Day In The Life

Haven’t you always wanted to know what it’s like to go on vacation with my mom and I? Well, wonder no more! I joined memory keeping guru Ali Edwards on Tuesday and documented my day with a few photos.

Here’s my Day In The Life working vacation style…

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6:15am ▪ Awake since 2 because I don’t sleep well away from my guy. Finally gave up on tossing and turning and watched Netflix on my phone till the sun came up.

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7:29am ▪ Showered, dressed, coffee and donuts, and the Today Show on TV.

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8:39am ▪ Get to work. Quilting assembly line with mom.

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10:01am ▪ We’ve hit a rhythm and are on a roll.

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12:10pm ▪ Lunch break. We had ham, fresh corn, and this Asian chopped salad that’s quite tasty.

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1:28pm ▪ Afternoon nap.

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2:01pm ▪ A load of dishes. A load of laundry. Good things about a time share vs a hotel -modern conveniences for the win.

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3:04pm ▪ Somewhere around block 35 of 53, hoping all these semi-blind choices add up to awesome in the end. Our aim is to leave here with a mostly done quilt top. After all these blocks there’s three borders going on this one.  

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5:18pm ▪ Windows open wide, cool mountain air. Mix and matching Bubba Gump’s shrimp and mashed potatoes leftovers and mom’s quiche for dinner.

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6:41pm ▪ Because the spa bath is the best part of every vacation, and I’m a fan of the leaf imprints left in these tiles. Face mask, hair mask, and all the bubbles. Relax.

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7:43pm ▪ Sometimes it’s hot tea before bed and sometimes it’s this to help me fall asleep.

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9:57pm ▪ Just before I turn out the light.  I’ve ended the day as I began it, with Netflix. Then I called my guy to catch up on his day and say goodnight.

Goodnight.

A Quilt For Patty

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About six months ago my mom posted a little fabric challenge to our family on Facebook. She asked for a few fat-quarters of fabric to be sent for inspiration and in return we would make the sender a lap quilt from their fabric.

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My cousin Patty took mom up on her offer. She sent us a awesome pack of fabric in greys and blues. It was fantastic to work with colors mom and I aren’t normally drawn to. We needed the push to do something new and we both really love the way the quilt turned out! It’s very calming and peaceful -so relaxing to look at and cuddle.

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It’s been so great to make something for someone we both love so much and who got to personalize it a little bit. We’ve already packaged up our little masterpiece to send off to its new home. Of course, even as I stitched on the label mom asked “What are we working on next?”

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Pattern: Meet Me At The Corner by Atkinson Designs
Machine pieced, hand bound.
Long-arm quilted by Dream Catchers Quilting

Morning green.

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After my gallbladder revolted big time just before Thanksgiving I started thinking about needing to give my diet a little boost. Then, after I had that bad boy surgically removed I decided just because I could eat whatever I wanted pain free I probably shouldn’t.

When this little smoothie blender went on sale for black Friday I decided it was a sign. Green smoothies in the morning could maybe be a good thing.

Maybe.
What if they taste like grass?
Then, maybe not.
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I opted to get a smoothie mix from Jamba Juice, to use as a base and add kale to, to see how I’d like it.

Turns out I do like it!
Yay for green smoothies!

But, getting the mix is expensive so my next step was to concoct my own version…Lucky that little bag had an ingredients list, huh?
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Basics from the bag…
Orange Juice
Frozen Peaches
Vanilla Yogurt

It also says to add apple juice, which was good for blending when all the other ingredients were frozen, but my fresh ingredients could go without or use water.

I add…
Two large leaves of Kale, pulled off the woody stem.
Liquid vitamins, I get mine from Vitamin Cottage. (helpful because I frequently forget to take my multi)
Random other frozen fruit as the mood strikes.

Easy peasy.
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Adding blueberries and vitamins make it much more mud colored than green. It still tastes good though so I’m okay with that.

I like the way drinking a green smoothie makes me feel in the morning. More awake. More ready to get moving. Lighter.

So far this year there have been mornings I don’t drink a smoothie. Usually because I’m drinking iced coffee instead. (I love my new Chemex coffee maker!) But, I’m trying to make this burst of veggies and fruit a habit for at least three or four days a week.

I’m looking for easy feel-good changes this year. I’m looking forward to how my body changes without the inflammation and pain my gallbladder had been causing. I’m also looking forward to seeing if my green smoothies do more than just make me feel more awake in the morning.

