Sunday, April 28, 2013

What happens when you mix peanut butter & Snickers?

You get cookies!

Snickers Peanut Butter Crinkles that is. I get in a baking mood by Sunday. I'm usually ready for a day at home and have a couple things in mind that I want to bake or make.

I've had a couple Snickers bars hanging around waiting for me to try out this cookie idea. I also needed a couple loaves of bread and had a recipe from the "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois.

They have a recipe for "Soft American-Style White Bread". The recipe couldn't be simpler. I pulled out my favorite loaf pans and started mixing (actually I started with basic baking powder biscuits and homemade gravy). The recipe makes three 1.5 lb. loaves. I made two loaves and used the dough from the 3rd to make Parmesan bread sticks to go with spaghetti.

The bread sticks could be made with any bread dough recipe. Simply knead Parmesan cheese into the dough, press or roll pieces out into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick rectangles, cut in thin strips, then twist and stretch as you place them on your baking pan. I didn't time them, but I don't think they took more than 15 minutes or so at 350 degrees F. My husband ate 4 hot from the oven.

While the dough was rising, I mixed the ingredients for the cookies. I did cut the amount of sugar in the dough and I chose not to roll them in powdered sugar to make the crinkle look.

I chopped the Snickers bars into small pieces before mixing into the dough. This dough is meant to be chilled before rolling, but I just started rolling them right away. I pulled out my scale to measure the dough for even sized cookies.

Mine didn't spread much, so we were able to place them fairly close on the baking sheet. I went with 15g as a good size for a 2-bite cookie. I think these could also be rolled in wax paper, chilled and sliced like refrigerator cookies if a bigger cookie was wanted.

My youngest came into the kitchen following his nose with audible sniffs. I bribed him with a couple cookies to go outside and off he went, happily munching away. I also gave him the little bits of caramel that melted out of cookies where the candy was a bit close to the surface.

Snickers Peanut Butter Cookies
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup peanut butter, creamy, room temp.
3/4 cup brown sugar (light or dark is up to you)
1/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs, room temp.
2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large Snickers bars, chopped small
1 cup powdered sugar, for rolling
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cream butter, peanut butter, brown sugar and white sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and mixed until combined.
Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and Snickers chunks. Gradually add to butter mixture.
Chill dough for 10 to 20 minutes.
Roll a tablespoon of dough into a ball, then roll in powdered sugar. Place on prepared baking sheet and gently flatten.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees F until crinkly and edges set.

My hubby professes to loving Snicklers and I know he loves cookies, so I thought combining the two would be just the thing. I looked up several crinkle cookie recipes and read them before writing this recipe.

Even though I list a total of 1 cup sugar, I cut the sugar to closer to 3/4 cup total (since the candy should have plenty of sugar) without any problem.

I have a pair of silicone baking mats that I use to prep my baking sheets and I love them. If you don't have these, parchment lightly greased should work as well. I can't say enough about parchment and it's uses. I now keep a box in with my foil and Ziplocs.

I also recommend breaking your eggs into a measuring cup before adding to the butter mix to avoid getting shell bits into your dough. Instead of combining the dry ingredients, I tend to mix my baking powder, baking soda and salt right after adding the vanilla and just mix until completely blended. During the cooler winter months, I keep unsalted butter on my counter so it's always ready for baking. If I am baking several days in a row, I will also place my eggs in a bowl on the counter. You can give them a 10 second round in the microwave to take the chill off.

Using 15g of dough per cookie, I made about 60 or so cookies, not counting a sample cookie, some broken cookies and bribe cookies. These took 12 minutes in my oven, but each oven is different, so start with 10 and add more time if they aren't quite done enough. I have a thermometer in my oven to double check my temperature.

I also did not flatten my cookies and like how they retained some of that roundness. I also expected these to spread much more since I did not chill the dough. I just tried not to handle the dough to much.

Next time I make this recipe I want to make up some cinnamon sugar to roll them in.


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Sunny Saturday & Bacon Ranch Dip

Matt is visiting this weekend and offered to help me with a few things I've been trying to get done on my own.

So this morning, he helped me get my Belladonna Lilies replanted. He also helped me get my first load of irises into the ground. I've already transplanted 3 rhubarb plants and several walking onions.

I'm very glad to get those irises into the ground. I should have spent a little more time getting the planting ground ready, but I'm not sure it would have helped. I also need to get a proper hand trowel, so I can dig once I'm on the ground. I only dug up four groups of irises at my Spring Valley house. I have two whole beds to lift and divide.

