Monday, April 30, 2012

bake my cake 2012

so, remember the chocolate meringue ten layer cake from last friday?



it's up for voting at bake my cake 2012 on movita beacoup.  you can vote for your favorite here.

the top votes from each group will go on to the finals tomorrow, so get your votes (for me)in this morning people!  if you're voting for someone else, take your time, you have til friday.  haha.


and if, like my husband, you are a teensy bit confused about why your wife made a photo collage of val and loni and a cake, you can read the back story here and here.  basically, "the lady doth protest too much, me thinks" and i gave her what she really wanted, a creepy cake filled with val and loni and strange kids licking her cake.  this made me crack up the entire time i made it. 



and it was really really good too.  if you've never made a meringue cake, it's definitely worth trying at least once.  it's crispy and the chocolate chips are crunchy and the combo of the cream and berries and crusty meringue is amazing. 

anyways, go vote for me!  i'm up against eggton so i'm going to need your support!!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

pallets 101

so after weeks of staring at the piles of pallets outside the grain store in our little town, i finally got up the nerve to go in and ask for one.  for free.  yep.  i marched on in and said, hey can i have some of your stuff for nothing?  not actually.  i stammered and probably looked like a dork.  but she said, sure, you can have one of those over there.

and then as i was getting ready to pick one up, here came ralph.  (it said so on the embroidered name patch on his shirt)  and he proceeded to ask me lots of questions, and then said "ok, those two over there, those are seed pallets and you can't have them, but these here are bean pallets and they're a little heavier, but these two here are just some flimsy little pallets, but what did you want to do again?"  and when i told him i wanted to use the wood to make a barn quilt, he actually knew what one was and told me to go over to so & so's and take a look at theirs, don't think they used a pallet but you could just run over and take a looksie and see how they hung it up, and then he told me if i got home and wanted a bigger one, just to bring that one back and choose another one.

he was so darn friendly!  my dad actually worked for a place like that when he was a teen, and i can just picture him, with his embroidered name patch "Tom", talking everyone's ear off!  it really made me smile.  so does the perfectly weathered pallet i brought home.


i love our little tractor.  :)   i'm going to try to take the slats off, and then reattach them on one side only with no spaces in between.  that's my plan.  and then i'll paint a quilt block on it, and then seal it somehow.  now if i could just decide what block i want to do!

and last weekend, troy got all the plywood cut for the brook laundry dresser!  he said he'd help me build it today.  i'll have some new projects to share soon, i hope!  meanwhile, check out the flickr pool for the modern barn quilt paint along!


Friday, April 27, 2012

the best birthday cake in the world

heck yeah it is!

happy happy birthday to movita

i present, a triple layer chocolate meringue cake, with whipped cream and fresh strawberries!  it has mini chocolate chips in the meringue.  and chocolate shavings on top.  the only way this could be better is if i grew the berries myself.




excus-ay moi while i rant a bit:

all the runners we had on our strawberry plants last year have disappeared.  in possibly related news, i've been practicing shooting my gun at beer cans (*they hate these cans!).  please don't faint, but i will be targeting rabbits next, unless they stop eating all my plants and trees.  it's on you now, rabbits.  they have chewed up the red maple tree troy planted for me the very first year we moved in, and now it's mostly dead (except for the maple bush growing at the base of the trunk).  they didn't actually break the tree off, but they nibbled the bark around the base and it died after that.  poor tree.


and the daylilies are chewed off at ground level.  apparently dusk = happy hour, free apps! to bunnies.  any friendly rabbit deterrent advice is welcome.




ok, back to cakes.  i planned to make this cake to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary on the 20th.  only i made these instead and promptly gained 5 pounds.  but after seeing a cute 7 layer/year anniversary cake online, i really wanted to make a 10 layer something!   go big or go home, right? so ten layers.  3 meringue, 3 whipped cream, 3 strawberries, and 1 layer chocolate shavings.  yeah, i'm reaching with the shavings.  but it still counts!

and since i promised movita loni ,val and awesome sauce, i couldn't NOT deliver.

damn, that's hot.


ahem.  i did not realize at the time that val had kind of, let himself go.  not that there's anything wrong with gaining weight.  just ask my belly! but i couldn't help cracking up at this.  "i went to the...




also - side note - when making that "amazing" collage, i somehow managed to set it as my desktop background and screen saver.  and later my son said "who are those people?!" and i pretended not to know.  just some random folk, son.  go watch some tv.  WKRP in cincinatti, anyone?

