Friday, July 8, 2016

GIANT SUMMER CLASS SALE!!

UP TO 50% OFF MANY CRAFTSY ONLINE CLASSES!!

QUILTING, SEWING, KNITTING, PHOTOGRAPHY, BAKING, GARDENING, PAINTING, JEWELRY MAKING AND MUCH MORE!

ONCE YOU PURCHASE A CLASS, IT IS YOURS TO USE OVER AND OVER!!!

USE THIS LINK FOR GREAT SAVINGS:




Sunday, June 12, 2016




  LOOK WHAT I FOUND
  I am sure you have seen all of the fun coloring books that have been for sale in the recent months. They have been popping up everywhere. While they look interesting, they use to have absolutely no appeal to me. I do not like to color- never have.
  When I was young (yeah- they had coloring books back then, smartasses) my mother bought me a huge coloring book. It was called The Night Before Christmas, and the pages were probably 24 x 36. I think I might have colored in it twice. I do not know what my aversion is to coloring- I am sure it has to so with some childhood trauma but I haven’t quite figured out what that was.
  A few years back Crabapple Hill Studio came out with a pattern called A Gardener’s Alphabet. I loved it. However, there was coloring involved- and a lot of it. Thank goodness for good friends that just so happen to love to color. Lexie actually volunteered to color all of the letters for me.   I have already shared some of the ones I embroidered- and no they aren’t all don’t yet either. Don’t judge me.

Gardener's Alphabet

  Then, the same darn company came out with some new patterns involving witches- and OMG are they awesome! Who will I con get to color the freakin’ things for me? Rachel, the very sweet daughter of my friend Terry came to the rescue. All I had to do was give her my fabric and she is tracing and coloring away as the patterns come out. How sweet is that? Have I started to embroider these yet? Hell no- and again, you best not be judging my ass.


The Mystery of the Salem Witches Quilt Guild #1


The Mystery of the Salem Witches Quilt Guild #2

   I was at a quilt show a while back with my peeps. I spotted a skull coloring book and thought “how cool- too bad I don’t color”. Then my friend Terry pointed out that I can use the pages for embroidery designs- OMG! The heavens even opened up and a light shined down! It was really probably the lights flickering telling us the quilt show was over and to get the hell out- but lets go with the heavens-it's a better story. A whole new world opened up for me. Of course I bought the book- and I have I used it yet? NOOOO- but let’s not go there. Remember- no judging allowed!
Skull Coloring Book

  Then, Lo and Behold- the mother-load of all coloring books came out. SWEAR WORDS!  They published it like it was meant for me! Of course I bought it, thinking a few of my friends needed an embroidery with some of these words on it- LOL. I love the fact that the cuss words have little kittens and dogs and flowers and rainbows all around the words. That cracks me up. I found it on Amazon.com- the web site that has everything.

The Mother of All Coloring Books
  So, now I am looking at all of those coloring books in a different light- can I use them for hand embroidery patterns? If so, which of my other friends can I con into coloring for me? My poor friends.
   Have a great rest of your day, my friends! I better go get some hand work done-

Friday, May 20, 2016



           Where, oh where 
 has the slacker blogger gone??

 I am so sorry I have not posted anything recently. Life has been nutty- working 2 jobs(sometimes 3) has really been taxing on this old hag.
 I have done a little bit of sewing the last month. I sewed 2 of these for a friend from my retail job-

Peyton Manning's Bronco Purse

 Funny story about this pattern.  My friend, Leslie, got this pattern from a friend of hers. When she handed me the pattern I giggled. The pattern designer is a gal I used to work with! She has many patterns published now and is also an amazing long-armer. SMALL WORLD!  Right at this moment Kristy is in Salt Lake City at Quilt Market selling her wonderful patterns. Here is a link to her website- and if you are in the Denver area and need a long-armer contact her. She is wonderful.

 I also made this adorable quilt for a friend’s new grand daughter.  It was very fun to make-

Zebra Quilt
  I have also sewn this little quilt top- it went together beautifully and I love the fabrics in it-

Mini Quilt Top


I also finished up a few UFO’s- and we aren’t going to mention how long they have been UFO’s- I am just glad to get them done!

