Thursday, March 23, 2017

flowering snowball finished top!


So.
I told you the other day
that whenever I had a moment, I sewed.

And ya'll probably thought I was finishing up Jordan's quilt.

But I wasn't.

I was making a new one!


I really wanted a 'palette cleanser'
after that quilt.

Don't get me wrong,
I loved making it,
but as I've said before,
it's a little stressful to sew to other people's specifications.

I don't want to mess up their vision for their quilt.

I've had a few small projects sprinkled in here and there,
(Like Milo's and Hadley's quilts, oh, and Brycen's quilt
among other things)
but I started Faith and Freedom last January,
which was a pretty intensive quilt,
and as soon as I finished it,
I turned my attention to On the Wild Side,
and as soon as that was finished,
I immediately got going on Stars for a Star.

So you see,
 I was really ready for a fun project that didn't require a ton of thought.


I've wanted to make a flowering snowball quilt
ever since I saw Mary's over 2 years ago.

It was time.


I cut all of the white fabrics 
I needed 2 weeks ago, 
after I'd run out of thread
6 hours away from finishing the quilting on (swoony) Stars for a Star.

But then
I didn't get going on the colored fabrics,
because I sorta panicked.

A flowering snowball is nothing but curves.
And the only curves I've sewn,
beside in garment sewing
(which I don't do a ton of
and half of what I do sew - is sleeveless)


The other thing that held me back was
the fabric mess.

I knew I wanted to use a ton of different fabrics,
and that was going to create quite a mess.

Wednesday,
I decided to sew a test block,
just to see just how hard it was going to be.
And you know what? It wasn't hard at all!

And I suddenly wanted to start on my quilt immediately!
(by then, Jordan's quilt was finished
except for hand-sewing the binding down)

But I still had 224 pieces of fabric to cut.

Thursday morning,
after coffee,
I started going through fabric.


I went through one drawer, or  bag, or a basket at a time,
and cut 1 piece
from every fabric that I chose,
then immediately folded it back up.
Once all fabrics were cut from each drawer, bag, or basket
(my fabric is stored all over the place!)
I returned all of the folded pieces.

It took the entire day,
between school
and chores
and cleaning up after myself,
but by bedtime,
I had all of my fabric cut
and put away!


This is getting too long.

The Reader's Digest version of the rest is -
I made a quilt top in less than a week.

1 set of templates
504 pieces
279 different fabrics
4 hrs of seam ripping (it. was. ridiculous.)
1 - 63"x72" quilt top
6 days.
😊


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

exciting news!


I have been staying quite busy lately.
I have a few things to blog about,
but whenever I've had the time to sit and type something up,
I've chosen to spend it sewing.

But -
I had to pop in here real quick
with Brandon's exciting news.

He was notified yesterday
that he was selected
as the Mechanical Engineering Freshman of the Year!!

I am so very happy for him!
He has been so disciplined
and diligent and dedicated
and I'm thrilled that he is being recognized for it!

Truth be told, 
I'm also a bit tickled
because
as y'all know,
he wasn't awarded the Engineering scholarship,
and he really should have been,
so it feels rather validating.
And it's highly likely
that the jerk gentleman 
who turned him down for the scholarship,
will be the one honoring him at the awards ceremony,
and I am just human enough
to take great pleasure in the idea of him eating crow.

But mostly,
I am super super proud of my boy!!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Lily's blocks



As you know,
and they are sewing along with Amy's girls (sorta)


As with Lexi,
the first block Lily made was the log cabin.
(she has a fabulous 1/4 in seam!)


It was quickly joined 
by a block of our own design,
Calico Dress.


I simply drew a dress 
and enlarged it,
then traced it onto the back of fabric that we'd 
adhered lightweight interfacing too.


After cutting out the dress,
we glue basted it onto Lily's background fabric of choice,
and she sewed it on with invisible thread.
Then she added some stitching,
to define the waistband,
and give the appearance of gathers and folds in the skirt.

That was when she learned about pulling your top thread
to the bottom
for knotting,
instead of locking stitches with the sewing machine.