He also helped me bring clean canning jars into my storage area in the basement. I found canning lids for 49 cents per 12 ct. box at a Goodwill, so I bought 20 of them. I also bought an entire box of jelly jars for $2.00. I'm thinking I've got plenty to keep me busy for a while now.

I also made Bacon Ranch Dip for dinner this evening. I've been wanting to make this for a while. It really turned out very simple.

I started with about 8 slices of bacon and a 1/2 cup of green onions. Fry the bacon until it's crisp. The onions are just to flavor the bacon. Transfer to a plate with a couple paper towels to drain.

About 1/4 cup of the green parts of a couple green onions, minced, and Hidden Valley Ranch mix, about a 1/4 cup. Mix together.

About 1 1/4 cup mild cheddar cheese, mince the shreds finer, then add to the green onion mix.

Add about half of a 16 ounce container of sour cream to the cheese-onion mix and blend. Finely chop the bacon and add to the cheese mix. Gradually add the remainder of the sour cream. Put into the refrigerator for the flavors to blend.

I did notice the the flavors are better blended several hours after I made it than just 40 minutes after I made it and used it for dinner, so I advise making this 2-3 hours before you plan to serve it so that the flavors really have time to blend.

I apologize for not getting a picture of the finished dip. The guys liked it so much, they were putting it on their cheeseburgers as well as eating it with the fries.

Bacon Cheddar Dip
     by Taste of Home
2 cups (16 oz.) sour cream
1 cup (4 oz.) finely shredded cheddar cheese
1 envelope Ranch dressing mix
2 to 4 bacon strips cooked & crumbled
In medium bowl, combine sour cream, Cheddar cheese, ranch mix and bacon. Cover and chill at least an hour.

An absolutely super simple recipe. I think it would make a good base for a casserole. Give it a try. You don't need an excuse other than dip made from scratch doesn't have as much salt or preservatives as a commercially made dip.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Vogue 8751 & Art Book Workshop

I have Vogue 8751 traced off to take with me for doing a fitting on my daughter Josie. Once I have the pattern fitted, I will cut the fabric for the pants to go with her top.

I will also be taking the corset top with me for fitting before completing the sewing. I've the boning to finish before joining the outer with the lining. I can't wait to see the finished product.

I also started a 10"x10" art quilt piece on the theme "Passages" that I wish to submit to "Quilting Arts" for their request for reader submissions on the theme. I am finished with the base layer and am now doing the handwork.

I started just a few of the snow swirls today. I intend to add several more along with a few snowflakes. I also have detailing to do along the harness and body of the sleigh horse.

Facial features, sleigh bells, reins and a few other small details. I think I might also add a cardinal into the background just for that small pop of bright color before adding the backing and label.

I was also fortunate to be able to attend an art book workshop at the Galesburg Public Library this evening. It was a lot of fun to see what everyone does with such a variety of materials.

I was working on two books, giving each book time to dry. This is the inside of the first book. It has quite a ways to go before being finished.

This is the cover of my second. I used wallpaper papers for the background and images from a children's book for the pictures. The inside was just beginning to come together. I brought the remaining pieces home so that I might complete the book.

I couldn't resist these bunnies. The ribbon in the middle really isn't quite as wide as I'd like. I may replace it with an orange ribbon a bit wider. I've got the base papers to finish covering the pages. Too bad I won't get to work on it for a while. This was my first time using modge podge. It is quite interesting. Like thinned out white glue, but a glossier finish that suggests a polymer.

This silver film was also an interesting find in the ribbons box. I makes I very bright binding cover. It still needs a trim and some finishing to be right. The blue of the book covers will be fine for what I want to paint on the outside.

This was such a fun workshop. I hope the library considers hosting another one. Although, I wouldn't mind if that had a mid-afternoon or mid-morning one.

Tomorrow Matt will be coming out to help me with some gardening work and moving some things. It will be good to give him a break from his apartment and be good to have a willing helper.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Prom Details

I finished the outer portion of Josie's corset this morning. It may need a little more "window" detail to complete the Tardis look, but the structure is complete.

I also finished the lining and started the boning. I cut all the bones and covered them with satin for a casing. I put three of them in place and will wait to sew down the remain ones until I've done some fitting. I'd rather wait and get the fitting down than to have to spend a lot of time with a seam ripper.

