Weekly Chat: January 22, 2021

Grab a Coffee….

A few mugs from favorite places… I’ll write on them in another chat.

I can never seem to chat here without my coffee mug snuggled alongside of me. At least with my new flip top mug I’m not spilling coffee… on me and the couch as I often have recently. Hope you’re enjoying a coffee on this wintery feel of a week in late January. We still have no snow on the ground… so odd for us, but we did have one snowfall before Christmas that left over 6-plus inches… so we had a white Christmas, but warmer weather and rain made most of that go away except what’s all pushed together in the parking lots. The other week we parked next to one of those huge snow piles with the granddaughters in the car… their job, while eating their happy meal was to find all the things lost in the snow piles. It kept them busy for awhile until we ran out of things to find. And what was the very first thing we found… oddly enough, it was a black mask laying plastered to the side of the huge mound of snow… and I didn’t take a photo!

In needing a few things from the store, I did a grocery shopping list online for pickup. It’s the one thing that I’ve begun using… and enjoying. So instead of walking the aisles, I walk their online pages to place my order. I don’t usually order meat, as I’d rather pick that out myself, but this online ordering really saves time. I spend less and since my knees hurt me more in long walks, especially on those cement floors, it’s easier… you just drive up… and they load your car. Have you used any online delivering services during these crazy times?

I bought celery and tomatoes in my grocery order to add to the small pot of chicken soup I started last night. If you’ve never added chopped tomato to your chicken soup… do try it… so good! Last week hubby took our last container of soup out of the freezer… mainly because after all my folding and moving around fabric… I seemed to have irritated his allergies… his sniffling just wouldn’t stop. The soup and broth seemed to help! Nothing better than a pot of soup simmering on the stove when it’s a bit chilly outside… and it was quite chilly this morning at 26 degrees when we left to pick up the groceries. I suppose I could try having them delivered, but then I would have missed out on stopping for breakfast sandwiches… LOL! There’s always a scheme to my madness in planning out our day… or sometimes not! I think the cold weather gave me the sniffles today… so I’m enjoying a cup of soup tonight… with extra broth! It’s 43 now, but it still looks cold and gray out the window.

Maybe chatting about my ideas here on the junk journals I want to make/design will keep me thinking… and make it happen. I have gathered/saved so much “junk” over the past few years since I became interested in them… and I really need to use it up! Have I actually made one, well yes and no. I have made a few little books/journals for the girls but still have procrastinated on a bigger one for me… as I can’t seem to decide on a cover. 2021 needs to be the year that I finally make a few for me. I make so much for everyone else… and very seldom make myself anything. I definitely need to design a book cover for my Nancy Drew journal I want… as I have saved so much to put inside. Any thoughts of a cover… let me hear!

My Jello Dessert with the failed crust!

I made a new-to-me dessert the other week… strawberry pretzel dessert. Have to say it took more preparation than I anticipated, but next time I’m sure it’ll go easier. I probably should have read and compared more than one recipe before I began… as making the jello didn’t go as I thought it should… so I made a small change, and it all worked out. The one thing that flopped (LOL) was the crust of the pretzels, sugar and butter. Personally I think the recipe I chose called for too much sugar and butter as after baking it for only for 10 minutes… like it said… well, it was rock hard! I shrugged it off… and thought maybe the cheesecake-like mixture would seep down and soften it… Not! The cream cheese mixture with the fresh strawberries and jello was delicious and we didn’t have a problem scooping it out and enjoying. I’m planning on making this again, but I decided to transform it into a graham cracker pie crust with the cream cheese mixture and jello on top. I’ll let you know!

I’m still addicted to my new youtube channel of The Old Homely House with Kate Jackson… and No it’s not one of Charlie’s Angels! The only drawback is she’s giving me wayyyy too many ideas to sew, craft and knit. I’m good with watching her take care of her chickens, the bee hives, gardening, or even a walk to the nearby lake for Eileen, her goose, to take a swim. Hubby is not going to let me have chickens or bees, and definitely not a goose… and I have no lake nearby, so all those things are off my list. But I seem to have a growing list of things I want to make… that Kate makes; my sewing scraps are growing into other things now! Another problem I have is I have 5 granddaughters… and when I make for one, I make for all… which is quite time consuming.

My scrappy dog paper piecing for the girls… I had heard of paper piecing mentioned before, but never knew the science behind it.

