Saturday, May 31, 2008

Little Ballerinas, aka...

...4 year olds make the cutest ballerinas!

During the morning rehearsal...practicing the final bow.

Again during rehearsal... look at that form!

I brought my computer and a couple of movies to the rehearsal, just in case, and I was glad I had when the girls started getting restless. We went out in the hallway for a while to watch Barbie in The Magic of Pegasus!

Later in the day...
In the holding room prior to dancing. They performed, "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies" from The Nutcracker.

"Emma, show me first position..."

Emma loved the flowers she got from her dad after the performance, although on the ride home she did tell me she thought it would have been fun if the audience had thrown the flowers onto the stage like in her Angelina Ballerina books.


This morning Emma had the dress rehearsal for her ballet recital which is this evening. I will post pictures from the rehearsal after the concert tonight.

I knew I would be sitting around for at least two hours, and the rehearsal was actually scheduled for 4 (!) hours, so on Thursday night I got some hand sewing blocks prepared. These are for my Summer 4 Seasons Quilt.

One of my favorite things about summer is the abundance of produce available. All the fresh fruit and vegetables are so yummy. This quilt will have pears, strawberries, and cherries... is your mouth watering yet? The person I am making the quilt for wanted a traditional country style quilt, so I hope this quilt fits the bill once it is complete.

This is my first time appliqueing by hand, and considering it was super dark in the theater during the rehearsal, I think the blocks came out okay. The one yellow background is a little wobbly, and I am trying to determine if I need to tear it out and try again, or if the wobbles will quilt themselves out. But look at that point on the heart... it's sharp!

Anyway, I hope to be giving more updates on this quilt soon too... in fact, I have a post about color and fabric selection stewing in my head, and if it ever gets written, this quilt is going to be my example...

The winner is...


Thank you all for your votes! I think it was split about 50/50, but I decided on the teal because I just like the fabrics better. I like their texture, and like how they are an unusual and sort of vintage combination with the pink. You can check back for updates on that quilt through the coming week.

In other news, I think teal may be one of my new favorite colors... especially when combined with yellow:

(fabric by Tula Pink for Moda, picture courtesy Over The Rainbow Fabrics)

Isn't it gorgeous?!?

In fact, I love the combination so much, my items for Kelly's Favorite Things Swap will all be centered around those two colors. I can't tell you what I have gotten to send so far, but I am really excited! This is a really fun swap, and she is keeping sign-ups open until June 6th. I highly recommend it!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

No Lurking Allowed Today

I really need everyone's help, so please don't just lurk. Give me your opinion!

I am changing my design for my doll quilt... with the reasoning coming once my partner recieves her quilt. I don't want to give anything away! But I need help deciding on the contrasting color for the quilt.

Do you prefer:
(click to enlarge the pictures)




Thanks for your help!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Some crafty progress

Today my 4 Seasons Spring Quilt arrived. I LOVE it! Julie made it for me, and I am just tickled pink. It is a darling little scrappy string quilt. Don't you love it? I can't wait to finish the painting in my sewing studio and get this quilt hung up with some of the others I have received!

Julie was also kind enough to send me some other items that she stocks in her etsy shop. Some darling sewn note cards, a key fob, and ponytail holders with darling fabric on them! I love it all. Julie you were so generous. Thank you!

I have been busy, busy, busy in the sewing, quilting, and designing departments!
Andrew's teacher is retiring this year, and she is a quilter, so I thought it would be fun to make a little quilt for her signed by all the kids she has taught the last 2 years. She was supposed to be retiring next year, but her mother had a stroke, and so she was going to retire a year early so that she could care for her mother more. Her mother just passed away last week though, but she is still going to retire. It wasn't much time to get this quilt organized. I would have liked to be able to have more of her students sign it, but there wasn't time for me to go to the middle schools. You probably won't see that quilt, since it has first and last names, but it is almost finished. I have one more line of hand quilting to do, and then I will apply the binding.

My current raging debate is how best to utilize this gorgeous blue fabric in a quilt (seen below). You may remember I used this line, Moda's "Swell", in a baby quilt for my dear friend Melinda. I really wanted to make a quilt for me too, and something with a great design to it, but I hate to cut up the beautiful fabric! Any ideas?

