Monthly Archives: March 2010

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  • It’s Official!  Spring has sprung in ThimbleannaLand.

    Duck Couple

    Our DuckCouple is back.  Yipee!  I love it when our little DuckCouple returns.  They’ll be here for another week or so and then they’ll move on.  I wish they’d have their babies here.  Apparently, we’re good enough for a stopover, but not the nursery.  I hope they’ll be safe while they’re here, too.  We got a neighborhood notice that someone a few streets over lost a small dog to coyotes.  The fact that we have coyotes around here is always startling to me — I’m mostly from out west and I thought coyotes were a western thing.  I mean think about it — you always read about coyotes and cowboys, not coyotes and cornfields.

  • Last month, I participated in a spring/fall swap hosted by the ever so lovely Trashalou.  It was a really fun swap for me, as my partner was new to me — the very sweet Catherine of Calidore.

    Spring Swap

    I made a little bag for Catherine to keep her hand sewing things in — scissors, thread, needle, thimble, etc.  I have a little stitchery bag and I carry it everywhere.  I drew up the pattern for this one — if I were to do it again, I would use Janet’s fantastic tutorial – I LOVE her little bag.  She published her pattern just after I finished this bag.  Catherine got better pictures of the goodies than I did and she wrote me such a wonderful thank you.  Thank YOU Catherine!  The package to me is on it’s way — I’m not sure if it will be from Catherine or someone else (the partners were a surprise), but I’m excited to find out!  Thanks for hosting Trashy!

    Spring Swap

  • Flat Stanley has paid us a visit!  Beth’s young son’s class is doing a Flat Stanley project and I offered to host him here in ThimbleannaLand.  While he was here I took him to see Johnny Appleseed‘s grave.  It was a beautiful day and I think he rather enjoyed it (I certainly did)!  If you’d like Flat Stanley to come and visit you, I’m sure Beth could hook you up.  ;-)
  • Flat Stanley

  • Finally (!), Make Life Bunny is so excited about the giveaway, he’s all packed and ready to go.  And look!  In addition to that 1/2 yard of fabric, he squeezed a card of those cute Make Life Simple buttons into his suitcase!  Don’t forget, if you’re interested in a chance to win him you have to make sure the giveaway appears on your local evening news just have to comment on the giveaway post.

Make Life Bunny

I hope you’re all having a great week!
XOXO,
Anna

Adventure & Giveaway

I had a little baking adventure this weekend.  For a long time I’ve wanted to buy a kitchen scale – mostly because I see so many recipes on non-US blogs that give ingredients by weight, rather than volume.  I discussed a scale purchase with TheManoftheHouse and he poo-poo’d the idea.  His reasoning was that my culinary skills have survived just fine so far and therefore I didn’t really need one.  So, I did what any self-respecting wife who really wants something would do — I went and got one anyway and “snuck” it into the kitchen. 

Scales

TheManoftheHouse walked into the kitchen, just after I had installed the batteries.  (Busted!)  “So, how does it work” he said.  “See for yourself” I replied and I placed the stick of butter that says 4 ounces on the scale.  That was that.  He was sold.  (He’s easy.)

Now to try it out.  A few weeks ago, my blog buddy Anne in Scotland (you know how I love me my Scottish bloggers!) shared some cookie recipes and I really wanted to try them.  I decided Anne’s recipe would be perfect for the inagural run of the new scale.  First up was 3 ounces of sugar.  I took a wild guess and scooped up 1/2 cup of sugar and poured it on the scale. 

Scales

A little bit too much, so I removed some until it hit 3.  I’ve read some volume-to-weight converts say that they think measuring by weight is more accurate and easier than by volume.  I’ll definitely concede that it’s more accurate, but it doesn’t seem easier to me.  Scooping up a cup just seems easier than putting an ingredient on the scale and then adding or removing to hit the right weight.  It’s not a big deal though, just different.

Next up, was the flour.  The recipe called for 5 ounces, so I guessed with a cup of flour.  This time it wasn’t quite enough. 

