Monthly Archives: May 2014



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summer socks pair 1 finished

These socks are intended to just cover the foot in the shoe.  So I should be able to get two pair from  the same fiber from which I usually get one pair  since I always have some leftover.  If I don’t have quite enough for the second pair, I’ll finish the toes with something else – who sees way down into your Nike’s anyway?    I had a lot of waiting time this week so was able to finish them quickly.    It may take the entire month of June to finish the second pair as the plan is for my brother and his granddaughter to visit as well as my daughter and grandson.   And we will be doing some “going”.

P1010625 bluegrey summer

Look closely as  I’d like to point out some flaws.  It’s difficult to see in this photo, but the top sock is definitely a lighter grey than the lower sock.   I purchased this fiber at JoAnn’s and it is a decent sock yarn, but I didn’t bother to check if it was the same lot number and it isn’t.   You will notice that the stripes also do not follow the same order.  It’s as if one was rolled reverse from the other.    Now on this pair of socks, none of this matters because when I make the second pair, it will be the same story, so by taking the dark sock from each pair, I will have a matching color pair – the same with the lighter gray ones (assuming I have enough to finish both socks with this yarn)   However, if this had been a full pair of socks, I would have been unhappy and probably stopped after the first inch and reappropriated the yarn to another project – scarf or ?

So lesson learned.   Lot number can be extremely important.

The second pair is barely started and will be put on hold until the house is company ready.

P1010624 second pair started



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In the Kitchen – Granola and Broccoli recipes

Yesterday we made granola which is really fast to do and isn’t nearly as sweet as what one gets in the grocery store.


  • 10 cups rolled oats

  • 1 cup sunflower seeds

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews

  • 1/2 cup slivered or ground almonds

  • 1/2 cup honey

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Mix all together and put in dehydrator until done – usually 2 days in mine.    This is very basic and I often put up to 3 cups of seeds and nuts without changing the rest of the recipe. (instead of just two)   Adding a bit more or less of the oats, seeds, or nuts or adding other items just adds variety to your breakfasts.   If adding dried fruit, add it after you take it from the dehydrator.

QUINOA with Broccoli

  • 1 1/2 cup quinoa cooked as box states in 2 cups chicken flavored bullion

  • 1 onion sauted then add

  • 1 large head of broccoli and cooked until barely tender

  • 11/2  cup vegan or any type cheese such as cashew cheese  (I used Daiya cheese for this photo)

Mix quinoa, broccoli, and cheese together and place in casserole dish.  Pour cheese over top and bake 400 about 30 minutes.

This recipe was adopted from Vegkitchen    When served for company, we don’t have leftovers for the next day.

P1010622 quinoa w broc

Cream of Broccoli Soup

This makes 9-10 cups of thick soup and stays hot awhile.

  • broccoli – approx. 8 cups   I peel and save chopped stems in the freezer from when we have steamed broccoli.

  • 1/2 cup red pepper  – I use what I have or even what I have dehydrated

  • onion – 1 large chopped

  • 5 cups water

  • 1.5 t salt

  • garlic powder 1/2-1 teas (depend on taste)

  • 1 teas savory – optional

  • 2 Tbs chicken flavored bullion

Place onion, seasonings, and about 5 cups of water in large kettle   Simmer til broccoli stems are tender.   Sometimes I will blend this and Then add the broccoli crowns – about 3 cups and red pepper.    Simmer about 5 minutes.

If you are freezing it, this is where I freeze and add the rest after thawing.

In the blender add 3/4 cup cashews, 1 cup water and 1/3 cup potato starch*.     Add to soup, stir and serve.

Sometimes we add a spoonful of salsa to the top.

*Instead of potato flour, you could use a cup plus of well-cooked rice or a large potato, well cooked.   Either will thicken the soup.

P1010621 Boc soup

These recipes are not exact as that’s the way I cook.  So if you can fudge one way or the other on them.

I hope you enjoy them.



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Quick fleece gift tutorial – scarf, blanket, hats

The Bible says, “the poor you have with you always”     I take this as a call to service.   For me summer is a great time to start on my charity gifts.   By the time cold weather arrives, I usually have an arsenal of small gifts, none of which took me much time.   I also have blankets and quilts, but they take a bit longer.

SCARF  (fleece blankets can be done the same except use 2 yards and just trim the margins off the sides and use a plate to make round corners.

Yesterday’s blanket backing was fleece and left me with scraps.    Buy a 1/4 yard  of fleece in colors for the recipient.   I suggest the dark or team colors for men.   This does not need to be prewashed as it does not shrink.


