Sunday, December 31, 2006

deadlines are good

I got my quilt done at a little before should be posted soon. That brings my total to 14 finished quilts for the year. I am very pleased about that since my goal was 12.

I am off to a slumber party (in the basement) with my boys and Kev. Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

back to our routine

My sister and my dad left this morning at 12:30 and made it back to MN safely. We had such a nice time with them and now we are easing back into our normal routine. It was great to have them here and we miss them already. It was nice yesterday to be able to sneak out of the house with my hubby for a lunch date and a bit of shopping while Clair and dad watched the kids.

Here are most of the cards that I made while stamping the past few days:


It is so fun to stamp with my sister. But it seems like the whole visit went way too fast! Like I had to tell my kids, we need to be thankful for the time that we did get to spend with them.

Today we cleaned the house and now I am working of finishing up a quilt. Hopefully it will be completed by the end of the year so that my total for the year is 14 rather than 13....that would be so much better, don't you think? (Hopefully there will be completed pictures tomorrow!)

Over the past several days I have been thinking of how I can rework my craft room (which is also the laundry room). I need to reconfigure the desk where my sewing machines sits since I am sewing more (for my new job). My arms have been giving me problems again (it's from a previous work injury) so I need to fix my desk soon. And as inexpensively as possible. I am thinking a trip to IKEA is coming up soon. Yay!

to Nana Nancy, thanks for reading and commenting! I appreciate your input on the 30's fabrics and I will be removing the orange from the mix. That gives me another excuse to go to the quilt shop. :)

Thanks to all of you who check in and comment regularly...I appreciate it so much. If you are reading, please let me know. I'd love to hear from you!

Friday, December 29, 2006

wip friday

I've made a little progress on my stripey crochet blanket. It's about 46 rows wide now. Maybe a sixth of the way done....I like it...a lot. I think it looks better in person than in the photo. I'm greatly relieved that it isn't crescent shaped. This is my first crochet project. I am enjoying it very much. It's nice to have a portable project to work on whenever I have a few minutes.

Clair and I sewed a few purses:
A pretty pink and yellow purse for Clair's friend Emili. I love the pink and yellow color combination.

And a better shot of the inside fabric. (It still needs a snap sewn in.)

And another pretty purse for Clair.

And the inside fabric...this one had a pocket. I liked how this one came together, too. It's cute.

It was fun making these with Clair, because it was twice as fast. (She did all the ironing of the interfacing which isn't my favorite part.) It makes me want to sew a purse for me. Not that I need another purse....but that hasn't stopped me before. We used Pellon interfacing in these purses rather than the cheap stuff that I usually use from WalMart. I've found that the right interfacing makes a big difference. I'm sure that I've read about this before, but I am a little slow and I need to come to conclusions like this on my own. (unfortunately)

We also replaced a zipper in Clair's winter coat. There will be no photos of that project. The sewing wasn't so pretty on that project, purely utilitarian. But hey, we were brave enough to even attempt replacing a zipper. Not for the faint of heart or for the perfectionist.

Tomorrow my guests will be leaving :( and I should be back to regular posting. :)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


My sister arrived about 9 this evening while I was on the phone with my good friend Erin. I hung up the phone, and I let my sister Clair in and I was about to shut the door and she said, "Just wait...there is someone else...." and my dad walks in. I was very surprised. Such a very cool surprise. I talked to one of my brothers and my other sister a few times today and no one let it slip. Yay! Hurray! I can't wait until tomorrow morning when my boys see that Grandpa came along to visit. (They drove 12 hours to get here, so this is a big deal.) They are going to be so excited. Clair brought some goodies (lots of sentimental value) from my grandma's house, and I will try to post pictures soon.

martha wouldn't be impressed

We decorated cookies a few nights ago. So much fun!!! We laughed 'til we cried. A good time was had by all.

Friday, December 22, 2006

an upcoming visit

I just found out tonight that my sister is coming to visit me this coming Tuesday. Yahooooooooooooooooooo! That means that there will be much consumption of Mexican food, lots of card stamping and book reading (to the kiddies) and lots of laughing 'til we cry and our sides hurt. Needless to say, I can not wait!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

It is the first day of Christmas break and it took nearly until noon for my 6 year old and my 3 1/2 year old to remember how to play nicely together. It was a LONG morning.

But I made some peanut brittle....

....from this, my favorite cookbook. Copyright 1989.

Ironically, it was my husband's cookbook before we got married. He is a great cook and usually he is the peanut brittle maker. But this year he passed the task to me. I didn't know when I would ever get an hour uninterrupted to stand by the stove and stir, but I chanced it this morning. I am happy to report that it all worked out well. The brittle is quite delicious, and not the least bit sticky. Now if I can refrain from eating the whole 2.5 pounds that it makes...well, I'm not sure how that is going to pan out. :)

My afternoon de-stresser was working on this quilt.

