Sunday, September 28, 2008

Down on the Farm

Friday evening we took the kids to Stuckey Farm, a local producer of various fruit and vegetables, including over 4,000 apple trees.



The kids has fun wandering up and down the rows looking for the perfect fruits to take home with us.



Andrew thought it might be fun to have a food fight...
but I showed him who's the boss!
(just kidding, the kids were really great apple pickers!)

We were there through a beautiful Indiana sunset.



Afterwards, we had a taste test... the kids sampled 5 types of apples: Red Delicious, Green Delicious, Empire, Jonagold, and Fuji.


Empire was the definite favorite, in fact I think we got about 6 of those, and they are already gone! We also got enough of the Green Delicious and Jonagold to make several pies and crisps... Yum! I {heart} Fall!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

September's Birthday Block

This month for the Birthday Block Swap, Stacy asked for 12" eight-pointed star blocks in batiks with a cream batik background. She wanted each block to stick to one color family, so I went with blue.

The block is called Galaxy Star, from The Quilted Snail.
The block is not wonky, it just looks a little because the paper is still behind it (this block was paper pieced).

Yesterday I also got some mail from Amazon... always fun!


These two books have so much eye candy in them... in fact I have another book in the series coming from one of those discounted book sellers, I think it was only $3 plus shipping! Lots of fun ideas, in fact, I may be making my PIF gifts from one of the ideas in these books.

Monday, September 22, 2008

In other news...

Sophie and I were sick last week, so we didn't get much done in life. The weather right now is starting to get cooler, perfect for playing outside, so we did manage a few trips out to the swing set.


Emma found a dandelion.


Sophie took a few runs on the slide after momma cleared it of all ladybugs.

This morning, Sophie got a haircut.


I just love her little neck. Yum!

I can't remember what I last said about the pinwheel quilt... progress stalled while I was sick, but the rows are ready to be sewn into the quilt top, so it should be ready in time for Mom to take with her when she comes out here in October.

This past week, during the evenings, I wasn't up to riding my recumbent bike (who doesn't love working out while sitting?!?), and all my blocks had been pressed for the pinwheel quilt, so I decided to begin hand quilting a little baby quilt I made several years ago when Elliott and I lived in Los Angeles. It has been basted and put away for at least 5 years, awaiting the moment I would pull it out and begin the hand quilting. I really love it, and can't wait to show you pictures once it is finished.

Once the pinwheel quilt top is put together, I can get started on the next project I have been gathering fabrics for... aren't they delicious?
It all started with the Heather Bailey fabrics I won about a month ago... I had decided on a quilt pattern, but it wasn't speaking to me... yes, fabrics can speak! I finally decided they needed some new best friends, so I ordered several of Anna Maria Horner's Garden Party fabrics. I know it looks a bit crazy, but it will be what is called a "blended quilt", and I am way excited to see how it turns out!

I was going to put some links in this post, but I have got to get my kitchen floor swept! Have a great week!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

A few more pictures...

Andrew after a bug hunt..



Emma has been begging me to curl her hair, and we finally remembered at a good time:



The girls playing "Night and Day" ( in which they put the babies to bed, and then they wake up in the morning and have breakfast.):

(yeah, Sophie's legs are YUMMY!)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A little recap of the past week

I feel like I was a big blogging slacker last week, so I thought I would give all interested parties (namely their dad, who was out of town most of the week) a quick recap of our week:



Sophie and Emma love to paint, but one morning Sophie decided to paint everything except the paper. I especially loved her lips... yum, so kissable!



One afternoon, I was sitting at the island working on ??? (who can remember.) Emma came up to me and said, "Mom, would you like some chicken hearts?"
(What, you haven't been to Tucanos? You need to go!)



Ethan has decided to follow the new craze for the 2nd grade... Bukagon (or something like that!) He decided to sell all his Pokemon cards so that he could afford new stuff. He priced them as if they were new, and combined with the fact that no one stopped at his garage sale table, Mom and Dad decided to take pity on him and buy his cards from him. Emma sold us two of her Barbie dolls too. We had to promptly run to Target to get the new Bukagon (?) cards and figures, but Target was SOLD OUT!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah, I mean, I haven't even heard of this new craze, but someone has, apparently!



The kids are really into Harry Potter right now too. Andrew read all the books last year, and this year he is working his way backwards through them. He started with book 7, and is now on book 2. Ethan also started reading the books, although in the proper order, and is on book 3. Needless to say, we are into all things Harry. Emma has even gotten in on the act after seeing the first HP movie. They have transformed the tinkertoys into magic wands, commandeered the play broom as a Nimbus 2000, and even have 3 different sizes of balls they are using to play Quidditch.

