12.31.14--Kid President's 20 Things We Should Say More Often

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Things to think.


Tuffy Tea Strainer came into my household not long ago. It does a very good job and Is so helpful when I drink tea made from the teas I have in loose form. Lately, I have been drinking the Kusmi Troika tea, which I have mentioned before. Although I stopped drinking American and British made Earl Grey, this Parisienne Troika is so perfectly blended, no one flavor overwhelms. I am inspired to try some other Kusmi teas.


Each day is new waiting for me to decide how its history will be written.


I tried a different city for my weekly grocery shopping. Same store, but different variety available. 

I am indulging in my passion for Indian Food, and pretty much hitting the non-GMO, vegetarian offerings. 

Here is what we had over brown rice last Tuesday. As Christmas Eve-eves went, it was pretty good.


My SmallTalk Quilt group exchanged gifts. I received from Scarborough, Ontario, but it is a mystery who sent it.

I blurred the return address and my own personal details, but really, the return label was not much of a clue!

The package held some pretty Christmas neutral fabrics--enough to give me a head start for next year!

Some cute little reindeer clothespins
And an armchair caddy for needlework! Whoever she is, she knew how I would enjoy the orange and gray prints.

And if she is reading this, we ate the candy before I took the lens cap off the camera!


New Winter Holiday Tradition!
WRIGHT INN in Asheville, NC
We traveled to Asheville and stayed at a great little spot.
Carriage House at the Wright Inn

We walked around the city, explored new restaurants, and made time to go to the Biltmore. We took the candlelight tour and it was lovely! I learned to use a new camera and enjoyed some time outdoors. 
Stately Elegance
When we came back, we took a day and climbed the trail to the top of the falls at Amicalola State Park. Then we walked down the 425 steps, snapping photos all the way. It was a pleasant day despite the overcast sky.
Steeper than it looks
Not all of the trail up was difficult for footing.
Yes. 425 steps down is strenuous.

Just a taste of the payoff.


Merry Christmas! We had a red and green Christmas Eve. Sun dried tomato, pesto, whole wheat pizza. New traditions!


Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
HomeSon, me, Lily Dog


Pantone Color of the Year for Spring 2015 is MARSALA
Lifted right off the Pantone site

Every year, Pantone predicts which color designers and consumers will be buying over the next year. They describe this year's color as "a naturally robust and earthy wine red."

It is named for a fortified Sicilian wine, and Pantone hopes it will embody the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal...emanating a sophisticated, natural earthiness. 

They claim it is universally appealing, but press has shown that is not really the case. Marsala has had some unfavorable comparisons in the design trade. (Go HERE to read what Kristin Hohenadel has to say.)
Lisa, wisely, does not wear the color next
to her skin for she knows it is not a good one for her.
Lisa Eiseman from Pantone notes that the color "combines dramatically with neutrals, including warmer taupes and grays. Because of its burnished undertones, sultry Marsala is highly compatible with amber, umber and golden yellows, greens in both turquoise and teal, and blues in the more vibrant range."
Silks waiting to become saris in India

I don't know if I would call it sultry. In fact, I think some publicist or assistant got the name WRONG, looked it up, and concluded it was a fortified wine. I think they originally meant MASALA, which is Arabic for seasoning, and is favored in food from the Indian sub-continent. Surely SULTRY is a great descriptor for for THAT.
Powders awaiting the Holi Festival, or Festival of Colors

Pantone has some "color pairings" (more WINE imagery), but just like last year, I see a LOT of Walmart blue and pink. Just yuck.

Stylecaster.com shows the top 10. Here are my 4 top Walmart color picks. There is a pink (predictably), but I am saving that.

Here are Aquamarine, Scuba Blue, Lucite Green, and Classic Blue. If you ever go to Walmart to buy women's T-shirts, you will see some familiar colors. First of all, just because it is called AQUAMARINE, doesn't mean it has any relationship to aqua, or marine blue. In fact, it is really just plain old baby blue. I put a little square of Marsala in the corner. They do not do much for each other. 

