Monday, August 20, 2012

Homemade Pesto!

I did it! I have lots and lots of basil and not too many uses for it. A friend suggested pesto, and I remembered Brett making some that was delicious (though I'm not generally a pesto fan), so I decided to try it! The first store I visited didn't have pine nuts, the second did - boy they are expensive!

It even looks like real pesto! I used this recipe, but instead of fresh lemon, I used a tablespoon of lemon and a tablespoon of lime (I'm not a huge lemon fan, but I have had a recent lime addiction, so I thought I'd just do a little of both). It tastes pretty good! I'm going to make pesto chicken tonight using this recipe!

(I spent about an hour last night trying to get the labels and glue off of 5 glass jars I had saved, so I figured I'd use one for the pesto. Perfect!)

Free Stuff!!!
I am going to offer a giveaway sometime next week for my followers. If you are not currently following my blog, do so now so you will be entered in! I'll probably post again next week with the details of the giveaway and give you a few extra days after...but keep this in mind!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sore and Feelin' Crafty!

So I've been pretty crafty recently! It's been kinda nice. I've almost finished my "Playful Petites" - so named for the size of the squares and the fabric used (Children at Play by Sarah Jane) - really, I could finish it in the next two episodes of White Collar, (in case you don't know, I'm a multi-tasker and my favorite thing to do while quilting is watch TV shows...I finished Monk a few weeks ago and am now in Season 2 of White Collar) but lots happened this weekend and I didn't get to work on it. I'm going to wait to show pictures until I finish. :)

My grandparents gave me a piece of furniture they no longer wanted - that is absolutely perfect for storing fabric! I just love it. Look! All the beautiful colors, right where I can see them all! 

I spent time organizing and going through everything I have (I think!), and I came up with a lot of "cheap" fabrics I had purchased before I got picky about quality! So...what to do with all those old fabrics?! Not throw them away - certainly not! I had also been saving my string scraps because one of the blogs I read had a tutorial for making a string rag, put those together, and I've got my solution! Unfortunately no pictures for you yet, but I have started two different rag rugs and made a little hanging basket for my plants a similar way. I will show pictures when I get them!

Speaking of my plants...

This looks a little silly, and it really is. No hiding it. :/ Learn by doing...and check your facts! Haha. I saw a story on Pinterest about a girl who, using rooting hormone, "turned her sisters wedding bouquet into a dozen rose bushes for her first anniversary". Well. I didn't go and look at her link or check my facts...just went and tried it. The rose doesn't really have any growing parts on it once the flower is cut like this, and, well, needless to say, this didn't work. :P

I also tried the rooting hormone on some jasmine...I have not had a conclusion (I didn't check facts for this either, and I really don't know what I'm doing...), but I'm pretty sure they are dying. :P Parts have turned brown, but I haven't given up quite yet. This little milk jug contraption is my attempt at a little green house.

Don't worry Nampa (my grandfather, who is the green thumb of the family and had a successful nursery for years!), I'm not going to give up, and I'm going to look up how to actually do this with the right plants. :D 

These are my herbs. Mint, basil, oregano and cilantro. The basil I grew from seeds, the others I cheated and bought as already growing herbs. I'm going to make pesto tomorrow! I'll let you know how it goes! (I love basil, and I have 4 plants, but they are just growing like crazy and I don't use it fast enough, so I'm also going to attempt drying it as well!)

Anyway. We had a busy weekend. Camping in Montana de Oro. It was beautiful (and close for us!). We had friends join us - some we've camped with for up to three years for me, five for Andrew!, and others who we have not camped with before, but were super great! Most are Cal Poly grads or currently attending, so we all have San Luis Obispo in common - six of the 17 of us still live in SLO. It was great getting everyone together, especially since we don't see each other very often, and I hear camping is very bonding for a marriage (and 3 couples - including Andrew and I - got married last year, and another set got married three years ago). Anyway. Campfires, air mattresses going flat, sharing food (our fisherman friend fished for 4 hours and brought back 9 fish, cooked them up and shared them with everyone!) and growing closer as a group. So great!

