Monday, September 24, 2012

On the Table

No really this was on my table this weekend. I found some of the fabric recently at Hancock & purchased the green vintage inspired print in Utah when I was at the Sewing Summit last year. Just haven't had the right project to use it on until now. I found this pattern on Pinterest & really felt that the fabric prints went with the feel of the pattern. When it's finished it will be a crib sized quilt. I don't have much time to make anything bigger at the moment. I have a few custom orders on the table & need to get them done soon. Add the upcoming pumpkin patch & holiday fairs that I have signed up to make stuff for & I will be busy until Christmas. That's a good thing. Now if I could just get my act together & list some tooth fairy pillows to my shop. Someone crack the whip please!

P.S. I pinned the original quilt I found inspiration from but can't find the pin now. That happens every now & then. If you know the quilt I'm talking about please let me know so I can give credit to the original artisan.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Scrappy Potholders & Balloon Races

I had a chance to teach a class at church last Saturday. Only two people took the class but I had a blast teaching it & I think they both had fun too. I'm still in a quilting funk. I keep waiting for the perfect moment to get back into things & it hasn't come along. I guess I will have to make magic happen. Hope to have something to share with you soon.

Since I taught my class on Saturday & Dean worked most of the weekend the only morning we had a chance to go see the balloon races was on Sunday. We packed up the kids & headed to Dawn Patrol. Dean picked up doughnuts for the girls & Omri & they were in heaven. The kids had fun & Dean took a nap. Ha! Afterward we headed out for breakfast at Fudruckers. It's an all you can eat buffet & the kids had so much fun making their own plates of food. Omri had been a little grumpy all morning. At first I thought it was because we woke him up too early. As the morning wore on I realized he was acting grumpier & lethargic. By the time we got home poor little man was running a fever. He was such a trooper the whole morning despite feeling so crummy. I had every intention of taking the kids to church when we got back. Hahahaaaa! What a joke to even think that was possible. By the time we got home all the kids were having melt downs & in desperate need of a nap. Heck, even I felt grumpy & tired from all the whining. So we all took naps. 4 hours later we all woke up. Except little man. He slept a bit longer. 

When I look at these pictures I realize all the craziness was worth it. We'll see you next year balloon races. Only all these little ones will be a year older. Crazy how fast this thing called life goes by.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Treasures of The Earthly Kind

If you know me you know that I love to yard sale & thrift shop. It's not uncommon for me to see a random sign on the side of the road & to take a few minutes out of my day to hunt for "treasures". Sometimes I find something little & other times I feel like I have found the proverbial jackpot of vintage goodness. In fact I've gotten so good at this hunting of treasures it's getting harder & harder for me to want to pay full price for anything. I do love a good bargain. I also am willing to wait sometimes months or years until I find that perfect whatever it is I've had on my list before I buy it. This list is in my mind. It's not very long but it is comprised of certain pieces of furniture, books, picture frames, kitschy art & fabric, clothes & toys. Sometimes I find stuff I love but don't really need & I buy it for my vintage Etsy shop. That way others can enjoy the unique vintage goodies I find. This canister set was only $2 & they now sit on my desk & hold all sorts of sewing & paper goodies. They make me smile whenever I see them.

This awesome vintage breadbox is one of those things on my list that I have been trying to find for a few years now. It's hard to tell but it is a really good size & fits several loaves of bread in it. Inside the door is a wooden cutting board (that I don't use) & the color just makes me happy! Dean hated it when I brought it home but I think it's grown on him. My neighbor asked me if I was going to paint it! Lol!!! I explained that the imperfect paint was part of what made it so charming. He laughed & told me he wished he would have know me a few years back when he was cleaning out his mothers house. Evidently she had a ton of vintage items I probably would have loved. Sigh. The icing on the cake for this vintage find was the price. I only paid $5. Can you believe it? It's a total steel. I almost felt guilty when the guy told me the price. Almost ;)

These next set of pictures are from a beautiful vintage quilt my mom & grandma passed on to me. It was made by my great great great grandmother. I had no idea it even existed until a few months ago. When my mom told me about it I was stunned. 

How in the heck have we had something this special in our family & this was the first time I was hearing about it? A few weeks after the first mention of the quilt my mom called to let me know she was sending it to me. I was so excited to be able to have something so special from our family's past.

