Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Why I don't call her cute

This week we are dog-sitting my brother's dog. My husband told me that I am more affectionate to my brother's dog than ours. He thought that it hurt Lilly's feelings to hear me call my brother's dog "cute and cuddly". I immediately told him that my brother's dog is needy and requires the extra attention. Lilly is independent and doesn't need the extra attention. He left, shaking his head.
Shortly there after, I looked over and there was Lilly, playing with her ducky. And that's why I don't call her "cute".

The Quilt I 'won'

So ages ago, I entered a giveaway at Ariane's Crafts and won a bunch of great 5" blocks for her 100th giveaway. I was so excited that I knew I was going to quilt them into something great right away, so I didn't post about winning. Ariane was great and even threw in these extras -
Here it is exactly 1 month after I received the blocks, and I finished. I know that many people could have done MUCH better than this, and I toyed with going more complex, but in the end I really liked the simplicity of this design. I added about three of my own squares to even it out, but the rest are from Ariane's great blocks.

While I was sewing, someone laid claim to the quilt as his own. He would seriously get mad at me when I went to work on it. He preferred it to just be his snuggle blanket. As soon as it was finished, he no longer wanted anything to do with it.
As you can see it fits on the couch perfectly and looks pretty darn good, if I do say so myself! I can see my quilting and sewing skills improving each time I make something.**Sorry picture is inside with camera phone, will take a better picture when the sun is out.

Monday, August 17, 2009

A canning we will go...

The garden has gone crazy....the tomatoes are attacking. It is not safe to go out at night, for fear of zucchini maulings. I promised myself to do a better job of using and saving the bounties of our labor this year. So this year, I have learned to can. As a freshman biology major in college, my professor loved to scare us with canning stories gone wrong, botulism baddies! It has made me prefer freezing to canning. But our poor freezer can take no more. It was time to overcome the fear and jump in. Of course, I do nothing half way, so I jumped in with both feet and set to it. We made Blueberry Jam, Kiwi jelly, and Jalapeno jelly (peppers from the garden). I also made zucchini relish and cucumber pickles - again veggies from the garden. The last of the green beans have been dilled and canned.
Since this canning fiesta, I have also made batches of tomato sauce, but chose to freeze them instead.

Summer Reading

So as I was surfing the ever-growing list of blogs I read, I stumbled on Irregular Tammie's post about NPR's list of the best 100 summer reading books. I put the ones I have read in red (ha,ha,ha get it? Read...red - well my Dad would appreciate it!)

