Saturday, September 23, 2017

Goofin' Off With the Start of Fall 2017

Mr. Goofin' Off kept telling me earlier this week that he felt like someone had flipped a switch and it had gone from summer to fall in a snap. The weather is cooler, the skies are gray, and the days are definitely getting shorter. Well, I guess officially it is fall now.

With the first days of fall, I am brought back to my days as a little girl. My father worked a late shift, so often my mother would often bake at night after we went to bed while she waited for my dad to get home from work. In the fall, I would sometimes wake up to the smell of pumpkin bread...mmm...pumpkin bread. That memory inspired me to make some of my favorite pumpkin muffins this week.

Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Muffin Recipe

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
2 cups cooked or canned pumpkin
2 cups sugar
1-1/4 cups vegetable oil
1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
1.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Mix well. 
2.  In a second bowl, beat the eggs, pumpkin, sugar, and vegetable oil. 
3.  Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients just until moistened. 
4.  Fold in chocolate chips.  
5.  Fill muffin cups approximately 2/3 full. 
Bake approximately 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. 

Makes approximately 20 to 24 muffins. 

There is just something that smells so good about pumpkin muffins fresh out of the oven. I found a recipe a few years back that tasted very similar to my mother's recipe. I tweaked it a little so that I could add chocolate chips to the recipe. My family loves them, so they don't last very long around here.

Pumpkin Goofy!

I have added a gratuitous Goofy jack-o-lantern picture here from our trip to Disneyland because's Goofy...and it's a pumpkin.

I found myself with some time yesterday and got my next quilt all cut out. Here are the pieces for the blocks.  

Pieces for Block A

Pieces for Block B

Pieces for Block C

Pieces for Block D

I love this fabric of Woody from Toy Story.  This will be one of at least three Toy Story quilts that I'll be making from the Toy Story fabric that I've purchased.  The pattern I am using is from the book Modern View 3 Yard Quilts by Donna Robertson of Fabric Cafe. I ordered it Monday from Amazon, and it arrived on Wednesday. Gotta love Amazon Prime. 

Modern Views with 3-Yard Quilts by Donna Robertson

I already have about half a dozen of Donna's quilt patterns but none of the patterns in this book. Each pattern uses 1 yard each of three different fabrics. These are the perfect size for the charity quilts I make. The bonus of this book that I hadn't expected was that the book gave instructions on enlarging the quilts to twin and queen/king toppers.

Well, it's time to get in gear and work on the fall cleaning, baking, and getting those Christmas checklists started. Yes, I said it. I said "Christmas". It's going to be here before I know it, and I need to be prepared.

Let me know below. Are there any foods that remind you of the fall months? What are your favorites? I'd love to hear about them...and maybe drool a little bit over them.

Link Parties I've Joined - Just Click the Link to See More Crafting Eye Candy

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Goofin' Off With the Winds of Change

I can't believe it has been almost three weeks since my last post. The past three weeks have been crazy, but it all came out great in the end. If you have been following me for some time, you'll know that we have had five weddings of nieces and nephews this summer. Well, the final wedding was a destination the Caribbean...on a cruise ship. Well, Hurricane Irma changed those plans a few days before we were to leave. But more about that later...

Because things have been so crazy, I haven't been at my sewing machine much the past few weeks. I did manage, however, to put those last borders on my Gingerbread Square Dance quilt. You can see the finish below. 

Gingerbread Square Dance Completed Top

Now it's time to work on the Toy Story quilts for the happy couple that got married in July with the Toy Story themed wedding. They will be two lap size quilts to keep them warm while studying (or watching TV or playing video games) this winter. 

Here is the first set of fabrics that I've put together. I hope to be cutting into them in the next 24 hours. My rotary cutter is just itching to get picked up and slice through some fabrics. 

Fabrics for Woody/Toy Story Quilt

I did manage to get a bit of stitching on Mickey and Pirate Friends. It seemed an easier project to pick up and put down while all the travel changes were going down. Page 1 of ??? has been completed. I can see all of Goofy's eyes now.

Mickey and Pirate Friends Cross Stitch as of 09/20/2017

As I mentioned above, Hurricane Irma decided to make herself known a few days before we were to leave for our Caribbean cruise. We were given the choice of taking a shortened cruise leaving four days late or canceling and getting our money back in the form of a cruise credit. The entire group that was going on the cruise decided to just cancel as there was no way we would be able to make it into Fort Lauderdale to catch our cruise ship. The flights were all booked up.

