Thursday, June 27, 2013

Oh I got Random...

Its been awhile since I did a Totally Random post on Thursdays and y'all know I've always got some randomness going on.  Here goes...

**I'm loving my clean and uncluttered work area.  Well, the WIP area is still crazy cluttered--but that's what I'm working on.

**I finished up this pretty block for a friend.  It's really similar to what I'm doing for Emma's new bed quilt that should be finished by the time she goes to college...hopefully...


**I also started this 3-Layered Star from Emily.  The section on the left I made today.  The section on the right I made last night after 5 margaritas.  Just kidding, just kidding.  I was tired though last night and sewed the pieces together wrong so then when I trimmed and realized my mistake I was out of luck when I sewed it back together correctly.  I just need to fix the white part though, so while a pain, it's not the end of the world.


**I really want to get out and pick the rest of our blackberries for some jam but it's thundered here ALL day.  Like all day.  We got a short shower around 11, but we're still getting thunder.  And see all of those pine trees?  I really don't want to be under those if the lightning gets close again...


**The kids have been at my Mom and Dad's since Tuesday.  They're coming home tomorrow.  They've been to Sea World and to see Monsters University.  These are the pics I get from them when they're gone...


**I've been really trying to run 3 days a week and am ALMOST to my goal of 56 miles in June.  As of today I've got 47 and I'm due for a long run tomorrow.  Yesterday was my speedwork run which I HATE with a passion, but I managed to run 1 mile in under 10 minutes which is flying for me.  I quickly slowed down after that.  My goal is to run a 5K in under 30 minutes.  It's a long-term goal.

**I haven't been checking my reader much.  I haven't decided if I'm going to use bloglovin or feedly yet and subscribed with both to my favorite blogs, but plan on using Google Reader till June 30 at 11:59.  Really, I'll be asleep at like 9:30, but you know what I mean.  So, if I haven't commented on your posts lately, it isn't personal, it's a lack of hours in my day.  And free internet--a lack of that too.

**I've got a hankering for some chewy chocolate chip cookies.  I've been putting off making them.  But last weekend I did make Snickerdoodle Bars after Toni made me want them and they were gone by Monday morning.  We had friends over for Mexican and I think cinnamon desserts go well with Mexican food.  You want to make these--the're delish!  I almost added chocolate chips to the batter and I think that would be an excellent choice, but just plain, they're still really good.

**Chris made some killer fajita steak and shrimp for supper that night.  And I made mexican pork roast that was pretty good too.

**I got all of my bee blocks done really early this month but because we're on summer break I never go to town and still haven't mailed them.  oops.  I'm going tomorrow for sure.  Or Chris will for me.

**Ok--I'm off to brave the thunder and pick some berries.  They're on their way out and i haven't made jam yet, so I better get to picking.

What are you up to on this random Thursday?  Let me know and then head over to Cindy's to see what everyone else is doing too.

Live A Colorful Life


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

WIP with a Clean Slate

I know there are people who are neat freaks.  There are people who clean up after (or during) each project and keep their sewing/creative area in order.  There are people who finish projects quickly and get them out of their sewing area before starting something new.  There are people who revel in an orderly environment.

I am usually not one of those people.  But even I reach my limits of having 3 baskets full of WIPs, a mountain of fabric to put away, more scraps than I know what to do with and a maze to walk through to get around in my sewing room.

First off, let me say I realize how blessed I am to have a small room to myself to sew, read blogs, escape to. But because it's mine I often worry about it last and because I've got so many projects going, I'm more likely to work on them instead of cleaning up.

So, while the kids are at my Mom and Dad's for a few days, I cleaned up.  I stopped all projects and sorted.  I cut scraps into workable sizes.  I rearranged a few things.  I put all of my yardage (fat quarter and larger) away.  I tossed 3 mini-trash cans full of things no longer needed.  I found old projects and inspiration pieces. And I made a pact with myself.


I will NOT start any new projects (other than bee blocks and emergency things that come up) until at least one of my 3 WIP baskets is empty.  I'm really working toward all 3, but you know how it goes...


So what am I working on?
**a quilt that's already sandwiched and just needs to be quilted and bound.
**a quilt top and backing that need to be put together and then quilted...I already know what I'm going to do and have the binding ready too.
**a dress that needs to have a kick-pleat added and sewn up.
** a pair of dress pants needing a button
**a dress I made for me that just literally needs a zipper and a hem.
**My Road to Fortune quilt needs to be put together--this is half with the others clipped nearby.
**My May DgS quilt blocks are almost all in from my rad friends and I'll need to put it together.
**Oren's star quilt is steading growing.  I've got fabrics and paper piecing for 2 blocks set out by my machine ready to sew.
**a few quilt block sets that need to be sewn into quilts from bees I've done in the past and just unfinished projects.
**an embroidery project I completed 3/4 of before getting tired of it and setting it aside.
**some baby clothing projects I've got going for some special people.



