Friday, January 30, 2009
1. I really like cooking nutritious foods right now. Could be the winter, could be the budget, but my grocery cart has more real food in it these days.
2. Ouch is the word you'll most often hear me say if I stubbed my toe.
3. Possession is not necessary as long as you have access. Does everyone in the neighborhood really need a weed eater and a rolling pin?
4. Who is Captain John Sparrow? I had to look him up. I really do want to go to more movies this year.
5. Marshmallows and fire go together like quilts and beads. Synergy.
6. Winter goes on and on. When Christmas comes, I think, oh, we're well on the way through winter because it's the end of December. Then comes the end of January and I realize that just wasn't true. One of my resolutions for the year (and I promise this is the end of the resolution talk) is to really notice when spring comes. Really notice the way the warmth feels and really hear the bird sounds and really look at those first spring flowers.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to making mashed potato casserole (recipe below,) tomorrow my plans include working and starting my new quilt, and Sunday I want to watch the Super Bowl. Should be good. I'm not going to order pizza, though.
Mashed Potato Casserole
Make one box (both pouches) of your favorite instant mashed potatoes. Add one package spinach, thawed and drained, and 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
Happy Friday, everyone.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
This is January's.
You'll notice a dark background for this dark month, rough edges and a "covered up" area toward the bottom which is hard to see in the photo.
There are things to represent a large look back at 2008, lists of goals for 2009, snowflakes and a snowdrift,
Christmas projects finished, Christmas cards mailed,
a string of lights for the Festival of Lights, a movie ticket from Benjamin Button
and a ray of hope with the inaugaration of the new president.
I had thought I'd put the journal quilts in a binder, but I find that I like this after all and will put a binding on it. Like life, it ends up all fitting together.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
I originally started with another design on this throw and it just wasn't working. I think the fabric is just too soft for heavy embroidery. Finally I gave it up and cut off the design. Now I have this slightly smaller throw - luckily the design was in the bottom corner - and a scarf for Nora. I was tired of seeing it laying around but I'm delighted with the way it turned out.
It's icing now and it's supposed to start snowing again. I wonder what tomorrow will look like.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Much more my style is this scarf I started knitting today and could hardly put down. I want more of this yarn.
My favorite magazine ever is Quilting Arts Magazine, and my friend Kay just sent the generous gift of a subscription. She said it looked more like my style than the traditional quilt books in the store, and of course she's right. Thanks, Kay.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
We talked it over
and decided not to stay this time but to come back earlier another day.
A phone call told us that our next choice at Newport on the Levee had an hour wait, so we decided to try LaRosa's, another Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati favorite. The wait there was short, and they have Blue Moon on tap and a florentine foccaca that I love. Not quite the ambience but really good food, so that was a good choice. A fun Saturday night.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
1. Oh, I am so happy, generally. I'm glad to have the happiness gene, or whatever it is that got me the happiness state.
2. I like changes, big and little. It's my natural tendency to hang back a little, not jump right in, but I enjoy the change process and most changes.
3. During mealtimes, I read if I'm by myself, which is generally. It's a habit I started as a child and have continued.
4. Two snuggle times with Aaron last night; are you kidding me? The kid is a climber, not a snuggler. But last night he crawled up on my lap not once but twice and stayed for about a minute each time.
5. Right now I'd like to be preparing for a long day off instead of thinking about the work day to come. But there will be dinner with Steph and helping with baths at the end of it, and I'm looking forward to that. Mike's off on a golf break at, as Nora says, the desert. Translation: Phoenix.
6. A sewing machine walking foot is my favorite gadget. Love that thing. It makes top and bottom fabrics feed at the same rate and is really invaluable for quilt sashings, borders, and bindings. I used it for the purses you saw yesterday, too.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to picking up dinner at Panera for Steph and me, tomorrow my plans include dinner again, this time with Janet and Garry at Pompillios, famous around here for the scene in Rain Man, and Sunday I want to make something pretty.
