Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. Eleanor Roosevelt

Friday, September 30, 2011

Fall Harvest

What does fall mean to you? Cooler weather? Sweaters? Halloween? Fall fruit?
All these things are what I think of as fall approaches.

In my neck of the woods, we also have a celebration commemorating Fall, Johnny Appleseed Day. This is the oldest harvest celebration in the state. We started this apple festival back in 1888. There is some speculation about Johnny Appleseed even getting this far west, but us hicks will celebrate anything and this weekend it's going to be all about apples.

I've already started with my own 1/2 bushel of Gala's. I went to a local family farm who have been growing apples for the past 9o years in Paradise. These days they've even started growing peaches in all varieties. And for more trivia, Paradise is the last area to produce peaches in the year. So if you still need a taste of peach in your mouth, come on up to Paradise.
I figured with my half bushel, I'd make apple pancakes, applesauce, apple pie, apple cake, apple crisp, baked apples, eat a few naked apples and maybe even cover a few in caramel.

You thought my half bushel looks like a lot, check this out.
This box holds 18 boxes of 100 apples each. So all together this big box can make over a 1000 apple pies. Pretty impressive!
Not only do they look pretty, you should smell them. There was a scent of apples in the air that was better than any candle you can buy.

So where ever you are, I'd like to be the first to say, "Happy Johnny Appleseed Day". Have a great weekend and eat an apple or two to celebrate.

Take care, Brandie

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Button Hoarding

Grandmother's hoarding has saved me again. If it wasn't for this jar of buttons, I wouldn't have finish the stack of pumpkins. Thank you Grandma!
I have 10 of these jars, it all colors. I don't think I'll ever buy another button in my life. I've added the few I had to Grandmother's stash and I've haven't made a dent in the 5 years I've had them. Guess I'll have to try harder.

Here is the finished quilt. Not too big. around 34 x 40. But I think this would look even cuter scaled down to a long skinny wall hanging.
Warning! When ironing, don't reach around the it!
This is my right forearm. It's a funny angle because I took the picture myself (badly). It's only now starting to bother me. It was days ago, but now it burns to touch water or anything else. And because it's at my waist, I seem to rub it on everything!
So the moral of this story, don't be a dummy!

You all know how much I love flying geese. You are probably tired of seeing them, but I'm not, so bear with me.
Don't you just love scraps! If it wasn't for my scrap boxes, I'd have really boring geese. These were all made with scraps, some more scrappy than others. Love it!
Also do you see the buttons? Aren't they too cute! I found as many tiny buttons as I could and I still have leftovers. They are all kinds. some more maroon, some shiny, an orange one and even a baby button.
I'm not too happy with the sign, so I may rework it. I like the look, but the size isn't right. But it needs to stay, to identify these gorgeous fruits.
If Hubby was a prankster, I wouldn't be surprised to wake up and find the sign changed to Granny Panties. Thank Goodness he knows better than to cut into my fabrics!

Have a Beautiful Fall Thursday. Surround yourself with Happy people, Happy thoughts and Happy things. Go enjoy a pumpkin latte and stay cool. This is my list for today, thought I'd share.

Take care, Brandie

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


We all have an official Wilton "Certificate of Completion", Hurray! I guess we should frame it and open a store.

This last class was to roll all that we learned into a cake, a professional cake, one that someone would pay for.
I learned a lot in this class. One being, I probably wont ever cover a cake in fondant again!
Some of us did quite well. Other's failed (me). I had too big an idea and not enough skill.

So let cut the cake and have a slide show!
This is Bridgette's cake. She spent at least two hours Sunday cutting out her roses. She wanted 13. About halfway through, she wanted to know who came up with that idea.
When she finished covering the cake, she thought it looked like a hat. A bowler perhaps?

This was from the only other student in class. We started out with the 8 of us and finished with 4. Hhhhmmm, I think they were intimidated by the fondant and that's why they didn't show up.
Anyway, this is from the same student who had dyed her hands pink that first day. She did the same thing again last night. She real likes pink fondant!
And now to the fail. Apparently, cakes with edges are harder to cover with fondant. There is more difficulty in easing out the ripples on corners. I had two corners that ripped and ruffled and there was nothing I could do to fix it. Lesson learned.
Lesson two, add more black then you think is possible to keep black flowers. My are slightly blueish. Another lesson learned.
But I don't think my flowers and bow are too bad. And that was why I took the class in the beginning. I wanted to make flowers. I think I can add these fancy flowers to a regular frosted cakes and still get the same wow factor, and I could even do it with corners, just not fondant!
I did my lid before class, to set up. At class I couldn't put the wood grain in the cake while it was all soft. I almost went through the fondant, so I gave up.
And I know that my skeleton it not to scale, but you get the idea.
Maybe next time I'll have more time and skill, I'll cut the cake out and I'll lay the skeleton on a quilted bed. Next time I'll prop the lid. Next time...

