Posts Tagged ‘studio’

Sleepless in Sienna Plantation

July 16, 2016

 

 

It’s early Saturday morning and I cannot sleep. It’s still dark outside in Sienna Plantation. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday this week we were out the door by 7 AM on our way to MD Anderson for blood work, review, and transfusion or appointment with my oncologist. On Thursday, I was on my way to La Grange, Texas for a Quilts, Inc. Executive Committee meeting. Today was my day to sleep in. I love to sleep late, but not today. There’s too much on my mind.

Was it the excitement of yesterday’s blood work revealing  my  platelets count went up since Wednesday’s results? Or was it the fear of needing a stem cell transplant if my numbers don’t elevate to at least 20,000 over the next few weeks?

Yesterday’s results were reason to cheer and hug with my two favorite Physician’s Assistants. However, just last week we were nervous and worried about dipping to 3,000 platelets until it got to 1,000. Starting back up, instead of dropping lower, was reason to cheer. I was on a high when we got home even after a stop at the Quilts, Inc. office for a few hours of work.

Over the last few months I haven’t felt like concentrating on anything in my studio other than an order from the Texas Quilt Museum for collage cards and design packets. When I got home yesterday late afternoon, I went into my studio and decided it was time I spend some time creating or catching-up on adding merchandise to my etsy shop. Or maybe I start with straightening my design wall clutter and work table mess.

Design wall

Design Wall in my Studio

My whole studio is a far cry from the order it was in for the photo shoot of my work space for the publication, Where Women Create. My studio is featured in the Nov/Dec/Jan2015 issue. What a fun day with my kind friend, Jo Packham, the editor of the magazine.

So last night I had the energy and desire to add to my etsy shop two little frocks I made early this year. When our children were here for Easter, our granddaughter, Madison Murrah modeled the frocks while another, Lindsey Huebner photographed them. The garments have been hanging in my studio since then. It was good to get those posted last night. The pattern I used is Simplicity 1080. The frock on the left is made from a vintage cutwork tablecloth. The frock on the right features a 1930’s embroidered hostess apron I imagine was worn by the hostess for a bridge party. Both pieces are in excellent condition.

I have collected vintage linens, laces, patchwork, and trims since I started having an interest in sewing and embellishing when I was in my twenties. I have boxes and closets full of everything you would ever need for a lifetime of stitching and creating. Madison would take all those things in a heartbeat, if she weren’t just 19 and going to college.

Where did all this begin? How did a young woman with a degree in Elementary Education, who just wanted to be a stay-at-home mom and wife to an executive husband have a life-time career as a teacher, author and show planner?

It all started when our youngest son, who is now 41, was an infant in arms. His brother was 6 and his sister 2 1/2. I was sewing fabric squares together to make quilts when I had a few minutes to myself. There were no books to follow, but occasionally an article in Women’s Day or Woman’s Circle on quilting.

One lucky day I learned of an antique shop teaching quilting classes at night. What joy I found that one night out each week that I could be with other quilters and learn how to make a quilt. In a little over a year, my first full-sized quilt was hanging at Great Expectations Quilt Show, and my quilt was featured on the advertising postcard. There was no turning back.

Quilting and creating became my passion. I started teaching classes in a Continuing Education program at our church while Todd was in second grade, Holly was in pre-school, and Troy was in the Mother’s Day Out program at our church. I was actually using my degree. As a thirty-three year old young woman, I loved teaching women many years older than I how to create something beautiful. They were of a generation where women did not work outside the home. For many it was the first time they were so proud of their accomplishments. It became a mission for me.

Quickly the word was out and I started teaching at a couple of small shops. I sewed well into many nights once I had the children to bed. I couldn’t get enough of it. Oh, to have just a little of that energy today.

sewing

My Sewing Corner in the 1970’s

It wasn’t long after that that I had a meeting with the owner of Great Expectations, Karey Bresenhan. She had added fabrics to her antique shop and wanted me to make some samples for her. That led to teaching classes for her on how to make tote bags, bibs on pinafores, notebook covers, etc. from the quilt blocks I had learned while taking classes from her mother, Jewel Patterson. I sometimes wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn’t taken that first meeting with Karey. I have worked for her for 40 years now.

My career took off. Wait a minute…I didn’t plan to have a career. Remember I am raising three little children. I’m a mom. Somehow I was propelled and soon teaching at Quilt Fair ’78, designing a garment for the first Fairfield/Concord Fashion Show which later became the Bernina Fashion Show,

IMG_2970

Patchwork and Lace Jacket for the Fairfield/Concord Fashion Show

designing and creating large fabric pieces for a debutante ball, being published in magazines, becoming VP of the Greater Houston Quilt Guild, part of a two-woman fashion show,

Holly

Holly Modeling for Fashion Show

creating special decorative items for antique shops from vintage quilts and linens, designing and making rodeo vests for a trendy dress shop, etc.

