Sunday, April 26, 2009

Home Sweet Home

This weekend we have lived in our house.. we have tended to the garden..we have sneezed at the flowers in bloom...We cleaned, baked and slept at home.. No visiting relatives an hour away.. No driving for entertainment.. we enjoyed our home.. We took this 3 day weekend as an opportunity to BE HOME..

Martin planted a lovely lavender rose tree in the front yard and gave the entire yard a spring cleaning.... Maya painted a small flower pot and then filled it with a pansy purchased from the local Farmer's Market..She was my partner this whole weekend.. She ran errands with me, she helped me pick flowers and she also climbed on her ladder to help with pancakes..

Missy even carried a beautiful butterfly around the house for about an hour.. she was amazed that daddy could catch one..

After years, no a lifetime, of adoring strawberries and anything that reminds me of strawberries, I finally brought some strawberry plants home.. I found a lovely hanging basket of strawberries at the farmers market and I knew that this weekend I would finally add my favorite berry to my yard..Currently that lovely plant is perched in the wagon on the flowerbed in the backyard. I even trimmed my mint, which is still alive, and moved her to the front porch.. crossing my fingers she likes it out there..
The sunflowers on the kitchen island and in the bathroom are as cheerful as they are yellow. As I have said many times before, if I won the lotto or was somehow in a position not to worry about money, I would always have fresh flowers in my home. That was my gift to myself this weekend.. If having flowers in the yard and in the house was not enough.. I also had flowers on my craft table.. The Flower quilt in Aunt Grace prints is coming along nicely.. I even decided the scraps will be yo-yos.. can't wait!

One of the neatest things about this weekend was the peek at baby hummingbirds.. Martin discovered a nest.. look at these tinies! Amazing..

It's good to be home..



We all win, right?

Thank goodness the kids don't keep score.. It was a blow out.. The other team had 4 players to our 6.. We cut the quarters down to 5 mins.. It was a sight. Their strongest player outscored our entire team in what seamed like an effortless blink of an eye.. She had been on our team last year but no where near that skilled.. What a difference a year has made for all our girls..

She scored 17 to our team 5.. Its all about having fun and getting the girls out there.. The dads were broken.. Martin stopped recording and focused on cheering..

Thankfully my Missy scored 3. She was determined to score.. She did and we can all wait until next week to see what the rest of the competition looks like.. I laughed since the girls couldn't really care abut winning or loosing..They were happy about the cheer and the tunnel afterwards.. Score? whats that? We want snack..

Go Stars!


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Some time to sew and plot about sewing..

It's Sat.. Still chilly but the sun is out.. Crossing our fingers that the weather is mild while the girls play...I will post soccer info later.. Game is at 12:30 which is way late.. Missy will no doubt be asleep by the time we get home from the game a whole 5 blocks away!
I was an early bird this morning. My inner clock was ringing and fabric was swirling in my head. I snuck out of bed before 6am. On a Saturday no less.. I don't know about you but when I finally get to sit down to quilt/sew I have to orient myself. My machine is still perched on the table from last week, not even plugged in.. I have projects all over the table and I just didnt know exactly what I wanted to do first.. My supplies are a bit scattered..I could work on Denise's Christmas gift.. I finished Emily's so fast my head spun.. Must get all 3 kids quilts done by Christmas. One and a half down.. One and a half to go. .The biggest isse is finding a boy friendly line for Jacob's quilt.
I could also work on any of the unfinished projects in the closet, but I dont think I am ready to tackle those.. They are all in fall folk colors and require some serious applique work.. must save those for night time..
I read some patterns, I looked through my sewing how to book.. I highly recommend it for newbies to sewing.. Its by Diana Rupp and its called Sew Everything Workshop.
My mind kept nagging me.. Get started on those Aprons.. I finally had it.. I need to work on the easy peese apron pattern that I found months ago.. I found the pattern here: Jona's Apron in an hour tutorial Well I can't start just yet, the fabric isn't washed. One of the major differenced between quitling and sewing is the whole prewash thing.. So as I continued to clean off my workspace I decided I would work on my Flower Quilt.. Its cut and laid out ready to be stitched down.. Let the pinning beginning.. Next thing I know the Missy is awake.. 20 mins later.. Mom, I am hungry... ok.. little break..
I tossed 2 prints of fabulous Farmer's Market fabric in the dryer so I can work on my Apron project later. Teal blue and bright purple.. What can I say? cheerful it is.. This one is my test run.. Its not lined and has no embellishments. I am hoping I can model future aprons after this one but add a pocket or two..
Next thing I know hubby comes in to say that he found a hummingbird nest and that I should get the camera.. off I go..
TaTa for now..

