Sunday, September 15, 2013

I LOVE Fall!!!

So we had an unexpected bonus this year.  We have apples on our tree!!  It usually only produces every other year, or every couple of years.  We had a TON of apples on the tree last year and I posted about all of the apple butter I was able to make (and we still have some!!).  You can see that post here!

Last year, my grandson picked apples with me and apparently loved doing so.  He's been talking about picking apples since this spring.  At that time, I wasn't even sure we'd have any.  But the apples are growing on the part of the tree that didn't produce any last year.  And when I was looking at the tree this morning, I realized that it looks like 4 thees that have actually grown together.  So... we have apples!!!

I think I've been picking a apple a week for the past month or more to check to see if they were 'done' yet.  Yesterday, the apple was good!!  They are DONE!!  They'll keep getting redder but now they are big and juicy and YUMMY!  It's time!!

This morning, Mr. Inspiring and I picked a 5-gallon bucket full.  I was soo excited!!  I found a canning recipe for Apple Pie Filling!!  You can see it here!  The Pocket Change Gourmet even includes some super-cute labels.  Go visit her and give her some love.  The recipe is soo easy!!  I followed the recipe exactly, except I must have used more apples and less syrup in the jars because I was able to get 7 quarts from one recipe.  I then made 3/4 of the syrup recipe and was able to get 5 more jars.

I made a total of 12 jars of apple pie filling!!   Aren't they pretty??

As I was making my labels and putting them on the lids, I found that one of the jars didn't seal.

Dang it.............  (yay!!!)

I had to go ahead and bake something with it.

And what better recipe than my all time, FAVE O RITE, super-yummy, positively D-LISH, most awesomest (yes, that is a word.) recipe for Apple Crisp.

I'm now going to share that recipe with you.  You can thank me later...........

Keep in mind this is the full recipe.  Tonight, I only made the topping.

Apple Crisp

1 Tablespoon flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
6 medium Granny Smith Apples, peeled and sliced

Combine well and place in greased 9 x 13 pan.  (I usually use my Pampered Chef stone for this and it keeps it warm for a while..............  well, long enough for seconds)

1 cup flour
1 cup oats
1 cup butter flavored Crisco
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup sugar

Mix very well with a pastry cutter or fork and sprinkle over the filling.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.

Serve warm - and add a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Heaven in a spoon!!

I really wish someone had already invented computer scratch n sniff so you could experience this heavenly dish!!

It's calling my name so I'm signing off...................

Hugs ~~ Suz

Friday, August 30, 2013

When One Door Closes

Hi, it's me, Suz!  This is my second post in a week!!  What can I say?  I missed you!!!

This is a project that I've been wanting to post, but I never have had my bedroom all finished with all the cute accessories like I see a lot of y'all doing.  After 2 years, I figure my room probably isn't going to get accessorized any time soon, so I'll just show you what I did!

I made a headboard out of a door I picked up on Craigslist.  The guy bought the door unfinished and just hung it like that.  When I got it from him, it was basically a new door, just dirty!  It even still had the plastic on the windows.

I wanted the headboard to look old and worn.  I thought about what colors had been popular during the past 20 or so years.  I decided to paint a coat of hunter green all over it, and then a coat of navy blue.  Then I took some dark brown paint and some turquoise paint and painted random spots on the door with those colors.  After all that was good and dry, I painted a couple of coats of a nice, creamy off-white.

When all that was dry, I became a distructive little crafter!  I jabbed it with a screwdriver, and scratched it all up with a brush.  I even carved our wedding date and our names into it.  Then I sanded a lot of the edges.  It's pretty cool because you can see the paint layers as if it really were an old door!!

I mixed up a very thin concoction of water and dark brown paint and wiped the whole door down.  The wood was very fresh looking where I was trying to make it old, and this helped age the wood and create the look I wanted.  After all that was dry, I put 3 coats of polyurethane on it.  Mr. Inspiring added a crystal looking old door knob.  That was what it needed and I love how it turned out.  Mr. Inspiring loves that I made it special for us.

What do y'all think?

If you have any questions on anything I did with this, just let me know!!

Hugs ~~ Suz

I'm joining these fun parties!!

Friday, August 23, 2013

When Life Hand You Tomatoes!

I honestly don't know what my deal is.......... I hate that I only post once in a while.

 Why??? Why can I not post on my blog??

 I love blogging and visiting all my blog buddies (that's a real term!! I'm sure of it!)....

This past week, a co-worker gave Mr. Inspiring and me 2 5-gallon buckets of fresh ripe tomatoes and a bunch of green peppers, banana peppers, and jalapeno peppers....... So.... what did I do?? I made SALSA, of course.

 And yes, this post will reveal how sorely out of practice I am with my blogging......

 No. During. Pictures...........

 BUT -- - -- (I say, hoping for redempetion)

 I can share my recipe....................

