Thursday, May 28, 2009

Quilt #2: Done

It's finally finished! My second quilt! I have to say, I'm pretty proud of this one! I designed it myself. I really enjoy that aspect of sewing. The quilting, well, I'm still working on that whole "sew in a straight line" thing. I guess it'll come in time.

This quilt is for a dear friend who's going to have her first baby in early July. She's having a boy and as of yet, baby boy doesn't have a name.

(I picked out this cute yellow flannel farm animal print for the back! It's so cute!)

I can't wait to meet him and seeing laying, playing and sleeping on this blanket! It was made with lots of love!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Creme Brule Quest: My kitchen

Since my parents were here this weekend, I wanted to celebrate my mom's birthday a little early. Instead of making another cake or some cupcakes or even recreate the year I made her a lemon meringue pie and whipped the meringue by attaching the beaters to my dad's drill because the beater stopped working. (Yes, it worked just fine but the damn drill was soooooo much heavier than your average kitchen beater. I don't really recommend it unless you're in a pinch like I was).

I kept things a little simpler this year and decided to try to make creme brule. We enjoyed it so much on our trip to France, I thought it would be fun to give it a whirl. Luckily, my mom is also a bit of an adventurous cook so she wanted to help.

We got our recipe from the Better Homes and Garden The New Cookbook. Instead of using a blow torch to caramelize the sugar, the recipe calls for caramelizing it on the stove top and drizzling it on the dishes.
The creme brule is in the dishes and in the water bath ready for the oven.All cooked up and cooling.The caramelizing starts (above) and finishes up a few minutes later (below).
I gotta say, the creme brule was pretty good and I'd make this dish again! It wasn't quite as good as the ones we ate in France, but it came pretty close! We had three dishes left over and ate them the following night. And it tasted even better the second night! The vanilla was very distinct after it had time to really mix in with the creme and eggs.
And you can't have creme brule without French wine! We opened the bottle from Domaine Terres Blanches that I hauled back from France! It was a great dessert to cap off a great weekend!

Urban Gardening

This Memorial Day weekend, my folks came for a visit. They said they just wanted to hang out with us. I had already planned on attending the West Seattle Edible Garden fair to learn all I could about gardening, composting and whatever else they wanted to share with me. The folks also enjoy gardening so they were up for it.

My mom and I approached a booth called Urban Gardeners. They had this beautiful display of buckets filled with tomatoes, chives, lettuces and herbs. My mom asked if they were for sale. They weren't. They were free. We could pick out what we wanted to grow and they would show us how to plant a buckets so you could grow a garden anywhere! Uber Urban Gardener Helen, helped me pick out a Jubilee tomato plant, some chard and different types of lettuce seeds (they were out of the lettuce starts). She gave some fertilizer and showed me what to do once I get to move into our house and give my gardening skills a bigger test! It was a great event and I'll be back there next year ready learn more!

My lovely garden start! These greens are as ready as I am for all of us to get into our new home!

Friday, May 22, 2009

It'll soon be mine!

I've been looking in stores and online for months now. Just keeping my eye out for the perfect deal. And I finally found it. Or, it found me. It showed up in my email inbox yesterday!

And how could I not resist getting my very own swift for only $50 from! It took me approximately 2.5 seconds to hit the order now button while at the same time fumbling around in my bag for my handy-dandy Visa card!

The best part is (aside for the price!), now that I'll have a craft room of my very own soon, the swift will be able to stay out all the time! I can't wait to start winding yarn!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Celebrating a change

A very dear friend of mine has recently come to a crossroads in her professional life as a television journalist. After nearly a decade of working in her chosen profession and many of them in her dream job as a main anchor and producer for a TV news station, she is moving on to something different.

She wrestled with some very serious and emotional issues while trying to come to this decision. At times I know it was very hard for her. But she is a hard worker who is determined to take on new challenges in life. And that's just what she's doing now that she's at this crossroads. She's blazing her own path and incorporating some of the things she truly loves best: writing, interviewing, cooking, blogging and of course her family.

I'm so proud of her for launching her new blog It's a fabulous site designed to pass along insightful interviews, helpful parenting skills, and some seriously fun stuff as well. The thing I love about this site, is that it isn't just for moms. For example, she had a great video interview with a new author who just published a book on tips to save money. Now really, who doesn't want to do that?

So whether or not you've got kids, I highly encourage you to click on over to and check it out. I'm so thrilled for Shannon and I know she'll be incredibly successful!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Secret to a straight line?

Is there one? Because I've tried a few things and they don't seem to working out so well.

- Walking foot - done
- Marked out the line - done
- Sewn slower - done

These things all helped a bit but my lines, shall we say, wandered a bit. Still, I know the mama-to-be will love this quilt. She possesses the same kind of attitude I do about crafting: Life isn't perfect, we're not perfect, so why stress out when our crafting isn't perfect.

Besides, the Baby Boy who will get this quilt will love it so much he'll enevitably throw up on it. And I'm just fine with that.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A productive weekend

After last Sunday's post of how overwhelmed I was with all my projects, I thought something really needed to happen this weekend. Actually, it was really when the hubby said, "Um, it seems like you have a lot of little projects all over the place."