Since the piece was 66″ long and 8+ inches wide on each side, I cut those sides off.


Then trimmed them to be 8″


Then fringed each end by laying a ruler across the end where I want the fringe to stop and cutting every 1/2″ up to that point.  I do not measure, just eyeball it.  (If the fringed pieces are pulled they will curl).   The fringe is optional.


With little time and money you have a quick gift or charity project.   We make these for street people along with fleece hats and in purple for the hospital “shaking babies” program.



Average Head Sizes from Martha Stewart

Newborn (6 months and younger)   Circumference: 14 to 17 inches Crown: 8 to 10 inches

Infant (6 to 12 months)    Circumference: 16 to 19 inches Crown: 11 to 12 inches

Child (12 months to 3 years)    Circumference: 18 to 20 inches Crown: 11 to 12 inches

Child (3 years and older)   Circumference: 20 to 22 inches Crown: 13 to 14 inches

Adult Woman   Circumference: 21 to 23 1/2 inches Crown: 13 to 15 inches

Adult Man    Circumference: 22 to 24 1/2 inches Crown: 14 to 16 inches

 Using the infant size above I cut 2 hats with the 11 x 16″ measurements


Then sewed the long sides together with a 1/4″ seam to make a tube.


Sew a seam across the top of the hat

Sew the two points together using a strong thread (for a beginner, this is better done with a needle and thread)


Bare heads lose a lot of body heat, so I have not stitched the bottom of the hat.   One can turn it up once or twice or even leave it full length.   For a child, it can be used for a longer time.


Today, we have put away 2 scarves and 2 hats for gifts.


And because we paid for all the scraps, I want to use them.   So using a bit of satin binding left over from another project and the last usable piece of this fleece, which is 10 x 11.5, I sewed the binding on for the baby to take along when they leave the house (esp in case she is a thumb sucker).   In this way, mom can pin the piece to baby’s clothes and baby has her comfort piece.

P1010616 baby blanket scraps

In case you are concerned about the selvages cut off,   they will become plant ties.



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Pinwheel baby quilt

   A good share of today  was  spent quilting and binding this baby quilt.  These pinwheels were left over from making another quilt.  I really enjoy being able to use parts that are put to the side when the first quilt is make.   I’m quite  happy with  the way turned out   It still needs to be wet down and laid out flat to  relax the binding as I tend to stretch it to keep it straight as I sew  it.    I plan to do that in the morning.



The other part of the day was spent researching whether we will go with plan A, B, or C for our water.   Our well no longer provides the amount of water it has in the past.    So we have an appointment with a pump man and may get one with a well driller and will price holding tanks as well.    Ah, the ebb and flow of money.  It just isn’t flowing the right direction.





Short summer socks

It was time to start a new pair of socks and thinking summer is nearly here, I decided to see if I can get two pair of short socks out of the 2 skeins of yarn.   I have put an inch ribbing on them and then started the heel.   Here the first pair is in progress.  There is nothing fancy about them – just straight stockinette stitch which will go rapidly.    I’d love to get the two pair down before the end of June.   They will be so welcome.

P1010601 turqngray half socks



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Do you ever get up and just want to take a vacation from all you’ve been doing?   That was how it was here today.    Bill and I talked about all the people who fly to Seattle (big airfare), stay in hotels (another expense) and eat all their meals out.  And since they have to make reservations, they can’t choose the weather.    We live one hour from Seattle and don’t even go enjoy the city.   Shameful.  We are about to change that.

A reader mentioned that it sounds like we have lots of parks in this area – which is true and we were a bit sore from yesterday’s gardening.    To add to that our daughter Kati raved about a Chinese foot massage for only $27.00 –  an hour.   A regular massage near here is 70 – 80 for an hour.     Off we went to Seattle’s huge International district.

If you haven’t had one of these before, let me describe the scene.   There were 20 red oversized chair/beds in this room, dim lights and beautiful, soft, music.  I sat in the chair, took off my shoes and socks and was presented with a very warm (not hot) bucket of water into which I put my feet.   Next he covered me with a blanket and the chair was laid back.   Starting with my head, he worked the head, the neck and  shoulders (which in my case was the purpose of going).    Then he did each arm and hand and then the feet – think reflexology.   After he was through with the feet and toes, I turned over and he worked the back a bit.   This whole process took an hour.   These people are skilled and if 20 people were sitting in those 20 chairs, all the masseuses would be doing the same thing at the same time.  Amazing!  An hour of this and I was ready for a nap – not going out to eat.

