Friday, November 20, 2009

FMF!

Flea Market Fancy giveaway here
Though anyone who reads this blog already knows about it, I'm sure!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I'm back!

My laptop died last month (or was it August?) and I've been computer-less for ever, it seems. My sweet sweet boyfriend bought a new fancy computer for himself, and I got his old one! It's a strange transition from a teeny laptop to this huge, loud monstrosity, but I'm very grateful to have internet etc back up at home. Now I have zero excuses to not blog...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Kasey's Skirt

I finished this skirt for Kasey's belated July birthday over labor day weekend up at Mike's dad's house in the woods. I zigzag stitched around the raw edge about 3 or 4 times to get the cool hemline (at least I think it is cool). We had a fabulous relaxing romantic time :) It even rained! I want to eat Marcella's tomatoes there in the background.
Boy dog is getting pretty old, but he sure can take adorable pictures still.

Margaret Bag

I finished this cutie patootie bag last night. Used Oh Fransson's Margaret Bag Tutorial

Fun stuff. I used an old vintage sheet to practice the bag. Looking forward to more!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I love it! I hate it!

That's what Mike says I am like. I can't just sort-of like something. I'm a all or nothing sort of gal. I'll make this short. I like to cook. I wish I knew more. I need to know more. I saw 'Julie and Julia' in the theatre this weekend and now I'm obsessed with Julia Child's cookbooks. I love Julie Powell's blog. Every day after work I'm poaching eggs like crazy. My first poached egg ever, and it wasn't oval and the yolk was not as runny as I prefer, but it tasted heavenly. I made more tonight, and didn't take pictures before I chowed. They were more ovule and pretty than this one.I also made my version of that fabulous bruschetta that Julie and Eric totally devoured in the movie. It was so good I had it for dinner last night and breakfast again this morning at work. A coworker said "....whoa... " as I walked by with my plate of heaping tomatoes and fresh basil on toast. I skipped the garlic on accident last night, and found that it tasted fresh and yummy without, so I skipped it purposefully this morning too. I believe many fantastical meals will come out of me in the following months as I devour Ms. Child's cookbooks and continue reading Ms. Powell's still-on-the-internets blog. Currently I have had on my shelf, for, oh, over a decade, a used copy of The French Chef Cookbook and am just now busting it open. Stay tuned. Oh and I haven't forgotten my sewing, it's just taking a back burner this week. Har har.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Start

Disappearing 9 patch quilt top - it's getting there! Slow and steady wins the race this time.

Another Bag

I'm having fun making these bags. This one is larger for more groceries and has an inner pocket. I'm practicing on these, then I'll start making the numerous birthday bags!

Skirt Time

I made this quick and easy skirt for a little one yet to be born. I hope mommy likes it! I think I'll make another slightly larger one too, with lace at the bottom.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Neighborhood cat and Mo

This neighborhood cat has been loitering on my porch the last couple days. I made the mistake of petting him a few days ago, then again this evening. Mo is quite curious!
video

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Picture Post

Finished blocks for Marina's cherished fabric improv quilt made by the Underground Sewers (that's our group's new name!). She absolutely loved all of our creations and I can't wait to see how she pieces all of the slightly wonky blocks together. We weren't allowed to use straight edges or rotary cutters for this assignment! I just love how bright and textured the fabrics are.

These were mine:
and these are all blocks the five of us made - just a start!
This is a block from my Neptune disappearing nine-patch. It is taking me forever to get this thing done, but I'm diligently getting the top pieced together this week. Hopefully I'll get the back done and the quilt sammy made next weekend. And this, well this is the very impromptu market bag I made this afternoon. I needed to get to the grocery store, and I lost my other pre-fab market bag months ago. The guilt of using the Co-op's paper bags got to be too much, so here is this beaut! I altered this tutorial a bit and used 3 different fabrics instead of two.


I used some Joel Dewberry, some Arcadia, and the ever popular Essex linen in putty. Lovely fabrics, I must say.
She made her maiden voyage this evening, and came out like a champ! But just because I'm paranoid, I'm going to stitch the heck out of the straps so they don't detach from the bag. Happy Sunday, not looking forward to Monday....

