Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Here's to a happy and healthy 2011! Thank you to all my new blogging friends! There is an incredible community out there and I'm happy to have found it!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Wishing everyone a very Happy Holiday Season and a Healthy and Happy New Year! Here's to a new year filled with fun, friends, and fabric!!

Dreaming of rawhide...
Sutton & Cooper dreaming of rawhide and bully sticks!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

My attempts are failing miserably

I wanted to get some baking done today...had disastrous results. First my ricotta cookies were bouncy and had no flavor, so into the trash they up, pizzelles. I LOVE these, however, my iron does not share those feelings towards me....I ended up with a dozens good ones and a Ziploc bag full of pieces - which all taste fine....I'm now attempting "Naughty & Nice" sugared pecans and I'm throwing in the towel.....Bah Humbug.....I'm thinking some Bushmill's and Ginger ale while watching White Christmas may lift my spirits....

Saturday, December 11, 2010

FNSI - the results blog!!

This was my first Friday Night Sew In and it really helped me get motivated!!I got a lot accomplished yesterday! I tried out the gathered clutch tutorial over at Noodlehead. I LOVE it!! Once I got the hang of the zipper tabs, I was able to crank them out. The first two bags corners are a bit iffy, but I may just keep them and use the others as gifts. I used 2 fat quarters per bag and had lots of scraps left over! I used 9" zippers (I couldn't find 8" ones anywhere and just cut them down to size)....These make great gifts!
All lined up
The whole line up. I also cut fabric yesterday to make 3 more - Can you say addicted?!?!

First bag completed...

Here is the first one...Didn't quite get the corners right, but added a D ring and wrist strap. The one has both the divider and card pockets.

Card pocket

It only took me to the second one to figure out the zipper tabs (yeah, me!!) Inside view of the card pocket - with a handmade twill label. I'm hoping Santa brings me some pre-printed labels from etsy!

Divider Pocket

And a final shot of one with a divider pocket!

I'm planning on a red one with a cute Christmasy stripe with a Biggby coffee card for my mail lady too!  I may make a few without either pocket style - I think they'd make great little bags to stash stuff in your purse too....Seriously, is there a support group for these?!?!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

My winnings!!

I entered into a bunch of the great Gifts for Guys giveaways on kojodesigns blog and I actually won one!!
I won the BBQ rub from Happy Valley Farm. The rub comes in 3 flavors (Mildly Spicy, Spicy, & Chipotle) and Jim at Happy Valley let me chose. I went for the spicy version, since we like heat in our foods.
Once we crack this open, I'll be sure to post and let you know how it if I can just convince Mr. LazyDog to grill in 20 degree weather.....

I'm off to cut fabrics for the Friday Night Sew In tomorrow.....anyone else sewing tomorrow night?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Today's finds

Today my friend Alicia and I headed into Detroit for the Detroit Urban Craft Fair. We stopped at Traffic Jam & Snug for lunch - I highly recommend it - great food (they make their own breads, cheeses, and beer!) and a great vegetarian selection (my brother is a vegetarian, so he's made me more conscious of menus selections (or the lack of) for vegetarians)....

After filling ourselves with cheesy goodness (Potato and black truffle ravioli in Asiago cheese sauce for her and White Cheddar Mac & Cheese for me), we made our way to the Fillmore. There was a great turnout, great tunes playing in the background, and the bar was even open!!)

Alicia had more luck than I did, but I came away with a few cute fat quarters from Frizzelstix and a Handmade Detroit pin, so it wasn't a total loss. Each of the FQs came with a cute little button with illustrations from her fabrics! I thought the bears with honey pots were adorable and who can really resist little blue piggy butts!! I picked up a bunch of vendors' cards too, so I could check out etsy stores for things I was on the fence about and maybe buy online later once I decide I can't live without them!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Detroit Urban Craft Fair this weekend

I am really looking forward to going to this on Saturday! At the Fillmore Saturday 10-7, Sunday 11-6; Admission is a whopping dollar!!!!

Hoping for some great finds and good times with my friends! And maybe a spanish coffee at Atlas after :)

One week Challenge - Thanksgiving edition results

Amy's Creative Side
 I was able to complete all of my projects for the challenge this time, which is great considering that I had only had Friday to get stuff done (got called into work on Monday, regular shifts on Tuesday and Wednesday, in-laws for Turkey Day, Friday off, regular shifts on Saturday and Sunday!) But I succeeded and I'm thrilled with the results (well, cutting fabrics is just cutting fabrics, but I made a mug rug out of 1.5" squares and it turned out great!!)  

So onto the results: First were the fabrics for the 3 charity quilts I want to complete by year end. I'm planning on the Illinois Roads quilt pattern from the Quilts for Kids group.

