Friday, November 30, 2012

Flashback Friday- Christmas Tree Adventures

We are going to get our Christmas tree this week end so I thought I would pull up some photos of  past Christmas-tree-getting-adventures. This was one of my favorites. This was in 2008 and we went with a group of friends from my husband's office. There were kids and quads, and barbeques, and lots of chain saws.

We bought a permit and there are designated areas in the National forest  where people can cut down a Christmas tree. We found one that wasn't too Charlie Brownish.

The girls had lots of fun. I don't remember exactly but I would bet they fell asleep in the truck on the way home. No pictures of the boys :(.

Lots of people had the same idea as we did ... this was what it looked like as we headed down the mountain towards home.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Four My Friend

I made this pillow for a friend but I am not sure I like it so I may not give it to her. She has so many beautiful handmade pillows so I wanted to make something simple to compliment her collection and honor her family of four. The fabric of the appliqued 4 is a tone on tone print of numbers which did not photograph. 

It was the first time I made piping to put around a pillow and the corners came out wonky. That's the part of the pillow that I dislike. I did some seam ripping but could't fix it; i think I may need to start over and will chalk this one up to practice. I have been loving the low volume quilts I have been seeing on Flickr so wanted this for the pillow front with a pop of color.

I have also been loving all of the triangle quilts and pillows on flickr  so I chose this print from the Frippery line. I made a little tag to write her a little note, too. Just a little fyi... next week I am working on pulling together a little "Countdown to Christmas" week featuring handmade Christmasy goodies using tutorials from around the web and some of my own designs. Some projects will be sewn, stamped, paper pieced, or paper crafted. I am not biased towards 1 craft... i love them all!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

working, working, working

Christmas will be here before I know it so I am plugging away when I can to finish this quilt for my son. The problem is there just are not enough sewing minutes in the day! The other day my oldest son was talking about the quilt he wants me to make for his girlfriend ( he gave me a list of some of her favorite things back in March and asked if i could find fabric with those things to make a quilt. I think I was thinking they would not be together for a year and i wouldn't need to make the quilt). My younger son was quick to speak up that there was no way I could make a quilt for Kelsee when he didn't have one yet. I actually have a list of things longer than my arm of things I would like to make before Christmas like book bags for each of the twins, a quiet book for my toddler and baby, a stocking for each of the eight of us, a couch pillow and matching lap quilt for my mom, etc, etc. For now nothing else can be started until this quilt top is done. It's Wednesday so I am linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced
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Monday, November 26, 2012

HST Block of the Month

This is the November block for the block of the month group I have been doing this year with Jeni at In Color Order. This has been a great way to get a quilt done with it seeming to take no work. The text print is from the Mama Said Sew line; the red with white polka dots is an oldie from JoAnn's; the gray print with pink birdies I am not sure as there wasn't a selvedge but I think it is a Heidi Grace print.

11 blocks done, 1 block to go... then sashing, basting, quilting, and binding.

Here is my little photobomber. Hope you had a good weekend. Happy Monday!! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Things Making Me Smile Today

Cute kids hiding in the vacuum closet...

Lunch time tea parties with a fake British accent waitress...

My Red Maple and the bonus tree in the forest that turns yellow in the fall. It may not seem like much but here in California I appreciate every bit of fall color I can get. The wind and rain this week have been whisking leaves off of the trees...

A little nap time sewing...

Kids laughing in the hot tub in the rain having sweet conversations...

