Monday, February 28, 2011

2011 Gardening Season begins

Yesterday, Mr. Romance and I started the first planting in the garden for 2011.
About 5 weeks ago I bought some seed potatoes, 
California Whites
Norkotah Russets
and
Yukon Gold.
They have been "hardening" in the fridge for several weeks and today was planting day.
Last year we grew the potatoes in three separate trash cans. 
We decided that was a good way to grow the potatoes so we will do it the same way this year.

We are having some work done in the yard. 
We will move these bins after the new planter is finished

Last year we planted the potatoes in compost and then continued to cover them with straw.
Oops, we only got potatoes that rooted in the compost, so not many.
This year we will cover the leaves, as the grow, with compost.


Both ways are recommended, but the straw just didn't work for us.
Now, we wait until the potatoes start growing, then cover with compost.
Hopefully, we will get a good bushel or two of potatoes to share with family and friends.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday






I thought it would be fun to participate in this Shadow Shot Sunday that Hey Harriet 
features every week on her blog.
Here is my first try at a shadow shot.

Can you guess what it is?
I enhanced the photo with textures from Florabella.






http://heyharriet.blogspot.com/

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Re-organized and ready to begin a new project


I started with this mess.


I have finally finished re-organizing my fabrics. I have them all sorted by color and have weeded out all the little scraps and leftovers from previous quilts and put them into a box. I have a separate box for projects (20 21, to be exact) that are already planned out, or fabrics that go together, but no pattern in mind. There are also a few patterns in that box, but no fabrics for them yet.
I have 4 UFO’s, which I think is pretty darn good compared to the number I have read that a lot of people have left unfinished.
One is my son’s quilt that he started sewing a while ago and lost interest in finishing.
Another is a pieced photo quilt, which I lost interest in finishing.
Then there is a strip quilt made with left over fabrics from a quilt I made my goddaughter in 2004. It just needs border and bindings.
  And last, my first hand appliqu├ęd quilt that I need to remove the borders from and finish.
One thing I have learned from being a scrapbooker for almost twenty years is do not get emotionally caught up in buying too much product (whether it be paper or fabric) ahead of time. When I first began quilting I did get caught up in over buying. Now I look at some of these fabrics and say to myself, “What was I thinking”…I think there’s a song with those words in it.
I have three quilts at the quilter right now.  I have the binding fabrics ready to finish those quilts when they return.
So now my fabric and pattern stash looks like this:



Today I feel like I can start one of my planned projects but which one?
Here is a list of what I have:
1. Hexagon Park by Camille Roskelley made with Giddy
2. Fruit and Vegetable printed fat quarters
3. Square One using Petite Ecole
    4. Placemats using Java Panel by Moda fabrics
5. Misc mug rugs made with Java
6. A quilt called Les Calanques (I bought the fabric in Nimes, France several years ago).
7. Glory Garden Flag
8.   ½ yard each of 7 fabrics from Urban Owls by Kaufman fabrics
9. Brown and aqua fabric for a market bag Completed 2/27/11
10. 7 fat quarters of navy and white fabrics bought in Amsterdam years ago.
11. 9 fat quarters of muted blues, browns and yellows also purchased in Amsterdam.
  1.  A Central Park jelly roll
  2. Blessings kit by Quilt-n-Piece
  3.  Madeleine’s Lemonade Stand kit
  4.  A quilt of the month called All Around the Town. I’ve made one square, but it’s major applique and I need to know I can take my time with this one and not have to make it all at once.
  5. SINGLE GIRL QUILT pattern that I love but no fabric has spoken to me yet for this one.
  6. Hooked on Hankies panel and yardage for my mom
  7. Construction panel and yardage for a little boy
  8. I also want to use that box of scraps and design some sort of original scrap quilt.
  9.  A pattern for a really cute bag
  10. Buttercup table runner and placemats by Fig Tree Quilts added 2/28/11
 So I think I can be busy with these projects alone for the next couple of years but you know I will find something new to make along the way, too.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

My Quilt Journey Continues with Kyle's Quilt



It's been a while since I blogged about my quilt journey.
My 9th quilt was made for my youngest son, Kyle, in January 2004.
When I asked him what colors he wanted, he said 
"Orange, black, lime green and Purple",
which sounded absolutely ugly to me. 
I found some great fabrics in these colors and they looked sort of like an African theme to me.
If you've read my other posts you know I didn't pay attention to who designed the fabrics or what manufacturer made them. I've since learned to keep track so I can give credit to the fabric designers.
I used the Yellow Brick Road pattern and pieced my quilt randomly.
This is a very large quilt. More than queen sized, but not quite king sized.
Kyle designed the back of the quilt. 
He wanted a heartagon on it,
which is the logo of one of his favorite European bands called H-Y-M.

I'm so happy to know that Kyle still uses this quilt everyday.
 It's actually on his bed right now keeping him warm in Brazil, 
where he is an oral surgery resident.
Sometimes I think he's just there on vacation because we mostly receive photos like this
and this


But he also sends photos of cases he has completed,
(I won't gross you out with those photos),
just so we know he is hard at work and learning so much.
We miss him and await his  and Julia's return to California in July.




