Monday, July 30, 2007

Moving with Number 99.

Hmmm. If you've been keeping track of that little counter over there in the left-hand column, you know that this is post number 99. And you know what that means. Number 100 is next -- with its little 100th post tradition, and all. ;-)
BUT wait. Before we get to post Number 100, I have just a little favor to ask. Or maybe this is a bribe. I've moved Thimbleanna. Jumping over to a new host and Wordpress. I hate to be such a bother -- I'm sorry to ask you to update all your bloglines and links, but hopefully it will be painless and before long we'll be settled in our new home. Because I would miss you all terribly if you didn't move with me! And because it's lonely over there all by myself!!!

So, please make a few adjustments and join me HERE. For post 100 and a little giveaway. Thank you from the bottom of my lil' ol' heart!


Friday, July 27, 2007

Christmas in July

Thank you so much for all your very kind comments about SweetiePie's pink purse. You're all so very sweet -- and you know how much I love your comments! The little love birds are out for a special dinner tonight and when they return, I'll give her the purse. I hope she likes it!
I've seen lots of posts this month about Christmas in July. Oh my! It's unbelievable that next Christmas is closer to us in time than last Christmas. There's good reason to think Christmas in July when you make homemade gifts. They take planning and time to make. It's hard to even think about it though. Hopefully I'll get my act together in the next few weeks and sit down and do a little thinking about gifts for this year.
This Christmas tree skirt is a "Christmas in July" project from a year or two ago. I had to start planning in advance. I made it for MeMum and gave it to her for Christmas. She desperately needed a tree skirt as she'd been wrapping her tree stand with quilt batting for years. Every year I planned to make her one, but I could never decide on a style. She loves Victorian things and for a long time, I sort of planned to make her a crazy patch tree skirt. But, I just couldn't ever get excited about that plan, so it never happened. Then one day, we were in a quilt shop and she commented on how much she loved redwork. How well I remember that lightbulb moment. Right then and there I decided I'd make her a redwork tree skirt. I love embroidery, so it was really fun to make. I adapted the sleigh and reindeer outlines from a wool table runner project called All Through the Night by Bonnie Sullivan.This tree skirt is much larger than normal because MeMum and BigDaddy always get a big tree -- 10 to 12 feet high. Big Daddy always puts the stand on this huge piece of plywood, so the tree skirt had to be big enough to cover the plywood. MeMum loved it and it looked pretty under her tree last Christmas.

So, now I'll yell at us. Get off of that computer and get to work on your Christmas in July! Oh, and have a great weekend!


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Hard Work Deserves a Reward.

SweetiePie has taken me under her wing. I started trying to clean the sewing room a few weeks ago by folding fabric, etc. and I just didn't get very far. The poor room is just too far gone. I got bored at the lack of progress and lost interest. Enter SweetiePie.After dinner last night she said "C'mon Mrs. Thimbleanna, lets go tackle that sewing room." She grabbed armfuls of fabric and moved them to the adjacent room and the ping pong table (where much folding will take place.) She cleared shelves. Ahhhh. That felt so good. Then we had room to work. We sorted and organized the paper supplies. We worked until midnight and got about 1/3 of the work (not counting fabric folding) done. Painting and sewing supplies are left to do.I'd show you pictures, but it's possible that you'll never see pictures of the dungeon. My sewing room shares space with all the household mechanicals. I've managed to partition the room a little with some big cabinets, but it's still dark and dingy. No windows. I'd love to have a spacious, bright sewing room, but the truth of the matter is, as long as I have a little light and electricity, I can still sew. On sewing days that are just too pretty to miss, I move my machine upstairs. Can't let a little thing like a dungeon come between us and our sewing, now can we?But, I digress. SweetiePie worked hard to get me going. And she gave me just the push I needed. Even if she can't help me anymore, I have a plan for the rest of the organizing, so I can finish myself. I think she deserves a little present, don't you? So, I thought I'd give her this little bag I just made. (Remember TheEmptyNestChild's scarf? It wasn't a scarf.)I saw this pattern at an Indianapolis LYS. They were out of the pattern, so I just bought some yarn and decided I could figure it out myself. It's just a rectangle of knitting with cables in it. Any combo of cables would probably be cute. And it was a pretty fast project 'cause it's knitted on size 17 needles. I mail ordered the purse handles from Ewe & Eye.
So, special thanks to SweetiePie. She's a keeper. And I'm sure you can tell why I named her SweetiePie!


Monday, July 23, 2007

I've Been A Very Good Girl.

At least that's what I'm telling myself! Because I never win anything, but I've won two blog giveaways in the last few weeks. I'm a VERY lucky girl. My first big win arrived today in the mail. An absolutely FABULOUS apron from the very lovely Sarah at A Stitch in Time.

Sarah was much too modest about this apron when she blogged about it here. It's perfect. I love it. It's just my style. If only you knew Sarah ... it's just my style! The front is made of denim and the pockets are adorable birds. (Much to Gurney's dismay, I love birds!)

