Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Summer Quilt Finished

This quilt started it's journey to a distant land today... My recipient asked for a green quilt in the traditional country style... I hope it is green enough for her. It was really fun to make!

(I promise the colors look better in person!)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Quilting Post

Thank you all for your sympathy with my burn. It hurt pretty bad for about two days, but now the numbness has set in, and I imagine the skin is starting to heal itself. It looks like I will have minor peeling for a couple of days and be good as new. The human body is such a miracle, isn't it?

******

A few weeks ago I received this darling quilt from Lisa...


She was my quilt maker in the about.com doll quilt swap. I love the fabrics she used (you may recognize some from this quilt), and the great design... it really showcases the fabrics well! Emma really likes it too, and I keep finding it in her room as her dolly's quilt. Not to worry though, it is always on her bed, never on the floor. I think she already is realizing that homemade quilts are special!

Last night I participated in an auction at my favorite local quilt shop, Quilts Plus. For several weeks in May, June, and July, every dollar spent at the shop gives you one Quilts Plus Buck. You can then use those $$ to spend in the auction. I was lucky that one day when I was spending way too much at the shop, the lady running the register said her friend had just bought fabric for a quilt backing and other things, but wasn't going to be able to make the auction, and asked if I would like her bucks. Uhm, yes, thank you! Over $300, combined with mine I had $546 (I told you I spent too much!)

The auction has 3 parts: a live auction, a silent auction, and a table of items that you can use your bucks to buy things from outright. Before the auction, you can look around and take notes on what you might want to buy.

All the great big stacks of fabric and fat quarters went for very high amounts, but I was lucky that a few things I saw I was able to snag in the auctions!
In the live auction, I won this great bag, and inside the bag was 7 yards of this pink plaid flannel (try spelling that quickly!) I love the fabric this bag is made from (Moda Swell), and it will be perfect for the library or the grocery store! The fabric is large enough to go into a quilt I started collecting fabric for years ago and be the backing on the quilt, too!

The small patriotic bucket is from the silent auction. The item I really wanted, a bucket of 2 inch charm squares from several different fabric lines, went really high, but this little item was perfect for me too. I can see these fabrics making a cute little boy baby quilt!

The small red daisy thing is a needle case, and goodness knows I can use one of those. I bought it from the regular items table. It will be perfect for keeping my hand quilting needles in!

*******

Speaking of hand quilting, I just finished that part of my quilt for the Summer 4 Seasons Swap... I plan to get it bound tomorrow, and send it out at the beginning of the week. I admit to loving it a little too much. Even Elliott asked me if I wanted to keep it and send a different quilt, as he thought it was a really great quilt too!

That will complete all outstanding quilt swaps for me, and I plan to stop swapping. I'm not getting any of my own full size projects done, and want to concentrate on that for the next while! I have become a much better quilter after all these little doll quilts, and I am looking forward to using my skills on quilts for me! :-)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Word to the (not-so) Wise


After you steam broccoli in the microwave, there is a lot of steam lurking beneath the plastic wrap you used to wrap the bowl (thus the "steaming" method!) My advice is, don't hold your thumb in the way when you unwrap the plastic, because

STEAM BURNS REALLY HURT!!!!

(photo courtesy of Flickr)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The new summer 'do.

When the boys were younger they used to get their hair buzzed for the summer. Lately, they haven't wanted to, but apparently the girls are going to start a new summer trend... chin length bobs.

Sophie's is inverted in back... so cute!
Hey Mom... I got one too, but Elliott isn't here to photoshop my skin for me, so you will just have to wait and see it in person! :-)

Monday, July 14, 2008

What A Surprise!

The quilt made for me in the Summer 4 Seasons Quilt Swap arrived today... I was surprised and delighted to open it and see it was made by Margaret, for whom I had just made a quilt in the about.com swap I hosted.

Margaret has been posting regular updates for her quilt, and I had been not-so-secretly yearning for it. Wow, I didn't really think it would be coming to me as there were at least 100 participants in her swap!



