Sunday, January 31, 2010

Watch Out Rachael Ray!

I love Rachael Ray but I have to tell you, there are some of us who refuse to put in 30 minutes in the kitchen...don't even pretend you don't know who you are... and for those, strictly for those "in the closet" , "refuse to cook on the weekend when I could be quilting " folks, here's one of my favorite recipes.
Ingredients: as pictured above
Prep: Cook tortellini as directed on package...I really just boil water and then dump the tortellini in there when it boils. No I don't add salt, oil or anything else. I have things to do, blocks to sew, snowmen to punch. What??? LOL!
When the tortellini goes into the boiling water, the peas go into the microwave for 4 minutes (as per package directions...), when the microwave beeps, the tortellini should be ready to drain. Drain the tortellini and bring the pot back (Again, why dirty another vessel? Do you have someone doing your dishes? I don't! hahaha), dump the peas into the tortellini. Stir and serve. The peas come in a butter sauce so you should be all set to go. Add Salt, Sour Cream, Pesto, whatever you have in a jar that does not require heating (I will not be dirtying another pot, I refuse!)
See? Dinner for one in 15 minutes of less... Rachael's got nothing on me! LOL!
Oh, you know the fresh basil is just for show right? That came straight from the produce section in the supermarket... No fresh herbs in my kitchen, I don't have time to water the plants....hahaha!

Snowman, Done!

Yes! My punched snowman is DONE! I really do love the way it turned out. I have to say, the hardest part was the binding. That little thumb was no joke. I can safely say, that I am considering adding a backing to cover my less than perfect stitching. Not lovin' the workmanship there, hahaha.
OK, we all know we are our worst critics, so I'm going to just set it aside and move on.
This is one of three mittens from the pattern Trio Of Woolen Mittens, you can find the pattern HERE.
I highly recommend using the wool applique method. After the three classes, the pattern, the 7 skeins of wool and the two skeins of hand dyed pearle cotton we're talking almost $150 for one mitten with a crappy binding. But on the bright side...that's still less than an hour at the shrink's! LOL! Hope you had a fun weekend; learned a new craft, finished a project or spent time with those you love. After all, isn't that what weekends are for? See you soon! B=)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

1864 Block of The Month is HERE!

The much anticipated release of the new Quilted Crow (Australian) Block of the month, 1864, had me jumping for joy. This is yet another stunning wool on cotton creation. I love the soft vintage color palette, the classic applique design... and don't forget the fact that it very little piecing. Now that alone should make it one of my all time favorites, eh?
I just love this pattern, and after much anticipation and a really long wait (she did tease us with it's "upcoming release" in the Fall), it was finally, finally, release a few weeks ago. I ordered it as soon as it was available and It arrived at the Pumpkin Patch just yesterday, Hooray!
You can order your copy HERE!
I'm off to finish punching my snowman mitten today so stay posted for the conclusion of my journey into rug punching! woo-HOO!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

All Dogs Are Not Created Equal...

Take Pepper the Puppy Dog (PPD for short), now there she was was living the life of a latchkey dog just a few years ago and all of a sudden she finds herself thrown into the "emotional support animal" role. Sometimes I have to wonder what she really thinks of this job....
She gets squeezed and screeched at (yes, he does a little screeching when he hugs her to death and asks her in his loud voice, "Why are you staring at me Pepper?"...
and I wonder if she is thinking, "Was that really necessary?", LOL! Boy, she's a good dog to put up w/ his "love!"...

I'm Almost Done!

Oh, yes I am! This is Cathy Ruggiero, rug puncher extraordinaire and patient instructor, she's so much fun. I had a great time and now my snowman has eyes, nose & a mouth! All in one class, hello! Again, this is the back of the mitten, he's still on the frame as you can see. I need to add the "teeth", the twinkle in his yes and punch in the star, before I can add him to my "Done!" list. Going in for my last class on Saturday... I'm lovin' this punching thing. It's like rug hooking without having to worry about the direction your wool strips are going. It's awesome! More on this one next week. =)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

It's a Wool Crazy Sew Along!

