Thursday, July 29, 2010


Hi there and a BIG Hello! How are you today? I am actually super psyched cause I am trucking along on my challenges so nicely! man can you believe my little girl will be 16 tomorrow? I feel so old LOL! She's not so little anymore LOL. More rain forcasted, so I am gonna plan on sewing and cleaning today. I also have a few boxes of stuff I have found while digging and cleaning that I might put up on freecycle today. Of course I might wait till I have more to offer LMAO... who knows!

Ok mom mentioned another website to help with Nature topics through donations, clicks, etc. (yes mom I WAS reading LOL). The main page of the Nature Conservatory has lots of links to click for various causes so go check it out! And those crocheted animals... are you finishing Michael's wolf? LOL...

Tabitha, I will extend your well wishes the next time I see my brother. As for the other brother... not sure where he learned that. Could have been a combination of things he has seen or thought about that lead him to that mentality. All I know is its a good one. Yes that is the tiny rabbit who was in my palm a few weeks ago LOL. Told you she is getting huge! She is as big as Miracle and Gizmo now... BIG! And I am so happy to hear you have joined the Challenge! You will be surprised how much relief you feel when you have all your gifts completed in maybe September LOL and can just sit back and actually enjoy the holidays! And its good to give yourself alot of time if you think you need it... gives you time to "perfect" or go all out on it! Kudos to you!

Wanna see a super supper? Check this out! This is our homage au fromage! God Bless Cheese! YUM! What you see is some freshly steamed broccoli with some melted cheese on top, some cheesy Rice-A-Roni, and some Cheez-It Pork chops! Yes I said Cheez-its! I crushed up a bunch of cheez-it crackers and coated the boneless center cut pork chops (found on manager special mind you LMAO) and skillet cooked them til golden brown on both sides and done in the center. OMG it was wonderful! Ya know, I really didn't think about how much cheese we actually eat around here till the last week LOL! We love our cheese! Madison had like 3 or 4 chops herself LOL!

Now I am not quite sure what I am going to make (if anything) for the Christmas challenge today. I plan on making Madison a couple of presents today (when she is not out front of course LOL) for her birthday. She wanted me to make her a new purse and a couple of other things, so guess what her other present is gonna be from mom aside from the party? Yep... handmade is the way baby! LOL!

I figure I am gonna go ahead and show you how gift 1 turned out (maybe for added inspiration? LOL). Its the kitchen set... in pretty purple pansies! I used a 3 ring binder to hold all the soup recipes. I put them in plastic sheet protectors so that way if the recipient has it open and "oops" a splatter... the paper won't be ruined... just wipe the sheet plastic clean! Smart huh? LOL... then I made a book cover to fit the binder. I also made 2 potholders, 2 oven mitts, a plastic grocery bag holder, and 2 kitchen towels. I wrapped it all together with a very glittery wired ribbon... put a wooden spoon on top and finished the bow for an oh-so-cute presentation! (Sorry for the whitewashed pictures... I can't find my camera, so I am using my phone for pictures LOL)

OK now I told you yesterday on the Christmas Challenge how I was going to make stockings for some people who need them. Well I didn't have classic cars or monkey fabric, so I didn't get those done. I did get the penguins and the music one done though and I think they are great! I also did not share how to make them, thinking most people would not want to know how to make one. Boy was I wrong! I got 22 emails yesterday asking me how I make my quilted Christmas stockings. SO, its a good thing that I made sure that I took step by step pictures to share just in case someone asked, huh? My mother actually taught me this, as she made all of our stockings when we were younger. I've just kind of tweeked it to my own style LOL! The good thing is you can use any fabric you want... it doesn't HAVE to be Christmas-y! Customize it to the likes of the person who you are making it for and it will have even more meaning when you give it to them. I once made a bunch of these and filled them with toys and candies from the Dollar Store and gave them to my son's class for their party. So here ya go... the stocking instructions using the penguin stocking I told you I was making yesterday!

