Tuesday, May 28, 2013

coming home . . .

You've heard the old adage, as good as it is to get away, it's nice to get home again, haven't you?  That's exactly where I am!  Todd and I had a lovely ten days away, visiting with family and taking our MSC funding class (which was incredibly informative and helpful).  But it was ever-so-lovely to arrive home late yesterday afternoon.  Especially when the cheery daisy faces greeted me every which way I turned!
Aren't they sweet?  Since yesterday was a holiday, we couldn't pick up our mail until today.  And when we did?  BINGO!  I hit the jackpot!  First was a prize I'd won through StitchMAP . . .
Lots of stuff, huh?
She'd put together a crazy quilt kit for me -- with four pre-stitched blocks and *tons* of lovely embellishments! Isn't that awesome?!?!?!?!?

Next came a package all the way from Australia!!!  Yay!!  
I'd entered the Red Brolly Girl's Own Stitching Club Competition way earlier in the month.  Guess what I won . . .
A present!  Wrapped in red and white polka dots!
The perfect book for me!  It's a beautiful book, too -- full of beautiful stitch illustrations!

And next (I know, right?!) was this fun package from Stacey, at Stacey's Place.
Yes!  A copy of 100 Blocks!  I was so excited!  Stacey's block was on page 35 . . . the Bedtime Story block.  It was so cute and resonated with me, since I've got some grands who adore being read to!
Stacey also included these two mini charm packs . . . 
That was so nice!  Especially since I just finished whipping together my apple core piece!  
I can't decide if I want to place with mini hexies or tumblers, next!

I worked on a couple of other things during our trip -- especially during our 13 hours of driving!  I finished up some flowers for a corsage . . .
Worked on my sunburst block (which I decided to EPP) . . . 

And (drumroll, please) finished quilting . . . 

Wait for it . . . 

The Wedding Quilt!!!  Big YAY!!!  I have the fabric ready to make binding.  I'm down to the home stretch!

So it *is* good to get away--especially when I have the time to finish as much as I did . . . but coming home is a happy, too!


Friday, May 17, 2013

my new obsession . . .

Gracious.  As if I needed a new obsession on top of those I've already got, right? Right.  There's no *help* for me . . . 

Or is there??!!!!

I'm talking about English paper piecing, which I absolutely adore!!
I've finished up my apple core columns and am now ready to stitch those together.  I'm hoping they go together as smoothly as the 9 columns went.  I numbered them (and marked them with an ↑) so I ensure I'd be able to easily figure out which one was first, last, and how they went in-between!

I was having so much fun EPP'ing those, that I decided to take my original design and put it together that way, too.
I've got the center done and have the pieces cut for the balance.  I decided to leave the outside edges of the yellow and orange pieces un-stitched, so that I can trim them to a 1/4" and stitch them to the purple fabric I want to use to set the block on point.  We'll see how that works.  Linking up my EPP projects to the HeLP linky party over at Sarah Did It!

In other news, we had a fabulous guild meeting last night.  Our guest speaker was Shelly Zeggart, of Why Quilts Matter fame.  Her program was wonderful, and we got to watch one of the episodes of the documentary.  If you've not heard of this program, you really need to check out the trailer for it:
My friend Melissa (of I am Beautiful Bee) and I went in together and purchased the DVD set.  I can't wait to watch the whole thing!

Another perk from last night?  My darling friend Jane gifted me with a pattern for a pinwheel wreath.
She'd made one last year and I fell in love with it -- you can see hers HERE;  it's about halfway through the post.  Isn't it DARLING!?  And wasn't that sweet of Jane to remember how much I liked it?  I also came away with a tidy little bundle of fabrics and some romantic stencils.
My cup (aka my fabric bin) overfloweth!  That will put a little spike in my stash reporting (and my fabric obsession) ... but I'll wait until we return from Maryland -- just in case I happen to acquire some fabric while I'm gone.  Who knows, right?!

I found a REALLY CUTE youtube tutorial for making origami dresses.  As soon as I saw the finished product, I thought it would make the *perfect* place card for a little girl's tea party!  So of course, I tried my hand at it, because I also have an obsession for all things tea!
They got better/easier as I got them done.  I made one and figured out where I'd put the name -- then I was able to run the paper through the printer and cut out my squares.  The tutorial can be found HERE.  For these particular dresses, my paper was 4.5" by 3.5".

And let's wrap this post up with an *old* obsession of mine . . . 
CHOCOLATE!  I had just enough ingredients to make a batch of my favorite fudgie One Bowl Brownies and frost them with ganache!  Doesn't get much better than that, does it?



Monday, May 13, 2013

kickin' off the month . . .

Just thought I'd check in and touch base!!  I've been doing a lot of reading, so I'll have several book reviews to post in the next week or so, but I've also been able to satisfy my creative side, too.