Then in 1982, my husband moved us to Victoria, Texas, so he could run an independent bank there. Did my career or my association with Karey Bresenhan end there? Guess again. She did not want to see me go, but that didn’t mean she let go. Shortly after we moved, I came back to Houston to a wonderful surprise going-away party Karey had in her shop. I was presented with a quilt full of hearts and signatures from my students at Great Expectations Quilts. I continued to go back to Karey’s shop to teach a full load of classes.

What’s next? It wasn’t long after I arrived in Victoria, Texas that I started teaching quilting and related decorative classes at the Open Door Creativity Center.

IMG_2976

Open Door Creativity Center

Quilting caught on quickly. The classes were popular and it wasn’t long after that that Susan Manning and I formed the Quilt Guild of Greater Victoria under the umbrella of the Nave Museum. I was their first President and remained active in the Guild for 20 years. I also became very active in the Victoria community. Soon one of the Guild members opened a quilt shop where we gathered for classes. I taught there and in a shop in Edna, Texas on a regular basis for many years.

During that time teaching picked up in other towns, more of my designs were published in books and magazines including Virginia Avery’s book Quilts to Wear. In 1983, I took charge of the Education program for Quilt Festival and Quilt Market and became first President of South/Southwest Quilt Association which is IQA today.IMG_2977

Later in the 80’s we started taking Quilt Market to other cities in the summer. Not long after that, we took Quilt Market to European countries along with Quilt Expo. That made for lots of over seas travel for 20 years, but what a delight to see all those European countries and to meet so many wonderful people. Life was busy and children were growing older.

In the early 90’s I was approached by the Editor in Chief, Barbara Weiland, of That Patchwork Place to write a book on the garments I was creating. I had started a series on collage patchwork jackets about that time. After much hesitation, I did write the first book, Jacket Jazz. A series of 6 more books and a pattern line followed over the next 10 years. The first two books put me on the teaching circuit map. I began teaching all over the country for many years. That was gratifying, but hard, exhausting work. I also designed a line of fabric with a Jacket Jazz flair during this time.

Judy Murrah published books

“Jacket Jazz” series

Kids continued to grow, went off to college, graduated, married, had babies. I quit teaching in 2006. We moved back to Houston in 2007. Since then my life has been filled with being with my husband, VP of Education and Administration for Quilts, Inc., mother and Grammy, and active in our church.

Now my focus is on getting well so I can enjoy these golden years, play in my studio, be with our family and travel with my husband. I want to be able to manage MDS. I know the only cure is a stem cell transplant, if it’s successful. Please keep praying for more platelets. Your prayers sustain me, and I am so thankful for you, my friends. God bless you all. Judy

golf

Our Family

 

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 22 Taco Soup

February 13, 2016

Hello Everyone,

Sorry it has been a couple of weeks since you heard from me. When I’ve been home, I have spent time in my studio every spare minute. I had a big order from the Texas Quilt Museum that I finally finished yesterday.

I made 20 collage greeting cards,

birthday

Happy Birthday, Jennifer

thanks

Thanks

thirteen Design Packets,

design

Thirteen Design Packets

and twelve mug rugs or hot pads.

pads

Twelve Mug Rugs or Hot Pads

I loved every minute of the hours in my studio. There are only a few other places I would rather be.

Now let’s think about cooking. We are getting near the end of my family cookbook. Here is the fourth from the end.

Taco Soup

In the middle 90’s, I went to Seattle to teach several of “That Patchwork Place” employees how to make the second five Jazz jackets. The jackets were pictured in my second book Jacket Jazz Encore. Marta Estes made this soup for our lunch one day. My husband loves this and will eat it for several days. Thank you, husband. I don’t feel guilty when I’d rather be creating in my studio than cooking in the kitchen. The soup is very easy.

soup

Taco Soup

Ingredients

1 ½ lbs. hamburger

16 oz. can diced tomatoes

15 oz. can kidney beans and juice

1 pkg. taco seasoning mix

15 oz. can chicken broth

1 can corn

1 chopped onion

1 small can rotel tomatoes (mild)

1 can hominy

Toppings

Tortilla chips

Grated cheddar cheese

Chopped avocado

Sour cream

Sliced black olives

Fresh cilantro

Instructions

In large kettle sauté meat and onion, breaking up with a spatula as it cooks.

Add taco seasoning and stir. Add tomatoes, beans, corn, hominy and broth. Stir and simmer for at least ½ hour or up to a few hours.

Serve by mounding broken tortilla chips in the bottom of the bowl; add a dollop of sour cream, then the soup. Top with grated cheese, sliced olives, and chopped avocado and cilantro.

Ummm…I think I’ll make a pot this week. Those of you who are looking out your window at snow would love this hot, tasty soup.

