Cold Weather Fun

We've had lots of snow and ice this week, and we have all stuck pretty close to home. We've had lots of comfort food, a little crafting, and a lot of playing.

I finished three embroideries for blankets this week:

The two pirate-themed embroideries are for a new blanket design, the travel-themed one is for a baby set I am making.

I also had my first Etsy sale! I was very excited to see the email -- then I saw that the buyer was my sister. That still counts, right??

I had an email from Lucy inviting me to take part in a recipe round robin. I'm typing up the recipe for the email, I might as well share it with everyone!

Here is the yummy dinner we had Friday night:

Slow cooker chicken, oven roasted potatoes, green beans and sourdough bread. Jaxon wouldn't eat any of it!

Slow cooker chicken
1 small chicken (3 pounds-ish)
salt, pepper, paprika

1. Wad three pieces of aluminum foil into 3 to 4 inch balls, and place them in the bottom of the slow cooker.

2. Rinse chicken thoroughly in cold running water and pat dry. Season with salt, pepper and paprika and place on top of aluminum foil balls in slow cooker.

3. Set the slow cooker on high for 1 hour, and then put on low for about 8 to 10 hours.

That's it, and it is super yummy. I've done lots of variations including a garlic rub with slices of lemon.

Oven roasted potatoes
1.5-2 pounds of Redskin Potatoes
Olive oil
Onion Salt
Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Clean and cut up potatoes into 1.5-2 inch chunks.

3. Place potatoes on one layer in a casserole dish (I use a 8" x 10" pyrex dish)

4. Drizzle with olive oil and then season to taste. Stir to evenly spread seasoning and oil.

5. Cover (I use aluminum foil) and bake for about 1 hour. Uncover and bake until browned (about 10-15 minutes).

Super duper easy and everyone (except Jaxon) is happy!

We also played in the snow today.

Jaxon and Samantha enjoy their favorite toys: sticks

Jaxon tries to make his first snow angel

Our prize for coming in: Hot Chocolate with marshmallows (chocolate marshmallows for the grown ups!)



The curse is broken -- third time's a charm. I have finally successfully completed a swap -- Julia liked the quilt I sent her, and I received a quilt this week from Lucy. Look how cute:

Title: "Frosty Window" (Can't you just hear the Christmas Waltz)

Thanks again, Lucy, I love it! Also she sent me some homemade olive oil soap -- just what my dry skin needs!

This turned out to be quite the "handmade week," or maybe "Etsy Week." I ordered Charlie's Valentine's Day gift from Etsy seller daisymay, a hand stamped sterling silver key chain with Jaxon's name and birthdate.

I got a belated Christmas present from my MIL, from Etsy seller Keys and Memories.

And I am now an Etsy seller! I used Tuesday's snow day to upload the pictures I had taken ages ago and list some items. Check it out: http://modernjax.etsy.com

And finally, Jaxon spent a day this week lovin' on the pets. Too cute!


Snow Day

Okay, so it's not an "official" snow day -- the university never closes. But every school district for a 60 mile radius is closed due to inclement weather, and the steady snow we are getting now is supposed to turn to freezing rain; so I have made the executive decision to cancel classes today. It was a tough decision. I had good things to talk about (and show) for both classes today, everything was planned -- but I hate driving on wet icy roads.

I have plenty of school projects OR sewing projects to keep me busy. I did complete two custom orders in the last week, so those are off my plate.

The first is a blanket for a man I work with and his wife who just had a baby. The faculty will give this in our meeting on Friday, I hope they like it. They both hold doctorates in Geography, so I think they'll like the wireframe globes (can you tell they're globes in the picture??).

The second was a custom order for twins. The client saw my blankets at Pattyfair and loved the space theme set. She asked for the original rocket blanket for boy twin, and I made a version (with a purple back and Alien/UFO embroidery) for girl twin.

