Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Gifts Received

Homemade birthday gifts from Sara - and the most beautiful homemade video from the Diego and the kids.
Gifts in the mail from my Doll Quilt Swap 5 partner

and from Hungary via my Mother-in-law

Gifts from above

And the greatest gift of all

Merry Christmas to you all!

Monday, December 15, 2008

A December full of Love


Hi there! I'm just popping in to say a quick hello.

Snow fell all day on Saturday and I'm not embarrassed to say that I stayed in my jammies all day long...well, OK, it was a little embarrassing when Melody and Steve dropped by...but I got over it.

This time rather than bringing depression -I'm a sun loving type of mama- the snow brought excitement of the coming weeks. Diego and the kids had a top secret birthday gift that they were working on for me - it's Wednesday- so they banished me to the Room of Requirement aka, the sewing room. Darn, to have to spend all day in the sewing room - I know you feel for me. I worked on a few top secret projects of my own, then everyone came up from downstairs and started conspiring, whispering, asking questions like what is your favorite color, and running off on their own, popping their heads up once in a while to shout "Mom do we have any duct tape?"

And...as if having a birthday 8 days before Chritmas wasn't enough, our wedding anniversary is December 26th, which also happens to be my parent's anniversary. This year we celebrate our 16th and they celebrate their 40th! With all of the gifts being exchanged, we usually just celebrate with a kiss and smile. Sometimes we sneak off for a quick lunch while the kids are coming down from the excitement the day before.

Oh, and our Christmas dinner this year. We are on our own this year, so we wanted to do something a little different that the kids could look forward to. Rather than having a traditional dinner, we are going to have an "Old World" dinner. Something that we imagine they would have had in Jesus' time. Without the fish. So we're going to have breads, nuts, fruits, dried fruits, cheeses and probably a ham. It may not be authentic but it will be a lot of fun.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

First Snow

Yesterday we had our first snow fall of the season. I have mixed feelings about that. It was beautiful to see the gingerbread city with a light dusting of powdered sugar. If it would only snow like that every time, then melt away the next day.
Yesterday was also one of those two steps forward one step back days. I spent the whole day getting things done, cleaning up weekend dishes, grocery shopping, dragging groceries in and putting them away...trying to sew pads in between. Then the kids came home and we went off to buy Sara some winter shoes -you can't wear sandals in the snow- and a couple of pairs of pants. She is 8 and not the shopper, especially when it involves trying things on. The shoes were a surprisingly quick decision, then she side tracked us with a haircut. The pants trip ended up taking over an hour in one store resulting in one pair of jeans, one pair of sweat type pants, a dress for church, a pack of socks and a boys Cars shirt that was $1. What did she want to wear this morning? The cars shirt that she also wore to bed. Luckily I talked her out of it.

With all that work done and much more to do, I came home to an empty Christmas tree. Apparently the dog pulled it over and no one including Daddio wanted to put the ornaments back on. I realized this of course after I was nagging the kids to change into something nice so we could take pictures for Christmas cards. Then it was making dinner, a lot of grumbling by me - which did get the Christmas tree put back together-, eating and family night which involved me dosing on and off during Wall-e...I should never have sat in the seat closest to the fireplace.
Needless to say, there wasn't much sewing going on. The first two pictures of that beautiful quilt are from the last quilt show...and it was not made by me...I do love it though, does that count? I did make the last quilt. It was supposed to be a hot pad about the size of a placemat. I even used that new thermal batting. Once the top was done, and I was making dinner one night looking at the last one that I made and how many stain/burn marks were on it, I realized that I couldn't bring myself to lay hot pots/pans on it. So now it's a wall quilt for the kitchen, hanging on the door to the laundry room.

