Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Monday, May 29, 2006
Another TW design I have in progress is Tradewinds but I didn't bother to take a picture as I only have a tiny portion of the outer border of the top left corner stitched. Nothing really to see. Until my fabric for Tropical Dream and Teresa Wentzler - Mermaid arrives I'll alternate between FT and Tradewinds. Those two alone should keep me occupied for many, many Mondays to come. Before the end of the summer I will also add Castles by the Sea and come September The Fortunate Traveler will also be added to the Monday rotation. That should set me up with plenty of choices for TW Monday stitching and give me time to get a few others kitted up. I mean I might actually complete one of these and need their slot filled ASAP.
Since it's a holiday weekend I treated myself and started BBD Sunflower House. No scan today since it's a TW Monday, but I plan to work on Sunflower House a little more today and will take a pic or scan my progress tomorrow. There's a Law & Order: Criminal Intent marathon on the USA channel today and since I'm sunburned it seems like spending the afternoon in front of the tv stitching is a good idea. Other than that we plan to grill out some Hawaiian chicken(Lawry's marinade) and just hang out around the house. Boring but nice.
Friday, May 26, 2006
So I've been searching the house high and low for my TW Tropical Dream chart, finally got around to ordering fabric for it(lugana is on sale at Nordic Needle, time to kit up all the TWs in the house) and it vanished. I've had it in the same spot from the moment I purchased it except for the brief time I was writing down my supply list and Annette from Annette's Acre was kind enough to hook me up with the Dinky-Dyes Sapphire. Well I finally found my chart today. It was right in front of me for months. It was hidden away under some papers on the computer desk. It never crossed my mind to look there for the chart. DOH! Looks like I can finally start this project as soon as my fabric arrives from Nordic Needle.
I love it when Quilter's Newsletter Magazine profiles someone who pieces and quilts by hand. It seems like everyone rotary cuts and machine pieces and quilts these days and I feel like I'm the only one slowly but surely tracing my templates onto my fabric and cutting the pieces out using scissors. In the "Meetin' Place" in the June issue they profile Amy Bright from Tucson, Arizona. She says, and I quote, "I don't use shortcuts or gadgets; I don't even have a rotary cutter." Finally someone other than Jinny Beyer who pieces and quilts by hand. Sure there's no instant gratification and quilts take much longer(think years in my case) but it is nice to know that there are at least three of us holdouts out there. Oh and I should state that the only thing any quilt I make has in common with an Amy Bright or Jinny Beyer quilt is that they were made by hand. Believe me you could pick mine out in a nanosecond.
Lately I've been trying to determine if I'm just a freak or a normal person with a crafting idiosyncrasy. You see, I pretty much constantly think about my projects, projects I want to stitch, things I want to make. I go through every day in a haze. No matter what I'm doing(it's especially disconcerting when I'm driving) I'm running projects through my mind. Making lists, trying to figure out if it's ok to start planning on starting a new project in the next week or two, do I have all my supplies, can a person really have 8 TW projects in some stage of progress by the end of the year and keep their sanity? The other day sitting on the beach talking the daughter of a friend I was annoyed that she sat down and started talking, couldn't she see I was lost in my daydreams? Daydreams of completed projects, quilts all over the house(really cool, hip, funky quilts and a few tradtional ones too), Log Cabin afghans from Mason-Dixon Knitting on every bed, a kitchen drawer full of knitted "warsh" rags. What does the normal person think about going about their daily tasks if they aren't dreaming about projects? If I thought about important things like dinner, vacuuming, laundry, bills I'd go freakin' nuts. Viva le point de croix! Ok it's been a long day, kids home, whining about how "bored" they are. Boys, "READ A BOOK! Books are good for you!"
Weekend plans are pretty tame. The wildest thing on our agenda might be a trip to the beach. It's a very scary place on holiday weekends. Not scary in a crime spree kind of way. Just scary because it's like the scene in Summer Rental when John Candy and his family are trying to find a spot on the beach and there are bodies everywhere. EVERYWHERE! That's our beach on holidays. It's pretty bad once summer kicks in even through the week unless you get there at the crack of dawn but at the crack of dawn your chances of sunburn are minimized. I love the smell of the beach on holidays. Something about the scent of Coppertone and Hawaiian Tropic that always puts me in a vacation state of mind. I can go to the beach every day but the one day I smell someone's suntan oil the day just has a festive feel to it. My sunblock doesn't count, it's the scent of it in the air that creates that mental vacation.
