Monday, December 29, 2008

My Heart's in Dallas

Everytime I leave Dallas I leave a little bit of my heart behind. I've travelled there countless times over many years and it always feels like home to me. Maybe it's the way Texans say "Darlin', ma'am or sweet tea?" that gets to me. Or maybe it's the fields of horses and steer, blue bonnets and crepe myrtles in bloom, BBQ, fried catfish, a good steak, country music and the sound of a steel guitar. Then again, it has always begun with a visit with Grandpa & Grandma Fetty which makes it true that Home Is Where The Heart Is
Rest in Peace, Grandpa, We Will Miss You

Harold William Fetty
October 21, 1928 - December 22, 2008

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Another HD Christmas

Santa delivered many Harley Davidson items this year. Besides the new engine husband received earlier this month for his bagger, he got some HD shirts and I found an HD leather fleece-lined biker jacket and canvas sneakers under the tree. But the best gift of all was the heating element that was installed into my motorcycle seat. The little switch on the side is just too cute. It's gonna be the bomb on chilly rides. I've been known to say if it's below 80 degrees -- "I'm cold!"

Now I can roll in toasty comfort!

Christmas Ornaments

I got the opportunity to sit down and make my annual ornaments while the ham baked and Dean Martin crooned to a White Christmas. Thanks, Allison, for the suggestion to make one from the photo with my mom on the Plaza in KC. She's going to really like it. The other two are from our memorable ride this year to the Grand Canyon and Sedona. 2008 was a very good year.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Destination: Kansas City

We said our goodbyes to St. Louis and counted our blessings for the good travel weather we've had for the final leg of our trip to KC for husband's work party. This is the 2nd year we've gathered on the Plaza for our holiday dinner at Ruth's Chris. This year, I had

the Ahi Tuna and yeah, several glasses of wine. In fact, the Gran Marnier gets passed around as we toast our boss and good fortune. May good fortune be with you, too.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A St. Charles Christmas

While husband attended his conference, I strolled along Main Street taking in the Christmas festivities and holiday shopping while a light snow fell upon this small little historic town. It just couldn't have been more festive and I found a knit shop and antique district to boot!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Destination: St. Louis

Husband had a 2-day work conference outside of St. Louis, MO and I tagged along for the trip.They put us up in a swanky suite at the Ameristar Casino & Resort Spa and we had a nice dinner with company officials from Chicago. Two of them (including a wife) ride Harleys so the conversation was good all night with bike stories and road travels. No one should go to St. Louis and not see the gateway arch. It's an amazing sight.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A New Shelf

What do you do when you run out space in your hobby room? Add a long shelf above a closet door. In my case, mom had this shelf in storage in her garage and I dusted it off and hung it up for an expanded display of sewing notions.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Turning Twenty Quilt

It was nice to set the knitting aside for a day to complete a quilt top for a special someone's Xmas gift. A rotary cutter and strip piecing made quick work out of the kit I purchased from Gramma's Calico Cupboard. I have been a customer of Betty's for at least 20 years and inspired by her talent in combining fabrics and antiques. The kit includes twenty fat quarters. A fat quarter is created by cutting 1/2 yard from a 44/45" wide fabric then cut in half to measure 18" x 22". The finished quilt top measures 70 1/2" by 86 1/2". I plan to gift it and then take it back to hand quilt it after the holidays.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

A Night on The Plaza

Mom and I went to Kansas City over the weekend to take in the Christmas lights, some shopping and the wonderful oyster bar at McCormick Schmicks. We topped our busy day off with a chilly carriage ride around the Plaza.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Get The Heck Out Of Dodge!

My trip out west greated me with a light snow. My meetings went well and I was able to stop at a couple of western stores along the way. Only in Dodge can you see the steer draped with holiday lights.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

DIY: Another Reconstructed Suitcase

Here's the before and after picture of the $2 vintage Samsonite suitcase I found recently at the flea market. It's a larger version of the several suitcases I've reconstructed before it. I think my inspiration comes from childhood memories of watching my Aunt Blondie recover old trunks with contact paper. Instead, I use my favorite pinup cowgirl fabric from Alexander Henry. Suede fringe, brass tacks and a star concho bring it all together with western flair. Most appropriately, I'll be loading it up for an overnight business trip to Dodge City this week. Giddy Up!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Turkey Leftovers

Thanksgiving was plentiful at my house with a 26.66 lb turkey for only four people. In fact, I'll probably sprout tail feathers by the end of the week from ingesting so much turkey. I could have went the made-from-scratch way to fixing a pot pie tonight but instead took some quick shortcuts to make a delicious left-over favorite.

