Friday, August 31, 2007

Zero

Zilch, nothing, nada, niets, rien, nichts...
Well, you get the idea. Absolutely NO inspiration going on over here these days.

So I bring you some Christmas charm squares I picked up a couple of weeks ago,

and a snail drinking water.

It's sad, I know.

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Tomato Jam

It seems like there's more cooking than crafting going on in my house at the moment. That could explain the extra 10 pounds around my hips...

Reading Penny's recent post about canning, especially canning tomatoes, set off memories of the tomato jam my mom used to cook and how wonderful it was on a warm, fresh-out-of-the-oven slice of bread.
When tomatoes just happened to be on sale at the grocery store, I saw this as a sign.

I lined up the canning jars,

pierced and soaked the tomatoes,

cooked them with a TON of sugar (they should be sliced, I forgot),

and, Voila!, tomato jam!

Now if I had a pantry full of shelves to line these up on (and a fresh loaf of bread)...

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Yay for Moo and Martha!


The mailman brought my Moo note cards. I LOVE them! Who knew my little photos could look so great?

I've been using my very first copy of Martha's Everyday Food magazine for dinners and desserts the last two weeks.
Upside down apple cake:


Last, but not least, I also bought my first Japanese craft books over the weekend. I've spent hours trying to take photos of some of the wonderful inspiration in them, but haven't had much success yet. Here's a little preview...


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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I warned you...

More Waverly it is.

I found the link to this little bucket on Shannon's blog and just had to make it right then and there.

It is the cutest thing and was really easy to put together. It folds up into itself to make it easy to tote along anywhere.

It's a little small and I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it, but oh, so cute!

Hint: Remember that you will be seeing both sides of the handle (and buttonholes) at some time. I didn't, and left the white thread in the bobbin, so both my buttonholes and top stitching are white at the back.

Instructables is my new favorite idea site. So many ideas, so little time...

A Message to all the wonderful people who leave comments on my little blog: Very often comments do not include email addresses (or sometimes even blog links) for me to reply to. If you'd like me to reply with an answer to a question (or even just a response to a lovely comment), please make sure your settings include allowing your email to be shown or leave it in the comment. I don't want anyone to think I'm ignoring them.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Remember S&T?

Remember seeing this under "S & T"?

Well, here's what it is...

I was tired of having to rummage through a drawer every time I needed a crochet hook. I was also l looking for an excuse to make a pencil roll, but since I don't have any pencils or a child who has pencils, I figured crochet hooks would fit nicely too.
I thought the hooks may slip out the top (they won't), and I had made that little pocket for scissors and a measuring tape (which would), so I extended the top into a flap.

I didn't know exactly how far I'd want to fold it over (I'm too lazy creative to measure properly), so I just batted and quilted the entire thing. Mistake. It's kind of hard to roll up neatly with that chunky flap. The good thing is that now I know better and the next one will be a little different.

If you're not really tired of the Waverly fabric yet (And I'm not. Thanks LeeAnn!), stay tuned. There's more to come.

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Do you find this funny too?

I wasn't going to post today, but then I read a headline on our local news channel's website that I just had to share. My sense of humor is sometimes a little off, so I won't feel bad if no one else thinks this is funny.

"Seattle armed pattern robber may be caught"

I did not know people were this serious about getting hold of patterns. I usually just hop on over to JoAnns. Unarmed.

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Friday, August 24, 2007

Knitting for Lefties

I'm left-handed. When I was little, scissors were made exclusively for right-handed people. I vividly remember how much it hurt to use scissors for more than a short period of time. My mom used to get old pattern books from the fabric store for my brother and I to play with. We would cut out the figures and switch out their heads, bodies and legs. It was great fun, but I remember the pain caused by the scissors.

Anyway, I'm way off topic now.

In the recent past I have tried to take up "real" knitting again after many years of knitting washcloths. I made two attempts at knitting socks, both of which failed miserably. Jennifer offered to teach me. All I need is a plane ticket...

But I digress again (I must be starved for conversation after all those letters). For some or other reason unbeknownst to me, I thought that I might be able to knit a sweater. "Why?" you ask. "You can't even knit a darn sock!" (Pun intended)

Of course, the pattern I chose isn't a plain stockinette stitch pattern either. It involves charts. I've never knitted using charts before.