The girl's are getting matching dresses from other fabrics in the line. Hopefully those will get done this weekend!

The blocks below are for the doll quilt swap on the forum. The person I am making for said "anything goes", and a few days ago I was very inspired by this little tea cup quilt. I knew I wanted to make something similar for my swap quilt, and I had all these gorgeous Asian print fabrics sitting idly by in my stash.

I drew up a block to paper piece the cups in EQ5, and got to work paper piecing the blocks. The final quilt will have sashing in between the blocks, and a few fabric embellishments... depending on how they turn out!

The last quilt I have in the pipeline is the summer quilt I am making for the 4 Seasons swap... The quilt I have decided to make is stretching me, but in a good way. I am going to make some blocks that are quite a bit more country than I have done before, but I am really excited about the quilt. I am going to attempt hand applique! I have patterns ordered for that one, and once I finalize my design, and get to work on it, I will post some pictures!

Ever wondered...

what your hair would look like if you put too much product in it?

While I was folding clothes in the hallway, Sophie came by looking for Emma. I said Emma was in my bathroom, so away she went to find her big sister.

I finished folding the clothes, went downstairs to make a bottle, and then came back upstairs to make sure everyone had brushed their teeth. The older 3 were playing happily in their bedrooms, but where was Sophie?

I went into my bedroom to see what she was doing, where I smelled an interesting smell, and came into the bathroom to find the crime in progress! She had somehow gotten the lid off our Surf Hair goop, and was smoothing it throughout her hair, quite proud of herself.

When I came back after getting the camera, all 3 of the older kids were in the bathroom laughing at her, and she felt a little bad about that, so she wouldn't smile for me. A quick bath and now she is all clean. I am quite relieved it wasn't shampoo she had gotten into, which was my thought when I first saw her. It would have been much harder to clean off the counters!

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

First Sunburn of the Season

Yep, we are good parents!

For more on our exciting Memorial Day weekend (so far!), click here.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I am seriously in blog dream week mode now that everyone is reporting on their time at Quilt Market. Quilt Market is when fabric and pattern designers meet with company representatives to sell their wares and debut new lines. My mom can actually get into market, and I may just have to join her one of these days. There are lots of craft blogs talking about the week, but here are some of my favorites:

Sandi Henderson (Portabello Pixie). She is debuting a new line, and also has tons of patterns coming out soon. I can't wait. I am into sewing clothes for the girls right now, so I am sure I will be ordering lots of her stuff in the near future! She is even going to be putting up some tutorials on her blog... like for that adorable light cover you see on the left side of the picture. I can't wait!

Anna Maria Horner won a blue ribbon for her booth design. She currently has a gorgeous home deocrating line out called drawing room, and is set to debut a line of quilt weight fabrics soon too. Add these to her former lines, and you have same dang gorgeous fabrics. She is also coming out with a new book on sewing called "Seams To Me". I can't wait to see it!

If I had my dream house, I am pretty sure I would want at least one room that looked like this. Tanya Whelan has some of the most beautiful, girlie fabrics available. She also has a great tutorial on her blog of a twirly skirt that any little ballerina is sure to love!

The Bad:
For Memorial Day Monday, it is supposed to be 83 degrees... with thunderstorms. There go all my plans for either the zoo or the pool!

The Ugly:I have to admit, this room is way too orange for my taste. But Kathy Miller of Michael Miller Fabrics, has instructions for hanging fabric instead of wallpaper, and I admit to wanting to try it right away. I will wait, of course, until Sophie is ready for her big girl bed, and I redo the girls' bedroom. But if you try it, let me know how it goes!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Pay It Forward, continued...

Awesome... so it looks like Bethany, Jessi and Cami will be receiving a nice little handmade gift from me sometime in the next year... hopefully sometime this summer. If you gals could email me with your mailing addresses, and maybe tell me a little about what crafts you like, and what scheme your home is decorated in, I will endeavor to make something we both like! Thanks!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Pay It Forward

Okay, so it must have been ages ago that I made a comment on Louise's loverly blog, and she just emailed me the other day to ask if I still wanted to participate in the craft Pay It Forward. I had no idea that I had commented on that particular post... I am so bad at not reading complete posts when people have pretty pictures to go along with their words. What can I say, I am very visual, and Louise always has beautiful pictures on her blog.

