Monday, November 29, 2010

Cyber Monday

Like most people I know, just about that time of year when you want to make creative Christmas gifts for everyone you know and little treats to decorate your own home, it's that time of year when you have time to do absolutely nothing.  In follow up to my Black Friday post and in honor of Cyber Monday, I thought I'd share some of my favorite ornament finds on Etsy.  I've been browsing for inspiration and luckily some people out there have actually finished their Christmas projects.  Hopefully I'll soon have some of my own ornaments to share.

This little guy is from the Lowellandson shop at Etsy.

If you like this pear ornament as much as I do, check out the Bugnik Designs Etsy shop.  Not only do they have this pear, but you can also find strawberries, eggs, hot dogs in a blanket and Pop Tarts!

Last but not least, some cool, retro shaped Christmas ornaments from FishesMakeWishes.

Happy cyber shopping!
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Black Friday...Week!?!

I never knew that a Friday could turn in to week, but leave it to the brilliant minds of the department store marketing departments to convince us that 4:00 am is not early enough to get the best deals.  Now we have to get started even earlier, even at midnight!  I've seen some stores advertising "beat the rush" sales up to Wednesday and online shops offering sales on Thanksgiving day.  Call me old school, but I'll be up early Friday morning to walk the mall with the best of them. 

It's like my husband and his fishing.  Wait until you've comfortably slept in and had a big breakfast and chances are you're going to hit the lake at the same time as all of the rookies who don't know what they're doing as they stir up the best fishing holes for the guys how know what's up.

Recognize this store? 
Black Friday is a time honored tradition at my house.  On Thanksgiving day we eat our big meal, take a nap and browse the newspapers for the best sales. It takes planning.  You have to prioritize.  Nordy's has been known to serve complimentary fresh brewed coffee for the early birds.  Sears is a nightmare - think of all of the men who got dragged along consolidated in one single tool department.  Crate & Barrel doesn't open until something like 10:00 am. 

This year I'll be doing my Black Friday shopping at an entirely new mall that I've never even seen.  I did some recon tonight online and discovered an iPhone app to show me the mall layout and deals.  Hopefully I'll be on my A game.

Remember, if you're not there early, you have no one to blame but yourself for the crowds and crankiness.  The mall is a surprisingly fun place when you're surrounded by seasoned pros who know what they're doing.  Best of luck to all of you! 
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Saturday, November 20, 2010

It's a's a coaster...

It's a mug rug!  

Looking for a quick and simple project to use up any fun scraps?  Make a square (I think mine are about 4.5" x 4.5") then sandwich the scrappy top with some cotton batting and a coordinating fabric on the back side.  Do your best free form or straight line quilting over the three layers.  Then add a little binding to the outside and within minutes, you've got yourself a fancy, schmancy mug rug!

These mug rugs were made from the It's a Hoot by MoMo line and they are the perfect compliment to a toasty warm cup of French press coffee with a little Nestle hot chocolate mixed in (aka the Cafe Lind-say).
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Gnome sweet gnome

What do you do when your friends that had a gnome wedding cake topper announce that they are having a baby?  Well you immediately start searching for gnome fabrics, of course.  I've always had a special place in my heart for gnomes and became very excited to finally have an excuse to make something for a fellow gnome-lover.
Fabric - Gnoming Around by Michael Miller
Here are some photos of the finished products.  We took these on a field trip to a spot where they could truly shine in all of their red and yellow glory.

Gnoming Around Burp Cloths
This last photo is a new one for me - a little toy ball.  I made this one with some scraps of the Gnoming Around fabric and some coordinating red and black polka dot fabrics.  It's stuffed with batting and a little bell.  If you look closely you can see that the print has the gnomes walking a dog.  I have a feeling this ball may turn in to a dog toy, but it was fun and easy to make.

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Monday, November 15, 2010

If the shoe fits

There's an awful lot you can tell about a person by their shoes.  Where they're going.  Where they've been.
Can you name that movie?  I realize it's not a difficult one (Forrest Gump) but I've been thinking about it a bit today.  Have you ever taken a look at someones shoes to get an impression about them?   Have you ever taken a look at your own shoes?  

A good friend of mine used to send me those emails asking 20 questions like: What did you eat last night?  Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?  What is your favorite TV show?  What kind of socks are you wearing right now?  I found it fascinating how much you could learn about someone from a simple little email.  Of course, I was always wearing my black business socks and she was always wearing some cute Southern California sandals (or at least if felt like that.)

Look right now.  Do your socks have holes?  Do they match?  Are you in your favorite slippers or still wearing your work shoes?  Did you do a quick touch up job on your black shoes with a Sharpie pen?  Do you love your shoes?

A few years ago I was in to reading the Shopaholic books.  There's a scene in the first book where Rebecca takes all of her shoes out of her closet and takes a photo.  I couldn't help but smile, because I myself had recently done the exact same thing.  Shoes can be like old friends.  They can carry wonderful memories of hours spent playing pickleball with friends or dancing all night long at a friend's bachelorette party.  They can also bring back bad memories of blisters and pain from that wedding where you ran in to your ex.   Either way, they tell a story.  What's yours?

Here's a little sneak peek in to the story from my weekend.
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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Hunky Dory

A is for Awesome weather this weekend
B is for Baby showers and visiting with out of town friends
C is for Celebrating the birth of a healthy baby girl this week (Baby Shower #2)

Q is for...Quinn!  Such a sweet name.

