Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Happy Birthday to ME!

What a yucky day to have a birthday. It turns out that this is the busiest day of the year in my office and it gets so busy you really don't know whether you're coming or going.

As long as nobody yells at us, I guess it will be a good day. I'm not sure if I've mentioned much about my day job before or not, but just in case you didn't know - I'm the TAX COLLECTOR! Everyone (in my municipality) has until 4:30 p.m. today to pay their property taxes and if they don't then penalties will be added tomorrow. Some people really don't care about paying penalty, but 95% of the people really care. At the end of the day yesterday I printed out a report and there is still alot of money to come in today - I can't wait until 4:30 when I can come home and veg.

Well I guess maybe I won't be vegging much - all the little Trick or Treaters will be stopping by and I'm expecting them early because it gets so dark here really early. Love seeing those little costumes!

I should be handing out some of these little cupcakes! I made these for Quilt Group on Monday night because I was chairing the meeting and couldn't think of anything quilty to do - so I fed them instead. Aren't these adorable! Just a little time consuming but absolutely delicious.

Just in case you can't tell - they are owls!

My husband bought me some fabric! Well maybe not for me, but he still bought it. See the hint of a pattern under the fabric - that's a pattern I'm working and I'm going to test it by using these fabrics and make a quilt for my mother-in-law for Christmas. Gotta love those Nancy Halvorsen flannels - look at that red! Beautiful . . . I'll show you how it's going in a couple of weeks. Randy keeps asking whether the quilt will be for this Christmas or next year's Christmas present - I'll need to try and prove him wrong - I will get it done! (yeah right).

And . . . one final little piece of the outdoors. This tiny flower is hanging on through all the frosts, just a little bit of sun and very little moisture. It is one of those Fall Chrysanthum plants (I think) - I bought three plants, but so far just this one has flowered. When everything else in the yard is shrivelled up and dead, all the leaves are on the ground and the wind if howling - this little guy is just as cheery as can be.

Have a great day and keep your sunny side up!

'til next time,


Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Fall Baking . . .

I know - it's a surprise to me too.
I baked something on Sunday!

Last December (or sometime around then) Kraft sent us a calendar. Every month of the year is a fabulous recipe and each one stares at you for one whole month.

Well, Randy and I were becoming quite tired of our "regular" menus and decided why not try each of the recipes featured in the calendar. That way we get to try something new (in most cases) and all Kraft products are easily found in our local stores - nothing really weird and wacky. Kraft also sends out a recipe magazine and when a new one comes we sit down and make out menus and grocery lists for a couple of weeks meals - it works great for us - we don't get sick and tired of the same old foods, prepared the same old way. You should check out their website.

So this recipe is for the month of October and I followed it fairly closely, except for the almonds and it tastes great! The only thing different I would do is peel the apples - I'm not a big fan of apple skins. Of course my pastry is not exactly like theirs - they have had a lot more practice than me - but I bet it tastes the same.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder after all!

And . . . speaking of beauty . . . what do you think of this guy?
I call him my "Ghoul Guy" and he is hanging in the corner of my front steps. I think he is handsome in his own way . . . he certainly has presence - don't you think?
I hope the little kids won't be too scared of him - lots of other people have them also, I'm sure. He was exactly what we were looking for - the right height and width - he fits perfectly.
I hope your Halloween preparations are coming along the way you planned . . . I still have a few more things to do . . .
'Til next time . . .

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Planning . . .

Someone had once planned to make a bow tie quilt and a fan quilt.

They cut all the pieces from their stash, sewed a few together and then pushed them all into a little bag to be brought out another day.

Haven't we all done something similar to this?

The photos in this post are all courtesy of some good little planner from many years ago. I bought these little pieces, together with all kinds of other cotton fabrics at an auction sale. I think I paid $2.00 for a large box of fabrics - some are big pieces, some are small, some were scrunched up in big bags and some were partly sewn together.
What a little treasure trove to come across!
I have carefully gone through the whole box and pressed each individual piece and organized them all into little wicker baskets for future use.

The prints are amazing - some not so amazing - but others are fantastic.

Now I can be the planner and plan for my own bow tie and fan quilts that will incorporate someone else's plan. At some wonderful point in the future, I am going to go through my stash and put it together with this little stash and make a couple of beautiful scrappy quilts.

Any bets on how long it will take . . .

'Til next time,

Monday, 15 October 2007

We're Getting Closer . . .

Whether it's Halloween, Winter or other exciting little projects - I think we are getting closer and closer . . .

Here we have a very scary, but cool, looking ghost and cat - I love the shadows they are creating on the wall behind them - I think that is what I find so fun about this picture - it makes me smile!

Here is a before picture of our backyard on Saturday morning before we started raking leaves for four hours!

