Monday, October 31, 2011

More Sewing, and a Reminder

tree pants
 I have been sewing up a storm lately!  I feel so great about getting so much accomplished.  Now if I can just get everything quilted and bound before the end of the year. haha :-)

We (Colton's Angels) are participating in Festival of Trees again.  This year our theme is "Lil' Boys Are Made Of".  I made the quilt for our display last week.  You can see it here.  This weekend (mostly Sunday) I made the tree pants, because not every tree wants to wear a skirt *snicker*.  If you'd like to see what we did in 2009 (don't ask me where the 2010 pictures went. I have no idea!!), then you can see our posts here and here.

I used Monica of Happy Zombie's pattern that she did for the Sew Mama Sew! holiday sew-along.  You can find the pattern and instructions here, here, and here.

donation quilt
You can see all of the darling tree pants that everyone has done on the flickr group.  Can I just tell you all how much I love flickr?  Yeah, it's pretty awesome.  Like, the bees knees awesome.

I also pieced this darling red, black and white quilt top.  We are doing a charity showing of Breaking Dawn this year (we did Eclipse and New Moon previous years).  We are selling tickets for $25 which includes your movie ticket, your donation, and an entry into our door prize drawing.  It is going to be a lot of fun.

This quilt, once finished, is going to be part of the door prizes!  I'm making another quilt for it, too, which should be done later this week.  Hopefully they'll be quilted by next week, maybe sooner. :)

I'm feeling pretty good about how much sewing I've done.  I have a few projects that need to be finished in time for the Sweetbriar Cove Open House on Thursday, but once they are done I will be able to start sewing on my own stuff for Christmas!!  I'm really excited about all the things I have planned for this year.  Now the trick is just finding the time to get it all done.  If you have any tips for getting everything done, I'd love to hear them in the comments! :)

Also, a quick reminder that TODAY is your last day to enter my giveaway.  The giveaway ends tonight at Midnight, mountain time, so make sure you enter! :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

OPAM Catch-Up

I've been slacking off on the reporting of my OPAM finishes.  It's not that I haven't done anything since May, just that I've mostly been on Twitter instead of blogging so I tweet my finishes and never get around to actually posting about them on here.  So today I'm going to make up for that and catch ya'all up on what I've done this summer!

Eeyore cross stitch, June
In June I finished this fun cross stitch.  It was more straight stitching that actual cross stitching, but it was still really fun.  Marshall was really excited when I told him I was making it for his room.  He has the "E is for Eeyore" one hanging on his wall currently.  He loves Winnie the Pooh, and I fell in love with this simple design when I saw it at the store.  Now all I need to do is find a frame that will fit it (it's kind of a weird size) and actually hang it on the wall.  But at least the hard part is done!

Birds Nest necklace, August
I kind of took July off.  I figured I could take 1 month off out of the year, since I know I'm going to be getting things done all the way up until December, what with Christmas and all.

Strawberry pin cushion, August
In August we hosted a day retreat for Salem Days and did all sorts of fun crafts, projects, and sewing things.  We learned how to do the hexi flowers for a Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt, we made pincushions, pin holders, burned edge flower pins, birds nest necklaces, and even learned how to make awesome (and easy!) cinnamon rolls.  It was a lot of fun.  Lunch was included, too, and we had lots of trunk shows.  I promise some day I'll actually post about it.  I took a ton of pictures, just haven't gotten around to actually posting yet.

Magnetic Pin Ring, August
 In September, Mike said that I had too much fabric and couldn't buy any more until I depleted my stash a little.  I'm sure it has nothing to do with the 85+ yards of fabric I came home with one day after a $2/yd sale at our local quilt shop.  So, I reorganized my fabric, crafts, WISPs, patterns, and sewing area into something cleaner and more manageable (I now have 24 plastic Sterilite drawers full of fabric, WISPs, and notions).

Bambi soft book, September
I decided that since I had purchased fabric to do a whole bunch of different projects, I'd better finish those up first.  I made 6 quilt tops (but since they aren't quilted and bound they don't count yet) for Marshall and baby.  I finished a quilt top that I thought I had thrown away years ago!  I finished the quilt top I had made for a Mother's Day present (now to get it quilted for Christmas).  I had a random Honey Bun of fabric and sewed it into a quilt top for baby.  I also finished the quilt top and the bag for the Above All Fabric quilt along this past spring.  I found a panel of fabric I had bought to make one of those softy books and whipped it up in about 30 minutes (Bambie, see photo below).  I actually felt pretty productive in September, even though I didn't get a ton finished completely.

