Monday, May 30, 2011

Daybook 5.30.11

FOR TODAY
Outside my window... greening grass with big patches of dirty snow under the pine trees. We are in our spot in the mountains. We were supposed to be camping at the Colorado National Monument, but I seem to have caught a little bug. We opted to stay in one spot. I've slept 22 of the last 36 hours and now feel so much better.

I am thinking... about the significance of Memorial Day. I wish I had planned ahead and thought of an activity for the kids. Next year.

I am thankful for... mountain air. Even if I am short of breath just climbing the stairs.

From the kitchen... my kitchen is going to be a campfire this week, and I'm going to try some new recipes. I'll share next week if they turn out well.

I am wearing... fleecy leopard print PJs

I am creating... my sewing machine is getting a tune up this week, and I miss it! I'm working on getting some hand stitching done. Wishing I had packed a crochet project.

I am going... on a desert adventure!

I am reading... Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith still and haven't made much progress since last week. I also started (and already finished!) Family History. I needed a novel for the holiday weekend and this fit the bill. Finished listening to The Kitchen House (really good!) and started listening to The Heart and the Fist. Hoping this is a good as it sounds.

I am hoping... for more than one camping trip this summer. And while I'm hoping and wishing about camping, I'd really like a Casita.

I am hearing... the rumble of the stream that runs behind our mountain spot, the hum and tick of the fireplace, and Jack's cartoons. Everyone else is still asleep.

Around the house...
I finally got the garden planted. My yellow squash planted literally doubled overnight. I put in a few herbs and will plant more next week. Next week I'll plant annuals and tomatoes in my pots. And I want to get a new umbrella for our outdoor dining table since we are starting to eat most of our meals outside.

One of my favorite things... eating outside!

A few plans for the rest of the week: hiking, swimming, off roading, and just relaxing fun this week. Maybe another Junior Ranger badge. And we get to see Uncle Mark and Uncle Peter.

Here is picture I am sharing: I'm on my laptop and only have old photos. Here is one from May 2006. I was so young!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Kindergarten Hands Quilt

There is a beloved kindergarten teacher at my kids' school. Both Kate and Jack were fortunate to have her as a teacher, and I was fortunate to be a mom in class 2 years in a row. Unfortunately for all of us, this was her last year of teaching kindergarten. We wanted to do something special for her from the class, and I agreed to make a quilt. This was a fairly last minute decision, so I didn't have much time to ponder ideas. All I knew was that we wanted to put the students' hand prints on the quilt.

I quickly decided on fabric - Punctuation by American Jane - since it is a bit whimsical, retro, and just right for a teacher. By chance I was perusing quilting blogs and saw this Easy Bricks quilt. I immediately knew that it would be a perfect design for showcasing little hands. I had to adjust the dimensions to fit the hands - squares are cut 6" and the rectangles are cut 6x10".
The fabric arrived a week ago Monday. I began cutting and piecing Monday and Tuesday. Hands were traced at school on Wednesday. That evening I played around with fabric markers and appliques for the hands but decided that embroidering them would look the best.
I spent most of Thursday, Friday and Saturday embroidering 22 little hands. You don't realize how unique each little hand is until you've embroidered all of them!
I basted and quilted Saturday evening and did the binding on Sunday. I really wanted one of the black Punctuation patterns to work for the binding, but none of it was just right. Solid red was just right. Back is pieced with various fabric from the same line.
I loved making this quilt. But I cranked it out pretty fast, and my fingers are a bit sore...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

WIP Wednesday

This week's WIP recording is mostly to help me keep track. And did anyone notice my stellar math skills last week? 11 on the back burner + 6 in progress = 18 projects... uh, that would be only 17... not sure where I got the extra quilt!

WIP List:
17 projects total
11 on the back burner
1 completed (Kindergarten Hands - will blog about it tomorrow)
2 needing binding finished (both baby quilts)
1 needing quilting (crosses quilt)
1 needing basting (FRMQG challenge quilt)
1 needing piecing (Lil' Twister)
0 started (but I'm thinking about cutting some fabric for a new project tonight...)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

School is Out!

Yesterday was the last day of school for my kiddos. Kate is moving on up to 2nd grade, and Jack to 1st grade.
Not only do they keep growing, but their attitudes are growing also!
Check out what they looked like back on the first day of school.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Daybook 5.23.11

FOR TODAY
Outside my window... clear and lovely. Perfect for the last day of school picnic.

