Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Verandah Views BOM

Here is the January block of the month from Verandah Views. This block is named Under the Willow. This is the one that whet my appetite...

The February block is named Bathtime. Cute, huh? And on to the third block...

March, named Bed 'n Breakfast. I can't decide which is my favorite. I found this free block of the month pattern at Willowberry Designs. Each block comes out around the first of the month. The designer has each block surrounded by fabric. They look beautiful. I haven't decided on color or block design yet, so I'm waiting until I have all the blocks completed before I put it all together. I love doing BOM's because there's no pressure... one measly block a month. A couple (interrupted) evenings at best. And no thinking required! I can put down and pick up without losing my place. You know how it is... bedtime stories, baths, another drink, folding one more load of laundry... all those nightly things taken into account and still; by the end of the year they'll be all done. The next one will be coming out very soon. It's still not too late to join in ;)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Dressing Up a Folding Chair

The chair that I use at my sewing machine is a typical folding chair. It's kind of nice as far as folding chairs go, but it's not pretty. For a year now, I've been trying to get to doing this project but never got to it. This weekend was the time.

I used the same fabric I used for the inner lining of the window treatments I made last year. I had enough left-over, still like the fabric and it matches the rest of my room. As you can see, my Misty-kitty keeps me company at the machine! She keeps me the same kind of company at the computer. She has no idea she's in the way. I don't tell her, either... don't want to hurt her feelings...

Another view of the completed project. I really like it. I learned a lot, too. I used the tuturial from Creative Little Daisy on how to make the bias binding and cording. Great instructions that even I didn't mess up. I also used the directions from Romantic Home Sewing by Christina Strutt. Wonderful instructions in there, too. I have a few projects to show this week. I'm trying to do some finish up work on projects that just need a bit more work as I plan on doing a Spring Top Week in April. I'll give you more details on that tomorrow.

Friday, March 27, 2009


I've planted three trays of seedlings. Usually I don't have much luck. I've been visiting other blogs where they seem to be very successful, so I thought I'd give it another go. All my vegetables are planted now. I'm amazed that in just a few days many have sprouted. They look very healthy, for now... We'll see... Tonight I think I will plant some flower seeds in peat moss cups. If everything comes up, it will sure save me a trip and an outlay of money at the nursery. I also plan on reading very thoroughly WITH my husband tonight (shhh... he doesn't know, yet - I'm sure he'll be thrilled ;)the chapter on compost, etc. in the Square Foot Gardening book. Now doesn't that sound like a romantic evening?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Girls Cap Sleeved Spring Top

I can't believe I knit this top so quickly. Granted, I've been laid up for a couple days, but still, this one was a quick, enjoyable knit. Plus, and here's the best part, I got to use up lots of yarn left over from other projects. I used TLC cotton/acrylic for the collar and white stripes, kitchen cotton for the colored stripes and Lion Brand Cotton Ease for the body. It's quite soft and shouldn't be very hot to wear even in the summer. I'd like to make her a tiered skirt to match. She was disappointed that it wasn't done, yet!
If you'd like the pattern you can go to: http://soulfulhuesknitsblogspot.com. Along with this free pattern, her blog is very enjoyable. Oh, and I increased the stitches to 90 instead of 80 and adjusted the pattern accordingly. The chest measurement on the pattern was for a 19" but Caressa is a 20". The adjustments worked out just fine.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pretty Cotton Washcloths

Aren't these pretty? The colors are so happy. These little washcloths measure
5" X 5" and are made with kitchen cotton yarn. I got the pattern for a few dollars from Krisknits.blogspot.com. She has several free washcloth patterns along with some others you can buy. I purchased her Winter Washcloths and Spring Cloths, along with the Valentine ones shown above. They're all very pretty and make up rather quickly. I'm saving these for a gift for Kaleigh.

I've decided that my camera is...well... crap. Horrible adjective, I know, but I have a horrible cold and I can't think of a nicer word. I'm not sure you can see the detail in the knitting. Too bad because they're awfully cute.

I've spent a lot of time on the couch knitting today. As much as I love to knit, I'm not a good patient. I am much happier scurrying around and this miserable cold is putting a damper on my 'style'.

On a more positive note, I've been working on a little knitted top for Caressa. I casted on on Sunday and have gotten quite a bit accomplished.

