Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Nuts for Tips

Have you heard of  What a fun site.  It's exactly what it claims to be, which is the following:

This website began in the Fall of 2006 as a way for me to organize all the creative homemaking tips, crafts and projects I have collected over the years. It has grown to feature all the cool ideas and projects that I've discovered online (one of the most popular features of Tipnut).     I'm regularly adding goodies and there's always something new to check out on, you can subscribe here for free updates:

Have you heard of TQPM?  It's my newest quilting magazine and is completely web-based.  I love that I print only those articles and patterns that I really want in hard copy.  The rest I can download.  

It's from the same lady who started, so I can assure you that it's well written and includes articles and patterns by real quilters.  I'll do a profile of Cindy after the craft fair, I promise. (She's already agreed, yea!)  In the meantime, if you click on the link, you can see a few of the current issue's pages--just click on the magazine in the middle of the screen.

Finally, have you heard of It's another of my favorite sites. There's all sorts of stuff you'll love. I couldn't possibly tell you half. They're doing all manner of Christmas crafts right now. I just can't seem to keep up! Go check it out!
Okay, one last item--a request. We're starting over with the votes on  Yep, I'd appreciate it if you did, please, click on the blue/green picket fence button on the upper right.  It's just a fun thing for me to see the votes add up.  I know, it matters not one whit, except that I like it when the numbers climb.  

Monday, November 28, 2011

Warm fuzzies

Today I decided it was finally time to tackle a project that two of my sisters, Angie and Sid, thought I would enjoy.  Can't imagine why they thought that.  After all, 
this is what I looked like after the project.  No, I'm not a lint roller, but it sure is hard to tell!

The cause you ask?  

This cuteness! 
Imagine your little tyke footin' around in these.
Not the cutest of boots? 

 Kinda want a pair for yourself?
Aww, sorry, they come in sweetness sizes only.

Not that you aren't sweet, you're just too big!
Doesn't matter how little you are.
If you're reading this, you'll just have to make your own!

Up next: tomorrow a pinkie pair!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Today I'd like to share an idea I came up with for one of my tables at the craft fair this coming Saturday.  Richard and I picked up three tables at Sam's on sale for $40 each. 

I have been thinking of ways to fit as many items as possible without overcrowding.  Several years ago I purchased a glass table top to put on the sofa table in our living room.  It is too long but I bought it on clearance, so I couldn't return it.  I never got around to having it cut, so it's been stored in a closet.  

Today I put it on top of one of the new tables to form a shelf.  For height, I put a bud vase in each corner.  If possible, I'll try to find something just a bit taller, but this will work if I can't find anything. 

I also emptied a drawer organizer to put the small items that will go on the table so it will be organized and picked up.  

This afternoon I also did a little sewing.  One of things I managed to make is this beaded scarf.  I've made a couple of them already, but this one is different in that I used thin ribbon to string on three beads.  

The ribbon adds eight inches to the length of the scarf and adds texture and weight, too.

Thanks for visiting.  If you have any suggestions for working a craft fair, please share them with me.

Friday, November 25, 2011

One week and counting.....

Yes, tomorrow morning will mark one week till the craft fair that I've been so looking forward to.  I must admit at this point that if my booth doesn't do well, I'll be terribly disappointed.  But I'm going with a positive attitude and will have fun, if nothing else.

In the meantime, I thought you might be interested in knowing how I've been preparing.

For one, I've been doing some research.  Actually quite a bit of research.  I've been reading blogs from people who often sell at craft fairs and conversing with members of the quilt board who have been attending craft fairs around their areas.
Another way I've been preparing is by inventorying my stock.  That is not fun.  It's just like doing inventory at a store, but on a much smaller scale.  It's a necessary part of getting ready, though.  I started out by building an Excel program that would fit my needs.  Now I just have to add the name of the items, number on hand, and cost.  Excel does the rest.

Finally, I've been sewing quite a bit.  I picked up some beautiful fleece a week or so ago, and I've been turning that yardage into hats, mittens, and scarves. 

I've made a few other small items, but mostly I'm focusing on those things that I'm hoping will sell as Christmas gifts.

My son, Rory, and his family came by for Thanksgiving supper yesterday and brought this very pretty display rack.  Have you heard the old saying, "One man's trash is another man's treasure"?  Well, it definitely fits in this case.

