Pages

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

With the New Year knocking on our door, I have decided to make alot of changes to my home, family ,but most of all myself.
I tend to be a control freak and take on alll the tasks but then am angered by the lack of time I have to myself to do things I would enjoy.  Yes, this is mostly my fault and on the top of my FIX list.
I have 3 teenagers in the house who for their own good need to step it up and become more helpful.  This would be a big help.  With a one income household we need to learn to conserve electric so my bill comes down, when I checked it last month I thought I was powering Time Square.  Back in the day, as a teen I had everyday chores, no questions asked you just new what to do.  You knew dinner was at the same time every day and NO meant NO. I need to get back to that, I take complete responsibility for pampering and allowing things to slack off.  But, all that will come to and end tonight at midnight.  I cannot assure everyone will go along without kicking and screaming but, I plan to have a much calmer, less stressed new year and this is a starting point for me.
I also need to learn to allow myself a spot and the time to get my etsy shop worked on and get some new ideas worked up and listed in the shop. ORGANIZE is my new favorite word!
Something can be said for the MOMS of the 50:s who had a time for everything, got it done and had time to have coffee with the neighbors.   What a concept!
With the addition of my two little guys at least four days a week, I need to have more help just to function. I have myastenia gravis and know if I burn the candle at both ends too often I will be like a jelly fish in no time. Weak muscles, drooping eye lids and even trouble with breathing and swallowing.  I have in the past let myself get in that situation, and each time it is harder to get back to my normal. Also normal is never as good as it used to be.
So no more whining about all that needs to be done, I am making lists , assigning chores, setting time for myself and getting us all inline for a much better new year.
My wish for all of you is a healthy , happy, more prosperous new year.
CHEERS

Friday, November 26, 2010





Thanksgiving went well, we of course had lots to eat, many many dishes to do and the pumpkin pie went fast. We remembered those not with us this year, and retold the stories about them. We also counted our blessing for the healthy grandkids we have including the newest arrival Isabella grace last week! Becky , our little 4 yr old is doing well with her recent diagnosis of diabetes.







The may be gone but not forgotten. I finished up the night posting some items on Etsy for those who prefer to shop Black Friday from the computer , rather than fight the crowds. The newest item is this guys hat! The BEARD HAT


There are shops in NewYork selling these for $130.00,    I changed a few things and made the beards so they could be taken off and the hat worn alone.

http://www.miraclemomas.com/

Welcome to the Black Friday-Cyber Monday Blog Hop. We hope you will join us for some great deals and giveaways. The following businesses have been so awesome as to showcase some specials for you so that you may find some great, unique holiday gifts at great prices this weekend. There will also be some Giveaways that start on Thanksgiving Day and end at midnight on Cyber Monday!!












 







Friday, November 12, 2010

so much going on

I did my first show of the year on Wednesday. I am finding it hard to feel the Chrsitmas shopping mood when it is 60 outside. The weatherman does say that all of that will come to an end this weekend so maybe I can get with the spirit. I have tried the Christmas cd's and the Grinch we watch daily when the boys are over, but no holiday spirit so far. I did add a few more hats to the line up on Etsy and WOW they have taken off.


this is the little turkey, I have one ready for the new baby coming next Wednesday
Here is the penguin, I just love this one
these are for the 3 girls in Chicago, Rosie, Becky and the new baby...I am calling her LUCY, I don't know what they are naming here yet, but this Grandma thinks she is a Lucy!
I am also filling orders and getting a box ready for Josephines in Watertown, Wisconsin. If you live in southern Wisconsin it is a must see !


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Someone is reading my stuff!

I have begun to post on Facebook and am back trying to post on the blog daily and just when I was starting to question if anyone even looks at my posts , I got a call.
From my Granddaughter Becky, pictured here. I mentioned her earlier. She is four and was just diagnosed with diabetes. In the photo my little cookie and cupcake helper was busy putting sprinkles on cookies at Christmas. I have since begun to find sugar free cookie recipes that we can make and share. Well, this afternoon she happened to be checking out Grammas Facebook page and saw a hat she liked that I had posted and gave me a call.
I am being seen, if only by family right now, at least someone is reading ME!
So, I am off to make a purple penguin hat for her. It is a special request and I promised to post a photo as soon as it is done, since I will not see her for another week or so. 

chilly grey day

I woke to a chilly morning that did not brighten up very much. The sky looks like snow could fall at any moment, as for right now it is just a faint drizzle. There is a chill in the air which makes me want to stop working on the penguin hats for my next show and find something to bake, Here is a recipe I came across that I am making for the kids tonight.

Carsen loves to model the hats for me, this will soon pass so I take advantage of it every chance I get!

Apple Dumpling Cake

3 pounds apples - peeled, cored and sliced

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup applesauce

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Place sliced apples in lightly greased 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and brown sugar. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir in eggs and oil; pour on top of apples. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. cinnamon. Bake at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes, or until topping is puffed and golden brown. Serves 12.

a few more that I could.nt resist sharing
Apple Almond Coffee Cake




1/2 cup chopped almonds

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 1/2 cup sugar, divided

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 eggs

1 tsp. almond extract

2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup sour cream

1 medium granny smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced



Combine nuts, cinnamon and 1/2 cup sugar; set aside.



In a large mixing bowl, cream butter; gradually add remaining sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in almond extract. Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition.



Spread half of the batter in a well greased 10-in. springform pan. Top with apple slices; sprinkle with half of the nut mixture. To with remaining batter, then with remaining nut mixture. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes or until cake tests done. Remove from oven; let stand 30 minutes. Loosen sides of cake and remove; cool completely on a wire rack. Serves 12.
Pumpkin Cake


1 yellow cake mix

2 eggs

1 15 oz. can pumpkin

1/4 cup water

2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice



Frosting:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup powdered sugar

1-2 tsp. milk

3-4 Tbsp. chopped crystallized ginger



Combine cake mix, eggs, pumpkin, water, baking soda and pumpkin pie spice in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium speed for 4 minutes. Pour into a greased bundt pan and bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes then carefully remove to cool completely on a wire rack.



