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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Boot Obsession

What is worse than NOT finding comfy cute boots that you love? DIscovering them, but not being able to find them in your size!!

I love boots. And yet, another great thing about where I live, it is the most favored footwear among women around here. They are cute with a skirt, yet can deal with the loads of mud and beautiful hills that one must walk up daily in the area.

These are Born Thicket Boots. I continue with my search...
**Quilt Update to come.... just waiting for the new camera to be shipped to us.
**Boot Update: Somehow, they magically had (close to) my size when I checked back a few days later!!! (I ordered immediately AND got free shipping :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Rough Week

Three years ago, this week, my sister passed away.

Monday, March 22, 2010

DMB London Visit

A few weekends ago, I had a wonderful weekend in London with my dear friend, Ladonna.

The seats were amazing. This was the best Dave Matthews Band Concert I have been to, and I have been, I think, NINE times. A friend of mine hooked me up with VIP tix that included a box seat AS WELL AS seats in Section 1.Ladonna and I love to find really good food around London. We went to Baker and Spice, which is pretty well known in London. The food is amazing. The service...not so nice.The most amazing beet salad. The dressing brought all the flavor together.
And we went to see Alice in Wonderland in 3D. Great film, but not for little kids. (Though we saw many a 4-6 yr olds there...)FABULOUS desserts from a local chocolate shop.
The menu from cafe "Cap'ccino" in Shepherds Bush/Westfield. Ladonna had an amazng pear hot chocolate. It looked so yummy.
A gorgeous, but simple dress that we saw in Sloane Square.

And a few less desireable things we saw in London:

On the way to the lunch, we got on the bus and laughed at the chicken wing on the floor. The funnier thing is when we went home and coincidentally got on the same bus hours later, and the chicken wing was still there.
These totally drunk dudes that wouldn't stop yelling "Bartender" to Dave, whilst drinking and spilling loads of beer.

Quilt Tutorial Part 2

  • You have a your quilt sandwich : bottom fabric, batting, quilt top--whatever you sewed together to make pretty.
  • Now you have to "quilt" it.
Basically, you are sewing patterns with a straight stitch, through all 3 layers, from the center out. This is what makes your blankie all nice and cozy.

You can: 1. machine quilt 2. hand quilt

I have never machine quilted, but looks fairly easy. My mom hand quilts, so that is what I learned. Also, it is nice to be able to do something with your hands while watching TV (in my case, really dumb reality shows...)

  • You secure a section with an embroidery hoop or a cool quilting "hoop" (mine is actually square) that you can find at a quilt/craft shop.
  • Then, you sew.
With this quilt, I am just following the pattern of the fabric, but on the last quilt I made, I made spirals. Hand drawn, nothing special spirals on each square....
Use a quilting needle and quilting thread, both available at local shops.

Part 3 to come....
Part 3 and the final tutorial is sewing the binding, which is a fancy name for the fabric that covers the edges once your quilt is all "quilted".

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Easy Quilt Tutorial-Tips 1

  • Measure as evenly as possible. It will make this ALL easier.
  • Use the edge of your sewing machine foot as your 1/4" sewing edge.
  • Iron, Iron, Iron.
  • Use pins to secure one piece to another. Don't leave pins all over the floor, unless you want the daily lecture from your husband.

Easy Quilt Tutorial-Part 1

Ok, This is how to make a quilt.

Make a sandwich, and then fasten with a bunch of safety pins:
  • Quilt Top (basically, scraps of pretty fabric that you sew together to make a big rectangle the size you want.)
  • Batting (This is a sheet of flat stuffing, available at craft stores.)
  • Big Piece of Fabric (Clearance Fabric, Thrifted Sheet/Duvet Cover, anything cheap)
Quilt Top:
Remember, you can sew the Quilt Top HOWEVER YOU WANT! I was always immobilized by all the quilt patterns and books and sewing machines. And then my friend, Paula, unlocked the mystery. "Just make one piece of fabric stick to the other where you want it".