Above All Fabric bag, September
I also whipped up a table cloth for our kitchen table, with matching napkins, from a random layer cake that I had lying around.  It's super cute, and I love the bright colors.  I happened to even have some yardage from the fabric line, so it worked out perfectly for me!  I designed and made a mail holder to hang on the wall, too, but it's not quite done yet, so I can't count it.  Maybe next month!

Napkins, September
This month, I've felt added pressure to get things done.  With the holiday season quickly approaching, I know that my personal schedule isn't going to be as open as I'd like.  I'm also worried that when the baby comes I won't have anything ready for her.  What if she comes early?  That's my big concern.  If she comes early, she won't have any quilts, my glider won't be finished, I won't have curtains hanging in the room.

Table Cloth, September
So, as a result, I finished recovering the cushions for the glider we bought back in June at a yard sale.  I bought it from my sister-in-law, Jana.  We had big plans for it.  We were going to totally redo it, but time management got the better of us and all we really accomplished was repainting it black.

finished glider & cushions, October
The cushions have been sitting in the middle of my living room floor for several months.  This week I finally decided to tackle the dang things!  I ripped them apart, made a paper pattern, and quickly pieced together new cushions.  I used Joel Dewberry fabric (that I've had since June!!), reinforced with medium weight interfacing.  On the back cushion I just re-inserted the original cushion with several layers of batting for added padding.  On the bottom cushion I bought a piece of 2 inch foam and squished it in there.  The bottom cushion didn't turn out perfect, but it sure is comfortable!

Floor Pillow, October
I put the whole glider back together last night and it didn't fall apart when I sat in it, so that is definitely a good thing!!  While I was testing it out, I decided that I needed an ottoman or something to put my feet on.  Glider ottomans are Ex-Pen-Sive!  So, what I decided to do was to make a floor pillow instead!  I used this awesome tutorial from Living with Punks (eliminating the handle, since I won't be needing to move it around much).

Yoshi Slug, giving up his guts
When it came time to stuff the thing, I realized that rather than rip into my new bag of stuffing, I could just rip apart Yoshi Slug and use all the stuffing that was in him.  It worked out perfectly!  I even had a little left over, which I shoved into my newer stuffing bag.  Now Yoshi Slug is tucked away neatly in a drawer, not taking up very much space, and the floor pillow is finished.

Marshall was pretty excited when he woke up this morning.  He came running into our room shouting "What's this round thing that matches my chair?  Is it for me to sit on?!"  He then spent the next ten minutes bouncing around his room on the floor pillow.  Glad it's getting some use already!

I have big plans for November, as it quickly approaches.  I'm hoping to actually get several quilts for baby, and other family members, finished, quilted, and bound well before Christmas.  I know, it probably won't get done, but at least it's in my plans!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sew filled weekend

This weekend I was lucky enough to actually get to sew some more!  Yippee!  Okay, so in reality I was really sick and couldn't go anywhere, and rather than spend my days lounging on the couch watching infomercials, I opted to sit at my machine and sew.

I'm unfortunate lucky enough to get to sew in my kitchen, close to all of the household action.  Okay, okay, so it's not ideal, but it is the only available space in our tiny apartment.  I clear off our folding table/kitchen table and put my cutting mat on it.  I set the ironing board up in front of my desk, and pull my sewing machine out of the cabinet against the wall under the window (across from the table).  I have a rolling desk chair (it's a really nice one I bought at Office Depot last month) and I roll from place to place on my linoleum kitchen floor.  I know it doesn't sound great, but it actually works out perfectly.  I never have to get out of my chair! :)

So, what did I make this weekend?  I made the quilt to go with our Festival of Trees donation tree next month.  Our theme is "Lil' Boys Are Made Of" and we are using Sarah Jane's fabric Children at Play.  I finished piecing the quilt on Sunday afternoon, and it turned out so cute!

