Scrapbooking, recipes & more!

Well, when the month of July began I really thought I would be blogging a whole lot more than I have.  I’ve not had the job of taking care of grandsons this month (except for four days with Jackson, and one more coming up this Thursday).  But, because I needed to replace lost childcare income with sewing income I have been extremely busy sewing and selling baby quilts on e-Bay, Etsy and here locally.  I have also been busy making and selling cord covers and still monogramming kitchen towels for the two Realtors that I have as customers (one being my baby daughter).  Needless to say, I haven’t been online near as much as I thought I would be and in fact have been scanning my e-mails and deleting most of them on a daily basis.

If you have been following my blog you know that several months ago I expressed a concern over the fact that my baby quilts really weren’t selling very well.  That has definately changed recently and in June I believe I sold 6 of my unique, one of a kind Pillow Quilts….Pink & Green PQ closeupand in July so far, I’ve sold 7!!  I was very excited the other day when I discovered that I had sold my first quilt on Etsy!  That’s been my work/”duty” related stuff that I’ve been staying busy with.  But, because I had the entire month off from taking care of grandsons I had a few fun activities planned also.

A week ago this last Saturday, I got together with my older daughter, Theresa and we spent the entire day scrapbooking.  She and I were way behind on keeping up our scrapbooks and it had been three years for her and almost as long for me since we had done any.  We had been planning it for weeks and had gotten all our pics prepared.  I had even made a list of some of the pages that I wanted to get done.  I think I did 12 two page layouts and she did even more – and we still barely put a dent in it!  Theresa scrapbookingI have a large dining room table that seats 6 comfortably, so we spread out with a big old mess and had a ball!

I made white chicken chili in the crock pot so we wouldn’t have to take a break to cook and Theresa brought cornbread salad.  Yum!  Linda Scrapbooking 2I love the creative endeavors!!  I was so far behind!! I started at 8 am, and didn’t stop until 6 pm.  I left the mess out for 24 hrs. thinking I might try to do some more, but once household and church responsibilities got a hold of me – no more scrapbooking inspiration occurred!  Here’s a sample of my work:  Christian's graduationAnother:


Ethan & Kashand another…..

Hannah's scrapbook pageIf you haven’t figured it out yet, the focus was on grandchildren.  Although there were other photos, events, persons to scrapbook I always have more fun scrapbooking pages about my grandchildren.  Jackson's scrapbook page 2I like to journal on my pages and have somewhat of a “title”.  If I go too long without putting my photos into scrapbooks, I forget the details!!  Jackson scrapbook pageTheresa and I scrapbook the old fashioned way.  We do our pages with glue sticks, die cuts, stickers etc;  My youngest daughter, Tanya prefers digital scrapbooking to the old fashioned way.  She turns out beautiful pages just like the old fashioned ones, the only difference is that she creates her pages on a computer and then prints them out to put into albums.  It just personal preference.  The digital technique seems a bit quicker, less labor intensive and is especially great for someone who’s extremely busy as she is.

So, now you know one of my other hobbies that I enjoy a whole lot.   But, enough about scrapbooking!  

So, this past Saturday I had planned to have some of my sisters from church over for another “quilting social”.  Unfortunately, there’s been a lot of sickness going around lately and so my turnout was poor.  There were only three of us and so there was more “social” then “quilting”. One gal forgot her electrical cord for her sewing machine and the other didn’t bring her machine, so instead of actually sewing, I showed them how to begin a t-shirt quilt (a project I am currently working on) and also showed them how to make their own “Crazy Quilt” Christmas stocking.  We still enjoyed great food and fellowship and afterwards went to Hancock’s for their “Super Saturday” sale.  I had a request for the soup I made in the crock pot.  It was my own concoction (I love creating soups from the ingredients I have in the house.)  I will put this in my recipe tab as well…but for now here it is:


Start with 6-8 cups of beef broth (in 6 qt. crock pot).  Brown in a skillet about 18 small meatballs.  (Melon ball size)  I’ve made these meatballs with 93% lean ground beef before, but this time I used ground venison.  (lean and delicious!)  Season how you prefer.  I used Montreal Steak Seasoning.  Don’t overcook because they will cook more in the crock pot.  Just get a good sear on them in the skillet.  If they are still rare, that’s okay as long as they are browned on the outside. (Let them sit in skillet while you do the following):

Add to your beef broth, 1 – 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes, 1 – 15 oz can of tomato sauce, 1 – 15 oz can of green beans, 1 – 15 oz. can of kidney beans (I used white cannelini beans).