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Failing Miserably

I am so far behind on where I set my sewing goals earlier this summer. I have slacked BIG time on my Neptune quilt, but the top is almost patched together. I am primarily writing this to kick myself in the butt to progress on my projects. I've done a few things, like making a tablecloth for my friend Kasey, and I've made a little progress on the improv squares for Marina for our quilt group (basically I've cut the random pieces of fabric). I realize I am so far from improv that it is incredibly hard to actually complete. But, I must get it done because in 2 days the ladies are coming over to share our blocks!

This summer has been incredibly busy with weddings, parties, vacations, and just all around outside sunshine time that does not equal inside sewing time. However, true to it's nature, coastal Humboldt County has been experiencing the traditional foggy summers, so I should be getting more done than I am. Oh well.

Oh, and we've been doing some of this too:

Friday, June 26, 2009

Brave

I am not entirely sure why Farrah Fawcett's death has hit me so hard. I was never a huge fan of hers, never went out of my way to see any of her movies and never googled her. With that being said, I am so very proud of her for making her struggle with cancer public because, in reality, the process she went through was just like any other person dealing with the balance between life and death (though perhaps the more regular folks with cancer are not flown to Germany for experimental treatments). Apparently she documented her struggle with video for the last few years of her life and I think that was one of the most wisest actions she could have taken during this process.

The battle begins with awareness.

Her struggle was not ANY different than my grandpa's or my still-living grandmother's, or your sister, friend, mother, cousin, neighbor, coworker or grocery store clerk. There has been cancer in my family, on both sides, and I realize how prevalent the disease is and I am also quite scared that I, too, will probably fight some sort of cancer as I age. Is that morbid of me to say? It just seems to be everywhere. I can just hope that those fortunate enough to affect millions of people like Farrah will continue to reach out and inform and help research grow. I have been part of a local American Cancer Society Relay for Life team for many years now, and it seems more important now than ever before. So let's conquer this devastating and painful disease once and for all. If any of you, my readers, are interested in donating to the American Cancer Society, please Click here to visit my personal page.

Thank you.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sweetness and Light

Happy day when I get a box in the mail. This arrived:

It is the start of my quilt group's next quilt. I'm thinking log cabins or bento box. What do you think? I told Sara (after a guessing game) that I purchased 15 yards of this line. She thought I was nuts, in a good way. I guess I wanted leftovers!

Also, I failed to mention in my previous post that when I got home from the valley on Sunday, my sweetest guy in the whole wide world left a single red rose by my bed. In unison, now: Awwwww!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hi, my name is...

..Deirdre, and I'm a fabric addict.

I searched high and low for the Lush line by Erin Michael. I spent more than I probably should have for small pieces of discontinued fabric. But this love feels so good!!
I hope I am done with this particular addiction to this line so I can stop spending so much time searching the internet for it and actually make something with it! I have been completely inspired by this quilt Jacquie, from Tallgrass Prairie Studio made for her son. It is simple, gorgeous, and a lovely design!

What's funny is that since my mom and I got back from a visit with Grandma Pat, I've been having this urge to really declutter my house. I'm not an inherently cluttery person, but I do tend to get lazy about the dishes in the sink, or the pottery dish full of who knows what on my bookcase/coffee table/kitchen counter. So while I continue to receive bundles of fabric in the mail and stash them away in my fabric bins, I simultaneously have been filling the goodwill box. Life is good.

Mom's birthday was friday, and I made her four placemats from the Alexander Henry Granville line. She loved them, but as I suspected, she wants eight! I tried different quilting techniques on each one, and because my feed dogs don't lower on my machine, I can't stipple. The curviest I can manage are slight waves, which I actually really dig how they look. You can't really tell the different techniques in the photo, but I tried waves, square spirals, boxes within boxes, and long curves every which way (still need to come up with a better name). Here are the backs:
And here we all are, enjoying the last of the Lincoln warm air. From left to right: Me, Mom, Aunt Laurel and her man Mike, Uncle Randy, Grandma Pat, Bon Bon (the cutest little munchkin doggie you will ever meet) and Grandma's honey Morris. Happy birthday Mom!!
And that concludes this segment of June 2009 birthdays.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

"Quilty Group" Quilt No. 3

As you know, I'm in a quilting bee with some good friends locally. We're coming up with a name finally and I think we've got it. We all met yesterday to reveal the blocks for the third quilt - the Heather Ross Mendocino couch quilt for Ms. Sara. Everyone is always so creative and I just really enjoy that we can all get together and be crafty. Here are my four squares.

