Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Are you ready? The big day is today, we are ready but mainly because we did not go all out this year decorating. We have attended a few local events and parties with our little one which was great fun but at home we did some crafting and costume embellishing and baking but really low key.

We have our candy and are ready for all the little ghosts and ghouls to come trick or treating, it is such fun to see all the variety of costumes that kids and their parents come up with each year.

We don't get a whole lot of trick or treaters, but the numbers have been improving the last few years as there have been more young kids in the neighborhood. I am very happy to get trick or treaters as when I first moved here I bought bags and bags of candy only to have about 20 kids come, I was sort of annoyed at the low attendence.

This year we will be handing out Kit Kat, Plain M&MS, Hersheys Cookies and Cream and Gummy Life Savers. I hope there will be a few left over for me to enjoy so I don't have to raid my daughters booty, just like my mom used to do : )

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Turkey Swiss Melts

What is for lunch? Quick easy lunch, that uses ingredients many would already have on hand.

Turn on broiler

Bagels - I used minis
Sliced turkey
Swiss cheeses - shredded
Sliced apples
Gorgonzola - not needed but YUMMY if you have on hand.

Layer on bottom bagel, turkey, apples, swiss. Sprinkle Gorgonzola on top of swiss.

Place in over under broiler 3-5 minutes, watch as things like this can go from perfect to a scorched mess fast. I threw the tops of the bagels in for the last 45 seconds or so to warm them up.

Remove, and enjoy, complete your lunch with fresh veggies or fruits.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Working on a New Quilt for Me

I am working on a quilt for me, yes another project when many are still waiting completion. Sigh, such is a life of an obsessive sewer. Anyway I have some of the new fabric line Love by Amy Butler, have you seen it yet - it has grown on me lately like most of here collections seem to do and this time not after the line has been discontinued.

I am using the Paradise Garden in periwinkle, and I admit my pictures which were snapped late at night DO NOT do it justice but you can see what I am doing.

I am using a technique where you take 4 repeats and layer then on the repeat, it really helps to line up top to bottom as close to exact as possible so you have nearly identical blocks. I used the four repeats, cut the fabric on the fold and had two stacks of 4 repeats, then cut my blocks.

My repeat was about 13 inches, so I had a choice of 6 inch blocks or 4 inch blocks, I chose the large size and cut six 6 inch blocks from each stack, yielding enough cut blocks to make 12 4 patch blocks. The blocks finish to 11.5 inches, so 12 will give me enough for a small throw, and could be easily increased with sashings and borders, which I plan on doing.

This is six 6" cuts, the blocks are identical

Once your blocks are cut you will end up with 12 stacks of 4 pieces that should be exact, this is where the fun begins. You have 4 options per stack, just by rotating the pieces around, the blocks that emerge are different, and did I mention FUN? It was.

You can see what one set of 4 will yield, like I said the pics were snapped late at night, but you can still see the variation each turn gives.

These 4 blocks are made from the same block, each turned 1/4 turn, yielding very different looks. The final block I sewed was the first one.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My New Pincusions

What sewer doesn't love and NEED more pincushions? I have quite a collection I use in and around my sewing room and my house, but I also usually have a thimble in my pocket too, so I would say I am a typical sewer.

I am just crazy about my newest 2 additions to my pincushion collection, it would have been only one new but I could not resist both colorways of the new Michael Miller Whimsy line.

I sometimes work in a local quilt shop and one of the girls makes these darling and meticulously made pincushions, they are sort of a twisted square. They are stuffed very, very tightly with play sand and embellished top and bottom with buttons.

It is a 3 inch square with a twist so it does not lay flat, it is heavy for its size weighing almost a 1/2 a pound. She said she uses a small funnel and just keeps jamming it tight. She also recommended baking the sand on a cookie sheet low temp until dry, to both dry out the sand, and I would guess kill off anything that might be hiding in there too.

I had thought I might give one as a gift, but may end up keeping both myself, because you can always use more pincushions. Right? Right!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Fall Day at Yates Cider Mill

Finally, a fall day on the weekend that is pleasant enough to do one of our favorite seasonal outings, visit a local cider mill. We are lucky to be near quite a few cider mills, each having different attractions and treats. This weekend we visited Yates Cider Mill in Rochester Hills, it was a sunny day and the place was packed, which was great to see all the people enjoying the day.

Yates Cider mill is really in busy urban area between two busy roads and the Clinton River. It is really amazing that this cider mill has such a rustic feel right in the suburbs. There is a large river bank area and the Clinton River Trail which goes for miles right along the river, a long nice river walk filled with couples and families strolling eating donuts and drinking cider. Dogs are allowed at the cider mill so there are plenty of four legged friends to see as well.

We spent time feeding goats and Alpaca, taking pony rides, waiting in line for cider and donuts and the highlight of the day and the least expensive throwing sticks, stones and leaves into the Clinton River. We could have saved some money on the pony and the goats and just hung out by the river bank.

We stood in line for about 20 minutes and got warm cinamon donuts and cider. It was tough to resist all the fresh baked goods, butters and syrups, but we did and enjoyed our cider and donuts sitting in the sun, and were VERY surprised...NO BEES, which is also another common visitors to the cider mills.

We hope to hit a few more of our favorite cider mills before they close for the season and hopefully the weather will allow for more family fun at these Michigan hot spots.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Creative Bloggers: Michabella Creations

How exciting! To be featured in a runway show at Boston Fashion Week by a former contestant of Project Runway Keith Lissner, really isn't that exciting? Fellow Creative Blogger Michabella Creations has just done this very thing with her lovely jewelry collection.

She talks a bit in her blog about how exciting and stressful getting ready for an event this big on her blog. She created some new pieces just for the event and got to attend personally to see here creations in action

Her bold dangly earrings were spotlighted as part of the emerging trends part of the show, they are fantastic, the blue Mystic Topaz briolettes. A few others to enjoy, great go with everything choices perfect for special occasions or when you want to feel special, that counts too right? Right.

Michabella Creations has a great style with many pieces to choose from, check out here online shop for this look and more. Here you will find anklets, watches, rings, bracelets, necklaces and many more jewelry treats.

This stay at home mom and jewelry designer business owner has a lot to check out for the upcoming holiday season or for a treat for yourself!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Mini Pumpkin Fun

So you remember I visited a pumpkin patch recently and got these oh so cute mini pumpkins. I got them to decorate with my 4 year old since she helped to pick them out I thought it would be a fun project for a rainy day which we have had a few lately.

I got various trims like rick rack, boas and sequins along with beads, buttons and loose sequins. I then used some really tiny straight pins for securing all the embellishments to the pumpkins.

I found the pins I had almost to small for me to work with let alone my four year old, so she help pick and place but was really unable to work the pins into the pumpkin on here own. I think this would be a fun project for a little bit older child. We still had fun, but I will say pins, beads and buttons sort of ended up ALL over the place.

I have six pumpkins to decorate and we successfully (sort of anyway) did three of these. I really did not get enough of the stringed sequins, I think several yards would be necessary to do as much as I had wanted, I like to do about six sections per pumpkin.

The boas are really fun and easy and require such a little amount just a few inches pinned a few places along the stem.

The beads and buttons DID NOT work as the straight pins were to slender to hold down the bugle beads I had and the buttons. The sequins worked perfectly and we layerd two and sometimes three onto one pin.

This is a fun project to sit and do with kids, there are lots of ways you can embellish these pumpkins for the fall, find supplies at craft stores, dollar stores, re sale shops or even your own supply stash. Look for goodies after Halloween at great savings and put them away for next year.
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