Happy Friday, everyone.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
I'm trying, really trying, to get my dining room table cleaned off. This has been an ongoing project since the holidays. Finally, today, I took my Christmas collage to the printer, which cleared up a large spot where the photos were. All I can figure is that next year I need to be started way early if I don't want to spend January playing catch up.
Toward that end, one of my goals for the year is to make a few things every month and set them aside. This month I've done fleece scarves, and they're tucked away in a drawer. I think that next month will be purses, since I already have a good start and I'll probably make another one during the class. I want to embroider a few, too, like the dragon you saw earlier in the week.
And, I've just got to get back to quilting. I am doing a quilted wall hanging at work with pink and green hand dyes and embroidered roses, but I want to get back to my home quilting. Around October I got the urge to do real sewing, following the patterns, but for now I've had enough of that.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
We went to the movies at Newport on the Levee Friday night to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Great movie. Here's a picture of Winnie and me after the movie.And here's one of Sarah and me.
Sarah and Winnie went on to Louisville on Saturday. They found that one of Sarah's favorite spots from her Louisville days, Cafe Mimosa, had burned.This one is from the elevator at the hotel where they stayed. The little "dots" are actually floating letters.
Monday, January 19, 2009
I also worked for awhile on my knitting. I went to the yarn store for a lesson yesterday, but there wasn't a lesson as listed on the web site, only many people buying yarn. Rather than actually scheduling another one, I decided to try to muddle on for now. My goal is to make granola baby hats, and surely I can do that on my own.
I know that tomorrow night I'll be eager to watch the replays of the inauguration speech and festivities. Maybe I'll just bring my sewing machine downstairs and get some quilting in that way.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Monday my new tv was delivered.
Tuesday there was a gift bag with a box of chocolates at my door.
Wednesday there was a box of goodies from my sister and a Patchwork Place quilt calendar from my niece Ariel.
Thursday brought an Egg McMuffin from Sandra at work.
Friday Sarah and Winnie stopped by on their way to Louisville to spend the night and take me to the movies. They knew that seeing more movies is one of my New Years resolutions.
AND on Friday I used a gift certificate for this felting machine:
complete with five needles that never need threading. There is going to be some cool embellishing going on.
Saturday morning there was a veggie quiche from Winnie.And today, flowers from Nora, made from an art kit she got for Christmas.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
1. Enough with the bitter cold weather. I'm sure everyone's saying that. One thing I definitely have to do today is refill the washer fluid in my truck, unless it's just frozen. Yesterday morning I was heading into the sun and had to pull over and try to clean the windshield, not easy at 2 degrees. The whole truck is a salty mess, although I'm grateful for road salt to keep me and everyone else from slipping all over.
2. Life causes me to be conflicted. I believe that we're responsible for making our lives turn out the way we want them. On the other hand, I'm spiritual enough to believe that there is a plan for us. And these two beliefs don't always seem to mesh.
3. I've been craving the beach for months now, although maybe I'm about to trade in that craving for warm weather. I heard a commercial the other day for the Newport Aquarium, where the temperature is always 76 degrees. Maybe I'll head on over soon.
4. The grandbabes make me laugh. Even little Aaron asking for a cracker or Nora telling me that she's too young to sew with machines makes me laugh.
5. I wish I could go to Gatlinburg next week. I love Gatlinburg, I know it's called the redneck Riviera, but I love it. Any season. I was there in February a couple of years ago and it was still crowded. I love the movement of the people, the general tackiness of it, the Smokey Mountain Brewery, the gas fireplaces in the motel rooms, and the mountains. I don't like the shopping, though. Half an hour is enough of that.
6. The Ecovillage at Berea College has been on my mind lately. Part of it is the energy saving features on these cold days, but what I'm missing is the neighbors. The little ones and the bigger ones. I can remember all of them and where they lived. I hope everyone's doing well.