On Saturday I went to Joann's (I know, insane the week before Halloween) and bought fabric to make 2 donation quilts for the Colton's Angels charity showing of Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1.  I am making 2 different black, white, and red colored quilts for the door prize drawings.  I'm really excited about them.  Also, I'm really excited that they'll actually be done before the day before the movie (unlike previous years.  Procrastinate much? haha)

I don't have them quite finished yet, so no pictures....sorry.  But, I am hoping to have them finished some time this week and will post pictures later. :)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Going Semi-Whole Foods

My gallbladder is having no more of this diet of fast food and butter-rich homemade tastiness.  I'm kind of bummed, but really my only choice is to go semi-whole foods.  I have a few gallstones, and my doctor won't do anything about it unless I'm experiencing symptoms (which I am, moderately).  And by "do anything" she really means put me on a diet and restrict my fat/grease/processed foods intake.  Yeah, might as well do that myself before she mandates it.  I figure if I do it myself, by the time I have my next appointment (in a few weeks), if I have made the change but still have symptoms, then maybe she'll try something else.

So, dear readers, I need your help!  I need ideas of things that I can make!!  I don't want to have to cook separate meals at dinnertime.  There are only 3 of us, so making 2 dinners seems kind of silly.  So, what are some things I can make that are semi-whole foods (I'm still going to eat meat: poultry, pork, etc, only in smaller portions) that my whole family will like too??

Is there a website I should be looking at?  A blog I should follow?  Recipe I should try?  Let me know in the comments section!  I'd really appreciate it! :)

Also, don't forget to leave your comments on my giveaway!  You have until the 31st to enter!

Friday, October 21, 2011

It's GIVEAWAY Time!!

The fabulous people at My Memories have asked me to do a review and giveaway of their digital scrapbooking software.  I am so excited about this!

First off, let's talk about the good and the bad.  Honestly, there is a lot more good than bad.  Being someone who has never used software like this, and the kind of person who rarely (if ever) scrapbooks, I was a little hesitant to get started.

What if I can't figure out the software?  What if I have to sit and read the "how-to" guide every time I want to use it?

Well, I didn't have any of those problems!  The software is really easy to use.  In fact, I put this page together in under 10 minutes! (I also did a whole scrapbook of Sewing Summit, but didn't post pictures of them because I just did my recap last week and it was kind of repetitive.) The My Memories Suite software comes with a bunch of papers, embellishments, etc.

I did wish that more variety came with the software, but it integrates really easily with their website.  They have a lot of free paper packs, embellishments, word art, etc on the website, and some really cute designer album packs for low-cost.

Downloading the additional content is super easy, too!  Once you've completed the checkout process, just go to the Downloads section of your account and download it right onto your computer.  It downloads pretty fast (and I'm on a slooooow internet connection at work) and automatically goes right into the software, so it's totally hassle free there.

Now, down to the nitty-gritty (and the best part, in my opinion).

To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment here on the blog.  Easy peasey, right?

For an extra entry, you can do one, any, or all of the following:

1) Go to the My Memories website, look at all their paper packs, and then come back and leave a comment with which one is your favorite.

2) Follow the My Memories blog and leave a comment here to let me know.

3) Like My Memories on Facebook and leave a comment here to let me know.

4) Follow My Memories on Twitter and leave a comment here to let me know.

5) Blog about my giveaway and leave a comment here (with the link so I can come visit your blog) to let me know.

6) Tweet about my giveaway and leave a comment here to let me know.

7) Facebook about my giveaway and leave a comment here to let me know.

If you do all of the extras, that's 8 chances you have to win!!  Make sure you leave a separate comment for each one you do so they all get counted! :-)

I'll be drawing a winner on Halloween (happy Halloween!!!)  so make sure that you check back to see if you won!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Good News . . . at last!

We have a couple of great news items to share today!

I got an awesome phone call today.  Remember how I had a second ultrasound last week at my doctor's appointment to check my liver?  Well, today I got a call from my doctor's office, and it turns out that I just have fatty pockets in my liver.  Woohoo!  That's fine with me!  Totally normal from what my doctor tells me.  She did want me to stop by and have more blood drawn (it hurt really bad!!) to test my LFTs, and I should have those results back by next week.  I'm not too concerned, though, because I just had them run in August and everything was normal.  It was a really good day!!

Not our crib, but it looked like this until I painted it.
In other news, I totally accidentally threw away all of the screws for our crib a few months ago when I cleaned out the storage closet.  I think I must have thrown away a box without checking to see if there was anything in it first.  OOPS! my bad!

Anyway, I called the company to order replacements and found out that our crib has been recalled.  At first I was really pissed.  SERIOUSLY?  Now what? Is what I thought.  When I called the recall department, they told me that once they receive the mattress support screw panels, they'll ship me out a new crib.

