Sunday, April 29, 2012

Coming Home

Mary Chapin Carpenter posted this on Facebook recently. Mary Oliver is the author. Here's hoping perhaps some of these words or the images which come to mind may be incorporated into one of her new songs.

and what we see is the world

that cannot cherish us

but which we cherish,

and what we see is our life

moving like that,

along the dark edges...

of everything — the headlights

like lanterns

sweeping the blackness —

believing in a thousand

fragile and unprovable things,

looking out for sorrow,

slowing down for happiness,

making all the right turns

right down to the thumping

barriers to the sea,

the swirling waves,

the narrow streets, the houses,

the past, the future,

the doorway that belongs

to you and me.

-from "Coming Home" by Mary Oliver

Friday, April 27, 2012

April Showers

Not only help bust the drought, but bring forth the rain lilies I planted!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Does anyone know what this is?

I found this volunteer plant in the backyard. The hot pink trumpet flowers are 1 1/2 inches across.
Update:  Mike Lowery from Another Place In Time identified it as Mirabilis - 4 o'clocks!
Thank you, Mike!

Thursday Tea Time - What a pair!

Pear, that is!  Two different pear teas, two different reviews.
This week -- Celestial Seasonings Perfectly Pear White Tea and
Zhena's Gypsy Biodynamic Caramelized Pear Green Tea

Cost:  Caramelized Pear $8.99 at World Market and Whole Foods
Perfectly Pear $2.49 at Whole Foods, also some grocery stores.
Number of teabags:  Caramelized Pear – 15
Perfectly Pear - 20                 
Caffeine:  Caramelized Pear – A little
Perfectly Pear – A little
Type of tea:  Caramelized Pear – Green
Perfectly Pear - White
Steeping time:  Caramelized Pear – 4 minutes
Perfectly Pear – 2 minutes
Add ins: A little bit of Stevia to Perfectly Pear to bring up the pear
Teabag fragrance:  Caramelized Pear – Pear and brown sugar
Perfectly Pear – Pear and vanilla
Ingredients:  Caramelized Pear – Organic:  Green tea, pear pieces, pear flavor, caramel flavor, marigold flowers.
Perfectly Pear  - White tea and natural pear and vanilla flavors
Opinion:  Caramelized Pear was a disappointment.  While the teabags smelled terrific, the brewed tea wasn’t up to expectation.  No caramel taste at all.  I actually thought it seemed a little bitter.   Perhaps because I just noticed the can had an expiration date of June 30 2011.  Someone here needs to go through her tea stash!
Perfectly Pear was a delight.  I think they improved the flavor from earlier versions reviewed by other blogs.  It had a very peary taste and flavor, which barely needed any sweetener, if at all.  This tastes great hot and refreshing as iced tea.
Rating:  Caramelized Pear – 0
Perfectly Pear – 3.75

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Song

This song is one of my most joyful ice skating favorites on my iPod Shuffle.  It is also a great swimming song, too. There are a lot of really nice change-ups.

I heard this song at Cafe Adobe, and thanks to my Android's Soundhound app, I was able to grab it. I kept thinking her voice sounded familiar and it was - who knew?

Camila and Colbie Caillat - "Entre Tus Alas" - 4:06

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I Try!

I am very proud to be part of this!

Sales of this book have allowed Pattern Review to donate 100% off all royalties -- $3424.45 so far --  to the National Breast Cancer Foundation!  Click here to purchase this book, and look for me, "Oopsy-Daisy!"   (Now you can even get the Kindle edition!)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mini Tea Review

While I sit outside Whole Foods, enjoying this beautiful day and the nice breeze for as long as my computer battery holds out. . .I bought this Tazo Refresh bottled tea for $1.69.  I like it because 1) Zero calories, 2) only 2 carbs, 3) tastes really good!  According to the bottle label, I am not only quenching my thirst, but replenishing my chakras and quenching my inner tanha.  Love to multi-task!   Ingredients:  Water, peppermint, spearmint, tarragon (!), stevia

Today's Google Doodle

Gideon Sundback's 132nd birthday -  Zip, Zip, Hooray!

2012 Hoffman Challenge

Hoffman J8670 Lavender #70
You can find information about the 2012 Hoffman Challenge at
Deadline is July 12, 2012.  Or July 20, 2012 -- I've seen both dates on the Web, so I've included the earlier one, just in case!

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Song

Marvin Gaye - "Got to Give it Up" - 4:15
I actually heard this song in a vinyasa yoga class!  How fun! (and re-energizing as I started laughing)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Lackadaisical in Luling

I think Luling has had the prettiest wildflowers this year!  Now appearing -- Texas Thistle  (Cirsium texanum) and red and yellow (verticillata 'Zagreb') coreopsis.  Just a beautiful drive along the Texas highways.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day - Pick 5

Pick 5 for the Environment is a great website to choose five actions in the categories of water, air, land, energy, waste and advocacy to help the environment, sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of State.

