Saturday, June 28, 2008

A little refreshment on a summer's eve

We seem to finally have summer here. A few false alarms but I think its for real this time. The weather has turned hot so quickly it hasn't really given time to climatize ourselves. I took Grace to drop her off at her week long camp today and when I got home, Tony had dinner ready which was sooo nice! By the time we finished dinner, it was pretty hot and stuffy up here. We migrated down to the backyard armed with our iced green tea lemonade. Oh, how refreshing it was! Sure makes me thankful for all the hard work Tony does in the yard! The iced green tea lemonade was just the perfect thing to top off a lovely sit down in the back yard. It is so simple and quick I thought I would share this so you too can be refreshed. Not much to it, just some frozen lemonade concentrate, green tea and a couple of containers to mix it all in.
Start off with brewing double strength tea. Usually I do 2 teabags in this tea pot so I put 4 in for this drink.
Dump the still frozen lemonade into the juice container. Make sure it is strong enough to handle some rather warm liquid being poured into it. I have used this container a lot so I know it will do the job.
After the tea has brewed for a good 15 minutes or so, slowly, very slowly, pour it over the frozen lemonade. After about half of it is in, I give it a bit of a break for a few minutes and then add the rest just as slowly.

Top it off with lots of icecubes and enjoy! If you wanted you could always use a flavoured tea, experiment with your favorite herb teas. Live dangerously and throw a few mint sprigs in too!

Friday, June 27, 2008

A Bunting we will go!

It looks like its time for a party here! Look at how festive and fun this bunting is! Marnie sent the fabric down yesterday for her custom bunting for her market tent. It is a simple project, nothing terribley complicated, however... time consuming! This went together rather smoothly. I just love the way these fabrics look all done up like this! I see these things done up on blogs and other crafty sites and always marvel at how wonderfully festive it looks. I made up a template, then cut each triangle out of the fabric. Sewed the pieces, right sides togehter, trimmed up the point and turned it the right way. Pressed it, then trimmed the top edge which was left open. Then, they were sewn in between this black bias tape. It will look as nice from the back as it does from the front!
It is a pretty long piece here! I felt a little like I was wrestling with an octopus during the final construction phase! There are 26 flags that are 8 inches wide at the top each and about 2 inches between flags. hhmm, I need to do the math. I hope Marnie is as happy with it as I am . I can just imagine how pretty it will look all done up on her tent with all her colourful hair accessories! I can hardly wait to see the pictures of it all done up!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sometimes I like to play

There seems something so surreal about this daisy. I am contemplating framing it big for above my fireplace for a change of scenery. What do you think?

An old park and new friends

I can't beleive its been a whole week since I last posted! I started out with the resolve to post every day! I fell off th wagon when my computer started acting up, it still has to go in to the hospital too. It is having a good moment right now so I am taking advantage of it!
On Sunday I was invited out by a few ladies from the photography club to go take pictures at Bright Angel park. I love that park and go there a lot on my own. It seems like such a novelty cause it has a really cool suspension bridge to walk across the river. We treaded on new territory though as I always turn left after the bridge, this time we went straight! It was great getting out with some new friends who have the same passions as me. It was so encouraging to be with other people who get as much of a charge pressing the shutter release button as I do! I was surprised that most of the flowers that were in bloom were white. I guess I need to go back in a few weeks and see if different colours are popping up.
I think this is a hover fly. It looks kinda like a bee though doesn't it? I am seriously craving a nice macro lens after this trip! I love macro photography anyways so one is deffinately in my future. I am putting that 100.00 climate action check towards a macro lens!
We were gone all day but I am sure we all could have been there even longer, never running out of neat things to find through the viewfinder.

Just look at the dedication of these 2 getting right down and dirty to get just the right shot!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pink Dogwood

The pink dogwood is one of my favorite flowering trees and I have wanted one in the front yard for the longest time. Driving around they always catch my attention as the most beautiful trees around. Last year we finally went and hunted for one and quickly learned that there are many varieties available. So of course, it required a trip to Dinter's Nursery as they have the biggest variety and most knowlegable people around. After a while of wandering the aisles of different types, I narrowed in on this one. It is about hhmm 7 feet tall. The first year we had it in, there was only a few blooms. I savored each one! I don't think this picture does justice to how many blooms cover the tree this year. It looks like its 50% leaves and 50% flowers. Each time I turn the corner to come home, I am struck by the intensity of the pink and the sheer volume of it!
The pink is a deeper pink that most pink dogwoods I see around here. It is actually referred to as a 'red' dogwood. I was cautioned that they can be picky and not do well around here. They do seem to have made themselves at home now.

