Friday, September 30, 2011

Celebrate Fall with this delicious dessert

Hi all!  I hope everyone is having a wonderful Friday and is headed into a fun weekend.  I had to post this recipe today because mine is in the oven baking and if the finished product is only as good as the raw form, we're in for a wonderful fall treat.

I always have lots of pumpkin in the freezer because I take the flesh from our Jack-O-Lanterns and puree it down and then freeze it each October.  Yes, I know they're not the right kind of pumpkin.  I just throw in a little sugar and it's all good.  So...all fall and winter we have many pumpkin-flavored goodies.

Oren wanted to make pumpkin cookies last night, but he also wanted to make brownies.  What???  So, to Pinterest I went.  And luckily for me, my new friend Toni  (she is so great by the way, check her out if you haven't!!) had just pinned a recipe for Pumpkin Salted Caramel Blondies.  Well...that's like a cookie/brownie combination, right?  So I pulled up the recipe this afternoon and we went to work.

                               Source: via Toni on Pinterest

With one small change of course...'cause I'm a little bit of rebel if you didn't know that about me.  Okay...well actually it's just that Chris makes THE BEST caramel sauce on the face of the planet and I knew that if I tried to use Bree's recipe, Chris would say why didn't you just use mine?  So, I did. sea salt or vanilla, but honestly...DELICIOUS!

So, I'm sending you all over to Bree's blog to check out this recipe along with what looks to be a ton of other goodies, but first I will leave you with Chris' recipe for caramel sauce.  It is easy, quick, and tastes good on everything!!

  Melt 1 stick of butter and 1 cup of brown sugar (doesn't matter if it's light or dark...use what you've got) together in a skillet, stirring occasionally.  When its all melted together, add a bunch of cream, stirring until combined.  (Don't you love exact directions?!?!?!  If I had to give you an amount I'd say 1/4-1/2 cup, but it really just depends on how heavy your hand is when you're pouring and how many calories you're trying to watch.

And, just because it was so's a pic each of Emma and Oren at the Jump-a-thon today.  I spent all day up there counting money for the fund raiser and watching kids jumping rope.  What a funny day!

Bless his heart...jumping rope isn't quite his thing just yet...notice how the  rope is in front of his feet??
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  It's supposed to get down into the 50s this weekend during the night.  And the days are only going to be in the low 80s!  We can't wait.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

WIP Wednesday #14 is flying by, isn't it?  How is September almost over already?  I set up a schedule with the kids' teachers so I can maximize my volunteer time with them while still having time for me at home too.  I'm spending all day Tuesday in Oren's class and all day Wednesday in Emma's class.  And I'll be home on Mondays, Thursdays and whenever there's nothing going on at school on Fridays.  This Friday I'll be helping the PE teachers with the annual Jump-a-thon.  It's a fundraiser where the kids get family to sponsor them jumping rope.  Ever seen 100 kindergartners jumping rope?  It's a blast to watch!  I'll get pictures to share.

But now on to my crafty works for the week...

Completed Projects:
 --I wrote on Monday how I'd finished up all of my Swap Blocks for the Scrapbuster Swap I participate in.  I got better pictures today and will mail them off tomorrow to Kari, our "head swapper."  It's a lot of fun to make a bunch of something and then get a package in the mail with different versions of the same thing.  It's like multiplying your fabric stash for each project!  When mine come in, maybe it'll be the inspiration I need to take my "Sent with Love" quilt out of the UFO list and finish it up.  I'm going to use these swapped blocks as a fun backing for my original postage stamp quilt.

This is actually 10 16-patch blocks.  Don't they look cool together though?

Works in Progress:
--I finished one of my 2 Evening Star blocks for my Summer Sampler Quilt.  This tutorial was from Kate and was as good as all of the others.  My block is woefully pieced together, but it is done and every once in a while I'm happier to just have something done than to have it perfect.  Probably no one will ever notice besides me and if it's keeping someone I love warm on the couch during the evenings than I'm happy.

I think this one will be on the back of the quilt!  ;)

--I'm pulling my "Fall Pops" quilt out of the UFO pile and am going to baste it tomorrow to quilt.  I tested a pattern for a blogger way back before I had a blog and then just never quilted it. I even pieced the back.  Apparently I just got project fatigue and set it aside.  It's getting done this week!

I think this one's going to need a good ironing before I do anything else with it! 