For frosting, beat the cream cheese til smooth. Add the vanilla, powdered sugar and milk and mix until frosting consistency. Frost the top of the cake and garnish with chopped crystallized ginger.



Serves 10-12.
 
these and many mkore can be found at http://cookwithsara.blogspot.com/

Big changes here

                                    Since I last posted much has been happening around here.
                My shop Pattibears Place in Montello has closed. That was a very hard decision, but.....it was not holding its own any more and it was time to move in a new direction. If all goes well when the diner opens we will add a gift section to it and I can once again fill it with the handpainted items and baby gifts. On the good side I will have more time this year before the holidays to spend at home and with the grandkids and maybe just by chance enjoy it more. Less stress and far fewer worries about how do I do everything in the time mI have.
                 My four year old grandaughter Becky was diagnosed with diabetes, that hit very hard just three weeks before a new baby is due at their house. I now have time to go there and be of some help. My plan is to pamper and boost Beckys mood and get alot of baby holding in. They live about four hours from us and those babies grow so fast, I seem to miss alot of the good stuff!
               My MOM ( I have 2, I was adopted ) moved up to Montello from Tulsa after by brother died unexpectedly. In the past few weeks we have spent alot of time just chatting and catching up. We also found here a great apartment not far from us and got her moved in over the weekend. In case she had missed seeing all the grandkids.....a couple weeks at my house with seven of them under foot has probaly cured her!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fall has disappeared

With days in the upper 70's it sure does not feel like October here in Wisconsin. But, as the orders come in from Etsy, I am sure it is. Skunk and frog hats, a few dinosaurs and a duck or two. People are getting ready for Halloween. Our two little guys are going to be dinosaurs, well that is today. They may change their minds before the day comes!
The shop will be closing on October 31st. The hats and baby items will all still be available on Etsy as well as the painted gingerbread and Dress-Me Friends in the other shop. Until then , I will keep working to get ready for the holidays and enjoy the time with family.
I am going to be able to do alot more baking, so as usual I have been surfing and looking for new recipes to try.

here is a pumpkin cookie recipe I have come across and can't wait to try.
Ingredients


1 (14 ounce) can 100% pure pumpkin

2 eggs

1/2 cup applesauce

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 (18.25 ounce) package spice cake mix

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Directions

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease two baking sheets.

2.Beat the pumpkin, eggs, applesauce, and vanilla together in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the cake mix, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves until well blended and creamy. Drop by spoonfuls on prepared baking sheets.

3.Bake in preheated oven until tops are firm when lightly touched, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on racks.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Oh what a day



Today has been one of those days when you just want to sit and cry. Maybe its the grey day outside or the fact that I am way too old for all this day to day baby stuff. I can't keep up. Having part of the house under construction doesn't help either. Orders are coming in for the skunk and frog hats and I can't seem to get more than five minutes to myself here.  As I type this I sure sound like I am whining, and I hate whining! I did finish a little Packer hat for JJ today and did get to list a few items on Etsy but beyond that is has been diapers, toys and alot of crying, the majority mine I think. Feed me, change me, pick me up.....and then feed me all over again. I did this the first time with out ever breaking a sweat but, at 55 I am out of patience and want someone to feed me and put me for a nap. I did have a minute this morning before they woke up to find a nice applesauce cupcake recipe. My plan for the day was , as they were finishing the work. ( they have stopped for the day at it is still undone ) I would bake some cupcakes with the boys and we would then have a nice day. When they napped I would dust quick and then work on hats. Well, I have learned NEVER to make plans.....kids change them. No naps, crabby baby and a 2 year old who I think is attached to me at the hip. Tommorrow will be better......at least that is what I am praying for tonight.






Applesauce Cupcake Recipe




Ingredients
•1/2 cup butter or margarine
•1 egg
•1/4 cup sugar
•11/2 cups flour
•1 teaspoon baking soda
•1/4 teaspoon salt
•1 teaspoon cinnamon
•11/2 teaspoons nutmeg
•1 cup applesauce unsweetened
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•1/4 cup walnuts

Mixing Directions
1.Preheat over to 375dregrees
2.line cupcake tins with paper or foil liners
3.cream butter or margarine until creamy and fluffy
4.beat egss and sugars for one minute or until well mixed
5.add to butter or margaring
6.mix dry ingredients togetherand blend inmargarine or butter mixture
7.put in vanilla
8.put in walnuts
9.pour into 12 cups about 2/3rds full
10.bake 15 to 18 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean


Applesauce Cupcakes taste delicious with peanut butter icing.

•1 cup confectioners sugar

•1 cup creamy peanut butter
•6 tablespoons unsalted butter
•3/4 tablespoon vanilla
•1/4 teaspoon salt
•1/3 cup of cream

Mixing Directions
Place all ingredients in a food processor or mixer, and beat on low speed, for approximately 3 minutes, until it becomes a light and fluffy frosting.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fall is here








The temperature doesn't show it but on Saturday we have Harvest Fest in Montello and I am busy finding some muffin recipes for the pancake breakfast and bake sale. It should be a fairly busy day downtown and it is kind of sad to watch the shop get empty but.....nose to the grindstone and looking ahead to the diner. I will still make the sweaters and hats for Josphines in Watertown and the etsy shop. I will get much more done at home, I have already painted the living room and changed things around and the bathroom. The kitchen could use some tender loving care and it keeps my mind busy while all the paper work and waiting goes on. Not that my two little helpers don't keep me busy enough. The shop will officially close October 31st. So there will be big sales as I don't want to store anything and will be making new items for the fall and Christmas shows I plan on doing.


Apple Muffins


These apple muffins smell like apple pie when they're baking. If you can't find cinnamon chips in your local supermarket, simply leave them out. Or use chocolate chips or butterscotch chips instead.
The walnut streusel topping gives these apple muffins wonderful crunch.