Watching the Ipad with sunglasses on during a storm. Other things making me happy would be clean bathrooms, sparkling patio doors, reorganized closet in the baby's room. Summer clothes moved out of the toddler's and baby's rooms and winter clothes put in. It was fun to bring out clothes the twins haven't worn for years and see Ellie in them now and seeing the baby in Ellie's hand me downs. I always have to do a little pre-Christmas clean out. Here is a fun post by Simple Simon and Co. with some photo props for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I have downloaded mine and have them ready for the kids to color tomorrow. I will be back on Monday after I enjoy Thanksgiving with my family and brave the crowds to do a little shopping. Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Little Thank You

I had a birthday in October so I have been needing to make some simple  thank you cards since I needed to make 10. As I was sitting with my leg elevated for the past 3 weeks I thought to myself, "This would be a good time to be writing notes in the thank you cards". I tried to make some cards only to realize I am a "stander" Almost everything I do, I stand. I tried to make some cards but I kept needing to stand so I wasn't able to get the cards made. I tried sewing, and although I sit at the machine it seems I spend more time standing to cut or standing to press seams, etc. Finally, this week, my leg is less swollen and I am able to stand more so I am getting back to my usual routine and got some cards made today. I got everything cut out during nap time. I had to take the twins for their teeth cleaning so I did the stamping at the dentist and then finished assembling the cards after the kids were tucked into bed. They were simple and pretty fast to make. I had received a piece of junk mail which inspired the design. I do not like holding onto junk and threw it out before I took a picture :(.

I cut the card base then used my TopNote die from Stampin' Up to make the front flap. With a scrap piece of kraft paper I cut 1" strips.

Next I stamped the front of the cards.

Then I folded the 1" strips in half to make a flap. If you use a bone folder or a similar tool you will get a much crisper crease.

I taped the flap to the back of the card using super strong red tape.

Then I added tape to the front of the flap...

... and added the card front.

Here is the card open.

Here are half of the cards waiting to have little notes written in them. I like how my friends and family's favorite colors ended up making a rainbow. Two more days until Thanksgiving and I have lots to be thankful for!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mr. Gobble Gobble

A few weeks back, right before I got sick, Kristy from Quiet Play sent me a paper piecing pattern to test for her. I always enjoy reading Kristy's blog and love to see what project or pattern she is working on. I was so excited as I had never done any paper piecing but have seen so many inspiring and amazing paper pieced blocks around blogland. It was a technique that was on my to do list so this was a wonderful and motivating opportunity for me!

The whole process was fun from choosing fabric to seeing the turkey come to life! I do love puzzles and paper piecing is somewhat like putting a puzzle together...only you have directions with paper piecing. I started with the most challenging part of the block (the piece with a bunch of teeny, tiny pieces) and after making the same mistake 2 or 3 times I decided to start with the simplest part of the block, even though it wasn't the "A" piece. After doing a few simple ones I got used to looking at the block backwards and where I needed to place the fabric and then it was smooth sailing. 

Originally I thought I would make a hot pad holder but in the end I decided I didn't want to cover Mr. Gobble Gobble with a plate so I turned him into a tea towel to hang from the oven handle. I added a little frame around Mr. Gobble then some pieces of linen to bring the size up to 18x25. I embroidered the eyes and wing as well as "thankful". I backed it with with some fall prints from JoAnn Fabrics. My favorite print is the little feather print at the top.  I have hung a couple of fall garlands and a fall wreath on the front door and am feeling like a little more decorating may be in order. Sorry for the dark photos but the sun hasn't been out all weekend here.

The fabrics on the front are: Kona Sky for the background, Hello Pilgrim by Lizzy House for the grass. Quilter's linen in Natural for the body, beak and legs are Running Stitch by Patty Young, the gobble thingy is from the Fly a Kite line by October Afternoon for Riley Blake. The script feather is Etchings by 3 Sisters for Moda, the floral is Secret Garden by Sandi Henderson then Madrona Road by Violet Craft and the ruler print was from JoAnn Fabrics. The woodgrain frame is by Joel Dewberry. Kristy has quite a few fun paper piecing patterns in her Craftsy shop here. I bought her newest one, Pine Tree Park, and would like to either make a few blocks to turn into a table runner or use 1 block and turn it into a stocking. She has given sneak peaks of some sewing inspired blocks on her blog that I am excited about too! Happy Monday!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Flashback Friday

