Tuesday, August 28, 2012

We Survived

We survived Tropical Storm Issac. Our bored Florida meteorologists get so worked up. Poor people never get any snow, blizzards, earthquakes, etc. Even hurricanes are few and far between. That's why we're the Sunshine State! We didn't get much rain or wind. Bones was brave and weathered the storm like a champ. As long as there's no thunder or heavy rains, Bones is cool.

The rainy day put me in a baking mood, so I whipped up October Farm's butterhorn rolls. I halved the recipe. Inspector Gadget can only eat so much bread and the kiddos started back to college so I have no idea when I'll see them again. An empty nest is awful when you like to cook. I may have to open a restaurant or rent some children.

To go along with the rolls, I made this basil lime chicken. Yep, I was out there grilling in the middle of a hurricane cloudy day. Ha ha! My produce market had purple potatoes, which I've never seen in person or eaten. I have watched a Chopped episode that had them as a mystery ingredient. I simply boiled them and tossed them with fresh parsley, butter, sea salt, and pepper. I wonder if the purple variety have a lower glycemic level like sweet potatoes? They tasted like regular potatoes. The chicken was spectacular.

I try to make a salad every night. Takes the guesswork out of a side vegetable. If I'm in a fancy mood, I'll toss the fresh vegetables rotting in my crisper and nuke frozen vegetables.

Some basil and peppers from the garden. I neglected everything and my jalapenos turned red. Wonder if that makes them hotter? I know the tan markings mean a hotter pepper. I'll have College Boy test them out for me. He likes them on quesadillas.

I made a little quickie pouch from this tutorial. Fun and easy. I used 5" charm squares and a CD for the template.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Rainy Day

Tropical Storm Issac is a little closer than this model, but the image made me laugh. I always loved The Love Boat. We're just getting a bit of rain from the outer bands.

I made a little progress on the ladybug quilt. Hand embroidery was involved.

Another little AAQI mini is finished. These little quilts are perfect to practice my free motion quilting skills.

Here's Issac this morning. I think it's going to rain in central Florida today. Hunker down Louisiana.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Yep, It's The Weekend!

Anyone getting excited about the Modern Quilt Guild's first conference? QuiltCon is being held February 21-24, 2013 in Austin, Texas. And yeehaw, I'm going and bringing my boots. The block challenge for the conference yielded over 375 creative blocks. The Orlando Modern Quilt Guild is represented. You can see some of the blocks right here in the Flickr pool. They are all really cool. Go Modern Quilt Guilders! The blocks are being used for a raffle quilt and the balance will be made into quilts for a children's shelter in Austin.

My cousin was looking for a cross stitch project, and I found this pretty poppy kit the other day. I'm hoping it will cheer her up and help pass the time when she's not feeling well.

I bought a somewhat matching embroidery hoop and put everything in the failed netbook case. See, I knew I could find a use for the case. It's always nice to have a project bag to keep everything contained. She can tuck in scissors, extra needles, and a needle threader. Actually, she got the good eyes and probably doesn't need a threader. I hate being the eldest, creakiest cousin.

My daughter watches after a little boy when she isn't blending smoothies, attending college, making me laugh, stealing my car, eating, and shopping. That kid stays busy. I showed her these Angry Bird hooded bath towels and she asked me to make them for the little one. He's only three, but crazy about Angry Birds. She bought the towels and I whipped them up. I thought they turned out cute. I even added a tuft of black feathers on the head of the yellow bird. She said the kid is going to flip.

Yumi and I are still making quilts for AAQI. I unearthed a little ladybug block and added some picnic gingham. I just need to find some tiny black buttons for the ladybug spots. I have buttons galore, but no tiny black ones.

For this one, I was just playing with scraps to make a pumpkin. The deadline to mail quilts to AAQI for the International Quilt Festival display is August 31. They're doubling the amount of quilts they usually bring, so Ami put a call out for more quilts. The festival starts on Halloween, so I thought a pumpkin mini might sell.