I used many colors you see here and a couple more. As soon as it's done, I'll show you a pic. It looks kind of like sherbet. I guess I'll get back on the couch and knit some more...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Morning, Noon & Night Exercise

I start my day with a twenty-two minute Pilates routine. I alternate between upper body and lower body workouts. I've been doing this type of exercise for nearly ten years now. It has brought me many hours of stretching and thinking. I don't have the best-looking body on the beach by any means, but I think the Pilates has helped this soon-to-be forty-nine year old, seven kid body keep fairly toned. In addition to this, I also add...

hula hooping. I'm new at this. I've only been using the hula hoop as a form of exercise since January. I do three minute bouts about eight times a day. Eleven is optimum but I always fall short. I get in these short spurts when I come into my room. I usually stop, roll the hoop around my waist for three minutes and move on to whatever I came into the room for. If I don't have time during the day, then at night I will try to hop up during each advertisement for an hour show. By doing that I will get in twenty-two minutes of exercise which is just perfect. I've noticed that the fat pads I had on the back of my hips have nearly vanished! I'm thrilled to pieces about that as they have bothered me for years and no matter how much I exercised, they were still there. My abs are starting to get a nice defnition, too. Must be the hula-hooping.
To this little routine, I add in a forty-five minute walk each evening with my husband. Sometimes we can be found walking at ten o'clock at night. Unless we're sick, we walk. If it's really frigid or hot I'll walk the tread-mill or even the house. I know it may seem like a lot, but really, it's not. This exercise routine has helped me keep up my energy and has done wonders for my mental health. Oh, and let's not forget diet. I don't really DIET as I like to eat and I don't really need to lose weight. But I do make sure I eat a healthy, whole foods diet. Not to say I don't eat sugar or sweets because I do, but I don't eat very much junky stuff. Nearly everything we eat is homemade.
I'm always interested to learn more about healthy living, so please, share with me your exercise routines and your eating habits.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Simple Wreaths

I'm fighting off a little cold this weekend and decided to take it easy. Yesterday was spent getting in a day of school and simmering a pot of soup on the stove. Today, I really wanted to get out and enjoy the sunny weather. We took a drive to Mansfield as today was the first day of the flea market. Lots of people selling stuff. I came away with two wooden spoons. Not much... didn't find anything I was hoping to find. But, as we were driving down a back country road, I spotted this wreath hanging on a front door. It was so tackily cute that I had to stop at AC Moore on the way home and pick up those plastic Easter eggs and grapevine wreath to make my own. It now happily hangs on my front door!

Seeing I had the glue gun out and all, I took out the box of hydraneas I cut from my parent's bush late last summer. They dried very nicely. When I cut those blossoms I had in mind to make them a wreath for Christmas. That didn't happen, but I did manage to make it today. I will give it to them for their anniversary in April. It isn't perfect proportion wise, but I'm happy with it. My mom will love it, if for no other reason, that it came from her bushes!
I'm going to try to push myself for a little walk tonight, but other than that, I can be found lounging on the couch with a nice cup of hot tea and a knitting project in my hands.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Spring and More Embroidery

Happy Spring! How do the robins know it's the first day of spring? We noticed them just this morning! What a wonderful sight to wake up to.
I've been busy with a bit more embroidery. Take a peek...

Well, obviously this one isn't embroidery, but I thought Caressa looked cute all dressed up and no where to go... so I put her on here :) Anyway, on to the embroidery...

This is the third in the A Christmas Wish BOM as mentioned in my earlier post.

This little guy is from Animals in Aprons, which is a pattern that has seven vintage designs. It's a free download from Vicki Haninger. I don't have the URL, but just google it in and I'm sure you'll find it.

I plan on making four of these blocks with the fifth block Cassidy's birth information. I never made her a birth sampler either, and hope to have it finished by her (gulp) ninth birthday in July. I'm a little behind, huh?

This is the third block. I bought a very pretty pink and white check gingham fabric when the quilt store had a sale. I got 3/4 of a yard for $5.00! I think the pink and white will off-set it very nicely. I used 1930's prints for the aprons. These have been a lot of fun stitching up. The up-side to doing it when Cassidy is older as opposed to when she was a baby is that she was able to pick out the pattern she wanted and also the blocks she liked the best. It was a hard choice for sure, as all the blocks are so cute. I have one or two other embroidery projects I'm working on and will post on those soon. I'm also going to try to do a tutorial on how to make a French Knot. Oh, and before I forget, here is my meatless menu for today:
Oatmeal, yogurt and peaches
Egg and cheese sandwich on a toasted bagel, carrots and celery sticks
Fettuccini Alfredo
Kale and apple salad
Fresh, home-made bread

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Christmas Wish BOM

Remember the Noah's Ark BOM I did? I enjoyed that so much that in January I went searching for other Block of the Month designs that were starting. I looked forward each month to seeing the new block and it was always fun to see what the designer came up with. So over the next few days, I'll show you the ones I chose to participate in this year. This first one is a nine month BOM and is Christmas themed. The title is A Christmas Wish BOM by Gail Pan Designs. The first month was LOVE and the second MERRY. I'm nearly finished with stitching the third month, which is JOY. When I get it done, I'll share that one, too. You can join this BOM by going to http://gailpandesigns.typepad.com It's free on her site.
I'll show you a few others I'm working on over the next few days.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Blog Award!

