Friday, February 27, 2009

Work In Progress ~ The Cat Quilt

I've made 29 frame blocks 
for my cat quilt (yes I am 
going to make at least 1
 more if not several). 

I've also made many cats. 
Tonight I spread out my 
frame blocks to match them up.





Box of Cats and tails










Here is the first block I had made 
as a practice run and the black and 
white one that I just had to do.


                                              
            

This is what I've come up with. So far I am really happy with the way it's going.
I made up the tails so that some will be hanging to the left and some to the right. They won't all be centered in their windows either. I am thinking I should probably pick two of these fellows and just for fun swap their tails. 

I do plan on selling this quilt when it's finished. It will be the first "big" piece I sell. 

What do you think of it so far? 



I've got a giveaway going on, just scroll down a little bit to find it. 

A Sign?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My First Giveaway!

My blog is almost a month old now. I appreciate the kind comments and wonderful followers. I feel like I really am meeting some great people from all over. Also I just won my first giveaway and I wanted to pass on some bloggity love.

The giveaway is for this pot holder that I made just for the occasion. It is made from repurposed denim and lined with cotton batting and repurposed cotton clothing. I have several of these types of pot holders for sale in my etsy shop (and my own kitchen, they really do work very well).

You can have several chances to win this giveaway. You must leave a comment for each chance:

1. Go to my Etsy shop and browse around. Come back here and leave a comment telling me what your favorite item is and why.  

2. Follow my blog. Leave a comment here to let me know that you did.

3. Spread the word!  Blog and/or twitter about this giveaway. Leave a comment with a link letting me know that you did.

Be sure to have all comments in by Midnight on Monday, March 2. The drawing will be on Tuesday, March 3. Please leave me a way to contact you (your blog, etsy shop, or email) either in a comment or through an email (you can email me with the email link to your right). 

Thanks for coming by!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I Won!

Look what came for me in the mail today! 

I won my first blog prize. Thank you so much Diane. I love the organizer and will definitely put it to good use. You can visit Diane at her blog and at her Etsy shop Color Me Bella where she sells some really cute earrings and necklaces. 
(and congrats on your engagement!)

I will be posting my first blog giveaway very soon. Check back and have a great day!


and speaking of giveaways The Muddy Moose Bath Boutique has a wonderful giveaway going on. It runs until Monday, March 28. Go on over and have a look!


Sunday, February 22, 2009

What's New Pussy Cat?

So it seems I'm on a bit of a cat kick at the moment. I came across a picture of a quilted cat and thought, "let's give it a try". 

I quilted up a couple of these cat pot holders and will be listing them in my etsy shop this week. I am not ready to attempt faces so I thought I'd have them looking out a window. What do you think? 





I really do want to put a bigger piece in my shop
and I've decided to make it a cat quilt. I've made up a cat similar to the pot holders as my pattern. It's going to be totally scrappy with each block, border, & cat being different (there might be some repeats but definitely different enough to be called scrappy). I made one block to test out the size of the background and borders. I like the way it looks so this is what I am going with. Not sure how big it will be yet ~ twin, queen, any thoughts?  The block measures 10 x 10 3/4 unfinished. 

The snow has been falling since early this morning. I'll need to do something about the driveway at some stage. I don't have any plans of going anywhere on this lazy Sunday so it's at a low priority for me. I find that snow is much more enjoyable when you don't think about shoveling!

and finally I do follow the adage "let sleeping babies lie" (yes I know that's for dogs but it applies to babes too), But this might be stretching it a bit! go ahead give it a click ~ it's only 10 seconds long and will most likely make you smile!

video

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pumpkin Pancakes for a Snowy Morning

A beautiful heavy snow fell last night. Spring seems such a long way off and gardening is just a dream at this point. Here is a photo of my garden today. Last summer was my first serious attempt at gardening, it was wonderful. This year I plan on expanding. 

It was a wonderful morning (especially since I didn't have to shovel today) to make my favorite pumpkin pancakes. I found this recipe in Parenting magazine a few years back (it has been on my refrigerator ever since). They are really easy to make and cook up nice and fluffy. 

Pumpkin Pancakes
1 cup flour
3 tbs sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 egg
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
2 tbs butter, melted and cooled, plus 1 tbs for the skillet.

1. Preheat skittle on medium high heat. In a bowl stir together all the dry ingredients.

2. In a large bowl beat the egg for 30 seconds. Add yogurt, pumpkin puree, & 2 tbs melted butter. Beat well.

3. Stir in dry ingredients and beat until just combined. 

4. Grease skillet lightly w/butter. Pour 1/4 cup batter per pancake, flip with spatula when tops bubble slightly and edges are slightly dry. Cook until other side is golden brown. 2 minutes per side. 

