Tuesday, January 23, 2018

30th Spin-in Anniversary!

It's that time of year again--and our 30th anniversary rolls around--Our Destin January spin-in is off the charts with laughter, merriment, skits, gathering of friends, treadling fibers through our fingers.  Ahh, Spin-in!!  Location:  Destin, Florida!
The white sugary sands along the blue clear Gulf waters
brings back many memories of times spent here--
this location is our favorite hangout for lunch--
 a view of the bay with fishing vessels and sailing

Sunsets are a delight!  When the sun hits the Gulf, it
flashes a tint of green--but, you must concentrate to view it.
Joy every night, but alas, we are not always here 
but here...........

in the ballroom of The Palms--spending time with our fiber
friends--thinking up ways to keep them on their toes!
Vendors line the walls as participants spin their time away--
making progress on their fiber stash!  

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Road Trip!

I love road trips--planned road trips that is!  We head NE--first stop Waco, Texas!  I know that's not a very interesting place to stop but we are finding the local coffee shop--Common Grounds

Well, look at that--just down the street from Magnolia Silos--

 we'll take a peek and see what all the fuss is about.  And there is even
a bakery on site!  This couple has certainly built a special place in Waco! 

Okay--only 10 minute wait--I've heard stories of waiting an
hour or more to get in the bakery.
Now, that we have our fill of favorite beverages and delicious cupcakes from
Magnolia Bakery--we hit the road again

Our next stop, outside of Waco, is Brazos Valley Cheese--
they were making Ghost pepper cheese when we arrived.
Somehow, four different varieties fell into my basket--
love the horseradish pecan on huckleberry cheddar--
oh, the ghost pepper cheese is delicious too!

Fort Worth here we come!!
Our main purpose from visiting:

Bass Performance Hall is presenting "Something Rotten!"  Broadway play that is a must see
again!  We saw this hilarious play last summer and were glad to see it was coming to a theater in another Texas town-- .

A great road trip so far--now, we venture onto our next destination--
Jackson, Mississippi!  We are on our way to Florida and January
spin-in gathering.  

Friday, January 19, 2018

Birds + Paper = Quilt!

As you see, I've changed my blog background!  Enough of the cold, snow,
wind, ice, sleet, freezing temperatures--onto the beautry of
Valentines Day!

Do you like to PP (paper piece)?  Then, this project is just right for you....

An immediate sewing adventure on paper leads to a year of
"Into The Wild" with our host, Janeen Van Niekerk, giving us her
vision of Charley Harper's work.  Harper said he was "the only wildlife artist who has never been compared to Audubon," 

Each month Janeen will give us a free bird pattern (till next month's
pattern is posted).  
This is a great way to 'sing' our way into Spring!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

It's A Mundane Chore!

I HATE ironing!  It's that one chore that I will put off till
the pile to be ironed is higher than my ironing board!
Yesterday I ironed five blouses, two 
shirts and a box full of small pieces for the Bonnie
Hunter's latest mystery "On Ringo Lake"

It seems to never end--just lots and lots of small pieces
that have to be pressed before the next step.....

There are 200 brown ones, 200  coral ones, but
that's not all--you must press one side, sew on the
next 2" square and press that side!

And then there are the 100+ longer pieces that have two 2" 
squares on each end--oh, and make sure you have the
squares going the right direction or you are doomed
to begin again!

You think you can see the end in pressing, you have
all the triangles to press..............
it's such a mundane chore that I HATE!
When all said and pressed--I hope the block is worth it!

Monday, January 15, 2018

This is Something A-ccoking!

We are using that IP (Instant Pot) !  Yay!

First up:  Steel Cut Oats!  On a cold day, there is nothing like a bowl of steel cut oatmeal for breakfast. The previous recipe I used from Alton Brown called for overnight in the slow cooker.  The oats were always ready for the breakfast, but OMG in the IP we can have Oatmeal in 3 minutes--not instant oatmeal either--the Steel Cut Oats!!  Delicious!