Are you a green smoothie, or maybe juice, drinker? I know I’m a little (or a lot) late to the green smoothie party so if you have a favorite recipe please share it with me. I’m sure I’ll eventually get tired of my Fuzzy Navel inspired smoothie & it would be nice to change it up sometimes!

I’m raising my green-stained glass to 2014!

Project Life’s Throwback Thursdays

So, I have a envelope given to us by my SIL that is full of old photos. When she started scrapbooking again she went through her pictures and realized she had multiples of a whole bunch of childhood photos of their family.

That envelope has been shuffled from placed to place without a real home for um…a year? Two? I’m not really sure. You see prior to that we got a very similar stack from my MIL when she went through her old photos. That first stack ended up in one of our overflow photo albums. This second stack was so much extra.

I just couldn’t throw it away! There’s awesome childhood pictures of my guy and his family in there! But, I didn’t know what to do with them.

Then I thought about how I’ve enjoyed seeing old photos of people on Instagram with hashtags for Throwback Thursday. #tbt
Idea!
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I made Throwback Thursday cards for my Project Life album. It’ll be fun to have those old gems mixed in years from now I think. I’m pretty excited about it, really. It feels like new twist on old favorites.

Score one for popular hashtag-ing!

Are you using Project Life this year?
Have any little twists making your memory keeping on it’s toes?

I’ve really come to love PL. I love that you can record your life week to week if you want, which I don’t, OR you can do it month to month, which is more my style. You can do it season to season, a collection of random days, make an album of just Saturdays, just mornings, every other Tuesday. I love that it’s designed to be endlessly customizable and all the parts work together. Cards from any number of themes fit in ready made pockets. You can throw it together with basic prints and no cutting or fancy it up to your heart’s content!

So yeah.
I’m excited for Project Life 2014.
It’s awesome.
That is all.
🙂

Armchair Bunting

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Creativity can come to a grinding halt when you’re uncomfortable. I’ve been spending lots of time in the seated/reclining position tethered to the nearest outlet by my heating pad. I’ve had plenty of time to be making while here, but not much motivation. My bag of crafts has been within arm’s reach for the last week and only today was I motivated and feeling good enough to dig in.

I managed to finish that pillowcase embroidery project that was dogging me this last month. With a great big sigh I tied off the last stitch…And went hunting for the next thing to make, of course!

I’ve had this idea for lacy paper doilies turned into bunting floating around my head for a while. Turns out it’s a perfect crafty thing to do from your armchair!

Here’s what I used:
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Glue sticks
Paper doilies (found in the baking section of my local grocery store)
Ribbon

Here’s what I did:
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Fold paper doilies in half.
Smear glue on the solid center part of the doilies.
Sandwich ribbon in the fold.
Rinse and repeat down whatever length of ribbon makes you happy!

I left about a foot of ribbon at the beginning and end of my bunting for hanging.
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Have I told you how much I love bunting? It’s like instant happy!
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Creative Rhythm

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Last Night

I stitched up (yet another :)) tote bag. I made changes to this one, too…
Inset handles, instead of after thought ones.
Single side quilting with a lining, instead of quilting all three layers at once.

Every time I finish a bag for a moment I contemplate keeping it. I enjoy so much having that finished object in my hand. I love the feel of the fabrics and uniqueness of handmade. My selfish self says ‘Keep It Keep It!’

In the end I don’t keep them; I wrap them up in our homemade coloring page wrapping paper, add a yarn bow, and add it to my gift pile. With my master list of friends and family I check one more name off and begin again. I’ll repeat that cycle of make, want, gift many times over the next month. It’s the rhythm of my holidays.

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This Morning

The beginning of the cycle begins again…

I start with a finished object in mind, and a person it’s intended to be for. What’s their favorite color combo? What style might they like? What new technique do I want to try? What do I envision them using it for?

I pull fabrics from the stash as I roll the ideas around in my head. Images come to mind, thoughts on construction. Sometimes I pull fabric and I lay it out and I don’t know just where I’m headed yet. I walk away, grab some breakfast, watch a show, work on a already in progress something. Letting the idea sit in the back while it gathers itself together.

If it doesn’t gather, I change the fabric, change direction, think about a different intent. Sooner or later it gels in my brain and I can begin to cut and stitch and mostly feel my way along the process. All the other things I’ve made informing the steps I take, and if not, a seam ripper at the ready. (Even though I sigh and cringe as I use it.)

I rarely stop mid-way once I begin this kind of project. Unless I find myself making so many mistakes it’s no longer fun but frustrating. I tunnel vision my way to the last stitch. To the ‘Oh, I want to keep it!’ moment. Then I take a picture, (to remember my proud mama moment) wrap it up, mark it off, begin again.

