Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Gratitude

A few more vintage pictures today. I hope you'll indulge me one more time. This is my mom and my grandfather in 1951.


Yesterday was my adorable grandfather's funeral. If December days could be gorgeous, this one would qualify - especially after being inundated by snow last week. Beautiful sun and warmer temperatures, but lots of pretty, clean snow covering the ground.

My grandparents were classy. They were the kind of grandparents that would take you to the symphony, but also enjoy a great episode of the Muppet Show or a rousing college football game. They were funny too.

This is me and my sister on the way home from our first trip to Disneyland.
At 99 and 3/4 years old, his passing was not unexpected, but it was still an emotional day. However, most of my tears yesterday were tears of gratitude. Gratitude for the kind people who took care of him in his final years. Gratitude for the time I've been able to spend with him as a significant part of my life. Gratitude that my own children had the opportunity to know him. Gratitude for the opportunity to hear others pay tribute to him. Gratitude for the legacy of kindness he left behind. Most of all, gratitude to Jesus Christ for making it possible for me to be with them again! Even though my grandpa is no longer with us physically, I continue to feel his love and presence in my life.

P.S. Many thanks for your kind thoughts. Back to quilting soon. I'm itching to work on my projects.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas

I adore this picture - my mom visiting Santa in San Francisco over 50 years ago.

I hope you have all had a lovely holiday! Lot's of snow here, but sometimes it's fun to be snowed in for Christmas. Makes it feel cozy.

One bit of happy sadness at our house, my Grandfather died one day before his 100th Christmas. Sad because we love him so much. Happy because he's free from his worn-out body and he got to be with Grandma for Christmas!

I plan to return to the regularly scheduled blogging sometime next week after more family and funeral time.

In the mean time, have yourself a Happy little Boxing Day.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The quilts of Christmas Past

A couple of quilts from past Christmases.

I replace the Sunflower quilt on the weird landing with this log-cabin quilt at Christmas time and leave it up until spring or summer when I put the sunflower one back up. (Until I finally make something new and exciting to fit this space.)

The quilt on the couch is one I made for the store a couple of years ago from Moda's Mistletoe Manor by Three Sisters. It's pretty scrappy. We had over 50 different fabrics from the collection and I tried to incorporate them all.
As I pulled this quilt out again this year, I still really liked the colors. I really love the brown in there.
Here's the back.
And a close-up of the print on the back. I've since used this in another quilt too. But it's not finished. Maybe next year.
This is the one that stayed at the store. (Sorry about the bad picture.) We used different borders to show different looks (and sell more fabric.) There's more pink in the store quilt because those fabrics were in the kit. I didn't use as much pink in mine.
When I was done with the quilts and the kits there were a ton of scraps. So last year I finally put together a tree skirt and quilted it. I love it. It still needs a binding, but for now I just stick it under the tree. I thought it would get done this year. Maybe after Christmas. I still have more scraps and would like to make a table-runner too.
And to those who are thinking, "What?! Two blog posts in two days!" Well it happens when you let your husband take your car to work because his car isn't as good in the snow. And your son is at his last day of preschool for 2 weeks.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Why does Christmas always come at the busiest time of the year?

Some reasons I haven't posted a blog post in nearly a week.

First: It snowed. A bunch. And it's going to keep snowing for the next week. Which means a lot of shoveling. I have to admit I'm still sick of shoveling from last year's snow.
But it looks festive and at least it makes it feel like Christmas outside. I wouldn't mind the snow if I could stay inside all day and just look at out the window.

Second: Busy kids.

Here is making the annual gingerbread house. I loved making gingerbread houses growing up, but my mom was the one who had the frustration of making and cutting out the gingerbread pieces, making the frosting and trying to hold the structure together.

I still remember this angst and wasn't ever too excited to fill the mother-role in gingerbread house construction.

Then, along came gingerbread house kits!! My brother-in-law gave us one two years ago and we loved it. And a new tradition was born. I love the ones from Costco. Ten dollars and all I have to do is open the wrapper and it's ready to go!

We are definitely not in it for the delicate beauty, but for the fun (and the sugar), so I just let the kids run with it and try to keep them from eating too much of the candy right away.