Can we talk about gas for a minute? I miss cooking with gas. One of the reasons I came up with this hot pad is that I have an electric (said like a dirty word) stove with a ceramic top. I do like the ceramic top a lot more than the last stove with those coils, but you can't leave or place anything hot on it. So when you are done cooking, you can't just move the pot over to another "burner" you have to remove it. I've cooked on a gas stove my entire adult life. You can see the flame and make adjustments as necessary. When you turn off the gas, the heat is gone. Not so with electric. I have burned many o' things these last two years. We have a gas water heater down stairs in the basement, but apparently it would be like moving mountains in order to run a gas line from there to the kitchen upstairs. Something to do with the concrete slab on the main floor - or at least that's his story and he's sticking to it ;)

Oh, and one last thing. It's a small world. The other night at a fabric store, I starting chatting with the girl that worked there-Nancy. As we got to talking it ended up that she was from a small town in TN where my dear friend April moved to about 6 years ago. They knew eachother. So let's get this straight. April and April who both grew up in Burbank, CA and became friends when their kids were small-by the way, sharing the same name with your friend is really fun. You feel like you're talking to yourself a lot of the time and people look at you funny when you share a little story. Like I was talking to April the other day. They think you are talking about yourself in the third person. Or, when you call on the phone, Hi is April there, this is April. Or when we would go out to dinner...hmm, should we give them my name or yours?. Anyway, we both moved away about 6 years ago. April moved to TN and I moved to Las Vegas, then Utah. April met Nancy in TN, who then also moved to Utah. April (me) and Nancy met in Utah and realized that they both new April in TN. Is it just me or is that so crazy?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Doll Quilt Swap 5

This quilt is off in the mail to it's new owner. I hope she likes it. You know, really likes it. Remember that this is version two, since I couldn't part with the original. I did end up painting her cheeks and lips before I sent her off.
The background fabric is from a pillowcase that I picked up at a local thrift store.
So is the backing of the quilt. I was able to get in some more free hand machine quilting and I have to say that there has been some improvement. My stitches are becoming a little more even and uniform. You have to look hard to see it, especially on the front. My goal is to build up enough courage to move on to thread that stands out more, but there is something to be said about subtle - less obvious mistakes!
From all of the books I've looked at and people I've talked to - the only real trick to getting machine quilting down is practice. That and a pair of quilting gloves that you can pick up for under $5.

If you need me, I'll be standing out by the mailbox waiting for my Doll Quilt Swap 5 quilt to arrive.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Welcome December!

No pictures today, I've just been loving the arrival of a couple of new babes. Have you seen this cutie? What about this one? Wouldn't they look adorable in a pair of these? Babies everywhere...well, everywhere except here ;)

Here, there are a lot of top secret Christmas presents being made. It's sad really, Christmas comes and all of the crafting bloggers go underground for a while. I've been spending a little time trying to remember all of the really cute hand-made gifts that were around last January that I just had to make. I was thinking that I might take pictures, then post them over at Flickr with a link on my blog. That way the kids won't see if they happen by while I'm on my blog. I would have to trust the other people on my list not to click on the links. I'll have to think about that.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

One Special Blanket

We're all on the mend and the kids were even able to go to school today. Thank you so much to all of you that checked in with us to see if we were OK and if we needed anything.

All was not lost, I was able to finish the crochet trim on a receiving blanket to be sent off to mama to mama. The goal was to use repurposed fabric, so I used this thrifted sheet and some yellow flannel that I've had in my fabric stash for about 10 years...it was never the right yellow to go with anything. Normally I would go way to overboard on these types of projects and try to make 101 blankets to send off, therby completely overwhelming myself and burning myself out. But this time, I was thinking of just one special baby that will be wrapped in my one special blanket. How fulfilling.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sick Day

On one of my excursions off of the couch yesterday, I saw this written on the calendar...
Which pretty much sums up our weekend.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Doll Doll Quilt

Today I received a friendly reminder that the deadline for Doll Quilt Swap 5 was approaching. I couldn't believe it so I checked the calendar and yes, December 1st is just around the corner.

One of my favorite parts of the whole Doll Quilt Swap is getting to know my partner a little by reading their blog. This time around, I had gotten the feeling that my partner likes dolls. What a great idea...a doll on a doll quilt...and the skirt could be a quilt. I grabbed a bunch of scraps and sewed together a crazy quilt, which became the skirt.
I wanted the look of a porcelain doll, but my original idea was somewhat of a baby face with a scarf on her head. That didn't seem to work for the more mature look of the body. In the end I came up with this.

After quilting her cheeks, it looked a little wonky and out of place so I ended up adding a little color to them. I think they turned out cute in an odd sort of way. The stitching on the hair turned out exactly the way that I had imagined it - don't you love it when that happens?

