Friday, December 28, 2007

On to better things!

Christmas is over! Whew! It was a great one here, but I am glad to move on as the title implies. I haven't taken the tree down yet, but more out of laziness than wanting it up. The kids, pets and family members all had a wonderful couple of days. We cooked like crazy, baked a ton of goodies and of course there were presents...lots of them. I got totally spoiled! In fact, too many things to mention. Two unusual gifts that I got that I am just crazy about are an Aerogarden that grows a garden on your kitchen counter and a cricut that is a cutting system for scrapbooking, cards and that kind of stuff. I planted my Aerogarden on Christmas day and the two basil plants sprouted today. Exciting stuff! For me anyway...Andrew was just wild about his big boy bike from Santa Claus.....He has been on it nonstop. He even tried to put it in the bathtub with him. I have been busy working on a quilt for my sister...The one who likes fairies...Well, I finished the top today. I used a "nine patch pizazz pattern and altered it a bit. The fabric is really pretty with a great feel to it. I am going to quilt it and mail it off to her this week. First I have to quilt the "one block wonder" quilt...We are having a show of them at the fabric store in January...It has been our most popular class and a lot of them have been made. I am going to call mine "over the wonder"...mainly cause I am personally sick of looking at it! haha....It is the most work I have ever put into a quilt. I posted it when it was on a design wall totally unfinished and that is about it. I will post it in all it's wondrous glory before I take it into be hung. We are having an "itty bitty" swap on my fabric atc group....I am not sure if the name was made up by someone on our group or elsewhere. What they are is a 3x3 fabric collage. People ask for a theme and everyone in the swap makes them two in their color and theme an then they are all displayed together. Mine are called "Rabbit, Moon" and " nesting.....just little bits of fabricy stuff with a little paper.....I have a lot of things due by the end of the month, but there is nothing unusual about that. I went to a quilt store today with a friend and made a conscious effort not to by stuff for more projects. I ended up with a book and stuff to make another purse and a quilt pattern. I am hopeless I guess......

Monday, December 17, 2007

Time with the kids.....

It has been a fun and crazy few days....We are officially on the countdown to Christmas now. Santa Claus is mentioned daily at this point (sometimes as a threat...) even by the two year old. We are making presents and doing holiday type things and reading Christmas stories and singing Christmas songs. This for me, is the fun part of Christmas if you don't get all stressed out about it. (and I haven't...) I did some serious Christmas cleaning the other day and it was cold out but nice, so I left the big sliding door open and Andrew played on the deck with Cooper and Thomas for two hours. He is so good about playing right in front of the door where I can see him and he can keep an eye on me. I got the cutest picture of him riding his worm. He is built like such a bruiser, but he really is just a little guy. I wish I could keep him right at this age for longer. I think he is the sweetest little guy ever......Yesterday I took them to a big Christmas light show in Stanwood Washington. It started at 5:30 pm and was worth the drive! We saw Santa Claus and Liv rode a pony and they both went in a petting zoo....Andrew still is very wary of Santa but he wants that bike so in the picture it is the three of us. He just couldn't do Santa alone yet. We were so bundled up, we could hardly move and good thing too! It was really cold and wet. We got home really late and woke up really tired. Today I made gummy candy shish kebobs for stockings and some angel/ shell ornaments. The heads are wooden beads...Pretty easy to make. Then after a nap, I went to Livs school and her first grade class made candy houses. She calls them bringerbread houses.....I love when they mix up is so cute and they grow out of it too fast. This was a great project. They made a base out of the kids milk cartons and then covered them in white paper and masking tape and then using white frosting as the glue, you adhere 5 graham crackers, cover that with frosting, then decorate with candy. She is thrilled with it and even though it is home now, the house is still intact. (because it is out of reach at her request) She is hoping it will stay that way until grandpa gets here to see it!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The twelfth day of Christmas!

