Thursday, October 29, 2009

Just a Minute : October

Oh, Blogtoberfest and Just a Minute collide today... wonderful!

Reading... The Lost Symbol, which was good although not as great as some of Dan Brown's other books. I definitely liked Angels and Demons and The DaVinci Code better. Still, I couldn't put this book down. That's always a good sign right? Other than that, I've been trying to catch up on my magazines.

Keeping... my freezer stocked with good foods for winter. I currently have pasta sauce, ziti, Swedish meatballs, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, apple muffins and butternut squash stockpiled. I need to get more squash and make a batch of chili sometime soon! Nothing makes me happier in the dead of winter, after sloshing through snow and slush, to come home to an easy, defrost-and-go dish.

Sewing... the wee baby boy quilt. Now, on to a quilt for my friend for Christmas. I have a good idea what I want to do thanks to Amy. Can't say too much here though since she reads this blog!

Watching... GLEE! Seriously, I might be obsessed. I love the show. If you haven't seen it, find it on hulu. I'm excited for Game 3 of the World Series only because they are performing.

Trying... to practice patience. In life. In work.

Making... my best life each day. Or, at least trying to do so. It often seems like life goes a mile a minute. I keep trying to remind myself to take pleasure in each minute, to be grateful for all that I have in my life.

Congratulating... a friend who has moved into the chairmanship role of an organization I respect and belong to. She'll be amazing and I'm excited to see what she accomplishes over the next two years.

Interested in playing along... head over to August Street and sign up.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Gratitude Wednesday

I am grateful for....
  • a little dog asleep at my feet
  • a bit of brightness in this otherwise rainy day
  • free cupcakes at work today... serious happiness
  • good friends who rejoice in my happiness and listen to my concerns
  • hand sanitizer after giving out flu kits to students
What are you grateful for this Wednesday?

Think Gratitude Wednesday should be a regular feature and you'd like to participate? Click below!

Monday, October 26, 2009

SuperPops....

CurlyPops had a little contest for the best rendering of SuperPops. Here's my little take on our superhero....

That SuperPops, she really is at the pinnacle of her super hero-ness. It's impressive! Doing an adequate rendering was going to be tough. We started out with these supplies. She had to take a bit of a bath first, since she had been out of the golf course this summer. After the bath and a toweling off, she was ready to reveal herself to the world! What with wearing a cape and tiara (because a girl MUST have accessories!), we hesitated on putting on sensible shoes. Really, they didn't quite go with the vibe SuperPops likes. But, the boots would have made her fall over and she has to be prepared to run when flying seems like overkill. So casual brown shoes won out.

She's pretty happy to be here in Phildelphia, providing protection against divets and bogeys. She even found a little Australian sidekick to keep her company. Go SuperPops go!




She flies through the air with the greatest of ease... we just hope she doesn't hook right into the trees!

Trees, Glorious Trees

Yesterday, Rosy and I went on a long walk, admiring the colors (me) and smells (her) on our path. I love autumn for many reasons.
It's really just gorgeous in my neighborhood right now.
My neighbor was out raking up leaves. Of course Rosy climbed right into the pile. I had to pull her out.
Isn't that second tree fantastic? I'm sure I mentioned before my love for trees. The way their branches zig out of their trunk every which way. The gracefulness of those branches. I continue to be awed.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Wee Baby Boy Quilt : Done!

I finished the baby boy quilt this morning. It's in the wash and listed on Etsy.
Overall, I'm pretty happy. I love the variety of textures: linen, cotton, flannel, and chenille.
It definitely was a fun little project. And, I really enjoyed working with a new color scheme, as I haven't used so much blue before.
Happy Sunday to you!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thursday Bit Back

Tonight, I came home from work after what felt like a long day but was really no longer than normal. Rosy and I went for our walk even though I felt like just taking off my work clothes, slipping into my pjs and relaxing. She needs regular walks and it is good for me. These are the things I tell myself in order to go on the walk. I watched a bit of the news of the day and made a grilled cheese for dinner (with the last bit of the apple pear sauce). And, now I sit on the couch reading through other people's days via blog posts. Resting. Grateful for the life I've been given, even when it is so busy I forgot midway through the day what blessing I've been granted. Life is good. So is my couch, which will be cradling me for the remainder of the evening. Happy Thursday folks!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I Have Been Crafting, I Swear!