That gave us just a few days to make alternative plans. The wedding party was able to come up with an entire new plan in less than 48 hours. We would still be "cruising", only it wouldn't be on a cruise ship, and it wouldn't be to the Caribbean. It was decided that the wedding would be held in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia. 

Victoria from the Front of the Fairmont Empress Hotel

We all boarded the Victoria Clipper in Seattle on Monday, September 11th, at way too early of a time in the morning. It was a beautiful three-hour trip up to Victoria and a sunny day with temperatures in the mid-70s. 

Let me just say here that when the Fairmont Empress in Victoria heard the story of the wedding plans being spoiled by Hurricane Irma, they were extremely accommodating. They allowed the wedding to take place in one of their flower gardens for no charge. They upgraded the room of the happy couple and made room for our large group to enjoy lunch together after the wedding. 

The Fairmont Empress is extremely beautiful and exquisite. Here are a couple of pictures I took of the lobby area. 

Mr. Goofin' Off on the Lobby Balcony in His Caribbean Wedding Atire

Lobby of the Fairmont Empress in Victoria, BC

The picture doesn't do this chandelier justice. It had to have been one of the most elegant chandeliers I've ever seen. And those fresh flowers just smelled so wonderful. 

After the wedding and lunch, Mr. Goofin' Off wanted to check out the miniature museum which was behind the hotel. We spent about an hour there. I think Mr. Goofin' Off probably could have spent another two hours there, but we had my mom with us, and I don't think her feet and legs would have held out as there was nowhere to sit down. We walked the waterfront for a while, and then went to catch the Victoria Clipper back to Seattle. 

After we got back home, we now had some airline miles that had been refunded back into our account and five days left of vacation that Mr. Goofin' Off had taken off of work. So what do you think the Goofin' Offs did?  I'll give you a hint...

Our Change in Vacation Plans Thanks to Hurricane Irma

You can look forward to a few pictures from our trip over the next couple of posts. As always, thanks for stopping by. I love to hear from you, so please feel free to leave a comment or question below. 

*As a side note here, I just want to mention how much my heart hurts for those recovering from all the hurricanes, fires, and earthquakes. The Goofin' Offs send our prayers and good thoughts to anyone suffering from the devastation.*

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Goofin' Off With a Pre-Road-Trip Post

So this weekend is Labor Day weekend here in the U.S. I've mentioned before we have five weddings this summer for nieces and nephews. Well, number four happened last weekend down in Salt Lake City which we couldn't quite make. So this weekend the happy couple is having an "open house" in Vancouver, WA, so we'll be making a one-day road trip down and back. I'm looking forward to it. More on our plans down below.

I've got the center and first border on the Gingerbread Square Dance quilt. It's looking might tasty.

Gingerbread Square Dance With Center and First Border

I have a close up here so you can see all the tasty treats and gingerbread house on the focus fabric.

Close Up of Gingerbread Square Dance

I was able to stitch up another little section of Mickey and Pirate friends...just some more of Goofy's pirate hat. I apologize that I must have had a weird filter on when I took this picture. It's a little dark.

Mickey and Pirate Friends Cross Stitch as of 09/02/2017

And since I occasionally get requests for what this piece will look like when it's finished...and it's a new month so a good time for a is what the finished stitched piece will look like.

Mickey and Pirate Friends

We're pretty excited to be headed today to celebrate wedding number four. When we asked what the dress code for the event would be, we were told it would be pretty casual. Blue jeans are perfectly acceptable. Yay! I'm thinking Mr. Goofin' Off and I should wear our special shoes. 

Our Disney Vans

These shoes are our special occasion casual shoes. Mr. Goofin' Off has the Mickey shoes and mine are a pretty purple with Jasmine on them. I wanted to be sure you knew because Mr. Goofin' Off would be horrified if he had to wear shoes with a princess on them. No mix-ups here.

Road Trip Snacks Courtesy of Mr. Goofin' Off

Mr. Goofin' Off headed out the other evening to pick up some snacks for our road trip.  I think he thought we were driving cross country or something because there is no way we'll eat all of these in six hours of driving. That's one ginormous bag of Red Vines. Minnie does approve and thinks these snacks are pretty sweet.

Reading Material for the Road Trip

I gathered up some reading material for the road trip...a few of my Disney magazines. I should be all up to date at what's going on at Disney by the time we get back...and possibly a few pounds heavier.

So that's what the Goofin' Offs have going on this weekend. What are your plans? Will you be sewing, stitching, BBQ-ing? Let me know in the comments below. 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Goofin' Off at the Evergreen State Fair

We received some free tickets last weekend for the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe, Washington. Mr. Goofin' Off did some volunteering at a table for the Historic Flight Foundation for part of the time while I wandered around the exhibits that I knew wouldn't excite him. Wait until you see what I discovered.

