Wednesday, 16 April 2014

One of Those Days

It was one of those days.

One of those days where you just had to be happy. The sun shone down. The birds were singing happily, but didn't wake me up at some stupid hour.

One of those days where I almost didn't mind cutting the grass and pruning the hedges because it was so beautiful out.

One of those days where the trees have all turned magically green as the new leaves spring forth. And I noticed that I have flowers in the front flower bed. And my stargazer lilies are pushing up through the fresh layer of soil I gave them a couple of weeks ago.

One of those days where I did tonnes of laundry and it all dried outside. And cleaned the loos without losing the will to live.

One of those days that I went grocery shopping and paid someone else to clean my car while I was in there. (Because it was filthy and I really didn't want to do it no matter how nice it was out.)

One of those days that it is so nice out that I came out from grocery shopping laden down with fruit and stuff for salads.

One of those days where I didn't need socks, for the first time this year. (Reminder to self - must paint toe nails.)

One of those days my eldest makes cupcakes. And I stopped for the kids at the end of the lane to the farm where they were holding up a hand painted sign saying they were selling eggs. So I bought some and they give me some daffodils because they were so happy I stopped. Then I got home and saw they had marked on each egg by hand the date each one was laid. (I love that!)

One of those days where I got loads done, felt good for it and still had time to go sit in the sun at the end of the day to do a little hand stitching while dinner cooked.

It was one of those days where you just had to be happy.


Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Home Again, Home Again Jiggiity Jig

Our extended weekend away has come to an end, but what a good time. The sun shone (a lot), there was plenty of laughter, lots of good food, some wine and a huge amount of relaxing. Perfect.

There is a real joy to being on a ferry,
that makes a not so long journey seem that much more exciting
and the destination more of an escape.
The days were about being outside,
on the beach much of the time,
with friends.
And playing with the various animals,
the rabbit, Basil the dog and the degu.
There was a guinea pig too but I somehow failed to get a photo.
But really it was about the friends...
... and one extremely bouncy dog.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

In For A Penny; In For A Pound?

Last quarter in the Finish-a-Along I played it safe. I know that, and it worked for me giving me an 80% success rate which is unheard of up to now. This quarter I decided to make a total fool of myself. Here goes.

1. Hexie quilt (my one sure fire finish so that I don't succumb to total humiliation). One hanging sleeve to attach and that silly paper label that the quilt shows want you to sew on the back.

2. DS epp. Been around for just about forever. Failed to make anything with these every time I put them on a FAL list.

3. More epp, started at the Retreat last summer. I just needs making into a cushion or something. Not exactly a big job, but one I keep putting off.

4. Finish hand quilting my Walk In The Woods baby quilt.

5. Turn these beautiful churn dash blocks my bee mates made for me into a quilt.

6. Turn these amazing star blocks my bee buddies made for me into a quilt.

7. Finish hand quilting this quilt, also from my wonderful world of bee friends.

8. Turn something I have never blogged about before into a beautiful quilt. More on this soon, but it involves my last birthday, my amazing eldest daughter and her conniving with my Brit bee pals. It was a total surprise so Helen is going to finish this block she started all on her own and I am going to contribute to the quilt and we will combine that with the blocks she collected and have a memory to share forever.

9. Let's not forget the Christmas quilt.

10. Then there is the newest bee quilt.

11. There is a little project I started using my DS fabrics. Only just started but a start is a start.

12. And I have also been playing with some flying geese.

13. Then there is Sunrise Sunset.

14. And the latest QAYG.

15. Almost forgot this.

I am sure I could find more, but I'm not going to try. Instead I am going to be the one in the corner rocking too and fro and whimpering. I shall link this up with Katy at the FAL Q2 linky party. It would make this whole process rather redundant otherwise.

