Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bestill my Heart...

Looovve it!


What do you guys think?  I mean, it's not done yet or anything...but this flimsy makes my heart flutter.  Kinda like The Mister does.  wink wink.  It's called What's Coming Up Summer by Jodie Warner.  She's the one who designed This little Beauty that's sitting in my living room right now just until June 20th or so when hopefully the new one is complete.

I want to say what a creative mind Jodie Warner is.  She can put together a quilt block like I've never even imagined.  I'll show ya...


This looks like it might be straight forward...but the angles involved are ridiculous!  So each row is it's own pieced block which you later sew all together.  But then on top of getting all the angles right for the machine paper foundation piecing so everything matches up, she then has you make a couple extra blocks that you strategically place over the previous block and with a snip snip here and a snip snip there she manages to get those angles to match up with the previous angles...it's black magic if you ask me. 

Oh yeah...I also think the leaves kinda look like dragon's wings.  My Sister, who thinks the name Kaleesi would be a good one for a baby girl, would like these leaves..Do you watch HBO's Game of Thrones?  The Mister who is a former D & D nerd...would also like these leaves for obvious reasons.

I will also say as I've said before, the great thing about quilting is taking somebody else's idea and making it your own.  I love the bright reds and pinks and oranges that I've chosen and the border fabric is my favorite.  The Hawaiian theme makes me happy as I have a special place in my heart for Hawaii...


Thanks to The Mister and I honeymooning there and my Baby Bro for getting married there.


My Oldest gave herself a haircut the day before we flew out.  Right then.  As you can see, she was in awe of the man portraying himself as King Kamehameha at the Luau we went to.


My Youngest enjoying the view from my baby bro's rental house...pretty fancy.  I have dreams to this day of moving to Hawaii and buying this house...just need a little more cash.  Just a touch more really.  A smidge maybe

Anyway....Hawaii dream to be continued at a later date...in the meantime, back to reality.


It may not be as awesome as living in Hawaii...but I still think it's pretty swell.

Thanks for reading!

Heather

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Doing it YOUR way.

No sense leaving well enough alone if you ask me.  I gotta be me and my girls gotta be them.  So this means me encouraging them to like what they like and me trying to accommodate things if maybe they're not exactly...girlish. 

My daughters like dinosaurs.  They really like them.  My Oldest will spend hours looking at dinosaur bones on PBS Kids and reviewing their characteristics.  My Youngest also really likes the show Dinosaur train, but she's not as adept at working the interwebs as her big sis.

I encourage this because I really really really want them to like science and math.  This is because I didn't like science and math and really wish I had.  Maybe if I had been more into the sciences, I would have finished college. 


As it is, I feel that my girls are getting a well-rounded childhood from myself and The Mister as we are both knowledgeable in opposite spectrums.  He helps them with the math and science bits and I get them interested in history and reading bits.  So, we really do have it covered between the two of us.  Yay!

So, I am actually going two places with my intro.  One is...if your girls are into something that's typically made for boys...then fix it so it works for them...this works better for girls than boys just because it's harder to make things that are pink and purple boy-ish.  But, if your boy doesn't mind pink, go for it.


I know it's a bit late, as this was My Oldest's Easter basket, but it works on many levels.  You can do this to almost anything.  I didn't want My Oldest to feel bad that her basket was a boy basket.  My Youngest tends to call anything with boy colors handsome and it makes My Oldest sad if anything handsome is said about her.  So, Mama couldn't let it happen.  So I just took some felt...one of my favorite sewing mediums and some markers and I made the boy basket a girl basket.  Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezey.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Inspiration Cafe

Everyone, I have an announcement.  Nooo...I am not preggers.  Big sigh of relief. 

I have been asked to join a sweet bunch of crafty and talented bloggers for a weekly inspiration session.  Once a week I am going to give you a special post from...
But, what exactly is it, you are asking yourself?  Well, I've got a handy new page at the top of my blog for you to click on to read all about it.  It introduces the ladies and their blogs to you and kind of lets you know what we're all into.  So, instead of just getting my completely awesome and inspired posts...ahem...you are going to get completely awesome and inspired posts from 6 groovy gals.