Happy cooking and creating to you until we meet again, Judy

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 21 Grammy’s Sugar Cookies

January 26, 2016

Hello Friends,

I know it isn’t Saturday, and I know I am two weeks behind in my blog posts to you. I’ve thought of you, though. My every free moment at home has been at our kitchen table going through many interesting teaching proposals for our 2016 International Fall Quilt Festival.

files

Teacher Selection Files for Scheduling

I’m happy to report I completed the class and curriculum selection at midnight Sunday. The four crates went with me to the office yesterday. Our Education staff is busy now getting everything in order to send out teaching contracts. Those of you who eagerly await the class catalog will be happy to know you will have well over 100 qualified teachers with over 400 special events, classes, lectures, and luncheons from which to make your selections. I’m excited now with the line-up, and it’s still 9 months away. That’s like waiting for a baby to be born once you know it’s going to happen.

office

On the Way to the Office

February is soon approaching. What better recipe to offer you this week than my tried and true sugar cookies. I make these sugar cookies at least every Valentine’s Day and Christmas season. Last fall, I added another occasion and that was our whole family tail gate party before the first Texas A & M football game. Todd’s family thought Grammy should make “Gig ’em” Aggie cookies for this momentous get-together. Of course I did.

madison

Madison Murrah Freshman at A & M

This recipe is my most requested recipe from friends. I got the recipe with some Tupperware cookie cutters when Tommy was a Lieutenant in the Army. We were stationed in Joliet, Illinois, at the Army Ammunition Plant during the Viet Nam War. Lucky us, he stayed at APSA for his whole tour of duty.

You’ll find this same recipe in one of my early posts. I thought about referring you to it, but decided to be consistent with the page numbers for those of you who are keeping count.

Grammy’s Sugar Cookies

cookies ready for tea

Please come for tea.

Ingredients and Instructions

Cream together:    

1 cup butter

2 cups sugar

Blend in:

2 whole eggs

Sift together and add to mixture:

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

4 cups flour

Add to mixture:

1 tablespoon vanilla

After mixing, do not refrigerate. Divide into 3-4 balls. Roll one ball at a time. Use left-over dough from each rolling all together for last ball and roll.

Dough part

Turn Dough on Floured Cloth

Roll out dough 1/8″ thick on floured pastry cloth using a floured sock on rolling-pin. Cut with cookie cutters. Place on cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Some fans will request baking cookies until they are barely browned. Others want theirs crispy, and some others like them slightly burned. Go figure? Cool on waxed paper.

bake and cool on waxed paper

Crispy or Barely Browned

With teacher selection complete, I have earned some time in my studio. It’s all set for making collage greeting cards and design packets for a Texas Quilt Museum order. Oh, be still my heart.

studio

My Studio with Work in Progress

Love you all, Judy

 

 

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 15 Meringue

November 14, 2015

The party’s over, but my studio is still suffering from the projects before and after Quilt Market and International Quilt Festival. I’m embarrassed to say that I just move things over or onto the floor or another table to make room to create.

studio

Messy Studio

The shows were full of color, classes, shopping, events, and friends. Whenever I could, I spent time in classes taught by Julie Craig from Wichita, Kansas, where she has a dreamy Attic Heirlooms Needlework Shop. She never stops coming up with new ideas using patchwork, trinkets, trims, buttons, and lace. I love all her classes. I had the opportunity to take her big “Crazy Tomato Pincushion” class. Students love Julie’s classes. Everything you need is provided in a kit. Often the machine sewing is done for you before class, so you can start creating immediately.

tomato

Crazy Tomato Pincushion

Maria Shell, from Alaska, taught for International Quilt Festival for the first time this fall. I enjoyed spending Saturday in her “Blogging for Beginners” class. She taught us a few tricks for streamlining our blogs or starting one. I enjoyed the interaction with group discussion and one-on-one consultation with Maria.

catalog

Class Catalog

My thoughts now are focusing on the holiday season. I put some new Christmas items in my etsy shop today including Christmas stockings. I hope you will take a look.

stockings

Stockings made from a Vintage Quilt

stockings

Red and Green Patchwork Stockings

It’s time to get out my boxes of Christmas fabrics, trims, and ephemeral to create more. My sister wants me to make stockings out of this crazy quilt vest. Should be fun to do.

vest

Crazy Quilt Vest

What will you be creating for the Christmas holidays? Will it be a special recipe or a new project?

For Thanksgiving and Christmas, I always make two or three pies. Everyone has their favorite. At least one of them will be topped with meringue using my mother’s recipe.

MeringueIMG_2065

People told my mom she should make pies to sell because she was a superb pie maker. It took me many tries before I could make a good. tall meringue. 

Ingredients

3 egg whites

¼ tsp. cream of tartar

½ cup sugar

Instructions

Separate egg whites from yolks. Let set out at room temperature while you make pie. Beat egg whites on high speed with heavy mixer and blade. Add cream of tartar once you have started mixing. When egg whites are just starting to get thick, slowly add sugar as whites are beating.

Continue beating until soft peaks form. Stop beater when you think meringue is ready, and lift with spatula. If peaks remain for a couple of seconds, then it is ready. It’s hard to over beat, but very easy to under beat the egg whites.IMG_2051

Spread on pie filling all the way out to crust with spatula. Lift meringue with spatula to form peaks.

Place on middle rack in pre-heated oven set to 350 degrees. Check after 10 minutes that it is lightly brown all over. If not, bake up to 15 minutes total.

