Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Lemon Cake: Thank You, J

Part of my Valentines Day gift from J. It tasted even better than it looked.

Happy Valentines Day. A few weeks late!

Mr. L. and I decided to make Valentines for his friends this year. Or rather, he's always up for a fun art project and I saw this online and thought it looked like fun. Last fall, we tried to melt his old crayons into new crayons.  But, er, I decided there was enough wax in the crayons and didn't spray the muffin tins and it was a gigantic failure. And a terrible mess. We were much happier with the result this time around. 

Peeling 60 or so crayons can take quite a while, even when you have an enthusastic toddler doing most of the peeling. To speed it up, I made one cut down the side of the crayon wrapper, then gave it to Mr. L., who easily took the wrapper off. We broke the crayons (of course the most fun part), I sprayed the tins, he put the crayon pieces in muffin tins, and baked them at 275 for about 5 minutes. We popped them in the freezer after the pan had cooled, and the crayons popped right out. :) I think they were a hit at preschool. Or at least the other moms were glad they didn't contribute to the Valentine's Day sugar high!

In Progress

Life has been a blur lately. We've had record breaking snowstorms, power outages, late nights and early mornings with a baby learning how to sleep (well, she's good at sleeping. She is just not good at GETTING to sleep), preschool resuming, lots of cooking, a bit of sewing, baby showers and playdates, some shopping, running and biking and sleeping. Everything, I guess, except blogging.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


I tested out my new bike today. I'm in love. It needs a name. I went with J. (I love him too!) I learned 2 important things-- there is still a whole lot of snow on the roads, let alone the bike lanes/trails. 2. There are a whole lot of hills nearby... guess that's what happens when your house is built in a ravine. 2.5 my legs are quite jello-ee. That's all. Happy weekend everyone!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Que Romanti

We have great friends who moved away a few years ago. Of course I cried buckets. Anyway, they recently had their fourth baby, and this quilt turned out to be a great fit for them, I think. I loved the polka dot fabric (Clementine by Me and My Sisters Designs), and had fun figuring out a design. I wanted something romantic (as in idealistic/fanciful/emphasizing "imagination, emotion, and introspection,") that could also be used at the park, in the car, wherever! After all, these are my most romantic friends, hand delivering wedding-invitation scrolls, sipping Kedem juice by candlelight on Passover, speaking exotic languages in far away lands, etc. etc. etc.

Lesson Learned: When sketching (or at least my version of sketching) a design, don't use solid colors to designate polka dots! Your picture and the actual quilt will turn out much differently. The design would have been more apparent had I used green squares instead of white, or if the polka dots were denser. Oh well.

Favorite Part: The back is fun--the chevron quilting is apparent, and its green! Which means it can be dragged around on the grass and any grass stains will "go."

Photo Thoughts: Don't take photos at dusk before a huge snowstorm. The colors will be distorted and your quilt will look, well, a bit funny. :)

Works in progress

Am I ever going to finish all of the projects I have started? (Don't answer that!) It may look like I am incredibly productive this year, if only because I have a goal to finish all of the projects I have started. I know I'm not the only one. :) I have a few that are cut out, a few that are partially sewn together, and one finished quilt top, pictured on the left. I need to hurry and get it quilted--my favorite time to finish binding is on longer car trips. in fact, that might be the only time I do bindings by hand, and we are heading to Richmond at the end of the month so J can go to the handmade bike show (dangerous, I know). I really need to step it up and finish this quilt, meant for the bike trailer/jogging stroller/park.

Which brings me to the other reason I need to finish this quilt. I'm signed up for a sprint triathlon in June. A lot of  J's friends are participating, and I tend to be a competitive person, so I need to get started with my training! Perhaps putting the quilt in the bike trailer with Mr. L and a friend--now that's a serious workout--will encourage me to go faster! Now I just need all of the snow to melt!!! (I'm excited, one of my friends has signed up for the triathlon too! I've been trying to convince a few others--ladies???!!!???)