I couldn't be happier.  A new crib.  Brand, spanking new.  It isn't black, it's walnut, but at this point I don't care!  It's a brand new crib!!  At this point, the only thing I'm really upset about is that I didn't find out until after I spent the time sanding and painting the crib front.  haha

So, that's my good news for today.  All in all, I had a really good day.  Oh!  And, tomorrow I'm having a giveaway, so check back to see how you can enter!!  I'm really excited about it, since it's my first giveaway ever!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What Was I Thinking?!

Today I decided to go to town and clean Marshall's room.  I mean like really clean it.  Like, rip everything out of the room, clean the carpets, wash the walls, clean the blinds, hang a curtain rod, make new curtains, etc.

I don't know what I was thinking!!  I must have had a crazy, hormonal-induced, nesting lapse of judgment moment.  I'm sure it was mostly induced by what the room initially looked like.  I mean, look at it!  It's a crazy hot mess!  He must think that every time I say "clean your room," I really mean "go ahead and trash your room some more."

I threw a ton of crap away.  He got so mad at me when he saw I was throwing some old coloring books and Burger King toys away.

After a few hours of de-junking and reorganizing, I finally managed to drag everything out of the room except for the dresser.  Yes, I even pulled the bed out into the hall.  I even dropped a shelf on my foot!  It hurt like crazy, and for a second I thought I'd broken it, but realized that I could walk around after a few moments, so I kept on pushing through it and got the room cleared out.

Mike came home with the Rug Doctor (we own one, but it's been "living" at the shop for the past few weeks) and helped me clean the carpet.  Now the room smells nice, the carpet looks a million times better, and it doesn't look so much like a little boy inhabits it.

Sorry about the poor quality of the "after" picture.  Marshall fell asleep before I could take one with the lights on.  I'm still trying to figure out the placement for a few things, like the baby's crib and my glider and possibly my $7 lamp from IKEA, but other than that the room is organized!  Hoorah!!

I'm hoping to get a curtain rod hung and new curtains made before the baby comes.  Right now we're using a queen sized sheet folded in quarters stuffed in the top of the blinds to keep the light out of the room at night.  It's been working okay for a while, except that it's starting to fall down, and it doesn't look fabulous, and the anal personality in me wants the room to look fabulously perfect.

Hopefully I'll be able to get the crib set up soon, and the glider put back together (we painted it a few weeks ago) with new cushions (which I plan on making this weekend, hopefully).  Then I can focus on cleaning blinds and hanging new curtains.

Monday, October 17, 2011


So I don't really like October.  Other than the candy my son gets trunk-or-treating (that I sneak - SHH! don't tell!), October really only has cold weather and scary movies.

I don't like either of those things.

Tonight Mike made me watch Paranormal Activity 2.  Have you seen it?  Not cool.  Not my favorite.  Scary movie involving possessed persons and a baby = not my favorite combination.  No sir, not at all.

I do have to admit that some scary movies I do like.  Take the first 3 Scream movies (I haven't seen the newest one yet), or the 2 I Know What You Did Last Summer movies.  Those were good.  They were scary but kind of corny at the same time.  Plus, with both Scream and I Know What You Did, I had a friend tell me the entire plot before I ever saw them, so that helped a lot with the scare-factor.

So what is your favorite, or least favorite, part of October?  Are you into scary movies?  What's your favorite? Or are you like me and can do without the scary movies?

Let me know in the comments!  Meanwhile, I'm going to go watch what I call "happy TV" which essentially is anything that is not scary.  Right now, it would be Hawaii Five-Oh.  Gotta love me some of that Alex O'Loughlin.  Yep.  Gonna go devote my whole attention to him and his show now. :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sewing Summit, Part 4

Sunday morning after breakfast we had two more classes.  I took a class about photographing your creations, hoping it might help me take pictures of the quilts and quilting I do.  I'm still not sure how I'm going to photograph the quilts with all the detail showing up (we quilters have it HARD I tell ya!), but I did learn a lot of new tricks and tips to try out on my Nikon D60.