Prep Time: 15 minu
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Ingredients:

•1 cup all-purpose flour
•1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
•1 Tbsp. baking powder
•1/2 tsp. cinnamon
•1/4 tsp. salt
•2 Tbsp. butter, melted and cooled
•1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal
•1 large egg
•1/2 cup sugar
•2/3 cup skim milk
•1 cup chopped apples
•1/2 cup cinnamon chips
•.
•For Topping
•1/2 cup finely-chopped walnuts
•2 Tbsp. brown sugar
•1/2 tsp. cinnamon
•2-3 tsp. skim milk
Preparation:
1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a large muffin tin.
2.Whisk together flours, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
3.In a medium bowl, mix melted butter, flaxseed meal, egg, sugar and skim
4.Fold dry ingredients into wet, stiring until incorporated, but do not overmix.
5.Stir in chopped apples and cinnamon chips.
6.Fill muffin cups two-thirds of the way.
7.Combine topping ingredients. Sprinkle over muffins.
8.Bake 18-22 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
9.Cool on a wire rack before serving.


 
http://www.indiegogo.com/Patti-Lekas

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tooting ones own Horn


In todays world this seems like something you need to do, not only do but be good at. this is extremely hard for me. I don't know if it is from childhood, or a personality thing but I am AWFUL at it. Yet, I have been told I NEED to do just that if I ever want to get anything done for our town. I have huge dreams that we can restart our town. It was and still is a very pretty little town, Set in some of the best hunting, fishing and camping in Wisconsin. Times change and people go where they see the ads for and unfortunately there have been no huge ad promotions for Montello since the 70's. The lakes and woodlands we had then we still have, the rivers and bike trails, birds and wildlife. We need to get visitors to our town and new small businesses to fill the shops and make stopping here something to talk about. Now with all that said , where do I come in.....I had a dream     you've heard that somewhere before. Let me go to the beginning, I am a MOM of 5 grown kids who since the early 70;s has had symptoms of myastenia gravis ( a form of MD )  , I muddled through when no one knew what was wrong. The in 1989 I was told the diagnosis, I had one small grandson and was give some very good advice from the smartest woman I knew ( My Gram)  make each day count, none of know what is in store for us, don't waste a day) so I have tried. I have taken Granddaughters to ballet, moved to Wisconsin. Here to my every day is vacation spot and am raising 3 teen age grandkids and two adorable but tiring great grandsons. Yet there is more to my dream. It has three parts. First to open the small diner in our downtown and add to it a cupcake bakery. The kind of diner where you can depend on Monday Meatloaf , homemade soups and desserts and a basket of fries to share. Second to enter Iron Cupcake Milwaukee and third to help put Montello back on the map for tourist year round. Now to alot of people this sounds out of reach but, I think it is possible...maybe bot to win Iron Cupcake Milwaukee but at least the diner, the town and get entered in Iron Cupcake.  I was given a link to a great site where you can post your project and people from all over can learn about it and if they choose give you a donation and earn some perks for doing so. I have that link and please check it out, share it with friends and help me toot my horn! http://www.indiegogo.com/Patti-Lekas  I will check back time and again and let everyone know how we are doing! Thanks in advance for getting the word out!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

New Etsy Shop

About a month agao I opened my second Etsy shop. I had the feeling having both my handpainted wood and my crocheted baby gifts in the same place, each were distracting from the other. I think I was right, in the past few week I have had 11 orders for skunk and frog hats or hats and sweaters. WOW, yes it is keeping me very busy but it is a GOOD busy. At the same time I am busy working on a business plan for a diner in our hometown, a much needed anchor to the business district. That sounds like BIG but it is only one main Hwy going through the downtown. So I crochet, then I type, then I work on cupcake recipes. I am including a cupcake bakery in the diner. Something that is not found locally. We will serve the usual old diner favorites like Meatloaf on Monday and breakfast all day, but it will be great to come in the morning and get fresh muffins and scones and the ever changing cupcakes. Here is a link to a fun FROG cupcake, with Halloween approaching and me working on a frog asweater I thought this was fun.
http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/frog-cupcakes/45057186-bd2d-4835-bc93-606de3199554
I will have to take a picture or tow when I get mine done as well as my taste testers hard at work.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Crisp Fall Air

makes me want to bake, clean house, rake the yard.......unfortunately I am still battleing the back ache, it has now been about 10 weeks. Four doctors appointments, a pain specialist, a catscan and I still can't function like normal. Or as my husband says, nomal for me ! So, to keep myself busy I have been baking cupcakes to find the best recipes for the diner when we finally get it open. (Yet another long story) the pumpkin ones from last Wednesday were great. http://muffintop.wordpress.com/2006/11/03/pumpkin-muffins   I used the whole can of pumpkin and they stayed moist, well as long as muffins can last in our house. Today inbetween finishing a skunk sweater http://www.etsy.com/shop/Grammasgifts  I am going to try a spce cake from scratch. The two little men in my life are off with my daughters on , what I hope will be a day long shopping trip. I have found I really am not as young as I used to be. They tire me out in no time at all. Ialso cannot pick them up, so like an old person, I am not left home alone with them....nursing hme here I come. LOL
  I also got an order for a squirrel sweater, so I am going to have to work on that. The tail has me stumped right now....but I am sure something will come to me. Our little guys who last year were skunk and frog , this year will be dinosaurs....they just love Dinosaur Train on PBS. So off I go to bake and inbetween maybe wash some dishes and get a sweater done.....all before my family returns. Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Costume Alternatives for kids

