Monday, March 17, 2014

Big improvement in the garden

Yesterday afternoon was slow in the shop so MM pulled up the UGLY platform that was in the garden.

I thought it was an eyesore and was very uninviting.

We started putting down some pea size gravel in the platforms place. I thought about leaving it just dirt but I think we'd have a muddy mess when it rains.

It's hard to see in this picture, but you can see the difference with the platform gone. We need to add a few more bags to finish the area off.

I'm planning to visit our local nursery tomorrow to get ideas of what to plant. Can you tell I'm having fun?
Til next time, Ronda


Saturday, March 15, 2014

What I've been up to.

MM and I have started a new adventure. We have opened a little shop in the Coarsegold Historic Village, Coarsegold CA. We took possession last Wednesday, March 12th and opened today Saturday, March 15th. My Mountain Man doesn't mess around.

Here's a glimpse of the first few days:

The front of the building. These little buildings were once part of a movie set. They are very rustic. The old sign has come down. Ours will be delivered late this coming week.

There is a great garden on the side of the building, the entrance is on the right side of the building. We will be putting in an arbor to make the entrance more visible.

Part of the garden.

MM taking pictures from the front door.
French doors out to the garden.

View out our front window. Water wheel works so we have a built in water feature.

We opened for business this morning. The front window opens out and I was able to talk to customers as they walked up. Front is a little plain right now, we'll be adding shelving under the window so we can display product outside and a pergola off the roof line to give us more shade.


Under the front window.

MM's best friend was our very first sale. 

We accomplished a lot in less than a week. It will be fun to tweak things and add more display space. I'll keep you updated as we move along in this journey.
Til next time, Ronda

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

From my Studio

Life has taken precedence over blogging the past few weeks. Things have settled down a little bit so I thought I'd better post while I have a chance.

I received my earrings that I won from Beti's Stringingfool Grow Your Blog giveaway this week and they are beautiful. I love getting fun things in the mail.

I've been having fun in my studio. I finished two purses today.

The first one I started yesterday after I found a pattern at my LQS. I finished it today.

I used one side of a vest I bought for $1.50 at a thrift store for the front of the purse.

The back and the handles are from a pair of old jeans I had in my stash.

In the picture below you can almost see some of the beading that was on the vest.


 I kept trying to get a good picture but it just wasn't happening. Everything I used in making this purse was either upcycled--vest, jeans, button or I had used in another project--lining.

This next little purse has been waiting for a strap.

I had pieced and embellished it a few weeks ago but didn't have a strap until I found a chain at a yard sale for 75 cents.

Finally I made the next purse a few weeks ago using a pair of black corduroy pants I bought at a thrift store. I liked that the back pocket of the pants were embellished so I could put it together quickly.

I added some fringe I had on hand and a bright pink with black dot lining. The lining is a lot brighter than the picture shows.

I'm going to take Kathy's free beginning Crazy Quilting class. Kathy's blog is Shawkl. (click on her blogs name to visit it and learn more about the class). Last day to sign up for this free class is tomorrow Thursday, March 6th. I've done a little bit of crazy quilting but still consider myself a beginner. Being self taught I'm sure I'll learn a lot.
Til next time, Ronda


Saturday, February 15, 2014


I had a nice surprise this morning. I was reading through my bloglist and saw that I had won a pair of earrings from Beti at Stringingfool.

Aren't they pretty?
This was Beti's first giveaway and I'm honored to have won it.
Beti has some wonderful photographs on her blog, click on Stringingfool above to visit her.
Til next time, Ronda

Thursday, February 13, 2014

More little projects

Busy few days working in my studio and surfing the web for patterns. I don't know if I would enjoy living in the mountains if I didn't have my computer and IPad to keep in touch, do research and of course shop.

MM and I recently began playing cards at our community clubhouse on Friday nights. We play Hand and Foot in which you are dealt two stacks of cards, one is your hand and the other is your foot. You play one stack of cards at a time which means you need a place to keep your "foot". The card table is small so it's hard to leave it there, some people put it on the floor but that isn't ideal either. I noticed that many of the players had made a pouch to wear around your neck and put there cards in that so I came home and made one.

I took the back pocket off a pair of jeans, added a patch and voila, a card holder. I have made one for MM out of camouflage material but didn't take a picture of it.

I also finished a little Crazy quilted purse.


It turned out smaller than I wanted, but it will hold my cell phone, keys and debit card so I'll get some use out of it. I think it turned out cute for a first attempt.

I'm working on a couple of other purses made from jeans. I need to stay off Pinterest I find too many things I want to try.

Til next time, Ronda

Monday, February 10, 2014

Is Crazy Quilting back?

While I was blog hopping I ran across some blogs dealing with crazy quilting. Pinterest  also has a lot of crazy quilting images.

About 10 years ago I made some crazy patch heart pillows. I liked doing the embroidery on the seams and embellishing them. I gave a couple of them away but have these two left.

Ribbon, beads, hearts and cupid.

The next one is special because I made for my Grandmother. Her initials "HP" are on the burgundy patch, they are hard to see in the picture. I was blessed to get it back when she passed.
She loved butterflies, cats and flowers so I made sure they were on the pillow. 
Ribbon, beads and buttons. 

I found the pattern for the heart pillow and some instructions in Judith Baker Montano's "The Crazy Quilt Handbook"
Another great resource for embroidery stitches is Judith's book "Elegant Stitches". 
If you like playing with different types of fabric and embellishing you might want to try crazy quilting.


