Row by Row Quilt Shop Hop = One Amazing Travel Quilt

I am really happy knowing that by September, I will have swam in both sides of the country. I will have stood with my feet in the water of both the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean, with a week spent swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. Yeah, this year has been pretty amazing.

My adventures started out with a week in Florida. I love going there every year, because it’s the place where my husband and I got married. Those sunsets are some of my favorite sunsets to watch.

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Three months later I found myself on my first solo flight to Alaska. I was blown away at the beauty of Ketchikan. To live between mountains and ocean, that’s the dream. I spent 3 days there visiting one of my favorite people and one of my newly favorite states. Then we drove home  (to Chicago)…..through CANADA!!  For all the jokes that Americans make about Canada and Canadians, I think they are getting the last laugh because their country is RIDICULOUSLY beautiful. There wasn’t one bit of boring view the entire 3 days it took us to drive threw it. My favorite part of this drive in the US was South Dakota, especially Mt. Rushmore and the Black Hills. I was surprised about that as you are.

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My final road trip is to New York. My mom and I are driving there to visit a friend, with a stop in Conneticut, because why not.

Needless to say, I am very lucky.

I wanted to find a way to uniquely commemorate all the states I’ve traveled to this year. My answer came from visiting a precious quilting shop in Ketchikan Alaska. The super nice proprietor told me about this event that’s going on in The US and Canada, called ROW X ROW. Basically, quilt shops in both countries each come up with their own design for a quilt panel. Quilters travel around collecting different panels from the shops and then sew 8 of the panels into a quilt. There are prizes for participating. Although I doubt I’ll get my quilt done by the October 31st deadline, my prize will be the memories. I want to use this quilt years from now and have it flood me with memories and stories.

So, I collected a panel from the shop in Alaska, but unfortunately, all the shops I tried to visit along of the Alaska/Canada trip were closed by the time we got to that city. I’m hoping beyond hope that they ship. That, I’m sure, will be a story for another day.

I went threw and looked at all the panels of all the states/cities I have visited or will visit. It’s a pretty long list, like 15 shops not including Illinois, long. Most of the panels that I want are still to come in states I’ll be visiting on my way to New York. This quilt is going to be big and filled with memories!

I have been stalking the Facbook pages of ROW X ROW in various states. The quilts that people have been turning in are just stunning. I hope I get to see some in the future shops that I visit.

If any of you are participating in this, let me know!

 

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Crafting Goals for 2014

Hello readers!

Wow! It has been a long time between posts. Funny how life gets in the way. I provide no excuses, I just sort of gave my time to other things.

Haven’t stopped crafting, never stopped crafting. My goal for this year is finish all my half started crafts from previous years.

I have a bad habit of getting an idea for a project, buying all the necessary supplies, but then never actually finishing, or in some cases never even starting it. To try to remedy this, I promised my husband that I would not buy anymore crafting supplies. I thought it would be hard, but after I cleaned my studio, I realized I have so many unfinished projects that I might not be able finish them all this year. Seriously! So many.

Here is all the unfinished projects I hope to complete this year:

Lamp made from keyboard parts
Test tube vase
Post card collection display
Paper butterfly display frame
Silly sock creatures
My dress
Embroidered metroid tshirt
Game piece bracelet
Tie apron
Sea shell frames
Family cookbook
Santa face wreath
Wedding book
Best of 2013 book
Little pouches from LZB fabric remnants
Tailor peach colored pants
Books out of records
Record clock
Embroider strawberry shortcake sheet
Fringe purse
Yellow and gray zipper pouches
Vintage fabric aprons
Baby food jar craft
Mini test tube necklaces
Val’s wedding luminaries
Notebooks from DVD covers
Cottage brochure
Dollhouse
Video game cut out frames
Chalkboard tags (from my brown drawers)
Beaded flowers
Craft from film reel
Headboard
Refinish old oars
Christmas wreath with berries
Drawer scent liners from old pantyhose

See? I told you. I may not be able to finish it all.

Stay tuned to see if I get it all done!

Happy Crafting,

Laura

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New Year

Hi folks,

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There are so many new things I want to update you on. If you read this, thanks. If not, I’m treating this as a way to clear my head and set my goals.

My first, biggest, and most haunting goal is to get an interior design job. I have a plan though, so that’s reassuring.

I added two great items to my bucket list. I would like to go to the Chicago Auto Show First Look. Fancy dresses and fast cars? Yes please! Also, I would like to work with metal. I want to make simple, metal jewelry. Ah, one day.

I have a new passion, cupcakes! I am loving using by shiny red Kitchen Aide mixer to make cupcakes. My mom even got me a red oven mitt for Christmas. So far, I have made several batches of Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes and a batch of Red Velvet. They have gone over very well and make me really happy. If you have a favorite recipe, please share.

I have also taken the Half Price Books Resolve to Read Pledge. I pledge to read one book a month. So far, I have finished Heat Wave, the book from the Castle TV show. Nathan Fillion is one of my hero’s. I recommend the books and the TV show. I have started Darcy and Elizabeth: Nights and Days at Pemberley by Linda Berdoll. Its a book about what happens after Pride and Prejudice ends. Kind of excited.

