Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Chicken Family and another award



I've mentioned in a previous post I was waiting for 2 parcels from the US, both of them consisting of fabrics to finish 'Alouette's Quilt'. I read somewhere parcels from the US may take as long as up to 12 weeks international due to customs. I ordered the fabrics almost at the same day; one parcel arrived after 6 weeks - the other one after 7 weeks! Needless to say I was desperate, because I feared the parcels had gone astray. I got the second parcel on Saturday and intended to work on the quilt during the weekend. The only thing I did was to measure the backing and then I felt puffed. I have to add two pieces for the backing, perhaps I'll do it today - I don't think I feel for any garden work today...

Instead of finishing the quilt as I intended, I made the chicken family! Easter and all - I needed some decoration. Aren't they cute?! The pattern is from talented Stella Whittingham - visit her blog here. She has some free patterns too.
Look who's on the top right side corner of the photo?! I wonder what he was thinking when he saw the chickens..... :))

I received this lovely award from Sharon at Live Your Style. Take a look at her blog - amazing photos of Mauritius! Visit her other creative blog too; L'Atelier.
I'm feeling very honored!

It's never easy to pass on an award, because there are sooo many talented and creative bloggers and beautiful blogs  out there.
I'm unable to pick only four bloggers for this award. If YOU feel YOU deserve this award, please grab the button, place it on your blog and pass it on to four other beautiful blogs/bloggers!
PLEASE don't be shy! YOU deserve this beautiful award!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Easter Tote Bag

Easter is approaching...

While still waiting for the purchased fabrics to arrive (see my previous post), I've made a shopping bag - with a cock and a hen! :)) This one is a kind of "test-bag", because I didn't have a real pattern for it. I made it by looking at another bag, but have changed it a little bit.
This is the front. It has two pockets - actually four, but two of the pockets are not that suitable - I think, as they are on the left- and right side of the handles.

Here's the other side. No pockets here - just the chicks. That fabric is leftover from kitchen curtains I made.............. must be at least 15 years ago! I added lining too.
I'm not a "bag-lady" and haven't made more than a couple of tote bags earlier. I think this one turned out better than I had expected, so I'm going to make a few more...

Now I'm heading for the garden! Such a beautiful weather this morning and not yet too hot for garden work!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

WIP's pending...

I have four WIP's - all pending...
The "disappearing 9-patch" lap quilt is almost done.... I ran out of the light pink fabric; more on its way.

"Alouette's Quilt" - waiting for backing! I'm a bit desperate... No, not a bit only - I am DESPERATE, because the fabric was purchased from the US February 9th and I still haven't got it! I fear the parcel is lost, but there is still hope! Yesterday I received a thorn flat rate envelope sent from the US February 7th!!!! Thank goodness the fabric was not destroyed!
Needless to say I'm far from impressed by the Postal Service! :(

A Christmas bed cover. Almost done too; blue fabric on its way!

Christmas lap quilt - almost done. Waiting for more fabric!

I couldn't help it! :) What is he waiting for?! I guess he's waiting for the bedcover to be finished so he can play on it; roll, kick, bite etc!!! :))

I'm really happy about the progress I've done on these quilts! What makes me most proud is that I haven't started any new project this year - these are all UFO's!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lori's Sweet Rolls

Any of you reading Lori's blog? Well, if not, you should! In between working in the garden and other tasks, she cooks and she bakes...
After reading Lori's recipes, there are some I would like to try and first out is "Sweet Rolls".

Lori used yummy squash; the yellow roundish ones. I didn't have any of those, but.... a couple of days ago DH bought this piece of sweet pumpkin at the market, so I thought when she uses yellow squash - I can use yellow, sweet pumpkin! :)

Sweet pumpkin peeled, chopped and cooking together with apple juice and fresh lemon juice. The pumpkin is very hard to peel, I had to use a very sharp knife - keep fingers safe! Cook until tender and then add a mix of flour and water.

 Here's what it looks like after adding the starch. Set aside to cool completely!

I've never succeeded much with yeast dough, but this one turned out perfect! This is how it looked after it rested for almost 3 hours. It took that long to cool the pumpkin mix! At home (Norway this time of the year) we had said: "put the pot in the snow to cool"! That is not possible here!!! :)

I cut the dough in half, easier to work with less dough. Roll the dough to a rectangle and add part of the filling.
Lori says; "... starting from one of the long edges...."... Errrrrhhh... I was so excited that I started from one of the short edges! After rolling it to the end, cut it into 12 pieces.  Do the same with the other half of the dough - 24 pieces together. Add them all to a big pan (greased) and set to rest again for 30 minutes or so.
In the oven! 

