Sunday, May 8, 2011

Some new Wool and Fabric...

I went to the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival yesterday.  Had beautiful weather this year - not too hot - not too cold and no rain!  I met my niece there again this year.  We always have a great time.  I bought some new wool that I want to use for gloves (fingerless)...

 and this pattern.  I love this - it looks like it's woven, but it is knit in a linen stitch.  Gorgeous.
 My buttons were for sale at the Cloverhill Yarn Shop booth this year.  I can't wait to hear how they sold.  I'm hoping they were popular. I also did some fabric shopping recently.  I want to make a scrap quilt of houses and trees and I wanted most of the fabrics (if not all) to be polka dot.

 Happy Mother's Day!  I am just hanging out with my kids and Mark.  It another pretty day so we are enjoying the sunshine.
My mom and I - summer 1966

Friday, February 25, 2011

Pizza

Because I'm still on my overindulgence of bread love - I made some homemade pizza.  I used two different recipes (very close - but slightly different) because I had never made pizza before and wanted to see what we would like better.  I used  Farmgirl Fare Easy Pizza Dough Recipe and the one from this YouTube - Pizza Dough video.  They were both excellent!  All 4 kids and Mark loved them both.  I was a little worried because you have to do a little kneading and with my arms/wrist problem I didn't think I would be able to do it without some tears but it was easy peasy!  No problem at all and really quick (but it has to rise so you need about 3 hours if you plan to make the dough and use it the same day).  I think I have overcome my fear of kneading bread!  I wish I had some photos to show you - they gobbled up this pizza so there was no time for photo taking.  They were very pretty and very yummy - Ryan and Kellie both said they were as good as the pizza from our favorite pizza shop and that's saying a lot!  So, if you haven't made your own pizza before I highly recommend them both - they are crazy easy to make!
We have rain and mud today - Hope you have a great Friday with blue sky!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Irish Waxed Linen Thread

I really like working with Irish Waxed Linen Thread for beading and for journal making. I have decided to offer it in my WhiteCloverKiln Etsy shop. I currently have 21 beautiful colors available with more color choices coming soon.
I am selling the thread on cards in lengths of 5 yards and 10 yards with a discount on orders of multiple colors.
  I will also be adding Waxed Polyester thread to the shop soon. It's a nice thread, very strong, I use it a lot for journal making, too, but it does not come in as many colors as the Irish waxed linen.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

This Bread Is The Devil!

I love this bread!  It's the basic - master recipe boule from the Artisan Bread book that I talk about all the time!  I always make it with thyme and rosemary in it and holy schmoly I could seriously eat this entire thing!
I feel like I did - I'm off to put on sweat pants - but by golly it's good!  so worth the 20 gazillion pounds that I think (and feel) like I just gained.  If you don't have this book you should buy it right now!  I love it so much that I'm about to buy this one!  That way I can eat even MORE bread!  Bread is my weakness.  I can walk away from almost anything else - within reason - chocolate is obviously an exception... and cupcakes...well, and cookies, and of course ice cream - lol - okay so I can't walk away from anything, but this bread - forget about it!  I would kill anyone who tried to get between me and this bread!  Ask Mark - he ate the crusty end piece!!!  I was like wwwhhhaaaaaat? - what the heck?!  Where is the crusty end?!!!?!!! Lets just say - I'm confident he won't be trying that maneuver again!

Art Journals

I'm taking a break from the clay today while I wait for some new cookie cutters to arrive.  I'm making new art journals.
 I'm using Fabriano Artistico watercolor paper.  I really like this size - will be 6 x 8 with the cover.
Some journals with have plain paper like this, but I think I might sew some scrapbooking papers to the edges of the paper in others.  I haven't decided yet.  I'm going to make little quilts for the covers and use some of my ceramic buttons for the closures.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Wool Penny Rug Love...

This penny rug is from a commercial pattern that I purchased.  The original pattern makes large piece, but I wanted it to be small so that it would fit on my little hall table near the foyer.  It's all cut out and ready to stitch.  I think I'm going to do the entire thing in gold dmc size 8 pearl cotton.
I'm hoping a little stitching will take my mind off the fact that Molly wants to go to a college that will cost us $200,000 for a 4 year degree.  mmmm, if all four of my children choose a college like this it would cost us $800,000 in tuition.  fun.  no problem.  I'll just pull my checkbook out.

Kellie's class is talking about erosion in science today so she took this rock to school for a little show and tell.