Oh and we got a new kitten. We adopted Zelda in the summer of last year and were a very content little threesome. Then we went to the lake house and happened to stumble upon a kitten. I fell in love immediately and he became ours. Meet Tidus.

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Thanks for reading,

Laura McC

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Where the Hell I’ve Been!

Hey folks,

If you’re still around, you might be wondering where the hell I’ve been the past 8 months.

Short Answer: I got a second job.

Long Answer: I have a degree in Interior Design, but I graduated right around the time the market cooled and everyone was talking about unemployment rates. So, I got myself a practical job that paid well and gave health benefits. I really love my boss at this job and don’t mind the work, but there is always a little voice in my head that says, you want to design. You want to create spaces for people to love, visit, enjoy, and feel better about the world in.

Then, I got an exciting opportunity from a former class mate. She had applied at La-Z-Boy Furniture and after interviewing decided not to take the position. This really worked out in my favor because she recommended me and after interviewing, I got the job too. I was a Design Assistant and I got to help the designer pick out items for her customers’ rooms, create boards for clients, and put on design seminars.

I worked with people who reminded me what it was like to work with people who loved their job, people who didn’t hold grudges, and people who wanted to see each other succeed. I really got spoiled working there, even though it meant 13 hour days for me, I loved who I worked with.

I think that’s what kept me longer than I should have stayed. I realized, I loved the people, but I am a more task oriented person. I love getting to know customers on an individual bases and helping them achieve the looks they love, but I didn’t like waiting around for the next one to come in. So, after a lot of soul searching and angst, I realized that I need to let go of that job to focus on finding my dream job.

So, now I am back down to one job. I still miss my coworkers and can’t wait to see them soon. However, I am happy to have time to do things like blog, spend time with my husband, read books, make decorations for my nephews’ birthday, be a better friend, and most importantly, focus on finding my dream job.

Soon, I will share with you all the projects I did have time to fit in as well as all the new one’s I plan to start. Lord knows that list is longer than Santa’s.

And, as you can tell, my one recipe a week fell to the way side. I hope to bring that back up again, but I plan to focus more on learning my mom’s recipes. I would love to be able to cook like her.

Thanks for reading,

Laura McC

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Third Recipe of the Year

Hi All,

This week I made Sauteed Chicken in a Creamy Mustard Sauce

from Everyday Food: Great Food Fast.

It took a lot longer to cook than the recipe said, but then I got bigger pieces of chicken than the recipe said. The recipe was very good, but the sauce was a little off putting because it smelled like fish while I was cooking it. Note: there’s no fish in this recipe.

I changed up the sauce by adding a lot more heavy cream, some flour, and chicken broth. It made the sauce smell less fishy. The sauce tasted great once I was done messing with it. I also changed up the chicken by sliting it half and stuffing it with spinach leaves. I made some sauteed vegetables on the side.

I really enjoyed the dinner and most importantly, my husband ate it. I think its important to note that he makes faces every time I put mustard on anything. He HATES mustard, but he really enjoyed it.

The whole recipe was a win. It will definatly be added to the rotation. I’m also excited to have learned a new sauce. That was one of the major goals of this whole adventure.

Thanks for reading,

~Laura McC

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Second Recipe of the Year

Hi Everyone,

Are you ready for the second recipe of the year? Good. Part of my goal for making a new food every week was to learn how to make some of my mothers signature recipes. She can make four different recipes out of flour, milk and eggs alone. That is an amazing skill that I would love to learn.

She taught me how to make the meat from scratch and then how to make the dough from scratch. Then she taught me how to combine the two for a very tasty outcome. Honestly, all the food that my mom makes takes a long time to cook (because it’s all from scratch), but it’s always worth it.

The meat biscuits are very tasty and a great snack to eat with one hand while your busy at work. I wrote down the recipe and payed close attention while making them so that I can do them by myself next time.

They are especially good with a cup of milk. In fact, I’m making myself hungry. Excuse me, I’m going to get me some now.

What’s some of your favorite family recipes?

~Laura McC

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First Recipe of the year.

Hello All,

I can cook well, I mean I have made many successful meals. People didn’t get food poisoning, so I’m looking at it as a win. I wanted to share with you the results of my first cooking adventure this year. As you remember, I made a new years resolution to cook one new thing per week this year. The first thing I made was Spaghetti Carbonara from the Everyday Food: Great Food Fast cook book. It was incredibly easy to make. I made it in about 20 minutes. The recipe says to eat it right away, but my husband got caught in traffic, so we had to wait about an hour. It was tasty, especially the bacon chunks. The sauce, however, felt dry. I like a lot of sauce on my noodles, so I think next time I make this, I’m going to double the sauce recipe. The problem is that the sauce is cooked by the heat of the noodle. I think I’m going to try making extra sauce in a sauce pan. I’ll let you know how that goes.

My husband really liked the recipe, too. He’s open to trying it again, but he agrees on the sauce.

Thanks for reading,

~Laura McC

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