Saturday, January 27, 2007

Quilts, quilts, quilts

I'm trying to get pictures together of all the quilts I've made over the years. I still have stacks of pictures to go through to get some of my older quilts together. I'd like to make an album with pictures of each quilt, the story behind the quilt and even fabric swatches if I still have some. I thought that would make a nice keepsake for whomever is interested after I am gone. I have to get over to my mother's house and take pictures of all the quilts I've made her. I have 2 quilts that I've made for me over the years, and one isn't even finished! This year, I am pledging to try and complete a quilt a month---and get all my WIP's and UFO's done. I am also pledging to buy fabric whenever I can afford to do so---my stash is very low---very low. Even if it's a stack of fat quarters a month---that's something! I have so many quilts I want to make this year--mostly wallhangings but I have to make a bed quilt for me and DH (queen size--big!) and a bed quilt for each of the boys and my daughter. I am taking a machine quilting class at my LQS so I can get the stippling down, I've never been good at that! If you are interested, feel free to take a peak at the quilts I have pics of so far, it isn't much but they are mine (well, I made them, anyway!)

Friday, January 26, 2007

Signs of Spring

The seed catalogs have started to arrive in my mailbox which means spring is not far behind! As I look through each beautiful catalog and try and decide what I don't want to grow this year, I have to plan two gardens. Since I don't know for sure if we will be here in the spring/summer or at the farm we are trying to buy, I need to try and buy and plan for both. Here, I have little to no space for a garden, I grew tomatoes last year and I had a nice herb garden going, but nothing else. I can get a flower garden going in the front of the house since we pulled out all the carpenter ant loaded bushes last summer. Now, if we do get the farm, I will have tons and tons of space. I will have a large area in front of the barn.
This is look down from the barn, I'm not sure how big it is but it is a huge area and it's mostly fenced in which will help against larger veggie eater animals!

Here is a look up to the barn:

As you can see, the barn needs a lot of work---but it's a barn! I would be grateful just to have it as is!
Anyway, back to my gardens. I would have that whole area in front of the barn for a large garden. I would put a herb garden over by the house so I could actually have a kitchen herb garden.

Here at this house I have this area to plant things

Not much space, as you can see, LOL! There are other areas in this backyard but most of the backyard is taken up by our pool and with the kids splashing, I wouldn't want that water to get all over a garden, so I'm kinda stuck. I have the plots above in containers so the roots don't get covered with clorinated water.

I am planning on purchasing all organic seeds. I don't plan on selling produce as of yet, but I would like the ground tested at the farm so I can find out if it's loaded with chemicals. I am considering raised gardens anyway so even if the ground has issues I may be able to get around it with raised gardens. There are 2 wells on the property, I'm assuming that the one has gone dry but having been a city girl my whole life, I'm wondering how we will handle watering the gardens and plants and even the animals we plan on having. I CAN'T WAIT!!!

While I was reading through one of my Yahoo lists, I found a post about a site called Citizenre that is about solar power and how this company will rent out all the equipment you need to go off-grid. DH is totally sold, I am partially sold. I know that DH wants to be able to have battery backups, which this company doesn't offer, what energy we wouldn't use goes back to the grid with their system (I think it is called a Net meter system). Plus, he wants to utilize solar and wind and I'm not sure that they allow other forms of energy to be hooked up to their systems. All things to consider and find out about along the way. All I know is that I want to be able to use my computer and sewing machine whenever I want and for as long as I want so whatever system we have should be able to handle at least that much! LOL! I wouldn't mind living off-grid, at least I wouldn't be as uninterested about it as Ed Begley Jr.'s wife, Rachelle is on their show Living with Ed on HGTV. I think most of their antics are hyped up for the show---they really seem like a very happy couple. We've been getting greener and greener in our living---it's a slow process with the kids, they are used to living a wasteful, un-environmentally involved life. I hope we can change that!

I am still looking for time to work on the quilt. My eldest is moving out this weekend so I'll probably be busy cleaning up her room and moving the boys into it. I wish she would stay home, but she seems happier where she is---seems being the operative word there. I know she likes being in charge of her life and not having to answer to me---so that is something, anyway. I still miss her.