 
UFO

  Well, I am hoping to have more time to sew now. Tuesday was my last day working retail. I approached my day job and as we are getting hammered with business asked if they would like me to work more hours for them and I would quit the other job. So, now I get to get home every night by 5:30 and only have to work 'til noon on Saturdays. I am thrilled. I am also taking a bit of a long weekend off for Memorial Day weekend. I see lots of napping and sewing in the forecast J. And maybe a wiener or 2. Get your minds out of the gutter- I think Bob is finally going to fire up the gas grill I bought him for father’s day last year and we will get some Ball Park franks on that baby!
  I must say the one thing I will miss about my retail job is the wonderful staff that I worked with. You know when you meet someone and almost immediately think “you will be a friend for the rest of my life and where the hell have you been”? Well, I am so happy I met Leslie. She reminds me of my dear friend, Penny who lives a million miles away. Leslie and I connected right from the start- we both have potty mouths, love Jon Snow (if you don’t know who that is quit reading my blog right now and go watch Game of Thrones) and Fifty Shades of Grey. She conned me into making her those damn Bronco purses and some wallets and in return I get free haircuts. I won’t need to pay for a haircut for at least 10 years LOL. I will miss seeing her 2 times a week but will keep in touch. Thank God for texting and Facebook!
I hope to get to blog a bit more- and sew a lot more.
Thank you for not giving up on me-
Court

Thursday, May 19, 2016


HAPPY BIRTHDAY CRAFTSY!!!!!!


To Celebrate its 5th Birthday, Craftsy is offering classes at 50% off!!!

Click here for savings on many Craftsy classes:

                  http://www.craftsy.com/ext/CourtenayHughes_holiday



Tuesday, May 10, 2016

SUMMERTIME QUILTING PROJECT

LONE STAR ONLINE QUILTING CLASS


Lone star online quilting class. Buy it once and use it again and again. Any time you want. Great summer sewing project. Click on the link below for details and to order the class.







Monday, April 18, 2016



                                                 Boundless Fabric- Ooh lala!

  Recently I was asked to sew one sample block out of a quilt kit for Craftsy, who now has their very own fabric line called Boundless. I sewed up one- 24” block out of a 80” x 108” quilt. It is all red and white fabrics and I have always wanted to make a red and white quilt. There were a few rules. The first one was no pre-washing- WTH? That one freaked me out as I am an avid pre-washer. The other was I was not allowed to put steam in the iron when pressing. I was not sure I could do this project after all. But, since I am my mother’s daughter (stubborn) I plugged away. Thank goodness I was allowed to use starch!

  I decided I would cut the whole fabric kit up and get the rest of the pieces ready to sew at a later date. I figured if I am cutting for one block I may as well cut everything. Well, after ten hours (not really but it seemed  like it)  of cutting and a new 60MM rotary blade I finally got it all cut and was ready to sew, but it was lunch time.  God forbid I sew when I am hungry. As I grabbed George the cat off of the ironing board to take her out of my sewing room so she didn’t screw around with my 100,000 tiny pieces of fabric while I was gone. However, instead of going willingly, she did this- accidentally. I almost cried-




   After a pitcher of margaritas at lunch I was ready to start sewing.  The block came out great, although once it was done and feedback was sent I do admit I hit it with a shit load of steam after the fact! I did enjoy working with the fabric, and I look forward to finishing the quilt- someday. Maybe in 2020.


  For my own sanity (the little I have left)  I did soak the red fabrics in hot water overnight, and the fabric did not bleed at all. I was impressed. I am very pleased to know that as I was a tad worried about the finished quilt bleeding. Whoo Hoo!

  Craftsy is having a nice Boundless sale on their website- if you would like to shop,  follow my link below so they know I sent you (I might even get a little credit).


Have fun!!!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


NEW FABRIC LINE FROM CRAFTSY
 
 
Do you want to use wonderful fabric in your next project? Then use Boundless fabric from Craftsy. I was lucky enough to use this on a test block for them- and I loved it! The block went together perfectly, there was no fraying and the red fabric did not run when I tested it. Use my link below so they know who sent you- and shop til you drop!

http://www.craftsy.com/ext/CourtenayHughes_Boundless








Thursday, February 18, 2016



 

                                           The Eagle Babies are Back!