Gail did an excellent job with her flowers. She's had practice making the gum paste flowers. She bought a fancy, fancy new set and made these wonderful fall flowers.
The colors are spot on!
Gail made more, but she didn't use them. Don't you love these roses?! Don't tell her, but I stuck one in my pocket. Ssshhhh
All in all, I think we all had a fun time and we learned a lot. Just don't ask me to make you a fancy cake! But I think Gail is going to add "Cake Decorator" to her name tag, so call her.

Have a sweet day!
Take care, Brandie

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Sign Says it All

I hope this helps identify what is on this quilt.
Now there's no excuse for these pumpkins to be mistaken. Just you wait till these pumpkins have some grooves quilted into them!

Yesterday I colored so much fondant, that I have sore wrists. Tonight is our final class and I'm so ready! My cake is in the freezer. My black roses are dried. I've made more leaves than either my Daughter or I can use.
I'm almost excited about it. Hopefully it'll turn out.
Tomorrow I'll have pictures of all the cakes. It'll be exciting!

So till tomorrow...

Take care, Brandie

Monday, September 26, 2011

Slacker Weekend

This was a busy weekend. Not too busy on the quilting front, but a busy one. Friday night I managed to get a little farther into the "GP" quilt. They no longer look like granny panties, right? You can see that they are a stack of pumpkins, hopefully. Sometimes when I draw things, they don't always look like what they were suppose to be. Just know, these are pumpkins.
I've added leaves and vines and when I'm finished quilting, I'll add some button berries to the vines.

Saturday, my BFF's parents were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary. I found a vintage hanky in my linen stash. This one was meant to be, because it had a "R" already embroidered on it. Why did I buy it? No reason, I just collect initials, they can come in handy in times like this.
So I sketched out an oval, drew in a few numbers. Quilted it up ( just before the party, because I'm a slacker) and voile, an heirloom gift that you know nobody else will be bringing.

I forgot to take a picture when I finished. I was in such a hurry to get to the party in time that I had to take a picture at the party. Hopefully I've learned my lesson and will stop being a slacker.
So with that thought, I'm going to leave you now and go attack the pile of laundry that I've put off till I'M wearing the granny panties!

Take care, Brandie

Friday, September 23, 2011


I'm so happy with myself! I sat down at the machine and I actually finished my toile quilt! I really haven't touch it in over a week, except to pull out bad stitches.
I was finally inspired to do something. You see, I had finished the border with feathers and an echo and I just didn't like the way one part of the quilt looked. So I took it out and then I didn't know what to do. There is sat, for days. I would feel guilty about not finishing it, but I wasn't sure what to do with it. Then I started making those granny panties and I think my mind answered the question all by it's self.
I sat down in the morning and I just started quilting and I didn't get up till I had finished all of if. Hurray! Now I don't feel guilty about anything, except eating a hand full of mini cupcakes!
PugsLee is helping hold down the quilt while I take pictures. She thinks it's going to take off with a slight breeze. Ain't she cute? She is also listening real hard to what I'm saying, "Get off the quilt sweetie. Ok, move your rump. Moved it pumpkin head!"
Nope she didn't seem to understand. Just cocked her head from side to side. Silly dog!
See that triangle space at the top of the picture? That was where I had my problems. Too fat feathers and bad stitches. Now the feathers look related and thin.
This is the back side of my quilt. It shows the quilting better and I want some surprise at the Quilt Show. So I'm sorry you will have to wait till then to see the front.

Have a wonderful weekend and I hope you get done as much as you want!
Take care, Brandie

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Granny Panties

I have been working on some sewing, not very much, but some. I told you I started something new and I did, shame on me. I still haven't finished the quilting on my Toile quilt which is going into the Show. I'm having a serious problem with procrastination, seriously!
So I started something new, something I sketched out. I gathered up some fabrics and I got to work hopefully to revive my quilting spirit.
Halfway through the project, Hubby comes in and says, "Why are you making lady butts?"

Really!? Does he think I'm sitting around sewing granny panties in my free time? Silly man!
Now I know you all know what these are, right? You all know better than to think I spend my day stitching up a pair of panties.
But ... I can kind of see what he sees ... that's terrible, I do see it!