She found it at the beach in the surf.  Isn't it cool?  I love how smooth it is.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Knitting/Spinning Talk

I'm sorry I haven't been posting here.  I have been really busy with the clay - several custom orders and it's just too much fun - completely addictive to be honest.  I think what I like so much about it is that I'm working with my hands, creating something from basically mud, I'm playing with texture and color, and it's the unexpected results.  It really is exciting to open the kiln in the morning and see how everything has been transformed.  I have been quilting the same quilt that I showed you like two weeks ago.  I haven't been working on it very much this past week.  I was able to finish a lot of blocks while I was watching the Superbowl with Mark though. 

Anyway, that really isn't what I was going to talk about.  It's time to groom our angora bunny, Truffles, again.  Before I do, I wanted to show you how gorgeous his coat is.  He is a French/Giant-German mixed bunny which basically means that his ears, face, and feet are smooth and he produces a lot of fiber. 
 His coat is gorgeous!  It's silky and soft and from a distance it has a gray/chocolate hue but as you can see, when you are up close to him it's actually only the gray/chocolate color on the ends.  The rest of the hair is a gorgeous creamy/white.  There is just nothing like it.

And I have to say he is the sweetest bunny.  I had a Netherland Dwarf bunny many many years ago (before I was married) that was sweet but not like Truffles.  When I pick Truffles up (he's big - like the size of a cat but he's all hair not body) and put him on my lap (even on his back) or over my shoulder like a baby - he just sits there like a lump and it you stroke his cheek he immediately zones out and becomes very heavy and very hot and sometimes snores! lol  Howard is pretty sure he would be good to eat so it's a little tricky keeping them separated.  But, if you are considering a rabbit for spinning I highly recommend a French/Giant-German mix.  I like that there is color to his fiber.  I can use it as is and it's not just boring white.  French angora is hard to spin so having it mixed makes it a little easier - still tricky-it is angora.  It is nice to blend with other fibers, too.  If you don't want to spin it you can tuck little bits in the inside of the stitches as you knit the cuffs of gloves or mittens and it makes them really soft and warm inside.  Plus, I can't say enough about how crazy sweet this bunny is.  You just have to make sure you're okay with the idea of them living in your house.  Hay is messy stuff.  I have had rabbits that lived outside and in the winter we would pack their house with hay to keep them warm and cozy but if Truffles were to be put into a house/cage packed with hay or bedding he would come out looking like he had been tarred and feathered.  Bedding and hay stick to his coat like glue.  Not a good plan.  So he lives in our house.  I have a huge cage (3 feet x 3 feet x 18 inches) that has a stand to keep it up off the floor (about 7 inches off the floor) with a pull out tray underneath and a 4 inch guard around the base of the cage.  It's much nicer than what you find in a pet store.  I bought it from a company in PA that was recommended by the breeder at MD Sheep and Wool (which is where we bought Truffles).  Truffles does use a litter box in his cage and that makes it much easier to clean out.  You must clean it daily.  If you don't want to use a cage (you have an extra room to dedicate to your rabbit - or you don't have a dog that thinks it's a mid day snack) rabbits are extremely easy to litter box train.  When my dwarf was a baby he lived in our sun room and he would return to his cage to use his litter box.  We also have a big pen that I purchased from an online pet supply to use in the house (in the photos above).  It comes with a floor covering so he can be in our living room and he and the room will be safe or it can be used outside - you just put the covering on top of the cage to protect the rabbit.  Here in Maryland we have a lot of hawks and it would be pretty upsetting to have one swoop down and fly away with your rabbit - which does happen.  There was a man at MDSW a few years ago talking about how it became a huge battle between him a the local hawk population.  He said he lost a lot of rabbits that way.  Pretty traumatic I would think.  Anyway, rabbits make great pets - you just have to make sure you actually play with them!  Angora rabbits love toys and people.