So, our first session of Inspiration Cafe begins next week.  Get ready for some good stuff.

Thanks for reading!


Heather

Sunday, May 20, 2012

What's Coming up Summer...WIP

Not a lot of new sewing going on in my neck of the woods right now.  Just been busy.  Instead of crafting I've been doing a lot of...


This year, as you can see I am gardening partially in pots.  I am rotating my crops to help prevent diseases from infiltrating my garden plot...and I don't have anywhere else to put them really.  So pots it is.  I am going to do a little series on gardening as I have been taking gardening classes for the last several weeks and I am going to put to use my new knowledge.  I am a walking tutorial as we will see if this knowledge pans out at the end of the growing season.

Plus, we'll see if my seedlings actually grow and thrive...or fail completely. 

So, gardening has been my thing for a couple of weeks.  I'll get back to sewing...after today, when I plant my garden plot with corn and beans and beats and carrots and parsnips.  Yumm!  Plus, I really can't wait until I am harvesting  all this good stuff again!

In the first of my gardening series, I'm going to give you the recipe for what you should put in the pot before you put in a plant.  It's a witches brew.  It's science.  It's a witches brew and science all mixed up into one pot...or 10.

Okay, so onto the sewing.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Too much Chocolate!?!?!

Can too much chocolate be too much of a good thing?  Well...I normally would say not possible.  But today I am going to go out there, be wild and say...yes.  The tasty treat I made for Mother's Day was too chocolaty.  But that's not to say that I don't think the recipe I'm going to share isn't a good one, I'm just going to modify it for my viewing audience so that you can make it mo' better. 


The dough though...I'm just going to say that I'm not normally an eat the dough out of the bowl kinda gal.  I like my cookies cooked...but this dough...YUM!  It was graham cracker.  And it was just good.
I originally found this recipe on pinterest.  Here's the post I was inspired by: Baked Smores by the Apron Gal but I've changed it completely.

Oh yeah, and not to put you off your Baked S'mores, but this is what My Youngest and I captured on the trampoline...which, knowing what I know now...I might not have attempted at the time...


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Halloween in May


I've had this little beauty hanging up in my living room for a few weeks now, ever since I finished it.  I am really really happy with it.  I am so glad that I tore it apart and and remade it.  I am so happy I put white borders on instead of the boring grey.  I love the pops of corner color and I love love love the lace trim.  So, this, to me, is a success of epic proportions!  And worth all this hassle...


The string quilt blocks aren't as stellar as they once were, but the whole thing is just so much better proportioned now that it doesn't bother me in the least.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Beginning Quilters...Please Stand Up

If you are a beginning quilter then I have the quilt for you..I may or may not be talking to you Beloved Sister.  It is easy enough that you won't stress yourself out making it, but it's visually complex enough that you will be immensely satisfied with your work of art...and make no mistakes, quilting is art.


It's a Snowball Quilt.  The best thing about this quilt is you only have to cut two dimensions of fabric. 
8" x 8" squares for the large blocks and 2 3/4" x 2 3/4" squares for the corner pieces.  And then you get to mix it up as you see fit.  This is just the beginnings of My Youngest's birthday quilt, I am alternating (what's in my head as) "solid" blocks and "white" blocks...just go with it...they're mostly solid and mostly white.  And then going slant-wise across the quilt are diagonal strips using the different corner blocks. 

It's pink...at least mostly. 


My Youngest Only Loves Pink.  I believe it.  So, in my motherly wisdom, I am giving in to her wishes.  A Pink...mostly... quilt.  Look, I need a little creative license.

I am making this quilt for two reasons.  1. It gets cold here in winter.  I think you need two quilts plus sheets on a bed for winter warmth and she has been using just a random quilt as her 2nd quilt.   2. I am making her this pink quilt because her first big girl bed quilt was a failure in my angel baby's opinion. Not mine, mind you, but it wasn't nearly pink enough to satisfy her.


See...shamefully not pink enough.  The Snowball quilt is going to, hopefully, be pink enough.

