Cooking, Sewing, Working, Traveling, Gardening and Pondering

Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential.

~Winston Churchill~

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Flirty Apron Spring Fling Apron

Last night I came home to several packages and a note from a good friend. It was a good mail day- Not even one bill! Anyway, I had a box from Mary Lea! I was so excited to open it. Look at what I saw!

Look at all that goodness! She really set the bar high for swappers. What swap box doesn't like to have chocolate in it?

Can you believe that the little soap and lotion in the bag are my favorite scent? I mean really - how did she do that?

And look at these - I got a hoot outta these!

Here are my initials:

I love all of them!

But wait we're not done - I bet you all want to see the apron too don't you? I saved the best for last!

I asked for an Easter apron (did not think Easter would pass on me i guess) and it didn't stop me from wearing it to make dinner last night either! Last year Regena sent me a cute Christmas apron, so I got the idea I would gather up aprons for each holiday - so now I have Easter!

Thank you Mary Lea for sending me so much love in the swap box! It really is all wonderful and I appreciate all your work and time to put it together for me.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Waking Up to some Spring Time

Today when I was out watering my flowers before I work, I noticed how many of my plants have sprouted blooms. Here are just a few.

And remember those morning glories I planted in the front planter thinking they were the Sweet Peas - well here they are! See that peaking out?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I'm gonna have a hard time explaining where the rice and beans went...

I made a small sachet thanks to inspiration from Denise and then a large hot pad.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Over the Hill and Through the Woods

to Amypalooza we go! Yes, that's right I'm going to be over the hill very soon and will be celebrating with a little fest! ie all my peeps are coming to town to throw down on some sun, fun and good times. We'll be resting our laurels at a mid-century house in Old Las Palmas in Palm springs with our toes in the pool and sippy cold beverages in our hands. We'll be able to walk 3 blocks into town to drop some quarters in the machines, do a little shopping or have some young something serve us dinner.
I don't get to see my friends very often as they are spread out all over so this is a special treat for me. What's even better is the week before I'm spending a long
romantic weekend with my hubs. It's really not so bad getting old.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Less Travel means I have a problem

I'm not traveling as much this year for work and it's been a very nice break. However, it has lead to two things happening (1) I see all kinds of things at my house that MUST be changed/fixed/updated/painted (2) My garden is becoming an obsession.

I know this doesn't sound like real problems, but it can be more expensive than traveling let me tell you. Buying paint, paint stripper, driving to El Segundo just to buy one particular plant - the Peony! Trust me it's adding up.

The benefits are blooming in the front yard this year. I have had time to do a full on Grub Worm War and so far I still have plants that are alive. Now if the grasshoppers will just stay away.

I, however, need a 12 step program from buying plants. I am just out of room now in the beds and keep eye balling the grass going "if I take it up 6 more inches out, I can get more flowers planted." This will not go over well with the hubs if I start ripping up the lawn.

Even the little side yard garden in the back is full of plants. I sacrifice the fennel in order to have a good spot for the peony I brought home. Here is the view now and the few bare spots are where I have seeds planted.

I'll end with my French Gray Shallots - I can't wait for them to finish up

Friday, April 22, 2011

Flirty Apron Spring Fling Apron

I had my tuck ins, fabric and no apron for several weeks.

Then luckily I had today off from work for Good Friday and the hubs did not!

I told him I'm sewing today - nothing else.

Here is a snack of what I put together.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

A While Back I WON!

A CSN Stores gift card for $60 from Valerie over at YarniGras. I thought I'd get a new rug for my bathroom - been trying to find a runner that is hook and loop that will fit and haven't been successful at it yet. Then today on Facebook, CSN posted about this Garden Tool Center. I fell hard for it. Like A Stone. My tools are kept outside (not allowed in the Garage per the Hubs) on the side of the garage all every which way. It drives me nuts. So I ordered the Garden Center today and used my winnings from Val. I am so grateful for her for posting that giveaway and solving my biggest gardening challenge all at the same time! Thank you Val!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Friday Night Sew In

I signed up and I sewed! woop woop.
I'm suppose to post about what I sewed but I'll have to do this incognito as I worked on an item for an upcoming swap. I'm in several swaps, so who know which one this is only me.

My quilting lines got a little drunk last night. I kept telling the machine to lay off the wine but nooo it just kept going. Then eventually it just passed out, literally. My poor old Bernina gets tired and cranky and just stops when it wants to rest - even Mid-Stitch. So I came in this morning, finished the stitch and the quilting.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Summer Seed Swap

I thought I'd plant some seeds in my front planter a while back instead of planting plants and see if they would grow up and be heartier. It's a difficult place to plant as it doesn't get hit by the sprinklers so I have to hand water and it's all red brick with direct sunlight all day long. Most plants just seem to fry by summer. If I miss more than 2 days of not watering the plants tank and I have start over.

