Monday, September 26, 2011

Smurfday Party - Loads of Pics!

This Saturday was my younger daughter's 6th birthday party...she turns 6 this Friday, but I wanted to have her party earlier.  I love planning my girls' birthday parties!  They are always so much fun, for them and for their little friends. We talk about themes and start planning about 2 months in advance.  The best part is hearing your daughter say right before bed, "Mama, this was the BEST day!!"

Banner made by my sweet friend...she sells her banners and other parties goodies on etsy here

Mushroom goody bags

Invites and water bottle labels made by my awesome graphic designer sister :o)

Pin the tail on Azrael...a big hit!

so silly!

Gargamel pinata that we had to make from scratch because there are literally NO affordable Smurf pinatas out there!  It was fun making this though!

After all the kids went (about 10), we had an older friend take a whack and killed Gargamel!  It was great!

Oh the cake...I swear my Kitchenaid mixer made all the difference this year!

Not so thrilled about getting a dress for a present, love that face!

Dayna read each and every card..she's so cute

Papa Smurf got a trim

Awesome hubs who helped make this party so much fun!!

Wonderful friends who love my kids so much!  Boy that just makes all the difference!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Swoon Block 2

Okay, here's my second Swoon block.  Isn't it wild??  The prints seem a little over the top, but I think it will be fine when it's all put together!  That's 2 down, 7 to go.  I cut out the fabric for the next 2 blocks...who knows when I will get to them, though!  I am hoping to do a little at a time...just enjoying the process.

I have also abandoned my Single Girl quilt for now and am going to make my niece another pattern.  Single Girl and I just did not get along very well...I think if I could paper piece the curves?  I tried fixing the first curved block, and I wanted to rip my hair out.  I may just have to admire from afar....

Dayna has a birthday party this Saturday...cannot wait to take and post pictures!  I bought fabric today for a  Smurfette's blue with small white daisies on it.  I always try to coordinate them with their's a science at our house!  The food is a staple...I always have people come that know what I am serving and look forward to it every funny!  Anyway, plans are coming along :o)  Dayna still wants to color her skin blue, but I have to draw the line there!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Swoon Block 1

Life has been a bit crazy lately.  I have had the flu or something like it and have been absolutely wiped out.  I woke up Saturday throwing up and it's been an ick-fest ever since.  I haven't thrown up today, but I am still exhausted.  I stayed home from work today, just to keep my germs to myself, and rested.

Dayna's birthday party is this Saturday and I am not at all ready for it, like I wanted to be. It's gonna be a smurf-day to remember :o)  I have a whole list of stuff to do, so it's giong to just have to come together this week!

For my anniversary, my husband got me the FQ set of Joel Dewberry's newest fabric line Heirloom.  All 3 colorways!  I love his fabric, it just always appeals to me.  Anyhow, I have been wanting to make a quilt for my bed lately, but always seem to get stumped when it comes to the colors, pattern, etc.  Enter Heirloom and Swoon.  This pattern uses 2 FQs per block (plus neutral background fabric) and, let's face it, it's just a pretty pattern!

I'm loving this pattern!!  I finished the first block and can't wait to make the rest!

Friday, September 16, 2011


So, I was browsing Pinterest last night (as I do about a hundred times a day) and came across one of the most inspirational weight loss blogs I have found.  I'm sure there's hundreds more out there, but this one spoke to me.  I relate to this girl on so many levels.

It got me to thinking.  I have wrestled with weight for as long as I can remember.  I had a couple of thin years in my early 20s, then had kids and it's kind of spiraled out of control.  Now, I still totally believe you should value yourself for who you are and not what you look like.  And we should absolutely teach our kids to value themselves and others that way.  There are PLENTY of people who are not what I want my kids looking up to because of their personalities, not their size.

So, I had to question why I haven't met this goal in my life.  I have been able to accomplish everything I have set my mind to doing.  I have successfully learned every new skill I wanted to learn.  I think my motivation has been wrong all along. I wanted to just look good, but it's become so much more than that now.

