Monday, September 27, 2010

Congratulations AJ & Tricia!

Four way teeter totter
We went to Walker's brother's wedding this weekend, which involved two full days of travel in three days. Moira was a rockstar, and only complained a little at the end of both days of travel. She even kept her cool pretty well despite not having a nap two days in a row.
I'm sure it helped that we met up with Aunt Pickle at the Detroit airport, so there was someone new to talk to for the 3 hour drive to Cass City. We also tried to make sure that she got some running around time whenever possible.
This is a playground that Walker used to play on when he was a kid. They haven't updated it, although it looks like they have been keeping the paint touched up. The whole thing looked like a safety hazard, so of course I love it. We didn't stay very long because it started raining right after Moira had finally decided that she wanted to try this out, and poor Pickle isn't used to the rain.
Happy bride!
My sisters in law are awesome (only two of whom are shown here, but all of them are awesome). They are definitively too awesome to spend much time on the internet, so they probably won't read this, but I had to say it anyway. I always wish we lived closer to them, or rather, that they lived closer to us.
The wedding was beautiful. I was very glad not to be a bridesmaid, since it started raining again shortly after I took this picture, and the poor bridesmaids were miserable. The bride and groom wisely brought an umbrella, so they were fine.
Moira was so excited for this trip. She spent the last two weeks constantly packing everything in the house, and asking to see pictures of her cousins. The actual reality of cousins was too much for her to handle though, so she spent the first half of the party hiding on me and Walker and the second half of the party running around by herself. She did eventually play with two little boys who she happily proclaimed to be cousins. I'm pretty sure that the whole concept of what makes someone a cousin is way above her head right now. Hopefully the next time we go, she will be more into the actual reality.
133: Bubbles!
Also hopefully the next time we go out there will be sooner then 3 years. Hopefully Amber will give us a good excuse soon, and actually have the wedding she's been planning. Of course, AJ & Tricia have been talking about it for 8 years, and she's only been talking about it for 5 or 6, so she has some time.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Two out of three ain't bad

Halloween dress
I managed to get two out of three things I had lined up to work on this week. I made this dress yesterday because if I was going to only manage to get one thing done before the start of October, I wanted it to be the Halloween one. I used Simplicity 3511 and top stitched with black thread. I really like how that turned out on the white ribbon.
Walker took today off work to help pack for the wedding we are going to this weekend and to take Moira to her first dentist appointment. We also ended up picking up a large number of free apples and pears, and then we still had more then half the day for packing. My original plan had been to let Moira help pack, but she's obsessed with packing lately and convinced that we need to pack everything in the house. Apparently she wants us to move? We keep trying to explain that we aren't going to be gone that long, but it just lead to a giant meltdown today.
So instead, Walker took her to play and I did most of the packing in a few minutes, so after nap I had time to make this dress (it was already cut out). I used Simplicity 2907, which was nice, but I ended up buying an extra half a yard, and I still didn't have enough fabric to cut out the skirt part without piecing. When she saw me taking it outside to take a picture, she wanted to wear it "Right now Mama!" but I told her we should save it for our trip tomorrow, and she liked that idea.
Walker finally got to see the full strength day long toddler meltdown today. Usually the novelty of Daddy being home is enough to keep her annoyances and demands to a minimum, but I guess that luck is wearing off. It will be nice to know that he has a better idea what I'm talking about when I tell him it was "that kind of day."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ready for the winter

129: Preseved
This is one of everything I've managed to put up this year. There are notes on Flickr of what everything is. I'm still hopeful that I can manage blackberry jam after we get home from Walker's brothers wedding this weekend.
I enjoyed making the tomato sauce, but if I do it next year, I'll definitely spread it out a bit more. And get the food mill attachment for our Kitchenaid.

Monday, September 20, 2010


I got the news that my quilt from the Doll Quilt Swap will be a little late, so I decided to see how far I could track the swap chain in the direction I sent.
DQS9 package
This is the package I sent to Desi The quilt is two sided.
DQS9 Received
This is the quilt she sent to Uberstitch. They obviously have similar tastes. I love that the quilt Desi sent out is the same color as what I sent her. Hopefully, that will make the pain of having to send that pretty thing off into the world a little easier.
another sneak peek
This is what Uberstitch made. I'm sensing a color theme. I don't know how the swap organizers group everyone, maybe they did it by color preference this time? I actually got stuck here until the same day I received my doll quilt. This was sent to emma_louise You should click through to see the fabulous quilt she made, but I'm going to stop here. I may try and trace the swap the other way. Since they group us up in clusters, I may actually make it all the way back to emma. Who knows.

Poor timing

I signed up to participate in Elsie Marley's Kid's Clothes Week Challenge this week. But I also bought 50 lbs of tomatoes and decided it was time to give up on the tomatoes we grew ripening anymore. This is what my sink looked like yesterday.
125: Sinkful
That's just the stuff from our yard. I now have 14 quarts of tomato sauce and approximately 22 pints of green tomato salsa. Today I need to finish off the green tomatoes by making green tomato ketchup. I also have to finish turning 15lbs of Roma tomatoes into sundried tomatoes, and I bought a few more pickling cucumbers to turn into garlic dills. Obviously, I didn't do any sewing yesterday. I might be able to do some tonight, maybe. We leave for Michigan on Friday and so I really only have three days to do a week's worth of sewing. I'll see what I can get done, but it's pretty obvious that the answer is "not much."
126: WIP
I did get stuff cut out over the last few weeks. And I will get them finished. Just not now.

