Monday, May 27, 2013

Leaving town

On Tuesday I'm leaving for Salinas.  My daughter is having surgery and she will need help for at least two weeks.  This will be the longest I have ever been away from home and family.  I will return briefly for two days because my son is graduating high school.  Then back to Salinas.  Once I finally get home,  I am hosting a luncheon/shower for my sister.   She is getting married at the end of June.  In between, we are invited to two graduation parties and then my son leaves for Hawaii.  Could we schedule one more thing in there?
Meanwhile my tomatoes, lavender and yarrow are all starting to blossom.  Everything should be in full swing when I get back.  Today I am making a big batch of Ragu sauce, which always starts with a soffritto.  Hopefully there will be leftovers for the boy to eat after I leave.
Before I even started packing a suitcase, I got together all the projects I want to bring with me.  LOTS of crochet, including the never ending white cotton blanket, which has now morphed into something completely different from my original plan.  I like it though.
I'm planning on bringing my sewing machine, so I pre-cut everything for my next quilt.  It's going to have a voile backing, and maybe, just maybe, I will use a bright pink binding and some wool batting for extra puffiness.
Of course I'm bringing the lap top too, so I can keep up with your news!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Holiday picnic quilt

I finished my red, white and blue log cabin just in time for Memorial Day weekend.  At 53x53 it makes a good little picnic quilt for one or two.  I hauled out my yarn basket and some iced tea and took it for a test drive under the Oak tree.
I hand quilted it with a 12 wt. variegated cotton thread.  Although I say hand quilted, I mean more of a running stitch.  I don't use hoops or thimbles, just one of those little round leather stick on pads for my fingertips to help prevent soreness from the needle.
 I really like the little floral calico print I used for the binding.  This quilt reminds me of summers at the lake, ham sandwiches on rolls, soft ice cream cones dipped in chocolate and soda in a bottle.  Red canoes, white saltwater sandals, and fireworks after dark reflecting on the water.  I am looking forward to summer!
It has been sooo windy here the past week or so.  The grasses are drying out already and as a result the dogs are getting fox tails stuck in their fur.  I had to take little dog to the vet because two of his paws were infected.  They had to sedate him and probe around to pull out the stickers (yuck).  While he was under anesthesia, they checked out his teeth and found he had a broken tooth as well as a loose one. So they pulled those out as well.  The instructions sent home said to keep him quiet.  No running or jumping.  How on earth do you keep a young Boston Terrier quiet?  Turns out there was nothing to worry about.
You can see his sore paws above.
He assumed this position on the sofa in the den and that was it.  I don't know how this is even comfortable, but I guess he didn't care.
I'll have what he's having.

* In case you were wondering (Pam), His mom was a black and white Boston, and his dad was Brindle colored.  Two of the pups in the litter came out brown, the rest black.  I usually get asked if he is a miniature boxer.  We've never had a Boston and were not familiar with the breed, until our friends showed us the pups.  Now I can't imagine not having one. This little guy is a hoot every single day.  Even when he's drugged he's entertaining. Gotta love it.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

This weekend...

This weekend I am enjoying...
these cute coin purses I made yesterday from the book Zakka Style.  The fabric is a linen blend and the purse frames can be found at The Workroom.
They're lined with cotton and have a layer of batting in between.  I'm not kidding, you can make one faster than it takes the glue to dry on the metal frame.  They are that simple.  And check out the pretty turquoise dot fabric.  On sale at Joann's.  Hurry, get some!

Starbucks Organic shade grown Mexican coffee.  The only coffee I will drink black, because I REALLY like it.  I had a sample in their coffee shop last year, and bought some.  When I went to buy more, it was only offered online.  C'mon Starbucks really?  Don't tease me like that.  You have stores on every corner, of every city, but I have to pay shipping.  Jeez.
What  kind of coffee do you guys like?  I think I need another source.
 By the way the cookie is a recipe from Elana's Pantry.  It's chocolate chip made with blanched almond flour, salt, baking soda, butter, chocolate chips, and sweetened with agave syrup. They are very filling, and a good alternative to white flour and sugar.