1. The Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling

2. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

3. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

4. Bridget Jones's Diary, by Helen Fielding

5. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

6. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, by Rebecca Wells

7. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

8. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams

9. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, by Fannie Flagg

10. The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver

11. The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger

12. Life of Pi, by Yann Martel

13. The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan

14. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien

15. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

16. Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell

17. Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett

18. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien

19. Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides

20. Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen

21. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain

22. The Bean Trees, by Barbara Kingsolver

23. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith

24. The World According to Garp, by John Irving

25. Catch-22, by Joseph Heller

26. The Prince of Tides, by Pat Conroy

27. Like Water for Chocolate, by Laura Esquivel

28. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman

29. The Accidental Tourist, by Anne Tyler

30. Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer

31. A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole

32. East of Eden, by John Steinbeck

33. The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant

34. Beach Music, by Pat Conroy

35. One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

36. Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier

37. Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card

38. Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry

39. The Thorn Birds, by Colleen McCullough

40. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, by Michael Chabon

41. Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett

42. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy

43. Interview with the Vampire, by Anne Rice

44. Cold Mountain, by Charles Frazier

45. Empire Falls, by Richard Russo

46. Under the Tuscan Sun, by Frances Mayes

47. The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas

48. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, by Tom Robbins

49. I Know This Much Is True, by Wally Lamb

50. Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie

51. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott

52. The Stand, by Stephen King

53. She's Come Undone, by Wally Lamb

54. Dune, by Frank Herbert

55. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

56. Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

57. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll

58. Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov

59. The Godfather, by Mario Puzo

60. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith

61. Animal Dreams, by Barbara Kingsolver

62. Jaws, by Peter Benchley

63. Good in Bed, by Jennifer Weiner

64. Angle of Repose, by Wallace Stegner

65. Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson

66. The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway

67. The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand

68. Breakfast of Champions, by Kurt Vonnegut

69. Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut

70. The Big Sleep, by Raymond Chandler

71. The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway

72. The Hunt for Red October, by Tom Clancy

73. Cold Sassy Tree, by Olive Ann Burns

74. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding

74. Bonfire of the Vanities, by Tom Wolfe

76. Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte

77. Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon

78. The Shell Seekers, by Rosamunde Pilcher

79. Prodigal Summer, by Barbara Kingsolver

80. Eye of the Needle, by Ken Follett

81. Cannery Row, by John Steinbeck

81. The Pilot's Wife, by Anita Shreve

83. All the Pretty Horses, by Cormac McCarthy

84. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson

85. The Little Prince, by Antoine De Saint-Exupery

86. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy

87. One for the Money, by Janet Evanovich

88. Shogun, by James Clavell

89. Dracula, by Bram Stoker

90. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, by Milan Kundera

91. Presumed Innocent, by Scott Turow

92. Franny and Zooey, by J.D. Salinger

93. The Secret History, by Donna Tartt

94. Dead Until Dark, by Charlaine Harris

95. Summer Sisters, by Judy Blume

96. The Shining, by Stephen King

97. How Stella Got Her Groove Back, by Terry McMillan

98. Lamb, by Christopher Moore

99. Sick Puppy, by Carl Hiaasen

100. Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson

I have only read about 13 of these books,not very impressive. the funny thing is that I read at least one book a week...every week...for as long as I can remember. I am the most well-read person in my family. In grade school I used to look forward to summer vacation - so I could read. I think part of problem is a lot of these are romances and I don't like romances. Still, makes me think I need to get reading outside of my comfort zone and try some new books. Ho did you do on this list?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Wow, a week already

Well, I hadn't meant for almost a week to go by before posting again. Actually I have a couple of things to blog about, but I haven't downloaded the pics of my camera yet. I love my camera, but it uses one of those extra large memory cards, meaning I have to use a USB to get pics off it. For some reason this is just too much work for me. But I much prefer posts with pictures in it, so I will wait to post those until later.


Meanwhile, this week I helped the older Nephew make "squiggly wigglies". This was something I have seen on the internet, but of course can't remember where. (EDIT - Found the post I saw it on - here). The nephew had great fun making and eating them, I am even told he had to have them again for dinner the next night. I love being the cool aunt. **If your interested the above food is cut up hotdogs with raw spaghetti in it. Then boil until the spag is done. The nice thing about this is Nephew was able to make it himself. He was pleased to eat a dinner he made!


Then we took the boys to the beach later inthe week. The older nephew loved it, but the younger one was not too sure. He had been once last year, but at just over a year old now, I doubt he remembered it. He hated the feel of the sand and it took him a while to decide he liked it. Once he did, he went full hog into the sand and was soon covered from head to toe. Isn't he styling in his suit and hat?


Lastly, wanted to remind everyone about the contest over at SewMeow's. Today is the last day to eneter, I am giving it one more shot....you knows, maybe a birthday gift for me!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

This Weekend


So, as I stated on Friday, no sewing or crafting this past weekend. But lots of fun with family and friends. We had a great time on Saturday, celebrating my brother-in-laws birthday. He actually came down and spent with my family, I do have the cutest nephew ever! They spent some time fishing. My nephew couldn't understand why he didn't catch anything...could it be that he was putting down into 4 inches of water, where he could still see the hook? No matter, they had fun!

Friday, July 10, 2009

...As You Would Do Unto Others


And the day I gave my aunt the gift, she brought this down for me. Isn't it great!?!?! They were cleaning out their garage and came across this. My Aunt had gotten it from a widower whose wife sewed. She was very good and even wrote articles in the local paper. My Aunt had gotten it to give to her mother-in-law, but she passed away and so it sat in their garage. She called me earlier in the week to ask me if I might be interested...heck yeah! She knew I was enjoying sewing, but had no idea I was working on something for her. My current sewing machine - a bottom of the line White. I love her, but she was as nice as I could afford. I am/was still learning things on this one, so the Singer will be a whole new world for me.

