Thursday, January 31, 2013

1 deadline met and reveal day reminder

I have to fist thank everyone for your sweet and heart felt comments on yesterday's post. Unfortunately I didn't get a good night's sleep again last night as Sunshine had me up 4 times, but I'm hopeful that tonight will be better.

Last night was a good night. After the kidlets and I got home from work/school, they played nicely together (mostly) while I played with Lucy and got the last Quilt U Be Mine quilt additions done. It will be off in the mail to its owner today. Here is a little sneak peak.
Tiny? I know. But I don't want the owner to figure out what I did to her piece in advance. Surprises are always fun. Remember that the big reveal day for all the Quilt U Be Mine pieces will be on February 14th.

It actually felt really nice to finish something. Yes I do have another deadline piece that is due out today, my center block for the Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin 2013 but unfortunately that one is going to be slightly late. It just couldn't be helped. Please don't tattle on me to the Swap Queen. I hear that she has a mean muscle guy named Guido that doesn't like sewing machines that she send after serious offenders. Millions of tiny pieces of plastic and metal are typically the result of one of his visits.

Deciding what sort of center block is usually the hard part and I've been looking at numerous books and sites for inspiration. Luckily I came across an idea a few days ago that I really like. I even picked the fabrics I will use while the little ones played in the tub. Hopefully tomorrow afternoon I'll cut a few squares, sew together some HST and put a new block together.
Tomorrow will be a day that I've been looking forward to for weeks. A friend and I are going to rent time on an Innova long arm machine and hopefully get a few tops quilted. I've been itching to try out this machine and I hope it lives up to my expectations. Wish me luck and I promise to show you my progress as soon as I get a chance.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Anything but normal

The title of this post is so accurate. These past weeks have been anything but normal. Sunshine was healing fairly well from her surgery but then over the weekend she got really sick and now is dealing with a sinus infection plus bronchitis. Adding nebulizer treatments 3 times a day to our otherwise busy schedule is just dandy!

There has been very little time to sew. I did manage about an hour yesterday and had hoped to finish sewing on the last border addition to the final Quilt U Be Mine block that I have to work on but dinner and jammies and then bedtime interfered with that plan. I haven't gotten a full night's sleep in 2 weeks so by the time I sit down with the kidlets to quiet them down for going to dreamland, I've been nodding off myself. That certainly puts a damper on getting back to my studio once they drift off.
In the days after Sunshine's surgery, I had expected to be able to get a bunch of sewing time in. I figured that her doses of Tylenol with Codeine would have her napping a ton. Not. I spent a great deal of time snuggling with her on the couch, watching cartoon and Disney movies. Hey anything my baby girl wanted was the rule of the day. The only thing I did manage to complete was this.

All of the Christmas decorations were boxed up and restored in the basement. I never take the tree down until after New Year's Day anyway so I figured the down time week would be the best time to do it. Besides setting up the train and the village under the tree takes a ton more work so enjoying it a little longer is a good thing.

Work has been beyond crazy. I work for a specialty vehicle dealer and we had 3 deliveries last week. Definitely not typical. The owner is currently driving the 4th one for this month back from the factory and it will likely get delivered next week. Plus the service guy got fired on Friday so I'm digging through his work pile figuring out what he left undone. Thankfully the new service guy starts Monday but all this upheaval has had me working extra days and that equals no sewing days for me. I pray that by next week, my weeks will return to the regularly scheduled program.

I still have 2 quilts to share with you once the weather cooperates and I can get some pictures of them. Then as soon as I get my center block for the Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin 2013 done and on its way to the 1st person in my group, it will be all out busy in the studio for the coming months. I have 2 quilts due by the end of April for our school's silent auction fundraiser, a baby quilt needed in May and then the 4 teacher end of year thank you gifts by mid June.

Keep your fingers crossed for me that there will be a lot less hiccups in the coming months. I really don't want to have another spring of non-stop craziness as I attempt to get all these quilts done on time.

