Archive for January 2009

Another Day, Another Snowfall?

January 29, 2009

Yep, snow, snow and more snow.

It isn’t really that surprising as it is winter and all, but still, could we not have one day or sun?

Oh well, I guess the more it snows outside the more likely I am to stay and sew inside 🙂

Currently I am working on folding 1200 fliers to send out regarding my upcoming quilting classes.  By experimentation I have found that send out fliers to individuals is much more cost effective than placing an add in the local papers.  Now this might be different depending where you are located, but the majority of the papers around here are not very well received.

I am also continuing to work on my quilted pet portraits and the surprise project I am putting together with them!  I will let you in on the secret as soon as I can 😉

As for all The Ladies in the chicken coop they seem to have recovered from the shock of loosing one of their own.  Knock on wood, but non of them seem to be exhibiting any signs of having problems.  Which just confirms even more that is was specific to that lady.

heney

Happy Sewing.

Sad Day in the Chicken Coop

January 27, 2009

Where do chickens go when they die? I’m not talking about the factory chickens that end up in your grocers freezer, but more the ones that are well taken care of and die of natural causes…

Yesterday one of our dear old girls decided she had had enough of living – maybe a case of Seasonal Affective Disorder? – I spoke with my vet and she says that they see a lot of heart disease and heart attack in chickens… Since there was no clinical signs and everyone else in the coop is still bright and alert she says it was most likely an individual thing…
Hopefully today will be a little happier out there…I will be sure to bring them some of the grass I have been growing inside for them – yes they are a little spoiled 🙂

Happy Quilting!

Gift and Table Ware Show – Toronto

January 26, 2009

It was down to the big city for us yesterday – Toronto.

We headed down to the Canadian Gift and Tableware show to see what was new.  It was pretty overwhelming the amount of vendors that where present, I can’t tell you exactly how many vendors were there, but there must have been at least 200.

My main reason to go was as a scout for my mom.  She owns Tasty Treats & Treasures in Clinton, Ontario.  Originally her and I were supposed to go, but at the last  minute she was unable to, so we went without her 🙂

I still have to sit down and go through all the information we gathered, as it was a very overwhelming experience.  There was no cameras permitted – not a surprise as some of these items aren’t even in retail stores yet- so  I have no pictures, but once I get an idea of some of the new products I will let you know.

There was a huge focus on green and eco products.  In some of the booths the vendors didn’t seem to know or care to know anymore than that the item was a “green” product, which in my opinion has become more of a marketing term than an actual characteristic of the product.   Of course there was also the ec0-products that when you looked at them more closely they weren’t as environmentally friendly as they originally seemed to be.  Ok, the product itself is made from a renewable resource, great, the items can be recycled when you are done with it, great, but what about that plastic that surrounds the product to keep it safe and clean on the shelf?  In a lot of cases the plastic is recyclable, but not always depending on where you are located, plus it uses up energy and fuel to convert that plastic into something else…so why use the plastic at all?

We also noticed the all too common practice of people interchanging compostable and biodegradable.  A compostible item is something that will degrade it sent to a composting station – it won’t do to well in your backyard compost.  And a biodegradable item is one that will actually breakdown in a landfill.  Just s0mething else to watch out for in the new eco-friendly world 🙂

And yes there was some great products, eco friendly and not.

I was surprised at the number of candles available that were none paraffin.  Everyone knows about the dangers of burning parafin and it looks as if the manufacturers are listening.  There was soy wax, beeswax (my personal favourite), palm wax and mixed vegetable waxes – I think the one man said he uses a combination of palm and coconut oil…

All in all it was a great experience and a real eye opener as to what your local retail store owner goes through to bring you the best of the best.

Happy Sewing!

Quilt Workshop Schedule

January 23, 2009

I have finally had time to sit and look at the calender to schedule some classes for the next couple of months.  I am offering quilting classes during the afternoon as well as in the evening.   There will be a beginner quilter, a rag quilt and a tulip table runner class.

If you are located in South/Central Ontario near Durham, Flesherton, Markdale or Owen Sound be sure to check out the link to the right that says “Quilting Workshops”.

If there is any classes you would like to see offered in the future be sure to let me know!

Happy Quilting.

Falafel Recipe

January 22, 2009

Okay, after my post yesterday about the falafels I had a number of people ask for the recipe so thought I would post it here for you to try.
This is our own recipe that we seem to modify every time we make it, so feel free to change it around for your own taste preference.

We use dried chickpeas so we take 2 cups and soak them at least overnight, they occasionally get to soak longer depending how busy we are… or just use 2 cans. Grind them up. We use our blender, but chose your own method.

2 red onions – finely chopped
2 cloves garlic – finely chopped
3 tbsp parsley
1 tsp corriander
2 tsp cumin (you might want to add more to desired taste)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 heaping tbsp white flour. Be sure to use flour and not crushed flowers 🙂

Don’t add water! We have added water in the past when we were grinding up the chickpeas in the blender, but they don’t stick together well at all!

Blend everything together in a large bowl.

If you have a deep fryer you can fry them in there. We have had success using our large wok with it about 1/2 full of canola oil. We roll them into small balls then flatten them to get small patties (about 2″ across and 1/2″ thick). Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn and be very careful with all that hot oil! We turn them when they start getting brown. Put them onto a paper towel to help absorb some of the extra oil.

Then, enjoy! Fresh is best, but they freeze well too.

Paper work…

January 21, 2009

Yesterday I spent the day on the paper work side of designing.  That is the part where you take the design and create the actual pattern for people to use.  It is time consuming, but well worth it in the end.  Unfortunatly it doesn’t make for very exciting pictures 🙂

At the end of the day we put together some falafels to have for dinner…yummy!

They are one of the few items that I love that are deep fried.  In general I prefer baked, but I still haven’t found out how to make baked falafals.

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If you don’t know, they are made mostly of ground up chickpeas, we do it the old fashion way and actually soak the chickpeas and don’t use the canned ones 🙂

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They are really good if you put them into a pita shell with some lettuce and cheese and other salad toppings!

My mouth is watering just talking about them…I wonder what they would be like for mid morning snack… 🙂

Sunshine!

January 20, 2009

At long last we finally have some sunshine shining in the windows! The last little while we have been having a lot of dreary overcast days and snow. Today however there is sunshine! For now anyways 🙂

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You know, they say that if the weather never changed it would be a very quiet world as no one would have anything to talk about…Its true too, if you listen most people talk about the weather.

Speaking of truthful things – eggs really can freeze! We have always been told this, but have been good at bringing our eggs in without a problem. Last night one of the eggs got missed and this morning when I went out to see the ladies sure enough there was a frozen egg. I probably wouldn’t have noticed except it had split and there was some frozen egg white oozing out…learn something new everyday I guess! – Sorry no picture of this, but use your imagination and I am sure you can come up with something gross enough.

Yesterday I finished up a quilted project that I have been working on…shhh don’t tell anyone though as it is in combination with something else I am working on! I will tell you what it is once I find out for sure how it will work.

For now you can see what I made. Using my pet portrait patterns I made a neat little handbag…

Side 1

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Side 2

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I should go as  I hear the sewing machine calling…

ok, not literally as that would be kinda weird!