--I'm making more progress on my mittens.  I've got the thumb increases all knitted and my next step is to pull those stitches off for the thumb.  I don't have a new picture of these, but you can see my yarn choice and bottom ribbing here.  I am doing much better this year (so far...).  It all came back to me and I feel much more confident making increases and following directions.   Maybe this really will be the year of the knit for me!

--Oren's Greek Cross quilt is still in the "Wow that pile of fabrics is striking!" stage.  I've got it set out where I can see it when I walk in my sewing room, so that even though I don't have time still to get going on it, I can see it and admire it.  This is the one I'd most like to be working on, but I know the Summer Sampler has to be finished first so it doesn't make it's way down to the Poor and lonely list below...

I have added in a few more oranges and blues and even a few greens.  CAN'T WAIT!!
Poor, lonely Unfinished Projects that have been cast aside:
--"Sent with Love" postage stamp quilt.  Like I said...just waiting on my swap blocks and it's coming back!

--Mosaic Swap quilt.  Actually, I think this one needs one more row sewn on before I can quilt it.  But I haven't touched it in like 4 months, so I'm not sure on that one.  ;)

--My poor Sewing Room Sampler is getting moved to the UFO list.  I will finish it, but right now, it's taking a back seat to my other projects.  

  Lee is back from her self-imposed break since she's just about finished up with her Connecting Threads fabric design contest entries.  So, go over and give her some love and check out all of the wonderful bloggers who come back week after week to show off their works (in progress or otherwise).  

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday, Monday...

Hi everyone!  I hope you all had a great weekend, or at least refreshed for the week ahead.  I had a good one. It was fairly quiet, but that is a good thing sometimes, don't you think?  Emma and I went to a friend's bridal shower on Saturday afternoon and the shower was housed in the back of a local antiques store.  We looked around the shop while we waited for the shower to start and it had a TON of old sewing machines for sale.  I would have taken pictures if I'd had my camera.  I even saw the machine my Mother-in-law gave me (minus the cabinet which mine has) when Chris and I were first married.  It was marked $95 which made me laugh.  Good to know I've got over $100 sitting as a display in my hallway...

I also got some sewing time this weekend.  I remembered that my Scrapbuster Swap deadline was coming up next week.  Remember when I made the mosaic blocks for that swap?  Well, I took a couple of rounds off, but I joined back up this time.  The swap is for postage stamp blocks.  And yes, I have a postage stamp quilt top all done and ready to be basted and why did I sign up for this swap?  Well, first, I just missed the swapping and anticipation of what will come in the mail.  But I also thought it would be fun to take these full-color blocks (since my top uses white as the alternate block) and incorporate them into the back for my quilt.  That way, it'll be two-sided, and full of fun. I'm almost done and should have these done to mail off this week ahead of schedule!!

We are in a torrential downpour this afternoon, so I had to take these pictures inside with no natural lighting...I'll take new ones tomorrow!

And, as I said I would, I went through my yarn stash.  I decided to just start at the top and work down through the overly-large stash for someone who is such an on-again, off-again knitter.  So...I grabbed these two skeins of acrylic that I LOVE the colors of and got started.  Since I don't have many circular needles and no double-points, all hats (that I have patterns for) were out, so I'm going with a set of mittens for me.  I'll see how much yarn I have left after that and probably make a hat after that.  It'll be a great excuse to buy some DPNs, right?

I hope everyone has had a great Monday so far...I see the sun starting to poke out here.  I'm ready for fall's cooler, drier weather to start coming in.  Please??

Friday, September 23, 2011

Celebrate a little Color

I finished my patchwork table runner.  I told Chris I should call it a table blanket, because it's pretty big.  In fact, I thought about just adding a couple of borders and making it a lap quilt, but I wanted a table runner, so a table runner it is.

  I found a bundle of Farmdale by Alexander Henry Fabrics online.  All of the fabrics were different lengths, but it was plenty for what I was looking for. (Still have leftovers!!!)   I love this line--I love the apples, the cross-hatching, and all of the different colors.  I threw in some coordinating colors of both prints and a solid I already had and started cutting.  I just wanted a simple patchwork design so the fabric designs spoke for themselves.  Plus I didn't want to cut anything too small.  I wanted all of those apples to show!