Then I had a class on blogging.  Oh my gosh it was so helpful!  I learned a lot about blogging, giveaways, and stuff I didn't know was even important or available for bloggers.  I'm still trying to figure out some of the things I want to add to my blog, like "share" buttons at the bottom of my posts, and "follow" buttons on my sidebar for twitter, facebook, RSS feeds, etc., but I'm getting there.  The class even motivated me to blog more (can you tell? hehe)

After my second class it was time to say goodbye to all of my fun new friends.  I was so sad that Sewing Summit was over!!  Mike and Marshall had already loaded the car up with all of our stuff, so we checked out and booked it home (where my boys promptly fell asleep for several hours).  I honestly had the best time ever, and I cannot wait for next year!  I've already started saving my dimes and nickels so I can be among the first to register to ensure I can attend!!

If you'd like to follow Sewing Summit, they have a Twitter (@SewingSummit), a Facebook page, and you can follow their blog to stay in the loop and in the know.  :)

Sorry this post lacks pictures.  I was too scattered the last day to take any!

To read Part 1 of my re-cap, go here.
To read Part 2 of my re-cap, go here.
To read Part 3 of my re-cap, go here.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Sewing Summit, Part 3

Saturday afternoon we had the best lunch EVER!  I totally should've taken pictures of all the food we ate because it was sooooo good.  I love food.  I love kitchen gadgets (you'll find out why later).  I love anything to do with food....except for actually cooking it.  I can't cook.  So when I get an awesome meal, I totally appreciate it.

In Amanda's class
Lunch was no exception.  Lunch was awesome!  There was yummy salad, the most delicious veggie sandwich I have ever had in my entire life, and OMG the brownies!!

In addition to the yummy food, we had some awesome company!  I met so many talented and amazing people.  We even played this fun game, Prom & On (tell your life story from Sr. Prom until now in less than 2 minutes).  It was so fun to hear what everyone has done and how they got started in the sewing/creating world.

I got to meet her! She is awesome!!

After lunch we had some time before our classes started again.  A group of us sat on the couches and chairs in the hotel lobby in front of the fireplace and worked on our handwork.  Some people drew, some people knitted/corcheted, some people embroidered.  I worked on my hexies.   Mike and Marshall stopped by and everyone just loved Marshy.  He was so funny.  Then I went to Quilts 101 (with Amy Smart) and Mini Quilts (with Amanda, AKA @heyporkchop on Twitter).

I've never made a mini quilt before, I was always too scared to do it, and didn't really understand what made a mini quilt.  After taking Amanda's class, I totally want to make one!  She was so encouraging and motivating about not feeling guilty about buying fabric you like and only making 1 block (for a mini quilt), and about just having fun and really doing what you love.

Me and Chris (@Frecklemama on Twitter)
I have to admit that I am one of those people who has spent the huge $$ on fabric to make a quilt, made 1 block and said "I hate this," as I put the project away forever.  Now I can find uses for those single, loner blocks and maybe even for the oodles of fabric I've never used! :)

Bento Kid's Meal

After classes were over I met up with my boys and we rode the TRAX down to the Gateway Mall.  We had dinner at the Thaifoon Asian restaurant.  Marshy's dinner came in a bento box!!  (P.S. - isn't that the funniest forced smile you've ever seen on a kid?  Had me laughing pretty hard when I took the picture!)

While we were waiting for our food to arrive, I had this brilliant idea for a Halloween-themed mini quilt.  Some of the advice Amanda had given us was to always carry a notebook in case inspiration struck.  Well, I left my notebook in my hotel room (doh!) so I needed something to draw on.  The only thing I could find was Marshall's menu and a purple crayon!  Yes, that is exactly what I used.

See, I had this great idea based off of a cookie cutter that Mike had bought me from Sur la Table earlier that afternoon.  And of course, being the kitchen gadget addict enthusiast that I am, I had to go there before we ate dinner.  Mike had already bought me a clear spatula (well, he thought it was clear but it was really glittered!) and a Zombie-shaped cookie cutter.

When I went in the store, I would've bought the whole place out if I could afford it!  I love that store!!  I bought a pasta drying rack for when we make homemade fettuccine, an apple corer so I would actually eat apples (I hate having to cut out the core), a pair of onion goggles, and a pink polka-dot knife (because if I spent $5 more I got a free year of Martha Stewart Living or something awesome like that, and I'm a sucker for freebies!).  What I really wanted though were sets of these in all the different colors, but Mike said no.  (See, I told you I loved kitchen items!  Wanna know how many times I've used any of the things we bought yet?  Yeah, none.  They're still in the bag!  I swear, when I'm old and crazy I'll end up on Hoarders for either my fabric stash or my kitchen gadgets.)

