Tuesday, May 26, 2009

May Giveaway!!!

This is my first giveaway. I have been pretty distracted so its not as cool as I would like it to be but it has some good stuff. So, the rules first...

1. All entries must be entered before May 31st, Midnight PST.

2. Post a comment in the comment section below. Please make sure there is a way for me to get a hold of you.

3. Tell me about the ugliest thing you have ever made- it can be from elementary school or now. If you think about it and it makes you smile at the ugliness- its perfect.

4. I will ship international.

5. That's all.
So, here is what you can get if you win:

One yard of Alexander Henry's Asian Pullout. Its a nice polyester blend. Great bright cheery colors.

These great embroidery scissors. I bought them because I needed a pair of small scissors and was so excited when I noticed they had a little curve at the end which is great for cutting loose threads. I bought my mom a pair for her birthday too!

Melly and Me's Mad Cow pattern. Some little kid would love one of these. Some adults too!

Five Fat Quarters of this sweet fabrics. Sorry I don't know the name of maker. I didn't want to disturb the pretty triangle to figure it out and forgot to note it at the store. But either way- its pretty.
So, you can win all this! There is also about three yards of ribbon there. PLUS!, I will put a little surprise in the package.

I hope you love it all and I can't wait to hear about your ugliest project!

P.S. Sorry for the poor pictures. I am in a dark room and its overcast outside so no natural lighting. Plus, I totally broke our PC. We have morning glories taking over my rose bushes. Those suckers don't want to die! So much so that I got a virus when I looked up how to kill morning glories! They have infiltrated the internet!!! (I'm on my hubby's laptop.) Such the morning.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

We often think of Memorial Day as a day that marks the beginning of summer, the day to barbecue, the day we get off in May but it is much more.

At the end of the Civil War, a day was set a side to remember the men and women who died serving our country. Those who perilously fought and gave their lives so that we could have better ones.

Just a reminder of what Memorial Day really is.

I luckily have not lost family in Iraq but I have lost friends. When I was in Germany awaiting my husband's return from Iraq, I was able to meet a wonderful man named David Ayala. He was humorous and friendly. Made you feel like you were the only person in a room of hundreds. A great guy. He, unfortunately, passed in Afghanistan leaving behind a devoted wife, Athena. I cried and found solace in friends who also loved David. I know to this day Athena is still doing what he believed in. Helping others. She has taken the survivor's benefits and returns to her homeland yearly in the Philippines and does mission work. I think that is what David loved her for. I think of him often and think of how sad of a loss it was. We need more people in this world like him.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Little Project

So, sitting in the hospital is boring and I cannot read there. (Side note: GM is doing great. She is being sent to a skilled nursing facility and she is able to walk and eat real food now- I guess she just wanted to hear we love her.) Can't read on a plane either. So, I had to find something to do. I decided to make a try at embroidery. I bought all the stuff hoping to find the motivation to figure it out a month or so ago so I had all the supplies already. I am totally hooked on these little designs. They are so cute. I wanted to make them of my daughter's cultures but the artist didn't have all that I needed and my Grandma was in the hospital a while so I made more than I needed and I am still working on it. You can see one isn't finished yet. I think I am going to make a wall hanging but if I stay as obsessed as I am - it might end up a quilt. In case you were curious or can't figure it out..its Dutch, Italian, Vietnamese (although my father in law says it doesn't look like it), Greek, Irish and the unfinished on top is Bavarian although you can't really see it.

We were also able to go to a little carnival that comes every year. M saw it and was so excited so we went since our plans to Seattle were halted. We took her on the Ferris wheel (I'm totally old - that was so high!), the big slide and the Tilt a Whirl (which my husband almost puked on- the attendant even asked him if he needed to stop the ride for him). The best part was watching my husband totally get conned by the carni. He went up to the throw a dart at a balloon game and the carni was so good. Man, I even told the carni he was really good at this. He just smiled. Well, about $40 later and a quick run to the ATM to get my husband out of his gambling debt- my daughter got a tacky big headed red dog. She loves it. Its Clifford the female dog.

I thought this was funny so I wanted to share. We went to my Brother in laws last night and we sat around a fire outside telling stories. My husband was telling a story and he said, "we got up at the butt crack of dawn." The story went on and he was about to say it was noon but someone busted in with, "the hairy back of noon." I died laughing. I'm obviously easily amused. Butt crack of dawn - hairy back of noon. Hehe.

