Monday, May 31, 2010

I joined my first "_____-a-long"!!!!

I'm so excited! I joined my first thingy!! A Hexagon Charm Quilt group a long thingy!!?? Get it together girl!

Melanie over at Texasfreckles is hosting it with an ENORMOUS amount of HELPFUL information! I had started this bad boy project eons ago. Did I already talk about it in my previous post??? Hmmm...

I'm so excited! I was going to start on a Hardanger summer project but I will continue to work on this one when I travel to the United States! I can't wait to see my Mami and Papi (Spanish for Mom and Dad). It has been two years since I have seen my daddy and he suffered weight gain and Shingles. Nasty that is. My Mom came over to the Middle East a year ago November 2009. Wow. I miss them. My sister too. Her kids too. AMERICA too!

edited to say: Hexagon Charm Quilt PIECE a long! Got it!

Hexagon Madness...that's a good thing now!

A few years ago, a group of us ladies started a Grandmother's Flower Garden project. My hexies were larger than everyone else's. No prob. I also was different in the fact that I was using scraps. Actually, I did a swap with ladies from all over the world for the 2000 millenium thing. I moved countries and stuff happens and I never got around to it so decided to use up these squares on this project. I get bored of the same ole same ole so skipped around a bit. I have all stages tapped into. Trace and cut out hexagons. Iron to square. Trim square to hexagon by 1/4". Thread needles and baste little guys. Start picking out of the baggie at random a hexagon and that is what I sewed next. Made flowers and then sewed the white hexagons around. I even put some of the flowers together. Now, last night I cut out a gajillion freezer paper hexagons and cut them out. I want to work on this a bit.

I had all the basted hexies in a baggie. I used to break up fights with the kids (they were so small then!) and dump them out on the floor and have the kids sort them by colors. Ali got the blues and reds and whites and Amal got the pinks and purples and greens and so on. They LOVED it and it gave me some peace. For a short while! So, I started sorting them in this box.

So very pretty! I have lots of blues and greens. Two rows of neutrals; 1.5 rows of pink; one row of purple; 1/2 of yellow; 1/2 of brown.....1/3 grey, black and red and orange. I wish I had some of the new prints out now! Wow!

Then, Angela made this and I got busy a few days later and made my own! Notice the fabric??Huh, huh, huh?? Coffeebeans!!!

I used the felt that I had on hand which is not such good quality. I used batting to cover the little raw ends of the hexie. Hexie. Not liking that word so much. Hmm.... I used black thread because it was late at night and I was too lazy to switch it out to white!

Then I picked a really pretty pink batik that doesn't show so well here and used a humongous ring. I will find something smaller this summer when home in the US!

It's a needle book! I have since put in three #9 betweens to do my piecing.

Found the stork scissors and will be switching to hand quilting thread to piece them.

Thanks for stopping by!

Magnolia Bakery in Dubai!!

Have you heard of this place? OMG. I LOVE sweets. Not all. Mostly baked goods. Cakes, cookies, cupcakes, muffins. Gosh, my butt just got bigger thinking about these mouthwatering yummies!

Old Fashioned White with chocolate buttercream and Devil's Food cupcake with Chocolate Buttercream. Holy crap! I tasted coffee in there somewhere too!

Magnolia's Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream. I could be vulgar right now but I'm not fina....

Old Fashioned White cupcake and two chocolate cupcakes with three or two frostings. One, heavy in coffee which I love! On the left, Red Velvet with Cream Cheese Frosting and another chocolate with Caramel frosting and then the Vanilla one. oh my GOD!!

I started the taste test. Then, the kids came in for the kill...

Got a cute t-shirt for Amal. My girl.

This is the back.

I even got a cookbook with all these recipes in it and more! Hurraayyy!

