Friday, March 31, 2006

Coming out of Hibernation

65º today! WhoooooooHoooooooooooo!

Yes,Kerri, this warm weather makes me feel like I am coming out of my winter hibernation.

I got home from work and immediately went outside to begin my spring clean up. I removed a couple of wheelbarrow loads of twigs/branches and I raked and cut down Sedum Autumn Joy in a small area on the side of the garage.

I didn't do anything too taxing. I was outside for just one hour. I feel the gardening "desire" beginning to stir within.

If the weather holds, I might get a lot more done over the weekend.

Right now I am off to cook something for dinner.

The promise of things to come.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Degree Sign

We are having beautiful spring weather today (mid 50º's).

A big thanks to Kerri who posted a handy tip on how to get the degree sign. Kerri, I had to stop in the middle of this post and go to your blog to find the tip. Even though I wrote it on a scrap of paper on my 'puter desk, I've already lost it. I can't tell you how many times I've needed that sign and could not remember how to do it.

Here is how it's done:
use the key pad

I went out after work and sprayed all of the tulips with Hinder. Hopefully, the deer won't eat them.

I thought I might go out and begin raking and cutting down, but, on second thought, I decided to just make a nice cup of Cafe Vienna and relax.

I think I will do a little sewing now since I have not done any for about a week.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The next Food TV star

Is anyone watching The Next FoodTV Star?

I saw two episodes Sunday night.

I am predicting that Guy will win (his name is Guy).

After just two episodes I think he stands way out in front of the rest.

I must say that I was quite surprised that one of the contestants did not even know how to julienne a carrot. I would think any aspiring chef would know a basic skill like that!

For Peep Lovers Only

Personally, I don't like Peeps. Even when I was a kid, I did not like them. But I know there are millions of Peep lovers out there.

Now you can buy a kit from Williams - Sonoma to make your own little marshmallow chick delicacies.

Why anyone would want to, I don't know. It seem like an awful lot of work for a yellow marshmallow!

Easter Tablescape

Any bunny want to come to Easter dinner?

Monday, March 27, 2006

Decoupaged Easter Eggs

Blogger is not letting me upload pictures tonight (AGAIN). Luckily I have Picasa and it is working. The only problem with Picasa is that I can only put one picture in each post.

I started doing a little Easter decorating tonight. I discovered I am not really in the mood, though. I am trying to do a simple Easter table, but it is just not coming together for me. So I am giving up until another day.

I did do a bit with the Easter egg tree, although it does not look too good either. I am just not having a good day!

These decoupaged real eggs are nestled at the bottom of the tree. I cut out pictures of pieces of quilts from magazines. These eggs are some of my favorites.

  Posted by Picasa

I think I am going to clean up the kitchen and settle in for a little blog reading (it's been three days since I've seen what everyone has posted). Hope you have all been posting like crazy so I have a lot to read! Posted by Picasa

Oh, look at that - I got 2 pictures in one post. Thank you, Alice! Remember a while back you told me how you copy the url from picasa and paste it into the post where you want the picture? Well, it worked for me, too!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Where has the week gone?

Tomorrow is Friday already.

I haven’t gotten anything done this week, except work. On Tuesday I had to go to a meeting with my boss in another city (2.5 hour drive in each direction). I got to work at 6:00 a.m. and got back home at 7:08 p.m. So that took care of Tuesday.

Wednesday was very busy at work (seems like everybody in town wanted to book an event or block some rooms on Tue. when I was gone), so I had a lot of return calls, bookings, and contracts to do. I spent about 9 hours at work, came home, made dinner, cleaned up the kitchen and went to bed to watch TV until I fell asleep.

I had a pretty good work-on-my-quilt-an-hour-a-day rhythm going until this week. I won’t get any more piecing done now until next week as DH and I are leaving right after work tomorrow for another weekend get-a-way. The suitcase is already packed.

I intended to have some Easter decorating to show you this week. Last Sunday I made two twig trees to use for Easter egg trees, but I have not had time to put the eggs on yet. I made them from the trunks of two artificial ficus trees that were destined for the garbage. Hopefully I will get to them next week and I can post some pictures.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. I hope to get back in the blogging routine next week.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Now that Spring is Here

I am thinking I should lose a few pounds.

The problem is I don't want to stop eating all the things I like!

ARRGGGG........what a dilemma.

Spring has Sprung!

and its 19 degrees here, with a high of only 29 expected. At least it's not snowing........yet.

Boy, Blogger has been a bit testy lately. I had to upload about 4 times before it would take this picture. Yesterday I tried posting numberous times before it worked. They must be doing some upgrades or something.