Friday, April 24, 2009

A fresh and free Friday

We had to take 5 days off this month.. While initally it was not in the plan and we didn't love the idea of "forced time off" we have warmed up to it.. It broke the tension of waiting for the other shoe to fall.. It gave us an excuse to take longer weekends and play more than normal...
While the other days were filled with "To Dos" today has been all about home and family.. I read a magazine with my morning coffee.. I cuddled with Missy while she watched some morning cartoons..I took Jake for a long walk in the field.. All without worrying about the time... We had lunch out in town at a nearly empty restaurant..
At ome it was about divide and conquer. Martin headed out to the garage to clean up the cars and plan out the yard work.. Inside I threw in some laundry, cleaned bathrooms and set up a craft zone for Missyy in between organizing rooms and drawers...The yard is getting new blooms planted. We found some lovely Rose trees to add color to the front yard..The house is almost ready for company..
Tomorrow is all about SOCCER! Maya is so determined to score.. Wish us luck.. Grandpa and Grandma G are coming for a visit. A rare one at that.. Ceviche and BBQ is the plan.. yum...Uncle Arthur is coming to see Maya play too.. She will have a whole cheering section on hand..
Family Movie night is on the agenda for tonight.. I am off to look for a good family flick for us..
We three G's are a blessed lot.. We are thankful and relaxed on this Friday..
Buzz.. Alex

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Recommended reading

I have a new favorite.. I can't say enough. I am hooked. I am envious and in awe of The Pioneer Woman.. If you have never seen her site, check it out.. For those of you who already know her, love her and know how she went from Black Heels to Tractor Wheels just smile and wave.. We newbies are just now drooling at the stunning pictures, the ideas for everything from food to homeschooling and oh yeah there is that Malboro Man... Enjoy..

p.s. Bev- if you are reading this from Italy.. YOU have never read a love story like this.. Read Black Heels to Tractor Wheels.. It is a love story.. a real one.. You know love stories are not my usual thing but this one has now put romance on the map.. Ciao bella.

p.s.s Deanna- I can't believe you never told me about this site.. For Shame..

I will be dreaming to the "Cowboy take me home" song.. I am sure Ree is the real life incarnation of that song..


Finally.. one for me!

Here they are.. The Cinnamon Rolls.. I didn't glaze them with the cream cheese frosting since Missy is not a "frosting person" but I did slather mine with some.. Yum! No licking the screen...

Recipe courtesy of

A lesson in patience...

Ever since I saw SmittenKitchen's post on cinnamon rolls I knew I had to make them and soon.. Maya loves cinnamon rolls.. It's proof that she is my child bread and sugar! yipee! I realized today was the only day I would have some time. Oh sure I have 6 more loads of laundry to do, the floor needed to be mopped today and oh yeah, I have to get to Micheals for craft supplies for the soccer banner but between cleaning and crafting I must make those cinnamon rolls!
I woke up this morning with a plan.. Maya must have sensed my plan because she promptly followed me down stairs and asked to help..I gave her the warning that these would not be the fast type. These don't come in a can and bake in less than 10. I reminded her of our pretzel experience.. half a day for pretzels but they were worth it...
My first attempt was foiled, I had the wrong type of yeast luckily it only cost me a cup of milk and flour. I was out the door to the market for the RAPID RISE yeast and back in less than 15.. I double checked the instructions for at least the 50th time.. I have everything I need.. I was excited to use my dough hook again.. I was fascinated at how beautiful and easy SmittenKitchen made them look. I was lied to I tell you.. the fine print is always the killer..
In less than 10 mins we had dough.. beautiful dough.. Now it had to sit..for at least 2 hours.. ok..back to cleaning and house work for me..I set the timer and as soon as it started buzzing Maya was yelling through the house.."Mom the cinnamon rolls are ready".. mind you we haven't even made the filling at this point.. Ok.. Let's go to the next step.. Maya who has her own red rolling pin was standing on her ladder and ready..I must remind myself never to mop before baking.. Maya loves spraying flour all over herself and the 5 ft radius of where she is standing.
We gently cradled the dough onto the floured island.. we rolled and rolled.. we pushed that dough until it looked like a thin pizza like dough.. Maya says to me.. "Mom, its hard to be a cooker"
Yes, Missy, its hard to cook from scratch.. My hats off the the generations of women who knew no other way..
Finally we spread the real butter, we sprinkled the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture and I began to roll.. The finish line was close.. I cut the small rolls for Maya.. I cut the main rolls and placed them.. I'd better turn on the oven.. I need to see how high..What? wait... Smitten Kitchen says they need to rise again.. Are you kidding me? ope, no skimping she says.. Damn her! My daughter wants cinnamon rolls. I havent allowed myself any food in preparation for cinnamon rolls. Ok, let's cover them..
To be continued...
Hungry girl..Alex

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Chasing the days.

