Sunday, November 30, 2008

Two down

Two down, 30 to go, LoL! I didn't get a whole lot done today as we spent the major part of the day at my aunt and uncle's house, visiting with my grandparents while Tony helped my uncle pick up 2 truckloads of wood for their fireplace. However...I got Hannah's stocking done tonight! Cross ONE more thing of my to-do list! I am very pleased with the way it came out. I wanted something a little baby-ish, but not so much so that she won't like it when she's 12. The dot fabric is Mary Englebriet, don't ask what the snowman fabric is. I forgot to look.

Here's a pic of Jeremiah's stocking too, that I made for his first Christmas. I used Jeremiah's as a pattern but didn't do the pointed toe on Hannah's. I wanted hers to be just a little different. Tony and I also have homemade stockings, which my Mom made for us and I made my tree skirt too. Can't be a quilter without quilted holiday items too! Well, maybe you can and not to lay a guilt trip on those who don't. If it makes you feel better a secret pal sent me the pannel for my tree skirt and I cut it out, then used it for 2 years before I quilted, backed and bound it. See, I knew that would make you feel better!

I was so happy to make it to church today. Growing up we went every Sunday; it never was even a question "if" we were going or not. Since getting pregnant with Hannah I have missed more church than I had for my whole life! It's not even a religious guilt thing, I simply miss the worship and communion with other Christians. I was SO very happy to make it in time for the praise and worship because usually (thanks to Tony, hehe) we are late and almost miss all of it.

The message really spoke to me too, it was about how we as Christians tend to give God our "leftovers." You know, IF we have time we read our Bible, IF we remember we pray, IF we have any money leftover we tithe, etc. My husband and I have tithing down, we do that even when we can't afford it but the Bible reading and quiet I was really convicted on.

I know for me, as a stay at home mom, it is SO very easy to make my kids #1 in my life. Everything I do revolves around them. While it's bad, I guess, that I lose myself in that it is worse that I lose the Lord in that. I was convicted and sad to realize that lately the Lord hasn't been number one in my life, but has fallen in line behind my kids, my husband, and sadly even my quilting. I really need to work on that and try to realign my priorities. My relationship with God should be first, then my husband, then my kids and lastly my hobbies.

I don't know how I'm going to do this, I will need to pray about it. I know I need to start making time (not finding it) for quiet time and Bible study everyday. I don't know if I will have to have Tony watch the kids for me for half an hour so I can do that without disctractions, or if I will need to turn off the computer and (gasp) TV and do it as soon as the kids go to bed. Something has to give though. The reason I have been feeling so worn out lately is that I am spiritually tired as well. Like the Bible says, prosper and be in good health even as our souls prosper! Who knows, maybe I will stress less and have more patience! I know my hubby and kids would love that!

I know some of you reading might not share my faith or agree with me, but since this is kind of my online journal and this has been on my heart today, so I thought I would share it.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Welcome Christmas

The holidays are officially here at my house. We put up our tree tonight and I have lots of pictures to share. Whew! It's kind of my unofficial job to fluff all the parts to the tree, put it together and string the lights--then Tony (and subsequent children) helps decorate it. Jeremiah was SO excited, kept getting into things and from having to fuss at him every 45 seconds I put the tree together wrong. 3 times. Hannah crawled over and chewed on the cord, which made us nervous she would electrocute herself so I had to put her to sleep so I could finish the lights.

Jeremiah was a great and frustrating help, LoL! He had 3 particular branches he liked, I guess, because every ornament we handed him went on one of them. Tony jept having to rearrange them. Cheryl (my dear MIL) gave Jeremiah a singing, piano-playing snowman for his first Christmas (2005). Tony replaced the batteries and the kids had the biggest time with it!

It started out being about 55 degrees today but about noon it started raining and got stinking, miserably cold. Good night to stay in doors and trim the tree! One of our LQS had a sale today and I got a couple yards of batiks to use in some more bags and fabric to make Hannah's stocking! It is soo cute, I will post a pic when I finish the stocking in a couple days. Yesterday while at Mom's the kids made milk-carton gingerbread houses (graham crackers instead of gingerbread). Jeremiah was so proud of his we had to take a pic before he started eating it, LoL!

In other news, I finally got the Ugly Quilt pinned out. Hope to start quilting it tomorrow. Speaking of jewel boxes, here's a pic of a Christmas quilt I made in '04 out of 5" charms from 3 years worth of Christmas swaps. I meant to make a Jewel Box pattern, but was 2mo pregnant at the time and had "pregnant brain" so it didn't turn out right. I love this quilt though. The inner red border isn't a Christmas fabric but was the right shade of red and the outter border is a green batik with Christmas trees. I pieced together all the siggy squares I got in the swaps for the label on the back.

I started working on Betsy's hat to match Aubree's. I'm going to take it with me to my aunt's tomorrow, I'm going to visit with my grandparents for a couple hours before they head back to Ohio. Then it's home for (hopefully, Lord willing!) a nap and some actual quilting!