Yikes, how can Thanksgiving be next week?!?Time is going too fast and I am too far behind. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. My sister and I take turns hosting Christmas and Thanksgiving and this year is my year for Thanksgiving. I used to start the day running a 6 mile Turkey Trot but I stopped running a few years back so just my sister runs it with friends. All the cousins play pool or basketball or some kind of game they make up outside if we have nice weather. One of my nephews plays the guitar and all the girls love to dance. Once we eat and do clean up my sisters and I have our Scrabble play off and some of the kids join in board games also. Football is always on T.V. so some of the gang watch games. All in all it usually lasts at least 8 hours and ends up covering a couple of meals. Yes, I have much to be thankful for and am looking forward to this holiday. Have a happy weekend! I hope to get some sewing done. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Monday Memories of the Weekend.. on Tuesday

Our team is now 12-0! Our final final game is this week. It is kind of bittersweet as our quarterback is out with a broken collarbone. It happened in the 2nd quarter. Our 2nd string quarterback (and phenomenal receiver) went out about a month ago with a separated shoulder so we are down to our 3rd string quarterback. He is pretty good and is one of my son's best buddies. He is at our house quite often and is pretty much part of the family as we have known him for 13 years. We have confidence in him! 

This week's game is a rematch of our last regular season game. The toughest game we had all year. That game was won by a defense and we are going to have to rely on them to do it again this week. Saturday was Sam's Turkey Bowl which is the end of the flag football season. I was home with napping girls and Steve didn't take the camera. Sam had a great season and we are proud of him! My sister had the family to her house for dinner on Sunday for my brother-in law's birthday (Happy Birthday Bill!). Steve and the kids went but i stayed home with my leg elevated. I am still waiting to return to normal. My sis did send me a dinner plate and a piece of birthday pie :).

The kids were off school yesterday but Steve worked. After breakfast the girls were wanting to draw so we brought out the colored pencils and color books.

Even Baby had fun and I was pretty impressed with the little squiggles she drew.

Miss J had plans of her own and wanted to make some birthday decorations.

This one had as much fun sharpening the pencils as she did coloring!

I have several piles of projects since I haven't been able to sew for 2 weeks. I had big fall sewing plans that are going to have to take a back seat as I need to get Sam's quilt done for Christmas.  I also have a little paper piecing project that I really want to do. I did a little sewing today and hope that with each day I will be able to extend the amount of time I have my leg down. As a side note, Monday we celebrated Veteran's Day here in the U.S. I am so thankful to those who have served and are currently serving to keep our country safe and free! I hope your week is off to a great start!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Flashback Friday- These Two

It is hard to believe that eight years have past since these two became a part of our family. They are each unique and so different from each other and yet together they make the perfect package. When you came, our lives were forever changed and it has been a joy to see you blossom into the sweet young ladies you are becoming! I love you, girlies, and hope my leg gets better so we can make your birthday party dreams come true!! Happy Birthday!! xxooxo mom

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Long time, No See

I am a private person and not one to share my woes with many people but it is hard to be gone from this space for so long and not say something. I thought I had the flu with a 102 fever, shaking, chills, fever, nausea, etc but some how I had an infection in my leg. I didn't have a scratch or injury so maybe a spider bite; I will probably never know. I have been on IV antibiotics for a week and the leg is slowly improving but it is difficult to be on it for more than 5 minutes, mostly due to a lot of swelling at this point. I am trying to do my best to have this heal up and get back to usual life. I missed Halloween and pumpkin carving. When I went to the doctor the other day it seems a lot of the leaves (which are few around here) have already fallen. I want to get out and take some pictures, clean my house; you know, usual things I sometimes take for granted. I have gotten to enjoy my Red Maple out our front door and summer came back to us this week with temps in the mid 80's. I hope all is well with you and I will be back just as soon as I can!!