Monday, October 28, 2013

the pumpkin issue (part 2) . . .

Last week I *really* got my pumpkin craftiness on!  Along with a couple of other things . . . acorns and cauldrons!

It started with pumpkins and a visit to Ellie.  She was quite taken with the pumpkin mat I was stitching.  She studied it very intently . . .
She was bound and determined to take a stitch!
She did it!  She listened very carefully to me as I explained the process.  She was very pleased with her first stitch, too!  
I finished it up yesterday . . . (Slow Stitching Sunday!!) . . . and I did leave in Ellie's first stitch.  In fact, I think she owns this one--as a memorial.  It's only fitting, right?!?

We shook things up with a bit of acorn baking (again).  This time it was a recipe from the current issue of Tea Time Magazine for mini orange bundt cakes!
They were so yummy and turned out so prettily!

Then it was back to pumpkins as we grabbed this fun photo opportunity out in her front yard:
Isn't she just precious???!

From her house that night, I headed to Decatur and the Princess Theater.  I'd won tickets to see Menopause the Musical and took my quilty-friend, Kari, along with me to see it . . .
We had a marvelous time and the production was seriously hilarious!

The next day, I got a little Sawyer and June loving in.
Story time!!  And sweet grandbaby love!!

On Thursday I diverted one more time from pumpkins to do a little Halloween craftiness for my Sunday school girls . . .
I handed them out yesterday . . . they really enjoyed them (they were filled with treats)!  Not to mention my own handiwork on the poem (based on the good Word, of course).

Friday and Saturday, though, it was back to pumpkins!!!  I did three . . . two painted and one carved.  This year, I centered a whole theme around football and the Alabama Crimson Tide!
Ah, can you feel the pumpkin/football love???!

And when pumpkins are carved, there are pumpkin seeds to roast, too!
Todd and I made quick work of these while we were watching the football game (Alabama vs. Tennessee) . . . they were better than popcorn!  Ha!  I told Todd we may need to carve another pumpkin, just so we can get some more seeds!

My favorite moment, though, was turning on the lights for my display at dusk:
Happy, happy, joy, joy!

My design wall is not blank . . . know I've got one more pumpkin-y surprise up my sleeve for the last week of October!  But I hate to spoil the surprise . . .
I'll share the above (for now)!  For some real design wall eye-openers, head over to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.  And . . .

Have a marvelous week!


Monday, October 21, 2013

the pumpkin issue (part 1) . . .

Because I know, knowing me the way I do, that there will be at the very least one or two (or three or four) most posts where pumpkins figure prominently!  And after that explosion of acorns on my blog post Saturday, I felt like I really needed to pay homage to the fruit of fall . . . the object d'art *and* culinary delights in autumn . . . my favorite and yours (or at least it should be):

I purchased pumpkins finally this past Friday, at my favorite pumpkin place of all times, Tate Farms.  We did our annual family fun day!  Ellie came in and felt right at home -- she's definitely a kindred spirit -- and headed for the fun "Apple Gourd".  It ain't easy being green.

Of course, there are other things at the farm to do, so we hit the swings . . .
The big pumpkin-colored bouncer (Sawyer and Ellie *both* loved this thing) . . .
And the corn crib . . .

It never ceases to amaze me the difference a year makes.  Last year, Ellie cried at everything and June was a nice round bump in her mommy's silhouette!  This year Ellie cried when she had to *leave* everything and June is nearly a year old!  Sawyer pretty much enjoyed it all and especially the ability to roam-at-large.

Then it was time for our hayride out into the pumpkin field! 

I think everyone enjoyed the ride ... but their eyes were WIDE when they saw all the pumpkins in the field!

Ellie kissing her pumpkin pick!
Paw paw helps orchestrate a prime 'photo op'!
Sawyer found LOTS of good pumpkins!
June, enjoying a close encounter of the pumpkin kind. 
Family shot sans Sawyer--who was too busy playing in the pumpkin patch!
The farm has a darling little country store and I found the *cutest* pumpkin hat for baby girl June:
Every October baby (especially an October 31st baby!) should have a pumpkin hat, right?!?!?

I picked up a couple of pumpkins for me . . . 
Sawyer, June and Ellie pumpkins, right??!!

And I have plans for these guys, too . . .
You'll just have to wait and see! 

And finally, not working on much right this minute except my sweet little pumpkin candle mat!
I've made some progress and actually got started stitching on it yesterday!

Whew!  That should be a good fill of pumpkin goodness . . . for now.  Have a GREAT Monday!


Saturday, October 19, 2013

crafty fun . . .

Ellie and I had a play date on Thursday.  I called it our "A is for Acorn" day!
We started with some basic crayon coloring.  That it was an "A is for Acorn" sheet made me smile.  That it was an Elmo "A is for Acorn" sheet made Ellie squeal!
Next, we moved to a different textile.  Paints, to be precise!  This time, the object of our attention was a squirrel with acorns (on paper).
You see she holds that paintbrush like a total pro, right?  In fact, Ellie did such a good job with her painting, we went ahead and graduated from paper to actual acorns . . .
She's a natural!
Aren't they pretty?  I'd seen painted acorns on pinterest and followed the link to Home Stories:  A to Z.  I didn't have acrylic paints, so Ellie and I just used what I had (which was non-toxic, washable poster paints).
I did some, too.  And even though they aren't quite the same as the original idea, I still think they turned out prettily, especially once we (I) added the glitter! Glitter, the bane of a pre-school teacher's existence.  But it does make everything prettier!

