Monthly Archives: November 2013

WHAT DO SWEET POTATOES, EVENING BAGS, AND GELASKINS HAVE IN COMMON?

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Anny has them all!  Let’s start with the yummies:

PRALINE TOPPED SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE

2 large cans sweet potatoes

2/3 c. (small can) evaporated milk

1 stick butter, melted

2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup sugar

4 eggs

TOPPING

2  c. brown sugar

2/3 cup flour

2/3 cup chopped pecans

1 stick butter, melted

Drain and mash sweet potatoes; add butter, sugar, evaporated milk, vanilla and eggs.  In separate bowl mix all topping ingredients.  Spread potato mixture in dish and spread topping on top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes.  Serves 16.

This is more like dessert than side dish.  Mouthwatering!  I make it every year and it’s delicious and easy. I also wholeheartedly recommend a Pinterest recipe called Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake.  My niece served it yesterday and it was awesome!  Paula Dean–need I say more?

Now let’s visit the sewing room.  Going into the holidays, I’m downsizing to evening bags. I’ve taken some to Tina’s and the rest will be in the It’s Sew Anny Etsy shop.

Here you see Ali Foster clutch design bags fashioned from sumptuous upholstery fabric.  Zipper bags with inside pocket and they fold over to a magnetic snap.  They feel so good!

IMG_4621 IMG_4616I created another bag from a lightweight velvety deep brown with just a dusting of golden threads design throughout.  The interior is a soft faux fur leopard with pocket.  Oh, and the frame was a cinch.  Just sew a casing and slide it on.  The ends of the frame have screws.  Studio Mio, of course!

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This last bag was an internet pattern from eHow.   “How to Make a Drawstring Purse With Round Bottom.”  I modified the pattern to make the drawstring a two-way and covered a round cardboard shape for bottom stabilization.  Fashioned from a lovely teal washable damask and embellished with elaborate beading.

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There is a fabulous Dickens Christmas celebration in Galveston the first weekend in December and many ladies dress in period costumes with fancy gowns and purses like the one above.  Men in top hats and tails, little boys with knickers and smudged faces–so fun!

And now for something completely different.  Have you heard of Gelaskins?  This is a sturdy, flexible covering for your iPad, Kindle, even laptops.  A large selection of designs are available.  Here are some I’ve chosen.

This is my laptop.

This is my laptop.

Front of my iPad

Front of my iPad

Back of my iPad

Back of my iPad

Front of my Kindle

Front of my Kindle

Back of my Kindle

Back of my Kindle

Just thought I’d mention these because they make great gifts.  They’re removable with no residue–gently peel off, which makes it easy when you’re applying and positioning also.  No, I’m not being paid by Gelaskins–they don’t know me except I keep ordering…  🙂  My daughter introduced us.  They just make technology even more fun!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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S’MORES AND MORE!

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We were in LaGrange this weekend and I had a chance to experience the Texas Quilt Museum once more.  Quilt displays are changed every three months and the setting is a beautiful century old brick building.  I highly recommend it if you’re visiting the Texas Hill Country near LaGrange. They don’t allow photographs but I asked permission to snap an overall shot to entice visitors to this lovely quilt haven.

Texas Quilt Museum LaGrange, Texas

Texas Quilt Museum
LaGrange, Texas

Right next door to the museum is a fabulous quilt/yarn shop, The Quilted Skein.  Very inviting fabrics greet you (think Kaffe Fassett, etc.) and one whole side of the store is devoted to yarn and knitting.  I could spend hours there.  Since it’s finally cooler here in Texas I have the urge to knit and bought just enough yarn to make a scarf.  Check out this warm and cozy scene:

The Quilted Skein LaGrange, Texas

The Quilted Skein
LaGrange, Texas

Late that afternoon Farmer Rick wanted to show me the property he’s working on, and I must say, it is quite lovely.  Here is a photo down by the creek and another of sunset:

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That evening we met my sister and her family at Bistro 108–the place in LaGrange for delectable meals (we had brunch the next day as well.) 🙂

Fantastic Food!

Fantastic Food!

After dark my nephew built a huge fire and we all roasted marshmallows (giant size) for drippingly good s’mores.  A choice of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or Hersheys with almonds.  Oh so good!!  I had seconds. 😉

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Our visit was topped off the next morning with sitting on the porch with our coffee while my sister finished binding a quilt and I knitted.  Ah, heaven…

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One more thing.  Since it’s great soup weather, I’ll share a recipe made a few nights ago which came from another quilter friend (thanks, Beverly) that I’m sure you’ll find delicious, quick, and very easy.

Chicken Enchilada Soup Um-Um-Good!

Chicken Enchilada Soup
Um-Um-Good!

CHICKEN ENCHILADA SOUP

1 can Chicken Broth

l0 oz. can enchilada sauce with green chiles

10 oz. can medium enchilada sauce

Tortilla strips (I used “Crunchy Toppings for Salads” kind)

1 tsp. ground cumin

Frozen Fully Cooked Chicken Fajita Strips (I used about 1/2 of a 1.37 lb. bag)

1 cup half-n-half

1 medium diced tomato

1 cup finely grated cheddar cheese

sour cream

Combine both sauces and chicken broth in a large pot.  Cook over medium heat until broth thickens somewhat.  Add cumin, chicken strips (still frozen) and half-n-half.  Toss in a few handfuls of tortilla strips (but save some for topping in the bowls.)  Heat through until the chicken is thawed and hot.  Divide among 4 bowls and garnish with diced tomatoes, cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and another handful of tortilla strips.  Yum!!

QUILTERS’ PARADISE

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QUILTERS’ PARADISE

It is back to reality for me.  From Wednesday to Saturday Nannette and I were in P-A-R-A-D-I-S-E!  2013 International Quilt Festival, Houston, Texas.  This gallery of pics will give you an idea of our many ventures.  Let’s start here:

OPEN! OPEN! OPEN!  Quilters flocking to the door.