If you read the sewing machine manual as to how to thread machine, put the fabric in the machine (With the pretty patterned sides together, sewing together in the back) and go, you will be ok.
If you want to figure stuff mathematically, go for it. I made 9 inch blocks and then put a 1 1/2' inch strips between. (Translation: Cut block 9 1/2"--you figure 1/4" each side for sewing. 1/4 times 2=the extra 1/2 inch.)

Fancy Cutting Tools.
You can just use scissors, just measure a bazillion times, and cut as evenly as possible.
If you have perfectionistic issues like me, you can buy this. You basically line up the fabric on the line you want, use the clear straight edge and use the pizza cutter looking thing to cut fabric. (You will mess up the 1st 3 times you try it, and then it gets easy.)

**TIP: GET YOUR IRON OUT. Once you have sewed one piece to another, open up and iron so that it opens up and looks pretty.

**TIP 2: Listen to music.

More to come!!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Nesting Overdrive

I usually love Mondays. However, today, I have about a bazillion projects floating around in my head and they all seem like I need to do them NOW.

The Quilt
Soleil's Room
Clean the Casa
Bday/Baby Packages
Operation Brother Visit

I leave you with pics of components I have assembled for the baby's room. I am searching for curtains that match and fabrics I can make the bedding with. All suggestions very welcome!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I am Solar Powered.

I stole this phrase from an old friend of mine that I have since lost contact with. (Not very good for someone who lives in England, even though I do love it here...)

That being said, it was sunny all weekend! We had to head outside.
Lots of amazing playground equipment (at Royal Victoria Park in Bath) and Tate wants to play with a stick.

Bubbles and Flowers.
And on the crafting front, I stamped some things on to the pages of a French Cookbook and used them to make a few cards:

I also had a chance to work on Tate's quilt this weekend. I will post about that later along with THE EASIEST QUILT TUTORIAL EVER. I have always been confused by the whole quilt making process, and I want to unlock the mystery...

Monday, March 08, 2010

Monday Monday Monday

I love Mondays.
I was gone all weekend (went to London to see Dave Matthews Band--IT WAS AMAZING.) and now I have the house to myself for half a day. So much to get done, so much I want to do...

Creative Stuff I'm working on
  • Tate's Blue Quilt
  • Soleil's Room (somehow combining Steel Gray, Hot Pink, Light Pink and hearts)
  • Newspaper Banner for Paul's Bday. Tutorial here.
  • Downloading Pics from the weekend
Stuff I have to do
  • Clean Foyer/Bureau
  • Cook Dinner (Crockpot ideas??)
  • Help in Tate's class
  • Make Dr. Appt for Tate
  • Make Posters for Cake Sale (could be in both categories..)

What is on your to-do list?

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Quick Dinner and Cute Plates

We got home later than usual, due to the beautiful sunshine. This meant that I had only a short time to prepare dinner.

Mom's Spaghetti and Sausage. (She uses Kielbasa, we used Turkey Sausage.)

1. Dice up Zucchini/Courgette, Mushrooms, Sausage. (onions and peppers are good, too!)
2. Saute in Olive Oil and Butter.
3. Add salt, pepper, oregano.
4. Add cooked Pasta and Pasta Sauce.
5. Top with Parmesan and Serve!!
It couldn't be any easier and it is yummy.

Also, if you need an equally yummy drink to go with it, Mix equal parts of Orange Juice and Pomegranate Juice and top with a splash of club soda and a lime.

Couldn't resist these from the charity shop! They cost about 2.70 (pounds) and I needed change for the meter.
On the way back from purchasing the cute plates, I stumbled into this shop. SO CUTE!!! I love the style. It is J. Crew meets Polo, with a British twist. The colors in the catalog do not do the real thing justice--they are very vibrant in person. The quality is really good and the shop was very well styled.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Springy Scrap Paper

This is stuff I already had in my stash. I made a few simple cards with these items.
From "Sweets" line form DCWV.

And from K and Co.

Hope the sun is shining wherever you are!