Take care, Brandie

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tis the Season

I think the fall season has officially arrived. The weather is cooler (for some), it's mid September, some leaves are falling (somewhere) and there are pumpkins growing. So I officially announce it's time for pumpkin cooking!
We should all start the day off with a mini pumpkin cupcake. After a day of hard work and a long Quilt Show meeting, we should end the day with a mini pumpkin cupcake. Do you see a pattern here? I just need any excuse to eat pumpkin cupcakes.
Last night I conducted a Quilt Show meeting. We have only a month and a day till our fabulous show. All my ladies have worked so hard and (knock on wood) everything is going as planned.
If you are going to be in the Chico area October 22 or 23, come by the fair grounds for a fabulous show. We have about 240 quilts to share, 17 vendors and this year we are even going to be selling Holiday quilts. Mark your calendars and if you do come by, make sure to find me and say "Hello".
I do try to treat my ladies well. I figure it I feed them goodies, they'll behave. Would you for a pumpkin cupcake?
As you can see, I made quite a few! This morning I still have more then half leftover. Good thing I have another meeting tonight. This time I get to sew with my small group. I know I can off load a few cupcakes there!

I never did show you what we did in our last fondant class.
We made Calla Lilies.
Carnations (the pink one)
And Roses. I think we all decided the the carnations are too time consuming. The roses we think we need more practice. The calla lilies are the easiest and very fun to do.
Last night I missed the fondant class. But they were all going to cover their cake boards with fondant, so I don't think I missed much. Gail and my Daughter can catch me up by next week when we have our final class. At that class we all need to bring a baked cake and decorate it with flowers. I am going to try a Halloween cake. Are you surprised? If you were, you don't know me very well!

Till tomorrow. I have some quilty things to show you. But I'm making you wait, because that's part of my nature too! Today I was just sweeting you up. So, till tomorrow.

Take care, Brandie

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Last weekend, while shopping in my favorite Halloween store, I found the perfect set of plates. They even match my soup tureens and most of the other dishes. They may not be for every one, which is fine, because now their mine! (there I go rhyming again! It must be a curse, or something worse!) The best part is, they were cheap. I swear, every year we find the best Halloween stuff at Ross. They are now my go-to Halloween party store.
I guess this means I'm having a Halloween party. I do this every year, never sure if I'm having a party, then I found something and my mind gets changed. But the party is now on!
We even found a few crystal skulls. Some were goblets and are as big as the plates, not sure what their function is.
But look how well the play together! It was meant to be.
Funny thing was, I found one of each skull while shopping in Sacramento. Cousin Linda and I went into the Ross next to Ikea and I found them. Hubby liked skulls and keeps them on display all year. When this special season starts, I raid his office and "borrow" a bunch of cool stuff.
Last week Hubby and I went into our local Ross and found 3 of each skull. It was like they spilt them up and we found them and made them into a family again. Aaahhh! It's that serendipity?
Maybe today I actually get some quilting done. I have been seriously slacking. I remove some bad stitches and than do nothing. I'm a bad girl! Our Quilt Show is a month away and I really only have until the 6th to have my quilts done and what am I doing? Slacking!
I also started something new. I know, bad girl! I really must have ADD or something! No I'm procrastinating and whining. So to get back to work!

Take care, Brandie

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Babels

Have you all missed me? Did you think I went on vacation? Well I kind of did. My services were needed at a local elephant orphanage. Then I ran a 105 mile marathon. After that I flew off in my invisible plane and lassoed the moon.
Do you believe any of that?
In reality, I was in a web of thread created by loose tension. I had so much un-sewing to do, I got caught up. But I'm back now and you may be sorry I've returned.

This weekend I was an actual bag lady. I had myself a Kmart bag and I was walking up and down my busy rural street. Why? I was needing some caps. These kind.
Don't tell me that you don't collect extra caps! What are you going to do when you need them! Cause I ain't sharing!

What am I going to do with them? Make acorns of course!
First step is to dress in as many frumpy layers as possible, don't forget the trash bag rain coat. Now walk up and down the street with your body bent in half and pick up as any acorn caps as possible. If you see some else on YOUR street doing the same thing, make sure you make a very public scene. Yell and say a bunch of nonsense words while propelling your arms at them.
Next come home and change. Make sure you wash your hands!
Then go to your trusty craft closet and find your Fimo or any polymer clay.
Now comes the fun part. Roll that clay into forever acorns.
After the clay has been cooked, find a cap for each acorn. Aren't they cute? Say yes...
Now find a decorative bowl or plate and display them proudly. Just don't let any squirrels into your house. I'm sure these acorn would be hazardous to their health.
So go out and make a few forever acorns. I'm going to try to varnish or oil the caps at some point. If you get to this first or have a better idea let me know.

Now I'm back to that web of thread. I promise to be back tomorrow with more babel. So insert the fish and come back.