Here they are - done! 24 pieces of deadly yummy sweet rolls! 
I didn't add glaze, because I didn't have powdered sugar at home. This was at 7 o'clock in the night, and who bothers to go shopping for one item at that time?! Not me! 

Want to make it? You'll find Lori's detailed recipe here.

Lori, thank you so very much for sharing this recipe!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Rearranging part of the garden

It was time working in the garden again. 
We have 3 bougainvilleas in our garden, and this one has had a hard time to adjust. I believe it is because it doesn't get sun enough and the fact that we have trimmed it too much at times so it has never got the chance to flower. Now it does! Isn't it beautiful?! 

I'm not a big fan of weeding - who is - but I must confess I like it too, as long as it doesn't become overwhelming. The right side of the steppingstones has always been a problem. I've tried growing grass there, but the weed overtook the grass too! :( Annoyed by it, I've spent the last couple of days removing the weed and the grass. On the top right side of the photo you can still see part weed, part flowers, part grass... :( I removed the weed and grass afterwards, and.....

this is how it looks now. I transferred some plants from the other side of the steppingstones to where I had cleaned it up. I have no idea what these plants are called; they have very colorful, yellow flowers. They become like tufts and is very easy-growing, and I know after some time they'll be big enough to keep the weed away. (What is not easy-growing in this climate?!) :) I've kept the grass in between the steppingstones, I like it that way. The steppingstones were actually part of an exterior stair that went from our plot (now) to the neighbor's plot. When the stair had to be removed (after division of the plots) we kept the stones and they came into use again. Isn't that great! I love them, because they don't look "new" and none of them are "perfect", and they have their history!! :)
I want to put stones between this row of flowers and the next row. The latter is marguerites - still small too. I didn't manage to do more yesterday; it started raining and my knees didn't cooperate much after all the bending...

Before the rain started, I managed to plant irises in the flowerbed opposite where I planted the yellow ones. I removed all these irises (cuttings) from another flowerbed, where they have covered the soil completely! There I don't have to do much weeding! :) To the left you can see how the yellow ones turns out after some time... In front right is a passion fruit tree - still very young - and the dark green leaves top left is one of the coffee trees.

Our very first ripe guava in our garden! Guavas grow wild here, but it's fun having 3 trees in the garden too! The trees are still young, so we were surprised 2 of them have fruits already!

Not much time for sewing the last couple of days, but today I'll continue on this quilt.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Working on another UFO

I can't remember when I bought these Debbie Mumm fabrics (Arctic Holiday), but I believe it must be at least two years ago or even more. It all started when 9na hosted a "Jule-sy-mysterium" (Christmas-Sew-Mystery) on her blog. I got obsessed by the star blocks - that were supposted to be a pair of potholders! The "Arctic Holiday" Santa panel came to my mind, and guess who dived into her stash as fast as..... ?! :)
Indeed - I was obsessed - or possessed (LOL) - by how cute the first block turned out; too pretty for potholders! I made 11 "blue blocks".  
It was not the blue blocks I continued on yesterday; it was the Churn Dash blocks, using "Arctic Holiday" fabrics too.

Churn Dash blocks are fun making too - and very easy! Of course everything is easy when you know how to do it! :) 
When I purchased more of the fabrics last year, I didn't get the red. :( I had only a little piece left, but it was enough for 4 blocks. :) 

Does Birre-Liten prevent me from sewing? Why does he have to sit on the pieces of fabrics I need NOW?! Does he want attention? No, he just had a nap and was sitting there to wake up before he went out. I'm sure if Birre-Liten had been human; he'd been into sewing! He loves sitting on the table while I'm cutting fabrics or sewing, and his latest favorite place is sleeping on the ironing board - especially when I need it! Therefore, I had to find another place for ironing; the counter top! :)) 

I made 8 blocks yesterday; 4 green and 4 red. It's going to be a bed cover. Last night I figured out - in my head - how it'll look like when finished; I love it already! :)) There is still some brainwork; I don't have a pattern for it. It'll be another design by me. :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Who likes the fabric the most...??

