Hugs and Kisses

Today is the last day of the Hugs & Kisses Blog Hop and it’s MY day to post!

This is the first time I’ve participated in a blog hop and I was really feeling the spirit! I have three things to show you, and one thing to give you.

First up is a child’s quilt! My friend Dee and I participate in the We Bee Learning on-line flicker bee, and for her block (January) she chose one that I had had my eye on for awhile. So after I made her block, I continued on and made 12 more to assemble this sweetie-pie valentine’s day quilt:


This is a Because you Matter quilt, and will go to the receiving home and into the arms of a little girl who could surely use some lovin’ right about now.


I backed it with this cute pink check that was donated to my Because you Matter cause by my friend Carrie-Lyn (thanks, Carrie-lyn!). I did stitch-in-the-ditch with my sewing machine using dark pink thread. I’ve never done this before, and now I know for certain (though I’ve always suspected it) that my sewing machine just simply was not built for machine quilting. Not it’s fault…it was born that way. I like to think that the uneven top stitching adds a certain shappy sheek to the little quilt…but let’s face it. Sloppy is as sloppy does. Sigh. On the bright side,  some little girl will have an extra bit of cheerful pink and white security to hide under during uncertain & scarey times.


Do you ever wonder who is the guy behind the quilt? This is my husband, Mr. C. We had our first date on Valentine’s Day 1980 and got married 7 months later. Yup! That’s 33 years ago!


February is Lynn’s month in the We Bee Learning bee, and she asked for 2 wonky houses. Do you hear serendipity calling? I sure do! I made her a valentine house! I don’t know what the second house will be yet, but I had fun making this. I didn’t use a pattern…I saw a picture of one very similar to this and figured out how to re-create it. I’m pretty happy with the result and I hope she will be, too!


And because Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate those we love, I did some extra-special baking!


These are sugar cookies that I iced with pink icing and decorated with sprinkles. I made them from scratch (except the sprinkles…Superstore made those).




And now for a present for YOU! I am sharing my sugar cookie recipe.  This is my Great Grandmother Bess Luton’s sugar cookie recipe! Yes – I am sharing a treasured family recipe with all of you and I think she would be pleased. Good recipes need to be shared so everyone can enjoy them, right? That way they live forever and so do the people who made them.

Nita’s Great Grandmother Bess Luton’s Sugar Cookies
Cream 1 cup shortening
Add 1.5 cups white sugar gradually, creaming until fluffy
Add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating after each
Stir in 1 tsp vanilla. (I also added an extra 3/4 tsp almond extract, but that isn’t part of the original recipe)
Sift together: 3.5 cups flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking soda & 2 tsp cream of tartar.
Add gradually to creamed ingredients.
Chill overnight.
Roll on floured surfact to 1/4″ thick. Cut into shapes.
Bake on ungreased sheets @ 375 for 6 – 8 minutes. Cool slightly on sheets, finish cooling on racks. Makes 3 dozen.
Decorate and Enjoy!








Don’t forget to hop on over and see what everyone else is posting about.
Hugs & Kisses to you all!

It’s the Hugs & Kisses Blog Hop Week!

Check it out!
My day is Friday, so hop on back and see what I’ve been creating to share with you –
I’ve been busy!

Monday February 11th

Tuesday February 12th 

Wednesday February 13th

Thursday February 14th

Friday February 15th

The Liebster Awards!

I’ve received a Liebster Award!

I am tickled pink! I think it’s sweet, and it’s really nice to know that somebody out there is actually reading my posts! Besides, who doesn’t like being acknowledged, eh?

I was awarded the Liebster Award by Liz over at Liz Makes Stuff – thank you Liz! You’ve warmed my heart and I am thrilled to my toes. Liz has a lovely blog and I think you should all go and check it out!

But…what the heck is the Liebster Award, you may ask? I had no idea, and so I set myself the task of finding out.

Here is what I discovered:

  • The Liebster Award is a recognition that is passed on from one small blogger to another as a way of supporting & helping each other grow their respective blogs.  Sort of a “hey, I like your blog and I’d like other’s to discover it, too”, sort of thing.
  • What defines a small blog? In the various Liebster Award descriptions, I’ve found small blogs defined as fewer than 50 followers, fewer than 200 followers, fewer than 300 followers, fewer than 500 followers, fewer than 3000 followers, and blogs younger than 6 months. So that’s quite a spread. I wonder in which direction it evolved.
  • Leibster means “dearest” in German. It also means sweetest, kindest, loveliest, nicest, kindest, beloved, pleasant, etc.
  • No one seems to know its actual origins.
  • In accepting the Liebster Award, you agree to nominate other small bloggers.  Originally it was 3-5; however, I have found blogs written in the last several months specifying 11 others. Eleven! That’s quite a leap from 3-5! I wonder where that came from?
  • The older/original Liebster Awarded blogs only had to thank their nominator and pass the award nomination along. Nothing else was required.
  • Somewhere along the way in the last year or so, nominators also began requiring the new nominee to list 3 – 11 random things about themselves, answer 3 – 11 questions posed to them by the blogger that nominated them, choose 3 – 11 questions for their own nominees to answer, and pass the nomination along to 3 – 11 new small bloggers.