After we cleaned up from acorn-painting and had lunch, it was nap time (but not for me, though I could have used one). While Ellie napped, I tried out my new acorn cake pan!
I used the recipe that came with it.  They turned out so prettily!
Even prettier when dipped in chocolate and brushed with a maple glaze . . . and dusted with the sugar equivalent of glitter!

I also worked on finishing up Ellie's *super hero* cape (she needed it today for a friend's birthday party). Since Ellie was napping, Leia very graciously volunteered to step in and help me out.
I think it turned out quite nicely!  Thank you, Leia!  (And ... linking her on up to the Feline Friday linkup at Sarah Did It!)

Ellie was happy to test out both the cape *and* the acorn cakes when she woke up from her nap . . .
And she gave me her definite seal of approval!

It was a fun day . . . but I hope I didn't do myself a disservice and set the bar too high!  Hahaha!  And lest you think I've completely lost it and gone over to the dark (acorn) side, let me share what I'm playing with this weekend.  My sister picked up a couple of darling felt projects when we were in Texas.  She got home to NJ and went to work on this one:
Didn't she do a great job?!!  I totally love it!!
She shared the pattern with me and I've got these wools picked out for it . . .
I substituted that blue and black  houndstooth for the solid black . . . because it makes me happy!  So, off I go to start cutting and stitching!


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

birthday mash-up . . .

Birthday week (the kickoff of birthday quarter) hit the same week as Fanfare 2013 -- our guild's bi-annual quilt show!  So it was a BUSY week!

It started with me spending Tuesday with Ellie.  We had such a fun day!  We made pumpkin spice cookies and walked the neighborhood . . . and in honor of it being Fire Safety Month, Leia shared an important public service message about stop, drop and roll:
If you get the feeling that Leia was less than enthusiastic about her message, you'd be correct!  She is, however, very happy to be linking up to Feline Friday (only a couple of days late) at Sarah Did It! 

I had volunteered, among other things, to help with the judging part, pre-show--that was Wednesday and Thursday.  Our judge was none other than AQS's Bonnie Browning!
I learned more about what judges look for and what *I* should be doing if I ever decide to put a *serious* quilt in a quilt show.  Listening to her commentary as she worked was fascinating!
She's quite a riot, too -- she shared lots of great stories and was very personable and down-to-earth.  Quite a lot of fun!  I was anxious about being in the room when she judged my quilts, but luckily, I wasn't in there when she did the one and she only had good things to say about the other (even though it didn't ribbon -- at least it didn't tank, either)!  And *several* quilts that I'd helped piece *did* make it at least to "hold" and were considered!  All told, I had a hand in seven quilts at the show!  One in a non-judged exhibit, two of my own and four that I'd contributed blocks to!

After judging was finished and ribbons were hung, I headed home for a birthday celebration!  All the families came up to the camp and helped me celebrate.
Todd got my cake from Peggy Ann's bakery.  It's pretty, isn't it??  But SO MUCH cake--even with Sawyer and Ellie having seconds!  I cut the remainder of cake into single slices, wrapped each slice in wax paper, and put it in the freezer to enjoy for many days to come.  Sawyer enjoyed helping me remove the candles from the cake (and licking the ends).  Such a big helper!!  ;)

And then it was present time.  Todd got me two really lovely sweaters, just perfect for fall.  Joc, Jason and Ellie gifted me with this darling acorn mini-cake pan and a tin of Royal Wedding Tea from Harney & Sons. Ellie and I will do something with the acorn pan this week!
And James, Kim, Sawyer and June got me this darling Origami Owl necklace!!  The packaging is so cute, with the Chinese box and the fortune cookie case.  I've wanted one of these charm lockets for a while.
The charms in the locket are a little heart that says, "changed" a sewing machine, and my birthstone! Precious!!

In addition to everything else he did, Todd got me two petit fours from Peggy Ann's . . . 
My sweet husband--he knows they're my favorites.  I had them with my afternoon tea the next day!  I had to try out the new Royal Wedding Tea -- it was quite lovely and light!

After presents, we tried to get a pic of me and the grands, but waiting until after cake and ice cream was probably not the best of ideas.
This was the BEST of the ten shots that were taken!  I love how everyone is motion-fuzzy!!  My sweet little grandbabies -- I do love them!!!

I also had a sweet little birthday squishy arrive in the mail . . .
Isn't it darling?!  Just so pumpkin-y perfectly me!  Thank you, Janet!!!  :)

Then it was back to the quilt show . . . time to work the admittance tables and get in there and do some shopping!  Thanks to my folks, I had a little birthday change to do some shopping.  And let me just say, we had some great vendors! I kept it relatively simple. I found a darling scissor sitters pin:
And some beautiful wool felt . . .
And a bag of crushed walnut shells (which was really a timely purchase because I've got some pattern weights I'm finishing up for a project) . . .
And I grabbed a couple of fat quarters to make a girlie superhero cape for Ellie.  All-in-all, I didn't go too overboard!

In the middle of all of that, I also managed to get out my fall things and finish up my October piece for my mini-stand . . .
Yay for pumpkins!!  That particular pattern was cute and very easy!  I pulled the pumpkin out of the "Spooky Hallows" BOM (Block 3 - Spooky Pumpkins) that was done by Marjorie of Peck's Pieces last year. I suppose perhaps a turkey is in order for November.  Or, I dunno . . . how about this crazy idea?!? Nothing says there can only be one per month, right?  Maybe I'll do something a little patriotic for Veteran's Day, first!

Finally, I'll leave you with a shot of this . . . the base for my next nature project!
What could it be, what could it be?!?  Let's just say I've talked about this before!

I finished up birthday/quilt show week with a touch of something . . . a 24 virus thingie, I'm guessing.  So I laid low today, but I think the worst is behind me now!