Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! 2009 has been a year of learning. Like many of you, we have had wonderful opportunities come our way, and we have had our challenges. Through it all, I am most grateful to have the ability to progress, and to learn along the way. I'm looking forward to 2010.

“The more intensely we feel about an idea or a goal, the more assuredly the idea, buried deep in our subconscious, will direct us along the path to its fulfillment.”
Earl Nightingale

What goals are you setting for 2010? Do you have goals related to quilting? I know I feel intensely when it comes to being around anything in the quilting/ sewing/blogging world.
My friend Rae Ann of Cutie Pinwheel just e-mailed me and said she plans to make 36 quilts this next year. (wow!)
Nanette of Freda's Hive plans to use up all of her stash.(wow! That would be a lifetime goal for me).
Many of you want to whittle down the UFO piles.
I've read on some blogs where people inspired by Ali Edwards are selecting one little word to represent themselves for 2010. Calli of Make It Do chose the word "grow". Pat Sloan chose "possibilities".
I have family goals, personal goals I set every year (always to eat better, exercise more, lose weight), and goals related to my faith in God.
For my quilting goals this year will include:
  • Not buy extra fabric, and work on using my stash. (same goal for 2007, 2008, 2009, and I have a feeling will be on the goal list for next year, too!)
  • Make a lot of products with Texture Magic. I have never designed before, but this year I see so many possibilities with Texture Magic, I will step out of my box.

And my one little word: Progress. I've never liked standing still. Move forward, seek new opportunities, learn from them, and enjoy the journey!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Valley of Fire

All of my children have left now that Christmas is over. My brother stayed with us a few more days, as he usually does this time of year. This has given us some one on one time, which means so much to me.

My brother had never been to Valley of Fire, which is about an hours drive south from our house, and 55 miles northeast of Las Vegas. The weather was cloudy and cold (for this area), but we voted to tour the park anyway.

Valley of Fire is the oldest and largest state park in Nevada and was dedicated in 1935.
I think this park is like a little unknown secret. Many people have heard of nearby Zion National Park, or Bryce. I think Valley of Fire is just as spectacular, in it's own way. Definitely worth visiting if you are in the Las Vegas area and you want to get away from the crowds.

You can read more about the park HERE. It covers 36,000 acres with nicely maintained roads, a visitors center, camping grounds, and well marked hiking paths. Picnic tables are available near most of the trail heads, and this is a great place to bring your lunch.

I would suggest visiting in the either the spring, fall or winter.
During the summer the temperatures reach up to 120 degrees. (Thus the name Valley of Fire).

The park is known for it's red sandstone formations. When the sun shines on these rocks, they can look like they are on fire.

Iron Oxide (rust) colors the rocks.

Since it was a cloudy day, the colors do not show up as well in these pictures. This one ribboned rock had many different colors, starting with orange at the top, moving into gold, purple, gray and creams.

We went on some easy hikes along the drive. This one took us through a slot canyon.

Sandstone is easily erodible, and the holes come from years of wind and rain.

Atlatl Rock
3000 year old petroglyphs dot the area. I have a large picture of this rock over my dining room table.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Texured Tote #2

My daughter Aubrey has been seeing the totes I have been making out of Texture Magic and requested (very politely) that if I felt inclined, she would like one too.
She wanted a new bag to carry her scriptures to church on Sunday's and we agreed that Textured Tote would be just the right size.
I made this one as a Christmas present for her. Aubrey loves blue and simple designs.
Textured Tote pattern by Annie Unrein can be ordered through Superior Threads.

Texture Magic works well with many different kinds of fabric. I used a polyester for the outside of the bag, and a Kaffe Fassett cotton for the lining.
The covered button was made with the same fabric as the lining.

Fortunately I guessed right, and Aubrey was very happy with my fabric selections.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Elizabeth's Chili Rellenos

We are a family that loves to cook. We are also a family that loves to eat. While we were together over Christmas break, our daughter Elizabeth made us Chili Rellenos for lunch.
One of the funny things about this experience was we were all in the nearby family room watching the DVD of Julie and Julia. As Elizabeth cooked I could hear Julia Child's voice in the background!

