Love it homegrown too!

We moved into a brand new neighborhood last November. And by brand new I mean it went from raw land to roads and houses!  Because of that, it took awhile for birds to visit my yard. But at least now I have Towhees, Jays and Juncos.

Another new neighborhood issue is bees. There aren’t any.  I have plenty of flowers around the yard, but I guess it will take awhile to get them to come and to pollinate my veggies I have growing. In particular my yellow squash, zucchini and cantaloupe.

In doing research online and discussing with my green thumb son, I learned about the flower differences between male and female.  The squash and zucchini are easy.  This is a female flower, obviously, with a successful pollinated zucc!


This is the male;  just a long straight stem and flower.  (And, I see a very tiny female that I need to pollinate as soon as the flower opens!!)


I was able to successfully pollinate my first squash, YUM!squash

The cantaloupe was another, much tougher issue. I kept seeing these flowers and going, is this a male, a female? what?  These were the only kind I saw. Is there so little difference that I cannot see?


Nope!  Turns out, these are all male flowers.  Yesterday, I discovered what a female flower actually looks like and it does have that little fruit at the end, just like the squash does, but ever so tiny!!  Plus, there are no long stems on the male flowers, making it harder to distinguish.


Yay, finally!  I pollinated that one as well, so we’ll see if it takes.

Every morning, when I walk thru my garden, I do an inspection for more flowers….until I see bees taking over my job:-)

Happy pollinating and happy stitching…..(I need to post a pic of my completed stocking!)

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Christmas Morning Stocking update #4

Moving right along on this cute stocking for my soon-to-be-born granddaughter:-)

Here is where I did my little amendment to the pattern, taking off some hair from the top of her head and then adding a little length down her neck, instead of looking like little orphan Annie.  I have yet to fill in with the outline detail.imageimage

Happy Stitching to you!




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Sewing a newborn dress is like…..

sewing doll clothes, but oh so fun!!    photo 1I’m using McCall’s pattern #M6103 for this jersey knit dress.
I used the same pattern HERE, but made a romper for my grandson.  And here’s the completed dress for my soon-to-be-born granddaughter:
photo 5
(The color is really off though.  It should be more of a turquoise.)
To go along with that, I decided to make some headbands.  I found the pattern for the headband HERE.  I used Caron Simply Soft in “Blue Mint” and Berroco in #1813.  The yellow is Simply Soft “Sunshine”
photo 2
Her recommendation for the flower is HERE. I only did to row 4 for the small flower.
I had fun picking out which buttons to use in my stash of thousands.
photo 3

photo 4
Oh, and I’m going to try my hand at THESE soon too! ADORABLE!
Next up, a stocking update.  I needed to take a break from Cross Stitching and did some sewing and crocheting!

Happy Stitching…Jan

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Christmas Morning Stocking update #3

Here is my progress so far on this cute stocking that I am making for my soon to be born granddaughter…photo 4
I was anxious to do some of the highlight stitching, especially her legs, as it looked like one solid elephant leg, haha.

You can be creative in your rendition of it as well by changing things up like I did here:photo 1 photo 3
I did not care for how pale the half cross stitches turned out, using the off-white color per the pattern.  It was just lost with the too-similar color of the Aida.

So, I went back over it, finishing the “cross stitch” with 1 strand of the off-white and 1 strand of a very pale yellow I had in my stash of all kinds of embroidery thread(and that’s not even all of it).  I’m ashamed to even show you what a mess of thread I have all bundled up in an embroidery basket.
Anyway, I like the effect much better.

Happy stitching to you as well as happy daylight savings time and Happy St. Patrick’s Day:-)



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Christmas Morning Stocking update #2

I’m liking how this stocking is coming together! What a cute little bear. image

So, this is how the threads are arranged from Janlynn. It’s a good method, but not once you start using the threads; cutting in half and separating them in the 2 strands you generally need for stitching. Plus, having some shorter 2 strand pieces will get lost in this “mess”. image
Here is my way of keeping track of all the smaller strands:
Ha, and as a bonus, I just happened to use a scrap paper that’s labeled Stay Organized!!  Imaging that:-)

Happy stitching and happy Leap day tomorrow!! Wow this month sure flew by.

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Christmas Morning Stocking update #1

I’ve accomplished what I think is a lot for a weeks spare time work…..stocking update 2

compared to last weeks post:


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Another counted cross stitch project started

I found out some wonderful news lately and got online immediately and ordered this Christmas stocking from janlynn. This is called Christmas Morning Stocking, #015-0238. It’s a “vintage” design from 2007! I love that its made in the USA!


Here is my progress so far:

I am going to make a bit of a change to the design though. I don’t care for the girls hair so short, so I am going to amend the pattern and have it flow down her neck a little more! I will post progress pictures.

Until next time, happy stitching!



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Jilly yarn

Love, love, love the way this scarf turned out using Dream In Color Jilly in color 911, Singing in the Rain.