Lots of fun, I can't wait to see what we come up with this week.


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Anyone want to barter?

If you enjoy crocheting and are good at it, and you have always wanted a hand quilted doll quilt, please contact me... I am looking for someone to make this (pattern labeled as advanced beginner):




and this:

This clutch is crocheted using half double crochet, front post triple crochets, single crochet and slip stitches.

The cute little bobble stitches and the cable stitches are explained clearly, accompanied with step by step photos in the pattern. Supposedly it can be made in just a few hours.

In trade, I will make you a hand quilted doll quilt... contact me if you would like to trade and we can hammer out the details.

Thanks!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

May we never forget

Some inspiration

Sometimes I have time to sit while my children are otherwise occupied (the girls are in the shower right now, for instance... having lots of fun!), and I like to look through the blog recommendations from Google Reader. I like to see what new quilt blogs it recommends to me, and sometimes I stumble upon some that have lots of inspiring photos of beautiful quilts. Honestly, there isn't enough time in my life to make all the beautiful quilts I see and covet!



I thought I would share a couple of my favorites with you, in case you have a little down time too!

Material Obsession - This blog is run by two women in Australia who also own a quilt shop, and design quilt patterns. In fact, if their book wasn't so darn expensive in American dollars, I would definitely be adding it to my book stash. I love how they combine color and pattern to make beautiful quilts.

Tree Fall Design - Manda, the writer for this blog, is the editor of the new magazine Sew Hip. I don't think the first issue has come out yet, but it promises to be full of beautiful pictures and great articles. Manda has many beautiful quilts on her blog, and I especially love her use of red and pink together so much. These are two of my favorite colors!

******

My triangles are slowly but surely becoming pinwheels, in fact a little over half of them have been pieced together. I am very excited about this quilt again... While trying to figure out which layout I wanted to go with, I was beginning to tire of it, but once I decided on triangles, I was excited to sew again.

Definitely excited to get working on my next quit, made with the Heather Bailey fabrics I won, and extras I have added to the stash... I should finish the triangle quilt top this weekend, so I will be able to get two quilts to my mom when my parents comes out here in October.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My Brother Rocks

The Hugh-meister started a blog... check it out!

More Auction Help Needed

Click here to read their story, and click here to bid.

I don't know about all of you, but I really love the idea of all these auctions to help families in need.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Finished!

I tend to have a problem finishing my quilts... Getting the binding on was beastly with my old sewing machine. However, with my new sewing machine, and lots of practice on all those small doll quilts I made during the past year, I can get a binding on easily and quickly. My goal is to get all the quilts I have sitting in the cupboard downstairs bound byt he end of the year.

This was the first... made with 64 5" squares from Heather Bailey's Fresh Cut line.


My mom quilted it for me using a pantograph with hearts (probably the only time I will allow hearts on anything I make!)
I really liked the pattern, just whimsical enough.


One quilt down, 5 to go!
Posted by Picasa

A Conversation with Emma

Today I received a package in the mail from Habitat for Humanity. Knowing how much Emma would love what was inside, I decided to let her open it and keep the contents.

She was thrilled with the contents, which included address labels, several greeting cards, and literature telling us why it is important to donate to H for H.

Emma asked me who the package was from, and after I told her, she wondered why they had sent it to her. When I explained what H for H is, and that they were requesting a donation, I also asked her if she thought we should give them some money to help someone build a house.

ME: Do you think we should send them some money to help build some houses?
EMMA: No, why would they want a house?
ME: Well, it is nice to have your own home, and not have to live in someone else's house. You can make it how you want it.
EMMA: Well, maybe we could donate, because I want a playhouse!

At the moment, she is writing up one of the greeting cards and address labels to send back to H for H as a thank you note for all the fun stuff they sent her!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

"I sick"

We've been hearing that cute little phrase a lot lately at our house.

When Sophie was a newborn, she would not sleep in bed with me. She only liked sleeping on our guest bed. Now that she has been sick for a week or so, she has become a regular guest in our bed, and I can't say I always mind. Except for maybe the time I woke in the middle of the night with her foot planted firmly on my forehead!


This is her favorite position in our bed... perpendicular across my side, which doesn't leave much room for me.