It's not such a great photo of the book, I could do better; but look at the background! Selvedges and Uki!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Kidzania - Dubai - May/2010

On our trip to Dubai last weekend; we had one day left before we had to get to the airport for our flight back to Oman and were all shopped out so the kids wanted to see this place in Dubai Mall called Kidzania. This place is so cool! Had I known that it was suitable for my kid's ages; I would have taken them a while ago. Nonetheless, you live and learn. I took them and it is set up in the mall and you go through Emirates Airlines as if you are getting on a plane and it seems to be all real props! EA is a local airline to the UAE (United Arab Emirates) and you 'pay' and go through the check points and you enter a 'city'. It was done so very well! Once inside, you see this monument thing.

I did not want this to be picture heavy so skipped the pics where the kids were cashing in their 'checks'. They got money (fake) and then tried to join some 'jobs'. But then, Amal decided that only with a university degree could she and Ali make or earn some money. So, they went to University...

One of their first 'job's' after University was as couriers. They were running all over the place. We only had four hours!

Then, they signed up to be Police Officers and got to do some adventurous things. By this time; I found the food and coffee and a CHAIR! I did not know; but I picked the BEST place to sit. It would have been more enjoyable for me if I had someone to talk to but I made friends with some Brits and got to watch all these kids running here and there. It was awesome and precious as kids from all ages come to this place where they can 'be' any profession for a bit.

At some point, they earned these ribbons. For my kids, Ali 11 and Amal 14; I think the art of trying to use up their 4 or 5 hours to the best and to get the amount of money they wanted to 'buy' the little toys was their strategy. I think that the process was enjoyable and challenging. They kept touching base with me and I was able to snap these pics.

After 5 hours here and still an hour of sitting in traffic to get to the hotel to get our stuff and get to the airport; I was getting nervous. We ate crap all day so I was adamant that I wanted us to have a decent dinner as our flight was very late getting into Muscat and the kids had school the next day and I had a big meeting to be at on Saturday. As I started to say, after FIVE hours with all these screaming kids and kids actually fighting with their parents and maids dragging kids of all ages around (so glad I raised my own kids! Was HORRIFIED to see how these maids handled little ones!). Well, I was DONE with kids. I must be getting old!

My babies were so DISAPPOINTED to find out that they needed REAL money to buy these silly little toys and deduced that all that planning and plotting and running around was for nothing! I asked them if they had fun in the process and they said YES!!!!!!! so, it was a good five hours!

We made good time to the hotel. Got our luggage and grabbed another taxi to get to the airport and got there in really good time so had about two hours to spare. We found a really nice restaurant after walking the entire airport and had a very nice meal. We got treats for dessert on the way to our gate and settled in to get the flight. It is only one hour or less from Dubai to Muscat and we were home and Waqar was late to pick us up! The kids were so wound up that we got to bed late but I am a stickler about school and they got up and went and we all had an early night Saturday! Whew! Can't wait to catch our plane for the US. Can't wait!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Bloggers Quilt Festival - Spring 2010

I'm so happy that I went surfing in my bookmarked list! I found this Bloggers Quilt Festival - Spring 2010 that I so want to participate in! I knew immediately which quilt I wanted to exhibit!

My Spiderweb Quilt!

This was made entirely of my scraps! I love the yellow binding I used too.

I stipple quilted it closer together if you know what I mean. I like the effect of it. This is only the third quilt that I have stippled myself. I got to use my brand new Bernina Aurora 440 sewing machine!

You can go here to see more pictures of the whole process. If this fails; just go to the sidebar and click on SPIDERWEB QUILT for all that I posted before. Please go here to get more information of the lovely people whom put this Exhibition together. A big thank you to them from me.

I am supposed to tell about this quilt. Here goes...

I started my blog in January of 2009. Hey, it's been over a year! I need to do a giveaway soon! Stay tuned for that one! I saw so many beautiful and fun quilts and really liked the Spiderweb. It is the first quilt I made and finished (I'm way slow) within one year. All inspired by my blog!

I learned that when paper piecing; you should take out the papers before you sew the rows together. I had a hell of a time getting all those papers out. I use regular printer paper too. I do enjoy monotony (I know!??) so sat my butt down in front of the TV and with my tweezers and a trash can next to me got to town! The cats really had fun too and actually loosened up the papers for me in places!