June Birthdays: 2 of 3!


Happy Birthday Tiffany!! I made her four quilted place mats and coordinating napkins out of a charm pack of the Wonderland line. I heart these place mats and it was tough to give them up. They were made with all kinds of love.

The backs are very simple.Here's Tif, happily seeing how the mats display on her dining room table. She loves them, by the way :)I also tried out a new vanilla cupcake recipe with chocolate frosting. They were so rich and yummy!
We also made some homemade super delicious rum mojitos! Needless to say I got up way later than expected this morning. Good times were had by all. Happy birthday, friend!

Rest in Peace Betta Fishy

My 2+ year old Betta died a couple days ago. What makes me the saddest is Mo really misses him! They used to hang out together, and I honestly believe that Mo didn't want to eat him..
They hung out for hours - Mo on the warm dryer and Betta Fishy in his tasteful little home. We'll miss you little Betta Fishy.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A very happy birthday

Numerous pictures in this blog, beware!

This weekend has been action packed full of Mike's birthday fun. Yesterday I spent the entire afternoon and evening in the kitchen making a german chocolate cake from scratch (Mike's favorite) then homemade lasagna for the birthday boy's dinner. For some reason the coconut pecan frosting didn't make it to the outside of the cake, but that is ok, because Mike enjoys the cake part of the cake better anyways. It looks pretty funny, sorta lopsided and bare, but it sure was tasty! And as always, he hammed it up for the camera big time any chance he got.
I also have spent the last few weekends thinking up a pattern for pillows for Mike's bed. I just love Alexander Henry's fabric collections, and made a couple pillows out of naked camo girls and some cutie patootie spotted owls. My mom says the owl pillow looks like it's for a kid.. Of course Mo had to get in on the action. A blog post is never complete without a shot of the crazy catface.


We rounded out the evening with the brand new Guitar Hero for Wii at John and Melina's. We lost ALL track of time, and noticed that it was almost 1 am and decided to call it quits. I can't get Eye of the Tiger out of my head (and I don't want to!)
Today is Mike's actual birthday, and we're celebrating with dinner and a movie with his folks. Fun fun! Happy birthday sweetie!!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

I hope I win! And more.

Tonight is when winners of all of the what seemed like hundreds of materials/handmade gifts giveaways I entered will be announced! I do hope I win something! I still need to conquer the last of the handmade list...

On another note, I am just so INTO the gift I finished last night for my dear friend's birthday in two weeks. I can't say anything more and it's killing me! Today I'll take a ton of pictures in anticipation of that future blog I'll be writing.

Last night I used the recipe found on Posie Gets Cozy bloggy for Baked Rigatoni with Eggplant and Sausage. My eggplant sure didn't end up looking like Alicia's, and honestly that was my first and last time cooking eggplant. I really don't like it! I think if I had fried it a little more (but I fried it for way longer than the recipe called for, and they still turned up squishy and weird) then maybe they would have been good. Or maybe if eggplant had a better taste, the texture wouldn't bother me so much. Anyways, this isn't a rag on eggplant; I'm sure it has a place but not in this dish next time I make it. And I will make it again as it was super delish. Mike agreed that perhaps artichoke hearts or zucchini would be a better fit. Of course we enjoyed this dish with the last drops of Fieldbrook Winery's barbera, and opened (and tried not to finish) the lovely 2003 Turnbull syrah. Yummms. Sausage was cooking when I took this picture. I used whisky fennel chicken sausage for a healthier version rather than the traditioal pork sausage. Eggplant is so pretty - I do wish I liked it better.

It smelled amazing, with the freshly grated parmgiano reggiano on top and the fresh basil leaves (from my garden!) mixed in with the tomato sauce.

