Archive for the ‘Crafts’ Category

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All around update

June 11, 2009

By my quick estimation, it’s been 3 weeks or so since I posted about Lily finding a home with us. She’ll be living next door, though we are dog sitting right now. She’s always going to be “my” dog, but she’ll much better off next door. However, she quickly wrapped most of us around her paw, and she’s been spoiled rotten.

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I am about to finish my first year as a teacher, and I couldn’t be more pleased with how things turned out. It’s been a long, hard year (complicated by the cross-country move, replanning and having the wedding) but it’s been very rewarding. I cannot imagine myself at another place in my life, and am surprised at how happy I thought I was before- compared to the happiness I feel now. For the first time in many years, my life feels truly complete and satisfied. I have a million plans for next year, most of which will probably never have a chance to see the light of day, but the fact that I have them and I am already excited about next year makes me happy.

In the last few weeks, our community struggled with the disappearance and eventual death of a small girl, and it’s been an interesting experience. Though I do not know the family personally, I do feel bad about the girl’s death. Don and I even went out with a large group of firefighters on a search through some heavily wooded areas and fields before her body was discovered. Right now, the police aren’t saying much, which I guess is ok. They need to do their investigation.

I was finally convinced to read the Twilight saga, and finished all 4 books in less than a month. Actually, the first took the longest to read, since I read the last 3 in the past 6 days. Yes, they were that addicting. Yes, I enjoyed them, though I did struggle through parts in each of them. I wasn’t exactly thrilled with how the final book went, and often found myself wishing it was just done already, but not because it was a page turner. There were parts where I was just ready to be done with it. I won’t give anything away, but I think the main problems in the first 3 books were much better in terms of a story. I bought the movie last week and rewatched it. I still enjoyed it, and even got Don to watch it with me. However, the Cullens will never replace Angel and Spike in my heart for my #1 vamps. Angel was just so much better at being a tortured, brooding vampire.

Don and I saw the new Star Trek, and were pleasantly surprised. We walked in expecting a C movie and walked out with an A… maybe a B+. It was GOOD. We have been and always shall be Star Trek fans (I’m a huge dork), and were pleased with the way that the movie played out. I have been itching to see that one again, as well, but will probably wait for the DVD. I am looking forward to seeing some of the summer movies (Harry Potter mostly), and am glad I will be able to take advantage of mid-week, mid-afternoon crowds and prices.

It’s been exciting to watch the Red Wings play in the playoffs. Last year, I was in Denver while they played the finals, and am glad to be back in Wingnut territory for the playoffs. Game 7 is always nervewracking, but oh-so-entertaining.

I am also looking forward to a slew of summer activities including a vacation with my family, at least one Tigers game, the DMB concert, some weddings and a few other things. I also have a dozen crafting projects that I need to get under way, as they have been sitting dormant for far too long.

The last month has been a whirlwind and I am ready for some relaxation! One more day!!!!!!!

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Spring Break

April 15, 2009

I’m very excited to be on Spring Break right now. Don and I took a trip back to the bed and breakfast where we were married and enjoyed last weekend with no cell phones or computers. We were the only guests staying at the bed and breakfast and just wanted to get away for a couple of days. We spent some time reading (though both of our books were awful), watching TV, and walking in the woods. My biggest goal was to finish hand-stitching the binding to my quilt, the final step to completion!

Mom and new baby horse

My favorite horse at the bed and breakfast


I really am a tree hugger at heart. :)

 

As for completing my quilt, I am very happy with how it turned out in the end. The border and binding really pull everything together. The batting I chose was kind of lightweight, so this doesn’t feel too heavy, but it’s very comfortable for laying on the couch.

 

 

Here’s a picture of the mitered corners. I wasn’t totally sure how to do these, but I did the best I could and they turned out ok. By the time I got to this, class was over, so I had to try and make sense of the notes I’d scribbled down a few weeks before.


It took the cat all of 15 seconds before he had to come and lay on the quilt. So much for avoiding cat hair…

As for the rest of Spring Break, I will be doingsome house work and also some lesson plans. I am hoping to get things really laid out for the next 2 months of school, so that I will have less stress the last few weeks. We’ll see. I’m also planning on spending my days watching chick flick movies that I don’t normally have the time to watch.

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Slowly, but surely….

March 25, 2009

This isn’t the best picture, but here’s what my quilt top looks like without the border on it. Since this picture was taken, I’ve added a 5 inch dark purple border. I’ve also got the quilt sandwiched together with the batting and pink backing. I am hoping to get some of the machine quilting done this weekend. Once I’ve quilted the pieces together, I need to add the binding and then I’m done! I even started to cut some squares for my next quilt, which I am very excited about so far. The first square turned out so good that I can’t wait to get the others done and together.

All in all, I am VERY pleased with how it turned out. When it’s all said and done, it will have taken me about 8 – 9 weeks to complete it.

Things at school are going pretty well thus far this trimester. I am counting down to spring break like never before, but things are still going well. (It’s only about 3 weeks until Spring Break, so it’s on the horizon at least).

