Thursday, March 31, 2011


Look WHOOOO came to live at my house!!

This wise little fellow is almost too cute for words!
I'll have to try to make some like him.

Thank you, Elizabeth (Creative Breathing), for your darling owl pin-keep!!  
And for all the pretty ribbons and ric-rac in the mushroom jar too!

I think he will feel right at home in my sewing room,
with my buttons, spools of thread, and quilting magazines.  
(Hopefully that big pile of fabric won't turn into a landslide!) 

I will think of you every time I see him.

PS- Elizabeth has been such an inspiration to me. She included so many creative ideas on her blog as she told her family stories.   This is the Easter penny rug I made last year using her pattern.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Covered Bridges

I was looking through old pictures of my kids and found these.   Did you ever see the movie  "The Bridges of Madison County"?   Well, here are two of those covered bridges.    

 Holliwell Bridge, built 1880.

Imes Bridge, built 1870.

6 of the original 19 bridges remain.  These are near  Winterset, Iowa, the tiny town where John Wayne was born.  (Or, for  you quilters out there, the town where Fons and Porter have their store.)  

PS-  Update- I found this site online that maps all the authentic covered bridges in the USA and Canada.  Take a look!

Joining Rednesday at It's A Very Cherry World.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Peanut Butter Round-Ups

The perfect snack.  Peanut butter cookies  and a big glass of milk. 

My son has been home on spring break.  Today we made peanut butter cookies, so he would have some home-baked goodies to take with him when he returns to school tomorrow.

This old family favorite is easy to make.


1 cup shortening
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown  sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 cup peanut butter
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup oatmeal

Beat together shortening and sugars.
Add eggs.
Add peanut butter.
Sift dry ingredients together and mix into creamed mixture.
Stir in oatmeal.

Shape into 1 inch balls.  Flatten with a  floured fork.
Bake in 350 degree oven  for  about 12 minutes.
Cool on wire rack.
Stand back and watch your son gobble them up.

(Makes 6 dozen cookies)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


It's official!  
Spring has arrived! 
The forsythia is in bloom!!

Can't think of many things more beautiful than this.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Paper Cranes

I have always loved the Japanese art of folding paper called Origami.  In particular, paper cranes.  In Japan, the crane is a symbol of hope and good luck.  And it is said that if you fold 1000 paper cranes your wish will come true.

A few years ago, I organized a project based on the children's book "Sadako And The Thousand Cranes" by  Eleanor Coerr.  

The kids and adults at our church folded 1000 cranes, strung them together on long strings, and sent them to Japan.  They were hung in the Peace Park in Hiroshima, with our wish for world peace.  
(This photo courtesy of Children's Peace Memorial in Hiroshima, Japan.)

This week I spent a lot of time  glued to the news, hearing about the multiple disasters that have affected the people of Japan.  Earthquakes, tsunami, fire  and the nuclear threat.  My heart goes out to all those who have lost family, friends, homes, pets, livestock and businesses.  I pray for those on the search and rescue teams,  and for those brave souls,  who at great personal risk, are trying to keep the nuclear plant from a complete meltdown.

There are groups that are using the paper crane to raise awareness about the plight of the people in Japan.  Groups like  American Red Cross,   Heart to Heart,   Shelter Box,  etc... are collecting funds to provide humanitarian relief, food, shelter and medical care to the survivors.  PLEASE GIVE WHAT YOU CAN.   Every dollar helps. 

Do you want to learn how to fold a paper crane?

 There are lots of colored and printed papers available.

Select  one square.

Fold it in half diagonally, both ways.

 Fold it in half to make a rectangle,  both ways. 

Keeping the fold at the top, take one corner and fold it to the center.

 Flip it over,  and fold the other corner to the center.

 Insert your finger into the bottom, slightly turn the paper and flatten into a square.

Fold the open edges towards the center to form what looks like a kite shape.

 Flip it and fold the other side the same way.  It will look like this.

 Fold the top point down.  (fold it to the back and to the front, to make the next step easier.)

 Unfold  the top point and sides to look like a square again.  Then lift the open edge. Pull it all the way open bending along that top crease.  This will pull the sides in.  Invert the side folds to make a diamond shape. 

 Flip it over and and do the same thing to the other side and it will look like this.
The top half will be solid and the bottom half will have a split.

Fold the split side in towards the center again, to make it more narrow.  

 Do that to each side.

 Then flip it over and do it on the reverse side too.  It will look like this, with solid pieces at the top.  And the bottom will have two skinnier split section that look like long points.

Take one pointed bottom piece and slightly unfold it and push it  almost all the way up into the middle of the top section, and then pinch it flat again, inside itself.

 Repeat to the other  pointed section and it will look like this.
(Note: that the bottom edge should be at an  slight angle, not exactly straight.)

 Push the tip of one of the  points down into itself and flatten and  to make a head.   
The remaining point becomes the tail. 

Gently pull out on the wings and the crane will open up.  
You can push down on the body a bit to make it stay open.  

I folded more paper cranes today.  
I hope you will join me.
Fold a crane.  Make a donation.  Keep the people of Japan in your thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Had to pop in this week to wish everyone a 
very happy St Patrick's day!!

 Belleek shamrock pieces scattered about the house.
And a little Irish nutcracker dancing the reel.

And here are some reel steps for you to watch.
(the reel in soft shoes and the treble-reel in hard shoes.)

Joining Kathleen's 3rd Annual St. Patrick's Day Blog Crawl