Fabric Fabric Everywhere!

You’ll have to excuse my lack of a blog post last week.  I must confess that I was distracted by the arrival of this beautiful bundle of deliciousness.

::drool::  As I’m falling further and further down the quilty rabbit hole, I’ve discovered that my taste in fabrics in remarkably similar to my taste in scrapbook paper.  I adore large gorgeous prints, but I struggle to use them.  What I always find myself reaching for is small repeating prints so I set off in search of them at the local shops.  Sadly, neither one I went to had what I was looking for, but the internet did not let me down.  lol.  Then I just haaaaaad to get free shipping!  😉  Does anyone else suffer from this affliction?  RaptorDad says I’m going to bankrupt us saving us money.  lol.

I cut into it right away and started on the butterfly blocks for my Lori Hold inspired quilt.

Here’s my first attempt.  The black lines are showing where the block will finish.  I decided that the butterfly needed to be a bit smaller, so I redrew the template and tried again.

I’m much happier with the way these turned out!  Now I just need to add the embroidery on the wings and antennae.

Oh, and I love the butterflies so much that I’ve decided to make Mia a whole quilt of them.  lol.  What’s one more added to the list.  😉

March is Here!

Hello March!  I’m not sure that I’m in love with having the same monthly goals all year long, but I’m going to give it a go for one more month.  First, let’s look back at February.

  1.  Bakes.  This was a huge success!  I made a copy cat Chantilly cake from Whole Foods.  The icing was spot on, but I think the cake itself would benefit from a few tweaks.  Still, delicious!
  2. Dinners.  ::sigh::  I didn’t try any new recipes this month.
  3. Montessori Trays.  Well, I got 4 out of 6 done.  lol.  No pics, but they continue to be a huge hit, especially with Mia.  
  4. Feast Days.  I wanted to do 3 or 4 feast days, but only got my act together for one.  That’s ok though!  It’s still better than the zero I would have done in the past.  🙂
  5. Hexies.  Hmm…  I finished a block and a half.  To be honest, I’ve been wanting to work on applique in the evenings.  lol.  Still, I’m going to try to push through and get some done this month.
  6. Scrapbooking.  I focused on Project Life this month, so I didn’t get much 12×12 scrapping done.  I’m ok with that though.
  7. Project Life.  The main reason I’m ok with not accomplishing much on the scrapping front is because I killed it on Project Life!  I switched my kit club subscription to Citrus Twist and I was hugely motivated to get through some of my back log of Hip Kits before my new one came.  I only got 5 traditional layouts done, but I got 13!!! Project Life layouts done!!!
  8. Portraits.  None this month.  Whoops.
  9. Sewing.  I wanted to get the unicorn quilt top done, which didn’t happen.  But I did make a lot of progress on it.
  10. New Parks.  No new parks, but we did revisit some old favorites.  And I let Kate set up the tent in the backyard for a few days while she worked on a badge.  She was planning to sleep out there, but she decided against it when she realized that none of us were willing to sleep on the floor when our nice warm beds were so close at hand.  
  11. Blogging.  They may not have all been posted on Mondays, but I did post 4 times!
  12. Health.  I tried to get back into swimming, but Mia got the flu and that seriously derailed my momentum.  That’s ok though!  I still swam 100% more than I did in January!

Which leads me to March!  I’m trying out spelling out my March goals to see if I like it better than trying to come up with them as I go.