This is our tree. Isn't it pretty?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Stuffed to the gills

Where did that saying come from anyway? I don't believe I even have gills. Anyhoo, we had a good Thanksgiving with no fighting, lots of food, and minimal annoyance to me by my SIL. LOL! We took my sister with us and she got along well and was even invited back. We are finally almost home, having made a pit stop at Mom's to drop of Diantha and just haven't managed to leave yet.

I'm getting ready to go dig thru her scrab box (bin, tote, tub, 50 gallon drum) to look for dark or black scraps suitable for making the Vampyr (haha, fancy) bag I have forming in my head. I knocked myself out (almost) trying to get some bags done this week, and I did sell one today! Just not one of the new ones I nearly knocked myself out to make haha!

Mom's given me a bag of some luscious merino wool died in candy blue and pink to spin into some yarn for a hat for my other sister. She (Mom) says she has other things to spin and I can practice. This is great, and I am excited, except...

I have the Ugly Quilt to pin and quilt
2 loud, loud shirts to make for my Dad for Christmas
a stocking to make for Hannah
the seams on Hannah's shaggy to clip
and tonight my beautiful baby sister asked for a red knitted hat. I brought the one I knit for my niece Aubree and Beverly, who's favorite color in the world is red (ah, a girl after my own heart) saw the hat and wouldn't return it. I told her, look in my bag, I have more red yarn I can knit one for you too! She picked the yarn out of my bag and shoved it at me in a silent, "Here! Start. Now." kind of way. She's not spoiled or anything, but I told her I'd start on it when I get home. *sigh*

We hit the mall on the way home from Greeneville to see about a gift certificate for my cousin. I didn't get the gift certificate but I did manage to buy 5 pairs of panties from Victoria's Secret, LOL! Actually, I picked them out and my wonderful, manly hubby went and stood in a long line with little bitty, brightly colored panties that didn't even make a handful for him and paid for them. I love him. I got a gift certificate just for buying something today, so I can go back after the 1st and buy some more. Yay! Panties!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

3D Lips and traveling

Someone mentioned to me that it was too bad I didn't have any bags with 3D embellishments. While this wasn't a request, I took it as a personal challenge and have been racking my brain to come up with something 3 demensional for the side of a bag (or 2 or 3). Today was my first attempt. I made a bag from batiks like I usually do, but when I was done quilting one of the sides I hand appliqued a set of kissy lips I cut out of a gorgeously red felted sweater Mom couldn't unravel. I have another pair of "regular" lips and one that I appliqued white vampire fangs (I love vampires) onto to use on future bags. This bag got listed on my etsy tonight, and keep an eye out for a vampire bag from the dark side coming soon!

Diantha was a big help with the kids today. I made that lips bag and also a 3rd installment of my "Little Hippy" sock knitting bags. That's 4 bags completed and listed in the last couple days. Not as many as I have planned in my head, but more than I thought I would get done.

Tomorrow morning we are off to Greeneville, bright and early. I do so look forward to time spent with Tony's family. They are so relaxed and "go with the flow" type people, and I always manage to get a nap on the couch because there are lots of Nanas, Papaws, aunts and uncles to help watch my kids!

That is one thing I am so very thankful for: a good relationship with my inlaws and peace at our family gatherings. I praise the Lord that my children and husband are healthy, and that He allowed me to marry a friend who accepts and loves me, even at my worst. It is a daily reminder of Christ's love and acceptance. I am not usually a sentimental person, but every night when I go to bed I say a very simple prayer of thanks for my beautiful babies and as I reflect on other things I am thankful for now, my heart is full and I am blessed.

Colossians 3:15--Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

1 Timothy 1:15--Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--of whom I am the worst.

I pray you all have a wonderful, peace-filled holiday with whatever "family" (friends, etc) you have near to you and dear to your heart!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

YoYo Pictorial

I recently made some yo-yo ornaments and they were really cute. Someone asked me to post a "pictorial" explaining how to make them. These make an excellent project for kids, great gifts for secret pals or teachers. Aside from the use of a glue gun (which they now sell at the Dollar Tree) they are really kid friendly too! Click on each picture for a larger version! You will need a handful of buttons, a length of lace, a cheap spool of ribbon, needle and thread and the glue gun.
I used 5" charms of Christmas fabrics I had laying around, so my cut circles are almost 5"--more like 4 3/4" if you want to get technical. Trace circles, cut them out. You need 2 fabric circles per ornament.You don't have to use a beer bottle, honestly. And sorry, it was the only thing I could find that was the right size. Right about 2 1/2". You need 2 cardboard circles for each ornament. Trace and cut them out with paper scissors. I used a cereal box for my circles.
Use a needle and thread to make a "running stitch" around the edge of the circle, right side toward you. Place a carboard circle inside and draw the circle closed. Note, the bigger your stitches, the easier it is to drawstring the circle closed. My stitches were about 1/2" long. Once you have your circle drawn shut, stitch back and forth a coupletimes and tie a knot to hold the yo-yo closed permentantly.
Now use the glue gun to place bead of hotglue in center where your seam and place a button on the glue. This makes sure your seam won't come undone and the button cutely hides the stitches!
Measure around the edge of your yoyo and cut lace to that length. You need one piece of lace per ornament. Using the gluegun, hot glue the lace to the back (flat side) of one yo-yo.
Cut a piece of ribbon about 3" long and glue both cut ends on top of each other near the edge of the yo-yo so that it makes a loop (to hang on the tree). Sorry I don't have a picture of this step, but it is easy! Take the yo-yo for the other half of the ornament and put hot glue all around the edge on the flat side, about 1/4" in. Press both flat sides together.
TADA! You've made a yo-yo ornament! Here are my finished ornaments, I made 10. A person could use more elegant fabrics and antique looking lace for more Victorian looking ornaments. Or, use stripey (or candy colors) fabric and hotglue a popcicle stick in opposite the hanging loop (so the lopo is at the top and the stick points straight out the bottom) for lollipop ornaments.