On Tuesday night I just went crazy sewing...I guess I was in the right mood and nice and relaxed because I got a ton of stuff done...I finished a purse for my sister Julie, another hanging atc ornament, finished three more stockings, I made a tablecloth out of this really soft flannel with red barns and deer and snow and a border of an old fashioned red with holly and I finished piecing a quilt! WOOHOO! If I could do that all that time. wow! I love the purse and I think my sis will too...I had never used bamboo handles before and made up a way to tie them on. What the correct way is, I am not sure but the colors of the bag are so bright and cheerful, that I think the knotted ties go with it. The quilt I started last Thursday at work. It is a wall hanging from the book "Cool girls quilt" and I thought it was so cheerful and we have these great new autumn fabrics so I decided to give it a whirl. It is really unusual because the blocks around the appliqued flowers have a sewn pleat of fabric down the center....It gives it a really cool 3d look. I haven't done applique in a while and I was kind of rusty but the more I did, the easier it got. I am going to quilt and bind it tomorrow. I might piece the back out of the leftover fabric too. I haven't decided for sure yet though. I got three different magazines this week...all my faves...Quilting arts, Cloth , paper, scissors and the Sew Somerset issue. I have been poring over them, getting inspired to try some new things. I have decide that I am going to submit a couple of things to Sew Somerset. After all, it is what I love to do! the deadline is the last day of January, so we will see....I would love to be a part of it though. In January I am taking a garment fundamentals sewing class and I am going to make another fur jacket...the right way! This is going to be really scary for me because I am used to making things work and not always in the right way. I am still scarred for life by my Home Ec sewing class when I was fourteen....Speaking of making it work! Project Runway tonight! Oh yeah, and I was brave and ventured out among the hoards to a Seattle area mall to shop. It was crazy and hot and I am almost done! I took Andrew the two year old troll with me and he was a darling little angel. Santa Claus waved at him and he about had a heart attack. He was thrilled until we got too close and then he was just terrified..Oh the fickelness of two year olds. He still managed to holler across the distance at Santa that he wants a bike he clutched my pant leg. We are going to do our Christmas baking here soon. The kids, big and little all know that I do it every year so they are all excited about "helping". I am not sure if I am excited by that or not but I am sure it will be fun. Messy but fun. I usually get out of control and make way too much and many things but it is only once a year so what the hey......and they all manage to get eaten and I give away a lot. yummmmmmmm...

Friday, December 7, 2007

I hate sewing fake fur!!!!!!

Stacie wanted a fake fur coat for Christmas so I decided to jump on this one, Miss talented sewer that I am! Wrong! This was a giant pain in my bazooka I am telling you! I knew it stretched, but I did not know that it GROWS and turns into the big brown fur blob...I also cut the sleeves off too short which resulted in the different colored fur cuffs but I think that was a happy accident. I would say I am furred' out, but now Olivia wants one. The good news is, I learned a lot from my mistakes and the next one will probably have a whole new set of mistakes...Things are pretty quiet around here...Mainly because Daniel, my eight year old grandson has had a sore throat! Haha! I asked him how he was today and he said " a little good." Why a little good? Well, cause it's better than saying a lot bad..Mr optimism himself. I am also posting a picture of a couple of ornament Atc's for a swap on one of my groups...I think they look like little shopping bags. Well, guess that is all from Melinda's house of chaos tonight! HO_HO_HO!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Getting ready for Christmas!

