Friday, December 11, 2015

No Fabric Spending 2016

I know everyone says this...but I cannot believe it's already the end of another year!  It's so cliche, but so true.  This year has whizzed by and brought a lot of changes with it.  I'm a single mom now...something I never thought I'd say.  While this was a much needed change for me and my girls, I can't say I like being single.  In fact, I don't like it at all.  The divorce and changes in my life have separated me from some good friends too, bringing a different layer of sadness with it.  You really do find out who your real friends are when you go through times like this.  I am truly blessed with some wonderful people in my life.

But I have made new friends, rekindled old friendships, and I feel good about 2016.

I'm already making goals for 2016, some are personal, some crafty, but all positive changes in my life.  I'm ready for new beginnings and fresh starts!

One of my goals that I'd like to share is "No Fabric Spending 2016"!!  When I first told my girls, Dayna said well, you better buy as much as you can before the end of the year! ha!  I feel good about it, though, maybe because of the new challenge.  This year I've been on my own, budgeting on one income and it's been tough.  I'm sure I am like a lot of people who use retail therapy to cope with emotional issues.  And fabric is my particular spendy drug!  So, I need to wean myself, save more, spend less, and focus on what I have instead of just being a buying machine.

I do think that Quilt Market doesn't help (side eye :) and the speed at which new lines of fabric are on the market.  I can't resist Anna Maria Horner, some of Tula Pink, Cotton and Steel.....but that is bad on the budget.  I don't blame anyone, people have to make money, but geez, can you slow it down??  I need to catch my breath before someone's new line comes out!  I do think the market is a machine that is running faster than ever.  And the "fear" of certain fabrics becoming rare and unavailable has people buying more than ever.  I just want to slow things down for me.  I have enough, more than I will probably use in the next few years.  I want to be more selective, less pushed by the market.

Pre-Sale- One Yard Bundle- Mendocino 2016-Heather Ross

On that note....I do have some fabric pre-ordered that is coming out in 2016 that I purchased before I decided to have a No Fabric Spending 2016.   Mendocino by Heather Ross and Chipper by Tula Pink.  I was just starting to sew when I first saw Mendocino and I didn't know enough to buy any of it then. I love the mermaids and the seahorses (one of my 3 favorite animals!)

I have given myself the leeway to use any extra money, like birthday money or money I make separate from my job, to use on fabric, but only if I really really really love it.

If you've read this much, sorry for such a long posting.  I know this might sound trivial to some, but we each have our, clothes, eating out, jewelry.  Mine just happens to be fabric :)

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Fabric Friday ( a few days late! )

I had this post in my brain on Friday....then Friday happened!  It was calm and relaxed until work got nuts and I forgot all about my blog post.  So, here I am, sitting in my hotel room Sunday night at almost midnight putting together this post.  Hope you enjoy!

This week's Fabric Friday is devoted to another on Cotton and Steel's amazing lines that should be on my doorstep Monday afternoon!  Spellbound is the first Halloween collection I have actually liked.  The colors are perfect together while not being spooky.  The mummies and spiderwebs are adorable.  Each spiderweb print has tiny spiders here and there in the design.  I just love it!  I purchased my bundle from Jen of Knotted Thread.  She has regular pop-up sales every Friday and had offered this one as a bundle with free shipping...the best deal!

While browsing IG one day, I came across this pattern being developed by Pile O' Fabric that is perfect for Spellbound.  I can't wait until the pattern is released!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Swap Progress - AMH Swap

I joined a couple of swaps a few months ago...before realizing that I am terrible at swaps.  The timelines are a mind game.  I always underestimate the time needed to actually follow through.  So, I'm finishing up these last 2 and taking a break from signing up for a while!

The one I have progress pics for is the Anna Maria Horner swap.  OF COURSE, I had to sign up for that one!!

