Sunday, May 31, 2009

An Afternoon Adventure

Some of you may know a little over a week ago my Number 2 Brother Artemas was in a motorcycle accident (not his fault, BTW); others of you may know that 20 months ago Idiot Brother Number 1 Allen was also in a motorcycle accident. So between the two Mom and Dad's bikes are requiring a little bit of attention. We (and by "we" I mean Mom/Dad, Tony and my brothers) almost had their first bike up and running when bike number too suffered boo-boos.

Near us in a nice, little place called Morristown there is Midsouth Motorcycle Salvage which is like, 4 old warehouses put end to end piled everywhere with crushed, bruised, burned, crashed, dropped off, broken, etc... motorcycles and parts. They do have a few referbed bikes in the front but after that you're on your own. Hunt through various layers of chrome labrynth to find not only the "section" with the bike parts you need (suzuki, honda, yamaha) but then hunt through piles and piles of said parts/bikes to find just what you want.

And so yesterday Tony, the kids and I, Mom and Artemas piled into her van jazzed on mountain dew and dunkin donuts and headed to Morristown. We arrived at the salvage at noon. We left shortly after 4. Jeremiah and Hannah were so good I couldn't hardly believe it. I expected after an hour for him to get antsy and start getting into things, and it is a place where even grown and careful people can get hurt easily. But no, he stayed with us, holding our hands as we wandered "isles". When he got terribly bored Artemas took him and Hannah up front and let them sit on ATVs and at one point I took them out to the car and he colored for an hour.

Once Tony and Mom found what they were looking for Tony had to get his tools from the van and take the parts off, being careful not to break them. These pictures are from ONE area--the last warehouse where we found the front forks for Mom's susuki. I, being a Mom, and having weird things in my purse, got bored and took pictures of Spiderman and a plastic compass.

They were able to get the parts they need for an incredible deal and then we all went to Taco John's for lunch. Yum, yum! The best part of the day by far. Lunch was good but next time I think the kiddos and I will stay home and sew. :-)

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Hannah didn't sleep well last night. Neither did Jeremiah for that matter. Having gotten the short end of the stick on the sleep thing, today I am not my most productive. I spent a not-nearly-relaxing-enough 10 minutes at the sewing machine finishing up a purse I was playing with yesterday. Usually sewing is relaxing but when Hannah is yelling at me, not so much. : ) This was another expirement into pleated fabric purses. It is almost round. I kinda like it. Wish I went places where I could carry it but unfortunately Walmart, Kroger and the Post Office seem just a little plain for this beautiful red and orange purse I named "Alice."

The one quilty thing I've done today, with Jeremiah's help!, was to get out all my churn dash and friendship star blocks made from civil war repros. I participated in a block swap for both in recent history, making 50 blocks for each swap so I'd have enough to set the quilt 10 blocks by 10 blocks--making it king sized. I've rearranged them throughout the day, here and there. I actually had to stand inside the closet against the back wall to get the whole thing to fit into one picture. I am fairly satisfied with this arrangement of blocks/colors/whatnot but since I have no plans to take it down tonight it will probably get more tweaking. I might see if Tony wants to mess with it a little, he enjoys that. : )

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Rained out

One of my "accomplishments" for today was the ultimate act in futility, which is mopping my kitchen floor. The second I am done, before it is even dry, it looks horrible again. The one down side to living in an apartment that has been occupied by countless people since probably the 70s with the original kitchen floor. When I am lucky enough to have my own house the first thing we are doing is replacing the kitchen flooring! This might even happen before beds are moved in, or food!
I got one of the purses I have on my list done. I love how it turned out!!

This morning a friend called and asked if the kids and I wanted to meet her and her kids at the park. So I showered, fed and dressed my kids just in time for something to come up on her end and she had to cancel.

To try to fend off mounting 3yr old disappointment (horrors!) I took the kids out the playground in front of our house where they got to play for 5 joyous minutes before it began to rain. Still Hannah got to slide down the slide, Jeremiah got to run and jump and expend energy and then I played in the rain with Hannah for a couple minutes (she's never done that before) while...

