Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Snow Day & My Birthday Present

Just as I'm about to say for the third of fourth time, "why are you guys so hyper today?" I remember what it is like outside...
Snowed in. Well, not really snowed in, but anyone in their right mind with a fridge half full of food wouldn't attempt to go anywhere today. School was cancelled, which didn't do much for my kids since their charter school is already on Christmas break, and my husband couldn't get to work. The snow plow finally came by at about 9:00 am, filling in our freshly shoveled driveway as it cleared the streets. We pitched in and shoveled again, and he was off to work. It looks like another day of legos, video games and hot chocolate for the rest of us.

My birthday was on the 17th - I'm still on the right side of 40 for one more year :) Diego and the kids gave me the most awesome gift...
My blog in book form. Not only was I amazed at the awesomeness of the gift, but I was amazed at how many pages there were. Have I really written that much?
It's a journal of the past three years without realizing that I was writing a journal. Pictures, events, the kids growing. It is amazing. I do have to admit that now I'm a little self conscious knowing that whatever I write is now going down in book form.



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Block #3 and a Mermaid

Here is block #3 for the Moose on the Porch Quilt Along. Once again, I am so happy with the results. I love being pushed to make something that you might not normally try. A basket block was never on the top of my quilting Bucket List, but it really is cute. And keep in mind that these blocks are 12" finished blocks, so they are quite impressive. It's also fun to go through the flickr group and see what all of the other quilters have come up with.
The Hoopla fabric line is really turning out to be a lot of fun. It just happened to have a basket weave print in there that went along perfectly with the wild flowers.

I also had a few free minutes to throw together this little cutie by Hillary Lang over at Wee Wonderfuls.
It's from her new book that just might be on my Christmas wish list this year. I was going to hit my hubby up for it (translation - buy it for myself) for my birthday, but he called me today gloating about a surprise that he has put together for me. But I digress...Hillary has offered a free copy of the mermaid pattern over at Martha Stewart.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Spiders, Sweaters and Blessings

I know, spider season is over and it's time for turkeys and giving thanks. In fact giving thanks is just what I'm doing. For the past couple of years, our church has had a yard sale swap. Everyone takes all of their unwanted items and donates them the night or morning before the swap. Then on the day of the swap you go in and on your honor take about as much as you donated.
That's where I picked up this little guy. When I got him, he didn't have a head. Just legs and hind quarters - I should have taken a before picture. I made a yarn fuzz ball and added a couple of googlie eyes that we had laying around. Isn't he cute? I just couldn't tuck him away with the Halloween decorations without snapping a few pictures first.
It really is a great event that I look forward too. I never get around to having my own yard sale, and what's better than a free one? Especially people with little kids, they come and swap out outgrown clothes for clothes that fit. One person's trash truly is another person's treasure.

We actually got there the morning after the swap. Last year it had been on Saturday morning and this year they moved it to Friday night and I didn't realize it. I do things like that, a lot actually. At least we weren't alone, there was another lady who had done the same thing. So we had the place to ourselves. It is so amazing to see how generous people are - giving so much and taking just what they need. It is a shame that it only comes once a year. All of the left over items were given to a local thrift store.

Other than a couple of books, here is the rest of my loot. "Ugly" sweaters destined to be re-purposed into some fun Christmas decorations/gifts. Since we were late comers, and these were the picked over sweaters, I don't feel bad about cutting into any of them.
I am so grateful for this event. It is awesome to see a community come together and support each other.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family and friends (and maybe a little sewing) :)


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Block #2

After block #1 I've been really looking forward to the second block of the Layer Cake Quilt Along over at Moose on The Porch Quilts - the link in over on the sidebar on the right. There is something about the 12 inch blogs that makes you feel really accomplished.
This block took a little more thought when it came to fabric placement. Since my fabrics are all bright, I have to go for more of a contrast rather than a light and a dark fabric.

