Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Patchwork

Remember the me going on and on about my great aunt Nell and all her crafts?  Well, mom was cleaning the attic and found my quilt that I called dibs on, as well as a few of the others.  Mine is not a hexagon, but I still love it.  I think it's fantastic in fact.  Mom is going to help me get it layered and I'm going to hand quilt it.  I've decided I'm going to back it with Kona cotton cause it is just so comfy.  We use sheets a lot on our quilts, but from everything I've read and what mom has said they are harder to quilt with.  I can't wait till I'm back from Mexico to get started.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Old Friends

Someone jokingly said that this needed to be blogged, so I'm complying. It was really great to see so many of my old friends. Hope it's not another 10-15 years before it happens again.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Viva Tomatoes!

Thar be tomatoes. Lots and lots of them. I picked a whole colander full today, in addition to the colander full I already had. I'm gonna have to break down and give some away I guess. I really do like to horde them though. Everything else in the garden though seems to be giving up. The cilantro and zuke died and the cuke is barely hanging on. No poblanos, a few new jalapeƱos and the basil is no longer growing a foot a week. Hopefully we'll get some green beans in soon.

Back to the tomatoes though. Today I made Cod with tomatoes and leeks from Everyday Food for my lunch. It was very good. I loved that the leeks were slightly caramelized. I may have used a bit too much lemon though. I even remembered to take a photo:

I know, washed out photo. I hate the camera on my iPhone but it's so convenient. I am getting an iPhone4 hopefully before the end of the month though. I should just stop being lazy and get out the Nikon. Tomorrow another Everday Food recipe, turkey burgers. Friday it's grilled tomato pasta, again from Everyday Food. Should help plow through some of those romas.

Monday, August 16, 2010

shrimp and curry, nom nom nom

T had a dinner meeting tonight so I FINALLY made my very first recipe from the Everyday Food cookbook I bought ages ago.  It was the pan-fried shrimp with green curry cashew sauce.  Oh, was it yummy.  I'm gonna have to remember to do stuff like this when he won't be home for dinner instead of eating mac and cheese and chicken nuggets like the boys.  T hates shrimp and I love it but never get to have it.  The curry sauce was even good on the boys leftover chicken nuggets (I had to taste test it, T would love this sauce too.)  I also made the sesame carrot salad that was a on the same page as a serving suggestion.  It was ok.  I think my carrots were not sweet enough.  It needed some sweetness to balance out the ginger and the acid.  Otherwise, a very satisfying dinner. I wish I had a photo to include but all that is left is a ramekin w/ a bit of green sauce stuck to the bottom of it.

I'm having the cod w/ leeks and tomatoes recipe that is on the previous page for lunch tomorrow. Can't wait.  

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Stuck in a rut

I've had this cookbook for over two years and the most I've done is
look through it a few dozen times. I'm completely uninspired by
everything I'm cooking right now. New plan: make something from this
book once a week. Hopefully it will add something new to our dull-drum
dinners.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Quilt Repair

I've been sewing a lot lately, more than knitting or spinning. But mostly I've been trying to get the place ready for Q's b-day party at the end of the month. Progress is slow, but it's coming along. I decided I really should try to do a bit of decorating and make the place more "Us". But more of that later.

Back to the sewing. I've done quilt surgery twice in the last week. First was on Q's baby quilt. A seam for some of the piecing had come un-done. He was heartbroken. Clouds had a hole in him (that's what he calls his quilt, cause it has clouds on the back). He asked if I could sew it up and after examination I told him that Nana wouldhave to fix it. After he went to bed though I worked up the courage to do it myself. At worst, I figured I could just rip it out if it wasn't right. It wasn't perfect, but it was not horrible either. Which gave me the courage to attempt this.

I found the tutorial here. I love hexagon quilts and was originally a-scared of them because they had to be hand-sewn. It was actually quite easy and relaxing. They remind me of the quilts my great-grannies and great aunts used to make. In fact, after my great-aunt Nell passed away (who may be to blame for my crafting ADD- she did it all too) there were boxes and boxes of craft items to be gone through. Buried among the plastic canvas and acrylic afghans and ponchos were several quilt tops of which I believe most were hexagon quilts. The fabrics were odd as well as some of the color combos, they used what they had on hand back then. But that only added to their beauty.

Here's a photo of my patch w/ my phone and a quarter for scale.

And here's the before. The patch really is overkill, the hole is only about the size of a dime. Should have included that for comparison, ehh??

I'm guestimating that it took me about two and a half hours to piece all 7 hexs together, about 30-45 minutes to baste around the whole piece, an hour to hand-sew it to my store bought quilt and about 45 minutes to quilt around each hex. I see many more hexagons in my future, just not so tiny as these are. Each side is about 7/8 of an inch. Maybe something closer to an inch and a half to two inches. I'm sure it will be one of those slow pace, ongoing projects. I like those kinds.