I am thinking... that all I blog lately is Daybooks and WIP. Hoping this will change as the school year comes to an end.

I am thankful for... for a busy schedule as it means I have a full life. I'm thankful for a busy schedule. I'm thankful for a busy schedule. I need to keep telling myself this. Maybe I'll eventually feel/believe it.

From the kitchen... still closed for business. Seriously, I don't think I've made anything fancier than boxed mac 'n cheese for weeks!

I am wearing... grey tennis skirt (with cute leopard print under shorts!), hot pink tank, fleece top

I am creating... I finished a quilt yesterday for Jack's retiring kindergarten teacher. My fingers are a bit sore. I think I'm done sewing for this week, and next week my machine gets to go get tuned up.

I am going... to play in my first competitive tennis match this evening. I'm a bit nervous and a bit excited. Please be sending me some play good vibes. I don't care for myself whether I win or lose, but I care about winning for the team.

I am reading... did I mention that Matt accidentally dropped my copy of Stuff in the toilet? And my kids aren't good about flushing. It went into the recycling bin. I'm midway through The Kitchen House and really enjoying listening to it. I ended up not starting the Mother Teresa biography and instead re-started Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith which I was supposed to read last fall with my friend Ashlee. She whizzed through it, but I didn't get past the first chapter. Back at it.

I am hoping... to just make it through today. Then I'm hoping to kick back and enjoy summer!

I am hearing... the tick of the clock in my sewing room. I'm blogging from my laptop while my desktop downloads videos. I love this clock and had it by my bedside for awhile, but while the tick soothed me, it kept Matt awake. It now lives in my sewing room.

Around the house... laundry, laundry, laundry.

One of my favorite things... JRDF. Really worth supporting. As Matt and I have become more intentional about our giving, this is one of the organizations that we have singled out as important to us.

A few plans for the rest of the week: major events today include tennis lesson, school picnic, nap, tennis match. There are a ton of little piddly things I need to fit in as well that's making me feel overwhelmed. The rest of the week? Sleep in, do nothing, haircut, sleep in, do nothing, dinner with friends we haven't seen in forever, sleep-in, do nothing. Maybe I'll even sneak a shower in there somewhere.

Here is picture I am sharing: I'm sure I have photos... I'm just feeling too lazy to download them from my camera...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

WIP Wednesday

It has been 2 weeks since I did my first WIP Wednesday, and I've made some progress!

I had 4 in progress last time I blogged. Now I have 6 in progress! But I've made no progress on 2 of those quilts...

this Lil' Twister quilt still needs a little iron-on interfacing to fix my aggressive trimming. I have purchased the interfacing. Just need to use it!
This yet-to-be titled quilt is still in need of some ripping and new quilting. It hasn't been touched in 2 weeks.
These 2 quilts have the binding stitched on and only need the binding hand-stitched. I just don't hold still easily.
I did start and finish my FRMQG solids challenge quilt top. I'm waiting on 2 possible backings to arrive before I start quilting it.
AND I've started another quilt that I need to have completely finished by Monday. The pattern isn't difficult, but I imagine I'll be doing nothing else this weekend.
I still need... okay, want... to start the Modern Times Quilt, but since I still have 11 quilts on the back burner, I think I'm going to take it off the list for now. So...

18 projects
6 in active progress
11 on the back burner

Monday, May 16, 2011

Daybook 5.16.11

FOR TODAY
Outside my window... cloudy, overcast, can't even tell there are mountains out there. And pretty cool for mid-May. Only 34 degrees when I left on my run this morning

I am thinking... lots of things really... that I wish certain people that read my blog would write their own blog so I could have insight into their life since they get to glimpse mine. I'm also thinking about a quote I read a couple weeks ago that "love is not a feeling but an eternal promise." The writer compared that promise to the dawn coming in deepest darkness. I've always associated sunsets with love, but I see how a sunrise might be more appropriate. I've also often declared that love is a choice and a commitment, but I like the idea of it being a promise better. An eternal promise. And mentioning sunsets reminds me that Jack's current favorite song is Annie's Song by John Denver (also one of my favorites that I frequently sing to him at bedtime). Only he doesn't have the lyrics right. He sings instead, "You fill up my sunsets... come fill me again." I rather like his version. And has it really been a whole week since I last blogged?

I am thankful for... early morning light and warm running tights (although in a few weeks, I'll be thankful for cool morning runs!)