I have a couple more projects near completion (maybe I'll finish today!) and I have to figure out what to do about the laundry. The dryer died this weekend. Good thing I washed all my new fabric at the end of last week!


Fabric and Chocolate

Everything in life is a little better when you have a big fabric sale and some chocolate, right? I think so.

The quilt shop near my mom's house had a big sale on Super Bowl Sunday. They had different specials every hour and you get 20% off your entire order! We went for the first hour when fat quarters were 10 for $10. Woo hoo. Here are the 30 we pounced on:

And I also picked out some yardage (1/2 yard and one yard pieces):

Clockwise from top left: Three pieces of "Two Young Street" from Prints Charming (I love this fabric, it has such a nice feel tot it, and fabulous colors); two pieces of "Every Iota" from Robert Kaufman; three pieces from Jackie Shapiro's "Botanical Pop" by Baum Textile Mills; and three pieces of Joel Dewberry's "Aviary" by Westminster Fibers.

Now I have plenty of projects to work on, I just need to find the time!

Also, Julia received the Four Seasons Winter Quilt I made, and she likes it! Yeah! I had high hopes when I read in her last blog entry that she likes lime green. Also, I included in the package some fun little Christmas decorations and some Buckeye candy to represent Ohio, the Buckeye State.

The Buckeye tree is the state tree of Ohio and it yields an inedible nut, also called the Buckeye. Thus, the Ohio State Buckeyes (and their mascot, Brutus Buckeye, a guy with a really large nut as a head. THAT'S comedy).

We make candy Buckeyes here in Ohio, a mixture of mostly peanut butter rolled into a ball and dipped in chocolate. Super yummy. Julia and her sons enjoyed the candy, so I thought I would include a recipe so you all can make your own!

Peanut Butter Buckeyes

1 1/2 cups peanut butter (smooth)
1 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 cups powdered (confectioners) sugar
4 cups semisweet chocolate chips (can substitute milk chocolate)

In a large bowl, beat together the peanut butter, butter, and vanilla. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time until the dough begins to look dry (you may not have to use all of the powdered sugar). Roll into small balls (traditionally 1 inch, I usually do about 1 1/2-2 inches) and place on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet.

Press a toothpick into the top of each ball (to be used later as the handle for dipping) and chill in freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.

Melt chocolate chips (I microwave). Stir frequently until smooth.

Dip frozen peanut butter balls in chocolate holding onto the toothpick. Leave a small portion of peanut butter showing at the top to make them look like Buckeyes. Put back on the cookie sheet and refrigerate until serving.



The blahs of January

It's a good thing January isn't longer -- I would never get anything done!

I've noticed over the last month a lot of bloggers have been complaining that come January motivation seems to go. I agree! But I did complete a couple of projects I'd like to share with you.

I finished my Four Seasons Winter Quilt right on time. Here it is:

The front -- my first appliqued quilt!

A detail of the "gifts" beneath the tree -- my first hand quilting!

The back -- notice my first mitered binding!

All in all I think it turned out pretty good. I did cheat a bit on the size inadvertently. No side is supposed to be long than 20" -- this is 18" x 24". Realized my mistake after I appliqued the tree.

I hope my swap partner likes it!

Remember a few weeks ago when Jaxon was sick? All over me? Multiple times? Yeah, that was fun. I was wearing a cardigan sweater I have had for years -- cashmere from the sale rack. I put it in the washer knowing that it might not survive. It didn't, but I didn't want to throw it away.

The sleeve was getting threadbare -- the wash cycle sent it over the edge. It also ended up with a hole on the front.

I decided to use it on another Frenchy Bag from Amy Butler's pattern. It had been awhile! I made the handbag size with longer straps. The sweater was easier to work with than I thought it would be, and I am really happy with the outcome. I used fabric from the clearance rack for the rest.

Sorry about the weird perspective -- it makes the top look a bit wonky.

And finally, to wish you a happy February...Jaxon peaking through the eyeholes in his carb book:

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