Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Tomato soup with veggies and herbs from my garden!

 Last week I found this recipe online and I had everything I needed for it in my garden so I thought...go for it!
So I cut up my tomatoes, my onions and peeled my garlic (and added my secret ingredient, my carrots) and put them in the oven to roast.  I have never roasted veggies for making soup in the past. They were drizzled with olive oil and salted and peppered.

 After I took the veggies out of the oven I thought " probably they are not caramelized enough" (but I never really liked all that burnt stuff anyway)  and "there are not enough carrots": So I cut up some more carrots. They weren't roasted but I wasn't willing to wait another 30-40 minutes.
I added some non roasted carrots.
Aren't the roasted veggies pretty?
Then, carefully following the recipe (haha) I put all the yummy veggies in a big pot and added the juices from the roasting and some butter and some chicken stock and 2 bay leaves (that didn't come from my garden so don't tell!)
Oh my Dog that looks pretty!
 Then I heated it up to a boil, reduced it to a simmer and let is simmer until it was reduced by one third.  The recipe says 15 to 20 minutes, lol, but this was not my first pot of soup.
Here is is with all the broth added.
 While it was simmering I went out to the garden and picked some basil, parsley and chives.

Basil, Parsley and Chives.
 About an hour or more later it was looking just about right.  You can see how much it was reduced on the sides of the pot.  So I chopped up the herbs and tossed them in.  This is the Basil.
Adding the fresh herbs.
After I added the herbs I stuck in my immersion blender.  I love that thing.  It took about a minute....well or 5.   Some of those carrots needed a bit more work.
Starting to blend it
 And then I was done.  It was the most flavorful tomato soup I have ever made.  Yum Oh.
And pretty too. 
I didn't even have to add the sour cream.  But I did on the second bowl.  Just because.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The garden is coming into bloom

Monarda - just starting to bloom.  Variety Raspberry Wine.
Hi Mary and Jeni,

Since we had a little hail last night and they are threatening us with hail again I thought I would put up some pictures of the flowers in bloom right now. They don't look quite as nice after a good hail storm with high winds...

An Oxalis that I had in the fairy garden last year.  The only plant
that lived over the winter.  Now it is too big for the fairy garden so it has it's own pot.

Hollyhocks from plants from the Clifford Post Office.
They are biennials and they are taking over the garden.
Self seeding morning glories and Rudbeckia Hirta, another self seeder.
This year I am letting them grow wherever they want.  You can see some of  the 
hail holes in the leaves.  It was only peas sized and only for about 10 minutes.
Jackmanii  Clematis.  I actually planted this one.
The tiniest flower in the garden.
One of my favorites.  Johnny Jump-ups.
The same lilies from further back.
Self seeded Morning Glories.  The garden is full of them.  I am pulling
them out like weeds.  A mix of Grandpa Ott's and a red one whose name I forget.
Scarlet something... I looked it up.  Scarlet O'Hara.  How could I forget?
The Mondarda is just starting to bloom. 
This year's fairy garden. The fairy is safe in my quilt room because
those cute little American Red Squirrels take them away.
One of Jim's marigolds with a tiny butterfly..  It is about 1-1/2 inches across.
These Tiger Lillie's are just about to bloom.  I put them in anyway.
Looking out from under the grape arbor.

That is all for now.  Here's hoping for no hail tonight.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

I love pincushions

basket and doorknob pincushions.  About 3 inches high each.
Don't ask me why.  I can't stop making them.  I bought this tiny little basket with pincushions in my mind.  The doorknob has been floating around for years.  Today they became more than knick knacks.

Aren't they cute?

The front side...

Now I have a Chicken Pincushion.  I couldn't resist this chicken and egg item.  It is about 3 inches high.

and, the other side.  Heh .  It is a tiny egg house!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Drawing books are darned expensive

I have been reading a quilting book by Jean Wells.  It is called Intuitive Color and Design, Adventures in Art Quilting.  I really like it.  One of the first projects is to start an inspiration book.

The general idea is that you would use magazine photos and your own photographs as your guide to color choices.  It really has made me start looking at everyday things and seeing the colors and the amount of each color that nature uses for her designs.

