Friday, February 26, 2010

Tweetley Tweetllou (that's me whistling)

My oldest is in the beginning stages of her fabric addiction. She holds up bolts in the clearance section and says wouldn't this make a great bag? How about this as a skirt?

Don't you remember being that sweet about buying fabric? And she is really sweet. We drove to Hancock's last night, actually she drove that is how sweet she is, and spent a couple hours there. If you have been to that particular Hancock's you would reply "Say What???" to the couple hours thing. It's a messy store...the employees always act surprised when they see you at the cutting table and they cut fabric at a snail's pace like they have never done it before. Then they act even more surprised when you walk the 12 steps forward to the register and stand there and ring the bell for them to ring you out. Once when I was there they were giving their Taco Bell orders to "Carol" over the at a time.

Let me get back on track. So yes we bought a whole bunch of clearance fabrics (that by the way, didn't ring up on clearance oi oi oi) and it was fun. Until we got home with a large bag of fabric and I had to face the reality that the only thing I have sewn this week is three coat hangers which only needed .025 yards of fabric. Nonetheless I washed and dried it last night, paying no heed to the basket of dirty towels I had to climb over.

This is Hadley, she is the oldest. She is in her school library by the looks of it. I had her when I was 20 and like to tell people we are sisters. She doesn't like that (at all). She is very determined but yet very quiet.

Sometimes I think about Hadley and how she helps so much with her siblings and feel bad. With her Dad traveling often and me being pregnant much of her childhood she has always stepped up and been so responsible.

This is why I bought her some fabric and like 12 sets of knitting needles that were marked down to 62 cents on clearance. It's okay to show love with fabric, isn't it?

These are the old hangers someone gladly gave me at a yard sale. She was selling her great grandmother's things and didn't seem to interested in the "vintageness" of everything.

Recovering hangers is very easy, it's hard to make a mistake. There is a good tutorial in this book:

This is my favorite buy from yesterday, it's a McCall quilted print with a cute reverse side. The style number is 30527, but I couldn't find it online.

Thanks for letting me talk so much. Blah blah blah, see you later!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

me being chatty in list form

1. Today was the most fair weather day we have had in a while. Lots of ducks came to our pond in the back. They are wild and will fly away at the smallest amount of fear. I think they are beautiful and wish they would tolerate me sitting down there watching them. See all that green bushy stuff in the tree? It's mistletoe...maybe you already knew that. We have a bunch of it, it's handy if you feel kissing outside. I didn't know mistletoe grew like that.

2. I sat and watched the ducks with Red who looks rather woolly with his winter coat. In a few weeks I will be able to brush that thick coat right off him. The ducks eventually flew away, they look so small in the sky.

4. The rest of the numbers don't have to do with ducks.

5. Do you want to meet my sister? She just started blogging. She is very nice. When I was young she would take me to fabric stores and let me buy a fat quarter. And once (I never told her or my other sister this) I took their two gunny sax shirts in the attic and cut off all the buttons b/c they were ivory and swirly. I still have those buttons.

6. I am sure my sister's blog will be inspiring to you as she is to me as a person. She sews a lot and has a great Etsy shop. Maybe you should visit her blog? Tell her I said hi.

7. One time she jumped off the top of a swing set and bees went up her nose.

8. I love her.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Cheery Cherry Placemats

At Michael's I bought a set of six paper cherry placemats by Mary Engelbreit. I love cherries. I hope you do, too.
I brought them to an educational store to have them laminated into one big sheet of plastic placemats. When I brought them to my car the wind took hold and my son yelled like it was the greatest thing ever.
At home I wiped the table of crumbs- even the ones under the flowers, cut out the placemats and put them on the table.
Pretty easy, even for the laziest among you. I think there were other placemats to choose from if you don't like cherries (gasp).
Placemats: $1.00
Laminating: $1.25 (.25 a foot)
Welcoming of Spring: Priceless

Monday, February 22, 2010

Nicey Jane Quilt

Last week was a really good week. Ken took a few days off...this is a big deal. He works harder than anyone I have ever met and to have him home was very nice. The last two months have been the most stressful in our lives, all revolving around his job. The last couple assignments have been hard as a family. The military asks a lot of my husband, he probably wouldn't like hearing me say that- perhaps I should just leave it at that.
Finishing this quilt has given me some strange quilting addiction. Not because I am any good at it--just the opposite actually. I want to do better. If there was quilting law enforcement I would surely be jailed. I broke a lot of rules. It looks as if I was SUI (sewing under the influence) as my seams are all wonky and uneven. All the same, I like it. I'm not scared to use it. I hope it will be loved as a Saturday afternoon napping quilt. Until it falls apart in the wash or someone barfs on it--whichever comes first.