I love everything about her...the face, hair, skirt, colors, even the machine stitching. So I kept her. She's hanging out in the family room right now. I did feel a little guilty, but it passed. Not to worry, I just finished quilting her sister today. Hmmm....one quilt for me, one quilt for my swap partner. I'm liking this trend.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Caps to Cap-Haitien

After reading the post on Soulemama's blog. I headed over to Mama to Mama for the info and the pattern for these knit hats. The kids rummaged through their drawers to find t-shirts that were getting too small (we left out the ones with skulls on them) and we set to work. In no time we had 13 caps to send off. These were super easy and are going to a really great cause - please check it out if you have time.

The only problem is that we ran out of shirts. I think we're going to hit up some of our friends and neighbors.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I made Sara a genie costume a few weeks ahead of time, so naturally she decided to go as a witch.

The boys got out of the door before I remembered to grab the camera. Aaron was dressed as one of his teachers - shirt, tie and name tag. Josh had smarties taped around his pants - Smarty Pants. :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Kitty Litter Cake and Monster fingers - with recipes

Last night we had a great time with the young men and women. The menu included vomit - a chowder, goblin ears - fried green tortellini, bat wings - chicken, gooey guts - green spaghetti, a jello brain in a punch bowl with apple juice, a 4 foot anaconda pizza roll, deviled egg eyes, a kitty litter cake and monster fingers. I was put in charge of the kitty litter cake and the monster fingers.I know! I had never made the cake so I wasn't really sure what to expect. I was given a recipe but no picture. Of course we served it with a pooper scooper -new- and the recipe called for a new cat box, but I had a cake container with a lid that worked out really well. And get this...it tastes great! So here is the recipe, just in case you want to throw it together for your family for Halloween or even for April fools day...

1 box of chocolate cake mix
1 box of white cake mix - The color didn't seem to make a difference, so you could use any cake
1 package of white sandwich cookies
1 large package instant vanilla pudding mix
A few drops of green food coloring - I think blue would have been better
12 small tootsie rolls or equivalent - I used two of the huge ones and cut them down

Prepare and bake the cake mixes, according to the directions in any size pan. Prepare the pudding and chill. Crumble the cookies in small batches in blender or food processor. Set aside 1/2 cup of cookie crumbs and mix in a few drops of green food coloring.

When the cakes are at room temperature, crumble them into a large bowl. Toss with half of the remaining cookie crumbs and enough pudding to make the mixture moist but not soggy. Poor into your "litter box". Sprinkle the remaining crumbs over the mixture, scattering the green crumbs over the top.

Heat the tootsie rolls for a few seconds in the microwave. Form them into cat poops :). You can do this while the cakes are baking and cooling. Add the formed tootsie rolls to your cake - bury some to be discovered later. Enjoy!

The monster fingers were a hit as well and they are no bake. Just use a peanut butter ball recipe, shape them into fingers, add sliced almonds for the finger nails, add a red hot in the other end, using a knife add a few lines for detail. Oh, and once I had gotten there, they other ladies told me that they had forgotten one detail...you can add a pretzel stick to the center of the finger so that they crunch like a bone when you bite into them.

So off you go...make up some fun treats for your kids!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Still Canning?

Things seem to be slowing down around me, maybe it's just me slowing down - either way, it has been nice. The babies from the last post have been given to their new mommies who were very happy to have them.

Today a friend and I finally got up the nerve to ask a near by neighbor if we could help her with all of her pears that were falling off of her trees. She told us that we could come in and take all of the fruit that we wanted. An hour later, we were there with our grubbies on, buckets in hand, ladders and some helpers. And...I only fell out of the tree once...actually the ladder fell and I hung on while Rozella grabbed the ladder for me.

Now, in addition to the bruised apples that my across the street neighbor dropped off, I have a bushel of pears waiting to be "put up". Speaking of apples - I made a batch, actually half a batch of applesauce. I'm still trying to figure out if it was worth the effort. By the time I had the apples peeled, cored and sliced using one of those cool hand cranks, and cut out the bad parts of the apples, I only had about 1/2 of the apple left at most. Following my cook book, I cooked them down, ran them trough the blender, cooked them again with some sugar this time and when all was said and done, I had enough applesauce to fill up the empty jar of applesauce that I had bought at the grocery store for under $2. Hmm. Maybe I should make apple butter or something a little less common to make it worth my while. I've got enough apple jelly, plum jelly and apricot jelly to last through the year...although can one really ever have enough apricot jelly?

