Monday, May 23, 2022

Channeling My Inner Julia Child

 Hello Everyone,

I've been so busy lately that I haven't been spending much time in the kitchen.  That all changed this weekend.  When I was back in the Chicago area, I fell in love with deep dish pizza.  Lisa, one of the participants at the Pieceful Gathering retreat shared her recipe for deep dish pizza with me from this cookbook.

This is my version of the recipe.  I wish this computer could project smell-o-vision.  The pizza was heavenly.

The homemade crust is stuffed with mozzarella cheese, spinach, Italian sausage, mushrooms, and onions on the bottom crust.

Another thin crust covers all of the goodness inside, and a slit is made in the crust for the steam to escape.

Then this fabulous tomato sauce covers the top of the pizza.  There's fresh basil and oregano in the sauce.  I sprinkled a bit of Parmesan cheese on the top before it went into the 475-degree oven. 

Here's the pizza when it came out of the oven piping hot. When I make this again, I will decrease the backing time and probably lower the temperature a bit.  My son accuses me of using our fire alarm as my kitchen timer.  This has happened on more than one occasion, and my son is always here when the fire alarm starts blaring.

This was a very filling and delicious dinner.

On Sunday, I decided to make heart-shaped waffles outside on the Blackstone flat top using our Griswold waffle maker which we bought for our anniversary several years ago.  I've only used it a couple of times because when I use it indoors, our First Alert fire alarm goes off!  We decided to try it outside so the fire department wouldn't have a chance to stop by for breakfast.  I hear they like to eat a lot.

We had the flat-top on high, and got the waffle iron really, really hot.

This is the result of our outdoor cooking experiment.  No matter how hot it was, the batter didn't cook.

Pancakes were a good substitute.

So, while I was channeling my inner Julia Child, Mazey was channeling her inner coyote the other night.  We can always tell when the coyotes are circling because Mazey starts to howl.  She howls like a banshee!  It is just plain eerie! We don't want the coyotes to know there's a cute little girl in the cabin.  No matter how hard we try, Mazey is not going to be deterred from talking back to them.  Last month we saw three coyotes traveling through the neighborhood which is quite unusual.  They scare me more than the bears.

Speaking of bears.......since the weather has been so nice, we are spending more time outside on the deck.  Mazey alerted us to a bear that was traveling through the yard next door.  She definitely gets agitated when there's a bear around and we take her warnings very seriously.  She is a great early warning system.

Today I'm going to start making more project bag kits for my August retreat.  The kits were a hot item at the April retreat.

What are you going to channel today?


Tuesday, May 17, 2022

More Retreat Pictures

 Hello Everyone,

You've probably thought I've stopped blogging since I've been very quiet lately.  In fact, I've been the busiest person ever!  I failed to post more pictures from the April retreat and here it is the middle of May!

The group was so talented, and so much fun.

I mentioned on my last post that I was having a week-long sale in my Sew'n Wild Oaks Designs Etsy shop.  Well, I was filling orders for days, and Mr. Joe and Mazey were going to the post office twice a day with a carload of processed orders.  You certainly responded to my post!  Thank you, thank you.

Between filling order and enjoying family time over Mother's Day, I've been working on my fabric line for Marcus Fabrics.  I've been working my way through tutorials in Photoshop.  I've been working on accounting for my business. I've been working on my new Block of the Month using my fabric line. Sometimes at the end of the day I take a step back and wonder where the day went?  

I took a day off last week and we headed over to visit a nursery in the neighboring town of San Andreas.

We purchased two large baskets of flowers to decorate the deck.  The weather has been so nice you will find me out at the table with my computer every afternoon.  I'm at work, but it doesn't feel like work when I'm surrounded in so much beauty.  Mazey will be curled up at my feet while I pretend to be creative.  She has to be touching me....she's a Velcro dog and constant companion. 

While I'm out working on the deck, I'm always on the lookout for bears.  We had a big, BIG bear wander through the lot when the kids were here over Mother's Day.  Our granddaughter's 6'5" boyfriend refused to go for a walk in the woods later on in the afternoon.  Actually none of us went for a walk in the woods that afternoon!  It was one of the biggest bears I've seen here.

Now that my sale is over, I will try to be better at posting.  I still have a lot more pictures to post from the retreat.  Part of the paperwork that I've been working on is preparations for the next retreat in August.  It will be here before I know it!


Friday, May 6, 2022

Happy Mother's Day Sale

 Hello Everyone,

I'm having a B.I.Y. sale in my Etsy shop.  B.I.Y. means "Buy It Yourself" sale for Mother's Day.

Everything in my shop is 20% off.  I don't offer this very often, so now is your chance to get a Sew'n Wild Oaks pattern at a discount.  Click HERE to go to the sale.

Family arrived yesterday so I'll be with them over the next couple of days.  Our granddaughter returned home from Arizona State University for a short break before summer school starts.  She really wanted to enjoy the cooler temperatures, and fresh air in the mountains.

Happy Mother's Day to everyone!



Monday, May 2, 2022

Retreat Show & Tell

 Hello Everyone,

Here are just some of the projects that the girls were working on during the retreat.  Some of the quilts were completely finished and were shared during show & tell each night after dinner.  Diana will be teaching her wool projects at Empty Spools Seminar next year at Asilomar. The level of detail is over the top gorgeous.

Paula got her Lil' Orphan Scrappy quilt all together at the retreat.  She pulled off the rick-rack border perfectly.

Taimi started making leaves for Leaf Peepers.  Her leaves have a wonderful Taimi spin to them!

Nancie completed this flimsy at the retreat.  Her daughter-in-law is going to be one lucky girl when she receives this quilt.

This is a Blackbird Design quilt.

Linda finished her Heartfire quilt.

This is a finished Peek-A-Boo Pumpkins.

I'm calling this grouping the "Bag Ladies".  They all finished making one or two vinyl project bags. 

Linda put her little paper-pieced house on the back of her bag.  This was another one of the classes I taught at the retreat.

The backdrop for some of the pictures was the Scholarship from the Independence Hall Quilters.  This quilt will be raffled off at our quilt show in October.  The design is my Country Courthouse.

The quilt was machine quilted by Dianne Schweickert of Livermore, CA.

The quilt provided a nice backdrop for the pictures of "tablemates".  

I still have a lot more pictures to post over the next few days.  There was beauty everywhere at the retreat.


Sunday, May 1, 2022

Sew'n Wild Oaks April Retreat

Hello Everyone,

I have enough pictures of this talented, creative, caring group of women to fill an entire week of posts.  I also have enough wonderful memories of these ladies to fill my heart with enough joy to last a lifetime.

This is the most gorgeous Vintage Valentine that I have seen.  Pictures just don't do it justice.

I have many pictures of the girls gathering around design walls and workstations to offer suggestions and valuable opinions about design, color and were so encouraging.

We were all there to help each other out.

There was a lot of bonding going on.

Peggy and Karen got the "buffalo check" memo.

We gathered in the bar area of Snowflake Lodge every afternoon around 4pm to start Happy Hour before dinner.

Chef Kris took really good care of us with her delicious food.  She also looked after those with special food restrictions.

Some of the girls took walks around Snowflake Lake throughout the day.

If you look closely, you can see the girls walking across the dam close to the flag.

The group of women "jelled" unlike any other group of retreaters.  They were compassionate, funny, caring and just a joy the entire four days of the retreat.

I'll post pictures of their work through the coming week.