May 31, 2008

Summer Refreshment

I am NOT a hot weather person. I've never really enjoyed the beach or anything that requires wearing a bathing suit all day. I do not look forward to summer. I love wearing sweaters, sleeping in flannel sheets, and my cozy flannel comforter.

As summer is fast approaching and we have already had a few high temperature days, I share with you the ONLY thing good about this time of year:

I love Iced Tea, especially Sun Tea. Unsweetened with lots of ice. I can drink this entire gallon container by myself in two days (is it any wonder I have trouble sleeping?). It quenches my thirst like nothing else.

3 yr. old Grandson and 4 yr. old Granddaughter were helping me with the teabags for this batch and we were talking about why I put the jar out in the sun. As we watched the jar in the backyard slowly changing color I said " Look how the sun is making iced tea for us!"
Granddaughter replied, "you mean GOD is making our iced tea!"........WOW! out of the mouths of babes........
Iced tea will always taste even better now!

I'm going downstairs right now to pour myself a refreshing glass of tea that GOD made for me.......

May 29, 2008

the Wednesday Phenomenon

I've discovered something very interesting.... I'm calling it "the Wednesday Phenomenon"....

Let me explain:

I recently posted here about my new work schedule, having Wednesdays off in addition to the weekends. Well......on a usual weekend, even a three day weekend like the recent one, I can never accomplish everything I plan to do. There never seems to be enough time to finish all the projects that need finishing, read all the reading material that is piling up, or try all the new recipes I'm anxious to try.The weekend is always over before I really get started.

HOWEVER, (here is the weird part) for the fourth Wednesday in a row, the day has seemed absolutely endless!! I sleep in, accomplish all I have planned, and still have plenty of day left when I'm done! And no, it's not because I make fewer plans.

Here's what this past Wednesday consisted of:

I slept in until 8:30.....
Ran errands for 2 hours, including a little fabric shopping (it was all for specific projects! really!)

Made a reversible apron for the FLIRTY APRON SWAP

and a dishtowel apron to go with it

I made my favorite MEXICAN MEATLOAF (ground turkey + turkey sausage + salsa + crushed nacho Doritos + cumin + garlic = delicious!) and tried cooking it in the crockpot (worked great!)

I made pizza dough in the breadmaker and cooked the pizza on the grill (w/fresh basil, olive oil, and fresh tomatoes)

I also grilled fresh pineapple to go with vanilla bean ice cream

I watched 2 movies (when did you last watch "Footloose"? I got the DVD for my birthday), got in plenty of computer time, and in between all of this, spent quality time with these two :

When I finally looked at the time it was only 7:30 p.m.! What the heck?? So much Wednesday still left........
Well I really don't understand this WEDNESDAY PHENOMENON but I'm certainly not going to question the weirdness of it.......

May 27, 2008

3 Birthday Girls

My mother and I share the same birthday. I was born 51 years ago today on her 21st birthday. Then, 11 years ago, granddaughter #2 started to be born on the same day, May 27. Somewhere along the way she changed her mind and decided she would rather have her own special day instead of sharing ours, so she came on the 28th. Because of geography, we have not often all been together for our birthdays, but this year we were able to have a triple birthday dinner.

Sharing my Mom's birthday has always been very special to me, and even though, throughout my life, I have often been a real thorn in my Mother's side, I hope she knows how much I love her.


May 26, 2008

3 day weekend

So what have I done with the first 2 days of this 3 day weekend? Make aprons of course! These are all for family members:
For my trout-fishing uncle:

two for my niece:

Bethany will be the head cook all summer at Quaker Meadow Christian Camp. A head cook needs more than one apron!

Because she is in her second year of nursing school, I found this perfect fabric with nurses and doctors on it.

and for Daughter :(who does not need another apron, but loves them as much as I do)

Daughter has a newly decorated kitchen in citrus colors with citrus slice accents.

Look at this PERFECT fabric I found, called "Fresh Squeezed" by Moda. I made her apron reversible because I love both of these fabrics and couldn't decide which one to use!

All these aprons completed and still one day left of this 3 day weekend. I think I'll make myself a new comforter for my bed with what's left of today.....

May 20, 2008

rick-rack surprise

How exciting! I received a package in the mail today from JANEL in New Hampshire. Over at the the APRONISTA we are having our first apron swap. The theme is rick-rack.

Look what Janel made for me..........

Just look at these cute fabrics. She actually found rick-rack fabric! Isn't that clever? AND, I've been especially partial to red fabrics lately! The teapots are wonderful!

The cut of this apron is so comfortable. I think this will have to be my new favorite apron!


May 18, 2008

ready for more projects

It was a productive weekend in my "sewing studio" (actually the corner of my bedroom, but the dream continues!)

I finished this ruffled apron which I am really pleased with! It's a little edgier than my usual stuff, but I love it! Daughter and D-I-L gave it high praises, too. D-I-L said she would like a skirt like this, so I'll add that to my future project list.

