Road Trip Time!

Mia has a massive backlog of school work, so I had planned to use today to catch up. But then I woke up and it was absolutely gorgeous outside. The kind of day that it’s a crime to waste. So I made a snap decision to pack the kids up and drive to Mother Neff State Park! Literally, we were walking out the door within 20 minutes of me checking to see if they had available reservations. lol.

It’s such a fun park! It’s a little over an hour away, but I dug out the kids’ headphones and tossed their iPads in the backseat so it was blissfully quiet. I will say that one of the unexpected perks of virtual school is that everyone has their own iPad. lol.

And once we got there it was perfection! It’s for sure not stroller accessible, but I threw a mai tai in my backpack and crossed my fingers that I wouldn’t have to use it. And Mia was such a trooper! We didn’t hike for 10 miles or anything, but she did great over a pretty uneven “rustic” trail. Our first stop was this cool cave. More of an overhang, but I’m not complaining.

Then we followed the well marked trail to a little pond. So much fun! We hiked back to the cave since that was where we had parked and had our little picnic. Pro tip: leave most of the food in the car. 1. You don’t have to haul it around. 2. It’s very motivating for kids when they find out that they have to hike back before they can eat. lol. (I did have an emergency stash of apple sauce pouches that I let them have on the walk.)

I snuck in some time to work on my hexies, naturally. lol. I remember when the twins were born and I wondered if I would ever be able to take all 3 kids on adventures by myself. It was so easy when it was just Kate and I and I was worried that I would never get back to that. I am happy to report that there is “life after twins.” lol. And I wouldn’t change a single second of it. πŸ™‚

December Daily 2020

We had a snow day yesterday! Like for real snow! Generally speaking, it “snows” here once ever 2 or 3 years. And by snow I mean, there’s a bit of sleet and we just tell our kids it’s snow and to go our and play with it. But yesterday we had 2 inches of actual, honest to goodness, snow! So while my kids were outside getting hypothermia (we live in Texas and thus have zero winter gear) I finished December Daily. πŸ™‚

This year I was torn between getting a travelers notebook or sticking with my usual square format and in the end I decided to split the difference and make my own book that was 4×6, portrait. I love love love the look of full page photos in December Daily, but there is zero chance I will pay for enlargements for this project so this seemed like a good compromise.

I used the December Daily kit from Citrus Twist, the December kit from Freckled Fawn, as well as my (extensive) stash. I really love having a kit! As for the construction of this book, it involved a whole lot of tape. Honestly, I wish I had given up on the idea of making my own travelers notebook and had just whole punched it and used some binder rings, but it’s finished so I’m not complaining. πŸ™‚

This December was pretty crazy around here, what with overseeing virtual schooling and all, so I made a deliberate choice to simplify the process. It’s not my favorite book (I like more variety and embellishments) but I finished it in January and not September so I’m counting that as a win. πŸ™‚

I tried to be really intentional during the month to make sure that I had a portrait orientation picture (I tend more towards landscape photos) and a specific story to tell. It really paid off!

I did a mix of crafty pics and pics of my kids because it’s my project and I’ll do what I like. lol. I tried really hard to eliminate choices so that it would be quick to finish. Each page had a plain lined journaling card, a strip of washi, some tiny word stickers, and a circular number.

I also tried very hard to lure the tween from her cave so that she was included in some pics. Easier said than done. lol.

All in all, I’m quite pleased with how it turned out! Next year I think I’ll go back to being a bit more creative with it, but for right now when I’m soooooooooo far behind with all of my scrappy projects, it feels so good to cross one off of the list. Now if I could just get caught up with Project Life and the 12×12 scrapbooks…

Epiphany Celebration!

I was envisioning more of a snowflake craft extravaganza when I thought about a January seasonal celebration, but then Epiphany! I usually try (and fail) to make a king cake for Mardi Gras. But when I was looking up ideas for epiphany this year, king cake kept coming up. Then it hit me, KING cake= 3 KINGS! Duh!

Usually my cake is tasty but ugly. My dough is just never right. But this year, I went straight to my favorite baking recipe site: King Arthur Flour. You guys, if you’re not using their recipes, you are missing out! They are so easy to follow and they never disappoint.

