Sunday, October 31, 2010

Celebrating Halloween with Food

Halloween Dessert
Originally uploaded by Pictures by Ann
This year, the girls went through my ideas folder for Halloween.  Sophia chose several recipes from Family Fun that she wanted me to make. 

So, I tried them and made a special lunch for them this year.  The girls loved all the recipes and were so excited to have "the best lunch [they] ever had for Halloween!" 

These were the things I made that they enjoyed.  To the right is the mult-layered dessert that was in Family Fun magazine many years ago. I've wanted to try it, but it is loaded with dairy ingredients.

So, I modified the recipe by using orange food coloring to color the non-dairy vanilla ice cream orange and using Soy Whip.

This is a picture of the dairy version (the non-dairy version looks identical to the dairy one). The layers are:

- Crushed Oreo cookies
- Orange sherbet
- Cool Whip
- Crushed Oreo cookies

If the container was larger, the layers could be repeated. As it was, this was more than enough for a dessert.

Another thing I made were these apple mouths.  Family Fun  said to cut an apple into quarters, remove the core, and slice a section out of one side. Then, put slivered almonds into the "mouths" to look like teeth.

The girls thought these were funny. It got Olivia to eat an apple (with the peel) which is good. Sophia likes apples, so this was a different treat for her.

Sophia pulled this recipe out of my files. It's also from Family Fun magazine from many years ago. The recipe called for small tapioca pearls that were cooked and then colored green and blue. Unfortunately, small tapioca pearls didn't work. You really need to use the large pearls (like the kind that is used for bubble tea).  They should be at any Asian grocery store.

Since I had all the other ingredients on hand, I improvised. So, the beverage is lemonade with a couple of drops of green food coloring, diet 7-Up (instead of seltzer water which they wouldn't have enjoyed), a few gummy fish, and 1 gummy worm hanging out of the side of the cup. Mix it up, and serve.

The girls enjoyed the beverage and thought it tasted great. They liked using the fancy cups for this unusual drink.
The girls with their Swamp Juice, apple mouths, and layered dessert on Halloween.

I am grateful for...

As I think back on the past week, I am grateful for...
:: Good  vets who help keep the pets healthy.
:: Being able to hear the Minnesota Orchestra's performance for school children/families on Wednesday.
:: Having fun celebrating Halloween at the party on Saturday and then with my parents/family today.
:: Seeing three deer on Saturday and two deer on Sunday.
:: Having good memories of grandparents who I knew (some died before I was born or shortly after), and seeing how their legacy lives on through me and now through my daughters.

Friday, October 29, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual (inspired by soulemama). A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments.

Wishing everyone a lovely weekend!

*** *** ***

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I am grateful for...

As I think back on the past week, I am grateful for...

:: Opportunities I had in 4-H when I was younger; and being able to have Sophia and Olivia involved in 4-H again this year.
:: Medicine and the availability of flu shots this year.
:: The compassionate guidance of Olivia's speech therapist at the local elementary school.
:: Caring neighbors.
:: Being given the time to spend Thursday with my parents to help set up in-home health care/cleaning, and then having a nice lunch with them.
:: The Sharing Shop's clothing giveaway where the girls were able to get some fall clothes and a warm jacket for winter.
:: I watched the girls play hide-and-go-seek with the dogs on the nature trail.

Friday, October 22, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual (inspired by soulemama). A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments.

Wishing everyone a lovely weekend!

*** *** ***

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Needle-Felting Natural Toys

On a recent afternoon, I was organizing my wool.  I had not done much needlefelting recently, so I thought it would be fun to take a little break, pick up the barbed needles, and start creating some natural toys for children.  Ended up making a dozen of the wool felt balls.  It was a very relaxing and enjoyable way to spend an afternoon.

These felt balls (to the right) are needle-felted from beautifully soft, 100% wool roving. They are colorful, safe, and fun to play with indoors. They are the perfect size for small hands, and easy to catch and throw.

Felt balls also:
- make great cat toys
- can be easily juggled
- make a light-weight bowling ball
- teach children about the colors of the rainbow
- are natural and safe to play with (no risk of lead!)

