Monday, April 27, 2009

More Baby Gifts. . washclothes

I did a little embroidering last night. I have a baby shower to attend this weekend, and I was quite excited to be able to personalize some washcloths. I think they turned out adorable. I bought a pack of 12 washcloths at Target for $2.99. I thought I would split them into 3 packs of 4 washcloths, and they would make a great addition to any shower gift. I am sorry but it is another dark and dreary day here and the colors were not captured so well on my camera. The washcloths are really nice bright shades of dark pinks, green, and white. The designs are from I love that site.

I was recently asked by someone relatively new to the embroidering world (and please
remember as I say that, that I consider myself in this same category) about how to choose what colors of thread you will need in your thread stash. I thought maybe I would blog about this in case any of you were interested or were thinking of purchasing a you could know what you were getting yourself into just to get started. Thread is expensive ($5)...but it lasts FOREVER. That being said, you do need quite a library collection of colors though. For example, when I first got my machine I remember thinking...I could do a soccer ball until I looked it up on my machine and was astonished to realize it was not just white and black, but also a couple shades of gray/silver! Here is a picture of my basic colors. I don't buy too much thread these days unless something I am making calls for a shade that I nothing even similar to.

Basically if I was starting. . .I would stock up on a white, black, at least 3 shades of brown (light, medium, dark) that compliment each other, and cream. Then I went by seasons. I chose bright, springy colors (you tend to make a lot of little girl projects from these) in green, teal, pink, purple, orange, yellow. Then I went fall with several reds, greens, golds, oranges. That would be my advice on the subject. As you can see, I still haven't used some of the colors I bought, but someday I will.

Loser Monday Report

I will keep this one short. I went in for my yearly physical and my doctor congratulated me on my weight loss, which felt nice. :) I hope to be back to walking tomorrow.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Loser Monday Lack of a Report plus a Giveaway you should check out

Well, I feel bad. I really haven't been trying too hard on the diet challenge. First I jumped the diet. Now I jumped the exercise. Although I did give up chocolate...but only because I had acid reflux. LOL. I gave it up because it hurt. My friend and I have conflicting schedules this week, but hopefully next week we can get back to working...that would be something.

Here is a waist friendly soup recipe by Rachel Ray that is delicious. I made it last week and it was a hit at my house:
Tomato Potato Soup (not the real name, but I am too lazy to go check)

Saute in a large soup pot:
Dice a large sweet onion
3 tbs grated garlic

Add 2 liters of chicken broth, bring to a boil

Peel and thinly slice 3 lbs. of Idaho potatoes and add to the boil. Cook for 20 minutes. Potatoes will break up as they cook.

Chop a bag of fresh baby spinach removing long stems. Add to the soup after the 20 minutes. It will take 3-4 minutes for the spinach to "wilt" into the soup. Add salt, pepper, and a big pinch of nutmeg.

Stir in a 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes, and heat until warm.

Serve with a little bit of Parmesan cheese.

Makes a large part...easily 6 LARGE bowls.

Onto something more positive. . . .Vickie E. is having a great giveaway over at MidOhioQuilter. Plus she has a really cute tutorial for a table runner over at the Moda Bake Shop. You should check it out.

I enjoyed all of the stories from the rock post. They made me laugh. You are all great. I loved hearing from you. I had hoped to email back each of the 16 of you that left me comments, but I was dealing with a loss last week. I must say though that your stories definitely brightened my week though.

Friday, April 10, 2009

That's one clean rock

This story starts yesterday. Buddy has become a huge fan of getting extremely dirty/muddy while he is outside. I am talking about the kind of filth that you could scrape off his clothes when he comes in. He has all but ruined his play shoes, which I have had to wash twice this week. Yes, he has rain (actually mud) boots, but he forgets to put them on sometimes.

I need empathy people! I am doing laundry non-stop! I am at my mama's wits ends. I was the type of kid, who never got dirty. That being said, I think I am a very understanding mama. I get that he is a boy. I get that he needs to get dirty. I get that if there is a puddle within a 100 yards of our house he will end up in it. And, I try very hard not to be critical of the muddy monster that re-enters my house (except when it involved his Stride Rite sneakers...I think I have certain rights). However, the laundry is killing me. I hate doing laundry.

So, yesterday when I was washing his second outfit of the day, including his jacket. I heard a rather large clunking in my dryer. Well, I was about to go do something I was in a bit of rush. I opened my dryer door and I didn't see anything unusual. I fished around on the bottom a bit, still nothing unusual. So, I decided that the clunk was probably the zipper of the jacket.

So, imagine my surprise when I unloaded the dryer this morning. (Oh don't judge me and my wrinkly clothes. . .I had a pampered chef party to go to last night and I forgot about the clothes.) Oh no not the zipper but this bigger than a large cherry tomato, now very clean rock. Buddy actually told me that it isn't just a rock..."it is a meteor rock from dinosaur times....dinosaurs must have kicked here". This explaination was followed with a "sorry, mama".

