Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Owls, Dachshunds and Badgers, Oh My!

Mug Rug messing around. I used some of my coveted owl fabric. Now I wonder why I'm hoarding that stuff. It is kind of cute and we have a soft spot for owls in my family. And by soft spot, I mean a silly obsession.

My daughter hit a baby owl when she first learned to drive. If I've told this story before, I apologize. Anyway, it was Hollywood's first night driving experience and we were coming through the neighborhood. She heard a little thump and thought she hit something. We stopped the car and Inspector Gadget got out and rescued a baby owl from the street. He set it in someone's yard. Hopefully it survived. I've been planting owl crap in her room and on her clothes ever since. You can find some very odd owl stuff if you're on the lookout. That's an acorn owl I found. There's nothing like hearing your child scream when a phantom owl appears out of nowhere.

Bones got a new-to-him pillow. Obviously he prefers laying next to the TV stand under his monkey blanket. I love watching him burrow under blankets. It's a process. Dachshunds were bred to hunt badgers, but Bones makes do with squirrels and ducks. He doesn't actually catch anything, but our yard is squirrel and duck free if Bones is on security detail. This badger video is riddled with bad words, but it cracks me up. Don't click unless you're 12 like me.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Not So Manic Monday

I sewed my Kaffe Fassett birthday charms (thanks again, Rene') into HSTs on Sew Day and promptly put off trimming them. Trimming is so boring, but it sure makes things line up easier. Ask me how I know. Don't be alarmed by my neat piles. I was just counting blocks and decided to be neat for once. It'll pass. I'm sure it already has.
Now what can I make with the trimmings? I see an orange dog ear triangle in there. I'm kidding. This is trash.
So 81 trimmed blocks later, I'm playing with a layout on my design floor. I love it. I may try another layout now that I've picked them up off the floor, but I sure like this one. The solid is Kona Charcoal, my current love. I want a bolt of that stuff.

It was a whirlwind weekend as usual, but I did sneak off to a rummage sale at our local Catholic church Saturday morning. They usually have some goodies in the linens and crafts room. I found this vintage doll panel featuring Little Red Riding Hood, Granny and the mean wolf. The vintage illustrations are so adorable.

I joined a swap to exchange "Lemon Meringue" fat quarters. You send your partners white and yellow fat quarters. Then I decided to try to make a mug rug in the same theme.

Tuna pasta salad for dinner. I whipped this up yesterday between trying to keep cool on a boat ride and in the pool. My pool is a refreshing bathtub-like 92 degrees. The 1960s-esque salad features penne pasta, tuna, tomatoes, scallions, celery, green olives, hard boiled eggs, lime juice, mayo, mustard. I'll serve it over spinach leaves for me and iceberg for the picky. The kids are both working, so hopefully I can talk Inspector Gadget into a cold dinner. I'm making a huge fruit salad to go along with everything right after someone turns off the internet. Happy Monday!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Stash #29

I couldn't pass up the sales from one of my favorite shops One yard each of old time animal games, Amy Butler's Midwest Modern, Guatemalan Flora and my favorite, a Matisse still life.

I'm always swayed by their eQuilter's Surprise Package which has three pounds of big scraps. It's always fun to see what you get and I'm never disappointed. The value is kind of awesome too! They put the packages on sale several times throughout the year. It's like getting $2 a yard quilting fabric, but you have to like surprises!

Love this black and white novelty print. See the dead chicken on the bench? Beer chicken tonight! Not really, it's a pork roast, but now I want beer chicken.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Are You Pinning?

Yet another way to waste time. You know I'm good at that, right? Laundry is so overrated. Disposable clothes are my invention, okay? Well, disposable socks and underwear anyway. I've been touting the benefits for years, but I can't afford the patent. I just want credit where credit is due. Ha!

Pinterest allows you to "pin" photos you like. What's really great about the service is that it saves the link where you saw the picture. Saving (and retrieving) tutorials, quilt patterns, recipes, etc., just became easier. I don't know about you, but I have fifty zillion links saved in my browser bookmarks. Pinterest lets you organize with pictures. Nifty! Give it a try if you haven't already. I'd love to see your pins and what you think is cool. I get my best inspiration from you folks!

Follow Me on Pinterest

Anya at Hills Creek Quilter has hung her "barn" quilt. Isn't it beautiful? The red and white quilt block is "Annie's Choice," which fits Anya perfectly. Check out her blog for tons more inspiration and fun.

 For the Love of Solids Swap
1. plain spoken quilt, 2. Color Cues (WIP) Close Up--4/2010, 3. Wide Stripe Quilt, 4. A quilt for Nate, 5. gelato circles, 6. In A Spin ~ Quilt, 7. Mini, 8. Untitled, 9. color dotty top
I've joined the For the Love of Solids swap on Fickr. Solids quilts have always been so inspiring to me and I've dabbled in a few. The mosaic above features some of my favorites that others have made. I'm looking forward to seeing what this swap group creates. There's still room for a few more participants, so if you'd like to play check it out.

Friday, July 15, 2011


Ta da, this little mini is finished! It's for a swap. It's amazing how versatile and fun half square triangles are.

Hollywood and I did a little retail therapy this week. I tried to get her to sit by Barney, but she was worried about germs. Ha! This is my second child who put anything and everything into her mouth as a baby and toddler. Actually, I still yell at her about putting inappropriate things into her mouth!

Hollywood has always been stylish. See her beads? And I'm sure she's wearing a dress in this photo. The kid refused to wear anything but dresses until she was in second grade. Good thing we live in a warm climate. Don't tell my mom, but Hollywood has dyed her hair jet black with deep purple highlights. Lovely. I didn't start coloring my hair until, ahem...well, I had to. This kid was sneaking Sun-in and make-up in elementary school! I have a feeling tattoos are next. Noooooo! I'm going to go buy stock in the Clairol company.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Summer Fun

30-Minute French Baguettes. Really good. And only five ingredients. That same night I made Mediterranean beef stew with tomatoes, red wine vinegar, veggies, herbs, olives and capers. Not a bad dipping "sauce" for fresh bread!

