feather quilt

once upon a time, i bought a quarter yard bundle of field study. i made a big patchwork quilt with some of it. and the rest sat and sat. then, i had a baby and all things quilty were on hold.

then, one day, last february, i emerged from the newborn fog and began to sew again. with no pressing projects, i thought making a feather quilt out of my leftover field study was in order. so, off i went, cutting away.

somehow, i managed to make WAAAAY too many feathers.

so. i opted for a different layout, with less space between feathers. so i could fit more of the way-too-many that i had cut into a single quilt.

then. i started to homeschool isaac.
hazel stopped sleeping.
and this quilt sat, in this state, for months.

fast forward to last month. with all of my holiday sewing complete, i decided to pull out the feathers for one last run.

since i was tinkering with the layout, there was a bit of a learning curve on lining up these suckers.

since they weren’t “exact” or all “uniform size”, i offset them from each other and added a bit of sashing between rows. and finally, i had a top.

i used all the last remaining strips to make a binding, while i sought the perfect backing.

it didn’t take long. amh’s next line had this print that went perfectly and i got to quilting. i decided to sort of echo quilt each feather with my machine with the plan to do some hand quilting later.

for the hand quilting, i chose a few embroidery flosses that mostly matched some of the colors in the quilt and got to work. it was nice having an “upstairs project” that i could work on while hanging with the fam.
feather quilt hand quilting

forty feathers later, i was done!

and i love it.

the back. the fabric was perfect.

and finally a folded up pic, as usual.

i don’t know what the plan is for this sucker. there was a LOT of time put into it. and it’s one of my fabric all time fabric lines. but, i have no need for another quilt right now. so, i’ll likely gift it at some point. stay tuned for details…

making things with my bare hands

a quilt for derek.

i’ve never made a quilt for derek.
poor neglected husband.

so this year, for christmas, i put an end to the streak.

and made him this:

when i saw the modern neutrals at sewingly yours, i knew they would make a perfect manly quilt. the small prints were perfect for a scrappy trip along. so i got to work.

in november, i went on a sewing retreat with some friends, so i did as much prep work (in secret) as i could before my arrival. strips on strips on strips.

then i spent a full day sewing strips together in groups of six.

and then slicing the sewed up strips the other way to make strips again. :)

stacks of strips, ready to become blocks.

then my favorite. basting.

i quilted with an all over meander. bound in secrecy. and busted out the surprise on christmas…

the back.

all folded up.

ok. the end.

making things with my bare hands ,

christmas sewing commissionzzzz

quick post.

made a few items for other people to give as christmas gifts.

first up.
a set of four nifty little mug rugs for derek’s parents to give to their friend. she’s a “what do you get for the person who has everything” kind of person, so they figured they couldn’t go wrong with handmade.

there’s one for each season. sort of. there’s definitely a winter, fall and spring. but, the summer was just rainbowy because that’s what i like. i kind of wanted to keep it.

anyhow. she was at the swedish christmas party at their house, so i got to see her open them, and i’m pretty sure she appreciated them. :)

and second.
my friend wendee asked if i could make an apron for her daughter for christmas.
so i did.
i made one for anna when she was a baby, so i used that and the makeshift pattern that i concocted way back then. i think anna’s took me days. (it was when i first started sewing). wendee’s took me about an hour. crazy. and i think it’s super cute.

the end.

making things with my bare hands , ,

new year happenings.

i left off with my parents leaving town on new years eve.
they woke isaac to say goodbye, per his request.
they did NOT wake anna, per her request.
and hazel didn’t notice anything different.

but after the whirlwind of end of school, sick kids, christmas and then my parents here for five days, we were reading for a slower pace.

isaac and hazel, snuggling. he insisted i take a picture. he loves her.

knowing that i would be cracking down on my diet on jan one, i decided to have one last hurrah. anna and i sped off for a tasty lunch at the porch. we started with the salsa-queso-guac appetizer. mmmmmm.

i got tostadas teddy. so very good. and so very big. (under that pile of veggies are two corn tortillas with chipotle smoked chicken and hunks of avocado, smothered under a mound of melted cheese. fyi.)

anna went with her old standby, beans and rice.

the kids were determined to stay up until midnight on new years eve. we played a few rounds of “eye found it” which is a pretty fun game. everyone competes to get to the finish before “midnight”. all the players work together, so there’s no hurt feelings. :)

around 10:30, everyone started fading. and when derek woke me up at 11:15, this was the scene at our house. fail. no one made it. a good effort.

the next morning, it was go time. i headed off to the good old ymca. and we threw away all of the sugary terrible holiday foods that were lurking around our house.

