Saturday, February 28, 2009

Remodeling and Modeling

In honor of the beginning of the month of March and St. Patrick's Day, there's been a little blog remodel going on here.

The header photo came from searches deep within the computer files - on an old computer. Now all the digital photos we took on our once in a lifetime trip to Ireland a few years ago have found a new home here on my laptop where I can play Photoshop with them whenever I get the urge. Mostly it just gave me the urge to go back to Ireland. This photo was taken from the Rock of Cashel as we looked out over the surrounding countryside. We would love to go back again someday! There are so many places we'd like to go but for now we'd be content with some warm weather so we could get the Harley out again.

Look what came in the mail today! The kids had little J's photo taken at Sears at six months. I just had to scan this one and share it with you all. Someone needs an agent! (Note Grammie's quilt!)Before we know it, it will be necessary to give equal time - hop over here to check out grandSON #2! The new-parents-to-be who did not want to know the gender of their little one, succumbed to the curiosity and opened the envelope from the last ultrasound! I'm sure he'll be just as adorable as big cousin J !

Monday, February 23, 2009

Complete Randomness

I can't believe it's been a whole week without a new post here. Sorry to those of you who've taken the time to stop by and have found that I've been MIA. So now you'll be forced to endure a blog post of complete randomness (sp?) because I guess that's been my week.

The things you learn on Facebook. Yes, I've succumbed to the monster that's taking over the cyber world. It is almost as time draining as blog hopping but with a shorter attention span required. But I did learn that the Oklahoma niece is a fan of this tea. So while at the grocery this morning I found Stash's Pomegranate Raspberry Green Tea. I understand her obsession. This is my new favorite too! For the rest of you in the Monday Losers with Sharon, this is my tip of the week. A little green tea is good for you and can help ward off the snacking urge. (Note the Breville one cup coffee brewer which we love. It works great for a quick cup of hot water for tea too.) Have you heard about the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day? Just one word - yummy! The dough is mixed with only four simple ingredients and kept in a container the refrigerator until you are ready to bake. I've yet to master the technique to form the perfect loaf but who cares what it looks like, right? Next time I'll try the recipe that has more whole grains since we don't eat a lot of white foods any more.
D continues to stack up the kitchen cabinet doors. Beamer loves to go in the workshop and check on the progress.
He's even gotten some of the doors stained. The beautiful grain lines of the quarter-sawn oak are even more apparent with a little stain. The doors (and the kitchen) will be a Mission/Arts and Crafts style. We finally decided on door hardware this week so hopefully will have that to show soon. The first bid we got for counter tops was pretty scary so the search is still on. I'd like to have quartz (Silestone or similar) or granite.
I've been in the sewing room too. I completed this Bunny Hill Jelly Bag using a portion of Tula Pink jelly roll and there's a knitting project in the works too. I'm having a good time with that one - but that's all I can say right now! A little progress has been made on the nursery bedding. More to come on that in the future.

So that is my random Monday post. Oh - yes before I forget, Miss Sharon, I did lose .5 this past week! A completely undeserved surprise when warm, fragrant, yummy white bread has been resting on my kitchen counter next to a tub of butter and calling my name!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday, Monday

Yes it's Monday. And you know what that means. Time to report to the Diet Master over at the Red Geranium. Still no big loss to report, but at least no gain again and the 1/2 pound lost last week is still gone. A weekend of cooking for family, including baking some of those valentine sugar cookies, did nothing for the scale but we had a great weekend. Just look at the last post to see why!

Thanks to Lori and Suzi, those classes at Total Fitness may finally be paying off as I do believe my jeans are definitely looser as well as my favorite exercise pants. By the way, I'll put a plug in for the best exercise pants at Lucy. They are sort of pricey, but worth every penny if you spend a lot of time trying to get in shape. They are super comfy, keep their shape and look good enough for the errand running after class. Plus, they come in a shorter length if you are vertically challenged like me:)

On to quilty things. I finished my January BOM for Among Friends today. This year the BOM quilt features the Perfect Patchwork Templates from Marti Mitchell. They seemed to work pretty good so far. At least this block looks good and it was fun to try something new. This year I'll be using the Spring Serenade collection by Sue Zipkin for Clothworks. Pretty, isn't it?

Back to my purse project addiction. This is the latest one. I'd have to go dig out the pattern downstairs to tell you what it is, but if anyone is interested, let me know. Just being lazy right now.

