Sunday, October 24, 2010

I has it

I had lunch with my friend, Kasie, the other day. She was in town with her students who were practicing for their dairy foods competition at the FFA National Convention. After lunch we stopped by one of our favorite stores in town. It's a great little store full of fun gift ideas & random stuff. As we were paying, Kasie noticed these cute little Iwako erasers. Apparently they are the best thing since sliced bread in Japan. Little erasers that come apart like a puzzle. She picked up some for her dairy foods team & I grabbed this little guy:

I didn't know what drew me to the giraffe...he was just cute I had to have him! On the 5 1/2 hour drive later that night, I showed Jacob my new little buddy. And he reminded me of my love for this commercial. Have you seen it? Love it: the guy's accent! The little giraffe! The giggles! No wonder when I saw the opportunity to buy this little guy, I jumped in it.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wedding Shower Gift

I finally got pictures of Bear's place mats! Making these was my first attempt at quilt-as-you-go. I generally followed the tutorial found here but didn't make them all log cabin-y. What do you think?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It's been a while

I have been sewing. I promise. Just not enough. Or maybe I just haven't been taking pictures & I don't want to write about projects without pictures.

But in progress I have two baby blankets & my Christmas tree skirt. And I recently finished a fabric box from Joel Dewberry's Sewn Spaces pattern book. And this weekend I finally bought a walking foot, so I've been playing with some straight line quilting.

Hopefully I'll be back soon.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

My Labels

I love shopping online. Sure, I ordered and paid for it but when the package arrives, it's like getting a gift (my UPS delivery man has been startled more than once by my excitement). And I love unwrapping presents, even if it is six tubes of toothpaste that I need (yes, I get toothpaste online).

The sellers from Etsy make the experience even better. Most of them use wonderful packaging and some even toss in a little something extra. They definitely make their shoppers feel appreciated. My most recent purchases did not disappoint.

Look what was in the mail for me yesterday...a present (for me from me)! Isn't it pretty? I just love the paper she used to wrap it and the little sand-dollar.

The seller included a personalized note thanking me for my purchase. She also put in a little envelope with another thank you card, her business card, and a piece of gum wrapped in her logo paper!

I have been debating with myself for months about how to label my quilts and other sewn goods. There are so many great options out there! Embroidering the information directly onto the quilt. Embroidering the information onto a piece of fabric and then sewing the fabric to the back of the quilt. Using your computer printer to type out the information and print it directly on to fabric. Having a Spoonflower create yardage with your logo and information. Using a fabric pen to write on the fabric. But I found these and really liked the look of them. They are simple and really professional looking. Now I need to get back all of my completed projects so that I can add these to them.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Daily Coyote & my cats

I have read Shreve's blogs for a few years now. Daily Coyote. Vespa Vagabond. I read the Daily Coyote book. Recently, I added Honey Rock Dawn to my GoogleReader.

In her words:

In 2005, I had plans to move from San Francisco back to New York City - plans that were derailed when I rode through Wyoming and fell in love with this place. I went on to New York, but a month later turned around, returned to Wyoming, and moved to the area where I had only spent one day.

After moving to Wyoming, she met Charlie:

Charlie is a wild-born coyote who was unexpectedly delivered to my doorstep in April 2007 after both his parents were shot for killing sheep. Whatever reservations I had about raising a wild animal simply didn’t matter - couldn’t matter - when I realized his survival, at least in the short term, depended on me.

Charlie rides in my truck, walks on a leash, and adores the cat and his hound-dog sister. Though we’ve been together for three years, I don’t call him my pet. He’s more like my co-pilot. I don’t wish to own him, just to live together in harmony. And that we do.

It's so amazing to see her photography & learn about how her life is now so incredibly different from anything she could have imagined.

As I was checking in on her & the 'farmily' today, I saw this video on The Daily Coyote.

The Daily Coyote - Good Morning! from daily coyote on Vimeo.

Seaton & Avey perked up trying to figure out where the commotion was coming from. Jackson came running in from the bedroom to check on me!

Monday, July 19, 2010

We had a frisbee...and we got wet!

