Sunday, February 21, 2010

... a new plan

grey yellow lime fabrics stacked

i don't know how to write this without it coming across as enormously hokey, but today i woke up and felt so sincerely happy just to be alive. the sun came pouring in through the bedroom windows this morning, i was actually happy to get out of bed early to go to boxing class, birds were chirping (yes, chirping!) outside, and everything felt so very, very good. it's like this strange february heat wave was actually thawing the figurative ice that has been forming around my heart.

it's not that i haven't been happy to be alive lately or that i wish for anything otherwise (yipes, god no!), i just haven't been so good at embracing the moment. i've been spending too much time looking forward to what will be and not enough time enjoying what is. i have found myself all too often thinking, "just get through this, just wait, just think about what will come." and, honestly, i don't even really know what it is i'm looking forward to.

grey yellow lime fabrics

so today. today felt really, really good. i had a great boxing class (i felt like i could jump rope forever), c and i went out for a walk in the sun to get a yummy hippy vegan breakfast, we spent a few hours in the garden sprucing things up, and i started cutting into some fabric for my newest quilt.

flock of triangles

and i am really excited about this puppy. it's my first quilt where i am actually following a pattern (you might recognize this as denyse schmidt's flock of triangles) and i'm happy that my fabric choices turned out looking so nice. well, there's one that's bothering me a bit--the colors are good, but it just isn't playing well with the others. i suppose that means i should take it out because i'm just going to keep looking at it and it's going to keep bothering me. right?

flock of triangles layout

otherwise, i just can't wait to sew this one together and get it into the hands of its new owner. it's a miracle i'm not working on it right now.

the other thing that has me so darn peppy about life is the new seattle modern quilting guild. we had our first meeting yesterday and i was positively giddy about meeting fellow quilters. there were so many awesome and talented ladies there and i kept thinking, "i want to be friends with all of you!" (i really am that big a dork.) it truly did inspire me and i felt so happy to finally connect with a community of women who share this wonderful, peculiar, and completely all-encompassing interest that is quilting.

Friday, February 19, 2010

... chocolate malted cupcakes, take two

chocolate malted cupcake

i tried a different recipe for these than my previous attempt.

these were a little heavy on the chocolate and a little light on the malt. much better frosting this time around, though.

chocolate malted cupcake top

and, just as imperfect cake is still cake, imperfect cupcakes are still cupcakes.

yum.

Monday, February 15, 2010

... my valentine

hearts

it has now become a valentine's day tradition in our house to make and decorate sugar cookies together. in heart shapes, naturally. no cookie cutters in this house, though. we like to cut out whatever heart shapes strike our fancy. the wonkier the better.

we also like to tint our royal icing with cherry juice. just puree some frozen cherries in the blender, then pass the mixture through a fine mesh sieve and add the juice to your icing recipe of choice. it makes such a soft, lovely pink, and it tastes so much better than food coloring.

tulips

my valentine also brought me some gorgeous pink tulips. lucky me!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

... raiding the neighbor's chicken coop

chicken

this weekend i made like fantastic mr. fox and snuck on down to my neighbor's house to raid the chicken coop.



fortunately, unlike mr. fox, no chickens were harmed in the making of this blog post. i made off with some lovely eggs and left the chickens completely intact, clucking and pecking away.

chicken coop

and, ok, so i also wasn't really stealing. my neighbors were out of town and gave me permission to take whatever eggs were laid while they were gone.

i really do have the best neighbors, right?

one egg

day one: one egg.

two eggs

day two: two eggs.

three eggs

one plus two equals three perfect eggs!

Monday, February 8, 2010

... finishing another quilt

red letter day plus quilt

oh boy, i can't tell you how proud i am of this quilt. sure, it took me nearly two months longer to complete than i planned, but i am still so pleased with how it all turned out.

red letter day plus quilt

it is now washed and i am basking in its crinkly wrinkly goodness. soon, it will be in the hands of its new owner, my sweet nephew.

red letter day plus quilt

red letter day plus quilt back

i am so pleased with the back, which features the fabulous blue ribbon print. what little boy wouldn't love a blue ribbon quilt? a crazy one, that's who!

red letter day plus quilt

i am also super happy that i went with the blue pearl bracelet for the binding. it really ties the whole quilt together, you know?

red letter day plus quilt

and, of course, i have my next quilt planned, one which will feature a lot of triangles and a lot of grey and yellow. yay!

red letter day plus quilt

Saturday, February 6, 2010

... banana muffins and binding

banana coconut muffins

with some awfully brown bananas in the fruit basket (and some serious sewing needing to be accomplished today) it seemed appropriate to bake a batch of banana muffins for sustenance.

egg & coconut

of course, i love all things coconut, so when i saw this recipe for banana muffins with coconut on epicurious i knew we were destined to be together.

banana coconut muffins

i subbed in some whole wheat flour for half of the all-purpose flour in order to pretend that these were remotely nutritious at no detriment to the taste. and they were definitely quite tasty, especially with the coconut on top creating a crispy crunchy layer.

binding

next, time to tackle the binding for my nephew's quilt (which needs no introduction here, i'm sure).

binding

i really do enjoy making and sewing the binding. i find the final hand stitching of the binding to be oddly satisfying and calming. especially when you can while away the hours watching two episodes of the new masterpiece classic emma.

sewing the binding

next installment... a finished quilt! [gasp!]

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

... a new knitting project

new project

i love fresh, new skeins of yarn. i love the possibility of new knitting projects. i love that this gorgeous manos del uruguay silk blend will soon become some cute little cranford mitts.



and speaking of cranford-inspired knitting, i am still obsessed with this shawl that dame judi dench wears in the miniseries. in fact, there are quite a few lovely knitted shawls worn by the ladies of cranford. but this one has captured my heart and i can't find any leads on where to find the pattern. and, sadly, i am not a skilled enough knitter to figure out a pattern on my own.

sigh.

Monday, February 1, 2010

... waffles

waffle

lucky me! i got a waffle iron for christmas. in fact, i gave c's brother a waffle iron for christmas, and he gave me a waffle iron, too! not so much a coincidence, when i discovered that c suggested the gift to both of us. still, happy day, indeed, since i've always wanted one.

waffle maker

the real tragedy is that we waited until yesterday to use it. how i lived without my own homemade waffles is beyond me. it's something i never order when i go out to eat (except when in belgium, but that's another store and another waffle altogether), but i'm sure happy to eat them at home.

stiff eggwhites

i suppose it's the beaten eggs whites that make them so light and fluffy. honestly, though, i don't care what it is. i just want to eat them.

table

they were delicious topped with fresh berries and maple syrup. and the one leftover waffle today was great toasted with a little blackberry jam. mmmmm...

waffle with fruit