Thursday, June 30, 2011

Domesticated {wife}

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With all the things I create, sew, quilt, make... etc, it's quite ironic that the other domestic things like cooking, cleaning, decorating, etc are scattered at best.  Now it's not that I don't have these things within me but after a lot of introspection lately, I've found fear to be the main culprit that has been blocking my inner Martha.

I know how to cook.  I don't burn things and I follow recipes well.  I know how to clean and organize tasks into days of the week; but it's never had much consistency.  So what happened? 

If you don't care, just scroll down a little to the pretty pictures...

Long story short, in my first marriage my now ex-husband and I purchased a house.  I lived there about 6 months.  In those 6 months I worked hard to make it into the "perfect" home; one he would want to live in.  And then I lost it all when it became clear that I was the other woman in my own marriage.  I was pregnant too.  I drove away with a car full of clothes and a few other things.  My dogs, my things, most of my furniture, they were all left behind.... so was my dream of a home and the work I had put into it that didn't seem to be perfect or even close to good enough.  I had failed.

I have now been married to Steve for 5 years and what we have is awesome.  It's been an amazing 5 years!  We are stable and secure.  All the old fears in marriage are far behind me.  The one fear remaining was my own and while irrational, it was also very real to me.  The little things like cooking, cleaning, even grocery shopping were painful reminders of the devastation in my past.

Several weeks ago I became enamored with vintage Pyrex.  Steve gave me some good natured grief but the comment that he made of, "but you don't cook" really resonated with me.  In large part, he was right.  That started me thinking and gave the the encouragement to deal with the one lingering fear from my past marriage.

Two weeks ago I decided that it would be fun to go to the farmer's market.  I cooked and baked with the fruits and vegetables we purchased.  This past weekend I made a blackberry cobbler and banana blueberry muffins for an easy breakfast during the week.  Sunday night Steve and I made lunches to take to work.  Monday night we cooked again.  Last night Steve grilled and I made a peach cobbler when I got home from work... you get the idea.

I'm cooking again and I'm loving it.  I have missed it so much!  Steve is a wonderful cook and I love cooking alongside him.  I'm happy with myself and I think Steve and Chaney are pretty pleased too.  I'm no longer a feral wife; I'm domesticated! ;)

Where the heck is the quilting and fabric in this post??

I know, I know.  I hear you thinking that... me too.  If you've made it this far, thanks for bearing with me!

With all the cooking, baking, and grilling going on we are doing a lot of dishes.  We have a dishwasher but it's a little on the small side.  Plus, it's not recommended to put vintage Pyrex in the dishwasher so I really needed something for the extra dishes to hang out on.


Enter Lizzy Dish and Tufted Tweets {two of my all time favorites} 

After dinner, I headed up to my sewing room with an old hand towel.  I cut it down a bit and made this quilted mat.  Our kitchen has a lot of red accents in it so the chairs are perfect.  And seriously, what could be more perfect for dishes than fabric with dishes?!


I brought it back downstairs and while we were eating dessert, Steve noticed it and I asked him if he knew what it was... I'm always worried about making something and people not knowing what it is! 

He replied, "a dish rug".  Well played, dear.


I guess he was listening to my babbling about mug rugs after all!  He's a keeper and not just because he knows quilting terminology.  He is also infinitely patient and has taught me so much about unconditional love because there is no perfect. 

And really, if we were all perfect we wouldn't need unconditional love which to me, is the best kind there is...

Thanks for following along today.  I know I got a little wordy but I'm pretty excited about all this and wanted to put it into words.  As a reward for sticking with me, I wrote a little tutorial for this dish rug that I'll share tomorrow!
 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wednesday Words {mommy bloggers}

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she also reads books to really cute babies...

Does your kid read your blog?  Does your seven year old read your blog??  Mine does.

On the way to VBS last week, I overheard this conversation between Chaney and her friend.  Now, the tone wasn't snotty in a one-upping kind of way.  It was more just excitement over their moms because well, we are still cool to them.

Chaney:  Did you know that my mom has a blog?

Friend:  Oh, my mom has a blog too!

Chaney:  My mom sews quilts and she's That Girl!

Friend:  My mom has Fashion Friday on her blog!

Chaney:  My mom has an app for her blog!!