Elizabeth has been attending the University of Utah and just took her last final on the 18th, double majoring in International Studies (emphasis Japanese) and Linguistics. She likes to cook as a hobby.

First she seeded the peppers, and then broiled them in the oven until the skins were crispy.

With a sharp knife, she removed the outer skins of the peppers.

Next, she stuffed the peppers with cheese.

And dusted the outsides in flour.

She placed the floured peppers in a whipped egg mixture,

And fried them in oil.
Once the peppers were golden brown on each side,

She placed them in a tomato broth.

After a few minutes of soaking in the tomato broth, the peppers are ready to be served. Yum!
Elizabeth doesn't follow a recipe, so these are the verbal instructions I wrote down as she made the rellenos.
(the amounts depend on how many you want to make)
Pasilla (or you can use Anaheim) peppers
Cheddar Cheese
canned tomato sauce
Seed the peppers and place them under the broiler until the outsides are charred and crisp. With a sharp knife remove the outer skins.
Fill the inside of the peppers with cheese wedges. Roll each pepper in flour.
Whip egg whites until they are fluffy and reach a peak. Fold the yolks back in.
Dip the peppers in the egg mixture, and then fry until golden brown on both sides.
For the tomato broth mixture: use 1 can tomato sauce (can be regular or Mexican style). Add enough water to make 2 parts water and 1 part sauce. Add about 5 T. flour to make broth. Heat until warm.
Place peppers in the tomato broth until completely immersed. The peppers are now ready to be served.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Hiking to the Petroglyphs

After hours of playing games, watching movies and eating too much holiday food, we felt we needed a little exercise.
With all of the family in town, some had not seen the Anasazi petroglyphs near our house and we felt it was a hike even the small grandchildren would enjoy.

Everyone got to come except for Amy, who stayed home to take care of the new baby.

Ricci's family is also in town, so we joined our two families together for the hike.
With our busy schedules I often feel I don't get enough 'Ricci time', so it was fun to be able to find a common activity.

Ricci and my brother Jed.

Noah, Dano, and Mr. Cactus
The hike up to the petroglyphs takes about a half an hour.

There are hundreds of petroglyphs along the mountain's edge overlooking the Santa Clara River. When we arrived, a guide from the Red Mountain Spa was there with his group. He explained some of the personal research he had done on the meanings behind the signs.

The rocks can be a little dangerous for an (almost) 2 year old. Dano did a great job making sure Noah was safe.

This has been a wonderful holiday because all 5 of my children joined us this year.
Aubrey drove in from Phoenix.

Scott flew in from Brooklyn, New York and brought his girlfriend Jenny.

Elizabeth just took her last final at the University of Utah and is now a college graduate.
Yeah Elizabeth!

My brother Jed came in from California.
Being with family has made the best Christmas ever.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Life Is Good

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.
Life is good here, and we have experienced our most favorite Christmas so far.
Being together with family is the best present ever.

We've eaten too much food.

And had time to kiss on this little face.

"Papa!" has been the boys most often used word.

The Little Red Hen quilt was a present for the grandchildren.

We have taken hikes through the desert.

On Christmas Eve we hiked to "The Three Pools" area of Snow Canyon State Park near our home. It's a pretty exciting thing to find water in this remote area.

Unless you are Mr. Cactus and want to play with the boys in the hot tub even if it is the middle of winter.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Around The World

What a wonderful year 2009 has been. I've met so many of you from around the world, and my life has been blessed.
Thank you for your kind comments, your enthusiasm, and the inspiration you have shared.