I diced up 1/2 a white onion and minced a couple cloves of garlic and added it to the pot.

I had about two cups of frozen mixed vegetables (peas, corn, lima beans & green beans) in the freezer that I also added. Now add your meatballs and season your soup.  I seasoned my soup with basil, oregano, salt, pepper, cumin, Italian Seasoning etc;   This again is about personal preference.  Just keep tasting until you get it the way you like it.  Don’t overdo it, because it will become more flavorful the longer it simmers.  This soup is also very good with some fresh spinach added, but I didn’t have any this time.  The last ingredient you want to put in the pot (the last hour or so) is pasta!  I prefer whole wheat elbows or rotini but I didn’t have any, so I added about two cups of no yolk egg noodles.  If you put your pasta in the pot too soon it becomes very soft and soggy and falls apart.  Don’t like overcooked pasta!!

About four hours total time on low should do it! Since your veggies are mostly canned and frozen veggies the only thing that would be crunchy would be the onion if it hasn’t cooked long enough.  So, this is a pretty healthy soup (other than sodium content) and one I originally created when I was working for Weight Watchers.  At that time it was about 7 POINTS for a 1 1/2 cup serving.  I can’t attest to that POINTS VALUE anymore but still feel that soup is a good choice when you are watching your weight unless it’s cream based.  

And that brings me to my next subject….Yes, I’m back on the bandwagon!!  My youngest daughter, Tanya (who tries to live a very healthy lifestyle and like myself is a lifetime member of WW) inspired me to get back to eating healthy and exercising this month while the boys are away.  She went back to WW to get 4 or 5 extra pounds off her petite frame (I can see your eyes rolling)  LOL and she suggested we be accountability partners.  I thought this would be a good month to tackle the extra 20 lbs I’m carrying around.  My other daughter, Theresa decided to work on her fitness a little too, so we meet at the gym twice a week to workout together.  The other three days (Mon, Wed. & Fri) I walk 3 – 3.5 miles with sisters from church at 7:30 in the morning.  It’s been fun and I’m seeing the difference in how I’m feeling.  Still extremely tired but I blame that on age and my insomnia problem but the scale so far has been kind to me.  I use my WW online tracking tool and I weigh in here at home very Friday morning.  First week: 3 lbs gone! Second week: 1 lb gone! This last Friday: I only lost 1/2 a lb.…but I’m not discouraged.  I had Chinese one day and I know the sodium didn’t  help matters.  4 1/2 lbs in 3 weeks is not too shabby!  I know for sure that it has been easier to stay away from sugary snacks without the boys here!  When they return – they too will be eating more fruit and less candy!!

In closing, I will leave you with the most requested recipe at the WW meetings I used to lead:  

WW Cake

For most cake mixes: 12 servings of cake = 4 points

24 cupcakes = 2 points each

Mix together the following and bake according to the instructions on the cake mix:

Cake mix (your choice)

I can of diet soda (your choice)

2 egg whites (the egg whites make the cake a little lighter in texture and does not change the points value.