Scales

I was beginning to feel like goldilocks here!  Unfortunately, there wasn’t anything else to weigh — I’m betting I would have found the just right size on the third attempt! 

Anyway, I made Anne’s Melting Moments.  TheManoftheHouse gave them his stamp of approval, and he’s pretty picky about his cookies.   I wasn’t too sure about the cherries, so I saved one without a cherry and pressed an M&M into it when it came out of the oven.   It wasn’t necessary — I loved them just the way Anne’s recipe suggested. 

Scales

I also made Anne’s Mars Bars Cakes.  Anne suggested that what they call a Mars Bar is what we call a Milky Way, so that’s what I used.  I molded them into little nests and added some jellybean eggs.  They’re yummy — they taste like chocolate rice krispy cookies.

Scales

Thanks for sharing your recipes Anne!  And, if you’re a US cook and you’ve been on the fence about a kitchen scale, jump in.  I heard on a radio cooking show several months ago that within the next five years all cookbooks in the US will be published with weights in them, so you might as well be ready!

Ok, now that you’ve suffered through my cooking adventure, we’ll get to why you’re really here.  You’ve all been so fantastic to comment and give me lots of project love, so I thought we should have a little giveaway.  How ’bout a bunny giveaway — it’s been awhile since we’ve had one.

Make Life Bunny

Make Life by Sweetwater is my new fabric crush, so I’ve made a Make Life bunny.  He’s excited to find a new home — and he’ll be bringing along a 1/2 yard security blanket piece of my favorite Make Life print.

Make Life Bunny

To be entered for the drawing, there are six things you have to do.  Just kidding — I’m not going to make you touch your toes, stand on your head, or sell your soul.  Just leave a comment.  Easy peasy.

Make Life Bunny

I’ll have TheRandomManoftheHouseGenerator guess a number next Monday — so you have until 12:00 p.m. EST next Sunday, April 4th to enter. Good Luck!

XOXO,
Anna

Houston, We Have Pillowcases

Wow!  Thank you so much for all your lovely comments about The Wedding Quilt.  Several of you mentioned that I neglected to say whether the kids liked their quilt.  Yes — I think they did!  I received several wonderful text messages and a phone call from SweetiePie last week.  And we had a surprise visit from TheFirstChild on Monday and he said he loved it too.  Anyway, you’ve all been so sweet!  I’m thinking you deserve a little reward — look for a giveaway right around the corner. 

In the meantime, as part of my duties as a button-displaying member of Cassie’s crochet-along, I’ve finished some pillowcases this week.  They’re super fun to make and I love them!

Pillowcases

Cassie did a fantastic job with her instructions.  They’re clear and concise and her photos are perfect.  I do have just one little teeny, tiny complaint though.  Cassie, dearest…I think you severely underestimated the number of chocolates required for Step 3, A Firm Foundation.  Three???  Three measly chocolates for all that pain and suffering I had to endure while my yarn was all twisty and knotty???  The green crochet thread above wasn’t tooooo bad, but the pink yarn below was a pain in the b.u.t.t.  Step 3 may or may not have caused more bad words to slip out than quilting the wedding quilt!  I’m thinking at least 20 chocolates.  Yes, that would definitely soothe the pain.

Pillowcases

Shortly after I bought the pink flowers and green stripes, I found this little sheepy fabric.  I love sheepies and I thought it would be perfect for pillowcases.  I thought that pink yarn would be too heavy for this job, but it wasn’t too bad.  If it just hadn’t tangled so easily!  I really love the envelope style of the pillowcase — no more ugly pillows peeking out of pretty pillowcases.  I’ll definitely be making more of these in the future. 

Pillowcases

And one last thing, Knitter Sue and Yellow Beach Dog have very kindly given me Sunshine and Beautiful Blogger Awards.  Thank you so much ladies!  As they say in the UK, I’m rubbish at this sort of thing, so, I’ll just pass these along to everyone who is reading!

