Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Well That Was Unexpected....

Well I've "failed" at Work In Progress Wednesday again but I have a reallllly valid excuse this time.  My sweet, little, precious 15 year old Daisy has been having multiple screaming fits in the middle of the night during the past week and that is soooo not good for those of us trying to actually sleep at night and then get stuff done during the day.  And since she hadn't been responding to my frequent requests to "shut the eff up" I decided it was time for a visit to the vet hospital.  And please note.....I feel reallllly bad about telling her to "shut the eff up".......but when you're really cranky from being woken up so much it's hard to be polite.
Anyhoo......I think it's time for a brief back story.....a lot of you don't know that I'm a veterinarian in addition to being a quilt shop owner.  I was a full time vet for 9 years, became burned out and made a spur of the moment decision to open a quilt shop.  And I'm so glad I did!  But I now live 1.5 hours away from the only vet clinic in the area that I trust with my fur babies so whenever one of them is too sick to be treated at home I take them on a little road trip.  O.K.  Back story is done!
So yesterday I took Daisy to "my" vet clinic to get some routine senior citizen kitty testing done.  I was totally and completely expecting her to have a little thyroid problem which is easily treatable and really common.  Instead, we found that she has a large mass in her chest right next to her heart. Not so easily treatable and not so common.  Didn't see that one coming out of left field!

And by "mass" we mean it's probably a tumor but have you ever noticed that medical professionals like to be vague and non-committal with their answers?  Like "it might be this" or "it looks like that" or "there's no way to be sure."  So, I'm vaguely and non-committally telling myself that it could be lots of things.  We just don't know yet.  We're waiting to hear back from some specialists and then we'll go from there!
In the meantime I'm keeping my chin up and a smile on my face and hoping for the best!

Happy Sewing,

Monday, September 24, 2012

An Autumn Weekend

Autumn is a strange time here in Florida.  While most of you are talking about a chill in the air and leaves turning colors (oh how I miss that from my days as an Ohio girl) we're at the point where it's finally cool enough to venture outside.

Col/Mr. Sew Fab took me to lunch at the Marina down the street from our house on Friday.  Fish sandwiches plus a water view equals perfection.....
And we took the dogs on another adventure in the Got Crabs.....
We headed back to "our" deserted beach just across the bay and "the kids" ran and played and rolled in the sand and frolicked in the waves....
And when we returned home, Emma settled in on her favorite sofa cushion right under the vent and didn't budge for SEVEN HOURS!  (O.K.  That's actually not a picture of her on the sofa cushion.  That's a picture of her in bed.  The pictures of her on the sofa cushion didn't look too good so I used a substitute "Emma Is So Exhausted Picture.")
And I went on some sort of wild Spring Cleaning in Autumn frenzy.  I'm on one of those kicks where I'm determined to become a more organized and efficient and productive person and get rid of all the clutter and become one of those people who has a home that always looks picture perfect.  And I started with the magazines.  The piles and piles and piles of magazines that just keep growing and taking over.   Do you know what I'm talking about?  I bet you have those piles too, don't you?  If you don't I'm seriously, REALLY impressed!  And kind of jealous.....

I went through over 100 magazines, tore out the articles that I REALLY wanted (to be put in a 3 ring binder and sorted by theme/topic/etc.) and threw the rest away.  I was ruthless and showed no mercy!  Just me against the magazines.  And it felt SOOOO good.  I still have a long way to go but at least I'm heading somewhere! 

The funniest part about the Great Magazine Purge of 2012 was when I was going through some old Website business magazines that were about FIVE YEARS OLD and there was an article about this new thing called blogging that everyone should try.  Ya know....that new craze that's taking over the internet!  Needless to say, I didn't save that article!

And the other thing I've been doing is keeping a daily log of exactly what I'm doing all day.  It's absolutely amazing how much you get done when you're forcing yourself to admit on paper what you're spending your day doing!  I just don't want to have to write down stuff like "checked Pinterest for the 20th time."  And it's also amazing to see how much extra sewing time I'll have if I keep this up!

Well....I'm gonna run and go do things that extremely productive and responsible people soon as I figure out what those things are!

Happy Sewing,

Friday, September 21, 2012

Recipe Of The Month - Cupcakes!!!

Happy National Cupcake Week!  Uh's National Cupcake Week!  Don't you love how they have a holiday or week for absolutely EVERYTHING?!  Which makes me wonder if there's a National Bacon Week or Day.....or National Cookie Dough Day.....or a National Red Wine Day.....Wouldn't that be wonderful?!

Anyway, it's convenient that it's also time for Recipe Of The Month so I'm going to share the greatest cupcake recipe ever.  Seriously. Best. EVER.  They're vanilla buttermilk cupcakes with buttercream frosting.  They taste like something from a fancy schmancy bakery.  But they're semi-homemade so anyone can do it.  Yup....even you non-bakers out there can do it!
I took tons of pictures as I was making the cupcakes....and then I realized photos of white cupcakes being made are really boring so I'm just going to skip right to the good part.  Mmmmmm.....cupcakes.......
And here's a fancier version that I made a few years ago to celebrate Sew Fab's birthday.....
So now that I have everyone drooling over the thought of cupcakes, here's how you make them....

Vanilla Buttermilk Cupcakes:
-1 package white cake mix
-1 1/4 cups buttermilk (I use fat free)
-1/4 cup melted butter
-2 large eggs
-2 tsp vanilla extract

Beat all ingredients together at low speed until dry ingredients are moist.  Increase speed to medium and beat until smooth.  The batter will not be the consistency of normal cake mix batter.  It will be thicker and fluffier.

