Valentine Love

DSCN2574For Valentines Day I gave my daughter a ton of smooches and “I Love You”s and also a teddy, chocolates and cherry suckers.  Does Valentines day ever go like you plan it? With the ice storm and power outages this week Anything we had planned did not happen instead we just went with the flow of the day.

 

DSCN2587I tried a new recipe for dinner and it was delicious and easy. Hubby even said it was good and he has put it in his top 10. It is Slow cooker Moroccan Chicken. I made rice to go with it. I make my rice with chicken broth instead of water. I followed the recipe exactly and cooked it for the 4 hours on high in the crockpot. I love crockpot recipes. This recipe is from Disney Spoonful one-pot meals, found HERE,

 

DSCN2585Why did I bake a cake yesterday even though I was running around with a million things to do? Because my hubby was working a 12 hour day and I knew when he came home and saw the cake he would smile. I always tend to make a chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting. I used food coloring on the frosting to make it pink.

 

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After Chris worked 12 hours he stopped off at the market and picked up some roses for me and handed them to me along with a smooch when he walked in the door. I can just picture the market in the evening with a handful of Men with a concerned look on their faces. For me it is the thought that counts. He could have come home with a piece of lint  he had found on his shirt sleeve and said it reminded him of me and I would have laughed and thanked him for the sentiment. I enjoy flowers and he knows it.

This weekend we are taking it easy with no plans but to wander around the house and stay in our comfy clothes as long as we can.

Artic Nightmare

DSCN2563This is the second bad winter storm that has swept thru Southeastern US. Yesterday was a nightmare. The power was out all day and the whole town was shut down. Towards the afternoon the trees behind our houses started to snap off from the weight of the ice build up. There were many fallen branches that fell into our backyard including this whole top of a tree. We were lucky and none of them hit any structure. Our neighbor had an entire tree fall onto his fence and shed. Overall it was not as bad as it could have been. It just got real cold in the house so we tried to stay bundled up and used our electronic devices until their batteries ran out.

 

DSCN2569Wool blankets are worth their weight in gold to keep the chill out. This one I have had for many years that I bought in Mexico along with another one. The day I bought them Chris and I were vacationing in Mexico and were laying out on the beach when a local walked up to us wearing a ton of wool blankets and asked if we would like to buy one. The fish and colors on this one caught my eye and he gave me a deal if I bought 2. Anyway this lovely has been with me ever since. I usually drag it out when I have a fever and just can’t get warm. Last night it got us thru the freezing temperatures in our house. We were tempted to go stay in a hotel but did not want to leave the dog or cat at the house so decided to tough it out hoping the power would eventually come back on. Luckily it popped back on around midnight last night and the heat came back on. Yahoo! Today everything is still all closed down but at least we have heat and the internet.

 

DSCN2553Yesterday in the midst of my stress of keeping my child warm and happy I started a little hand sewing project. It will be a little something for my daughter to hang on her wall from me for Valentines. Nothing says happy love like a pile of cloth yo-yos. Maybe I can get it done by Valentines. I best get off the computer and back to it.

 

DSCN2433Here is a photo of Chloe and Koda from the last winter storm that hit a few weeks ago. Notice I am inside and not out in the freezing temperatures. Also notice the icicles hanging from the umbrella. I am over Winter and so ready for Spring. I hope this is the last of the artic weather to come thru these parts. There is a whisper that we might have nice weather this weekend. Wishing all of you warm and cozy thoughts.

English Paper Piecing

DSCN2485I have been working on my 6 point star quilt blocks using the English Paper Piecing method. Slow and steady as she goes. I am trying to decide if once I get a handful more blocks completed if I should start sewing them together as I go along. I love how this is looking so far. I am going to link up with the In Hand EPP Link party.

 

rollerrentalRemember these babies. I was a kid in the 80’s and spent a lot of time with my girlfriends  in a pair of these and went to more roller rink birthday parties than I can remember.

 

DSCN2525 windows phoneChloe turns 5 in March and one of the things she has asked for her birthday is a pair of roller skates. She had never worn skates before. So I decided its time to bring her to the world of roller skating and found a rink in our town. Today was the second time we went and she is doing great. She falls a lot but laughs thru it and gets right back up.

 

DSCN2513Refueling with some nachos. I was surprised at how busy this place is.  Then after thinking about it this is a great activity to bring the kids. It cost less than going to the movies and you can stay as long as you like. It is great exercise by getting the kids and your self off the couch or your computer chair. I think this will be a regular fun activity for us to share together until she gets to old and doesn’t want her dorky  Mom embarrassing her when she is hanging with her friends. Too bad, I am going to be the Mom that is there and sure enough if they start blaring the YMCA song I will be out on the floor skating around doing the arm motions.

