Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Do you ever have one of those times...

when you are supposed to be enjoying the ambiance and the environment around you...but you are so focused in on one thing?  I just had a great lunch at Border Grill in Santa Monica and did I taste the food?  Yes and No.  It was really good and I'll go back again but I had such a good time that I barely remember what I ate.

Just had to get that out there into the world.

Have you all seen Parenthood from 1989?  I never seek it out to specifically watch but if I see it playing on TV I will sit down and watch it for awhile.  There is one line that has been especially resonating with me lately: Karen (Mary Steenburgen) replies to her husband Gil (Steve Martin) "Well I happen to LIKE the roller coaster, okay?"  Karen is responding to the story that Grandma told...check it out here.  I too like the roller coaster of life where things can be scary and equally thrilling at the same time.  I never liked the Merry Go Round either.

I whipped this mug rug out last Friday morning for a special friend for her birthday.  She loves going to "tea" and so I went for a traditional/modern twist.  I'm getting much better at machine sewing the binding on, starting on the back.

I used some scrap Anna Maria Horner fabric for the front and back and a almost perfect match for the binding from Joann's.

Can't stop tripping over Supernova quilt tops popping up all over blogs.  I seriously dig the design and am really stretching my sewing/design skills with this quilt.

I'm using Kona Celery as the solid fabric and am very happy with the results so far.  Not a whole lot of sewing to be going on around here in the near future as I've got a pile of homework, a big family dinner I'm hosting on Saturday and Spring Break for my boys next week.  


Thursday, April 7, 2011

What would you think?

All that hard work, the money and the drive to get the monster quilt done has led to this for roughly 16 hours of the day...

Would you be annoyed or even angry, or would you laugh it off and know that your child enjoys being wrapped up in this quilty goodness for about 9 hours a day?  

I'm seriously vacillating between the two and need to come to some kind of resolution...soon.  

My upcoming weekend:  husband out of town = major sewing time.  Woo Hoo!  

History Quilter Podcast Episode #6 was recorded and published yesterday so head on over to iTunes or Podbean to give a listen.  http://historyquilter.podbean.com/

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Thank you for waiting...Episode #6 is now posted

This was a fun episode to research as I knew almost nothing about the Marseilles style of Quilting.  It began with searching on Infoweb in America's Historical Newspapers from 1690-1876 and led me to Marseilles, France.

Please check out the International Quilt Study Center and Museum for the Marseilles:White Corded Quilting exhibit going on now through May 22, 2011.  http://www.quiltstudy.org/exhibitions/online_exhibitions/marseilles.html

Example of Marseilles Quilting
See the gorgeous detail even though the entire garment/quilt is white?

Want to read more about quilting podcasters?  Cindy at Fluffy Sheep Quiting is interviewing them at http://fluffysheepquilting.blogspot.com/p/interviews_05.html

Here is a photo of the "monster" quilt for my son.  Seriously, it's in a ball on the bed right. Sigh.
Open Windows/Monster quilt 
Flannel baby rag quilt and Bliss fabric burp cloths made for the baby shower I went to last weekend.  
Burp cloths & rag quilt
Thanks for listening and visiting!  Ciao~

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Open Windows Finish & a new WIP

Just out of the dryer is Open Windows:
Open Windows - finished March 2011
The above was my best attempt at "staging" this monster.  Here is the gratuitous on-the-bench train wreck.  Design is not my forte.  

This is what my son will see when he gets home from school today.  Hope he likes it!  

While anxiously awaiting how this quilt did in the washer/dryer, I pulled out my Anna Maria Horner stash and decided on various Garden Party FQ's to use for the Supernova Quilt Along with Lee at Freshly Pieced.  So excited!  

My non crafty WIP:  Made a run to my favorite nursery yesterday to load up on these:

Tomatoes (my attempt at growing seeds this year was dismal), Onions, Peppers, Potatoes, Basil and Butternut Squash.  

Go check out Lee at Freshly Pieced to see amazing things that people are posting today.  

Off to the garden,

Friday, March 25, 2011

It's a Biscuit Morning

My children are home today due to a school furlough so as I type/publish this post, they are enjoying a late breakfast of biscuit sandwiches:

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A very stylish WIP Wednesday

I received a very humbling e-mail on Sunday from Mary over at Piece Garden telling me that she had nominated me (along with two others) for the Stylish Blogger Award.

I almost don't know what to say about this..I'm just humbled.  Before I tell you more about this award go to Mary's blog at Piece Garden and check out her Monochromatic Quilt she just finished.  GO NOW!

Alright...you've seen how amazing she is, right?  Did you see the Monochromatic Quilt, the Picnic Blanket, the pillow she made back on Feb 25th?  What about that darling raincoat?  Did you see the Hideaway?

Yes, Mary is the one who got me started on Hideaway!  I just received some in the mail yesterday and it is even cuter in person that it is on my computer screen.
Here are the details about the Stylish Blogger Award:
1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
2.  Share seven things about yourself.
3. Award six recently discovered great bloggers.

