Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday Fun Day

Our guild's Block of the Month is this scrappy string X block. This was a fun one! We had Sew Day Saturday and it was a fun and full day of sewing. I made a little progress on a few projects.

I finally got around to making homemade laundry detergent. Hand grating the Naptha soap is a workout, I'm using the food processor next time. Bones (the dawg) recognized the grating sound and rushed in the kitchen. It does kind of look like grated cheese. I hope it works well. It's just a bar of naptha, and a cup each of washing soda and borax. You only use two tablespoons for each load.

Maya*Made turned me on to The World's Fastest Workout video. Going to get right on that! Actually, I may wait until someone is home in case the EMTs are needed.

Just look at this face. I got to see my new cousin in person yesterday. What a cutie, and she's so calm. And tiny! My babies were never this small. I plan to spoil her rotten.

Getting low on tinned fish. My pantry is a hot mess. Seems like I just organized it, but I may need to tackle that project again. You know I'm the only one who eats this stuff. I must have an Omega-3 deficiency if I keep buying fish. Our seafood feast was postponed due to weather. We like to cook outside and it was rainy yesterday. At least I have some tinned fish to tide me over.

My doll quilt partner made this scrappy heart beauty. Absolutely gorgeous.
She also sent a car decal and some fun pins. Do I dare put the decal on the car Hollywood and I share? Maybe the cops wouldn't pull over a little old lady quilter!

I have 15-bean soup in the crock pot today. My house smells so good. Ham hocks, dried beans, lemon juice, a can of diced tomatoes, onion, garlic and spices. We eat a version of this soup at our local watering hole. They sell a cup for a buck and all the proceeds go to a children's charity. I think Inspector Gadget and I are the only people eating it. The last few times we had it there it was so thick. Probably the same pot they've been cooking since the place opened! It's good, but I wanted a soupier version. I spread the other stuff on crackers it's so thick.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Where Did February Go?

My second time making the Pioneer Woman's Caveman Pops (aka Roasted Turkey Legs). The brine really keeps these juicy while roasting. They turned out a little salty this time, but I brined them much longer. I would reduce the salt in the brine next time.

These roasted potato stacks are quick and easy. I used my $5 mandolin to thinly slice the potatoes. I love that thing! It makes quick work of slicing.

Our Fat Tuesday feast. Turkey legs, potatoes, lentils and watercress salad.

It was a little chilly Monday, so I threw together some broccoli cheddar soup. The kids love broccoli, adore cheddar cheese, dig onions, celery, and garlic. Would they eat it? No. Guess who's been eating soup for breakfast?

Not a lot of quilting going on this week, but I did sneak in a little time for small projects. The little wallet tutorial can be found here.

I used a disassembled metal tape measure to make this snappy bag.
I've loved all the granny square quilts I've seen in blogland. I gave it a try with 1.5" squares. A little more precision might be in order, but what a neat looking block.
A little zipper practice with this pencil case. I wish everything would have lined up, but it was still fun to make. I still managed to have fun even with my busy week. I'm looking forward to Friday and the weekend. I hear a seafood feast may be in the works. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Land of the Lost Blogs

I thought it was quiet around blogland these past few weeks. Oh well, more time to get things done. I was still getting some blog posts, so I didn't think much about it. But then today when I launched Google Reader it said I had over 500 unread blog posts. Whaaaaa?! I keep that list nice and tidy (i.e., I waste a lot of time reading blogs.) Surely it was an error, but no, I have over 500 unread blog posts! Like savoring a good book, I'm going to pace myself and enjoy everything I missed. If anyone can explain this phenomenon, I'm all ears.

In the meantime, I saw this funny handset for your smart phone today. Inspector Gadget's birthday is coming up and he's so hard to buy for. He has every gadget known to man, but I bet he doesn't have one of these! He mentioned wanting a new bluetooth, but I bet he'll like this even better. Ha! Leave it to me to blow $15 for a joke. I'll make him an apple pie too.

