Monday, November 07, 2011

Book Block

how awesome is this quilt block for the book lover in you life?!?

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


022, originally uploaded by gock's frocks.

yummy new fabrics I could not resist - now I am trying to figure out a block pattern to use - any suggestions??

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mollys Crazy Dresden

another amazing quilt spotted on Flickr - check out her photostream for some other gorgeous goodies!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Soleil d'automne

Soleil d'automne, originally uploaded by chabronico.

oh my word! could this be any more amazing! the quilting is to die for!! the colors are scrumptious - Love everything about it!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Whirl in Scraps from Scrap Republic

how gorgeous is this!! check out her photos on flickr - pure drool worthy!

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Long Walk to Water and Linda Sue Park....

One of my favorite authors for young people will be coming to our school later in Oct! She has written a wonderful new book telling the story of Salva Dut, one of Sudan's "Lost Boys" and his organization Water For Sudan that is working to raise money to build wells in Southern Sudan.

Water for Sudan from Salva Dut on Vimeo.

Monday, September 19, 2011

What's for Dinner tonight??

My kids love beef & broccoli with oyster sauce so when I was directed to this recipe on Food.Com by the awesome blogger atA Year of Slow Cooking I thought it might be a nice alternative.

I of course, did not get my act together to assemble this before work so it may be a stove top version - or I will try it on high in the crockpot. What ever changes I make - I will be sure to note here.

1 lb beef flank steak, sliced thinly across the grain
1 medium white onions (about 1 cup) or 1 medium yellow onion, sliced thinly (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup light soy sauce or 1/2 cup Braggs liquid aminos
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup cut scallion, in 1 . 5 inch pieces (green onions)
1/3 cup fruity white wine

Slice the flank steak thinly across the grain - the strips should be 2 to 3 inches long each; set aside.
Combine the onion, soy sauce, sherry, broth, garlic, hoisin, brown sugar, ginger, and pepper flakes, then put the mixture into the crock pot.
Put the cornstarch in a large Ziploc bag; add the sliced beef and toss well to coat.
Add the coated beef into the crock pot, gently pushing it into the liquid to cover; pour the white wine over - do NOT stir.
Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours; an hour before you're going to serve, turn the crock pot to high, add the cut scallions, stir, and cook for an additional hour.
Stir, and serve over rice or noodles.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Life Changes....

so the big news in my life is that I have gone back to teaching full time.

This is a bittersweet time for me.

It means a lot less time at the studio but I am still doing some shows this fall that I had signed up for in the spring. on the bright side, the transition back to teaching has been 100x better than I ever could have imagined. I was home for 10 years raising my 3 kids, and could not imagine how I was going to make that leap back to full time teaching. But leap I did and landed in an amazing district, with wonderful students and a welcoming staff.

I also happen to teach an amazing population of kids - ELL's...English Language Learners - children who speak a language other than English at home - and no, I do not know a million other languages. They get all of their instruction in English!

Yesterday I came across a NYTimes article that really puts their experiences in perspective - My Families Experiment in extreme schooling. I shared this with the staff at my school in hopes of enlightening them a bit more to the plight of our newest arrivals. The feedback I got from the staff was heartwarming and confirmed I have made the right decision to step back into teaching.

As for my sewing....I will be heading to the studio tomorrow - filing some orders for etsy, dusting off the machines and playing with my fabrics again. I madly made 100+ new pieces this summer so be on the lookout for those to start popping up in my etsy shop or as special offers on my facebook fanpage!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Letterboxing 101

A couple of summers ago I stumbled upon a fun summer activity with the kids - Letterboxing! Similar to geocaching but without the high tech GPS gear. Letterboxers hide small, weatherproof boxes in publicly-accessible places (like parks) and post clues to finding the box online on one of several Web sites. There are close to 20,000 hidden in North America alone! Individual letterboxes usually contain a log book and a rubber stamp(very often hand-carved). Finders make an imprint of the letterbox's stamp on their personal log book, and leave an imprint of their personal stamp on the letterbox's logbook . It originated in England but grew in popularity on this side of the pond after this 1998 article in Smithsonian Magazine.

Here’s the basic idea: Someone hides a waterproof box somewhere outside; it should contain at least a notebook and a carved rubber stamp (it may also include a pen, stamp pad or other small treasures). The hider writes directions to the box (called “clues” or “the map”) and gives them to the finder in person, by mail or online. Clues range from easy to challenging. The hike may be short or long, geared towards novices or advanced hikers of any age.

Find a list of letterboxes online here

Letterboxing with kids is a fun way to discover new places and to explore nature close to home. Once you find the letterbox, stamp the letterbox’s stamp in your notebook, and stamp your stamp in the letterbox’s “logbook”.