P1010599 china town

But remember this is a vacation day, so we did join Kati and Zach for lunch at a vegan tofu restaurant near by.   The food was excellent!     With full stomachs, we walked over to a huge marketplace where we saw many fruits and vegetables with which we are not familiar and a few exotic ones we did know from our trips.  But one marketplace wasn’t enough – we visited another one and this one had many items besides the foods.

We had a WONDERFUL vacation day.




A pinwheel baby quilt ++

Some days have more interesting things than others and today was a good one.   First I thought you might like to see what we use as insecticide.   These are the baby Bantams you saw two months ago.

P1010595 insectivores

Another beautiful iris has opened.

P1010593 Beautiful iris

The first broccoli of the season from our garden.   The one was absolutely delicious for lunch and I may have been a little over exuberant on the other and picked it a bit too soon.   But I’m sure it will also be delicious.

P1010594 first broccoli

I was asked to make a quilt top for a baby girl arriving in July.   When I asked what color, I got no response.  Since she will be flooded with pink, I decided on something a bit different.   What do you think?

P1010597 pinwheel baby quilt top

For backing, I’ve picked out this fleece.   They are now mounted on the quilting machine.   My thinking was that they will be able to use it with the next baby, even if it is a boy.  Any guesses how long it takes to get back to this project?

 I saved the bad news until last.   The coyote came to visit when the dogs were in the house because the neighbor thinks they are noisy at night (coyotes live in his yard)     We now have only two geese left.



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Fir Island

We took the day for an outing and went to Conway, Washington, particularly Fir Island  This is a major wintering spot for Trumpeter and Tundra Swan as well as the Snow Goose.   The state Fish and Wildlife has an area set aside so these birds will not be bothered.   This area also attracts many other birds.   I believe the sign said they have sighted more than 100 varieties.P1010580


P1010591 fir lsland


In addition to checking that out, (of course we found out about this island too late for wintering birds to still be there) we drove around the small island and took in the sights.  Most of the island is in food crops.  I was surprised to see the name of the company from where we get our organic strawberries  has their farm there.  They do Sunday market here in town, so I didn’t think about them being on the island.    So here are some views of the very beautiful land.







It appears someone wanted to remember the old country with the pile of rocks and a pretend goat.

P1010590 fake goat

And yes, we were happy to be in a small car when we had to turn around in a place that didn’t expect one to have to turn around.  I had to get out and direct as the car barely fit the road.   Deep drainage ditches were on each side.

P1010584 tight turn

p1010586 tight turn



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Sock pair #5 finished

Today I slacked on  creating with fiber and the garden to do house cleaning.   If it gets too dirty, I find it difficult to work on projects

May is the fifth month and this is the fifth pair of socks, so I’m right on schedule.    Somehow this yarn found its way into my yarn stash.  While they may not be my choice in color, I do know two women who would love to have them.   So they will have a home.

 P1010577 green orange socks

             Our first peony is just opening.

P1010578 first peony

My prayer is that all of you  have a safe and happy holiday.




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May Sew Fun purchases

  P1010570    nest sharing Just sharing the nesting space.    The bantam (now in back) lays claim to this spot, but can be pushed over for another to lay her eggs.

P1010565 butterfly quilt

An interesting quilt I saw on the wall at the store yesterday.

P1010566 halloween cats

And they still had what I consider a Halloween quilt up.

P1010560 picnic table cloth

But this one REALLY caught my eye.   The picnic cloth is 50″ square.   What is cut off in the photo, is the quilter had embroidered a drumstick on the back of the oven mitt and ants marching across the towel.

P1010571 picnic pattern

So this cute pattern came home with me.   I should be able to get this done in a month, don’t you think?   Especially a month with lots of company.    I’m with you – won’t happen this year, but there will be another summer.

P1010572  Pam Bono angler 2

This Angler 2 looks like a very handy tool, so it came to live at my house as well

P1010573 triangle trimmer

Corner Cut 60 will make sewing these triangles so much easier and faster because the ears are cut off before you sew.   Also because of that, the 1/4″ seams should be more accurate.   I love tools that make life easier.

P1010574 steam a seam replacement

And the big prize was this “glue” paper.   I have used rolls of Seam a Steam 2 lite.   But they are having production problems and people are saying they like this just as well, if not better.   This is what I use to do machine applique.   I press this on the back of my applique and then draw the design on the paper on the reverse of this.   After that I cut it out and position it on the background fabric where I want to make the scene.   Since I have several quilts in mind of this type, 3 packages of this paper came to live with me.

It was a very good day.   It is unusual to find so many usable items at one of these “infomercial: Sew Fun programs.