Hobbies


I love plaid! Some folks like stripes, others polka dots. I’m a plaid girl!

I don’t really know how this obsession began. (Okay, obsession might be a little strong.)

I have plaid tablecloths, placemats, pillows, dishes, and quilts. I have decorated with plaid and worn plaid. I have several pins on Pinterest that show plaid. (Obsession is starting to sound a little better.)

Yesterday, when I saw a little plaid box in a flea market booth, I was intrigued.

Plaid box

It was on a low shelf on the last aisle. I was lucky to see it at all!

Upon further investigation, I found that it was an Avon product–not just an Avon product though–a plaid Thermos Avon product.

Avon Plaid Thermos decanter

Ooo, the excitement was building!

I could not wait to open the box. I was not too keen on the Sweet Honesty Body Splash smell still lingering after all these years. (There was no date on the box.)

Thermos box

I carefully opened the box. As I did, I lost my breath–and not because of the Sweet Honesty! Oh.My.Word!!! The cuteness!

Plaid Thermos

Isn’t that the cutest thing?!

Here, look at it next to something to get a feel for its size.

Size of thermos

Oh, the plaidness! Oh, the cuteness! Fortunately the owner of the booth was not around. He would have seen my face and charged me a ton of money. The price tag said… are you ready for this… $2!

AAaaaaah! Oh, the cheapness!

Thermos logo

I didn’t even know such a cute thing existed until yesterday.

I was very glad to get my plaid fix for the day! I have no idea what I will do with this adorable little plaid thermos. I’ll probably just pull it out of the box from time to time and shake it around, being careful, of course, to not spill Sweet Honesty all over the place.

 

I recently returned from my first-ever trip to Baltimore, MD.

WOW!

There is so much to see and do in downtown Baltimore!

I was there for the Sweet Adeline International Competition!

Baltimore Welcome

My chorus, Top of the Rock, was invited to compete in the Harmony Classic portion of the contest! For those of you unfamiliar with Sweet Adelines–it’s a BIG DEAL!

The entire week was full of activities and contests. However, I was unable to stay the whole week, so I had to do my touring FAST!

We arrived late Sunday night. Our first rehearsal wasn’t until Monday afternoon, so we had time for a little exploring!

breakfast sandwich

Breakfast was at Potbelly. We discovered Potbelly on a trip to Houston a couple of years ago. They have yummy breakfast sandwiches and oatmeal. They are very reasonably priced, which is a good thing!

I saved my little Potbelly bag just because it had a “P” stamped on it. Yes, I’m a nerd!

Camden Yards

Our hotel was right down the road from Camden Yards–where the Orioles play baseball! My husband is a big baseball fan, so I had to snap a couple of pictures for him!

Oriole Park

The Baltimore Inner Harbor was really cool! Tons of restaurants and shops. I would have loved to tour the Domino Sugar plant! Boat tours of the harbor were available. Some of my friends took the tour and said it was great! I just didn’t have time.

Domino Sugar

This was not their tour boat. I guess it could have been though!

paddle boats

Some other friends hit the National Aquarium later in the week. I picked up some t-shirts for the kids at the Hard Rock Cafe.

Hard Rock Cafe

The McCormick World of Flavors shop was a fun little shop in the Inner Harbor, lots of Old Bay seasoning! Mom and I enjoyed the salt sampling we did there. Our favorite was the lime salt. I asked if they had any other samples we could try. One of the gals working there is a cupcake maker. She brought me some samples of her frosting. They weren’t bad. Here is a link to her Facebook page.

McCormick World of Spice

Off to rehearsal-the reason we came! Weeks prior to our trip, chorus members exchanged words of encouragement and small gifts with a Secret Sis. Look what my Sis gave me at the big reveal–a Baltimore scrapbook! What a unique and thoughtful gift! She included all kinds of scrappy Baltimore goodies in it. Thanks, Becky! You were a great Secret Sis.

secret sis

At one of our rehearsals several of us decided to dress alike–unintentionally.

black shirts

Later, we all dressed alike–on purpose this time!

with mom

Why do we girls always squish our faces together in pictures?

about to hit the stage

stage ready

friends

red costumes

in the lobby

Can you tell we are excited to hit the stage?!

bus ride

We did GREAT!

Guess what? We came in 3rd place–IN THE WORLD!!!!

Bronze medal

You can see for yourselves…

I have a couple more tidbits to share with you from my trip so stay tuned.  I can’t wait to go back to Baltimore one day when there is a little more time for exploring!