So some beaching, some reading(would love to finish The Labyrinth this weekend), plenty of stitching(I'm being positive), and maybe a Pink Panther marathon, maybe a Grey's Anatomy marathon, maybe a Lord of the Rings Marathon(a little rain this weekend wouldn't be a bad thing, I mean we are in a drought at the moment, just sayin'). DS#3 and I usually welcome summer with a Jaws marathon, that might be fun. Oh and plenty of grilling out if it doesn't rain(chances are slim that it will rain).
Happy long weekend to all(at least in the USA)!
Thursday, May 25, 2006
I've also misplaced my TW Tropical Dream chart. Can you say "annoyed"? I wanted this to be my TW Monday start, if I can track down the chart from where ever I might have stashed it(the last time I remember looking at it I was making a supply list) if not, I'll put a few stitches in on Fantasy Triptyche. Fantasy Triptyche is a BAP, that's probably an understatement. It's one of those I want to stitch but have no clue where I'll hang it when finished if I can afford the framing. But that's not really the point is it?
Did I mention yesterday that June is going to be a TW June for me this year? Tropical Dream, Castles by the Sea, Tradewinds, Mermaid and Fantasy Triptyche will all get some attention this summer. I have high hopes of actually finishing Tropical Dream before the end of the summer.
Every so often I start to whine about not being able to do everything I want to do. I wander Blogland and read about all these great crafters completing so many great projects. A quilt in a month, tote bags galore, stitchers that stitch using turbo charged needles and I have to step back and remind myself I'm a slow stitcher. It's a fact of life. I do beat this dead horse a lot don't I? It's just, I've been working on this stupid House #2 on HOHRH and it's like the neverending house block. What is up with that? Everyday I think I'm going to finish that block and every night when I go to bed it doesn't seem any closer to finished than it did that morning.
Yeah I know there are so many more important things I could be whining about but I don't want to whine about those things here(our world going to hell in a handbasket), so I whine about stitching.
This weekend I hope to get some things organized, this is a desperate attempt to track down Tropical Dream, make some supply lists and come up with some kind of project plan. I think once things are organized I'll feel better about the pile of projects in the workbasket.
Let's see, there are several quilts swirling around my brain at the moment and none of them were mentioned yesterday, some t-shirt stenciling ideas, my Alien Illusion scarf, a knitted log cabin blanket from Mason-Dixon Knitting(just scared of that whole picking up stitches thing), finishing up my mom's crocheted afghan(so far I believe I hold the title for worst daughter on the face of the earth), and a gazillion cross stitch projects that are really what I want to be working on all the time.
Good thing the days are getting longer.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Truthfully, I shouldn't whine about having to take the 10 yr old to the beach every morning. Life could be much worse. While I was sitting there yesterday morning, watching no less than 10 dolphins put on a show, I started thinking that my priorities needed an adjustment. My 10 yr old won't be my 10 yr old much longer. He's eventually going to be my 15 yr old and not want to spend time with mom. Why do I care if the laundry is done, if the dishwasher has been loaded, if it's been four days since I last vacuumed, if I should be home cooking the chicken for the Chicken and Noodles I planned to make for dinner(we ended up having pizza-shocker-no?). Why in the big scheme of things, in a world literally going to hell, do I care about anything other than sitting on the beach hanging out with my youngest son, the one who still kind of likes me? Nothing in the world is more important than that. Those hours are important. They should be treasured. So my attitude is adjusted and I'm taking it one day, ok, one hour at a time.
Very little stitching has been accomplished over the last few weeks but below you can see a scan of my minimal progress on Houses of Hawk Run Hollow's House #2. I would love, love, love to have this block completed by the end of the weekend but I don't see it happening.