When it came time for quilting, I thought about doing a stipple or loopy design, but since I loved the cross-hatching, I went with that.  Plus...EASY!!  I didn't even need a walking foot.  I just kept my regular foot on and went for it.  I quilted a straight line 1/4 inch from each seam and then another line 1/4 inch from each line.  So each seam got two lines on either side.  I didn't get too worried if my lines were perfectly straight or exactly 1/4 inch from the seam or each other.  The lines on the fabric are deliberately imperfect, so why not embrace it?

  And that backing's vintage from my Grandma's house.  I brought home a suitcase-FULL of fabrics that were either her's or my Great-Grandma's last October and this was one of them.  It's a thick linen-like cotton blend.  I love the color and how I could easily just turn the table runner over and use the back with it's great quilted design when I've moved my decorations toward Thanksgiving!

  As for binding...well, I went through my stash and chose this dark brown.  It matched my quilting thread and I thought it tied all of the fall colors back together.

  Overall, this was a great quick project.  It's nice to look at my living room and see something handmade.  And even better...I've got leftover charm squares to make into pillows when my slipcovers arrive.  That  plaid on the couches is going to take a little hibernation while I give some slipcovers a try.  I picked out those couches when we built our home 7 years ago, and while I still love them, they are awful hard to make pillows for.  And we all know how much fun pillows are to make!

  I hope y'all are having a great Friday and have a fun weekend planned.  I've got a bridal shower and the Gator game tomorrow, but otherwise I plan on spending some time sorting out my knitting needles and seeing what yarn wants to jump on them and what it wants to become...

  I'll be linking up this project to Rachel's Celebrate Color home decor contest for September.  There are some AWESOME projects linked up in all of the categories, so take some time this weekend to visit Rachel and then all of the amazing people showing off their colorful projects.  Wow!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

WIP Wednesday #13

Aahhh, Wednesday.  I have a love-hate relationship with Wednesdays.  They mark the halfway point of a week, meaning that on one hand, I'm halfway to the weekend.  But, on the other hand, I take a look at what I've accomplished so far in the week, and sometimes Wednesdays just make me realize that I must be a world-class time waster.  Darn that Pinterest!  And don't even get me started on housework, whew, that eats away at my sewing and pinterest time!  ;)

Works in Progress:
--My biggest progress this week was cutting out all of  the remaining pieces for my Summer Sampler Quilt and bagging them up so I could get them off of my bedroom floor.  Chris is happy.  I have made no progress on sewing my last 3 blocks together, but they are no longer taking up valuable floor space, so I'm still considering this progress.  
Each block got it's own quart-sized bag with all of the fabrics cut and ready to sew.  All of the scrap fabric filled one gallon-sized bag.  Hmmm...what to do on the back with those scraps?

--But I did get this done this morning:

I wanted to make something to enter in Rachel's Celebrate Color contest for September.  So, I ordered up a bundle of some Farmdale goodies, threw in some coordinating fabrics I had here and whipped up a quick patchwork.  And that did make me feel a little less like a world-class time waster!

I'm planning on basting, quilting and (hopefully) binding this tomorrow.  The contest deadline is Monday (I think) and there are categories for home dec, wearables, needlepoint and yarn.  So, if you've whipped something up recently that is full of color (especially fall colors!!) go and enter.  The prizes are great.  Only don't enter if your "whatever you've made" is better than mine, okay?  Because I really want to win!  ;)

--Oren's Greek Cross quilt is still in the "Wow that pile of fabrics is striking!" stage.  I've got it set out where I can see it when I walk in my room, so that even though I don't have time still to get going on it, I can see it and admire it.  This is the one I'd most like to be working on, but I know the Summer Sampler has to be finished first so it doesn't make it's way down to the Poor and lonely list below...

 --And my sampler is in limbo.  I don't want to give up on it just yet, but I haven't been motivated to work on it either.  I'm going to give it another week and then if still in limbo--it gets moved down.  Sorry, sampler.  It's not you, it's me and my very small attention span...

Poor, lonely Unfinished Projects that have been cast aside:

--"Sent with Love" postage stamp quilt.  It looks so sad peeking out of my WIP basket knowing it's not far from being done and just needs a little love.