My nominator is in the 11 new nominations category. So now I find myself in a bit of a quandary. I think 11 is too many… it feels uncomfortably like a chain letter, and seems somehow less valuable. I am, however, comfortable nominating 3 – 5. That way it is more special. You have to really think about the 3 -5 people you want to nominate instead of trying to rack your brains coming up with 11.

I like the question & answer part. If the object is to introduce some of your favourite small bloggers then it makes sense to have them tell us a little bit about themselves.

So, I am thrilled to accept my Liebster Award in the spirit in which the tradition apparently began – which means that I am going back to the roots of the award and will nominate 3-5 small bloggers in turn (instead of 11). I hope this will safely satisfy the Liebster gods & goddesses. ♥

Here are the questions Liz asked me to answer:

  1. What made you start your blog? I had been teaching dance for several years and had a website for the dance school. One day a friend suggested I might like to try blogging about dance, so I gave it a try and loved it! Of course since then the blog has evolved waaaay past dance and into my life in general.
  2. What is your favorite dessert or sweet treat? The quickest way to my heart is through a slice (or three) of Rich, Dark, Moist, Chocolaty Chocolate Cake with lots of Icing! Especially if it comes from The Chocolate Claim. Oh, and my friend Dee makes a wicked-to-die-for trifle!
  3. What is your favorite beverage? Tea! Regular old-fashioned orange pekoe black tea with milk. Real milk, not cream. I drink it by the pot.
  4. What are your favorite and least favorite things about blogging? I like the creativity and I have always enjoyed writing. However, I have to remember to keep it in the realm of something fun because I like it, and not let it become a chore. That’s why I’m a “slow blogger”.
  5. If you could be an expert in one area, what would it be? Be as general or specific as you’d like! You mean besides the areas I already AM an expert in? I am an expert in a lot of areas, as we all are, and we should remind ourselves of that once in a while. However, if a genie came out of a bottle and granted me one wish, it would be that I could have a great set of pipes to belt out old standards with in-front-of my very own Big Band.
  6. If you could have lunch with anyone, who would it be? I would transport my great-grand parents, Lucy and Chad Lane here from heaven. And my grandmother, June. And my great-aunt Doris. I have so many questions to ask them about their lives when they were young!
  7. Who do you look up to? People who are kind, thoughtful, logical, responsible, well-spoken, educated, creative and who are in charge of their own lives. Also people who can bake without eating it all.
  8. Who is your favorite author and/or what is your favorite book? When I was a child, my favourite author was Gertrude Chandler Warner and the Box Car Children series. It isn’t hard to close my eyes and put myself right back into my childhood bed, under the covers with one of her books. When I was a teenager, my favourite author was Tolkien and The Lord of the Ring series. More fuel for my inner storyteller. As an adult, I read everything I can get my hands on. I especially love novels that involve history.
  9. Where do you do your crafting? All over the house.
  10. How long have you been a crafter (quilter, knitter, etc)? All my adult life, in some form or another.
  11. What is your favorite color? Purple! No, Yellow. Hummm….probably green? No, must be blue. Actually, I lied. It’s orange. What day of the week is it? Turquoise day?

And now for my nominations!
 1. Fawn Fritzen: Fawn is a jazz singer & songwriter who makes her home in the historic city of Whitehorse, Yukon. She is currently recording her debut album, Bedroom Voice, to be released early in 2013.

2 A Geeky Crafty Life: my friend Dee is a girly-girl geek who loves to create things. Quilting, Knitting, Scrapbooking – computer gaming … she does it all. She loves the colour pink and lives in Whitehorse, Yukon.

3. Went to Faro The Adventures of Matt, Kara, Hunter and Cavan in Faro,Yukon. I’ve never met Kara, but I read her blog and she is friends with my friends…so I sort of know her! She lives in Faro, Yukon.

4. Creative Women’s Business Coral started her own business a couple of years ago and blogs about it. I haven’t met her, but I’d like to. She writes a wonderful, insightful blog.

The Rules:
1. Nominate up to 5 other small blogs
2.Tell us 5 random things about yourself
3. Tell us 1)what qualities you most admire in a man, 2) what qualities you most admire in a woman, 3) what your ideal vacation would be, 4)what your favourite section of the library/bookstore is and 5)where you get your creative inspiration.

Happy Wednesday!


On English Paper Piecing

I like to sew and quilt and do
I love to learn things that are new
I have joined a quilting bee
(Actually, I did join three.)

The We Be Learning on-line gals
Stitch and sew with on-line pals
And every month each one of six
Adds a new block to the mix.

January is Shilo’s block
And I’ve been sewing ‘round the clock
To make a Rocky Road to Kansas,
With the colours of agapanthus.

(Those are blues and aquamarine,
And including a bit of celery green
For those of you who don’t know flowers,
Or the colour wheel of bowers.)

There is a secret I’ve been keeping
I’ve never done foundation piecing.
Shilo’s block is E. P. P.,
Something entirely new to me.