Fabric - Hunky Dory by Chez Moi for Moda
This is a part of a gift set I recently completed for a baby shower this weekend and I'm so excited to finally be able to post the photos.  I think the real star here is the fabric.  It's probably the girliest project I've ever done.  Although it's ultra pink, it also has a bit of a sophisticated feel, so hopefully little Quinn can enjoy it for a long time.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Try something new

Craft fairs not your thing?  In the Sacramento area?  Why not try a cooking class at the beautiful and bright Arden Hills Resort?  Every second Saturday the wonderfully talented and friendly husband and wife team of Matt and Marga Brunner provide an intimate and delicious macrobiotic cooking class.  I admit, they know me by name at The Weinery, and I did eat three of my last four meals at Chili's, Mongolian BBQ and Mel's Diner, but even I can appreciate a healthy alternative to the junk we eat every day.

Bring you appetite because our good friends Matt and Marga will have you sampling all of the recipes and maybe even send you home with some leftovers.  If you can't make it on Saturday, Marga is also teaching classes at the Whole Foods on Eastern Ave.  (Naturally Sweet Desserts on December 12.)  You can also learn more about Marga online here.
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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Harvest Favorite

Halloween is over and I'm ready to move on from the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and candy corn to the warm, homemade, turn the oven on to heat up the kitchen goodies.  This recipe was published in our local newspaper a few years ago and we have pulled it out each year around Thanksgiving ever since.  It's the moistest muffin I've ever baked and the flavors are just perfect for this time of year.  It also makes a great Thanksgiving day breakfast.  If you try it out, let me know what you think.

Pumpkin-Apple Muffins
(Makes 18 regular muffins or 12 large muffins)
2 ½ cups flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup pumpkin (canned)
½ cup vegetable oil
2 cups finely chopped apples, peeled (any apple will work)

Mix the first five ingredients in a large bowl. 

In a separate bowl, combine pumpkin, eggs and oil and mix well. Add to dry ingredients and stir until integrated. Stir in chopped apples.   

Spoon batter into paper lined or well-greased muffin tins. 

Streusel Topping
¼ cup flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon 
4 -5 tablespoons butter or margarine

Combine all dry ingredients and cut butter into mixture until crumbly.

Sprinkle batter with streusel topping and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Side note - I've recently added a "Like" button under the comments section, so if you see something you "like" share it on your Facebook page.  Thanks!

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Craft fair-o-rama - UPDATED

Another weekend, another addition to my fabric stash.  After making it to a couple of craft fair/quilt shows this weekend, I picked up a few new fat quarter stacks and other lovely inspirations.  
Jumping Hooty Hoot Kangaroo by Doohikey Designs
The first is the Jumping Hooty Hoot Kangaroo line by Doohikey Designs.  I've been eyeing this one online for a while now and jumped at the chance to pick it up in person from the booth of Sara Kalish, owner of The Ladybug Quilt Shop

Wild Thyme by Carolyn Gavin
I also found a few fat quarters from the Wild Thyme by Carolyn Gavin collection.  (Is it just me or are the fabric names half the fun of discovering new lines?)

In case you missed the craft fairs this weekend, fear not.  Here's a list of a few upcoming events in the Roseville area:

Oakmont High School Craft Fair
Saturday, November 13, 2010 from 8:00 - 3:00
1710 Cirby Way, Roseville
Support the OHS Girls Soccer Team!

Rocklin High School Holiday Craft Faire
Saturday, November 20, 2010 from 9:00 - 4:00
5301 Victory Lane, Rocklin
Support the RHS Golf Team!

Arden Park Craft Fair
Saturday, November 20, 2010 8:00 - 2:00
1000 La Sierra Drive, Sacramento

21st Annual Holiday Craft Faire & Book Sale
Saturday, December 4, 2010 from 9:00 - 4:00
Maidu Community Center
1550 Maidu Drive, Roseville
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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pure Bliss

The weekend after Halloween and the holiday craft fairs will soon be in full swing.  I'm filled with excitement and anticipation for what I might find this year.  Even if I can't fill up my trunk with everything I fall in love with, at the very least the work will be inspiring.  I do admit though that these next few weeks are really just a warm up for the Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Sale on December 18 in San Francisco.  After last year's non-holiday version, the bar has been set high.  Can't wait!

Bliss by Bonnie & Camille for Moda

The baby showers feel like they've slowed down (or I've gotten caught up at least) so I've had a bit of time to work on my "inventory".  This baby blanket was done using Bliss by Bonnie & Camille for Moda.  I think it turned out lovely, especially with the photos taken on a field trip with my photographically gifted hubby.

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Might as well face it....

You're addicted to fabric.

So apparently it's time for the Fall Quilt Market and all of the fabulous fabric designers of the world are showing off all of their new goodies.  I couldn't help but fall in love with the new Pocket Pixie line by Alexander Henry.  Check out the photos on the True Up blog.  I have just the girl in mind for a future project using these adorable patterns.

Often times people ask me where they can find some nice fabrics.  True Up is one of the blogs I follow regularly and it's a great place to see all of the new designer fabrics as they are released.  I'm also a big fan of Fat Quarter Shop and Hawthorne Threads.  Click around Hawthorne Threads long enough and you just may stumble across some of my past projects.  If I'm not buying fabrics online, I love Beverly's.  They have almost as many designer fabrics in the store as other websites so you can see them in person and get a real feel for the scale and colors.

One other great place for fabrics is Spoonflower.  I've mentioned Spoonflower in the past and I feel like I'm giving away all of my secrets, but it really is a great place to explore fabrics.  It's a site where you can design and print your own custom fabrics.  I've got a new design available for purchase on Spoonflower which I lovingly refer to as Suburban Dream aka Living the Dream.  This print is a super fun rainbow minivan print, which I hope to develop into a complete line of coordinating prints some day.
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