Monday, May 26, 2014

Getting back in balance

Today is four days after surgery. I am still sore and mending, but I am starting to want to do things. It is a bit frustrating to have to have Hubby do a great deal, but there isn't a way around it.
We went out to the garden and picked a few tomatoes. My Romas are a bit disappointing I think in size, but the apricots in the side yard are quite abundant and flavorful. I decided to make some apricot jam with my Jam Maker that I got for Mother's day. Perfect! Great fun.
Here is a picture of the apricots and the Romas....the Romas should be as big or bigger than the apricots!
Hubby got down and picked some of his favorite squash....in a couple of days they really got big!
It is a scallop type of squash, his absolute fav.....
So, slowly, I am getting back into the garden. Our boysenberries are ripening and we have a few for dessert tonight too...
I hope you are having a wonderful evening!
Nancy

Friday, May 23, 2014

I will be back...

This Thursday (yesterday) I had surgery to remove a very large tumor on my ovary.
The prayers have been answered and it was benign.
So, now starts the healing will be begin as the surgery entailed a large incision (was supposed to be lapraoscopic) to remove both ovaries and the tumor, so I won't be doing much for the next few weeks...I might start a quilt, but we will see.
Thanks again for the prayers!
Happy Memorial Weekend!
Nancy

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Redecorating the Hutch

It is funny, how inspiration hits. Sometimes when you least expect it you see something that just triggers a thought. Such a thing happened yesterday. Hubby and I went to Roger's Gardens to get something we needed and since he gave me a gift card there, he let me look around. So patient. It was toward the end of looking around that I went into a far corner, and there it was....an old hutch filled with plants. Bingo! Inspiration took hold. Now, I was on a quest to find the perfect plants to put on the hutch.....
When we got back, everything came out of the hutch, it got a good cleaning and then I began to reassemble parts....with plants.
Here is what we got....


 I loved this English Ivy with its variegated leaves and I had the perfect pot outside.
 I brought in from my potting bench this little zinc pitcher and cut some lavender down so this could tuck into the back corner. The spanish moss is from a fake stalk I had...I just cut bits and pieces to tuck here and there.
 This little birdcage topiary is one of my favs, it came from a thrift store.....
And my stone bunny, snuggled up at the top.
I found that I reduced the number of plates, but did need some of them as the dark wood didn't show the plants or other items well, so white plates act as a great backdrop....
What do you think?
Nancy

Monday, May 19, 2014

Cure for a rusty "teacart"

About two years ago, I found a great little metal "teacart" at a garage sale. Score! At the time, it was lovely and not rusty. But, abuse on our part in using it outside had taken the shine on the poor cart. If I used it as I often did for big parties and such, I covered it with a tablecloth.
Yesterday, I decided it was time for a change. I figured if chalk paint didn't work (remember no priming or sanding)...then later I would spray paint it.
But, spray painting something is more complicated. It requires moving cars...setting up the spray station and of course getting the spray paint in the color of your choice.
Or....you can go into the garage, where my chalk paint is nicely stored, pick the color of choice, set up a drop cloth, grab a paintbrush and sit down and enjoy yourself. No fumes, no fuss.....
So, yup. that is what I did!
So, sweet Hubby, who was keeping me company, took two shots with his phone, realizing I had forgotten the "before"...

See the rust? Yeah, I admit it. The rust is my fault. Although it was covered most of the time, just being outside, it got rusty......
So, here I am, painting. I of course wiped it clean, but just went right over the rust. Like I said. The rust may find its way to the top again (it does with other paint), but why not have fun, right?
I painted it Duck Egg Blue (no wax as it will primarily be used outside, at least in summer).


I was quite pleased with the coverage...two coats and it was done....then I realized as I was painting that the legs were now an obvious rusty chrome....not my style...so I went and got my Graphite and painted those that color....
What do you think?? It looks quite lovely I think, and ready for a summer of fun....
What kind of things do you do on a whim??
Nancy

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Inspired by other bloggers

I read other blogs....lots of them. I am inspired by them and when Savy Southern Style posts her Wednesday blog full of other bloggers and their creations, my husband groans...."oh, it's Wednesday...."
You see, she gives people like me a chance to meet other bloggers and see their "stuff".
Well, sometimes the ideas stay with me for a while then I do something similar....
Yesterday, "Confessions of a serial diyer" made a cover for her toaster oven. Why didn't I think of that?
I have always thought that my toaster oven, as wonderful as it is to have, is well, ugly.
Now, hers is totally wonderful complete with a graphic on it...but, I knew with her tutorial on her blog, that I could make something similar at least.....
So, I did. I goes with my cover for the Kitchenaid that sits on the counter....
Here it is before...sitting next to the Kitchenaid which sits to the right....
And here it is now.....
The fabric came from a remnant of fabric from a valance I had....
I didn't add the ruffle that she added to hers...but I think it turned out pretty well....
Have a great day.
Nancy

Monday, May 12, 2014

Easier than Pie

Ok, so I was so excited to get the jam maker that I went out and bought blackberries, which are my favorite.
The recipe called for 4 6oz packages...so it makes small batches at a time....
Then I rinsed and put them in the food processor to chop and mash...

