Cooking, Sewing, Working, Traveling, Gardening and Pondering

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

~Winston Churchill~

Thursday, November 21, 2013

In celebration of 33 Days until Christmas

I give you this - me and my favorite crafty chicas.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

50 Days Until Christmas!

It's that time of year where I start to get all sweaty palmed, anxious, nervous and at times nauseated! Yes, all for Christmas! BECAUSE I STILL HAVE SO MUCH TO DOOOOOO.

Some things I'm doing in the background.

A little table runner for autumn...went together quickly with one charm pack.
Autumn table runner

A little wall hanging kit I'm finally stitching together.

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Monday, September 30, 2013

Whole Life Challenge

Ever since Sept 5th I've been participating in the Whole Life Challenge.  It's a form of lifestyle change challenge where you sign up to eat clean, be active and track each day.   Mostly, I've done ok.  Missed some workout from a back injury, but I've been able to do small modified workouts at home that count - For example - 3 rounds of 25 squats, 25 push ups, 1 minute planks, 10 lunges.  The goal is a minimum of 10 minutes workout and 10 minutes stretches or mobility.  The stretching is easy for me - I stretch my hamstrings when I blow dry my hair upside down each morning, then at lunch when I'm in the break room microwaving my lunch 2-3 minutes I stretch.  One day someone will catch me in downward dog in front of the microwave...sigh.  Then in the evenings, I spend some time with the foam roller working on my back.  There are 3 levels to the challenge, and I went for the intermediate since I had already gone gluten free. 

Anyway, below is my recipe for Roast Lemon Chicken that I pretty much devoured last night.  It is within my intermediate level of the challenge.
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1 Whole Chicken (4-6 lbs)
zest of one lemon - reserve lemon for stuffing in cavity - cut in half
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme
1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt + 1 teaspoon more for topping
1/2 rough chopped onion
4 T. cubed butter
1 C. chicken stock
1 c. white wine
1/4 c. olive oil
I used a mortal and pestle to grind up Zest, thyme, rosemary, garlic and 1 t. salt & pepper until it reaches a paste consistency.
Rinse chicken in water and pat dry with paper towels.
Drizzle olive oil all over chicken.and then rub in the paste all over the chicken.  Reserve a about 1/2 teaspoon of the paste for the cavity.

Put the chicken in a roaster/dutch over on a rack breast up.
Into the cavity stuff the lemon used for zesting (cut in half) - I put one half in first, with two tablespoons butter cubed up, then a little of the paste, then chopped onion, then 2 more tablespoons cubed butter and close with the remaining lemon half.
In the pan pour in chicken stock and white wine - if you have it.
Sprinkle chicken breast side up with remaining salt - I use a french sea salt, but your preferred salt is fine.

Put into a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Then reduce oven to 375 for 1 hour.
Check internal temp at breast or thigh to be 160.  once 160 is done, remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Note - I also baste it with the pan juices two or four or five times during cooking...

Monday, September 16, 2013

Summer Fun

My blog life seems to have been escaping me lately.  I think about it but then look something shiny and off I go.  We've had a busy and fun summer for the most part.  Big block party for fourth of July, ZZ Top Concert, Andrea Boccelli concert, vacations here and there, family visits, the hubs quitting smoking. So it's been fun.

Here are some random pictures from the last few months - sadly, very little crafting has taken place.

Motorcycle trip to Colorado

all that white stuff was snow...burrr

Flat Track Motorcycle Races at the OC Fair

9/11 Memorial and Freedom Towers

ZZ Top

View from my brother's sailboat over on Catalina Island where we sailed and scuba dived.

More Catalina

Spent a few days as guests at the Rocky Mountain Oysters Annual Shoot.

And a little time out at the Annual Swerve N Curve Scooter Rally with the South Bay Scooter Club

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No in any particular order - just random summer fun.  See you in craft land soon now that fall is approaching.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Airport Stitching

I travel for work.  I found i had all
This time sitting in airports and on planes to do something.  I don't sleep well on planes so i would get bored.  So now I stitch, either needlepoint, hexies or redwork - all very travel friendly.