Creative Rhythm.
What’s yours?

Still making

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Tote bags for gifting are still being made around here…
Some of which I can’t share photos of; they’re so recipient specific it would be too easy for friends to pick theirs out!

Each one is constructed differently. As I make them I change a bit of the process, I’m feeling out my favorite creation style as I go along.

For instance this one…
Got a zipper.
Is made from a canvas material instead of pieced with quilter’s cotton.
Is lined with interfacing vs batting and quilted.

I really liked the simplicity of this one and the crafty fabric is so fun. I used cotton ribbon ties from Moda jelly rolls as straps; double sided for extra thickness. I knew I was saving those things for something!

One more Handmade Holiday gift created and ready for wrapping!

The half-way girl

The trend for me these days is to do a project twice, and stall out half-way through the second…

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I stitched one set of pillowcases in less than a week. So excited, so obsessive with the work.

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I began the next set of pillowcases strong, but finishing the first of two took nearly as long as both the originals. And the second? Still not done.

Something shiny and bright caught my attention. I switched gears and picked up needles.

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Oh, new Noro yarn and a pretty wristlet pattern, my new exiting. As usual the first pair flew off the sticks in two days. Excitement!

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But, as my trend goes that second pair only warms one wrist. The thrill of the new wrist warmers wained… Now, I want to make socks!

It seems I stall out somewhere around the third object…so I might get one pair of socks made (yay, warm feet!) and have another rolling around here for days and days. Maybe months and months! Making friends with a lonely pillowcase, and a lonely wristlet.

Oh, I shouldn’t forget I’ve got a set of four tote bags on my to-do list also. Two done, one laid out…

And there’s that block of the month quilt that should’ve been finished last year? I think. ..Half-way seems like a good place to be for me I guess. Almost. Not quite. Nearly there. Close to being.

These objects wait for my distraction to come full circle. It always does. Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, but eventually. Because as much as I am a half-way stall kind of girl, I’m also a finisher. I really do love that feeling; the very last stitch. It’s bittersweet and beautiful. It’s a wrap up and a new beginning. I really, really love it. It’s why binding a quilt is my favorite part of the process. Why I weave in ends right away instead of the after-blocking most people recommend.

So, while I languish in my half-way place right now I’m dreaming of those last stitches and finished objects. I’ll eventually have a bunch of them…and that’s the most exciting thing of all!

Totes Christmas-y

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It’s the time of year I really get into my handmade holiday list and start checking things off. One by one the gifts pile up, wrapped as I go, ready for the month of various Christmas-y gathering we’ll have going on soon. Today’s project was a quilted tote with lots of holiday spirit.

It really is one of my favorite seasons; the season of making!

Oh, Hats! {Inspired by She Makes Hats}

Absolutely addicting little projects those hats. The desire to make one has turned into…um, a dozen or so now.

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My impulse buying single skeins has actually paid off in this hat knitting frenzy. Most times it’s possible for me to get two hats out of one skein, and sometimes more if I combine leftovers for striping.

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I’m not really awesome at hat making yet, but it’s been lots of fun learning. I get so much inspiration from the lovely Robyn ~ She Makes Hats over on Instagram. She’s got an amazing hat making goal – 10,000 hats for 10,000 people! – can you imagine?! Now that’s what I call a hat addiction!

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Robyn doesn’t just make hats to make them though, she’s got giving on her mind in a big big way. She donates many of her hats to hospitals, schools, and veterans. She even started the Nebraska Hats For Hope Initiative so other people could join her in making hats for charity too. That’s where many of my hats are headed. I’m not very good at sizing yet, luckily she donates to newborns and sailors and everyone in between.

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Don’t worry, even if you aren’t a hat maker yourself you can still help Robyn reach her 10,000 hats goal. She’s got an Etsy shop, where for every hat purchased she makes a newborn hat to donate. It’s a buy one, give one, good thing going on over there!

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So, she makes hats, she gives hats, she sells hats…wait, there’s more! Robyn also writes hat patterns! Wha?? Yep. I guess it’s only natural for a prolific hat maker to be a pattern writer. I’ve knit both her Tyson and Hadley hats, they were a joy. Her patterns are so well written even a newbie like me gets great results. Actually, I’m a little addicted to the Hadley hat, I’ve knit it several times already! That pattern is always in my bag, even if I’m not knitting it at the moment I might be tomorrow.

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You can find out lots more about Robyn, her patterns, her making, and giving all over on her blog. Check it out, she’ll inspire you too!

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