I forgot to take the "after" picture when it looked so very nice and groomed - now it is probably too late because there were still straggly, leftover leaves still hanging out in the trees. They are probably this very minute dropping to the ground in little gleeful heaps just mocking my hard work. Oh well, I guess I can redo it all in the Spring before the grass starts to grow - something to look forward to . . .

Now we can move on the "fun" stuff I was working on this weekend - lots of little pieces of fabric and little buttons. I'll even throw in some pretty little paint chips for you to admire - but that's all I'm going to show you!

And . . . last, but not least, is my little snowguy (6 of them, actually) - still waiting for his final features . . . maybe next weekend?!?!?!?!

'til next time . . .

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Preparing for Halloween . . .

I started digging out some of the Halloween and Fall decorations over the weekend.

While we were shopping on Saturday I bought some of these little pumpkins that are so cute. I used to grow these all the time and then one year I forgot to save some seeds! I'm not too sure whether these ones have been treated to the extent that the seeds would be no good or not. Once the season is over I'll maybe have to investigate and see what the seeds actually look like inside.

I dug around in the basement until I found a basket that would work for a little display for the table and also found a bagful of pinecones, fabric leaves and other little Fall decorations.
All the stores are full of Halloween treats and costumes, so it must be time to get into the swing of the season and start the decorating. We even managed to get the Fall wreath on our freshly painted "red" door and it looks fantastic!
Once it comes down it will be time for the Christmas wreath - too soon to think about that just yet.

The little ghosts and pumpkins are so adorable! My daughter and I cut these out and painted them a few years ago - you really appreciate these kind of decorations every year when you bring them out - they have little memories attached to each and every one of those little faces.

I'm almost ready to send my little "secret" project away - hopefully by Friday and then it will be time to sit back and bite my nails until I find out what the outcome will be. I've been very busy with computer work, paint samples and little flowers. My snowmen are watching from not too far away - taunting me to come over and sew their faces and hats in place. Hopefully I'll be able to make some time for my little snowguys this weekend! It's either that or rake leaves - guess what I REALLY want to do?

Until next time . . .


Friday, 5 October 2007

Autumn's Final Curtain Call?

Everything is soooooo dried out here! Finally getting some rain this morning and it is the most we've seen for months. The plants have pretty much said goodbye to Summer and are getting ready to hibernate for the Winter months. The weather guy even mentioned something about S..N..O..W - I hope it stays away from here for a while yet.

Look at the beautiful coppery colors in this photo. This dried up leaf was once a beautiful, lush, green frond on my fern. As a designer I do love looking at all the color variations and the subtle tones of a color. Wonderful!

Look very closely here . . . see the cobweb with the little fluffies stuck in it? This photo looks really neat when it is full size on my big desktop screen. Nature is so cool!

This branch is on my neighbor's tree and I found it very interesting that most of the berries were berry size while a few of them were almost like small apples. Not really sure what kind of tree it is but I loved the lines and the colors - red, oranges, greens and even a small hint of blue up in the sky.

Here is more proof that Summer is gone. This is a seed hanging from one of my Maple trees - look at the colors, tones and lines in this picture - it characterizes Autumn all in one photo.

And here are a couple of more photos from last Saturday's Quilt Show in Brandon. There were quilts everywhere! It took me most of the day on Sunday to put all the quilts away at home - at least it was a good time to pull out the Halloween ones and set them out for the Fall season.

I did manage to get six more snowman blocks ironed down, now they just need appliqued. I love that part as much as choosing the fabrics and playing with all the small pieces. We did our first block exchange on September 24th - lots of Star blocks so far . . . but I hear there are some snowmen on the way! As the stack of blocks grows from month to month it is going to be fun to lay them out and try to decide how to piece them all together to make a quilt top. I can't wait! In the meantime, I need to finish these six guys and start planning the January, February and March blocks (we're taking December off). Should I continue with the snowmen or do a couple of stars . . . decisions, decisions . . .
Till next time . . .


Monday, 1 October 2007

Quilt Show Report . . .

I'm late!!!! I promised to do this for you on Monday and I'm running late.

Here are some of the photos I took at the Quilt Show on Saturday. We had a wonderful day of meeting people and visiting. It is always so much fun to share what we have accomplished and to plan for what is to come in the upcoming months. One of our goals is to encourage new or existing quilters to come out and join our group. We wanted to let people know that we exist and that they are more than welcome to come and learn and share with us.

The colors of all the quilts all hung together throughout the Church looked amazing. You really had to make yourself focus on a particular quilt because the overall picture of all of them together was overwhelming.

Every quilt I saw, I wished I had the pattern and the time to make one just like it. How is that for inspiration!

This photo is from my table that I set up for Sipiweske Designs. It was so great to meet people who have either made one of my patterns or who were interested in trying one.

This is one of my "old" quilts (not my design) that I haven't seen hung up or on a bed for quite a few years. Wow, it looks not bad when it is up on display!