Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

Earlier this year my dear Aunt June passed away at the age of 92. My cousin (her daughter) sent me a box of photographs from her, including this one of me and my father, circa 1955 or so. I had never seen it before and just fell in love with it. Look at the tinsel on that tree!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Just in case anyone still reads this...

We have been back from India for a week now and I am still fighting the jet lag. I'm trying to get into the holiday spirit and get stuff done, but wanted to let you know that I did find some "cloth" in India. I bought three saris (read 6 meters of fabric each!) and some cotton yardage as well. Hopefully I will get around to taking some pictures to share, but in the meantime have a look at the 558 I have uploaded to Flickr...India 11/09

Just realized that my toolbar has the added option of Type in Hindi...सतरंगे!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Greetings from India

I am such a bad blogger that I didn't even tell you I was going to India. Things were pretty hectic preparing for the trip. We left on Tuesday 11/17 and I worked 12 hours the previous Sunday and Monday...what WAS I thinking? Mike is giving several presentations at the AMPICON meeting here in Hyderabad and I am spending today in the hotel room catching up on my Google reader with some very sketchy Wi-Fi. I have taken LOTS of pictures but can't upload them because we are using an MDACC laptop...also I didn't bring the camera cord! I am trying to upload a photo from my iPhone but am not sure that is going to work.

We flew into Delhi through Amsterdam and spent a few days there before flying on to Hyderabad. Yesterday we hired a car & driver to see the sights around the city. We went to some historical sites and then stopped a couple of places to shop. The first was a pearl shop (Hyderabad is the pearl capitol of India) and the second was a handicraft shop where I purchased a lovely pashmina wrap (for myself :-) and several silk scarves to give as gifts. I was pleasantly surprised when the driver asked if we would like to visit a "cloth" shop. I, of course, responded an enthusiastic "Yes!" and told Mike he could wait in the car with the driver while I shopped for fabric. Imagine my disappointment when we pulled up in front of a clothing store. I profusely apologized to the driver for misunderstanding him. Mike just smiled.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

"What's for dinner?"

"What kind of food?"
"Good food!"
If my children read this, they will recognize this conversation.

Well, we were in Chicago earlier this week and had better than just good food...we had FANTASTIC food at Topolobampo. I had the Adventurer's Tasting Menu. The pictures are from my iPhone, so they are not that great, but trust me, dinner and wine were fabulous!

The restaurant was very busy, crowded and noisy and the server was very scripted, but we still enjoyed our evening very much.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Everybody loves a giveaway...

...especially when fabric is involved! Check out the fabric giveaway at Everyday Beautiful...maybe one of us will win :-)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Did I say bi-weekly? I must have meant bi-monthly!

I have really thought about blogging a few times in the last two weeks, but just haven't gotten around to it. I have been working a bit more, my sister and niece were here last weekend for the Quilt Festival and we were in Milwaukee this past weekend for a wedding. Enough with the excuses, though. I have a few things to show you.

Here is my latest block of the month:

And here is a little (12"x 34") table runner I made from some of these fabrics. Not bad for two bucks.

I bought this chair as a birthday gift for Mike to go with our new couch.

We have had this chair for at least 15 years. We bought it at an antique store with no seat. We cut a piece of plywood to fit, had a piece of foam cut and I covered it with this 90s green fabric.

When I ordered the new chair, I also ordered a yard of matching fabric and recovered the cushion. Not a great picture, but you get the idea.

We decided that we needed a different coffee table to go with our new look. We considered buying a new one, but decided to take this route instead. Mike has had this trunk since his mother died. She used it when she moved from Chicago to San Francisco in 1939.

This is the shipping tag that was still attached. People misspelled Gillin even back then!

We had glass top made for it and are very pleased with the result.

As previously mentioned, I have the binding machine sewn onto this quilt, and have started the laborious process of blind-stitching. Wish me luck!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I LOVE the internet!!!

I know, I know... I have been a very bad blogger. It just seems that I have been very busy lately, working a fair amount and getting organized for some upcoming travel. We are going on a trip to India (yes, INDIA) next month and have been trying to get that all in order. We have our tickets from Houston to New Dehli, but still have lots to do in preparation for the trip. Our ultimate destination in Hyderbad, where Mike will be giving several presentations at AMPICON. Today we got online to fill out our visa applications, which I will take to Travisa Outsourcing on Tuesday with our passports and, oh yes, the obligatory passport pictures. Now we could just drive over to Walgreen's and spend the $12 to have some high school student take some really bad pictures of us, but I thought "There must be a better way." And there is. I Googled "passport photos" and the second hit was http://www.epassportphoto.com/. Five minutes later I had this:

Probably the best passport pictures he has ever had taken, for only the cost of photo paper and ink. Now I just have to get him to take one of me. I'm sure I will be more critical of mine.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Outstanding in the Field, again

Last Sunday (which just happened to be Mike's birthday), we went to another Outstanding in the Field event. If you recall, we went to one in Minnesota on July 31. This one was held at Jolie Vue Farm, which is where we get our monthly meat delivery from. This truck is part of the the Grass Fed Express, but I doubt that it actually makes 60+ mile trek into town.