Thanksgiving is done and I am tired of turkey and pumpkins so now the time has come to focus on Christmas. I like Christmas better anyway! The kids are getting all excited and letting me know what they would like to see under the tree. Andrew is the only one who really doesn't care. I have been making gifts and stockings. A few years ago, I made stockings for pretty much everyone I could think of. I have the best pattern in the world....they take about fifteen minutes to cut out and stitch and they are fun to embellish too...A lady a few years ago showed me how and it was just a word of mouth thing. If anyone would like directions, just email me and I will be happy to share it with you. The kids no longer have their stockings so I am doing a major stocking replacement project. I try to make them in fabrics that the kids can relate to and I like to mix patterns, but they would be beautiful in velvets or satins or something fancier. I also finished a big lap quilt for one of my friends. I made it to go with her bedroom...she has a beautiful satin duvet cover in a gold tone so I picked fabrics based on that. I also made two big pillowcases to match. I am happy with how it turned out. I used a "nine patch pizazz" pattern. I bought the book and it is pretty cool.....It sure makes up an easy quilt. I am using it to make a "fairy " quilt for my sister too...I also have a purse almost done, a fleece/ fur jacket and two quilts ready to quilt. We will see what I get done before Christmas...I have not done any shopping yet and actually, I am not all that excited about it. I like buying the gifts and giving them but figuring out what to get is a little overwhelming right now. I have turned into a hermit and hate leaving the island to go into Seattle.....(want a little cheese with that whine?) I know, I know.....there are worse things than traffic and hordes of people pushing and shoving and way to warm stores....I am resolving to post more on my blog...I really do like to talk to myself you know...We will see if I can manage it. Well, off to my sewing room and my favorite tv show tonight! Project runway!!!! I love this guy named Ricki that cries over everything.....I don't think I have seen him dry eyed yet! It is hysterical....

Monday, November 12, 2007

busy week........

I have been busy around here this week! Besides working at the fabric store, I have been getting ready for Thanksgiving and have started on some handmade Christmas gifts. Last year I made my brothers and sisters gifts and I think I am going to do the same this year. So many people sympathize as far as me having the little kids to take care of and I have to say, I really have grown to love having them here. Once the initial adjustment happened, it just gets better and better. They make me laugh and they fill up my heart. I am amazed by something they do or say every single day! Yes, my house gets ripped up and I gotta do ten tons of laundry but my life is richer because of them. Now the teenage years? Lets just hope that their mom and dad have it together by then because I would not look forward to doing that again! As far as creativity goes, as usual I am working on several things. I am trying to finish up some quilts, making a new purse for me out of some really funky and bright fabrics and I made a new Christmas quilt and pillowcases for my bestest friend in Portland. She has asked me for the last two years, and I finally got it together and got busy. I am going to quilt it tomorrow and then I will take a picture. I also finished the top to my "One block wonder" and man, it is a wonder it is done. It is the most work in a big quilt that I have done but sooooo pretty. I don't really have a purpose for it...Seems like it was too much work to give away though. I may just have to admire it for a while and then pass it on. I finished the last of my "Color me silly" groups altered journals. This was for Heather Holst and her theme is the forest. I loved working in it because I always loved the woods. My sister and I had the ocean and beach in front of us and the woods behind us and we would play for hours in our secret place in the woods. We even got chased by a bear one time but our dog saved us...but that is a whole "nother story.....Heather's book is now all done and tomorrow will be on its way home...Mine is still lost in Canadian customs somewhere. I am thinking it is like a time could be a month, a year, a hundred years but eventually I am sure it will show up! I have faith....really. In the meantime my lovely group members are all sending me 8x8 spreads on friendship. We as a group are also doing another round robin altered journal go round. I am going to do a book on altered family recipes. It should be fun....The pictures I am posting are of the forest layout, and Andrew and Cooper hanging out...Note Andrews socks...I think he is sooo adorable with his little mismatched feet up in the air and the last photo is Olivia and Andrew eating Halloween suckers on the kitchen floor....I also have to share that I am sooooo excited for this Wednesday night and the PREMIERE of PROJECT RUNWAY as I am a die hard fan and I hope there is tons of drama and fights and beautiful clothes! If you havent seen it, it is on it, it is some rockin tv!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Are you scared yet? Halloween was a big success here at our house! The kids went to a harvest party and played games and ate and watched a puppet show and did a little Trick or Treating too...The three of them have a pumpkin full of goodies and lots of stories to tell about their great time...I planned to do some sewing today, and did none...I did finish another art doll yesterday for a "funky doll swap". Her name is Madame Zella....I am getting dolled out as it really is not my thing but I only have two more left to do and then I think I will leave the dollmaking world behind. Happy Halloween everyone!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Back to the 70's...