New Listings

Finally! I finally got a couple new bags listed, one regular size (roughly 10x10.5") and one sock knitting bag (roughly 8x8.5"). I have the front and back pieced for another sock knitting bag and 3 more regular sized ones planned in my head. I sold the War is Not Civil bag I had made out of civil war repros, and I think I might make another one or two. I have enough scraps leftover from my block swaps to do so and it was really nice looking. Maybe I can make one of those tomorrow. The quilting on the regular sized bag wasn't as creative as I usualy do but I pulled a muscle or something in my lower back last night and I couldn't hardly start to sit on the chair at my sewing machine! I kept thinking, "almost done, almost done!" LOL!

I don't know if I will make anymore pieced/quilted sock knitting bags after this. They are kind of a pain, being smaller around and having pockets. The one I listed tonight gave me a lot of trouble with the pockets on the inside, the fabric, thread and sewing machine just did NOT want to work together. I finally conquered though. I made some different smaller bags a while back, Mom has them listed on her etsy site. They are not pieced or quilted, just batik on the outside and lined. They are much easier, but I don't know how well they would sell on my shop since the whole hippy, batik, scrappy thing is apparently my trade mark.

I hope to get to sew some more tomorrow. We are picking my sister Diantha up in the morning, she is going with us to Tony's Dad's and Grandparents' house in Greeneville on Thursday for Thanksgiving. We took Artemas with us last year and since then the two of them have fought over who gets to go this year. Diantha is a big help playing with the baby and Jeremiah so I might be able to get a whole nother (is that a word?) bag made.

I have been working here and there at night when I'm too tired to sit at the machine on a hat for my niece, Aubree. She will be 2 the beginning of next month and has the whole "Diva" thing going already. Her favorite color is red. I used a beautifully soft black eyelash yarn for the cuff or brim of the hat and I'm using a sport-weight red acrylic yarn for the main part of the hat. I want my SIL to be able to throw it on the machine if Aubree paints herself with mashed potatoes (again) or something. It doesn't show up well in the picture but the hat has 6 cables in it, it is very pretty in person already! That's a pic of her, underneath the hat. I told her to say "Cheese!" and instead she did an Elvis-lip thing, LOL!

My baby is going through a growth spurt or something, wanting to nurse every 20 minutes even though she's eaten food too. I'm amazed I'm getting anything done, although I sewed while the kids took an extra-long nap. I still need to pack for Greeneville but, hey! Why not put it off until tomorrow? hahaha...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Short week

This week I will sew.
Already today I've finished piecing Hannah's shaggy and all that's left is to snip te seams. A big task in its own right! Maybe I will take it with me in the car Thursday since we have a 2+hr drive to Tony's Dad's. I should be able to get it all snipped during the trip then, it's only 40"x45". I might take along this hat I'm knitting for my niece if I haven't finished it by then.

I have the Ugly Quilt ready to pin and quilt. I was planning on pinning it while the kids nap this afternoon but it is such a cold rainy day and my kids are so warm and snuggly I think I will have to nap with them.

I want to make and list at least 3 more bags on etsy by Wed night since I've sold a couple in the last week! I figure it's a good idea since Fri kicks off the major Christmas shopping season. Although, I am almost done. I love Thanksgiving, it might be my favorite holiday, but it does kind of through a wrench in the works as it makes it a very short week! Anything I need to do this week needs to be done by Wednesday then. Bags, quilts, pack for the trip to Greeneville. Plus I need to finish putting up groceries (yes, I'm a slob), clean my kitchen, my room and put up laundry. Maybe I should forego the nap?

Tony went shopping last night. We needed baby wipes and he came home with 3 outfits for Hannah, 1 for Jeremiah, a box of chocolates for me, a spool of thread and the book Visions of Sugarplums by Janet Evanovich (for me, of course!)
That is love right there: chocolate, quilting thread, and a Stephanie Plum book!!