I followed the chart block by block and ended up with this (which is not what the picture looks like, trust me):

Much Googling and five hours of knitting, chart-amending and frogging later, SUCCESS!

One of the sites commiserating with left-handed knitters claim that, because of the intense studying involved in successfully knitting anything that uses charts, we will have a greater understanding of how it works. I don't want a greater understanding! I just want to knit a sweater!

That all being said, I don't mind being left-handed. We're smart and creative, I hear.

My favorite lefty quote:
"All people are born right-handed. Only the great overcome it."

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

X, Y & Z!


Now I know my ABCs...

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

U, V & W

Uh...

Umbrellas - did you know that that's the way we spot a tourist out here? "Real" Seattle-ites do NOT use umbrellas. (But I sometimes do)

Unites States of America - the greatest country in the universe

Uninspired - sometimes I get struck by a total inability to come up with anything whatsoever.

Veggies - I love most veggies, except for Brussels sprouts and boiled cabbage.

Vacuum - Sydney hates the vacuum. Vacuuming in this house includes a rabid dog chasing after me, barking like the world is about to end and lunging at the vacuum every thirty seconds or so.

Vowels - every time I hear the word, my thoughts immediately go: "a,e,i,o,u;a,e,i,o,u...". My teacher must have done a really good job brainwashing me.

Vitamins - I wish I could remember to take these every day.

Vacations - we went nowhere this year. I'm definitely going to be pro-active and book some stuff for next summer.

WIPs - I used to never have ANY, but since I started blogging I've been flooded by so much inspiration that these have been building up in a scary way.

Wet - the way it seems to be out here most of the time. I have a love-hate relationship with wet.

Wagon - the ultimate yard sale vehicle. All the seats fold flat. Amazing feats have been accomplished stuffing things under that hatch. Also the ultimate "mommy car". We watched "School of Rock" the other night and ALL the parents were driving Volvo's. Funny. Ha-ha. (very fun movie, by the way)

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

S & T


Sewing - wow, how many things can be made using a sewing machine. The possibilities are endless. I made the above item yesterday. More details will follow the day after Z.

Sunshine - something we really know how to appreciate out here. After a couple of days of cloud and rain ("Augustober", the local weatherman called it), it looks like the sun may peek out today.

Shopping - I love bargain-hunting, my favorite kind of shopping.

Sleep - I'm one of those people who fall asleep the moment my head hits the pillow. It's great!

Sydney - my baby girl.

Seasick - oh, the woe! I have tried anything, except the patch. If I ever dare step on a boat again, I'll try that.

Symmetry - a very big tendency of mine. Probably related to most of my other quirks. Here's an example: when I'm done wiping the kitchen table, I get the biggest urge to whip out the tape measure and make sure I put the runner back exactly in the center of the table.

Thrifting - one of my favorite kinds of shopping. Our thrift stores suck though, so I don't do it too often.

Tea and my teakettle - in summer I have one cup of tea a day. In winter at least five or six.

Thoughtfulness - a seemingly vanishing quality in today's society.

Theater - we have season tickets to our local theater. This is our "date night".

Time - how I wish I had more of this.

Tomatoes - fresh from my garden

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Q & R


Quilts & Quilting - I love the peace, solitude, and often, repetitiveness of making a quilt.

Questions - if we didn't ask questions, we'd stagnate as human beings

Quotes - I love all Dr. Seuss' quotes. He was really a great thinker and hid a lot of wisdom in his children's books.
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
"Don't give up. I believe in you all. A person's a person no matter how small."

Red wine - I have a little splash almost every night with dinner. (Yes, even with chicken and fish.)

Reading - only happens in bed at night, but there's always a book on the bedside table.

Routine - as you may have deduced from previous letters, I'm a sucker for everything being planned and in place. I don't much like surprises (unless, of course, they're pleasant ones).

Rosemary - fresh rosemary, always available in the herb garden, four seasons of the year.


Rainier cherries - old photo, old story, but SO true.

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

O & P

Oh, dear. Not too many "O" items to photograph. Using an old photo.

