Thursday, October 29, 2009

studio design

I have wall envy! This past weekend me and my friend Karen spent a fun day installing new design walls and inspiration boards in my friend Cathi's studio! She has taken over her living AND dining room for her studio and has wonderful wall space that I am absolutely green about. Don't get me wrong, I love my new studio space but OMG look at this great design wall.

The panels are each 8' wide and 6' tall. Of course, she also has some stunning projects to go on her new design wall. Above that she has a small ledge that now showcases two very cool art doll's that a quilt artist friend Cindi Goodwin made. It shows them off very nicely.

Then next to that, we hung two 2' x4' inspiration boards that we covered in a
great neutral fabric. Actually it's from the Deja Brew collection by Studioe fabrics. However, since we've left Cathi has been filling it up with inspiration so the fabric may not be visible now!
The picture is crooked not the boards.

We still have one more project to finish in her studio that is also going to be really great but we ran out of time this session. We had to go out for lunch to keep up our strength. :) We did find a new place for her ruler collection at the end of a bookcase. Much more accessible than where they were. There's just a peek at her neatly folded fabric inventory....more envy!

We also had a lot of help from Cathi's Rhodesian ridgeback, Clancey. He's very good at washing ears and nosing through purses for treats! That's Karen teasing him with ice in a cup.

Can't wait to get back to finish what we started and then it's on to Karen's studio!
Do you have wall envy?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Jack and the beanstalk

It's planting season again in Florida and things are starting out pretty good.
This season I am growing green beans, Roma and beefsteak tomatoes, blue Hubbard squash, jalapeno peppers, broccoli, spinach, scallions, cilantro and basil. That's if they all survive!
So far the beans are doing great and reaching for the sky. As fast as they are growing, there just might be something to the story of Jack & the beanstalk! I did find 2 little caterpillars on them, (note the holes in the leaves) but I took them off and moved them far away. So far I haven't seen any more.
My bell peppers made it through the hot summer so I just trimmed them back and they have blossoms like crazy - it may be a bumper crop of peppers this
season. The Hubbard squash is off to a great start as is the basil and cilantro.

The beefsteak and Roma tomato seedlings are getting bigger, but I had to reseed the spinach, scallions and broccoli. Something got to them. Oh well, I have more seeds.

I can't wait for harvest time to start but it'll be a while. The first picture is a blossom on our shrimp plant. I just love these. They are so cool looking and they just keep blooming all the time. Plus the butterflies seem to like them. We've tried to plant our yard with a lot of butterfly friendly plants and it worked. We have so many different butterflies around and in large numbers too. They can be pleasantly distracting outside my office and studio windows.
I had a fun weekend helping a friend put up new design walls and inspiration boards.
Watch for the post in a day or two. It turned out really cool.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I have finished another project out of the overflowing project jar!
You remember the jars don't you? (May 2009)
Well, I was finally inspired to make my inspiration board. I guess I had been putting it off because I really don't have a wall for it right now. But I really wanted to get one put up. So I went and bought one of those over the door hooks, and hung it on the door that goes from my office to the studio.
I was just going to cover it with a neutral fabric but when I came across this piece of damask I decided some simple thread painting would be fun and add some interest to it.

All I did was roughly stitch around the leaf shapes that were on the damask. I wasn't real fussy about it. I used a variegated thread, Sulky Blendables in fact. I really like the way it turned out and because I used a light color thread it is a subtle effect.

I did decide however that I wanted a bit more color on my board. So, I paired it up with this great green and blue batik print and then I added an orange print pocket to hold things that I couldn't pin on the board. BTW, my board is just heavy corrugated cardboard that I covered in cotton batting first.
I wrapped the batting to the back and hot glued it and then did the same with the fabric. I also hot glued on a length of Grosgrain ribbon to hang it form the door hook.
I found some really cute little glass push pins from an Etsy shop ( add some fun.
All in all I am happy with my new I just have to dig out all my inspirations to pin on. I have a feeling I didn't make it big enough :)

What size is your inspiration board, and do you have more than one?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

the queen of pillowcases

Arghhh, ahoy matey's
I finally have the pics of some of the adorable pillowcases my friend Karen has been making.
It started out as a project for the children at the Shriner's Burn Hospital in Tampa. Our local quilt shop (Quilt Lover's Hangout) supplied instructions and also has kits to make fun colorful pillowcases for the children in the hospital. Well, Karen is hooked, and besides making them for the hospital she is making them for gifts now too. They are kind of addicting-ly easy and fun to
make. Plus, there are so many adorable fabrics to make them from. I have a stack started myself, but here are some of Karen's. I think she has made more since the pic. These are sure to bring a smile to someones face.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

mmm...macs, meatpies & mini-cakes

It's been a busy yet productive week and I have been meaning to post this from last weekend.
We celebrated our 35th anniversary (yes I was married at age 4) and we also celebrated my father-in-laws birthday. We always offer them the choice of going out or to cook something at home.
My father-in-law opted for home cooked, which meant a day in the kitchen. But I made the most of it and decided to get creative with it. You know if you have lemons...blah, blah, blah.

Anyway ~ I saw a recipe for spicy meat pies on the food channel one day and decided to try them. They looked like fun and sounded tasty. Everyone loved them.
I then needed a simple side dish and so whipped up the macs& cheese recipe from my friend Marti. Oh-oh, come to think of it, I believe I promised you this recipe a while back, so look at the end of this post for the recipe - no really.
Then I decided to make a cake, then thought maybe cupcakes would be fun, then decided mini-cakes would be even more fun!
I baked the cake (devils food) in a larger then normal pan and adjusted the baking time so it wouldn't burn. After the cake cooled I cut it into about 3" squares. Then I made little individual layer cakes. I put cream cheese frosting in the inside, frosted the outside with chocolate, and then frosted the tops with cream cheese frosting and sprinkled them with grated dark chocolate.
I don't think I will win any awards for my frosting skills.

No, this is not a low cal meal but tomorrows will be.

So here is the super easy yummy macs & cheese recipe.

CAUTION; could become habit forming - use with care
Marti's Macs & Cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup (undiluted)
1 large jar of Cheese Whiz - yes I said Cheese Whiz (I think the jar is 12 oz. )
6 oz. milk
2 cups of elbow or small shell macaroni (measured uncooked)
1/2 cup bread or cracker crumbs - I used both because I ran out of bread crumbs
2 T. melted butter
Cook the pasta til al denté. Drain and rinse under cold water.
Spray a 2 qt. casserole (I used a 1-1/2 qt.and it bubbled over) with cooking spray.
Mix the Cheese Whiz, soup and milk together in the casserole. Add the cooked pasta and mix well. Bake in a 350 degree oven til bubbly and golden. About 40 minutes or so. Mix the bread crumbs and butter and sprinkle over the top about 10 minutes before it's done. (so after about 30 minutes)
That's it...told you it was easy and it's a crowd pleaser too.
Now off to nibble on some celery...... crunch, crunch, crunch

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A fabric beads how-to demo

Hi, just wanted to let you know I just posted a new how-to demo on my website. The demo is for making fabric beads. They are super easy and lots of fun to make. One of the advantages is you can choose from your fabric stash to get just the right color for your project. Use them to string into a necklace or dangling earrings or use as an embellishment for an "arty" quilt. Check it out and give it a try when you have nothing better to do :)
I made these fabric beads to add to the fringe of a knitted scarf I just put in my Etsy store.
Have fun.