Monday, January 31, 2011

Brrr...

Good morning !!!


It's not a Monday if I'm not having coffee with you guys. Hope you had a wonderful weekend. Be back soon and then I'll need you to let me know what you've been doing while I have been gone. xo

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thursday

Good morning peeps, how goes it? Just checking in after filling the bird feeders. Its goldfinch season and I like to do what I can to lure them into my back yard. I can't wait for it to be warm enough to sit outside on the swing a bit and watch. They're quite bold in their search for thistle seed.



I'm off on a bit of adventure tomorrow. Right now I haven't' decided whether or not to take my netbook.. I might try and go cold turkey on technology. Shocker, right? But I will be back next week. We're getting close to sewing season so there should be lots to talk about!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Random

Why yes, I did see Portlandia.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday Morning

How was your weekend my lovely peeps? I had a great time, didn't do anything in my sewing room at all, but managed to get some knitting in while watching TV at night. Don't know what the week holds for me, but I'm starting it out with of course, a cup of coffee!


Cold here this morning, kid-stuff cold, just a light frost on the roofs, but still California cold! (for those who have asked, that mug is from Home Goods)
January always brings Daphne blooms. They smell like paradise and make coming and going out the front door a treat. I should go out today and buy another one for the back door!

So what's up for you this week?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Jen Comes for Coffee

A little over a year ago I was in a Christmas Blog hop and I designed a small little pattern as a party favor. You might have noticed it on my side bar, Come Around for Coffee.
Well Jen took my cups, added her own genius and here is the result.
Every month she made a block and turned it into this wonderful quilt! So so SEW CUTE.


I am so totally thrilled to see it, and I hope you'll all go over and congratulate Jen on taking my little idea and turning it into something wonderful.

Friday, January 21, 2011

On the road.

Wednesday Elizabeth and I hit the road for a bit of a day trip. Its the foggy season in the valley and the scenery is rather desolate. It's beautiful in it's own way.

Our destination was The Tattered House.. a lovely little antique store. I had been there in the summer with Bret and Frankie and knew Elizabeth would love it.










If you're in the area you'd enjoy it, Sandy and Erika are so nice! You can find them in Alameda as well, first Sunday of the month, space J23, rain or shine!


Every time I'm coming back home and catch a glimpse of Mt. Diablo I know I'm almost there. Here is my friend Mt. Diablo in the distance.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend people. xo

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Blathering on

Tuesday was just one of those nondescript drink coffee, sew and dork around kind of days. You should be doing something productive but you aren't. Or is that just me? Anyway, I left my coffee photo unedited because it reminds me of CSI when the crime scene is all dark and blue and you want to just yell at them to TURN ON THE LIGHTS FOR PITY'S SAKE but oh wait THAT IS JUST ME. Sorry..
I didn't know I was feeling a little blue till I got a sweet package in the mail that cheered me up so much. Sharon is so kind and generous and somehow knows just when I need a little boost! She is my official Good Fairy! (check out her darling online shop, I love the RED category!)

So I decided to get busy on a new little project. But more on that later. You know, when I actually figure out what that little project is exactly!


Happy Wednesday people! xo

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Wow!

This morning we're in the lab! I hope you enjoy my little test of the new marking pen.

video


Have a good day my fine little lab assistants!

***!!!UPDATE!!!***

When I made this video and recommended the pen I got to thinking, you know, what happens if someone uses this pen on my recommendation and then something bad happens. I didn't test the pen with batting, or over any length of time, with soap, with no washing etc. So I thought, gee, I'm going to read a little more about this pen. Which lead to the discovery that Pilot advises you not to use the pen on legal documents because the ink is temperature sensitive. Well we did prove that. What I didn't figure on is that chilling the ink RETURNS IT'S COLOR.


The fabric that had been rinsed didn't show it's markings,but the one that I didn't rinse.. well you can see with your own eyes.. the ink has returned. Not heavily, but it's there. I did put the fabric in the freezer for 1 minute, and Pilot says returning it to 14 degrees will restore the ink.. but I've seen Chris's front walkway, I'd say there's a possibility it could get cold!

SO.. let me amend my recommendation. It's a cool pen and I still think it has some uses BUT use it knowing that should your piece be subjected to cold weather.. the ink could return.

Phew.. glad we got that figured out in time. xo

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sweet.

Good Monday morning my favorite peoples ever! How was the weekend? The weather was pretty darn nice here, although please don't tell Chris. I really try not to gloat too much about my nice weather if I think she's reading.. it just seems cruel.

Anyway it was a busy weekend but I don't really have any pictures to show for it. Boring stuff, cleaning, clearing stuff out, just trying to get in control of our possessions. I still have stuff to do this week, so I don't know if I can keep up the pace with darling photos of completed projects. OH THE PRESSURE!

Of course I can't leave you without a dash of cute... Last week when Elizabeth and I were out and about we went to Kinokuniya and I picked up the most recent Cotton Time.


