Sunday, November 12, 2006

Charlene's Heart

Charlene Ogle

This heart was made by Charlene ...her stitching is so lovely! Her tatting is wonderful too...isn't the caterpillar adorable? When Charlene first started tatting she ask me to steered her to some of the sites that I had learned from. Please visit her blog she has been tatting with buttons recently.

Thank you for trading hearts with me Charlene.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

New Beta Blog

I switched!!! And it wasn't difficult at all. I've been reading every one's comments on whether to switch or not and for those that did how well the switch went for them. All of the comments had me worried but I knew it was time to go ahead with the change.

For all of you that have switched what is your favorite new feature? I would love to hear from you.

The new job is still keeping me busy...but I have been tatting. Wish I could show you what I've been working on but they are Christmas presents. A few of my readers will be recipients so I had better wait until after Christmas to share photos.

I can share a photo of the lovely needle book that Maureen sent me. I sent her some sequins and beads that she couldn't get in Australia and this is what she sent me in return.

Maureen's stitching is so perfect and so detailed. I always drool over everything she does. It's almost to beautiful to use...but I promised myself I would. I'm like so many people I want to save my nice things instead of using and enjoying them. I must break myself of this habit...

Needle book from Maureen

Sunday, October 15, 2006


I see that I've been tagged by several people to share five weird things about myself. I've been thinking on this for several days now....its hard to know unless someone else finds what you do weird. My best friend even had a difficult time coming up with something weird about me. So here goes....

  1. I mostly watch old movies on TV....I just have one or two shows (that aren't movies) that I watch.
  2. When I'm home the TV is always on. I have a TV in my bedroom too...and the remote upstairs turns off the TV downstairs and turns on the set upstairs. I can't sleep with the TV off...I just lay there staring at the ceiling until I turn the set back on.
  3. I hate to go to the cinema and I don't...can't stand watching movies with a crowd of people.
  4. Most people like to trade cars every 5 or 6 years but not me I love my car and would like to keep it forever. I hate power windows and doors and most of the other computerized gadgets that are on cars now days. I've always thought power windows are a dumb can't roll down the window if the car isn't running.
  5. I like to add hot chocolate and half and half to my that weird?...I love flavored coffees.

I'm sure there are other weird things about me that I just don't know about. I was tagged by several people and I know most of my blog friends have been tagged several times if you are reading this and haven't been tagged yet consider yourself tagged by me.

Thanks to all of my readers that have been leaving me comments. I love to read them and I try to respond if I get an email address otherwise I visit your blog (if you have one).

I started a new job a month ago and it is seriously getting in the way of my stitching time. Several of the ladies in one of my online groups suggest stitching at least 15 minutes each day...I really need to start this and make it a habit. My biggest problem with that is I lose all track of time when I'm!!!

I hope everyone is having a great day!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Birdhouse heart

Birdhouse heart
Originally uploaded by Iris Susan.

This little heart has been patiently waiting in my flickr folder to be posted to this blog. The print in the center is one of my favorites. It has all of my favorite things....birds, bird houses and flowers.

The flowers on the top left are Fargo roses...they are very full and look the way roses should. Three of the seam treatments are done with a single thread of DMC floss.

I hope everyone has a great week!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Country Tulip

Country Tulip
Originally uploaded by Iris Susan.

Sometimes it's fun to do some thing totally different. This county heart is made from all cotton fabrics...I love working with cottons they are far more forgiving then fancy fabrics.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Purple Hummingbird

Purple Hummingbird
Originally uploaded by Iris Susan.

I've been working on more hearts. The spider web roses got a little flattened in the scanner but that's ok they puffed up again. I really am trying to get away from purple but I think there are a few more in my pile to do.

I hope everyone had a nice weekend!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Purple Rose Heart

Purple Rose Heart
Originally uploaded by Iris Susan.

I love doing these spider web rose motifs!!! Others must like them to I have several comments on my flickr site about them.

