Sunday, February 28, 2010

33 Weeks and Counting

Where has the time gone at all!!! I swear it didn't seem that long ago it was summer and we were all out on the patio deck enjoying a beautiful sunny warm summer and finding out I was pregnant! 33 weeks later, deep in winter and now I have a few more weeks to go and I will have my little boy in my arms!!!! How time has flown!

Between watching the olympics and working on the nursery, I haven't had a chance to write anything here on my blog. I figured it was time to squeeze in a few minutes to tell you all what has been happening the last week or so.

Well let's see, first of all I had a nice quiet relaxing birthday February 26th. I took the day off from work and since sweetie was working, Mum and I got together and spent the day shopping. She also took me out for a nice birthday lunch. I wasn't too sure how I would be feeling that day as I had to take the day before off from work as baby was putting so much pressure on my belly that it was very uncomfortable and also hard to walk. I spent most of that day lying down napping or sitting in my rocking chair Mum gave me for my birthday for the nursery watching olympics. I swear the little fella kicked and punched every organ in my body that day! I felt like a punching bag!

Anyway, when Trevor finished work at 4pm on Friday, he treated me to supper and of course a big chocolate cake!!!! He gave me this beautiful lamp for the nursery,

as well as a snugli baby carry and a pretty shirt for me to wear after pregnancy.

As for my sewing productivity, I didn't do to shabby. I cut out and assembled and layered for quilting another baby quilt for a friend who is due close to my due date. The shower is in another couple weeks. All that is left to that one is to quilt it and bind it. Once it is complete I will post a photo.

I also managed to complete the remaining bureau runners for the nursery

(they still need to be pressed so they can hang better)

as well as the little quilt I made for my little boy.

I also completed the quilt for my friend whose baby shower is this afternoon. I posted photos of it sometime ago while it was in the assembly process, but here is the final product! I love how it turned out!

As for Jungle Boogie, I have two more animals completed, and am working on the last one now. My goal is to complete the last animal today and start to assemble the wallhanging this evening after the shower. Please welcome, Zelda the Zebra, and Ella the Elephant.

Leon the Lion is almost done! I had a lot of zig zag work on his mane to do last night. I just have to satin stitch around his face, eyes and mouth and he is done!! Yipppeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!

I also have the bumper pad fabric cut out. I just need to cut out the batting and start making those. I hope to have those completed by the end of next week. My overall goal is to complete the room by March 14th. That is the date of my Baby Shower. I want to be able to show the room when friends and family come to the shower. Not to mention, I want it done while I still have a wee bit of energy left (as I'm finding that slowly dwindling) and well hey just in case the little fella decides he wants to arrive earlier than the due date, I want to have the room all set and ready for him!

Whew!!!!!!!!!! So after all that, it is time for me to end here, post the photos and then head down to the sewing room for another hour or so before heading to my friend's baby shower!

But before I go I wanted to share with you a couple other photos I took yesterday. The first one is "Chase" the local neighbourhood kitty. I found here on guard on my patio next to one of our bird feeders yesterday afternoon. She was keeping a close eye on some potential lunch! She drove poor Alexi off her head!!! Poor Alexi was whining and crying to get out at the cat! Chase just could not have been bothered!

On Friday afternoon, we had some heavy fog come through the area. As it came off the ocean and onto land, the temperatures dropped and caused the trees to look all icy and snowy. But on closer inspection, this is what the trees looked like from the fog! It was just gorgeous to see all the trees like this. You will notice the trees in the photo above all covered in these ice/snow particles!

Til Next Time!

Quiltingly Yours

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Making Progress

I have to say, this week has been a productive one when it comes to the nursery. I now have two more animals machine appliqued, which means I have 3 more left to complete for the Jungle Boogie wallhanging. Let me introduce you to "Rocky the Rhino"

and "Melvin the Monkey". I worked on Melvin tonight. I just love his whimsy look!

I also managed to get the two remaining bureau runners made and machine binded. I hope to complete the hand binding on them before the weekend is over. I also have one more side left to hand bind to complete the baby quilt I made for my little boy.

Mum was working on machine quilting the quilt she is making for her new grandson as well. She managed to get almost the whole thing quilted. She only has to finish quilting the borders and then she too is ready for the binding.

