Monday, November 30, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
~my job. My company has laid off a few people and fortunately Hubby and I have managed to keep our jobs. Other companies in the same industry have either gone under or laid off a significant portion of their staff.
~almost being done grad school. Only 4 classes to go! Yay!
~my family. I have such an amazing family that has been incredibly supportive through all the phases of my life, from high school, to college, to marriage, to grad school. The get-togethers aren't as frequent as they were when I was younger which is why the holidays are my favorite time of year. I can't wait to see everyone!
~ and finally Maggie. Yes I am thankful for a crazy, rambunctious puppy! She is a great companion to Paige and is literally a 50 pound, cuddly, lap dog. I'm glad we were able to save her from the shelter system.
So what are you thankful for this year?
Friday, November 20, 2009
Speaking in front of a group of people is nerve wracking no matter what the topic of your presentation. I could have given a presentation on sewing or baking and have felt the same way as I did last night presenting a technical talk. I think the more familiar you are with your presentation the better you will do...but let's admit it. That only goes so far.
Each time I have a presentation, the anxiety I experience is a little less. Public speaking is something I would love to do more of (honestly) because I want, no NEED to be good at it.
I also hate having a set time. Saying my presentation has be exactly 8, 12, or 22 minutes, no more and no less, doesn't make me any less anxious. I'd be more comfortable with a range of say 10-12 minutes. Each time I practiced my presentation it was 17-20 minutes...way too long. I almost considered deleting some slides. Good thing I left it alone because I think I was just a bit under...I was able to catch myself a few times, take a breath, and continue much slower. I almost wish someone had recorded the presentations so we could see how nervous we all were.
I have no tips, but if you do, feel free to comment and help a girl out!
Now that that's over ::::sigh of relief:::::, I can look forward to the upcoming holiday and hopefully some much needed sewing time!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Hubby preordered the game from a popular gaming store and we picked it up during lunch. I was lucky enough to not have to go to the midnight release. When we got home from work, Hubby tore into the packaging. Watching Hubby, I experienced a weird feeling and then all of a sudden it hit me....
I was instantly reminded of the leg lamp. If you are not familiar with the leg lamp....well you're missing out. It is from my favorite Christmas movie ever, A Christmas Story. It's actually played for 24 hours straight on TBS on Christmas day. Watching Hubby open this "gift" was like watching the Old Man - Mr. Parker open the leg lamp. The light in his eyes and the pure happiness was a sight to see....Ok so the gift:
The game comes with night vision goggles and a numbered display head. Yes, for real! Functioning night vision goggles that have nothing to do with the game and a nifty artwork book! As for the actual game play, I don't know as I haven't had the privelege of playing yet.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
The prize is for a Fat Quarter Bundle of Red Rooster's Pumpkins & Spice Fabrics by Whimsicals. If there are more than 250 entries, Pumpkin Patch will sweeten the pot and giveaway TWO fat quarter bundles.
Go check it out and enter today (open until October 31st)!
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Here are a few of the projects I've started in the past
This is the first quilt I started. I have no idea why I chose something so large and intricate. I *thought* I really loved piecing!
I found this quilt pattern in a Women's Day magazine a long time ago. I had to make it. I still love it. Occassionally I'll work on it, but lately not so much.
This one is from the ORB Quilt Along round 1. I got busy with school and never cared for the colors, so this one was easy to put down. I'm thinking about making two smaller quilts out of it, rather than one large quilt. The blocks are completed, I just need to sew the top.
Part of the reason I put down ORB Quilt 1 is because ORB round 2 was starting. I didn't want to get left behind and zig zagging sounded like so much fun. I'm proud of how much I have completed of this quilt since I was going to school through the summer (and working full time). All that's left is the quilting and binding.
I'm going to work backwards and start with finishing the zig zag. I actually started quilting it already - barely... I completed one line of quilting after fighting with my thread tension, new thread and new bobbins. My machine does not like the new bobbins and is apparently a thread snob. I've been sewing with Gutterman lately but decided to switch up with some Coats & Clark. My machine literally threw up the thread. So not worth the stress. By the time I figured everything out and resolved the problems an hour had gone by. Quilting is never easy, but it's always fun! :)
I hope you'll join me and finish a project you've started!
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Things I'm not looking forward to: lack of time to clean house, the warm summer air, fresh veggies from the garden, flip flops.
The zig zag quilt is basted and ready to be quilted. I basted with pins to try something new since the spray adhesive was far too sticky last time. I found an amazing backing fabric at JoAnn's. It's the perfect print, was wide enough I didn't need to piece the back, and was incredibly soft! Amanda Jean over at crazymomquilts has a great blog post about where quilters buy their fabric. There are alot of interesting comments over there so check it out!