So, my sewing room isn't perfect just yet--there's still a lot of stacks of things to be finished.  But it is a work in progress and that's where I'm at.  And if you are a neat freak, please don't shudder at my piles.  C'mon over and help me sort them!  It'll be fun for both us.  ;)

Linking up with Lee.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Le Challenge--June

Le Challenge

Nat and Lucy gave us an excellent challenge again this month with “Maritime.”  What a great way to start thinking about summer and the sea.

Le Challenge

I had envisioned sailor skirts and boatneck tops from the get-go, but flat ran out of momentum to get a skirt made.  So after some thinking I decided to make a top for me out of some navy and white striped knit.  But a trip to JoAnn Fabrics left me with this navy and white sheer polyester as it was the only thing I could find.


I do love how the fabric has clear sequins randomly to give it a little extra sparkle.

So as I was telling my sister (Hi Carrie!) about this idea she saw the fabric and suggested I make a summer scarf instead.  And while I don’t know how much I’ll wear it during the heat of summer, I couldn’t let the idea go.  And I know I’ll wear it a lot through the fall and spring, so here is my infinity scarf with a maritime nod…



But since I’d bought extra fabric thinking I was making a shirt for me, I decided to make one for Emma.  It’s a basic dolman-sleeved tee-shirt style top that I kinda made up as I went along.  The seams are a little wonky in places, but I think it turned out darling.


Doesn’t she look precious??


Sorry they are large and sideways--Blogger and I are fighting today...

So here we are together, ready for a day on the sea.  Or a day on our front porch…  Next month, we’ll take some seaside pictures for you, but for now you’re stuck with a very tired 9-year-old (and a pretty tired Mama) and our attempts at modeling today…



I’m linking up with Le Challenge, so head over there to find out what everyone else conjured up with the maritime theme.  I’d really encourage you to participate in this fun challenge—a l creative forms are included, it’s more about using the theme to create than any rules on what to create.  It’s a lot of fun!  And I just looked and next month's theme is Toffee...I see sweets in my future and you know how much I love sweets!!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I'm back!!  Actually, I didn't tell y'all I was taking a short internet break, but when your data plan runs low at the end of the month, sometimes a little internet fast is good for the soul, you know?  Instead I concentrated on time with the kids, running, time with Chris and actually did some kniting.  Weird I know since the temperatures are close to 100 here daily...

So what am I up to today?

Well, I recently finished my bee blocks for June (early thank you to make up for my tardiness of late) and am  t work as always on Oren's Star Wars quilt...

Empower Circle--Postage Stamp blocks with a gradation from red to yellow

Modern Maple Leaves for Debbie in That Stash Bee


Up next is the 3-Layered Star from Emily.  Meesh made these blocks a month or so back for a bee and I thought immediately "That has to go in Oren's quilt!"  So I'm choosing fabrics and printing templates as you read.

And I'm working on a fun (last-minute) maritime project for Le Challenge.  The link up is this weekend (the 15th) so I'm formulating my plan and getting cracking on it.  I had good intentions for lovely sailor skirts for myself and Emma but not the time to make that happen.  So...I moved on to plan D.  Yep--plan D.  But I'm using this fabric and you'll have to come back Saturday to see what I do with it...

It's a sheer navy/white stripe with clear sequins--very cute!

And what else have I been working on?  Signing up for this because I'm either insane, or fiercely competitive, but I think it's both.  But I'm not just doing the half marathon again--oh no that's not crazy enough.  I'm doing the Glass Slipper Challenge which is the Enchanted 10K (6.2 miles) on Saturday and the Half Marathon (13.1 miles) on Sunday.  So--in 2 days I'll be running (more likely completing hopefully) 19.3 miles.  But a good friend is doing it and I couldn't let her do it alone.  Then I found out Meesh is doing it too, so I'll be in good company at least when I want to curl up in a ball and sleep for a very long time...

Add caption
So there's been lots of running too.  Which is good because it helps me complete the #56milesinJune challenge.  And I found out that my parents are also doing this through walking each day of their summer vacation too.  Shout out to Mom and Dad!!  ;)

Not too much finishing around here right now, but lots and lots of in progress activity...

Check out what everyone else is up to over at Lee's WIP Wednesday link up party too.  :)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Wet and Random Thursday

Hello from the heart of Tropical Storm Andrea.  Yep, we’re soaked sitting here under a wall of water that started yesterday afternoon and hasn’t let up.  If you’ve watched the weather channel at all in the last two days and you keep hearing them mention Cedar Key in the storm surge—that’s about 30 miles from my house, in my county, our closest “beach” and where Tropical Storm Debbie went through last year about this time. 