The boning is sewn to the inside of the lining fabric. I'm thrilled about how fast this came together.

This is one panel of the back with the loops. There is a privacy panel on one side. Once that I have the fitting for the pattern in place I would like to make one reversible.

In the midst of this project, I had to stop and clean my iron. I actually have three of these irons. One I purchased new, one older one I bought for messy work, and one I bought the other day because my new one was making weird noises and not heating up properly. Of all the irons I've had, even a cordless one, this is my favorite. They are the Timex of Irons.

Tomorrow I want to get her pants pattern adjusted, cut and sewing started. I plan to sew them to a point where I can do a fitting. I'm going to take my back-up machine with me and then I can do the fitting right there.

Josie has asked me to bring a pattern from my costume collection so that she can make a full length jacket without sleeves. I bought her a jacket, but she is worried about removing the sleeves to create the look she wants, so she bought 8 yards of a dark brown fabric yesterday and plans to sew it herself over the weekend.

Once I get the fitting done for the corset and the pants, I will have everything complete early next week. Now to get her to let me take pictures of the complete outfit.

Now to get my irises planted.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Prom Progress

I've started work on Josie's prom outfit. I have the front portion of her corset sewn. I was surprised at how fast this is sewing together.

No, I haven't taken any pictures since the day I traced off the pattern and cut the blue layer. Today I cut part of the white layer. I also made the cords for the lacing in the back. I've started placing the banding around the white "window" area of the front.

My daughter wants a "tardis" style corset top. I am working off of a concept idea from Pinterest. In order to accomplish this I decided to make the inside lining white satin and the outside blue satin. I cut the two fronts where I wanted the division to be and reversed them then used the black to join the pieces.

Once I completed the joining for the front, adding the next to pieces on each side went along very quickly. I paused for the evening as I tear down my cutting & ironing area since my sewing room and dining room are the same room. I will get set back up again tomorrow so I can iron the seams properly as I go.

I will be making a few modifications as I sew along besides the front cut and flip. I chose heavy satins for the out and in sides so I chose not to underline the outer layer. I did purchase a light interfacing and I am going to add some interfacing to the back pieces where the lacing loops will be.

I can't wait to see this finished. I'm going to be taking it up to be fitted Saturday, along with her pants. So, I promise, pictures tomorrow.

Also on tomorrow's agenda, skimming the fat from my broth and canning it up in the pint jars I just purchased. I found a great deal on chicken breasts and it really doesn't take long to bone and skin them myself. Bonus ... homemade chicken broth. Since I use lots of broth in my cooking, this is a great bonus.

Also on the agenda is getting the irises, rhubarb, walking onions and bulbs I brought home Monday into the ground. The irises needed dividing, a perfect time to move some to my new home. And, I chose to move the smaller of my rhubarb. I hope it works, as I've never moved rhubarb. The bulbs are fall bloomers, so shoulder be ok, but I'm not sure where I'm going to put them just yet. I'll be moving hostas later next month.

The amount of rain we've received lately has been a mixed blessing. The blessing, making the ground easy to dig plants out. The not so blessing? It can be more like playing patty-cake than planting if you are working in the rain.

The weatherman says no rain, so maybe tomorrow morning I can get the plants in the ground. And, more pictures. Really.


Monday, April 22, 2013

A Day for Cooking and Resting

That's what Sunday is for me before I begin the new week. Fold a little laundry, bake some things for the week ahead and make something for dinner that either uses up leftovers or is more complicated than I'd make during the week. 

Fresh homemade buns for tomorrow's dinner ... turkey & cheddar sausages. Plus two loaves of soft french bread to serve with other meals. While the bread was rising, I started a small batch of strawberry jam. I definitely need more jars!

I made enough for each of the kids to have a small jar. And, some for home. I need to purchase more jars so I can small batches of seasonal fruits all summer long. I don't have the freezer space to store large batches of anything, but I do have a good storage space in the basement perfect for jars.

I also picked the best strawberries (about a dozen) of the bunch and made strawberry scones, one of the easiest things on the planet next to my favorite bread recipe.

You do not even need a mixer for scones. They start like biscuits with all the dry ingredients together then butter mixed in until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Then mix the wet ingredients together before adding to the dry ingredients. The key here is not to mix too much, just get them combined. I mixed the strawberries in last.

And, just kept going ... I made potato pancakes for my hubby. I think he would have eaten them all himself. I think I have just enough left for a snack.

