Saturday, July 30, 2011

i'm back!

long time to see!  what a crazy couple of weeks it's been.  this summer has tried to do me in.

two bouts with strep throat, one wheezing allergic reaction, one crazy 20 yr. high school reunion weekend (4 am, anyone?) reminding me i'm too old for that sh*t, and now, one brown recluse spider bite.  i got bit wednesday morning and am finally showing signs of improvement.  (for more graphic details, like gross pics, you can go here) it's really cutting into my crafting time, so i'm beginning to feel a little twitchy.

so, what do you do to stop that twitch?  find a simple project and dive in!  i had a baby shower to go to this afternoon, so i used the tute at homemade by jill to make a set of burp cloths this morning.  these are so soft and quick, and a great flannel stash buster.  and she liked them, always a plus!

before i left for my reunion weekend, i wanted to do something special for the kids.  so i drew them a huge chalk maze outside on our driveway and sidewalk and patio.  and emma's been very into her dolls lately, so i finished the pink doll coin quilt i started a few weeks back.  i did some wavy lines that i liked a lot.  while we were at it, we recovered her doll crib mattress with some batting and aqua linen that she picked out.  little things, but it made me feel better about leaving them. 

while i was in wichita, i stayed with my bestie from high school, aimee.  isn't she gorgeous?! she's also a fabulous knitter and seamstress, but hasn't been doing much crafting lately.  she started running, and you know how those crazy runners get. ;)

anyways, we visited the material girls quilt shoppe, and it was beautiful!!  full of delicious fabrics!  i picked up some awesome FQ for an ISpy swap i'm in,

and a couple yards of clearance moda for my stash. 

and it was my lucky day, they were celebrating their one year birthday, so they gave me a charm pack at the checkout!  bonus!

the goodies continued, because aimee destashed some awesome michael miller fabrics to me.  she had bought it to do her boys' rooms in, but they're older now and didn't want it anymore.  score!  there's so much of it too!  she also sent me home with a couple of littlest pet shop playsets, and an entire box of kids books.  it was like christmas when i got home!  thanks so much aimee!

the only other thing i've been working on is my do good stitches blocks for july.  this will be a great quilt, she's calling it citrus sails!  also, i finally hung a flannel backed tablecloth for a design wall - thanks for the advice!  it works great!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


welcome to the blog hop! i am so glad you stopped by!

i am planning to host an ABC fabric swap soon - if you think you'd be interested, be sure to follow my blog so you don't miss the sign ups! 

fly with me!

hi crafty peeps.  guess who's sick again.  strep throat has attacked me with a vengeance.  of course, my hs reunion is this weekend and here it is, wednesday, and i'm still feeling puny.  day 3 of antibiotics so i'm still hoping i'll be better by friday.  i have such a weekend planned, i refuse to cancel!! 

but anyways.  after two days of laying in bed, i've got to make something!  and i've been slacking on my rainbow projects.  today i'm quilting from my laptop.  intrigued?  read on!

here's an idea.  with your 4 inch squares, you could make flying geese!  choose whether you want your rainbows to be the geese or the sky (or both), and then start cutting.

for the geese itself, you need a rectangle 3 1/2" x 2".  so from each 4" charm, you can get 2 geese.  trim off 1/2" on one side, then cut in half the other direction.  pair your rectangle with two, 2" squares of another fabric.  you can get four 2" squares from a 4" charm, so you could make all your geese units from your rainbow!  here's a link to a good how-to explanation.

want to play with the layout without making your geese first?  have you ever tried quiltivate?  it's completely addicting - don't blame me when you lose an hour or two of your day!  here's one layout done in red and aqua.

this would take 24 charms in red, and 24 charms in aqua.  along with some white for sashing.  it would make a small doll quilt, approx. 18" x 20".

here's another, done with white skies and 8 colors from our rainbows.

looks fancy, don't it?!  the truth is, this example could be done up with only 8 charms in each color.  it's true!  each finished geese unit should be 1 1/2" x 3", so it would only be about 24" x 24", but wouldn't it make a sweet doll quilt? i ran upstairs and made this strip - easy peasy.  i've been meaning to try flying geese for awhile, and i think i will keep playing with this quilt idea.

if you decide to make this, let me know and be sure to share a link!  and have fun playing at quiltivate!

update - i just found another 4 inch friendly block over at ellison lane quilts - it's rainbow!!  go take a look!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

don't toss that!

i don't know about you, but i am always looking for ways to reuse stuff.  especially stuff that we seem to have a lot of.  diaper boxes become boats and kitty houses, and gerber puffs containers make great bowling pins.   at least once a week, i have to tell troy - don't throw that out, i'm going to reuse it!  (he sighs, sets it back on the cluttered counter, and walks away)

so today i thought i'd share with you an idea for storing all those knick knacky toys the kids have.  in this case, view-master reels and dominoes.  i love these puzzles and games, but they usually come with flimsy cardboard storage or none at all! 

you can use what you have, here sawyer eats a lot of the gerber baby snacks, like wagon wheels and veggie puffs.  those fit the view master discs perfectly.  and you can also use nut containers and bread crumb canisters, anything with a snap on plastic lid.  different brands have different color lids, so if you're totally picky you could have a matching set.

so gather your trash, a glue stick, scissors, and scrapbook paper.

cut, glue, and stick.  easy peasy.  it's not rocket science.  and since they are just recycled junk, i don't worry too much if the patterns line up or fit just so.  i have gotten about a year out of them so far.

i used some matching papers, and i stashed these on the shelves under the tv armoire in the living room.  the other shelves hold our wooden puzzles, and a wood box that stores the wii games and accessories.