I guess I should have known it would happen...I was a Kansas girl at the beach in California. You would have been disappointed in me if I hadn't gotten soaked, right? I thought so...

One of Jacob's first Saturdays in California was a company day at the beach. He had really wanted to take a Frisbee, but as we were packing at 11 o'clock the night before he left for Cali, it must have slipped our minds. Such shame! Everyone must have thought he was a lame-o who didn't know to bring a Frisbee to the beach! As I was packing for my trip, I found two Frisbees & packed them both.

We were so busy with everything else while I was in California that Jacob & I saved our day at the beach for my last day. And like every other day I was there, I was cold. And special for the day, it was overcast. But we're Kansas kids. We didn't let a little chill & cloud spoil our fun!

We wandered the beach for a while. Saw a lot of kelp, big waves, a few surfers, & a dead seal! A dead seal! Do they really just leave a dead seal on the beach?!

We found an open space & tried to throw the Frisbee around. I say 'tried' because I am not known for my skills with a Frisbee. Jacob tossed me the Frisbee; I kicked it. I tossed him the Frisbee; he ran after it. He was so patient with me though. Occasionally I had a decent toss & made a catch. There were several close calls, but neither of us was hit by the waves during our little game.

After a while, one of us got the genius idea in her head to play a game of chicken with the waves. The rules: whoever got closer to the waves before turning back screaming would be the winner. Like I said, you would be disappointed if I hadn't had this genius idea. Well, Jacob won, but we both got soaked. The proof...

Long Walks on the Beach

I meant to post more about my trip to California earlier than this, but I was too busy last week working on a wedding shower gift for Bear (to be blogged about later). But now I have some time so I thought I would show you some more pictures.

The Saturday night of my trip, Jacob & I went on a guided kayak trip. Exciting! I would love to kayak more often, but that requires storage for the kayak when it isn't in the water & a way to get it to the water. Oh, & money to buy it! Right now I don't have any of that, so I'll take any kayak time I can get it!

Our tour had three other couples in it & I felt a little odd that we were the only couple in separate kayaks. Guess we aren't so coupley. But we were the only ones who got to brag about how we did the whole 2 hour trip by ourselves. We saw some amazing homes on our tour & enjoyed reading the names of boats we passed. The tour guide took pictures while we were on the water, but I don't know if he's sent them yet, or maybe they're lost out in the internet somewhere. When/If I get those pictures, I'll remember to post them.

After kayaking, Jacob & I decided to take a little walk on the beach. Our first! Here are some pictures from that evening. (This first picture really makes me want this fabric-sandpiper from Cloud 9...if you have my name for Christmas, take note!)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Back in the saddle again

Sure, in the past month & a half, I’ve missed Jacob. And yes, I was so excited to see him at the airport, hug him, talk to him on the drive back to his apartment. But as we pulled into his spot in the parking garage, I saw her…The Mistress. And oh, how I have missed her!

We took The Mistress (a.k.a. his motorcycle) out several times during my visit. I asked him to be kind to my behind & take me on a few shorter rides so my butt could get used to riding the bike again. Nope. Saturday we took a 5 hour drive through the mountains.

I have never ridden a motorcycle on anything other than flat Kansas & Nebraska roads & highways. The mountains in California were something else! Gorgeous views, yes, but I didn’t allow myself more than a few seconds peeking at a time. There are no guardrails, people! I had never been so nervous riding on a motorcycle…white knuckles. But did I mention the views?!

Then Sunday, we decided to ride up Pacific Coast Highway. After getting through the holiday traffic around Hermosa Beach (which truly is hermosa), we looked at about 27 miles of garage doors (a.k.a. Malibu). The entire time, I couldn’t help but chant Ma-li-bu a’la Spanglish style. I digress. The view up PCH was great & the waves did not disappoint. Then we got to the mountains again.

And the white knuckles again. Jacob was a very careful driver.* Honestly. And we both shook our head at the crotch rockets that sped past us on one of our photo op breaks.

But I will let the photos speak for themselves.

*Had to add that in for the women in my family who may be reading.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Real flowers!