When going through the camera for the hexy quilt patch pics I rediscovered the last day of school pics I took. I love how the giant boy looks completely embarrassed and the smaller boy looks extremely happy and proud.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Preview

Some art I made for the bathroom. I really love it. I think it's both playful and calming at the same time. More pics to follow. I love doing home improvement projects when T is out of town. It helps the time go by faster and I just work well with deadlines. I also dragged the broken recliner out to the curb, so glad they took picked it up with our trash. Also cleared out a garbage bag of junk from both the boys room and the garage. Been a productive week for me.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mom's Day, Mac n Cheese & a Manless week

Had a pretty good Mother's Day, even though T is in France for the global IT conference.  I miss him, so do the boys, but I'm strangely enjoying his absence.  Don't get me wrong, I'd rather have him home.  I think it's cause I get to hog the bed for six days... lol.  Though that hasn't happened yet.  I had two bed hoggy boys to share my bed with last night but they've been warned that last night was the only night that would happen.  I'm taking advantage of him not being here to paint the bathroom, I even bought new towels, the ones I've wanted since December.  While he never minds the end result of my re-decorating he's always annoyed by the mess that occurs during the process.  And this way he can't tell me no either.

We went to mom's yesterday.  Dad fried fish he caught last week on his annual fishing trip.  Yum, it's always so good.  There were a ton of yummy sides too.  I made probably the best baked mac n cheese I've ever made.  I used this recipe, but tweaked to my own liking.  I subbed out 1/4 tsp garlic powder and 1/8 tsp dry mustard for the nutmeg.  I don't get nutmeg in savory dishes?  And I used about 3 cups of sharp cheddar, 2 cups monterrey jack & 1/2 cup of parm/romano blend.  There's tons left over so it inspired tonight's dinner: steak, asparagus, green salad w/ vinaigrette & leftover mac.  It was so good.  I'll have to make it again when T gets home.  Oh, and I did up the steak a little different than normal.  P suggested I marinate it in teriyaki.  I also added a bit of brown sugar and a dry steak seasoning to the marinade.  Was very good, definitely a repeat on that.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Goodwill treasures

Picked up this awesome rocker today at Goodwill for $20. The cushions are not attached so will be supper easy to re-cover and they were pretty comfy and seemed to be in decent shape. The rocker itself felt sturdy too. Will be the perfect replacement for my knitting chair tha Boomerang stole. I also got 5 men's plaid shirts and I'm thinking mainly quilts for the boys beds.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

with a block block here...

Photo 1:   twelve 9-patch blocks
Photo 2:   and now there are 48 scrappy blocks.
Photos 3 & 4:   3 - 5 block strips

Lot's of sewing going on.  I've managed to piece all the blocked strips together, re-cut them and I'm now in the process of sewing them into the strips that will actually form the quilt.  Looks like it will definitely be a lap quilt, which is what I was aiming for, though for a brief while I thought it would be large enough for my queen sized bed thanks to a math error. (Stoopid maths!)  I had twelve 9-patch blocks before the last round of cutting, all of which were cut in 4ths so now there are are 48 blocks.  I'm sewing those into strips of 5 blocks and thinking I will do 7 rows of 5 with a thick border to finish it off, but torn if I should just go with a 6x8 format since there are certainly enough to do so.  The 5 block strips are measuring around 33".  If I go w/ the 5x7 format I can add a strip of blocks to embellish the back of the quilt and will still have leftovers to make a pillow or mini wall quilt or something.

I've also been throwing around the idea of making some new curtains for the kitchen for about a week or so.  My original plan was just to buy some pretty fabric, seam it and hang it.  Now I'm thinking something pieced though.  I've been scouring the internet for inspiration and these are my favorites right now. I think I may go w/ the Make Life line since I bought a charm pack last week.

I'm also digging the idea of a solid strip like this but at the bottom or top instead and with some cut pom-pom trim.

Can you tell I just discovered Piece N Quilt today?  I was invited to a baby shower today and happen to have a large remnant of girly flannel so plan to make a few receiving blankets.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Quilting I Will Go

Shortly before I got my new laptop(aka Doris) I started looking for a cute but functional bag for her. I quickly realized though that there are very few stylish bags for girls with a big booty (17" monitor). So I decided to make one myself. After many a trip to various fabric stores I still do not have a bag for Doris, nor have a I purchased fabric to make said bag. However, I have purchased fabric for and made 2 skirts as well as many a fat quarter. Fat quarters are deadly addictive, just as much so as scrapbook paper... actually worse than scrapbook paper. Somewhere in this mix I decided to make a quilt.

