Category Archives: recipes

My Dishtowel Rave

NOTE: This post was first named “My Dishtowel Rant.” Reader Shirley wisely suggested that a better name would be Dishtowel Rave. I agree, Shirley! Thanks for your comment.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give.
Ben Carson

Ben, that’s just one reason for my happiness. But it’s true that for any occasion– large, small or no occasion at all– I love giving gifts. But it can be tricky.


Goldilocks said, “This gift is too big!”

Too large or too expensive a gift like this jewel encrusted package or a trip to Paris for lunch would make a friend feel beholden and I don’t want that. (Let me be perfectly clear, I would not give a trip to Paris for lunch.Or a jewel encrusted package. So don’t ask.)


Goldilocks said, “This gift is too small!”

Too small a gift, like a coat hanger, is just tacky. Getting it just right takes some thought.


Goldilocks said, “This gift is just right.”

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Wedding Aprons



A wedding is not a marriage. A wedding is only the beginning of an undertaking that may or may not, someday, develop into a marriage. What the couple have on their wedding day is not the key to a beautiful garden, but just a vacant lot and a few gardening tools. (David and Vera Mace)

Because it’s June, the favored month for weddings, I will re-run some earlier posts about my daughter’s wedding.  Sure,  a lot of sentimental fluff is included but that’s because I’m a sentimental gal.  There are also some useful ideas for wedding sewing.

This month, my fabulous husband and I will celebrate our 46th wedding anniversary. I wish every couple could have this much happiness.



1968. Because we wanted to be married in Florida, where we would start our life together, fewer than 30 guests attended. But we didn’t care.  My mother made my dress.


Rebecca’s garden wedding for 130 guests at our home was a hands-on affair, orchestrated almost entirely by family and friends. Only the photographer, ceremony string quartet, reception Cajun band and wait staff were hired.

As soon as Rebecca and Harvey’s engagement was announced, my dear friend Susanna presented me with her own well-used tote bag.   It was embellished with the text MOTB–Mother Of The Bride. She had used this bag extensively while planning her own daughter’s fairy tale wedding.

Susanna graciously offered to serve as wedding coordinator and was promptly engaged in that volunteer capacity. From that time on, in our conversations and planning sessions, familial relationships were designated by letters–MOTG (mother of the groom), AOTB (aunt of the bride), Grandmother of the Groom (GMOTG) etc. It was fun.


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Quick and Easy Gifts

Nana Fun:  This is 9 yo Laurel’s note to Santa. With grandchildren, there is always something to smile about.  Like the fact that her house does have a fireplace and a chimney.  Was she messing with ol’ Santa?

L santa note~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

3 towels jars

recipe designs from Embroidery Library, raspberries from Ace Points Raspberries, strawberries from Ace Points Strawberry Delight

Many of you know this blog was down for almost two weeks before Christmas.  Because of that, there is a backlog of sewing projects waiting to be shared.

With a long list of recipients and a month-long variety of unexpected demands on my time, it was apparent that the gifts must be quick and easy.  Nothing is faster than machine embroidery on a  ready made item so most of my gifts were of that kind.  Many were towels from All About Blanks.


gingerbread  towel

gingerbread recipe design from Hatched in Africa’s Winter Recipes

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Free Design for Music Lovers

sings well Fred cr

For free design~TEXT ONLY~leave your request as a comment.

At a recent church supper, Bob and I were seated at a table with Fred, our beloved Minister of Music, along with vibrant Rabelle and Harold, a  couple who has been involved in nearly every community musical event in the past 60 years.

In the dinner conversation, of course there was much discussion about music.  Rabelle brought up St. Augustine’s quote, “He who sings prays twice.” All the music gurus knew it well, while neither my dear husband nor I had ever heard this phrase.  Maybe that was because neither of us sings and the only way we know to pray twice is to pray twice.