I made two cathedral window ornaments for a swap. I used this wonderful tutorial again. Working on two at a time really sped up the process. I have pared down my swaps and even gave up my three-year stint of hosting my doll quilt swap on the Quilting Board. A fellow quilter graciously volunteered to take it over for me, so I'll still be able to play. Just no coordinating and nagging.

I'm afraid these scooter days are over. And yep, I let my kids play in the street. I might have even taken the pictures. That's College Boy circa 2005 in the red shirt doing crazy crap on a Razor scooter. He went through no less than four of those babies.

We won't even talk about how many skateboard decks he's split in half. Providing stunt detail are Hollywood (in the pink shirt) and a neighbor kid. Look at the bottom of Hollywood's feet. I also let my kids go barefoot to get the whole Florida upbringing experience.

And here we are today. This scooter goes on the road. With cars. Send me hair color? Valium?

And I saved the best for last...we have a new baby in the family! I snagged this photo off Faceplace, but you can still see how cute she is. The delivery went picture perfect and my aunt was able to be there. Mia is my newest second cousin. I think she needs a pink scooter.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Stash #44

My first Liberty of London prints if you don't count my peacock boxer shorts I got from Target. They're so comfy I'll probably wear them out before I get brave enough to chop them and use them as fabric.

I was curious about these fabrics. The owls on the left are 100% cotton sheeting, the birdhouses are 100% organic cotton and the solid cream fabric is a 100% silk suiting. I bought these for educational purposes only. Ha!

I won this Flora charm pack on the Butternut Street blog. She's having another great giveaway too. Go win! The charm pack was donated by Sanourra's Fabric Love, which is another cute shop. Of course I had to visit. The great sale prices didn't hurt either. Dang enablers.

Speaking of enablers, have you seen the New York Beauty Quilt-along?

On a food note, I don't think I've ever made polenta before last night. It was pretty good. I made Alton Brown's savory polenta and halved the recipe in case it was gross. I really liked it. I served it under a ground turkey, onion, garlic, celery, carrot, red pepper, habanero, sun-dried tomato, catsup, Worcestershire sauce, chopped fresh tomato, chicken broth, cumin, cilantro mixture. Inspector Gadget wanted to know if I added some beef fat to the turkey to give it some flavor. He's such a card.

One more thing, don't forget the Shabby Apple giveaway right here. Your chances are really good to win a new dress! I'll have random number generator pick someone tomorrow.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

From Japan with Love

Swimmin' under the Starlight
Uncharted Area
Swimmin' in the Wonderland
My friend Yumi, from band camp... Actually, she's my friend from Japan. I just talk about her a lot, so I feel like we went to band camp together and she was the most interesting (and fun) person at camp. Yumi has been busy making quilts for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. As I've mentioned before, I'm her pusher. I really don't have to push her to make these gorgeous art quilts, she loves doing them. She tells me it's her life's work. Boy, are they gorgeous. Needle-turn applique, hand quilting, fun fabrics, unique designs, Yumi does it all. You should see these babies in person.

And although I would be happy just to send her quilts off to AAQI, she always includes goodies for me and my family. Best band camp friend ever!

First off, a Starbucks mug from her city, Saitama. Now I'm a big Starbucks stockholder (two whole shares), so I always enjoy supporting "my" company! Isn't the mug darling? That Starbucks chick has Fred Flinstone hands like mine.

These Cheeza crackers are totally addictive. The brie flavored ones are my favorite. 10% more bags too! I can at least figure that out. The yellow bag is a new flavor I haven't tried. They are mixed cheese flavor. I hoard and hide these babies and have been known to eat them with brie. Yep, that's how we Americans roll. What tickles me about these snacks is that they are approximately the size of a small bag of chips you would get to go along with a sandwich, but...they have a zip lock closure. Like you probably shouldn't eat the entire bag in one sitting. Right.

These little packages stumped me, but I figured out they were travel tissue packs. Very soft and fancy.