Just look at that pink!! It almost looks fake! This just has to be my favorite feature in our yard now. I have to hold myself back from cutting off a branch to bring into my living room! Maybe in a few years after its better established I can really get the full impact indoors agasint my green living room walls! OOO I can see it now:)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

New Pouches on the horizon

It was quite an unusual day around here in that I managed to complete TWO projects! We (meaning Thia and I) started our day off wandering around Walmart finding things for Grace and her big night tonight. (Grade 7 recognition!) It is surprising how time consuming that kinda thing is! We even had to find shoes for her as the ones that we thought would work, won't. I bought 2 of each thing and we will see what doesnt work and then take those back. I sure hope something works!! She's so picky and sensative that who knows.... Anyways, back to 2 completed projects... This first one is made using some fat quarters that I got at the satin moon in Victoria. I just adore the print and colours! The pouch is made super handy by 2 inside pockets and a wrist strap that is securely sewn in place with triple seams. I was on such a roll from finishing that pink and green one that I just kept sewing! I had purchased a charm pack a few weeks ago and just loved all the colours in it. At first I thought it would make a beautiful baby quilt with chenille as the alternating squares.
That idea got replaced with this one rather quickly. I cut the charm squares in half and sewed them back together. I just adore the way it turned out! It took a total of 6 squares including the handle. I put two pockets layered in this one for bankcard /id type things. I really like the way the light blue zipper turned out. At first I was going to use a light pink one but opted for this blue instead and I am sure glad that I did! The lining fabric is some quilting stuff that I liked with this pack, it did not come with the charm packs:)
Just look at the way those seams matched up! I am so happy with the way this turned out!

Flower Blob

My latest entry into the etsy world. It is using the same fabrics as its cousin the bird wristlet but sports a blobbish looking flower instead. On the side there is a ribbon with a keychain so you can clip this pouch to the inside of a larger totebag or purse. Again, I have been workin it with applique too! Of course there is a pocket inside for your id or bank card. I think this has to be one of the handiest sizes of pouches out there!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Goodies galore!

I have been wanting to make something with oilcloth but have not run across any to buy. This was in fantan in China town. They had some gorgeous prints! It was so hard to choose! I will be making lunch bags and other goodies out of this stuff. I especially like that black and white. I keep trying to get designer fabrics in town but no one around here seems willing to accomodate what I am looking for. Satin Moon in Victoria just natrually is loaded with this stuff, but luckily I found a source on etsy for a much more reasonable price! I am so excited to get my first order! (anyone out there know how to make a word a link in blogger?)
Ok, now this fabric has a story. The one on the far left is identical to the fabric my mom used to make my bedroom set out of. Curtains, bedspread, pillows, ruffles sheets... you get the picture. I was surrounded by that stuff! I can remember hating it at one point. Probably had od'd on the stuff! Well a few months ago, I found a double flat sheet in this stuff. I HAD to have it. That fabric could not go to anyone elses home! Then about a week ago I found the far right one as a pillow case in a thrift shop and oddly I felt the same attachment to it and it had to come home with me. Then, this past Sunday we were at Value Village and I found that third colour combination of the same print. Blues and purples. I quickly stuffed it under my arm and didn't put it down except to put it on the counter to pay for it! I think I may make myself a couple of pillow covers for my bed out of this stuff. Not sure what else to do with it! lol. It just has to be mine:)

Monday, June 16, 2008

A little more applique

My second attempt at a little applique here. I just listed this onto etsy
Hhmm. I really need to learn how to make a word a link. Anyways... back to the bird. The blue fabric has this amazing sparkle to it! It does not come off at all either, nor is it 'crunchy'. It is a nice soft quilting cotton. I don't know how they get those sparkles in there but I sure like it!
I really like this size for just daily errand type trips. This would be great too if you wanted to throw it into a diaperbag or bigger tote bag to keep everything sorted.
2 pockets inside, one for the cell phone and one for a bankcard or id. You can even see the sparkles inside the pouch! What more does a girl need to bring a smile to her face?:)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Father's Sunnyday

