Monday, December 31, 2007

Back Home

I am back home & will run to Fairfax, Virginia to break out these two from jail in a couple hours. We had a nice time in Israel. I hope that all of you had a lovely holiday & that all are doing well. I will be catching up as quickly as possible. (Just finished my e-mails - @300 messages, only one of which was spam! YIPPEE!)

I took an average of 150 messages a day, so I will be sorting & blogging about them soon!

As a preview - I went to every place that was on my list & only ran out of time once - & that is only because Caesarea is HUGE! We drove about 1600 kms (@ 1000 miles) over the week. (the kilometerage was free - what we call it milage in the states - its not kilometerage elsewhere?) & that does not include the 2 days in Jerusalem where we use taxis.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Quilting Comic

Quilting Comic
Originally uploaded by jvc_scout_mom

On Blogging & traveling

O.K. I have a blog meter, but I barely glance at the e-mail that I get about weekly. I know other people have meters that tell them where in cyberspace people are coming from & they sound like they are checking fairly regularly... I am curious, but not enough to figure out how to do that...

Then there are blog rolls of varying kinds. I use bloglines. Not sure why, but I can tell you that I never "comparison shopped." Ditto with choosing Blogger instead of one of the other options.

What am I getting at?

Bloglines may give me too much information... As in the number of subscribers... (I don't compare my numbers to yours. & I try to remember that some readers may be using blogarhythm or some other feed.) But my number of subscribers has an ebb & flow. (I can admit that I go through cycles of culling back to a "reasonable number" which would create an ebb for someone else...)

I am not sure why it bugs me so, but I have been watching the ebb....

O.k. on to travel... I LOVE TO TRAVEL! I love everything about it, from the airport to the airport!

I am not so happy with all of the restrictions on liquids & such, but I have adapted...

I usually bring some hand work (not that I work on it, but I bring it just in case.)

So if you were me, would you bring a prepared cat applique block that you have been working on FOREVER or a bright shiny new fused applique that needs hand button holeing?

Factory Girl Challenge quilt

Factory Girl Challenge quilt
Originally uploaded by aviva_hadas

I forgot to get a snap before dropping this quilt off at the LQS. (I snagged the photo off of their website.) We were challenged to use the multi-print. It has a definate Andy Warhol feel to it... I think the solids work well with it... the back is a 60's looking Horror-scope print.

BTW incase you were wondering, "Happiness is...."
getting the reminder on your computer that you vacation starts in X hours...
(I have no idea why I set it to tell me so far in advance, most of the reminders I have set for the end of the day or for 15 minutes before depending on how I need to dress for the appointment. I guess I needed a TON of time to dress in sweats!)

Does anyone else have recollections of "Happiness is..."

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Let Me Sew

Oh the weather outside is frightful
But the fabric is so delightful
I wish I'd no place to go
Let me sew, let me sew, let me sew.

My kitchen floor needs some mopping
But I've bought some beads for topping
I've got to finish my UFO
Let me sew, let me sew, let me sew!

When I finally sit at the seat
I'll forget all about my home
My family will want to eat
They'd better call for pizza on the phone.

The stitches are finally flying
And the seams are flatly lying
If they really do love me so
They'll let me sew, let me sew, let me sew!!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

So many things in life...

& blogging & planning, etc. do not go according to plan.

Example 1 - with blogging, I made one of those countdown banners, but was not clever enough to insert it near the top... You have to scrolllllllll way down to see that we leave in 4 days.

With only 5 days to go, you'd think that we would have our plans fairly set in stone...

Well some are but some tohers are clearly still evolving...

We arrive on Sunday evening & hope to get right to sleep as soon as we get to Jerusalem. (That would be after getting our bags, going through customs, getting our rental car & our rental cell phone...)

