Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August Book Club

The book and book club this month was really good. Not only was it a beautiful evening in Portland and we all sat outside but the whole group was there all 11 of us! It's been a little while since that has happened as the summer is tough with everyone taking trips. 

Our book this month Replay was a big hit with the group. The book is about a man Jeff Watson who dies of a heart attack at 43 in 1988. He comes to in 1963 in his college dorm room. This begins the "replaying" his life over and over always dying at the same time but coming back slightly later in his life with each "replay". When he returns it's always to the reality of his first life but he maintains the memories of all the lives he's lived. You can imagine the scenarios of the different paths he takes. With his knowledge of the future he is able to make large sums of money at a young age and experience how that affects his life and different relationships. A big piece of the book is spent on his relationships with women and how through all the different replays they play an important roll in his happiness or perceived happiness. Also there is the question of why is this happening to him and what is causing it? I found the book hard to put down which means late night reading for me. I will stay up until 1 to 2 in the morning reading if I am really caught up in a plot, this was a 1 o'clock kind of book. The group liked it and we had a good conversation about different characters, some of the twists, and what we thought the message of the book was. My take was to live a good life, do as much as you can to be happy, and not take things for granted. It sounds so simple but it isn't always that easy. Written by Ken Grimwood the book was published in 1987 but is surprisingly topical with references to apple and Gadhafi to name a few. 

Next month we are reading The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore. 


Saturday, August 27, 2011


I can't believe it's been 10 days since my last post! The time has flown by reason being my kids have been away at camp. My 10 year old went for 6 nights and my baby, how can she be 7 already, went for 3 nights. It was the hardest saying goodbye to her while she had this look of confusion on her face as her Dad and I smiled saying confidently how much fun she'll have. Inside I am thinking oh no what if she doesn't have fun what if she doesn't see her brother enough. These thoughts are racing through my head and then a fawn comes to the edge of their cabin area white spots and all. Everyone is looking at the fawn. There are girls all around showing Lily the cabin and talking to her about plans. She's going to be ok. I listened to this great podcast about camp on This American Life and it's really true once you go to camp, at least a competent camp, you will remember it for life. I want my kids to have that same experience. Being with kids your age you become a family and share so many new experiences.

Of course while they have been gone my husband and I had time to be alone. I thought I would be sewing my heart out for three days but it didn't work out that way. We spent one day celebrating our 14th wedding anniversary by going out to the Willamette valley to do some wine tasting and then a nice dinner back in Portland. It was a beautiful day!

 I did get some sewing time in and made this purse for my sister for her birthday.

It's the 241 Tote pattern from Noodlehead. It's my first pattern I've purchased from Anna and it was so well written. I can't wait to make one for me!

The rest of the time was not so glamorous just cleaning the house and catching up on some things. I am excited for the kids to be home! Also I'll be sharing the quilt I am starting soon.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Chicks and Birdcages a Week of Firsts

We have jumped on the chicken band wagon!
I had to take these with the flash off

 They came home on Friday and they have a nice little brooder set up in the basement. My husband has named his Nugget but the kids and I are waiting to come up with names. What breeds did you get? Why thank you for asking. We have a Brahma Buff, an Ameraucana, a Plymouth Rock, and a Gold Wyandotte which was supposed to be a Speckled Sussex but they gave us the wrong chick. We start building the coop soon but these little girls (hopefully no boys) will have to stay in the house at least 7 more weeks before moving outside. I don't think I'll be turning this into a blog about chickens but I'll share a little along the way as they grow up. 

My other first this week is I entered a fabric design in Connecting Threads fabric design competition. My inspiration is a birdcage that was a big part of my early paintings. I have had ideas for fabric for awhile but this is my first attempt at making them concrete. Whatever happens with this contest I am looking forward to exploring this design more and I am really excited to actually make the coordinating designs. Check out my design and many others here. You can vote for as may as you'd like and the voting ends on August 31st. 


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Seattle Trip

I am working on that post list I have building up. I wanted to share a few photos from our trip to Seattle a few weeks ago. I love that Portland and Seattle are so close and encourage all of you NW people to explore which ever city you don't live in. We don't visit enough and every time we do there's so much to see. This trip was mostly all about the kids we went to the Woodland Park Zoo which was fun, found a great restaurant Toulouse, and the kids swam in the hotel pool.Then the next day Toulouse again, Pikes Place, The Aquarium, and the Sculpture Park. I also was able to catch up with a book club friend that moved to Seattle. Although we were exhausted when we made it home one night in Seattle is a far cry from a month in Europe (last summer) I think we all wanted to stay close to home this summer. We have a trip to the coast planned before school starts but that's it.

My daughter with the rubber slugs she bought
I can't believe how blue my sons eyes are!

Hippo love

We were able to feed giraffes!

The sculpture park 

I hope you are all having a fun summer!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

My Creative Space

I just finished the Curlicue Crush Quilt and it's in the dryer so pictures coming soon! I had a fun little project to work on this week a little table runner/bar mat for a friends 40th. I used more of my Lotta Jansdotter scraps this time paired with some green linen. It was so nice to improvise and it's definitely what I am gravitating to for future projects.