Just Breathe

Saturday, April 21, 2012

2012 Smithsonian Craft Show

OK, I can get lost and inspired on the 30th Anniversary of the Smithsonian Craft show website for hours. They would have to send in the rescue dogs if I was able to attend in person. Be sure to check under the Images on the right-hand side of the page.

OK then!

I guess it is working now!  Cross fingers!


It's the new Blogger format via Google Chrome now?  Let's see if this works!

Blogger is acting strange

Is anyone else having problems?  I'm getting the message "Your browser is no longer supported by Blogger"

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thursday Tea Time

This week - A cherry-rific two-fer! Wild Cherry and Cherry Vanilla Limited Edition teas from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf!

Cost: $8.20
Number of teabags: 20
Caffeine: Wild Cherry-Yes, Cherry Vanilla-No
Type of tea: Wild Cherry-Black, Cherry Vanilla-White and Green
Steeping time: Wild Cherry-5 minutes, Cherry Vanilla-3 minutes
Add ins: CBTL's Fat Free/Sugar Free Vanilla Powder
Teabag fragrance: Wild Cherry-Cherry Pie!, Cherry Vanilla-Cherry & Vanilla
Ingredients: Wild Cherry-Taiwan Black tea, diced mango, lily blossoms and natural flavors. Cherry Vanilla-China White tea, Taiwan green tea, natural flavors
Opinion: I was able to try the Wild Cherry as an iced tea latte in the store. It was so good, my daughter and I went back three times in three days! She loved it, too! The Cherry Vanilla is not sold by the beverage, so I had to wait to try when I got home. The result? I like them both, but trying to pick one over the other? No can do. The Wild Cherry is definitely stronger flavored and really has a cherry kick. The Cherry Vanilla is more subtle and the undercurrent of vanilla is a nice balance. I found two teabags of the Cherry Vanilla helped give it a stronger cherry flavor. I also think the Wild Cherry would be bold enough to stand up iced. On a whim, I combined both in my tea mug and swore I was drinking cherry pie a la mode! It helped to successfully fend off the temptation of the Whole Foods Vanilla Bean scone sitting in my microwave. Both the Wild Cherry and Cherry Vanilla are Limited Editions. (CBTL also carries "Cherry Blossom" year-round)
Rating: 4

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wednesday Work in Progress - Go Green!

$12.99 watering can from Tractor Supply. Martha Stewart Craft Paint in "Green Curry" from Michaels. Hello Kitty's green bow is my nod to Earth Day! I love this shade of green.

Wow! Of course anything Martha Stewart has her hand in is great. This will be my new go-to crafting paint! While list priced at $2.29; you could really tell the difference between the cheaper paint. It was thicker and laid down in just one coat.

And there were lots of other finishes available. I stood in front of the display agape -- Metallic! Sparkle! Well worth the price. And with the usual 40% off coupons Michaels has all the time, not that much difference in cost. Big difference in quality.

New Penzeys Spice and Coupon Deal!

The new Early Summer Penzeys Spices catalog has a coupon (24554C for online and telephone orders) for a free jar of Ruth Ann's Muskego Ave Chicken and Fish Seasoning. As usual, lots of yummy recipes featured. What am I planning to try? The Blueberry Cardamom Ice Cream on page 8 as soon as the blueberries start arriving. Can't wait!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Song

Florence + the Machine - "Shake It Out" - 4:38
A very energizing song --
One of my yoga teachers played this during a flow sequence!
Also great for swimming and ice skating, too. Especially when I got back on the ice again after all this time, how fun!

Monday, April 16, 2012

New Sandra Betzina Patterns

1291 (left - tops)

and 1292 (right - skirts)

Usually she has three patterns. The $3.99 Vogue sale started yesterday at Joann's, but there was nary a Vogue pattern counter book around. I found the current issue of Vogue Patterns Magazine, and these were featured. Sandra does some interesting skirts. I'm not to sure if I would try it in the stripe, but maybe an interesting print or solid would still showcase that cool bottom hem treatment.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Flowers

Three bunches of assorted daffodils from Randalls. I love the peach-tipped ones the best!

Netflix Stars - Horrible Bosses

2 stars - Good to watch if you are sick and feverish. I can't believe my husband actually sat through all the way with this, but he had the flu. And maybe he had even dozed off. There were a few, a few, funny moments, so it wasn't totally hopeless. Hapless, yes.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thursday Tea Time

 Hot --
 Iced --

This week - Matcha Green Tea Latte at Mochas & Javas

One of my favorite hangouts in San Marcos, Texas - home of Texas State University Bobcats - is Mochas and Javas. I'm up there so often, they think I live in the area instead of three hours away in Houston. "Hey! Haven't seen you in awhile!"

Anyways, they have two locations I frequent - North LBJ, near the campus and Wonderworld. There's also a location in the Central Texas Medical Center. Today I was at the Wonderworld spot and noticed a new item - Matcha Green Tea. Hot or iced, even in a latte. I got the iced latte skinny version, and boy was it wonderful! A pretty green color (think pale pistachio) and a very drinkable flavor. I had tried matcha at another venue and it was like drinking green, for lack of a better word, goop. Insert sticking tongue out and making face here. And based upon that experience I had never tried it again until now. Thank goodness their version is not only good, but also good for me, too, with lots of antioxidants. They are testing it at the Wonderworld location, and hopefully will begin selling it at the TXST location.
It has me intrigued enough to start looking for matchas to make at home. If any one has any suggestions, please let me know. I will post the reviews.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Free Bonnie Raitt Songs!

