Monday, May 31, 2010

Dear Unfinished Quilt,

I haven't forgotten about you. My family has been too busy enjoying the long weekend to work on you much. The evidence is below.

Started the day at the site of the WWII and 9/11 memorials in town. There were nice speeches, wreath distributions, and a town prayer.

The parade procession went right through downtown.

Marchers threw loads of candy for the kids to catch.

Ahh, the marching band. I remember doing that in high school and I don't miss it!

This is about 10 am and we were already baking hot. Pi does open her eyes...just not in pictures with me apparently.

We've been enjoying the local playgrounds.

Look at that sky! Not a cloud to be found! That's the view from my swing, btw. Yes, I still get my big butt on swings, haha.

Bike riding...

Badminton on a tennis court. We've yet to find a volleyball net.

What's summer without a bucket full of water balloons?

What's summer without .... baking? Yeah, I had the crazy urge to bake six dozen sugar cookies in the heat. By the time I had to frost them, I was hot and tired, so I just drizzled the frosting on.

Because I'm crazy, I also wanted to make homemade ice cream sandwiches, which means baking chocolate chip cookies. Giant ones! These cookies have a 5" circumference easy! The cookies were perfect for this because even frozen, they were still chewy.

Add ice cream and viola. Yummmmmm. Way better than storebought.

It's so hot, they started melting right away.
Quilt, I hope you understand why you're not quite finished yet. I'll work on you in a few days, so... see you then quilt!

Happy Memorial Day! Thanks to the men and women who have given their lives serving our country!

Friday, May 28, 2010

The stork is bringing twins!

But not to me!

My good friend Joyce's sister is due to have twin boys in June and she asked if I could make a few simple things for them. I can't resist sewing for babies, so I agreed instantly.

Joyce brought over a few yards of flannel in a cute blue truck design and an adorable green dinosaur design. The first thing I did was make a few bibs and burpcloths from each.

The bib pattern is the Infant Bib Pattern from Chickpea Sewing Studio and I winged the shape of the burpcloth.

Rinse, wash, repeat with the blue flannel.

Then I found this cute pattern for Simple Baby Pants at Make Baby and couldn't resist making teeny tiny pants.

A nice little stack of handmade goodies for the new babies.

There's a little flannel left over and I hope to have time to make some fabric blocks before the babies arrive.

I love baby stuff!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Just some random stuff from the last few weeks...

During the school year, Pi had been promoted from the beginner band to the intermediate band. She had her recital last week and the kids sounded way better than they did in the fall. After the concert, she was promoted again to the advanced band! Sweet!

Pi: Mom, stop EMBARRASSING me!

The goldfish Pi won at the birthday party all died in a few days. ALL of the kids' goldfish died within a few weeks, which totalled around 200 dead fishes.

Pi was pretty heartbroken about it, so we bought her a beta fish. They're supposed to be pretty hardy things, so I've got my fingers crossed this one will last. It's been two weeks and the fish is blowing bubbles, which means it's getting ready to mate and is building a nest. Too bad there aren't any lady fish around.

I'm a little worried about Pi's creativity or lack thereof because she named the fish.... you guessed it.... Beta! *groan*

My little sister Inky Binky graduated from college with a degree in Psychology! She's heading to grad school to get an MA in School Psych. Congrats Steph!

Speaking of school.... guess who is going back? Oh yeah, ME! I've already got an MA in psych, but the degree is not a counseling degree, as it's mostly research oriented. I'm able to give therapy in the public sector, but can't work in the private sector or get a private practice license in NY or NJ.

I'm heading back in the fall to get an MA in Forensic Mental Health Counseling. This degree will allow me to get licensed and work in just about any environment I want. Eventually, I could even open up my own practice (oh dreams!).

It's been a few years since I was in grad school, so I'm a big ball of nerves. But I'm excited too and hope that this will open up career opportunities for me. I'll never know if I can do it unless I try, so here goes.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lost my mind!

Pi's super fabulous principal recently announced she will be retiring this year. The announcement spread like wildfire through the entire town and the reaction was incredible. I've never seen so many people show thanks and appreciation to an educator as much as she is receiving. She totally deserves it, as she's really great with the kiddos and the parents.

Everyone has been brainstorming on special ways to say goodbye at the end of the year and somehow, someway, I agreed to help make a simple quilt from Piper's class. Lost.My.Mind!

Being too late to turn back now, I've jumped in and don't plan to think of how crazy I am to agree to this, until it's all over.

I brought fabric squares and crayons to school and let the kids doodle away. I've not got a stack of 28 hand colored squares to sew together.

I'm thinking of doing a simple checkerboard quilt like this. Whaddya think?

Some kids needed "do-overs" like this kid. Her original square screamed stalker (!!), so I'm glad she made another one that didn't mention going to the principal's house at all. Whew!

The quilt has to be finished by the end of June. Wish my crazy butt some luck! ;)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My new favorite thing.

May is a month of celebration for Kado (read about it here), over at Perfect Cadence. As part of celebrating May, she's been posting some of her favorite things and sharing the love.

In today's mail, I found a bottle of Lavendar Vanilla Sleep Pillow Mist. This stuff smells amazing and I can't wait to try it tonight. I was tempted to spray it on my pillow right away and go to sleep, but since it was 6:30 when I got home, I thought that might be pushing it.

Check out that cute card too. Its pretty perfect for any occasion!

