Friday, February 27, 2009

One Day Left Of Row Robin Signups!

I know I've been a little away from the computer quite a bit. We've had a run of sick boys. High fevers, aches, and sleepiness mainly. A little tummy stuff thrown in too. Luckily everyone is feeling better now. Except me, my sleep schedule is all wonky, but that will come back

I just wanted to remind any possible straglers that there is only one day left to join the row robin swap. We have quite a few. I am very excited by the amount of people that have signed up, and the amazing variety of quilter/crafters! This is going to be so much fun! So if you are interested, please go to the signup post and be sure to read through the guidelines first. Then follow the directions about sending me an email with your info.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Row By Row Quilt Swap Update

Only a little over a week left for signups, and we have some wonderful participants already. I am so excited about this swap, I think it will be amazing! We have 12 signed up already and there is plenty of room, so don't worry about that. If you're not sure where to sign up visit and it has all of the details there. I know a few people are unsure of what this would look like in the end, or what we are doing. I have a few emails out asking if people would allow me to post their pictures, so I am waiting for that. I have a few I found to give you an idea though

They do a great job of showing you vertical vs. horizontal placement as well.

If you are still having difficulties picturing what this would look like. Imagine some of the most beautiful row quilts. Here are a few I found online. Some were row robin swaps while others were done by a single person.
memaquilter's row robin quilt
Pat on the hill's row robin quilt
krommama's liberated row quilt
dianezirin's rowrowrow your quilt
cactuspatches christmas row quilt
stitchnagain's row quilt
And again if you have any questions, please ask!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Earth Hour 2009
In case you haven't heard about this yet, I thought I would pass this on. We participated last year and our family plans to again this year. All you have to do is turn your lights out for one hour. On March 28th from 8:30-9:30pm you shut off your lights.

Friday, February 13, 2009


I know this is probably way too late to really help anyone, but I'm actually trying to think a year ahead. There are some amazing Valentine ideas out there in blogland and I wanted to highlight a few of my favorites so next year I can find them easily. Also sometimes ideas like these can be used for party favors, end of school gifts, Halloween, Christmas, or who knows when you need little gift/card ideas.
Here are some of my favorites that I have found. If you have found some great ideas, please post them in the comments!

DIY Scratch off lottery Ticket Valentines by Skip To My Lou
Other Skip To My Lou Valentine Ideas
MadLib Valentines By Design Mom
Friendship Bracelet Valentines by Design Mom
Valentine Candy Maze by Zakka Life
Shrink Art KeyChains by Lost Button Studio (we've done these before, but worth mentioning)
Candy Coated Oreos by Her Cup Overfloweth (we love milk chocolate covered ones for Easter gifts)
Oreo Truffle Kisses by Bakerella
Heart Crayon Valentines by Chef Messy

I know there are tons of great ideas out there, if you know of more please leave them in the comments, I'd love to have a huge list by next January to arm all moms/dads for giveouts for school (or wherever)

I'm off to see Wicked tonight (my belated birthday gift from the hubs.) Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mario Valentines

As we did last year with our Dr Who Valentines (page 1 & page 2). We made up some Mario Bros. Valentines. We usually cut these out and then put them on a bag of microwave popcorn. Easy, everyone can use it, and fairly cute. If you want to use them go for it, click on the image and it will take you to my flickr site. Then you click on the "All Sizes" tab, and go to original size. Save it and print it. It should be about the size of a piece of paper. I used free desktop wallpapers to make them. Some of the sayings are awful! A couple we certainly won't be using for school, but my husband thought it was funny. Anyway, enjoy!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Row Robin Quilt Signups!!--CLOSED

Sign-ups will be until Feb 28th 2009
Your first row with your Theme will be mailed out by April 1st 2009
We will be making a quilt row by row. You will have 6 weeks to finish each row. The first month you will make your own row. After that you will be adding a row to another member’s quilt each month. At the end you will have enough rows to put together a quilt. Each row will be made by a different member of the group (one by you.) The goal of this is to combine the skills of different quilters in different areas with different skill levels together to make one beautiful quilt for each of us. I want everyone in this swap to have fun and expand your creativity. The swap guidelines are specific to ensure that no one is disappointed in the end.

The Rules:
-Use only 100% quality cotton fabrics. Nothing with a loose weave and please pre-wash and press all fabrics.
-This is a commitment! This is a big swap, and no one wants to let anyone else down. Communication is key! If something happens let us know. We can always pass on the package to the next person, or come back to you. We understand, but don’t go missing, keep talking to us!
I would like every week to have some sort of communication. Either a picture on the flickr group, posting to the flickr group, or an email directly to me (faerydaydreams @ Something to let me know you are still with us.
-Each row should be unique. Try not to repeat what other rows have done. We want variety.
-Fabric & Rows must be placed in zip top bags. Please don’t use the slide zipper style bags as this adds quite a bit to shipping.
-Everyone must put a note/card in with their first row. On it should be the owner's name, email address, mail address, likes/dislikes. this will stay with the quilt rows the whole swap.
-Do not attach your row to the next row! This will be done by the quilt owner. They will be able to decide if they want sashing and what order they want the rows to be in
-Treat each quilt with respect, keeping it in a clean, dry and safe place.
-You will always pass the quilt to the next person on the list following your name. The last person always sends to the first person on the list.
-When you send you must email the organizer, owner, & person you’re sending it to.
When you receive you must email the organizer, owner, & person who sent it to you.
You must get delivery confirmation!
-Follow the Golden Rule of Quilting "work on another’s quilt like you would your own!"