(side note: i’ve stuck to the new plan for 6 days now (assuming i make it through the night) and i’ve lost four pounds. nevermind that i gained ten since thanksgiving.)

anyhoooo. back to regular stuff. like this knucklehead.


hazel is in full on wrecker stage. every waking moment of her life is solely devoted to wrecking. she takes everything out of any drawer she can find. she puts random things into random places. removes all of the books from the bookshelves. she has radar that tells her the very second i set my coffee cup down on the table and she makes a mad dash in an attempt to dump it on the living room floor. she climbs on everything. she’s just incredibly busy. and she LOVES to sit in drawers, buckets, baskets and so on.

and she does it all with balloon in hand.

this weekend, we went to a birthday party for ike’s buddy. there was a magician. the kids thought he was absolutely amazing. isaac got to be a volunteer. his proudest moment.

the birthday kiddo. with his SWEET lego cake.

some sunshine and driveway time.

i hate using the word “diet” to describe what i’m doing. really, i just cut out sugar and processed foods. and until i drop some pounds, i’m counting calories, but it’s not super hard to stay in my budget if i’m eating not sugars and not processed foods. anyhooo. i also cut out diet soda. i guess that’s a processed food. so, there’s been a LOT of tea being consumed around these parts. my mom introduced me to this delicious version. it’s a favorite, so far.

lastly. the dog. the baby. and the quilt.

ok. i’m up to date on everyday happenings. i have a couple of sewing finishes to post. like derek’s quilt. and some mug rugs i made for derek’s parents to gift to their close friend. and then i think i’m good to go. i really super duper want to be more regular about posting. not a binge poster like i am now.

ok. the end.

lid kid everyday life , , , , ,


twenty fifteen.

i have high hopes.
twenty fourteen sucked.
it was a long and hard year.
nothing major. so i shouldn’t complain.
just a tough time with the kiddos. and friendships.
and motivation.

in 2015.
i hope to get motivated.
and get healthy.
and be a better mom.
and move on.

and that’s that.

boring general update type posts

the week between christmas and new years.

like last year, my parents drove through the night on christmas and arrived on our doorstep in the wee hours of the morning. actually, they carefully and quietly snuck in and we even know they’d arrived.

the big kids woke up and were super excited.

not so for hazel. she was skeptical. it took her a day or so to warm up to grampy terry.

she liked gramma a lot better.

eventually, grampy terry won hazel over and all was right in the world. and of course anna is a fan.

grampa terry and new gramma came bearing another round of christmas presents. jake sent chocolate from his workplace, oliver’s candies, to all of the kiddos.

anna was the recipient of a princess elsa crown. no more non-disney approved crown for her head!

my mom and i had the bright idea to take the big kids to the festival of lights at tanglewood. we hadn’t been in a few years and we’d either forgotten how horrible it is, or my kids are way worse. or some combination of both. we had attempted to go a few weeks back, but the wait was four hours. this time, we were only 10 cars back of the entrance or so. but, tanglewood did this tricksy thing this year. they put a long loop before you even pay to go in. and once you’re on it, you’re stuck until you come back to the entrance. and we should have turned around then and headed home, because in the (about an) HOUR that we were on our little detour, the kids melted down. they were fighting. whining. crying. brawling. and so on. but, nope. we pressed on.

through the 45 minute or so lights display. and they didn’t care about it. and they fought more. and whined more. and it was seriously laughably miserable. we somehow got out alive and headed home. and this was the gruesome scene in the back upon our arrival. all the fighting and arguing sucked the energy right out of her.

gluttons for punishment, we also took the older two ice skating. i can’t stand how cute anna was in her skates, ready to go.

here’s the before picture. see the optimism on all of the faces? or maybe it’s blissful ignorance. try to remember that. i will.

i took anna out for a loop. she is so light and easy and she slip slided her way all the way around. meanwhile, isaac struggled along the wall, refusing help. he got super frustrated and it went downhill fast. my mom took over anna, and i encouraged and dragged isaac around one loop. he hated every minute of it. i felt bad for him. because he just wasn’t getting it. and he’s so big and it was hard to help him much. after his lap, we took a break. (note: his skates are off. he’s done.)

i gave isaac my phone, while i took anna around a few times. then, i looked over and he had “laced” (velcroed) back up and was joining us. this time was much better and he seemed to get it a little more. he’s way too big for my mom to help, so i stuck with him for a few more laps and my mom took anna shifts. she was like an old pro.

she loved every second.

we had to drag her out.

and she has been asking to go back ever since.

i wish i had more pics of isaac. i should have had my mom take some. oh well. he would probably rather forget the whole thing anyhow.

our final adventure was a trip to see big hero 6 at the movies. my mom and anna.

and ike. (don’t worry, it was during the ads, i’m not an inconsiderate movie-goer.)

and that sums up our adventures.
derek and terry mostly stayed home and used derek’s new smoker to smoke as much meat as humanly possible. nerds.

on new years eve, they snuck out in the wee hours of the morning for the long drive home. and we got back to normal(ish) life.

when people visit us , , , , , ,

christmas day. twenty fourteen.

christmas day is here.

