Friday, April 30, 2010

... being one year old!

birthday

today i'm celebrating one year of being for this lil' blog. it's certainly been a year of ups and downs for me, but i'm happy to report that what ara jane loves has been a big part of creating a lot more of the ups.

thank you to all you readers who've made this such an enjoyable experience. i love reading your comments and getting to know you all through your own blogs. isn't this interweb an amazing thing? through it i've made friends across the country (and even other countries!), gotten involved in seattle's modern quilt guild and met some super cool real-life quilters, become inspired by some amazing creations and photos, and even had the chance to inspire others.

i look forward to another year of looking on the bright side of life and discovering even more things in the world to add to the list of what i love.

(now, off to celebrate by eating some more of these tasty blog-birthday blondies!)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

... new fabric

i didn't mean to, but i just couldn't resist.

new fabric

i only intended to order some more modern meadow from sew, mama, sew!

new fabric

but then i saw all this. those alexander henry prints on the right are absolutely killing me. so bright. so lovely. and there's something about the highly saturated, candy colors of these patricia bravo sugar prints. pink! yellow! blue! yay!

new fabric

and, obviously, i couldn't resist throwing some nicey jane flowers in the basket to round things out.

new fabric

and then, wouldn't you know, i happened into esther's on bainbridge island last week and needed (needed, i tell you!) just a couple more little folks to add to the stash.

new fabric

and, i don't know exactly why, but these little kokka cars called to me from the shelf. i do find them just a little too cute, but then, i could probably use a little too cute in my life right now.

Monday, April 26, 2010

... matching

quilt and mug

because it is of the utmost importance that your tea mug coordinates perfectly with what you are quilting.

.
.
.

duh.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

... plant sale season

florabundance 2010

oh, plant sale season.

(i apologize to anyone who comes here specifically for the quilting, but since my sewing machine was on the fritz this week--though it miraculously revived this afternoon--i have very little to report on the quilting front.)

florabundance 2010

but bring on the plants!

florabundance, the arboretum foundation's spring plant sale, is quite delightful. what i love is that it's filled with all sorts of plants i haven't seen. or at least, ones i don't encounter on regular trips to swanson's.

florabundance 2010

like this super duper awesome, weirdly atypical rhododendron. (yeah, we bought it.)

florabundance 2010

florabundance 2010

or some crazy flowers.

but also some old friends.

florabundance 2010

like saxifrage, with its tiny flowers that look like someone painted with a toothpick and a magnifying glass.

florabundance 2010

or hostas. which are great but c can no longer buy, since we have one bed entirely dominated by every type of hosta known to man.

sand point

sand point

and, of course, since florabundance was held at sand point, we spent some time wandering the p-patch and admiring their gorgeous native hedgerow.

sand point

i loved finding this bee hard at work on this peony. go, bee, go!

good picnic spot

and then, we wrapped up the afternoon with a little picnic in our favorite spot at the center for urban horticulture, amongst the salal, serviceberry and vine maples.

yay for spring!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

... making

when in doubt, make something...

snikerdoodle cupcakes

whether that thing be snickerdoodle cupcakes...

jewelry

jewelry

or a handmade something-or-other at craft night with your friends.

jewelry

jewelry

lots of jewelry making going on here.

hexagon making + wine

of course, you could probably guess what i chose to work on.

one thing i should be making more of is time to blog. yeah, i'll definitely try to make more of that this week.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

... more hexagons

hexagons

it's grooooooowing!

hexagons

yup, i think this is going to end up as a quilt.

hexagons

just check back in a couple of years to see the finished product.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

... a good week

jacquie

i don't know about you, but i had a pretty good week. i got to meet jacquie of tallgrass prairie studio and admire her beautiful quilts in person.

jacquie

jacquie's selvage string quilt

including her truly amazing selvage quilt. wow.

jacquie

she came to speak at fabric crush in their new location in wallingford, which pleases me since it's now that much closer to my house.

