Wednesday, March 30, 2011

WIP Wednesday

It seems like I don't have anything to show this week on what I've been working on, but I HAVE been working on a few things.  I signed up for a bow contest on facebook through a friend.  We each payed $5 to enter and the organizer sent us a small package containing ribbons, alligator clips and some rhinestones.  We were allowed to add one ribbon and the center for our bows.  The rules stated that we could make any style bow of our choosing, even two little bows instead.  I'm not usually into making hair bows, or, I think I am and commit to something like this and then remember that I don't really like working with fussy ribbon and swear them off for awhile again.  The original deadline for the bow challenge was tomorrow but I saw this morning she's extended the deadline until the 12th.  Oh well.  My bow is done and I'm uploading the picture this afternoon.  What do you think??  The bows will all be put into an album on facebook and then people can vote for their favorite.  I'll let you know when that happens just in case you're inclined to vote... ;)

I played around working on a shirt refashion for me on Monday.  It's okay, but needs more than the 10 minutes I had to work on it.  I cut the sleeve binding off and it's going to need to be pinned and resewn.  It's a heavy sweater-knit so the arms got saggy!  Hopefully I'll have pictures of that later in the week or next week.

I haven't made any more mod mosaic blocks, so I'm going to mail out what I got done tomorrow morning and just make the 9 more I need here out of my scraps.  For April we're doing spiderweb blocks!  I've liked these for a long time, but they seemed WAY too intimidating to start on my own, so I am glad for the challenge.  Also, I don't know why, but it seems easier somehow to make blocks to send off and then make a quilt out of the new blocks than to just make blocks for myself.  Something about the surprise of what I'll get maybe?  Wierd...

Today the weather is nasty, well, it was yesterday too and supposed to be again tomorrow, but it is my "Kelli day" as Grandma picks the kids up from school for a few hours of fun, so I'm setting down to sew up a new ruffled halter dress for Emma.   Jenny from Seamingly Smitten had another great pattern to try out, so I'm putting it to the test for her again.  This one looks even easier.  HOPEFULLY the weather will clear up enough tomorrow afternoon that I can get a few pictures of Emma in it for Jenny.  Here are my fabric choices.  The main fabric will be the patchwork print from JoAnn Fabrics that I bought like 2 summers ago and the ruffle and straps will be this "I'm not sure what it is" that was at one time used as a table cloth at my lingerie shower before I got married.  How I ended up with it I don't know nor can I mention how many projects I've used small pieces of it for...

  1 hairbow
     Emma's ruffled tunic
     I'm stalled out on the Mod Mosaic blocks but have enough to send off, so I'm counting that done for now.  When my new squares come in I'll move it back to in progress!
  A shirt refashion for me
  A ruffled halter dress for Emma

Quilts needing quilting:
  My Postage Stamp Quilt-a-long quilt.  I think I've decided to forget the borders and just quilt this one to get it done.
  Jelly Pops quilt.  I made this top before I started the blog and just havent' got around to quilting it yet...

And I'm sure there are other things lurking in my baskets, but this is the first week I'm participating in Lee's link up, so I'll be more prepared and hopefully have more Done's next week!  ;)

What have you been working on and what did you get done this week?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Happy Belated!!

Yesterday was my favorite (I only have one) sister's birthday and I had this beautiful blog post all thought up for the occasion.  As you can see...that didn't happen.  So instead I'll just tell you about it instead.

A few years back I emailed everyone in our family and asked them for their favorites in all kinds of dessert categories.  That way when their birthday came around, I had a list of yummies to choose from in making something for them.  Well, last year, my sister, Carrie asked if she could instead get a fruit bouquet ala Edible Arrangements.  She just knew that I could make one every bit as good as theirs for a fraction of the cost, so I ate up her flattery at my skills and set out to make one.  While it didn't look anywhere near as nice as those expensive ones (my arranging needed a little tweaking), my sister loved it.  So this year, she asked for one again.