I'm going for a king sized quilt. The pattern I worked up for this quilt requires 1200 (3") squares for the 48 (12.5") squares. Plus 63 more squares and 110 rectangles for the sashing. The fabrics are so pretty and kind of busy, so I am glad that I didn't do a more complex design. If it all goes well, I hope to have this done so for use on my bed this coming spring/summer. My grand goal is to have 3 different quilts for my bed...this one, one for fall and one for winter. (I should have bought a full sized bed instead of a king.)

The boys and I saw 7 deer out our windows today. 5 this morning and 2 this afternoon. I've said it before, but I'll say it again...I love where I live!

Tonight my husband and I are going out on a date! It's actually a work Christmas dinner. But since he and I don't get out much without the kids I am looking forward to it immensely. We don't get out much AT ALL! So excited. I gotta go clean up the house and fix myself up a bit.

Good day to you!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

crazy day

Man I had a crazy day today. I got a lot accomplished and that always feels good. I got my Christmas cards sent out finally. (Insert huge sigh of relief here.) I usually don't send many out at all, because I have this weird idea that most, if not all should have some handwritten note in it. Multiply that times 20, 30, maybe 40 cards and that makes for a huge project. I did the best I could and made mental notes to do it differently next year...start earlier, for one thing.

This is almost the extent of the crafting I did today...I went out into my yard and cut these branches (they are full of thorns) and threw them in this pitcher. My husband's comment: "That's not wild at all!" I kinda like it. It wasn't exactly what I had envisioned, but it fills up the top of one of my bookcases nicely. And it was free! I don't know anything about this stuff...don't know what kind of berries they are. Researching this is on my mental list of things to do. The only other crafting that I did today was crochet a row and a half on my blanket. I shouldn't have sat down because I felt so tired and wanted to go right to sleep. Today was one of those days that I couldn't slow down too much, otherwise I would have lost my momentum and would have crashed into a heap.

I got a job this week. That added to the craziness of my day as well. I am now officially a seamstress working from the comfort (or discomfort, depending on my children's moods) of my own home. The perfect setup for a mom to 3 young children. I am sewing patches on uniforms for the employees at my husbands workplace. It has been going really well (except about a hundred pin pricks in my fingers and hands). I get paid a flat rate per patch that I sew on. What a deal! Thankfully my husband is helping me with the paperwork end of things. I hate that part of business endeavors, but he is so great at that part. It's fantastic to have his help. I am so excited that I now get paid (really well!) for sewing. My personal crafting time is going to take a hit, but that was coming anyway, with my daughter nearly 8 months old and getting more active. Maybe now that I have more to do, I will become more efficient. That is the hope anyway.

Hope that you are enjoying this holiday season! Only 5 days 'til Christmas....

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Today I am overwhelmed (in the best way possible, of course) by my friends....near and far.

I got some great love in the mail yesterday....

A few letters from my sister Clair! She is my most consistent sorce of mail ever...even more consistent that my monthly bills....and she has been for years. Love that!

Linda sent us some delicious Christmas goodies. The spiced almonds are my favorite! Linda, Kev and I are so thankful for the years for friendship with you and J. You have been so generous to us over the years...we miss our late nights of Mario Party and all the silliness that came along with it! (Good times...good times!) We love you guys. And we miss you so much. We hope that J feels better soon...we are praying for him daily!

My friend Dawn also sent me a package of Mat Stacks paper (love!) in the prettiest shades of blues, olives and yellows. Thank you so much Dawn! I couldn't have picked out a prettier stack of paper if I were choosing it myself. Love it. I miss you so much too! It's so nice to know that I haven't been forgotten since I left the state. :)

Another "thanks" goes out to my good friend Erin....your listening ear and your great sense of humor are some of my favorite things about you. You have helped me through many tough times and I am depending on you for that for a good long time...I miss you so! I could really go for a craft project collaboration again.

And now for my friends that are near....

My neighbor and new friend Rhonda and her girls came over to visit yesterday. She spent nearly all her time here helping me cut up apples for applesauce. What a nice friend, huh? I had been putting off the task for several weeks, since it was going to take so long and the kitchen was going to get sooooo messy. (It did and my sweet Kev helped clean it!) Well, Rhonda helped make quick work of the pile of apples that needing cleaning and chopping. I am so grateful for her help. Good company made the task much more enjoyable. Thank you, my dear, Rhonda!

