Sunday, March 30, 2008

Applique Cupcakes

I finally have my cupcakes up - complete with cherries! The cherries did have lovely stems but my youngest boy thought it would be fun to break them off so I used plain round cherries I had made instead. One day I might make some more stem-ified (yes I know I just made that word up!) cherries.

I am in love with the colors and fabrics in the cupcakes and it makes me smile every time I walk into the kitchen. It's hard to choose a favorite, however I am leaning heavily towards the one with the brown Kaffe fans on the bottom and pink dots on the top! Which is your favorite?!

Now I just need to do something about that atrocious circa 1960 light fixture!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Felted Wool

I went to a couple of thrift shops the last 2 days and picked up some wool jackets and skirts. I have an applique project in mind and haven't really worked with wool before and wanted to try it.

So these are the results of my do-it-yourself-on purpose-wool felting! Notice I said on purpose?!

I am thrilled with the results. The red, brown and teal fabrics felted perfectly. I wasn't too sure how the teal would felt because it was a knit, but you can see it worked fine. The checkered wool didn't felt as much because it was only 70% wool, but it still worked good enough to use. I will probably throw it in the wash a couple more times and see if it felts up more.

Look for some applique on these pieces of wool coming up soon! A little clue as to what I'm going to do with it - it involves an old door with 9 little window panes in it. Fun fun fun!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Already?

I hope you all had a great weekend and that you got spoilt rotten by the Easter Bunny! We actually managed to not go overboard this year. One bag of chocolate kisses and 9 quarters was all it took to make our kiddies happy. Their Easter egg hunt was the highlight of their day, and the highlight of mine was asking my 3 year old - who barely speaks and has speech therapy twice a week - what he learnt in his class in church today, and he responded, "I learnt about Jesus"! So hopefully the real meaning of Easter got in the kids heads this weekend.

We had Hot Cross Buns for breakfast - I know, a couple of days late, but sometimes you just do the best you can when you can!(You WILL want to click on this photo so you can salivate even more!)
And then here are some pictures of the egg hunt which were too cute not to share.

Isn't that last pic adorable?! He's holding his two favorite things - chocolate and money. It would make me happy too!
And I did get the cherries made for the cupcakes and was about to sew them on and take photos when one of the kids - they refuse to tell me which one - broke all the stems on the Fimo cherries I had so carefully made! So another round of cherries tomorrow and I promise photos are coming. Geesh I hope it is worth the wait LOL!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My bag is finished!

Finally, after putting it off day after day, I spent this gloomy rainy day in my quilt room and got my bag finished. And I don't mean done, I mean done DONE as in everything is finished and it's ready to be used!

I haven't made a bag for years and wondered if I'd remember how but it was actually easier than I thought it would be. I chose to quilt it, because, well, I'm a quilter and that's just what I do!

I bought some D-Rings and used them for attaching the handles. I think it makes it a little different than normal, and adds a bit of interest.

The lining fabric was one of those things that was meant to be - remember when I won a box of goodies from Tami at Lemon Tree Tales back in January? Well this piece was in that wonderful box, and there was exactly enough for the lining, including pockets! So THANK YOU Tami!!
I'm so pleased with it, and am in love with the appliqued letter! My 3 year old who's name also starts with 'J' thinks the bag is his. I was lucky to keep his hands off it long enough to take some photos!

I will definitely be making more of these. One can not have too many shoes or bags, right?!

Tomorrow, framed cupcake quilt photos!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Boys Room is Done

I finally have this room done. It's taken me since June last year but at last it is painted and has real curtains! The previous owners had left their window coverings and in this room they were lacy venetian blinds. I know, hard to imagine, but just think of venetian blinds but instead of slats it was a firm lace. Just perfect for rough and tumble boys. And totally see-through at night! Which actually wasn't too much of a problem since this is one of those houses that doesn't have any lighting in the bedrooms. I am presuming this is an American thing because I had never seen that growing up in NZ, and every place I have lived in here has been the same! We need to use lamps in each bedroom. The boys don't have one - it helps tremendously not to have a light when it's bedtime!

I hung up their framed initials above their beds and made curtains out of what else but dinosaur fabric - picked out by my hubby at Joann's last year (on a rare occasion that I was able to convince him to go there) for only $1/yard. It was a bargain that we couldn't resist. Curtain weight for $1 and dinosaurs to boot!
I am disappointed that the real color of the walls isn't photographing. The photos I take show it to be turquoise when in real life it is very very green - far more green than blue. Anyone have any tips on photography so I can capture the 'real' color?! I have tried it with and without the flash with the same results. I know there are probably some fancy settings to play with. I pretty much just point and shoot!

On their beds are quilts made by their Grandma in UT - yes they are Christmas quilts and yes I know it is March. They just love them so much! I think I should think about making some non-Christmas quilts for them. Maybe with some dinosaur appliques. Could be interesting! I can feel ideas forming in my mind as I type... once again, any ideas are welcome!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Exciting news!!

As promised a few posts ago (very last line of the post), I have some exciting quilt-related news! I have a little article published in the latest copy of the online magazine, Cotton Spice. It's an awesome magazine, and best of all, it's FREE! You just go here and simply register, and you have access to this latest copy of the magazine, just freshly out today, plus all of the back issues, and a ton of more fun quilt-related things. It used to be a paid subscription magazine and you would receive a copy on a CD in the mail, but now it's totally free!

And this isn't just a boring online newsletter type of format, this looks like a real quilt magazine. It has quilt related articles, free patterns, stories, and all sorts of fun stuff. So I strongly suggest that you register (easy peasy!) and you can see both the magazine, and my article! And no I'm not being paid to tell you this, I just really really love it!
Here I am telling you all about the mag, and I haven't even told you a single thing about my article!