I haven't touched the sewing machine since I finished the winter quilt some days ago. Errrr... that is not true! I added the backing to a Christmas ornament (cross-stitching) and did the embellishing; FINISHED - and it turned out so cute! No photo yet, because I want to finish 3 other ornaments. It seems polyester filling is not available in town, so I have to go to the neighbor town for that...
I've made a bookmark too! I can't show it now, because it is the NNC Bookmark Exchange 2010. It is a "secret partner exchange" - that's why. :)

I spent the entire yesterday sewing! Do you remember this post? That was my first attempt making "disappearing 9-patch" blocks. That was last year, so this is another UFO to be finished! At that time I had to purchase more fabrics, which I got.
Here's the light- and dark pink fabrics. Birre-liten loved using it as a bed for his siesta yesterday. :)

I did quite a lot of sewing yesterday; I made 16 blocks! Here some of the squares are ready to be pieced together and some already done. These blocks are such fun to make! It goes fast too - even if it doesn't look like that!

30 blocks displayed! (You don't see all of them on the photo!) This was before I added the blocks together. I need one - or even two rows of 5 blocks before the top is done. It'll be a lap quilt - I believe. :) I like making it long enough so that I can wrap my feet into it too. :)

Then it's about batting and backing.... I bought flannell in Rose Hill for the backing, but have yet to decide on the batting...
Now I'm leaving the computer for the sewing machine! :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Winter Atmosphere Wall quilt / Wintry Atmosphere from Norway

I have not only made jack-this-and-jack-that the last days! :) (Although I'm going to make more jackseed paste today!) During the weekend I finished this small wall quilt, which I have called "Winter Atmosphere". The center is from a panel I bought at least 2 years ago, can't remember very well. Last year I added the sashing (border) around the picture, and that was it! I didn't know how to continue on it at that time. I got it out from its hiding place a couple of weeks ago - and this is how it turned out;
not that bad - huh?!

It took me some days to figure out how to do the quilting. I have a selection of the beautiful Superior Threads King Tut, which I decided to use. Here is a closer view of the quilting. It's the very first time I have done this kind of quilting. With more training it could have been better, I guess...

Since I have finished this wintry wall quilt, I thought it would be nice showing you some wintry photos from the area I grew up in Norway. My dear childhood friend Johnny was sent out (by me!) to take some photos yesterday, when he visited his mother, who lives on the neighbor farm - to my ex-farm.

I grew up here - my ex-farm. It has changed a bit since I sold it. The main house (part of it logs - very old) had to be pulled down due to big ants destroying the timber. I haven't seen the new house, only on photos. It was done after I settled here. The barn, cowshed, garage, wagon shed etc look the same, but they have been restored. To the right - where the bigger outbuilding is - our hen house used to be there. I know I have mentioned that to Vicki and Lori - ladies - here it was! :)
I don't know if the outbuilding can be called wagon shed? I have called it that, because we had 3-4 horse-drawn wogons- and sledge stored there. They were all from my partenal grandparents, who ran the farm before my parents. My grandfather - Hans - was a horse trader. At that time - he died in 1939 - cars were not common on the countryside, so they always went by horse-drawn wagons when shopping etc. They used to go approx 30 km (18 miles) to the main town - by horse. Thinking of it now - how hard and difficult their daily life was.... But, hadn't it been kind of romantic going 18 miles in a horse-drawn sledge?! The sledge we had wasn't as beautiful as the one on the quilt though! But it was a red sledge - with space for two persons and the coachman.  

My maternal grandparents lived here - on this beautiful cotter's farm. It didn't look like this when they lived there, it has been restored in later years.

My mom's uncle lived here - another cotter's farm - belonging to the same farm. This house is restored too and is situated just across the road from my grandparents home (previous photo). In between the two cotter's farms is an old saw mill, said to be built in the 1600th century. It had to close around 1950. My great-grandfather worked as a sawmiller there for many years. He lived in this house too.

The farm road is 3.2km ( approx 2 miles) from the main road. This is part of the landscape to the farm; the marsh. I used to go skiing here - wonderful skiing country! The marshland was turned into nature reserve in the 1980's - if I'm not mistaken...

Logging track. The track is for tractors only - no cars!

A big hug and thank you to Johnny for letting me use his photos!