Wednesday, February 29, 2012

This-is-so-COOL: "Vintage" craft books

I got a fun package in the mail last week!  But you need the story first ...
My parents live on the other side of the country--I rarely see them and often feel out of the loop.  But a couple of months ago, I just happened to call on some random day and got to hear how a sewage line broke about a block from their home.  Water and other stuff backed up in all the pipes and seriously flooded their basement--you can imagine.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

S.W.A.K.: On a Sorta Snowy Saturday ...

This morning I was awaken by my husband's excitement over the big flakes of snow that were really coming down ... since then it's snowed twice more, the sun came out long enough to cause serious meltyness and now it's raining, really raining.  I guess that's about how this week has gone, too. If you don't like things right now, just wait a few minutes ...

President's Day on Monday was a fun family everybody's home day.  Well, I can wear rose colored glasses in retrospect, right?

This week I primed, textured and painted our new bathroom walls.  Today we're replacing the toilet and sink fixtures.  That still makes us only about halfway done.  Next the shower comes out and we do the walls and door frame while we try to decide how to replace the shower.  I have my own definite wish--cultured marble--but we'll see what we end up with.  I'd also love one of those "open" showers with no doors to scrub and collect mold, but again, who knows ...

Samantha had the usual smattering of appointments ... six to be exact.  Still no change and 7-1/2 weeks into this with no explanation or relief.  She's so done.  She just wants to be NORMAL.  Next week she will officially move to a medically-necessary shortened school day.  We're working out the details on that still, but as soon as we do, that'll be a whole new chapter is our educational adventures.

I started helping Nicholas's class with the pancake dolls that I cut out over Winter Break.  I need to get on top of mine so I can post a tutorial with pictures.  I really admire his teacher for taking on a project of this magnitude.  So little of this type of project is done nowadays and it is so good for the children to move a bit out of their comfort zone and learn new skills--it's only running stitches after all.  It kinda hit home for me when I realized I was teaching the kids the exact same stitch I'm using to draw the pictures on the Rocky Ridge quilt.

I had hoped to be going up to the Portland Temple today with Samantha, but we couldn't schedule a time for baptisms.  Working with her this week to get some names ready for the work reminded me how much I enjoy family history work when I take the time.  Does anyone have any suggestions about how to organize all that information?  Most of what it looks like I need to work on for a while is "reconciling" conflicting records in the Family Search system.  But that also means tracking down original records and other family information.  So many projects, so little time...

Friday, February 24, 2012

Tipsy Tutorials: Quilt-in-a-Week

Original Pinspiration (just scroll down a little):

It would probably be more accurate to say "blanket" but it is quilted :)  I am definitely a novice quilter.  For me, quilting is a definite step up from sewing clothes and other crafty projects.  I learned how to sew a straight line a very long time ago, but piecing quilts was something that seemed just a little out of my reach.  Matching seams and figuring out the math were beyond my comprehension.  Now I think it was just that I had a mental block because I didn't know anyone who could show me the ropes.  As I was thinking about the kinds of projects I look for when trying something new, I stumbled across this idea.  Why not show how *easy* quilting can be and make a small blanket in a week?!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

S.W.A.K.: Whew!

Rhett worked through three weekends in January, so he took some extra time off this week.  He spent most of his time working on our bathroom.  In this process, I found out that putting up the walls is not so bad, neither is taping and spackling—it’s the sanding that’s killer.  Plaster dust everywhere!  It is so fine and hard to clean up—blech!  He also re-organized the living room so he can host a WOWarcraft party tonight and baked five, yes 5, pies (and one cake)!  (Oh, and for those of you wondering, yes, these pics were taken on the morning of the 14th--the romance never ends ...)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Half-Baked: Happy Valentine's Day!

Well, I can’t ignore it.  It’s today!  I don’t know what it says about me that I’m just as excited about taking fruit to my kids’ school parties as I am about the possibility of doing something with my sweetie.  I don’t go all out on holidays—I just don’t have the energy.  But I do enjoy seeing how excited my kids get over the little things.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

S.W.A.K.: Running in Place

I think “running in place” is a good way to describe this week for me.  No major catastrophes, but no major progress, either. 

