Sunday, December 10, 2017

Brrrrrr, Projects, a Tip, and......

Howdy Y'all!!!!   I hope where ever y'all are today that you are nestled inside somewhere cozy.   It's pretty cool outside here, in my neck of the woods, and has been for a a few days.    Threats of spitting snow and colder temps has me thinking of pots of home made soups and stews.    Anything easy for the cold days of winter ahead.    Make a pone of cornbread or corn bread muffins to go along with it and you have a meal fit for the queens and kings that we all are, of our own little castles.   hehehe    We mustn't let those titles go to our heads though.   Those only work in the confines of our homes.    hahaha    I don't think the drs or people that check me out at any of the stores would jump on the band wagon of calling me "queen", although I may try it someday, just for the fun of it!    hahaha     
I just wanted to share a little bit of history with y'all today!!   Guess what today is.    Go ahead, make a guess.    Ok, I'll let you have one more guess.   hehehe    Made that guess yet?     Well, I'm gonna wait for a few minutes before I tell you what today is.    But, you don't want to miss it!     hehehe
On  a more serious note, and to cover the tip for this blog post, when you are making your soups, stews, or casseroles this winter, look for ways to lighten them up some.    I am finally developing a taste for the low fat (lf) and fat free (ff) versions of a lot of dairy products and salad dressings.    Such as lf or ff cream cheese, or lf and ff greek yogurt, or lf or ff sour cream, or just some of the plain cheeses in the lf or ff versions.    Those save lots of calories and fats.    When it comes to greek yogurt, I have 99% traded in sour cream for greek yogurt.   Greek yogurt has a LOT of protein, sour cream has very little protein.    So compare what you find in your stores and see what has the most protein and the least carbs in the fat free versions and then try it and see if you can train your taste buds to like something that is more healthy for you than it full fat, high calorie counter part.    Small changes over the course of time can add up to big benefits  in your over all health.

Another thing I have started doing this year is using sodium free broth as a way of adding a lot of flavor to soups and stews, dried beans, any of the greens that I cook.    I look for the sodium free Swanson stock or broth at Wal Mart and I will stock up on it.    Aldi does carry Fit and Active unsalted chicken broth or stock, but the sodium content is higher than the unsalted Swanson brand.   I think it's something like 140 mg per cup vs maybe 40 mg per cup.   Either one you use will be a better choice than 900+ mgs per cup.     I use the chicken and beef sodium free broth and it saves a me LOT of sodium.   I am very sodium sensitive, so I have to watch out and not add too much to anything I fix from scratch.    I use lots of onion powder and lots of diced onion in a lot of stuff I cook.    I just have to watch for sodium in everything.    uuggghhhhh

We enjoy hamburgers from time to time, but I have found Butterball turkey burgers at Wal Mart and Kroger that is just ground turkey and a little sea salt.   That's it!    I will use a sprinkle of liquid smoke on the burgers and it gives them a darker color and it really enhances the flavor without added sodium.  We really enjoy those a lot!!   Just something for you to look into, if you want to, that is a healthier version of any of the ground "meat" patties.    

An alternative to some of the meat products is the vegetable replacements.   There is all kinds of those products on the market now, and I think they are getting better and better.    Manufacturers are starting to look for and use more and more "non gmo" products in their healthier foods and this is always a plus.    I have some frozen crumbles in the freezer now waiting to be turned into meatless tacos and they will be delicious!!    

One of the best and healthiest thing we can do for ourselves, is cook most everything we eat from scratch.   It is hard work, it does take more time than opening boxes or bags, but in the long run, we can control the fat, carbs and sodium and get more vegetable based protein in our diets.    I love to do one pot meals and my husband NEVER complains.   He loves getting home cooked, with love, meals.  And I love preparing those meals.    So, when time allows, toss a few items in a skillet and serve up a wonderful meal in 20 or 30 minutes.     I need to share more of my simple recipes with y'all so you can see how easy it really is.     Anyway, I hope something is this mess of ramblings that there is something good and new for you, maybe a new idea or two.    If you have any easy meal ideas, share them in the comments, we all would love to know what they are.    I hope these are some tips that you can use in your everyday cooking experience.     Just be on the lookout for ways to lighten up your fav dishes for a healthier, feel better, fitter you.
On the night of December 11th in 2015, my best friend succumbed to the cancer that she had been battling for the biggest part of that year.     Such a devastating situation.    If you or someone you love has symptoms that are unusual for you, symptoms that don't go away, or even just the feeling or intuition that something isn't quite right, go to the dr, sooner than later.     Volunteer to take them or at least go with them for a show of support.    Plead with them to go, if that's what it takes.    Beg on bended knees, just don't let anything unusual go untreated.    It might not help, but on the other hand, it could be a life saver.    We both knew she had not been feeling well, but we knew she was under a lot of "outside" stress and just figured that was taking it's toll on her.    Even at that, I begged her to go to the dr and she just brushed it off with a silly laugh and we both would just laugh it off and go on to the next subject.     But, by the time she realized it was more than stress, something was really wrong.   So when she did find out it was cancer, ok, let's get started with treatment and she did.   Each week seemed to find her worse and worse and frequent trips to the dr and she was getting weaker and weaker.    She rallied for the weekend of the Christmas Parade, the weekend before Thanksgiving, here in town and was out and about and seen a lot of people and spread of lot love and joy.    Shortly after that, she took a turn for the worse and went home to be with her Savior on the night of December 11th, 2015.