So this year I kneaded it waaaaaay longer than I normally do and it turned out so good! It rolled out into an actual rectangle JUST LIKE IT WAS SUPPOSED TO! And it was absolutely delicious. I didn’t roll it out quite big enough so it baked into a bit of a blob, but there was an actual spiral with filling inside. And it was soooooo good. I just need to remember to order some purple sugar sprinkles. My just-add-red-food-coloring-to-the-blue-sprinkles-plan didn’t ::quite:: work out the way I had planned, but the kids didn’t complain. πŸ™‚

Christmas Quilt

I was determined to finish my Christmas quilt before the new year so I spent New Year’s Eve sewing on the binding. πŸ™‚ I’m usually such a scrappy quilter, but I just loved this Christmas line from Bonnie and Camille so much that I couldn’t resist making the whole quilt out of it. πŸ™‚

I am just delighted with how it turned out. I started this quilt March 30, 2019 and finished the top in November of 2019. Then I packed it away for about a year to let it marinate. lol. My grandmother (who is a saint) sent it out to be quilted for me and then made and stitched on my binding. I got it back just in time to hand stitch the backside of the binding before the new year.

Which brings the grand total for 2020 to 3 quilts started and 2 quilts finished. I now have 8 quilts in progress and I’d like to keep it to roughly that number. Looks like I need to finish a few quilts!

Happy New Year!!!

I love the new year! Everything always seems so fresh, shiny, new, and full of possibilities. πŸ™‚ I’ve been doing some project updates this week, but for the sake of clarity I’m going to do a very brief recap of my 2020 goals.

  1. Project life. 16/20.
  2. Scrapbook. 9/20.
  3. Hexies Progress. Done!
  4. Kid Adventures. Done!
  5. Montessori Trays. Done!
  6. Girl Scouts. 13/20.
  7. Bee Yourself Quilt. 15/20.
  8. Blog posts. Done!
  9. Liturgical Living. 9/20.
  10. Home Projects. 17/20.
  11. Recipes. 4/20.
  12. Butterfly/ Caterpillar Progress. Done!
  13. Nine Patches. Done!
  14. Date Nights. 8/20.
  15. Plants. Done!
  16. Staff Development Progress. Done!
  17. Books. Done!
  18. Trash. 15/20.
  19. Caring Place. 12/20.
  20. Pounds. Well, I’m still up 5 pound from my pre-quarantine weight, but I am down 15 from my covid high, so a partial win? It’s finally moving in the right direction at any rate.

I have been trying to decide how I want to structure my goals for this year, but I just can’t choose! The time for dillydallying is past though so here goes. As much as I loved 20x20in2020, it was kind of a lot to keep track of and I felt like I was shoehorning in some goals that didn’t really fit the structure, so I’m changing it up this year. I’ve decided to pick 10 things to work on this year, and then I’ll probably still set smaller monthly goals.

  1. I want to finish my hexies! At least the center of the top. lol. That’s 14 more hexie blocks and then the assembly. Once it’s together, I’ll need to make some decisions about borders etc, but just getting the hexies together would be amazing. Since I finished 14 blocks this year, it feels achievable?
  2. Butterfly Quilt. I have the center assembled, just need to make some decisions about borders and finish the pinwheels. I’d love to have this completely finished by the end of the year, but a lot of that hangs on how I decide to quilt it. At minimum, I’d like to have the top completed.
  3. Caterpillar Quilt. Same except that I’m not as far along with this one. I have the top 8 rows assembled and all of the caterpillars appliqued. I need to finish the embroidery on 2 caterpillars, design and applique 5 blocks of fruit, and assemble the center. Also, so many pinwheels. lol.
  4. Project Life. I want to finish 2019 (3 layouts), 2020 (November and December), and keep current with 2021. I think there is zero chance that this happens, lol, but it’s good to have goals.
  5. Scrapbooks. I’d love to finish 2020 (4 months), keep current with 2021, and make some progress towards closing the gaps. Hmm… I’m so far behind it’s hard to know what to set as a goal. lol. You know what? I’m splitting this goal, so number 5 will be current scrapbooks: 2020 and 2021. I think this is actually doable. Which leads us to goal number 6…
  6. The dreaded scrapbook gap… I’m caught up through the end of October 2018. So maybe finish 2018 and then scrap every other month for 2019? No, better idea. I’m going to shoot for finishing the calendar layouts (which I hate doing) and then 2 additional layouts per month. That way at least something will be scrapped for each month and it’s seems more doable.
  7. Bucilla Advent Calendar. I’m adding this to my master list so that I will be reminded to work on it all year instead of waiting until mid November to pull it out. lol.
  8. Monthly Kid Adventures. I want to pick one bigger adventure each month. Something totally new. Current ideas include some local state parks.
  9. Monthly Seasonal Celebration. Pick a monthly theme and do something. lol.
  10. Homeschool. Take advantage of our Blossom and Root curriculum! Not sure how to make this measurable, but it’s a goal nonetheless.