In the end I love the way it turned out and can't wait to see how it looks on the quilt with the other blocks. Thanks Vicki for a great design.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Block #1

Yeah, my computer is back and I was able to upload some pictures. So this is the Layer Cake that I'm going to be using. It's rolled up rather than being a flat layer cake - not sure why- but it is still 40 pieces of yummy 10" blocks. The brown fabric is the accent fabric that I'm thinking of using. I'm not positive yet, but I'll know better once the blocks start coming together. It's also just a cheapie Joann's fabric so I'm a little worried about the quality of it mixed with the other moda prints. We'll see...

And drum roll please....
The first block! Isn't beautiful? I think I can say that since all I did was help the beautiful fabric join together in Gene's crisp design. He did have the option to add an appliqu├ęd circle to the center block, but since I wanted to feature the large print, I opted to leave it off. Now to wait for the next pattern to be posted...

This really is my first experience with a layer cake and I have to say that I'm really enjoying it. The $30 or so price tag has always put me off. It's really easy to spend $5 four different times on fabric, but $30 all at once for a 10x10 stack of fabric an inch high has always seemed a little steep. Now I'm really enjoying the 40 different yet coordinating fabrics. There also seems to be less waste. While I enjoy scraps, I would rather have more coordinates. You know?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Layer Cake Quilt Along

My good friend Konda from Moose on the Porch Quilts is having another quilt along. This time it is going to be made from a Layer Cake. I've recently been gifted a Moda Hoopla Layer Cake, which I wasn't too wild about at first. After making the first block in the quilt along, I'm hooked. The fabric is so happy and crisp looking.

All that being said - I don't have any pictures to share. My computer is in the shop and I'm using a loaner from my son's room. So while I wait to upload my block, you can see the blocks that other's have made here, and you can find the pattern here.

Come on and join the fun!


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween-ish Costumes

This week I've been playing around with yarn, and came up with a few Halloween-ish costumes. Josh wasn't sure what he wanted to be for Halloween, or if he even wanted to dress up at all this year. I saw this fake beard pattern along with a ton of images on the web and thought a beard was the way to go. He sat across from me doing his homework while I kept adding yarn. He was skeptical and I kept saying, "Trust in the beard." He really liked it.

Then as long as I was playing around with yarn and teenage boy Halloween costumes that aren't really costumes, I came up with Jake from Adventure Time. Inspired by this picture.
Then I needed a costume for the History Fair at school that just happens to be tomorrow. I made the dress and the apron, but found the hat at a local thrift store. Her real costume for Halloween involves tattoo sleeves and a lot of hairspray.
I call this one Pioneer Gothic


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Just Popping in to Say Hello...

I've been busily sewing away lately. Some for work, some for fun and some for gifts. This little girl is headed off to Fall Market to keep a friend company. Simple and fun to make. If I had a gaggle of nieces I'd be whipping up a ton of them. Heck, if I had even one niece (or nephew for that matter) I'd make up a few and send them off. The pattern is McCall's 5826

The other gifts are surprises, so I'll show but not tell :)
Now to get my Christmas on....I can't get motivated. Have you started? Ideas?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

TYPESETTERS

Announcing TYPESETTERS - our new Etsy shop. This is our "Will Work For Food" sign. My husband started this shop while he was out of work and even though he's back to work, it fills a creative outlet for him - plus we're still working at paying for that new engine :)

We've had a lot of fun thinking up things to put on the necklaces. We've got you covered for Halloween.
And for all of my fellow Harry Potter fans - how great would it be to wear this on the opening night for Deathly Hallows?
You can keep it simple with a name, which by the way would be perfect for stocking stuffers for those hard to buy for teens.
Or make a custom necklace at no extra charge. Family Reunion, baseball team, high school team, etc. How about one with your home business name like the one we made for Emily?
Forget about Team Edward or Team Jacob - I want one that says "Team Diego". The possibilities are endless. We can make just about anything that you can...
as long as it is 14 letters or less :) The price is great (only $7.50 each) and as my husband says, "we don't rip you off on shipping." Check us out!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

From the Road

Biking has taken a large chunk of my free time lately - and I've been loving every minute of it. Now that D is back to work, the rides have been a little shorter. Our last ride together was 46 miles. We dropped the kids off at school, geared up, jumped on our bikes (along with Konda) and the three of us headed out for a long ride...with hills...on purpose. We got home in just enough time to jump in the car and pick up the kids from school.

