Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Rocky Mountain High

How many of us have taken a  vacation,
and discovered that we were busier than 
when we're normally at home?

Usually we're going from here to there, 
checking off the list of exciting new places to explore,
and then dropping into hotel bed exhausted trying to
replenish our energy to do it all over again tomorrow.

I've been on vacation.
But unlike the usual scenario, I had
no lists,
nothing preplanned,
no obligations.
Could this be a real vacation?

I tagged along with Ed to the 
western slope, staying in 

Ouray, Colorado
 Telluride, Colorado.

 Ed went off each day to do his yearly
evaluation of some mine tailing sites.
Fortunately, he didn't ask me to go
help in his reclamation work.

Instead it gave me time to do my own
Restoring my energy,

restoring my inspiration

restoring my creativity.

 I hiked, shopped a bit, and
cleared my head with that clean mountain air.

I had brought along several hand projects.
Some got worked on, others didn't.
But it didn't matter.
I was on vacation.
Until Next Time-

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Furry Guest

As long as it stays warm, we eat
dinner outside.

With my wasp catcher always in place, it makes
for a pleasant way to end the day.
Last night we had a little guest show up after we 
had finished.

A young fox kit
He was just so curious about us and what we were doing
on the patio.
He was alone, but we've seen him with a parent before.

He made himself comfortable in the grass, 
stretching out, and yawning.

We kept our distance and didn't want him to
feel too comfortable with us.
But he was pretty darn cute.

We thought we'd better go inside just in case
his parent was somewhere close by, but
the little guy just didn't want to go.

We didn't want him to think that humans are a friend.
Unfortunately, there are many who would take advantage of
his curiosity.

Hope we'll see him again another day.

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things,
because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.
-- Walt Disney
Until Next Time-

Friday, August 26, 2011

What's New

I took my camera to work today,
so I thought I'd show a few of the new lines of
fabric that are now on our shelves.
I'm amazed at how many new lines the fabric
companies produce and how often.

Our shop owner, Laura, has to be
selective in what she brings in.
There are just so many styles,
manufacturers, and many of the lines are 
40 - 50 bolts.
That's a lot of fabric even for us 
that have a fabric dependency.

This is our shop hop kit that we featured earlier this spring.
The border batik fabric, as well as the fabric on the bolt,
was designed by Hoffman exclusively for Northern Colorado's
shop hop.  It comes in four different color ways and features
hummingbirds and columbines.
Perfect for a Rocky Mountain High.

Even though it is August and hot, we just received
Moda's Kansas Troubles newest flannel line,
Flannel Days.

Oh, my. It is so soft and the 
colors are so rich.
It won't be long before the weather turns cool and 
flannel becomes the favorite.

Yes, if you must know, I brought some home.

We brought Alexander Henry's The Gastlies
back in this year.
I had made some pillowcases using this delightful, and
creepy fabric and the fabric flew out the door.
The design is a little like the author Roald Dahl, the director, Tim Burton, and 
the illustrator Edward Gorey

Get some before it's gone.

The last group I'll share is the Moda's Amelia, designed
It's flannel.  I hope that it's not a sign of what winter will be like.

The colors are bright and the designs cheer you up.

When the UPS guy shows up in the afternoon, it's
just like Christmas.  What is coming in today?

If you need a fabric fix, I know, the Fig Leaf and
other independent quilt shops can help you out.
What will I need this weekend?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Yankees Try Cooking LowCountry Style

When I was in South Carolina this spring,
we found the food simply delicious.
One of our favorites was the traditional
fried green tomato.

 A fried green tomato BLT with grits at Hominy Grill

Ever since the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes", 1991,
I had wondered about  fried green tomatoes.
Being from the suburbs of Detroit City
and now the foothills of the Rockies,
my family didn't do green tomatoes,
we only ate and canned the ripe ones.

But since we had enjoyed them so much on vacation,
we decided to try making them ourselves.
Looking for any regional type recipe is very interesting.
Everyone has their take on it.
Flour, or cornmeal.
White cornmeal or yellow cornmeal.
Buttermilk or milk 
regular flour or self rising flour
egg or no egg
How's a Yankee girl like me suppose to figure it out?

