Monday, February 16, 2009

Beginnings

Since my post on Easy Quilting, I've had my eye out for materials to make a raggy quilt. The first thing I found was some zebra print wide ribbon. Something you will learn about me is that I really like animal print, specifically zebra print. I like touches of it, so it is not overwhelming or tacky.

I found the fabric on one of many trips to Joann's. I loved the bright colors and the hand drawn motifs. I felt like it was a perfect piece to base the whole quilt on.

It's going to take some time to collect enough pieces to put it together. I really want to find a bright and super soft backing. Maybe I'll find some good stuff at The Sewing & Stitchery Expo in two weeks!

Cute Boxes

One of the things I was able to make for Valentine's were these adorable heart boxes from Jinjerup! I used them for the young women (at church) and some friends. I filled them with sweet little treats and they seemed to go over well. There are several different patterns for all occasions. They take a little bit of time cutting out and scoring, but I think they were worth it.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Belated Valentine's!

I had another wonderful Valentine's Day and I hope you all did too! My hubby worked overtime until afternoon, which actually worked out. We had spent a lot of time putting on a Valentine's activity for our church on Friday, so I needed a little bit of time to get some special things ready for our Valentine's date. My love came home with a huge bouquet of pink! The bouquet had pink roses and pink peruvian lilies (with a touch of buttercream in the centers) and a cute sparkly heart.

One of my favorite things that I made this year was chocolate dipped strawberries. Isn't it great to have yummy strawberries in February? They were so tasty! For those that don't know how to make them, I'll try to explain.

~First, wash all your strawberries and let them dry on some paper towels. You don't want any moisture on the outside or the chocolate will not stick right and you may end up with some light colored spots. Prepare a cookie sheet lined with wax paper or a silicone mat.

~Next, temper your chocolate with whatever method works best for you. Some like melting chocolate in the microwave, over a double broiler or in the oven (using the oven light). My gramma taught me to put the chocolate overnight in the oven with the light on. It is my favorite method. My mom recently tried an electric chocolate melter and really liked the results. She said that is always kept the chocolate at the right temperate.

~Now if you kept the green tops on the strawberries, they will serve as a good handle for dipping. You will only dip about 3/4 of the way down and lightly shake the excess chocolate off. Then place it on the cookie sheet. If you want to dip the whole strawberry, then you can cut the green off (leaving as much of the berry as possible) and use a skewer to help with dipping. Dip the strawberry completely in chocolate and shake the excess off. Set on cookie sheet and gently remove skewer. It helps if you use another skewer to hold the berry still (the chocolate will cover an mark made).

~If you would like to add a chocolate drizzle, then prepare a small amount of chocolate while the dipped berries set. Place chocolate into a ziploc bag (towards one of the sealed corners). Snip a small part off the corner. Of course, you could always use a pastry bag and tip. Once the chocolate on the strawberries has set, then you can drizzle chocolate on top. I started at the top of the berry and did a zig zag pattern all the way down. Then you just have to wait until those babies set up (the drizzle won't take too long). If you really want to, then you can let them set in the fridge. I wouldn't keep them in there too long, because moisture will accumulate on the chocolate and could ruin it. After they are set, then you can put them into a sealed container in the fridge and they should be okay.


Finally, here is the sweet little note I got in my bouquet:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Best Board Ever!

I found an amazing Inspiration Board from the art studio of Jeanne Winters. She was just featured on Today's Creative Blog (which is a blog in my reader) with some of her Valentine's ideas. I got to browsing Jeanne's Blog and found her Inspiration Board made from a perfectly good discarded door. With the addition of some paint, cork board panels and linoleum paste, she has created a beautiful board.

I love the few panels that she left with open with just the glass. I could see adding some vinyl wording to the glass panels or something like that. I'm on the look out for a door with lots of panels, like this one.

Jeanne also made some little push pins to add to the cute/chic factor. She has a quick tutorial on her site on how to make them. It is similar to the marble magnets, but you use smaller marbles and push pins instead of magnets. Her blog is full of inspiration and justly named, Inspiring Ideas.

Just for Giggles

To start off, I haven't been sleeping well for a while. Once I finally am knocked out...I'm out (even though I wake up fatigued). This morning my hubby came to kiss me goodbye & say 'I love you' before he left for work. Usually I wake up for a moment and mutter back, 'I love you, too'. Well today, I must have been totally knocked out because my muttered reply was, 'I love you, mommy'! He laughed it off and said something like, 'No, I'm your daddy'...of course I remember none of this, but he told me later. I just love my husband!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Two weeks of Blah!

I've spent another week sick. It seemed as though I'm sick on Monday and clear up just in time for church on Sunday, then repeat the cycle. I think the last two weeks have been bugs that were going around. So I really haven't done much crafting. I had plans with my friend to make Valentines, but I was way too sick. I'm hoping to have some to show on my blog this week. I've been doing a lot of reading...craft books, magazines and health books. Here are my favorites from the past two weeks:



1. Martha Stewart Living Magazine Feb.2009 Issue....Love it! It has some really cute Valentine's ideas like Antique-Style Valentines, Playing-Card Valentines and Conversational Heart Cookies. Those are just a few of my favorite things from that issue. If you don't have it, then I would get it while you can.

2. Sew Pretty Homestyle by Tone Finnanger. This book is full of crafts along the Shabby Chic style. There are sewing projects for each room of the house. With 35 projects in all and a handful of stuffies, it makes a great addition to my craft patterns. I also got a hold of Sew Pretty Christmas Homestyle and it is another sweet treat. There is a pattern for these Shabby Christmas Elves that I will be making. I got the fabric on sale this last week, so that is going to be the first thing I make. Tone Finnanger has a couple other books in print and a new one coming out this summer. She is from Norway and her books are published in foriegn languages first. Then 6 months to a year later they are published in English. I've seen pictures of her newest book (in another language) and I can't wait to get my hands on it.

So definitely more posts this week. I do have a special little treat for all of you. The fabulous people of Fabric.com have offered my readers a $5 off coupon! The coupon code is blogaqt. There is no minimum purchase and the coupon is a one time only coupon. Enjoy!

Monday, February 2, 2009

A (Not So) Happy Groundhog Day

Mondays seem to be a day that I spend completely fatigued and (for the most part) in bed...definitely a down day. Then today, that darn Groundhog just had to see his shadow! I sure wish he hadn't, so this winter would end quicker. I miss the Arizona weather...my husband doesn't. This past winter in Washington has been an unusual one with several storms and snow (just my luck). My body doesn't respond well to this cold weather. Too bad the groundhog couldn't predict something else, like what will be the new hip accessory for the summer or something fun like the cartoon above.

Enough of the negativity...I'll try to stay positive with this song:

Judy Garland is simply amazing.