Sunday, July 19, 2009

Veggie Garden

This spring, when the snow finally melted, my husband and I built a raised vegetable bed. Actually, I made it, but he carried some of the wood and handed me the drill when asked. I like building and putting things together so this works out. We filled it with a combination of bagged compost and bagged topsoil with some slow release fertilizer mixed in. SInce I built the bed with cedar and we purchased all the soil for it, we aren't really saving any money on vegetables this season.

New Veggie Bed

We put in some seeds and hoped for the best! It was already kind of late in the season, so I bought potted tomatoes from the garden center. I am amazed at how well the zucchini is doing! I harvested some last week and gave most of them away.

Squash Blossoms

The zucchini is so happy, it has taken over and covered up the lettuces and the strawberries. I think I need to make a second vegetable bed! Our beans never got larger than about 3 inches. I think rabbits feed on them every day. We also have some chives and some carrots. The corn seems to be doing okay. Despite the fact that my entire extended family is from Iowa, I really don't know much about growing corn.

This is our first year trying this sort of garden. Next year I'm going to do lettuces in a separate small bed. Some of the varieties get really bitter as they mature but are delicious in the early stages. I also will plant more nasturtium because I love them and some of those little orange flowers that keep the rabbits away. I forget what they are called. I grow herbs in pots that are right outside my patio doors. I used to have a patch of mint, but that turned into an entire bed of mint and then part of a lawn of mint, so now I grow that in a pot too. Fresh mint on a dessert is a delicious touch.

Zucchini Harvest

Friday, July 17, 2009

Unfinished Object

This week is all about unfinished projects. This one really makes me feel bad. I had it out for a long time hoping that viewing it would make me work on it, but instead, viewing it made me feel a pang of failure and I still didn't pick up my quilting threads. Finally, I stuffed it way under my bed and allowed the kids to play with my Q-snap quilting frame. The Q-snap pulls apart into sword like sections and my son preferred this to his actual toys.

I started it a long time ago and it was meant to be a simple, quick quilt. I hoped to bring it to the family that graciously hosts us at their summer cabin every year. I even considered the colors of the living room at the cabin. It's more of a lake house really. They've also redecorated since I selected this pattern. This pattern is called "Sticks and Stones". The blue and yellow squares are the stones and the other squares are (obviously) the sticks. If I had to do it again, I would probably not select this pattern and I would not use so much yellow.

Unfinished Quilt

My excuse at the time I quit working on it was that I was having an uncomfortable pregnancy. My daughter turned 9 this summer, so that had to be 10 years ago. Next summer will be our 25th year visiting the cabin, so maybe I will finish it for that milestone.

Unfinished Quilt

I successfully hand quilted five quilts before this one. Most of those were small wall sizes. On this project, I don't know why I didn't just quilt in the ditch, but I decided to do traditional quilting 1/4 inch away from every seam. At some point in this project, I realized that I hate hand quilting. My grandma and I used to have conversations about what a slog it is to hand quilt things. Gram used to love traditional hand piecing, but she could never deal with the hand quilting part.

So anyway, I know you all have projects like this that you have never finished. People who don't craft will ask, "Why don't you just finish it?" There is no good answer to this question. Often, I don't finish small projects and I just toss them out and forget about them completely. I can't do that with this project, there is too much fabric and time invested in it. Several of these fabrics were given to me out of grandma's stash. All my cabin friends know how much I sew and I really do want to make a project for The Cabin. Alas..
This past weekend was our annual trip. My husband and I got to sleep in what we refer to as The Love Shack. The family refers to this as The Honeymoon Cottage. I think I remember the story that this was the original cabin on the lake property. Other sleeping accommodations include The Dorm, The Sofa, The Master Bedroom, Danny's Room, The Loft, and sometimes The Inflatable Mattress on the Floor. As I recall, some years the sleeping arrangements included Under the Stairs in the Hallway, and Nick reports that once he slept out on The Pontoon. 20 to 25 of us attend each year, often with babies and sometimes with kids, so sleeping arrangements have to be creative.

