Sunday, January 15, 2012

My List Accomplishments

Max has no goals, which I feel this picture demonstrates.
Remember my list?

Okay, you probably don't remember. When my husband left to work in Germany for 9 months I made myself a bucket list of sorts. The goal was to force myself to live my life to the fullest, even though I was alone. I have not been recording it very well, but I am making slow and steady list accomplishments! 

That hole was so easy to dig, just like a big shovel test. 

I planted a tree. Do not worry arborists, I planted this tree in the fall when it was appropriate (I know all of my readers were deeply concerned). Her name is Wanda and she is a Brown Turkey Fig tree. I did my research (there is a Brown Turkey Fig tree up the street) and I know it will grown in my climate. It should also produce this summer, if I can manage not to kill it. She is small, but cute!

Wanda in the ground

Turns out planting a tree is just like shovel testing, meaning, I just had to dig a hole and put the tree in it. But, now I have a tree!

I went trail running last Saturday. It was beautiful and rewarding. The sun was shining and we were having a freakishly warm day (I mean in the 70 degrees Fahrenheit range). I liked it. Driving to run seems a little silly to me, so this will be a sometimes treat. 

This is totally a posed picture, I did not bring my camera running silly!

Okay, I am saving the best for last! This is actually the reason I have been an itinerant blogger lately. I have been obsessed with quilting. 

I can not believe I turned this fabric...

 into a bunch of little squares,

which I sewed together and added applique circles.

Then I trimmed the fabric,

 and added a border.

 And attached to a batting, then tried to add a backing. It turns out the cat loves quilting. It is the MOST fun thing a cat can do to slide across the living room on fabric. Tunneling under fabric is pretty fun too.

Sewing machines are less fun, but make great human hunting blinds.

After some intense cat battles and some actually quilting, I got this! (full disclosure: it is not actually done, it still needs trimming and binding).

It is a beautiful and rewarding thing. There are tons of mistakes and little things that will bug me. But, I am a beginner. I have gained so much confidence in my sewing! The reason the binding is not finished is I had to start my second quilt (I do have a solid start on my binding and I will probably bring it when I have to go to Savannah at the end of the month). The next quilt is going to be a gift for someone and I am operating on a deadline.

Unfortunately, that person reads this blog. So, no pictures until after the deadline.

Back to sewing! Happy Sunday!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

What month is it again? Oh right, Happy New Year!

It is January 1, 2012.
This was our Christmas card, which I sent out by email at 10:00 p.m. on Christmas Day. Epic fail. 


I am going to start this post by apologizing for missing December. I am not even sure December happened at normal speed.

I am not going to try and explain the crazy. I will make a list. I like lists.

1. I worked. A lot. Let's see I think I was only in Tennessee and Georgia this month. But, oh the deadlines.

2. I made Christmas happen. I believe the holidays should be special and this was our first real, grown-up, "at home" Christmas. I got a tree, made stockings and cookies, wrapped presents, wrote cards (well, some cards), played music, and sort of nested. It was wonderful. I also watched the entire "Fireplace for Your Home" episode at least four times (it is on Netflix, check it out).

I made these stockings. Including the embroidery. It was intense. But they sure do look good with Fireplace for Your Home. 

The best baby Christmas Tree. 

Potica. A Croatian Christmas bread. 

3. I started and (almost) finished my first quilt. It will not be my only quilt. This was a magical experience and I am totally hooked. I am going to write a real post about this, for now I just need to say this process appealed to me creatively and aesthetically.

My quilt top. Clearly, I really like flowers.

4. I have spent a great deal of time with my friends who have become my family here in North Carolina. Then Derek's mom and step dad came to visit for New Years and we got to see them too!

Hi Julie!

5. My true love came home for two weeks (which are actually not quite over yet). There have been many meals, laughs, couch cuddles, episodes of Parks and Recreation, and long cups of coffee. I will miss him a great deal when he returns to Germany to work on his research.

My true love with the skin of a salmon we cured. Doesn't he look so manly?

Cured Salmon.

For now, I will just say Happy New Year! Welcome to 2012. It is going to be a great year. I know it.

I am going to come back soon (I know, show it, don't just say it) to share some of my treasured moments from the past couple of weeks and talk about the food. Oh the food! I have a brussels sprouts recipe that will blow your mind, without ruining any newly created resolutions.

Much love to all.