After dinner we rode TRAX back to the hotel, I changed into my comfy clothes, and went downstairs to free sew.  It was so much fun, and I admit that I didn't actually get a ton done, but I had a blast.  By the time I rolled myself into bed somewhere between 11 and 12, I was beat!  Also, my feet looked like this.  Yeah, just a little swollen.  I had perma-sock line and no ankles well into Sunday night, but it was totally worth it!

Stay tuned to hear what we did on Sunday at the Sewing Summit!!

To read Part 1 of my recap, go here.
To read Part 2 of my recap, go here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I hate waiting......

I hate waiting.  I have 13 weeks left in this pregnancy, and I hate waiting to hold my sweet little baby girl in my arms and kiss her whole face.  I hate waiting to see if Marshall will really be able to get any sleep sharing a room with the baby.  I hate waiting to see if the clothes I've bought will fit her longer than 10 minutes.

Most of all, I hate waiting for my next doctor's appointment.

Baby Girl - we think she looks like a kitty!
I had my ultrasound in August.  Everything was fine, until the tech got to the part where she checks out my liver, kidneys, and gallbladder.  Kidneys were fine, luckily, but apparently I had "a good sized stone that you may or may not pass in the foreseeable future" and some "sludge".  Okay, I can deal with that.  Will it be painful?  Sure. But the pain will pass.  No big.  The main problem was with my liver.  I believe the reaction she had was somewhere between "Holy crap your liver should have it's own zip code!" and "Huh, wonder why it's a little enlarged?" 

My favorite part of the ultrasound visit was that I then had to wait 40 minutes to see the PA-C before I could leave.  Okay, so again with the waiting, and you all know how much I love doing that, right? *wink*  And of course, the PA-C's first words to me when she FINALLY comes in are "Now don't panic."  Um, yeah, I've been in this tiny little room for 40 minutes by myself freaking out because the ultrasound tech was freaking out over my liver and gallbladder and you tell me not to panic?!  It's a little too late for that, honey!

We run LFTs (liver function tests) and a few days later I call for the results.  They come back normal, so I don't worry.  In fact, I almost completely forget about the stress I had.  Until I get a phone call from the doctor's office.

"Hi, yes, we'd like to remind you that you need to discuss the results of your ultrasound with Dr. S because there were some abnormalities. . . " no kidding?!  " . . . and you can do that at your appointment on _____."

Gee, thanks.  So now I'm freaking out again.  I go to my appointment where my doctor tells me that she isn't worried.  My liver functions are normal, according to my blood work.  She says it's perfectly normal for a liver in a woman to not be the same consistency (such a weird term, I know, but like on the ultrasound it wasn't all the same color of grey) because sometimes fatty penetration happens, and that's fine.  Really, she tells me, it's the radiologist that's concerned because he can't tell for certain.  He wants me to do an MRI.  Yeah, so not comfy doing one of those right now.  That's fine, I can do a series of ultrasounds.

From ultrasound #2 - kind of freaky cuz you can see her spine!
So today I went in for my second ultrasound.  It was inconclusive, which means that I now have to wait for who-knows-how-many-weeks for the radiologist to read it.  The good news?  I didn't have to schedule another one.  That makes me feel a little better, like maybe my doctor isn't too worried about it.  The bad news?  I have another stone in my gallbladder.  It's small, so I must've passed the first one (not sure when that happened), AND the sludge has diminished.  YAY!  Small victories, right?

But seriously, I won't be completely satisfied until the stupid man reads the ultrasound and tells me what I want to hear.  I would totally love to hear "Oh, I'm sorry, it's totally normally.  Didn't mean to completely freak you out for months on end.  My apologies.  Here's some money to make up for it."  Okay, the money part will NEVER (probably) happen.  But I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the rest of it!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sewing Summit, Part 2

Saturday morning came really early.  Classes started at 9 AM.  Now, many of you who know me know that I am sooo NOT a morning person.  I "wake up" around 7, get Marshy breakfast, then go back to bed until about 8:30 at which point I proceed to get ready for the day and show up at the shop around 9....or 10.

Getting up for breakfast before 9 was hard, but I did it.  I went to breakfast at the Coffee Shop in the hotel with Mike and Marsh.  I had pancakes, eggs, bacon, orange juice, and water. I seriously stuffed myself past full!  Then I hurried off to class, leaving my boys to fend for themselves for the day.