Each felt ball is approximately 3 1/2" (8.5 cm) in diameter; and 10 1/2" (26.5 cm) in circumference. The core is clean roving that was from one of the sheep I raised at Harvest Moon's organic farm. The outer layer is wool roving that has been hand-dyed with natural dyes.

Some of the wool balls are a single color…while others use roving that have a lovely blend of shades and specks of vibrant colors.

If you're interested in purchasing a felt ball (or a whole collection of them), please visit Harvest Moon by Hand.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Benefits of Cart Driving & Miniature Horses

Went to a miniature horse gathering over the weekend. There was such a wide range in the size/shape of the miniature horses - some being quite tiny and petite while others were more stocky.

All the miniatures were hooked up to carts and were pulling 1-2 people. Here the cart drivers are getting instructions for the first activity.

What are the benefits of cart driving for the horse?

Ponies and miniature horses are often ideal for driving as many breeds and bloodlines have been bred for that purpose. Even a miniature horse can pull an adult in a cart. Driving can also be a great second career for a pony or small horse that has been outgrown by his young rider.

Driving is an option for horse and pony owners who are unable to ride or those who prefer not to. Driving provides training and exercise for a horse and gives owners quality time with their equines without ever having to put a foot in the stirrup.

What are the benefits of cart driving for the driver?
Both Sophia and Olivia have done therapeutic horseback riding, and now are interested in cart driving (as well as continuing with horseback riding). I wanted to find out what the benefits are to cart drivers, and found that the benefits are very similar to therapeutic horseback riding:

- Increases self-confidence and awareness
- Normalizes high or low muscle tone
- Develops pre-ambulation skills and strength
- Improves balance, posture, coordination
- Motivates learning and self-discipline
- Helps in the development of interpersonal relationships

The Next Step

Clearly, it would be a great benefit to both the girls. It would be ideal if there was someone who no longer wanted their driving equipment and wanted to pass it along. I wonder if there's someone out there who wants to do this....

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Helping Children Learn Math Using Math Gnomes

Math Gnomes
Originally uploaded by Pictures by Ann
This is a set of Waldorf-inspired math gnomes that I made for a customer for my shop, Harvest Moon by Hand.

The gnomes stand between 9-10” inches tall, and each is needlefelted by hand. Sometimes I use 4 barbed needles at a time and at other times only a single barbed needle (for example, when attaching the curly sheep wool to the face and body or creating the math symbols on the bodies).

Each gnome has a different math sign on the body - addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and equals. Individual gnomes and combination of gnomes can be used in combination with natural tactile elements (e.g., pebbles, gems, acorns) to make learning math more tangible.

There are many Waldorf-inspired stories using math gnomes on the internet. You may choose to use one of the stories as they are presented...or create your own stories.

The gnomes are made from sheep wool - the interior core is from cream-colored wool from sheep that I raised at Harvest Moon's organic farm. The exterior (colored) wool is from a variety of textile artists who hand-dye sheep wool.

For a set of custom-made gnomes or other needlefelted items, please visit my shop, Harvest Moon by Hand.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Grandma Olive's Banana Bread

Banana Bread
Originally uploaded by Pictures by Ann
This is banana bread that is from my grandma's recipe. It is very moist. It is a recipe that I'm including in the recipe book I'm making for my daughters called "52 Weeks of Baking."

Originally a weekly swap was happening on Swap-Bot with the same name. The swap hostess stopped hosting them, but I've continued baking so I can complete the cookbook.

This is the recipe for Grandma Olive's Banana Bread

1/2 cup butter, softened (I used dairy-free butter)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
3 bananas, mashed
1/3 cup chopped pecans (optional...I didn't use them)

Cream butter and sugar in bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs; mix well. Sift in flour and soda. Stir in bananas and pecans. Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Note: I doubled this recipe and used 7 bananas instead of 6. I also added 2 teaspoons of Watkins Vanilla. I normally don't use vanilla, but wanted to see what it would taste like. I thought it added a nice flavor to the bread.

When making a double batch, you can put it into a 9"x13" pan rather than two loaf pans. Make sure the middle of the bread is could take longer than the 45-50 minutes noted.