SILENCE

Me:  Actually Chaney, I don't have an app for my blog... {however cool, I couldn't let that one slide}

Chaney:  But I read your blog on your iPhone...

Me:  Well, you're reading it through the internet on the phone

Chaney:  Oh.  Well it's still cool!

Friend:  That is cool!

I'm saving this post for five years down the road when Chaney doesn't think I'm so cool.  But in the mean time, I better put Steve to work on that app becuase I'm going to need all the coolness I can get.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

{Pretties}

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I love these little hairpins.  I wear one almost every day to keep my hair out of my face, especially in the summer.

I bought my first set of three for $15.00.  And then I lost them.  I contemplated buying another set but then it dawned on me that I'm pretty crafty.


That's when I went on Etsy and found Zardenia.  She has tons of little flowers and such... plus she sells the pins in little DIY kits.  She ships super fast and was sweet enough to include an extra pin because this girl ordered seven flowers and only six pins.


I made seven clips last night while watching The Bachelorette... why oh why can they not kiss with their mouths closed every once in awhile?  And why does she have to cry so much??  I digress...


I used a little dab of this glue that I bought at Joann's.  It supposedly takes a full 24 hours for the glue to completely set but I'm still wearing one of the blue butterfly clips this morning.  Let's hope that I'm not permanently wearing this pin because it becomes glued to my head!  But just in case it does, I chose my favorite pin... it's all about choices, you know.

So, it cost me $11.75 for the pin supplies from Zardenia + $3.50 for the glue + $1.05 for the impulse gum purchase at Joann's + 15 minutes of time.  Plus I multi tasked while watching ridiculous TV so I really didn't loose those minutes of my life... not a bad crafty outcome!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Go, Fetch! Quilt

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Have you ever been to a couples baby shower?  If not, I highly recommend it.  They had beer.  And the guys were there... which always makes things more fun.

Fun like when your quilt is unwrapped and your husband lets everyone one know that the unofficial name of the quilt is Balls to the Wall.  Awesome. ;)

But considering that half the room was made up of aviation people that work with Steve and balls to the wall actually originates from an aviation term, it was all good.  And the absolute best part... mom and dad-to-be loved the quilt. :)


The details of the quilt... it measures 48" x 48".  I free motioned quilted it with a meandering pattern; I really like quilting baby quilts like this because I feel like the quilting will hold up well to lots of washings.

The fabrics are Laurie Wisbrun's line, Pooches & Pickups purchased from Fat Quarter Shop.  This has got to be one of my all time favorite lines for a boy!  And the woodgrain fabric... I honestly cannot remember who made it or where I purchased it {a sure sign that I might have too much fabric!}


I bound it with the blue and green dots from Denyse Schmidt's new line and backed it with a really fun vintage linen.  I also did the binding completely by machine because I feel like it makes the quilt very durable.


The official name is Go, Fetch!  But BTTW will always hold a special place in my heart...

And in other good news, this is the first quilt I've finished in quite some time and I think I just might have my quilting mojo back. :)   I have lots to start crossing off my list and I am so thankful that I'm finally feeling up to it!


Friday, June 24, 2011

Name {inspiration}

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While making a quilt do you ever have a name for the quilt rolling around in your head?  I do.  Sometimes it's a great name and other times, well... 

This quilt is a gift for a baby boy and the shower is tomorrow.  I don't want to show it until it's been given but the blocks are traditional snowball blocks.  I have always wanted to make a snowball quilt and thought it would be an adorable idea for a boy.


The fabrics are a wood grain {love it!} and Pooches & Pickups by Laurie Wisbrun.  I purchased all the fabric from one of my favorite online stores, Fat Quarter Shop...

So what name is going through my head as I'm sewing? 

Balls to the Wall

I work in a male dominated industry and that is a very common phrase thrown around.  So I will blame that title on my work environment, not my mind. ;)


Fortunately in the middle of the night I finally used the dogs in the fabric as inspiration and came up with the hopeful name: Go, Fetch! 

How does that sound?  Any other suggestions??

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

When it rains...

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...it pours.  And hails.  And is really, really windy.

