Archive for the ‘Around the House’ Category

A Doggy Car Seat – Ginger Approved!

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019

Last week one thing on my to-do list was to Find/Research/Purchase a car seat for Ginger. And on Saturday a decision was made.

The reason we decided on this model of dog car seat was first and foremost the reviews it has received and that it was constructed with a metal frame vs a chipboard/cardboard or no disclosure of material frame that we found on all the other car seats we looked at.

And a doggie car seat is not something you can easily find in a brick ‘n mortar store so online reviews and information regarding construction in descriptions is extremely valuable. And why I have chosen to write a blog vs just throw up a Facebook link about this product for all the pet parents who have seen the pics of Ginger in her seat and inquired.

This car seat is also mid range priced. Which goes with my theory is the best quality for your money is usually found mid-range.

Ginger weighs 12 pounds and is obviously a bit longer then the standard 12 pound dog due to being a dachshund. But she comfortably fit in the basket and had room to move around and roll on her back/side and even with her feet up in the air. This is a sleeping position she has shown us that she loves in the summer heat and it still cracks us up every time we witness it.

Especially when it is just four paws peeking over her car seat basket. Sorry no pic we were on the expressway driving but trust us it was hysterical.

I really like the metal frame as it provides a nice solid place for Ginger to put her front paws up and lift up to see out the car window. Note you can either have your car seat rest right on the seat bottom or you can have it elevated so allow your pet to see out the windows. We chose the later knowing her nature.

And if you look closely in the picture above you can see the safety strap that clips onto her harness keeping her from exiting the basket/car seat so she is in no danger of being thrown if we were in an accident. This strap is adjustable and thus can work with many different pets and their size.

The Sherpa fleece interior is very soft and she snuggled right in after a few minutes. Several of the other car seats I looked at had simple flat fleece or even felt as the lining. This was far better I feel.

That there is my review of the Dog Car Seat by Devoted Doggy. For more detailed information or if you wish to give one a whirl with your own pet you can do so by clicking below.

If your ad blocking software has blocked the link above you can click here for a non-photo link.

Now we are back home and hibernating once again from the unbearable July heat. Another movie and stitching afternoon on our horizon.

Enjoy your day,

*MDQuilts is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. By using these links I will make a small percentage of your purchase, even if you buy something else – and it won’t cost you anything.

Cookin’ with Em -A New Book

Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

Now that Em is settled into her new apartment it is time to get back to our “cooking together” adventure.

You will find a blog about all of this here.

But a quick catch up is my daughter, Em and I, decided earlier this year to cook together even though we presently live almost 700 miles apart. Em is quite the cook (she takes after her father) and I am just a few seasons into my oneness with the kitchen. It is a way for us to enjoy discovering new recipes and really has been fun. We each take turns picking a weekly recipe out of a chosen book. Once we have both made the recipe we compare what we liked, didn’t like, what we could add or take out.

So, as I said now that Em is settled in her new apartment it is time to start again. And I think it is time for a new book. We spent approximately 4 months with MILK street and found some wonderful recipes will be repeating, But I say it is time for a new book. I am ready for a new book. I like new books. LOL.

But what book? Here is where you will play a part. I am going to put links to two books below. Just click on each book to get to their Amazon listings so you can peruse all the info easily available.

Afterwards just comment below which book you think we should tackle. On Monday, June 29th I will order which ever book decided and we will begin again the following week!


click on the book picture for more info


click on the book picture for more info

So thanks in advance for your comment and have a great day!

*MDQuilts is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. By using these links I will make a small percentage of your purchase, even if you buy something else – and it won’t cost you anything.

Party Like a Doxie

Monday, April 15th, 2019

If you follow me on Facebook/Instagram then you know that Ginger has really become one of the family here at Chez Depre.

No dog will ever replace precious Molly. And that was not the intent when Ginger arrived. She is truly her own personality. And has inspired the catch-line of “Let’s get the 2yr old” whenever we find ourselves dealing with the antics she deals out. She is a ball of energy and is certainly keeping us on our toes.

