Artists or art that turns me on and feeds my muse! Like it or dislike it, what about this art inspires your own art or creativity?  This is called, MAY DAY CELEBRATION, by an unknown artist.  Why not take out your paints, markers, fabric or whatever and try a small creative piece on May?  Better than coloring in someone else’s lines.


How do you get a man to stop biting his nails?

Make him wear shoes.


Look around you. Design is everywhere! How can you incorporate the beauty that surrounds you into your art or craft?  This is the Sewing School Steel-Earth located in Niamey, Niger.


Aren’t these quilted cloud oven mitts heavenly? I love whomever designed these finger savers. I have been baking so much lately that I am going to have to make a pair for myself. Not to mention, I have giant hands and have a very difficult time trying to find oven mitts that fit my mitts.  For the DIY pattern, click on the link:



It’s a clutch! It’s a shoulder bag! She’s my mother. My daughter. Mother. Daughter. This is a cute knitted clutch that I thought you might like. For the free pattern click on the link:



15-Minute Coconut Curry Noodle Soup

Mr. Electric and I had this curry noodle bowl for dinner the other night. We both loved it, so I wanted to share the recipe with you. xoxom



garlic cloves, chopped

fresh ginger, grated

Thai red curry paste

boneless chicken breast or thighs, sliced

chicken broth


fish sauce

coconut milk

dried rice vermicelli noodles


Sliced red onion, red chilis, cilantro, scallions to garnish

FOR THE FULL RECIPE, CLICK HERE: http://thewoksoflife.com/2015/05/15-minute-coconut-curry-noodle-soup/


Those of you who follow me on Facebook know that I have been coveting these little DIY charms. Well, I found an online tutorial, check out the process at a local stained-glass shop, and I’m now ready to go. Of course my first attempt will not look like these, but I don’t what imperfection stop me! Just look at my waist!  Make some charms along with me by clicking on the link below. By the way, if you know how to do this and would be willing to FaceTime (Apple) with me, that would be so much fun. Let me know. xoxom



Instead of adding plain borders, elevate even the simplest quilt top to a work of art. Mark uses humor and creativity to teach borders step-by-step, making this a great online course for beginning and advanced quilters. After you learn these borders, you will want to make them again and again.

You Will Love This Course If You:

Want to add new borders to your skill set

Enjoy making your own artistic choice

Want to make your borders shine

Like to learn more about working with panels

Enjoy getting inside info and history about quilting

Enjoy creating holiday-themed quilts

Enjoy quilting for yourself and others

Want to add a holiday theme to your quilt borders

Want to add interest to your borders

Want to design your own holiday border blocks

For more information on how to take my class or to take the class, Just click here:  http://bit.ly/20yUzWK




Sean Muldoon modeled the Fiestas Patrias (“patriotic holidays” in Spanish) on the Armillitta Chico, a tequila concoction made with lime, orange flower water and grenadine. He particularly likes the drink with Mexican food.



single-malt Scotch, preferably Islay

añejo tequila

unsweetened pineapple juice

fresh lime juice


orange flower water


For the Full Recipe Click Here: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/fiestas-patrias-cocktails-2010


Salvador Dalí’s diary, circa 1930-1935, includes 42 pages of ink drawings and sketches, together with his notes, thoughts, and daily expenses.


With all of the spring flowers coming into bloom, now is your chance to start collecting them them impressing them for your flowery projects. Here is the tutorial for how to make a pressed flower phone case. Just tap the link.



I have no idea who made this gown, who designed it, who photographed it, nor do I care really, except to give them credit.  All I know is that I loved it and found great inspiration in both the color and design (appliqué anyone?). I know it is rather Cindarella-ish, but sometimes you just need to exploit your inner Disney.



Windy City Christmas by Diana Richards and Jan McGrath

Quilted Memories of Marshall Field’s • 15 Charming Embroidery & Quilt Projects

Diana Richards recently sent me a copy of her book, Windy City Quilts, that she co-wrote with the late, Jan McGrath.  It’s a great little book for Christmas and frankly, now is really about the time you should start thinking about your serious Christmas projects. The book includes a lot of hand work, crystals, embroidery, appliqué, and piecing. What’s really neat is that the book was photographed in the Marshall Fields building in Chicago, where Diana found her inspiration for this book (See? Inspiration is everywhere).  Ask your local quilt shop to order your copy, visit your local bookstore, or if all else fails – buy a copy from Amazon.

Pittsburgh Bound?

