Thursday, January 31, 2008

Love Is In The Air

Just a quick shot of my fireplace. This is the focal point of our living room and is generally decorated for each holiday or season.
This hurricane lamp sits on our piano. I'm pretty sure that the bottom half had more conversation hearts than that, but whenever I ask Blondie about it she just smiles and says she doesn't know what I'm talking about. For some reason I don't believe her!


A little tip...I actually have a small clear glass bowl that is situated upside down in the bottom of the hurricane lamp so that I don't have to put in so much candy.

The Love Affair Continues


I took these pictures after dropping the girls off at school. There's something magical about watching the sun creep across Mount Timpanogos each morning.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Puzzling Post

Joan motivated me to finally post a picture of our most recent puzzle. (Check out the puzzle that she posted on her blog.) This puzzle is titled "American Quilt", by local artist Eric Dowdle.


I've been gathering puzzles lately (bought another Eric Dowdle puzzle at the store today...lol!). Soccer Guy and Girlfriend usually come over for dinner on Sunday afternoon and Girlfriend loves to work on puzzles. We finished a couple of puzzles over the Christmas holiday and we did the American Quilt puzzle a couple of Sundays ago. Not only did Soccer Guy and Girlfriend come for dinner, but so did two of Soccer Guy's roommates, as well as two of Girlfriend's roommates. The more the merrier, right?! This puzzle only has 500 pieces so, with many hands, we finished it pretty quickly. I think I prefer the 1000 piece puzzles that sit out on the breakfast nook table for a couple of weeks.


So here's a burning question... What do you do with your puzzles once they're finished? I see that Joan put Save-a-Puzzle on hers and hung it on the wall, but that can't possibly be done with every completed puzzle. Right now mine go into the closet of the extra bedroom, but they're really starting to pile up.

Buzz Saw Block

Many of you guessed correctly. I'm working on a bunch of buzz saw blocks. I'm participating in a swap with some members of the online group to which I belong. You can see that the squares aren't sewn together. That's because we're sending them in groups of four so that they can be sewn together in scrappy fashion once they're returned.


If you intrested in trying a buzz saw block yourself, check out the link on my sidebar for a tutorial.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Snow Blowing Sideways

Here is the Ballerina coming out of school at 2:00 p.m. She can't figure out why I'm taking of picture of her. LOL! I think it's funny that the kids are walking backward so that the Arctic wind doesn't blow in their faces. We're not getting a lot of snow in our area, but what we are getting sure is being blown around!
video

The storm's moving in.....

Blondie running in from the storm. Monday @ 1:00 p.m.
video

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Buzzzzz.....

This is what I'm working on today. Can you guess what I'm making? I'll post a picture later today when the blocks are finished, but now I've got to get ready to go to a baby shower.


How 'bout you? What project are you working on today?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Raffle Quilt Revealed

Here's a better view of the queen size Log Cabin quilt that I previewed in my last post. Two and a half movies later, the binding is finished. My applogies for the furry feature in the corner. Mia decided to climb on board and give the quilt the "smell test". I hope it passed. LOL!




This quilt is made from 2.5" strips of Thimbleberries fabrics that were swapped with some online friends. When I had this spread out on the living room floor the other day, my DH told me that this was his favorite quilt that I have made. Bummer! This quilt is going away.



I am donating this quilt to the Ballerina's elementary school. The principal is currently raising funds in order to purchase a new mobile computer lab that will include lap top computers that can be moved from classroom to classroom. Our plan is to offer one raffle ticket for each dollar donated and award this quilt to the holder of the lucky ticket. I've never made a raffle quilt before, so I'm hoping that this will be a good way to raise a large sum of money for the school. The Ballerina will draw the winning ticket on April 7th.


If you're interested in donating to our school by purchasing tickets ($1 each OR six tickets for $5), please contact me privately by clicking HERE. The quilt measures 84" x 104" and is made using Thimbleberries fabrics by RJR and Warm and Natural 100% cotton batting.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

More Projects

Wow, I didn't realize this morning that this would be a day that would bring more projects my way. I picked up this log cabin quilt from my quilter this morning. Once this queen sized quilt is bound (gotta get on it!) it will be donated to the Ballerina's elementary school to be raffled. The proceeds will go toward purchasing a new mobile computer lab with lap tops that can be moved from classroom to classroom.
I recieved these four fabrics that I ordered to add to my movie night quilt. I think I have enough fat quarters to get started now. How exciting!
And these fabrics came from my friend, Joan. I was telling her how much I admired THESE blocks that she made. I only had a FQ of the Candy Coated Christmas fabric, so Joan offered to help supplement the fabric that I had. I was expecting the Christmas fabric, but the four green FQs were a total surprise!
She also included this quilt pattern. I have seen a similar quilt done is Civil War fabrics and also in 30's reproductions. Hmmm.....which will it be? Thanks, Joan, you're the greatest!!!