The remainder of the good apples were supposed to be made into apple pie filling, but they seem to be disappearing - they are just so good to eat as is. The pears are not bruised, so they are going to just get sliced and put up in jars - but they will have to wait a day or two. Tomorrow's to do list includes peanut butter fingers and kitty litter cake. Apparently I will be softening tootsie rolls in the microwave, then molding them into cat turds. Oh don't worry, I will definitely be sharing pictures along with the recipe.

Oh, almost forgot...I was able to get in on the doll quilt swap 5. I'm far to lazy after picking all of those pears to attach the link now, but the button for doll quilt swap 4 is still up and it will take you to the same place. I've finished my quilt...now it's hanging on the wall in my family room and I've started a 2nd quilt for my partner. I couldn't help it - but that's a story for another day.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Makin' Babies


Friends of ours are having a baby *yeah* and in addition to giving them a gift for the baby, we wanted to give them a little something for their two big sisters. I found this pattern on line and can't say enough about how stinkin' cute these little babies turned out. The are so cuddly and soft and they really do give you a hug when you hug them. I used flannel for their bodies and flannel scraps for the diapers - they're reversible. Sara just had to have one too, so I made her's out of a tea dyed flannel that I had - much cuter for skin tone. Now she wants 2 or 3 more diapers. Wouldn't these make great Christmas presents? Hmm...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Super Easy Caramel Popcorn Recipe


With the air so crisp outside, we've been finding ourselves huddled around the fire with warm socks on our feet and a good book in our hands...or a good movie... and some caramel popcorn.

So here is a super easy recipe for yummy, soft caramel popcorn.

2 sticks of butter (now you know it's got to be good with that much butter)
1 cup of Brown sugar
33 large marshmallows
2 bags of popped microwave popcorn - we used 3 because this recipe makes a lot of caramel topping.

Melt the butter, sugar and marshmallows and pour over the popcorn in a huge bowl. Just a tip, if you do use microwave popcorn rather than popping your own, make sure to scoop the popcorn out of the bag rather than pouring it out into the bowl. There were a lot of little kernels that got mixed in and once they were covered with caramel, they were hard to spot.

The girls at church put together this recipe book and let me tell you, I'm so enjoying trying out the new recipes.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I'm Usually a Glass Half Full Kind of Girl


Just to balance out the universe, my last post of a good day, is followed by today's bad day.

It wasn't entirely bad really, just sort of screwy. The morning was going just fine, the boys were off to school and Sara and I were just about to leave to walk to school. We were having a "discussion" on whether or not she could wear her slippers to school. Which was a nice change from the You Can't Wear Sandals in the winter "discussion." After she made a good point about the stickers that were still in her feet - this girl never wears shoes - I relented and was going to let her wear them as long as she wore socks - like that's going to make any difference. Then it hit me - you can't wear slippers, you have a field trip today. Then it hit me harder - I'm supposed to go on the field trip with her. Keep in mind that when I walk her to school I'm in PJ bottoms, a hoodie thrown over a t-shirt and my sandals...with socks - maybe that's where she gets it. And this time, I was sporting a beanie to hide the bad short hair cut that I got this weekend and I swore I wouldn't go anywhere until it grew out.

So, I send her off to walk with friends rush inside and call the school thinking that maybe, just maybe the field trip would be in an hour. Nope, the bus was leaving in 15 minutes. I threw on clothes, wet down my man hair cut, brushed my teeth - I did brush my teeth, didn't I? and had Diego drop me off at the school. Once there, I realized that neither I nor Sara had a jacket. It was supposed to be in the 40's. I called Diego told him to bring jackets and met him in front of the school. He only brought one. He ran back home to get Sara's jacket while I went in to talk to the lunch lady to see if I could get a sack lunch. She said it was too late, and I went back out in front of the school in time to get the second jacket from Diego realizing that I hadn't had breakfast and wouldn't be getting lunch. When I went back in, the lunch lady hunted me down and said that she could have a lunch made up for me afterall. She had taken pitty on me...I think it was the hair.