Orange - a color I used to associate with the 70's, but now really like. Remember the orange phase? (1, 2, and 3)

Oreo's - another "once I start I can't stop" food

Organized - a trait that helps me (mostly) always find what I'm looking for.

Photography - I'm working on getting better at this

Peace - why can't everyone just get along?

Peonies - love 'em. Just look at my banner.

Penquins - we have an overflow of these in our house, since they're Josh's favorite animal. (this one blogged here)

Pincushions - my little collection is slowly growing

Phở - we went out for some last night. So yummy! (and cheap)

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Friday, August 17, 2007

M & N


Margaritas - cool and refreshing on warm summer days


Mint Juleps - what can I say, I like cool drinks.

Mums - the first flowers in the garden to signal the start of Fall

Mulch - what I've been doing the last couple of days

Maui - our favorite vacation spot. We're hopefully going back next summer.

Neatness - my mom was a neat freak. If we dared move anything an inch out of its proper place there was big trouble. I try not to be quite as obsessive, but a messy house makes me extremely grumpy and unable to relax until I've neatened the place up.

Needles - how could any sewing get done without these prickly little rods?

Naps - a very rare luxury

Noise - I hate it. One day I'll live in the country far away from the city's noise.

Nature - I try to do my part to ensure that its beauty will still be around for our children and grandchildren to enjoy.

Nellie Moser - yes, that's her name. My favorite clematis. She blooms twice a year right outside the front door. I love you, Nellie.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

L


Love - what makes us human

Life - very precious and very often taken for granted

Levi's - I only look good in actual Levi's if I'm skinny. Fat Plump me prefers Eddie Bauer jeans.

Library - I spend a lot of time putting books on hold at the library. I LOVE having access to a well stocked library system.

Lists - oh lists; without them I would feel lost and out of control. Really. These are my refrigerator lists. The top one is replaced each Monday and reminds me of my daily tasks. The bottom one is the general to do list for times when I feel bored and am looking for a chore to do. Yeah, right.

Laughter - the best medicine. Don't you always feel better after a good laugh?

Laundry - oh how I wish I had a laundry maid...

Lavender - hmmmmmm, wonderful!

Lemons and Limes - there has to be some sour with all the sweet to maintain balance

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

K


Knitting - Soothing and relaxing

Kalahari desert - a place of stark beauty which I have been lucky enough to visit

Kudu - these you are not likely to find in the Kalahari desert, but more likely in the

Kruger National Park - which I visited almost every year as a child.

Kale - I love planting these in the garden in the fall, but have never eaten any.

Ketchup - Not something I particularly love, although it has its uses. I remember my cousins pouring it on their breakfast porridge and shudder...

Keepsakes - I'm not a big collector, but whenever we go camping or hiking, we try to find the prettiest pebble and bring it home. We have quite a collection.

Keith Urban - I'm not a big country fan, but I do like Keith

Kitchen - where I seem to spend a whole lot of my time, but it's mostly an enjoyable experience except when there's a PILE of dishes like the ones waiting for me right now.

Kiwi fruit - one of Gavin's favorites and very good on fruit tart.

Kool-Aid - filled with memories of childhood. This was pretty much the only sweet drink we got as kids, except for the mandatory glass of orange juice at breakfast.


Wow! Who knew there were so many words starting with K!

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

J


Josh - I know, you must be getting a little tired of him, but I'm his mother, and I can't get enough...

Joy - the greatest feeling in the world

Jabberwocky - I couldn't resist

Jalapeno peppers - I love hot food

Jell-O - brings out the child in all of us

Jon Bon Jovi


Hugh Jackman


Grrrrrr.....

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Monday, August 13, 2007

I


Impatience - something I've always had oodles of, but which has definitely been significantly tamed by crafting. "The book" (read the story here, here, and here) has definitely given me an exercise in patience again this weekend. The bag is for my mom, who loves toile.

Ideas - so many, so little time...

Imagination - what you need to form original ideas.

Idleness - I sometimes have to force myself into a little of this. It does not come naturally to me.

Impulsive - something else I'm not but am working on incorporating into my personality.

Indecisive - If I can be a little more impulsive, I might be a little less indecisive...

Ice cream - rum raisin is my favorite, but kind of hard to come by. Vanilla will do in a pinch, especially with a strawberry topping.

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