I've been working on the baby boy quilt. Having a weekend visitor meant no sewing time. So since then, I managed to pin the bias tape on. The hold-up right now is just sewing it on and then a nice wash and tumble through the dryer. It will be done by the end of the weekend for sure.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Weekend Re-cap

This weekend with my mom was wonderful. Mom and I did a number of fun things. On Saturday, we did the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail with my friend Laurel. We visited five of the nine wineries and I came home with five bottles of wine! It was a great little trip, despite the nor'easter dumping rain on us. And on our visit to Pinnacle Ridge, we were filmed for what might become a Travel Channel program! We came home to a simple dinner of grilled cheese and tomato soup - much needed after spending so much time outside - and a movie.
On Sunday, we had a low key day. Late start, followed by Ikea with friends, a fast return at Target (and new tights!) and grocery shopping for Mom's Swedish meatballs recipe. We came home and I took a quick nap to kill off the bad headache I had. After about an hour, I was mostly back in the game and we made the meatballs and some more apple pear sauce (yep, I'm addicted!). Yummy dinner and some Deperate Housewives.

My mom left yesterday morning right before I had to leave for work. She's such a special woman and I'm so lucky to have her healthy, fun and such a supporter of mine.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sewing Machine Recommendations?

I'm looking to upgrade machines sometime in the next year. What sewing machine - brand and model - do you own? Why do you love it? How does it handle quilting? Other advice and thoughts welcomed.

Merci!

The Drink of a Memory

I am a simple woman.
This very well might be the highlight of my day today. I haven't had one of these collapsible cups in a number of years. They remind me of when, as a child, my uncle the dentist cleaned my teeth and then gave me one of every toy in the office toy chest. Said uncle has since passed away so the memories are particularly sweet. Thank you SEPTA for my cup and Uncle John, I love you.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Terrain on a Rainy Day

Today my mom and I visited Terrain. I've heard such amazing things about this garden/home store and cafe that I'm excited I final craved out some time to visit it. First off, it is overwhelming gorgeous and relaxing. As my mom said, almost Zen like.
And the cafe is amazing. Honey wheat bread and butter and water in Ball canning jars were on each table. Bulbs growing around you. We shared the truffle mac and cheese (yum) and each had the scallops. And, finishing the meal was a caramelized pear ice cream sandwich. Seriously, I would go there again for the food alone.
A lot of the items in the shop were slightly out of my price range, especially since I don't have outdoor gardening space. However, it was worth the short drive for atmosphere alone. What a lovely little adventure to start my visit with mom!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Best Dilemma: More Quilting or Just Binding?

Last night, I did a spot of quilting on the baby boy quilt. I'm trying to decide if I want to quilt it a bit more or just add the binding. Right now, it is simple straight lines framing the coin columns. I put it aside so I would have a bit of time to think about it before committing to one path or the other. Good news is I'm totally loving it. This won't be my Craft Hope quilt but something for the Etsy shop. (Speaking of the shop, I'm having a bit of a sale.) Now, I get to start thinking about my next two quilting projects - which I plan to work on simultaneously. One of the Craft Hope quilt and the other is the quilt for my friend's Christmas gift. Such fun!

I will say, with all of this quilting, my knitting is suffering. I really shouldn't blame the quilting... it's not fair. It is also the minor carpel tunnel that I don't want to become worse. (Although that doesn't deter my solitaire playing on the iPhone!) I do need to start knitting again. And, identify a great looking mitten pattern for my friend who needs a pair. I was inspired last night to frog a scarf I was working on and make it into an infinity scarf instead.... but I had just painted my nails and frogging wasn't an option. Maybe tonight?

