Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Quilt Tour, Part 1

I thought it might be fun to take a little tour through my house. Today we're starting in the master bedroom.

This is called "Nine-Patch Garden" and was completed in 2004. I believe I started it in 2003 while I was pregnant with Little Miss Almost 4. This is the first bed size quilt I ever made. It is a queen and the pattern came from a special 9-patch edition quilt magazine (not sure which one). Most of the 9-patch blocks are scraps from my Auntie B's scrap basket. The vine, leaves, and 9-patch flowers in the border were hand appliqued, a task I'm not sure I would take on again! I quilted it with my Pfaff by stitching in the ditch and free motion stippling most all of the open spaces. I also made the dust ruffle using the left over valance fabric and sheer material from my windows (see below). I never made pillow shams and am planning to make a large pillow for across the other pillows that says, "Always Kiss Goodnight!" It's on my list. By the way, that's HobbyDoggy, named Charlotte, after the city!

I stenciled a border around the room to match the 9-patch vine in the quilt border.
Next time we'll visit Little Mister 5's room!
Happy Hobbies!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Got Zucchini? Round 2!

Here's the next recipe I used to take down my pile of zucchini.

Zucchini and Basil Lasagna

2 cups fat-free cottage cheese
1 cup chopped fresh basil
1 large egg
Cooking spray
4 cups chopped zucchini
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups bottled spicy tomato pasta sauce
9 oven-ready lasagna nooodles
1 1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350.
Combine first 3 ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.
Heat large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and onions; ssaute 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in sauce; remove from heat.
Spread 1/4 cup zucchini mixture in bottom of a 13 by 9 inch pan coated with cooking spray. Arrange 3 noodles over zucchini mixture ; top with 1/3 cottage cheese mixture, 1/3 zucchini mixture and 1/3 mozzarella. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
Cover and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until lasagna is thoroughly heated.

I liked this recipe. HobbyHubby and the little people aren't big lasagna eaters so they didn't really like it! Oh well.

Okay! Shouting out to my readers. Anyone have any other zucchini recipes I should try? Four zucchinis to go and hopefully more on the way!

Happy Hobbies!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Got Zucchini?

Don't you love it?
You have to!
My kind grandmother gave me this happy pile of zucchini fresh from her garden last Monday. So I came right home and got on the computer for some recipes. Tuesday I headed to the store for extra ingredients and Wednesday I started cooking!

Zucchini Oven Chips
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup (1oz)grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fat-free milk
2 1/2 cups (1/4-inch thick) slices zucchini (about 2 small)
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425.
Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Place milk in a shallow bowl. Dip zucchini slices in milk, and dredge in breadcrumb mixture. Place coated slices on an ovenproof wire rack coated with cooking spray; place rack on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until browned and crisp. Serve immediately! 4 servings

Definitely serve immediately. These are so delicious but get soggy after about 7 or 8 minutes! Little Miss Almost 4 tried them and like them, but Little Mr. 5 saw the green on them and it was over!

Zucchini Bread


Nonstick cooking spray

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 whole egg

1 egg white

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 1/4 cups grated zucchini, tightly packed

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup drained, canned, crushed pineapple


Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9" loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt together. Set aside. In large mixing bowl, combine egg, egg white, oil, zucchini, vanilla and pineapple and mix well. Add the flour mixture to zucchini mixture and stir gently just until combined. Do not over mix. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until bread is golden brown and set in center, about 50-60 minutes.

This bread is so yummy. It is as good as cake. The little people helped me with this. I grated so much zucchini in my food processor that I ended up making 4 batches. I didn't have enough pineapple so I used half pineapple and half apple sauce. The flavors are so good. HobbyHubby just tried it yesterday and he said he LOVES it!

Since I'm running out of time this morning I'll have to post my zucchini basil lasagna recipe tomorrow!

Happy Hobbies!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Felt Embellished!

Remember this purse?

"From Knit to Felt" was the subject of my first blog...

It was a happy little purse, yet, oh so bare!
I stared at it...
For a few days...
Make that a week...
What can I do with this purse?
Add a flower? My initial?
But those are both so "ME"
So very, very ordinary, "ME"
I attempted to step outside of the "ME" box,
I grabbed some wool felt out of one of the many baskets of material I have in my sewing space and I cut a long strip! Then I twisted it and sewed it down to make this swirl. I looked at it some for a few more days. After a quick consult with HobbyHubby, I added the one lone red bead!

Tonight, I rooted around in a basket of fat quarters and found this fun red piece of fabric to use as the inside lining! I think I'm in love!
Happy Hobbies!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Growing Things!

I crammed way too much into these tiny spots, but I couldn't help myself. The kids don't exactly discourage me at the garden center either. I wanted to get a few hot pepper plants to try. The little people and I came home with 20 hot pepper plants, but only 5 different varieties. HA... So I overfilled the plot on the right and filled two large containers on the deck to fit them all. Check out the super hot Chile peppers below. Isn't that a lovely red? My husband can't wait to burn his mouth on those!

The plot to the left in the first picture is filled with tomatoes and various other bell pepper plants. I can already taste those peppers in Rachael Ray's Spicy Thia Chicken Recipe! "YUM-O" There again, I bought way more than I planned! Do you think there is such a thing as GARDEN CENTER TEMPTATION SYNDROME? Shall we label that GCTS?

