Friday, February 8, 2013

Another year....

It's hard to believe but it's another year...two months into another year.  I've changed stores and time frames.  Working overnights now but I think I've adjusted.

One good thing that has come from changing is my stress levels have dropped considerably and with the stress dropping I've noticed my creativity is starting to come back.  I'm getting ideas for things as I walk around working and that hasn't happened in a very long time. 

A couple of jewelry ideas and a couple of quilt and other ideas that I've sketched out and need to make reality.  It's so exciting to feel creative again.

Right now I'm working on a baby blanket for my stepmother's daughter who is expecting in March(?).  Either way it will be done as it is coming along quite quickly.  I'm crocheting it.  Tried knitting a pattern I found that I really liked, but something was whack about the stitch counts and I got to frustrated to figure it out.  I will be posting pictures when it's done.

So here's to a fruitful and creative year!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pickled Green Tomatoes

Just finished the Pickled Green Tomatoes from "Food in Jars".  I did two batches, they are cooling now.

I didn't have enough brine to completely fill all three jars properly and the jar that was a little low didn't seal, so that will be the first one I try in a couple of weeks.

I doubled the brine for the second batch (better to have more than not enough) and it worked great.  Two cloves of garlic, black peppercorn, bay leaves and dill seed.  Can't wait to try them.

My how time flies....

My last post was in June.  Wow.  Can't say that I've had much to post about.  Kind of got bogged down in mundane day to day life stuff and lost that crafty side for a bit.

But I'm currently working on a crocodile stitch baby blanket and will get caught up on my Craftsy and English Garden quilt blocks.  Haven't so much as laid a finger on them since then. 

My garden did okay.  Got quite a few tomatoes and I'm still getting baby tomatoes.  Just hoping the weather holds out long enough for these to get to a good size as they are from the German Giant plant I had all but given up on.  Also got some baby okra growing.  They did nothing during the heat wave and now they are growing.  Same with the jalapeno.  Go figure.

But so as not to leave this with just words, here are pictures of my flowers that I was very happy to see grow and blossom.  I'm already thinking about planting bulbs now for spring.

Red and white dahlia
Purple dahlia

One of the sunflowers

White dahlias

Pink and white dahlia

Also, I've purchased a couple of new cookbooks.  One is "Food in Jars".  I've loved the blog that inspired this book from the moment I first saw it and I love that the recipes in this book only make 3 - 5 jars instead of a dozen or more.  That means more canning for me!  The very first recipe I'll be making is the Pickled Green Tomatoes as I had a lot of green tomatoes that pretty much aren't going to ripen up with the weather getting chillier and I don't want to be hit with a bunch of ripe tomatoes at one time.  And, let's face it, I LOVE pickles.

So now back to prepping for the canning.  Shouldn't take too long as it will only be six jars.  I'm very excited about this book!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Playing Catch Up

I'm about 3 months behind on my block of the month work.  Here are blocks 3 and 4 for the English Garden quilt.

I've finished the first of the April Craftsy block but I won't post it until I've finished the second.  Then I've got to do May and June.  The creative energy kind of drained out of me for a while there, but it's back now.

I also planted these in front of the house:

I saw the bulbs at my local grocery store and fell in love with them.  We've been having a draggy spring and it finally got to the point where I felt it was safe to put them out.  Hopefully by the end of summer I'll have these gorgeous Dahlia's popping up.  The colors are so pretty.

I also planted seeds for watermelon, tomatoes, basil, cilantro and sunflowers.  The sunflowers were the first to peek out from under the dirt.


The itty bitty tomato just peeked through today

I'm toying with buying some plants that are already started to transplant just to have something going already.  Either way it will be an adventure.  It looks like the sunflowers will lead the way.  Once they get 3 sets of leaves they get transplanted and I would love to see them reach their full bloom.  Keeping my fingers crossed.

Okay back to crafting, more later.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Second March Craftsy Block

I've been working on a baby quilt so I'm just now getting around to the second Craftsy block for the month.  Here it is:

Craftsy March Block 2

Now I HAVE to finish the baby quilt.  The machine quilting is giving me fits.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Craftsy Surprise

Imagine my surprise when I was reading the new Craftsy newsletter and I saw that the block I made for the March quilt along was chosen as part of the Project Spotlight.

Here's the link to the newsletter.  Craftsy Newsletter

Needless to say I was floored and flattered that my block was chosen.  I only hope I can continue to live up to the challenge.

Thanks Craftsy!!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Cross Stitch Expansion

Last year I saw the "Christmas Village" designs by JBW Designs and had to have them.  I contacted my LYS, Stitch in Time and asked if they had them.  They didn't but the did order them for me and they are finally here.

I had never been into this shop before, (my husband would speed up when we got within range of it) and finally got a chance to do just that.  I now know why he sped up every time...I only spent a short amount of time there, but I could still be there if I hadn't made myself leave after one additional purchase.

I also bought the Little House Needleworks "Warm Winter Woolens" chart and the 32 count linen and floss to go with it.  I have only ever used DMC, because that's what came in the kits I purchased and that's what was usually listed in charts I'd seen.  I know there's a vast and wonderful world of alternative flosses out there and decided today to venture into that world with the purchase of floss from Weeks Dye Works.  Pricey?  Yes,but hand dyed and beautiful colors.  I ended up swapping out one of the colors for a hand over dyed version (Kudzu - even the names are great) and just love it.

They also have all kinds of yarns that had me swooning.  I could see myself spending a lot of time and money in that shop.  If you're in the Howell area and have never been there, go if only for the experience of seeing the wonderful colors and patterns that are available.  Not to mention the super personnel.

There's a hooking class next week end that I may go to, just to learn a new craft (not to mention I've already got design ideas floating in my head after seeing an example).

But I can't touch what I picked up today until I complete a couple of items in progress.  The baby leggings (1 done, 1 to go) and machine quilting the baby quilt.  No to mention I've decided to thin out some craft books and let them go to new homes.  So I'd better get to it.