also, i survived the first week of teaching for the spring quarter. and i'm happy to have such a terrific class of students. whew!

and i celebrated the end of the week with my neighbors, margaritas, and a surprisingly rowdy charades match.

and i went to my cousin's wedding, which was sweet and just perfect.

and today the sun finally broke through the clouds and rain (and hail!) we've been having lately here in seattle, and it was actually nice enough to sit outside and celebrate our friend dave's 40th birthday.

red letter day plus quilt

oh, and my red letter day plus quilt was featured as quilt of the day on sew, mama, sew! for quilting month. i am so insanely flattered and tickled by this, both by having my quilt chosen and the comments it received. reading some of those comments actually made me cry, they were so touching and lovely. i adore sew, mama, sew! and have been enjoying quilting month, so to see my second finished quilt ever on the site was a serious honor.

also a big hello and welcome to anyone who found their way over here from sew, mama, sew! i hope you can take a moment to say hi and introduce yourself.

here's to having another great week!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

... a new pillow

i was itching to finish something. anything.

so i turned this into this...

stacked coin pillow

i was so hasty in my sewing that this little pillow is all kinds of wonky. and i'm not just talking about the purposely wonky stacked coins. the corners are too pointy, the fabric is pulling funny over the pillow form (but i blame the too-puffy pillow for that), and the envelope closure isn't sitting right. but whatever.

the yellow/blue/green color scheme makes me so happy and reminds me that spring is coming. i got to make use of the string-pieced business i made in katie's improvisation piecing class.

stacked coin pillow back

and the aqua-dotted back is just the right complement to the front.

sometimes i'm glad that i'm so easy to please.

Monday, April 5, 2010

... joel dewberry's modern meadow

for the past few weeks i have been drooling over joel dewberry's new collection, but i've resisted buying it online because sometimes the fabric that looks so great onscreen can be a real dud in your hands. but today i stopped by the quilting loft and, lucky me, they had a bunch of the prints and several beautifully packaged fat quarter bundles that i just couldn't resist.

modern meadow stack

it's even lovelier in person than it appears onscreen.

swoon.

i may have to go back for more.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

... easter eggs

eggs

oh, easter. i'm not done with you yet.

eggs in carton

i saw this idea in martha stewart living (the source of all good things in the world) and knew i had to try it at gael's easter egg decorating party this weekend. i used some electrical tape that i cut up into bits and stripes and some vinyl letters that were super fun to play around with.

bowl of eggs

obviously, mine aren't as impeccably done as martha's, but i actually prefer my splotchy wabi-sabi eggs.

egg in carton

like a dummy, though, i forgot to take pictures at the party. believe me, some lovely eggs were made by all. gael, in her true pop culture fashion, had all sorts of cool and retro egg dying kits on hand, along with enough food to feed an army of easter bunnies.

white eggs

egg ice bath

lucky for me, i really like hard boiled eggs. i have a week of egg salad and deviled eggs planned. mmmm...

yay!

yay indeed!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

... hot cross buns

let's put this in the category of holidays-i-don't-necessarily-believe-in-but-love-to-bake-for (i mean, aren't we all a little too old to believe in the easter bunny?). but seriously, aren't hot cross buns the best?

hot cross buns

i have a thing for just slightly sweet yeasted breads with dried fruits and a touch of icing.

hot cross buns

after trying a few over the years, the recipe i've finally landed on is from beth hensperger's bread bible. it has currants and dried apricots and not one, but two glazes! the first is a simple sugar syrup that you brush over the buns just after they emerge from the oven to give them that shiny crunchy coating. the second is a super tasty lemon icing to make the crosses, with both fresh lemon juice and lemon zest.

hot cross buns

i think the dried apricots are the real secret ingredient here.

hot cross buns

between these that i made today and the hot cross buns a patient brought me yesterday, i have pretty much eaten nothing but buns in the last 24 hours.

a belly full of buns.