Friday, December 31, 2010

A Frigid Fabulous Friday


For Today:
Looking Out My Window: The arctic blast has finally hit, current temp is 4 with a wind chill of -8 degrees.  My wind chime is clanging.  Sounds more like teeth chattering.  We only have about 4 inches of snow but it is currently being blown horizontally. 

My Weekend Plans Include: I hope to finish my Stashbusters quilt this weekend.  That's the fun part.  We re-carpeted the living room yesterday so I need to put things back, maybe dust, maybe reorganize, maybe do some redecorating.

I’m Reading: Body of Evidence by Patricia Cornwell. 

Movie Marquee: After finishing the book, I have the movie of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo."

Something Quiltie: While the carpet guy was here I retreated to the bedroom, popped in a DVD of Emma and completely immersed myself in handquilting on my Ocean Waves antique quilt.  It was heavenly.

One of My Favorite Things:  Having dinner with friends.

Becky, Me, Julie, and Norma


I’m Thinking About: With the ringing in of the new year, many thoughts naturally come to mind, not really resolutions, but rather goals.  I hope I can keep friends and family close, stay healthy, find contentment in my busy life, remember folks less fortunate than me, take pride in whatever I do, know how thankful I am to live in this great country and remember how blessed I am in every way. Happy New Year!

What’s For Dinner: Dinner out, if the cold doesn't prevent us from going.  

A Favorite Photo:

The Out Take


Christmas 2010

Until Next Time-

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Thinking BIG

With the new year rolling in
it's time to think BIG.

I could strap on a jet engine and
propel myself across the lake just for fun.


I could join Ed running in his next ultra-marathon.



I could make a home cooked meal every night.


I could make a new quilt each week.

Well, these ideas are BIG, but probably not totally realistic for me.
But wait!

I can be more Adventuresome.
can Exercise more.
I can Eat Healthier.
I can find more time to do the things I love.

If I do, it has the makings of a very good
2011.
Until Next Time-

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Movin' On

The Christmas tree is down.

Over the past couple of days, we have
washed every dish in the kitchen multiple times.

The frig is packed with leftovers.

My kiddos have packed up their gifts
and headed back to Denver.

Ed is off running, prepping for his
new upcoming ultra marathon in Feb.

It's just me...


 
filled with good memories and love.
It was a fun Christmas.
Hope yours was too.


Until Next Time-

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

She'll Be Home for Christmas

Look who finally made it home.
Both Jessica and Kate arrived today.
I've been waiting for weeks for Kate to arrive
from Fort Lauderdale.
She made it today.

They immediately began making it look
like Christmas by decorating the tree.
They're so good!
Merry Christmas!
Until Next Time-

Monday, December 20, 2010

Wrapped Up in Christmas

What better way to get wrapped up in Christmas 
than in a Christmas quilt.

 "I Believe"
2005
Some of my favorite patterns come from Buggy Barn Quilts.
I love the unique way fabrics are cut and scrambled.
It's one of the easiest and quickest method to make a scrappy quilt
in a logical and systematic way.
Their designs are whimsical and playful.

I love this interpretation of Santa.

Lots of 1 inch squares for the sashing.  But 
remember everything is done with fabric cut in strips so 
it's not too hard.  Just be careful with your seam allowance.

Santa's on his way!


"Merry Christmas Magic"
2008

This was a fun quilt to work on as well.
It's a pattern from Kim Diehl's book, Simple Seasons.
I love doing applique especially when the style is 
more folk art and whimsical.
 The applique is done on the machine with invisible machine applique stitches.

So it was completed quickly.

  I combined both cotton and wool fabrics.
Snowmen just have to be made of white wool.
I thought the quilt recaptured happy moments of Christmas.

I used bits of all my favorite Christmas fabrics.
It's one of my favorites.

"Tis the Season"
2010

This is the quilt I added this year.  
The pattern is from the book Tis the Season
by Jeanne Large and Shelley Wicks.
This quilt makes me smile with all the stockings
hung from tree to tree.
It's done with invisible machine applique with
button embellishments.
Nothing is better than to snuggle under a Christmas quilt
made from flannel.
I know someone will enjoy it soon.

One last quilt to wrap up Christmas.
"Over the River"
2009
I know the original song is really intended for Thanksgiving, (Lydia Maria Child, 1844)
but it also reflects the Christmas holiday, of
spending time with family and friends.

