Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Baking

The Christmas bake shop was busy this year!

Gingerbread Boys

Shortbread Trees


Meet Poodie, the turtle my mom made for me when I was a little girl. When I tried to say "turtle" it came out "poodie" and that's where she got her name. Poodie happily resides on the bookshelf by my desk.

Now meet Tilly the Tortoise, another great pattern from Funky Friends Factory. She is finished in time for Gracie's first Christmas.

She has a twin, since I had enough fabric for two and I wasn't sure which version would be cuter. It turns out they're both very cute.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Ball for Gracie

Gracie will get a soft beach ball, too! It will be waiting for her under the tree on Christmas morning.

I love this fabric. Clearly, since I've used three color ways! The artist is named Momo and the fabric comes from Moda Fabrics.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Happy Birthday to Peyton & Liam!

Our favorite twins are turning one! I made them these stuffed beach balls. Their party theme is monkeys and I was happy to find this cute fabric.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Our Resident Lizards

We have two lizards that live in our courtyard. This one is bigger and hangs out by the front door.

This smaller one was in the house for a few days until Art caught it and put it back outside.

They're both enjoying a break in today's rain.

The Zoo

 On Saturday we visited the zoo.

 Gracie is about to take her first carousel ride.

 We visited the elephants and admired the two newest members of the herd.

I took more photos of interesting designs than of the animals! This goose is on the entryway arch leading to the Children's Zoo.

Just inside the Children's Zoo there were a few of these flowers around a picnic area.

 I love this iron work along the pathway.

 Interesting tiles near the entrance.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Autumn Leaves

I've been finding/making/stealing time to do some creative projects, anything quick and easy and fun is a good choice. Like these fall leaves I made the other evening.

I used felt from Felt-O-Rama. I recently bought the 24 color sampler of 12x12 inch squares. For 4 of the 5 leaves, I used a pattern from Creating Cupcakes Blog.

Sewn onto a brown ribbon, the garland adorns the lamp above our dining table.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Rustic Italian Bread

It's not so easy to find crusty bread in Houston, so I decided to bake some from the recipe in the Cook's Illustrated Baking book. Not bad for my first attempt! It's very good toasted with butter.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Shortbread Cookies

I've been playing with shortbread the last couple of weeks. I get an idea and just have to try it!

 I used regular and chocolate shortbread dough.

For the stamp I used a canape cutter from a set I inherited from my grandmother. For the address (a little hard to see) and the cuff of the mitten (below) I used a fluted pastry/ravioli cutter.

It looks as if Christmas baking is starting early this year!

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Halloween Dinner

We invited some friends over for dinner, and since it was scheduled for Halloween weekend I decided to make it appropriately festive. Unfortunately, they had to reschedule, but we enjoyed the party anyway.

Black paper bats flying over the table.

These napkins are really more yellow than orange but in this light they look perfect for the occasion!

I made black bean chili. My sour cream spiderweb isn't quite as dramatic as I had hoped.

I baked cornbread yeast rolls with a few that looked like spiders. This is the best one. Some of the others looked more like fleas.

Apple Pie!

Crust cutouts in the shape of ghosts.

The Martinelli's is being poured, it's time to sit down and enjoy this dinner!

Shortbread Ghosts

I made a batch of shortbread ghosts to take to our friends who hosted a little pre trick-or-treat pizza party.

A Frog

I moved a pot of pansies into the shade the other morning. Under the pot I found this tiny frog!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Artwork for Gracie's Room

 I found these cute prints on and am ordering them for Gracie's room.

The artist is Yuko Lau and the series is called "Peek-a-Boo."

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Pumpkin Patch at Cornelius Nursery

Today we went to Cornelius Nursery to pick out some pumpkins to carve and get some plants for our home. What a beautiful nursery! There was a nice selection of plants and lots flowers in bloom, all looking very well-tended. The staff was helpful and friendly. Many people had brought their dogs and we met a sweet Miniature Schnauzer.

Gracie was taking it all in, so much color!

Art picked out some decorative squash.

I love the stem on this one.

We came home with three pumpkins that will soon become jack-o-lanterns.

 I picked out some pansies and planted them as soon as we got home.

It's nice to have some color in the yard...

...and in the house. I chose an African Violet with ruffly pink blossoms...

...and a hoya, which I haven't grown before.

Some of the leaves are a very pretty pink, new growth I think.

I'm happy to have such a great nursery so close to where we live!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Our Courtyard

Over the weekend we started to get our little front courtyard deck in shape. I had to replace a bit of lost hardware on the blue chair, and luckily I found what I needed in my jar of nuts, bolts and washers.

The empty pots are ready to be planted with bulbs. We chose Ranunculus, Tulips, and two varieties of Daffodils. 

I didn't find any plants I wanted at Home Depot, but I did find these colorful pots. I finally planted the succulents I brought with me from California. These cuttings of Elephant Bush, Jade, Euphorbia and Aloe have been rooting in water in the kitchen.

We don't have many plants yet, but we do have a collection of treasures including this little bird,

a stained glass butterfly,

a frog that's also a candle,

this flower made out of spoons,

and the man in the yellow shirt, who's made out of recycled metal.

I did some research and found a good place to shop for plants, Cornelius Nursery. It looks like they have a good selection of pumpkins, too, so a visit to this nursery may double as our trip to the pumpkin patch since we need something close and easy for Gracie.