Friday, June 29, 2012

Memories in the Making

Grandson Jonah from Boise flew alone for the first time to spend time at the lake in Wisconsin.  He has been flying with his mom several times a year since he was a baby, so he is a seasoned pro.  His mom is coming tomorrow, so the return flight after the Fourth will not be a solo one.  How fun!  While we were at St. Pete Beach in Florida in April, Jonah collected a bottle-full of shells.  His idea was to make a necklace.  We carefully carried them back, and soaked them in bleach for a bit.  Grandpa Carl slowly drilled tiny holes in the shells, breaking a few here and there.  Jonah put the jump rings in the holes, and I put them on the chain and closed them up.  I think the creation looks great!  Next project is covering a cigar box with the remaining shells.  As I type, the box has received its first coat of gold spray paint.  After a few more coats, the shells will be glued in place.  It will be a very nice treasure box, I am sure.  Over the next 8 days, children and grandchildren will be arriving.  Weather forecast is almost perfect: 80's, no humidity, sun.  The lake and swim raft will get lots of action, fish will get fed plenty of worms, fires will be lit in the fire pit, the new kitchen will get a good work-out.  Aah, summer in Wisconsin.  We don't have have any shells to collect, just memories.  Jerilynn

Monday, June 25, 2012

Bear is All Better

Youngest grandson had a crisis and was hoping Grandma could help.  It seems that Bear got a badly needed wash and "all his legs broke!".  What happened is that the stuffing compacted and his strong, polar bear legs were floppy and useless.  I told Ben that Bear would have to spend the night with me and I would do some surgery on his legs.  I made a small incision just under his front leg joint.  I carefully stuffed what seemed to be the whole bag of poly-fill into all the legs and the tummy.  I found a curved needle, some sturdy cream-colored thread, and stitched him closed.  Not a whimper from Bear.  Very brave.  As you can see he is already up on all fours, feeling pretty back to normal.  I think I better bring him to bed with me tonight, as he is used to sleeping with someone and I can keep an eye on his recovery.  I remember how easy is was to "fix" all the ouches and troubles when my kids were young.  A kiss here, a colored Bandaid there, all better.  Problems were "big", but solutions were easy.  The older we get, the harder it is to fix what is wrong.  However, a kiss still helps, and a bear hug, too.  Jerilynn

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Egg Nest Breakfast

Yummy! This recipe has become one of our favs lately. You will need a muffin pan, of the large variety. Spray with a non-stick spray. Place several pieces of thick bacon on a jelly roll sheet (you will need 1 to 2 pieces per egg nest) and place in a cold 400 degree oven. Bake until bacon is about halfway done. Reduce oven temp to 350 and remove bacon. Meanwhile, as the bacon is baking, cut any type of bread into circles to fit the bottom of the tins. I have found a wine glass that is the perfect size! How wonderful! Lightly butter the top of the rounds and place them in the bottom of each section. WIth two forks as your tools, place bacon around the sides of the muffin tin sections. Depending on your bacon, you may need more than one strip - sometimes I have to cut extra strips in half to use. Carefully crack open an egg and drop on top of bread circle, in the bacon nest. Place in oven and bake until desired egg doneness. At the very end, sprinkle on some cheddar cheese and return to oven to melt. You can see the bottom of one I turned over - the bread is toasted! I have 4 big muffin tins, and can make 24 of these egg nests. People gobble them up like crazy! If you are lucky, you will have leftovers for the next day. They warm up beautifully in the microwave. Jerilynn

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Carl, the Dockter

What did I do yesterday?  During the all-day, grey, rain, thunder storms day?  I took a nap, watched HGTV, and watched a tutorial.  (more on that tutorial a bit later).  I stayed inside, unplugged computers and sewing machines, just in case we got zapped.  What did my crazy husband do?  He made all new cedar sections for our dock!  Yep.  In the horrible weather.  He carried each old section (11 in all) up the long stairs, took off the old, rotting wood, and cut all new pieces, spaced them just right, and carried them down and plopped them in place.  The dock, of course, looks brand new and beautiful  I asked him please to keep it this wonderful natural cedar color, but, alas, it won't stay that way.  Soon it will be a soft grey.  That's okay.  It will be nice and safe and sturdy.  Just in time for the two-week long Fourth of July Family onslaught.  I pray for sunny and hot weather so that the new dock can get tested.  Thanks, Carl.  I love you even though I think you work too hard.  ( The above pictures were taken today as he replaces the wood on the bench.  As you can see, it is a much nicer day!)  Jerilynn  P.S.  The tutorial I mentioned is at  She is a digital scrapbooker and her tutorials on Photoshop Elements are not to be missed!  I have purchased a few of her classes over the years and have learned so much.  This latest class is her free present for her 5 year anniversary.  It is her top 5 favorite things to do in Photoshop.  I intend to watch the lessons again and again until the info sinks in.  It is amazing how just a few quick changes can really help a bad picture go good.  Pay her site a visit right now!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Curtains! Stand up and Move One Room to the Right!

