Summer CSA – Fruits and Veggies, Week 2

Tagge's Famous Fruit CSA Week 2

Since it’s still so early in the growing season, the produce that we see isn’t quite as overwhelming as it will be in a month. We still got some great fruits and veggies, though!

  • Two types of lettuce
  • Four summer squash (Zucchini, golden zucchini, mediterranean squash, and a pattypan squash)
  • Bunch of greens (I think it’s chard. I seriously don’t know my greens)
  • head of cabbage
  • Four huge apricots
  • And about two pounds of cherries

I’m looking forward to just sauteing up all that squash with some butter and olive oil. It’s going to be lovely!

Summer CSA – Fruits and Vegetables, Week 1

There are so many milestones that can mark the beginning of summer – Memorial Day, the last day of school, the 4th of July… One that I’ve looked forward to the past couple of years is the first day of our CSA!

Rob and I invest in a local CSA, Tagge’s Famous Fruit, and this week was our first pickup. Here’s what we got:

Tagge's Famous Fruit CSA, Week 1

  • One tomato
  • One bunch of beets
  • one bunch of turnips
  • One head of lettuce
  • One bunch of green onions
  • One bunch of chard
  • Six apricots
  • Two pounds of cherries

One of my goals this summer is to use or give away everything we receive each week. Sometimes it’s just so much food that I have a hard time finding room in the fridge for it, or I don’t know how to prepare it. Fortunately, I’ve learned quite a bit over the past two years of CSA’s, and stock-piled some recipes, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be successful this time around.

One of the tastiest dishes I made this week was turnips and greens. I took the turnips and cleaned and peeled them, then diced them up into bite sized pieces and sauteed them with some olive oil and garlic for about 7 minutes. Then I cleaned and chopped the chard and threw that in on top and covered it until it had all wilted and cooked down. Finished it with some butter and some salt and pepper and it was a lovely side dish!

Blue Sashiko Quilt for Bloggers’ Quilt Festival

One of my favorite times of year! It’s time again for the Bloggers’ Quilt Festival over at Amy’s Creative Side.

This spring I want to share one of the quilts I just finished – my Blue Sashiko quilt:

Blue Sashiko quilt - Full quilt

This was a block of the month project at my local quilt shop, and I really enjoyed the simplicity and the white space in many of the blocks. So when I started putting the top together I wanted to include plenty of white space as well.

Blue Sashiko Quilt, section

If you follow my quilting you know that I’m a big fan of hand quilting, and I knew that this quilt would be the perfect candidate for hand quilting. Since it was Japanese-themed anyway, I decided that adding some sashiko quilting would be the perfect way to go!

Blue Sashiko - Rail Fence

Blue Sashiko - Diamonds

I started with the pieced blocks, and added dense straight line quilting with a heavy cotton thread. I really enjoy how much texture it adds to the quilt. After that I added some half inch and one inch straight lines in the sashing and borders.

Blue sashiko - bamboo pattern

I had two large sections on each side and for those I chose to use some traditional sashiko patterns. The one above is designed to represent growing bamboo, and this one is called Seven Treasures:

Blue Sashiko - Seven Treasures

I had some leftover fabrics from the blocks, so I did a pieced back:

Blue Sashiko quilt - pieced back

And, since the white quilting thread is pretty invisible on the blocks on front, it’s fun to see the detail stand out against the blue fabric on the back:

Blue sashiko quilt, back detail

Blue Sashiko Quilt
approximately 50″ by 60″
pieced and hand quilted by me!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoy my little blue quilt, and I hope you enjoy all the other entries into the Quilt Festival! I hope you’ll stop by again!

Past Bloggers’ Quilt Festival Entries

Assessing the Chaos – Quilt Projects

List of Quilting Projects

Well, I’ve gone through my quilt projects, and I have fewer actually in progress than I expected!

The Bright Stars quilt top is very close to being done – I just need to add one last border and I can send it to the quilter. K’s wedding quilt…. *Sigh* I don’t have much time left to work on this, and Rob and I still haven’t fully formed our idea of what to do. If we can’t get our minds made up, I might just have to throw something together this weekend, and pray that my quilter has enough time to fit it in before the wedding.

I started a Christmas quilt last year, but once I realized that there was no way I could get it done in time for the holiday, I gave up. But I think I have a pretty good shot at getting it done this year. 🙂 It’s going to be a very strange size because it’s going to be just for display and designed to hang over the bannister in our living room. I’ve got about 10% of the blocks finished, but they should come together pretty quickly.