Try making meringue for your cream pie. Your family will be so impressed with the magic you create for their Christmas dinner.

Christmas Table

Christmas Table set for 14

I have an idea. I think it would be fun to share your favorite holiday recipe or Christmas project with our friends on my blog. What do you think?

I’ve created two stacks of 24 fat quarters of Christmas fabric. I made them from a variety of some of my collectible Christmas fabrics. Some I couldn’t part with because I didn’t have enough to share. There were many that I had plenty of yardage and could share with you.

stack

Stack of 24 Fat Quarters

ready

Ready for a Creation

Send me your favorite holiday recipe or Christmas project. I will have a small committee to choose one of each as our favorites. The winners will receive one of the fat quarter bundles. If it’s OK with you, I will post the winners on my blog with reference to you. I’ll let you know the results on December 1, 2015.

Soon my husband and I will be going to Long Beach to see our younger son and his family. We haven’t seen our new grandson for two months. I know he has changed and grown so much. Can’t wait to kiss those fat cheeks and get all that sugar in his neck.

murrah

Thompson Murrah

We will go to Disneyland while we’re there. I can’t wait. I was 14 years old the first time I went to Disneyland. I loved it then and still do. The photo below is me in the hat holding my nephew Jimmy D. My sister, Joanie, is holding his brother, Timmy. They are now in their 50’s. My mom is in the center. Family get-togethers are the best.

disneyland

First Visit to Disneyland

Make plans for some family or friend time. What could be more special? Blessings and hugs to you all, Judy

 

 

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 8 Green Bean Bundles

September 15, 2015

Here it is Tuesday again, and I am sending your recipe for last Saturday. We have had our son, Troy, and his family here from Long Beach for a special visit. It was hard to do anything other than love our youngest grandson, Thompson. It was a joy to see him laugh, smile, talk and squeal. He was easy to please and liked looking around at all the colors and things in my studio. Of course I loved that.

Thompson in My Studio

Thompson in My Studio

We spent time with Todd and his family and Holly and her family when we could. Last Saturday, we all met for the Texas A & M football game in College Station. It was great to have all 14 of us together for a tail gate lunch before the Aggie win.

Huebners, Murrahs, Murrahs, and Murrahs

The Huebners, Us, Todd Murrah and family and Troy Murrah and family

It will be Christmas time before we are all together again. I will make all the things the family expects for our early celebration Christmas dinner including Green Bean Bundles.  A friend from our First Presbyterian Church in Victoria Sunday school class brought these to a pot luck Christmas party at our house. I made them for our family Christmas dinner that year, and they’ve been on our holiday menu ever since. Everyone in the family likes them including the grandbabies. These are so easy that anyone helping in the kitchen can make them.

Green Bean Bundles

Ingredients

3 cans whole green beans (Drain)

Package of bacon (Cut each strip in half and cut off excess fat.)

1/2 cup butter

¾ cup brown sugar (packed)

Minced garlic to taste (I shake in a LOT. My guess is a tablespoon.)

Instructions

Melt butter, brown sugar, and garlic in saucepan. Stir until comes to a boil.

Loosely wrap 5-6 green beans with a half strip bacon. Place in rectangular Pyrex dish with small space between for browning bacon. Use all the green beans and bacon. Your dish will be full unless you use two smaller dishes.

Cover with all the melted mixture.

Bake in oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Then…

Brown under broiler for 10 minutes.

Beans Ready for Oven

Beans Ready for Oven

We are soon approaching Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas which are all fun holidays. I wish they were spread out a little more throughout the year. There’s very little sign of Autumn approaching in Houston, Texas. I’m looking forward to it getting here. I hope you have something to look forward to this fall. May you receive many blessings. See you again next week. Hopefully, it will be on Saturday. Hugs, Judy

 

 

I Cannot Tell a Lie

August 3, 2014

 

As I think about the upcoming feature of my studio in the November issue of Where Women Create, I cannot tell a lie. The photos Jo Packham and her photographer took of my studio show it in its best light. It’s kind of like the lyrics to the old song, “If I Knew You Were Coming I’d Have Baked a Cake.” Many of you will remember this song, but you young ones will have to Google it. Well, I knew they were coming and I didn’t bake a cake, but I did spend time preparing my studio for them.

Studio Ready for Company

Studio Ready for Company

I love my studio. It’s my sanctuary. I love to create. It sustains me. However, my studio is a working studio. It gets messy and unorganized and I love it just the same.

Cutting Table During a Project

Cutting Table While Assembling Design Packets

It is the truth. I am highly organized, and everything does have a drawer, or a plastic container, or a shelf or a slot, etc. Everything is labeled and put away neatly AFTER a project or order is complete. However, in the midst of a project, containers come out of the closets, down from the attic, off shelves and onto the floor or on to one of my work tables. I need it all there and easy to choose from as I work. Sometimes I have multiple projects going on at the same time. That’s not my favorite way to work, but it happens when I have more than one thing going on.

