Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Some photos... so different from home

It has been a nice change from the beginning of summer... in fact, a little rainy and temps in the 50's and 60's here in Virginia. But absolutely beautiful.

 The apple blossoms are in full bloom and are stunning.
 Remember dandylions?  It really took me back to my childhood.
And so very green and wooded - a nice change of scenery.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Here's something I did today

My town home only has a small patio with a few areas of "dirt."  They are planters, and this last year the tree in one of the planters died, so it was just dirt.  I decided I would like to put some sod down and thought Sophie and Jack might like it, too.
It just has a better feel.  Let me tell you, though.  This was hard work.  I had small areas and I could not imagine doing this for a living.  It is back breaking.
I think I will really like it - make it look a little "warmer" and inviting in the patio.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Are you dying eggs for Easter this year?


That is something that I usually do with my girls, even as adults, but mostly with Kim.  She has always LOVED dying Easter eggs.  When I was growing up in Indiana, we would hang plastic eggs from a tree in our front yard, but it NEVER looked like this:
I can't imagine the amount of work that went into that.  And don't forget about taking them off.  That would be even worse, I think.  However, I am captivated by it.  Our tree looked more like this:
Maybe not even this good, but we had fun hanging them from the tree.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Washington DC in Cherry Blossoms

Soon I will be visiting my daughter in Virginia/Washington DC.  She recently sent me a picture of the Cherry Blossoms blooming right now.
Looking forward to seeing them for myself.  

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Done! Done! DONE!

Yes, I am finally done with Kimberly's quilt.  I actually finished it last week and it turned out so beautiful.  I am extremely pleased with it.  You've seen it in pieces, here and there, but here's a re-cap and additional photos of my "journey" ...
You can see that I am using all of my concentration skills to work the quilting machine, intent on getting it done.  Here I am in action:
video
Now ... the finished quilt...

 I absolutely LOVE the colors of this fabric line.  I was skeptical at first, but let Kim pick her fabric.
I will admit that I am lazy when it comes to sewing on the trim.  On my first quilt, I sewed the trim on by hand, and decided - right then and there - that I am not patient enough to do that.  So I have been sewing the edges on my quilts using a long zigzag stitch.  I'm happy with that.
Since this quilt is large enough to put on her bed, I wanted to make matching pillow cases.
Of course!  They just add that finished touch!  Can't wait to see it on her bed!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My four-legged kids

are sleeping in their kennels...
 Sophie is under her pillow and on top of her Harley Davidson blanket.
She cracks me up.
Jack's bedding is being washed, so he is resting on a beach towel.  
He wasn't feeling so good today.

Monday, April 14, 2014

I love odd napkins

One thing I would really like to do - some day - is to have a dinner with everyone getting a different napkin.  I think it would make great conversation around the table.  I have picked up napkins along the way in preparation of that dinner.  Recently a friend at work had a birthday and the napkins were not birthday themed, but instead....
This!
(Makes me think of that "dream" dinner.)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Muffins!

This first muffin is from Liberty Market.  I really wanted to try it (and of course, forgot to take a picture before I buttered it and cut it.  This is sweet potato muffin and I just thought it sounded wonderful.  Guess what?  It was.
My next task is to find a recipe.
 I must be in the muffin mood because I made these below.  
Nope, they're not sweet potato.
They are banana pumpkin muffins.
I bought this pumpkin pancake/waffle mix but I have to say that I was not really impressed with it.
It was "cakey" or something.
So... I decided to be a little daredevil-ish and try using it in my muffins.
I used my regular banana bread recipe, used half the flour and half pumpkin waffle mix.
I added a single serving of applesauce to the mix.
I added 1/2 tsp. of a sweet spice/allspice.  
Everything else was the same.
I took them to work and everyone loved them.
They were a big hit, which made me feel good.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

A "Cutting" Good Time!

For my birthday, MaryAnna bought me something off of HSN,
or maybe QVC.  I can't remember.  
It was a set of embossing folders and metal die cuts - 
a collection offered by Anna Griffin in conjunction with Cuttlebug.
 She got it earlier this week and she came over Friday night to try it out.
 The designs were so intricate and delicate - absolutely beautiful.
We cut an entire box of lacy die cuts.  
We worked well as a team - she set up the die cuts and I rolled them through.
You can see how beautiful they are.  
I'm excited to use them in my own projects.  

Friday, April 11, 2014

Some people just do weird stuff...

I was stopped at a red light, looked around me and saw this:
Look close.  Someone took their Nissan SUV and put pink eyelashes on the headlights.  Obviously a girl, but really?  I wonder what she did to the inside.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Miniature Fashionista

Remember Addy?  She is my one of my great nieces in Florida - the youngest and smallest of the Florida clan.  She dressed herself recently...
She is so darn cute!  She wore her pink boots and if you look closely at her dress, it actually has pink in it so she is 100% coordinated.
She is obviously happy with her selection - just as she should be.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Yep, I had a birthday...