Have you seen this book yet? This is JoAnn Mullaly's new book Wool Crazy. It is amazing! The whole book is chock full of templates to make the most unbelievable wool crazy quilt. Hello! Now why is it that I never think of these things? Kind of makes you wonder about your own creativity when you come across this type of work. It just seems so natural to me now.... after I read the first five pages and went through the embroidery reference book guide on page six, LOL! Seriously, this book has exceeded my expectations, the blocks are just stunning and being a wool crazy person myself, I am really looking forward to digging through my wool stash and making this quilt.

But don't let me get ahead of myself. Kaaren (The Painted Quilt) is hosting the first ever, Pumpkin Patch Primitives Sew Along! HOORAY! Yes, she will be our Hostess with The Mostess, our Wool Crazy Quilt Guide, our Fearless Wool Crazy Leader...yeah, she'll get us off our Butts and show us how it's really done! Oh, no pressure...
I would love for all of you wool crazy quilters who have decided to take on this masterpiece to join us in our Wool Crazy Sew Along! You need not be experienced, we'll learn together. Remember, it's not about the destination, it's the journey that counts. I have books available at the shoppe, you can purchase your copy of Wool Crazy by JoAnn Mullaly, HERE!
Feel free to paste our button on your sidebar and follow us on our adventure, and better yet, come along and join us as we stitch ourselves "Wool Crazy"... (yeah, the pun is intentional, I just couldn't help myself... better lay off the Red Bull!)
Update: This book has sold out but has been reordered. Please do check back for it!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Settler's Pride by Maggie Bonanomi, Monthy Mailing Program Details

Just a note to let everyone know that the details for the Monthly Mailing Program of the Settler's Pride Wool Quilt have been posted. You can read the more about the program HERE. Please note, the quilt is all wool. The kits are made up of hand dyed woolens (no flannels), dyed by the same company that did the original quilt. That's about as close to reproducing the original one as you're going to get. Monthly mailings begin in March . I can't wait to start this one! B=)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Settler's Pride, Back in Stock!

The patterns for this gorgeous wool Block Of The Month are back in stock.
You can order your copy HERE!
I will be hosting a sew along for this quilt beginning in March. if you're on the fence on this one, just do it! We'll make it together and it will be loads of fun. Use your scraps or buy the wool kits (I'll have these as a monthly mailing program) and have this one ready for Xmas 2010! Email me for details on the sew along or if you would like to join the monthly mailing BOM program. Limited spaces are available. The wools we'll use are the same exact colors used in the sample,
as specified in the pattern. ARGH! I'm so excited!!! I think mine will read Mercado Co. NH...y'know what hey say, make it your own! Woo-HOO!

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Recipe for Success!

If you have never been lucky in the Desserts department I share your pain. I read about all these wonderful recipes my blogging buddies have been cooking up and I can't help but feel a little disappointed in my own culinary genius.
Today while GP was doing his work at the kitchen table I decided I would make something yummy for snack, and I thought I should document it for those who are "Dessert Challenged", because if there is one thing I know it's that this recipe is "A SURE THING!" LOL!
Ingredients: as pictured above, three cups of COLD fat free milk, one box of Sugar free/fat free chocolate pudding mix. Prep: mix it up in your measuring cup (now why would you want to dirty a second vessel? Trust me, it tastes the same if you don't go that extra mile, hahaha), until you have no lumps...this might take a few minutes... but in the end, you'll have (Yield:) four cups of Yummy Chocolate goodness! Like mine...

The black raspberry is totally for show, straight from the frozen fruit bag so don't even think this has any nutritional value, hahaha!
Oh, and what did GP say when I showed him my chocolate masterpiece? "EWWW! It's chocolate!" Now wouldn't it figure that I would end up with the kid that doesn't like the one and only recipe I can make sucessfully! Go figure!
Hope you have some time to make some yummy treats today, and don't forget this one is a sure next time you're in the supermarket and see those little blue boxes...slow down and pick up a few, and think of me! HAHAHA!B=)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

And Now... We Wait!