Studio Work in Progress

Studio with a Work in Progress

Having a reason to go into my studio each day, even if it’s only for an hour, energizes me and gives me purpose. I’m grateful for the orders I receive from the Texas Quilt Museum in La Grange, Texas. Each time I get an order from Julie Maffei, the Museum Director, I’m delighted. She’ll order 24 of my embellishment packets at a time and almost apologize, but I love it. Being able to coordinate threads, trims, buttons, yo-yos, silk flowers, vintage photos, quotes, trinkets, etc. is fun. I love choosing the elements and attaching them to a card covered in a piece of silk, sliding them into their cellophane envelope and sealing it for someone else to caress and love.

Design Packets

Design Packets

Also, the Museum has been selling my one-of-a-kind collage greeting cards since the day it opened in November 2011. To date, I have made over 200 cards for them to sell in their gift shop. I LOVE making these cards. I am thrilled when I get another order from Julie. Each card I make is a special little collage with sentiments from my heart for someone I could know. Two of the workers for the Museum have told me mine are their favorite cards to give to family and friends. That made my day.

If you want to know how I make these cards, go to my blog post on January 6, 2012, to Play Date #1, Making Valentines. The only thing I do differently now is to use Temtex or Peltex as the foundation and zig zag the outside edges. Following are a few of the cards from the Museum’s most recent order. Maybe they are still available.

For a Good Friend

For a Good Friend

Seriously?

Seriously?

For Life

For Life

Miss You

Miss You

Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary

It’s just about time to gear-up for making pumpkins from dyed vintage quilts, dyed chenille bedspreads and from white candlewick or chenille bedspreads for a more elegant look. My sister orders the latter from me for her booth at the Houston Fall Quilt Festival and her shop, Apples of Gold, in Artisans Alley. If you refer back to my August 13, 2013, post, Play Date #7 , there are instructions on how to make the chenille pumpkins.

Chenille Pumpkins

Chenille Pumpkins

Smaller Pumpkins

Smaller Pumpkins

Starting in September, I’ll also have the white pumpkins and orange dyed pumpkins in my etsy shop and my booth at the Old Alvin Emporium in Alvin, Texas.

Orange Pumpkin Family

Orange Pumpkin Family

Pumpkin Assortment

Patchwork Pumpkin Assortment

Last October, I started renting a tiny booth in Alvin, Texas at the Old Alvin Emporium where I can play shop owner on a very small scale. I sell things I’ve made, but also things I have collected that I no longer need. Yes, I’m a collector of stuff other than things for creating. My husband also loves to collect. God bless our children when the time comes to get rid of all our stuff.

Tommy, my husband, is so kind to humor me in  my passion for creating. He patiently looks at my latest projects and tells me his favorites or comments on the bright colors or the humorous vintage photographs. He also carries, loads and unloads for me without a single complaint. Last Friday he helped me move a new shelf into a vacant spot in my little shop booth after a display piece sold.

Tommy, My Helpmate

Tommy, My Helpmate

After moving the heavy pieces around for me, he left me alone to sort and play. He knows I can concentrate and enjoy much more if I don’t have any distractions. He doesn’t even warn me of the time or that we need to be somewhere. He’s a kind man. When he returns, after I’m finished, he says it looks great and takes my picture.

Ta-Da. It's finished!

Ta-Da. It’s finished!

What do you think? Sometimes I like something I’ve made so much that I shop in my own booth for a gift. Silly me.

Come See It!

Come See It!

My thanks to you, dear friends, who support my creative spirit with your compliments, your purchases, and your interest. May your creative juices flow. Love and hugs, Judy

Double Fun, Love, and Laughter

July 6, 2014

 

Our oldest grandchildren, Madison (17) and Tyler (14) Murrah, have come for a visit from Dallas every year since they were little.  In years past, they each had their own week so each day was filled with exactly what they wanted to do. As they have grown older, their interests are very much the same. Their free summer days are limited so they have spent their week with us together. It makes for double fun, love and laughter. Tommy and I are amazed and delighted they still want to spend a week at Camp Grammy and Granddaddy.

Fun

Fun

Love You Granddaddy

Love You Granddaddy

Laughter

Laughter

This summer it was a little hectic getting them out of Dallas Love Field and to Houston Hobby Airport because of bad weather. So a flight that was supposed to arrive at 6:30 PM was closer to 12:30 AM the next day. They were tired little puppies when they got to our house. They went straight to bed, but not before Tyler showed us his list of things they wanted to do.

Tyler's List

Tyler’s List

We accomplished most of the things on his list and added a few others such as comic book store, Cheesecake Factory, Hogs ‘n Chicks, Sunday school and church. It’s hard to know if Monopoly Marathon or Bluebell ice cream every night is the number one thing on his list. We certainly did them both this year.

Most often Tyler wins at Monopoly. Our marathon this trip lasted three nights. At one point Madison was in the lead. She took out Granddaddy and enjoyed counting her money and property much to Tyler’s dismay.

Madison is Winning

Madison is Winning

Unfortunately Tyler was able to take me down and take all my money and property. He then put hotels on most of his property. Sad day for Madison as she lost to Tyler in the end. He’s such a good sport about winning. Don’t you think?