So far we are safe and just getting drowned with rain, but that rain is much needed so we won’t complain.  So far the tornado concerns are farther south, near my Mom and Dad and brother and farther south toward Palm Beach.

It’s funny for the rains to come through today because it’s the first day of summer vacation!  School let out yesterday at 11:45 and we took the kids to The Melting Pot last night to celebrate a great year.  The closest one is in Ocala which is a good hour from here, so both kids slept all the way home.  Dreaming of chocolate I imagine.  :)



I haven’t been sewing much (at all really) in the last week or so because I’ve been so busy with end-of-the-year stuff but I’m eagerly planning my summer sewing.  I’m making this block for Debbie in That Stash Bee which I’ve wanted to make for some time.  I’m making variegated postage stamp blocks for Heather in the Empower Circle of d.Gs.  I think this quilt will be awesome!  Our group is so creative, it’s a treat each month to see what we’re making next.

quilt inspiration by junienone
Heather's idea for our Empower circle blocks this month


I signed up for Deborah’s Summer Dresses E-Course.  I’ve never taken one of her e-courses though I’ve wanted to, and since I dreamed up that awesome summer wardrobe for myself, I splurged and took this class.  It started this week, so I’m excited to sit down and have some time to myself to get started.

In other crafty areas—I made Emma a chocolate cake with chocolate icing for her birthday last weekend and Ohmahgoodness—you MUST try this icing recipe.  It is a ganache but made with sour cream instead of cream and I seriously thought about just eating it all out of the bowl until my stomach hurt so bad I cried and then sucking it up and eating the rest and telling the girls they’d have to eat their cake dry…  It is rich and thick and delicious…not for the casual chocolate lover—well actually it might sway a casual chocolate lover.  One of the girls at the party said she didn’t like chocolate cake and she ate her whole piece!

And to make up for all that chocolatey goodness, I’ve been trying to keep up with all the great runners that participate in Marta’s running challenges on instagram.  This month she’s challenged us (and by us I mean anyone who wants to play along) to run 56 miles in June.  There’s no prize or anything other than an awesome feeling of accomplishment and probably a trimmer waistline.  J  You can walk, run, do the elliptical—she says miles are miles and it just matters that you do them.  So far I’ve got 8 in I think with a long run planned for tomorrow if I don’t get rained out…



Now I’m off to maybe get some sewing done before I cave under all this rain and snuggle up with a book for awhile.  I’m working on another block for Oren’s star quilt and pulling fabrics for those bee blocks.

What are you up to today and what does the weather look like outside your door?

Linking up with Cindy.

Live A Colorful Life

Monday, June 3, 2013

Epic Fail

So...sometimes in blogland, we only see the good stuff.  Since we as bloggers choose what we post, we can have a tendency to only show the good things.  We can edit the messiness of life out of our pictures and stories and show off only what we want you to see.

And then there are times we tell it like it is....

Here's one of those times for your enjoyment.

Remember that awesome skirt I was going to quickly whip up for summer wear and to enter in Skirt Week for myself...  And how it was so easy it was perfect for beginers.  I could make this skirt in my sleep...

EPIC FAIL!!

I WISH I'd taken pictures along and along.  It has been bad since about step 3.

I was thrilled at first because I had JUST the right amount of Kona White to line this skirt and thought it was a sign from Heaven that this would be a great project.  NO.

The cutting went well.  I measured my hips and multiplied that number by 1.75 and then divided by 2 to get my front and back rectangle measurements.  This seemed embarrassingly large, but I had faith...

I cut out the pockets on both the fashion and the lining fabric.

Cue the sad music to begin the downhill slide...

I decided not to treat the lining and fashion fabric as one and sew them separately for more movement in the skirt.  But remember how I'd already cut the pockets for the lining??  I had to Frankenstein that back together because I had just enough Kona remember.

Still positively moving on, I attached the pockets to the front of the skirt, sewed the side seams on the skirt and lining and then sewed the two together at the top and turned right-side-out.  And this thing was huge.  HUGE.  Like sofa slipcover huge.

But I blindly pressed on having faith in the shirring to bring it in.

I shirred this skirt like a Boss.  I'm talking no issues through 10 rows of shirring other than running out of elastic thread in the bobbin and even that was no big deal.  I was feeling good.

But I still worried that it was too big.  So I pressed on...literally.  I heated up my iron to the hottest setting, filled it with water and steamed the you-know-what out of that shirring.  And it shrunk up a lot.

