Saturday, April 4, 2009

Oh Those Kids!!

A couple of days ago two of my grandchildren who live next door showed up with plates of goodies so I could sample and enjoy what they had baked after school. Its not unusual for them to share what they make and its always fun to see what they've been doing. I had no reason to think this time was any different than another! Of course they wanted me to eat a brownie and eat a piece of chicken pot pie right then and there so I could give them my opinion. Oh, I forgot to mention - it was April 1 and we all know what they could mean. One problem with getting older is the memory doesn't always remember even what day it is, so I proceeded with the yummy offerings. Below are pictures of these goodies. First they got me with the "sponge" brownie and then the tempting chicken pie. One bite into the brownie and I thought it was made with pound cake or sponge cake because it seemed rather dry. Boy was I right about the sponge cake. A few minutes later after feeling like the April Fool, I fell for the chicken pie - or what I really thought was chicken pie. Turned out to be a sweet pie made from something that was maybe pudding and peas and carrots cut in veggie shapes from Starbursts. Next year I've got to put April 1 on my calendar and refuse to be tricked again. These kids are so clever!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

2 More Little Projects And A Great Weekend!!

Since there has been so much stress going on here I have been sewing up a storm to help relieve troubled thoughts. I didn't really want to sew on a quilt since I figured I would mess it up as I did on the projects below.

The first is a Spicy Spiral which I have made before, but this time I just wasn't concentrating and ended with 2 halves exactly the same. Fortunately I had enough fabric to make a correction and all is well. The picture is a little fuzzy, but perhaps you can see that the fabric is all fruits. Previously I made one with all vegetables. They should look good together (eventually)!

I really love the Moda Bake Shop blog with all their cutsy ideas of projects using their bakeshop products. Of course you can adapt any fabric to their patterns and I did so with this little bag from leftover strips of Kaffe Fassett. It was fun making it until it came towards the end. As with the Spiral, I managed to work my way through it. I figure the little granddaughters may like it. If you decide to make one, don't expect (or want) it to look exactly like mine. Yours will have a rounded flap.

We had a memorable event on Saturday when my granddaughter Jenna was baptized by her father. She is such a sweetheart and we are so proud of her. She is a loving child and keeps us laughing all the time. She showed me her new birthstone necklace her "other" Grandmother gave her. I asked her what the stone was and she said it was an Avril Lavigne! Oh these kids! It was an aquamarine. Like I said, she keeps us laughing! After the baptism we visited the St. George Temple grounds for pictures and then went to Jenna's favorite Restaurant "The Golden Trough" as Grandpa refers to it!!

A great ending to the weekend came when I attended a Court of Honor to witness my grandson Zachary receive merit badges as well as his First Class. On his way to Eagle! Way to go Zach!

Friday, March 27, 2009


We got some exciting news about a long time friend from our Ward in Connecticut. I have known him since he was 8 years old and have remained in touch with him and his parents since we left Connecticut. His name is Ryan Murphy and he was appointed last Friday as the new Associate Director of the Tabernacle Choir!!!! He has always been a wonderful musician - even at 8 years old when he couldn't even touch the pedals. I was in charge of a large children's choir for a conference when he was about 9 years old and he was the accompanist. The congregation was flabergasted that such a small child could play the way he did. Not only did he play, he actually changed the music to adapt to childrens' voices. He has worked so hard during these years on his education as well as having a darling family and serving in the Church in Boston. He will be completing his doctorate in May and will be moving his cute family to Utah to take on his new position. We are anxious to find out when he will make his "debut". We will all be there on the front row! For the past few summers he has come to St. George to be the musical director at Tuacahn Ampitheater and we have enjoyed his company - and free tickets!! We will miss seeing him in the summers in St. George. Congratulations Ryan - you are the best!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Last night I attended the David Archuleta concert with my daughter and granddaughter Ashley (in the above picture). It was such a pleasure to see a young performer singing good clean music, keeping the standards he has been taught and also causing lots of girls to scream!! My ears were ringing for hours after - but it was fun and also fun to see kids having a good clean time. The only violation I saw was people using cameras when they were asked not to. No announcement was ever made about the use of cameras, but just rent-a-cops strong arming people with cameras and then only people on the ends of rows (which is where we sat) . How can anyone go to a concert and not take pictures?? That is unreasonable! I don't think the security people got their marching orders correct. Normally cameras are allowed but not video recording. It was rather entertaining watching security people trying to enforce the "rules". It was an impossible mission! Anyway, fun was had for all.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Latest Creation and Sunshine!

I decided this week that I needed a break from quilting and took on a project that I said I would never do - an apron. When I visited the Quilt Cottage in Hurricane last week they had an apron on display and I couldn't resist buying the pattern. Several years ago I went on a Mary Engelbreit buying spree and have barely touched the stacks since. When I saw the apron I promptly thought of all that ME fabric taking up space and my mind went to work. This was a very easy pattern and used up some of the stash but not enough to make a dent. So, aprons are on my Christmas gift list and of course they will be made from ME fabric. I have some fabric that wouldn't work cut into strips so I'm going to adapt the pattern to a whole piece of fabric style. This pattern is a good stash buster since it is lined with with an equal amount of fabric.