Nor does SCUBA  do much besides remind me of my favorite turquoise shirt which I have to keep buying over and over because I don't wear a bib when I eat. (I complain about the typical Walmart blues and pinks but turquoise ALWAYS gets an exemption from me, no matter the origin.)

LUCITE ? No. Lucite evokes CLEAR and TRANSLUSCENT. This rendition is too muddy. Marsala doesn't like it, and neither do I. 

CLASSIC didn't have much of a chance. I think it would be luscious as a small accent color with the Marsala, but I have the proportion wrong to show it to its best advantage.

STRAWBERRY ICE--as pinks go, I have seen worse. It is kind of retro with the Marsala. I will have to think about that. Somehow, the two colors which should have been warm together are a little bit cold. 

Yes. I do like TANGERINE. The balance is wrong, though. Marsala would make a good accent on Tangerine, or the other way around. In equal proportions--too intense. I don't know where to look to rest my eye.

GLACIER is just another blue. To give it its due, it does look like a good contrast. I think many of the grays would do well with Marsala but I would take care with the greener grays.

Oh. Unfortunate. CUSTARD has a lot of potential but I am thinking this yellow needs a little brightening with Saffron, maybe.
MUCH, much better, don't you think? 
FSU fans say YES.

Saffron in the wild will bear me out on this.
Harvested Saffron...........................Saffron in flower

Check the three colors Mother Nature put with Marsala: lavender, emerald, and saffron. Look at her proportions, too. She gets it right most of the time. 


So. My friends know I like tea.

Look what I have! Gifts from LLB (Lovely L. B., a quilty friend from BOTH guilds) She loves tea and shared some with me.
She also made me this pretty Mug Rug. In real life, it sparkles from the variegated thread she used. It quite looks like a magic carpet! LLB is another reason to wake up and decide to be in a good mood.


I don't know how YOU do it, but that just about sums it up for me. 

Here is pretty much how it goes from the moment I awake.

1. This bed really is comfortable and I have lovely quilts on it it.
2. I smell coffee! I remembered to set the auto-brew! 
3. These socks make my feet feel great!
4. I have places to go today!
(alternate #4) I don't have to go anywhere today!

Life is so enjoyable when you remember to notice the enjoyable moments.


I said last week that I was COOKING my party contributions this year and only buying party contributions to ONE party.

But when it came right down to it, I was unsure of my abilites/attention span/interest, so I bought one of my favorites for Friendship Group, which met Wednesday. I chose Vanilla, of course, because chocolate is wasted on my tongue unless it is LINDT or a truffle or a container for the middle of a Heath Bar.

These also come in Hazelnut, but Hazelnut is just another sneaky trick the chocolate people put over on the rest of the world to get another flavor choice that is really just chocolate.



FINALLY! I made something out of food that wasn't a disaster. I made Mini Cheese Ball Bites from a recipe I found through Pinterest Go HERE for the Foodgio link. 
HERS are here on the left............................THESE ARE MINE RIGHT HERE!  I DID IT! I DID IT!
They even taste pretty good. The recipe says to make spheres that are about one Tablespoon. I made mine a half Tablespoon but would go smaller next time, maybe a teaspoon.

12.10.14--Simon's Cat (A Christmas Special)

This is a good day for another Simon's Cat video. I subscribe and got this one in an email earlier this week. After you watch it, go to youtube.com and see some of his other funny videos.


I think today might be a good day for Russian Caravan tea or maybe some Constant Comment.




Just this week I mailed off a gift for exchange with a member of a group I belong to, SmallQuiltTalk, sponsored by Kathleen Tracy, who blogs at SentimentalQuilter. I know I have mentioned that before. 

Yesterday, I prepared a fabric gift for exchange at one of my guilds, Pieceful Mountain Quilt Guild. I am almost in the quilty spirit, but I continue to reach for the knitting needles when I am not reading or playing around on the computer. 