If you go back here, and here, you will see my posts about making Monogram letters and framing them. Well Karen from Cotton Spice Quilting asked if I would do a little something for her magazine and here we are, and it's a wrap! I had so many people email me and ask me how to make these cute letters when I had them on my blog, and now you can have instructions, plus access to a great magazine. Did I mention it was free? lol!

So you see, I HAVE done a lot of applique lately, I just couldn't show it to you ;) When you see the letters C and J in the article, I made them to go in the room I just painted for my boys - one above each bed. Today I will hang them up and take photos.

Do you think I'm a little excited???

So once you register (as easy as entering your email address and a password) read the magazine and make sure you stop on pages 56-59 and have a little smile and think of me :D

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Paint Day

Anyone remember when I talked about my obsession with all things teal? Well today is a very teal day. I have finally got around to painting my boys' room, and what color is it? Oh yes you guessed right. Teal of course! We bought the paint last year and when I opened it today this is the gloriousness (OK I know there's no such word!) that I beheld... and then after giving it a mix it became this...
I love the mixed color, but I sure do wish there was some way you could paint your walls to look like the unmixed paint picture! Of course I made it difficult on myself and decided to paint all the trim white, so that in itself has trippled the time. But it's looking good! I don't know how the paint dripping all over the trim didn't bother the previous owners.
My hubby said he wouldn't have bothered painting it either, since the boys' beds will hide most of it. But I will know it's done, and I will know that it looks good....even if it's hidden! At least the window trim will show. I just can't wait to have it all done and start decorating the room. Finally, after 8 months I will look forward to entering that room instead of avoiding it as much as possible! And best of all, it will be a room that my boys want to be in, and play in. Right now it's pretty much just a place to sleep. At this point I have done all the trim and cutting in, and there is just the rolling left to do. I will add an 'after' photo when that's done. For now, this is how it is...

Friday, March 7, 2008

Where is Spring?

I was looking through my photos just now and found these beauties that I took last Spring. The tree picture is a house round the corner from us, and the daff's are in the roundabout at my daughter's school.

Now I am looking outside and can see the half-melted dirty snow and am wondering if the neighborhood would ever look like this again?! Roll on Spring.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

A glimpse into my week

I have no idea how the time gets away from me. I could have sworn it was less than a week since I last blogged. Oops! Here is my excuse... That is 4 loads to be folded, with another 3 to bring up from the basement. How does this happen?! I'm usually on top of it but if I miss a few days, wow! But I will now make up for my lack of blogging and do a weeks worth of blogging in one day :)

I have started on my church bag with the fabrics I last posted about. I decided to applique my initial on one side, just to make it a bit different. I used silk thread for the needleturn. It's my first time using it - it's from the lot of threads I got from ebay a few posts back (here) and I must say it was wonderful! I didn't have any problems with it, and it just melted into the fabric. I will use silk thread again for sure.

And now just for fun, I thought you'd like to see what we had for dinner last night. I made corn chowder and rolls. We have decided to eat cheap. For us, this means spending $50-$80/week on food. So far, so good. We have done pretty OK with the budget. Lots more veges and fruit, and a lot less rubbish. There are 5 of us, my DH and I, plus 3 little kids. And add to this that my DH has decided to go semi-vegetarian - this happens about once a year, but this has lasted a couple of months now, so maybe he means it! He still will eat fish though, so it's not too tough to come up with dinners. I figured last night's dinner would have cost $5 max, and it was sooo delicious. Who knew you could make corn chowder without anything yummy like ham, bacon, cream, or cheese? I just filled it up with potatoes, onions, and red and green peppers. I can't even describe the yumminess of it! I do however, have a secret ingredient which I will share with you... It is called Sweet Mesquite Rub and is only $5.99 at Costco. When I use it, people always ask what the flavor is. I put it in everything, and I mean everything! It is slightly spicy, slightly smokey, and just delicious. Plus you get a ton of it in a container. I have had that open one for over a year now, and have even give scoops of it to friends. It still looks like it hasn't been touched! The full unopened one is for my Mum in NZ - I will sent it to you Mum when we're not so broke LOL! (It's her birthday present from January. Another oops!)

For dessert we had a spice cake and I made cream cheese frosting to go with it. Everything tastes great as long as it has cream cheese frosting, right? Well I did the old trick my mother does to make the frosting look pretty - making lines with a knife one way, then the opposite way. I did this in front of the family and wow you would have thought I was a miracle worker. My lovely little daughter just thought it was amazing and that I was so incredibly talented. I think she might have even called me a genius. Thanks Mum!

And lastly, we had a family trip to the library last Thursday. Every year they have the real Emily Elizabeth from the Clifford the Big Red Dog books come and talk. She shows original artwork her father did for the books and tells the story of how it all came to be etc. She also gives everyone a book and signs it. Doesn't she look like a grown up Emily-Elizabeth?! She was just a baby when her father drew the pictures, so he didn't know what she would look like. I am impressed! And just to compare, here is the photo we took with her one year ago. I thought it was funny that I had dressed my youngest in the same clothes (by accident) a year later!
I was inspired by some artwork in the library. Every few weeks they have art from local elementary students on display. I thought this grouping and the colors were lovely! And so clever for 4th graders. Can't you just see a quilt based on this grouping?
So that was my week. Laundry, cooking, the library, and of course a bit of applique. It was a good week. And this week looks to be even better...I should have some exciting quilty news coming up for you in a few days!