Patriotic Table Runner, Paper Bowls, Folding Chair Re-Do, DIY Toolbox! Plus Recipes, Jokes, Art & Memories




Once upon a time, there was a bachelor who fancied himself as God’s gift to women, and truth be told, he really was a fairly attractive young man. At any rate, the time came when he decided it was time to marry.

It was the young man’s thinking that since he was so handsome, he’d need to find a wife who was equally attractive so that they could have amazingly beautiful children. And so he set off to find his bride.

His search took him far and wide across the land, until eventually he wound up at the home of a farmer who had three exquisitely lovely daughters. The young man approached the farmer and explained his intentions. The farmer thought it over for a bit and decided he’s let the man take each of his daughters out for a date if they were agreeable to the idea.

And so the man took the first daughter out for a date. They had a nice time, and when they got home, the man went to have a chat with the farmer.

“Well, how’d it go?” asked the farmer.

“Not too bad,” answered the man. “Your first daughter is really pretty. But the thing is… well… she’s just a weeeee bit… not so’s you’d notice… pigeon-toed.”

The farmer admitted that he had noticed the same thing, and suggested that the second date might go better. So, the young man took the second daughter out for the evening. Things went even better than before, and when the couple returned, the young man had another chat with the

“How’d it go this time?” asked the farmer.

“Oh, it was great!” answered the young man. “Your second daughter is stunning. But the thing is… well… she’s just a weeeee bit… not so’s you’d notice… cross-eyed.”

The farmer agreed that this was a bit of a flaw, and he suggested that the third date might do the trick. So, the young man took the third daughter out for a night on the town. This time, the date was fabulous, and when the couple returned, the young man sat down to talk with the farmer.

“Well, what’d you think?” asked the farmer.

“Oh, it was incredible!” the young man replied. “Your third daughter is the most beautiful creature I’ve ever laid eyes on! I absolutely must marry her immediately!”

The farmer seemed to think that was a fine idea, and the young man soon became a husband. And it wasn’t long at all before it was obvious that the new couple was going to be expecting a little bundle of joy.

Months later, the man was waiting anxiously in the hospital for the new arrival. But when the nurse brought him in to see his wife, the man was horrified to discover her holding the ugliest baby he had ever seen in his life! Stunned, the man staggered out of the room and made his way to a phone to call his new father-in-law.

“I just don’t understand it,” sobbed the man. “We were two of the most beautiful people in the world. How could we have created such a hideous child?”

“The thing is…” said the farmer, “well… she was just a weeeee bit… not so’s you’d notice… pregnant when you met her.”


Artists or art that turns me on and feeds my muse! Like it or dislike it, what about this art inspires your own art or creativity?  This is by Serbian artist,  Biljana Ðurđević, and called, Dentists’ Society.




Look around you. Design is everywhere! How can you incorporate the beauty that surrounds you into your art or craft?  Inspired by wallpaper and the beautiful tulip fields of The Netherlands, this Dutch native Suzan Drummen uses all sorts of shiny objects from crystals to mirrors to make these colorful art installations.



Whoooooooo?  YOU, cupcake!  Stop futzing around doing nothing creative or crafty when you could be whipping up a pair of these cutest of fine feathered friends.  What?  Don’t ask me what they’re for?  I have no idea.  Sometimes adorbs squishiness is it’s own reward, oui?   Click here for the tutorial:



Keep your eyes peeled for some old wooden and slatted folding chairs.  Clean them up, then paint them like this blogger did.  Boy, are they attractive.  Makes me want to have a bud over for iced coffee with a side of Concerta (then maybe I can con them into vacuuming the house).  Here’s where you’ll find out about this project:



You know how I love a newspaper or magazine bowl, don’t you?  No?  Well, now you do, cupcake!  You know, I was thinking as I typed this, that it might be so cool to make this lidded bowl, but then make a wet newspaper pulp/paste to apply to the lid an bowl (kinda like clay).  Let it dry, sand it a little, and paint in a mondo-cool color.  I think it could look very ‘ethnicy old world primitive’.   Here’s how you make the bowls:



Freaky, but I love it!  Although, I wouldn’t want to meet the mastermind, who thought planting cuttings in doll heads as a good idea, in a dark alley.   To each their own (but I really do like them is a weird way . . .  “Oh, doctor!  I may need an hour on the couch!”)