I don't know how it happened but rather than me greeting the days..I am chasing them.. I am trying to figure out how many hours are contained in one day.. There is so much to do and I can't do it all... I was up until almost 1am this morning working on a tiny doll quilt for Miss Maggie's bday gift.. Nothing like waiting for the last min, right? I had every intention of making it last week.. intentions.. they are nice but reality happens..
A sick kid happened, soccer board meetings, soccer organization not to mention practice on a cold evening.. Oh yeah, don't forget the work day hrs that are consumed by my paid work... My presentation is almost done.. But back to my real life...
Today is a glorious day! Amen..
Missy is napping after a fabulous soccer game.. She was determined to score today.. And score she did! She even closed the game with a goal. Yes, proud mom and dad were cheering and smiling from ear to ear.. Oh and Dad has the video to prove it :-)
I have to share a proud mama moment.. The doll quilt that I made for Maggie was completed this morning.. It is cute and soft. I backed it in a pink chenille that's been waiting to be used. Maya has eyed it since I started choosing the pink and purple fabric.. This morning I showed her the finished quilt.. If you knew my dear Missy, you would know that any type of blanket is wanted.. She will use wash cloths to cover her stuffed animals.. she will find scraps of fabric to drape over any animal who needs warmth.. well let me shock you.. I gave her the option of keeping the doll quilt and she promptly told me that it was for Maggie and that if we didn't give it to her she wouldnt have a present for her birthday.. Can you believe it? I was pleasantly and sweetly surprised by her generosity.. She got a big hug and a promise that mom would make her one.. Kids I tell you.. one minute they are wearing you out with questions or driving you crazy asking for something while you are on the phone but then they turn around and make your heart swell with love...
Be Blessed..

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Saturday that feels like a Sunday

These long weekends are throwing me off.. I am getting used to this time off to read and to try things..My experiments are typically in the kitchen.. My kitchen Aid and I are on a first name basis.. I am baking and quilting tonight...Working on the layered flower quilt for class.. I can't find the instructions but I think I can figure most of it out..The Aunt Grace's reproductions are adorable in this pattern..
I am also making this lovely cream cheese pound cake again..

I found it on Smitten Kitchen and this time I am even making the strawberry coulis to go with it.. This is my contribution for Easter tomorrow..
The Missy is sitting next to me trying to work her yarn through a platstic template while singing "Life's what you make it" by Hannah M.. Scary...Sweet at the same time.. She is a musical one this Missy of mine..
I am just INCREDIBLY thankful that her stomach is back to normal after a bout of severe dairy rejection yesterday..We didn't sleep more than two continuous hours last night as she was up every hour to vomit.. I know there is just no pretty way to say that..However, for those of you who have little ones, you know how terrifying it can be to see them sick.. I really thought it was going to be a visit, the first ever, to Children's hospital... Thankfully it wasn't and patience, love and towels were what was required..
Sending Blessings to all,

A cute giveaway!

Head on over to A Quilting Life for this cute bag and free fabric! Run..



Friday, April 10, 2009

A Blessed Friday...

Where has the week gone? I feel like it ran me over this week.. Thankfully its Friday!
We took today off and have some fun Easter plans for the day.. Missy has an egg hunt at school today.. I still have cupcakes to frost for our contribution.. I am dissapointed in the mini's as the box cake did not rise well.. hopefully the homemade cream cheese frosting and sprinkles will disguise that..

Since it's Good Friday I want to share my list of blessings..
1. I am blessed with a healthy family..
2. I am blessed because I have a few wonderful friends that have become family.
3. I am thankful for my husband of almost 10 years.
4. I am thnkful to be a mom to a Missy who not only impresses me with her spirit but takes my breath away with her love.


Friday, April 3, 2009

"I quilt but don't sew.. yet!"

I am missing my quilt class.. I can't tell you how sad I am. Julie was going to teach a cute bunny runner tonight.. So of course, I am thinking of quilting..which reminds me how much this little quote of mine always makes Deanna laugh.."I quilt but I don't sew".. Until I said it in Julie's Friday night class no one else understood me.. Julie and I are truly kindered spirits. I admire that girl but that is for another time..
I know how to piece and cut fabric for quilts.. I know how to use my rotary cutter to stack and whack fabric..I have proudly and with much love started with fabric and ended up with a quilt.. I understand quilt patterns and instructions.. In all the years that I have been quilting (almost ten thank you!) I have been oh so aware of my sewing limitations.. I look at Deanna's clothes and creations and covet the ease with which she whips them up.. I love the matter of fact way she says oh that's just a this and that.. as if I knew what those things meant..

