February 27, 2011

The Good Report

1. A belated b-day present arrived from my oldest sister. (charcoal grey sweater pillow cover for the basement). Awesome.
2. The girls slept in a couple mornings this week. I consider it the biggest gift ever.
3. L is getting better at sharing with her friends. But still needs help in that area so I printed this share chart to see if a Disney toy princess is incentive for her to change her obnoxious ways.
4. Steven Tyler. Yeah, baby. I love Idol this year.
5. We are on vacation this week.

February 24, 2011

Life in general & Keeping up (the resolutions)

I've been going about my biz these days. Sewing almost every night this week. Sometimes until the wee hours which I am way too old to be doing if I want to have a functional life the following day. The Color Crush (formerly known as blush party) quilt top is almost finished. Oh my goodness it is so pretty and not at all what I set out to do. The weather is so nice and I've been trying to hit the out of doors with the girlies as much as possible. We are on vacation next week so we'll be venturing out for all of our day excursions. And I'll be snapping photos of it all.

And about my resolutions.... Small changes have brought more small changes which equals BIG CHANGE. The most important of all the resolutions (change in spending habits) has me excited, and thrilled, and happy, and calm..... like the life of our dreams is attainable. I feel hyper focused. And giving up eating out (most wasteful habit of all) and junk and impulses has been soooooo easy! Who knew? I would have never guessed I would change so much.

Meanwhile, I found this gem of a knock-off. I am few dollars shy of having enough money saved. (Thanks to some birthday money from my mom). I think I will die of loveliness when it is sitting at my kitchen table. I just might lose my mind. EEEEEEE! I can't wait. Totally worth several times of NOT eating out (or once depending on the where).


The chair of my dreams
and the other chair of my dreams I'm saving for



P.S. M is charming our socks off these days. She's the sweetest little thing.

February 20, 2011

The Good Report

1. New blog banner (thanks, Annie). Woot, woot!
2. Warmer weather. Woot, woot!
3. Vine ripe, flavorful, juicy tomatoes. (bro-in-law job perks)
4. L played at the neighbors for a couple hours one afternoon while cleaned out some closet space. It's much easier that way.
5. Days with the windows open and the breeze flowing. True love.
6. I went through a few photo albums and purged a ton of photos. Don't be alarmed. Do I or any of us really need fifteen photos of an old roommate from the same day, in the same chair? No. No we don't.
7. Friends of MS picking up our crap instead of me having to load it up, load up the girls and drive to a drop off. Yeah, I'll be purging for weeks.
8. My VT dropped off a box of quilt books. The Amish ones are inspiring. And surprisingly modern.
9. 51 degrees = park and library day.
10. Cut and color = freshy fresh.
11. The baby quilt listed in my etsy shop sold. Woot, woot!
12. Blush Party quilt isn't turning out how I planned after I started sewing the squares together, but the result is still really cute. And now it needs a different name.

In an attempt to use up my entire stockpile of butter I made two butter loaded recipes from the Pioneer Woman this week. First, there was French silk pie (Valentine's Day). Um, deelish. But I am now slightly turned off by the knowledge of what puts the "silk" in French silk. Wow (butter, butter, butter). I never knew. Still....undeniably fab.

And then, there was The Best Coffee Cake Ever. 3 sticks of butter! Never making again. Cuz that's just gross. On taste....it was good. No way was it the best coffee cake ever.

As for actual meals this week... We didn't have any hits.


Shoe clips. I could really go for those.
The book will be in my mailbox in a matter of days. Oh man, I'm going to rock so many of those projects.
Want to see who scans my film? Awesome!!!
Be mindful and get this pillow.
I thought my knock-off rocker was cheap....but this one takes it. $79!!

February 13, 2011

The Good Report

1. One less errand when the hubs picks up the Costco list on his way home from work.
2. I feel different about things = that's good.
3. The drug medly given to me by my cousin (ER Dr.) worked when another migraine hit this week.
4. M didn't scream her head off for the babysitter when we left on our last date.
5. I've noticed myself saying no to a lot of purchases. A great thing. More importantly not feeling an ounce of deprivation. Progress peeps. I'm blowing my own mind here.
6. Cut all the squares for the pixel quilt. I'm so excited. It's going to be a real good one.
7. Finished cutting all the squares for the blush party quilt. Now, I'm holding out for a specific spring fabric...I'll share that later. Oh man, I'm so smitten with my idea.

Ok, this is good. In your face sweet. The kind of stuff I would have really gone for a couple of months ago. I can tell my tastes are changing because 9 pounds of sugar in one sitting doesn't excite me the way it used to. It's very good, but I think it would be best served as part of a bigger breakfast package and not the main event. A brunch medly or something. Mostly savory with a little bit of this on the side of your plate. And the 9 x 13 makes way to much for our little family so serve to a crowd (or your very large family of teenage boys).

