Saturday, January 28, 2012

Pretty Fabric Wreath

Ok it was not on the list, but this little project has been sitting around since before my mom's visit.  I've been meaning to get to it, but today I was inspired after putting my project list on the blog.

So here it is, a pretty little fabric-wrapped wreath.  I bought some strips of vintage sheets on-line and they are the fabric - aren't they charming?  It's hanging now in the entrance, a welcome home wreath.

Keeping Them Honest

I am a CNN junkie and my favourite anchor on the network is Anderson Cooper.  Anderson Cooper 360 is an evening staple in my little house, even the pets enjoy it.  :)  Anderson has a theme phrase he uses all the time, "Keeping Them Honest" and it's his way of holding leaders and others accountable for what they say and do.

So here's my own "keeping them honest" list of projects to finish in 2012.  Let's see how I do this year.  I'll update the list periodically and try to remember to show pictures of the finished products.

Here are the "started" projects to finish (in no particular order):

*Flannel Puppies quilt
*Hobo quilt
*One Block Wonder – tulips quilt
*Lunar Eclipse quilt
*Modern Mix - big quilt
*Orion Star quilt
*Shimmering Lake – ½ square triangles from Caroline - quilt
*It’s a hoot bento box quilt
*Loulouthi Tiles quilt
*Felt Flower Needlecase
*Fall-theme 9-patch quilt
*Crazy Eights – baby boy - not yet started, but Mom wants this one
*Crazy Eights – baby girl - not yet started, but Mom wants this one

And here the other projects that I would like to make in 2012 (no promises):
*Gift bags (lots and lots of them)
*Cool Diamonds quilt
*Colour My World quilt
*Texture magic green and brown quilt 
*Birdy quilt
*My Hometown – cream quilt
*Tokyo Subway quilt
*Blue batik pinwheel table runner
*Chopsticks quilt
*Plume Square Dance quilt
*Riches Galore (Imperial Fusions) quilt

Friday, January 27, 2012

Being a Perfect Daughter

I realized when my mom was here last summer that I've learned my "get the dishes done" behaviour from her.  Oh yes, others find it strange but I'm convinced that dinner isn't ready until the prep dishes are done.

Saw this video online and it reminds me of the whole dishes thing, you don't have to understand the words to get the message.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Birthday Dinner with Kim - Updated

As promised, here's the update on the cake.  Kim had some orange candles for the cake that were perfect, so Noah and I sang "Happy Birthday" while Kim posed and blew out the candles.

Here's how the cake looked inside.  The checkboard was not as perfect as I would like.  It might have to do with adding the cake batter into the cake pan more evenly.  I suspect some of the layers were higher than others and that must have made them spread out a bit.

The icing was super yummy, as expected.  Adding the cream cheese really made it rich.

My gift to Kim was her flight to DC for our trip in April.  And she got this fantastic cutlery tray from Grandma - isn't it nice?  Kim was thrilled and had moved all of the old stuff out to put the new tray in place.  It fits perfectly!

Birthday Dinner With Kim

Friday was actually Kim's birthday, but as she and Noah spent the weekend at Grandma's (Hi T!) I am celebrating with them tonight.  I made a pretty cake today for the dinner.

Here's a picture, it's a 3-tier checkerboard cake (I'll take a picture of the inside so you can see it and add it later) with orange and white sections.  The icing is super tasty, buttercream icing with cream cheese, and freshly squeezed orange juice for some additional flavour.  Yum yum.  Good thing birthdays don't come along too often.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Ruby Star Makeup Bag

After a mostly dreary day, I decided to sew up a little makeup bag.  I've needed one for a while and I've got two or three patterns to try.  So I tried the first pattern, and made this little bag.  I used a line I like with retro images, it's called "Ruby Star Rising".  The bag turned out okay, but it's not perfect, I don't like the way it's finished on the inside.

So I'll try the other two patterns and then whichever pattern works best.... well, you can pretty much count on receiving one of these for Christmas.  :)

Applesauce and Cereal

It's an exciting weekend here on Coleridge Avenue.  Big day today, Daisy and I went to the park and played in the snow.  I threw the ball and she brought it back.  There was a fun moment where she lay on her back to rub in the snow and because it was on a hill, she went flying down the hill in the tracks of someone's toboggan.  Funnier for me than her though.

Then, a big laundry, vacuum, and clean up day.  Made 4 batches of dog food, which will last for about 20 days.

And after a nice dinner of vegetarian chili, I decided to open up some of the stuff mom and I canned in the summer, "Julie's Cajun Applesauce".  I called it cajun because while we were cooking, the old pot bottom burned and there were little black bits in the applesauce.  I wanted to throw the whole thing out but mom convinced me to keep it and we did, and made a few jars of it.  It's pretty good, though I'm not sure that Zestar apples were the best ones to use.  Maybe Pink Lady or Honeycrisp next year?

