Friday, June 26, 2009

Just a little end of the week tornado

This was what we saw at 5pm from the windows at work as a storm passed through our city.





It was on the water for a solid 20 minutes and traveled from one side of the river to the other. It never touched down on land (thankfully) but was an amazing thing to watch.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day Sunday

The family's coming over for some Father's Day spaghetti bolognese and it's a beautiful sunny (though super hot!) day. I think we would be grilling if the BBQ grill hadn't desintegrated when we last tried to use it, but it's ok..we like italian. I have finished another tote bag that I'll post pictures of soon. The ones I took this morning didn't come out as well as I had hoped so I'm going to try again this evening. I've been bopping to music all day so I thought since I was in the musical spirit I would leave you with one of my most favorite musicians, Glen Hansard with Marketa Irglova as the band The Swell Season. If you haven't seen the movie "Once" yet, I can't recommend it enough. I saw it last year and for Christmas bought more than one person the DVD. The movie won an Oscar for it's music and here's why...

The Swell Season - When Your Mind's Made Up from Artists Den on Vimeo.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Back to the grind

As you know, if you followed along with our vacation blog, we are back home now and sadly, back to our daily grind.  We’ve been suffering a bit from the post vacation blues now that London is a thing of the past and we have a long time to go until we plan our next vacation. 

One thing keeping me cheery is getting back to some sewing.  I know I haven’t been knitting much, but it’s because I’ve really been having fun with teaching myself how to sew.  The most recent project was just completed Friday evening. 


It’s my first quilted bag and I had a lot of fun making it.  Especially since it was a joint effort with my sister, Anna.  She did the cutting and ironing while I did the sewing.  Now tell me if THAT isn’t the dream scenario. 

The tutorial for this Charming Handbag was made by one of my favorite sewing bloggers, Crazy Mom Quilts.  

It was a really easy-to-follow tutorial and I did the quilting myself (as evidenced by the puckers there on the side of the bag).  The fabric was from a fat quarter bundle my sister picked up at Joann’s and the lining is made of denim.  





I did add a couple of pockets to the inside but I skipped the snap because when it came time to add it, I couldn’t find it!  Oh well…   The bag is for someone my sister works with though I think if she could, she would keep it herself.  We have more fabric all set to go for bag #2.

Aside from that I’m about to start a zigzag quilt from fabric that I got in a kit for Christmas. I’m planning on cutting the strips this evening so I should be piecing it by next weekend. 

I hope everyone’s keeping cool in the summer heat.  Be back soon!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Leaving on a jet plane...

We leave for London tomorrow! If you want to follow along on our adventures, please visit here.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

And then there was none.

So of course that’s how it works.  I get all excited about 2 posts in a row and then nothing..nada, for over a month.   I love it when I can really concentrate on the blog but unfortunately the last month or so has been entirely too overloaded for me to concentrate on much other than school.   I did, however, manage to get through the last semester and a crappy research paper.  Happily here I am on my first weekend with no homework hanging over my head.

Outside of school, in the last month I have managed to complete the crazy nine patch quilt top (and back). All I have left to do is the quilting and binding, and I’m hoping that will be one thing I get to work onfamband tomorrow. 

We finally finished painting the kitchen green, and also hosted the in-laws last weekend and had a wonderful visit.  It isn’t very often that the family band gets reunited.  We had a great time, enjoyed amazing food cooked by my mother-in-law, and can’t wait until the next visit.  We worked hard at convincing them to buy the house next door that’s currently for sale, but so far no dice. We’ll have to keep at it.

In crafty news, I have so many projects in my list of “stuff I wanna sew” that I don’t even know where to begin.  I really want to make a birdhouse wall hanging for my mother for Mother’s Day, but being the newbie quilter I am, I’m not quite sure how to start.  I’ve also been totally inspired by these mini-quilts at Tallgrass Prairie Studio, as well as this art piece that I think is so amazing.  I’m going to try to play around with stitch drawing and see what I can come up with for Mother’s Day.  I really don’t want to get my mom yet another Pandora bead, although I don’t think she would mind much.

My knitting has been floundering this year, though I haven’t stopped reading knitting blogs.  I’m still plugging away at the same scarf albeit very slowly. 

What’s also been keeping me preoccupied is our upcoming trip to London.  We’re down to the last week and a half, which is going to fly by considering next weekend will be taken up with my friend’s wedding in which I am a bridesmaid.  We’ve finally narrowed our itinerary down and are beginning to pre-book train tickets for our day trips.  Our top choices of places to see are the British Museum, Tower of London, Bath, Stonehenge, Windsor Castle and Hampton Court Palace.  Somehow we are hoping to also squeeze about 20 other destinations in our short six day visit.  Tomorrow we’re going to do a packing dry run.  My husband really wants us to use just carry-ons but I think he’s in dreamland. 