 Stop by and see more Creative Spaces here!


Monday, August 8, 2011

July Book Club

I missed July book club which makes me so sad. This makes two I have missed this year and I never miss them!! I did read the book and talked over what the group said in my absence with a few members and it sounds like we all had similar thoughts on it. The book is a memoir about a year in Melanie Gideons life and the questions and struggles she has. I found the book funny and related to many parts, does anyone else have a line of cars at their school waiting to pick up kids ugh so much anxiety. What I found though as did other members of the book club is we wanted her to go a little deeper. I guess that attests to her ability to draw me in with her writing I wanted to know more there were questions that didn't really seem answered to me. I would still recommend reading the book it was good but hopefully there will be a second that delves a little deeper.

Next months book is Replay by Ken Grimwood. Another time where my book club takes me back to the Powell shelves labeled Scifi Fantasy (don't be scared). The book had a staff recommendation that makes it sound really promising. What would happen if you relived your life over and over again how would you change things? That's the premise of the book which also promises to get it's hooks in you. It's 320 pages not a big read so if you need a book right now join in for this month. 


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Summer Fair

I made it to the Summer Fair! If you haven't checked it out yet head on over, when your done reading please, and see all of the quilts and recipes on the Gen X Quilters website it's a lot of fun and I hope it continues!
Gen X Quilters Summer Fair

My quilt entry is Ethan's quilt which I just finished but the post I put up was more about events surrounding the quilt rather then the quilt itself. It turned out exactly the way I wanted a fun cheery snugly little quilt.

Ethan is 3 and I knew he liked dragons and there was a mix of colors in his room. I have always love the Castle Peeps line but never had a chance to use it. Of course all that was left at the fabric shop was the Castle Fortress but I love the colors and don't usually go for using all one line in a quilt anyway. For the other fabric I loved the idea of mixing the medieval castles and the modern vehicles and dinosaurs. Finally the Michael Miller Ta Dot's I have wanted to use for a while and were great for the binding and details.

Because I was trying to finish this up for Ethan I chose a simple freestyle linear quilting which I always have fun doing. 


Post Overload!!!

I've found myself with too many posts to write. Does that ever happen to you? I sit down with one in mind and remember

  •  the book club post I need to do
  •  then there's the Fair I want to participate in
  •  the new fabric in my stash
  •  the photos from Seattle
  •  the quilt update
  •  the birthday gift I made 

I like it when I am posting 3 to 4 times a week but there are  times when I have to choose between blogging and sewing and MOST of the time sewing wins out. The other times I have to choose between blogging and cleaning then blogging wins out. Imagine this a beautiful sunny Portland morning the perfect, I mean perfect!, weather sun glowing through my curtains the dogs snoozing in their beds, coffee on the table next to my laptop, really quiet except for the birds, the kids having fun in camp, my husband gone? I am not sure where but I am alone. It's wonderful but then around me open cookbooks, last nights pans on the stove top, today's breakfast dishes all around, the pool bag on the floor, kids stuff here and there the house is a mess!! Ok my heart is racing have to go back to the sun,coffee, and weather part...deep breath the coffee is so good. 
I think I am a little overloaded so today I am getting on top of things. Quick clean, blog post, sewing! I am going to prioritize the posts and start quilting my Curlicue Crush quilt which I have been itching to do!! If all goes well I will be back later today with another post!


p.s. I left out the part about one of my dogs occasionally barking like a maniac that adds to the heart pounding!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Cream Cheese Turtle Pie

It's my first time joining in a Summer Fair and I can't wait to check out all of the other entry's!

Even though it isn't as big a part of my blog as I expected I love to cook! Well and eat, cook, and eat!! I am also gluten-free after learning I have Celiac Disease 17 years ago. Don't stop reading though this recipe can be made with gluten if you are so lucky. I first created this pie for a friends pie contest when I had a little caramel obsession and I wanted that sweet salty nutty turtle combo plus cheesecake yummy!

Cream Cheese Turtle Pie

Pie crust of your choice, gluten optional

Filling (for a deep dish pie pan)   
12 oz cream cheese at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs beaten 
3/4 cup sugar

Caramel sauce 
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
8 oz whipping cream
bittersweet chocolate curls

Using your favorite pie crust pre bake in the oven at recommended temperature for 10 minutes then cool slightly. Combine all of the ingredients for the filling in a bowl and mix until smooth. Pour into the pie crust and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Place the pecans on a cookie sheet and toast until golden brown about 5 minutes. If you have a caramel sauce you like to make use that, I used a salted caramel sauce I love made by Alma chocolate in Portland. Pour 1/2 cup on top of your cream cheese filling then top with toasted pecans. Whip the cream, spread on top and finish with chocolate curls. I might try a little more caramel sauce next time but you can adjust the layers according to your taste.

Head on over to check out more recipes and quilts at Gen X Quilters created by Anne Marie!

Gen X Quilters Summer Fair
Have fun!!