Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Shamrock For My Attic

I used to be very no-fuss when it came to seasonal or holiday celebrating/decorating. Fall and Christmas were the only two occasions worthy of their own special decor.

Then came Pinterest.

Now suddenly I find myself wanting to celebrate every obscure holiday that's never been heard of, all for an excuse to make useless-but-cute things that will end up in my attic in a matter of days.


Just because it's fun.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tidy Tuesday [ish]

So, last week I was home from Tuesday afternoon through Monday morning. I mean, I literally did not leave the house all that time. There was snow, school was canceled, and I had new fabric. It was bliss. Cabin fever? No way, not this girl.

But I am a very messy quilter. This was my poor dining room after my little staycation.


And I'm not even showing you the floor, where I tossed cut threads and little fabric scraps for 6 days. Onto carpet. Carpet that is dark teal. Not pretty.


But I conquered the mess on the table today, with the help of a few nice guys who happened to be hanging around.


They mostly stood guard while I cleaned.


And secretly admired my Briar Rose scraps, although they'd never admit it.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

...

What a mess.


So worth it.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snow Day

It's been snowing since Tuesday here! I live in the South where everything shuts down if one snowflake is spotted - we just don't have the equipment to clear all the roads in a timely manner. This is the boys' third day home from school, and even my classes got canceled today, so yay! I've been cleaning a lot, trying to clear a spot in which to sew. Because look what has come in the mail: a bit of Spring on this snowy day!


 Briar Rose by Heather Ross. Yes, I know most people are over it, but I'm usually a year or two behind when it comes to new fabric lines. I spotted it a few months ago and have really been in the mood for springy prints, so I'm loving it.


And this is Country Girls by Tasha Noel. I'm so in the mood for Spring that I actually passed up the navy and pink palette for the green and white.


I just love the geese, barns, and little girls. I'm not sure if I can honestly say that I'm a true country girl, but I did used to live on a farm as a child - where I worked in the gross chicken houses in my knee-high rubber boots and woke up before dawn every morning to bottle-feed my pet calf, Blossom. And then later as a teenager, I had two more pet cows. I was scared to death of Beverly, but I actually milked Lashes for a while after her calf was born. So I suppose I'm not a complete charlatan.


And this is Beautiful Garden Girl by Tea and Sympathy. I think this is fresh off the press so I'm actually not behind for once. Not the usual fabrics I'm drawn to, especially with the panel, but I really do have a serious case of Spring fever. Plus, the panel has a girl with her bunny rabbit, so I couldn't pass it up.


I need another WIP like I need a hole in the head, but I don't think I'm going to be able to say no to all of this Springy goodness.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tidy Tuesday

Sorry for the misleading post title. Today I feel like I'd need a shovel this big to even get started cleaning.

 

Like I said before, Mondays are my busiest days this semester. I went to class early yesterday morning then came home and did paperwork in preparation for clinicals until after midnight. Woke up at 5am and was at the hospital til noon. Came home and lay down to rest a bit before I started cleaning - and slept til dark. So yeah, nothing happened in that department on this very untidiest of Tuesdays. And I had a test yesterday, so really, not much cleaning got done all week either. But I studied like mad and made a 96% on my test, so I'm happy. 

This is what my husband does best to help me out:


He's a very good cook and really enjoys it, so he does most of the meal-planning, grocery shopping, and cooking. Which I absolutely love because I'd rather clean toilets than do all that. It helps me SO much.

I did manage to get the rest of my clamshells made this week, but only because I sat and did them while listening to podcasts from class, which is a form of studying for me. I laid them all out and don't quite have enough for a lap/twin, so I'll have to get more fabric. If I can still find more FMF. I think I'm missing a few prints anyway.


I am off tomorrow, thank goodness. I plan to catch up on some housework, and maybe study a bit, but... seriously people, you should know me better than that by now. I have about 59.2 WIPs all vying for my attention, plus some new fabric I want to cut into. Priorities are a very relative concept, you know.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Birdie Pillow

This is a little birdie pillow cover I made for my mom. It's a modified version of a pattern by Sandy Gervais called "Soul Mates." I basically just made the tail more poofy because I like poofy tails. There are a few "shoulda, coulda, wouldas" on this one, like quilting inside the bird - maybe a wing or something - and inside the tail. But I was pressed for time and [insert several more lame excuses here]. I also never got a pic with the pillow insert inside, which made it much cuter.