Black Susan was a super fun block to make,
and in making it,
Lily learned (one way) to make half square triangles.

When cutting the fabric, 
I realized I could eliminate 2 seams,
which made it even easier to put together.


The girls wanted a black fabric that wasn't entirely solid,
and when we couldn't find anything locally that was suitable,
I ordered  'black dress' Basic Grey Grunge
because we all agreed it was perfect.


Lil' started working on her next block,
(another one that we've added)
by sewing it as leaders/enders,
and she's already pieced a good chunk of it.

Lexi's sewed her dress block also,
and most of Black Susan.
We'll share them when she's finished.

We're having a great time 
reading and sewing
together,
and I admit to considering
more than once,
catching up with them,
and making a Little House quilt
right along with them.


A sweet friend gave us a hard cover copy of 
On the Banks of Plum Creek,
and we've decided we'd like to own matching hardbacks
of all of the Little House books,
so if you happen to have some that you no longer want,
we'd be happy to take them off your hands :-)

Little House in the Big Woods, first 3 blocks

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

tidbits on a Tuesday


So.
I'm getting close to finishing Jordan's quilt.
The quilt I've been working on since October...

I was sewing merrily along tonight,
and bam!
I ran out of thread.
Not bobbin thread, mind you;
my whole entire 1,000 meter thread spool.
Empty.

waaahhhhh

This is especially maddening,
because Brandon has 242 on Tuesday nights,
and gets home 11ish.

Tyler usually uses the opportunity to head to bed early,
while I usually use it
to stay up late
so I can visit with him after he gets home.

Needless to say,
I won't be sewing while I'm waiting up for him
tonight.

~

grrrr

(I'm having a hard time letting that go)

~

I put out an SOS on FB,
asking for some tried and true ideas
 on what to do with leftover dark meat.

I usually roast 2 hens a couple of times a month.
One gets eaten for dinner and a lunch for Tyler and Brandon,
and the other one is usually made into chicken salad (the white meat)
and soup (the dark meat).

The problem with this is,
Lily does not like soup.

She never complains; she just barely eats.
She'll thank me.
and say it was pretty good,
and that she wasn't very hungry.
But really - she just doesn't like soup.
and most especially,
she doesn't like chicken in soup.

I got several suggestions on my FB request.
But,
what I failed to add,
which you all know,
is
we don't eat breads and pasta as a rule.
Which is what most of the suggested meals included.
So,
not counting things that have, say, velveeta,
or spaghetti noodles,
or bread or toast,
what do y'all like to do with your leftover dark meat??

~

The girls worked a bit on their quilt blocks today.
They are really making me want to make a Little House quilt, too!


Or maybe it's just that I want to piece something
instead of quilt it...

(I've not been thrilled with my quilting...)

~

Brandon made a catapult recently for his engineering class.
They could only use PVC and glue.

He's pretty practiced in making things out of PVC,
so it was just a matter of figuring out the best design.

He'd work on it (and leave it) out in the house, 
since all the tools are out there.

Our HVAC guy told us he'd look at these creations,
and wonder what the heck kind of plumbing we were doing.
haha

Brandon's catapult tied with another for first place,
blowing the previous record by 50 ft!!

He didn't get to hold the record for long, though,
because  a student in the next class
totally blew his record out of the water.

~

My elbow is ever so slowly improving.
I can hold my coffee cup and drink from it with my left hand.

For the most part, I still have to 'T-Rex' it, though,
and keep my elbow pretty close to my body.

I admit I'm getting rather impatient for total recovery;
I really need my strength 
and full range of motion
for working on the house!
I have been a total slacker in that department,
but now that it's not freezing out there,
I need to get back at it!


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

for kicks


I was scrolling through Pinterest this afternoon,
and had a good chuckle.



Pinterest makes suggestions for you based on either things you pin
or your browsing history
(or maybe both - I dunno)

Anyways - they suggested my own quilt!!

Which, I guess goes to show 
that they can be spot on in recognizing your tastes.