Ginger is a rescue dog. She came to us thru Midwest Dachshund Rescue (MWDR). We discovered this rescue organization when we initially went looking to adopt a second doxie, a friend for Molly, several years ago. Unfortunately Molly wanted to be a single dog and have all our attention for herself, so that adoption didn’t happen, but we knew when the time came we would be supporting/working with MWDR.

MWDR is based in northwest Indiana and cover doxie rescue for Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and lower Michigan. I have see them stretch into Iowa occasionally. They also have a facebook page that you can follow. You can find it here.

In January I was thrilled when the president of MWDR asked if I could make a fundraising quilt for their big event in May, the CrossTown Bark Around. You can find details about the event on their website/facebook page.

I quickly got to work on a simple yet full of fun design for the quilt. I shared this process on my facebook page, and here is the top ready for binding…and a diva doxie.

I named the quilt – Party Like a Doxie

At this time I am not sure if they will be able to sell chances for the quilt online. The quilt is on it’s way to them today and hoping they have time to set something up to do so and if they do I will post a blog with links as soon as possible as I know sever people have inquired.

The quilting was done by Quilters Quest of Woodridge IL. A fun dachshund and paw print panto. I swear they have designs for everything there and Bob & his quilty staff, both in the longarm dept and the actual store, are top notch!

And the label. How awesome is this label. My friend Joelle Guay is quite the artist and has found her calling in designing and selling custom labels for quilts. To me these labels are like bows on a present. The open area is for your own personal handwritten message and/or signature.

She also designed labels for my Tussie Mussie quilts. Look how she pulled elements of the quilts into the labels. And of course Ginger is quite the picture diva. She runs to be in all pics now when she sees the phone go sideways…lol!

Ginger on Tussie Mussie Version 2 (pattern to be released late April)

She also does simple, non custom, but equally beautiful, labels that you can order in bunches and have on hand for your finishes.

If you are interested in contacting Joelle about some labels you can reach her here on Facebook to send a message .

Off to spend the rest of the day puttering with some studio time. As projects are being completed more open sewing time is entering my life and more ideas need to come to life!

Enjoy your day,

Dutch Baby Breakfast

Wednesday, March 27th, 2019

I have been wanting to make a Dutch Baby pancake for breakfast for almost 2 months now. But every morning I put it into my plan, well the time involved in making it made it impossible.

But yesterday was the day. Even though Paul declared he was sleeping until 9am (again!) I gently asked if I made the pancake would he get up to enjoy it and then go back to bed around 7am. He said yes he would.

I was hungry and awake and afraid if I waited to make it wouldn’t happen again.

But it did! And just look at it! WOW! if I say so myself!

Dutch Baby Pancake with Fruit Compote

After sharing on Facebook & Instagram I have heard your request for the recipe so there it is.

Dutch Baby Pancake

  • 3 large eggs & one yolk
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. butter
  • confectioners’ sugar
  • blueberries, strawberries and raspberries*

Combine effs, flour, milk, sugar, vanilla and salt until smooth. Let batter rest while oven preheats to 425. Place butter in an ovenproof skillet (note I used my Pyrex and it worked just fine as you can see) and place in oven for 1-2 minutes so it will melt. Remove from oven and swirl melted butter around dish/skillet to coat all sides and bottom. Pour in batter. Bake 18-20 minutes until pancake is puffy and deeply golden. Cool for 5 minutes. Then liberally dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve with fresh fruit.

*While my pancake was baking, since I was using frozen fruit, I chose to make a simple compote on the stove top vs fresh fruit which you would just place on the pancake before serving.

A plan to create a recipe tab on the website is on the “to-do” list and when it is crossed off I will announce it with a blog and will have a PDF downloadable copy of this recipe there. It is my own recipe as I tinkered with some of the ingredients and amounts so I feel comfortable sharing it.


A Quilt for Doxies

Sunday, March 10th, 2019

Ginger is our dachshund. She is a 2 year old smooth red mini (just barely by a few ounces we say…lol) doxie. She is our second doxie.


