22 January 2009

Wanted:

my mojo back. If you've seen it please send it home...I need it!! I was reading over at Cheryl's that her mojo goes missing every January. Maybe that's it and it will be back home in February, I can only hope. I sewed a little pile of valentine pillows, to use up a panel from last year...and yup that's it. The one and only sewing project since the red and blue quilt a couple posts ago. I know. Pathetic. Oh except for this Brown Bag project. Thanks to Jo Ann and her class I can count on at least one completed project per month :) Please note that I have read FIVE books so far this month though :)
I went to Road to California last week hoping to come home with lots of new fabric and inspiration to get sewing, but no such luck. I guess the economy is keeping shops from buying new lines because I really didn't see anything much different from last year, very disappointing. I did buy a few things. I was really happy to find this little bundle to go with one of my favorite fabric purchases from last year.Here's a closer look:Some charm packs and this cute valentine fabric...oh wait that was from the Quilter's Coop in Temecula. We were done at Road by 2 o'clock and so we did some shopping on our way home.

I have to apologize to Lisa at Candlelit Quilter who gave me with this award:and Amy at Windmills and Weathervanes who gave me this one:These both came back in the begininning of December and everytime I finish posting I remember that I forgot to mention them....I feel kind of weird putting up awards to myself so maybe that's what took me so long. Anyways thanks so much to both of you, I really appreciate it! O.k I'm off to search for that pesky missing mojo :)

17 January 2009

Book Meme

I have been intending to do this meme for quite some time. I think the whole html underlining thing intimidated me :) I just saw it over at Anna's and she did it with asterisks instead and so I am finally doing it "Ala Anna"

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you started but did not finish.
3) Underline the books you LOVE. (I’m using an asterisk because Anna did and ’cause blogger doesn’t have an auto-underline tool and I don't know how to manually enter the html code :)

And I’m throwing in ** for books that I want to read

1. Pride and Prejudice — Jane Austen **
2. The Lord of the Rings — JRR Tolkein
3. Jane Eyre — Charlotte Bronte *
4. Harry Potter Series — JK Rowling **
5. To Kill a Mocking Bird — Harper Lee**
6. The Bible * (I read it almost daily and have read it through at least once)
7. Wuthering Heights — Emily Bronte *
8. Nineteen Eighty Four — George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials — Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations — Charles Dickens
11. Little Women — Louisa M. Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles — Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 — Joseph Heller **
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
15. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier *
16. The Hobbit — JRR Tolkien *
17. Birdsong — Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye — JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveler’s Wife — Audrey Niffenegger * (finished it last night and LOVED it)
20. Middlemarch — George Eliot
21. Gone With the Wind — Margaret Mitchel*
22. The Great Gatsby — F. Scott Fitzgerald **
23. Bleak House — Charles Dickens **
24. War and Peace — Leo Tolstoy **
25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy — Douglas Adams* (very irreverent, but oh soo funny!)
26. Brideshead Revisited — Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment — Fyodor Dostoyevsky **
28. Grapes of Wrath — John Steinbeck**
29. Alice in Wonderland — Lewis Carroll*
30. The Wind in the Willows — Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina — Leo Tolstoy **
32. David Copperfield — Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia — CS Lewis
34. Emma — Jan Austen **
35. Persuasion — Jane Austen *
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe — CS Lewis*
37. The Kite Runner — Khaled Hosseini (audio book)
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin — Louis De Bernieres**
39. Memoirs of a Geisha — Arthur Golden *
40. Winnie the Pooh — AA Milne
41. Animal Farm — George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code — Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude — Gabriel Garcia Marquez **
44. A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving **
45. The Woman in White — Wilkie Collins**
46. Anne of Green Gables — LM Montgomery
47. Far From the Madding Crowd — Thomas Hardy **
48. The Handmaid’s Tale — Margaret Atwood *
49. Lord of the Flies — Wiliam Golding
50. Atonement – Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi — Yan Martel**
52. Dune — Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm — Stella Biggons (I'm almost positive I've read this...but I can't remember anything about it)
54. Sense and Sensibility — Jane Austen **
55. A Suitable Boy — Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind — Carlow Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale of Two Cities — Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World — Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime — Mark Haddon **
60. Love in the Time of Cholera — Gabriel Garcia Marquez **
61. Of Mice and Men — John Steinbeck ** (starting this today)
62. Lolita — Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History — Donna Tartt *
64. The Lovely Bones — Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo — Alexandre Dumas*
66. On the Road — Jack Kerouac **
67. Jude the Obscure — Tomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones’s Diary — Helen Fielding
69. Midnight’s Children — Salman Rushdie**
70. Moby Dick — Herman Melville **
71. Oliver Twist — Charles Dickens
72. Dracula — Bram Stoker **
73. The Secret Garden — Frances Hodgson Burnett* (my favorite as a young girl)
74. Notes from a Small Island — Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses — James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar — Sylvia Plath*
77. Swallows and Amazons — Arthur Ransome**
78. Germinal — Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair — William Makepeace Thackeray**
80. Possession — AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol — Charles Dickens*
82. Cloud Atlas — David Mitchell*
83. The Color Purple — Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day — Kazui Ishiguro **
85. Madame Bovary — Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance — Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte’s Web — EB White
88. The Five People You Meet in Heaven — Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes — Sir Arthur Conan Doyle**
90. The Faraway Tree Collection — Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness — Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory — Iain Banks
94. Watership Down — Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces — John Kennedy Toole**
96. A Town Like Alice — Nevil Shute **
97. The Three Musketeers — Alexandre Dumas**
98. Hamlet — William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables — Victor Hugo**

