Cherish Yesterday...Dream Tomorrow...Live Today

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Countdown Begins

Happy Monday everybody and now we are getting down to the wire for last minute Christmas gift crafting! I am sad to report that the afghan I am crocheting for my great-niece Riley for Christmas probably won't be completed in time for Christmas. I put a picture of it on my blog back in the summer with the confidence that it would be completed. I didn't exactly forget about it, but I underestimated how long it would take me. Here is a picture of it now. I have come a long way but not long enough! I will give it to her when I get it finished(which will hopefully be soon) but in the meantime, I made this bunting from One Yard Wonders. I am still loving that book with all its super ideas! The fabric is perfect for her with the cherries and dots all in pinks, red and green. I chose a pink tie-dye fabric for the lettering. I was pleased with how it turned out. I also bought her a cute pocket-sized doll. Having had 2 boys, it is fun to think about gifts for girls.

The teacher who I work with and I exchange gifts at Christmas. Having been to her house, I know she loves the primitive look and she favors cranberry and blue things for her home. I made her this book holder complete with painted Mary Janes and a homespun skirt. My husband cut it out and I painted it. We make a good team! She liked it so it was a success. I knitted my son's girlfriend a scarf but it is already wrapped so I will try to get a picture of her wearing it when she opens it.

I hope everyone is enjoying this holiday season. I am trying to squeeze several gift exchanges with friends in this week now that jury duty is over. Stay stress-free(as much as possible!) and take care. Nancy

Monday, December 6, 2010

Gift Exchange and Exciting Remodel Reveal

Happy Monday everyone! Can you believe how fast this month is going? I hope I can get everything done. Jury duty is presenting a mild disruption to my progress but after it is over at the end of December, they can't bother me for 8 years!

I joined the gift exchange at Craftaholics Anonymous and it was a great experience. I think I will be doing it for Christmas in July as well! Here is what I made my exchange partner:

The scarf is knit by using a strand of eyelash and a strand of Vanna White yarn. I cast on 16 and just knit each row until I was happy with the length. Right now I am knitting a scarf for my son's girlfriend the same way with different yarn. I will let you see that soon.

The apron is from a pattern and it turned out cute. My partner has two little ones and the fabric has Christmas mice on it. I can picture her wearing it to make Christmas cookies with her girls.

I also wanted to show off pictures of my living room makeover after my husband made the custom built-ins for either side of the fireplace. They are beautiful!

Here is before:

Here is after:

I am so happy with it all. It feels so good to have my house back together!

Everyone have a good week and take care. Nancy

Monday, November 29, 2010

Turkey Pie

I wanted to pass along a great change-up to use turkey day leftovers. This recipe is so easy and versatile.

To Begin, grease a pie plate and set the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange in the pie plate: 2 cups cut up turkey, 1 cup prepared stuffing in pieces, 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions, 1/2 cup veggies(peas, corn, whatever is left over from your dinner), 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt, and pepper to taste.

Beat 1 cup milk, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup Bisquick until smooth. Pour over everything in pie plate.

Bake until golden for 30-35 minutes.

Cool 5 minutes and serve with hot turkey gravy. Yum! It is a nice change from the usual turkey sandwiches. Have a happy Monday and take care. Nancy

Saturday, November 27, 2010

And So the Christmas Holiday Begins...

Hi everyone. I hope everybody's Thanksgiving was filled with family and fun. I want to start out by thanking Kari from Craftadoodle for sending me this adorable flag. She contacted me and let me know that she drew my name to win one of her creations and let me pick which one. Check out her blog to see what she has been up to. She keeps very busy by making all kinds of cute things. Thanks again Kari.

I have been having fun making things that make my new craft room a little more colorful and functional. I made this pincushion/thread catcher from a pattern. It has been so helpful next to my machine. I am always snipping threads and dragging them with me all over the house because I just lay them off to the side. No longer! The pattern called for doll pellets to give the pin cushion a little weight to sit on the counter top. I couldn't find them locally but a lady that works at my local Jo Ann Fabrics brought in a baggie full of her own stash for me when she overheard me asking if they had them for sale there. Thanks Emily!

Now this sewing machine cover is definitely colorful but I was so disappointed that it is too tight at the bottom. I made it from a pattern and in true "Nancy" fashion, assumed that all machines are the same size and never measured my machine before I started to see if it would fit. But I am keeping it even though it looks a bit wonky when I pull it tightly down. My reasoning for keeping it is that it looks better than the white plastic cover I was using before!