Off we went with a bus full of screaming 3rd graders for an hour. We made it to the planitarium, and I successfully kept track of the 5 kids I was in charge of took them all for a potty break and made it in to the theater in time for the show. You know those theaters that have the rounded ceiling and they point out all of the stars. We were watching, it was quiet and warm and in true mom fashion, I fell asleep. Sadly, it wasn't my first time falling asleep in a planitarium. I dozed off and on realizing that I was doing so, but unable to stop myself. At least no one had noticed, right. Well just when the tone in the narrator's voice changed and I heard him say that the show was over, my lovely daughter blurts out, "great, now we have to wake up my mom!". You know those moments when everyone is talking and just when you say something the room goes silent - yep, one of those moments.

I was finally able to eat around 1:00. With a full belly and a nap under my belt, I finally got past that catching up feeling, and was able to laugh at the funny things the kids had said and the funny looks people had given my hair. Maybe it wasn't such a bad day after all.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Flower For You

Today was filled with many little tasks that needed to be done - laundry, cooking, cleaning - and just loving on my family. It was one of those average, ordinary days that make up a lifetime of precious memories. Now, the house is quiet, the kids are in bed and here I sit... tired, but very satisfied. It was a good day.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Happy October!

In amongst all of the beautiful nature, changing of seasons and harvest moon there's this funny little thing called Halloween. I love the costume planning and making. This year, Sara is going to be a genie and the costume is well underway. The boys will probably wait until the last minute to throw something together.

So come on, throw on a funny outfit and go door to door asking for hand outs. How many times a year do you really get to do that?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Just Some Silliness to Start the Week

The other day, Diego said something about the kids....their brains haven't caught up to their bodies yet.

I told him that was probably the smartest thing he'd ever said.
Teenagers are preteens....gotta love 'em
What do you think Professor Alley? 3 kids, one dog and a pair of plastic glasses - good times, good times. Thanks for letting me indulge myself in totally ridiculous pictures of my kids. I would say that this is not the norm for us, but now that I think of it, we had a similar photo shoot with some plastic hillbilly teeth a few years ago.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention, I'm a guest seller over at the Cloth Pad Shop. If you have time go over and check it out.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My Love Affair with Bamboo

Have you ever worked with Hemp or Bamboo fabric? I've heard a lot about it, but had never come across any. The only hemp that I had any experience with was the hemp string that you make bracelets with and it's a bit scratchy. The other day I came across some bamboo batting at a local fabric shop and let me tell you, this stuff is so soft. It's softer than the warm and natural and ...well it's just yummy! Sewing with it is a dream - I want to start putting it in all of my quilts.

There is one problem with it though. When you're working with the bamboo, you can't stop singing this song. Consider yourself warned.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Drum Roll, Egg Roll

Drum roll please....oona is the winner of the Periods Make Me Batty give away. I had my daughter pick a number between 1-10 and she chose 3. Oona, please send me an email with your address and I'll ship it out to you right away. Congratulations!

The Story Telling Festival was a bit on the wet and windy side, but over all we had a great time. I dressed up as Professor Umbridge and Sara was Hermione after she drank the polyjuice potion. Fitting since we were the ones handing out polyjuice potion at the face painting booth. When we first got there we were the only ones dressed up - but hey, that's OK - it's not the first time that I've felt all alone, dressed in pink and looking like an old lady. :)

Last year I put a lot of work into Sara's Hermione cape, complete with lining and a hand stitched Gryffindor patch. When they announced that the Story Telling Festival was Harry Potter themed, I was glad for the chance to use the cape again. Of course we looked high and low and couldn't find it anywhere. I ended up sewing a this quick version the night before. I had some of the fabric laying around from Josh's magic days, so I laid it out cut it into a huge circle, cut another circle out of the center for the neck and one last cut from the outer circle to the inner circle for the opening. Does that make sense? Then I used two packs of bias tape and zigzaged it around all of the raw edges. I had to tuck two places around the neck to adjust it to her size, but in the end, it was 10 times easier than the other cape and worked just as well.

Off to the market to get the makings of eggrolls for tonight...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Give Away Celebration

Two posts in one day - how impressive it that?

