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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mishmash of Topics

Do you know what this is? Don't you love those pom-poms? That's what sold me.
Yup. It's a chenille bedspread. I have a thing about bedding. I wouldn't call myself a collector, but I really, really love it. I found the chenille coverlet at an antique store this year for only $18! It's not my bed's size, but I turned it sideways and it fits great. I remake my bed twice a year, winter and summer seasons and always have a really fun time doing it. I was in the white mood today; the only color is the primitive little pillow. Guess what? I made that for my Grandma when I was five. It's also strange that there is no quilt involved. Also it's a bit traditional for my taste. But unless my husband has strong objections, this is how it will be until warm weather moves back. Cozy, huh?

Here's my little sweeties helping me the other day. My Grandpa grows grapes and when the Concord ones are ready, he brings them to me for jelly. I'm so blessed to have him just down the road from us. Anyway, we just made juice out of them this year and the kids were so good at picking them off the stems and crushing them in the pot. Even my two year old helped.

Here's an easy recipe you should try that's super yummy! Chocolate covered, chocolate chip muffins with bacon on top. Sounds weird. Tastes good. And I'm even a vegetarian. I know it's easy to make muffins, so by all means, knock yourself out. I normally buy those little pouches of Martha White chocolate chip muffin mix. I made two packs. Then make a ganache (fancy word for shiny frosting) by melting chocolate chips in the microwave for a minute, stir them until smooth and then add a little bit of cream. Dip the top of each muffin in the ganache. Then, while it's still wet, crumble some bacon on top. Voila! And in the words of Rachael Raye, Yum-O!
Love, Melissa

Monday, September 28, 2009

Design Wall Monday

Okay, it's the second post of the day, but my friend Becky was in Design Wall Monday, so I wanted to do that too! Above, you can see my creation for myself for the day. Since my sewing machine is in the shop, I wanted to finish this up and it's really pretty, isn't it?

Here is my design wall. On the left you can see me Road to Redemption quilt. On the right you can see my block of the month, which I designed myself (except for the 12 inch blocks) and have called Starry Night. It's a SECRET, so I haven't shown it yet. So you get a sneak peek. Only three blocks left. It's made of spinning stars; they're supposed to look like they're moving.

How to Make a Short Sleeved Shirt Long

First, go to Then search for leg warmers or arm warmers or tights or leggings. Tons of these things will pop up. We got some to try. They are like a tube with a sleeve end (or ankle end). They are one size fits all and do fit Emilie and Anna really well. Yea! No more fighting about wearing short-sleeved shirts in the winter.

Whimmydiddle was great, but only one of my pictures came out and it doesn't do our booth any justice. The other pictures say the file is corrupted. What is that? If anyone knows, please tell me. Do I need a new memory card?
It was a beautiful yet long day. We had so much fun and sold lots. There were so many vendors there. I tried to get a picture of most of the tents because it was so pretty, but it didn't come out.
Love believes all things, hopes all things. 1 Corinthians 13:7
Love, Melissa

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Happy Birthday, Creations Gallery!

Creations Gallery is one year old! Since I've had requests for pictures, here they are. The building next door is under construction and supposed to be an upscale gift shop, so hopefully they will bring us business too! Oh, my husband owns the building, thus the Stramel Law Firm part.

So it's not everything, but you get the idea. Big show on Saturday. Stop by Whimmydiddle, if you're near Scott City, Kansas.
Love, Melissa

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

a Great Recipe

Here is a recipe that came out of the newest Dillons coupon flyer. I don't think they would care if I reprint it. It is super easy and WONDERFUL!
1 cup butter, melted (that's 2 sticks! I used one and it was just fine)
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (didn't have those, so I crushed up Honey Nut Cheerios)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup and 4 Tablespoons peanut butter, divided
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
In a medium bowl, mix together the butter, graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar and 1 cup peanut butter until well blended. Press evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 9 x 13 inch pan.
Microwave the chocolate chips and 4 T peanut butter in 30 second increments until melted and smooth. Spread over the first layer. Refrigerate at least one hour and then cut into squares. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator.
My baby lost a tooth today. Well, he's not an actual baby, but a 5 year old kindergartener. They tell me this is normal. I'm still sad. He's super excited though, and picked out a pillow from Creations Gallery for the tooth fairy to put money into.

