Friday, November 12, 2010

Exciting News


It is with great joy that I can announce, that Space Walk Bunny has been chosen as one of the 40 finalists in the 3 dimentional catagory. I just recieved a notice from Etsy Admn. and they will be having the final judging with NASA officials soon.

Thank you so much for your thoughts and support.


Last month, Etsy announced that they were having a contest to celebrate the last flight of the NASA shuttle program. They partnered with NASA for this contest!

In the eleventh hour I was encouraged by my Friend Nakisha to enter my Spacewalk Bunny quilt. So I did.

I forgot about the entry until this evening. I was checking my views over at Craftopolis and saw 109 views of this quilt...which is WAAAAAY more than my daily average.

I hopped over to the Storque and saw that this bunny quilt was one of the 50 finalists in the 3D category.
You could have knocked me over with a feather.
Here is a link to the the 3D category:

Check it out and if you are of a mind vote for your fav!

The winner gets to have their item taken up to the International Space Station for permanent display there. Is that just too wonderful! 

Thank you for sharing my JOY!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Damp Cold Days..,Homemade Soup and JOY

It's a  rainy day here in the North Woods this afternoon. It's dreary..cold and damp. I lift my spirits and bring out the soup pot...cuz nothin' breaks the gloomies like a bowl of homemade soup. It warms the body, satisfies hunger, and fills my soul with

Today I made potato and corn chowder with homemade bread sticks. The the thyme and coriander in the chowder is wafting through the house. The aroma of rising bread has my poor husband acting like a two year old on a car trip...
is it ready it ready yet..
y'all know how that goes.

Is your mouth watering.......are you hungry?  I'll bet you'd like the recipes. Here ya go.

I start off by making the bread sticks. While they rise, I start the soup.

This recipe is for 8 bread sticks. You can double everything if you need  more.

1 1/4 tea. dry yeast dissolved in
3/4 cup 110 degree water with
3 heaping tea. sugar.
( If you don't have a candy thermometer test the water on the inside of your a baby bottle. If you can feel a little heat...that's it!)
Mix the three together well and let stand while you mix the dry ingredients.
Letting the yeast stand in the sugar water, maximizes the yeast.

Mix together in a large bowl
1/2 tea salt
1 1/4 cup flour
Slowly add the yeast mix stirring well before adding more liquid.

Once the wet and dry are incorporated, turn onto a hard surface and lightly kneed...about 10 folds.

Cut into 8 even pieces and roll into 10 inch logs. Place them on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

Beat one egg with
1 tea of cold water.
Brush on the bread sticks and top with Italian seasonings, poppy or sesame seeds..our favorite is course sea salt.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
Cover and let rise 30 minutes in a warm place.

                While your yummy bread sticks are filling the house with   the most amazing aroma...

Start the soup. This recipe makes about 10 serving...but it all depends on the size of your bowl. :-)
          2 celery ribs
          6 carrots
          1/4 cup sweet onion
For the vegetarian version, Saute (in the soup pot) the onion, celery and carrot in an herb infused oil. I like thyme.
Remove the veggies and set aside. Pour off the remaining oil and de-glaze your pot with one large can of veggie broth. See the bottom of this post for the meat lovers version.
Chop 12 red skin potatoes. I peel half..but do what you like here.

Add to the broth and bring to a boil. Cover.

Check the potatoes after 10 mins. If they're getting soft, add:
1 1/2 cups potato flakes
1 1/2 cup plain soy milk
1/4 cup fresh cut thyme
1/2 tea coriander
1/8 tea nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

Turn down the fire and simmer.

                                                            If this had timed out right..

The bread has risen and it's ready for the oven.
15-20 minutes at 375.
Remove from sheet to cool.

Final addition to the soup. I use one quart of corn I put up this year..liquid and all. You can also add 2 large cans of corn. No Frozen. The corn starch of the liquid helps thicken the soup and makes it a chowder.

