to me a really long time ago - she has been gone since about 2013, I think. I had the cake many times at her house - it was her go-to recipe, and I thought I would share it with the world. It really is a good cake, and I copied it exactly as she had written it over 60 years ago:

Jiffy Cake
From a TV show in Fontana, California January 7, 1954
By fli

2 eggs – well beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 cup flour
½ cup scalded milk
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp butter

Cream eggs & sugar, add flour slowly with baking powder and salt.
Meanwhile scald milk, add butter and let cool.
Add cooled milk mixture with vanilla to egg mixture. Beat well.
Bake at 350° for 20 minutes (any size greased and floured pan).
Makes a one layer cake.
“Very good sponge-type cake”
Can serve plain or with fruit and whipped cream or frosted.

If you try it, please let me know how you like it!

Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, July 28, 2019

Random Notions - A Finished UFO?!?

Ok, a very long time ago, I had shared some applique blocks I had made with the intention of making a wall hanging for Layla.  You can see the post here. Well, guess what? I actually finished it (in May) and Layla really likes it.

These blocks were so cute and fun to do.  I got the pattern out of one of the 100 Quilt Block Designs magazines from a couple of years ago.  You can't really see it, but I put some rhinestone bling around the dresses.  There is a rod pocket on the back so it can be hung. Gold rick rack was Layla's choice. The purple binding was a package that came from an old stash of sewing notions - that particular package was from JC Penney's and about 40 - 50 years old.  See, just because you don't need something today doesn't mean you shouldn't buy it - you will need it later! 😈

Wow - I just realized the color looks awful on that picture! Trust me - it really is cute and colorful!

For the past few days I have been playing with the change purses.  I have been experimenting with different ways to do the zipper and sizes. I like a small change purse around 6" wide by 4" tall to hold cash, ID, cards, and a chapstick.  Fits in my pocket quite well.  Anyone out there like to see them in another size?

The first one I finished, I love the fabric but wasn't happy with it (πŸ˜‰)-
6" x 4"

The ducks won't be going up on my Etsy shop.  But the second one I made, I like a lot more-

6" x 4"
The geckos may go up, or I may have to keep them for myself.  You can't see the zipper here, but if and when it goes up, I will make sure it shows. I am in the middle of making another right now and once I decide how I like the process to go, I will be kicking them out like crazy. I have so many cute fabrics to make these out of - I have collected many fat quarters over the years.

That's it. Please weigh in if you have a choice on size for the change purses.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Random Notions - Sharing a couple of my favorite sewing videos

Wow, it's hard for me to start without complaining about the heat.  

It's hot, ok, and I feel like doing next to nothing!

Whew, got that out of my system!  Actually, I did get some travel size pillowcases made in the (HOT - sorry) sewing room.

A couple of Cowboys themed cases~
And a Seahawks and Packers pair~
These travel sizes are really cute and fast to make up.  Super easy, which brings me to something I want to disclose~

Believe it or not, the pillowcases I make are not of my original design or pattern. (well, duh)  I went on YouTube and searched for a pillowcase tutorial. There are a LOT.  In fact, I wonder if you could actually possibly trace back to where the first ones came from.  The one I like best came from one of my favorite YouTube channels, Missouri Star Quilt Company with Jenny Doan.  It is a super easy way to make the pillowcase by creating a tube first - literally only 3 long seams to sew.  You can find the video here: Easy Tube Pillowcase.  Not only is this a great way to sew a pillowcase, it is a super easy project if you are just learning how to sew.

Many of the best sewing tutorials are on the Missouri Star Quilt Company channel, including one I made myself a bag from, the Tumbler Bag~

I got the 5" charm pack from, interestingly enough, the Missouri Star Quilt Company about 3 years ago when it was a Daily Deal. (it's called Dragonfly Dance or something like that - I love dragonflies, oh, and dragons for that matter, but not flies! 😜) When I saw this tutorial, I knew I needed to use that charm pack for it, but then realized I would need extra yardage for the band, strap, interior lining, and pockets.  I went back to MSQC, but they were sold out - I had to search online for another fabric retailer to get what I needed! That took me a couple of weeks, then I got the front and backs put together, and then I had to move at the end of 2016.  