I guess I should get out of here and go sew some more. Maybe I can get the front and back of a bag pieced before we lie down for a nap!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

One down

One down, thirty five to go, LoL!
I got one more thing finished today and crossed off my gift-giving list. A pair of knit men's camoflauge slipper socks. They fit Tony and he usually wears a size 12, so what is that? An XL? Anyway, they look huge to me. We play the gift game with his family on his Dad's side, so that's his gift to put in the game. I am glad to have them done!

We spent 9 hours at my aunt and uncle's house today to visit with my grandparents, allow Tony to work on our bedframe and also watch the football game. The Vols won--yay, I guess. LoL! I was able to spend a LOT of time knitting, in fact I started and finished one whole slipper there. I had hoped to get home in time to sew a little tonight, but oh well, tomorrow is another day.

My dear MIL bought my kids winter coats a few weeks ago, and since it is a little difficult to get a puffy coat on a 7 month old she bought Hannah this WONDERFUL soft pink snow bunny suit! The pink faux-ultra suede looks so good with her little baby blue eyes. Doesn't she look happy with her little dolly?

I thought I might as well share some pictures of my children from this week since I am stuck in the recliner nursing the baby, and Tony went to lay with Jeremiah (ie, go to sleep himself) without handing me the remote. Right now Steve-O is getting a tatto while riding cross country in a jeep, bouncing all around. At least that's better than 2 minutes ago when I was getting to watch Johnny Knoxville get papercuts between his toes. What is wrong with these people anyway? I think Johnny Knoxville would be kinda cute if he weren't such a freak.

Anyway, here is Jeremiah playing in the train room at the Children's Museum on Thursday. He LOVES trains and has a hundred pieces of wooden train track/parts himself but was still excited to see they had a train table also!

OH! And I won a set of notecards from Orange Cat Art, click there to visit their Etsy shop! Thanks so much guys, I am so excited to have won!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Kick-off for the weekend

I purchased the rest of the flannel material I need (I hope!!) for Hannah's shaggy quilt today and cut the squares out. Hopefully sometime this weekend I will get to work on it. I also dug in Mom's stash and found the right dark blue fabric to border the Ugly Quilt and cut them out. I can't wait to finish that one. I'd love to get it ready to quilt this weekend.

Tomorrow we are heading to my aunt and uncle's house so Tony can finish building the platform/bed frame for our bed. A couple months ago we bought a king sized bed set but don't have a frame to set the bed on. For the last month or so Tony has been borrowing their garage to build a frame, with drawers in the sidss and everything it is quite fancy. He really is doing a good job, I'm proud of him. My grandparents are in from Ohio staying with my aunt and uncle until after Thanksgiving so we will visit with them a while too.

I began work on a knitted slipper sock today too to match one I'd already knit (I ran out of yarn). I bought the same yarn again and this one is turning out different than the first!! Other than the color it doesn't match at all! I am going to have to knit another from the same skein when I finish the one I'm working on so I'll have a matched set. Sheesh. What do I do with the original camo slipper?! Crap. I told Mom I might fill it with plaster of Paris and let it be a door stop. She said she thought the plaster would leak through the stitches.

I have lots of ambition for the weekend, and very little energy. I am very, very, horribly sleepy and I SHOULD go to bed since Hannah is now asleep but I'm halfway through watching Love Actually and I love this movie and most of the actors in it and have been waiting all week for it to be on. Decisions, desicions.

I should mention I have been corrected on a mistake I made in yesterday's blog: There were 9 kids with us at the museum. I forgot Mom had her niece Dana with her! Sorry!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Children's Museum

We had an outing today. A friend of mine has two children the samme ages as mine and she asked me on Wed. if I wanted to take the kids to the Children's Museum in Oak Ridge. I was all for it; she said her son really enjoys it and I remember my goddaughter used to love going too (although I had never been.) I talked to Mom and sh said her kids would like it too. So there we were, 3 of us with 8 kids in tow. We looked like a school class taking a tour! The kids really had a lot of fun!

I haven't gotten any sewing done today. I've gotten about 5 minutes worth of knitting done. Of course it's not anything I need knit by Christmas! I need to clean my kitchen and figure out what to start on next. Maybe that XL men's camo slipper for a gift exchange. I knit one, ran out of yarn. I picked up more of the yarn last weekend but wanted to get that Ugly Quilt top done. Which, btw, I have except I want to put some dark blue borders on it, to kind of contain the madness. It's a Non-so-Ugly Quilt now, LOL! I like it!

I hit Mr Kay's Used Books of my way to the museum. I used up the rest of the credit I had with them (for trading in books I was done with). I got One for the Money by Janet Evanovich and Death by Chocolate by Diane Mott Davidson. I've read both but it's been a while since I read Death by Chocolate so I'll read it first. It's book 2 in the Goldy culinary-mystery series and I'd like to have all of them.

It looks like I migt not get anything done tonight afterall. Hannah just woke up and is fussy and whiny and out of sorts. It may be a cuddle-Hannah and watch-Jeremiah play with his train night. Oh well. :-D

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My own worst critic

I am my own worst critic. I second guess everything I do. Like the "Ugly quilt"; I thought it was horrible, quite an "OH NO!" experience. Other people have said it's not too bad. It looks better now, I must admit. I rearranged it so the diamonds are all the same fabrics. I'd like to be an "artist" but I think that a true artist would be sure of themselves in their art.