Now, our world is settling back in to a steadier rhythm, the rides are a little shorter and the season is slowly coming to an end. While I still haven't lost 1 pound - I can't help but feel a little proud of myself. I could barely go 2 miles when we started out this season. Then we moved on to 8-10 mile rides with a snack break half way. Next is was in the teens, then the twenties. Finally the 35 mile Wonder Woman Ride and our 46 mile finisher.
The hills that just about killed me have become inclines. Now I know what a real hill is and often we head toward them on purpose rather than trying to find a way around them. Today we rode just 8 miles. Just 8 miles.

We have seen all types of animals, both living and in various stages of decomposition. We've passed by lakes and orchards, mooed at cows, fed horses, waved to farmers and bikers alike. We've eaten bananas, cliff bars and other fuel in the quaintest of parks and on the side of the road. We've fixed flats, laughed and ridden in silence. It has been an amazing summer.

It has also been such a blessing in my life during the turmoil that we've been going through lately. I have felt Heavenly Father in the wind, his peace in the stillness, his strength and encouragement when I couldn't go on, his comfort in friends. I've learned to cherish the things that I do have and not focus on the things that I don't. I can truly say that I am thankful for my trials. While I wouldn't wish this experience or joblessness on anyone, I wish I could give what I've learned to everyone. Go ride a bike and find yourself again.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Employed!

Just dropping in to share the wonderful news - we're employed! After, what has it been, 4 months of unemployment, D has a new job. We also took the van into the shop and found that it does, as we suspected, need a new motor. It's $900, so we are going for it. We can't replace the van for $900 and going into debt when you have a job is better than going into debt when you don't.

We are so humbled and thankful for the well wishes and prayers from all of you. There are still so many people out there looking for work, keep them in your hearts.

He starts on Monday, so today we are going on a celebratory bike ride which has been coined the "Ride Until April Drops" ride. It's the last of the week day rides with my hubby - bitter sweet - more sweet than bitter.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Brownies for Breakfast

and why not? I'm home alone for the first time in weeks, D has an interview (insert prayers here), I have a ton of work to do and we just finished the Wonder Woman ride this weekend. That's call for celebration - and brownies. The ride was awesome and we rode the 30 miles in 2.5 hours, which is by far my best time yet. Konda was very sweet and hung back with me, and my husband and son rode along for support. I finished in the middle of the pack, which exceeded my goal of not finishing last.

Truth be told, the brownies aren't that great - the recipe is wonderful and one that I've always loved, it's just that after trying to eat better for the past few months, they are way too sweet. Yes, that's me saying brownies are too sweet. I've been saying a lot of things that are out of character lately..."No thank you" to a piece of chocolate cake. "Let's not go that way, or we'll miss the killer hills".
This is my Aunt Joann and my Uncle Ray. The look on their faces is the same look on my face after seeing the pictures of me at the ride in spandex. I thought I would spare you all and share their picture instead - you're welcome.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Changing Seasons and a Shameless Plug

Do you feel the change happening? The nights here have been getting cooler and today is our first cloudy, cool day in awhile. I love it when the seasons change - the season between seasons.