So that on Monday, we can start out bright & early for Haifa. (change 2 or 3) We were always going to Haifa on Monday, but for a time we were going to Netanya first for coffee with a quilter & for a time we were going to Caesarea first. Now we will head for Haifa first & then head to Caesarea before ending up at our B&B in Sde Nechemia (one of 2 things set in stone on our itinerary.) On Tuesday we are going to Banias & from there hopefully to Tzfat (really hoping for this one...) & then to Jerusalem for a tour of the Western Wall tunnel. (We got reservations for the last English speaking tour for the whole week.) Walk around in the Old City in the evening - ending up at our Jerusalem hotel for the night. On Wednesday morning, we are getting up early once again to head into the Negev. In the Negev, we will see Ein Avdat & Avdat we may also see Sde Boker (time will be our enemy). We return to Jerusalem for the evening. But we will be up early again on Thursday so that we can go to Massada & Ein Gedi. Returning in the late afternoon to Jerusalem to get ready for the wedding. Off hand, I am not sure what we will be doing on Friday during the day (originally this was the day that we wanted to see the Western Wall Tunnel.) We will probably stay in Jerusalem - maybe go to a museum, as we will be able to take cabs on Friday until sundown, when we may have to go to dinner with the wedding party - not sure about that one, those plans are way up in the air. Saturday we will be staying in Jerusalem, having a nice dinner after sundown. Sunday at 3 a.m., we will need to be at the airport for our flight home.

Now if I was clever, I would be able to post this on Friday... if that is a possibility, I don't know how to do it.

The truely interesting thing will be to compare this "pre-trip" plan with the "post-trip" actuality.

weekend wrap-up

A. It got cold enough for us to have to wrap up - but we did not get any snow or ice. Some people lost electricity because of the high winds but that is about it.

B. The dinner party was nice...
I ended up making a Vegan bean stew, a very dairy kugel (noodle pudding), smoked salmon sandwiches (my lunch today), a vegan cake (my lunch today), a chocolate pie, & the expected cheese, crackers, veggies, hummus, pickles stuff. (you want any recipes - drop me a note/comment with an e-mail address.)

To make the stew "vegan" I bought a new pot (I needed one - this was the impetus) no sooner that I took the pot out of the box that my snoopervisor hopped into the box.
RB in a box

I hung 4 doll quilts to cover my fuse boxes:
doll quilts
I chose them based upon size...

I sewed on my Isotaupe quilt - It is all from stash!:
quilt blocks
When I started this, I cut a strip of of every piece that I had that was a 1/2 yard or smaller. I then cut one pair of fat rectangles and a pair of skinny rectangles from each (I cut 2 pairs each from the Judaica ones that Marisa sent to me.) I then counted & had 199 "blocks." According to the pattern, I need about 176... So I made 14 more & will add 2 rows. The HARDEST part was choosing those extras... I felt like I was choosing my favorite child or something... (Melodramatic, huh? Just a tad.) Anyway that photo shows all 213 "blocks."

(I keep adding the "quotes" to "blocks" because none is actually a block yet. The bottom row needs to be cut in half & sewn to the skinny rectangle - the top row needs to be sewn to the skinny rectangle and then cut in half and sewn to the skinny rectangle again... The pattern ends up being reminiscent of Argyle. The free pattern was linked to on this blog a couple times in the past & is at the Quilter's Newsletter magazine website.)

Yesterday, my mini-group met for our December get together...
Here are some shots of the quilts that were shown.
& an applique block (will be a wedding gift for a February wedding.)
applique quilt block
You too can accomplish that much applique in a month once you retire.

Friday, December 14, 2007

TATOUAGES, Sam Francis inspiration

TATOUAGES, Sam Francis inspiration
Originally uploaded by manulao4

An idea for all of you string quilt fans.... I am so happy to see the lights on the outside... (I kept wondering about my choice to lights on the outside, I am o.k. with that choice now.)

I like lights on the inside too...

In this quilt, i also like the high contrast & low contrast. (I always do, actually.)

Last night I was finally able to sew on my Isotaupe quilt again & some of my blocks are high contrast while others are low contrast. While I probably could manage something similar to thin in arrangement, I will got for random with Isotaupe.

What have you been sewing on?

Any just in time finishes to report?

