Thursday, March 26, 2009

Fun New Website!

Eric Carle, the children's book author, has opened a museum in MA called The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. I just found this website and am blown away at all of the incredibly fun stuff!

As you may know, I *love* all things that are Eric Carle-related! Books, fabric, toys, stationary, you name it, I love it!

The dishes and flatware are adorable, as are the Brown Bear, Brown Bear square stoneware banks. The Brown Bear, Brown Bear ceramic ornaments are simply sweet. The posters are really cool and colorful. They would be perfect to decorate the walls of a little one's bedroom.

Friday, March 20, 2009

1st Day of Spring Planting

March 21 is Dad's birthday. He would have been 77 years old on Saturday. Dad was so proud to have been born on the first full day of Spring. In honor of his birthday, my son and I planted some seeds. Planting seeds in his honor seemed like a great way to celebrate his life and to remember him. We went to the garden center after preschool and looked at all of the available seeds. My son decided that rainbow-colored flowers were best, and we picked up a seed packet of Wildflower Butterfly Mix. It's a lovely assortment of Cosmos, Chinese Forget-Me-Nots (How appropriate!), Marigolds, Zinnias, Blanket Flower, Sweet William, Shasta Daisies, Gloriosa Daisies, and Foxglove.

In about 7-14 days we should have some signs of growth in our mini-greenhouse. I'm excited to see what happens!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

National Quilting Day is March 21

The theme for National Quilting Day this year is “Welcome Home”. The NQA writes: “As our country looks forward to 2009 with a new president and new hope for our country, we at The National Quilting Association thought it would be appropriate this year, to devote National Quilting Day, to the home. The housing market is in decline and foreclosures are on the rise, with greater numbers of homeless families to follow. We would like to encourage our members, guilds, and sponsors to join together and give their effort and energy to those who may be struggling for warmth and comfort.”

What are you doing for National Quilting Day? What a lovely day for a random act of kindness...whether it involves quilting or not! I'm going to try to find a way to brighten someone's day this weekend. The world needs more kindness... so why not?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Easter Basket Ideas

Okay, I know, Easter isn't until next month. But, I like to shop (a lot), and find good deals early. I hate shopping at the last minute and settling for whatever is left on the shelf. Pick up a couple items each week until Easter and you'll have a great stash of goodies to hand out.

Some ideas for a quilter...

New needles

Fat quarters in spring colors or pretty batiks

Spools of thread in soft, muted pastels

Charm pack of 5" fabric squares

A new quilt pattern

Hand lotion (I love the new Aromatherapy line at Bath & Body Works called Optimism. It's a sunny and bright fragrance...just wonderful.

A handmade pincushion

A handmade table runner

A beautiful journal

A CD of relaxing music

Meltaway mints in pastel colors

Jordan Almonds (Typically a wedding favor....but why save them for only weddings? They are almost egg-shaped and come in beautiful soft colors!)

Some ideas for your favorite kiddos...

A fresh new pack of crayons or beautiful colored pencils from the art store (Pack them up in a cute little tool box or art bin instead of an Easter basket.)

A small sketch pad or sturdy spiral-bound tablets

Stickers (the Dollar Store has a great selection)

A handmade apron for helping mommy out in the kitchen (Tie the apron to a cupcake mix, add sprinkles and a fun spatula too!)

A handmade pillowcase (This is great item for packaging other goodies! No need to buy an Easter basket! Add a new bedtime book or two, a bedtime snack, and a stuffed animal for a gift with a sweet, thoughtful theme.)


Bird feeder kit

Sidewalk chalk

And of course....the child's favorite candy or treat!


Oh, Snippet! How I love this 1940's inspired fabric collection by American Jane for Moda Fabrics! The soft, muted primary colors deserve to be made into something fun and flirty.
Think of the cute kitchen aprons that could be made with any of the fabrics from the collection! The daisies, polka dots, and paper dolls would be lovely made into something for a little girl. My mind races thinking of magical things could be made for a little one's play mats, tablecloths, napkins, quilted potholders, softly gathered curtains. Think of the sweet tea parties that could take place using homemade Snippet-themed items, vases of garden daisies, and cutout sugar cookies in floral shapes. Or even daisy cupcakes!
A fun world of make-believe awaits with this line....and of course happy memories.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Lemon Kisses

Lemon Kisses is a dessert made with a cookie crust and a yummy lemon topping.
These tasty little bars are perfect for a girls luncheon, baby shower, bridal shower, family gathering, or just because.


