Sunday Morning

It just doesn’t get much better than this.

One in my lap and two close by. Coffee just out of the picture. Ahhhhhh….

How’s your Sunday going?



Posted in cats, Panda, Pappy, Pebbles | Tagged | 9 Comments

Homemade Laundry Soap

Ha!  How’s that for a title?  It’s a good thing this blog is about more than just quilting….. and cats….. and food.  Now I’m turning into Laura Ingalls!

I’d been wanting to try this ever since I found out about it from a blog I read called One Good Thing.  She has so many helpful household tips!  Many of them very, very useful.  I love to see what new thing she has in my inbox every day so I quickly subscribed to her blog.

Meanwhile back on the prairie….. I was just about to run out of laundry detergent so I thought it was time to give this a try.  According to my new BFF Jillee (she doesn’t know it yet, but she will soon), it’s made with all natural ingredients and lasts a whole year if you have a family of 4 or less.  Since Pappy, Panda and Pebbles don’t contribute much to the laundry basket, I figure it will last Dear Hubby and I a long, long, long, long time.  (We better like it, right?)  I’m marking the date on the calendar (or better yet on the cool new detergent container – pics to come) so I’ll know exactly how long it lasts.

Here are all the ingredients. As well as my beautiful new laundry detergent container.  Cool, right?  Apparently it’s the little things that make me happy.  I sat in my recliner last night and ordered them all online.  And although BFF Jillee says it costs $30 to make this, it was just $24 when I got my ingredients input into the online ordering service from my local Superstore.  So I splurged and got the pretty 2 gallon glass jar for $11 too.  (I didn’t add the optional fabric softener crystals to mine.  Perhaps that is the cost difference.  I prefer not to use fabric softener in my detergent.)

And I need to stop here and make sure you appreciate the irony of ordering my supplies online to drive over and let them load them in my car for me to then come home and make soap.  Sort of a computer age meets Little House on the Prairie going on there.  I ordered groceries while I was at it so now I’m good for the week.  We are so spoiled.

Back to the laundry…..

You start with this Fels Naptha soap.  I had heard of this before but I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone who used it.  Except maybe my grandma.  And you add Borax.  Remember the old 20 Mule Team ads they used to have?  I think those were common on Bonanza or some shows back in the dark ages of television.  I didn’t even know this stuff still existed!  But there it is…. right on the shelf in the laundry aisle.  Or in the laundry section in your online ordering app.

You chop the Fels Naptha bars into little chunks to throw into your blender or food processor to pulverize them into tiny chunks.  Doesn’t it look like Velveeta cheese?  I don’t imagine it tastes like it.  And it sure doesn’t smell like cheese.

Then you mix everything into two kitchen sized trash bags.  And I forgot to take a pic of that…… oh, phooey.  Just go to Jillee and let her tell you all about how to do it here.  There’s even a video to watch where she shows you how to tumble the trash bags to mix it all together well.

Then you pour it into your pretty new glass jar and put it on the shelf in your laundry room.  With the pretty red coffee scoop that you also bought that measures out the exact 2 tablespoons that you need for one wash load.

Except oops.  My shelf wasn’t quite low enough to accommodate the big jar with the lid on.  Aaaaaackkkkk!  And I also really think I need to replace the shelf liner on that shelf.  I’m in a mood.

Not to be outsmarted, I just turned the lid upside down.  And I can still get it open enough to reach my hand in to use the pretty new scoop.  I figure when the level of detergent gets down to where I can’t quite reach it (which should be about next April or May since you only use 2 Tbsp at a time.  Or even 1 Tbsp if you have one of those fancy high energy washers), I’ll just move the container to the top of the dryer.  Because after all, pretty container.   Or maybe I’ll look for a smaller pretty container to transfer to when the level is lower?  (They have a similar 1/2 gallon jar for just $5.88.  I might really like the space that would give me on the shelf when the level of detergent is lower anyway!  Then I could just keep the big jar somewhere else and keep refilling the smaller jar?  Hmmmmm……. I think I have Fall Organizing Syndrome.)  I also might have to use something with a more airtight lid next summer when the humidity strikes.

Off to the creek to haul in some water for making tea.  Oh, wait.  We have running water here!  I got lost for a moment in Little House on the Prairie.  Maybe I need to go find some clothes to wash.

Turning laundry day lemons into lemonade….. or at the very least, cheaper lemons.

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One last retreat post……

Each day at retreat a group of us went for a walk.  The weather could not have been better and the sky was a glorious blue!

See?  Isn’t the sky just awesome!  (Sidenote:  I resized my pics for this post and might have gone a bit too far.  That really is a paved road.  It looks like gravel in my pic!)

We stopped to visit with the cows on this walk.  Just before I snapped this pic, as Judy walked over to the fence, the cows took one look at her and started to run away!  Perhaps it was the bright clothing, Judy? And please forgive me if I should have called you bulls instead of cows.  Pioneer Woman I am not.

The gals also decided to take a stroll through the cotton field on this particular walk.

And they picked a little leftover cotton.  Rex helped.

A couple pics of finished quilt tops from retreat…..

