Craft a Tiered Pincushion! Use Decorative Stitching for this Sewing Machine Cover! Crochet a Moroccan Market Tote! Making Silk Flowers! Make a Rainbow Floral Wreath! Craft Blue and White Chinoiserie! Why to Keep a Journal! Create a Fabric Journal Cover! How to Drill Porcelain! Sew Fringed Easter Bunny Napkins! Make Colored Smoke Granades! Dive into a Mini Garden Pool! Sew Up a Bandana Table Cloth! Get Rid of Bags Under Your Eyes! Knot a Macrame Wall Hanging! Fabric and Rope Easter Baskets! Piece a Rainbow Collection Pillow! Knit a Katy Did It Summer Sweater! Use Your Scraps for Mini Waist Packs! Paint Succulents! Piece a Color Explosion Quilt! Sew a Fabric Wallet! Cross Stitch a French Amitie Pattern! PLUS . . . Recipes, Videos, Inspiration, Creativity, Ideas, and More!




Artists or art that turns me on and feeds my soul.  This piece is called ‘Ada Seated’, oil on canvas by Alex Katz done in 1963.  I love the size of it — 60 1/2 x 43 1/4 in.



The boss wondered why one of his most valued employees was absent but had not phoned in sick one day.

Needing to have an urgent problem with one of the main computers resolved, he dialed the employee’s home phone number and was greeted with a child’s whisper.

‘ Hello?’

‘Is your daddy home?’ he asked.

Yes ,‘ whispered the small voice.

May I talk with him?’ The child whispered, ‘ No .’

Surprised and wanting to talk with an adult, the boss asked, ‘Is your Mummy there?’ ‘Yes’

‘May I talk with her?’ Again the small voice whispered, ‘ No ‘

Hoping there was somebody with whom he could leave a message, the boss asked, ‘Is anybody else there?’

Yes, ‘ whispered the child, ‘ a policeman.’

Wondering what a cop would be doing at his employee’s home, the boss asked, ‘May I speak with the policeman?’

‘ No, he’s busy, ‘ whispered the child.

‘Busy doing what?’

‘ Talking to Daddy and Mummy and the Fireman, ‘ came the whispered answer.

Growing more worried as he heard a loud noise in the background through the earpiece on the phone, the boss asked, ‘What is that noise?’

‘ A helicopter ‘ answered the whispering voice…

‘What is going on there?’ demanded the boss, now truly apprehensive.

Again, whispering, the child answered, ‘ The search team just landed a helicopter ‘

Alarmed, concerned and a little frustrated the boss asked, ‘What are they searching for?’

Still whispering, the young voice replied with a muffled giggle…



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



Loving this uptown “pumpkin” pincushion. Next to calories, pincushions are my fondest obsessions.  I have pincushions everywhere.  New ones, old ones, created ones, sewn ones, gifted ones, and bought ones (and we’re all still stepping and sitting on my damned wayward needles).  Here’s the tutorial for how to make this beauty:




Just cluing you into what sites I’m currently following.  Who can’t use a little daily positive juice in their lives?  I know daddy needs it so I’m grateful for quick boosts from Daily Zen.  Sometimes the lessons take more than a passing glance to appreciate them fully, but it’s worth the few minutes to enrich a soul or get a little perspective.  Check it out:



Totally rockin’ this sewing machine cover! Even better you get to use all of those useless extras stitches that you’ve never used before, and most likely will never use again!  From my experience, it’s totally fun to use these stitches on a real project.  Have some fun with it!   Start here with the tutorial:




  • canola or vegetable oil
  • beef oxtails
  • beef marrow bones
  • veal bones
  •  chicken necks, backs, or legs
  • carrots
  • celery
  • onion
  • cloves
  • homemade chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • water
  • parsley
  • thyme
  • bay leaves
  • whole black peppercorns
  • unsalted butter
  • all-purpose flour
  • \rice vinegar
  • Kosher salt