I had to coax my cat off it to take a picture. He is so self righteous! He has put up with a lot the last 13 years (tail pulling, whisker trimming, etc) but to assume he can sleep/shed on my new quilt? It's a good thing I love him. If I told you how much we have spent on airfare for him with each move you would know we crazy love him--he has lived in four countries and four states.

I hope your Monday morning isn't as gray and dark as it is here. What's on your to do list today? What will you have for dinner?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Places: a cowboy with a serious book addiction

Welcome to Archer City, home of Larry McMurtry and 1847 other people. Archer City is a bit desolate, an old western town with dilapidated buildings and a wide center street. It's a quiet place that silently screams cowboys live here. And cowboys do live there. I know this not just because Travis our hoof trimmer lives there (he wears leather chaps) but also because I saw two cowboys riding today. Oh and also because Larry McMurtry lives there and he wrote perhaps the most famous western of all time: Lonesome Dove.

I wish I could say I have met him and he happily autographed leather bound copies of his books for me. Or that he saw me in town and asked if I would like to interview him over at the BBQ place which actually would be awful as I have braces and eating chopped beef or pulled pork is really unattractive. Anyhow, nobody really talks about him around here. It was many months after we got here that I even learned he owned the eclectic used book stores that take up most of the buildings in Archer City. There are four book stores scattered about with more books than one could imagine. There are only employees in one, and the books are shelved haphazardly by subject. If you have a question or would like to purchase anything you have to carry it through the town to the store with the employee.

I have never seen Larry M there but imagine him trekking around late at night shuffling books around. This store (above) was bright and sunny and really warm. I had to fight myself not to lay leisurely on the floor with a gigantic stack of books. It's a perfect mix: being warm+books+sunshine.

His stores are called Booked Up Inc. They are scholarly Danielle Steele or Nora Roberts. And truthfully most books are priced very high. If I traveled a great distance I might be a bit sad. But since it is close by and I was with Ken (who is a total hunk) it was a good time.

That's all I got today. Yee Haw, Cowboy.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

here's lookin at you, kid

Someone recently asked me why I show pictures of my family but not myself. Why is this? I dunno. Except that I feel most comfortable as an outsider looking in. It's mysterious to wonder who says all these words. I could be the lady next to you in line at Target. I don't like people looking at me, nor do I like pictures of myself. I thought maybe this would be freeing in some way. And maybe just maybe after this we will see each other in line and become fast friends.

By the way, it's very nice to meet you.

Lavender Dreamer asked on the post below who my daughter looks like.

Our kids are a pretty good mix up of both of us. Some are tall, some short. There is brown hair and blond hair, green eyes and brown eyes. Some have lots of freckles and some creamy smooth skin. Some are shy and some LOUD. And one is neither. And for the record Ken is pretty tall and has a loud booming voice and gray hair and he always gets the remote all wiggy by pushing too many buttons.

I remember sitting in a boring class during college ( I was a music theory major--I did a lot of day dreaming!) and writing the names of my future children in my best handwriting. Some days I can't think straight through the noise of my life, but when I think about those names I realize I am living the life of my dreams. It was like I knew them already.

You didn't think I would end this post all sappy like that did you? There must be something grotesque and/or funny. This is a swollen lipped young boy who was doing one of those hippity hoppity tantrums and flung his head into my dresser, putting three teeth completely through his lip.

It was so cool.

I had just told my friend a few days before how I thought he had the most beautiful lips in the world. Also note I didn't even crop out the boogery nose, just because if we are going to be friends we have to be real friends and kids w/ boogery noses are a big part of my life.

See you later, great pals-o-mine.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

webcam photo study

This is my daughter. She is wonderful.

She is bright and sunny and a lovely sister to many. Her love for her siblings was evident on our webcam file. I tried to clean out the file today but found myself getting choked up. There are 1000 photos of my beautiful daughter making her siblings smile. She is 15 and though we hug and profess our love each day we also share stern words. Well, I share stern words. About her clothes and make up usually.

I made her ride the bus home today as we received more snow that expected. She was sad.

She and her sister are the same size and argue about clothes many times a week. Usually Maggie has the last word and often it is funny. This makes me proud almost as much as her good grades.
She is dramatic. Yes, she acts in plays but when I say dramatic, I mean she is emotional everyday of the week. Every week of the year.
This makes me happy, too. She cares so much. About the world and how we live in it.

She will be a great mother. She has always been maternal. Even to people much older than her. When she is an adult she will surely call people "sweetie" like that woman at the bank that wears brooches and perfume.

Isn't it a great thing that she is my daughter and I love her this much? What a gift she is.