Seven things: (in no particular order)
1.  I'm starting to go grey but my husband hasn't noticed.  LOL
2.  I was adopted when I was three weeks old by the two best parents a girl could ever have.
3.  Have been inside the Taj Mahal in Agra, India.  Would go back again in an instant.
4.  My favorite sandwich is Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, Tomato and Spinach on a crusty roll.
5.  I watch The Real Housewives of OC and NJ but none of the others.  Can't help it - it's like junk food for my brain.
6.  I subscribe to 179 different crafty/quilting and food blogs.  I have 254 unread posts right now.  Eeek!
7.  Sometimes I think I'm a terrible example of being a girl...I look in the mirror maybe twice a day, wear my usual blue jeans/tshirt most of my waking hours (not the same jeans/shirt!) and don't wear any makeup.

My nominations for the Stylish Blogger Award:
I have 35 Google Friends and about six more if you count those who show up on Google Reader.  I feel like those bloggers are "my people" as they (YOU) have taken the time to read what I have to say so I in turn do the same.  My six choices from among those 35 are:

Jenniffier's Sometimes Creative Life.  Jenniffier is a super cute fellow CA girl who makes some lovely quilts.  I'm diggin her Posh Quilt Top right now and can't wait to see how it turns out.

Quilter in the Gap.  Just found Rhonda last week and have already enjoyed a few e-mails back and forth.  She's doing Lily's Quilts QA and her Dresden plate fabric choices are very informative for me as I can watch along and learn.  Go check out her survey!

Fluffy Sheep Quilting.  Cindy is blogging from Ireland and was nice enough to comment on my History Quilter podcast so I found her blog and began to follow.  In her Year of the Craft post she shared with her readers a quilt she had made for her mother. It's gorgeous - go check it out.

The Rebel Homemaker.  Seriously Shelley is my newest gardening guru and she quilts!  Check out her Flickr page - amazing!  Did you see that Star Wars pillow?

Marilyn's Maze.  The lovely Marilyn Pond seriously lives within walking distance to me and I'm hoping in 2011 to get the chance to meet her at a Quilters by the Sea guild meeting.  You might have seen her recently profiled by Sew Cal Gal with her Two Wacky Women quilt retreats she puts on with her friend Robin.

Becky's Blabber. Love this gal - would have loved to have a sister like her.  She is doing her best to be crafty in a houseful of males, just like me.  :)  Love her Mardi Gras Quilt and don't miss her Medical Lab Quilt.  So cool and so creative!

Now for the WIP:
Open Windows with machine binding attached
Only going to show one...the Open Windows quilt for my son  is almost done.  I attached the binding on the front by machine this morning and will begin the hand stitching of the back tonight.  This quilt is so big I'll have to take it to the local Laundromat to wash and dry it.

Now I've got to run and study for an Economics exam at 2pm.  Wish me luck calculating GDP, but first go check out the other WIP's at Lee's Freshly Pieced!


Monday, March 21, 2011

Crepes, anyone?

The pull of travelling to Europe has been especially strong in the last few weeks and with anything it permeates my choice of what to make for me and my people.  Am I going to Europe anytime soon?  NO.  The combination of ever-getting-higher airline prices and children aging out of child fares = no three week trip to Europe this summer. Bummer.
So, I take a lot of photos of food, especially while on vacation.  Here are a few from our Summer 2009 trip:
Swiss Air 
I can't help but like airline food.  I know it's gross, made somewhere else and usually not very flavorful, but airline food is still part of the whole experience of travelling.  Planning, packing and getting to your destination are ALL enjoyable to me.   

I love food stands.  This one is in Prague, Czech Republic and yes that is me.  This was a sausage stand with about twenty different kinds of hot dogs/sausages.  So many choices makes everyone in the family happy.  

Gelato. Nectar of the Gods in my book.  Never have it here (I'm a snob) but eat it at least twice a day while in Italy.  
Our lunch or dinner of choice in Europe:  Salami, cheeses, fresh bread and wine.  Easy to procure and yes, the husband is a tightwad when it comes to parting with his hard earned $$$.  

So on to Crepes.  One reason for taking a lot of food pictures while on vacation, is to help me replicate those items at home  (NOT the airline food!). I first discovered crepes in Paris, France in 1986 while on an Easter Break study trip in my Junior year of high school.  Loved them but didn't catch the bug until the husband and I went to Spain and France in 1995 - came home and bought a Caphalon Crepe pan and have been making crepes ever since.  
Nutella and Banana Crepe
Nutella Crepe
Bottom line - anyone can make these. They are so good and easy to make.  You just need a nonstick pan and a little planning ahead and of course the ingredients. My younger son and I made these last night:

Basic Sweet Crepes (from the 1997 Joy of Cooking Edition pg 804.)
1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour (I use 3/4 cup)
1/2 Cup Milk
1/4 Cup Lukewarm Water
2 Large Eggs
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
1 1/2 Tablespoons Sugar
Pinch of Salt
Combine all ingredients in a blender and let rest for an hour.  When you are ready to make the crepes, give the batter another whirl in the blender.  Heat up your pan (med high) and spread a small amount of unsalted butter around.  When butter is melted, pour about 1/4 scant cup of batter in your pan and then pick up pan to swirl batter around.  It's like a pancake - you are not looking for bubbles, but the sides will show when it is ready to turn.  Turn over with a large spatula (or flip if you are really cool.  I'm not cool.) and cook for a very short time.  Your crepe is now done and ready to be embellished with anything you like.  
Nutella, bananas, butter/powdered sugar, any kind of jelly/jam - the sky is limitless.