Friday, January 31, 2014

Radiant Orchid Pantone Quilt Challenge Perhaps?


This is tempting.

2014 Pantone Quilt Challenge: Radiant Orchid

Because what I need is another project. ;)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Let's Pretend It's Summer

Let's pretend it's summer.

Get out our flashy sunglasses. (Oh, you don't have a pair? You should. They make you feel snazzy.)

Put on our swimsuits.

Pretend we're at the beach.

And that the temperature is above freezing.

I'm just sayin'.

In other news, the first round of seed starting begins this weekend. :)
Stay tuned, friends. 

And think warm thoughts. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Works in Progress Wednesday 7

So...for this week, I have two more Circle of Geese Blocks for my newest baby quilt.

Nevermind the fact that I need to finish quilting my Bloom Bloom Pow quilt.


It will get done. I promise.

Block 2.

Excuse the shiny sun. 

I'm glad to see it here once in a while. If only it would warm up. I'll take 32 degrees at this point.

Block 3. 

You can see that I'm using scrap paper for paper piecing here. 

Hehe. See the music lyrics in the background? 

I love the stained glass look that the backlighting gives the blocks here.

I'm having so much fun sewing these up. They are sooooo much easier than they look!

And what a privilege and honor it is to have a reminder to pray for my friend, her baby, and her family every time I sit down at the sewing machine.

So, I now have 3 total blocks for this quilt. I'm going for 9 total Circle of Geese blocks, plus some sashing and borders. 

I also worked on some Valentine coasters I'm making. 

They're going to be more exciting than this, I promise. But have to do Part A to get to Part B.

I'm hoping to get a tutorial up for y'all here soon. Check back in with me. 

I cranked out 16 of these babies on Sunday.

See how fun they'll be? Embroidery floss, fabric paint, gold thread. 

And I finally bought into the Washi tape trend? Did you know Target carries this stuff now?

I'm not late to the party. ;) It doesn't start until I get there. 

Do join me for the party at Freshly Pieced and Works in Progress Wednesday.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

New Year's in Williamsburg

After Christmas and over New Year's Mr. Gardener and I ventured to Williamsburg with my family. 

They had timeshare time to use and kindly invited us to join them. And we all had a very nice time together. We did some things together and some separately, like Mr. Gardener and I went to go visit friends in Newport News (maybe 30 minutes from Williamsburg). So, all in all, it was great. 

(Because, as I'm sure you know, blending family vacations can be a gamble. But my parents have informed us that we haven't yet been banned from vacationing with them. hehe)

Rare photo of my brother smiling? Had to include it. 

We went to the folk art museum. Loved the quilt exhibit (duh) and the whirligigs. 

Fun sculpture for no apparent reason? Count me in.

I love folk art. It's all about expression for the pleasure of it. It can include form and function, an adherence to rules, but it doesn't have to. It's art for art by regular people. 

Naturally, I needed to tour the colonial garden.

Look at these awesome ideas for winter gardening. Keep in mind, if you're a newbie gardener, that these are cool season vegetables.

I love the bell jars (left).

Kind of a like a mini greenhouse.  I think that could be totally doable. 


There were beautiful Christmas decorations everywhere. 

I need to try my hand at creating something similar next year.

Me, my brother, and my mom cheesin'.

We also visited a plantation. Here, we see tobacco, Virginia's cash crop. My brother informed us that these were cigarettes. ;) He's so smart. 

My dad can't resist the opportunity to teach. He needs to retire here and be one of the living history folks.

My dad can't smile like a normal person.

We stopped at a few of the taverns, which try to keep their fare as historical as possible. 

They have a beer based on a older recipe (with some adjustments, obviously, for modern tastes). It is delicious.


Next year's Christmas card? 

Maybe I'll get a Christmas card out one year...

We also learned about baking bread in this outdoor oven.

Finally, look at that beautiful basket. They created these for complete utilitarian use, not for beauty, the way we look at baskets today. 


I think I've found a new craft I'd like to master....

I just can't stop. :)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Works in Progress Wednesday 6

It's been awhile since I posted one of these babies.

And I have so. many. WiPS. 

Whoops. Quilt ADD getting the better of me. 

But here's the latest (and where I have actually made progress). 

Remember the fabric I purchased about a month ago? 

It's starting to take shape!

Into a Circle of Geese quilt!

This is block number 1 of 9. 

The seams don't really show THAT much in's the light through the background. But I kind of like it, reminds me of stained glass.

I've been wanting to try my hand at one of these for seemingly forever.

And I'm pretty stoked about this one. 

Knowing who it's going to...I have pretty much free aesthetic range.