From the kitchen... my kitchen is closed for business. I've abandoned it completely. Sheesh.

I am wearing... running shoes, windproof running tights, turtleneck, running jacket and a hat. And I'm still cold

I am creating... a couple quilts that I NEED to get done by next week. One I haven't even started yet. The fabric is supposed to arrive today. I'm going to try to document my progress on a WIP post Wed.

I am going... to Europe to see my friend Elizabeth! Okay, so I'm not going until right after my 40th birthday which is still well over a year away, but I'm already planning and scheming and excited!

I am reading... FINALLY finished Stuff. It was good, but it was a lot of the same after the first couple chapters. I don't like to not finish books, but I probably could have given up on this one last week. I also finished listening to The Paris Wife which I really enjoyed in an easy listening sorta way. Have moved on to the audiobook version of The Kitchen House. And my next book is the biography of Mother Teresa. I just haven't actually started reading it yet.

I am hoping... to figure out the sprinkler system this week so I can get my garden planted.

I am hearing... the whir of my chai in the frother

Around the house...
finally got a few things done last week that I've been wanting to get done. Rearranged some furniture, changed some artwork, added some accessories. Now I want to rearrange my office. I also want to finish cleaning out my closet. It got a bit overwhelming last week so I just shoved everything back inside.

One of my favorite things... fabric. I love it. I have a problem with buying too much of it. Every time I buy some, I tell myself I won't buy more until I use up most of what I already have. But I can't control myself! Fortunately, Matt likes the way fabric looks all folded in piles in my sewing room. And I do like being able to pull from my stash. And I find all the fabric very inspiring.

A few plans for the rest of the week: last week of school, last enrichment classes for the kids, a facial (ah!), Monument Art Hop, kindergarten BBQ, Juvenile Diabetes Promise Ball, lots o' quilting, and lots o' tennis.

Here is picture I am sharing: Jack sneaking away with his iPod Touch after swim lessons

Monday, May 09, 2011

DayBook 5.9.11

FOR TODAY
Outside my window... beautiful, clear morning. My lilac bushes are blooming and the scent drifts in through any of our open windows.

I am thinking... that I really like doing these Daybook posts. I like reflecting once a week.

I am thankful for... my bathroom scale which gives it to me straight. Even if I don't like what it tells me.

From the kitchen... English muffins and raspberries and chai tea for breakfast. Haven't given much thought yet past that. Maybe I'll make the granola that I haven't gotten around to making yet.

I am wearing... running tights (it is still a bit nip in the mornings), black hooded running top, and running shoes.

I am creating... see WIP post. I might also make another sunglasses case today. Not sure I am totally satisfied with the one I made for the FRMQG swap.

I am going... to take a shower before my tennis lesson this morning. That's how yucky I am.

I am reading... same as last week... Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things and listening to The Paris Wife.

I am hoping... for an early bedtime all this week.

I am hearing... just the birds chirping. I should hear rustling upstairs. Need to finish this up and go wake up the troops.

Around the house...
garden is composted and ready to plant. I need to check with our sprinkler guy about how to set up the automatic watering. Matt was off work for a few days last week. We used one of the days to sort (my job) and deliver (Matt's job) a big box of donations. That was so motivating that I have another box almost ready to go. We also rearranged some furniture and wall hangings. I'm really liking it.

One of my favorite things... my super plush, ultra soft camping pad that I got for Mother's Day.

A few plans for the rest of the week: tennis (this is going to be the summer of tennis), FRMQG meeting, last day of kindy volunteering, a teleclass (my first!) on how to organize your wardrobe/closet, school field trip, a couple playdates, and hopefully goal setting group

Here is picture for thought I am sharing: I don't think I took a single photo this week...

Friday, May 06, 2011

Hen House

Last weekend Mimi, Dick and Uncle Mark all descended for a hen house raising. I've been waiting for this for YEARS.

Mark did all the designing, pre-purchasing of supplies, and some pre-construction. He arrived in his rig all ready to go!
We worked
and worked.
While others played.
And some supervised.
This man knows what to do with his toolbox!
This woman does not!
I just wish I had a photo of me using the plumb line! That is a cool little tool!
Testing out the chicken door.
I let Mark think that he helped me build the laying boxes.
But it was mostly me.
More supervising.
And playing.
Our backyard already had a concrete dog run, so we built the hen house to fit right inside. That's my new raised garden bed next to it. Never got around to early planting...
We still need to finish enclosing the run and add some ventilation to the hen house.
Then it will be chicken time!