Mr Snowman and I are ready for class. I know, I know, he doesn't look like much now but once he gets his party face and his star, well I think he's going to steal your heart away. =)
This is my progress so far, again, this is the BACK of the mitten.
This is it until next Saturday so now he'll be stored in the closet out of harm's way. Waiting, just waiting till it's time to come to life. I can hardly wait!
Now my aching hands need some rest. Aleeve, here we come. Please don't even try this if you have a serious case of arthritis. I have a little arthritis and I feel like my hands need to be soaked in warm water w/ Epsom salt! Ouch!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I'm Punching a Snowman!

Oh, yes I am! I just got back from taking my
Rug Punching class. And, I am trying to complete my mitten tonight so I can put it away until next weekend when I will learn how the heck to turn this little guy into an actual mitten. W00-hoo! The pattern is by Stacy West, it's actually an applique pattern that I really loved and thought it would make a perfect beginner project, it's Trio Of Woolen Mittens.
I think I will have enough left over wool yarn to make all three. The mitten is a nice big size, perfect to hang on a coat peg with some winter greens. I can't wait to finish it. I chose a dark pumpkin for my background, and the snowman will be a natural wool color.
I will save the pic for next week. This is the BACK of the piece, the front looks sooo cute. I am lovin' it!
No Snowmen were hurt in the making of this post, JIC there are any activists out there. I am a humane puncher, LOL!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I Know It's Not Christmas!

But I needed to do something that was NOT embroidery! LOL! OK, call me a coward. I just could not face another upset at the hands of the needle. I just could not do it! I had this quilt all made waiting for the applique (I told you , I'm weird, I make the quilt and THEN add the applique...I have a system,trust me, it all works out in the end), so instead of feeling like an embroidery loser, I did what I do best...I ironed on the applique and took to my handy dandy machine to finish this one off last night, woo-HOO! The good news is that Christmas comes around every single year, so this little cutie is just a bit early for the 2010 holiday celebrations. BTW...she makes Holiday Tree#4 for me. Can you tell that I just love this pattern? =)
You can make a Holiday Tree of your own, I have listed some kits using the same exact fabrics I used for my sample. I just love it. Now I have to go find the tissue paper to wrap it I can put it with the darn Xmas cards I never mailed out. LOL~ Well, at least I'm almost ready for Christmas 2010...hee-hee

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Work In Progress...

I ran away this weekend to claim some time for myself. Yep, I got in the car and told Gino I was off to the Post Office, which I was , but after the PO I just could not face another morning of Mommy duty so I ran away, LOL!
I'm so bad!
I spent the afternoon window shopping, I went out to dinner (alone) and then I went to the movies to see an R rated film, Up In The Air (George Clooney) your $$$ ladies, it's a dud! The only redeeming quality of this movie is that you get to gawk at GC for a little while. Yep, it was a serious disapointment. Yep, better just skip that one! Go see Avatar!
On Sunday I got up early, ready for some stay at home fun and I made up some kits for Pumpkin Berries' In The Meadow quilt.
The kits are ready but my sample is not. I'm so sad... my embroidery skills suck. No really, they do. LOL! To make matters worse, I decided to ink the letters first so I could see what I was stitching and THEN, I realized I had misspelled meadow. DUH! What a moron! ARGH!>=( I had to use spot remover, scrub with a toothbrush to get the ink out and then toss it in the wash before I could correct my mistake. I was so mad! If I didn't have the kits cut out I would have chucked it and just made something else...
This is what I have done post crisis...nothing! Well, I did write the words (in chalk this time), which only means I can't stitch them on at night because I can't see it, even with my OTT light; I'm blind as a bat! I hope to steal away some time tomorrow to continue the wording. Then it's just the buttons and I'm done.
Yeah, It is quilted and bound...I'm weird like that, LOL! Stay tuned, it's a work in progress. What are YOU working on???

