Scrappy Patchwork Tote! Amy Butler Quilt Pattern! Slip Knit Yarn Over Pass Stitch! Teacup Floral Arrangement! Aztec Table Runner! PLUS . . . Recipes, Jokes, Art, Design & Memories



2610388107_84bdfb2bf0   What did one saggy boob say to the other saggy boob? “We better get some support before someone thinks we’re nuts!”


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 painting is called, “The Lineup” by Chicago artist, William K. Moore. lineup (Large)


Look around you. Design is everywhere! How can you incorporate the beauty that surrounds you into your art or craft?  A zipper. 01user42391_pic51453_1352340351



This great vintage looking scrappy patchwork tote will be perfect for carrying the piles of money that you have been hiding under your mattress all these years. It looks sturdy, I love the clipped shoulder strap (which makes  it contemporary looking), and no one would guess you would be carrying several million in it… Everyone will just think it’s skeins of yarn or an appliqué project! Here’s how you make one for yourself:




This is Amy Butler’s Alchemy quilt. It’s really modern modern and reminds me a lot of shattered glass. This could be kind of cold quilt to do because it’s so different looking. I think I might like to do a smaller version of this quilt and then surrounded with very traditional blocks using the same fabrics as the center – like a medallion quilt.    I am very excited, because I get to hang out with Amy in about 60 days at, Quilters Take Manhattan in New York City, where she is the keynote speaker for the event! She is one of those people who I’ve met where we just got along well from the moment we met. Looking forward to spending time with her. Here’s her free PDF pattern:



Now that your garden is in full bloom, you might want to keep your eye open at broad sales and yard sales for old China teacups and saucers so that you can decorate your home and give floral gifts to your friends and family. This is such a cute idea that I can understand why florists don’t offer something similar, then again who needs a florist when you can make these arrangements yourself with flowers from your garden, or an inexpensive bouquet from your local grocery store. Here’s how:


Creepy and wonderful human faces found in Google Earth! slide_357671_3956869_free



You can see more of these here:



Spiked with tomatoes and green chiles, creamy layers of chopped cooked chicken and corn tortillas make this Texas casserole too tempting to resist. It’s super-easy to fix for a crowd, and always a hit.



  • 1 (4 1/2- to 5-lb. ) whole chicken
  • 2 celery ribs, cut into 3 pieces each
  • 2 carrots, cut into 3 pieces each
  • 2 1/2 to 3 tsp. salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium-size green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 (10 3/4-oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 (10 3/4-oz.) can cream of chicken soup
  • 2 (10-oz.) cans diced tomatoes and green chiles, drained
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican-style chili powder
  • 3 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 12 (6-inch) fajita-size corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch strips


  1. 1. If applicable, remove giblets from chicken, and reserve for another use. Rinse chicken.
  2. 2. Place chicken, celery, carrots, and salt in a large Dutch oven with water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 50 minutes to 1 hour or until chicken is done. Remove from heat. Remove chicken from broth; cool 30 minutes. Remove and reserve 3/4 cup cooking liquid. Strain any remaining cooking liquid, and reserve for another use.
  3. 3. Preheat oven to 350°. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, and sauté 6 to 7 minutes or until tender. Add bell pepper and garlic, and sauté 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in reserved 3/4 cup cooking liquid, cream of mushroom soup, and next 5 ingredients. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes.
  4. 4. Skin and bone chicken; shred meat into bite-size pieces. Layer half of chicken in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Top with half of soup mixture and 1 cup Cheddar cheese. Cover with half of corn tortilla strips. Repeat layers once. Top with remaining 1 cup cheese.
  5. 5. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes to 1 hour or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
  6. *1 tsp. chili powder and 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper may be substituted for Mexican-style chili powder.
  7. Lightened King Ranch Chicken Casserole: Reduce butter to 1 Tbsp. Substitute reduced-fat cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup for regular and 2% reduced-fat cheese for regular. Prepare recipe as directed through Step 4. Bake, covered, at 350° for 50 minutes; uncover and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
  8. Note: For testing purposes only, we used Cracker Barrel 2% Milk Natural Sharp Cheddar Cheese.
  9. Quick-and-Easy King Ranch Chicken Casserole: Substitute 1 (2-lb.) skinned, boned, and shredded deli-roasted chicken for whole chicken, 3 cups coarsely crumbled lime-flavored white corn tortilla chips for corn tortillas, and 3/4 cup chicken broth for cooking liquid. Omit celery, carrots, and salt. Prepare recipe as directed, beginning with Step 3.





