Monday, July 28, 2014

The Last Days of July

The Last days of July

I think CT has had a pretty good summer so far.  The record heat and humidity we experienced last year hasn't hit YET.  I hope it stays away in August too.  The summer is flying by. JoAnn's already has all of their shelves stocked with everything Fall.

When we visited last my fireplace didn't look like this!  That project is now complete.  We still have a way to go but at least we're getting there!

And last time I posted I was just about to have a birthday!  Yes, it came and IT stayed!  Another year, more wrinkles, bulges, etc. but for now I'm still laughing it off.  Two highlights of my perfect day (even though it rained) were:

My birthday cake.  Kristen made this incredibly delicious cake from Alex Guarnaschelli's recipe for Lemon Cake with Chocolate Ganache frosting.

No words can describe how delicious this cake was.  It's takes a little time but the end result is so worth the work.

The gooey drops you see are crunchy like toffee.  To die for!

Here's the link to the recipe.  Cut and paste this into your browser.

This was the second very special gift I received.  My whole family went to great lengths to make my day special and I don't mean to single out Kristen again but I've been waiting for one of her paintings since Mother's Day.  This time she didn't disappoint me.  This was my present.  Kristen said it's a "stylized" version of me.  I am so thrilled to have thick hair and cleavage!  She got my love of lavender in there too!  I will photograph it again when it finds a home when our renovation is complete.

I promised all of the ladies at craft and quilt group that I would share all of the beautiful projects they're working on.  Here are some of the incredible works of art we see every time we meet!

Lisa loves to cross-stitch.  These are some of the adorable bibs she makes.

This is a knitted dish Sue made me for my birthday.  She spent a few a meetings sitting in silence at times trying to figure out this extremely difficult pattern.  But she was determined to finish it and now it's on display in my house and I'm using and loving it! 

Dianna, Cathy, Barbara, Mary, Sandy and Claire all shared their amazing work!

Love this - would love to make one for the holidays!

Cathy I want this pillow!

Sometimes we share our stash and everyone gets to pick what they like.  Funny thing is we don't usually fight over anything because we we all have different tastes and ideas.

Yes, Lisa again!

This is Donna's knitted sweater set.  The detail is amazing.  No one would ever know it was hand knitted. She's our resident model!

 This is the Underground Railroad quilt Dianna made.

I love the last block which has the story of the Underground Railroad. 


Jen's tie pillow.

 Anne is still working on this Civil War quilt.  She's sewing each block by hand and doing it in amazing time!  She sews as fast if not faster than her sewing machine.  You have to have a lot of practice to take on that task!  I'm working on the same quilt.  I'll  be blogging about it in the future when we take a trip to Yankee Cloth in Wallingford this Fall.  

As you can tell we are a mixed group.  Many of us have more than one, two, three etc. hobbies!  Hobbies open up so many doors.  Our craft/quilt group is made up of friends who share so many of the same passions.  We laugh, learn, share and enjoy the time we spend together.  Art brings people together for all the right reasons.  

Finally, it's tomato season!  But it lasts for such a short time! I always love to take advantage of the fresh ingredients from my garden and make salads.  The salad below has tomatoes, basil, cubed cheese, black oil cured olives, olive oil, cracked pepper and cubes of biscotti all tossed in a giant bowl.  The salad comes together when the ingredients marinade a little while before serving.
This makes a great side dish or light meal.   

Thanks for visiting and see you in August!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Welcome to Where Bloggers Create 2014!


Welcome to my creative space!  I never had my own space until my children no longer used our rec room in the basement.  That's when everything changed and I took it over.  It's now my very special space where I can work on all of my projects.  The best part of having my own space is that I can work on a project and leave it without anyone touching it!

I am truly a crafter for all seasons because I love to quilt, sew, make dolls, knit, restore furniture and make all kinds of crafts.  I haunt Pinterest looking for fabulous projects to make!  Unfortunately like recipe collecting, I don't have the time to make most of the things I pin.  But I feel better when I tell myself I'm saving them for retirement!  

I'm going to take you for a little tour around the room.  This is Suzy my featherweight sewing machine.  She's relatively new to me and I love sewing on her.  I find it easier to sew quilt blocks on a smaller machine.

I love this old painted tile.  All of my precious treasures surround me while I work.

And this is Bernie my Bernina sewing machine.  I bought her at an estate sale for a very very reasonable price.  She's not new but she sews beautifully and I wouldn't trade her for anything.

This is my little ironing corner.  The shelf next to it holds all kinds of pressing supplies.

This room has three very deep closets along the back wall. 

I store almost all of my craft supplies behind these doors!

This cart was in my kitchen years ago.  I like it because it's on wheels so I can move it around the room.

This is the bookcase that holds most of my patterns.

Some of the dolls I've made live on the top shelves.

My sewing boxes stacked neatly help keep the room organized.

I love to sew and my mannequin usually models something I'm working on.

I am also a doll maker and have been published many times in various national and international doll magazines.  I've framed some of the covers and newspaper articles.

The long table next to my desk is my catch-all place.  After I've made something it usually sits there for a while before it finds a home AND the little things I love find there way here.  Ralph and Justin just got back from a photo shoot so they'll hang out here with the fabric for a while until they find another place somewhere in the house.

Here's my desk area.  I have been blogging for just over a year now.  I look forward to the quiet time when I sit at my desk and just write and share everything I can think of.  I've never run out of things to blog about.  Time is the only thing that stops me from blogging a lot more.

My good quilt fabric is in the containers under the table.  It deserves to be better organized but time is my enemy!

My trusty blog notebook is right at hand!  It's full of tips AND interesting things I've come across BECAUSE I almost always have some kind of crazy thing happen while I'm trying to get my blog out AND everything takes an incredible amount of time to correct!

I love 

Betty Boop!

Coming around the corner here's some more space to display my quilts.  

My bookcase holds all of my craft, doll magazines, books, etc. etc.  I've totally run out of room but can't part with anything!

Under the stairs houses containers with craft fabric, doll supplies in the yellow and black canvas tool box, my microwave to bake dolls, small quilts, journal supplies, etc. etc.

The back of this storage area holds containers of interfacing.  The front is where I store my yarn.

Here's the view from the table where I do a lot of my work.  It faces the TV so I can watch my favorite shows!  My time to create is usually on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.  It's my favorite time of the week and I look forward to that little time to craft all week long.

I love to put all of my little finds to good use.

When I want to work on my dolls I clear a space at my table and take out my doll supplies.

I can leave this head for as long as I want and pick it up again when I get the desire and the time!

Coming full circle around the room I have a little spot where my refinished furniture waits for the next step!

That's just about it!  Thanks so much for visiting!  I am looking forward to visiting all of your creative spaces too!  I would love to read your comments.  I always hope someone leaves a comment when I post!  It makes all the effort I put into my blog posts so rewarding! And most of all, I hope to make a lot of new friends at this wonderful party!

 Thank you Val for hosting the party again this year.  Your gorgeous blog inspired me to create my own blog.  And your party motivated me to create my own creative space.  What a win for me!

Love to everyone!

Cheryl Riello
A Crafter for All Seasons