Craft Idea of the Day: Renee's Quilted Christmas stockings

1 yard of novelty print fabric *
1 yard of pre-quilted fabric *
1/2 yard of solid color white fabric
thread to match

* You can also use low loft quilted batting and sandwich it between 2 pieces of fabric for the same effect. In this event you need 1 yard novelty print and one yard solid color for the inside, or 2 yards of novelty for the inside and out. For this instructional however, I am using the pre-quilted fabric. *


1. Make a stocking pattern on brown kraft paper, paper bag, or butcher paper, etc. Also make a cuff pattern that will cover between 4-6 inches from the top of the stocking (depends on how large you want the cuff).

2. Make sure the fabrics are folded in half so that you have 2 layers/pieces per fabric once cut. Place the prequilted fabric and the novelty print on top of each other and place your pattern on top of both sets. Pin in place. Cut out your pattern 1/2 to 1 inch larger than pattern to allow for seam. You should now have 2 pieces cut of each fabric.

3. Place your cuff pattern on the white fabric. Cut 2 cuffs also with the 1/2 to 1 inch extra around the edge.

4. Cut 2 strips of the Novelty fabric about 2 inches wide. With an iron press raw edges to the center of the strip, then fold again in half. You now have homemade bias tape that matches the print of your fabric. You need to do 2 strips. Do NOT cut these on the fold, as you need one long to go around the top of the stocking once assembled... so leave them long! (*NOTE You can use store bought bias tape or no tape at all, just doing a hem to the raw edges. I particularly like the look of the matching material bias tape.)

5. Take the bias tape and place on the smaller edge of the cuff. Sew in place. Repeat for the second cuff.

6. Pin the cuffs (wrong side of cuff to right side of stocking fabric) to the stocking and sew across the bottom of the cuff to secure onto your first stocking side. Repeat for the second side.

7. Pin the wrong sides together of one side of printed fabric with attached cuff and prequilted fabric. Sew 2 pieces together to form one side. Repeat with the other 2 pieces.

8. Take your 2 side pieces and place them printed sides together. Try to make sure the bottom edges of each cuff are about even. Make sure cuffs are laying flat between the fabrics. Pin in place along the edges and in the center.

9. Sew along edges. Make sure to do a double stitch and/or serger/zigzag the edges. (Remember Santa goes crazy sometimes with stocking stuffers, so you gotta make sure those bad boys aren't gonna come apart LOL!)

10. Flip stocking right side out. Take 1 long piece of bias tape and pin around the top edge of the stocking. Sew in place.

11. Take a 4 inch piece of the bias and fold it in half. Secure in the inside of the stocking on the seam to form a loop to hang your stocking by. Reinforce with a "X" stitch if desired.

Voila you are finished! Your quilted stocking is now ready for super stuffing during the holidays!

So tell me, are you hungry? Its time again for more FANTASTIC EDIBLE FLOWER and today I want to talk about a favorite flower of my mom's... the Gardenia. Yes mom, you can eat those LOL! Now don't make the mistake of thinking more flowers would be better. It gets too perfumey. But used in extreme moderation, you can get a uniquely tasty treat! And today I bring you a truly sweet treat as well! So Eat & Enjoy!

Gardenia: Gardenia jasminoides
Tastes like: light, sweet flavor

Some Interesting Facts About Gardenias

Gardenias are grown for their beautiful foliage and they make great cut flowers.

Gardenias flowers from about mid-spring to mid-summer, i.e., May through July

Many of the gardenia species are strongly scented.

The genus Gardenia is named after Alexander Garden, a physician in Charleston of South Carolina.

Gardenias can be used as screens, hedges, borders or ground covers.

In France, Gardenia is the traditional flower which men wear as boutonnieres.

The most popular cultivated species is the Cape jasmine, native to China.

Each gardenia flower is followed by 6-sided berries of rich orange-red with long, elegant stems.

Gardenia thunbergia produces a woody fruit which has hard, angular seeds inside.

Gardenia Ice Cream


2 cups of heavy whipping cream
2 cups of whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean, opened up, seeded (include seeds in mixture)
3/4 cup sugar (1/2 cup if you prefer less sweet)
Petals of 2 or 3 Gardenias (wash them well, use fruit and veggie wash if you can find it to remove pesticides. If store-bought, watch out for wax in center, use only outer leaves if they waxed it) Cut leaves up. Home grown gardenias are best.