I don't speak any languages other than English, but if I did, this is what I would say:
Merry Christmas!
(Albanian) - Gezur Krislinjden
(Argentine) - Feliz Navidad Y Un Prospero Ano Nuevo
(Armenian) - Shenoraavor Nor Dari yev Pari Gaghand
(Bohemian) - Vesele Vanoce
(Brazilian) - Feliz Natal e Prospero Ano Novo
(China - Cantonese) - Gun Tso Sun Tan'Gung Haw Sun
Sing Dan Fai Lok
(China - Mandarin) - Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan
Sheng Dan Kuai Le
(Croatian) - Sretan Bozic
Èestit Boiæ i sretna Nova godina
(Czech) - Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce a stastny Novy Rok
(Danish) - Gledlig jul og godt Nytt Aar
(Dutch) - Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar
Dutch (Netherlands) - Prettig Kerstfeest
(Filipinos) - Maligayang Pasko
(Finnish) - Hauskaa Joulua
Hyvää joulua ja Onnellista uutta vuotta
(French) - Joyeux Noël et heureuse année
(Gaelic-Irish) - Nolag mhaith Dhuit Agus Bliain Nua Fe Mhaise
(Gaelic-Scot) - Nollaig Chridheil agus Bliadhna Mhath Ur
(German) - Frohe Weihnachten und ein glückliches neues Jahr
(Greek) - Kala Khristougena kai Eftikhes to Neon Ethos
(Hawaiian) - Mele Kalikimake me ka Hauloi Makahiki hou
(Hebrew) - Mo'adim Lesimkha
(Hindi) - Shubh Christmas
(Hungarian) - Kellemes Karacsonyi unnepeket
Boldog Karacsonyl es Ujevl Unnepeket
Kellemes Karacsonyt Es Boldog Uj Evet
(Icelandic) - Gledileg jol og farsaelt komandi ar
Gledlig jol og Nyar
(Indonesia) - Selamat Hari Natal
Selamah Tahun Baru
(Iraqi) - Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah
(Irish) - Nollaig Shona Duit
(Irish) - Nodlaig mhaith chugnat
(Italian) - Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo
Buone Feste Natalizie
Buon Natale e felice Capodanno
(Japanese) - Shinnen omedeto. Kurisumasu Omedeto
(Korean) - Chuk Sung Tan
Sung Tan Chuk Ha.
(Lithuanian) - Linksmu Kaledu
linksmu sventu Kaledu ir Laimingu Nauju Metu
(Norwegian) - God Jul Og Godt Nytt Aar
(Peru) - Feliz Navidad y un Venturoso Año Nuevo
(Philippines) - Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon
(Polish) - Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia i szczesliwego Nowego Roku
(Portuguese) - Boas Festas e Feliz Ano Novo
Feliz Natal e propero Ano Novo
(Romanian) - Sarbatori Fericite. La Multi Ani
(Russian) - S prazdnikom Rozdestva Hristova i s Novim Godom
(Serbian) - Hristos se rodi
(Serb-Croatian) - Sretam Bozic. Vesela Nova Godina
(Spanish) - Feliz Navidad y prospero Año Nuevo
(Swedish) - God Jul Och Gott Nytt År
(Turkish) - Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
Yeni Yilnizi Kutar, saadetler dilerim
(Ukrainian) - Srozhdestvom Kristovym
(Vietnamese) - Mung Le Giang Sinh. Cung Chuc Tan Nien
(Welsh) - Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda
(Yugoslavian) - Cestitamo Bozic

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Oh, Nanette!

Look what came in the mail. Oh, Nanette! I don't even know what to say. You have touched my heart in so many ways. Words cannot express how much your gift means to me.

THE Nanette, yes the FAMOUS Nanette of Freda's Hive has honored me with such a cherished Christmas gift.
This is a very busy woman. She is married, a mother of 8 children, works a job outside of all the work she does at home, is a quilt designer and publisher, has a HUGE following on her blog, runs an etsy shop, teaches quilt classes, and is a wonderful friend to so many.
How she had time during this crazy, busy time of year to send her handmade delights on to me is...well... something else! I am so honored. I'm really at a loss for words, and that doesn't happen to me very often!

Inside my package was a handmade pincushion ring. I remember seeing them on Nanette's blog when she was making them, and thinking how cute they are!

And there is a bundle of vintage fabrics that Nanette collects. Wow! Now I just need to decide which of Nanette's patterns I want to use these for.

And this Christmas star ornament that she made from a vintage tablecloth.
So original! This is going on my tree right away, and every year when I look at it, I will think of you Nanette.

I remember Nanette mentioning that her husband Dave helped her with the grommets. Good job Dave!
Again, thank you so much. I feel blessed to call you my friend. You have definitely made my Christmas very Merry and Bright.