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1  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / TARDIS quilt on: July 20, 2013 10:55:51 AM
I made myself a little TARDIS quilt-pillow.

I poured all of time & space into the heart of the TARDIS. 

It's bigger on the inside!
2  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Scrabble Quilt on: January 14, 2012 10:15:33 PM
Wandering around at a fabric sale a while back I found some cute red-letter fabric and decided to make a Scrabble inspired quilt.

I started out by sketching out the grid and piecing together each 5x5 block.  I embroidered a little star in the center square. The squares are 3"x3"

I wanted it to be a playable game/quilt so I cut out 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" felt squares and used iron on letters.  Word to the wise - synthetic felt melts, so I had to use a warm iron and a sheet of newspaper over the letters to avoid melting/sticking.

The packs of iron on letters don't really match the letter distribution in the game, so I just make sure I had duplicates of the vowels and some common letters.

Then I made a little bag to hold the letters.

Here's the finished quilt - finished size was about 60"x60":

And the back:

It was, as you might guess, a birthday present for a friend, but I kinda want to make one for me now!!

3  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Halloween Party Food-need ideas! on: October 06, 2011 08:47:02 AM
I'm having a Halloween party for some friends and their kids.  I have a few ideas for food, but I need more.  I don't want it to be too sugar focused (although - it's a party so, yeah, there will be sweets)

Current ideas:
-mini grill cheese sandwiches cut into pumpkin shapes
-apples with caramel sauce
-chocolate cupcakes with pumpkin/cream cheese frosting & candy corn on top

I could do a veggie tray, but I'm not so sure how to make it festive.  I don't want to do the scary-gross thing because these are pretty small kids, I was aiming for more of a pumpkins & black cats theme. What do you think?
4  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / A journal quilt about Japan on: March 26, 2011 09:25:08 PM
I've recently started doing 'journal quilts' - little 5"x7" quilts to explore a technique or express something I've been thinking about.  After watching endless footage of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan I was inspired to make a journal quilt about it.  Here it is:

I'd actually come up with a technique a few months ago of soaking (the darker blue) fabric in salt water, then drying it to give it kind of a whitish crust and a stiff texture... I think it works well in the layering.  Although it's a bit hard to see in the picture.
5  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Ruby quilt on: October 10, 2010 10:28:42 PM
This is my latest finished quilt.  I'd made this pattern before as a baby quilt for a friend.  I liked it so much I had to make it again for myself.  It's sofa sized, and I love love love it!

Here's the close up of the quilting.

6  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / snips & snails & puppy dog tails on: August 30, 2010 09:58:29 AM
A few years ago I made the 'mistake' of creating the tradition of making a quilt for each of my friends who had a baby.  I like making baby quilts because they are generally quick & easy... but my friends are popping out babies left & right & it's hard to keep up!

This one I thought was cute, if not my best work.  The family has dogs, and the baby is a boy so it works.  What do you think?

the whole quilt:

a close up of the doggies:

the backing fabric - loved the paw prints!
7  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Onion Buns on: June 19, 2010 08:16:26 AM
This week I made whole wheat Onion Buns!  I followed the general recipe for Sunset Bread's Onion Boards, but I use a real sauteed onion and mix it in after most of the flour

I use a two day process, mixed the ingredients the first day (lots and lots of time in the KitchenAide mixer, really worked up the gluten).  I put it in the fridge overnight, punched it down, reshaped it, and put it back in the bowl and literally left it on the counter while I went to work.  When I got home I shaped the buns (round and mushed flat), let them rest while I got dinner, then popped them in the oven. 

I love baking stones, this one isn't my favorite, but it still works great.  Oh, I topped them with an egg wash and some coarse salt.

Here they are all finished.  Absolutely yummy for sandwiches or as hamburger buns.  They're soft and chewy with a oniony-wheaty flavor.  Seriously, this is my new favorite bread!
8  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Roasted Vegetable Soup on: June 11, 2010 09:10:41 PM
This is my all time favorite soup to make.  It's just veggies, salt & olive oil, so I guess it's totally vegetarian / vegan.  But I don't really care about that... I just love how it tastes, and that it's such a flexible dish.

I start with tomatoes, red/orange/yellow peppers, zucchini/yellow squash, any kind of onion, and lots of garlic. But you can use eggplant or vary the amounts of any of the ingredients.  The only thing I suggest is not using too many green peppers/zucchini because the soup ends up looking a bit brownish.  But other than that, use whatever summer veggies you like.  Cut them up but not too small. coat with olive oil, and sprinkle sea salt all over it.  Roast it at about 375 for about an hour.  Toss the veggies a few times to make sure it's all getting evenly browned.

When everything looks good and roasted, I take it out and put it in a stock pot.  Add vegetable broth (I've used pacific organic... but again, use whatever you like), and a good bit of basil.  Simmer it at medium heat for about an hour... depending on how salty the broth is, you can add more salt or not.

Stir it often, mush up the veggies.  When it looks done, mix it in small batches in your blender & return it to the pot. 

I like to serve it with fresh bread & cheese.  It is soooo good!  I like to make a huge pot & freeze individual portions for lunches at work.   
9  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Pizza with foccaccia dough on: June 11, 2010 08:48:46 PM
I absolutely love 'The Bread Baker's Apprentice' and have been using the foccaccia recipe as pizza dough, with a bit of modification.  I add fresh rosemary & garlic to the dough in the beginning, then leave the dough to rise over night in an oil coated plastic bag. 

The next day I let it come to room temperature on the counter, then roll it out on a floured board (no idea how to toss it), letting it rest a few times during the shaping.  Then I transfer it to a baking stone (let it rest again while chopping veggies/shredding the cheese) & prebake it for like 10 minutes before quickly adding the toppings & finishing it in the oven.

YUM!  I had to eat a few pieces before taking a picture. Wink
10  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Cooking with red wine on: June 08, 2010 12:11:02 PM
I have 3/4 of a bottle of Shiraz on my counter left over from Sunday and I want to cook with it.  (it was for a party, I don't drink red...don't worry though - we drank about 6 bottles of champagne.) Wink

1.  How long can I keep it on the counter before it goes bad / I can't cook with it any more. How long can I keep it in the fridge before I can't cook with it anymore?

2. Can you substitute one red wine for another when cooking?  I have a rough recipe for Beef Burgundy I was going to try, but am not sure about how the flavors will work.

3.  Do you have any great recipes for using up leftover red wine?  Or white wine for that matter?

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