Monday, June 28, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
So imagine my surprise when I, desperate for a project but unable to travel the 45 minutes one way for the nearest to me quilt shop (that meets my criteria), begrudgingly went to the local Jo-Ann's Fabric. I don't think I've ever been in a Jo-Ann's this big. I mean huge-so huge, there is an independent sewing machine dealer inside of it.
I was desperate and I was satisfied. I bought several items to get me started on what will be my next long-term quilting project. It's a 1" hand-pieced hexagon quilt top...or at least it will be. I have been following Texas Freckles blog with the very helpful videos and tips.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Instead, I am talking about a fair where residents (in this case statewide) compete in activities ranging from turkey calling to canned jams and jellies. There's livestock and NJ 4-H...and on opening day, there's a decent fireworks display.
Every year about this time, I stalk the local farmer's market to find items that I can prepare and enter the fair. I have had moderate success and have ribboned every year that I've entered items (knock on wood, don't wanna jinx it). This year will be no different. I have been busy in the test kitchen with my most recent batch of ingredients, including the mint previously discussed on this post.
If you don't live in NJ look for the county/state fair in your area. But, if you live in NJ, please check out the competition categories here and for the adventuresome and competitive among you, find the entry form here.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
I am very pleased and honored that he is allowing me to help him through these tough summer months. Not to do it alone, I enlisted the help of ChopChop and MadameFoo to help ease the imaging issues that cancer treatment can sometimes bring by knitting caps for him to wear.
This group of classy ladies put together a bunch of caps for him to wear. The drab colors are his request to accompany both his wardrobe and default mood.
I lovingly refer to the large and ever-growing list of people who offer his support, food, encouragement "Team DM". Lord knows this is a rough spot and its great to have folks there to help lighten the burden. We also decided that the team's slogan is "F#ck Cancer!". Its our attempt to put the lymphoma on notice that its days are numbered.
I eventually made him try all of the hats (to ensure good fit and to make him laugh). While it will be hard to wear in the summer months, he is often cold in the hospital so they'll come in handy.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
I've noticed that I don't really have "cooking clothes" nor any aprons. My kitchen counters/sink are at a perfect height for tasks which also means its the perfect height to stain the fronts of my clothes.
I went to a great fabric shop and grabbed some great fabrics from the clearance rack!
GIVEAWAY: So, leave a message about something you've been meaning to start or get back in to and be entered into a drawing for an apron. Comments will close on Sunday, June 27, 2010. ~ksp
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
While in-flight (JFK to TPA), I cast on the ever-popular Ishbel by Ysolda. I was looking for a pattern that had the ability to hold my interest, but not so complicated so as to get put into the UFO column. (I'm easing back into knitting regularly.)
I went to the stash (have I mentioned I'm on a yarn fast?) and found some Sundara yarn from her 2008/9 club. It's Sundara Sock a small-batch and kettle dyed fingering weight yarn in the colorway night blossom. Picture's don't do it justice as its a deep maroon almost black semi-solid yarn. It was 350 yards which should be more than enough on US 6 needles.
So far it has been a great project to get me back in stride.
I'll keep you posted on progress...or not. ~ksp
Monday, June 21, 2010
Last winter, when looking for a new place, community gardening space was one of my criteria. I was both surprised and disappointed at how scare they are here in the "Garden State" I was able to secure several planting boxes on the property for use in gardening.
When I started the boxes had been well neglected and were covered in weeds.
Step 1: Remove weeds.
Upon closer examination, I noticed that the "weeds" were in fact mint plants. An overabundance of mint plants.
A combination of new potting soil, hummus and nutrients were added to the dirt and mixed well. Did I mention it was approaching 90 degrees outside with crazy humidity?
Step 3: Plant vegetables and set-up tee-pees
I planted a great crop of heirloom tomatoes, hybrid tomatoes, hot peppers, cucumbers and beans.
Heirloom tomatoes include: Mortgage Lifter, Aunt Ruby's German Green and Cherokee Purple.
Hybrids include: Rutgers (I felt obligated as an alumnus).
Peppers: Thai hot and habanero
Cucumbers: various vining
I am also trying a new-to-me support system this year the garden teepee. I built mine with lengths of bamboo from the local hardware store. I will train the plants to climb up them. I've set-up a (several times a week) watering system...so now it's time for mother nature (and some organic fertilizer) to do her thing.
Here's to the "Home Garden 2010"! May the good earth (dirt) produce nature's bounty. ~ksp
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
The mission of the QOV Foundation is to cover ALL those service members and veterans touched by war with quilts called Quilts of Valor (QOVs).
To this end Judy published this pattern (scroll down), and while I did not make her deadline I am pluggin' away at the pattern.
Since I am on a stash fast, I challenged myself to pull fabrics only from the stash closet. This is my sample sheet. Given the various lengths of fabric at my disposal, I ended up with scrappy options of tonal calicos and tone-on-tones.