Jeremiah took pics to show Tony. Sigh.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Totally strippy

Finally, my just for fun quilty project is done. It turned out to be 39" x 49", so pretty perfect for a lap quilt or baby quilt. I listed it for sale in my etsy shop just because I don't really have a purpose for it, although I suddenly remembered that I have 3 friends who are in various stages or having or just had babies. Hmm....

I was so excited when I dug through a bin to find something for binding and came across a fist full of binding that Jenn had sent me--pre made by her, continuous biased binding in a luscious purple! It was PERFECT! I sent her an e-mail saying she was wonderful and thoughtufl, and intelligent, and amazing and... I am really thankful for the binding.

And I finally started working on one of the purses I need to finish. The lady who wants it sent me the fabric for it and I am LOVING this black! It is SO wonderful to work with, such a lovely feel to it and it is SO cool.

Monday, May 25, 2009

An afternoon at the pool

We are lucky in the fact that our apartment complex has a very nice pool we can use whenever we wish (until 10:30pm) during the summer. They keep it clean, they keep the area around it clean. Last year Tony and Jeremiah spent quite a bit of time swimming but I stayed in the house, away from the dreaded sun and in the air conditioning with new baby Hannah.

Today we decided it might finally be warm enough to take the kids swimming so we headed over for Hannah's first ever trip to the pool. She LOVED it! Jeremiah always has too. Both my kids are really into water, baths, rain, sinks and apparently now pools. I am not really much of a swimmer. I'm more like a "hang-out-er". I can't float on my back either, my feet sink. I can swim but honestly if I fell off a boat more than about 100 feet out from the beach I'd probably drown. Could also have something to do with the fact that I'm horribly out of shape. Tony took a couple pics of me today at the pool but I'm not sharing because one I think I look like a fluffy cow in and the other was a shot up at an angle of my butt. Sigh.

However I got lots of cute pics of Tony and the kids, even though we were only there for about an hour. I kept reapplying sunscreen to the children but we didn't want to push the whole sunshine thing just to be on the safe side. The one draw back of the time spent outdoors is the fact that it brought back my migraine. See, I keep telling you. I am allergic to sunlight. It is bad for me.

Tony ran out this morning and picked Jeremiah up a pair of swimming trunks because his from last year were 2T (they barely fit him then) and the ones he got today were regular boys size 6/7. His little butt and tummy are bigger around than his legs are long though, so his swimming trunks were about 3" short of being pants on him LoL! I got a big kick out of following behind the three of them on the walk home, seeing my whole family wearing towels like it was normal. Coincidentally today was "towel" day, apparently it's every May 25th and has something to do with the second rule of the universe which is "always know where your towel is." (See the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams and no you lazy smurf, do not rent the movie, read the stinking wonderful book!)

Mom and Dad and the kids came over later this evening bringing with them steaks, potato salad, green beans and strawberry shortcake! We are all stuffed to the gills now (my kids have passed out on the couch). Our grill is still out of commission from the birds. They have gone but the grill is still filled with bird nest and poop; not quite sure how Tony will get it clean but I am sure he will figure it out.

I did get some quilting done today. I got almost a whole baby/lap quilt quilted this morning. I need about 7 more wavy lines quilted through it in one direction but my headache was too bad this afternoon to finish it. Maybe tomorrow and then I will share pics. It is pretty cute!

Friday, May 22, 2009

This is what happens...

When you mouth off at your husband while he's in arm's reach and holding a ball point pen.
He's pretty quick.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A busy day

Today was a very busy and productive day for me--and I didn't even leave the house! It started bright and early (for me) at about quarter after 8 when Hannah awoke and began to be a happy, ferocious monster. I discovered I had made 2 sales this morning, praise the Lord!! I was able to buy some labels I've been needing to get to put in my purses and transfer the rest into my checking. The Lord really is faithful to meet our needs!
I finished purse prototype#2 for a purse my Mom's friend wants me to make for her. I am pretty happy with the way it came out. I know a couple changes to make on the next one, and hopefully it will go more quickly! :)

I got that strips quilt top I was working on for fun finished yesterday all except ONE 2" wide strip of white on white fabric across the top--I RAN OUT. But I can get 1/8th yard at the fabric store this weekend. I know the white strips in the middle are rather wide but I have a plan for the actual quilting and I think it will look really cool!

