Monday, August 9, 2010

What I've Been Up To

When someone is pregnant with her fourth baby, she has been there, done that, and, for some reason, doesn't always seem to think she should celebrate like she did for the first three.

Hopefully that someone will have a friend like me who insists that she does and prods her into having yet another baby shower.

It was really just some way to show off the quilt I made:




I don't know how the monkey-in-the-jungle theme came about, but it just worked so I went with it. I painted giant leaves to hang about to get that rainforest vibe.



I got a friend to bake the cakes. All I had to do was smush a couple of monkeys out of marzipan and chocolate.

This cake is a lemon chiffon with blueberry filling. It was heavenly:



This one is a chocolate espresso tiramisu creation. Also fit for the gods:





The pregnant lady of honor's favorite cake combo is yellow cake mix with store-bought chocolate frosting. Since she has to count every carb she eats for medical reasons, I wanted to make sure she got what she wanted in a portion controlled package. That's how the cupcakes came about.




There was a potluck lunch and mimosas and, for an estrogen fest, it was a great little party.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Quilt Block Swap

Swapping on Craftster.org is a lot of fun for me. Lately I've been doing some quilting swaps and the latest one I did is a swap of quilt blocks. I make three blocks for each of the four people in my group, and in return I get 12 blocks.

Each person in my group chose a different block style. Here are some of the ones I did for them:

Sailing Ships

This person is making quilts for some little boys and I think this block is adorable.

Raw Edge Circle

I wasn't sure about what to expect with these, but they came out great. They were my bf's favorites. I may have to make him a quilt like this.

Pinwheel #8

These went together very quickly, after I cut out all those triangles. I didn't know what HST and QST was when I was making these blocks, but now I do.

Wonky Houses



These were my favorites to make. I especially love the striped chimney on the second one. As you can see I started off rather simply, then, by my third house, I think I had two stories and a walkway. I will definitely be making some of these for myself!

What I did on my Costa Rican Vacation

My Costa Rican (or Tican, as the locals would call it) vacation took place in December of 2009. This post is long overdue!

Here I am in San Jose at the Hotel, um, well, it's been so long I can't remember the name of the hotel (maybe Grano de Oro). But it was the fanciest of all the hotels we stayed at and the breakfast (during which this picture was taken) was amazing.

After breakfast we rented an all-wheel drive Daihatsu and went driving to our next destination - La Fortuna.

We did a lot of driving and I took a lot of pictures out the car window.

Here is our bungalow hotel in La Fortuna. I stole a pen from this place so I would remember the name of it. It is the Montana de Fuego Hotel.

This is our view from the patio - Volcano Arenal and some pretty flowers.

The pina colada was my drink of choice. Look how fancy! 
The chicken there was the best chicken and I had a black bean dip that was so good it is beyond description. But I will say that my bf, who does not like beans, also loved this bean dip.

One of the best things we did, if not the best, was to go into the Venado Caverns. A guide took me and my bf up and down the caverns through bats, stalagmites, stalactites, the giant papaya, tunnels full of water, and lots of little scurrying creatures. It was just a little bit scary, but a lot of fun. We got fully wet and dirty, and we were glad we brought a change of clothes. I didn't get any photos, so here is a picture from the internet:

Another night, we took a hike up the side of Volcano Arenal. This is an active volcano and we could hear the lava popping and crackling. It was cloudy so we didn't see much of the activity except for some ash flowing down the side.

It got dark and the hike down the mountain was kind of scary because we were in the jungle, just the two of us, with just a couple flashlights and a camera. We were having trouble finding our way back to the road when we heard some voices. It was an older Scandanavian couple who were even more lost than we were because they didn't even have a flashlight! They got separated from a group they were with. Somehow, maybe because now we were responsible for more people than just ourselves, I found the trail that led back to the road and all was well.

Monte Verde was our next destination. Here is a picture of some coffee fields we saw on the drive over.

In Monte Verde we went on a night hike through a forest, but didn't see much that was noteworthy.

We went to a butterfly garden that kind of sucked.

So we drove back to La Fortuna and stayed there for another day. Then we decided to go and stay a couple days in Alajuela, which was close to the airport.

During the drive our car was swarmed with a group of these little animals - the Costa Rican Raccoon. There were about twenty of them that walked out of the jungle and across the road, all around our car. It was really cool!

While we were staying in Alajuela, we went to the La Paz Waterfall Gardens where there was a much better butterfly garden.

