Friday, January 29, 2010

Moving Again and 3 Winners!

Let's first get to the winners of my Dreaming of Summer Give-away! I used a Random Number Generator this time.

Winner #1 is Carrie P. who said: "We will probably just take weekend trips since we had a big vacation last summer to the Outer Banks." Sounds great - Mr. Squash and I had a terrific adventure there one year! Carrie wins the Morgan Lap Quilting Stands!

Winner #2 is Sherri who said: "We haven't finalized summer plans yet, but hoping for a week in the mountains and a week in Southern California...I love the beach and didn't get there last year...hopefully this summer!" Both those ideas sound like fun! Sherri wins the Ruler Holder!

Winner # 3 is Mary who is thinking about a cruise for her summer vacation! Gee - can Mr. Squash and I join you? Mary wins the Sew Necessary Project Book and L'Amour Charm Pack!

Thanks to all for their great comments! It as a lot of fun to see what everyone will be doing!

Now you're probably wondering if we're really moving again - only within the Squash House - thank goodness!! We decided to move the guest room downstairs to the "ensuite" room, which means Mr. Squash will move his office into the current guest room next to my studio. We cleared out the old guest room last night as the painter is working in there today. He should be done with that room today so over the weekend we'll move Mr. Squash in. Never a dull moment around here!

I've been trying to take photos of the painter's progress, but I really can't get the colors to show as true in most of the photos. Below is the chocolate wall in the dining area. We can't believe how great it looks - the wood surrounding it really "pops". The other walls are painted a warm honey color, but in this photo it shows as olive!

And to show you that I've actually done some sewing, here is the finished flimsy for Anne Sutton's Tisket A Tasket. I did it in what I call "pink-work". I have no idea where I got the pink fabric, or whose line it is - something from my stash. I set the blocks in Posies by Sandy Gervais. I bought a fat quarter bundle of it from Anne over at Cottons 'n Wool a while back and found that it coordinated well with the pink fabric. Now to figure out how to quilt it!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Dreaming of Summer Give-Away!

I can't tell you how much I appreciate how you've stuck with me during the past few months of moving to the Squash House! Your friendship and generosity has meant so much! Mr. Squash and I are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel in getting the house put together. We're also already dreaming of the summer to come - fly fishing, gardening, and being in the great outdoors in our area!

So I thought I would show my appreciation by having a "Dreaming of Summer Give-Away"! Please leave a comment telling me what your summer vacation plans are! I'll pick three winners - at random - on Friday, January 29th.

The first winner will receive these Morgan lap quilting stands! On the right is the 7/10 frame setup. Two hoops are separated by legs to make a unique stand for all your needlework projects. They raise your work to reduce neck and shoulder strain and give you the choice of two hoop sizes at the same time. The 14 inch add-on at the left comes with legs to attach to the 10 inch hoop. These are great for all of your quilting, rug punching or needlework projects! The second winner will receive this table-top ruler holder! (Rulers are not included). I own two of these and they're great for all sizes of rulers from your large 24" rulers, down to your little 4 " square rulers! I keep one loaded with my favorite rulers on top of my cutting table at all times!
The third winner will receive this Sew Necessary "Art To Heart" project book and a charm pack of L'Amour by Sandy Gervais for Moda! The book has all kinds of fun small projects to help organize your sewing area - pin cushions, thread holders, scissor fobs, needle holders, etc! And of course Valentine's Day is nearing and who doesn't love some fun Valentine's fabric?

Most of you know that there is always a little something extra included with my giveaways! I do ask that if you post anonymously, that you include an email address so I can contact you if you're a winner...this is a MUST for you to qualify. I can't wait to hear what you'll all be doing this summer! Good luck!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Porch Parade

Mr. Squash reminded me this morning that I haven't had a post for a while. Between painting and worrying about Sophie with some yardwork inbetween, I just haven't had much to say. We've worked so very hard since we got here, that I think it was just time to slow down with everything!

The good news is that Sophie is doing really well on her new meds. That has taken a big load off our minds. I also finished painting the kitchen and fishing bathroom, but have been waiting for some good light to get pictures for you. The other good news is that we've decided to hire a painter to finish the rest of the house! It's so much work and a good painter can finish it in a fraction of the time it would take us! He came this morning to take measurements and will begin sometime next week!