I got a cooking bug this afternoon and made a meat loaf, a big pan of lasagna and scrambled/seasoned meat and onions for tonight's dinner which was taco salad. I have the next two nights' dinner done now except for sides which will be so nice and quick! Tony was laughing at me in a sort of "I'm so pleased with my Suzy homemaker wife" sort of way. He knows he's a lucky man. ;-)

After my cooking adventure (and I even did the dishes after myself!! NO MESS, ha!) I started working on a little batik tote bag that I've had in my head for a while and I figured Memorial Day was a good time to let it out. It's a simple version of the POW/MIA flag. The back is scrap-pieced red, white and blue batiks. I LOVE the way it came out! So cool! It zips shut across the top too.

My babies are bathed, my wonderful hubby brought me a Dr Pepper and I think I am going to go veg a little. Even with all the sewing and cooking I managed to keep the house pretty clean too, except for the 12 loads of laundry in the hallway LoL! I follow this blog called Color Me Katie, which is usually just really beautiful pictures of whatever taken by a NYC photographer. Today's post was called Happiness and was pictures of random things that make her happy.

Random things that make me happy:
Hannah wearing plastic vampire teeth.
Jeremiah telling me he missed me "more than I could ever beleeb!" yesterday.
the song Sharp Dressed Man by ZZtop
Baby knees
a good book

What are YOU happy about today?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Spontanious Quiltage

I love spontanious quilts. Or at least, spontanious quilting. I have a couple projects that I need to do this week and I am procrastinating like the dickens. Yesterday I got inspired to do a Chinese Coins quilt. I have wanted to do one of these for years and attempted one time but only got 3 strips sewn before I decided that wasn't what I was doing then. This time I went about things a little differently.

First I lugged out my scrap box--boy do I need to work on some scrap box blocks, this thing weighs a ton. I dug through it and pulled out anything that fit my criteria which was a strip of fabric no wider thab 3" (if they were I cut them in half..ish). I filled a diaper box with these before I got bored of the hunt. Then I unceremoniously hacked all these strips into approximate 7" lengths with a pair of scissors. This was very theraputic.

Then I randomly picked up 2 strips and sewed them long sides together a billion times. I paid no attention to fabrics matching or going together. Making the most of tricks known as "strip piecing" and "continuous piecing" I managed to get these billion strips sets made in record time. Then I sat on the floor and snipped thread holding them all together, throwing them in a big piled which Hannah danced in. Then she brought them to me--one at a time--to iron.

I am in the process of sewing all these billion strips together until I have a series of strips roughly 45" long by the approximate 7" wide. Then I can cut it down to 6.5" wide and put big white solid strips of fabric between them. I am not done by far but I made really good progress I think!
Jeremiah is so excited, he made his very own BLT sandwhich for dinner tonight. I helped him to spread miracle whip on the bread but he did everything else. He said I should share a pic. How pretty are my dishes??! So cute with the cherries!!

And also, he took a picture of his baby sister Hannah and of me sewing strips.

Memorial Day Sale!

My husband Tony said, "You know, you oughta do a sale for Memorial Day." So here 'tis!

Memorial Day Sale
20% OFF all Batik Handbags and Purses at

Monday, May 18, 2009

Oh well

I am playing catch up today, though I am doing a very bad job of it. I am so tired I have been having a hard time keeping my eyes open. I don't think I'm all the way over the flu, which I have apparently passed on to my Mom.

We did the craft show and sale this weekend as planned. I just about killed myself last week trying to finish up those 4 "learning purses" for it. We went Friday night to set up and arrived to meet Mom to find my baby sister Betsy was running a 102 degree fever--like Hannah had for 2 days earlier in the week. We took turns setting up and cuddling her and then we went back to Mom's house for dinner and to fill her full of motrin, again. The original plan was for Tony to watch the kids for me most of the time during both days but Friday afternoon work called and asked him to come in and work day shift Saturday. Since he had only worked 26hrs so far that week we were very glad they did!