I am going to sandwich two doll quilts this weekend if it kills me! (

& throw a modest get together - any ideas for vegeterian/dairy/fish food stuffs? I am making a bean stew, smoked salmon sandwiches, chocolate pie, key lime pie, veggies & hummus...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Revelation -

First - I just turned in my group paper & I feel pretty o.k. about it.
Second - I just finished my final & while I feel o.k. about some parts, & others not so good - I am done & I don't really care how I did - it just feels good to be done! It was full of far too much memorization... BLECH!

Now for my revelation...

How many of you have heard about your eyes being bigger that your stomach?

That is my problem with quilting... I think I can accomplish things so much quicker that I actually can in reality. So I have a multitude of projects waiting or in some varrying state of undone. I watch too much TV & lay around with my cats too much to accomplish all that I have started or though about started... (Awful grammar, but I bet you get the point.)

Sophie had a really good post on stash busting... Go take a look, I hope to take a good look at some of my projects and get them moving...
(after a gathering at our house this weekend - in the mean time I need to move stuff out of studio B aka the living room once again...) I too hope to get more stuff to at least a top...

Gypsy Quilter is a new to me blog - not to a lot of you based upon the smiling faces that I saw in her comments - thanks again Karen Dianne for pointing her out to me. & while I was looking at her blog, I was reminded of several of my projects & inspired - I love her blue & white checkerboard & her red rectangles quilt... I can do squares & rectangles - eay peasy... (Oh there I go again - neglecting to think about how long it takes to make a quilt top...)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Watch out girls, I may have the best husband...

So equilter sent me a teaser gift certificate. They were willing to give me $6 if I signed up a "friend." So I signed up hubby & they gave him $5!

He got me two of these Laurel Burch Panels.
You see, I have a lot of Laurel Burch - the cat charm collector in me had to get some of each....
But I did not have much of any... partial fat quarters for the most part.
But when Holly sent me this:
Kitty Capers
I knew that something Laurel Burch would be perfect for the back (the border is a Laurel Burch cat print)... & so it sat because I only had "scraps"...
Now I have a good bit of that back on its way from equilter. I shall use my GC to get the rest.
Thanks equilter. Thanks hubby. Thanks again Holly. Thanks Laurel, you will be missed.
& heck, there is a baby carriage on that panel, maybe that will be the spark... (If not we are going back to the specialist after the cruise in January.)

Straight from the Quilt Asylum

Lookie at my little bit of happiness in a box!
Happiness in a box
I got one each fat quarter of Denyse Schmidt's Katie Jump Rope line.... I have been wanting it forever... I mean seriously pining, like an old dog! The green/blues will probably be a Bento Box quilt with Kona Snow. The orange/yellow/browns are fermenting.
I also got this future Kaffe quilt- just because (I might need to go back & look at my stash reduction goal...) I plan to mix those charms with the Kona Mustard & do a shooting star quilt. The OOOOOLLLLLDDDD Kaffe strip will be the binding.

It is a good thing that I got them from the quilt asylum, because I surely must be going crazy...

So we had some snow...

Apparently some of us liked it more than others...
Rhapsody in the snow Yes, her mouth is open... She was letting me know how much she did not like playing in the snow.
The kitty prints were cute though...
cat prints in the snow
& she had me convinced that she liked snow - just a few days before (before I ruined my first winter doll quilt swap quilt. So we can call this a FAUX sneek peak)
She ran for the front door as soon as I opened the outside door:
I know where I live "LET ME IN!"
RB in he snow
He would rather be here:
RB in my studio in my studio on his cat mat.

I think I have now shared everything that is fit to share, that I had not previously shared...

Didn't I just recall a similar tale of woe?

NEW YORK - This was REALLY not kosher.

