Musings

I’m Thinking About An “Idea Book”

One of the upsides to having a real clear out is the uncovering of materials that are useful in many different ways. For example: A recent clear out of a corner of my office netted me a good sized three ring binder with some dividers.

I tucked it away for a while but drug it out when I realized I had accumulated a large collection of card recipes, color charts, and project sheets. What better place to put them where I could use them?

Yes, I could have left them on my computer but when you consider that in order to use them on the computer I’d have to utilize space that I would need for crafting… This worked out for me.

An “Idea Book” Can Be What You Want It To Be

I have several Idea Books. One is used to collect quilt block patterns and instructions. Another is used to keep room measurements, color choices, and ideas for design or decoration. Should I really get into gardening, I can create one for that endeavor, too.

Using what you already have is a great way to not spend any money, have a place to gather ideas, and not take up space on your phone. Until, of course, you are ready to tackle those particular projects.

Give it a try and see if it can work for you!

Musings

Slowly But Surely

I put in my order for my new calendar this week. It doesn’t seem possible, but we are already halfway through 2021.

As I looked through my current calendar I couldn’t help but notice how few weeks, let alone months, are left. Lots of holidays to plan for. A return to school. A look forward to better weather.

This year has been interesting in some ways, dull in others. In other words, not much different than other years.

Over in the Vernacular Society, Paige has announced that the community will be focusing the next couple of months on canning. We’ve already had sewing, baking, and hostessing sessions. I must admit that I’m not so interested in some as I am in others but I do enjoy the variety.

My crafty bloggers/vloggers are embarking on holiday projects. I know that some find it odd to be dealing with cold weather holiday preparation in hot summer months, but some things take time to bring to fruition.

I’ve a couple of vloggers who are working on home renovation projects. They have had learning curves to deal with along with the satisfaction of successful results.

I’d love learn what you are up to as August moves into September. Are you thinking ahead to the holidays? Let me know.

Musings

August? Already?

For a year that at times felt like it would go on forever and then switch to moving at warp speed, 2021 has been quite a ride.

I should state here and now that I’m not a fan of roller coasters. I’ve ridden on more than a few, survived, didn’t spent a lot of time or money at the chiropractor’s office and am more than happy to avoid them going forward. 🙂

In my corner of the world, we’ve experienced a very late Summer. Temps in the high 90s and low 100s usually arrive late June to early July. Somehow this year things were very different. Whoopee! /s Yeah, I’m not a fan of heat, either. As I write this, temps are edging closer to 100 and the humidity…is irrelevant at this point. It is miserable outside.

Speaking of outside, the Geraniums are still lush and green with no evidence of ever producing a flower. The tomato plants, however, are a different story all together. The one Large plant has 5 – 6 blossoms with 2 small green tomatoes. I honestly don’t know who is more excited, me or the plant. LOL!

In the meantime, I’ve been studying up on Ancient Rome along with some side forays into 18th & 19th century England. As a kid who grew up with quarterly specials covering a wide variety of non-entertainment programming, I find the process of uncovering this material interesting and worthwhile. Especially when you come across a book series that checks all the boxes. More about that later.

As you might have noticed, we are undergoing a bit of a renovation around here. I’m thinking it will be a slow but steady exercise in updating and upgrading. Personally, I can’t wait to see what comes next!

Musings

Pardon Our Dust!

As promised, the renovation of the OrangePlaidCat has begun! First up was an upgrade with the theme which has been an adventure. Not a bad experience, just one where there were Lots of Options and attendant confusion.

Readers – Heads Up!

It seems that there have been two separate feeds: The first was the original extended feed and the second was the direct feed (orangeplaidcat.com). Please check to make sure you are signed up for the latter.

Updating your feed will ensure that you get the latest posts. Can’t be missing out there, right? LOL!

Looking Forward

I’m planning on adding recipes to the site and am also looking at attachments that you can download. I experimented with that over the Holidays and it seems to have worked properly.

I’m looking at the Gallery and possible updates. The 2021 Garden Adventure photos have lived over on MeWe.com because there was space there. I might bring back a few or continue with new ones. (Note: The biggest tomato plant has two – count ’em two – buds as of today!

Speaking of recipes, I’m looking at adding craft or card recipes. Some bloggers have incorporated something similar into their formats and I think it could be a great addition here. I might expand it as I explore other crafts. Quilt projects, for example, might work well with that format. We shall see.

Last But Not Least

Never least. To all of you who have added me to your regular read list – Thank you! I can not begin to express how much I appreciate your sticking with me.

As always, please be sure to click on the “like” button if you enjoy a post and spread the word with your friends. We always enjoy company around here!

In the meantime, pardon our dust! 🙂

Musings

Breakfast Options

A Look At The Norm in Other Countries

I love breakfast! I can go full blown with eggs, toast, marmalade, bacon, sausage accompanied by a luscious cup of coffee. Alternatively, French pastries or just good toasted bread with butter and jam or jelly make a wonderful way to ease into the day.

A couple of my regular YouTubers recently posted on breakfast and I thought that both brought something interesting to the table, so to speak.

I do have to say that Cheryl and Mr. What’s For Tea had some wonderful meals, but the beans and toast always brings a smile to my face. As an American, these are basically Pork ‘N Beans – a favorite in my home although I’ve never had them for breakfast.

