Sunday, May 31, 2009

Avery's quilt

My niece Avery turned Three this year and I wanted to get her something besides toys and dolls and clothes for her birthday. She has enough of all three, so as I was thinking of what to get her, I remembered my awesome friend Chris (the Quilt-Nazi) had some Olivia fabric.

(Getting ready to cut fabric on left, and the cat putting in her two cents)

If you don't know who Olivia is; she is a cartoon Pig, a little girl who is very precocious and busy. Just like Avery. She started out as a storybook character and now she has her own show on Noggin.

( I ended up doing my own Variation of the Yellow Brick Pattern. I cut Five inch squares and Eight inch strips then pieced them together. I decided to break up the different blocks by sewing long strips of fabric in between)

I called Chris and asked her about the fabric and she did still have it in her private stash. She has an online quilt store, but her own collection of fabric she uses is almost as big as what she sells! She cut me several fat quarters which included about five different Olivia fabrics and about four more of the corresponding backgrounds. She wouldn't take any money for it at all which I am eternally grateful so I only spent about $25 on the border, binding ,backing and batting. I also bought too much of each so I have lots of leftovers to add to my
I also found fusible batting which my novice eyes had never seen before. It worked OK. I still ending up pinning a bit but not bad. One of the women I work with who is an awesome quilter/sewer said she uses the fusible for smaller projects.

Friday, May 29, 2009

A mix of thoughts

It's late and I should be in bed. I complain about how tired I am during the day but at night I can't sleep. I have a million thoughts running through my head which is the same during the day except at night it's quieter and I don't have anything else to think of except my thoughts.

OK rambling a bit but like I said, I am tired. I wish I was one of those people who could just clear their mind and go to a calm, gentle place. I have tried this before, meditating if you will, I close my eyes and breathe deeply. Calmly, serenely. Breathe in.....Breathe close my eyes and WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!! I close my eyes and start thinking of the million things I would like to accomplish in a day or I go back to the last fight jerkface and I had or the fact that although my printer cord committed suicide six months ago I still haven't found a replacement and need to do find one somewhere.

OK, now I am calm again and trying to think of something peaceful, relaxing, on a beach in Tahiti and I only have to listen to the sound of the waves, and sip of my drink, and WAIT, did I pack sunscreen? Why am I not fitting into the clothes I wore pre-children like I wanted to by now?

ALRIGHT! One more time. breathe deeply, think of a nice warm place where you are relaxing and spending time with your special someone. Close your eyes, and yes, I see that person and UGH! What is my problem? I am still thinking/obsessing over one particular person and by now I know it's a lost cause because well, you already know all the reasons and why torture myself with this faux happiness I have built in my head.

See, I think I am happier just letting my mind run 10,000 RPM's a minute. Even when I am vegging on the couch (which is never) or reading a book (locked in the bathroom so I can read two chapters at once), I am still thinking about multiple things.

Relaxation is not in the cards.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Quilt Nazi and the perfect quarter-inch seam

I started quilting about three years ago. My friend Chris had been quilting and she had been doing a Stampin Up class at her house every month for a year. We were all kind of stamped out so she asked us if we would be interested in learning how to quilt. Spend money on yet another unlearned craft? Sure, where do I sign up?

Now, I have to admit, although I made a very nice pillow and apron in 7th grade Home EC class, I had not sewn much past a button or a seam since. I had a sewing machine that was collecting dust and figured this was a way to
get some use out of it since I HAD to have it a few Christmases ago.

She started us out with an easy pattern. It was called Yellow Brick and was basically cutting Fat Quarters in smaller blocks then putting them together. We all agreed to do a Halloween quilt, this way Chris could just order a bolt of each and then cut our fabric for us.

There were five of us and none of us had ever made a quilt. I showed up with my little Brother sewing machine and high hopes. She had cut our fat quarters for us and walked us through cutting. Right away I had issues because I am left-handed and had to adjust the cutter so I didnt cut mine or my neighbors hand off. Once the cutting was done and we had all these beautiful piles of fabric the sewing began.

Chris showed us how to start putting our blocks together, fabric facing right sides together, lined up just so. "Now", she says, "Make sure you sew and leave just a quarter-inch seam." A quarter inch seam? That sounds easy enough. So we start sewing. A little shaky at first but OK I get the hang of it. Now she starts coming around and inspecting what we have sewn.

Now to get the right picture in your head, let me tell you about Chris. She is bigger girl, very pretty with short cropped blonde hair. She has a face that looks like your oldest friend. From the moment I met her I felt like I had known her a lifetime. On that particular day she is wearing a tape measure around her neck and bifocals on the bride of her nose. She looks at my squares then looks at me over the top of her glasses and says "Um, we might have a problem here." Problem? What problem? Well turns out that I don't have clue what a quarter-inch seam is and neither do some of the other girls. Chris now introduces us to the most evil tool a quilter can own: A Seam Ripper. She made us rip out our seams and start again.. Then again...again some more.

By the end of the day she had earned the moniker Quilt Nazi and we knew what a quarter inch was! Believe me, by the end of this process I had become quite close with my seam ripper and was thankful Chris was so keen on details because if not I would have had some issues down the road with seams coming apart and holes in my quilt.

