Tuesday, June 30, 2009

epic fail averted

thanks to everyone who offered encouragement and sympathy after my nervous breakdown. i decided to get new fabric and start over. and hello bonus - i like this combination of prints even better. how about you?
i've got all the strips sewn together and cut apart into blocks. now, after squaring everything up a bit i'll be ready to sew the blocks together.

quilting seems a bit like madness - you cut everything up only to sew it back together again just to cut it all up again so you can sew it back together. seems a little crazy to me but i am enjoying the process. i am. i swear. a lot, i know. i'm not even going to pretend and say i'm working on it because quite frankly, i like to swear. and quilting, as it turns out, gives me plenty of opportunity! so yes, i -do- like quilting!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

first quilt - EPIC fail

i've been thinking about the old red barn co. quilt along for a few weeks now. i've spent hours drooling over all the flickr uploads of the beautiful quilts being submitted. i finally decided to go ahead and join the fun. sure, i'm about six weeks late. and ok, so i'm not that experienced of a sewer. i can do this, right? right?

i spent over an hour at the fabric store this week selecting just the right fabrics. the excitement is building. yesterday, i worked for an hour or so cutting all these fun fabrics into perfect little one and a half inch strips. they looked so happy nestled in their box. and today, i was all set to go:

machine - CHECK
ironing board and iron - CHECK
spray sizing - CHECK

happy little stacks of one and a half inch strips - CHE. . .
what? the strips are supposed to be HOW wide??
TWO and a half inches you say?
pardon me while i have a complete nervous breakdown.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


this post is exactly why i chose the name for my blog. today i have a little of this, a smidge of that and dogs. because it's thursday. i'm still not official, as if i need an excuse to talk about my dogs! and if you don't like hearing about them well, you may be in the wrong place.

first things first:
grown by me. from scratch. i love zinnias.
my sadie girl. holding still long enough for me to snag a picture.
and a sneak peek. inspiration here and here. but shhhhh. don't tell. it's a boy-child surprise.

and lastly, i am official over at barefoot bloggers. got my acceptance email this week. short notice though for today's recipe. i am ill equipped. after looking over the recipe i wondered - is it wrong of me to want to serve this in a glass with some vodka? :D check out meryl of my bit of earth. she selected ina's gazpacho this week. she's got a nice little blog. i think i'm going to like it on barefoot bloggers.

are you cooking up anything fun?
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ali did it the other day. cathy's doin it today. and now, i'm doing it too. cause you know i want to be like cathy z. when i grow up.

TODAY June 25th, 2009

Outside my window... my garden is growing by leaps every second.

I am thinking... hormones are not my friend.

I am thankful for... my husband's good job.

From the kitchen... chocolate chip cookies. gone.

I am wearing... comfy capris and a wife beater. barefoot.

I am creating... fingerless gloves. again.

I am going... crazy with cabin fever.

I am reading... new moon. again.

I am hoping... the weather cools to bearable for being outside.

I am hearing... commercials on the tv.

Around the house... is dog hair, dog hair and more dog hair. oh and don't forget the dog hair.

One of my favorite things... air conditioning. in the house and now in the man-cave. i may never see him again.

A few plans for the rest of the week... hitting the local fabric stores for the makings of a surprise quilt.

Monday, June 22, 2009

fingerless gloves done!

sorry for the crap cell phone photo. i was in a hurry to share.
these are for my friend, noemi. she has tiny little hands. i may try a pair for me knit up on bigger needles. i did model these but if i was going to wear them for any length of time i'd want them a smidge bigger.

now all these ideas are swirling through my head - i'm thinking any of my favorite sock patterns could easily become fingerless gloves. monkeys perhaps? the possibilities are endless!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

knitting up something good!

knittywhipped offered up this great pattern for fingerless gloves. click on 'mitt envy'. super simple pattern. i cast these on last night. late last night. love me a speedy knit!
check out this tutorial for cabling without a cable needle. omg. i -love- it!

stephanie gifted me this fabulous yarn when we were in seattle. check out her etsy store to get your own fabulousness.

Friday, June 19, 2009

friday's blog finds

today it's all about the food!
  • first time reading baking bites today. they've posted girl-scout cookie recipes. hells yeah. thin mints here i come! ironic name, no?
  • i'd forgotten how great the cupcake bakeshop was. and now it's closed. :( for some of the strangest but best flavor combinations in cupcake form, check out chockylit.
  • robin sue over at the big red kitchen shares some fantastic recipes. do try her mini ham and chesse rolls. they rock. seriously. i can eat about a million.
  • cathy at noble pig is busy moving but she still manages to share beautiful, step-by-step photography with her recipes. rivaled only by ree over at pioneer woman cooks.
mmm remember these?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Grilled Pizza 5/22

when i took the garden pictures this morning, i realized i never uploaded these.
and this is just too good not to share.
my first time grilling pizza. so good.
i used mozzarella - had trouble finding the manchego. it was still good. have i mentioned how this was good?