  1.  Bakes.  And I immediately fail because I don’t have any ideas of what I want to bake yet.  lol.
  2. Dinners.  Ditto dinners.  But I’m considering some kind of crock pot beef stroganoff.  Also need some yummy fish dinners for Lent.
  3. Montessori Trays.  My goal is to have some P is for Patrick trays done this weekend!
  4. Feasts.  I’ll try to post more details about our line up on Monday, but my goals for the month include Mardi Gras, Saint Patrick, and the Annunciation.
  5. Hexies.  Maybe I should change this to the hand sewing goals category.  lol.  I’m getting totally into applique, but I can’t let that derail me too much!  I’m going to try to get 3 hexie blocks done this month.  I’d love to get the hexies wrapped up so that I can play with my 3(!!!) new hand sewing projects.  More on that later.
  6. Scrap.  I know this has been on my list for months, but I really want to wrap up December 2017.  Then I can put the Fall 2017 album on my shelf and move on!
  7. Project Life.  Oh my gosh y’all!  I am in love with my new kit!  With that in mind, my goal for Project Life is to do February 2019 and then also wrap up September 2018.  I might try to alternate weeks, or I might just let myself play with the February goodies and then go back and work on September while I wait for my March kit.   
  8. Portraits.  It’s time for bluebonnets!!!  My favorite portraits of the year.  🙂  I’m debating going for a more casual look this year, but I might get the girls new Easter dresses and use that.  Decisions decisions.
  9. Sewing.  I’d really love to finish up my unicorn quilt top for Kate because I want to start on my Christmas half square triangle quilt.  I got the rest of the fabric for it and I’m dying to cut into it!
  10. New Parks.  Well, I must be insane because I’m taking all 3 kids to the beach for spring break.  By myself.  Corpus Christi here we come!
  11. Blogging.  I’m toying with the idea of ramping the blog up to 2 posts a week.  I’ve missed it!
  12. Health.  Still keeping it at 2 swims a week.  And adding in 10k steps a day.  Not sure how this is going to go, but I got 10K steps yesterday.  lol.  We’ll see,

Keroppi Quilt

I finished my first quilt!!!  Well, it was a joint effort, but it’s done.  🙂

My quilt guild regularly has challenges to get people excited about making donation quilts.  This fall, the challenge was to take 1/2 yard of a novelty fabric and turn it into a quilt.  I was a bit intimidated, but when I saw the keroppi fabric I wouldn’t resist.

So I bought a low volume charm pack and started planning.  Initially my plan was the fussy cut the frogs and applique them onto the charm squares before sewing them all in rows.  After discussing with my quilt guru, Mimi, I decided to alternate the charm squares with some green swirly fabric.  I’m so glad I did!  I think it turned out super cute.  🙂

My grandmother helped me add the borders and then quilted and bound it for me so that I could turn in a fully completed quilt  Then she came with me to my guild meeting last night when I turned it in!  So much fun.  I almost wish I could keep it!  I guess I had better get busy on my next quilt.  🙂

Adventures in Applique

Mia was struck down by a nasty ear infection and the flu this week.  Luckily, we started tamiflu right away so she recovered quite quickly and never actually felt that bad but I still kept her home from school all week.  Sweet girl is the best patient, she just wants snuggles and Daniel Tiger.  Usually I don’t let the kids have screen time during the week, but I let her have free reign with Daniel this week since she was sick.

Which gave me loads of time this week to clean learn how to do prepared edge applique!

I used the freezer paper technique to make this heart block for a raffle quilt my guild is making.  I was pretty pleased with how it turned out!  So I decided to try my hand at creating my own templates.

I am obsessed with the Lori Holt Bee Happy quilt.  I love the fabric, the style, the mix of techniques… but I’m just not a farm girl.  So I decided to use it as a template and design my own blocks.  She has an assembly guide on her website that gives the dimensions of all of the blocks and I used that to create a template with some graph paper.  I used this site to make the graph paper so that each square represents one inch.  It’s still a work in progress, but here’s what I have so far.

Some of the blocks are blank because I’m still pondering what to put in them.  And the drawings are really crude because I’m a terrible artist.  lol.  But you get the idea.  I drew the outline in marker and the blocks in pencil so that I can easily erase as I change my mind.  lol.  Notice anything else?  The avocados are colored in.  That’s because I’ve already finished those blocks!