Here is a sneak peak at something I am working on for a Christmas in July swap. Sorry I am mobile so I can't
post the link to the swap.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Hectic meets Manic

Seems I've been away from my blog for quite some time.  Life just got in the way.  From mid-April to the end of May, I was working on handing over my board position for the Junior League to the incoming member, then there was a a birthday in there, work, work travel, a great dinner at Osteria Mozza and Andrea Bocelli concert, more work travel, a motorcycle trip to Cripple Creek Colorado with my hubs, my hubs cousin spending a few days with us while she was in town for the Dwell On Design Show.

Sadly, my crafting has been sloooowww.  I did finish the "Spring" block of red work I travel with so I'll have to be sure to get Summer printed off and mounted on some muslin before my next trip.

Yesterday, while we were just hanging out with cousin Susan, I got a little inspired to start on some hexies.  I wanted to see how "portable" they would be for me.  Here is where I got to yesterday with them.


Here is how I work in the mornings at my desk...


What a mess...

But I love these little hexies so far.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

April Showers Mug Rug Blog Hop!

Hello Everyone!

Sorry I have been gone from blog land the last month.  I have been busy traveling for work and then getting sick - twice!  First with a respiratory infection while I was in Atlanta and the second time last week with the stomach flu-yuck!  Also, I had to throw in my husband's 50th birthday and party!  So, I have not had much time for crafty fun lately.

I did make up my mug rug for this grea April Showers Mug Rug Blog Hop.  I went a little different for me.  I was trying for modern spring.  Not sure I hit the mark or not, but I do love the colors and the fabrics.

Also, I tried to do machine binding - guess I won't be doing that again, it's just not as nice as hand finishing (I'm a bit wonky still with this technique).

April Showers Mug Rug Blog Hop
Some buttons for whimsy

Hayley @ Mrs. Pickles

Karen @ Sew Much 2 Luv 

Mélanie @ Les passions de Cliodana 

Cindy @ Quilt Doodle Doodles 

Jamie @ Busy Bee Quilts 

Judy @ That Other Blog 

Regena @ The Distracted Domestic

Amy @ Domesticity and other Ponderous Things  

Denise @ My Whittle Adventures 

Heather @ a Reformed Heath'n 

Marica @ ~Englating~ 

The entire list of bloggers in the hop can be found here.  A big thank you for Mdmn Samm for putting this together!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

The friends I have made

In Junior League have continued to impress me. There are women who sew and quilt like Samantha. Teachers that give way more of their time to kids than they are paid for like Tara and Christie. Christie also camps and loves wine! Then there are those that just give so much of themselves to the cause of the Junior League -  like Trinka and Andrea.

But not only are these all great people, but so are their families! At the first general meeting we were paired up with a Plane Pal. My plane pal is Sanam. Well, at out fundraiser I was fortunate enough to meet her mother (I'd met her before but hadn't gotten to really spend time with her talking). What a wonderful soul she is so warm and friendly. We talked about cooking and she told me how wonderful the saffron is from Iran. I believed her, but she went so far as to send some to me to try! How cool is that?

I can not wait to try it! I hope that Sanam and her mom can come to my house soon for dinner. I would love to get to know them more.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day!

I'm making the hubs sockeye salmon, asparagus and mash potatoes for dinner and he said it was blog worthy! Later I will make us macaroons.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Honey Do's

My husband has been after me for a year to make him "gun quilts".  These are really gun mats rather than a quilt.  They are to cover the top of the shooting tables at the gun range so the guns don't get scratched up.  He keeps everything looking new and I mean everything.  No wear and tear for this man - he has me for all the wear and tear items.

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I was suppose to only make he and I one, but somehow he put in orders for his friends too, so I ended up making 4 of this style.  I still need to make 3 of the other style.

Our "hunting" dog had to get in the picture to help me model these.

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They are made out of canvas of which I really don't ever want to quilt again...and I won't even mention doing the binding with canvas to you.

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday Supper

Sunday supper is important at our house. Tonight the hubs made gumbo, it sure was nice to not have to cook dinner for a change.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Red Work

I love Bird Brain Designs! Such fun and whimsical patterns for stitching. I know this is a short post but I wanted to share what I'm stitching tonight. One day I hope to finish all four pieces and make it into a small quilt for myself.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Do you go on Quilt Retreats?

