Monday, September 28, 2009

Apples and Pears Oh My!

Tonight, per Real Simple's suggestion, I simmered two small apples, a pear, some sugar and some cinnamon for about 1 hour or so. I ended up with this overwhelmingly delicious apple pear sauce. Seriously, divine! I'm going to need to make this again back the one and a half servings isn't enough. I'm just thanking my lucky stars that I still have that half a serving left!!

Another Baby Gift Started

My friend Wendi is having her second daughter in December. She's a good mom and I'm excited about another little one in her family. When she had her first daughter, we were not as close of friends as we are now. I really love how our friendship has grown even though she lives far away. Ever since she announced her pregnancy, I knew I wanted to do something fun and different for this little girl. I've turned project ideas over and over in my mind. And then I finally settled on something. This weekend I worked a scrappy quilted stroller blanket for her.
I've already made a bib and bought a t-shirt that says "no one puts Baby in the corner." I think this blanket will compliment everything else nicely. Right now, it is completely comprised of fabric scraps and I'm loving how they all fit together. It will be sashed in a bright pink, with a khaki back and lighter pink binding. I think she'll like it a lot! And, it was a fun little project for my Sunday afternoon.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Cake, Sewing and General Laziness

First off, that cake from the last post was divine. Molly calls it her Winning Hearts and Minds cake and I can see why. It's seriously rich and delicious!! And pretty easy to make, which is even better. I will definitely be making this again.

I'm having a lazy day today. I've had some insomnia this past week. Couple that with two late nights out, a 3 AM work phone call and a rainy day and I'm just plain sleepy. I love being able to just hang out without a worry....

I cut out a bunch of fabric to start the little boy baby quilt. I'm thinking eventually I'll need to find additional fabrics but the plan is to get started today, you know when the laziness subsides. I'm kind of excited with how it is coming together in my mind.

I'm really craving another big project. I don't know what per say, although I'm pretty sure when I see something it will just speak to me.

Oh, and I have to share this photo of 30th Street Station, Philadelphia's train station. I went to dinner right by there on Friday and again was able to spend some time appreciating the way the light reflects off the stone facade. I just love a building with columns. It's such a pretty station, both inside and out.

And, this photo at left was my view on Friday morning. The one joy of fall is that when I walk Rosy in the morning, the sun is just coming up and we are greeted with general gorgeousness. What more can we ask for?

Hope you are having a wonderful (and equally random) Sunday!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

September Just A Minute

The end of September is almost here and I'm looking forward to all of the good things of fall... cider, tights, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, craft shows and what not. But, for just a minute I'm...

watching... all of the new premiers - Grey's Anatomy, NCIS, 90210, and whatnot. Other than The Good Wife, I don't think I'll find any new favorites this season. But the old standards will keep me happy.

tasting... those above mentioned chocolate chip cookies, as I made a batch and stockpiled them in my freezer. And I made this cake, at right, today for a dinner party tonight. It's Molly's recipe from her book.

reading... I finished The Art of Racing in the Rain. It was a wonderful little book told from the point of view of the dog. And, you know how I love dogs.

discovering... new talents. I'm so pleased with the outcome of my chair reupholster. And, thinking about the next project to take on....

jumping... up and down about my mom's visit in October. I'm looking forward to a little time with her.

working... lots of nights and weekends again now that the students are back. It's been an interesting start to the semester... hopefully I can crave out some good craft time soon.


Play Just A Minute over at August Street.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Lately, I've been crawling into bed and then struggling to disengage my brain. I realized tonight, as I lay there, that I think it might have to do with not engaging my creative process enough during the day. I've been waiting until payday to buy some fabric to start a little boy baby quilt. And so, the sewing machine (which, by the way, really should have a name.... hmmm), sits quietly in the kitchen. I think I need to find a little project to hold me over.

Anyway, tonight as I lay there, I thought about how great the tv show Glee is. Is anyone else watching it?

It kind of was awesome last night (and by kind of I mean freaking). I love seeing these high school students using their creative energy. And, when you compare it to a number of other shows set in high schools (Gossip Girl, 90210, etc), these kids are nice. Mind you, there are still cliques so nice is relative. But really, the central theme is creativity. And passion. And embracing life. Good things. How are you holding on to those things in your life? And, how am I going to re-engage my own creative juices tomorrow? Stay tuned. And, good night.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Quilting Bee Anyone?

Does anyone else see those online quilting bees and want to do it but also get totally intimidated? I always think they seem totally cool but feel like a bit of an amateur quilter still. So..... I've been thinking about organizing an amateur quilting bee. I'm not sure if it should be a baby quilt or blocks. What do ya think? Would anyone be interested?

Monday, September 21, 2009

And A Big Finish

Yeah, it was a big weekend. I finished the chair... back and seat cushions complete!
Can you believe this is the same chair as that Ugly Orange Chair?
What a great feeling! I really like how it turned out for my first reupholstery project. I learned a few "I'd do it differently next time" things, which is always a win in my book. It has earned a nice spot in my living room. Love it!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Blissful Saturday

This has been a fruitful day! First thing this morning, I popped over to the garage sales my neighbors were having. They were advertising vintage fabrics so you know I was a goner. No luck however, I didn't find anything I wanted.

Upon returning from that little walk, I finished the back cushion of the chair. I just have the seat cushion now and the whole thing will be complete! It is really coming together and I'm feeling so happy.

I also cooked this pasta/chili recipe of my mom's. I ate a bit for lunch, put one serving in the fridge and stuck two in the freezer. I've started stockpiling fall/winter foods. Soon the freezer will be filled with pasta sauce, ziti, chili mac ole, muffins, and other delightful carb-o-licious treats. Then, I baked tons of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Half of those went in the freezer too, in bags of six, to stay fresh.