Everything got packed up and while I was in my new home by Christmas 2016, I did not get everything unpacked for a long time.  In fact, I did not get this bag finished until about 4 months ago. I also have the beginnings of a wall hanging that needs finishing - it is the picture you see on my top header of the quilt squares that I hope to have finished soon and put up for sale in my Etsy shop, and it is much prettier when the colors of the picture have not been toned down. Sorry, I get easily distracted...

Anyway, I finished the bag and I love it - I get so many compliments on it.  I made the strap super long so I could put it cross body, and just knot the top when I use it on my shoulder. The huge button for the closure came from Joann's a few years ago, but I am pretty sure they still sell them.  I bought this one and one in every color available at the time, because buttons were half off and I knew that someday I would use them. Yay for me thinking ahead and it working out! πŸ˜€ 

I used some strong interfacing on this bag so it's great as a book bag because it is so big.  I am going to do this bag again, but will make it a bit smaller, because using it on a daily basis with my regular purse "stuff" in it, things do get a little lost at the bottom. But - it is an awesome design and if you like to sew your own bags, I say go for it! You wouldn't have to use the tumbler patchwork design, just cut out the shape of the bag.

Ok, well, it's still hot, but I am at my daughter's house where the AC runs well so I will leave you with how I am feeling~

Flash, enjoying life
Thanks for stopping by!


Saturday, July 13, 2019

Random Notions - I'm branching out!

With great excitement I'm announcing - I have branched out from just pillowcases!  I put together a set of throw pillow covers and I think they look really nice~

The two larger covers measure 13.5" square that fit a 14" pillow form, and the smaller one is 10.5" square that will accommodate a 10" or 12" pillow form. I had taken that main picture prior to blinging them out - I randomly added crystals on the sun/moon/stars fabric on each one.  Here is a close up where you can kinda see a couple of them.

Everyone knows someone that loves celestial themed stuff - please forward this to THAT friend! πŸ˜‹

More coming soon!

Thanks for stopping by!


Friday, July 12, 2019

Random Notions - 100 and Stupid

So this week, I have just felt like a rag. I do not react well to warm weather, and even though it has not been as hot here as normal for this time of year, anything over 100ΒΊ drains me. I think the high here has only been around 107ΒΊ this week, whereas in the past we have seen well over 110ΒΊ.  Doesn't matter - anything over 100ΒΊ, as a local DJ used to say, is just "100 & stupid." During these times, all I feel like doing is sitting on the air vents. Of course, that means I have to push aside a cat or dog.

Pretty much all that got done was the rest of the custom order that included the Seahawks cases I posted last week:
 Footballs/Packers (Queen 20" x 32")

Packers (Standard  20" x 28")

Paw Patrol (Travel  12" x 17")

Power Puff Girls (Travel  12" x 17")

Vegas Knights (2 Travel  12" x 17")
But I have been getting all stuff prepared for the change purses, and throw pillow covers.  I was thinking that if you have throw pillows that have been around forever and you are kind of tired of seeing them everyday, why not cover them with something new - maybe something fun? Much cheaper than buying new throw pillows. They are something I can customize, so if you would like some fun new throw covers, please contact me through my shop on Etsy.

Thanks for stopping by!


Friday, July 5, 2019

Random Notions - Wrapping up the week

Hi all

This week was busy. I did manage to get some more custom pillowcases made -

Paw Patrol Standard 
Tools Standard 
Multicolor Flowers Standard 
Seattle Seahawks Standard 
Seattle Seahawks Standard 

I'm not really any kind of sports fan, but I sure love the lime green going on with those Seahawks! I have a few more customs to make for this lovely lady and hope to have them done in the next couple of days.

While the kids were here this week, I had Harry making a special "art" project.  I probably haven't mentioned this previously, but I am a freak for cutting scraps. I cut anything that will give me at least a 1 1/2 inch square.  I also do 1 1/2 inch strips, 2 1/12 inch squares and strips, and 5 inch charms.  I have tons of my little cut goodies, and bags of scraps waiting to be cut. (I am a little obsessive)  So, in Word, I created a table that had 1 1/2 inch squares on it, the table was 5 squares across and 7 down. I made as narrow of margins as I could and the bottom line didn't print, but that's okay.  Printing a few sheets, I gave Harry one, along with a bag of 1 1/2 inch squares and some glue.  He covered the squares and then put ribbon up and down the columns.  He didn't get it finished yet and he took it home, but he's bringing it back next week to finish.