Tyler Wins

Tyler Wins

Most days started with Grammy’s French Toast. This is a simple recipe that came from my childhood Olafson home. Our boys loved it, and each of our five grandchildren expect French Toast most mornings when they wake-up at our house. Here’s the recipe.

Grammy’s French Toast

Ingredients (Makes 8 Pieces)

White bread, 3 eggs, 1/2 cup of milk, dash of salt, 1 teaspoon of vanilla (secret ingredient), butter, white sugar

Instructions

You must have an electric skillet! You know the kind that was given as a wedding gift to all those who married in the ’60’s. You can still buy one. I’ve probably had 3-4 in our 48 years of marriage.

Beat together egg and milk in pie tin. Stir in salt and vanilla.

Melt butter in heated skillet set on high. Quickly coat bread in batter on both sides. Place in skillet. When slightly brown on one side, turn and brown on other side. Add more butter to skillet. Remove to plate when brown on both sides. Butter one side and top with white sugar.

Yes, I know it’s not the most healthy breakfast to offer our kids, but it’s what happens at Grammy’s house. I know Madison and Tyler are back on their gluten-free, sugar-free diet now that they are home. Their mommy has always said it’s OK at Grammy’s, but we’ll eat differently at home.

So after being fortified with this healthy breakfast, on our first full day they went on to play laser tag, bake cookies, and eat Granddaddy’s superb bar-b-q ribs with all the extras.

Tyler Licks the Beater

Tyler Licks the Cookie Beater

Madison sleeps a little later than Tyler, so he entertained himself by occupying my new chaise lounge while playing a few games on Wii.

Playing on Wii

Playing on Wii

He also kept physically active each day. Catch anyone, or a little basketball on the sport court or a run on Grammy’s treadmill? A guy has to stay in shape if he’s going to play baseball in high school in the fall.

Catch with Granddaddy

Catch with Granddaddy

Shooting Baskets

Shooting Baskets

Running on Treadmill

Running on Treadmill

The second morning was spent at home in Grammy’s studio. Madison made a small tote like one she had when she was a little girl before it was lost.

In Grammy's Studio

In Grammy’s Studio

She also modeled a few tote bags I’ve made for my etsy shop.

My Personal Model

My Personal Model

In the afternoon, we went to the movie theater to see “Godzilla,” played laser tag at a different place, and then ate pizza. Madison and Tyler agreed they may have over-done it with rich food on this day.

The third day was spent at home with various activities including watching super hero movies on TV, drawing, and making tacos for dinner outside. The fun, love, and laughter continued with lots of singing, talking,  and ice cream before bed.

Taco Dinner for Outside

Taco Dinner for Outside

Day four, Granddaddy and Tyler went to an Astros game. The Astros didn’t win, but they enjoyed the game any way. Looks like a lot of people missed this game.

At Astros Game

At Astros Game

Madison opted out of going to the game and declared it a stay-at-home in jammies day. She drew and painted all day long while watching past episodes of “The Office.” The guys called at the end of the day and suggested eating chicken fried steak at a near-by restaurant. Madison quickly got herself into clothes and off we went, but she and I chose chicken salad.

The fifth day everyone was up early to go to First United Methodist Church in Missouri City. Granddaddy taught the Sunday school lesson, and then we went to church. The kids thought Granddaddy did a good job at teaching and liked our new preacher, Marty Vershel. Then it was off to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch and then to the Comic book store  near my office.

This was our last night together. Granddaddy, our kitties and I will miss them.

Bye Tiger

Bye Tiger

It was off to the airport early the next afternoon. Madison and Tyler checked-in like pros.  I got lots of hugs and kisses before they went through the security line. What a great time we had with these sweet, intelligent children. Soon Madison will start her senior year at Ursuline Academy and Tyler his freshman year at Jesuit in Dallas. I’m sure we will see him on the baseball field and her on the stage. It’s one of the best things in life being able to enjoy grandchildren. Thanks, Todd and Julie, for sharing your super kids with us. We were filled with fun, love, and laughter.

 

 

Welcome to My Studio

June 28, 2014

 

A grand tour awaits you in the fall issue of Where Women Create, but here’s a little amateur sneak peek from me. Yes, I am so delighted I will be one of the featured studios in my most favorite magazine to come out the same time as our 40th Quilt Festival Anniversary. There’s a lot to look forward to this fall. I’ll keep you posted on some exciting things to happen at Fall Quilt Festival 2014, but today here’s my little tour of my studio.

WELCOME! COME ON IN!

Enter Here from Hallway

Enter Here from Hallway

I love displaying things on my walls that have special meaning to me such as small antique boxes, pieces I made in classes, things from friends, my children, grandchildren, photos taken and works by artists I admire. I feel surrounded by love and inspiration.

On the Right Side

On the Right Side as You Enter

Details of Right Side

Details of Right Side

Collection of Wooden Spools

Collection of Wooden Spools

Antique Shelves & Drawers

Antique Shelves, Jars & Drawers Hold Important Stuff

End of that Wall

End of that Wall

Then there are three windows that create a bay where my sewing machine is facing the windows looking out onto a park. It’s really pretty in the green of spring and summer. My kitties like to join me in my studio and sitting where I need to be is a favorite spot.