I thought you might like to see some of the other pins they picked for me, too.
(clicking on the photo should take you to the post)

The Best Way To Start a Ketogenic Diet #keto #ketogenic #diet http://paleomagazine.com/how-to-start-ketogenic-diet

I don't exactly eat Keto. 
Keto-ish, though.
But sure, I'd want to know the BEST way
(and the easier alternatives.... ;-)


I do like orange peels.
And I love easy....

Death by Chocolate Paleo Blender Brownies

Ummmm. Yeah!
(although. I must say, I haven't had a Paleo brownie that is to die for yet.
But I'm open to trying another recipe...)


Faux cathedral windows.
Faux = easier.

Hmmm. I'm beginning to see a theme here....

QuiltCon 2017 Award Winners   Best in Show  Bling  Pieced and quilted by Katherine Jones  Chigwell, Tasmania, Australia:

Okay.
So Pinterest didn't suggest that one.
Someone I follow pinned it.
But, my word, isn't it amazing?!
It was the overall winner at QuiltCon, I believe.

Then, of course,
there were a bunch of suggestions for various kitchens,
and wood floors,
because, 
Lands!
I have looked at so.many.kitchens.
and 
wood floors!

Then there are a few of these,
which I can't really figure out.

Get a TAN with Coffee!:  

and usually there's a 'books you should read' pin or two.
But mostly,
the suggestions are quilt related.

Considering I have more pins
(by far)
on my quilt board
than any other boards,
I'd say that's fair.

What I'm curious about is
why do I see more pins that have been 'picked for me'
than things people I follow
have pinned??

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Trader Joe's for the win


I went to Trader Joe's for the first time,
the first time I went to visit Tony and Kacy in California.

It was pretty much love at first sight.

Followed by sadness.
Because,
no Trader Joe's...

Then our friends moved from Maryland to Texas,
the drive was pretty excruciating
(especially the way home - it's always twice as long...).
But Texas.
Texas we could handle.

We've been extra busy the past year,
but we still managed to visit 3 times since they moved south
(plus Tyler popped in when he went on his Dallas business trip)
and every time we visit,
we go to Trader Joe's.

(And every time we go to Trader Joe's,
we find more favorites...)

On arriving home from our last trip,
I set about putting away our treasures.

When I lifted one of my packages of almond flour/meal
out of the bag,
I saw there was a hole in the seam
and flour was spilling.

If I lived near a TJ, it'd be no big deal;
I'd just exchange it,
but since we don't,
I had a dilemma.

It was probably perfectly fine.
But,
we do live in an age when people are mean,
and that open seal,
though likely an in-the-factory oopsie,
could mean that somebody'd tampered with my flour.
So I really shouldn't feed it to my family.

Darn it.
I really wanted that flour.

So.
I wrote a short book note to Trader Joe's
and explained the situation,
and asked if,
by chance,
they could maybe reimburse my card
Or even just send me a coupon 
(with a long-off expiration date) 
for a free bag.
Or better yet - they could build a store in FSM,
and I could just exchange it there 😁

Yesterday,
I got a call from Desiree,
the manager (or maybe assistant manager?) of the McKinney store,
telling me she was so sorry that had happened,
and could they please send me some almond flour.

Well, sure!

That was more than I'd expected,
but it was so kind.
And I really did want the flour
more than I wanted my $6 back,
so I was pretty tickled.

I gave her our address 
and she told me was going to send four bags of  almond flour,
plus a few seasonal items too,
to make up for all my trouble.
And she apologized again
for the inconvenience.

I told her,
"We already loved Trader Joe's,
but now we love you even more!"
(Tyler said exactly the same thing when I told him about the call)

I talked to Desiree yesterday afternoon
and today, around 9:30 this morning,
Fed-ex brought my package.


Customer service at its finest!

Two(huge) thumbs up for Trader Joe's!!
Especially the McKinney store.
If ya'll go in there, tell Desiree I say
howdy
and
thanks again!!