It was a lot of fun - Harry got a little ahead of me by putting the orange around the frame before the cross pieces - he was gung ho to use the orange ribbon from the start of the project.  This is great fun if you have scraps for the kids, but we did learn something - we were using regular copy paper out of the printer and the glue was something I had for scrapbookers - it is not for copy paper.  I think the glue would have been fine on construction paper or scrapbooking paper.  I have construction paper we will try next, and I may just use a bone folder to trace the table onto the construction paper just for a guide.

Else in the news - coming soon - I will be adding change purses to the Etsy shop - I pulled a bunch of fabrics I think will be fun for the purpose-

These are fabrics I don't have enough of to make a pillowcase, or the band on one, like fat quarters, so I thought change purses would be good.  They will be a good size for ID, credit/bank cards, and bills/change, all with a zippered opening. Please keep an eye out for them!

That's it. As always, thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!


Saturday, June 29, 2019

Random Notions - Times have Changed

Good news – my custom order was so well received, she gave me fabrics for another six pillowcases! Yay! (If you are reading this, Ms D, thank you!) Very excited – I find I like working on fabrics other people choose – for instance, I would never buy any kind of sports themed fabrics for myself so it’s cool to see the colors and coordinating fabrics someone else has chosen. So far, I’m liking it all! I’m really liking the green – I don’t think I work on enough green.

Funny, because a while back I bought some John Deere fabric - green with tractors on it. I got it for the exclusive purpose of making a kaleidoscope wall hanging out it.  I think it's going to look great.

I got this post finished and published and forgot to mention, I have a new listing in my Etsy shop:

Love this rose fabric - my mother had a yard leftover (years ago) after making a jacket out of it - she still wears it! 

I spent two nights at my daughter’s house so I could babysit the kids on their home turf. Lovely home, perfect company, but – I didn’t have my stuff! No sewing machine. As much as I love the kids, I was happy to be at home today to sew!

Having my grandkids coming out to stay a couple of days/nights a week with us for summer vacation has really been fun. I try to make sure I have things for them to do - puzzles, coloring, painting, diamond painting, word search books, movies, just to name a few, plus they are to bring stuff. I ask if they are bored, and they always say no, but it worries me. It takes me back to at the late 60's when my younger brother, Casey and I had to go to my grandparents' house while my parents were working. 

Let me set the scene for you:

Late 1960’s ~

  • No cable TV – five channels available – NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, and KVVU, which is an independent. And this was before even Sesame Street was available. And - the picture was not always that good.
  • One TV in the house – and Grandmother controlled it. She loved game shows and baseball; he loved news.
  • Available toys – a few pieces left from a Tinker Toy set that was probably from the 50’s, and a couple of plastic blocks from a set you could also build with – the kind with all the pegs that stuck together. I’m sure someone knows what I’m talking about. They were the toys prior to Legos that hurt like crazy when you stepped on them.
  • No books for kids. We didn’t own any to bring with us.
  • No computers, smartphones, tablets, electronics of any kind. But this was okay, because we didn't have the Internet yet.
  • No fridge privileges to snack, but there were no snacks in the fridge anyway – we got lunch, usually a sandwich, and that was pretty much it. Every once in a while, Granddaddy Frank would share his cookies with us. Frosted devil’s food cake cookies – to this day we still call them Granddaddy Frank Cookies.
  • It was hot.

I remember sitting and literally staring into space, wishing I was anywhere but there. The spare room had a bed, but even if I wanted to take a nap, that room always spooked me because stuff was stored in there. With the light on, it was still dark. I tried to not go in there. I wouldn’t go outside because I have never liked hot weather, but Casey went out and even made friends with the neighbor kids. Staring at the TV, I had no idea what I was watching. To this day, I hate baseball. 

So this is why I worry about the kids being bored here. After thinking about what it was like back then, I guess these kids have it made with the computers, smartphones, tablets, DVDs. They have full access to the fridge and cupboards for something to eat. In fact, they get so engrossed in technology, I have to pull them off quite frequently. In addition to not being very good for them, out here in the sticks we have internet that is data limited. If I let them stay on all the time, we’d be out of data before a week was over!

Thing sure are different now, right?

That’s it for now – thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Random Notions - I do Custom Work!

Last week, a super nice lady who lives not far away, found me on Etsy and contacted me about doing some custom pillowcases.  Previously she had quilts made by someone else and wanted matching pillowcases with her own fabrics. They turned out really cute - she has a great eye for color combinations.