Shell scarf

Shell scarf

I used THIS pattern, but changed it up a bit.  I made it a bit narrower and used a different yarn and hook size.

I wanted it to look light and airy.  It was an easy pattern to follow.

Just make sure, as you want all your “shells” to go in the same direction, that you do half the scarf starting from the chain.  Then start at that beginning chain and go in the other direction to do the other half.

Happy stitching and happy autumn


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Denim wallet….for myself

Many, many years ago, I had a neat and thin canvas type wallet that had a money compartment and a couple for cards/license.  I have no idea where it went to and I miss it.  I am really tired of carrying around a purse these days, and if I could fit things in my pockets, I would take it.  Otherwise it stays at home.

So, my dilemma?  I needed a better way to cart this stuff around and didn’t care for the ready-made things I found in stores.  Here is what I came up with:

raw materials for wallet

raw materials for wallet

2 denim pieces for the outer layers, 1 small denim piece for the card pockets and 1 cotton piece for the money pocket.  I zig-zagged the top edges of the small piece and cotton piece.  Folded over that edge and pressed.  Then sewed that top edge in place.

folded down top edges

folded down top edges


sewed top edges

sewed top edges

Well I neglected to take the next few steps photos.   So, you’ll have to imagine:  I placed the small denim on top the print(both right side up), lining up edges and sewed them together with a line directly down the middle(starting at the top of the denim) to create the card pockets.
After that,  I placed the right side up of one of the large denim pieces, topped with floral/denim combo piece(right side up) and topped with the other large denim piece(right side DOWN).  I left a space in the middle of the top to turn and sewed all around remaining edges.  I cut the corners for sharper corners on the outside….still tough to do with thick layers of denim.
I turned and pressed it really well.
The next step was to fold in the top edge I left open for turning and top stitch it closed.

This next photo shows where I found, on the inside under the print fabric, the middle of the wallet, to be used as the fold line and stitched through both the large denim pieces(or the outside of the wallet) from bottom to top.

sew along fold line

sew along fold line

Again I neglected to take a photo, but I did this little heart stitch pattern with my Baby Lock machine!

finished front with hearts

finished front with hearts

Inside wallet

Inside wallet

And there you have it!

An addition I thought of, if you so choose, would be to add a “tab” at one end, sewn in the seam, to wrap around and keep the wallet closed with say a velcro dot?

Happy stitching.




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My Grandmothers Holopchi, sort of

While visiting my brother in Chicago, we got to talking about my Grandmas Holopchi recipe(Stuffed Cabbage Rolls).  She was born in Czechoslovakia and came to live with us(my parents, brothers and I) in the 1950’s.  The upper floor of our home was hers and I can still recall she made the best foods!

As I did not have her original recipe, I looked online for ideas and modified/combined ones that I thought  best fit from what I remember hers was like and here it is:

1 (4-pound) whole head of cabbage raw(or 2 smaller if you like smaller rolls)
1/2-cup white rice
1 finely chopped medium onion
2-3 cloves garlic
1-2 T grape seed oil instead of butter called for
1-1/2 lb. ground chuck/round/sirloin(I used sirloin)
1/2 lb. ground pork
1 tsp. pepper
paprika to taste….I used 1/2 tsp.
1 large egg
1 lb. sauerkraut drained
8-ounce can tomato sauce
1-1/2 C water (you can use the drained sauerkraut water and/or the water from the boiled cabbage)

Remove a couple large outer leaves from cabbage and discard. Remove core from cabbage. Place whole head in a large pot filled with boiling, salted water. Cover and cook 8-10 minutes, depending on size of head…or until softened enough to pull off individual leaves. You will need about 16 -18 leaves. You may have to put the head back in the water as you get towards the center of the head. Keep this hot water available.

When leaves are cool enough to handle, use a paring knife to cut away the thick center stem at the base from each leaf, without cutting all the way through.

I used about an 8 qt sized pot to cook the rolls in. Use about half the sauerkraut and line the bottom of the pot with it. You will then be placing your rolls on top.  Also what cooked leaves you don’t use to roll, can also go into this pot.

Saute chopped onion and garlic in OIL in a medium skillet until tender, and let cool.
In a large bowl mix rice, cooled onions, beef, pork, pepper, egg and paprika. Blend thoroughly.

Determine how many leaves you have and divide your meat in sections in equal parts to fill all the leaves. Some larger leaves will use more of the meat. Place a dollop of meat on each cabbage leaf at the base. Roll away from you to encase the meat. Flip the right side of the leaf to the middle, then flip the left side. Then keep rolling away from you till the end of the leaf. Place in prepared pot.
Top with all the remaining sauerkraut. Combine the tomato sauce and to start 1-1/2C water. Add enough water to almost cover completely. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to very low, cover and simmer 4 to 5 hours.
I also made a loaf of rye bread to go along with this meal and I must say as I was eating, I pictured my sweet Grandma and said, yes, this tastes like hers❤

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