OPEN! OPEN! OPEN!
Quilters flocking to the door.

An overall view from the Window Up Above (Wasn’t that a Mickey Gilley song?)

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Nannette and I with Kaffe Fassett and his new book, QUILT GRANDEUR.

Nannette and I with Kaffe Fassett and his new book,
QUILT GRANDEUR.

KAFFE FASSETT and LIZA PRIOR LUCY

KAFFE FASSETT and LIZA PRIOR LUCY

If Kaffe Fassett doesn’t ring a bell with you, you are probably not a quilter and that’s okay.  Just letting you know that he is the author of numerous quilting books and known all over the world for his brilliant color combinations and designs.  I so love to use his fabric in my bags.  And, oh my, he admired my bag.  MY BAG!  I can die happy now…

My new favorite booth:  ADORNit.  www.adornit.com  These gals (mother and two daughters) have developed an amazingly strong presence in the fabric, pattern, and quilting world.  You go, Ladies!

ADORNit.

ADORNit.

Snazzy contemporary fabric and a pattern book (plus some charm squares) were scored at ADORNit.  If you sew, plan to visit soon for inspiration.

You can always catch demos at the show.  Check out this lady’s sewing machine…

Gelaskin for Sewing Machines?!

Gelaskin for Sewing Machines?!

This next mother/daughter duo is a booth Nannette and I always take time to visit.  Brilliant colors and designs are offered on a number of projects like chair covers, floor mats, travel mugs, mirrors, lamps, shades, clocks and clipboards.  Did I say quilts?  And more. Dianne Springer finds ways to artistically apply scraps on anything–even mailboxes!  Don’t stand still too long–she may find a way to Scrap-o-Late you!!

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www.quiltinacup.com

You’ve heard me mention FRAMES.  Yes, I succumbed to one of my favorite booths, Mica’s Room.  On Halloween, no less.  My friends here entice me (doesn’t take much) to buy frames, patterns, clasps and fabric.  This year I’m trying coin purses.  They do have frames.  But isn’t that a great way to practice?

My friends from Mica's Room.

My friends from Mica’s Room.

This year I purchased  antique ribbons, lace, and vintage buttons and fabric at booths featuring embellishments.  Many more booths featured bags, bag patterns and hardware this year.  Right up my alley!  You know I was crossing my fingers for colored denim and I hit the jackpot.  Thanks to designer Amy Barickman, Crossroads Denim will allow me to fashion totes, slings, and clutches from a softly laundered denim in shades of orange, navy, blues, greens, and neutrals.  I’m so excited!

Some ladies at the show try their hand at longarm quilting.

Longarm quilting booth.

Longarm quilting booth.

It seems as though Nannette ran up a huge total at Quilts By The Bay.

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Oops!  Thankfully, that was just a mistake, but maybe it’s time to turn from shopping to quilts.  Hello–it is a Quilt Show!

The Best of Show Winner is …

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Close Up

Close Up

Meet the Artist

Meet the Artist

There were contemporary, traditional, charitable, whimsical, biographical, autobiographical, military and art quilts.  A sampling:

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Sparkles covered all the flowers on this quilt.

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Yes, Jack Nicholson.  The artist said she was studying expression and emotions.

Yes, Jack Nicholson. The artist said she was studying expression and emotions. 🙂

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This year $102,800 cash awards were given (and the prizes also include airfare to and hotel accommodations for Quilt Festival.)  See all the winning quilts at www.quilts.org.

There were classes offered at Craftsy:

Craftsy University

Craftsy University

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A Craftsy Class.

Many specialties were offered in the upstairs classrooms (Nannette and I enjoyed one) and even classes offered right on the main floor amongst the booths.

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For breaks and a chance to catch a breeze in our fabulous fall weather, attendees are welcome to stroll on the balcony.  When you’re in the midst of shopping and viewing, it seems the world is removed (happily so) but it’s occasionally beneficial to let your brain experience the connection of a view of downtown.

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Often we run into old friends that we usually see at retreats.  This year we had fun meeting old friends in the crowded aisles, trying to catch up on the run, waving, and signaling to meet up later.  Fortunately, I noticed Jo Packham in the Food Court, having just had two classes with the Where Women Create panel, and she joined Nannette and I for a fun and relaxing late lunch. We solved most of the world’s problems and then it was back to shopping. 🙂

At the end of the day, we welcome this sight:

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“Come into the light, Carol Ann…”  It’s the corridor that links the George R. Brown Convention Center to the Hilton Hotel.   Oh, yes.  That walkway reminds us that Starbucks is not a food group.  Without even depositing our treasures in our room, we head for the lovely restaurant where the food is actually quite good.  After dinner, drinks, and dessert, we drag our loot up to the room and share our awesome treasures.  We always vow to get plenty of sleep, but how do you do that when there is just so much to share??  And no sleeping in the next day because, hey, we need to find that fabric we glimpsed yesterday and hope it’s still there!

This year we took a class and it was titled, “Crafting an Ideal Day.”  It basically involved time management and we learned a lot from the facilitator and the participants.  Everyone seemed to have the same problem–not enough time to sew.  We lamented this and brainstormed solutions.  The main idea that Nannette and I took away from the class was this:  Get 20 minutes in your sewing area everyday.  This will lead to more, and if it doesn’t on any given day, at least you will have been twenty minutes productive.  Naturally, we left the show this year pledging to gift ourselves those twenty minutes.  And it may not happen everyday, but, well, it’s a start.  So here I go… I’ll bet I could get a small purse cut out in the next twenty minutes. 🙂 How do you get YOUR twenty minutes in?