We decided to just go for it.
It couldn't be hard.

Well, the hardest part was finding green tomatoes.

No one around here wants to sell green tomatoes.
But I finally found them at the farmer's market.
Must have been a booth on the south side of the market.

So we
sliced them.

Sprinkled salt and pepper on them and let
the salt draw out any extra moisture.

Then dipped them in self rising flour, an egg and buttermilk
wash, and then flour again.

Fried them in a cast iron skillet for a couple of minutes.
They turned out pretty good.

Nice and crispy of the outside and the tomato was soft in the inside.

Any suggestions from anyone who knows that I should be doing?

It's fun to try new dishes and do a little experimenting.
Buon Appetito!
Until Next Time-

Monday, August 22, 2011

Organic Boulder

When you explore a different city it's
interesting how each place has it's own
characteristics and uniqueness.

Visiting Boulder, Colorado is always an adventure
 and offers a variety of things to do and to see.
I recently went to the Farmer's Market located
just south of the CU campus.
It's a pretty upscale farmer's market, as only Boulder could do.

Of course, the reason you go to a market like this is
to find the freshest and best locally grown produce around.
You want it to have been grown in a healthy way.

At the market here, you'd better have the word
organic somewhere on your sign if you want any business.

Here's Ed doing his part to add his piece of watermelon rind
to the compost .

The market in Boulder really is a wonderful place, crowded, but
a fantastic display of beautiful produce.
Boulder prides itself as a very healthy community.

Great color everywhere.

But sometimes you want something a little bit more.
Like giant, and I mean giant, loaves of rustic bread or

delightful sweet pies or

a boulder sized dark chocolate raspberry scone.
We did share, and yes, it was terrific.

Support your local Farmer's Market and
eat healthy, most of the time.

Until Next Time-

Friday, August 19, 2011

An Anniversary

When I looked at the calendar today, 
I realized I have been blogging for two years.

If you keep reading,
I'll keep writing.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Next Blocks for the Roseville Quilt

It's a marvelous thing when you finish another block
of the Roseville Album Quilt.

But then the next thing is
to get out the fabrics again
and begin designing another block.

That's what I did today.
Six hours later I had the next two blocks planned and 
pinned in place.
Three blocks completed.
Here are the two blocks I worked on.

Choosing the right fabrics can be a very challenging task.

Where do you even begin?
I start by laying out my palette of fabrics, 
looking at the previous blocks,
and deciding on some of the bigger pieces of the new block first.

 I decided the flower container needed to be blue
The blocks I had done previously had blue as the flower container.
The blue would be balanced in the lower middle position.

Then I began laying out fabric choices for some of the other
major shapes.

By cutting out the applique pieces, it gives you a better
realistic view of what the block will look like.
It puts the color more in perspective with it's
relationship with the other fabrics.

These blocks have so many leaves it can be a daunting challenge
to pick out the fabrics.
So just make a big pile and start auditioning.

Depending on design preferences, a person can
 make the leaf layout very random or more symmetrically placed.
I tend to like a bit of both.
So in order to start, I laid out some of the leaves the same
on either side of the midpoint.

Then I filled in randomly.

Then I noticed I needed to change some of value of the leaves.
I had a lot of "mediums".

Don't worry if you remove pieces and replace them.


I'll let it rest for a couple of days and look at it again.

I changed the circles at the bottom.  It's better, but not quite right.
They might be too strong for the rest of the the container.
I'll think about that.

Then as long as I had the mess out, I found it easier to 
plan a second block.
You've already got your mind thinking in a certain direction,
and it helps in keeping a sampler style quilt balanced and cohesive.

This block is a very busy block with a trillion pieces.
I may be exaggerating a little bit but look close at the pattern.
Those stalks have lots of little pieces attached. And look at the
real shape of those stalks with all those wiggle lines.

Again I started with the largest pieces.  I had decided that the corner
blocks would have pink flower containers to balance the blue ones.

Then I had to decide on all the flowers and buds.

It looks overwhelming because the seam allowances
make the pieces look out of proportion.

Here's the block as it stands now.

Here are how the 5 blocks work together.
I'll start appliqueing the new blocks and see if
I need to change anything along the way.
Until Next Time-