Friday, September 11, 2009
And the winner is lucky number 13!!!! Congrats to ladmquilter who said, "I like the idea of a string quilt. I think that would look great." Please email your mailing address and I will send the fabric your way!
Here's a sneak peek at what I finished tonight:
Now off to find some backing and purchase batting. Border or no border...that is the question!
For dad's birthday, I surprised him with cupcakes at work. Dad only works about a mile away from where I work so it was actually quite convenient. I'm very glad Dad decided to go to work today as there will be a special surprise waiting for him when he gets home. I am very much like my father...I hate to be the center of attention. I hate to stand out in a crowd. Let's hope Dad is not too angry with me for my present!
So Happy 50th Birthday to the best dad a girl could ever have!!!
Oh and don't worry! I'll be picking a giveaway winner shortly :)
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Now that I have time again (for only 2 weeks until classes start again) I have so much to do. The house is a mess, the pets have been ignored, and sewing has been non existent. Luckily I am still motivated to work on the zig zag quilt top...which is almost done! Pictures coming soon.
It's coming along great and I'm loving the colors. Now to pick out some backing so I don't stall out.
Don't forget to enter the giveaway - open until September 11th! Thank you for all the wonderful suggestions. I have an idea or two of what to do with the jelly roll...now to find some Wonderland backing fabric at my LQS.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
In celebration of my 100th post and my new bloggy name I am hosting a giveaway!!
Enter to win the fabric pictured below...Winner takes all!
Three fat quarters from my LQS....
and three pieces of fabric approximately 6-7" x 42".
To enter leave a comment telling me what quilt pattern to make using my Moda Wonderland Jelly Roll. I have been dying to use it, and can't think of what to do with it.
To get a second entry, blog about my giveaway on your blog, come back and leave a 2nd comment telling me you did.
Giveaway will be open through Friday September 11th at 5:00 pm EST. Winner will be selected by random.org! Open to my international bloggy pals too!
Monday, August 31, 2009
"Just keep swimming" was a temporary (year and a half long) name that I never intended to keep. Sitting here this morning still in a fog from the weekend and The Crafty Procrastinator just came to me. It's a perfect fit for me!
I hope you are looking forward to more regular posts from the crafty procrastinator...I know I am :)
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Last Friday night we went to the animal shelter to look at a few dogs...we put an application in for no dog in particular so Hubby and I could properly discuss. That night we decided to adopt a chocolate lab puppy that we thought was 10 months old. A call on Monday led me to believe we didn't stand a chance at getting her due to how many applications they already had. Tuesday afternoon we received another call from a woman who was fostering the siblings of the puppy we wanted and offered us her sister. The puppy was from a litter that was brought up from North Carolina...and was only 13 weeks old, not 10 months.
We went to meet her that night with Paige at the animal shelter. It was all up to Paige at that point, because if Paige didn't like her, it was a no-go. The girls met and really just ignored each other. There was too much else going on at the shelter and too many other scents to get a real sense of how they would be.
Our first night was hell! The puppy cried every hour in the crate. We got no sleep! I really don't think we knew quite what we were in for. Each day/night gets better, but at first I really questioned if we made the right decision. Paige seems happy. The puppy who we finally named Maggie Mae is very attached to Paige. Everyone is adjusting...well almost everyone. It took Spike a few days to come downstairs, but Annabelle still won't come down. She'll come around eventually...I hope.
We took Maggie to the vet yesterday and she was given a clean bill of health. She was treated for a few things while in foster care so we were happy everything came back ok.
Some day Maggie will be a great dog....but for now she's just a puppy!
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
I'm working on a Zig Zag Quilt for the ORB/ParkCityGirl Quilt Along this time hosted by Amy. Check out the cool group & instructions on flickr. I picked 15 fabrics, 5 of which have stripes. Lots of frustration (ie cursing) ensued in my hot hot sewing room last night as I tried to assemble my blocks. The stripes were going every which way and I HATED it. So much so, I almost scraped this Christmas gift to be. But alas, I have beat you quilt. I figured out your game and to save anyone else suffering from this predicament and surely myself in the future; here is how to do it so that stripes align:
Here are two of my squares, pinned in the center.
Draw a line on the diagonal of one block. Rotate the second block 90 degrees and draw a line on the diagonal of the second block.
Sew 1/4" on each side of the line. Cut squares on the diagonal with a rotary cutter. Press, snip, etc. (I haven't gotten that far yet, nor are my blocks exactly square at this point!)
Ok, now take your newly cut half square triangles from one block, separate and open them up like so.
Take your second block, separate the half square triangles, and pair each one up with the ones you've already laid out. So one half square triangle from the first block will match up with one half square triangle from the second block.
Now the best part is you can rearrange the squares very easily so that the print can be vertical or horizontal. Vertical wavy lines in the photo below.