Still, all the cuddleing I have gotten over the past week has been worth the throw ups, at least for my end of the bargain. Poor Sophie... luckily she seems to be doing much better this week.
Posted by Picasa

Sophie's favorite past time:

Watching silly tetee videos on youtube.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

It's been an interesting week

More on that later, I'm too tired to make a real post. Instead, I'll send you here.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The First Day of the Rest of Her Life

2 days ago-

ME: Emma, are you excited for school to start?
EMMA: Well, not really.
ME: Why not?!?
EMMA: Well, it's kind of boring.
ME: It's boring? What about all the fun things you get to do, like sing songs, have snacks, and go on field trips?
EMMA: Well, singing songs is boring.
ME: But what about field trips and snack time.
EMMA: Yeah, I like field trips, those are fun. But riding in the car (to school everyday) is boring.

(Thanks for the skirt, Aunt Leslie!)
Nevertheless, yesterday she came, she saw, she conquered, and she even had fun! And hopefully she won't mind that this year we will be carpooling with a boy!

The Latest Obsession

We have some new pets. Ethan brought a frog home from cub scout camp, and has been diligently searching for (and finding) bugs to feed it. Andrew has a new pet spider, but this one isn't kept in a cage.
Andrew checks on his "pet" every morning and afternoon, making sure it is still alive. Yesterday, he found it's molted skin:

I'm not sure we have identified this spider yet, but that leads me to the boys' current obsession... field guides. Our school library has many, and Ethan and Andrew are intent on bringing every one available home with them. Last week, we had two reptile guides, an insect guide, and a mammal guide. This week, we have these gems:
and I think there are a few more stashed in their backpacks. I'm pretty sure that shells guide is going to come in handy here in the middle of Indiana!

I just wish there was less homework, and more time for Ethan to memorize the mammal field guide he has been sleeping with. He is learning the meaning of all kinds of words having to do with nature and the world we live in, which is more than I can say for the assigned vocabulary he gets from 2nd grade. We are supposedly one of the most challenging school districts in the nation, but you wouldn't know it from Ethan's word list. (*stepping off my soapbox-sorry!*)

Anyway, Ethan has determined he wants to be a naturalist, which I always assumed was the equivilant of a nudist, but apparently it is someone who studies nature. You go, boy!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Overheard

(Ethan doing his Napoleon Dynamite imitation... I love this kid!)

A little background: Yesterday we spent the day with some friends on their sailboat. The moms and most of the kids hung out at a park waiting for the dads to sail up to our picnic spot from the boat launch, about 3 miles away. The water in the lake is nothing you would want to swim in, and the spot we were at had a nice overhang on the water with a drop of about 5 feet into the water. This is one mom who didn't want to have to fish anyone out of the lake!

ETHAN (to his friend Jacob): "I can't wait for the dads to come. The moms only want us to do tame stuff!"

Cupcake Swap

Sharon hosted a cupcake swap a little while back, and today my package arrived from Dawn. She sent me some fun stuff... a pot holder she made, a cute little key cover, a non-edible cupcake that would be super yummy if I could eat it!, and my two favorite items, the embroidered dish towel and the cute little mini-cupcake pin cushion.



I sent her a cupcake themed recipe book, a pin cushion, themed fabric, and a cupcake shaped container (for pins or needles or whatever!).


Thanks so much Dawn, and also thank you Sharon. This was a fun swap!

Weekend Progress

I got a few more half square triangles sewn together and had a small epiphany... Pinwheels!


Faith (her sister) commented last time that she liked the plain half square triangle layout because it showcased the fabrics better. I agreed with her, but I still wasn't happy with the plain layout. Then I was skimming an old quilting magazine and saw a pinwheel quilt, and realized it would keep like fabrics together, while adding an element of whimsy to the quilt. I have about 80 more half square triangles to sew, then I can start ironing these and piecing them into pinwheels.


Remember the contest I publicized to win Heather Bailey fabrics? I won!


I ordered a few more fabrics from Chelsea, and have a couple more smaller cuts of fabric on the way from a different shop. These fabrics are quite bright, which I tend not to work with normally, so it will be a fun challenge to combine them in a quilt. I have a pattern in mind, but want to get the pinwheel top done first.

Monday, September 01, 2008

9 years old!!!

On Friday, Andrew celebrated his 9th birthday. Hard to believe he is that old already.

We opened presents in the afternoon, and then got ready for the cub scout family camp-out our troop had that evening (no, Momma didn't camp!) I thought it would be fun to make cup cakes and have all Andrew's friends help us sing "Happy Birthday" to Andrew.
Sophie was my "helper"; it seems like every time I turned around,
she had stolen a beater or spoon and was taking licks!
Most of the 6 dozen cupcakes I made. They were yummy!
When Elliott and I were in England last Spring, we bought all the kids a "sparkler" candle that was shaped in the number of years they would be... it made quite a show!
Andrew, Mommy and Daddy are so proud of you, and so happy to have you in our family!