Yes it is a tie dyed quilt! I named it raspberry float and this is the one I have been yammering on about....The way this quilt came about? well, someone at the store ordered all these hand dyed panels called "solo" panels from timeless treasures... Probably because as I have mentioned before, we have a hippy turned fifty and up population here. These panels have sat on the counter because jeez...what do you do with the things....Now we know and hopefully there will be a mad rush to buy them..ya never know! I remember the days when the cat and dog were right there when I was working on a quilt to "help". Usually by lying in the middle of it. Now it is my little boobutt. He thinks it is a great peekaboo quilt for a little troll. So here it is, the quilt from the seventies, rockin the house....

Monday, October 29, 2007

Where does time go?

It is supposed to "Fly, when you are having fun" but I am not sure that I have been having fun at all! What I have been doing, as usual is running around like a chicken with it's head cut off....Which when you think about it, is a really gross expression....In the last two weeks I have had two really sucky migraines...I hate the darn things! Not only because of the pain, but because I am bedridden and I lay and think of all the things I would rather be doing. I know they are stress related...(stress? not in my life!) but what do you do about that! Besides throw everyone out in the cold, mean streets and move to the Bahamas with no forwarding address? I threw an all out temper tantrum two days ago and demanded that I get my sewing time or ELSE! Days are just zooming by and it gets harder and harder to squeeze things in. My main problem is I am crazy about having my house be clean. I mean "eat off the floor clean" and I want it to smell pretty...ALL the FREAking time! I spend most of my time picking up and I have to either let it go to some extent or get rid of the the kids are going....just kidding! really! but it drives me bananas! The moral of this story is I either clean or sew, I don't think I can do both, it is too time consuming. I also am the taxi now too...something I have already done once in my life....The kids sure are cute little buggers though. Andrew just had his second birthday and he was adorable! We are getting ready for Halloween now. We got costumes a few days ago and we are going to carve our pumpkins from the garden tomorrow night. Expect pictures!!!! Liv has her Halloween party at school and I am helping. She is pretty excited about that. On the creative front, it has been hard. I got it into my head to do a massive interior and exterior fall cleaning and paint the entry way and hallway.....which I did. I also made more curtains and some place mats and that is about all I got to....I finally went down two nights ago and got caught up on post cards that I owe and some atc's that are going in the mail tomorrow. The Jack' postcard is for the "something with J" series for Arts in the Mail and the Halloween ones are going all overseas to some ladies from the same group. Tonight I also quilted the raspberry quilt I talked about a while ago and I will finish the binding tomorrow. It is a wild tie die thing....Whidbey Island actually had a hippy fest here this summer that was quite the big do....the tie dye thing would've fit right in....It is not my taste though I love the batiks in it...Especially the great colors! It is for a store sample. That's about it for tonight folks......

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I love the fall!