Just delicious! And now I have my meal for the rest of the week until payday. I will try and not pick out the eggplant. Maybe a re-heat of leftovers in the oven will make them tastier?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Old Tapes

I was just watching a movie with Mike tonight and an ad came on for that Notorious movie about Biggie Smalls aka Big Poppa the fat rapper guy that was shot dead and it inspired me to pull out my old cassette tapes. Mike was astound that a) I've kept and moved with my hella old tapes for a over a decade and b) the sheer number of them fill two old boxes full. I found a couple of recorded and re-recorded tapes from back in the day. You know, when you buy a cassette, say Boyz II Men's Cooleyhighharmony, and record over that (after you put scotch tape over the two little anti-record holes on the top) with some awesome Power 96.3 Jodeci song or in later years song after song from KXGO - primarily he Rolling Stones then re-record over that with your own personal musings, but leave a few spaces between re-recordings so you can still dig on the Stones.

Sophomore year my best friend Shaunna and I went to a yard sale and bought a small (for the time) tape recorder with built-in microphone. The following month (May 1997 to be exact) was audibly covered - from my weekend stays at their house in Eureka to our evenings out with the friends and instruments and cigarettes and music and pot and the occasional six pack of beer shared amongst at least 10 friends. The recorder wasn't allowed at school, and honestly it probably wouldn't have fit in Shaunna's backpack. We talked about teen angst, taking huge trucker shits that clog up the toilet, endless strings of quotes from Beavis and Butthead to Forrest Gump to Dirty Dancing and the fact that one of the boys didn't like us recording because "what if the cops found this, man?!?" Not like we were doing anything remotely bad or illegal, except for that random sixer, the toke everyone had in their pockets and the walks around the neighborhood late at night past curfew. I wonder if other people did this - before ipods, cell phones, even daily use of the internet. How cumbersome it all seems now compared to the current days of fast fast fast information, yet so much more innocent. I'm nostalgic now after hearing those tapes of the end of that sophomore year, before Shaunna moved to Arizona, and before we all grew up. I don't want to go back, that's for sure, but I do enjoy listening down memory lane. I wish I had a picture scanned in from those days that I could post here now, but I don't because I'm still not that techie. Perhaps I'm trying to preserve a teeny bit of that sophomore innocence by not adapting completely. Like my dad, who refuses to own a cell phone and who still doesn't log into the home computer. Ever. Will I be one of those old ladies who doesn't understand a thing 'young kids do these days?'

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Packing and Hacking

Well not so much hacking as packing, but my throat has been sore since yesterday. Tomorrow before the sun rises I'm driving down to the Bay Area with Melissa as my date. First pit stop: outlet mall in Petaluma. Second stop, Market Street in San Francisco for some serious H&M etc shopping. Then meeting up with Geraldine for dinner and staying there for the night. Uncle Gerry is turing 65 (!!) and we are celebrating Saturday night on a dance party boat in Sausalito! I am just so freaking excited for his adventure. I wish I wasn't getting sick. Mel also has some headache sore throat thing going on too. We'll be quite the pair. Shopping til we drop, missing our honeys, but having a blast dancing til the sun comes up (well not really) on the bay. How more romantic is that? Too bad Mike is in the desert on his bike right now hehe.

Ick a spider was just crawling on my arm when I as writing on my wall calendar!! Now I feel creepy crawlies all over me ewwww.

Ok, gotta complete the packing, go to sleep and get to the City tomorrow.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Spring is here

Mo loves to lay silly in the skylight sun.



The first caterpillar in the yard



Strawberry blossoms and fruit tree blossoms.

Today was hot!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Project list and a side note

I'm super busy at work but I feel overwhelmed with all my (crafty) projects swimming in my head so I just really need to type them out really quick so I can get back to my work projects:
  • 2 birthday surprise gifts due for June (mustn't go into detail here)
  • 'Fancy' pillow for Mike with fabric I have yet to purchase but is reserved for me on Etsy
  • Tula Pink Neptune disappearing 9 patch first ever quilt for ME
  • Checkbook cover
  • Finish more squares for Lynn's retro quilt with remaining fabric
  • Spring Chicken!!! Too cute. No reason to make it except I think it is more than adorable.
  • At least one fabric box for fabric scraps
  • I also want to make a purse/bag using one of the various tutorials I've seen floating around the internets and then get good at it and give them away as gifts
I wonder if I should just create a sidebar thing on my blog for works in progress, so I can just refer to it and not blog about them over and over? Good idea. I'll do that later.