Then to make my weekend, the sun was out for the first time in days. I like rainy days, but last week's rain forgot when to stop, leaving a lot of people cleaning out basements and crawl spaces or stuck behind flooded creeks, rivers or fields. The best part about the sunshine was getting to see how the first pair of finished drapes make the living room look.

I have a feeling I'm going to be hanging them for the summer to block out the sun's heat and keep the house cool, but in the winter, some of them will be coming down to let the light and heat into the space. The pair in the living room are the first of 4 pairs. I'm not sure I want to put another pair in the living room yet; and, I'm unsure I want to put them in the dining room at all.

Living room windows in progress

I'm thinking that I will go ahead and finish the panels and then set up storage for them so I can pull them out when I want them. Originally, I was going to do the windows all the same, creamy sheers, beige lined drapes and a brown, tan, deeper beige flocked fabric for the valances. Now, I'm considering making creamy valances for the dining room and only the two panels for the living room, but we'll see if I need more in the dining room later.

One of the dining room windows w/valance
And, ending with the recipe for Strawberry Scones from adapted from Baking with Julia by Julia.

Strawberry Scones
3 c flour
1/2 c sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter cut in tiny pieces
1 c half-n-half
1 Tbsp plain yogurt
12 frozen strawberries, sliced (I used fresh ones)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. (I baked mine at 350 but for a slightly longer time).
Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter pieces. Do not overwork or the butter will melt.
Mix yogurt into half-n-half, then add strawberries. Add liquids to sifted flour mix and combine gently.
Turn out on to lightly floured surface and pat into a square approx. 1/2-inch thick. Place on parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown.

*Notes: I used 1/4 cup sugar over the strawberries and only mixed 1/4 cup in with flour. When adding the liquids, I did not add strawberries until last. I also chose to scoop large spoonfuls onto a silicone baking sheet. Then I baked them at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes. Of 10 pieces, this morning I put 5 in the cookie jar.
**You could also top these with demerara sugar or raw sugar before baking. I like the rough texture that leaves crannies for jam!


Saturday, April 20, 2013

What to Write ...

When you don't know what you want to write. Well, I guess you write a post that brings a lot of things in and maybe goes no where.

Here's the coat I found for Josie for her prom outfit. This is so perfectly David Tennant. Since it's Christian Dior and wool, I am going to ask her if she wants to have me make a shrug in a chiffon or lace to go under the coat.

I've also cut the first sewn piece of Josie's outfit.

The blue outer layer of her corset. I still have the white lining to cut. Due to the weights of the satins, outside and inside, I don't think an underlining is needed. I may still use some stabilizing braid along the stop edge inside. I am planning to round the edges of the boning strips. I'd like to have had a part of this sewn for a fitting today. Maybe if I get this done, I will baste the shell for fitting.

Today, later, I am going up to Matt's new apartment and helping him get pictures hung up, put his shower curtain in place and see if we can't get him some temporary curtains on his windows. I think we should also do some organization in the kitchen pantry and get him more set up for cooking.

I also purchased mattress covers for his box spring and mattress. If he will help me, we will get those on and then find some sheets and a blanket and make the bed. Then, even if he doesn't sleep on it, it's ready for someone to sleep on it. I'm going to have to get some pictures once we're finished.

I also completed Simplicity 3726 to use as a slip under my black mesh dress. I don't think it came out too bad. I didn't make a casing along the front of the dress, just put some pleats in place. I also used clear elastic along the back side to draw it up a little and give the neckline some solid definition.

I added about 4 gussets to provide some flair at the bottom since the black dress has a lot of flair at the bottom. I think this will be the perfect slip. I'm thinking that I might want to cut this again and make some nightslips.

We also had a large quantity of rain. Who has heard of a day from school called because of rain? With the amount of rain we'd had the roads were getting flooded between us and the school were my youngest goes to. So, what to do with a bored teenager?

Teach him to sew! Since my Brother has a speed control and I could turn the machine down super slow, I decided to let him pick some cotton and make a simple pillowcase. One hem, one long seam, one corner and one broken needle. I've no idea how he broke the needle.

He was pleased with himself for completing the pillowcase. The smile when he realized he'd done it himself was huge. I think he's still a bit curious about the sewing machine itself, but I'd rather he didn't experiment.

I think he'd be willing to try another sewing project. I think this time I will make a project and directions and let him cut it as well as sew it. I have the knee lifter on my machine and he even tried to use that.

Now to get some coffee ...