Everytime I make a bag I think, "This is the ugliest thing I've ever seen!!" Suddenly though, as soon as it's done it looks pretty good. It's a phenominom. I knit things and show them to a couple people before I think they're okay; the same with my knitting, spinning, quilting, painting, writing.

The point of all this is to brag just a little. I got 2 wonderful feedbacks on etsy today for a purple batik bag and the black and white/red split personality bag I made. The lady who bought them was SO happy and had such nice things to say about me and my craftsmanship. I was very pleased; it was nice to hear such great feedback from a non-biased party, LoL!

Breakfast, whoa

Wow. I'd forgotten how much these kids eat. Well, I know how much they eat 'cause I've seen it recently but I've seen the food already prepared. I forgot how much you have to fix to feed 'em!

Got up, started making breakfast. I cooked a pound of bacon, I scrambled 9 large eggs all together. I fixed the rest of my Krusteez pancake mix and it made 6 5" round pancakes. Several cups of milk and juice. It's gone. I didn't even get a pancake (but I got bacon, by golly!). Artemas isn't even awake yet so it was only (hehe) Diantha, Veronica, Josiah, Jeremiah and Tony. Artemas stayed up all night apparently, watching Resident Evil movies. So he missed breakfast. When he gets up, dude can make himself a ham sandwich.

While I was making breakfast I finished loading and ran the dishwasher because I forgot to last night, so we had hardly any plates and no silverware. Thankfully, back in July I bought too much plastic ware for Jeremiah's birthday and Tony found the leftover up in the cubboard.

My hero!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Eager procrastination

I did it. I couldn't help myself. I couldn't hold off any longer. I started my Weird and Ugly Challenge project for the N2Quilting yahoo group I am on. It's not due until April and I have a ton of things to do before Christmas that need to be done BY Christmas but no. Here I sit, with no self control eagerly ignoring everything else I need to do.

Which at the moment is quite a bit. My kitchen needs to be cleaned before I can start making dinner in an hour or so. I have a strange man coming to my house in the same amount of time to look at the weight bench my husband is selling. Did I mention that I have 3 extra kids right now too? HAHA, I have them doing my chores so I can be creative. I made Diantha unload the dishwasher. I'm making Veronica help me with laundry. It's chore enough to keep Josiah and Jeremiah from fighting. Did I mention today I'm doing laundry and I have my living room strewn with the stuff? It's down to 3 billion pieces of baby clothes and socks. At least I got all my undies off the couch, so when the aforementioned strange man shows up he doesn't see a Victoria's Secret spread.

I think I may have finally rearranged the Ugly Quilt as much as can be done. I've been obsessively moving a piece here, a piece there, for about 6 hours. Everytime I walk past the spare bedroom. When Mom dropped the kids off I showed her my progress. She said it was better and then SHE obsessively rearranged some pieces. Wonder where I get it? Tony walked passed the room while we were at it and flippantly said, "Anal." Smart alek.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Oh no an ugly quilt

What do I do? Oh no, it's an ugly quilt. I needed a quilt for someone for Christmas and needed to make it from my stash. So in a blur of ambition over the weeekend I pieced 4,000 half square triangles and 4-patches. I cut, I ironed, a drew diagonals and straight lines to sew by, I sewed and cut, ironed, sewed, cut and iron..whew.

This morning my husband wanted to list his weightbench on the Craigslist so I needed to straighten up our spare bedroom, ie weightroom where my design wall is. While I was at it I put all the pieces to this quilt up on the design wall and ...

It is ugly. Ugly, ugly, ugly. I looked at it, Tony came in the room, and I said, "Oh no." He says, "Sew together the pieces, finish it and it will look better. Promise." I hope, I hope. What do I do if it doesn't look better? I'm uppa creek! Back to square one, only now my stash has been cut into 5" charms. Crap! It does look a LOT better in the photos than it does in real life, which would be perfect if I were giving someone a PHOTO of a quilt for Christmas. (sigh)

Might as well press on and hope it looks better when it's done. Crap.

But I can't do that right now anyway... have to go rescue Hannah, who just hit herself in the face with a cement mixer...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Another quilty day

So here we are at Mom's again. Jeremiah has been trying miserably not to get any more bumps and bruises, though he is unsucessful as he now has a knot on his forehead. (sigh) Tony is bundled up in Ralphie's Big Fat Camo Snowsuit and has been for hours while he's crawled around under the house with Dad, running plumbing lines to the new water heater. We did find out his snow-suit isn't waterproof when Artemas flushed the toilet. The things you learn, huh?
Hannah has been good and so far has survived being passed and forth without Betsy hurting her. A major feat indeed. I sold 2 bags this afternoon for which I am so thankful and excited, now to do some more Christmas shopping!!