This apron actually completes 2 projects in one:

  1. the Apronista May Project which is ruffles. I just need to post a picture.

  2. The Apronista Swap: theme is rick-rack. This apron will be mailed tomorrow to my swap partner. I hope she likes it as much as I do!

I also completed my apron for the SASSY APRON SUMMER SWAP.

This is one of my all time favorite fabrics. It's covered with cute summer fruits and beverages. I used red pin dots for the ruffled trim and red ribbon on the pocket. I love this one so much I made the same one for Daughter for her birthday (and believe me, she did NOT need another apron!) For this swap I needed to include an embellished kitchen towel of some kind, so I made a second apron from a dishtowel with the same fabric.

(This turned out even better than I had hoped. I will definitely be making more of these!)

Then, because I was on a roll, I made this great bolster pillow for the 11th birthday (next week) of grandaughter #2.

Her bedroom is lime green and aqua and she loves hibiscus flowers (I think these are actually lillies, but close enough!) She's been wanting a bolster and I whipped this up in about 30 minutes. I think she'll be pleased.

Oh, the satisfaction of projects completed and of feeling so pleased with the results....

May 15, 2008

more hours in my week

Can you believe it? I've actually found a way to add more hours to my week! Well, at least it feels that way......

I am lucky enough to have had a job for 25 years that allows me a LOT of freedom and flexibility. When my kids were small, I was always able to stay home with them when they were sick and attend all school functions no matter what time of day. Now that my kids are grown, I can still use that flexibility for the grandkids and their needs.

My usual work day ends at 3:00 p.m., but it occured to me that I was actually wasting my afternoons, spending too much money shopping, or just wasting away the hours doing nothing much of any consequence because "I didn't have enough hours to really do something productive". SOOOOO............with the blessings of my Boss, 2 weeks ago I changed my schedule to four,10 hour days with Wednesdays off:

Work Monday and Tuesday, off Wednesday, work Thursday and Friday, off the weekend. Working 2 days and then 2 more days is a piece of cake!

I LOVE IT!!! It honestly feels like I have a whole extra day in my week!

So, what am I doing with all this extra time? Why, making APRONS and sewing of course! and catching up on my reading and finally getting through all the magazines that have been piling up and trying some new recipes and playing with the other words, just the usual day-off-kind-of-stuff.... BUT A WHOLE EXTRA DAY OF IT!


May 10, 2008

An Avocado Collection

I have an avocado collection. I've worked for an avocado company for 25 years and love finding odd little things with avos on them or avo shaped or whatever. Most are from Ebay, some were gifts. My collection has been packed away for several years for various reasons (mostly very small, curious grandchildren!) After much procrastination, today I FINALLY put up some new shelves in the kitchen and am once again putting these items that I love on display:

I have Avo Cookbooks, too....

and some cute little miniatures......

Doesn't it feel great to cross something off your to-do list?

May 8, 2008

Chicken-y Goodness

My daughter asked me to make a chicken themed apron for a friend of hers, but wasn't sure what she wanted. A PERFECT opportunity for me to:

A) get creative with apron design
B) dig through the fabric stash to see what I could find ( who knew I had so many chicken fabrics? and all yellow?)
C) Try several different ideas

This was my kind of project!! Multiple aprons, similar (all chicken-y) but different, and using existing fabric.......
Here's what I came up with:

Goofy chickens on a yellow background,
with olive green lining and a scalloped hem.

Cute chickens on a yellow background, with
black gingham lining and ruffled accents

Polka-dot roosters and eggs on a yellow background, with black & white polka dot lining and edging

A cafe apron with an appliqued Hen and Nest on red gingham with polka dot ties and trim. I made the applique from a colorbook page that caught my eye...

Daughter has chosen the first one. Now what to do with all these chicken aprons? If only I had that ETSY shop open....(this weekend, really!)
Then I topped off the day with some homemade CHICKEN POSOLE.....delicious!


May 5, 2008

Miss Jewel

Look who showed up at my house today! 4 yr. old grandaughter promptly named her "Miss Jewel".

4 yr. old quickly got out her favorite blanket and pinned up (with my help) Miss Jewel's first fashionable outfit!! (hmmmmm......maybe a future fashion designer?)

Thanks to so many ladies over at the APRONISTA posting their fabulous photos using their own "Miss Jewel", I knew I had to get one while the sale was still on at Joann's. Miss Jewel will show off my aprons with much more style than my photos have had previously!!

I'm looking forward to Miss Jewel and I having a long and happy partnership......

May 1, 2008

Twin Cousins

Today I made matching sundresses for the 7 yr. old and 4 yr.old (cousins). They like to wear matching clothes. I used that "cheater" fabric that comes pre-smocked. Sew up one seam and add ribbon ties...... 2 dresses in 30 minutes! What an easy way to please the grandaughters!

Score another one for MIMI!