Yesterday when I gave in and took the three whiners to the Mall I worked on Samsarah's I'll Always Be Wildflower while sitting in the food court waiting for them to decide they were finally bored with what the mall had to offer. This project was started last summer and worked on while I spent the night at the Dallas/Ft.Worth airport-I'll never do the standby thing again. I haven't touched it since that weekend. This summer it will be my going places project. No pics because middle son has sucked the life out of every battery in the house doing his skateboarding videos for his My Space site. I've told him when I replace the batteries in my camera he isn't to touch it again. It's a pricey little number(by my standards) that I waited several years to finally get my hands on(the Nikon part not necessarily this version of the camera). His performance art can be filmed just as well with the duct taped HP camera. What? I'm mean? Well I found my Nikon Coolpix 7600 sitting on the front porch railing the other night. I freaked!
I have my mother's crocheted afghan pretty much finished, I should have taken the time to sew the blocks together by now but I hate that part! I really need to get it done this weekend.
I've got an embroidery jones going at the moment and want to find some cool pirate/sea/mermaid designs either as ready to purchase transfers(yep I know about Sublime Stitching) or have the spousal unit draw off some things onto muslin blocks for me so that I can start embroidering blocks for an eventual quilt. I go through this occaisionally(ok, every hour of every day) once I browse craftster.org. There are so many creative people over there and I can spend hours looking at the pictures and writing down ideas of my own for future projects. Until I get my designs gathered up I'm going to practice on some dish towels. I've never done any decorative embroidery and the stitches have me a bit intimidated. For the most part I think I can get by on the running stitch and the stem stitch and the satin stitch. Not sure what I'm going to do when I get to the nasty French knot. Since these will be quilt blocks instead of towels I can use beads instead of knots but for the tea towels, I need to suck it up and learn after 30+ years how to do a stupid French knot.
My project list keeps getting longer and longer. I hope to start TW's Tropical Dream soon(I've misplaced the chart), TW's Castles by the Sea, and TW's Mermaid. One of these will be a new start next Monday. I want to get back to work on TW's Fantasy Triptyche and Tradewinds. Somehow I will work out some kind of TW Monday rotation for these projects and maybe finish a couple in this life time. After Labor Day I want to start TW's Fortunate Traveller.
My current WIP are:
Carriage House Samplings' Houses of Hawk Run Hollow
When I finish HOHRH I will start working on Goode Huswife's With My Needle. I have a few stitches in this project but not a lot.
When I finish Liberty Sampler I will add Mirabilia's Lady of the Flag to the mix. I am close to the halfway mark on this project.
My most recent new start is Abbey Lane's California Wine Sampler. Once Wildflower is completed this will be my carry along project.
I have so many projects piled up in the "already started project basket" that I seriously want to give some long time UFOs much needed attention. Of course I have a few new starts lined up but haven't purchased the charts yet so will hold off mentioning them for the time being.
I have my pirate/mermaid/sea themed embroidery quilt project running around my brain sending me into creative insanity land, and I want to restart DS#1's Ohio Star quilt. I found some great fabric at the new LQS. I want to start sketching out all three boys' "Story of my Life" quilts. I plan to do a mix of applique and pieced blocks, probaby appropriate cross stitched blocks too all related to where they were born, where we've lived over the years, school blocks for the schools they attended, blocks to represent their sports interests and hobbies, blocks to represent family, you get the idea. Then the back will be pictures I print out on to fabric and will piece those together to created the back of the quilts. These quilts are very long term and I have no intention of completing them any time in the near future but I want to get a design idea for each quilt and start looking for blocks to incorporate into each quilt. I'm not a quilter. I'm a wannabe. I wish I could embrace quilting the way I love cross stitch but cross stitch is my passion, quilting is just a different way to express myself. I'm not good at it, all my sewing and piecing is by hand(think primitive). But I love coming up with ideas for quilts. I don't know why I love that so much but I do. I think the embroidered quilt is going to be the most fun.
Has anyone out there been following a lot of the freeze paper stencil projects going on in Blogland such as, angry chicken: little elf shirt or Flickr: freezer paper stencils? I definitely want to do some shirts in the next couple of weeks. Have a few designs running around my brain.
Yep, lots of creative ideas and projects planned for the summer. I need about 24 more hours every day to do everything I want to do.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
For those that asked, the youngest boy wasn't in school a few days last week so he could hang with his cousins. When you only see family a few times a year a little hookey is ok. They haven't been doing much of anything at school the last week or so anyway as we only have one more day left, HEAVEN HELP ME! August 2nd can't get here fast enough!