So, I just have to say that my world has been a little less bright without her in it.    Every day I laugh about something and think that Jamie would get a kick outta that.    I know that her husband and son and daughter-in-love, as Jamie called her, miss her something terribly.   She had always talked of having a grand baby and I know she would have been an awesome grandmother.    So, I just wanted to remember her today, on the anniversary of her "home going" and say that I will always miss her, till we meet in heaven someday.   You'll never ever hear me say that "heaven gained another angel", simply because that is NOT scriptural.   God made angel beings and He made human beings and one cannot ever become the other.    But I will say that heaven gained another HAPPY soul!!!!     If I know anything about her at all, she is exactly where she longed to be, even before finding out she was sick.   So, I am happy for her in that respect.    But for those us who loved her, we do miss her.   She was a very fun, funny, lovable and upbeat person.    She did not want to waste time with unnecessary drama and trouble.  She loved spreading love.   That's why I called her "Pearl Love".    She called me "Pearl Joy" and I loved it!!    Anyway, just wanted to share a bit about Jamie today and encourage you to take care of yourself and encourage those you love to take care themselves, it could save lives.
I love you Jamie!!!!
I have a project or two to share with y'all today.   I have done so much stuff over the last few months and just haven't gotten them uploaded to my blog, so I will share a few more today and maybe a few more paper bead jewelry pieces.     These are in no particular order, so if seems outta sync, it is.  hahaha
The first one is a snowman swap that I was in and we made a snowman for each person.   This is my pile of snowmen.   They were fun to make and share. 
This was also for a swap in the the same yahoo group.   It was supposed to be a fall card, and I kinda forgot it was to be a card and made a small 5x5 canvas type pic with an easel on the back of it.   The background is such a yummy crackle, I loved it, so did the recipient.
These next 2 pics our outta sequence and I didn't want to mess with it, so I left it as is.   This is the end project.    The next one is the starting of the project.   I was doing a quick workshop at our Family Community Education club and I took some 140 lb watercolor paper and cut it in strips and and then we all took a strip and colored it with markers of all kinds, just making it colorful. as you will see below.
Once we had the papers colored up the way we wanted it, we took a pencil and drew in some feather shapes.  One large and two small.   We then cut them out and took some burlap string and strung the feathers and beads on to make a little feather ornament of sorts.   They were really pretty and fun.
This was another swap and it was to be a Halloween or Fall item.    I don't do the scary, icky stuff.  I know a lot of people do, but I don't, so I chose a Fall theme.   I found the pumpkin out of balsa wood at Hobby Lobby and colored it with markers and sealed it.   Then I used a 6x6 canvas and put my background colors of green towards the bottom and blue and purple for the upper background.   I had some 6 inch wide metallic ribbon with an open weave and put over the canvas for a bit of extra texture, and I loved that.   I dug around in my embellishment box and found some metal leaves and those were perfect for 3 corners.   I made a small tag and just wrote on it and inked the edges and used 2 or 3 different kinds of ribbon and looped it thru the hole in the to of the tag and glued the tag to the canvas.   Project done.    I loved it!
So, while I was pkging the Fall pumpkin up, I found my little scarecrow man and  stamped him on the envelope and colored him up right nice and he was done, pkg sealed and mailed.
I was digging around and found 2 skeins of the wide yarn and finger crocheted them up, so I have 2 more scarves to either keep or give away.    I love the peachy orange, it's really pretty.
