Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tulips and Ladybugs

Went to bed last night thinking about how I would attach my grandmother's buttons to the backing in the shadow box.  Woke up this morning tossing around a couple of ideas.  That all changed when I took out the garbage.  A 48" x 18" framed tropical picture that I no longer want caught my eye as I went past.

This would be perfect hung horizontaly over the guest bed, but the dark frame and gold was not.  So I got out the screwdriver and removed the staples holding the print board in the frame.

Ta da, that was easy.

You have seen me do this before.  I little KILZ, a little white paint.  So much brighter now.

Dragged out a row quilt I have been neglecting for far too long.  I was never inspired to finish the project, but the rows are sentimental and I want to use them.  A couple would be perfect in the frame.  But which ones?

Opted for the ladybugs and the tulips.  First a bit of unsewing needed to be done to separate the ladybugs from the frogs on the pond, and the tulips from the fence.

I layered just like a quilt with a simple muslin back taped to the floor to remove wrinkles, a piece of batting, and my two rows.

All pin basted to hold the layers together, now I can quilt (after one more coat of paint on the frame).

To see the finished project go to Patience is a Virtue I have not Conquered

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Done with Pillows?

I feel like I got a lot done today.  Ran to town and got a couple items to get me going on my projects tomorrow. I found a shadow box to display some of my grandmother's buttons, and a frame for another embroidery project I want to do with some beading.

Then the real work began.  I set a goal of 9 mini pillows fully complete from beginning to end.  I thought this might be enough to fill the basket so I could put this project behind me.   First I had to battle the Inhibitors for table space.  I needed to cut my 4 1/2" squares of batting for the pillows, but they just wanted to play.

Once I got the batting cut and stacked, and  my pillow back fabric cut, I brought out my squares and began to play with patterns.

Feeling pretty good about my progress by now.  I have all 9 blocks pieced and paired with their backing fabrics.  Things are looking good that I will finish on target.

Now they are all quilted, sewn, and ready to stuff.  Look who showed up to help.

I have been using an old pillow I no longer wanted for my batting.  Inhibitor 2 just loved playing in the stuff.

Loved it so much he tried to crawl into the hole I had cut in the cover.  That was after he made a mess.

Stuffed pillows are looking cute.

All finished!  Whip stitched and in their place.  Unfortunately, I think I still need 3 more to really fill the basket.  But not tonight.  Tonight I am done.

My mother pointed out the beauty of the fabrics I used for the backs so here is a picture of them.  I love the 1930's prints.  Click on the photo to get a closer look.

Slide shows of the pillow fronts are on my side bar.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Canning lids can be cute

Taking it easy today, but did decide that the canning needed to be labeled and decorated.  I had a cute stack of fabric and a jar of rubber bands laying around doing nothing and some key tags that I have had for 10 years in a drawer that I now have put to good use.

I wrote "expires" and the date on the back (good for 12 months!), but wish I had written "enjoy by" instead.  I'll do that for the next batch.

I also had two great treats today.  My mother drove up (make that three treats) and she brought me a bag full of my grandmother's buttons . . . 

. . . and a bag full of craft goodies from her friend Linda who saw my blog and thought I could put her goodies to use.  Thank you, Mom and Linda.  It's been like Christmas in my sewing room.

I have now put all the loose buttons in a jar, but still have several on the original cards.  I think I may display some of them in a shadow box in the guest room.  

Had a handful of marbles that did not fit in the jars I got to display them in, so I made a cute drawstring bag out of the same fabric I used to back my wildflower photos.

Tomorrow will be another day in my sewing room.  Not sure what I'll do yet.  So many options.

Monday, June 27, 2011

I can see the bottom of the box!

My two days in the kitchen getting to the bottom of my 1/2 bushel of peaches has been very productive.  I have canned 7-1/2 pints of Amaretto Peach Preserves, 5-1/2 pints and 1 pint of Spiced Peach Jam, 4 pints of Peach Salsa, 1 Blueberry Peach Pie a dish of preserves for the refrigerator to enjoy right away, and still have a bowl full of good eating peaches in the refrigerator.  The pie is uncooked since I have not decided if I will freeze it or bake it yet.

 Now that I am done I have three tips I think are worth sharing.

#1 When canning especially, choose organic and wash all the food well (including the limes and lemons if you are using grated peel.  You never know how chemicals will react with the food.

#2  Wear gloves when working with jalapenos.  I can't stress enough how worth it gloves are.

#3  Enjoy everything about the process, from the feel of the fruits and veggies, the smell of the fresh cut ingredients (love the garlic!), to the visual satisfaction of the colors and textures.

My peach experience was not a chore.  It was a culinary adventure.  But I am ready to sit down now. . .  that is until I get a couple local watermelons and make some Watermelon Jelly!