This fabric is Ravena by Dear Stella and I bought the whole line to make a quilt for my mother. But Christmas and her birthday came around and I decided to go ahead and use some of it to make her a throw pillow. Not sure when I'll get to the quilt... I've already had the fabric for a year! Oh my word, what I wouldn't do for some better time management skills. The Skills Fairy must have been all out of that one when she was sprinkling Candy Crush and Pinterest skills on me.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Change

Once upon a time, this was the kind of thing that kept me from getting a pet.


But now, this is why I don't care.



He really is so sorry for chewing on my best scissors!


And once upon a time, I hated clamshells and swore I would never use them in a quilt. 
But it dawned on me one day that they are like the scales on a mermaid tail and I've loved them ever since. 

 Funny how our perspectives change over time.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tidy Tuesday

The past three semesters I've been in school, my house has been sorely neglected. Not sure if you've ever shirked your chores for four whole months, but let me tell you - it's not pretty. Of course the husband and boys can help out a bit, but I'm sure I don't have to explain that it's just not the same.

Now, lest ye think that I keep house super well when I'm not in school, here's the truth: I do not. I hate housework like most others, it makes me grumpy. But I can usually stay sort of  on top of it due to the fact that I'm very good at organizing and throwing things away. We just don't have a lot of stuff. And that's my secret. But really, I keep things tidy way better than I keep things clean, if you know what I mean. 98% of the time I'd be horrified if you walked into my house and saw my kitchen floor.

I'm trying to change that. I know the main reason my house gets so neglected - whether during the semester or not - is because I look at it as one big (HUGE) chore instead of seeing it as many little tasks. And when does anyone have a 49.3 hour block of time to get it all done at once? So I usually just say "later" and don't feel too badly because I fully intend to do it later. But later never comes, now does it?

Luckily, I'm not the only one who struggles with this. My good friend Lisa and I have devised a plan to stay on top of it so that it doesn't stay on top of us. We will be using Clean Mama's housekeeping schedule, tweaked to fit our personal needs, and then try to stay motivated by blogging about it every Tuesday. Clean Mama has some very good ideas about how to keep your life organized and efficient, and Lisa and I have combined her daily, weekly, and monthly schedule into one concise document. If you go to her monthly schedule, and to Lisa's schedule, you will see that some of our tasks differ. For example, my house is so small that I don't need two days to clean my light fixtures or windows. And I don't even have a pantry or a dishwasher. But there are plenty of other things that I need to do that aren't on her list, like clean my gas stove burner plates, wash my walls (I have two boys!), and launder my shower curtain (Again, I have two boys. And they spray. Never mind.). So her schedule is a really good place to start and easily altered to fit your personal needs.



Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Su
Dishes                      Laundry                         Stove                       Dust edges/corners
Dishes                     Laundry                      Stove                           Wipe doors/knobs   
Dishes       Laundry        Stove               Sofa quilt 
Shower curtain
Dishes   Laundry     Stove             File papers
T
Dishes             Laundry                 Dust      
 vacuum/wipe vents
Dishes                     Laundry                        Dust                               Dust fixtures/fans
Dishes      Laundry          Dust        Cabinets
Dishes 
 Laundry
Dust
Drawers
W
Dishes             Laundry          vacuum          
 vacuum edges
Dishes                    Laundry                 vacuum                       Clean fridge
Dishes     Laundry   
 vacuum windows           
Dishes   Laundry vacuum       Catch-up
Th
Dishes            
 Laundry Sweep/Mop      
 Wash baseboards
Dishes                      Laundry         Sweep/mop                  Clean freezer
Dishes     Laundry Sweep/mop Mirrors
Dishes  
 Laundry Sweep/Mop Walls
F
Dishes             Laundry      Bathroom            
Wipe switch plates
Dishes                    Laundry              Bathroom                  Clean microwave
Dishes       Laundry Bathroom    Trash cans
Dishes   
Laundry Bathroom
 Boys' room
S
Dishes              Laundry             Linens                  Oven              
Dishes                    Laundry                    Linens       Washer/Dryer
Dishes     Laundry      Linens    Bedroom
Dishes  Laundry   Linens            Car
 

There are certain things you won't find on here because they are daily chores for my boys. They have their own schedule, posted on the fridge - oh, they are so happy about that! And I see that I didn't put "pick stuff up" on here... hopefully that's a given:/ Also, Mondays are my very busiest days, so that's the day I get to slack off on all this boring stuff and do... homework! Yay! (Not really yay.)

So, if you find that you're in need of a bit of motivation to get your dirty work done, please join in! Post anything pertaining to tidiness (or lack thereof) on Tuesdays and let me know.  And make sure to follow along with Lisa, too - her house is much bigger than mine and she has, I believe, 38.9 pets at last count and a full time job. So if she can do it, anyone can.

