28 June 2017

Needle Minder Organization

While y'all are waiting for me to get my act together and finish my Texas basket, let's talk about needle minders.

It's not exactly a secret that I'm addicted to them. They're functional, fun, and so easy and inexpensive to make that my collection was outgrowing my storage method, which was tins: all my foxes together, Christmas in a Christmas tin, Halloween in a Halloween tin, etc.

Yesterday, I spotted a $7 hanging jewelry organizer at Tuesday Morning, and I was struck with inspiration!

Tags from Michael's:



Now, instead of hunting for the minder I want in my little tins, I can stand in front of my organizer, see my entire collection, and choose which one I want. Putting them on tags keeps them from sticking together and makes them easier to remove from the pockets, especially if they're really small. And my collection has room to grow!

Speaking of which, here's my latest little creation. This minder is made from a slide I found at Hobby Lobby.

Okay, back to work. 

26 June 2017

Getting close...

Today's mail brought a wonderful surprise from Melissa in Texas! If you're a stitcher from Texas, you probably know about this chart, as it's an out-of-print classic. My copy is a nearly 30-year-old hand-drawn (yikes!) chart consisting of several pages stapled together. Melissa sent me a serious upgrade, a real printed chart that I can read! Thank you, Melissa!

I have another little finish for my Texas basket. This one is from an old, out-of-print booklet of Texas designs.

I had several more Texas smalls on my to-do list, but two things have happened: 1) I've gotten really impatient about getting this basket done as soon as possible so I can enjoy it for the rest of the summer, which is a third over, and 2) I realized that if I stitched all the projects on my list, they wouldn't fit in my basket! So I chose one more project to do, which I started today, and will hopefully have done in a few days. Then I'll do all the finishing--I think there are seven--and then the big reveal! I'm aiming for around 4 July, but we'll see how my week goes. 

23 June 2017

Adventures in Low-Carb Baking

Guess what I got in the mail this afternoon? A big box of Carbquik baking mix that I ordered from Amazon. Think "Bisquick" but low-carb. I decided to try it for the same reason I wandered into the world of tiny baking: we're in our 40's, we need to manage/maintain our weights... but I love to bake. Tiny baking has been a wonderful success, but the goodies still have a gazillion carbs, so they must remain an occasional treat. I wondered if Carbquik would be a solution for more frequent--if less decadent--baking, like biscuits.  Supposedly, it can be used cup-for-cup like Bisquick, with adjustments of liquid to account for it being a drier product. I went in search of a Bisquick recipe to experiment with, preferably one with only a few ingredients, to limit waste just in case it was a disaster. 

It was anything but a disaster.

Behold! Chocolate Chip Biscuits!

These little biscuits are very light, slightly crisp on the outside, tender on the inside, and very slightly sweet. Here's my adaptation:

Chocolate Chip Biscuits

2 1/4 c. Carbquik baking mix
1 Tbsp. granular Splenda (optional)
1 c. milk
1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix Carbquik and Splenda; add milk and stir until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by spoonfuls on parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Cool on cooling rack. 

I used a small, level cookie scoop and got 24 little biscuits.

The original recipe using Bisquick is here.

So, I've only made one recipe using Carbquik, but I have to say I'm delighted with how these turned out. Hopefully future experiments will be just as successful. 

20 June 2017

I'm back! With finishes!

I'm back! Thank you for all the inquiries as to my whereabouts and welfare! It's nice to be missed! Things went a bit sideways around here a couple of weeks ago, and my unsupervised stitching marathon week didn't go as hoped or planned, but I'm getting back on track. If you've emailed me and haven't had a reply, I am working through my emails and will get to you soon. 

I do have a couple of Texas basket finishes to show! This one is Bluebonnet Blooms by Redbird Designs on mystery linen. This design is still in print, as far as I know. I stitched the stem in the medium green (instead of brown) and brightened up the red a bit.

And this is the Alamo, from The 12 Days of a Texas Christmas by Redbird Designs, also still in print, as far as I know. I made a couple of slight alterations. The design calls for Weeks Terra Cotta, but my skein was a vivid orange, so I substituted GAST Woodrose for a more faded look. The fabric is "Muffin" but that's all I know about it. It's from a big box of stash my dad scored at the flea market and my mom gave to me. (Yay, dad!)

I also left off the evergreen Christmas-y bit in the top right corner, and the word "Texas" running along the bottom.

For more info about Redbird Designs, click on the Redbird Designs Catalog label in the right sidebar.

10 June 2017

Saturday Sampler: Stash Update Edition

Thank you all so much for all the kind comments about my Sleeping Fox finish! After I finished him, I had a slow stitching week, but a very busy mail week. Let's see what arrived!

Abbie Jean in Iowa sent me some beautiful threads...

...and some handmade lovelies! A grime guard, or as I call them, a "Q-snap cozy", and a sweet little needle book. Aren't these wonderful? Thank you so much, Abbie Jean!

I got this little gal from the Missouri Star Quilt Co.

My fabric hoarding continues apace with some Babbling Brook and Moss Green Jobelan. Isn't that a smashing blue?

And these and a few other charms arrived from Two Purple Pandas. Y'all know what these are for.

Made a quick trip to my LNS. I've been resisting LHN's Early Americans series, but when I saw Martha at Mt. Vernon, I caved. So now I'm all caught up. Because another series is exactly what I need.

Not stashy, but foxy! Found this little treat among the new fall goodies at Hobby Lobby. 

And for the past day or so, I've been back at my Texas basket stitching. BIG NEWS on that front: Tiger Lily and I will be unsupervised again next week! Mr. Wonderful will be away, and y'all know what happens when we're left to ourselves: stitching marathon, finishing frenzy, tiny baking... 

Because I have my priorities in order, I decided not to use the time to clean out my closet. Instead, I've decided to see just how much stitching I can pack into five or six days. I'm having a fit to get my Texas basket finished, and I've got about five more smalls I'd like to get stitched up for it before it's ready to display. We'll see how it goes. Come back next week and see how we're doing!

Bonus Tiger Lily!

05 June 2017

Sleeping Fox is finished!

This little guy was weighing on my conscience so I decided to finish him up before I got completely engulfed in my Texas Basket project. Here he is, all done! 

Sleeping Fox by Leaf Blown Designs (Etsy), stitched on 28 ct. Bittersweet Lite hand dyed Jobelan with DMC.

And now, a flurry of Texas stitching!