I'm just tickled pink with this little 'ol blog award! See, my blog is one of the "little" ones. Not too much traffic... but that's O.K., as I'm honored that the people that do read my blog are really, really nice. So here's passing the award to a few of my favorite blogs (people!): You can find all of them over at my side-bar, because if I list 'em, I read 'em... Plus, I KNOW these four people. Wendy I really know 'cause she lives two towns over from me and we've had some Starbucks night outs and cookies swaps together... which by the way, I think we're due for a night out. And the three others I've gotten to know through blogging, and even if I've never met them in person, I feel like I know them anyway. They're a wonderful bunch of ladies, so if you haven't visited their blog before, give them a click. I think you'll enjoy their blogs as much as I do.

Christina at Bumblebee Bags - She's funny, nice and the most generous person I know. She makes beautiful bags and little boys (O.K., we'll give her husband partial credit on the boys, but NOT the bags)!

Amy at Ekblad9 - Amy is a kind-hearted homeschooling mom of 8. Her kiddoes are cute as can be and she keeps you up-to-date on the runnings of a busy household. Plus, she always gives me deep things to think about spiritually.

Wendy at Pineneedle Garden - Wendy is just a peach... and she's funny! She shares a lot of wisdom from Waldorf style homeschooling to spiritual matters to gardening, recipes and everything in between.

Cheryl at Quilting Memories - Gentle and kind comes to mind when I think of Cheryl. She sews beautifully and has some delicious recipes, too.

So if you're so inclined, give these blogs a visit. These ladies are really nice and their blogs a joy to read. If I only have a couple minutes for blog reading, these are the four I click on.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Oranges and A Birthday

Oranges are on sale this week for $1.88/bag. My kiddoes are enjoying every bite!

Happy 17th Birthday to Casey! I remember his birth day like it was yesterday. He's the sweetest kid you'd ever want to meet. Lots of celebrating going on here!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wednesday's Meatless Menu

Well, I did take pictures of a couple meals today, but for some reason I can't find them on the camera. So no pics... but I'll tell you the menu, anyway.
Oatmeal, yogurt and peaches
Homemade Vegetable Soup and Buttermilk Baking Soda Bisquits
Homemade Cheese Pizza
I haven't been on much at all this week, even to read blogs, but I'm going to catch up... I've missed reading my blog roll...

Friday, March 6, 2009

Etsy and Lenten Meals

I thought I would try my hand at Etsy selling a few items. I tried once before and didn't sell anything but I thought I'd give it another shot. The thing I noticed about Etsy (as a buyer, anyway) is that there's so many pages to go through that I tire of looking. There's just too many... But hey, maybe I'll get lucky.
Here is a set of rosary beads and pouch I made for a boy. I thought it would make a nice First Communion or Confirmation gift. If it doesn't sell, I'll give it away as a gift myself.

And as promised, here's our Lenten menu for today:
Apple/Leftover Oatmeal Muffin and Smoothie
French Toast with our own maple syrup(!) and Cantaloupe
Cheese and Apples
Cup of Coffee
Baked Cheese Lasagane (sp?)
Partially frozen mixed berries and whipped cream

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A(nother) Day Without Meat

I decided that for Lent this year, I would not eat meat on Wednesdays or Fridays. I got the notion from my friend and fellow blogger Wendy, over at Pine Needle Garden (see side-bar) and also from the Granny Miller blog. Now, I won't fast, as fasting makes me feel NOT good. I don't know if it's a blood-sugar thing or what, but I can not eat meat with no ill-effects. So I plan on sharing my Wednesday and Friday menus with y'all. Most things will not be anything out of the ordinary but thought I'd share, anyway. So here's what was on for today:
Poached egg on toast
Banana, peach, yogurt smootie
Tuna sandwich
raw carrots
Cup of Coffee
Cream of Cauliflower Soup with cheese
Garden salad
Pumpkin/chocolate chip bread, grilled
Mixed berries, partially frozen w/dollop of fresh whipped cream
Coffee or tea
If you'd like the recipes for anything you see here or in the coming posts, let me know and I'll add it in.