So then I’m left with January goals…

  1. Thank you notes.
  2. December Daily.
  3. Project Life. Finish 2019 and November 2020. Work on January 2021.
  4. Scrapbooks. I’m focusing on Project Life this month, so just keeping current with January 2021.
  5. Kid Adventure. I want to take the kids to Mother Neff State Park. It seems like a totally doable day trip.
  6. Get organized for January homeschool.
  7. Finish teal and navy fruit blocks. This is high priority! I want to get the caterpillars to the same spot as the butterflies.
  8. Hexies. I’d like to finish 1 block.
  9. Seasonal Celebration. I’m sure I’ll come up with something? Maybe some new Montessori trays?
  10. Windchime. I’d like to prep and finish 1 block.

Whew! That was a long post, but it helps me to organize my thoughts and set goals. I’ll try to have some more posts with pictures soon!

2020 Quilty Recap

I thought it might be good to do a little progress report on all of my quilts. One of my goals for 2020 is to actually ::finish:: some projects and I’m hoping this helps motivate me to accomplish that!

  1. Hexagons. The OG quilt. I started off the year with 11 of the 12 super hexies completed, 20 blocks total, and fully 1/3 of the quilt sewn together. I now have all 12 of the super hexies done, 34 out of 48 blocks completed, and 1/2 of the quilt assembled. Which sounds pretty impressive when I type it out! I basically got 14 blocks done this year and I have 14 to go. I’d really love to finish this top this year.
  2. Bee Yourself. This is the second oldest UFO quilt and I made some real progress this year! I started off the year with 21/ 63 blocks done and I’m ending with 36/ 63 done. That’s 15 new blocks done! Plus, I have a plan for most of the remaining blocks which is half the battle!
  3. The third oldest UFO quilt is my Christmas one. I started the year off with the top finished. I ended up sending it out to be quilted by a longarmer and it looks amazing! I’m about halfway done with the binding and then it will be finished. πŸ™‚
  4. Next up is my Windchimes! I started the year with 3 blocks complete and now I have 9! I thought about stopping here and making a small wall hanging, but I love these blocks too much to quit. I’m thinking maybe 4×4? Or even the full 5×5!
  5. Then comes the Butterflies and Caterpillars. I started the year with 16 butterflies done and now I have all 39 finished! For the caterpillars, I started with 5 done and now I have all 11 done minus a teeny bit of embroidery on 2 of them. As for the fruit, I started the year with no fruit and I now have 12/ 17 done. I’ve also finished all of the 9 patches and I’m about 1/4 of the way through the pinwheels. πŸ™‚
  6. Pixilated Heart Quilt! This one was so fun and easy that I’m considering making a second one. πŸ™‚ I finished the top last year between Christmas and New Years, then I set it aside for a loooooong time. I actually quilted it myself and bound it this year. It’s a favorite to snuggle with on the couch!
  7. I started by 60* diamond wallhanging in April and it’s almost done! I’m hand quilting it so it’s taking a bit longer, but I’ve just got the border to go. πŸ™‚
  8. In May I started a low volume log cabin quilt and I’ve now got 6 blocks done. I’m in no hurry with this one, but it’s been fun to play with low volume fabrics.
  9. And my final new project is my Ice Cream Soda Quilt! I love this one so much! I have 14 blocks done and a bunch more to go. I think there’s something like 68 in the finished quilt? They are so much fun! I’m not in any rush to finish this one; I’m just enjoying playing with all of the pretty fussy cuts. πŸ™‚

All this to say that my big quilty goals this year are to finish the hexagon, butterfly, and caterpillar tops. πŸ™‚

Scrapping?

This year, I feel like I’ve made loads of progress on my quilts, decent progress on Project Life, and minimal progress on my scrapbooks. I’m considering a big push to get some scrapping done this week to avoid getting further behind. So some mini goals…

  1. Project Life. I was doing really great on this goal, but then the last 2 months I’ve done basically nothing. I’d really love to do the last 3 weeks of 2019 at minimum. If I could get November and December of 2020 done it would be a minor miracle. It would also mean that I would be completely caught up with Project Life! I was doing so well doing Project Life in real time and I’d like to continue with that trend in the new year. Which means I should really order a new album and page protectors. lol.
  2. Scrapbooking. ::le sigh:: Thus far, I’ve managed to get 9 months done which means that instead of catching up I’ve fallen further behind. I was loving working in real time, but then I fell off the bandwagon in September. Speaking of which, the only layout missing for September is the calendar layout. I’d like to get that done, plus 2 more months. That would mean that I’d have completed 12 months in the past 12 months. Going forward, I want to get back to scrapping in real time while working on closing the gaps. More on this later in the week. lol.
  3. December Daily. I’m keeping it super simple this year, so I’d really like to wrap it up this week. I made a point to simplify the design so that there’s only 1 pic per day and I tried to be intentional about making sure I had a pic for each day. Today I’m going to try to get all of the pics printed.