It was HOT outside, so you can see why everyone was trying to huddle in the shade while Jim Denevan gave his talk.

This is the herd of cows whose off-spring make their way into our freezer.

After eight months with their mothers, these guys have it made in the shade while they fatten themselves up native grasses.

And here is where the pigs live, out in the forested areas.

One of the two heritage breeds, Berkshires and Durocs, that are raised here.

Some of the prep work being done to serve dinner to 150 out in the middle of the farm field.

The menu...

Roasted pig noses (they tasted better than they looked!)

Chilled cushaw squash soup with arugula pesto & purple hull pea crostini

Goat tamales in banana leaves

Grilled Gulf whole snapper with chile glaze, squash, radishes & field peas

Crispy roasted pork belly, apples & red cabbage

Toasted, herbed cornmeal poundcake, goat cheese mousse, blueberry compote and butternut squash, spicy walnut & sage macaroons.

Quite a different menu from the event in Minnesota, but that's what locavorism is all about! The food was all great, even the pig noses and tails, but hopefully next year they will hold this event in late October instead of September, when the chance of cooler weather is more likely.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Les Petites Images: Better than Christmas: A Give Away

I know how much everyone loves give-aways, so thought I would post a link to one. This is my daughter's blog and she is giving away some great stuff from Marx Foods!

Les Petites Images: Better than Christmas: A Give Away

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Finally, some pictures!

I still only have the binding machine-sewn on this quilt, but thought it would look prettier photographed on a bed than on the clothesline. Now to begin the blind stitching...

As I mentioned earlier, Marjorie and I hit 9 of the 14 shops in the North Texas Shop Hop. At each shop we got a free fat quarter...these are mine. A couple of the shops let you choose any one in the shop, but most had a limited selection to choose from.

I bought these at Cabbage Rose to make a table runner, figgy pudding by basicgrey from Moda.

This was the last they had of this Tulip Nouveau by Ro Gregg for Northcott at Quilt Among Friends but it was so pretty I had to take it. They had shown a black skirt and jacket trimmed in it. Maybe I will get the urge to take up garment making again.

And at Common Threads they had a bin of "scraps" that you could fill a bag with for $2, and fill it I did!

Can you believe all this was in there? I especially love the orange and brown vintage cowboy print.

In total, I don't think I spent more than $30 (excluding gas :-), but we sure had fun!

Monday, September 14, 2009

No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth...I was just in Fort Worth

Mike and I went up to Mansfield for Labor Day. We spent the weekend at my mom's and got to visit with my brother and his kids and our kid (who lives in Plano). Mike flew home on Monday afternoon (so he could fly to SFO on Thursday) and I stayed the rest of the week. My BFF Marjorie was in the metroplex for a company meeting and we got to spend the weekend together. Her timing was perfect, because it was the North Texas Shop Hop. In a day and a half we managed to hit nine of the fourteen shops, which was especially impressive because it was pouring rain all weekend (including a good portion of my drive back to Houston Sunday morning.) We saw LOTS of pretty things, got some great ideas, a free fat quarter at each shop and did buy a bit of fabric and a few patterns. When I finish the laundry, maybe I will get around to taking a few pictures. I also got my last quilt back from the quilter and have the binding machine-sewn on. Now for the blind stitching...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The road to hell...

I always have good intentions about posting. But then something always comes up...work, house guests, Facebook Scrabble,etc. And, oh yes, quilting! These are the last two blocks from the Cabbage Rose Kaffee Fassett mystery block of the month. Next month the finishing kit will be available and we will finally get to see how these all go together.

And this is the third block in their new 3rd Saturday mystery block of the month. Kind of boring after the previous ones, but it will be pretty with the first two.

And while I didn't win the Marx Foods giveaway, the nice folks there did send me 25 of their palm leaf plates for posting about it. I don't usually use disposable plates, but these are pretty nice. Maybe we'll have to have a party...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Eco-friendly disposable plates

Marx Foods is having another giveaway. If you use disposable plates, you should check these out. "These biodegradable plates are a natural and renewable resource. Naturally discarded sheaths of the leaves of the Adaka palm tree are collected from the forest floor. No trees are cut down. The plates and the disposable cutlery are even compostable!" Definitely better than styrofoam (which doesn't biodegrade) or paper (which require killing a tree). I also think they are much nicer looking, don't you?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

And then a miracle happened...(my 200th post!)