Yesterday, the kids and I hit up the grocery store for the best looking fruits and I set to work.  I cut my skewers into all different heights and used a bunch of different fruits to arrange the "bouquet."  It was cute, still not professional, but cute.  Then I used my silhouette cutter to cut out a Happy Birthday tag for the front of the container (which was an old formula can I'd saved for just the right occasion and covered with scrapbooking paper) and a scalloped frame on the back that we signed our names in.  I filled in the can below the fruit with shredded paper.  It was looking good!  Then I forgot to take any pictures at all.  And then, I forgot to take my camera with us to dinner with my sister and her husband and some friends.

I've also ordered a very special something for my sweet sister with a birthday in March that should be arriving any day.   I had a gift in mind and it took me awhile to find something like it on Etsy, so I figured it was better to get something good and have it arrive late than buy just anything to have it on time.  I'd love to link up a picture, but that favorite sister of mine reads this little blog and that would give away the surprise, don't you think?

So since I have no pictures to show of my "completely beautiful and award-winning" fruit bouquet or the gift that's in the mail, I thought I'd make a small mosaic of pictures of Care from the last couple years.  Girl, you've got to get in front of my camera a little more often...I had to go back to our last trip to the beach for a few of these!  ;)

  Happy Belated Birthday to my favorite sister!  You are sweet, caring, kind, and a friend to all you meet.  I am blessed to be your sister and your friend.  I pray that God will grant you with the blessings you seek and that we all wish for you in this upcoming year.  Love you!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ruffle Love

   So...I finally got a chance to bust out that ruffle fabric I'd bought and I made 2 projects already!  Today I thought I'd show you one of them with a link to the tutorial I used to make it.  I've got one color left to work with as I showed real restraint in only ordering 3 yards as a trial!  Go check out their site and you'll see what I mean.  The choices are amazing!

  I have to say that quilting cottons have spoiled me.   The ruffle fabric as slippery knits have a tendency to be was a little more contrary than my normal fabric choice.  That said, neither of the projects I made was at all difficult and if I used knits more often wouldn't take longer than 30 minutes at the very most.  In fact, the skirt I made was labeled the 5-minute skirt over at Mandy's when she made one.  I'll show that one in a day or so.

  But today, I want to show off this little pretty.

Ruffle Fabric has a list of links for free tutorials available in blog land using their fabrics and I really liked Christine's tutorial for a Ruffle Tunic.  I showed it to Em who quickly agreed and I made it this morning.  I considered making it dress length, but I thought it would be so cute with little capri leggings and give her more versatility.  She could also wear it with jeans and if it still fits, next fall and winter with a long sleeved shirt underneath.

  The only change I made to Christine's tutorial was when it came time to attach the gathered ruffle fabric to the knit band.  As I've mentioned that Emma has sensitive skin, I wanted to enclose the ruffle fabric edges, so after sewing the band pieces together to attach the straps, I left the band open wrong side out.  That way I could attach the gathered ruffle fabric to what would become the "inside" of the band.  Then I just folded the "outside" or right side (what shows when she's wearing it) down and topstitched around the whole thing to cover the seam and give it a finished look.  Does that make any sense at all?  If I hadn't been making it up as I went along I would have taken pictures.  ;)

  And to make this project even better...remember that pile of clothing from my closet to be refashioned?  I used a pair of black yoga pants that had shrunk in the wash and were too short.  One leg was more than enough to make the band and straps!  I've even got enough for a headband if I'm so inclined.  And I've got another leg and the waistband left to use!  Another tunic maybe?  In my size?  Well, we'll see about that...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Look at my girl and WIP Wednesday (on Thursday)

Wow!  I got an email from Jenny saying she was going to feature Emma in the Swing Top and Pickup Skirt I sewed up last week. over and check it out...I'll wait!


