Tuesday, November 27, 2007

An Exercise in Meandering and Meeses

The Meeses are coming along nicely.....It's a really fun learning experience. Today I worked briefly on meandering the interior white area around the meeses.

I think I need a lot more practice, but I also think I'm making some good progress!

I'm thinking about a simple line or two stitched in the brown border. The green border needs something special. But I'm fresh out of ideas. Maybe a casual, simple leaf pattern?

The Great Cookie Caper of 2007 continues....

Michael dipped his "acorn" cookies yesterday.....the almond flavored cookies are dipped in a melted chocolate to make the top of the acorn. He made these in red and green. Here's a peek at one of the green batches. Yum!

Then he got a bee in his bonnet that we needed to make a new cookie or two this year. So he wanted to try candycane cookies. First we got to play with it as if it was play-dough. Only this play-dough was peppermint flavored! We rolled out "snakes" of the dough.

The "snakes" were laid together and rolled lightly with the rolling pin. The flattened ribbon of dough was sprinkled with sugar. (Yes, that is a piece of Twizzler candy lying in plain sight on the counter.....all this cookie making takes extra carbs for energy, right??)

It was then cut into strips. I whipped out the pizza cutter and used it like I was rotary cutting fabric (!) and made short work of that step.

Michael placed them on the cookie sheets, twisted them into candy cane shapes, and managed the baking and removal to cooking racks.

Don't they look great?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Turkey Day

I love this!

This is my favorite holiday.....most of my accounts close for two days, plus the weekend....I can work in a leisurely fashion in the early morning each day....and then the day is mine, mine, mine! Today, I get to enjoy a yummy dinner and the company of Laurie, Billy, and Billy's family, Michael and Karen.....
Tomorrow after I work, Karen and I are invited to the classroom for a free all day sew with Ellen, Jenny, Karene, Yvette....and Janet will be there too!! Progress will be made on the Meeses! Saturday after I work, Karen and I have a date to put up the Christmas tree and a few decorations.....Sunday after I work, I have quilting class! I love Thanksgiving weekend!

Wishing everyone a great day with lots of good food, laughter and love!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Construction Zone

Progress is being made on the bird houses.... :)

They still need final coats and touch ups, but these three are pretty much complete. This one is for a bird that quilts.....it's a patchwork birdhouse!

Next, a slightly different model....

One more wake up! And it will be the day of my Western Star quilt class with Teacher Extraordinaire, Janet Salcido. Yay!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Guest Blogger

Hi! Sadie here. Herself is all involved with "stuff" and so she said I could do the honors.

Its been kind of a normal day here. Not much excitement. At one point this afternoon, Herself tore out the front door with her camera. Apparently it had something to do with the droning noise that I was barking at. She came back in the house and patted me and said "Thanks Sadie! I like to see the blimp!" I have no idea what she is talking about, but she says to put this picture here.

Michael was busy today too......today, it was 200+ Spritz Christmas trees. Yummy!

Later this evening, Herself got out lots of wooden birdhouses and all kinds of origami paper.

It almost looked like what she does upstairs in her quilting studio.....lots of different patterns and colors.

She worked for a long time, muttering under her breath about "This one's just for practice.....I haven't done this in a long time......" When she stopped for the night, she had made this.

She says she's going to change the inner color of the doorway to the birdhouse from that red to deep blue like the roof.....redecorating already?!

Meanwhile, I had done my best to demonstrate that I too, am crafty! Given the proper materials, and some time, a little lack of supervision peace and quiet......

I can make a colorful mess too! Uh oh.....Herself wants to know who did this!!?? Seems this was Christmas ribbon.....new, unopened Christmas ribbon. I think I'm headed for the doghouse.

Maybe the cute sheepish look?

Can I blame it on my big brother? Max?

Oh like that's going to work. Big Guy was obviously nowhere near the scene of the crime.....

I think my guest blogging privileges are going to be revoked.



Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Turkey Season opens......

Mr. B is in a particularly good mood these days. It's Turkey Season! We bagged our first one.......

at $.39/pound and it is now thawing in the fridge. I'm going to try brining it and then roast it, a la pioneerwoman's instructions. Instead of buying a mix for the brining spices, I'm searching the "internets" for good candidates for a mix I can make myself.

And his favorite music is playing on a regular basis. Christmas carols. Yes, I know it is November 7th. (Mom reminded me that growing up, we had to wait until Thanksgiving night to break out the Christmas LPs!!) But, Mr. B is industriously participating in the Great Cookie Caper of 2007, with only occasional help from me. He makes cookies, and makes cookies, and then he makes more cookies, until he has 4,592 or so.... And then he delivers them all over the county to various clients of my transcription business.

I figure if any of my accounts wants to axe me.....they'll think twice about losing their Christmas cookie source! Just kidding. (Although one office did ask me the other day if Mr. B had them on his cookie list!)

Today, it was Spritz wreaths.....

A few days ago I made some orange flavored refrigerator cookies.... (using zest and juice of oranges from our orange tree in the backyard!) I filled two big coffee tins and set them aside. One is almost gone. That's a hazard in this house. Cookie thieves that sneak in the kitchen and take two or ten and scurry out of the room!

Happy Turkey (and Cookie) Season!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Meeses progress

I'm learning a lot. And having fun in the process!

I'm getting a little better at staying where I should be with the stitching. I have everything appliqued in place except the bow I am contemplating for the center moose. (click to enlarge)

I think she needs something. I'm already planning a necklace for her and possibly some funky glasses, but I'm undecided about the bow. Well, undecided about the glasses too....I will make them and see how they look on her, before deciding. Have not decided how to make the eyes yet, either! And what about the nostrils?!

I'm also contemplating how to make the hands show up more. Perhaps a tight, black satin stitch around just the hand? like a hoof? I have chalked in the mark I need to make with a skinny satin stitch anyway, to imply a finger in the hand.

The same sort of marking needs to be satin stitched into the feet.

Any suggestions? A few more details like those I've mentioned above and after that, I need to figure out borders. At that point, I can put it on the Janome 1600 and meander around the white background. I think I will shadow stitch around the meeses, especially the arms, hands, to make them show more. Invisible thread?

Sew much to learn!

Le Tigre is on the job

Best Guard Dog Ever!!

She's also hoping her people (Karen in particular!) come home early from work......

Monday, November 05, 2007

Too. Much. Fun!

Tonight I got to start on my Meeses project. I read all the directions for the Steam-A-Seam 2, and the Moose Amigos pattern....and then I just jumped in!

After I got the pieces cut, placed and measured them three (or ten) times, I ironed them on.

Then my Janome 9500 and I got some "bonding" accomplished and I got to know stitch #40 (applique).

(click to enlarge pix)

It doesn't show as much as I would like on the moose bodies, but it shows at the bottom of the middle moose's dress! It will show on other parts also, because I will pick a contrasting thread on purpose to make it stand out a bit. I am sure I'll get a bit more accurate with the stitch, in time, also. This is a fun piece to learn on.

Meeses! I am loving the applique process. Sew much fun to be had....sew little time!