Monday, November 9, 2015
We have our handshake. In non-foreign service speak that means we found where we are headed next. No I'm not going to tell just you, that's too easy. If you can figure out which country's flag this is then you will know where we are going.
Monday, April 27, 2015
This post is dedicated to my awesome hubby. He bought us our house for our 15th anniversary, and then gave me the time by myself to go home and redo the kitchen, alone. He had faith I could pull it off even though I had never ever done anything like that before. Thanks Honey!! (Also he has been nagging me for about 8 months to get a finished kitchen post up on the blog. Here ya go Babe, one long awaited blog post.)
Today I was looking through all the pics of our little house in the 'hood that I took last summer. Oh, how I miss my little house. Don't get me wrong I love all our adventures living overseas, but just as much I love having a place that is unequivocally MINE. A place that is quietly waiting for me to come home, unlock the doors, throw open the windows, and breath life back into it. With summer coming up soon my little house has been on my mind a lot lately.
Last summer I went back well ahead of the kids and Dave to give the kitchen a facelift and make it the house just a little more ours. I blogged the early stages of the renovation but once Dave and the boys caught up with me in Texas I sorta quit blogging. Ooops! Sorry about that.
I did eventually finish the kitchen, or more accurately I finished painting and put the cabinet doors back on then David showed up and put the finishing touches on the kitchen. Little things like lighting, new shelves, and door handles.
A quick review since I haven't blogged in forever. Here's the kitchen as it was when we bought the house.
There was nothing essentially wrong with the kitchen. The cabinets were in reasonable decent shape. The appliances are old but still in good working conditions. I described it as builder grade ugly. Boring cabinets, no door handles, cheap light fixtures. Just blah.
I decided I could fix builder grade ugly with a little paint and creativity because Pinterest! Dave and made arrangements for me to head home without him or the boys. For the first time in 22 years I found myself on my own without kids. For a while I wondered what I had gotten myself into. Most of May and into June the house looked like this.
|The sink side as viewed from back door. It shows perhaps the most important part of the kitchen, the coffee station.|
|Same side viewed from the other direction.|
|Stove side viewed from the back door. |
|Both sides at once and my gorgeous carpet runner Dave brought back from Oman.|
|View from dining room table, and the only views that shows my tiny pantry across from the fridge and the back door.|
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Now that I have made a few baby quilts for friends with babies my boys are beginning to make noises about a quilt for someone in our house. I have never made a full sized quilt. I made a Dakota's bedding when he was little. He's in the Navy now so that's been a while. Last spring I pieced my first baby quilt in more than twenty years. I have never made a full sized quilt. Here goes nothing, GULP!
I am starting with a jelly roll quilt for Colin. I LOVE precuts mostly because I hate the rotary cutter, or maybe it hates me. I don't know which, but I do know have ruined a lot of fabric with a sudden slip of that thing. I'm still learning, but I still have all my fingers, so I'm not doing too badly.
Once I found fabric Colin liked I started on a Pinterest frenzy looking for an idea that clicked. A few hours/days/weeks later this is what I found as my inspiration.
Monday, March 30, 2015
I am working on a new baby blanket. I love the fabrics, all bright colors and Eric Carle prints from the Very Hungry Caterpillar. The half square triangles that are the basis of the quilt are fun to play with. I ended up spending a good 45 minutes flipping them this way and that to see the different patterns formed by the white and the bright colors. All the different patterns were made by simply rotating easy square where it lay. None of the blocks have been switched or moved to a different spot. It is amazing how different each variation looks.
My Original plan:
How about zig zags? I think Marshmallow approves. Oh, if I haven't mentioned it before we adopted a pair of half grown street cat kittens. Meet Marshmallow, he is "helping" me this morning.
Thursday, January 29, 2015
Let the crafting begin. YAY!
My favorite fabric company had a bunch of specials over the holidays and I spoiled myself by ordering a few things. Look at all the pretty colors.
If you look carefully you'll realize they are all tossed on top of the project in progress from a few months ago. That quilt top got sidelined while I waited for shipments, but everything to finish it has arrived and I am back on track. The top is finished, the quilt is sandwiched and basted and I am trying to decide how to quilt this one.
While I think about that, here's a closer look at the goodies I have received.
These three charm pack were freebies. Two were ones I picked out with the quilters cash I collected for spending so much money, The third was the daily deal. I just got lucky that the colors for all three match almost perfectly. I have no idea yet what I am going to make with those, but I think it might be something just for me. I'll figure that one out later. I love free fabric. And spending hours daydreaming my way through Pinterest searching for ideas for new projects. Win Win.
If you look carefully at the picture above there are two Eric Carle prints from the book the Very Hungry Caterpillar and a matching charm pack. These are for little boy's baby quilt going to a dear freind. I love the bright happy colors. It should be fun to work up. That project is on the to-do the list right after the two pink quilts. Hopefully I'll have it done by the end of February, insha'Allah.
What projects are you working on?
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Like magic all fights stop and, everyone scrambles to find what ever they didn't pack.