This one the silk ribbon is just one color but I like to use two ribbons together in my needle while doing them. I'll use a 7mm ribbon along with a 4mm ribbon of a different color so the rose has a two tone look to it. Belinda from shared this tip and I have been using it on most of my roses.

The roses at the top of the bottom seam treatment are Fargo that I can make them right I use them often too.

Stitching Hearts

Purple Heart 3
Originally uploaded by Iris Susan.

Life has been so busy lately that I haven't had time to work on big projects. It's nice to have a pile of hearts made up so that I can work slowly and not forget what I'm doing on them. I enjoyed working on this heart; the curve was interesting to play with. The seam treatment makes such a pretty arch.

I seem to be stuck on purple lately most of the hearts are shades of pink and purple. The center fabric is a beautiful bold cotton print; this is only a small corner piece.

I want to thank all of those that have been leaving comments I love hearing from all of you. I do try to respond to anyone that has a return email address. It is so nice to know people are reading my blog. Hopefully life will settle down for me and I will be able to post more often this fall and winter.

I'm posting this from my flicker site and it will only allow me to post one pic at a time. I have another heart pic to share so it well be the post above this one.

Happy Weekend Everyone!!

Monday, September 11, 2006

A Heart From Lorenza

From Lorenza Actis Foglizzo
Originally uploaded by Iris Susan.

This beautiful heart came all the way from Italy to my little home here in Ohio. Lorenza does beautiful work....aren't those violets great!

A Heart From Susan Nixon

From Susan Nixon
Originally uploaded by Iris Susan.

A scanned picture of these hearts just doesn't do them justice. This heart is so sweet and Susan's stitching is wonderful.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Trading Hearts

From Norma Harris
Originally uploaded by Iris Susan.

This beautiful heart is from Norma Harris who lives in Virginia. I love the paisley!

Trading Hearts

From Michelle Share
Originally uploaded by Iris Susan.

This heart is from Michelle Share who lives in Maine. She does lovely tatting and I've been looking forward to seeing it up close and personal.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Butterfly Heart

Butterfly Heart
Originally uploaded by Iris Susan.

This heart is truly an experiment with color contrast. I used the main colors of the print (shades of pink to dark maroon and shades of yellow) to make a very bold heart. The threads are all perl cottons which adds to the boldness. The Fargo roses at the top have seed beads in between them.

I like doing this kind of heart every now and then. It's like singing really loud and maybe off-key but you don't care because it makes you feel soooo good. I'm afraid the scanned photos just doesn't do it justice I think it much prettier in person.

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Sail Boat Heart

Sail Boat Heart

I really like this sail boat image and wanted to try it on a heart. I guess I didn't have a plan for the stitching so it has a little of this and a little of that. The interlocking circles motif and the motif on the right are from Carole Samples "Treasure of Crazy Quilt Stitches".

Now that I can actually do Fargo roses I added them at the bottom along with ribbon stitch and lazy daisy stitch leaves. The spiderweb rose at the top is very eclectic...I like changing things up a bit. It's done with olive green and orange 7mm ribbon that I dyed myself. The two-ribbon technique I learned from
Bear...she's planning on doing a tutorial soon so please watch for it.

The bead trails on either side of the spiderweb rose are my very first attempt at them. It was fun to pick the beads then decide which should lay against each other. I can see myself doing a lot more bead trails now.

The little anchor at the bottom is done in satin stitch. It wasn't easy to get the details to show, I would have liked to make it bigger but I didn't want it to over power.

Here is a larger view if anyone cares to see the details.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Under the Sea

Under the Sea
Originally uploaded by Iris Susan.

This is my first attempt at a Seascape Heart. It was fun but I just don't have any sea theme charms or buttons so I stitched the beaded star fish. The pattern for the sea horse came from All of the fancy threads are couched down with beads and on the left I used a feather stitch with beads for more sea grass.

