Friday, December 6, 2013

Latest obsession.... Crochet

When I was a little girl, my Yaya (Great Grandmother Mable, who didn't speak English, only Greek) taught me how to crochet. I recently began using some of that yarn I have been stashing away for some evening crocheting. I usually have to be doing something with my hands when I am watching TV. There are so many great free patterns and websites. Some of my favorites are Ravelry, Youtube (just search crochet) and for these adorable hats below Stitch11 and RepeatCrafterMe.  

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Winter is here!

I'm still alive and we have snow! 
My house is decorated for Christmas inside and out.
I have a large inflatable Doxie in my yard that is now deflated and covered in snow.
I have been working on some crochet projects and soon to be sewing again.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fire season and a Recipe....

When we moved to the high desert in Nevada, we figured we would be out of the whole fire season that plagues California every year. But the Yosemite fire is proving to be a challenge for us, all the way up in the high desert of Nevada.
This is what I wake up to every morning and what the sunset looks like. Smoke and more smoke. I miss California but I don't miss the California Fire Season. I hear as of today they only have 30% contained which means this is our life for another 3 weeks or so. 

 On a much brighter note, we are going to the Gallino Family reunion this weekend at my parent's ranch. I can't wait to see my family and catch up on life's happenings. 

I tried a new recipe that was posted on Facebook. It was sooo yummy and easy to make so I thought I would share it with you all. California apple season is right around the corner. Enjoy! 

Apple Cinnamon Loaf

1/3 cup brown sugar (not packed)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2/3 cup white sugar...

1/2 cup butter, softened...

2 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup milk

1 apple, peeled and chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl and set aside. Beat white sugar and butter together in a bowl using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until incorporated; add vanilla extract.

Combine flour and baking powder together in another bowl; stir into creamed butter mixture. Mix milk into batter until smooth. Pour half the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Next add half the apples and half the brown sugar cinnamon mixture. Lightly pat apple mixture into batter.

Pour the remaining batter over apple layer; top with remaining apples and add more brown sugar/cinnamon mixture. Lightly pat apples into batter; swirl brown sugar mixture through apples using a finger or spoon.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Fall is coming...

I love fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving.... And now I have my very own house to decorate! I like fall decorations that can be used September through November. I try to stay in the country/harvest groove and use a ton of pumpkins, browns and yellow golds. But this year I am going to add some blue in the mix inspired by this display of coolness at the Reno Joann's. I love the little owls.... Now off to find a classic 1-2 block quilt pattern.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Made by Melody Lake {custom commissioned quilts}

I love doing custom commissioned work. I love how it challenges me to work on other's ideas. I get in sewing room overload where everything is stimulating inspiration and I spin in circles..... I hate that feeling. I don't know where to start or stop and nothing gets done. Custom work gives me a deadline, a purpose. It also forces me to work outside my comfort zone. And I get to shop for fabrics because I need them!
This is my sketch from the photo my client sent me. I love good old 5x5 grid paper and colored pencils when I need to get my ideas on paper. 
Still in progress on the top. I hope I will be quilting by this weekend. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Little quilts

I have a process when I finish a quilt to the flimsy stage.
I use a post it note and write down the top measurements and the back measurements. I pin the post it note to the completed top. I then fold the top and back together. This helps keep them organized. I made these tops last summer but with the move, I am just getting around to quilting them. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Ruby Squared - Finished

I love this fabric line by Bonnie and Camile for Moda Fabrics.... Ruby! I purchased a fatquarter stack and I have made soooo many baby quilts from it.

You can see that I quilted in a free hand flower in the white centers. I love how it adds simple whimsy to the already precious little quilt. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Addie's Party!

Addie's first birthday party was a blast! I got to make the cutest table runners, goody bags and bunting to help decorate for the celebration. She is such a doll but also has a sassy attitude that her Auntie loves!

I made a bunch of goodie bags for the little ones. The pattern can be found in the book Fresh Fabric Treats from Stash Books. The designer is Monica Solorio-Snow of fame. This is a pretty simple pattern that I would recommend for a novice or above sewer. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Kindle Fire Cover {my design process}

It starts out something like this.... This is my design process. I have a spiral notebook {that is almost full} that I use to sketch measurements, layouts and color ideas for a project. I always use pencil because things always change once the building phase of the project is in full swing.  
I'm thinking this might be a tutorial ~ any one interested? 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Sunday Morning Quilts {book review}

Last night I purchased the book Sunday Morning Quilts by Amanda Jean Nyberg and Cheryl Arkison for Stash Books. I must admit that I read it cover to cover last night! I could not put it down.