Wednesday, February 23, 2011

WiP Organizing my Fabric

Simple post, my work in progress...
trying to turn this mess of boxes and bins and bags of fabric
that I have collected over the last 8 years

into some semblance of order.
Stay tuned for my work in progress.
Check out the other WiP posts at Canoe Ridge Creations
http://canoeridgecreations.blogspot.com/2011/02/wip-wednesday-15-and-winner.html

New Look to My Blog

Thanks to my super smart, super sweet, super computer savvy SISTER, my blog has a new look.
 I love it!
Geri was here for over 4 hours perfecting each and every aspect of the blog and helping me to understand all the ins and outs of blog design.
I'm ok on normal computer stuff but all the HTML stuff goes right past me and out the window.
If you don't already know about my sister, check out her blogs...
yes, she has two blogs
She is an incredible artist and writer,
 full of wisdom and able to understand all this techno stuff. 
I am so glad we are close and have found something to really bond over. 
We are so different.
 Let me just say this...she got the brains in the family...
I don't know what I got?
Oh, maybe it was the fashion sense gene...
Croatia, 2009

Dressing up in mom's old formals
Geri on the far left, me far right.

Our family, 1976
Geri and her hubby, Paul

We love our Uncle Al
Me, mom and Geri a few years ago

Or maybe I got the change your haircut every year gene.
Anyway...
After searching for these photos, I decided the next time we are together we need to get a photo of just us!
I love you, Geri!



Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

a few Florabella actions and textures and you achieve perfection.

Sharing a Tidbit Tuesday

"My blog friend,  KarrieLyne , at Freckledwhimsy.com
 shared this tidbit today and I just have to share it too. 
What a savings this is. 
Those replacement blades are usually 10 bucks each!
I just ordered 5 and with shipping it's the same price as 1 1/2 blades. 
Yeah for saving money!



"I think most of us use rotary cutters. If you don't, grab your purse or wallet 
and get in your car and go get one, and a cutting mat and rulers. Yes, now!
 You can thank me later. :) 

Along with those rotary cutters, we must have rotary blades to go in them. 
We also need to change these blades every so often because as they get
 dull, our cuts are not as clean and we can't have that. As soon as you change 
that blade and cut with it, you will automatically wonder why on Earth did you
 wait so long to change it! There's nothing like a fresh blade in a rotary cutter. :)


Dilemma. They really are not cheap. They are vital though, so we spend 
our good hard earned money on them hoping to catch a sale at JoAnn
 fabrics to get them at 50% off! If not, we usually find ourselves waiting 
just a wee bit longer to change that blade. Yes, you know you do.


Why am I babbling on about this, you ask? Go ahead, ask. I won't mind.


Ok, let me tell you anyway. :)


A dear reader, Kenna, over at Kenna Quilts sent me a tip about rotary 
blades. This might sound goofy but I think I just might give these a go.


Carpet blades. Two in a pack for $1.49. <----- Did you see that price!!?? 
I think its really worth a try at that price and if they work, just think how much 
more fabric you can buy!!


Ohhh...you probably want to know where to get these huh? Well, head
 on over to Harbor Freight Tools (click the name and it takes you right to 
the blades) and you will find the blades that will fit the 45mm Olfa cutter. 
Kenna said she has used these in her Olfa and loves them, but she isn't 
sure how they would fit in other 45mm cutters. Still...worth a try in my book.


As a matter of fact, I just placed my order for 5 sets. 


Carpet cutters. Who da thunk it? Thanks Kenna!!!


Much Love!!!"

Monday, February 21, 2011

Trying a new quilter

I finished this quilt a few weeks ago 

and now that I am back home I have it all ready to send off to Natalia who is a long arm quilter.
Ever since I started quilting 8 years ago, I have always had the same person quilt my projects. Susie uses that big, huge computer quilting machine and I have always been very happy with her work. 
But, 8 years is a long time to not try something new (I am a creature of habit), so I discovered Natalia's blog by accident and saw the amazing work she does with a long arm quilting machine and decided it's time to break away from the mold. So my quilt top and backing are all package up and ready to ship off to Utah tomorrow. I drove all the way to the post office today and then realized...oops, it's President's Day, post office is closed.
I am so excited to see what she comes up with for the quilting design. She says it's a three week turnaround, so I will post when I get it back.

Yesterday, I also finished another market bag. 
This is my third prize in the One World One Heart giveaway. 
So it's all ready to ship off to Janice in Florida. Hope she likes it, I sure do.
I followed the instructions I found on Megan's blog. It's a little different from the others I have made and just as quick and easy.




