The original MTNMAMA

Monday, December 30, 2013

Design Wall Monday

Scrappy 2 inch square Blocks

This is really late to post today but better late than never.  I started out this morning at the lake.  Thus you can see my design wall is one of the empty queen beds in the upstairs bedroom.  I  started working on these blocks on Saturday while at the lake.  I had my leaders and enders from last year in a box along with my 2 inch square.  After spending some time on my favorite blogs I was inspired by Randy on the Barrister's Block to make a version of a quilt that was on her bed at a recent retreat. 

 My blocks are made of 2 inch squares.  There are 32 darks and 32 lights in each block which measure 12 1/2 inches unfinishes.  I got twenty made in two days.  Pretty good for me....I did go to the movies Saturday and spent the evening visiting with my daughter who came down to the lake to spend the night with me.  After taking this picture I had to pack everything up and head back into T-Town.  My girls gave me a family pix for Christmas.....really a sitting for a family picture which we had made this afternoon.  Have you ever tried to get a 2 years old to smile on cue?  I think we succeeded in a couple!!  It will be a treasure no matter how the smiles go.  

Now I have to pick out sashing and borders from my stash.   I will be back later in the week to show you my choices. I AM going to use my stash as much as possible this year!!  I love scrappy quilts so hopefully I can use what I have to supplement when needed.  I still am not adverse to a great piece of sale fabric when I see it also.  I ordered a roll of batting this week that was on sale so I should be set for a while. 

Gotta "undeck" the halls this week then I am free to sew to my hearts content.  I don't go back to work till Jan 7th!!   What an extended treat!!    Last year I posted all these goals in 2013....don't think I was very successful on the goals but I did get through the first year of being a widow and that says it all to me.  I may post some new goals tomorrow....or maybe not.....we will see.  
Hope you are enjoying this time before the New Year starts with a bang!

Happy Trials,

Mtn Mama 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Southwestern Black Bean Soup

Today for lunch Kristy made a delicious Sourhwestern Black Bean soup. She found a recipe online and has tweeked it several times so that now the recipe is truly hers.

It is thick and rich. Full of fiber. It was a treat to have her cook lunch for me. A cook always loves to be "cooked" for. Thanks Kristy!!!

Southwestern Black Bean Soup



3 cans black beans (Rinsed and drained)

2 cups black bean and corn salsa

3 cups water

1 tsp chili powder

1tsp cumin

1tsp salt

Fresh cilantro, shredded cheese and tortilla chips for topping



1. Rinse and drain black beans. Place in saucepan.

2. Add salsa, water, salt and spices to the pan. Stir together.

3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Divide soup in half . Use immersion blender or regular blender to purée 1/2 of the soup. Combine both halves of the soup back into the saucepan.

5. Serve with garnishes... Cheese, sour cream, chips and cilantro.

This soup is hearty and tasty on a chilly winter's day.

Happy Trails,

Mtn Mama

Christmas Quilt Completed!!


My finishing UFO's continues as I spend a few days at the lake with Kristy. It is so peaceful here. I tend to rest but yet get a lot of sewing done at the same time.

I quilted Holly leaves in the quilt border. There was holly in the border fabric so it was a nice compliment.

The fabric of one of the blocks had swirls so I overall quilted the body with a swirling pattern.


The back is scrappy. it is made of the leftover block fabric.

This is the quilt top my 85 y/o mother made before she left in December. I love the simplicity of it. The block rows in diagonals show off the beautiful Christmas fabric which by the way all came off the shelf in my stash as I was looking for fabric for her to stay busy with during the first snow/ice storm. I love using stash fabric to produce a beautiful result with a small amount if effort.

I put the quilt together on the Monday before Christmas. On Christmas Eve I quilted it. Yesterday I bound it with a scrappy binding. Perfect lap size during chilly, cool days.

It is going to be a beautiful day here at the lake. I will spend some time out doors between sewing and going with Kristy to the movies. Tomorrow it turns bitterly cold again. We must enjoy the beautiful weather while we can .....every day counts.