Two reasons why I love this book:

1. I love that the first 61 pages cover a variety of scrap organization, scrap sorting, storing as well as quilting basics. I love reading how others do things. I am always open to try new things, even the basics.

2. The 16 projects are Modern Scrap Projects. I love scrappy patchwork but I have yet to really get comfortable sewing scrappy. There is not one project that I would not try in this book.

Now that I have downsized my sewing room due to the move, I am searching for ways to display my stash/scraps, have them organized and inspiring all at the same time. I am constantly tweaking the way I sort my scraps as well. This book will hopefully get me motivated to start unpacking more boxes and get sewing!
This was the picture of my cart from last night's buying spree.... Everything was on sale or I used a coupon.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Sewing again ;)

My sewing room is open for business. My SIL ordered some custom car seat covers as baby shower gifts so I am busy creating again.  The pink western fabric is Cowgirl Toss Pink by Spring Creative Products, the cotton lace is from Joanne's $1 bin and the bottom is just blue denim. I love the look of the cotton lace against the denim. This may be a new favorite for western inspired designs.
It feels good to be sewing again, though the sewing room is not really in order. I'm still trying to unload boxes and decide where to stash stuff. I have way too much stuff for my 10x10 room. We plan to have a yard sale later this summer once we get through most of the boxes in the garage.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Big changes for The Sunflower Crafter...

Since I am able to post from my iPhone, I am going to start sharing more about our new life in rural northern Nevada. Most of our family is back in California and keeping them up to date on everything is difficult. I hope that this blog can be a central place for family and friends to see what's happening with "The Lake's."

I have added new pages at the top for recipes, Made by Melody Lake and tutorials. I've updated my UFO list though I have many more to add. My quilting these days is all about starting new projects. We will save that for another post ;)

This weekend's big find was two dressers. We had seen the Consignment Store sign from the freeway many times to we decided to stop. What a place. The sales guys were very nice, they let us browse then when we were ready they were more than willing to help out. This one is missing a knob but I already have big plans to change out the pulls and do some painting/antiquing. {thank you Pinterest}

This one is Brian's and it will also get some new pulls and stain.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Making it a home

Now that we are settled in, I had to add color to the front porch. Still a California Girl at heart, I needed some flowers to brighten the place up. Hubby is doing a great job of keeping things alive. 

I'm trying out the new blogger app for the iPhone to post this. So far I like it. My laptop needs some work so this will have to do for a while. Maybe this way I can post more... :)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Dear Nevada,

Did you get the memo? Its Spring! Last night it hailed, rained, maybe even snowed for a while.... I guess that is just spring in Nevada.

Brian and I are in contract on a house in Fernley NV, finally. It only took two months and seven offers. This week we have appts with the mortgage company and the house inspections. If all goes according to plan, we will be closing on May 9th. Which means we will be moving the week of the Propane Convention. It can never be easy....

To keep myself occupied, I signed up for a potholder pass swap on Flickr. Here are a few pictures of my works in progress.

I love how I was able to use my scraps to mix and match for a bold spring look. I will be selling some of these in my Etsy shop and some will be sent to my potholder pass swap partner. I am totally addicted to making these and have a few more in the works...(I'm tweaking the pattern, again) I recently found some linen/cotton blend fabric at Hancocks in Sparks and used it in the Spring Chicken potholder. I love the country look it gives.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it. ~Mary Engelbreit

A couple of updates.....

In November, the company I work for moved our accounting office from Auburn, CA to Reno, NV. Since then I have been splitting what spare time I have between Reno, NV and Lincoln, CA. Brian and the dogs are living with his parents in Lincoln CA and I am renting a room from a co-worker in Reno, NV. I manage to make it home to Lincoln a couple times a month. Brian and I are searching for a house but Reno has a wacky housing market right now. Its very frustrating at this point. But there is light at the end of the tunnel and I won't be homeless forever..... right?

A new goal for me this year for this blog is to keep sharing about the things I love.... family, sewing, crafts, cooking, gardening and life on the ranch. Things that keep me and my family, happy and healthy. Things that keep me sane and inspire my craftiness.

I realize I am a few months late on New Years Resolutions but hey, I work in the propane industry and winter = no life beyond work. Its what I signed up for.

And here are some random pictures so this doesn't become one of those boring no picture posts. :)

Addelynn and I on Thanksgiving at the ranch.

Brian and his new dog Sage at the duck club.