In anticipation of Fred’s retirment last week, I wanted to make something which showed appreciation for all he has done for our church.  For 12 years, he has directed spiritually uplifting choir music and arranged church events with details and pageantry to enrich our worship experience.  Fred has orchestrated moving music and drama for memorable Christmas Eve services,


Christmas 12

Christmas Eve ’12

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UPDATE: Game Day Shirts and Tailgating

UPDATE: Robert’s spiral bound book, Football Frenzy, is now available.

front scanCR


Robert wrote every word, did the research and even typed this himself.  Finished before his 8th birthday, it includes a 7 year old’s experience and appreciation for the game, as well as interesting quotes and statistics along with Robert’s comments. It’s a bargain for $5 + $2 shipping. Get your copy now before Amazon picks it up and raises the price!!


first time tailGators

First time tailGators, Laurel in a new shirt and Robert in one of his VBS tie shirts.


What a great time we had Saturday at the Florida/Arkansas football game in Gainesville!  Robert and Laurel’s first tailgating experience was just about perfect.  A good win for our beloved Gators, good food, good family time, and good weather.  Okay, so it was a sunny 90 degrees, but there was a nice breeze and it didn’t rain.  In Florida, that’s considered good weather, but not great.


L shirt closeCR


Sewing always seems to play a role in all the major occasions of my life.  I’m sure it’s the same for you, whether it’s party favors or decorations or gifts. Continue reading

Happy Easter 2013


Robert and Laurel brought me this lovely, fragrant Easter lily. There are three more buds, so it will bloom for quite a while.

What fun family time we enjoyed this year as we celebrated Easter.  Our daughter, Rebecca, and her family arrived mid-week and our son, Ryan, and his family were with us all day Saturday, when we had our Easter dinner.


VnA lying down

Alastair adores his baby sister. She looks like the feeling is mutual.

Saturday began with the Bunny Lunch at church, always a big hit with our grandchildren.  Approximately 75 children along with their parents or grandparents participated. The event began with an Easter craft followed by lunch. Continue reading

Fluffy Lambs & Happy Chaos

bassinette skirt~work in progress

bassinette skirt~work in progress


I really haven’t dropped off the face of the earth!  I had hoped to post photos of a finished bassinette skirt several days ago, but instead have only a picture of the work-in-progress project and a synopsis of the last several hectic days.

We’ve had a houseful of grandchildren and their parents.  The happy chaos that ensued has been delightful—-and exhausting! Continue reading

Quickie Post

I am STILL making those little stuffed toys for Operation Christmas Child.  Thirty-nine are finished with eleven still to go. Making these cuties is enjoyable, but I want to make baby clothes!  My beloved  Brother Quattro embroiders a speedy 1000 stitches a minute but even so, it takes a lot of time to select the fabrics for applique and trim away the excess.  Fortunately, a dear lady at church has volunteered to turn and stuff the toys, so it should go more quickly now.

I’ve been really, really busy lately,  with all Saturday spent on the Gator football game 90 miles away, all day Sunday with church and a family get together at our home, and the better part of  Labor Day Monday cooking for that evening’s dinner with the PlayGroup Mamas.  I did manage to smock a few rows on the pique diaper shirt that was started some time ago, but other than that and the stuffed toys, not much has been accomplished in the sewing room. Continue reading

Sewing at Nana Camp

We’re having a big time with granddaughter Laurel, 8, who is here for the week.  While brother Robert is at basketball day camp, she is here at sleepover Nana Camp, where there’s a lot going on.

This is Laurel’s new sewing area.  She has finished more than half of the 9-patch blocks and 4 oval yo-yo’s.  The blue painter’s tape helps her maintain the required 1/4″ seam allowance.

A new sewing station has been set up for her in my sewing room.  From here, where my cutting table, iron and all my equipment is located, to the dining room where she has sewn before, it’s a  three day trip.   Her new spot is much more convenient. This is a permanent set up so she won’t have to put her sewing away at dinner time.

The antique sewing table where her little Brother machine is perched was a birthday present from my dear husband several years ago.  See the “yard stick” printed on the table top? Continue reading

County Fair Kid Entries

On the seventh day, God rested. His grandchildren must have been out of town.   Gene Perret

What a fabulous, fun day we had with Robert and Laurel yesterday!  They are all atwitter with excitement about the upcoming county fair and the entries they are preparing.

Their enthusiasm and energy far exceed the energy and time that their grandfather and I have.   I guess not making parents of people our age is further evidence of God’s wisdom.  But then, there was Sarah and Abraham…I wonder how they managed! Continue reading