As the month of August and my "sweets" projects come to an end, I am reminded of a quote by Charles M. Schultz:

All you need is love.
But a little chocolate now and then
Doesn't hurt.

I have finished the blocks for the Gingerbread Square Dance quilt. Is that a hidden Mickey I see? 

Blocks for Gingerbread Square Dance Quilt

The blocks have been assembled with the focus fabric to create the rows for the center of the quilt.

Rows Assembled for Gingerbread Square Dance Quilt

I hope to have a picture of the completed quilt by the time of my next blog post. Fingers crossed!

Although I didn't have a lot of stitching time this week, I did manage to get a little bit more stitched on Goofy's pirate hat.

Mickey and Pirate Friends Cross Stitch as of 08/30/2017

As I mentioned before, we got some free tickets to the fair last weekend due to Mr. Goofin' Off doing some volunteer time there. The table he was at was near one of the doors. I noticed that right outside the door was the entrance to Frontier Land.

Entrance to Frontierland at Evergreen State Fair

Wait! Were we at Disneyland? Nope. But it got me thinking...about Disney of course...and how much Disney did I think I could find. I went on a Disney discovery tour. It didn't take long before I was getting a little hungry and went out to the food booths. What should I spy there?

Dole Whip Stand at Evergreen State Fair

There was a Dole Whip stand. Unlike the one at Disneyland that has waits of up to 45 minutes for this tasty treat, there was no line up least not yet. It was pretty early in the day when I passed by, and as the temperatures rose up into the 80's, I am sure they got busy later on.

Out by the rides I came across these babies...

Teacup Rides at the Evergreen State Fair

I chose not to climb on board one of these as 1) I didn't have a little one with me and would have looked silly; and 2) like the ones at Disneyland, I have a feeling I'd have been queasy the rest of the day.

On to the exhibits I went exploring. Would I find any Disney projects at the fair? Yep. Lots and lots of many I couldn't possibly post all the pictures. But here are a few of my favorites. 

My Favorite Quilt

Technically, this probably isn't a "Disney" quilt, but I immediately noticed two...possibly even more hidden Mickeys in this quilt design. I was totally in love with the quilt, the colors, and the hidden Mickeys.

Star Wars Lego Sculptures

These Lego pieces were fantastic! People are so creative. I can see Mr. Goofin' Off working on something like this.

The last piece I'd like to show you really caught my eye. 

Star Wars/Dr. Who Quilt at Evergreen State Fair

This quilt was made up of a mixture of Star Wars and Dr. Who fabrics. While I probably wouldn't have thought to put them together, the colors went along so well that this became my second-favorite quilt of the day. 

I feel it wouldn't be right not to mention all of the tragedy and devastation that has happened in Texas with Hurricane Harvey (as well as other things going on throughout the world). My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected. If you feel so inclined, go do something nice for someone today. You never know what they're going through. 

Thank you for dropping by to read my blog. Feel free to leave me a comment. I love hearing from you. 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Goofin' Off With a Mid-Summer Breather

We've officially passed the mid-summer point here in the Pacific Northwest. We don't measure the summer by school calendars here but by the weather. We generally have sunny weather June through September, so that's what I consider as summer.

If you've been following my blog much, you'll know that we've had a busy summer so far. I decided to take a breather and reflect on what we were doing a year ago before proceeding with the rest of the summer...(spoiler alert:  it involves a destination wedding).

I got to spend some time the past couple of days cutting up the strip sets for my Gingerbread Square Dance quilt. There were a lot of these little blocks, but it was so much quicker than if I had had to sew the strips on each individual block...

Cut Strip Sets for Gingerbread Square Dance

But, then again, now I have to add the strips to the sides of the blocks, so I did make some progress and got one of the sides sewn onto each of the blocks.

Side Strip Sewn to Gingerbread Square Dance Block

I decided it was also time to pull Mickey and Pirate Friends back out and do a little stitching on it. I made a little bit of progress on it. I am working towards a page finish for the chart at the moment.

Mickey and Pirate Friends as of 08/27/2017

As I was going through what was happening a year ago today, I came across these pictures and realized that it had been exactly one year since we had been to Disneyland. It was a great vacation with just me and my two boys. We called it our "first-class vacation." I had been setting aside money from each paycheck to upgrade this vacation.

Mrs. Goofin' Off and Goofin' Off, Jr. - First Class Lounge

I upgraded our seats to first class...which wasn't as expensive as one might think between Seattle and Disneyland. We all enjoyed the first class lounge and grabbed some breakfast while we waited for our flight.