It is starting to feel like fall here now and I just love it. The air has this wonderful smell and I have gotten over the fact that my flowers are all dying. We took the kids to the pumpkin patch today and it was so beautiful out! We went to a place called the "M Bar Ranch"...they had an old fashioned ghost town all set up with a jail and saloon and stuff...It is in a really awesome location. I have a friend that volunteers there in the summer at a camp for the mentally disabled kids. She helps them with the horseback riding. They do the pumpkin patch thing to help raise money for the camps which is a great cause. I took pictures that I will post later. In June, before I even had any kids here, I planted one pumpkin plant in my front garden, just for the heck of it. Now I have exactly three pumpkins....Cracks me up. One for each of the kids. They are still growing and I am going to leave them on the vine until right before Halloween then the kids can go pluck them. I had everyone cracking up at work the other day and I thought I would share a quick little true story with you....Our house is right on the Puget sound and behind the house there are woods and on the side is a holly orchard and a vineyard.....A little bit of three different worlds is how I look at it. Needless to say we are surrounded by all kinds of nature, and with nature comes nature noise.....The sea lions are in the bay because there are anchovies in schools out there and Sea lions love them....We also have Great horned owls in the woods and right now the grapes are ripe to bursting and putting out this delicious grapey smell that draws birds from all around. The farmer put up netting but they still get to the grapes. His next brilliant plan has been to play a looped tape over a loudspeaker of jungle noises and birds in distress...Now, I sleep with my window open at night and the other night this is what I heard........"ooh ooh ooh...(imagine a monkey) shriek shriekkkkkkkkkk, ARR, ARR, ARR(sea lions) (Cooper now is barking like a fool) hoo, hoo,hoo.......(Andrew is now awake and shrieking) at this point I opened the window and screamed "SHUT The @##$%$%###% up!" Did it help? no,,, but it made me feel better...It really is a jungle out there I guess...I am hoping for a quiet night tonight since there is no full moon, we will see.....Liv asked me the next morning what all the noise was...I told her all the nice animals were having a party...she asked me why if they are so nice was I screaming at answer for that one I guess. Now on to things made......I made a couple more ATC"S for my ATC group....I also made a table runner for the store as a sample and I really like it. It is kind of a small one so I bought fabric for me and I am going to make four of them and use them for long place mats over these suede leaf place mats that I have. I think after cutting the fabric, it probably only took me forty minutes to make...The fabric is soooo pretty, I have been admiring it since it came in. I might makes some pillow covers for the living room too. I always have big plans, I guess.....I also have been working on completing a couple of big quilts that I will post when they are through. And a picture of the jacket......Now, keep in mind that this was for an embellished fashion show of clothing so it fit right in......It has six different fabrics in it and assorted beads and trims....Pretty wild. Too much stuff for me, but I had fun making it.This is on a dressmakers dummy at work.......Back to the jungle for now I guess!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Ok, I have been bad about blogging again!

I still have been creating all kinds of cool stuff though! I also managed to paint my kitchen a nice sunny, buttery yellow and I made some retro curtains and hung an old wooden ladder over my antique table to dry my lavender and hydrangeas on.....I have to say, it turned out awesome looking...Looks like an old farmhouse kitchen which was kind of my idea. I have been scouring the local antique stores for red handled rolling pins and have found four so far so I have those hanging on the walls too and I like it a lot...Now all I need is a redone gas pump...Why do I want one? I don't know, I just do...and a coke cooler....ya never know, it could happen...

The fashion show that I have been talking about happened last Saturday...It was a whole lot of fun and we made a lot of money for hospice. I got a lot of requests to make things and some commissions out of it so that was cool....I did get my jacket done and it turned out good....I will maybe take a pic of it tomorrow...It was quite the embellished outfit. Nothing I will ever wear but it was perfect for the show. I actually have some one that wants to buy it and the vest too, so that is a great thing. I don't ever want to sew something with a lining again though...All that slippery stuff sliding all over the place! It is just more work than I want to do. I did buy some beautiful hand dyed silk and a pattern to make the coolest in the world three way wrap. We will see if I ever get to it!

I have been making some atc's the last few days trying to get things rolling again on one of my groups....They are all fabric with stuff on them and the theme is fabric with a bit of orange.....I also am working on a quilt with a "solo" panel...It is very 60's looking and has a beautiful raspberry batik as a base. I am going to call it "raspberry float." Also am showing a picture of my latest spread in the "color me silly" group altered journal round robin....Rachelle's theme is "pleasure" and yes I had some naughty ideas but I was good and did a layout on sewing and how it gives me pleasure.....I just have one more book to do then hopefully, I will get mine back full of gorgeous art! Currently, it is still lost somewhere in the Canadian wilds, but one can hope, right? Now back to the first season of Carnivale on dvd......Very strange so far, but I have been sucked in......

Sunday, September 23, 2007

kitty quilt done!