I am going to sign off with a little "up close and personal" Mickey because she is just so darned cute and I couldn't resist! This is for my sister Suzie who is a fellow animal lover and gets it!

Have a wonderful weekend. I will have a fun Thanksgiving leftover recipe for you next time and I sent out my Christmas handmade gift to my exchange partner so I will have pictures of that. Take care. Nancy

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What I Have Been Up to and Soup Too!

Hi everyone. I have been very busy with work, jury duty and the usual stuff we all do, not to mention fighting a sinus infection(again). I wanted to get this recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup to you. It is a keeper for sure! Combine in a big soup pot: 2 cans cream of chicken soup, 2 cans cream of potato soup, 1 14oz can low sodium chicken broth, 2 cups of milk, 1 can of Green Giant mexicorn, small can of chopped green chiles(if desired), and 2 shredded cooked chicken breasts. Cook and stir until it begins to simmer. Add 1 cup Mexican Blend shredded cheese and three flour tortillas cut into thin strips. Stir and serve with extra cheese and dollops of sour cream if desired. It is really, really good. Enjoy!

I wanted to throw in a picture of the swiffer duster covers I made from Sew Much Ado's wonderful tutorials. Family members are requesting them as additions to their Christmas gifts. Cleaning supplies can be fun!

Have a great week everyone and take care. Nancy

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Hot Cocoa Kind of Day

Happy Veteran's Day everyone. I had today off from school and jury duty so I am just puttering around. I am sure I will find my way into my craft room soon! My morning mug was filled with something a little different today. Normally, I have a cup of tea(actually several!) upon waking. But today, I made Ashlee's homemade hot chocolate recipe from I'm Topsy Turvy. Wow! It is pretty wonderful. My youngest considers himself somewhat of a hot cocoa expert and he loved it. I found cute snowman-shaped marshmallows that are French vanilla flavored. They were perfect with it.

I wanted to show off a picture of the swiffer covers I made from Sew Much Ado's great tutorial. I thought her idea was genius. They work better than the disposable, boughten ones. Now, I will make the hand duster covers that she showed.

Since I found my way to blogging, I can't believe how much I have learned from so many of you. It is such a wonderful experience. I have found recipes and crafts that have made my life and that of my family's better and richer. Thanks everyone! I just hope I can contribute here and there to this wonderful community.

I have a wonderful chicken tortilla soup recipe that was given to me by a good friend. I made it last night and it is beyond good. Hopefully, I will get it on here tomorrow.

I am so excited, I joined my first Christmas handmade gift blog exchange and I am anxiously awaiting the info about who I am making a gift for!

I leave you, as usual, with a picture of my Mickey sleeping on my bed this morning with her little face covered. She has it tough believe me! Have a good day and take care, Nancy

Monday, November 8, 2010

My Giveaway Winner and a Dip Recipe

Happy Monday all! It was a chilly day here in the Northeast. I am trying to tear myself out of my new craftroom to do housework, but I am not having much luck! My family got fed this weekend, but that and some clean clothes are about all they are gonna get! My part-time morning job at the school is painful on days I would rather be in there creating or just planning what to create next.
I wanted to share a Buffalo Chicken Dip with you. I had this over the weekend and it is wildly popular in my house. Please don't get frustrated with me, but I don't have alot of exact measurements for this. I call it a "dump" recipe because I just eyeball everything. So, let's say I am giving you a base to change this up the way your family would like it. Start with: the breast meat from a rotisserie chicken shredded, wing sauce of your choice and heat level, 8 oz. cream cheese, softened, blue cheese dressing, and 2 c. shredded cheese blend.
Mix the chicken with the wing sauce. Put in the bottom of an ungreased 8x8 baking pan. In the same bowl, I mix the softened cream cheese with the blue cheese dressing. You can add blue cheese crumbles if you wish. Put on top of the chicken layer and spread evenly. Cover with the 2 C. shredded cheese and bake at 350 degrees until bubbly. Usually it takes about half an hour. Serve with tortilla chips or any chips of your choice. It is yummy.
A couple of other notes: I received my giveaway prizes from Brittany at Pretty Handy Girl. Thank you so much. There is a craft book at Amazon I have my eye on(big surprise there!)Thanks for enabling my craft book addiction. The cd holder for my visor is pretty too and all in my favorite color-red!
I worked on a practical project this weekend-swiffer covers. Sew Much Ado has the best tutorials. I found the instructions there and they were easy and they work great. I used purchased chenille instead of socks but these still will save alot of money compared to buying the refills and throwing them out after using them. I have both sizes and the extra large Swiffer's refills are very difficult to find around here.

