Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Under my needle… It’s just panel that I put some borders on, but I need a new wall hanging for outside my door. The only winter one I have is my snowflake one that I made years ago, and I want something different this year. This one is going to be a quickie, and I’m getting more practice with my longarm machine — Stitching around the tree, outlining some of the details inside the tree, then I will probably try to mimic some of the swirls in the outer border fabric and quilt them in the background behind the tree. That’s the plan anyway… lol!¬† ūüôā

The fabric panel is called Starry Night by Northcott, the same company that makes the Stonehenge line of fabrics.

tree-wallhanging

Kitchen Wall Hanging

Author: admin

This is one of the first quilted items that I made for my home.¬† It’s a quilted wall hanging for the kitchen.¬† I also made matching curtains.¬†¬† It’s a Carpenter’s Wheel pattern, very traditional.¬† My kitchen is done in a “modern-country” mixture of styles.¬† This fabric is a combination of Jacobean flowers and bandana-type fabrics.¬† Yes, I mixed them.¬†¬† I’m nuts like that…

Kitchen-wall-hanging

kitchen-complete

Catching Up…

Author: admin

I can’t believe the last time I posted was in 2012!

A lot has happened since then, and I’ve been continuing down an awesome path.¬† I bought a new home back in 2012 and have been renovating it (which basically is why I stopped posting so suddenly), and I found a wonderful man and we will be marrying soon!

While renovating, and painting, and decorating the new space, I reconnected with a previous love:¬† Quilting.¬† I have jumped back in with a passion and have been learning so much — fabrics, colors, techniques — and CREATING!¬† Not just bed quilts either…¬† wall hangings, placemats, pot holders, couch quilts… the sky’s the limit.

I’ll post some of them in separate messages.¬† In the meantime, check out my Pinterest page here.

 

Otherwise known as Steamers…

2.5 – 3 lbs. Clams
1/2 Small onion
1 Beer (optional)

Put the clams in the sink and soak them to help get rid of any sand and grit.¬† Rinse and change the water a couple of times.¬† Some people use a sprinkle of corn meal to help, but I found that’s not necessary.¬† Just soak and rinse well, wash and repeat, wash and repeat… drain.

Slice the 1/2 onion into thin pieces.  Put them at the bottom of a large pot.  Add the clean clams.  Add the beer if you want, otherwise, add enough cold water to cover the clams. Yes, COLD water.  Cover the pot.  Turn the heat on high, and bring the pot up to boiling.  The clams will open.  Give them a good stir and let them cook for 1 Р2 minutes when they are open.  They should be cooked through, but not translucent.  1 or 2 minutes only.  If you overcook them, you will get hard, chewy clams.

Turn the heat off, take the clams out with a slotted spoon or spider or hand strainer.  Reserve the liquid broth to swish the clams in or use for a chowder.   Discard any clams that did not open.

This couldn’t be easier!

So beautiful!

With all the snow we’ve had this year, I’m not surprised at how big the icicles are everywhere.¬† Some of them at my place were more than 6 or 7 feet!

After a little melting, a few well-placed snowballs aided in the crashing down process…¬† lol!¬† ūüôā

Here are some pics of the icicles at my aparment complex.   (Click here)

Here are some general pics of the snow we’ve had so far this winter.¬† (Click here)

Enjoy!

When I moved into my apartment 3 years ago, I had to get new furniture (basically, because I had nothing). 

Knowing that the apartment situation is only temporary, I didn’t want to spend a whole lot on a dining room set.¬† I found a great metal set with inlaid stone accents.¬† Beautiful slate colors – grays, blues, blacks, with flecks of copper and terra cotta.

So, what color cushions did they put on the chairs?¬† Tan.¬† Beige.¬† Call it whatever you want, but it’s ugly.¬† And cheap looking.¬† And dirty looking, right out of the box.¬† And it shows every brush stroke on the mircrofiber.¬† And it’s just blah.¬†

Who’s the brainiac who chose that fabric?¬† What a missed opportunity to make the cheap set look so much more expensive…

I’ve hated the cushions from the beginning.¬† So, this weekend, I finally did something about it.¬† I reupholstered them!

I used a nice, deep charcoal microfiber that’s at least three times thicker than the original tan, and the quality is so much better – almost like thick velvet.

Old:      New: 

Look at the difference the fabric makes!  It just added a whole new dimension to the old set.  I love the new cushions now!

 

There are tons of videos and instuctions on the Web on how to reupholster chairs so I won’t re-create them here, but I will say it was a lot easier and a lot less scary after watching a couple of them and doing the first chair.

Fabric, staple gun, staples, screwdriver, and scissors.¬† That’s it!

The best part of this is that I used a fabric remnant that I got at Jo-Ann’s Fabrics in the Red Dot section.¬† $8.00

Woooooooo hooooooooo!¬† ūüôā

Like this!

