Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Stash Busting Blocks

So, I wanted to catch up on all my Quilting Bee Stuff, so I could get it off my mind before I started any other sewing projects. On the Threads Together Quilting Bee, Sept was my month to send out fabric. The blocks I have received and seen online so far are fantastic! I plan to make them into a snuggle quilt for Aaron around the time the baby comes, so he will have his own "new" thing when all the baby presents roll in.

For some reason, even though I made two of these blocks in August when I was supposed to send them, I had this idea in my head that I was going to make a third, bigger block. I didn't make the block, and I didn't send these either for the longest time. So finally I made a third small one and it is ready to send out to 2nd Ave Studio tomorrow:

Terrie wanted to make a quilt with Halloween houses, so she sent out some Halloween novelty fabric and asked us to add to it and make her a wonky house. This was really fun to make.

Finally, Brenda sent out her fabric for October early, and requested a 9-patch block in fall colours. I decided to finish her block while I was in the mode, and since she send batiks, I thought I would use up some of my small, autumny batik stash to finish her block.

Guess What We Got Yesterday?


Last Thursday, it was 34 degrees. Yesterday, the high was 11. Hello, fall.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Weird message from Yahoo!?

So, I just got a message from Yahoo, apparently, asking me to give them my email address, password, date of birth and country, otherwise they are going to suspend my account and shut it down within a week. They say this is to make sure my account is still being used. But I use it EVERY DAY. Don't they have some way of keeping track of these things? Don't they already have my password? Why do they need my birthday all of a sudden?

Has anyone else who used Yahoo!mail got this message? I really don't want to email all my account info to some random person who may or may not be Yahoo.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Doll Quilt Swap -- Received!

So I have been obsessively checking my mail every day, waiting for my Doll Quilt to arrive. And look at the little beauty I picked up from the post office yesterday!
This was made for me by Sandi . The colours are lovely -- in real life they are a perfect balance between glowing and soft. Check out this quilting:

The free motion quilting on this little beauty is fantastic. I can do wonky / almost straight quilting, but my curvy quilting is terrible, so I was amazed by her mad free motion quilting skills.

Here is the back, which is equally cute:
And as an added bonus, she sent along this very pretty bracelet! How did she know I love jewelery, especially silvery, swirly things?

I am planning to hang this in my hallway, where it can make me smile as I go through my daily rounds with stinky, dirty children (to the bathroom) and laundry baskets (from the bedrooms to the laundry room) and soon enough snow suits and boots (to the outside world) and wide-awake-in-the-middle-of-the-night nurslings (to the couch so no one else wakes up). Thanks for brightening my day, Sandi!

Au Revoir, Good Friends

So, along with my love of quilting textiles, I also love clothes. I love cords, and cotton pants and well cut jeans. I love snugly wooly sweaters and cozy t-shirts. I love cute tank tops and funky tunics. Recently, I had been quite happy to see leggings and skinny jeans with longer shirts and tunics come back, since they have always been good to me (though I think I'll pass on the cut off shorts over top of leggings look this time around). And I feel like I have finally figured out how to dress for my body type and look decent (I know, it took me 30 years to get there). And I had just lost all my baby weight before getting pregnant the first time this winter, and bought some cute new sweaters and jeans that fit well and were not frumpy and did not need to be suitable for breastfeeding on demand.

And then I got pregnant. And now, I need to find a way to fit all my maternity and post partum (ie - bigger and frumpier and very washable) and nursing clothes into my wardrobe. So I had to say au revoir to all my lovely, cute clothes again. Some of them were bought just before I got pregnant with Andrew, and have seen about 6 months of use in the last 6 years. Sigh.

I know its vain, but I greive about my body and my clothes in the last trimester of every pregnancy. And then I greive again shortly after I give birth, and my uterus has shrunk back but the rest of me, well, hasn't. And then when I have lost about half the weight and realize that *certain* bits and pieces are just never going back to their former glory I grieve again. And then I make the best of it, and use it as an excuse to buy new clothes . . .

In any case, it was a sad day yesterday.