I did make it home in time for Senior Night with my girl! I even managed to make it though without tears.

senior night

I LOVE PLAID!

I don’t know what it is about plaid that I like. I just like it.

I especially like it at Christmas time. I have plaid table cloths (actually for every season), plaid Christmas plates, plaid ribbons, plaid shirts, plaid…well, you get the idea.

Ten or twelve years ago, I purchased a large piece of plaid flannel at a garage sale for a couple of bucks.

I knew immediately what to do with it!

Trash to TReasure Craft book

There is a project in this book I had been wanting to do. The flannel was perfect!

The project was to make a quilt out of old flannel shirts. Flannel. Plaid. Recycle project. It just doesn’t get much better!

So, I started collecting. Garage sales, Goodwill, husbands closet.

stacks of plaid

We moved. Life got busy. The project stayed stuffed in a drawer until this summer–10 years later!

I spent a couple of my “Craft Days with Joanna” cutting my shirts into 9 1/2 inch squares.

cutting mat

Those squares sat in the drawer for a while before I actually started. Have I mentioned how life got busy?!

Anyway…

Take the time to press your squares before and after all the cutting.

ironing quilt pieces

ready to sew

I didn’t have a layout pattern. I just laid the pieces on the floor and moved them around until I was happy.

arrange the quilt squares

Chain-piecing the squares made the sewing go more quickly.

chain piecing

Disclaimer: This is not ACTUALLY a quilt. It is really more of a coverlet. A quilt has 3 layers-top, batting, back. My coverlet just has a top and back-for several reasons. First, I thought with an all-flannel front and an all-flannel back that it might be too warm. Second, I didn’t have enough batting at the time. I was ready to finally be finished with this project. I didn’t want a trip into the big city to slow me down. Third, I didn’t want to do a lot of quilting. My “quilt” is just tacked together with buttons from the shirts and other various projects.

button selection

I didn’t do a fancy binding or border either.

Here  is the back of the quilt. (Yes, I know, it just is easier than coverlet.) This is the large piece of plaid flannel that started it all!

back of the quilt

And now for the front…

finished quilt top

I’m so happy to have this little project finished! I even finished it in time for the county fair. Blue ribbon!

In hind-sight, I wish I had added the batting and the border. Oh, well! I’m happy enough with it.

I do love it’s plaid-ness!

plaid quilt

recycled flannel shirts

Today’s BLOGtober Fest prompt is Fall Traditions.

I was not really excited when I saw today’s topic. I thought, “We don’t have any Fall Traditions.”

So, I kind of put it off for a little while, so I could think about it. While I was vacuuming the floor I thought, “Will I make it through this BLOGtober Fest?”

Here I am–Day 3–IN.A.ROW!

Anyway, what to write about…I could write about Thanksgiving and what our family does.  Nah, some of our traditions have had to morph as the families have formed and moved to other parts of the country.

Ooooo, I could write about Black Friday adventures! Well, truth be told, we haven’t been the past couple of years. Black Friday has gotten waaaay out of control. It used to be fun and exciting to stand in the 5:00AM line at Kmart for an Elmo cookie tin. Ahhh, the good ol’ days!

I could write about our visits to Aunt Mary’s house for the Lonoke v. Clinton football game! Oh, yeah, I already did that. You can read about it here. Aunt Mary is coming to our house this year! We don’t have any 4-wheelers to ride or guns to shoot, but I’m sure we will have fun.

I’ve got it! I’ll share some of our County Fair photos with you today. The really good pictures in this post were taken by my husband. (That is why he isn’t in any of the pictures!) If they aren’t so good, I probably snapped them. Hmmm, I wonder who took this one?

We love the county fair. It is very small. It is very small town! The rides are almost always the same, so are the smiles!

There is always the county fair parade. Everyone is in the county fair parade–marching bands, rodeo queens, politicians, pee wee players, you name it.

Our kids were in the parade one year as twirlers!

These days you will find us cheering on the marching band-go band!

The parade doesn’t go ALL the way to the fair grounds, pretty close though.

From uncertainty…

…to belly laughing

We have all taken the opportunity to enter something in fair competitions.

Here I am with my quilted scarecrow wall hanging.

One year I made strawberry jam from strawberries our sweet neighbors gave us.

Katie’s last-minute kitty cat sketch brought home a blue ribbon.

I love Chip’s photo from Lake DeGray.

Megan LOVES to enter as much as she can in the fair. Check out that Best of Show ribbon on her scratch art.

I always say I’m going to finish some of those UFOs (UnFinished Objects) for the fair next year. We’ll see.

