Sunday, March 28, 2010

Cheesy Goodness

On Friday night, I made an absolutely delicious dinner. The original plan had been to bake this Tuscan Cheese Potato Bake on Wednesday but life got away from me and it was put off. You know how that is! But, I had all of the ingredients and the desire.
And let me tell you, it was worth the wait! I made a bunch of modifications (again, I can't cook straight from the recipe!). Instead of buttermilk, I used light cream. The container of buttermilk at the store would have given me A LOT of extra, whereas there is only a bit of cream left. I also used stuffing mix for the bread crumbs on top. And, I added chicken to make it more of a main dish. I halved the recipe and got four servings out of it.

This is such a flavorful recipe. You can definitely taste the blue cheese and garlic. Yet, the potatoes and chicken dial both down a bit so your taste buds aren't overwhelmed. Yum!

Friday, March 26, 2010

And More Happiness...

I've been busy Unravelling a wee bit more this week. I've been reflecting in bits of happiness as part of this week's curriculum. I feel as though I'm right where I need to be.

This weekend: work on my quilt and time with friends. What will you be up to?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Goodness and Smiles

Oh I feel like life has been so amazing and busy lately! And I've been enjoying the emergence of spring here in Philly. Thinking about my own personal cocoon and my emergence. Oh, thinking. Unravelling myself, my thoughts about life, my perceptions and my expectations. The crafting has been remiss... mostly due to long walks, work and travel. But I'm hoping to start quilting my bedroom quilt soon... photos forthcoming.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Shopping While Away

I was out of town this weekend, visiting Pittsburgh to do a program at Pitt with a trip extension to visit family and friends (oh, isn't adding days to a work-y type trip to see loves wonderful?). While I was there, I was able to make a side trip with my mom to an antique/country living store that I simply adore. And, of course, I came home with a couple of treasures.

First, I got this tablecloth from the late 50's. It is in excellent condition... no stains or holes!! It's just about the perfect size for my kitchen table and I just can't wait to host a dinner party with it cheerfully greeting people to the table.

And, I got this fabric scrap. It was part of some curtains from the 1960's. It seems to be just slightly thicker than normal quilting weight. I can already see it in a cute little quilt!

I managed not to leave there with a fiesta ware cup and saucer, although I did love it so. I think the idea of trying to fit it in my carry-on was the deterrent... and nothing else.

What finds have you found lately?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

LEAPing....

I’m been thinking lately about how I have been living this year’s theme of “Leap.” To some degree, I think a number of my actions have been leaps. I’ve been more honest with others , and myself to a degree, than I have in the past. I say what I’m thinking more. I don’t fret about offending as much as I’ve done in the past.

Doing Unravelling has been part of that leap, as I'm exploring myself through the class. Self-exploration is a powerful thing. I think providing myself with this opportunity, this growth is going to help me clarify my dreams and find new ways to love myself.

Now that I’m re-engaged, I think I’ve been leaping somewhat in my crafting. I’ve taken on bigger projects than in the past. I create my own designs, both through sketch and in my head before beginning. I would like to be bolder and more adventurous as I move forward through the rest of 2010. Work with new colors. Take on bigger projects.

I’ve been trying to leap in my dating life. I’ve been more open minded, more willing to see people through less of a lens. I’ve engaged more people when I’m out and about. I’ve also started regularly asking God for help in finding my life partner.

I have been remiss in leaping at work. It seems as though I’ve continued to follow the same path, slightly more worn than it was a few short years ago. I think an honest to goodness leap would be so potent to altering my energy. It’s defining what is a beneficial leap that I need to focus on. What will give me positive change and a positive charge?

I’d also like to leap by spending more time doing photography. I’m contemplating taking a photography class as work. I think I could be really proud of my work and I’d like to explore that talent. How can I make that a bigger part of who I am during the rest of this year?

Leap is about striking out, trying new things and realizing my worth over and over again. And, I am worthy. Of so much. I want to ensure I’m exploring my talents. Engaging my creative brain. Drawing outside the lines. Saying no or not enough or yes where I want to. Discovering new opportunities. I want to fall in love with my city, my friends, my family, my life yet again.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Oh Tar-jay....

I went to Target yesterday for the big Liberty of London launch. They had put a lot of things out the day before so much was cleared out already. And it didn't appear my store had the umbrellas, rainboots or teapots. But I did manage to pick up a clipboard and binder. And stationary items like that are just my speed....

Now, if only I can find a teapot somewhere!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Thrifting is Good for My Soul

Yesterday, while Rosy was at the groomers, I found a new-to-me little thrift store in West Philly. It's a series of storefronts each housing different goodness - housewares, clothes and furniture. I love sorting through treasures and in the furniture store, this lovely little piece spoke to me. It was $15 and in pretty decent condition for such a little bit of money. Previously, I had an Ikea bookcase in the kitchen corner holding my cookbooks and whatnot. This is such a warm improvement. I'm in love!