Makes me happy to know I have another beautiful project finished waiting in the wings for next year!!

Happy Trails,

Mtn Mama


Friday, December 27, 2013

UFO's from Christmas 2013 Completed


Embroidered Primitive Christmas Ornaments

I could say these are the first projects for Christmas 2014 or just admit I am finishing the last few things from 2013 that are stacked up in my sewing room. Either way they will be loved by whomever I gift them to in the future!!

I love these stuffed Primitives. For years I have done ornaments like these with hand embroidery but now I am using my Viking Designer SE and the results are great. I have several "Prim" sites for machine embroidery that I use.

I have had a love affair for years with homespun. I save every scap because I am always afraid I won't be able to find anymore. My stash still has a significant amount but you never can have to much!!!

Santa with star and Charlie Brown Tree

Primitive Tree

Fir Tree

Trio of Ornaments

It's never too early to start for next year!!! One of my 2014 goals is to make at least one thing for Christmas each month. I am starting out pretty good....haha....don't you think?

Happy Trails,
Mtn Mama


Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Tale of Christmas Stockings!

Christmas Stockings....not just Any Sock!!

I want to share our family stockings with you today because they are so special to me.   In 1981, the year Jeff and I were married, I wanted to start a tradition with stockings that I hoped would last through the years with our family.  I found a crochet pattern in Women's Day and went to work on our "socks".  I pretty much followed the pattern with Jeff's.  I love the Santa though he has lost some of his "felt belt" over the years of use.

For mine I used a variegated yarn.  That snapped it up a little.  Then I designed the snowman which I must say is my favorite!!

Jenny was born in 1983.  I had lost the pattern and just "winged it" by trying to dupicate ours.  It is fatter and shorter but so cute.
I designed the tree and sewed sequins (which we big on holiday decor in the 80's) to decorate it.

Kristy was born in Jan 1986 and I had a whole year to make her stocking.....but.....I had two children ages 2 and under and life was busy.  So no stocking till Christmas of 1988.  We were living in Wheeling, WV and a good friend of mine found this stocking at the Catholic Church bazaar.  She bought it and gave it to me for Kris.  I put her name on it and the trim on the cuff and pom-pom.  As the French would looked just like ours!!!

Fast forward to Christmas 2006 when we had the next addition to our family.  Jenny married Jon on Dec 17, 2006.  I could not find a pattern to match our stockings and set out with an entirely different one.  I don't know was never well received.
Anyway this is the stocking Jon has used for the past 6 years.

It's cute and it did have his name on it but.......we all laughed at the size compared to ours.  Life moved on...Jeff's cancer returned .....we fought the good fight but lost in 2012.  Life changed.  That first year was almost unbearable.  Christmas 2013 we were all in Minneapolis with Jenny and Jon and we were all sick with a terrible Upper Respiratory Infection that Ell had shared with us.  Stockings were not an issue.

So this year I wanted to surprise Jon with a stocking like ours and make one for Ella who was born in 2012.  Women's Day in 2011 had reprinted an updated version of the original stocking patter and I had saved it to use when I was up to the task.

Recognize the stocking with the Santa on it???  Notice my stockings turn to the left....I am left handed and somethings I do are just subliminal and I can't change the way I see things.....but remember I am in my RIGHT mind!!
I went to work last week .....why start early when doing it at the last minute gives you so much accomplishment?
The stocking was much larger at the base than our original ones so instead of removing the stitches and starting over I revised the pattern and here is Jon's stocking:

It matches Jenny's more than ours but is perfect with the family set.
He was surprised.  I bought him a very large OU stocking and tucked this one inside.  Now Jon has a matching stocking!!
Miss Ella will have a red one for next year.  I am working on it now.  And while I am at it I will make one for TJ who is arriving in our family the end of March 2014.  I will be ahead of the game....won't that be a change.??!!

Happy Trails,

Mtn Mama

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas To All!!