Mom brought Diantha with her Saturday to help me be lion tamer and she was and did and I sold ONE handbag--one of the Learning Purses actually and Dida sold ONE skein of handspun yarn. Together we all sold about $30 worth of soap. So day 1 was a disappointment but we rallied back together Sunday morning. Tony was off and kept Jeremiah for me, Mom traded Diantha for Veronica and together we sold $30 more worth of soap. That's it. No yarn, no purses, no knit/felted itesms. Thankfully Mom made back the booth fee plus extra, but maybe not as much as she spent on food and table cloths for the weekend.

The good news is I finished knitting my cabeled Bella mittens from the pattern by Lily Knitting. The bad news is I can't share the pic cause my camera batteries died. Such is life, eh?

We have eaten a staggering amount of fast food and frozen pizza in the last week so tonight I am making white bean and chicken chili and trying to get my kitchen under control. If I manage that I hope to work on some sewing this evening. I need to make another prototype for a custom purse order but it's been so long since I did any "real" sewing I think I might work on the log cabin quilt I started for my friend. She got married this passed Saturday so I want to get her quilt finished soon. Hope you all had a great weekend!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Where have I been?

I have been down with the flu, though down is a realitive term. Last Saturday I can down with a staggering case of the flu and before you ask no, I don't know if it's the swine flu because I never bothered to ask anyone, okay? Anyway so I've had the flu and Jeremiah has had a cough and nasty nose and Monday and Tuesday nights Hannah decided to run a fever and be awake for all but 3 hours both nights so even though I was beginning to feel better on Monday afternoon no sleep killed that and now it's Thursday and I'm finally starting to recover.

In the midst of that I suddenly realized that "the craft show" that I am participating in as a member of the Knoxville Etsy street team is THIS weekend and did I make those Learning Purses (like I made for my sister Beverly for her birthday) that I wanted to take? No... so Tuesday night my sister Diantha spent the night and helped me cut out and quilt the fronts and backs for 4 of them and finished one but since I was dying that's about all I got done because then I ran out of velcro. Today I ran to JoAnn's to pick up some more velcro and gromets and have finished the other 3 and listed them in my etsy shop. To save myself and you from a majorly long blog post I will just let you visit the shop and see my spiel there. Let me just say that they are totally cute and very educational, LoL!

Remember Tony's war with the birds and the nest filling our grill? Last night my brother Artemas, curious beyond what he was able to bear, opened the grill and this is what we found. There had been 3 eggs in there when I took the pictures last time and from all the noise and cheeping from under there we thought maybe there were more but were suprised to discover 5 baby birds, already looking quite large and fluffy and very hungry. Tony growled.
In that spirit he began to help Jeremiah put together the birdhouse kit my Dad got him at Home Depot's kid workshop thing yesterday. Jeremiah has been so excited about this he hasn't quit bugging Tony about it since last night! Hannah had to get in on the action too, banging away at things with a little plastic hammer. So there was my family, Jeremiah in Cars underoos and Hannah in a Cars shirt helping Daddy build a birdhouse when he is feeling not so charitable towards our fine feathered friends. At least they had agood time!

And speaking of good time! Tony and Artemas took Jeremiah fishing this morning while Hannah and I went to the fabric store. When we were done we drove over and met up with them. Jeremiah was standing there, grinning, holding his fishing poll. When I asked him what he was doing he said, "This is part of fishin', Mama." He didn't catch anything but he had fun anyway.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Lazy day

We've had a pretty lazy day today. Tony took me (and our kids), my Mom and his Mom out to "brunch" as Wild Wings for some hot wings this morning. Then he and I and the kids came over to Mom's house to hang out. A couple days ago a terrible storm split one of their trees in half and so today Tony decided to take a chainsaw to the problem. I have come down with a summer cold/flu and I feel terrible but Mom and I sat around in the yarn surrounded by many and various kiddos and watched my hubby do manly, lumberjack type things.

