Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Just Some Silliness to Start the Week

The other day, Diego said something about the kids....their brains haven't caught up to their bodies yet.

I told him that was probably the smartest thing he'd ever said.
Teenagers are preteens....gotta love 'em
What do you think Professor Alley? 3 kids, one dog and a pair of plastic glasses - good times, good times. Thanks for letting me indulge myself in totally ridiculous pictures of my kids. I would say that this is not the norm for us, but now that I think of it, we had a similar photo shoot with some plastic hillbilly teeth a few years ago.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention, I'm a guest seller over at the Cloth Pad Shop. If you have time go over and check it out.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My Love Affair with Bamboo

Have you ever worked with Hemp or Bamboo fabric? I've heard a lot about it, but had never come across any. The only hemp that I had any experience with was the hemp string that you make bracelets with and it's a bit scratchy. The other day I came across some bamboo batting at a local fabric shop and let me tell you, this stuff is so soft. It's softer than the warm and natural and ...well it's just yummy! Sewing with it is a dream - I want to start putting it in all of my quilts.

There is one problem with it though. When you're working with the bamboo, you can't stop singing this song. Consider yourself warned.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Drum Roll, Egg Roll

Drum roll please....oona is the winner of the Periods Make Me Batty give away. I had my daughter pick a number between 1-10 and she chose 3. Oona, please send me an email with your address and I'll ship it out to you right away. Congratulations!

The Story Telling Festival was a bit on the wet and windy side, but over all we had a great time. I dressed up as Professor Umbridge and Sara was Hermione after she drank the polyjuice potion. Fitting since we were the ones handing out polyjuice potion at the face painting booth. When we first got there we were the only ones dressed up - but hey, that's OK - it's not the first time that I've felt all alone, dressed in pink and looking like an old lady. :)

Last year I put a lot of work into Sara's Hermione cape, complete with lining and a hand stitched Gryffindor patch. When they announced that the Story Telling Festival was Harry Potter themed, I was glad for the chance to use the cape again. Of course we looked high and low and couldn't find it anywhere. I ended up sewing a this quick version the night before. I had some of the fabric laying around from Josh's magic days, so I laid it out cut it into a huge circle, cut another circle out of the center for the neck and one last cut from the outer circle to the inner circle for the opening. Does that make sense? Then I used two packs of bias tape and zigzaged it around all of the raw edges. I had to tuck two places around the neck to adjust it to her size, but in the end, it was 10 times easier than the other cape and worked just as well.

Off to the market to get the makings of eggrolls for tonight...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Give Away Celebration

Two posts in one day - how impressive it that?

What's the occasion? - you ask....I'm celebrating my one year anniversary on Esty. OK, so it's not my anniversary until October 5th, but I've never been any good at waiting when it comes to surprises. Just ask my mom about the gumball machine and action figure that were surprises for my brother's birthday. In my defense, I never told him it was a gumball machine and an action figure...I just hinted that you put pennies in it and get gum and that the other one was a guy with blond hair - but I digress.

So in honor of my anniversary, I commissioned Heather at Vintage Bella to make a new banner and avatar for my etsy shop. Don't you just love it? It gives the shop a great new look.

Presents, presents....bring out the presents.It wouldn't be a party without the presents so In celebration of my anniversary, my shop's new look, fall coming, and the Harry Potter Story Telling Festival that I'll be at tomorrow, I'm giving away this panty liner - named "Period's Make Me Batty".

Just post a comment between now and Tuesday night and I'll choose a random winner.

Free Harvest

Diego and I made an early morning visit to the hallow and came home with this bountiful harvest of wild plumbs. It was magical really, the morning air had a new crispness to it suggesting the season ahead. I couldn't see the creek from where I was standing picking the fruit, but a coolness drifted up along with the sounds of the brooke. Ice cold water running down from the nearby mountains. How far had it traveled to greet us that morning? The rays of the sun warmed our backs as we each gathered our fruit, silently, each at our own tree, alone and yet together. Magical indeed.

It is amazing to me how these trees just grow along the creek wild, unpruned, untouched - except for the occasional bee or teenager walking home from school, looking for a snack. Within minutes, I had a bucket full of these purple beauties. Diego was over filling his bucket full of what we've named "the white plumbs." Have you ever seen these, and do you know what they are called? I guess I could search them out on the internet, but what's the fun in that? I like the mystery, and the social aspect of asking around. They are delicious and sweet. The purple plumbs went straight into the hot water for blanching, pealing and eventually made into Cinnamon Plumb jam. By the time I was done, my hands ached and my fingers were stained brown - those little suckers were slippery! I think the next time I'll just stick them in a juicer - but then there is still the problem with the seed. Any ideas? I also ended up having to "fix" the jam by cooking it a little longer and adding a little more sugar -ugh- and a little more pectin. I think the problem is the high altitude that we're at. I've really had to adjust for that since we've moved here. There was definately a learning curve on this one. Oh well, in the end I had a batch of jam and a Saturday morning well spent peeling, cutting and talking with my daughter.