So, in that spirit, I'm diving in.  Bright colors, bold prints. I'm having a great time!

I'm planning the geese and cutting them out block by block to make sure I like the arrangements together.

81 geese can get overwhelming otherwise. :)

And my trusty pincushion is helping. 

What else are you supposed to do with those VS puppies? ;)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Cleaning in the New Year's Spirit

So...I am a geek.

And that is shocking to exactly no one. 

In fact, my co-worker, Dorsa, is continuously laughing (in a nice way) at how much my other co-worker, Erin, and I own our inner geeks.

So, in my supreme geekiness, I was thrilled this weekend to discover a new way to clean my stainless steel appliances.

Yes, yes. I know that isn't exactly geeky per se. But, it is uncool. And I don't care. 

Because someone out there is going to appreciate this. Or not. 

But I will. :)

Let's get a couple of things straight first. I have a love/hate relationship with stainless steel. Yes, it's trendy and modern and looks updated and all that jazz.

But it also attracts fingerprints and other things that look gunky. And, at least in my experience, is a pain in the behinny to clean.

For example, I have this stainless steel cleaner crap from Method. And, really, I hate it. It smells good. It kind of works. Sometimes. If I put a lot of elbow grease behind it. 

Although, I sort of feel like what won't work with elbow grease? 

I've seen a bunch of tips on Pinterest, but I find that they either don't work for me or they're not worth the effort.

So, I just find that at some point I stop bothering and that is how I end up with appliances that look like this:

I actually feel like this picture doesn't fully capture the actual gross factor.



So, since I've been on this organize my kitchen kick, I've also been on a I should clean things that maybe don't get cleaned on a regular basis kick, too. 

Don't get my wrong. I wipe down my surfaces so they're not germy. But soap/water still leave my stainless still looking dirty. 

As you saw. 

So, I was actually cleaning something else with my Barkeeper's Friend and realized that it would probably work on my appliances.

And look, friends! It does. :)

See the difference? 

Plus, waaaaay less elbow grease than the crap that's marketed to clean my stainless steel. 


I just put some in a bowl, wet down a paper towel and rubbed into the appliances in kind of a paste. You do want to try to rub in the same direction as the grain to the degree possible. 

Then, I took a second paper towel, wet it down and wiped the paste off. Finally, I dried it with a clean dish towel. 


A couple of spots took a little elbow grease, but if it's something I do more regularly (which I will because it's not such an undertaking), then it'll be even faster next time. 

If you try this, I would try it in a small spot first to make sure that it works with your surfaces and follow the instructions on the can. 

Also, use Windex/Glass Cleaner to clean the windows of your appliances, like on the microwave. I got a little overzealous and scratched the button panel on my microwave a little bit. It's not bad, but I won't do it again there. 

Little scratched. Not bad, nothing to lose sleep over, but not something I'll do again.
It gets a bit messy, so I changed out of the new Nats shirt Mr. Gardener got me for Christmas and into a raggedy shirt and my trusty holey jeans. If you're wearing Yankees gear, then I wouldn't bother. ;) It can also dry out your hands a bit, so you might consider wearing gloves.

How about you? Found anything to make your life easier?

Why not join the party over at Still Being Molly & Lipgloss & Crayons?

still being [molly]

Monday, January 6, 2014

It's almost garden season time again

I am not a fan of winter.

Mostly because it's just so cold. I detest being cold. 

Tights in funky patterns and colors may be the only redeeming qualities of winter. Oh and my hat. I'll have to show y'all a picture.

And unfortunately, I believe we're in for a long one this year. It's only December and I think we've had more snow than the last two years combined. 

So, to feel a little better, I decided to start reflecting on this summer's garden, since, after all, I will need to begin seed starting (for some things) at the end of this month/beginning of next.

Also, since I am in the throes of kitchen re-organization, my time is generally allocated there this week, so this is the best I have for you. :) Thanks for sticking in there.

Yellow squash did very well. Regular ol' zucchini not so much. But that was my fault, since I prematurely destroyed them thinking that I was dealing with the dreaded vine borer again. oops.

Yellow squash is so versatile in the kitchen, as well. 

And these little beauties. They're so cute. Definitely need a few more of these plants to make an impact, however. They're little bitty guys, maybe an inch and a half in diameter. 

Either way, I planted too many plants this past year and I need to thin back a bit. That's the tough part.

May your week be warm and your gardening brain be getting ready.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

Mr. Gardener and I would like to wish you a happy New Year!

May your year be filled with fun, friends, and family!

And may we reflect on the abundant blessings that we have from God through Christ!

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." 1 Peter 1:3

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17