Same blocks just rotated so that the light blue fabric has horizontal wavy lines. I prefer this one over the one above.
My next obstacle....we'll see how it goes.
Just make sure that you rotate 1/2 of the blocks 90 degrees. I have 6 blocks, so I need to remember to rotate 3 of them. I'll have to make sure to do this when I'm not tired.
Hope this helps someone out there.
So yes, I am working on the zig zag quilt but it's a Christmas gift...so I may not be posting too much of it here. We'll see!
Friday, July 31, 2009
Over at PS I Quilt, Rachel is giving away a $50 gift certificate to fat quarter shop! Talk about awesome! Seriously! You have to hurry though because the last day to enter is today!
Last but not least, there is an amazing bag giveaway over at Bumble Beans Quilts! The contest ends tomorrow (August 1st) at 9am. Go visit V's blog to see the gorgeous bag and enter the giveaway!
Monday, July 27, 2009
I packed my sewing machine and sewing basket to work on a quilt but the sunny beach was too inviting to sit inside and sew! We came home to a defrosted freezer and not completely cold refrigerator. Fortunately, the refrigerator is not broken and the malfunction was a result of someone (ugh...me) leaving the freezer door slightly open. The bad news is everything in my freezer had to be discarded. The good news is a lot of it needed to be thrown out anyway. Before figuring out that the fridge was working properly, we researched buying a new one and looked at quite a few. That, my friends, is another blog post for another time.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Another crazy week of classes and sewing, another project completed! Hubby surprised me with flowers from his garden last week. They were so pretty and it was very sweet! On top of classes and sewing, was book club. This month's book was, "Confessions of an Eco-sinner" by Fred Pearce. I still have not finished it (ooops!) but I can already say it is a great read. Fred flies around the world to research where his "stuff" comes from: everything from his wedding ring, to his computer, to the socks on his feet, the coffee he drinks, the fruits and veggies on his plate, etc.
It is by far an eye opening book and as a consumer made me very depressed. Basically I've learned that fair trade anything isn't necessarily fair trade. The farmers growing the crops don't see that additional money we are paying for the end "fair trade" product. The only thing fair trade assures is that the farmers are getting paid slightly higher than the market value which in reality is only a few cents. The only other point I'll bring up for thought, before stepping off the soapbox, is that almost all of our clothes in the US come from sweat shops or are made from materials that are grown by grossly underpaid farmers. Granted this is not my own research, and I'm sure there plenty of online vendors, so don't shoot the messenger! Fred basically tell us that the clothes we buy from Walmart, Old Navy, Gap, etc are all produced in the same factory. They all come off the same assembly line. So why on earth should I pay $58 for a pair of jeans at Gap, when I can buy them for $10 or $15 at Walmart? I would be more than willing to pay $40 for a pair of jeans, if I knew that extra money went to the workers rather than some CEO sitting behind a desk. So needless to say the book was depressing, made me feel helpless in the world I live in, but I need to keep on, keepin' on.So now that you've digested that (you are still there, aren't you?), here are the chair cushions I made/recovered this weekend. The picture shows the back of the top cushion, because the front was too boring. The strings are to tie it to the chair. I'm pleased with how they turned out, although they don't photograph well and they are super soft!
Monday, July 6, 2009
The fabric was an excellent buy at JoAnn fabric. I can't tell you how much, it was that cheap! It's upholstery fabric and it's velvety. It is going to cover the cushions nicely and be really comfy for the new mom. Here's a pic of the fabric ready to be cut... It's very plain and neutral (read: does not photograph well). I'm not sure exactly how this is going to work, but wish me luck!
Saturday, July 4, 2009
I love summer and spending time with family/friends, so this is one of my favorite holidays.
Hubby and I hosted our second annual 4th of July barbecue this year, but on July 3rd! The preparation/shopping was overwhelming and there were some minor fireworks incidents at night but overall it was a good time.
The following day we were sitting (recovering) on the couch before going to a family reunion when I noticed our window was open and the screen was nowhere to be seen. Spike (my kitty) would like to explain what happened from his point of view. At this point in time, Annabelle is pleading the 5th. She's not very talkative to begin with anyway!
"I jumped up in the window to watch the birds and the screen fell out. I tumbled out the window and meowed really loud. Annabelle came to see what was going on and she jumped out the window to come see if I was ok. Luckily I have nine lives! I told Annabelle we needed to go wait on the porch because we aren't allowed outside. She thought the porch was to the right and I thought it was to the left. She wouldn't listen to me and I didn't want to get in trouble! When I got to the porch, I couldn't open the door so I thought it'd be better to wait under the porch for you to come find me. Good thing you found me, cause I was getting really hungry!"