Once again I am busy coming up with some costume ideas for the two little guys in my life. Last year the baby Carsen , who is now one and running around was an adorable skunk. I made the hat and bought a pair of black sweats and he was warm and toasty as we did our trick or treating. JJ was a frog, again I bought a pair of green sweats that he wore until they didnt fit. The hats were also worn all winter, the ear flaps came in handy here in Wisconsin. A funny side story to this is that I have two granddaughters in high school who also had frog hats made and proudly wore them all winter, who knew it would be so easy to keep their ears covered. Then started taking orders for their friends. A college student from, New York ordered a skunk hat last year too from my Etsy shop. I have added a couple new  animals but the boys favorite this season is the dinosaur. Their favorite show on PBS is Dinosaur Train. So, I am making dinosaur sweaters in all kinds of colors and combinations.  My fingers are working non stop, if only I could crochet in my sleep.
http://www.etsy.com/shop/Grammasgifts is my shop for all the cute costume alternatives and baby items!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Harvest Fest Windows

The windows in my shop and at the diner are finally painted to announce the coming of Harvest Fest. We met this morning to decide on who works the pancake breakfast, bake sale items and Sandy will be taking my job of hanging the corn stalks throughout the downtown. If only I had the info on the concert beforehand I could have worked that all in. Another example of not working with each other for a common good. Silly, that grouwn ups can't get the idea of cooperation and that if we all work together it lightens the work load and the end result is better.....enough of my rambling about Montello.
I am busy getting more frog hats and sweaters done for the fest, they make great costume alternatives for the little ones. This year our little guys are going as dinosaurs...we watch alot of dinosaur train on PBS here. The two dalmation sweaters are alomost done and the skink hats are down to the finishing touches, I will be glad when I can tag them and put them in the shop. With our little guy under the weather I am amazed I have anything done....he wears me out.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Did I tell you about

my happy dance. As a grandmother living with high school age grandkids and a seventh grader, I was elated, tickled pink to learn that the big red circle on last wednesday meant that school was starting. School...peace and quiet...early to bed, early to rise.. could it be, could I be that lucky?  I was , and I must confess as thy pulled out of the driveway for school that morning ( one of them drives and 2 are taking drivers ed)  I paused a moment and thewn did what is being called the HAPPY DANCE!  Like a weight had been lifted, I drank a cup of coffee in peace in quiet, did'nt fight for the bathroom to get ready for work and just bathed myself in the quiet.  Thank you teachers!!!!!
I went off to the shop, sort of humming with a grin I just couldnt lose...eight hours of teen free time. I cleaned the shop, finished a sweater order for etsy shop and then painted a Santa. I had fun. Who needs summer vacation ...give me SCHOOL

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Frogs are hopping

the Frog sweaters are hopping right out of the shop. In the past week three of them have sold in the etsy shop.....wonderful news! http://www.etsy.com/listing/55332774/froggy-sweater  I am busy working on not just the frogs but a new dinosaur and the skunk and two dalmation hooded sweaters. I am thinking to Halloween here in Wisconsin where it can be sunny and warm, or the kids could be in mittens. Just grab an animal hat and a set of nice soft sweats and the little one is set, or a hooded sweater or sweater and hat. The hats can be worn all winter and machine washed and dried. 


I am also busy putting together our Harvest Fest, a bike ride, crafters and a pancake breakfast. It should be a good time with the leaves changing and pumpkins everywhere.

I am also on the committee for next years Fish n Fun Fest, so things are hectic, but on a good note.....school started yesterday and I could be seen doing the happy dance in the driveway as those three adorable teens left for school.

I am hoping to finish a dinosaur today and get some good photos with Carsen our littlest in the sweater. Last years photos he was the baby skunk....but a year is a long time and he now walks, runs and is not a photo bug. Wish me luck!

Kids back to school, a break in the heat and hopefully a busy weekend at the shop and maybe I won't notice that nagging pain that I cant seem to lose.   Note to self, getting older isnt neccesarily better!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Back Pain

I have been out of sorts as my Grandmother would say, what started out as a hip ache , went to my back aND NOW DOWN MY LEGS. After 3 Drs. visits I am signed up to see a doctor for pain management ughhhh,  I just want to be able to do my daily routine without the constant ache. I havent painted much as I can only lift 10 pounds and any lifting seems to put a strain on my back. Sitting to work on the dinosaur sweaters is also a pain and getting up from a chair is awful. But, what can you do, so I muddle through and hope to wake in the morning better, it came on overnight ...maybe it will leave that way.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Christmas in July

This souns like a fun idea, the whole town has specials in the shop and people serve Christmas cookies and have treats for the shoppers. Except if it is in the 80"s and you need to bake these cookies. Hot and humid and yes tommorrow starts Montellos Christmas in July.
I had put alot of thought into what I could do in the shop. Bring out the Christmas so those visiting only once this year had a chance to shop, make a few great sale items and the best.....Paint Santas
Painting Santa is a real project when the last thing you feel like is chilly and snow. The shops ari is on the fritz and santa is coming along slowly. Not, one Santa on an old ironing board but three. In the morning , refreshed and hopefully cooler I will add the finishing touches to them, break out the cookies and against my better judgement put on a Christmas cd. Personalized gingerbread families are ready and I dug out the pine scented candles for that Christmas feel. I will have to let you know if it works as well as we had planned.
I am finishing up a few more sweaters for the trip to Josephines Paper Box in Watertown, it will be nice to have another location to sell them out of. They have done fairly well on etsy so I hope they do in this shop as well.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

This mornings events

I started out the day with a fest meeting, no major changes made, but good input. Then I met with my advisor from the UW who brought with him three student working on tourism in our area. We had a great talk and they will share their report and suggestions for our area when it is done. I have two Santas based and hopefully will get the details done as Christmas in July starts here on Saturday.

I am hoping to get some market bags sewn and a few small stoking stuffer type ideas all worked out and packaged. I will come back with photos if this all comes together,\\

I am here so long becuase my house has been over run with family and the only peace and quiet I get is at the shop early in the morning or in the evening. I paint to remain sane some days it seems. kids, grandkids, pets oh my.......

