Saturday, February 19, 2011

While I was sleeping

If you are reading my blog, you are probably either a family member or a friend, so you probably already know that I've been sleeping a lot lately. Drug induced. Um, let me clarify. I had kidney stones. HAD. Past tense! Praise God for the Past Tense! I've had pain and other "lovely" symptoms since October. They started the very weekend my dear friend Linda went to the ICU after her last chemo treatment. I miss her so much.

The pain got worse in the past month, so I was in the ER on January 22nd and was diagnosed with FOUR kidney stones. 2 were "on their way out" and I was sent home to let them pass. With a bottle of Lortab (hydrocodone, vicodin---my rx was for Lortab, which I find special since it contains most of my name). Saw the urologist, had scans done. Those stones were stuck. STUCK. Not moving. I didn't have nice thoughts about the doctor who'd told the ER docs to send me home to wait. It was too late for the Star Trek laser treatment to break them up, so I had to just wait to go to the hospital for minor surgery/procedure. That was on Valentine's Day. I am free of the "twins" (the ones on the left side). I passed a piece of a stone on the right side. I went to the ER one more time before surgery. I like Dilaudid. Just sayin'. I've had lots of meds to make me sleepy the past few weeks. Really, to take the pain away. Sleep is just an added bonus. Not that I need help with that, but it's nice to get to do it per doctor's orders!

While I was sleeping my girls were being who they are and doing their own creative stuff. I have some "before I was sleeping" stuff to post later, but for now, enjoy the "while I was sleeping" part.

Natalie had homework from her geometry class. She had to cut out these 3-d shapes out of paper (it was printed on there for them), fold them correctly and tape them together. See the pink one? It's something like a dodecadron or some name I can't pronounce. The teacher said it was hard & they'd get extra credit for it. Natalie did that one first. Then she insisted on stacking them sky high. She had a problem when she got to the pyramid & cone as the last 2. So, she found a way to flip the pyramid over in some kind of holder and stack from that. Pretty clever, huh? She told me to ask the teacher if she could get EXTRA extra credit for doing that pink one FIRST and stacking them. Yeah, Natalie, you do. Except that you don't really get grades in your class, so we'll just humor you. LOL!

Another creative talent Natalie has is acting. Or just pretending. Or dressing up. Both my girls have done that for as long as I can recall. Natalie has been good therapy for her Aspie sister. Here is Natalie trying to look like her daddy. She's much cuter, I think. ha, ha!

Then Bethany has been creating the way she does so well.

Who knew Gluten Free could look so good! This isn't a cake. She melted chocolate and coated some GF "Oreo" type cookies (they are actually ALMOST as good as the real deal) and added sprinkles. She is the Sprinkle Queen. She then took one of those "jimmy" type sprinkle things and made it look like a candle in the middle. It was almost too pretty to eat. But she ate it anyway. : )

Not a very clear picture, but it's a guitar. It's a really tiny guitar, about 3" long. It looks like something you'd get at the craft store as a scrapbooking embellishment. Or something you might die cut. Nope. This was hand cut with scissors (her own, not mine---she might be grounded for months if she used ANY of my good scissors!). Regular cheap scissors (again, THAT is the kind she better be using for cutting metal). I'll have to try to retake a picture & not blur it. She "thinks" it was metal from the bottom of a can.

I wonder, can I graduate them from homeschool with enough craft lessons? I can certainly say that our craft supplies have MULTIPLIED, so it should count for math! LOL!

Now my dear husband who is half responsible for producing these 2 people is out picking up our Valentine's Dinner. Since I was sleeping on Valentine's Day. And we're having cheesecake. Which I just realized needs to come out of the oven. OOPS! BYE!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

2 weeks from Saturday

I just read the sweetest blog post at Rachel Griffith's quilt blog. 2 weeks from today she will be leaving her baby for the first time to go out of town for several days. It made me tear up to read her words. Yet, I am also grinning beyond belief. You want to know why? Because 2 weeks from today I will be at a Quilt Festival in San Antonio listening to Rachel Griffith speak! Giddy! I wanted so badly to attend Quilt Market or Festival in Houston in the fall as I was in Houston that very weekend. However, it was when Linda was so sick in the hospital and I just felt like I needed to hang out here in San Antonio, just in case I was needed for some reason. I didn't have money to be spending at Quilt Market, so it would have just been to drool over everything. I had read that in addition to the quilt type vendors some of the crafting/stamping vendors would be there, so it would be something like CHA.

When my friend Kelly told me about this event at her church, I was SO excited! Natalie wants to go with me, too. That makes me happy. Bethany could care less about sewing. She doesn't even like the quilted look. A rag bag caught her attention for some reason, but beyond that, nah.

I'll find the flyer and post more for anyone in this area (I can't find info on the church website). It's at University UMC on De Zavala on 2/26. I think it starts at 9 a.m. and is $6. I'll double check that. The $6 may be for lunch & the event itself may be free. I'm sure we will hit Wendy's across the street for lunch since we can BOTH eat for $4 there and I can get GF food. Or have Kelly bring me lunch to her office in the church. ha, ha!

If anyone wants to come with me, let me know!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Fabric Give Away from Pink Chalk Fabrics

Check out this luscious pile of fabric you could win! Go HERE to enter!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Darling Bag for Sale

This darling Loribelle bag is for sale for $20 plus $3 shipping. It has a zipper top and inside has slip pockets along both sides. I can take pictures of the inside if you'd like to see. The sides are the same fabric as the handle.