We actually try to limit our intake of fair food. For one thing, it is expensive. For another, you just CAN’T eat too much of that stuff. It’ll kill ya’!

We’ve had corn dogs, funnel cakes, fresh lemonade, and more. This year we were brave and ate deep-fried Oreos. I thought they we just okay. Everyone else seemed to love them.

As I ponder back over the years at the county fair, I realize it is a GREAT fall tradition. We look forward to it every year. How about you? Do you have a special fall tradition? Zip over to the ARWB website and see what some of the other BLOGtober Fest folks are writing about today.

P.S. I just had to add this picture today. Our family spends a lot of time raking the leaves in out yard–after playing in them.

I came across this little leaf crown picture. All together now, awwwww.

What is a girl to do?! Be a good blogger and go the event for bloggers she signed up to attend? or Be a good blogger and go to get some GREAT blog material?

Yes, I chose the former.

I recently signed up to be part of a blogger network called Arkansas Women Bloggers.

It turns out, shortly after I signed up, I read that the annual meet-up was going to be in Little Rock soon. I was super excited! The whole reason I signed up on the network was so I could get to know some other local bloggers.

I committed to go.

Come to find out, the meet up was going to be on the same day that Chip had to work. He wasn’t just working working. He was covering the Salsa Party his company was sponsoring with P. Allen Smith, one of our local celebrities. You may have seen him when he was on the Today Show.

So, Chip and the girls went to the Salsa party and I went to blogger party.

The blogger party was held at the Historic Arkansas Museum. The museum even gave us all a 20% discount card to use in the gift shop–which, sadly, I forgot about until later that night when I was emptying my pockets.

These are the folks who came to the event. You know that first one!

Gina Knuppenburg – http://isogina.blogspot.com
Lindsay Irvin – http://arkansasbride.com
Kelcie Huffstickler – http://thisbeautifulinheritance.com
Blair Tidwell – http://littlerockfamily.com
It was a good time, and I got to meet some really nice folks.
These ladies were our hostesses for the day. They are the ones who run Arkansas Women Bloggers. Left to right you have Fawn from Instead of the Dishes, Natalie Ghidotti from Ghidotti Communications (she was actually our guest speaker not one of the blog ladies), Stephanie from The Park Wife, and Julie from Eggs & Herbs.
I learned some great blogging tips. I hope to have time to test these out soon. Biggest tip, for blog life AND real life, be yourself! Don’t do things on your blog because you see some big-time blogger do them. Make your own footprint.
It was a fun time. I even scored some jam from The Park Wife. That will be in another post.
While I was at the meet up, the rest of the gang was at the Salsa Party. Fortunately, Chip was there to take pictures for the company.
Here are some of the highlights from their event.

You gotta have a piñata at a Salsa party!

Salsa dance instructors, Jeremiah and Mallory form Arthur Murray Dance Studio, were incredible to watch!

They even gave lessons.

Do you recognize the students?

There was even a Mariachi band! Oh, wait, maybe not.

Of course the whole reason for the party was to drum up interest in the company store. What better way than to bring in a celebrity!

P. Allen Smith talked about container gardening first.

The girls really enjoyed this part. They have their own container garden they are trying out this year. They had lots of questions.

I bet my friend, Cathy, had something to do with those Bonnie Plants! You may remember Cathy from my tomato basil soup post.

I had to put this picture in there because I liked the little flags in the background. Kristy and her crew did a great job with the decorations!

Now that everyone knows how to GROW the ingredients for salsa, they can all MAKE the salsa!

Yummy!

The recipe says to grill or roast  the tomatoes first. Interesting.

This is the recipe card that went with the salsa.

Blue Cross passed out these handy cutting mats as well.

Ah, yes, my family loves me. They know I do not care for cilantro. So, what did they do? They took a picture of it for me!

Yes, they do love me! They got me a signed copy of P. Allen Smith’s book, Seasonal Recipes from the Garden, for Mother’s Day. They are sneaky!

Mr. Smith was kind enough to pose with the company mascot, Blue Ann Ewe.

I did make it to the Salsa Party in time to see the dancers and do a little dancin’ myself.
It sure looked like a good time was had there.
We all had a great day!

20120421-135256.jpg

I was so excited the other day to get a comment from Leslie at Leslie’s Art and Sew. Leslie and I met last year at the Craft Gossip Fork and Talk event.

(I have to admit, I’m a little jealous. She is there again this year, today in fact. I just couldn’t work it into my schedule this time.)