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Rotary Cutter Holder, Done

Winter seems to be Retreat Season in the Quilting World. I think it's because if you're going to be Stuck inside (lest you venture out to freeze your butt off!) sewing anyway, why not do it among friends??? Sounds perfectly reasonable to me!
Oh, how I wish I was "retreating" myself...but that would certainly require packing, and that alone would give me an anxiety attack! I'm still recovering from my two week "stint" in snowy TX!
But as I read a post on another Blog (which shall remain nameless since it was before my second cup of Java and I have no idea which one it was among the 158 (yeah, that's the # of blogs on my Bloglines, I'm a lurker, what can I say???) that I track like a broker tracks the stock market... do you keep a tab open all day and just check in on your bloglines during your breaks? Is that normal? Should I seek treatment for this addiction??? I'm just wondering out loud, ignore me, LOL!
Back to the topic...I was reading of how she was packing her bags upon bags of projects to take to her weekend of Bliss and I remembered that I made this Rotary Cutter Holder a while back and it travels to retreats with Nancy who said her RC was just the right size for it. This lead me to think that there must be some more RC's that could use a little carrier of their own as they hit the Retreat Circuit. How fancy, eh? I love it! I made some kits for it, you can find them HERE!
Are you a "retreater"? Have you heard of a jammies only retreat? I like to quilt in my jammies, I'm so bad! LOL!
Update: These kits have sold out!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Coming Soon! Settler's Pride

Settler's Pride by Maggie Monanomi
Is this a gorgeous wool quilt or what?!
I'm in love; I need to make this quilt. I saw it and thought of three places where it could hang in my home. That ever happen to you? Well, it sometimes happens to me with quilts I can't make, but this one is easy enough for beginners so I can actually make this in one and not just wish I could. I just ordered the patterns for it, they should be in next week. Woo-HOO!
Just wanted to share my joy; it's the little things that make me happy...
this one will surely cure the Winter BLAHS! =)
This Pattern has sold out but has been reordered. Please do check back for availability!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tattered Snowman Heart, Done!

It's only Tuesday but my week was off to a fast start. The first two days back to work, back to Homeschool, back home and back to this ridiculous cold...well, it's taking some adjusting. If I sit still I'm afraid I will not get up again. I will go into hibernation mode. I'm really trying to stay the course, get the job done, make it to Spring... somehow!
In my quest to stay motivated and creative, I found a happy medium between a Winter project and a Sweetheart project. I made this wonderful Tattered Heart Snowman pillow. I used only hand dyed woolens, along with hand dyed threads and even hand dyed buttons. AND... I did all the applique by hand. I used weighed pollypellets and polyfil to give it a little weight and keep the "puffiness" down. It's so cute, and it's a really nice size too. It's 8" x 11" I'm still deciding whether or not to add a hanging cord...HMMM. Mulling it over, if you know what I mean.
Hope you're staying warm and keeping busy...there's still time to start something fun , you can do it! B=)
Update: This pattern has sold out! Sorry.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Before They Go Into Hiding....

There wasn't much Xmas decorating going on around here, but just before I left for TX these arrived and I must share them before I put them away ...
This wonderful Williraye Santa with Chickadees is my newest favorite Xmas figurine. I am all about the birds at Xmas and this one matches my other birdie things, LOL!
I also love one piece Nativity sets. This might be a bit strange to some but here's my reasoning. One piece, one hand. You can dust under them with one hand, you can pick them up with one hand, you can wrap them in one paper, get it? Practicality, LOL! They also fit in small places and my house is defined by its itty-bitty size. Thank God for vertical space! This cutie replaces one I had but didn't love. This one is sooo cute. Love the sheep! B=)

A New Addition

This little cubby was waiting for me when I arrived; today I hung it in the Pumpkin Patch. I've topped it with two of my favorite Longaberger pumpkin baskets and a Williraye Gathering the Bounty figurine (now retired). Not sure if I will keep it this way but for now it works and I'll leave the tweaking for another time. At this point I am celebrating that it's new, it's up and I have more storage. Can't beat that! I love cubbies...finding one I love is like finding a needle in a haystack! This one I knew would be perfect in the studio, it's so cute! It's the little things that make me happy!

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Quilt for ME!