Check back on the 27th for a chance to win- I'll be participating in the May Giveaway hosted by Sew Mama Sew!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I hadn't scrapbooked in years. I sorely neglected making one for M. I totally feel guilty about it to. Well, my Grandma turned 90 last October and we had a big party for her at the Roeder Home. Its a historical house in the town we live. It was celebrating its 100th birthday the same month as my Grandma's 90th. It was great. Anyway, my mom asked me to make a poster board with pictures on it. Ugh, I am not in elementary school with a science project so I made a scrapbook. I made it fast too. When I am motivated, I can get things done. It took me a week to make it. (I apologize for the photos. I took them with my camera at my GM's house yesterday. I should have taken them when I made it.) So, here is a sampling of the pages. It was quite big.
The theme was basically "the Many Faces of Anna." In 90 years you acquire a lot. I had a pages called "Hot Nana" where she was young in swimsuits, acting like a fashion model. Then I had actually four pages on being a wife. These were about meeting and getting married. I asked my grandma what she remembered about meeting my Grandpa and I remember the stories he told me so I chronicled them. (She ran over his Army hat on the bumper cars at Coney Island, wrote to him while he was at war and when he returned they got married and came out west.)

My grandma is also a troublemaker and her proudest moment is giving my brother when he was little a chocolate ice cream cone. It got all over him. He still loves his chocolate, thanks to her.

There were other good pictures that didn't fit in other places so I also had just photo pages.
My rule for the album was it had to be all about my Grandma so the photos had to be of her or of her and someone else. That makes it challenging because Moms often are the ones with the camera so finding pictures of my mom and uncles with her was a challenge.

The album turned out really well. I was quite proud. Did it motivate me to make M's? No, but I have more supplies now. :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Change in the Air

I just wanted to give a quick update. My Grandma decided now that she is being left alone to rest and all the tubes are out and they are stopping poking her every half hour that she might stick around. She actually started doing much better and started feeling better yesterday. I guess she just got some ICU-itis. They are all over you constantly there and you really don't get rest. My mom called me this morning, early I might add, to tell me that Grandma definitely is feeling better. She was bossing everyone around and laughing. I'm so glad to hear it! I'll head up later today.
I did find a good book to share with M if... Its called Waterbugs and Dragonflys. Its a little abstract but I think that it was really nice. Basically, it talks about how waterbugs climb up a lily stalk and turn into a dragonfly. The other waterbugs don't see this transformation and are confused because everything was great underwater. They promise that next time one will come back and tell the others why people don't return. So one goes, transforms and its glorious, beautiful and free. Unfortunately, he can't go back to tell them. His new wings won't let him break the water barrier. The newly transformed dragonfly finally gives up and knows that someday the other waterbugs will join him and understand. I think it can lead to good discussion about how the loved one is happy and even though they were happy before they can't come back but someday we will see them again. Not that I want that discussion.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


My grandma is still in the ICU. She wants to stop all that they are doing and the doctor doesn't think her heart can take much more. So my mom is heading back
Up here. She just left but she and her siblings have the unfortunate decision of... So if anyone can help me- if you have had experience with this- how do you tell an almost four year old one of her most favorite people is no longer. Hell, how do you tell a 33 year old? I would appreciate any advice I can get.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Bored in the ICU

My grandma is in the ICU. She came in with, I guess congestive heart failure and fluid in her lungs and some infection. She was having a hard time breathing at 2am. She luckily lives with my uncle so he was with her. Her called me and I called my mom about 15 times until she finally answered her phone. My gm is doing better but she still is on a respirator. We've been taking turns sitting here on watch. They have been sedating her and so she is out of it. I think she just didn't want to go to Seattle with me and M. Stubborn 90 year old lady. I'm pretty bored so I thought I would sit here and try to post on my hubby's itouch but I am one finger typing and it takes a while to do.
I did finish one block for the pieced together quilting bee. It was the drunkards path and it was challenging. I watched the tutorial but for some reason it was supposed to be 12.5 inches but mine ended up being 14 inches. I have no idea how I did it. My mom looked at it and thinks it was the pattern I used. I will show you when I am near a real computer. My Mom and I did take a break and took M to the park. One thing about Washingtonians is if the sun comes out for even 15 minutes we are taking full advantage of it or complaining that it's been sunny for so long it needs to rain. We may get a chance to put our raised garden together. We have to do it soon or nothing will grow!
Thanks listening. I'll be more interesting later.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