These were pretty much duds for me.
Pinto bean soup...not nearly the flavor I was looking for. We like the El Azteca version and I'm trying to copy it. So, nope. Not going to cut it.
Sesame noodles. This was a total bummer. Pretty much hated the flavor even though I love every single ingredient. Make this instead (it's fantastic).


A new recipe source Kayotic Kitchen. Uh, wow. Printed about 900 of her recipes to try over the next couple of weeks. And that's barely scratching the surface of her blog. I need to sit down. Eeee!

February 11, 2011

Black and White Basic

I've been wanting to do a black and white quilt, but nothing was really grabbing me (this was before discovering the houndstooth) so I came up with my own. Isn't it a minimalist beauty? OK, could be my opinion only. This one is also for the basement. And it's my biggest yet. Super simple. Traditional quilters are probably hyperventilating right about now, but I say we all can be friends. :)



Quilt Front





Quilt Back

finished quilt measures 61" x 81"
I bought 3 1/2 yards of this fabric and then cut it in half.
Pieced the two halves together.
And that's how I got my size.



these quilt lines are 4" apart
do you know the blue painter's tape trick?
um, it's the best (thanks, EM)



detail of how the quilting looks on the back.
this fabric is McKenzie by Dena
I purchased it locally, but looks like you can purchase online too



{I snapped a few other detail shots on an unfinished roll, but nothing life changing.}

Note: I got lazy and didn't pre wash my binding fabric. Huge mistake. One I will never make again. It really warped the borders. And so......the handstitching has already snapped twice....when the girls use their great manners and yank the blanket out of my hands. So annoying. But there is no way I'm going to unpick. Lesson learned peeps.

P.S. I've been curious if I could sell a quilt so I'm making a replica (slightly smaller) of this to sell in my etsy shop.

February 10, 2011

Hotel Life (the final day)

I need a dramatic headboard like this one in our room.
and I think I'd like to blow this photo up big and add to the basement ledge.








Poor M. Really. It was so sad. Teething is not cool.



More of L later (on another unprocessed roll).
Mamiya C220, Fuji 800Z

February 09, 2011

Cemetery worker


January 2011, Arizona



Portraits. My first love.

I see interesting people every time I leave the house. I want to record faces. All the more reason to switch my monstrosity to a camera that won't cause permanent back aches when stashed in my purse.

Mamiya C220, Fuji 800Z

February 08, 2011

Dang you, C.S. Lewis!



The great thing is, if one can, to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions in one's "own" or "real" life. The truth is, of course, that what one regards as interruptions are precisely one's life.

C.S. Lewis

Citrus





The cemetery where my grandma is buried is filled with orange trees. This just might be the sweetest thing to me.

Beautiful.


Mamiya C220, Fuji 800Z

February 07, 2011

Moving on


The first step toward getting somewhere is
to decide you are not going to stay where you are.

J. Pierpont Morgan



I think that pretty much sums up my state of mind right now.

By the pool


L loved the hot tub. She was in heaven.



and she also loved cousin L.
It makes me so happy that they get along and love to play.




Mamiya C220, Fuji 800Z

At 34......

1. I despise fairy tales. They freak me out.
2. I also can't stand Willy Wonka, Never Ending Story and Wizard of Oz. more Freaky!
3. I can't parallel park.
4. Or roll my rrrrrrr's.
5. Or snap all that well.
6. I could live without TV, but would struggle without the internet.
7. I like being alone.
8. I have two reoccurring dreams throughout my life. 1. that my teeth fall out. And 2. I can't remember my locker # in high school.
9. I survived a rollover car accident (years ago). So did my sister.
10. I knew exactly how to be a parent before I became one.
11. I prefer to hang out with people who are not like me.
12. I've never needed a lot of friends. Just a few really GREAT ones.
13. I could be a forever student. And just keep getting degrees.
14. If I ever went back I'd start with Art History.
15. I played sports in high school.
16. Because I didn't know there was anything else.
17. Now, I could not care less about athletics.
18. I think I'm a great friend.
19. I have high expectations for myself and the people around me.
20. If I had to choose one type of food to eat for the rest of my life = Mexican.
21. My strengths are also my weaknesses.
22. I'm strict about a tidy house, but I'm not much of a deep cleaner.
22. I'm a better mother than I was last year.
23. My venture into quilting is just as a surprise to me as anyone else.
24. Pregnancies & motherhood, and marriage has made me very compassionate towards other people.
25. Sometimes I am too realistic about my life.
26. I loathe being invited to parties where someone is trying to sell me something. So I don't go. Jewelry parties, purse parties, Avon, etc. (Ok, I'll go to Pampered Chef).
27. I always considered VT and being a VT a massive irritant (and that's understating it) until I became stay at home mom.
28. Now, I need it.
29. I'm a people watcher. Always have been.
30. I want closer relationships with all my siblings.
31. I wish I lived near all my siblings.
32. I'm really, really excited about food right now.
33. I think I should have a lot more figured out.
34. I have big dreams for our little family. (but there's that annoying #25)







February 06, 2011

Get Dressed.