 When I opened the package & unfolded the quilt I had a hard time taking it all in. There is just so so so much to see. So many beautiful & imperfect stitches made by loving hands all those years ago. Everything about this quilt is hand made. No machine was used. I'm sure every piece of fabric was saved from something that she or her kids used or wore. I realized I was holding a story made of fabric in my arms. And this next part might sound silly but I cried. Like a baby. They were tears of happiness. I felt such a connection to a woman I never knew. It made my heart so happy to know that someone in my past loved making things just as much as I do. That I can hold this quilt & enjoy it for years to come & eventually pass it down to my children. What an honor.

It gave me hope too. Hope that someday maybe, just maybe, someone long after I am buried in the earth will love something I have made as much as I love this quilt. 

It's probably my most beloved earthly treasure. Thank you mom & Grammy for letting me have this beautiful quilt. 

What are your favorite vintage finds & family treasures?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Some Things


Since my last post I managed to have another unproductive week when it came to art & creativity. There were other things keeping me super busy. Good things that needed to get done. Random things that needed to be finished up. Some things that I had no control over, like Sloan being sick & one ER visit on Friday with no answers about why she's having so much tummy pain. Sloan needed me & I was able to be there for her every day. I didn't have to call into work or try to find a sitter & I am so grateful my husband works as hard as he does so I can stay at home & be here for my kids. Today I went into her school & met with all of her teachers to set up her 504 for the year. I'm very impressed with all of the teachers & grateful that they seem to be interested in her well being. Only into the 3rd week of school & we have already had several calls from some of the staff. Sloan & one of her friends were being bullied. I am very happy that the teachers were quick to act & they were so proud of Sloan & her friend for how they have handled the situation. She's growing up so quickly & we are doing our best to keep up & fill all her needs as a. It's such an awkward time in life but she is finding her way.

We've been spending a lot of time in the garden. Almost every evening we all head out to the garden as a family to pick whatever needs to be harvested. Most of our garden came in hearty & full but there were a few things that struggled. The berries mostly. We don't have the best soil for them but they are slowly making it. Dean has worked hard to get the soil to the right acidity & it's paying off. We've gotten a few strawberries, black berries & raspberries. They are all so yummy. Not enough berries to pick & do anything with but just enough to pick & eat while out in the garden.

The tomatoes have taken over! We won't have to buy any the rest of the summer. They are yummy too. Some a little sweeter than others but nothing yummier than fresh tomatoes from the garden.

Omri & the girls pick them a hand full at a time & munch away. It's not uncommon for them to be too full for dinner because their tummies are too full of tomatoes, lol! 

We're getting bowls this full almost every night. I'll be canning like a crazy lady the rest of this week!

Our little apple tree did great this year too! It only produced about 15 apples but they were healthy & sweet & the kids were so excited.

Every year our church sells 20 pound boxes of pears through a church owned farm. You can order as many as you want. They were so yummy last year Dean & I ordered 2 boxes this year! That's 40 pounds of pears!!! There is no way a family of 6 can eat 40 pounds of pears before they would go bad. I knew I wanted to make pear cake. It's one of my favorite. It's more of a breakfast bread. I made 10 loaves & put all but two in the freezer.

Even after making all of that bread I had a ton of pears left. I decided to make pear sauce. It's basically apple sauce but it's made with pears. The kids love it & since I didn't add any sugar it's healthy for them too.

I still had almost a whole box of pears left after making all the other pear recipes so I thought I'd try my had at canning pears. I used the juice from when I made the pear sauce instead of syrup so it's much healthier. The last of the pears were made into pear chips by my sweet friend Jamie. Only a few of the pears had to be thrown away. Next year we might order 1 more box. I'm sure I could find something to make with 60 pounds of pears, lol :)

Dean & our friend Dusty worked on the house all weekend long. Finishing up small projects & tackling some of the bigger tasks on our to do list. They make a great team & I'm so excited about the construction business they are starting together. They are two of the hardest workers I know & remind me of my uncle D who owns a roofing business in Florida. He was always the first on the roof & the last off. Wasn't afraid to get his hands dirty & worked alongside his crew. I always hoped I would marry a man that worked as hard as my uncle D & I'm grateful to say I did.

The first project they tackled was building my new kitchen cabinet. I love this picture. Omri parked himself in the box & watched while they worked. Best seat in the house!

Here it is all finished. It now holds all of our canned goods. Eventually it will have doors but for right now it will stand open. Next step in the kitchen is to blow out the ceiling & have it match the rest of the house. We will keep the skylight but reframe the attic & open it up. It's going to look so much better when it's done. Also on the list is to put in can lights, a lighting fixture over the sink, new sink, new countertops, new appliances, new slate floors & repainting the cabinets. Some of these things will take longer than others but they will all happen.