There are always things not packed even though Mom -that's me- spent at least 20 minutes last night interrogating various children, "Are you totally packed and ready for school? Are you sure? Do you have your PE kit? Flute/Euphonium/Recorder? Swim suit towel? Homework? iPad charged? BlahBlahBlahBlah...." Lots of eye rolling and "Yessssss Motheerrrrrr" in response. And still, every morning, the scramble.
Looks of panic. Fights stopped mid sentence. 2 minutes of mad scramble. Blessed quiet. I can finally drink my coffee. Clean the mess left in the kitchen from 3 kids making breakfast and 1 dad making 3 lunches. Put my feet up and just enjoy a moment of peace.
My new favorite word ever.
Sunday, December 21, 2014
This post is for my fabulous Sister-In-Law who just got a KitchenAid stand mixer. She knows I use my mixer to make bread all the time, so she asked for a how-to. I almost always use my KitchenAid to do the hard part of bread making. When you make all the bread your family eats for 3 years in while living in Africa, you will take what short-cuts modern technology can offer.
|See how it is all bubbly and foamy? Live yeast!|
|The dough starts of a bit shaggy.|
|5 minutes later and all done. Notice how it has pulled from the sides a bit.|
|Covered dough waiting to rise.|
|A bit over an hour later and the dough is all risen.|
|I cut it into 16 rolls instead of 12. |
Sorry it's blurry, at some point I put a buttery finger on the lens. Sigh!
In the morning pull the rolls out of the fridge, they will have risen slightly overnight, but will still need to rise for about 30 minutes or so. Since the dough is cold you can put it in the oven with the light on, that will give just enough warmth to bring the dough back to life. Or you can just stick them on top of the range while the oven preheats. Either way. Just be sure to take the rolls out of the oven BEFORE you preheat the oven. It's a bit irritating to ruin everything at this point by baking the rolls with plastic wrap still on them. Trust me. While the rolls are rising you can go ahead and enjoy your coffee since you did all the hard work last night.
|Risen and ready to bake.|
|Frosting, so much frosting.|
Monday, November 17, 2014
I have been working on several different crafty projects, and really enjoying myself, but I haven't taken the time to blog about it. Surprised? Yeah, I didn't think so.
The piecing on the small half square triangle quilt is finished. The fabric for the border and backing has arrived. As soon as I remember to order a quilting foot for my machine I will get the final assembly done. Yes, I am machine quilting this one.
For my new fabric I decided to go with the Disappearing Hourglass pattern after all. I really like the stars in the blocks, and I could make them with 10 inch precuts, which is handy because that is what I have. I decided to not use a solid paired with a print to make each block like the directions suggest, but then when have I ever followed directions the way they are written? I decided to use only "batik" printed fabric. Whoever decided to call this stuff batik has never served at a post in Indonesia or Africa. It's pretty, but it is NOT batik.
Some day I am going to have a dedicated craft room where I can set things up and leave them and not have to hurry up and clear everything away in time to serve dinner.
The piecing process has not been without mistakes. I guess that is to be expected when you are trying to teach yourself a new skill from youtube videos. I have ruined one square beyond help so I threw that piece into my scrap bag, maybe someday I can find a use for it. Other squares I have been able to rescue by picking out my mistakes and trying again. I'm getting a lot of practice at picking out my mistakes. I usually spot them before I am finished with a square, but sometimes I don't see them until I am laying things out to take a picture. Like this mistake. Three of these things belong together, three of these things are kinda the same….can you spot the one that is different?
Hint: bottom left. My mistake actually makes a pretty cool quilt square on its own, but it doesn't match the other squares. Of course it is the middle section that I messed up on. Lots of picking out on that one, but it is all back together and looking the way it should.
The kids want to get in on the sewing machine action. I'm not about to let them touch the quilt blocks, but I have a bunch of Christmas fabric I ordered the day after Christmas to make gift bags for this Christmas. Wrapping paper can be hard to find overseas, and my little tree huggers aren't too happy about trees being murdered for pretty holiday paper. So we are slowly moving to reusable cloth bags to wrap presents in. The gift bag idea was just the ticket. Colin got the privilege of sewing the first bag. Very basic straight-line stitching but I am sure we will be using it for years to come.
Friday, October 17, 2014
I have new fabric. YAY! I love new fabric.
|Fabric, lots of pretty fabric.|
It's actually two different layer cakes (a layer cake is 42 squares of fabric, each square is 10 inches) but I love the way the colors from both sets flow together all blues and greens with hints of purple.
|Ohhhh the colors!|
|Disappearing Hourglass Quilt|
Now instead of industriously cutting and sewing I am now caught up in Pinterest hell.
Exclaim, "Ohhhh That's cool!"
Stare at computer, stare at fabric, stare at computer some more. Mutter, "Maybe for a different fabric."
Repeat ad nauseum.
At least I have some really cool fabric and an internet connections. What would you do with all this fabric?
Thursday, October 2, 2014
I really like making things, it doesn't matter if it is redoing a kitchen, cooking, or playing with yarn and fabric. I like seeing it all the pieces come together into a finished form. Currently I am quilting, or trying to anyway. I made my first little baby quilt in 22 years last spring. I am really happy with how it came out so I am trying another. So far I am really happy with how it is looking so far.