We went to Victoria today to celebrate Father's day. My mom and dad invited us and took us out for lunch. After lunch my mom and I went shopping for fun stuff, my dad took Grace and got her a lulu lemon shirt and Tony went hunting for groceries. Along the way, my mom and I went to Fantan gallery. A really fun little store with an eclectic assortment of things. Tucked away in a cupboard was this adorable little cowboy lunch box. I think it would make such an adorable accent piece or even a storage piece for something or other, but at 27.00 it was a little too precious for me. Around the corner was this shelf. I had to chuckle at the "no beatnicks" sign.
Just across the street from the entrance to China town there is this floating globe. It is sooo neat! It is pretty big, just look how big it is next to that man beside it. The arms that come up and around it do not touch it at all. It glides effortlessly on this water it rests on. It is also right outsdie of the Satin Moon quilting shop. The only place within a reasonable driving distance that I have been able to find that carries Amy Butler fabrics! I will show you later the few little treasures I picked up in there later.
On Sundays there is a market. I am afraid this time it didn't sport much interest. I am not sure why. Usually I love open air markets! It maybe seemed a little too commercial.
Ah........ China town! I love it down here! Just look at these doorways. Each one is old, and has so many stories to tell.
These lanterns have been hanging here for as long as I can remember.... or maybe they have been replaced, but they are deffinately a fixture.
The sidewalk is lined with veggies and produce, a lot of it is stuff that you just can't pick up at the local grocery store.

I got a few goodies while we were down there which I will share tomarrow:).

For now, its good night.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A good ole trusted Lemon Loaf recipe

Every Saturday night around 8pm, we like to make a big pot of green or herbal tea and watch a britsh drama called "Heartbeat". I just adore this show! There is a serious story along side an "only in Britain" kinda story. I really like british made television and movies. Well any forgien for that matter. I find that story telling is much more raw and uninhibited. Glitz, glam and catchy taglines are given up for honest and revealing storylines. Part of our Saturday ritual is to have a little sweet with our tea. Usually I forget to make something earlier in the day and its a quick dash to the corner store for some stale cookies or other commercially produced sugar high. Today, well today, I was on top of my game. Even though I was feeling iffy, car sickish iffy, I pulled together a good ole trusted Lemon Loaf. It is quick, easy, minimal ingredients and is sssssoooooo yummy!

Lemon Loaf

1/2 cup Butter or Margarine (I use shortening if I am low on butter)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup Milk

1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
Grated rind of one lemon

Cream butter, sugar and 1 egg. Beat in second egg, stir in milk.

In a second bowl stir together flour, baking powder and lemon rind. Pour over batter and stir to just moisten.

Spoon into a 9x5x3 greased loaf pan.

Bake 350 for about 1 hour. Let cool for a few minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack with waxed paper or even a paper grocery bag underneath.

Spoon a lemon glaze over the top of the hot loaf

Lemon Glaze

Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Combine juice and sugar over medium heat stirring constantly to dissolve sugar.


Friday, June 13, 2008

New growth in the shop

This is my first attempt at applique and I am afraid to say that I think I am hooked! Not sure why I felt the need to do fungi (or is it fungus?) as my first attempt but I am happy with how it came out. I think the bigger one came out slightly nicer than the little one, but they do say practice makes perfect!
So far I think the pocket sizes and placement is nice, but of course, I am open to new suggestions/ideas.
I am looking forward to trying out more applique :) just have to find more inspiration for new shapes!

Friday, June 6, 2008

It's my new bag.

I love the way the pieced fabric looks. I love all the colours in this bag and I even love the bias colour with all the soft feminine colours. What I dont like, is putting that darn stuff on! It took way more time than was reasonable and I am still not happy with it.
I am not sure what this type of bottom is called, but you are going to be seeing a lot more of it from me. I love it.
The good news out of all of this is I get a new purse.

Etsy anyone?

A few of the more recent entries on to my etsy.
These small pouches are about 5 1/2 inches by 5 and hold enough to be a catchall for your purse. You could just put your essentials into one of these pouches and then when you transfer purses, just whip this little beauty over and its no worries to change purses to suite your mood
They have a little sleeve to protect your id or bankcard in them.
I just love picking and chooseing the outter fabric and then some lining to match.
Sometimes I think I cant possibely have what I need to match up for lining but if I dig far enough, I almost always find what I need in my own stash.
Even matching the colours of the zippers up. It can be so much fun to see what happens when you introduce a new colour. I think the green on this one really works!
These little pouches are bigger. More like a small clutch. The flower is removeable and can be a pin for your jacket or blouse. It is a covered button that adorns the center.
The strap is long enough to slip over your wrist for hands free shopping, and they both have 2 interior pockets. I think I might start carrying a purse this size and put away my daily luggage sized one;) lol.

I am hoping to have some new designs up this weekend. It sure is fun fondling all this fabric again!