Ah well, on inspection, I discovered that most of my nursing shirts have survived two voracious newborns and are starting to fray and pill and stretch. Which I suppose gives me an excuse to buy some new nursing clothes . . . . I knew something good would come of this if I looked hard enough.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Car storage bags

Those of you who know me in real life, and have driven in my car, know that I tend to use my car as an extra closet. Anything I think I might need at some point in the near or far future, tends to get stored in my car. Also, I am not great at removing things like cups and bags from my car. In high school, my friend Maya once commented that she wasn't worried if we broke down on the highway, since she could eat an entire meal out of my car. This has been a lifelong aggravation to my longsuffering husband.

As you can imagine, with two boys things have only gotten worse. Now the car contains all my stuff, plus books and toys to keep the boys busy, plus Aaron's growing collection of rocks and sticks (a boy after my own heart), plus all the accumulated sand and dirt and crumbs that come with small boys. Add to this the fact that we are planning to fit a third car seat into the back of our station wagon, at least for the winter, and you can understand that we have a problem.

Fortunately, I follow the terribly inspiring Jacquie's blog over at Tallgrass Prarie Studios. She was making a baby gift, and to the quilt she added this car storage bag (scroll down to see the bag). I thought this was just what I needed! Although she used the kidlet wall pocket tutorial, (which is a fantastic), I was feeling lazy. So I did this instead:

This bag is very loosely based on angry chicken 's tote pattern in Bend the Rules Sewing. Its not as pretty: no lining, and the seams are not finished more than they have to be, and it only has one strap. But it gave me a great chance to try out my new pinking shears, which made me happy, and it does contain all the guys and books and markers and cups that were drifting around in the back of my car.

Now I just need to make some of the mesh treasure bags from this (new) book:

to alleviate some of the rock and stick dirt and clutter, and we'll be in business. And, um, I guess I need to take all of my stuff out of the front seat when I'm done with it, too.

Obligatory 30 weeks belly photo

I thought you might all like an update on my baby belly. Well, okay, I thought I would give you one whether you wanted it or not. Everything is still going well. The baby is really active, especially when s/he hears the other kids playing. I am healthy. And thanks to my Birkenstocks,a different prenatal yoga video, and a baby that has not wedged its head in my pelvis, I have had very little back pain so far. Now I just have to figure out how I can wear my Birkies in the snow . . .

Friday, September 11, 2009

Let the Nesting Begin!

Well, now that Andrew is settled in school, decisions about extra activities have been finalized, the doll quilt is finished, and Andrew's 5th birthday party is finished (more on that in another post), I can get to baby prep.

Yes, I can feel the itch starting. I washed the shoe matts yesterday, and scrubbed down the kitchen garbage can, and I re-organized the toys in the basement, and sent Dave to the Salvation Army with a bunch of big stuff we haven't been using but haven't been throwing out, and started sewing storage bags for the car so we have room for a third car seat (and because my husband is complaining about the stuff everywhere), and soon its going to be clearing out closets and re-arranging furniture and hanging shelves . . .

Not to mention sorting and ordering prints from digital photos for the last two and a half years, freezing meals, sewing quilts and gifts, and trying to get our house a little bit happier for this coming winter . . .

And the inevitable breaking up fights and putting boys in time out a hundred times a day and reading Tintin and finding fun crafty things to do and going to the park while we still can . . .

Its going to be a busy fall. But hopefully a good, less draining kind of busy.

DQS7 - Finished!

Well, after much planning and careful stitching and stitch ripping and re-working and adding and subtracting . . . I finally finished and mailed my Doll Quilt! I am so proud of this one.

