Friday, January 28, 2011


So this has nothing to do with craftiness, I just feel the need to get this out there for a little extra accountability. Or something.

In December I had a big long talk with myself and decided that I've been really lazy about exercising since my youngest was born. There were so many excuses--I'm tired, my neck hurts, I've got cramps, we're too busy with school...the list goes on. All of the sudden I'd had it with myself. So I decided to start working out. Every day. No excuses.

On January first (not because of New Years but because starting day 1 on the 1st just appeals to my uptight nature) I started waking up early and doing the TurboFire program. It's hard. Really hard. Lots of jumping and kicking and the feeling of needing to hurl a little. But yesterday marked the end of month one and I didn't miss a single day. I worked out when I was tired. When my neck hurt. When I was busy all day. I even worked out when we were in Orlando for four days, getting up before everyone else was awake so I still had time to cook and put together lunches for our days at the theme parks. I have to say I'm pretty proud of myself, but I also realize this is just a "good start". The program itself is five months long and my goal is to get to the end of that with no excuses and hopefully forming a good habit of working out regardless of time constraints or how I feel. This needs to be a non-negotiable part of my day. And not just until I lose all my weight--because for me that's not likely to happen. I've never been thin and I doubt I ever will be. But I want to be healthy and active and able to keep up with my kids. And that's a lifestyle change, not a quick fix.

This month I lost an inch off all my body parts except my legs and bust, where I lost two. I feel pretty good about that.

Anyway, like I said, nothing to do with anything, I just wanted to...I don't know. Brag a little. Be accountable to all you people who could probably care less. Encourage those of you who want to start exercising yourselves.

Here's to a good start!! One down, five to go.

Monday, January 24, 2011

had a party lots of fun, all those presents you got none

So yesterday was my birthday. 
It wasn't a great day. 
I mean, it wasn't awful or anything. Nobody ended up in the emergency room or anything like that.
And it started off good with me getting to sleep in and my husband making me a funny cake out of crepes for breakfast. But then we got ready for church, and loaded up into the car, and it broke. So my husband spent the whole day working on the car (his least favorite chore ever) and I spent the whole day sort of wandering from room to room, trying to think of something to do to take my mind away from the land of pity parties. 

I was not inspired. I didn't want to sew. Or cook. Or basically do anything. I would have liked to read but I just finished my new book so I was out of luck there. 

Then after dinner (and numerous apologies about the suckage of my birthday) my husband gave me this:

Not a riveting read by any stretch, but a really good resource that I've been wanting for awhile now. And then today I checked the mail and got another present from him, one I'm really excited about:

Just for clarification, he didn't give me a chick in an orange dress. He bought me the pattern for the dress: Colette's "Ceylon" pattern. I'm really excited to make this you have NO IDEA. I love everything about it (except the belt. I don't do belts). I'm just hoping it doesn't look hideous on me. 
I'm excited to do a little more fashion sewing now that my need to mass-produce quilts is winding down. 

Today I finished my second option for the Scrappy Mug Rug swap. It's nerdy. And the embroidery came out kind weird cause it's so tiny. And I realized looking at all the other mug rugs in this swap that my binding skills leave something to be desired. BUT I still like it. It's a caffeine molecule on one side and a carbohydrate molecule on the other. Eh? Eh? Get it??

Nerdy Mug Rug--option #2

I know, I know. I'm a huge dork.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I like you, I just don't LIKE like you

Ever have something that you love on first glance, and then everyone talks about it incessantly, and you want it even more until it occurs to you that, really, you have no idea what you would DO with it? 

That's how I'm feeling about Ruby Star Rising.

I mean, look at it. What's not to like? It's retro. It's got pretty colors. It's super fun. But...I just have no idea what I would make this into. I can see the teacups being cute as some kind of kitchen item, but to be perfectly honest I suck at making those sorts of things. I just never get around to it. The viewfinder circle thingies could be cute as a tote, or a pillow, but again--not something I'm likely to get around to making. 

