Sunday, August 30, 2009

Falling Needles

The needles on our pine trees began falling today. It is always the first real sign from nature that summer is over. The wind has picked up today as well so we are actually getting piles of needles, quickly. They rain down with every gust. I know many people who rake up the needles and put them in the trash. I consider the needles natures winter blanket, in the Spring I can just lift up the blanket and there is a green, thriving world under there. Really...I am not being lazy! :0)

One of my favorite things about living here in the mountains is the smell of hot, dry pine needles, there is nothing like it. In the fall when there is a good thick layer of needles on the ground and the days still get hot, the smell is amazing. Pungent. Piney fresh!

We spend many hours collecting our wood for the winter this time of year and it is a job that I don't mind. The forest is so peaceful, except for the chainsaw running, and I love the feeling that I am preparing for winter in the most simple way. I imagine it is the same for people who can fruit and veggies for the winter. This is a photo of Kev last year. We haven't started yet, but we do have our forestry tickets and we will be starting soon. I don't want to end up like the grasshopper in Aesop's Fable that played all summer! Brrrr

Saturday, August 29, 2009


I have finally bought myself a new sewing machine. It is a Singer and it is a beauty... sigh...

It is so smooth and quiet, doesn't "walk" across the table as I sew. My new baby has over a hundred fancy stitches and I can't wait to make a button hole and put a zipper in something.

It isn't the Bernina that I REALLY wanted but I just couldn't pull that off...yet.

My trusty little old Brother machine has been chug a lugging along for many years now with its bobbin thread constantly breaking, tension falling out for NO reason. Sometimes it would just eat my fabric!

Kevin wants me to donate it to charity but I just can't let it go... yet. I have made soooo many things with it, it's not useless... what if I need it again? We have agreed it can sit in the garage for a year.
I spent all day yesterday sewing and I have a kink in my neck to prove it. I have finished quilting the "quilt sandwich" I have been working on. Yipeee! It is going to be our "beat around quilt" for picnics and concerts and such. All I have to do now is bind it. Then it's done. Here is the back.
I am thinking of using this Anna Maria Horner print for the binding.
What do you think?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Spiderman's Cape

I can finally post about a splendid cape I made for my nephew Jesse. He received it a couple nights ago. This was a tricky project for me. You see I have a hard time coming up with homemade gifts for young boys. I can come up with dozens of ideas for little girls but I struggle with the boys. Girls like flowers and buttons and bows just like me, boys like... what?
My son is only interested in sporting equipment, always has been.
He is all about bikes, scooters, skateboards,snowboards etc. so he hasn't prepared me very well.

Jesse likes Super Heroes! So I decided I would make a cape. My first idea was something along the lines of "Joseph's Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat" or a "cape of many colors" however it started to look a little bit... well... fruity!
A little too "Harry Potter" not enough "Defender of the Universe".

So I decided to find spiderman fabric. I do realize that Spiderman does not wear a cape but he is Jesse's favorite and I wanted to make a cape. The Black Spiderman is actually Jesse's favorite character but I couldn't find fabric with the Black Spidey. The cape is reversible, black with a red panel and a blue panel on one side and all spiderman cityscape on the other side.
Here he is...

Super Spidey Jedi Master!

I also made him an apron but I don't think it was nearly as exciting as the cape. You see... I am better with girly things :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pillow Giveaway

I have discovered another great blog full of fantastic recipes, creative ideas and best of all... humor, it is V and Co. Vanessa is giving away a gorgeous decorative pillow, go check it out here.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The day Elvis died

Today we are celebrating Elvis Presley by watching his movies and cooking barbecue All Day! Turner Classic Movies has Elvis movies on most of the day and I can fill in the blanks with the ones I own. We do this on January 8th every year for his birthday but I decided this year we would honor the day of his death as well. He died on August 16th in 1977. I am wondering what today is like in Memphis, Tennessee?

I adore his movies and his music, it is impossible to be anything but happy when watching Elvis sail along in a convertible full of pretty ladies singing his heart out. He is always ridiculously charming, the music is... of course, always great, the sets are beautiful and often in Hawaii and there is always a happy ending! Whats not to like. I realize many people think his movies are cheesy but that is exactly what I love about them. They are... what they are, Fun!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Birds and Berries

Today's high is a comfortable 71 degrees and my garden is my favorite place to be. I wish I could do all my sewing out there. I have tried and the breeze always becomes a problem, no fun chasing paper and fabric around and how do I get the ironing board to stay up?
We have some juicy raspberries turning red, I usually eat them right off the bush, one by one, If I wait to get a bowl full the birds, bears and raccoons will get them first. You know... early picker gets the berry!

I finally got a shot of one of this years hummingbirds enjoying my new yellow glass feeder and a Stellar's Blue Jay! We have these guys all over but they HATE to get their photo taken.

and an Evening Grosbeak. Several years ago we had dozens of Grosbeaks on our feeders. When you came up to the house they would all fly up in alarm, it was very impressive... they kinda look like Parrots and they have these brilliant yellow feathers that show when they fly. That plain little lady behind the Grosbeak is a Cassin's Finch, they are my best customers :)

and have a look at our tomato plants! These are the biggest ones we have ever grown. We have Yellow Pear and Purple Calabash. They are both covered in fruits, yippee! We have had a few nights with frost and we have to bring them in the house on those nights but if we stay diligent we will have a lot of plump tomatoes this fall.

well I am headed back out there, I have some lavender to plant.
oh how I love summer days.
what are you up to today?

