Friday, December 30, 2011

The Sewing List

This is the first of several lists I have going right now.

Curtains for the basement
Quilts for Marshall (finished Dec. 30th)
Long Skirt (finished Dec. 31)
Jacket from Sew Simplicity
Hour Glass Quilt
Hiking Bag
Quilt for my niece's wedding

As you can see I already finished one project. I believe it's motivating to start your list with something that's already accomplished. And I'm sticking with that idea. I have most of the fabric for everything on this list. My goal is to continue to be thrifty with my sewing, using what I have and only purchasing when necessary. I don't have too many plans for sewing in the new year. I've got some other lists that I'd like to make a priority.

In other completely unrelated news, we're having duck for dinner. We've been saving this little guy in the freezer for just the right opportunity. Since it takes about 4 hours to roast and I have off today, we thought this might be a good day to do it.

Happy 2nd to last day of 2011 to you all. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Photo Walk

I used to take my camera everywhere. In the last five years I haven't toted it with me as much as I should have. It really is silly. If I think about all the film I wasted taking horrible photos prior to digital, you'd think I'd never be without my camera. Really, with digital, I've got nothing to lose.

After making our little video, I was reminded about how much I enjoy looking at things and thinking of ways to capture the essence. And, as we all know, practice makes perfect.

So today, amidst a cold, light snow, I took a walk down our street. I walked the whole way to the end. It can be so nice and quiet in our neighborhood sometimes. I like that. 

I hope you are all spending a little time thinking about what you enjoy doing, and maybe even getting out there and doing a little of it, if you can. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

List Making

From the "making for Christmas list." White chocolate covered Oreo cookies. Yum.
I really love making lists. There's something so organized about them. Like it may be easier to accomplish what's on the list just because the list is so 

  1. neat and 
  2. tidy and 
  3. numbered.
I think in actuality, what I like even more about the list is checking off the items I've completed.

I've been working lately on slowing down. I have a tendency to work in a frenzy to get things done. I'm surprised my blood pressure isn't higher. I need to remember that there isn't any reason (usually) for the walk to be swept, dinner to be cooked, bills to be paid, homework to be completed as quickly as possible. That savoring the moment is also an option. 

Often I work at the speed of light because I don't really want to be doing whatever it is that I'm working on. I want to be doing something else. I need to stop pining away for the next thing and work on enjoying the moment in which I'm living.

Easier said than done.

So....I guess that's one of the items I'll put on my list. Enjoy the now.

I'm enjoy the now of a movie with my hubby. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Have a Joyous One

I'm off work from now until next Wed. I hope you are all having a very joyous Advent that leaks into your Christmas season.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Under the Tree

 Every Christmas this is what I find under our tree. I think he must dream about being a Warrior Cat, living in the woods, resting from his daily hunt for survival. Or maybe he thinks he's a Royal Cat, finally getting back to his castle of velvet. Sleep well, kitty.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Aahhhh...finally the sights and sounds and smells of Christmas at our household. I woke to a dark and silent morning, threw my list together and headed out the door before the house awoke. I was feeling a little less than Christmas-y of late and the sounds of the mixer and the poof of dark cocoa powder has restored my cheer.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hey...Everybody OUT!

Taken from the hall. I bought a new ironing board cover only to get it home and realize it wasn't the right size. Oops.
 One Saturday about a week and a half ago I woke up feeling very unsettled. Frankly, I've been feeling that way for so long I almost can't remember what contentment is all about. I know that contentment comes from within so I'm doing a lot of self reflection. More on that another day.
My sewing space. I have my fabric and books on the shelf to the left. Scraps go in the basket under the table. 
 So this particular Saturday morning I was awake and my household was still asleep. It is one of my favorite times of day. So quiet! Since the flood in our basement I had been sharing my sewing room with a computer. We had finally gotten the basement put back together and had make the choice to keep the computer upstairs. Now, as you can see by the above photos, my sewing room is more like a half room. It seemed in the past month or so that there were at least two or three ever growing, awkward, smelly, messy teenagers doing one thing or another at all times with that darn computer. It was virtually impossible for me to think about sewing with all those elbows in there.
Chloe. I just can't tell you how much joy that cat brings to our lives.
 I was doing my best to live with it. To think that I'd sew on the weekends or after the boys go to bed. The reality is that homework happens on the weekends as do computer games and my husband's business (yup, he uses that particular computer a lot, too) and at night I'm too exhausted to think about being creative. I was in a conundrum. (I love that word by the way, it's so full of sound, like you're inside a metal trash can being rolled down a steep hill).
My new magnetic boards. I love being able to put up photos and pictures that inspire me.  The round containers hold my quilting pins, sewing feet and misc. little things that I always seem to be hunting.
 So early that Saturday morning when life was dark and still and quiet I discovered the solution. Move the computer into the dining room. I don't especially like large screens in my living spaces but with as much time as all the men spend on that computer I figured at least they'd be spending more of their time around the family. So I can be cooking and helping with homework or keeping an eye on the internet a little more easily. My darling husband loved the idea and had the time of his life moving everything around (did I ever tell you he just adores hooking up computer equipment?). By the end of the day I had my room back. 
This cabinet used to house the stereo. I am finding I want quiet while I sew and got rid of the music. I now have my go-to items on top: My sewing basket, tin with scissors, pens, pencils and chop sticks (which I use to turn things out and poke out the corners).
I moved things around a little differently than they were in the past and I'm very happy with the result. I wish things looked a little more tidy and beautiful like they do in other people's blogs but that just can't be helped. The quilt blocks you see came from my friend Marshall. His mother was a quilter and when I helped him move he showed me the most beautiful quilts his mother crafted. There were several blocks in a box and I offered to put them together for him. I'm making a table runner and square top for him out of them. Of course, Chloe loves to be in the thick of quilt making. Nice to have a room just for the girls.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Advent Mayhem

 Every year I ask the boys if they want me to put up the Advent Calender with the Nativity. I keep expecting them to say they are too old for it. Nathan hasn't had much interest in it these past two years but Nolan always responds with a resounding "yes!"
What I know is that Nolan enjoys making his own Nativity scenes. He has done this since he was young. It used to bug Nathan something awful which also added to the charm, I'm sure. Now, many parents would be upset that their teenage son was setting up scenes in which Mary was throwing Joseph into the fire and the angel Gabriel was being munched on by some hoofed animals. I know that boy's heart and it's all in good fun. 

So, enjoy your Advent traditions, whatever they may be!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Nolan at age three. Big cheeks and big eyes! 
Nolan on his 14th birthday doing what he does best.....being dramatic.
Words escape me when I think about the young man my baby is turning into. It's always fun to try to find something to really surprise him. I don't always bake him a cake because he doesn't really like cake. When I asked if he wanted a cake he surprised me by saying yes. He had no requests beyond a cake so I had total freedom. I decided to make the cake from Portal. The boys have wanted to make this cake for a really long time but I knew Nolan would never have thought I'd make it for his birthday. I ended up putting ice cream between the chocolate cake layers, frosted it with whipped cream and added shredded chocolate to the outside. He loved it! He was quite surprised (as you can see by the photo). The whole family said it was the best cake ever.

Happy 14th Nolan. I love you beyond words.
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