Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Closet Curtains

Hey there!  I know it's been a while since I've posted anything.  It's actually been a while since I've sewn anything!!

In my continued effort of organizing my home, I decided to tackle our bedroom closet.  Mr Mouse and I went through its contents and filled 3 big boxes of clothes to give to Goodwill!  That initial purge felt so great.  Once the closet was clean and organized, Mr Mouse took off the closet doors and stored them in the garage.  We never close the doors anyway, and because we have a smaller room with large furniture, it was like running the gauntlet every time I had to pass by the closet.

I had a curtain rod stored away that I was planning on using on the dining room window, but since it had been tucked away for over 2 years, I figured that it was safe to say it wouldn't be used there any time soon.  I pulled it out and dusted it off and Mr Mouse expertly hung it over the closet.

Then came time to make the curtains.  I was getting excited to go online and browse all the lovely fabrics out there and order something brand new.  But then Mr Mouse kindly reminded me that I have too much fabric as it is, and perhaps it might be a good idea to use from my stash?  He's pretty brilliant.

Right now my favorite colors are chartreuse, teal, and brown.  I dug through my scrap bin and pulled out a bunch of fabrics that worked together.  Using this towel as inspiration, I sewed them together to create an accent strip.  I found just enough light brown fabric from Ikea (that almost perfectly matches our walls) to use for the body of the curtains.  I hemmed them and added curtain loops, and voilà!  (Please pardon the poor quality iPhone pictures)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Maui Wowie!

Aloha again!

Let me try to remember what's been going on the past couple of days.  A few days ago we woke up, had breakfast, went shopping, made mango salsa, all before 9:30.  I sure love waking up at 6:30 every morning.  I get so much done!  Anyway, that same night it was our turn to cook, so we found a recipe that sounded tasty, and went shopping for groceries and made the mango salsa.  We had to let it sit for an our before marinading the chicken with it, which ended up working perfectly because Uncle Ed was making us all waffles at 9:30.  After the waffles we zipped back to the house and used the juices from the salsa to marinate the chicken.  Then we decided to take a drive down south.  We went through Waileia and checked out some of the beautiful houses there.  Here are a few of my quick snaps out the car window:

From there we drove farther south through the last lava flow on the island.  This is actually one of my favorite places; I love looking at the lava and the cinder cones and the remnants of the volcanic activity.

After the black rock beach we went to Big Beach (not to be confused with Little Beach - the nude beach).  We sat for a bit and read our Kindles.  I got restless and Lowen and I went swimming for a bit.  There's no great snorkeling around, and the waves aren't great for boogie boarding, so we just went and played in the waves for a bit. Then we realized that there were sea shell bits a bit further out, so we grabbed our snorkel gear and went and spent some time finding and diving for the sea shells. I took a little walk and took some pictures of the waves:

Then we came back to the condo and Lowen and I got to work on supper. Lowen bbqed the chicken, and I stirfried some broccoli and peppers with onions and garlic in lots and lots of butter.  My mother in law made rice, and my aunt brought a salad.  The dinner was a big hit!  Of course no Maui dinner would be complete without a sunset.

The next day was a real adventure!!  We woke up at 5:30 and got ready and went deep sea fishing!! That was quite the experience.  We got to the boat, and the second mate was such a grump!!  Haha.  Maybe he was grumpy because he had to wake up at 4, or maybe that's just how he was. Oh well. Anyway, we took off (took off?  What's the proper boat terminology for that?!) and headed out!  There was a swell that came in that day, and we were going up and down these 10 - 12 foot swells.  On the way out we saw oodles of whales breaching and doing pec flaps and everything.  It was so cool.  A couple of hours into the trip I was starting to feel disheartened because we weren't catching any fish.  We went waaaay south past a part of the island that I have never seen before, and I really enjoyed looking at the lava flows and cinder cones. Because of the swell, the coast was all lit up with the spray from the waves on the cliffs.  It was so neat to see the water shooting waaaay up every time they smashed the cliffs. We made our way out to a buoy that marked the good fishing spot. By that time, everyone was starting to get sea sick.  Everyone but me, that is!  For some reason my husband seems to think I get motion sick, but I proved him wrong on this trip! The captain was making fun of me because I was eating my sandwich while the others were all "feeding the fish" over the side of the boat. Anyway, speaking of fish, we started to get a few bites!! Those that were able all helped to reel in the fish.  I reeled in 2 yellow fin tunas myself! It was my first time fishing, so I was happy to have been able to catch something. 