What's the occasion? - you ask....I'm celebrating my one year anniversary on Esty. OK, so it's not my anniversary until October 5th, but I've never been any good at waiting when it comes to surprises. Just ask my mom about the gumball machine and action figure that were surprises for my brother's birthday. In my defense, I never told him it was a gumball machine and an action figure...I just hinted that you put pennies in it and get gum and that the other one was a guy with blond hair - but I digress.

So in honor of my anniversary, I commissioned Heather at Vintage Bella to make a new banner and avatar for my etsy shop. Don't you just love it? It gives the shop a great new look.

Presents, presents....bring out the presents.It wouldn't be a party without the presents so In celebration of my anniversary, my shop's new look, fall coming, and the Harry Potter Story Telling Festival that I'll be at tomorrow, I'm giving away this panty liner - named "Period's Make Me Batty".

Just post a comment between now and Tuesday night and I'll choose a random winner.

Free Harvest

Diego and I made an early morning visit to the hallow and came home with this bountiful harvest of wild plumbs. It was magical really, the morning air had a new crispness to it suggesting the season ahead. I couldn't see the creek from where I was standing picking the fruit, but a coolness drifted up along with the sounds of the brooke. Ice cold water running down from the nearby mountains. How far had it traveled to greet us that morning? The rays of the sun warmed our backs as we each gathered our fruit, silently, each at our own tree, alone and yet together. Magical indeed.

It is amazing to me how these trees just grow along the creek wild, unpruned, untouched - except for the occasional bee or teenager walking home from school, looking for a snack. Within minutes, I had a bucket full of these purple beauties. Diego was over filling his bucket full of what we've named "the white plumbs." Have you ever seen these, and do you know what they are called? I guess I could search them out on the internet, but what's the fun in that? I like the mystery, and the social aspect of asking around. They are delicious and sweet. The purple plumbs went straight into the hot water for blanching, pealing and eventually made into Cinnamon Plumb jam. By the time I was done, my hands ached and my fingers were stained brown - those little suckers were slippery! I think the next time I'll just stick them in a juicer - but then there is still the problem with the seed. Any ideas? I also ended up having to "fix" the jam by cooking it a little longer and adding a little more sugar -ugh- and a little more pectin. I think the problem is the high altitude that we're at. I've really had to adjust for that since we've moved here. There was definately a learning curve on this one. Oh well, in the end I had a batch of jam and a Saturday morning well spent peeling, cutting and talking with my daughter.

While I had full intentions of making the white plumbs into a batch of jam, we just weren't up to reliving that process. Not to worry, they did not go to waste, they went straight to our bellies.

Have a wonderful weekend enjoying your bountiful harvest with the ones you love.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Invitation

Yesterday we received an invitation to an "End of Summer Cookie Party". End of summer...that made me think, when is it the first official day of Autumn. I searched the internet, looked at a few sites then finally glanced at the calendar on my fridge and found that next Monday is the first official day of autumn - at least it is on my calendar.

So here's the invitation for you...I invite you to go back to this day last year in your photo archives and find a picture of "today in history" or pretty close. I was amazed at how much has changed and yet how much is the same. Who are these little babes? Are they the teenager that is now taller than me and who actually cares about his grades, the preteen that is training to be the next Lance Armstrong and the 8 year old that is blossoming into a fine young lady? They might be getting older and taller, but one constant is our family's love for nature. Our albums are filled with pictures like these with just a few variations...who is being carried, who is trailing behind, and which ones are running ahead.

I think it's going to be oatmeal-pumpkin-chocolate chip cookies for the party. My effort to hold the past in my heart, embrace the seasons ahead and enjoy the moments right now. Happy changing of seasons!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Special Delivery

Back from another fun filled visit from family. We didn't really go anywhere, we just took another mini staycation. The last one of the year. The kids loved seeing Grandma and Grandpa and spending time hanging out and playing a couple of rounds of Apples to Apples.