The quilt is amazing, the perfect relaxing beach scene... It evokes summer so well, and is very well made. The detail she put into it is amazing... I think you can click on the picture to enlarge it. Thank you so much Margaret! I love it!

My quilt I am making is about half quilted. I hope to finish it this week and get the quilt sent out by Monday... it has a ways to travel before it reaches its new owner.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Well, since you asked...

Stephanie asked what I did today and who my easiest baby was (she asked you too!). Since I am stalling in the moments before I have to take several of the kids to Whole Foods, I thought I would answer.

Let's start with my easiest baby. That would definitely be Sophie. Andrew may have been my easiest if I had known then what I know now, thanks to this book. He was a very easy baby, and my hardest was probably Ethan, due to the 20 minute cat naps he took. He definitely would have been easier if I had read the book with him. But I didn't find out about that book until Emma was a few weeks old. It made a world of difference with her, and with Sophie I used what I had learned and she has been the easiest happiest baby ever (at least until she turned 18 months... but they aren't really babies any more at that age, are they!)

As for our day? It has been glorious! We woke up this morning to beautiful sunshine (only happens 88 days each year, you know) and spent the morning eating a lazy breakfast and playing in the basement forts the kids made and slept in last night.

Then it was off to Andrew's golf lesson. Emma and Sophie had fun finding lots of old golf tees while Andrew perfected his form and swing. He is making great progress, and loves playing golf!


After that we went to the library for a new round of books. I always tell myself we are going to hold back on the number we check out, but it just isn't possible, there are so many good ones! You can tell what my interests are at any given moment based on the books I check out from the library... notice there are no quilting books this time, mostly vegetable garden books for me this time!


Back at home, everyone had sandwiches for lunch and then it was time for Sophie's nap. Ethan went off to the neighbor's house (they were back and forth most of the afternoon) while Andrew, Emma and I played a few games of UNO and made chocolate chip cookies. Ethan came home just in time to help us eat the cookies, and the kids relaxed in the basement while watching a Pokemon movie borrowed from the library.

There was just enough time for a little reading before Andrew had to be at the first LEGO Robotics practice of the season, and the kids and I had ate yummy pasta with tomatoes, beans, and garlic for dinner.

The kids are getting their shoes on to run to the market so I can find some ingredients for an appetizer and dessert for a little picnic Elliott and I are going on tomorrow evening... Symphony on the Prairie with friends. I think I finally decided on chips with homemade salsa and chocolate covered strawberries... mmmmm, yummy!

So, what did you do today?

Ask the Expert:

Andrew: (mumbles something unintelligible about cooties)

Ethan: But what are girl cooties?

Andrew: It's a disease that makes you fall in love with girls.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Cooking

As I was trying to find my Strawberry Pie recipe last Thursday, I came across several old Cooking Light magazines, along with numerous recipes torn from Cooking Light pages, and Sunset Magazine pages. I was reminded how once upon a time I was more adventurous when I cooked. Now that the children are getting older, I get tired of hearing, "gross!" and "yuck!" all the time, which has made me *almost* a slave to cooking the same things over and over. Perhaps the fact that we used to be vegetarian had something to do with my former willingness to try new recipes... Cooking vegetarian often involves more creativeness than plopping a protein, a starch, and a couple of vegetables on a plate!

After finishing The Omnivore's Dilemma, and being in the process of reading In Defense of Food, I realize I need to get back to some of my old habits. I was delighted to find this recipe on Mary Beth's blog. I can't wait to try it!
Squash Rice Casserole
(image courtesy of Cooking Light)

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I'm trying to be better about blogging...

So here is a little sample of our day (all non-relatives can read at their own risk of boredom):


Emma and Sophie had fun painting this morning while Ethan was playing with the neighbor and Andrew was at golf. Notice the paint splatters all over her and the table cloth. You can't see the ones on the floor. They were all gone with a swipe of a wet paper towel. I love water colors!