I’m super pleased with how they turned out.  🙂  Now I’m back to working on my hexies while I ponder which block to tackle next.  16 blocks down, 20 to go.  🙂

Quilty Goodness

It seems crazy that I’ve only been quilting for a year because my Work in Progress pile is multiplying at a prodigious rate!  What can I say, I love to start new projects.  🙂

This morning, I’m working on cutting out squares for a unicorn quilt I’m making for Kate.  It’s a kit and I’m learning so much while I work on it!  I think that hand work will always be my favorite, but there’s no denying that this is much faster.  lol.

And check out my hexies!  Here they all are laid out on my grandmother’s bed.  I think I’ve just about decided to make a wall hanging instead of a king size quilt.  My original plan was to make 64 of these blocks.  Each one is 75 hexagons and I have 15 of them done.

I currently have enough hexies basted to make a total of 36 blocks and I think I’m going to call that big enough.  I have other projects I want to work on!  lol.  Also, the more time I spend on this, the more I cringe at the thought of the damage it would sustain if I actually put it on my bed.  Once I have the 36 blocks made, I’m going to play around with the layout.  I might do 7×5 and put it above my bed, but I might do 6×6 and hang it on the wall in my living room.  Either way, I want to wrap it up because I want to start on a Windchime quilt!

I have about 10 other projects in the works as well.  lol.  What about you?  Do you finish 1 project before starting the next or are you a “serial starter”?

Chantilly Lace Cake

Y’all.  Whole Foods makes this insanely addictive cake called a Chantilly Lace cake.  It’s RaptorDad’s favorite.  🙂  Considering that every time we venture into a Whole Foods I manage to blow the grocery budget on gourmet olives and baked goods, I decided that I needed to learn how to bake this cake myself so I could limit our exposure to temptation.  lol.  After much searching, I found a copy cat recipe that looked pretty amazing and assembled all of the fancy ingredients.  Except for, you know, sugar.  lol.  So back to the store we went.  Y’all.  It did not disappoint.

It’s probably a good thing that this recipe is insanely complicated because if it was easy, I’m afraid I’d be making it once a week and we’d all gain 1000 pounds.  lol.

Kate was working on her edible model of the Alamo (why???) that was due today, but she took a break to make a fondant flower for the cake.

January Review

January is always my favorite month for getting stuff done!  I didn’t accomplish everything on my list, but I made a ton of progress on loads of things.  Let’s see how I did, shall we?

  1.  New bake.  My plan was to make a Chantilly cake this week, but somehow we were out of sugar!  I’ve since rectified that and will probably end up making it this weekend.  Kate and I ::did:: get to go to a cake decorating class so that’s baking related at least.  lol.  It was so much fun!
  2. New dinner recipe.  I made the crockpot Chicken Tikka Masala and it was ok.  RaptorDad was a fan, but Kate thought it was way too spicy.  I’ve come to the realization that as much as I want to love Indian food, I’m just not a fan of cinnamon.  I made a bonus new recipe that I liked a lot more which makes sense since it involves tortillas.  lol.  I put some chicken and a jar of tomatillo salsa in the crockpot and it was amazing.  We had it with cheese and greek yogurt.  Delish.
  3. Montessori Trays.  Oh my gosh, the babies loved these!  Especially Mia.  I’m almost done with our Valentine’s Day ones and I’m so glad that I made this a goal.  🙂
  4. Feast Days.  We celebrated Epiphany!  It was so much fun that I decided to make up a monthly plan and share it with my moms’ group at church.  lol.
  5. Hexies.  Well, I didn’t quite finish up what I had hoped for, but I did make a ton of progress.  I finished November’s super hexie (a block where I baste 3 extra hexies for each one in the block) and 2 of the 3 hexies made with pre basted hexies that I was supposed to finish in December.  I have also decided that I’m not making any more super hexie blocks for now.  I have enough hexies basted to get to 36 blocks and I’m sort of thinking that might be enough.  The current plan is to make some sort of wall hanging instead of an actual bed spread. Here’s a pic of my current hexie blocks (all 14 of them!)  spread out on my grandmother’s king size bed to give you an idea of how big they are. 
  6. Scrapping.  I got November done!  November of 2017 that is.  lol.  But hey, I did this layout from last week so there’s that.  
  7. Project Life.  I only got June done, but I did sort through all of the kids’ artwork on my desk and file it in the correct week so that it will be ready to go.  Fingers crossed I can get more done this month.
  8. Portraits.  I didn’t get any of my kids, but I did take some maternity pics for my sister.  Does that count?
  9. Sewing Project.  I got the whole Keroppi quilt top done!  And my grandmother (who is a saint) is going to quilt it for me.  Winning!  We decided to applique the hexies onto every other block and break them up with a green print.  I love how it tuned out. Here’s a pic right before we added the final green borders.  I can’t wait to see this finished!
  10. New Park.  We went to Wonder World in San Marcos.  It was, um, interesting.  lol.
  11. Blogging.  I did it!  I was tempted to schedule the posts for 3 a week towards the beginning of the month, but I’m glad I resisted and stuck with starting with each Monday before adding more midweek posts.  I’m going to try that again this month.
  12. Get healthy.  lol.  This was a pretty big epic fail.  So this month I have a new goal.  I’m going to try to swim twice a week and then go from there.  We’ll see if I can keep that up, but I have my bathing suit all packed up to go to the Y after I drop Mia off at school.  Speaking of, it’s time to go!  How have your goals been going this month?  I’d love to hear from you in the comments.  (Looking at you mom.  lol. )

