Ode to the Pincushion

Log Cabin Pincushion
Originally uploaded by cilvee
The other day I was looking around flickr at all of the lovely little pincushions people are making such as this one from allz I'm sewing is..., and thought it was about time I made one for myself.

So, I dove into my scrap bin and pulled out a variety of green scraps and got sewing. After about an hour (It goes sooo much faster if you actually use a pattern!), and some ripping out, I ended up with this - and if I do say so myself, it is kinda cute!



For dinner last night I made egg rolls - yum!  Andrew and I love egg rolls, and when we saw the wraps at No Frills we decided to attempt making our own.  I didn't really use a recipe, but I found these instructions for cooking them up.

To prepare the filling I minced up some garlic and added it to a wok with bit of oil.  Once the garlic was nice and golden I chopped up and added 1 pkg. mushrooms, 1 bunch green onions, a handful of baby carrots, and about a cup of snow peas.  Andrew really likes mushrooms, so the filling was heavy on the mushrooms but if you are making it yourself you could adjust the veggie quantities.

I was planning to split the veggie mixture in order to do half of the egg rolls with sausage, and half of them with imitation crab.  So, I used another frying pan to cook up two Italian sausages (I know, Italian + Chinese doesn't really make sense, but it tasted good!).  I find when I want to use ground pork, sausages are great because they are already seasoned.  I just squeeze the ground sausage out of the casing and throw the casing away.  We often do this when we make spaghetti as a substitution to ground beef.  But I digress!  When the sausage was all cooked, I drained off the oil and added half of the veggie mixture.  Then I added a small package of imitation crab to the rest of the veggie mixture left in the original wok.  I added about 2 cups bean sprouts to each of the mixtures (I used a lot, because bean sprouts cook down so much) and mixed them each up.  While it finished cooking I added some soy sauce and one egg to each of the mixtures, stirring quickly to mix it all together before the egg finished cooking.  Once the bean sprouts were cooked, I transfered each mixture into a bowl and put the bowls into the fridge to cool.

Now, in hindsight, I wish I had taken pictures of each step but being new to blogging, it didn't even occur to me until afterwards!

Putting the egg rolls together was easy, I just followed the instructions on the package and they went together no problem.  The only difference was that instead of using cornstarch and water to stick the edges closed like the package instructed, I beat up an egg and used that instead (a method I learned from my grandmother while making strudel).

I think they turned out quite well!

Here is a picture of them cooked up.

And here is a picture of the inside of the sausage egg rolls.

After tasting both kinds of egg rolls, the imitation crab and the sausage, I have to say that the sausage tasted better.  The flavour of the vegetables overshadowed the milder flavour of the crab, but the sausage was balanced just right with the vegetables. 

In the future I plan on experimenting with different mixtures using the egg roll wraps.  I would really like to find something that works with the imitation crab because it is a household favourite.  I am thinking imitation crab, roasted red peppers and goat cheese...mmm....goat cheese....


Pretty in Pink & Wonky Log Cabins

Today it rained pretty much all day, so I had plenty of time to work on projects inside.  First off, I cleaned my craft room.  The last couple of weekends we have had company over and somehow my craft room turned into a space where we tossed anything that didn't have a home.  A room with a door, it was just too easy to shut the door on the mess.  As you can imagine, it was pretty cluttered!  Anyhow, I spent a bit of time tidying it up and putting everything in its proper place.  Once finished, I was pretty excited to finally turn my attention to the lovely little pile of pink, orange, yellow, and lime scraps that one of my bee-mates sent out for June.  We were asked to make 12.5" wonky log cabin blocks.  Any oh, were they wonky!

This was the first block that I made.  We were asked to try to only use each fabric once per block, and this block pretty much follows this request.  The elephant fabric was so cute, I just had to use it as the "centre" of each block.

This was the second block that I made.  I really loved how these colours looked together.  Total eye candy!

Rain or Shine

Yesterday we attended Ashlea & Ryan's lovely wedding.  Thank you for inviting us to share in your special day!

In the Rain

A picture of the wedding party.  The day of the wedding it poured all morning but let up just in time for the ceremony.  After the ceremony there were a few showers but the bride did not let the rain get her down, and seemed just as happy to take these pictures using umbrellas when necessary.