Some people think of dressing up or being polite as a burden. They think having to wear a tie or use the right fork or send a thank-you card is a kind of shackle. To these people I say: Getting out of bed is a shackle. If you feel that way, stay in it! Invest in a hospital gurney and wheel yourself around on it when you need to go out. I get very impatient with this whole “comfort issue” with clothing. Yes, you don’t feel as comfortable in clothes that fit as you do in your pajamas. That’s a good thing. You’re navigating a world where you need to have your wits about you. If you’re in a lackadaisical comfort haze, you can’t be engaged in the world the way you need to be.

-Tim Gunn

via Persimmon and Pink



Awesome.

The Good Report

1. My sister surprised me with three new cookbooks for my birthday. This, this, and this. I'm thrilled!
2. A celebration weekend with all my favorite things: art, food, food, and bestie.
3. And how about this deal of the year: 2 for $42. Ack!!! I can't wait until they arrive. Happy Birthday it is!
4. Going to bed early, and sleeping late. My true love.
5. Then being awake while everyone else is sleeping late. Not so bad either. I enjoy the quiet.
6. Got my sewing machine back from being serviced. Lots of projects (quilts) lined up an ready to go. Eeee!

Pasta w/ tomato cream sauce comforting, salty, creamy, basic, easy to prepare in no time, a good go-to meal. It sure didn't hurt eating it with fresh mozarella cheese bread. Mmmm. Could have made it even more complete with a salad, but I was feeling lazy. The sauce was even better the next day. This one is going in the permanent rotation.

Sloppy joes I think this is the first time I have made sloppy joes in my life. This one has great flavor. I'm totally grossed out by canned sloppy joe sauce. The hubs who hates sloppy joes (due to bad childhood sloppy joes) liked this. Mostly, I made this because I already had everything to make it on a day I really needed to go grocery shopping.

It's chewy, chicken-y, soy salt-y love. And Easy, easy. That was a surprise. I'll definitely be making them again. It's too many for the hubs and I, but I really wanted to make these to test them out for an appetizer party with some neighbors. Time for a party! And get over your fear of throwing water into hot OIL. You just gotta do it. Then close the lid fast.
Those little wonton wraps can also be made into homemade ravioli. Uh, we'll be making that soon. Or how about potstickers as a meal with egg drop soup (a fave of mine when eating out). another simple recipe here. Yeah, I'm excited.

Yummy. Similar to the other one, but with garlic. Next time I'll add a little less of it though. I think this one is my new fave. No potato peeling makes me really happy. This fits on 8x8 pan.

This Home sweet home poster is speaking to me. For the basement. So pretty.
And that Stripe towel ....STILL speaking to me.
I've been eyeing up these cheapies. Polka dot scarf. Pink necklace....cute!
Did you see the Oliver + S quilt. Gasp!
A larger date night list. Let's eat.
We also need to go to the library one of these weekends.

February 05, 2011

Arizona {via the plant life}






Mamiya C220, Fuji 800Z

February 03, 2011

Cemetery scenes




I pretty much love this one of my dad.





Poor M was teething the entire time. And not herself.
She barely ate. And just wanted to be held. Poor dear.

Are trips ever perfect? Not so much.



Mamiya C220, 800Z

February 02, 2011

On motherhood



Every great success is an accumulation of
thousands of ordinary efforts
that no one sees or appreciates.

Brian Tracy



Pretty sure he was not talking about motherhood. But it completely applies.

Hotel Life



Mamiya C220, 800Z

Get your pixel on

(click to enlarge)


Here's the layout for another quilt I'm working on. I've got a few in progress. Getting lots of cutting done while my machine is being serviced. If you are quilter/determined you could make your own pixel quilt just from this. I don't really think you need directions. Besides I don't have any to give. I'm winging it myself. Each square represents a 4.5" cut (4" sewn). When I'm done it should measure 56 x 76".

I'm doing bright pink and white. I'll be shortcutting the large color areas by cutting pieces of fabric instead of 4.5" squares wherever I can. Because I'm lazy/efficient. I'm not sure how I will quilt this one though. Hmm...

Either way it's going to be AWESOME.

February 01, 2011

Ziggy scraps


I made this baby quilt a long time ago using the leftover scraps from the zig zag. I'm finally getting around to posting it (and selling it). I thought about keeping it, but we don't really need it. I like gigant-o quilts for tall people. It's super cute though. More pics here.

Twin Peaks dining


the fire was nice.




uh, creepy.





This is a dinner stop I will never forget. The food was not good. Not a real shocker (though they did have one of the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever eaten). The girls ran around like crazy people after being cooped up in the car for hours. And I let them since we were the only ones there. L got her inner geologist on and sorted shiny colored rocks. And played with a little boy who appeared out of nowhere. I'm guessing his mom worked there. We stayed for a long time before ending the night in Flagstaff.

P.S. I hand held the Mamiya at 1/15. Actually some were at 1/8 leaning against a chair to stabilize myself.
In case you were wondering.....that's completely awesome!

Mamiya C220, 800Z