Friday, May 29, 2009

Last Day of School!

I'm sitting here playing around on the computer, avoiding all of the other things that need to be done. Enjoying the last hour of quiet before the crazies are home for the summer. :)

Truthfully, I'm so looking forward to it. I need a little craziness in my life to keep me balanced. The alone thing is so hard. When they are at school all day, I long for them to be home. During the summer they are home all day and things are louder, busier and just plane crazier - but- when night comes and they are all tucked in bed - or piled in the living room, crashed on the couches - I lay down my head down exhausted but fulfilled.

How quickly time has passed. Next year I'll have one starting 10th grade - High School. He's already talking about driving. Josh will be in 8th grade - on his own, without his brother there. Not that they hang out together at school, but just knowing that your brother is there is nice. Sara will be in 4th grade. That doesn't seem too old in comparison, but she's my baby. She's my pool buddy, my library buddy - just my little girl. How long before she's off doing teenage things?

This summer I'll be cherishing all of the moments - even the crazy ones - and packing them away in my heart. :)

Note to self - read this post several times during the summer. Especially those times when you are tired, grumpy and want to pull your hair out - or someone else's.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Take Care of the Land

and the land will take care of you. This week has been one of farming our land. After a small attempt at gardening last year - 6 tomato plants - we decided to really go for it this year. Several factors went into deciding just where to put the garden, and after considering the kids and the dog, we decided to go with the patch of land along the car and behind the car port. This is one of the before shots.

Nothing but a bunch of weeds and half dead yuck grass.

After several hours of sod removal by machine and hand, and some tilling, the earth was ready for planting. I'll have to take some more "after" pictures now that the plants are in the ground. We have 40 tomato plants, several onions, peppers, a couple of eggplants and cantaloupe and a grape vine to grow along the fence. Oh, and we planted pumpkins in our weed patch at the front of the house. I've cleared out the weeds, but they just keep coming back. There are a million little weeds and they each have their own root. We had heard that pumpkins take over, so we're letting them battle it out with the weeds.

Diego and Josh worked their tushes off. Me? I was working hard at getting that sewing machine up and going. Each day, I stole 20 minutes here, and twenty minutes there and I am happy to say that it is up and running. I did help pick out the plants and put about half a dozen in the ground myself. I've practiced on scrap fabric - it's not a big of a transition as I thought it would be from pushing quilts through my regular machine. Now, I'm itching to get a quilt done and on the frame to do some real quilting.

Friday, May 22, 2009

My New Quilting Machine

I'm so excited, and I've been sick to my stomach since we brought it home. Each day, piece by piece has been added, some removed then added the right way. There have been times when it's just sat all day while I've sewn pads, made dinner, ran errands or waiting for someone to come home and hold a long awkward piece.
I'm still a little floored that I have two sewing machines and two rooms dedicated to sewing. The table for the new machine is 10 feet long, so I had to put it downstairs in the extra kitchen - ha ha - that sounds funny, but I really do have two kitchens. We were using the spare as a hang out room - hence the movie posters - for video games while we figured out if we wanted to keep the kitchen in tact or change it out. Now, all of that extra cabinet space will come in handy. I was able to keep a couch in there for the visitors and there is the wonderful wood stove to heat the room. For those of you in CA, the wood stove is not actually a stove, but a fire place of sorts. And check out that old stove. It does work, but I've only ever plugged it in to make Ableskievers on a cast iron skillet.So, there she is - Ol' Betsy. That's what my Dad always called his cars, so I think that's a good name for her. The plan is to finish the leaders that I have to sew, then practice, practice, practice. I've gotten quilting on my home machine down, and it shouldn't be too hard of a transition to Ol'Betsy, however there is a learning curve. Any tips? I know, practice, practice, practice. By the end of the summer, if not sooner, I should be up and running and accepting quilts.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Working on Top Secret Project...

and I'm afraid to blog, lest I spoil the surprise. The funny thing is that the surprise is for me. We made a major purchase this weekend, I know, I know I could have gotten that new transmission, but Diego made me buy it and after all, it will expand my business. Did I just say that? A little over a year ago, my business was just a dream and now I'm expanding? I'm feeling both blessed and overwhelmed with the responsibility to make it happen - it will happen, right? No, it will happen - conceive it, believe it, achieve it (and pray a whole lot). The elves and I are working to make room and get it put together. I've said too much...

On another note, here's the end of a conversation I had with my oldest son yesterday
Me: See, I told you that girls are nothing but trouble.
Him: Ya, you were right.
Me: So what did you learn today?
Him: Not to date until I'm older...and that if you have an affair you could end up with a rabbit cooking on your stove.

Note to self: Using scenes from 80's movies as an example to a 14 year old boy caught between two girls might be a bit of an overkill.

