Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Apprentice at Machine Quilting

I am trying to tackle my ever growing "to do" list lately. There are so many things on that list in different categories. Home & family, sewing & craft projects, personal growth, etc... one of the things I have been trying to be better at is machine quilting. Don't ask me for how many years I have been saying that.

I feel like this year's it! I am going to get better at it, well I have to. There are so many quilt tops waiting to be completed on my shelf.

I have machine quilted some of my quilts in the past, but I can see all the mistakes and unevenness of the stitches. I am not really happy with the results.

My friend told me to use felt, the kind you can buy by the yard. I didn't have felt, but I had scraps of fleece and such and I have been practicing with those. Also, the people at the quilt shop that I go to, and where I bought my sewing machine, gave me some helpful tips for machine quilting (Thank you!). It has been really fun practicing and I think I am doing OK.

The true test will come when I am working with a real quilt. It is much harder to move around a big heavy quilt and to be consistent with the size of the pattern. If you are a quilter and have some tips to share I would really appreciate them!

Just a reminder that the giveaway for the $100 gift certificate to Olive Garden is still on! Go here to see what you need to do enter for the chance to win. :)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Flower Cabochons

I will share some little happy makers that arrived a few days ago...

Aren't they so pretty? I hardly ever buy things online, but I just had to get my hands on to these lovely flower cabochons by Snapcrafty. I have some ideas for jewelry, and I really NEEDED them!

I will post a pictures when I am finished with the project. Stay tuned! :)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lego Chess Set

Michael had a fever and a cough and missed one day of school this week. When the medicine kicks in and the fever is gone, usually the kids act like nothing happened and they are all fine.

I told him that his body still needed to rest, so I wanted him to go to his room and get some sleep...

While I was working in my room, I heard small noises coming from his room.

I immediately knew he was going through his Lego bin and was making something. I wanted him to be in his bed, but hey, he is quiet, I can get some work done... I just let him be.

A while later, he came to me with his creation in his hand and proudly said;

"Mom, look what I made!"

I wanted to tease him a little, so I said “I thought you were supposed to be in bed." with a straight face; but laughing inside. I felt like I was Candice from Phineas and Ferb... and said this out loud "BUSTED!"

His eyes were swimming in the air and had that look on his face like, "Ah... what do I say to get out of this."

I giggled and said "I am just kidding...You did awesome on this (even though there are two rows too many :) ) He gave me a big smile exclaiming, "MOM!" then asked me "Can you put this on your blog?"

I happen to be just like many of you that think my kids are awesome... I wanted to make his wish come true. That is why you are looking at the Lego chess set today. :)

If you haven't enter to win a $100 gift certificate to Olive Garden, go here to check it out!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Down Memory Lane / Pieced Bag

When I first started patchwork & quilting, there was nobody around me who did those types of things. Also, it was before the internet existed, I don't think the phrase "Google it" existed. After I got paid for my first job at 16 (seriously, I didn't make much but to me it was a lot of money...). I went to a book store and bought several books about quilt making. Slowly, I mean project by project I taught myself how to cut, piece, baste, quilt and bind to complete a quilt.

Since then, my quilt making skill hasn't progressed much, but the list of quilts I want to make is growing so much faster than I can do! Living in the capital of quilt making, I mean, you might have different opinions, but I am just saying, because Utah has so many amazing quilt shops, and it is so hard not to go in.

I think this bag was my third or fourth project. At the time I liked it a lot, but over time my style has changed, I don't care for it as much. Although, whenever I look at the bag with unmatched corners and seams with uneven quilt stitches, it humbles me and brings me back to where I started.

I think I would pick totally different fabrics for this if I were to make this now.

This hexagon was not paper pieced, I kind of like it though...

The bottom of the bag is even pieced and quilted...

There are two things that come to my mind while looking at this bag...

One, I had lots of patience before the kids wore it THIN.

Two, I LOVE LOVE doing hand quilting, but there are so many quilts that I want to make. If I were to hand quilt all of them, I wouldn’t be able to make them all before I die! I really need to get better at machine quilting. :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Olive Garden Review & Giveaway!

Hi all! Today I am posting a review for Olive Garden (make sure to read till the end of the post, there is a special giveaway for Tea Rose Home readers by Olive Garden!)

