Sunday, January 31, 2010

Weekend Ramblings

I've kept good and busy since my last post. Between my sewing/quilting and my kitchen I have much to gab about today!

Let's see where to start. I find the best way for me to write my posts is to go over the photos I have taken over the week. I always have my camera close by to take photos of things that go on throughout the week.

.... 2 minutes later after looking through my past photos I know what I want to tell you all about .....

To start with it seems Trevor was playing with my camera and took a few more photos of Alexi. She has such a funny personality and such whimsy expressions. She loves to sit in this chair that is in the corner of my kitchen while we are working in the kitchen. She is such a cutie!!

I guess when it comes to the sewing part of this post I first want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to Viv from Highway Cottage in New Zealand. She sent me this beautiful little table topper. We were both involved with the Fall Mini Swap with the Quilting Bloggers. I will be sure this little topper is displayed this coming Fall season in my home. Thank you again Viv!!! It is too cute!

I have a few things that I managed to complete for January and to add to the "One Project a Month" challenge I'm participating in again this year. I completed the 2 sets of Santa Placemats I started before Christmas. I had hoped to complete them and use them over the holidays but time just didn't allow. This photo only shows 5 of the 8 I made because I had the other three upstairs in the living room last night as I was finishing up the hand stitching of the binding while watching a movie.

I also officially started the nursery yesterday. I started and finished the little curtain topper for little William's room. I just loooooove the fabric and how this valance turned out. I have never made a fitted valance before but with Mum's great experience she guided me through to the finish. The fabric looks fabulous next to the painted walls.

Tomorrow while I'm gone to work the painting of the furniture will be started. I have my old bureau when I was a little girl as well as the bureau and nightstand that belonged to my grandmother Flemming when she was a little girl. Once all three pieces are painted and in place I will get started on making the bureau runners. The crib will then be put together and then I will start on the bumper pads and the bed skirt.

Over my lunch hours at work, I have been sitting at my desk eating my lunch as I don't feel comfortable walking over to my aunt's house down the street from the office in my 'delicate condition' with the snow and ice. One of the things I like to do over my lunch hour is do some blogging and look at some new blogs. I came across some really beautiful blogs that I would love to share with you.

First of all is this one. "Bee in my Bonnet". What an amazingly talented lady!! I just looooooove her applique patterns and I really want to order one. My problem is deciding which one!

I also found a few other beautiful and talented quilters that I just wanted to share their blogs with! Check these out! "Pacific Patchwork", "Quilt Feather" and this one is another list of many quilting blogs you want to check out "Quilter Blogs".

As for my musings in the kitchen, I tried out a new cheesecake recipe on Wednesday evening. This one is called Pina Colada Cheesecake! All I can say is mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!! It took 4 packages of cream cheese so it was a nice big cheesecake. It also had coconut, pineapple and coconut milk to give it a yummy taste!!! I played around with my cake decorating tips to do a little decorate look to the top. Cheesecakes have a tendency of cracking on the top when it comes out of the oven, so I cover up the cracks with decorations and you will never tell it had cracks!!!

I also tried out a new hashbrown casserole for breakfast this Sunday morning. My friend, Crystal from work told me about this casserole she makes and loves. So I just had to give it a whirl. I didn't take a photo of it but it was sooooooo easy to make.
Take a package of McCains or Cavendish hash browns. Combine it with a cup of sour cream, a can of cream of mushroom soup and a cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Mix all the ingredients well and place it in a long casserole dish. Bake at 350 F for one hour. YUM!!! It is also good as leftovers, so I put the remaining casserole in some plastic containers for Trevor and I to have for our breakfast or lunch tomorrow.

And on that note, I think I have wanted to tell you what I wanted to for now. Today's tasks are to give Alexi her weekly bath, get a shower for myself as we are heading to Trevor's parent's home for supper this evening. Tonight I have to get the rest of nursery cleaned out and ready for painting in the morning. If time permits I might work on some hand stitching on a few projects I want to try out. I came across a couple more BOMs I just HAVE to get into!! Fat Cat Patterns, and Love Is

I need another BOM or project like I need a hole in my head!!!!

Ohh just before I leave, we have two little bird feeders on our patio... well one on the patio the other in the tree next to the patio. We love to watch the little junkos and other feathered friends munching on the birdseed. This little fella seemed like he was guarding the feeder. He stayed next to the feeder for close to an hour this morning while I was making breakfast.

