Archives for 2014

Fresh Strawberries


Too bad you can’t scratch-and-sniff this picture! I wish you could smell the sweet fragrance of these ripe strawberries. I hit the jackpot at my local farmer’s market when they put these beauties on sale, and I have more strawberries blooming in my garden that should be ready soon.

It’s sooooo easy to turn these into jams and pies, but I also like to freeze a bunch.  Then I can pop them out anytime to use as a topping on ice cream, cake, or cheesecake. They’re also great for whipping into smoothies and stirring into yogurt.

All you have to do is rinse the berries quickly in cool water, then let them drain and dry thoroughly. Don’t leave them in the water, because if they absorb too much, it will dilute the flavor.

I remove the stems and slice my berries, but you can leave them whole. Then arrange them on a cookie sheet in a single layer. I used a Silpat non-stick mat underneath, but you could use wax paper or freezer paper. (Paper towels tend to stick.)

Put the cookie sheet into the freezer until the berries are firm, then remove them and store them in freezer bags or containers. Use them in a few months, and enjoy!

Sewing with Amy Butler Fabrics

Amy Butler fabric

At last I’ve got a sewing machine again. My Singer gave out over a year ago, and it was so old, I couldn’t find a replacement part.  But i love my new Bernina, although I’ve got a lot to learn (I spent 20 minutes just trying to thread it the first day.) I’m sure it’ll go quicker as I get more familiar with it, but right now, I feel like I’m sitting down at the control panel of a 727.

For my first project, I choose a pattern and some fabric by designer Amy Butler. Her patterns aren’t the easiest you’ll ever work with; Google her, and you’ll come up with comments about how doesn’t include enough details or pictures. I’m finding that my pattern didn’t call for nearly enough fusible interfacing. Apparently Amy’s bags need two layers of it, but I’ll make do with what i have and see how it goes.

Don’t you love these colors? I know they’re super-bright and loud, but the bag looks perfect for carrying around a couple of paperback books, your sunglasses, sunscreen. Okay, I know it’s January, but these beachy, tropical-hot colors make me want to go somewhere I can kick my shoes off and stick my toes in the sand.

Of course, Miss Paws and Molly are on hand to oversee how things are going with the new machine.


Not a tough job, holding down the sofa, but somebody’s got to supervise, right?