 Salsa    (De Susanna - haha!! )

6 quarts peeled & chopped fresh tomatoes
3/4 cup white vinegar
5 jalapeno peppers, chopped (remove the seeds for less heat)
5 banana peppers, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3/4 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp cilantro flakes
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 can black beans, drained
1 small can tomato paste

 The easiest way to peel tomatoes is to cut an 'x' in the bottom of the tomato and make a couple small slits by the stem, then drop them in boiling water. As soon as the skin cracks/splits, remove the tomato from the boiling water and drop into a bowl of ice water. It peels off so easily.

Core the tomatoes and then chop them up. Put into a large stock pot and add the remaining ingredients. You'll need to let the mixture cook for at least an hour, to cook down and get thick.

When I made mine, I added the beans and paste after it had cooked for about an hour. The tomato past helps thicken it up, and also adds a sweetness to it.  (I also added a few squirts of lime juice into the second batch..... I think it helped cut some of the sweetness of the tomatoes.)

After it's cooked down, spoon it into clean, dry canning jars and cover with your 2-piece lids. Water bath can it for 40 minutes, at least. Remove the jars from the boiling water and let cool. As it cools, your lids should ping as they seal. I usually let the jars cool overnight and then check them in the morning. If the lids have any give or pop when you push them, you didn't get a good seal and you'll have to refrigerate those jars and eat them first.

This recipe is very east and you can add or subtract the peppers and seasonings for your personal tastes.  We like our's on the hot side.

Mr. Inspiring's exact words:  I never want salsa from the store ever again!!

I hope y'all enjoy the recipe!!

Hugs ~~ Suz

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Pillowcase Love!!

When I started getting ready for Christmas last fall, I decided not to stress myself out too much.  I wanted to enjoy the holidays.  Remember the little moments.  Pay attention to those I love. 

I didn't create a HUGE list of gifts that I 'had' to make.  One project I made was a couple of pillowcases - one for me and one for Mr. Inspiring...........   They really got me into the Christmas mood!  I found a tutorial in Pinterest, and then somehow I lost it........  I think somewhere I saw that these pillowcases were called 'sausage' cases??

Well, now Valentines Day is close and I've decided that I might like to try to make pillowcases for us for every holiday and/or season.  So here is my Valentine edition.

Mr. Inspiring and I went to the fabric store last weekend.  I found these fabrics......  Actually, they probably wouldn't have been my first choices, but when you wait til nearly the last minute, Hobby Lobby tends to sell out quickly and there wasn't much left to choose from.

First, you need to pick out 3 fabrics.  One will be your main fabric - the part that you put your head on.  We'll call that 'A'.  Then you need a piece of trim, 'B'.  And the end, the contrast piece, we'll call 'C'.

For each standard pillowcase, you'll need to cut:

A = 24" x 41"     (for King size pillows:  32" x 41")
B = 3" x 41"        (Same for King)
C= 12" x 41"       (Same for King)

At this point, I press all the pieces.  Then you want to press 'B' in half, long-ways.

To assemble:

Lay 'C' on your table, right side up.

Lay your trim piece 'B' next, cut side at the top, even with the top long cut side of 'C'.

Lay piece 'A', FACE DOWN, a long cut side lined up with the other 2 pieces of fabric.

Next, kind of roll piece 'A' up from the bottom, enough that you can fold 'C' over it to meet the top, but keep the rolled part of 'A' far away enough from the top that you don't pin it and sew it.

Fold the bottom of 'C' over everything and pin all the pieces along the top edge.  You should only have 5 cut edges that you're pinning.  No folded or rolled edges. 

With a 1/4" seam allowance, stitch the lenth of the fabrics.

Turn the pieces right side out by pulling and unrolling all at the same time.  You'll find that you now have a hidden seam.  (Isn't that cool??)

Next, trim the side ends so that all three pieces are all the width of the main fabric.

Fold the pillowcase together, right side out.  Pin it (if you want, at this step I usually don't) and stitch around the edge.  You'll want your seam allowance to be less of a 1/4" because we're going to put a clean seam on this part, too.  Stitch the cut edges (see my picture).

Turn inside out and work your corners to try to get a good 'square' corner.  It helps to press when you're working these corners and seams to help make them all straight and even.  Sometimes the fabric is rather uncooperative.  I've found that if I kind of roll the seam with my left hand as I'm ironing with my right, I can get a flatter, straighter seam.

Next, stitch around the edges you just stitched, only you'll be stitching the wrong side of the fabric.  This step will make the 'clean' seam.

Turn right-side-out, trim your threads, and voila - - You've got your pretty pillowcase!!

Oh - and I just had to show you my supervisors for the day.  They were making absolute sure I was doing everthing right............  

They love helping me in my craft room!!  They are in their favorite spot of all!

I hope everyone is having a SUPER Super Bowl Sunday!!

Hugs ~~ Suz

I'm posting this project at these parties!!

Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Outside My Southern Comfort Zone!!

WOW - - can you believe it??  2 posts in one month!!!!  Yay Me!!