I did manage to make my bed every single day this week, if for no other reason that to give me a place to lay out a sewing project for an hour.  I helped Rhett install the first 3 pieces of sheetrock into our bathroom today.  Now on to spackling and taping.  I worked on a couple of project ideas I want to post and finished my first original crochet pattern.  Nicholas and Sarah had a birthday party this week that I got to sew for, too.  We decided to put the gift in a zippered pouch and tie a big fabric bow on it instead of wrapping it.  Turned out way cute—but did I even THINK to take a picture.  Of.  Course. NOT.  Oh, well.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Tipsy Tutorials: Bobblicious Hat Re-make

One of my friends pinned this hat ( ) couple of weeks ago and it caught my interest.  I have another  friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer a few months ago and is in the middle of chemotherapy. We were talking one day and she said the hardest thing for her was that her head was always cold.  Now we don’t have frigid winters here in the Willamette Valley, but one thing I CAN do is make some very cute hats.  She likes the simple skull-cap styles because they cover more, stretch as needed and don’t hurt her head when she sleeps in them.  So many things I never thought about; I’m glad she shared with me.  I know it can't be easy.

Sooo, I’ve been on the hunt for cute caps I can throw together for her.  I think this is a fun hat, but the original pattern was for a baby hat.  So I went to work.  It took a couple of nights to work out the pattern, but here it is.  I tweaked the original a lot because I couldn’t follow her instructions and get the desired result.  (If you have any problems/questions with my  instructions, please ask so I can make corrections.)  When I made the second one to verify that the pattern really said what I wanted it to, it only took me one evening to throw the main cap together. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

This-is-so-COOL! : My Hair is Wavy

This came from a link I re-pinned on Pinterest.  It took about five minutes to do--really.  Last Saturday I had signed up for a real estate seminar, so I thought it would be the perfect time to try something different with my hair.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Half-baked: Simple Pasta Dinner

So, as some of you know, my oldest was recently put on a really restricted diet.  Not that I’m a live-out-of-the-box cook, but I do enjoy my convenience foods.  One of my favorite foods to make is spaghetti sauce.  I have two favorite recipes, one from my mom and one from my friend, HDK.  The problem with my mom’s recipe is that it uses tomato soup--MSG and bad additives--in it.  I’ll have to find one that is “safe” before I can make that one again.  The other one, which I love for it’s flavor and simplicity, unfortunately uses sausage—another no-no.  So, on our shopping trip this last weekend, I gave in and bought a jar of all-natural spaghetti sauce that would fit the bill.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Adagio: Slowing Down

This week went by at about a hundred miles per hour.  Doctor’s appointments, no school Friday, phone calls to straighten out health and homeowners insurance, bathroom demolition, and my once-peaceful bedroom and craft corner piled high with displaced vanity storage.   Falling into bed each evening, I longed to slow down tomorrow and get more done.  Hah!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

S.W.A.K.: What a week!

This week has been notable for me in many ways.  I’m used to being a SAHM, my choice and I cherish it.  It’s not too often where it is so glaringly obvious that if I did work then I wouldn’t be able to do it all.  Samantha went to three different doctors this week.  We got new insurance at the beginning of the year, and this proved to be an added challenge.

Tipsy Tutorials: Heart Table Topper

Here is a little project that I threw together from one Moda charm pack.  I've seen several projects from other crafty designers that are so cute, but none of the shops here in town do charm packs.  I went out on a limb and ordered 2 charm packs and one jelly roll from CrazyQuiltGirl Fabric Shop.  Charm packs are basically a stack of about 42 pre-cut 5-inch squares. The jelly roll is strips of fabrics rolled up together.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Half-Baked: Mealtime Organization

Yesterday, one of my dear cousins posted this on Facebook:  "Trying to decide what to make for dinner.....hum... Whats on your menu this week?"  She got quite a few responses, and I've seen several similar posts from my different circles.

It seems that the perennial, "What's for dinner?" will always be the bane of most moms.  I've tried many systems over the last 15 years or so, and last year, finally found the one for me.  It's actually a mix of several I've seen and tried over the years, but it is all ME.  That said, I will tell you that while the format is set in stone, the variables are constantly changing.  You'll see what I mean. Let me introduce you to my mealtime binder...