Third. My turn to be in charge of the family calendar. (This is a tradition that goes back about 25 years when my mom would literally cut [with scissors] and paste [with a glue stick] a calendar grid together and mount a 5 x 7 photo on the top page.)

I thought I was so clever when I decided to do it all digitally. Instead it took me hours of frustration trying to figure out the Costco website and get it to upload my photos, then having everyone resend higher resolution pictures, etc.
At least I have it all figured out finally and it should go much faster next year. :)

Other fun things I've done this week: finish online shopping. Finish store shopping. Finish teacher gifts. Wrap and package all of our out-of-state shipping and overseas Christmas cards. Stand in line at the mail place to buy postage from the world's most meticulous [read: slow] employee while my boys were going crazy and try to keep them from doing any damage I would have to pay for on top of my exorbitant bill.

And finally, I'm posting something to do with quilting. An actual finished project!

The finished Boyfriend quilt sample for the store where I work. This quilt was so named because it is all plaids, a little more masculine, and something you would give your boyfriend (or any other particular male or female you desire. Or yourself.)

Quilted and washed and ready to go.
I love how it turned out and I love how soft the quilt is when it's washed and quilted.
Now I just need to make one for myself!Some time after all of this fun busy-ness calms down.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Some other blog stuff

A few blog links for you all.

First of all Design Mom is having a 12 Days of Christmas giveaway with 12 different giveaways!

Like this:



and more! Click here to enter any of them.

(And while you're at DesignMom, look at this post. Especially if you are a crafter, or someone who supports crafters, or likes to buy their stuff. I am writing my congressman today!)


Now, if you want to craft something yourself, check out this cute project from the Purl bee.

They have a bunch of projects this week, but these were my favorite. I might not do hot-pink, but the possibilities are endlessly cute. And easy.

And last, if you want a good Christmas-time funny read, look at this from Posie gets Cozy.
What would you write in your made-for-TV-Christmas-special? :)

Oh one more thing. If anyone wants a "$10 off any online Old Navy order over $75" coupon, email me and I'll give you my code. (You can find my email address when you click 'view my complete profile' under my picture on the left.)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Fabric Bonanza!

So I was really sick yesterday. I've been fighting a gross cold for a while now and then I got the 24 hour stomach flu on top of it. Yuck! (I think I caught it from the kid on Lera's blog.) So while I was lying on the couch yesterday afternoon, watching yet another show on PBS with the kids, I persuaded my daughter to go get the mail. And frabjous day, look what came! Another order of Japanese fabric, this time from Sweetflavor on etsy. They even exceeded my expectations in terms of absolute cuteness. (If only I could just hop a plane to Japan and buy yards of this stuff!)

Here are a couple close-ups. Look at those cute, little smiling rockets and helicopters!

But speaking of yards of fabric, check-out this haul!! Monday I was at the mall, doing some Christmas shopping, minding my own business, when I popped in a book store that also sells some yardage. I always check because they often put good stuff on sale for 30-50% off. Then I saw this!!! American Jane fabric at a steal. And lets just say I got it for less that if I'd bought it from Moda itself. (I won't tell you exactly how much, or you might start to hate me.) Which is why I bought so much! Like, I have never bought a whole bolt of fabric before.I may even stop back there today after taking the kids to the dentist to see if anything is left.
And yes, I am feeling much better. Although my husband keeps laughing whenever I talk because I sound like Marge Simpson.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Something old and something new plus some giveaways!

Don't you love pulling out your Christmas decorations? Truthfully, I wasn't that excited to add more clutter to my life right this minute, so I was kind of dragging my feet. But once I got them out, I really enjoyed seeing them again.

This one brought back some happy memories. My first real best friend as an adolescent was named Allison. I was the oldest in my family with lots of really young siblings. Allison only had one older brother, so we were each kind of enamored with each other's lives. (Although I was probably much more enamored with hers.) The other great thing was she and her mom were real quilters. Which I loved because I was still kind of afraid of that crafty "stigma" at the tender age of 14, and they were people who 'got it.' And did it amazingly. (Like hand-pieced, hand quilted works of art.)

So one Christmas, almost 20 years ago, Allison gave me this. And I always forget about it until I pull it out each year. And I love it just as much each time I do. So I post it here as a suggestion of something cute YOU crafty people (who also 'get it') could do.
Don't you think it stands the test of time really well?

