Saturday, October 14, 2017

Dyeing Jeans

Ever dyed anything?  This was the third time I have dyed these jeans.  They are my all time favorites.  Loft skinny curvy. With little side zippers on the legs.  I wore and washed them so much, the color had really faded.  Dyed them.  Worked pretty good but the color seemed to fade out pretty fast.  I don't think I let them sit long enough in the dye.  Dyed them again and made the mistake of not constantly stirring for 20-30 minutes and some places didn't take while others were dark.  Just too weird looking.

So, I decided to try one more time.  Dyeing clothes in a bucket isn't for the faint of heart.  This time, I stood for 30 minutes stirring, then it took another 30 minutes of rinsing. I kept telling myself, one hour of my time would be worth it to have my favorite jeans back and wearable.

 I think it worked better this time than the previous two.  Nice and dark. even though still wet in this picture. I know other people dye on the stove or in the washer.  I was way too afraid to try the washer, and my laundry sink is more suited with very hot tap water than the stove top for me.

In other hobby news, I ran my longest training run yesterday.  In two weeks I'll do the first of two fall half marathons.
Sometimes I get discouraged that I am not any faster and I seem to be getting slower each year. I do some heavy self-talk....

- you are out there trying
- it's good for your heart
- it's good for your mood/stress
- it helps keep your weight down
- you are doing something not many your age can do
- be thankful you are able to run no matter the pace
- remember the fabulous endorphins!

Thanks for stopping by!
Rachel





Monday, October 9, 2017

Apple Butter

Ever made apple butter?  It's been years since I experimented and made some.  Probably after tasting the Apple Barn's apple butter in Pigeon Forge.  It is so very yummy.   I attempted on Friday night, cooking the apples on low in the crock pot all night.  I used a recipe found online.  It was pretty good but not nearly as good as the Apple Barn's.



So, I just had to try again. I had wanted to can it, but I didn't have the lids so I froze the first batch.  On the next recipe I remembered that the Apple Barn's didn't have much taste of the other spices (nutmeg, cloves, allspice, etc) but seemed to just have a wonderful taste of cinnamon and apples. This time I increased the cinnamon and used only a pinch of cloves, then added 1 T of vanilla, which I'd seen in another recipe.  I also cooked it down more.  First batch I had seven half pints, this one, only five, :(  It is much better than the first and more like the Apple Barn's recipe.


I wish now, that I had kept adding apples as they cooked down to make a bigger batch.  Now I know I have a good recipe, and can always make more. I think it would make a great gift along with a loaf of homemade bread.

My recipe:
~ 12 apples of various kinds
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 - 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
1 Tablespoon vanilla

Peel, core, and chop apples. Mix with sugars and cook on low 8-10 hours or overnight.  Then remove the lid,  add cinnamon, salt, cloves, vanilla.  Puree with an immersion blender.  Let cook without lid until it gets thick and will stay on a spoon, a little thicker than applesauce.  Can be frozen or canned in a water bath canner.

The apples and cinnamon cooking in your home gives off a wonderful fall aroma.

Rachel



Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Fall is in the air!

Fall is in the air, and on the tables!
I pulled out the remaining nice looking hexagons from my Corona quilt and made another table runner.
Nice, pretty fall colors, right?
Problem is, I already have a beautiful fall table runner. My dilemma is what to do with it.  Gift it or donate it to charity/auction?  

I wanted to gift it to a friend, but I'm not sure she would like it.  I'm very particular about my home decor and I always worry when gifting someone with decor.  I see a quilt as different since it can be used purely for the function/warmth even if the recipient isn't fond of the colors or pattern.  A quilted table runner is a bit different, don't you think?  

I do think it would be great for halloween and Thanksgiving holidays.

UPDATE:  I did give it to my friend, and she loved it.  Or at least she said she did and acted like it.

Fall

Don't you just love fall?

I made the little topper years ago using a discharging method of spraying a mixture of Clorox and water on black fabric, over some real leaves.  Then removed the leaves and copied them to make some appliqué leaves. They were laid out a little to the side so it looks like they are floating.  This little topper has always been a favorite of mine.