Monday, July 19, 2010

Christmas in July

I know when the thermometer reads 80 it is hard to think Christmas but.... that is exactly what I am up to here. I am painting Santas and getting the sweaters and caps all tagged and ready to go. Gingerbread families are drying and ready for finishing touches,
   I have a couple gift ideas and a neat way to decorate not just at Christmas but in your kitchen year round. GINGERBREAD.  simple yet adorable.
First if you have little ones, you can trace gingerbreadmen onto brown craft paper for ornaments and let them decorate with markers and a little white glitter for a sugary effect. Brown craft foam also works very well. Just trace a cookie cutter. make garlands cards, oh so many cute items for one pattern.
  Not feeling in the mood yet?  simmer a pot on the stove with a little ginger and nutmeg, maybe a dash of cinnamon and your house will smell like the holidays while you are busy working.
  My personalized gingerbread family has been a great gift idea now for a few years, the babysitter, grandma, friends and even yourself. Each little cookie wears the name of a family member.. Extra cookies are always available.  Gingerbread ornaments for your tree or use as gift tags that the recipient can use over and over again.
Make these ornaments and gifts with your kids, they will remember the naking years after the gift is gone.   

Friday, July 16, 2010

Life gives us lemons

For the most part I think I am a very nice person.  I help others, am active in my community, love my family and then out of the blue someone comes and sucks the fun right out of everything.

At our little group meeeting yesterday I was told I said something which was very untrue, from there came a few ugly emails and now I could spit nails.

As I sit back and go over events in my mind I see I should have gotten away from all this buzz months ago and did'nt ....silly me

I have eaten 2 candy bars, chocolate, they did'nt help, I am on the fourth cup of coffee and that has only made me have to take more breaks.

Why are people so two faced, by this time in my life I thought all that would be a thing of the past. not so! In business, sometimes people are not what they seem. It is a shame because how much nicer would it be and easier to just take everyone at face value.
What have I learned..
listen to your gut
get everything in writing
share nothing
no one does anything nice for no reason

Funny but I have taught the kids just the opposite.

This incident has really got me bummed and I wish I could find a way to just push it out of my mind instead of steaming over all the trash talk. I will go back and paint another window and try to push all this aside before I go home to those two adorable lieele guys who are now my permanent house guests!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Life takes a turn

Just when we think we have all of our ducks in a row,  life steps in.  That is just what happened this week when out of the blue I was hit with a bout of diverticulitis.  To top that off two little whirlwinds moved into my house.
This is JJ, at 2 1/2 and is Gramma's little helper, he helps pull weeds ( they were actually cosmos) sets the table and loves to vacumn.
This is FREDDIE  ( Carsen ) he just turned one and is not quite walking, but in the blink of an eye he can be on any piece of furniture in the living room.

So, with a few days off sick I came up with a new sweater to add to Etsy and take to Josephine's when it opens in August.
We are very fond of Dinosaur Train on PBS so this is just perfect for the little guys. Boys and girls can both wear this one, and in any color combination!




Here is just a hat.  Dinosaur hat with some sweats would make a good Halloween cosatume alternative!
So I have been busy, even while I am on the mend, with help from my two special guys.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Memory Lane Friday Post 4th of July

4th of July was a BIG deal at our house. A family with 5 kids a Gramma and two great parents.Yes, it was Independance Day but around our house it was Freddies Birthday also.  Freddie is my younger brother and for years he thought that big family BBQ and evening fireworks were for him. His birthday is July 11.. but we had cake and presented were handed out, so it was easy now to see how he might of thought he was the Man of the day. We had a big swimming pool in the backyard and spent the day between our house and next door. There our neighbor Rose would BBQ and we'd open the gate between our yards and we would share the food, fun and later in the day FIREWORKS. There right on our lawn , after a day of swimming and getting together with dad's Aunts and Uncles, our Aunts and Uncles, cousins in all sizes, and just family friends, we would spread the blanket , grab some lawn chairs and watch as Dad and Big Bill next door put on a beautiful display. The ooohs and ahhhs would last for what seemed like hours as kids. So now when I think of 4th of July I smile... a big happy family, watermelon, bbq, swimming and that snuggle at dusk while you watched the sky light up.  You know , nothing would make me happier than to be able to have all those people right on my front lawn. Some are gone, like Dad and his Aunts and Uncles, Gram too. Freddie and Mom are in Florida, Jeff is in Indiana with his family, Tammy is in Ohio with kids in Florida, texas and ohio and Markie is in Florida with kids in Chicago and  Tennessee.  So I guess I send this memorie out to all of them.... MISS YOU all BUNCHES and wish you were here! But, since you can't be I will try to ensure my Grandkids gfet some memories of their own to hold on to !  Happy 4th



View 7701 S Long Ave in a larger map

That circle in the grass, was my crabapple tree. There are new sidewalks and our yard looks so much smaller. But there it is our corner house where 5 kids grew up happy healthy and loved... maybe we didn't say it but like was GOOD

Fridays thoughts......

The weather is just beautiful here today. Sunny and not to warm. The campers can be seen pulling into town, in fact last night was very busy with folks checking in. The waterfall IS back on and hopefully all the problems are behind us.
I can in early to get the shop all spruced up before the visitors arrive. Signs needed to be hung and the baby room needed some rearranging. All done now and I can finish my sweater and check out some blogs on the Friday Follow.
I planned the weekend to count in out of town visitors and I hope with me away the grass is being mowed and the little chores done. With any luck I can come home bake and enjoy some time on the patio.
I ahve been writing out a few of my favorite patterns to sell on Etsy and now it is down to the photos and finishing touches. Last week I taught a class on the hooded baby sweater and it went very well. I hope people enjoy them as much as I do.
I contacted Emmy Fink from Madison's channel 57 BUZZED into Madison and she has agreed to come out and once again do a story about Father marquette days.  She is so nice and funny...my Grandson Mike just loves her.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

10 things that are sure to put a smile on your face when you are not happy.

On a bloghop I came across Mama's Losin' It and this , and thought it would be fun for today!
Write a list of 10 things that are sure to put a smile on your face when you are not happy.