And here is something new. I actually started this one last year and vow to finish it this year.
It comes from a pattern I'd been eyeing for sometime. So, when I still liked it a few years in a row, I finally bought it. I love every thing in it! I love that table runner, although I probably won't use it as a table runner as it would just end up with mashed potatoes and peanut butter on it at our house. And the stuffed santas? Cute. (Sorry about the bad picture. You can see it better here.)I love the red plaid wool. And his wee little boots.
(Said in Shrek's Scottish accent.)In other, probably more exciting news, two blogs that I have begun to frequent are both celebrating their one year blogiversary with giveaways!

The first is Freda's Hive. With seven different prizes!! (I covet so much on her blog already. It's all got to be really great stuff!!!)
Remember when I met Nanette? As soon as Christmas is over I am making her bag! I've got the supplies and fabric all ready. I can't wait!

The second blogiversary is at V and Co.

This is another talented girl! She is a full-time mom in small-town Utah who has a great flair for design and a talent for making amazing cute stuff. All at the same time her husband is deployed. Go be inspired


Friday, December 5, 2008

Have you ever bought this much ribbon at once?

So yesterday I hit a couple of Warehouse sales. My sister works for a scrapbook company called QuicKutz so I decided to go and check out some of the amazing deals to be had there. As I was leaving I discovered a flier for another scrapbook company - American Crafts - who was also having a warehouse sale not far from my home. So I thought we'd just swing by real quick.
Oh dear.
I don't do that much scrapbooking these days and thought I would just pick-up a few stickers or a little paper for card-making. Then I found their ribbon section. Amazing deals. These bolts below are 25-yard bolts that scrapbook stores carry and sell as yardage. Each bolt was only $2 for the whole thing! Look there's ric-rac, velvet ribbon, grosgrain, twill-tape, velvet ric-rac for heaven's sake! The other bolts are only 4-yards and were therefore even cheaper. [i can't believe how much i spent. whoa. like my whole paycheck from all those Boyfriend kits.] So at least I now I have a lifetime supply of ribbon!After I let my sister have her pick, I think I'll give some of it away! So keep posted you few faithful readers!

Oh and there were also buttons and brads. Pretty colors.
Oh, and then because I spent so much, they gave me this for free. So that helped. :)
Click on the links above for details if you live close and you want to go. Both sales are going through tomorrow.

And while you're in Utah County, don't miss the Beehive Bazaar. One of my favorite crafty-gift-shows! The talent is amazing and inspiring.

(Just don't do what I did when I went last spring. The venue is in an old part of Provo and when I parked across the street I accidentally rolled my front-passenger side wheel into the former-irrigation-ditch-gutter and couldn't get it out! I had my two girls with me, it was past 8:30 on a Friday night and my husband was on a camp-out with the boys. I felt SO stupid. Fortunately some kind friends got us home that night and a kind neighbor towed the car out the next morning. When I told my girls I would take them again this week, both of them said, "As long as you just park in the parking lot this time, Mom!")

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Farewell to Fall

Okay. The calendar is telling me that it is officially December. I am somewhat in denial of this fact. First of all, because it's over 50 degrees outside. (Not that I'm complaining. I finally trimmed the rose bushes yesterday!) Which brings me to reason number 2. I'm so dreading winter. And I really love fall.
(I love fall's color scheme too!)

But I'm finally starting to deal with reality and take down the Thanksgiving decorations. My kids are ready for the TREE!

So, farewell fall. (I mean autumn). I'll miss you.
Here are a few from the blooper reel:
This one makes me laugh out loud every time I see it. Hate it when you forget your belt!I have no idea why I'm making this face. Clearly my husband doesn't either.Thanksgiving report: A very lovely day full of lots of visits with family, including my 99-year-old Grandfather. Unfortunately Friday morning we woke-up to 2 people with some gross stomach bug and the 4-year-old with Strep Throat! Argh. I felt so bad for the many people we were with the day before. So far no one else has succumbed. But it meant we had a pretty waster rest of the weekend. I did work on cleaning my sewing room (which needed it greatly!) while watching Anne of Green Gables on PBS. Not a bad way to spend a quarantined afternoon.