Thursday, December 31, 2009

Deployment Project #1

Well, the best way for me to deal with handsome hubby being deployed is to keep busy.  The best thing I can think of to keep me busy, beside taking care of the home and kids, homeschooling, getting the oil changed on the truck, grocery shopping, laundry etc, etc, etc... is to be creative!

Introducing, DP #1 (Deployment Project)

Today my focus was on some of my clients orders.  I have still been taking orders, but I haven't touched any of my work since the middle of November, so I have a little bit piled up.  I had good reason for doing this.  1.   I thought it was way more important to spend time as a family and
2.  I wanted to make sure I had plenty of projects for me to focus on once handsome hubby left.

M sent me these fabulous fabrics to make into pillows and two little cushions for her daughters little work table chairs. 

M also sent me two skirts that she had worn when she was younger.  She wanted them made into a doll quilt for her little cutie-pa-tootie to play and pretend with.  It was a fun challenge to work with these skirts.  They were reversable skirts so there were 4 different fabrics to work with, but not much of either.  I made a scrappy quilt trying to highlight some of the details that were on the skirts (the lace edging and button holes).  I also snuck in an embroidered "E" on one of the patches.  I think it turned out really cute and I am sure that little "E" will have lots and lots of hours of enjoyment swaddling her little baby dolls in it!!

Here's a quick peek at the back of the quilt - - I used a super soft backing and put a strip of pieced togeher fabric strips down one side - - it is so cute!

Project #2 is coming tomorrow - - I'm really excited about this one!!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


These pictures are actually about a week late, but we've been a little busy!  Right before Christmas we got a huge snow storm here - - It snowed for 2 days straight and was coming down fast and hard.  It actually was really fun to watch everything pile up.  In the end we had over 2 feet of snow in 24 hours. 

Remember, we moved here from CA so we had no snow shovels (had to borrow those from the neighbor), no snow clothes (ventured out to the mall - dumb idea) to go out and play in the snow with, and no sleds (tried but all the stores were sold out) to enjoy the snow with - - but we made the best of it!

We all went outside and worked together to clear the driveway and sidewalks of snow.  The kids built a fort in the backyard, and we all worked together to make a great snowman!!  They were so cute to watch - - Charise could barely stay on her feet, she just kept falling face first into the snow.  They loved every minute of it.

If you know me at all, you know that I hate, hate, hate being cold and I really dont' like snow, but I really did enjoy it.  It forced us to just stay home and enjoy each other - -which was perfect timing for us.  The best part is that three days ago it rained for the entire day and melted all the snow away, so yeah!! no more snow!

I've started my deployment projects and will be posting pictures of the first one tomorrow. 

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Game On!

(the kiddos took this picture with their camera this summer, thus the HIGH quality!!)

Well, today was the big day.  Handsome hubby left for his deployment today.  If you've been wondering why there hasn't been any new post lately, that is just the reason why.  Family time was much more important than decorating or sewing, so everything has been put on hold lately.  We have had a wonderful last couple of weeks just spending time as a family.  We took a few trips, went to New York, Tennessee, and Indiana to see family and friends.  This last week we spent at home, just the four of us.  It was fabulous!  You know how when you go on a really great vacation, then the first day you are home and have to get back to reality it is kinda depressing - - well, add on top of that the emotions that go with your husband deploying.  All in all though, I would say we did an exceptionally good job.  There were a few tears shed when he left early this morning, but since then we have done really well.  I'm so proud of my kids.  They have shown so much maturity for their 9 and 6 years.

There is a lot of emotion that goes with a deployment.  Sadness, fear, anger, self-determination, get the idea.  I supposed emotions change each day depending on what has happened that day.  Today I am mostly full of pride for my husband and children (after all it isn't just the soldier who sacarifices for our freedoms), and a bit of sadness at having to say goodbye to my best friend.  But mostly it is determination that we will get through this.  Every person is different and each family deals with things differently.  But we will figure it out as we go through and adjust as needed.   We've done it before and we will do it again - no pity needed!!

One of my biggest way of dealing is projects.  I have so many good projects lined up - - spray paint stocked up in the garage, fabric waiting on the shelf, and a sewing machine that is just begging to be used again.  Hopefully I will do better at posting pictures of my projects but I'm not going to make any promises!!

Here's my bright idea to share with you today...the kids really love to write daddy letters and send him pictures, but it is kinda hard for them to wait 2 plus weeks for a response.  My idea -- a blog for the kids!  I set up a blog (private) so the kids can write daddy letters on the blog and he will  be able to check it whenever he has an internet connection :)  That means they can also post pictures and show him what they are up to.  So, starting in January - - the kids will begin typing lesson as part of their school day and their writing time will be their "posts" to daddy.  Gotta love homeschooling!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Pride Cometh Before the Fall - - or HUGE Crash....