--Mosaic Swap quilt.  Actually, I think this one needs one more row sewn on before I can quilt it.  But I haven't touched it in like 2 months, so I'm not sure on that one.  ;)

--Fall Pops quilt.  This one goes back before blogging...  Oops!  But, it just needs quilting and it's making a comeback next week...probably!  :)

   Lee's not having a linkup this week as she's busy finishing up her fabric design for the contest over at  Please do me a favor and send her sweet and encouraging thoughts for the next few days.  Her designs are awesome and I'm wishing her the best of luck.  Go check out her web site anyway, leave her sweet comments, and check out previous linkups for inspiration.  You'll find plenty over there, I promise!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

And, done!

  So, how many of you out there ever take on commission work?  You know, when someone says "Don't you sew/have an embroidery machine?  Could you make this for me???"  Usually I don't mind, because it doesn't happen much and I get the double bonus of helping someone out and making a little extra money.

  The issue I have with commission work is that it often involves something I wouldn't normally make.  Which can sometimes be great and inspiring and sometimes be frustrating and annoying.  I had a little bit of both with my latest project.

 A friend from school asked me if I could copy something she found online for her granddaughter's birthday.  The outfit they found was an entire set and they just wanted the onesie portion of it.  And, they couldn't believe the cost.  That should have been a clue to me that this project was going to take a lot of time, but I jumped right in.
Please excuse the threads and loose ends on this and all remaining photos.  I had about 5 minutes to take this pics today, so I finished them up, ran outside, snapped and have to work with what I got...

  She wanted the number one embroidered with Minnie's face and her granddaughter's name below.  I quickly found embroidery patterns for what I was looking for and put my design together.  But, as sometimes happens when using new embroidery designers and combining patterns, something went wrong.

  I don't know what the problem was (although I think it may have just been that the onesie size is so small because the big one turned out fine), but the applique fabrics kept tearing away from the satin stitching.  She gave me 3 onesies and wanted 2 embroidered.  I ended up using all 3.  One came out well.  One came out okay and one came out ridiculously bad and embarrassing!!

This little head is on the cute will that be crawling or toddling around?  It's my favorite part of the whole ensemble.

  But in all, I thought it was a very cute design and hope she is happy with them.  The Mommy wanted a matching shirt, so with a quick change in text, she's all set too.  I hope little Miss Chesley has a very happy first birthday and that she rocks her party.

  I'll be linking this project up to the usual places.  Check out my Where I party tab at the top for details.  I've said it before, linky parties are a great place to find new inspiration and great blogs.  Click over if you get a chance!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Too Much


  So, remember how on Wednesday I said I'd been so busy I needed to learn how to say no...  Well, I learned.  Unfortunately, that lesson came from me spending the night sleeping on my bathroom floor because I was literally too exhausted to go back and forth to my bed. I'll leave it there, no need to go into detail about why I kept going back to the bathroom, right?? Chris found me this morning, demanded that I get in bed and told me that he'd be emailing the kids' teachers to say I wouldn't be in today.  He also got the kids up and ready for school and took them this morning for me.  Now understand that Chris is usually gone for work before I get up in the mornings.  He's an early bird and so he just gets up and gets his day started.  But he sacrificed his uninterrupted time to grade the mountain of papers on his desk to help me because he's that good of a guy.  It sounds little, but that's what life is made of...little moments that add up to prove love and kindness.

                            Source: via Kelli on Pinterest

I slept in until almost 10.  10!  That's unheard of at this house.  No one (other than me) would dream of sleeping when it's light outside, so to have that extra few hours of stress-free rest was a God-send.  I am feeling better, but I'm not planning on running any marathons this weekend.  A few more days of rest and I'll be back to normal.

Isn't this lovely?  So refreshing and clean...

  But this week is a good reminder that life keeps moving whether you are ready or not.  You choose the pace you run life at.  Even when things are going in a million directions, we each have the opportunity to slow down, to say no to a few obligations, to remember to look around and enjoy the life that is speeding by.  I can make myself available to help others while still finding time for myself--I just need to find a way to make it work instead of just piling it all on my plate.

  When I get overwhelmed like I was this week I look at my life and always think of the old saying "Jack of all trades and master at none."  And I it better to be very involved and do a moderately good job with lots of things, or is it better to do only a few things, but be very good at them?