In case you aren't a regular reader of my website (www.rachelmhayes.com) here is a pic of a little baby quilt I made recently.
I used three of Elizabeth Hartman's patterns.  The little creatures aren't very difficult to make and it works pretty well as a quick baby quilt.

And just because it's fall......
My current favorite quilt, "Corona."  On our bed.

Thanks for stopping by!

Rachel


Saturday, September 9, 2017

Small Project

I had lots of scrap hexagons left from my last big project.  


This little quilt will probably go to work with me to hang in my office.

I'm really concerned about the impending victims of Hurricane Irma. Please pray for all the folks in it's path.  We have family in Gainesville, that are going to wait it out.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

More of Ireland

Just a few more pictures to share.....

I love these.  It shows just how quickly they can move!



I loved these actions shots.  That girl was so happy to be there and it shows on her face!  These were taken at a place called White Rocks, about 20 minutes away from the Giants Causeway in Ireland.



 These were taken at Kilfane Glen and Waterfall. It was a property owned by a wealthy family in the 1700s and has stayed the same since then.  They really enjoyed roaming around the property.  I told them it looked like an enchanted forest and my DIL said Emma was looking for fairies!
The closed out their week with a visit to see the Book of Kells at the Library of Trinity College Dublin. This was a thrill for both my son and his wife.
I'm living vicariously through their travels!

Friday, August 25, 2017

My Scottish Grands are in Ireland

My son has a conference next week in Dublin, so their little family made a nice trip out of it and they all went to Ireland.  I'm so thankful they send me pictures.  Enjoy.
 This girl....my heart aches sometimes being so far away.  :(
 Cliffs of Moher

I remember the beautiful stone fences when the hubby and I visited Ireland a few years ago.
 Of course my girl is running. Love her energy!

 My girl isn't always happy.....lol
 but her moods can change on a dime!

With her energy, there is always a photo op, but little Haddon isn't quite walking on his own really well yet, so with Momma taking the photos and carrying him....he didn't get in many.  That will change once he is walking!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Solar Eclipse Totality in East Tennessee

It's been a while since I've posted...oops.  I should do better.  The eclipse was such a once in a lifetime event, it is worthy of a post.  We had a little viewing party at our lot.





 I made a viewer even though we had the glasses.  The geek in me, I guess.
And it worked.  Clearer in person.

 These were some great pics my local dentist made.
 It was so strange.  The sky got very dark, the crickets were chirping, and there was a 360 degree sunset.
 Totality was so awesome!  Like a black hole in the sky.  It was truly amazing.
After the inspiring display of the solar eclipse, a name came to me for my latest quilt.

CORONA

Isn't it perfect?  The husband didn't like it, but that is because he didn't research the eclipse to know that was what we saw at the point of totality.  I had a friend who said it reminded her of beer.  LOL...oh well, I liked it so it sticks. I'm thinking of putting this one in some shows.  I never think my work is good enough, but this one -- I think the visual impact will outweigh my less than perfect sewing.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Another Beautiful Day!

Wow, August is really starting well.  Low humidity, 64 degrees this morning for my long run.

I'm training for  a couple of fall half marathons.  I think after four years of running, my active heart rate is finally coming down. I love my Garmin.  It tracks distance, pace, time, heart rate, does intervals, and all kinds of other things.  I can upload it to my phone or computer and see the GPS map of where I ran, the temperature it was, see my pace per lap, etc.

The hubby and Greybeard the big cat enjoyed resting on the screened porch today.

While I was busy trying to finish these two quilts.
Such an easy brick pattern.  Got one bound after this picture was made, and the other is ready to hand stitch down.  Both made from scraps.  Love that. The grey/brown/blue is a gift and since I am not that great still at machine binding, I decided to hand stitch it.  Although, my machine stitching of the binding on the teal one was the best I've ever done!
It's been a couple of years since I made my 14 day sweet pickles.  They were ready to work this weekend.  Got my little pickling spice balls ready.
 In went 10 pounds of sugar.  Now for them to make the juice for a couple of days.
After that I'll water bath can them to put them up.  We love this recipe.  Hope you are enjoying the weather where you are and like me, are doing a little of everything!