If you have not already done so, be sure to check out all of the recent videos in France. This one, however, just makes my mouth water. It has all my favorites!

While everyone has their particular favorites, I feel it is important to experiment every once in a while. You never know what you are missing, right?

What’s your favorite breakfast?

Around the House · Musings

Odds & Ends

Happy Saturday! Or whatever day you are reading this. LOL!

I just wanted to say a massive “HELLO!” to all the regulars and a “Welcome!” to those who are new. I’m glad you stopped by and hope you make sure to return often.

I also wanted to let you know that I will be making some changes to the place in the next few weeks. Nothing Earth-shattering – at least I hope not – but I will be adding some pictures and developing some free downloads to some posts. I’ve been testing out some ideas and am getting ready to put them into motion.

I’m so glad you are enjoying The Orange Plaid Cat! I enjoy this way of chatting with you!

As always, please let me know if you like something by clicking on the “Like” button at the bottom of all posts and don’t hesitate to comment or send me an email.

Talk more with you soon!

Cooking · Food · Musings

This Made My Heart Smile

I’ve long been a fan / admirer / pupil of Jacques Pepin. I enjoy spending time with him in the kitchen. Any kitchen. What he brings to the table is not only a wide knowledge of food and technique, but an ingrained frugality. There is rarely any frivolity in his menus.

That is not to say that there isn’t a touch of whimsy floating about. If you watch any of his cookery shows for very long, you will no doubt catch bits and pieces of his humor, his cheekiness, his love of the kitchen – and people.

Chef Pepin’s menus encompass using the best of what is available and wasting very, very little. It comes from his background in France growing up during World War II when food, among everything else, was exceptionally scarce.

As a result, he learned how to stretch the proverbial penny until it squeaked, making meals out of what might seem nothing into something rich, satisfying, comforting, delicious.

I encourage you to spend some time with Chef in his kitchen. Listen carefully and learn as much as you can. He is eager to teach you, help you, mentor you so you, too, can make wonderful food for those you love.

Truly, Happy Cooking!

Musings

Are You In Your Own Way?

I’ve had a bit of an epiphany lately. Actually, possibly, more than one.

As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, as a result of several tried and true tools going bonkers and giving up the ghost, as it were, I ended up not only replacing them, but picking up some things that I’d put on my long term Thinking About It List.

As those items were delivered and I began to repair, replace and tidy up a bit, I realized that because I had stopped waiting for my opportune moment, and just got on with the job(s), things were actually getting done. I wasn’t waiting for me to get around to making that wall hanging, quilt, or put up mini blinds.

To put it bluntly: I just got on with it. And, you know what? It was worth it!

I realized that the mini blinds just were not going to be hung because, frankly, I really didn’t want them. Maybe another time, but not now. As for the sewing projects, I’m not ready to dive into any at the moment and waiting for me to get ready literally kept putting me on hold.

Sort of a version of what happens when you ‘want’ something. You keep staying in that state of ‘wanting’ and never actually ‘getting’.

Now there is an additional side to this epiphany. Some things actually do take time to happen. I’d been pondering a certain set of gallery wall frames but had nothing to go in them and they ended up being relegated to my “Later” list.

I’ve recently begun to clear out my craft room and I also picked up a couple of sets of designer series paper from Stampin Up. Now, I don’t make enough cards to accommodate a lot of stock on hand, but those papers are luscious!

And then I realized that they were the perfect size for those frames and would be beautiful home decor pieces. And they are!

Now I can feel myself relaxing to think about a wall hanging or two. The roadblocks I put up for myself by Waiting Until The Opportune Moment were gone and opened up a bit of possibility.

The Opportune Moment
The Moral of the Story

If you find yourself stuck and you don’t seem to be getting anywhere, take a moment to stop and look closely at the situation. Did you manage to put yourself in your own way? Are you stopping you from achieving what you want because you are waiting for the perfect situation or the opportune moment?

While everything might not be perfect to get the end results you want, perhaps you can find a solution for now with the idea of updating, upgrading or improving later? The longer you wait the longer you wait.

I hope this helps.

Musings · YouTube

Interesting People: Morgan Donner

I would like to say I was introduced to Morgan Donner via the YouTube Costume Community and their holiday Secret Santa Videos. This would be back in 2019, I think. Either that or via Bernadette Banner and one of her videos.

What I would like for you to know about her is that she is an interesting person who has lots of unusual knowledge used for out of the ordinary tasks, tools, and things.

She is, in many ways, a lot of fun to keep up with.

Check out her latest video:

What I find most interesting about this particular video venture is the way Morgan weaves coffee, pottery and history into something interesting, informative and, potentially, enjoyable. That coffee thing is quite interesting… and if you have Rakuten, you get a further discount. Just sayin’

I enjoy people who are not cookie cutter versions of other folks and Morgan certainly fits that bill. While she does delve into things that don’t always particularly grab my interest, she often provides a view at topics or projects that capture my attention.

Don’t take my word for it – check out her YouTube channel. Let me know what you think!

Musings

What’s Am I Missing?

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June’s Magic Pantry, however, is a collection of tips and tricks for the kitchen.

The newsletter is sent out to your email In Box on the first of every month. If you want to be on the list for June, click on the Newsletter tab and follow the instructions. Don’t wait too long! In order to get on the list, sign up on or before the 29th of the month.

Questions? Email me at craftybarncat@gmail.com.