Thursday, September 27, 2012

Random Thursday

I've been sitting here trying to think up some kind of unifying theme for my random bits so I could title the post something other than Random Thursday, but I'm coming up blank. But that kind of  goes against the grain of "random", doesn't it? So here you go...

Last week during my giveaway, I asked what y'all ordered when you went to a coffee shop. Several people mentioned chai or chai lattes (is there a difference? I'm clueless...) so today I picked these up. I just brewed one after getting the kids down for a nap, hoping for a fun little hot drink break before I attempt to sew. Can I just say that my cup now smells like this weird kind of fake-cinnamon-goo air freshener that my grandma used to have back in the '80s? I'm not even sure I can get past that smell to take a drink. I'm sincerely hoping every other type of chai doesn't smell like this or I'm going to seriously question your taste. 

Look how good my herbs are doing! Ok, the lavender is a little crispy, but that oregano in the bottom pot looks like it could conquer the world. And I even remembered to use some of the rosemary last night when I was making supper. I don't think I have ever kept plants in containers alive this long. The mint that is in that wash bin has pretty much choked out the petunias though. 

In other news...
Anyone know what that blob is on my ceiling? Apparently a few nights ago my older boys figured out that they could get cotton balls wet and soapy in the shower and throw them against walls and they would stick. Only this one made it to the ceiling and they couldn't get it down to throw away the evidence. I had no idea cotton balls were capable of this. And yes, it is still there. 

Now I'll leave you with a cute pictures of Max who will surely never do anything like that.
This boy loves his tractors

****Linking up to Really Random Thursday***

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Thank you so much for all the fun ideas for coffee drinks!

And now onto the really fun part...
The winner of the $30 gift certificate from  

#35...Valerie who suggested a Spiced Mocha Latte

Congratulations, Valerie!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Giveaway Day!!

Didn't I mention something about a giveaway last week?

I believe this little blog has a few things to celebrate...over 200 posts, a belated 1 year anniversary, and closing in on 300 followers. Sounds like it's about time for a giveaway, right? 

How about a gift certificate from my favorite new fabric shop? 

My sweet friend Jennifer recently opened her very own fabric store, Knotted Thread and is building up a fun selection of fresh modern fabrics like these Riley Blake chevrons that I may have bought last night...

So, who wants to win $30 of fabric goodness?

Just leave me a comment telling me...What is your drink of choice at your favorite coffee house?

We don't have any fun local coffee shops around here, but a couple of times a year I get out to a Starbucks and am always so excited to try something new. But then when I pull up to order (because you know I'm not going in with 4 kids...), I get total stage-fright and can't come up with anything and default to a Caramel Macchiato because that is the only drink I actually know the name of. Not that Caramel Macchiatos aren't great, but it would be nice to get something else for a change. And don't even get me started on all the "skinny, non-fat, no-whip, soy, iced" business. There are just too many options! 

So there you entry per person, giveaway will close when I remember to close it, probably Thursday afternoon...or Friday morning...

Giveaway closed...Congratulations, Valerie!

**All images shamelessly stolen from Jennifer**

Monday, September 17, 2012

Taryn's Giant Star Quilt

I started this quilt way back in April, I think. I had been wanting to try this pattern since I first saw Jeni's version of it and subsequent tutorial. It would be a great one to make when you need a gift in a hurry, or just need to satisfy your creative urge with a quick finish. Obviously that wasn't the case here, but for anyone else it's totally possible. 

I have always been a fan of Natalie from Greenleaf Goods' talent for choosing interesting color palettes. When I saw one of her blogger bundles for Pink Castle Fabrics I knew that would be what I used. I think this bundle was called "Summer Salad", but I'm not really sure because it is sold out now. 
Since the pattern calls for several FQs, it was the perfect reason to buy it. I did have to add a few of my own fabrics in since I chose to make every section with a different print. 

This quilt started as a wedding gift for a couple that I went to college with, but then for some reason I decided that it really wasn't "them" so I set it aside once I got the top made. In fact, I used the scraps from this quilt to make Elizabeth's quilt for my friend's daughter. 
A couple of months later I decided that it would be a great gift for my cousin who was married in July, so I got busy making the back from this ubiquitous Ikea print. Then, I realized I was really pregnant and did not want to get on the floor basting this thing, so it sat for another month until my saintly mother basted it for me while I was in the hospital with Jill. 
Finally, in little bits here and there while Jill was content in her carrier, I got the quilting finished. Nothing spectacular, just randomly spaced lines mimicking the chevron/arrow shapes of the four star sections and then filling in the background. I used grey thread in the star and a dark plum in the Kona Berry that I used for the background and binding.  

Now it is all ready to ship to Iowa as a late wedding/punctual birthday gift for my beautiful cousin Taryn who married a farmer of her own this summer.