Okay, so I know this is a small thing in the grand scheme of life, but it really made my day.  And it cemented my belief in blogging.  Like I've said before, I have like 2 friends here in my "real" life that know how to turn on a sewing machine, but to have friends from all over the country and the world that not only know how to do the things I like to do, but are excited about them is a relief and a balm to my creative soul.  Friends often say "Oh, you're so creative, I just could never do that."  But here in bloggy-ville, there are a ton of creative people and I'm just one of many, not the lone ranger.  And I have constant inspiration and encouragement at my fingertips!

Now, back to my WIPs...I'm continuing work on my Mod Mosaic Blocks.  Chris says in Woodworking that people often get project fatigue...well I have it with these blocks.  I still really like them and I know the finished quilt will look great, but I'm just ready to do something different.  Normally, I would have just set them to the side and started something else, but because they've got to be mailed by next week, I felt compelled to finish them before I got sidetracked somewhere else.  I've got 11 1/2 done now and I only committed to 10, so I feel the weight off my shoulders.  I'm going to try to keep going for 20, but......  We had to commit to a multiple of 5 for ease in sorting them.  So if I keep up with them this week, I'll have at least 15 if not 20 to send off.  But I've got some other projects I'm ready to start on.  And they all involve clothing!  I'm ready for skirt and dress season for Emma and maybe even for me.  I bought a new dress pattern yesterday, maybe I'll actually finish something for myself.  Oh, and right before bed last night I decided Emma needed a rolled rosette headband for picture day today, so I whipped that up this morning at 6!  And, boy, do I have the burns from my glue gun to prove it.  I don't know why I always wait to the last minute on stuff like that...oh well.  We were WAY too rushed this morning for even a pic from my phone, so I'll take a picture when she gets home this afternoon.  

So, a day late, (but not a block short!), here are some pictures of my works in progress...
I'm considering using a 2.5 inch sashing of white in between each block.  Pretend my beige-ish carpet is white!  ;)
Here's all the scraps of the scraps.  When that trashcan is full, I'll know it's time to buy more!!  

That ruffle fabric on top is my next project!  And the rest is a pile of clothes from my closet that are about to become new clothes (or cut up for fabric...either way!)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday Munchies with cookies

Good Monday Morning!  I hope everyone had a good weekend.  We are closing in on the end of Spring Break.  Technically, today is Fair Day when school is canceled so that kids showing animals in the local fair can be there without an absence from school.  My two are still too young to be involved, but I have many fond memories of participating in fair activities and hope that they will someday too.
  Yesterday afternoon we made some delicious cookies that I wanted to share with y'all.  A while back I'd bought some ricotta cheese for baked spaghetti and my family loved it so I thought I'd find what else you can do with ricotta.  The next week, I got an email from Food Network with a recipe for Giada's Lemon Ricotta cookies and I filed it away in my brain to use the ricotta to make those.  
  But then I didn't have any lemons yesterday and about 6 oranges, so...our Giada's Lemon Ricotta cookies became The Wilsons' Orange Ricotta cookies.  DELICIOUS!  I mean so delicious that all four of us loved them and the kids have been begging for them for breakfast today.  I'd say that's a successful cookie recipe...and easy to boot! is Giada's recipe with my changes in orange!

Lemon/Orange Ricotta Cookies with Lemon/Orange Glaze

Based on a recipe by Giada De Laurentiis

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar (I cut this down to a scant 1 1/2 cups since oranges are sweeter than lemons and they were plenty sweet enough.)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice  (I used half an orange I just squeezed the juice over the bowl)
  • 1 lemon, zested  (I used the zest from half an orange since oranges are so much bigger)

  • Glaze:
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice  (I didn't measure here but just poured some orange juice in...)
  • 1 lemon, zested  (And I didn't zest the orange for this step since I think I overpoured in the last ingredient!)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the large bowl combine the butter and the sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon/orange juice, and lemon/orange zest. Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie I just used my cookie scoop and made sure it was really full ) onto the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.
Combine the powdered sugar, lemon/orange juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon about 1/2-teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours. Pack the cookies into a decorative container.