Wednesday night we put the crib together and placed the furniture in the best way possible to make as much space as possible for the room. I didn't want to show any photos yet until I had the runners on the bureaus and night table. Stay tuned!!!

Beside the nursery I did finish two more sewing motif embroidery blocks I was working on. Here are the results! I will start the next one tomorrow over my lunch hour at work.

This is going to be a busy weekend. I have an aunt's birthday party to attend on Saturday afternoon and then my friend Crystal and I are meeting here at the house to spend all Sunday scrapbooking. I pulled a number of photos from the family album that I want to scrap. I just need to sit down and choose the papers and embellishments before Sunday so I can have a good productive scrapping day!

Tomorrow we are forecasted for another snow storm. It is highly unlikely that my office will close down. We rarely do. Sigh..... it would have made for a great sew/snow day.. I will just have to wait until tomorrow evening to start cutting out another baby quilt for another friend who is due to have their baby not far from my due date. The fun just never ends around here LOL....

Til Next Time

Quiltingly Yours

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines!!!

Happy Valentines Day to all you lovebirds out there!!! My sweetie had to work tonight so we ended up going out to a beautiful and favourite restaurant of ours The Casbah. They had a really nice Valentines Menu available and well I couldn't resist, I just HAD to order the Pistachio crusted half rack of lamb... It was sooooooooooooooooo YUMMY!!!! By the time we had our appetizers and main entree, dessert was not an option we were too stuffed!! But since dessert was a part of the Valentines special, we ordered our desserts to go. I think I will treat myself to my dessert tonight! I have a nice little slice of bakeapple cheesecake calling my name!! :) mmmm

Speaking of cheesecake... I made another one today! Trevor is a HUGE fan of partridgeberries. I myself find them a bit too tart for my liking, but when they are baked with other ingredients and sweetened up a bit, they are very tasty. So for Valentines I made him a partridgeberry cheesecake.

This is the first time I came across a cheesecake recipe that had whipping cream as one of the main ingredients. I must say I also found this cheesecake to be much lighter than others. Also this one was baked and then cooled on a wire rack on the counter and not in the fridge. It was very tasty! That is one of the two new recipes I tried for this week. The other one was Almond and Raisin Biscotti. It was my first time making biscotti. I have to say I still need to work on the presentation part of this, hence no photo to share. I am not a big fan of biscotti myself but Mum really enjoys it. So I made it for her as a Valentines gift to her. It did smell really good though!! :)

The nursery is coming along nicely. The furniture is all painted and put in place, and the new pewter looking hardware is all installed on the drawers. Tonight Mum and I got the window cleaned, the screen scrubbed, the floors scrubbed clean. I also got a start on cleaning out the closet and adding a second closet rung as for now there will be lots of teeny tiny clothing to hang so it will give us more room. Also I managed to complete one of the 3 bureau runners. Here is the room so far.

This piece and the little nightstand in the above photo came from my Grandmother Flemming's bedroom when she was a little girl. They are close to 100 years old now.

This bureau below came from my room when I was a little girl. I thought it would be nice to keep these furniture pieces to pass down to my little boy for his room

I just couldn't resist this little elephant! He sings a song when you press his foot and his ears move up and down!! I LOVE HIM!

Mum picked up this wooden car racer Friday night. I just love the look of the old style wooden toys. I have a little wooden airplane I owned as a little girl. I plan to dig it out of storage to put in my boy's room!

I also managed to quilt and bind another baby quilt for a friend who is due to have her baby not long before mine. I just had it washed tonight and it is now drying. I'll post a final photo of it later this week.

Other than that, I have been just resting alot as I'm finding my energy level starting to slow down. Tonight while I watch Masterpiece Theatre on PBS (the next Jane Austen movie is to start tonight.. I'm a big fan of her writing), I will do the hand binding on my baby's quilt.

I also hope to start another animal on the Jungle Boogie wallhanging later this week!

Quiltingly Yours

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Safari Adventures and Other Stuff

We survived the snow storm!!! It went on for two full days finally stopping by late Saturday afternoon. We had over 35cm of snow and very high snow drifts! Trevor went out to start shovelling the driveway. There were close to 3 foot drifts of snow behind the car! Fun times!

This is my neighbour's little walk through trellis in her back garden. This will give you an idea of the snow drifts she got in her back garden! There is a hill you walk down to her back yard. It is filled in with snow!!