*if you comment with this movie reference you are my new BFF.  congrats.  you rock.

my kandon'tsky

another amazing guild meeting last night!  it was time to present our kandinsky challenge quilts, which will be displayed at the machine quilters showcase in may.  (wow, is that week going to be a busy one or what?! more on that later!)  anyways, my challenge quilt is still pinned to the wall upstairs.  i needed 143 2 1/2 solid squares, and i was hoping to not repeat any fabrics but i only made it halfway.  i pixelated the image from this:


to this:


and started going through my scads of charms, looking for solids, batiks and tonal fabrics.  and i actually liked how it was going but was too lazy to push through.



and now i kinda wish i had, even though all the other quilts would have blown me out the competition!  i mean, really.  look at these awesome quilts that won best in show last night!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Modern Quilts Illustrated review!

I recently had the chance to review a new magazine,
 Modern Quilts Illustrated!   
Designed by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr, it retails at $14.  This is one to buy for sure!  It features three original quilt projects, as well as lots of great information on choosing fabrics and colors.


This is a high quality publication - no advertisements, a sturdy cover, and excellent photography.  Each issue will feature The Cutting Table, two pages filled with tips for combining fabrics and more, trivia and new products and patterns.  Palette Chasing is another feature you can expect each issue, where they will share color inspiration found in unexpected places, like the Library of Congress!  They are planning three issues a year, each with three original projects.  They assure us that these are modern quilts that will still appeal to the traditional quilter!

Ok, so if you're used to getting magazines that are over 100 pages in length, you may feel like, huh, 17 pages.  But those big mags are filled with ads, and more ads, and just a handful of projects!  Modern Quilts illustrated reads more like a modern pattern booklet than a magazine, which I really enjoyed.  I love it's uncluttered design, gorgeous photos, and $14 for three quilt patterns?  That's a steal!  For some sneak peeks, check this out!  I can't wait to start Beatrix!  Looks like Sawyer likes this one too :)



I am so excited for next month, when Weeks Ringle is speaking at the KCMQG meeting!  She writes Craft Nectar, and designs quilts, fabrics, and much more with her husband Bill Kerr at FunQuilts and Modern Quilts Studio.  Thanks so much for letting me check out your newest project!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

meet me at my picnic!

it's week two of sewmamasew's fat quarter idol contest!  this week's theme is "meet me at the picnic" and i chose ruby star shining's vintage flowers green as my starting point. 



then i added in some bright deep turquoise and yellows.  you can see my whole board here.  i think these colors would make a great picnic blanket, and i love the pops of purple and turquoise! 

sorry for the lack of images, our laptop is hanging by a thread (broken keyboard and hinge, and now my print screen button on my extra keyboard isn't working!) and of course, picnik just closed down, frowny face.  so i don't have a pretty pic to share.  hopefully i'll figure something out soon!

now.  i have a pattern to finish testing today, and the kcmqg kandinsky challenge to complete by thursday.  time to get that sewing machine humming!  have a great week!