Friday, August 11, 2006


I haven't had time to embroider lately...I've had other sewing projects to keep me busy. My niece is getting married tomorrow and she ask if I would do some alterations for her and two of her attendants. It was interesting for me... the attendants dresses were much easier to work on then the bride's dress. The work has me very curious about doing alterations on other projects...I would love to watch someone that does wedding gown alterations for a living to see just how it's done. All that I did was make the dress a little more comfortable for the bride...I shortened the shoulder straps and took up some fullness under the arms.

I wanted a new dress for myself for the wedding and thought I would make it....what an adventure! It is so difficult for me to know how to adjust patterns to fit. Like most women I'm narrower through the shoulders than the waist and I have to make several alterations to the pattern. Well needless to say the first dress was way to big through the neck and shoulders...Luckily I had other fabric and a pattern that fit better and I ended up using both patterns... made several adjustments and now I have a dress that I'm happy with.

Has anyone been watching "Project Runway"? I usually wouldn't watch shows like this but this one fascinates me. Maybe because of seeing the creative process at work. I never wanted to sew my own cloths before but this show has made me want to do more sewing. I just wish I knew more about fitting patterns!

I have two garden pictures to share. The first one is one of my Lemon Boy tomatoes and the other is a pumpkin. The pumpkins have vined their way all over the garden!

Lemon Boy tomato

Pumpkin patch

Saturday, July 29, 2006


Reading Blogs has become part of my daily routine. I have a very long list of blogs bookmarked. Time doesn't allow me to read all of them every day but I check in on all of them sometime during the week.

I've added more of my favorite blogs to my list here. Please check them out if you have a chance. Reading blogs reminds me of visiting with a good friend and sipping a glass of ice tea on the front porch while they tell me about their day. Actually that is very true because I've become friends with many of the bloggers on the list.

I can only hope that this blog makes my readers feel the same way...I just wish I was a better writer. That was one of my objectives when I started Iris Cabin.

I invite you to get yourself a cup or glass of your favorite beverage and take some time to visit some of my friends and fellow bloggers.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Originally uploaded by Iris Susan.

I have had such a difficult time finishing this heart...I've been working on it for 4 weeks. I love the way it turned out and I tried out some new stitches...cast-on, Fargo roses and the scrunched ribbon. It looks like I need more practice on the cast-on don't lay flat like others I've seen. I'm really pleased with the Fargo roses...they never turned out right before when I've tried them. The spider web roses are done with two ribbons a 7mm and 4mm threaded together. I really like the effect! Larger photo here.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Yes I'm still here

Life has gotten in the way of play lately....but I did want to share some pics. We are having rain here in the valley and things are growing like crazy. My garden is doing great! I've picked cucumbers and a zucchini, the tomatoes are loaded but none have turned yet. The pumpkin patch is taking over...they are the little pie pumpkins. I love to freeze my own pumpkin for pies and a dear friend does too but she doesn't have a garden yet so I'm hoping she takes some of these of my hands.

I put hay in between the rows to keep the weeds down and to conserve moisture. It works great I seldom need to water even when it hasn't rained for a couple of weeks.

This sunflower came up in a very small flower box on the back porch. It must have come from the bird feeder...not sure how it got there but it's done very well. I set the box next to the porch post for support...the flower is very tall and rather top heavy for the box it's in.

I love hydrangeas....I have two and this one is blooming like crazy. The flower heads are huge!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Cardinal Heart

Cardinal 2
Originally uploaded by Iris Susan.

My dear friend Sandie loved the first heart that I did with this pattern so I did this one just for her. I believe the embroidery pattern is from one of Judith Baker Montano's books.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Kitten in Thyme

Kitten in Thyme
Originally uploaded by Iris Susan.

I couldn't help myself this pic was too good to pass up. I had to take it through the glass in the back door. The kittens aren't tame and take off as soon as they hear the door knob turn. There are three of them and they are all cute but ornery...they love to play in the flowers and nap in them too!!!

Red Hot Poker

Red Hot Poker
Originally uploaded by Iris Susan.

This flower just went crazy blooming this year. The kittens have played in it quite a bit. I have yelled at them several times to run them out. Ornery kittens!!!