It is time to get back in my sewing room to do a little creating.  Got another idea off pinterest for an item to go on my wall.   It will be a fun way to use some of my buttons.  I plan to get started on that tomorrow.  Still have not checked out pinterest?  You ought to.  I love pinterest.  Hint, hint. 

If you missed the beginning of my peach experience click here to see where it all began.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Petrified Wood and Peach Preserves

Went for a walk around the property this morning to get an idea of what outdoor projects need to be done next. I used my husbands new app on his iPhone to get this shot. It's a panoramic.  Love Photosynth, but need more practice.

While we were out I found some new pieces of petrified wood (is new petrified an oxymoron?) to add to my collection.

Yesterday Breck and I bought a 1/2 bushel of peaches from a local orchard.  Well, it was fairly local and the back country roads were very scenic.

Now to put the peaches to good use.  How about Peach Amaretto Jam?  Sounded good to me.  I gathered my ingredients, squeezed my lemon juice, and cut little Xs into the peaches so I can skin them.

Dropped the peaches into boiling water for 30 seconds or so, then into ice water to stop the cooking.

Skins peeled right off and were ready for dicing.

I put the peaches, sugar, lemon juice, and amaretto into a pot and began to cook it down.  Smelled amazing.

After it was finished cooking I put the pot in the sink and readied the jars to fill getting them nice, clean, and warm.  

  Into the water bath for 15 minutes.  Gave me time to clean up my mess.

Now the jars are cooling and I am being serenaded by the gentle "pops" of successful canning.  Yum.  Peach pie filling next?  May be peach salsa.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Finishing up a few things

Just a few new things today tiding up some unfinished projects and making some headway on others.  I found the canning jars I was looking for at Hobby Lobby yesterday (50% off, no less) to display my dad's marbles.

The picture frame in the background comes from a fabulous idea got from pinterest (if you have not looked at this website you really should).  The original idea was for a menu board or to do list.  It's just a piece of cute scrapbook paper that is sold by the sheet (Hobby Lobby 40% off) in a regular frame (50% off at Hobby Lobby) with some self-stick letters (you know where I got them at 40% reduction).  I did pay full price for the dry-erase marker, but that's okay.  Anyway, I stuck the letters on the paper, put the paper in the frame, and can now write any personal message to my over night guests.  Remember you can always click and click again to get a closer look.

All it takes is a paper towel or Kleenex to wipe it away and start fresh.

I can leave guests a personal message, let them know what the weather will be then next day, what and when is breakfast, planned fun activities for the weekend . . .  Love it.  

Also found a basket at Hobby Lobby 80% off (yes I said 80%) to hold my little mini pillows under my antique sewing machine.

I am so excited that so many of the things I was looking for anyway were on sale!

I did also finish my wildflower picture display.  The paint dried and I used my staples to connect the backing to the frame and an alligator hanger so I can hang it when I am ready.  And if you have a good eye you will see Inhibitor 2 just had to be a part of attaching the glazier points.

 I will wait until I have some, if not all, of the other pieces I will hang so I can get a feel for things.  

I have also finished a few more mini pillows and have a slide show on my side bar.  I need to add a caption with the name of the pattern.  Project for tonight may be.

If you missed the earlier post, click here for how I made the wildflower photo display.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Finally My Wildflowers

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."  Gandolf- The Lord of the Rings.  So true.  So today I have decided to mount my wildflower pictures and paint a picture frame.

I have a sheet of foam board that I covered with Mod Podge then some burlap-like fabric.  After it dried I coated it with Mod Podge so it became hard.  Then a bit of white card stock, some black picture corners, and four of my wildflower pictures and I have the beginnings of something on the cute side.

I again used Mod Podge to to glue down the card stock, but I like the idea of being able to swap out the photos by only holding them in place with the corners.  The frame is not attached, just laid on top to help visualize placement.

I used a stack of books to apply even pressure while the Mod Podge was drying; only adhering one photo at a time.

I decided it needed another detail so I poked holes through the card stock and foam board with a large embroidery needle and threaded some decorative yarn through and tying it in the back.  I like it.

To prepare the old frame a sprayed with Kilz and spray paint.

I ended up not happy with the results.  Too country for what I wanted.  Yes, I am using an old air filter to spray on.  I do recycle and reuse out here.

So I kilzed again and got out my oil based white paint.  Now I am much happier with the look.

Thought I would finally finish up the frame work around the pegboard in my sewing room while I had the brush out.  Oil based is so hard to clean.  My dad will be happy about this project.

Before (woodfill)               After (still a tad wet)

Oil base also takes a long time to dry, but everything is ready for the next step; attaching the foam board to the frame with glazier points and add a hanger.

However, the frame is not dry and probably needs to cure overnight. 

Oh, well.  Frees up the rest of my day for something like looking for old mason jars or canning jars to display my dad's marble collection.