5 Blogs I Follow


Thursday, Sept. 29: Your Fab Five. Share your favorite bloggers/besties and tell us what you love about them! Share a link and give a shout out.

Abby Glassenberg blog, While She Naps, is one of the first blogs I started following. She had great tips on blogging and craft blogs. She is one of the founders of the Craft Industry Alliance.

Stephanie Woodson’s blog, Swoodsonsays, is a site for instilling creativity. She has a Try Something New Every Month challenge that I am participating in. It got me knitting again.

Carissa Knits is a knitting and refashioning blog. I love the things Carissa comes up with.  She is a very creative refashioner.

Confessions of a Refashionista is presently on hiatus.  She has made an international move.  But she has many tutorials you can view on her refashioning.   Hopefully, she will be back soon.

I have always loved Wil Wheaton ever since I saw him on Star Trek, The Next Generation.  He is very candid about his struggles with depression and anxiety.

Who else should I follow? Do you have any recommendations?


Year in Pictures


Wednesday, Sept. 28: The top five pictures that illustrate your year so far.

How do you narrow down all those pictures?  I’ll try.


Our one and only snowmobile ride ended with a visit to the emergency room and surgery for Tom.  A broken clavicle and 3 broken ribs.  He’s was back to his old self in no time.  The snowmobile was repaired before he was completely healed.  Hopefully, we will get more snow this year. And no broken bones.

Hiking was a bit difficult at the beginning of the spring.  The mountain trails in NH were packed with ice.  They finally thawed out by mid-May.  This is what we came across climbing the Smarts at the end of March, very thick hard ice. Can you say crampons?!


I am working on creating a pants fitting class. I’m scheduled to teach at The Victorian Cupboard next month.


The roots from the Sweat Peas I dug up last year from my aunts are growing better than expected.Sweet Pea

I climbed Mt Washington. This is twice I have been on the top of Mt Washington. Once years ago, Tom and I took the Cog Railway to the top. Both times I have yet to see the view. One of these days I will.mt-washington

I’m looking forward to completing the NH 4000 footers. Hopefully by the end of next month.

I’m excited about my pants class. I have learned so much in researching various pattern making methods.

It’s been a great year so far!


Brittanys are Fun


Tuesday, Sept. 27: Something that made you laugh or cry recently. It could be a video, a picture, a post, a memory. Anything that moved you.

On a daily basis, my two Brittany’s make me laugh.  They can be so silly.  They bring joy to my day.



What makes you laugh and brings you joy?


Guest Blog

Hi! I’m Carol, Cathy’s hiking buddy and guest blogger for the day.


Carol & Cathy on Mt Garfield.

Everybody needs a friend who encourages and supports you in your endeavors. Cathy is that friend. We first met at a quilt guild meeting where she got together a small group of people to meet monthly to work on a mystery quilt. In the conversations at these get-togethers she discovered that I like to hike and Cathy immediately inquired if that was something she and her dogs could do too. That was the start of our great adventure.

We started out doing local walks then graduated to hills and small mountains. Then Cathy discovered the 4000 footer group and things started to change. There are 48 mountains in NH that are over 4000 feet high and she decided we could climb them all. Our first was Mt Tecumseh at only 4003 ft, but the quest was on.


Sport & Maggie on Mt Tecumseh

Now, I am a person who likes being on mountains, but I don’t like drop-offs. I scare easily. Many of these mountains have trails that are challenging and some are downright scary. Cathy is much more adventurous and daring. Thanks to her encouragement, I have climbed trails that I had never thought possible and been places that I had only dreamed about. Cathy not only encourages me, she stretches my limits which now seem endless. I hope all of you are as fortunate to have such a friend.


Carol standing back from the ledges on Whiteface Mt.

Note from Cathy:  If if were not for our friendship, I would have never even been on a mountain hike. Carol has taught me everything I know about hiking.

Do you have a friend like this?

C & C

Martelli – A Product Review


Sunday, Sept. 25: Review something! A place, a book, a service, a product. Anything at all!

A few years ago, while taking a class given by Priscilla Bianchi at a major quilt show, I realized I forgot my cutting mat. I went out to the show floor to shop for a mat. I couldn’t believe the only vendor selling mats was Martelli. They are not cheap. Oh well, I needed one for class.  So I purchased the turntable mat.  I figured, I didn’t have a turntable mat and it would come in handy.martelli-cutting-mat

When I made my first pass on this mat I was amazed.  I know, I know, it’s just a mat.  But cutting on this mat is so smooth.  It has a completely different feel than any of the other mat’s I own. I have at least one mat made by most of the other manufacturers. The Martelli has an almost cushiony feel.

The turntable it very stable because it’s just a bit smaller than the actual mat. This keeps it from tipping.  The only problem I have is I keep forgetting I have it.  I’ll be in the middle of cutting something, where a turntable would make a different, and realize I should have used it.

Martelli has a variety of cutting solutions.  I’m always afraid of stopping at their booth at shows because I know I will probably buy something.

Note: Some of the links are affiliate links to amazon so you can purchase the products if you so choose.  I have not been asked by Martelli to promote their products.  This post was prompted by the Blog-tember challenge of the day.

Oh, and by the way, the class was great. It was on working with stripes.  I still haven’t completed the quilt I started that day.  I’ll have to finish it and post it soon.

Have you tried any of the Martelli products?  How did you like them?


Shrinking, Plastic


Saturday, Sept. 24: Recreate an outfit or a project from another blogger. Be sure to link back to the source!

My niece Amber and I tried shrinking plastic.  We had a blast.  I used the plastic containers saved from the local grocery store salad bar and my stash of sharpies.

The idea came from a couple of YouTube videos. View them here and here.

Amber made a walking dead logo, a planet, sun and stars, and a flower.  I stuck with quilt blocks.  The youtube videos use a toaster oven.  I don’t own one, so we used my kitchen oven.  It worked.

My quilt blocks did not shrink evenly.  Ambers planet, sun, and stars came out great.  Her flower is beautiful.  I think the resulting size depends upon how long you leave them in the oven. The Walking Dead logos did start out two different sizes.

Amber wanted to see what would happen if we melted a whole box. So we put just the bottom of one box in the oven, thinking it would shrink to a small box. It didn’t. It shrunk flat. Next Amber decorated our last box and put it in the oven. Now she has an original name tag.


My sister came by.  She was intrigued.  She asked if they were water proof.  I thought they were.  But after wetting it a bit, then rubbing it on a piece of paper.  Some of the ink came off.  We will have to figure out how to make them waterproof.

Do you have any ideas how to make them water proof?

If you try this, get some of the new pastel sharpies.  When the plastic shrinks, the colors deepen. As you can see in Amber’s before and after.  So if you want light colors, you need to start with lighter ink.

Have fun trying it!


Mom’s Hermit Recipe


Friday, Sept. 23: A family recipe (if grandma allows, of course!).

Every Christmas my mom would make cranberry nut bread and hermits.  I was never fond of the cranberry nut bread, but I love hermits. The recipe was once published in the church cookbook.

The traditional way to make hermits was to roll out a log of dough, sprinkle with sugar and bake.  Once the logs were done, cut them into squares.  But my mom would also roll the dough into balls, coat with sugar and bake into cookies.  This is the way I love to make them.  I also love to make them so they are crunchy.  My sisters beg to differ.  They like them chewy.  So I make them the way I like them. I also leave out the nut and raisins. I don’t like them in my cookies.

Let me know if you try them.  I just want to warn you.  They are addicting.