I really love painted burlap and stamping on fabric, so it is no surprise that I love this  DIY Aztec table runner. Here’s the deal: burlap is dirt cheap as is acrylic paint. This is one of those projects that will give you experience in your own textile designing that won’t cost you an arm and a leg (and you might have a little fun to boot, cupcake). Because the Aztec design is all simple angles and lines, it is the most obvious of simple patterns to start with if you’ve never done anything like this before. We are much too creative for that, aren’t we? Put on your creative thinking and design something super fabulous that is unexpected and pretty, too.


Rolling down a grassy hill!

rolling down grassy hill



Experience real apple pie flavour in this irresistible pie without the apples.   Not only is it fun to make, but it’s sure to please the entire family.


Make It


  • cups water
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • tsp. cream of tartar
  • 30 Ritz Cracker s
  • 1 ready-to-use refrigerated pie crust (1/2 of 425-g pkg.)
  • Tbsp. lemon juice
  • tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Topping
  • 25 Ritz Cracker s, crushed (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup non-hydrogenated margarine , melted
  • 2 cups Cool Whip Whipped Topping

Make It

  • Heat oven to 400ºF.
  •  Filling: Mix water, granulated sugar and cream of tartar in large saucepan. Bring to boil on medium-high heat. Add crackers; simmer on medium-low heat 5 min., stirring occasionally.
  •  Line 9-inch pie plate with crust as directed on package; fill with cracker mixture. Sprinkle with lemon juice and cinnamon.
  •  Topping: Combine all remaining ingredients except Cool Whip; sprinkle over Filling.
  •  Bake 15 min. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F; bake 20 min. or until golden brown. Cool. Serve topped with Cool Whip. Source:


I NEEEEEEEEEED a Butter Wizard!  Neeeeeeeeeeeeeeed one! 166862-4-butterwizard Who knew your butter dish could be so high-tech? The ButterWizard is a temperature-controlled butter dish ($59.95 and up) that ensures your butter is kept at the optimal temperature for up to two hours. Designed and created by Alfille Innovations Ltd, the dish sits on a recharging station with a tight-fitting lid that is plugged in to a power outlet. Choose from five designs, including Cow, Pastel Pink, and Cream. Your butter will never be too hard or too soft again!



Even I can knit a simple knit and purl.  The goal of your needlework is to immerse yourself in the entire genre and learn everything about it, including new technique, working with various fibers, and learning every different stitch known to humankind (what the hell, why not create a few of your own stitches?).   Here’s a  video tutorial where you can learn to knit the Slip Knit Yarn Over Pass stitch. What are you waiting for? Get out your knitting needles and play for about 20 minutes today! Here is where you begin:



Jeweled and Woven Bejeweled Scarf Thong Sandal – $10!




HURRY BEFORE THE SNOW STARTS FALLING AGAIN!   Check out your neighborhood and along your hiking trail for the perfect walking stick designed by mother nature, take it home and prepare it with some of your creative juice. This blogger painted her walking sticks in the most unusual and individual ways that who wouldn’t want to go walking every morning carrying one of your own bright and beautiful walking sticks?  Luckily for me, storms just passed through here two days in a row and there are literally sticks  on the ground everywhere! I’m going to make me one of these babies. You can too, here’s how:


Have you read the latest blog on …



“15+ Ways to Ditch Your Stitching Blocks,

Find Inspiration & Enhance Your Creativity.

PLUS . . . More Work on My Legacy Quilt!”

 Take a look by clicking on the image: cropped-slowstitchingbannerblog-0111







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3 Comments on “Scrappy Patchwork Tote! Amy Butler Quilt Pattern! Slip Knit Yarn Over Pass Stitch! Teacup Floral Arrangement! Aztec Table Runner! PLUS . . . Recipes, Jokes, Art, Design & Memories”

  1. Rosemary Bruckner
    July 15, 2014 at 9:07 AM #

    Mark, your daily emails are nearly overwhelming! I would be happy if you just posted every couple of days. You must spend most of your day finding things for your next day’s post! How do you get anything else done?


  2. July 15, 2014 at 8:30 PM #

    The ButterWizard sounds amazing!!


  3. July 20, 2014 at 1:14 AM #

    very cool thanks


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