Friday, January 30, 2009

I'm just hanging around...!

The weekend is here and it's a boy's weekend!

Yes, "the Boys" have come up from Pennsylvania to jam the weekend away.

I love the energy of the house when they're here. I don't know, it's just wonderful to see Stephen happy to be with his buddies, doing what they like best, playing music.

The house just comes alive with all the sounds. I love it!

Of course just when I think about writing that blog entry I've been meaning to write, I cannot access the computer to upload my photos! lol Not a big deal, I can write about it another time.

I hope you all have a great weekend! I'm heading off to Montreal to spend some time with my mum!

Until next time!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Baltimore Country Cousins...!

Since the hand embroidery projects I've started are pretty much finished, I'm back to hand applique! I will admit, I did miss it! I truly enjoy doing hand work and it's such a tug-a-war between hand embroidery or hand applique... sigh! We won't even go into hand quilting! lol

I managed to finish 2 (two) blocks from this BOM that I started back in June 2006.

This block is called Bowl of Tulips

Here you have Sunflowers & Sweet Peas

It's a great feeling to have finally completed those 2 (two) blocks. They've been sitting in my hand work basket for quite some time. I will need to prep more blocks as I'm getting to the last one.
I read that many of you have been busy with needle and thread! So many of you are working on those cute BOMS going around Blog Land! Such a generous community Blog Land is!
Thank you for stopping by! Keep well everyone!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Diet Monday...!

As per Sergeant Red Geranium, I must have a post every Monday. Geeezzzzz bossy pants! lol

Last Monday I had a doctor's appointment. A follow up to my last appointment. Guess what, they own a weight scale. I do not! It's really against my religion to have one of those in my house. lol

Back to the doctor's appointment. You know the routine, get on the scale. They say it with such authoritative voice that you automatically jump on. Then, s/he has to wait for everything to settle before they can accurately measure you weight. That gives me enough time to pray to the gods of the scale for mercy. lol Well, this time it was good news.

As you know, I have been doing the 2 (two) weeks detox and I'm really not finding it bad at all. The first few days were painful due to my sugar/bad carb addiction, but once it was out of my system, I didn't crave any junk food! As a matter of fact, I'm not hungry on the South Beach, which makes it so much easier.

Anyway, back to the scale..... I had lost 3 (three) pounds! Hurray for me! Perhaps if I jumped on the scale today, it would be a favourable outcome but...... it's against my religion! lol

I want to share with you a recipe that I enjoy. It's more of a dessert and is quite filling. I don't really know what to call this, but it is South Beach friendly.

I guess I'll call this Chocolate Ricotta treat!

1/2 cup of skim milk Ricotta
Unsweetened cocoa powder
Sugar substitute (I use Splenda)
Almonds sliver

You mix the first 3 (three) ingredients until blended and add the almonds.

It's quite filling! I do like the texture. It sort of reminds me of chocolate cheese cake. :o)

Although I've done my 2 (two) weeks detox, I intend on staying with that program. I may not be as strict but I will keep away from bad carbs and sugars.

Nuts are permited on the South beach program so I carry a bag of raw almonds with me as a quick snack, which came in handy during the first few days of detox. I'm allowed up 15 almonds, which is really plenty. Cashews are really my favourite but I stay away from those! I can't stop at 15! lol

I do hope every one is doing well! Thanks again Sharon for doing this!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Happy Dancing......!!!

Guess what? I've got another finish! Yea......... Meet my first hand embroidered quilt!

This is the pattern Blue Bird by Crab Apple Hill Designs. I started this quilt back in April 2008.

I did some changes to the pattern. You know, rarely do I follow a pattern to the letter.

Instead of white borders with embroidered blue birds, I chose a Mary Engelbreit fabric from her Recipe for Friendship line. I originally had in mind to use fabric from a Susan Branch line, but when I saw this one last Tuesday in Glen Falls, I had to have it. ;o)

As for the machine quilting...

I didn't use a pantho but chose to do an over all pattern of hearts and loops. I didn't want to go over the hand embroidery design.

I don't think you would call this "custom quilting" but it's definitely not a pantho! ;o)

I did learn that it was easy to find myself in a corner, unable to get out. So.... some croaking was done to escape from the trap! lol

I hope you have all had a wonderful weekend. Thank you so much for stopping by! Cheers!

Friday, January 9, 2009

**Warning** I'm on a rant......!

Early December 2008, my faithful iron of 5 (five) years died on me. It did not exhibit the common symptoms of a dying iron such as leakage, but a straight, kick the bucket sort of thing. It started to smoke and smell awful. A sure sign of "pull the plug" and do it quickly. So off I went to shop for a new iron in small town USA. A quilter has got to have her iron!

Shopping for an iron was an all day affair for me. It's not the purchasing that takes time but the travelling from one store to another, hoping to find different models. I was wrong, stores around my area all carry the same models and not much of a selection. sigh! The only difference were the prices.

What I look for in an iron is weight, no auto shut off, which is non existent and cost.

Meet my new POS - Shark Intelligent Electronic Iron model GI405Z!

I love the blue color!

The fake chrome handle is a tad tacky in real life, looks good in pictures though!

An attractive feature of this iron is the enclosed sole plate. My old iron had a space between the sole plate and the body of the iron; dust would often collect and sometimes fall off , dirtying my fabric.

As I typed the product detail "intelligent Electronic Iron" it dawned on me that a bell should have gone off .... but I digress.

According to the instructions, the auto shut off turns off between 7 - 10 minutes. To me, it feels more like 3 - 5 minutes. Not only that, but to turn it back on I've got to shake it to death! lol I mean, I can't just press the ON button but I've got to do this dance.... and if it's full of water..........

