Thursday, November 25, 2010

Stash Update 4; Ali's 12th Bday and other stuff!

Hi!  What a week!  I started off with the kids going back to school after our one week Eid Holidays.  Ali was sick so he got to stay home Saturday.  In the Muslim world; the weekend is Thursday and Friday so Saturday would be our first day of the week.  I stayed home with him and we hung out.  I sewed a little.  Sunday, we had our weekly Hardanger meeting.  I talked and talked and remembered my Mom.  When she was here two years ago she said I talked too much and did not work enough.  She observed that the other ladies were talking and getting work done.  Oh how I miss her!  Sandra's son got married in America and had a ceremony here but I could not make either one.  She kindly and graciously took all of us ladies to lunch to celebrate his marriage!  We had a lovely lunch!  Thank you Sandra!

Here from the left you see Maya, Shirin, Megumi, Sandra, MOI, Sylvie and Anisa.

This is a sneak peek for Lois and Isra!  I have since sewn 6 rows and it looks like it needs to be enlarged!

This was a cake I made last night with Ali's help!  He wanted a black and white theme so I made a new recipe of Devil's Food chocolate and a White Vanilla cake.  I am afraid to say that I did not care for the chocolate.  The kids loved it and took some home!  It was a three layer checkerboard cake.

Will I EVER achieve perfection?  I suppose if I implement the rules that I have learned instead of winging it!  The buttercream is vanilla and chocolate.  The kids loved the fork 'sewing lines'.  Yay!

My beautiful still 11 year old!  He blew the candles out way before Amal got to take the pictures so I had to relight the candles and he was posing!

Here is the bad boy cake.

Funny story:  I was washing the dishes late, late last night when I noticed that the tip of one of my spatulas was broken off.  I had SUCH a mess that I set it aside with all the debris to toss.  Never did I wonder where that piece went!  Then, fast forward to tonight and I was helping Ali cut the cake and I saw it!  I immediately realized that it was the missing piece!  I chuckled to myself and tucked it in the center.  I thought all the kids were done with the cake.  Little did I know that Amal took a little tiny piece!

Well, later Amal and I were in the kitchen and I told her the story when it was like a lightbulb went off in her head.  She exclaimed, "So THAT is what is was!!!".  I laughed so hard.  She said she ate it!  My my!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all my American friends!  We are going to a friend's house and I can't wait!  I am making Pumpkin Pie and Chocolate Cream Pie (and it is South Beach!), a salad for Amal and a Green Bean Casserole!  Yay!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Stash Update 3

Hi!  Been gone for a while!  The kids had a week long break from school and Ali and I got sick!  We were supposed to go to Dubai but have postponed that until December school break!  That's ok.  Here in the Muslim world we had celebrated Eid Al Fitr last Tuesday.  My hubby and I hosted his family this year at our house!  My dear friend, whom NEVER reads my blog, lent me her maid the day before Eid to help me clean the house and then I had to cook and clean some more and organize for Tuesday.  Then, she let me have her on Eid day to help keep the kitchen running smoothly.  After everyone left; I immediately did some 'damage' control and chilled with my kids.  It was a nice day.

In between when I could grab a minute or two during this past week; I worked on my Scrap Log Cabin that I was inspired to make from Jodi over at Pleasant Home.  She is really talented.  Check her out.

These are 64 8.5" squares of S.C.R.A.P.S sewn into wonky log cabins.

Here is my 'process'.  At the very top you will see I originally calculated for 9.5" blocks but ended up changing my mind to 8.5".  I am so excited with them but then when I go to blogland and see the fabrics that people are using in the United States, my HOME, I get to feeling bad for an iota of a second.  I don't have these more modern fabrics in my stash.  One has to work with what they have right!  

Ok.  I'm off to shower and try to eat breakfast before my friend shows up at my door for our Hardanger morning!

Thanks for stopping by and I have already started sewing these babies together.  Yay!

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Proud Mamma I am!