Swap rules are that at least 3 progress pics are posted so that the swap mamas know you're working on it and aren't flaking out.  I pulled a random selection from my AMH cabinet (yes, I said cabinet, don't judge ;) and some Kona Glacier.  It's a lovely dark teal that does not photograph well at all.  This is pretty true to color, but the other pics I got make it look dark blue and it is not anywhere close to that.

Here is my mini in progress.  I need to do the quilting and of course the binding.  And I am terrible at making labels, so that always gets put off until the last minute.  But mailing date isn't for another month!  This whole mini measures about 21 inches which made me think of what it would look like as a whole quilt.

I used the app PicFrame to see what the block would look like as an entire quilt.  I am toying around with this idea!!

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced.  Happy WIP Wednesday!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Fabric Friday

It's Friday! YAY!!  Today I want to talk about the True Colors bundles that have come out in the last year.  If you are looking to build up your stash of basic colors while still having the unique style of certain beloved designers.  This is the last bundle I have purchased and probably the last one for a while.  I am TRYING to be more selective and less spendy.

My newest (and probably last for the summer) is the Tula Pink True Colors bundle.  I ordered a FQ bundle from one of my favorite online fabric shops, Knotted Thread.  Jen is wonderful to work with and has pop-up sales on Instagram @knotted_thread every Friday (dangerous!).  I snagged this one last Friday for a great deal!

The colors are vibrant and I love the designs.  Not just plain janes, but unique to Tula Pink and an homage to her previous beloved lines.

Tula Pink True Colors - half yard Bundle

Friday, May 29, 2015

Fabric Friday

I love Fridays....but who doesn't??  I have been toying around with doing a weekly post on the different fabrics I am either lusting after or have and love.  I am not promoting anyone or any shop for personal gain, just to share what I personally love.  Welcome to the first Fabric Friday!

I know some folks don't buy collections and that's a-okay.  I personally like collections for a few reasons.  I don't really have a problem with putting colors together or picking fabrics that would fit together in a color scheme.  I just like how designers put together various prints I would probably never combine!  Most of my quilts would be color-specific without the variety of prints.  That's one reason I love Anna Maria Horner's collections so much.  Usually she has a wide variety of prints that I would never have put together and they end up looking incredible together.

One of my current favorite collections is Tinsel by Cotton + Steel.  I absolutely LOVE the vintage look of these fabrics.  I also absolutely love the snow globe fabric.  The ladies of C+S have each contributed to this collection and I think they nailed it.  

Currently, I am waiting for my purchase of Tinsel...Christmas in June sounds like a wonderful idea!  I purchased a yard bundle from @noodlebugfabrics on Instagram.  She had the best price by far.  I'm just waiting for it to arrive :)  I have so many projects in my mind, but I'm thinking a Christmas quilt will have to make it's way to the top of the list.  

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Shaken Faith

Warning--very personal post...nothing crafty-related :)

I haven't been able to blog in a long while.  I've had so much on my mind, but when you can't get it out, it's impossible to share things.

I moved to NC in summer of 1998.  Right before I got married.  I worked in the daycare at the school my girls attend now.  I met a wonderful family with 3 amazing kids going into K-5, 2nd grade, and 4rd grade.  The longer I worked at the daycare and then school once I got my degree, the closer I got to these amazing people.  Mr. and Mrs. were closer personal friends.  I taught 2 of the 3 kids throughout my 10 years of teaching.  The 2 oldest kids were very close to me, especially the oldest.  He was such a great kid.  Always respectful, loved his family and church, wanted to be involved in everything.  By 8th grade, he was ready to just graduate school and go to college to be a missionary.  He knew where he was heading.  I laughed when he became a missionary to a Spanish-speaking country because he hated Spanish in school.  He got married and went to Peru.  Amazing things were happening there!  He was living his dream and loving every second.

Then he died.  Only 3 years after getting there.  To say I was shocked, still am shocked, is a huge understatement.  When I heard what happened, I couldn't breathe.  He was injured and then died days later.  Those days I prayed harder than I had in quite a while.  I asked God to take me instead. Let him live, he is doing so much in Peru.  He has a young wife who loves him dearly.  I pleaded, cried a thousand tears, begged for mercy.  .

