Saturday, February 20, 2016


He didn't get the one he was hoping for
- the engineering scholarship that came with a computer,
and $1,500 more per year -
but Brandon did get a scholarship for UAFS.
(Academic Distinction)

the one that he earned
required a higher ACT score and gpa 
than the more prestigious scholarships,
even though he gets less money,
and the requirements for keeping it 
are more stringent.

All through this process we've prayed that he would get the scholarship that was best for him.
So we have to trust that even though it stings a little,
this is best.

I'm really glad 
that 'the best one for him'
wasn't the leadership scholarship.
That one required him to live on campus.
And this momma isn't ready for that!

I love you, Bud!
And I am so proud of the young man you are!!

Friday, February 19, 2016

weird much?!!

I realized it as I was stirring the collagen hydrolysate
and erythritol/xylitol/stevia
into my warmed in the microwave for exactly 17 seconds
fresh raw cream
from the dairy that we drive 2 hours (one way) to get to.
(I was fixing a cup of coffee)

This was right after I'd finished making another batch of make-up.
(the first one lasted over 15 months!)

Which was right after I'd made deodorant...

I am odd.

It's really a wonder anybody
even remotely
 'gets' me.

gift from abroad

When we walked in the door early yesterday afternoon,
Lily showed me a package.

Seeing it was from Allison,
my heart leaped a little,
and I told her to put it on my bed.

the texture! ahhh

When my fridges were stuffed full of milk and cheese and cream,
(we'd made a dairy run)
I hustled to my room.

I ripped open the package,
eager to see what Allison had made for me.

Then I ran and grabbed my phone
and snapped a quick picture
before opening the package inside the package.

I read the sweet note she included,
before I carefully unfolded the paper
to reveal
one of the loveliest gifts anyone has ever made for me.

I cried.

There are, of course, exceptions,
but most of my in-real-life friends don't really 'get me'.
Or read this here blog.
And they are shocked
that perfect strangers would read it!

And yet, 
one of those 'perfect strangers' 

It made me feel so valuable.

(Which is exactly what I attempt to do
whenever I make (or do) something for someone....)

Tyler reads all of my comments,
and he repeatedly tells me,
"Your quilting ladies get it."

Yes. Yes they do. :-)

You nailed it!! ;-)
You so totally nailed it.
I love it!!!

Even though this isn't my finish,
I'm linking up with Amanda Jean,
so everyone can see just how awesome my friend is :-)

(Just in case you've forgotten,
or never knew,
a few months ago, 
Allison and I decided to swap mini-minis.
and since I wasn't swapping mini minis with anyone else,
she wanted to take my mini mini to the next level, and make it practical)

mini mini quilt, turned into a needle notebook

Friday, February 12, 2016

a heart for Hadley

As soon as I pulled Baby M's quilt out of the dryer
in all of it's squishy crinkly glory
(which was right after 242 last Wednesday night)
I had an overwhelming urge to make my sweet Hadley 
her own squishy quilt.


For Valentine's Day. 

Which was utter foolishness.

When I couldn't get to sleep Wednesday night,
I got up and finished the book I was reading.
(which totally deserves its 5 star rating with 4,235 reviews)

But the idea wouldn't leave me alone,
so I grabbed my little graph paper notebook
and sketched a design
and calculated a cutting list.

I started collecting fabric around 9:30 Thursday morning.
At 10:07
for fun,
I sent a picture of my stack of 54 fabrics to my friend Nancy,
because she just loves pink.
(not! ;-)

there are fabrics in this stack from Kacy's wallet, Any Which Way, Gramma Joyce's Paintbox,  my EPP, and even
Easter Dresses. and of course, a piece of California Dreamin'.  So much love and memories in a little stack of fabric...

I told her my plan
and she told me I was CRAZY :-)
I agreed -
but told her I'd done the math.
I reckoned that if I could make a 42x54 quilt in a week,
I could make a 39" square quilt in 5 days
which would give me time to get it in the mail,
and get it to Hadley by Valentine's.

She figured that sounded reasonable enough,
so she cheered me on :-)
(thank you, sweet friend!)