~

I figure maybe you're wondering what our TJ staples are:

butter.
their butter is the creamiest, butteriest butter ever.
It used to also be the cheapest,
but they've raised the price from $1.99 /lb to $2.99
still worth it,
but I'm even more selective in what it gets used for.
(Josiah thinks I should allow us 2 sticks per week
and if we run out before the week is over, too bad.
That way, we'd be able to ration it until it expires in May)
(kid totally understands budgeting 😋)

creamy (or maybe they call it smooth) unsalted peanut butter.
(nothing but peanuts!)
least expensive, most delicious creamy unsalted pb you'll  ever find.

almond meal/flour
(um. obviously...)

white modena vinegar
(Tyler loves to add this to his salads)

dark chocolate almonds
(the bags are the cheapest way to buy these)

This time, I snagged a couple of cans of coconut milk
and coconut cream,
so those will likely be added to the list as well.,

They have good prices on grass fed ground beef,
and their produce always looks great,
but we didn't get any since the car was already pretty full
and we had an almost 5 hr drive.

~
So ~ do you have a Trader Joe's??
What are your TJ favorite, must buy items?


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Little House in the Big Woods (in fabric)



A few weeks ago, 
I stumbled upon
something I'd been looking for
for several months.


she's wanted to make another one.

Since I have a gift for complicating things,
I thought it would be amazing if I could find 
a block of the month type of quilt-a-long for her.
Something that she could work on 
here and there, over the course of  month,
mostly on her own,
and increase her skills.

Problem was,
everything I found
even for beginners,
was too advanced for an 8 year old.

She'd ask every few weeks
if I'd found one for her yet,
so this wasn't just a passing thought.....

Bloglovin adds posts to my feed
that bloggers I follow
 have 'liked'.
I forget who liked it,
well, I clicked on the link real quick.
And I was delighted to find

Two years ago,
in an effort to get her (then 8 yr old) daughter 
to read the Little House books,
Amy bribed her 
by telling her she could make a quilt block or two 
for each book in the series.



Now, she has another 8 yr old daughter,
so they are sewing along again,
and Lily and Lex will be reading and sewing along, too!

They've been chomping at the bit to start sewing just as soon as we started reading.
(the three of us are reading the books together.
Sometimes we snuggle on the bed,
and sometimes, 
I sit on the couch and read,
while they lay on the floor.
Yesterday, while they listened,
Lexi played with our new patchwork design tiles
(a generous gift from a super thoughtful quilt-blogging friend :-)
and Lily built a bunkbed for Titus and Amanda
(who have yet to be photographed)
out of cardboard, skewers, and masking tape.
Other times one of them reads,
and I practice my knitting.)

I was a little slow to get started with the sewing bit,
because I still haven't got my fabric mess put away from Jordan's quilt,
and the whole fabric choosing overwhelmed me.
But,
we finished the first book,
Little House in the Big Woods,
yesterday,
so I had to bite the bullet.

Lily was starting to get sick yesterday,
so after picking out about 5 fabrics,
she was done.
Lex', on the other hand,
chose 18, 
which we then whittled down to 13,
and she determined what would go where in the block.


I cut the fabric for her last night
(no way are my babies using a rotary cutter yet!)
and she got started
- and finished -
today,
though she had to take a break part way through
cuz she was getting worn. out.
(so was Momma.
There is really no such thing as 'on her own'
when the sew-er is only 8...)

She did all of the sewing and pressing and thread snipping,
but I pinned for her.

She was quite purposeful with most of her fabric choices:
the dark blue with dots is a starry sky,
and the light blue with white is a summer sky with clouds.
Obviously, the bottom grassy green - is grass,
and the red above it is for leaves in the fall.
The fabric with deer on it was a charm square 
that I got as a sample with a fabric order
(though sadly I can't remember from where)
so there were only a few spots it would work.
(Deer came up multiple times in the book)
The Heather Ross fabric had to be in the block,
because it had Laura, Mary, and Black Susan
and of course a tree (tree /  big woods...)
(never mind that Mary would never climb a tree ;-)
The gold above the 'hearth' square is for the wheat and oats
that Pa and his helpers harvest,
and the fabric on the right is just because she loves it ;-)

 

I'm so glad to have found a quilt a long that is perfect for Lexi,
and the fact that Lily wants to join in, 
and we can all read the series together,
is a fantastic bonus.



