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September 2007
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November 2007

October 2007

WIP: Sewing Room and Brooches


The Sewing/Piano room is coming along!  Spurred on by the recent delivery of a a new chair that was ordered back in July, cancelled by mistake, and reordered - ACK!, I got everything out of place to put things back in their new places yesterday.  My word, it is actually starting to look like something in there.

See, a few months ago, I worked up a little board with some images I *right-clicked* online and came up with this direction for the room:


ChairAs with any project, there are a few challenges.  Like, it's directly across from the dining room and off the foyer. READ: Everyone sees it, so we'll need storage.  Everyone sees it, so it has to flow with the  rest of the house.  Everyone sees it, so it has to at least KIND of match the adjoining spaces (like the chocolate brown dining room), even if I want it to be girly with lots of color.  See where this is going? 

Smoky blue satin curtains?  Check. (Target!)  Fabric hutch (craigslist) re-stained to Bombay Cherry?  Check.  Camel lady-sized chair with exposed wood legs?  Check. Moda Uptown Fabric in Pink?  Check.  Antiqued Queen Anne table (flea market)? Check.  Unfortunately, I did the chairs a light blue and they really need to be darker.  But the rest is slowly getting there.  And, I can't wait to put these up:


Brooches2_4They are my grandmother's brooches and I have had them hiding in a box for the last year.  Grammy loved to accessorize, and this is only a sample of her vast collection of costume jewelry.  She was a fantastic embroider-er-er(??), and I love that these pins will be on display in my crafting headquarters.

Oh, and I've decided that shades of creamy off-white are seriously the hardest to photograph.  Ugh.  I'm going to put a Rebel on my xmas list.  (and keep dreaming...)


WIP - Baby Quilt for Katherine


I am so excited with how this one is turning out... the embroidery transfers are from Jenny Hart's Sublime Stitching Book, and the lettering is just a hand-traced version of Lucinda handwriting.  There is a hodge-podge of fabrics in there, too.  Some designer, some off-the-shelf big store stuff.


The quilt pattern I am using is from Joelle Hoverson's book, Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted GiftsIt's a picnic quilt or something... can't remember just this second and I'm too lazy to run upstairs to see for sure. 


Anyway, I'm doing it at 50% scale and I ended up piecing way more strips of fabric than needed.  You could probably do this with fat quarters and a couple yards of some basic cotton.  It's supposed to be a tied-quilt, but I think I am going to hand-quilt it, and maybe do something special on the long stretches of white....

For a few more pictures, you can see the ones I've posted at flickr.

Super Easy Family Favorite

This recipe is shared by a couple of my friends and we all swear by it.  It's the perfect go-to dish for family dinners or last minute houseguests, for middle of the week + leftovers, for whatever.   And it's just too good not to share.
No-Boil Lasagna.  (The Total Cheater Method.)
Oven 350
Lasagna noodles
2 lg cans/jars spaghetti sauce
2 lb ground beef
24 oz cottage cheese
16 oz (2 cu) grated mozzarella
grated parmesan cheese (to taste)
1 egg, beaten
parsley flakes
1) Brown beef and combine with spaghetti sauce.  Spice it up, if desired. ( I DO)
2) In a separate bowl, combine cottage cheese, mozz (all but 1/2 cup), parmesan, parsley flakes, and egg
3) Layer ingredients:  Sauce, Noodles, Sauce, Cheese, Noodles, Sauce, Cheese, Noodles, Sauce, 1/2 cu. mozz on top.
4) Cover with foil (shiny side down).  Put casserole dish on foil lined pan, in case it oozes over like mine does...
5) Bake for 70 min.  Broil to brown top, if desired.
Let stand before serving -- it's hot!
For variety, I will use less meat and chop up mushrooms and onions and spinach... I always spice it up quite a bit.  I never really make it the same twice, but it is ALWAYS good.  Noodles always cook in the sauce.  Prep time for me is is usually about 20 mins or so, esp if the beef is already thawed.

busy busy busy

LasTaking lasagna/salad to a friend with a newborn.    I have the easiest no-boil lasagna recipe ever, and it is a fail-safe crowd pleaser.  I might post that later on. 
It really should be shared. 

Holding baby.  *sigh*

Giving a little embroidered wall hanging.  Which she could turn into a pillow front or something.  I enjoyed making it.  She didn't know boy/girl, so the nursery was green and a black children's toile.  Very pretty.  This fabric is more of a green/dark brown combo, but it works.


Embroidering: I am so enjoying embroidery these days.  Ordered Sublime Stitching a while back and used one of the baby carriage designed for this project. 

Quilting: A baby quilt for another friend, and am loving how it's turning out.  I should take some WIP pics, I suppose. 


Loving: Fidget got her 'craft' on last week and made some jack-o-lantern pumpkins, too. Look at those fingers. I tell you, she took this very seriously. :) So sweet.

Izzy's pumpkin


By now, surely everyone has seen the gorgeous ideas Martha has for Halloween this year.  The Hostess with the Mostess blog post pretty much sums it up the best.  Goodness, Martha makes it all pretty. 

