Wednesday, September 29, 2010

at 11:45pm last night...

These came out of the oven:

OK, not on one sheet like that.

What are those? This would be 14 dragon breads for my second grader's class. Another family baked some too. Whereas mine look more like mice with an allergy problem, theirs looked like awesome dragons. But my second grader didn't eat his, because it was crunchy when he nibbled its snout. So guess what I am doing tomorrow?! Making more Michaelmas dragon breads!

The good news? It has cooled off a bit. Leave it to me to volunteer to bake the one week of the whole year it is over 90°--only 85° in my kitchen. When the oven is off...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

a productive week!

Not only did I survive both my first pack meeting as advancement coordinator and my first week as fill-in bookkeeper for the school fundraiser CSA—I also started and finished two (count 'em, two) projects.

Without further ado, first we have the Autumn Crocheted Capelet from the Autumn 2010 issue of Rhythm of the Home. This is for my niece Emily's first birthday, and I must get it in the mail this week. Started it Wednesday, finished it Friday—and believe me, no marathon crochet sessions. The yarn? Stash Lion Brand Suede (1 skein) and BouclĂ© (1.25 skeins) that I had gotten at the 99 Cent Store some time ago. Let me tell you, when I saw that the pattern was in bulky yarn, I got kind of excited.

Next up—can you guess?

That's a roll for Everett's Ferby pencils. He has been requesting one for months. Finding corduroy in a color he liked was the hard part. The flap is to keep them from falling out. There is one extra pocket—there were three, but then I found two pencils under his desk. The best laid plans...! I could get back to the peach/blue quilt top. Or maybe the Halloween quilt top that has been partly quilted for three years. Or maybe I will go shopping to make the ripstop-backed picnic/soccer-watching quilt I want to make. Or a skirt for me? Or a purse? Or...?

Friday, September 24, 2010

this moment

This moment. A Friday ritual. A single photo—no words—capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I won!

Really. I won a $60 credit to csn stores over on the Backyard Farming blog. Thank you thank you! Goody! I am the kind of person who can't win Yahtzee, so I am excited. And--kitchen stuff!

So. What to get.

I am leaning toward the Kitchen Aid mixer attachment set. Which is out of stock. It has the food mill (which I want!), and the sausage attachment (which Pete wants!). It has graters--which I have no idea if I would ever use.

There is an interesting rabbit run--though I am really interested in that hutch. I wonder how much it is? And how easy it would be to convert it into a chicken coop? I think they don't carry the hutch. Bummer! Though probably very pricey. We just need to find something to start building with.

A yoga balance half-ball?

A Kitchen Aid ice cream attachment?

A new camp stove?

A Wii game for the kids? (NO!)

I am a little overwhelmed by the choices.

Or should I just watch awhile and see if they get that attachment set it? I am set to receive an email when they do. I have a couple of months before it expires.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I guess it says something about me that such a small quilt still takes me weeks. But it's done, and didn't get shoved into a WIP pile at any point. This may be a record for me! And--if you can believe it--it is hanging right in the spot (get it?) I designed it for.

This is the end of my pantry cabinet. For years it has had some construction paper stars hanging on it. Everett made them in preschool. He is in second grade now. The stars were faded, curling, and had dropped most of their glitter. Yet they left tape residue on the cabinet.

To hang this quilt, I hand-sewed two small 5/8" plastic rings onto the quilt back. I placed two small 3M decorating clips on the cabinet. And voila--removable quilt hangers!

The back I am not in love with--though I am pretty pleased with my label. I matched its placement to the right hand dot on the front. So the quilting outlines the label as well. Caveat: they didn't perfectly line up!

I am overall pretty pleased with this little quilt. But I am frustrated with one of the fabrics.

The honeycomb print. Look at the right edge--pretty good! Now look at the top and bottom. Looking at this fabric on the bolt and on the ironing board, it looked perfectly straight. It's definitely a little off-grain. But I wonder if it's supposed to have this step-down? It bugs me. And it kind of gives me a headache. But talk about headaches--that dot on the back! Just the picture makes me dizzy.

Friday, September 17, 2010

this moment

this moment, as inspired by SouleMama:
A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What was I thinking?!

Yes, I am the new cub scout advancement coordinator. There has not been much crafting happening around here. (And we are out of pears! The horror!)

September is baptism by fire. Year-round pack + resident camp + district day camp + another day camp = gadzillions of belt loops, patches, and pins. And me pulling my hair out. I have spent nearly 15 hours on this this week--most in the last 2 days--not counting the driving involved in going to the San Pedro scout store twice.

One shipment in the mail, one last distribution into proper baggies and bags--and one giant list of special awards for the agenda, and I am done!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

mmmmm pie

So Mr 2nd grade came home from school yesterday with:
• a letter from his teacher about all the apple-related activities going on in the classroom
• a recipe for apple pie.