Look at all of these great things!



The desk is full of all kinds of goodies, from more feet, to piping to needles!


Look at all the options for stitches. How will I choose? ...And all those feet.


The manuals A fancy button holer...



I am super excited about the monogrammer...we are going to have EVERYTHING monogrammed, down to our undies! Plus there was this extra sewing bin. Look inside...


Threads galore! Many of them are brand new. And lots more feet and needles and bias tape. Soo much stuff! I will have a lot of fun.

Now the sad news....We are having huge amounts of company this weekend (I am supposed to be cooking now), and the machine is relegated to the garage until after everyone leaves. I hear it calling me, cruel fate. Watch out Monday!

Do Unto Others...


So this is what I have been busy working on. My Aunt and Uncle just bought a house down here by us at the Shore. My Aunt loves "cute" and is determined to turn the little cottage into a cute-sy beach home. She is painting the walls a light turquoise color, so I thought I would make a house-warming gift to match. This is the table runner I made. The cool thing is that I found a GREAT new quilting shop for the fabric. Quilting Possibilities is about an hour north of me, but it was so worth the trip. As we live near the ocean, it was great to find a shop that had worked so hard to find so many great marine-themed fabrics. It was tough to choose. I will certainly be going back. Anyway, after much looking I picked these fabrics and made this great table runner for my aunt. She aboslutely loved it. As always I can see my flaws, but fortunately she doesn't. The good news is that I am seeing less and less of thema s time goes on.

This is a close up of the panels, aren't they cute?


To prep for making the table runner, I made one myself. Since it was right before the 4th, I thought I would go patriotic. I haven't had a chance to baste and finish it yet...knowing me, that will get done in time for the next 4th of July!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

SewMeow's Birthday Giveaway


SewMeow is still having her giveaway in honor of her birthday, and I thought I would enter one more time to try to win, that means another blog post here. I believe in following the rules, and get really discouraged when others don't. Do you? I, for instance, usually count how many items people have in the "10 items or less" lane. Sometimes its a way to kill time, sometimes it really aggravates me when they have 20 items...of course are two cans of peas - 1 item or 2?!?!
Anyway, to enter her contest I need to blog about so here it is. The picture above are the items in the giveaway.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

More Giveaways in Blogger Town

There are a couple of great giveaways going on right now. And many of them center on July Birthdays....Yeah July Birthdays!!!! Mine is the 23rd and winning any of these great contests would be a great b-day gift.

This one looks great - SewMeow is adding a new item everyday until her birthday.
Go on over and see if you can win (then send me some of the really cute fabric as a thank you!).

And this is a cool blog, that is giving away several prizes - I'm Just a Guy That Quilts - things like this:






The last one for the day is over at ctpubblog. They are giving a way a bunch of goodies in grab bags. They have 16 goodie bags chocked full of great things. Head on over for your chance to win.

My 4th of July


BEFORE



AFTER

So we did have a picnic and do all the regular 4th of July stuff....fireworks and all.
But, we did use the three day weekend to get our garage cleaned also. Sadly, now that I look at the pictures, they don't do it justice. It really is much cleaner...promise.
We moved everything out and put our stuff away where it goes. Then in the middle of the floor is some of my parents stuff and a big pile for the yard sale. We will do a yard sale this year, we will do a yard sale this year - if I say it enough it will happen right? Our prime yard sale weekend isn't until the end of September, so it will be difficult to keep everything organized until then, but I am determined.
I bought shelving yesterday to help, so I am headed out there now, while it is still cool out.
Wish me luck!
Ohh, and as for the fun stuff we did - here is an example! Lilly has learned that it is fun to jump into the water.

video

Winning is fun

As I mentioned in a previous post, I won several giveaways recently. One of them was a design your own fat quarter bundle from the Fabric Shopper. I was super excited to win this one, since it was 12 fat quarters that I picked. These are them:

I have been checking the mail everyday for the goodies to arrive, and imagine my joy when they arrived yesterday. I was actually a little bummed, the note attached said they had to make some substitutions based on availability.