Black and White and Cowboy Blocks are Block of the month quilts. The Cowboy Blocks is the quilt for this year, and I’ve been pretty lazy about getting my blocks done on time. I think I’ll try and catch up with all the blocks, and then turn them into a couple of baby quilts. I think the cowboy theme would be pretty cute for some future babies out there! 🙂

The black and white blocks are from a few years ago, and I only have 3 or 4 of them. I don’t have any plans to finish the quilt, so I think I’ll just add a quick border to each block and make them into pillow covers.

I’ve got more projects than I thought, but it’s nice to have them all sorted out, and a plan made for finishing them. I’ll keep you posted on my progress!

March Stashbee Block

Whoops! Although I shared a picture with my Stashbee group, I forgot to share a picture of the March block here!

March star for Stashbee

I quite enjoyed the block, and am tempted to make my own quilt using the pattern. Since it’s scrappy, you can move the position of the star to different places in the block. And as you can sad, it’s quite large – finishing at 17 1/2 inches! I’m definitely keeping this pattern in mind as a way to use up a bunch of scraps.

Coffee Wall Hanging – Cleaning out the Stash

So, I’m still slowly going through my stash of projects and deciding what to do with them.  While I was rummaging through piles, I found this tiny quilt top that I had finished piecing, and it had just been sitting around, waiting to be quilted. So I figured it was time to stop waiting and do some quilting!

coffee wall hanging quilt

This project was some coffee panels that I added a coffee bean border to. I quilted it on my machine with lines about 1/2 inch apart. I see why this is such a popular quilting design right now – it’s easy, and looks quite nice! We have a cupboard that separates our kitchen from the dining room, and I designed this wall hanging to fill that space. It’s nice to finally get it up! I’m embarrassed to admit that it’s been sitting unfinished for over a year. But now I have a great little piece in the kitchen, and one less project in my stash! Callooh Callay!

Birchbox Samples – April 2013

April 2013 Birchbox with samples from  (MALIN+GOETZ), Kiehl's, Supergoop!, Nexxus, and Simple

This weekend I also received my Birchbox samples, and I’ve had enough time to give them a try. This month’s box contained:

  • (MALIN+GOETZ) bergamot body wash
  • Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate
  • Supergoop!® Daily Correct SPF 35 CC Cream
  • Nexxus® Youth Renewal™ Rejuvenating Elixir
  • Simple Revitalizing Eye Roll-on

After the last couple of boxes, it was nice to see a box of samples that weren’t makeup, accessories, or snacks. 🙂

The (MALIN+GOETZ) body wash is lovely. I always forget how much I enjoy the scent of bergamot, and theirs has a great energy and zip to it, without being excessively heavy. The body wash has a nice texture to it, but it is definitely more on the cleansing side of the body wash spectrum, not the moisturizing side.

The Kiehl’s concentrate is nice enough. It definitely makes your skin feel a bit tighter upon application, and it’s a neutral scent. I know that I’m old enough I should care about lines on my face, but really? I don’t. So we’ll see if it’s a product I use with any regularity. 😉

And, universe, can we slow down a bit? I’m just starting to warm up to the idea of BB creams, and now we’ve taken it to the next level with CC creams? I call balderdash. It’s like always upping the ante with razors, and next they’ll have 13 blades in them! I’ve decided I’m going to be stubborn for a bit and not try the Supergoop cream until I’m good and ready. 😉 Or at least wait until the summer, since it has such a high SPF.

The Nexus Hair Elixir is similar to other silky leave-in hair treatments. Smooths flyaways, makes your hair a bit shiny and soft. The scent is exactly the same as all the other products. This hasn’t stood out as an exception product to me, yet, but we’ll see if I change my mind by the end of the vial.

The Simple eye revitalizer is the one product I haven’t tried yet because it’s designed to be used in the morning when your eyes are sometimes a bit dark and puffy. I’m sorry, Universe, but really… some mornings I don’t even have enough time to brush my hair, let alone worry about circles under my eyes. Besides, I work full-time and I have twin toddlers… at this point, eye circles are just another accessory to me. 🙂

Very glad that this month’s box was one of the better ones. Oh and, not pictured, but this month’s box was sponsored by Women’s Health magazine, and the box also included a voucher for a year’s subscription. Pretty cool!

April Ipsy

It is that time again – Went to my mailbox this weekend and found this month’s Ipsy Glam bag samples.

