Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Alex has learned how to draw a self portrait! I took one of his many drawings and turned it into a freezer paper stencil and put it on a t-shirt. (If you want to know how to do it, google the words "how to make a freezer paper stencil" and you will find tons of tutorials.) Isn't it cute?
Monday, December 27, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Monday, November 01, 2010
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
next weekend should be perfect for anyone interested) but the kids were thrilled to be climbing again. We went even higher and it was much more crowded so Alex had more people to talk to. I hope we will be able to get back once or twice before it gets too cold.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
There has been some sewing going on here. I've been working on small projects lately and hope to get into some bigger ones as soon as it gets colder. I bought some coordinating corduroy fabrics and have been making a set of clothes for the kids. Alex got some great pants that have cargo pockets and contrast cuffs. Talia got another Bo Peep Skirt. The first one can be found here... (She never really wore that first one. I got a little wiser and made it slightly less full and used a lighter elastic because she said it itched her) I need to make Shayna a little dress and we'll have the whole set done. Talia gets a lot of compliments on her skirt. I taught her to say "Thank you, my mommy made it" emphasis on the "Mommy made it" part.
I got so sick of the kids wanting to "help" me sew that I brought out my old sewing machine and took the needle and electrical cord away. Now it is theirs, along with a big bin of scraps, their own kid scissors and notions and even a rotary cutter without the blade. I also gave them my small ironing board and got them a thrift store iron and cut the cord off. Unfortunately, the magic (and it was wonderful, imaginary, cooperative magic) wore off after a week or two and now they are bothering me at my sewing machine again. Alex tried to "help" me clean up my sewing room and organize my fabric by putting all the ones he liked (which is pretty much everything) into a bin for himself. I would like to admit, however, that Alex names all of the parts of the sewing machine (presser foot, feed dogs, bobbin case etc.) as if they are common words everyone knows.
I have two quilt tops done and I'm thinking I'm going to just send them out to a quilter. Until I can afford a long arm machine I think I'm only going to quilt baby quilts by myself.
The other excuse is that I started going to the gym. Everyone always asked me how I found the time to sew/cook/blog/whatever and my answer was threefold: I don't go to the gym, I don't volunteer at the kids' school and I try not to maintain too many close friendships. Now I'm going to the gym 2-3 times a week and there goes all my creative time. I'm into this class called "BodyFlow" which is mostly Yoga but also a bit of Tai Chi, Pilates and Meditation too. I'm thinking about joining a different class once a week called "BodyPump" which is cardio/weight lifting and will kick my ass. The one time I did it I couldn't move for 3 days. I'm happy about my new interest in Yoga and I hope I can maintain it. Alex and Shayna seem to like the gym daycare but... Alex got sick last week (probably from the daycare) and gave it to everyone else in the house.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
For those of you who think I never quilt anymore! This quilt has been three years coming. I bought the RJR Farmer's Market Fabric when I first moved to Madison with the intention of making a picnic blanket. I got so far as designing the blanket and even began to cut the fabric. And then... the first winter came. and the next summer and the next. Finally this summer I was determined to get this project off the ground. I scrapped the original quilt design and started by making disappearing 9 patch blocks. I love how easy they are and the random looking design it creates. I knew I needed this quilt to be BIG to accomodate the five of us as a picnic blanket so I layed out what I had and figured the best way to use ALL the blocks was with the 4 large squares and the strip in the middle. I picked black for the sashing so the colors would really stand out. And then... I decided I wanted the quilt to be EVEN BIGGER so I added the filmstrip edge. It's about 90 by 110 inches, which is by far the largest project I've ever made. I believe it counts as a king size quilt.
Now... I have to piece the back (using home decor fabric for strength and I think it's just shy of being big enough so I'm going to have to come up with some solution since I can't find more in the store) and then... baste it (yuck!) and quilt it (yikes!) Obviously I'm going to do something simple but... what? I always get stuck at this point. My goal is to finish it in two weeks. YEAH RIGHT!?!?
Thursday, June 24, 2010
High Line (a mile-and-a-half-long elevated park built on old elevated freight tracks. It features an integrated landscape, combining meandering concrete pathways with naturalistic plantings, fixed and movable seating, lighting, and special features.) We had a nice visit with my family and celebrated some special events. I'm happy to be back home in Wisconsin now and able to officially kick off the summer.
Monday, June 21, 2010
My neighbor had a baby a few weeks ago and I wanted to make her something filling and warming and full of nutrients. I picked out this recipe for Black Bean Chilaquile from the Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites. I'm not exactly sure what was "low-fat" about it but it was DAMN GOOD. The only CSA ingredient I used was spinach but later in the summer you could use local corn, tomatoes and onions as well. This meal could be made very easily and quickly using canned and store-bought ingredients or more slowly with fresh. I opted for canned tomatoes, canned black beans and bagged shredded cheddar but cut the corn fresh from the cob. It's really up to you...
Black Bean Chilaquile (recipe from Moosewood Low-Fat but here from memory)
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
1 can black beans drained and rinsed
1 cup of corn (fresh really does make a difference!)
juice of one lime
tortilla chips, crushed (I actually used "hint of lime" chips)
bunch or bag of spinach- wilt by blanching in boiling water or steaming (I did it in the microwave with a little water for two minutes)
shredded cheese (cheddar, mexican blend, queso fresco, monterey jack- use whatever you have)
1. saute onions until translucent, about 6-8 minutes
2. add black beans, tomatoes, corn and lime and cook for about 10 minutes or more
3. start layering:
a. crushed tortilla chips into the bottom of a baking dish (9X9 or 9X13)
b. sauteed vegetables over the chip layer
c. spread wilted spinach over the vegetables
d. layer of cheese
e. layer of salsa
f. layer of chips
g. layer of salsa
h. layer of cheese
4. bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes until bubbling
Monday, June 14, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Thursday, June 03, 2010
Talia's kindergarten teacher is retiring after almost 30 years. A parent of one of her classmates wanted to make a quilt as a gift for the teacher. She had each child paint on fabric and then... she got stuck. She hasn't ever quilted before. I took over the job and decided to make the pieces into flowers and added stems, leaves, butterflies, the school photo and a colorful binding. It's a challenge to take over a project that wasn't your own idea. The only thing I would change would be the fabric she chose for the background. Everything else came out great. The teacher was overwhelmed when she received it last week. This is the first major project I have worked on in a long time and I have already started another since!