It's so hard to understand God's plans.  I know in my head that bad things happen to everyone, both good and bad people.  We can't always know why things happen the way they do.  If I'm honest, my faith has been shaken in the right direction.

Several years ago and until recently, I was going through some difficult times in my life.  My first instinct was to bury myself away from everyone and from God.  My faith was hollow...something I believed in my head, but not really in my heart.  I went through the motions, all the while growing farther apart from God and from my church.  Depression set in and grabbed hold of me deeply.  My relationships failed. Friends turned away.  My marriage suffered and then died.  Hope was almost gone for me.  My husband and I separated and I started to heal mentally, emotionally.  Not spiritually.  I would pray but my words felt empty, as if falling on deaf ears.  I wanted restoration, forgiveness.  I wanted my life back. Things are slowly becoming normal again, although not the same normal.  I'm still searching for a church but it's hard to find the right place.  I'm still trying to find my way back.

And then Daniel died.  I felt like I have been catapulted back into the arms of God.  My heart is still broken but mending.   I have so much hope for the future, a future not like the one I had planned.  A future where I am figuring out how to make it on my own again.  Taking care of my beautiful daughters is all I want to do.  One day at a time right now.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Instagram for Crafty People

I hesitate to write this post, but it's been on my mind lately.  Instagram (IG) is so great for crafty people.  Quilters, knitters, crochet, doll makers, everything crafty seems to overflow on IG. It's a place to post your projects instantly, giving that instant gratification of likes and comments that bloggers love.  It's also been an easy way to sell fabric, finished products, etc.  I have done a destash and it was awesome to be able to thin out my stash without the hassle of posting to a site like Etsy.

Some of my favorite hashtags are:


So many hashtags!!

There is so much to see on IG and I have been sucked into a few things myself.  When the hashtag #thegreatfabricdestash first came out, I spent waaay too much money.  I know I bought a ton of Good Folks, some way overpriced.  I had to dial it down when my credit card bill came in the mail! There were some pretty interesting conversations on IG regarding prices of popular out of print fabrics.  Some people were asking outrageous prices...$80-$100 per yard, $20+ per FQ.  It definitely created some bitter feelings, divisions between those who say it's the right of the person selling to ask what they want and the group who thought it was just an abuse and not in the spirit of the quilty community on IG.  There was thread about people who would buy from those selling at a reasonable price, then turning around and selling at a higher price.  After seeing what the destash was doing to people, I took a break from that.  Too much drama.

Another activity I have been sucked into is signing up for swaps.  You get paired with another person, secretly, and make whatever the swap is for.  I have learned that I am not cut out for swaps.  I am terrible at sending things on time.  Between working a full time job away from the house and 2 kids aged 9 and 11, I just can't seem to get ahead of the swap game.  I have 2 more swaps that I still have due in June.  Once those are done, I don't think I will sign up for anymore.

I saw a post on IG yesterday that bothered me a little.  I understand the reasoning behind it, but someone is putting together a list of "bad swapper" and circulating it to swap mamas.  I understand no one likes to get paired with a dud, but it seems mean.  I'm sure my name is on that list.  I have signed up for 2 swaps that I have sent out late.  I personally hate knowing I'm on a bad swappers list because life gets in the way and a package is sent late.  I still communicate with my swap mama and let them know I can't meet the deadlines.  I do understand the commitment before I sign up, but you know how that goes, things will be different this time and I will actually be able to meet my deadline!

Quilting bees-also not my thing.  For whatever reason, I can't seem to meet deadlines!  Again, same problem.  I love the idea, but I'm terrible at follow through.

My conclusion is that work is so much pressure by itself, life runs at the speed of light sometimes and I can barely keep up sometimes.  I don't need the extra stress and fearing I'm gonna end up on a bad list.