I found out later that the boys rode TRAX down to the Clark Planetarium at the Gateway Mall.  Apparently Marshy was terrified of the train at first, but after a while he loved it.  Mike showed him which station they got on and which one they needed to get off on the Free Fare Zone map they had.  At the planetarium Marshy had a grand old time, and even pretended he was walking on the moon and on Mars.

While the boys were off playing, I was having tons of fun in Bari Ackerman's class (AKA @BariJ on Twitter).  She taught Bags 101, and did a FABULOUS job!  I learned so much!  I bought the kit to make the bag she discussed in class (which she brought with her, so I have it now and can't wait to make it!!).  She told us several tips and tricks and helpful hints for making the bag.

After Bari's class it was Jana's class.  You might know her as Lola Again, or @IzzynIvyJana on Twitter.  She taught Garments 101.  Oh my heck! Her handout was HI-larious!!  I took a picture of the first page because it totally made me laugh!

I mean, seriously!  Look at it!  It's so totally how I view myself when I take measurements!

Me with Rachel (@IamSweetTeaMom)
She also gave everyone a pattern.  I got the Princess Bella pattern.  I was so excited!  With baby girl coming, I totally need it, and I can't wait to see my darling little girl dressed in this beautiful outfit!

Me with Bari (@BariJ)


Me with Sharon (@aprairiesunrise)
Jana (@IzzynIvyJana) with Rachel (@IamSweetTeaMom)

After class it was time for photos with all of our twitter buddies.  We all had to prove to our spouses that we really knew each other in real life.  We aren't all just imaginary friends! haha

After Jana's class we went downstairs to the ballroom and had lunch, but I'll write more about that in the next post! ;)

Be sure to stay tuned for Part 3 of my Sewing Summit recap!

To find Part 1 go here!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Costume Fail

THE IDEA:  Mario Riding Yoshi.  I have my husband to thank for this one!


  1. Make up your own pattern.  First I sketched out what I wanted it to look like, then I drew all of the pattern pieces out on white bulletin board paper that I bought at Office Depot for like $7.  I have plenty left over for more projects in the future.
  2. Practice with muslin.  Muslin's pretty cheap, especially if you buy it at Joann's with a coupon, so I practiced with some extra muslin I had rather than cutting into my expensive fabric.  (Okay, I got the quilting solids for $7/yd, but still....didn't want to have to go buy more after screwing it up.)
  3. Once you realize that the muslin pieces work, do it all again with the real fabric.  Repetitive, boring, but well worth it. 
  4. Figure out how to piece the individual components all together.  This was tricky and required some improvisation on my part.  Being a quilter, I am SO not good at 3 dimensional items, so this was a HUGE challenge for me.
  5. Stuff the sucker.  This project took a TON of stuffing!  Almost 2 giant bags full.
  6. If you do it right, then everything will turn out nicely.  If not, repeat steps 3-5 until you get it right.
Seems like cake, right?  Hahahahaha! Here are some shots (taken with my iPhone 4) of my progress.  I didn't take any pictures of Step 1 or 2, but 3 through 6 are pretty comical ;)

So, first I made the tail.  It turned out pretty good, I thought.  Then I pieced the body together and somehow managed to attache it to the head.  That was really hard.  I don't want to ever do that again!

Then I realized that Yoshi needs arms. Duh!  Brain fart on my part.  I drew up a quick template, played around with some muslin (steps 1 and 2) and then went to town with my green quilting cotton.  I think the arms turned out pretty good.  Again, attaching the hand to the arm was pretty tricky, and I did it twice!  I was pretty impressed with myself. ;)

I wanted to make sure that Yoshi's head looked okay stuffed, so even though I wasn't finished with the entire body, I went ahead and stuffed the head.  Mike didn't think I got it quite right, but I think it looks okay.  I put extra stuffing in the cheek areas to give the illusion of the puffy cheeks (see the picture above of what he really should look like).

It was about at this point that Mike and Marshall both pointed out to me that:
a) I had forgotten to sew Yoshi's spikes into the seam when I pieced the back to the head AND
b) there was a weird bump thingy on the front of Yoshi's head, near where the eyes would go.  I wasn't too worried though, because I knew that I was hand-stitching the eyes on to the head, and that they would cover up the weird bumpy thing.