Ok, off to figure out dinner, I may be back later!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I got tagged (sorta) on Quilting Fitzy's site so I figured I'd join in the fun and answer a few Q's myself!

Do you own a gun?
No no no no no!

What do you think of hot dogs? I love hotdogs, with chili and onions and cheese and mustard!

What’s your favorite Christmas song? I love so many--years in choir gave me an appreciation for all types of holiday songs. My favorite? Here we come a'wassailing, Bring a Torch Jeanette Isabella, Rockin' around the Christmas Tree--oh geez, so many more!

What do you prefer to drink in the morning? nice, fresh ice water

Can you do push-ups? Maybe 5, 10 if I am lucky

What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? I don't really wear jewelry, but DH bought me a beautiful necklace that a friend of ours had made, so that is probably my fav.

What is your secret weapon to lure the opposite sex? My cooking!

Middle name? Ann

Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment:
1. I need to get working on the quilt
2. What is the baby doing NOW????
3. I need more chocolate!

Name 3 drinks you regularly drink:
1. water, water and the occasional Sunkist soda

What time did you wake up today? 6:37 am

Current hate? hatred

Dislike? Bush, the war, terrorists, the IRS, green peppers

Favorite place to be? in my quilting studio (my bedroom, LOL) or the kitchen or outside on a warm, sunny day working in my garden!

Least favorite place to be? a crowded elevator, the dentists chair, any crowd anywhere

Where would you like to go? Ireland, Scotland and England--oh and Tuscany!

Do you own slippers? Yes, but they have bumps that are supposed to feel good and they don't, so I never wear them.

What shirt are you wearing? My purple Hanes v-neck t-shirt

Do you burn or tan? Burn & peel and then tan

Favorite color(s)? green

Would you be a pirate? Yeah, especially if I could look like Kiera Knightly!

What is your favorite holiday? Christmas

What songs do you sing in the shower? anything that comes to mind

What did you fear was going to get you at night as a child? Vampires, witches--especially the White Witch from Narnia--she was gonna pop out of my closet!

What’s in your pockets right now? Nothing

Last thing that made you laugh?
My 10 year old going on about how funny the baby is!

Best bed sheets as a child? anything clean

Worst injury you’ve ever had? Fractured my ankle when I was walking on the railroad tracks when I was 16, walked a mile home on it and then went bowling that night--didn't go to the doctor until the next day, LOL!

Are your parents still together? Divorced in 1975

Do you wish on shooting stars? YES!

What is your favorite book(s)? The Mists of Avalon, The Lord of the Rings, The Stand

What is your favorite candy? Reese's Cups or Rolos

What song did you have played at your wedding? Haven't actually had the ceremony yet--I'll let you know!

How is the weather outside right now? Snowing, big, fat flakes, 32 degrees, windy

What was your first thought this morning when you woke up? Get the baby a bottle

Those are always fun! I also took a Jung Typology test today, I turned out to be a ENFJ type--which is Extroverted, Intuitive, Feeling and Judging. Here is a brief description:

ENFJs are the benevolent 'pedagogues' of humanity. They have tremendous charisma by which many are drawn into their nurturant tutelage and/or grand schemes. Many ENFJs have tremendous power to manipulate others with their phenomenal interpersonal skills and unique salesmanship. But it's usually not meant as manipulation -- ENFJs generally believe in their dreams, and see themselves as helpers and enablers, which they usually are.

I guess that can pretty much describe me. I'm gonna go back and take some of their other tests, it's always something fun to do when you have nothing else to do.

And, no, I didn't get to work on the quilt today. There is always tomorrow.......

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

My current WIP

Ok, well I didn't work on it at all on Tuesday. To be honest, I spent most of my freetime working on this blog and my Yahoo 360 page. Here are most of the blocks on my design board. The quilt is called Windows on My World and it's a baby quilt that I am making for my 1 year old. Each block is made up of 4 triangles which open up to a cute kiddie fabric inside.