So as most of you know, Christmas is big for us.  I love decorating for Christmas.  Every year at the after Christmas sales, I stock up buying lights, greenery, ornaments, you name it, I love it!!!  I even have it all organized (or at least I did)  Until we moved here, it was all clearly labeled in totes on shelves in the garage.  Here, it is all still clearly labeled and in totes, but just in a huge stack in the corner of the basement :)  You can see my storage system here and look at past pictures of Christmas here and here.

This year has been harder for me.  We have been traveling a lot and very busy getting ready for hubby's deployment.  He leaves the day after Christmas, so it is kinda hard to get in the Christmas spirit, just for the fact that once we actually acknowledge that it is the Christmas season, then we also have to face the reality that he is leaving :(   And by the way, I think every store has a countdown for how many days until Christmas.  I never noticed that before, but when you only have to add one and you get the number of days until hubby deploys, you really start to notice!

But, Christmas is all around us, and it is my favorite holiday, so this week I finally gave in and started decorating.  I was insistant that this year we would not begin decorating or listening to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving - - we were successful with that!  But, in keeping with my "lighter and brighter" theme and knowing that what goes up, must come down.... I have only put up a tree, set out a few things on shelves and tables, and decorated the fireplace mantle.

I was quite proud of myselft for putting up any Chirstmas at all, and then on top of that getting it all done in one day!  It usually takes me at least two weeks to get it all up!  Here-in lies the pride from the title....  As I went to bed last night, I was composing the perfect blog post in my head (do you all do that?).  I was showing beautiful pictures of the tree, with perfect closeups of the ornaments; georgeous pictures of the mantle with all the lovely delicate mercury glass trees and ornaments.  I was working on all the wording, making sure that you could experience it all, as if you were right here at home with me.  I slowly drifted off into beautiful sleep dreaming of the perfect reveal I would have for you all in the morning.  ENTER THE FALL - - yes, at almost precisely midnight my beautiful dream was brought back to reality with a massive crash that I have never in my life heard before.  Hubby and I jumped out of bed and went running - - he to the kids rooms to make sure they were fine (he had no clue what the noise was) and I went running downstairs knowing for certain what that noise was.....can you guess?  The tree?  No, it was standing tall and proud.  The mantle?  yes...  What a sad, sad day to wake up to a massive crash and find that all the pretties you had so carefully placed there just hours before were now shattered into millions of smitherines and coating the carpet like mercury glass fairy dust.

You see, our house doesn't have a mantle, we have a fireplace with nothing over it, just a flat wall of drywall.  Blah!  So when we moved in, I decided to hang a shelf that I had that perfectly fit the space and to anyone looking at it, you would think that we had a very modern mantle.  It was so convincing, that I forgot it was just a shelf and it could not support everything that I had put up there.  Everytime I put something up, I thought, well, this is really light, so it should be fine.  When I cleaned up the class this morning and put it all in a box, I realized that I probably had almost 10lbs of glass up there.  OOPS!  Lesson learned!

So, there aren't many pictures of Christmas decorating for you to see because I hadn't taken any pictures of it yet, I was waiting until this morning to do that.  I guess you will just have to try to imagine what this huge pile of broken glass looked like when it was all nicely displayed on the mantle!!

Charise put it all into perspective for me this morning as she was watching me clean up the glass she said, "Aww, Mommy, that makes me sad because it was beautiful.  BUT (said in her charming optimistic way) at least we still have the tree and baby Jesus didn't get hurt."  She's right, focusing on the real reason for Christmas always helps put things back into perspective.  Christmas isn't about trees and decorating or pretty mantles for that matter, it isn't about presents, and ultimately it isn't even about family - -- - - all those things are great and good and we should enjoy them, but Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus our Savior.  If we use decorating, and gifts, and family to help us celebrate, then even better as long as our focus remains not on material things, but on Jesus Christ who was born on Christmas to save the world!

The nativity scene that we always put under our tree to remind us of our greatest gift.  Charise loves to set it up and play with it all season, this is currently how she has it places, but I guarentee that it will change at least 15 times today!

Enjoy the rest of the pictures of the tree and details!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

What has been consuming my time?

So, what have I been up to lately?  I've been working like mad on a quilt.  Spending every spare minute working on it. Quilts are supposed to be a long ordeal.  A relaxing time spent maticulously planning, pinning, sewing and all around being exact.  Even if I were not in a time cruch, that would not be me!!  I am a no nonsense girl - - I like to see the finished product and sometimes that doesn't work out so well for me!  But this time it has worked just fine. 