Just before our house guests arrived, this wonderful package arrived. It was my Quilt Swap 4 package. Driving out for a quick trip to the store, we found the package next to the mailbox. I had Josh grab it and we were going to wait to open it when we got home. As we were driving, I found myself fiddling with the tape and trying to pull up corners. Finally, rather than getting into an accident, I relinquished the package to Josh. By the time I pulled into the parking lot, the box was open and all of the treasures inside were being divvied out.
Candy necklaces, chewing gum, baseball cards, little trinkets and of course a quilt for me. Scott Hansen was my swap partner. We both signed up a little after the deadline and were able to get in on the action. The only catch was that we were each others' swap partner. It ends up that he knew he was sending a quilt to me, but he didn't know that I in turn was sending one to him. I kept spying on his blog watching the progress of my quilt.

While I loved the quilt and the little quilted pillow, what touched my heart the most was the little gifts for my kids. Thank you Scott! With mouths full of candy necklaces and gum, the kids said you should trade with him again. (Did you read it with that muffled mouth full of candy sound to it) Oh, and did y'all see that charm pack. I'm itching to start a little doll quilt of my own. Is it moda? I think it's moda. Get'cha moda rollin'...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Woodland Animal Friends

These fun little critters wandered into my yard this afternoon. They all happily agreed to pose for a photo shoot and are now looking for a new home over at WoodChesters.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Apricots and School Supplies

Growing up I was always very picky when it came to food. Basically any fruit or veggie was out of the question. Now that I'm older and my pallet has gone beyond cookies and brownies, I find myself trying new things. Melody asked the other day if I wanted any apricots from her garden. Do you like apricots? I'm not sure, I don't think I've ever tried one. So I made apricot jam and tried it - I love apricot jam! The moral of the story is try something new, you might like it....or if you add enough sugar, anything tastes great.
Every once in awhile, a grand idea hits that makes you feel really smart. At times like that, it's nice to share with others so they can benefit from your brilliance - and tell you how smart you are. Here I'll just show you...Isn't that brilliant? In all honesty, this wasn't really my brilliant idea, but my dear friend Anne's idea. She suggested it for all of our gloves, scarfs, beanies, etc. in the coat closet. When it came to school supplies, I just re-invented the wheel in the Room of Requirement - aka my studio. I know, I know...you're disappointed that I went for this cheap store bought version with plastic, and that I didn't sew my own elaborate version with some adorable fabric - but cut a girl a break, I was canning all day.

Now I think I'll have some toast and apricot jam and revel in my brilliance - pssst... if you've seen this idea someplace before, don't burst my bubble, just let me enjoy the moment :)

Friday, August 29, 2008

An Apple A Day

Back to school, fall is approaching, harvest time....I couldn't resist.

Only one available here.

My 14 year old "wrecked" on his long board yesterday. We were at the ball park - soccer - when I got the phone call from his friend's mom, letting me know what happened. She said his arm had a pretty bad gash in it - "a chunk is missing." I talked to him and he said he was OK, and they were going to his other friends house to fix it up. I called him back and the friend's dad wasn't home so they were going to clean it up themselves -yikes! I sent him over to a Amie's house -she's the type that can super glue her kids back together- and called him five minutes later. The conversation went something like this...
Me - "How is it?"
Amie - "Pretty bad"
Me - "Do you think it needs stitches"
Amie - "No, there's really nothing left to stitch."
Me - sick noises
The boys in the background - "Look, Amie, there's a rock in it"
Amie - "That's not a rock that's meat"
Me - more sick noises

He ended up getting all cleaned up and I ended up no vomiting or passing out. When we all got back together, Dad checked it out and he said, "It's a good thing you didn't look at it. It even made me a little sick." To which I got sick all over again. It looks ok, but we're taking him to the doctor today just to be sure it's cleaned out and he doesn't get an infection. Most likely I'll be waiting in the reception area. No sense in diverting the doctor's attention to me passing out.

edited to add - the doctor sent him over for x-rays, he thinks it's fractured or broken. Do I get the mom of the year award or what?

edited again - OK, it's not broken...whew!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

In the Moment

The weather is cooling off and I can't say that I'm disappointed. This season is my favorite season of the year. It's that season between seasons, when things are slowly starting to change. Summer nights get cooler, breezes pass through, strange bugs come out...
So just as the canning jars are appearing on the kitchen counters and Halloween costumes are starting to be discussed, I'm going to linger a bit longer here, skipping rocks at the lake with my family.