  I had every intention of showing you a picture of the kids eating said delicious cookies, but I took them on the macro setting on accident (forgot to switch it back!), so Oren was out of focus on every single one and I'm NOT letting them eat more just for the sake of a picture...then there'd be none left for me!  ;)

Friday, March 18, 2011

It feels a little like Christmas today...

     I LOVE Spring Break.  It's that first little glimpse at summer and summer is my favorite time of year (until the temps are in the 90s for weeks and then it will be fall!!  Our family has so much time together and the weather is beautiful for all kinds of outdoor activities.  We spent the morning outside today.  The kids played while Chris dug a trench to put in a new line of sprinklers and I cleaned out the screen-enclosure around the pool.  He bought some (11) trees and they arrived yesterday afternoon so we planted them last night, but they're gonna need a set of sprinklers if they have any dream of living here.  They're from a nursery up north somewhere that's still cold and wintery.  It's 85 degrees here in March!  It sounds so boring, but it's just a little moment in our lives where we were all together just living.  And together is important to me.

This 10" square bundle is all kinds of stripes and plaids!

All of the yardage I bought.  Every bit of it was on sale.  I made out like a bandit!!

     So after a late lunch and some basketball watching I walked out in the garage to find 2 goodie-filled boxes!!  Apparently the mail lady had come and delivered the packages without knocking.  The first package was from ROBERT KAUFMAN!!  I mean, little old me, getting a package directly from the fabric company of Robert Kaufman!  I don't think I mentioned it here, but I won a fat quarter bundle of Betty Dear from Sew Mama Sew last month and it arrived today!  Then I saw that my order from Connecting Threads had arrived too!  I love looking through their catalogs with all of their unique fabrics and after I saw that no one less than Amanda Jean loved them too, I was hooked!  And while I was ordering from them, I also put in an order for a few charm packs from Quilt Taffy.  They arrived earlier this week, so now I am surrounded by yummy goodness of fabrics and ideas just waiting for me to create with them.  Here's a few pictures as right now I'm spending more time playing with my kiddos and less playing with my sewing machine and fabrics....and I'm totally okay with that!

  See ya next week when we're back on our normal schedule and I've got a little more time for crafting!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What I'm working on Wednesday

  We are on Spring Break this week, so the main thing I've been working on is spending time with my family.  But I have managed to get a few more blocks done for the swap.  We have to mail them out by the 31st, so I've got awhile.  And I did commit to making 10, so I'm just going to keep at it and see how many I can get done.  We can also make up some string blocks and throw them in if we want those swapped up too.  I'd love to do those too, but we'll see how far  I get with these first.  I'm tempted to start cutting into some yardage or some fat quarters because I'm getting tired of looking at the same old scraps, but since each block is different, I keep telling myself to empty this bag before I add anything new to it!  ;)
This picture is awful and I will replace it soon.  Yes, I took it inside on my bed.    It is a little breezy outside
and the pollen is SOOO bad right now I was afraid if I took them out they'd blow away and turn yellow!
I've got so many projects I'd love to make...tell me--how do you choose which project to start next?  And do you finish one project before starting another or do you have many projects going at the same time??

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pattern Tested

Working a little at a time I finished Jenny's pattern yesterday.  That's from laying out the fabric to trying it on Emma, including the time to applique the tiara on the bodice before ever beginning.  Jenny's pattern is great for beginning sewers and anyone who wants a quick but cute summery outfit for their little girl.
Emma picked out her own shoes.  I thought they looked cute with it.
I didn't measure Emma against the pattern before beginning because I wanted to true-test the sizes for Jenny and in the end, the top is a little too big for Em.  She has thin shoulders (like everything else on her!), and the shoulder area is a little loose.  But at least she has plenty of room to grow into it for the summer.  I did make a few changes to the pattern though to make it better suit Em for wearability.  I added the applique and encased the ruffle seam in the lining instead of attaching the lining and then the ruffles.  I know Emma and her sensitive skin and the edge of that ruffle rubbing her back and belly would mean she wouldn't wear it!