Second, I wanted to try my hand at making a mug rug - Christmas style! So I sorted through my scraps and went for it - only a few of them are Christmas fabrics! I used a decorative stitch on my machine to add a line of snowflakes to the white section.

I love that they are quick to make and a great way to practice quilting techniques. Now off to try some zipper wristlets too! I'm hoping to make more gifts than I buy this year (and to keep this trend going!). I need to get the big Nikon back out too! My little Coolpix point and shoot is worthless for taking close ups and the color differences between flash and no flash are astounding (see the mug rug pictures above! The colors in the top picture are closer to real life)

**Addendum**Here's the link to the tutorial I used for my little 1" squares. Made it SO much easier!

Monday, November 22, 2010

One week challenge - Thanksgiving week edition...

Amy is having another one week challenge on her blog.
My goals this week are to cut up the fabrics for the 3 charity quilts I want to finish this year and make 1 Christmas mug rug for a gift.

I have a meeting with my graduate school advisor this afternoon and then I am on call for work in the evening. Hopefully, I can get cracking on some of the stuff today!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Giveaway at GenXQuilters!

Gen X Quilters

GXQ has its first official sponsor (Sew Delightful Fabrics) and they are doing a giveaway to celebrate! You can win an It's A Hoot Layer Cake! You have until November 24th to enter!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

All I want for Christmas are my Above All Fabric wishlist items!

Melanie @ Above All Fabric is having a great giveaway - gift certificates to her store!
The store has a great WishList feature - add all of your favorites in seconds flat!

What's on my Wish List? - just a few of my favorite things:

Laura Gunn Poppy prints:

Grunge Basics:

and some cute little birds to name a few!

Head over there now for a chance to win! Winners will be picked December 1st!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday Woof!!

Sutton is growing by leaps and bounds! He did great in his puppy kindergarten class last Thursday and even managed a few nights of sleeping out of his crate without any accidents!! He has now conquered all the stairways in the house, so he loves to explore - but he still sleeps more than anything (growing boy!!) And Cooper loves to play with him and even lets him crawl on him when they are glad they are getting along!!

Sutton chewing on a rawhide stick!
 Trying to sleep next to Cooper (Coop loves to be under blankets!)
 Doggie WWF
 Dinnertime! (Unfortunately the stove is in focus, not the dogs - oops!)
 Sutton on the big dog bed last night
 Coopy all curled up in the little dog's crate last night too!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Inspired Ideas - Christmas Edition

Has anyone else stumbled across this amazing e-mag? Filled with great ideas for gifts, decorations, and ornaments.... Check out Amy's fabulous site!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Pillows are finished!

 They are finally done! It actually didn't take as long as I expected - Envelope closures are easier than I thought they would be....why haven't I done these earlier!?!?!

I quilted the "square" one in the ditch and the "X" pillow got straight line (well, my version anyway) quilting through the strips. I used the same Kona Ivory on the back as I did for the block center lines, with a decorative stitch on the edges (didn't have time to take pictures of those - the monsters were awake and playing WWF in the living room behind me, thus the not so stellar set-up in the picture below! 120# of wrestling dogs is a lot to contend with - but they haven't taken me out yet, I just know to grab my nook and jump on the couch!)
Even Mr. LazyDog thought they looked good! Here's a little taste of how WWF starts! :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My First String Blocks!

When I first started quilting last year (I think it's been just about a year now - WOW - time really does fly!) I fell in love with the Arcadia line by Sanae (Moda fabrics). I bought a honey bun and 2 jelly rolls, even though I wasn't quite sure what to do with them. So, they sat in my closet and waited patiently.

Now that Sutton is sleeping in 3-4 hour blocks, last week was the perfect time to try out one of the many string block tutorials I have bookmarked. I'm not going to re-invent the wheel and post all of the steps, you can find them on many great quilting blogs - I'm new here, trust the professionals :)

So I finished 8 - 8.5" blocks. I'm thinking about making them into 2 pillows for the couch. I'm mulling over my options for the jelly rolls and am pretty close to a decision - most likely the Fat Quarterly quilt along to make a lap quilt to match the pillows....

Here are the blocks, still with the paper attached. I really like the look of these and will one day get around to making an entire quilt like this...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sutton has landed!

We picked up Sutton on Saturday and he seems to be fitting in just fine. He's doing really well with crate training and housebreaking. And Cooper seems to have realized that he's going to stay and even played with him today!! He went to the vet for his first visit and was a whopping 22.6# at 9 weeks!! Here are a few pictures of our latest I get to enjoy some sewing while Paul watches the puppy in the living room - I love Mr. LazyDog!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wednesday Woof!

Cooper checking out Sutton's crate (and hoping he doesn't have to stay in there!!)

Sutton - he's coming home on Saturday - prepare for an onslaught of puppy pictures!!!
 Cooper playing with his kids!

Photos from my super productive day!