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Quilt Basting

Rain storms have finally started arriving in California, we've had 3 storms in the last few days and another one is expected on Monday. Although this is good news we need a lot more. The morning news team gave a scary illustration, we've received about a coffee cup full when we need a 5 gallon bucket full. I'm praying the storms keep coming.

My BFF hurt her back a month ago, this has put a crimp in her quilting plans. R makes quilts for Project Linus and enjoys hand quilting her quilts. Since her back injury her DH has been monitoring her actions closely. Apparently basting her quilts on the floor is not allowed so here is what she came up with (in her words).

Step 1: sandwich backing, batting and quilt top on flat surface
Step 2: weigh down prepared quilt with a dog so the layers don't shift while basting
Step 3: find a willing helper to do the actual basting

Now that's what I call teamwork.

I'm going to enjoy the Olympics this weekend.

Stay safe and warm. Ronda


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

What I found while Blog hopping

I've been slowly making my way through the 500 plus blogs participating in this years Grow Your Blog hop. I enjoy visiting blogs from all over the world and seeing what other people are up to.

While I was hopping I discovered two blogs that feature photography challenges. One,  The Studio Sublime gives an assignment for each week of the month. The other Made with Love features a scavenger hunt each month. (click on the titles of the blogs to visit them). At the end of the month participants post their pictures for everyone to see.

What a fun and inexpensive idea. Almost everyone has a digital camera and with these Bloggers assignments it gives you a reason to take pictures. I'm going to try to complete February's assignment. I'll post my pics as I finish the challenges.

I missed last weeks assignment from The Studio Sublime: Get Outside but I decided I'd post a picture to get in the spirit.

I hope some of you will join in the fun.

Til' next time. Ronda

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Comfort Food part two

Warning if you are on a diet leave the blog now.

In my last post I gave you the recipe for Chicken and Dumplings Casserole, here is the dessert recipe I promised you.

I had always wanted to try a Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie, so I went to my friend Google and started searching. I saw a few recipes out there but this one seemed to be the easiest---one bowl and mix by hand, I love it.

This website I found the recipe at is called: Cookies & Cups...chronicling my life in sugar, if you click on the title it will take you to the website and the recipe. (Thanks Google, this is NOT a website I needed to find)

You serve it warm, with vanilla ice cream, heaven. Be warned it is very rich so a small piece goes a long way.

Since it was only MM and me there was a lot left over. I let it cool, then cut it into small wedges, and put them in zip lock bags. MM and I like them  room temp but you could probably re warm them.

We need more rain but I don't know if my body can take any more comfort food. I can hear you telling me make a nice healthy soup. I can do that but I'll have to make bread to go with it. Sigh, why can't I love veggies?

Til next time, Ronda


Comfort Food

Welcome February! I thought January would never end.

I like to cook and bake when it's raining outside. It's a good thing I don't live in a rainy climate because I would weigh a whole lot more than I do now.

I saw a recipe for Chicken and Dumpling Casserole on Facebook the other day and had to try it. MM loves Chicken and Dumplings and is always complaining I don't make it enough. He loved this casserole. I will be making it again.

I made a skillet chocolate chip cookie for dessert, I'll post that recipe in another post.

Needless to say we ate enough calories that night to last us a month.


The secret of this is not to stir the layers. That's what makes your dumplings. When you dish it out, you have your dumplings on top.


chicken breasts, cooked and shredded ( I use a store bought rotisserie chicken)
cups chicken broth
stick of butter
cups Bisquick
cups whole milk
can cream of chicken soup (the herbed cream of chicken soup if you can find it)
teaspoons of chicken granules (I use Wylers)
teaspoon dried sage
teaspoon black pepper
teaspoon of salt or more to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Layer 1 - In 9 x 13 casserole dish, melt 1/2 stick of butter. Spread shredded chicken over butter. Sprinkle black pepper and dried sage over this layer. Do not stir. Layer 2 - In small bowl, mix milk and Bisquick. Slowly pour all over chicken. Do not stir. Layer 3 - In medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups of chicken broth, chicken granules and soup. Once blended, slowly pour over the Bisquick layer. Do not Stir. Bake casserole for 30-40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Little Wool projects

Last year I discovered wool applique and fell in love. Here are a few of my latest "little" woolies. (I recently decided that my projects didn't all have to be big).

They are all tiny needle books.

The Owl, front, inside and back:

 Some round ones. They are about 3 inches in diameter.

 A Kitty for Valentines Day anyone?

These were all quick and fun to make and a great way to use up bits of wool.

Til next time, Ronda

Progress on my Rug and my studio

Here is where I was when I last posted about my rug:

This is where I am today
I have a little bit of the background to finish and almost all of the border. I need to get back to working on it a little bit each day.
I rearranged my studio and like working in it much better now. I can look out at the mountain while I work. My handy Mountain Man (MM) put a display shelf on two walls so I can enjoy my creations and other treasures.
MM also put up some hooks so I can hang my mobiles when I finish them.

Last weekend I got brave and took some of my mobiles and other work to a consignment shop in our little village. It's scary showing other people your work. She liked it and took 3 of my mobiles, some pincushions and four of the crosses that MM makes. I'm hoping they will sell.
I reused some items I found at thrift stores to make pincushions.
MM uses handles from old cutlery to make crosses.

I'll be so excited if I sell something, I will keep you posted.
I've been partying at Vicki's annual "Grow Your Blog" party. There are over 500 participants this year so I'll have a reason to party for quite a while.
Click here to party with me: Grow Your Blog Party hosted by Vicki at 2 Bags Full.
Til next time, Ronda