Why the time crunch?  And why a quilt?  Well, handsome hubby is leaving soon (think Christmas) for a 6 month long - all expense paid - "vacation" with the Army.  Like my little positive twist on deployments?  Two weeks ago, he asked me if I would make a deployment quilt for him.  I did this last time he deployed also.  Last time, I had never made a quilt before, so it was a very simple big block quilt with lots of white squares that I ironed on pictures of the kids and I.  It really was pretty ugly!!  And all the pictures have since washed off.  Hubby doesn't ask for much, and he really never asks for any sewing projects, so how could I say no?  His only request was that he wanted a black background.

So, this is the quilt that I made him, it is a kaleidascope pattern that I absolutely love.  It is all made with just one piece of fabric.  Yeah!  No choosing 5 coordinating fabrics!  It is all fussy cut so that you have 6 exactly matching triangles, then you make the hexagons from there and sew it all together.  Sounds exact and time consuming, but if I can do it, anyone can!!

My favorite part about the whole thing is that from one piece of fabric, you get so many different hexagons and so many different color concentrations.  It's fun to figure out how to lay it all out so that the colors flow.  Here is the original fabric before I cut out the triangles...

I'm not really into dragons - - at all actually, but I knew that you would not see the dragons when the quilt was finised and the original fabric had great swirls and patterns in it that I knew would make fabulous hexagons.

Here is a close up of one of the hexagons.  This is one of my favorite types of quilts to make.  I have made a couple of other ones and even blogged about one of them here.

One of the special things I did with this quilt is that I embroidered Psalm 91 (typically known as the Soldiers Psalm) around the outside of the design.  It is hard to see in the pictures, but it turned out really nice. 
Psalm 91

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High

will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say

of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,

my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare

and from the deadly pestilence.

He will cover you with his feathers,

and under his wings you will find refuge;

his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

You will not fear the terror of night,

nor the arrow that flies by day,

nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,

nor the plague that destroys at midday.

A thousand may fall at your side,

ten thousand at your right hand,

but it will not come near you.

You will only observe with your eyes

and see the punishment of the wicked.

If you make the Most High your dwelling—

even the Lord, who is my refuge—

then no harm will befall you,

no disaster will come near your tent.

For he will command his angels concerning you

to guard you in all your ways;

they will lift you up in their hands,

so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;

you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;

I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

He will call upon me, and I will answer him;

I will be with him in trouble,

I will deliver him and honor him.

With long life will I satisfy him

and show him my salvation.”

I hope that as he is separated from us, he feels completely loved, prayed for, and missed as he snuggles (I'm sure he would really appreciate me using such a manly and tough word) in under his warm quilt.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Eeek! A Halloween Tour

Since tomorrow is Halloween, and my kids are just bursting at the seams to get into costumes, I thought it would be fun to take a little Halloween tour.  Now, it would be really fun to take you room by room through my house and show you everything that I have done, but it would look something like this...

Yup, you guessed it, we are a Halloween blank canvas.  I'm still trying to unpack boxes here folks, there is not time for halloween decor!  Plus, you saw how many Christmas decorations I have (remember this) I cannot allow myself to start collecting decorations for any other holiday!  So, since my sweet friend Kristi does decorate for Halloween, she invited us in for a tour.  You might remember that we went on a tour of her house earlier this year, but here it is all spookified! 

See those little containers?  They each have an perfect insect specimen in them that either Kristi or her son have collected - freaky cool!

Every well dressed witch has her hat, shoes, and transportation waiting for her by the door!

Spooky sillouettes!  Kristi made this creepy cute creation out of some salvaged architectural pieces, cardboard, pre-made Halloween decor, and Christmas ornaments, and ribbon.  Great combination! 

hocus pocus  -"spelled" out in tiny little vintage letter tiles

Danger!  Poison!

A spider resting on the coral.  No, this spider isn't real!

Lucky #13?  The funny thing is that unlucky 13 really is Kristi's lucky number!

Forks and moss - - so cute!  How does she think these things up?

Oh the details here - - make sure you look at each of the jars and their labels!  So cute!!!!  And the banner?  Fabulous - - these are Kristi's specialty, she custom hand makes them for all occasions and they all have so much detail in them!

Look at those!  It is the perfect blend of creepiness, vintageness, and creativness all displayed together!

Crows anyone?

The bug collection (or at least part of it).  And take a close look at those shells in the birdcage--they're all broken or parts have naturally been worn away, but their shapes are so interesting and some of their hidden beauty has been revealed.  Kristi purposely collected them that way! 

A close up of the nest those crows are watching over (or are trying to get at?).  Remember that Kristi collects nests?  This one was made of lavender and smells so good!  And yes, the eggs are real; the birds abandoned their sweet little nest before the eggs got a chance to hatch.

Thanks so much for taking us through your spookiness, Kristi.  You are always such and inspiration and you motivate me (and others I'm sure) to think outside the box, and be creative!

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