I also dipped into the housewares shop and looked through all of the dishes. Oh, such loveliness! I'm surprised I didn't end up taking a bunch of plates home with me! I managed to escape with just this Oneida platter. It's perfect for a Thanksgiving turkey and cost me the whopping price of $4.94. (Yep, such an odd amount.) Oh, Second Mile I'll be back again!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Jump, Jive and Hop Scotch

Yesterday, I finished the quilt top. I only had to add the pink sashing but for some reason I was not inspired until yesterday. I'm pretty happy with the outcome and I think the bright pink polka dot binding will be a perfect addition.
I also finished about half of the back. I think I have just enough of the pink fabric to do what I want. I won't be working on it today, as my work space is all out of sorts as it is raining in my kitchen (boo!). Hopefully tomorrow will be a sunnier day? (Even the Magic Eight Ball would say "outlook not good.")

Friday, March 12, 2010

Weekend Wonders

From Card Generator, as found on TinnieGirl

What are you up to this weekend?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

When Things Converge....

As I've shared, I'm taking this Unravelling e-course. Today, while reading a bit of my Life is a Verb book, my course and book converged. The author, Patti Digh, wrote about when her four year old borrowed her digital camera. All of the photos she took were of her feet. Left foot, right foot, feet together.



She goes on to talk about her daughter's "fascination with grounding" and documenting herself here in this world. Wow! As I've been busy taking photos of my feet for the last three days, this is exactly what I've been doing as well. I've been documenting my world, the steps I take daily, the avenues - large and small, real and figurative - that I explore and how my ability to move, to be free is so vital. The quote that continues to speak to me is "she is documenting her little march through the world, left, then right, then both." Isn't that what we are all trying to do? Be valid, be true, follow our destiny or right path? I love when things converge like that, as if you are being given a message. See this. Understand this. Live this. And, I wonder, where will my feet take me next?

** ETA: Funny, when I selected that photo I didn't even think of the wisdom in the post being echoed in the photo.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hop Scotch Perhaps?

I've been working on the quilt for my bedroom wall. The plan is to add some dusty rose colored sashing around the outside. Then, the top will be done. I don't have a game plan for the back, although I'm guessing pink with some of the fabrics from the top.
Anywho, I'm pretty happy that I've been able to get so much done (spring break week at work = no students = more productive time at home). The goal was to have the top done by the end of the week and that is totally in sight.

Mid-Day Walk

The joy of my staycation day yesterday... a walk in the woods in the middle of the day. Rosy and I did a bench Monday shot.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Art is My Friend

I bought a painting on Etsy the other day with some of my tax return money. It was the perfect colors for my living room and just an amazing, relaxing image. It came today in the mail and of course Instant Gratification Stacy hung it up right away.

I bought it from Lori, who was absolutely wonderful to work with. She's as good an Etsy seller as she is a painter. Yay for new art in the abode!

Unravelling: Jumping In

I did some Unravelling shots today, as the e-course officially began. I'm excited for this journey and loved exploring my neighborhood and seeing things from a different perspective.
Little dog and me first thing this morning, pj pants, squeaky toy and slippers!


William Kraus was my father's name. He passed away when I was 14. I love the reminder this plaque gives me each time I walk past it.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Just Fabric Love

In the last two weeks or so, I've gotten a bunch of fabric that I haven't shared yet. I'm planning two different quilts, one for my bedroom. It will most likely be small so I can hang it on the wall and jazz up all of the white white white. I'm doing pinks and greens to coordinate with everything else in my room. Here are some of the pinks I got during fabric.com's recent sale. (Fabric sale? What? I'm a sucker.)
And, I'm working on a baby boy quilt for a friend who is expecting. I have lots and lots of girl fabrics but not enough boy stuff. So, fabricworm sucked me in with some of the gorgeous patterns they have right now.
Both tops have been started. I am hoping to maybe have one top done by the end of this week!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Thinking, thinking, thinking

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about self-identity. How I see myself and how that is different from how others might see me. What are my strengths and areas for growth. How I tackle adversity. What blessings I’ve been afforded and my ability to be comfort with uncertainty (which isn’t great). I think a large part of the reason that I’ve been thinking about all of this was my bout with seasonal affective disorder and the feeling of unhappiness it dealt me. So often we focus on our shortcomings. I really try not to do so. I know I have a lot of positive traits and continually try to keep those on the forefront of my daily work. By nature, I’m a glass half full person. Which is probably part of the reason SAD was such a challenge for me.

When I think about the adjectives I’d love to describe me, I automatically think of quirky, crafty, strong, compassionate, inventive, intelligent, genuine and spunky. I don’t know how many of these words people who know me would use. I know I don’t think I yet embody all of them. But I certainly hope to. And then, we are all a work in progress aren’t we?

All in all, I’m grateful for continued evolution. I know I’m a better person today than I was a week ago. I am grateful for the challenges, both large and small, which have shaped my character. Mysteries still abound and I look forward to experiencing them as they come. I can only become a better person down the road….