 Blue starry body with Paw Patrol band (20" x 28")

Travel size blue starry body with Paw Patrol Band (12" x 17")

 Rugrats body with white flowers on yellow band (20" x 28")

Peace/Love Snoopy with multi-color peace signs band (20" x 28")

Powerpuff Girls body with teal band (20" x 28") 

Vegas Golden Nights - King size (20" x 38")

So you know, I do custom work - just contact me to work out the details!

Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Random Notions - I'm back

Hey, it's been awhile. I am unemployed again and thought this may be a good time to start up the blog again and some other stuff. (Good thing I kept paying for my domain name, right?)  I thought perhaps a good way to reintroduce myself to old friends, and give a beginning to new, was to just write up a new About Me page and copy it here to the regular posting area. So here it is~

About Me
As a Las Vegas native, I learned at an early age that it was far better to stay indoors than go outside - I am not happy when it's hot. My mother taught me to use a sewing machine when I was eight, and the first thing I did was put the needle through my finger. But I was not deterred; for several years after I made clothes, mostly for my friends and their dolls. Then I became a mother - to a daughter - and who better is there to sew for if not your daughter? I made clothes for her until I started working the graveyard shift in a local hotel/casino as a PBX operator and was just too tired to do much of anything.

Working the graveyard shift for over 10 years is not easy. My job was rather boring at times, and I watched my co-workers read, knit, crochet, cross stitch, and - wait, what? Cross stitch? My new pastime was found! I found I could spend my entire eight hour shift stitching - it was awesome. I didn't even mind the job as long as I could stitch - talking with rude guests and executives, but knowing they would soon hang up and I could put in another X. I became obsessive - my hobbies are always my addictions - and I started buying so many charts, flosses, fabrics, needles, tools - you name it, if it had to do with stitching, I had to have it. I made quite a few beautiful things and found out how expensive framing is. Cross stitch got me through almost 20 years total working in the hotel/casino until they blew up the place to get rid of me. (Honest, I know they did it because of me.)

However, not being paid to sit and stitch did present a bit of a problem. I got a few administrative positions where I was expected to sit in front of the computer and fill out forms and spreadsheets, or file things, or take notes in meetings - you know what I'm talking about. Over the next 16 years, I worked at an adult medical school, a software development company, a commercial real estate company, and a few years period of unemployment during which I obtained an education, Bachelor's and Master's degrees - yes, I was stupid enough to rack up student loans, getting my BA at age 55 and my MLIS at 58. I figured that if I was going to work for the rest of my life, I wanted to do what I dreamed of doing since I was a kid, and that was being a librarian. I did work for a library for four and a half years, and I would still be there if not for my health.  Oh, what the heck is $125k in student loans? Tish, Tosh. I will pay them in full when my winning lottery check clears.

This blog was started in November 2012, during that six year period of unemployment to combat depression. The only joy in my life was my grandkids, my cats, and the bits of crafting I could get in there. Since my grandkids were small, I was able to get a little quilting in. I made a few other things - you can see the "stuff" I made in my older posts. I did a bit of cross stitch, but getting things done hasn't been easy. Case in point - I started Mirabilla's Spring Queen in 2004 and she is still waiting for me to finish her up!

The blog became neglected when I was working for the library - you will see that my last post was in 2015. Even though I was only part time, I was still taking online classes for my degree, and babysitting the kids. Not too much got done after the last post. But I should note here - there is very little to totally stop me from my addictions. Even through all the periods of time where I wasn't crafting, I was still buying stuff. I'm sure there are many people that know what I am talking about. I continued to buy the fabrics and cross stitch charts, quilting rulers and other tools. I own SO much fabric and stuff, the organizing of it all will never be done.

But - I'M BACK! I'm unemployed again, and honestly, I hurt too much everywhere to find another job. For the past couple of months I have been listing fun pillowcases on Etsy, and I am going to expand to other items I refer collectively to as Soft Art. It will all be Fun, Functional, and Decorative.  

I don't know about anyone else, but if I'm not doing something, creating something, I get a bit blue.  Sharing my Soft Art adventures is a way to not be blue - I prefer to think of myself as a PPP - Predominantly Purple Person.  Purple is royal. Purple is mysterious. Purple is happy. At least, to me.  I hope you will join me.