I realized that I am always talking about my cat Mickey. I am a cat person and she is my baby but I wanted you to meet Billie, my 11 year old chocolate lab. She is such a sweet dog. We all love her very much. I will try to remember to throw in a picture of her too from time to time.

I also wanted to announce the winner of my giveaway. Nancy from Silly Stitching was the winner. Congrats Nancy(I got the package out this morning) and thank you so much to all who entered. Have a great evening. I will be watching Dancing With the Stars(I am such a fan). Take care. Nancy

Monday, November 1, 2010

My First Giveaway

Hello everyone! I must say that my Monday was made a whole lot brighter when I received an email from Brittany from Pretty Handy Girl this morning. She informed me that I had won her giveaway. Don't you love that kind of news to start your day?!! Thanks Brittany!

I have decided to have my first giveaway. I am a craft book junkie as anyone who knows me can tell you! Just look at my bookshelves in my new craftroom-loaded to the brim with books. So, I chose my favorite apron book by EllynAnne Geisel that has the basic bib apron pattern and I purchased another copy to give away to one of you. But wait, there's more(I love that cheesy infomercial stuff!) I made a quick little apron with pockets from a tutorial from Sew Many Ways to throw in and last, but not least, a bag of chocolate covered peanuts. One of the things I love about aprons are the memories they bring back for me. My mom always had an apron on and in her apron pockets were-you guessed it-chocolate covered peanuts! So here we go with the giveaway rules:1) please leave a comment on this post and make sure there is an email to contact you 2) for an extra entry, become a follower of Flatrock Cabin or remind me that you are 3) for a third entry, put a note about my giveaway on your blog and spread the word and let me know you did. I hope I get to meet alot of new crafters and apron enthusiasts through this giveaway!

Now I want to show you what I have been up to in my new craftroom. I have had this Christmas collar cut out and unsewn for about 6 years! Well, I finally completed it. I started with a pattern for the basic collar but I used Christmas tree appliques from an old book of iron on designs. I think it will look cute with a turtleneck . The possibilities are endless when I consider the other holidays. Maybe I will make one without the appliques and just pick a real pretty fall leaf fabric.
I am going to leave you with a little Mickey. I hope you can see this easily in the picture, but she has a habit of sitting under my dining room table after dinner with her little chin resting on the rungs of a chair. It is like she is just too tired to hold her head up herself! She is priceless!

Please enter my giveaway. I will draw a winner on Sunday. Have a great evening and take care. Nancy

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hello Again!

Well, I officially have a new craft room. I feel so fortunate and happy to have it! My husband did a fantastic job on everything. Let me give you a tour. First off, do you recognize this piece of furniture? It has taken on a few different roles in my home. It was my dining room hutch for many, many years. When my husband built me a huge built-in hutch after Christmas, I struggled to find a place for it because it has sentimental significance and I couldn't part with it. Well, with a fresh coat of white paint, it has become my fabric hutch and it is perfect! A good friend of mine came over and folded and sorted all my fabric to make it all pleasing to the eye. She did a beautiful job. Thanks Loretta! Next, I want to share my sewing area. I have counter space and I have a very comfy chair. It seems so nice to be able to sew and stop and get dinner without cleaning everything up. I can just leave it and come back to it when I can. What a luxury that is! This is my painting space. I have a great work light(essential for tole painting) and space to work on projects. All my paints are in those drawers alphabetically. I can now be organized.
This is my new and greatly improved closet. If you look back at previous pictures, you won't believe the difference. I know-I have a ton of craft books! It will be nice to be able to find the book I am looking for to make something. I even have a whole row for cookbooks.
Last, but not least, is one of my favorite features. I always wanted one of those ironing boards in the wall cabinets. I am tired of having to have my giant ironing board hauled in from the garage and having it take up half the hallway when I use it. Well-no more of that! My husband built a cabinet for the over-the-door ironing board I bought at Bed Bath and Beyond for $25. The cabinets at Lowes for ironing are almost $300. I think my hubby is a genious! This picture is with the door open. When it is closed, it matches all the other cabinets perfectly.