I learned that MATH is NOT my friend as I screwed up and it turned out half the size that I wanted. It will go on my wall in my new studio. Whenever I can get my DH to put holes in our concrete walls. Maybe after summer? I just could not be bothered to do all that work that took me one year-ish again!

I really wanted to put coffee bean fabric on the backside but as it is now going to be a wall hanging; I used a white with little blue squares.

When I come home to the States in June; I hope to find some coffee bean fabric!! When I did research on the net; I barely found anything!!

So, that is all I will write for now to give you the option to go and view more pics that I had already blogged about.

Enjoy your online exhibition; I know I will! Thanks for stopping by! Come back and stay a while. Main blog.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Banoffi Pie

This is a mix of several recipes that I have used over the years. It looks sort a pretty save the aluminum container! Duh!?

The process of me eating my piece! Yummy!

Banoffi Pie

2 bananas
1 ready made American cookie crumb pie crust
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
6 oz. butter
6 oz. castor sugar (very fine)
heavy cream or whipping cream
2 drops vanilla essence
2 tsp. powdered sugar
1 Flake chocolate bar or melted chocolate

Heart attack yet?

I brushed my pie crust with a beaten egg and baked it for 5 minutes to set it. By the time it gets over here; it is usually broken up.

Preheat the oven to 180*C or 350*F or Gas Mark 4

Take a saucepan, a clean one, and add the butter and sugar and start to cook. When mixed, add the condensed milk and cook for about 5 minutes or until it boils and thickens and turns a light caramel color. Mine took more like 10 to 15 minutes!

Cool slightly. What DOES that mean? I cooled mine for about 15 minutes.

Place a layer of sliced bananas over the base of the crust and pour over the now toffee. Smooth the surface if need be and refrigerate for 30 minutes. I chilled mine overnight.

Take your whipping cream or heavy cream and add the powdered sugar and the vanilla. I wanted to add more but the toffee is super sweet and lots of my pals don't like it sooooo sweet so I controlled myself with just 2 tsp. Start to whisk until stiff peaks form. Now, don't go makin' butter ya'll!

I then dropped teaspoonfuls of the cream mixture and squeezed banana slices in there and then crumbled a Flake bar over it. Flake bars are cool. Then, with the leftover cream I dipped my finger and enjoyed! Just once! Then I ended up throwing it away!

If you do chill it; give yourself enough time for it to sit at room temperature before serving to your family and guests. It is much nicer.

P.S. I don't like bananas so much so if you do; use more bananas! Two seemed perfect for me.

I hope someone uses this and enjoys!

Bon Appetit!

In case you would be interested in learning more about this dessert, go here.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Uki and I playing our midnight game!

Peek-a-boo! I was working in my studio the other night and put one of the cat beds next to me and Uki came and laid down in it and I brushed it with my elbow and she attacked me. So, the game began. She is so much fun. I can't express how much I enjoy her! You can see her little blue cap on her claw. If it wasn't there; there would be no way that I could play this rough with her!!

It's hard to see but she is on her back in the bed and attacking my fingers. Very cute and again, you can see her caps. She is sporting blue, purple/white and orange!

Happy Birthday Banner

Here is the banner that I made for this particular event but it will work for all of our birthdays! It was fun and although I struggled a little bit with this tutorial; I used it. I used all scraps except for the binding. I don't have a binding machine and it completely sucked that it took me hours of reading the internet before I could find something I could use. Go here. This woman is amazing!

Give me an 'H'!

Give me an 'a'!

Give me a 'p'!

Give me another 'p'!

Give me a 'y'!

This is the spacer!

Give me a 'B'!

Gimme an 'i'!

Gimme an 'r'!

Gimme a 't'!

Gimme an 'h'!

Like I don't have stuff to do tonight!?

Give me a 'd'!

Gimme an 'a'!

Give me a 'y'!

Give me Uki any day!! She decided to 'help' me as I was photographing each letter. She loved the binding. Her back claws are going to town here!

Nice action shot here if I do say so myself!

Honestly, I don't know if this was the first photo or the last. I took a ton!