And for a hint at a little nursery project that is coming soon - check these out. I hope to start on some of this this week, so check back again to see how much progress I'm making. Grandbaby #2 will be here before we know it! Excitement is building!!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Cutie-Pie Highlight

Here is the highlight of my weekend!Little J is already a computer geek - just like his dad(and Grampa and Uncle N)! Even if his computer only plays nursery rhymes and animal sounds. Grammie and Grampa spent Valentine's night babysitting so the new parents and the parents-to-be could enjoy an evening out. So with that and the cooking, shopping and eating that took place, there's not been much blogging going on here this weekend. We definitely enjoyed our first visit here at our house by the little cutie-pie. Hopefully, he'll come back again soon!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Pretty Day = Road Trip

Isn't it great to see such pretty blue sky and warm weather? So it was a good day for a ride. See where a little road trip took me today? It really isn't that far to the Cincinnati area. Not much different than the Saturday shopping trips we used to take when our kids were little and we lived 80 miles from the nearest Walmart. But IKEA is no Walmart!

B found the nursery bedding (at wonderful prices!) she's been looking for. Plus some closet storage units and lots of other goodies. Now we have lots of decorating ideas for the fabrics, curtains, rugs and crib bedding she brought home. She is getting so excited! One of these days I'll post some pics of the cute stuff as it develops.

I went on another little road trip this week too. This is what happened when new knitters are let loose in a cute yarn shop. It's almost like being let loose in a candy shop - or a quilt shop! I apologize for not getting any photos at Friends and Fiber but I was with a couple of new friends who I don't think are familiar with this blog. And I didn't want to freak them out and make them think I'm the paparazzi!

Of course, I really didn't need to add to any kind of yarn or fabric stash this week. There is plenty to keep me busy. However, I've been sort of stuck in a creative rut lately and keep looking to anything for a jump start. The free motion quilting is still an elusive talent and keeping me very frustrated every time I sit down to try it again. I'm beginning to think a trip to the Husqvarna dealership might be necessary to see if there's a problem with my machine. It's probably just operator error though!

In the meantime, D continues with kitchen cabinet construction. He's working on doors now with the help of his new drum sander.

Door parts, stacked neatly. I need this kind of organization in my sewing room!

Hundreds of dowels to hold the door parts together.
Just in case I don't get a post in tomorrow - here's my Loser Monday Report Sharon! I do believe I lost a grand total of 1/2 pound this week! I'll do an official weigh in tomorrow morning. Let's hope I can still claim it!

I hope to discard the valentine cookie header this week. But I'm in search of something new though I'm not sure what it will be yet! That creative rut has tripped me up again. We're looking forward to a visit from a little cupid guest (and his parents!) this coming weekend so I promise some cutie pie pics again! Thanks for checking in! Ya'll come back!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Just For Kicks!

Just to make you all smile, I am going to share something that I found on my lovely niece's blog.

I hope she doesn't mind, because I know you're going to enjoy it too. The video is "Penny on the Train Tracks" by Ben Kweller. It features his grandma!

Am I the only one who would like to be this lady when I grow up?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Another Monday Report

With nasty weather most of last week I do have something to show for it. It was good weather to stay inside and do what else, but sew! I started a couple of new projects. This one is sitting in front of me now, waiting for me to get the nerve to do a little free motion quilting again. It's a table runner from the Dandelion Girl leftover jelly roll pieces using a pattern from Heather Mulder Peterson's On A Roll Again book. I think this one is called Pickety Sticks. Finally, on Saturday the roads were clear enough for the delivery of my new kitchen appliances. The cabinets are progressing nicely, but still not ready for installation. But since we're not changing the arrangement of the kitchen, I was able to go ahead and have the new fridge and range installed. Aren't they pretty! The stainless steel really brightens up the room and the gas range is going to be wonderful, once I get used to it. I was actually able to make pancakes on the griddle without burning the first batch! I need to do some serious cooking though to enhance my cooking skills.

I have to admit that this was a diet buster. These are what B and I are calling Brookies. I found the recipe at Bakerella. If you haven't visited her blog, you're missing some yummy recipes and food photos. Check out the box of "chocolates" she's got on there today! Sorry I got sidetracked - these "brookies" are actually a box of brownies, made according to the directions, then a package of chocolate chip cookie mix, made according to the directions, and then dropped onto the brownie batter. The final touch is a chocolate ganache - not shown here, but yes, I did add later! We had a few friends over to watch the Super Bowl so I really did have an excuse to bake. Most of them are now in the (awesome!) freezer of my new fridge, waiting for our next guests!

So now that you know what I may or may not have indulged in lately, I can report to no one's surprise that I did not lose any weight again last week. Oh well. At least no gain.

But there is someone who has gained weight! Not too much, but just the right amount and looking very glowing too! Isn't she cute! I was able to tag along for her OB appointment last Friday and was able to hear grandbaby #2's little heartbeat and meet her nice doctor. Then we made a short trip to the mall to find some new clothes to cover her expanding tummy.

One last photo. When the sun finally came out last week, nature's beauty was abundant. Too bad that so many people are still suffering without their utilities and that so many trees have been damaged by the ice. Luckily, the trees at the subdivision entrance were spared and proudly wore their icy decor.

See you later!