Monday, March 28, 2011

More OPAM finishes for March

Our group, Colton's Angels, made these sweet blankets last year, and we've never gotten the labels sewn on them.  I've had them sitting at my house for weeks, and made a deadline of the end of this month to finish them.  I didn't realize how quickly the month flew by!  So, I quickly stitched the labels on.  Now they are all ready for delivery: all 19 of them!

Here is a close-up shot of our labels.  Aren't they so sweet??  I just love the little angel.

I also managed to finish this Christmas candle needlepoint. Woohoo! I am starting to make quite a dent in my bag of to-be-made-Christmas-decorations.  Although, Mike keeps asking whose home they will be decorating, because there's no way they're going up in our house! haha He thinks they are kind of old-fashioned, and wants a more modern look for Christmas.  Oh well, too bad for him! *evil laugh*
I feel like I have gotten so much accomplished this month, but I still have so much left that I want to do!  It's crazy!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

OPAM Finish - Cherry House Quilt Along

Cherry House did this awesome quilt-along quilt using SOLIDS.  I've never done a quilt in just solids before, so I was really excited to do this quilt along.  I chose not to pick one of the color ways she did hers in.  I chose a purple-ish grey for my background, and different shades of purple for my pops of color.

I had a lot of fun quilting it.  I LOVE quilting feathers, so I quilted feathers going in alternating directions in the long grey columns.  In the pieced color columns, I quilted circles.  I'm really happy how it turned out.  Oh!  And I used a purple thread called Thistle to quilt it with!  I'm really, REALLY happy with it.  It's hanging on the back wall of my corner of the shop, above my bookshelf, out where everyone can see it! :)

Chalk up another finish for March OPAM :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Going Natural

So, I've been slowly changing some of my personal items over from quick-and-easy-and-cheap to a more natural product.

The first thing I changed was my toothpaste.  I have gingivitis.  There.  I've said it.  The reason why is simple: I hate flossing.  I have a permanent wire retainer on my bottom teeth.  It's a pain in the butt to floss around it, so I don't.  My dentist scolds me.  My periodontist scolds me.  My hygienist scolds me.  Heck, even my mom scolds me!  But do I listen, or care?  NO!  Why?  Because it HURTS!

So, when I found out about these tooth chips by Rose of Sharon Acres, I decided to try them.  Now, they are a little pricier than normal toothpaste.  BUT, you get a lot in the 4 oz tin.  I also ordered some tooth powder.  The blurb on the website said it would "Brighten your smile" but upon reading the label, it also helps fight gingivitis.  Win. Win!

I've been using the tooth chips instead of toothpaste for about 2 weeks.  I don't want to sound like I know much of anything about teeth, but my gums are already feeling better.  I am not sure if I've mentioned it here before or not, but in December of 2009 I had gum replacement surgery.  I was 25.  Not something you'd think a 25-year-old would be having done.  I had the gums along my 4 lower/front teeth replaced.  It was painful.  I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.  I have been going back every 3 weeks-6 months ever since.  I went a few weeks ago, and I don't have to go back for another year.  It's finally starting to be where the periodontist wants it to be.

But my good news?  I checked today, and the spot isn't as red and inflamed as it normally is.  I can't say it's because I've been flossing, because I haven't.  It has to be partly due to the fact that I am using an all-natural item to brush my teeth.  And it rocks.

I'm going to make another confession here.  I have acne.  I have always had acne.  It sucks.  I've dealt with it.  I've moved on.  Except that it keeps coming back.  I am at the end of my rope as to what to do with it.  I've tried Nuetrogena, Pond's, Biore, Clearasil, Stridex, etc, but nothing seemed to really work totally.

I decided it was time for a change.  I needed something that was actually going to work.  About a year ago, I had a sample of Bert's Bees new facial care line.  It was fabulous.  I loved it.  Until it got dumped into the tub by Marshy (did I mention it was open at the time?).  So, when i went to the store tonight, i looked for a new product in the Bert's Bees line that I could use.

Instead of finding just 1 item, i bought 4.  The cleanser, the scrub, the toner, and the moisturizer.  I have oodles of samples of the spot treatment at home, so I din't bother buying those as well.

I just washed my face with the stuff and it feels amazing.  I just hope I can remember to wash at AM and PM!
The moisturizer was the most expensive of the bunch, at $16.  Everything else was around $8.  Woohoo! Good prices for sure.

What are you doing to go natural, or green, or whatever?  I would love to hear about it! :)

OPAM finishes for March (so far!)