1. watching the grandbabies sleep... the expressions as they dream, the pure innocence
2.coffee made when I wake up...call me bad but without coffee I am in for a BAD day no matter what
3.The sound of GRAMMA coming from the kids, I just hope I am as good a Gramma as my Gram was for me!
4.a phone call from Becky, my 4yr old granddaughter.. she is off in Chicago and calls me to discuss cooking, I am almost certain she will be a baker when she grows up.
5.baking.. the smell off oatmeal cookies can make anyone smile
6.a brownie, big and fudgy.. sometimes it just takes chocolate and in large quantities
7 watching the birds in my yard..how peaceful, no thinking just enjoying
8.sitting by the lake and remembering Dad, remembering much simpler times when someone made everything just right
9 a hug.. doesnt matter who it is from a HUG is great
10  time to chat with friends....alone  no phone ringing, no kids calling

now you try it link up with Mama Kat

Trying to think Christmas

In Montello we hold a Christmas in July each year. This means that right about now, I need to start painting Santas and getting things ready for that weekend. I must say though, it is very hard to think Santa when it is 80 degrees outside and sunny. Not only for that weekend but we have some tourists, who are only here one week a year and they like to pick things up during their stay. So, for the next few days I need to limit my computer time and paint.
  In the evening I crochet to fill the shop and now am busy getting a supply ready to take to Josephine's Paper Box in Watertown. The owner, my Aunt, will be opening in a new location in August and I am so happy to be one of her consigners.
  I am also working on writing up a few of my patterns to sell on Etsy. I personally have bought so many cute patterns from there, it is amazing what you can find in those Etsy shops. I recently helped my MOM set up a shop, I havent checked back to see if she has listed anything yet, but what a nice and easy way to get your crafts out for people to see and buy.  Handmade is a growing section of the market, nothing says YOU CARE like a handmade gift.
Here are a couple of my latest additions.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wordful Wednesdays

It's Wednesday again.....today I have spent hours trying to coordinate a bike ride for the area around Pattibears Place. In September , when all the leaves are changing we hold Harvest Fest. By that time I will have painted black cats and pumpkins, scarecrows and witches.This year to make the most of all our natural resources we are adding a bird watching tour and an Autumn Colors Bike Ride. This should be alot of un, with the proceeds going to The Care and Share Food Bank of Marquette County.
With several routes to choose from, people of all ages and biking abilities will be able to join in. From Packwaukee to Germania , and on to Lake Puckaway , the scenery is beautiful and in its prime colors.
               I am also working on getting vendors for Father Marquette days which is August 21 and 22nd. Food, parade, softball tournaments and much more. The Rotary Club is working hard to help rebuild Father Marquette days to what it once was. A wonderful idea, and weather you are a Rotary member or not, everyone should roll up their sleeves and pitch in to help. I contacted EMMY FINK, from channel 57 here in Madison. She is the TV personality for Buzzed into Madison. She will once again come out and do a story to help promote Father Marquette days.
Today two young guys from San Francisco were in town talking to everyone. Commenting on what a great old town and how this could be a really great place for cute art shops and unique businesses. They are right, we need to get back to basics and pull together to help get Montello back on the map. What can we offer a new business at this time, not very much. We need more input from each other and networking to share and spread the word that Montello is still here and has lots to offer.I have contacted the UW extention office about some regional marketing classes they hold and hopefully a few of us can attend and learn some new ways to get Montello out there.
All this can be done.....I have been told by people who have lived here forever, that in years past because this is a farming community if some disaster happened on your farm......before you could think to ask for help, neighbors were there with food, tools and a helping hand. That is what we need today. Togetherness, promote the area, not just individual businesses.
In the mean time I keep filling my shop and making some sweaters for my Aunts shop in Watertown, Wi.  Josephine's Paper Box. If you are ever in the area you need to stop in, what a great variety of items for any occasion. I am also hoping to get all the loose ends for the diner tied up so I can finally get the work done and be open. A friendly place for locals and visitors to get a meal anytime of day. Fresh baked rolls and my favorite CUPCAKES!  So, I will keep on it , not just so I can have a great new business and make some money, but it will be an anchor for the downtown area. A much needed addition. So I have many irons in the fire and I wear many hats some days, but I love it ....most days.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Playing Nice Together

Montello, where my shop is located is a friendly, quiet town. Everyone knows everyone and people help out each other whenever they can.  
WELL, almost.
Our little city is probably best known for its biggest tree, ( the plaque was removed after a large limb fell off ) the CourtHouse, it is on the historical list and the Granite waterfalls.
That was until a few weeks ago when the water was turned OFF. Yes, turned off, they are man made from the old granite quarry. Tonight there is a city council special meeting to see if that water will come back on or if the falls as we all know them are a thing of the past. I will have to catch you up on all the details after the meeting. I would'nt want to give out any bad info.
Other than that....

Our group, meets every Wednesday to try and get Montello back in the tourist mode and get the tourists back visiting on a regular basis. We have so many things for families to do. From fishing and boating, to swimming and bike riding, bird watching, maybe some quiet time alone. An Amish community, great shops, good food and all without the remote or batteries. We are close enough to the Dells that you could camp here ( much cheaper) and visit the Dells for the day and save so much money and enjoy the vacation!
All summer , in fact all year we have great events planned to help show us off. We have fishing, hunting, snow mobiling, ice fishing, bird watching and this has been declaired the Year of John Muir in Wisconsin. His exhibit is at our Historical Society right downtown.
July 3rd  Taste Of Montello at the City Park followed by Fireworks

July 24th Christmas in July in the downtown shops

August 21 & 22 Father Marquette Days ...food, crafters, parade, womens Club pie sale and so much more

August 28th
 September 25th Harvest Fest, bike ride for the Food bvank, Bird watching tours,  fall craft show and more

October 23   Oktoberfest

October 30th Withes night out

November 26,27,28  Holiday Happening Downtown Montello

So there is much in the planning, but although I do not belong to the Rotary Club or Lions Club , I do not mind pitching in to help find vendors for the events or help fill the parade and get them advertisied. Our end result is the same MONTELLO back on the map. Now, if I can just get that concept across to everyone else. We will have smooth sailing !  COOPERATION has been in short supply and that needs to come to a halt right now. It is far better to market a whole area than one shop or business at a time. My work is cut out for me , but I am emailing crafters , posting on calendars and inviting everyone to come and see Montello!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Can't Wait for them to grow up...