Jenny is amazing in the creations she comes up with.  If you haven't checked out her blog, you should.  I'm grateful for the opportunity to try out this pattern for her.  Anytime I can help out another blogger and get to look at this cutie smile...well that's a win-win situation for me!

Have a great week everybody.  We're on Spring Break!!!!

And after looking at the preview of this, I realized how faded these pictures look.  Excuse the photography skills...
P.S.  I'm linking this up to a few parties this week.  Check out the fun and crafty ideas at both Melissa's and Beverly's home on the web.  And if anyone can tell this newbie how to get their buttons to show up in my blogpost, I'd really appreciate it!!  ;)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Swinging Along

  One thing I love about the blogging community is the way we share information and ideas with each other.  I only have one or two local friends who even know how to turn on a sewing machine so to have a chance to talk and share with others is wonderful to me.

  In that mind, I volunteered to test a pattern for Jenny over at Seamingly Smitten.  She's written a new pattern called the Swing Top and Pick-Me-Up Skirt and wanted a few volunteers to try it out for her.  Emma's at the largest size the pattern covers, but I thought that might also help Jenny by seeing how far the pattern reaches.  She agreed to let me test it and we're off.  Now, if you'll remember, I've mentioned how Emma is not always a fan of what I make for her, so I'm trying to let her have more say-so in the outfits I make in hopes she'll like them more.  That being said, I let her shop through my stash of fabrics and none were exactly what she was looking for.  So we went shopping!  So...we're working with a dark lavender linen for the base of the shirt with a coordinating floral print for the accents and skirt.

  We also agreed to add an applique on the front and we on a tiara.   I'm working on the applique now and will then get started on the pattern.  I hope to have it done in a day or so.  It seems easy enough...

  I'm also still churning out the mod mosaic blocks I mentioned in the last post.  I didn't get a chance to sew yesterday as I spent most of the day in the big city with my kids.  We played hooky and started Spring Break a day early!  The teacher in me felt a little guilty, but not too much!  ;)  But I've got till the end of the month to send them out, so I'm going to finish up this pattern for Jenny and then jump back into them.  I'm really in love with these blocks as a way to destash.  And it's much easier and more instantly gratifying than the Postage Stamp Quilt too.  I'm all for using up my scraps this year!  Mainly because then I won't feel bad buying new fabrics!!  Have a great weekend, everybody!!!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What I'm Working on Wednesday

It's been a productive week so far...  No progress on the ruffle fabric yet because I remembered I hadn't started my blocks for the Mod Mosaic Swap yet.  Whoops!  So, I jumped right in with them and am thoroughly enjoying working on them.  It's not my normal project, but I am working hard on busting stash and I've found that scrappy blocks are the best thing for that.  Plus, I get to be surprised with new blocks and new fabrics when I'm done.  I started yesterday and I've got 2 blocks to show so far.  I think I signed up for at least 10 blocks, so I'm just gonna keep churning them out till I meet the shipping deadline or run out of scraps, whatever comes first.  Then I'll decide if I'm gonna send off all of the ones I made or just send off 10 and have the leftovers here ready to add to the quilt when my new blocks come back!

Best of all...Chris really liked the blocks so I have high hopes for this project becoming a living room fixture when completed!

So that's my progress for the last two days, but before I go, I had to show you some of God's progress right outside my window.  This is my first rose for the year.  Isn't it beautiful?  It's a hybrid I bought at Walmart of all places last spring and I LOVE it.  The roses vary in color from a pale pink to a bright orange to almost completely yellow and sometimes all 3 in the same flower.