How great is it that Megan resumed {Sew} Modern Monday when I actually had a finish to share?
Want to see a lot of other fun, modern sewing projects? Hop on over to Canoe Ridge Creations!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Felicities

I was just thinking a few days ago that I really like the bottom of Jeni's posts at In Color Order where she says all the things she is loving that day. And I think the name of Ara Jane's blog, You Know What I Love is one of the best ever. Seriously, she has a built-in title for every post. And let's not forget Felicity who spends time on Fridays naming off her weekly "felicities" or they things that have been making her happy. It is much more fun to be surrounded by people who are able to look for the brighter side of things than it is to be amongst a bunch of Debbie Downers, isn't it? 

So this morning when I noticed that Felicity had turned her Friday Felicities into a linky party I knew that it was time for me to start getting into the act of being a little more optimistic and thankful for all the goodness that surrounds me. I tend to be a fairly sarcastic person, so I think this will be a good exercise for me. 

This week's felicities were easy. I have some of the most kind and generous blogging friends, and after having Jill I received so many well wishes and congratulations from you all and I appreciated them so much. Being a stay-at-home mom to four little kids in a rural community isn't the most conducive to making friends sometimes, so it is fun that I have made so many great connections with you guys. 

Being friends with all you crafty ladies means that I got a few fun packages in the mail to help celebrate our new baby girl. Look at these cute bibs I received from Debbie:
Super cute fabrics


And these burp cloths that my friend Marci sent:
Love the cherries and decorative stitches

These girls must have know that my kids tend to be champion spitter-uppers! 

I'm linking this up with Felicity and hope to make this a weekly habit. What made you happy this week?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Random Thursday

I love random posts. 
I'm always coming up with little snippets that I want to tell you guys about but that don't justify a whole post of their own. More often than not I forget these little tidbits before I ever get the chance to post them, but after seeing the Really Random Thursday link-up at Live a Colorful Life I decided to put more of an effort into remembering to post some of them today. 

This girl is 5 weeks old now. I always have good intentions of taking pictures of my babies each month, but so far that hasn't happened. I think I made it 3 months with Max. So here is Jill, looking so happy to be having her picture taken. My mom makes each of her grandkids a Raggedy Ann/Andy doll when they are born, so I threw it in there next to Jill for scale. She wanted no part of it apparently. 

I have not had my hair cut in 6 months and it is starting to look really bad. Of course, if I actually took the time to dry it and style it a little after I got out of the shower it might look a little better. But Tuesday I'm going to see my talented sister-in-law who does that kind of thing for a living. I'm thinking of this cut...

Though it would probably help if I were as cute as Jennie Garth. Or maybe a cut like Kati's...

I'm almost done with my latest quilt. Jill actually stayed asleep for a bit today in her bouncy seat while I finished the binding. Now all I have to do is bury a few threads and I can get it ready to send to its new home. 

Does anyone here watch Duck Dynasty? I had heard a few random friends talk about this show and the other day I noticed Roger had it set to record on the DVR so I watched one. Then another and another. Some people are sophisticated and watch shows like Downton Abbey, apparently I'm embracing my redneck side and enjoying Duck Dynasty. I do however refuse to take part in the trainwreck that is Honey BooBoo...

I also updated yesterday's post with a list of some of the tutorials I used. I generally didn't follow them exactly, but they are good for inspiration. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I'm Not Sure

So, when I started decorating Jill's nursery, I knew that I would be incorporating some hoop art onto the walls. There are so many cute embroidery hoop ideas out there, and who doesn't like inexpensive decorating? I planned on making just a few plain hoops with some favorite fabrics, but then I got another idea...

I had been looking up felt flower tutorials to see if I could get on board with the whole Headband/Flower-Stuck-to-Baby-Head style, and I decided to try to make a few. I love working with felt and made quite the collection of felt food for the kids a few years ago, so I was excited to get started. After making a few, I couldn't really see me putting some of those big flowers on my little girl's head, so I put them on some linen instead. Only now, I can't really decide if it is really cool or...not. You know how sometimes you are just too close to a project to really see it?

The yellow dahlia-ish flower was the first one I tried. I don't really love it, but it was good practice to get back into hand sewing. I was going for the "ombre" effect, but I think I would like it better if it were all the same color. 

I'm not really finished with this one, but I also can't decide if I should keep going. What do you think? Felt flowers as wall art....yay or nay?

On a side note, Blogger says this is my 200th post. Since I totally skipped over the 1-year mark of this little blog, should we celebrate? Perhaps a little giveaway soon?


Update 2.0.....Here are some felt flower tutorials that I either used or at least looked at when working on these. I don't have a die-cutter or a hot glue gun, so I just used good old scissors and thread on all of them.