There will be an open book (open computer?) test at the end of this blog post.  The top photo is of the curtains we put up when we bought the cabin in January 2007.  Red, good.  The country tabs, not so good.  They served the purpose, and they are nice and heavy and kept the drafts at bay before we replaced windows.  I decided to replace the red curtains with the stripe curtains,  picture two.  Now these curtains started out as a big tablecloth from Pottery barn.  I originally made the tablecloth into a shower curtain for the downstairs bath/utility room, with the leftovers hanging at the kitchen window.  The previous kitchen curtains got way too faded and I was tired of the plaid (no picture!).  I decided that I liked the stripe so much that I would get two more tablecloths (thanks Sarah and Kate!) and use them for the living room.  To see if I was going to like them, I took the curtain in the kitchen and hung it on the side living room window, third picture.  We like it!  BUT, now I didn't have a shower curtain.  I found one I liked at Kohl's, a nice Suzani print (third picture), that goes well with the ceramic fish (fourth picture) that I bought a few years ago in the Swedish section of Chicago (thanks Ellen!).  The color is not good on the shower curtain photo, but in real life it is a nice Martha Stewart blue and white and beige.  AND, I didn't have a curtain for the kitchen window!  I will keep looking for something, but in the meantime I cut off the offending tabs and installed black grommets in the living room curtains and I think they just might be okay for a while (fifth picture).  I still need to finish the rest of the panels for the living room, and the panels for the big kitchen window.  And, iron the new shower curtain.  But, I am just too tired from all this switching around, so I think I will wait until tomorrow.  Jerilynn

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Date with The Red Chair

Was it all the Double Rainbow Happiness Cake I ate over the weekend?  All the Moscato wine?  Excess food?  In any event, I am on slow motion today.  We had a loud storm go through last night shortly after I fell asleep, which woke me up and I don't think I ever fully fell back asleep.  I have some sewing I really want to do, but, I decided to bead a little.  When you move, all the catalogs are not forwarded.  For an ex-catalog-career person, that is not a good thing.  I love looking at catalogs - their layouts, styling, how many products per page, what appears in the "hot spots", etc.  Anyway, after we moved to our cabin I went to the websites of the catalogs I like the most and requested to be put on their mailing list.  I assume they have a purge-merge so that eventually my old address will fall off and be replaced by the new one.  I am just now starting to receive catalogs, almost 6 months after officially changing our address.  One of the ones that came today was the Sundance catalog.  Love that one.  The clothes, the shoes, the bags....the jewelry!  I spotted the Caravanary Bracelet (bottom picture) for $68 and decided it would be fun to try to recreate it.  Of course, the "real" bracelet has sterling silver and gemstones.  Mine?  Not sure.  I just rummaged around until I found similar-looking beads.  Mine turned out a bit big.  I will need to take it apart and remove some of the spacers.  Not tonight, though.  I have a date with The Red Chair and some Mindless Knitting and some NCIS reruns.  Doesn't get much better than that!  Jerilynn

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Double Rainbow Happiness Cake update: It worked!!!!! AND, it is delicious! The frosting is made using 8 egg whites, 2 cups of sugar, and 6 sticks of unsalted butter. You put the egg whites in sugar in a double boiler and cook until the sugar dissolves. Then you whip the mixture 10 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. You then add the butter a few tablespoons at a time until blended in. Add vanilla, frost. Total yummmmmy. It was pretty exciting when we cut into the cake and saw all the layers. A fun birthday treat! Jerilynn

Friday, June 15, 2012

Do Not Try This at Home.

-Sooooo, the bottom picture is the LHJ Double Rainbow Happiness Cake that daughter Ellen requested for her birthday. The top photo is the hot mess so far of the Double Rainbow Unhappiness Cake....we plan to use lots of frosting to keep the broken layers together. The party is tomorrow and we plan to serve lots of adult beverages before the cutting of the cake! Jerilynn

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tablet Tote Number Ten

A new Tablet Tote was finished today out of old jeans and some very cool hand-dyed-look fabric by Marcia Derse.  I may appear on the Hoarders show sometime for my obsessive collection of old blue jeans. Just can't throw them out!  Even the zippers can be used, and some of those blue jean zippers are very cool.  This go-round I used a regular zipper because the blue jean zippers are usually fairly short.  I decided to put a pocket on the back of the Tablet Tote to house a bit of paper or a pencil.  Of course the jean pocket will serve that purpose well.  It even comes with "designer" worn spots from Carl's wallet and comb.  If you squint your eyes at the middle picture you can see the outline of said wallet.  Some of the patterns I make are okay, but not ones that I want to make a bunch of every day.  This new pattern, however, is one that I want to put aside all my things I should be doing and just make and make.  I want to try patchwork, applique, more embroidery.  Thanks for being patient through this phase I seem to be going through.  This, too, shall pass.  Jerilynn

Monday, June 11, 2012

What was that?