Finish Along 2014

I'll be away for five days now. Larking about with the girls and friends on the Isle of Wight. Leaving poor himself to fend for himself. The food is all packed, as is the wine, and some clean socks and undies too of course! Hope everyone else who is indulging in school holidays is having a good time too. I shall be on IG if you are looking for me - @canadianabroad


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Food Pinning

Do you pin recipes on Pinterest? I do - right here. I'm a little food obsessed. Have been all my life. I have mentioned before that I have a fairly substantial cook book collection. And I use them, honest I do, but lately I have found that those recipes I pin really do come in useful. They have provided us with some new family favourites within the past year.

Today I prepared for a little trip the girls and I are taking for an extended weekend away. Since we will be staying with long time friends I am bringing food to help out on the kitchen side of things. All three items I made are from my Pinterest board. All have been tried before and proved very successful with others as well as us. If you are looking for something new to add to your repertoire let me tempt you with these ideas.

Snicker Doodle Cookies

The pin is here. These are soft and chewy, and when you sandwich some vanilla ice cream between two of them they go from delicious to pure bliss. Perfect for entertaining as the recipe will give you about five dozen cookies - that's 30 wee ice cream sandwiches folks. Enough that you can sample without impacting on your hostessing duties. Ha! (Would I?!) Oh, and the cookie dough is a-maz-ing! Another food group for sure.

Another good recipe for entertaining is this Cinnamon Roll Cake.

It's huge. And sweet. You have to like sweet here. Though I do cut the glaze to half the amount to reduce that sugar content slightly. The girls love it and their friends love it. Last time I made it I was sending them to school with extra pieces to share because if it all stayed home I was going to be the size of a house. The pin is here.

Last up on the culinary show today was Thai Chicken Salad. It's better described as a Thai Chicken Peanut Coleslaw though.

This is my prepped veggies container. The shredded chicken, dressing and chopped peanuts are in separate containers. I will mix it all together at dinner tomorrow night. This salad should come with a warning as it is highly addictive. Just ask any of the Brit Bee members who have had some at our get togethers. I just ramp up the amount I make according to the size of the crowd. I put in whatever is at hand really, as I seldom have the green papaya specified, but shredded radishes are nice, and red onion works well. Use your imagination and do what works for you. The pin is here.

Quite obviously, from the above photos, I will not be dieting over the next few days. But I fully expect to be having a lovely time with friends I haven't seen in far too long.


Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Blowing Bubbles

The hexies are finished and I've named it 'Blowing Bubbles' but am open to other name suggestions. Feel free to be more creative than me. I won't be offended because I'm sat here smiling, liking what the end result looks like - no matter what it is called.

If I am going to suck up the courage and put a quilt in a small show then I am happy I made this for that specific purpose.

It's not huge - measuring in at 49" x 53". There are approximately 500 1.5" hexies, or partial hexies in it. In terms of hexie quilts I don't think that is a huge amount. But for me it was enough. I didn't grow bored with basting and hand sewing them until just before the end. Obviously you will not see me making a bed sized hexie quilt in the near future. That would be pushing my boredom threshold a little too much!

As with many of my quilts, the idea for this pattern just popped into my head one day when I was playing with some hexie graph paper. it grew into a quilt from that original doodle. If you haven't read the continuing saga of creation, it is hand pieced then machine quilted in a swirly snail pattern in each LV hexie. The blue hexies were hand quilted with perle in threads that I had as close a match to each blue. This does render the hand quilting slightly invisible though. Oh well.

I love the LV, in the way it gives a uniform(ish) background but as you look up close it provides more and more colour and lots of whimsical detail.

I tried to do an ombre effect with the binding but it doesn't show up in these photos so well. I used the blues that were used for the 'bubbles' and then went into LV fabrics but tried to stick with LV with blues in them.

So, one hanging sleeve to attach and then it gets popped in the post and the next time I will see it it will be hanging with a great deal of other quilts for company and my heart will be leaping out its chest to see it there.

I haven't written my Q2 FAL post yet but I am putting this on that list. The hanging sleeve will have to to count as the finishing bit. There is not way it is falling between the gap of the two quarters!