Tuesday, December 29, 2009


The years go so quickly and I go back to recap all of what I have done and to make more resolutions. My first one for the new year is to do more art to share and teach more. This will be my final entry post for 2009, so I shall share how I made a New Year's surprise card for a friend. This is the finished package. I have always been facinated by Origami and hope you will enjoy it too. Here is how the piece unfolds.

Here's some wonderful illustrated instructions for you at this SITE. You can use any size square paper. I happened to use the large 12" sheets you use for scrap booking. As for the center cut out, you can find the figure on a collage sheet HERE.
Don't you just love how it has another hidden surprise? Fill it full of confetti or your favorite medium. A great surpise for any time of year.
The top was a small folded piece and unfortunately I can't seem to find the template at the moment, but when I do and I figure out how to use my new scanner, I will add it. (Note to self... I resolve to be more organized and learn new technology. lol)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Spirit of Christmas

I never tire of the magic of twinkling lights on a tree. I remember buying this tree when our son's daughter was just 3 years old, which was ten years ago. I have since given this tree to my daughter since it fits in her house much better and we got a smaller one. I made her the tree skirt while my friend had given me the tree topper.

We spent Christmas with our daughter, Kristi and her husband, Dustin, along with the two grand kitties,


and Murray.

Our tree is always decorated with mostly cat ornaments and kitty stockings. I try to find a new ornament each year. This year, I got one from my friend Norma to hang on the tree:) I love this wooden cat in the boot. Reminds me of the siamese we use to have.

Some cat ornaments are stuffed...

And so are the kitty toys! Biscuit is enjoying her first Christmas! She got all sorts of jungle toy animals and is truely spoiled!
Just too cute as they appear to have worn her out.

This is one of my favorite ornaments since I gave it to my husband when we had Zeker cat. He has since passed over to rainbow bridge. Miss that guy as he was always making us laugh, so perhaps appropriate to have this very amuzing kitty ornament.

We also had a Christmas surprise! On our way to our daughter's house on Christmas Day, we happen to see a rainbow over their house. They recently had to have their 18 year old beloved calico, Chessie, put to rest, so I'd like to say that we saw her spirit go over rainbow bridge too.

May all of you have been moved by the spirit of Christmas.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

In the Nick of Time

I have found myself last minute getting things done for the holidays. This quilt is Fran's. It sort of reminds me of Christmas cactus. Perhaps because of the pineapples with the points as well as the coloring. I was glad I got it finished in the nick of time!

With quilts being finished, I wanted to share The Quilter's Night Before Christmas that was given to me by a fellow quilter.

The Quilter's Night Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas,
And the quilts were not made.
The threads were all tangled, the cookies delayed.
The stocking weren't hung, the pantry was bare.
The poor weary Quilter, was tearing her hair.
Stacks of fat quarters, tipped over in streams.
Visions of Log Cabins, had turned into dreams.

When what to her wondering eyes should appear,
But a bus full of quilters with all of their gear.
They went straight to work with just a few mutters,
Sorting and stitching and brandishing cutters.
The patterns emerged from all of the clutter,
Like magic the fabrics arranged in a flutter.
Log Cabins, Lone Stars, Flying Geese and Bear Tracks -
Each quilt was a beauty - even the backs.

Her house how it twinkled, her quilts how they glowed.
The cookies were baking, the stockings were sewed.
Their work was all done, so they folded their frames,
And packed up their needles, without giving their names.
They boarded the bus, and checked the next address.
More quilts to be made, another quilter in distress.

She heard one voice echo, as they drove out of sight,
Happy quilting to all and to all a good night!

Author Unknown

With just today left to shop for a couple of small items on my list, I am finally ready for Christmas. Money is a little tight this year, but I told my husband that it looks like we can still have some luxuries.... Like "fur" instance..... fur lined underwear!
Homemade gifts are the best! LOL

The kitties are all hoping their stockings will be filled. As for Swiffer, she is hoping for a refill and claiming this bag for herself! I once read how to tell if your cat is over weight, and one of the answers was that they become finicky after the 3rd bowl! Yep, that fits our Swiffy cat to a "T"!

For me, it isn't about the gifts so much at Christmas but the quality time that you spend with your families. I only wish that this economy made us so that we could afford to visit our family that is so far away. I miss my sisters and my mom, but I am grateful for telephone as it is certainly the next best thing to being there.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I Has A Bads Hair Day

Yesterday I got home later after having some tests run at the hospital only to find a strange cat all covered in mud at the door waiting to get in! I could only imagine another stray cat but he bounced inside and immediately took over a chair hoping I wouldn't notice him or his shameful deed.