The reason I am posting is that I tried to buy a sketchbook or an unlined notebook for my inspiration book.  I can't believe what they want for 60 pages of drawing paper these days. (Yes I am OLD! LOL)  After spending a frustrating afternoon online (I'm not THAT old)  I decided to order some medium weight drawing paper and make my own sketchbooks.

One ream of medium weight 9" x 12" sulphered drawing paper...9.00
one 24" x 36" tagboard...5.00
fabric with applique fusible ironed on to from my stash
Binding at Fed Ex  12.00

Cut the tag board for front and back covers.  Fuse the fabric on the front cover and drive to Grand Forks to the Fed Ex for 10 minutes worth of binding.
My three sketchbooks.  Now all I have to do it fill them!
3 sketchbooks @ 125 pages each for just over 25.00 which is about what they wanted for ONE 100 page notebook.  And I have another 125 pages to use but I ran out of tagboard.

And I love them.

PS, If you don't try to get fancy (trust me to try to be different) and use the regular 8.5" x 11" paper and boards you can also get a clear protective cover over your notebook.  It is very little more.

Sunday, April 24, 2016


Hi Mary and Jeni,
I have been playing with the chevron design lately.  I was thinking about a baby quilt and wanted to see what it would look like so I used some 3.5 blocks I had and made this one. Tiny, 20"x 27".  I was going to take it off the design wall and put them back in the 3.5 block container but I liked it enough to sew it up.  Still have no idea how to quilt it.
Esther made me do it.
This is the second one.  About double the size.  I am calling it sunlight and shadows for now.  I am having fun going through my 'chevron period'.
Sunlight and Shadows - 40"x 50"

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Migration 2016

Hi Mary and Jeni,  This is my first spring at the farm.  I am so excited to be near a major stop for migrating waterbirds.  Well it is major for me anyway. There are much larger gathering places but this one is just about 1/2 mile from our farm.
The migrating Snow Geese, Canada Geese, Mallards and some Swans on 3/26/2016
This is the view of the slough from my quilt room window. (My window faces the South.)
Just a sliver of water is seen from there.
This is the view from my neighbors yard.  That is not snow out there.  It is mainly
Snow Geese and other water birds!
Just a few of them.
Or maybe more than a few.
And more are arriving.
As far as our eyes could focus we could see skeins of geese flying.  It was amazing.
The neighbors view at Sunset. The geese go off somewhere
during the day and come back occasionally and then
at dusk to stay there overnight.

I LOVE it!  I tried to get pictures of the geese coming in at dusk but the pictures were too dark.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Baby quilts

Hi Mary and Jeni,
I have been working on a quilt top that I made almost 16 years ago and never finished.  I went into my unfinished projects and got it out and realized that it was a very large baby quilt and that is why I couldn't finish it.  So I pulled out one seam down the middle and a second seam across the middle and it became 4 really pretty baby quilts!  All I had to do was add the borders.

Working on 3 baby quilts.  The 'boy' quilt is on top.
This one has the 'girl' binding sewn on.  The colors on this are a little yellow.
The top one will get 'girl' binding tonight after I trim off the batting.
Detail of the floral free motion quilting.
Detail showing the 'girl' flange in pale pink.
I quilted them on my 1973 Bernina 831.  My 'new' machine.  I love free motion quilting on it.  I believe I will quilt the 'boy' quilt with loops and stars in a pale blue thread.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016


Hi Mary and Jeni,
Bunny night lights
I have been making luminaries again.  I kept freezing the balloon ones solid so I have some that are just ice balls.  I could have candles in 4 of them but it was so windy it took 4 tries to get the round one lit so I stopped trying.
It has been great luminary weather for several weeks now.  I went out to peek at them tonight and saw something moving in front of the lower light.  I looked harder and recognized bunny ears.  I went for my camera and when I got back the bunny had come up the stairs and was eating the bird seed that I payed a lot of money for.  (Niger Thistle Seed)  Oh well.  I like bunnies and at least it wasn't a skunk or, more likely, a squirrel.