it's exciting to me, finding new uses for my grill. i do all the cooking at my house. even grilling. if you want something charred beyond all recognition, ken is your guy. but if you want a tender, chewy crust, smoky, delicious and perfectly grilled, you'd better call on me. or do it yourself. :)

Bon Appétit | June 2009
by Diane Rossen Worthington
Grilling the pizza dough adds a smoky flavor to the crust.
Yield: Makes 12 appetizer servings

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large red onions (1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds), halved, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry red wine (such as Zinfandel)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 pound sweet Italian sausages (about 4 links), casings removed
Pizza Dough Rounds or 1 pound purchased fresh pizza dough

Nonstick olive oil spray
2 cups (packed) coarsely shredded Manchego cheese,* divided

Heat vegetable oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until soft and deep golden brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Stir in wine, vinegar, and sugar. Reduce heat to low and simmer until almost all liquid is absorbed, stirring often, 3 to 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to small bowl. Cool.

Heat medium skillet over medium heat. Add sausage; sauté until cooked through and browned, breaking up with back of fork, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to small bowl. Cool. DO AHEAD: Onions and sausage can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately; chill. Bring to room temperature before using.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Lightly flour 2 rimless baking sheets. Divide purchased pizza dough in half (if using). Working with 1 dough round or dough half at a time, roll out on lightly floured surface to 12x8-inch oval. Transfer to baking sheets. Spray top of flatbreads with nonstick spray.

Invert flatbreads, sprayed side down, onto grill. Cook until grill marks appear and sides of bread are dry, 3 to 5 minutes. Return to same baking sheets, grilled side down. Spray uncooked side with nonstick spray. Turn flatbreads over on baking sheets, grilled side up. Sprinkle 3/4 cup cheese over each flatbread. Sprinkle onions, then sausage, over flatbreads, dividing equally. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese over, dividing equally. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

Transfer flatbreads, topping side up, to grill. Cover and cook until crusts are crisp and cheese melts, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to work surface. Cut into rectangles and serve.

* A Spanish cheese made from sheep’s milk; sold at some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores.

garden update - zucchini, cucumbers and strawberries. oh my!

zucchini and corn. broccoli and root vegs.

beans, strawberries, lettuce and cucumber. and tomatoes!
i keep telling the girls, if all the strawberries go missing i don't know a thing about it!
and the shade garden.

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the morning sun beckoned.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

stunt knitter

when i was in seattle with my sister, she gifted me with a whole bag of yarn. really it was more of a thrusting action as she hurled the offending bag at me. she's not a knitter, my sister. but she went into a yarn store and left with a bag of shimmery, chunky, colorful goodness that she was supposed to turn into scarves. let me say again she's not a knitter. i don't know how long she tried but this yarn, in her hands, was never going to be anything other than a hot mess. (love you robin!) these novelty type yarns are not for the faint of heart! this one wasn't so bad but some of the others have me wanting to rip my hair out! but knit them i will. for my sister. 'cause she rocks.

i think this one is for my niece, kelsey. hope she likes it.

modeled by girl-child

i have no idea what the yarn is because of course, none of the balls came with bands. but the pattern is a great yarn-over, knit two together bit from 101 one skein wonders. great pattern for this chunky but not-so-chunky in places type yarn.
stay tuned for scarf #2.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

blog find sunday

i -so- want to make a quilt!
there are some really great quilters out in blog land inspiring the heck out of me!

check out rachel of p.s. i quilt. her work is stunning! she does a disappearing 9-patch tutorial that made me want to start sewing TODAY.

another is ashley of film in the fridge. her use of color amazes me.

and don't forget the ever lovely thimbleanna. she's my quilty hero. i hope to hang with her and her quilty peeps soon and draw in all their quilty mojo.

these are just a few of my favorites. you can get lost for hours by clicking on any of these blogs and then their blogrolls. so many talented folks out there!

have fun!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

blog find

omg. check out roman sock and her amazing craftiness! free patterns, tutorials and cute-ness!
look what she created using her own brushed crochet technique:2080894170_0bf84a2f90_b


Friday, June 12, 2009

this day in melly history

in reading my morning blogs today, the ever brilliant cathyz posted this idea: look through your old photos taken in years past on this date and blog about them!
ever simple is she.
here's a photo taken this week in 2003. i'm not the best organizer of photos, couldn't find one taken today but i thought this one would do. and do very well! the second part of cathy's idea asked if we scrapbooked this photo or does it just live in an album (digital or otherwise).
i am proud to say this photo lives in an actual scrapbook!
it was the first day of my motorcycle training class. first day actually on a motorcycle. what made me think i could go from the class bike (a little 175 or something) to this behemoth fatboy i'll never know. looking back now, i can't even believe that was me! she's much more brave. and thinner! ;)
i need to journal this part - i'll never forget how i felt taking that bike around the block for the first time. ken was waiting at the end of the drive each time i circled the block. after a few times around our neighborhood, i got braver and went around a big block - out on the street. stopping at the intersection of reynolds and bancroft, i remember as i waited for the light, the feeling of being so exposed. it felt as though i was standing in the middle of the road. it was scary and exhilarating all at once.
by the time i got back to the driveway, ken was climbing in the truck to come look for me. he was sure i'd dumped the bike. i hadn't. i was just enjoying my first ride.

what photos are lurking in your past?