Shasta Daisy

Shasta Daisy
Originally uploaded by Iris Susan.

I really should have staked these daisies they have fallen over and now they are covering up my hydrangeas.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Bear's Heart

This heart arrived from Australia this week. Bear made it for me...the spiderweb roses are beautiful...I need to take lessons on making them from her. I always pull mine too tight..and they obviously need to be a lot looser.

I worked in the garden this morning. There were a few things I wanted to finish....I had late corn and beans to plant along with four tomatoes plants and four pimentos plants to set out. As I was finishing up setting the plants it started to sprinkle rain...I wanted to put the tomatoes cages over the plants too but when I looked up it was obvious that we were in for a down pour. So I'm still not done in the garden...I have some pole beans that I want to sow in the corn rows and the cages to put on the plants. We haven't seen the end of the rain our forecast is for chance of thunderstorm's the rest of the week. It's great for the garden but my yard is getting carried away...and the mower needs parts...I never seem to be able to get everything looking good at the same time. Does anyone else have this problem?

My Shasta daisies are starting to bloom...they need supports just didn't think of it soon enough. I also have Red Hot Pokers in bloom too...must take pictures and share them here.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Contest Block

Contest Block
Originally uploaded by Iris Susan.

This block was fun to was part of a baggie swap and block contest on the CQNewbies yahoo group. I had a wonderful time stitching seam treatments that I hadn't tryed before. It's my first completed block.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Silk Ribbon Dyeing

Saturday was a very rainy day here in Eagle Valley so after straightening up the house I played with dyeing some silk ribbon. One of the yahoo groups has been chatting about dyes and we talked about using Kool-Aid and what vibrant colors it produced. So Kool-Aid is what I used. The mixture I used was a 1/4 of a teaspoon of Kool-Aid powder with a Tablespoon of water. Lemonade made a very nice light yellow...lime made a bright of course made a bright orange...and grape made a very dark purple.

To get lighter green colors I mixed lemonade and lime. Adding a little orange to the lemonade gave me a darker yellow. To get an olive shade I mixed a little orange with lime. I'm very pleased with the colors.

For the most part I followed Sandie's dyeing instructions..I microwaved them, then heat set them with the iron..after that I rinsed them in fabric softener. It was easy and not too messy...I didn't use gloves but the Kool-Aid has worn off my fingers already.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Red Buttonfly

This is such a cute pattern and it isn't as difficult as it might look....but after doing over fourteen of them I can still mess one up. I've been tatting butterflies for a motif swap...I love them but I'm very very tired of butterflies. Here is a link to the pattern if anyone is interested. It really is easy.....but it's easy to mess up

We are have the strangest weather here in the valley. It was very cold one week.... it was hot and rained all the next and this past week it's been very nice during the day and cold at night. The yard was a mess I couldn't mow for two weeks...I did manage to get it done on looks so nice now.

Sunday I worked in the garden...planted 36 tomato plants...Lemon boy and Roma's. I make salsa and can (preserve) it so I need lots of tomatoes. Last year I entered my red salsa in the county fair and it won Best of Show. I also entered my yellow tomato salsa, canned red tomatoes and canned yellow tomatoes. Everything placed first but the yellow tomatoes...not sure why but they were canned in pint jars instead of quarts. I plan to try again this year...I just hope I have a good crop of tomatoes to work with.

Friday, June 02, 2006


Closeup of Roses
Originally uploaded by Iris Susan.

The upclose view.

Rose Bush

Rose Bush
Originally uploaded by Iris Susan.

This rose was a gift from my neighbor last spring. I usually don't have any luck growing roses but this one made it through the winter and I didn't have to do much pruning. It was full of buds and I couldn't wait for it to bloom. The blooms smell good with out being overly fragrant. What I like best is that the blooms are very showy and can be seen from the my neighbor can see them when she drives by.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Press Chicken recipe

I love recipes that have an interesting history and I'm glad to share this one with you. The main ingredient is a nice fat chicken.