I love summer and the huge fruit population. It's all cheap, plentiful and tastes so good. Seems a little early for good peaches and nectarines, but they have been spectacular. The vegetables and herbs have been great too. I'm buying way too much because it all looks so good.

I made more wonky house blocks. I think I need four more to make a little baby quilt. The sewing has taken back seat to summering kids, work, laundry and cleaning. The guild has its monthly Sew Day this Saturday, so I'll catch up on some projects then.

College boy and his friend set sail in a the pool. They ventured out back to the pond and eventually carried it to the big lake so they could cool off in the water.

Here's a funny collection of letters to the Tooth Fairy.

Friday, July 8, 2011

More Ways to Waste Time*

*or How to Avoid Laundry.

I love Pee Wee Herman. Toy-A-Day has all kinds of cute paper crafts you can print and make. Here's the pdf file for Pee Wee. Now if I could find a color printer in this house with color ink in it. Could be tricky.

Have you seen the wonderful blocks from The Farmer's Wife Quilt-a-Long? All the cool blogger kids are doing it. Working with templates kind of scares me, but I'm really enjoying seeing everyone's blocks. I'll keep the book on my Wish List until I come to my senses.

One thing about sampler quilts (111 blocks in this one!) is that you don't get bored doing the same block over and over. With my attention span, I know that piecing a quilt with 56 of the exact same blocks is not going to be fun for me. The first three are going to be fun and exciting. The next 53 not so much.

But house blocks...I seem to never tire of those. Go figure. I'm making some for a swap, but they're like potato chips, you can't make just one. Or three.

These Tonya-esque letters were supposed to be another Love Shack house like the one above, but I couldn't get them to fit when stacked. So horizontal we go. Improvisational quilting is so liberating.

Godspeed, Atlantis. The final shuttle flight went off without a hitch today. What great memories we'll have of the space program.
Here was my view. I could see a faint vapor trail in the cloud clearing.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Caffeine and Chicken

A wonky shoofly via Sarah and Molly's Free Piecing Study. There are some fabulous links to tutorials for these fun blocks. A great way to get your creative juices flowing at 4 am before the caffeine pulses through your veins. Okay, that might just be me. I like starting the day with a little sewing project.

This collapsible shopping bag was a fun little project too. Or how about this Upcycled T-shirt Bag by Chichidee Handmade? It has those same braided handles I made for the headband. I may have to raid everyone's shirt collections.

Yesterday, I played with a charm pack to make disappearing four patch blocks. The table runner is supposed to match the Talavera pottery in my kitchen. Meh.

Maybe my enthusiasm waned when I sewed the last border on wrong. Twice. Quit laughing. At least it was the short side. I really hate unsewing. Maybe I should switch to espresso.

Our Fourth of July weekend was picture perfect. Lots of eating, friends, sun and fun. I decided to barbecue chicken for one meal. I marinated the leg quarters in orange juice, lemon and lime juices, soy sauce, garlic, jalapeno and red onion. Then sear both sides on a hot grill and then continue cooking on indirect heat. Easy. Inspector Gadget wouldn't let me clean the grill this past weekend. He said it's only held together by chicken fat.
Hands, down, this is best barbecue book ever. Techniques, tips, recipes and inspiration galore. I always refer to it and like give it as a gift to fellow grillers.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My Creative Space

Half graphic design studio, half sewing room, I've only taken over two rooms in the house. Well, let's not talk about the guest room. If you come for an overnight visit, I may need a bit of notice... The photo above shows the sewing side. My machine, laptop and TV are usually used in tandem. This is the formal living room of our house, which I'm sure would be a dust collector if I didn't have my graphic design business and sewing studio in here.
I use an old drafting table for cutting. It's over on the right in the mess. I did "old school" graphic design on one of these back in the day. Now everything is done on an Apple computer, which makes it so much easier. The drafting table was able to stay for painting, paper crafting, and making comps for clients. Now it's mainly used to chop fabric. My bookshelf held many graphic design books and cookbooks, but I'm steadily replacing those with quilting books.
I hope you enjoyed seeing where I create. It's hard to believe that I only started quilting a little over four years ago. I'm so hooked. Can you tell?! To see more creative spaces, check out Pink Chalk Studio's "Where I Sew" for awesome inspiration and dream sewing rooms.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Relaxing Weekend

Inspector Gadget and I took a sunset cruise after dinner out last night. Both teens were working. Bones was invited, but he is not the best sailor. And if you can see all the crap on our boat, you'll know why I call my husband Inspector Gadget. You can be assured every piece has a purpose, but I can't believe that boat hasn't sunk yet.
Little Pink Houses mug rug for a pink swap. My partner likes music and sock monkeys.

Wonky star block for our guild giveaway. We used the talented Silly BooDilly's tutorial. Each month we make a particular block and for as many blocks you make, you can enter the drawing for a chance to win all the blocks. The wonky stars are going to be black and white with a primary color. Should be a neat set of blocks! Maybe I'll win them!

This chicken potholder is the first of many projects I plan to craft from the 101 Patchwork Projects and Quilts publication. Judy brought her copy to Sew Day a couple of weeks ago and I fell in love. Only 100 more projects to go! Truthfully, there are so many cute patterns in this book. I want to make every one of them.

I'm off to finish laundry so I can goof off all day. We're going to a barbecue this afternoon, so I have to make something to bring too. What a rough life! ;) Hope you're having fun.
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