Rolling with Libby

For instance, the bicycle is the most efficient machine ever created:
Converting calories into gas, a bicycle gets the equivalent
of three thousand miles per gallon.
~Bill Strickland


Bicycle GORP Push Pop


Yay! It’s time for Libby Hickson’s Tour de Craft, Libby’s annual craft homage to the Tour de France (the 21-stage, 3,660 km bicycle race). Joining Libby and her stamp-happy, bicycle-bonkers friends to honor the Tour makes me happy as a down hill racer!




Have you noticed the Tour riders grabbing snacks out of their sweaty back pockets in the middle of the race? I decided to go a little off the map with a look back to the snack of champions – GORP.

Bicycle Pillow Box


Remember GORP? It was popular in the 1970’s with hikers because it was lightweight, easy to store, and nutritious and, well, because powerbars weren’t on the scene yet. I used to pack GORP in my bike bag for quick fuel between food stops. That combination of salty and crunchy, sweet and chewy is just magical.



Although GORP is short for granola, oats, raisins, and peanuts, let’s be honest, granola and oats sounds like something you’d feed your horse. I make mine with nuts, dried fruits, sunflower seeds, pretzels, and most importantly, M&Ms.

Bicycle GORP Push Pops

The carbohydrates in the dried fruit give a quick energy boost while the fat and protein in the nuts provide sustained energy. The M&Ms are just tasty! And, like their ad says, M&Ms melt in your mouth, not in your bike bag.

For giggles and grins (and, hey, maybe a fun party favor), I packed my GORP today in decorated pillow boxes and plastic push pop containers. They’re stinkin’ cute and yummy, right?

GORP Bicycle Push Pop


tips and techniques

I found these plastic push pop containers in a fun store in Austin, Texas: Make it Sweet. Just Google “push pop containers” to find a retailer or click on the link below. Filling, decorating and eating from them is just so much fun! For some other ideas for these containers here’s a great article from the fabulous Tip Junkie:  14 Amazing Push Pop Treats {recipes}.

What you put in your GORP is really just a matter of personal preference. Here are some ideas:

  • nuts: almonds, peanuts, walnuts, cashews, pecans
  • dried fruit: raisins, cranberries, banana chips
  • breakfast cereal: Chex, Grape Nuts, Cheerios, granola, rolled oats
  • seeds: pumpkin or pepita, sunflower, sesame
  • pretzels, popcorn, Goldfish crackers
  • shredded coconut
  • yogurt chips
  • M&Ms or other candy-coated chocolate that won’t melt in the sun

Besides the groceries of nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and candy, here are the rest of the ingredients to my GORP tribute.

That’s all for me. Thank you, Libby, for letting me roll with you!


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5th annual caring hearts card drive

A friend knows the song in my heart
and sings it to me when my memory fails.
~Donna Roberts


If you just hopped here from my sweet friend Stacey Schafer’s place
and the Caring Hearts Card Drive,
welcome to Catered Crop!

Wasn’t Stacey’s bokeh card stunning?


I’m Linda McClain, and I’m so thrilled to be a part of this amazing campaign.

Before I retired from nursing last February I had the honor of inspecting and investigating nursing homes all over central Texas. My job gave me special privileges – a window into the lives of amazing people. I had a front row seat to history when the residents told me about their lives: NASA rocket scientist, championship rodeo cowboy, member of the 1950’s All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, Holocaust survivor, teacher in a one-room schoolhouse . . .



My Dad used to joke that he wanted to live to be 100, shot by a jealous woman. We laughed, but then I met a 103 year old woman and realized from her story that the hardest part of aging isn’t arthritis – it’s outliving your family and friends.  This sweet lady and her husband were married for 50 years, but she had been a widow for the last 30 years. Her only surviving son was in his 80’s and unable to drive to visit her. Dad also used to say that growing old isn’t for the weak. He was right!