Just look how this grass roots organization is growing. Ami, you and your volunteers are da bomb! And I know a lot of quilters who really love making these little creations. You all rule too. I enjoy seeing all the creative quilts made by enthusiastic and talented quilters. If you'd like to learn more about this organization, this video is informative. I hesitate to say this, but I think all of us will be directly affected by Alzheimer's disease sometime in our lives. Whether it's a family member, friend of a friend, admired movie/sports star, we're going to hear about this disease. Doctors and scientists are working hard to find medicines to combat this disease and possibly cure it. This little organization provides funds to help those minds work. Something we may even benefit from.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sewing on Saturday

For once, I prepared a project for our monthly guild Sew Day. It was a kit I bought on sale some time ago. The kit was so inexpensive, I thought if I only used the fabric it would still be a deal. I opted to make the quilt.

I made a little progress. I also read my new quilt book, Sunday Morning Quilts, ate the entire day, drooled over gorgeous projects, and yakked with my sewing homies. Those gals are a hoot.

I love these animation stamps. Hollywood thought they were cool too. She said to me "you should save them and not use them; or is that just stupid?" I guess stamp collecting has gone out of vogue. She had no idea people collected stamps. I still have my collection my dad and I started when I was little. It's probably worth millions. Ha.

Last night's dinner. Barbecued chicken, sun dried tomato and roasted red pepper risotto, pink beans and salad. My love affair with risotto continues. College Boy and I are the only ones who really love it. The other two put up with it. Bones eats anything. The kids have hardly been home for dinners this summer, so I've been making stuff I like. Then they come home and say "what was for dinner?" and I tell them lobster and caviar. Or Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and Cosmic Brownies. I'm mean that way.

Another odd breakfast. I'm out of sardines, so I had turkey and Gorgonzola on Triscuits and half a plum. The fruit has been really good this summer. We've been enjoying cherries, grapes, stone fruits, and melons. I hope everyone has a fun and productive week. Or a relaxing one. Your choice. College starts next week for my not so littles, so it will be quiet around here.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday Stash #55

Today's fabrics all came from an Ugly Fabric Swap I signed up for. I think these two are pretty nice. I especially like the orange print on the right.

These two weren't particularly awful either. Boy, the ones I sent were much worse. I hope they made the receivers cringe. Ha ha!

One of the swappers tucked in a huge hunk of this Asian print. I love text prints. Yumi said she believes it Korean text, but she doesn't think it says anything.

Our friend told us about a new to us seafood shop that is now selling to the public. They have 1 to 1-1/2 pound cooked Maine lobsters for $5! This lobster was full of tasty meat. I had to watch a YouTube video to figure out how to get all the meat and good bits out. I served it cold over salad greens with a simple lemon vinaigrette.
Then I wrapped some shrimp in peppered bacon and served them over cheese grits. Then I thought about eating healthier and riding my bike more. Then I started thinking about the next thing I wanted to cook.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Eight Years Ago

Guess what I was doing eight years ago today? Cleaning debris from Hurricane Charley. The kids, Bones and I survived the storm huddling in the master closet. We heard the pool screen get blown over the roof and heard our giant oak trees hit the ground with big bangs. Windows were shattered, debris was everywhere. Scary. Inspector Gadget was at work trying to secure the newspaper facility. He was only able to get back to the house on foot. There were trees blocking street travel throughout our neighborhood and community.

I sure miss those big oaks. Here are the kiddos climbing. We had two this size tumble over. And a smaller one in the back yard. The neighbors got tired waiting for the city to chop down the trees, so they rented chainsaws and did it themselves. We hauled tree debris from dawn to dusk.

View from our roof. My little car amazingly survived the ordeal without a scratch. That's our pool screen lying in the trash pickup area. It took several days to get power back, but luckily we had a small generator that ran the coffee maker and a small television. We couldn't leave the neighborhood for at least a week, but once the streets were cleared we set out to see the damage. It was bad.

On a lighter note, I entertained the kids by having them haul debris for days and I learned to cook many quickly thawing items on the grill. We ate well and provided coffee to our neighbors without generators. That summer was exciting. We had two more big hurricanes after Charley. Never a dull moment. I'm hoping this hurricane season continues to be calm. Although, I could use a thorough fridge cleaning...

