Sunday, August 20, 2017

August






There is a steady, non-avoidable change in the air. The grasses are turning straw green, despite all the rain. Leaves are looking tired from the wind beating on them. And the fruits. They are all about to ripen or have already done so. I love this time of year. Fall is slowly making it's way and even though the girls are heading back to school this week, part of me is excited about the different type of calm that will be arriving. 

Pleasant surprises are continually popping up in the gardens around the house. For example, we had no idea that the lovely succulent we purchased blooms! Look at the gorgeous coral flower!


And.... I assumed I had finally met my batch of bad seeds when I thought I planted cucumbers and wasn't seeing any fruits of my labor.... Then, one day this little guy appeared. 




The next couple of days, I found this acorn squash.



Now, I'm pretty good at labeling all my seeds but I can't understand why one looks like a green pumpkin and the other a squash. Only time will tell. So much for telling my mother it's been a bad summer for cucumbers on our end!



We are just waiting for these to ripen!!


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My lovely Moonlight Treaters is complete and framed:) I wanted to share why the cross stitch picture I found on Etsy meant the world when I saw it. 


It completely reminded me of my little witch years ago! All the way down to the skirt!

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Here's a tiny sneak peak of a project I just started for the Capricorn in the family! I can't wait to share the finished product. Simply in aww of that color palate. 


And of course we don't stop sewing with our machines! This number was created, literally in a few hours one afternoon, when I was yearning for a second of sewing time. 
Hence, we ate pizza that night and accumulated a new quilt.




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And I had to throw in this close-up of the Ironweed that grows along our driveway.
That color is mesmerizing.




Here's to the the paths we pave on our own.

Happy trails till next time friends!


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Inspiring July



The summer has been treating us well and I hope the same goes for all of you!
We enjoyed a beautiful vacation in Destin, Florida! And what a great feeling it was to watch my girls use one of the strip quilts as a beach blanket:)



The colors of those gulf blues and greens inspired me to dive right into purchasing Amy Butler's Soulmate collection. You can check out more right here! I'm still debating on what to make. Another quilt.... an oversized shoulder bag..... There's too many things I can picture with this stunning and vibrant fabric!


Our garden is producing at a steady pace. I should say, except for the zucchini. The rains came and the zucchini... grew and grew and grew. But that's okay! 
You can find this delicious zucchini bread recipe on Your Cup of Cake. It seems to be the go to recipe of the summer!
The family can't seem to get enough!


And our peach tree has finally taken off after years..... 
Hooray!
I didn't take any measures to protect the fruits from bugs. I never do. Between the girls, chickens, dog, and cats, I never felt like it was necessary. And I don't believe an organic bug repellent exists for fruit trees. So please inform me if it does. These colorful peaches have holes, pits, and spots in more than one place.
Does that matter?
Not when you cut those gorgeous peaches up and make some syrup!


This lovely jar has already been opened to sweeten some tea! I can't wait to use it on some  homemade waffles as well! Yum!

Cut up 3 cups of chopped peaches
Add 1/2 a cup of water
and 2 cups of sugar
Pop in a vanilla bean for added flavor.
Cook on steady heat, stove top, until the fruits begin to get slightly opaque.
That means your syrup is done!
Enjoy!


May your summer be filled with all the sweet things!
Happy Trails!


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Just like that....

Hello dear friends!

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, it's a beautiful Sunday morning.



I hope you are enjoying the soon to be summer season. I know we are! The girls are getting bigger & everything is becoming more "go, go, go". "Play dates" have become "hangouts" and just like that, my hubby and I realize how fast time is passing.

On the gardening front....

We've planted simplistically this year. That's the fancy word for "I didn't go crazy with veggies". To be exact, I only got a couple tomatoes, a couple peppers, zucchini, beans and salad. It may sound like a lot but the pics should speak for themselves. The best feeling ~ most were started from seeds!