Speaking of houses - 
when we were walking back to the house after taking pictures,
we (of course) walked by the new house.
I said, "Just think, Lex'!
Soon, when we're going back in the house 
after taking pictures,
we'll walk right up those steps,
and in that door." 
💙


linking up with AmandaJean,
because a single block is a big finish when you're just 8!


Monday, February 13, 2017

Sunday snippets - on a Monday



Continuing on the subject of sleep:

Normally,
Tyler and the kids head out for Sunday school 
somewhere between 8:30 and 8:40.

I lay in bed another few minutes, 
then go to the kitchen,
and hit the 'small cup' option on the Keurig,
where Tyler has already got my fixin's in my cup.

I enjoy my coffee
(it's always so much better when he makes it)
and browse blogs
until 9:00,
when I need to start getting ready for church myself.

This morning, yesterday morning,
they left,
and I promptly fell asleep
and didn't wake up until 9:57
😳
I texted Tyler
then promptly fell asleep
again
and woke up at 12:05.

I guess I was even more tired than I knew...

~

Tyler and the girls had a Daddy-Daughter dance Saturday.
no pictures, sadly,
except for the one itty bitty poorly lit one they brought home,
but they all looked lovely
and they had a great time,
and Lily even won the daughter dance-off.

~

We bought the tub surround for the upstairs bathroom
this weekend.
It was on sale,
plus Lowe's gives Veteran's a 10% discount,
so we got it for $188 plus tax (reg price $239)

While at Lowe's 
we also found a custom counter top/ integrated sink
on clearance for $200 ((originally $583).
It isn't exactly the size we need,
and I forget the name of the material it's made from,
but Tyler did a quick search in the store
and found that we should be able to cut it to size
with just a circular saw.

The counter was kinda bowed,
but we both thought it looked as though it would level out once installed,
but $200 seemed a bit pricey
since there was a risk that it wouldn't,
so we asked if they might come down a bit more
and they dropped the price to $150 for us,
so we bought it.

We had a sink picked out already that I loved,
but I was really concerned about what I would use to waterproof
- really waterproof -
the top of the credenza,
so this seemed like a really great solution
and I'm quite pleased with it.
(hopefully it really will cut easily and neatly...)

~

My elbow is a smidge better.
I can hold my coffee cup now with my left hand,
and sometimes even lift it to my lips.
My 30 oz water cup is still too heavy though.

I was talking with my dad yesterday,
and he suggested a Tennis Elbow brace,
so as soon as we got off the phone
I ordered one from Amazon.
(after making sure that it wouldn't be less expensive at Walmart)

Maybe I will be functioning better soon??

I do hope so.
I've grown pretty weary of this nonsense
and I am quite ready to lift weights
and be a contributing member of the building team again.

Surprisingly,
the one thing I was very worried about
- machine quilting -
hasn't been too terrible,
but hand-quilting 
(which I wasn't concerned about at all)
has been especially painful.

I had estimated about 6 weeks for the quilting,
but it's going to take more like 8,
I think.

Of course, it doesn't help 
that I've decided I don't like the micro quilting
I did on a couple of stars,
so some of my hand-quilting time has been spent
unsewing
instead.

I'm ahead of schedule so no worries.

~

Tyler brought these home for me the other day.


They aren't potato chip clones, mind you,
but they actually quite satisfying.

~
We recently went to Texas again to see our good friends/adopted family.
We had a nice visit,
but Brandon had to stay home to work on school work,
which was kinda bummy.

We got home just in time for me to start cooking 
our Super Bowl snacky-dinner.

~

Oh.
speaking of snacky dinners.
Last night,
I cut up a few sweet potatoes for Tyler to cook up 
in his new little fryer.

I'd recently bought some beautiful dark reddish/purplish 
sweet potatoes,
and decided I'd cut one of those up too.
I was excited at how pretty the two colors would look together.
Plus, more color = more nutrition, right?

I ran the peeler over the potato,
and was shocked to discover
that the inside was white, not red.