When I make press chicken for a large group (which I usually do) I like to buy packages of breasts and thighs. A whole chicken works nicely for a family. I like the mixture of light and dark meat so that the end product is nice and moist with good flavor. Also the meat should have nice yellow skin and some fat (it makes better broth).

Before I cook the meat I like to soak it in salt water. This is something that my mom did whenever she fixed chicken she bought from the store; mom said it cleans the meat. Rinse the chicken and place it in a stock pot with enough water to almost cover the meat. Add a large pinch of salt to the pot. Slow boil the chicken for around three hours or until the meat is falling from the bone. Remove the meat from the broth to a platter to cool. Strain the broth and save; keep refrigerated until ready to use (never store broth in a metal container). After the meat has cooled separate it from the skin and bones. Keep the chicken refrigerated until the broth has completely cool and any fat is congealed. Remove and discard the fat from the broth.

I use my grandmother's meat grinder to grind the chicken. Meat grinders come in all makes and models now, but the one I use is like the one mother used. It clamps to the tabletop or counter and has three different blades: course, medium and fine. I always use the medium blade to get the same consistency my mother made. Any meat grinder will do but you may not get the consistency that I do. While grinding the meat I usually add saltines a few at a time to move the meat through grinder and saltines also act as a binder when the broth is added. While grinding the meat heat the broth, for a whole chicken you should need between 1 ½ to 3 cups of broth.

Place ground chicken in a large bowl and slowly add the broth a little at a time. Mix until it is moistened also add salt and pepper to taste. It depends on how you want to serve it as to how much broth to use. Adding a little broth will make it stiffer more broth will make is spreadable. Mom would use less broth and put the mixture in a loaf pan so she could slice it for sandwiches. I usually make it with more broth so that it is easy to spread on sandwich buns. Refrigerate until cool.

Typically no condiments are used although I like a little mayonnaise on my bread. As long as you keep the chicken cold you can make up sandwiches ahead of time.


If you have more broth than you will need boil it down some to concentrate the flavor. Or save it for another use (noodles?).

If you don't think you have enough broth add some water and bring it back to a boil.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Busy Week

This week has been a busy one....I think it's mostly because Memorial weekend is coming up. I've been to all of the local greenhouses getting plants for the garden and for my hanging baskets, planters and flower beds.

Yesterday my neighbor and I planted flowers in the flower beds at our town cemetery. We've been doing this for seemed to slip up on us this year but we wanted to have it done for the holiday weekend.

I didn't do up as many hanging baskets this year...I have other places that money can go too. The garden has been calling me and I have all of my seeds planted and some pepper plants are set out too. The tomatoes and the rest of the pepper plants are on the porch waiting....I like to repot them into larger pots with good soil before they go to the garden...just gives them a good start.

The flower bed out front needed dirt...the eve drips into the bed and the dirt disappears. I added a bag of dirt and planted vinca, blue salva and a few petunias. The three hanging baskets I made up have with yellow the other two with pink.

The wind has been blowing all day....very hard at times and the tree frogs have been singing too. I suspect we will have rain in the night. The wind always brings the Hawks and Turkey Vultures to hang glide over the trees....poor Jesse nearly ran himself silly chasing and barking at them. He should sleep very well tonight.

Has anyone heard of Press Chicken? That is my next big project this weekend. Our little community has an Ice Festival on Memorial day every year. My job is to make the Press Chicken for's a local favorite. We have people come from several communities around just for a press chicken sandwich. When I was a kid nearly all of the local ladies made it but most of those ladies have passed away and I guess the recipe wasn't pasted on to the next generation. I haven't posted any recipes here yet but if anyone would like the recipe please leave a comment and I will post it for you.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Hearts Received

Only a few of my close friends know that I'm trading hearts through the Chain of Hearts group...and they ask me about it frequently. I've even been asked to show my Hearts scrapbook to friends of friends. People are always amazed at the beauty and craftsmanship (craftswomanship) involved in the making of these little crazy patched hearts. I thought I would share the two latest hearts that I have received.

