Saturday, January 16, 2016

2016 FAL - Q1 List

So apparently there is this thing in Blogland called the 2016 Finish-A-Long, designed to help quilters finish projects they have already started.  The rules are that you have to post your *hopeful* list of finishes for each quarter, specifically "- In order for your projects to be eligible, they must at least be a tangible project at the start of the quarter.  That means, at the very least, a pile of fabric pulled along with a pattern," and since I rarely buy fabric without knowing how I'm going to use it, I have  few eligible projects...

Bazaar Style

I had purchased a few prints from Pat Bravo's Bazaar Style line a while ago, and recently picked up the purple solid to make the pattern I had dreamed up.  Problem is, I didn't buy enough of that solid!  So this project is on hold until I get to town again.  If this happens again, I'm going to buy swatches of all the solids of a line and just order as needed...  My plan is to donate the quilt (planning on a twin size) to the EMS auction, if they have it again this year.

Floor Time Mat

I had purchased these flannels over a year ago with plans to make scarves.  I didn't like how the fabric laid for a scarf, so plans have changed.  I will be making a whole-cloth quilt with the argyle.  I'll have to piece the back.  And then I'll straight-line stitch along the diagonals.  I don't have a recipient in mind, but there is a Pregnancy Center out here that I could donate it to.   The last time I used this same batting and brand of flannel, the finished product was quite stiff, which is why this would be a floor time mat instead of a quilt.

Gelato Ombre

I bought this fabric from Massdrop, loving it so much I actually bought two half yard bundles.  I'm still kinda scared to cut it though, it's so pretty, even though I have a plan all colored in...  Plus, my sister has basically laid claim to it, so I guess I better get started..  It's going to be so easy to cut out, just strips of fabric basically...

Kitty Quilt

Do you see how cute that kitty fabric is?  It's from a Mystery Parcel that I had purchased from Whimsy Quilts.  I've had this plan for all these fabrics (from my stash!) for a few months.  The rose bud fabric for the back is some that I had purchased when we still lived in Wisconsin when I thought I would try a Pinterest project that never came to fruition.  But this little thing has to happen because Adorable!

And so if I do finish all of these during the first quarter of 2016, I will have made as many projects as I made in the entire year 2015...

Linking up to:
A Quilter's Table

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Recipe Review: Rueben Quesadillas

I slow cooked a corned beef brisket a few months ago.  After having corned beef the first night, I knew we needed to have it in some other recipe before putting the leftovers in a FoodSaver bag and into the freezer.  So we tried these:

8-10 slices Swiss cheese (Havarti also works well)
24 thin slices ( about 1/2 lb) corned beef
1/2 cup well-drained sauerkraut
Thousand Island dressing and or mustard for dipping.
1. Start by heating up a nonstick skillet over a medium heat. Brush 1 side of a tortilla with melted butter and place tortilla buttered side down onto heated skillet.
2. On half of the tortilla, layer 1 slice of cheese (I broke my slice up to fit on the tortilla better), then 5-6 slices of corned beef, 2 tablespoons of sauerkraut,
followed by another slice of cheese.
3. Fold the empty side of the tortilla over filling and press down with a spatula to seal. Cook for 2-3 minutes and then carefully flip to brown other side. Quesadillas are done once cheese has melted and both sides are golden brown.
Continue process with other 3 tortillas.
Cut into triangles, and serve with a side of thousand island dressing and or yellow mustard.
We really liked these, but heck, I knew we would because we liked the Irish eggrolls at that one bar back in Verona.   And every once in a while Jeff looks at Fry Daddy's and I always say no, we can't buy one.
I've made these using Havarti and Provolone (because it cost less than the Havarti), but not Swiss because I'm just not a fan of Swiss cheese.  But after the last time making them (we pulled the corned beef out of the freezer, as one does when one lives this far away from decent grocery stores), I think that maybe the flavors really need the bite of the Swiss.  I might get Swiss next time we go capital-S Shopping.  That and another corned beef brisket and a jar of sauerkraut...

Saturday, January 9, 2016

1-9-2016: the Copper Basin 300

The Copper Basin 300 is a dog sled race, approximately 300 miles long, that starts and ends in Glennallen, Alaska, and is a qualifying race for the Iditarod.  We had a fun time watching the start last year and driving along the route to cheer on the teams.

This year our weather has been up and down so much that the trails by Glennallen weren't good enough to host the start of the race, so it was moved to the Gakona Lodge.  We noticed a huge difference in amounts of snow once we hit about 5 miles north of Glennallen, so we weren't surprised that they changed the start of the race.

We got a late start today, and missed the start of the race, so we just kept driving up the Tok Cutoff, pulling off at a few places to watch some teams pass by.

We eventually made our way to the first checkpoint in Chistochina (saying Hi to the VPSO on our way).  We stood around, me taking photos, Jeff chatting with some of the people who were there.

