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The Best Homemade Gift Ideas Monthly Digest: free-gift-ideas-newsletter-November2008.html

by: Brenda Mullard

Table of Contents:

1. A Little Gratitude Goes A Long Way!

2. Welcome New Subscribers

3. What’s new?

4. Crafter/Artist Interview of the Month

5. Project of the month

6. Reader Recipes

Welcome to Fall!
1)A Little Gratitude Goes A Long Way! Giving thanks is something that so many people do around Thanks Giving. Why doesn’t everyone give thanks everyday? We should be thankful everyday right? Even when we think that times are rough stop and think about all the things and people you are blessed with. I truly believe that whatever you send out to others and the universe you will get back in return. Ok, I am not some hippie freak. But think about it….. I smile at someone and 9 times out of 10 they will smile back. What you give you shall receive. I am kind and giving to the people around me, they will be kind and giving in return. Some call this the Law of Attraction. The book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne gets into all of that if you want to learn more.

Try each day to think about what you have instead of dwelling on what you don’t have. Focus your energy on getting what it is you want and go after it! Be glad for today and stop to smell the roses. Be grateful for this day, where you are and whom you are with. With a positive attitude anything is possible. Don’t save it all up for Thanksgiving.

No matter what our troubles, when the earth turns on its axis one more time and we see what appears to be the sun rising, I feel it's the universe calling for a change in ourselves. You have one more day. Rise with it! Oprah

Did you try the pumpkin carving website? What did you think? Here are a few comments I received from my faithful readers about the pumpkin carving website.

What a fun site! I kept carving and carving. Thanks for passing it along to us! Kelly

I love your news letters. They are always fun and informative. I look forward to see what you have to talk about each month. LexAnn

I couldn't get my kids off of the computer. I think they liked the virutal pumpkin carving better than the real carving. Janie

Thanks for all of your great comments and feedback. I really appreciate it!

2.Welcome New Subscribers

A big welcome goes out to all of my new subscribers! This website wouldn't be worth creating if it weren't for all of you. Thanks for your continued support! It's great to have you all here.
What’s New?

As always I have been working on new projects and gift ideas for all of you. I have added a home cooked gifts section to my website for all the cooks out there who like to give lov’in from their kitchens.

Christmas is a coming! Don’t forget about the How To Wrap Gifts Video page to help you make your homemade gifts even more beautiful.

I have also stared designing paper greeting cards. I plan to add more every month. Feel free to take a look. There are a couple of winter snowmen just waiting to become Christmas cards.

I have also added a home cooked gifts page. There are recipes for yummy meals right from your kitchen to share. A few recipes I have added are

chicken rolls, chicken green bean casserole and streusel topped pumpkin pie.
As always if there is something you are looking for and can’t find please e mail me or if you have a great gift ideas or favorite project you would like to share….. by all means, send me those too. I would love to hear from you. paper greeting cards. I plan to add more every month. Feel free to take a look. There are a couple of winter snowmen just waiting be become Christmas cards.

These cards are beautifully printed and sent right to your door ready for you to address and pop in the mail! As always if there is something you are looking for and can't find please e mail me. or if you have a great gift ideas of favorite project you would like to share, by all means, send me those too. I would love to hear from you.

4. Crafter/Artist Interview of the Month With the weather getting colder this quilt artist inspired me. Her name is Frieda Anderson. Her quilts are so creative and beautiful. Not only is she a quilter but also a teacher. Make sure to check her website for a workshop coming to your area. Without delay, here’s Frieda!

Frieda, tell us about your start into quilting. Tell us a little bit about you. Where are you from? What does your family and friends think about your quilting?

I am one of those people who is from no where. Growing up we lived all over the Midwest and south. My father was a civil engineer and executive for a national railroad and we moved almost every year or two until I was in high school. But I guess my roots are in the Midwest. I love diciduious trees.

What inspires you creatively? I love color, I love nature, and I love pattern. So any and all of those combinations are what attract me. I am inspired by Folk art and modern art and beautiful color combinations. I love simplicity of design and elegance of balance and color. I love Amish quilts and their use of color.

Where do the ideas for your quilts come from? Every day I walk with my dog George in a small woods near our home. Walking in the woods with George gives me endless inspiration as well as meditation. I love the changing colors of the seasons. I love the natural world that I encounter and I especially enjoy interacting in a small way with the wild life that still abounds in our suburban rural setting. So the inspiration that I receive in this environment is essential to my creative well being. I also have a garden and am constantly inspired by the colors, pattern and design that is inherent there.

What's your favorite color scheme in a quilt? I have to say that I LOVE all color. But I particularly love contrasting color schemes and analogous color schemes. But I try not to be pigeon holed into using the same color schemes over and over again. As an artist I feel that I need to explore all kinds of color schemes, and I hope that I am open to using different colors all the time and not falling into the same pattern of color.