Friday, April 20, 2012

10 years and counting!

today is our tenth wedding anniversary!

to celebrate, we left the kids at home with grandma bert and headed to KC last night!  troy used to travel a lot for work, and so he had holiday inn points to redeem.  we used a free night and they upgraded us to an executive suite!  it was very fancy and grown up.

view from the 27th floor at the crown plaza.


we ate portobello fries (OMG yum!) at the phoenix, listening to music and enjoying some boulevard brews.  then we headed to manifesto for a unique drinking experience!  first, text them to see if you can come in.  then enter through the alley behind the rieger hotel and get buzzed in the back door.


then head down some steep old stairs to a rock wall basement.  it's totally dark and lit by candles.  the menu is explained and you have the difficult decision of which drink to try.

my drink came with a sidecar!  so cute!

warning! these are "boozy little devils", to quote our server, whose name i've forgotten.  probably because of the booze.  but my favorite was also the first, a "beautiful red bell".  a very interesting blend of gin, red bell pepper, mint and lime.  it smells like tomato plant leaves, and tastes very fresh and unique.

we also tried the smokin' choke, a whiskey drink which smelled divine but was soooooo strong.  delish, but potent.  the santeria sour, mmm.  and the winter in buenos aires was good, if you like butternut squash, which i belatedly realized i did not.  ah well.

we left there to hit the power & light district, just blocks from our hotel.  we ate chicken nachos at the bar louie where a guy was singing an acoustic set.  then tried to go to howl at the moon only to be turned away because it was booked for a private party.

(the last time we went to the P & L we couldn't get in because there was a Kentucky Derby party and we didn't have big floppy hats.  a bar district isn't much fun if you aren't allowed in.)

so we ended up at a cowboy bar where i contemplated riding the mechanical bull until a hot chick rode it backwards, and i realized i would probably end up hurting myself and not look nearly as good as she did.



anyways, we enjoyed a nice night away, and i'm hoping we don't wait ten more years to do it again!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

sweet child o' mine


ah, axel rose. GnR. sweet child o' mine.
oh my.  the memories that song brings.  my awful hair, guess? jeans with zippers, esprit, swatch watches, locked in my room listening to KKRD hogging the phone and feeling like life was just beginning.

you may have already heard - but sewmamasew is sponsoring a great contest called fat quarter idol.  simple to enter.  just choose 12 fabrics from sewmamasew's shop, and create a board on pinterest to pin them to.
here's mine.

i couldn't fit all of them in a screen grab, so click on the link to go to the actual board!


i started with one of my all favorite fabrics, graphic mums from heather bailey's freshcut line.



they brought this one back, so if you missed it the first time around, now's your chance to grab some!  true story, the first "designer" fabric i bought was a homemade charm pack off ebay.  i bought it just for the mum print. 

anyways, i love all the prints in chose, they are timeless but fun, soft soothing but not too babyish.  i stuck with the aquas and yellows and added just a pop of pink.  i wish i could make a swoon quilt using these for emma's room!  i'd use the stripe for the binding and the eggshell for the background.  so pretty!

anyone know how i can make a tiled mosaic of my pins?  i haven't been able to figure it out.  and you still have time to enter!  here's the rules, and good luck!


Sunday, April 15, 2012

tooth fairy visit

emma lost another tooth this week.  it was so loose it could bend horizontally, but she wouldn't let us yank it out!  it actually fell out while she was brushing her teeth!  so we put it in her tooth fairy pouch, and she wrote a letter to the fairy.

only, she was busy decorating the letter with all her scrapbook stuff!  and then she left it on her desk where the, ahem, "tooth fairy" didn't see it until the day after her visit.  probably a good thing, because the fairy doesn't have any answers for those great questions!



anyways, the fairy left her another origami dollar, this time folded into a peacock.  but emma said it was a turkey.  and i couldn't correct her.  :)



and my newest gift addition, a silver charm for her bracelet! i gave her an E this time, but i have a couple more stashed back, for the next couple of teeth that come out.

in case you'd like to try folding some money for your own tooth fairy visits, here are a couple other easy ones i've done.  last time i did a heart.  (i should have taken pics at the time, they are a little messed up now!)



and the time before a butterfly.



and before that i made her a ring, rolled up a letter from the tooth fairy and tucked it inside.