Friday, January 25, 2013

My 1st purchase of 2013

Up until now, I have been good. Very good. So far this year I have resisted buying any fabric. None at all up to this point. In many ways I am very proud of myself for being strong and saving my pennies. While there have been some that I have liked, there are only a few that have passed my litmus test and are now on my wish list, just waiting for a sale to come along. But then a few days ago while catching up on blog reading I saw this bundle of fabrics that Jane bought
and this quilt she is making over on her blog.
(pictures borrowed from her blog, I'm sure she doesn't mind).
I instantly fell in love. Yes this line of fabrics pass my "suck in my breath I've GOT to have it test" and I immediately asked her what line it is and where she got it. She sent me the link so that I had all the details. Unfortunately the shop she bought her stack from didn't have all of the prints any longer and if I am going to buying any fabric these days, I need to minimize the shipping costs and hence the need to find as much of what I want in the same place. Lucky for me Fabric.com had almost all of the red prints in stock and since I bought enough, I got free shipping plus I was able to use a 10% off coupon. Double score. Hopefully when they get the 3 missing ones that I also want restocked in March, I'll be able to get those too.

I bought 1/2 yards of each of these 11 prints and once the other 3 are available, I'll have a gorgeous stack of 14 lovely fabrics to create an awesome Christmas quilt with. So many of the Christmas lines don't appeal to me but this one does in so many ways. No I haven't a clue yet as to what I will do with them, but rest assured I'll be thinking about that a lot and hopefully coming up with an idea before too long.

Another "Must Make" has now been added to my already very long list. Figuring out which ones are going to come first, other than the 6 deadline ones that are at the top of the list, will be tough. I just want to play with them all!


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Google Reader rant

Update #2....I just logged in usind Safari as the browser instead of Internet Explorer and low and behold, the missing blogs magically reappeared in my Google Reader account. But then again the same blogs that I keep unsubscribing did too. So I don't know if this is mainly a Google Reader problem or an Internet Explorer problem or a combination of both. I was using IE on the laptop last night and on the desktop yesterday when all those long ago posts suddenly appeared. I just don't have any clue as to what is going on at this point.

Update: I purposedly didn't read the posts in my reader for Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting Project. I wanted to save those for when I had more time to really concentrate. But when I logged in this morning, that blog isn't even showing at all in my reader. It totally disappeared overnight. AGGGG! Someone, anyone...if you can help me, please help me stop this craziness.

This isn't the 1st time that I've ranted about this problem but I'm truly hoping that someone out there has some idea of what is going on so that this can stop happening.

I log into my Google Reader pretty much every single day, mostly first thing in the morning while the rest of the family is still sleeping. Some days I only get a half hour, some days I get two to three time that much time to catch up. Although on some days I don't get through all the unread posts in my Reader, I typically am able to finish them all within another day or two.

Yesterday was no different. I had about 38 unread posts, was working my way through them, saw my name listed on Marlene's "Let's Go Visiting" post and immediately wrote my post for the event. Once I hit "Publish" I went back to my Google Reader and you'll never guess what I saw next.

Not the balance of the original unread 38 posts....not my reader account said that I had 183 unread posts. As of this very moment there are 221. The largest number for one blog is 18, dating back a number of weeks.

This makes absolutely no sense and it is driving me insane! Why in the world isn't Google Reader updating ALL of my subscriptions on a timely bases? I'm missing out on a ton of great things and it is pissing me off. I'm truly hoping that one of you out there have some idea of what is happening and knows how I can solve this problem once and for all. It doesn't matter whether or not the computer is totally shut down for the day or not...this continues to happen.

The other thing that I can't stand is that subscriptions that I have Unsubscribed to over and over and over continue to show up in my Reader. Annoying, really annoying.

Do any of you know much about Google Reader and can help me? Or do you know of an IT person that might have some clue and can help stop this torture? If so I would forever be in your debt.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Let's Go Visiting

Welcome all of you who are visiting here from the the weekly Let's Go Visiting Blog Hop thought up by the wonderful Marlene from Stitching By the Lake. It was fun to see my name listed for this week's neighborly meet up. Grab a cuppa Joe and enjoy checking out my humble little place in the quilt blogisphere.