You sprinkle in the prescribed amount of pectin, then the crushed berries and turn it on....

It starts stirring and heating up...in four minutes it is ready for the sugar (I used the low sugar recipe).....
Then for another 22 minutes it cooked and stirred, while I changed the laundry, put on artichokes for dinner and went out to jar storage to get jars....

When my jars were ready, so was the jam! Seriously! You know it was just right by the way it jelled on the ladle and the funnel......
Oh yummmmm....this will be a fun toy. Other benefit...the kitchen didn't get hot....well, not from the jam, maybe from the huge artichokes I was cooking....
Voila!
Two pints of blackberry jam....
The plastic lids are only for storage in the fridge....these are not proper canning lids...If I was going to make them shelf safe I would use the two piece metal lids....but these are great for this type of application.
Well, now it is time to clean the non-stick pot on the machine....
Have a great evening...
Nancy

For Mother's Day

I have the most wonderful family....and I am so lucky to get to share the day with a wonderful Hubby and two very special daughters and a truly special son-in-law (and a soon to be wonderful grandbaby)....
This year, my sweet Hubby brought home a beautiful dozen red roses! He said he couldn't resist....
And my eldest daughter gave me lavender linen spray...because she knows I love it and use it up! As well as a gift card to TJMaxx.....so sweet!
My youngest daughter and her husband gave me a gift card to a nursery and a 5 gallon rose. It is a beautiful red rose that has ruffly petals....now I have to find a space....
And Hubby? He gave me a gift card to a favorite nursery, Roger's and a jam maker!

Now, if any of you have spent time stirring and stirring jam and often on a hot summer day, you may appreciate this appliance from the Ball Company. It is automatic!
You put the pectin in the container, add your ready mashed fruit (or juice for jelly) and turn it on. In four minutes or so, a beeper goes off  to let you know it is time to add sugar. Then, the machine goes and it stirs and cooks your jam (or jelly) until it is ready. How cool is that??
Well, they have all been after me to make more jams and jellys and marmalade, so now I have no excuse! I will be buying blackberries to test it out....and I will let you  know what I think.
Very cool ........
I hope you had a great Mother's Day! Have a great week ahead....
Nancy

Friday, May 9, 2014

What I have been up to....

You haven't heard much from me. Busy going to Dr. appointments. But in between I have been trying to stay busy piecing...it mostly calms me to do "busy" work.
So, here is what I have now....a quilt top, for a toddler...


The fabric is "Scrumptious" by Moda and I used a jelly roll....
It is nice once in a while to let someone else to do the cutting and picking of fabric that coordinates.
I found out from my "class" online that there are so many more pre-cut options out there...so lots of other people want someone to coordinate their colors too...and don't like to cut.
The only problem with jelly rolls and other packs, is that if you choose a two color or specific type pattern, there are too many colors to work with in these packs. However, this was a fun project to work on. I still need to get a backing and some batting...and then quilt it (I haven't decided which way to do that just yet.)
Hope you are having a great day and Happy Mother's Day!!
Nancy

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Weekend doings....

What did you do this weekend??
We got to see our niece and nephew with their kids visiting from Texas. Most adorable kiddos ages 4 and 10 mos.....we went to Huntington Beach (along with thousands of other people there) to enjoy the milder sunny day and water.
Before that I moved the big wing chair from the family room to the living room and swapped it out with the littler wing chair....it just feels better. Don't know why I didn't think of it sooner!
It is a relaxed linen slipcover that goes with the color of the room better....Like my little pillow?? I had a remnant in my stash and pulled it out to make this pillow....
I also worked on a new quilt layout this weekend. My eldest daughter and I worked together to stitch all the strips together and then I cut them with my Accuquilt into squares.
Here is what we came up with.....it will be a toddler size quilt....
The fabric is Scrumptious by Moda and it was from a jelly roll.
To be honest, I like strips so far for binding and borders....though this will be cute when done, I like making squares and triangles and such ....think I need to do another hunters star or something after this....
Have a great day...
Nancy

Friday, May 2, 2014

Finished Dresden Plate

Ok, so I have finished the Dresden Plate.
I think it turned out pretty well.....
A whole cloth quilt with a singular appliqued Dresden Plate.
I used a meandering quilt style throughout the rest of the quilt, it softens the sharp lines that the Dresden has, and I used a flower feather wreath in the center medallion. The quilt is the same white on the back.


Have a great day...I am going to figure out what to sew next!
Nancy