Whimsical and Homespun Art Creations with a Little Rural Living Thrown In

Monday, May 20, 2013

Disappearing 9 Patch Quilt ~ Prim Rearranging

As I was measuring my "Sister's Choice" quilt for its border, my eyes wandered over to my wicker work basket where my very first quilt was folded and tucked away.  The "Disappearing 9 Patch"  was composed of my very favorite fall themed fabrics.  It was folded and set aside, because I couldn't make up my mind on a border.  Enough procrastinating...  The border will be black.  I unfolded the top, measured, cut, sewed, and viola. 
The finish to this quilt has been on my mind ever since the discovery of my newest obsession  The Free Motion Quilting Project blog by Leah Day.  Leah has inspired the designing artist in me to take a stab at some thread art.  Her blog is a wealth of knowledge on the "how to" of machine quilting.  Leah is such an inspirational quilter and human being.  Her blog is full of helpful videos, and she has classes available for purchase on Craftsy.   After a lot of reading, Kenna and I have decided to create some loose spider webs on the black border of this quilt.  You know, the kind that cover the garden plants in the fall. *sigh*  :)  

There's been a little delay in the practice of free motion quilting, as I awaited some supplies to get Kenna and myself prepared:   quilter gloves, a soapstone pencil, a darning foot, and a walking foot.  I am so excited to take this next step.  I have some mini projects planned for the upcoming week! :)

Here is a pic of my new work area in the front room.  Due to the addition of the kitchen island, my oak table had to move to the front of the house.  I am not a big fan of the heavy pattern to oak furniture.  The table definitely needed to be toned down, so I folded up one of my garage sale quilt scores.  (It is a hand quilted beauty that if I remember correctly was $10.00.)   It makes a nice runner and adds a very homey feel to the front room.  My wooden trencher fits in nicely after I darkened the wood with some instant coffee. ;) 

Got to get some mowing done today.  Hopefully, I will be able to get some sewing in after work tomorrow! :)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Easy Enchilada ~ Recipe

Now that my kitchen is back in order, I have a new zest for cooking.  Here is an enchilada recipe with little prep time (big plus after a long work day) that is a big hit with my family.  The only change for the next batch would be to off set the filling slightly to one side to make rolling easier.
Ingredients needed: 
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 of a medium onion (chopped)
1 pkg. Old El Paso taco seasoning
 2 c. shredded taco 3 cheese mix 
2 (16 oz.) cans of Old El Paso refried beans 
 2 (10 oz.) cans of Old El Paso enchilada sauce 
1 pkg. of 8 large flour tortillas (room temp) 
1/2  can black olives (sliced)
Directions are simple.  Prepare a 13 x 9 pan with a light dusting of cooking spray, drizzle one can of enchilada sauce over the bottom, and set to the side.  Cook ground beef (consistency of tacos) with onions in a medium skillet and add taco seasoning per directions on package.  While your doing this, arrange your 8 tortillas (as below) and begin the assembling process.  First, distribute your 2 cans of refried beans to each one and smooth in a line.  Second, add a scoop of your taco meat and spread over beans.  Then, top with a sprinkling of taco cheese (reserving some for over finished enchiladas).   Now, fold over the top and the bottom of the tortilla and roll into a burrito (offsetting the filling would make this step easier).   
As you finish each one, set them in the 13 x 9 baking dish.  After they are completed, pour the second can of enchilada sauce over all of them, top with the reserved cheese, and garnish with sliced black olives.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes.

And here they are finished.  By using the larger tortillas, one enchilada makes a meal for me.   If you are cooking for children, smaller tortillas would be just the ticket. :)   Although my family prefers the flour tortilla, one could try the corn ones for a more authentic twist.  We didn't need to have all 8 enchiladas for our family; so, I took two from the prep stage, and before rolling them shut, drizzled a little enchilada sauce on top of the filling, wrapped them tight for storage, and froze them for a weekend lunch.  Quick and Easy... :)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Primitive Island ~ Kitchen Renovation

Mr. Hollow and I decided it was time to say good-bye to the table in the kitchen.  Since I love to cook and was in desperate need of the extra counter space, we decided to go with an island.  Plus, we made an overhang to create a bar on one side to accommodate 2 people.  Just perfect for us! :)
My big purchase was two counter top height chairs in a dark oak from Overstock.com.  They are very sturdy and comfortable.  Since it is nearly impossible to match my cabinets, I went with my love for a darker oak.  ;)  I am very impressed with the quality of the chairs which was a relief, since I was buying without testing... Yikes!

I will do a post later on a new method (to me anyways) that I found for distressing wainscoting.  Believe it or not, my original plan was to leave the island a stained brown.  It was Mr. Hollow that came home and kept suggesting that a distressed look would be better to tie in with the garbage holder that my son made and makes it completely different from the cabinets.  What the man is allowing painted furniture and distressed to boot?   I wasted no time and surprised him by faux finishing it the next day while he was at work.   He said it was better than he could have imagined.  WOW... this was a great compliment coming from a terribly picky man! :) 

Mr. Hollow and Farmerboy finished the cabinet out with some vintage barn board.  Here is where my Hubby's non love of prim comes in... Flaking paint!  I had to promise to run it over lightly with a wire brush and finish with some matte sealer.   That will be easy enough! ;)

I was adamant that there wouldn't be any doors on this island with the proximity to the stove.  Farmerboy wanted to make some with chicken wire, but it would have been unappreciated in the back and a pain to open.  So, Mr. Hollow left the back open and made a short removable shelf to store lighter food items. 

I can honestly say the island was one of the best decisions that we have made for our home.  It makes our kitchen... Well... More like a kitchen! ;)  Plus,  I found out how great it is to NOT be leaning over a table all the time to prepare meals.  It is absolutely heavenly! :)