                                             Source: via Kris on Pinterest

So...what do you think?  Are you a Jack (or Jill) of all trades, or do you keep yourself limited to only what you truly need to do/enjoy the most?  And this goes for all aspects of life...responsibilities, activities with the kids, crafting choices, etc.

p.s...To end on a high note--I realized when looking at the calendar last week that it's been almost one year since I started blogging.  And I can't believe it's come this far.  What do you think...giveaway???  I'll be thinking about something good and let you know!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

WIP Wednesday # 12

Hello everyone, remember me?  Sorry for the week-long absence.  One of my bestest friends flew in for the weekend and between getting the house cleaned before she got here and catching up and the Gator game while she was here I didn't have a second for crafting or blogging.

And this week I have spent almost every minute of the school day at the kids’ school helping various teachers with various projects…apparently my reputation precedes me.  And before you think I’m bragging, I actually mean my reputation to say “Sure, I’d love to help out,” and not how good I am.  Today was a good reminder that I need to learn to say “No, I’m sorry, I just can’t.” 

So, my sewing machine and I are not on speaking terms right now.  I’ve given it longing looks in passing, but haven’t sat down at it since last Friday.  I had a shirt all ready for the Gator Game and all ready to show off on here for Friday, but ran out of thread as I was finishing up the embroidery for it.  Normally I would have just stopped and put it aside till I could get more thread, but I know that usually means “put it aside forever” so I decided to press on with some blue variegated thread I had instead.  NOPE…craft fail.  The shirt came out super cute, but where I’d had to use the variegated just looked bad.  

So, my only completion this week is some blog updating.  What do you think?  I went with a super-big header that is very different from anything I've done in the past.  But I noticed lots of people were doing photos in their header, so I jumped on board.  I also played around with my sidebars.  I wish I knew more about html, but I'll get there...

And, at least I've got works in progress.  So, how better to jump back into blogging than with some WIP action:  

Works in Progress:
--I don't have any new Summer Sampler blocks finished, but I do have some cut and ready to sew.  I'm on Kate's Evening Star block.  I've been looking forward to this one because it's so neat-looking.  Here's Kate's:
Kate's Evening Star block

I'm thinking I'm going to leave my corners white, but I love the look of this one.  Can't wait to get started on it.  Paper piecing, here I come!

Here are my cut out pieces waiting for a free moment to sew...

--Oren's Greek Cross quilt still has no progress other than the decision to add in some greens thanks to some commenters last week.  I've bought a few more additions in the last week and can't wait to get cutting on this one!  Pictures next week (hopefully)...
 --I haven't given up on my embroidery sampler yet, but I haven't worked on it much either.  I've got the sewing machine french knots about done and I think it will be a fairly easy finish after that.  I took it to dance class this week and worked on it while Emma plie-ed and toe-pointed for an hour and that helped.  We don't have to stay at dance class for the hour now that she's in an older class, but it's a quiet hour that I can do something uninterrupted and I like to be there for her when she comes out for a water break or something.

Yes, my sewing machine is tri-colored.  I thought I had the same color and was 1 knot in when I realized it wasn't, so I decided to just go with it... 

Poor, lonely Unfinished Projects that have been cast aside:
--"Sent with Love" postage stamp quilt.  It looks so sad peeking out of my WIP basket knowing it's not far from being done and just needs a little love.

--Mosaic Swap quilt.  Actually, I think this one needs one more row sewn on before I can quilt it.  But I haven't touched it in like 2 months, so I'm not sure on that one.  ;)

--Fall Pops quilt.  This one goes back before blogging...  Oops!

Go check out Lee's linkup to see what she's been up to and all of the other great bloggers that link up too!  And here's to progress...may we all have some on those never-ending to-do lists this week!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

WIP Wednesday #11

It’s that time of the week again…WIP Wednesday!

Yay for progress!  Works in progress are a good thing because it means I'm making a dent in my ever-growing to-do pile.  I finished up one little thing in the past week, but am making lots of progress in other areas, so here goes:

  Friday afternoon I whipped up a cute little skirt for Emma to wear to the football games on Friday nights.  She's too big for a cheerleading outfit, but too small for all of the high school shirts and her jersey, so I thought this was a fun alternative.  It's just the same bandana skirt I've made in the past.  It's so easy--seriously, if you ever need a quick skirt for a little girl...use this tutorial!!
  I have some t-shirts in mind for Oren and Emma for football games, too...I've just got to get my embroidery designs set so I'm ready to go.

Forget Boys of Fall...this is a Girl of Fall!