Now, I’m off to prepare a little goodie for a giveaway.  Have a great weekend!
XOXO,
Anna

The Wedding Quilt

Wow!  Thanks for all your wonderful comments about my quilting weekend last week!  I didn’t mean to be gone so long this week, but on Monday, TheManoftheHouse announced that we should go to see the kids “this weekend” so I had to bust my butt to get the binding on the quilt and get it all washed and ready for the trip.

The Wedding Quilt

I took it to a park to take some pictures (I didn’t want to lay it around in our muddy yard!) and it was hard to get a full-on shot of the whole quilt, since I was alone.  So, I laid it out on some steps and held the camera as high as I could above my head.  ;-)

The Wedding Quilt

It was a beee-you-tiful day in the park — a wonderful hint of spring to come!  It’s kind of hard to tell, but I scalloped the borders on the quilt — I thought it would be just right with the scallop around the kids’ monogram.  The inner solid brown border hits the top of the bed (queen sized), just along the edges — I was very relieved when we put it on the bed and it was just right.

The Wedding Quilt

I love the after-washed crinkly goodness, but not sure I love it so much on the monogram. I wish I’d taken a picture of the before, when everything was all smooth and pretty.

The Wedding Quilt

According to etiquette, this monogram is backwards — the bride’s initial is supposed to be first, but SweetiePie and I didn’t care — we both like it better this way.  And those big dots weren’t in the original monogram, but SweetiePie and I love polkies, so I thought it would be fun to throw a few in there.

The Wedding Quilt

The backing is a 108″ wide paisley-type print that SweetiePie and I found a few years ago — it was love at first sight.  We originally bought 3 yards (that’s 108″ x 108″) and it still wasn’t big enough.  I compensated by adding two strips of patches across the back (no picture, doh!)

The Wedding Quilt

In those strips, I added two quilt tags.  One with the reason for the quilt and one little one with my name (I wanted just “Mommy” on the first tag, since that’s what SweetiePie calls me) and the year the quilt was finished (2010) since it was different from the wedding year.

The Wedding Quilt

I really loved making this quilt and I was SO lucky that the quilting went smoothly.  I don’t think I could have quilted a quilt this big on a domestic machine if it hadn’t been for all the straight-line quilting.  I had fun taking pictures too — the park was pretty crowded, so I’m sure I was getting some funny looks, but I was in my own little world.

The Wedding Quilt

While I was wandering around the park, I found an old train.  There were signs everywhere that said “no climbing on the train”, but nothing said “no quilts hanging from the train”, so I went for it.

The Wedding Quilt

There were so many cool “train” details, that it was hard not to take a million pictures.  I love old trains — especially listening to that clickety-click sound they make when they’re speeding along on the train tracks.  But that’s a whole ‘nother post.

The Wedding Quilt

This one’s too long already. But I couldn’t resist one last picture — Dudley Do-Right style. Fortunately, this train wasn’t moving!

So. {Brushing hands together.} One more UFO put to bed. Love that feeling!
XOXO,
Anna

Weekend Stats

Well, Hello There!  I hope you had a good weekend!  Here’s my weekend, by the numbers:

Pies made for Pi Day at work today: 2  — Lemon Raspberry and P-Dub’s Chocolate

Pies brought in to work: 18  — Happy Belated Pi Day!

Pi Day

Long days spent quilting: 3

Diet pepsis consumed while quilting: 8

Peeps consumed: 2 — (Peeps are those marshmallowy chicks wearing thimblehats at the top of this page.)

Helpful cats: 2

Basted Quilt

Bobbins used: 15

Swear Words Uttered: 6

Fabric tucks on back of quilt: 0

Aspirin consumed: 6

Basted Quilt

Hours spent unpicking ugly pattern: 2

Hours spent unpicking ugly quilting: 0

Hours to be spent unpicking and fixing ugly quilting this week: .5

Neglected husbands: 1

Number of times big heavy quilt wrapped around body: 2

Basted Quilt

Experts consulted: 1

Verdicts rendered: 1 — (MeMum says it’s a go!)

Weekend quilting happiness rating: 9.8 out of 10!

Jumbo quilts ready for binding: 1

WAAHOO!!!!

XOXO,
Anna