I felt robbed.

~

Talk to me about carpet in bedrooms.
(please...)

We'd been thinking not,
but upon discovering that carpet is actually the least expensive flooring option
(excepting perhaps a super cheap laminate, which is not in the consideration)
we are reconsidering.

Right now,
we are thinking to carpet the upstairs.

It will be more comfy for the kids 
and will create a sound barrier,
and most of the dirt that they bring in the house
will be left downstairs,
so that isn't as big of an issue...

What I'm having trouble with is our bedroom.
Going with hardwood and throw rugs would be gorgeous,
but carpet would be a little more comfortable
and a little cheaper.
(and let's be realistic, easier, 
since we wouldn't install it ourselves
but that doesn't factor terribly much into the decision)

Another consideration - 
we have an exterior door in our bedroom,
so if we went with carpet,
would we need to have a different floor covering in front of it??

Also - Tyler does have allergies,
which is one of the reasons we were thinking no carpet.
But - the foam insulation is supposed to cut down drastically on dust,
so that may not be much of an issue.

So - care to help me think through this??


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

sweet dreams


I had 2 girls up
around 11:30 last night,
hungry.

I gave them a glass of milk
and a few crackers,
and then I pulled out a book about other little girls,
and read a chapter and a half
in an attempt to fill 
more than just their bellies.

Ever since I've been a mom
(going on 30 years!)
it's been my habit to spend special time
with kiddos who couldn't sleep.
I gotta tell ya,
I battle (with myself)
pretty much every time;
I really like sleep!

But I also really like my kids...

Sweet dreams, Baby Girls.
Momma loves you.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

cooking the books, sort of


I wanted to try new things in the kitchen this year.

I didn't exactly cook from books,
but we did try a few new-to-us foods
and even an actual recipe.

The kids and I went to the Asian market a few weeks ago,
and came home with
(among other normal-to-us veggies
like chayote and jicama)
guy goc 
(I am quite positive I've spelled that wrong, 
but that is how the gal pronounced it.
She said it translates to 'sweet vegetable'.
Guy goc (Sp!) is a leafy sort of vegetable,
that is cooked (often boiled) and served with meat.
I sauteed it with some other veggies
and topped them with fried eggs)
long squash
(that's what the box said)
fuzzy squash
(also what the box said)
and a huge daikon radish
that I used in the Pho.


We liked all of the new vegetables 
and I'll try to fit the Asian market in on at least a monthly basis,
if not bi-weekly.

The same day,
we also ran over to the produce place
on the north side of town,
whose name escapes me at the moment.

It's really not on our beaten path,
so I was somewhat relieved to discover
that the produce is neither less expensive,
nor of a better quality
than what I'm able to purchase from Aldi and Walmart,
so no need to try to add that to the shopping as well.

I also made mung bean sprouts
(which took for.ev.er to sprout and didn't seem to grow properly.
probably something to do with the veeery cold kitchen.
I finally called them done
and we ate them anyways.
I don't think the kids were big fans.)

Like I said,
I didn't exactly 'cook the books'
but I was a little more adventurous in the kitchen,
which is the whole point,
so I'm linking up with Julie's new cooking party :-)

(Oh. also worth noting -
I tried bone broth in the pressure cooker,
after my research didn't turn up anything
that suggested it wasn't as good for you
if it was made that way,
and it was so much tastier
than my usual broth made in the crockpot.)

Saturday, January 28, 2017

visit with an old friend


I seem to be in a season of having difficulty getting to sleep.

It's rather frustrating.

After 45 minutes of lying in bed last night,
growing more awake, instead of less,
I got up,
pulled on my 18 yr old burgundy terry cloth robe,
slipped out of our room,
careful not to wake Tyler,
and headed to the computer.

Too tired to actually quilt, 
I figured I'd spend an hour
looking at other people's quilting 
and hope for some form of osmosis.

But one can only hope for osmosis so much,
before one realizes - it isn't going to happen.

Ultimately,
beautiful quilting
will come from more time at the sewing machine,
not the computer
(though it does have a part...)