I am totally loving OPAM this year.  Not that I haven't loved it the previous 2 years.  It seriously has been awesome.  But I feel like I am getting a lot accomplished this year, so far.

Here's my list for March, as of the 20th:

In our Colton's Angels group, we appliqued some fun designs onto onesies.  They will be kitted up and sent to the local hospitals for indigent mothers with newborns.  Some of the kits will also be going to Baby Your Baby.  I have had this stack of onesies sitting on my cutting table for weeks.  There were 18 of them that needed to be stitched down, so I used my zig-zag (I don't have a blanket stitch on my machine), and finished them up in time to be put into the kits.
This quilt was donated, but it wasn't finished.  I put the 3 of the 4 border pieces on, quilted, and bound it.  If you enlarge the picture, you can see our cute little labels that we had made.  They say "A Gift from Colton's Angels."  So cute.  I sewed it onto the quilt while I was quilting it.

Any of you who read my blog last year during OPAM (or who will just scroll down the page and look at my finishes from last year) will notice/remember that I did a lot of Christmas cross stitch and needlepoint.  Well, I did it again.  I bought a whole bunch of cute little Christmas-y projects this year from Joann's.  Actually, I cleaned them out, and only spent about $50.  I have a TON of projects.  Last December, I opened several of them, thinking I'd finish them in time for the holidays.  Not so.  So, my goal this year is to finish the ones I've opened, and then maybe do a few more here and there.  I don't want to get burned out.
The first one I finished was this cute snowglobe.  It just needed the backstitching and the snowflakes attached.  Originally it was going to say 2010, but I figured it could say 2011 since I finished it this year.
Then I finished this fun, and tiny, pair of cross stitch ornaments.  They will look great on my tree, since it is barely 40 inches tall, if that.
And lastly, I finished 12 more of these fleece blankets for Colton's Angels.  These are the blankets we paired the onesies up with.  Pink onesies got white blankets, and brown or blue onesies got blue blankets.  The kits look so cute (pictures to come soon, promise!).  Anyway, the appliques all needed to be stitched down, so I did that on all 12 blankets.

So far, this brings my March total to 34 items. WOOHOO!  I am on a roll!  I hope to have a few more things finished by the end of the month, but we'll see.

3 Years - the party at the lake

In my previous posts (here and here), I mentioned how it had been 3 years since the passing of our nephew.  We celebrate his life every year.  Two years ago, we went to the lake.  Last year it wasn't good weather, so we went to my MIL's house.  This year, the weather was supposed to be nice, so we went to the lake again.


The wind was blowing, and it was pretty cold, but it was still fun.  The kids all got their kites out and even some of the adults had fun flying them!

That would be Marshy's Spongebob Squarepants kite flying.  He actually did pretty good flying it by himself, until it got stuck on a rock.
The kids ventured out to the water.  My child, naturally, wanted to take his shoes and socks off immediately and run out and frolic in the freezing cold water.  Of course, his other family members encouraged him in this pursuit.  I didn't much care, as long as he didn't fall on his butt and get soaking wet. (Does that make me a bad parent? haha)

Mike assembled his X-Wing Fighter kite (from Star Wars). Yes, I know it's geeky.  Yes, I know that we also happen to own Darth Vader's Tie fighter in kite form.  And yes, they are both put together and currently hanging out in our bedroom.  (I'm trying to convince him to hang hooks from Marshy's ceiling and keep them in there!)
Here's the man, flying his X-wing
And the Munchkin flying his dragon kite.  Oh, yeah.  Did I mention he has a dragon kite?  Yeah, we have 4 kites at our house.....That's definitely not too many, is it? haha

And here's another picture of the child, again, standing in the freezing cold water.  Notice the snow-covered mountains in the background?  Yeah, it was COLD!

We had a blast, though.  We roasted hot dogs over a fire, ate lots of junk food, and promptly packed up and left when it started to rain!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

3 Years

It's been three years today.

It's getting easier, but sometimes we are still sad.

Sometimes random things will set me off.

Like when I watched P.S. I Love You, and cried through the whole movie.  Right at the end, when it started to get happy, it played a Flogging Molly song (Colton's song, posted just below this post - give it a listen.  It's so good), and I burst into tears again and couldn't stop crying for half an hour after the movie ended.

We miss having our halo parties with him.

We miss hearing about his crazy adventures.

We miss teasing him about the bear.

But even though we miss him so much, we know that we will see him again some day, and that makes us happy.

We love you Colton!  and we miss you.

Listen to this playlist: Colton's Angels

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