Spice cake mix with diet Sunkist

Banana cake mix with diet root beer

Lemon cake mix with diet 7-up

Chocolate cake mix with diet coke

Lemon cake mix with diet ginger ale

Orange cake mix with diet mountain dew

Cherry Chip cake mix with A&W diet cream soda

Lemon cake mix with Sprite Zero

Yellow cake mix with diet Sunkist

White cake mix with diet peach

Strawberry cake mix with diet Big Red

Spice cake mix with diet ginger ale or diet root beer

Chocolate cake mix with diet cherry coke

Devil’s food cake mix with diet vanilla coke

Marble cake mix with diet cream soda

White cake mix with diet sprite or Sprite Zero

Red Velvet cake mix with diet cherry vanilla or diet Dr. Pepper

Pineapple cake mix with diet squirt

Since they are now on the POINTS PLUS system I cannot attest to the PP value of this, but back in the old days the POINTS VALUE was as stated above.  I guess, just to be safe I would count a cupcake as 4 PP (double it’s original value).  Still great bang for your buck if you are craving cake.

I would ice my cupcake with 1 or 2 T. of Cool Whip FREE.  (No more points added.)

Signing off for today – i hope you enjoyed my long post. I will try to get back to post at least once more before leaving for our anniversary trip next Monday.


Since Granny’s passing….

I apologize.  I know I haven’t been around much lately.  I’ve been reading. I just haven’t been writing.  Writing as well as talking seems to get me in too much trouble – but we won’t go there for the sake of boring you to tears!!  I’m going to try to do better.  I know there are people reading this blog, they just don’t choose to comment.  I am going to try and post a blog at least once a week. That will be my goal for now.  Your comments will encourage me to keep at it.  So, you ask,,  What have I been up to, right?

Well, since Granny’s passing last September I’ve been seeking God’s will for my life.  For awhile I felt like a fish out of water.  A bit aimless to say the least.  I really thought I would be going to work outside the home after the first of the year. NADA.  Just didn’t feel any type of “release” and since we are down to one reliable vehicle, it would be a challenge (not impossible) to work outside the home.  

I’m still taking care of Kash and like to pat myself on the back for he is now FULLY potty trained and quite proud of himself!! Image

He’s a mess!! Love that baby boy!! We talk all day about all sorts of cool stuff.  He’s so smart and wants to “help” me with everything!  There are no child labor laws in Maw Maw’s house.  He wants to vaccum, dust, windex the windows, bake cookies, go for walks, go shopping…you name it! Our days are full.  His daddy works for the railroad, so he gets to be home with Kash every other week.  That has cut my daycare responsibilities down to 1/2 the month instead of the entire month.  I sure do miss him when he’s gone, but it does give me a nice break to sew, have lunch with girlfriends etc;  Not for much longer though…

Enter Jackson…Image

Our little “ginger” was born early Feb. and mommy goes back to work teaching school this coming Monday.  I will get the honor of taking care of Jackson for the next two months until school is out for the summer.  He’s a red head and is beginning to look like his daddy (my youngest step-son, Josh) more and more each day.  He weighed in at 9 lb. 1 oz and is now almost 14 pounds, 6 weeks later!!  His daddy is a big boy too, weighing in at over 300 lbs, so doesn’t surprise me that he likes to eat!

There’s nothing better to shake you from your grieving over the loss of a loved one – than NEW life and NEW famly!!  We so wish Granny could have seen our little Jackson.  Kash still talks about her and asks..”Granny in heaven with Jesus?”  Image

RIP..Bertha Mae Stevens, we look forward to seeing you dancing on Pearly shores.

Since I didn’t feel released to go to work and was having a blast sewing, come the first of the year I decided to try incorporating some of my hobby into a business from my home.  It was purely on a fluke, but would allow me to still take care of grandbabies also.  My daughter, Tanya (the realtor in Wichita Falls) wanted me to make her some cord covers.  I said, “what?”  She said, “cord covers, Mom”.  They are very hot and trendy and I see them in a lot of homes I go into, but they are quite expensive at places like Bed, Bath and Beyond.  Well, it didn’t sound very creative and also sounded quite boring to make, but I experimented with some of my leftover quilt fabric.  She was quite happy with hers.  That’s when the lightbulb went on.  I was already on E-bay and Etsy but with mediocre results selling other I began taking pictures of my cord covers and selling them on both sites.  The results have been quite shocking!  It’s been a great way to supplement my SSI and so far my reviews/feedback has been awesome too!Image