While waiting for the first set of photos to upload I was looking out Trevor's "Man Cave" room window to look at the birds and the patio and tree is littered with the little cuties! And the guard bird is still there!! LOL funny things!

Quiltingly Yours

Monday, January 25, 2010

Results From My Kitchen Day

Whew!!! What a day I put in yesterday!!! It was alot more productive than I planned and I had fun doing it... even if I was 9 hours straight in the kitchen!!! LOL. (Needless to say my back, neck and legs are feeling it today).

So I started at 12:15pm yesterday. This is how my kitchen looked in the beginning.

By 3:30, it was looking more like this!!!

Ah, but the results once the last couple things came out of the oven and bread maker at 10pm that night was worth it!! Here is the loot!!!

(mmmmm the smell of chocolate chip cookies throughout the house is heaven!!!

From left to right: 6 meals of spaghetti, 6 meals of honey garlic meatballs, 4 meals of shrimp jambalaya (we had that for supper too), a plate full of homemade cod fish cakes (supper for tonight)

One pan of lasagne (I can get 6 meals for the two of us out of this)

top: a dozen pumpkin/cranberry muffins, middle: a dozen banana chip muffins, bottom: chocolate chip cookies, front: banana loaf, and two loaves of bread: cracked wheat and oatmeal raisin!!!

By 10:30 I got to put my feet up and watch Masterpiece Theatre for a little bit. Then it was off to bed. I hope to have at least one more big kitchen day (or perhaps break it down into two half days) before the baby is due. I figure the more meals I have made up in advance the less I have to worry about when my little boy arrives and I can focus more on him and then just pop something in the oven.. quick and dirty yet good for you meals!!!

Does anyone out there in blogland have some really good casserole dishes they could share with me? I'm looking for something that is freezer friendly!!

As for the quilting side of things, I think I'll take it easy today and start up something tomorrow evening. I just got the new Connecting Threads catalog in the mail this afternoon so I'm off to drool over all the pretty patterns and new fabric lines!

Quiltingly Yours

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Alas the Weekend Is Finally Here!!!!

After the work week I had this week I am soooooooooo planning to enjoy and relax this weekend! I am actually contemplating a Kitchen Day tomorrow. I've been noticing there is more space in my freezer and I need to add more meals to it again. I find making up large batches of food and freezing them into meal sizes so much more convenient than having to come home every day from work and figuring out what to make. Some days between Trevor's irregular work schedule and other weekly commitments it's easy to just haul something out of the freezer that morning before work and then heat it up in the oven when you get home.

So I think today I will take a little run out to one of the grocery stores to pick up ingredients to make a lasagne, mac and cheese, meatballs, hashbrown casserole (as suggested from my good friend Crystal), and see if I can come up with another meal or two. I think I might also try out a new cheesecake. I have had my eye on a Pina Colada cheesecake recipe in my cheesecake book for sometime now. I believe I need to get it out of my system and make it for supper tomorrow night :)

As for the events in the sewing room this week, well I haven't been too productive this week. Now that I am into my 7th month of pregnancy and the fact that my iron level is so low, I have been feeling dead tired when I come home from work and all I feel like doing is napping either before or after supper. The energy level is a bit slower these days. Some days I have to fight with myself to move my butt and get things done. I have so much I need and want to accomplish before little William arrives. I will have to get my mojo moving this week and get some results in my sewing room even if it is just some hand sewing.

Speaking of, I did do a few little hand sewing jobs this week. So I suppose I was a little bit productive. Firstly, I managed to get another embroidery sewing motif block finished. I even managed to trace out and start embroidering the 3rd block in the series of 12.

Also, as I mentioned in my last post I added the nose and eyes to the Santa placemats, but for some reason blogspot wouldn't allow me to add any more photos (Gremlins or something). Well here they are! I hope to get started on the quilting of them this week.

I also thought I should post a photo of the Wallhanging I made for the Fall Mini Swap I was involved in. It has since been mailed off to my secret swapper. I hope she likes it! I had so much fun making it I plan to make a second one for myself but make mine into a cute throw cushion for this Fall. I still have plenty of the exact scrap fabrics I used in this one to make a duplicate!

I had so much fun with this past swap that yesterday I registered for the Winter Swap through the Quilting Bloggers site! I can't WAIT to find out my swap partner and get started on this next project!