These are the eyes.  Didn't they turn out so great?!  I was really happy with them.  I was originally going to applique on a piece of black for the pupils, but decided that the buttons looked so much cuter.

During the Sunday session of LDS General Conference I decided to work on the pants while I listened to the talks.  They were all really good talks, and I think that my attention was not completely on what I was doing, because I totally screwed up on the pants multiple times!!

First, I sewed the front closed.  Like, seriously, how do you sew pants wrong?  I know how pants work.  You have to be able to walk in pants, so clearly you don't sew the center side seams together, right? hehe If only I could have remembered that!  I had to re-sew the stupid pants like 4 times because I kept sewing the wrong seams!

Do you like my photo of my screwed up pants?  Yeah, I had a great laugh when it happened the first time!

After I got the pants right, finally, I let the project sit for a week.  I picked it up today and made an executive decision to just sew the tail to the body and stuff the sucker up.  So I did.  This is the end result.

I call him Yoshi Slug.  Yeah, he looks kind of sad, doesn't he?  I'm hoping that I can just unpick the tail from the body, pull the stuffing out, and try something else.

Until then, I am calling this my first (hopefully not annual) Halloween costume FAIL.  Marshall will be going as Harry Potter instead, which is actually a good thing because it is way less stressful than Mario riding Yoshi!

Do you have a Halloween costume fail?  I'd love to hear about it! Leave a comment telling me about yours, or a link to your blog post if you have one!

Sewing Summit, Part 1

Oh. My. Gosh!  Sewing Summit was so incredibly fun!!  I can't wait for next year!

The Sewing Summit

I made my family (husband and son) come with me, figuring that they could play around in Salt Lake while I was in classes all day.  We got to the hotel (Little America, so beautiful!) just after 2 PM on Friday, but the desk guy wouldn't let us check in because our room wasn't ready.  He told us to come back in 45 minutes.

So, since it was late in the afternoon and none of us had eaten anything since the tiny donut we'd had at 9 AM, we decided to go get some lunch.  We walked up the street to this great place, Boston Deli, and ordered our lunch to go.  By the time we got back to the hotel it was after 3.  We waited in line to check in.

When we finally got to the counter, the guy said "Oh, I see you booked a 2 Queen room in the Tower?  Oh I'm sorry, but we don't have any rooms left in the Tower."

WHAT?!  Seriously?  I booked this room before Quilt Market, which was in MAY.  I got a confirmation email with my confirmation number for the 2 Queen room in the Tower on Monday.  I was a little upset.  I let the man know.

"Well, I'm sorry, but your choices are you can either go across the street to the Grand America or take one of our garden rooms."

a) he never said my special rate would transfer to either place
b) I didn't want to have to walk outside the building to get to my room
c) I booked my room 6 months ago so I would have a room in the Tower with everyone else

I was not pleased.  I let the man know.

Luckily, the person working at the station next to him heard what was happening.  He finished with his guest then came to assist.  He told me the same thing.  They didn't have any rooms.  They were sorry.  I could go across the street to the Grand America or take a garden room.  Or, they could give me two single King rooms with an adjoining door in the Tower.

I took the 2 rooms.  They looked something similar to the photo (right), with a massive bed, sitting area, and ginormous bathroom.  It was rather grand.

Munchkin was ecstatic to have his own room, with a giant bed, and a phone on the wall in the bathroom where he could "talk while he went potty."  He was immediately forbidden from touching the telephones.

At 4:30 I went downstairs to the meet & greet.  I was a little overwhelmed.  There were so many people, and I knew I should know at least 10 of them, but I didn't recognize anyone.  And then I bumped into someone I knew, who had people I didn't know with them, and the meeting and greeting actually commenced.

We stood at a small table talking with various people until about 7:30.  It was amazing. It was fun.  It was loud.  And the food was awesome.  Tired, but definitely looking forward to the classes the next morning, my boys and I ate dinner at the Coffee Shop.  The food was pretty dang good.  I had grilled salmon.  It was delish!

Instead of going downstairs for open sewing, I spent the evening with some friends in their room, working on my hexi blocks.  Around midnight I dragged my exhausted self into bed, and fell blissfully asleep until my alarm went of promptly at 6:30 the next morning.

But Saturday is going to have to wait, because I actually took a TON of pictures and they need to be gone through before they can be posted.  Check back tomorrow for that recap! :)

Photos from Little America's website, because I forgot to take my own pictures!