Summer is more than half over already! I hope you are enjoying yours! I think I'm going to get outside and forget about today's to-do list and just enjoy!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Loose Ends

About 9 months ago, I put up these Ikea curtains. I still have to hem them.

Raw edges

If I clear the fabric off this table, I might not use up this fabric!

Inspiration! Not Mess!

These are the parts of a tote I made for a gift. I gave it to the recipient before I photographed the finished tote! I have to stop doing that. The tote looked really cute. I've noticed that I so adore floral prints that I almost don't even realize they are florals. Same thing with pink. To me, pink and red are neutrals.

Parts of a tote

More floral pillowcases I made for our bedroom. They are so lovely. I think I need to make a whole quilt to match them. Fabrics are Kaffe Fassett and I got them at Hancocks of Paducah.


Acrylic crochet scrubbers and a ballband knit dishtowel. I hoped the knit towel would work with my new Swiffer. I don't care for the scent on the wet wipes for the Swiffer. Also... Swiffers are overrated.

Kitchen scrubbers

Later I will share with you my most egregious unfinished object. It's been stuffed under the bed for 10 long years.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Blue Bedroom

At my parents house, Mom has a napping nook previously referred to as "The Little Red Bedroom". I didn't get a picture of it when it was all vintage reds and whites, but it was very welcoming and comfy. There wasn't anything dated about the Little Red Bedroom, but Mom had it that way for at least 15 years and was finally tired of the red and wanted a change. Embroidered felt tie-back

We used my sewing and quilting skills to makeover the room. We kept flashes of red, but changed the color scheme to this rich blue, pink, and hints of chartreuse. It isn't finished yet, but I did all the main sewing of this quilt, a set of pillowcases, and the curtains.


On the blank angled wall above the bed we picked out some fabric swatches to display in some embroidery hoops. You've seen this. It's the Swatch Portraits idea from The Purl Bee. Our swatches are laying on the floor under the window.

Blue Curtains

There are plenty of opportunities for us to add colorful funky things to this room. It is my daughter's room choice when she sleeps overnight with her grandma and grandpa.

I didn't photograph them, but Mom has dresser drawers full of hand embroidered pillowcases that she uses here and in another guest room. She needs a new lamp, but we temporarily gave this one a makeover with this fabric skirt. With a little rick-rack, this lamp might get to stay!

Fabric lampshade

I'm off for the weekend in Wisconsin at the lake! I usually come back exhausted, but rested and renewed It's the best weekend of the whole year!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Indoor Picnic

It rained on the 4th here, so we had our picnic inside at my parents' house. My mom has fun little decorations for every holiday.
Land that I Love

Mom can get things looking really cute!

Table Set for 4th!

She has a vintage styled red and white kitchen and she has vintage collections on display there.

Coffee and Uncle Sam

There is little point to collecting things if you don't use them!

Vignette in Mom's Kitchen

My daughter and I made little yarn pom poms for everyone. We waved them at the parade earlier in the day and a little bit during our indoor picnic at the dining room table.

Yarn Pom

I'm getting us ready for our annual weekend escape to The Cabin in Wisconsin with a large group of old friends who did Stage Crew with me back in high school. I'm bringing up gallons of homemade ice cream and a vat of hummus. It is such fun to get together with friends who remember all the fun antics of our teenage years! We've been doing this for 25 years or so. I don't look nearly so cute in a bathing suit as I did back then, but who cares!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Fourth!

Happy Fourth of July!

Uh.. please keep the kids away from lit explosives.

I made a raspberry chiffon pie for the evening. Let's imagine that my pie looks as perfect as this one. This image is from Cook's Country Magazine... Mine is sort of collapsed, although I am certain my rustic looking pie will be just as delicious. I should have used a 10-inch pie plate instead of a 9-inch as recommended in the recipe.


At Craft Critique, we are getting involved in the Butterfly Project. Please craft a butterfly for this worthy cause! All week Craft Critique will be posting butterfly tutorials to give you inspiration.

If I were a papercrafter, I might make a butterfly like these!