Molly, who preceded her crossed the rainbow bridge last August at the age of 17. We adopted Molly at the age of 9 from a local shelter. And soon there after we discovered Midwest Dachshund Rescue. We attempted to adopt a second doxie from this organization after having Molly in our lives for a few years, but unfortunately at age 13 she wasn’t having it. She had lived a hard breeder life before finding us and she was enjoying life as an “only doxie” so that is how it was – and we love it and her.

Last December, Ginger entered the household and quickly took over. We intended to adopt another senior or two as we love Frosty Faces but Paul took one look at Ginger on the Midwest Dachshund website and declared she was for him. In fact his very first words upon meeting her Dec 11th face to face were “I love you already” as she leapt into his arms as he kneeled down to her. It was a match made in heaven.

A few weeks ago Midwest Dachshund Rescue asked if I would make a quilt for them for their annual fundraising event, Cross Town Bark Around, that takes place on May 18th this year.

With not much time and all the “Sweden Crazy Time” happening at our abode I thought keep it simple Mic. So I grabbed the Doxie & Balloons fabric from my stash and thought – perfect scale for the center of 8″ Sawtooth Stars blocks.

I only had enough of the paw print background fabric to make 15 blocks. I needed 30 for my 5×6 setting plan. But that is ok I could use 3 other fabrics of the same look – black and white print- and make 5 blocks each. It will make the quilt more appealing to the eye I feel then a second set of 15 blocks. Changing up the prints, scale of prints and having 5 of each vs 15 will make the eye dance around the quilt. Then I hit my bright scraps and make each block have it’s own set of matching star points.

Sashing needed to be colorful. But I didn’t have enough yardage of any fabric I liked in my stash. Then it hit me. Solids in a rainbow ombre setting. Everything is cut – let’s get those rows pieced together!


Ginger approves and wanted her beloved Green Dog in the photo also!

The center is done!

simple, solid fabric (as in not pieced) borders to finish the quilt off

and VIOLA! it’s ready to go off to Bob at Quilters Quest for quilting. I am seeing a dog paw panto in a soft rainbow colored thread. I will bind it using the same fabric as the last border and get it to MWDR for promotion and the event. I am hoping they will have online sales of raffle tickets for the quilt, several people have already asked about purchasing chances on the MDQuilts facebook page. If they do I will post a blog with the link.

Doxies have a way of getting under your skin and into your blood. Before you know it your surrounding yourself with short legs, long bodies and big hearts.


Enjoy the day,

Cooking With Em #3 – Milk Street Tuesday Nights Cookbook

Friday, March 8th, 2019

RECIPE: Page 328 – Paprika-Caraway Kielbasa Soup

Yesterday was a “Cooking with Em” Day. If your unfamiliar with what that is you can quickly catch up by clicking here and reading this blog.

Page 329 – MILK Street Tuesday Nights Cookbook

It was an Em’s choice week and she went with a soup. Perfect for the rainy weather she is experiencing in Arkansas. If you wish to see Em’s pics of her finished meals or pics of her artwork you can find her on Instagram under the name of applejuicedepre.

Here are all the ingredients. Note I did double up on the recipe’s called for amount of kielbasa. I wanted the skinless version for soup and the packaging meant more sausage then needed.

And you see a jar of sauerkraut there vs fresh. I thoroughly rinsed the kraut under hot water before adding to soup to mellow it’s taste. I used jar vs fresh because in 10 days time it is Reuben Sandwich week here after St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Corned Beef and Sauerkraut – what’s not to love. And our local grocery had that large jar on sale for $1.99.

I also unintentionally doubled up on the tomato paste in error. Em’s one negative about the soup was it needed more tomato flavor, and we didn’t experience that, so I have noted to double the tomato paste from now on.

Chop and dice kielbasa, potatoes and onion into bite size pieces.

Next I added the caraway seeds. I really wish you could of smelled my kitchen and how wonderful the aroma was.

All the ingredients are in the pot and simmering away for at least 30 minutes. Like most soups – low and slow- is the way to go. Flavors melding is happening!

Paul walked in the door from work and the first words out of his mouth were – “Is it ready to eat?” It really smelled that good.

Dinner is served.

Someone ate two servings before I was finished with my one. He said “no doubt this is a 5 STAR notation in the book and a definite MAKE AGAIN recipe.