If you follow me on Facebook, you might have read Mr. electric and I are considering a move from Pickle Road.  We are free, and almost opened any city or town.  One city we are seriously considering is my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

When Pittsburgh quilt and notions designer, author, The Quilt Company shop owner, and celebrity, Karen Montgomery, read the news, she dropped a surprise for me in the mail.

Karen had the most fun Pittsburgh fabric printed exclusively for her shop  by Timeless Treasures (so it’s not crappy fabric — it’s really high quality)!  The photo I took for this blog does not do the fabric  justice, and I only shot a portion of the design. ALL of Pittsburgh seems to be on this fabric as you unfold it. It was drawn by Pamela Haithcoat Wagner.   I can’t wait to start embroidering all over it.  If are from Pittsburgh, went to school there, married someone from there, visited, or even just know someone from the Steel City, you have got to get them a couple of yards of this fabric… or better yet, buy a bunch of yardage and make a quilt or shirt or pajamas, etc. as a gift for them or for yourself.  They will love you forever.


ORDER your fabric by calling Karen’s shop:


And visit her website, too.  Here’s the link:


I love Karen’s website, too.  While you are there pick up a couple of her Scrap Crazy  books and tools. They are so much fun to work and play with


There are 1 million variations for making a rope rock and this is just another one of them. I think the black-and-white is striking. These are so easy to make, and the technique can be adapted to make placemats and bowls and pillows, etc.  Why not give it a try? Click on the link below for the tutorial.


Speaking of rugs . . .


As a part of my physical therapy regime I have begun making homemade bread once a week. The clamor for the recipe has been so loud that I couldn’t help but post it here. The recipe originally comes from my late aunt, Penny Lipinski-Olszanski, my father’s sister. She was a nut. All you did was laugh when you were around her.  This is her basic white bread recipe. Enjoy!



3 cups “scalded’ milk

4 T sugar

1 ½ T salt (heavy)

½ cup sweet butter

2 packages dry yeast

3 eggs

11 cups sifted flour

Scald milk, add sugar, salt, and butter. Stir to dissolve sugar, then cool.

Mix yeast into ½ cup warm water and dissolve.

Pour the yeast mixture into the cooled milk mixture.

Add 11-cups of sifted flour. Mix well.

Knead 11 minutes.

Let raise to 1 ½ to 2 hours in a warm place. Punch down and let raise again (1 hour).

Shape dough for loaves and place in well greased bread pans. Let raise until double in size.

Bake at 400-degrees for 10 minutes, then at 325-degrees for 30 minutes.

To make 1 loaf of Cinnamon Raisin Bread, simple roll out half of this recipe’s dough into a 1/4 inch thick rectangle.  Brush liberally with butter, sprinkle lots of cinnamon sugar on the dough, covering the whole thing, and add raisins.  Spread the raisins all over the dough, then lightly push them into the dough with your rolling pin. Roll up the dough tightly with the cinnamon sugar and raisins on the inside of the roll., fold over the ends and tuck them underneath, and bake the bread as above.


Davey and Goliath.

And now a word from our sponsor . . .


Same blog time.  Same blog address.



These sure look like fun to make, and they look like great fun to receive too. Just in time for Mother’s Day.  Wouldn’t a few of these make a great luncheon table decoration? How about mailing one from a ‘secret pal’ or just to say “hello”?  Here is how you make them:





An amazing combination of crystals, beads, sequins and threads. Australian singer Iggy Azalea looked sexy and fabulous on the MTV music awards wearing this gown. $11,500

Buy it here:



My buddy, Jim at Colonial Needle, sent me this really nifty product. It’s tape that measures awkward things that you have to kill yourself while trying to measure difficult or large things! I love that is totally repositionable and has a 12 inch repeat. So all of those hideous times that you’re ready to kick your dog because you’re trying to hold a tape measure while you’re marking a quilt are over! I really like it for measuring the circumference of things, or really odd shaped vases or containers for crafting. There  is 25 feet on a roll, which means it won’t quite fit around my waist, but should be more than enough for your quilting and sewing needs. Check out the Colonial Needle website (I love everything they sell.  I visited the warehouse once and had to say a novena to the Virgin Mary on the way home to save me from jealousy and coveting!) http://colonialneedle.com/


These would be terrific for summer lighting, tucked into your garden, window boxes, or displayed as a cluster on a table…. I love them.  Check out how to make a set for yourself when you click on the link.