In my crafty world I still have to sew together the afghan I made for my mother. I'm having trouble finding a yarn needle large enough. I need to make a trip to the store who shall not be named and see if I can find one with an eye big enough for the Homespun yarn. The one I've been trying to use just seems to shred the yarn.
I think I can safely say I'm at the halfway mark on House #2 of Houses of Hawk Run Hollow. The stitching on this is going slow, no way I'll have the whole design completed by June 1. Maybe by the end of June but I'm no longer a goal setter. Goals just suck the fun out of any project, at least for me.
I've also been working here and there on a longtime WIP, Liberty Sampler , by Hester's Needle.
I also want to gather some supplies together to try to make a log cabin afghan from the
Mason-Dixon Knitting : The Curious Knitters' Guide: Stories, Patte book. I also want to make a couple of warshrags. Their spelling not mine! Although I say "warsh" instead of "wash". What can I say, I'm Southern!
The middle son and I were at the mall the other day and I treated the two of us to pretzels and drinks to the price of $9.50! I decided then and there to give pretzel making a try. Yesterday I made my first batch and they weren't bad. This is the recipe I used:
Mall Pretzels - All Recipes - Bread I need to practice my rolling out technique and my pretzel shaping skills but the recipe itself was good. I made two batches and could never get the same texture as the pretzels at the mall but they were much better than the frozen pretzels I sometimes buy. I had one for breakfast this morning and it tasted better after sitting a night. Will definitely be good dipped in some cheese dip.
Today's recipe will be:
Buttery Soft Pretzels - All Recipes - Bread I'll let ya know how that works out.
The last recipe I'm going to attempt is:
Baked Pretzels - All Recipes - Bread
The first recipe I adapted for my bread machine and the one I'm trying today I worked out to fit in my bread machine, but the last one is already written for the bread machine so I'm interested to see if it ends up being better than the other two just because I tweaked those recipes.
I've also been reading reviews of various Moosewood Cookbooks. I have Mollie Katzen's original version of The Moosewood Cookbook and it's been a favorite for a long time. I have her Enchanted Broccoli Forest and never cared for it as much as Moosewood. I'm considering investing in Moosewood Cooks At Home right now. I also have Sundays at Moosewood. I'd like to get back to more whole foods, more things cooked at home. I just really hate cooking. Then again when I read my Laurell's Kitchen Cookbook, I start to get all spiritual about the food thing. How it nourishes us and the beauty of the colors. Then I think, oh shut up and cook! But there has to be some kind of balance between cooking good food and making it fast and healthy. I can't seem to find my Cooking Through Quilt Country cookbook and am worried I loaned it out and can't remember who. That is one of my all time favorite cookbooks.
Friday, May 12, 2006
The water was a little chilly but everyone had a good time. Here we're catching some rays!
Wipe out! Someone got buried in the sand.
Never fear Sandgirl got her revenge! Look, Missy, no sand!
Why isn't that boy in school?
A good time was had by all. Believe it or not I'm going to miss having these girls around. The horomonal level in my house shifted in my favor this week. That's POWER! Girl Power!
Thursday, May 11, 2006
There she is, doing her own thing. Did you know that these bleachers are apparently soundproofed? I called her, told her to get down, she appeared to not hear a word I said.
We decided to sit here, everyone else moved to other seats. Wow a whole section to ourselves!
Next we visit the touch pool. Lots of nifty sea creatures to touch and hold.
Mr. Horseshoe Crab seems to enjoy his visitors.
His visitors on the other hand thought he felt pretty gross.
Look, a cool shell, wait....what does that sign say?
For the record, that was an empty shell waiting for it's next hermit crab resident.
They look happy don't they? Well things can only go down hill from here.
Let's see, should I take a moment and apologise to the family who's Norman Rockwellesque home video was disrupted by me running through the scene not once but twice, oh and for sticking my tongue out right in the middle of your picture but I didn't appreciate your nasty condescending look when all I did was remove a screaming kid from a seahorse merry go round. I'm sure your perfect little angel would just say, "Of course papa I am ready to leave if it is your wish." Give me a break.