Kitties Join Me

Kitties Join Me

Then there’s a little corner before turning to the left and my design wall and then studio closet.

Little Corner Next to Windows

Little Corner Next to Windows

Design Wall Begins

Design Wall Begins

My studio is upstairs in our home and the room was meant to be a bedroom therefore the drapes and carpeting. Before we moved-in 7 1/2 years ago, I had a few things done to make it workable as a studio. The walk-in closet was outfitted with shelves. Two full-spectrum fluorescent ceiling lights were added. A design wall was created out of Celotex covered with Warm and Natural cotton batting on the largest wall.

Closet in Studio

Closet in Studio

Then we turn the corner and after the closet is the wall for my ironing board and wire drawers with more cubbies on the wall for treasures.

Ironing & Treasures Wall

Ironing & Treasures Wall

Printer's Box & Drawers

Printer’s Tray & Drawers

Shelves with Jars & Keys

Shelf with Jars & Keys

More on Walls

More Mementos on Wall

And that takes you around the perimeter of my studio. Where do I sew, cut and design you ask? It’s in the middle that you didn’t see. I said this was just a teaser. Get the professional tour in the fall issue of Where Women Create.  Hope you enjoyed my little tour.

COME BACK NOW, YOU HEAR?

Leaving Studio

Leaving Studio

Button Jars in Hallway

Button Jars in Hallway

BYE.

Clean Closets Campaign

May 31, 2012

Hello everyone,

Sorry for the long absence. Life and work sometime take precedence over chatting. I’ve missed you.

Most recently I have been to Kansas City for the International Spring Quilt Market. To get a great idea of the trends you will soon see in your fabric and quilt shops go to Pokey Bolton’s blog. She reported extensively in two different posts on Spring Quilt Market and what we saw there.

Quilt market

Kansas City Quilt Market

Quilt Market is for the trade only so as one of the show organizers I am not eligible to buy other than at the wild and crazy Thursday night Sample Spree. Among other things I bought great bundles of fabric from different manufacturers with designers such as Joel Dewberry, Amy Butler, Laura Gunn, and Kaffe Fassett. The colors are so bright and so happy I couldn’t go home without a bag of new treats. Now the problem is where to put all these new treats. Right now they are just stacked on my over burdened cutting table.

fabric

Fabric Bundles Purchased at Sample Spree

For weeks my upstairs has been in disarray as I’ve been trying to clean out six closets that house all of my “stuff.” Three of the six closets are in pretty good form. I can get in there and find what I need, but the other three have become a mess and a chore to find what I want. I need to get rid of some of my sewing and crafting supplies, but it’s so hard to do.

book closet

Book and Ephemera Closet

fabric closet

Fabric Closet

studio closet

Studio Closet with some boxes removed

beads closet

Beads and Buttons Closet

After buying and hoarding and teaching and designing for 30 years I have way too much stuff! Cleaning the closets is of no avail no matter how neatly I sort and organize. There just isn’t enough room for everything I have and how could I ever use it all? Recently I’ve been buying supplies to paint and collage on canvas. I just know if I keep trying I’ll finally be pleased with something I create. I’ve cleared out a space in a guest bedroom for a painting corner, but first I have to get all those things sorted and back in the closet so there is room to paint.

paint corner

Paint on Canvas Corner

Lesley Riley suggested I offer “surprise grab boxes” to you. As I clean out and organize I am filling medium and large flat rate priority boxes with all sorts of treasures I’ve been gathering and stashing away for years. I’ve tried just about every craft imaginable so my stash consists of fabric of all types and textures, books, patterns, sewing notions, threads, old photos, fabric, fabric, and fabric, lace old and new, papers, ribbons, trims, shells, trinkets, beads, buttons, found objects, costume jewelry, ephemera, yarns, quilt blocks vintage and new, patchwork started, cut squares of fabric, etc. The list goes on and on and I continue to find treasures long forgotten. Some boxes were moved here seven years ago and I’m just now opening them.

boxes on floor

Boxes From Closet

I’d love to send a box of fun to you so all these treats can find new life. I’ll be doing this for the next week. If the interest is great enough and I still have cleaning and clearing to do, I will continue. I really do want to be able to use my studio space and some of the things I loved when I purchased them, but it’s not possible with the disarray I’m in right now.

cutting table

Mess on Cutting Table

mess

Mess on Sewing Machine Cabinet

If you are interested in a surprise box this is how it will work. I’m charging $25 per medium cram-filled flat rate priority box which includes $11 postage and $35 for the large size flat rate priority box  which includes $15 postage. I have a few of the boxes ready to mail and I haven’t made a dent in all my sewing and crafting stuff.

boxes

Priority Boxes loaded and ready to mail

Please leave a comment here with your name and stating which size you wish to purchase. You can pay through my paypal account at judym@entouch.net or send a check in the mail. Once I’ve received payment I will mail your box.

large box

Large Box Full

box full

Medium Size Box Full

box contents

Medium Flat Rate Box contents

While cleaning out closets and my studio I came across a blog which featured photos of studios. I went to Mamie Janes blog and was inspired by all the vintage shelves, boxes, and drawers she uses for storage and display in her studio. Check out her “Welcome to My Studio” post on July 14, 2011. I love all of her posts, but this one is of particular interest right now.