Monday, August 13, 2012

Easing into the Week

Happy Monday. Fun and busy weekend here. Relaxing, too. A little bit of everything. I registered 14 quilts for AAQI. Yumi made nine and I made five. This little paper pieced apple was my latest contribution. Our guild is making AAQI quilts for our September challenge, so I get to make another. They're really fun to make. It's nice to finish a quilt for once. Or five of them!

And here's the guild BOM for September. It's a wonky donut. Fun and easy. But is it just me, or do your scraps seem to multiply in the dark? I can never put a dent in them.

Another ATC (Artist Trading Card) before I trimmed it down. Painting is so relaxing. Have you ever seen this Twenty Minute Challenge blog? I love seeing everyone's quickie creations.Very inspiring.

I did a little farming over the weekend. From left to right, rosemary, thyme, spicy oregano. I didn't take a picture of my bounty of basil, but let's just say I have basil coming out of my ears. The grocery store basil plant Inspector Gadget rescued from the trash last summer is flourishing despite the heat. We have plenty of peppers too.

I made cashew pesto with the mounds of basil. I'm not usually a huge fan of pesto, but this batch was pretty good. College Boy loved it. You should see how much pasta that kid can put away.

Sorry to see the Olympics come to an end, but maybe I'll be able to get some stuff done. Maybe.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Ready for the Weekend

I had lunch with this little lady this week. Her parents came too. Here she is sleeping like an angel on the quilt I made her. We tried the new Belle Isle Bayou restaurant. Our small little community has so many nice locally owned restaurants. We have all the chain stuff too, but I really prefer helping out the smaller establishments. The cheesy shrimp grits were amazing, but the service was awful. Hope they can work that out quickly.

Why is this crazy lady taking my photo with a flash? Mia was the perfect smiley baby while we enjoyed lunch. She downed a bottle of formula. At six months old, she's not quite ready for etouffee. She has tried and loves avocado and yellow squash. I think next up is broccoli.

Seven, yes seven more AAQI quilts from Yumi, my friend in Japan. I'm such a slacker. I haven't registered the last ones she sent. We're going to have a big pile of quilts to contribute. I bet they all get to go to the International Quilt Show.

Fun Japanese candy for the kiddos. They love when a package arrives from Japan.

Yumi also sent me a charm pack of vintage kimono scraps. I'm going to have to figure out something fun to make with these. Love all the different prints.

These crab stuffed mushrooms were the bomb. The wine and butter made the perfect dipping sauce for a sturdy hunk of bread. With a green salad, dinner is served. Yum. They're even good cold for breakfast. Or that just be my odd self. I'm ready for the weekend and some sewing time.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Being Random Again

I'm not usually a fan of pizza. As a kid, my parents drug me to a local pizza joint several times a month. They ordered the number 22 which was sausage, pepperoni and mushrooms. Ironically, this combination is also Inspector Gadget's favorite. I like sausage, pepperoni, and mushrooms, but the combo just seemed too heavy or greasy on a pizza. I ate sauteed mushrooms or spaghetti instead of the pizza at Johnny's Pizza Parlor. Recently, I found a new pizza place called Stone Fired Pizza. A little mom and pop start up right in my community. The pizza is really good. The crust, tomato sauce and cheese application are perfect. I get it topped with spinach, tomatoes and bacon. It's yum.

They bring Bones free treats too. There are several different shapes, but I'm not sure if there are different flavors. I didn't try any. I guess I'm not a fan of dog cookies either. I did eat a Tender Vittle once on a dare. Cannot recommend.

What? The pizza is here? Ha, don't be fooled! This crippled old dog flies off the couch in a frenzy when someone comes to the door.

I played with batiks yesterday. I could rearrange half square triangles all day long.

My latest mini quilt for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative or AAQI. Ami Simms, the founder has placed a shout out for more quilts. They plan on taking 2,000 quilts to the International Quilt Festival in Houston this year. Their August online auction is going on until the 10th of August. There are some really pretty quilts up for auction this month. Yumi and I are getting our piles of little quilts ready to send. Our guild is making donation quilts too.

I've really been enjoying the Olympics this summer. It's like one big exciting World Peace Party with talented athletes and encouraging fans. My mom sent me the picture on the left. It's Michael Phelps as a child. The kid on the right is College Boy circa kindergarten.
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