You saw a bit of this one the other day, but Suz finished up the top before the end of retreat.  Good job, Suz!  She completed two tops!  *Note that I completed one 4.5 inch DJ block.  Sigh.  I want to be like Suz when I grow up.

And this one is Cookie’s.  Again…. completed and borders added.  Very nice.  If I can’t be like Suz, I want to be like Cookie.

And I leave retreat with this thought:

How to get caffeine quickly when the pots are empty when you arrive at the coffee bar in the morning.  Hey!  A gal’s gotta do what she can to get that caffeine in the morning!

And now back to the real world post retreat.  When us gals retire, we all want to move into The Compass Centre permanently!  What a great retirement home that would be.

Until the next retreat….. keep on quilting!

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Inklingo Kaleidoscope Stars

I wish you could actually hear the oos and ahhs we heard as we placed templates on each person’s fabric for these fancy kaleidoscope star blocks.  You’d have thought you were watching fireworks or something!  OOOOOOOoooooo, look at that one!  Ahhhhhh, how cool is that one!  What a fun time at our JSS Retreat!

The gals asked if I’d teach them how to do this fabulous technique with Inklingo at retreat this year.  It might have to be repeated at our next retreat!  It is much like Stack ‘n Whack, but oh, so much easier than lining up and cutting through six layers of fabric to get this cool look.  I wrote in a little more detail about how to do this technique here.  You’ll see in that post that I used 8 repeats of a matching shape.  In the stars we did at retreat this year, we went with the 60° diamonds to make 6 pointed stars.  But you can use this technique with loads of different shapes.  It’s very, very cool.  Lots of instruction about them on the Inklingo blog, including Linda’s latest post with the very newest collection!

Here are the individual stars made at retreat this year…..

These are Patti’s.  We decided that we didn’t have to be too particular about where her printing landed because all her stars were going to be fabulous out of this fabric.  And if I’d been smart and thinking about my blog, I’d have taken a pic of each of the fabrics used in these star combinations.  Maybe next time?

These are Dena’s.  You should have seen her dancing as she hopped over to show us when she’d pieced the first one.  She was so excited!  They really are quite fun to make!

These are Cynthia’s.  She found this fabulous fabric right at The Compass Centre Shop!  And they are all going to be marvelous!

These are Davene’s. I think she was the only one who pieced hers on the machine.  The others were excited to learn all about hand piecing and did theirs that way.  Inklingo makes it easy to do them either way!

These are Hope’s.  The soft colors in her fabric are going to make a fantastic quilt!  So fun!

And here are 3 of the gals sporting the latest in quilter’s jewelry…… finger pincushions!  Every quilter needs one.  And here’s a cute little Inklingo video on how to make them:

I love what a good helper Monkey is!  He’s so very photogenic.  And these finger pincushions are the best!

Off to stitch more k-stars of my own…..

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More Retreat Quilts and Some Fun!

A quick trip around the design wall to see what’s new today…….

Suz’ latest amazing creation!  Or at least the part she has completed….

Cookie’s latest wonderful wool project.

Madelyn’s latest lovely quilt! (Oops! This is really Cookie’s! Guess I was tired last night.)

Sally’s little bag and coasters.  And Hope’s marvelous Inklingo k-stars!

Cindy’s fabulous quilt!

Cynthia’s Darth Vader creation.  With a few Inklingo k-stars dancing above his head.  Made by Cynthia and Davene.

Dena’s?  At least it’s behind her chair.  Cute! (And this one belongs to Patt! Oops.)

Dena’s Inklingo k-stars.  Aren’t they great?

And these little diamonds will become more stars.

I know this will shock you, but these are mine.  Part of a Dear Jane block.  And yes, this is all I pieced today.

And the completed block!  At this pace I’ll complete this quilt by 2050.

Our newbies have done a great job with our initiation games this year.  Because there were only 3 newbies, we drafted oldies throughout the retreat time and had competition between Oldies and Newbies.  The Oldies ended up pulling out a 3-2 victory.  Everyone was a great sport!

In this game, each contestant had to blow up a balloon and then use the air inside to knock the cups off the table to the floor.  Some faces got very red!

The very last game drew the most laughs.  Here’s Davene describing what they all have to do with the cotton balls and vaseline.  The game was called Nose Dive.  They each had to stick their noses into some vaseline and then use that to pick up a cotton ball and run to the other end of the table and drop the cotton ball in the big bowl.  No hands allowed.

Well, here.  See for yourself.

You never heard such laughter!  Oh, wait…. if you had your sound on, yes you did hear the laughter!

So the Oldies have bragging rights for a few months – or at least until the next retreat.  A come-from-behind win!

The weather has been glorious!  Several of us took a walk after lunch.

Isn’t the sky a glorious blue?  Nice.

Judy wanted to go see the cows.  I told her I could see them from here!  Especially if I zoomed.  <grin>

This is what The Compass Centre looks like from the street.  A lot of farmland around it!  And out in the boonies, for sure.  A lovely place!

And already we are marching on to the last day.  Why do the days always go so fast?  Sigh.  At least we have the satisfaction of knowing the next six months will zoom by too and we’ll soon be back again.

More to come!


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