“City Chicken is actually pork and sometimes even veal and/or beef, but never chicken. A popular dish in Pittsburgh and the surrounding region, this mock-chicken dinner has been handed down for generations over the past century. In the early 1900s, chicken was much more expensive than pork. Immigrants would try to replicate the flavor of the swanky fried chicken using more accessible meats like pork and veal. Today we still eat it because it’s a family tradition, plus it’s delicious.”




2 pounds pork shoulder or veal. cut into 1-1/2″ cubes
1 quart water
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup sugar
Your favorite seasoning mix (i.e. Badia Complete Seasoning)
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground dried thyme leaves (use spice grinder if necessary)
8-6 inch wooden skewers
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup vegetable oil
20 ounces chicken stock


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Place meat and the next 4 brining ingredients into a plastic bag or container, brine meat for at least 4 hours or overnight. Drain meat, set aside.
  3. Mix flour, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and thyme, dredge meat in flour mixture, shake off excess flour.
  4. Place meat cubes on wooden skewers, roughly 3 to 4 pieces until all meat has been mounted.
  5. Using a oven ready 5 quart saute pan, rub the bottom of the pan with the cut side of the clove of garlic. Reserve garlic for later use.
  6. Heat oil in same pan over medium-high heat, place enough meat skewers in hot oil not to crowd or touch each other.
  7. Brown all sides of the meat until crispy, about 4 minutes a side, place meat on clean plate and repeat process until all of the meat has been browned.
  8. Place all of the meat back into the pan,  pour in chicken stock and reserved garlic, bring to a simmer, and transfer pan to the preheated oven.
  9. Let simmer for 20 minutes, turn skewers over, continue cooking for 20-30 minutes longer.
  10. Return pan to the stove-top, simmer over low heat until stock has thicken some.
  11. Serve over favorite rice dish.


You don’t want your tables to look bare during the upcoming 4th of July holiday, do you?  Here’s a table runner with a little red, white and pizazz!   Oh, say, can you see this as a wall hanging?   Here’s the PDF pattern:





I love this no-sew leather earbud holder so much.  Of course, I’d forget to put the buds back in their holder and I’d be bitching and moaning when I got to wherever I was going, bud-less!  But, every once in a long while, I might remember to put “everything in its place” and BONUS — Music por mi ears!   Here’s the tutorial:




The DONALD CLARK OSMOND album.  (Pass the knitting needles, cupcake.  I need something to put through my ears).



Creamy, chocolaty, and with a touch of rum is how we would describe this popular dessert. The buttery chocolate-cookie crust used for this pie is a favorite option offered by Woman’s Day Encyclopedia of Cookery (Fawcett Publication, Inc. 1965).




1½ cups fine chocolate-cookie crumbs
1 tbsp. sugar
4 tbsp. butter, softened

2 tsp. gelatin
1 ¾ cups milk
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
4 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
4 tsp. cornstarch
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tsp. rum
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar


1. For the crust: Preheat oven to 375°. Mix cookie crumbs, sugar, and butter together in a medium bowl, then press mixture onto bottom and up sides of a 9″ glass pie plate. Bake until crust is set, 8–10 minutes. Allow crust to cool.

2. For the filling: Soften gelatin in ¼ cup of the milk in a medium bowl. Finely chop three-quarters of the chocolate and transfer to a small bowl. Scald remaining milk in top of a double boiler set over bottom pot of boiling water, 8–10 minutes. Whisk egg yolks in a large bowl until pale yellow, then whisk in ½ cup of the sugar, then cornstarch and salt. Gradually whisk in hot milk, then return mixture to top of double boiler and set over bottom pot. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook custard, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thick enough to coat back of spoon, about 15 minutes. Remove custard from heat. Pour ½ cup of the custard into bowl with chocolate, add vanilla, and stir until smooth. Set chocolate custard aside to cool, 5–10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, add remaining custard to bowl with softened gelatin, add rum, and stir well. Cover and refrigerate until cool but not set, 20–25 minutes. Pour chocolate custard into prepared crust and refrigerate until set.