We will be doing a mystery block row quilt. You will decide on a broad theme or colors for your quilt (ex: all purple, stars, Christmas, etc). The other swappers will decide on the blocks to use, thus the mystery!
Everyone must put a note/card in with their first row. On it should be the owner’s name, email address, mail address, likes/dislikes. Everyone will do their best to make a row they believe you will like. You should not try to dictate what is on your quilt. You can suggest or make requests, but they may not be followed exactly as you had hoped. Feel free to list colors/color schemes that you prefer. Feel free to give it a “theme,” but remember to keep it simple.
(Example 1: Colors- green, red, white, Dislike- orange, Theme- Christmas, Dislike- please no angels. [This is fairly detailed, but totally do-able by everyone]
Example 2: Colors- I only want red, teal, and yellow, Theme- I want only pinup girls in Cowgirl outfits. They all must have blond hair. [This would be really limiting, if you want a quilt like that, go for it, (I'd love to see it!) but this isn’t that type of swap])

You will make your own first row. That row will set the tone, colors, length, and orientation of the rows. We will make rows for a quilt that is either 48" to 60" long. You decide what the length of rows should be for your top. One swapper may want a top no larger than 48" and another swapper may need their top to be 60". (please note: these are 'finished' row lengths, a 60" top will actually measure 60.5" with the seam allowance etc)You may make your top Vertical or Horizontal. Do not attach your row to the previous row. Place your row in the bag with the other rows and pass it on to the next name on the list. The owner will decide what order they want the rows in and if they want to add any additional sashing, rows or borders.
You must make your rows to the length and orientation (vertical/horizontal) requested by the owner. All rows need to be between 5" & 16" wide (this is up to you.) Remember there will be a seam allowance, keep that in mind when you make your rows.
**Edited To Add- You will be supplying the fabric for each row that you make. You can use from stash and/or go buy, but please use fabric that the owner will like and use 100% cotton fabrics. If you have a fabric or two that you really would like the other rows to have you may include that when you mail your row. Put a note on your card that you would really like if they would be able to include that fabric in your row somehow.

Block Pattern & Size
You will decide each month which block pattern would be best for a quilt as it comes to you. All blocks in a row do not have to be the same pattern or even the same size. Blocks don’t have to be square. Please do not repeat blocks used in a previous row for that quilt. We want you to use your creativity and this is all part of the challenge. Be sure to use whole blocks … no half blocks, please. Keep with the theme of the quilt using your own fabric and any fabrics that may have been mailed. Traditional piecing, paper piecing, or finished applique, make the row special for the owner.

Mailing Information
The deadline to pass the quilt on will be either the 1st of the month or the 15th. The deadline to mail your first row and any theme / background fabrics is April 1st. If you finish a row early, then please send it on. When you mail out each package, please use a label and put the next person’s mailing address on the outside of the Ziploc bag that contains all the rows! If the package becomes damaged en route, then the postal people have a name and address to forward it to. *If you are mailing in the US please buy a tracking number. If you are mailing the rows to a different country than yours, please make sure the rows are sent airmail. Please be aware that there may be International swappers in your group. The earlier you can get the rows mailed if they are going out of the country the better. Do not mail your rows if you know the person you are mailing to has more than two sets of rows already, please contact your hostess for further information. Please post weekly, whenever you mail and receive a package of rows. Communication is vital to the success of this swap!

Mail dates for these rows will be;
April 1st (Your starter row)
May 15th
July 1st
August 15th
October 1st
November 15th

If you have any troubles, questions, or comments anytime during or before the swap, please ask, you probably aren't the only one. You can email me at faerydaydreams @ gmail (dot) com, or leave a comment here.

To Sign Up
Send me an email at faerydaydreams @ (take the spaces away from around the @ symbol before sending.)In that email please include the following;
Real name
Mailing address (include zipcode & country)
email address
your flickr account (if you have one)
blog address (if you have one)
Do you mind sending outside of the USA ?
If you know already, what your color/theme preferences would be. (If you don't know yet that's ok)
Any questions or comments you may have, or anything else you want people to know

*There has been some interest from people outside the US, so I thought if enough people don't mind sending outside the States, we could include them. If not we'll do that on another round or maybe one group will have international senders and one won't.

PS. I am looking to have a button pic made up. If anyone is interested let me know!