Anyway, she is very talented, and I thought it would be fun to receive something she had made and sent to me all the way from Australia. So now, here is my Pay-It-Forward challenge to you:

"I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, which is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog."

Probably most of you who read my blog either have already participated in a PIF, or you have no desire to do so, but if you want to... leave a comment. If no one comments, I will randomly send handmade gifts to three women I really love who deserve it... because as I always tell my kids, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Monday, May 19, 2008

I shouldn't have looked...

from GAP... this would be great with a Wonder Tee under it.

Banana Republic. I have a long torso, but their size tall dresses fit me perfectly.

I have always loved cardigans, as anyone who knows me will tell you... I'm really loving this short sleeve version from JCREW.

I can't say enough about these sassy pink shoes. Every girl needs a pair of fun shoes, and these are perfect. I love the heel height, and the fact that they are peep-toes adds a little bit more fun!

This bracelet is beautiful... I may have to save my milk money.
(shoes and bracelet both from JCREW)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Check out the fancy apron the kids made for me... they each added their handprints and name. I really love it!

Emma and Ethan each each brought me marigolds to enjoy, and Sophie made this cute cookie bouquet in Nursery today.

This is Andrew's contribution to the day. Viva Al Gore!

I hope you all had a wonderful, relaxing day!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

30 Rock

Did anyone see it tonight?

Liz Lemon: "I guess I'm getting to that age where I don't care what anyone thinks of me."

Jack Donaughy:"You're going to want to get a very short haircut. Resist that urge."


What's better than helping make cookies and playing princess?

Why, getting to eat the cookies, of course!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I'm hungry!

Elliott and I are on the South Beach Diet at the moment... debating staying on the first phase for only one week and then switching to the Special K diet for another week. I really just want to lose 5 or 6 pounds, and flatten my tummy, but I think that will only be achieved with a severe sit-up routine.

Anyway, here is a little light reading for you... makes me glad I don't eat out too often!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Garage Sale

The kids were out bright and early with me this morning to sell our excess goods... Mostly lots of old pictures we have inherited from Elliott's parents. After this picture was taken, we brought out more stuff... a baby bouncer, a car seat, and 3 strollers. All went quite quickly. The boys were hoping to sell some Pokemon Cards, but no one was in the market this morning! :-)

We also decided to sell Raisin Spice Muffins, Chocolate Chip Cookies, and bottles of water. They sold quite well... I figured people might get kind of snacky while out perusing the wares (it was a large neighborhood garage sale). 50 cents for a muffin or two cookies, and $1 for a bottle of water.

All in all we made $143, and spent $5 at a neighbor's house so the girls could finally have some girly big wheels (I am tired of the boys old one!), some puzzles, and play shopping carts. Not too bad considering we decided to participate yesterday afternoon!
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Friday, May 02, 2008

A Week Away

Elliott and I were blessed to be able to get away last week to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary. We jetted off to England to visit his sister Julianne who is finishing up her Master's Degree at Oxford university, and then spent a few days in Paris. Elliott mapped out all the best patisseries for us to try, and we spent our time eating good food and revisiting our favorite sights.
In front of Jane Austen's house in Hampshire, England. This was one of the highlights of the trip for me. last time we were in England, we had Andrew and Ethan with us, and Ethan got car sick on the ride in from the airport, so we were unable to go. This time, I made sure it was the first place we visited! She is my absolute favorite author, and it was fun to see where she spent the better part of her writing years.

The cute little town of Lechlade on Thames. One of many Cotswold towns we visited.

Visiting with Julianne in Oxford.

The other highlight of our trip, getting to spend an evening at Buckland Manor in the Cotswolds. Elliott's parents were awesome and gave us this amazing experience. Seriously the most comfortable bed ever, and the food was amazing! We make have to make this a habit.

The above picture is a charming little cottage in the village of Buckland.

Notre Dame Cathedral. We spent the evening walking along the Seine, and having dinner and dessert afterward.

If you are dying to see more of our pictures, you can go here.