I love IG and won't be leaving anytime soon.  But I will be steering clear of the drama and extra pressures and sewing for those I love without the stress!  I have met some pretty incredible friends from IG that I am so thankful for!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

WIP Wednesday - Anna Maria Horner Log Cabin Quilt

Hi all!  Another WIP Wednesday is here....I am loving getting back into blogging but it seems time passes faster than my blog posts!  I have a few updates on my works in progress.

I am still binding my clamshell quilt.  It's about 90 ish inches all around so it's taking a while!  So far, I'm halfway done.  The best time to work on handwork is when I am just veg on the couch and watch TV.  Somehow this is very relaxing to me and I'm still being productive.

My next WIP is the Anna Maria Horner log cabin quilt I started a couple weeks ago.  I couldn't get it out of my head and needed to keep going!  The top is all together now.  It's another queen sized quilt, seems that is all I am working on lately.  I love having new pretties for my bed.  Makes my room feel cozy and personal.

Here is the quilt top before the blocks were sewn together. It was all I could do to keep the kitties off the blocks!

Here she is all put together.  The solid color is Kona Glacier which matches perfectly with the teals in Anna Maria Horner's collections.  I used all the collections I have for this quilt, cutting a few strips of each fabric.  I used the pink cathedrals print from her Good Folks collection.  Now to quilt...I have no idea how I will do it.  I thought about maybe sending it out to a longarm quilter, but it depends on cost.

If I do quilt it myself, I need to figure out the best Aurifil thread color to use since the teal is a bit outside the normal teals.  I used a medium gray Aurifil 50wt to piece the logs but don't really want to use that to quilt...want the color to blend in more to not take away from the overall quilt.  I love me some Aurifil thread!

 And because I am a total fangirl, I had to share a picture of Anna Maria Horner liking my pictures on Instagram.  I would love to meet her one day.

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog!  I love looking at everyone's projects and hearing about their processes.  Linking up with Lee from Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

WIP Wednesday

I'm trying to get back into the swing of blogging again.  Most days it's all I can do to just get out of bed and do the things I have to do.  I am still battling with depression and the way life changes.  But I am still embracing the positive, letting go of the way life "should" be.  Hoping for newness and change.  The purpose of this post is Works in Progress.  I feel like I'm starting over again, I'm my own work in progress right now.  I'm not sure if I will ever feel "finished" again, but I sure hope I can at least rejoice in each step or progress.

This week I am trying my best to finish my Glam Clam quilt for my bed.  I want more handmade bed quilts in my home.  This will be my 3rd finished one for my bed.  I've made tons for my kids, but their beds never stay made the way I would like them!

Here is the quilt top....I just finished quilting it last night!  This one has taken a while longer than normal because every time I went ot work on it, my new kitty Granger decided it was time for a nap...on my quilt!  She is so sweet I didn't have the heart to move her.  

She's just too presh to move!!  I finally had to move her and get 'er done.  Planning to trim and put the binding on tonight.

Needless to say, I am not one to just let ideas rumble in my head to long.  I have an idea for an all Anna Maria Horner quilt (I actually already have several, but I can't resist).  Anna Maria Horner is my favorite designer.  She is so family-centered, humble, gracious.  I haven't met her, but I read her blog often and it just inspires me to be a better person.  Her fabrics speak to my heart in so many ways.  It's more than just fabric to her.  Anyway, this one will be a log cabin of sorts.  In my head it is going to be awesome.  I hope it turns out that way over the next weeks.  

 That's all for now!  I am linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Trip to Denver - Fancy Tiger Crafts

So, I'm about a month-ish late in posting this, but such is life!  I had to go to Denver, CO, for work toward the end of January.  My first thought was how cold it would be and my second thought was I HAVE to find a quilt shop there.....and get a You Are Here mug from Starbucks. Priorities, people!

