T-Ball

March 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

Little Mister loves, and I mean loves, baseball. We take him to games. We watch on television. We play outside. Yes, Little Mister even loves it when his mama pitches to him so he can hit a home run. Now I’ll admit that our version of a home run and a real home run are drastically different but it’s fun and Little Mister gets a real sense of accomplishment. Given that America’s favorite past time is ours, it seemed only natural to sign Little Mister up for t-ball this season.

Little Mister is on the Diamondbacks. He thought getting his first uniform was pretty cool.

Then the first game

Little Mister is #3 this year….funny since  his Dads childhood hero was #3 Dale Murphy.

Now I’ll be honest, watching 4 year olds play can be a little like watching paint dry and at the same time it can be really funny. The kids run from second base to third base via home plate, they forget to run, they miss the ball on the tee…But, what they DO mange to do is have fun. And lots of it!

Q-Man even managed to have a little fun…..

 

Big Stitch Baby Quilt – update

March 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

I continue to work on Q Man’s quilt. I’m using perle cotton and hand quilting it. In order to make the quilt more visually interesting I am NOT marking the quilting lines. I’m just doing the best I can to quilt straight lines. Some are, some aren’t, some sort of slant but I’m very pleased with the results thus far.

I have been drawing a crude circle in the middle. Again, it’s not perfect but that adds dimension to an otherwise very linear quilt. My ultimate goal would be to have the quilt finished by the East Cobb Quilt Guild fall show so I can enter it, but I feel fairly certain that goal isn’t attainable at this point. I just don’t have that kind of time, or heck, energy. That’s alright. I can enter the quilt in two more years and spend the fall and winter bundled up while quilting it.

Handprint Christmas Tree Skirt

March 7, 2011 § 3 Comments

I worked my fingers to the bones. Okay, well, not to the bones, but I put in a lot of hours in on this tree skirt.  I figured out that I spent something like three or four minutes per yo-yo (making it, attaching the button then attaching to the tree skirt). And there were 100 yo-yo’s. That’s a lot of minutes. The tree skirt was a HUGE success though, and worth every minute I put into it.  The auction was a blast and the tree skirt sold for a pretty penny, which makes me happy. The tree skirt went to a friend of mine and I know it will be well loved for years to come. That’s the reward for me.

For anyone wondering, and on the off chance you want to make one, here are the instructions.

I began with nine fat quarters and, basically, made a gigantic nine patch. I started with an 18 1/2″ center. I decided that the tree skirt would look more symmetrical if the center was square. I added a fat quarter to each side of my green center,  then took three more fat quarters and stitched them together along the short side (the 18″ side) to make a side panel. I repeated this to make two side panels.  After the side panels were made I attached them to the center panel. Note that the side panels will be larger than the center panel since the center piece was cut smaller.

Then I assembled the back. I started with 1 2/3 yard of fabric. I cut off the selvedges and stitched a 10″ x 60″ strip to each side of the main fabric. I placed the top over the bottom, wrong sides together.

To make sure I accurately cut the center and opening of the tree skirt I found the center of the green square by drawing a line 9″ from each side.  I then used my blue chalk marker and drew an approximation of the circle size and opening I wanted. I made a few measurements then determined I should have a 4 1/2″ radius for the circle – meaning I marked a 4 1/2″ spot all the way around the center of the square to get a 9″ opening. You could also use a plate or other round object – this just worked for me. I drew the opening lines using a ruler.  I then decided to use a 23″ radius for the outer portion of the tree skirt and made those marks. Then pin, pin, pinned the heck out of the thing.

After the pinning madness I stay-stitched a quarter inch around the center opening (or something like that), along the sides and around the bottom of the skirt.  I didn’t want the tree skirt to stretch while I was sewing on the binding. Next steps- sew on the bias binding, attach the yo-yo’s and stitch down the handprints.

ps- Worth noting is that the buttons in the center of the yo-yo’s were a variety of sizes and colors. Blue, purple, turquoise and black buttons gave the tree skirt a little zip! Enjoy!

Irish Cookbooks and our “Thanksgiving”

March 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

Last year we hosted an impromptu St. Patrick’s Day dinner at our house. I made a traditional Irish dinner with a roast lamb, beef and Guinness pie, colcannan and soda bread. My friend Amy brought mashed carrots and parsnips. There was, of course, Guinness and Harp a plenty to go around and soothe our thirsty selves.  My friend Ro declared this event the Murphy Family Thanksgiving and thus a tradition was born.

This year husband and I decided to do it again. This time, however, we are inviting more friends. Hey, if we’re going to have one kicking party a year it may as well be for St. Patrick’s Day, right? And who better to celebrate St. Patrick with than dear friends.

I pulled out my recipes from last year and decided I’d need to add a few more items to the menu. We have more people coming and variety is nice. I did some digging on the web and found a few things here and there. Mostly it was the same stuff I was already making, or some version thereof, or some recipe that sounded not at all appealing.

So, I headed over to amazon.com and ordered a few cookbooks*. A few days later they were here.

I have to admit that I love cookbooks. Really, I do. I have quite a collection.  Researching then having to purchase a few was a task I more than happy about doing. I’ve not read nearly enough to determine the other menu items (okay, a poached salmon, but that’s about it). I was able to rule out a few things so I guess I’m making progress.

Gártha!  That means cheers in Gaelic (or so they say).

* Darina Allen’s Traditional Irish Cooking and Coleman Andrews’ The Country Cooking of Ireland. Both authors are considered experts in Irish cooking and from what I’ve seen of the cookbook’s I won’t be disappointed.

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