Leslie chose ME to be the recipient of the “Liebster Blog Award”! I was/am so honored!  This is my very first award as a blogger. I’m grinnin’ from ear to ear!

So, a great big THANK YOU to Leslie!

What is this award? Liebster in German means “favorite”. My impression is that is it just a fun way for bloggers to draw attention to small blogs (under 200 followers) that they enjoy reading. There are some “strings” attached–the blogger who accepts this award must do the following:

1. Thank the person who have you the award.
2. Link back to their blog.
3. Copy and paste the Liebster award to your profile.
4. Pick 5 blogs that you feel deserve to be in the spotlight (they must have 200 followers or under).
5. Blog about it and leave a comment for your nominations to let them know that you have chosen their blog.

Now, to pass the award on to some other deserving blogs. I have given this a lot of thought and found it difficult. A lot of the blogs I read are much larger than 200 followers. Very few of my friends blog. I’m working on them though! I’m working on me, too. I have recently joined a group called Arkansas Women Bloggers. The group is having a meet up next weekend. I am looking forward to meeting some new folks there. Do you live in Arkansas? Are you a woman? Are you a blogger? Check out their website.

Thideology is an insightful blog on all things theological. I really think a lot of the guy who writes this blog. ; )

CC’s Cheap Chic is a fashion blog written by my dear friend, Carolyn. She and I always seemed to end up at Savers at the same time. I miss her terribly since she moved away. She has inspired me to write a couple of fashion posts of my own.

Tales from Goshen is a “Mommy” blog. I have known Ashley since she was a little girl, and I was in her parents’ kid’s choir at church. It is amazing to see the fabulous mother and woman she has become. I don’t really know Ashley that well. I have, however, bumped in to her in town a few times recently. We both got to see the Pioneer Woman when she came to town.

Little Rock Love is written by Ashli, a friend from college. She is a gal about town for sure. She is also a bit of a foodie.

Susan’s Doodle Pad is where my friend Susan shows off her adorable stationary creations and more.

I realize the blog sized is supposed to be 200 or fewer. Not all of these blogs list the number of subscribers they have. Hopefully, I didn’t offend anyone. Yikes!

I hope you will show some love to these 5 blogs. Leave a comment on one of their posts. Tell ’em I sent ya!

Thanks, again, Leslie!

Well, I did it. I made it through my first year as a blogger!

I have learned quite a lot by being in the blogging community.

I’ve learned to be a little less fearful of technology.

I’ve learned how to use our camera better.

I’ve learned that some recipes are yucky! However, sometimes that is no fault of the recipe.

I’ve learned that it can be time-consuming to post when lots of pictures are involved.

I’ve learned that there are good days and bad days—at least as far as stats go. I really have tried to not obsess about the numbers. If you are a blogger, I’m sure you have had those sad moments when 2 people visit your site. But, I try not to obsess about the numbers. (As of this moment I have had exactly 10,000 views, 203 comments, and 25 subscribers. But they are just numbers.)

I’ve learned that if there is a blog I enjoy following, a subscription and occasional comment are appreciated.

I’ve learned that the blogging world is HUGE!

Here are some of the highlights..

My most popular posts seem to have been when I copied something off of someone else. Here is the little pom-pom necklace I copied from Little Miss Momma.

Pom Pom Necklace

Maybe you remember the Cat in the Hat treats very similar to the ones from Dollhouse Bake Shoppe.

Dr. Seuss Snacks

Lots of folks have checked out the Tie Dyed Fingernails post where I tried Victoria’s Rainbow Water Marbling technique.

Apple Straws and Trop 50 Review always get a few inquiring minds.

Then of course there is the Impressionist series. How could you forget that?! Can you believe I still have one more post to go up in that series?!

The Impressionists Part I

Pork Chop Tuesday readers really seem to enjoy the Critics’ Corner.

The Critics

I thought I’d let them add their favorite dishes from the blog thus far.

Chip: Dave Ramsey won’t let me buy tortillas

Megan: Chicken & Broccoli Braid and Snow Cream


Katie: Dago’s Delight and Snow Cream

One of my favorites had to be the Never Again Cookies. They were just so yummy, especially after all that hard work.

I hope you have enjoyed Pork Chop Tuesday in her infancy. It has been a lot of fun. Who knows what will show up in 2012—hopefully YOU!

Leave me a comment and let me know what your favorite post has been. Did you try some of the recipes? Pin them in Pinterest?

Did you miss some of the posts along the way? Be sure to go to “The Critics” page and “This and That”.

Thanks for reading my little blog. Tell your friends!

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