This is the best part.....Plate and serve.
Add a bit of sharp Cheddar to the soup for garnish.
Warning: Consuming more than one bowl of this hearty chowder will result in uncontrollable repeated phrases such as: " Ohhhhhh.. I'm so Full", "I couldn't help myself", "I need a nap" 

I hope you try this beautiful rainy day...liquid (well almost) JOY!!

If you give this a try...I'd love to hear from you.

Bon Appetite

Meat lovers:
In your stock pot brown 10 slices of bacon to well done. Discard all but 1 tab of the drippings.
De-glaze the pot with 1 large can chicken or veggie stock. (both are GREAT!)
Saute the celery, onion and carrot in a non stick pan with the 1 tab of bacon drippings.
When caramelized, add to the broth with the potatoes.
Follow the vegetarian until the soy milk. Add 1 1/2 cup cream instead.
At garnish...add some of the crumbled bacon on top of the cheese.

I love both versions of this chowder. Today..... I added the bacon. :-)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fall Has Arrived

Fall has arrived in our little Northern Michigan hamlet. The warm sunny days and the cool...almost winter cold...nights have turned the leaves the most incredible colors!

The Maples with their brilliant reds.....

and bright oranges.

The Oaks and Poplars round thing off with their beautiful golds.

I remember when I was a little city girl...we'd rake up the leaves into a big pile and jump right into the middle. It was like landing in a huge feather bed. Soft and fragrant.
I always loved the smell of fall. My brother and I used to fight for who would rake the leaves. Back then it was a big "Want to Do".

Now that I'm older and... thanks to my loving husband....a country-fied gal, this is what I have to look forward to every fall in the woods.

Older and wiser....we hire someone to rake the leaves now... so we can sit in the hammock and enjoy the glory of Mother Nature and her amazing fall paint brush.

Ohhh I smell cinnamon! Frank must be back from the Cider Mill.
Gotta go!

Enjoy the colors of your back yard today :-)

Friday, October 15, 2010


I love the journey being an entrepreneur has taken me. I have been able to let my creativity flow in every direction...when and where I like. I've also had the opportunity to meet some wonderful people along the way.

I like to share one of my stories with you.

A while back I was contacted by a  wonderful young woman, who wanted to have a very special dress made for her daugnter's first birthday. She saw a dress in my Etsy shop, and the fabric was just what she was looking for, a very sweet bumble bee print. She told me that her daughters nick-name was *Lil Bee Charmer* and could I make one with a few changes. We worked out all the details, size and colors. 
I didn't hear back from her, but the little bee charmer's birthday dress was stuck in my head.

I began...for some serendipitous embroider *'lil bee charmer* on what would become the hem of the bumble bee dress. As I sat embroidering, I was flooded with thoughts of this little girl and her loving family I had never met.

While I still had not heard back from mom to confirm the order, I continued with my embroidery.....knowning on some *other* level...that the dress would celebrate the lil bee charmers birthday with her.

When the last stitch of embroidery was finished, I was contacted by the delightful young mother to proceed with making the birthday dress. I didn't tell her about the project I had been working on, so I asked her if I could add a surprise element to the piece. She said that she didn't know me.... but had a feeling to trust my creativity and agreed.

I finished the dress...with the lil bee charmer embroidered on the hem...and sent it off to it's new home.

After the dress arrived, I recieved the most touching note from mom that brought me to tears.  The surprise I had added to the hem of the little dress....that I was so driven to do...reminded her of a beloved family member she lost unexpectly a short time ago.

We have evolved beyond  business aquaintances at this point, and I'm soooo happy to announce that I have a new little model for my shop!

Isn't she just beautiful! 


I am really looking forward to being a part of this precious little girls life. The little family...that lives so far away from me...will forever be in my heart.

And to think it all began with opening a little shop on Etsy 6 months ago!

Bunny Blessings


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Thinking of the Holidays

It was a dark and dreary day here in Northern Michigan. No sun...and quite cold, too.

When I feel this way, my thoughts drift to the holidays. The family all seated around the dinner table...always waiting for my dad. (He was never on time for anything!) The smells of a turkey FINALLY out of the oven. Cinnamon and nutmeg hanging heavy in the air. The thought that makes me feel warm and loved is remembering the sounds of wonderful conversation and explosive laughter.