O.k. hopefully this works this time. Apparently the list I cut and pasted at Anna's had an Internet Explorer bug--I use Firefox so I didn't notice anything until it was brought to my attention. Thankfully Anna had fixed it at her sight so I just cut and pasted again....thanks Anna :) Oh and the diet is going fine (this is Monday and that's my update...) I think I'm going to do something on my sidebar for the Monday Loser's... I just can't think of stuff every week diet related except " I lost another pound" and that get's old lol.
Hope you all have a great day :)

12 January 2009

Best Christmas present

I got the best present this Christmas...my sweet daughter Sarah stitched me this pillow. She asked Jonathan to help her come up with what to write and Daniel says he cheered her on so it was a group effort :) Poor Sarah got this far and Jonathan looked over and said no that's not right you've got to start over :) I made another trip to the used bookstore and this time I spent some time looking through their Japanese craft books. I brought 2 home and immediately started gathering fabric from my stash ('cause I am stash busting) for this one.Look at all this cute stuff! So here is my first project started in 2009My camera card is being weird and won't load all my pictures so I'll try to get the other book up later.

Monday Losers


O.k. here's my before picture. See my new workout clothes? I went out and got them last week in preparation for starting my walking/jogging routine this week. I got warm outfits for our cold weather. It was 89 degrees here today. Um so yeah I didn't get to use them. Oh well I got to pose for my before picture in them sooo much fun....NOT. Not happy putting these up...o.k. no more stalling...deep breath....go
I had a good week and lost 3 pounds, yay!!!

05 January 2009

Monday

is here and as promised I am posting for the Diet Challenge 2009. If you're not dieting please stop reading now or you will be bored out of your mind. No really I mean it. Well I had good news and bad news today. I weighed myself. Bad news. I checked my Weight Watchers point allowance and my 5 pound gain allotted me 2 extra points. Good news. In a twisted way. Yes Weight Watchers is my diet of choice and no I'm not doing meetings...this blog challenge is going to serve as my meeting :) I am not going to post my weight for the whole world to see (yeah I know the whole world doesn't read my blog) but I am giving you a big clue when I say I used to get 22 points a day and then I gained 5 pounds and now I get 24 points. If you are doing WW you will be able to figure out my weight from these clues. And no please don't give me your guess o.k.? LOL the whole point is to keep that offensive number off of my blog! I am pretty much a professional Weight Watcher...I have done the program hmmm o.k. maybe just twice that's not too bad. The first time was after my first baby and the second time...wait maybe 3 times...oh you know what? Just forget it.
O.k. so here are some of the things that are going to be giving me sustenance for the next few months.This is how I will be starting my days almost without exception oh and coffee of course! 3 point coffee no less because I will have half and half in my coffee...somethings just aren't negotiable.Never buy the Fiber One that looks like chex it is really bad. This stuff reminds me of honey bunches of oats and the fiber makes the point count really low. I will pretty much always eat either lentils or tomato pepper soup for lunch and then I get lots of points left for dinner, which is the most important meal to me. In fact when I'm not dieting I don't even remember breakfast or lunch half the time...which just shows you how much I must have been eating for dinner...yikes. Well that's about it...I do have one more picture of my cereal...diet posting just doesn't lend itself to photo ops. And no--no before picture yet...I'm still giving that some thought :)
O.k. ladies we can do this!!!!