I have managed to get quite a bit of progress done on the jewel box quilt I started yesterday while my hands have been realitively Hannah-free. I got all of the rest of the HSTs and 4patches made, ironed and squared to 4.5". Then I pieced a 4-patch and HST together to make half blocks until I ran out of components. 96 of them (I will end up with 48 blocks). I've managed to only run out of bobbin thread once. The sewing machine gods must be busy screwing with other people today. Shh...don't draw their attention.

Mom is digging through piles of yarn, sweaters, felted bits as I type, looking for my wonderful, beautiful handspun yarn. We laid it on her kitchen table on Tuesday to show my Grandmom and no one has seen it since. I hope Grandmom didn't take it back to New Jersey with her!! If we find it I can spend the rest of my time here sitting around knitting it with a black eye-lash yarn, some yarn I made from cut up fabric and some fun fur yarn. It's going to be killer. I can't wait to start!

I am going to go sit around watching Jeff Dunham on comedy central while helping control the masses. 12 people in the house with the water turned off. No bathrooms. Well, bathrooms but no water to flush the toilets. We've already used up our "one flush" you get after you turn the water off--that's how we found out Tony's snow suit wasn't waterproof. Oops.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Yay quilting!

I ACTUALLY got some quilting done today! Not working on bags, not knitting, not THINKING about quilting or bags or knitting but honest to God quilting done.

I took the kids to Mom's along with my sewing machine, rotary cutter, sewing scissors, half my stash, a 3 yard roll of quilt batting, a pile of juvey flannels and I handed Hannah to Veronica when I got there. Jeremiah went to play with Josiah and I spread out my stuff and worked on quilting! I got about 100 5" charms cut and paired with neutral colored 5" charms in either 4-patch units or HSTs. Need to iron all of those now that I'm home. I'm going to make a Jewel Box pattern with them which means I get to square up 4,000 4.5" components. (sigh) I got 46 7" squares of the flannels cut out--sorry, actually got 92 flannel squares cut out and 46 5" squares of cotton batting and I made 46 flannel sandwhiches for Hannah's shaggy quilt for Christmas. I think I need to pick up some more flannels, since that won't be crib sized if I sewed them all together now but it's a great start!

My Christmas-gift-giving list is off and running again! I am working toward a goal! I am MAKING progress! I am exhausted.

Jeremiah hit his leg on something at walmart a week ago, giving himself a nasty bruise that is still slightly swollen. He's hit it 3 more times since then, once very badly tonight and now it is really swollen. Poor baby fell asleep with an ice bag on it. I don't think it's broken since he has all his motor skills and can wiggle all his toes and his foot, but it is still very sore and he is very sad. Tony is bringing home some children's Motrin to see if that will help with the pain any. Other than that, I don't know what to do. Or rather, I don't think there is anything else I can do.

If Mom can find my handspun yarn I did (grin), tomorrow I'd like to start knitting with it since I've gotten such a good start on these two quilts. LOL! Or maybe I should have some self control and finish the quilts?

I did get one thing listed on Etsy today: the Mule Barf Scarf! It is purple and a pink/orange/blue/green yarn that reminds me of that Jello-salad stuff that is featured at all church picnics. We used to call it Mule Barf, and somehow the name fits the scarf!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Free Giveaway - Little Hippy Bag

I've been making "Little Princess" bags for my nieces out of fun and bright fabrics for Christmas, and in a flash of inspiration have made a "Little Hippy" bag from batik fabrics that I thought I'd offer as a giveaway!

The Bag:

This particular bag is approx. 7 1/2" wide by 8" tall. It fastens shut with a button and tab. It has a cellphone/ipod/whatever pocket on the back (pictured with a cell phone in it, the cell phone is not included in the giveaway!). Inside it has a tall thin pocket suited to DPNs or pens and a wider, shorter pocket suited to rolls of quarters or a folded knitting pattern. The double pointed needles also don't come with the bag, thanks! It is outline quilted and 100% machine washable. It has a shorter strap on it, 36"--long enough to make it a sock knitting bag if worn on the should but also suited for any young girls on your gift giving list! The lining acutally fits correctly in the bag, I'm not sure what is going on with it in this picture.

The Rules:

One entry per person. To enter you must visit my etsy shop (you don't have to be a registered etsy user) Hamncheezr. Then leave a comment here on my blog telling me what your favorite item is, and a very brief explanation of why. I am interested in the feedback! Also leave in your comment your name and e-mail address in a non-harvestable form ( me at server dot com ).

Pretty simple, huh? If you give me a plug on your own blog (for instance, "Des is giving away a bag, go see!") and the link, you'll be rewarded with an extra entry. Contest runs Nov. 15th thru Dec. 1st! Winner chosen at random!