Ok, one more thing that just makes me so happy for some reason. There is an auto-electric repair place across the street from my work. It is owned by a couple, and they work together, day in and day out. She mainly does the business end, taking appointments/payments etc, and he works on the vehicles. Today I saw both of them assessing something under the hood of a red hot rod car, and they just seem so content. I know that every relationship has its issues, but they must really get along if they work all day together, get off at 5 oclock (on the dot, every day) and go home together too. Anyways, I just like them and the image I have made of their perfect relationship in my head makes me happy.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I love Sunday!

Today was pretty much my definition of the best Sunday ever. I slept in until almost 10 and that is only because I covered my eyes with the blanket to shade from the blasting bright skylight to squeeze in an extra couple hours. Mo was outside my door periodically mewing like he was in so much pain. I tell him if he behaved during the night, he wouldn't be banished outside the bedroom door, but he doesn't get it. I had a banana for breakfast, washed dishes, took out trash, did laundry, caught up on bloggies and facebooked, ate a meager raid-the-fridge/cupboard lunch, yada yada - all that Sunday stuff. Took a shower, went to Murphy's and got a bottle of table red and sat down at my sewing machine. I've been very inspired by Lynn's retro fabric for some reason. I've made four blocks for our quilt group's third compilation quilt and I still have more fabric left over to work with. Mo was 'helping' me sew as you can see, but from his expression I think he was jealous of where my attention was. I'm totally digging the disappearing 9 patch blocks. Soon I'll be starting my own quilt with this design. Here are the four:

Oh and how could I forget to mention?! We finally gave Tony his secret birthday blue oceany/watery quilt yesterday! He seemed to really enjoy the thoughtfulness and the way we kept it a secret this whole time. It is the second quilt for our group. This is my dolphin pinwheel strip (and my toes) on a rare sunny day
Here are the quilt group girls minus Kathryn - home with a horrible back issue :( and the happy quilt recipient Tony and our finished quilt! I guess technically it isn't a quilt because it isn't quilted, but it is extremely beautiful and we are all so proud and looking forward to more more more!
We also still need a name for our group! We are so busy hunched over our fabric to get creative with a name. I think yesterday when we gave Tony his gift, we enlisted the men in our lives to help out with a name. We'll see how fruitious that is..

Monday, April 6, 2009

Monday Monday

I'm sitting here with a huge stack of new fabric from my first ever order off of Etsy. Deborah at Whipstich is Incredible. She even has her own magnet.

Alexander Henry Granville - 5 prints, 1 yard each, a charm pack of wonderland (!!), a layer cake of tula pink's neptune (for my first ever quilt), a FQ of Kaufman's Iota vegetable garden, and two unexpected FQs of some old AH and another unknown fabric to me (so far) and a 1/2 yard I think AH and it fits in perfectly with my Granville collection! All I have plans for, but mustn't discuss for they are all gifts (except Neptune). Wow, lots of parenthesiseses in this one (I do love my parenthesis). I want to post photos of my fabric, but I think I'll just lay in bed and fondle them as I sleep instead.

At least something is making me smile today.

Sigh.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Professional Friend Requests

To accept or deny? I'm having a new etiquette issue of the 21st century. Recently I've gotten a few friend requests on facebook from people I know in the professional world. More specifically, a client of mine and his son. Now, my profession is such that we consult for our client related to development improvements (subdivisions, lot line adjustments, commercial/mixed use developments, local, state and federal agency interface etc) and we deal with things seemingly very important to our client: time, money and property. So, to have my clients on facebook puts me in a strange position. What if I did or said something on facebook that made me look unprofessional? Not that I make it a habit to express embarrassing or immoral behavior, but what if my actions in my personal electronic world had a detrimental affect on my professional world because of this weird online friendship? On the flip side of this, we live in Humboldt County, and I see these people in the real world outside of my work capacity all the time. Grocery store, musical events, even the bar. So, I think my conclusion is that I will accept them as friends, because what would it look like if I denied them? I think it could be more detrimental to our relationship than accepting them. I do have a current goal to watch what I say more often, so maybe this will be a test to my tactless blunt antics that have gotten me in trouble in the past. And maybe I'll stay off facebook a little more.