And last, my dogwood tree is beginning to bloom. Nothing says spring like dogwood blossoms.  When we planted it, Chris said "God willing, maybe one day we'll take pictures of Emma with her prom date in front of that tree."  Every spring I think of that and it makes me smile.  I'm in no hurry to get there, but thinking of it just makes my heart happy!  When it's in full bloom I'll take a wider picture of the whole tree.

Monday, March 7, 2011

I'm really glad it's Monday!

Whew!  I know it sounds weird, but last night before bed I thought "Oh, good, tomorrow is Monday.  Maybe we'll slow down a little."  Slow down on a Monday??  That's how busy our weekend was, but man, was it a good one.

Saturday morning we had Opening Ceremonies for tee-ball and then came home to finish up party decorations for Oren's birthday party that night.  We headed back to the fields for a game at 4 and then had 12 kids aged 2-8 here running through the house and outside for a few hours to celebrate my favorite boy turning 5.  I couldn't have asked for a better group of kids to celebrate with him.  Plus my Mom, Dad and brother came to stay with us too.
I didn't get a single picture during the game because I was the dugout Mom and kept score.  And I missed some great time.

Yesterday after church, we headed to the big town to meet my sister and her mother-in-law for lunch.  And then I came home and took a nap.  Chris rested for awhile, Em was busy reading and Oren looked at some books and bothered his sister a bunch, but me...out like a light!

He was so precious when we sang Happy Birthday.  He was excited and a little nervous too!
 So, today I am happy to get the house back in order from all of the fun of Saturday night, clean up my sewing room from all the rush of baby gifts (which were so cute and I forgot to take pictures of, darn!) and party projects made last week, and plan out some new projects for the month of March.

I bought a few yards of this in a few colors that I've been drooling over and can't wait to see what comes of it.  And I've got so many projects from fellow bloggers bookmarked that I've got the inspiration, I just need to get to the doing!  So, here I go.  Hopefully I'll be back in a day or so with tons of progress!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


 Five years can seem a lifetime or a second depending on the situation.  Five years of waiting for something would be a nightmare for me with little patience, but five years of caring for someone and watching them grow can seem like time is at double speed.  My sweet and funny little boy is five years old today.
Isn't that the sweetest face?  I was in love immediately.

18 months.  Love this boy!
   He is always quick with a smile and a laugh.  He is friends with every kid he meets and adults always tell me how precious he is (I don't think they're putting me on...).  He is slower than Christmas and always has dirty fingernails.  He uses big words in normal conversation that always make me laugh and could read if he wanted to.  He could sit and watch movies or be read to all day, but he's got to act out anything we watch.  He's adventurous and hardly ever scared of anything, but also calm and extremely laid back.  He's sensitive and thoughtful, but doesn't get upset easily.  He loves all things boy--rockets, Transformers, Star Wars, balls, wrestling and loud movies.  He also really loves his Mama.  I love him too.

His 2nd birthday with his train cake.  He asked for this cake 2 years in a row!!
  I am truly blessed in all areas of my life, but when he says "I'm so glad I get to be your son," I know that God has sent a blessing to me that I will ever be grateful for.  

Tee ball--Spring 2010
Happy Birthday to my FAVORITEST boy in the whole world!!!
Christmas 2010--not scared one bit!
 We had pumpkin waffles to celebrate this morning and I took cupcakes to his class.  All the kids said, "Oren, you're the best!!"  And I brought him home early to watch a movie so he wouldn't have to take a nap at school.  Then tonight we're going to meet my sister and brother-in-law for supper at one of our favorite places nearby.  His birthday party will be's a Star Wars theme.  I'll post pictures as the day gets closer and afterwards.

Parenting is one of my greatest creative projects and he is a product of it.  I am so glad it's an unending one, because each day I spend with him makes me that much more happy.

P.S.  The last two photos are by my friend Amanda.  If you live anywhere in North Central Florida and are looking for a children's photographer, I would HIGHLY recommend her.  She is amazing and loves what she does.  She is our go-to gal when someone besides me is behind the lens!