This scarf is like a tan, whiteish, and gray.   It was different to the other skein, but it is SOOOO soft.  It feels kinda like real fur around your neck.   Just really cozy feeling.   Wouldn't mind having a spread made from this, but I don't remember what it was called.   It will go with a lot different clothes.
So, I needed to make a couple of stars for some friends and this was the process of one.   I just took some kind of chipboard box, maybe cracker boxes and covered it with aluminum tape and then die cut it with my Big Shot and then used an embossing folder.  I got it all glued together and used the tiny little clothes clips from Dollar tree to hold it all together.
This is the front side.   I used two or three colors of thinned down paint on it to make it look old and faded.     I LOVE making these!!!!     I couldn't find the finished stars, but they were beautiful.   One was a blue dirty white washed star and the other was a red dirty white washed star.    They looked very rustic and old.    My friends could not believe that I made them.     They really loved them.
And speaking of Dollar Tree, I got a tub of spackle there and wanted to see how it would work for making embellishments.   As you can see, it worked pretty well!!!!    I just used a spatula and filled each little well with an ample amt of spackle and let it sit up.   It was light as air when I took it from the molds.   The only thing, you don't want to get them really wet when trying to paint them, they will almost disintegrate.    Just do a dry brush technique or even mix paint into the wet spackle compound before filling the mold.   This technique works very well for a light weight embellishment.    The only one that didn't come out good was the long one that is still in the mold in the picture.    I believe I remember the key breaking too, but I got too rough with it taking it from the mold.   But there is a lot of fun to be had in one of those little tubs of spackle or what ever the stuff is.  It's cheap too, so I'm all over it y'all!!!   hahaha
So these next few pics was made at Cheatham  County Creative Day.   I believe there was 8 or 9 ladies from our clubs that went that day.    The above picture is my stone dragonfly.    It started out on a 6x6 inch canvas with a piece of purple textured cardstock put down and then I chose my stones.  The largest part of the body is actually a piece of sea glass with a stone in front for the head and then 4 more stones behind for the back side of the dragonfly.    Then I picked out 3 more pieces of sea glass to put in 3 corners.    When I got home, I brushed on some Inka Gold rub in 2 or 3 different colors and I LOVE my dragonfly.    But, I did a little more with it on down in the pictures.
This is a copper flashing picture that we made by scrubbing a coloring page that was printed off the computer.   It was taped to the flashing and then we used the ball point of the cheap bic pens and went over all the lines of the coloring page.   When we was satisfied with that, we rubbed on a dab of black paint and then quickly lifted the excess off with a paper towel and these turned out great.   It was fun.
This was taking an old worn out quilt and cutting shapes and had stitching a stocking and using buttons and lace and baubles.   Not my "favoritest" project, but I managed to squeak thru it.   hahaha
This was the bag that we made to carry all our goodies in.    It was 8 small squares placed strategically to form the design and then a button glued to the center.
Another fun one was painting a rock.   I just painted a snow man head.   When I got home with it, I painted front and back, so no matter how you see it, you see it's face.    I liked him a lot.
So, this is my finished dragon fly.    I took some gold and glittery texture paste and brushed some on lightly around the dragon fly background and the I put a border all around it with the same texture paste.    It still remains my favorite one for the day.    With the copper flashing pumpkins coming in a close 2nd.    It was a very fun day.