Sunday, February 20, 2011

Strawberry Cake

I'm back blogging again. It's been a super busy couple of weeks topped off with the birth of our sweet Olivia...our 8th granchild.
One of the other things that kept me busy was the One World One Heart Blog Tour. I visited over 600 blogs and probably posted a comment on at least half of them. After posting you became eligible for a door prize. I won a scrapbook from http://joaniebolognie.blogspot.com/
I'll be watching for the mail man.
I chose three winners from my 239 comments. 
One person in France, one in New York and one in Florida. 
Today I packed all the market bags (that were my door prizes) and have them ready to send tomorrow.
I also participated in an auction for a young woman named Jenny, who has Leukemia. 
Her friends organized an auction for her. So I made a market bag for that too. 
The winner of the auction lives in Ohio. 
So I now have a stack of packages to go to the post office.
Yesterday we had dear friends over to talk and plan our vacation that we are taking together in a few weeks. 
I'll keep you in suspense and you can follow along when I post from afar.
Debi and I met as juniors in high school and have remained great friends for 42 years. 
She and her husband, Greg, are wonderful examples of commitment and love and it is so nice to be around people who enjoy each other and also enjoy the same things Mr. Romance and I enjoy.
We had appetizers and dessert at our house and went out to dinner in between both courses.
I think we made some plans and I am excited to go away again.
I made a wonderful Strawberry cake for dessert.


You really should try it. It's easy and delicious.
The recipe is my version of a recipe in the Cake Doctor cookbook by Anne Byrn.


The Cake
1 package (18.25 oz) plain white cake mix
1 package (3 oz) strawberry gelatin
4 T  all-purpose flour
1 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
4 large eggs
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries
3/4 cup strawberry jam, warmed to soften

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
8 T. (1 stick) butter, room temperature
6 cups confectioner's sugar (more or less as needed for good consistency)
3/4 cup fresh strawberries, put in the blender

gather the ingredients and preheat the oven to 350'F

grease and flour three 8" cake pans
Place the cake mix, gelatin, flour, oil, sugar, milk, eggs, and strawberries (with any juice) 
in the large mixing bowl and blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute.
Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase mixer to medium and beat another two minutes, scraping sides of bowl if needed.
Strawberries should be well blended into the batter.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Generosity

Sweet Judith from Paper Welten
has decided to make everyone who commented on her OWOH blog tour a gift.
How cool and generous is that?
She said to expect something from her in the mail this year.
She lives in Germany 
and is a paper artist.
Thanks, Judith, I can't wait to see what you create with my 
idea...hydrangea, dahlias and daffodils.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

I WON!!!

So excited to be a winner on the OWOH Blog Tour.
Joan of Full of Bolognie has randomly picked my comment as her winner.
Yeah! I won a beautiful, handmade photo scrapbook.
Thank you Joan!
be sure to check out her blog.

One World One Heart

One World One Heart Blog Tour has come to a close.
I had over 3000 pages views during this tour.
 I am overwhelmed by all the kind comments I have received. 
Make that 235 comments!
I added 19 new followers!


I hope I won't disappoint them.
My ego is about ready to soar through the roof.
I started following about 40 new blogs this week.
It has been an amazing week.
It began last Saturday with the birth of my granddaughter, Olivia.
I spent 9 days with my son and his beautiful family.
It's tough to be Bubbi and disciplinarian
when they are so darn cute.
I am so glad I was able to spend this time with them and I hope I was a help to them.
I was also in a quilt competition.
My quilt made top 6 and got into the finals!

I didn't win but was sure happy to place in the top 6!
I also participated in an auction for a young woman named Jenny.
I made a market bag for that auction that sold for $22.

I don't know Jenny, but she has Leukemia,
and her friends put together an auction for her that raised over $6000.
My son, Michael, celebrated his 34th birthday.
I know, he's handsome!

The week is winding down and I am heading home today.

Congratulations to the winners of my market bags.
First Place ...Comment #46 is Manola from bellalavie.canalblog.com

Second Place ...Comment #216 is from fallingladies-fallingladies.blogspot.com

and I decided to make a third bag (to be made when I get home) because of all the wonderful comments I received.
so my third place winner is:
comment #203...Janice from Cheeky Rose Boutique.

Please contact me through this blog by Sunday, February 20, 2011.





Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

 This is first time in 40 years that Mr. Romance and I have not been together for Valentine's Day.
But he sent me flowers...

and a sweet card.

What I did get to do is spend Valentine's Day with him...

Jack, almost 8 years old, so smart and clever.
I've learned more bout Legos this past week than I ever thought was possible.

and him...


Little Sammy is so sweet. He loves to play Wii and Angry Birds on Bubbi's iPhone.

and then there's Davis...


who sings all day in between telling everyone what to do.
She's 2 going on 15. 

and this sweet little one...
so cuddly and small.
These days will be gone before we know it. 
I remember when Jack was first born and now he is nearly 8 years old!
Olivia is 2 days old and the reason I am away from Mr. Romance.
I came for her birth and to help out with the kids.
Making memories with the grandkids, my son and daughter-in-law, is a perfect reason to be away from Mr. Romance on Valentine's Day. 
We'll celebrate when I get home.


They start with tiny footprints,
but they leave a huge imprint on my heart.