7. And as for the weekend, Friday I was looking forward to going to the movies with Sarah at the end of the day and a visit from Steph, Saturday my plans include a Saturday off work, some extra sleep, and quiche for breakfast, and Sunday I want to take my first knitting lesson.
Happy Weekend, everyone.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
1 lb ground sirloin (I added the 12 oz pack of Morningstar Meal Starters Grillers crumbles instead. Even if you eat meat, you might want to consider it because all you have to do is put it in. No browning.)
2 medium onions, chopped.
1 quart diced tomatoes
1 can white hominy
1 can Great Northern beans
1 can kidney beans
2 cups water
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 pkg Hidden Valley Ranch dressing seasoning
Brown the ground sirloin with the onions and drain. Put everything in a pot and simmer for one hour.
Stay warm, everyone.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Last night was a late night too, we worked until 10 since there was a workshop. The material presented was so great, though, that it hardly felt like working. I got all kinds of cool ideas.
I'm so happy with my resolution to cook, then divide things into portions. Last night there was spaghetti and tonight taco soup waiting, both from the weekend. And last night when I got home there was a box of chocolates inside my storm door - I love late Christmas presents.
Early this morning I started experimenting with fusible interfacing and making several cuts through fabric squares. I got four squares and half the border finished, and it was fun. I think this has some great potential.
Once again, I'm loving the little space heater in the studio because, as everyone knows, it's COLD. That little heater is such a comfort, sort of like the red slippers I got. I've got to do more of the comfort thing.
Monday, January 12, 2009
They stopped the channel surfing right on the Fons and Porter program on KET, probably because it was the highest channel. I look at it as a good omen.
Last night I helped Nora with the Build A Bear kit that I got her for Christmas. The head was already sewn and the sewing holes around the edges were prepunched. Then, to make it all the better, there was a little shirt, pair of shorts, and shoes that covered most of the stitching anyway. Genius. Not that any hiding was necessary, that little girl was good at the sewing.My next step is to have her sit on my lap while I sew with the sewing machine, even though she told me that she couldn't sew with machines yet. We'll see about that.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
You saw my mother's cornhusk nativity figures right before Christmas, but my mother was also a fabulous art quilter, long before there was such a term. Her work from 35 years ago would fit right in today in the spirit of Nancy Crow and others.
She used very little new fabric, mostly what people gave her or what she picked up in the church's second-hand store, often clothes that she took apart. She also used the scraps in wonderful, colorful crocheted rugs.
Sometimes when I'm quilting I wish that my mother could have had the machines and fabrics we have today and wonder what she would have made. I have a feeling, though, that the spirit of her wonderful work could have been diluted if she used anything other than what she did.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Then, unrelated, I found out today that I'll be doing a workshop about making placemat bags, so you'll be seeing more in the future, with different kinds of handles, embroidery, linings, various things.
I've made a couple of the red bags - I got those placemats in Christmas red for half off in the after-Christmas sales. They're my project for January. Another of my New Years resolutions is to made a few of a different project every month so that next year when Christmas comes I'll have some ready-made gifts.
Sarah, a picture of the dish towel that you wanted embroidered as a gift for your friend is below. I'll be sending it next week. It looks best at a little distance away, kind of like in the picture.
Friday, January 9, 2009
1. It's January, it's cold outside, chilly inside, time for changing and dreaming. And thinking about how to save energy. I've gotten lazy about using the dryer lately, and my basement has a really nice 50's clothesline set-up. Guess I need to look for a new drying rack to go with that. I used mine my dyeing and now it has dye on it that is likely to dye my socks. Guess I'll add less dryer use to my resolution list.
2. Time to create is what I crave most right now. Time to create for me, I mean, not holiday things, not shop samples. I'm not even sure what direction to go, but I've learned that if I just start somewhere, the rest will come. That was probably the hardest lesson when I got started - I thought I needed a completed picture in my mind of what I wanted to make. Not so.
3. Cork and wine go together like nothing else. That pop when the cork comes out is so satisfying. Yesterday when I was looking for something else, I found a very tapered cork with a wooden top that is used to replace the original cork. I think Sarah got it for me. I used it right away, pulling out a cork that just wouldn't go very far back into the bottle. Nice.