And Ms. Dolphin trainer chick was it really too much to ask when all Laney wanted was to see the dolphins jump up and touch the red balls one more time? I mean what's one more jump between dolphins? Also, why didn't you let Laney throw the football? She's just a three yr old but has a good arm. Believe me she was right on target when she punched out the neighbor girl for the swing this afternoon.
In the car I asked Laney what she liked most about the trip to the Gulfarium, the dolphins, the sea lions, me dragging her kicking and screaming out the door? She said, "Missy, you didn't drag me out, you carried me out."
Total injuries for the day: one skinned leg from slipping on the rock beside the dolphin while trying to punch out a sister. You can figure out which was the puncher and which one was the punchee yourselves.
Total flip flops lost to the sharks in the shark moat: zero but we came close a couple of times.
Number of people clapping when we left: 57, but that's just a rough estimate.
All in all a good day.
Important fact of the week: It's not about the pizza, it's all about the garlic butter sauce. Many a child's dinner can be ruined if there is no garlic butter sauce to dunk the pizza in. Who knew?
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Boogie boarding and shouldn't that boy be in school?
Proof that I cook, or rather when someone is screaming for pancakes now, I make pancakes NOW! Look at the face....should have it seen when I said, "Ok I'll make pancakes as soon someone can help with Alex" well that didn't work. Pancakes now means pancakes 5 mins ago. This is also an example of "let me pour the syrup on your pancakes"..."No I can do it myself" What do you get? Pancake soup! She helped cook too. If you consider helping sticking your fingers in the batter bowl, licking your fingers and sticking them back in the bowl of batter, and licking the spoon. (uh, I passed on a plate of pancakes, I held out for pizza)
First morning, see she's OK. Blurry pic, because I wanted to snap it before she realized I wasn't holding her!
Current injury report, one hurt toe, several ant bites, and 1 yellow fly bite.
P.S. Someone could have warned us about the terror that a tornado warning strikes in the heart of Harleigh. The warning went off on the tv, the child freaked! After we explained it was Alabama, she said we were close to Alabama, we said not that close. Finally got her calmed down, but I don't think she really believed us.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
This is really a shout out to the woman at the beach who watched me carry a huge 11 month old baby, a large beach bag, two body boards and beach blanket up a 5 ft sand dune, and then watched us tumble right back down...ok not really tumble down...I stumbled, went on my knees, baby never touched sand, but everything went flying, thanks a lot for N-O-T-H-I-N-G! I do appreciate you pointing out to me that she was the one crying and I was that one that fell. Would it have made you feel better if I started sobbing? Well I didn't because I had three other kids running to the car to shower off--I parked right next to an outdoor shower.....but anyway, thanks a lot for pointing out the obvious, while not saying, "do you need some help?"
So family here's the update of yesterday. The ride home from Mobile was eventless except for one pee stop at the Florida Welcome Center. Guess which one needed to pee? Then it was interesting trying to get them out of the rest stop because automatic sinks and hand dryers are just too cool. We get back in the car and head home after matching our feet to the animal feet in the concrete in front of the rest area.
We get home, rest for oh, 5 seconds and head to the beach. Harleigh loves it but stays where I tell her too, Laney kind of freaked at first but then we started kicking the water, she now believes she controls all the water on earth but she had a blast. Alex, well she sat on the shoreline, waves coming right up to her, the child never cried, never whined, she loved it. She loves eating sand more and the kid has an addiction to salt. She kept sticking her hand in the water and sucking the salt water off her hand. The funniest part was her trying to lick every bit of salt flavoring off her body.
Then it was back home to play. Harleigh played Toon Town with Harrison, Laney played with everyone on the street and wanted to go see Pam because she "had been to that house before" loves her fort in her back yard and Alex was very good.
Papa Johns for dinner and oh I no longer have to worry about the animal smell in house since the couch is now covered in Garlic butter. Garlic smells much better than dog anyway.
Everyone went to sleep ok last night, Alex kind of woke up every few hours but as long as I was holding her she was fine.
So have fun on the trip and I'll post pics later today or first thing tomorrow.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
This past weekend I made this:
Mexican Monkey Cake*-There's a pic on my camera but my camera is missing at the moment. I'm sure it's in a bag around here somewhere. This cake was so good that before I could take a picture of an individual piece of it, the cake vanished. It has now been put on my family's top ten list of favorite desserts.