For the Fries:

  • russet potatoes
  • peanut oil
  • cheddar cheese curds




May is coming!  May is coming! And with our soon-to-monsoon April showers also come May flowers.  Why not adorn your abode with a wreath of colorful rainbow flowers! So easy to make, so pearl-clutching to experience.  Hmmm… I’m thinking I may wear this rainbow garland as my own personal floral halo during Pride month (no shade because you know I’ll slay that look). Start here to make your own wreath:


Pieces from textile artist, Louise Baldwin.  Louise has exhibited her work throughout Britain, in America, Japan and Germany. Baldwin’s recent pieces now incorporate found imagery color and domestic packaging alongside fabric and simple stitch to produce rich small-scale textiles that explore some of the complexities of contemporary life (or so she says…).


Moscow Mule with a Cherry Twist! 

(Tastes like a grown-up cherry limeade)


  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • 1 shot Vodka
  • 2 tsp From maraschino cherries jar, juice
  • Ice


How many pieces of  fabric do you have that you love but may not have enough of to piece into a quilt, don’t know what to do with it, but just can’t toss it?  Why not try cover a journal in your fav fab just in time for spring.  I love the look of fabric covered journals, and choosing a fabric that I love to cover my journal is just an added bonus.  PS  Start daily journaling.  IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE. Here’s how to create your journal cover, complete with pocket:




Transform a cheap cut glass tchotchkes, bowls, or vases into your own blue and white chinoiserie masterpieces.  Here’s how:





  • active dry yeast
  • vegetable shortening
  • sugar
  • whole milk
  • egg
  • all-purpose flour
  • neutral oil for frying
  • powdered sugar

For the full recipe CLICK HERE:



The SRA Reading Program. (I hated it and still have speed/comprehension reading PTSD LOL)


Gotta have these DIY Easter Bunny napkins with a free printable to simply iron the bunnies onto your fabric.  Can’t get any easier, no? Won’t these look supreme on your holiday table? Do not try to get this look with a black and white printer (yes, someone will be complaining when their results aren’t the same as the pictures).  Follow the tutorial here:

And now a personal word  . . .

Get first dibs on all of my eBay listings when you follow the  Pickle Road Stash Busting page on Facebook!  Here’s the link:


I also started a YouTube page and will, eventually be doing some live broadcasts and probably a few online classes there.  I will be uploading all of the Facebook Live videos to my channel first (and adding retroactive links to this blog).  I already have some uploaded and am working backward — hopefully, I can organize them later. Then, I’ll think about creating and adding original content.  Please subscribe to my channel, here:

If you missed our last FACEBOOK LIVE, you can watch it here:


If you’d like us to address anything, make a comment or answer any specific questions during Facebook Live today, please just email me and we’ll speak directly to you.  Email Mr. Electric and me at

Looking for a kidney… can you help?

I have been diagnosed with Stage 4/5 chronic kidney disease. Stage 5 means that my kidney has failed. People can become very sick and, of course, no kidney function, no polkas, not patchwork, no living (which makes the first two examples redundant, I guess LOL).

My doctors have told me that the ideal treatment for kidney failure is another kidney transplant. A kidney transplant come from a deceased donor (someone who has died), but I would have to wait about 5 to 7 years, or even longer, for this kind of transplant. This would mean I would probably have to spend years on dialysis, where machines would clean my blood for me and wear down other parts of my body. A transplant from a living donor also has the best chance of working for many years. Unfortunately, there are no suitable donors in my immediate family.

During my evaluation at the Transplant Center, I learned that one of the best ways is to help myself was to make sure that those closest to me know about my situation (which is so difficult to do). I learned that in the United States, there are over 100,000 people on the waiting list for a kidney. Each year, only about 11,000 of those patients are fortunate enough to get a kidney transplant from someone who has died and donated their organs. I am hoping I will be able to find a living donor so that I can avoid dialysis and be transplanted soon so that I may live longer and with an improved quality of life (at this point, I’m alive but hardly what one might call ‘living’).