My other baby fell on a baby kitty today. Two year olds just don't have great balance, especially when animals are weaving in and out of their legs. The poor little kitty didn't make it. That's a bummer too. It's the first time we've had tame kittens in so long. Nathan is really, really attached to them.

I am the Lord, your God. Exodus 20:1

Love, Melissa

Monday, September 21, 2009

Feels Like Fall

Actually, it has felt like fall for a long time now. Today it feels a little like winter. Not the day before fall. The kids and I got excited and decorated our living room. I still need to do the upstairs, but that's the toy room and their rooms and I told them I will not decorate it until it is cleaned up. We'll see if that works.

I'm in an online quilting group called a Dozen Quilters, and I made this block for Becky and one for me. It feels good to be quilting again. It's my main sewing love. I plan to catch up my quilts this week and then relinquish my machine to the repair shop. I'm already feeling separation anxiety. Ha ha!

Love to all, Melissa

Sunday, September 20, 2009

the Pumpkin Patch

I'm really tired. Can I let the pictures do the talking? Note to Nancy if you're reading: I have A LOT of stuff. More than I knew. Should I leave half home? Any suggestions?

Love, Melissa

Thursday, September 17, 2009

the Last Bag

Only two more days until my first show! I'm kind of nervous . . . I really don't want to forget anything essential. Any tips? This show is called The Pumpkin Patch, and if you are in the St. Francis, Kansas area, please stop by and say hello!

I designed this bag yesterday. I made the trim out of two pieces of ribbon and ricrac. Isn't it cute? (PLEASE excuse my extremely messy sewing room! I'll clean when these shows are over.) Anyway, there's a cell phone pocket on the front. As I was making it, I decided it would make a great diaper bag. It can go either way. But if you choose the diaper bag option, the above small bag can hold diapers OR it can be a wallet. This bag is double interfaced -- the outside in quilt batting and the inside in a stiff interfacing. I love how it came together. All this fabric is Tina Givens Treetop Fancy.
Here you can see the inside of the bag. There's a little hook for either holding a pacifier or a key ring. Never lose your keys in your purse again! Also a side pocket and then three bottom pockets with elastic along top to hold bottles or pop (not for baby :) Let me know if you'd be interested in a tutorial for this bag. I'll definitely write one for the little extra bag/wallet if nothing else.

Here are three purses for the show. They're smaller but cute. I also designed them. The outside two have adjustable straps and an inside pocket. The middle one is hard to see but has a cute front flap and I fused rhinestones onto it. Fabric credits, left to right: Glenna Hailey Bees Knees, batik, Heather Bailey PopGarden.

Our sweet new babies. There are actually five of them, but I couldn't get them to hold still. They are very friendly and keep the kids happy chasing them around.

We're part of the monarch migration. I think because I plant so many flowers. But for a week or so each fall, we have thousands and thousands of visitors (just the butterfly type.) I caught one in my hands today so the kids could get a close up look. Don't worry, I just cupped my hands around it and then let it go.

The last bag. It's another giant one, just like the others I have shown previously. I made a little wallet that hooks onto it. I thought it would be handy for a cell phone or keys. Also can go on the inside of the bag or wherever. I LOVE this fabric combo. The salmon color is Erin McMorris Park Slope and the green is Michael Miller. I wasn't sure when I put it together, but it really came out nice, I think. It is amazing how much these bags hold and yet still look like a decent tote when it's all snapped together.
Wish me luck! I'll make sure to take lots of pictures.
Love, Melissa

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fairly Nice

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run then in such a way as to get the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:24
We have been at the Kansas State Fair this weekend. It is a four hour drive for us, so the first time either Todd or I have gone since high school. And still so much the same. The butter sculpture, the beautiful animals groomed to a T, the farm equipment, and the little lake you can paddle a boat on. We all had a great time. Nathan was in the tractor pull, which is why we went. He's the one under number 19. He also got a really nifty orange hat and a blue ribbon.

We rented a wagon . . . Praise the Lord that one was available! I don't think we would have made it otherwise. What a great weekend!

Here is the purse I made yesterday. It's one of my made-up patterns.

Here is my bag that can hold the kitchen sink. I've made it several times. Sorry the picture doesn't do it justice. I already filled it up with other bags for my show and didn't want to unpack, but you get the idea. (It's the same as the one Emilie was holding on a bench, about the same size as her, in green. Remember?)