My wonderful mom came up on Saturday and took my lovely daughter for the day. My old college roommate (she put up living with me for four years!) was in town so my mom wanted us to be able to hang out for the day. We shopped all day for silver shoes! Our other roommate Sarah is getting married in June and Andy is going to be in her wedding and needed silver flats. I unfortunately won't be able to go. M is having her first ballet recital that weekend and with travel time from Seattle to Massachusetts- not happening. Anyway, we were horribly unsuccessful. There are so many silver shoes but Andy was being picky. I did however score a 525 thread count sheets for a queen size bed for 6 bucks! I like to spoil myself with good sheets. Well, good sheets that are mass cheap!
M had a great time with out me. They hung out at Nana's house and M played in the newly rototilled garden. She was so dirty she had to strip outside and be carried to bath tub. I even found dirt in her eye later in the day! My Uncle Ray also took her to an exotic chicken farm after she was cleaned up. She had a blast. I wish I had photos!
Andy left about 4 pm and my mom returned and we did some quilt store shopping. I bought some cute paper doll fabric. I have no idea what I am going to make with it but I have wanted it for a while. This other quilt shop had it in a kit but I just wanted the fabric. I think it will be a great little fabric to use for a new mom of a little girl. Or I will just keep it for myself. :)
I also turned in a quilt to be quilted. I made a quilt for the aforementioned Sarah and I made it so simple that it really needed some quilting done to it and I would have just stitched in the ditch since my free motion skills are minuscule. The place we took it is really affordable so we are excited to see the quality.
The next day was Mother's Day and my mom gave me gifts. (I gave her gifts too but not that exciting) One was her old serger. She just bought herself a new one and although she could have used it as a trade in she thought I would like it. I do! I've used it before to make cloth napkins for my grandma and although I like using them - they scare the bejesus out of me. I am afraid I will cut my finger off. M got a pre-lecture about touching it.

She also gave me a doll dress. She said she hunted every where to get the perfect dress for my doll. I love it! So cute and I love that it fits the time piece of the doll so well. I told her she has to make a matching dress for M since it is so cute. I got the typical Mom response - we will see. (She also gave me a 1/4 inch foot for my machine - YEAH!)

We did receive bad news this weekend. My brother in law and sister in law are getting divorced. What I thought was funny (not the divorce- that's awful) was that my mom kept trying to console me. Finally, I was like, "Mom, I am not getting divorced and they aren't my parents." She just smiled and realized what she was doing. I think it was some residual guilt of her and my dad getting divorced when I was six which I am glad they did. It just made me giggle.

On a side note, this is pretty popular in the crafty blogging world today. At Craft Hope, a website designed to help others with our crafty skills, they are beginning their second project which is to give children in an orphanage in Managua, Nicaragua handmade dolls. I decided it is so worthy and I have made some dolls in just a few hours that it really is just a minor giving. If you are interested - check it out. I just have to figure out which doll to make or I can just make a few!

To all those moms, Happy Mother's Day, a day late.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Sweet Surprises

Chen over at Mushyhead's Sweatshop was so sweet and sent me a little treat. She had seen I LOVE owls and she had some extra owl fabric from a project she made so she sent it to me only asking that I make a quilt block using it and sent it back. I think I can handle that. I think I know what I want to do too! She also sent me a fat quarter of another owl fabric she thought I might like. She was right!

I also received from my daughter, my mother's day gift. Three year olds can't wait. Her dad took her shopping. I got a bag full of candy! Gummi snakes and sharks and some chocolate and pocky. I love pocky! Then I got some Christmas rings, a valentine's day frame and a huge lollipop. Plus, at day care she made me a plant out of hands and gave me her potted plant. She was so excited!

As a side note, Kat at Ripping Out Seams is hosting a virtual quilting bee. If you have never done it, it is a great experience. Everyone is assigned a month and during your month you send enough fabric to everyone to make a quilt block of your choosing and they send it back. Its fun because you are challenged to try new things and to be creative. Check it out!

I also saw a picture of one of the twins. Mary-Kate or Ashley, who knows. Anyway, I love this purse. I think I am going to figure out how to make one similar out of fabric since I can't afford the leather one she has. Isn't it cute!?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Scraps and Manicures and Hot Men

I had mentioned I had scraps left from the UGLEE blanket that I was supposed to pass onto my mom to use but I decided to make M a pin to wear. I had tons of buttons so this was use for one. I also used the scrap binding for a ruffle. I would have taken a better picture but for some reason I could not take any close ups without it being blurry.
For quicky instructions to make your own. Cut out a felt circle and sew gathered ribbon or fabric around the circle. Then make 6 varied colored small yo-yos. I used a plastic template to make the yo-yos but if you don't have that you can find instructions here to do it without. Then let your child hold the made yo yos so that she can throw them in the air and you can search the floor for where they may have landed. Ours were under the couch. Once you have found them sew them to the circle slightly overlapping. Sew a button of choice in the middle. I used a safety pin to attach the pin to the shirt. You can sew it on first with a zig-zag stitch on your sewing machine or you can hand sew it on last.