1.  I want to be comfortable in front of the camera--no more hiding behind it and letting those family moments slip by.
2.  I have a closet full of clothes that I can no longer wear--this one just flat out sucks!
3.  It will improve my overall health, but I am hoping will help fix the issues I am having with my foot since breaking it about a year ago.
4.  I have major plans for the next 2 years that I won't be able to accomplish without losing this weight

I know I will have to start small...I have 85 pounds to lose and that is just daunting when I think of it like that!  I'm getting back on the Weight Watchers plan since I lost about 45 pounds with it before and I know it works!  Plus I want to exercise....not because I have to but because I want to.  Branson bought me a bike recently...a red beach cruiser.  It needs new tires, but I love it.  I want to ride it around the neighborhood with my girls.

I don't think this blog will be consumed with all things weight-loss, but I will share what I know and what I find.  And if it becomes a place of encouragement, that's great!  I am going to update every Friday with progress (or I could do Wednesdays and make it Weight-loss Wednesday, hehe!)

Goals for this week:

1.  Develop a menu plan for the week--one that is practical and that I can stick to
2.  Drink water each day
3.  Exercise 20 minutes each day

I'm excited!!  I feel motivated!!  If you haven't read Andie's blog, it's awesome.  She blogs about so many practical things that I just haven't heard in a long time.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Another 6 Months Down

I try not to overshare about my life here, but it's kinda my journal, so I hope no one minds :o)  Sometimes I feel like I live in 6 month increments.  February of 2006 changed our lives forever, and since then it's been a bit of a roller coaster, emotionally and physically.  My husband has had 3 brain tumors since then, all needing surgery and some radiation.  We've gotten through with the help of God and some very wonderful family and friends.

When we found out the first tumor had grown back, we were both shocked.  It rattled me to my core.  I am ashamed to say this, but my faith faltered.  I knew in my head that everything would work out, but I didn't believe it in my heart. I was angry with God for a while, even though I know He loves me always.

So, with every follow-up appointment, we hold our breath, cross our fingers, and hope for the best, knowing that no matter what the outcome, we'll make it thru again.  My husband had another appointment today and no tumor....come back in 6 months.  The clock gets reset and counts down the next 182 days.

Life is precious and I have learned several things.  Invest your life in the people that matter most in your life...and let the rest go.  Life is too short to be petty and juvenile and hold grudges.  It's too short to not speak to family you've gotten mad at and stopped talking to.  Too short to not pick up the phone or send an email.

Breathe deep and let things go.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Random Sewing Projects--Camera Straps

I've been working on some random projects lately...quick projects that I can make in an hour or less.  I feel the need for smaller projects after the massive Duke quilt project not that long ago!  Labor Day gave me the perfect opportunity to make a few little goodies that may end up as gifts or in my etsy shop soon :o)  This year, I am planning on a handmade Christmas.  Maybe not completely, but definitely wanting it to be a priority.  I feel so much more connected to person when I make a gift with my hands, always thinking about the person it is for as I make it.

These are my newest creation!  I made 6 of them in under 3 hours, even though I spent part of that time with my seam ripper.  I love the rosettes added to the side with the lens pocket, because I NEVER remember without it!  Another thing I really like is that the ruffle is flat and not sticking off the strap...I think that would get on my ever-lovin nerves after a while!  This is a GREAT project for using up scraps, too...always a plus!

I have learned a few things about myself since starting this blog and writing more of those things is that I always speak in exclamation points!!  Sorry for the overkill :o)

Embroidery Art

I was browsing Pinterest about a week ago and saw this beautiful embroidered artwork.  I can't seem to locate the pin now, of course, but the image stayed with me and I've been dying to give it a shot!  So, over Labor Day weekend, I embroidered a flower shape onto some white fabric...just freehanded the flower outline.  I royally suck at drawing, but somehow, I really liked the way this flower turned out!  I really like redwork embroidery, and red seems to be a favorite color of mine, so I went with red floss and decided it would hang in my kitchen.  