I filled my big pot with cut up tomatoes for ketchup and that used less then half the tomatoes left. There's no way I have time to do multiple batches, so I'm giving the rest to my lovely canning friend, Kimberly. I think if I'd had these things before and knew we liked them, I could rustle up the energy to do it, but I haven't and so I won't. If I like it enough I may purposely ignore my tomatoes next year.

Friday, September 17, 2010

{This Moment}

Inspired by SouleMama, a Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

It matches!

Oh yeah! I remember this.

I have been working slowly on my 101 things project, but I haven't been remembering to keep track of things. I just went through my list and updated it. Here are my stats as of today:
47 things completed
20 in process
34 not yet started

I'm (no, really) most excited about the fact that this list has pushed me to make sure I actually visit the dentist, which I will be doing next week for the first time since before Moira was born. She is going in with Walker at the same time for her first visit. My appointment is going to be long, so I needed someone to watch her anyway, and with my dentist fear, I wanted him to do her first visit so that my fears don't rub off on her.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Some days

Ever since Moira was able to eat, and then after her food sensitivities cleared up, we've fed her whatever it is we are eating. I think it's good for my sanity not to have to make two separate meals and it also seems to be making her not be picky (at least, right now). We also don't limit treats, other then by not buying them. If it's in the house, she can have it.
But some days, I forget to eat soon enough, or the lunch I've made isn't as filling as I expected, or both, and I'm cranky and I just want to eat something in peace. And those days, I wait until nap to eat my whatever (peanut butter toast, chips, another sandwich), just because if I make it while she's awake, she's going to want some too. And I don't want to have to make two. Or if I do make two, I want to eat them both. Which doesn't actually help me be less cranky until she falls asleep.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Finally, a quilt for snuggling

Burgundy and cream Depression Block quilt
I finished my quilt from the 2009 Birthday Block Swap community on Livejournal a couple of months ago, and I'm so happy with how it turned out. I don't know why I put off taking pictures for so long. I asked for Depresion Blocks in burgundy and cream or any other scrappy block in the same color scheme.
It's always fun getting blocks in these internet swaps. This one is especially nice, since people aim to send them in time for your birthday, so you get a series of little presents throughout the month. I didn't plan to do anything with them for awhile, so I just admired the colors and fabrics everyone used.
117: Quilt
When I decided to put it together earlier this year, I discovered that while most of them were within 1/4" of the right size, there were a number that were too big, and a couple that were too small. There was also, sadly, only one "other" block. I set the different sized ones aside for a bit and tried out some layouts where the different block was in the middle, but I couldn't find a way to do that that I liked. I also knew that I wouldn't have a good lap sized quilt if I didn't use most of the blocks.
I eventually decided to put all the same sized blocks together on the front, and then I carefully pulled all the too big blocks apart, trimmed them down and made them into this border that continues the pattern the blocks create.
Back of Depression Block quilt
I took the rest of the pieces from the too big blocks and the pieces from the too small blocks and trimmed them to a uniform size. These I turned into these flying geese. I am glad I didn't try harder to find a way to use the nine patch on the front, because I love this pieced strip on the back. I didn't plan it, but I'm glad the flying geese strips turned out to be 12.5", so they fit with the block.
The rest of the backing fabric was something I found in my Grandma's sewing room when we were helping her move. I've been saving it for a quilt back, and I'm really glad that I used it on a quilt I plan to keep.
I didn't realize until just now that I hung it upside down on the line. Oops! I did straight line quilting diagonally through the squares in both directions in burgundy. My quilting isn't perfectly straight, but a lot of my seams don't match either, so it kind of evens out.
At home
Here it is in it's new home, waiting for chilly weather. Which is actually here already. It's big enough that two people can cuddle under it together. Especially if one of those people is small.

I love swaps, especially when my blocks end up different (or somehow "wrong") then I expected. It's like a puzzle you get to put together in any way you want. I still have blocks from my first swap that didn't fit in the quilt that are just waiting for the right project to be included in, but I know that project will come some day. I love non matching seams, and colors that don't quite match, and crazy ideas from other people (wait till you see what my neighbor made for my bookshelf quilt from my last quilt group Round Robin).
I have developed my own plan to be a good swapper. My favorite swaps are the ones where you only part of the fabric, or non, and your swappers work with their stash and scraps, but I like the kind where you send all the fabric too, because then you get to play with OTHER people's stashes.