Here I am putting the top row together with the sashing between the blocks. You can see the blocks partially opened. The fabrics below are really cute and the baby has already gotten a kick out of looking at them.

Here is the quilt top finished except for the borders. Once I get those on it'll be pretty simple to machine quilt it---I could probably get it done in a day or so, depending on how busy the baby keeps me! I'll probably have to wait either until late at night when everyone is asleep or on the weekend when DH is home and I can work uninterrupted.

Part of the issue is the fact that my sewing room is also my bedroom and my 1 year olds' bedroom. But, since I was sick of sewing on the kitchen table and having to put everything away at each mealtime, DH made me an awesome sewing/computing/TV area in a corner of our room. Here are some pictures of my sewing area.

Hopefully, if all goes well, I'll be sewing today instead of blogging and I'll have quite a bit more of this quilt done. For whatever reason, finishing is always the hardest thing for me. I can piece like a storm--it only took me 3 days to get this top together---but when it comes to quilting a project, I've got some that have been waiting 8 years to be quilted!!!

Well, it's late and I've got some Simply Quilts episodes that I've DVR'd to catch up on so wish me luck and motivation to get some quilting done tomorrow!

Still haven't finished the quilt.........

I still haven't worked on the quilt. But I was busy yesterday, regardless of my non-quilting. Monday is my bread baking day---I baked two beautiful loaves of white bread for the kids. I am looking for a good rye bread and pumpernickel bread recipe, none of the recipes I have tried are good enough--yet. If you have a good recipe for either, please, let me know!!

DS #1 asked me to make Chicken Alfredo for dinner last night. It was a more involved meal than I felt like making (since I make everything from scratch) but I agreed since he felt I hadn't made anything that he liked in a week, LOL! So, I spent 2 hours making this wonderful meal and at dinnertime his friends show up and he disappears. By the time he reappears, his meal is cold, but he says that it isn't a problem. He takes his plate and starts eating and then tells me that Alfredo sauce is too rich for him and he can't possibly eat it all! I look at him like WHAT???? I ask him why he wanted me to make it if he didn't like it---he said it just sounded good. He did end up eating it, though and said it was good.

For dessert, I decided to make this Quadruple Chocolate Loaf Cake that I saw Nigella Lawson make on her show Nigella Feasts on the Food Network. It turned out great, not too sweet and very chocolately. Quite rich after such a rich meal, but it was worth it!

One of the reasons I haven't been able to work on this quilt is the baby has been SO busy getting into everything, anytime I try to do something around the house, he is creating messes of gargantuan proportions! Or, he's climbing precariously on furniture or bookshelves or chairs, just one short iota away from landing on his head! DH and I put a padded floor in the bedroom to keep him safe, and let me tell you, it certainly got a workout from him yesterday! This kid climbed on EVERYTHING he could get his feet and hands onto and his new favorite activity is standing on things and flapping his arms and making noises like he is on his soapbox! It's actually very funny and quite cute--but I can't let him know that and encourage him further. If we are able to swing buying that farm, this kid is gonna have plenty of room to blow off some of this steam---along with his brothers!

Ok, well I'm off to get some housework done, feed the boys and hopefully have time to work on the quilt. I have some ideas for my next quilt which I am actually going to try and design one myself, instead of using a pattern. I saw some really neat fabric folding techniques on Simply Quilts last week and I'd like to give them a try. Oh, and I'd like to get all my UFO's done before summer (yeah right!).

Maybe I'll post later with news of a completed quilt, or at least one closer to completion!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Busy, busy bagel day!