   Last year I got turned on to this most wonderful website,


  It is a tad addicting, so beware! You can sit for hours watching one of the most beautiful creatures on this planet we call Earth. Last year the couple had 2 babies, and this year they have another 2! I must admit it can get a little brutal when the mother is ripping the trout apart to give it to the babies, but this is nature. It is not the Disney channel LOL.
 
   My bosses aren’t too happy with me when the eggs hatch- my attention is given to the baby eagles rather than with typing quotes and answering phones.
 
  I think it is so wonderful that the college made the webcam available to all of us, as this is something we could never see otherwise.
    Gotta run- I have to see what the babies are up to-
The Other Eagles!
 
 

Monday, February 1, 2016




                                                                SURPRISE!

   Hi all! One of these days I promise to have a quilting post, but this isn’t one of them. It does, however involve my quilting peeps.
 Last summer I decided I would like to go to Vegas for the big 5-0 birthday last month.  Cheap booze, Thunder Down Under, etc. Good times for all!  Then, life happened and I had to call off any plans for going anywhere.
 I decided I wanted to get together with my quilting buddies in January, so I sent out a notice in December  that I would like to  get together with everyone for shopping, lunch, painting,  or whatever. Well, Terry jumped all over it and said let’s all just do a pot luck at her house. I never mentioned it was my birthday that weekend. I just wanted to spend a day with my favorite girls.
The Gang!
Unbeknownst to me, a surprise party had been in the works for months. Emails were a flying, texts going back and forth, etc. Even my sneaky hubby was in on it. I had no freakin' clue. This is what makes being friends with me fun- I am a total dumbass. Just ask them- they will tell you!
This homemade red velvet cake was waiting for me- thank you Lexie and Bobby Flay

 


  Of course what good is party without presents!  There was plenty of wiener dog stuff, Walking Dead stuff, and plenty of other wonderful,  wonderful, thoughtful gifts.

 
 
 
 


 
  
 I had a most wonderful day, filled with love and surrounded with the girls who make me laugh and wipe my tears when needed.
  That night my beautiful birthday girl daughter (her birthday is the day before mine) took me out for dinner at my favorite restaurant The Bonefish Grill. It was a treat to be able to spend time with her, esp on her birthday.  She works so much that we don’t get to see her often. She is a sweetheart, and has big things ahead of her. I cannot believe she is 26.

Amber
 
  The next night, on my actual birthday, my son took us out to eat for dinner. That as well was very special as we don’t see him much, either. He was whining on his Facebook page he doesn’t have any pictures of us together more recent than 23 years old so we took this one-

Sean and his Mother
  It was the perfect weekend with some of the people I love most- what more can I ask for??
 

Friday, January 29, 2016



I’m a Fraud
but the dogs don’t care


 
      As some of you know, I am an instructor for Craftsy, an online learning community. This past weekend they had their first ever instructor summit, and fortunately for me it was here in Denver and Bob (my handsome marketing guy) and I were  able to attend. They put us up at a wonderful hotel ( the now-Super Bowl bound Broncos were sequestered there with us- I did see a few of them but did not get a chance to chat with any- damn those security guards) and fed us all weekend, plus they had several presentations on how to better market our businesses.  Craftsy is a really great company- due to the storm back east several instructors – approximately a dozen or so-had to delay their flights home until Monday, and on Saturday night Craftsy announced they would pay for the instructor’s extra night to stay at the same hotel. I thought that was fantastic.

The Hotel
 

Denver Broncos Wing



The Gazebo where I rendezvoused with Peyton!

   Due to the fact that quilting is one of their bigger class categories, quite a few of their sponsors were fabric companies and had booths set up. Whoo hoo!  I had great eye candy all weekend, and left very inspired.