Letterboxing has no official rules but rather asks you to use some common sense...

“Leave no trace” - i.e., leave the area as is or in better shape (e.g., by removing litter.)

Reseal the box so contents are protected from the elements.

Replace it in its original location so it is completely hidden from view, to avoid spoiling the fun or making it vulnerable to vandals.

Above all - get outside in the fresh air with your kids and try something new!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Tried a new recipe last night from Cooking Light and it was a HUGE hit! My nine year old loved the spicy radish and dijon mustard in the dressing. I loved the fresh spring taste in my mouth - I thought the fennel might be too much but it was spot on! Definitely add this to your list of wonderful summery side salads!

* 8 ounces uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
* 1 tablespoon kosher salt
* 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1 1/2 cups diced fennel (about 1 bulb)
* 1/2 cup chopped radish
* 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint ( I only had dried and it was fine)
* 3 tablespoons minced green onions ( used chives from my garden - nice light flavor)
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted


* 1. Cook orzo pasta with 1 tablespoon kosher salt according to the package directions, omitting additional fat. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain well.
* 2. Combine lemon juice and next 3 ingredients (through pepper) in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add orzo, fennel, and the next 4 ingredients (through 1/2 teaspoon salt); toss well to coat. Cover and chill. Top with nuts before serving.

Rori Trovato, Cooking Light
APRIL 2011

Monday, May 02, 2011

{Modern 12} Bee - wonky square string block

I designed this block for my online BEE with the {modern 12} group on flickr. I was inspired by this block Hive #3 2nd quarter KvarnAnna from Janesfabrics on flickr and decided to create my own version that could be replicated by the other members in my bee.

This is the block I ended up designing... instruction follow below.


For the center square I decided to use the paper piecing method to make the string block - this was a first time for me!

I decided to make my center square 8 1/2". I cut my patterned aqua, pink & red fabrics into strips ranging from 1"-1 3/4". Mine were cut straight but I think I will cut some wonky for my next set of squares.

I picked my first 2 strips that would become the center and one next to it and stitched them right sides together with the center strip placed wrong side down across the diagonal center of the paper square. The strips should be long enough to go over the edges of the paper square. Align the edges and sew with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Stitch through paper and 2 layers of fabric. *** Important - decrease stitch length so that the stitches perforate the paper square *** This will allow you to easily remove the paper from the back later. My machine is typically set at 2.5 – I’ve found that reducing it to 1.5 works well.

Press the strips flat and choose your next strip to attach.


continue adding strips, pressing flat after stitching until you’ve covered the entire paper square. It will look something like this.


Flip the square over and trim - ( do you liek the scrap paper I used for my block!)


if you want a wonky square, do not cut right angles at the corners


note - top edge - the ruler starts at the corner, angels up to create a wonky square.


paper is a perfect 8 1/2" square, string block is a wonky square.

remove the paper before adding the outer border! If you’ve reduced the stitch length, the paper should appear almost perforated. I fold the paper along the stitch line and then tear away.


To make the block a finished 12 1/2" I next cut solid red kona into 3 1/2" strips and attached them to the edges of the string square. I placed the string square facedown on the red fabric so that I could be sure the seams stiched down properly as I sewed across them.


Press the seams towards the red fabric. Turn over and trim using your 12 1/2" square ruler. I turned the ruler to help create the wonky look I was after.


and you are done!


I plan to sash this quilt in white once my squares have been received. I will keep you posted on my progress!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Coming this Saturday ....

Rochester's very own MAYDAY!underground arts & crafts show at the Main Street Armory!

There will be over 90 vendors and the first 50 people through the door will receive a free swag bag filled with handmade items!

come see some of my new one of a kind designs!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I am in love.....

with siggi's that is!

I have always been a fan of greek style yogurt and while grocery shopping late last night the gorgeous packaging of Siggi's yogurt caught my eye...I had to give it a try!

I opted for orange ginger .... a flavor never before encountered in yogurt and now my favorite! I wished the container had been twice the size! Not only is this yogurt delicious - it is good for you too! And an added bonus for me it is "local" - made in Chenango County NY! Siggi buys milk from local family farms that grass feed their cows and do not inject them with any type of growth hormones. It is sweetened with agave nectar rather than artificial sweeteners or high fructose corn syrup.

The packaging has also been designed with a nod to the environment...Late in 2007, siggi’s skyr launches a new cup design that uses 40-50% less plastic than regular yogurt cups and is supported by a recyclable cardboard sleeve.