03 January 2009

Why I Have to Diet in 2009

Sarah (my daughter) and I celebrated New Year's Eve together and for dinner she requested (and I complied) Potatoes Baked in Cream and Brie Toast with Truffle Oil. These recipes are just two of many that I make that have resulted in my (dire) need to join Sharon's diet challenge. I figured I would share them now before Monday when it will be physically painful for me to look at these pictures. Monday is when I officially start said diet challenge. Sharon is making me post on Monday's so that is when I will start. Good thing I like Sharon a lot because I really don't like being held accountable to certain days of posting-- I wouldn't do this for just anyone lolol...we'll see how I do. O.k back to the recipes. The first is from this cookbook which is one of the first I ever owned. Unfortunately it's out of print but here is the recipe (click to enlarge) and since I am a visual learner I took pictures of every step, just fast forward if you don't need pictures :) This is a really simple recipe...but if you are joining us on the challenge DO NOT MAKE IT or make it now and join on Monday like me :)
Here is what you start with:Here is what you do with it.
Scrub your potatoes and slice them very thin. I believe a Cuisinart is essential to this step :)Use a garlic press or your preferred method of smashing garlic and squeeze 2, or 3, or more if you want, cloves (of garlic) into your ovenproof dish.Add about a half cube of softened butter (not margarine please) and mush it around until it looks like thismeanwhile heat the heavy cream (about 3 cups...I know but it's not like you're eating it every day...) over very low heat until it just begins to steam and add 1 tsp salt and freshly ground pepper and nutmeg about 1/2 tsp each? Or until it looks like thisAs a side note--if you don't already grind your nutmeg fresh you will never regret getting yourself a nutmeg grinder and starting now :) Just take my word for this.Next begin to layer the potatoes and the heavy creamand then top with fresh grated parmesan (which you can also use the cuisinart for)Bake at 425 for 20 minutes and then lower temp. to 375 for about 30 min but most importantly until you insert a knife and the potatoes feel very tender. It should look like this:Our other main course was little toasts with brie and truffle oil... the nectar of the gods..I'm not kidding here :) This "recipe" was inspired by the pizza at Sammy'sYou just slice up a baguette and top with little dabs of brie put under the broiler til it melts a bit and then drizzle the tiniest bit of truffle oil over the tops...it's like a party in your mouth :)Oh and since this is essentially a quilting blog? Here is what I have been playing with in the sewing room :)
Have a great rest of the weekend :)

01 January 2009

2009 To Be Read Challenge

At the end of the year I like to take time to look back at things I've accomplished. Doing this also entails taking note of what I've failed to accomplish. One thing that jumped out at me this year was my puny list of books read. Seriously sad little list. I'm afraid to even guess...but if I had to guess? I'd say 10....10???!!! See? I told you it was sad :( I used to have end of year lists like this:This was before the quilting bug bit me... I think my list of quilt tops finished will be more satisfying. But that's another post. In my attempt to regain some balance in my life I have been scouring all the wonderful book blogs out there for challenges that will help me achieve some of my reading goals for 2009. The first one I'm joining is the TBR challenge. Here are the rules

* the challenge is to read 12 TBR books in 12 months -- you can read those all in one month if you want, or one a month, or however you wanna do it.
* you need to have a list posted somewhere for others to see (even if it's in a comment here)
* you CANNOT change your list after January 1st, 2009!!!
* you can create an Alternates list of MAXIMUM 12 books, if you want, in order to have options to choose from (you can read these in place of books on your original list).
* audiobooks and e-books ARE allowed
* re-reads are NOT allowed, as they aren't TRUE "TBRs"
* you CAN overlap with other challenges
* OPTIONAL: you can join the Yahoo! Group created for participants of the TBR Challenge, if you want to have a place to keep your list, or just to share with others about how you're doing! :)

Here is my list:

1. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
2. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
4. Blindness by Jose Saramago
5. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
6. The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls
7. Exile by Denise Mina
8 The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
9. Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster
10. Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
11. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
12. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

Alternates:

1. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
2. Resolution by Denise Mina
3. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
4. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
5. We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families: Stories from
Rwanda by
Philip Gourevitch
6. The Life of Pi by
Yann Martel
7. The Heretic's Daughter by
Kathleen Kent
8. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
9. Gargoyle by
Andrew Davidson
10. The Lace Reader
by Brunonia Barry
11. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
12. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

If anyone wants to join me click the title of the post. I think today (Jan. 1) is the deadline to get your list posted.