It’s Cookie Time

Y’all.  My brain is mush, but I PROMISED you a blog post so here it is.

We have been knee deep in cookies for the past week and a half, but the end is in sight!  Kate had an insane goal of selling 650 boxes of cookies, but she has worked her little tushie off and we are almost there.  As of today, she only has to sell 45 more boxes!  ::I think I can, I think I can, I think I can::

I’ll be back next week with some quilty, scrappy, yummy, updates.  🙂

 

Making Catholicism Fun!

Warning: Catholic post ahead.  lol.

Kate is getting to the age where mass attendance isn’t exactly at the top of her “most fun things to do list” and I found myself wanting to get her excited about our Faith.  As I was poking around the internet, I found a blog, Catholic All Year, where this family lives and CELEBRATES their Catholic faith.  Sign me up!  We always do an activity based advent calendar, so this year I just followed the blog and made some of the actives tied to some of the feast days during advent and it was a big hit! 

So, this year I’m going to pick a Saint each month and celebrate their Feast Day!  My hope is to get my children excited to learn more about their Faith.  🙂  Since I’m not into recreating the wheel, I thought I would share with y’all what I’m doing.  Or rather what I’m thinking about doing.  lol.  I like to start with themed food because I have to feed my family anyway so it’s not exactly adding to my work load.  The crafts and videos and such might happen, but they very well might not.  If you’re interested in more info, I highly recommend the book, The Catholic All Year Compendium: Liturgical Living for Real Life by Kendra Tierney. 

Here are 3 Saints for February.  (What can I say, I had a hard time narrowing it down!)

February 1.  St Brigid of Ireland.  She lived in Ireland in the 5th century and tended the cows on her father’s farm.  She often got in trouble for giving away the butter she churned to the poor.  One day she was about to get punished for giving away all of her butter, so she prayed to God to help her and her butter churns were miraculously filled with butter.  She then decided to become a Christian and eventually became a nun, establishing the first order of nuns in Ireland.

Food: Scones with butter and jam.  We may or may not make our own butter.  We may or may not make our own scones.  

Craft: Woven cross.  There are tons of examples on Pinterest, but I think we’ll do the pipe cleaner one.

February 6.  St Paul Maki and Companions (the Japanese Martyrs).  In 1597, Br, Paul Maki and 25 companions were crucified in Nagasaki, Japan for their Faith.  I’m not going to lie, I added this one because I will take any excuse to make sushi.  lol.