Place paper baking cups in muffin pans and coat with cooking spray.  Fill each about two-thirds full.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Or if you want to make mini cupcakes bake at 325 for 18 minutes.  We make the mini ones for parties and everyone loves them!    Little bites of heaven.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:
-1/2 cup softened butter
-3 oz softened Cream Cheese
-16 oz powdered sugar
-1/4 cup milk
-1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat butter and cream cheese on medium speed until creamy.  Gradually add powdered sugar and beat at low speed until well blended.  Increase speed to medium and add butter and vanilla.  Slather frosting on cupcakes.  Also very good on strawberries.  Also very good when eaten by the spoonful.

Now run along and go make a batch.  You need sustenance for your next marathon sewing session!

Happy Sewing,

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Work In Progress Wednesday - What Progress?

What is it about a week long trip that makes it seems like you've lost 3 weeks of your life?  Anyone else feel that way?  I was only gone for a week but if you add in the days before I left where I was getting ready and the travel days and the days after I got back where I was Just. Worn. Out.  And then add in the days where you're trying to catch up on laundry and e-mails and work.....well....a week long trip really does take 3 weeks out of your life.  What's up with that?!  So that's why I haven't had any progress to show for Work In Progress Wednesday during the last few weeks - no time and no energy!  So instead of showing you pictures of quilts that look exactly the same as they did the last time I showed them to you, I'll show you what we did last weekend.

Col. Sew Fab bought a rinky dink little boat full of leaks last summer.  It came with the name "Got Crabs."  Yup.....Col. Sew Fab is the Captain of the Got Crabs.  But we love it because we can hop in with the dogs and putt putt across the small bay we live on and voila.....we're at a small barrier island with the Gulf of Mexico on the other side. And that's exactly what we did last weekend....
Emma frolicked in the waves and rolled in the sand and found a coconut to play with.....
And Sammy laughed at me because I was scared that the coconut might be a human skull.  (Is anyone else always scared that they're going to find body parts on the beach?  Nope?  Just me?  Maybe I should quit watching crime solving t.v. shows).....
And after a day of fun in the sun the two cutest, fuzzy, wuzzy puppers butts led the way back home....
And it should come as no surprise to anyone that we all slept very well that night.

Happy Sewing,

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

September 2012 Giveaway - Love It or Leave It?

The winner is SpendLove who said "Avignon by Emily Taylor for Riley Blake Designs -it was a hard decision love so many, but Avignon wins my vote! Thanks :)"  Please send me an e-mail so I can give you your Gift Certificate!  
And the fabric collections that got the most votes are Hill Farm, Notting Hill, Honey Honey, Avignon, Simple Life and Hello Sunshine!

Happy September!  It's giveaway time again!!!  Well.....actually it was Giveaway time over a week ago but I went out of town and totally forgot to tell anyone in blog-land or Facebook-land or Twitter-land that I was going out of town.  And I totally forgot to do the intelligent, well prepared thing and write blog posts ahead of time.  I'm such a responsible business person, aren't I?  And where did I go, you ask?  I went up to Massachusetts for Mr. Sew Fab's promotion to Colonel at Barnes Air Force Base!!!  Seriously!  We may all have to start calling him Colonel Sew Fab from now on! 

Anyway, back to my original point of it being Giveaway time (more on the Colonel thing later)!  This month I'm doing another one of those Love It or Leave It posts.  As you can imagine it can be kind of challenging to pick out new fabric collections.  And I want to make sure that I'm going to get fabric collections that YOU like.  So here are some snippet samples of some collections I'm considering getting for the shop.  Tell me what you think!  What jumps out at you and screams "you can't live without me?!"  Which ones do you want to buy?  Which ones would you walk right by and say to yourself "Yuck!  What was she thinking?"  You don't have to comment on every collection.  If you have lukewarm feelings about something you don't have to tell me unless you want to.  Obviously, I'm mostly interested in the ones that you really, really want to buy and can't live without!  And if there's a collection you're interested in that I haven't listed here please tell me that too.  Please be honest!  You're not going to hurt my feelings if you don't like something.  You'll just be helping me stock the shop with tons of stuff that everyone will LOVE!  

Just leave a comment and you'll be entered to win.  I'll pick the winner of a $50 Gift Certificate on Tuesday, September 18. 

Here are the fabric collections that are being "nominated."  The name of the collection is listed above the image.  These collections are all being released sometime in the next few months.  (Please Note:  The fabric collections in the sidebar on the right are fabrics that are already in the shop).

This is Avignon by Emily Taylor for Riley Blake Designs.
Riley Blake Quilting Fabric

This is Cherry On Top by Keiki for Moda.
Moda Quilting Fabric

This is The Sweetest Thing by Zoe Pearn for Riley Blake.
Riley Blake Quilting Fabricy

This is Poppy Love by Michael Miller.
Michael Miller Quilting Fabric

This is Honey Honey by Kate Spain for Moda.
Moda Quilting Fabric

This is Flutter by The Quilted Fish for Riley Blake.
Riley Blake Quilting Fabric

This is The Simple Life by Tasha Noel for Riley Blake.

This is Garden Party by Pillow and Maxfield for Michael Miller.  That middle print is actually a large bandana print, not a small print.  This image doesn't show it to scale in relation to the other prints!
Michael Miller Quilting Fabric

This is Kissing Booth by Basic Grey for Moda.
Mod Quilting Fabric

This is Notting Hill by Joel Dewberry for Free Spirit.
Free Spirit Quilting Fabric

This is Hello Sunshine by Lori Whitlock for Riley Blake.
Riley Blake Quilting Fabric

These last five images are all Hill Farm by Brenda Riddle for Lecien.
Lecien Quilting Fabric
Thank you so much for all of your honest opinions.  I can't wait to read your comments!!!

Happy Sewing,