A grocery store in Manhattan made a food faux pas, advertising hams as "Delicious for Chanukah."
Chanukah — an alternate spelling for Hanukkah — is the eight-day Jewish holiday that began Tuesday evening, and hams — as well as pork and other products from pigs — can't be eaten under Jewish dietary laws.
A woman who saw the mistake over the weekend at the Balducci's store on 14th Street took pictures of the signs and posted them on her blog.
Jennifer Barton, director of marketing, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the signs were changed as soon as the error was noted.
She issued an apology on the company Web site, saying the company would be reviewing its employee training.
(The photo was blatantly bloglifted... If I could figure out how to hyperlink it for you, I would... I searched on my blog lines & can not get a permanent URL... The text is from yahoo news...The photo can also be seen in the NY Daily News, who apparently got it from this blogger/post. Oh, & that blogger is now wondering if anyone is reading that is not interested in the "Let's all eat trafe for Chanukah!" Trafe = not kosher i.e. ham.)
I feel so much better for figuring out the linky dinks!
The best comment (to the NY Post Article):

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Rhapsody on quilt blocks

Rhapsody on quilt blocks
Originally uploaded by aviva_hadas

How can I be upset with her sitting on my quilt blocks?

Friday, December 07, 2007

Happy Hanukkah

Happy Hanukkah

Neat-o shot brought to you by turning that dial on the top of the camera to the picture of a candle - who knew? (I bought this Hanukkiah - Hanukkah Menorah - from an artist at one of those fancy schmancy art shows - it is made of stainless steel, any guesses why I chose stainless steel. I mean really I have a lovely Waterford Crystal Menorah & An Lladro Menorah...)

A present for me? My present & another view of the tablerunner. My aunt gave this to me several years ago. I am always quite pleased when I can find it & remember to use it befor Hanukkah is over. :o) I also keep thinking about making one... Any guesses about what I got for Hanukkah?

Do you remember the cartoon that I reshared a couple days ago? Take a look at how close to reality that can be...

Hanu-cat Trouble, with a capital "T" he usually jumps down when I say, "No toes on the table." But he is terrible nosey at the same time... Both of them are rubbers, so I can't have anything that can be rubbed until it falls and breaks...

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Hanukkah quilt-let

Hanukkah quilt-let
Originally uploaded by aviva_hadas

Since everyone is sharing their decorations... This is about the extent of mine. Hanukkah is a minor holiday, beyond this little door decoration & the quilts that I shared yesterday, we only have the menorah that we use out as decorations. My M-I-L has a rather large Menorah collection - not that she uses them or anything... I too have a small collection, but we too only use one Menorah & I will share that with you tomorrow. (& the reason why we use the one we use. :o)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Maybe it is just because it is pre-coffee time, but

While checking blogs I ran across this at Forest Janes, this at Luv 2 Stitch Jeannes, & this at Pieces from my Scrapbag Finns...

All on the First day of Hanukkah!

Hey guess what Spiral (scroll to Dec. 4th) Jeanne is considering blue & yellow...

No I am not going to play along... I do not care for mysteries. (I have done some mystery quilts after the reveal though & reserve that right in this cast as well!) I will have fun watching this unfold though. I love seeing different versions of the same quilt! OH & I am not playing because I have too many other quity things in the air. (I am actually sewing on my Isotaupe quilt.) & A trip in about 2 weeks!

I was going to post my Hanukkah/Christmas cartoon - I'll just link to where I posted it 2 years ago instead... (I am not finding it quickly on the hard drive.)

This one is still a favorite photo...

And my Hanukkah bed quilt and wall quilt.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

From back to forth

I got another quilt back from a long armer yesterday.
Example of long arm quilting I love this cat quilting motif & it shows up so nicely on that solid flannel...
Example of long arm quilting Here is another kitty...

Example of long arm quilting The main part of the backing is this Halloweeny kitty print.

doctor cat quilt fabric This is one of my favorite cat prints! (I have a couple of other "Doctor Cat" prints, but this one is my favorite.)

cat quilting on cat fabric in cat charm quilt Here you can see the cat quilting on the front - in the red... In the charm next to it with the lone star quilt - do you see that kitty holding on to a kitty dolly - AWWWWW.
Cat charm quilt A small portion... I took this shot, because through the lense the white on white's actually look like more than a "White square."
Cat charm quilt The whole shebang.... Or the most that I can show you in a photograph. It is about 104 inches square!