I sort of took a break from camping Saturday (a nice thing about camping only 30 min from home) and did my Saturday long run with my friend Alyssa. We are preparing for a half marathon that is happening in October (as some of you may remember), and Saturday our goal was 9 miles! Whoot! We took a road out into the country that we haven't run before - it was very hilly! Goodness. I guess I should be running more hills during the week if we are going to keep that up! I usually have trouble breathing and have to stop often - doctor said I have "sports induced asthma" and I usually forget to use my inhaler - but I remembered my inhaler, and my lungs did great, so I was able to push myself more than normal. Alyssa is the best running buddy a girl could ask for and the day was absolutely perfect (cool, cloudy, but with a gorgeous light coming through, not windy, but at times giving us a nice little breeze). We impressed ourselves with how well we did, and I do have to admit that I am quite proud of myself. :D After that I hiked a couple miles and then chased a three year old (Alyssa's son, Josiah) around for a few hours, climbed up rocks, through holes in caves, etc...

All that to say...boy, am I sore today! I had to ice my knee (I've been having some hyper-extension problems :/), and it takes me a few seconds to unfold when I've been sitting. :P It's kind of a good pain, but this is the worst I've ever felt it!

And all THAT to say...I was going to finish my Playful Petites tonight, but I have to even up the edges and cut off the excess, and I do that on the floor, on my knees...since my knee wont bend fully at this point, I'm not able to do that. So, I did this instead!

I finally made a "date jar". I had seen this a while ago, and I had all the supplies, but just never got around to it. I did three categories of sticks - green=stay at home; teal=go out, but stay in SLO; blue=plan ahead for a day or weekend trip. I used this tutorial for my base, and I had compiled a list of dates several months back that I added to the original ideas from. (We got a new camera last week and it has some fun settings that I was playing with, which is why the picture is saturated weirdly. :P)

For the rest of the evening, I'm going to be using a similar idea for a "housewarming" gift for my sister - who will be moving into college dorms next weekend! I will fill it with encouraging verses, silly jokes, and ideas for ways to release college life stress.

This was a long post and I'm proud of you for getting through! Have a great week! I probably wont be on until next week, because hubby and I are going on our "anniversary" (our real anniversary was back in June, but this was the best time for a trip for us) trip to San Diego. Adios all!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tiny Things!

When my friends, Brett and Emily, and I went on the quilt shop tour, I came across this SUPER cute little pattern of socks on a clothes line. It's teeny! Tiny! And Adorable.

I immediately thought, "I should find other tiny prints and do something with it!" So before I even bought it, I started keeping my eyes open, and came across several more prints. None AS cute as the original, but still pretty cute. So I collected them.

I wanted to use a pattern that didn't overwhelm the small prints, but that also wasn't too busy. So many small things can easily become too much. So I threw in some bright solids. I think it came out pretty well!

I've also been really wanting to try out a quilting pattern I've heard called "orange peel", but I'm not sure if it's the official title or just the one blogger. :P It seemed like something with same size squares would make this pattern work well, so I tried it with some bright, color changing thread. I love how it turned out!

The patterned green backing was what was leftover from the baseball quilt. It wasn't quite wide enough, so I added a strip of green. It actually worked pretty well! It turned out a *little* crooked after the quilting and square-ing up, but it adds charm. :) You can find it for sale here

And here is a sneak peek at me next project...

Apparently I'm on a "small pieces" kick. :P

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Baseball Quilt

So I haven't posted in a while, but I've actually been very busy! :)

I started and finished a twin sized quilt for my little three year old friend, Josiah. He LOVES baseball, and my local quilt shop was having a sale of all I just couldn't help myself. :) 

I did "pebble" quilting on the green and blue sections. It was really fun and not very hard, but used a LOT of thread! It fit really well with the style of the quilt and looks really fun!

I had fun having hubby take the pictures. Even though he is the better photographer, I had to arrange a lot of the shots because he hasn't spent any time with the fabric or seen many creative quilt shots like I have. :)

We also went to a baseball game in the park between our houses (we live about a quarter of a mile from Josiah and his parents, and there is a nice large park right there!). They had a bounce house, but Josiah spent most of the time glued to the game! Great patience for a three year old!

I've started and nearly finished another quilt since then, and have been working in my "garden" and running! So I have at least two more posts to write, but I think I want to actually spend some time quilting today, so I will be done for now!