When I got the offer to do a review for them I squealed with joy! Olive Garden has been one of my favorite restaurants for years. When Mr. TRH and I were newlyweds we didn't have much money to eat out. It was "THE" restaurant to go to for special occasions. After we have been married for so many years with three kids, Olive Garden is still our favorite restaurant.

I love their comfortable and friendly atmosphere. To me, it is a nice restaurant that I want to dress up for a little, but it's not so fancy we can't take our kids. In fact, they offer a great selection & quality on their Kid's Menu, and I love their kiddie cups with lid, and the crayons & paper keep them busy while we wait for the food.

When I received the offer to do the review, the first people that popped in my head to take (besides the whole clan that lives under our roof) were my father and mother-in-law. I have been getting multiple procedures since October last year every three weeks or so, and sometimes it takes a week or more to recover. They have been such a wonderful support to our family during those times, picking up the kids from school the day of the procedure and keeping them for 2-3 days so I can rest better. My kids absolutely LOVE spending time at grandma and grandpa's, and I am so grateful they are so willing to help us. So, all seven of us went out to celebrate our "family". :)

My mother-in-law. Isn't she lovely?

At Olive Garden they are offering a new dinner special for $12.95. It is a 3 Course Italian Dinner. The 1st course is soup or salad...

Everyone's favorite bread sticks

Our favorite soup Zuppa Toscana. Did you know those breadsticks and soup/salad are unlimited?

2nd course is one of 5 new and exciting entrees...I really had a hard time choosing one, but being a seafood lover I had to choose Five Cheese Marinara Penne with Shrimp.

Mmm...I loved the sauce and the baked panko on top adds extra touch of flavor and texture

Wow, Mr. TRH took a picture right after I took a huge bite

3rd course is one of 5 Dolcini desserts. We all ordered different ones so we could taste most of them. What I love about their Dolcini desserts is their portion size. Usually I am too full to order a dessert after eating a dinner. They are just so perfect to end the meal on an even happier note. :)

I must say that my favorite is Dark Chocolate Cake. Are you in the mood for Chocolate mousse and caramel cream?

We enjoyed each other's company and spending time together with yummy food. Oh, wait; there are other happy makers my kids always look forward to. The mint chocolate. :)

So, that was my $12.95 3 Course Italian Dinner experience. Is your mouth watering? The special is running through March 18th so there's still plenty of time to try it! Are you ready to enter a special giveaway?

Olive Garden and BlogHer are giving away a $100 Olive Garden gift card to one of my Tea Rose Home readers!

To be entered for a chance to win, leave me a comment telling me your favorite course-breadsticks and soup, the main entree, or dessert?

Here are the rules:

No duplicate comments.

This sweepstakes runs from 2/21/12 - 3/18/12.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment (see question above in bold)

b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older.

Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail.

You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

So, make sure to come back to see if you won the gift card. Good luck everyone!

Also, visit the Olive Garden page on to check out the other blogger reviews and more chances to win!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Basket Makeover

I have a serious love for basket style handbags. I hardly ever find the ones that I like, at the price I am willing to pay at the retail stores. So what do I do?
I find baskets at thrift stores and embellish them however I like.

The hard part is finding the baskets that are in really good condition with character.

Once I find some, there is no way that I can pass them up, I have to have them!

This basket has a lot of potential; let's see how I do...

Isn't she a cutie? I love the shape, and how the handles are flexible.
After thinking it over(and over and over) I finally started working on it.

First I added leather to the handles...

Then, I used a handkerchief I had, for lining. Folded the sides and added a couple buttons...

I was pretty happy with the results so far, then as usual I got stuck with decision making...

Silky brown flower corsage?

or, a cotton flower corsage?

I guess I don't have to pick only one, since they are removable, I can switch them up and have fun! Which one is your favorite?

By the way, I was asked to do a review for Olive Garden, and the post is coming up next week (did I mention a giveaway for my Tea Rose Home readers?!). I can't wait to share my experience trying out their 3 course dinner for $12.95 promotion! :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Vintage Sheets & Pillowcases Quilt Top

I have been enjoying the mini vacation from my series of procedures. It has been almost 4 weeks since the last one was canceled. I was able to do some things that I have been wanting to start or finish.

I am off to get another procedure today, but I thought I would share one of the quilt tops I finished piecing. I actually started this project back in July. Then, I was stuck in the design decision and had to stop.

I used some of my vintage sheets and pillow cases from my collection along with new fabrics.

Made some cuts...