Jeff said this plane has been sitting there for quite a while.

2 teams coming in to the checkpoint

But, alas, we had not dressed properly to stand around outside for a super long time, and after only 124 photos, decided it was time to go.

they're so frosting when they get to the checkpoint. 

It was a good time, and I'm excited to go and watch it each year...

Monday, January 4, 2016

9-2-2015: Richardson Highway

During Mom & Dad's first week at our house, we had a day with really nice weather, so we decided to drive North on the Richardson Highway, just to see what we could see.  I had never been further North than the Tok Cut-Off, so I was excited to see the landscape.

Potty-Break!  The roads in Alaska have lots of road-side restrooms (like an outhouse, but not as gross).
This one had a viewing platform to see the salmon run.

The view across the road (to the East) from the rest stop included a view of the pipeline.

This is a view North over Paxson Lake towards the Alaska Mountain Range.
If you look at the top of the hill on the right side of the photo, you can see some houses.  This is Paxson.
Wikipedia says that Paxson's population at the last census was 40.

this glacier view is courtesy of a DOT pull-off...

the start of Rainbow Ridge - the road turns left before hitting the mountains there...

At one point there is a pull-off where you can walk right up to the pipeline.

Please don't climb on the pipeline...

Dad spent some time looking at the pipeline...

The truck auditioned for a Ford commercial (not really).

...and I took what could be a really good ad for touring Alaska in an RV...

We stopped at a pull off with good views to the West - no mountains to see.

And then we pulled ahead a few fee to get a glimpse at Mt. Wrangell and Mt. Drum.
We had taken some lunch with us, which was good since we were gone over lunch.  I couldn't believe how clear the skies were and how blue the mountains are when you are that far away from them.  We passed a lot of little ponds that would be great little thinkin' spots - thinkin' while waiting for a moose...

Sunday, January 3, 2016

9-4-2015: Talkeetna, Alaska

my parents

On our drive from Wasilla to Healy, we went a few miles out of our way to check out Talkeetna.

On the way there, we saw where the wildfires had been earlier in the summer.

This is the main street through Talkeetna.  If you see a picture of Talkeetna in a guide book, you're probably going to see this building.  It's basically a little general store, very packed, with just a few of a lot of different things.  It was packed, so we didn't stay long, just long enough to get a peak at the Major...

Major Stubbs
Meet the major of Talkeetna.  Yes, he's a cat.  He lives (and naps, apparently) at that store.  We did not bother him, but I was able to get a picture through the doorway.

End of tourist season = discounted t-shirts.  Loved this one!

You can see Mt. McKinley Denali from Talkeetna, but not on the day we were there...  We unfortunately had quite the cloudy/rainy/foggy time when we went to the fair and then up to the park.  Maybe next time we'll have better weather...

Saturday, January 2, 2016

8-31-2015: a few last pictures from our cruise on the LuLu Belle

there were jellyfish!
Growing up I always thought that jellyfish were just in warm water - I was wrong!

taking a Christmas photo in August...
We saw Orca Whales!
Those guys were quick - I never got the "money shot" but I saw them out of the water - it was so cool!
this whale hung out quite a while (I think he was a humpback whale?).
He was playing around, rolling, splashing water with his "arms"...
I started to wonder if he was trying to wave at us!

same whale
and shortly before the whale was done playing with us, we saw this...

(edited for color)
Oh man, I can't WAIT to go on this cruise again!
It was $125 per person, and it was 7-8 hours long - I would say that's worth the price!
leaving Valdez harbor the sun started coming out and the water was this amazing teal color...

there are tons of waterfalls all over Alaska...

Friday, January 1, 2016

My 2015 Crafty Finishes

It was a slow start to the crafting process in 2015; I blame the fact that we never fully moved in to the rental property, and I didn't have a space set up for it.  I spent a week in January, while Jeff was in Valdez at training, making him a Packer Blanket:

and then nothing until I finally made a baby quilt for little Luke (whose name I didn't know until the box had been mailed - but at least I mailed the quilt before I knew he had made his appearance!):
this was my most popular post on this blog, ever.

Then it was on to making a table runner and a couple of placemat's for Mom & Dad's Florida house:

Once I knew the Christmas presents were safely sent in the mail, it was time to take care of the present I chose to make as Sheila's Secret Santa:
I used black fuzzy fabric and made an infinity scarf, and added the flower embellishment to it.  
Man, that fabric is so messy to work with!

My final finish for 2015 is this #IntrepidThreadChallenge stocking:
and I'm glad I got photos when I did.
We now have no snow on the trees and it full-on rained yesterday...

My first project of 2016 involves this fabric...
Which I've already started and realized that I grossly underestimated my need for the solid fabric.  Ugh...  That project is now on hold until the next time we get to town.  So, what to work on?  Ombre, kitties, or bears?