Bring milk, cream, vanilla bean and seeds, half of the sugar, and chopped gardenia petals to a simmer in heavy saucepan (at least 2 quart in size), stir to melt sugar, remove from heat and let the flavors develop for 30-45 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk 8 egg yolks and remaining sugar till blended and lighter in color. Sugar substitutes like Splenda MAY work. I have used Whey Low Ice Cream Sugar(low carb, low calorie, and natural) and it works perfectly.

Add about 1/3 of the heated mixture slowly to the egg yolk mixture, whisking while adding. (this keeps egg from clotting) Then whisk all of egg mixture into cream mixture. Reheat, whisking continually, bring to simmer, but not a boil. Whisk and heat until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. A spoon dipped into mixture should stay lightly coated, and a finger run down the center should leave a line in the custard. Remove from heat. Put custard into a bowl in an ice bath (partial sink of water with ice works, to cool it quickly) Stir every five minutes or so. When cooled off, strain, put covered in fridge for several hours or overnight. Then use your ice cream maker. Freeze it to “soft-serve” consistency, put in another container, and put in freezer to finish. This recipe can be used unfrozen as a custard cream sauce to pour over fruit, cakes, put in fruit crepes, etc...

Well folks, I guess I should be getting off of here and getting to work huh? I hope you have enjoyed our early morning visit and will come back tomorrow for another wonderful day of fantastically fragrant food and clever crafts. I wish you well in whatever you find yourself doing today... just stay safe! See you tomorrow... HUGS!


  1. HAHA I am willing to try anything ice cream. This is definitely interesting. How do you do it? I love the kitchen package. Its gorgeous. Whoever gets that is very lucky. Your dinner looks awesome. Gonna have to try that with the cheese nips. I like cheese nips HAHA. And that is a wonderful tutorial for your stockings. Thanks so much. Now I can make me one for the holidays. Are you gonna take pictures of your daughter's party tomorrow? I would like to see it. Tell her Happy Birthday from me. Take care.

  2. HEllo to all
    I am joining the challenge but wont be able to make one gift per day..... i am slower...

    i LOVE that dryer perfume idea yesterday.... what is sheet wadding tho.. just an old sheet wadded up? ROFL

    I bought material yest for a hand made baby quilt for my second granddaughter to be in Sept.. it is floral and pale lavender polka dot sooo pretty together....

    and I ma knitting a dishcoth... love those for dishes....

    and making a scrapbook for a friend whose dog died a bit ago....

    congratulations on your impending aunt hood lol


  3. Debbie "MOM"July 29, 2010 at 12:18 PM

    Gardenias are a wonderful flower. To me they embody the South, with the warm summer breeze blowing and spreading the scent of the flowers through the air. And since they are in the jasmine family of flowers, a yard full of those two plants would be wonderful! I did not know you could eat them though. That would be a dilemma for me.....smell them or eat them. Hmmmm. I'm with Tabitha though....anything ice cream! YUM!
    The gift looks lovely. I know who gets it! I worked on my crocheted turtle way into the night last night. It is very slow going with the arthritis in my hands though. But I still did some so it counts. LOL OMG! I totally forgot about teaching you the stocking project. That brings memories back. I used to sew tiny Christmas ornaments, wreaths for my door, stuffed giant candy canes, and so much more. I kind of wish I had a sewing machine again.
    I have also used cheese nips to coat chicken thighs and breasts pieces and then oven fried them. They turned out delicious. But heres a word of dont have to season your meat with any salt in this recipe. There is plenty of it in the cheese nips. Just a hint for the cooks out there, especially if someone in your house is watching their sodium intake. I have coated and/or battered my meats for my meals with a lot of different things besides the usual egg and flour or that standby beer batter. Thats what makes cooking fun. The experiment and inspiration is what makes a boring meal into something wonderful. Bon apetit!!
    The morning has seemed to vanish into thin air and I'm still sitting here. Got to get busy and get the house straightened up for the granddaughter's birthday party. Hope everyone's day is wonderful and fulfilling. Try something new for dinner tonight. You just might find a new family favorite. Til next time......