April 2013 Ipsy Glam Bag with samples from Sation, Two Cosmetics, Sexy Hair, and Be a Bombshell

  • Sation Nail Lacquer
  • Two Cosmetics Duo Eyeshadow
  • Sexy Hair Soy Renewal
  • Be a Bombshell Blush

There is a lot of pink in this month’s bag. I’m a huge fan of the color, but it’s never suited me much for makeup. I don’t imagine the pink eyeshadow will be broken into for a very, very long time.

To be honest, I haven’t been in love with the Ipsy samples I’ve received the past few months, and at this point, I’m really questioning if it is of value to me anymore. I don’t want to be a downer, but this might be the last Ipsy bag you see here. Hope your samples this month were more to your liking!



Assessing the Chaos – Quilt Tops

Well, first step of reigning in the chaos of my quilting space is assessing what I have. I decided to start with the easiest category – finished tops that need to be quilted. After searching high and low, I was a little bit surprised that I only had four:

List of Quilt Tops

So, now it’s time to decide what to do with them!

Civil War Sampler finished top

The Civil War Sampler is a great quilt, and I’m holding on to that one as a wedding present. I’m 95% sure it will be hand quilted, so it will just have to stay in it’s un-quilted state until the time is right.

Side note – am I the only one who grew up with the theory that it’s bad luck to start quilting a wedding quilt until someone is engaged? Maybe I should finally let that superstition go, and just start quilting it… Something to think about.

Jo's Japanese quilt - finished quilt top

Jo’s Japanese is a small, but pretty, red, blue, and gold quilt that a friend of mine started years ago. She wanted to try quilting, so we raided my stash and picked out a simple pattern for her. Long story short, she didn’t enjoy it, so she gave the pieces back to me, and I finished the quilt top. My goal is to get the top finished, and give it to her to enjoy. Since it’s a little bit smaller, I want to quilt this one on my home quilting machine.

Round the World - quilt layout sketch

Round the World is a block of the month quilt from a couple of years ago that I never really fell in love with. But the top is finished, and it would be a good quilt to keep handy for picnics and other spur of the moment uses. I want to send this one out to be professional quilted.

Ugly baby quilt top

Full picture - the ugliest baby quilt

The Ugliest Baby Quilt Known to Man is a baby quilt I made a couple of years ago. I finished the top, looked at it, and knew that there was NO WAY I could gift it to someone. So I folded it up, and made a new quilt for that new baby. 🙂 The UBQNM has been sitting on the shelf for way too long. It’s hideous, I don’t like it, I don’t think I can re-purpose it for any other project. So… *Deep Breath* I’m going to throw it away. (Okay, that sounds melodramatic… really I’m going to donate it to charity when I’m ready to get rid of a bunch of fabric.)

So, that’s the plan with my quilt tops – One for hand quilting, one for at-home machine quilting, one to send to the quilter, and one to just cut my losses on, and get rid of.

Next step – this weekend I’m going to try and inventory all the quilting projects that I have started, but haven’t finished. Wish me luck!




Visiting the Neon Museum in Las Vegas

So I told you all about visiting the National Atomic Testing Museum while I was in Las Vegas,  and here is the other one I visited – the Neon Museum.

Neon Museum - Entry of La Concha

I thought the Neon Museum would be fun from a strictly retro nostalgia perspective, but in truth it was absolutely fascinating to see how the development and history of Las Vegas can be viewed through the trends and construction of neon signs!

Neon Museum La Concha Mosaic

There are two branches, if you will, to the museum. They have a handful of fully restored signs that are displayed in downtown Vegas and they are beautiful and lit up at night. They also have their primary museum space where they store the signs that have been donated to them over the years, and these are in various stages of disrepair. They do 45 minute guided tours through the yard that houses all these signs, and that’s the tour that I went on.

I took a ton of pictures that you can see below,  but I wanted to share this sign and the great story our guide told.

Neon Museum, O & T

This sign original spelled out the word hotel (here you can see the O and the T) but when it was all put together it probably measured about 80 to 100 feet high. See those little bars on the perimeter of the letter? Since they didn’t have hydraulic ladders or cherry pickers back in the day, when a light burned out someone had to use those rungs to climb up the sign to get to the light bulb. No thanks! That’s a little too high up for me. 😉

I very much enjoyed the Neon Museum and recommend it!  If you go, book your tour beforehand because they are small and sell out. And it is all outside in Las Vegas, so consider going in the cooler months! 😉

Neon Museum - Row of H's

Neon Museum - Stardust Stars

Neon Museum - B and star

Neon Museum, letter Y

Neon Museum - Pole Dancing Clock

Neon Museum - R from Moulin Rouge

Neon Museum  Hi - Letters H & I

Neon Museum - Duck

Neon Museum - Hand Painted Sign Brush Strokes