It's fairly heavy, so it can hold quite a few items.  I've decided that I can use it for the smaller items that I'll have on the infant/children's table.  The tooth fairy pillows, mittens and small purses all fit very well.  There's one more shelf, which I hope to fill with more little mittens.

How was your Thanksgiving?  Did you get any Christmas shopping done today?  If so, how close are you to completing your list?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Evening

We had a wonderful day with family, food and friends.  Lunch at my sister's house for our "Turkey Cookoff."  I bake one, her husband fried one in the oilless fryer and everyone ate.

His turkey won, but mine had to be cooked with travel time calculated in, so it had time to get cold.  Not that it mattered: it was one delish turkey!  Take a look at how pretty it was still hot from the oven.  In fact, we transported it in the pot since this roaster is sturdy.  I can count on it to drip just a tad bit of gravy on the truck seat every time.  

We returned home (late) to find the house filled with smoke.....
I'd left the second turkey on to high and it was on the brink of blackness.  However, I managed to save the day.  Removed it from the electric oven, tossed the worst of the burnt parts, carved and placed on platter and refrigerated till almost time to eat.  Since my platters can be warmed in the oven, I didn't have to handle it again to warm it, so though it was falling apart, it still looked like turkey.

Cooked up the sides that I'd planned on Monday and posted here on Tuesday.  Added pies that another sister provided and dinner was on the table at 6 p.m.  Not bad considering all the obstacles and the number of grandchildren who seem to have no place to stand around except in the middle of my kitchen.  

And yes, I am very grateful that they were there!  Who better to get underfoot on one of the busiest cooking days of the year?  Darling, sweet little grandchildren.

So...on to other fun stuff.  I ran across this video last night and fell in love with the idea, the girl, the info.  I am not a fashion guru by any means, but I do like my scarves.  I just seem to wear them all the same way.  Well, no more!

Check out Wendy's Lookbook on  

Click here for 25 ways to wear a scarf
Isn't it just fun?  Did you take the time to see the videos with the narration?  She explains how to tie up the scarves as she slowly demonstrates each technique. Which is your favorite?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner

The boys and their families are all coming to our house on Thanksgiving for dinner.  This afternoon Richard and I sat down to "plan" the menu.  We're having our traditional turkey and all the trimmings.  Here's the menu:
photo from

Roast Turkey
Pork Roast with Gravy
Cornbread Dressing
Green Bean Casserole
Sweet Potato Bake
Buttered Corn
Pecan Pie 

We're cooking everything from scratch, so after dinner and movie with Will's family tonight, we finished up the grocery shopping.  

The only thing left is to straighten up the house and make room for the extra table.  

Because everyone in our family likes our pecan pies, I thought I'd share the recipe with you.  A couple of notes: I use ready-made rolled pie crusts, and I toss everything into the food processor to blend, chop and mix all at once.  Easy peasy!

Photo from
Easy Pecan Pie
3 cups sugar
3 cups pecans
1 1/2 sticks butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup evaporated milk
3 eggs
2 rolled pie crusts

Chop pecans, mix all ingredients and pour into prepared pie crusts.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Makes two pies.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Fun

I hope you had a great weekend!  Since it's Thanksgiving week for us, I have the entire week off.  Yea!

That means, of course, that I have extra time for sewing this week and plan to take full advantage of it.  I did get a little sewing done today, but mostly I played and watched a movie with Richard.  Well, after we got around to this, that is.

When we went to Alexandria yesterday, we really went for this tent/cover and tables.  We picked up three tables so that there will be enough room for most of the items that we'll have for sale.

I tried putting some things out but it really wasn't working for me.  The wind was blowing too hard and I have a few ideas that I need to  work out.  So,'s what we of a blank slate!

As for the sewing I accomplished, I guess you could say I played.  

Definitely I had fun!  Check out this table round!  

Love it!  


Christmas on one side.

Damask on the other. 

Don't the reds sing?

I actually made several table coverings.  Here's another I really had fun with.  

I found the plaid in the stash.  The fabrics could be from the same line, but they aren't.  They just like playing together, that's all.

Together they inspired me to put together this table runner.

There are other table coverings, but it got too late to take decent photos.  Sorry about that.