You will note that I am not sharing the recipe on this blog just giving our insights/tweaks and feedback. This cookbook is readily available to purchase or check out of your library. Giving a recipe that is not your own is much like posting another designer’s quilt pattern online. The author, publisher and all the people in between from photographers to delivery people need those purchase dollars to support their own households and families – so I wish to support them and I know you do also. Because without their creativity we wouldn’t have this great soup to enjoy. So if interested you can find the book here, or at your local bookstore or library and cook along with Em & I.

I will announce the week’s recipe on the MDQuilts facebook page and then do a follow up blog, as this is every week. We won’t cook our way thru the entire book, with 300+ recipes that would take awhile and several other cookbooks are calling to us, but I see us giving this book a few months of attention. It is definitely a winner on our shelves.

Next week is my pick…and I see chicken on the grocery list!

Enjoy the day,

On my nightstand

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

I am finished with all the inputting of the preorders of the templates and EPP papers for Little Boy Britches this morning. They will be shipping out to everyone on Friday directly from Paper Pieces, my manufacturer. Thank you all for the orders and the How-To blogs and Facebook Live Sew-A-Long will start the week of March 18th. This gives everyone time to get their templates and choose fabric.

Today I wanted to share with you the first of what I plan to be a constant part of this blog as I am relighting my blogging passion. So many tell me they love my book shares on Facebook/Instagram that I thought it would be nice to go a bit more in depth here with shares. I have been thinking about this for awhile and kept putting it off until this book hit my nightstand and even after 10 days of finishing it I feel I must share share share how much I think you should read this book.

It is haunting me. But in a good way.

Yes it hits close to home in some areas, set in the Sodermalm area of Stockholm, where my dear son is now living. A love story. A deep love story. And honesty in the story regarding family dynamics. Not harsh. Just straightforward. It had me turning pages so fast I had to go back twice and reread because I was afraid I missed something.

Doing a bit a research for this blog I found that this book is now being printed in 32 languages! That alone speaks volumes and is written by a first time author.

It has been on my reading wish list for month waiting for the English version to be published at the beginning of this year. I had forgotten the store line and was pleasantly surprised when the first few pages had me in Stockholm. Kismet I thought, as we were waiting for Paul Jr’s paperwork to be cleared for his move.

But truly the store is haunting. So moving was in tears for a few pages. But then I am a bit emotional these last few weeks.

The amazon reviews are very high at 4.5 stars. You can find them for yourself here. Check your library and if they don’t have it, request it, then more people can enjoy it.

If you have read it please comment below your thoughts on the book. I am going to be putting together a Book page on this website so this blog will be eventually linked back to the book on that page.

If you have a book recommendation for me to read please also do so with a comment. We readers love a good recommendation…that is how I found The Red Address Book by Sonia Lundberg.

Enjoy the day,

Cookin’ with Em #2 – Milk Street Tuesday Nights Cookbook

Thursday, February 28th, 2019

RECIPE: page 209 – Palestinian Crispy Herb Omelet

Last night was a “Cookin’ with Em” night. And this weeks recipe is Palestinian Crispy Herb Omelet.

One thing that is absolutely right about this recipe and is addressed in the cookbook, the prep of the herbs will take longer then the actual cooking.

I am so happy that recently I purchased this nifty kitchen gadget to make cutting of herbs easier and quicker. These scissors saved this recipe as far as I am concerned. Chopping three different herbs is not something I would chalk up as great fun. My knife skills are still in development. So multiblade scissors are for me!

snip- snip-snip

Worth every penny!

I am putting a link to these scissors here. You can also find them at Bed, Bath & Beyond, not exactly the same scissors, if I remember correctly they didn’t have the soft grip, but a version is there. I have used them several times. But this recipe did give them a workout. I love my gadgets, quilting and now cooking!

We used 8 eggs per the recipe. But in hindsight I think 2 more were needed. Although our eggs were labeled Large, they were really “fluffy” Mediums.

Dinner is served.
We added a side of aspargus.

I also substituted half a poblano pepper for the serrano chilies the recipe called for. Personally, that would of been too much heat for me. But both Paul and I agree that next time, I will use the whole poblano.