Next week is the Christmas luncheon at Misty Mountain Quilt Guild, then the next day a luncheon for Friendship Group. The day after that, one more foody-hobby related get-together for the Fiber Enthusiasts group at the Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association. 
Lindt Truffles--a favorite "finger-food" of mine

You know I am not much on cooking but you will be pleased to know I have only resorted to ONE pre-packaged "finger food" for these four food-centric deals. 
Lindt Truffles in a quilt block shape.
Maybe I am ready to start thinking quilting...

12.4.14Sticky Tape - Simon's Cat

Seems like the right video to share after yesterday's post. I have not had a cat in about 35 years, but Simon Tofield's videos bring back some fond memories. He knows cats. Do not forget to turn the volume up. There is not much dialog, but the few lines there are are well-placed.


Got a new tree this year. Could not bear to put up the giant one. This one claims to be four feet tall.
I was hoping for smaller, but it comes all ready to go. We have had it in its box in the living room since Sunday. Maybe we will just look at the picture on the box and call it good.


Some of you have heard me rhapsodize about GENMAI CHA. I have even asked the store manager at my local grocery to carry the CHOICE ORGANIC brand, but I have not heard back yet. 

It is the only green tea I like due to several possible factors:

Anyway, if you are still with me, watch this video by The TeaSmith to find out more.



11.28.14--Trader Joe's

Look what I have! Soup from  QuiltyAppliqueFriendSB, who was shopping and thinking about my fondness for Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Soup! I am very grateful.

I have never been to Trader Joe's, but I have been making a shopping list for the next time I find myself in Roswell, Peachtree City, Marietta, or Chattanooga.

I reviewed a couple of sites that claim they know the best and worst buys for Joe's, but I did not find much that would make it onto my list other than the great soups. Most of the gushing compliments centered around cookies and cheesecakes.

If I drove the two hours to get to one, I would have to remember to have a cooler to bring home some frozen offerings like Tandoori Shrimp or Chile Lime Chicken Burgers. 

I would probably not buy sweet/snacky things, because, generally, I just don't, except I have heard wonderful things about their ginger snaps. Unfortunately, I also read they are chewy. What is snappy about chewy? They seem to have a good reputation for nuts and dried fruit, so I might browse the trail food department. 

Maybe I would have to bring TWO coolers. I can not get enough Indian food and I miss the occasional South East Asian food that the Mills and Colonial area of Orlando has in great abundance.

I never thought I would miss FOOD, but I guess I do.

11.27.14--Happy Friends and Family Sharing Day

I found this on a Tea Blog I just LOVE to read everyday: Tea With Friends.
Wikipedia says, 

"Ellen Hattie Clapsaddle (1865-1934) was an American 
illustrator and commercial artist in the late 19th and early 20th centuries

11.26.14--A Lazy Day

Last Sunday, I spent an entire day in my nightwear. I can't remember if I have done that at all in the past few years. Maybe once a winter? I am not sure. It was WONDERFUL. I had a bag of novels loaned to me by OTHER QUILTY FRIEND (The Tallahassee Lassee). 
The weather was PERFECT for an all-day-read-a-thon. It was windy and rainy and beautiful. All the shades of gray you could possibly want to see. When the rain stilled and the wind let up, the bare branch tips held little globes of water. 

So, I spent a HUGE chunk of Sunday warm and toasty under the blankets. I even had a cup of hot cocoa at the end of the evening.

Now, THAT is the way to spend a rainy day.



Next time I visit Florida, I will visit my favorite stores around Mills and Colonial. I want to get a gaiwan for enjoying my loose tea. I had never heard of gaiwan until I had tea at the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon
Read about gaiwan at TeaNerd
If I lived in the Portland area, I would join the museum and try to visit at least once a month. Yes, I enjoyed the Japanese Garden very much. I would join that one, also. They offer reciprocal membership benefits.
Tea House at the Garden of Awakening Orchids

But, The Lan Su Chinese Garden is a completely different experience, and I cherish the memory.