I also made this:
Chocolate Cake Emergency*-This disappeared before I could take a picture of the cake! The kids liked it, it was like brownie bread. They scarfed it down hot from the oven. I kept telling them it's supposed to be better the next day. They didn't care.
* should have checked the links before publishing. If you go to the link provided, click on farmgirlfare.com in the right hand column, then you will see these recipes in the side bar under previous posts or recent posts. Believe me they are worth the trouble.
There has been no stitching around here the last couple of days. OK, I put in a few stitches here and there on House #2 on Houses of Hawk Run Hollow but not enough to really count. So much for getting this project completed by the end of May. I've moved my goal to the end of June.
I did finish all 14 blocks for the afghan for my mom, but haven't had a chance to sew them all together. Once I get them all sewed together I can then start working on the three DC panels which should go rather quickly. I hope to be able to get it to her by Mother's Day.
Current TV Obsession
1876 Texas Ranch House on PBS. Is anyone else watching this show? If so are you as disappointed as me that the ranch family on the show are completely and utterly clueless about life back in those days?
A few issues I have with the show:
The wife makes sure that the ranch hands know that she and her husband are making decisions together(the husband is whipped if you know what I mean). I believe from everything I've read about that time period that husbands probably did make decisions with their wives input but never in a million years would the husband let the ranch hands know that.
The girl of all work(maid) insists on wanting to be a ranch hand. The girl placed in this role never ever wanted to be a maid. She always planned on being a ranch hand. I haven't had a chance to research how many women rode on cattle drives back then but I think it's safe to say there weren't too many and only extreme circumstances would have brought that about. The ranch hands are all working well together but the wife is insisting that the husband let the girl of all work be a ranch hand. One of the daughters commented that things have been a lot happier in the house since the girl of all work has been off at ranch hand school.
The Ranch owner fired the cook, he gave the position to another one of the cowboys. It seems to me that when they lost another ranch hand, that the girl of all work would have been sent to cook for the cowboys twice a day and then this hand would have been given his old job back but instead the wife wants to keep him in the cook position and allow the maid to become a ranch hand. I don't think there's any way that would have played out back in 1876. The women keep talking about how sexist it is. That's the point. Back then women's work was women's work and man's work was man's work you. The woman who is the girl of all work is an anthropology student and you would think she would have a clue about life during those times and more respect for the role she is supposed to be portraying. She said in an interview that while they are living in the 19th Century they are 21st Century people and she should be allowed to ride with the ranch hands because they are shorthanded(feel a need to point out that they cowboys are doing just fine even with losing a couple of people and the owner knows this and has been wanting to not put the girl in the cowboy position because things are good and everyone is getting along-the wife insists-he's so whipped). She's wrong. The whole point of the experience is to live according to society's rules during that period in time.
A few other things that I found interesting, when they met with the Native Americans who were holding one of the ranch hands until they could make a trade for some cattle, the Ranch owner said he won't deal with terrorists. Dude you are living in the 19th century could you get a clue? He didn't want to trade cows for the life of one of his ranch hands, I believe that a ranch owner would have done anything to secure the freedom of one of his employees. Also the women were allowed to sit around with the Native Americans there and I don't think that would have happened either. The women would have served the drinks or food and then went back in the house. Once again I could be wrong.
Oh and this really pissed me off, when the cook was fired, the owner started providing meals for the cowboys until they could work something out. They treated the cowboys like they were doing them a favor providing their meals. Are they serious? Do they not think that any ranch owner would have made sure that the men rounding up the cattle were well fed if there was any way possible? I may have missed some parts of shows but I've never seen the family offer eggs or milk to the cowboys, much less any food from the garden. The cook that was fired said he felt like he was begging when he would ask for an onion or any supplies he needed.
So my conclusion is the Ranch Family is a family of jerks and the guys who are the ranch hands are sticking to their roles pretty well. One commented that if this was 1876 and they could leave and find work somewhere else they all would walk.
Tonight is the series finale and I'm looking forward to it. We've had fun watching it this week.
New Family Guilty Pleasure?
Heaven help us, it's Deal or No Deal. Why do I feel like such a moron when I watch this show? Don't answer that.