And a hummingbird garden that was freakin' amazing! If you like hummingbirds, that is. If you don't like them you would really hate this place because they were everywhere!

And there was a great frog room. These frogs were impossible to find if you didn't know where to look. Luckily, a staff member pointed them out to us - because we didn't know where to look even though there were signs on the leaves of where each frog liked to hang out. And they literally hung, as you can see.

We also visited the town of Sarchi, which is known for its oxcart paintings.

And the town of Zarcero, where the church grounds are landscaped like they belong in a Dr. Seuss book.

We did a lot of fun things and saw some amazing sights, but there is still so much we didn't do that I think it would be wonderful to visit Costa Rica again - and soon!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Look what my Mom made me!






















For Christmas my mom made me a gorgeous quilt. It is a bargello design and I absolutely love it. It is the perfect thing to cover up the very comfortable but not very attractive gigundo chair in our living room.

Thank you, Mom! I will finish yours soon - I promise!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Stump


This is a mini art quilt, about 16" x 16", I made for a quilt swap in the fall of 2009. It is supposed to be a gnarled tree stump. I hand-painted the fabrics I used for the bark and the bark was done with curved seams! I quilted some wool yarn on there for the knots. Although it was a simple conception, I like how it came together. I really like painting my own fabrics so I think I'll be doing more of that in the future.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween 2009



I wasn't planning on dressing up this year. I was planning on visiting family for the weekend for some wholesome fall fun at an apple orchard. Work got in the way of those plans so the bf and I accepted a last minute invite out to a bar where we were expected to go in costume.



What kind of costume could I put together in 3 hours? I opted for something simple and classic - a zombie!

While the bf went out to get a few things like a fake mustache for him and some liquid latex for me, I went to work shredding and bloodying old clothes I pulled out of the donation box.



The hair got a quick messy treatment because I spent most of the time on my face. It was worth it. I really freaked people out!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Coffee Dying Fabric

A couple weeks ago I started assesing the fabrics I'll be using in the quilt I'm making my mom for Christmas. This quilt will be made up of different cream colored fabrics and for contrast I chose to use pure white fabric. Some of the the fabrics I had in the cream pile were actually white on white and they didn't contrast at all. So I dyed them with coffee.



My recipe:

Ingredients:
Lots of water
half cup coffee grounds
tablespoon of citric acid (vinegar could also be used)

Directions:
Baste raw edges of cotton fabric
Bring mixture to a boil
Add fabric
Let boil about 10 minutes
Let cool a bit
Dump into a strainer
Rinse
Wring out
Iron to heat set the stain
Wash and dry fabric



The amount of coffee and the darkness of the roast are probably the factors that would affect the intensity of the stain.

I got a slight antiqued effect. It's not dramatic, but it has a natural look to it I like very much and, most importantly, it's no longer white.

Now it's time to cut!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wonky Log Cabin Quilt



I finished my latest quilt top - the Wonky Log Cabin. There are twenty blocks sashed with 100% natural linen. The linen gives a great texture. I will probably quilt this sometime after Christmas because I've started cutting fabric for my mom's Christmas quilt, which is also going to be a log cabin variation and I'm very excited about it!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Wednesday Pink - Charm Monday Quilt



I finally cut into the cute bundle of pink fabrics and decided to make a quilt for which I've been collecting fabrics for years - pink, lime, orange, white, and yellow.

The pattern I chose is a free pattern from fatquarterfactory.com meant for charm packs, but I used fat quarters and yardage which worked fine.

All the pieces are cut and I've started putting them together. Here are a few closer peeks at the little I have done so far:





But I've put this one on hold to work on the wonky log cabin. I should have my twenty wonky blocks finished by the end of this weekend. Then I will get the sashing fabric for it at the same time I get the last bit of fabric I need to start my mom's quilt and some other fabric for another little project that's got me very happy and excited to start - some throw pillows for my little sister's new place!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Starting a New Quilt



Quilt Dad is leading the third round of the Old Red Barn Co. Quilt Along - Rd. 3: Wonky Log Cabin, which started September 1st.

I've always wanted to do this block and it feels very good to have a bunch of other people along with whom to do it. I still feel like a newbie quilter so I always seem to have lots of questions which everyone seems happy to answer.

I've done two blocks so far. This is the first one and I love it a lot more than I thought I would:


Here's the second:


I don't quite like the second block as much as the first and I think it has to do with the cream fabric I put in there, but I have an idea percolating that will fix that later.

This is the second quilt I've started in the past two months. The other one I started I'm saving for Wednesday, because it's very pink.