Archives for the month of: July, 2012

Last Sunday my family participated in the Wharf to Wharf 10k in Santa Cruz. The run takes you along the ocean from Santa Cruz to Capitola.

There are bands along the way which makes it a really fun run. My husband is a runner and has been his whole life so it was great to see he and my daughter run it together this year. I walked it with my sister in law and nephew and we had a blast too.

 

One of my favorite things to do after the race is to visit Hart’s Fabrics.

It is an independently owned fabric store and they carry a lot of the fabrics that I love. They have Amy Butler, Tula Pink, Heather Ross and a wall of cotton prints that will keep you busy for hours. There are great linens and trims that I haven’t seen anywhere else. A must for me is the remnant wall in the back. I find small pieces of laminated cotton and oilcloth for make up bag lining. It’s like a candy store to a sewer. They also have home decorator fabric too – that’s another whole visit. Fabric overload! Is there such a thing though?

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Sometimes when I stitch a new pattern it’s fun to play around with the colors to create a theme. I found a pattern that I really like which has everything I love – flowing lines, and nature. It is an Aunt Martha pattern and you can see it here for $1.50. The colors I decided to work with are a different palette than I usually use. I decided to go neutral in subdued greens and blues. I like the effect. I am probably going to make a pillow – this completed piece currently lays in the ‘now what?’ pile in my sewing room. I should probably take a weekend and have a ‘now finish’ party, but I haven’t been that ambitious yet.

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There are some plants that are so easy to grow and such high performers, they become my favorite. The perennial Black Eyed Susan, is like that. I have moved it around the garden and it has happily agreed to grow wherever I feel like it should. Since I am kind of a intermittent gardener, I appreciate this kind of easy going attitude. I think I have found the perfect spot for this summer beauty – right by the front door. This way, it says happy summer to anyone who comes over. You have to love a plant that will do that in 100 degree weather. I would recommend this plant for a cheerful addition to your garden.

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Quilting is one of my favorite hobbies. I purchased an old quilt top in an antique store in Minneapolis several years ago. The colors were varied and scrappy which I really like. The border however wasn’t a color I would use so I took it apart and put a vintage-style border on it. The colors are now more ‘me’ and I hand quilted it in a dense pattern which I love. I love the way the light captures the textured fabric. It’s also hiding some of the antique imperfections of the fabric. Anytime I can take something old and reinvent it in a fresh way I’m pleased.

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My friend is pretty handy in the garden and came up with an attractive pair of planters for her front porch. She knew she wanted to use a wine barrel for a rustic look. She made sure to attach the wooden slats to the metal bands and to each other with glue so that it didn’t fall apart when she cut the barrel in half. She created a short planter in the top third of the half barrels and fastened each half to the walls on either side of her front door.

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She had been planning this for her entry and thought about the details. Each planter has an electrical outlet which operates the self-timed drip system.

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They are a nice addition to a beautiful entry.

A fun book for stitching patterns is Doodle Stitchery by Aimee Ray.

There are many projects and the patterns are simple and adorable.

There are projects like a happy birthday banner

and also hoop framed embroidery art. You can mix and match the patterns

to create your own gift cards, wooden charms and anything else you can stitch onto.

I have stitched a few of the patterns and have been happy with the results.

This is the Chinese Lantern from the ‘Asian Chic’ pages.

 This tree pattern has a little bit of all of the seasons.

Aimee Ray is an illustrator and her drawings are very sweet – check out her blog here.

I created a good little lunch salad from last night’s roasted zucchini which turned out really well.

We barbecued the zucchini by cutting it lenghwise and brushing a little oil

and McCormick’s Grill Mates Spicy Montreal Steak Spices on it and then grilled it for about 20 mins.

Today I added some grape tomatoes, sunflower seeds, balsamic vinegar to the chilled, roasted zucchini 

and dusted some parmesan cheese over the top. It’s a good answer to summer leftovers.

 

Yum.

 

This sailboat was a line drawing and I traced it onto a

piece of linen. It is stitched with the split stitch. Simple lines and good texture;

that is what this little stitching is about. I am not sure what to make with it,

but am leaning towards a Nook cover because it is about that size. Any suggestions?

There are some projects that are just fun from beginning to end. My cat pillow was like that. I couldn’t wait to see it completed; mainly because of the cat’s face; so mischievous, and cute! Also because I stitched some of it with 2 strands and some with 3 depending on the item. The cat’s face was 2; and also the apron to lighten the details. Three strands seemed too heavy for those areas.. It’s stitched on linen – my favorite fabric and I pulled the colors from the border fabric which is pretty full of colors. The pattern is from Aunt Martha’s embroidery patterns, this pillow is in my shop on etsy; but if it never sells, that’s fine. That cat makes me smile, and I don’t even have cats!

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I’m always on the lookout for a recipe that provides all of the following:

high nutrition, low calorie, good taste, potentially portable

I found a recipe for Oatmeal pancakes in Runner’s Magazine

 a while back that is a great start to the day. I added some blueberries and like the recipe

even better with that splash of  berry  flavor.

They are nutritious and stick with you until lunchtime.

They are sturdy enough to make ahead and take along.

This is the recipe:

1 1/4 cup rolled oats

2 cups nonfat milk (I substituted Almond Milk)

1 egg

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup toasted wheat germ

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 teaspoons stevia

2 teaspoons canola oil

1/2 teaspoon

1 cup blueberries

Mix wet ingredients, set aside, mix dry ingredients and then combine both. 

 gently fold in blueberries, cook until brown on griddle.

This recipe makes about 12 pancakes with each having approx. 95 calories.