As for my 2 recipes a week, I made the second one this morning. It seems most of the recipes I talk about have been for suppers or desserts. This morning I decided to try out a new breakfast recipe. Trevor and I love a big breakfast on Sunday mornings. I know this isn't Sunday, but it's still the weekend right? And besides I was in the 'trying something new' kind of mood!!! Not to mention, if I'm to have a Kitchen Day tomorrow I'm going to be up to my eyeballs in pots and pans anyway!! :)

This morning I tried out a FABULOUS new omelet. I use to make omelets all the time but for a long while now I found myself getting tired of them or too heavy. I've always made my omelets using 3 eggs and 3 Tbsp of milk!! Too heavy! This recipe was for 3 eggs and 1 Tbsp of milk. It made a HUGE difference. Not to mention the flavours combined in the ingredients were out of this world! I thought I would share it with you!

Pesto Feta Omelet (from the Company's Company Series. This book is all on eggs)

1 tsp Olive Oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup sliced fresh white mushrooms
2 tsp Basil pesto
3 large eggs
1 Tbsp milk
pepper, sprinkle
1 tsp hard margarine
1 small roma (plum) tomato, sliced
2 Tbsp Crumbled Feta cheese

Heat cooking oil in non-stick medium 9 1/2 inch frying pan on medium heat. Add onion. Cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring often, until softened.

Add mushrooms. Cook for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned. Remove to small bowl.

Add pesto to mushroom mixture. Stir until well combined. Set aside.

Beat eggs, milk and pepper with whisk in medium bowl until smooth.

Melt margarine in same frying pan on medium. Pour egg mixture into frying pan. Reduce heat to medium-low. When starting to set at outside edge, tilt pan and gently lift cooked egg with spatula, easing around pan from outside edge in. Allow uncooked egg to flow onto bottom of pan. Repeat, working around pan, until egg is softly set. Scatter mushroom mixture over 1/2 of omelet.

Layer tomato slices over mushroom mixture. Scatter feta cheese over tomato. Fold other 1/2 of omelet over feta cheese. Cover. Cook for 2-4 minutes until heated through. Makes 1 omelet.

I will DEFINETELY be making this one again!

It is a cold but sunny day today here in St. John's. It is just after 12 noon here. I think I should haul my butt away from the computer, get out of my nice warm flannel pjs, grab a shower and get out and get some fresh air and run some errands. I want to go to Michaels and Kent today as well as the grocery store.

Til Next Time!!!

Quiltingly Yours

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Keeping Busy and Creative

I have been working away on a number of things the last few days. Thursday and Friday night I got a good portion of a baby's quilt put together. A good friend of mine is about 1 to 2 weeks further along in her pregnancy and she is having a little girl. I decided to make a baby's quilt for her upcoming shower.

Little did I know til the day after that Heidi (a new blogger I have been reading about) has a "Friday Night Sew In"! Well I didn't know at the time, but I told her after the fact that I got in a bit of work myself on a project I wanted to do and am interested in tagging along in future "Friday Night Sew In" sessions!

Along with the quilt I also put a little more work into some Christmas Santa Placemats I started before Christmas but never finished. Last night I got the red button noses and the eyes in place. I also started marking the placemats for machine quilting. I might tackle those tomorrow night. (hmmm I tried to add the photos to this post, but it seems my icon to add photos is being a bit stubborn and won't let me add more photos... grrrr.. next time folks)!!

Saturday night we invited a couple of our friends over for an evening of relaxing. We broke out the Wii game console and played a 4 player Mario game! I was the lucky one to keep dying all the time!! LOL I was never very good at video games but I had fun all the same!

Sunday my friend Crystal came over and we scrapbooked. We both have so much we want to scrap and we both needed some encouragement to get at it. We decided one Sunday a month we would meet up and spend the day and evening scrapping. Right now I am working on a "Book About Me" Album. Mum gave me my family album some years ago and over the last couple of years I started little by little to scrap some of the memories. I have many many pages to do, but I'm enjoying looking back on all the old photos of me as a little girl.

Before Christmas Crystal and I started going to Michael's Craft Store as well as a local private scrapbooking store to stock up on more papers and embellishments. I picked up a really nice album I want to scrap for my little boy. I can't WAIT to start his album! I also picked up some extra clear rubber stamps, ink, water colour pencils and other cute embellishments! We also plan to work on different greeting cards throughout the year too!

Well tonight it's laundry night and tidying/organizing/gutting out more STUFF from the future nursery. No sewing for me tonight :( I best get back to it!