This is the one that made me laugh on my tears. She is wearing her brothers coonskin cap.

I love you, Maggie.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

kitchens from yesterday

Thank you very much for the quilting advice, I really appreciate all the help. You'll be happy to hear I will bind my quilt. I will be in FT Worth next week and can stop in to the quilt shop to buy enough fabric to make the binding...hopefully from the same dye lot as I already purchased. Last week I bundled up the boy and went across town to the only quilt shop around these here cowboy parts to ask her advice--even getting past my guilt that I didn't buy my fabric from her but sadly her shop was closed and a tattoo parlor occupies her once cute little store. Thanks for coming to my rescue.


On to kitchens. I have always been intrigued by the evolution of kitchens. It is the kitchens of times past that are my favorite. Last year I came across a few old magazine clippings of kitchens my Gram had clipped out. What she dreamed of and what I dream of are not all that different. I spent nearly every summer of my young life eating at her table, watching her make meals on her sea foam green counter tops. How I loved that kitchen! It was always bright even on the cloudiest days, it took up enough of the house to face the road and hear cars crunch up the driveway and also to have a back door to welcome casual guests. My seat at the table was a spindle bench I shared with my left handed brother who was always jabbing me with his elbow. When the food wasn't to our liking we would procrastinate eating by poking Suzie the calico cat, who would sleep on the radiator right behind us. I suppose it is this kitchen that fuels my kitchen dreams, though my visions are less sea foam green and more white and pine.

Like Ol' Salty and Cap'n Pepper I have lived with many kitchens through the years. The kitchen is the heart of the home, it's amazing what a coat of paint, or a roll of red gingham contact paper can do to transform even the most outdated kitchens. You can put on a spectacular meal with the barest necessities. Primp yourself and wear an apron, eat on pretty dishes....even if they are nonmatching thrift store finds.

When we were house shopping here in Texas, I fell in love with our kitchen. It immediately reminded me of Leave it to Beaver .

Not that I have watched every episode of Beaver enough to have their kitchen in my permanent memory or anything.

Not that I knew exactly which episode to put on and take a picture of. It's hard to be this way. Sigh.

While we are chatting in the kitchen I thought I'd share a quick tip that makes my life easier. I am often clipping recipes or printing them from the internet. After they have been tried and true I clip and tape them to regular size recipe cards and file them. It's quick and easy and beats writing them out. I had a huge bin full of clipped recipes and was always digging through them.

Thanks for hanging out in the kitchen with me. Do you have kitchen wisdom? Are you happy with yours? What kind of kitchen do you dream of?

PS I made the filigree hearts last week...they are good and very easy.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Can't you see I need some help here?

Why do quilters bind quilts? Is there a reason other than appearance? Can I just sew the three layers together (right sides together) and turn it right side out like when you make a pillow? Then quilt the whole thing? Does it make the edges too bulky? Do you think I am unintelligent?
Because I just might be. I often feel not so smart. This is the part where you say, "Awww, you are to smart, you are the smartest person I know." Then I say, "Really? You mean that?" And then I follow it up with "You're the smartest person I know, too."
Then you tell me how silly I am for not binding my quilt.
I like the quality of the Nicey Jane fabrics. Looking at all the prints together makes me happy. Lately I'm drawn to blues and yellow and greens. Must be because of this groggy winter.
Today amid the rain and wind I found this lovely book in the mailbox. I ordered it weeks ago from a seller in Japan. Don't you love it when you receive a bit of cheer on a cloudy day? It looks to be a great book with full size patterns enclosed. It even smells like Hello Kitty bubblegum.

Okay friends, time to go. A good day to you and yours!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

note to self

Having toddlers and teenagers under the same roof can sometimes be hazardous, though amusingly they share many of the same of which is too much make up.

Henry helped himself to Maggie's mascara during his nap. This must have happened about the time I was singing "Ticket to Ride" by the Carpenters really loud. I won't do that again. Hopefully he won't either.


Wanna see a great movie? Watch David Copperfield...this version. It might be my favorite movie. But it's hard to commit to a favorite movie. Daniel Radcliffe is in it from his preHarry Potter days. It's really very good.

Monday, February 1, 2010

pajama bag

Thanks for your kind words on my last post. I thought I'd start February off with something pink and lovey...a pretty place to store pajamas.
It seems lately I have been unhappy with my projects. I have been taking on things that don't excite me (play costumes) and things that take too long (quilting). So it was nice to make something easy out of repurposed things. I didn't do the needlework but bought two thrifted pillowcases and cut them down.

May this first day of February be a good one for you. I hope when you buy candy hearts the first one you eat says:



Because you are.