Speaking of seasons...is it time to start making Christmas gifts yet? It would be a great time to start on your Fairy Tale Quiet Book for all of the little ones in your life :)

PDF versions available at my etsy shop -  Happy Sewing :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Quick Get Away

We were in desperate need of a get away. So we headed up the canyon for a weekend camping trip with some friends. Diego found a great site with a stream running along it and best of all - it was free. We did have to bring in our own water and use Steve and Melody's 5 gallon bucket with a toilet lid for immediate bathroom needs, but there was a camp site with flush toilets just a half mile up the road for the serious bathroom trips:)
We packed enough for 3 weeks worth of camping, and didn't use half of it. (The baby gear isn't ours, but we did get to play with the baby and he sure was a cutie). The whole family had a great time despite the preliminary complaints from the oldest teenager - and the frazzled mom.
Melody made a great dutch oven apple cobbler.
Diego made this...
And I did a whole lot of this
Just what I needed.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It Happens...

Sometimes it really does happen. You just step in it. Lately, we seem to be walking through a mine field of dung heaps. Now, our van broke down. Something about a blown engine. Oddly enough, this one didn't seem to phase us. I guess we're just rolling with the punches, knowing that in the grander scheme of things, life has something wonderful ahead for us.

Friday, August 20, 2010

This One's for You

Today is my husband's 40th birthday! I can't think of a better way to honor him than with a pad named after him- so this one is for you babe: Dem' "old" Bones...and with music

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The First Day of School

Today was the first day of school. I always have mixed emotions on the first day of school. I'm happy to see the kids off on their journey, but I miss them.
What's normally a lonely, depressing day for me ended up being a great day. I was distracted by this guy.
And this girl. We rode our bikes to Cracker Barrel which should have been about a 25 mile round trip ride. We ran into all kinds of road construction and at one point ended up at a cross roads with the three of us all pointing in different directions. We were all wrong. A little bit of back tracking, a few crazed dogs and a whole lot of whining -from me- later and we were on our way home. We saw an ostrich, cows, elk, llama, horses, mules, baby horses and mules, a few miniature horses and some goats. No one would go for my "let's ask that farmer for a ride home" idea. I ran over a crunchy grass hopper, got sunburned and plain old burnt out - I had a blast!
I needed to stop for a sandwich and rest a few minutes so we sent Konda on ahead. While we were eating, the clouds opened up and a torrential down pour started.
We waited out the rain then rode the last mile or two, up hill, in the muggy Tennessee weather. Finishing our 35 mile bike ride in enough time to take a shower and go pick up the kids. Oh, and the cycling quote of the day - "Better to be addicted to cycling than the crack pipe".

Check out this cycling video - too funny

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Where I prove my husband wrong

It has officially been 3 months that I have been on my bike (and walking) every other day. And I have gained 3 pounds. The scale is supposed to be going down. Some people say that I'm gaining muscle and loosing fat, but that just sounds like an excuse that I used to use. Either way, I can tell the difference in my clothes and I'm feeling a lot healthier.
Some cyclist can be a little snobby...sorry but it's true. You have to have just the right equipment and know all of the lingo. So when I mentioned doing a little sewing for my bike, my husband and my son were having a cow. Even though my hubby is a bend the rules kind of guy, he was insisting that we could spare the $25 to spend on a bag made by some name brand manufacturer.
The teasing went back and forth for a few weeks until he realized that I was serious. Then the begging began...you can't go around with a homemade bag...you might as well put the bell and reflectors back on your bike...hey, let's get mom some streamers for her handle bars....
I used his bag to trace out a pattern on tissue paper, grabbed some vinyl covered fabric that was waiting for just the right project and set to work. I took it apart once to add the pipping and had to fuss a little to get the zipper just right.
In the end, he knew it would be great all along and wanted me to start mass producing them to sell on etsy and at bike shops all along the valley. :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Ol' Kit Bag

and smile, smile, smile.
Things are up and down still/again, and I'm still trying to see the up side of things. I did have a pity party the other day, but none of you were invited. Sorry, party of one ;)
Sewing up a little something fun is always a great cure-all for the blues. So I set right in on this little guy. My daughter snatched him up. She has cleaned out most of the dolls in her room and there is just one shelf left. It was nice to see that she kept all of the mommy made dolls.
So there it is my happy thought for the day and a little smile for you. The shop is packed full of pads and there is a new set -different color way- of flower hair pins available.