On a sad note, my husband's sister passed away last night. It was really unexpected, so we are reeling with all sorts of emotions today. My SIL was loved by so many and will be missed by all who knew her. I love you, Kris, and I'll miss your smiling face!

Now, She's Got the Right Idea!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Explosive News!

We're having terrible weather right now...no snow (here), but lots of harsh winds blowing all of the old snow around! See that snow blowing off the top of Mount Timpanogos? I just took that picture a few minutes ago out of my family room window. BRRRRR!!!!!

I've heard about three, make that four (just heard another one!), large explosions during the past hour or so, so it makes me wonder if they are doing avalanche control on the other side of the mountain or in the canyon.

A couple of years ago there was a shell shot from a howitzer artillery cannon to trigger an avalanche in Provo Canyon. The shell overshot the mountain and landed in some one's backyard just a couple miles north of here. How scary would that be? Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt. It could have been much worse!

Sundance Ski Resort is on the back side of "my" mountain. Ever heard of the Sundance Film Festival? It's a small event that Robert Redford hosts every year. LOL!!! Starts later this week. Why someone would host a star studded event in the middle of a Utah winter is hard to figure out. Okay, we did host the Olympics back in 2002, but that's different!

The answer to my burning question: Yes, they are doing avalanche control in the canyon. I just checked the state website to verify. I'll be back later...I'm heading down to the bomb shelter. lol!

Poor Shadow

Poor Shadow. That's not really his name. His name is simply Shadow, but rarely do we say his name without prefacing it with the sad condition in which he lives.


Poor Shadow came to live with us about ten or eleven years ago. I can't remember exactly. For well over a month he came and sat outside the sliding glass door to our patio. In spite of the fact that he really wanted to come inside I made him stay out and threatened my children so that they would not feed him or love him. We already had a cat, thank you very much and Shadow (which wasn't his name at the time) actually belonged to our neighbors across the street. So each day, sometimes several times a day, I would make my children carry him across the street and return him to his rightful home.


Day after day Poor Shadow would show up at our door, until one night the weatherman reminded all pet owners to bring their animals inside because of the dangerously low temperatures. As I was locking up the house that night, there sat Poor Shadow peering in through the sliding glass door. Now, although I didn't want another pet (or a fight with my neighbor) I took pity on Poor Shadow and brought him in for the night so that he wouldn't freeze to death in the cold. As you can imagine, the rest is history.


To say that Poor Shadow is a nervous cat is somewhat of an understatment. We assume that before he came to live with us that he must have been abused by his former owners, because even after living with our family as long as he has, he still gets frightened and runs for cover whenever we happen to pass him in the hallway.


Last week I had to take Poor Shadow to see the vet. He was obviously in a lot of pain and we couldn't figure out why. To make a long story short and a lot less GROSS, Poor Shadow had to be sedated (don't tell your 10 year old that they "put him to sleep" for the procedure...that was terrifying!) and a gloved finger had to go in the direction that things usually come out.


In spite of the gumpy looking picture above (that was taken moments before I threw Poor Shadow off my bed so that I could make it), Poor Shadow is feeling much better now. As a matter of fact, I might even go so far as to call him Happy Shadow. Well, I was going to until Cute Mia, who was prending to love him, went up and bit him on the neck.


Poor Shadow. Poor, Poor Shadow.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I Feel So Honored

What a pleasant surprise it was yesterday when I found out that I had been given the "You Make My Day" award by Marcie at Patchalot More. Those of you who know Marcie also know what a kind and generous blogger she is. You'll also agree that she's a talented quilt designer. I'm just hoping that at some point she'll come and visit her son that lives here in Happy Valley so that I'll have the chance to meet her in the flesh! (Hint, hint, Marcie!)



The rules for this award say to choose up to 10 people whose blog brings you happiness & inspiration and makes you feel happy about Blogland. Let them know by posting a note on their blog so they can pass it on.



