Thursday, July 24, 2014

Quilt Finished with 29 Days to Spare

Remember when I posted this massive queen sized quilt that I've been working on for the past 6 months or so? I worked on it for 2 or 3 hours once a week since late January/early February with my other 2 quilting buddies. 6 months later, countless hours and I finally started putting finishing touches on it earlier this week. I spent almost all day Monday at Sparrow Studioz, learning how to use the long arm quilting machine and another half day on Tuesday to finish off the quilting. I was originally going to pay someone to quilt this massive beast of a quilt for me so I opted for a minky backing. The owner, Bradie, convinced me that I could easily quilt it myself and get the satisfaction of saying, "Yah, I made this entire quilt myself." I was sold. I'll never quilt on my little home machine again. For $30/hr, it's a steal of deal to rent studio time. I squared off my quilt after the quilting was done, came home and spent the last two evenings binding the quilt. I'm so happy with the finished product. Not only because I feel like it's such a huge accomplishment, but because I opted to go for the queen size that fits onto my bed. It's going to be something that I treasure and hopefully pass onto my children. When I was making this massive quilt, I messed up a couple times which left me with a large number of blocks so it's just meant to be that my soon-to-arrive baby will get a matching lap quilt. Like momma, like baby. :) 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Cabinet Rejuvenated with Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint

Leanne from Apple Box Boutique has totally got me hooked on painting furniture to give it a second life and now I see old wood furniture in a whole new light. I took a class from her earlier this year and was able to transform Jamie's old night stand into something that I absolutely love. 
The picture really doesn't do it justice because the gold gilding wax is amazing in person. We have a matching dresser for this night stand that's in line waiting to be transformed into a baby dresser/change station. Hopefully that'll get done before baby's arrival! 
Leanne had a massive furniture garage sale a couple months ago and I managed to pick up this beautiful, made in Canada dresser. It fits perfectly in our foyer and I knew I wanted wanted to test out the oh so loved Emperor's Silk paint color. It took 2 coats of paint, 2 coats of clear wax and some spray paint for the hardware to almost complete the look. I picked up some dark wax to give it more character but haven't gotten around to truly finishing this dresser yet. In the meantime though, it stands loud and proud in our foyer, strutting its new sharp look. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Productive Sunday - 46 Days Remaining

I haven't had one of those, "Wow I've been so productive today!" kind of days in a long time. Yesterday fixed that dry spell and it wasn't because I woke up early or because I didn't take a 2 afternoon cat nap, but because I finished what I had set out to do! I was up at 7:30 but wasn't feeling great so I snoozed and rolled around in bed for another 2 hours. 9:30 finally comes by and I thought to myself that I better get out of bed so Jamie doesn't have to wait any longer for breakfast. We had leftover buttermilk from last week's Canada Day breakfast and I had exactly enough to make 1/3 of the recipe. This is the recipe I used and it's been very kind to my growing belly. Keep in mind that I was able to make 5 pancakes to feed 2 adults with only 1/3 of the recipe!

I knew I wanted to make some granola because we have 2 huge bags of oats to use up from way before our kitchen renovations started and they were starting to get the "sitting in the pantry" odor so I knew I wanted to use it up but a preggo can only eat so much mushy oatmeal. We shopped for a bunch of ingredients on Saturday and while the pancakes were cooking, I set out to make our granola. The recipe I sorta of followed is this one. I made a few changes: 
- only used wheat bran
- added 1 cup of raw sunflower seeds
- 1 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut
- omitted the brown sugar
- used 1/2 c. coconut butter and 1/2 c. of butter instead of veggie oil because I don't have veggie oil laying around
- toasted the mixture at 200 degrees F for 30 minutes before cranking it up to 325. Be sure to check it every few minutes because it gets brown fast! 

While I was doing all of this, Jamie whipped up our first official green smoothie using this recipe. We added a bit of kale to the mixture and our first sip was... less than stellar. We tweaked it by adding a bit of agave syrup and 2 more bananas (we used frozen) and that made it palatable. The cilantro limeade smoothie did not make the cut for another debut. 

After breakfast, we got started on prepping our ham, potato gratin and Asian kale slaw salad dinner. The dressing tastes very similar to a dressing Jamie makes using miso paste except this version had many more ingredients.

Jamie also felt like he had a very productive day. He managed to build some shelves and maneuver our "linen" closet shelving so that we could actually use it for linen! In the process, I managed to de-junk a bag of clothes. Some of the items needed to be pried out of Jamie's hands while I just lost the battle for some other beloved items and they made their way back into the closet for storage. Today is another promising day as I was up at 5:00 and after trying to fall back asleep for an hour with no luck, I managed to cook some breakfast, do a load of laundry, get some ironing done and do a blog post! I know I'm going to crash in a couple hours since I only got 4 hours of sleep. Happy Monday :)