(i actually think i took this pic christmas eve, but whatevs). the tree survived. if you’ll note, there’s no ornaments in the bottom third and the lights and garland are slightly askew. and the presents are ready to go…

the kids did a great job of not coming down at 4 am or any such nonsense. when they did get up (7ish), the checked out the goods in the dark.

then it was go time. and i don’t have many pics of the opening. of course.

hazel was a newbie, but she learned quickly.

this is the moment anna opened her eyes to see the dollhouse. happy girl.

i gave derek a quilt that i have somehow managed to keep a secret from him (paying for fabric in cash, working on it mostly at that retreat i went to, labeling all of the parts and stashing away between sewing sessions, etc)…

isaac’s christmas was very minecraft-themed. this torch from uncle frankles was a hit.

and hazel loves her musical, light up, plastic door. (so do the other kids).

anna played with her dollhouse nonstop all day.

and isaac, who has begged and begged for minecraft on a computer (or for his own computer), finally got his wish and played minecraft ALL DAY on my laptop.

we had a low key day. derek’s fam came by for a bit to have lunch. and we just played with toys. and didn’t do much for most of the day. and then. like that. it was all over.

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belated christmas season post.

man oh man, am i ever behind on blogging.
i was going to make one giant post with all that’s happened since december 15th or so. but after i selected 32 pictures and was only at christmas day, i decided to break it up into chunks.

the first installment covers the time between my last post and christmas day.
and without further ado…

i’ll start off with a super cute pic of all my kiddos in their matching christmas jammies. i had hoped to get an official awesome pic of them in front of the tree. but, that never happened, so this was as good as it got, even though i didn’t know it at the time.

while surfing the internets one day, i happened upon someone selling two green twin beds. i quickly snatched them up and set one up for anna. (hazel still sleeps in the pack and play in our closet). she was super excited. hazel too.

unfortunately, she didn’t make it through her first night in the bed. she got pretty sick and spent the next few nights on the couch. poor kiddo.

meanwhile, i resurrected this old project from the archives…

anna missed all of her end of year party events, but i got to go up to ike’s school to hang with him for his year end partytime. he loves selfies.

“holiday” party craft.

while we were at the party, derek texted me this pic of the sad sickly sister.

i thought a bath would help her out a bit. have you ever seen a more pitiful face?

with both kids done with school and derek (mostly) done with work, it was time to really start the christmas festivities. we kicked off vacation with a charlie brown christmas viewing.

after the kids went to bed, i went downstairs with derek to wrap, while he worked on anna’s super amazing christmas surprise. #santashelper

this kid is crazy.

side note. at this point, anna is a lot better. hazel seems mostly fine. derek and isaac are symptom free and i’m in the middle of the same affliction anna was suffering from (a nasty cough/cold).

on the saturday before christmas, it was time for derek’s family christmas event. and time for me to dress hazel up like and elf.

they serve a (semi) traditional swedish meal every year. sometimes white fish (not this year), lingonberry sauce, meatballs with allspice and white sauce, potatoes, a potato sausage, and saffron bread. and then some other stuffz.

we ate. opened gifts. played. cleaned up. headed out. and settled in to our house for night two of christmas vacation… and a viewing of elf.

hazel and isaac. they love each other.

hazel, like all the others, has taken to a comfort item. thankfully, she chose a bunny that derek’s parents bought for her and not a weird blanket that no one could find a duplicate of. for christmas, they gave her a second bunny, so we have backup. or, more likely, so hazel will demand to have BOTH bunnies at each sleepy time. either way, she’s a happy deflated bunny lover.

so. there’s an app called timehop. it scours your pics from facebook and instagram. or twitter and other social media places. and then everyday you can see what you posted on this day in years past. i was lying on the floor playing with hazel, and i checked my timehop app and the picture that popped up from three years ago was anna. in the exact same outfit as hazel. so, of course, i had to make this side by side comparison:

just when we thought we were all on the mend, hazel went downhill fast. and it was her turn to be pitiful.

she never sits still. i felt so bad for her, but i was secretly a little happy that she took a wrecking break. is that bad? it’s the silver lining of sick kids. more snuggles. less messes. i’m ok admitting that.