These little dolls couldn't be cuter, right? And if you look at this listing on eBay, there are more photos of pages.. the little "Happy" rabbit piece is so sweet.

Well that's about it for today. Did you do something fun this weekend? You better tell me all about it! xo

Friday, January 14, 2011

It's Friday!

Can you believe the week just flew by? I guess when you're busy doing stuff you lose track of time. I did a lot of sewing, had an outing yesterday with Elizabeth, and started on a new knitting project! Well, started thinking about starting anyway.


Inspired by my reading materials, I baked some blueberry coffee cake. It's really muffin mix baked in a cake pan, but close enough. Couldn't find my muffin pan. Guess I'm not that organized.
Now if only I knew why Mary didn't tell me about this sooner?
Have a great weekend everybody! Can't wait to hear all about it. xo

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Saturday Sewing Group

This past weekend I went to my Sewing Group with the Debbies, Debbie Stevens and Deb Silva. As usual we had a wonderful time. Debbie worked on some machine applique and Deb worked on a pin cushion and some drunkards path blocks. I wish I had some nice pictures to show you. Sometimes I'm a real slacker. I worked on a simple project sewing corners on snowballs. I'm using my Urban Chiks Dream On and it's so cheerful to work on.


Deb made the most delicious lunch, Santa Monica Bake.
With the addition of a wonderful salad, it's the perfect sew day lunch.



Here's Deb's recipe:

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
3 medium zucchini, sliced
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp chili powder
1 7 oz. can diced green chilies
3 cups cooked rice
1 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded jack cheese, separated
1 tomato sliced

Saute meat. Add zucchini and cook till tender crisp. Add remaining ingredients, 1 cup of jack cheese and mix. Pour into 2 quart casserole. Arrange tomatoes on top, sprinkle with salt and pepper, top with remaining cup of cheese. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Then dig in, it's delish!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Runner Up.

Good morning my wonderful people! How are you? I can't believe how much I've gotten accomplished lately. I've been sewing or organizing nearly every day and that's just CRAZY TALK!
So here's the recipe for the little runner.. it's definitely not genius work. I used (14) 2 1/2 x 18 1/2 strips, and (2) 4 1/2 x 18 1/2 inch light strips. You can see how I have them laid out, 2 of the 2 1/2 inch strips on either end, then the wider strip with 10 of the 2 1/2 strips in between.

Although I used my fat quarter bundle, it's the perfect use of left over jelly roll strips. And I used the cream color for the wider strips thinking I'd do something just in that area, you could just use all strips and no fatty pieces. When I first got started with the flowers, I thought I'd just do a nice tidy row of the flowers but then I just COULDN'T STOP CUTTING THEM OUT! I used the Rose of Sharon die on the Go! Baby. I fused at random, clearly! It was so fun. I know not everyone has a Go! Baby, so you could easily draw your own flower or download a flower from the internet. Or skip the flowers altogether!

Anyway, backing was 2/3 yard of fabric, binding 1/4 yard and I used a leftover piece of batting I had laying around, but I think you could use a craft sized piece.

One new thing I wanted to make sure and mention was the Shades Soft Fuse fusible web I used! Holy cow that stuff is great! Even under those flowers that are all stacked up, you only feel fabric. I prefused the strips of fabric with it before I ran them through the Go! Baby and it cut up and fused perfectly. Also when sewing I didn't get that sticky residue on my needle that I often get with other brands of fusible adhesive. Anyway, I got mine at The Wooden Gate! Marby has it on a roll, and I also understand it comes in sheets that you can run through your printer!

So that's all the news here. What's new with you?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Accu-tastic

The last time you saw that pile of Bliss it was on my ironing board in front of my newly cleared off counter! Now it's in pieces around my sewing room, and I have had some Accufun with my Go! Baby.

I have never used a die cutter before, so there was a tiny bit of a learning curve, but after a few runs through I have my situation under control. Alex generously loaned me a bag of dies that fit the Go! Baby.

I love how they come out, I've pulled away the excess and look how nice these quarter square triangles look.

They stitch up like a dream. I didn't know if I'd like the little nipped off corners but I can't believe what a difference it made in my piecing.

Something else I've always wanted to try is an applecore. Of course I'm NEVER going to cut out all those pieces by hand, or even with a rotary cutter.. my attention span is pretty limited. But running it through the Go! Baby was a dream. And I love the little notch for matching. It just took seconds to pin and stitch those two together. You can see my dilemma now.. what to use the rest of my Bliss for, hour glass blocks or applecore. Now if I was whispering in Accuquilt's ear, I'd say a smaller applecore, like a 3inch, would be DREAMY. You know, like the tumbler blocks and the drunkards path, big and small. In fact Famous Deb Silva was working on the 3 1/2 inch drunkards path at sew day and I was so envious. No pictures though, what was I thinking?