How have you been craft cross training lately?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ch-ch-ch-changin'

The change of colors is here. I love it! Fall brings:

apple picking
crisp walks in the woods by my apartment
comfort foods like pasta and stew
nesting, including sewing
Christmas gift making
winery tours
a gorgeous drive past changing trees each day on the way to work
dark nail polish
tights with dresses
boots, dress and Uggs
my favorite scarves, freshly washed and waiting

What are you looking forward to most this season?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Craft Hope Project #5

Those that know me know I'm a big softie. I cry at touching books, personal stories of someone overcoming hardships and Hallmark commercials. Today, I was reading this Craft Hope post and knew immediately I needed to commit to this. Because homeless kids pull at my heart strings. And, to whom much is given, much is expected. I have been nothing but blessed in life.

They have made this project so that beginning quilters and those without a lot of time can contribute. Check the post for details. Please consider changing the world in a small way by committing to this project.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Lazy Day

I had off today after working on Saturday and Sunday. The luxury of a day off when most others are working is truly lovely. I woke up late, took Rosy out to see some doggie friends, lazied around waiting for the cable guy, finished reading The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown, worked on the back of the baby boy quilt, mailed my old computer to a friend who is buying it, ran into the grocery store after charming the cart guy in the parking lot, went for another walk with Rosy and cooked artichoke ravioli (with homemade pasta sauce) for dinner. Now, it's all about relaxing with a glass of wine... and maybe a little sewing for good measure. This was just about a perfect day of rest.

SuperPops to the Rescue!


Anyone doing the SuperPops challenge? I'm trying to think of what I'll do....

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Dinner Par-tay!

I'm having a dinner party with some friends tonight. The table is set, the house in clean, the stuffed salmon is defrosting in the fridge and wine is chilling. Wonderful!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Discourse

This morning, I couldn’t help but think about the political discourse in this country. Right after the announcement that President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, the backlash began. The President of these united states won a major and distinguished prize and immediately people pounced, not even hesitating to congratulate him.

We call ourselves the United States but we are hardly united. It seems as though each day someone, rather than listening to their peers, tries to shout louder and more forcefully so their opinion can be dominant. Wouldn’t we all benefit from truly listening to the opposing side?

I can easily be called a liberal. I believe in gay rights, my right to determine what happens to my body, some degree of universal health care, outlawing cop killer bullets and that a citizen’s responsibility is to help and nurture their fellow citizens. I’m more fiscally conservative and socially liberal.

I cannot help but be slightly bothered by the “take that” attitude to the other side of the aisle, whether Democrats or Republicans. I do not tend to believe one party should control both the executive and legislative branches of government. I like the balance of having the “other side” with enough strength to question what is happening in governing of our country.

Ideally we should all be working for the greatest benefit for our compatriots. We might not always agree on what that is; but isn’t that where the conversation should start? We tell small children to “use your words” yet often we fail to do the same. Being united starts with listening, with truly hearing each other. We need to meet in the middle more often, knowing you cannot win every battle in life. Compromise is what helped to form our Constitution. Yes, this document can easily be called an imperfect document. Never should someone have been counted as 3/5 of a person. Yes, there continues to be a debate over states rights and federal responsibility. Yet, we would not be the same country today were it not for thoughtful, energetic and at times frustrating debate our Founders had. The best legacy we can offer these men, who created a perfect yet imperfect country, is to listen with compassion and openness to those with wildly divergent viewpoints. I, like Ben Franklin, like to believe the sun is rising. However, for that to be true we must work on being a truly united republic.


Joy!

Fat quarters = happiness. I foresee quilting in my future!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Coinage

I'm so pleased to be done with the baby boy quilt top. I seriously love all of the fabrics. I used two blocks of the alphabet fabric in each coin column. Some of the fabric is from vintage sheets, some is flannel and some is random quilting cotton from my stash. Blue is definitely the dominate color but is also pulls in red, yellow, aqua, green, orange, and even a wee bit of pink. I'm getting a clear vision for the back - I can't wait to start that now!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Another Reason Philly is Fantastic

Things I love about Philly: check out that skyline! And, the clouds were magnificent tonight.