Once he had finished we pulled out some logs/branches that would make wonderful spindles, buttons and rings for me to use in my purses. I got to play with my Dad's "chop saw" for about an hour, slicing branches that were about 1.5" into a scant 1/4" slices and then with the drill which I used to drill two or four holes in the disks.

Tony played with another log, branch and the power tools and made me a spindle. It still needs to be sanded--along with the buttons--but I think it'll work pretty well! He thought it needed more design so he drilled little holes all over the whorl. When we get home I am going to stick my buttons in my food dehydrator to dry them out quickly so I can sand and seal them.

Mom got me a bottle of Jagermeister--she said "Cough syrup" and a couple little nips did make me feel better for a while. Probably I need to take some nyquil but it makes me terribly sleepy, even the day time formulas, and we are still needed to grocery shop. I think.

My Mother rarely, if ever, asks for anything for herself and when she does it's always something for other people to use too (like a DVD player or something.) She gives to people without ever expecting anything in return. So when we were at the fabric store on Friday and she mentioned that she would love a purse made out of some fabric she found, I couldn't say no. I pushed myself to finish it yesterday, hearing in my head a little voice of guilt saying "When you were 6 and your Mom had a 4 week old baby she stayed up all night making you a jeans jacket." So I got Mom's purse made, to her specifications: long (for toting diapers and knitting projects), with the gold faux button, snap closure and gold rings to attach the strap to the purse. I added a zippered pocket inside for her glasses/cell phone and padded the strap over the shoulder. Gotta love the dragon fabric, too cool! And it's big enough to carry her gun around in now that she's got her CCW permit! ;-D

My kids and hubby gave me (lunch out and also) a set of stacking drawer/bins for me to sort my purse making supplies in. I am SO excited! I really needed these! AND Tony cleaned out my stash closet, rearranging so I have more room and can even get another set of bins if I need!


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Creative Stretching

Every once in a while I get a change to stretch my creativity, think outside my box as it were. Only usually there isn't a lot outside my box, I'm pretty comfortable trying anything. When I got a request to do a purse in a totally different manner than my normal "formula" I was a little nervous! So today I made a "prototype," trying out the new direction. I am really happy with what I came up with!!! It still needs one or two little adjustments to get it where it needs to go but for a first attempt I am fantastically happy with it!

We let Jeremiah play some games last summer at a Chuck-E-Cheese type thing in Pigeon Forge and one of the little cheapy "prizes" he received was a white, plastic set of vampire fangs. They have been an almost constant source of entertainment since then. Hannah discovered them this week and she LOVES them. She brings them to me several times a day to put them in her mouth and then she wears them until they start to make her drool a lot. Then she spits them out and brings them to me to start all over again. This morning while she was wearing them Tony growled at her playfully and now she thinks she needs to growl too. So my baby is running around with vampire fangs and growling. Totally not normal, but oh so funny and endearing!!

My darling husband is cleaning house for me. First the kids rooms, then the living room and now he's moved on to the mountainous pile of laundry we had. He wants something, I am sure. But I am loving the help and feeling like I bum while I've sat on my bum and watched Bones and now blog. My friend said it's good for them to do housework, LOL! I really appreciate the help! Guess I'll let him go fishing tomorrow after all....

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It's only been a decade

Actually it's been 11 years since I first started making nine patches for this quilt. You can read the entire sad story in my original post, Artificial Prairie Nine Patch. Finally, yesterday! I finished the binding. My joy and utter triumph was momentally deflated when I realized I had forgotten to make and attach a label. Oh well, I can add that some night this week.
It's queen sized, I machine pieced and quilted it--including the fried egg flower applique in the borders. I backed it with red toile and bound it with green sating binding that doesn't match the backing but looks incredible from the front. Alas, it is too small for my now king sized bed but I love it so I'm keeping it and using it anyway! It is all cotton (batting too) except for one nine patch which has yellow satin in it. The satin binding was for my hubby Tony, who love, love, loves satin anything.