A place to store and share the things I make.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sick Day Part II

The thing with working a healthcare job is that some days you can be well enough to do your job, but still sick enough to give everyone else what you've got.  That was today.  I woke up feeling cruddy but not cruddy enough to stay in bed all day and watch reruns of Grey's Anatomy.  So I baked a cake, built it, really.  It was my first attempt at a triple layer cake, and first attempt at a Gluten-free cake as well.  I probably should have stopped at 2 layers; I didn't have enough chocolate to make the whole genache recipe, and I'm so darn instant-gratification driven that I just had to power on.  So I did all 3 layers.  It isn't pretty, but it's tasty.  The biggest problem I've found with gluten-free baking is that it's typically pretty crumbly; this was no different, yet at the same time was very moist.  The recipe (I'll post it if anyone wants it) is from Flying Apron in Seattle, their Mexican Chocolate Cake and Chocolate Genache frosting.  A little cinnamon, a little cayenne in the cake.  It will be coming with me to work tomorrow since there's no way the two of us will eat it.  Although, I'm not sure anyone else will eat it since I made it while I was out sick.  I washed my hands and didn't lick the spoon, I swear.

Kinda reminds me of a McDonalds hamburger...
I also got to work on my nephew's other quilt, the one I started in October when Mom & Dad were out here.  And haven't touched since Halloween.  I took a dozen or so pictures of the layout of the squares, changing them around and taking pictures from different angles to make sure I had the exact right pattern of squares.  I wonder if all my sewing will be this obsessive-compulsive.  It's a work in progress.

All in all, it was a good sick day.  A cake was built.  I sewed.  I talked for a while with my mom and my dear friend Julia.   I slept in a little.  I wrote two blog posts.  I'm exhausted.  And I better get some rest so I can go to work tomorrow.

The Rest of Christmas

 I'm home sick for the second day this week (not including my regular day off), so I'm going to use my time well.  I'm going to write about the rest of the gifts we gave for Christmas.  Graham specifically wanted to make something that we both could make together (last year he baked something and I sewed something for a lot of our gifts).  We came up with a good combined use of our passions--we made embroidered blank cards for everyone & gave them in packs with envelopes.  I think I enjoyed teaching Graham to "sew" more than he enjoyed it, but he was a trooper and made some sweet original designs.  I only once came home to find a card in the garbage, the torn pieces held together only by the embroidery floss.  It was also one of those projects where you get better as you go, so here is a sampling of the final pack we made (which may have been the best looking). 
The pups are my dogs-in-law, Jaeger and Doozer

Gilda in her Christmas outfit
I also decided exactly one week before Graham's step-family's big Christmas party that I was going to make something for the gift exchange.  I took a class with Veronica in Eugene (will post about that sometime) on freestyle log-cabin quilting.  So I made this great table runner.  Unfortunately, due to the fact that I finished hand stitching the binding as we pulled into the driveway of said party, I did not get a picture of the final product, which is now at home in Arizona with his auntie.  Here's the work in progress.  It was my first project on his Grandmother Betty's old Singer, which is gorgeous and very much in need of some oiling, but worked beautifully nonetheless. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

Christmas Creations 2010

In light of Advent Conspiracy, Graham and I have taken up the tradition of making Christmas presents for each other.  Last year I framed a quote he liked, and he made me earrings.  Sweet, simple, quick.  This year we set much higher standards.  Went above and beyond.  And it was awesome.  We both happened to recruit his oh-so-creative genius step-brother Thadeus who is a Carpenter and artist/sculptor, and this is what we came home with:

 A Cribbage board (he really wanted a travel-sized one...) and a poop stool!  (Read this article about postures for bowel movements for more info on the stool...this is not so weird if you've spent much time with us since I've been a women's health physical therapist and have gotten very comfortable talking about poop).  Besides the fact that they are incredible gifts and were made (mostly) by our own hands, it was cool to spend so much time with Thadeus (so much time that he didn't really get to make his own woman her Christmas gift...oops).  The thing with "in-laws" is that you don't really get to spend a lot of time with them apart from your spousal unit, but when you do get to, it's just a little different dynamic.  So, of this year's Christmas gift giving, one of the best parts was just spending time getting to know another part of Graham's family as my own.  Which is the whole point of Advent Conspiracy--Spend less, give more: of your time, of yourself.  Mission accomplished. 

The pegs are old railroad nails I got for $1 at Hippo Hardware

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Quilt top for TJR

The finished 5x5 quilt
I finally finished the quilt top for my nephew (I think Christmas was my original deadline, then New Years...I sent it off Tuesday).  This was a collaboration of the creativity of my aunts and cousins and cousin-to-be and Gramma and mom and honorary-aunt Terri.  I picked out the elephant and giraffe print with my friend Veronica and sent a couple fat quarters to everyone to do what they wanted with it and send back a 12 1/2 inch square.   I have to admit, I felt like I had a hard time finding fabric that went with it, but I was so surprised to see everyone's picks and how great they all look!  I have some good genes running through my blood when it comes to craft.  I'll put up pics of the finished quilt when mom and Terri get it done, but I wanted to get these up sooner.  Nice work ladies!
Close up collage of individual squares