Mr. Goofin' Off and I hunted down the infamous Club 33 doorway. One day...maybe one day...we'll get to eat here and check it off our Disney bucket list. For the time being, a picture will have to do. I've heard of people making vision boards of goals and dreams...maybe I should make one with this at the center. 

Mr. & Mrs. Goofin' Off Outside Club 33 - Somebody Please Let Us In

Mr. Goofin' Off and Goofin' Off, Jr., really enjoy their churros.  Imagine how thrilled they were when we encountered this churro cart. Six different flavors of churros. I don't remember which flavor was purchased, but I do remember it was enjoyed very, very much. 

Some people search out pictures of hidden Mickey's while they're at Disneyland. Not us. Mr. Goofin' Off is always looking for pictures of Goofy. We found one at the Disneyland Hotel. Maybe one day we'll eat here...another Disney bucket list item. 

Mr. Goofin' Off Found a Goofy to Take a Picture With

Going through these pictures has me thinking about vision boards. I had started one a while back and didn't get very far. Maybe it's time to get serious and put one together of just my Disney bucket list items...including Disney projects I'd like to do. Hmm...

Have you ever done a vision board? I'd love to hear if you have and if you have any pointers. The nine months of gray weather will be here soon, and anything I can do to brighten up my office/sewing room will help me through those months. 

Thank you for stopping by today! Please feel free to leave me a comment or send me a message. I consider you all my friends, and I always love hearing from you.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Goofin' Off Aboard a Pirate Ship

Ahoy, mates! As Captain Jack Sparrow says:  "It's not the destination so much as the journey." Last weekend we had a famous pirate ship...well, sort of famous...sail into town. Mr. Goofin' Off and I were able to go down to the waterfront, board the ship, and take a few pictures. This ship has some Disney ties to it, so of course I'll have to share it with you.

I wasn't feeling too hot this weekend, so I kind of took it easy.  Despite that, I did manage get some work done on my newest quilt. I spent some time cutting out the pieces for my new quilt. The quilt pattern is called "Square Dance", so I'm calling my quilt "Gingerbread Square Dance".

Everything is All Cut and Ready for Gingerbread Square Dance

The first step of this pattern is to sew some strip sets together. I love patterns that use strip sets. They really make things go so much more quickly. Here are the strip sets all sewn together and ready to be sub-cut.

Strip Sets for Gingerbread Square Dance

I talked Mr. Goofin' off into stopping at JoAnn's this weekend, so I could get the last of the thread that I needed for my Frozen Fun cross stitch pieces. Here is the first finish:

Frozen Fun Cross Stitch Finish #1

Mmm, that looks so scrumptious!

Mr. Goofin' Off and I like to go walking down on the waterfront. Every year there are some replica ships that come in to the small port there. I had heard rumors that one of the ships had been used in some movies and TV shows, so I did a little research this year before they came into town. 

View from the Boardwalk

On our Friday evening walk along the boardwalk, we could see the two ships.  The ship on the left is the Hawaiian Chieftan and the ship on the left is the Lady Washington.  The Lady Washington is the ship that is sort of a movie star in its own right...sort of.  

I checked the schedule, and it looked like Sunday morning the ships would be available to go aboard and take pictures and ask questions. Here she is Sunday morning waiting for us to come on board. 

Lady Washington Waiting to be Boarded by the Goofin' Offs

During my research I found out that the Lady Washington had been used in the movie Star Trek: Generations.  Now Mr. Goofin' Off is a huge Star Trek fan, so he immediately recognized this area from the movie and had to boldly stand where Captain Jean-Luc Picard had stood before him. 

Mr. Goofin' Off Standing Where Captain Picard Once Stood

As for me, the Disney geek, nerd, enthusiast, I found out that the ship had been used in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean:  The Curse of the Black Pearl.  The ship was one of the British ships portrayed in the movie, the HMS Interceptor. There was a plaque from the movie on the ship that had been signed by some of the cast and crew of the movie. Sorry the picture wasn't as clear as I had hoped.

Plaque from Pirates of the Caribbean:  Curse of the Black Pearl

When I asked the gal volunteering on the ship the last time the Lady Washington had been used for filming, she told me just last month...up in Vancouver, BC...for the filming of Once Upon a Time (the TV series). Yep, the Lady Washington can also be seen playing the role of the Jolly Roger, Captain Hook's ship, on the TV show. I am guessing that means we will be seeing more of Captain Hook in the upcoming season. Yay!