(She doesn't really have 38.9 pets. She's not that weird.)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Scallops

Earlier this year - I don't even remember when - I made this quilt top. I was inspired by this picture from this blog post by Rachel of Stitched In Color. I absolutely fell in love with her idea and had to try my hand at piecing some scallops. She was offering an online curves class that featured this pattern, but I was too poor to join so I decided to wing it on my own. I hesitated to post about this quilt because I didn't want to show a "borrowed" idea that someone was selling, but I finally wrote Rachel the other day and she has very graciously given me her blessing to share these photos.

 

Piecing curves wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be, although a pattern and some instruction would have been nice! I love working with all solids and I am now more than a little obsessed with scallops. I especially love Rachel's modern take on them. There will definitely be more scallops in my future. The fabric kind, that is.




(Quilt-Holder Fatigue. It could happen to anyone, but seems more prevalent among husbands and sons.)


I love echo quilting. And these lines turned out rainbow-ish - even better!

By the way, in 7.5 years of quilting this is the very first quilt I have completed for myself. It's already gotten lots of use - perfect for playing Candy Crush, or napping, or watching tv studying. And I won't mention the tiny holes that my bunny bit into it with his sharp teeth and affinity for tasting everything... because everyone knows he can do no wrong.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Huckleberry

Back in July, my husband accidentally mowed over a rabbit nest. One of the kits died and we dutifully put the other one back in its shallow hole so its mother could take care of it.

But then I started to worry. What if she abandons it because of the incident and the fact that we touched it? All evening long, and all day the next day, I worried about that poor little baby out there all alone and what if, what if, what if. I finally just couldn't stand it anymore so I did some googling about how to tell if a kit is abandoned. I went out and checked its skin for tenting/dehydration... but honestly, I couldn't tell. Then I started to worry about the fact that I'd touched it again and what if she abandons it now? Plus, the ants were biting it... I was so conflicted that I finally just went out and got the poor thing and brought it inside.

 

And thus began the crumbling of our stubborn determination to never want a pet. We were quickly and forcefully smitten and the next two weeks consisted of research, pet stores, kitten formula, droppers, teensy bottles, kitchen scales, heat lamps - and yes, even 2 and 4am feedings. By this time we had read that it is so very rare for wild bunnies to survive if taken away from their mother; but against all odds, he started to fill out, grow fluffy clean fur, and explore his surroundings.


He was so tiny! I would sit and snuggle him against my skin for hours while he slept. Below is my very favorite picture of him, sleeping so deeply that I rolled him over onto his back and he didn't even stir.


A day or two later he got sick. We did everything we could for days but he eventually died. I couldn't believe how sad I felt! But he'd opened a door in our hearts - and my birthday was coming up - so the decision to become official pet owners was made.

(Eeeeeeee!!!)

 This is Huckleberry:) Although, more often than not, he's called Hucklebunny, Stinkleberry, Hucks, or some other such variation. He is almost 5 months old now and so full of personality and quirks!


Just look at that big nose, deep frown, and huge foot! He did not like being held like this and he let me know it with a loud thump of his hind leg when I put him down.


I could seriously just die of cuteness. I love him so much!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

October

October was hard. Glad it's over.

I'm looking forward to November, though, because the weather is finally getting cool and I love Fall.

And also... because it's not October.



My husband made these costumes for the boys. He even learned to sew just so he could make the one on top. It was very cute to see him sitting at my sewing machine, stitching away. That is, until I wanted to sew... and then it wasn't so cute.

I did manage to make this Fall pillow. I suppose October wasn't all bad.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Turtle Quilt

When I said it would be done "within the week" in my last post, what I really meant was "in two months". So I'm right on schedule. ;)



I had quite a few issues with this quilt, but somehow I pushed through and ended up being happy with it. It's finally done and shipped off to its new owner. 




I love the bell-shaped tortoise shells! I got my inspiration here.
 

 

The center of the block on the right is an old Amy Butler print. It is my favorite fabric ever! I have about three yards that I'm hoarding for a very girly quilt for myself one day.


 I like the quilting around the letters on the back.


 Texture!


I don't like how the turtles don't stand out very well. But, like I said, I had some complications with this quilt, including some design dilemmas, and eventually I just had to make a decision and move on.


I love the blocks very much! I wanted to branch out from my usual off-centered concentric squares... but apparently I couldn't, and now I'm glad. 


 :)