What is your favorite part of the quilting process? Playing with my fabric. I use mostly my own hand dyed fabric and I love the saturated colors that I achieve in this process. I love to envision a new project and then bring it to fruition.

Are there any parts of the quilting process you do not like? No, but I will say that the machine quilting is the hardest part for me. I find that it is important to find the right design to put with each project and sometimes that is difficult to achieve. I don't want to do the same quilting patterns over and over again. Although some patterns, like stippling, are very useful, it is always important to look for new designs and implement them in new ways.

Do you have favorite types of fabrics, quilting tools, gadgets, or supplies? Well I LOVE my hand dyed fabrics. I started hand dying my own fabrics about 20 years ago because I really couldn't find fabric that had color that was as saturated as I wanted to use. I love to let the fabric tell me how to use it. I enjoy my sewing machine. I have a 6600 Janome that is a workhorse and gives me excellent results. I also enjoy thread and love to try new ones and see the effect it has on the quilt.

Do you plan out your whole quilt before you begin or do you start with an idea and let it develop on its own? I usually start with an idea and 90% of the time with a sketch of what I am going to do. Then the quilt begins to take on a life of it's own. Having said that I can't emphasize how important it is to just play. I love the opportunity to have the fabric all ready and then spend a week just letting it lead me through the design process. Usually I have something in the back of my mind, but it is amazing how liberating it is to let the fabric lead you in new directions.

Do you ever work in a series with your quilts? Please explain. Most of my tree quilts could be considered a series. I revisit the same themes over and over again. Trees, leaves, flowers, wild flowers. The walks I take with George in the woods are always bringing new ideas to mind. But it is really satisfying to make designs over and over again and refine the idea.

Do you ever teach classes? What is your favorite class to teach? I travel and teach about 15 times through out the year, usually at quilt guilds and shows. I teach fusing and machine quilting and enjoy teaching all of my classes. It is always fun to see the light bulb go off when people are learning about fusing and the fun easy techniques that I demonstrate. I teach several design classes that people have a lot of fun in. One is called "Laughing Leaves"

Do you have any tips or advice for beginners? What do you wish you would have known when you started quilting? Quilting should be fun!! If you aren't having fun, try figuring out why. I am lucking that I had some great people to mentor me. If I were to give any advice it would be - to do exactly what you want to do. There are no rules when it comes to making art. I think of quilt making as an art and you should express yourself in the way that makes you the most satisfied.

Is there a quilting technique, pattern, color combo, etc. that you've been dreaming of, but haven't tried yet? I try to make the quilts that are in my mind. But the very first quilts that I was attracted to I still haven’t made. I want to make before I die a Lone Star Quilt. That is just for my own pleasure. There are several designs that I have been trying to make for several years that elude me. I am closer to making them than I have been in awhile and I am confident that I will get them made. Of course they are tree quilts.

If someone were interested in purchasing a quilt from you how would they be able to go about this? My quilts are all for sale on my website at They can always contact me and we can work something out. I sell my work on time as well as I accept credit cards, checks and the always popular CASH.

Thank you so much Freida for taking the time to talk with us!

5. Project of the Month Like always, if you try this gift idea or any other, show us pictures and tell us how it all went for you! We all learn from each other.

6. Looking for reader recipes!

Do you have a great recipe for comfort foods to make on those chilly autumn evenings or a fun tailgating goodie to take to share at a football gathering? How about a recipe for Christmas cookies? Please send them my way! Here’s another yummy recipe from one of our valued readers!

Streusel Topped Pumpkin Pie This pie is extra special with the streusel topping. I don’t save it for just my apple pies anymore!

Thanks Sherri from Wisconsin!

Pie Ingredients:

1 sheet refrigerated pie pastry

3 eggs

1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin

1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

STREUSEL: 1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup cold butter

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/3 cup finely chopped candied or crystallized ginger

Pie Instructions

1) On a lightly floured surface, unroll pastry. Transfer pastry to a 9-in. pie plate. Trim pastry to 1/2 in. beyond edge of plate; Use a fork to press edges.

2) In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, pumpkin, cream, sugars, cinnamon, salt, allspice, nutmeg and cloves. Pour into pastry shell.

3) Bake at 350° for 40 minutes.

4) In a small bowl, combine flour and brown sugar; cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in walnuts and ginger. Gently sprinkle over filling.

5) Bake 15-25 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate leftovers. Serves 8

TIPTo make your pie a little fancy, use autumn cookie cutters to cut out shapes like leaves out of extra pie crust. Sprinkle with sugar and bake until lightly brown. Lay the leaves on top of the streusel topping.

Do you have a talent, a passion or just know a lot about a certain subject? Do you want to learn how to make money by sharing what you know?

I never thought it was possible and yet here I am! I am so lucky to be able to do all the things I am able to with my kids and husband. Gradually I have seen my website take off and it has been an exciting ride. I would have never believed that I could get paid to share information about subjects I know and love. Even if you are a little bit skeptical watch the passion video. It's amazing what you can do and where Site Build It will take you!

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