Well, I am so happy to share this with you. I have already started making things and I have enjoyed every minute in my new room. I have a hard time leaving it when I get in there. I had to buy myself an inexpensive clock so I could keep track of the time! In the next few days, I will start sharing what projects I am working on with you all. I am anxious to start blogging again and I have missed checking in on all of you. I have a giveaway planned for the beginning of next week to celebrate my new room. so please check back.

Happy Halloween everyone and take care. Nancy

Monday, September 27, 2010

Very Special Day

Today is a very special day to me. This quilt I made one block at a time, one every month represents the accomplishment I am so very proud of. I call this wall hanging my "quitting smoking" quilt and I started making it eleven years ago today. I wanted to commemorate my choice by making a block every month that first year. During the renovation around here, it got removed from the wall where it was hanging for all those years(minus the times I took it down to clean it!) and now I am trying to figure out where to hang it. My father died 22 years ago from lung cancer and my mother passed away 3 years ago from emphysema. I wanted to try to set a good example for my boys. I am not going to say it wasn't difficult and I certainly won't say the 45 pounds that are added to my 5'2" frame aren't extremely annoying, but it was one of my proudest achievements. So, eleven years smoke-free. That's worth celebrating!

Now, onto the update of my craft room and the surrounding changes. Here is my new sitting room right outside my craft room. I love it! The paint color is faint maple and it is so cozy and warm.

We aren't done with our new living room but my hubby is thrilled with his new TV and its placement. There are still many changes to come on either side of that fireplace with the addition of two new built-ins.

Here is my new desk nook. It is still a little messy and needs some straightening but I love that it is NOT the first thing you see when you walk in my door!

And last, but certainly not least, my new craft room is coming along nicely. I am waiting on my husband to build me new cabinets for over my paint table and sewing machine and he is going to build me a cabinet for my new ironing board. If you look back a few postings, it is nice to have room to move around after having very little space in my shoebox craft room!

Well, thanks for coming by to check my progress. I have a list a mile long of things to create when I am up and running. I hope you all have a great week and take care. Nancy

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Craft Room Redo and General Mayhem

First of all, I want to apologize for my lack of posting lately. Crafting anything is out of the question at least for now. But very soon, in my new and improved craft room, I will be a creative madwoman! I can't wait to share all of that with you.

I also want to just let out a great big YIKES! because, the day after tomorrow, I am officially back to work. Once I get back into the swing of things, everything will be fine, but it sounds a little overwhelming right now, as it does every year. I met most of my class at an Open House last week and I must say-what a bunch of cuties. So, I am looking forward to a great school year.

I wanted to share a little of my mayhem, I mean renovation with you. In order to do that, I am going to try to show you where I began. My craft room, which I affectionately called the shoebox, was cramped to say the least. But it was my getaway spot, where I wasn't able to execute much but I planned every project I did.

Well, there it is in all its glory!

These are pictures of my former living room, which pretty much was around my craft room. On the other side of that fake brick is my craft room. and the window was right outside my door.

Well, my husband used the same wall(the one with the brick) and extended it out so my room is a whopping 8x12! My desk will fit in the little nook that new wall makes. It will be so nice not to have my desk(very messy at times) not be the first thing everyone sees when they enter my house.

The window area will be a sitting area which will be a nice place to read or just sit and talk.

I still have the same closet which I will be able to make neater with all the space and storage I will have.

This is the color I chose for my room. It is a beautiful blue called New Day. I am getting a blue counter top for my sewing area. My hubby will make me cupboards to go above the counter top which will be white. I am going to put my old hutch in there for fabric storage. What color should I paint it? White maybe? I love my clear pine ceiling. I will have a wood floor in there too. I am getting so excited.

My husband has been working so hard, but as with any project, there have been setbacks. We have all my craft room furniture as well as the living room furniture all over the house so there is just a minimal walkway through it all. And the Sheetrock dust-don't even get me started! There is no sense in dusting. So, we are in a state of disarray right now which drives both me and hubs crazy! Well, that is the most recent update. Thanks for stopping by, I hope everyone has had a nice weekend and has a great start to your week. Take care. Nancy