While the snow storm was in it's full fury on Friday, I managed to get two animals made for the Jungle Boogie wallhanging. I already posted Ssssammmy the Sssslittering Ssssnake, but I never completed animal #3 before my last post. I would like now to introduce you to Alfred the Alligator!!!! He is a bit imposing, but I figured a nice gentlemanly butler style name would make him less angry.

A good friend of mine is a fabulous creative writer. I asked her last night if she would be interested in writing a little story around the animals I was making for Wil. She was soooo happy and excited about this and said she would love to! I want the story to be around Wil and his Safari Adventures and the animals he meets along the way. Once the story is made, I will then make it into a small 8" x 8" scrapbook that we can read together during our bedtime stories!

As for the rest of this weekend, I didn't do a heck of a lot on the sewing machine. I was in the mood to do a bit of hand sewing. Remember some time ago I spoke about the hexagon quilt I am doing by hand?

Well I took shook the dust off it (as I haven't played with it in months), set up my new Ott Lite I bought at Michaels the other night and camped out in the living room watching movies and listening to music while making more Grandmother's Garden blocks.

This afternoon I managed to cut out the rest of the black floral fabric to complete the blocks. This is how my dining room table looked this afternoon!!!

I am hoping to go to the fabric shop this week to buy the cream tone on tone fabric to use as the spacer hexagons to start putting the blocks together.

Tonight, I plan to work on my friend's baby quilt I am giving her for her baby shower at the end of this month. My next stage is to layer it, baste it and then quilt it. I think I'll spray baste it with the505 Spray (I SWEAR by that stuff). It's a quick and dirty method and it means I don't have to be down on my haunches in my 'delicate condition' for too long. Hopefully if I'm lucky I'll get started on the machine quilting too!

I have the night to myself as Trevor is gone out to bond with his male companions over the Superbowl game. Years ago when I lived in Nova Scotia I used to watch football, but these days it's not of interest to me anymore. So tonight I will blast my nice cultured music (some classical or Josh Groban or Andre Rieu or Andrea Bocelli) on the iPod and work away on the baby quilt! Later I'll sit down with Mum in her apartment to watch the next "Masterpiece Theatre" production on PBS. The next few shows are from Jane Austen's books. I love her stories!

Til Next Time!

Quiltingly Yours

Friday, February 5, 2010

I Love Snow Days!!!!

Today we are thick and heavy into a grand ole snow storm/blizzard!!!! We are expected to get anywhere up to 50cm of snow and winds between 100/120 km/hour!!! wooo hoooo!! It started to snow last night and it is nasty nasty out there now! I think there are at least 3 feet snow drifts just behind the car already!! The storm is suppose to continue overnight and end sometime tomorrow morning. I decided to create my own snow day today and take an annual leave day off work. I found out a little later today that the office stayed open until noon time at which time the building closed down.

So what have I been doing so far on my snow day?? Why playing in my sewing room of course!!!! I have been working away in the Jungle making the animals for Jungle Boogie for Wil's room. So far I have two critters completed! Say hello to "Gordon the Giraffe"

and "Ssssaaammmy the Ssssllitthery Snnnnnake"!!!

This evening I will be working on the alligator. I still have to come up with a name for him. I'm sure as I'm stitching and appliqueing him his name will come to me.

I also decided on a cold stormy night like this, we needed some yummy comfort food for supper. I made our favourite Cod au Gratin!!! YUM!!! Here is the recipe if anyone is interested in trying it out themselves!

Cod au Gratin

3 small fillets cod fish (fresh or frozen)
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
2 cups milk
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
Pepper to taste
3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 tsp savoury (dill or tarragon are good substitutions)
1 1/2 cups shredded medium cheddar cheese
1 cup bread crumbs or cracker crumbs. (I like to use my own homemade bread crumbs)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Scald the milk in the microwave for 4-5 minutes. In a medium saucepan, add the butter and flour and cook together for 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the scaled milk whisking constantly. Cook until the sauce begins to thicken. Add the lemon zest, Dijon mustard and season with pepper to taste. Add the parmesan cheese just before pouring on the fish.

Arrange the fish in the bottom of a greased 9 x 9 inch baking dish. Pour the sauce over the fish. Top with the cheddar cheese.