Another of Kate’s sewing projects, but new-to-me is English paper piecing… while I had heard of it… I had no clue what it actually was. I’m used to cutting out with a paper pattern, not sewing on it. It seems the paper piecing helps to keep nice straight edges, but I do enjoy it as I can sit at night on the couch, or even in bed and sew mindless while watching tv. I enjoy sewing by hand more than sitting at the machine… and right now, my sewing machine area is chaos! I won’t be showing it until it’s clean!

In looking for fabric scraps to use in my paper piecing I discovered these hexagons I sewed many, many, years ago. I chose to sew them as the flower pattern was always one of my grandmama McKinley’s favorites to sew. At one time, when my children were small, I sold in local craft shows and sewed denim bags with them appliqued on the front. I’d forgotten I had all these saved… guess that means I need to make more bags.

My found flower garden pieces found… from long ago. Guess that means I’ll have to make bags to applique them on… so they have a permanent home. At least there are 5, so won’t have to make more!

I dug this one out of my bureau… it was actually made for my mother in law… her initials are embroidered on the reverse. Not sure where mine is, but I bet I’ll rumble across it soon.

I’ve also gotten back into selling on Marketplace… hubby, or rather I, thought maybe we should begin selling off our cast iron collection of the past several years. While we had fun collecting, hate to leave it to someone else to have to sell… another job for me… sell, pack, and ship! Being married almost 50 years, we have accumulated way too much stuff… but we had fun doing it. Now time to let someone else enjoy it! (I’ll show you some of our favorite pieces someday on a chat.)

While it’s been a chilly, sometimes bone-cold past couple weeks, only snow flurries have we seen. The weather shows possibly snow coming next week… we shall see! While I don’t mind watching it snow from the comfort of my couch, hubby doesn’t share my sentiment. Last snowstorm, one of the neighbors snow-blowed quite a bit of our sidewalks… I sent over a warm pound cake that afternoon. In posting today, it seems snow might be coming in later… oh yuck!

Another job I began this month (attempted) to tackle is the kitchen cabinets… I’ve been wanting to clean the ones out above the counter garage ever since I saw Kate clean her cabinets on The Homely House. Hubby took it upon himself to begin the emptying process before I came into the kitchen… so I have no before pics. What was he thinking! I did find many things didn’t even remember I owned… and also found at least a trashcan full of out-of-code food packages. Don’t judge… the cabinets are very deep… guess I just kept shoving in. Now I need to buy more salad, as I have 4 bags of croutons and 3 bags of dried cranberries… although I could use them in the scones I’ve been wanting to bake, but not sure what else I could make with those croutons. If you know… send ideas!

So here’s some of my mess after I realized I hadn’t taken photos from the beginning…. all my candy molds were way in the back, along with way out-of-date candy. Guess I haven’t made cupcakes in awhile as I seem to also have 3 containers filled of cupcake papers… need a craft for them as I’m sure I’m not going to bake cupcakes.. or I’ll send them to the granddaughters to bake for me… that sounds like a better plan! Have I made you want to go clean out a cabinet or two… or Not!

After writing a long list of all the projects I want to craft this year… way too many, but when you have 5 granddaughters… you make for all, except winter item… as the Florida girls have no use for those. I make myself very little… except a couple pairs of socks. While cutting squares today for a window hanging I’m making for the girls… after watching my favorite youtuber on The Homely House… I am so addicted! She showed her new wool drum carder… later spinning the wool she carded… oh I am so hooked, as I’ve always wanted a spinning wheel. I just might treat myself this year to a new hobby… haven’t mentioned this one to hubby, but he never denies me… although he did mention just tonight that I have a very full plate of things to make, probably because the living room becomes more crowded with each project I begin! If you’d like to watch Kate card and spin, click on the link up above. If I could go anywhere, I think I’d love a vacation at Kates in Northern England. If she opened up a BB at her Homely House, I bet she’d have full bookings… I’d love to stay in her treehouse! Kate are you listening??

Well, I guess you can tell I’ve been a busy bee this January… I’ll preview my planned A to Z for April for you on the next chat. It’s taken me longer than usual to decide on my theme this year, but it’s a perfect one for me, and I’m already enjoying the writing aspect.

Go grab another cup of coffee… I know I am!

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© 2021, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

About Jeanne Bryan Insalaco

My blog is at: https://everyonehasafamilystorytotell.wordpress.com/
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