So i had some sweat peas and some morning glory packets that my husband had put in my Christmas stocking that I thought I should plant. I soaked them over night and planted one set in the front porch planter and the other outside our bedroom window.

However, I thought the sweet peas where on the porch and the morning glories by the window. After some time and some growth it seems as if I swapped these around.

Anyway, it gave me an idea to do a seed swap. If you are interested, please leave me a comment and if there are at least 10 people interested, I will host this. The idea is that you would swap 4 packets of seeds with your partner. You would get to select - flower or vegetable and shade/sunlight, as your criteria. This should be easy enough as seed packets can ship in an envelope. They can be seeds you harvested, or from the store etc. Include a little note to your partner on who you are, and what you plan to do with your own seeds when they arrive. It would be fun to see the progress later on by who plants their seeds and how they grow through out the summer.

If you don't have yard but still want to participate - you can! Just make seed bombs for areas around you like deserted plots of land or over grown lots. Here's a great source for how to make them at Heavy Petal. Also, you really simplify this by just mixing seeds into potting soil and add enough water to make them dough-y (that is a word right?). Form them into balls, place on a backing sheet or tray and allow to dry for 3-4 days. Then give them a throw into the lot and you'll either get some seeds growing or feed the birds.

So here goes folks - a Summer Seed Swap!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Fresh Apple Spice Cake Tutorial or not Tutorial?

I made fresh apple spice cake yesterday and took all these pictures thinking I'd make it into a tutorial.

However, it is just not that exciting of tutorial.

I did get a lot of yard work done- AKA 2011 Grub Worm War. I try to be chemical free in the back yard as much as possible. However, here in southern California I have 3 pests that continue to get the better of my garden - slugs, grub worms and grasshoppers. Slugs I can kind of keep under control with pet friendly slug bait. Grasshoppers there is really no cure outside of stalking them and killing them first hand. Now grub worms are the worst. I've used the chemicals only to have them come back in a week. I'd read of two natural solutions - nematodes and a home remedy you spray on.

I found the recipe for the home remedy online and it is 2 cups mouthwash (unflavored), 2 cups dish soap, 2 cups tobacco juice, 2 cups ammonia mixed into one gallon of boiling water. Mix well and spray on dirt and lawn and areas needing to have grubs eradicated. I mixed it up and used my pump sprayer to apply on all the flower beds yesterday. And I added some chemical granules to the front beds too - just in case. I call it napalming the area.

Then I applied miracle grow to all the potted plants and flowers, staked up my pole beans, removed the overgrown purple basil that hummed with bees, the odd man out lavender, planted okra, weeded the beds and spread out top soil to the bare areas in the yard from all the rain in December.

Today called for 4 advil, yoga, 1.7 mile walk and lots of coffee in recovery.

Friday, April 8, 2011

I need to blog more !

I've been remiss on blogging lately. Only when I have a spare minute here or there. I apologize my blogging friends. I have one little challenge and it's called work. Lately, I've spent my early mornings on the phone with Europe, the middle of the day working with Atlanta and now I've added in Asia to my evening conference calls.

Somewhere in there I have to cook, sew, garden, clean, laundry, actually talk to my husband instead of snuggling up to his snores.

I also have absolutely get over to see Babs at Beehive to get my hair done. It's horrendous right now - really.

Look at how well this little notebook Regena sent me matches my work coffee cup. I bought the cup on our honeymoon in Victoria, BC.

Here are my Tom's under my work desk...see I do live here!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Fabric Choices for the Upcoming Swaps

Maybe some of this...

or Maybe some of this....I really like that bright yellow stripe with the bright floral

Last night I got recruited to make two aprons for thank you gifts for our Junior League Event. I need to dig around and see what patterns and fabric I have for that too.

And because I can't help myself - I have share this great giveaway at Raggedy Station aren'tthese fabrics wonderful.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

So Much To Do

I need to get my butt moving on the Sewing Accessories Swap over at Aunt Pitty Pat's. I have all the fabric, trims, and notions I just need to get moving on it.

Then I have to get my apron made for the Flirty Apron Spring Fling swap.

much to do much to do....

Monday, April 4, 2011

It was a great party!

Here are few pics from the party.

Plus I won the CSN Stores Gift Certificate from Val at YaniGras! Thank you so much!

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