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

dogs on thursday and some yarn

it's my first dogs on thursday post. i'm not actually official yet so you won't see me on their blogroll but i've been watching the fabulous ms. g dogging it up on thursday's for a while and wanted in on the fun.

snagged this picture of my fur-posse yesterday:
from left to right it's miss gg, grizzers, fatboy and sadie-girl is in the middle.
getting home from my trip was hard when all the dogs came running to greet me and my first thought was of Ruger. :'( something was missing. it's just not the same here without him.

on a happier note, my sister gifted me with yarn. i don't think she's a knitter. she went into a yarn store and came out with a bunch of novelty type yarns and some big, chunky, SLICK needles. i think this stuff can be challenging for a more experienced knitter. she got fed up and quick! i told her i'd knit it up for her. she gives me the gift of yarn and i give her the gift of scarves. :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

go tell it on the mountain

should i start this first real trip post with an explanation of what this trip was all about or do you all know? no? ok. . .

some of the girls who gather regularly at clementine's dry goods in franklin started talking about doing a girl trip. where do we want to go? well, at the time we were all reading the twilight series. if you haven't read them yet go now and get them. and someone (i think it was cami) said, omg wouldn't it be cool to visit forks, washington where the story takes place? i added, "my sister lives in seatac! we could visit her!" well, visiting ended up being the four of us descending upon her and filling her whole downstairs with more girly stuff than my 19 year old nephew, tim could ever imagine. i think at one point there were even brassieres hanging in the bathroom. poor tim. he was a very good sport about it and my sister and her husband were the most generous hosts! eight days. EIGHT DAYS we stayed there. we drank there. we swam there. we even partied a little there. robin and her husband were gone a lot of the time so we took to calling the place our lakehouse. it was gorgeous and more than comfortable. we couldn't have been better off in a posh resort. and the price was certainly right!

cami wanted to visit coupeville on whidby island. the rest of us weren't crazy about the idea but like the good sports we are we went along and had a really great day. but i told cami, if we go to coupeville for her, she's going to have to climb a mountain for us. she swears we tried to kill her this day. i promise it wasn't that bad and i bet she even enjoyed herself. maybe. a little. :)

in spite of cami's aversion to all things natural, i think going up to mt. rainier was one of our more fun days of the trip. there were so many funny things she said that day, the rest of the week someone would say one of the "cami-isms" and we'd pee ourselves laughing. even now, i could laugh out loud remembering. good. times.

i grew up with this view but being away so long i'd forgotten the beauty and pure majesty of the mountain. i was reminded of the definition of breathtaking. we'd pull around a bend (and there were more bends than straight spots in the roadway!) and literally, the vistas would steal the breath right from our lungs.
that smile on cami's face is actually a grimace. ;)
from back to front: cami, mandi and noemi.
the temperature dropped more than 20° from the city to paradise, the highest point in the park.
the peak was cloud covered when we left town. by the time we traversed to 5,000 ft above sea level the clouds disappeared to gift us with this:

"omg there's a lady breast feeding RIGHT THERE! i'd never bring a baby up here. there are bears and rocks and NATURE!"

"we could be killed up here!"

"you better kill that bug. they bite. they're a nuisance!"

"watch out, noemi. that fox looks rabid!"

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Dorks in Forks Tour 2009

we actually made it all the way out to forks. la push was -way- better, but i don't have those pics on my phone so i cant blog those from bed. i am exhausted. still. no more road trips for me. i've had enough bye-bye.

Friday, June 5, 2009

mini update

not a lot of computer time but i did want to take a minute this morning a say something.

we're having a really great time. every day we're doing something different (though no dancing midgets. cami just wouldn't have it) and each day seems to top the one before.

today we head back into seattle to watch the mariners play. my brother-in-law got us tickets. (thanks tom!) ken says the four of us are his worst freakin' nightmare - four non-fans gabbing their way through a perfectly good baseball game, not to mention the knitting. :)

and tomorrow we go home. i'm ready. this has been some trip.

i promise to write a full update later in the week. forks, la push, pike place market, meeting bloggy friend gaylen, the boat - everything. promise.

taken near la push beach just outside forks, washington.