Thursday, April 29, 2010

We love you Opa

I don't blog much about family life or personal stuff, but it feels shallow to be taking pictures and talking about sewing when yesterday we lost a member of our family. My father-in-law went to be with Jesus yesterday. I don't really have the words to describe how wonderful he was. Or to describe how sad we are that he is gone. He will be greatly missed.

opa and mikey

Grove city college

I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Artisan Bread Keeper--A Pattern for YOU!

I can't help myself. I'm in love with Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day. I've been in love it with it since my hubby bought himself the book for his birthday last year. We make it two to three times a week, and whenever there's a potluck or a brunch, or we get invited out, I always offer to bring bread. Why? Because it's so easy and delicious and people are always impressed by homemade bread.

My dilemma has always been in the presentation of it. I've wrapped it in aluminum foil (not impressive), a plastic bag (also not impressive), and once I even brought the container of dough to bake at my friend's house. That one was probably the most impressive because we actually got to smell the bread as it was baking and enjoy the loaf fresh out of the oven. But bringing raw dough isn't always an option.

Enter the Artisan Bread Keeper.

This is insulated to keep freshly-baked bread warm. There's a little chimney at the top to let steam and moisture out.
tuffet

The drawstring doubles as handle which makes for easy toting, while the insulation provides the bread with padding.
hang it on your arm

When you get to your destination, nonchalantly set it on the countertop. People will wonder what what on earth is in the humble package.
unpretentious

Gasp! Homemade bread? You made it yourself?
a lovely loaf

Yeah, baby. You made it yourself. You also made that awesome cozy it came in. When the bread is cut up, serve it directly in the bread keeper (which doubles as a bread basket). If the hostess looks jealous, you can give it to her and make yourself another.
bread basket

Any leftover bread can stay in the keeper--just pull the drawstring tight.

One more thing, when you need to clean it, simply shake out the crumbs and throw it in the wash.


The pattern for this is available as a PDF in my etsy shop. Enjoy! :)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Whew!

I've averaged about 6 hours of sleep per night this week. That's what I do when my husband is out of town. The kids get to bed, and I putter around doing this and that and before I know it, it's midnight and even though I'm not ready, I head to bed. Boredom is truly not an issue for me. Tiredness, though, is. I'm so looking forward to his return this afternoon.

I'm this close to being done with my tutorial. Maybe I can post it Monday.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

This

simultaneously melts my heart and stresses me out.
at the machine

Monday, April 19, 2010

I'm well aware

market tote handles

that it is self-proclaimed happy circles month and that I am woefully behind in my circle posting. But it's OK. One of the circle projects I've been working on has morphed into a pattern/tutorial in the works, so I can't post about it until it's ready.

In the meantime, I've added two lovelies (at least I think so) to my etsy shop.

p.s. If you don't think they're lovely, please keep it to yerself. thx.

Friday, April 16, 2010

On Gardening

pile o' weeds

I love weeding. Love it. Aside from sewing, where I feel like I can carve out my own corner of the universe, weeding is something I do where I lose track of time and tune everyone and everything out. It usually occurs when the boys are riding their bikes and scooters, and the dog is yapping at the neighbor dog, and I realize that an hour has gone by and I'm late getting dinner started and despite that, I feel really really relaxed and a bit victorious over one small corner of the garden.

This year, now that we have a dog, I've decided not to bother about the backyard. It reminds me of the lion exhibit at the zoo. Bad grass, chewed up bones strewn about, holes, poo....sigh. Instead, I'm focusing on the front yard. I'm only going to buy two kinds of plants this year. I'm not going to go all crazy as in years past when spring gardening fever hits. This year I'm only going to get hellebores and euphorbias. That's it. And I've decided not to seek them out. They're going to find me. If I happen to be at the grocery store and there happens to be one of the those plants there, then I just might buy it.

This is what I have so far:

euphorbia--tiny tim

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I love the bright green of the first one and the deep purple stems of the second one, which go so well with the sedge:

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And here's one that found me--it was growing wild under a tree in the back yard, so I transplanted it. It's a scrawny little thing, but our relationship was meant to be.

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No hellebores yet, but I'll let you know when one finds it's way into my yard.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cooking Fabric

I was working on something circular last night, but ran out of tea dyed fabric. So instead of having something happy and round today, all I have to show is this.

cooking fabric

cooking fabric

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Happy Circles: The Cheating Post

Does circle month have to be sewing related? I'm such a cheat, but I can't help it. If you've been following my blog for any amount of time, you know I'm a sucker for touring model homes. This time we dragged the kids for some yurt shopping. I know, right? But this time we're not just ogling. We're really planning to get one. We have had some land in the boonies for awhile now, are just in the process of getting a road put in, and soon (it's all relative, this year? next year?) we will be able to plop down a yurt on it.

