Saturday, June 28, 2014

New Project

Crazy because I really need to get 3 or 4 tops quilted. But sometimes I just cannot resist fabric. I saw this quilt in a Fons and Porter quilt book.

I absolutely loved the color scheme. Then I found this fabric. And couldn't resist.

I have all of the pieces cut out. Good project for when I was sitting with my dad. I was close by at the kitchen counter while he napped in the recliner.

Anytime I cut fabric, I just bite at the bit until I can put some blocks together. I do not think I am going to be disappointed with the results. 

But, I am making myself plug away at this quilt and now only need 5 blocks and the border, which is appliqued also.

And then the other day I was at Hancock Fabrics and quilter's cotton was 40% off. This came home with me.

You'll have to wait to see what I have planned.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting!

Friday, June 27, 2014

On the homefront . . .

I tried gardening in a small raised bed two summers and can't get anything to grow. We live on top of a ridge with layers and layers of rock underneath a very thin layer of soil.  Even when we added bags and bags of soil, do luck

I have a little flowerbed spot right outside my kitchen door that I decided to plant a few items. Two tomato plants, 2 pepper plants, and basil.

I added some miracle grow to the soil and am trying my luck. This tomato plant is huge with not a one tomato on it. Anyone know why?

This is a plant that requires less water and does not get very big. It has some tomatoes on it when I purchased it. The tomatoes are growing some but not sure if they are going to do anything.

The pepper plants do not seem to be growing much. The green bell pepper plant has a couple peppers growing but not sure if the plant is going to support their weight. The red pepper plant doesn't seem to be doing anything.  Can you tell I do not have a clue about gardening? We had a garden growing up and it just magically produced. lol

But the basil is doing well. I harvested some yesterday.

After reading how to harvest and how to preserve, I washed the leaves and stuffed as many as possible in a half pint jar and put it in the freezer. I am supposed to be able to just take out a few leaves at a time to use.

The rest I put under a plastic bag. It is supposed to stay fresh longer.

Experiments, experiments, experiments.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Missed Opportunity & A Second Chance

I drown to Ft. Smith and had dinner with my kiddos this evening. As I was driving home down highway 22 I looked in my rear view window and saw a beautiful sunset.  I thought about pulling over and taking a picture. But I hesitated.  After rounding a slight curve, I looked again and it was gone.  My thought was, "Well, that was a missed opportunity."

Which got me to thinking. How many missed opportunities have I had in my life because of my lack of making quick decisions?

Then, as I got near my home and turned to start up the ridge, I glanced up and once again I could see the beautiful sunset. Made even more beautiful by the elevation and surroundings.

Then, I realized that I had a second chance to see that glorious sunset and I did not hesitate to stop and get some photos.  How many times in life do we get second chances and fail to take them? How many times do we get second chances and make the same mistakes again?

Just something to think about on this beautiful day.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

New Quilt Started

I have wanted a yellow and blue quilt for a few years now. I never made one because I didn't have very many yellow or blue fabrics.

I found an applique quilt that uses a neutral background and blue and yellow applique. Although I had to purchase the background fabric, I have enough scraps to do all the applique.

When I purchased my first applique pattern, the lady I bought it from told me she used paper towels as the stabalizer on the back. And that is what I used for that project and most of the time since then.

I used two layers. Then I tear all of the paper towel off when I finish.  Works like a charm.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Finally Finished

It's been a long drawn out process. Only because I made a mess and had to pick out a 2 by 12 inch place where I stitched pebbles and did not like it at all.

But, it is all washed and ready to use now. My plan was to have 2 or 3 fall color quilts made before the fall. And I would have two completed; but, I this one gave away.

Now, let's see if I can finish another one I have started.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Pattern for Arkansas Block

I have put a page at the top for Patterns. If you click there you should find the pattern for the Arkansas Block.

This is the first pattern I have scanned so I hope it works for all of you.  When I saved the image as a PDF file, the pattern pieces came out smaller than the scanned images. So I was not able to give it to you as a pdf file. 

If anyone knows how to fix this problem, please let me know.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Black Bean Brownies

Well, I tried a different recipe for black bean brownies. This one was approved by the American Diabetis Association. Well, it was on their website.