I wanted a quilt with triangles, but I wasn't sure how I wanted to combine them together, that's where I got stuck. Does that happen to you sometimes?
I finally made up my mind and pieced some of them together... (why did I say "some"? Because I used the same triangles and pieced a totally different quilt too! :) )

I am in the process of quilting this right now; I will share the picture of the finished quilt in the near future.

Have a nice week everyone!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Kitchen Towel Apron

I shared a kitchen towel bag tutorial a while ago. When I bought that towel, I also bought this one too.

For the longest time, I couldn't decide what to make out of this, but finally I made up my mind.

I went through my stash and found several scraps that would go with the towel. I decided to make a patchwork apron. Since I had no plans whatsoever, I just made stuff up and cut here and cut there as I was sewing. So, sorry tutorial for this project.

And here is what I came up with...

I am pretty happy with the result, and started wearing it right away, I have so much to do around the house!

Usually I love really long aprons, but I had my little chefs in mind when I made this. I think I am going to sew a small button or something to the neck area so I can shorten it for them to wear as well.

What am I doing? Whipping cream with a happy tune. :)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Golden ~ Sweet Potato Recipe

Growing up, baking some sweets was one of my favorite things to do. I collected recipes over the years and some of the recipes have special story attached to them.

This sweet potato recipe was from one of my mother's friends.

Our family moved to a new area when I was 11 years old. There, my mother started making new friends and this lady was one of them. I think she was in her late 20's to early 30's at the time. They were all nice people, but I just really admired her the most, among them. She was intelligent, elegant, kind, graceful, always put together, and had a sense of style in whatever she did without trying too hard (of course being a child at the time, I didn't think quite like that. But now that I am an adult, I can point out exactly what I liked about her).

I always wished I could be like her when I grow up.

We have been exchanging Christmas cards and occasional letters over the years... and guess what? Now she is in her 50's and she is still the person I admire and look up to.

From fall to winter, as I bake this sweet potato I think of her.
This sweet potato is not too sweet or too showy as a dessert, but I never get tired of the simpleness and the gentle flavor.

I am sharing the recipe today, but it is all in grams since it was all written in Japanese.

{Sweet Potatoes}---I always double or triple the recipe.

Satsuma-imo (Japanese yam. They are yellow inside and less fiberish than regular yams. It is also great for tempura) 200g
Butter 15g
Sugar 50g
Egg Yolk 1
Heavy Cream 1 Tbsp.

Egg Yolk 1
Heavy Cream 2 Tsp.

1. Peel the yam skin. Cut it smaller and steam or boil them until it gets soft.

2. Mash the yams really well in a bowl and add the rest of the base ingredients.

3. Place the baking cups on the baking tray. Put the sweet potato mixture in the baking cups using a spoon.

4. Mix the glaze ingredients together in a separate bowl.

5. Brush the glaze mixture on the sweet potatoes.

6. Bake them at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes. If you used small baking cups, the baking time is shorter. If you used larger cups the baking time is longer. Check often near the end though, you don't want burned bottoms!

I LOOOVE eating them with whipped cream on top (not cool whip). It transforms the sweet potatoes to a whole new different dessert. I hope you will give it a try!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Hershey's Pom-Pom Pillow

It is February already, if I were to send you lovely friends a card, it might be something like this... hehehe ;)

Well, also, I want to share a little Valentine decoration tutorial that I did.

This project is super simple and quick, I whipped this one up in 30 minute start to finish. I found this little girl's t-shirt at a thrift store last summer for a dollar...

I don't go over board to decorate my house for every occasion, but I enjoy doing some. I thought it would be fun to have a Hershey's pillow. I don't expect that everyone has the same t-shirt, but if you have any t-shirts with fun and interesting prints this should work. :)

{How to}

1. Cut the t-shirt. I am not even going to write the measurements, because every shirt is different. Just cut the shirt according to where you want the print when you make that into a pillow, and decide on the measurements.

2. Lay the t-shirt fabric right sides together with pom-poms.

3. Secure them with pins all around.

4. leaving a 3"opening, sew around it using 1/4" seam. Using the zipper foot makes it easier.

5. Snip the corners for a clean finish.

6. Turn the fabric inside out and stuff. Slip stich closed.

It is time for you to enjoy the pillow!

Easy peasy huh? For some reason my kids got a kick out of the pillow and love it.

Whatever you do for this season, I wish you will share & feel lots of love and be happy (and eat some chocolate):)
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