This heart is from Candji who lives in Ohio

This heart is from Hideko who lives in Japan.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

More on my First Block

I've added more seam treatments. The one on the top right on the light blue fabric is my favorite. When I look at the block it just stands out.

I used a very loose pistil stitch on the seam to the left of the center print. It reminds me of curves in a comma shape. There is still more to come.

Monday, May 15, 2006

My First Block

My first block
Originally uploaded by Iris Susan.
This is the first cq block I've ever sewn together. I'm not sure I would have tried some of these seam treatments if I had to do them freehand. Press & Seal has really been a big help to me. Julia just posted a tutorial on useing P&S on her blog, Camille's Place.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Recent Tatting

Latest Tatting
Originally uploaded by Iris Susan.
Here are a few of my tatting projects that I finished recently. Click the link to my flickr site to see a larger picture.

I want to thank everyone for their comments on the cabin and my stitching and tatting. It's so nice to know there are so many people out there that like what I do.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

New Heart

This is my latest heart and it went to Belinda in Australia. All the fabric and the pink lace are from baggie swaps. I tatted the butterfly to match this heart.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Open House

The last couple of weeks have been very busy for me. So I'll catch up on the main thing that has had me so busy. Some of my readers know that I live in log cabin. My brother (who sells the log kits) uses it as a model home and we have an open house once or twice a year. Today was our open I've been busy getting ready for it by getting rid of some things that I didn't need any longer and packing away things that were setting around. Plus I've been doing and more cleaning plus the yard work. While the house was clean and tidy I thought I would share some pictures.

This is the south side of the cabin...that is a rock walk to the porch. The next pic is the kitchen and dining area. You should be able to see larger pictures by clicking on them.

This is the living room and the stairs lead to the master bedroom on the left and loft on the right. The house if very open only three rooms have doors (both bathrooms and the downstairs bedroom).

This is the guest bathroom (downstairs) I had seen these old washstands and dressers used in Log Home magazine and was lucky enough to have one to put in my bathroom.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Grant Days continued

This area of Ohio has a lot of history most of it in some way connected with the civil war. The Rankin House, written about in "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and part of the underground railroad, is in Brown county too. As a matter of fact there are many homes in the area that were used as safe houses for the underground railroad...including my Aunt and Uncle's.

If you would like to know more the Internet is packed with info on the civil war, Grant and Morgan's raid. I did find a few sites that might be of interest:

Ulysses. S Grant

American Presidency

John H. Morgan

Grant Days

Last weekend I attended the local Grant Days celebration for a few hours and thought I would post a few pictures. I wanted to attend because the ladies from the weavers guild were going to be there doing their thing. They were demonstrating how the spinning wheel and weaving loom were used. It turned out to be quite an interesting day.

I guess I should tell you a little about the celebration. Ulysses S Grant, our eighteen president spent his early childhood in Georgetown Ohio. The house he lived in and the school house he attended are local historical sites. Several of the events included a history walk through the home and school house and several historic landmarks in Georgetown also a Grand ball that evening with everyone in civil war period costumes.

One of the events that I got to see was the reenactment of Morgan's Raid. The whole center of town was cordoned off and all the actor's were dressed in period costumes. The raiders came through town on horses and locals were trying to fend them off with single shot muskets to no avail. The raiders then proceeded to raid the local shops looking for supplies and money. There was a considerable amount of comedy in all of the goings on too. And of course a few locals died in the fellow played his death very well... he died in the middle of the street. The sun was out and it was very warm so the poor dead man was dragged up on the sidewalk to the shade and remained there quite dead for the next hour or so. Finally the Calvary rode in and saved the day...with a horse back saber fight and muskets going off everywhere it was very dramatic and so much fun to watch.

The Cavalry arrives, or maybe it's Union troops, to save the day!

Monday, April 24, 2006


Originally uploaded by Iris Susan.
I've been working on these daffodils for a while now. I just can't seem to get them to look the way I think they should :-(

Thank you Julia for the pattern and instructions. With any luck my next attempt at these daffodils will be much better.