My husband and I had a little date yesterday. We went and saw Wolverine. He is my hubby's favorite superhero character of all time so of course we had to go. I went a long for the eye candy. Hugh Jackman is hot and I love some Ryan Reynolds. My husband is fully aware that this is why I went. Complete honesty.

So, M stayed with Grandpa. She was supposed to be taking a nap but she waved to us from her bedroom window and as soon as we left she went out of her room and said to Grandpa, "Let's go." He always takes her places. So this time, he took her to a nail salon. Grandpa has some friends who work there. Well, M got her first manicure. At first I was annoyed. I think a 3 year old is a bit young for that. I let her do her toes but even that is pushing it. So, I was annoyed until I heard an 8 year old did it. There were pictures but for some reason the files were corrupt. I'm having no luck with photos today.

Monday, May 4, 2009


This quilt is not one of my proudest projects. Probably my most loved however. M has been collecting dog fabric for a while. Every time we saw one, begging would start for me to get some. So, I made her this "puppy love" quilt. I started with paper piecing dog squares. I saw them and I knew M would want it. She was mixed on them at first but that was because I didn't use her favorite colors at first. Then the center is one big piece of fabric. It was just so cute with all those faces. The poodle is her favorite. Then the squares on the sides are just to show off the fabrics she chose. Now you may not be able to see them but there are random dog buttons all over the quilt. She wanted more but I said no. I hate hand sewing. So boring. I just realized that I sewed on all those buttons but I haven't given the dogs eyes yet. I guess I am not done yet.
I still have a ton of dog fabric left but my mom asked for it so that she could make M a doll blanket for her doll. She thought M would like to be matching. I even have some I didn't use. The reds didn't match well enough (like it really mattered) so she will probably get a little outfit out of it since I have 3/4 yard of each.

So, there you have a mismatched, paper pieced, uneven (see some squares are trimmed to fit) quilt with buttons. I purposely have the fabric in different directions and the dogs facing out. I wanted them to face M whichever direction she had the blanket. I actually finished it the other day and I asked my hubby to help me take a photo of it but I can't get it away from her. She even had to sleep holding the puppy love button that is actually covering a quilting mistake (shhh). Funny kid. I'll be so sad when she outgrows this phase and hates everything mommy makes her. Oh and to make it even more of a dog quilt. My dog help sew it. Yes, she did. She laid on my foot while I had it on the presser foot. You know how hard it is to get a comfy 65lb dog off your foot in a timely manner. I think she is trying to tell me I am sewing too much and she needs more love. Poor puppy, poor, poor puppy.

I started my next project already, making a wedding throw for my friend which I hope to have the top done to show you later this week. Its more of a twin size but that is what I make for a throw. I want my whole body covered when I curl up.
PS Don't look at my floor! The shards of my dogs favorite blanket are there and I haven't vacuumed. Why vacuum when I can sew. :)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Six O'Clock Stitch Swap

So, for the Six O'clock Stitch Swap, we had to make a 8x10 flat art work thingy and include red and yellow. Thingy is a real word, really. I decided to play with fusible landscapes. I've always been fascinated by them. So, I used these two books for guides and took from both of them. Dream Landscapes by Rose Hughes and Fuse-and-Tell Journal Quilts by Laura Wasilowski. I basically took the design from Fuse-and-Tell. I'm not the best artist so I thought it would be best for now. Honestly, you don't have to be a great artist. It doesn't use patterns. Just get some scissors and go for it. So, here is how I did it minus a few pictures.

I sketched out what I wanted and picked fabric.

Of course, I got way more fabric than I needed.

Then I cut and fused to the base fabric which was the blue sky. Don't worry it is squared. The picture is way crooked for some reason.

Then I free motion machine and hand quilted where I wanted.

Added beads to the river. Its nice when things you have had for over 20 years comes in handy. :)

Some more beads to the bushes to add some interest.

And wallah! I am done. I just hope my swap partner doesn't think it is crap. Its so hard when you don't know the person and you can't go to their blog to see what sort of thing they are into. I am thinking about making another one now. I was watching Ni hao Kai-lan and I loved this little landscape they had with this brightly colored tree. It was so colorful and simple. I might make it for my mom for Mother's day. She loves my crap (she is a mom - she has to, right?) and I have enough fabric. :) Or maybe I need to get some more. Hehe!