Sponge Cake!

Oh man, Kate loves the idea of April Fool’s Day, but I never have my stuff together enough to actually set up a prank. But this year I got her good! RaptorDad and I were watching YouTube the other day and we saw a video for a sponge cake that looked like a sponge. I knew I had to make it happen.

Mia and I sneakily made this cake while Kate was in class in her bedroom and I honestly can’t believe how well it turned out! The colors weren’t quite perfect, but if you’re not looking at it next to a sponge it was pretty convincing. The trick is to cut the top with a serrated knife so you get that “rough sponge” look. I put the cake on the counter, sprinkled a few crumbs around, and waited. Very impatiently. lol. Finally Kate came out and I asked her if she could wipe off the counter for me. Her face when she tried to pick up the “sponge” was priceless! I wish I had a video but I didn’t want her to get suspicious.

And amazingly, the cake tasted good! It was a very moist lemon cake and we gobbled it down. Time to start planning for next year!

Bee Yourself Quilt

You know which quilt was nowhere on my goals list for this month? My Bee Yourself Quilt. You know which quilt I’ve been working on? My Bee Yourself Quilt. lol.

I decided I wanted to try to make a Zelda block. First I tried applique, then I tried EPP plus applique. Both looked like garbage. I finally decided that if I was going to have strong points, I was going to have to suck it up and try to machine piece it.

It turned out way better than I had ever hoped! Especially since I was making up the pattern as I went along.

Then I decided to go nuts and sew together the whole bottom corner! I was resisting sewing any blocks together in case I wanted to rearrange any of them, but this little corner gave the boost I needed to tackle the next big obstacle. The flags.

I decided it would be fun to have a little 2×3 inch flag from each country I’ve been to. Then I sketched out all of the flags, looked at Greece, and panicked. lol. I’ve been kicking it around in my mind for a few months now and it finally came to me yesterday: bias tape! So I made some teeny tiny bias tape and appliqued it down. Success!

Then I did a bunch more! No lie, I was feeling pretty cocky after Peru. Ireland, and Italy. Then I looked at Mexico. Now that is a complicated flag. lol. I almost threw in the towel at that point, but then I figured I could try to simplify it and use embroidery.

It’s not perfect, but I’m really pleased with the way it turned out! I’ve got a bunch more to do, but I’m feeling good about these first 5. 🙂 Next up: Scotland!

April Goals!

We made it through March! A bit bittersweet because it marks a year that we’ve been living in lockdown. It’s been crazy watching my timehop posts come up from last March when we thought this was going to over in just a few weeks, and yet here we are. lol. I am FOR SURE ready for my kids to go back to school next fall. But you know what? I have also really loved this year as we’ve been forced to slow down and spend 24/7 together. I feel like my kids are much closer than they used to be now that they are their only playmates. And as frustrating as virtual school is, there has been something magical about teaching my kids to read. <3

  1. Hexies. Totally got another block done!
  2. Caterpillar Quilt. ::sigh:: I did not get the center done, but I did make some progress on in. I got another row done and got a bunch more pinwheels done! Only one row to go. 🙂
  3. Project Life. Well, I got less done on this this month, but I did get February finished so that’s something.
  4. Scrapbook. I didn’t get 4 months done, but I did get 2! I got January of 2021 and February of 2019. Slowly but surely making progress. 🙂
  5. Monthly Kid Adventure. We did 2 this month since it was spring break! We went to Longhorn Caverns State Park and Mustang Island State Park. Highly recommend both!
  6. Monthly Seasonal Celebration. We did some stuff for Saint Patrick’s Day, but we also made pie for Pi Day which was super fun. 🙂
  7. Staff Development. Whoops. I didn’t even look at this. lol. Oh well.
  8. Windchime Quilt. I got block number 11 done!
  9. Low Volume Log Cabin. Not only did I do 6 blocks, I did 14 AND got them all assembled into a quilt top!
  10. Ice Cream Soda. I got the joining pieces on round 1, and I got 3/7 blocks done for round 4. 🙂