Finally had a chance to get some pictures of all my projects from Sunday.

Recycled sweater bag (used a home dec weight fabric for the liner and no batting)
 Cooper's Halloween Martingale Collar - BOO!
3 Fleece blankets - 2 for Puppy Sutton & 1 for me (guess which one is mine!)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Super productive day....

I got a ton of sewing done....looks like the sewing bug that deserted me a few weeks ago is back. Today is was able to complete 3 fleece blankets, a purse for my mom using the Create & Delegate sweater to purse tutorial, and a Halloween martingale collar for LazyDog! Photos to come - I just got dinner on the stove and the neighbors are coming over for dinner and some board games!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wednesday Woof! Non-quilty goodness!

If you haven't guessed already, dogs are a huge part of my life. We aren't having 2 legged children, only 4 legged ones, so bear with me here!!  When we got Cooper over 3.5 years ago, who would have figured that I'd be on this wild and crazy canine road! We wanted a ridgeback with a perfect ridge, who ended up being a show dog. So we took Coop to conformation classes and dog shows. Luckily, he got both his Canadian and AKC championships relatively quickly and he's now living the good life (not like he was hurting before, trust me!). We have met tons of dogs and dog people, from Papillons to Great Danes and back again. Once we learned that Coop was a show dog and that people wanted to breed him, we knew we wanted a Cooper puppy - my very own mini-Coop (just not another show dog). So, his first litter ended up being small - two beautiful show pups; which meant no puppy for us....Breeding number 2 had lots of pups (and lots of people on a waiting list), so we decided to not get one from that litter either. The third time must be a charm right, Cooper and Bailey had 8 gorgeous puppies, all with great ridges - 7 boys and 1 girl.

So we kept watch on the litter and how the personalities were developing. We definitely want a puppy with the lazy dog mentality (just like his dad!). So it's been between two pups for a few weeks now. One was a show potential (red boy) and one with a potential dermoid sinus (green boy). We were expecting to take the green boy, but Paul had fallen hard for the red boy. Well after not getting too attached to red boy, we came up with a name and spent half the afternoon on Sunday calling the green boy by his name.

Well, our friends at Kacela had another ridgeback breeder come over to evaluate the puppies again. It seems red boy picked up a bit of a swagger that wouldn't work well in the ring!! Holy crap!! Can this possibly be true!? So we actually are getting to bring home the boy that stole our hearts from the get go...Don't get me wrong, is any puppy a bad one? But this little man with his Buddha belly just won us over and has a temperament very similar to Cooper. Paul and I both decided though that if his swagger goes away, we will let Kacela show him, as he looks good conformation wise from every other aspect (And believe it or not, Paul was for this more than I was!!! I almost fell over when he brought it up!)Cooper is the most laid back intact male we've ever seen, so we don't think there will be any issues if this does happen.

 So, I'm proud to present Kacela Keeping a Mini-Cooper, also known as SUTTON!!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fall baking

I was on call yesterday for work, so couldn't venture too far from the house. It was a perfect fall day - crisp breeze, mid-50s, and sunny. What a great day to bake! I made three new recipes - yep, spent the whole afternoon in the kitchen - this is really the only time of year that I seem to break out my baking skills, so might as well pack it in while I can....once spring hits, it's over!

So I made Zucchini cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, bananas foster bread, and homemade twix bars....I didn't take a ton of pictures while baking, but grabbed a few here and there....

#1: Zucchini cupcakes - from, I wasn't sure about making cupcake with zucchini and Mr. LazyDog definitely wasn't convinced but figured they were worth a try since I had one lonely zucchini left from my garden....These ended up great! I added a 1/4C ground flax seed and used pecans. Here are the before and after pictures:

Once they were frosted, Mr. LazyDog was sold! I have a feeling these will be headed to his office for his co-workers enjoyment, since I don't work until Wednesday (and hopefully I won't eat them all by the time he gets home!)

#2: Bananas Foster Bread - this ended up being fantastic! It's from the October 2010 issue of Cooking Light. I used dark rum instead of cognac - yummy, super moist - delicious!! This may become a staple in my house - I love bananas foster - even almost set my friend Lori's kitchen on fire making it once (let's just say a little 151 goes a long way!!!) Luckily, they still let me in the house and even back in the kitchen after that!

#3 Homemade Twix Bars - found these on one of the blogs I follow through Google Reader (I'm sorry, I can't remember which one - the recipe is from King Arthur Flour - Thousand Dollar Bars). These were much easier to make than I expected. I used square caramels found in the Halloween candy section for the caramel layer and I used half and half instead of heavy cream, since that was already in the fridge. I used light chocolate candy melts from Wilton for the chocolate layer. I decided to leave them in the pan and cut them into squares once set, instead of cutting into Twix sized bars and dipping individually - less work for me!