I want to go on a quilt retreat but have no idea what to expect.  Have any of you been on one? Do you have any recommendations on one you liked? Location really doesn't matter too much for me, I'm willing to travel.  Also, anyone ever take one of the quilt cruises?  Those look like fun.

Totally, need the blog land help on this.  I'm in Southern California and really want to go on one this year.

Thanks in advance!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

The Winner for the Dare to Dresden Blog Hop Give Away is LEAH! from Quilted Delights

Leah I will email you for the details to ship out your two Moda Charm Packs.  Thanks for playing and visiting my little blog.

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I used to randomly select the number for this contest based on 1-118 comments.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Dare to Dresden Blog Hop

I have a love of Dresden, but not only the quilt block, but the city too.  In 2003, I spent some time touring Europe by myself and spent about 3 days exploring Dresden, Germany.  I have some very fond memories of my time there.  Now that I have started on this adventure we call quilting, I have fallen for the dresden quilt block.  When I saw the Dare to Dresden blog hop, I just had to participate. So today is day four of the Dare to Dresden Blog Hop hosted by Christine at Quilt Monster Closet!

My inspiration came from a small table topper that my good friend Denise made me last year.  It's currently, on my dining room table under a fall flower arrangement I have in an antique pitcher.  I just love the colors and the size is perfect. I have really enjoyed it this winter.
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The last two weeks, I have been traveling for work to some very cold environments compared to what we have here in Southern California.   First I was in Montreux, Switzerland and then in New York City, where the temperatures were below 35 degrees (F).    This made me long for spring time and working in my garden.
Montreux, Switzerland
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World Trade Center - Tower One - New York City, New York
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 To make this long story short, I decided to try my hand at making a dresden table topper for spring time to put on my dining room table.  I also am trying to stick with my New Year's resolution to use up things that I have and not to add so much this year.I used up some scraps I had left over from making an apron for a secret someone!

So I made this table topper out of a 8" dresden pattern.  I combined two of my favorite things - dresdens and prairie points!  

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it.
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Now for a fun give away! !

I will select one person to win two Moda "Butter cup" Charm packs.
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Just leave me a comment below telling me 
what inspires you to sew/quilt/craft/create.
One entry per person
Giveaway ends Jan. 31th at midnight.

Winner will be announced Feb 1st.

   Here are all the other great blogs for today!

Thanks to Christine from Quilt Monster in My Closet
and to Madame Samm at Sew We Quilt.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Wintery wonderland

I am in Montreux, Switzerland for work this week. Outside of a late night walk from the train station, I really haven't been outside. However, I have had my balcony door open while in my hotel room. I can't seem to get a comfortable temperature.

Here are a few pictures if the view of the lake and mountains.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Tiny stitches!

As some of you know, I have become great friends with three ladies I met through the apron swaps, Karen, Regena, and Denise. Every year we share our lives and our talents with our own swaps and random griftees.

Well, yesterday I came home to a package from Karen and her mad stitching skillz are something to behold. She stitched me this beautiful heart ornie on what must be the Hughes count linen ever!

She included the oh so cute donut pin cushion and the "I can't wait to wear" dachshund socks.

What Karen didn't know was that I also received from my neighbor was some adorable dachshund stationary that mat he's the dachshund return labels she included perfectly!

Thank you Karen sew much!

I wish that I had taken a picture of what Regena sent me- its a cute holiday dachshund stitched and mounted on an antique hoop! However, Regena blogged it on her blog here if you want to see it!  The hubs like it so much it decorated his roll top desk for Christmas. Sadly, I've already packed it up with all the other decorations. She did include this super tags that say "from one Crafty Chica" that I can't wait to use!

Thank you ladies for sharing so much with me and I'm so thankful God has put you all in my life.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I'm a sucker for a Dresden block

SewWeQuilt is having a blog hop for dresdens! I'm in - so what about you?

What is expected?
1. make any dresden, you like, any shape any size, any number of them
2. place button on your blogs
3. if you sign up, we do expect you to participate
4. be ready to post at midnight EST the night before
5. have a giveaway if you like, have a tut all optional.

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