Tandem fishing!

Lowen's catch

Uncle Ed's catch

Apparently I stick out my tongue when I'm reeling 'em in

My fish!!

We came home and cooked up our fish.  It was sooooo tasty!!!

I still have today to tell you about, but it's 8:50 here and past my bedtime.  I'll have to catch up later!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Snorkeling and Sunsets

I know you've all been waiting to hear about what we did today on our vacation in Maui  :)  Last night we had spaghetti, salad and the most delicious bbq shrimp.  Here we are all eating dinner:

One of the things I love about Maui is the sunsets.  We were treated to a real show last night, and it was neat to hear all the conch shells blown right as the sun set.

This morning we got up and drove to Honalua Bay where we did some snorkeling.  The snorkeling there is great, but the beach is nasty.  It's all big, slippery rocks, and unfortunately we had a few bad spills trying to get in and out of the water.  I saw a massive puffer fish - he must have been at least 2 feet long!  That was the highlight of that snorkeling excursion for me.  I love puffer fish.  I also saw a few tiny cute guys, as well as oodles of other gorgeous fish.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
The bay is actually some guy's private property, and he has chickens and a cat that roam around, begging for food.  Unfortunately none in our group were chicken lovers, so the chickens were less than desirable, but the cat was fun.  He decided he liked the looks of my lawn chair and curled up and went right to sleep.  

After snorkeling we went and wandered around Lahaina.  I bought 2 sweaters (yes, I bought sweaters in Maui), and some souvenirs.  It was soooo hot there, so I was glad to hop back in our air conditioned jeep and drive back.  When we got back to Kihei, we got cleaned up and had dinner at Moose McGillycuddy's.  I had a delicious teriyaki shrimp bowl.  Uncle Ed and I got matching drinks. 

Again, we were treated to a beautiful sunset while we ate our dinner.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Aloha, remember me?

Hey there!  Remember me?  I know it's been 3 whole months since my last blog entry!  I will assure you I am still alive and well, just got bogged down with life at the tail end of 2011.  Then I felt so overwhelmed with all I wanted to tell you that I didn't even attempt to catch up and the task of remembering everything seemed so daunting!  But I've decided to just pick up and continue on, and I can add in some recap of the last 3 months as I think of it and feel like it.

Anyway, right now I'm in Hawaii looking at this:

Rough life, eh?  :)  We were worried we might not even make it, since Vancouver was experiencing delays and cancellations due to freezing rain.  Lowen called WestJet, and they advised getting to the Calgary airport an hour earlier just in case.  We kept an eye on the flights to Vancouver that day and were getting worried since the morning flights were being delayed, and one was even cancelled.  But, by the time we got to the airport the 3:00 was on time and our flight, the 4:00, was on time too.  So off we went!

I was so ready for a vacation, especially to a warm spot.  Spending at week in -30 weather really takes it out of you!!  But as we were leaving it was nice to see the Chinook arch over the mountains.

We arrived around midnight local time and went straight to bed.  With the time difference it was 3:00 my time and I was exhausted!!  We woke up the next morning around 7:00 and went to the market in Kahului.  I bought a plumeria ring, a nice pearl and bead necklace, and a hat.  I was feeling a little peckish and bought what I thought was a donut covered in coconut, but was actually a tuna sandwich that was deep fried with onions on the outside.  It was soooo good.  

Lowen and I each ended up getting a hat.  Lowen picked his up, and went to go ask what the price was.  The vendor said it was $20, and Lowen offered to pay $15, then the vendor came back with $18. Lowen said he'd have to think about it, and the guy then said he'd take the $15 for it.  Sweet deal!  Then I found a hat I liked with cute palm trees on it (I forgot a hat and got heat stroke last year and puked a lot, so I'm always careful to wear hats now!).  Lowen said he'd barter the guy down on my hat too, and offered him $15.  The vendor came back with $10 and Lowen said SOLD!  :)

You should see the avocados they have here.  They're MASSIVE!!  Check out this pic of me with some of them (my mother in law suggested the pose.  I didn't get too into it because I felt awkward doing it in the middle of the market... haha)

Here's a pic I wanted to take for my mom of the hibiscus bushes.  This was only one of a dozen or so of them there, all in full bloom.