Coming soon…pictures of the Crazy Nine Patch quilt and some of my upcoming projects. 

Monday, March 9, 2009

Two in a row!

Lookie here…two posts in two days…it must be spring break!  This weekend was very busy with errands and odds and ends, but I did get some things accomplished.  The crazy nine patch squares are completely pieced, all 36 of them.  The next step is to get to trimming them and then it’s time for sashing.  I can’t wait to see the quilt top come together.  OFquiltalong

I also did a little fat quarter shopping and used up some gift certificate credit at the local quilt shop, Calico Junction. It was only my second time in the shop and I’m pretty sure based on my browsing that’s it nearly 90% Moda fabric, which was just fine with me.  The lady who was working on Sunday was super sweet and cut fat quarters for me right off the bolts. She even did a little hunting with me to choose just the right yellows and oranges.  I went in armed with a printed out color wheel and my notes on color schemes and ended up with what I think is a nice  palette.  I haven’t chosen the sashing or the backing pieces yet but I do have something in mind. 




My most exciting news is that Chris and I have finally narrowed down what we want to do for vacation.  We’ve booked our plane tickets and tonight reserved our room in London.  I’m so excited I can barely stand it.  I’m really looking forward to some overseas blogging so stay tuned!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Spring Break

I’m extremely happy to say that my midterms are over and Spring Break has officially started!  Of course, for the younger set this means beaches and parties.  For the older folk like me it means watching TV with my husband in the evenings and lots of crafting on the weekend. 

I have so many plans for this weekend’s free time I’m not even sure where to start.  I am hoping to finish the quilt top on the crazy nine patch quilt this weekend.  I am 2/3rd’s of the way through the last set of 9 squares and after that it’s just sewing on the sashing.  I have scrap fabric from the squares that needs to be pieced as part of the backing, and then I’m in the home stretch.

I am also hoping to hit the fabric store this weekend to pick out some fat quarters for the Quilt-a-long over at one of my favorite blogs, oh, fransson!  If you’re a newbie quilter like me, this quilt-a-long is shaping up to be the perfect learning experience.   Elizabeth has already donefqswap1 a couple of really great post on basic color theory and choosing fabrics so far that was a huge help to me.

Speaking of fat quarters, I have to say I made out quite nicely in the Sew Mama Sew quilt swap.  Thanks so much to Calico Daisy, Simply Cotton, and Sibling Craftery who sent out such nice fat quarters.  Please stop by their blogs and say hello.

Well, I’m off to begin the Spring Break festivities…first stop, quilt shop.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Today was the day I was report to Jury Duty for the first time.  I must admit, I was quite happy to see the summons in my mailbox.  I have always been interested in the whole judicial process, as well as doing my civic duty, and really had no interest or inclination in trying to get out of it.  Unfortunately for me, it was not meant to be this time around.  I was assigned to Group 21 for today’s jury selection, however when I called the clerk of courts over the weekend for instructions,  Groups 1-20 were instructed to report for duty while Groups 21 and above were dismissed…bummer.

So instead, aside from a quick little blog post, my assignment for today is to complete the title page and introduction of my research paper, as well as write my essay on the Philosophy of Nursing.  Woo hoo!

At the moment I’m taking a break and wanted to show you the four fat qufqswaparters I’ve chosen the Sew, Mama, Sew fat quarter swap.  I didn’t follow a pattern or color theme, I simply chose patterns that I really liked.  I think my favorite might be the Koi fish second from the left.  I love the colors in the flower pattern, love the aqua in the pattern on the far right, and am a girly girl at heart who loves butterflies as in the blue pattern.  In the morning I will be sending each one off to their new homes, one as far away as Australia!  I hope the recipients are happy with what I chose. slumdog_millionaire

On a completely side note, I watched the Oscars last night mostly because I wanted to see Slumdog Millionaire do well, and it did.  If you haven’t seen the film yet, it’s really well worth hype and attention it’s received and I highly recommend it.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Day off.

I’ve recently changed my work schedule to where I’m working four 10 hour days instead of five 8 hour days in order to accommodate for some study time.  I know that I’m ekobayashixtremely fortunate to be able to do this with my schedule and try hard to utilize the time appropriately, but it’s SO hard not to sit here and read blogs for hours about what I really want to be doing…sewing or knitting.  In fact, at this very moment I have my school book open on my desk yet I find myself blogging and daydreaming of the Kobayashi fabrics my very sneaky husband bought me for Christmas.  He saw me drooling over a post on The Purl Bee before Christmas and then ordered the exact same fabrics from that blog post.  The fabrics are Kobayashi Chrysanthemums and Flower Squares and I have 5 half yards of it calling to me today. kobayashi1 My sister-in-law went in on the gift and added the coordinating solids to make a nice set.  I’ve been kicking around ideas for what to do with the fabrics for awhile now and have narrowed it down to a quilt in a style similar to this Caroline Quilt, also from The Purl Bee or maybe Oh, Fransson’s pattern for the Mixtape quilt.  However, I am open to suggestion. 

