I think that I am addicted......

I can. not. stop. making these precious dolls. Maybe because I am fascinated by seeing a lump of carded wool, cotton tricot and some string turn into such a cute thing.Now if I just don't serge my fingers off. I have a very basic serger (think cheap) and just use it for pillows and now making doll clothes. No matter how I lightly I press the foot pedal that thing seems to fly! LOL
Take care,

Dolce Quilt And Another Doll

This is Elsie.....so much fun to make! I am really enjoying making these dolls, I think partly because I like to keep my hands busy and there is quite a bit of handwork with them.This is the Dolce quilt that I finished quite a while back, but never put on my blog. I had trouble with shadows. I think that I need a photography class. ;-)
Take care,

Newest Doll

I love this one.....she tugs at my heartstrings! I think it is the pink gingham fabric with the green eyes.I finally reopened my etsy shop...that's a lot of work. ;-)
Have a great day, it is glorious here!!!!

The Pyramid Of Conservation

I received this great action plan from a friend and had to share it. Minnesota Power created this based upon the old food nutrition pyramid that we all grew up with and it's an excellent chart for residential conservation and energy efficiency.

Check out all the information here:

I like this pyramid so much that I'm in the process of creating a slightly tweaked version for California. As you can tell from the organization of the pyramid, some items need to be moved around to meet California's climates and energy consumption.
Be looking out for my version in the coming month...

New Craft ;-)

A long time ago when my 28 year old son was just a baby, I made soft sculptured dolls. As the way with many of the crafts that I did, spinning, weaving, temari, I put it aside and went on to knitting and quilting. While looking through etsy the other week, I saw these delightful dolls and decided that I needed to make some. They are Waldorf inspired dolls. And while pretty intensive to make I am in love with making them. I have made 4 with one more just needing hair in the last week and show no signs of stopping yet. LOL
I am determined to get my etsy shop back up and running and will have these in there as well as some of my quilts. I have been putting in 10 hour days, but am having a blast. Sometimes the old fingers get achey, but that may be my age. ;-)
This one was my very first.....definitely a learning curve. I need to fix her arms -they aren't sewn on in the right direction.
Take care,

Owl Applique

I finished a top for a baby quilt with an owl applique on it. I think that i will do a meander when quilting, but not quilt the owl......that way he will pop! Not that he doesn't pop with the colors I have used. LOLNot such a great picture......but what should I do with his eyes? leave them white or add a black dot in them, etc? I tried drawing a few eyes but didn't care for any of them.
Take care, Cathy

The Chick-Fila Cows Perform a Public Service

I love a cheeseburger as much as anybody--more than many folks, actually, if you take into account the vegetarian and vegan sectors. Grilled Angus beef on a sesame seed bun, with extra cheese, mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickle, and Heinz 57. Yum. My mouth is watering and it's not nearly lunch time.

And don't get me started on grilled stuffed filet mignon. The moaning might disturb other hotel guests.

I'm a fan of the cow, is what I'm saying--always have been.

But, I'm also something of a...ahem...hypochondriac. Yeah, I  know, you're shocked and all.

So, when I read this article on page 2 of today's USA Today, I immediately started inventorying my symptoms. The article states that "A program set up to test beef for chemical residues is not accomplishing its mission of monitoring the food supply for dangerous substances... The health affects on people who eat such meat are a 'growing concern.'" The article goes on to say that in 2008, "Mexican authorities rejected a U.S. beef shipment because its copper levels exceeded Mexican standards." The rejected meat was sold in the U.S.

Our beef wasn't up to Mexican standards, so it had to be sold in the U.S.???

It's not just copper. (I'm still not clear on how the copper gets into cows, but some of the bad stuff comes from pesticide residue in the cow's drinking water.) Also, antibiotics are a problem, among them PENICILLIN, which I am allergic to. The article gave a chart with contaminants, some of which I can't pronounce, and SYMPTOMS TO WATCH FOR. These include oxidative stress (wtf?), renal dysfunction, and death. And those are just the copper-related symptoms. Call me a quack, but death is a pretty serious SYMPTOM.

I had reconciled myself to living with the threat of Mad Cow, now this.

It's enough to make a girl turn to tofu.

Peace, out...


Back from Blog Break ;-)

I am finally back from my break. I have been busy in my sewing room, gardening and reading a lot. I made these outfits for my great niece and nephew. I used to sew and smock all the time when my children were little and have realized how much I enjoy it.The patterns were from an Applique book by Martha Pullen.

My etsy shop is named Pink Petunia Cottage , because petunias are my favorite flower. I put several pots around my deck and am enjoying them so much.
I am glad to be back and will be enjoying your blogs also as I always do!
Take care,
P. S. If anyone does machine embroidery and likes Isacord thread, I am going to sell mine for a really low price. I have probably 40 spools that haven't been used. I use Aurifil thread for everything nowadays. Please send me an email if you are interested.

Cork: the other great wood...