Thank you, Uncle Mark! And thank you, Mimi and Dick, for all the help!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

WIP Wednesday

I've never participated in the Works in Progress (WIP) Wednesday, but I thought it might be good motivation for myself to list it all out... here we go...

Quilt that needs scrappy binding. This is my top priority. Going to get it done this weekend.
This quilt I started straight-line quilting and wasn't happy with the results. It has taken me 2 months to pull it all out. I'm thinking I might go with a stipple this time. This quilt is priority #2 for me. I'd like to have it done by next weekend.
I also started to straight line quilt this one and wasn't happy. I'm pulling out most of those stitches, but I'm bound and determined to do straight lines on this one. I'll keep at it until I get it right.
This is going to be a Lil' Twister quilt but I trimmed a little too aggressively in a few places. I need to get a little fusible interfacing to fix my aggression issues. Once that is done, this should go together pretty quickly.
I'm excited for this one, but I haven't even finished cutting. I want to wrap up some other projects before I get back to this one.
This is for the FRMQG challenge. Really isn't "in progress" yet, but it needs to be!
My ticker-tape quilt. This is ongoing so it doesn't bother me sitting there in its unfinished state.
A disappearing nine patch that I'm making for someone. I'm thinking about doing a little ripping on this one and rearranging some blocks. Low, low, low on the priority list right now.
I'm excited about this quilt also, but so far I've only worked on it during FRMQG sew-ins. I think I'm going to make it my "sew-in quilt" and do most of it during sew-ins. Since I'm missing the June sew-in, it is getting packed away until August.
And the seven projects hanging in the closet in various stages of undoneness. I'll tackle a couple of those soon.
Oh! I also want to start the Mod Times Quilt Along, but I think I'm going to be a few weeks behind on that.

That's 17 projects! Taking out the 2 I haven't actually started, I have 4 in progress and 11 on the back burner. Whew.

Okay, I'm now motivated. I'm going upstairs to start binding that first one right now.

Edited: I just realized that it is already Thursday... my goodness... I need a vacation!

Monday, May 02, 2011

Daybook 5.2.11

FOR TODAY
Outside my window... hazy mountains and sunshine. The peak was clear and a beautiful pink as the sun rose on my morning run, but now I can only see snow covered evergreens peaking through the mist.

I am thinking... that cheering anyone's death seems wrong to me. I understand the satisfaction and the lack of mourning but not the celebration.

I am thankful for... my iPhone. I really love this silly little device.

From the kitchen... hot chai for breakfast, cupcakes for the cupcake decorating class that Kate and I are taking together, date balls - my current favorite accompaniment to afternoon tea, soaking beans for ham and beans and cornbread

I am wearing... black running pants, hot pink half zip, Nike running jacket, and my running shoes - all very sweaty and smelly!

I am creating... a sunglasses case for the FRMQG swap, and once I sew on the binding for the 3 quilts I'm currently quilting, I'm going to reward myself by starting a new project.

I am going... to volunteer appreciation in kindy, my tennis lesson, the post office and Costco

I am reading... Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things... still. Just haven't had much time to sit and read. Need to get in bed earlier. I just started listening to The Paris Wife yesterday. Excited for this one.

I am hoping... for some lovely gardening weather this week.

I am hearing... kids feet walking around upstairs. They are getting ready for school, and I am getting ready for them.

Around the house...
I'm at peace with my house right now. It's not where I want it to be, but that's okay. I'll be satisfied if this week I can work my compost pile, compost my garden bed, keep the kitchen hygienic, and do a couple loads of laundry. I'll be REALLY happy if I can convince myself to just donate all my "save for a garage sale" stuff to the ARC.

One of my favorite things... Dark Chocolate Covered Powerberries from Trader Joe's. I bought several bags when I was in Minnesota, but had to hide them away in the pantry because I gave up chocolate for lent. I've been making up for lost time.

A few plans for the rest of the week: lots 'o tennis (lesson, fun play, league practice, serve practice and maybe some mixed doubles - whew!), some early morning runs, hopefully a yoga class, shopping and dinner with a friend, lunch with another friend, a visit from cousin Hannah, school carnival, time with Matt on his days off, delivery of our new piano.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing: love snuggling with my babies!!

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Weekend Work

Guess what we've been doing the last couple days? I'll give you a few hints...