 

In Hand EPP Link Party

in hand epp link party

WIP Wednesday

DSCN2477I have several works in progress or shall I say a few I am actually working on at the moment. I decided to take a reality check this year on my long list of incomplete quilts. I printed out a photo list of all my wips listed by oldest to newest and hung it up on my cork board. This quilt is my oldest wip. It is the first quilt I ever made. I made this quilt top in 2003 after I lost my beloved cat “Pusskins”. It was kind of my therapy at the time. I had no pattern all I had was a few books on quilting and I also watched a few shows on PBS. One of the shows was on applique and that is how I got the idea to use a cat and heart motif and applique them onto some of the blocks. My cat Pusskins was a black cat so naturally I wanted the cats to be black. All of the fabric in the top I found at JoAnn fabrics. I just kind of made it up as I went along. I set up my quilt station in my kitchen on the little table in the corner. This is when I discovered the rotary cutter and mat. Little by little I pieced this thing together. Then when I got to actually making it into a quilt is where my troubles began. I bought a big thing of acrylic high loft batting. I also was not confident in my quilting so I bought clear acrylic thread. When I made my sandwich I just laid it out on the bed and pinned it all together, not knowing I should have secured the backing on a surface before putting the batting then top down to pin. I did my quilting by stitching in the ditch around the square blocks. What a nightmare. It was a total mess. It was so thick from the batting and the thread was awful. I ended up rolling it up and putting it in the closet for the next 10 years, always thinking I would fix it. Now I know a little bit more about quilting. So fast forward to 2014 and me finally deciding to clear out all those old wips. Last week when we were all kind of iced in from the big winter storm of the south, I pulled out this quilt and began to hand pick out all the quilting and separated the top from the batting and backing. It took me three days and it is ready now for some proper cotton batting. I am going to switch up the backing fabric a little too. I am so excited that this quilt is on the mend. It looks like Cosmo is already staking claim to the quilt once I finish it.

 

DSCN2469Still working on my nephews quilt made using the economy blocks. I plan to make another strip of bricks for in between the last two rows using a few of the fabrics from the top row of blocks. I am using a light tan as my neutral for around the blocks and outside border. I am thinking of appliqueing my nephews name onto the top border. His 1st birthday is tomorrow so I should deserve a few spankings for being so slow on this one. I blame my design board. Every time I make a block or complete another stage of the quilt and put it on the design board, I sit and stare at it. Seriously long moments just staring at the board and thinking about how I might put it all together. I love how this is turning out.

 

DSCN2322Here is the progress on my Woodland Sampler cross stitch. I just have the last month left. I ran out of the brown floss that is used to outline each block. I ordered some and just received an email that the floss has shipped. My goal is to get this one done by the end of the month. My fingers are itching to start a new cross stitch pattern.

 

DSCN2395Here is the biggest Work in Progress in the house. Koda is 9 months old and is as big as a horse, or at least it feels he is that big. He is lucky he is so adorable. He is all puppy and bad dog rolled into one, lets just say he is a work in progress.

Linking up

Wip Wednesday at Freshly Pieced  

Stitching Sundays with Chrissie Crafts

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Stitching Sunday button

The Economy Block Quilt Wagon

DSCN2312I am not immune to all the economy quilt blocks that are popping up all over Flickr and instagram. They are all just so stinkin adorable. It just so happens I have procrastinated an entire year on making a baby quilt for my nephew, a year and a half if you count when my sister-n-law was pregnant. Well my nephew Trevor turns one years old at the beginning of February and these economy quilt blocks will make a perfect baby/toddler blankie.

DSCN2258Here is what I am using. I am using a fabric panel titled “a fun day in the jungle” along with pulled fabric from my stash. I don’t have an exact quilt design plan yet. I will make up maybe 12 of these blocks and see if I need more or not. For my economy blocks I am using a 5 inch fabric center with a 4.5 inch middle round and outside is 5.75 inch trimming as I go. I prefer to make larger triangles then necessary that way I can trim them down to square up. My block size squared up are coming out at 9 1/2 inches. If you are interested in making some economy quilt blocks you can find the tutorial at Red Pepper Quilts blog

DSCN2301Here is my January block for my quilting bee. I joined the Stash Bee for 2014. There are actually 12 hives this year and I am in Hive #8. Kat is our Hive Mamma and also our Queen Bee for January. She blogs over at FlutterKat. She requested a Tonganoxie 9 patch block in colors of grey & aqua. I enjoyed making this block and am looking forward to seeing all the blocks our hive members request. My month to be the queen bee is May. I have a few ideas we will see how many times I change my mind by the time May rolls around.

DSCN2217We just had a 3 day weekend and spent the majority of it in our pajamas. My little Minnie me insisted on trying out some hair curlers after seeing me with hot curlers in my hair. Yes I am 41 and still play with my hair. Yes for no reason at all I plugged in the old hot curlers and rolled them up in my hair just see what it would look like. I had not curled my hair with curlers in many years and yet I have a linen closet with random bags of curlers and 2 hot curler sets. I had fun rolling Chloe’s hair and telling her all about when I was a little girl and going to bed with curlers in my hair and how we would sit under a large weird object with a dome and holes that blew warm air drying your head full of curlers.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week.