As I head off to bed.....I will be comforted with these beautiful memories and plan the menu for Thanksgiving.
I Know....It's way early, but it will give me joy...and that's just what I need.

night night!

Saturday, September 4, 2010


To start this post...A very special thank you to all my loyal followers, for sticking with me as I have been changing, rearranging and re-inventing this blog! XO

I've found it very stressful to maintain multiple blogs...a bunny blog, one for each of my businesses and a personal musings blog. My hair is now all white!!!

Welcome to the new, condensed blog:
"Postings from a Crazy Cottontail"

This new and improved blog will include fun things I find in the cyberworld. I'll share my thoughts and the wonderful world of handmade. And always.... something about bunnies.

I made this wonderful bag, based on the original art of Nakisha, at bluedogrose on Etsy.

It sold last week and my customer wanted to have a custom bag made for her friend, exchanging the bunny for her buddies beagle. She sent me a few pictures of the puppy via email and here is the finished product.

I think I have a new custom creation.....personalized pet bags!!! This will be fun.

Looking forward to next time.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Flower Gardening with Fabric.

In my last post I shared my flower garden with you. It got me thinking.....and off I went to search Etsy for flower quilts.

There were too many to share them all, so I picked some of the most interesting to share with you!

This sweet little cushion is by Roxy Creations. I just love the colors. Wouldn't this be just adorable in a little girls room?

Heather's 3 Stars is the creator of this Monet inspired quilt. It's a beautiful representation of Impressionism.

French Town calls this piece Timothy.....I call it beautiful! I love the way it's quilted.

I think this Black Eyed just as beautiful as it's living counterpart. Great job Joy Strings.

Thank you for visiting today :-)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Summer By the Pond

It has been a wonderful summer. We have been very blessed with beautiful weather and the flowers around the pond have given us a stunning show.

Thanks to my wonderful husband Frank and his new "toy", I will be able to revist our bounty during the cold snowy Northern Michigan winter.

I wish I knew the species of this stunning DayLily but it is one of those "natural" plantings brought in on the feet of a bird or duck. I split the original plant 9 years ago and have it all over the garden now.

Don't ya just love this fuzzy Shasta Daisy

I just love purple liatris. In a few years it should fill this whole area...Yea!

Frank caught this Black Eyed Susan just as it was opening.

And to finish...A day around the pond just wouldn't be the same without one of our croky bull frogs!

Thank you for stopping by today. See ya again soon :-)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Christmas in July

It's that time of year again....Christmas in July!!!

I'm offering a 20% off selected items in my shop. Stop by and take a peek.
Here is a preview!

Every Christmas needs an Angel...and here she is.
I borrowed some of the blocks from my Christmas quilt...and I think they make adorable pillows.

Let it snow.....I'll remember this in February!!!
Snowman is needle turn applique and hand quilted, too. I've used a hypoallergenic stuffing and it's soooo soft!

This Santa pillow is hand needle turn applique. It's hand quilted, too.
Needle turn applique, hand quilted on this one, too. Boy have I been busy!

Thank you for stopping by.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Quilts are NOT just for beds anymore!

Hello everyone!

I'm sorry it's been so long since my last post. My husband had some health issues that lead to surgery and I've been on my own. All is well and he's almost back to 100%. A loving Thank you to Dr. Miller, all the surgi staff and nurses at Mid-Michigan Medical Center :-)

While on hiatus, I've had the opportunity to surf around and find some amazing quilts that aren't bed coverings. I want to share some with you today.

*°º¤ø,¸.¸,ø¤º°*°º¤ø,¸.¸,ø¤º° FUN °º¤ø,¸.¸,ø¤º°*°º¤ø,¸.¸,ø¤º°*

Would our grandmothers ever think of having quilts in the kitchen?! Well here are some adorable quilted potholders from JLilyHandmade. They are scrappy paper pieced in a traditional pineapple pattern. Wouldn't grandma LOVE how this traditional block was used here!?!

