October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

It's a good year to be a skeleton. At least the kids thought so, and we ended up as an entire skeleton family. I made the Mom and Dad costume and the pants for the Big Kid, although the paint I had just got soaked up in the fabric, although it did still glow in the dark.

Meg got an awesome face painting at the library a couple of days ago and I was not even in close to making it as cute tonight. Not only that, she had a little skin reaction to the makeup I bought at the dollar store and by they time it came off, her face was swollen and red.

She didn't seem to mind though, as long as we kept letting her pick out candy. Ah, the joys of Halloween. Hope you had a great one!

October 20, 2011

Not a Gorilla

Our Little One seems to be doing great. All the fingers and toes are there. Heart, kidneys, stomach and spine all look pretty good at this point. We are scheduled for a fetal echo cardiogram in a few weeks to really make sure that heart is working correctly. Can't wait for another sneak peek at this growing guy. In case you were wondering if there was any doubt about the gender guess, see the following picture.
I don't know what the techno-color thing is about. My Doc is odd. In any case, Our little Joey is happy and healthy and making mom tired, just like any other little boy does. We are counting our blessings and ticking off the days until we get to hold him in our arms.


October 16, 2011

A Mug Rug

After messing around on Pinterest for far too long the other day, I found myself at a favorite quilting blog I had forgotten about. I used to pop in there all of the time, but somehow I forgot about it over time. Ryan Walsh over at I'm Just A Guy Who Quilts has some fun, easy ideas that are very do-able and turn out amazingly well. He is also great at reviews and I love his occasional post with his boys helping him out. I found this post about a Mug Rug. It's supposed to be like a quilted place mat big enough for a cup of something decadent and a cookie. So cute.
    So last night I took some scraps I had from a previous project and adapted his pattern and made my own Mug Rug. I didn't have big enough scraps for the full Dresden pattern, so I got triangles instead, which I think turned out really cute. It took less than 2 hours, start to finish, which is the perfect amount of sewing time in one block for me. I am going to share the pattern and a quick how-to in sewing class this week. Hopefully someone will come this week. I might just make some more for quick, easy gifts.


October 10, 2011

How to make a zig zag quilt, step by step

I have decided that I can complete one gift quilt a year. That doesn't sound too intimidating to me. This year the quilt is for Christmas (I know, the end of the year) for an unnamed family member. Lots of love goes into a quilt so I thought I would explain my creative process to you. Maybe it will help you get a project to two finished.

Step 1: Start months in advance. I started thinking about this in September in hopes of getting it done and mailed by Christmas. It's the mailing that gets me in trouble from time to time.
Step 2: Search Pinterest for the perfect quilt idea. Easy, quick and attractive.
Step 3: Search the blog world for the best tutorial out there that does not involve triangles. I know how I am with triangles. I found the perfect tutorial at Bee Square Blog. Go ahead, check it out.
Step 4: Search the depths of the craft closet for that jelly roll of Moda fabric you know you bought on clearance 3 years ago and haven't done anything with yet. Replace all the contents of the closet with only minor guilt for the 12 or so unfinished projects you found in there.
Step 5: Head to the fabric stores (yep, 4 of them) in search of the perfect blue. You have to keep looking because no one locally carries Moda fabric that old anymore and the color is just hard to match. I found something that will work, not something I love.
Step 6: Cut out lots of blue strips to go with your jelly roll. Replace your rotary blade and try not to bleed all over everything.
Step 7: Sew strips together and cut blocks the correct size. This means going back and correcting the first two rows because you are 1/4 inch off.
Step 8: Have your 10 year old son help you place blocks in the right order on the diagonal. He's more spatially aware than I am and can see a pattern form before I can. That's why we have kids, to help us when we get older.
Step 9: Spend an hour on the floor replacing the blocks that got knocked out of place by your 4 year old trying to help. Talk your husband into helping you pin the rows together so that you don't  have to have your son help you out all over again the next day.
Step 10: sew blocks and rows together to complete your top. Be sure to ignore the 3 loads of laundry sitting on your couch the entire day so that you can get the top finished. Realize you don't have enough backing fabric when you are done ironing the top and clipping the threads on the back. Fold and put away your completed top for another day.

So far, that's all I have. Hopefully I will be able to get this all the way finished and in the mail on time for Christmas. I would love to post a picture, but it's a Christmas gift... so here's just a peek. Good luck with your Christmas projects!

October 6, 2011

Relying on the strength of the past

Have you ever had a bad day? Not a horribly bad day, but bad enough that you are overwhelmed ill equipped to handle another moment that day has to offer? Days like that seem to be happening to me more and more these days. Maybe it's the added stress of pregnancy or the difficulties I seem to place myself in but life is getting harder and harder. It's days like these that I am grateful for the past. I am glad to be able to look back and see that I have come through difficult days before and it gives me strength to conquer the challenge I am facing today. I have strength through many sources, none of which come from me, but from all around me when I choose to reach for them.

   Recently I was going through some pictures and found these sweet photos of my kids. They give me more strength than I could imagine, even though they are often the source of my want of it. I looked at their happy faces, thought of the challenges to come and how they seemed blissfully unaware of them. They were living in the moment, loving each other and just being kids. Looking back on happy moments gives me strength to go on each day, even the hard ones.