And shown complete with a little troll on it! The troll is Andrew, enjoying his sisters new quilt. She is in bed and he is not, the stinker. He has gotten in the habit of staying up with me until I go to bed. I do have to say that it is earlier than it used to be! He wears me out! I went in and wrapped this around Olivia...She will get to wake up to her new kitty quilt. She has been so anxious for it to be done, I know she will be thrilled. I am also posting a picture of my "ocean jewels" spread in the altered book I did the other night and a quilted handbag that I made tonight using Christmas fabrics....It is going to be a store sample for a while. It was funny, because the directions said to bind the seams and I had no clue that you could even bind seams....the edge of a quilt, yes but a seam? I had to refer to my singer sewing basics book and by gosh, you can bind a seam. I am learning new things all the time. I have the cold? flu crud courtesy of Andrew and was in bed all day....I am surprised I got anything done at all! I finished the binding on the quilt while I was talking on the phone to Sanna.....I am turning into a multitasker I guess. It is that, or get nothing done at all!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

altered pages for other peoples books...

I worked all night on a layout for one of my "Color me silly" members...It is for Else and her theme is the ocean. There are twelve us all together and we have decided to do a round two after we are finished. I only have two more books to work in, and then my part is done. I know that I have grown incredibly doing this. i had never done an altered book before, so the intimidation factor was huge! I also started doing different things and using different mediums. I am most comfortable with fabric and thread but I actually ventured more into drawing and paint. I have really had fun with this project and of course, i cant wait to get my book back and see all the pretty pages! I also have to figure out a way to assemble it, but more on that later....These books are fantabulous....It seems like they just get better and better which is hard to imagine even being possible! I finished the Ocean' spread but was too lazy to take a picture! Can you believe it? The only reason I am on here now, is because I cant sleep...Anyway, my book is currently lost in Canadian customs somewhere so hopefully, it will turn up soon...I am posting the very first altered book layout I did in Penny's horse themed book....I like it a lot, and it brings back good memories for me....My dad, mom, sister and I went to Portland one weekend when I was a kid and we went to an old theater and saw "National Velvet" first we complained about seeing and "old movie" and of course, once we saw it, we both wanted a horse and to be jockeys......I Loved this movie!!!!I used to dream about having my own horse....and no the plastic horses for my barbies did not count darn it!

Angela tagged me for a spell out your name thing...I have never been tagged before so I am willing to try....

M is for I feel in the mornings lately with all these kids running around....

E is for exhausted...again with all the kids running around! haha...

L is for love...I am such a romantic at heart though if you knew me you probably wouldn't guess this..I keep it hidden

I is for intelligence which I try to show by mostly keeping my mouth closed..

N is for naps which I dearly love and treasure

D is for know to this day, I have trouble turning down a dare...I know I shouldn't say this cause someone will dare me something stupid and I will feel compelled to do it...I am going to change it to drama queen which I sadly admit I am......

A is for achievement....i love getting things done and achieving my goals...especially since it happens so seldom despite my best intentions......

Ta..da.......I now tag Miss Marva and Miss Judy Spencer. we want to know all about you two!

Monday, September 17, 2007

but can she make clothes?

I guess she can! In a truly generous act of kindness I used some fabric picked out by my ex boyfriend of two years, two years ago and decided to finally make the shirt that he asked me to make..Why? I don't was just bugging me all this time yet I couldn't throw it away. It turned out pretty good, but I would still rather make a quilt. I am going to mail it to him I think. Since he plays the guitar I know he will like it...I got it out when I made the postcard and realized I need to either sew it up and be done or throw it out.....maybe this is some kind of closure issue thing! Who knows.....(any therapists out there)

the postcard is for my Arts in the Mail group..."something starting with I'...I had fun just playing and doodling with my sewing machine. Some may not like that not every word is spelled out but I like there....random words appeal to me I guess...Last of all I drew this little baby on watercolor paper and I didnt like it so I gave it to Olivia to play with and she did the watercolor wash of pink and blue...I looked over and am like, "give it back, I really like that!!!!" and I really do...maybe I will give her all my duds to alter!