I went into the kitchen and opened a can of cat food . He soon forgot about how he must have looked and came running in. With the process of deduction and other cats accounted for, it was narrowed down. "Aslan, is that you?" My guess is that he had been chasing game or was chased by another cat that had forced him into or he had fallen into the creek bed or the pond. No matter, the results were the same and he's not talking. "Your grounded!" I said in my mommy voice.

"Ah....but mom, it wasn't my fault!" he said. "Don't but mom me.... Eat your supper and we will deal with it later."

Unfortunately he was going to have to stay the way he was, since we had a guest coming over that evening. We banished him to the mud room and by the time our guest left, it was late and both Rog and I were tired and went to bed. I would just simply have to figure out what to do with him the next day.

By morning I started calling around for groomers that bathed cats. Lots of groomers for dogs, but for cats, that was another story. Finally found one 40 min. away in the same town and about the same time frame as I had an appointment with my gynacologist.

A couple of hours later, we both had our "fur" floofed up and were on our way home. ROTFL Only thing was, he got a pretty bow and I didn't! Oh well, the bow didn't last long, but my aren't we handsome?

"Let me show you my bellys" he says,"I'm so floofy!" "

"Well, the $35.00 was worth it to me, but dear boy, you are still grounded, so you better get use to it. It will be a long while before you are going anywhere..........' cause mom says so!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I gotta good "Deal with it"!

What do you do when you come across a good bargain when you find it? Of course you buy it! That's just what I did when I came across these charms that were marked down to 75% off! But now what? I would need to know a whole lot of people with the names on the charms or " deal with it" in a new way.

I had a charm swap coming up so decided that I could certainly do something with them to jazz them up and be something different. So, I dug out some craft foam and some rubber stamps that would make great texture. I cut out the foam to fit the metal charm. Then I took a hot air gun and heated the foam holding it down with a skewer. The piece should curl slightly but don't get too close or it will scorch the foam. I used a tile to protect the surface of the table. Immediately I used a rubber stamp to get an impression with some texture.

Then the next thing is to rough up the surface on the silver charm plate and glue the foam in place.

Lastly I used Perfect Medium by Ranger and dabbed on the foam impression. I then brushed on bits of Pearl EX powder with various different colors. Walla! A quick and wonderful trade that looks like fimo clay without the roll out and baking steps! You may also want to try them to make faux buttons and other beads and things. Perhaps even some quick Christmas ornaments for the kiddos to do! Be sure to supervise as the heat gun can get very hot.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Family Tradition

One thing I always look forward to at Thanksgiving especially is the Lefsa! My grandmother was pure Norwegian and our house would be filled with Scandinavian foods during the holidays. For those that have never heard of Lefsa, it essentially looks like a tortilla, but is made with potatoes, flour, butter and cream. When my grandmother made them years ago, she used lard. It's such a special treat and I have grown very appreciative of my grandmother standing over her lefsa grill making one at a time. It's time consuming and there is flour every where, but so worth the effort. Here's how I made them.

I started out with russet potatoes cut them into managable pieces and boiled them until done, but not falling apart or they will be too wet. Then you can either rice them or mash them and adding butter. I use a stick and a half of butter for a mixing bowl full. I then cool and refridgerate them several hours. Then I add 1/2 cup of cream to 4 cups of mashed potatoes and mix well.

I then mix in about 1 1/2 cups of flour and knead in by hand. Then make into a ball the size that your two hands can hold together and form into a slight patty. Refridgerate to keep cold as it is much easier to roll out.

Then one at a time roll out onto a floured board. You will need to use a little more flour to keep from sticking but too much will make them tough. I then use a white pillow case and covered my pizza stone. The lefsa rolling pin has groves in it. Flour it well and use light pressure in rolling the dough out about as thin as you can without tearing. It does take some practice.

You will then use a lefsa stick to transfer the lefsa to the pan. The stick must also be floured well.

The lefsa is made on a special lefsa grill. It was preheated to 450 degrees. While it cooks, it starts to bubble up slightly.

Then turn over with the lefsa turning stick to brown the other side.

When it is done, transfer it to a cozy made of kitchen towels. It will keep them warm and keep them from drying out.

Before long you will have a stack of them for your Thanksgiving dinner!

You can store them in a zip lock bag. I fold them in fourths. I keep out enough to eat and freeze the rest. I made 22 lefsa pieces from a 10 lb. bag of potatoes.

