Monday, June 29, 2009

Quilts, veggies, pools, and parks

I finished up the last quilt block for my crazy quilt. The batik on the side is a potential binding fabric. I really am not quite sure how I'm going to finish this off. I don't think it needs traditional crazy quilt embroidery and I am not sure how I should quilt it up. Any suggestions?

My little garden is bursting at the seams. I shouldn't have put the zucchini in the there, I know that now and next year will be different. Next year I'll make different mistakes. :) I am, however, excited to see the little tomatoes starting to grow and all the flowers! I'll have some veggies soon!

Snap Pea flower.

Bush Beans.


Last week during swim classes I took some pictures. It's a great place for swim classes because the have a great play ground and a splash park too. It's one of those places that you can spend most of the day there. Bring a little picnic lunch, your sand/water toys, and hang out for the day.

Seth was digging through another kid's sand toys.

Monkey see...

Monkey do.

Aside from the bored "there's nothing to do" kids I have around here, summer is off to a great start.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Raining, again

I'm not sure if you've heard but it's been raining a lot here in NJ. Like, every. single. day! It's not awful, I have lived in Seattle, but it's hard to have a nice summer when it hasn't even gotten warm yet and the park is always damp...

It poured for a few minutes today so Seth and I went out to try and get some pictures of it. It rains so hard the water flies off the roof in rivers. It can't even get to the drain because there's so much!

Seth was trying to catch the rain.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Last day of school

What a difference a year can make...

Although all the kids were supposed to go to their first swim class today we sent Hannah and Simon in for their last day of the school year. Hannah's last day of elementary school! ACK! How could she miss that. Besides, it was rather cold at the pool today and Seth turned into a little popsicle.

Freezing, blue lips, and shirvering. Poor kid. I asked him if he liked it and he definitely did! Lucky for us though, one of his playgroup friends is in his swim class. That should make it even more fun.

I'll take the camera with me Thursday and get some better pictures. The battery died.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Blueberry muffins and a tablerunner

First and most importantly, Happy Father's Day to my wonderful husband and all the other daddies out there. You are truly loved and appreciated. Today is Dan's day so we let him sleep in, woke him up with a hot mocha, went to a movie of his choice (which was awesome btw), and now he is happily napping. I will grill him up some flank steak for dinner. One of his favorites.

I've actually done some quilting over the last few days. I finally sewed a pillow to match Hannah's quilt. She didn't say, "Gee thanks Mom you're the best!" She said, "About time." Somehow I didn't strangle her.

My mom had recently asked if I'd be willing to make a quilting type donation for her church. Since she needs it by the end of July I thought it be easier for me to throw a tablerunner together with some matching napkins than a whole quilt. I knew I'd have enough in my stash for that too! Not knowing what might be "in" for women in Kansas I opted for kinda girlie. I think it's cute in a way too much pink kind of way.

Since there are only two days of school left for the kids I wanted to get the teacher appreciation gifts taken care of tomorrow. I decided on a little coffee gift card and some homemade muffins to go with it. Yummy blueberry muffins. For the life of me I can't remember if I've shared the recipe before so I'm going to share it now for the first time, I think, or maybe for the second time.

First was your hands thoroughly! Especially if you've been outside playing with worms!

Gather your ingredients and one little helper that isn't a party pooper.

When you're all done don't forget to lick the bowl!

Blueberry Muffins

1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbs. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2- 2 cups blueberries
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine dry ingredients. In separate bowl toss 1 tbs of dry ingredients with blueberries. Stir eggs, milk, and vanilla into melted butter. Add wet ingredients to dry. Fold in blueberries. Sprinkle tops with sugar. Bake at 425 for 15- 20 minutes.

I think they'll like the muffins!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Breech births

A happy moment for me that I had to share. (Again, I am pretty crunchy when it comes to birthing, I just don't usually talk about it on my blog all that much.)

Most of you may not care about this... but you should. Canada, SCOG, just reevaluated their stance on recommending c-sections for all breech births! Women will now have an option to deliver vaginally. Finally, a step in the right direction! The cesarean rate is too high and these are the kind of rational decisions that will help bring it back to a reasonable level. Here are a few articles on it. Now, if only America would follow suit. Currently the AMA is more focused on how to make patients more "compliant." Scary, non?

Friday, June 19, 2009

The result of endless rain

The sun is out today! Ok, just a little, but it's quite an amazing sight when it hasn't been out much the entire month. It was actually perfectly fine for me that it did nothing but rain yesterday. I sat and read. I played with Seth too but that isn't hard to do. He likes play dough, water colors, blocks, and even tv shows. So, now that I have finished being completely book monstered I can get back to what I usually do. Lazily quilting while watching movies in the evenings. Who needs a clean and organized house anyway? Totally over rated. Martha Stewart will never come to my house.