But I still could have fit at least 2 of me in this skirt.

FAIL.

I so wish I had pictures because y'all would be cracking up laughing at me in this thing...

So I threw it in the corner, hosted a sleepover for 9 nine-year-olds and came back to it yesterday.

I boldly decided to just cut out 6 inches from the center front and back and sew the skirt back together.  Because of the pockets, I couldn't just take in the back or the side seams, so I thought what the heck and went for it.

This is what I cut out of the middle front and back of the skirt!

It was a pain to cut and sew because of the shirring, but I did my best.  I decided to just sew the fashion fabric and lining as one because at this point I was tired of this darn skirt.  So I sewed it up.

And the D*** thing was still too big.  Like Chris chuckled when he saw it on me and told me to take at least 6 more inches off the front and back.

So I did.

Wait for it...
Now I can't fit this skirt over my thighs.

And to make matters worse--it ALMOST fits Emma.  It's a little too big.


Double Burn...not only have I ruined this much-anticipated, super-easy, can't-wait-to-wear skirt, but I realized that my thighs are bigger around than my precious skinny little daughter's waist.

Seriously...what a reward for running...my muscular things just made me want to cry.

I threw the darn skirt across my bedroom again, took a deep breath, had a good laugh and decided to make it a dress for Em.

But then I realized those stupid pockets wouldn't allow for that unless I wanted to explain why she had pockets in her armpits...

So....know that even practically perfect bloggers like me (HAHAHAHAHA) have bad days and do incredibly dumb things.

And remember that it's just fabric....nothing hurt but some time, a little money, and my pride...

All's well and I'm moving on...just tell me you at least laughed with me and not at me okay??  :)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Nine


Nine years ago my world changed forever.  Unexplainably.  For the better.  Nine years ago this bundle of joy, of tears, of incessant crying and unbelieveable beauty was born.
 
June 2004

 Some days seem fraught with arguments, lessons and timeless moments of struggle.  Yet whole months and even years pass by before I am ready.


July 2005

Every Mom will tell you that parenting is the hardest job ever given to anyone.  I would agree.  There is no textbook or google search that tells me if I’m making the right choices.  And sometimes I don’t.  And sometimes I won’t know for years if I’m right or wrong.

puddle jumping 2007

I see this beautiful creature in front of me each day and I want to make her life perfect for her, yet I want her to struggle enough to know she’s earned it.  I want everyone to be nice to her and love her as much as I do, but I am so proud when I see her stand up to injustices in life.

self haircut--summer 2008

I want to strangle her when she does things like cut her own hair to resemble Joe Dirt and then be proud of it.  Or argue with me because she is so my child that she can’t stand to believe she might be wrong and now I’m fighting with a version of myself.  Or refuse to keep her room or even her seat in the car clean.

First Day of kindergarten--2009

I want to put her up on my shoulders and parade the world to show her off when she’s the only 3rd grader to make Straight A’s all year.  Or be chosen as Citizen of the Year, or win a bike for reading the most books in 2nd grade.  Or be voted class president.  Or stand up to a bully and put her in her place for hurting others when no one else would.  Or know her limits and turn down honors because she knows she can't do it all at the age of 9.

Little Queen--Homecoming 2010

I want to shield her from the drama that comes with being a girl and bickering with other girls.  I want to shield her from the hurt that comes with living in this imperfect world.  I want to take all of the insensitive people that would knowingly or uncaringly hurt my precious child and show them how it feels.

But I try to let her learn.

Emma is her own person.  She makes her own rules.  She is a combination of her Daddy and me.  And yet, she is herself.  She feels no need to conform most of the time.  She’d rather play alone than live by someone else’s rules.  She is determined to make her way in this world and no one will stand in her way.  She is a dreamer.  She is a fighter.  She is Emma.

Haircut after donating to Locks of Love--June 2011

Nine years ago yesterday, Chris and I became parents to the most beautiful gift God had ever given me.  He gave me the gift of a daughter.
 
Spring 2012


He gave me the gift of Emma Grace. 


I pray each day for this beautiful gift I call my daughter.  I pray that she will continue to push her boundaries. I pray that she will continue to grow, physically, mentally and spiritually too.  I pray that she will chase her dreams (but am afraid for her to go to far from home).  I pray that I will be strong enough to let her go, to encourage her when I’m afraid to let her try.  I pray that I will always see that what I dream for her may not be what she dreams for herself and to know the difference.  I pray that God will take my special girl and make a special woman out of her in time.  But I also pray that time will slow enough that I can enjoy each day before that with my baby girl.

Easter 2013

I am truly blessed and my cup runneth over mightily.

Happy Birthday Emma!  We love you more than you will ever know.