So while there's a part of me that wants every one of these fabrics in the hopes that maybe, one day, I'll find a good use for them, the practical part of me says, "I think we should just be friends."

Anybody else know what I'm talking about?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Wow. I'm just super cool.

My little stack o' potential fabric made it to the official Doll Quilt Swap blog today! I must be awesome. Or something. Check out all the other rainbowy fun being displayed over there: RAINBOW BRITE.

A few ideas so far

DQS 10 ideas--batch one

Some random ideas I doodled for the DQS. I was kind of hoping to get a partner with wild tastes so I could go nuts and try a bunch of off-the-wall ideas, but still...there's something satisfying about simplicity. And I do love color. So I'm looking forward to it regardless. 

I have so many ideas, though. It's hard to pin down a favorite. Hopefully my secret partner will give me some anonymous input to help me out here. 

TGIF, baby.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

light bulb

Back from a few days at Disneyworld with the fam, and already I can't stop thinking about my ideas for the DQS. 

DQS 10 fabric possibilities...

This is what I've been liking lately...bright happy rainbowy colors on a gray or linen background...course this is what I personally like, I don't know how my partner will feel about it. Hopefully she'll like it. Otherwise it's back to the ole drawing board. Course, the drawing board has loads of other ideas on it so I'm not fussed either way. 

Mug rug #1, finished

I finished one mug rug the other day. I like how it came out, but I've got a few other ideas I'm trying out just in case this isn't a hit.

What do all you silent people think? Speaking of silent people, last week I was thinking I'd totally have a little party with myself when I got 50 followers. Which I know it teeny tiny compared to most popular blogs, but for me it's pretty cool. I mean, I'm not a "boost my numbers by doing giveaways" kind of blog, so I am really flattered that anyone would like it enough to read it without all the material benefits. ANYWAY, I just noticed that I have 51 followers. Which means I missed my party already! Drat. Oh well, it's my birthday this weekend so I guess I can settle for a birthday party, even if it's just me and my dudes. :)

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I can't believe it! After a year of being a stalker I finally get to be part of the Doll Quilt Swap round ten! Yay!

DQS10 {Inspiration}

A lot of my inspiration pics are the same as for the Mug Rug swap, with a few extras for fun. I'm so excited to be part of this!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Scrappy mug rug swap

 Mug Rug Swap 4 {Inspiration}

This month I get to be part of round four of the Scrappy Mug Rug Swap. Above is the mosaic I made of the things that I'm finding inspiring right now. 

I'm pretty excited about doing this because I really like making small things. They are fun to work on, quick, and it gives me the chance to experiment with some techniques I've been itching to try but didn't want to commit to a large project. First up on the experiment list: cathedral windows.

Mug rug beginning?

I've been curious to try these because they're so...weird. I mean making them is nothing like regular quilting to me, it's like some kind of tortuous origami with fabric. I love the end result, but after making only six tiny squares I can't imagine why anyone would EVER want to make an entire quilt out of these. 

Next up on my list: reverse applique.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Seven days later

It's a Small World hoop {finished}

It's done!

This hoop represents six days worth of sitting at the table with my kindergartner keeping him on his schoolwork. I can't stand to just sit there doing nothing, but if I go do something else his five-year-old attention span evaporates. So I found my happy medium: I can sit with him and hand stitch and he gets his work done and I get cute new hoops for my wall!

I am so in love with how this turned out it's not even funny. I can't stop looking at it and smiling. First of all because I really enjoyed making it, second of all because I've always loved the style of  "It's a Small World" (even if the ride itself is super boring and slightly obnoxious) and wanted to recreate it somehow. And lastly because it has a hot air balloon on it. I like hot air balloons. 

It's a Small World hoop {detail}

I also love the super bright colors on the black background. It makes me think of the velvet lederhosen my mom bought for me and my brother when we lived in Switzerland as kids. (Yeah, you read that right. I have worn lederhosen. I'm not ashamed.)