Ok, so I ran outta space before I could add any more paper bead pictures.   That's ok though.  Because that will just give a reason to get back on here quicker.   I will have a few more projects made up by then and hopefully a few more beads made.   It is quite addicting.   Not anything one would need rehab for though!    hahaha   I hope not anyway.     hehehe     "But I love my addiction, I really do!!!"   
I just wanted to share something I wrote and shared back on Christmas Day, 2014.   I hope you enjoy it today and throughout the Christmas Season.

We Need A Savior
God knew we needed a Savior.     God knew we needed someone who could relate to us in every way.     How did you come into this world?     Well, Jesus came into this world the same way, as a helpless little baby.     He needed His diapers changed.     He needed to be fed.     He needed to be watched over.     He needed to be nurtured by His mother's love.       He needed to have a strong earthly father figure in His life.    He needed to be taught certain things by His earthly parents.     Jesus had to cut His baby teeth in the same we cut ours, through a lot of tears.     Jesus had the same scrapes and cuts and dings from playing and being a boy that most other little boys did, and a lot of little girls had those same scrapes and cuts and dings.     Jesus knew how badly it hurt to stump His toe on a rock.     Jesus knew what it felt like to play till He got thirsty and tired and kept right on playing for a while longer. 

Jesus also knew what it felt like to not be a part of the "in" crowd. After His ministry started, there was a lot of people that was looking for and planning and plotting ways to kill Him.     And He knew it.     All of those people were from the religious crowd too.    The religious crowd was so full of religion that there was NO way for them to believe that He was the fulfillment of all the teachings that they had been taught and were, indeed, teaching  too.    They just could not believe that He was the long awaited Messiah.       Yet, He had power to heal the sick, cause the blind to see, make the lame to walk, raise the dead and the power to forgive sin!    The religious people could do none of these things.       The religious people were too afraid to come near anyone that needed help of any kind, because they didn't want to become "unclean".    The religious folk expected every one to have smile on their face and act a certain way. 

What about us, how close are we willing to come to someone who needs help?    Are we willing to come close enough to get dirty?    Do we expect people to look a certain way, to wear certain clothes, and to smile all the way through what ever it is that's killing them on the inside?    Are we willing to get close enough to smell the rot and stinch of sin?    Are we willing to get close enough to wrap our arms around them and say "Let me tell you about someone who can help you"?    Just how close to those who need a Savior are we willing to get?

Jesus came for ALL of humanity!     Let us make sure that everyone that's in our sphere of influence has the opportunity to hear and learn about how the King of Kings and Lord of Lords was born a babe, yet grew to be the long awaited Savior of the world.        He is still in the business of changing lives and forgiving sin and restoring the years the locusts have eaten.    He is still in the business of seeking and saving the lost.       He is still in the business of renewing and restoring broken lives.        He is still in the business of giving hope to the hopeless, help to the helpless, and life to the walking dead.    Friends, if you have experienced that, you have something to be extremely happy about this day, the day we celebrate the birth of Lord and Savior!        If you haven't yet experienced that, let me just say, that it's not to late.   Today is the day of Salvation!     He did what He did for those who need Him!    Guess what, we ALL need Him!     I hope that if you decide you need Him, that you won't put it off.    Jesus has never turned anyone down that was looking for a relationship with Him!    You can count on Him.     Celebrate the Christmas season today with a new reason for celebrating.    Celebrate Christmas as being the day you stepped into new life and a new relationship with the Savior of the world!!!!      written by pjg Dec, 25th 2014
Ok, I guess I made you wait long enough for the mystery of what today is.    hahaha     This is the 200th blog post I have made since the beginning of my blog back on August 13, 2013.     I am gonna do something I have never ever done before.    I am gonna have a give away.     For everyone that is a google+ follower of mine and leaves a comment, down below, to this blog post, I will have a drawing and the winner will receive a paper bead necklace, bracelet and earrings set, that my hands made.     I will have the drawing sometime on Christmas Day and then I will send a private google message to get your addy info.    How does that sound?     Just remember you have to be a google+ follower of mine and leave me a comment below.     Yay!!!   I'm excited!!!!
Well, this is about all I have today.    I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the projects that has kept me busy this fall.      I hope that you have a wonderful day today.   Tell someone you know that Jesus is the Reason for every day to be a day of celebration with purpose!!!!!      Just know that God loves you more than you could ever imagine!!!!!     Have a beautiful day and don't forget to leave me a comment for the chance to win a paper bead jewelry set, if you are a google+ follower of mine.    Hugs and love to all, Patty


  1. Hi there
    My! You've been BUSY, haven't you? What a fun way to make a dragonfly. Cute idea.
    How's your mom doing lately? I haven;t heard anything new, so hopefully that means everything's OK or at least holding steady.
    Busy time for me right up thru Wednesday of this week, when somebody's due to come over. Lets of prep stuff to be taken care of.
    xoxo Rose

    1. Hi Rose!!! This has been a lot of stuff that I worked on but had not shared on my blog yet. I just needed to get it up before the end of the year. I need to see if there is more that I need to put up, before I start a new year. Hope you have a great week. hugs, patty

  2. Wow Patty, your blog is awesome and I love all of your art!!

    1. Oh Dorothy, thank you so much!!! I really appreciate you and your comment too!!! hugs and love, patty

  3. Your friend Jamie sounds like a beautiful person. I'm sorry you lost her.
    ...and your creations, just wow. I love the dragon fly and copper pumpkin also. You are so creative and I wish we lived closer....
    Char..aka, katknit

    1. Thank you Char!!! Jamie was a jewel, for sure. I miss her every day and all the fun and laughs we had together. Oh, I wish we lived closer too. There are plenty of houses for sale around here, come on over this way!!! hahaha It would be neat for sure. Thanks so much Char, I appreciate your visit! hugs and love, patty

  4. Wowza - you've been crazy busy and creative! I'm SO loving that awesome star with the clothes just makes me grin, Patty!!

    1. Thanks so much Win Dinn!! I really appreciate it. I love small fun projects and a lot of these fit the bill. Thanks again. hugs, patty