For a little info about myself, I am a mom to 2 kidlets....Jammer who is 6, was born in Vietnam and we became his forever parents in May 2007 and Sunshine who is 4, was born in China and who joined her forever family in March 2010. Being a mom to these beautiful babies is the most rewarding thing in my life.

I started quilting 3 1/2 years ago when I decided that I didn't want someone else to make my childrens' 100 Good Wishes Quilts. I wanted to do it myself. You can read all about my Journey to Quilting here and if you are wondering just what is a 100 Good Wishes Quilt, you can learn about this centuries old tradition here.
Those that have been long time readers know that I like to organize things and last spring I started doing that here on my blog with the 1st annual Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin. It was a total blast and in the end there were 32 awesome mini quilts created by folks from litterly around the world. If you click on the link in my sidebar you can read all the posts about that event and find the links to all the final reveals. 
Last year I also hosted the Halloween See Saw Swap around the same time. I love, love, love Halloween fabrics and luckily found a few other quilters who do too and we had so much fun adding to the mini quilts each month. Of course a link to all the posts about that even can be found on my sidebar.
Currently we are finishing up the Quilt U Be Mine Mini Mystery Round Robin. It is a Valentine's Day themed round robin and you won't want to miss the big reveal day on February 14th.
And last, but certainly not The Last event that I will host, the Modern Mini Mystery 2013 has just gotten underway. This year we have 18 mini quilts being worked on by ladies all over the US, in Canada and the Yukon Territory and as far away as Finland. I can't wait to receive the 1st block that I will add to next month and then to see all the final results in July.
 
In my rather short quilting journey so far, I have learned SO much, have "met" a ton of great quilters and have found some fabulous shops, both brick and mortar and online to give my business to. I have accumulated a large "To Make" list complete with the majority of the fabrics purchased already and a decent size stash for a relative newbie. I feel that I have truly found part of my soul and have so many ideas that I want to work on in the coming months including a bunch of patterns that I am developing that I hope to eventually market to shops and online to all of you. The journey is so exciting and every day I can't wait to get into my studio to just create.
 
So I hope you enjoy peaking around my blog, check out the pictures of all the quilts that I have made so far and find this a fun place to follow. I so love my followers and since I'm inching ever so closer to the big 300, as soon as that happens I'll celebrate with a giveaway.
 
Thank you Marlene for hosting this fun little neighborly get-to-know-you and I look forward to "meeting" all the other quilters that have been a part of this weekly hop. Have a great day! For me, I'm off to work now. It is a balmy 4 degrees here and I'm so looking forward to getting out in that ultra chilly temperature to freeze my entire being off. NOT! Where ever you live, I do hope you are warmer than it is here. 


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Last call!


Today is the last day to sign up for the Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin 2013. Looking at the list of participants that have joined in so far I know that this year's mini mystery round robin is going to be great.

So what do I like the most about these mini round robins? I love that I get to "meet" new quilters from around the world. I love that the commitment isn't a huge one and I'm able to complete my part quickly and then get it on its' way to the next person fast. I love that it is fairly inexpensive since I use scraps or small bits from my stash and the mailing costs are pretty minimal. I love that so many different people add their little spin on my center block. I love that the finished mini quilts are a collaboration of so many hands. And I absolutely love the camaraderie and sharing that comes from participating in this event.

There is still time for you to add your name to the list and not miss out on all the fun. Technically sign ups will close at Midnight today but honestly, until I get the chance to send out the group lists to everyone in a day or to, there could still be the opportunity for you to join in. My daughter is having surgery today to have her ginormous tonsils removed and her sinuses flushed out so after this bit of blogging, getting anywhere near the computer will be impossible for at least the next 36 hours.

Currently I need 4 more people to finish up the open group (sorry, it already has its' international player). Groups are be 6 players each so if I get 10 more to join in, I can create one more group (one international player per group).  Don't miss out and submit your info (name, address, phone number and blog address, if you have one) to me PDQ.

