Tuesday, November 29, 2011


My dad has a gigantic crop of leeks and carrots right now - he and I agree that my pilfering from his garden is actually doing him a huge favor. The other day I picked these beauties - the purple and green things at the far left are Dragon Tongue Beans from my own garden. I do love California - I'm not sure if many people are harvesting green beans this late in November. I sauteed the leeks up in coconut oil with diced fennel bulb and thyme and it was delicious!!! It was my first time ever using leeks, and I think we have a long happy relationship ahead of ourselves. Good thing, too, because there are about a million more out there. (And in case you are wondering, those red things are Atomic Red Carrots, not radishes. Cute, right?)

Sunday, November 27, 2011


What a lovely end-of-November afternoon! It is so warm and sunny outside, and the boys are having such fun "killing bad guys" outside that I've even decided to let Titus skip his nap. Brett is keeping an eye on them while he brews up another batch of beer, and I am enjoying some time inside (with the windows wide open) pursuing some less testosterone-driven activities: making Christmas banners. In pink, no less! They are slowly making their way into the shop...

This has been the most relaxing Thanksgiving weekend ever. Lots of naps, absolutely no piling into the car to drive anywhere, gorgeous weather, tons of great food (of course), time in the garden, and lots of sewing time. Ah... exactly what I needed. I believe it is the sign of a great break when you start feeling ready to get back to the daily grind, and I am feeling just that. I hope you had a wonderful long weekend too!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

This and That

I considered entitling this post "Oh no, she's decorating again!!!" but thought better of it. I'm trying to stay positive. :) Anywho, in my constant quest to make a tiny house that is crammed full of stuff look cohesive and cozy rather than crowded and hectic, I am yet again rearranging the weird little space above my sewing cabinet. After deciding I needed less color and looking for all kinds of pictures on Pinterest of "decorating with white," I have decided to make a huge colorful collage of fabric hoops, as inspired by these pictures. Oh well, I guess I'm just not going to be able to get away from the color thing. I can't help myself. Do you see how she has hung hoops on hoops in this first picture? I can totally see myself doing something like that.

I love the curved effect of the plates on this wall, so I am copying it to make up for the fact that I have a super tall armoire next to a short tiny cabinet... And neither of these is too matchy-matchy, which looks effortless but is actually quite difficult to pull off. I'm working from the one tiny corner in my house that I like the look and colors of:

Plenty of white, but also lots of color, though nothing bright or over-the-top. It is a collection of my mom's old books, as well as some of my own. I love dilapidated old books, they have so much character. The more crumbly, the better! SO, here are some fabrics I pulled yesterday when the urge to do this project struck me:

I'm afraid the colors aren't looking quite true in this picture... the overall effect really is much less green. I've put some of them on the wall, but it isn't finished yet so I don't want to post a picture of it yet. It is nice to have something different up there, and I actually think that adding these different colors and patterns has calmed down and lightened up the space. Hm. As if I even know what I'm talking about!

And while I'm making a mess on that side of the house, I've managed to clean up one mess:

Over the weekend, that became this:

The only disappointing thing about this project is that my overdue book fines were more than the cost of the actual book that I got the pattern from (don't tell!). *sigh* I had to make a few tweaks here and there to make up for cutting and measuring flubs on my part, but this is the very first time I've managed to follow a pattern from beginning to end without making a royal mess of things and throwing the half-finished project in the trash. (I guess I made the dinosaur without a dramatic incident, too, so this is the second time.) It was super stressful because I am such a perfectionist and am completely self-taught and actually don't know much about sewing at all. But I learned a lot, and am in love with the end result. I almost didn't post pictures since this is a Christmas gift for somebody, but I just couldn't help myself. Aren't the fabrics gorgeous?!?! That Anna Maria Horner is the bomb, and I found that some of her Loulouthi prints mixed perfectly with a stack of Joel Dewberry fq's I recently bought. Love it when that happens.