If you would like to learn more about being a living donor, the staff at my Transplant Center is wonderful and available to talk with you confidentially.  The Transplant Center staff at Saint Barnabas Medical Center can talk to you about what is involved in the living donation process and answer any questions.  

To reach the St. Barnabas Transplant Team call: 


Calling for any information regarding your donation process is kept strictly confidential, EVEN FROM ME, unless you consent to share this information.  

I wholeheartedly appreciate any support that you can offer to me, no matter how big or how small.  If I can get a kidney transplant from a friend, that would be best for my health and my future.  I realize that donating a kidney may not be right for everyone, or it simply might not be right at this time. I also know that donating a kidney is a very personal decision that requires not only education about the risks and benefits but also thoughtful consideration and the support of your loved ones.  I hope that someone out there will be able to help me.

Who Broke the Vase?

Get your copy and pick up a fun mug at

Pick up a few mugs while you’re there…

The Promise Girls

My girl, Marie Bostwick, released her newest novel, The Promise Girls, this week!

In an emotionally rich and captivating new novel, New York Times bestselling author Marie Bostwick reunites three sisters whose deep bond is rooted in an unconventional past.

Every child prodigy grows up eventually. For the Promise sisters, escaping their mother’s narcissism and the notoriety that came with her bestselling book hasn’t been easy. Minerva Promise claimed that her three “test tube” daughters—gifted pianist Joanie, artistic Meg, and storyteller Avery—were engineered and molded to be geniuses. In adulthood, their modest lives fall far short of her grand ambitions. But now, twenty years after the book’s release, she hopes to redeem herself by taking part in a new documentary.

Meg, who hasn’t picked up a paintbrush in years, adamantly refuses to participate, until a car accident leaves her with crushing medical bills. While she recuperates in Seattle, the three sisters reluctantly meet with filmmaker Hal Seeger, another former prodigy. Like them, he’s familiar with the weight of failed potential. But as he digs deeper, he uncovers secrets they’ve hidden from each other—and a revelation that will challenge their beliefs, even as it spurs them to forge their own extraordinary lives at last.




  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • oatmeal cookie mix
  • butter
  • egg
  • vanilla
  • almond extract
  • frozen unsweetened pitted tart red cherries
  • sugar
  • Powdered Sugar Icing






80-s Gianni Versace Metal Mesh Crystal Gown
Batwing sleeves; Padded shoulders.  The dress was a part of 2001 Sotheby’s Auction “The Collection of Gianni Versace” when they sold the contents of Gianni Versace’s Lake Como villa. $75,000
OWN IT by clicking here:



 Who wouldn’t love carrying this pretty and colorful Moroccan Market Tote this summer?  Well, grab your crochet hook and get to work.  Be the envy of the world (and be prepared for Putin’s trolls to hack your account to see what pattern you used):




A perfect combination of pink angel skin cabochon cut coral accented by shoulders of vibrant green carved chrysophrase finished by complimenting white, clean diamonds. Crafted in 18k yellow gold. Signed Cartier and numbered.  $4850.00

You can own this.  Click here:


How pretty is this and how terrific will a few of these look thrown over your outdoor sofas o summer living room redo?  This pineapple patchwork is an oldy but moldy classic but begs you to use some fun fabrics to your best advantage.  This example is paper pieced (but you can find rulers at your local quilt shop to cut fabrics so you can piece these blocks without having to paper piece.)  Find the tutorial here:


Etro’s embroidered leather ballerinas are reminding us of an updated babouche design.