Needless to say, he wanted to make the pie. ASAP. So (as you likely predicted) I made crust, peeled and sliced our selection of overripe apples--and then he came just in time to add the brown sugar and spices.

No, it's not pretty. But it sure is tasty! Surprisingly so, since I managed to use up nearly all of the apples I was planning to make apple butter with.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

around and around

All of the circular quilting today almost had me dizzy. And I'm not done yet.

But I did get in an entire hour today. Some of which was spent contemplating. Contemplating what looks to be a poor choice of backing fabrics (but this will hang on a wall!), and the fact that this very print you are looking at is printed off-grain. And, of course, I didn't figure it out til the entire top was together.

I reserve the right to wait until it is bound to decide what I really think.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Have been aplenty. Or rather, just one. To celebrate big guy's first day at a new school, I came down with the worst cold I have had in years--can we say stress? Two nights with virtually no sleep, confusion, horrific sore throat, sneezing, drippy nose, a sinus headache--the whole nine yards. Three really bad days, 1 bad day.

I have managed to keep the family in clean clothes, packed lunches, and dinner (thanks, honey, for picking up the pizzas last night). The cats are fed, box clean, floors vacuumed, clothes clean.

School meeting attended, pack planning meeting attended, boys to tae kwon do, den meeting, sanitation dept presentation.

That's all she wrote--because that's all she's done!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fabric Tuesday #3

Am I really going to number every Fabric Tuesday title? Because I am fresh out of ideas. Already.

The top is done, and now the back is done! I just need to cut some batting and get quilting. I plan to echo the circles.

It looks like I haven't done much, but there are several new things here for me. I went and got Pigma markers to write on my fabric. I wrote on said fabric. I pieced the back (and I'm not entirely pleased, but it will hang, and it's the back...). I named a quilt! (Get it? Is it obvious I have kids?) I also stacked 2 layers of white for the label, to better block the pattern behind. I should have done this on the front.

Live and learn!

Also, I have done my best to line up the label with the red-print circle on the front. So, when I echo quilt the circles, the label should be echoed as well. Should be :)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

the year without a summer

As fall is approaches, I am still waiting for summer. The garden was a near total bust. The green beans died from lack of sun and powdery mildew, after making a few pods and never getting more than 3 inches tall. We got 2 zucchini. The chard plants went to seed after feeding us well for a couple of years (though that was bound to happen).

We decided to put in raised beds this year--right smack in the middle of the yard, to maximize sunlight. What with May gray turning to June gloom and continuing, with few breaks, right through August and into September, the poor plants need access to as much sun as they can get. Even if it is 15 minutes at dinnertime.

Our poor back garden has been abandoned. Why? This is why:

The left tree is a loquat. I love loquats. I don't love the squirrels that sit up top, eat loquats, and throw seeds into my garden. The absentee owners just had it trimmed--in late August. It is due south of the garden, 2 feet from the property line. *sigh*. The monstrosity on the right is another neighbor's coral tree. It is about 3 years overdue for a serious trimming--it also overhangs the fence, which may not be obvious. It blocks all late afternoon/evening sun. Which is about all we've been getting. And if you're not familiar with coral trees, they reseed prolifically. And the seedlings have thorns. It's fabulous! (Note the gloomy sky in the picture :(  ).

So, back to the middle of the yard. One bed down:
One tomato, one anaheim, and planted today: lettuce, radicchio, leeks, scallions, carrots, broccoli, chard, radishes. If October turns out to be our hottest month, we'll get tomatoes. Otherwise, radishes. Kudos to my friends Bill and Venus, who blogs about their fabulous Sacramento garden here. That box design came from that blog. Now we need to do 2 more. Making the box is the easy part. Breaking up the clay soil and digging out the Bermuda grass/weeds--hard, hard work.

Our front yard tomato has now ripened two. (Shhh! I have eaten them right off the plant.) I am hopeful for these guys:

Friday, September 3, 2010

this moment

inspired by soulemama...“{this moment}: A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.”

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Yay! A real use for my scraps!

Yes, I save all my scraps. Big and small.

Somehow I found this tutorial this morning, for fabric sandwich bags. I have seen a few other mentions, but most use velcro. I'm afraid of the "oilcloth" sold at fabric stores--it feels like plastic, not oilcloth. I think it is plastic. Probably the worst kind (me? cynical?). And really, I want machine washable, not wipe cleanable. (Are my kids really bigger slobs than other peoples?)

I don't have a serger, but I love the bags in the tutorial. I'd also like something sturdier--as in, lined.




Yes, those are French seams. I love French seams. I even French-seamed the ends. Because that's how I roll.

I have more fabric in the dryer now. Those cottons I got to make my kids pillowcases with 2 years ago? Now I see sandwich and snack bags.

In other news:
Two down, 18 to go.