Click here to see the slideshow.

I really don’t know what I was thinking.¬† I must be totally insane.

I didn’t want to pay hundreds of dollars for a larger cage, but my little birdies now have baby birdies, and the other flight cage is going to get very crowded very fast!

I looked at tons of cages online — hundreds of them.¬† They were either very cheap and looked like crap or very expensive for¬†larger ones that looked like a piece of furniture.

The solution?  Make one!

Ha!¬† And this folks, is how I get myself into trouble…

Fortunately, it came out ok.¬† It’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s good for what it is.¬† It’s 1×2 scrappy white pine, so it’s not like it’s oak or maple.¬† But a nice coat of stain and poly made it look nice.¬†¬†

It’s 4 ft wide, 3 ft high, and 2.5 ft deep.

I built it¬†in my apartment and stained it out on my balcony.¬† I got a lot of strange looks from folks, and I’m sure my neighbors underneath me hate my guts now with all that sawing and hammering…

But, I did it!¬† It’s done!

I hope my little birdies like it.¬† Spoiled rotten…

More Zebra Finches!

Yes, I completed my zebbie family.  I now have 3 males and 3 females.  The original pied male and white male are on top.  Sitting on the branch from top to bottom (right to left) are the new ones: dark female, medium female, light female, and little light male.

 

 

It took a little while for the original males to get used to the new birdies, but everyone is getting along great now.  For such aggressive and pushy little birdies, they are becoming one big happy family.  Sure, a few squabbles here and there, but not nearly as much as the two males alone.

It’s been a¬†very educational experience in the social structure of birddom.¬† Amazing to see how they get to know each other and handle new things.

They are tons of fun!

Mine Falls Park

Author: admin

Mine Falls Park, Nashua, NH

Mine Falls Park in Nashua, NH is one of the best kept secrets of the city. It’s a 325-acre park that is great for walking, biking, boating, fishing, and cross-country skiing.

The trails are VERY well taken care of. They are neat, clean, and set up in very interesting ways. There’s always something new to look at, whether it’s the bog, bridges over the water, or tunnels under the streets. Some trails are short, others long, and each has¬†its own special features and characteristics. You can spend an hour or a day depending on what you want to do.

I biked on the bog trail and enjoyed every minute of it. It was a nice ride in the woods to start, and then it opened up into the conservation sanctuary bog with tons of wildlife — birds, ducks, fish, frogs, waterlilies, and much more. There’s a platform observation area that faces out into the main bog, and there are bridges over various points in the waterways that you can cross and stop on for more views up and down the waterways.

There is also a trail that has the boat landing and a waterfall, but I didn’t get a chance to do that trail yet. When I do, I will update this article.

For now, here is a slideshow of some pictures I took on this ride: Mine Falls Park, Aug. 14th.

Click for the official Mine Falls Park page on the Nashua Web site. This site contains maps of the trails and more information about the park amenities.

This is now one of my new favorite places to bike and just generally hang out. There’s so much to do and see — You can just really get lost in the day!

Fabric Organization

Author: admin

Bags and piles and boxes, oh my!

At some point in everyone’s project list, there comes a time when the fabric stash has taken over the closet.¬† This¬†recently happened to me, and before I knew it, I¬†bought doubles of fabric¬†that I already had because I just wasn’t organized.¬† That bugged me to no end…

So, what to do?¬† How do you organize all of that stuff in the bags and boxes and scrap piles that you’ve been collecting for years?¬† Especially when we quilters KNOW that we overbuy when we’re starting a project so we can have leftovers for other scrappy projects…

I looked into using bins, shelves, buckets, and other systems, but they still seemed messy, and it was hard to see in a few glances what you have.  It still required some digging.

Online, I found a resource that sells fabric organizers.  GREAT idea!  Put them on plastic cards that mimic the bolts in the store!  http://www.thefabricorganizer.com/

The only problem is that they cost megabucks $$$, and for the sizes of the fabrics they show, they’re all around the same yardage to make the pictures look nice and neat.¬† That 1/2 yard is NOT going to be the same bulk as the 4 yards I just bought.¬† From what I can tell, you aren’t even going to be able to GET 4 yards onto those cards.¬† What to do?¬† What to do?

Make your own!¬† Instead of paying about $2 per card for store-bought ones, I decided to cut my own from an inexpensive piece of foam board.¬† The foam board is sturdy and holds a lot of fabric.¬† At just $2.99 per board, I get 8 pieces to wrap my fabric around.¬† Bargain prices and sturdier to boot…¬† I like that!

I cut them to be 15″ x 5″, but the beauty of making your own is that you can cut the foam board to be any size you want!¬† So, for fat quarters, pick a size that works for you.¬† For lots of yardage, cut a bigger board.¬† I even put more than one fabric onto a board.

These can be totally cut to fit any shelves you already have, so no need to go buy something special. 

Nice and neat!  It works!