Rosy and I went on a walk in the woods, complete with a nice walk through the creek (for her). Oh, the smells were out in full force today - she has a great time. Sadly, the mosquitoes were also out in force! I have a number of fresh bites. They love me so much it had me wondering if Edward would be able to tolerate the smell of my blood....

And, so my Saturday goes.... how about you?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Jonesing for Fabric

It's so fall like I've been thinking about tweed and wool and the need to sew a fall dress. I looked around briefly at Vogue Patterns today but didn't find anything too exciting. My weekend might involve some heavy duty looking around. Because the desire for clothing sewing is there..... especially since this week of fall dressing made me feel like my wardrobe has holes that need to be filled. This weekend will require an evaluation of that feeling.

I'm also kind of jonesing to make a baby boy quilt. I was looking at fabric online and have a bit of a cart full. And, then I bought some reclaimed sheets on Etsy. All blues. I'm seeing a coin quilt or something there. Oh, I can't wait for those to come in the mail.

And, I've been thinking about a table runner. Seriously the sewing mojo is there big time! Ahh, to be untethered from work for the day so I could get started!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Not Twins but Matching Sets None the Less

This weekend I also completed some baby sets ordered by a friend of mine. The sets included a tag blanket, burp cloth and bib. The blanket and burp cloth are flannel with a fleece backing and the bib is all flannel. The pink fabrics are zoo animals and polka dots - love the combo. They were seriously fun to make! The sets were out in today's mail. I hope she likes them as much as I do.

I have a bit of extra flannel and I'm debating what to craft for a friend of mine expecting a girl in December....

Monday, September 14, 2009

Added Warmth

My living room before this weekend....

My living room after this weekend!

I've lived here for two and a half years and even before I moved in - just seeing the apartment - I hated that ugly electrical box right in the living room. I've had plenty of ideas on things I should do to cover it up but never acted on any of them. Most of them involved putting nails, screws or a bar for a quilt on the wall. For this, I put two tacks in the corners of the molding, attached plastic rings to the back of the wall quilt and all set. Such an improvement!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

National Sewing Month: Who Am I to Argue?

Did you know it was National Sewing Month?
According to JoAnn Fabric's it is! And so I sew. I finished the baby sets - bib, burp cloth and tag blanket - my friend ordered. I have a baby quilt swirling around in my brain. But, first I will work on a small wall quilt to cover up the ugly electrical box in my living room. And, perhaps I should sew those chair cushions for the Ugly (No More) Orange Chair.

How are you celebrating National Sewing Month?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Gone Sicky

I caught some sort of weird cold thing that leaves me exhausted and unwilling to craft. Really, if it doesn't go away soon this *might* be the end of the world. I've stockpiled my Robitussin, decongestant, and Puffs tissues with Vicks (Seriously the best invention. When they became available in the States - years after I got them in Canada - I did a happy dance.). I will kill this sucker and get back to my happy little crafting life. Until then, I sleep.

Hope your life is filled with yarn, fabric and other crafty goodness!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Apple Picking = Start of Fall

I went apple picking (and blackberries too) on Sunday with a friend of mine. It was a gorgeous day, although a bit early in the apple season. Only the Gala and Macs were ripe. Macs are my favorite so I was happy regardless.
Me picking a Mac, destined for apple muffins.

I love the sounds of cars driving over wooden bridges: rattle, rattle, rattle. It has that rustic sounds of yester year.

They had about six horses on the property, with a lovely little paddock for them.

We saw this HUGE spider. For scale, check out the blackberries behind him. His (her?) coloring was gorgeous, even if he kind of creeped me out. Thank goodness for zoom lenses.

These two images let us know where to pick... talk about making me chuckle!

It truly was a wonderful way to spend one of the last days of such a wonderful summer. And I know have about 18 frozen apple muffins, which will provide me with the necessary carbs to make it through the winter!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Caught the Polka Dot Virus

Well, I've caught the polka dot virus from Alissa and Amy. But really, they look so great when paired with other things. Like, perhaps, this...
I have no idea the purpose for this fabric but bought it on a whim because I liked all of the words and thought it would be just perfect for something. (What, you all know you do the same thing!)
And then this yummy, cute flannel for a baby gift set that was special ordered by a friend. I think I'm going to adore working with it because I can't stop touching it.

Oh, don't you love new fabric???

Fairy Tale Told

On Sunday morning, I finished the Fairy Tale baby quilt. Binding is all on and it is currently anticipating a round in the washer. I am quite happy with how it all came together. I took the picture of the front out in my courtyard. It had just started getting dark but I think the colors are pretty true to life. The back, pictured on the right, was taken this morning.

I think this little lovely will probably make it on to the Etsy site, as I never had a firm destination for it.

I am a happy crafter for sure! And, already, I'm starting to dream of new projects. Such joy!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Ahh, A Long Weekend: Crafting Galore

I've spent a little last night and today working on the Ugly Orange No More Chair. I added the red trim and finished attaching the back fabric with upholstery tacks. I had to buy more today since a number of them bent when I was hammering them in. Now I need to sew the seat and back cushions. I'm hoping to get started in cutting out the fabric this weekend.

Quilting occurred on the Fairy Tale baby quilt today too. I just have the binding (and a lovely tumble in the washer) to go before it is complete. Before I do that though, I need to spend a little time working on a blanket, bib and burp cloth set one of my sorority sisters special ordered for a friend. I'm hoping to spend some quality time working on that project on Monday....

I love (long) crafting weekends!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Retreating

Sorry I have been out of touch this week. I've been here
with my students. We had a retreat for presidents and council officers this week. I was lucky enough, during the break, to get down to the small river for some photos.
How very pretty and calm it was! It was a good retreat and nice to come back home again.

How was your week?