While I had full intentions of making the white plumbs into a batch of jam, we just weren't up to reliving that process. Not to worry, they did not go to waste, they went straight to our bellies.

Have a wonderful weekend enjoying your bountiful harvest with the ones you love.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Invitation

Yesterday we received an invitation to an "End of Summer Cookie Party". End of summer...that made me think, when is it the first official day of Autumn. I searched the internet, looked at a few sites then finally glanced at the calendar on my fridge and found that next Monday is the first official day of autumn - at least it is on my calendar.

So here's the invitation for you...I invite you to go back to this day last year in your photo archives and find a picture of "today in history" or pretty close. I was amazed at how much has changed and yet how much is the same. Who are these little babes? Are they the teenager that is now taller than me and who actually cares about his grades, the preteen that is training to be the next Lance Armstrong and the 8 year old that is blossoming into a fine young lady? They might be getting older and taller, but one constant is our family's love for nature. Our albums are filled with pictures like these with just a few variations...who is being carried, who is trailing behind, and which ones are running ahead.

I think it's going to be oatmeal-pumpkin-chocolate chip cookies for the party. My effort to hold the past in my heart, embrace the seasons ahead and enjoy the moments right now. Happy changing of seasons!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Special Delivery

Back from another fun filled visit from family. We didn't really go anywhere, we just took another mini staycation. The last one of the year. The kids loved seeing Grandma and Grandpa and spending time hanging out and playing a couple of rounds of Apples to Apples.

Just before our house guests arrived, this wonderful package arrived. It was my Quilt Swap 4 package. Driving out for a quick trip to the store, we found the package next to the mailbox. I had Josh grab it and we were going to wait to open it when we got home. As we were driving, I found myself fiddling with the tape and trying to pull up corners. Finally, rather than getting into an accident, I relinquished the package to Josh. By the time I pulled into the parking lot, the box was open and all of the treasures inside were being divvied out.
Candy necklaces, chewing gum, baseball cards, little trinkets and of course a quilt for me. Scott Hansen was my swap partner. We both signed up a little after the deadline and were able to get in on the action. The only catch was that we were each others' swap partner. It ends up that he knew he was sending a quilt to me, but he didn't know that I in turn was sending one to him. I kept spying on his blog watching the progress of my quilt.

While I loved the quilt and the little quilted pillow, what touched my heart the most was the little gifts for my kids. Thank you Scott! With mouths full of candy necklaces and gum, the kids said you should trade with him again. (Did you read it with that muffled mouth full of candy sound to it) Oh, and did y'all see that charm pack. I'm itching to start a little doll quilt of my own. Is it moda? I think it's moda. Get'cha moda rollin'...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Woodland Animal Friends

These fun little critters wandered into my yard this afternoon. They all happily agreed to pose for a photo shoot and are now looking for a new home over at WoodChesters.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Apricots and School Supplies

Growing up I was always very picky when it came to food. Basically any fruit or veggie was out of the question. Now that I'm older and my pallet has gone beyond cookies and brownies, I find myself trying new things. Melody asked the other day if I wanted any apricots from her garden. Do you like apricots? I'm not sure, I don't think I've ever tried one. So I made apricot jam and tried it - I love apricot jam! The moral of the story is try something new, you might like it....or if you add enough sugar, anything tastes great.
Every once in awhile, a grand idea hits that makes you feel really smart. At times like that, it's nice to share with others so they can benefit from your brilliance - and tell you how smart you are. Here I'll just show you...Isn't that brilliant? In all honesty, this wasn't really my brilliant idea, but my dear friend Anne's idea. She suggested it for all of our gloves, scarfs, beanies, etc. in the coat closet. When it came to school supplies, I just re-invented the wheel in the Room of Requirement - aka my studio. I know, I know...you're disappointed that I went for this cheap store bought version with plastic, and that I didn't sew my own elaborate version with some adorable fabric - but cut a girl a break, I was canning all day.

Now I think I'll have some toast and apricot jam and revel in my brilliance - pssst... if you've seen this idea someplace before, don't burst my bubble, just let me enjoy the moment :)