Let's start with my sister Suz at SoCal Greens. Susan may not be a consistant blogger, but I get so excited everytime I pop over there and see those adorable pictures of my sweet neices. I have to admit that Susan and I don't talk as often as we could, but I definitely keep up to date through my DD, Blondie, who texts, instant messages and talks via cell phone with her cousins in California. It's worth stopping by the SoCal Greens just to watching Jenna score her only goal of the season...and mom was actually able to catch it on video!!! I love you, Suz!



The next award goes to Angela at Quilting in Cornfields. I love reading Angela's blog because it reminds me of my life when I was her age. I'm not exactly sure what "that age" is, but so many of her posts about her sweet little daughter reminds me of when my girls were little. It was such a special time in my life and Angela's blog takes me back to that special place.


I also love to stop by and visit Jodi at This, That and the Other. Jodi is one of those who tells it like it is. Every time I stop by, I always leave with something to ponder. Is my "to do" list too long? Have I spent enough time with my kids today? You get the idea. Jodi also does an outstanding job journaling her life at her A Photo A Day blog.


And last, but certainly not least, on the list today is Joan at Keeping You in Stitches. Joan and I go way back before there was such a thing as blogging. I'm so glad that she recently started her own blog. Joan gets more done than I even have time to think about. In addition to being a busy wife and mother, Joan has an eBay store where she sells wonderful quilt kits.


That's a pretty good start. There are so many more to whom I'd love to give this reward, but so many have already been presented with the honor! Way to go girls...you're all SO inspiring!!!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

This is what we woke up to in Happy Valley. I knew that we would be getting snow this morning so I ran most of my errands yesterday. Still have to make a trip to the post office to mail a camera to College Girl.
With snow packed roads like this, I'm sure you can guess that carpooling the girls to school this morning was a trick. My typical 10 minute round trip to the elementary school took me 30 mintues today. Fortunately, everyone was on their best behavior and I didn't see any accidents. There was one car that slid off the road going up the hill to the junior high school. On the way back down the hill I saw a couple of high school boys trying to push it out of the gutter.
This is the view of the cul de sac that I see from my front window. Hubby spent a couple of hours with the snowblower out helping many of our neighbors. I think he's still trying to decide if he's going to attempt the commute to his office or work from home today.

Does this girl love to bake, or what?! For the past three days the Ballerina has come from school craving ginger snaps. Not sure why, but if it's ginger snaps my baby wants, it's ginger snaps my baby gets! So last night we made cookies!!!
Fresh from the oven. Can't ya just smell 'em?
Okay, okay...here's the recipe...



SPICY GINGER SNAPS


Cream:

1 1/2 c. shortening

2 c. sugar


Add:

2 eggs, beaten

3/4 c. molasses


Combine together and add:

4 c. flour

4 t. soda

1 t. salt

3 T. ground ginger

2 t. cinnamon


Bake at 350 degs. for 7-8 minutes (until they begin to crack on top and turn brown around the edges).

Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Seeing Spots

Yesterday I finished the Dominoes bag for Blondie. I have to admit that I'm pretty pleased with the way that it turned out. Especially since I made up the pattern as I went along. Okay...I really came up with the pattern the night before as I was falling asleep. Do any of you do that...wake up or fall asleep with patterns or quilting ideas dancing around in your head? You can bet that I was eager to get up and get started on the bag yesterday morning.
Just a view of the lining and dominoes. I've still gotta learn how to play Mexican Train. The kids keep telling me that they'll teach me. Maybe tonight?!
Last night was a first for me. I made a batch of HOMEMADE cream of mushroom soup. May I just say that I could eat a gallon of this all by myself? It was delicious!!! Well, at least I thought it was. I got mixed reviews from the rest of the family. The Ballerina ate her obligatory three bites, but confessed that she thinks mushrooms are stinky. Okay, she may have a point. lol! DH and Blondie ate the soup without complaint, but didn't give it the rave reviews which I thought it deserved. If you'd like to give this recipe a try, click HERE for the link.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Lucky, Lucky ME!!!

I opened the front door on my way to the mail box and nearly tripped over a LARGE package on my porch. For a moment I was trying to remember what I had purchased online, then I remembered that a wonderful gift was on it's way from Sharon's home! Joy, oh, joy!!!
I was the lucky winner of Sharon's blog giveaway last month! Look at that CUTE BOW. Isn't that sweet? I think this is as good, if not better than, Christmas. I mean really...a gift from another quilter...does it get any better than that? lol!