And I substituted Naan bread for pita bread. Just a personal choice there.

All in all we are giving this recipe 3 Stars out of 5. It needs some more tweaking, 2 more eggs, more poblano and less greek yogurt in the sauce we feel . We did enjoy it and will make it again.

Going to spend some time today looking thru the book for the next recipe. Oh wait it’s Em’s turn to pick. Well, I will just pick out something to make the following week on my own as she will be away. There are so many recipes in this book that we will never get thru all of them together.

Here is a link to the book for additional information.

That’s it for now. Just a side note, I am working on a reading list page for those who have asked about a list of the books I share on Facebook. Hopefully that will get done and up in the next week or so. But for now I am signing off and heading to the studio to sew!

Have a great day,

Little Boy Britches – Quilt Ideas

Wednesday, February 27th, 2019

A quick post to share with you some ideas for quilts that happened with a little bit of play time on my hands.

This is a a straight set of the block with no sashing between the blocks. It mimics the antique top in my collection. But I played with the coloring and two toned the “britches” for some twinkle in the blocks.

Here is the block on point and again with no sashing between blocks. Look at the fun secondary circles that happen! I played with the coloring to mix it up a bit. By using three different colorway of blocks in the quilt and their placement, depth is created.

This final idea for a quilt is back to a traditional setting with skinny sashing between the blocks. This is Little Boy Britches and Tennessee Circles (Oct 2018) combined.

The pre order special of FREE SHIPPING (domestic delivery only) is ongoing and will expire at 11:59pm on Saturday March 3rd. Orders will begin shipping on Friday, March 8th in the order in which they were received. Online Facebook LIVE segments coverage hand piecing techniques and how-to’s will begin the week of March 18th.

On the home front, tonight is another recipe from MILK Street – Tuesday Nights cookbook. This week was my choice and I went with the Palestinian Crispy Herb Omelet. I am making two changes….using poblano pepper vs serrano chilies. And Naan bread vs pita. I’ll take pics and share tomorrow!

Enjoy the day,

Milk Street – Tuesday Nights Cookbook

Monday, February 18th, 2019

I am a cook.

This is a sentence I have never typed before about myself. Feels good. It has been a long time coming as they say. I didn’t catch the “cooking fever” until my late 40s. Now at 53, I find myself perusing the new releases of cookbooks as much as my beloved autobiographies and historical fiction.

A few weeks ago, Em and I, decided to pick a cookbook and work our way thru it together. Well ok, maybe not all the way thru it. We are both creative people and I highly doubt we could stick to one book for it’s entirety.

So we each complied our own Top Five list and compared. Immediately one book stood out, basically because it was on both of our lists.

Milk Street Tuesday Nights by Christopher Kimball

We take familiar ingredients such as ground beef and spice them up, add garam masala , ginger and garlic and you have keema mater. We dress pasta simply, but boldly, with ricotta and sage, for example.

Introduction of Milk Street Tuesday Nights

Two copies were immediately purchased.

If you flip thro these pages you will notice two things: simplicity and big flavors. That is how you get supper on the table quickly on Tuesday nights while also delivering great food.

Introduction of Milk Street Tuesday Nights

This is a BIG cookbook. At a smidge over 400 pages and well over 150 recipes (I stopped counting by chapter 5 of 9 in the book) it will be a book we may not cook our way thru entirely together but it will serve us both well.

Did I mention that my Em is a wonderful cook? She obviously didn’t learn from me. Paul Sr inspired her. I told her to pick the first recipe. Our plan is to make one recipe a week “together”. Meaning any day of the week that works in either of our busy schedules works. We may not even make it on the same day. But we will discuss it on Sunday.

This weeks recipe is on page 57 under the Fast chapter.

Tuscan Soup


I’m putting a link here and you will see a new AMAZON link box at the top of the right hand column of my blog. So many have been asking me to make a list of books I share on Facebook and other things that I have finally sat down and made this easy to access and refer back to list of links.

Ok, off to putter some more in my studio. Pictures are being taken for the next block release in the Mic’s Attic Picks series.

Watch for that this weekend!

Enjoy the day,