So instead of looking 
- again - 
for inspiration and how-to's,
I quietly crept back into the bedroom
and grabbed a book off the shelf,
already knowing just exactly where

I was smiling in minutes.

I read until I could barely keep my eyes open
(page 64)
and promptly fell asleep when I crawled back in bed.

Ahhh, yes.
A visit with an old friend 
was just what the doctor ordered!


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Lex' sews some more



One of the things Lexi wanted for Christmas 
was a pink sparring gear bag
(to share with Lily)


To be honest,
I was a little surprised.
I would have thought she'd want pink gear.
But no,
all she wanted was a pink bag
to carry the gear she already has.


Brandon was going to buy her one.


But a few weeks before Christmas,
I was shopping at Hobby Lobby,
and of course,
walked through the fabric section,
and saw this owl fabric
that I knew Lexi would love,
and a light-bulb went off.


What if, instead of Brandon giving her 
a bag,
he gave her a kit
to make her own bag??


He was on board with the idea,
so I ran with it.


One day while they were at TKD,
I prepped the kit,
adhering the fusible fleece
and cutting out the pocket,
and the corners,
and even putting snaps in  a tiny bag,
so that all she had to do,
was start sewing.


I packaged it in a clear zipper pouch 
that Craftsy uses for their fabric.
It was cute, but you'll have to trust me on that;
I forgot to take a picture of it.

She had the option of closing it with snaps,
or a zipper,
and true to form,
she choose the more difficult route.


She sewed it up a few days after Christmas,
in just one day.

her first zipper!! at 7 yrs old!

The only thing I sewed was the zipper tab,
and I attached the straps and did the topstitching.


I probably should have just made her do those things, too,
but she was getting tired,
and she really wanted it finished,
and she didn't want wobbly stitches.


And hey - she didn't exactly ask for a kit anyways......


Lexi - Momma is proud of you.
You are eager to learn the best way,
even when it's not the easiest.
That's a good attitude to carry through life.
XO

linking up with AmandaJean
and Beth at Cooking up Quilts :-)

Sunday, January 22, 2017

things that make me smile


Knowing that tomorrow will be a tough day for me,
I thought I'd try to preempt some of the sadness,
and make a list 
of some of the things that have been making me smile lately.

In no particular order...


Matt and Marin (and adorable Milo) 
came down to spend the day with us Saturday.

On top of that,
they brought generous gifts for the kids,
and it always makes me smile
when people love on my kids.

Speaking of loving on my kids -
Tony and Kacy surprised them this week
with a case of hubba bubba bubble tape.
They've been happily chewing gum
and blowing bubbles for days.

~

Listening to Brandon play his guitar and sing in the LEM
while I work in the kitchen.
Especially Lion and the Lamb
 (ah - should have guessed that was a Big Daddy Weave song) 

~

a fridge full of fresh raw milk

~

A video birthday message for Lex'
from Canadian penpals

~

text messages from my daughter in law,
just because she misses me.
Though, admittedly,
those make me cry, too.

~

phone calls or texts from my big boys.

~

(don't judge)

oh, and also, date nut bread, with tons of butter.
(the recipe actually came from my mother in law,
though my mom has made it as a Christmas gift for so long,
I'd forgotten that.
the really funny thing is - 
I'm the one who gave the recipe to my mom!)
Lexi requested it as her birthday breakfast.
She was so excited when she realized we could all have more than one piece.

~

When Tyler or Brandon leave a fresh coffee pod in the Keurig for me.
Not because it's so hard to go get one myself,
but because they chose to love me that way.

~

kids playing without fighting

~

sunshine

~

beautiful sunsets

~

knowing that soon, 
I'll be running upstairs {in the new house} to look out the widow
at the sunset
every time a kids says, 
"Mom - sky!"

~

date night

~

the string of LED lights in the bathroom
and the Christmas lights in the doorway
between the living and dining rooms.

I like twinkle lights, what can I say?

~

Tyler and the kids playing games.

~

My man

~

flowers in the window sill,
and in the bathroom

~

FB messages from a dear friend
who gets me.

~

a good night's sleep