Quiltingly Yours

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Happy Hump Day!!!

And its Wednesday again!!!! Just two more days to the weekend!! Yippeeee!! I enjoy my job don't get me wrong. Its a busy one and no two days are the same, but I do look forward to my weekend break! Some weeks are more busy and insane than others, and I suppose getting back into the swing of things after the Christmas break makes things a bit tiring too. Not to mention, 6 1/2 months preggy and a little extra weight to carry around will make you tired too!!! I know I know (I can hear those of you now with the mothering experience), "just wait til you are 8 and 9 months pregnant!! THEN you'll have more weight to carry around and be waddling like a duck!" I say.. BRING IT ON!!! :)

I got a nice little start on Trevor's "Man Cave" curtains for his room on Sunday. I got all the fabrics out on the floor, measured, cut and the sides sewn to the lining. Tonight I will get the side hems in place and hopefully the top hem ready to go. They are only simple panel drapes that will be hung with metal ring tabs. Hopefully he will have the rod up and installed by the weekend and I can complete them then.

While I was waiting for the curtain lining to be washed, I did take out the fabric kit Mum gave me for Christmas to make the baby crib quilt! I have the top made, and now its all set for layering and quilting. I just loooooove these fabrics and this quilt! The striped fabric is flannel and the green border is another EXTREMELY soft soft fabric! I can't WAIT to wrap my little boy in this quilt!

Here is one of the recipes I tried the other night! If you like Dijon mustard, you will enjoy this salmon recipe!

Dijon Garlic Salmon

4 Salmon Fillets
1/3 cup Dijon mustard (I didn't use that much as I only had 2 salmon fillets)
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 onion
1 tsp dried tarragon
salt/pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375º C. Spray a 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray.

Arrange the salmon skin side down in the prepared pan, and lightly coat with the Dijon mustard. Place the garlic and onion slices on the fillets. Season with tarragon, salt and pepper.

Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the salmon is easily flaked with a fork.


Til Next Time!!

Quiltingly Yours

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thursday Quilter's Night Back In Full Swing!

Tonight was the first night the Thursday Night Quilting Gals met up after Christmas. And we all got back into the sewing/quilting swing rather quickly. Mum started cutting out a strippy quilt, Theresa got back to working on a Christmas tree skirt she didn't finished before the holidays, Leslie was doing the same thing. She managed to complete the top of the tree skirt so all she has left is to layer, quilt and bind it. As for yours truly, I managed to get alot accomplished on the Fall Swap Wallhanging I am working on. I layered and quilted it tonight, put the rod pocket on and the binding is now ready to be sewn on. I should have the wallhanging ready to mail out by Monday!! Yippeee!!!!!

I also finished the first of 12 little sewing motif embroidery blocks I found online sometime last Spring. I plan to frame each one of them in a nice square black and white frame and have a 12 frame collage of them in my sewing room. I enlarged the second block I want to do and hope to get a start on it over my lunch hour at work tomorrow.

Ooh, so just before Christmas my Bread Machine died. :( :( I am lost without my bread machine. I found a beautiful new machine at Costco last week and picked it up! Please welcome the new kitchen appliance to my room!! My lovely Cuisinart Convection Bread Machine!

I took it out of the box last night, cleaned it up and chose one of my favourite breads, cracked wheat, to try out the new machine. It was soooooooooooooooo nice to have homemade bread again! It doesn't take as long to make the bread with this machine and the loaf turned out gorgeous! I had a slice of it for breakfast this morning with a bit of peanut butter and it melted in my mouth! I'll make up a few more loaves this weekend.

Here is the recipe for the cracked wheat bread for the machine if anyone is interested in trying it out!

Cracked Wheat Bread

1 ½ Pound Loaf

1 ¼ cups plus 1 Tbsp of water

¾ cup cracked wheat

2 Tbsp margarine

2 Tbsp honey

3 cups flour

1 ½ tsp salt

2 ¼ tsp bread machine yeast

Bring water to a boil. In small bowl, pour water over cracked wheat and let cool.

Measuring carefully, place remaining ingredients and cracked wheat in bread machine pan in order specified by owner’s manual.

Program desired cycle, press start. Removed baked bread from pan; cool on wire rack.

Makes 1 Loaf.