Winner will be notified by Dec. 2nd, and if not heard back from by Dec. 7th another winner will be chosen!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Yo-yo's, mini-bags and stir crazy

Today was one of those days. I didn't even get dressed. Hannah fussed in her sleep all night last night, and squirmed and wanted to nurse for 2 minutes, then fussed and squirmed some more. Jeremiah had a bad dream about 4:30, got in bed with us and cried, squirmed and kicked his legs til about 7. I was ready to have a nervous breakdown before the sun was up. *sigh* Tony took Hannah for me at 9 and let me sleep til 11, which was ALMOST enough sleep.

I had started working on some yo-yo ornaments last night and got the yo-yo's finished this morning. Need to get some lace and ribbon to finish them, and when I do I'll post a pictorial on how I make them. They are pretty neat, and aside from the use of a glue gun would be a great project for kids. I'm making 10 ornaments so I made 20 yo-yo's and hotglued an antique button in the center of each over the seam.

I finished the two "mini-bags" I've been working on. "Little Hippy Sock Knitting Bag" is what I'm going with. They are just like my regular batik quilted bags only they are 7 1/2"x 8" and have a long, thin pocket on the inside for a set of DPNs as well as a regular pocket on the inside (for a pattern, maybe?) and a pocket on the outside for a cell phone or something (short pair of scissors?). I am going to try to get at least one of them listed on etsy tomorrow. Since they are smaller I was going to charge less, but with all the pockets and stuff they are just as much work as the larger bags! Have to think on this some more.

I am stir crazy tonight. Hannah has fussed and squirmed and not slept all day. Jeremiah has made every high-pitched repeatative noise he can think of today. If I hold Hannah, she's happy. If I set her down, she cries, screams, spits, raspberries unhappily. I'm amazed I got the bags done at all because I worked on them 3 minutes at a time, all day long. Which means I got nothing else done around my house. Did I mention I didn't get dressed? I am such a slob. I called Tony when he got off at 10:30 and told him I didn't think I could stand another MINUTE of any type of child or child noise or I was going to go insane. I told him I needed SOMETHING chocolate and it would be better for him if he brought some home. Otherwise I was going to go to walmart, by myself. He got home at 11:30 but he brought so much junk food you'd think we had the munchees. He brought me the biggest Mr Goodbar I've ever seen, along with chocolate doughnuts, chocolate chip cookies, potato chips, corn chips, iced oatmeal cookies, a pecan pie and a can of mountain dew. I love him, he cannot be sent to the store for a snack. So now I can be chubby and a slob, LOL!

Tomorrow, I hope I have more patience. I want to spend more time WITH my kids instead of being annoyed by them. I want to read to Jeremiah instead of telling him to go play quietly in his room. But please, Lord, can I PLEASE get a good night's sleep first?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

An encouraging word

Psalms 86:1-7

Hear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am needy.
Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God;
save your servant who trusts in you.
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long.
Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More handspun

Wow it was a busy weekend! Not so much for me I guess, since I just kind of hung around Mom's house while Tony played in the dirt underneath with the plumbing, LOL! I did, however, spin around 200 yards of yarn on Mom's homemade low-whorl drop spindle!! She had bought a bunch of "batt crazies" from a seller on etsy with the mindset that she'd spin in here and there and after Christmas start knitting herself a moebius wrap. Well, I got all the batt that she had left spun! Haha!
Once they were spun we had to soak them to set the spin and then hung them from her shower rod to dry. The 1st and 3rd yarn pictured on the right are from those crazy batts, the middle yarn is one from a batt she bought for me that was a lucious black merino with an incredible neon blue bamboo stripe in it. I got 54yds yarn from the 3oz of batt. I can't wait to play with it some more!

Here are the pics of Mom's finished yarn. She did one skein all by herself, one she did half, I did half and the other I did entirely by myself! Can you guess which one is which? HA! Thought not... that is going to make one beautiful wrap, I am SO jealous!
Off to Mom's to visit with Grandmom and Uncle John who are in from NJ (or PA, I can never remember...) More tidbits later!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Ho Hum

Well I haven't gotten a lot accomplished over the last couple days. I did get the three quilted bags I was working on finished, which is nice because I can cross a couple more people off my Christmas list. I have a custom order for one I can start working on now.

We found out this evening that my husband is getting a rather severe pay cut at work. We keep telling ourselves that we'll be alright, but I am kind of depressed about it, but then I get depressed about everything, LOL! Supposedly it's only until January but we've not gotten that in writing, so who knows. Tony is looking through the classifieds for a second, part-time/weekend job. I asked him if he wants me to get my job back at Kmart in the mornings but he said, "No. You are too tired all the time already just taking care of the kids, I don't know if you could work on top of it." I don't know how I feel about that. I know we will be alright, because I have seen the Lord provide for my family time and time again, but it is still a sharp blow and a bummer.

I did FINALLY get those churn dash blocks swapped out. The deadline for them was last Friday but I was starting to get sick and just haven't had the energy to do it until now. I am itching to lay out all my blocks on my design wall! I have 2 plastic, flannel backed table clothes tacked side by side with the flannel out and it is wonderful! Fabric/quilt blocks stick to it with no problem and I can lay out quilts and decide where blocks go without having to crawl around on the floor. It is so much easier on my back!