Splashes of Happiness

I bought myself flowers to celebrate... well, me I guess. I needed a splash of brightness in my living room. Ahh, happiness.

And, I worked on the baby boy quilt top yesterday (joy of flex time = accomplishment). It's now complete! I'm loving the way it came together, different textures and colors complimenting each other nicely. Now, on to the back of the quilt. I haven't fully thought out what I'm going to do there, although I'm hoping to use a bunch of the fabrics from the front again.

What's creating happiness in your life?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Matchy Matchy

The whole weekend went by without me being able to squeeze in some crafting. That's almost a crime I think! Last night I managed to sit down at my machine and whip up this pillow sham to match the Not So Much Ugly Orange Chair.
I feel like these two different style chairs coordinate a little bit more now. And, I'm happy to have replaced the very old pillow that was on that chair. (Seriously, it was probably 10 years old and not the best construction in the world.) Sewing relaxes me like nothing else.... just what I needed!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Nesting Away

I've really been into nesting lately. I'm not quite sure why but I keep thinking of new things to do to add to the homey-ness of my home. Perhaps it is the impending winter, knowing I will be spending more time in my home. Right now, I'm contemplating stenciling a 15 by 15 inch design sporadically on one wall of my bedroom. I feel it could use a little something to make it warmer and jazz up the white wall. I also bought polka dot fabric to use for a wall hanging in my living room. I need a little warmth over my couch. I have a number of other items - print box, mirror, and picture - that I'd like to hang there but it needs a bigger item to anchor everything. And, I'm searching for the next big project now that the chair is completed.

Anyone else nesting right now?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Last Baby Gift Done, On to Quilt!

I finished the stroller sized blanket for my friend this week. I'm mostly happy with how it turned out, although there are a few things I'd do differently if doing it again. I have it all tied up with the tiny teeny little shirt and a bib. I'm hoping to get it out in the mail this week. Let's hope she loves it!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Saturday Happiness

Today was a lovely, lovely little day...
  • I visited a small craft show. It was especially littered with photography, which I love to look through. I didn't end up buying anything but it was a wonderful show. I went with a sorority sister and we had a great time, with a yummy lunch afterwards.
  • I made a trip to JoAnn's. Although I went for a pillow form, of course I left with more. I got a wee bit of fabric, some bias tape, thread and poly filler. All for $20! Fantastic.
  • I made another batch of the pear applesauce. I love that stuff! I like how easy it is to make: apples, pears, cinnamon and sugar. You determine the measurements, although the apple/pear ratio should be even. Now I have three servings in the fridge.... wonder how long that will last.
  • I started planning the dinner party I'm hosting next Saturday. I need to figure out the menu tomorrow.
How did you enjoy your Saturday?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Fall

I've been thinking a lot about fall lately. As we slowly drift from summer into fall, vacillating between warm and cold weather, I can't help but think about what the year will offer. Since I work at a university, my life is still often measured in semesters. We are about a month into the year. I wonder about my relationships with students. I wonder what tribulations, successes and moments of bliss will cross my path. I welcome the bright colors of fall, as we evolve into a winter rebirth. And I wonder about our own personal rebirth. As we grow and change, we become who we are supposed to be. I don't know if it is destiny or a destiny we create. But it is valuable. Who will I be at this time next year? What talents will I have nurtured? What friends will I have made? How will my life be different? The questions of life....

Thursday, October 1, 2009

BLOGTOBERFEST!!!!

It's October 1st and do you know what that means? It's Blogtoberfest! Ahh, the wonder of beer tents and wienerschnitzel... oh, wait... umm, I mean blogging every day and contests galore! I'm getting excited to write about new and different things. I plan on doing a little planning this weekend but I might fall back on Amy's suggestions here and there. I might perhaps even host a little contest here at The Rosy Outlook. Are you doing Blogtoberfest? If so, how are you celebrating? (Don't know what on Earth I'm talking about? Check the link above.)