Rolled Felt Flowers by Craftiness is not Optional
Scalloped Felt Flowers by CINO
Circle Felt Flowers by CINO
Felt Dahlia by Not Martha
Felt Rose by How Joyful
Felt Flowers by The Crafted Sparrow
Mixed Bouquet by Creative Jewish Mom

Monday, September 10, 2012

I Need a Personal Shopper

Who here really enjoys shopping? I'm talking about shopping for clothes, not fabric. Having four young children, I just don't go shopping. So, most of my clothes are either 4-5 years old, or hastily grabbed off the table at Old Navy before my kids can cause too much of a disturbance. I don't even remember the last time I've been in a mall.

I really need to liven up my wardrobe a bit, but don't even know where to begin! I've been browsing my  "Dress Up" Pinterest board where I pin clothes I like and realized that apparently all I really want to wear are jeans and cardigans...


I was so excited when I started following the links from Pinterest to Polyvore, where they actually show you where to buy all those clothes and accessories. My problem? Apparently, I'm a little behind the times because many of the things I really like are two or three years old and no longer available. Or $500. 

I started cleaning out my dresser and closet this morning and I'm trying to be ruthless about editing my wardrobe and making room for some new duds. I have way too many stretched out Old Navy tees and shrunken Target shirts. I've decided that once we move, I'm going shopping and livening up my closet. 

So, here's what I want from you...give me your fashion expertise. Where do you shop and what do you buy?  Favorite jeans? Let me know. Honestly, my favorite jeans are "Sexy Bootcut" jeans from the Gap that are about 4 years old. And I daresay there isn't anything sexy about them. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

This Post Brought to You by BabyHawk

Not really. BabyHawk has no idea who I am, nor would they want to. However, their lovely product allowed me to get a good bit of sewing done a few days ago so I thought I would thank them. No idea what I'm talking about? Why would you, really? BabyHawk is a brand of baby carrier that my kids have always loved, and it is magical in that I can accomplish ten times as much while wearing one. I got mine when Wyatt was around 8 months old and I've used it for every child. Of course I've tried all kinds of baby carriers, but for some reason this one is always my favorite, at least for the baby stage. I've also got an Ergo that I love for when they are a bit older. Anyway, I know you aren't here for babywearing advice, so onto the sewing....

As soon as I found out what our bee block assignments were for this month I got to work because I really had no idea how long it would take me to finish them. Turns out, not that long...

Andy from A Bright Corner designed these "Jumble" blocks for our September quilt in the Imagine Circle. She wrote a great tutorial for the block which can be found on her blog.  These were fun to put together, until it came time to square them up and I realized mine were a good 1/4" too small. Apparently my version of "scant" isn't quite small enough. So after much seam ripping and re-sewing I got them just big enough. 

For this month's block in Always Bee Learning, Michonne chose New York Beauty blocks using these patterns. She is making a baby quilt and sent an assortment of purple fabrics for us to use. Honestly, I was dreading making these blocks. I always enjoy paper piecing, but sometimes it takes me a really long time, so I was sure I would spend two weeks trying to finish these between Jill's content-in-her-swing times. Not so, my friends, not so. These actually went together quite quickly, and even though I have only sewn curves a couple times they turned out pretty well I think. 

Two bees down, one to go...

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Our Crazy Life

It seems like so much has been going on around here lately! I'm sure we probably don't have any more going on in our lives than any other family, but this last month or so has been crazy! Here's a quick recap:

We welcomed our fourth child and first baby girl in early August...

Just a few days later, on my first morning at home by myself with all four kids, Max fell and cut the back of his head open. So Max got to experience stitches for the first time. Super fun...I'll spare you the picture of that one.

Then Wyatt had his first day of Kindergarten...

and today was Carson's first day of Pre-School. He looks excited, doesn't he?
When I picked him up, he wanted to know why I left him there for soooo long! He was only there for two hours today instead of three because the schools had a delay for fog, so I hope he doesn't get too mad on Thursday! 

In between all that, Roger and I had our 7th anniversary, we started this year's harvest, and both Wyatt and Carson learned to ride their bikes. Wyatt has had his bike for a year and a half now, and has been pretty lazy about learning how to ride by himself. Roger has been giving the boys tractor-driving lessons and the other day Roger finally told him that he couldn't drive any tractors until he tried a little harder to ride his bike. The very next day, Wyatt was practically a professional. I guess that was a good incentive! A few days after that, we got Carson a bike. He rode it for about 2 days with the training wheels, then told Roger to take them off. Rog warned him that once they were off, we don't put them back on, but Carson didn't care. Roger had to hold the bike for Carson to get on, but then he just took off! I've never seen a kid pick up on it so easily, but Carson is a natural. Now Roger has a little trailer for his bike that Max rides in and all four of them go for a ride down the road every night when Roger gets home from work! 

I have gotten just a tiny bit of sewing done...

Jill doesn't really appreciate being put down just yet, so with 5 minutes here and there I have gotten about one-third of my Giant Starflower quilted. I don't think I've ever even shown you that one yet. I still have to get pictures of Jill's quilt, too. Man, I'm so behind! 

Oh, and did I mention we are moving to a different house soon? Yikes! It's going to be a busy fall, y'all!!