Start hunting the warmer weather flea markets and garage sales for interesting and/or fabulous vintage china and then craft clocks for every room in your house (and every room in every one of your friend’s houses).  Learning how to drill the center hole correctly is essential.  So start your clock manufacturing empire by starting here:


No sew baskets using fabric and rope!  Easy, cute, festive (and really not just for Easter).  Click on the link to begin your basket making adventure:


I TOLD you that macrame was making a comeback (just scroll back through the blogs).  Not only did my bud, Linda Lum DeBono, and I find local classes in creative knot making, but the current Better Homes and Gardens magazine has a whole instructional feature on how to bring your crunchy granola college decor back.  What’s next, stolen plastic milk crate and 2×4 shelving? Refresh your craft by clicking the link:



Start your knitting needles a’clickin’ t0 create this pretty summer sweater. It’s called a Katy Did It sweater and since Katy is most likely in jail for whatever she ‘did” you can enter your name here _____ to own this ___________ Did It knitacular!

Here’s the pattern:


Every garden and yard can benefit greatly by adding a simple water feature.  Here’s how to create a mini-pond for your chateau this season. Water plants are so much fun to buy, too!  Here’s how to dive in:

….need this for my garden! 

I remember my little Italian grandmother roaming the neighborhood in early spring to find the sweetest and most tender dandelions for salads (I still LOVE a young dandelion salad). I remember my miffed Polish father roaming the yard in the early spring trying to dig out the damn dandelions that were ruining his lawn.  Both of these folks could have really used this amazballs dandelion trowel.  Now, the only thing I dig is into a bowl of Rocky Road so I  may have to pass on the tool, but I know that you or somebody you know needs it.  Find it here:


Got scraps?  Grab a few and sew up this scrap buster mini waist pack for all of the walking, picnics, amusement park, and quilt show adventures you’ll be taking this summer.  Here’s the tutorial on how to make them;


The Mountain Goats

A few weeks ago I was hanging with Liza Lucy at Meg Cox’s house.  Meg’s son, Max, was listening to a CD, The Mountain Goats, and I loved it.  Thanks to iTunes, I bought one of their albums on the spot.  It’s great music to cook, eat dinner, clean, or to sew/quilt by.  Just rock enough to keep you moving and just mellow enough to calm you down.  Listen to them here:



This sweet cross stitch is so pretty and even you will agree it’s easy enough to complete by the end of 4048.  Amitie’ means FRIENDSHIP in French. Who of your friends wouldn’t just love to find one of these in their mailbox from dear lil’ old you?  Here’s where you find the free pattern:



Quilt-themed furniture?  Oh, yeah, baby!  I never even considered ordering a chair from Amazon.  That, my squirrels, may change.  Here’s the link to find the chair of your fantasy here:


Sometimes it’s fun to do something different.  Grab some paints, or watercolor pencils and play with creating colorful succulents.  Don’t know where to begin?  Well, I’m here to help — check out the tutorial by clicking on the link:


You can cut and finish piecing this Color Explosion quilt in a day. Colorful, modern, and so simple a first-time sewer could make this one.  Just follow the pattern (and why not choose your own colors and textures, or add some other drama within the pieces):



honey cake citrus.jpg


Honey Cake…

  • Nonstick baking spray
  • flour
  • ground cinnamon
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • kosher salt, ground cloves, and allspice
  • ground ginger
  • vegetable oil
  • honey
  • eggs
  • sugar
  • dark brown sugar
  • hot brewed coffee
  • fresh orange juice
  • vanilla paste
Citrus Frosting
  • sugar
  • flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • unsalted butter
  • grated orange zest
  • vanilla extract
  • kosher salt
  • Candied orange slices




Here’s a great little wallet to sew up using your favorite fabric! That’s right!  Now your wallets can match your quilts. Even better, why not match your wallets to your bags (the ones you’ve been sewing and not the ones under your eyes). Here’s the tutorial:

 … and Memorial Day is right around the corner


I love the “yippee yi yo kayah” look of inexpensive bandanas.  With all of the patriotic holidays coming up, why not make this bandana tablecloth for your Memorial Day picnic table, then add a backing, batting, and tie it for a Yankee Doodle quilt to sit on while watching 4th of July fireworks?  Find the tutorial for the tablecloth here:


If you’re liking this blog Please tell your friends about it! I’d really appreciate it!  