 
   At one point during one presentation, one of the presenters asked for a show of hands of how many of us worked at a job other than our craft. 2 of us raised our hands- out of 190 people. 2. How can these people afford to work from home and sell their craft and their teaching skills? Surely they all didn’t win the Powerball.  It didn’t hit me then, but after I got home Sunday night and was snuggling with my pups it started to sink in. All weekend, everyone I chatted with had multiple books and/or patterns published, taught nationally, taught on cruises (my dream job, BTW), etc. What in the Hell was I doing at that instructor summit?  I was in awe of all of them, and they could not have been sweeter, more kind, or willing to share their knowledge.
   The realization set in that I was never going to be more than what I am at this moment- just a lover of quilting. I can sure follow someone else’s pattern, but make up my own? Heck no! It will never happen. I will never be a Sue Nickels, Alex Anderson, or Eleanor Burns. I should have known this before now, but for some reason I did not. Oh well- I don’t think I could train Chip and Dale to pick up my fabric remnants off of the floor anyway.

  I fell into getting to teach my Craftsy class. Someone had backed out of filming and someone I knew contacted me to see if I could do it. I did not have to submit a presentation, rely on my online presence, and be a “certified” quilter. Now, I am certifiable according to some people but that is another blog story. HAHA. I did not have to come up with a new pattern or technique, I just had to teach a quilt pattern that has been around since forever. I do feel like I taped a good class, and it has been successful according to Craftsy standards. Thank goodness. But I will never get to teach another Craftsy class. I have no merits to speak of, and the first one was just a fluke. I was just in the right place at the right time. And I need to be ok with it.
   We learned a lot this past weekend, and one of the exercises was telling your story. Well there you have it.  My name is Courtenay, and I am a fraud. And I still love Red Velvet Cake. I do so appreciate all of you for reading this. I am hoping to get more blogs out on a more timely basis- but this damn 70+ hour work week really cuts into my blog story time! But I will try to get better. The only reason I am getting this blog post done is our network went down at work and I can’t do any real work- I will fit it in where I can!

     Have a great day everyone!

Chip with his hot compress

Dale
 




 

 

 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015



        The Great Seafood Debacle
   Hello my dear readers. I hope this post finds you all well. I had a tad of a cooking/eating mishap on Christmas Eve and since I know you all love a good laugh I figured I would share the tale.
    After receiving a nice bonus at my one job, we decided to splurge for Christmas Eve dinner and visit the seafood counter at the grocery store where our son works. I have never bought seafood there as it is too freakin’ expensive, plus the fact that we are in a land-locked state in the middle of the country so God only knows how long that shit has been frozen. Yes, I am a prima donna when it comes to seafood. Anyhoo, my eyes were glazed and my husband could only watch while I told the kid behind the counter what I wanted- 6 little lobster tails, 2 pounds of scallops, I box of oysters and a shrimp cocktail ring. I am sure he was wondering how many people we were feeding- it was only the 2 of us LOL.
The Seafood Counter
 
  Recalling a trip to Seattle,  I asked if they could toss around the seafood like they do at the famous Pike's Market, but they said they better not since the manager was still there and there were several corporate type big shots prowling the store, otherwise they would.  So I had to settle for them just tossing the stuff into bags.

Fish tossing at Pike's Market
 
    Around 5 pm I decided we better start cooking. I placed an urgent call to my one brother as I have not broiled scallops or fried oysters before- he is a super cook and he loves his seafood. His ass is damn lucky he answered the phone! And as luck would have it, he was just taking oysters out of the hot oil on his end! Great minds think alike! So, after careful instructions and a one hour phone call I was ready to go.


Brooke making up stories about his dear sweet little sister!

  My brother and I did have a great time reminiscing about days gone by. Of course he had to bring up the great shrimp head story of 1982. I was standing at the sink at our house and taking the tails and veins out of some shrimp while visiting with my brother. I was talking to his dumb ass and not watching what I was doing, and the next thing I know I look down and I had a freakin' shrimp head in my hand! I threw the little bastard across the room and let out a scream I know the neighbors 4 doors down heard. Brooke was on the floor laughing, tears streaming down his face. To this day he cannot clean a shrimp and not think of me and laugh. I am glad I am the source of much amusement. It is a gift. I have never cleaned another shrimp. I will pay the extra to have those little bastards already cleaned for me.
 
 But for some reason, however, I take much amusement sucking the meat out of crawfish heads-though this may be directly associated with the amount of alcohol that is consumed prior to said sucking. I will need to do more research on that one. I will get back to you all on that. Maybe it is revenge thing of some sort.