And that's it for now. I have a ton more little projects in the works as Christmas approaches and I'll try to post pictures of the things that aren't for people who read this blog! Are you making hand-made gifts this year? I'd love to hear what you are making - I love handmade gifts!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ah, fall

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. I love dusting off my crock pot, pulling the big chunky sweaters and boots out of the closet, and drinking tea in the afternoon. And the anticipation of Thanksgiving and Christmas gives the whole season a backdrop of excitement. I took this picture of Moses swinging on the new swing Brett and my dad hung a few weeks ago - what a great thing! I took a turn on it and it goes so high that you actually get that roller-coaster swoop in your stomach on every down swing. The leaves on that tree are much prettier today - all orange and yellow and falling like confetti at the slightest breeze. It makes swinging feel like winning the Super Bowl - every time you even sit down a huge pile of leaves rains down on you. I hope you and your family are enjoying the fall this afternoon - we have NO PLANS! Unheard of and glorious!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mini Holiday Bunting

I just listed some more Christmas banners in the shop - I love the gold in these fabrics. So festive! These are still fun to make - it seems like there are more and more great Christmas fabrics out there. I can't wait to hang mine up in the house, but I'm forcing myself to wait until after Thanksgiving. I love this time of year!

Friday, November 11, 2011

A birthday buddy and a hand-made nap

Today our littlest member turned 3, and I was finally able to give him his present. I made this little guy, pattern courtesy of Bit of Whimsy, a few weeks ago, and have been peeking in at him in his hiding place every day since. He makes me smile. And even though Titus said "Where's mine udder presents?" as soon as he opened this guy, he has been carrying him around the house in a loving choke-hold ever since. At nap time I captured this heart-warming photo:

I just love that he is under the quilt I made him, holding the dinosaur I made him. So special to me. I love you Titus!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I have been in love with Pinterest for a while now - it is such an easy way to organize and hold on to all the great things I find on the internet. I used to "bookmark" things, but had no idea how to even find them afterwards. Pinterest makes it all so much easier. This week I've made this soup from a Rachael Ray recipe I found on Pinterest:

It was DELICIOUS, and I would have never known it existed if not for Pinterest. Tonight we had pizza on cauliflower crust, thanks to this awesome recipe:

Another huge success - even the most anti-vegetable member of the family scarfed down a huge plate-full. I ate way too much and I don't even feel guilty because I know my stomach is full of cauliflower (and I didn't even put cheese on my pieces, so it was basically all baked veggies!). I have a bunch more recipes "pinned" to my cooking board on Pinterest waiting to be tried out. I might not have a cell phone that works, but I sure feel modern with all this pinning I'm doing. :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Half-way there...

Remember my 49 Monkey Wrench Blocks? Last night I finally got to work piecing them into a quilt. I dug up the pattern I was following all those years ago, and saw that rather than piecing each block with sashing between, they are actually placed on the diagonal with setting squares between each block. In the pattern, the setting squares are supposed to be a solid color, but of course I opted for a print. (I know, even after I touted the joys of solids in my last post...) I thought this Tula Pink "Damask Dot" would modernize things a bit, and hopefully keep the eye moving so it isn't easy to spot all my terrible corners! (In my own defense, these Monkey Wrenches are the very first patchwork I ever did and I cut all the tiny pieces out sitting on the carpet using paper scissors...) It was super hard squaring all the blocks off to the same size, and some are a bit wonky, but with that gorgeous damask between each one I don't even care.

Oh, and please pardon whatever is going on with my shirt and belt in this picture. Pretty sure this is what I accidentally look like most afternoons following my super-rushed potty break between making snacks and playing marbles. Hm. I should look in the mirror more often.

Anyways, the boys were excited this morning when I showed them the quilt I am making "for us." I didn't have the heart to tell them it is really for ME. But I think there will be room under it for snuggling, so I guess I can share. Hoping to finish the piecing tonight while the hubs is throwing pottery at our neighbor's house...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Chance to Win

I've been doing a shameless amount of internet fabric shopping lately, which has been super fun. But wouldn't it be even more fun to get fabric for free??? Well, you could win some if you hop on over to Lily's blog, which is delightful. She's hosting a giveaway of a huge stack of solids (you even get to pick which ones you'd like to win!). I'm using solids more and more in my quilting and loving the contrast of them with the busy prints I'm so addicted to. Fingers crossed!