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Curtains for my son

Matt, my oldest son, moved into his new apartment just last weekend. This week, he is working to get settled in. Josie has been coming by after school and helping Matt get settled into his new place.

Matt also opted to adopted Sasha, who needed a new home where she could see not only Matt, but Jess and Josie, too. Matt says he's very happy having her with him. Today is the first test of Matt and Sasha. Matt has a doctor's appt. today and he is leaving her alone in his apartment while he goes. I'm really hoping all goes well.

Sasha is very smart. She can get out of doors and cages. She seems to have an almost human understanding of how things go together. I'm hoping Matt can keep her in her kennel while he's gone.

With Matt moving into a new apartment, he needs two new curtains. He has ask for something that he knows I have several versions of, so without much more ado, here are the clips I've promised Matt.

Shades of green and brown

Shades of brown

Shades of brown
Shades of brown, green and black
And, another ...
Digital Camo grey and brown
So, here are the camo fabrics I have, except for the one in the basement. I have enough of most of these to make some curtains.

I've also finished a slip for my black mesh dress. The slip is blue with a couple gussets in the bottom to match the mesh dress. I promise to post pictures tomorrow.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Migraines and misc.

Yes, I get migraines. In fact, I get three different types of them. I get the classic ones that start in the back and move forward over your head.

I also get ones that start as vertigo and I can't walk. I have an Imitrex pen for those. Now I'm getting another that starts in the front, up at the top. Excedrin is my friend, along with Dramamine, which is air sickness med. It keeps me from tossing my other medications up.

There is no picture that I could put up here to illustrate a migraine. If you get migraines, then, you know what I'm talking about. It took a lot of adjusting for me to adapt to the migraines that hit me as vertigo. Vertigo, as in I can't walk. It scares people when you can't walk.

The Imitrex pen hurts. You have to hold it in place for 5 seconds after you've hit the button to get the shot. I guarantee, once you've given yourself the shot, that you will find it a challenge to hold that pen for 5 more seconds while that medication get's where it needs to go. And, then it leaves a bruise the size of a nickle.

Migraines Hurt.

Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

And, while they hurt, if you don't have a handle upon them, you live in a dark room and you hope there is nothing in your stomach, because if there is, there soon won't be. Commercials cannot begin to relay how you feel with this kind of headache. This headache stops you from just living.

I am not even sure how to explain a migraine to anyone who has never had one. The best description that I can come up with is a sinus headache combined with the stomach flu.  The combination, along with the sensitivity to light, traps you in one room, if that.

I would not wish a migraine headache upon anyone. No matter how much I would not like someone, there is nothing that would make me wish a migraine upon anyone.

Now on to the misc. part of my head ... On another note, I've finally accumulated all the supplies to make Josie her prom outfit. She has chosen a design that works off Dr. Who's Tardis. There are several different concepts out there for the Dr. Who Tardis Prom dress. The one that Josie favors has the main part of the Tardis as the corset part.

Since Josie prefers pants to skirts, I have a pattern for pants for her that I just purchased. I had some fabrics, a crepe in blue, and a white satin, which would get me started. I bought some blue and black satin to work on the corset, and I purchased boning to support the corset.

The crepe blue that I already have, I am going to make pants. I'm sure I have something to use for an interlining if I decide to go that way. Buying a zipper was a bit of a challenge. I guess zippers have fallen out of favor.

I already had white slipper satin to start with, so all I needed were the blue and black satins. Tomorrow, I'm going to trace off the patterns, including the sizing up, and then I'm going to plan the sewing so I can take a sewing machine with me to fit her outfit and finish it. I will leave some places just basted to allow for fitting and finish off later.

I promise to take pictures of the finished outfit. I may not be there for the actual prom date, so I will have my mother take pictures of what Josie actually puts together. I'm also going to make her a choker with Police Call Box on it and a key hanging from it. Anyone familiar with Dr. Who will know what they key is for.

Now, for the Duck Dynasty guys to come on before my sleep medication puts me to sleep.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Finally finished

I've finally finished my dress. The hem and final minor details are fully finished. I even decided that the one flower I had previous sewn to the dress needed to be moved. I am so glad to have finally completed this project.

I've also put a slim cord along the back neckline for hanging purposes. I do not yet have a photo of me wearing the final version. I put elastic along the front to pull it in, then added several tucks on the inside edge of each elastic on the dress.