AC Moore had these 2-pack canvases on sale for about $5 this week, how perfect, right??  Anyway, I whipped out my staple gun and went to town :o)

Had to make sure the back of my embroidery wasn't a total disaster, since red lines would totally show through the white fabric.  I pressed my fabric (even though you can't really tell in this photo) and placed my flower in the corner of the canvas.

Flipped that sucker over, and stapled my heart out!!  Here is my completed "artwork" if that's even the right word :o)  I love the negative space and how the red flower just pops against the white.  I am planning to hang it in my kitchen, somewhere!

Seriously hoping to get some actual piecing done this can see my fabric under the's going to be a Swoon quilt block when I actually get the chance to sew it together!  The fabric is from Joel Dewberry's Heirloom line.  I am planning to finally make a quilt for my bed...funny how I haven't done that yet and have been quilting for about 6 years!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A New Hobby

When I was 5, my mom taught me how to embroider....I didn't pick it back up again until recently.  Lately, I have found hand stitching to be very relaxing.  Even for a few minutes a day.  I think that's why I like it so can pick it up and put it down whenever you want with minimal work in between.

I found a couple of great sites for embroidery patterns and how-to's.  And I picked up some flour sack tea towels the other day to practice with...I am in love with it again!  I can't wait to finish this tea towel and to make another one...just for fall!  Here is a pumpkin pattern I got from Urban Threads.  I am lovin the swirls inside the pumpkin!

The blue ink is a disappearing ink that will go away once sprayed with awesome is that!!

Other great blogs include:

Pattern shop on Etsy by Big B--super cute patterns, very inexpensive!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Back to School -- Decorated Clipboard Tutorial

Last year I bought 2 of these clipboards from a sweet lady on etsy last year and after I got them, I thought "I could totally make this!!"

wooden clipboard with rectangular clip*
mod podge
foam brush
several sheets of coordinating scrapbook paper
straight edge--I used my good ole library card!
variety of ribbons

fabric glue
vellum embellishments

Lay out your scrapbook paper and decide how you'd like to decorate your clipboard.  I had to cut a couple of pieces to fit onto this clipboard.

Cut your scrapbook paper just a bit smaller than your clipboard so the mod podge will seal correctly.  I also used a corner rounder for my corners and it came our really nice!  Once your paper is ready, apply a moderate layer of mod podge on the clipboard and apply the first piece of paper.  Run your straight edge (or library card :o) over the paper to ensure there are no bubbles between your paper and the clipboard.  Apply each piece of scrapbook paper one by one until the front and back is covered.  Trim edges and any over-hanging paper.  It is very important that all paper is adhered to the clipboard with the mod will bubble later if not.  I also used a hole punch to help the paper on the back lay flat over the metal.

back of clipboard
Allow your clipboard to dry completely...I learned this the hard way, but the longer it has to dry, the better!!    Using your foam brush, coat the entire front with mod podge.  Allow this side to dry completely, then apply another layer.  Repeat for the back.  I wanted to make sure there were NO bubbles, so I took a few days doing this, too, but I don't think you have to.

Once your clipboard is dry, you are ready to embellish the clip with your ribbons!  Cut several different lengths of a variety of ribbon.  The more, the merrier!  Tie each ribbon in a knot onto the this point I used a small dot of fabric glue to the inside of the knot before tying...just to make sure it didn't come apart with use.  Some ribbon is satin and won't stay tied, no matter how tight you make it to start with.  Once the ribbons are all secure, trim away pieces too long and heat seal the ends, or use fray check.  Since this might get a lot of use, those ribbons could get very frayed if not treated.

I know we did this for back to school, but you could do this for any occasion, or just for fun!

*Wooden clipboards are not the easiest to find...look in the home office section of Target, Walmart, etc, instead of the "back to school" section!

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