And Wow! It's reversible. Look at the cute fabrics on the back. SweetiePie (aka FutureDIL) graciously agreed to model the apron. (Isn't she a cutie? She got new little leopard print shoes -- TheFirstChild and I were making fun of her, so I told her I'd include them in the picture!)So, Sarah! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! I'm feeling a little guilty because you gave up this apron because you already had one and here I sit with several aprons, but I can't help it. I just love them. I'm in hot debate with myself whether to use it in the sewing room (as you have it pictured) or the kitchen 'cause it would be so nice and durable. Decisions...Decisions. I love, love, love it!


P.S. Aren't we glad Bloglines burped and recovered from it's bout of indigestion? I logged on the other night and it said I had 1469 unread posts -- I nearly choked on my diet pepsi!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Another KnitNight

The quilty peeps and I still get together occasionally (we miss you Gurney!) to knit. We're very casual with our schedule and we don't have a set night or anything. We just get together when it's convenient. It's a good thing for me -- it keeps me regularly knitting. Otherwise, knitting might be swallowed up by my everyday activities. Lorna and I are still arguing in between working on my little Scruffy project.

Tonight, Junie brought her finished bag that I showed you way back when. Can you believe this was her very first knitting project??? She did a fabulous job, and I'm very proud of her! It's looking very stylish on her bum, don't you think?
This bag is called the Coco Bag and you can find the pattern here. She started one of these little bags tonight and it will be a breeze compared to the Coco Bag.
With the pink and brown, I think Junie's bag would be very pretty mingling with MeMum's coneflowers. MeMum has the prettiest patch of coneflowers. I was there the other day and there were bees and butterflies everywhere.
A few odds 'n ends:
I might just have to buy a yoyo tool. Have you seen these? Them'r cute!
I'd love to have this sign in my kitchen.
It's no secret that I love to camp. How cute are these?
And, do you have a fabulous brownie recipe? You should enter this contest -- you could be the next browniebabe and just look at the super apron you could win!


Monday, July 16, 2007

It's Monday Already.

Boy. The start to another week. I feel like I'm not even finished with last week. We had a very quiet weekend. Not much exciting going on. I managed a teeny bit of sewing and some cleaning. Aside from birthday cake, the highlight was visiting MeMum and catching up on Big Love. I'm addicted and it provides a nice diversion while WE (you are waiting aren't you?) wait on Sawyer's return.

So, when there are no new tidbits of craftiness, you either get an old project or recipe. Flip a coin?'s tails -- recipe. This is my favorite baked gift. (I may have said that about those Orange Cranberry Cookies, 'cause I love to give them too, but really, this is my favorite gift of baked love.) Several of the kids friends love it too, so when they all come home from school, if I know they'll be around, I'll make it for them. But, my biggest fan is BigDaddy. The recipe makes 2 loaves, so I usually have plenty to take to him too.

BigDaddy's Favorite Poppy Seed Bread

3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp poppy seeds
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. each, vanilla, almond, and butter extract

Combine all the dry ingredients in mixing bowl. Add all the wet ingredients and mix well. (I just use a wooden spoon, rather than a mixer.) Bake in 2 large greased loaf pans at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes. Cool on wire racks for approximately 10 minutes. Remove loaves from pans and place on wire rack. Poke holes in bread while it's still warm and pour glaze over top of each loaf.

2 Tbsp. frozen orange juice
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. water
1/2 tsp. each, vanilla, almond, and butter extractThe extracts in this recipe really give it a wonderful flavor. I like to wrap these loaves individually in parchment paper, tie them with string, and add a cute homemade tag.

And while we're hungry... wouldn't this make a great dinner -- butter roasted chicken, twice baked potatoes , and pie? Yum - O - Yum!!! Go ahead -- you can start your diet next week!

Behave yourselves....

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Happy Birthday BigBoy!

Happy Birthday to TheManoftheHouse!We won't say just how old he is, but he did say this morning that he doesn't feel that old -- he's apparently stuck in his thirties. He's the little cutie in the middle -- with no teeth. I'm happy to report he's not old enough to have lost their replacements yet. He's in for a low key birthday, 'cause somehow, that's just what happens with the male birthdays in our family -- they're pretty low key. He's requested his favorite tacos for dinner, and I think I'll try this recipe, as he loves jalapenos.

I love you BigBoy -- I hope you have a grand day!

P.S. It appears that all you bloggers out there have much better control of your emotions than Lucy and I do. (Either that, or you don't want a goodie from me -- ;-( ) In any case, I'm still on the hook to PIF to three people, so, I'm just going to pick my own. So there. And since I'm picking you, I'm altering the rules and you won't have to PIF. ;-)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Pay It Forward

I'm laughing this morning because Lucy Locket asks "Oh, What Have I Done?". So, here's what she did. She saw the following on Leanne's blog:

I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don't know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week... LOL... but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

And then, lured by the opportunity to get a gift from the fabulous Leanne, she signed up! Which means she has to make a handmade gift for the first 3 people who signed up on her blog! SO THEN (and I'm sure you can see where this is going), lured by the opportunity to get a gift from the fabulous Lucy, I signed up! Which means, I now get to promise this on my blog:

I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don't know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week... LOL... but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

SO, if you'd like to receive something from me and promise to Pay It Forward, jump into my comments and sign up! Then I can join Lucy and say "Oh, What Have I Done???"