****If you haven't tried Watkins products, I would highly recommend them. My parents used Watkins products when I was growing up - mostly the vanilla, cinnamon, spices, spice blends, and some household items.

The vanilla is far superior to what is available in grocery stores. It's made with Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans, and brewed using a process that Watkins has used for over 140 years. The flavor is bake-proof and freeze-proof as well as double-strength.

If you're interested in trying Watkins products, head over to the Watkins site HERE. When it asks for an Associate Number, please use #390175 (Ann Rinkenberger).

I am grateful for...

As I think back on the past week, I am grateful for...
:: Having a new stove/oven that doesn't leak propane (thanks to the warranty it was under, it was paid for by the company which was nice!).
:: Seeing a beautiful full moon with Olivia after her first Brownie meeting.
:: Being able to see the incredible shades of the fall leaves.
:: Spending a fun day with my family watching miniature horses and cart driving.

Friday, October 15, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual (inspired by soulemama). A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments.

Wishing everyone a lovely weekend!
*** *** ***

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Creating Something Every Day

One of my goals during 2010 is to create something every day.  Sometimes the project is simple and can be completed in an hour; and other times I work on a longer-term project (like the sashiko quilt that took several months to make).  The purpose is to carve aside some time each day to be creative. 

This is one of the sets of wool felt pancakes that I sent to HGTV. 
This item in my Etsy shop was selected to be featured on an upcoming HGTV-Etsy holiday special
that will air after Thanksgiving.

Choreographer Twyla Tharp stresses in her book, The Creative Habit: Learn It And Use It For Life, the importance of setting up a daily habit to sustain creativity. Tharp outlines the significance of making a commitment to this habit. She proposes that talent will only get you so far and then you must commit to a daily routine to stay creative.

Set of six notecards.  I made several sets from photographs of Grand Marais (Minnesota) and
images from children's books.  Some of the sets are available in my Etsy shop, Harvest Moon by Hand.

Something I came across which sounds like fun is Art Every Day Month which begins on November 1st.  The artist who started AEDM says she wants to "...encourage people to make something every day, but my goal is to foster more creativity, so if you make just one piece of art per week or just one for the whole month, that's fine with me."

She continues, "The idea is to bring more creativity into your life, not to make you feel overwhelmed, pressured or guilt-stricken. Art is also loosely defined here. I mean art in the sense of anything creative, whether that be painting, drawing, knitting, sewing, cooking, decorating, writing, photography, clay, jewelry-making or whatever!"

It's free to sign up.  Just visit the site HERE.

Bags made from a vintage children's book. I trim the pages using a paper cutter, and then cut the decorative edge at the top by hand.  I sew each bag on the sewing machine for durability. 
This set and others are available in my shop.

What I am making today?  First off is a needlefelted set of math gnomes.  A customer requested a set, so I'll be making two sets - one for her and an additional one for my shop.  Then maybe more needlefelted long as I have those barbed needles and wool out.  I haven't done needlefelting for a while, so it will be nice to work with wool again.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mail Art Project

For many years I've been interested in the life of St. Francis.  His relationship with nature and animals as well as his views on simplicity and frugality are of particular interest.  During the past couple of years, I've participated in different swaps on Swap-Bot, and have been introduced to mail art. 

So, I started another website dedicated to The St. Francis Mail Art Project which is a on-going internet gallery of mail art that is received that positively depicts St. Francis, his life, his writing, and how individuals are living a life that is inspired by St. Francis.

The project is open to any type of print media of any size (no video or audio, please), and each artist's interpretation. Postcards, photographs, textiles, sculpture, mail art, artistamps, many options.  For more information and/or to send an item in to be included in the gallery, please visit HERE.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies
Originally uploaded by Pictures by Ann
Tried a new recipe. My mom use to make peanut butter cookies, but I didn't have her recipe. Found one in a book that I checked out from the library that I thought sounded good.

I made the cookies dairy-free so Sophia can have them (she has a dairy allergy).  They are moist and flavorful cookies. 

Peanut Butter Cookies

1/2 cup butter (I used dairy free)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
granulated sugar

In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and peanut butter together. Add the sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, and baking powder. Beat until combined. Add egg and vanilla. Add the flour with the mixer (as much as you can) and then add remaining flour by hand. If necessary, cover and chill dough in refrigerator until easy to handle.