It's driving me nuts! I'm now stressing to make sure my iron doesn't auto turn off! It's such a chore to turn it back on. If it's so intelligent, it should know that I don't want it to turn off! lol

My old iron, may it rest in piece, I would just press the ON/setting buttons to turn it back on. This supposedly "intelligent" one doesn't work that way. I must shake it before I can play with any buttons. I can't even turn it off with it's own button for crying out LOUD! Even if I turn my power bar off and turn it back on a couple of days later, I've got to shake the darn thing!!!!!! Merely plugging it in activates the auto shut off feature!

I just cannot stand an appliance that thinks it knows what's best for me! Oh and we won't even talk about computers and Microsoft! lol

Don't even bother checking Shark's web site for information. It offers no information that I'm looking for! lol

In all fairness, this iron would be good for people who only iron clothes with it. It's definitely not a quilter's iron.

Stephen inherits my old irons when they start to leak. I just cannot wait to pass on my "intelligent" iron to him.

Next time, I'm looking for a dumb iron! ;o)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Backyard beauty and SSCS....!

At last, we have had a snow day!

For a while there I thought Pam and Wendy were hogging all the snow. Have you seen how much they've received in the past few weeks? It should have all come our way! lol It is beautiful. I do enjoy the 4 (four) seasons.
As for the SSCS swap that Donna from Chookyblue organized.....

This is what I received from Sandra, my Secret Santa, who lives in Portugal. Isn't it all just beautiful?

I just love everything she sent. She made the bag using Portuguese fabrics and..... sent me a packet of fabric in various colours....

Oh... and those buttons.... so original!

There was some chocolates, but they're all gone. Yummy, yummy....!

Thank you again Sandra, the items are all lovely!

On the quilting front, I finished hand sewing the binding on the Fairy Garden quilt. Another UFO bites the dust! Today, my goal is to finish Blue Bird, which I hope to show you pictures tomorrow.

Until then.... have a great day! Thank you for stopping by!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Diet Monday...!

For a bit of fun and motivation, I've joined "Dieting with Blogger Babes" that Sharon from Red Geranium Cottage has started. Stephen and I have both made the decision to get back on track when it comes to weight and health. Stephen managed to keep his weight gain to a minimum, myself, let's not go there. But..... I am determined.

Stephen and I are following the South Beach Diet. Simple is best for me! I was never one to keep tads on my points and what not. The first two (2) weeks is a detox program whereby you cleanse your body of carbs and sugar. This means no pasta, bread, alcohol, fruits and any type of refine sugar or processed foods. What I like about this program is that you're not hungry all the time and it's easy to follow.

Last night we had baked Cajun spiced salmon with roasted Brussels Sprouts and cauliflower with lemon and garlic. The recipe is an adaption of the original recipe roasted broccoli and cauliflower with lemon and garlic found in the December 2008 issue of Everyday Food. I love that magazine!

I'm borrowing the picture from the Everyday Food site since I've neglected to take a picture of what Stephen prepared last night. Yes, Stephen is the cook in the family. Just pretend the broccoli are Brussels Sprouts! lol

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and cauliflower with lemon and garlic

1 pound of Brussels Sprouts halved
1/2 head of cauliflower broken into florets
3 tbsp of Olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves (to taste) - thinly sliced
3/4 of a lemon thinly sliced
salt & pepper

Preheat the over 475F - place vegetables, lemon and oil on a cookie sheet - toss - season. Roast until brown and tender approx 25 to 30 minutes. Toss vegetables mid way.

If you do a search on the Everyday Food site you will have the original recipe with "per serving" data. It's a great magazine and I invite you to check it out. Lots of wonderful easy to make recipes.

As for a picture of myself, no I'm not brave enough. Besides, you all know what I look like.

Thanks for stopping by! You have yourself a great day!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year.....!

I do hope that 2009 will bring you all that your heart desires or better! Now that the holidays are behind me, time to get back into a healthy eating routine..... sigh!

On the quilting front, I managed to finish machine quilting the last of my UFO pile, Fairy Garden. Last year, while waiting for Penelope to show up, I had managed to complete 8 (eight) tops. The pile is now empty!

I decided to use a dragonfly panto. Gosh, this is a hard one to master. You come in by one antennae and out by the other.

It's not perfect, but as a whole, acceptable.

Yesterday, while on our way back from a friend's house, Jennifer asked when was I going to start doing more custom quilting. It seemed that all I did was pantos.

It's certainly been the case the last few months. I will admit, pantos are quicker for me to do than custom quilting.

I've come to understand that some quilts speak custom and others panto/edge to edge quilting. All of the tops I had completed spoke the panto language. Until I complete a quilt that speaks custom quilting, such as Midnight Silhouette and Sprig Rose, I guess pantos are what I will be doing! lol

I'm curious as to how you come to decide on the type of machine quilting you will do? Do you plan the machine quilting prior to piecing a quilt top? That's what Ricky Tims does; everything is pretty much determined at the planning stage. Or, do you decide once the top is completed? Myself, I let the finish quilt top speak to me.

Yesterday, Jennifer and I went to a friend's house to help un-clutter and clean her home. Jo Ann will have some major surgery done on her back some time this week and will not be able to do anything for quite some time. It was important to both of us that Jo Ann be able to rest and not think of cleaning etc.... It was quite the job but oh so satisfying. It's a great feeling knowing that you're helping a friend. So, if you could keep Jo Ann in your thoughts/prayers this week, I would be much obliged.

As always, thank you for stopping by. I do enjoy reading your comments! Keep well!
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