I received a gorgeous handmade quilt for Christmas from my sister, the family quilter, Sandy. She named it the Pumpkin Patch Quilt. It was quilted by a very talented woman in Maine, Margaret who just started her long arm quilting business. She does amazing work. I saw Sandy's quilts and they are just stunning. Mine has Pumpkins in the quilting. It's so cute! You can see more pics of the quilt on Sandy's Blog, HERE.
Sandy was a quilting away all the time I was in TX; she was a quilting maniac! LOL! Which totally explains how she made two HUGE quilts to give as gifts and sent off two more to be quilted while I was there. I was on vacation so no quilting for me, hee-hee.
I have yet to unpack my suitcase but I did sleep wrapped in my sisters arms last night, so to speak. I was warm and toasty in Sandy's great big very own Pumpkin Patch Quilt. Thanks Sandy, I love it...
OMG! I almost forgot to mention that my other sister gifted me TWO sets of gorgeous flannel jammies... you should see the mess on my kitchen table...I had to tear through the suitcase to dig them out. Now how was I supposed to sleep under my new quilt in my old PJ's? LOL! I'm so bad, I literally pulled out my new PJ's and left the mess. I piled it high and it's still waiting to be dealt with. But I do have my gorgeous red snowman jammies and my new quilt.... so I'm feeling pretty happy right about now, LOL! Thanks for the jammies TChoco. They were like icing on my cake! I love 'em... Hope your Xmas was full of love and laughter. Family, it's a good thing! B=)

The Movie To Watch! Avatar

Yep, we went to see it, and if you haven't seen it, get out of your jammies and go today.You can thank me later, and GP highly recommends the LARGE popcorn, with LOTS of butter...LOL!
Don't even think this movie is not your thing, really. This movie was a feast for the eyes, and it was sooooo good. I swear, your husband won't even know it's a chick flick until the end! We saw it in 3D... I can't say more, I'll ruin it for you.
I went because GP wanted to see it. Sandy went to see it and raved; but she's a sci-fi reliable could that information be??? LOL! I like documentaries, I'm so boring I would tell you about my taste in movies but you'd probably fall asleep and drool on your keypad! Anyway, this movie will make your heart happy, really, it will... I might even go watch it again, if my legs start working before I have to get back to work on Monday! =)

Happy New Year!

What a year, what a decade! I don't know about you but I am just glad it's over; HOORAY!
To close out the old decade my Prince and I hit the good ol' streets of Boston to join in the First Night 2010 Celebrations. What a wonderful night to walk in the streets and take in some pollution (can you say Traffic???), I mean fresh air, LOL!
We did the usual stuff, watched anime for hours, ate at the Prudential and saw the ice sculptures. The one behind GP was a depiction of a Michelangelo sculpture, it was amazing! I did have to explain it to GP who couldn't quite grasp it, he was enthralled by the lights and I think the sculpture itself was missing... I got some quizzical looks as I described it, "See there on the top? That looks like hair being blown away in the breeze? And then you can see her arms covering her privates, see?" And then he snapped/saw it, " OH, I SEE!" It had never ocurred to me why he didn't really enjoy the sculpture until I stopped looking at the sculpture and looked at him. He had that glazed over look that tells me he is not seeing what I see... and there it was, he was seeing the lights, not the sculpture. We stopped at a few more along our walk and I asked him what he saw and when he told me we would move on. No long gazing and admiring, just an appreciation for the art on display, and it was really art. Those sculptures were amazing.
My legs still ache from all the walking but I have to tell you, I am so glad we stepped out. It was the first time we were in Boston so close to midnight. We saw the fireworks at 7:00 as we walked to the most impressive cinema I have ever been to; OMG! If you have never been to the Loews Cinema in Boston Common, I say you go...go today, make it your destination. I tell you, it is worth the drive. It is AWESOME! GP of course was so not impressed. He had been here many times, he didn't even flinch at the I gawked at the stenciled ceiling and the gilded concession stand... I have to wonder what other wonderful places he has been to. HMMM.
The night went off without a hitch. Even the Pepperdog waited for us to do her business outside. Can you beat that? I think where did I put the Tylenol? I think my recovery might take all weekend. LOL! I have so much to share, but I am pooped. It's been a long few weeks. We just got back from TX at 2am on Wed. and Thursday we hit First Night (which should be called first day because the activities start at noon, hello?)... Anyway, did I mention that before we left for First Night I had to stack enough wood for the week because we expected rain today?
Nothing like walking for miles in full Winter gear after spending the morning stacking wood. I'm just sayin'.... gotta go find that Tylenol...Talk more later!
Hope your New Year Celebration was fun! Happy New Year! B=)