Shape dough into 2-inch balls. Roll in sugar to coat. Place 12 balls on a cookie sheet. Flatten by making risscross marks with the tines of a fork.

Bake at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes or until bottoms of cookies are lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Makes 36 cookies.

I am grateful for...

As I think back on the past week, I am grateful for...

:: having one of the items in my shop (Harvest Moon by Hand) selected by HGTV and Etsy for an upcoming holiday special on HGTV.
:: being able to spend time with both my parents on Tuesday to help them with errands and a medical appointment.
:: my mom's continued recovery from surgery that went smoothly thanks to a talented surgeon and team of medical professionals.
:: being able to hear my daughters sing joyfully as they practice songs for choir and piano lessons.
:: having a nice lunch at El Burrito Mercado with Sophia and Olivia.
:: attending the fire department's open house; and seeing the dedicated volunteer firefighters who are committed to helping and serving the community.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Kiwi's Blogger Follower Swap

Since March 2008, I've been a member of Swap-Bot.  It's been a wonderful way to connect with people from all over the world. 

What is Swap-Bot?

Swap-bot is a service and a community. Swap-bot facilitates group snail mail and internet swaps. It removes the hassle of collecting swap participants and assigning swap partners. Swap-bot is also a community where swappers can connect, share, and have fun.

Swap-bot was originally created to be a tool used by blog owners to facilitate mail swaps with their readers. The site has grown from a simple utility to a meeting place where at any given time there are over 500 public swaps being hosted. Swap-bot is completely free to use.

How have I used Swap-Bot?

I have several reasons for joining swaps.  The main ones are to:
- Challenge myself to try a new skill or art form; and have a deadline to complete the project.
- Develop my writing skills and begin creating a collection of short stories for my daughters.
- Learn from and be inspired from artists around the world.
- Provide an interesting way for my daughters to learn about world and U.S. geography.
- Receive items that can be used for homeschooling.
- Share my skills and time with others.

There are both short-term (one-time) and on-going swaps I've participated in on Swap-Bot.  One of my favorite ones this year has been the Journal Quilt Swap in which participants create a small journal quilt each month.  Each person sends a photograph or color copy of their quilt along with a description of it (e.g., how it was made, what it represents).  This is a year-long project which has been a wonderful way to increase my quilting skills while documenting the happenings of the year. 

There are pictures of some of the journal quilts I've made on this blog as well as other items I've made or done through Swap-Bot.

Friday, October 8, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual (inspired by soulemama). A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments.

Wishing everyone a lovely weekend!

*** *** ***

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Making Fossils...and Other Science Experiments

Today, Olivia learning about fossils in her homeschool science program.  To help understand how fossils are made, Sonlight's science curriculum had a fun hands-on activity for children to do.

The mix is made from water, baking soda, and cornstarch. 

How to Make Fossils

It is mixed first in the saucepan on the counter, and then it is mixed on the stove. 

Mixing the Fossil Ingredients Mixing the ingredients.

The recipe called for it to cook for about 4 minutes or until it was the consistency of mashed potatoes.  It took about half the amount of time.

While the mixture was cooling, I had Sophia and Olivia go outside on a little nature walk through the backyard.  They needed to return with items that had an interesting texture, and would leave a good impression in the mixture.

They returned and the mixture was still warm, so we did a couple other science experiments. 

Fresh vs Ocean Water Preparing cups of water with varying amounts of salt.  The girls tasted tap/well water (fresh water); water with a pinch of salt; and water with 1 teaspoon of salt (to simulate ocean water).  We talked about the small percentage of fresh water in the world and how most of the water is ocean water which is undrinkable.  For this reason, it is vitally important we take care of the fresh water sources we have.

Olivia Learning about Waves We made an ocean in a bottle using water, vegetable oil, and blue food coloring.  Olivia was learning about waves and the ocean; shorelines; and how different size rocks and sand are formed due to water and waves.