To eat, butter them and heat in the microwave . You can also butter and add cinnamon sugar as a sweet treat! I even like to roll them up with link sausage in them. With turkey, I like to use it to mop up gravy with.

Note: If you are looking to purchase a lefse grill you can go HERE ! Or if you don't want to mess with making them, you can get them ready made. You will miss getting them for Thanksgiving, but you can still get it in time for Christmas!

This evening, I also made an AWESOME Italian soup! A bit of my grandfather's heritage, but the recipe came from my friend Jan in North Dakota. I changed a bit of it but it has become our favorite!!!! It's awesome! Thanks Jan! It will certainly become a family tradition too!

Jan's Italian Soup

1 hot Italian sausage and 2 sweet (adjust to what you like)
remove the skins and chop and brown with onion and celery (About 1/2 cup of each)
and add a couple of cloves of minced garlic

add 1 qt. container of beef broth (I didn't have any so I used 1 quart of water with 5 chicken OXO cubes)
1 can of Italian diced tomatoes
2 cans of water and a half a box of bow tie pasta
I added 1 Tbs. each of basil and oregano

cook for 10 min. or until pasta is finished. YUMMY!!!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Happy Birthday and a Winner!!!

So today I turned 55! That means I can now officially eat off of the senior menu! LOL It also means that it's time for the drawing I promised, so drum roll please...........................and the winner is "LOIS" in Canada! Hurray!!! Congratulations Lois! So fellow bloggers, I am glad that a follower has won and hope that she will enjoy the hand made ornament:) I only wish I had the time to make one for everyone! Thanks too for all of the wonderful suggestions for the cat names. As for the chosen names:

Aslan's sister's name is Bea as ( Honey and Bea seemed the perfect pair), As for the males, we did choose Chuckie Cheese and Chutney. ( We nearly used Chester and Morroco though)

It's been a good birthday weekend. A couple of my friends took me out for lunch at a favorite Mexican restaurant yesterday and last night Rog took me out for Pizza. He said he would take me out tonight too, but I knew things were going to be tight with the new job change so I made a lovely shrimp pasta dinner tonight with homemade bread that was so delicious! My daughter wished me Happy Birthday on her facebook, my mom and one of my sister's called me up and I had numerous on line friends wish me a happy birthday, so life is good! I'm going to go have a piece of pear pie tonight to top it all off!

Yummmmmy Bread!!!!

Delicious Shrimp Pasta!!!!

A Fabulous Pear Pie!!!! ( see recipie on my May 8, 2009 posting) OH I must tell you that I had gotten some pears at a good price from Harry and David's since they were ripe and OMG, the pear pie was WAY more delicious than with the canned pears!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Sow's Ear To A Silk Purse

In an online Fiber Art Trader's group we were challenged by Leilani to make some transformations in fabric in 5 days.

DAY 1, I had taken a plain white fabric and hand dyed. It wasn't my favorite piece, but it had possiblities was willing to experiment to see what it would become in this blind challenge. It was cut to the size of about 8 X 10.

DAY 2, consisted of laying a rainbow dyed organza fabric over the piece along with batting sandwiched together and stitched.

Then the organza was burnt away randomly showing through some of the original fabric beneath.

DAY 3, resulted in cutting out shapes from one place and replacing it to another area.

It was then stitched into place forming a new stitched pattern. I satin stitched it in a blue that I had used for the background foundation. It was a piece of fabric I had done salt dyes with during the summer.

DAY 4, the fabric was embellished. I chose to stitch by hand with some pearl cotton with some spokes around the shapes. I used some fimo clay that I rolled up in small balls and added the crystals in which I baked together. I also embellished with other beads and crystals along with some CZECHOSLOVAKIAN glass buttons I had picked on on my travels to Seattle. They were quite pricey, but I felt the piece needed it and it was coming together quite nicely.

DAY 5, took on the last transformation stage where the fabric was cut, edged and re-stitched into a vessel. I actually had a couple of ideas on how to construct it, but I liked this the best. I still had to cut a piece from the front to enclose the back fully. Even after satin stitching it, I took thread and hand joined the back. The piece actually tilted so after auditioning a foot for it, I settled on a wooden bead. Sewing it in place wasn't enough, so had to secure it with fabric glue. I am quite please with the results. I think I may add more crystals and beads to it, but I feel it is finally complete! I truly do feel that it became a silk purse:) Thanks Leilani! It was great to see everyone coming up with something so different.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

For The Love of Kitties

HAPPY VETERAN's DAY and HAPPY 50th BIRTHDAY VICKIE!!!! I made this video especially for you and your kitties too!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: For The Love Of Kitties
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