29 oz. can Homestyle Veg-all
2 c. chopped turkey
Sliced onions & pepper to taste
8 oz evaporated milk with 2 Tbs. cornstarch
2 Pillsbury roll-out pie crusts (flaky goodness!)

Combine and bake at 425 degrees until brown.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Football & Mittens

My kind of perfect Sunday involves a lazy morning with coffee and an afternoon of football and knitting. The Kansas City Chiefs lost miserably today but on the positive side, at least I was able to finish a nice pair of wool mittens (from One-Skein Wonders) to match my Toboggan hat.

Vampires Among Us

Last night we had a couple date night with some friends and saw Twilight. It was so good - I'd like to go see it again. But then again, I've always liked vampire fiction from Anne Rice novels to tonight's season finale of True Blood. Oh, what will become of Bella and Sookie?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Toboggan Hat

My job had me on the road most of the week allowing me the opportunity to make a stop into Settler's Farm in scenic Wamego, KS. It's a cute, open and airy knitting and spinning shop in the heart of town. I was impressed by

the variety of spinning wheels (including the one in my bucket list) and different yarns such as the Peace Fleece wool I used to make this somewhat whimsical Toboggan hat. I have enough yarn leftover to make a pair of matching mittens.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

November Flea Market

Mom and I had a good time at the flea market today and we each found some good stuff starting with my reasonably priced Longaberger basket, vintage potholders and sewing notions. I couldn't walk away from the $2.00 large Samsonite suitcase that I plan to recover like the many before it -- more to come on that project!

Friday, November 14, 2008

My New Best Friend

Is it a new pocketbook? Why, NO, it's a Dell Mini 9 laptop - my new BFF! I'm so geeky in love with this thing I can't think straight. Besides being so dang cute, it's the perfect solution for my email and blogging needs while away from my home/office computer. I'll no longer have to beg around for a computer while I'm on my motorcycle trips -- this baby will fit perfectly in my saddlebag and/or handbag. It's true love for a girl on the GO :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Noro Mini Knits #26

Jenny Watson has packed 30 great Noro designs into this little book further feeding my love for Noro yarn. For this comfy little short sleeve top, I used Cash Island instead of Silk Garden. It has a little cashmere that lends to a soft garment with a nice drape. NORO = LOVE

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Charity Knitting

My work is collecting gifts to be sent to our Troops in IRAQ for Christmas. What better excuse to put the needles to good use than on wool camo helmet liners for those cold desert nights. I'll be knitting as fast as I can to get as many as I can done by Nov. 20th when the gift box ships out.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The L&L Shawl

Laurie and I are calling this the L&L Shawl. We purchased the wool/silk yarn and were inspired by a shawl we saw at Miriam's Well in Santa Fe. Miriam shared with us the basic stitches to it but we didn't get a pattern. We struggled and cussed for hours coming up a pattern during our trip over late nights in motel rooms and dim, hazy lounges. We'll it's finally done and I'm very pleased with the results. I like the oblong triangle shape. I added fringe to mine but Laurie didn't. It's a very sentimental reminder of our trip together. Knit on, girlfriend!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Wichita Toy Run 2008

Today's record breaking temperature of 81 couldn't have been nicer for the 29th Annual Wichita Toy Run. Over 3,300 motorcyclists lined up and basked in the sun for a slow ride to the Kansas Colliseum where we handed over toys to the Marine Corps.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Slumber(less) Party

My knitting/golf friend, Pattie, advised Laurie and I her husband was leaving town for the weekend so we more or less invited ourselves over for a knit-in at her house in the country. We knitted and laughed the night away. We called it a slumber(less) party because we didn't get much sleep but were saved by the additional hour from the time change. Thanks again, Pattie, for the hospitality!

Mug & Cozy Swap

This month's KIP swap was a huge suceess with even more in attendance than last month. Jackie drew the number for my felted cozy with a Starbuck's gift card and I drew one made by Amy. It's funny how you can hang around with people long enough that you can see their likes and personalities in each of their own creations.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Rhea Lace Stole

I've been spending alot of time with other crafty goodies lately and still managed to finish the Rhea Lace Stole from the book, One-Skein Wonders from the hand-dyed silk yarn I found in Silver City, NM. As for the book, I highly recommend it for small projects and lace pattern ideas.

