Thursday, April 12, 2018

this and that, on another Thursday




Having a space set up to sew
has been so good for me.

the view sure doesn't hurt anything, either!

I didn't realize quite how badly
I needed one
until I had it,
and found I could breathe again.

~


I've been keeping up with the BOtheD,
and am slowly amassing a fun little forest
of Christmas trees.


I also finished a major hand-quilting project
and just yesterday
I started on the machine quilting.


About an hour or so later,
I started on the seam ripping, too.
(my straight stitching wasn't terribly straight....)

and so it goes...

~

Even though I am no longer
 in a constant state of stress,
I feel like I am just really floundering.
At pretty much everything.

I am a day late,
when I think I am a day early.

sigh.

I did manage to get the taxes filed
before the very last 
last minute, though.

I guess that's something.

~

photo by Lex'

Lily turned 11 a few weeks ago
and we had an 'invite friends over' party
for the first time in about 15 years.


I admit I wasn't keen on the idea when she asked.
I mean, really?!
We are in the middle of moving
and we are still building the dang house!


She did all of the planning
(because she wanted to)
and most of the making,

here, they are making a helicopter rental hut at Jungle Air.
Tyler and Jeremiah cut a maze through our field that never got mowed a single time last year
so the grass and brush was about 5 ft tall. They hid some little dollar store treasures here and
there in the maze (whistle, compass ring, helicopter things, etc) so it would be more fun.

and it turned out to be a fun little party for everyone.


She invited home schooled friends so we could party
during the afternoon
and not have to take up and evening
or a work day.


~

Speaking of giving up a work day,
I just found out that there is a quilt show up in NWA
tomorrow and Saturday!
I was about to decide
 that I really don't have time to go;
we've had several obligations on Saturdays recently
(and have more in the coming weeks)
which really cuts into house progress.

office/music room is now finished except for window and top of doorway trim ~ woohoo

Then I thought about how much I enjoy going
(going last year with a friend was especially fun!)
and decided that the benefit of going
would probably outweigh 
whatever work I'd manage to accomplish
by staying home.
So - I'm going!

~

We went from snow flurries on Saturday
to temperatures in the high 70s yesterday.


Crazy Arkansas weather!

I am loving watching everything green up
before my eyes!

~

I am also loving having a truly functioning kitchen
right in my house!

Having space to work is a gift.
As is having plenty of light!
Ah - light is so lovely!!
And oh my goodness,
having a dishwasher!!

There is still plenty of work to be done
before the kitchen is finished,
but even unfinished
it
(and the whole house)
is sooo much better than the old house.

~

Last week,
the kids and I boxed up a bunch of books
for storage
since it'll still be several months 
before we have somewhere to put them.

They found so many books they wanted to read
that they packed a box to bring in the house
for reading now.
It was as if we went to the public library -
silent house and kids lying about
reading.

~

I have done a little reading myself,
mostly on the Kindle,
when my body isn't up to working.

Interestingly - 
I can finish a book
and not know the name of it!

That would never happen with a physical book!


One book I thoroughly enjoyed
(and do know the name of)
by Natalie Fergie.


At $2.99
that's kinda pricey for an e-book for me,
so I got the free trial
(or something like that)
and before I'd even finished it,
I knew I'd be forking over the three bucks.

It had a bit of a 
Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
feel to it
and it was another book that I didn't want to end.

~

I discovered (quite by accident)
that there is a fabric line
appropriately called
Guernsey
that was inspired by  the book!

Needless to say,
I want it.


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

BOD, Inside Out



I'm not sure if that's a thing or not.
I may have made it up....

But,
In the quilting world
BOM
stands for block of the month,
so I figure BOD
should be block of the day.


Yesterday morning,
worn out from a very long week of going 
and doing
and being around loads of people,
I gave myself permission to chill.

I was just about finished with my coffee
when I read Amanda Jean's Friday post.

I told myself I could click on one link, 
and then I needed to get moving.
(A day off for a momma isn't really a day OFF,
so much as a day of less...)

Well.
That one link I clicked on 

Turns out,
the '30 blocks'
was a quilt a long!

30 (super easy) blocks 
in 30 days.

I thought,

I can do this!

I'm going to do this!!

I dug around in my tub of vintage sheets
and found one to use for a backing
and then I went to the old house
and pulled 30 fabrics to go with it.
I found a piece of another vintage sheet
to use as my background
(sorta - more on that in a minute)
And the perfect fabric for binding
(California Dreamin' ~squeal~)


I have never been so giddy with a fabric pull before!

Okay;
maybe I have.
But I was pretty happy!

I laid it on the floor to take a picture
then set it on the tv cabinet thing
and every time I passed it,
I smiled.
Oh, this was going to be fun.


I was a little worried about how much background fabric 
I had
(or rather, didn't have)
so I did some basic math,
calculating how many square inches I had
and how many were listed in the fabric requirements.

Turns out I was right.
I didn't have enough.