All this rain has been good for the garden though. My poor little garden is being over run by the zucchini. I knew it was possible and I was going to let the zucchini run off the side of the raised bed but then we had a bunny problem. The little bastard ate all the leaves off of my cucumber plant. I had to bust out the chicken wire! So now, all the veggies are trapped in the square and can't spill out like I had planned... Any suggestions from my friends who garden? I think the tomatoes and the green beans might make it.

Oh, I couldn't help myself last week.... I bought some fabric and a book. How do I justify it? We all need matching stockings for next Chrsitmas, don't we?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Camping failure

Slight progress has been made on the crazy quilt. I kinda got book monstered for a few days there. We also had a failed attempt at camping this weekend. It all kept me from my sewing machine. See, I am full of excuses for everything.

The camping trip was a simple overnight with the Cub Scout Pack but it began raining around 4 and didn't let up. We weren't worried about it, we'd just hang out in the tent, right? Then the tent starting leaking. First from the zippers, then from the seams, and even from the top. Really? Once Dan's shoes got soaked from the water rolling in from the doorway we decided to go home. Home was only a 10 minute drive anyway. We threw a tarp over the top of the tent to try and keep the center dry and gathered all the sleeping bags into the center. Carrying the rest of our pillows and bags out under our panchos we headed to the car. We weren't the only ones bailing out of there! It was pretty funny. We all voted for Starbucks on the way home. Yeah, we're good at roughing it.

Well, I finally put my book down, ok the second book, I don't have the third right now because it's loaned out to an 11 year old, and went back to sewing. 3 down, 6 to go.

I found a fabric in my stash that looks really good with the colors.

I think it'd be great on the back but I don't know about a border yet. I don't really know what I want to do with the blocks yet. I guess I should figure it out, huh.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Yucky day

What do you do on a potentially rainy day in the land of endless rainy days? (No, we aren't in Seattle.) Well, Six Flags is out of the question 'cause who wants to get soaked while on a ride!

We decided to go to the Wild Safari at Great Adventure. It's one of those cool places where you drive your car though the animals enclosure. There are a lot of animals in there and they have a ton of space. The dangerous animals, like the lions, are still caged in because you know there are idiots who'd get out of their car to get a closer picture. Not to mention they might make their dinner stampede right into the cars... could be messy...

So, for me, by far the coolest animals there were the giraffes. They came right up to the car and gave it a good tasting. It was wild to see them that close.

Taste testing the car in front of us.

Our turn.

We checked out some of the fun stuff at the end too. Seth and Chloe had a good time!

Lastly a funny picture of Seth.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Call me crazy

I had been wondering, what would I work on next? I have a strong desire to buy a whole lot of new fabric but I really wanted to finish up some things I've been meaning to do. I have had a project on my to-do list for a very, very long time. It's high time I did it!

A friend of mine gave me some silk from Thailand to work with and all she asked for was a throw pillow with a crazy block. Seeing as it's been a few years since I got this fabric from her I feel like I need to step it up a notch! A small throw size should do the trick. I happen to have some shiny fabric on hand that looks like her silks to add to the mix.

Now, I've never done Crazy Blocks before but since there's no measuring and you don't have to cut perfectly I figured I couldn't muck it up too bad.

Start with a muslin foundation block 13" x 13".

Start adding funky cut strips.

Keep going...

...until you have this.

Then trim it all up to a nice 12.5" x 12.5"

Repeat 8 more times!

Sunday, June 07, 2009


Yummy, yummy strawberry jam! I can't wait to spread in on toast. It's quite cruel to require 24 hours to sit. The smell wafted from the house. My neighbor came to get her daughter and was amazed at how good it smelled. How can you go wrong with strawberries and sugar?

So, how does one go about making jam?

1. Hull all of the strawberries.

Then eat them?

No, eating all the hulled berries isn't quite helpful but when you're this cute you get away with a lot.

2. Crush berries and put in a stock pot, add lemon juice and fruit pectin. Cook until full boil. Then add sugar and boil again.

3. Skim foam off the top after removing from heat. Ladle jam into prepared jars ( sterilized in hot water), leave 1/4 head space, place lid on (sterlized too) and put on rim bands.

4. Water bath. Start timer 10 minutes after boil. Turn off let sit for 5. Remove from water, let sit for 24 hours.

We ended up with 18 1/2 pint jars! Christina brought some of her own picked berries so I had enough strawberries left to make another batch but I just didn't have it in me to do more. It took us 2-3 hours to make the jam. So, I sliced them all up and froze 'em.

You know you want to make some too...