This is a cream eyelet one.  I sell them in different lengths, colors and fabrics.  Been quite fun and rewarding.  Can’t say the same about my quilts.  I love making quilts and decided while I was at it to make some baby quilts to sell online as well.  Although I’ve sold a couple, I’ve discovered that people aren’t willing to pay for a handmade quilt that is a ONE OF A KIND original – at least not what it’s worth (for the amount of time and labor that went into it).  The following are still FOR SALE:  Please give me your feedback on if you think my prices are too high…Image

Pillow Quilts (a type of rag quilt) approx. 35″ X 42″ (5 blocks across, 6 blocks down) $19.95 plus shippingImage

Blue & White gingham with embroidered butterflies; make them in pink, peach, lavendar etc;


This crazy quilt for baby sells for $24.95 plus shipping.  This has decorative top stitching, a scrappy binding, appliqued hearts, and yellow sashing. I take custom orders for these and am making a larger one for a young girl in purples, pinks, blues, whites currently.  Here’s a close up of one of the blocks:  Image


Those are my smaller, less expensive ones.  I’ve also made some larger flannel baby quilts but have had no luck selling them online.  Please give me your honest feedback on what you think and what I might be doing wrong:  Here they are:


ImageThis one is called “Cuddle Bug” and is currently selling for $55.00 (free shipping).

ImageImageThis one is called “Lil Hoo” and is also listed at $55.00 + free shipping.  I love the little owl flannel print.  You will see by the closeups that I’m not a professional quilter – I’m still a novice and they are far from perfect but I think they are worth what I’m asking.  This has really left me in a quandry.  When I was in Cracker Barrel for lunch yesterday I saw BEAUTIFUL, FACTORY CREATED quilts for 129.00 for KING SIZE! $99.00 for QUEEN!  That told me that people just don’t value or appreciate the work that goes into one made at home and there’s no way a home craftsman can compete with assembly line quilts by charging such low rates.  Is my thinking way off base or am I right on the money? (Pardon the pun).

On to bigger and better things….at Thanksgiving my hubby and I were able to get away for a few days of rest and relaxation. We were still suffering the loss of Granny and just wanted to “chill”.  We went to my daughter, Tanya’s in Wichita Falls.  We had not seen there new home yet, so it was also a lot of fun seeing how God had blessed them, and how a lot of hard work had paid off for them!ImageTanya’s husband, Rob works for the Wichita Police force and is my “favorite” (only LOL) son-in-law.  I love him so much and he is so good to my baby girl.  He loves it when I bake for him, so I bribe him with baked goods often.  We celebrated Christmas while we were there and so I gave Rob the crazy quilt I had made for him, too.

ImageIt is folded over so you can see both front and back.  Rob is tall, so the first thing he did when he opened it was lay down on the floor and cover up with it to be sure it covered him totally up!  Cracked me up!  It’s very heavy and warm.  He and Tanya have a cabin in New Mexico and like to mountain climb, so I envisioned him using it when sleeping outdoors in the cold, but I don’t think the weight of it is practical for keeping in a backpack!! Ha!

Image We also helped Tanya and Rob decorate the tree while we were there. I had made some handmade cloth ornaments for everyone this year, so it was fun seeing them adorn their trees as well.

While there Tanya had a light bulb moment. She was looking for a tax write off for her business and asked if I would embroider kitchen towels for her to give as closing gifts to her clients if she purchased an embroldery machine for me. DUH!  Of course!

ImageThat’s also why I was able to embroider butterflies on my pillow quilts as well.  I’m still learning how to use my new machine but am having so much fun with it.

Lot more going on…but my fingers are tiring – In closing I would let you know that Jan. 1st “Custom Creations” was born.Image  I’m not getting rich off it, but am having a lot of fun sewing in my spare time.  While hubby Jerry enjoys his favorite pass time of watching the “boob tube” I am allowing my creative juices to flow.

As I said in the beginning- I will try to be more present and accounted for and post something at least once a week.  I really need to know you are reading to stay motivated though.  Even a “like” will let me know you are there!


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