While I was working out the final details of this dress I also made a new bag for toting my library book. I'd seen a neat bag done by Fons & Porter on their last show and really liked the way that it turned out. I had some fabrics that I really loved that I felt would be really great for this. I did not have a fabric I felt would work well for the bottom of this bag, so I bought some new duck cloth for the bottom.

I also bought a slim bit of the checked fabric when I bought the duck for the bottom. I had the lining.

I also put two pockets on the inside and a cell phone pocket on the outside. It's perfect for carrying my library books, plus, it actually stands on it's own.

Which I think is awesome. I learned a lot with this bag, used new items I've never used. I also used some old techinques to finish some edges and seams.

Can I say it's perfect? No. Can I say it will work? Yes. I'm not unhappy with the final product for either the dress or the bag. Once my daughter gets me a sketch, I will start her prom outfit.


Monday, April 15, 2013


I've been trying to get my sewing projects organized, so I've been trying to take a bit of an inventory. The only problem with taking an inventory after you already have a couple hundred fabrics is that it's very boring. And, I mean, worse than taking an English exam boring.

And, flowers and gardening are more interesting. And, being outside in the sun ...

So here's the inspiration I've been able to pull together so far.

Shirts for Josie from the tweed mix on the bottom and the plaid in the middle, then ...

This t-shirt minus the lace work or applique, just plain with long sleeves in the purple knit.
If there is enough, I might make a second one with some stretch lace in the insert.
I found two more purple knit fabrics, plus this bit of stretch mesh with a floral pattern. Some combination of these should make several t-shirts for either Jess or Josie.
Then I put together these two fabrics and this pattern ...

I was going to use a lace for the top of my slip, but I think I could combine this glittery blue mesh with the blue solid and have a slip dress I could wear alone as well as have a blue slip to wear under my black mesh dress.

Then I found this ... 

A very pretty pale blue chiffon with a rose print and a blue polyester dupioni. There's enough for either a top with a skirt or a top with a camisole. I'll have to see what Jess wants to make since I'm sure this was purchased for her.
Then I found this gorgeous animal print that looks solid black from one angle and sheer from another. I've had this sequined mesh for 2 years. I only bought a yard because it was very expensive. I think these would work good together, now I just need to decide what pattern to use.

Josie is talking about Prom, only 2 weeks from now and has some ideas about what she wants. While I was sorting fabrics I found this blue crepe and this white satin that would be good fabrics to work out some of her ideas.

I also purchased Vogue 8751 semi-fitted pants and McCalls 6770 Jacket, bustle/capelet, skirt and pants. I also have a couple patterns in my collection that could be considered.

Now to just see what Josie wants to use. Meanwhile, I have a couple other beautiful pieces of fabric to decide what I want to make ...

The deeper color has a solid burgundy fabric that I chose for a lining. I could also use that to line the lighter fabric, but I also have a pale green that I bought to line that.

The harder part is that when I purchased some of these fabrics I was working and had a different type of wardrobe. Now that I am not working I have a softer, more relaxed wardrobe and different favorite patterns are emerging. This means seeing if those special fabrics I just had-to-have have enough yardage for some of the newer patterns I want to use.

I also have another bag in the plans, too. I love these fabrics combined.
I just saw a show on PBS for Fons & Porters Love Of Quilting where they made a roomy bag, just the perfect size for library books. I love the soft pinks and rose colors on the cream base. I have some very nice creamy colors for the lining. I purchased a oatmeal colored weave to match the background of the floral prints and a oatmeal and rose colored check fabric for an accent piece. Since I already purchased the interfacing, I can't wait to sew up and complete the bag.

Maybe I will do some embroidery from my new machine and see how it looks. I've not done any pre-programmed embroidery on it yet.

I still have many more pieces, like the grouping I am putting together of demin and homespun-type cottons to make a new tree skirt. I have all the reindeer purchased to embroider on the denim parts of the skirt. I think it will look great.

I also have some UFO projects, like the drapes for my living & dining room and the sheers and drapes for the bedroom. I'll get there. That would be the soft brown ultrasuede fabrics on the bottom of the stack below. I need to cut the white lining for them and then it's a lot of straight seams to finish them up.

Then, as if I need to add any more projects, Matt would like some light-blocking curtains for his new apartment. I also found a brand new black table cloth at Goodwill that should work for a shower curtain. He's had a lot of white around and wants to change it up.

Now to post this so Josie can see the fabrics and patterns I put up here for her and tell me what she wants to do.