Back to the fossils now.  When the mixture was cool, I divided it into 1" balls.  We flattened them slightly; and then Sophia and Olivia pressed different natural objects into the mixture.  I let the disks dry overnight.  The next day, Olivia wanted to paint them rather than leave them the natural color.  So, she chose several bright colors and painted each one a different color.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Volcano Experiment

Originally uploaded by Pictures by Ann
Okay...this was pretty cool. Olivia has been learning about volcanoes in her homeschool science lessons.

To reinforce what was read during the day, the curriculum I am using this year (Sonlight) recommended doing an experiment to demonstrate volcanoes and lava flow. 

We followed the experiment directions for making a "volcano."  Although we could have hidden the bottle by putting clay or tinfoil over it to make it look more like a volcano, we chose not to do that. Instead, we focused on the "lava" making and erupting process.

There are only a few ingredients that you need to do this experiment: baking soda, vinegar, dish soap, food coloring, a pie tin, bottle, bit of clay (we used it to hold the bottle in place), funnel, measuring spoons, measuring cup, and newspaper.

Ingredients to Make a Volcano
Items needed to create an at-home volcano.

After putting the baking soda and dish soap into the jar, you add the vinegar and food coloring through the funnel.  Quickly remove it because the chemical reaction is immediate.

Fizzing Volcano

"Mom, can we do it again?" both the girls asked.

"Once the bottle dries out a bit and there's no vinegar left in it to react with the baking soda, yes," I said.  It's always a good sign that they are enjoying science when they ask to do the experiments again and are eager to do more experiments. 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

September Journal Quilt

This was made for the monthly Journal Quilt project I've been doing since January. For the swap on Swap-Bot, I send a color copy and a description of the meaning behind the quilt to two partners.

The quilt size is 9" x 12" and includes hand-embroidery, machine sewing, and machine quilting.

Here's a brief summary of what the quilt symbolizes and how it relates to the month:

- Doing a major de-cluttering and organization of the house – From the end of August through September 6th, we all worked on eliminating items we no longer needed/wanted; that were broken or damaged; or did not enhance our lives. We all worked together – and it took many hours and many hands to do the job. Thus, there is an image of a hand on the quilt.

In cleaning the closet in Olivia’s room, I found some fabric that I made in Charlotte (NC) when I lived there between 1989-91. The arts organization that I worked for had a wonderful array of classes; and I took a batik class from an artist. I learned how to do batik and made the green fabric that serves as the background for this quilt.

Also found a shirt I no longer wear that had the hand and person with bird picture appliquéd onto it (both of these images are on the quilt). I purchased the shirt many years ago when my sister and I took a short vacation to Carmel (CA). We found a great little shop that had funky clothes and accessories. When I was going through my clothes in the de-cluttering process, I came across this one that I hadn’t worn in ages. It had a stain on it, so I stopped wearing it, but didn’t want to get rid of it because it reminded me of the trip I took with my sister. Figured it was time to get rid of the stained shirt, but keep the appliquéd parts – in that way, remembering my sister and the fun we had on that trip.

- Going on a trip to Grand Marais with my Mom, Dad, Sophia, and Olivia – From September 7th-10th, I drove my mom, dad, Sophia, and Olivia up to Grand Marais.

The hand on the quilt also represents the girls feeding “Mr. Chippy” – a very friendly chipmunk who we spotted on the steps of Bearskin Lodge. Mr. Chippy was quite bold in that he came within 6 inches of the girls as they fed him Pik-Nik Stix (crunchy potato sticks). With stuffed cheeks, he was all-too-eager to befriend them. I’m thankful I didn’t have a cage or small leash in the back of the van, otherwise the girls would have tried to persuade me to take Mr. Chippy home with us. That would have made for an exciting and memorable experience.

The bottom square of fabric on the quilt (with the image of rocks) represents the fun time that Sophia and Olivia had playing on the shores of Lake Superior at Illahee. They enjoyed “Puzzle Cove” which they named because the rocks seemed to fit together like a puzzle. It represents the stone sculptures they made alongside the hundreds that were made by other people at Artist’s Point. It reminds me of looking for heart-shaped rocks to add to my collection. And, it reminds me of the nice walk that my dad and I took along the stone pathway at Illahee that led to the beach, and us two just sitting on the rocks enjoying the breeze and the calming beauty of the waves.