I was really happy with the colours, although I think I would make the sky less busy next time. The quilting, especially of the tree and the grass, worked just how I wanted it to:

Here's the back, where you can really see the quilting details:

When I was all done everything, I thought it needed one final touch. I thought I had some ladybug buttons in the basement, but I was wrong. So I made my own:

I hope my partner likes it. If she doesn't, she can mail it back to me. I'll happily keep it and make her something else. As it is, I think it fits into "whimsical, flowery and bright" pretty well. And I think I shall have to make myself one later.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Fun Kitchen Find

You might notice that I haven't been posting any cool vintage finds this year. That is because I decided not to do yard sales this summer. There were several reasons for this:

  • we were a little tight on money this spring, what with extra flights for my Dad's funeral and a new mattress to save Dave's back

  • I was crazy burned out and busy

  • Saskatchewan has a bit of a Great Depression hang over, so there isn't usually much that is actually great at the yard sales around here - good things are generally kept just in case

  • I kept buying things I thought I could fix up, but then didn't fix them up, so they just sat around taking up our basement space, and cluttering my mental "to do" list

After we got back from holidays, and I was feeling less burnt out, I had enough brain power to compile a mental list of things I might actually need (serving bowls, mugs and cups, a tv cabinet with doors, a kids table and chairs) and start a little bit of a hunt for these items.

Well, this weekend I had a major yard sale score. Not only did I find a serving bowl and some funky mugs (no photos of these, sorry), and some free powder blue suitcases (I'll show them to you another day), but I got this:

A hand crank food chopper. It slices, it dices and it grates with the help of three easy attachments and Andrew. Andrew is seriously in love with this thing. Yesterday, we grated and julienned carrots. Today we sliced cucumbers. Tomorrow, we might try potatos. He's even thinking he might be willing to eat cole slaw if he got to chop the cabbage himself. I'm thinking I might be willing to make some spring rolls or dumplings with this baby to chop the carrots and cabbage and onions and ginger really fine. The possibilities are endless. I just have to find a place to keep it in my kitchen where its not going to drop on someone's head and concuss them.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

First Day of School.

Yes, it was that monumental event in the life of both a child and a parent yesterday. Andrew went to school. I was so nervous and anxious and excited that when Aaron woke up at 3am, I never went back to sleep. I heard Andrew get up quietly at about 4:30, and instead of coming in to snuggle, he went to play quietly in the living room. After a pretty normal morning, including some lovely french toast with blueberries (got to get that protein and brain food into my boy), we were all ready to go. What with his spare pants and school shoes and glue and scissors and snack and water bottle, his back pack was so heavy that he could hardly lift it. He was in good spirits and being silly. He kept falling over while I was trying to take a "first day of school" photo.

It was funny walking to school with him. As a former teacher and education addict, I love the first day of school. I was a bit sad that I wasn't saying good morning to a new class of students today as I watched all the teachers hurrying to their classrooms. In any case, it was also funny because everyone had their fresh, first day of school clothes and haircuts and faces.

By the time we waited in the playground, sitting on the barrier to the equipment together watching the other kids play, and got our shoes off and out bag in our locker (what with all the snow clothes in the winter, they have lockers from Kindergarten up), and got everything put away in our room, he wasn't so sure:

But he sat down on the carpet as his teacher had requested, and seeing as he was settled, I left, a little teary eyed. All the moms I knew from playschool who were dropping off second and third children gave me a hug and told me it would be okay. And home I went to play with Aaron.

Aaron quickly realized some of the advantages of being the only kid at home:

We also went to the park and played with the babysitting kids down the road that go there every day, and waited at the school playground for Andrew to get out for lunch. Aaron had fun, but by the end of the day he was ready to see his brother:

Andrew was too excited and full of stories to play with his brother (and a little jealous that Aaron got to stay with Mom all day long), but definitely feeling better about school:

He loved his first day. He got to try the computers and do a treasure hunt around the school and see a puppet that "came alive"(he swore) and they got Oreo cookies. He didn't particularly like gym time (no surprise - he doesn't tend to do well with organized kids games or echo-y rooms), but other than that he had a great time and was excited that one of his three friends from playschool was in his class.

I was so relieved that everything went well and he seemed to be really happily settled in his class and liked his teacher a lot. He came home and sat on the couch and finished his snack and told us all about it.

At the end of the day we were all so tired that everyone in the house (including Dave and I) was asleep by 9:30 and the boys "slept in" until after 6 this morning.