Monday, January 28, 2013

Working instead of crafting

So, I actually had to work last week and only had 3 days off compared to the 6 I had off before my last work stretch.  This led to decreased productivity in my crafting (but I have to fund the fun somehow). :-P  I did eat well, however, and made homemade pizza with a pinterest pizza dough recipe (self rising flour and greek yogurt - not my favorite, but easy), banana muffins, and chicken/broccoli alfredo in the crock pot (I have tons to eat all week!).

Here's the latest on my projects:
Fish for my crib-sized quilt

3.5 rows and a boarder left
I'm on call tonight and back to work for most of this week and the beginning of next so big updates may be slow to come.  Next month's goals are more intellectual, so I may have to spend more time studying and less time crafting in the coming months. 2013 certainly started out with a BANG! :)

Monday, January 21, 2013

This is what happens when I have so many days off...

I bought fabrics for my next quilt

I finished a blanket

and started another

On Sunday afternoon my sister came with her kids. 

I took them to Christian's Pizza for lunch.

Later that afternoon we went to the park. 
It was an unseasonably warm day (in the 60s) and MacKinzie loved to slide on the slides and try everything for about 10 seconds at a time on the playground.

This morning, we watched some videos
and learned to use a stethoscope like Doc MacStuffins.

Emma was all smiles when she woke up at lunch at Chick-Fil-A.
I learned a little about how challenging it is for moms to do things.  Especially with 2 so little and needy, my sister would have a VERY difficult time going out on her own.  I made sure she got a shower while I watched the kids and we ventured out together a few times.  She said that MacKinzie seems to have cabin fever at times since they've had to keep Emma away from germs and out of the cold.  MacKinzie has so much to learn, but such a short attention span. It was hard to come up with new things to do all the time, with a limited availability to toys she was interested in, which meant a video often went in the DVD player.  She is particularly mesmerized by Doc MacStuffins.  Some of the other shows she'll watch for a while and then just want to be on in the background.  I tried to keep it fun by going to the park, coloring, showing her how I make cookies, and reading books.  She found my stash of Hokie children's books and was particularly fond of "Hello, Hokie Bird". She is becoming very strong willed and broke down for no reason a few times.  She actually listens better to strangers than to her Mom at times.  All kids seem to behave the worst for their moms.  I'm amazed how well she communicates with just a few words.  It is a pleasure to watch her grow and enjoy new things.  

Emma smiles whenever you pay attention to her. She loves to be talked to and to coo in return. It'll be more and more challenging as she seeks to be entertained and MacKinzie's need to learn also expands.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sale at Jo-Ann

A sale at Jo-Ann fabrics and some gloomy days led to this:

Grandma's encouragement

My grandmother forwarded me this story and I found it encouraging so I thought I'd share it.


Once there were three trees on a hill in the woods. They were discussing their hopes and dreams when the first tree said, 'Someday I hope to be a treasure chest. I could be filled with gold, silver and precious gems. I could be decorated with intricate carving and everyone would see the beauty.'
Then the second tree said, 'Someday I will be a mighty ship. I will take kings and queens across the waters and sail to the corners of the world. Everyone will feel safe in me because of the strength of my hull.'