This is the recipe as written but I do some things differently.  I use a nonstick griddle so I don't add any extra butter to cook with.  I certainly don't cool my butter down after melting it (come on now who does that?). I also add less sugar and a little more pumpkin (I love pumpkin) they still taste great. I don't premix the dry ingredients (and have lived to tell about it). The batter tends to be a little dry for me so I usually add a little milk to loosen it up. I've also been known to sprinkle a little wheat germ in when no one is looking (ha!). Beware - They definitely do need to be cooked a little more than traditional pancakes. 

And what to do with the leftover pumpkin??? I get a few small zip loc baggies and put in 1/4 cup pumpkin & the 2 tbs butter in each. I then freeze the baggies and pull one out to defrost in the microwave the next time I make them. 

Here's breakfast! Little bear pumpkin pancakes. Yum!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Out With The Old ~ Here Comes Some New


This post won't be very interesting for those of you that live in the north country. I've only been here myself about 5 years now so snow pick up still strikes me as funny. Anyway we are expecting 6-10" to fall by tomorrow so they came and removed some of the old stuff. 

We've got snow to spare, would you like some? 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

New Listings!
















Here are my latest creations. I posted the floral on the left yesterday and the lion in my Etsy shop today. My goal is to list everyday. I still haven't figured out if it's better to just list them all at once or on a regular basis. I figure if I list everyday I won't get buried at the bottom of the search pit. Any ideas on that one? 

As far as pot holders go, do you feel the need to buy a set or would just one really cute one do? Many people who make pot holders line them with a special batting that is supposed to deflect the heat. I use a layer of regular cotton quilt batting and a layer or two of repurposed cotton clothing (turtlenecks, thick shirts, dish towels). I've tested them out with great success (no problem holding the HOT pizza stone).

Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Web Site Find ~ Wordle

This website was mentioned on the Etsy forums (thanks Batiz Jewelry ). It's called Wordle: www.wordle.net . The site describes it as a toy for generating "word clouds" from words that you put in. Once you get there go to "create". You'll find a place where you can simply type in words or a place to enter a website (try your blog or your etsy site). 
It then creates a super cool word cloud. Here is one I got from entering the URL to my Etsy shop. It literally took seconds to suck in every word from my listings and come out with this.  You can change the font, colors, & orientation of words. How cool is this?

The words that appear bigger are words that appear frequently on my site (like?). 

I did one for my daughter. I wanted her name to be larger than the other words so I typed her name a bunch of times then put in other words to describer her.  
I printed my Etsy one out on card stock.  I am going to hang it in my crafty nook. I'll play around with Erin's, it would look really nice framed in her room. 

There are so many ways you could use this. Someone on the forum mentioned using it to make thank you cards (or you could do birthday, anniversary, or even make it personal and frame it for a super cool gift). 

The teacher in me started thinking about how much kids would love to see their words come alive by using this program. They could make a word cloud to describe themselves, a book character, or anything they are studying in any curriculum area. Think of the possibilities ~ try it and have fun! Be sure to leave me a comment and let me know what you did with it. 


* Be sure to check this section of my shop for free US shipping (and reduced international) ending today!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

First up ~ weekend special on heart items in my Etsy shop (hearts are always nice)  free US shipping (and reduced international). Check out my shop and look under the section for 2/14 special. This does of course include my "I Love To Touch Hot Things" Pot holder! 

Next ~ Love Your Mother (Earth that is).
I created my own mailer for my latest sale. I tried using a cheerio box but my oversized pot holders were too big. I went with the giant folder they give you when you leave the snuggery. The babe is 10 months old (tomorrow) and I think I can finally toss the pamphlets on how to take care of a newborn. 
  (and Happy Valentine's Day to Mom too)

Hope your Valentine's day is filled with lots of love!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Handmade with Love


 






Making Valentines


















I love handmade. Handmade is meaningful. I love receiving gifts that someone took the time to make. I love making things for the people I love. Now I face the challenge of raising kids that understand that handmade beats mass produced and store bought.

She's only three but this topic has come up several times now and I know that this is just the beginning. I'm already envisioning the battles ahead. I need to know how to keep handmade cool when she wants store bought.
 
This past weekend I pulled out the heart punch, doilies, red & pink construction paper, and glue. We crafted enough cards for all her little preschool friends and then some to send out to loved ones. The heart punch was a hit and we had a crafty good time putting them together.  

Now I can't help but wonder when she comes home with her booty of cards, will she like that little store bought Dora card the best? Will she wish she had given those out instead? 

I'm hoping to keep the make-it-yourself magic alive and remind her of the fun when she asks why we didn't get cards from the store with her favorite characters on them. I just might have to pull that heart punch out again to get her giggling when those hearts start flying out. 