I love yurts. Love love love them. I can't wait to decorate--make cushions,make quilts. It'll be totally off grid. Maybe we'll strive for a little civilization...there's talk of a composting toilet. I'm a city girl, afterall. :)

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

On the Farm

I'm a city girl--always have been. I was raised in a big city and now live in a medium sized city, but the tug of the farm is always there. Weird.

nibbling

looks painful

piggies horsing around

that thing on his beak could move like a worm

falling asleep

Friday, April 09, 2010

Happy Circles: A Round Potholder

I didn't get my act together to sign up in time for Malka's potholder swap. Urgh. That's what happens when life gets too busy to keep up w/my blogs. Ah well. Maybe next year? Woo hoo! I don't have to wait until next year after all. Amy's hosting the potholder pass. There's still time to sign up here.

potholder

I made myself a round one. I like the size of potholders. They're mini quilts. You can play around with them with a minimal investment of time and materials, come away with an idea for a possible future real-sized quilt, and in the meantime you've got a little something for the kitchen that's useful and cheery. All goodness.

happy circles buttonMore circle stuff here and here.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Yet Another

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This time with blue and brown stripes. And a sweet little patch from who knows where?
Available here.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Happy Circles: Half Circle Bunting

Ah, bunting...it perks up a room like nothin' else.

bunting

bunting on shelf

bunting on curtain

I don't think a tutorial is needed for this. I started off with 6" squares of pretty fabric and backed them with cotton sateen. The circular embroidery attachment pretty much did this on it's own.

Make your own, or get this one here.

happy circles buttonMore happy circles here and here.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Sunday Best

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I did it. I listed my masterpiece. Stitched entirely by hand. Hours and hours of work. I feel like a nap. But maybe a celebratory drink first. Hot cocoa, anyone?

Happy Circles: The Circular Embroidery Attachment

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I'm really excited about happy circles month...if for no other reason than that I like a good challenge. And the fact that I get to work creatively alongside my sis. And that something about it reminds me of my earlier days of blogging when Lera and Laeroport hosted the Fat Quarter Challenge, and I remember staying up until midnight a couple nights in a row to make a bunch of projects to use up my fat quarter. Funny how that was a big deal then. Nowadays my sleep habits have adjusted and staying up until midnight is now a regular occurence. Hmm.

But anyway, I look forward to playing around with circles, just for the sake of playing.
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I have this habit of calling my sis on the phone everytime she flashes her Bernina logo on her blog. "SHOW OFF!!!!" Now lookie at me. I'm doing it too!

By now you've probably seen my sister's video on the circular embroidery attachment. She was visiting me when she bought it (at Quiltworks Northwest, btw--where I introduced her to the saleslady as the famous Craftapple while holding up one of her patterns that was on hanging from the shelf. From there on out, the saleslady called her "O Famous One" and I was referred to as "Sister of the Famous One," as in "Sister of the Famous One, did you happen to remember to bring in your punch card today?").

Anyhoo, Linda (*cough, showoff, cough*) has a Bernina, and I don't. My machine is a Brother, and I figured that I'd be able to get an attachment for my machine at a cheaper price. Right? Wrong. Turns out Brother sells theirs in a bundle with lots of other gizmos that I don't really need, so I tried her Bernina one on my machine.

This is what it looks like straight out of the box.
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Remove the rubber cover, and there's a pokey thing that goes in the middle of the fabric circle for the fabric to spin around.
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Here's the part that screws into the machine. This screw is too big for my machine.
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After hunting around a little bit, I found a screw that fits. (Stole it off another attachment that came with my machine.)
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That wasn't so hard. A new screw and I'm good to go. I wonder if one could jimmy rig an attachment using popsicle sticks and a push pin? If you do, let me know. But don't sue me if it falls apart or pokes you.

Happy Circles month to you!
happy circles button

Thursday, April 01, 2010

General Store Bag

I just listed a new bag at the shop.

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I'm looking forward to a new order of leather that I'm expecting any day. I'm eager to offer things that are not brown--although, I must say, I'm very fond of brown.

I'm also looking forward to participating in happy circles this month. Circle related post coming tomorrow. Happy Thursday!