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!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Sal's Back!

The temperature got up to 88 this week.

Can you guess what that means?

Sal is out of hibernation & I am one happy girl!