As for crafting...... Oh how I wish there were more hours in the day. I finally quilted this little triangle top and I can't stop smiling over the way it came out. Let me also mention, how nervous I was sticking it in the washing machine.... A held breath and a delicate hand wash cycle later... I felt it was finally REALLY complete :)  It's almost as if the washing gave it an extra "Umph".


A little note to remember ~ For the double fold binding, the fabric was cut 4.25 inches wide.  It seems to be the perfect width finished!!!


Of course random fabric is getting cut up and I'm playing around with blocks...


Then on a random splurge due to the lovely instagram pics I follow, I've decided to head back to cross stitching for the late summer porch nights! Check it out!





Working on this little picture is such a great feeling! Maybe because it reminds me so much of my girls dressing up as witches for Halloween.

Happy Trails to warmer nights!






Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Hello second week of May.....

May has snuck up again... and as the first week passed, I'm officially 36 years old! I enjoyed a fantastic birthday with friends and family. Usually, around 'that' time of year, I'm oddly depressed. Loathing the week before. This was the first time, I can't remember since when, that I was utterly and completely content. I think I did a ...."Where did I expect to see myself at this age?" And the answer. I've done far more than I ever thought I could. Now that's something to smile about. 

On another note, I'm chipping away at the sewing machine any single chance I get. But I'm not just making aprons and quilts. Lately, I've been working as the family seamstress, fixing dress hems, for my cousin's upcoming wedding. It really sucks to be short.


But when I did get some 'fun' stitch time, these are the things I worked on!


I haven't done cross stitch since God knows when. But when I was going through some Etsy listings, I couldn't help but fall in love with all the new patterns out there. I ordered a Halloween kit that I'm ECSTATIC about starting!!! I figured it wouldn't be a bad idea to re-practice some needlework. Ya know, just to make sure I can keep my project looking clean on the back side as well;) My mom taught me that!

And this little quilt..... Oh where to start? I pictured it coming out so much better. The gold shines so beautifully, but it appears to muddy the fabrics too much. 






Originally planned as a wall piece,
I think it will make a great gigantic floor pillow for my daughters room!


What's in the upcoming plans?

Taking this gorgeous fabric and adding color to it!
Wish me luck. I've never done embroidery....




And the thread....
Thanks to my girls for outgrowing friendship bracelets ~ I now have some thread to add to my collection. 


May every path you travel make your heart full of delight!
Till next time friends!






Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The days of April...

Our little redbud tree in bloom.

The days of April seem to be passing along, promising sunny days and warm breezes. Everything is waking up and turning gorgeous shades of green. As many sewistas are taking advantage of Autumn fabrics to get ahead on sewing projects, I'm opting for staying in the moment and sewing with some beautiful shades of summer.  


I've been wanting to make Art Gallery Fabric's Spectrum Quilt for some time and I finally did it! What a fun quick sew! If anyone is looking for a simple project, this has to be it. I've been thinking about doing a second one in black and florals. Could you imagine? The contrast would be stunning!


The only thing that that the free pattern was missing was how to sew the strips together. There was no emphasis on placing them a 1/4 inch off to make up for the seam allowance. My first row was a mishap and ended up being ripped and restitched. Well, you learn something new every time!



And since I was on a roll of trying things I've been wanting to do ~ Mario Batali's Walnut Honey Cake from his America Farm to Table cookbook is Yum, Yum, Yum!  I got this book for a fraction of the cost at Barnes and Noble. Could you say "best buy of the year so far"? It's packed with timeless recipes. I truly can't wait to try more!




And my feathered girls:) They've been clucking like crazy! 
It's a good thing too, since 6 eggs are needed for that tasty cake!


One thing that ended up working out great, was planting wheat in containers. It makes for a perfect snack on rainy days when I don't want the girls to run loose:)


Hope your days are filled with sunshine! Till next time friends!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Finally.....



Finally......... for so many reasons. 

Finally, a project gets quilted. Finally, I've completed our house projects which included painting the girls rooms and bathroom. Finally, my Spring cleaning list is notably shrinking. Finally, a small shop issue is resolved. And finally, Ohio weather is beginning to look promising. Just in time for Easter.  