1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup Domino® Light Sugar  & Stevia Blend
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8x8-inch baking pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. Grease top of parchment. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, beat black beans using an electric mixer until smooth. Add Domino® Light Sugar and Stevia Blend and remaining ingredients, except for the chocolate chips. (Do not over mix.) Scrape down sides of the bowl. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour batter into the pan and bake 30 – 35 minutes until the brownies begin to pull away from the side of the pan. Cool and cut into 16 squares.
I made mine in muffin pans and only baked them for 20 minutes. They were very moist and really good. I used olive oil instead of canola oil. Not sure if that made any difference or not. I did not add the semi-sweet chocolate chips because I didin't have any. I probably will the next time just to give Larry an extra treat. But they definitely were not really needed.   I will definitely use this recipe again.

I would really like to use butter instead of oil but I will have to research how much that would effect the sugar and carb numbers.

So if you have been thinking of trying a Black Bean Brownies recipe, this one is a winner.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting!

Winners, where are you?

Thank you giddy99  for contacting me with you mailing address.
  Jen Beatty  winner of the fat quarter bundle 
AuntTC winner of the block kit, 
I need you to email me with your address so I can get those in the mail to you.  I do not have an email address to contact you.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

And the winners are . . .

Good Morning Folks!!!

I got up early this morning and while enjoying my morning coffee (and getting ready to watch a quilting show, which wasn't on this week for some reason), I used a random number generator to choose the winners.


 The winner of the fat quarter bundle from AMB is Jen Beatty who said:

I think I now want to the see the glass bridges you highlighted.

 The winner of the fabric rectangles is Giddy99 who said:

So generous to share; thanks! Please count me in! 

And the winner of the fabric block kit is AuntTC who said:

I'd also like to be in the drawing for the kit. Thanks for the chances.

If you three ladies will email me with your mailing address we can get those prizes mailed out to you.

Have a great weekend!

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Second Giveaway

Each blogger who agreed to participate in the AMB Blog Tour was sent a 6 x 12 inch rectangle of each pieces of fabric in this new line. I have bundled up all of the left over pieces to give away to one of the readers of my blog.

I also have a kit made up of my block. All pieces are cut out and have steam a seam already attached. So if you are making the entire quilt, you might appreciate this kit.

So leave a comment if you would like a chance to win the fabric. Leave an additional comment if you would like the kit. All will be included in the fabric drawing. But only those who would like the kit will be included in the second drawing. Be sure your email address is available to me so I can email you for an address. Sorry, but only residents of the US are eligible.

Winners will be announced June 7.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A New Form of Exercise

Craftsman 21" 159cc OHV Craftsman Engine, My Stride Rear Drive Self-Propelled Lawn Mower at

Yep, a new self propelled lawn mower. I decided that since I walk almost every day, I cold mow the lawn at the same time.  I mowed for over an hour this morning starting at 7 a.m. I started to go out at 6 am and then realized the neighbors were home and probably wouldn't appreciate that. But, I can't believe how hot it was at that hour.  Once again, we seemed to have skipped spring.

What else did I accomplish today? I canned 9 pints of Orange Chicken.

I used this recipe from Creative Canning Blog.  Yesterday, I canned 3 pints and tasted one today. I decided it was good, so I tripled the recipe today. I think tomorrow I am going to try some Cranberry Chicken.  But I also see a Marsala Chicken that looks pretty good.  I still have 10 pounds of chicken breast to put up.

Hopefully, I'll make it back to the sewing room for a little bit tomorrow.  Working in the sun wears me out. I don't know how my dad did it for so many years. And at this age. I do believer our parents are way tougher than we are.

Happy snipping, stiching, and quilting. And now canning.

Welcome to the sights of ARKANSAS . . .

Today is my day. You can see the Arkansas block at the end of this post. But first,  a tour of some of the interesting places to visit in Arkansas.

First stop, my current home place,  Paris. Yes, many times I get kidded about being from Paris, France. Maybe some day I will get to visit there. 


A few years ago, an area business man decided to take on the task of lighting up the square during the Christmas holidays. All it took was one man, dedicated to our city, to boost morale and bring a community together.

Next stop . . .

About 13 miles south of Paris on the highest peak in Arkansas is Mount Magazine State Park.

 The Lodge at Mount Magazine, the park's mountain resort lodge, offers first-class accommodations, classic Southern cuisine, and sweeping views from the south bluff of Arkansas's high point, 2,753-foot Mount Magazine.

Back in 1939, there was a small lodge and cabins located on the top of the mountain. But in 1971, a fire  destroyed everything. Locals continued to visit the mountain for the views it offered. In 1988, the mountain was declared a state park.   Years later, a lodge was built, cabins constructed, camping sites added and numerous trails built. It was officially opened in 2006. A visitors center also sits on the outer edge of the park. Frank Willems, a state representative from Subiaco (5 miles to the east of Paris), played an instrumental part in developing the mountain top. Unfortunately, Mr. Willems died in 2000 and never saw his work completed.