Friday, February 6, 2009

Thanks Jozie

Jozie has an etsy shop: jewelrybyjozie.etsy.com and also a blog. She has been featuring sellers on etsy that are new and haven't yet been discovered. Yay! I am one of the five that she featured today. Check it out:  Jozie's blog and thanks again Jozie!

Delicious!

Waffle Cookies II ~ Yum!

(the photo might have been a bit nicer had I taken it before we ate them!)

My folks are here for a visit. It's always nice to indulge a little when there are others around (otherwise I wind up eating way more than my fair share). I found this recipe at www. allrecipes.com I go there often and have found some great things to cook. These cookies are made in a waffle iron and for some reason that appealed to me. Here is the recipe for 12 servings which is plenty for us to have for dessert and have some more left for tomorrow (the original recipe at the website is for 24)

Ingredients:
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup chopped walnuts  (I used pecans and they turned out great)
I also added about 1/2 cup (or maybe 3/4 cup cup) semi sweet morsels

Directions:
1. In a medium bowl mix the sugar and butter together. Stir in eggs and vanilla. Then mix in the flour, cocoa, and nuts (and chocolate chips if you want). Preheat the waffle iron. 

2. Drop dough by heaping tablespoons onto the center of the waffle iron. Close the lid and cook for about 1 1/2 minutes. It may take more or less time depending on the individual waffle iron. Cut the pieces of cookies while still warm. Dust the confectioners' sugar if desired. 

*The cookies are a bit soft coming out of the waffle iron but the do firm up  and are oh so tasty!

Try them out and enjoy!   
(and I want to give credit where credit is due so once again this is from Laura at www.allrecipes.com


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

confessions of a Pack Rat

These bits of colored threads would  look great in a clear glass Christmas ornament. I think that's what I am saving them for






There was a defining moment yesterday and now I think the time has come to admit I may have a problem. 

I am a pack rat. 

It's not like I collect things, I just can't bear to throw things away that I know can be used again or that can have some other purpose. Maybe this wouldn't be a problem if I had more space, or maybe if I was more organized. 

I think my Mom gets it. She brought me a big bag of old denim jeans (and a pair of corduroys to boot). There is just so much you can do with denim! Recently she gave me a bag of old scarves - heaven! She's also trying to reduce her own amount of things in anticipation of moving and has been bringing me all sorts of goodies she knows I could use. 

I really have  tried to let go and have offered some of my things to others on Freecycle - baby food jars, large yogurt containers (with lids!), old magazines. No one seems to be interested. So I keep them.

Maybe this is hereditary. My Grandmother was a pack rat. I could joke about her problem back then, before I could relate to it. She would save old TV Guides, when I would ask her about this she would tell me she was going to read them someday. She lived on her own in Florida and when visiting I would have to clear a space at the table so I would have a place to eat. This was no easy task as there seemed no place to put the pile of things that I had moved. Looking back I always thought it was really funny (before it happened to me). My grandmother sewed all the time. Big time. She made all her own clothes and was always making things for needy children. She passed away before I began to sew. (I can't even imagine if I would have been able to inherit her sewing things). If she were alive today I believe she would be sending me things to add to my collection. I would have looked forward to these packages of her discards with great joy. 

So yesterday's incident made me realize I may have a problem. My husband was cleaning out his clothes. He had gathered together a bag to bring to the clothes drop. When I saw him come down the stairs carrying this bag I felt my heart skip. He doesn't exactly approve of my "clutter" and he wasn't going to let me rummage through first. I knew what was in that bag. All sorts of fabrics that could be used to create things, landscape quilts, batting for pot holders, unlimited possibilities. I couldn't protest, I've already got so much. But he did leave the room for a moment. I couldn't resist. I made a dash for the bag and rescued some of those old clothes. A few pairs of jeans (how could he) and a striped shirt that I know will make the perfect sail for a quilted boat. I stashed them back upstairs and came down as if nothing had happened. What an adrenaline rush!

so this is my confession ... please tell me know I'm not alone!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

what shall I do with Fred's pants today?

book marks? did that....
pot holders?                   did that.....

hmmmmm.... 
sewn in place
Stitching detail
I just knew my scraps would come in handy
that last tree is a little wonky...    (what would I do without my seam ripper?)
Getting the border ready


viola! my first landscape!  (click on any picture to see more detail)
 I'll finish the binding tonight. 






true love

Happy February! (now where exactly did January go?)

The little guy is really moving these days. Erin is so impressed with his new ability to pull himself up. It's such a pure joy and love that she expresses when she gets so excited about his new moves. "Mom come look, he did it"! She loves him, she really loves him. Being an only child I love watching these little siblings, their interactions. I know the day will come when they won't always be so lovey dovey but until then I will cherish these moments.