The drop was about 7 feet from the ground. I obviously have no idea what really happened, but I was panicked when I couldn't find my babies. I heard Spike meowing and found him right away under the porch. We searched the house for Annabelle again...and then I started to really panic (and cry). She hides so well and is scared of everything. I searched the back yard and barely spotted her brown and black butt under the deck. Hubby crawled under and pulled her out. She was limp so my first concern was that maybe she got hit by a car. Once I got her in the house she was fine, she's just petrified of everything.
Annabelle cuddling on the couch.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
My first row is finally assembled for the quilt along. I have 6 more left (I think!!). I'm waaaay behind but I've got way too many other things to focus on right now!
FO- Plastic bag holder. Hubby has been bothering me for months (or a year) about getting all of the plastic bags out of our kitchen drawer. They just took over one day so that we can't open the drawer above without a hassle. So here is my solution:
Edited to add: This was only my 96th post! Sorry, I can't count!
Monday, June 29, 2009
Here's what I've been up to:
I enjoyed making this bag! The fabric was cute and the pattern was super simple, especially since this is the second one I made. The only pattern alteration I made was I made the 2 pockets into 4 so they would be more functional. I think now I'll try the handbag (smaller) version of this bag!
This week has been incredibly busy. I had a whole bunch of things to post, but not enough time! School started Monday, the world lost Farah and MJ on Thursday, and we experienced a loss of our own the same day. Our neighbor's dog Larry got off of his leash Wednesday night and was hit by a train. It was horrible. He was one of four dachsunds that our neighbors rescued. Larry left behind his mate/wife who was just rescued by my neighbors not too long ago. Paige lost a very good friend that day.
Monday, June 15, 2009
By the end of the work day, I'm usually so tired and frustrated that all I want to do is go home and veg...which I do...ALOT! Not to mention all this weight I have gained since the wedding. Who has time (or energy) to work out after working all day, and then even more energy to create? Not me! I can't even imagine what having kids will do to my "me time".
Well I have bad news...classes start on Monday. Yes, classes, plural. The good news....they are online. My hobby time will be gone once again. It's time to prioritize and make some cuts. Scrap booking has been long gone. I'd rather spend $300 on fabric than on a Cricut. I'm sure I'll revisit scrap booking later, like when I have kids to take pictures of. Pottery is on hiatus too. It's too expensive and in this economy it's all about saving money. Besides, how many bowls or cup-like things without handles do I really need? Knitting and cross stitch are good traveling crafts so they'll probably survive the downsizing (at least this time around). It looks like sewing is here to stay! Goals of the week, by Monday I need to finish AB purse #2 (fabric is cut & ready to be sewn) and ORB quilt. I'm still behind in the quilt along. I have one strip set left to complete. Hopefully I'll finish the top tonight :) Then I'll need to pick backing and batting up from the store.
Wish me luck!
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Piecing and sewing strips has been time consuming. So far, I have sewn 6 sets of 6 strips. My blocks are averaging about 12.5 inches. I have about 18 blocks so far, 3 of each pictured below.
I'm still not sure about the layout and the colors. I feel like I'm forcing something which is making this quilt difficult to work on :/
Added to the stash this weekend:
Fabric for Amy Butler Frenchie bag #2. This one is for mom so it'll be cut up and sewn rather quickly.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
So now that the Frenchy bag is off my plate, I can start on the Old Red Barn Co Quilt Along (see side bar). It's week 3 so I'm a little behind, but I can easily catch up (and so can YOU!).
I really wanted to use the Paula Prass Flights of Fancy line that Dana is using in her quilt, but it's not really in my budget. Instead, I went to JoAnn's during a killer sale and bought this stash of fabric. Looking forward to finally cutting it tonight!
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
I couldn't resist working on this bag. It was quick to sew and when you are working with fabric you love, it makes it "sew" much easier.
Project Time: 3 days - total of 5 or 6 hours. The cutting took probably the same amount of time as the sewing.
I've never made a fully lined purse before this one. It's amazing! It's lined and complete with sew-in interfacing (a huge accomplishment for me), pockets, and magnetic snap. I'm a huge skip the interfacing girl, but I wanted to do this the right way and am sooo glad I did!
I made 2 alterations to the pattern after reading a few reviews. I made the two HUGE pockets into four normal sized pockets. I also skipped top stitching the top panel because of what I read, but I realize now that was a mistake to try and do later with the magnetic snap. I think I'll do it by hand to secure the lining to the exterior of the bag.
I can't wait to make more of these. There is also a smaller handbag version that I'd like to try too! Now all I need is a matching little wallet to go with it!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Some wonderful MODA fabrics for my Amy Butler Frenchy purse. I love this line of MODA and if the economy were a little better, I'd buy much more of it. The red & white polka dot is not MODA. Just something I picked up from JoAnn's.
Everything is cut, even the interfacing...so tonight the sewing begins. Wish me luck!