Now is the time, kids!  Choose your outdoor target and grow your own moss all over it!  It’s actually gorgeous in its creepiness.  Here’s how to start mossing EVERYTHING in your yard:



Carlo Giuliano Highly Important Renaissance-Revival Brooch   $335,455.58

An important Giuliano Renaissance-Revival gold and enamel gem-set brooch, the brooch decorated with the figure of Venus enamelled en ronde bosse, holding up a diamond-set mirror and an enamelled drape, seated under a canopy set with cushion-shaped rubies and rose-cut diamonds, a tiger couchant and a spray of pink roses at her feet, flanked by a pair of white doves holding pearl garlands connected to a pair of male mask heads supporting pearl fringes, an additional pearl fringe at the base, signed C.G., gross weight 64.5 grams, circa 1890

Buy it here:



You can never have too many bed-size quilts or throw quilts! This FREE quilt pattern, Color Play Rainbow by Melanie Greseth and Joanie Holton, is an explosion of color that will brighten any home. Toss it over a twin-size bed or use it in your family room!



Valentino Haute Couture


Hmmmm.  I was just writing about sewing rope when this little ditty popped up.  C’mon, now.  You gotta love this rope tote.  If you embroider the face of Pope Francis on one side, and the Titanic on the other,  you can have your own original Pope Rope Boat Tote!  Jus’ sayin’     Check it out here:



Button Button Who has the Button.  Now is the time to  make your own button stepping stones for your summer garden.  Cute, right?   Here’s how:




So Mr. Electric and I rented the movie Carol  a couple of weeks ago. We both liked it. That said, when Carol was serving coffee or tea to her new”friend” she served it in Hall China’s Autumn Leaf! Of course, I had to share it with you, cupcakes, because I have been collecting Autumn Leaf for a gazillion years. Mr. Electric couldn’t care less, so the only folks I could tell is you. You know how  we hoarders are.


Every New Year’s Eve my Grandma and I would make bagels. I don’t know why. It was just a tradition that the two of us started when I was 10 or 11 years old. She and I were very close. Of course, being the eldest of all the grandchildren I was spoiled rotten by her and I adored the ground she walked on. Here’s the recipe we used. It’s very easy and only takes about an hour and a half and most of the time you’re not doing anything but waiting for the dough to rise.  Let me know if you try the recipe and how they turn out.


One package RAPID RISE yeast

4 1/2 tablespoons of sugar

1 1/2 cups of warm water from the tap

3 1/2 cups of flour. I use bread flour because they came out  chewy and wonderful but you can use any flour, really.

1 1/2 teaspoons of salt

A Dutch oven full of boiling water and 2 to 3 tablespoons of sugar.


In a large bowl I sift my flour, salt, and 1 1/2  tablespoons of sugar.

Next, I add the rapid rise yeast and mix all of the dry ingredients with a spoon or whisk.

Now pour about half of your warm water into the dry ingredients and start mixing. Keep adding the warm water, little by little, and until it’s gone.

Scrape the inside of the bowl,  any extra flour, and whatever you’ve mixed so far onto your table, or counter top and knead this for about 10 minutes.  The dough should be sticky but not super wet and totally not dry.

Put the dough into a greased bowl (I use the same bowl I just scraped everything out of and just spray Pam all over it.)

Cover the ball with the damp dishcloth and let it rise for about an 1 hour and 15 minutes. The dough should double in size.

Preheat your oven to 425° F

Next, pounded the dough down and let it sit in the bowl, covered with a damp cloth for about 10 minutes.

The next step is to divide your dough into six or eight pieces. Form the dough into balls, and put your finger through the ball to make the hole and stretch it out a little. Now if you’re gentle, you can get a really smooth top and not worry about a really ugly bottom.  That just comes with practice.

After you have all of your raw bagels made, cover them again with a damp cloth and then let them sit for another 10 or 15 minutes.

Here’s the fun part: Drop two or three of your raw bagels into the pot of boiling water to which you have added the 2-3 tablespoons of sugar.  Let the bagels boil for two minutes on one side, then turn them over and let them boil for two minutes on the other side. Don’t crowd the pot because they EXPAND!  Take them out and set them on a cookie sheet that is covered in parchment paper. I guess you could spray Pam on your cookie sheets, too, you’re not the parchment type.

Once all of your bagels have been boiled, scramble an egg in a coffee cup, and brush the raw egg onto the tops of your bagels. Don’t be stingy with the egg, but do not drown them either. While the egg is still wet, you can add sea salt, or poppy seeds, sesame seeds, minced garlic, onion, or whatever else floats your boat. I even a bathe my plain bagels in the egg wash to give them that shiny crust.