And finally -- am I ever going to finish these stockings, featured on The Purl Bee?!?!  I love them! But the one inch squares take a while...even when strip piecing. I guess I have a few months for these. :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Non-Traditional Quilt For a Baby Boy

We have good friends who are having baby boy #3 soon. I thought they might be over pastels by now, and wanted to make them something a bit more funky. It is very simple--a Michael Miller Play Diamond on the front, and a vibrant coordinating blue on the back.

Lesson Learned:  A hated fabric can redeem itself! A few months ago, I bought the front fabric to coordinate with fabrics for a quilt I was working on. Online of course. And I HATED it. It was wrong wrong wrong. I pulled it out this time, paired it with a simple backing, and realized how great it looked together. Hurrah!

My favorite part: The quilting--it simple vertical quilting in ascending widths. It livens the quilt up quite a bit.

- Posted usin BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Martha Stewart Cooking School

Last week, I was telling my friend Sarah that I was inspired by Julie and Julia to cook my way through a cookbook. She mentioned that she would be interested, but wanted to learn technique in the process. I had an "aha!" moment. Apparently, I'm not the only one. When I was pregnant with N., I had a period of time where I literally almost didn't eat. Its called hyperemesis. Its not pretty. I love food. I couldn't eat food. I obsessed over food. The Food Network became my best friend, I had the lineup memorized. My favorites: Down Home with the Nealys, Diners, Drive Ins and Dives, and Barefoot Contessa. I want to be her. And when I really needed a fix, Paula Dean. I also read through Martha Stewart Cooking School, and was fascinated. I tried to learn through reading, since standing didn't work.

Back to my aha! moment. I want to (selectively) cook through the MS Cooking School Book, of which I happen to have a copy. I'm lucky--I have an extraordinarily talented sister in law, who designed several of Martha Stewart's latest books, and we have quite the library, thanks to she and my mother-in-law.

The plan: To do one lesson a week. It might take me a while. I'll keep you updated.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I had to laugh--after watching the movie Julie and Julia, I totally want to cook my way through a cookbook this year. Say what you will about the movie, I was inspired! I haven't cooked much in the last year, due to a rather difficult pregnancy. But I've been doing lots of cooking lately. If only I was as good at photographing food as I am at eating and making it. Alas. On Tuesday, I made a gingered pork, green bean, and pepper stir fry. This recipe was fabulous, but not a "make dinner while supervising Mr. L doing his workbooks and learning how to cut and wanting to help and thinking maybe he needs to paint or do dishes, and chopping vegetables sure looks like fun too, none of which is super helpful, while N. decides she IS in fact DONE with the bouncy seat." Thank goodness J got home a bit early to help. I love Everyday Food magazine, and you can never go wrong with The New Best Recipe cookbook, but there are simply TOO MANY recipes. So, I think I'm going to try to cook one recipe a week from Joan Nathan's The New American Cooking. So far, I've made a ginger pumpkin bread (omitted the nuts and raisins, added chocolate chips. Can't go wrong with that) and a chili with orange zest and cinnamon. I really liked both, J, not so much. We'll see how long this lasts. :)

Gifts for Baby N

My daughter received these three special quilts--the first is from her maternal grandmother. I love it! I had been wanting to make a similar quilt for her, and now I don't have to! The fabric is mostly American Vintage with some fun surprises thrown in.

The second quilt was made by my mom. Its huge, and has minky on the back. I use it all the time for those middle of the night feedings--it fits me perfectly. :) We laughed, because my mom pieced a quilt for Mr. L., and my mother in law quilted a panel with minky on the back. The opposite happened for N. The picture doesn't do it justice. And yes, my fence is crooked.

The final quilt was originally made for me by my great grandmother, Naomi. Its hand quilted, and beautiful. My mom thought N. and I might enjoy it. We love it!

Monday, January 18, 2010


Here is the bedding for N.'s crib. It makes me smile everyday! (Red Letter Day by Lizzy House)

And how nice is my mom? She sewed the border on the crib skirt while I was in the hospital--I came home to such a happy surprise!