Monday, May 28, 2012

Long Weekends

Oh, holiday weekends...they get me every time.  Just one extra day, but somehow we always pack in about 10 times as much fun.  Which makes it 10 times as hard to see it end.

A new hairdo, another visit from the tooth fairy, paddle-boating, quality time (and lots of laughter) with a sweet adorable niece/cousin, a special ladies lunch for me with my Mom and sisters, a trip to our favorite gardens, burgers, hot dogs, watermelon, popsicles, and chocolate cake.  Lots of fun, indeed.   

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I tried something new today and came up with a special journal cover for a very special teacher.  First impressions...I'll be doing some more of this very soon!

Playing Around

Journal Cover

Journal Back

Journal Inside

Monday, May 21, 2012

One Last Morning

With the kids finishing up preschool this week, this morning was my last "me morning" for the year.  It's so funny how much I dreamed of that time to myself.  And, now that the year is coming to a close, I'm so ready for lazy, unplanned, and disorganized summer days. 

I do know that it will be much harder to find sewing time.  So I spent this morning jumping on some new items for my shop.  These pretty patchwork blocks will become a couple of sets of round quilted placemats, like these I made last year.  I'm enjoying putting these together and was thinking that this project would be a great tutorial.  More on that when I finish up these sets!

I've also loaded some new goodies to my promised, a few aprons and a few Go Anywhere bags (pattern from Anna of Noodlehead).  I made these bags back in January and it has been a challenge for me not to pick one up and start using it.  I absolutely love them!  I love the fact that there are so many pockets to keep things organized.  As I was making them, I was thinking they would be fabulous for storing big knitting or needlework projects too.

Go Anywhere Bags

The aprons are the finale of my Ruby Star Shining sewing (for now!).  I pulled out that teal linen to make some pants for Maggie, laid it down next to some scraps and knew it was destined to be paired with these pieces.  The second apron with the overlay and ricrac is my personal favorite!  Go check it out, if you like. 


I'm still in that surreal "pinch me" state that I talked about in my post yesterday.  As I was writing that post, my Mom, sisters and I were emailing about getting together for lunch since one of my sisters is picking up and moving south soon.  Somehow we managed to find a suitable day for all four of us in a matter of a couple of hours.  That never happens!  Then today, my little guy got in the car at preschool pickup and told me that he played with two friends in his class and that "he wasn't even shy" and "he just talked to them".  He was so happy and proud of himself!  Totally melted my heart...on his very last day of preschool.    

Sunday, May 20, 2012


A month ago, we had a big party for my Dad's birthday here at our house.  The weather was just right, the BBQ was yummy, the cake was big and delicious.  And most of all, it was 20+ of us family all packed in our little home, enjoying each others company.  Perfect for my Dad!

Pop's Party

Not much more than a week later, we landed ourselves here. Not the 20+, just the four of us, plus a half.  I could go on and on and on about this time away and what it meant to all of us.  It. was. great.  My hormones got the best of me and I found myself tearing up on more then one occasion, from the pure joy our kiddos showed.  Mark made each of the kids photo books and I can't wait to share some memories from them when they arrive.   

Disney Family

 We came home and spent the next weekend visiting with family and celebrating Moms.  Oh, and then there was our 10-year wedding anniversary.  We laughed about how just a year ago we were tossing around the idea of going to Paris for our tenth.  Instead, we ate a fabulous French restaurant here in Raleigh.  Ah, well there's always 15.

This weekend, I spent two nights catching up with a friend who was visiting from out of town.  I've missed her and her family so very much since they moved away in January.  She is one of 4 Mom friends who I met a few years ago when Maggie started preschool.  We have become quite a tight group of ladies over the years and I can't imagine my life without them.  So it felt so great to have our whole crew back together even if just for a couple of nights.  The kids picked right up where they left off and so did we!

We ended our weekend, here, at the of our favorite summer activities.  This year we finally managed to get a headstart on summer and get there before the temperatures become unbearable. 

Take Me Out

I sort of want to pinch myself because life has just been so, so good.  I've had a new found energy ever since I came out of the fog of my first trimester.  We have been doing some fabulous living, that's for sure.  In between all of the travel, time with family, and time with friends, I've been cooking more, sewing more, having fun with the kids and making things that I've wanted to happen...happen.  I think a lot about our life and how much it's going to change over the next few months and it makes me feel anxious and elated all at once.  I wish I could cram it all in all the time and have it be this perfect.  But, I know life doesn't always work this way.  For now, I think I'll just keep doing what he's doing...     