remember to think outside the box when it comes to containers.  a trip to the thrift store can yield tons of reinvented storage.   i use all kinds of things for planters outside, like old enamelware with rusted out holes, and a beat up chicken feeder.  we feed our pets in dented metal bowls. 

i think it makes our home look comfy and rustic in a good way.  i suppose it's not everyone's aesthetic, but it suits us fine!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


sweet corn from grandma's garden.

a pain to put up, but totally worth it.  and my dad's garden is just getting ready to keep us in more corn and tomatoes too!

i started another quilt-a-long - the synchronized squares at p.s.i quilt.  a little late, since it's already over!  but i think this will make a fun holiday quilt for the couch.  green, black, red, and white.  the greens were all  chosen to go with our family room furniture - a greenish gray brown chenille that looks awful with most greens.  and i tried to only use junk fabrics from my stash, in an effort to get rid of some of the walmart fabrics from 2-3 years ago.  plus, i won't have a heart attack when zach colors on it with a pen.

easy and simple, with "scruffily" edges.  i should have it done for christmas.  i'm done making the center squares, just working on borders.  and i have more of the b&w stripe for binding.  what i really wish i had in my stash is a red with big white dots.  that's what's missing, i think.  i took these pics tonight to play with the layout - isn't it strange how you can look at it and not see something, but as soon as it's on the screen, you're able to see weird spots of color?

i originally planned to make this in vintage sheets - since they're thinner, and the extra layer would make it sturdier.  i still might, let me see how quilting this one goes first!

Monday, July 11, 2011

woodworking 101

is what i need to take, and soon!

i want to tackle this huge project, i've been saving it for awhile and i'm getting the urge to just jump in.

wow - it looks bad! 
this bedroom set belonged to troy's grandparents on his mom's side - the same grandma marie whose fabric stash i inherited.  troy's mom had it sitting in her shed for over a year, before i finally asked to have it.  troy grumbled a bit, he isn't a big fan of project furniture - but then i usually say i'll just go to nebraska furniture mart and buy new - that quiets him down! hahaha!

anyways - she still has the headboard in her shed, i'll get it one of these days.  but for now - how on earth do i restore these lovelies?  i believe these are 1930's art deco waterfall pieces.  just from a quick google search.  not especially valuable, but real wood, and i like the pulls and striped diamond design on the veneer.

so my question is, if i sand or strip the finish, will the stripes come off?  how thick is a veneer anyways?  i'd love to just sand it, and put a clear coat on, the color of the wood is fine.  but it's got some definite wear, scratches, and cracking.  the vanity is much worse than the dresser, but they both need help.  i even used liquid gold on them, a while back, but they are pretty dried out and crackly.

i know it would be adorable painted, but i'd like to keep the wood if possible.  you don't know how many times i've *almost* painted this!  but, we already have a lot of painted furniture.  not pictured is another smaller 4 drawer dresser (from craigslist), that's been painted black.  i'd like to strip it and match it to the other two pieces. 

so, any of my crafty peeps know what i should do?  i'd appreciate any and all advice on the subject, because i can't seem to find it anywhere!  thanks bunches!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

warning - pathetic attempt at family photo follows

(not really pathetic, just kidding!)
hope everyone enjoyed their holiday!  we had a great time!

best of all of them :)

we went to my family reunion in Spirit Lake, IA.  my dad is from Estherville, so every 4th they try to get the entire family together at the Sandbar.  there were 14 kids in my dad's family, so it's rare that everyone makes it back!  this year both of my brothers were there with their families, so it was a great visit.

my "little" brother travis
 swimming, boat rides, fireworks, beer, and brats - what could be better?!

the apple pie booze was a huge hit - i wish i'd brought more of it!  next time...

the tees i stenciled for the boys turned out so fun!  on the drive up, i did some embellishing with black embroidery floss on two of them.

but then, when alex was splashing in the lake, the paint started to bleed!  i used some paints left over from something else - they weren't marked but i mistakenly assumed they were acrylics.  and since i've used folk art acrylics before on a tee shirt, and washed it with no problem, i thought these would work the same.  nope!   craft fail!!

and now i'm totally bummed.  kcmqg is at jacquie's house this weekend, a potluck get together.  and just across lake perry from my old house.  i was so looking forward to visiting with like minded fabric lovers, and honestly?  i wanted to sneak a peek at my old place.   i still dream about that house.  we put so much sweat and tears into it, and i miss it still.  even though our new place is pretty sweet, isn't that funny?  and i was planning to meet nikki at sarah's fabrics in lawrence - an all around excellent day.

but hubby has to work overtime all weekend, and he's not one to pass up the overtime (it's mucho dinero).  and i can't find a sitter for the kids.  and no, i'm not bringing all four of them along.  it's a "quilty day in the country" not a "noisy, rowdy, get into everything, lose my mind in front of others day in the country."  do you know how hard it is to find a sitter for three kids ages 6, 5, and 3?!  normally i'd call in the grandparents, but one grandma is sick and my mom & dad stayed in iowa, and won't be home til that afternoon.  i even put the call out on facebook but so far nothing solid.

so yeah, a bit depressed.  partly because of the above - partly because i'm tired and still not caught up from the vacation - partly because i've been spending too much time yelling at my kids and not enough enjoying them.  summer's half over and i feel like i haven't done anything to make it fun for them.  i mean, yes, we've done stuff.  but i've been awful grouchy and i don't even like me.  so if i'm absent for a few days, just know i'm blowing bubbles and painting with watercolors and all that other stuff these little ones deserve.  because they are growing up waaaaaay too fast and i'm tearing up just thinking about it. 

do you know sawyer will be one in august?!  sniff.


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