Word of the Day!

Word of the Day

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Mad Hatter

I have been wanting to make a hat for awhile. There aren't many patterns online, but after perusing what there was (I downloaded the Wild Things software from Wild Ginger, but decided that none of the hats I could find made from it online looked like what I wanted at all, so I uninstalled it) I chose this one from Curiously Crafty.

It was quite simple and went quickly, but it's HUGE on me. It fits Brandon well, since his head is very large, but it doesn't fit me. The only way it even halfway fits is if I pile all my hair up under it, as in the picture. So I don't foresee using this hat often. I thought about shrinking the pattern and trying again, but I'm not sure the style is really for me, after all. It looked so cute on the girl on the tutorial page!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sampler Quilt Block # 8 (I think)

Today I finished this Dresden Plate block, and I think it turned out well. Of course, the ones that don't turn out well, I don't post on the internet. Like the one that resulted from an exercise out of a scrap quilting book that involved pulling random scraps out of your scrap bag without looking and making a block out of them. I'll put it on the foot end of the quilt, where it will be between the mattress and the sleigh-style footboard, and no one will see it.

This particular Dresden Plate came out of the Georgia Bonesteel book. I believe it also could be called a Wagon Wheel.

I turned the seam allowances under and topstitched the plate to the backing, instead of doing hand applique or using a machine zig-zag. I don't like the look of zig-zag appliques so much, and I don't like hand work, so the topstitching seemed like a good idea. I've never seen it listed as an applique technique, but surely I'm not the only one who has thought of this.

I thought I'd add a link here to a site that's been useful to me in my quilt designing:
Free Printable Graph Paper generator. Choose your paper size and block size, line thickness, etc.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Quilting Again

Yesterday Sherry and I went to the quilt shop in Clovis for a quilt-as-you-go class. We quilted a lot, but never got to the as-you-go part. Just too much to cram in one day. We'll have to go back later and learn how to put the sections together. This is what I've got done on the first half.

Also I bought a "new" (second-hand) sewing machine, sort of. Sherry and I went halves on it, so it will be a spare for both of us. It is a cute little 3/4 size Kenmore. I've been messing with it today, and it works great. I think whoever had it didn't use it much.

To test it out, I made this potholder, for a potholder swap I'm part of. The block I used is "yankee puzzle" with two different darks to emphasize the pinwheels.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sisterhood Award

Elle at SewDucky gave me this Sisterhood Award. I am very flattered, and now I am going to pass it on. The rules say to 10 people, but as usual, I am not going to actually pass it on to that many, because it would tax my little brain too much. If I give you the award, and you choose to participate, here are the rules to pass it on:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post

2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!

3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.

4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.

5. Share the love and link to the person from whom you received your award

So here we go, in no particular order:

1. Holly at Surviving the Metroplex, because I admire the ease with which she discusses spiritual things and the wonderful trust she has in God, even through the difficulties in her life.

2. Rachel at Being the Change, because she works so hard for the things she believes in.

3, 4, and 5. DJ at Musings , Robin at Robin @ 40, and Solard at green Solard because they are my writing peeps who keep my muse fired up.

Yup, five is about my limit here. And if I have nominated you for this award and you don't feel like trying to think of ten, or even five people to pass it on to, don't sweat it.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

5 minute Chocolate Cake

I am still not sewing on my dress any. I have got all of a sudden motivated and am working a lot on my novel and my writing in general. Usually it's easier to be inspired to sew than to write, so this is fine with me.

The other evening I was very adventurous and tried two new things. One, Brandon and I were in the grocery store and saw that they had goat meat (chevon if you want to sound more refined) for sale, so we got a sirloin chop, and I cooked it. We've been thinking that we might get one of this year's kids butchered, so it was a good chance to make sure we actually like goat.

It doesn't taste like beef, that's for sure. Has more of a smokey taste (and the piece we got was pretty tough). I don't know that I'd like it every day, but I wouldn't mind trying out a lot of new recipes I found for goat.

Then I made the five minute chocolate cake, which I got from an e-mail that someone forwarded to my mom. I don't generally consider e-mail forwards to be reliable sources of information, so I had put off trying this recipe, even though the idea of chocolate cake in five minutes is an intriguing one.

The thing is, you make it in the microwave in a mug, and it is one or two servings (I cut it up and the picture shows the top half). I was afraid it was someone's idea of a joke to make chocoholics everywhere try this and then have it explode in the microwave or something, but it does work. I've had better cake, sure, but not in five minutes, with only one dirty dish.

So here's the recipe. I'm sure someone worked very hard to perfect this.

4 tablespoons cake flour (not self-rising) That would be 1/4 cup, for the lazy.
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
1 egg
3 Tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
small splash vanilla extract
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
1 coffee mug

Add first three ingredients to mug and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla, and mix again. I did not use chocolate chips, but next time I will. I think it would be good.

Put in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts. My microwave is something like 1100 watts, so I think 3 minutes was a little too much. The middle was hard.

The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed. I used a tall mug for just this reason. Mine didn't rise over the top.

Allow to cool a little and tip out onto a plate if desired. It sticks to the mug a bit. Although it would add one more dirty dish, I think it might help to mix all ingredients in a bowl and pour them into a greased mug. I plan on trying it that way.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I have had a cold the past few days, which I caught from Brandon (just about the time I thought I was going to squeak by without catching it) and he caught from my nephew, who we now affectionately refer to as "The Little Petri Dish". We're always catching something from him.

But in between bouts of feeling rotten, I had bouts of feeling okay, during which I did stuff. I haven't worked on my dress any, but I finished this tote bag.It's the first "Moon Over the Mountain" square I did, and didn't post about. Yes, I posted one here, and it will go in my quilt, but this was the semi-failed one. It looks okay now (due to quilting it down and using cotton batting when then shrunk for the wrinkly effect), but what you can't tell is that it didn't lay flat, and I had to do some creative ironing and stitching to get it do look even passable. Because see, I cut out the pieces and then got sidetracked with some other scraps, which needed pre-washed. I grabbed those scraps up in a pile and put them in the washer, and started it, before going back to my moon-mountain square. Then I noticed some pieces were missing. I searched everywhere, and found them in the washer, which stretched the bias edges and made it not lay flat, etc.

I'm sure there's a lesson here, but I'm not sure what it is. It's not "Don't bother prewashing", because those flannel scraps needed it, for sure.

I do like the tote bag, though. It's just the right size for carrying a notebook and other assorted things to my writer's group meeting, which is it's purpose from now on.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Doing the happy dance!

I have been waiting in suspense for the last two months or so to receive this in the mail:

Why is that you may ask? Because I have an article in it! I have been published, and not just in some 'zine that was photocopied at Kinko's, but an actual glossy mag, for which I will receive actual money (the sum of which will remain undisclosed, as it doesn't sound nearly so impressive then). It also means a lot to me that this is a magazine that I subscribe to and read.

I didn't chose or take the picture, but believe me, it's perfect.

I've been published before, but always in webzines or very small press magazines that I had never heard of until I decided to submit to them, and they never paid over $5.