Office Garbage

If you work in an office, this computer paper box is probably familiar.
It's usually destined for the trash.

But not in my office.
Heavens No!
I hoard these boxes like they're made of gold.

They are very sturdy and great for all sorts of valuable stuff.
Well, O.K., mostly junk, but nonetheless, they are great junk holders.

I like them so much, that I take the time to pretty them up before I put my treasures in them.

With just a bit of time,some fabric, glue, and trim, I end up with a box like this

Which coordinates well with my family room sofa when it's placed beneath my end table.

I use them a lot for magazines because they are the perfect size.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Flower Frogs

If you're saying, "Flower what?"
Don't feel bad. A lot of people have never heard of flower frogs.

There are many kinds. The ones I have are glass with holes all over.

If you are trying to make a simple floral arrangement and it looks similar to this

then you could benefit from a flower frog.

They are used to hold flowers upright in a vase.

Just put the frog into a vase

And stick a floral stem in each hole

Fill with water

And you have a vase of flowers that stand upright

They are truly a handy tool for floral arranging.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

St. Patrick's Day Dinner (a day late)

I decided (on the spur of the moment) to invite Mom & Dad over for a St. Paddy's Day boiled dinner of corned beef, cabbage, red potatoes, carrots. This was about 10:00 a.m.

I had to do a quick dining tablescape as my table was bare. *gasp!* It is rare thing in my house not to have the dining table set. Last week I removed everything so I could use it to hold my cutting mat to cut fabric for the border I am working on. Using the table was much easier than getting down on the floor to cut fabric.

During my little shopping spree yesterday, I bought a new gold tablecloth. I pulled it out of the bag, ironed it and threw it down. In honor of St. Patrick, I used green dishes and a green vase to hold the flowers DH brought home this morning. He also bought a handful of lottery tickets. At his suggestion, I put one at each place setting so that we can rub them off after dinner to see if the luck of the Irish is with us. That will be fun.

I had recently ripped a recipe out of a magazine for a carrot cake roll. I had all of the ingredients on hand, so I made that while DH was grocery shopping (ya gotta love a man that grocery shops for you!)

It doesn't look too bad considering what a time I had removing it from the baking pan to roll it up. I lifted it out with the wax paper that was under it and darned if the paper didn't give way and the cake sort of fell to the counter and cracked into about 4 pieces. You have to remove it from the pan while it is still warm so you can roll it easier -- very tricky to do! You roll it up into a clean dish towel dusted with powdered sugar and leave it to cool completely. I did this even though it was quite broken. After it was cool and I unrolled it, it was still just as broken up (I guess I thought it would magically go back together). I decided to just go ahead and put the cream cheese frosting on it and roll it back up. I figured the frosting would hold it together and I was very happy that it did just that.

Don't know what it will taste like, but at least it held together. Boy, I am having baking difficulties lately (loyal readers might remember that I had to trash the last from-scratch cake I made).

So my break time is over. Back to the kitchen to clean up the cake mess.

I will let you know how the dinner turned out.

The cake was quite good despite all the problems.
The corned beef was disappointing - too tough.
Nobody won a cent on the lottery tickets. Darn!

All in all, though, we had an nice time with my parents.

Would You Buy This Magazine?

Look, I made my own magazine cover.
What fun!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Keep Me Out of the Stores This Time of the Year!

I couldn't resist making a few flower purchases - new cannas, dahlias and 9 packs of zinnia and sunflower seeds.

Every year I say I am NOT buying any seeds because they never grow well for me. This year I have a new spot in mind. Remember when I had a bunch of those ugly tall pine trees cut down? Well, now it is a very sunny area and I thought I would give seeds another try. It will be my cutting garden for inside arrangements.

At least that's the plan today..........until they actually get in the ground it is subject to change. Posted by Picasa

How Unique!

I found this someplace on the net and saved it in my "floral inspiration" file. I thought I would share it with you just because I think it's so clever and original.
I am not sure how well it will show up (it may get larger if you click on it). I hope you can see that it's an old computer monitor used as a floral vase.

I think it was in some floral show. Wouldn't it be great for a tech convention centerpiece on a large buffet table?

Some people are so darn clever!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Food TV Chefography

I must say I have been glued to the Food TV channel lately. For the past four nights they have been doing a series of their household-names-chefs (Emeril Lagasse, Paula Deen, Giada DeLaurentiis, Ina Garten )& their humble beginnings. I have found the series very interesting.

Last night Giada (in the picture) was the featured chef. She has a show called "Everyday Italian". I was very surprised to find out how shy she was and how she really did not want to do TV. Now that the show is in its third season, she has blossomed into a great tv chef. She is passionate about cooking and it really shows.