The IP recipe called for Almond Mlk or non-dairy--you could also use Coconut milk--we don't usually drink almond milk but sometimes, if I have it on hand,  I make hot cocoa -nice and rich and less calories too.  -

Next up:  Butternut Squash Soup!  Cooking the squash in the oven was my go to thing. The IP makes it easy peazy!  Cut up the squash into small pieces--add to IP, add liquid--I use chichen broth to get started.  This time, I had mango on hand and added it to the IP--First, I sauted onions in the IP--soo cool that you can do it all in the one pot!  Set machine to 8 minutes--I don't have an immersion blender so I transfer it to my regular blender, add some heavy cream (left over from pie days), salt, pepper, agave nectar for sweetness, little ginger and gram marsla,  blend!  Yummy good!  Drop a dollop of sour cream on top--

I love split pea soup--here we add onion, carrots, smoked sausage
instead of ham, little salt and cook 9 minutes--
and we have the most awesome split pea soup!  
Yummy!  and I didn't even need to put it through a blender
to puree the peas.
I know all I've made so far is soft stuff--I'm working my
nerve up to cooking meat!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Ready, Set, Start....

I'm beginning three new KALs (Knit Alongs) this month--will I continue or finish?
That's another thing, But...you can't finish anything, if you don't begin!

I found some Malabrigo yarn in my stash--this KAL
suggests at least four colors and 4 colors of Malabrigo is
exactly what I have!  This is designed by
Heather Anderson on Ravelry.  So far, it has been
a "Joyful" knitting experience--learning to use
German way to short row knitting

As usual, one of my favorite designers,
Elizabeth Ravenwood, has another great
lace pattern--Shetland Lace--years ago when
I took a Shetland lace knitting workshop with
Margaret Stove, I wasn't convinced I would like
to knit lace--now, give me the right needles and yarn,
and I'm off!  You can find this Shetland Lace
pattern on Ravelry as well

One of the groups I enjoy on Ravelry (just don't 
know what I'd do without Ravelry!) is Fingerless Gloves--
We are knitting a mysterious FLG pattern designed by
Sabine Kastner--happily named "Winding Stairway"
Mitts--I decided to knit two at a time and in order
to keep it straight in my mind, I'm using dark gray
for the left hand and light gray for right hand.
Some beads are involved too-
maybe, I'll switch colors in the next clue.

So, I've begun..........
let''s hope I finish!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

New Year With Ex-Pats

The Expatchers gathered on a cloudy January Tuesday to share our holiday joys.
We also have our quilting to show off as well.
I was stitching the binding down on my friendship Texas quilt--
which prompted Judy to bring out her finished quilt.
She used red as her blending fabric.  Each of the
members exchanged 5" squares of Texas theme fabric last year--

Judy had a very colorful bluebonnet fabric for her backing

Sandy had quilted Linda's friendship and had it
for us to see--her blending fabric looked like
leather or suede--perfect setting

Here is mine.  I used batik bluebonnet fabric and
binding it with red--didn't have enough of the bluebonnet

I used just a plain 90" wide backing--

Sandy had also finished quilting Linda's 'kit' quilt
the fabric colors are smashing--and the border really
pulls it all together.

Here is the quilting on the border.
These days when we have finished quilts to
show are the best!

We moved to Judy's long arm to see her latest creation--
this is a charity quilt for her church's silent auction.
She had a panel of a Christmas tree and set it
in this window pane display.  Once quilted, she
will add sparkles throughout--

Really liked her border--but the gold quilting pattern
is lost on this busy pattern.

Annette has begun work on her birthday fat quarter exchange quilt
She ask for neutrals which will be used in this Churn Dash
pattern from Fons and Porter book of 2002--small blocks---
Annette colors for sure!
Next on Judy's list is another "Yellow Brick Road" quilt--
super charity quilt.
Love these days when we can share and chat--we miss
those who were unable to attend though.