I had a birthday in March and had a lot of fun celebrating...
 That's me holding the Lake Bled Creme Cake made by my friend, Pat.  
It was really, really good and extremely close to the dessert I had in Lake Bled, Slovenia last fall.
She did a marvelous job.
She did say, however, that it was so putzy she most likely would never make it again.
 People at work always bring goodies to share on birthdays.  We never lack for food.
My birthday also happens to be my boss' birthday.  
(I've told him it was fate, but I am not sure he appreciates the humor.)
So I bake something and bring it in to share.
This year I made what I call "Esther's Easy Dessert" because I got the recipe from my friend, Esther.  
I have doubled this recipe, but generally it is baked in an 8 x 8 pan. 
The recipe is my normal recipe for the 8 x 8 pan.  
The pictures are of the doubled recipe - don't be confused by that. 
Step 1:  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt 1 stick margarine in the pan (in the oven) while the oven is preheating.
Yep, that is melted butter in the top photo.  BUDDA, lots of budda!
 Step 2:  While the butter is melting in the oven, mix the following items:
1 c. flour, 1 c. sugar, pinch of salt, 1 tsp. baking powder, and 2/3 c. milk.  
It makes a thin batter.
Step 3:  Pour the batter in the pan over the butter.  DO NOT MIX.
Step 4:  Add fruit.  I always use a can of peaches (15-16 oz.), juice and all.  
Don't drain the juice.  Just pour the entire can over the batter.  Again, DO NOT MIX TOGETHER.
 This time I also added a pint of fresh blueberries.
Below:  This is what it looks like before it is baked.
 Step 5:  Bake at 350 degrees for about 45-55 minutes, until lightly browned.
 Mmmmm.  It is really good.  The blueberries added a tartness that was really good right up next to the sweetness of the "cobbler."
I hope you try it - I know you'll like it!

For dinner, we always go to either Joe's BBQ or Liberty Market. 
A little secret - you get to eat free on your birthday.  So... it's tradition.
I had invited a few friends, but my daughter, Kate, surprised me by inviting Sondra and her two little guys - Isaac (the baby) and Isaiah (the almost 2-year-old).
 Isaac slept through my birthday dinner.  :)
 Isaiah, on the other hand, entertained all of us at the table.
Let me tell you, he is good on the IPhone, faster than most.
 Here's the dinner party.
I am so appreciative of having such great friends and wonderful daughters.  
Thanks to Pat, Gretchen, Adriana, Isaiah, Sondra, MaryAnna, Kate, and Chelsea for 
making my evening a memorable one.
The only one missing was Kimberly who lives back east now.
 Happy Birthday to me!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

My weekend at the movies

The same weekend I quilted, I hit the movie theaters.  I saw both Divergent and Muppets Most Wanted.
I really liked Divergent.  A lot of people are comparing it to The Hunger Games series, but it really isn't the same.  Yes, it is futuristic.  First off, I am a fan of the Hunger Games, but I would have to say I like the premise that Divergent is based upon.  If you haven't seen it, I would highly suggest you go.  
I also saw Muppets Most Wanted.  I am a big Tina Fey fan, so I enjoyed this movie.  However, I am partial to one of the first movies, Muppets Take Manhattan.  My girls were little and we watched that movie over and over... and over... again.  My version, however, is on VHS.  I know, who still has that, right?  Well, I do.  I recently ordered a DVD/Blu Ray of Muppets Take Manhattan.   I am excited to share it with my great nieces and nephews.  I am going to guess they haven't seen it.  

What movies have you seen lately?  I would love to know which ones you liked/didn't like.


Monday, April 7, 2014

"Long Time No See"

My dad used to always say that whenever he hadn't seen us for awhile.  So you might think that I am getting more and more like my parents as  I age.  Yes, that is a scary thought.  

I know it has been a really long time since I blogged and I am truly at a quandary as to where I should start.  So many things have happened.  So let's get started...
I think I could almost make these pillow cases in my sleep 
 I made pillow cases for my four-legged "children," Sophie and Jack.
This one belongs to Jack.  
If you look close, you can see the dog paws in the print of the fabric.
This fabric line matches a paper line by BasicGrey called "Max and Whiskers."
 I am also in the process of making pillow cases for my daughter. 
I want them to match her quilt.  I will show you the pictures when I'm completely done
with her quilt.

 A few Saturdays ago, I went out to Diana's house and finished quilting Kimberly's quilt.
 Above:  the picture of Kimberly's quilt on the frame.
Below:  I stayed and helped Diana put her sister's quilt top on the quilt frame. 
 It is so much easier to place the quilt on the frame with a friend's help.
Okay, she's ready to go.
It was SEW much fun.  :)