I don't know how to read a McCalls or Buttewick or Vogue pattern. Until I made Christines awesome Birdie Sling I had never heard of a tailor's ham.. I do not know how to make clothes, or use the button making feature on my machine much less any other non-quilting related article of clothes.. I realize you may think well you should know how to since you have a machine and you have made quilts.. Well we should also drink 8 glass of water but that rarely is the case.. There in lies my point.. I have learned a specific set of skills that others would say mean I can sew but I and other real quilters know the truth.. I can only quilt.. ..I see sewing and quilting as related but separate talents..quilting is a smaller subset of the larger sewing family

For years quilting was enough.. Don't get me wrong, when I showed up in Susan G. class almost ten yrs ago carrying a garage sale sewing machine that had been in my mom's garage for some unknown reason, who would have thought I would still be quilting..(that is a story unto itself). I was there to learn, I had always dreamed of learning how to make A quilt. I thought I would take the class and make a baby quilt for Kelle's first baby and if I ever needed to make another I would know how.. I can laugh at myself now.. How clueless I was about the real joys of quilting and the realities that once the bee.. the Quilting Queen Bee bites she doesn't let you forget the pleasure of putting fabric together to make something from your imagination and heart..with your hands..

As my friendship with Deanna grew we discovered in eachother the love of fabric, mine for quilts and her for clothes.. Well as the interchangeables that we are.. I invited her to a quilting class and of course her fab sewing skills transferred easily to quilting.. I then got brave and thought I would try my hand at a non quilting item. I saw an Amy Butler patter for a cool fabric sling.. the Fabric spoke to me of Christine with its vibrant twists, turns and bohemian chic.. I want to try that I thought and then volunteered Deanna to teach/support me in my leap... Let me tell you, I am now ok with spending more than $20 on a purse as the mear instructions and tracing and reading of the pattern was more than $50 of anyones time not to mentione materials..If Deanna was charging me by the hour that purse would have been about $200.. it was work! What were all these instructions, patternese, and lining? Who knew? Not me.. I don't sew, remember? LOL.. I got through it with A LOT of help from My Friend.. Christine's bag was wrapped in time for Christmas. I am stil thinking about whether I have the guts to make one for myself... Someday..
So while I know how to quilt I am new to sewing.. I am working on Aprons next.. one piece of main fabric with accents.. I hope they are easy. I need a quick and easy sewing project to sustain my desire for learning to sew.. I have been warming up for months.. I have purchased a book with instructions on HOW TO SEW.. a novel concept. Had I read that book prior to taking on the Amy Butler Sling, I may have had half the questions for Deanna, but oh well. We got through it and I still want to sew..

Stay Tuned..

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wednesday.. I can see the weekend from here..

We have a 4 day weekend planned. Its our annual trek to Bakersfield. We love getting on the road with our little backseat entertainer.. She has been a good car baby from the get go.. A good thing since most car trips to family are at least one hour.. She loves to sing and look at the sights.. It reminds me off our car trips as kids to camp in the local mountains or the trek cross country to Milwaukee..Those were the days when we played slug bug and listened to mixed tapes.. (if you have to ask what a tape is you belong on some other more hip blog). I want her to see the whole US of A via a car...someday..

Its a nice drive since I am a passenger.. I have 5 magazines, 2 books and snacks ready. what more do I need? . Maya will have her crayons and Cd's blaring while she sings into her imaginary mic.. Martin will be in the Zone while he drives only stopping when absolutely neccessary.. or for more sunflower seeds..

The weekend was "beyond fabulous." Deanna and I spent some time browsing.. I mean perusing.. You know the kind of shopping you did before kids?.. yes.. we meandered in Home Goods. We tried on Jewlery at the Farmer's Wife in Old Town and we had lunch at a normal lady like pace.. We didnt rush through the meal or have to cut food for anyone. We lunched.. what a concept?.. The additional treat was that I got the rest of the day to myself. Its been so busy lately it was great to have time for my own thoughts, I ran some errands and didnt worry about the to do list.. well not for too lon..... The Missy and Martin spent the day in OC playing loteria and feeding squirrels at the in laws.. I love the pictures Martin sent me.. She loves visiting grandma Estella who lets her help with the Gorditas.. I am sure her aunt Kenya took her to Old McDonalds for lunch. Grandpa apparently has domesticated or at least made friends with a squirrel because I heard stories from Maya about the squirrel nipping at her.

I must go organize something, there is packing to do.. and the Missy is sleeping or trying to..
Tata for now,