Thanks to Amy first Michigan friend. You made my move here infinitely easier. Thank you for teaching me how to sew purses. And I am so glad that you are now a quilter, too. (My apologies to Mike...I'm sorry, really!) So glad to have your help on my quilt sandwiching days. I couldn't do it without you. I really enjoy our days spent are great company. And you throw one great party! :)

I would also like to thank you for reading and commenting on my blog. Without you I would have given up on this a long time ago (which my husband would prefer, but not me!). This blog has connected me (again) to Roxanne. Roxy, I am so glad that you are out there sharing your craft show and tell via your blog! It makes me so happy.

Thank you have made my life so much richer and inspire me to be the best friend that I can be!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

in your opinion.... this close enough to a 30's print? I am not sure, so I would like your opinion. Keep in mind I am not a stickler about this sort of thing.

Here it is (top one on the left) with the other 30's type fabrics that I have put together to make something like this. The quilt was made by Judy from quilting with ragdolls. It is blogged about in her November 25, 2006 post and there are more photos of her beautiful quilt there, too. I highly recommend you check it out! (I couldn't link this any other way that I could figure out.) A free pattern can be found here. I am intrigued by this pattern. The end result looks somewhat complicated, however the technique and the pattern looks simple enough. (besides the fact that it is piecing triangles...ugh!)

And here is a photo of my little girl. She is happy here, but not so much today. So I needed a reminder that most of the time she is such a sweet little one. I love her so much! She is teething (we think) and that is certainly challenging. Thankfully, the other sickness in the house has subsided. Today my day will be filled with laundry, hopefully (at least) a little bit of quilting, and soothing the little one as much as possible.

Friday, December 15, 2006


The flu has decended upon our household. Yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck! And did I say yuck? (I do not do well with this.) So we will be missing a Christmas party tonight. My oldest is missing his ice skating field trip and crazy hair day at school. He was so disappointed. :(
We are all bundled up in quilts watching movies waiting for the sickness to pass. Thankfully my dear Kev took the day off of work to take care of us.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

a few finished projects

We are having internet issues here (so frustrating!!!), thus the lack of posting. In that time...

I made some cloth shoes for the girl. (Pattern found here...thanks JoJo!)

I made a coat for Milly (it was supposed to be a dress).

I broke down and bought this magazine after reading Roxanne's recommendation and after seeing these....the magazine is quite lovely.

I now have a new centerpiece for my dining room table....and I cleaned my house! It is amazing what one can do in a few days without an internet connection.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Milly is done

Eeeek! I love her.

Thanks for the great idea, Linda, I did put a little jingle bell in her belly. :)

Now it's time to sew some clothes.

p.s. did you see her little heart belly button?

Friday, December 08, 2006

wip friday

This is a crochet blanket that I started on Thanksgiving (or so). The first photo is attempt number 4 or 5. I lost track. I wasn't too thrilled about it, and at 24 rows into the thing I took a picture of it, and then ripped it out. You see, it is not my goal to have the ugliest blanket in the world. I don't think that the photo really shows the extent of the ugliness that this blanket possessed.

So here is my attempt number 5 or 6. I am telling myself that this is the final time that I start over. I have edited my color scheme quite a bit, so I think that I will be happier with this round. Or else this will be my eternal crochet project.

Last night when I was working on this and my husband saw that my blanket had shrunk he threatened to throttle me. I really don't blame him one bit. I am realizing now how sad it is that the photos are not showing progression, but rather the opposite. Oh, but all too often that is how the crafting works at my house.

Here is a little bit more progress I made while sitting down with my family and watching The Electric Company. What a groovy blast from the past. The 70's were really something!

More of these afghans around blog land. Love 'em all!

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Another snow day here today! I can hardly believe it. My son didn't have school again today as we are under a winter weather advisory. It is snowing and windy. I am so thankful that I didn't have to go out today. It would have been a great day to work on a quilt. Instead....

I have seen a lot of cute stuffed toys around the blogs lately. I wanted to try one, so inspired by this adorable little hoodie that belongs to my darling little girl....

...I started this.

But I don't know where to go from here. Milly looks silly now, but I still have high hopes for her. I don't know how to attach the body (which I still have to make) and the head together, so I left a long neck for that reason. I am certain that she will be wearing something pink when I am done, and she will most certainly be wearing some sort of scarf to cover the stitches....stay tuned.

Today I am holding my little ones and my husband a little tighter. There are terrible things that are happening all around us (terminal illnesses, messy divorces, custody battles and more) and I am remembering that I have so much to be thankful for. Health. Family. Life.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

ramblings and a quilt

Whew! The birthday brunch I hosted today is over and it went well. I am so relieved.