Today at the shop there were two ladies with an adorable, energetic little one in tow. The young Mom kept saying I can't wait til he walks alone and can talk etc. Having been the Mom and now Grandma and Great Grandma ( I think my favorite so far ) I toatally disagree. Leave them small as long as posible. Stop pushing to have them grow up and do BIG kid things.
Some examples
Talking, while it sometimes baffles us what they want in the early stages, it sure beats, talking back, yelling and the teenage girl whine. 
Walking, yes it is so much easier on your back but then there are mobile and into everything, we are  at the climbing on furniture stage.
Right now we have two little guys at our house one and two. Both adorable in their own ways. One is a Grandma's boy and the other prefers early mornings with Papa and the morning news.
I wish there was a way to bottle that innocence and save some for later. They are amazed by birds in the tree, flowers growing or a cookie out of the oven. Grandma can still fix anything, from a boo boo on their finger to the Elmo dvd.  I see WOW in their eyes when I read the book at bedtime and know which puzzle piece goes where. Soon enough though this will come to a screeching halt and they will go to school.
Last week we had birthday cake for the little one and the look on his face as we lit the candles and he licked frosting was priceless. My little baker JJ helped make the cake and as always taste tested the icing and was on had for a piece of cake. As I watched them I thought back to the others at that age, wide eyed and innocent and hanging on my every word, maybe that is what I am afraid of losing. Will Grandma always be the smartest?  I know I thought my Gram was. Can I live up to her?  I sure hope so, I try to fill these visits with hugs, love and some fresh baked cookies and I always seem to be feeding them and wiping little faces. I know they all can't wait to grow up, I have two 15 year olds at home who are racing towards being grown up. Summer drivers Ed, part time jobs and on the horizon dating!  Very scary for me and exciting for them.Please slow down, I am not ready...  Let me savor these years as they go so quickly.....slow down!  I can remember when babies were babies until they went to school, now two year olds can work a vcr and go to preschool and learn sign language. Call me old fashioned but I want to hold on tight as long as possible.I am not afraid of getting older, it is them getting older and maybe not needing Grandma as much, that could be, but for right now I am holding on for dear life and enjoying each day and the adventure we go on together.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Our furry family members...

Yesterday our family lost one of our furry family members. Timmy our 13 yr old collie who has been like the bad little boy in our house for years. He arrived on Valentines day when he was just 12 weeks old and won our hearts. He was a leaner, could'nt seem to get close enough to anyone. He thought kids hot dog buns and crusts of bread were treats and would drop to a sit at the raise of a hand, hoping you had bread. He never minded kids crawling over him, counting his toes and even dressing him up a time or two. His faithful friend Lassie passed on last year and it has been a long sad year for him, he seemed to age immediately and miss her terribly. I am probably the worst, I cry at Lassie movies, hallmark commercials etc, but a couple months back I met through emails an author who had written of his own journey through the passing of his two pets and I am hoping I can use that to help not just me but the kids get through this a little easier. Christine Bellport on Madisons Channel 15 was kind enough to get the word about him and his book out to our area , and I can't thank her enough. This morning , as tears rolled down my cheeks fed the bread crust to the squirrels, Timmy would have gotten it if he was still here.
http://blogs.denverpost.com/fetch/2010/06/20/how-two-dying-dogs-taught-life-lessons-to-denver-attorney/?source=rsshomeblog
How a Denver attorney learned life lessons from his dying dogs

Fetch — The Denver Post
Denver attorney Doug Koktavy discovered how to live in the moment with his canine best friends

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Rock Painting at Pattibears Place


Friday was the first class in rock painting I have given so far this season. Three young men seven, ten and thirteen came. Normally my first class is a bunny so the student learns to make fur strokes and gets the basics of rock painting.  This was not the case, not only did these three not want to paint a bunny, they each wanted to paint a different animal.....and none had fur!

The littlest decided on a turtle ... and angry turtle. He did fairly well for a first time and added some great color to the turtle shell and in the end he did look angry turtle.
Student number two had a rock, not shaped like any animal, so we took another route and painted the animal on the rock.  Not the rock into an animal , like we normally do. He made a lizard, colorful with it drawn completely by him.
Number three had heard his mother say the day before in my shop that she wanted an owl and he found a rock that would work. Just let me say feathers are harder than fur to paint, and this student had never painted before either. But, he listened and tried his best and in the end MOM got an owl


This is how it usually goes!

Find a smooth rock, for a bunny a baked potato shape works great. As you get more experience you can work around odd shaped rocks. Basecoat your rock with black acrylic paint. This gives you a base to work from and helps get shadow and depth to your painting. Use a wide brush, ( good brushes are not necessary for this part )       Use chalk to outlind where the face is, the ears and where the back legs are. This is just a guide and will be covered up later. It helps to look at a picture, I recommend the kids books on HOW TO DRAW ANIMALS a great source to show features and proportions.