We're going up to Mom's tomorrow so Tony can crawl around under her house and work on plumbing, I guess. I'm going to take a couple knitting projects with me. I've been working on 2 scarves, one to use up yarn left over from the scarf/hat set I made my niece for Christmas and the other is a speculation, maybe for my sister for Christmas. I will have to wait until I get it done to see if it "looks like" her. Maybe I'll try spinning some more at Mom's. :-) I tried a little tonight for about a minute, but we preoccupied and had my mind on other things so couldn't get any rythem going, so I didn't do very well. I want to try spinning some fabric too. Might as well RUN before I can walk, LOL!

My babies are asleep and even though my brother Josiah is spending the night and doing things to annoy me (like needing waffles at quarter til 1AM, breaking the butter knife, etc) I am going to turn him over to Tony, take a half a sleeping pill and try to get some rest.

Phillippians 4:19--And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Phillippians 4:7--and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Handspun yarn!

I got my weird and ugly fabric for the challenge on the N2Quilting yahoo list I'm on and I just LOVE it. I have something "un-quilty" in mind to do with it, but not until after Christmas! I have too much to do until then, although as I type this I am looking at it and it is calling to me, begging to be cut up and played with. I don't know if I'll be able to resist.

I did get a little bit of sewing done yesterday. I am making some quilted bags for the little girls on my list and I got the fronts and backs pieced for all three bags, just need to quilt them and make the lining and straps. I probably could have gotten more done but Mom and the kids came over last night and she brought a 4oz batt to spin into yarn, along with her drop spindle. I got a wild notion that I wanted to try it and ended up spinning all but about 10 feet of the yarn!

I am pretty proud of it, even if it's pretty bad, LoL!
It looked alright last night before we soaked and hung it. It is still wet this morning but looks like it has less twist to the yarn and is slightly fuzzier than might be desired. Knit on bigger needles it'll look pretty cool though.

Mom had these codswold (sp?) locks, big long curly chunks of sheep hair she'd dyed very black that she wanted spun here and there into the yarn, sticking out a little bit. I put 6-8 pieces in there but this morning it looks like they all came out of the twist whist it hung overnight. Don't know what we're going to do about that. Maybe just be gentle and knit them into whatever she knits with it.

I also worked a little on a hat for my niece Maisie to go with the scarf I knitted for her on Sunday (another Christmas present). I got about 2 1/2" done and ran out of yarn! Double crap! That yarn was on sale and there wasn't any more at that store, so I'll have to try a couple others this week. Otherwise maybe she gets a headband and scarf for Christmas, LOL!

I am very disheartened about the way our elections turned out, and that is making me depressed and tired feeling. It's not an issue of race, I don't know why so many people made it out to be that. Hurray for a black president, it doesn't bother me at all. The thing that bothers me is the man. I don't think Obama will make a good president. I think he's too inexperienced and I think he's a little anti-American what with saying we don't actually need an army, wanting to pull funding from our National Guard and such.

I am accepting of other's religions to but this country was founded on Christianity and as such we've always been sworn in to anything on the Bible. Every senator, congressman, president, witness under oat, etc, they all place their hands on the Bible. Obama refused to do this and chose the Koran! But he says he's not Muslim--what is this then? If he's Muslim, okay, but don't lie about it, you know? Believe what you believe and stand for that instead of changing to get votes. *sigh* I will be in prayer for our country.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Christmas, here I come!

I am aggressively attacking Christmas. Or rather, gifts we need to give people. I tried to start Christmas shopping in July and Tony wouldn't let me. So today when I told him we're about half done and he said, "Thank GOD otherwise, we'd probably be out of luck" I got to say, "This is why I tried to start in July" and I stuck out my tongue. Mature, right? I knew you'd think so.

I started and finished a scarf for my niece Maisie. I have some of the yarn left, enough to make a hat out of but I need Mom to make me a set of her "obscene" needles that she sells on Etsy. In other words, I need about a size 13-15 double-pointed needles to do the hat. Oh well, that can wait a couple days.

I've also been working on a second hat for my niece Aubree. My sister in law asked me to knit her one because she has a pretty big head and she's been having to wear her daddy's hat. I figured I'd knit a couple, because they are quick and kids always manage to lose one. I finished one on Wed night that is just plain, white with little spots of pink and blue in it. I'm working on another tonight that (I HOPE!!!) will look like a cupcake when I'm done! I don't have a pattern for this, I'm kind of just making it up as I go along. I'm getting to use a circular needle instead of regular DPNs, which is new to me. I've never used one before and it is a little awkward. Don't know what I'll do when I start decreasing, might have to put it back on my DPNs.

Tony was off this weekend, which was wonderful. I'm a little under the weather and very tired, so it has been nice to lay around in the evenings and let him play with the kids.

I would try to post a picture of Maisie's scarf, but my camera batteries died and I don't have any more AA batteries. Might have to wait until Friday. Guess I should get back to knitting, I'm on a roll now and I'm loathe to stop, LOL!