But I did have enough square inches 
of the background polka dots
to use as the main fabric
if I were doing a 2 fabric quilt,
so I decided I'd make my blocks
inside out.


I cleared a path
and a 3x5 ft space in the library,
and swept the floor.

I brought in our folding camp table
and wiped if off.

I found a chicken work light in the attic
and hung it 
from the hinge of an uninstalled door.

Josiah helped me bring over my machine
and cutting tools,
the daylight lamp,
the little TV tray pressing board,
and my tiny iron.

I excitedly set my fabric stack
next to the newly assigned 'ruler bin'.


I thought about 
how I had planned to sew with leaders and enders
this year
and ran back over to the house to get the box of fabric
I'd set aside for my first L&E project
and set it on the table next the the lamp.

I grabbed a piece of leftover carpet pad
just the right size for standing on while I press and cut
and dropped it on the (sub)floor.

And then 
I cooked dinner.

Real life, People.

After everyone went to bed,
I cut fabric.

And when I got up this morning,
I sewed!
For the first time in over 9 weeks.
😊😊😊


It's not going to be a masterpiece,
but it'll sure be fun!



(I got a little carried away
sewing my leaders/enders
and sewed up all that I'd cut.
So I cut 5 more blocks worth.
And then I sewed those up too)


sewing again


Besides helping Lexi a tiny bit
with the bag she made a few weeks ago
(that I haven't posted about yet.
except in passing)
and some hand-quilting that I squeeze in
here and there
as I can,
I haven't sewn since the morning of January 26th
when I finished up Ribbon Star.

When we first moved into the new house
(early February)
I figured that I'd just sew in the other house
until we got the LEM moved
and I had my own space.

It quickly became apparent that 
that wasn't going to happen.

Firstly,
I was even busier than I'd been.

Turns out building and moving
along with the rest of life,
is even more time consuming 
than building and life.

But also,
without us living in the house
and opening the door 
fifty zillion times a day,
(letting in fresh air, along with the bugs)
it got stale and nasty really quickly
(nastier - it was already plenty nasty)

Add to that, 
it was,
of course,
cold,
and well - 
I had zero desire to spend any more time
than absolutely necessary in that house any more!

I also had no desire to go trashing 
the new house
with my sewing explosions,
so I had already decided that until I had a sewing room,
the only sewing I would do over here
would be by hand.


I love hand - quilting.
Y'all know that.

But the thing about hand quilting is
it's slow
my hands are still giving me grief,
and it doesn't always feel creative.

I'd started announcing
 how many weeks it's been since I've sewed.

I might have even gotten whiny about it.
It's hard to say...

This past weekend,
Tyler said,
"I've been thinking.
You can set up a sewing space in the library."
(The library is unfinished, 
and half of it isn't even built yet
because we can't add the other half of it
until we get the LEM moved into position.

It's also where we keep most of our smaller tools,
the rest of the flooring,
the window casing wood,
doors that have yet to be installed...)

I started to tell him why that wasn't a good idea

when I realized
there really was no reason why that wouldn't work.

Sure - I wouldn't be able to have all of my stuff,
and certainly not all of my fabric,
but I could have a table with a sewing machine on it!

So,
now,
I sew in the library.
😊



Thanks, Love!

Friday, March 30, 2018

creamy jalapeno bacon biscuit bombs



I tried these Sunday evening for our snacky dinner 
and they were a big hit
so I figured I'd type up how I made them,
so I can make them again,
and you can make 'em, too,
if you're so inclined.

I'll try them at some point 
with my favorite low carb bun recipe
 and share the verdict,
but right now,
life is calling for canned biscuits.

I'm not thrilled with that,
but I am well acquainted with my limits,
and let me tell you,
I'm pushing them.

Canned biscuits it is.

And that's okay.


Mix together
8 oz softened cream cheese
about 1/3 - 1/2 cup bacon bits
about 1/4 - 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
2 small-med or 1 large jalapeno, diced small

After it's all mixed,
sorta smooth out the cream mixture
and cut it into eighths.

Pop open your favorite brand of flaky biscuits,
the kind with 8 large biscuits per can.

Smash a biscuit between the palm of one hand
and heel of the other
until your biscuit is about 4-5 inches across

spread 1/8 of your cream cheesy goodness
in the center of your biscuit pancake
and fold the biscuit up around the cream cheese,
pinching it to form a seal
and place on baking sheet
(lined with parchment if you've got some)

Repeat 7 times

Bake in a 350 degree oven about 15 minutes
then sprinkle with grated cheddar
and bake another 10-15 or so minutes more,
'til the biscuits and cheese are golden.

Cool 10 minutes or so before eating
(Honestly, I have no clue if you need to do this.
That's about how long they sat 
while I finished up the rest of the food
and they were scrumptious.
They might be equally delicious piping hot...
I dunno...)

If you happen to have any leftover,
warm it/them up under the broiler
(but not too close)
for about 4 minutes.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

big things are happening


It's been kind of a big week here,
with plenty more goodness
(3 birthday parties, a wedding, and of course, Easter!)
still to come in the next few days.