Some participants have completed their center block already but I'm still pondering what I want to do. I've figured out what color scheme I want to use and where it will hang when it is done but I haven't decided yet on what sort of block I want the center to be. I guess with all the down time I will have in the next couple of days, I'll have plenty of time to look through books and magazines for inspiration.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Duh!

Do you remember that long-ish ago saying? I sure do and unfortunately I really felt like that last night. I finished up the binding yesterday afternoon on a quilt and during the process Sunshine kept checking on me in my studio and asking if I was going to sew her "kwilt". Poor little thing has been practically begging me to finish it for her. I promised that if it wasn't too late after I completed the binding, I would definitely do it. Here are a couple of the pictures from when we pieced it together last March! This has been hanging on my design wall ever since waiting for me to find make the time to complete it. (Note to self....don't wait this long to make my baby girl happy ever again!)

The binding task on the other quilt was completed before 5pm so I picked out a backing fabric, cut a layer of batting from my scraps, put in some basting pins to hold it all together (way too cold and damp outside to use the spray), selected thread and set to work.

With my newly gained knowledge learned at Free Motion Quilting class last weekend, I figured this would be a perfect little piece to practice on. She certainly wouldn't care one iota if the quilting was perfect or not. Since I love swirls and it would blend well with the fabrics, I briefly thought of doing that but instead I decided to do something simpler, an easier meander with loops.

The quality of the quilting is literally all over the place. I started out making the curves and loops way too small (see the right side) but as I worked to the left I got a better feel for the motion and did a few loops that don't look bad at all. Originally I had no plan to show you this piece (I'm certainly not any good at this yet) but what happened later made me to decide to be real and honest and hopefully keep you other FMQ newbies like me from making the same mistake that I did.

Dinnertime intervened but I headed back upstairs once the dishes were dealt with and before the kidlets' bedtime to attempt to complete this task. Let me tell you, the movements were a quite a bit awkward, jerky and really rough (remember this) but the entire time I assumed that it was just because I am a total novice at this and just need a lot more practice. Like every thing else, one can't achieve perfection right from the start and eventually it would become a ton more natural and wonderful looking. At least that was my hope.

Well.........once I snuggled in the chair an hour later with my little missy while she ate her typical pre-bed snack of grapes and drank her milk, I read through the instructions for my new Supreme Slider. Yes I got one for Christmas and No I didn't use it this time as I hadn't even opened the package before then. So lets see...it says to use a large table to support your quilt (check!), be sure your chair is at the right height for me (check), lower the feed dogs and attach the free motion foot, etc.

Whoa! Hold it right there! That it was. Right there in front of me in Black and White. That smack-me-upside-the head moment. That was the problem with this mini quilt. I had totally forgotten to LOWER THE FEED DOGS! Duh! Double and Triple DUH! I had quilted her entire little piece with the feed dogs raised. No wonder why it was all jerky feeling and not smooth at all.

I felt like a real jerk. A huge (though not catastrophic) rookie mistake that I probably might not have made if I had actually taken a moment to read back through the booklet from class and mentally checked off the "To Do" list before I started. But let me tell you it is one that I'll definitely never make again. This gal only needs to learn a lesson like this once.

So there you have it...a true story and my confession to the Quilting Gods that be. Could I have kept this little secret to myself and have no one the wiser? Sure I could have. But not everything or everyone is perfect and that is one thing that I love about the quilting community. Most people aren't afraid of showing their mishaps, even the professionals some times, and it helps us to realize that we are all human and as long as we learn from our mistakes, it is ok to share with others and hopefully keep them from making the same boo-boos. Now go ahead and have a chuckle on my behalf and then double check that you remembered to lower your feed dogs. We wouldn't want the quilting world barraged with loads of similar confessions in the coming weeks.

And on a side note....the sign ups for the Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin 2013 are still open for a few more days so submit your name before time runs out....plus I'm inching ever closer to having 300 followers and when that happens I'll have a little giveaway. I'm off this afternoon for my 2nd Free Motion Quilting class and I promise to report on that hopefully later today or at least by tomorrow morning.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Have you?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to join a quilt Round Robin?

