Thursday, February 19, 2015

ABC Sampler

This feels like cheating since I finished this project over two years ago. I gave it to my mom and she was nice enough to frame it for me. and save it until the right time. We went to visit and she gave it to me to add to Sprout's room. It's a bit "girly" if Sprout is a boy, but I figure I will be the only one to remember what the room looked like at the beginning anyways. I'll be the one who is awake in the room the most. Also, when I was little my mom had a painting in my room of a mother holding a naked baby and you could see the baby's chubby butt.  I think it was a Mary Cassatt painting, but I am not totally sure. I distinctly remember finally being old enough to say "hey, I don't want a picture of a baby's butt in my room anymore." Wouldn't want to deny the child that experience in exerting his or her opinion about room decor.

It's a kit I bought, that is now only the pattern from Posy Gets Cozy. I really like how the frame turned out. My only wish is that I had added the year next to my initials. People keep asking if the baby's room will have a "theme." Not so much, unless "things I think are cool" is a theme.


Monday, February 16, 2015

Log Cabin Quilt

I cannot remember who had the idea for us to sew a quilt together me or Charlie. In September after pinning a lot of patterns we decided to go with a Log Cabin pattern and Charlie helped me do the math and pick out the fabric we both liked. I sewed 29 blocks and he sewed one. Then I realized around block 34 that there wasn't enough fabric so we bought more and I finished the 48th block, bringing my total to 47 and Charlie's to 1. He did help me lay them out over Christmas and decide on a pattern.

We should have done more research on how to sew a long cabin quilt because I messed it up and the blocks ended up not matching perfectly. I should have started each block with a solid as the first color, but instead I did half the blocks starting with solid and half starting with a print, which kept me from getting super bored, but also screwed up the pattern and resulted in blocks that do not match. I'm pretty sure no one would notice but me. Can you tell?

Don't look too's a cute dog on a quilt picture to distract you! 

Then we (I) did the math and we bought the backing fabric. Over a snow day I laid it all out and realized the back was too small so I added some scraps from the quilt to add the last few inches I needed. Moral of this story is that we are both bad at math when it comes to making quilts. Thanks heavens for scraps and fabric stores.

I thought about hand quilting it, then I realized it's a king sized quilt and came to my senses. It's tied, which is super fun and easy and not nearly as time consuming as hand quilting. Sewing the binding took me at least 5 days because my eye kept twitching and a kind sized quilt = a whole lot of freaking binding!

To be 100% honest this quilt is finished about 10 months faster than I thought it would be, so math issues aside it's a total success. I would not have picked out all of the fabric, but I really like how it all turned out. 

Have you finished anything way ahead of schedule recently? 


Thursday, February 12, 2015

"Maternity" Josephine Tunic

I have had this fabric for over a year waiting to make this tunic. I am very glad I waited because I used it to make  a "maternity" Josephine. Not many of my clothes fit right now, so it's nice to have something new to wear. I saw the idea on Rae's blog when she was pregnant.

The pattern calls for you to sew the tucks all the way to the bottom of the garment, but she modified it to only sew past the bust to allow for a little bumpage. I did the same since there is officially bumpage here. Students started commenting, so I must be showing.

I'm excited to try sewing more clothes for "maternity" wear. I'd like to use patterns I already have but am not 100% sure how to go about modifying those patterns. I'll keep you posted on my progress, or frustrations.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Lazy Person Problem

I want to win the $500,000 powerball, but I don't want to drive to the store to buy a ticket.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Habits Updates

All the way back in November I posted about the 5 daily habits I was trying to make become habits. Now into February I'm still working on them. It's getting easier, but not so easy they all just happen on their own.

Create: This is either great or really terrible depending on the week. At first I thought that the most important part was having the supplies ready to create something. Not true, you can have all the crap you need and still not be interested in the project. Key example: quilling, I have everything you'd ever need to make 100 quilling projects, but do I? No, quilling takes forever and I am not that interested in it (*side note, I should probably get rid of all my quilling stuff*) The most important part of trying to be creative everyday is to be excited about creating, whatever it is. If I am not into a project I am not excited to do it and will find excuses not to do it. Another hinderance is when a project gets finished and I don't have another idea of what to move onto. I had a period of four days after I finished Sprout's Blanket that I did nothing because I had no idea what to work on next.

