Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Learning a New Skill

I've been saying for several years now, that I want to learn to quilt when I grow up. I'm not sure I'm any more grown up today, but I started working on a "quilt as you go" project. Quilt-as-you-go is a method of quilting one block at a time, then joining the blocks to make the finished quilt.

Some years ago, my mother and her sister took a lap quilting (quilt-as-you-go) class. They each made a beautiful quilt; my mother's quilt now hangs in my house. She did not go on to make any more, preferring other sewing projects. My aunt, however, has made several quilts since that time.

So, after talking to my aunt and reading a lot of library books on quilting, I've taken the plunge. I picked a simple pattern called "churn dash" or "hole in the barn door". I've made three blocks and they are ready to be quilted. I'm not sure yet if this will be a full size quilt or just a small lap size. I'll try to keep you posted on my progress.

Is there anything you've always wanted to learn to do?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

And the winners are...

Tabitha and ioncik! Congratulations on winning the Bede Sisters Fall Giveaway! I'll be in touch with you to find out where to send your fall baskets.

Friday, August 19, 2011

When Worlds Collide

Yesterday, the phones and computer were down for a while at my husband's office for a scheduled upgrade, so he helped out with chores at home for a while. Here he is, in his chicken-tending suit:

It was nice to have some company for morning chores and to have someone to lift the filled waterer. He's back at work today, and the children and I are at home, so things are closer to their usual routine. Now, if I can just find someone to lift the water bath canner...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Summer is almost over...

My summer vacation is almost over. School starts next week and the fall craft show season will be in full swing soon. We've managed to have a fair amount of fun, though:

A couple of trips to the beach
Anniversary spent in Charleston, SC
A weekend in Atlanta
Family reunion at our place
Growing herbs, some for the first time like pineapple sage and stevia
Read a few books
Lots (but not enough) afternoons by the pool

The hot days will be around for a while yet, but my days without a schedule are ending. Back to math lessons, reading with the children, history (US history this year) and spelling. Actually, that doesn't sound too bad.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Birthday Girl Tries Out Her New Oven

I can hardly believe that my baby girl is six years old.

She was very excited about her Easy Bake oven from her aunt and uncle. So of course, we had to bake a cake this morning. It was delicious!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

New in the Etsy Shop

This cute little basket is new in the Bede Sisters' etsy shop for Halloween. It's sized just right for holding Halloween candy, either next to your door or while out trick-or-treating.

These adorable little baskets were created for a special custom order, as party favors. They are about 4.5 in high, not including the handle.

I'm thinking of adding them as a custom order option in the shop. Can't you see them as favors, not just for birthdays, but also for weddings, anniversaries and graduation parties?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Update on the Sprouting Seeds

The pumpkins are up! The pumpkins are up! Most of the pumpkin seeds have sprouted and they are reaching for the sunlight (above). I'll need to transplant them to either larger containers or into the ground soon.

The red rubin basil (below) is looking interesting, though not very big yet. It really is a deep burgundy color. It should make some beautiful pesto, assuming it continues to grow.

The thyme (above) and chamomile (below) are looking pretty good. I'm not sure how long before I should transplant them. To be perfectly frank, I wasn't sure my experiment in seed sprouting would get this far.

Any experiments in progress at your place?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Blueberry Pie at the Cabin

This week, we had a neighbor. Most of the time, we are quite a distance from anybody you'd call a "neighbor", but this week, my aunt came to spend a few days at her cabin. The cabin is fairly close to our place so we do lots of visiting back and forth when she comes to stay there.

On Friday, we baked a blueberry pie at the cabin. The blueberries had to be cooked a bit in sugar, flour, and lemon juice until the mixture thickened. We then poured the blueberries into the pie crust...

and topped them with a second crust.
The pie then baked for about 45 minutes. The cabin smelled wonderful!

While waiting for the pie to cool, the children and I headed back to our house to do our chores and make dinner. Just as we were finishing, my aunt arrived with pie for dessert. Come back anytime, neighbor!

Friday, August 5, 2011

My New Dishwasher is Here

After just five years, my old dishwasher was not doing well. The racks were rusting away, the dishes weren't getting clean and rinsing? Not a chance. So, with moaning and a bit of teeth gnashing, we forked over the money for a new one.It was installed on Wednesday and it works really well. One of the features I really like is the delayed start. You wouldn't think it would be a big deal. I had one on my dishwasher in our last house, but I didn't think I'd miss it when we moved. However, I've dreamed of having a delay timer ever since.

Here's why: when I go to bed, I'm often not the last one to turn in. I have a husband and college daughter who have the same taste in television shows, so they stay up later and will usually have a glass or popcorn bowl to add to the dishwasher load. You see the problem. If I start the dishwasher before going to bed, I may wake up to more dishes in the sink, but if I don't start it it's fairly likely no one else will remember to start it.

Delay timer to the rescue! I can start the timer when I go to bed, then if anyone adds a dish, the washer will still run. Yay!

I can't believe I just wrote a lengthy blog post about dishwasher timers. Can you tell my sewing machine is in the shop for service?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What is "Slum Gullion"?

My afternoon did not turn out like I expected yesterday. I was working on a special order for a customer when the phone rang. My daughter was as the library about 40 minutes from home...with her keys locked in her truck. She said, "I see them. Right there on the seat. Mocking me."

So, I gathered up the younger children and headed to the library to rescue her. It threw a monkey wrench into hubby and my "date night" plans, so we instead took the whole family out for dinner at a local place, called "Crossroads Cafe".

On the chalkboard was something called "slum gullion". I got brave and asked what it was. The server brought me a little sample to try. Turns out, it's like a vegetable beef stew. Think of it as what your grandmother used to do with Sunday leftovers--the leftover roast beef, tomatoes, carrots and potatoes all cooked together into a delicious stew.
It was delicious. Obviously, I opted for the grilled cheese combo.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Teaser Tuesday--Full Black

It's really hot outside and I'm reading a spy thriller novel. Must be summer.

"He'd been taught not to believe in coincidences. Releasing the parking brake, he put his car in gear, and as he did, a very bad feeling began to overtake him."

What are you reading this August?