And now for April. 🙂

  1. Hexies. Always hexies. lol. I want to get another block done this month. I’m also teaching a virtual workshop on English Paper Piecing this month so I need to update my presentation.
  2. Caterpillar Quilt. No excuses. I have to design and applique 2 more blocks and then add the last row.
  3. Project Life. I guess finish March 2021?
  4. Scrapbook. I’d love to finish February and March of 2021 and March of 2019. This will never happen. lol.
  5. Monthly Kid Adventure. Not sure where we’re going this month… Need to figure it out!
  6. Monthly Seasonal Celebration. Easter! I even remembered to order white eggs and a dye kit. lol.
  7. Bluebonnet Pictures. I usually do these in March, but I feel like the bluebonnets are coming out a bit late this year. I need to find a good location and figure out some outfits.
  8. 60 Degree Diamond Quilt. I need to pull this out and finish quilting it.
  9. GoPro. RaptorDad got me a GoPro for my birthday! I’m so excited! I would love to edit together a little video this month and put it on the blog. 🙂
  10. Twins Turn 6! The RaptorBabies turn 6 this month! ::sob:: Where has the time gone?!? I need to figure out something to make their birthday fun since we can’t have a party.

Low Volume Log Cabin

My goal was to get 6 more blocks done for this quilt this month, but then I found the perfect backing so I decided just to finish it!

My resident quilt holder decided it was so windy that she’d hold it up like a flag instead. lol.

I adore low volume prints. And you know what? I now adore log cabin blocks! There’s zero seam matching until you sew the blocks together. My kind of quilt! I’m super happy with this top and I can’t wait to get it quilted! Quilting suggestions? I’ll be doing it on my domestic machine and I could generously be described as a newborn quilter. lol.

Mustang Island State Park

I grew up on the coast and I absolutely love the beach. The sound of the waves, the feel of the sand between my toes, it’s the ultimate recharge place for me. And y’all, because of Covid we hadn’t been to the beach for over a year! 13 months to be exact. Well, I decided that it couldn’t be put off any longer! I did a bit of research and the closest beach to us is Corpus Christi. And wouldn’t you know it? Just on the other side of Corpus is a state park! It’s like it was meant to be. lol.

Mustang Island State Park is about 4 hours from us which is a doable drive. I didn’t want to risk staying in a hotel, nor did I want to deal with food and packing, so we decided to do it as a day trip. Which was an insane idea but I regret nothing!

The beach was perfection! I’m actually wondering if they brought in sand after the last hurricane because the sand was so soft and pristine! Mia was beyond thrilled at the giant sand box. lol. We picked up some sand toys at Target curbside and it was totally worth the $10.

I think spring is my favorite time to go to the beach. It’s warm enough to feel like you’re at the beach, but cool enough that my kids are happy just to get their feet wet so I don’t have to worry about them in the water.

No lie, the drive back was brutal, especially because we got stuck behind an accident in San Antonio for a hour. Literally. But it was so worth it! We basically drove for 4.5 hours (we had to make a pit stop to see the World’s Largest Pecan in Seguin!), played at the beach for 3.5 hours, then drove for 5 hours back home. I *may* have limited snacks and water bottles in the car so that we could avoid potty breaks. lol.

What can I say, I’m a sucker for cheesy roadside attractions!

We are fairly cautious when it comes to Covid and I went round and round in my head as to if we should do this or not. But it seemed very safe. We drove, so no exposure there. I did stop to get gas, but I get gas here too. And once we got to the beach, it wasn’t crowded at all so we had no problem keeping to ourselves. I think there was at least 20 feet between us and the next closest person. Plus, the wind was blowing very strongly and the sun was bleaching everything.

And now that I know we can do it in a (very long) day, we might go again the next time we have a day off!

Longhorn Cavern State Park

So, this will not come as a shock to any of you, but I am a tad bit crazy. I’ve decided that we should visit a new state park each month, but we already got derailed by snowpocalypse in February. Never fear! I decided we could catch up and visit 2 state parks over spring break. 🙂

First up was Longhorn Cavern State Park. We are on the cautious end of the spectrum when it comes to Covid precautions, so my rules for spring break were that it had to be outdoors, and we had to be able to get there in a few hours so we didn’t have to stop for a potty break. We’re just north of Austin, so this was an easy 1.5 hour drive.