We stayed at a lovely downtown hotel within walking distance to almost anything you could want!  The weather was in the 70s and very dry.  I had several bloody noses while there.  TMI?

I researched online to find an adorable quilt shop "not far" from the hotel....or "within walking distance"....not so much.  It was totally worth the 5 mile walk.

On our 5 mile walk to the shop, we walked by all kinds of typical downtown locations, including the capitol building.  Isn't it gorgeous!!   

Fancy Tiger Crafts is half quilt shop and half yarn shop.  The yarns were gorgeous...made me wish I could knit or crochet better!  I would love to take a class on how to make a granny square afgan. Until then, I will have to content myself with You Tube videos!

The shop was absolutely adorable.  I didn't even get a pic of all the fabrics.  I was overwhelmed by the funky decor and amazing quilts on the walls.  I didn't want to look like a total tourist, so I only snapped a few photos.  

This quilt is definitely going on my to-do list!!  What a great use for larger print fabrics!

If you are ever in Denver, definitely look up Fancy Tiger Crafts!  I did manage to buy a little fabric, prints I haven't been able to find in Raleigh/Durham.  They don't provide bags, so make sure you either don't mind, bring your own, or prepare to spend $6 on a bag.  I wish we had a shop like this in downtown Durham, although I would probably spend way too much time and money!

Monday, February 16, 2015

True Love

I thought I knew what true love was....that is until my daughters were born. When my daughter Emma was born, she was whisked away from me right away.  I was in labor for so long with her that there was meconium involved and they needed to take care of that right away.  But as soon as she rested her head on my chest and I kissed her squishy little face, true love took over my heart.

The last almost 12 years have been full of ups and downs but my daughters teach me daily how to have true love for others.  It's present in everything, from cooking dinner for them, cleaning up the kitchen, sharing a movie together, singing my daughter to sleep at night (Dayna's 9 and still requests this every night).

True love is not high and mighty, a lofty trait we have that is shared with a select few.  It is lowly and humble, demonstrated instead of declared.  It is why we do what we do each day.  True love is the reason behind all the things we do, menial tasks to some, but full of love for others.

It's why I make quilts for others, every stitch full of love, thinking of the person for whom it is intended.

Valentine's Day this year was amazing.  I can't say there isn't a deep hole in my heart still, one that gets smaller by the day, but still causes pain.  But you just focus on the good, keep moving forward.  That's all you can do.  I celebrated Valentine's Day with my 2 true loves, my daughters.  We went to IHOP for breakfast, had pedicures together (girls also got manicures), and then did a little shopping.  It was a perfectly wonderful day. My daughters are the loves and joy of my life.  I am so thankful for them, thankful I get to be their mama.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Glam Clam WIP

This quilt...swoon!!  I love it!  The way it comes together is quick and painless.  The cutting is the most pain-staking process.

Here is the quilt girlies had to stand on our tall dining room chairs so I could get a full picture. Emma is my photo bomber!  I love the colors, the pattern, just everything about it.  I finally got it basted and am working on the quilting.  That will take a while.....

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Curly Girl Hair Care

I have a love/hate relationship with my hair.  Most days it's great, I love it and everything about it....some days though, I just WISH I could have straight hair so I could bounce out of bed, run a brush through, do a few minor tweaks and be on my way.  I have learned SOO much about how to take care of my hair over the years.  Trial and error are my best friends, and now so are Pinterest and YouTube.

Of course, there is no one right way for every curly girl.  You have to find the right products for your curls, try different things.  This is my regimen.


I have read so many things about "no-poo" and "co-washing" washing your hair with just conditioner or once a week with sulfate-free and then in between with, no.  My hair will be a grease pit if I followed those methods!

Instead, I wash and condition my hair with Kirkland Signature Sulfate-free Shampoo and Moisturizing Conditioner from Costco.  These are amazing on my hair!!  After washing, I wrap my hair in a t-shirt, not anything terrycloth or microfiber.  I absolutely cannot stand how microfiber feels on my skin!!