Does anyone else LOVE that song by Brad Paisley??  You're singing it to yourself now, aren't you??

There's a reason why I named this post that.............   This past week, I've been working on a project.  I guess it could be considered my first 'commissioned' quilt.  My boss and his wife are expecting their first grandchild.  Mrs. Boss asked me if I would make a quilt for the baby if she bought the fabric.  I said sure  (She's my BOSS'S wife......  I'd never say no!!  Besides, they are great people and I love them!!)

So she got the fabric to me around the beginning of December. It's really cute fabric!  But....  Not what I would pick for a baby boy.  Newborns get baby blue, baby pink, soft yellow, mint green.......... pastels, right?

Yep - - That's Urban Zoologie by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman in the Turtle print and they chose some dark brown Kona and Painter's Canvas Magnolia Lane Collecton.  I was told to do whatever but they would like to have big enough blocks with the turtle print.  So that's what I did, but it needed more..... something......... so I also purchased some of the tangerine dots fabric in the Remix line and it just made it.  Before I added it, I asked Mr. Inspiring what he thought and I gave him some options to choose from and he chose the tangerine dots, too. 
So here's the finished product, before washing......   The front....

And the back.   (That's Mr. Inspiring holding it.) 
I think it turned out rather cute!!   I did a disappearing 9-patch and made sure the chocolate was my middle square.  I used chocolate thread and just quilted the turtle and chocolate squares.  I didn't quilt the green rectangles.  Then in the tangerine border, I quilted random squares. 

Sorry about the coloring on these pictures.  I hate taking pictures at night but I get so excited that I want to get the project ready to give.  
I'll take it to my boss tomorrow and have him give it to Mrs. Boss at lunch........  I'll be a nervous wreck!!!
I think it turned out well!  In fact, I even like it!!  And it went together so quickly!!
Have a great week, everyone!  It's supposed to be cold here tomorrow!!  Stay warm!!
Hugs ~~ Suz
I'm joining these parties:
Fresh Poppy Design

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Happy 2013!!


Hi!  I'm here!!  I'm still alive and kicking.........

I just took a gander at my blog and I am so ashamed of myself!  I did a whole whoppin 13 posts in 2012!! 

I'm so sorry! 


New day!  New Year!!

Let me summarize 2012.....

Not the best year...................   Not the worst year..............  Parts were GREAT!  Parts really sucked........... 

At the end of March, Grandma Ruthie passed away.  She was 93 years old.  She had a stroke and never recovered.......  She was the absolute sweetest, most gracious person I have ever known.  I miss her and her giggles............ 

We've been going through her house and out buildings.  I've found wonderful treasures!!  Like 6 or 7 OLD quilts. I don't think she make them.  I think they were either gifts to her, or perhaps relatives made them while they stayed with her.  She and Grandpa ran a small town mom & pop 'resort'.  They had a small motel right across the road from a huge lake and in the summer guest would come to fish and in the winter, they'd come to duck and goose hunt.  The quilts were never washed and never used.  Well I was a little scared at first, but I went ahead and washed one and it came out beautifully.  So I washed them all and divided them out in the family.  I also found some crock bowls and wooden boxes and an old aluminum water cooler, 3 old suitcases, and some fabric.  The fabric still had the price on it.  One and half yards for $.42.  Yep -- that's forty-two cents....... 

Or how about 4 yards for $.28 (TWENTY-EIGHT CENTS)!!  It looks like the popular 1930's reproduction fabric you can buy today, but.......... its the REAL thing!!

I brought home flowers from her service home to make ornaments with.  They were beautiful.  Roses.  Lillies.  Carnations.  All kinds..........

My cat, Bubby, decided to taste eat them...........  Lillies are highly toxic to cats..........  I know that now.  He went into renal failure and we had to put him down.  That was at the end of June. He wasn't even 5 yet.

Two weeks later, friends of ours had 2 kittens that were brothers that needed a home.  I really didn't want to do it.  I wasn't ready and neither was Mr. Inspiring....... 

But how the heck could you say no to that cute little pink nose??

The black and white kitty is Purrcy and the gray kitty is Grady.  It is so much fun to watch them.  They fight and play and love each other.  They don't know a day without each other.  They aren't Bubby, but they each have a couple of his traits.  They are so sweet.

And they thoroughly enjoyed Christmas.  They thought the tree was just for them.  Through out most of the holiday season, my tree leaned....... badly...........

This is why........


Yep, that's Purrcy.......... laying down in the top of my tree.  I usually don't take down my tree until this weekend....   It was down the day after Christmas. 

I've been working on a few projects.  Miss Inspiring has made a big life decision and she and her boyfriend are remodeling a house to live in.  She not exactly crafty, but she sure is coming up with a lot of ideas for me to work on.  Isn't that the way it goes?  That's perfectly fine with me!!

Happy New Year, Everyone!  I've missed you and I plan on posting more regularly!!

Hugs ~~