Turns out I only got one of the ones that I had picked out. Bummer, but....looks at the adorable ones that were substituted. Aren't they cute? Sadly, though, I don't think that they will all go into one project. The fabrics are just to different. This means lots of new projects! Yeah!

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Green Bag Lady


The Green Bag Lady makes fabric bags for people around the world. It is a great way to reduce our impact on the planet. I won a bag, lucky number 5821, in the Sew, Mama, Sew contest. Although I received the bag a little while ago, and have used it several times, I am always by myself...no picture! I finally ran some errands with the hubby yesterday and got a picture of me using the bag.
If you check out her website you will see lots of posts of people with their bags. Plus they are doing another giveaway right now! Check it out.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Other Blogs

So I started my wee-little blog because I was enjoying reading everyone else's blogs. I know that hardly anyone reads mine, but I am trying to keep it up because I feel like it is cathartic (plus no one in my family is crafty - so they really don't appreciate the stuff I make!).
I have won a couple of things (I posted one below, will post the rest as I receive). There is a new giveaway on the Quilt Qua site that has some great fabric up for grabs. I decided to let anyone that reads this know about this great giveaway. Join me in trying to add some holiday cheer to your summer.


TELL A FRIEND GIVE-AWAY


Win: 1 Frosted Memories Fat Quarter Bundle by Holly Taylor for Moda Fabrics !
To enter simply "tell a friend" to spread the word about Quilt Qua. You can send an e-mail to people, post on your blog, comment on someone else's blog, put info in your guild newsletter, etc. Then send an e-mail to: quiltqua@gmail.com and let me know what you did. Enter as often as you wish. Random drawing for the winner will be at 10 pm July 31st.

Good Luck!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away

I woke up to the weather person promising us that we would see sun at some point today. I think people will be running around screaming that the world is ending. It seems like we have had rain for soo long.
The rain has diverted me from my crafty endeavors and I have spent a bit of time working, cleaning, and baking instead. I am thinking that I will reward myself with some time in the sewing machine today, but also have to bake Dad his father's day cupcakes. I found a recipe for Dark and Stormy cupcakes, since it is Dad's favorite drink, I thought he would enjoy it in cupcake form.
This weekend the hubby got a new grill. He grills almost every night during the spring/summer months, and the old grill just died away. Sooo, as a grill warming present I made a reversible apron and oven mitt. He looked very snazzy when he grilled for the first time on Sunday!



Monday, June 15, 2009

A weekend of work

So I had pulled out the sewing machine and had hoped to get a chance to work on some sewing this weekend, but I didn't get as much done as I had hoped. Saturday (while the husband worked!), I finished sewing the capri pants that have been on top of my WIP pile. I just need to hem them.
Sunday turned out to be a work around the house day. Didn't get any sewing done, but the other work I got done was fantastic. I woke up early made homemade hamburger rolls for dinner - husband got a new grill on Saturday, so I knew we were going to be grilling. I then cleaned the kitchen- boy flour can make a mess!- the bathrooms, and even mopped the floors. Then while the husband put together his grill, a three hour process, that involved much cussing and murmming, I power-washed the house! Our house had turned green over the past few years and it was time to take it back. To give you an idea:

Before...look at all that green!


During...see me hard at work!


After...doesn't it look years younger?

Then we had my parents over and had burgers, and all the traditional picnic sides. It was a great end to a productive day. And now husband thinks we are done work for a while....guess that means I can pull the sewing machine back out today! Tee, hee, hee.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Crayon Roll






This is a crayon Roll that I made for my nephew. It was really quick and easy to make and he just loves that his crayons are in "pen-pens". I followed this tutorial, as I am not clever enough to have created it myself.

Also wanted to share a giveaway that I just joined. The Fabric Shopper is hosting a giveaway with the WhipStitch blog. You get t have the fun of designing your own fat quarter bundle, harder than it sounds, and then name it and enter away. Too fun!