4. A freezer full of little dinner goodies is so nourishing. That's another of my resolutions (yes, I have a lot of those.) I've never been really good at the cooking-for-one business and am way too apt to make one thing, eat some of it (and not make anything else for dinner,) for the next couple of days, then throw the rest away, or, stop and get something. I'm getting a lot of those little plastic containers and freezing portions so that when dinner comes I can choose something good and add veggies and a salad. And, I'm going to be more conscientious about using all my produce.
5. Let us dare to try new things and dream a lot. I'm so hopeful about our new president's plans to improve our infastructure as a way to stimulate our economy. I can't believe the money we've spent without paying attention to roads, new energy sources, education. It's crazy.
6. I love my home, but I want to make it a lot more pretty. I get so much comfort and creative energy by looking at pretty and colorful things and I want to do more to surround myself with them. I don't exactly know what that will look like, but it's coming. And yes, that's a resolution too.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to eating at Applebee's, one of my coworkers has a gift certificate and she's treating me, tomorrow my plans include working, but also dyeing something red, and Sunday I want to change out the visuals at church (don't know yet what's next but I have a feeling it will be red,) and go to the potluck with scalloped potatoes and cake. And before the weekend is over I want to see the grandbabes and take a few pictures of that pretty red hair.
Happy Friday, everyone.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Then tonight I heard that the deadline for going digital may be extended. Had I known that, I probably would have waited. Sooner or later, though, I would have had to make up my mind.
In the spirit of New Years resolutions, I also joined the Y and bought a couple of new lights for my studio, which was way too dark. And picked up my mower at the shop. It was a good day for getting things done.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
I'm grateful that Aaron has a mom and dad who make sure that there is a pacci in the diaper bag at times like this. His pre-surgery visit showed that he is in the 75th percentile for weight in his age group and off the charts for height. That's probably why the little guy eats so much, he's just trying to maintain.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
It was fabulous to do a holiday thing with no preparation, no thinking ahead, and a free trip in with the family pass. All I had to do was get in the van about five minutes after I came home from work, I didn't even have to drive anywhere. The Christmas music (including Grandma and the reindeer) was fun and light-hearted and even though I thought I was so done with that kind of Christmas music, I enjoyed it.
Friday, January 2, 2009
I can't say the same for a few other projects, which should be going quickly, but aren't. And, then there are those Christmas cards . . . .
I'm also thinking through some goals for the year and getting my house back in order and, maybe, redecorated a little. For the last many years, I've had a couple of pink and green quilts that I rotated on my bed, but I had this red one in the guest bedroom at Christmas and remembered how much I liked it. I like red almost any time, anyway, so I'll try it one my bed for awhile. When I moved into my house, I planned for a red living and dining area and at the last minute chickened out and went with a very pale pink. I was really pleased with that for the first few months, then started wondering if I should have stayed with the red. We'll see how I like this and go from there.
It was a good New Years Eve. Because I worked until 6, I didn't make the trip to Ashland, KY, like I usually do, and I went to Steph's instead. The food was ever so delicious. Helen and Jack brought trout and green beans, Bridget brought bread stuffed with mushrooms, cheese, and butter, Steph made a tossed salad with goat cheese, walnuts, and pears. I brought homemade applesauce and a pumpkin cheesecake from Kroger's. Except for that cheesecake, everything looked and tasted fabulous.
Here are Aunt Tina and Bridget playing with Aaron, who had a big evening showing off his talking skills.
I try to have a few goals that are long term throughout the year and some that can be accomplished fairly quickly and easily. I like to feel like I'm getting somewhere. Looking through last year's, though, I noticed that a couple of the easy ones didn't weren't done. Rather than feeling bad about that, I'll just recycle those. One was to mount a small quilts on canvas and one was to mount a small quilt on plexiglass. And now we have goals two and three.