I wish I had more pics, but I was a bit busy with the kidlets. lol. But this state park was super cool! We booked the cave tour and I highly recommend it. It was a little on the pricey side as far as state parks go, but it’s the only way you’re allowed in the cave and the cave was super cool. There are steps down into (and back out of) the cave, but the actual cave itself was fairly flat. I threw a baby carrier in my backpack and I was glad to have it! Mia totally could have walked the entire way (1.1 miles), but she was a bit slower than the group and also I was terrified that she would try to touch one of the cave walls. Now I just need to practice so I can wear her on my back instead of my front!

They cannot require masks anymore (Thanks Texas! ::sigh::) but they do highly recommend them. Luckily, the group on our tour was all wearing masks, plus we stayed at the very back of the group so that we could have a little more space. That said, the group entering the cave when we exited was nearly all maskless. Honestly, I’m not sure what I would have done if that had been our group… Maybe skip it? I hate that people are so selfish.

Still, super fun easy day trip!

March Goals

Boy. February was a doozy this year. Maybe I’ll write about it, maybe not. lol. Let’s just say that I’ve decided I’m never moving anywhere where it snows regularly! Still, I got a fair amount done.

Hexies. Always hexies. lol.
  1. Hexies. It came down to the wire, but I did finish a block last night! 11 more to go!
  2. Caterpillar Quilt. Well, I didn’t finish the navy fruit blocks, but I did prep the applique for 2 of them and that’s half the battle.
  3. Project Life. I didn’t *quite* finish this goal, but I came awfully close. I finished January and I only have two weeks left: last week and this week.
  4. Scrapbooks. I did exactly what I said I wasn’t going to do. lol. I got exactly 1 current layout done, but I finished November 2018, December 2018, and January 2019! I would have gotten more done, but I ran out of white cardstock! Never fear, I ordered a ton and it should get here this week. Then I’ll just need to sit down and do a marathon mixed media background prep day. lol.
  5. Monthly Kid Adventure. Well, we ended up in an epic apocalyptic “winter weather event” which really put a damper on my plans to take the kids to another state park on our February day off, but I did manage to keep my children alive and fed when we lost power for several days. So, partial credit?
  6. Monthly Seasonal Celebration. We did decorate some cookies for Valentine’s Day, but to be honest I was phoning it in a bit this month. I didn’t even get out our decorations. But never fear! I have big plans for St Patrick’s Day. lol.
  7. Homeschool. Xander and I finished the book! He can read now! For real!
  8. Staff Development. Got my 6 hours done! Which brings my grand total up to 66 hours. Only 84 to go.
  9. Kid Crafts. This did not happen this month, but that’s ok. We did lots of other fun craft projects.
  10. Ice Cream Soda Quilt. I finished round 3! And I even prepped round 4! This quilt has been so much fun. 🙂
Xander was so proud of himself! <3
My prepped Ice Cream Soda pieces sitting on literal snow and ice.

Which brings us to the March goals…

  1. Hexies. I’m going to try to get another block done.
  2. Caterpillar Quilt. Ok. This needs to be put at the top of the list. I want to finish the navy fruit and get the center assembled.
  3. Project Life. I’d really love to finish February and keep current with March. In a miracle world, I would finish November and December of 2020 too and then be all caught up with Project Life!
  4. Scrapbooks. Hmm… I think January and February of 2021. And maybe February of 2019? That seems like a good way to approach the gap- like, all of my Valentine’s Day stuff will be out, makes sense to knock out both years. lol. (Stretch goal of February 2020?)
  5. Monthly Kid Adventure. Should we shoot for 2 state parks this month to catch up? Hmm… We do have spring break coming up this month…
  6. Monthly Seasonal Celebration. St. Patrick’s Day!
  7. Staff Development. Maybe I’ll aim for 12 hours this month?
  8. Windchime Quilt. I have block number 11 all prepped! I’d like to finish it this month.
  9. Low Volume Log Cabin. I pulled this one out to work on and I’m up to 10 blocks! I think I’m aiming for 24? Either way, I’d like to get 6 more blocks done this month.
  10. Ice Cream Soda. I’d like to get the grey joining pieces attached for rounds 1 and 2, and finish round 4.

