Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ski Lifts and Mammoth Memories

I spent the last few days in Mammoth Lakes, CA skiing at the Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort and enjoyed  the stunning views and great snow. My boys are off this week for Spring Break so we took advantage of the reduced rates (condo and lift tickets) and the 12 to 21 feet of snow and drove up.

Always fun to get a glimpse of Woolly skiing around the mountain:
Woolly the Mammoth

Looking south from Ski Lift

I learned to ski when I was three and have enjoyed many great ski vacations and too numerous to count day-trips to the local mountains in Southern California. I've been coming to Mammoth for a long time, first with my parents, then the crazy fun trips with work buddies, trips without children and now trips with children. I think I had my first and only bloody nose in Mammoth when I was a little girl and remember frigid trips up ski lifts when you think it can't get any colder. Skiing with teenagers is a different kind of fun as we bolt off the ski lift like race horses escape from the gate and tear down the hill as fast as possible. I do not win anymore but I hold my own and have a great time.

Out of the many things I enjoy about skiing, I thought I would share with you one of the more obscure; I love the sound of ski lifts. The gentle hum that clicks along in between towers is a very soothing accompaniment to the blinding white snow, forest green trees and the color wheel of apparel that is worn by skiers and snowboarders. Every once in awhile I'll hear that same hum and be reminded of ski trips to Mammoth.

The last thing I want to share is not actually in Mammoth Lakes, but in Bishop, CA. Schat's Bakery in Bishop,CA is a required stop either to/from Mammoth as they not only made excellent bread but have a huge pastry department.   I would have taken a photo of the enormous pastry case but there was actually a sign posted to not take photos!  If you ever go to Mammoth, make sure you stop here as you will not be disappointed.

Today I began feeling withdrawal symptoms from the lack of craftiness on my part in over a week so tomorrow I plan on spending a few hours with my sewing machine in podcast listening bliss.  Also on the agenda is to record another History Quilter Podcast Episode which will touch on Quilting in the New England area from the 1780's through the 1850's.  

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Holiday Meals

I really enjoy entertaining people in my home and being that I am usually the one to motivate both sides of the family to get together, holiday entertaining usually happens here.  When I was growing up, my parents belonged to a couple of  neighborhood Bridge (card game) groups which met once a month and I remember fondly how much fun it was when those groups came to our house.  My mother would let me help her set up the card tables, lay out just the right tablecloths and decorate each table with special bowls filled with Nuts, some kind of Mint that tasted like toothpaste (ick) and M&M's.  My little brother (Scott) and I would enjoy sneaking a few of those M&M's.

When the guests arrived Scott and I were allowed to visit for just a short while and then we had to retreat to the upstairs but inevitably I would creep down the hall and stand in just the perfect spot to where I was unseen but could see what was going on. I just realized that I never asked if my mother knew I was there.

Today in my home I will be hosting my father plus my in-laws and numerous others from the husband's side of the family for an early Easter Dinner.  It's a fun group and everyone mixes together very well.  Setting a table, planning and preparing the food and then mingling with guests are all things that my mother enjoyed and she definitely passed them along to me.  It gives me great pleasure to feed the people that I care about.


Eight hours later, the table is back to it's normal size, the dishwasher is running and I'm tired but the early holiday meal was a big success as my guests left with good food in their stomach's and great stories in their memories.  One of my guests had just returned from Egypt and Jordan so we all enjoyed the stories of their travels.

J, my crazy dad (would not stop elbowing A), me and A 
Happy Easter everyone and hope that you get to see your family during this special time.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Today it's all about food...

If you have been following my blog for awhile, you know that I bake a lot of bread. Focaccia, Mantova bread and pizza dough are in a steady rotation in my kitchen.  I have always wanted to tackle a French style loaf  to make lunches for my boys and finally decided to on Tuesday.  I went to the website where I found my Focaccia and pizza dough recipes and found this: 
Classic French Bread
For the first try I was very happy with the results - a crust that was not to hard but not to soft, an even distribution of small air pockets all throughout and a delicious taste.  If you like to bake bread or want to try, check out this website.  I don't know who this guy (his name is Tony van Roon) is but based on his bread recipes, he is brilliant.  I think he's some kind of scientist/engineer with a passion for perfectly calculated recipes.  Go check it out.  

One more recipe I want to share with you all are the Chicken Egg Rolls from Annie's Eats.  This was my first time trying one of her recipes and I was not disappointed.  They were very good.  I get comments from family and friends telling me what a great cook I am and although I don't deny that what comes out of my kitchen is pretty darn good most of the time, some credit should go to the fact that I find recipes that are very well written and follow them.  

Chicken Egg Rolls
One perk of having a garden?  These egg rolls have cabbage and green onions from my garden inside.  Went to my garden last night to water and was pleased to see that the Butternut Squash, Tomatoes and Peppers I planted last week are all showing signs of growth.  Love my Spring/Summer garden!

Have a great Thursday,

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.

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.

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

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~