And, this is a first, a recommendation on the blog.  I have been eating this all week and I LOVE it.  I had to share with you because if you like maple, you might love this as much as I do!  It's called Nature's Path Organic "Crunchy Maple Sunrise".  Now that I've tried it, I understand why there were only two boxes left on the shelf when I bought it.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Happy Birthday Kim!

Today, January 20, is Kim's birthday!  I hope it is a wonderful day, Kim and Noah are off to spend the weekend at Grandma's.

Here's Kim's birthday cake today at her office, made and decorated by her thoughtful team:

I'll see Kim and Noah on Sunday, with a homemade cake that I'll be working on this weekend.  Nothing fancy, but I think it will be tasty.

More pictures on Sunday.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

2012 Resolutions

It's another year and normally I don't fall into the new year resolution trap.  But, apparently the number 12 represents completion, and so 2012 is the year of getting things completed.  At least that's the way I'm looking at it.  The number 12 has a powerful history of symbolizing the completion of cycles - 12 zodiac signs, 2 x 12 hours in a day, 12 months in a year, Christ had 12 disciples, etc.

So for 2012, I'm going to work on getting some things completed.  Here are the highlights, and we'll check in again at the end of the year to see how it all worked out.

2012 Goal #1:
Finish off all of the started and in-progress quilts.  Seems like a reasonable goal, until you realize how many of these projects there are.  In another post I'll create a list so you can keep me honest on this one.

2012 Goal #2:
Pay off renovation loan in 2 years, not 4.  This is a good goal for me, it forces me to be diligent with my budget.  A bit of discipline over the next 2 years and I should have the renovations paid off.

2012 Goal #3:
Make all gifts for Christmas in 2012.  This one relates back to Goal #2.  Look for handmade presents from me next year, except for Kim (who says she's got enough quilts now) and Noah (who won't think handmade things from Auntie P are exciting).  Everyone else will be receiving handmade things, even Daisy and the kitties.

Let's see how these plans progress during the year.

Do you have any resolutions for 2012?

Belated Christmas Post

Finally, a Christmas update.  Christmas was lovely this year, I spent most of the day at Kim's with Noah,  Grandma and Daisy.  First, I made some great pancakes for Kim and Grandma from an Eggnog pancake mix that I received from my team at work.

The tree was beautifully decorated and of course Santa and the reindeer visited Kim and Noah's house on Christmas Eve, so there were lots and lots of gifts!

Noah received lots of gifts from Santa, Mommy, Grandma, Auntie P and Daisy.  But my favourite one from Auntie P was a pooping squirrel.  Here he is, unwrapping it:

When he first unwrapped it, he was not a happy boy.  Not even a little bit.  In fact he fell backwards, crying, and saying, "It's not exciting!!!".   I could hardly hold the camera I was laughing so hard.  As I write this, I'm laughing some more.  

And then, later, he started to play with it.  Too funny.

It was a wonderful day, I received some lovely gifts.  Here's a picture of my presents, artfully arranged by Kim who likes to take these group gift shots.  Notice the Princess placemat, a gift from Noah, and the pretty metal kitties.  These are now in my office.  There's a pretty teapot from Grandma, you can't see the detail but it's a William and Kate wedding teapot.  And on the top right you may see a little paper - it's a gift certificate from Kim for the Sofitel in Washington DC!  That was a pretty fantastic gift too.  And yes, that is indeed a Dexter apron on the top left.  I love the show and Kim found it - should be great for scaring kids next Halloween.  Or gardening.  :)

Kim had a good haul too, these are the gifts from Auntie P.  Note the Castle Peeps quilt.  But I think her favourite gift from me was the "Baking with the Cake Boss" book.

Noah had so many gifts, I don't think this is the complete set but here is some of what he received:

Grandma had a great Christmas too, here's her stash:

And when I returned home, I had even more gifts from mom!  Here's my favourite, a beautiful birdhouse made with driftwood and other aged wood:

And Daisy received an amazing squeeky toy from her grandma, a great blue heron!  I've never seen such a thing, have you?  She's caught on pretty quickly on how to play with it.

I hope you all had a great Christmas too.

One Block Wonder Class

I'm sure you have been wondering where all of my posts are!  

Today I took a quilt class, a pattern called "One Block Wonder".   It was great, of course there will be lots of sewing to do to get the quilt completed, but today we got a lot done.

We started with fabric and pinned 6 layers together.  I've had this fabric for a while, the class instructor, Klara, helped me choose the right kind of fabric almost a year ago.  Other people in the class had asian fabrics, fruit and vegetable-themed fabric... lots of variety.  I liked the red and green in this one.

After the 6-layer stack of fabric was pinned, we cut strips, and then cut the strips into 60-degree triangles.  You can see the stack of triangles on the left of the picture.

And then, voila!  Putting the triangles together makes an amazing little kaleidoscope pattern, in a hexagon shape.

This is going to be a beautiful quilt.