Even with all of my shopping
I managed to get the fabric cut,
HSTs made,
batting pieced 
(I used a strip of bamboo that was left over from Mom and Bill's quilt)
the quilt laid out
(Lexi helped a ton!)
and the rows pieced and pressed
by the time we sat down to watch Alphas that night.

I pinned rows while watching,
and after I got Tyler tucked in bed
I sewed the rows together
and added the borders.

You can see that there are no borders, though.

I didn't like how they looked, so first thing Friday morning,
I took them off.
(note to self: don't sew borders on with a 1.8 stitch length!)
Which means that the quilt 
ended up being  36x33 instead of a 39" square.

all I managed to do by 3 in the afternoon was finish pressing seams
and get the quilt basted
(I used the wall. Easiest basting job ever!)
I admit that I started telling the kids
I had my own (rather ambitious) project I needed to work on,
and this 
was why I was so hesitant to teach them to use the machine...

(The backing. 
Ya'll, it's delightful!
It's a deliciously silky voile by Lecien. 
I'd ordered a yard from QuiltHome once when it was on an excellent sale.
When it arrived, I loved it so much,
I turned around and bought a few more yards.
I think that's the only time I've done that...)

When it was finally my turn to sew,
I discovered something (again)
that I already knew, 
but wasn't quite bold enough to state as fact.

It's a fact.
My Juki will. not. FMQ quilt with Aurifil in the bobbin.
Or any 50 wt thread.

I really wanted pink on the back,
and I only have gray and white in 60 wt,
so I tried the Janome.
If you've been around here long enough, 
you know that she don't FMQ well anymore either.
(Which is so sad - she did the loveliest free motion quilting,
and gave me a confidence I didn't deserve 
back when I started quilting)

 The Janome was worse than the Juki,
so I went back to the Juki
and swapped out my bobbin for white 60 wt
and she played nice again.
put on my gloves,
and got busy.

By the time I was able to actually start quilting,
I only had an hour 
before we absolutely positively 
had to start picking up the house for Pop to come home.

I free motioned meandering loops and hearts
and when that hour was up,
I was pleasantly surprised to discover 
I was over half done!

We left my machine out,
but cleaned up everything else
(except for the huge pile of gray, blue, and now pink fabrics
that I've got to get put away!)
and as soon as we were done,
I got back to quilting.
In less than an hour,
I was done!

We were celebrating Groundhog Day Friday,
since kids had TKD on Tuesday evening
and there was no time to watch the movie then,
so I put up my machine and got busy on dinner
(pizza. I used a double batch of  bagel dog dough as the crusts)

(The kids were shocked that the mail ran on Tuesday,
what with the  big holiday and all ;-)  Tickled me :-)

this was Tyler's zombie groundhog. 

I'd planned to outline the heart with hand stitching,
but since I took off the border,
I didn't have an entire heart to outline,
so that was no longer an option.
So I decided to hand stitch a little secret message instead :-)

Since I've seen the movie over and over,
I didn't mind missing a little bit of it while I made the binding
(oh - I am so thrilled with how perfectly the binding goes with the back!)
and trimmed the quilt.
(Plus - I could still hear the movie...)

I rejoined the fam in the living room for Phil's 'final' groundhog day,
but as soon as the movie was over,
I went to the dining room and sewed the binding on
while kids got ready for bed.
I quickly pressed the binding towards the back on the front side,
then glue-basted about 1/4 of it down on the back
so I could start sewing it
while the menfolk and I watched an episode of Alphas.

Right before we walked out the door to head to NWA for the shower Saturday,
I finished basting the binding
and was able to sew on it for about an hour during the drive.

I picked it up again after the kids were in bed
and we were sitting down to
(another) episode of Alphas.

When Tyler told me he was moving towards bed,
I looked down to see that I only had about 8 inches of binding left!
So I told him to move slow... 

And then I finished it.
In three freakin' days!!!

I was so, so tickled!