And finally, here is a super cute bag made from dark denim. The pattern is from Crafster. (link) It's easy. Go make it. Or pay me to make it. I only suggest that you use at least upholstery weight fabric or use interfacing which isn't in the pattern.
Until next time, Love,

Friday, September 11, 2009

Never Forget

Thank you to all the military personnel that defend our country and our freedoms every day. Thank you for striving to keep us from terror. I will never forget.

In honor of September 11, I made a red and white bag today. I couldn't quite get the blue in, but it is all USA. Once again, jcaroline's hobo tutorial. God bless America!
Love, Melissa

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

jcaroline Time!

Unto thee, Oh God, do we give thanks. Psalm 85:1
Emlie's toast and jam this morning.

jcaroline hobo

jcaroline totes and a reversible hobo I designed. (showing Anna Maria Horner Garden Party)
tote in Paula Prass
hobo in Amy Butler, tote in Anna Maria Horner

Okay, my counter is flipping out, I think. I watch to see how many people have visited my site. It went from 1500 and some yesterday to 11,800 today! What in the world! Barring my site being posted somewhere huge, and I don't think it has been, I would say that it messed up badly. How sad.
Do you guys know jcaroline? The link is on my side bar. I love that site. Anyway, jcaroline sells fabric and notions. Really great notions. Like ruffle rac, grosgrain ribbon, interfacing, magnetic snaps, etc etc etc. If you go there, check out her sale page. I hit that page hard sometimes. Also, she had wonderful tutorials. I made two of her tote bag and hardly changed the pattern. I just lined the pocket is all. And today I made here hobo bag. It is so cute. Todd says his favorite. Not too hard of a pattern too. I can't say that about the tote. But it's so awesome, I just had to make it again (twice). Do you remember the first time I made it? It was Lisa's diaper bag. I'm planning another hobo tomorrow, if possible.
Take care y'all.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

This picture is of all the bags finished so far! There are four new ones in there. Two I made up today -- the one on the very left of the bench and the one hanging in the middle. Then the two on the top and bottom right I made yesterday. The pattern is here. (link) It's not too hard but, for me at least, very time consuming. It was the piping, which really set the purse off. I have all these ideas in my head every morning when I wake up. Then I just try to make them how I saw them. I always have fun thinking about who will buy it and praying for them. Is it someone I know, or someone far away? Will they appreciate how much thought and effort went into it? I realized today that every single bag I have made has flowers on it! I LOVE flowers, but not everyone does, I know. So I'm going to focus on the minority of prints in my sewing room: graphics. For a couple of days anyway. I'm working three days this week, so there won't be just tons of sewing, but I'm sure enough will get done.
That's all I have. I just took a second out of pickle making, round 2.
Love, Melissa

Friday, September 4, 2009

Chez Moi Day

Hello everyone. I was just reading Pretty Ditty's most recent post. You just have to go read it. It reminds me SO much of my two-year-old Emilie. Most of what she says sounds a little off color. I'm still laughing.

Okay, here are the bags of the day. The one on the left I made up the pattern for. It's Chez Moi's fabric called Swanky. I like that. And I love the fabrics. They are so soft and watercolorish. The one on the right is the Mill House Inn tote bag from the Moda Bake Shop. I did change it a bit because I had a partial jelly roll and partial layer cake of Chez Moi's Charisma. I did not have the honeybun they called for, and didn't really feel like cutting the strips in half since I probably wouldn't use the other half (only 1 and 1/4 inches). I think it came out nice. Those of you who know me realize these particular shades of brown and green and blue mixed together are a challenge for me. ( I love bright, pink and red especially.) Why were these left over? See below.

In June, I made this quilt for my friend Celeste. It is Chez Moi's Charisma pattern and came in a kit. I never buy kits, but I really loved the fabric and quilt. Anyway, I didn't like all the brown in it (big surprise!) so I took it out. And this quilt is just a lap size, so I had lots of fabrics left over from the kit. Lots more even still. But isn't this a fun pattern?

My sweet friend Celeste has been on dialysis since early summer. It makes her really sick. I guess she has to take classes to be on the transplant list but says she is now just one class away. She needs lots of prayers. She has two brothers and a sister, but I understand that none of them match her blood type. Her two daughters, Ashton and Aiden, are Todd's god-daughters. And her husband Kip is one of Todd's best friends. They don't live here, so we don't see them as often as we would like. But they are still so close to our hearts. I love you, Celeste. She mothered Todd through law school. And her husband too, all at the same time.
Love, Melissa

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