Thanks so much for sending a little love in the mail Kado!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!!

I'm a day late and a dollar short. I won't mention it again if you don't. ;)

We had a morning visitor this weekend. Geese all the way from the lake in my town. We're not that close to the lake, so we were pretty surprised to see this guy walking around. Eventually, he plopped himself down on the lawn and sunbathed for awhile.

We went to see my family for Mother's Day on Saturday night, since we were picking Piper up in Brooklyn anyway. Using the April Bag pattern, I made purses for both my mother and dirty Grandma.

Mom's bag is in the silky pink material she loves so much. Its lined in a solid maroon. I made the bag a bit boxier than the pattern called for since I had square handles.

Dirty Grandma got a round purse with big green handles. It's very "spring" and something she'd definitely walk around with.

I also embroidered a tea towel for mom and wrapped lemon cookies in it. I was hoping to make two, but I ran out of time. The flame in the pan makes me giddy, I love it so much.

We ended the night with mom's Shitzu falling asleep, belly-up on my lap. We're pretty convinced that she thinks she's a baby.

Sunday morning, Piper made me scrambled eggs and toast all by herself (supervised by hubby, of course). She also gave me a sweet handmade card and a plant from the school sale.
It was a nice day. I hope you all had a great Mother's Day!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Gauge Schmauge

The first time I saw the Lacy Cropped Cardi in the March/April Crochet Today, I fell in love. Its cute and actually functional. There are a lot of pretty designs out there that just aren't practical for normal use, but this design didn't seem like one of them.

When I finally decided to jump into this project, I actually talked myself into making a gauge swatch. Don't get me wrong... it took some convincing and arguing with myself. I felt like there was a little devil on one shoulder and a little angel on the other. Did I really need a gauge swatch? No... yes.... no.... yes..... ahhh crap... YES!

So I swatched. And swatched again. Then again. Finally, one last time. It took 4 swatches to get the right gauge. I was so stinking proud of getting it right. I marched into the living room, holding my little sample up high and showed my swatch to hubby with pride. My gauge victory clearly didn't move him. Nevermind the reactions of the uninitiated.

I happily started on the sweater with a pound of Simply Soft that's been sitting in my stash. I hooked and hooked and had a nice chunk of the cardi finished in a few days.

I turned the page of the pattern and noticed that there were measurements for the width of the back piece. Since my gauge was spot on, I didn't bother checking this measurement after the first few rows. You see where this is going now, don't you?

I'm making the size large. Notice the measurement? 21 & 1/4 inches.

Now check out the measurement of my cardi. Just over 27 inches.
*take calming deep breaths*
*think happy thoughts*
*count to 10*
*its not so bad*
I'm a big girl, but I'm not that big!

The cardi is has been sent to the corner and is in time out. Its got to be ripped out, but its definitely not happening this week.
Know what I have to say about this experience?
Gauge Schmauge!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Wooo Pinwheels!

Look, a pinwheel quilt! Can you tell I'm excited?

I saw a great tutorial on how to make pinwheels at V & Co. a few months ago. Like the procrastinator I am, I put it off and put it off, questioning my ability to actually make a pinwheel.

One day, I went to the City Quilter (great little shop to visit if you're in NYC) to pick up some plain white cotton and I saw a charm pack sitting on the windowsill. It was in a little plastic box that I was able to open and peek through. The whole thing was made of dots... big ones, small ones, light one, dark ones. I fell in love with them instantly and knew I finally wanted to make that pinwheel quilt with them.

The tutorial was so clear and well written, that making the pinwheels was much easier than I anticipated. From start to finish, the quilt took me nearly two months to complete. Don't get me wrong... it would have taken way less time, but when things got crazy around here, I abandoned it for awhile.
The quilt measures 32"x32" and is backed with fleece scraps that have been in my stash for more than 3 years. Because I used fleece for the backing, I didn't use any batting in between and it still turned out very soft and squishy. The binding is a red floral print that I bought at a flea market last year.

No fancy quilting methods here yet, so I just stitched in the ditch. I really like the way the quilting makes a square pattern on the fleece.
This will be going to my cousin Nicole, who is due to have her baby girl in July. Pretty sure the baby shower is next month, so I need to get cracking on a few more things.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tap Tap, Anybody out there?

Thanks, everyone, for the kind words about Jacob. It means alot to me and Jeannie.

After the stress of that week, we were swamped with communion and birthday parties. Oh, and my MIL came home from the hospital awhile ago. But, I''m back and hopefully, I'll be around more regularly. Time seems to be getting away from me lately.

Piper went to a carnival themed birthday party today, rides, snowcone machine and all. More than 35 kids were invited to the party. Talk about nuts! I try to throw good parties for Piper, but I can't imagine spending that much to rent a bunch of rides and being responsible for that any munchkins. Pi had a great time though and came home with three new family members.

Meet Joshua, Angelina, and Tabitha. Piper insisted we go to the store right away, so she could use her own money to buy them a bowl and fish food.

While she was at the party, I did some much needed spring cleaning on my sewing machine. Lucky for me, there was a video on Sew Mama Sew on how to clean and oil your machine and the featured machine is the exact same one I have. Hubby helped me with the oiling because I'm a big baby and wouldn't do it myself.

I was also able to finish up some WIPs that had been sitting on my sewing table for over a month. I'll get them posted as soon as I get some pics of them.

Hope you had a good weekend!