In Progress:
  Since last Wednesday, I've finished up two more blocks for my Summer Sampler Quilt.  First up was Faith's Lucky Pieces block.  This block was a relief of no paper piecing or intricate sewing.  It was simple HSTs sewn together.  Phew!

  Next up, Lee's Minnesota block.  And although this one involved paper piecing, it was quite enjoyable too.  I only did one section of the pp wrong and that was solely inattention to detail.  That's my biggest problem with PP--not focusing on the task at hand.  It's so easy to sew down your pieces the wrong way when you're doing 5 things at once, I mean multi-tasking!

  I'm working hard on getting the Summer Sampler done before I start anything else big, so I've got my fabrics all ready for Oren's Greek Cross quilt, but I haven't started cutting yet.  See, I've got this big pile of scraps in our bedroom floor that I'm using for the Summer Sampler, and it's driving Chris crazy!!  So...I've decided no more cutting until that pile of scraps is gone.  I'm such a good wife!  ;)  Anyway, for those of you who agree that stacks of fabric can be serious eye you go.  I'm thinking of adding in a few greens for a pop of color (and since gators are actually green), but I haven't decided.  Any opinions?

I've actually got a couple other blues that didn't make it into this picture too.  It is awful hard to find royal blues!
   I continue to work on my embroidery sampler for my sewing room...but you know me.  I've grown weary of it and I'm ready to move on to something else...namely something fall-related.  I'm going to make myself work on it for the rest of this week to see if I can just finish it up and be done, but it may quickly move to the  WIP basket so I can get on with something more timely.  Let's cross our fingers for a finish on this one, shall we?

It's these darn french knots doing me in...they're SO small!!

   Last weekend I went shopping with my sister and saw a cute Gator shirt at Target.  However, it looked cheaply made and they wanted like $25 for it.  WHAT??  "I could make that same shirt at home for less than $10," I said.  So I am.  I'd already bought a plain blue t-shirt with a Gator restyle in mind, so I'm all set.  I've actually got it ready to sew, but a cut-up shirt's not so interesting to look at, so just come back Friday for the big reveal, 'kay?

Poor, lonely Unfinished Projects that have been cast aside:
--"Sent with Love" postage stamp quilt.  It look so sad peeking out of my WIP basket knowing it's not far from being done and just needs a little love.

--Mosaic Swap quilt.  Actually, I think this one needs one more row sewn on before I can quilt it.  But I haven't touched it in like 2 months, so I'm not sure on that one.  ;)

--Fall Pops quilt.  This one goes back before blogging...  Oops!

Go check out Lee's linkup to see what she's been up to and all of the other great bloggers that link up too!  It's always inspiring to me to see what others can get done in a week...inspiring and encouraging (like a "Stop spending all of your time on Pinterest and get busy sewing!!" kind of encouragement, you know?!?)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Fall Inspiration part 2

 I hope everyone had a great weekend and is enjoying your Labor Day (even if you had to labor today...)  We're having a quiet day at home, enjoying the cooler weather (and by cooler I mean in the lower 90s!)  I am still dreaming about actual cooler weather...

  Here are a few more inspirational projects and pictures to get you dreaming about fall, too.

Indian Corn - Fall Harvest Time (11x14) Fine Art Nature Photography Print by Shannon Leigh Studios On Etsy
Fine Art via Etsy ($40)

                                              Yummy Acorns  Source: via Kelli on Pinterest

                                                Fall Embroidery Pillow    Source: via Kelli on Pinterest

Fall quilted throw with Chenille accents
Fall Colors Quilt with Chenille Accents via Etsy   ($140)

           Sweatshirt Turned Blazer  Source: via Kelli on Pinterest

  This weekend I've managed to spend some quality time with my favorite (and only) sister, clean out our guest room ('cause we have company coming this coming weekend), and finish up a few more sewing projects...more details soon!  Have a great rest of your Monday and a great week!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Finished it Friday

Happy Friday everybody!!  And it's a long weekend for most of us.  I know my kids and husband are glad.  This school stuff wears you out!

  Since I actually got a few things done this week, I thought I'd link back up with Angie for her Finished it Friday party.  Let's see...this week, I got a new skirt done, a few blocks for my Summer Sampler Quilt done, and a blanket done for a friend of mine's little boy.  With as busy as we've been in the last few weeks, I'd call that major success!

Finished it Fridays!