 I used red and green fabrics and
red embroidery.
This is designed by Crabapple Hill Patterns.
The embroidery is awesome.
It made Christmas last for months and months!
It looks perfect on the back of my sofa.
I love the picture of the horse and sleigh taking us
safely to our destination.

I ended up using leftover fabric on the back.
"Back Art"

Hoping you "Wrap Up in warm holiday memories."
Merry Christmas 
Until Next Time-

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fabulous Friday

For today:
Looking Out My Window: No snow here. 

My Weekend Plans Include: We are heading to Denver to bring boxes for Jessica and Martin to use in their January move, going to the Denver Zoo's night time light show, spending the night at Elizabeth's home,  and having dinner out. Busy, but fun.

I’m Reading: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larson, almost done.

Movie Marquee: I just picked up season 3 of Mad Men from the library.  

Something Quiltie: I've been working on my A to Zzzz quilt with the embroidery.  My hands always seem to have to have something to do in the evenings even when my brain has turned off. 

One of My Favorite Things:My mom used to make dozens and dozens of Christmas cookies.  When I got married I thought I had to do the same.  The bad part is I love cookies.  So now instead of quantity, I just make a few favorites.  The all time favorite is the Italian Pitzelle.  It's Ed's mom's recipe and they are always a treat. After many years of making them one at a time, using a hand held iron over the stove burner, I have an electric one that does two at a time.  It does save time, but I do admit I miss the connection to tradition when we make these delicious cookies.




I’m Thinking About: I'm counting the days for Kate to get home...6 more days.  Then it will feel like Christmas.

What’s For Dinner: Turkey meatballs with cranberry sauce.  See Kate, I'm serving turkey before you get home!

A Favorite Photo:
Didn't she make the perfect Mary?

Until Next Time-

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Christmas Story

I finally found some time this past weekend to watch A Christmas Story.  It makes me laugh every time I watch it.  If you haven't seen it, some network show it nonstop over the holidays, sit down and enjoy.




Every year my quilt group enjoys going to the historic  Rialto Theater in Loveland to view a classic Christmas movie .  This year they're showing  A Connecticut Christmas with Barbara Stanwyck.  It's a special way to  spend an evening during the holidays.



Until Next Time-

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Spirit of Christmas


Listening to small children sing
can always lift your spirits.
Hearing children sing about the
meaning of Christmas can
 bring you to tears and smiles.
Enjoy the spirit of Christmas.



Until Next Time-

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fabulous Friday

For today:
Looking Out My Window: Roxy, the Foxy spent the day in our yard sleeping, grooming and enjoying the peace and quiet under our willow tree.

My Weekend Plans Include: Getting a handle on Christmas.

I’m Reading: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larson

Movie Marquee: I know we should be watching Christmas movies like everyone else. I'll see what I can find.  I do like the Christmas Story about Ralphie and his hopes to get a Red Rider BB gun for Christmas.

Something Quiltie:  I was wondering if we would be busy at the store today.  December is typically a little slower because quilter should be home finishing Christmas gifts.  The classic question of the day was "I'm hoping you still have more of this?!"  Six different requests today.  I was able to come to the aid of 5 worried people.  Even got a phone request from the Denver area.  She was looking for black flannel.  I learned no one in the whole Denver area had black flannel.  We sent her 2 1/2 yards today.  It feels good to help out.  Also had 5 husbands with lists.  Good job!

One of My Favorite Things:I love our Christmas tree ornament collection.  Over the years we've collected a wide and strange assortment of decorations for the tree. It reflexes our travels and activities.  This year I'm adding:
The black thing is a swizzle stick from the top of the John Hancock building in Chicago.  
It went with the Chocolate Martini I had.

I’m Thinking About: I've got to get some Christmas sparkle going around here.

What’s For Dinner: Cashew Chicken

A Favorite Photo:
 Me and my sister, Jane.
1953
I guess I got the buggy and wanted a real baby to push.
 Jane might say I've been pushing her around ever since!
Until Next Time-

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

New Project

I love to make scrap quilts.
The more fabrics the better.
All those wonderful fabrics that 
I've collected are pulled out and auditioned
for the new project.
We all get excited.

This may seem like a challenging time of the year
to start something new.
I admit I have plenty on my list to accomplish in the 
next couple of weeks.
But at the store, January will be here soon and
quilter's will be looking for new ideas to start the year.

Our Stashbuster's class is one of our best attended classes.
Everyone has an extensive stash.
So I needed to start my sample.