I decided to help Hook out by steering the ship. Mr. Goofin' Off made sure I knew that this was a tiller and not a rudder...because, you know, he wants to make sure I call it a tiller and not a rudder and confuse all my blogging friends. 

I'm Steering the Jolly Roger for Captain Hook!

The ship is much smaller in real life than it appears in the movies. But I did manage to take a few more shots. 

A Replica of a Cannon

The Bell Waiting to Be Rung

The bell was all shiny and pretty...just tempting all the little ones (and more than a few adults) to ring it. There was a sign indicating not to ring the bell. Of course, the littlest ones can't read, so when Mommy and Daddy weren't paying attention, it got rung once or twice...much to the dismay of the volunteer in the area. 

The Lady Washington Herself Adorning the Front of the Ship

This is not our first time encountering a ship from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Back in 2009 we got to enjoy the Flying Dutchman

Me and the Flying Dutchman in 2009 at Castaway Cay

I'll leave you today with a few thoughts from Captain Jack Sparrow. Even a pirate can have some great insights to life. 

"The problem is not the problem.
The problem is your attitude about the problem.
Do you understand?"
-Captain Jack Sparrow

"The seas may be rough,
but I am the captain!
No matter how difficult,
I will always prevail.
-Captain Jack Sparrow"

Thanks joining me on my journey today. Blogging would not be the joy that it is without all of my readers and fellow bloggers.

Linking Up To:
Needle and Thread Thursday
Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday
Can I Get a Whoop Whoop!
Finished or Not Friday
Scrap Happy Saturday

Friday, August 18, 2017

Goofin' Off With a Sweet Mystery Revealed

Well, the mystery quilt has been finished for a few days now. I've been waiting for an opportunity to hop on here and update the blog. I will give you a forewarning, however, there is a minor cake mix rant at the end...with a solution I found.

Also, I just wanted to slip in here that I was honored when I was asked to be blogger of the week over at the Blogger of the Week blog. I've met a lot of great new friends there. A new blogger is featured every week. If you're interested in making new blogging friends, this is a great place to start.

Clue #4 left me with these blocks joined together:

Clue #4 Revealed

And Clue #5 joined these pieces together:

Clue #5 Revealed

And the final finish after Clue #6:

Clue #6 - Mystery Solved

The name of the mystery was "Which Way". I can see where the name came from with the arrows point each way in the center. However, the top feels incomplete as is. It really needs a border. I think the white would wash it out, and I don't have enough of the pink left to do a border. I'll have to go through my stash to see what would look good.

But the month isn't over yet. And I still have a hankering for sweets. So I went through my stash remembering these fabrics I bought a couple of years ago and decided to see if I could slip in one more quilt finish before month end. 

Sweet Holiday Fabrics with Cakes and Gingerbread Houses, Red Floral Tonal, and Light Brown Waffle Cone Print

It seems Project Linus will be inheriting some pretty sweet quilts in the near future.  And I've made a dent in my stash at the same time. It's a win/win situation for sure.

I also got a little stitching in this week. I've been working on a few pieces from the August 2017 edition of Cross Stitch Crazy magazine from the patterns titled "Frozen Fun".

My First "Frozen Fun" - Just Needs Back Stitch

Second Piece from "Frozen Fun"

I wasn't able to complete the back stitch of the first piece as I didn't have the recommended color for the pattern. I'll need to get out and pick that up this weekend. 

Now for a slight cake mix rant.  I have, for the past few years, noticed my cakes were coming out smaller and flatter. I assumed that it was something that I was doing. After all, I am not a master baker like some of my friends and family. And then I ran across someone saying they had noticed that the amount of cake mix included in a box had shrunk by 3 ounces...from 18.25 ounces to 15.25 ounces. 

Cake Mix Now Only Contains 15.25 ounces of Cake Mix

What in the world was Betty Crocker thinking?  My 9" x 13" pan has not shrunk. My 9" rounds have not shrunk. The recipes in my Cake Mix Magic cookbook have not changed. How could they possibly think it's okay to change the amount? I'd rather pay a little more than to not have enough cake mix.

Am I the only one who didn't know this had happened?  

After some Googling on the internet, I was able to find what appears to be a common "fix" to the solution. Really, you're just adding your own ingredients to the mix to make it fit your pans or work in your recipes. But here it is:  

I'll give the three-ounce cake upsizer a try in the next few days and let you know how it went for me. 

If you've had the same issue and have come up with a good fix, feel free to let me know in the comments.  

Here is wishing all my blogging friends a sweet weekend!

Linking Up With:
Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday
Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?
Finished Or Not Friday
Flaunt It Friday
Scrap Happy Saturday