Monday, March 9, 2009

I'm obsessed

I'm completely consumed with looking at quilty-type blogs and tutorials and all sorts of fabric online and around town am starting to plan my upcoming quilting projects. I'm such a novice at quilting, but I have this overwhelming will to create things that is keeping me motivated. So, I really want to do a zig zag quilt, and have practiced with triangles now on two different compilation quilts (first attempt) but I find that I should probably practice on something a bit smaller before I attempt a large quilt. I have seen experienced quilters recommend making a doll quilt, but alas, I have no children, nor any dolls. And practicing triangles on a quilt that will be a gift seems like too much pressure. I think I'll practice on pillow covers. I have 3 blank pillow forms that have been waiting to be pretty for at least four years now. I've decided my first quilt will be the disappearing 9 patch. It just looks so COOL! I love this one.. I actually keep the link open and stare at it from time to time while I'm at work. Ahhh fabric porn. I get paid in three days and I am planning online fabric shopping craziness! My stash is pretty much non-existant, save for a few stacks of fat quarters and huge piles of muslin I purchased years ago. Next step: set up an actual stash area in my teeny house.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Being crafty again

When I lived at home as a teenager and after I moved out, I made all kinds of things - weird purses, corduroy pants (that I wore constantly), skirts, shorts, blankets, pillows.. then I just stopped. Well, I am pleased to announce that I am ultimately and fully obsessed with sewing again! It's been about a decade. I don't quite know why I stopped, but I won't allow myself to do that again. I am currently making a quilt with a group of awesome crafty friends, and this is only the beginning! I have so many ideas floating around in my brain. So now I need to start saving money for fabric as well as saving for my far-off dream of traveling out of this country. I think my first attempt will be to cover those blank pillows that I purchased years ago that have been stuck in their plastic jo-ann's fabrics bag ever since. Also, I have a pair of pants that are a tad too short that need a bottom cuff so I don't look like I'm waiting for a flood.

I don't think I'll create another blog for my crafts, just because I'm really not sure how much I'll be making and because I hardly blog on this as it is.

These are the four quilt blocks I pumped out last night in an hour. Who knew I could do it so quickly?! It definitely brought my confidence back (even though the pattern is super duper beginner). The fabric is Kathryn's and these blocks will go to her so she can incorporate them into our first compilation quilt. I'm excited to start being crafty again!! Maybe I'll also pick up my poetry that has also been left by the wayside..

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Story: Sleepless In Arcata

The Players:
Mo, the teenage kitten who will stop at nothing
Mason, the eight year old border collie who has lost his cool
Deirdre, the human who wants everything to just work out

The Plot:
Deirdre decides to dog sit for her beloved Mason who is only in her life when his owner goes out of town. This decision has created an 'invasion' into Mo's domain for a weekend, and maybe a week depending on their compatibility...

The Dilemma:
Mo is extremely curious about Mason to the point where he follows him everywhere, and gets so close to the him that he freaks himself out and hisses at Mason. Mason was a good sport about this odd creature at first, and just laid back thinking to himself 'Cat, just go away, OK?' Three days go by, and Mason is having trouble brushing off the cat-turned-devil. Mo watches Mason eat, and tries to drink from his water dish. Mo bats at Mason's unassuming wagging tail, much to Mason's dismay. Mo slowly skirts around Mason's sleeping form to get around him. Mo tries to eat houseplants and when disciplined by Deirdre, also gets an earful from Mason. Mo even wants to play with Mason sometimes, but doesn't quite know how that works with a 'tween cat and a mature dog. Deirdre watches the two interact; however numerous hissing-barking-rash movement bouts later, and Deirdre is fed up.

The Conclusion:
Against Deirdre's desire and to Mo's contentment, Mason will be going to another caretaker until Friday to prevent the likelihood of blood shed - or at least a puncture wound or two. Deirdre is upset - these are the only times she is able to be with Mason, yet her new kitten will not accept this temporary addition to the household.