Have you ever wanted to join a Round Robin but didn't have the time or desire to work on a full sized version?

Have you ever wondered just what it would be like to add whatever blocks/borders and fabric you wanted to someone else's quilt? To take it where ever your inspiration led you?

Do you like to work on mini quilts?

Do you love keeping secrets?

Well then the Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin 2013 is for you!


The groups are filling nicely but there are still a bunch of spots open. And there is plenty of time left for you to sign up. All of the information can be found here.

Just show you the great mini quilts can be created during one of these Mini Mystery Round Robins, here are just a few of my favorites from the 2012 event.

Deonn's Quilt

Jane's quilt

Kylie's quilt

Wendy's quilt

Diane's quilt

Lisa's quilt

Renae's quilt (sorry, no blog)

Kathy's quilt

Rachel's quilt

Samantha's quilt

Ann's quilt

If I had to pick just one absolute favorite from these, I just couldn't. I want them all! Unfortunately my participants weren't so generous that they were willing to send their gorgeous quilts to me. And that is OK! Really! But a girl can still drool over them, can't she.

If you want to have some fun this year, in the mini proportion at least, sign up today. Spots are limited for this round robin and you definitely don't want to miss out! There are some seasoned Mystery Round Robin participants as well as some new to this game already on the list so it will prove to be a great time for all.

P.S. If "American Girl" is reading this, please email me directly from your own email address. You are a No Reply Blogger so I can't reply to your request to join this Round Robin.


Help!

Update: I have to sincerely thank everyone for all the terrific idea. My mind was a blank this morning trying to come up with a possibility, especially I don't know much about pre-teen girls. I truly appreciate all of your suggestions. I promise to share pictures of what I come up with.
My cousin just called and invited to her daughter's birthday party in a couple of weeks. They recently moved back to New York and we haven't yet had a chance to get together. It has been a really long time since we've seen them and I can't wait.

The problem? I don't know what sort of gift to give the birthday girl. What do 10 year old girls like? I have no clue. I briefly considered making her a lap quilt. I even ran to my studio, threw open one of my stash drawers and selected some charm packs to use. But reality quickly set in and when I went over in my mind what is going on next week, there is no way I'd get it done in time. Though I'd really like to give her something homemade.

So this is where I need your help. P.L.E.A.S.E. Pretty please with sugar on top! Those of you with girls around this age or those of you that know girls around this age, please give me suggestions and even blog post links to pictures and/or tutorials, if you can. It needs to be something that I can accomplish very quickly but hopefully is really cool.

This cousin has always held a very special place in my heart and we had hoped that our kids would grow up close. But when they moved to Georgia over 7 years ago, that hope went out the window. Now that they are back local-ish, that hope is renewed and I am so excited that they will finally be able to meet Jammer and Sunshine in person.

Thank you so much for helping this slightly panicked quilty friend out.


Our very own Frosty

With working yesterday and then hubs having a firehouse meeting last night, I didn't get a chance to write this post until now. It isn't anything huge or important and I certainly don't need to do this, but it was so cute that I just wanted to share.

As I headed home from the Free Motion Quilting class on Sunday afternoon, I called hubby to let him know that I was on my way. He told me that he and the kidlets were heading out for a few minutes of play time in the snow.

When I turned the corner into our driveway, this is what I saw.
Isn't he cool! They accomplished this masterpiece in just 45 minutes. He is all decked out with apples for his eyes, a carrot (appropriately) for his nose, small twigs for his mouth (that poor hubs just couldn't get to curve into a smile no matter how hard he tried), pebbles for buttons, sticks for arms, some caution tape for his scarf and a sand bucket (interesting choice of pink, I'm sure by Miss Sunshine) for his hat.

Jammer had already headed inside to get warm but little missy wanted to keep on working on him for a bit so I was able to snap a few cute photos. She is very serious about doing a good job.