I flew into John Wayne Airport last Thursday & that cute guy I talk about a lot was waiting to pick me up. And he was holding these...

Real flowers! They were gorgeous & it was great to have them on the dining table throughout my time in California.

I had a great visit & was sad to leave. But I had to get back to work & to the babies. Jackson had an emergency trip to the vet the night before I left so I was anxious to check on him myself. He's fine, I made it through my first day back to work, & I'm already unpacked. So now back to counting down the days...

Friday, June 18, 2010

He sent me flowers!

My boyfriend left me. For California. In an attempt to buy my love back, he sent me flowers.

When I got home from work the other night, there was a box sitting at my front door. Inside was a special present from

Pretty pretty Liberty of London (that isn't in the form of boxers). Okay, I forgive you for now, Jacob. How could I not?!

I think someone else forgive you, too. She loved the tissue paper you sent especially for her!

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Boxes are starting to clear out of here!

The kitchen is unpacked. I can see the counter tops. And I have made my first batch of mac & cheese!

Living room furniture is where I want it to be. There are just a few boxes tucked into the corner. I'll ignore them for a while longer.
Bedroom 1 is still pretty messy. Thank goodness for a huge closet so I can stuff everything in there & close the doors for a while until I'm ready to tackle it.

Bedroom 2 belongs to the cats right now. Jacob's furniture is still at his place & will stay there until I have a truck & the muscles to move it.

Bathroom is small. Not much I can do to put anything away in there! I'm thinking about getting one of those bathroom shelving units, but so far I have done a great job of not buying things specifically for the apartment. I want to wait until things are all put away. Then I can think about it...
As a reward for all my hard work, I bought myself some flowers last night!

The cats haven't even messed with them yet! They are calming down a bit. But I think Jackson is trying to take dominance of the household from Seaton. There have been quite a few skirmishes between the two & Jackson seems to be coming out on top!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Where have I been?

Oh, life is fun. It has been so ridiculous the past several weeks. Birthdays. Jacob coming & going & coming & going again & trying to sneak some quality time in with him here & there.

Finally visiting the Konza barn & bison herds with Jacob & visiting family.

Packing boxes & moving boxes & unpacking boxes. Not sleeping. Working.

Not only have I not been able to sew lately, I don't even know where most of my sewing projects are! Eventually I will get back to all that fabric I bought for my birthday. I have some great projects planned!

Luckily, I had some great help from some great family & friends. Whether visiting, helping me move, or letting me stay for the weekend, you all have been great!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

These are from Jacob's front yard! I had these on my desk at work all week and brought them with me to AC for the weekend. I love peonies. Momo has several bushes in her garden that are from the house where my mom was born. I hope that eventually I will have my own house and can grow peonies myself...continue the tradition and what not.

Happy Mother's Day!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Here's my quilt

It was a gorgeous day today & I decided to take advantage of that by going to the Konza. Since I finished my quilt last night Jacob lugged my backpack with the quilt in it so I could snap a few 'finished' pictures.

My quilt:

The obligatory folded quilt picture:

My wonderful helper:

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Happy May Day

I finally finished my Good Folks quilt! My fingertips may be throbbing, but I finished hand stitching the binding today. Not surprisingly, the cats have spent more quality napping time with it than I have. When I got it back from the quilter and it was in the plastic bag, guess where the favorite sleep spot was. While I was hand stitching the binding, the quilt bunched at my feet was the primo location in the apartment. Now that the quilt is done and laying across the back of my sofa...

I was so busy sewing all day that I didn't get to buy any May Day flowers. The holiday was kind of a big deal when I was younger. I loved ringing the doorbells of family friends, leaving flowers, and running like hell. I'm disappointed that I don't have any flowers for May Day, but it will go on tomorrow's To Do List. And how can I be too terribly disappointed when I just finally finished my quilt?!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Two babies that made my weekend

This weekend Jacob and I went to visit his friends Austin and Katie and their little girl Mackenzie. Austin is one of Jacob's best friends and we don't see them nearly often enough. The weekend was amazing...for so many reasons:

1) Katie is a great hostess...lots of yummy food, good movies, a bed with a beautiful quilt on it, and great company. Plus, she has a great name!