That was me making two more burp pads at the speed of lightning.  Zoom.  These things are seriously fast to make.  The longest time spent was picking out some flannel.  I have lots of pieces of miscellaneous colors and prints, but some are just too small of a piece.  The inside color is about 11" x 22", and the color that wraps around the core is 1.5" wider on all sides, so it ends up being 14" x 25".  The size is just arbitrary - you really could make this any size you want.  With those measurements, 3/4 yard of two flannels would make three burp pads.  After the baby is all grown out of that whole burping phase, these might be good cleaning cloths, right?  Jerilynn

Friday, June 8, 2012

To Wash or Not to Wash...That is the Question!

You thought the recall election debate in Wisconsin was fierce...just ask a room full of quilters whether or not you should pre-wash your fabric before you make something!  Whew!  Lots of definite opinions, and only their way is the correct way!  Without stepping on any red or blue toes here, I am going to declare how I stand:  do not prewash cottons for quilts, but always prewash cotton flannels for quilts and other items.  Got it?  Why?  I like washing my quilts after they have been quilted.  They shrink up a bit and get squishy and soft and a bit vintagy looking.  I don't worry about colors bleeding.  If you use warm water that helps carry any stray dye away.  Cold water will re-distribute the dye back on clothes.  That is why they tell you to wash bright colored clothes in cold water.  Truth.  I DO pre-wash flannel, though, because it shrinks a lot, and not always proportionately.   Plus, flannel that has been washed is super soft and a bit denser, thus easier to work with.  I came across this You Tube video on how to make a self-bound baby blanket.  I loved the concept, but I noticed that the flannel she was using was not pre-washed.  The new  mother that will get this blanket will not be happy once she washed it for the first time, I bet.  Anyhow, I decided to use the idea to make a burp cloth.  Very fast, turned out cute.  I will make more, using contrasting flannels.  Jerilynn

Thursday, June 7, 2012

This New Towel is Too Good for Cleaning Windows

I would show you a picture of what Carl and I mainly have done today, but it would be invisible!  We washed windows and they are so clear and clean that I would not be able to capture their beauty!  Hee, hee. He is a Windex/towel window washer, and I usually prefer Windex/paper towels.  Old dishcloths and diapers do work good, though, for such a project.   I am quickly running out of steam, but I thought I would show you the other towel I embroidered yesterday.  The design is from OESD Orchard Kitchen.  I have been trying not to buy too many new designs, but this one was a) on sale at a good price, and b) reminded me of hand-worked embroidery.  Of course I  picked the largest file to start with, but it turned out great.  I happened to have this white towel with the primary colored borders on hand.  Just right.  Am I the only sewer who always buys blank dish towels when I see some good ones?  You just  never know when you need a quick gift or a color boost for your kitchen.  The other fruit designs in the collection are wonderful, too.  If I don't get too worn out from doing more cleaning, I just may try another one.  Jerilynn

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Weensie Feet

My youngest son's son, Benjamin, was born 8 or 9 weeks early two and a half years ago.  His feet were so weensie!  Son Peter had those tiny feet tattooed on his chest, over his heart.  I am not a tattoo fan, but I had to admit, those feet were precious!  So, I scanned the footprints from the hospital records and digitized them in my Bernina V6 software and used that embroidery for a few items - towel, bib...  When I was down helping with the newest baby, I took a copy of her brand-new footprints and now they, too, have been translated into stitches.  At under 3", they are just the right size for a corner of this tea towel.  I suppose I could design something with all the details  that could be framed, but having a simple dish towel that can be used over and over for many years is a practical way to remember just how tiny these kids start out!  Jerilynn

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tablet Tote Class

These are the three Tablet Tote bags I made for the class I am teaching at Sew Complete.  They demonstrate the three methods you can use for the outside of the tote.  Of course, there are many other possibilities...applique, patchwork, machine embroidery.  They are fun to make.  I hope the class fills up!  Jerilynn

Monday, June 4, 2012

Dishie Yarn!

No picture..just a note to let you know that the Dishie cotton yarn is on sale at You can thank me later. Jerilynn

What Should I Do With My Extra Time?

