Sunday, May 31, 2009

...and the livin' is easy

We had some good ol' summer fun today. Casey was getting all his army gear out of the garage and going through it so the kids and I played on the driveway for awhile. I made them a hop scotch and taught them how to play. Lots of fun :)
Did you know that sidewalk chalk is even cooler if you dip it in water??

Kelby watched from the sidelines :)
This was just me playing around with ideas for a new blog header. It didn't make the cut--obviously, but it's pretty cool still. Do you like the new look?? I finally got to play around with and it is AWESOME. My photo editing software (which was a pain and hard to use anyway) isn't compatible with my Mac, so I was kinda bummed and that's why it's been sooo long since I made a new header. BUT, this site made it so fun and easy. I will be playing with it some more in the near future. And it's FREE! my favorite word :) I got the new buttons ("email me," "comments" and the "keep reading" one at the very bottom of the page) for free on this blog. She has lots of cool little blog gadgets to choose from. What a generous lady!!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I'm a big fat liar

So, not a few hours passed after I wrote that last post (about probably not getting much sewing time in the next few weeks) before I sat down and made this quilt square :) Who was I kidding, right?? I've been thinking of making a picnic quilt for awhile and I've also been wanting to try this whirlygiggle pattern for awhile. And, I've been given some jeans to cut up recently. So, the conditions were right and before I knew it...
...I'd made some more :) Once the girls found out it was going to be a picnic quilt, they didn't waste any time putting it to use.
A few days later, I had all these done...
And today, I put it all together and have this!! I realllly like it. I wanted to work with the denim in a way that did not feel outdated and I think I accomplished that. I'm motivated to finish this, because although summer weather has just begun, I've already wished I had a picnic quilt on three different occasions. I think it will be sturdy enough to collect lots of happy memories for our family :)
And here's a pic of my princesses just for fun :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


May is a BIG birthday month in our family! In the course of ten days, we had six birthdays plus Mother's Day! Some of these gifts were admittedly late, but now that all the little recipients have gotten their gifts, I can show and tell them :) First, this is another doll quilt I made for my friend Jen's little girl, who just turned three. She's a nurturer by nature and so she really loved it. I still really love this Heather Ross Matroyshka Doll fabric.

Then, my sister's oldest daughter turned 8. I'll admit, it was hard getting my brain out of little girl mode, but I came up with this little collection of hair pretties for her. The headbands are the child size of Heather Bailey's free pattern.
These flowers were super fun to make. I just gathered some fabric strips and formed into flowers, stitched on a covered button and hot glued to a band and a clip. I'll definitely be making some more of these in the future.
My sister's little boy turned 5, so I made him this Superman cape. I used this tutorial here, although I did enlarge the S template. I think he likes it. My girls did, at least. They're still asking where it went :)

My sewing machine has been taking a break the last few weeks and probably won't see much action until after Casey leaves for Officer School in June. This will be a good chance to post about some other things, though, so keep checking back!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


It's over!!!!! Casey graduated college with degrees in Music Education and Music Composition on Sunday after a big celebratory bash on Saturday. I am SO proud of him and of us and of our little family. It feels so good to have finished what we started. There were times when we didn't know if we should continue, but we are both SO happy that we did. I hope we can be living proof to others that this can be done in whatever stage of life. This degree has opened up a life for us that would not have been possible otherwise. Casey is now an officer in the US Army and we will be moving on after the summer to a new chapter! Yay!

The ceremony was super long, but I couldn't stop smiling anyway :)
Gramma bought the grand kids patriotic dresses to go with our party theme on Saturday. These are my girls with their cousin Jillian playing Ring around the rosie. Do you see Layla's arm muscle in this picture?? Wow, she looks ripped :)
I LOVE this one of Layla and her second cousin Hunter. They had so much fun together that day.
And this one of me and Natalie :)
And, I can't leave you without a little centerpiece how-to :) I needed a cheap decorating solution. I made these pinwheels and had six mason jars on hand. I didn't want to buy a bunch of marbles to fill them up, so I dyed some rice red and blue and used that instead. I LOVE how they turned out. The dowel sticks are super cheap, I think I got a pack of 30 (already cut) for $1.99 and I used 5 sheets of two-sided 12x12 paper, so I really only had about six or eight bucks in this. Here's what to do: Put a bunch of rice in a bowl, add some drops of food coloring and get to stirrin'. Pour it out onto a baking sheet and spread it out to let it dry. There ya go! This rice and pinwheel idea would be cute for any party, so try some different colors! These are already making the rounds to decorate two other parties so far :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