2) This little girl. Something about this little girl has me hooked on her...maybe the fact that she actually likes me! Or those big blue eyes. Or how she kicks happily when you toss her in the air. Or that I could make her smile just by smacking my lips. Or that she meows. Or that she says an adorable "uh-uh" instead of "uh oh." Or that she stuck her quilt in her mouth right after we gave it to her. I was so glad Mackenzie and her parents loved the quilt. They just moved to a new house and the walls in Mackenzie's room are a light yellow...the quilt is a perfect match!

3) Austin. It's great getting to know another one of Jacob's great friends. He may give me crap for being a vegetarian, but thankfully he can take it as well as he can dish it.

4) Driving through northeastern Kansas. Jacob and I took back roads to get to MO and I am so glad we did. It rained the last few days of last week, making everything incredibly green. The hills and fields were gorgeous and made the trip seem so much shorter.

5) We took a "scenic detour" through St. Jo Friday night. Jacob is a little directionally challenged, but thanks to my navigation skills (and Blackberry) we not only made it to our destination safely, but we also saw the turnoff for Jesse James' home, numerous other museums, and enough bars that you could go to a new one every night for several months!

6) Garage sale shopping. Katie, her friend, and I headed out early Saturday morning for some city-wide garage sale shopping. The first several homes were decent enough. At the first house we accomplished our group's goal (finding a dresser for Katie's friend). After that we just wandered about. I got a free box of National Geographics from the 90's (there was an issue about cheetahs ok), another book, and a bedside lamp (that I hope works). We found gold later. A 1952 Singer 15-91, complete with desk, instruction book, and sewing attachments. While my Singer is working perfectly well, there has been something about the old Singers that has called to me. Of course, this guy had to come home with me. Thank you, Jacob for my wonderful b-day present! I was able to test drive her before bringing her home and the only issue seems to be a few skipped stitches (which I think can be fixed by changing the needle). Since getting home, I haven't yet been able to play much with her, but I have organized the desk drawers and drooled over the wooden spools of thread that I inherited. I can't wait to get familiar with her and see where her strengths and weaknesses are compared to my other Singer (which of course I will be keeping and using as well).

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Baby Craze

The Craze is beginning in my circle of friends. You know, that Craze that starts after you and your girl friends graduate from college and start your adult lives. While it can sneak up on you, it's actually quite easy to spot the first signs of the Craze. You're walking down the street eating ice cream and visiting when all of a sudden your friend stops mid sentence and a big smile creeps over her a baby stroller rolls past the two of you. Then this friend tells you that she and her husband have started planning. The next thing you know, you're sitting at a baby shower trying to guess which melted candy bar is in the diaper (I swear I saw it in a movie...Lindsay, don't do that to us, please).

I haven't ever been a big baby me a kitten and you have my heart...but I never was the girl who would throw herself at strangers to oogle over their baby. I never was the high school girl walking around the basketball games with a new acquaintance's baby on my hip. Because of this, I've worried about how my friendships would change as my girls began to have children. Of course I would love the babies, but how much pastel and cutesy would I be able to stand? I think I have figured out how to survive the Craze and the inevitable offspring: baby blankets!

As I explore more of quilting's blog world I see so many adorable fabrics for baby things. Like these, and these, and definitely these.

Jacob's good friends have an adorable little girl who will be a year old this summer. Because they are so important to him (and because I loved the little birdy fabric) I decided to make my first baby blanket for their daughter. The patterned fabric is actually PB Kids fitted crib sheets and the solids are Amy Butler. The backing is a light yellow minky. I wanted a dotted minky, but you can't always get what you want, right? Seeing as I just got my sewing machine back from the doctor's (a.k.a. Momo's), I was nervous about working with the minky. But I followed this tutorial and the blanket came out looking great! Next weekend we're going to visit Jacob's friends and I can't wait to give them this:

With my first baby blanket under my belt, I feel really comfortable working with the minky. So, note to friends: I love playing with this fabric. So have babies so I have an excuse to keep it up! :)

Outside my window

My cats are lucky. They have two huge sliding glass doors to look out all day. Outside those doors are trees. Trees that are growing new leaves. Trees that birds love. Birds like that one. Birds that sing. A lot.