I have lived in Texas my entire life so I know that our weather can be crazy. But I've never seen hail drifts until yesterday morning! In 95+ degree heat, they still hadn't completely melted at 5 pm yesterday.

what's left of some iris
We had a huge storm blow through early yesterday morning.  70 mph straight line winds and golf ball sized hail are not a good combination.  When the hail started Steve ran to get Chaney.  We brought her into our room and we sat on our bed listening.  And it got louder and louder so we ran to the laundry room.  And we listened some more.  We heard our bedroom window break and then another window break... not a good sound at 2:30 am. 

It finally stopped and it was just raining.  And here's where I want to say that I love the neighborhood that we live in and the people that are our neighbors.  Everyone helped each other out... it didn't matter that it was 3 am and still raining.  Good neighbors are harder to find these days and I'm very grateful that we have great ones.

my roses were here
The window in my studio broke and just when we think we've picked up all the glass, more shows up.  I think I'll be sewing with shoes on for awhile!  Fortunately the only thing in front of that window was my ironing board and it only had a few fabric piles on it.  Can you claim fabric on your insurance claim??  *totally kidding*

polka dot fences are all the rage this season
Our fence is still standing, probably because is it tied into the neighbor's fences.  Our roof is torn up in spots and you can actually see daylight in the attic.  Crazy.  So many of our trees and plants were shredded which makes me sad because we've worked so hard on our yard but it will all grow back... and we won't have to prune anything for awhile!  I think the thing that was the most upsetting were the poor birds that we found. :(

But with all that being said, we are fine and I am so very thankful for that... and ya'll are welcome to remind me of that when I'm so frustrated and tired of dealing with our insurance company and adjusters!


Monday, June 20, 2011

Fruit & Pyrex

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image from Apartment Therapy
I've started picking up a few Pyrex pieces here and there.  I love all the colors!  For me, it's not as much about having a matching set as it is about having colorful and useful pieces.

Steve gave me a bit of grief over "collecting" something.  I promised that these pieces would be useful and today I would like to share the proof. ;)


Peaches...


Blueberries...  Later turned into blueberry pancakes for Steve's Father's Day breakfast...

We went to our local farmer's market on Saturday and oh my, we came home with some great stuff.  Blackberries... new potatoes... peaches... blueberries... and my favorite yellow squash.

I made squash casserole yesterday from this Paula Deen recipe and it was a-mazing!  Guess what I'm having for lunch today...??

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What to do...

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...with a new piece of embroidery? {please ignore the wrinkles!}

Have I mentioned how much I love embroidery??  It's true.  And I especially love Jenny Hart's designs.  They are a little on the edgy side... no bunny rabbits or teddy bears here!

But what should I do with it once it's finished?  I know there's always framing it in a hoop but I'm looking for some other creative ways to show off my stitches.

The fabric is a 16"x16" piece of Kona snow and I would love your suggestions.  What would you do??

Monday, June 13, 2011

What a Weekend!

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We did some 1/2 birthday partying...


some swimming...


some decorating...


some cake eating...


some gardening...


and oh my... our Dallas Mavericks won the NBA championship!  I have been a fan since I was younger than Chaney so of course I'm super excited.  We let Chaney stay up to watch the game and I promised her that if they won we would hop in the car and drive to the closest sporting goods store to get championship t-shirts.

It was a good weekend.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Blog Banner {tutorial}

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So I'm pretty proud of myself.  Do you see that shiny, happy banner up above? 

I have wanted a banner with multiple pictures for a long time and I finally took the time to figure it out.  I even wrote the steps down so I could share them with you!  I'm sure there's a fancy way to do this in Photoshop but I don't have that program and I probably couldn't figure it out if I did. ;)

1.  First, go to BigHugeLabs to make your photo mosaic.

2.  Change the columns to 4 and the rows to 1 if you want a layout like mine.  Leave all the other settings the way they are.

3.  Scroll down to where you can enter the URL's of your pictures.  I chose all of mine from Flickr.

4.  Go to Flickr and click on the first individual picture you want in your banner.  Copy and paste the entire link into the space provided on the BigHugeLabs site.  Repeat for the 2nd and 3rd pictures.