Inspired by the command of the new pillow to Go Jump In The Lake, I used up the remaining French General toweling and embroidered a towel for the kitchen.  As you can see, it is hanging on the handle of our NEW dishwasher - a first for the cabin.  Yes, indeed, we are getting fairly fancy around here.  Now that I am not burning any calories by washing dishes I better find something else to do. the towel.  Jerilynn

Sunday, June 3, 2012

New Television Wall

What I did today is not very picture-worthy:  I finished unpacking and organizing box contents in the basement. Finally, all the cleaning supplies are in one location, I have three boxes of Goodwill donations, and I have a pretty good idea of what I am going to list for sale in our local paper.  Boring, but needed to get done.  What isn't boring is what Carl has been up to the last couple of days!  We decided to close up the wall between the support posts in our living room in the lower level.  As you can see from the bottom photo (taken at Easter, thus the colorful hidden eggs!) the stairway is open without any barriers to little ones tumbling off.  So far we haven't had any mishaps, but I wasn't looking forward to the first.  Also by closing up the wall, it gave us a surface to mount the tv.  Doesn't it look just fabulous?!  The little niche under the tv is a built in shelf to hold the cable box and the router.  Add a small basket for playing cards, and a little candle...done!  He still has a little trim to finish up and a door to instill around the corner.  Now when you go through the left hand space to reach the basement, you won't stare into the under-stairs storage area.  This place is looking pretty good - thanks to Carl!  Jerilynn

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Idlewild - Go Jump in the Lake!

There is a new store in Cumberland, which is big for this small town.  It is called Idlewild Outfitters, and it is seriously a cool store.  The store owner's parents bought Idlewild Resort on Beaver Dam Lake in Cumberland back in the 70's and this is where she grew up.  The resort is no longer around; don't know all the history, but it obviously was a wonderful place to this lady.  A big definition of Idlewild is stenciled on the wooden store wall:  "Your place of peace, adventure, and balance".  She explained that they are going to carry items that are going to appeal to the various aspects of that definition.  I love the items they have so far - outdoor, classy and cute clothes, active shoes, quirky cabin decor, thoughtful signs, and interesting books. I guess kayaks are coming soon.  How exciting!  They had a pillow in the store, like the tan one in the first picture.  Loved it!  But, it wasn't RED.  I came home, ordered red toweling (Moda French General, $4.00 a yard), designed the saying in my Bernina V6 software, and stitched it out.  I put a button closure on the back and made a muslin pillow form to fit inside.  I feel a bit bad not buying the pillow from the new store, but I have made a couple of purchases and plan to make more.  Plus, had the store pillow been RED, it would have come home with me that very day.  Not too long ago I had a very vivid dream that I was making a long journey.  I was on some sort of flotation device and I was kicking my way for days in the water.  It wasn't a scary dream at all - it was actually quite peaceful.  I haven't spent much time in the water here at our cabin.  Not because of the quality of water - the lake is crystal clear year-round.  Maybe it is the whole bathing suit, jiggle body thing (no tan - skin is suffering from too much past forced tanning.  Bad idea.).  Maybe I think the big bass will think I am a juicy treat to nibble?  No matter, I had decided after the dream that this would be the summer of swimming.  Getting to know the lake from a different point of view - not just as a gorgeous view out my studio window.  So, when I saw the pillow at Idlewild that commanded me to Go Jump In The Lake, I took it as a sign.  Actually, had it been a sign, I would have bought that.  Anyway, the pillow is made, looks great on the couch, and once the weather heats up, I will be following the pillow's command.  Jerilynn  P.S.  Thanks for the comment on the new garter stitch throw.  It measures about 35" x 50" and I cast on 200 stitches with the Dishie yarn on size 6 circular needles.  I used 16 different colors, and none of the yarn colors was used up, except maybe for the red (of course).  You could use any colors of yarn, any numbers of changes.  It would be pretty in softer colors.....

Friday, June 1, 2012

Squishy, Cozy, Colorful, Done!

Another squishy garter stitch knit blanket done.  This one was made using Knitpicks Dishie cotton yarn on a size 6 needle.  It is lap-sized - perfect for a quick afternoon nap on the couch or on the pontoon.  Very cozy and washable.  Mindless knitting.  Biggest obstacle is deciding how many rows per color and what color to pick next.  My friend Jane would have told me just to stick my hand in the bag and pull out a color.  I didn't do that, but I just may try that for the next one.  By the way, I am thrilled with all the comments you have left!  Makes my day.  I am definitely moving the picture over the bed, up higher.  I found the Hidden Wells pattern, and I have discovered that there are even a few used patterns out there on the internet.  What in the world did we do with our time before this computer thing?  Knit garter stitch blankets?  Jerilynn