The wonderful news is that the cards you make for Vera Yates’ and Jennifer McGuire’s Caring Hearts Card Drive really will bring smiles to these residents’ faces and brighten their holiday season. Your simple gesture will let them know that they are not forgotten.


This is the fifth year for the annual Caring Hearts Card Drive to collect holiday cards for the nursing home residents. Last year the campaign distributed over 3600 cards. I know we can top that. You can get all the important details for how to get your holiday cards to Vera and earn chances for tons of fabulous prizes here: Caring Hearts Card Drive.

And, there are Prizes for this blog hop.

Lots of Prizes!

Some lucky blog hoppers are going to win prizes from Online Card Classes, Simon Says Stamp, Inspiration Emporium, Verve Stamps, Latina Crafter, May Arts, and Paper Crafts and Scrapbooking. Gracious.

Just jump onto this hop and leave comments at the blog stops along the way. Vera will randomly pick winners from the comments, so the more stops you make and comment love you leave, the better your chances are.

For a complete list of blog hop participants and prizes, just visit Vera’s blog, Ling’s Design Studio.

Your next stop along the Caring Cards Card Drive Blog Hop
is to Latina Crafter.


tips and techniques

Here are the ingredients to my card and gift tag. I created the text for the gift tag in Photoshop. You can download the .jpg file here: No Peeking.


Off you go to Latina Crafter. Enjoy the rest of the blog hop. I hope you’ll send some cards to Vera and warm a heart.


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rose of sharon

Rise up my love and come away
The rain is over and gone
Your love is the fruit of my darkest day
And I am your Rose of Sharon
~ lyrics by Eliza Gilkyson

PTI Regency Rose

This weekend the Papertrey Ink Stamp-a-faire 2014 took us back to the early 1820’s Regency era in this blog post: Explore the Regency Era with Melissa Phillips.

While others were paying homage to the romantic 1820’s I was happily transported back to my mother-in-law’s living room where I did a lot of counted cross stitching back in the 1980s. Mr. Catered Crop was in graduate school and money was tight. It was an inexpensive hobby, and Mom McClain was happy to share her know-how, patterns and thread for some girl time.

Regency Rose

My adorable twin sister has a birthday coming up. Her name is Sharon, she has a Rose of Sharon bush in her yard, and the darling carried the Rose of Sharon blossoms in her wedding. I know this rose doesn’t look exactly like the Rose of Sharon, but, if you’ll allow me a little creative license . . . my love, this rose is for you.


tips & techniques

Rumor has it that Papertrey Ink will make individual kits from the Stamp-a-faire available for purchase beginning in October. If you like this project you can possibly purchase this Regency era kit then.

There are no stitching instructions in the kit. I gave away every cross-stitch project I ever made and lost the county fair ribbon a long time ago, so the only proof that I was once a cross-stitch queen (supreme!) are a few tips from a once-upon-a-time expert. Here are some Mom McClain (via Linda McClain) tips for any cross-stitch beginners.

  • I love DMC embroidery floss. Seriously, don’t use anything else. It comes in six strands and is sold in all the big-box hobby stores like Michaels and JoAnns. For this pattern you should separate the strands and work with only three at a time.
  • Papertrey Ink’s kit does not include a design chart. Like Michelle Phillips’ example, I started out stitching in every square until I looked at the linen-colored patterned paper and realized it was a map for how to stitch a beautiful rose. You can use the pattern paper or my rose as a design chart.
  • Everything else you need to know about how to cross stitch to complete this project you can find at DMC’s wonderful tutorial here: Quick Start: Cross Stitch. It will show you how to start your thread without knots (to prevent lumps and bumps) and ensure each stitch finishes in the same direction.

Here are the the ingredients for my 1820’s/1980’s cross -stitched card.

Card size: 4-1/4″ by 5-1/2″. Other ingredients: taffeta ribbon, Lifestyle Crafts die cut, vintage button, and DMC embroidery floss (503, 758, 950, and 3032).


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