We are forecasted for a snow storm on Saturday (could go up to 30cm), so I might spend some time in my kitchen this weekend. I need to make up a batch of lasagne, some mac and cheese and one or two other quick freezable meals. I just hope the storm doesn't start until the afternoon as I have an appointment to get my hair coloured and styled that morning. Trevor gave me a gift certificate to one of my favourite hair salons here in town. I love the dark dark brown they put in my hair. I feel I need a little winter blues pick me up right about now!

Ohh, I also added the new 2010 project list to my side bar! Take a peek at the plans I have for my sewing room for this new year! I also have alot of plans in my scrapbooking I want to get under way too. I have had that hobby placed on the back burner for the last 1 1/2 years. It's time to start playing in that area too!! I have soooooo many ideas!!! Sigh, it's a shame that work gets in the way of my fun time! I need to win the lottery!

Til Next Time!

Quiltingly Yours

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Goals for 2010

I never was one to have "New Year's Resolutions". However, I do believe in setting goals. Some may seem realistic at the time, but as the months go on and life takes over, some of those goals get placed on the back burner. One of those goals I chose to challenge myself with is to try out more challenges in the kitchen. For instance, I want to play more with phyllo and puff pastries. I want to try a souffle!!! I actually bought myself a nice size souffle size ramekin at Pier 1 store last weekend. My plan is to try out 2 new recipes a week!!!!!!!! Hey and with the baby coming in April, I hope to make good use out of my slow cooker!!! :) The baby got to sleep some time right!!! :) This week I completed my first two new recipes. I made a Cranberry Steamed Pudding with a vanilla sauce on New Year's Day,

and last night I made a Fresh Tarragon Lime Shrimp Scampi. It was AMAZING!!!!!!!!

I'll have to post my recipes very soon. The other goal is to actually write up and design my foodie blog that I have been procrasting to do since the Fall!!!!!

One thing I started about 3 years ago was a project book to keep myself organized. This spiral black book is made up of several tabbed sections such as "Sewing Projects to Complete (Yearly)", "Christmas Gifts (By Year)", "Scrapbook Ideas", "House Plans/Ideas", etc.

I like to make list each year of all the people I want to make Christmas gifts for during the year. Because I make a majority of my gifts, I need to start the list early. I also have a listing in this book (one/two pages per person), of all the gifts I have made for them in the past so that I don't make a duplicate gift. So far it has worked out fabulously!!!

Tonight, I decided to get a start on my list of projects I want to work on, finish or try out for 2010. The list is not done yet, but I hope by tomorrow to finish it. Mind you, throughout the year I will see something else I want to put my hand to, so of course the list gets bigger. For now though I will post my new 2010 project list on the right side of my blog tomorrow evening.

I managed to clean up some of my fabric drawers and do some organizing. I cleaned out 4 draws in this plastic container and now have a place to put some projects that are ongoing or to be started.

I also thought I would start by pulling out some hand stitching projects that I could work on during my lunch hour at work. With the winter here and snow and ice around the corner (so far we have been lucky with a very very very mild winter.. as in NO snow or ice!!!) I'm very grateful of that this year with me being preggy and all, I want to have a slip free winter season!!! Anyway, I plan to work on some small hand stitching projects over the lunch hours. That should see me complete a few little projects.

I also got a start on cleaning out my UFO cabinet!!!!!!!!! Yep I have a full cabinet BLOCKED with UFOs!!! I would love to see a teeny tiny dent if at all possible there this year.

I also FINALLY managed to get the fabrics pulled and cut for the Fall Mystery Swap that I signed up for back in October!! My due date to get this wallhanging finished and mailed out is January 18th!!! Geeeshh no pressure on me huh!!! Talk about procrastinating!!!!!!!!! I got a nice chunk of it done tonight and will get back at it again full tilt tomorrow evening. I would LOVE to show it to you right now, but in case the recipient is a follower of my blog, or comes to visit from time to time, I would hate to spoil her fun! Once she has received it though I WILL post photos!! I love the fabrics I chose for it so much that I might have to make one for myself!!! LOL !!! Although I think I might turn mine into a cushion!!! :)

Well it is getting close to midnight and I want to look for a nice rib slow cooker recipe for tomorrow's supper. hmm I guess this means I'll be trying out 3 new recipes this first week of January!!!!

Quiltingly Yours at 25 weeks preggy!!! This photo was taken last night. Myself and pooch were relaxin' and reading our book when lil William decided to make himself known. He was kicking enough for me to see my belly make little vibrations.. It was beyond words what I saw and felt!