Please tell me that some of you had boys who loved, LOVED to get dirty and now they are like corporate geniuses, who are very successful in life. INSPIRE me to keep doing all of this muddy laundry. PLEASE!!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Last of the Mother's Day Gifts

This is a purse I made for my mom for Mother's Day. I used the Ava Bag pattern from Grand Rival Designs. This is another pattern that I bought 50% from the Fat Quarter Shop back in December. It was a snap to make. If you need to make a gift in a jiffy, this one is a gem! Very quick to make and great instructions. It is bigger than it appears, too. I set it next to the Pink Sand Beach Designs bag (the first purse I made last week out of Fig Tree material) and they are equal in size.

Please ignore my disgusting ironing board cover. I need to get on that bandwagon and make a new one like Jen did. Someday...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Loser Monday-- and a couple of thank yous

Well, Monday is here again and I have not been good. Perhaps that is an understatement. It all started when my husband felt sorry for a Girl Scout and purchased a can of chocolate covered almonds. I have been on a personal mission to see her dream of 'every last almond enjoyed and gone' is fulfilled. Then there is the whole 'I'm sick of cooking and thinking about cooking' problem. Does anyone else ever go through these phases, where for the life of you, you cannot think of what to cook? Seriously. I am open to any suggestions. I am also on break. HOORAY for that. I will get my whole self off break next week....and pay the piper probably.

Moving on. . .

I have been very blessed with winning a couple of very nice giveaways recently. They truly have blessed me and lifted my spirits. My husband's job in the grocery warehouse has been very much effected by the Michigan economy (Big 3). People are moving out of our state and other's are buying less groceries. He has been laid off since before Christmas, but is still on call. We were very lucky that he was called in almost all of February and we still feel fortunate when he gets called in now 1 day a week. I have a very stable job and a good salary, and we do realize we are blessed in this way. The big question looming ahead of us is how is this all going to play out? He is vested 12 years in his job. He has a great pension, and we do not want to willingly throw that out. So, for the time being, we are fine but know we will be needing to make some decisions ahead. We are dangling in anticipation of summer. Buddy has also had this 'swollen tonsils, clearing his throat, and cough' thing going on. Despite many trips to the doctors it is hanging on. They now think it allergies, but nothing is really ending it. It causes me to worry. So, for the past month....I have been a bit down (not too down mind you because I know how fortunate we really are and that we really are in a pretty good position for this type of thing). It was quite the pick-me-up to win a couple of really nice giveaways from some really nice people.

First off, I want to thank Carol for these great fat quarters. I have really enjoyed leaving them out and thinking of a fun project to make with them. I think I have changed my mind at least 6 times now!

My second win was from the Fat Quarter Shop.
I won one of their new Sewline Mechanical Fabric Pencils. I used it this weekend while making my purse. You all need to get one, and I am not kidding. They are the most precise, smooth writing fabric pencil I have ever used. I hope in days ahead to be able to purchase several of the colors. A big thank you to FQS. I love that place.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Flea Market Bag

So, I decided I ought to make myself a Mother's Day present, too. LOL During the 12Days of Christmas sale at the Fat Quarter Shop, I picked up a bunch of Grand Revival Designs patterns 50% off. This Flea Market Bag pattern was one of them. I also snagged this Tanya Whelan fabric at 50% off. Have I mentioned my love of the FQS lately? I love that site. They have such nice customer service.

I love this bag. I love the size of it. I think the strap is cute. My husband says the material reminds him of a grandma. I told him I liked it anyway. What a skunk.

I would recommend this pattern for anyone. It is quick to make and has lot of options. A girl must have options! There are at least 4 different purses in this one pattern. And, she shows you lots of colorways, which lets your imagination roam a bit.

Moving on to an even cuter subject, Buddy. Buddy is going through this super hero phase. On our way to swimming the other night, he had a bit of a show in the back seat.
Here is his villian/bad guy pose:

Here is the good guy/super hero to fight back:

Yet another bad guy shows up:
Can't you tell the difference? LOL I just nod my head.

We have been taking swim lessons again this year. It started 9 weeks ago as a bit of a struggle. He was melting down at each lesson about getting his face wet. He was deathly scared of going in the deep end with the life guards.
9 weeks later, he is floating in the deep end all by himself (life guard was right there, never fear).

Look at the big boy putting his own head in the water!

I just love this kid.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

An Almost Done Bag

Finally a project to blog about. I apologize for how long it has been since I posted something crafy, but buddy's been sick and I have been keeping myself very busy with work lately. So without further delay. . .

I made this purse for my MIL for Mother's Day out of my Fig Tree scraps. I love it. It is almost done, I just have to top stitch around the top. Please excuse the pins, a work in progress. I used some of my fancy stitches on the sides, and I really thought it gave it some flair. I thought I was quite the creative one until I noticed the directionality. I wish I would have thought about it when I picked them though...oh well, next time. Due to the bottom piece making a U shape on the purse, on one side the leaves point up and on the other side they point down. My husband says no one will be the wiser, but it still bugs me. I wish I would have picked another design or switched the direction my sewing every other vine.

Check out those dirty little boy knees. . .a sure sign spring is here!