Farm Chicks Winner

I won the Farm Chicks Giveaway! They sent me the sweetest stencil of an apron and an adorable sticker with a pink tractor. So cute!
So Farm Chicks.

I couldn't get a good photo of the stencil because it is clear, but it is the same apron design that the sticker on the pink tissue has, in the photo above.

A Big Thank you to The Farm Chicks.

and something else... I learned how to do Hyperlinks properly!!!
Whew, what a pain in the butt. I've got it now though. Finally!

I apologize for my messy links in previous posts. THAT won't be happening again.

Always improving :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

P.S. I Love Giveaways

Announcing a very generous giveaway!

Rachel at P.S. I Quilt is giving away a $50.00 gift certificate for

The Quilt Shoppe

You have a chance to win! Good Luck

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hummer Territory

A few weeks ago my garden had its first Hummingbird visitor of the summer.Very exciting. I have been trying to get a photo ever since but they are sooo fast. However I did get a few photos last year so I am posting those. These photos really don't show their beauty. They have a slight reddish color staining their plump little white bellies and their backs are a variety of greens and blues. They have the tiniest little feet! They make kind of a kissing sound. I believe our Hummers are Calliope Hummingbirds, they even have a pretty name.

This year we have three visitors and they are constantly chasing each other off! They have fascinating aerial battles all day long. When we are outside we watch these little guys do "fly bys", they zoom right past your head, so close you can feel the air move from their wings.
I saw a photo somewhere of a feeder with four Hummers on it at once, that will never happen here. My guys are VERY territorial, they will not let another Hummer near. It is really crazy, I currently have three different feeders spread throughout the garden and all three of the Hummers seem to think that all three of the feeders and ALL the flowers are theirs and theirs alone! They spend far more time defending the food than eating it, and there is plenty to go around if they could just learn to share.

The feeder in the photos above had four little red perches for the birds to land on, but the raccoons pull down the feeders and suck out the sugar water and in the process they broke it.There are little teeth marks all around the holes. :) Their tiny feet are so cute wrapped around a perch. Hummers that is, not raccoons.
I have read that our Hummers fly from Mexico to Canada and back again, stopping off at flowers and feeders all along the way. If a feeder is put out year after year the Hummers remember and make your house a regular place to stop! Isn't that fantastic?

Friday, August 7, 2009

I won!

I entered a fabulous giveaway at Jennifer's Junky Life and I won!

Jennifer is full of great ideas and she is a dumpster diver after my own heart.

It came in the mail today and I am just itching to start a couple new projects. However I am in the middle of making a very special gift for my nephew and I cannot... CANNOT... start more projects till I finish.
She sent me such a variety of lovely things, handkerchiefs, aprons, lace, fabric,buttons, a pattern, all perfectly usable pre-owned items.
I just love it!

A very talented woman

My adorable niece Amber, has been making the prettiest quilts for a couple of years now.
She took a class in High School and BLAMO!

Look what she has made.
A super fun Dora the Explorer quilt for her little sister
an awesome pillowcase sampler

One for herself, I LOVE the fabric choices, so bold.

and incredible purple one for her proud mom.

I am so impressed. She inspires me.

I can't wait to see what she makes next!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Kevin's 39th Birthday

My incredibly talented husband turned 39 years old today.I am such a lucky girl to have found him almost 15 years ago, or maybe he found me? He handles his birthdays with so much grace, unlike me. I become sad and actually rather pitiful no matter how hard I try to be happy, he enjoys his day to the fullest, every year. This morning he listened to some of his new record finds

He played his guitar for awhile then he started to Tye Dye some Tee shirts, his new passion.
This is the prettiest basket of laundry I've ever seen.
I gave him the complete Indiana Jones DVD set so we had a Dr. Jones Marathon while I made the silliest cake ever...

it has been a very nice day.

He has big plans for the weekend, pretty much doing what he wants when he wants. Just as a birthday weekend should be.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Patisserie Pillow

Here is another little project. I made this sweet pillow for my beautiful Aunt Nanette. I believe she will receive it today so I feel safe posting about it. It is just a little thank you to her from me.
I had embroidered the cupcake a couple months ago but I had no real plan for it. Then one day ...*ping*... the idea popped in my head. I love it when a project just flows, it means it was meant to be, not forced. This pillow was one of those, easy and natural.

Thank you so much Aunt Nan, I love you very much.
Your loving and grateful niece, Jennifer.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Little Spice

My sweet little niece Brooke has inspired me. I am compelled to make pretty little dresses, aprons, purses and maybe I'll do some hats soon. I wonder if Brooke wears hats? Brooke and I share a love for Tinkerbell,so I made this ...

Which turned into this...
Here she is modeling it.