What have you been up to lately?  
Gotten any sewing done? 
Any ideas to share?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

14 and counting....

Two weeks till the crafts fair.  Today I managed to  make several items in preparation for the fair.  I picked up the fabric for two of this little apron yesterday.  So, I started out stitching up both of them.  They turned out pretty cute and since I have some more cute fabric, I'm thinking of making a few more.  

Of course, the fabric can't compete with this cuteness.  Check out pocket part of the apron.  How cute is this?

I guess I was on a kids kick in the studio because I finished the day with a good dozen of these little tooth pillows.

I guess I was on a kids kick in the studio because I finished the day with a good dozen of these little tooth pillows.

In between I made several scarves, including this braided scarf.

As for these polka dotted scarves, if I figure out how to get rid of the fuzzies, I'll be thrilled.  I don't even like to touch them because the stuff goes flying everywhere.  That includes the air so I ended up breathing in some of the fuzz.  I lived, so it wasn't the worst.

This afternoon Richard and I drove into Alex to pick up a few things.  While there, I ran into Hancock Fabrics and picked up this very large bag of fleece (on sale, yea!) which promptly found its way to the floor.  I figured I'd shoot a photo in it's natural state.  Goodness knows, it refuses to sit on the counter.  I'm blaming the bulk and physics, but I could be wrong.

Before you run off to read another blog, please do me a favor and vote for Fleur de Lis Quilts on Picket Fence.  
Just click the blue picket fence button on the upper right hand corner.  
That's it.  
One more vote from my bloggy friends!

Thanks for visiting!  Happy stitching!  Mary

Friday, November 18, 2011

Craft Fair Countdown

15 days and counting!  Until the Craft Fair in Natchitoches, that is.  For me it means getting busy finishing up the projects I hope to have ready for sale. 

Part of my plan is to add some Christmas items to the projects that I already have completed.  Hopefully some folks will be looking for Christmas decorating items.

The problem: I simply didn't have very many Christmas themed fabrics in the stash.  On piece of blue with snowmen and other small characters which came from mom's stash.  I have used a small bit by adding some of the little characters to the ends of scarves that I made.  It really dressed them up nicely, but that's about it. 

A quick trip to Alexandria yielded these pretty fabrics.  The colors are a bit muted in the photos, but I'm not very good at enhancing photos, so please bear with me.

I plan to make table runners, mug rugs, and other small items with the 1/2 yard pieces that I picked up.  

           Since I liked so many of the fabrics, I decided to pick up several smaller pieces rather than just one or two large ones.  This way, I can offer more variety to potential customers.

Have you had a booth at a crafts fair?  Do you think my strategy of offering many items in different fabrics will work?

I'd love to hear your ideas.  This is my first time working a fair, so I appreciate any advice you can give.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Busy, busy

I'm trying to build up my inventory before we go to the Natchitoches Craft Fair in December.  So, for the last few days I've been sewing as much as possible.  Well, except for yesterday when I came home for a nap....a long nap.  

I took a group of 45 freshman and sophomores to Lafayette to tour ULL, which just happens to be my alma mater.  We had a great day but it was a long day, with miles of walking and, for me at least, keeping track of 45 kids who wanted only to do a little wandering on their own.  So, yeah, I skipped a day of sewing after school and snoozed on the sofa for a couple of hours, then woke up to a fabulous supper, showered and crawled in my bed.

Today, though, I made up for some of my snooze time!  I stitched a full dozen of these little Kleenex holders.  Talk about rolling!

On Tuesday I made a couple pairs of mittens....pretty in pink and just right for little ladies! 

Check out the cuffs...I first played with one of the fancy stitches on my machine, which I liked but it was a tad slow.  So then I decided to give some ribbon a whirl.  I really like the outcome, so other pink mittens will get trimmed out in cutesy ribbon! 

What would go with cutesy mitts?  Why an equally cutesy scarf, also in pink.  Couldn't pass up this minky fabric in white polka dots.

And on Sunday afternoon, a couple of table runners.  One with 
Christmas lights strung across the center.

A second with metallic Christmas ornaments sprinkled atop!

 There's a little bit of shine on these ornaments!
What do you think?  Would you pick these up if you saw them at a craft fair?  What else would you consider purchasing?