 

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Quilting Update

March 7, 2009

It’s been about 6 weeks since I started by quilting class, and I have to admit, I am a little sad that my last class is next week. I have learned a lot, and have really enjoyed the 2 hours a weeks spent with my friends in class. I fell behind in class when I got sick a couple of weeks ago… I stayed in bed for about 4 straight days… so I’m not quite where I would like to be now, but I’m moving along. I’ve completed 11 of the 12 squares for my first quilt. I’ve also completed 2 others that I thought I was going to use, but decided they didn’t fit the motif, so I set them aside. And, I spent one afternoon ripping apart blocks that had mistakes in them, and fixing them. Those things probably didn’t help me to stay on track with the rest of the class.

However, here are some pictures of my completed blocks. I will be using a bright pink for the sashing between the blocks, which you can see in some of the pictures.
 
The first block I completed

 
A variation of the same star pattern

 
Another variation of the same star… but much more complicated! I love this block, now that I’ve finally figured it all out.

 
A variation of the Friendship Star block

 
Another Friendship Star variation. The original Friendship Star is quite plain, so I liked the variations I found.

 
One of the geometric patterns I tried. I think this one will be awesome without the sashing between blocks, and just the lines connecting together. This is one pattern I’m going to do again for sure.

 
Probably my best block yet- because the lines all matched up the way they were supposed to.

I still have a couple of other ones I need to upload- the Farmer’s Daughter, Summer Winds, Friendship Star (the boring original!), and the Ohio Star I’m still working on. I’ll try and get pictures uploaded soon!

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Update…

February 9, 2009

Don and I went to watch an Iron Maiden tribute band on Friday night in Taylor. First, being in the bar made me realize how much I missed the no-smoking-in-public law in Colorado. Second, the band was good and we had time. And lastly, the belligerent, middle-aged man that totally took a face dive while getting way out of control with his air guitar made the night totally worth it. Yeah, I feel bad laughing because he really got hurt pretty bad, but he was so wasted I don’t think he even knew how bad he was hurt. He fell face first, leaving a face smear on the floor, and hitting his head on the PA system in the front of the stage. When he sat up, his nose started gushing blood- I am certain it was broken. He also broke his glasses and had a giant gash on his forehead.

Quilting class is going pretty well. I finished 3 blocks over the weekend to take to class tomorrow. I attempted a block out of a book that didn’t have any measurements and I did the best I could to figure it all out… and am pretty sure I didn’t do the math right. Oh well, it’s just one square that didn’t work out. I’m taking the book in and going to have my teacher help me determine the right measurements for other blocks I want to make.

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Quilting class

January 28, 2009

Kim and I decided to take a quilting class together through community education. We had our first class last night, and we are both excited about it so far. Our teacher gave each of us a small collection of fabric to get us started. It’s expensive fabric. Each bundle came as several fat quarters in the same coordinating collection.

Our homework for next week is to purchase more fabric to go with the fat quarters, and decide what sort of quilt blocks we want to work on. Yesterday we went through star blocks and next week we’ll do some historical patterns from the Underground Railroad and Civil War. We are also going to learn applique, too. I”m not sure what kind of quilt I want to do. There are a couple of star patterns that I’ve always wanted to try, so I think I’ll do that. I also have to decide if I want to make all of the blocks the same, or make a sampler.

Here are a couple of squares I’m thinking about doing:

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‘Tis the season… for planting

May 26, 2008

While helping unload flats of annuals at work, I have been picking out plants that I would want to plant in my pots on the deck. However, most of the plants that I picked out aren’t exactly cheap- which figures. Last year, I got free leftovers from work, any annuals that were leftover after plantings were fair game. I managed to mix together shade and sun plants and killed half of them. So, this year, I settled on something simple… pink petunias, green sweet potato vine and alyssum. I spent some time this afternoon planting away.


Last year’s pots, ready to be pulled out!


My plants!


Finished pots! The picture didn’t turn out too good because it was so sunny outside, it burned out the colors a little bit, but that’s ok. The sweet potato vine and the alyssum are both trailers, so they should grow down over the pots. And I’m hoping the petunias get a little taller, which I’m sure they will. When the plants start to grow, it should all fill out.


I really liked the way the hot pink looks with the lime green… some of our clients have them in their yards, and I like those colors together.


I also planted a small strawberry plant. I hope it does well. I love strawberries but I never eat the whole thing from the store before they go bad. Maybe this way I can just get a couple at a time. I’ve never grown anything like this before, so we’ll see how it goes.


Last but not least- my basil! I loved having fresh basil last year (that was one of the free plants from work last year!) I only bought one because last year I had 3 or 4 and we never used it enough to need that much. But, it was awesome having it anyways. One of our garden gnomes will watch over it for me!

Before the planting experience today, we went to see the new Indiana Jones movie. I really liked it. I love Indy! There were a couple of parts that I wasn’t crazy about, but overall, I enjoyed it. I also baked some cakes so that I am going to make a practice cake for Justin’s cake tomorrow. I still have one more 14″ cake to bake tomorrow before I put it all together. I made everything the same as the final cake will be so I know what to expect when I make the cake. Only about 3 weeks until I make it for real!

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