And just so I can have a few pictures, and because there have been several "summer reading" or "favorite books" posts going around blogland, here are two books that would make a great summer read (btw, as a hint, my favorite genre is historical fiction and if it takes place in the UK then I'll probably love it):

The Dress Lodger by Sheri Holman. Cholera, Medicine, 1830's England, Prostitution. I can't do justice to a description of this book, you'll just have to read it. We read it in 2001 in my book group and it's still one of my favorite books. (Which may or may not say much about our recent years of selections. Which btw, I'll eventually have a list here of the books we've read over the last x-teen years.)

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks. A lovely story about the plague in the 1600's in England. I loved it for many reasons other than the fact that the narrator is named Anna. ;-)

So, Happy Reading and Have a Wonderful Weekend. And don't forget to sign up for PIF!


P.S. Has anyone else noticed it's been awfully quiet here? I sure hope that means that things are going well in that little corner of blogland! Sending best wishes that way....

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Blue & White: Check.

WooHoo! I've finished my pesky blue and white quilt top.
And I don't mean pesky in a bad way, but you know how it is when you get to the point in a project where you just want it done? I was very disappointed when I put the blue and white blocks together a few weeks ago and then decided that I needed 20 more blocks.
Normally, that would have been enough of a set-back to make me set it aside for awhile again, but I really want to get some UFO's done this summer. I just have too many lying around. I don't have a ginormous (check this out) number or anything, but there are enough that it makes me cringe to start a new project.'Cause with all the new fabrics out, I'm itching to start some new projects. Besides, it seems we're to have a wedding around here next spring, and where there's a wedding, there must be a wedding quilt, right? TheFirstChild will wed SweetiePie, and she and I have been working on a plan for just the right quilt. But more on that much later -- after a few more completed UFO's.This quilt block is called Lady of the Lake and the fabrics are all different white-on-white and blue prints. Because this is a very traditional quilt, I'll pack it up and take it to a hand quilter. I'm perfectly capable of doing the quilting myself, but if I want to see it finished in this lifetime, it's best off in someone else's trusty hands.

Now I must go water my flowers who are wishing they'd been sent to nurseries in England this year!


Saturday, July 7, 2007

Random, Random

The very fun and interesting Meggie has tagged me to do the random posts. Like Meggie, I've already done a random post which I turned into a list of random UFOs. This time, the topic works out, 'cause I seem to only have a bunch of randomness to talk about!

1. I hope everyone in the U.S. has a wonderful 4th of July. We had a great time with family and friends at a cookout. We played basketball, volleyball, and cornhole. And cooked and ate lots.
2. I know it's been raining like crazy in other parts of the country/world, but here in the midwest, it's dry, dry, dry. My flowers are very happy that I have a hose.3. Yesterday, Daisy Cottage said "It's Friday already! Now, how did that happen?" Forget Friday. It's JULY already! HOW did THAT happen??? (Furthermore, wasn't it just yesterday that we were planning big parties for the turn of the century??? How did 2007 happen???)

4. When we moved back to Indiana from Minnesota, my boys lived with my sister for a month so they could get going in their new school while we attended to move details. Somehow, she managed to teach them to take their shoes off at the door. What a great gift that was! After we got settled, I painted a big bucket for everyone to dump their shoes in.5. I love it when my little big boys are home. TheSecondChild is home for the July 4th break. He brought lots of laundry with him. When he dumped it on the laundry room floor he said "Look Mom! Aren't you proud of me -- I even brought my bedding!" Yes, dear, I'm very proud that you've remembered that sheets need washing too!6. Why is it that in art and needlework the thistle is so beautiful, but in our gardens, it's a weed? By the time I saw this little weed, it was waist high, so I decided to leave it to see how pretty the blooms are. I can't decide quite how long to let it go -- though I think the end is near.7. I've had a great time these past few days being off work. Just lazing around -- a little cooking, sewing, reading -- all the things I love to do. I'd like to figure out how to have the whole summer off. Then maybe I could add a little cleaning/organizing to the list. The sewing room organization appears to be stalled at the moment!8. I think I'll follow Meggie's lead on number 8. I do enjoy this blogging community. "Meeting" so many people from all around the world. I just love the opportunity it provides to see how much alike, yet different we all are. And I think of my Grandma who probably never even went anywhere on an airplane. How much fun she would have had to be able to "talk" to women so far away. We're SO very lucky!

Now. Hmmm. Tagging is the hardest part for me and I'm not managing to come up with 8 more people to tag. I think most everyone I know has done this already. So, I'll use the standard lame line...if you haven't posted random things yet, or for that matter, if you want to do it again, then consider yourself tagged!