I'm blaming it on the fat quarters.


The paisley print was the jumping off point. I found 9 other prints to match, mostly, and started digging online for a pattern. I quickly fell in love with the disappearing 9 patch. I spent 2-3 hours Friday night cutting my fabric into 15x5 strips and about an hour Saturday matching them into groups of three, but so that no one print was paired up with another print more than once. Started sewing the strips together yesterday and finished it off today. So I've managed to finish the first phase this weekend, which is sewing each threesome of 15x5 strips together and cutting them into strips so it looks like I spent way more time piecing each individually. I'm anxious to start sewing those strips together for my 9-patches, and then more cutting fun can begin!
Oh, in my previous post I accidentally included 2 of the same photo, I will include the one I intended to attach. In case anyone is wondering, yes, all this spinning and sewing means I have not been knitting.

Almost like Christmas - High Fiber Style!

I received TWO packages in the mail yesterday... both fibery related.  First off was my 1st installment of the Spunky Eclectic fiber club... a gorgeous 4 oz of organic merino combed top.  The label says it's 22 microns. The colorway is called Storms of Jupiter.  I'm hoping for a 2 ply worsted with this but I'm spinning it up so thin I may need to go 3 ply or settle for something more dk-ish.

Secondly, and I was even more excited about this than the fiber, was my new Jenkins Turkish Delight spindle.  It's so darn cute.  I grabbed some Ashland Bay that I have stashed and started spinning it up as soon as I was able to tear the package open and assemble the spindle.  I very soon decided I would rather be spinning up the club fiber though and switched over to that instead.  The two of them kept me well distracted from my original plans for the day, which were to spend a lot of time with the sewing machine.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Borderline Obsessive???

I organized my closet today in ROY G BIV order. It makes me really happy. It also has made me realize I own way too many blue and green shirts, that I need to buy more hangers and that maybe I should have used the time sorting more wisely and done the dishes instead. Also, why can't I ever find anything to wear? This is only my closet. You should see my dresser drawers.
Weight loss going not so good. Getting back on the workout wagon next week. I gained 2 lbs last week but hate to think of what it might have been if I had not been eating mostly right. I wanted to get back to the gym this week but worked the book fair at school which ended up sucking up a huge portion of each day. Should try to drag myself and T to the gym this weekend at least.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Bad week

I really, REALLY slacked off last week, at least for the last half. Thursday the boys went to the movies with the children church group to see the Chipmunks. T took me out to dinner. I had a big fat juicy burger... was the best burger ever, prolly because it has been foreve since I've had red meat. Friday was another inclement weather day so the boys and I went shopping with my mom and dad at the Mills. We had a great time at Cabela's, had a little lunch, bought me a few things and bought the boys new coats. We got Vin Hoa for dinner and just was way too heavy and not enough veg. Sat was lunch with Shilo & Jackie and it included another burger, fries and finished it off with chocolate nachos. That evening we hung out at my sis' and had some bbq and again, very little veg. Woke up today with a serious food hangover from the damage done over the past 3 days. And to make things worse, I think I was dehydrated all 3 days and it really got the best off me. I noticed yesterday I was actually affecting my speach.

It was good to slow down today, suck down a bunch of h2o and OD on some veggies. Back on track tomorrow and back to the gym with myself. Really dreading the weigh-in tomorrow AM.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Day 30, and a little yarn


So, my weight loss for the week is 4lbs. My total for the 30 days is
11.4. My current weight is xxx lbs. I slacked
off a lot. Well, more than I wish I had. I mean 4 lbs this week is
good but what if I had gone to the gym just once. Or if I hadn't
decided to eat a whole sleeve of thin mints, it did take me over a
week to eat them though, but still. If I had made the right choices
more consistantly, what could I have lost? So I'm happy with what
I've accomplished but striving to do better rather than beating myself
up.
I have realized I really need to work on eating breakfast at a more
rational hour, not say 10am like I'm used to. I also need to break the
evening snacking habit. I've said it at least once, but my favorite
time to eat is after dark. I could go all day without a bite, but then
be a pig after 6pm. It's gotten better. I'm making myself eat even if
I'm not hungry. And instead of the cookies or brownies I'll have a
small piece of dark chocolate and some fruit.
I haven't talked about yarn in a while. I made up these cute little
slipper socks. The striping on the heel was a fail, but they are still
pretty cute and warm and toasty. I think I need a handspun pair too.
They need some puff paint on the soles so I stop doing the splits when
I walk in to the kitchen. The little flecks are cause the purple yarn
was tweedy but I guess tweed doesn't felt well?? I'll try to post some pics tomorrow.