February!

We made it through January! Yay! Let’s see how we did with the January goals.

  1. Thank you notes. Done!
  2. December Daily. Done!
  3. Project life. I finished 2019!!! I also set up my 2021 album and got 2 January layouts done. 🙂
  4. Scrapbooks. Well, I got 1 week of January done, and have the pics printed for another week. I need to do better with this goal.
  5. Kid Adventures. Success! We took a spur of the moment trip to Mother Neff State Park and had a blast!
  6. Get organized for January homeschool. I’m counting this one as done! Mia’s reading teacher has started sending books and papers home every week for us to work on, so I cleared out some space and got it all organized. I also came up with a decent plan for doing Xander’s supplemental curriculum.
  7. Finish teal and navy fruit. Well, I did finish the teal fruit! And I have a plan for the navy fruit.
  8. Hexies. I went above and beyond with this one! I got 2 blocks done AND assembled the whole 3rd quadrant!
  9. Seasonal Celebration. We made king cake and celebrated epiphany! So fun. 🙂
  10. Windchime. This one came down to the wire, but I finished it last night. 🙂

How about some February goals…

  1. Hexies. I want to finish at least 1 block.
  2. Caterpillar Quilt. I want to finish the navy fruit. That’s only 3 blocks, so maybe doable?
  3. Project Life. I’d like to finish January (3 layouts) and keep current with February.
  4. Scrapbooks. I’m ignoring the gap for now. Really, I’d like to finish January 2021 and keep current with February 2021.
  5. Monthly Kid Adventures. We have an asynchronous day in February and I’m thinking we might try to hit up another state park!
  6. Monthly Seasonal Celebration. Valentine’s Day. duh. lol.
  7. Homeschool. I want to finish the Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons book. Xander and I only have 15 lessons to go!
  8. Staff Development. ::sigh:: I’m going to try to get 6 hours done this month.
  9. Kid Crafts. I want to do the Blossom and Root craft with the twins each week. 🙂
  10. Ice Cream Soda Quilt. I’d love to finish the 3rd round of rainbows! Which (I think) is 5 more blocks?

I have to go! The monsters are demanding more food. lol. They’ve only had 400 snacks this morning so clearly they’re starving. hahahaha.

Hexies. Always Hexies.

I’m making progress! I just finished the 3rd of 4 parts to my king size hexagon quilt.

And my beautiful first born held it up for a pic!

In case you missed the earlier post, here’s the full first half which I currently have up as my design wall.

Then I sorted all of the remaining hexies into 12 piles so I can hopefully finish this bad boy up! When I first started this project, it seemed like I would never finish, but now I think there’s hope!

Hexies!

I am a woman on a mission. I am determined to finish the center of the hexies this year. At that point, I’m going to have to make some decisions about borders, applique, etc., but I can’t let that keep me from making progress. And on that front, I finally finished the 3rd round of blocks! Now I am a busy bee stitching those 12 blocks together at which point I will sort the remaining hexagons into the 4th (and final!) round of blocks.

Here’s my pretty pile right before I started sewing them together! Once I get that done, I plan to switch my attention to Xander’s caterpillar quilt. I really want to get it to the same stage as Mia’s butterfly quilt. I got 2 fruit blocks done for it this month, and I only have 3 to go. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. And yes, I know that plums aren’t teal, but there no teal fruit we do what we’ve got to do. lol.

And! I just committed to (and purchased!) some navy fabric for an inner border between the center of the quilt and the pinwheels.

It’s going to require some math (not my favorite thing!) but I think it’s going to look awesome.

Then! I think I’m going to reward myself and spend some quality time with my ice cream soda blocks. 🙂