Styling products:

This girl loves some hair products.  This is my current regimen.

1.  Slip Detangler by Curly Hair Solutions - I love this.  I spray it, wait a minute, then brush.  Yes, I said brush.  I use a paddle brush and not a pick or comb because I would be crying on the floor if I used a pick or comb every day!

2.  Argan Oil of Morocco - again amazing stuff.  I use a nickel size amount, avoid the roots, and just finger it through my damp hair.  It softens, helps with frizz, overall amazing.  I can find this almost anywhere, bought it at Target.

3.  Curl Keeper by Curly Hair Solutions - This is like a primer for me.  I can't use it alone, although some people can and it looks amazing.  I use a lot of this, several squirts on each section of hair, making sure it feels squishy wet when I squeeze it.

4.  Mega Firm Hold Gel by Vidal Sassoon - BEST gel for my hair and I have tried every gel out there
.  I can only find it at WalMart so every time I go, I stock up with about 5 tubes.  I use a generous amount and make sure every part of my hair is covered.

Once all of this is in my hair, I flip and use the t-shirt to scrunch and remove excess liquid.  I let air dry for as long as I am able, sometimes only 10 minutes.  I like to wait until there is a bit of a crunch to my hair before I blow dry.


I flip and blow dry my hair for about 10 minutes.  I use a diffuser otherwise all the curls will be blown apart.  I usually use this time to check instagram, blogger, etc, because it is boring to stand flipped over for 10 minutes with nothing to do!  Sometimes I read quilting magazines, or books.  I make sure the roots are as dry as I can get them and work into the rest of my hair.

And that's it!!  Seems like a lot, but it's not too bad.  I still haven't mastered 2nd or 3rd day hair.  Usually it goes in a pony tail or some kind of up-do.  I hope this post has helped any other of my curly girls out there!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Hello 2015!

I cannot believe it's 2015...honestly, wasn't 1990 like 10 years ago??  2014 was a year of change for me and my family and it's time for a new start here as well!

Christmas was great!  We had a nice vacation.  The girls and I spent a whole week together, full of activity and shopping.  I got not one thing done that I had planned, but that's okay!  They went ice skating for the first time.  Made think of the hundreds of times I've been ice skating as a mom would drop us off at the rink inside one of the malls in California and shop for a couple hours, while my sister and I would skate our hearts out.  So many great memories!  I self-taught myself how to skate backwards, spin, all like a total amateur but it was so much fun.  I skated all the time, on the ice or on the pavement.  Didn't matter to me!  My girls don't quite appreciate skinned knees either, their world comes to an end when they fall.  That was part of childhood for me.  Just rub off the blood and dirt and keep going!

Emma and her bff

Dayna...I love how she's standing

 This pic sums up our Christmas break!

We also added a kitty to our family...her name is Granger (after Hermoine Granger from Harry Potter).  She is precious and sooo sweet.  She has one hazel and one blue eye.  I just love her!

Anyway, on to 2015!  I have a few goals for this year.  I plan to get back to blogging!  It won't be as often as I did before, but I like having a record for myself of our moments.  I am truly excited to see what 2015 holds.  2014 was just hard.  My husband and I separated, the girls and I moved twice, and life just kinda grinded to a halt.  My mom came to visit for almost 2 weeks this summer which was absolutely awesome.  I have missed her so much.

But 2015 is a new start...a new year with new possibilities, new opportunities, new challenges.  I am excited!

So now, to quilting!  I have been working on a few things here and there.  Nothing major, but I felt the need for a new bed quilt or 2! The one below is the popular Glam Clam quilt pattern (free on Craftsy) created by Latifah Saafir.  I'm using the 8" clams.  It requires hand cutting over 300 pieces for the queen size.  I had to split that up over a few sessions to not end up with a claw for a hand.  I love the colors and love this pattern.  It is going to be my first finish of 2015.

Yes I still have my tree up, don't judge!!
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