We started off the month of May with a retirement party . . . 
Yup.  It's a done deal with no turning back!  Luckily, retired life is suiting Todd very nicely.  Later in the month we're traveling to Maryland for some NAMB training.  Isn't it a happy coincidence that the training takes place thirty minutes from my parent's home??!!  

I've continued to work on the wedding quilt.  I'm *bound* (har har har) and determined to have it finished before Joc's anniversary (her fourth!) at the end of June.  But I can't work on that cumbersome thing *all* the time, so I got out my new apple core English paper pieces and started playing around with those...
In no time at all, I had a nice sized little Christmas topper.  All that's left to do is to whip them together!

I've also been dabbling in granddaughter clothes, which is very rewarding!!  Kim had given me some material (waaaay back in THIS post) and finally I got things together.  First was this outfit:
Isn't it cute??  Ellie was kind enough to model it for us before June got there.
Of course, that it was so perfectly darling on Ellie should have been my clue that it would be just a tad (seriously, just a tad) big on June.  A few modifications and it's good to go!

And next was a beach outfit for June!
She decided to do her own modeling for this outfit - and as you can see, I worked out the sizing! She was jumping up and down when I tried to take a picture of the ruffled rump (my favorite) so I'll substitute a still life pic:
Isn't it darling?  Can't wait for the next "order"!

I also had a couple of wins ... but only one has come in, so that's what I'll share. I won not one . . .
But THREE sweet little patterns from Snuggles Quilts during the most recent 100 Blocks blog tour.  
I really love the table runner patterns in particular (the pattern in the middle).  Deanne has lots of really cute things on her site and it's very much worth clicking over!

And finally, the whole 100 Blocks tour got me thinking about what I'd create if *I* were making a block.  So I twisted my own arm and sat down at EQ (yeah ... it was a real tough sell).  Stars have really been speaking to me lately, so that's what I dabbled in.  I settled on this one . . .
I've got the templates cut out and I'll put it together and see how it works!!

Heading back out for now ... the wedding quilt is calling my name ... as is all the pre-coursework I've got to get finished before our class!


Tuesday, May 07, 2013

book review: the honest toddler

Oh. My. Gosh.

Your next read should be The Honest Toddler:  A Child's Guide to Parenting written under the supervision of Bunmmi Laditan. It's newly released today and you should run, not walk, to the nearest bookstore (or to your computer) and purchase a copy for yourself.  This book is the end all, be all authority of raising toddlers. Straight from the horse's toddler's mouth!

If you're the parent of a toddler (or soon to be toddler), you need this book -- it will become your favorite "raising toddler" manual -- you'll need no other.

If you're the grandparent of a toddler, you'll appreciate the total truth of its pages. What's that old saying?  Toddlers and grandmas get along so fabulously because they share a common enemy . . . !

If you're thinking about having children -- it will be a good way to prepare yourself for the selfless, all-consuming job of being a parent to a toddler.

Truly, this was the funniest read I've enjoyed in a long time.  In fact, my husband banned me from reading it in bed at night -- because I'd wake him up from laughing out loud.  I'd get to giggling over some truth revealed :
There's even more good news.  Selective acknowledgement has a partner skill known as hyperawareness.  I can hear someone open a bag of chips through seven solid brick walls in the middle of a thunderstorm while sleeping.  Please hold your applause.
Everybody lies.  Toddlers just don't apologize for it.  When you think about it, a lie is the truth with a funny hat on.  The next time your toddler lies to your face, giggle and smile.  Share a few hugs and know that you probably just asked the wrong question.  The number one reason toddlers spin reality is to avoid trouble.  When you ask questions like, "Laura, did you put your poo in the fireplace?," what do you expect to happen?  We both know Laura did it and that you've already judged her for it. What does she have to lose by fabricating a tall tale?
Is that not gold?! I'd start giggling and that would turn into full on laughter and the bed would shake and hubby would get a little put out. But seriously, this is a terrific read and totally truthful (from your toddler's point of view). As the Neesey (aka grandma) of two toddlers, it was priceless to see my precious little grandtoddlers thoughts and emotions so perfectly depicted.  Why do parents make it so tough on everyone?

Great read -- I'd give it two thumbs up, five stars, and ten bags of popcorn (if it were a movie).  And after you've sat down with a big cup of red drink, fruit rollups, goldfish and read the book, then subscribe to the blog (which started the sensation) and follow Honest Toddler on Facebook and Twitter, too!  In fact -- go right now to the blog and read Footprints in the Sand.  You'll understand.  If I haven't convinced you to read the book, this post sure will!

And remember:  "The truth will set you free."  But so will taking off your pants.


Disclaimer:  I was provided an electronic copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.