2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, well beaten
1 heaping tablespoon grated lemon rind
1/4 cup lemon juice
Additional powdered sugar for sprinkling on the cooled dessert bars

Sift the flour and the powdered sugar together. Cut in butter until well blended. Press mixture over the bottom of a 9 by 13 by 2-inch pan. Bake about 25 minutes at 300° until very lightly browned. Be careful not to over bake. Combine the remaining ingredients and evenly spread the mixture on top of the baked crust. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes. Sprinkle with a generous helping of powdered sugar when completely cool.

Makes about 12 servings.

A breath of!

Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree Quilts has an incredible website and blog that I recently discovered. I could lose myself for hours in this website....there is so much to look at! She describes her site as "creating fresh vintage style for your home". Her enviable style is original, uncomplicated, and sophisticated at the same time.

I have a *fabric crush* on her latest fabric line, Patisserie. I happen to think this is her best fabric collection yet. However, Jenni has a stash of fabric from the Dandelion Girl collection that is just divine. I can't wait to see what she creates with it! The fabric should look perfect in her home with the dark wooden floors, antique touches carefully placed in every room, and *fresh* colored walls. (We'll see if Ernie gives the fabric his "stamp of approval" at a later date. Something tells me he will love it!)

Take a moment to check out Joanna Figueroa's website, blog, and the links to other sites that she recommends. I especially like the links for "Favorite Fresh Products" in the sidebar of her blog. Anyone care to join me in a little retail therapy?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Spring Decor

Spring is almost here, and I can't wait! I love what Spring beginnings, renewal of life, and hope for the future. Tulips and crocus begin to bloom, bees venture out of their hives, and butterflies decorate the sky. It truly is a beautiful time. It gives me hope to improve my own life and make some changes that I've been dreaming of.

Spring also inspires me to clean and decorate. I would love to have an endless supply of money to make my home *just so*. Since I don't have that luxury, I can dream through window shopping and inspiring photographs. One website that I love (Williams-Sonoma) has some gorgeous new spring decor with their Springtime Nest Bell Jars. For centuries, European and American gardeners used bell-shaped glass covers to protect their plants and new seedlings from harsh and cold weather. I think they are gorgeous. And maybe, just maybe, I could find a frugal solution and copy this idea in my own home. Check out the link below for details on how to order these beautiful bell jars.
Anyone have any ideas for a do-it-yourself version?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Something else I covet...

Cotton Way has a new pattern for sale that uses one Moda Honey Bun and a little bit of yardage. (Honey Buns are a pre-cut item, similar to a jelly roll, but 1.5" strips instead of 2.5" strips.) The pattern is called Fresh Apple Tart and I love it! The pattern is simple and fresh, and I simply adore it!

The finished quilt is relatively small (40" square) so it would make a fun baby quilt! Imagine using the finished quilt as a table decoration and then giving it to the expectant mother at the end of the party! What new mommy wouldn't be thrilled with a sweet baby quilt?

I can't wait to buy this new pattern! It's on my long list of "wants"!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I have a fabric crush...

Okay, I admit it, I'm addicted to beautiful fabrics. I love to buy whatever makes my heart sing! The fabric doesn't have to complement a room in my home. It just has to grab me for whatever reason....the colors might remind me of a place or time, or someone I know would love the fabric and whatever creation would transpire from it, or just because. That's right, just because.

My latest quilt crush is on Patisserie by Fig Tree Quilts for Moda Fabrics. The colors, oh la la... butterscotch, frangelico, pear tart, angel food, sugar berry, butter cream, frosting and marzipan. How delicious!

I absolutely love the fabric pieces with the maps of the French Countryside. Lately anything with a map on it has caught my attention. Hence, the fabric crush!

To see the entire line, has a wonderful selection.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tango Anyone?

A new quilt is loaded on Taloulabelle's long arm. It's a bright and scrappy version of Tile Tango by Terry Atkinson. The quilter did a fabulous job picking out the perfect mix of brights against a white background. This is definitely a stash buster pattern!
I chose white thread for this creation.
The stitching designs is one of my favorites and the first all over design that I mastered. I call it "Ernie McCrackin' Chestnuts". I charge 1 1/2 cents per square inch to stitch this design on your quilt.

Mary, from Des Moines, Iowa, is the quilter and loves to use brights for her quilts.

Check out Terry Atkinson's website to see this and other patterns by this talented designer:


Until next time ... Make every day an adventure in fabric and thread!