I had luck finding it at wegmans and their website lets you enter your zip code to find a retailer near you! You can also LIKE them on facebook...siggi's on facebook

Let me know if you try it - I would love to hear what you think!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Kimberly V Photography: Shooting in Denver

Kimberly V Photography: Shooting in Denver: "We just got back from Denver where we had a GREAT time shooting some clothing lines and visiting Uncle Matt.  I spent the day shooting ..."

check out this little video made on a recent gock's frocks photo shoot in Denver!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Do you remember when....

as a child the mere site of a new box of 64 count crayola crayons could set my heart a thumping....cracking it open, selecting that first many colors to choose from. It was heaven!

now... my heart starts beating faster when I catch a glimpse of this....

oh how I wish that this arrived in my mailbox... I would create some amazing new designs .... too bad christmas is so many months away!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Project Quilting - the Final Challenge

I have been playing along a bit in some of Kim's Project Quilting challenges and decided to try the final challenge ... we had to use a large print and a stripe or plaid!

I decided to take inspiration from some of the gorgeous modern quilting photos I have seen on flickr and other quilting blogs and decided to use some of my favorite martha Negley geranium print with kona white cotton. As some of you may know I am new to the quilting world and each foray into quilting teaches me something new!


I originally thought I would create a series of 12" blocks for a table runner... made my first, made my second...laid them next to each other - didn't like the proportions so I sliced one of them in half - or thereabouts, and attached it to the first block!

see..I had just learned something - you don't HAVE to create a quilt in a series of blocks - mine became much more free form .. I sliced and chopped and added new bits and bobs as I went along.

For the stripe requirement, I cut a stripe fabric along the bias to make my quilt binding and I also quilted it using a series of linear lines that created a striped effect on the tablerunner.


more pics can be seen on flickr

and stop by Kim's Blog to see all the entries and cast your vote for your favorite!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Delicious Dinner Idea!

I had to share last nights recipes with you as my 8 year old said "If you make this everyday I will eat it!"

From Bon Appetit - the asparagus on the cover caught my eye!


* 12 ounces fettuccine or penne
* 3 ounces pancetta or bacon, chopped
* 1 1/4 pounds asparagus, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces
* 2 cups shelled fresh green peas, blanched 1 minute in boiling water, drained, or frozen peas (do not thaw)
* 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced, white and pale green parts separated from dark green parts
* 2 garlic cloves, pressed
* 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving
* 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
* 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
* 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
* 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil, divided

I also added some thinly sliced chicken breast for a bit more protein!


Cook pasta in pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot.
Meanwhile, cook pancetta in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 teaspoon drippings from skillet. Add asparagus to drippings in skillet; sauté 3 minutes. Add peas, white and pale green parts of green onions, and garlic; sauté until vegetables are just tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add vegetable mixture, 1/4 cup pasta cooking liquid, dark green parts of green onions, 1/2 cup Parmesan, cream, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon peel, half of parsley, and half of basil to pasta. Toss, adding more cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls if needed. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to large bowl. Sprinkle pancetta, remaining parsley, and basil over. Serve, passing additional Parmesan cheese.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

New for spring!

I have been listing some delightful new spring offerings for women & girls in my etsy shop...

Serenity Garden came about as a customer request from a customer...

she also inspired Strawberry Fields

and for the big girls - 2 new yoga waist skirts...also the result of custom orders from a customer headed to Hawaii on vacation!

Celadon Garden
.. also avail in girls sizes :)

and to be listed later this morning.... Meadowsweet yoga waist skirt

Pop over to the shop and check them out! Have an idea for your own custom - let me know and we will work on something special just for you!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Spring has Sprung....well almost

the urge to spring clean is creeping up on me and with that always comes the urge to purge, rearrange, get the picture.

I have so many things I would love to change at the house it is a matter of prioritizing and figuring out what is do-able.

One thing I am looking for at are flat panel TV stands. I really like this one...

also on my list is to remove the wallpaper in Leo's room - we hung it 14 years ago and it's time has come to be replaced! Any tips for painless wallpaper removal?? Wouldn't it be nice if it just peeled off like this....

unfortunately I have the feeling it will be more like this...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Review of Women's Classic Mid Paisley Boots in Gray

Originally submitted at CSN Stores

Classic Mid Paisley Boots by Bogs


  • Women's Classic Mid Paisley Boots in Gray
  • Part of the Classic Mid Paisley collection
  • Natural hand-lasted rubber
  • Easy-on pull handles
  • Non-slip, non-marking and self-cleaning out...

fashionably fun!