I am hoping tonight is Ina Garten as I like her show, too.

All this Food TV has cut into my quilting time. I have missed my goal of sewing for one hour a day two of the four days this week. Maybe I will catch up this weekend.

Is anyone else watching this?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

1st Garden Pictures of 2006

What do you see?

I see a TON of work! Oh my!
A small bit of the wall was knocked down. DH will fix that. The rest of the mess will fall upon my shoulders.

There are branches all over the place.

And so much dead stuff to cut down. I felt like I did a lot in the fall, but it doesn't seem like it as I walk around.

I had better start doing stretching exercises to get in shape.

Right now it looks overwhelming, but once I get into it, I am sure the "passion" will return and I will enjoy it as I do every year.

Right at the moment, though, I am not all that eager to start. I need some sunny days to get in the mood!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

On the Day you were Born

what was the #1 song in the nation?

You can find out here.

Mine was "Sixteen Tons" by Tennessee Ernie Ford. Hmmmm...don't think I know that song.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Cruel, Cruel Mother Nature

What a Difference a Day makes.

Today it is cold with a combo of snow and rain. It's foggy and just YUCK.

Oh, well, at least the good day was on the weekend and I can look at the fog through my nice clean picture window :)

I have been working one hour per day on my paper-pieced border. So far I have eight blocks done. I also discovered I made a huge error in my math calculations for the number of blocks I need. It's not 254 - it's only 128. That makes me so much happier! I have done 32 so far. I can do 4 a day if I work one hour. Of course, I am sure I won't do it every day...repetitive stuff begins to bore me after about a week.

I have also decided there will be nothing between the quilt and the border. I didn't realize the borders will make the quilt big enough (105" x 105"). It'a a good thing I threw it on the bed to check beforehand.

I am off now to start sewing...

Just as soon as I eat this delicious broccoli salad from Walmart's deli

I just LOVE this stuff--broccoli, sunflower seeds, raisins and a sweet mayo dressing--YUM!

Oh, by the way, if you want to make a cute little road sign like the one I made above go here:

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Pack Rat?

I save all of my quilting magazines. While looking through a stack today, I came across these 25-year old Quilt World mags.

That's a LONG time to save a magazine!

I still look through them all the time for inspiration (the majority are not quite that old). Posted by Picasa

Ah, Spring Fever

To celebrate, I changed my bed quilt. I made this bow tie a few years ago. It feels like spring to me.

I even quilted tulips in one of its borders.

I will probably freeze to death tonight now that I have removed the incredibly heavy denim quilt. Just in case, I put two other quilts on a rack near the bed so they are easy to grab if needed.

Warm sunshine radiating through the windows also inspired me to move the furniture in the family room. Like most people with smaller homes, I really can't rearrange too much. Basically I switch the position of a large sofa and two side chairs to open the entrance to the deck. I call that my summer arrangement.

Now that I can get to the sliding doors, I may go out and wash the windows. . . or maybe not...I may just sit here and read some blogs.

It is over 50 degrees here today. I took a walk outside to see what the gardens are up to.

I am seeing spring flowers beginning to appear on many blogs.

In my part of the world it still looks like this:

Actually it is not really that bad. The area you see is where DH pulls snow off the roof and blows all the snow away from the house foundation. In many areas we can see bare ground.

I even saw some little heads of sedum autumn joy poking through their winter bed.

There is hope...

Thursday, March 9, 2006

Feel Like Baking Bread this Weekend?

How about making a mold of your naked body and then baking it into bread?

She did it for a good cause.

You can read about it here if your interested.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Spring is in the Air

The past few days have been very sunny and somewhat warm (in the 30's). The snow is beginning to melt and people are talking of spring. In about another 4 weeks I should be able to get outside and start my spring clean-up chores.

I have mixed emotions about that. Right now I am really into the quilting and I know once spring is here, I won't have time to quilt.

I have spent the last few days working on another border for the Star Log Cabin quilt. See this little 16-piece, 5.25 inch block?

This is what it looks when you put four of them together:

I really like the spikeness of this one. I am thinking of using it for a border on the log cabin. It is made from the same fabrics that are in the main quilt. I have determined that I would need 256 of the 5-inch blocks. Yes, you read correctly --- 256 of them! Each one takes me 15-minutes to make. It will take months for me to get them done.

So far I have made 16 of them. I layed them out a few minutes ago with the quilt to see what it would look like. I think I still need to make more to decide if I like it enough to spend that much time making them. Any thoughts on whether I should continue on with this one?

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