For Mom's Day...aka tips on how to make decent pie crust in Utah

We celebrated Mother's Day early and the item my beloved mother wanted me to bring to dinner was my famous Homemade Chocolate Pudding Pie  This pie has reached legend status in my house.  I was only too happy to make it.  Being mostly low-carb means any occasion to eat something full of sugar is something to be savored and enjoyed...especially if it means you get to eat mass quantities of chocolate and fat along with the sugar.  Yay! 

Do not get me started though on the fact that my parent's evil dog Kona decided to enjoy homemade chocolate pudding pie along with us...right then.  I couldn't figure out who would have scooped out a good portion of just the pudding out of the pie...My parent's dog is ginormous.  Only she would have been so wicked.


Oh yes, this is the pie I am speaking of.  Husbands and children....make this for the mothers and wives in your lives...you will not regret it.  You may not know this...but here's a secret...women like chocolate.  I'm going to go a bit further and say almost everybody likes chocolate.  This is chocolate personified.  Yummy!

Okay, so if you want the recipe for homemade chocolate pudding pie, please refer to the link above.  In this post I am going to discuss pie crusts a bit.  Specifically how to make pie crusts in Utah.

Utah is a desert, so the typical pie recipe that calls for...you know, a tsp of water is not going to work here.  So, let's just own up to the dry air that everybody likes to talk up when it's 150 F. outside and how much better dry heat is than humid heat and learn how to make a decent pie crust.  I have adapted this dough and technique from Pam Regentin and her tutorial on The Pioneer Woman and have made it suitable for a dry locale. 

Let me also say that I have tried every possible variation on pie crust and this is the winner hands down.  I have used vodka instead of water, a la America's Test Kitchen.  I have used Shortening.  I have used all butter.  I have frozen my pie dough before rolling it out.  So, just know after much trial and error...this is the dough.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

In Honor of Cinco De Mayo

Love me some good Mexican Food.  Who doesn't?  It's got everything, flavor, heat, acid...so yummy.  I am going to give you the recipe for the one of the most famous desserts...nope, not flan.  Tres Leches Cake.

I made it once before...Here and it was awesome!  So I am going to revisit it as the timing is most appropriate.  So, dust off your souvenir sombreros and maracas and get ready to throw a fiesta that's worthy of the day you're celebrating...Not Mexican you say?  Does it matter?  I'm all for having a party no matter what as long as the food's tasty.  Bastille Day...bring out the snails.  Boxing Day...trifle sounds tasty.  개천절(開天節)  Kimchi anyone?  :)  That last one was fancy wasn't it?

Okay, so embrace your inner Mexican.  Say Viva Mexico and eat some cake!  Oh yeah, and this cake is a bit labor intensive...but just go with it.  Sometimes things that are awesome are worth the work.  This is also going to take two days.  So if you want to make it for Cinco de Mayo...get ready to start making it tomorrow night.  Here's Alton's recipe of Food Network if you want to check it out

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Strawberry weekend numero dos

Tis the season you know.  For strawberries.  Tart, sweet, red, juicy...known in my house as ambrosia.  My girls could eat a million of these puppies.  So, what else do you do besides make homemade strawberry freezer jam?  You make strawberry shortcake.  Oh, but not just any strawberry shortcake.  You make some seriously good strawberry shortcake.


Come on.  You know you want some.  There's a trick to strawberry shortcake...well, there's a couple of tricks.  First, you gotta make your own biscuits.  Second, you've got to use fresh strawberries.  Third, you've got to have two kinds of cream.  The whipped kind and the whole whipping cream...unwhipped...for moistness, richness and just plain goodness.  I come from a family who thinks a little cream makes everything better...and doesn't it?

First make your biscuits.  Now this is my usual biscuit recipe that I use all the time.  Except for now that I'm low-carb.  Blah.  But, I've mixed it up a little bit, because while I don't want a biscuit so sweet it's gonna give you a cavity, I do want it a touch sweeter than normal.  DO NOT buy those weird little sponge cakes made specifically for strawberry shortcake.  Don't do it.  You will be amazed by how much better this is.  My beloved mother who apparently didn't believe in scratch biscuits, used Bisquick when I was young, but added a bit more sugar.  That's essentially what I've done, but with the best drop biscuits you'll ever eat recipe.


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