Today I had parent/teacher meetings.  For Ali, my 11 year old 6th grader studying in the MYP system; I got all high praises.  I got to see his work in Art.  Mamma was impressed!  He is well liked and respected by the teachers and once upon a time a while ago I was criticized for my kids being 'too polite'.  That bugged me for years.  I am who I am and kept insisting and teaching and grooming my kids.  The  pay off is when I get such lovely feedback from the teachers, male and female alike on my kids' manners.  I have to call my own Mamma and tell her SHE did a great job with me and with my kids!  Thanks Mami!

After the meetings with Ali's teachers; I got him something to eat at the Mall and then we shopped for a new baby in the family and then did some grocery shopping.  He is such a funny kid!  He cracks me up and I see myself in him.  Very cool.

I then dropped him off at home, ate lunch myself and spoke a little to my hubby and gave the kitties a new toy I bought them and then back up to school for Amal's meetings.

OMG!  She got high praises too!  Oh, let me back up...she is my 14 year old 9th grader, HIGH SCHOOL FRESHMAN that is studying a mix of MYP and IGCSE systems/programs, whatever it is called!  She had a bit of trouble transitioning from Middle School or 8th grade to High School or 9th grade and she seems to have 'gotten it' and is on a roll now!  Yay!

I am such a lucky Mom.  Both kids talk to me.  Amal opens up and it is a pleasure and privilege to watch her develop.  It really is.  For me.  I did not and do not want her teenage years and high school years to be hating me.  I give a lot, let them get away with a lot but still let them know not to mess with me.  They respect me and love me and it is the coolest so I am just gushing today!

Ali is officially taller than me at age 11 and he is developing too.  It is a pleasure to see him mature into what I can only hope is a lovely young man.  He is so kind and thoughtful and ok, so he doesn't clean out Uki's (our cat) eyes (flat faced Persian) or brush her regularly but he is a keeper!

Ok.  Now I am off to pack those baby goodies and Ali and I are going to go pick up my SIL and leave Ali to babysit her kids and she and I will go to visit my other SIL's Mom and sister and give the gifts.  Gotta go as it is far and I want to be back early to get back to reality and clean the bathroom and kitchen!!

It's been a great day for me.  I hope it is or has been a great day for you!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sewing Caddy

Nima over at Made to Treasure inspired me to get off my duff and make this.  I have seen it around magazines over the years and finally jumped in.

I can do a tutorial of my own as I took step by step photos and still screwed it up! I learned tough, ladies, as usually when I screw up anything crafty, I lovingly set it aside and forget about it. I percevered on this puppy and am pleased with it but it is too small for my sewing supplies. This can only mean I will have to make another one. When I do, I vow, VOW to use matching thread! I am usually too freaking lazy to change the thread. I tell myself I like the 'handmade bohemian' look but it would be just that much better if it all matched, I know!

I must mention Nima over at Made to Treasure for inspiring me and on her site, I must mention and thank all these three ladies, Penny at Penny's Hands and Tommy at The Material Girl and Nima being the third, for their tutorials.  I still struggled as I realized that I am a by the 'book' person, if you will. When you leave a measurement up to me, I make a mistake! THINK ALIA, THINK! It was fun and here are the pics...

First I tried to cut out a 14" circle.  I couldn't get my protractor to go that far so settled for a 12" circle.

Ok.  I'm not the brightest nail in the tool box but this way worked for me.  I needed a little bit more than the two ladies' tutorials gave.  So, I made a circle almost 8" or 2" smaller.  I labeled everything like a good girl only to have to cut it out!

These were my fabric choices but in the end; I omitted the light purple.  I did not like it with the green.

I had to iron my fabrics! You can see some of my larger scraps folded and waiting to be used.

Here I traced the circle from the template. I doubled up the fabric once I omitted the light purple and needed another fabric for the lining of the pockets.

I marked the six pockets.  Then I cut them out with scissors.

Here is Uki under my sewing table having a snooze in her Build A Bear bed!  You can see her Soft Paws on her claws.  Those things are life savers on our person and furniture!