I like to entertain, but I don't feel like I am very good at it. I am fairly confident in my cooking skills and the menu planning. But I get all insecure about my dishes, table linens (or lack of the right ones and the ones I have not matching my plates...) and my serving dishes, decorating the table....weird stuff. I try to tell myself that people aren't worried about all of that. They are here to enjoy time with friends. So, after a little pep talk to myself and a good reminder from my friend Rhonda ("just remember, you are among friends") I decided I'd get done what I could get done and be happy with that. It all came together lovely. Brunch was fairly simple, but when my guests were here, I was able to sit down and actually RELAX and enjoy the company.

I think I see a trend starting in my neighborhood that I am so excited about. We are taking turns hosting a meal. Last month Amy hosted a birthday lunch for John, another neighbor, who turned 80. We all joked that we should do this every week. Tanya joked that it was her birthday next month. Well, that was what today was about. Today Tanya started talking about doing a soup supper in January. I am so excited that this idea seems to be snowballing. I'm starting to feel a great sense of community building right here in my little neighborhood. It is thrilling me, since I had wanted to do something very similar to this the last place I lived. Now it is happening here. I have some great neighbors...some retired and some with young children. It's really a nice mix. I have never known so many of my neighbors. I like it. A lot. Sorry I am going on and on...can you tell that I am more than a little excited about this?

My little one isn't feeling so good today. :(

Now, on to something quilt related....I decided I'd post photos of a quilt that I made last year for a friend of mine.
Kristin was a master gardener, thus the color scheme and the quilting design, which I did free motion on my junky old sewing machine. (I won't get into all of that today, I'll just say that I have had more than my fair share of sewing machine woes for my young life.)

Monday, December 04, 2006

more snow and more trees

It's been snowing like this most of the day. Isn't it so pretty? It's the perfect snow....tons of huge flakes falling from the sky....all day long! (This photo is just for you, Clair...hope you get some snow in LP soon.) It's great crafting and baking weather. It has taken 4 days of snow to get me started on Christmas decorating. (That's just wrong, I know!) I spent most of the day intending to decorate, but I had to do some baking first. I am having a little birthday brunch for my neighbor T tomorrow, so I did some of the preparation for that this morning.
These peace letters were given to me by some good friends of mine for Christmas a few years back. I love them. Since I don't have a mantle, I use the top of my bookshelves. It's perfect...the kids can't remotely reach them! So that's my start on decorating. Pathetic, I know. Oh, I did hang up a few paper snowflakes in a few of the windows, too. Still pathetic.
My WIP for the day. More soft trees. I had these sitting on the counter and my funny hubby named this photo "deforestation". Isn't that great? He is sweet and he makes me laugh. I am so thankful for him.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

the quilt that started it all

My first quilt I ever made for my firstborn. It is well loved, well used and still in pretty good shape. The flannel has faded, but it is holding together great for just being tied, not quilted. I have thought many times about going back to quilt it, but somehow I just can't bring myself to do it. It was made over 6 years ago for my sweet little boy. I love him so much.

My thanks go to Nancy, who taught me how to quilt. I am so thankful for your time and patience with me.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

some of today's favorites

My husband's breaded french toast.
Watching my boys' eyes light up as I unfolded the first paper snowflake we made together.
Homemade chicken noodle soup.
Fresh bread with real butter.
Watching my boys play outside in the snow, remembering what it was like to be a kid.
Staying home most of the day.
Watching movies with my family.
Sunshine reflecting off the snow.

Friday, December 01, 2006

snow day!

No school today for my little kindergardener...hurray!

The roads were bad enough to cancel school, but not bad enough that my husband could stay home from work. Too bad. (Views out my dining room window...have I mentioned that I love where I live? I absolutely LOVE it!)

Lots of this....
(love those rosy cheeks!)

...calls for some of this....
...with smarshmallows, as my boys call them. :)

Then on to some quality time with the legos. What a perfect day to be a kid.
The quilt top that I finished sewing together this morning...
...and what I am thinking of doing for the back. Something with some Denyse Schmidt influence. I always want to piece the back of my quilts, to make 2 quilts in one, but I usually chicken out. This time I am going to make myself do it.

And lastly, some new fabric that I picked up at the quilt shop yesterday. (I rarely allow myself this kind of indulgence, as we are a single income family and all...) I have seen so many things made out of these great fabrics that I broke down and bought some. I don't know what they will grow up to be, but I think (and hope that) it will be pretty. How could it not? Now if I can just make myself cut into them...
Today I am enjoying the bright light reflecting into the house because of the snow on the ground. Isn't that the best? It's such a relief. It is usually so grey here this time of the year. It (almost) makes me want to get the Christmas decorations out. And sew up some more trees (see previous post), and make paper chains with the boys. So glad to be at home all warm and cozy.
By the way, happy December!