I've really been admiring the great porches around our town, so I thought I would photograph some of them on my morning walk today! Also, stayed tuned as I'm going to have a giveaway soon!

This house below is a "wine guest house". You can rent the entire house for any of the many wine events the town holds, or for any other reason! The photo below this is a stained glass window on the side of the house that is a depiction of the front porch!

Even a small porch below (on this very large house) has been done with character!

Sitting porch below, sleeping porch above!

The house below is on the street directly behind the Squash House. It's a restoration in progress and truly incredible. The craftsmanship that has gone into the restoration is top notch! And...this one also has a sleeping porch above!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Do Like the Natives....

My lack of posting this week has been due to lots of things - mostly all good. I spent Monday and Tuesday finishing the rest of the painting in the kitchen -- it looks fabulous! But we haven't had much sun, so any pictures I take right now won't show well. I'll wait until a nice, sunny day to show you the result.

We've had a little snow and a lot of freezing rain and ice recently. I usually take my daily walks in any sort of weather, but with the bitter cold here I found that my feet just don't stay warm in my runners and I don't have the support I need on snow and/or ice. So I went winter boot shopping online and look what I found!

They fit perfectly, have lots of support and plenty of traction for just about anything but sheer ice! I remember how cold my feet were standing for 2 hours at the Christmas parade at night just after we moved here - next year they will be warm and toasty and fashionable - just like the natives!

I've also begun baking in earnest again thanks to Ulla and Melanie giving me a jump start with 2 great recipes! I've always used King Arthur Flour and just love the catalog they put out. I saved the last one I got at the old house, brought it here and decided to pick up a few things!

I've always had trouble proofing yeast, but King Arthur carries an instant yeast that requires no proofing! I thought I would give it a try. Also when I was packing up the cupboards in the old house I threw out the rest of my dark Dutch baking cocoa as it hadn't been used for quite some time. Now I have a new bag and there is a great recipe on the back for double chocolate brownies! I also got 2 bags of white icing mix for cookies or royal icing, and decided to try their Vietnamese Cinnamon. Wow - I wish computers had smellavision! This stuff is incredible! If you have some time, do visit their website - see the link I provided above - they have all kinds of recipes, too!

The other thing that kept us busy this week was Miss Sophie. She began throwing up every day a couple of weeks ago. Her wonderful new vet did some blood tests and didn't find anything. While we were waiting for those results, she had two Grand Mal seizures - nothing is more scary than watching your pet go through something like that. The vet then did a complete thoracic (sp?) workup and still didn't find much of anything. She decided that Sophie needed something to keep her calmer so she wouldn't have the seizures, or at least lessen them. We had to get a compounding pharmacy in Arizona to make up a lotion that is rubbed inside of her ear as she won't take pills or liquid. Check out the cute toys the pharmacy sent with the script below - how nice, and Sophie loves them!

This weekend I'll be buying paint to do the small bathroom off the kitchen. Two rooms done and 8 to go......

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Fall Finish and More Baking!

I finished a little stitchery I started before our big move! All that needs to be done is add the back and stuff it to make a little pillow. A quick trip to Joann's for stuffing today and it will be complete! I used some homespuns from my stash to add borders as well as for the backing. The stitchery is from Primitive Stitches which I bought complete with fabric and wool from Karen at Farmhouse Woolens. I actually changed out the background fabric for a lighter distressed cotton, but will use the darker fabric that came with it and make this again - perhaps for a gift!

Melanie emailed me the other day with a recipe for Mincemeat Cake! It sounded so good that I just had to make it right away! Mr. Squash and I headed out to the grocery for mincemeat (the sweet variety sans meat) and commenced baking! It turned out perfectly and is Oh-So-Good!!! Thanks for a fantastic, seasonal recipe, Melanie, we'll make it again and again!
We have had a couple of fires in one of our two wood burning fireplaces so far. The first one wasn't so good, but the second (below) was a bit better. We've both burned wood fires quite a bit in the past, but it seems we need to re-learn the proper methods! We purchased a bundle of kindling that you can see in the picture below. It helped a lot for this fire, but it was short lived. Either our wood isn't quite dry enough yet, or we haven't built up enough ash below to keep it hot. We need to practice more for sure! We also need to purchase a good set of fireplace tools!
Monday morning I begin painting again. I took the past week off after painting my studio, but it's time to get back to the grind! This week it will be the kitchen walls, which will complete the room. Then on to the rest of the house!