I have one more quilt that needs binding for the quilt show, but first I have to beat it into submission to make it lay flat. That is on my to do list today. With last week being Spring Break and lots of kiddies in and out of the house, as well as a sick husband moaning and groaning, not much was done in the sewing room. Kids wanted to swim as the weather was so delightful. You can see the new church in the background and notice how close it is to our house. It is actually across the street from our backyard, but since our lot is enclosed by a wall, it isn't just a hop, skip and a jump to get there, but it is wonderful to have it nearby. It is a beautiful building - a little cramped for the 3 large Wards that meet there, but still nice and new and fresh.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


I recently had the chance to consume a "professionally" made cupcake at a restaurant and it was so good - and $$$ I might add. I decided I could do this myself. Many years ago when my children were young I got into cake decorating and turned out some really cute birthday cakes. I did the doll cakes, the race cars, etc. For many years until this past year I made and decorated award winning gingerbread houses. This provided a really nice Christmas gift fund for our family when the kids were little. We made a couple hundred each year and had them all finished and ready for sale by the first of December. I know that cupcakes are all the rage in different parts of the country and there are volumes on the internet with recipes, decorating styles, etc. The one site that I decided to use is This site seemed to have recipes, ideas, etc. from several different sources including Martha Stewart, Billy Reece of Billy's Bakery plus several comments from users. So I decided to take the plunge and leave Duncan Hines behind in order to try out some of the suggestions. Actually, I didn't take the written word simply as suggestions, but rather as strict instructions. I followed everything to the letter. I did have to purchase a few items in order to get it all right. I had to have a couple of new tips, clear vanilla, cake flour, etc. The following picture shows the items I had to purchase to get this project underway.

Since I had purchased the "filling" tip, I wanted to make filled cupcakes. Below is the lemon filling from the Wilton website. It is really tart and sweet. has mounds of filling recipes and decorating ideas. I studied this site a lot.

Here is the batter being prepared exactly as directed.

Hmmmm - what are all those lumps doing there? They are little bits of butter and are supposed to be there I read. When you look at the recipe you will see that the butter is added in a different order than the usual.
P.S. Just got a comment from 52 that the butter is to be added when it is room temperature and then thoroughly blended in. No lumps allowed! However, I have made 2 batches of these with lumps and they came out good, but will be sure next time the lumps disappear!

All baked and filled! Waiting for them to cool so I can do the decorating with my new large star tip then topped with sprinkles and cake glitter. Not too pretty at this point.

Ta da!! They are beautiful and they taste even better! I guess using the real unsalted butter and whole milk (which I never buy) paid off.
I was asked to provide a table decoration for our church's women group at tonights fancy dinner. I decided to incorporate the cupcakes into the birthday theme and add a few balloons and confetti. Since it was a quasi birthday party, I made a little gift for everyone sitting at my table. Each person received a cute potholder! We were also asked to participate in an activity that resulted in a service of our choice to be auctioned to the highest bidder based on a point system. I was in a quandry as to what I could donate and at the same time be realistic about being able to complete it. I decided on providing a dozen gourmet (ha) cupcakes for the occasion of their choice. The goodies actually received a very high bid. I later found out that the person who did the final bid is a master cake decorator and since becoming confined to a wheelchair hasn't been able to bake and decorate any longer for her children. She thought the cupcakes were really cute and pretty. I'm glad she is getting them and hope she likes them.

Monday, March 2, 2009

A New Project

I have been working on bindings 'til I can no longer stand it! I needed a break from the boring process and wanted to get a little more creative. I really like the Moda Bake Shop site and found a quick project I could make and at the same time use some of this embarrassing stash. I found the chenille hot pads tempting to try! I had made a small amount of chenille long ago but found the process of "slicing" laborious. When I saw this project on the site, I noticed a tool that I had not purchased - yet!! It is a chenille cutter and boy does it work. I took advantage of JoAnn's sale of 50% off Olfa products and got started right away. I had some fabric that I wasn't particularly fond of any longer, so decided to cut it up and start stitchin' and slicin'. This is the coolest way to do chenille! Wait for a sale however since the cost of the cutter and spare blade could feed a small village!

All sliced and ready to make more! This is fun!

Four completed and ready to be washed. Hmmmm, looks pretty boring so far.

Am wondering if this was worth the $$ and effort.

Washed, dried - its a miracle! They look so cool. Hard to believe they are all made with the same fabrics. Its a surprise to see them after the wash and dry process. Its just a matter of how they are stacked before sewing. I did all 4 bindings differently and decided the one on the left (below) worked the best.

Here is a closeup of the finished product.

By the way, below is the binding project that pushed me over the edge! Glad it is finished!