After a ton of attempts of getting her picture actually next to the newest (though temporary) member of our clan, she finally agreed. Sometimes it is maddening just how much of an imp she can be, on purpose, and my attempts at getting a nice shot was just another of those times.
I'm so proud of my creative little family and very happy that they actually got to enjoy this typical rite of winter. Last year we had practically No snow so something like this was impossible then. I'm guessing that this won't be the last snowy fella (or gal) that graces our front yard this season. I'll just need to make sure that they don't steal my new scarf to use for adornment the next time.


Monday, January 7, 2013

My foray into free motion

Towards the end of last week, I received a newsletter in my email Inbox from one of the local LQS. As I usually do I clicked through to their website to check out their latest class offerings. Lo and behold, what did I see but non other than a beginners Free Motion Quilting class being held on Sunday (yesterday) and next Sunday. And the price for the class couldn't be beat.

I figured by that late date that the class would be full but was very pleasantly surprised when I called to learn they had one open spot left. Yippee skippee! A quick giving of my credit card number and I had a play date all scheduled. Other than the really quick tidbit I learned during the end of my Quilting 101 class over 3 years ago, this would be my very first foray into Free Motion Quilting.

The LQS is 45 minutes away so at noon I headed out. It was a lot of fun to leave hubs with the chicklets and get in a few hours of Me time.

The instructor was really nice and I had a great time. She explained all the basics that we needed to know, talked about needed and recommended products even one that I had never heard of before (Vanish thread available from Superior Threads that is actually corn starch which dissolves away when it is spritzed with water).

After practicing with the walking foot by sewing a grid on our class sandwich, we switched to our Free Motion (or darning foot) and practiced on the panel samples she provided. My piece had a ton of really small features and I had to go very slow in many areas but since this was all about getting the feel of the machine and the movement of my hands along with speed control, it didn't have to be perfect. Given the time, there was no way I would have been able to get all of this completed but I made a decent dent in it. Here is the front. I had a Maroon thread because that is what contrasted well with the practice pieces that I brought but it doesn't show up well for the outlining on the front of this piece.

This is how the back looks. I don't think it looks too horrible. And so that you know scale, the panel block is only 8" square so you can see just how tiny some of the features on the front really are.

I enjoyed this class and I can't wait for the 2nd session this coming weekend. My hubby laughed when I told him that I have homework to do. He's out to a firehouse meeting tonight so I won't make any progress on the homework today but tomorrow and Friday are non-work days for me this week so I'll have plenty of time to get it completed. I wouldn't want to get in trouble with the teacher.

Friday, January 4, 2013

November & December reports and recap

Life was so busy during December that I never got a chance to report on my Crafting By The Numbers challenge. But looking at my calendar, there wasn't much excitement to post about anyway. As you can see my craft accomplishment for that month was pretty low. I was only able to create 7 days out of the 30 available (23%).

December's result is even worse! No wonder I felt a bit "Baa Humbug" at times. No time to create tends to make me one cranky momma. But reality is that December is and always will be ultra crazy for me. Between school events, both kids' birthdays (class parties and friends parties) and Christmas celebrations, there is just too much to get done and too few days. I do have one lesson learned.....I will never again take on any December deadline projects because the likely hood that I'll get to complete it will be slim. All told I did something crafty only 5 of the 31 days, or 16% (my lowest month of all).
My total for the year ended up 122 days out of a possible 366, or 33%. Not as much as I had hoped obviously but it does make me feel good to see that at least 1/3 of my days I was able to indulge the creative side of my brain.

Those new to my humble blog scratching their heads and wondering what in the world I'm talking about can read the original post on this topic here. No I'm not nuts, just numbers obsessed which comes from being an accountant. This time last year, I wondered and now I know.

Will I do this crazy exercise again? To tell the truth I really don't know. My intention was to not to for this year but then I went and bought a new calendar for my studio....not with the intent to keep up this bit if silliness but because it was really pretty and it was 50% off. Plus I do need a place to keep track of deadlines. If I do end up reporting this year's results I'll likely do it less often, perhaps quarterly. If any of you out there want to do this yourself this new year, let me know and I'll join ya. Any party is always more fun with lots of others attending.