I am prone to clutter my living space with these kinds of things, but I tried not to use them all when we moved into this house. After seeing the “Where Bloggers Create” post I couldn’t help myself and went on a hunt in our garage. I found and dusted off shelves, printers trays, and little drawers to add to my studio. Now I have more places to put things.

shelf

Add Shelf from Garage

buttons

Jars of Buttons and Trinkets

We all would love to see pictures of your studio and how you organize it. Please share with us. And if you don’t have enough stuff to put in your studio, please let me be of assistance.

My next post will be another Play Date. Please come back for a visit then.

Until then keep stitching and enjoy life, Judy

A Challenge For You

March 20, 2012

Last week my son, his wife and children were here from the Dallas area for a great visit. My daughter-in-law and granddaughter had been introduced to Pinterest by my daughter last Christmas and encouraged me to sign-up. I had heard about Pinterest from several people, but wasn’t convinced I needed another distraction.

Todd and family

Todd with Julie, Tyler, and Madison

Silly me, I did need this distraction because it is so much fun, plus I’ve learned so much and seen beautiful pictures of things I love. Also, I’ve  tapped into sites of friends and acquaintances. The most wonderful thing I found on my search is my former editor’s board which had a link to a blog FULL of vintage lace. Oh, my, my, my, my, my! I thought I had died and gone to heaven. This link led to other sites with vintage lace. I shouted, “There are people out there who love vintage lace as much as I do!” I have one closet in our home which is devoted almost exclusively to lace.

Closet

Closet Designated for Lace and Trims

Yes, I know you are saying that is way too neat and organized. I have been collecting vintage lace for 30 years. It would take over our house, if I didn’t organize it. But I cannot tell a lie. This is what my studio looks like right now when I start pulling out those boxes. I love to surround myself with all things that may possibly need inclusion in the project of the moment. I will eventually pick-up everything and put it in its place again so I can pull-out the next boxes of important sewing stuff.

Studio

Studio During Creative Stage

After looking at the vintage laces on Pinterest,  I knew that I had to blog about my collection and my love for vintage lace and vintage linens. About this same time, the manager of the Texas Quilt Museum asked me to make some pillows for the Museum Store using vintage lace. She did not need to ask me twice. I had been making collage greeting cards for the Store, and I could sew on those every day of my life and never tire of making them.  Making a pillow just added to my excitement.

A few days later I had my weekly call with  Art Coach, Lesley Riley, and she had a fun suggestion for me to do for my blog readers. It’s an on-line challenge! I hope you will join in the fun. Starting today, while the supplies last, you can sign up for my challenge to make an item using a packet of vintage lace I will send to you for $5.00. I promise you that what you receive will be well worth its cost. Each packet will be different, but will  include an assortment of four different pieces of vintage lace. Your challenge is to make something using the majority of the lace you receive from me. How you use the lace is up to you.

Here are pictures of several things I have made recently using vintage lace. You can also see more items in my etsy shop. If you don’t have an idea of what you would like to make, maybe these projects will trigger an idea for you.

Mother's Day

Mother's Day Quilt Card

Journal Cover

Journal Cover

Pillow

Special Order Pillow

Pillow

Special Order Pillow

Postcard

Postcard

Postcard

Postcard

Bits and Pieces of Lace

Bits and Pieces of Lace Pillow

Wedding Pillow

Wedding Pillow

Are you willing and able now? Here are the particulars.

  • Send $5.00 to me at 3815 Oakland Circle, Missouri City, TX 77459 by April 17. I will send your laces immediately to you. Be sure to include your address. If you would like, you can pay by paypal to your paypal ID.
  • Email a picture of your finished project to my email address at judym@entouch.net by May 1.
  • Post picture on your blog, if you have one, and link to my blog. I will post listings of all those who have a challenge photo on their blog.
  • There are no restrictions to what you make, how you make it, or what you do with the lace. It does, however, need to be recognizable.
  • There are two independent judges who are willing to choose the #1 entree.
  • I will post the winner, along with other entree photos on my blog, on May 4. The winner will receive this 4″ X 8 ” by 3″ high vintage sewing drawer full of vintage lace.
    laces

    Laces from Drawer

    Sewing Drawer

    Laces in Sewing Drawer

    Sewing Drawer

    Sewing Drawer for Winner

I really hope you will join me. It will be so much fun. I can’t wait to see how you incorporate what I send to you into something wonderful.

In closing, here I am happy for another reason. Our son from LA was here for a day and night this past week. He’s our artist/musician whom we don’t see often enough.

Troy

Troy

Now you have seen all of my family. They make my heart sing as do you. Happy Creating to you, Judy


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