By skimom from rochester, NY on 2/15/2011


4out of 5

very comfortable

everyone stops to ask where I got them

run a bit small though - I am a 9 and I wish these came in a 9 1/2

also - say they are good to -30 ... maybe if you are hiking/moving/walking in those temps but I wear them to watch my kids ski race and standing on the snow on the hill my feet got very cold ... I use toe warmers and ski socks if I am going to be standing around for awhile


A Valentines Day Dinner

Last night I treated the family to one of my favorites! Chicken French with arugula and orzo!

I love Rao's Shrimp Francese recipe and just swapped out chicken for shrimp

* 2 large chick breasts pounded flat cut in half
* 1-1/2 cups flour
* 1 cup dry white wine
* Juice of 1-1/2 lemons
* 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 1 cup vegetable oil
* 4 large eggs
* ¼ cup grated Romano cheese
* 2 teaspoons minced Italian parsley
* Additional chopped parsley for garnish

Whisk eggs, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper until well blended. Dredge chicken in flour and dip into egg mixture, and dredge in flour again.

Heat oil over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, place chicken in pan, open side down. Brown shrimp on each side. Remove cooked chicken to a warm serving platter.

Drain off excess oil. Add wine, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and add 2 tablespoons butter. Raise heat and whisk in remaining butter until sauce has thickened. Pour sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and squeeze lemon juice over chicken.

I served mine on a bed of arugula with a side of orzo!


Monday, January 31, 2011

Will work for Fabric...

you know those signs you sometimes see people standing at the edge of the road holding...

I think mine should say... "Will Work For Fabric"...because I have been known to do this in the past!

Last year I swapped my labor for the giant roll of batting you see in the photo above. I did some sewing for Roc-Lon Industries for quilt market & in return I got the batting...only problem was, I didn't quilt!

I have long drooled over the new movement in quilting - modern colors, traditional patterns approached in non-traditional ways, the use of solid colors to complement the prints and decided just before christmas that I wanted to give quilting a try and made some table runners for gifts.

Then I stumbled upon a friends blog post announcing season 2 of Project Quilting! This was just the inspiration and challenge I needed to try my hand at quilting!

here are a couple of pics of my work in progress..



and the description of my piece for the challenge - inspiring friendships

20"square pillow cover

named for Friendship, NY

driving through the hills of allegheny ny this summer I passed a roadsign for Friendship NY and thought that would be a great place to say that you were from ... when I spotted this challenge on your blog I thought it would be the perfect place name from which to draw my inspiration.

so... online friendship with you brought me to this challenge, the fabrics I used are from other "friends" I have made both online and in real life while pursuing my creative endeavors...Patty Young and I started out together in the same boutique group on ebay, I met Sandi Henderson there as well, Jennifer Paganelli and I became online friends and later met in real life when I visited her home in CT for one of her fabulous home shows(turns out she also has inlaws in my hometown!), and I snuck a little Valorie Wells in there as I had the good luck to meet her at quilt market!

the nesting dolls fabric represents the friends we made while living in Poland too many years ago!

the fabric used for the border came from my stash - the outermost print reminds me of the hills where friendship, NY is located

I started with a log cabin block that I cut into quarters, shifted around and sewed back together, made the stripwork heart applique, added batting & backing and quilted it all free motion (?) ... as I may have mentioned this is one of my first forays into quitling and I don't know all the correct terminology yet! I then added an envelope back to the front so it could be used on a 20" pillow form

thanks for inspiring me!



Wednesday, January 26, 2011

breakfast treats....

it has been awhile since I shared a recipe so I thought I would share one of our favorite breakfast goodies that our neighbor introduced us to - also makes a great afterschool snack...

cream cheese & jelly paninnis!


heat up a skillet or if you have a george foreman we love to grill ours!

2 slices of bread, cream cheese (we use strawberry or cranberry orange) & your favorite jam or jelly.

butter the outside of the bread slices, spread cream cheese on the inside of both slices and spread a spoonful of jam between the slices - grill until golden!


let cool a bit before you enjoy!

sometimes for a special treat I get fancy and use my pampered chef circle cutter!


Monday, January 24, 2011

Facebook Fanpage Special

time for another facebook fan page special!

op over and check it out!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Facebook Fan Page Specials...

After seeing a variety of promotion ideas on facebook I have decided to try offering some specials available only through my fan page for a special price.

Tonight I posted the first deal....

this dress is a one of a kind - ready to ship in a size XS (4/5/6) for $30 shipped priority in the US

if you are interested in any of these deals on my fan page, message me with your paypal addy and I will invoice you directly!

if that is not your size or style I have listed a couple of new skirts in my etsy shop

Sunny Days

and Mikayla