Floss: This habit got derailed in December because two things happened. One I went away for the holidays and forgot to bring floss. Seems dumb right, but seriously it's floss, and I never remembered I was missing it until right before bed which made me just give up the pursuit of it before I even started. Moral of that story, pack it in your travel case! Problem two in my flossing, I got the flu and had no energy to get out of bed never mind floss my skuzzy teeth. Once I got better and got home I was right back on track and haven't missed a day. This is my easiest habit thus far, probably because it takes the least amount of time.

Read: One thing the holidays made me realize is that if you get out of your normal routine it's super easy to stay out of it. I didn't read at all over vacation and then it took me a while to get back into it. I've been reading a few books about babies, but nothing serious. I think I should check out a book from the library to give myself the time pressure to finish a book again. Any suggestions?

Exercise: For the most part I am successful at this. Being pregnant has made me more liberal about what counts and what doesn't. Hint, if I got off my butt for 30 minutes it counts. I have been doing my exercise classes, and doing "interval training" on our treadmill while watching Friends re-runs on Netflix. "Interval training" is a fancy term Charlie came up with for how I walk for one scene of Friends and then run for the next, then walk, then run. I also count walking the dogs if it takes more than 30 minutes. I have not run outside since the beginning of December and I don't even feel bad about it. I am paranoid about falling on the ice and snow. I read (on Pinterest) that doing squats makes labor and delivery easier so I try to do 50 a day, which works out to me doing about 50 a week, but you know. Too bad it's not the thought that counts in terms of exercising.

Be Kind: Last year it was "have patience" which matched with my one little word. This year my word is kind so I figured I'd put that as my habit. Like I said, when I am not "kind" it last for a few days and takes me a while to get out of my funk. When I am kind it's easy to keep the momentum rolling. Being kind mostly in terms of giving myself a check is if I said primarily nice things, didn't gossip or swear, was nice to Penny, Blaze and Charlie, and was kind to myself.


Friday, February 6, 2015

Sprout's First Baby Blanket

I've been debating for a while how or what to say on this topic. Here goes.

Charlie and I are having a baby!!! ** jumps up and down in excitement, then sits down really winded and eats half a watermelon,** We are very excited. We are not finding out if it's a boy or girl, so I call it "Sprout" instead of calling it "it". I bought the yarn when I was 7 weeks pregnant after my first appointment. I was so excited I had to do something, but also so tired that I knew I wouldn't have the energy to sew a quilt right away, but knitting, that's easy. I did most of it on the couch while watching shows or movies with Charlie and some of it in front of the fire while he cooked dinner. Knitting also travels much easier than sewing projects so I did a lot in the car on the way to places over the holidays, or at my in-laws while watching a Harry Potter Marathon.

The pattern was one I've seen many times before I was even pregnant and really liked from The Purl Bee. It was super easy to follow, even for me; a pattern hater and novice knitter.

It's super warm and soft, I want to cuddle with it myself on cold days.

I deviated a little and knit more than 10 rows for some of the colors, since I wasn't out of yarn yet. I partially wish I hadn't done that because now the blanket is much longer than it is wide, which makes for a bit of an odd shape. Made with love is what I'll say. And I sure do love this little Sprout.


**** This was at the beginning of the post but seemed too depressing and
 long winded so I added it here. Feel free to not read it.*****

I have promised myself I am not going to blog exclusively about pregnancy and the baby. I also don't want the baby to have his/her picture all over the internet before they have a say in what is posted. That doesn't seem fair to me, and I wouldn't want to do that to a baby/kid. My parents took all kinds of embarrassing pictures and videos of me, and I said some pretty dumb things, but there was no internet to post all that stuff on so those humiliating things are between us, the photo albums, and the VHS tapes. I intend to keep it that way with this baby. Sounds like a pretty boring blog now huh? That's what I was thinking too. I even considered not posting here anymore. As a good friend once said: "you don't have to post it on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/your blog (insert other social media here) for it to have happened." Good point Sammy! If only more people realized that.