Monday, May 18, 2009


I live very close to Frankenmuth. Anyone who lives in Michigan knows what that is. For those of you who don't it's a very quaint German founded town, and is home to Bronner's, the largest Christmas store in the world. They also have Zehnders and their world-famous chicken and a large number of shops and stores designed to pull people in, and man do they ever.

On any given weekend they get hundreds if not thousands of visitors to the town. Several times a year they have a festival. Snowfest, Oktoberfest, 80's Fest, etc. This last weekend was Beefest, or as they call it the World Expo of Beer. About 50 different vendors converge and set up in the Heritage Park expo center and for $5 entry you get a lovely little 4 oz commemorative beer mug, in which you can taste every kind of beer. Now it's not free from there. you have to buy tickets for $1.25 apiece and each fill-up is one ticket.

Honestly, I am not much of a beer drinker but there were several people from work heading up and my best girlfriend from home was coming for the weekend and it sounded like a fun place to be.

The way they have it set up, the vendors are in a circle in the middle of the floor and then there are some around the perimeter around the rest of the building. The idea is for everyone to go around in a circle, preferably clockwise and taste away.

Wrong! It was so crowded! Imagine the most crowded college party you have ever been to then triple that. I have never seen so many people in one place in my life. You literally had to snake your way through the crowds to even go anywhere. When you wanted to stand in one place you had to constantly suck it in and move closer together to avoid the lines of people walking through. We finally found some people we knew and got something to drink, but the problem with a 4 oz cup is it lasts for about three sips. I staked myself outside the Mike's Hard Lemonade vendor and fought my way up several times. I had beer spilled on my sandals and my new Tommy Hilfiger sweater. I wasn't too worried about the beer though because we were in such close quarters I started to worry about one of these drunk fools throwing up on me!

We stayed for about two hours then went to Applebee's where we enjoyed some dessert and didn't have to fight anyone for a seat. Alas, I think I will stick to the Fest's they have where you can actually sit down and enjoy your beverage!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I am having one of those days. The sun is shining and it's a beautiful day and I get out of work at a decent time but I am blah. BLAH BLAH BLAH.

Why, do you ask? Why am I pouty and whiny and moody? No It's not PMS time. It's just one of those days. I am overtired and moody and could probably cry if you looked at me the wrong way.

I am feeling sorry for myself and feeling unloved and hopeless and just wish, wish, wish that what I would like to happen would happen.

Sometimes I sit here when I have too much time on my hands and think too much about the wrong thing. Even though I told myself that I don't care about what other people think or do especially ones who were once close to me it still bothers me in a way. I think about my home life and get sad and mad and irritated. I think about the one person I would like to think about and think I should just give it up because it's pointless.

I am just a freakin ray of sunshine today aren't I. It's OK, tomorrow will be a new day and hopefully I will derail from this pity train I am on and get on with it.

Just call me Eyeore, maybe tomorrow will be a better day!

Monday, May 11, 2009

A good weekend

I hope everyone had a great Mother's Day!!! I tried to write this last night but I was so beat, my brain was just mush.

I went to my parent's this weekend. Saturday morning the boys and I got up and drove in some nasty rain but finally made it around Noon. My mom had to work until 5, so Kelly and I took the boys and went shopping. I forgot my stroller but thought Owen would be OK for a little bit. He did OK. I only needed to go to two stores, but one was Victoria's Secret and he wanted to touch and pull everything off the tables. We then went to Target and Kohl's and both boys were very good. They just needed lots of snacks.

That night we had a good dinner with my parents and Kelly and I went out that evening and met up with some girlfriends at a local pub. It was nice to see some old friends, some that I haven't seen since high school, but thanks to Facebook have hooked back up with again.

We went to Erin and John's Sunday and had a mammoth Mother's Day breakfast. My awesome BIL John cooked his famous omelette's and we all contributed our own dishes. We had apple Cinnamon pancakes, bacon and sausage, fresh fruit, and hash brown casserole. I was so full I didn't eat the rest of the day!

My mom got me a very pretty hanging basket for my porch and some yummy lotion from Bath and Body works. We got her Mother's Day Present a few weeks ago. We had a beautiful flower box put in by the awesome John in the front of her house. The kids played outside and it was just nice hanging out with my parents and my sisters.

The only downfall to this beautiful weekend was the long drive home. It was raining on and off back that way and traffic was a little heavy.

I got everything done last night and put away so tonight its just more laundry then back the the Olivia quilt. It's almost done and I will get pictures out soon.

Have a great week!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Twitter Twit

Twitter is one of those unexplained phenomenon. Not sure what the appeal is. Facebook and Myspace are bad enough. You can constantly update your "Moods" or "What you think" on both of those social networks. But Twitter is beyond me. I thought about joining it for five seconds but realize I don't have enough time in the day for what that requires.

This is like some kind of creepy conspiracy keeping everyone glued to their computers because you might miss something someone "tweets" if you run away. I am on the computer enough between work, here and Facebook.