Friday, October 24, 2008

DIY: Travel Pillow

If you're wondering what to make for Christmas gifts this year (and you like to sew) I've got the perfect idea for you. I purchased a kit to make this 12x16" Tidy Travel Pillow Case as a gift for a coworker who sews and then used the pattern to make a pillow of my own to match my cowgirl luggage. It's just the perfect size, affordable and so easy to make up. The lining is attached to the outer cover so you won't have to worry about the pillow slipping out of the case. Wonderful for kids and grown-ups!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Branson Craft Ideas

Travel inspires me to do all kinds of things - mostly crafts. My kind of souvenirs are the things I can bring back home and make myself. While in Branson last weekend, I found the inspiration to make a total of seven things to remind me of my trip. So many hobbies - too little time!

1) Needlepunch Kit
2) Embroidery Dish Towels
3) Sweatshirt Jacket
4) Jalepeno Lime Cornbread
5) Lined Burlap Sack/Tote Bag
6) Stone Necklaces
7) Ceramic Vase Pin Cushion

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Destination: Branson, MO

Mom and I have been going at full speed for three days now trying to get in everything that we can with the short time we have here in Branson. We started the day with a tour of the Titanic Musuem and shopping along the Branson Hwy 76 strip. Before we knew it, it was time for our dinner show at Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede. The show was incredible with an aerial act, lights, music, horses, longhorns, pigs, and doves. I can now say I've ate a whole four-course meal with my hands since they purposely don't provide silverware just to add to the experience.

We've had a wonderful trip and I'm so lucky to have a fun mom like you. I love you very much.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Destination: War Eagle, AR

Mom and I woke early to make our way from Branson, MO to the 55th annual War Eagle Craft Fair. There were hundreds of vendors set up in the meadows along the War Eagle River selling their own creations of pottery, wood carving, weaving, quilts and other arts and crafts. I treated myself to a custom leather belt, a handknit wool jacket, apricot carved wood coffee scoop and wood carved wine stopper.

It was a walk back in time to tour the water-powered War Eagle Mill. Many different flours and meals to name a few are for sale in nostalgic cloth and burlap sacks. I settled for a bag of cornmeal and a great recipe for muffins as follows:


2 cups (War Eagle) cornbread mix
2 Tbs sugar
1-2 jalapenos, seeded, finely chopped
2 tsp grated lime rind
1 cup milk
1 egg
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 Tbs butter, melted
2 Tbs lime juice

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Stir together dry ingredients except cheese. In small bowl, mix together liquid ingredients; stir into dry. Fold in 1 cup cheese. Spoon into muffin tins coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of batter. Bake 15-20 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

Compliments from the War Eagle Mill

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Destination: Springfield, MO

Mom and I took off for a long weekend trip to Branson. It's an easy 4 hour trip but we made it longer by driving some scenic back roads to Springfield. About 16 miles east of Springfield in Rogersville, we pulled up to the most exciting yarn shop I've been to in quite a while - One City Market. It's a small farmhouse with a very inviting front porch and when you enter you'll be greeted by the uber friendly owner, Lisa, and her huge clothesline of Tit-Bits (knitted breast prosthesis). From there I was literally overwhelmed with the many unique items I found in each room from homemade sock blockers to hemp yarn from Nepal to a punchneedle embroidery kit (like I need to start a new hobby-but I just couldn't resist). This is one yarn destination worth a return trip - road trip anyone??

Monday, October 06, 2008

Mexican Coffee

While in Taos for the festival, we stayed a couple nights in the historic, Taos Inn. It was a happening place with a restaurant, bar and cozy places to sit, knit and listen to live music. A cold rain passed through and a hot drink sounded appropriate so I ordered a Mexican Coffee. (Just a little splash of Don Julio goes a long way). Now I can enjoy a taste of Taos right here at home.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

2008 Taos Wool Festival

We spent all day Saturday taking in the fibers, animals and knitted garments (made by vendors and spectators) at the Taos Wool Festival. I purchased yarn from one of the best vendors there, Brooks Farm, to make an Ewe Vest. It is a simple garter stitch pattern knit in one piece that was sampled in their exhibit. When in Taos, you must go to Lalana Wools and visit with the lovely, Lynne. She will make you want to knit up everything in the shop. In fact, this is where I purchased the pattern and yarn for my sought after felted cowboy hat. People, it is priceless and I wouldn't part with it for the world -- so go make your own!