Food: Homemade Sushi.  Raw fish optional.

February 11.  Our Lady of Lourdes. In 1858, Mary appeared to St Bernadette in a grotto in Lourdes, France. 

Food: French food!  But I’m not that fancy so probably baguettes?

Craft: I found loads of ideas on Pinterest for making a grotto.  If I actually get my stuff together and we end up making one, I’ll post some pics.  

Movie: Formed has a movie about St Bernadette and Our Lady of Lourdes and our parish has a membership! 

I know what you’re thinking, what about St Valentine?!?  Well, obviously we’re going to do all things pink and hearts on the 14th, but I actually couldn’t find much information about him so I didn’t want to count it as our feast day for the month.

Field Trip! And Pogo Pass Review

At the beginning of the summer, I bought something called a Pogo Pass.  Basically, you buy the pass and then you get 1 or 2 admission tickets to a bunch of different places over the course of the next year.  (If you’re interested, I think I have an affiliate link that I can email to you that lets you get the pass for $39.98)  Has it been worth it?  Hmm…  I actually just totaled up what we’ve used so far and I’d say it will PROBABLY end up being worth it.  For sure, it encouraged us to get out and try new places we wouldn’t have gone to otherwise so in that sense it was absolutely worth it.  And I imagine we will hit up 1 or 2 more places before our passes expire which will make it worth the sticker price.  That said, we didn’t take advantage of a lot of the places on the pass either because they are in Waco (I’m not driving 2 hours to take my kid roller skating) or the just weren’t things I could do with the babies (looking at you Hawaiian Falls.)  But, if you had only older kids I think it would definitely be worth it.

Which brings us to today!  I was looking through the Pogo Pass trying to decide on something fun to do over Winter Break, and saw Wonder World.  Um, yes please!  I am addicted to cheesy roadside attractions and I have wanted to go to this place ever since I went back to school at Texas State to get my teaching certification.  Was it fun?  Yes.  Was it insane with 2 preschoolers?  Yes!  Am I disproportionately disappointed that they didn’t sell souvenir patches?  Yes.  lol.

Luckily Kate’s BFF’s mom is super duper awesome and she always agrees to come along on my crazy adventures.  The Pogo Pass got us into 3 of the 4 attractions and I decided that was enough for my crew, we just missed out on the Wildlife Train ride.   My friend found a Groupon that included all 4 attractions, so we did the Cave, Observation Tower and Anti-Gravity House, then had a little picnic and left before they got on the train.

The Cave was fun, but to say that it wasn’t very accessible would be like saying the Sahara is a little bit dry.  I wish I had brought my wrap so I could have worn Mia, but I ended up just carrying her for large chunks of the tour while abandoning my friend to deal with Xander.  Did I mention she’s awesome?  lol.  Still, I think this is a good starter cave for kids because they can actually touch all of the walls which makes it less stressful.  That said, there were some tight spots so I wouldn’t recommend it for someone who was claustrophobic.

Kate loved the observation deck and even with my deep fear of heights I can agree that the view was lovely.  But the Anti-Gravity House?  Oh lord.  You could not pay me enough to reenter that place.  It’s designed to be disorienting, and it straight up made me fall over.  Luckily, I was near a helpfully placed bench, but yikes.  I’m still dizzy just thinking about it.  Kate, on the other hand, would have happily spent 3 hours in there.  Even I’ll admit that they had some pretty cool optical illusions with balls and water appearing to roll uphill.

Bottom line, am I glad we went?  Yes!  We had a blast and it wore the babies out enough that they are both currently napping in their cribs which is my major litmus test for if an activity was worth it.  Would we go again?  Um, probably not.  It’s kind of a one time is enough sort of experience.

As for the Pogo Pass?  I have enjoyed having “free” activities to do with the kids, but I don’t think we will be buying one again this summer.  Maybe when the babies are old enough to really take advantage of  more of the activities it will make more sense, but for now I think we’re better off looking for the occasional Groupon.