I’m currently debating if I want to try for another massive year long goals project. Maybe? I do like the idea of 20x21in2021. But some of my goals don’t really lend themselves to that format. So maybe set 21 project goals instead? I know that I will probably end up starting some new projects (lol) but I’d also really like to finish some projects. Like catching up with the scrapbooks. The butterfly and caterpillar quilts. The hexagon quilt. Still pondering.

It’s December!

We made it to December! Yay! And how was November? Let’s see…

  1. 30 scrapbook pages. Well, I didn’t get that done, but I did get 12 pages done! Most of them Project Life so I’m counting that as a win.
  2. Scrap every day. I didn’t accomplish this either, but I did scrap for 9/30 days which was pretty fabulous.
  3. November 2019 project life. Done!
  4. October 2020 project life. Done!
  5. December daily prep. Well, I ordered a kit, does that count? lol. I’m 99% sure I want to make my own travelers notebook so we’ll see how that works out. I might give up on that once I dive in tomorrow.
  6. Butterfly embroidery. I’ll be honest, I didn’t even look at this.
  7. Caterpillar embroidery. This either. ::sigh::
  8. Advent calendar. Well, I pulled it out and worked on it for exactly 1 day. Then I realized that 2020 is not the year for this. I have high hopes for 2021 though!
  9. Order Christmas cards. nope. I really need to get that done today or tomorrow. We even have great pictures this year!
  10. Quilt diamond quilt. I actually made a lot of progress on this, though I didn’t finish it. The center is all quilted and I’m working on the border.

I know it seems like I got almost nothing accomplished in November, (which is partially true lol) but I did spend quite a bit of time figuring out how to design, cut, and ship acrylic ornaments! Maybe I’ll write a blog post about that later this week. πŸ™‚

December Goals.

  1. December 2019 Project Life. I only have 3 more spreads to do and the whole dang book will be done.
  2. November 2020 Project Life. ::sigh:: I’m falling behind on this, but once I wrap up 2019 I think it will be easier to keep up with.
  3. December Daily. I’m not putting pressure on myself to finish this project in December. But I do want to be intentional about taking a photo and writing down a story for each day.
  4. Activity Advent Calendar. I need to sit down today and plan out the activities for the month. It’s going to look a bit different since we can’t go anywhere so I’ll need to get a bit creative. I’m thinking weekly movie nights for sure. lol.
  5. Christmas Cards. I need to order, address, and mail my Christmas cards.
  6. Plan out 20x21in2021 goals and give some thought to how I want to document my progress.
  7. Bind Christmas Quilt. I cheated and got it quilted by a long armer! πŸ˜€ Now I just need to cut the binding and get it bound and labeled.
  8. Finish (Hand) Quilting Diamond Quilt. I’m actually nearing the end on this and would be thrilled to have it finished before the end of the year!
  9. Change out Design Wall. Currently, I have my Bee Yourself quilt up there and I’m about out of mojo on that one. Time to change it up and make progress on something else, perhaps the poor neglected caterpillars and butterflies?
  10. Finish Hexie Block Number 33! I’m toying with the idea of setting a year long goal to finish the hexagon top. Not sure if I’ll go with that or not, but either way I want to finish up this block. πŸ™‚

20×20 in 2020 Update

I’m writing this on November 1st which means that I have 2 months left to work on my (rather lofty) 2020 goals. Seemed like a good time for a check in so I sketched it all out in my bullet journal and I’ve actually made more progress that I thought!

I left a spot for a check in on December 1st and then a final update on Jan 1st. To my surprise, I’ve actually completed 8 of the 20 goals! And I think it’s totally possible that I could finish 4 or 5 more before the end of the year.

I’ve really enjoyed this. So much that I’m considering doing 20×21 in 2021. lol.

Ice Cream Soda Quilt

I had the best intentions of finishing a quilt before I started a new one, but then I caved and started on the Ice Cream Soda quilt. Y’all, no regrets. lol.

This is the fabric that started it all! I got a mini charm pack and it was so stinking cute that I went back and got a layer cake. I decided I just had to cut into it.

I thought about making a whole Halloween themed Ice Cream Soda quilt, but then I saw these crabs in my stash and they just had to be turned into a block!

This pattern is so much fun for fussy cutting. And since the outer pieces are bigger, you can feature fussy cuts that are usually too big. πŸ™‚

I cant’ believe I got these stripes to match up!

This is one of my favorites! Bees, honeycomb, then honey bears!

Current plan is to have each block be largely monochromatic with alternating high and low volume fabric. And of course to follow a theme! This was was balloons. πŸ™‚

So much fun! I have a ton of ideas for more blocks, just need to set aside time to prep some more fabric. πŸ™‚ I imagine this will be a long term project as I gradually acquire more fabric. And I’m good with that.