Anyway! Here's the way I swap:
Always make sure to follow the instructions sent. This is nice, because it forces me to practice paper piecing (which I hate).
Always make sure that the other swappers know that my instructions are only guidelines, and be clear about the things that aren't just guidelines.
Try to minimize the amount of expense or effort the other person will be putting out. I figure, the swaps where I send all the fabric are when I should pull out the crazy complicated patterns and difficult techniques. If I'm asking other people to supply the fabric, I try to ask for easier techniques, or give multiple block possibilities.
You get what you get and you don't get upset! This work we do for each other is a gift, and I try to be a graceful recipient. I want to always remember the effort and love that went into making these special things just for me.

I'm working on the idea of being happy with what you have with Moira in her life too. It's something I've struggled with my whole life. The first meeting I went to for my in person quilt group was the one where they revealed that year's Round Robin. It was one where they actually added borders to an interior block, so everyone was pulling out a finished (and fabulous) quilt top. The next year we were just adding blocks to each others boxes, and we get to put them together however we want. Sadly, it looks less impressive at first, so I was a little sad and pouty in my own head. I pulled it out to work on after a year and I am in love with it now, I think it will be equally as impressive as that first Round Robin when it's finished, and I was just silly before. It's near the top of my "to work on pile," so I should be able to show you the spinny awesomeness soon.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Project time!

I bought a couple of Martha Stewart kid's craft kits at Big Lots awhile ago. They are meant for much older kids to do on their own, but I figured it would be good for us to do them together on days when I didn't have any good ideas, and Moira was bored.
We tried the first one last month, making animals out of pipe cleaners. It turned out to be well beyond my capabilities. Fortunately, Moira didn't care if they looked like the picture on the package, or if they even actually looked like animals. We still have half the package which I will pull out at some point.
Moira asked to do a project today, so I pulled out the paper bag puppet kit. This was much easier to do, and Moira was even able to help stick the bits on. She was a little disappointed that the bags were too small to fit on my hands, but she had a good time feeding them marbles, and running around with them on her hands. I think the rest of these will get made pretty soon.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Just breathe

I think Moira has a cold today. Which I didn't realize until after I discussed plans for the day with her (gym class! Country Village!) that I then had to cancel if she is contagious. I was sick yesterday, so we were already getting bored and cranky with each other.
We went out and ran errands, and Moira was mostly interested in what we were doing and patient, but we were out a bit too long. By the time we got home, both of our cranky levels were set to high. She needed cuddles and I needed her to stop whining. This list of things to do instead of yelling at your kid was heavily circulated amongst my mom friends recently. Having looked at that helped me realize that I needed to do something before I lost it completely.
But here's the problem I always have. I start losing it at about hour 2 of Moira constantly being angry/sad/frustrated. Usually when she gets to that state, she will ask for cuddles, and then 2 minutes later wiggle off my lap and cry for books, or lolly pops, or water, or me to make bunny sit up straight in the grocery cart! Obviously, she's not settling down long enough to feel better, and because she hasn't calmed down, any attempt on my part to walk away from the screeching makes her cry harder.
So, I tried. I pointed out that she was sad and tired and I wanted to help her and she wasn't letting me, and that that made me sad and frustrated and that I needed a few minutes. I offered her a few minutes of snuggles first and she accepted. And then she honestly tried to let me sit by myself for a bit, but the bunny wouldn't sit up and it was the end of the world and then she elbowed me in the side, and then I yelled.
111: The artist at work
So, obviously, I need to realize I'm losing it earlier in the process. I'm happy that she's getting old enough that I can apologize and explain what happened. We snuggled some more, had a snack and then she ran off and found her stickers, which she then spent half an hour happily sticking on her easel and I was able to collect my calm again. She even napped for a little over 2 hours.
Walker isn't going to be home until bedtime tonight, and I have a headache. Moira and I are going to go out to eat and I am going to try my best to stay calm. I think I can do it.

Make a statement

114: Cahoge!
Originally uploaded by Maydela
I finally found the kind of glue sticks I was looking for at a reasonable price, so I reintroduced the concept of collage to Moira. She loves it. She has asked to make "cohage" (with "boogoo," it took Walker to figure out that that meant glue) every day for a week now. I pulled up my old box of things torn from magazines for her to play with, so she is now expressing her angst with my former angst. This is what having a kid is all about, right?
I have a bunch of quilts I need to take pictures of, one I finished and the rest are family heirlooms from Walker's family, but I think I put it off too long. We have hit the rainy season. I may have to get creative.
Over the last three days I quilted a baby quilt intended for someone who is now in elementary school. I think it may be more for his mom then him now. Add that to the list of things I need to get pictures of.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


112: Breakfast
I am not much of a breakfast eater. Usually I have dinner or lunch leftovers, or granola and yogurt in the morning.
Walker has periodically been making breakfast for him and Moira on the weekends. Usually eggs and bacon, sometimes hashbrowns. I figured I should probably start helping out, so that breakfast would be something I wanted to eat more often.
Today I made Sika's mother's ricotta pancake recipe, ie, the only pancakes I actually like. I think next time I will sub half the ricotta for marscapone like Sika did on out beach trip.
You can go ahead and put the recipe on Food and Laughter any time now, Sika. You know, so I can't lose the recipe

Update! It's here!

Friday, September 3, 2010

{This Moment}

{this moment} - Inspired by Soule Mama, a Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.
109: Heron

Have a lovely weekend.