Thursday, October 29, 2009

Special delivery

I got a special package all the way from Australia, courtesy of Sarah Fielke of Sewn and The Last Piece. Lucky for me, I won a giveaway on her blog. My loot:

A Honey Bun of the new Rouenneries line by French General. Lovely fabric. I think this win might cost me some money...

And this Down Under Quilts 2010 calendar. Really cool.

Lady Luck is on my side for sure. I was also the lucky winner of the new Cake Wrecks book through a giveaway on Just Something I Made.

You've seen the Cake Wrecks blog, right? Very funny stuff.
This looks like a cake Michael Scott would order.

Okay, I'm off to bet on the ponies!

Kelly Kapoor = awesome

Still laughing

Is there a funnier show on TV now? I think not.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cute movie

Bonus: I find the Ryan Reynolds enjoyable.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sam's pillow

My sister requested a pillow for her almost 2-year-old, Sam. He likes to sleep with a pillow, but if it's too fluffy his neck gets all jacked up. So Natalie's only request is that the pillow is pretty flat. Here's what I came up with.
I just happened to have some extra robot fabric on hand (surprise!), so I used that for the front. It measures 12 x 18.

I figured wash-ability was a must, so I used the basic method from this tutorial on Cluck, Cluck, Sew to make an envelope-style case. I used two pieces of navy fabric for the back, 12 x 11 and 12 x 15. The pillow case can be easily removed for washing.

For the stuffing, I used 1-inch-thick foam, which you can buy by the yard at craft/fabric stores.

It makes a thin pillow, which hopefully will result in minimal jacking up of the neck. This was a quick and inexpensive project (unless my sister asks--then it was time-consuming and pricey), but I think it turned out pretty cute!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Read it: Juliet, Naked

Don't get all excited. This isn't a book about naked ladies. Rather, Juliet, Naked is a novel about Tucker Crowe, a middle aged singer/songwriter who was a pretty big deal in the 1980s until he suddenly abandoned the rock-and-roll lifestyle to live as a recluse in rural Pennsylvania. Today he has a small but loyal following in an online community, led by Duncan, a Tucker Crowe scholar and huge fan. He's ecstatic when Tucker releases Juliet, Naked, the uncut/unplugged version of his most popular album, Juliet, but the album creates a divide between Duncan and his long-time girlfriend, Annie.

I've read several of Hornby's books (he wrote How to Be Good, High Fidelity, About a Boy, and A Long Way Down), and this might be my favorite. Something about his writing is very...readable. Does that make sense? It's like a conversation. Juliet, Naked is funny and charming. Add it to your list!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Project Runway: Are you watching?

I've been watching this season halfheartedly at best. I'm not sure why it's not holding my attention. Is it the move to LA? The absence of Nina and Michael? The fact that none of the contestants are particularly entertaining or memorable?

I guess that's a lot of reasons.
Are you watching?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It's not me. It's Glee

Align Center

I think we're growing apart...
If the whole fake pregnancy/Will & Emma drama doesn't clear up soon, I'm out.

Oh, and if the Glee folks need help figuring out how a show can be funny, cool, and even a little sentimental without insulting the audience's intelligence, they should just press play.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Today's Modern Family love

Please tell me you're watching this show. It's seriously hilarious. I think Cameron is shaping up to be my favorite.

P.S. I got Gloria!

Okay, maybe Phil is my favorite.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sneak Peek: Handy Manny Halloween Costume

I decided awhile ago that Luke would be Handy Manny for Halloween. This is probably the last time I'll have a say in the matter. I'm guessing next year Luke will have his own opinions.

Here's what Manny looks like if you're not familiar.

I looked around online and came up with this $30 atrocity:
Looks like it would burst into flames if it came anywhere near a heat source.

So I decided instead to take an easy (and inexpensive) DIY approach.

