Sunday, January 25, 2009

Loafin' around on a Sunday afternoon

Have you seen this book? I bought a copy for my brother for Christmas and after seeing( yet to taste) the loaves of bread he made and hearing the rave reviews, I had to have a copy for myself.

And I'm so glad I did! I've only made two loaves so far. The first loaf turned out, well, ugly. It didn't rise much either....still, it tasted pretty good. The second loaf turned out much better!
After a couple days in the refrigerator the dough was easier to work with, it did better rising, and the flavor even improved!
Even though the book explains the process in detail and in such a way that even a kitchen doofus such as myself gets it, I'm still slightly shocked that I made a loaf of tasty homemade bread without much effort.

The loaves I've made so far were from the basic and least complicated of the recipes, but the others don't appear to be overly complicated. However, I am going to keep working on perfecting this basic recipe before I move on to any of the others. It's good, y'all. Crunchy crust and chewy inside...just the way I like it.

There's a related blog and I intend to spend some time there getting tips and additional recipes.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Flashback Friday

Am I a complete dork for thinking Thomas Dolby was cute? It's that nerdy boy vibe he had going, I guess.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I'm so tired, but I'm finished! Well sorta...

11:00p.m. here in the Bluegrass on a Thursday night and I seriously need to get some sleep. BUT, I have spent the evening finishing up this quilt top that I started on Monday and by golly, it's gettin' blogged!It's nothing fancy, but I'm comfortable with strips and thought that would be a good way to get some momentum going quilt-wise. I do realize that a pieced top does not a quilt make, however. THAT will have to come later when I can find a walking foot for my Kenmore and some courage to go with it.

I also attempted my first artisan loaf of bread tonight. No, it ain't pretty! I definitely need more practice with this. Although it didn't taste half bad slathered with honey butter.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A giveaway!

Not Quite June Cleaver is giving away a WONDERFUL book(and an apron!) that you will want to send to me immediately if you win! Go, enter.


If I spend as much time quilting as I have surfing flickr for photos of quilts and googling for Scotty Dog and Robot quilt block patterns, I might actually have a quilty year.

Still, these are the kinds of quilts I'm sort of drawn to and would like to make. I've already made known my love of 30's fabrics, but I also am drawn to modern styles. I have thing for log cabins and pinwheels and someday I will make a quilt using those.

And I must make a Scotty dog, a robot, and a sunbonnet sue quilt as well...

1. Henry Quilt Finished, 2. Emma's Baby Quilt, 3. completed turning 20 quilt, 4. heather bailey rag quilt2, 5. Birds & Blooms baby quilt, 6. scrap 9 patch, 7. sunbonnetsuequilt, 8. Spots quilt top, 9. mini quilt, 10. Baby quilt , 11. Exotic, 12. Whirlygiggles Quilt Top, 13. scottie quilt from threadheads, 14. bird quilt, 15. hourglass quilt, 16. Hanging Quilt, 17. Pinwheel Quilt II, 18. Finished Cherry Quilt, 19. DQS5, 20. For Zeke

Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A quilty year?

I had big quilting plans for 2008. After all, in October of 07' I made this quilt to my satisfaction and without much difficultly.
(my first quilt)

I got very excited at the idea of becoming a quilter and really thought that a year and a few months later I'd have some real quilting experience, not to mention some finished quilts, under my belt.

Um. Nope.

But I DID make three small lap quilts for Christmas 08...
(Scott & Jackie w/their quilts) (Shea's quilt)

and I ALSO completed the quilt top that I started in a Nov. 07' class...
And there was that block of the month group that I joined but only half way participated in.

So I accomplished a little here and there but overall, 2008 was not a very quilty year for me.

So I'm calling it here and now. 2009 will be my quilty year.

I have plenty of books and magazines to get me going. I have a box of fat quarters and stack of fabric waiting to be made into a quilt. I even have about six blocks started for a scrap quilt. I am ahead of the game, right?

I've come across a few blogs that I can turn to for inspiration in my year of quiltiness. Many of these blogs feature other crafty goodness as well. Blogs such as:
I'm sure there are many more out there to be discovered. I'd love to hear about them!

See? I've got a good start. In addition to the bloggy inspiration, I've joined Block of the Month again. This time, I got wise and chose the 1930's fabrics that I kicked myself for not going with last year. Not only have I completed the first block waaaay ahead of the deadline, I've finished my entire set of setting blocks for the first quarter. WooHoo!

I think the reason I never got into BOTM last year was that I SO disliked the civil war repros that I used. Which is weird because I loved using them in Shea's quilt(pictured above) but surrounded with off white fabrics, they made me want to strangle myself. THIS(though the colors appear washed out by my flash) makes me much happier!
Having Mom and Jackie join me for BOTM this year has also upped the enthusiasm. The three of us go to BOTM together, head out for a late breakfast/early lunch after and head to my house to work on our blocks together. Fun!

OK, I'm ready to get my quilt on!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Pete...the first Toy Society drop

This is Pete. I made him for The Toy Society. Pete loves hugs, gummy worms, playing peek-a-boo, and listening to his favorite band, Hootie and the Blowfish.

Today I drove him into town, fastened him to a lamp post in front of the public library, and just walked away....leaving him there, stranded.

I felt bad about it in a "I'm a hopeless dork" kinda way.

Mark drove into town FOUR hours later and poor Pete was still hanging there, homeless. I hope someone gives him a home soon! It's dark out and it's gonna get cold tonight.

The Toy Society project is part random acts of handmade goodness, part street art. How ironic that as I am dropping my toy I come across this...

Guess I'm not the only "street artist" in town!

If you haven't been yet, go check out The Toy Society or the Toy Society Flickr group where they're making the world a nicer place, one toy at a time.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

As if I need more books and fabric.