- Taking the girls to Special Kids Day at Crystal Ball Dairy Farm which included a train ride – An organic farm about 15 minutes from here does an event each year for children with special needs. Both Olivia and Sophia have special needs, and were excited about going to this event. They got to ride horses; see/pet farm animals (barn cats, chickens, ducks, goats, foals, and pigs); play in a soybean pit (an area filled with soybeans that they could sit in, fill buckets of soybeans with, bury one another in, or slide into); tour the calf barn and see a one-week old calf; go on a hayride; have lunch; play on a huge swing set; listen to live music; bounce in a “bouncy house”; and go on a train ride (there’s an historic train that’s nearby that offers 45-minute rides).

We had such a wonderful time – with such a variety of activities. I think we laughed more that afternoon than we had in a long time.

The crazy-looking person on the quilt to me represents fun and someone who is carefree and happy. Behind the photo is the person’s body which is in the shape of a heart. I think of how crazy some days can get with caregiving/parenting plus homeschooling both girls. But the core of who I am and why I enjoy what I do – is love. I can’t imagine my life without my daughters…and feel incredibly blessed that both are in my life.

Even with the craziness of day-to-day life, I think it is so important to remember to have fun, to laugh, and to love.

There are two quotes that I like about laughter and love:

“Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live.”
(Author Unknown)

“All you need in the world is love and laughter. That's all anybody needs.
To have love in one hand and laughter in the other.”
(August Wilson)

- Going to the UU church – Living in a rural area, there aren’t a lot of options available for spiritual growth or churches. Consequently, when I moved here 15 years ago, I picked a church that was about 10 minutes from here. At the time, it was an okay fit. Not perfect…but I enjoyed the adult education classes, special annual services, and the people.

For my own spiritual growth, I needed to find someplace more aligned with my beliefs. About 30 miles away, there’s a UU church which I went to on September 19th. It was an inspiring service with thought-provoking readings, prayers, and sermon. The music was performed by a jazz quartet of well-trained youth musicians who played trombone, saxophone, piano, and drums. Between the songs they played and the songs that the congregation sang, it was such an uplifting experience.

In the quilt, I represented this experience and my faith with the random quilting throughout the background. It overlaps and intersects itself…but it is one constant line. A web, so to speak. (This reflects what Unitarian Universalism is - a liberal religious faith which values a free and responsible search for truth and meaning; the inherent worth and dignity of every person; justice, equity and compassion in human relations; and respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.)

- Becoming an aunt to Austin who was born on September 2nd – My brother (Jim) and Melissa had their fourth child, Austin. After he was born, he spit up blood within the first day. After testing the blood, it was determined that it was his (not his mom’s blood), and that he had an issue with his stomach. He ended up being in the hospital 4 days, and has since been released and is doing much better. It was definitely a rocky start, and one that upset my brother. He said he was grateful that Austin’s condition wasn’t worse after seeing other newborns in the neo-natal unit at the hospital. Austin’s difficult start (a rocky start) is represented by the square on the quilt that has rocks on it.

- Attending the girls’ first 4-H meeting of the year – The new 4-H year began on September 20th. Green is the color of 4-H, so the background fabric and the backing are both done in green.

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.
The important thing is to not stop questioning.”
Albert Einstein

Saturday, October 2, 2010

{this moment}

Canned Applesauce

{this moment} - A Friday ritual (inspired by soulemama). A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments.

Wishing everyone a lovely weekend!

*** *** ***

Friday, October 1, 2010

SEWvenir Quilt Block

I made this for a swap on Swap-Bot - called SEWvenir Quilt Block (round 1). Am also going to make a version for a personal quilt as well.

The swap is going to be a series in which a person can collect SEWvenirs from other places without the expense of going there. Each quilt block that I will receive will be from a different state or country.

What I'd like to do is make a quilt that has the quilt blocks from the other places as well as a copy of the one that I sent to other people.

This block is 12 1/2" x 12 1/2" (12" block size with 1/2" seam allowance). There are a variety of different cotton fabrics that I hand-embroidered together onto the white cotton backing.

The embroidery stitches used were the back stitch and blanket stitch.