From Massachusetts is Sieber Designs and this colorful floral wall hanging. Because of it's shape....wouldn't it look great draped over a table!
It measures 12"w x 24.5"h. It features fucia and orange floral fabrics that are machine pieced. Orange appliqued flowers and machine quilted free hand flowers in orange thread are used as accent.

I just had to add this Family Tree by SuzyQ! What a fantastic idea. And if you add the names to the leaves... you'll have a cherished family heirloom. The tree and leaves are machine appliqued onto the quilt with the branches being stitched with thread play to give it a branchy look. It measures 34 inches square. The perfect size to hang in a collection with family photos!

Pillows are the easiest way to freshen up a room. They add a splash of color and texture. What better way than adding some pieced "mini-quilt" pillows. Here are three by the Modern Quilter. A star, blue triangles and pink squares. They will brighten up your room...for sure.

I had so much fun finding these non-traditional quilted treasures. If you have any you'd like me to share, just let me know and I'll be glad to feature them next time!

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I'd like to introduce you to the Dirt Road Artists Team!

I am a member of the Etsy- Dirt Road Artists Team... DRATs for short. We all hale from small towns with a population of 25,000 folks or under. Never have I known a more wonderful group in all my years!

I'd like to take the next couple of weeks to introduce you to all 26 members and the beautiful things they create.

This is the third post in the series. If you're visiting for the first time... please check the previous posts to meet them all.

Rose... of Baskets by Rose is a fellow Michigander from the Detroit area. Her baskets are hand woven and the reeds are hand each basket is a true one of a kind. Stunning!


This beautiful pottery is by Phyliss of Montezuma Mudd and she hales from Mancos, Colorado. She calls her pieces "functional stoneware pottery" and they are ment to be used every day!


Pine, Arizona is where Connie calls home. She has a special gift of capturing the nuances of faces and eyes in her pencil drawings. Her shop Life Shades has original pieces and prints.

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I invite you to click the DRATs link above to meet the artists at home in their studios!

Thank you for stopping by! See you again soon.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Enjoying my Joyful Art creation.

In my last post I featured one of my Dirt Road Artist Team friends, Joy of Joyful Art Studio. I just wanted to share with you the beautiful fused glass vase she made. Isn't it stunning!! I love the way it has a central reservoir and four small ones at the corners.

Today is my birthday...and my wonderful, sweetheart husband bought these lovely flowers for me. I had so much fun arranging them in this knock-out vase. I thought the four little pockets were just perfect to hold a single tulip.

Thank you Joy and Frank for making my day so beautiful.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I'd like to introduce you to the Dirt Road Artists Team!

I am a member of the Etsy- Dirt Road Artists Team... DRATs for short. We all hale from small towns with a population of 25,000 folks or under. Never have I known a more wonderful group in all my 52..on Friday 53...years!

I'd like to take the next couple of weeks and introduce you to all 26 members and the beautiful things they create.

A little nepotism here as I begin with my wonderful husband Frank. His shop is HornyCritters. He hand carves mini sculptures from antlers he find in the woods. His newest passion is photography. I think he found his muse!

The next member I'd like you to meet is a fellow Michigander, from Grand Haven...on the west side of the state. Her shop is Joyful Art Studio. Joy makes the most beautiful jewelry, mosaics and glass creations.

Thank you for stopping by. I look forward to our next chat "out by the fence"

Friday, April 2, 2010

I've finished it!!!


After 13 weeks... of 12-18 hour days... the custom order quilt, "Christmas in July" is ready to ship!!


All of the blocks are needle turn applique which was very labor intensive. A joy to do...but my heart got heavy when we got further and further from the Christmas season.
The hand quilting was done in shadow and on some of the larger block..I added background texture with swirls, stars and waves.

Thank you Jolene, for the opportunity to make a Christmas Heirloom for your family.
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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Needle Turn Applique...Cottontail style

I've had quite a few requests to share how I needle turn here we go!