On to . . .

My hometown, Subiaco, Arkansas.  It is a very small town about 5 miles east of Paris.

It is the home of Subiaco Abbey and Academy.  I grew up about a half a mile down the road from this beautiful monastery and school. It was my home church and the church where Larry and I were married. This is where Craig attended high school and Craig and Becca were married there. It will always be home.

My dad did some of the rock work on this beautiful church. My mom tells the story of my dad working on the top of the bell tower and his mother became ill. She says the wait for him to climb down so she could tell him seemed to be an eternity.

Next stop . . .

Shoal Bay.  It is a Corp of Engineer Park.  Arkansas has many Recreational Areas for swimming, picnicking, and camping. This one is within 20 miles of my home and our favorite. 

On down the road about 90 miles, we visit Little Rock, the state capital. Also, home of the Clinton Library.

I'm embarrassed to say that I have never been inside it. I do believe that may have to be a day trip this summer.

Looking for a girl's best friend? Then visit the  Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfeesboro. 

It is the only diamond-producing site in the world where the public can search for diamonds. And the policy here is "finders, keepers," meaning the diamonds you find are yours to keep. Sad to say, I haven't been here either. But this is another place I plan to visit this summer. Maybe I'll even find a diamond.

Next stop is

Blanchard Springs Caverns   These caves are located near Mountain View (which is a lazy little town known for the Ozark Folk Center and its' love of folk music). I have actually been to these caverns but it was when I was a tween. I vaguely remember my dad doing some work here before it was opened in 1973.  I don't remember if he worked on some of the walkways and railings inside the caves or on the visitors center.  I will have to ask him.

Our next stop will be the eclectic town of

Town Shop

Eureka Springs.  It is well-known for the hilly downtown area of cobblestone roads lined with shops of every type you can imagine. It is also considered a wedding town because of the Thorncrown Chapel.  This chapel is made almost entirely of glass. Just beautiful.

Our last stop will be Bentonville in Northwest Arkansas

Annual Report

to visit Crystal Bridges. This is a fairly new museum built in November, 2011.  It was funded by Alice Walton and the admission is sponsored by Walmart. It is truly a unique art museum with some changing exhibits.

Now we have traveled all through the state and have come full swing. A beautiful 1 1/2 - 2 hour drive will bring you back to Paris.

If you read through the whole post, you will know why I chose the trees and diamonds to add to the block. The block with the large diamond is actually modeled after our state flag.

AMB is giving away a pack of eight fat quarters to a blogger who comments on this blog. And . . .  a pack for each state,  so go check out the other states'  plates


To win here, just leave a comment on this post telling me which place you would like to visit in Arkansas.   (You must live in the US to enter.) A winner will be announced June 7th.  Then drop by tomorrow and enter to win another giveaway.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Chicken and Brownies

I have a friend who is able to purchase 20 pounds of boneless chicken breast for $1 per pound. I had him get me 40 pounds (2 boxes). Not all of the chicken is large breasts. Most of it is in smaller pieces like chicken strips. But Larry likes grilling that size because it is faster and it is easier to can smaller pieces.

Today I spent the afternoon packaging up half of the chicken. I put 13 packages in the freezer. Each package has a serving of 4 because we like to have leftovers for lunch the next day. I also canned 6 pints.

 I ran across a recipe for Black Bean Brownies. Don't they look yummy.

Minimalist Baker-Black Bean Brownies

The black beans take the place of flour and splenda or stevia takes the place of sugar. These are totally diabetic friendly.  They are in the oven now. I sure hope they are good and don't disappoint us. I am trying to find desserts that Larry can eat. And we both are trying to have less flour in our diets.

One more day of school, then I have all summer free. We don't have a vacation planned. I think maybe we will visit a few places in Arkansas that we haven't been.  Blanchard Springs Caverns. Clinton Library. Go back to Crystal Bridges and eat in the restaurant. I think I will check to see the concert lineup for Magic Springs. I'm thinking some day trips would be fun.

Well, I took the brownies out and I was disappointed. They are not sweet at all. I used splenda instead of stevia and don't think I used the correct conversion. I also think I left them in the oven too long. They seem to be kind of dry. But if I put some strawberry jam on them, they will be edible. And I do believe I will make them again using a different recipe.  I have run across 3 or 4 of them. I think I'll also taste the batter to tweak it a little before I bake them.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting.


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