 Holiday Greetings from the "Smith" Women

The last two days have been full of laughter, smiles, giving, eating and reflecting.  It has been a great time for me and my family.  We have learned how to embrace the future, accept the past, reflect and remember without falling apart, and to appreciate the gift of our Lord and realize just how blessed we are.

God has given me two beautiful, talented daughters and a granddaughter that is without a doubt the "Smartest, cutest child to ever walk the earth"!!  As seen through a "Nana's Eyes"!!

We enjoyed going to church on Christmas Eve at the "Children's Service".  Miss Ella danced and sang and brought unspeakable joy to my heart as I  watched this precious child of God worship the King of Kings in her own fashion.  Childlike faith is what is it all about!!

After church we went to my house where we enjoyed a small buffet before heading over the "River and through the woods" to Jenny and Jon's house.  Jon met us after work at my house.  He was on call and was in and out as duty called him.  After being married to a doctor for over 30 years I am quite used to Holidays on make the best of it and continue with or without everybody being present.

Our buffet was easy, mostly pre-prepared food that could be put on the table without fuss.  It was tasty and just exactly what fit the evening.  

We love shrimp.....fresh, easy any with cocktail sauce!!

We also love cheese.  KK got lots of wonderful flavors of cheese and fruit at Whole Foods and made a beautiful platter.

Veggies, dip and Nana's homemade bread rounded out our meal.  We also had a spiral cut turkey breast.

At Jenny's we continued the party with gift exchange and opening packages.

Is there anything more fun than watching an almost 2 year old experience Christmas?

An of course there had to be cookies put out for the jolly old man himself.....Santa!!!

Christmas morning brought more surprises and a brunch that included my "Angel Friends".  Shirley, Goodness and Mercy had to be together on Christmas Day!!

Thank you Lord for the gift of your son and the purpose for which he came to earth.  Thank you for these "Heavenly" friends which have walked alongside me during the difficult days and the joyful ones.  Thank you for loving us and for the many blessings you give us each and every day....not just on Christmas Day!      AMEN!!

Happy Trials,

Mtn Mama

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Last Minute Goodies

Merry Christmas Eve!!

I love Christmas Eve!!  All the anticipation and preparation is coming to an end tomorrow but today we are still getting ready!  My late husband's family always celebrated on Christmas Eve with their holiday dinner, gift exchange and church. We pretty much followed this pattern for our family while the girls were at home.  Santa and stockings were for Christmas morning with a brunch to follow.  Now that the girls are back in Tulsa we are developing our own traditions as their families expand.  Today we will go to 5 p.m. church which the "Children's" service....If Miss Ella is anything like she was at the Carol Sing on Sunday she will entertain us all.  Then we will have a buffet at my house of appetizers and desserts.  We may open a few gifts but we will head to Jenny's for a giant "Family Sleepover" , gift exchange, and game night.  Miss Ella will be tucked into her bed with visions of "Sugar Plums" while we enjoy the most magical night of the year.

Yesterday I delivered all my Christmas cookie platters.

Believe it or not...I gave ALL those cookies away with the exception of a few decorated sugar cookies for me!!  I give a LOT of platters at Christmas!
We also make one last batch of Cinnamon Rolls.

Jenny made the dough and I rolled and panned them out.  She is as good as her mama now.  I am so proud!!

As usual I was up late last night working on my "LAST" Christmas project.  It is a quilt my mother pieced while she was stuck in the house during the snow/ice storm in early December.  

It is simple but the fabrics are bright and beautiful.  I swirled the center.  I am going to finish it this morning.....aren't all quilters quilting on Christmas eve????

We all met at the OK Aquarium yesterday for Miss Ella to see "Scuba Santa".  It was the coolest Santa ever!!  

Now I have seen everything!!  We have had so much fun with her this season.  
Can't wait to see her with the presents.

Off to quilt and make one last pan of fudge for a's a long story....I will share later!!

Merry Christmas eve to all my blog friends!!  Please leave me a note today.  I don't get many comments but I would love to hear from all of you!!

Happy Trails,

Mtn Mama