Finally the third tree said, 'I want to grow to be the tallest and straightest tree in the forest. People will see me on top of the hill and look up to my branches, and think of the heavens and God and how close to them I am reaching. I will be the greatest tree of all time and people will always remember me.' After a few years of praying that their dreams would come true, a group of woodsmen came upon the trees. When one came to the first tree he said, 'This looks like a strong tree, I think I should be able to sell the wood to a carpenter, 'and he began cutting it down. The tree was happy, because he knew that the carpenter would make him into a treasure chest.
At the second tree the woodsman said, 'This looks like a strong tree. I should be able to sell it to the shipyard.' The second tree was happy because he knew he was on his way to becoming a mighty ship.
When the woodsmen came upon the third tree, the tree was frightened because he knew that if they cut him down his dreams would not come true. One of the woodsmen said, 'I don't need anything special from my tree, I'll take this one,' and he cut it down.
When the first tree arrived at the carpenters, he was made into a feed box for animals. He was then placed in a barn and filled with hay. This was not at all what he had prayed for.
The second tree was cut and made into a small fishing boat. His dreams of being a mighty ship and carrying kings had come to an end.
The third tree was cut into large pieces, and left alone in the dark.
The years went by, and the trees forgot about their dreams.
Then one day, a man and woman came to the barn. She gave birth and they placed the baby in the hay in the feed box that was made from the first tree. The man wished that he could have made a crib for the baby, but this manger would have to do. The tree could feel the importance of this event and knew that it had held the greatest treasure of all time.
Years later, a group of men got in the fishing boat made from the second tree. One of them was tired and went to sleep. While they were out on the water, a great storm arose and the tree didn't think it was strong enough to keep the men safe. The men woke the sleeping man, and He stood and said 'Peace' and the storm stopped. At this time, the tree knew that it had carried the King of Kings in its boat.Finally, someone came and got the third tree. It was carried through the streets as the people mocked the man who was carrying it. When they came to a stop, the man was nailed to the tree and raised in the air to die at the top of a hill. When Sunday came, the tree came to realize that it was strong enough to stand at the top of the hill and be as close to God as was possible, because Jesus had been crucified on it.
The moral of this story is that when things don't seem to be going your way, always know that God has a plan for you. If you place your trust in Him, God will give you great gifts.
Each of the trees got what they wanted, just not in the way they had imagined.
We don't always know what God's plans are for us. We just know that His Ways are not our ways, but His ways are always best.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I finished the front of my first quilt! Now I just have to find a backing color, quilt and bind.  I'm not really looking forward to the next steps and I am looking into starting the next quilt top before this one is finished. Still, I'm pleased with the outcome.  It is far from perfect, but nice to look at from a distance.  We'll see how the finishing goes...

Sunday, January 6, 2013


So I'm not very good at this blogging thing.  I thought last year about writing about running, especially after I finished my first half marathon in November.  The writing never happened.  Other things came up to take up my time.  Today, I want to write about all my craft projects I completed in 2012.  I think this is a good place to catalog all my projects and track just how far I've come.

I always try to make some of my Christmas presents.  I feel they are more meaningful when they are homemade.  I made a Shutterfly book for my BIL, Dave, and a Shutterfly coffee mug for my sister in case she plans to go back to work, she can show off her kids.

I made this for my newest niece, Emma:

I had started it in October knowing she was on the way, but not knowing her gender (hence the blue and green). It is knitted from a Bernat pattern and I just LOVE how pretty and delicate it is.  It took many, many hours to complete.

For my secret santa, I created this:
It's a crocheted infintity scarf.  It turned out a little bigger than I planned.  I used a pinterest pattern I found online and made it in pink since Sara said that's one of her favorite colors.

For Becky, I made this:

I found the knit pattern in a magazine my secret santa gave to me.  I made it in orange because Becky looooves her Tennessee orange.  This also took many, many hours to complete.  Many of those hours were in Michigan while Michael practiced.

After Mom and Dad bought me a beautiful Amish quilt for my 30th birthday, I started to think about learning to quilt.  I decided it would be wise to start with something I thought I could finish successfully, and after receiving some awesome homemade gifts from coworkers for Christmas, I decided to return the favor with some potholders:

The one on the left is the first one I made and I gave it to my mom, because it was the first, and because it was rather obvious it was the first.  I still have some learning to do.  I neglected to take pictures of the other 3 finished products before sending them off to their new owners.  One went to Michael's mom and one to Kirstin and one to Jess.  

I just bought a sewing machine in the new year and I am already working on my first throw sized quilt top. It's going well so far.  Michael did not approve of some of my color choices.  I need some practice in that arena too.  I can't seem to stop working on it.  I already have 24 of the 35 blocks completed and one of 7 rows sewn together.  I also have almost completed another baby blanket that I am preparing for my next niece or nephew, since I know Angela and Dave are planning to have at least one more.  I have a knitted scarf started from the Hokie colored yarn my secret santa gave me.  Expect many more craft postings in the future!