I've been so bad about documenting life , 
that I figured I better pop in and record these 2 3 biggies
lest they fall off my radar
and never end up on the blog.

The biggest bit of news 
is that
Brandon started an engineering internship 
yesterday!!


He is going to continue working 
his tutoring job at the University
through the end of next week,
so his days will be extra extra full.


The other item of great impotance
is
Lexi got to meet quilting guru
Angela Walters!


Angela does The Midnight Quilt Show,
which Lexi just loves.
She's always asking me if there are any new episodes
(incidentally - there is a new one right now
that we haven't had time to watch yet)
and peppers quilting conversations with
'Angela says this or AngelaWalters 
(she says it as if it's one word)
says that'-
and knows Angela's go to quilting thread color.


So, when I learned that Angela Walters
was coming to town,
I figured I best take the girl to see her.


See her, indeed!
Angela was sooo sweet to Lexi. 
talking with her,
encouraging her,
and oohing and aahing over her quilt 
and bag that she made for the occasion
(that she also shared Show and Tell style
in front of a room of over 100 quilters!)


Angela even let her help unpack 
and re-pack her quilts
and Lex' loved being able to see
up close
some of the quilts she's watched Angela make
on the Midnight Quilt Show.

It was a special evening
and I got about a dozen "Thanks, Mom"s


Oh, and another big bit o' news!!
Brandon just (literally - just a minute ago!)
received notification that he has
been named
the Mechanical Engineering Sophomore of the Year.


Awesome, Bud!!
We are so proud of your diligence and persistence!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

let's get organized, organized, I want to get organized


(you sang that, right?!)

~

Right about the time we started moving 
stuff
over to the new house,
Tyler said,
"Now you get to focus on your second hobby!"

"Second hobby?" I asked.

"Yeah.

Organizing."


I hadn't really considered organization a hobby,
and
I don't necessarily enjoy  the process,
but I do like things organized...


Because I also like things even
and I knew I wanted a stack of drawers,
I designed 3 32 inch 'sections'
in the 8 ft run of cabinets along the wall in the kitchen.
Which meant I ended up with rather large drawers.

Standard purchased drawer organizers
were out of the question.
They'd be pricey for one thing,
but also too small.
Plus - 
(and perhaps even more important)
what is with drawer organizers being 1 1/2 - 2 inches tall??


What about the other 1 1/2 - 2 inches??
What a waste!


So Tyler and I headed to Lowe's
to figure out what we could use to make our own.

After spending a rather ridiculous amount of time
looking at various options
that didn't seem right,
but almost settling on some of them,
Tyler leaned over into my face
and with Italian hands
asked,
"What do you want?"


What I really wanted was dimensional lumber,
not plywood
(though I was okay with it
 if that was the most affordable option)
but the thinnest dimensional lumber
was nicer than we needed,
still 1/2 inch thick,
and cost more than I wanted to spend.

We considered buying 1x4s and planing them
to about 3/8 of an inch
but that seemed awfully wasteful.
And it was still a more expensive option
than I was wanting.


We were about to just get plywood,
when we split up 
and walked around the lumber area one more time.

I remembered reading about using cheap boards for planking a ceiling
on a remodeling blog a few years ago,
and thought I'd try to find that stuff.


I did find it
(or something like it)
and wouldn't you know it,
(once we ran them through the table saw
and cut off the tongue and groove portions)
they'd be the perfect height,
and they were already 1/3 of an inch thick.


Even better,
there were six 8 ft boards in a package
for $10.97!


I put a piece of kraft paper in what was to be 
the silverware drawer
and marked where(ish)
I wanted the dividers to go.


Over the course of a few evenings,
pieces of my new organization system
just showed up in the drawer
(thanks, Love)
and Friday night, it was finished!!


Isn't it fabulous?!



We only used 1/2 a pack,
so (not including labor 😉)
this custom drawer organizer only cost $5.50.

Everything can stay neat and tidy,
and no losing the top 2 inches of the drawer.
😊


Now all I need to do,
is move the paper to another drawer,
and draw new markings.... ;-)


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

the heart of the home


Friday the 9th was a big day,
and the day that followed
was pretty much a game-changer
for life as we know it.


The 9th,
was Countertop Day!




And 
Drop in the Sink Day.


And that all went so great,
it quickly turned into
 Add the Exhaust Vent Day.






And
Hook up the Stove 
Day.




After that,
there was no stopping my man.

Saturday,
he added the faucet,


sink plumbing,
and installed the dishwasher.


Suddenly,
we had a working kitchen!
We didn't have to cook and eat in the old house
any more!!!


We went out to eat to celebrate 
😊

The kids and I keep sorting through and bringing things over
and I hurry up take forever
to find *just* the right spot
for everything.

As the cabinets filled up,
 knobs and pulls
rose to the top of the to-do list,
so we tackled that a few days ago.



Slowly but surely,
things are getting done,
and this place is becoming more and more
home.