Mix the bread crumbs (or cracker crumbs) with the olive oil and sprinkle over the cheese. BAke for 45 minutes to one hour at 350 degrees F until bubbling and the top has evenly browned.

Now that the kitchen is all cleaned up again, the dishwater doing it's thing and another loaf of bread being made in the bread machine, I'm off with my hot cuppa Winter Spice tea to my sewing room again to make an alligator!

Quiltingly Yours

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Is It a Crime.....

to have this much fun????? I have gone into full blown nursery designing/decorating mode and I'm stupidly happy with it all!!!!!! In my last post I showed you all photos of the room getting started and the valance I made for the window. Well over the last two days while at work the furniture was painted! OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm in LOVE with how it is turning out!!! Look at this GORGEOUS blue!!!!!!!!! I put the striped fabric next to it tonight and it is PERFECT!! This weekend I will start cutting out the runners for the two bureaus and the nightstand.

Just when I thought I was excited over the room so far, it got a little more crazy!!!! Trevor and I wanted to have a nice wallhanging to hang on the far wall, as that is where we plan to put the crib. So I did a bit of searching and blogging and searching some more and this is what we came up with!! JUNGLE BOOGIE from Fat Cat Patterns!! It is 54" square and it will be the perfect size for that wall!!! I got soooo excited I downloaded and printed off the entire pattern yesterday. After supper last night I got into my fabric stash and my bins of scraps and began pulling fabrics for each animal.

I couldn't WAIT to get home today from work and start putting together the first animal. Of the 8 animals I think the giraffe is my favourite, so of course I had to make him first! This is what I have got done so far!

This block alone is 16 1/2" x 30 1/2"!!!! I hated to stop appliqueing him tonight. It's a shame I have to work in the morning, I would much prefer to stay home making my Jungle Boogie wallhanging for my little boy!

On another note, I managed to trace out three more sewing motif embroidery blocks to prep for stitching last night after I pulled the fabrics for the animal safari wallhanging. These little embroidery blocks are the perfect size to take to work with me and stitch over my lunch break.

I also managed to get in Recipe #2 for this week in for supper last night. I made this FABULOUS Cheddar Chicken Broccoli casserole! My friend Mandy shared this recipe with me a week or so ago after I posted about my latest Kitchen Day. Mandy THANK YOU for a WONDERFUL and delicious supper! I had enough left over to freeze for another meal plus some extra for lunch today!!! This will be a regular meal in this house from now on!!!! She posted this recipe in my comments section of my Kitchen Day post, but I would like to post it here too should anyone be interested in trying this one out themselves! Mandy since you posted it already here on my blog comments, I hope you are okay with me posting it here too!!! :) The only difference I did with the recipe is cut up the chicken into smaller pieces.

Cheddar Chicken Broccoli Casserole

2-3 chicken breasts (cut into bite size pieces)
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 can cream of broccoli soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
salt/pepper to taste (I don't normally add salt to mine.... I prefer to cut out salt in some things I cook)
2 soup cans of milk
2 cups penne or rotini (whatever you have on hand)
3 cloves garlic chopped
large bag of broccoli florets
2 cups of shredded cheese of your choice. (I used the pre-shredded cheddar/mozza mixture from KRAFT)

Heat the oil in a skillet and brown the chicken pieces. Add 2 cloves of garlic and pepper to taste.

Boil the pasta until al dente.

In a large bowl, combine the two soups, milk and remaining one clove of chopped garlic. Mix well. Add the chicken and mix. Drain the pasta and add to the chicken/soup mixture. Mix well.
Pour this mixture into a large casserole dish. Cover in cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until cheese is bubbling.

Mandy tells me this recipe freezes well. Like I said earlier, I had alot left over and put some into a container to freeze for a later date. I don't say it will be in my freezer too long as it tasted AMAZING!!!

I received my swap partner's name for the Winter Swap I'm involved in. I started playing around with some ideas in my head tonight and I think I want to play with my embroidery machine with this little project!!!

Well that's all for now! The temperatures are going to plummet to -25 degrees celcius tonight with the windchill. Me thinks I'll be adding an extra quilt or two to the bed tonight!
For those of you who are also braving and hibernating this winter season stay warm.. For those of you further south and enjoying a nice sunny warm summer.. please think of us and blow some of that warm weather our way!!!!

Quiltingly Yours