Also on the agenda for today is a little fancy cooking. I’m a huge fan of Thai food and I have the greatest little Thai cookbook that I cook from once a week. So far I’ve enjoyed every recipe I’ve tried of which my favoritthaicookbookes have been Green Curry Chicken with Zucchini (ooh, spicy!!) and Five Spice Stew with Hard Boiled Eggs and Pork.  Today I’m going to be trying Panaeng Beef in Red Curry Peanut sauce.   I say anything with peanut butter as an ingredient has got to be good. 

Speaking of food…Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. This year my husband and I are going to repeat what we did last year and cook a nice meal together. Last year we made Italian food and some home made bruschetta.  This year I am pretty sure I’d like to try a chocolate soufflĂ© for dessert but I’m still up in the air on the meal.  What will you be doing for Valentine’s Day this year? 

I must get back to studying now.  If I can get my schoolwork finished by 11:00 12:00 1:00 then maybe I can get to doing something a little more fun!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

After a long hiatus…

So you’ll notice I’ve moved yet again, this time I believe permanently.  I tried to stay with wordpress but I’ve had a much easier time trying to personalize this new blog into something that makes me happy.  I think I’ve found it, so welcome to my new home. 

I believe the last time I posted at the old address it was election day. I have missed blogging terribly and was constantly formulating posts in my head. I just didn't seem to be able to find the time to post them. The last few months have been extremely busy with finishing up classes at my old school and transferring over to my new school, the University of Central Florida. I am now 4 and a half semesters away from completing my degree and I can actually see a little bit of light at the end of that tunnel. I've settled in at UCF, having started classes about a month ago, and I'm really happy with my choice in schools.

The holidays were a bit of a blur and truthfully, did not include much in the way of knitting. I've been tinkering with a few projects here and there but nothing is even near to FO status. However, I am currentleafscarfly really moving along on this little ditty. The pattern is the Lovely Leaf Lace Scarf and I'm knitting it in Berroco Comfort worsted weight yarn. I love knitting patterns that contain lacework in a worsted weight because for one, it's so much easier and for two, it's so much easier! I can't wait until it's completed and  I'm absolutely dying to finish a scarf. My sister Anna, who I taught to knit about 2 months before Christmas, finished at least 6 scarves before the end of December. Honestly I think it might even be more than that because she's been giving them out to every kid on my nephew's swim team. I must finish something just to get her to stop calling me a slacker!

What's been taking up most of my free time of late has really been quilting and sewing. My quilting has improved a bit and I'm now actually sewing a 1/4 inch seam vs. thpink quilte 5/8 inch seams I started with. My lines are straighter and patterns are making much more sense. I truly, truly understand the importance of the iron now (we have become acquainted, he is my friend) and I think I'm getting over the initial overwhelming sensation that I used to have when studying fabrics and patterns. There was a period of time when I was absolutely too afraid to cut into anything, but that's gone and I've even become a bit adventurous. For example, here is the second quilt I've ever made.  I just winged it in the measurements and pattern, but if you look closely pink2you'll notice some free form machine quilting. The quilting itself is definitely not perfect but what a great learning experience!  Most importantly I think I could have saved myself 4 hours of picking out stitches if I had only thought to try it with the presser foot down. The darning foot was a Christmas present from my husband and I couldn't wait to try it out. This quilt was originally intended for a shower gift but wasn't finished in time. I’m sure I’ll find a home for it but I'm kind of stuck on what color to use on the binding. I think white would look best  but will get so dirty around the edges. If anyone has a suggestion, please let me know. Otherwise I think it's going to sit on the "needs bound" pile for a good while. crazy9patch

I have a few more photos to share of current projects, starting with my first ever Crazy Nine Patch quilt. The tutorial I've been following is super easy.  I can't wait to finish these and  set them into the chocolate brown sashing I have planned. So far I have 18 squares completed and 18 more squares to go. The hardest thing about quilting lately has been in deciding what to work on next. 

One more project I've been working on has been in making 9 quilt blocks for the Spring Quilt Block Swap. I chose the color purple and the "Austin" block pattern from Quilters Cache. Once my austin blocks are completed, I send them in and the organizer will send me back 8 different blocks to go with my block. I can't wait to see the other blocks and can't wait to put them all together. More information on the swap can be found at Reanna Lily Designs.  It was a really easy block to make and has endless possibilities.  I can definitely see more of these blocks in my future. 

I really could go on and on but I think I’ve rambled for long enough today.  I’ve been wanting to blog for so long that I have lots of content planned for future posts.  I hope you’ll come back again for a visit.  It feels great to be back.