5.  If you want a blank space to write in like I did, leave the 4th URL space empty.

6.  Click create and you are almost done with the first part of your banner!

7.  Your banner will be shown and if you like it, click the save button above the picture and save it to your computer. 

If you don't want any writing on your banner you could be finished now... if you are, resize your image on your computer, skip the Flickr steps, and pick up at step 12 to upload your banner to your blog.

8.  Next, go to Flickr and upload your new banner to your Flickr account.  Open the picture in Picnik {Flickr's photo editor}.

9.  Add text... add a frame... etc.

10.  Now it's time to resize your banner.  Most blogger headers measure approximately 940 across {you might have to play with this a little}.  In Picnik, click on Resize and change your first dimension to 940

Important: make sure the keep proportions box is checked so that your images don't end up all stretched and weird.  Save the image and you will automatically be directed back to Flickr.

11.  Click view all sizes and choose the large image which is the original dimensions you saved when you resized the banner in Picnik.  Save this image to your computer and we are almost done!

12.  Log into Blogger and click design.  Click edit in the box where your banner goes.

13.  Remove the current image and choose browse your computer to open your new banner.  Let it load into the box and click save.  You will be taken back to the design page and from there you can go back to your blog and admire your work!

If you have any questions just let me know.  I'm not very tech-savvy but I'll do my best to help. :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Thrifting {Love}

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Have you ever felt like you got a steal of a deal when you went to a thrift store?  I don't have consistent great thrifting finds but when I do, they are typically great scores.

Awhile back I was jumping up and down on Facebook about finding this Amy Butler Love fabric that had been made into a XL twin sheet set.  It was brand new... doesn't even look like it's been washed.  I guess the recipient didn't care for handmade because the fitted sheet, flat sheet and two pillowcases ended up in the thrift shop.  This print also happens to be my favorite print from her Love line. :)

I pulled it out of the bag this weekend and by my best calculations, it's close to 10 yards of fabric.  I paid $12 for all of it.  Fortunately Unfortunately, we don't have an XL twin bed so I guess I'm going to have to turn the sheets back into yardage.  I am going to make one of the pillowcases into a dress for Chaney because whoever made the pillowcases did an adorable job of making them.

What has been your best thrifting find?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Hopscotch Pips!

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Remember the Sherbet Pips outtakes from a few months ago?  Well, I can finally show the entire quilt!

The quilt and the tutorial are posted over at the Moda Bakeshop today. 

Remember that dream you used to have about showing up to your first day of jr. high but you forgot to put your clothes on?  Yeah... I basically had that dream last night except it was my quilt tutorial with crickets chirping in the background.  How goofy is that? 

So if you get a chance, head on over and take a look.  I'd love you for it!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Turning Points

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These simple invitations are some of the best proof that I'm finally feeling better.  What I hoped would only be a few weeks turned into nearly a month of hoping, praying, willing, begging... to feel better.  Depression is so much more than just feeling down in the dumps and sometimes it takes some hard work to dig out of it and stay out of it.   

I don't mean to paint a rosy picture of I felt bad and now I feel better because there is a lot that goes into it but some things are better left unspoken.  But what I'm trying to get at is if you are reading this today and you know what I mean please know that there is lots of help out there, sometimes we just have to get out of our head and ask for it.


Even a week ago the thought of making these invitations felt overwhelming.  But Tuesday night Steve and I stayed up late making them and had a blast.  We are feeling quite proud of our creativity. :)  And I'm now really excited to plan her pool party with a "1/2" theme.  Half hot dogs... half hamburgers... orange & apple slices... you get the idea.  So much fun!


Last night we had our end of the season softball party.  I organized it and I actually wanted to go.  Again, even a week ago it felt like an enormous undertaking full of anxiety.  But last night was relaxed and it was fun to hang out with the girls and their parents without having to call out "softball ready, girls!" 100 times.  We got second place and it was a great season.  I didn't even have that parent... you know what I'm talking about if you have ever coached youth sports. ;)

I have hardly stepped in my studio in the past month but I did some quilting over the weekend.  I hope to have some things to show soon.

I know I've said it but thank you all again for your comments, emails, prayers and support.  They have meant the world to me.  Depression is never easy but I'm glad that I have this outlet to share not only the hobby that I love but also a place to just be me.

Today is our last day of school and I am so excited!  Happy summer to ya'll!

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