I sewed one block and ripped it out
I sewed again and gave a shout!
I ripped it out and sewed again
It wasn’t good enough to send.

The block should be a certain size
Unfinished inches twelve point five,
But on my cutting mat its borders
Measure eleven and three quarters.

Back to the fabric store I go
With a heavy heart of woe
For I have used all my grey cache
No more background in my stash.

I measure twice, I cut and sew
Careful, cautious, hopeful, slow.
I see the end within my sight,
I am so sure this time I’m right…

I am a frightening beast to see,
Scowling, hating E. P. P.
To the cutting board I go,
Pulling hair and growling low

I have been reduced to drink,
To curse and swear and really think
About the angst of this first bee
And what possessed me to enter three.

Two full weekends I did spend
Ruining this block for my new friend.
I have tried with all my might
but don’t know how to make it right.

And now the month is at an end.
And I have yet a block to send.
In February I beseech you Lynn,
Choose not a block requiring gin!

Because You Matter

Be the change you want to see in the world. ~Mahatma Gandhi

What change would I like to see in the world? I would like to see people treasure and take care of each other for no other reason than that we all matter. I also believe that change begins at home. There is so much need in the world, and it is easy to feel helpless to do anything about it. But there is something that we can do. One small act of kindness shows someone else that they matter.

How can I be the change that I would like to see? I have given this a lot of thought, and I have chosen to keep an ongoing charity quilt project. I want to give quilts to kids who need to know that they are important in the world. I’m calling them Because You Matter quilts, and they will be given to kids who are in the child welfare system. These are kids and teens who are having a hard time and who could use the gift of a handmade quilt to wrap up in for the simple reason that they matter.

I struggled with whether or not to put it on the website. I’ve come close to taking it off many times, thinking that it’s better to keep my project private, fearful of  mis-understanding, of being judged for bragging. But I keep deciding to leave it up because I want to put the thought into your mind that everyone can do something. Even you! You can donate to your local food bank, you can send a child in a third-world country to school by donating to organizations such as Christian Children’s fund, you can keep granola bars in your pocket to give to that homeless man begging on the corner instead of simply ignoring him and walking by.

If donating materials to this quilting project is something you would like to do, just drop me a line and I’ll let you know if I’m looking for anything specific at the time. Things I am always looking for  are backing fabric in 3  m lengths (simple prints on quilting cotton or flannel. solid colours or prints suitable for children through teens), 1-2 metre lengths of solid neutrals for backgrounds (white, sand, grey or black) or solids of any colour for bright backgrounds. A pre-cut such as a jellyroll or layer cake will make an entire quilt top. Maybe you are a quilter and have a stash you’d like to clean out – I’ll give it a good home! If you aren’t sure, just ask!

My first Because You Matter quilt has gone out into the world! It is a crib-sized Sticks & Stones. A terrific “blankie” size for a 2 – 6 year-old. It is hand-quilted.

Twisted Tea Time

I like to make quilts and I like to give them to people. I like that feeling of giving someone something so special. Something full of my thoughts of them that is a reminder of me. Something that they can pull over themselves when they are chilly, put on the bed or the back of the couch for decoration, make a tent out or pull over their heads for comfort if they are young. Something for everyday use or something reserved for special.  General purpose or heirloom, they’re all part of that lovin’ feelin’.

This Christmas I got to experience the feeling of being on the receiving end of such a special gift.

 This beautiful quilt is called twisted tea time and was made by Danielle Marchewa (check out her blog!) She used a Hello Luscious jellyroll by Basic Grey.

I’m not sure how it got its name, but I love it! Dee and I don’t manage to get together very often – especially considering we live walking distance from each other – but when we do manage, we always drink tea. And, well…we both consider ourselves to be a little bit twisted…just a little (in a good way, of course!) Meaning that we aren’t ordinary, ya know? We’re….rock & roll girly girl meets vintage hippy biker chick. Or something like that. Yaaaah!

Well, actually, she probably called it twisted tea time because we like to have tea time together. And because of the way she twisted the blocks to make the neat patterns.

The quilt actually wasn’t a surprise. One day in October (I think), Dee came over for tea and brought it with her to show me what she was working on. After I oooh’d and ahhhh’d over it, she broke down and told me that it was for me. She was just bursting to say something! Lol!

Another reason this quilt is so special to me is because Dee was going to be having major surgery.

She told me that she was saving the hand quilting to do during her recovery time, so she would have busy work for her hands during the time she wouldn’t be allowed to do anything strenuous. Wow! Talk about meaning in a quilt! I am wrapped up in a lot more than fabric when I snuggle under this baby!

Dee is one of the most patient, generous people that I know. |She is always making things and doing things for other people. And even though she has often been in pain from chronic illness, she shows a brave and happy face to the world and always seems able to see the bright side of life. She’s just a genuine all-round nice person and I love her to death.

I took the quilt out to the cabin over the weekend and really lucked out on the weather. I wanted to take some good photos of Dee’s quilt and surprise her with this post.

I love it!

Thank you, Dee!