You didn't think you'd be seeing a picture of the kid wearing the costume, did you? Not for a few more weeks.
Green T-shirt embroidered by my Mom (thanks, Mom!), jeans, and boots

A red-and-white toddler trucker hat took some time to find online. I finally found the perfect one at Little Fit. (The company calls this hat "The Manny." Pretty clever.)

I knew Luke wouldn't tolerate a tool belt, so I went with a tool box instead. I figure he can use this to collect his candy. I searched for a small unfinished tool box without any luck (nothing at Michaels, Wal-Mart, or Lowe's; Hobby Lobby had one with hearts cut out on the sides). I found this kit online that would work well. Instead, I enlisted our neighbor to put together a little tool box for Luke. I spray-painted it red, painted wooden letters (from Hobby Lobby) white, and glued them to the box with E6000.

That's it! Pretty simple. Just 18 days until trick-or-treat!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

It's a bird! It's a plane!

After finishing Luke's quilt top, I was ready for something a little more challenging. I saw Amy's tutorial for an airplane quilt block on Badskirt and figured I'd give it a try. Here's my plane.
It was fun and definitely took me out of my comfort zone. Amy's tutorial is very clear and easy to follow. What am I going to do with it? Not sure yet. I might turn it into a pillow or frame it for Luke's room. Now my wheels are turning...I bet I could make a robot block to hang in Luke's room. (Maybe something like this?)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Robot quilt

Finally! I finished Luke's quilt top. I'm very pleased with the way it turned out. I was a little unsure about all of the red at first, but now I really like it.

I used mostly David Walker's robots prints, along with some Heather Ross polka dots, Michael Miller sprockets, and Cogsmo by Cosmo Cricket. I was able to sneak in a few precious squares of Ariel's Robot Red Rover fabric too.

It's huge--63 x 88 inches. There's about a foot hanging over the fence too.

One thing I need help with: I'd like to applique a red letter L on one of the squares. Any tips? I've never appliqued anything before. Would I do it before the quilting or after? Good idea? Bad idea? Any help would be appreciated.

When I set this out to take the picture, I realized that the backing fabric is a different blue than the blue in the quilt top. Der. I'm going to be okay with it.

Here it is, all ready to go to the quilter. I got a little bored with all of the squares, but I think Luke is going to like it. I'm going to try something a little more ambitious next time! Also, with quilt #3, I'm going to try to quilt it myself. I just thought this one was too big to attempt. I'll post more pictures when it's all finished up.

Head over to Amy's blog to see lots and lots more quilts!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Finished Frenchy

I know you've been waiting with bated breath to see my finished Frenchy bag. (You have been waiting with bated breath...right?) I appreciate everyone's opinions. They helped me realize that I didn't have the right fabrics to make the bag I wanted. After doing some research, I figured out that the fabrics I had were all from Amy Butler's Nigella home decor line, but they were from different colorways. So I found a fabric I like in a smaller scale that actually matched my favorite exterior fabric, and voila! Frenchy was born. Without further ado...

This is a great pattern with very clear instructions. I'm glad I used the home decor fabric. It makes for a sturdy bag. It has lots of fancy details like a lining, pockets, and even a magnetic snap closure. I pretty much love it.

On the menu: Chalupa Dinner Bowl Nachos

I love having dinner waiting in the Crock-Pot when I get home. Tonight, Chalupa Dinner Bowl Nachos were ready to go. This recipe requires minimal prep time in the morning--just toss a pork loin roast, spices, chiles, and some chicken broth in the Crock-Pot. Instead of cooking dried pinto beans with the meat, I just topped my nachos with warm black beans. This came out a little on the bland side (I ate mine with salsa, so it was fine), so you might want to increase the spices a bit.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

You're cordially invited...

Aw, crap. I'm going to cry during Jim & Pam's wedding.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Bringing the funny

Are you watching Modern Family? You should be. It's hilarious. You can catch up on Hulu if you missed the first two episodes.

Can anyone tell me how to adjust my blog so my videos don't overlap the sidebar? Much obliged. UPDATE: I fixed it! Thanks so much for your help, Kris! Aah, much better.