Carrie Nelson's newest book, A Touch of Rosie, Quilts, is filled
with wonderful ideas for looking into a stash, using a number of fat quarters, and 
creating a stunning quilt.

So into the stash.
21 assorted cream fat quarters,
 14 assorted dark fat quarter,
 Carrie's directions are very systematic and easy to follow.
Cut...
then mark...

 We're making flying geese units.
212 geese to be exact,
almost like my backyard!
Add a few star blocks.

I'll have to see what the days bring to 
see how far I get before Christmas.
I've got a good start.
Until Next Time-

Monday, December 6, 2010

Comfort and Joy

It's cold here today.
So the best comfort for the day?
Is a bowl of homemade soup.
What's on the menu?
Actually, one of my oldest recipes.
It must be from a Sunset Magazine, 1976.

We call it Garbanzo Bean Soup.

It's quick and easy.
That's where the joy part comes in.

Here's the recipe if you would like to try it. 
It's one of our family favorites.

1 lb. Italian sausage, sometimes I make a mixture of
hot and sweet sausage or sometimes not.
Also you can use turkey sausage*
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
a couple of carrots diced or thinly sliced, more if you want
1 large can of mushroom pieces
1 can garbanzo beans
1 large can of beef broth, 4-6 cups,
depends on how many people are eating
salt and pepper

Brown the sausage,eliminate any extra grease.
Add garlic, parsley carrots, cook for a few
minutes to get the carrots going.
Add the garbanzo beans, including liquid, mushrooms and  broth.
Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, and simmer until
the carrots are tender.
Add salt and pepper to taste.

We serve this soup over cooked rice.

This recipe has evolved over the years, but it still
is good ol' comfort food without much fuss.

Until Next Time-

Friday, December 3, 2010

Fabulous Friday

For today:
Looking Out My Window: The neighborhood fox actually just ran through the yards and stopped to rest on my patio.  She looks perfect.

My Weekend Plans Include: Ed is off to Denver to play handball, so I am on my own most of Saturday.  Shopping is out. Too many people.  I might have to be domestic and clean house!  

I’m Reading: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  Have you read it?  I've gotten mixed reviews.  

Movie Marquee: The Last King and Fool's Gold.

Something Quiltie:  I have been handquilting on my antique Ocean Wave quilt.  I haven't handquilted anything for quite awhile.  I had forgotten how relaxing it makes me feel.   My fingers are a bit sore, not being used to the needless pricks of the needle, but the quilt is looking great.
 
One of My Favorite Things: I'm listing Ed today.  He is such a generous and wonderful guy.  He is in the process of setting up a scholarship in his name in the School of Natural Resources at CSU. 


I’m Thinking About: My quilt group had our annual Christmas party last night.  These women hold a special spot in my heart.  Good friends are a treasure.

What’s For Dinner: Saturday is a banquet at CSU.  Occasionally, Ed is still on the guest list. Thanks to the scholarship.  Today is a little Eggplant Parmesan.

A Favorite Photo: 
Ed on Thanksgiving

We love to watch the Food Network.  
Why does this picture make us laugh?
Because Ed is an "iron" Chef!
Look carefully!

Until Next Time-

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Here it is December 1st already.
 The countdown begins.

I have not been able to get into the spirit.
Too much to do?
Empty nest syndrome?
The bombardment of shopping ads?
Crowds?
Of course, I know the greater meaning of Christmas, 
but still the joy of the holiday hasn't quite been with me.


It is funny how your needs can be met in such simple ways.
Standing in line at Hobby Lobby a little boy about
4 began to share with me what was on his list for Santa.
It made me smile.

I was at another shop in town and ran into 
a friend.  It was nice to see someone you know
and who took the time to chat.
It made me smile.

I found a couple extra dollars in my
pocket as I passed the Salvation Army 
collection bucket.
It made me smile.

I got home and as I drove in the driveway
there were 3 geese grazing on our front lawn.
I shooed them away and thought, Ed will be happy with that.

After I got all my bags inside I casually looked out the back window.
There on the back lawn were about 300 geese!
I opened the door and I waved my arms.
They all took off with the sound of beating of wings
and loud honking.  
They took refuge on the ice.

I'm not a good video photographer, but I
 wanted you to see and hear my geese friends 


video
They weren't happy.
It probably wasn't kind.
 But..
It made me smile and even laugh.

Guess I'll go put on the Christmas music.

Until Next Time-Kyle