You Won't Reach it on Tiptoe

This is an excerpt from the May 11 entry of Oswald Chambers' My Utmost for His Highest:

" 'The Lord suffereth long...' " Let me look within and see His dealings with me. The knowledge that God has loved me to the uttermost will send me forth into the world to love in the same way. God's love to me is inexhaustible, and I must love others from the bedrock of God's love to me. Growth in grace stops the moment I get huffed. I get huffed because I have a peculiar person [or preschoolers!] to live with. Just think how disagreeable I have been to God! Am I prepared to be so identified with the Lord Jesus that His life and HIs sweetness are being poured out all the time? Neither natural love nor Divine love will remain unless it is cultivated. Love is spontaneous, but it has to be maintained by discipline." (emphasis mine)

Sacrificial and long-suffering love is something I have been really trying to dwell on and cultivate in myself lately because the neediness of my young children easily brings out impatience and ugliness in me sometimes. This excerpt is a great reminder, so I wanted to share it here.

But you didn't think I could make a post without a picture or two, did you?? ;)
These are some fabric bookmarks I've made recently. They made great little gifts and are fast and fun to make. The measurements are based off of this tutorial and I interfaced each piece before sewing them together in case you want to try some for yourself!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Birthday Suprise!

I have been dying to share this finished quilt here! My wonderful mother-in-law had a birthday this last week and I've been working on this quilt for her for several months. I had been wanting to make her a quilt, but couldn't decide on a pattern or color scheme. I eventually stopped agonizing over trying to match her decor and decided on yellow and white, since yellow is both our favorite colors. Then I sat back and waited for a pattern to strike me and when I found this Random Ohio Stars pattern (free on Quiltville!) I knew it was perfect.
I love how this turned out, it is sooo beautiful in person. Becky was here for the week, so we got to have a little birthday bash for her and I was so excited for her to open this. I think she really loves it--she took it to work the next day to show everyone :)
This was my first large-scale meandering attempt and it went pretty well. Next time, I will tape down the backing before pinning and I will pin-baste even more.
Here is a little close-up.

I have been asked a few times now if it's hard spending so much time making something I personally love and then giving it away. But, no, it's not. Some people are such blessings in my life and the best way to honor them is to do for them what I know how to do! It's easy to give to someone so wonderful! So, Becky, thank you for being so fabulous. I am blessed to know you and even more blessed to be your daughter-in-law! :)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mole Chicken Pizza

I've been meaning to post this recipe for months now so I'm going to go ahead and enter it into this Recipe Box Swap. We love homemade pizza around here and we mix it up a lot. This is one my absolute favorites:

Mole Chicken Pizza

Mole Sauce:
1/4 Cup barbecue sauce
2 Tbl semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tsp creamy peanut butter
3/4 tsp chili powder
1 tsp lime juice
1 small clove garlic

1 tomato, sliced
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup black olives, sliced
1 cup shredded colby/jack cheese
2 Tbl. fresh cilantro

For the sauce, combine all ingredients in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high 30-60 seconds or until melted and smooth, stirring after every 30 seconds. Spread the sauce onto your favorite homemade or store-bought pizza crust and then put the pizza ingredients (except the cilantro) on there in whatever order you like. Bake 16-18 minutes on 425 or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and

This is sooo yummy with ALL the ingredients. Each one really adds to the flavor, so don't leave anything out! Enjoy :)

swap blogpost

Monday, May 4, 2009


These beauties belong to my mother-in-law and she keeps them in the guest room, where we stay when we go down and visit. I always admire them and can't get over the hand-piecing, so last weekend when we were there, I asked about them again, and finally took some pictures. Both the pillow cover and the baby quilt below were made by Casey's great-grandmother. She made this when my mother-in-law, Becky was born and it's just beautiful. LOTS of TINY log cabins and all by hand!!! I can't get over it.

This is a picture of her. (This is my children's great-great grandmother!) I love family legacies, and I love how quilting spans generations. "Modern" quilting has changed the quilting world a lot, but it's funny how a log cabin is still so popular--now they just tend to be a little "wonkier"! :)