Lexi made the burp cloth and bib, Lily made the elephant, and, yep, Josiah made the bear :-)

I started out Thursday morning
not really sure that
I'd be able to pull it off.
I was so unsure, in fact,
that I didn't even tell Tyler
that I was attempting to make Hadley 
a quilt for Valentine's
until I had the top completely made.

Turns out,
I could have put it in the mail on Monday,
but once the kids knew a package was heading to CA,
well, they wanted to make gifts for Hadley, too,
and I'd told them they had 'til Wed morning to finish them...

Mimi loves you so, so much!!
And I can't wait til you come see me in April :-)
Maybe next year, we can have a tea party
on your quilt...

p.s. your aunts are uncles are pretty crazy about you, too!!
p.p.s. So is Pops!!

linking up with AJ and the finishers

Thursday, February 11, 2016


Hey Look!

I made chapstick!

Took me like, 8 seconds.

I'd been thinking about making chapstick for awhile,
so when Sandy mentioned looking for amazing chapstick not long ago,
it was the final push.

I knew her favorite (so far) was Chicken Poop,
so I looked up the ingredients.
Then I asked her what it was about it that she liked so much.
Her answer wasn't overly helpful,
so I decided I would just do the best I could
to recreate it exactly.

Without ever having tried it.
(and zero experience making chapstick...)

I have also found a favorite chapstick,
and I wanted to recreate mine, too.

Hers has avocado oil as the main ingredient,
mine has sunflower oil.
So I ordered both.

Yes. I ordered $20 worth of oil
so I could save money making my own chapstick.
(I have problems.)

Since this is the testing phase
I only made tiny batches.
(I used this formula. mostly.)
I'm not sure yet how I did on Sandy's
(I actually don't think I came very close - according to the ingredient list,
it has more essential oils than beeswax. And I just don't see how that's possible!)
but I think I did pretty good replicating mine.
 (besides the flavor, which I didn't even try to reproduce,
but is so yummy, I need to...) 
Tyler actually thinks
my version
is better than the one I was attempting to copy :-)
so - yay!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

little no name

They were all good, but none were just right.

So you know what?
I didn't name the quilt.
I figured, 
since the baby does not yet have a name either,
it was totally acceptable ;-)

Let's see,
not a whole lot more to say about this one....

woah!! bright light, and an idiot behind the lens....

Ya'll already know I pieced it super fast,
and was pretty speedy with the quilting and binding, too.

Turns out, when a quilt is 1/4 the size of your last quilt,
and it's simple patchwork,
everything is easier / faster.

I used bamboo batting again;
it's so much nicer than Warm and White for adding hand-quilting,
but it has a similar weight and feel.
The antimicrobial properties are just a nice bonus :-)

As you can see, I machine quilted diagonally across all squares, 
except for 2 in each direction,
which were hand quilted with navy perle cotton.

I'd looked at etsy for the thread, 
thinking if I bought it from a seller I knew was a speedy shipper,
I'd be more likely to get it in time,
but I didn't find a color that looked just right.
I did find a set of several blues
and thought perhaps one of them might work,
but I wasn't real keen on spending $20 for such a risky chance.
Which meant I'd need to buy local.
I figured I'd have to settle on using regular embroidery floss (ugh -tangles!)
or maybe I'd find some cotton crochet thread that would work, 
but it turns out,
there was one spool of navy perle cotton, size 8
at Joann's!
(which isn't 'local', but it was my turn with Gramma, 
so the boys and I popped in to the Roger's store while we up there)

It was quite pricey, so it's not something I'd use often,
but I really wanted something soft
with elephants
(that I'd get quickly!)
and this fit the bill perfectly.

Since my backing didn't exactly match my quilt top
(a first for me!)
I had a little bit of trouble settling on a binding.
I decided on a solid gray
and added just a little pop of print.

After a quick wash (gentle cycle, warm water)
and a thorough tumble in the dryer (med heat)
it crinkled scrumptiously.

Now all we need is the baby :-)
(but he needs to cook a bit longer. No rush job there...)

(if you missed the (coordinating) gifts the kids made, go here to take a look. 
Pretty amazing stuff, I think)

We sure love you, precious little un-named baby boy!

linking up with crazy Amanda