I bake them in the hot oven for about 20-25 minutes. Cool them on a rack, immediately after getting them out of the oven.

That’s it! Hope you like it


I needed some pillows for our TV room (Baby Dumplin’s old bedroom) and was going to buy them, but thought better of it. I’m making my own.  I got some fabulous Kaffe Fassett  upholstery fabric from Glorious Color to match a foot stool I had covered with Kaffe fabric several years ago.  I was off and running to find a pillow pattern and I found this.   I wanted to share it with you:





salted butter


all-purpose flour


semisweet chocolate morsels



FOR THE FULL RECIPE, CLICK HERE:  http://food52.com/blog/10505-how-to-make-twix-bars-at-home


Cake is never around Pickle Road long enough for me to need to give it any kind of respectable shelter — but there are a million  things I can think of that  I would love to cover using this idea.  Stay tuned for a project I’ve had in mind.   Check out how to make these domes, here:



I know that it has been a while since I posted my last blog and I hate missing weeks at a time, but I really struggle since this fungus was among us. I can only do what I can do and I just have to leave it to the universe that you’ll still be interested when I come back more regularly.  The tremors don’t seem to be as bad. By that, I mean they come and go and are not regular as they were. And for the record, I’m using voice recognition software so the shakes don’t screw up my typing (which ain’t so grand to begin with).  Errors on this blog are totally the fault of the voice program. LOL

You know, when I left the hospital at the end of December, I have pretty much lost all of my nouns. I knew people, places, and things, but I could not articulate what they were. It felt to me like I was in early onset dementia or Alzheimer’s. I am happy to report that all of my nouns came back about 4 to 6 weeks ago. Thank goodness. Now I can’t shut up.

My doctors want me to now go to physical therapy and have even given me a prescription (and it’s been a couple of weeks and I haven’t done anything with it). I’m still having a difficult time with coordination especially when I walk. I find myself tripping all over my feet and running into things, and falling into walls etc. As a matter of fact I almost fell down the stairs the other day––and I wasn’t on the stairs! Yeah, I almost flipped over the railing on the second floor because I lost my balance on the way to my bedroom. I don’t know? Maybe physical therapy will work, maybe not. What do you think?

I tried something kind of fun on Facebook. I was able to talk through a 100% LIVE feed, video and audio, AND everyone on my Facebook page who clicked on the image was able to chat with me and each other. Initially, I thought I might sew just chat with you all while I was making an auction quilt top for The Quilts of Valor Foundation.

As it turned out, I ended up talking for an hour and a half and sewed  only 3 strips together! More sewing today.

Anyway, I am going to do it again next Sunday morning at 11 AM. You do not have to be my friend on Facebook to be a part of it or to see the replay. You just have to log into Facebook and go to my personal Mark Lipinski page. It’s that simple. I may end up using Periscope or YouTube in the future, but I just wanted to try it out on Facebook first.

If you missed the original broadcast event, and over 2500 of you were there or watched later <thanks!>, you can see a recording of it on my Facebook page, Mark Lipinski. Just scroll through my page until you see my face with an arrow over it.  I think you can also subscribe to it so that it alert you when I’m doing a live vidcast, or have posted a replay.

I have a question for you… would you rather me do less labor intensive blog posting more regularly or just save up a lot of things and do a more elaborate blog posting less often?  While I am not feeling well enough to travel or teach, I am feeling well enough to work on my art and projects a little each day.  I’m fine from about 8 AM until about 2 then I’m toasted. It is becoming increasingly more difficult for me to devote 7 hours or so to write a blog post with all of the bells and whistles. I don’t know, I’m ambivalent. I’m leaving it up to you.

Take Our Poll

Until next time… oh, another thing —-  Do you want me to add personal stuff to the blog like I did today or would you rather just be ideas and recipes, etc. ?  Be honest, you can’t hurt my feelings. I’m immune to hurt feelings–that’s what you learn from a near death experience. LOL

Take Our Poll

Please leave comments in the comment section at the end of the blog. I love to hear from you.  Feel free to ask questions or suggestions, etc.



Like 3 pounds of chocolate a day, you know you need this project.  Here’s how to make it:


If you’re liking this blog Please tell your friends about it!

I’d really appreciate it!  xoxom

Just cut and paste this into an email or post on your Facebook and Twitter pages:

I LOVE this blog and think you will, too! Check it out:  https://ma

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