Anyhoo, I'm relieved to be done, as I always am when working on a long project. Or if I'm honest, ANY project--my attention span isn't too great either. Now I can finish the shower curtain I'm working on that is basically a total ripoff of Rachel's. Imitation is the best form of flattery--right Rachel? (please say yes please say yes please say yes)

Time to exit the world of crafty fun and enter the world of the not so fun but necessary dinner-making. Ciao.

Friday, January 7, 2011

A long time coming

So, some of you may remember the craziness that was me trying to make five bazillion quilts for our church's mission trip to Swaziland last fall. Some of you even got involved, sending me quilts and dolls that made me smile so big it wasn't funny. 

Well, the team went. And the quilts were distributed. Most of them went to the orphanage, with some of the larger ones being given to grandparents who are caring for their kids and other people's as well. I admit I was hoping to see tons and tons of pictures of kids getting quilts, so that I could post them on here and let all you who helped see your gifts in action. But there are only three. Three little pictures. See, (and I know this from personal experience) nothing really goes according to plan when you go on a mission trip. All your preconceived notions go right out the window when you exit the airplane and realize that, WOW, this isn't America and I really had no idea what I was getting myself into here. But that is almost always for the best, because God knows better than we do exactly what people need. 

The team who went to the hospital that day found themselves pretty overwhelmed. We're so used to the bright, sterile hospitals we have here that seeing a place like this, with so many abandoned hurt kids, is staggering. From the stories I heard nobody was unaffected.  

The nurses had asked the team to wait to pass out the quilts till the last minute--I think because they were afraid they would get mobbed and all the quilts would be taken away rather than go to the kids they were intended for. Which is sad to hear but really, that's just human nature. I would love to hear that the people around were overjoyed to see these sick kids getting something nice, something personal, but life isn't always a picturesque story of innate goodness. The rushed nature of the distribution is part of the reason there are so few pictures. 

Here's the thing I keep coming back to--I made my part of the giant stack of quilts because I wanted to use my skills and resources to bless others. Not so I could feel warm and fuzzy seeing gorgeous pictures of smiling happy kids enjoying my gift. I mean, that's great but it's not the reason I did it. So to all of you who helped with this project, who blessed me, my church, and the kids at the orphanage, I hope you aren't too sad to not see your creation in these few pictures. And I hope you know how much your efforts meant to somebody, somewhere on the other side of the planet.

“'I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'” 
Matthew 25: 36-40

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Mixed media

The last two days have been a miasma of back-to-homeschooling fun, early morning workouts, and random projects. 

First of all, I've finally gotten around to starting a hoop based on a Mary Blair illustration. My friend Elizabeth posted a blog about her here and that served as my "sign" that it was time to just suck it up and start already. I've also got a small quilt I want to do based on her work, but that's something that makes me sort of giggle nervously when I start contemplating all the tiny, tiny patchwork squares. Anyway, here's a sneak peek of the work in progress:

Small World WIP

Right now I don't have many quilting projects to work on (nor much desire for quilting at this particular time) but I'm keeping some ideas on the back-burner for the day when I feel the quilting bug strike again. I've got a lovely stack of Kona solids in various reds, browns and greys, and I've been trying to decide what to do with them. My color inspiration was this picture from Flickr:

Lego buildings
I might even end up doing a quilt that looks just like the building. The jury is still out. But here's another idea I had for something a little more outside the box if you'll forgive the pun.


I like the idea of a completely non-square quilt. Although does this look too...Native American? I can't decide. 

Lastly, this Christmas my oldest got this seriously AWESOME metal suitcase loaded with art supplies. I was actually jealous. A little. Included in this kit were a whole assortment of watercolor pencils, something I've always wanted to try but was too cheap to buy in case I didn't like them. Today I decided to try them out, and rather than rack my brain trying to come up with some new idea I opted to do a study of one of my favorite artists, Royo. 


The verdict on watercolor pencils is I stinkin' LOVE them!! I had so much fun and talk about instant gratification! I have a feeling that Ilya is going to need a new set of these things, and soon. :)