I am so excited about each and every treat inside. All sorts of sewing knick knacks, crafting do-dads (oops...left the cute buttons out of the picture) and a Tide to Go stick. (Don't get any ideas College Girl...this one's for me!) The icing on the cake is the yard of Funky Monkey banana fabric with the red background. When I told Sharon how excited my DD, Blondie, was about the Funky Monkey charm packs, she generously offered to throw in some matching yardage for Blondie to use to make a throw! How fun is that?


Thanks for your kindness, Sharon! I think I'm just going to sit here for a while and oooh and aaah over all my goodies!

This One's for You, College Girl!

Another quilt finished! Better late than never. Right?


I bought the kit for this kimono quilt almost two years ago when I went to visit Kim during the Quilt Rush shop hop in the Sacramento area. The top has been finished and quilted for well over a year and now it's finally bound! Of course, Kim twisted my arm and made me buy the kit for this quilt, but I'm so glad that she did. College Girl loves all things Japanese and this quilt's for her.


CG studied the Japanese language for two years in high school and spent six weeks in Japan as an exchange student between her junior and senior year. Her bedroom is decorated with a Japanese theme and this wall hanging will go above her bed on her Asian red wall.


I hope you like it CG. I love you and am so proud of all the good things you do!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

"So, where would you like to go to dinner tonight?"

Yesterday afternoon my husband asked me if there was somewhere that I would like to go to dinner. Somewhere that serves something "healthy". I think after all of the rich and sweet foods that we've been eating during the holidays, we were both craving something with some redeeming nutritional value.


Did I have any ideas? Well, of course I did! I was thinking about Sweet Tomatoes...an all you can eat salad bar. They also have a great selection of soups, breads, pastas and such. The only drawback to going to Sweet Tomatoes is that it is some distance from our home. Was that a problem? No. Actually, it was part of a well devised plan.


Yesterday (and today) was open house at Quilts, Etc., and all of their novelty fabrics were 30% off. I have been wanting to make a "movie night" quilt using all sorts of yummy foods, snack, and munchies fabrics. I guess I should mention here that Quilts, Etc., is just down the street a ways from Sweet Tomatoes. We'd be killing two birds with one stone. I didn't even have to "trick" my DH into going. I fully disclosed my plan and he went along with it! Oh, happy day!!!

I got a good start on my collection of fabrics. Today I've been searching online for pizza, popcorn and hamburger fabrics and found a great source. I need 12 FQs in all, so I'm well on my way!
They also had all of their pillowcase kits (that were leftover from Christmas) on sale for $4.99. I picked up these two matching flannel kits made from the Thimbleberries Christmas Street line. Kim already suggested I get them made up so I'll have a good start on Christmas gifts for next year. Great idea! LOL!
And last, but not least, I picked up these two fabrics which I'll use to make a drawstring bag for Blondie's dominoes. Santa put a box of double twelves in her Christmas stocking (do any of you like to play Mexican Train?), but we've already decided that it's a big hassle to organize them into the box and figured that a drawstring bag would be just the ticket.


Well, after leaving Kim's house, the first punch of the big storm went around Happy Valley hitting both north and south of us, but we're bracing for rounds two and three. I hope the rest of you reader in the western U.S. are making it through the storm without too much trouble.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Now That Wasn't So Bad

Look at that...one quilt down and I've already started on the binding of quilt number two!

I just love this little quilt! If you're new to my blog, I have a little tutorial for the Buzz Saw block on my sidebar. So quick and easy!

Isn't it appropriate that this quilt made from 1930's reproductions is going to my new niece, Gracie, who was born last month?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Bound and Determined!

Have I mentioned before that I don't necessarily care for the binding part of quilting? Oh, yes...I have...several times! I know it's gotta be done in order to have a finished quilt, but for some reason I put it off until I'm in a crunch.


Some of the above quilts have been sitting around for quite some time. As a matter of fact, I think that the second quilt from the top is the first "real" quilt that I made. Ya know how I can tell? The binding is actually already sewn on, but man, oh man, is it done all wrong! LOL! I'm definitely going to have to take the binding completely off and start over on that one. ROFLOL!!!


So, my goal for the next couple of weeks is to get the above five quilts bound...and labeled, to boot! To keep track of my progress, I'm going to start a column on my side bar which will be a list of quilts that I have completely finished during 2008. Stay tuned!