 
Anyway, on to the great seafood cook off of 2015. I got my bowls ready for the oyster breading ceremony (I even sent a pic to Brooke to approve the layout-of course he places his bowls right to left as he is a lefty- we found that humorous), Bob started to boil the lobster tails and I gathered the ingredients for my scallop dish. As we snacked on the shrimp cocktail, we worked furiously, and by some miracle all of the food was ready at the same time. HERE WE GO!
   The scallops were good, the oysters came out perfectly and the tails were ok, too. I ate like I was never going to eat seafood again. And now I probably won’t. All was well, until about an hour later when my stomach began to gurgle, and gurgle some more. OMG- I never actually got sick but I sort wish I had. 40 Tums and 3 days later I was finally able to eat solid food. The only thing I ate that Bob did not was one crummy oyster. Then I started to remember that the last time I had fried oysters my stomach got a tad weird as well. Then I recalled a trip to New Orleans last year and I thought I got bad oysters in my po’ boy sandwich. Oh dear God- am I developing an allergy to shellfish? Or just to oysters? NOOOOO- say it ain’t so!
Oyster Po' Boy
 
  We had only cooked half of the scallops that first night, and with time running out as they were already thawed Bob decided to make the other half Sunday night for dinner. I was a tad leery, but damn it I was not wasting $14.99/pound scallops! I got out the bottle of Tums and proceeded to eat the scallops. I did have a bit of rumbling after that meal, but not near like before. Whew—but now I am really not sure of the problem. Can one damn oyster really do that to a person? They smelled good, tasted great and the expiration date was ok. So, now I am a bit sad. I will be leery to ever eat another oyster- one of my most favorite foods on this earth. Oh well- there is always red velvet cake! If I ever develop an allergy to that I will be really pissed.

     Rock on my dear friends- rock on.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015




                                                                        Happy December!

   Hello all! I hope you are all enjoying this time of year. Food, family, and more food are a big part of the celebrations and parties this month for some of us. All I keep doing is asking myself why in the Hell I thought re-joining Weight Watchers before the holidays was a good idea. All of our salesmen at work think bringing us chocolate covered pretzels and cookies is a good idea. Then my wonderful friend Jan shows up with her home-made fudge- this is the creamiest fudge on the planet! And bless my sister’s heart, here she is sending her yearly package of chocolate treats. God help me! So far I have not gained this week, but I still have 3 days to go before weigh in. We shall see!
     This time of year brings back many wonderful memories of Christmas seasons gone by. I remember the year I got my denim-looking 10 speed bike- best Christmas EVER! I also remember going to our little church for Christmas Eve services at midnight, the wonderful family dinners, and that round Santa light thing that my dad used to plug into the porch light. Wish I still had that little gem!

 
    The one thing about Christmas is that I do not remember ever believing in Santa- cue the violins now, please. According to the family legend, many years before I hit the scene, my one sister got up one morning on a Christmas Day before everyone else and opened all of the presents. After that all of the presents all got opened Christmas Eve. Explain the whole Santa down the chimney thing on Christmas Eve now, mom. That and the fact that our fire places had been closed off for many years.

 
    I  remember taking long walks in the snow at night- it was so quiet and beautiful (one of the perks of living in a tiny town- all I hear where I live now is car traffic and many sirens). If I was lucky my dad would have the day off of his construction job and he would let me go with him on the snow plow. Now that was kick ass! I felt so cool being so high above the cars on the road. There was this one time , at band camp however, he was trying to help a family that lived at the bottom of a very steep hill and we almost did not make it back out. But I never thought we wouldn’t- I trusted him completely and he got us back up that hill just fine.

 
     I so enjoyed Christmas when my kids were younger- the excitement, the fun, the surprises. Now that they are grown it has lost a lot of the magic. I rarely put a tree and/or lights up- I admit it I am a Grinch. Someday if I am lucky enough to be a grandparent I will get back into it again. But for now my heart is still 10 sizes too small.



   So my dear readers, if you celebrate any holidays or if you don’t, have a very wonderful rest of the year. I hope to be better at getting blog posts up next year. This thing called life sure gets in the way of my fun sometimes!