she rebounded quickly and a nice warm bath, and some vick’s vaporub, and some matching jammies and we were good to go.

i didn’t do christmas cookies this year. i thought we would do it over break. then, the illnesses struck. and we scrapped it. but, we did get a premade roll of gingerbread dough and pumped out a few gingerbread men. germ infused gingerbread men. (we didn’t share them).

pretty baker girl.

and the decorators. we also had very few decorating items. we used up everything last year. but, we had some leftover gingerbread house frosting. and some colored balls. and that was good enough, i guess.

and that brings me to christmas.
and an apology for the pile of blogs that i’m about to post in the next little bit. :)

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december. the first half.

so busy.

we kicked it off this year with a park playdate on a beautiful day.

hazel is currently in full wrecker mode. she prowls around the house, looking for opportunities. her favorite go-to’s is the book shelf. she is fast. and stealthy.

went up to check on kids the other night before bedtime. found isaac fast asleep. holding open his book. an encyclopedia. so cute. and nerdy.

some chick fil a fun.

hazel loves chick fil a.

isaac is having a great year. so much better than last year. SO. much. here’s his most recent progress report. last year, he never had a 4. and pretty much always had worrisome comments.

here’s the instagram photo documenting the start of my pajama bottom pants making. because that’s what instagram is for.

this kid. needs to be strapped down at all times.

the christmas tree. and the primary wrecker of the christmas tree. note the disparity in the number of ornaments on the top and the bottom.

hazel’s one year well child checkup. cutie head.

another portrait of princess anna by theannababy.

anna was glad to chip in and help make hazel’s birthday cake frosting.

we made gingerbread houses. here’s the assembled decorating materials. always makes for a fun and festive photo.

decorating action shot.

mid-decorating photo shoot break. only one participant.

completed houses.

just a cute chair sitter. (in my new favorite outfit of all time).

anna’s class had their “christmas program” last week. it was sort of interactive and different from anything i expected. it was more like we followed them through an extended music class and tried to keep our crazy babies under control while attempting to take pictures and participate and hear the quietly talking older children who were telling the Jesus Christmas Story. maybe i was the only one with the crazy baby. here’s the girls waiting for the show to start.

the best thing was. anna didn’t even participate at all. she just stood like a statue. except for the wand waving.

we gave hazel a picnic basket shape sorter toy for her birthday. it’s been a hit so far. (until gramma showed up with the ball popper).

this weekend, we had a family adventure night failure. first we attempted to go to a candle tea at old salem. the wait was LONG like around the block one and a half hours minimum long. so we walked around a bit (shot this pic) and then headed over to the festival of lights. and got in line. a very long line. we traveled about 1/4 mile in an hour and needed to go another 1/2 mile or so to get to the gate, so we turned around and headed home. 0 for 2.

last up. this cute christmas card that isaac made for his teacher. “it’s the most wonderful time of the year”. so cute.

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lewisville christmas parade.

yesterday was the lewisville christmas parade.
we didn’t get to go last year because of hazel and the business of her being born and all newborn and such.
but we’ve gone in most of the years past.
this year. isaac was in it, with his boy scout pack. so fun.
the weather was glorious and it was a packed house.

we had to arrive at 2:45 and it started at 3:00. and then we waited and waited and waited. there were so many floats and cars and trucks and teams and groups and so on. it was 3:45 when the boy scouts actually rolled out into the actual parade. in the meantime, i hung with these two knuckleheads.

derek and the girls drove around and around looking for a spot, before driving almost all the way back to our house and parking on the road and walking to the parade. here’s his anna-shoulder-ride selfie.

here was my view. walking straight into the sun. so many people. the onlookers were super demanding for the candy. kind of crazy. rather annoying.

derek captured this shot of us approaching his viewing area

we stopped for a photo shoot.

hazel, whose nap schedule was all out of sorts, was a disaster (or so i’m told). some candy helped a little.

we happened upon my pal, jude. she captured this mid-toss shot. :)

after we passed, derek and the girls headed home. next year we will just walk. it is ridiculous.

after we completed the route, isaac and i got to watch the last part of the parade. we saw minions, the grinch, these gingerbread dudes, and santa. then, we walked home.

i do love my little town. but, i hate that all of winston-salem piles in for the christmas parade and the fourth of july. especially when they speed through our little neighborhood while we are walking home. i guess that’s how people in tourist towns feel all the time.

anyhow. it was super fun. and isaac was a trooper. he started to complain about all of the walking when we were about 1/4 mile from home, which wasn’t bad, since we logged about 2 miles or so.

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