They also installed the storage cabinet in the back hallway between the garage, laundry room & Sloan's room. It's a high traffic area. This is now a perfect place to store all of our cleaning supplies in the upper shelves, Sloan's medical supplies, bags, & miscellaneous items you need to get to but don't really have a place for. It's deep too. So I'll be able to find a home for a lot of things that have been in boxes out in the garage.

Some of the things Dean & Dusty worked on are harder to notice. Like the little square on the ceiling by the fireplace. Do you see it? Yep, that used to be where a giant square metal box hung down. It was the flu for a wood burning stove. Now it's gone & the ceiling & roof were patched. They also replaced the waterline to the fridge, took down the pool & started fixing our back fence. Dean plans on texturing the living room & the ceilings this week. Then we can paint. I'm super happy about all of this!

Last but not least I had to share the giant shelf I bought at a yard sale last weekend. It is HUGE! It's old & awesome & holds a ton. The top shelf will soon hold all of our photo albums. I need to make more quilts so I can fill up the shelves with quilty goodness. For now it just holds a few of the vintage toys my kids play with & some of my vintage children's book collection. So as you can see I haven't been "making" as much as I would have liked but as I write this I'm realizing I did more than I thought I did this past week. Such a good feeling.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Looking Back, Moving Forward

I've hit a wall. A real creative block. It almost always happens after I work super hard on a big project & it comes to an end. I have spent the week cleaning, playing with kids, baking, cleaning, taking kids to & from school, cleaning & I joined a gym. I did everything BUT create. Maybe I was just exhausted by the new schedule of having all the kids in school. Maybe I was just physically tired from being soooooo out of shape & finally getting my but kicked at the gym. I honestly don't know. I just couldn't get myself motivated.

I saw a painting today & I physically felt a twinge in my heart. I love quilting & sewing but at that moment I realized just how much I miss the physical act of drawing & painting. I miss the smell of paint & the process of making something from a blank piece of paper or canvas. I wonder sometimes if I haven't pushed myself enough. Maybe if I tried just a little harder I could be further ahead in my creative dreams. Maybe if I could just focus a little better I could actually be a better artist, mother, wife & friend. Or maybe I'm just being too hard on myself. Or maybe I'm burnt out. 

I'm wondering if my lack of motivation is because I haven't been allowing myself to enjoy all aspects of creativity? So instead of wallowing in my self pity & frustration over an artist block I decided to make a plan for myself. I'm going to try to allow myself to do more painting & drawing. I'm giving myself permission to enjoy the process of creating. I'm really hoping that by doing more art along with my quilts I can find an even balance to my creative frustrations. Only time will tell. Until I figure out a good creative flow I plan on organizing my art area. It's a mess. I also have several projects to finish up. So I made a list of what NEEDS to happen over the last few months of this year. My last goal is to blog a little more. Crossing my fingers that all of this pays off. That's a pretty silly thing to say. The only thing that will really make a difference is if I'm ready & willing to do the work. I better get to work, lol, I've got a lot to do. Hope you all have a happy Labor Day weekend!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Big Top Crib Quilt

The front

The back

I had a lot of fun making this little crib quilt. Like I mentioned in my last post this little zigzag may just become my go to pattern for future quilts. It's super quick & easy to put together & I think it looks adorable when finished. It's easy enough for even a first time quilter to try. The stitching followed the lines of the quilt. I was worried it wouldn't have enough crinkle but was pleasantly surprised when it came out of the dryer. I have three more of these panels & already bought the fabric to make two of them in a girly color way.

After spending the last two weeks working like lightning to get everything ready for my first craft fair, dealing with sick kids & the crazy first week of middle school I treated myself to some fun fabric the other night. I purchased 2 yards of Guising by Lizzy House to make a Halloween quilt with. I also bought the cutest super hero fabric so I can make some more boyish tooth fairy pillows. The last thing I bought was the most adorable Japanese fabric with a scene from the fairytale The Emperors New Clothes. I really don't know what I'm using it for yet but I couldn't help myself & had to get it ;) Every once in a while it's fun to treat myself to something I wouldn't normally splurge on. Helps me get my creative juices flowing again.

I am taking the rest of the afternoon off to spend with the kids but I'll be listing a ton of new stuff in the shop tomorrow. Hope you all are having a wonderful holiday weekend!