I then pinned all around the pocket pieces and even drew 1/8" marks.  I went ahead and left that but on the bigger circles I sewed in at 1/4" and it was easier and I think sturdier. I had forgotten about right sides together but lucked out here as this was the same fabric on both sides and a solid.

Yep, I got myself and one can't have to much fun in her studio without bleedin' a bit!

The green turned out gloomy and dull.  You'll see how bright it really is!  I did the same here as above.

This fabric lining came out blue!  BLUE!!  It is meant to be a dark purple like below!  Strange!  I made slits in the middle and turned out the right sides.

I then folded and ironed to get the center and six compartments.

Aw man, I realized that I did not turn these fabrics around and had to rip out the seams. I turned the fabric right sides together and then sewed in at 1/4".  Then I realized that I forgot the buttonhole.  I couldn't figure it out and therefore made two eyelets they were T I N Y!

This is when I realized that I should use matching threads.  I could not figure out how to make a buttonhole and had spent too much time so I chose an eyelet. I sewed two lines to make a channel for the ribbon.

 I cut three layers of Dream cotton batting and realized that my pockets were not deep enough so I took it all apart.  I only put two back in. I also found some darker purple thread that really made a difference!  

See, you can really see the white thread.  It is ok but would have been better with a more blending in type of color!  Here it is pulled together and I was disappointed that it was too small!  Nevermind, I will be giving it to my daughter for a stocking stuffer!  Now, to come up with something for my son...

This is the inside, empty!

Thanks for having the patience for this long post!


I filled my little 'jewelry caddy' with the jewels I had sitting around.  On the top left I have my two black heart earrings from St. Louis and way back in my Siouxsie and the Banshees days and then I have three gold rings below that and then you can see my kick butt gold bangle and the silver necklace is my Brighton purchase for myself over the summer in Cleveland, OH!  I'm still gonna give it to my girl!

Hardanger Bargello Table topper thingy

I have started yet another project!  Most of the ladies in my Hardanger group have made this which is good for me as they can help me! 

I usually write on the selvedge the name of the project; the date I started the project and the type of fabric it is and the count.

Then, the next step is to secure the edges once you cut the fabric to the desired piece.  This is the loveliest  lavendar.  Up above it looks grey, I know and it's my editing!  Anyway, I do the zigzag stitch on my machine.

Oops, before I zigzag, I started to mark the fabric by centering it both ways and stitching four threads over and four threads under.  You make a grid like this and it helps exponentially when you screw up and need to re-count.  Let me tell ya!  I know!

I'm scared.  This project is the largest I have worked on and much smaller ones take me years to finish!  I hurt my right arm a few years ago with this work and hand quilting so I had to stop most of my hand work and only do Hardanger once a week on Sundays.  I get so excited though and push myself and then I can not even pick up a piece of paper and really have to lay off for a while!  So, I must remember to pace myself!

I can post my progress on this but I trust you all will agree that it is B O R I N G!

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Stash Busting Progress #2

Here is the sewn top for this very colorful scrap quilt.  I think it needs either to be enlarged with more blocks or needs borders.  By seeing this, I am thinking more blocks.  What say you??  

I took the backdrop of my front garden.  I will get better at this but now that the weather is getting nicer I have been inspired by Xue to photograph my quilts in the backdrop of Arabia, that is, Muscat!  Thanks Xue!

Here is another view of the top.

I then started playing around with some pastels that I had in my stash and all the white and cream in there is from my stash!  How exciting!

Another view of this one.  I think I will enlarge this also and have a picture further below to show you the fabrics that I have picked out.

I put it on the gate too.  Didn't want it to feel bad since it IS smaller than the colorful one!...

Here are the fabrics that I want to use to enlarge this quilt.  I forgot to put a white in there.  Ok. So I plan on putting about a 6" white border that will NOT be from my stash of scraps but from what I have on hand.  Right now Muscat is not selling white on white or cream on cream at all so I am happy I have a stash built up.  Anyway, then I will be putting about a 3" border of the lavendar and then another 6" of the white.  The white with really pretty little pink flowers will be the backing but I am not sure about the binding yet.  

What do you think?

Thanks for stopping by and I would really appreciate some input!