Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Behind the scenes at a Quilt Show

A good ole blogging buddy o’ mine - Sunnie, is taking us behind the scenes at the QuiltFest Quilt Show in Jacksonville, Florida, USA.

There is so much that goes on, that we don’t see – or aren’t aware of – that makes the quilt show that we love to spend time at.

Sunnie has conveniently named each of her blogs about QuiltFest with the prefix “Quilt Show Countdown”.  You can start reading anywhere, but I would suggest starting with “Take In Day” .

If you’re anywhere near Jacksonville, you might want to take a run on over to the Prime Osborn Convention Center, 1000 Water Street and see what’s going on from Thursday the 24th through Saturday the 26th.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Credit Card Shenanigans


Two years ago, my DH did a little Christmas Shopping at Sears.  He wanted to charge an item on his Sears card but the clerk suggested he sign up for a new Sears Citibank Gold Master Card and would get 20% off his first purchase.  DH thought that was a good deal and signed up.  The clerk also said that this new  Sears Citibank Gold Master Card would eventually be replacing the old Sears card.  So, he now had 2 Sears charge cards!

We have never used that Sears Gold Master Card since then and in fact, when we got a new card in the mail this past July, we did not activate it and we cut it up and threw it away.

Then yesterday, we got a letter in the mail from Sears Credit Card Services and it said “Due to this challenging business and economic climate, the cost of doing business has dramatically increased.  As a result, we are making rate and fee changes …”

Sears is now going to charge $45 a year as a “membership fee” for that Sears Citibank Gold Master Card.  $45 for what – to have the privilege of buying something and charging it on their card?  I don’t think so.

So, we called today to cancel the card.  BUT, our credit score will probably be affected by the canceling of a credit card. 

How are the credit card companies getting away with this?  Cancel a card and they subtract points from your credit score?

Didn’t those banks get money from the government?  Why do they now need to charge service fees for their cards?  Aren’t the current percentage rates they are now charging enough to cover their expenses and then some?

The $20 savings that DH had on that initial purchase sure wasn’t the bargain he thought it was.  He signed up for that credit card in good faith.

Oh, boy, people … be careful out there!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Food Safety

I read about a most useful website in this morning’s paper --

They even have charts telling you how long you can safely keep meats, poultry, eggs, dairy products, fruit and vegetables.

Lets you know how long you should hang on to that opened package of hot dogs.

It’s a very nice looking website and very navigable.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Portable Design Area


My Feathered Star wallhanging is coming along nicely.  I thought I'd let you know about the small design area that I made that I find very useful with smaller projects such as this.

In the photo above, the pieces of my wallhanging are either adhered to or pinned to the design area which is white. I've pinned some of the pieces to the design area cuz they have little pieces of paper that need to stay with the them cuz they are labels which tell me where the pieces go.

Most times when I use this design area, I just put the fabric pieces on it, no pins needed, cuz they adhere like magic. I also use this as a background when taking pics of items for the internet.

I got a piece of foam core board, 30" x 40", from the office supply store.  I made a "pillowcase" for the foam core board of white sweatshirt fabric and brown broadcloth on the reverse side.  I purposely made a light side and a dark side which enables me to use the side that shows up the items more clearly.

When cutting the fabric for the "pillowcase", I allowed 2-3" more at the top so that I could close it up.  Be sure to cut ample fabric for the seam allowances.  The 3 sides of the "pillowcase" are sewn on the sewing machine. Have the wrong side of sweatshirt fabric facing out, as items will adhere to the nice, soft, napped surface. 

After the 3 sides are sewn, slip in the foam core board and then slipstitch the opening closed, remember, you’ve allowed ample extra fabric to do this.

Another thing about having the pinnable foam core board is that when taking pics of items, you can pin them to the board in a nice pleasing manner for a photo.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Recipe – Spatchcock Chicken


I just knew I should have taken the pic of the chicken that we had the other day, it was much prettier than this one.  But, by the time I thought of taking pic, much eating had gone on!

Here’s the link to spatchcocking a chicken --
A spatchcock chicken is a butterflied chicken and the above link tells you how to cut it to make it lay flat.  We tuck the wing tips under the bird so they aren’t poking up.

This is the only way we make chicken any more.  It is so tender & juicy. 

DH cooks it on a Weber Propane Grill on indirect heat, burners set at MOM – medium, off, medium.  350° for 55 minutes.  No peeking!  The secret is to keep that lid closed for 55 minutes.  No turning.

We have tried it with marinades and rubs, but the best way we like it is little bit of salt & pepper.  That’s it.  How much easier can you get?  Probably take-out, eh?  But, then that wouldn’t be as good-tasting as this chicken is!