No matter what your year brings to you, I sincerely hope that you find as much time as you want to create as much as possible. I know for me I'll be in my studio as often as I can. Getting a cleaning person for my house would certainly help me get in there even more but that is a pipe dream at the moment.


Thursday, January 3, 2013

The best looking snowman ever!

Jammer came home from school with his usual weekly homework sheets and I was happy to see that the first ones of the year were really fun. Yesterday's sheet had an outline of a snowman and the instructions said that he was to decorate it anyway he wanted to, using any materials that he found at home. I imagined that soon the kitchen would be covered with Elmer's Glue and glitter. Yucko mess!

He actually surprised me when he said that he wanted to color his snowman. I explained that although that would be just fine if that is what he really wanted to do, I thought that the teacher was hoping he'd do something a bit more creative. He said "like how?" The light bulb in my brain went off and I said "how about you cover him with different bits of fabric?" (always the quilter trying to sneak fabric into more areas of life, LOL).

He wasn't too sure what I meant but I ran upstairs, got my 2 bins of scraps along with 2 pairs of scissors (regular and pinking) and a glue stick. I then explained my idea. He absolutely loved it. He dove into the bins and pulled out this scrap and then that scrap, had me cut them into bits of various shapes and sizes and he glued them down wherever he felt like it.

Ta Da!
How cool is he! He is the most eclectically adorned snowman that I've ever seen. All the creations will be hung on the walls at the school for everyone to admire. I can't wait to hear what the others think of his version.

The homework for today, which he wanted to get done immediately after because it was tied to yesterdays sheet, was to write 2 sentences about why he decorated his snowman like he did. With help on the spelling he wrote this:
"I used fabric because my mom thought it would be fun. He is a baseball snowman.")

I wish every week's homework was this much fun to complete.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

And so it begins

Yesterday was officially the start of a new year but today is when it really begins. Today is the return to the normal school & work day routine, the rush to get lunches made, kidlets and hubby out the door and myself to work (on the days that I do work).

This is sort of how I felt this morning.

A kicking, moving kidlet in bed with us (yes both of them were there, as usually ends up) and a bit of sinus stuffiness had me awake at 4:45 am. Since I can't sleep if I can't breath, I figured it was time to get up. Being upright and a couple of cups of java later, I'm feeling better.

There were high hopes of getting tons of sewing done over the weekend and these past two non-weekend days but that didn't happen. Between the running around getting the last things needed for Jammer's birthday party done and the intense need to get the house bedlam under control, I never made it into my studio. I don't do well with mess (it really stresses me out) and although the plan yesterday was to just "work" on organizing and finding homes for all the new toys in the morning and then sewing the rest of the day, I ended up dealing with the their "stuff" the majority of the day and then sat in a chair after dinner until bedtime. But at least in the end, the playroom/future library and both of the kid's bedrooms are in order once again and I feel a ton better about that. We even managed to separate out a number of things that they no longer play with to be sold at the giant consignment sale in March.

The one thing I did accomplish yesterday that is my annual never-to-be-missed tradition is watching this from beginning to end.


This year's theme was "Oh the Places You'll Go!" and as usual, the show didn't disappoint one single bit.

One of my biggest bucket list items is to actually one day work on a float and then see the parade live and in person. Anyone that has an inside line to how to get to do this I will forever be indebted to you.

The end of 2012 didn't see a ton of sewing (Crafting by the Numbers updates coming soon) but I did manage to finish the month's Quilt U Be Mine block additions and handed it off to hubby to drop at the post office for me. I also got a bit of a reprieve for the "rush job" quilt finish. That family ended up having to go out of town unexpectedly for the holidays and she asked me to hold off sending it until after they are home. The final stitches on the binding will get completed this week and then as soon as I get the "we're home" email, off it will go.

Today is the 1st Wednesday of Marlene of Stitchin By the Lake's "Blog Neighbor's To Visit This Week". This is a fantastic idea and such a great way to meet new-to-you bloggers that you'll surely want to follow in the future. I'm not on this week's list but be assured that little ole me and my humble blog will be soon.

