Monday, November 25, 2013

Oh Baby~Times Two!

As I mentioned in this post here, my daughter was pregnant with twins. Today I'm showing off sharing some photos of those little cuties. They came early because they just couldn't wait to see their Nana! Landon and Charlotte spent 18 days in the NICU, scary times, but we knew they were in the best hands. The NICU nurses are truly angels, so patient and caring. The babies are almost three months old and growing like weeds!!

 Taken in the NICU when all but the feeding tubes were removed.
Charlotte on the left and Landon on the right.
My daughter and I came back from lunch to the NICU,
Charlotte heard my voice and smiled.
 My daughter insists it was gas!



Charlotte~"no more pictures Nana, I'm trying to sleep"
Talking already, gifted for sure!

I have my hands full and loving it!
Jussara, from Sugarloaf Photography in Abington, MD gave me permission to share the following photos. Jussara did a fabulous job photographing my grandchildren!

Big brother, Julian with his new brother and sister.
Next up a couple of recent photos.

One week ago


 Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Finish!

I finally finished this quilt for a baby, who is now a toddler. My goal was to have it completed before she went off to college. Success!! I love when my goals are met . .  and exceeded!
The quilt is machine pieced and quilted. I used yardage and charm squares of Tweet Tweet by Kieki for Moda. I used Kona Snow that I hoarded bought a whole lot of, several years ago for the sashing.
The quilt is in the 48" x 50" range. I designed my own layout for this quilt based on the 5" charm squares, and forgot to measure it before I sent it on it's way. 

My little box of goodies for hand sewing the binding and label.

Did a little hand quilting as well. It's been so long since I hand quilted, I could barely see that tiny little needle! Managed to thread that tiny little eye! Pat pat! (pats self on back)
 Hand quilted name. Isla Grace. Name love!

Speaking of lofty goals, check out the date I made the label and the date this little one was born, check out today's date. sigh . . .

quilting detail

I've used Mettler threads for years and have several bins full of their decorative threads. Years ago when I was in my "designing art quilts and entering them into shows" period, Mettler sent me lots of threads to sample. I love their threads! I've used up all of the Mettler cotton thread I had, so I went to my local quilt shop and bought a few spools of Aurifil thread in 28 and 50 wt. to try. I used Aurifil 28 weight cotton for the machine quilting in this quilt. I have to remember that the smaller the number, the heavier the thread. I could never get those thread weights figured out. This thread sewed beautifully in my machine. I love this thread! I always clean and oil my bobbin case after every bobbin change and there wasn't any lint in there! Amazing! 
I enlarged one of the decorative stitches on my Bernina to quilt wavy lines on the borders.
Rolled up goodness!
Outdoor shot amongst the fallen leaves. It's beautiful here in New Jersey!
Thanks for stopping by!


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Sneak Peek

This is what I'm working on . . . and on . . . and on. I was on a roll but now I've come to a complete standstill.

I am using Golden Threads Quilting Paper for the quilting. Works like a charm! (if you look closely, you can see a teeny tiny piece of the paper oops!)

 The reason I have taken a hiatus from quilting is because I have been spending time with this girl, who is pregnant with twins!

And this little cutie. Also, my son-in-law, don't want him to feel neglected. Love you guys!
Thanks for stopping by! 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Hidden Gem

I live in a town in the state of New Jersey, half way between New York City and Philadelphia. There are nice parks and most folks are friendly enough, but otherwise it's fast food, pizza places, banks, pharmacies and more pizza places. Just your average slice of suburbia.

In the midst of this cookie cutter suburban landscape is a real gem, The Grounds For Sculpture.
In 1984, J. Seward Johnson, a sculptor and philanthropist, grandson of Robert Wood Johnson, the founder of Johnson and Johnson, envisioned a public sculpture garden and museum in Hamilton, NJ. 
Construction on the sculpture park began in 1989 on the site of the former New Jersey State Fairgrounds. ( Read a brief history of the State Fairgrounds here ) The grounds have been open to the public since 1992. To say this venue is amazing is an understatement!

The Grounds For Sculpture is situated on 42 acres. There are indoor and outdoor exhibits, tours, workshops and special exhibitions. There is a gift shop, a cafe and really cool restaurant called Rats. ( Read about Rat's here ) I love Rat's, the food the ambiance, pricey but delicious!

The following are some photos of a recent visit to the Grounds For Sculpture. The grounds are a work of art on its own, even if there weren't any sculpture to view. The landscaping is beautiful, whimsical in parts, inviting you to sit and reflect or picnic while viewing the art. There are meandering paths that wind around with a surprising piece of art at the end. There are peacocks wandering the grounds as well. Wear comfortable shoes and prepare to spend more than one day, there is that much to see.

Click here for more info about the Grounds For Sculpture. Thanks for stopping by!

Love the fascinators the peacocks are wearing!

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Never Ending Birthday Celebration...

Although my birthday was at the end of October. . . I was still celebrating last week, with a hurricane thrown in the middle of it all for good measure!

Hilarious cake mishap. . .
came all the way from Maryland to New Jersey intact. . .

 Super storm Sandy unleashes her wrath. . .
 The Capital Grille for one of my lunch celebrations

More cake. . .

Thank you to my family and friends for celebrating my birthday with me!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Pasta Pasta ~ A Little Taste of Italy

I come from a very large Italian family. My great Grandmom made her pasta by hand.
Great Grandmom

My Grandmom and my Mom did as well. I dabbled in a little bit of ravioli making myself, a long time ago. I thought the results were yummy. I rolled the dough out the old fashioned way. . . with a rolling pin. Not an easy thing to do.
Rolling pin . . . I'll keep it for rolling out pie crusts!
Last year, I went to see the Martha Stewart Show  in New York City with two friends. Hi Lynn and MariaElena! Didn't we have fun??!! 
Martha Stewart
 We were in the audience for the taping of the show.
There's me in the audience!
    Her kitchen was beautiful!
  Chefs Scott Conant and Lydia Bastianich were guests on the show. Couldn't have been at a better show! Now if you've ever watched a talk show, you know they are always giving out goodies to the audience members. Woo hoo! We received a nice selection of pasta...
Pasta pasta!
 and. . . wait for it. . . KitchenAid pasta making attachments, for the KitchenAid stand mixer!!
 My first attempt at making ravioli resulted in 16 measly, albeit very tasty ravioli. That was months ago. I found another recipe and decided to try my hand again on Saturday. The new recipe was very well written and came out perfect. Thank you Tyler Florence! I made ravioli and fettuccine . . . for days . . . it seemed like it anyway!
The ingredients
 Rolling out the dough
Look how thin! I could never get it that thin with a rolling pin!
 Ready for the filling

Filling and an egg wash to keep those edges closed!

Ready for cutting

 I used a 2" ravioli cutter for mini ravioli

 Looking good!

For larger ravioli, I used a biscuit cutter and crimped the edges with a fork.
Years ago I made them this way, but  I used a juice glass to cut them out.
There was enough dough to make fettuccine!
Don't adjust that dial . . . it's blurry!
Hard to hold the dough and take a picture!
Fettuccine on the drying rack
Ready for the freezer
Made some sauce

Mangia buono!

Here's a link for purchasing the flour I used . . . it's "00" flour, finer than regular flour. Makes perfect pasta!
Ecco a amici, di famiglia e buon cibo!