In the afternoon my mother in law and I went shopping to a quilt store.  I ended up spending $128 (eek) but got a gorgeous quilt kit and some uber Hawaiian fat quarters.

The place we're staying at has such beautiful landscaping, and a fantastic view, as you've already seen. I love that there are flowers absolutely everywhere.  All of the hedges and bushes and trees are just loaded.  

Today we went to a Catholic church with Lowen's parents.  I had never been to a Catholic church before, so it was neat to see something different.  I got a little lost from time to time with what was going on, but it was fun.  The church was beautiful.  It had skylights and open walls so the air could flow through.  There were also beautiful stained glass windows all around with Hawaiian scenes of hibiscus trees and the ocean and boats.

This afternoon we went to rent snorkel gear for the week, and just now we booked a deep sea fishing excursion for Wednesday.  There are oodles of whales out there, and I'm really looking forward to seeing some up close on this trip!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Basic Grey Sampler - Complete!

I'm sure you remember me telling you that I won a Basic Grey Sampler  from Amy at During Quiet Time.  I finally had a chance these past few days to finish it!
I tried my hand at making a few yo yos for the first time in various shades of green and aqua.  I used one of the packages of Basic Grey buttons, and then dug through my button collection to find a few more that matched.
I sewed on the buttons and hot glued the yo yos on.
I'm really pleased with how this turned out, and I know it'll look great hanging in my sewing room!  I'll try to take some better pictures in better light once it's hanging in its place.

Stroll Down the Garden Path - Complete!

My giveaway is still going on!  Go check it out!

Hooray!  I finished another quilt!  
I started this one at the beginning of July and have had an on-again, off-again relationship with it ever since.  I have another quilt that needs to get done asap, as well as a few other pressing projects, so I wanted to just finish this one up and get it out of the way.
I saw this quilt by Red Pepper Quilts and thought it would be a great quilt to use up some of my vintage sheet as well as some other scraps.  Some of the fabrics were even my Oma's, so it was nice to be able to find a good home for them. 
I named it 'Stroll Down the Garden Path' because in my mind the green forms a path that winds its way through the garden - the floral and patterned fabrics.
The back is another thrifted vintage sheet.
This one has found a home on my couch downstairs and keeps me warm while watching TV.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Scrappy Mug Rug Swap

Don't forget about my Apron Giveaway!

I have decided that I really love Flickr swaps.  They're a great opportunity to meet other sewers and quilters from around the world, and who doesn't love coming home from work to find a package full of goodies!?

The Fall/Halloween round was my first round with the Scrappy Mug Rug Swap.  I was a little worried because I don't have much experience making mug rugs.  My partner wanted a Halloween themed mug rug. I had a bit of a hard time coming up with a design because I'm not really big into Halloween, and I didn't have ANY Halloween fabrics.  My partner specified a few fabrics that she liked (of course none of which I had...) and also mentioned she liked purple and green together.

I started with the Bare Trees background, which was similar to one of her favorite fabrics.  I then decided to try my hand at appliqué and added a little scared pumpkin.  I got the idea for the button spiders from some picture I saw once on Flickr (I can't remember where, sorry!).  
Then for the back I did some wonky piecing in purple and green.  
To the mug rug I added a few extra goodies:  a stuffed jack-o-lantern, some googly eyed spider stickers, Lindor chocolate pumpkins, some Basic Grey buttons, and a brown and orange vintage pillowcase.
When my partner (who happened to also live in Calgary) received my package, she seemed pleased with everything which really made my day.

A week after sending my package my husband emailed me a picture at work of an envelope with a customs sticker saying "Mini Quilt".  I couldn't wait to get home to see which mug rug I had received!  I loved looking through the group photo stream and dreaming about which of the mug rugs was going to be mine.  There was on in particular I had my eye on, and right from the initial sneak peak I had secretly hoped it would be the one that showed up on my doorstep.  Imagine my delight when I opened the envelope and there it was!!
I love everything about it, and it's clear to see that so much effort was put into it.  Stephanie from Spontaneous Threads was worried that it wasn't quite what I was hoping for, so she made me a second one as well!!

I love them both - I think they're fantastic!  I think both of these beauties will go on my wall in my sewing room.  They're truly pieces of art!!  Check out her blog post about them here.