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

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Goofin' Off With a Sweet Mystery Continuation

It looks like I may have a little time on my hands to read a book (or two) just for fun in the not too distant future. I don't get to enjoy mindless reading very often very often, but when I do, I love a good, simple mystery. The first real mystery I read was back in grade school. It was an Agatha Christie. I have read her classics several times each and never get tired of them. But sometimes...just sometimes...I need something a little more mindless.

Talking of mysteries, this past weekend I spent every spare moment I could find into working on my mystery quilt that I introduced in last blog post. Although I am almost finished, I'll post the results of the first three clues here, and then share the last three with the final reveal in the next post later this week. I should have a finish to show off by then. 

Here is the result of Clue #1:  

Clue #1 Finished

And Clue #2:

Clue #2 Finished

And Clue #3:

Clue #3 Finished

Clue #1 actually took the longest to complete because there were a ton of those little buggers. Clue #2 took almost as long. But Clue #3 went together pretty quickly. I can't wait to show you the results, but you'll just have to wait.

Since I have been kind of on a "sweets" kick this month...and since Mickey and Pirate Friends was at a good point to set aside for a week...I decided to start a couple of small stitching pieces. The theme for these, of course, was also "sweet". The pattern set is titled "Frozen Fun" and designed by Jane Prutton. They can be found in August 2017 issue of Cross Stitch Crazy magazine. 

Here is where I am at in my first stitching piece:  

Frozen Fun Piece #1 - as of 08/15/2017

I am thinking of completing two of the six designs in the set. I think I have decided how I'll finish them but keep it a surprise in case I change my mind. I do that sometimes...change my mind. 

There does seem to be a theme of sweets and mysteries here. So I guess it shouldn't surprise me that as I was searching for a good mystery or two to read I noticed another trend. Some of my most favorite book series right now include...wait for it...sweets and mysteries. Actually, this trend has been going along for a while not just the past few weeks. I've decided to give you a list of my favorite mystery series at the moment.  

My first pick is the "Cupcake Bakery Mystery" series by Jenn McKinlay. She writes of a cupcake shop owner and her co-workers that somehow always find themselves in the middle of a murder mystery. At the end of each book is a half dozen or so specialty cupcake recipes. Yum...

Cover Photo as Found on on 8/15/2017

Another sweet series the "Paws & Claws Mystery" series written by Krista Davis (whom also has another delicious series titled "The Domestic Diva Mystery which is equally as appetizing). In this series a young woman goes to help her grandmother run an inn that tailors to travelers who travel with their pets. Apparently, murder and mayhem abound in this quaint little town. Again, at the end of each book is a few recipes for food served at the inn...both food for humans and food for their pets. 

Cover Photo as Found on on 8/15/2017

The last series I've chosen for my pick is the "Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery" series by Laura Bradford. This series follows a baker who has inherited an old ambulance from a elderly neighbor. She transforms the ambulance into a business where she caters and delivers desserts on an emergency basis. Of course, as in all good murder mystery series, she always finds herself in the thick of a murder probe. As with the two series mentioned before, the back of the book will find you with a number of delicious dessert recipes.

Cover Photo as Found on on 8/15/2017

So, apparently, I have a thing for books that are full of mystery and contain lots of new dessert recipes. I really like the fact that these books are good and clean...occasionally there is a side romance, but things never get smutty. They are also all very easy to read...but do often make me hungry.

I do not have any affiliate links at this time on my blog. These are my sincere "sweet" mystery series recommendations. If at any time I choose to change my blog to contain affiliate links, I will be sure to notify my readers. 

Do you have any series that you enjoy reading? Please leave them in the comments below. I am always looking for a new, good series. 

My thought for the day:
"It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all."  --Laura Ingalls Wilder

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Goofin' Off With a Sweet Mystery Start

I’m up bright and early this morning for my mystery quilt. The clues should be starting to come in at any time now. In case you don’t know what a mystery quilt is, it’s a quilt where you have no idea what it’s going to look like when you’re's a mystery. 

The fabric requirements are given out ahead of time, so you can be sure you have enough of your fabrics. I wrote about my fabric choices way back in July here. I chose the sweet treats fabric to be my main focus fabric. These sweet designs sure do make me hungry.  Hmm…maybe I’ll have to go make some cookies.  

Fabric Choice for Mystery Quilt - From Stash

Close Up of the Focus Fabric...Very Sweet

A couple of weeks ago, the cutting instructions for the mystery were posted online.  I have gone ahead and cut out the fabrics as indicated. Now I just have to wait as patiently as I can for the first clue to come out...any time now...

Mystery Quilt Pieces All Cut Out - What Will It Look Like?

Each clue will give further instructions on how to sew all the pieces together that you cut out. Clues are given out and pre-determined intervals. For this particular mystery, all clues will be given out today. Yippee! You’ll have to come back next week to see how my quilt is coming along. 

Since I have been patiently waiting for the clues to come out, I went ahead and finished another small section of my Mickey and Pirate Friends stitching.  I have decided I’m at a good point to set it aside and am going to do a couple of smaller stitching projects…inspired by the “sweet” fabric I’m using for the mystery quilt. 

Mickey and Pirate Friends - as of 08/12/2017

And since I didn’t quite have all the threads I need to get very far on the stitching yesterday, I decided to make some cookies to tide me over. They are key lime yogurt cookies…very moist and cake-like with just a hint of key lime. The recipe is one that I created that was based off of a lemon cookie recipe I've had for almost 30 years.  Here is the recipe:  


  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup key lime yogurt
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.  

Grease cookie sheets or cover them with baking parchment to keep cookies from sticking. 

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.  

Beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer until well creamed...approximately 30 seconds. Add sugars and continue beating until fluffy.  Add egg, vanilla, and yogurt and beat well.  Add dry ingredients to the beaten mixture and beat until well combined.  

Drop the cookie dough from a spoon onto a cookie approximately 2 inches apart. 

Bake in 375-degree oven for approximately 8 to 10 minutes.  

Remove and cool on a wire rack.  These usually make 30 to 36 cookies for me.   

***Mr. Goofin' Off is not a huge lemon or key lime fan, so I finished these off with a little buttercream frosting. You could just as easily sprinkle them with powdered sugar...or use a glaze made from powdered sugar, milk, and maybe a little key lime juice (Nellie & Joe's Key Lime Juice is a favorite in the bigger family) if you're a key lime fan.***

Goofy Admiring the Sweets On The Table

As you can see, Goofy stole a plate for himself and sat down at the table to eat them. I just noticed how well they match the fabric for the mystery. I guess if he drops some frosting on the fabric, it won't be too noticeable.