However, Better Homes & Gardens has some pretty cute ideas, too:


(images from the bhg website)
There were several cute ideas in the magazine as well.  There was one designer who goes all out for halloween, but trades orange/black for white/black and makes it all look sophisticated instead of cutesy.  Very cool stuff.

I keep thinking someday I will get more 'into' decorating for this holiday.  Maybe.  With ideas like these floating around, it's entirely possible.


Weekend sweetness.

I was kind of grumpy last week. I was trying really hard to not to be, as I had no discernable reason for being such a bothersome person to be around.  However, it didn't always work and, therefore, I was grumbly and irritated with myself.    Grrr.   

And then Saturday happened.  Just a lot of happy.

In the mail was a letter to me from the school (always kind of a anxiety-inducing thing) that said the Older One has been selected to receive the Optimist Award at next week's PTA meeting.  She was selected by her friends (new and old) as the person who made new students feel the most welcome.  How cool is that??? 

The O.O. also finished an embroidered pillow for her (BFF) friend's birthday.  Can I say how proud I am of this?  It's so cute.  She labored over tiny stitches because she loves the way the tight stitching looks.  She designed it herself.  She was so proud to give this to her friend (who loved it, of course!).  And I stepped back and thought, hey, I'm doing something right.  My little Optimist.


The Older One had the birthday party to go to all afternoon, so Mr Pink and I packed up Fidget and drove the almost 2 hour trip to Columbia to see the MU Tigers beat the tar out of the Red Raiders of Texas Tech.  Mr Pink has season tickets, but I stopped going to every game around the time I was sick and fat and pregnant with Fidget.  Since then, I've been to one or two.  Gosh, I forget how fun they are.  Of course, I was a little worried about Fidget.


MU tigers -

I shouldn't have been.  Girl loved it.  I mean, LOVED it.  The music, the crowd, the food, the yelling... she was "all in."  M-I-Z-Z-O-U!!! She had so much fun that she lost a shoe.

little tiger


The only reason we left at the end of the third quarter was because we had to get back to town for the Older One... That was 2 quarters longer than we thought she would last.  So it was worth the drive.  AND I got about 3 hours total embroidery time in the car, there and back, so I was even happier for that. 

That night I finished up some gifting for a friend of mine... who's turning 29 (for the first time.) I can't post much of the results because I don't want to spoil her surprise... but I did have fun with the gift wrap for part of it:

gift card pouch


And I am so in love with velvet ribbon right now I want to put it on everything.  Everything.

I really do make things:

Like outfits for Fidget.  I used a super easy (no notions except for elastic) pattern from Simplicity for capri pants... lengthened them and made these denim pants with a golden ruffle.


And embroidered a little flower on a shirt to match:


(Thinking about cutting up a thrifted felted wool sweater and making a cargidan, too...  I've never tried that but it looks pretty easy.)

And aprons.  Say hello to Frannie:



And really good oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  Yum.



Despite the rain that won't quit and water that seems to seep into my house everywhere I look and the dog that is stinking everything up because she cannot do her business outside when there is a threat of any 'weather', I'm in a pretty good mood today.

Yesterday, while the rain stopped for a few minutes, I ran out to the mailbox and had a couple wonderful surprises.  (Hmmm, do they count as surprises if I ordered them?)  A stack of delicious fabrics from Z&S:


a HUGE Real Simple pre-holiday issue, and the new Anthropologie STITCH catalog...  I tell you what, my frown turned upside-down right then.

I sorted through all my new lovely fabrics and immediately chose the next one I would use.  Whee!  I love the Chocolate Lollipop line from FreshCut... it's so feminine and modern at the same time.  And the colors are so perfect for fall gifting.


And then I flipped through the STITCH catalog and, whoa!  I was taken back by this gorgeous blanket on page 23, the Weston Park throw:


"Swatches of creamy sweaterknit are patched together and detailed with plump roses, while printed velvet laps around the expanse. "  (copy and image shamelessly borrowed from the anthro website)

So I don't really need another project idea right now, because my list is growing way faster than I can handle, but -- goodness gracious -- isn't this yummy?  I have been wanting to bind a quilt with velvet for a while now, but I love the ruffle so much.

Now, if a rainy day meant cozying up with a blanket like that, bring it on...   

I'd like to think I'm a pansy

Just photos today.  I actually have a few project thingies I need to post -- new aprons, baby doll bedding & matching big girl bed pillows, a little outfit for fidget with a ruffled hem.... but those later. 

Today I am cozying up to my cup of coffee, trying to get a little work done, and enjoying the gorgeous color from my deck:


I planted pansies in this big container in Spring 2006.  They stayed all summer, got huge last fall and hung around most of the winter... and then must have reseeded, because I had a huge potfull of them this spring too.  Now that it's cooling off, they're back in full bloom, paying no attention to the 1-gallon mum I just plopped on their heads!


They're spunky, those pansies.