On a Roll 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Fun Day with Fabric

Anyone who has spent time with Maggie knows she loves to color.  She will work her way through a coloring book, page by page, without missing a thing.  So, when I came across this blog post recently about coloring fabric with Sharpies, I immediately knew she would love it.  I happened to have a little bit of Lu Summer's new "Summersville" fabric collection and picked up a big pack of Sharpies at Staples for $5!  I thought it would be a good project to have around for summer...coloring Summersville in summer...makes sense, no?  But, then I made the mistake of mentioning it to Maggie.  Seven o'clock this morning...first thing out of her mouth...two inches from my face..."Mommy, can we color that fabric now?".

And, so, this afternoon we dove in.  Well, actually the kids dove in while I worked on a project and um, supervised.  They both loved it!   I enjoyed seeing their different approaches. 

Coloring Summersville

Joe's Work

Maggie's Work

I told them when they were "done" I would make something out of the fabric for them - maybe a bag, a pencil pouch or some kind of book cover.  I'm willing to bet there will be another early morning request when she's ready.   

So far, so good

His Approach

While they worked, I started piecing a quilt top for Maggie that I recently cut out.  I cannot tell you how many renditions of quilts have passed through my head for for this girl.  When I first started sewing, I was 100% set on making her a quilt out of Momo Wonderland - something like this.  It was one of my first fabric purchases.  Then, she developed a deep disdain for the color red (which has since been joined by hearts and bows - yup).  So, I gave up on making her anything for while...until recently, when her favorite purple and pink fabrics from my stash met some light blues, yellows, and natural linen.  This is essentially a scrappy strip quilt, but I'm using a pattern from Patchwork Style by Suzuko Koseki.  The strips are really columns so they go lengthwise with the quilt. 

Scrappy Strip Quilt

I'm surprised by how much I love it.  And, I feel pretty eager to get it done, as I have a fun plan for quilting it.  Stay tuned!         

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sing All You Want On Etsy!

Hello friends!  My shop is finally up and running - hooray!!  I have more items to upload - aprons, bags, and pouches - but am waiting (impatiently) for these dark cloudy days to pass so I can get some decent photos.  You can find my shop here or click on the link in my sidebar. 

Sing All You Want On Etsy

I've also set up a twitter account, although I have yet to tweet nor do I know how - eeep!  I am "SingAllYouWant" - you can follow me here or click on the button in the sidebar.  Still contemplating whether I want to set up a Facebook page (I already have a personal account)....hmmmm.   Anyhoo, I hope you have some time to have a look around my shop!  

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mommy and Me

Mommy and Me

My girl

Maggie's Friends

Me and Mags

I was greeted at her preschool door with a big hug and a beautiful yellow paper flower she painted herself - my favorite color!  She walked me to our table where there were cards and pictures and fresh flowers.  We'd only just walked in, but smiles and tears filled the room already.  I could tell she was proud and had practiced every move with her classmates.  Songs about children played and we were reminded to "let them be young".  Her teachers shared their own thoughts and feelings about motherhood, which were so touching and meaningful.  The children performed songs and skits they'd worked so hard on.  We ate food and sat and enjoyed each others company.  We laughed hearing the funny things our kids say about us when we're not around.  We looked at pictures of how they'd grown and matured over the year. 

I walked out of their preschool that day, holding each of my children's hands, with a very deep gratitude for this blessing of motherhood.  Sometimes when you least expect it, you're reminded how truly lucky you are!  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Setting up shop...

I'm in the process of finally, FINALLY setting up and loading some goodies to my shop on Etsy!   Whew.  It really shouldn't have taken me this long, but between the early part of my pregnancy, trying to get back to life, and taking a fabulous family vacation to Disney World (more on that later), I just couldn't get myself organized.  But, alas, I came home from vacation refreshed and ready to finish up some items that were sitting in limbo.  And, that's what I spent today doing. 

Setting Up Shop

I often find when I'm sewing with a combination of fabrics that I like, I find myself dreaming up other things to make with those fabrics.  Usually I can hardly stand to finish what I'm working on before I start on that next idea.  Once I pull a pile of fabrics, I want to use up as much of that fabric as I can before I move onto something new.  The first set of items I'll be listing feature Melody Miller's amazing Ruby Star Shining line.  I started with the list takers, then discovered the perfect size scraps for some coaster sets.  I plan to finish up the line with some awesome retro aprons. 


One of the reasons I decided to open an Etsy shop was that I simply have too much fabric.  I've reasoned that if I use what I have to make smaller items, I will have scraps and remnants galore to make quilts.  Or vice versa.  Also, quilts take time....they take me a LOT of time.  But, I'm one of those people who needs to feel productive from time to time or I'll lose interest or get in a rut.  So, having these intermittent quick projects gives me the instant gratification I need, while keeping the bigger, personal projects on the back burner at the slow pace I need to get them done right.  The hard part is finding the time for those personal projects...right now I have a couple of quilts in the works, baby blankets on my brain, kiddo clothes...And then that little bit of typewriter fabric I have left that is just dying to be made into something like this.  **sigh**