Monday, March 31, 2008

Funky Folk Art Felt Pin…

Here’s my first felt pin, stitched and beaded. I thought these pins would be quick to make – hah! They are fun, though, and kind of addicting – besides being a great way to use up tiny scraps. They are very pleasant to hold and surprisingly hefty and substantial. This one measures approximately 1 ½ inches x 2 ½ inches.

Friday, March 28, 2008

I’m Way Behind Schedule…

We are at lesson four in the Fertile Earth course, and I haven’t even begun lesson three! Eek! Meanwhile, here are a few felt pins in the making (from Susan Sorrell’s Funky Felt Pins class – waiting for stitches and beads. I made these last week but forgot to post them here. I’ve got too many projects going on at once – again!

Evil Kitties...and an Important Phone Number

I have been ill (again) for the past few days (really nasty sore throat and fever followed by the Mother-of-all-Colds!) and sent DH out to pick up a few things at the supermarket on Monday night. One of those things was liquid laundry detergent. He left it on a chair in the kitchen and, sometime during the night, the kittens knocked it over. The top came off and when he got up to put more wood in the stove he saw the liquid spread all over the kitchen floor. Trixie (our littlest one) was drenched in it and licking herself off (!) and Blake and Binky were playing in it. By the time I woke up, DH had already bathed all three of them, cleaned the floor and been on the phone with our vet and the ASPCA Poison Control Center. It was $60.00 for the phone call and another $40.00 for the meds – plus the cost of the wasted laundry detergent. We were supposed to watch them for twenty-four hours to make sure they weren’t drooling or lethargic. I’m happy to report that they are doing fine… and I’m doing better, myself. We have raised many cats over a thirty-four year period and have never seen the kind of havoc these kittens can wreak! Bad, bad Kitties…

ASPCA Poison Control Center: 800-548-2423

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Have a Blessed Easter, Everyone...

This sweet vintage postcard was an EBAY find...

Monday, March 17, 2008

A Start on Lesson Two

Here’s my outline for lesson two just waiting to be filled in by some colorful stitches. I based this design on a photo of some chokeberry blossoms. I’m still working on the gourds from lesson one – and I signed up for Susan’s Felt Pins course starting Tuesday.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Roses Blue...

I was playing around in PhotoShop with a photograph of some roses from last year’s garden and this effect reminded me of flow blue china. First, I used the “Find Edges” filter; then, "Image/ Adjustments/ Invert." Next, I used "Image/ Adjustments/ Gradient Map," where I chose the third pattern under "Special Effects."

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Nature Journal: Eggplant, Onion & Basil Leaves

Lesson two is supposed to be about flowers, but I’ve still got veggies on my mind. Hmmm, I’m in the mood for a little Ratatouille…

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I’m taking Susan Sorrell’s Fertile Earth course at Joggles. We were supposed to use a vegetable or fruit for a design source for the first lesson's embroidery. Naturally, I chose a completely out of season subject – ornamental gourds. I found a quick reference photo I had taken last fall of some gourds purchased for Halloween decorating. I was attracted to the shapes and textures. Here’s my work-in-progress. I used a background I created last year on the embellisher because I thought the pattern echoed the texture of the gourds. I still have lots of stitching to do – and I’ll be adding leaves and tendrils - and, most likely, beads...

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Black Bean Chili Con Conni

Here’s my recipe for vegetarian chili that has evolved over the years. It can be thrown together very quickly and easily – and is extremely tasty and nutritious!

1 Tablespoon olive oil
½ of a 12 oz. package of Morningstar Farms Crumbles (a meat substitute in freezer section of supermarket)
1 medium-sized onion, chopped
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14 oz.) can Del Monte Petite Cut Diced Tomatoes (with Zesty Jalapeños)
1 cup frozen corn
1 teaspoon chili powder (adjust to taste)
½ teaspoon cumin (adjust to taste)
2 scant teaspoons salt (I use Salt Sense to cut down on sodium.)

In a large skillet, lightly sauté the chopped onion in the olive oil. Add Crumbles and all the other ingredients. Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Serve on rice (I use brown rice) with a dollop of sour cream.

Serve with a salad, tortilla chips and salsa. Guacamole is nice, too!