Participants (so far)
Tab (Me)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Black Bean Soup 2 Ways

This is my world famous Black Bean Soup... ok, I don’t know how famous it is, but I have a friend from Australia who loves it, he requests it every time he’s around. And he’s on the other side of the world. I also have a friend who told me she didn’t want baby gifts from me, she just wanted Black Bean Soup. My hubby and my boys love it and request it. So to me that says it’s pretty darn good.
It can be vegetarian quite easily. I use homemade Chicken stock, that’s what I prefer and I always have some in my freezer. You could just as easily use vegetable stock.
I don’t measure at all, so these are guesstimates. Start less, you can always add to taste.
Oh, and this makes a ton of soup, because it freezes like a dream!

Quick Way
2-3 Large Cans of Black Beans Drained & rinsed a bit
1 can refried beans (Vegetarian if you’re going that route)
1-2 boxes of Stock (Chicken or Vegetable) This is a preference thing. I like mine thicker, my kids like it thinner.
¼ cup dried minced onion
2 Tbsp Diced jalapeno or more if you like (use fresh, jarred, canned, whatever)
¼ cup chopped up red pepper (you could use from frozen)
~2 cloves of garlic minced (you can use the jar stuff)
cumin (I start with a good palm full)
~ 1-2 Tsp cayenne powder (depending on how hot you like it, that would be medium)
½ tsp chili powder
salt ( not much, canned beans tend to be salty, you can always add more)
Fresh Cilantro (I’m sorry I think this is a must & I use a ton!)
1 Tbsp Lime juice (optional I like it)
¼ cup Prepared Salsa/Pico (fresher the better though)

Optional Toppings
Fresh Cilantro
Sour Cream
Shredded Cheese
More Salsa
Tortilla Strips/Chips

Dump all of the ingredients in a big pot and cook on medium heat until it starts to bubble a bit, stirring occasionally. It should take about 20-30 minutes. Put in bowl, top if desired. Eat. Makes a ton, freeze extras if you want.

Cheaper Way
1-2 bags of dried black beans
1 can refried beans
8 cups or so of homemade stock (more if you like it thinner, less if you like it thicker)
¼ cup diced onion
¼ cup diced red pepper
2 jalapenos diced
2 cloves garlic minced
A palm full of dried cumin
1-2 Tsp Cayenne powder depending on how hot you like it
½ tsp chili powder
salt (Usually about 2-3 Tablespoons worth, but I don’t salt my stock or beans, so it needs it)
Fresh Cilantro (LOTS!)
Juice of 1 lime (optional, I like it, hubby not so much)
¼ cup salsa/pico (I use my recipe)

Optional Toppings
Fresh Cilantro
Sour Cream
Shredded Cheese
More Salsa
Tortilla Strips/Chips

In a huge slow cooker, soak beans night before according to package directions. In the morning drain and rinse (helps prevent a lot of excess gas.) Return beans to slow cooker. Saute onion and red pepper in a bit of butter/olive oil until tender. Add to slow cooker. Add everything except the cilantro and toppings. Cook all day on low (4 hours or so)
10 minutes before serving add cilantro. Cook for 10 min. Put in bowl, top as desired. Enjoy. Freeze leftovers if desired.

It’s a “wing it” recipe. Everyone has slightly different tastes, so some things are less appealing. Go with what your family likes.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Row Robin Quilt Swap Anyone?

I have been wanting to host a swap for awhile now, and I realize now is probably the best time.
First, I'm just going to throw out a line and see if anyone is interested. This isn't an official sign up! I simply want to know if there is enough interest out there to proceed.
I'm thinking of hosting a Row Robin Quilt Swap.
For those of you who don't know, (this was a new concept to me until recently,) You create a row up to 54" long (determined by the owner.) You would be allowed to use applique, piecing, etc... to create this row. Then you send what you made to the next person and they make a row for this quilt also. This continues through all of the participants. Then the quilt strips would be sent to the owner and she/he would piece them together and have a finished quilt top. I think there would be 5-6 people per quilt.
If you are having difficulties picturing what this would look like. Imagine some of the most beautiful row quilts. Here are a few I found online. Some were row robin swaps while others were done by a single person.
memaquilter's row robin quilt
Pat on the hill's row robin quilt
krommama's liberated row quilt
dianezirin's rowrowrow your quilt
cactuspatches christmas row quilt
stitchnagain's row quilt
These are just a few that I thought were quite lovely.
I know life happens, so I believe in generous craft times!
So, anyone interested?
If you are even a little interested please leave a comment on here. We only need 4-5 interested to do it!

***Edited to add, I think since this is my first non-affiliated swap to host (I've hosted tons on craftster,) and because of the style of swap this is, it will be a USA only swap. If I get a lot of interested from international parties, I may revisit this***

Bubby was on the RADIO!

I'm so excited, my middle son, Liam, was on the local radio this morning singing with a few other kids. They were on the radio to promote the upcoming concert. He was so excited, and it was really neat to hear him.