Starbucks Pick of the Week Song is Bonnie Raitt's "Down to You" from her new Slipstream CD.

And when I went to iTunes to redeem it, "Right Down the Line" was also indicated as Free.


HEB Celebrates the Girl Scouts

With one of their reusable totebag designs to commemorate the 100th year of Girl Scouting - $2

Monday, April 09, 2012

Upcoming Jo-Ann's Pattern Sales

Daffodil Dash - April 15/21
McCall's - 99 cents
Vogue - $3.99
50% off notions wall
50% off all thread (including multipacks)

Earth Day Celebration - Sunday, April 22
First 50 custoners get a free totebag, no purchase necessary

Sew & Save - April 22/28
50% off notions wall (Again! Not complaining!)

Super Saturday Sale - April 28
McCall's - $1.99
Butterick - $1.99
Vogue - $3.99

Friday, April 06, 2012

Haute Houston!

Online registration begins today for the American Sewing Guild Annual Conference to be held in Houston - August 16/20. Click here for more information.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Thursday Tea Time

Cost: $2.49 on sale at Whole Foods
Number of teabags: 20
Caffeine: No
Type of tea: Red
Steeping time: 3-4 minutes per the box, I did 5 minutes automatically without looking at the box until now.
Add ins: Half packet of Stevia and a splash of Vanilla Silk Pure Coconut Milk made it even more coconutty.
Teabag fragrance: Cinnamon/clove
Ingredients: Rooibos, decaffeinated black tea, cinnamon, roasted chicory, ginger, natural coconut flavor with other natural flavors, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, paprika, black pepper and Chinese star anise.
Opinion: The coconut flavor and scent is awakened and even stronger after brewing. Especially after adding the coconut milk! This is another good one to double up the teabags, particularly with chai's and when adding milk. I think the paprika, an unusual Chai tea addition, is an interesting ingredient. But overall, it is like drinking a nice mug of coconut and cinnamon toast. The bonus it is decaf and a red tea means I can have it after dinner to keep me out of the Easter candy!
Rating: 4

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Song

Beyonce' - "Countdown" - 3:32
Triple play and great change-ups for running, swimming and ice skating!
The video is cute, too. (I will try to attach it later today when I have a better Internet connection)

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Wednesday Work In Progress

A much nicer view from the hallway! I started here and just worked my way around the room, going through everything. Knowing it was going a good cause (a local high school's Home Ec Department), made it much easier to part with items no longer needed or for creative road I am now traveling on.

This is the scene above my sewing machine. I got the colorful "Flags of Good Luck" from Paper Bear in San Marcos. I will do a more detailed post about the symbols and their meaning soon.
One step to the right. . .!

This was a flea market find. Before my button collection outgrew the smaller baby food jars, I did have them sorted by color/dye slot!

Thimble and sentimentals collection just behind the door.

I love all the colors and being able to incorporate my Liberty of London Target items from last year. The other night I was literally sitting on the floor, just looking around and just feeling very happy. I can't wait to see what fun projects my re-energization will help create.

All I need to do is sort the storage underneath the cutting table, which basically means refolding and rediscovering the fabric and putting in new storage venues. Suffice to say, I went a little crazy at The Container Store. And playing with my new Brother PT 2030 labeler -- and a package of Berry Pink/white letters on pink label tape!

I took a little break to make a little something for a new little one, too! This is my favorite new baby giftie to make. Even just winding the bobbins was very therapeutic and soothing. I am so glad to be back in the sewing chair again!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Tuesday Tip of the Needle

I heart Amy Butler, her fabrics and her generosity! Here's a link to her current free patterns, which include quilts, a pillow, pillow cases and sham, and necklace, wall art, fabric leaves, picnic blanket and carrying case, portfolios and yoga bag! I love the Bloom Quilt and plan to actually use those flowers in another project, too.

Monday, April 02, 2012


I bought this bag of wool-covered eggs as soon as Target set out their Easter goodies. A little pricey at $8, but to me they looked more expensive than that. And with two different sizes, ideas were just bumping around in my mind. I thought I could either display them in a bowl, glue onto a wreath or, slightly squishing the bag, thread them onto a garland. I decided to go with the latter. (And yes, I kept that 11" pink ribbon for another time, another use)

I must have bought 20 yards of this lace trim years ago, probably 20 years ago. It was a great sale at Jo-Ann's -- 10 cents a yard. I definitely have gotten my money and many projects from it. I should have bought more! The Bohn Rubber Pullers saved my fingers and sanity trying to push and pull the needle through - Aha! Surprise! Plastic shell underneath the wool covering.

Next year I could unthread them and repurpose for another decorating craft project...display in a bowl, glue onto a wreath. . . An $8 Easter egg investment definitely well spent.