My animals have the right idea.  Maybe I will lay in the sun today.   These two follow the sun up the stairs every morning, it's really kind of cute.  When the sun leaves the stairs, they fight over a small patch in the corner of the kitchen.  What a life.

Monday, May 13, 2013

white blanket 2.0

My white cotton blanket has taken on a new life, and I'm excited once again.  I've changed  the pattern to 5 round grannies, joining as I go.  Here I am adding more squares while waiting  for my car to be serviced at the dealership.  I'm getting used to the stares when I pull my crochet out in public.  People usually leave me alone, but this morning one of the mechanics stopped to ask me what I was "knitting."  I didn't bother to correct him, as I'm sure he was just being friendly and wasn't looking for a verbal dissertation on the differences between knitting and crochet.  I just smiled and said "a blanket."  At the time I was holding a granny square no bigger than a coaster.  He whistled and said I sure must have a lot of patience, because that was a long way from a blanket.  I told him if he didn't hurry up with my car I would be able to finish the blanket in time to use it tonight.  Ha!

Totally random and unrelated to the above, is some fortune cookie advice......
So I did.....
Portuguese beer.  Wow!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Stashbuster pillow

I started this pillow to use up some stash, but after completing the two pieces, I wanted to keep going and turn it into a blanket.  I could have made more 16" squares and sewn them together.  I think it would have been cute.  But it meant tracking down more of the same yarn, (and I don't even know where that green came from), thus creating a stash contribution and not a stash elimination. 
So a pillow it is, the color scheme inspired by this granny bag.
  This was the first time I tried the Martha Stewart wool/acrylic blend yarn from Joann's, and I have to admit I like it very much.  I used the pink, white and light blue in this pillow.
After I sewed the front to the back and stuffed it with the pillow form, I turned it over and found that I had the back of the work facing out.  Can you tell?  Well the back of my head won't know the difference when I'm laying on it : )
The flower on the front is a tutorial from Attic 24.

I also picked up some batik fat quarters yesterday, from the Paint Box collection by Laundry Basket Quilts.  The fabric line is quite beautiful.

Happy Mothers Day to all the moms out there!   I started this blog 2 years ago on Mothers Day, my how time flies!  Blogging  has given some purpose to my creativity and I have really enjoyed every bit of it.   Thank you for following or just popping in, leaving comments, and inspiring me with your blogs. What a talented bunch you are, and I'm so glad for the connection.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Catching up

Wow.  It's been a while since I posted.  I was in Monterey again this past weekend with my girls for a birthday.  We shopped in beautiful Carmel, tried a few new (to us) restaurants hoping for really good food.  Sadly, the best thing I ate was a cream cheese croissant and mocha from a coffee shop.  Two of us had a stomach virus, the other had hives and was on antihistamines all weekend.  I  barely took out my camera, so all I came back with was this....
 and this.....
Yeah that about sums up our weekend.  But it was good to get away and we enjoyed being together.  The top photo was of a small outdoor shopping center which was very pretty and very busy.  There were signs on the shop doors which said "No baby strollers", and "No food or drink", however, you were allowed to bring your dogs in.  I'm not kidding.  There were dogs everywhere.  I walked into Anthropologie to find a very large Bernese Mountain dog, sitting with his owner waiting for the wife.
All the dogs were leashed, very well behaved and very purebred.  It was like stepping into the ring at the Eukanuba dog show, or watching Best in Show.
When I came home, I went right into the old sewing room and finished my second candy dish quilt.

I really like the colors on this one and how the top of the candy dish blends into the background fabric.
Thank you all for the great suggestions on my white crocheted blanket!  I'm still toying around with a few ideas, but I'm hoping for a good finish.  Meanwhile I have been working on a pillow.  Usually I start out making a blanket, get bored and turn it into a pillow.  This time I started out making a pillow and I want to turn it into a blanket.  Ha! there is just no satisfying a hooker.