Here's the rest of the goodies. Coffee beans from Yumi's favorite coffee shop. White chocolate cocoa. See how Yumi writes the description and instructions in English? She is quite proficient in English, but my Japanese has a lot to be desired. She can also whip your butt in "Words with Friends." Lastly, some butter ball candies. I can't wait to try these. Am I the luckiest band camp gal ever? Guess what I played in band? I played two instruments, so your odds aren't too bad.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Clever Headline Goes Here

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day. My sweetie brought me sushi, flowers, chocolate and wine for lunch. We saved the wine for dinner since we both had to get back to work.

I spent some free time playing with this heart block by Tallgrass Prairie Studio. There was a bit of un-sewing involved. Ahem. I never did get an old heart table runner flimsy quilted. It was on my list along with cleaning under my fridge. I guess I have 364 more days to procrastinate on quilting that runner. The fridge may have to wait longer.

Dinner was skinny chicken parmigiana (baked, not fried), pasta, garlic and olive focaccia, and salad. And red wine! Inspector Gadget and I ate together while the kids were out. I made fresh pasta for College Boy when he got home. All three of my sweeties enjoyed chocolate pound cake with Cool Whip and fresh strawberries.

It's date night tonight, so I don't have to cook, but I'm making this Roast Sticky Chicken for dinner tomorrow. The dry rub stays on the chicken overnight and then you bake the bird at a low temperature for five hours. It's supposed to taste like a rotisserie chicken. I'll let you know. I found an organic chicken to use. Had to laugh at the label saying it was "humanely raised." I'm imagining a chicken out lounging by the pool with an umbrella drink and People magazine.

Did you know that Bones was a purebread miniature dachshund? That poor dog. He's been through a lot in his 12 years. Luckily, he's a good sport.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sweet Valentine's Day wishes to you and yours.

This little case was fun and easy. I only had gigantic magnetic snaps, so I used some sew-in velcro dots.

 Then I made some coordinating bookmark from Skip to my Lou's cute tutorial.

Gigantic button mushrooms simmered in red wine, beef broth, garlic, butter, Worcestershire sauce and dill. Simmer for hours so your house smells wonderful. Based loosely on the Pioneer Woman's Burgundy mushrooms. They're better than meat. And don't forget the crusty bread to soak up the sauce.

Aha moment. I had no idea you could peel a soft boiled egg! I'm newly obsessed with soft boiled eggs, but I usually use an egg cup and dip toast "soldiers" into the egg. There's waste. This method is easier and just as tasty. The aha part, bring your egg to room temperature before simmering on a low boil for 4-5 minutes.

I did a little card making for my sweets yesterday. Bought them some treats too. And I have a special dinner planned to celebrate. Now to get some work done so I can play. Happy Valentine's Day!

Don't forget about the dress giveaway. There aren't many comments, so your chances are really good!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday Stash #43

Had to snag a yard of Malka's new fabric line called "A Stitch in Color." I really wanted a fat quarter of each design. Thank goodness my LQS didn't have them cut. So I settled on this one that reminds me of fried green tomatoes or Viewmaster reels. Now I want a Viewmaster. Do kids still play with them? I bought a matching zipper not because I'm thinking of making a bag, but because zippers were cheap. I only get to this fabric shop once a month and usually have to rush off after our guild meeting, so I miss stuff. They have all kinds of neat things.

Two fat quarters also came home with me. Please tell me I'm not the only quilter that purposely looks for selvage edges on fat quarters. I'm hoarding that Lotta Jansdotter fabric on the left.

Flannel and upcycled cotton chenille baby washcloth. Our daycare providers swore by soft cotton washcloths. We never did buy or use diaper wipes. The baby washcloths are part of our rag collection now, but I smile every time I see one. I might make a matching bib for the new baby who is due next weekend!

Happy almost Valentine's Day. I had some time to play in the scrap bag yesterday. Poor dogs are upside down. I just noticed that.

I played a little with some fabrics that were already fused. This might be an AAQI quilt if it gets cuter.

I'm totally crushing on this gorgeous quilt by Rumi who lives in Bulgaria. Her blog, 3patchcrafts is pretty neat too.

Don't forget about the Shabby Apple giveaway right here. You could win a beautiful dress that would look beautiful on you. Not many people have entered, so your chances are pretty good! ;) The giveaway is open until Sunday, February 19.
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