The lovely Tula Pink Moon Shine Strip quilt, that was started oh.. about 2 years ago is finally folded nicely and displayed on our staircase ledge, adding a beautiful bounce of colors to a bland hallway. I can't begin to tell you how hard it was to get myself going with this. Relocating my sewing machine to the dining room table was not so bad. But knowing that it was just the row after row, boring sewing that made me think, I could be creating something new. Does anyone else have that problem? Ya know, procrastinating with completing a project simply because you keep starting new ones?



Gotta admit, I absolutely love the finish but I need to work on doing something other than straight lines, due to mere fact that this was tedious and boring. It's been on my mind to take my 7+ completed quilt tops to the professional long arm artist down the road, but I fear it takes away from solely being made by moi. Maybe... I just need to purchase that long arm frame I've had my eye on... ;)




On another note. Playing with scraps ended up working out great when I decided to add a few solid colors into the mix, creating yet another completed 'top'. You know when they say you learn as you go? Well, believe it or not, this was the first time seams were 'nested'. Yes.... all my other projects were pressed with open seams. So much for thinking one quilt patterns instructions meant 'across the board.'  Boy oh boy was this ALOT faster and simpler. 


And thank you to those who have been swinging by the Etsy shop!
A recent unfortunate experience made me realize that technology and online shopping is not what it seems. I share this story with you in hopes that one day you will avoid any such problems.
First and foremost, I want to let you all know that I started selling items on Etsy because a collection of handmade projects was accumulating in our home. At the time, I was a stay at home mom, and free-time during nap time was often passed by the sewing machine or making things with my hands. Thanks to my beautiful sister who introduced me to Etsy, I figured I could sell here and there, and make some money for a turn around on fabric supplies.
I never looked at the Etsy shop as something I'd like to do full-time, because the truth. I like my days off. I like to choose the projects I work on and overall.... I like being a nurse and have no desire to quit. At least not yet.

There are always 2 standpoints. The buyer and the seller.
I have had my share of sad experiences as the seller. One specifically where the buyer stated they did not receive their item - thank God for tracking numbers and confirmation. As I was asked to send a second item out at no cost, my responses were a bit smart alecky, and miraculously the original apron appeared! Hmmm...

Then there is the echeck - where someone needs to get the item super quick but payment hasn't cleared. So... you take pity, and send it out, only to find payment was canceled and your out on money, time, and fabric.
Yes... some people are ruthless. And Etsy does recommend that you do NOT ship out anything until payment is fully received into your account. So in the end, the problem was created by you.

However a recent transaction went haywire for the buyer and seller. A purchase was made and money was sent to my invalid email. I was getting emails from Etsy all the time which made this so unbelievable. I updated my new email on Paypal as well. But still, no payment pending after echeck. This took days to clarify... Etsy stated that for whatever reason, my email was never updated through the purchasing section. I literally flipped. If you update your email... doesn't that mean it's updated? Nope. You need to go, section by section and update all the separate areas. Personally, this doesn't make sense to me. But Etsy did apologize and stated that the information should've been requested or the screen should've prompted me with a message. After all, this is a global website, correct?

In the end... the payment was received after hours of back and forth through Etsy and Paypal. The item was finally shipped out along with an extra gift for the mere fact of feeling horrible that it took 10 days to figure out! Etsy is a phenomenal site and I have by no means the intention of making anyone look bad. What I'd like for people to take away from this is that even the most credible sites can have glitches. Those things that we cannot see in our new technological world. This recipients money was just floating somewhere. So... next time as the buyer I will be more forgiving and as the seller, I will have to check, recheck, and recheck all my ducks in a row.

Thanks for taking the time to read my little piece! Hopefully it will save some of you time and worry.



Wishing you all a Happy Easter this lovely weekend!
Christ is Risen!
 May your days be filled with family, love, health and happiness!
Until next time friends!