We received the newest American Girl catalog in the mail today. It had a gazillion things Emma put on her birthday/Christmas list, but she was especially taken with the dolls having a picnic. The day was too muggy to have a picnic outside, but she and Sophie gathered some items to have an indoor picnic for their babies.


Ethan's newest obsession is air hockey. We've had the table for a while, but he recently rediscovered it, and is game to take anyone on, at any time. He even beat Elliott today... first time ever. It was a proud moment in P* family history!

We ended the day with Indian food for dinner, followed by chocolate cake (I made it today, just for fun!), and Andrew attempting the hardest level of Sudoku on Facebook with limited help from me. Yeah, Judy, that was round 2 of our game!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Can you say, "PARTY!"

Yeah, we had fun last night.

We invited a few families over for a BBQ and fireworks. It was a blast (literally!)
The kids helped us get ready by shucking the corn... It was more fun than they thought it would be.
I was so busy getting food ready I forgot to take any more pictures until we were done eating, but trust me when I say it was a great BBQ. We had hamburgers, Kalua Pig, hot dogs, 2 different summer fruit salads, mandarin salad, Chinese rice noodles, layered dip, chips, strawberry pie, blueberry cream cheese pie, cake, brownies, lemon bars, and about 5 different types of root beer (Elliott is into that!).

After dinner we had fun with the sparklers.

After a second degree burn on his finger,
Andrew took a break and decided to watch.
(Isn't he looking old???)Emma and her friend Emily... we had 2 Emma's and 2 Emily's,
and they are all adorable 4 year olds!
After the sparklers, Elliott and Randy put on
a little "daylight" fireworks show in the street.
Elliott was quite popular...
this gaggle of kids followed him where ever he went!


Every year Elliott gets braver and braver with the fireworks. With the help of our friends Randy and Yi, he put on a good show after dark, but I think he is already planning bigger and better for next year. Surprisingly, this year was the first year I wasn't nervous about the bigger fireworks. Hmmm, I'm sensing a new family tradition.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Let Freedom Ring





Elliott and I finished watching the HBO mini-series about John Adams this past week. It was fabulous. The sacrifices that were made by the men and women who were inspired by God to
declare their independence from the safety and security of Britain, and even to give their lives in many cases, are so numerous as to be astounding. The Founding Fathers were not perfect, they often did not agree, and they could not foresee all that would be inferred in the Constitution. Still, they managed to set the foundations for a country that for the most part blesses those that live here.

I am grateful to have been born in this great nation. I am grateful that the church I believe to be true is able to function with out threat of tyranny for its beliefs. And I am grateful to God, and his Son, Jesus Christ, for the many blessings they bestow upon my family each and every day.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Swaps

My packages have been received for two recent swaps, so I can finally show what I sent:


For Kelly's Favorite Things swap, I was partnered with Jessica. She said she loves vintage, which was perfect because I had already been collecting items in my current favorite colors of aqua/yellow that had a vintage feel to them.

The items are featured on a pretty aqua/teal platter. For some reason the design of the platter seemed to evoke times past for me... is enameled and then has white flecks on it. It seems like I remember back in the day my mother had a pot that looked like that (or was it Elliott when we first got married... I don't remember! haha). I included colored jelly bellies and M&M's, note cards with a William Morris feel to them, an Anne Taintor magnet (love her... she captures the humor in life so well!), and because Jessica seems to really enjoy cooking, I machine appliqued some little birds on yellow kitchen towels. This was a really fun package to put together. Thanks for hostessing Kelly!


My about.com quilt also arrived at it's destination yesterday. This quilt was made for Margaret, who you may know as the fabulous hostess-with-the-mostess of several on-line swaps, including the 4 Seasons Quilt Swaps. This quilt has 6 inch blocks, and is hand quilted. It was a lot of fun to make!
My packages from these swaps should be here soon. I can't wait!