Normal cats would be glued to those doors, watching the birds in the trees. But did you know that my cats are not normal cats? Instead of twitching their tails and cackling at the birds, my cats sleep or watch my computer screen or play in the fabric I'm trying to cut or sleep.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Red Poppies - Flower Factory

I ordered this k-nick-k-nack last week from this Etsy shop & it was delivered to me on Friday. And thank goodness, I needed a little something pretty to make me smile this week. I think I'll keep it on my desk at work as my little reminder of happy things...

See Kate Pin. Pin Kate Pin.

First of all, the big news: the Singer is working again! I don't know what was wrong with it & so long as it doesn't happen again, I don't care what was wrong. I'm just glad to have him back.
I spent today with Mom, Momo, & Papa working my tail off to finish Kasie's bag. What a great way to spend a Saturday!

Momo taught me a valuable lesson today: the importance of pinning. I'm not a pinner when I sew. Yeah, I've read about the importance of it, but I'm just too lazy to do it I guess. I began working & was able to get almost the entire bag done without any problems. When it came time to close the top of the bag (stitch the top inside & outside layers together) the fabric started to bunch up a little on me. Thankfully, I had my talented Momo there to help me. With the help of some skillful pinning, we were able to complete the bag with no evidence of bunching!

Kasie's bag was the best bag I've put together yet & it's great to see how I'm improving!

I Make a Difference

Two weeks has come and gone since this post. The mole looks 100% normal. So any hypochondriac worries I had are gone now!

On another medical note, I gave blood yesterday. I don't have the best record with giving blood. The first time I donated, I was a senior in high school. My appointment was at the end of the school day & because of that, I missed my physics class. I remember trying to talk with my physics teacher while we walked against the current of students rushing to get out of the building at 3 o'clock. He was talking about what I had missed in class that day when everything started to go black & his words fell on deaf ears. Luckily I didn't completely pass out, but it was a memorable first donation.

Another time, Kasie & I donated while in college. After an uneventful donation, I sat at the table to drink my juice & eat my donut. I started to feel light-headed & told Kasie I was going to go lay down again. I remember standing up & grabbing for my purse. The next thing I knew, everything was dark & I was clutching my purse strap. Then I heard Kasie's laughter & then my own. Apparently I didn't make it a step from my chair before collapsing.

But I have continued donating & am getting better. Yesterday, the vampire got the needle to sucking on the side of my vein. That made things a little difficult but...I make a difference.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010



Jackson typed that. All by himself. He's pretty talented, you know.

And a natural entertainer...fetching, splashing in his water bowl, jumping at me when I'm trying to decide what to wear in the morning, hitting Jacob on the head with an iron, attacking the drip coming out of the faucet, and the scarce (but cherished) cuddling with me.

My baby is turning 3 soon. He was definitely a 'surprise,' but I really don't know what life would be like without this parking lot sweetheart.

Happy Birthday, Jackson!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Anything worth doing... worth doing badly.

I am well aware of the fact that where I should have a green thumb, I have brown...two in fact, on one hand.

Momo has always had gardens full of flowers and vegetables. Mom had flower beds full of mums & day lilies & daisies. Jackie & Lindsay studied all kinds of trees & shrubs & flowers in college. Kasie & Laura teach them to high school kids. I should be guilty by association, but I'm not.

I loved walking through the rows of poppies at Momo's & picking weeds. When Mom needed help in the flower beds I jumped to help...until one day I found a foot-long worm & ran into the house screaming. That's where I think the disconnect is: I love to look at beautiful gardens & hope to have one some day, but I'm not the best at maintenance.

That doesn't keep me from trying though. Bromeliads, pansies, orchids, wildflowers, pothos, diffembacchia, spider plants, corn plants, & my beloved jades. I've had a few successes, some minor successes, but mostly failures.

But each spring the colors and textures draw me back in. Yesterday it was a Miss Kim lilac bush & yellow dahlia tubers. Wish me luck!