I did make this runner last week! I know! ME MAKING STUFF! I used the Rose of Sharon flower blocks in a simple strip pieced runner. Now a strip pieced runner is not my invention, you'll find a million variations all over the place. I'll give you the details in my next post. SO MUCH TO READ ALL AT ONCE. But what fun it was to cut all kinds of different flowers (with fusible web already on the back) and pile them up. This might be my favorite die of all.. flowers in all sizes, leaves, circles.. perfection.

So there you have it.. my tons of Accufun in one giant blog post!!! Talk about Go! Baby!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tiny

Was the weekend good?? I had a great time at sewing group on Saturday! Of course accomplishments are just a sideline to the great company, right? I could go over and just sit and still have a wonderful day. We had a great lunch prepared the very famous Deb Silva.

Bret had been rebuilding his computer for a couple of weeks now. Most of the weekend he had his hard drive connected to my computer trying to fix something, it's all gobbledygook to me. All I know is .. my computer wasn't available to me much on on Sunday so no time for working on a decent post. So I'll leave you with a picture of my tiny pin cushion. I saw it originally here, where there are some lovely photos and a link to the tutorial. Mine is a tad bigger, but I made it just for fun. I recommend it. The fun and the pin cushion! Happy Happy people! xo

Friday, January 07, 2011

A weeks work.

Well actually I didn't take a week. I took a couple of days to get stuff organized. And you can see I still have some problem areas on either end of the table, but overall it's tons better. TONS. I can actually cut on the mat there, instead of in the bathroom or on the kitchen table. And I can pop that Go! Baby on there and use it as well. The rick rack/trim pile to the left of photo oh-so-conveniently cut off is a problem that needs addressing, as are all the cute things at the other end that are piled up waiting for dispersal around the house.

Fortunately for me you can't see the floor... there are still bags and baskets of stuff there, but I've pared that way down as well. That's when I discovered I have a bit of a problem. I tend to buy things with something or someone in mind, then tuck them away behind the curtain still in the bag and then promptly forget about them. Here are a few of the votives I found. I have a ton of these here and there around the house, which is rather funny, since I don't ever burn candles. I guess I just like that vintage silvered mercury glass look.



Looks like I can get back to work! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! xo

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Tuesday

Elizabeth and I had fun birthday outing on Tuesday. First off we headed over to Benicia for some antiquing. Neither of us had been there in years. The antiques weren't great but the views over the Carquinez Strait were pretty good! It was cold and windy out on the pier though, so we cut that short.





Looking out towards the Carquinez Bridge.

Downtown looked awfully pretty still decked out in some holiday finery.


After some lunch and shopping at Home Good we headed over to Wooden Gate Quilts. It was a lot of fun checking out all the wonderful new fabric that's come in since the last time we were there. Of course visiting and shopping is always great.



Lots of Late Bloomer Quilts on display there right now, and Elizabeth will be teaching her Coffee With Friends Quilt, and it looks like that will make for a fun day.. the class includes lunch and some bits of vintage fabric from her stash of goodies.
You can check with Elizabeth, but I think we had a fun day!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The Rhetorical Oven Mitt.

Good morning everybody! How is January treating you so far? So far so good here. Still plodding away in my sewing room! But I have accomplished something. And that something is this darling oven mitt.


It was a year ago we saw this post here (scroll for the mitt) and The Oven Mitt became a topic of conversation. As you know Elizabeth has a cute kitchen, (see below) so she needed a cute oven mitt to go in it. We began calling it the Rhetorical Oven Mitt. Or R. O. M. for brevity's sake, since we've been discussing it so much.


Sadly I let tracking it down go for so long I almost didn't get my oven mitt made. Luckily Lori told me what pattern it was from and with a tip from Roseann, I managed to score my own pattern, Bella Moon Oven Mitt.

So, later today, Elizabeth will be unwrapping her Red Rose Farm birthday R. O. M. Hope you take a chance to head over to her blog and wish her a happy birthday!

Monday, January 03, 2011

Back to work.

Good morning peoples! How goes it on this first 'work day' of the New Year? Bret has gone back to work so it's time to get with the regular program around here.





Have you sewn a bit? I have been working on a little something for tomorrow's birthday girl. She knows what it is I'm sure, but what it looks like will be a surprise. Well even more so for me since I have yet to actually assemble it! Once I get that out of the way, I'll be working on a little project with my Go! Baby. Alex loaned me a bag of dies to work with, and so far I've only had a chance to cut a little postage stamp block but OHMYGOSH it was amazing. That little block went together like magic. I can't wait to really dig in and see what I can come up with.
In the meantime, I've been trying to get things picked up around here. I looked back here and saw how nice my counter top looked and I really would like to get back to that! Or something close!
And lastly, Bret and I went out to dinner after one of our many trips to Fry's, and my salad was so pretty he said gee you should take a picture of that. So I did. I kind of miss the days of photographing lunch!


Delish!


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