Monday, July 30, 2012

happy birthday to me!

my wonderful granddaughter, kendall, made this cake for me! it was sooooo delicious and we all enjoyed every bite! the second picture shows kendall and her brother, paxton  (who also is no stranger to the kitchen) after they've lit the cake. i had a wonderful birthday party. there's nothing better than family! although i complain about only having 2 grandchildren, i have to say that they are so much fun that i should be embarrassed to complain. but then again, they're so much fun that i want more! grandchildren really are the gift to us parents. our only responsibility is to make them happy. we don't have to spend a ton of money on them, just spend time with them and love them.

i'm getting ready to go to kansas. i'll be leaving at 3am tuesday morning and will arrive at 11:30am. my sister and i have been skyping back and forth daily, planning our great vacation. we have so many projects and things we want to do! wichita is a very large and busy city. while i'll miss my hubby a great deal, i can't wait to spend one on one time with my big sister. i will try to do a blog while i'm out there but as i've told you, i can't always figure things out on the computer! i have improved a great deal and will honestly try to publish a blog.

it is a balmy 82 degrees here in new hampshire and a whopping 108 degrees in wichita! thank heavens for air conditioning! well, this week i love.............birthdays (especially mine), grandchildren, my sons and daughter in law, books, crossword puzzles and my ipod with my favorite podcasts downloaded and ready for the bus and plane ride. see you in a couple of weeks if not sooner! nancyb

Thursday, July 19, 2012

new scrappy quilt & BLUEBERRIES!!!

July 19, 2012

what an unbelievably busy week i've had. the blueberries are out early this year and they are wonderful! i love, love, love the high bush blueberries. they are large and sweet and easy to pick. chip and i picked 6 quarts in an hour. i froze those and went back the next day and froze the next batch. yesterday i went by myself and picked 3 more quarts to have fresh. it was too hot to cook but i did make my blueberry sauce. this is so easy and soooooooo delicious! it is best on pancakes or ice cream but my friends put it on their cereal and over sweet biscuits with whipped cream on top. i also like to put it on my toast. it is a jam consistancy when it is cold. here's the recipe:
2 cups blueberries
3 TBSP honey
1/2 c orange juice
1 TBSP cornstarch
mix 1.5 cups blueberries, honey & 1/4 cup oj in saucepan. cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. mix the remaining 1/4 cup oj with the cornstarch and slowly stir it into the boiling mixture stirring constantly until the sauce is thickened (about 2-3 minutes). add remaining 1/2 cup blueberries and serve warm. refrigerate remaining reheats in microwave well.
i have canned this recipe and given it out as gifts throughout the year with great reviews.

now for the quilting news! i don't think i've told you that i really love making scrap quilts. i can't seem to help it. i try to follow a pattern and start throwing in more colors or different prints of the same colorway. this is what i've been working on: this quilt will be large so that it completely covers our bed. the top photo is the 16 blocks i've made up. they are finishing up at 12.5". i can't decide whether to put sashing in it or not. i think i won't but haven't committed to that yet. i'm also thinking of not adding a border......just keeping it all over scrappy. any opinions out there? the kitty is leftover from another project but i may applique some throughout the quilt top in honor of our wonderful nora jean. it dresses it up a bit i think. i've had this material quite a while but can't seem to remember where i bought it. since i had so much of the same line of fabric it was probably at a quilt show. i've cut this whole quilt out on my accuquilt. it really saves you so much time and wear and tear on the hands and elbows. i'm glad i like it so much but i really think the dies are way too expensive.

it has been very hot up here in northern nh. where we are, we get some wonderful cool breezes every evening from the woods in our backyard. it is so comfortable and feels better than airconditioning. its easy on the electric bill too!

this week i love: blueberries, quilting & nh mountains. have a great day and i will too! nancyb

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Squirrel catching and still quilting in the mountains

July 10, 2012

how is everyone this week? we have, as usual, been busy but we're loving it up here. this week we've been catching squirrels. we got that very aggressive gray squirrel in our have a heart trap and let him go 3 miles up the road in the national forest. since then we've caught 2 of our little red squirrels. they've been literally climbing up the screen of our door trying to get in the house! we are marking our mileage hoping to let them out at about the same spot so that maybe they can find each other. i don't know if that's silly but we don't like to think they've been separated from their families. does anyone know if that's important to them? our killer cat nora jean, meanwhile, has been quite amused by these antics and quietly watches them as they make noise and holes in our screens. here's a picture of nora babysitting the one i caught this morning. she loved watching him and he didn't seem too scared of her! we've had lots of bear stories up here this year. there seems to be a little more than usual. i wouldn't say there's been a whole lot of construction up here in the last few years so that their homes are being displaced. i think from all the campsites they are learning that its easy to get people food. one woman was barbequeing and brought the meat in her kitchen. when she came out of the bathroom there was a bear in the kitchen eating her dinner! another just last night got up to see what the noise was about and there was a male black bear eating her dog's food! the biggest problem we are having with all this is that our bedroom windows are on the ground floor and we've been keeping the windows open to let that beautiful cool breeze in. i don't think it would be too big a problem for me if one decided to climb through the window.........i'm sure i'd have a heart attack and drop dead right there!!!!! and of course, nora (our attack cat) would probably be calmly sitting in the corner watching the whole fiasco wondering........well if mom's dead who's going to feed me?

i've been sewing this week getting ready for my sister visit to kansas. every year i go to kansas while her husband goes on his "guy" vacation and we just have the best time. we sew and cook together. we go to a play (she has front row center seats and the musical is always amazing) and watch girly shows and talk and talk. these are some of the things we made for her granddaughter. she has my middle name and started kindergarten last year. we made her jumpers, a backpack, a jacket and i can't remember what else! we also made pocketbooks and a vest and hat for my granddaughter and hers. it was so much fun. this year i am giving her more quilt lessons. i've fussy cut 5.5" squares to make samantha jean and my sister's little neighbor christopher(he's 4) each an I Spy in a Jar quilt. i bought her a serger for her birthday and we will be using that for sewing (not for quilting). i have a very intricate serger that i haven't used even close to its ability and we will both be learning how to use it. i've bought a cool pattern through nancy's notions for a one size fits all jacket that we can use the serger on. hopefully we'll have them made so that we can go to the musical in them. it is a very fancy affair and i don't dress up very often! we dress up similar so that we jive in our clothes. its a little hokey but we don't care. we want everyone to know we're sisters. it is nice when you have a sister who is not only nice but your best friend. i wish she lived closer!

well, i'm going down to my sewing studio (i've decided to call it a fancy sounds good don't you think?). i've put 19 things on my etsy shoppe and am still adding more. my son, andrew,  is going to come over some time and hook up my blog to my etsy shoppe. if he doesn't, when i get back from kansas i will work on it. i'm also thinking of doing a podcast. i have so much to say! have a great day is another beautiful day and i know i'm going to enjoy it. my oldest son gregory and my 2 grandchildren are coming over for lunch tomorrow. i'm making them a new vegetarian dish. i'll tell you all how it comes out. i love to experiment with recipes and since most of them come out really great they don't mind in the least. by for now! nancyb of swiftriver quilting