Previously blogged here & here & here & here & here. You see if you keep at it, you really can finish a UFO! (& blog about it a lot!)

Oh & for those of you who think I just recently went off the deep end of the cat box, here is my first cat charm quilt.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Any one need a Vegan friendly main course or just a great side dish

I just made wild rice stuffed acorn squash & it turned out great! Found in the November 2007 Everyday Food magazine

What you need:
2 acorn squash (1.5 lbs. each) halved lengthwise, seeds removed. (I cut the tops off instead)
2 Tbls. olive oil
1 shallot, minced (I used 1/2 red onion)
2 garlic cloves, minced (might be too much...)
1/2 tsp. dried rubbed sage (I use poultry seasoning - it is mainly sage...)
salt & pepper
1 box wild rice blend (seasoning packet discarded) I used 1 cup of Lundberg's Black Japonica rice instead
1/2 cup dried cherries (I used Trader Joe's dried berry medley - which has blue berries and strawberries in addition to the cherries - I think Craisins would work too.)
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

preheat oven to 450 degrees. Arrange squash cut side down ; cover tightly with aluminum foil. Roast until tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife. about 40 minutes. (I lined my cookie sheet with foil and put  bit of olive oil on that.)

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium. Add shallot, garlic, and sage; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add rice and 1 3/4 cups of water (I had to add 2 cups - I followed the directions on my package of rice) bring to boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook until tender, without stirring, about 25 minutes. (I cooked mine for closer to 50 minutes - following the package directions.)

Remove rice from heat and stir in cherries and pecans; season with salt & pepper. Dividing evenly, mound stuffing into halves, and serve.

I think you can add diced carrots and celery to the oil for a while before adding the onions and garlic.

For the meat eaters, you can probably add sausage too. I almost served sweet italian sausage on the side, but I forgot - we did not miss it & my husband is a certified carnivore.

BTW in case anyone was wondering, a heck of  lot of bloggers/quilters feel that mac & cheese is comfort food. (I can get on that bandwagon too, but I am more of a sweet girl.)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Yes, the quilting can ruin a quilt...

So I decided to work on some "obligation" quilting this weekend: 1 on 1 doll quilt swap, 4 seasons winter doll quilt swap, & round robin round 2.

1 on 1 - top done!
round robin - block almost done.
winter doll quilt - top 2 done. :o(

I knew what I wanted to do way back in the fall... I just hopped that I would get partnered with someone wanting my "theme within the big theme."

She is o.k. with my theme within a them so I got cutting & sewing. My original idea had 3, 6, & 9 inch blocks... I had a math error & taht idea soon changed to 2, 4, & 8. The twos do longer looked "good" so I added borders & was quite happy with the result. So I sandwiched it & found the snowflake stitch on my machine...


That stitch herks & jerks a lot, by the time I got down 1 border, I was no longer straight, but I persevered... Before I knew it, I had a huge pucker/bump/shift on the front... So I "finished" that while thinking - What can I do with the fabric that I have left?

I made top Number 2...

I will do straight quilting on this one, so that I don't "have" to stash enhance to make top number 3!

I'd share a photo or two, but my partner reads the Calico Cat... All I can say is that I hope to have it ready to be under your tree. In other words, I want to mail this well before we go to Israel.

The baby quilt

Judaic Quilt
Originally uploaded by aviva_hadas

This baby quilt was made 100% from my stash. I did not have a big enough piece of bright on black fabric, so I used 4! All of the black & white prints and the Jan Mullen prints also came from my stash!

(The baby is very over due, so they are inducing labor tonight - Haifa, Israel time.)

I did the original post in flickr - I could not figure out how to paste the flickr "code" into a blog post on my MAC, so I am now adding the binding/backing, & close-up shots on my office PC. What I do for you bloggers. :o)

back & binding Judaic Quilt

close up Judaic quilt The background without an applique has a hidden kitty! :o)