I also couldn't resist (GCTS) the purchase of patio tomatoes which are happily growing on my deck! MMM... See those green guys... Can't wait until August!

I think my little people have GCTS too! Another day we went for a few plants for the deck and, VIOLA! We have 4 pots of gerbera daisies, 6 pots of basil (a good bug deterrent), a huge pot of begonias, 3 pots of gladiolas (these bulbs were planted so late), cilantro from seeds & marigolds from seeds! Oh yes, and don't forget the straw flowers!

These gerbera daisies sure are beautiful! At least GCTS is bringing joy to our summer senses!

Happy Hobbies!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

And the Beads went flying...

Well, not really. That was just the way the scene played out in my head. Scary!

The little people decided the other day that they would like to make some beaded jewelry just as they had at the recent church festival. "Can we get our own beads like you Mama?" Little Mr. 5 was sure that he wanted "A B C" beads and Little Miss Almost 4 was in full agreement. Here we go... Or, should I say there we went! We picked out some beads at the AC Moore store a few days ago and today we finally had a chance to start stringing.

I pulled out my own bead supplies for wire and clasps and discovered there were no clasps. What? I thought I had everything in that box! At least the wire was there... Couldn't find the bead stoppers to hold the ends of the wire. Resorted to clothes pins to keep the beads from falling off. Oh, things aren't perfect! While I'm looking at my lack of supplies, 4 little hands are touching every plier, wire cutter, crimping tool, wire spool, bead bags, bead tubes. "Mommy, what is this for? I want that! I'll use this. Can I see it? I just want to touch it. Mommy, Mommy..." Those 4 little hands seemed like 12 little hands and the 2 little voices seemed like more... EEEEEEEE! What was I thinking? So we got over the initial wonder of THE BEAD BOX and moved on to the creating.

Here I am... I mean, there I was, trying to do this in an orderly fashion. "Don't you want to spell something? Do you want to make your names? Wouldn't it be nice to make your names? I'll pick the letters for you if you want." BIG SIGH!!! Yeah, I caught myself sucking their fun away. I STOPPED! Whew! It was hard. They were so happy to string some colored beads and pick some random letters. I had to pull myself out of my obsessive former teacher self and decide there aren't any rules. Oh, just one rule, to HAVE FUN!! Sometimes I need mental adjustments! HA.

In the end, we had loads of fun stringing beads for a good hour. And the best part was when Little Mister 5 said, "Thank you Mommy for letting me do beads!" They cleaned up in an orderly fashion. Surprise. Surprise! I can't wait to go to get clasps tomorrow to finish this project.

Much to my delight (RELIEF) the beads never went flying...

Happy Hobbies!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Back from the Barnes & Noble!

I couldn't resist! I just couldn't do it. I had to buy these happy magazines.

They were calling my name. Calling so loudly. "Buy me, buy me, buy me!" "We need to inspire you!" "You can't live without us!" I caved.

In all seriousness, there were so many magazines I could have bought tonight. Isn't walking away with only three some kind of restraint? I mean there were probably a dozen quilt magazines, another dozen knit and crochet issues, too many gardening magazines to count, beading, machine embroidery....... Eieeeeeeeeeek!!! Oh yeah! That was some serious restraint!

It is true that I have lots of projects lined up. Materials purchased. Patterns in hand. Ideas in my head trying to get out. Did I really need to add to the chaos? Nope. So what? I can justify it! There are at least 3 things in each magazine that I would like to make. That's my usual rule for buying hobby magazines, unless, there might be something I'm absolutely in love with. Then all bets are off!

What else is a girl to do?

Happy Hobbies!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Herb Gardening

I love growing herbs... I can't claim I'm herb savvy, I just love them.

I started growing herbs on a whim two summers ago, and this year I decided I wanted to level the bed out and essentially start over. My parents offered me some recycled bricks and off I went.

I just started at the short end and went with it. I'm sure a professional would have laughed at my process but I'm thrilled with the end result. It was a pretty enjoyable task given the fact that it took me a month because of some other outdoor projects and so much "help" from my little people. I added wheel barrows full of dirt, transplanted all of the perennials and added annuals.
My herb bed includes lavender, lemon balm, lemon verbena, rosemary, thyme, basil, spicy basil, rue, chives, oregano, purple sage, dill and tricolor sage. MMM... It smells so good out there!I do faithfully use the basil, dill & chives in the kitchen. I'd love to be able to say I use everything else I plant. Sigh... I must follow through with using the rest of these happy plants. I guess I've found my next research project!

Happy Hobbies!


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

From Knit to Felt

This is the first knitting project I've taken on, having just learned to knit last March. As usual, I couldn't just start something new, I had to take it up a notch. I didn't just knit a bag, I picked a pattern that had to be felted too. I find the felting process fascinating because the composition of the wool completely changes.

Using wool, I first knit the project according to pattern instructions. Then I took my little friend to the washing machine where I promptly changed my dial to the hot/cold wash cycle. It took four trips though this cycle to achieve the correct size.

As you can see in the photos, I used the pattern booklet as a reference to show the change in size. You can also see how the knit stitches are no longer visible after felting. So I'm thinking this new creation needs some embellishing... I'll let you know how that goes once I figure it out!

Happy Hobbies!