I like to use a #9 gold eye quilting needle. It's small and sturdy. Anything larger has the chance of pulling the *turn* out when the thread is drawn.
My thread of choice is a rayon/cotton blend. It's thin and is buried nicely in the fabric. Less chance that your stitches will show!

My first indispensable tool is a light box. I use it to trace the individual pieces in my applique on to the rough side of freezer paper.
If you don't have a light box, a sunny door or window with easy access works, too. I have a patio door that I use for larger projects. If you're using a vertical surface, make sure you use painters tape (it doesn't leave residue) to secure your pattern to the window.

Once I have my pieces traced...I don't add a seam allowance...I cut them out of the freezer paper and iron them to the right side of the fabric. Shiny side down toward the fabric.

When I cut out the pattern/fabric piece, I add the 1/4 inch seam allowance. I'm a wing it kinda gal, so I don't fret about an exact measurement. The applique process will correct any inconsistencies.

The next step is where you need to practice a bit and see what is comfortable for you.
You can begin the applique with the freezer paper attached, using the paper edge as your guide where to turn under.
Or, you can trace around the paper with a #3 pencil or chalk pencil. If you choose this method, you can remove the freezer paper to applique.

Personally...I find working with the paper very bulky. Sometimes I'll trace the pattern in pencil if it's a very fussy piece. Most of the time I trust my cuts and just go for it!

To begin the needle turn, bring your thread up from back to front, 1/2 inch behind the applique edge.
I wear my nails short, with the exception of my right pointer (I use it as a thimble for hand quilting) and my left thumb. The thumb nail has two purposes. 1- It holds the fabric flat so drawing the needle through doesn't move thing around. 2- It's a little *finger pressing* tool. I press the nail down on the turned edge...and it stays.

Now let's start to needle turn applique!

I'm right handed so the the next step will have to be reversed for lefties.

With the tip of the needle, tuck the fabric under to the end of the freezer paper or to your pencil marking.

With the thumb nail of your left hand, hold that fold firmly. Bring the needle up through the very tip (1 or 2 threads)of that fold. Draw up the thread.

Still holding the fold with your thumb nail, take a tiny stitch through the backing fabric...two threads behind where the applique thread came through the top of the applique.... and back up through the applique as close to the last stitch as you can.

Continue this process all they way around the applique!
Remember to nip...not cut...inside curves.
When you reach the first stitch, insert the needle straight through all layers of fabric and knot at the back.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

Have fun with needle turn applique!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Why Do I Love Needle Turn Applique?

Of all the techniques I use to build a quilt top, needle turn applique is by far my favorite.

First, because I'm not confined to my studio as a slave to my sewing machine for the entire process.

Before I begin to applique, I spend time in the studio building the backgrounds for the blocks. I attach these pieces to the pieced borders forming the foundation for the applique.

I begin applique process by drawing the individual pieces onto freezer paper and cutting them out without a seam allowance. I'll add these later. With a warm iron, I adhear the pieces to their designated fabrics.I add the 1/4 seam allowance beyond the freezer paper pattern, as I cut. This way I can add extra for difficult fabrics, or less for tight angles.

The second reason I love needle turn is portability. After the pieces are cut, I put them in a letter size envelope marked with the name (or number) of the block. I put this envelope and the foundation of the block in a plastic zipper bag. Now when I know I'll have some waiting to do, like at the doctors office, I'll bring out the bag and start the applique.

The third, and for me the best, reason I love needle turn applique is the fluidity. There are no borders to confine or math to mess with or patterns set in stone. The block below has a treee that flow over into the pieced border and I love this effect!

Let me know if you'd like me to post my technique for needle turning. I'd love to share!
Thanks for stopping by...see you soon! Cindi

FUN ‹^^^›_‹(•¿•)›_‹^^^› STUFF!!

Here are my newest Etsy finds. These are shops that haven't been *discovered* yet. Please click the links and let them know you found them :)

A Tree of Life engraved on a vintage brass locket by starsb117.

A butcher block chef station by OgiFurniture.

A fun and fanciful crown for your little princess by GirlGirlBoy.