Ashlea & Ryan

Here is a picture of the happy couple as they were being announced as Husband & Wife.  Ashlea had a fantastic headpiece on made of feathers.  Complemented her dress so well.  I have to say, I loved the aqua colour of her wedding!

Entering the Tent

Here, the mother of the bride was being escorted to her seat by her son and the ring bearer.  Her son, Dave, was happy to be a groomsman on his sister's special day and admitted what we all knew during the speeches, his affection and protectiveness towards his little sis.  Awwww!  The little ring bearer is Dave's son, Cooper.  Isn't he handsome in his suit!

Moving the Bride

I caught this photo just as my husband and I were leaving for the reception.  The wedding party was moving across the fields for some more photos and I liked the scene it made with them all trying to get over there relatively dry and composed.

Wedding Cake

A picture of the lovely cake, and yes, it did taste as good as it looked!


Bright and Light

Bright and Light
Originally uploaded by cilvee
Yesterday I went out on a mission to find fabric for my Ravishing in Red Bee. I am hosting for August and knew that if I couldn't find what I was looking for locally I would have to order some fabric online. Since most of the fabric I order comes from shops in the states, I always need to leave myself lots of time for the fabric to arrive. Luckily I was able to find some pretty satisfactory choices at one of my local quilt stores. Being as it is summer, I wanted this quilt to be light and fun. I hope I have succeeded!

In order to maintain some kind of suspense (I do have another month!) I am going to wait to post about the pattern and what I envision for a later date.



The Verdict

The other night for dinner we decided to eat like students again and break out the KD.  Lately we've been seeing commercials for the new "Kraft Dinner Smart" and decided to give it a try.  Fans of KD on those nights when no one wants to cook, but not fans of the healthier "Kraft Dinner Wholewheat" (Bleh!) we are open to a healthier version of what my mom always called "Krap Dinner."  The verdict - tasty!  While cooking, we could smell the cauliflower used to make the noodles, but once you stir in the cheese mix, you can barely tell the difference.  Knowing that we are actually getting some vegetables with our otherwise not so nutritional meal, makes me feel a little less guilty.



This article reminds me of myself!  I am always full of good intentions, but sometimes you bite off more than you can chew...

A Good Mail Day

Well, today wasn't one of them.  Lately I have been having a lot of good mail days.  With all of the VQBs I am in (5!), I am usually receiving either fabric or finished blocks from my fellow bee members.  Yesterday I received blocks from VintageAprilDesigns and it was a very good mail day.  Today, nothing.  Nada.  Zip.

And so, it was a bad mail day.  Boo!

Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

(Darn border!)


A couple of months ago I was inspired to make a quilt using thrift store shirts.  So I went to Value Village during their 50% off sale and picked up a bunch of 100% cotton dress shirts in all different patterns.  Generally I am quite happy with my choices, and have spent the last few weeks ripping out seams and tearing off buttons.  After I had brandished my seam ripper on roughly half of the shirts I realized that in my attempt to save every last bit of fabric I could, I had failed to look at the quality of the fabric I was saving.  I have since reassessed my strategy and things are going much faster!  I may have been saving every inch of fabric, but the majority of the bits I was saving (seams & cuffs) were so ragged that I would have been trimming them off anyway.  Once all of the shirts are cut up, I plan on using the fabric to make myself a log cabin quilt though I haven't decided if I want to make it wonky, or traditional.

(Wonky Log Cabin block that I made for Singings in my Sew 2 Speak Quilting Bee)


Bee Prep for August

In my Ravishing in Red bee I am scheduled to host for August and am trying to decide what colours to use. As you may note from the name of the Bee, one of those colours needs to be red. Not a problem, since I adore red!

I found this picture on Flickr of a quilt that I just love, and plan on using it as inspiration. Now I just need to find the perfect fabric to create what I am picturing in my head. I would love to use this pattern incorporate yellow, white and red fabrics. I want the quilt light, so the reds should preferably be red prints on white backgrounds, and the yellows lemony.

I hope to go to a couple of fabric stores in the area this week to see if they have anything that fits the bill!