So, this morning our DSL was still not working. I went to a meeting at work, then out to lunch with some friends from the F2O, then stopped at the AT&T store to buy a new modem, hoping that would solve the problem. I got home, hooked up the new modem, but still had the solid green power light, solid green ethernet light and flashing red DSL light configuration. Since AT&T is scheduled to come out on Friday morning, I disconnected the new modem, carefully repackaged it to take back to the AT&T store for a $54.95 refund, and reconnected the old modem. That is when the miracle occurred...solid green lights all the way across! And working internet access! Mike said that the old modem must have just needed a rest (never mind that it had been turned off since Monday afternoon) but that doesn't explain why the new one didn't work. Oh well, I am just happy to be reconnected!

But you're not here to hear about my technology trials and tribulations, you're here to see my latest quilt! I didn't post anything about it when it was a work-in-progress because it was a surprise for my sister's 50th birthday. She and her kids came down last weekend, so I was able to give it to her in person. It was made out of a layer cake of Tula Pink's Nest fabric.

For the label I scanned a picture of her and me taken in one of those four for 25¢ booths in 1961 or so.

I also had the opportunity to give my niece Emma a quick sewing lesson, and she made this cute pillowcase out of Amy Butler fabric. It was her first sewing project, but hopefully not her last. She comes from a long line of seamstresses and I hope she grows to love the craft as much as I do!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Technical difficulties

I know I promised a real blog post yesterday, but we had a big thunderstorm in the afternoon which caused us to lose power momentarily, and also caused our DSL to go out. I still don't know if it is a problem with the line or if the modem is fried. I am working today, but hopefully tomorrow I will be able buy a new modem and determine if that is the problem. AT&T is scheduled to come out Friday morning if a new modem is not the solution. I already uploaded pictures of my latest quilt, a 50th birthday present for my sister, which hopefully I will be able to share by Friday afternoon, if not sooner!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Summit's Unchained Series Debut: Kolsch

I will have a real post later today, but wanted to share this article by my daughter, Kate.

Summit's Unchained Series Debut: Kolsch

Shared via AddThis

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Outstanding in the Field: MN Edition

Friday night we went to Outstanding in the Field in Delano, Minnesota. I took a few pictures, but my semi-professional photographer daughter, Kate, took a bunch and has posted them on her blog. Enjoy!

Les Petites Images: Outstanding in the Field: MN Edition

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bitten by the quilting bug

I have sewn forever. Well, at least as long I have been tall enough to run the sewing machine. My mother and grandmothers and aunt made almost all of my clothes growing up. And I made almost all of my own clothes starting in middle school (or junior high as we called it back then). In high school I made my own prom "dress." It was actually a tunic and pants, ivory shantung with sequin trim around the bottom of the tunic and pant legs. It was kind of an "in your face" thing to do, since in 1969 women were not permitted to wear pants of any sort to school. I figured they couldn't throw me out of prom, since it was a Saturday night and all. I made my first wedding dress. I made my first husband shirts and pants and even a sport coat. And when my daughter was born I started sewing for her, and continued as long as she would tolerate it. I made her a junior bridesmaid's dress for my sister's wedding out of fabric we ordered to match the bridesmaids' dresses. I made numerous Halloween costumes for her and my stepsons, including Dorothy, Peter Pan, Dracula, Jasmine, a clown and a poodle skirt, as well as the Beast and Belle for Mike and myself. Maybe someday I will scan some photos of many of the garments I have made over the years. But for some reason, I stopped sewing. Maybe it was because I didn't have the time. Maybe it was because I didn't have any one who wanted me to sew for them. Maybe it was because patterns and fabrics got more expensive and ready-made clothing got cheaper as their construction got outsourced to China. I made a few things for my niece, including a requested leopard print bathrobe, but she just turned 13 and is taller than me...no fun sewing for her any more. The last garment I made was the jacket for my mother's birthday last year.

The year Kate went off to college (2000), my nurse manager asked me if I wanted to get my MBA with her, one night a week for a year and a half. I said, "No thanks, I think I'm going to take a quilting class." And so it started. Over the last 9 years I have only made a dozen quilts or so, having dabbled in knitting, cross stitch, beading, scrapbooking, etc. as well. But recently I have really been into it. I have one quilt at the quilter, one that I am sewing the border on, and I just finished machine quilting (stitch in the ditch) this one. I bought the kit at Painted Pony and Quilts when we first moved to Houston. I have worked on it off and on for several years, and am finally almost finished. I just need to find the fabric for the binding. I'm pretty sure I know where it is. It is Mary Engelbreit fabric, and my first foray into applique and prairie points.

I fused the hearts with Wonder Under and used the blanket stitch on my machine.

The kit came with the stems and leaves already embroidered, I just had to sew on the buttons (also done on the machine).

I am pleased to be (almost) done with another work in progress. I am trying to decide what to start on next. These are the first two blocks from Cabbage Rose Quilting's new mystery block of the month.

I have fabric and patterns for several more quilts, just need to decide what to start next. I have been thinking of making another T-shirt quilt. I have numerous Mary Engelbreit T-shirts which I never wear, and a boatload of ME fabric, so I think it would be a fun project.

And on a totally unrelated subject, these are eggs from the farmers' market...aren't they pretty?