I do still like taking pictures of what I've created and sharing them here though. Another friend said that her blog serves as a reminder of things she had done and she likes looking back on old posts. I feel the same way, it's fun to look back on things I sewed ages ago, and also a good reference to what changes I should make to patterns etc. Conundrum city ensued, which is why I have not posted a lot (anything really) lately. After much thought I've decided that I have no qualms about sharing things I have sewed or made for the baby, so I think it will stay a crafting blog, but be less about the other stuff. If you want to know about that, feel free to call, text or e-mail me.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Word of the Year (Only A Month Late)

Last year I picked a word of the year to focus on. I never blogged about it, but kept reminding myself, almost daily, of the word. In 2014 my word was patience. Maybe I'll write a re-cap of that word later on, but it was very helpful. Had I known how much patience has to do with biting ones tongue I might not have undertaken the word, but I did, and am glad for it.

"Patience" seemed like a tough act to follow, so hopefully 2015's word will fit the bill. I've picked "kind" as my word to focus on this year. I had been trying to think of a new word since November and right before Christmas it just came to me and felt right. Obviously I love multi-meaning words, and definitions (it's my job!) so when I really thought more about "kind" I realized to me it has three prongs or areas.

-Being kind to others. I think (or at least hope) people would say I am a kind or nice person. Sometimes though (well, most of the time) my first thoughts are not always kind. These thoughts even escape my brain and make their way to my mouth sometimes. Until I started thinking about saying kind things I didn't realize how often I say not very kind things. The sad thing is most of the bad things I say are to the people I like or love the most. Eek. I feel like being kind also ties in my work on patience. In order to be kind you must be patience and kind at the same time. I'm also working on doing kind things for others. Saying nice things, smiling more, sending thank you notes, or random text messages to make someone I love happy. The best part of this so far is that it's helping me to notice when other people do something kind for me. I think people are genuinely nice and good, it's just hard to realize when you're not focusing on it.

- Being kind to myself. You know the saying, you are your harshest critic. So true in my case. For every one mean thing I say about other people I say 100 about myself. Being kind means that I accept my flaws and move on. The other day I forgot to renew my certification for something and instead of freaking out about it, getting mad at myself for being forgetful, or crying, I paid the late fee and got over it. No sense in beating myself up over something small in the grand scheme of things. It also means accepting that what I am doing is the best I can do. I tend to compare myself to others and think I am not good enough. I need to remind myself (often) that what I am doing is the best I can do at this particular time given the particular situations. Done. Well, not done, I need to keep reminding myself of it so I won't get mad when everything on my list isn't done and I still can't cook dinner without setting off the smoke detector.

- Spending time with my "kind". Get it? Kind can mean more than just being nice! I have realized that I am not really good at making friends. I am good at keeping friends, just not making them, there is a big difference. This year I am going to make more of an effort to continue to be a good friend, daughter, wife, sister, etc. I also want to put effort into building relationships with my kind of people. I am not exactly sure how I will go about this, but I have some ideas. Most of this primarily has to do with realizing that when you're 29 the definition of "friend" is a lot different than it was when I was 12, or even 20. Friends were all encompassing when I was 12, now that I am 29, not so much. I really enjoy spending time by myself, but also need to see that the people I choose to spend my time with are my friends, despite the fact that we've never painted each others nails, slept over at each others house, or talked on the phone for 2 hours a night. I also have been working on realizing that having 100 friends doesn't make you any happier than having 2 friends.

A month into my word and things are going well for the most part. I've noticed that the kindness tends to bring more kindness, and sometimes the kindness train comes to a screeching halt and stays in the station for 2-3 days. Kindness breads more kindness. It's hard to get back on track after falling off for a few days but I can honestly say I feel better when I am focusing on it and actively trying to be kind.

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