  So here goes:
  I blogged about this skirt here.  It's just a simple refashion from an old dress.  But maybe I'll get more wear out of it now...

  I managed to complete my six-point star blocks this week, leaving me with only 5 (meaning 10 for me) blocks to go.  I posted my green star block on Wednesday, but I went back and ripped out my rows in hopes that I could do a little better sewing up those points.  Not much, but maybe a little.  I made my second one in blue.  Both of these came out a little short...I'm guessing the template printed a little small.  I didn't worry about it because I'm going to border them all and just cut the borders to the same size.

I think I'm ready for some squares and rectangles after all of this iffy triangle piecing!!!  ;)

   And, yesterday I sewed this little baby together for a friend's little boy.  I just did a quick right-sides-together sew around the outside (leaving a 5ish-inch opening on one side) and then just flipped it right-sides-out and topstitched.  I forget how good it feels sometimes to just do something quick, easy, and cute.  I should put more things like this on my to-do list to help out with that always-working, never ta-da feeling at the end.  As simple as it was, I felt very satisfied and proud of the end result.  Hopefully Waylon will get many good naps under it this year. :)

  Along with the volunteering I did this week and a dentist appointment for me, I'm considering this a good week.  I'm actually hoping it's the path back into a schedule.  I love to help out at school, but I need time for me too.  Sewing and quilting is part of what makes up me.  Not the part of me that's Emma and Oren's Momma, not the part of me that's Chris' wife, not the part of me that's a sister, daughter, friend, volunteer, etc, but the part of me that is Kelli all by myself.  It's so easy to lose that part when you've got so many hats to wear, but when creative opportunities suffer, I find that other parts of my life suffer as well.

  So take some time for you this weekend.  Do something you enjoy, that's part of who you are.  Make time for yourself...even if its only 15 minutes!

  Have a great weekend everyone, and I'll be back soon with more fall inspirations!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fall Inspiration

  Yay for September!  Fall is near.  Of course, here in FL, fall is often a small window when we crazy heat-lovers get to imagine what it must be like to live in the rest of the country with chilly temps at night, less-than-steaming temps during the day and a very brief view at fall colors on our few trees that shed leaves.  Short as it may be, we love it around here!

  Fall means FOOTBALL!!  It means bonfires, long-sleeved tee-shirts, oysters roasted on said fire, get-togethers with friends, fall carnivals, Halloween, Thanksgiving and yummy treats and smells involving apples, pumpkin and lots of cinnamon!

  It also means a shift in creative endeavors for me.  I sew less clothing and more quilts.  I get out my knitting needles and (this year) my embroidery basket.  I think more about my home and keeping it cozy.

  Rachel over at Stitched in Color set up a new Celebrate Color event all about fall colors and the projects that go along with them.  Guest bloggers and those that link up will be talking about their favorite fall projects, showing off projects they've made recently and enjoying other's beautiful works as well.  There will be inspirational posts, tutorials, contests and even prizes!

  Although I'm by nature a bright and lovely kind of girl when it comes to colors, meaning I gravitate toward sunny aquas, yellows, pinks and oranges, fall is my favorite season and I love the rich colors associated with it.  Besides, no one says fall has to be dark--just rich.  Look at all of the colors of thread Rachel included in her button above.  Pops of bright color add a lot to a darker palette.

  To get me (and y'all) in the mood for fall, I'll be posting some inpsirational pieces that I've found throughout the next few months.  They include patterns (mostly free!!), fabrics and colors.  There are inspirational pieces from store sites and even a recipe or two...  Fall is a wonderful time of year.  Hope you enjoy!!


Image of Sketchbook Cardigan
Sketchbook Cardigan (Free Pattern!!) via Lion Brand Yarns

fallen colors
Fallen Colors via flickr

                                                              Source: via Allie on Pinterest

Courtesy of Sarah Jane Studios via Sew Mama Sew

  Next month I'll be sharing some Halloween ideas both in fabrics and projects that I love, but I thought I'd start out slow...enjoy the beginning of fall.  The (hopefully sooner than later) cooler air, the Friday Night Lights and Saturday tailgates and the transition into a cozier time of year.  While I love summer and all it's lazy days, the start of school and activities means fun times together as a family and with friends, and that is hard to beat!

  Make sure to head over to Rachel's to check out everyone else's version of fall in colors and projects!!