Friday, January 28, 2011

I Recommend These Pans

Hi!  I've been unintentionally absent from here lately.  I've been really busy with the kids (home for the 7th day straight today because of snow and it's still snowing!).  I've also been really busy with the clay.  I've been baking a lot too.  This morning I made some banana nut bread.  Yum.
It reminded me that I wanted to tell you about these pans that I bought specifically for making bread.  They come highly recommended by Farmgirl Fare and I must agree with her.  They work really really well for bread.  I have been wanting to make her sandwich bread - I plan to do that over the weekend.  Her bread looks so yummy.  Every one of her recipes that I have tried have been just as good as she says it will be.  Love her blog.  Anyway, it's still snowing.  It's pretty, but I'm getting a little sick of it.  Even the kids are sick of being home.
I have another migraine.  It started this morning and has been getting progressively worse.  My teeth hurt and my eyes are clicking - I think it's time to hit the sofa.  The plan for my weekend is to glaze a bunch of stuff during the day and at night while Mark and I watch movies I plan to make a bunch of fabric beads - I have an idea that I want to try out.  Hopefully this headache will not be another 3 day event and I'll be able to do all the things on my list.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Still

I'm still quilting this...
I've been trying to work on it every night but it's slow going.  I can finish about 4 or 5 blocks in an hour - that's not too bad.  I like that the pattern is mindless - just straight lines so I don't have to keep turning and rearranging it to quilt.  I really wish I had made this quilt larger - it's a twin so I can't use it on my bed.  I think I might quilt my giant 85 x 105 inch Y2K quilt this way. (yeah, it's 11 years old and still not quilted)
 
 I dread quilting that giant thing because I'll have to use my giant quilt frame (big circle hoop on a stand) to do it.  There is no way I can lap quilt this thing.  I HATE quilting in a hoop or frame.  Hate it.  I'm sure Mark loves to hear me say that after I had begged for the giant quilt frame.  I've had it for about 14 years and only used it for one quilt in all of that time.  But my sister...she told me last week that hers is still in the box!!! lol.  We bought them at the same time.  I can at least say that mine is assembled and has been used...once.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Quilting

We are finally getting some snow (more than 1 inch that is).  I love snow.  We are getting just enough 4 to 5 inches to be pretty but not a problem.  I've been quilting.  I'm using size 10 DMC and I'm really liking it.

It's going very quickly and that's a good thing since I have a very short attention span.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Rocking My Mom Jeans! lol

Well, with the migraine keeping me from doing anything fun (it's finally gone) I have nothing to show you, but I do have a funny tale to tell. I bought some new jeans. Well, let me back up - I am short - 5 feet 2 inches short. I am extremely short waisted - I have no waist. My ribs damn near meet my hips - maybe one fingers width between them. It's really hard to find jeans that fit. So, I finally find some jeans that feel really good on, they stay where they should, no constant adjustments needed, they aren't baggy anywhere, but...they fit at the waist. For people with a long torso this is probably a great thing - for me it's not so great. My example of this came this morning...

Me with my new jeans on, shirt tucked, belt buckled...

Kellie - why are your jeans up to your arm pits? lol

Because I am hot! Who doesn't like this look?

And yesterday I had planned to be crafty all day. Instead, when I did the sync for my Ipad and Iphone I somehow had the settings wrong and deleted all of my contacts and calendar from both! Spent the entire day re entering all of my information on both - and in a paper calendar because I don't want that to happen again. I was calling all the doctors, orthodontists, etc to get the dates and times for our appointments because they were all gone...GONE! Hoping today is much more productive! Happy Tuesday!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

I'm a little late with that message. I had a migraine for 3 days straight and basically did nothing NOTHING but lay around in misery. I couldn't read, couldn't sew, nothing. Today it's just a hint but is basically gone. The kids are back in school today after the holiday break so my house is quiet - a good day to get things checked off my list.

I got a surprise this year. Mark bought me an iPad. I have to tell you, I have always been saying that I didn't see the point of the iPad. I have a laptop and I have an iPhone so what's the big deal. But I can honestly say that I love this thing! I am an app junkie and this thing is perfect for apps!There are a tun of free apps available so I went crazy for FREE! So I've completely changed my mind about these things and am now very much in love with the iPad. So in love in fact, that this week I'm going to make a cover for it. I'm going to use those pillow things that I like to stitch but I'm going to line it with a soft fabric. And guess what...now that the holidays are over I can get my sewing machine back out! hoooraaaah! I like to sew in the dining room and it drives Mark insane so I had promised him that it wouldn't see the light of day until after Christmas...and it is now after Christmas! I have so much on my list! I want to make some journals and some bags. I have to put away all of the Holiday decorations first, but I just might have to start sewing around them. I can hardly wait to hear that vroom of the machine.

I also started a new blog called White Clover Kiln for the ceramic stuff. That way you won't have to hear about it unless you want to. I'll keep this blog stitchy related. There is a link on the side bar if you are interested.

Have a great Monday friends - and thank you for coming here - I cherish the friends I have made through this blog and look forward to a fabulous new year with you!