Twitter is annoying. It's one step up from texting because everyone has to read what you do. It has gotten out of hand. I was checking out the Weather Channel last night. Just trying to get some local weather and they kept popping up "tweets" from people on the program. Seriously. People are twittering to TV programs? I mean you sit there and you are watching the Weather Channel and you get the urge to let everyone in the world know you wish it was more sunny in your area?

Have we become such a narcissistic country that we really believe that everyone out there wants to know what we are doing every single moment of the day?

Here is an idea of what it would be like if I were to Twitter:
*Just woke up and hope Owen stays asleep until I get out of the shower/
*Changing Owen's diaper and getting him dressed while yelling for Evan to get out of bed.
*Trying to decide what doesn't make me look fat and still yelling at Evan to get a move on while chasing Owen out of the bathroom or my room
*Dropped the kids off at daycare.., I going over 25, is that a cop ahead?
*Listening to Bob and Tom, but if comedian is annoying listening to music so loud it reverberates in my skull
*Arguing with jackass husband on the phone, why does he like to call me and start fights first thing in the morning
*Pulling into parking lot and look over to see if you know who is here yet either.
*Walking into work and keeping a look out for any questionable characters because this is Flint people
* Going to the cafe to get some water and maybe some breakfast, still on the lookout
*Take phone call after phone call from mind-numbing people all while sounding chipper and upbeat.
* I'm hungry why is my lunch still two hours away?
*God I wish some people would just SHUT UP, annoying freaks!
*I have to go pee
*LUNCHTIME!!!! Going to the cafe to hopefully get some good food
*BORED, even though we are busy my mind is wandering.
*Heart goes pitter-patter when you know who comes by my desk to say hi
* Is it time to go home yet, there are so many things to do at home!
* I wonder what would happen if I was in the elevator with you know who and just decided to lay a hot steamy kiss on him?

OK, you get the gist of it. Annoying. I can't even finish the rest of my day, I get irritated just typing all of this, yet I have seen some twitter posts and this is pretty much how they read.

People, step away from your computers and do some inner reflection. You will make the world a happier place.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

My Summer Reading list

Ok. I don't really have a summer reading list. I just thought it made me sound organized and classy!

I love to read. I usually read about 1 book every week or so. I have a very nice local library and they have a good selection. My reading runs the gamut from cheesy romance to serious non-fiction. Not much of a fan of the straight mystery. Will never read a Harlequin Romance novel. Ugh!

My favorite authors are Jodie Picoult, Emily Giffin, Sophie Kinsella, Jane Green, Carl Hiassen and a few others. I just finished Run by Ann Patchett and it was pretty good but kind of easy to guess what was going to happen.

Our library started opening on Sundays from 12-5 Double Bonus I went there real quick and found two books I have been wanting to read. The Other Boleyn Girl and The Time Travelers Wife, which my sister says was great. I really want to watch the movie they made of the The Other Boleyn Girl but I have this crazy rule that I have to read the book first!

Anyway, some of the other books I hope to read this summer are: The Middle Life by Kristen Corrigan. Love in the time of Cholera, One Hundred Years of Solitude, the new Ann Coulter book, and some others that I cant' remember the names of. See that is my problem. I hear about a new book or I read about an interesting author and I forget to write down the title or their name. So, I went to my local Wal-mart and found a cute little flowery spiral notebook that fits in my purse. I am going to start writing them down so when I go to the library I know what I am looking for. Yeah me!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Mom2Mom Sale

My sister and I were in a Mom2Mom Sale this weekend. For those of you who are not aware of what these are, they are like huge garage sales for just baby/kids clothes and accessories.

I have participated in one before. It was at a good sized church, and I did OK but didn't sell a ton.

This weekend the Birch Run Expo Center had one and it was amazing. For $20 you get your own 8-foot table, plus we paid an extra $3 to have space for a clothes rack. They also have a large item area and you pay $1 to put things like highchairs and strollers and etc and they sell them and then give you your money It's from 9-2 and they charge people $1 admission at the door.

We weren't' sure what to expect. We had tried a garage sale last year and it was pretty dismal. My sister sold a lot of her big stuff but it was rainy and just miserable sitting there for two days!
There were around 85 tables rented and at first we started to feel like it may be too much stuff to have a good sale.

This sale was unbelievable. We had a pretty good spot on a corner and I had of course boys clothes, but very limited 3-6 months and mostly 6-12 months. Plus I brought some toys, my Snugli, my Hotsling and car seat carrier. Holy smokes. I sold nearly everything!!!! The good thing about these sales is they seem to bring out every pregnant woman in the tri-county area. The first sale I had a pregnant woman who had yet to find out her baby's gender bought every white or yellow onesie I had! I made over$160 and my sister made about $220 I went with six totes of clothes and two totes of toys and can put all my leftovers in two totes. I am taking those to a church that gives away clothes to the public.

If you have an abundance of baby/kids clothes I would highly recommend doing one of these sales. They are all over the country. It's going to be another year before I have enough clothes or toys to put in one.

My basement is a little less crowded and I have extra money for my scrapbook weekend in the fall!