I went on an online shopping spree last week and bought more fabric to add to my ever growing stash of fabric that I don't really need and can't bear to cut into. Sick and twisted, yes.

This may be the hardest fabric to cut yet and I have no idea what to make from it. I was thinking aprons when I bought it, but can you imagine a patchwork-y skirt! It's Heather Bailey's Pop Garden and it is GORGEOUS, y'all. The best part, it was on sale for cheap at Hancocks of Paducah.I also got a great deal on this quilt kit from Moda. It had been originally 88 bucks or something near that and it was on clearance for 39.00! I couldn't resist it. Here's a better look at the quilt pattern. These Swell fabrics by Moda are just as lovely as the Heather Bailey fabrics. If I make this quilt and it turns out OK, I am seriously thinking about changing my entire great room decor to go with it. I love the colors/fabrics that much.My addiction to craft books is nearly as bad as my fabric addiction. These are my latest fixes. I love the projects in both and have already picked out several that I want to try!Of course there are several projects in the twenty other craft books I have laying around that I want to try.

Hey...instead of collecting craft books, I could actually MAKE something from them! Such a novel idea! I should do a project from each of my craft books until I've gone through the entire stack. Hmmmm. I should do it, no?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Flashback Friday Popping and Locking

Going back to work this week hasn't left me much time for blogging, but I couldn't let a Flashback Friday pass without sharing another Dancin' Kim video.

It's the freshest new dance going down!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Don't Toy With Me

In my excitement over joining The Toy Society, I decided I should probably try my hand at toymaking once again.

I call this little fellow Puppy-Pain-In-The-Butt. I didn't think it was all that difficult until I started stuffing him. The more I stuffed, the worse he looked! He is supposed to be standing, not squating and don't even get me started on the pipe cleaners that ended up all wadded in his ears! I would love to know if anyone else at there has tried(or is willing to try) this pattern and let me how it turned out. I don't know that I have the patience to try it again! Still there is something about him...Next, I went for something that I thought might be a bit easier. And it was...only two pattern pieces. This pattern is McCall's 6907. He's OK, but I think a fluffier, furrier fabric would have been more suited. I used a fuzzy felt(not wool felt, can't afford it)and it sheds like crazy, makes the weird crease in his forehead(that I can figure out the reason for) show up too much and again, it's not fluffy enough for a teddy bear! Still, he is kinda cute. Finally, I gave up on patterns completely and just made a monster. I drew him on the felt and started cutting. He's my favorite of this lot and the one that might be good enough for the Toy Society. I think the reason I'm happiest w/this one is there was no pattern to follow and nothing for me to judge myself against. So even if he's a tad on the wonky side I can say he's supposed to look like that! I'll call him Lars....I think he's got a bit of Scandinavian heritage in there somewhere. That's a pompadour on his head, not a bow...although a girlie monster might be kinda fun too!

My next toy project: Wee Wonderfuls Spaceboy & Robot.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Un-Resolutions for 2009

I have a subscription to Real Simple magazine. Despite the fact that when I browse through it's pages I sometimes feel like I have a complete sloppy mess of a life, I love this mag. I find it very inspiring and somehow calming.

Quite frankly I fantasize believe that simply having a copy laying on my cluttered coffee table will at some point magically transform my home into a shiny, gleaming, perfectly decorated cottage where everything has a place and everything is in said place. In addition, the fact that I am a subscriber will magically transform me into an organized, healthy, budget savvy, snazzily dressed but minimally make-uped, green, crafty and otherwise "real simple" kinda gal.
Therefore, rather than painstakingly read, study and take notes of each article, I merely gloss over the pages and read one or two of the articles before I blow the dust off last month's copy and replace it with the shiny new copy. Because, I know the magic will happen, eventually.

As I was glossing over this months articles I came across a Not-to-Do list. Rather than listing resolutions for the new year that may or may not be met, the mag asked readers to submit things that they would not be doing in the new year.


Being one to never stick to new year's resolutions, I decided that what I need is a not-to-do list of my own! Un-resolutions, if you will.

And so in 2009 I resolve NOT to:
  • Go on another stupid diet. I'm tired of it, you're tired of it and we all know I won't stick with it. So there. I can eat less and I can exercise more but I will NOT be announcing to anyone that I'm going on a diet this year. Man, I feel better already!
  • Be bored when I'm at home.
  • Fuss at Mark for taking out the trash/doing the dishes/making the bed in a way that I wouldn't. If he does any of those things, even if he does them"wrong", I'll be appreciative.
  • Worry about things I have no control over when prayer works much more effectively.
  • Be so hard on myself about things that don't really matter in the big picture.
  • Spend so much time thinking about what I have to do "tomorrow".
  • Forget how truly blessed I am

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Finished Sewing Projects! Yep, I did something.

First up, aprons.

Made this for a friend to give her mom for Christmas. McCall's 5643This one was for a gal at work who is in her fifties and celebrated Christmas for the first time this year(er, that would technically be last year, huh?). She needed a Christmas apron, don't you think?? This pattern is called Four Corners.I made this apron for my Etsy shop, but it never made it that far. I took the inventory from my shop to work w/me and sold out in a day! Yay! But I wouldn't have minded NOT selling this own design.Next up, a knitting bag for my sister for Christmas. A friend of mine is a knitter and gave me some advice before I started on this bag...a wide bottom, plenty of pockets and sturdy handles. I took a bag pattern that I had on hand w/a fairly wide bottom and modified it to meet her other suggestions. I was pleased at how well it came together! And as a last minute decision, I made a roll up needle case to match the bag. When I bought these Amy Butler fabrics i had no idea what I was going to do with them(but I couldn't NOT buy them). I think they were perfect for this project! Aren't they yummy?