On My Mind Mondays

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Welcome to what’s on my mind. I thought I would start a little spot for me to unload some of the things that I am thinking about or into at the moment. I use this blog as a journal in a way and I thought it would be nice to look back and see what interested me. You know the whole reminiscing of remember when I was obsessed with “fill in the blank”?. Anyway here are something’s on my mind.

Kumquat-treeIt never fails this time of year when it gets super cold, I always start dreaming about gardening. I start to think about what I might plant in the spring. Unfortunately we are still renting so major gardening will not take place here. I am not going to rule out a little gardening and of course there is always container gardening. Last year I clipped out an article on Kumquat Trees and how they do well planted in pots. I have been googling these trees for several months now and learning what conditions they like and how to care for them. As soon as there is no chance of a freeze I will be scoping out local garden nurseries for one of these babies to call my own. Yes I can see it now once I have it and planted in a perfect pot looking at it everyday and hoping for it to fruit. Does anyone else think about plants like this and the future plants they might have?

Thumbnail_DA4_TeaseOk I just need to put this out there. Finally the next season of Downton Abbey started last week. This show makes me giddy. It is like an event when I watch it. I usually work on my stitching and make sure there is no outside distractions. I sit and let it evolve in front of me and think thru out how much I love this show.

alex and sierraOk occasionally I will watch the singing talent shows that come on. I started watching the last season of X Factor and was hooked from the beginning due to these two people Alex & Sierra. I love their voice combination. At first I was drawn to Alex he was text book the type that I fall for. Then after watching the two of them together you can not help but fall for the both of them. When they sing it is so genuine it gives me a feeling of right now in the moment and being a live. My favorite song they did on the show was a remake of One Directions song titled “The Best Song Ever” I love this song and at any given moment I am singing it in my head. You can find the Utube video of them singing it HERE I can not wait for them to put out an album.

Tweed - miaslandliv blogThis photo is from Mias Landliv blog. This photo makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I have been following Mia’s blog for a long time and her photos are always breath taking. This was beauty overload for me with the cable knitted pillow in the background with the crochet blanket on the side and then the wowzer stack of tweed fabrics in the center. Seriously I had visions of my own stack of tweed fabric and all the wonderful things I would make with them. This is one of those images I will file away and someday maybe in a few months or in a few years I will be in some quilt shop or fabric store and will come across possibly a bundle of tweed or wool fabrics and I will have to have it.

Well there it is a little window into what has been twirling around inside my head. I will end this with a quote by Emerson. I do love a good quote.

Emerson

Happy New Year 2014

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Happy New Year! Wow a whole new year ripe for new beginnings and a clean slate. On Christmas Eve Chris and I got to bed a little after midnight after setting up for the next days festivities. Chloe promptly woke us up at 5:00 am. As you can see in the photo thru the windows it is pitch black outside. We all had a wonderful holiday and enjoyed our time with each other. I was planning on writing a big post with lots of photos but I am feeling it is time to move passed the holidays and start the new year. So I will keep this short and sweet.

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I did want to share a supper easy treat Chloe and I made over the holidays that is fun and easy for little kids to make. You just need some small pretzels, Hershey kisses, & some M&M’s. You lay out the pretzels on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Then you place one Hershey kiss on each pretzel. Heat in the oven on low heat just long enough for the Hershey kiss to start to soften. Pull it out of the oven and let it cool just a bit so it is not to hot for the kids to touch but warm enough that it is still a bit soft. Then place 2 M&M’s on top of the soft Hershey kisses. Place tray in refrigerator until they set. Chloe had fun making this tray of treats.

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We put a few of these on a plate along with some milk for Santa and his reindeer to enjoy while he visited our house.

December was a tough month for me. I don’t want to get into too many details. After some unexpected events my biological Mother moved in with us for a little over 3 weeks in December. In this time we tried hard to get things in place to have her move to our state and set her all up with social services for her health and other needs. After all our efforts in the end our help was not wanted and she has moved back to where she was. A brief background on my mother – her and my Dad were divorced when I was 2 years old and my Father got custody of my older sister and I. My Dad raised me. I don’t have that whole bond where I feel some big connection to my mother. Even with out that bond I felt the need to try and help her. The whole experience was a huge eye opener and a learning experience. The sad part is that I had so little expectations for my mother and she still let me down. I normally would not post this kind of stuff but sometimes I feel the need to share incase it helps someone else that might be in a similar situation. Plus sometimes it is good to show the real side of life and that everything is not always rosy. Anywhoo, glad for the growing experience and super glad to be moving on.

I am looking forward to 2014. Of course I have an endless list of projects I would like to work on. We already have a few travel plans for 2014 that I am looking forward to. One of those trips is a family vacation where we finally get to see my new nephew that was born in 2013. I joined a Quilting bee for 2014 that starts up this month. My daughter turns 5 this year and will officially start kindergarten in the Fall. The list goes on and on of all the things I am looking forward to and am excited about.