Take care, Brandie

Monday, September 12, 2011

Weekend Fabrics

Last week I recieved another package. Inside was some scary stuff. More Ghastlies! I love the orange color. This is what Halloween should look like. Orange and black! Who thought pink and black were Halloween colors?
I already started on my Ghastlie project (to be revealed in October). I am loving it! It's going to look great at Halloween. Maybe not as good as the Raven, but definitely a second.

I also worked on my quilt for the Quilt Show coming up. That is if ripping is considered work. I had two kinds of feathers and they looked bad together, so one kind had to go. Now to come up with another quilting design.

Looks like we might have some rain today. After temperatures around a 100, some rain may not be bad. Now it's starting to feel like fall!

Take care, Brandie

Friday, September 9, 2011

Dining Room Watchdog

The Raven has moved to his semi-permanent home. He may keep us all from eating!

Have a great weekend!
Take care, Brandie

Thursday, September 8, 2011

As the Bow Turns

I've started a new hobby. Cake decorating. My Daughter and I were in Michael's, the craft store, and they were doing a demo on fondant flowers. Both of us were impressed and than came the sales pitch. Half off all classes in the month of September. Well that was a no brainer!

In our first class, we learned to make bows. Big giant, cover you messy cake bows. It wasn't too bad. We learned a few things. One being that it's not all fondant, it's a half and half mix with gum paste. Helps it dry faster, but not too fast.

These bows are the teacher's. Notice that hers are perfect. Every loop in the right place. Just wait till you see mine.
This is the one the teacher made to demonstrate. The paper you will see is to keep the loops from falling down. The fondant is heavy and it collapses on it's self after a while. How do I know? Because I didn't stuff all my loops and by the time I got home, it was a bow that looked like it had been sat on. I need to learn to listen to the teacher!
A student bow. She used the teachers fancy rolling pin to get this great impressions.
As you can see, this student dyed her fondant and her hands!
This lady made a beautiful color peach. I love this color, it's perfect.
Another student bow.
This is Gail's bow. It's hard to see but her fondant was marbled a purple and a maroon. Very pretty. She also used the teachers rolling pin.
And these are my and the Daughter's. Anyone who knows my Daughter would instantly know which one is hers. She is a purple lover and has been all her life.
Mine is the one that looks like it was made with "Extra" gum. Notice the flat look. I've learned my lesson and I think the next bow would be much better.
I had fun and especially with my Daughter. It's been a long time since we have done anything like this together and I don't know how many more times we will have.
At dinner that night, she informed me that she wants to move to San Luis Obispo next year.
Great way to chock me and age me in an instant! It was bad enough when she moved out of the family home and moved 30 minutes away. Now she wants to 6 hours and 37 minutes away! What's a Mom to do!? She's breaking my heart... I just hope that she doesn't find a job there. Any advice on losing your kids is greatly appreciated.

Empty nester in California.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Owl 3

I promise not to bored you with any more owls. This is the last time, for a while, I promise!
This one is on a buttery yellow background and has more branches, because I put the owls down too low. But I meant to do it, so all is good!
Sorry I took the pictures outside and the sun is leave spots on the quilt.
I also decided that a patchwork border was too busy and I went with a simple stripe. Aaahhh, so much better.
I also added tummies to these owls. Easy Peasy. I started out with a fold piece of paper and cut out an owl shape. Just like a heart, but owl shaped. There are no rules, just do what you like. Next you just add a branch or two and you're done. See, easy-peasy!
And again with that backing fabric. I have one yard left of this and one special quilt to make out of it, but I have time yet. I was just practicing.
I did take an owl quilt to a local boutique and I saw that another local company (Woof n Poof) has come out with a bunch of owls too. So the Daughter was right, owl are the new thing.

Enjoy your Wednesday!
Take care, Brandie

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Owl 2

Shade your eyes! This one is a bright one! It is so colorful, I was having seizures. Kidding!
But it is bright. That hot pink owl is so bright, she glows at night. That fabric has been in my scrap box Forever! It's one that I'd like to use up. If you look in the border, you'll see I used it as often as I could. Unfortunately, I still have more.
Every quilt is a little different and each has their own personalities. This is what you get when someone else picks your fabrics! My Daughter took the idea of the spotted owls and totally ran with it. She wanted to use dots for every thing. I had to spot her from using up my precious dots!
And again, I used the owl fabric for the backing. I will have 1 yard left after I finish up the third one.
This little guy is going to keep the kidos up, it's so bright!
I'm a little disappointed in myself for not getting these guys done over the weekend. Such a bacon eating slacker!

Have you noticed the button at the top of my page? The Ghastlies are coming! I'm so excited and a little stressed because I need to make something out of my fabric before the blog hop starts. Too many projects and not enough time!

Take care, Brandie