Monday, May 11, 2009

My Best Friend

Yesterday was a beautiful Mother's Day! I hope you all had a great time with your families. After church and a quick lunch-and brownies- made by Diego and the kids, we headed up the canyon hoping for a hike to the waterfall. The roads were still closed half way up the canyon, so we settled for a walk around the lake.We haven't had a proper picture take of us in a while so we had the kids take a few of us. Later that evening after the kids were in bed, we were talking and realized it was May 10. That was the day that Diego had officially asked me to be his girlfriend...21 years ago! Has it been that long? I was 16, he was 17. We were knew we were meant for eachother, soul mates. Sure, we've had our ups and downs over the years just like every couple, but fortunately, there have been so many more ups. Now, besides eachother, we have three beautiful, healthy children, that are growing into such wonderful young men and women. The day will come when they will be grown and have families of their own, and I'm excited for all that life has in store for them. But, for now...for now we're happy to live in the moment, enjoy eachother and help eachother grow.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A little bit of everything

This week has been an exciting one. First, one of my oldest and dearest friends whom I had been looking for found me on Facebook. She is so happy and it is so great to be back in touch with her - and she moved all the way to Australia! How fun is that?

Yesterday, I was thinking that it would be fun to get a VCR and watch some of our old VHS movies...Diego walked in from work, VCR in hand. I kept humming this song all day, then my son walked in singing it. I love it when that type of thing happens. When we were going through the VHS tapes, we found one of Aaron's first birthday - about 13 years ago. There on the tape was Danielle, the friend that I had just gotten in touch with. I was 3 month pregnant and about 25 pounds lighter. How depressing is that? It did give me the motivation that I've been looking for to loose a few pounds. Oh and speaking of being pregnant - Danielle is having her first baby! So of course I have a quilt half way done. They are not finding out the sex of the baby - which I love - so it has a lot of fun colors in it. No pictures yet, but I'll get there soon enough.
Speaking of quilts - see how my mind works - this crazy old lady gave me some blocks that she had put togeter. It wasn't the right fabric for the pattern - I told you she's crazy :) - so she passed it on to me. Isn't it cute? I'll get it together-the quilt- right after I finish the one for Danielle. Also speaking of quilts, HMQS is today through Saturday. I so wanted to go and help Konda and Emily out, but as often happens, I've over booked myself - and we have another old friend coming into town.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Simply Charming

I am so excited that I can finally share this with you. During the last little while, I felt like the cat that swallowed the canary. Let's, see...it was about a year ago, when we were all sitting around the table at the quilt show helping people to sign in as they came. Emily, who is an awesome quilt designer, was busy at work on a quilt and put me to work cutting out circles. I loved the quilt that she was putting together -so did everyone else that walked by- and knew that I wanted to do a bulls eye quilt. Later, Konda, another amazing quilt designer, came in and said that she was working up a pattern for her new book. I was thrilled when she asked if I would like to test the pattern and be in her book. With supply list in had I went to a local fabric store that was closing and bought a bunch of fabric that was $2 a yard, a few charm packs and several fat quarters. I do have to admit that I was a little nervous about the fabric. There were several large pink and green floral prints a little reminicent of the 80's.
In the end, there was no need to worry. The bold prints were mellowed out by all of the creamy colors and the layering of the pattern. Along with many other quilters, I have a circle or curve phobia. There are so many patterns that I have avoided because of a curve or circle. This one was so easy. You can imagine my excitement when I saw that Konda has finished her book - Simply Charming Circles - and it is now available.

By the way, that is Konda's beautiful machine quilting. As you know I've been working on my own machine quilting, but I'm not that good...yet. Which brings me to the other exciting discovery of the morning. Konda has an amazing Row Quilt Tutorial posted. This tutorial shows how to make a striped quilt that you quilt as you go on your home machine. Sweet!

Friday, May 1, 2009

May Day

May Day is here and it is bitter sweet to say good bye to the month of April. But, (you should never start a sentence with but), you know what they say...April Showers bring May Flowers.
That is the name of this new quilt. Once I saw the April Showers fabric by Alexander Henry over at Sew Mama Sew, I knew that I had to have it, and that it had to hang on my wall.

Flowers were the obvious choice for this one. I love how the colors in the Alexander Henry fabric really gives the feel of a rainy day. While matching the greens, blues and browns of the fabric would have been cute, I really wanted the flowers to brighten it up.
I consulted my boys about the quilting, and went with Josh's idea to sew raindrops into the April Showers fabric. The flower petals were super fun. It reminded me of those flowers that we would draw in elementary school. You can click on the pictures to get a better look.

Sometimes you can see it better from the back. Rather than pinning the quilt this time, I remembered the adhesive spray that was sitting unused in the sewing room. I really like the way it works. I did end up with a little fold on the back, but I'm sure that gets better with experience.
So now it's hanging just where I had imagined it would. Brightening up the little space in the entry room. Oh, and after I took saw this picture, I spent 20 minutes cleaning each little opening in that grate to the bottom left. :)