When that day comes, I'll be sure to let you know. And since I'm inching ever so close to having 300 followers, when that happens you know that I'll just have to have a little giveaway to celebrate.

Now I'm running late for work so I gotta run. I hope you all have a terrific day and I'll catch ya later!


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Mindset 2013

New Year's Resolutions have never been my thing. I'm more of a "Mindset" sort of gal. Even though I am a true List Queen, I don't believe in making a list of resolutions. Ironic, isn't it? A List Queen that doesn't make a list of resolutions? And I don't wait until the last days of the year to start thinking about the past months and the future. That impromptu exercise actually occurs about every quarter (sorry my mind will aways be fiscal date oriented). That part isn't really tied to the calendar quarters but instead tied to the change of seasons...the end of winter and heralding in spring, the end of the school year, the end of summer and start of the new school year and finally the end of the holiday season.
But during the extreme hub-bub of Christmas preparations and celebrating both of the kids' birthdays, I usually put a lot of time into thinking about what sorts of things I want to accomplish in the coming year.  That has been one of the biggest subjects of my brain's ponderings over the past number of weeks.

2012 has been full of learning and growth for me quilting wise and I'm looking forward to a trying a ton of new things in the coming months. Along with the just announced Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin 2013, there are 2-3 additional events in the works. And to be totally honest, the fact that in just over the year since this blog was born, I have written 225 posts and already have 285 followers just flabbergasts me. Not too shabby at all for my first year. Never in my wildest imagination when I started this blog did I think I'd be where I am at today. Who knows what wonderful things the future will bring?

The one huge thing that has bothered me a great deal lately is the fact that the majority of the projects on my To Make list never even got started this past year. Currently there are 33 specific projects on that list, projects that I have all or almost all the fabric for already, just sitting and waiting. And the list doesn't even include project decisions for all the other yardage and precuts that I have in my stash just waiting for the right inspiration to strike.

So with me figuring out what I want to concentrate on in 2013, I had to figure out how to go about accomplishing that. By this time next year, my goal is to have at least 40% if the items on the list done and crossed off. In addition to the existing list, I currently have 8 quilt patterns in various stages of development. I just need to find the time needed to finalize the plans, make up samples, test them and design the packaging. During the new year, I really hope to get some of them published and perhaps in the hands of a distributor to be available online and at local quilt shop near you. I'm finding inspiration for new blocks and patterns everywhere I look and those visions just have to become reality.
In order for me to make the most of my sewing time, I had to figure out what my overall Mindset will be. And to that end I have decided to resist joining the vast majority of swaps and blog hops, unless of course it is an over-the-top terrific one. I'm sure that there will be a few that will get added to my schedule but for the most part, I'll be watching from the sidelines. Same goes for fabric purchases. I honestly am not crazy about buying all the beautiful fabric and then not doing anything with it.  There are some absolutely terrific bargains to be had right now plus a few new lines coming out that are on my radar and Yes I will do a bit of shopping, especially so that I can offer up some really great giveaways next year, but otherwise I'm going to limit my stash additions as much as possible.

So by now you might be wondering how I actually will get my Mindset. Well I've always believed and known that something was P.E.R.F.E.C.T. if it took my breath away the instant I saw it. That has aways been my litmus test of "I must do" or "I must have" and that is the test that I will be using this coming year to decide whether or not to join an even to to purchase some new fabric. If I don't get breathless when I first see it or I don't end up with insomnia because I'm thinking about it too much, the vast majority of swaps, bees and new fabric releases will be left for others to join or buy.
Now don't get me wrong. I know I will join a couple of blog hops here and there and I'm certainly not going to avoid buying new fabric altogether, but I will be severely limiting myself in order to be able to get a lot more of those items on my list actually done. But overall Think Big, Dream Big will be my mantra in the hopes that a large number of my projects and new ideas come to fruition. One never knows what might actually happen if one opens the mind to all the possibilities.

So there you have it. My No New Year's Resolutions "plan". No matter if you are a resolution type of person or not, I hope 2013 is very productive, successful and over-the-top happy for each and every one of you.