Do you wanna see something deeee-licious? I've spent the whole day baking. Baking what you may ask???? Take a look:

Don't they look yummy? Believe me, they are very yummy! I've spent 2 months perfecting this recipe--they are the best tasting onion bagels I've ever had, and it was a lot of work getting there. Here is another view:

Imagine them, toasty warm, covered in cream cheese.
Yum! Ok, I won't tease you anymore :-)

I spent the day in the kitchen. While I was making bagels, I also made a delicious beef and barley soup which DH and I got to munch on throughout the day (the kids don't like it--even though they didn't try it. According to them, they hate all soups. Poor souls!)
I was planning on making a nice, roasted rotisserie chicken, but when I took the chicken out of the bag, it was WAY too small to feed my bunch of boys! So, I threw it in a pot with some onions, carrots and celery and simmered it for hours to make a nice, rich broth. I'll make some soup out of that tomorrow--it's my bread baking day so I'll make some nice dinner rolls to go with it!

We ended up eating grilled, marinated chicken tenders for dinner with garlic and herb roasted potatoes. As Rachael Ray says---YUM-O!

It's time for good night, the baby is sweetly sleeping, the boys are in bed--well, the younger ones and I've just taken a long, relaxing shower so I'm tired and fuzzy, LOL! I've got to be rested to chase the baby around tomorrow! He's in his busy, tear the house apart phase. DH built some new shelves today, to help keep some of his stuff up and out of his way, LOL! Otherwise, it's all over the floor, with his balls from the ballpit, his blocks (ouch, those hurt to step on!) and all his other toys he pulls out. He's a riot, keeps us laughing--most of the time! Hopefully, I'll be able to work on his quilt tomorrow, I just need to add some borders, quilt it and bind it and it's all done! Good night all!
A New Day.......

I had a blog on here years ago---I made 5 or 6 entries and never went back, LOL! Well, I went back today and re-read what I had posted. Life sure does change a lot in 5 years! I am no longer with my former husband and it's been 5 years now. I've got a new DH and it's been nearly 3 years with him. I've got a 1 year old---along with the other 5 kids from the first marriage! Life is actually good! Going over that old blog, I found out how miserable I really was back then, and I find it really sad. BUT, I am so grateful and happy for my life now, life really CAN be awesome!

DH and I are putting a bid on a small farm out in the country. The house is 127 years old and needs tons of work, a veritable money pit! It is exactly the kind of house I've always dreamed of living in---when I found it while perusing, I saw the picture and knew I had to have it.

I know, it looks run down, and it is run down--badly. But, I know that DH and I can make it into our dream house. It certainly won't happen overnight, but it'll happen as time, money and energy permit. Oh, and baby. And kids.
Did I tell you the best part of all of this? The 5 acres of land that goes with this house! 4 of the acres are woods, woods that end at the Ashtabula river---we'd actually own river front property, LOL! The woods are lower than the top yard, but they are beautiful--and a great resource of our own firewood for the large fireplace inside the house! Wow!!!
There is a huge yard, a large fenced in area by the barn where I can finally have the garden I've been dreaming of all these years. The garage is huge, perfect for DH to have the wood shop he's always wanted. This is the place of our dreams. An even bigger dream is to someday build a log cabin down in the woods by the river. I can dream:-D

I am back to quilting. It's a shame I had stopped for so many years, but DH made me a great sewing area in our bedroom so I am motivated to get creative again. I've made 3 quilts in the three months I've had it---costumes for the boys to play in:

I have to make anime plushes and now I am working on a quilt I am making for the baby. I'll have a picture later. Then I have to make quilts for the other boys. Somewhere in there I want to make a quilt for my bed, too! I've never made one for me, in all the 16 years I've been quilting, I have no quilts for me---well this year I am changing that! I am quilting for me and the household. I am finishing all my PIGs and UFOs. Like this one, I finished the top 7 or 8 years ago:

I have no idea how I want to quilt it, so I hang it year after year, batting showing, no binding--waiting for it to speak out to me and tell me how to quilt it. I don't know!!! What I do know is that I don't want to machine quilt it, I don't feel comfortable enough to do that and I am not that good of a machine quilter. I can hand quilt it---but I don't know how I want the background quilted. It's so beautiful, I am so scared of ruining it, so it stays unquilted, unfinished. It WILL be done this year!!!

Well, it's time for bed. It's nice to be back, I apparently had to take a 5 year break before I could blog again, it's nice to be back, I just hope I keep it up this time! Have a good night and sleep well!