That's when I knew, my weekend of quilting and knitting needed to be sideline so I could de-clutter the serious clutter.

So I sucked it up and took care of things.

- Reorged the knitting bag in the living room that held about 7 projects or the goods for 7 projects even though I'm only working on 2.

(The hubby wasn't sure how this new mess was part of my organizing/cleaning day. I assured him it was. Really, it's a small miracle that I didn't start another project while I was sorting.)
- Ripped out the hubby's socks and the Spring Time Bandit Scarf (needs bigger needles).

- Cleaned up the sewing area - got it organized and off the dining room table just in time for my folks to visit next weekend.

- Finally got rid of all of the boxes from last month's charity auction so my parents can stay in the guest room

- Cleaned the house.

- Finished quilting the baby quilt. (Ok, got in some quilting).

Um, is it time for another weekend?

Monday, May 11, 2009


We are officially grown up! OK...not totally officially...we sign the papers in a few days, but the sign says it all!

The hubby and I have bought our first house! It's perfect and we love it! It's a lot bigger than it looks in this picture. It has three bedrooms/2.5 baths, a big yard and two raised garden plots just waiting for me to get in there and plant lots of home grown goodness! It has a detached two car garage with lots of storage and an artist studio! It's in the neighborhood we really wanted. And within walking distance of shops, restaurants, the farmer's market (a long walk), parks and the beach! (Keep in mind, it's the Seattle beach on the Puget Sound so we're not talking spending lots of days lounging in the sun running into the water to cool off. This is Seattle after all.) So it's fitting that the garage has a huge rain barrel to collect rain water to water the garden. And the previous owners set up a compost bin. Now I just need to convince the hubby that composting is good and not another of my, quote, "Crazy hippie ways."
(The garden plots. Don't they just look like they're ready to be planted?!)

We actually don't get to move in for another month. The sellers need to rent back to us in order to get their new living situation squared away. That gives me plenty of time to mentally decorate my house. We'll have a couple of empty rooms for awhile so I'm taking one and making it my craft room that I've always wanted. I may not have enough furniture for this house, but Lord knows I can fill a craft room before the hubby can finish unpacking! I'll also be doing lots of reading on what to plant that will still grow in late June.

(This is the 2 car garage and artist studio. We're not really sure what we should do with the artist studio space right now. We're taking suggestions.)

If you have any planting tips, or any good homeowner advice, I'd love to hear it! This is a new adventure for us and we're ready to take it!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Not the way to start the new week

At the beginning of each week, I like to think about all the stuff I have to do for the coming week, both fun and work oriented. This week, or really, before this week even starts, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. And it's basically all my own fault.

There are the little projects I've started that need completing: a knitted baby gift; a baby quilt for a shower that I'm hosting in less than a month!

There are the yet to be made baby gifts for dear friends expecting little bundles of joy: there are babies due in July, August, September (2 actually) and October. My friends have been very busy...

There's my new organization projects that I recently bought new plastic bins for and even got my long awaited label maker! (The hubby has been mocking me endlessly about that one but just wait until he sees how wonderfully organized everything will be. If I ever get around to it).

There's the hubby's socks that he's patiently waiting on and asks about every time he sees me knitting a new little something.

Oh yeah, and I have a few work things that will be encroaching on my free/crafty/relaxing time that are sadly unavoidable. it the weekend again?

Thursday, May 07, 2009


I've been super hungry lately. Eating lots of snack and still trying to be healthy at the same time. Let me tell you, it ain't easy to do. I don't why I'm so hungry these days. Maybe it's because I've started working out again (yeah!) or maybe it's this weird weather. Or maybe, I'm just hungry. So I whipped up a batch of healthy muffins tonight to keep on hand. Muffins are one of my most favorite things to bake - and I do love to bake! I'm also always on the lookout for a new healthy muffin recipe. Here's the latest batch:

They are Banana Nut Muffins with Oatmeal Streusel from Cooking Light. Only I left out the nuts. Not a big fan in nuts in baked goods.
They are still cooling right now, but they sure smell good!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Adventures in Lace Knitting: Part Four - Sucking it up & ripping it out

Thanks to everyone for your support during these, um, challenging lace knitting times. All of your suggestions were quite encouraging, helpful and funny - giving me some much needed laughs!

But I've made my decsion - thanks to some consultation with some Purly Girls tonight - I'm ripping out the whole darn thing. You can't really see my YO in the lace so they sugessted I move up a few sizes in needles. Hopefully that will help. And getting all the stitches right. That should help too.

Stand by for the next portion of this journey.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Adventures in Lace Knitting: Part Three - The Distractions

While the STB shawl project is still in time out, I've found a few nicer things to occupy my time this spring weekend.

First, I started knitting the Amelie Dress from Natural Knits for Moms and Babies. I've been eyeing this pattern for a while now. And the perfect opportunity came up when my dear friend announced her new baby is a girl. Act surprised when you get this Jen!

My other distraction is this baby quilt for another friend (seriously...I think there's something in the water...). I'm especially excited about this quilt, because I designed it. I have to say, the thing I'm loving most about sewing is the designing process. It's no secret that following directions isn't my best feature, but I do love getting an idea, sketching it out in my book, then getting to work.