Just cut and paste this into an email or post on your Facebook and Twitter pages:  

I LOVE this blog and think you will, too! Check it out:



Categories: Lipinski


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

9 Comments on “Craft a Tiered Pincushion! Use Decorative Stitching for this Sewing Machine Cover! Crochet a Moroccan Market Tote! Making Silk Flowers! Make a Rainbow Floral Wreath! Craft Blue and White Chinoiserie! Why to Keep a Journal! Create a Fabric Journal Cover! How to Drill Porcelain! Sew Fringed Easter Bunny Napkins! Make Colored Smoke Granades! Dive into a Mini Garden Pool! Sew Up a Bandana Table Cloth! Get Rid of Bags Under Your Eyes! Knot a Macrame Wall Hanging! Fabric and Rope Easter Baskets! Piece a Rainbow Collection Pillow! Knit a Katy Did It Summer Sweater! Use Your Scraps for Mini Waist Packs! Paint Succulents! Piece a Color Explosion Quilt! Sew a Fabric Wallet! Cross Stitch a French Amitie Pattern! PLUS . . . Recipes, Videos, Inspiration, Creativity, Ideas, and More!”

  1. Barb Walsh
    April 2, 2017 at 12:05 PM #

    So many great ideas. Those shoes are fabulous! And the Beignets made me want to go back to New Orleans. Yum.

    Praying for you everyday.


  2. Suzanne Novoselac
    April 2, 2017 at 12:22 PM #

    You are such an enabler! I just bought Marie Bostwick’s new book at FULL price! I NEVER get books at full price. Wow. Can’t believe I did that. On a serious note, I hope your search for a new kidney is successful! Love you!


  3. Tricia
    April 2, 2017 at 4:07 PM #

    I too absolutly Hated SRA. When I began teaching grade school they finally gave it up!
    Thanks goodness.


  4. Nancy Walls
    April 2, 2017 at 6:55 PM #

    Love your blog….so inspiring!


  5. Linda G
    April 2, 2017 at 8:08 PM #

    Hate to tell you this but I *loved* SRA – lolol!


  6. Margo
    April 3, 2017 at 7:14 PM #

    LOL…Enabler!!! so true! I too bought a book by Marie Bostwick on Sunday! Sheesh… and there is a whole list of other things! Thanks Mark! Love your blog and also you and Jeff together make me smile! I want you two to be my neighbors! What a riot we would have around the fire pit!


  7. April 3, 2017 at 10:46 PM #

    I love your blog, Mark! And I am so sorry to hear about your poor kidney. I hope you can find one and soon!


  8. annieb523
    April 7, 2017 at 10:01 PM #

    OK – it took me a while to get to this – but that box of SRA stuff blew me away. I was 17 in 1967 and volunteered at a local elementary school one summer. I was an assistant to a 6th grade teacher with an entire class of students bound for 7th grade.

    This was in NYC – in Manhattan. While Chelsea is totally gentrified now, back then it was a slum. My parents – a pair of visionaries – bought a fixer-upper on West 20th Street. The school was right across the street.

    The highest reading level in that class was one little fellow – he had a 3rd grade level. We did that SRA stuff with the kids for a large part of the class period. It was just awful. But these kids – the books they were taking out of the library – Curious George.

    Sad memories.


  9. Karen
    April 15, 2017 at 11:39 AM #

    I’ve tried several times to order Mr Electrics new book with no success.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

The Duquesne Hunky

Growing Up in Duquesne, Pennsylvania

Mark Lipinski's Blog

Where creative people can be themselves. . . at last!

Ravensong's Ride

... a journey of the wheel and the heart

Quilt Alliance

Document - Preserve - Share

%d bloggers like this: