January 20, 2012

Instagram 2

Hey, everyone!  Happy Friday!

I'm sorry for my unexplained, unexpected, and rather extended absence.  It's nothing personal... I've just been very, very ill.  But thank God for my superhero husband who has stepped up to take over the mundane tasks of life (like cooking, laundry, making sure I actually eat, etc.)  Today is the first day in almost two weeks I finally felt a little more like myself, although I'm trying not to overdo it.  I felt a peculiar sensation this afternoon... hunger!   I trotted down to Subway and helped myself to a bowl of vegetable garden something-or-other.  And... took a picture through Instagram (since you obviously wanted to see it!)  :)

Since I have nothing else to blog about right now, here are two more Instagram photos I've taken recently.  Still experimenting with the 'fuzzy' effect (what's it called?) 

I don't know why, but this one with the shoes is among my favorites.  It's kindof boring, I admit, but there's just something about it that bespeaks comfort... you know, "kicking your shoes off" and all that. 

Hopefully I'll have real blogging before long.  I hope all of you are well!

~ Sarah

January 13, 2012


Hey there!  How has everyone's week been?

Mine's been a little crazy.  Running all over, making plans and changes, etc.  But somewhere in all that I had time to download a new app - Instagram.  Anyone familiar?  I love it!  It takes an average picture taken by someone with absolutely no skill and makes it into something special.  Professional?  No way, but certainly special.  :)

Here are some of my ordinary pictures, through Instagram:

Still playing around with some features, looking for interesting 'Instagram' moments.  But I love how some of these turned out already!

Are you an Instagram fan?

~ Sarah

January 7, 2012

Log Cabin Quilt (Finished)

Well, it's definitely a record for me... I've never finished a quilt this fast before.  It is lovely, warm, and our little family has been finding plenty of excuses to snuggle together underneath it.  :)

Our children are very snuggly...

Blanket stitch on the edge

Frustrated with this part, but
not enough so to re-do it. 
Enjoy your weekend!!

~ Sarah

PS:  In case you'd like to view the process, here are the previous posts on this quilt:  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

January 6, 2012

Crochet / Knitting Needle Case

Happy Friday!

I made something on a complete whim last night.  I hadn't been planning to make it, and even when I started it I wasn't very confident of the outcome.  But it turned out to be fantastic!  If I had a shop, I'd sell these.  They're practical and very, very easy.  A little over an hour from conception to completion, I think.

As you may (or may not) know, I've recently started knitting and crocheting.  At first I threw everything (yarn and needles) into a tote, since I didn't really know if I would like either activity, but now that I'm turning it from an experiment into a hobby, I thought it was time to make some sort of system for it all, so I wouldn't have to go digging for a needle every time.

So I came up with this needle case:

I have some large knitting needles already and plan to buy even larger ones at some point.  So, to be safe, I made it 12" tall and 14" wide.

To start, I cut two fabrics into long pieces: 15" x 25", and sewed them together, exactly like I would sew a pillow.  (Lay the fabrics with the 'good' side facing each other, and sew the edges together all the way around, leaving a 2-3" gap in one corner.  Turn right-side out through the gap.)

I folded the bottom of the case (which becomes the pocket) so that it was 4" deep, and the top so that the edge of the flap reached the edge of the pocket.  I ironed both creases.  I sewed a simple stitch all the way around the case (1/8" from the edge), sewing together the sides of the pocket (don't sew the sides of the top flap together.)

To make the needle 'sleeves', I put a bunch of straight seams into the bottom pocket, anywhere from 1/4" to 1", depending on the size needles I had.  Since I plan to buy many more over the years, I left a large gap in the middle of the case where I can add sleeves as I please.

Finally, I added a tie onto the case.  If I were to make it again, I'd probably choose a strip of velcro, or a ribbon, or some kind of snap or button, but for this first one, I made a long fabric strip and sewed it on the back.  To determine where the strip would go, I folded the case up, with the needles inside, and rolled it left-to-right, then pinned the tie approximately where I thought it should go (it's a very scientific method, you see.)

It's certainly not elaborate, but it will absolutely work for my needs.  If you plan to make one, you can, of course, tailor it to your specific needs.  If you only crochet, for example, and use standard needles, you may want to make it much smaller, perhaps only 6" tall. 

What do you think of my spontaneous project?  :)

~ Sarah

January 5, 2012

Log Cabin Quilt Part 4

I tried to work on the binding (the very last part!) for my log cabin quilt the other night, but I had a furry little obstacle...

...so I gave up and watched a movie instead.  ;)

See the fur?

I'm doing a blanket stitch, but it seems I'm going to have to hide somewhere to finish (my car, perhaps?); otherwise Gracie appears out of nowhere, like a ninja, and decides that my lap and the quilt belong to her.  I suppose they kinda do.  :)

By the way -- the fleece and the extra batting worked; it's really, REALLY warm!!

~ Sarah

January 4, 2012

Cajun Pasta

Happy Wednesday!  Is everyone's schedule back to normal?  It feels like Christmas was months ago already, doesn't it?  Maybe it's just me.

I haven't shared a recipe in a really long time, so I thought I'd share this one.  If you're looking for something tasty and easy, with a touch of kick, this is for you - Cajun Pasta!  I made it up last night, and I'm exceptionally proud of it.  As always, I didn't measure anything, so I'll guess the amounts I used to make enough for 3-4 people.

What you will need:
  1. Chicken breasts (2)
  2. Cajun seasoning
  3. 1/2 teaspoon Basil
  4. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (or fresh garlic)
  5. Oil (I used olive)
  6. 1/2 box of pasta (I used whole wheat penne)
  7. handful of sun-dried tomatoes
  8. handful of diced onions
  9. 1 pint heavy cream
  10. cheese to taste (Anything that will grate or shred; we used sharp provalone)

Cook your pasta separately (if you're using whole wheat, it will probably take a tad longer than regular pasta.)  In a large saucepan, combine your oil, garlic, basil, and some of your Cajun seasoning to taste; mix. 

Add the chicken.  (*note - we cut the chicken into smaller pieces as it cooked, and continually sprinkled additional Cajun seasoning on as we turned it.)  When your chicken is nearly finished, add your chopped onions and sun-dried tomatoes.

Add the cheese and heavy cream; stir. 

Cover and simmer for approximately 5 minutes.  Add pasta and stir.

Jayson gave this recipe a 9.5 out of 10 (I probably would've earned that extra half-point if it wasn't quite so spicy -- he has a sensitive tongue.)  Nevertheless, it's going to be added to our regular pasta rotation!

~ Sarah
PS -- Did you note the name of my seasoning??  It reminds me of this clip by the comedian Tim Hawkins. 

January 3, 2012

Log Cabin Quilt Part 3

Happy new year to all!  I hate to jump the gun on wishing people a happy new year, so I continually wish everyone a happy old year until midnight has come.  But now that we're actually three days into the new year, I can express that I hope it will be happy and joyous for you all.

I am pleased to be able to brag that my year began beautifully.  Pizza with family, snuggling on the couch with Jayson, Remi and Gracie, watching good movies, quilting, and receiving a free coffee voucher for the long wait (which we didn't even notice.)  Side note: why do customers berate the poor workers when they're backed up and things aren't very speedy?  It's beyond me.  We thoroughly enjoyed our time in the drive-through - we could see an intersection near two large department stores and laughed continually at irate drivers.  We exchanged random thoughts about nonsense and sang along with the radio.  When the time came to receive our coffee, it had passed altogether too quickly, and the worker at the window kept apologizing profusely.  We exchanged a bewildered look, assured him we had no idea what he was talking about, and wound up with a voucher anyway.  He insisted that we accept simply for being his nicest customers that day.

So, back to the part where I mentioned quilting.  I've been itching for a break in my projects so that I could once again turn my attention to my log cabin quilt from earlier this year, and I'm pleased that I finally found one.  I finished piecing the squares together in a single afternoon, and I'm very happy with the result:

A close-up of one section:

Now it's time for my least favorite part - the quilt sandwich.  It's not that quilting is odious to me, but I never do it properly -- there are always puckers and things that need to be re-done.  I chose a thick, tan fleece as the backing, since I plan for this to be more practical than anything else, and doubled up on the batting so it would be thick and very, very warm. 

I chose to tie this quilt, partly because I think it's a good look for this style, and partly because I'm anxious to have it done, and tying is a fast shortcut.

I found that it was very difficult to keep Gracie and Remington off of my project, so in the end I gave up and worked around them.  ;)

I finished tying last night, and if I manage to finish the border tonight (*insert laugh here*) it will be ready for use. 

~ Sarah