there's also a ton of great ideas in this link round up at under the table and dreaming!  i was thrilled to have mine included!

sadly, our 6 year old son, who hasn't lost any teeth yet, told me he thinks i am the tooth fairy.  he said he's pretty sure.  of course, once she leaves some presents for him i bet he will change his tune!!  haha!  i don't want them to grow up this fast!! 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

pretty little charms project


i have added a new button above called "pretty little charms project".  you can read about the project there!  if you have done a swap with me, or bought fabric from my etsy, you have probably received a couple of the pretty little charms!  i would love to see things being made with them, so if you have used them in something, won't you please add it to my flickr group? 

want to make something but don't have any charms?  leave me a comment, i have extras i can mail out!  i'd love to see what blocks you could come up with!  (they are 3 inch charms.)

happy making!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

wednesday already?!

hope everyone had a wonderful easter!  we had beautiful weather and even a nice rain to help the garden out. the kids enjoyed several egg hunts, four actually - preschool, town, church & family!

so much candy!  do you have a favorite? ( mine is sixlets.)

i finally finished up my march blocks for do good stitches.


although i kind of like them like this too :)



and i got my april cross blocks finished too!  that's gotta be a record for me, a full 2 weeks before the end of the month!



it helps that they are super easy.  i also cut charms for a swap i'm doing.  swoon, i haven't forgotten you!  i took my "design wall" (flannel tablecloth) down to clean in my sewing nook, and moved my ironing stuff there instead.  and now, i'm not sure where i'll put it.  maybe i'll make a smaller version to hang above the ironing station?


oh! i found this weird little dowel doodad at the thrift store yesterday, and knew it would be perfect for my grosgrain ribbons.  and it was.  :)



and so were these two lil bunnies.  i found them about 2 weeks ago, just in time for easter.  love his little pipe!


Friday, April 6, 2012

a quickie!

i whipped up this top the other morning, from this undaunted pattern by jennifer casa - and i'm not so sure about it.  when i first put it on, i thought no way.

nice grainy bathroom shot :)
but then i wore it around the house the next morning, and it is the most comfortable, breezy top ever.  it's a perfect house shirt.  ok, maybe not the most flattering top on me, i never have looked good in boat neck tops.  my shoulders are too broad and rounded or something.  anyways.  i'm not 100% sure i made the neckline correctly, but it works.  and it used up some fabric i'd had laying about for years :)  THANK YOU everybody, you are all very kind.  i'll try not to complain so much!


what are you making today?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

off to a good start!

love easy peasy projects.  like this remnant-turned-valance for our mud room.



do you ever check out the remnant bins at joann's?  i found this paisley home decor print for a little under $3.  hemmed all four edges, clipped them up and i love how the light shines through the print!  perfect to brighten up our boring entry.  next up for that room is hanging new hooks, moving the huge mirror, and painting all the trim white.



i usually find some kona cuts floating around in the bin - what a steal.  remnants are usually 50% off the retail.  so yeah, almost a full yard of kona for under $4.  yahoo!  and another project checked off the list.  now, off to water the gardens - it is crazy hot for april 3nd, right?  i turned my air on yesterday.  sheesh.

Monday, April 2, 2012

for emma

last week i finished up a skirt i started for emma ages ago.  not sure why i do that.  all it needed to be done was the waistband stitched closed.  c'mon, me.  



i used a pattern from grace violet, but i can't find it anymore on her site.  luckily when i started it, i made it a little big so it still fits her.  she was super excited to wear it too, which made me happy.  i made her a matching hair bow and she loved it!


the fabric was an eiffel tower print left over from an apron project - not sure, i think it's michael miller.  and some cheapo walmart prints.  anyways. nice to check that project off.  i have a couple of things like that, cluttering up my sewing nook.  so this week's goal is to finish them up and clear them out!  what are you working on this week?

linking up to skip to my lou's made by you monday!

 Skip To My Lou

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