Next thin some white paint to use for your fur strokes. The most important thing to remember is to stroke in the same direction the fur grows!  Outline the ears, nose and eyes. you will fill these in later. Remember there is never too big of a mistake you can't correct....Just paint it black and start again! The back legs are painted like wheel spokes coming down , the face fur grows up from the nose and to the sides from the eyes. The cheeks are little white puffs with a triangle of white between for the chin.
As you practice your fur lines will become finer and you can get even more detail. Let your white fur lines dry completely.
The back of the bunny, no tail yet, that is a final detail
add brown for the eyes and flesh for the nose and ears

Delute brown paint to a tint and cover the white fur lines. Leave the cheeks and chin white
Add some white eyelashes around the eyes, paint in the pupils and add awhite reflection dot. Brush in a few black eyelashes and last but not least  Do not forget the tail....and you are done

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Black & White Wednesdays

This is my first week following Lisa's Black & White Wednesdays and I can hardly wait to check out all the other blogs
Here is my photo....if titled it would be CHEESE ! This is my Great Grandson JJ and he is a ham. It is amazing to me as I watch him, exactly how much he is like his Dad. And just like dad he is a grammas boy.  Secretly I would'nt have it any other way. JJ is also my cupcake buddy, we bake and he always comes running when he hears the mixer.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A great giveaway

Bloggy Blog Designz is having a Giveaway!!! They are giving away blog designs and all kinds of goodies. Plus ALL entrants will receive 20%off their purchase through the end of the month! Be sure to check out their website for more information, or to enter yourself. Take a look at their portfolio and packages to see what's right for you.


The first 5 entrants will receive a $15 giftcard. The giveaway will close on June 19th, so be sure to have your posts done and comments left by midnight! Good Luck to everyone!

(Our Design List is open after July 1. Discounts from this giveaway do not apply to designz in progress)

It smells like summer

Even though it has rained for what seems like the last week, you can smell summer and family fun.  Campers have started to fill the two campgrounds near our house and the smell of bacon on the old coleman cookstove in the morning brings back fond memories of my DAD out there making us five kids breakfast early in the morning after he returned from those 5 am fishing trips.My Dad taught us all a very important lesson. You see he died when he was just 38. We took a family vacation every year, even if we really could'nt afford to. He gave us all memories that we can carry over to our own kids and grandkids. I took my first grandson Joey fishing and taught him to bait a hook. Now he is showing JJ how. Thanks Dad. I guess with Fathers Day fast approaching I think more of him, but every day I find one of those things that seemed to come so easy to him in my everyday life. He loved us , and all of us not one more than the other . Maybe just differently, but not more. I was adopted and he never once made me feel like I wasn't his. Thanks Dad. He set a good example for my brothers to follow, and they did. It is not how much you spend on your kids, it is how much time . Yesterday I colored with JJ, my great grandson and showed him a trick my Dad taught us when we would all color on the kitchen table on a rainy Saturday. Take a peice of paper towel and rub the area you colored and it looks soft .  Dad , thanks again.  I remember him coming to pick me up from a friends on Friday night in his work pants and tshirt with his boots not laced. "Please don't get out I thought" and he would send me in to pick up the pizza from Genoe's. My love for Wisconsin, came from him. We used to drive up to the Dells and then up to Phillips for summer vacations. Candy ( licorice) hidden in his glove compartment, rainbow cones on the way to pick  Mom up from work on Saturday afternoon. Being the one who got to sit in the third seat in the station wagon. Saturday morning trips to his Grandmas, she would call him and two Uncles in like they were still boys.   Being able to be the one who went with at 5am to fish, I never caught anything, but I would'nt trade that time we spent just talking for anything. I can remember just going with for the ride, didn't matter where he was going. How many times did I go with to pick up car parts or maybe to Walgreens for party supplies. It didnt matter as long as we were with him. He was what Dads are supposed to be and I just hope he knew just how I felt even through my teenage years when things were bumpy. Dad you were the greatest and I LOVE you !

Wow, how the memories flood back when evening sets in and you can smell the campfires and smores!
 Families enjoying time together and back to basics. It is great. I just hop, my kids and grandkids will have as much to think back on years from now.  If so, I did it right!
 In the shop I am busy painting signs for those very campers to hang at their sites or attach to those movable homes on wheels.  I love that each piece sort of tells me what it will turn out to be and no two bears or raccoons are ever alike. In fact I just sold one that looked a little grumpy, it must have been painted on one of those days  LOL. I was asked where did I learn to paint the other day and Dad popped up again. When we first started camping we had a tent and went to Savannah, Illinois to an Army Corp of Engineers campground and there , I met Jack and Jean, a couple who ran the small store. Jack would sit behind the cabin and paint on mirrors. I could have sat there all day, every day. To me it was like magic watching the scenes unfold. That is how I feel when a piece of old wood becomes a bear or sign for someone.  Again Thanks DAD.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Dairy Daze ......cupcakes, cows and kids oh my




Today is the beginning of Dairy Daze in Montell. But, for me it started early yesterday as I began the baking for the Cupcake sale.
These are the rootbeer floats cupcake, first recipe wasnt what I wanted so these came out great!  18 of these jumbo cupcakes. oh, did my kitchen smell delicious!  here is the link for the recipe http://www.gourmetmomonthego.com/2010/05/mini-root-beer-float-cupcakes.html
These are banana split cipcakes. The centers are filled with banan, pineapple and strawberry.  Here is the link for the recipe http://www.beantownbaker.com/2009/09/banana-split-cupcake.html
the cupcakes on the left are Funge Mint Sundaes topped with Andes mint pieces.
The cups have malted Milk caupcakes topped with a malted milk ball. Here is the recipe link http://cupcakestakethecake.blogspot.com/2010/01/malted-milk-cupcakes-plus-recipe.html
 Those are fudge mint cupcakes in the middle.
I also make strawberry sundae cupcakes. the centers are filled with stawberry and topped with whipped frosting and a cherry.


7:30 this morning I came to the shop to put out my decorated COW, open the doors and get ready for the other members of our group to drop off cupcakes.  Shirley from Rustic came and dropped off some cheesecake brownies. Then before 9 Jean from the Gardne Center came with some brownies and muffins. My shop smells wonderful.
The weather is funny today, cool but very humid so campers are out and about checking out the shops. No kids participated in the sidewalk art contest HUH, maybe the cloudy skies kept them away.

It has been a long day and the smell of these cupcakes has been driving me crazy, but it was good practice for when we open the diner. I can see it now CUPCAKE of the DAY!  How much fun is that.