Let's face it... bamboo is every where! I think companies are making everything out of bamboo these days just to say they're being "green". Bamboo is a great wood and I highly recommend it, but sometimes it's nice to venture out of the old comfort zone. Why not cork? No, we're not talking about recycling wine corks, we're talking about a highly renewable wood that is fabricated utilizing the bark of the Cork Oak tree. A Cork tree doesn't even have to be cut down to get the wood, the wood is derived from a bark peeling process that allows for the tree to eventually regenerate just like shearing a sheep for it's wool. Check out this video clip:

I'm a big fan of cork! It's a very versatile wood that can be used for flooring, paneling, furniture, underlayment, acoustics, and too many other products I don't have space to list. Cork is a very resilient wood that makes great flooring for it's ability to bounce back to form and it's noise dampening properties. I am personally a huge fan of cork's natural hypoallergenic make up and decided to install a floating cork floor in my guest bathroom:

With today's market cork is available in a wide range of patterns and tones, tiles and planks, and forms and thicknesses. Although cork and bamboo are not completely interchangeable; they should both be considered when looking for "green" flooring or wall paneling choices.
When purchasing cork it is imperative that you do your due diligence and make sure that the cork has not been treated with any VOC compounds... some lower grade, inexpensive cork has been treated therefore cancelling out cork's environmental and sustainable qualities. Below is a list of local Sacramento Valley businesses who sell cork products, make sure you check them out:
Green Sacramento, Sacramento- 916.448.8109,
Lumber Liquidators, Sacramento- 916.369.7300,
Simple Floors, Sacramento- 916.363.6211,
Carpeteria, multiple locations,
There are many more to choose from, but I'm not going to list them all. It's very easy to find cork flooring, but harder to locate cork sheets.

Somebody Gets It

I accidentally turned on Dr. Phil yesterday. Nothing against Dr. Phil, I'm sure he's a great guy and all, but I  don't do daytime TV. But, I'd stayed up far too late reading, slept in, and, as is my custom, I flipped on the TV while I had breakfast. I was outside my usual time slot for breakfast. Typically the news is on. That's a whole nother rant.

I was fumbling--pre-coffee, mind you--with the remote, trying to turn the channel, when I heard this guy say, "I tried that low-carb diet. I snapped."

He had my attention. I have SO been there. Several times, in fact.

I squinted at the sign for the day's episode. "The Ultimate Fat Debate."

Oh. Dear. Tara.

They had my attention.

The guy who was undone by the low carb diet turned out to be a comedian, John Pinette. This guy is FUNNY, and he is so after my own heart. Talking about his personal trainer he says, "I don't do ups. Sit ups, push-ups, chin-ups... I do downs. I can sit down, lie down...gimme a cheeseburger, I''ll wolf it down..." Some of his clips are available online. In another clip from this routine, he says, (as I have often maintained to The Queen of Pain herself) "Ups defy gravity. Gravity is a law, and I obey the law."

Aside from the comedian, Dr. Phil had a panel, and I gotta say, they weren't nearly as entertaining. Although, there were a few places where I thought they were going to go all Jerry Springer. That trainer chick from The Biggest Loser, was on, along with some guy with a shirt that said "No Chubbies." They were squaring off against a group of VOLUPTOUS women from groups like The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance. These women were (justifiably) NOT HAPPY with the chap in the "No Chubbies" shirt. I couldn't look away.

But, I did hie me to Jazzercise yesterday, and defied gravity one more time.

Peace, out...


You Can't Tell That Here

I went home last week, to Faith, the little town of about six hundred, with one caution light, where I grew up, and where my parents, my brother and his family, and a slew of other relatives still live. I got into the whole ancestry thing about a year ago and was shocked to find out how many people in that town I'm related to and never knew it. I digress...

Dad is retired, and mostly he spends his days looking up imaginary symptoms on Web MD. He needs a hobby. Mom refuses to retire, mostly because staying home doesn't look all that attractive. Anyway, Dad and I went to The Faith Soda Shop for breakfast one morning--several mornings, actually. Side note: One would think that somebody who spends hours a day on health-related websites would stop ordering sausage and egg sandwiches with mayo for breakfast, but not my daddy. I'm just saying...

One morning, we walked into The Shop, and the couple who'd lived around the curve from us my entire childhood sat in a booth just inside the door. I graduated with their oldest son (and played in the creek with him, and fought with him, and love him like a brother). Their faces lit up when they saw me. You can't find that just anywhere...

I said, "I'd know these folks anywhere," and went over to chat. I hugged them, and they hugged me back, and it felt like I'd never left. There were a few other familiar faces in The Shop that morning. After we'd eaten, Dad and I made our way to the register to pay. We passed another pair of faces I knew well. This couple, parents of another guy I graduated with, lived a block and a half away from the house my parents still live in.

We exchanged the usual hey-it's-good-to-see-you kind of things. Then, Arlene patted my hand and said, "John just had a birthday, are you older, or younger than he is?" She was trying to pin down if I had already turned the same age as John, or if that was upcoming. She knew we were about a month apart.

I didn't answer immediately. Age-related chit-chat is not my favorite.

She said, "How old are you?"

I didn't miss a beat. I said, "Arlene, I'm twenty-four. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it."

She laughed out loud and said, "You can't tell that here."

Now, in Greenville when I tell people I'm twenty-four, they look at me oddly, like perhaps I'm Not Quite Right, but no one has ever called me on it. In Faith, most people have a general idea how old I am, and many can tell you exactly what year I was born.

My eyes misted up. There is something so compelling to me about being in that place where, even after I've been gone more than...err...a few years, folks know me. Makes me think of that Cheers song...

I love Greenville. I do. We have friends here, and a lot of Jim's family lives here. There's a beautiful downtown, with a river running through it, and restaurants of every description. There's culture. Diversity. Costco.

But, on any given day, if I walk into any restaurant on Main Street, odds are, there won't be a soul in the place who knows me, or can tell you approximately how old I am, or remembers the time I painted the old shed in the backyard five different colors (on the outside) and turned it into a weird sort of clubhouse where I could have hang out with my friends with minimal adult supervision.

Lord, I'm homesick.

Peace, out...


P.S. This is NOT an invitation for my Greenville friends and family to discuss my age. The official age of all Jazzercisers is 24. It's a rule.