3. Beat egg whites in a large bowl until medium-stiff peaks form, 1½–2 minutes. Gradually add remaining sugar, beating until stiff glossy peaks form, 2–3 minutes. Fold in cooled custard, cover, and refrigerate until just set, 15–20 minutes. Spread custard over layer of chocolate custard and refrigerate over pie.

4. Whisk cream and confectioners’ sugar together in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Spread whipped cream over layer of custard. Shave remaining chocolate over pie.


This is PERFECT for schlepping around our yarn and linens and floss and appliqué and paints and clay and anything else we want!   Recycle an old box and make this totally perfect cardboard tool box.  No, I don’t want just one, I want a DOZEN!  I love this!   Here’s how to make one:




Encore! ENCORE! DON’T MISS IT this time around!

On Thursday, July 10 from 1 until 2:15-ish PM EST, I will be giving an ENCORE and LIVE presentation of The Slow Stitching Webinar! And, of course, and there will be a LIVE response to all of your questions and comments about Slow Stitching. Sign up today and see what all the buzz has been about, how to get unstuck, and how to ramp your patchwork up a notch for your own, physical, emotional, creative, spiritual and financial benefit.

Can’t make this time either? Sign up and a copy of the webinar will be sent to you so you can watch and listen at your own leisure! xoxom




“Not only are simplehuman’s trash cans aesthetically pleasing, but they are smart, too. With a handy sensor built in, a simple wave of your hand magically opens the can and completely eliminates the need for any foot pedals or latches. It’s also fingerprint-proof, but you won’t be touching it anyway. Yes, there is such a thing as a gorgeous garbage can.”   It will also come in handy for tossing my blood -stained fabric after I run a rotary cutter over my hand because I was trying watch, Judge Judy.   $200+

SimpleHuman sensor can


FLORSHEIM x DUCKIE BROWN (a member of this successful fashion team whom I dated like a gazillion years ago – very talented)




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11 Comments on “Patriotic Table Runner, Paper Bowls, Folding Chair Re-Do, DIY Toolbox! Plus Recipes, Jokes, Art & Memories”

  1. Noreen Couture
    June 27, 2014 at 3:37 AM #

    I like the new format! So much easier to access than the Facebook site. Keep up the good work!


  2. Shirley
    June 27, 2014 at 3:38 AM #

    Love your blog Mark! This is great having all this in one spot.


  3. Sue G
    June 27, 2014 at 4:15 AM #

    Love the new format Mark. Having everything in one spot, and not missing posts is a great idea. Kudos!!


  4. Jean Etheridge
    June 27, 2014 at 4:21 AM #

    The blog format is great. I subscribe on Feedly. Excellent!


  5. June 27, 2014 at 5:01 AM #

    Love the format and style – so clean and contemporary!


  6. shelly beth grappe
    June 27, 2014 at 5:17 AM #

    Good Morning. Just a thank you for sharing your time and talents with us. shelly beth


  7. June 27, 2014 at 5:38 AM #

    Love the blog format rather than FB. Keep the inspiration coming!
    I am definitely going to make the ear bud holder. Another simple and useful idea.


  8. Mickey Hunt
    June 27, 2014 at 5:57 AM #

    Thanks for your time, work and creativity in putting this fun blog together Mark! Pittsburgh City Chicken brings back fond (yes, really)memories of Sunday dinner at my mother-in-law’s with Cincinnati City Chicken.


  9. June 27, 2014 at 9:54 AM #

    I’ve talking about city chicken with my family just last week. we had it when we were in grade school (i grew up in Ohio) and i loved it. never knew why it was called city chicken. this has made my day. will have to make some and see if it’s how i remembered it. thanks, Mark. i am loving all of the information in your blog.


  10. June 27, 2014 at 1:36 PM #

    I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot. I don’t do Facebook, but I’ve subscribed to the blog for a while. Now I can read the jokes, see the design inspirations, and get the recipes. Lucky me! Thanks.


  11. June 28, 2014 at 12:27 PM #

    Great read! You’re an idea machine, dear Mark. 🙂 P.S. Donny’s “To You With Love” was one of the first LPs I ever owned. I was 5, so “Go Away Little Girl” was literal.:D


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