If you'd like this before I put it on Etsy, e-mail me or leave me a comment here! Thanks!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Quilt Blocks 3 & 4

First, if you haven't seen my Family Blog post on "which child is normal?" please go check this out: My kids are total goofballs. The one with the Asperger diagnosis would NOT go to sleep tonight. She came into the sewing room about an hour after I'd taken her to bed & asked, with a sly smile on her face, "Why are you still up this late?" My little dorkling. LOL! She decided my bed would help her fall asleep so I'm going to have to move her in a moment.

Next, update on my kidney stones: I'm having pain tonight. I go on Monday for a CT scan & the dr. will likely do a procedure to break them up in the office this week.

Now, my 3rd & 4th blocks in the Quilt Block a Palooza. I think I am finally getting the hang of flying geese blocks. Well, sort of. I'm also still working on perfecting the 1/4" seam. I tried using my regular presser foot & the 1/4" marking on it. I know there is a way you can sew 3 pieces of fabric together & measure to see if you are getting a true 1/4" seam, but I haven't done that yet.

I think the pinwheel is my favorite block so far. I love that paisley print. My dear friend & dork sister Karen Lynn may have just thrown up a little. LOL! She REALLY does not like paisley, so it's a joke within the dorks about paisley prints in fabric or paper. Another dork sister, Vikki Jo, does not like butterflies, so I might just have to send this quilt to the 2 of those gals. Just because I'm goofy that way. ha, ha.

Natalie & I wanted to work on cards today but it didn't happen. Tomorrow I HOPE I feel okay for church & then we're going to go around selling Girl Scout cookies about the time people are gathering for Superbowl parties. We're hoping to find houses full of folks wanting to by cookies from us! ; )

The picture at the top? That is the most snow our city has seen in about 25 years. We've had ice, but not snow. I know it's just a dusting, but to us it was a real blizzard! It was gone by noon. That's the beauty of living here. No need to shovel snow. Just wait til noon. And today, 24 hours later, we had the a.c. on in the car. Crazy, I tell ya'.

Thanks for popping by.

First 2 Quilt blocks

I decided to try to make the blocks that are being listed in this Quilt Block-a-Palooza I'm not sure exactly why I think I have time to do this, but I'm doing it! LOL! I finished the first 2 blocks.

I've never done real quilt piecing before. I have quilted fabric to make purses and we've made a rag quilt, but never the kind where you fit little squares and triangles together to make a quilt top. I have to learn how to keep things lined up or not stretch fabric or something as I seem to not quite have things turn out like they should.

When I got through with the 2 blocks, I noticed that block number 2 (the one with all the little squares that looks like a sudoku puzzle) was bigger than the other. I thought at first it was due to my dorkiness & I sewed it WAY off or something. Then I re-read the directions & figured out it was due to my dorkiness & not reading the directions all the way. I was supposed to trim each smaller block (with 9 squares, like a tic-tac-toe game) to 4.5" after I made them. Ooooops! Good thing I got that ergonomic seam ripper for Christmas! LOL!

You can see the difference in this picture:
Meanwhile, my younger daughter was able to make a different kind of art: SNOW art! The only other time she's done this was in New Mexico when we took a vacation. My older daughter and I looked out at the 1/4" of snow, said it looked pretty, and went back to sleep. I love the picture my husband took of Natalie throwing snow at the top of this page. How did he capture the snow looking like an arrow in the sky? WAY cool picture!
The girls & I need to get out to sell Girl Scout cookies later today, but Natalie & I are ready to make some valentine cards, so hopefully we'll have some papercrafts for you soon!

Thanks for stopping by this chilly day!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Gaggle of Geese, a Rag Bag and pre-teen "makeovers"

I made my very first ever flying geese piece the other night. I do wonder if just one is a goose, though. Tonight I made a whole gaggle! It's part of a quilt square or block for Block-a-Palooza. I've never done this. I made that rag quilt, but each square was one piece. I've made a lot of totes & purses now. Gosh, I've even made my own wedding dress. But a QUILT BLOCK? This is new.

Here is a picture of the group of flying geese pieces. I'm learning to use this 1/4" sewing foot I bought. I like it, but I am learning how to position things just right. Who knew that just 1-2 threads off can mess up a whole quilt? With clothes you have room for error like that. You call it "easing" the fabrics to fit together. I guess in quilting you don't do that.

Now here is what all the pieces together look like before sewing them. I used a fabric line called, "What was on sale at Hancock Fabrics and in my stash." It's an exclusive line and you'd be hard pressed to find it anywhere near you.

Then I started to sew a row together. You sew the pieces across in a row, then you sew the rows to each other. Except somehow I forgot to factor in a HUGE factor. I'm a dork. I'm part of a whole group of dorks called the Traveling Dork Sisters. Actually, I am the Duchess of Dork. My birthday twin, Karen, who hates paisley & is puking over the pink/purple paisley in this block even as you read, is the Queen Dork. I figured since she was the queen & we share a birthday I'd be the Duchess. Plus, I could be like Fergie (the original Fergie, you know, the one who was married to a prince?) and pose for the "Before" shots for Weight Watchers. Okay, so dork factor takes place and we get this:

Do you see the dork issue? Look at the before picture & this one. Uh-huh. Now you see it. Thankfully my family bought me a new ergonomic seam ripper for Christmas. You know my motto is "You shall rip what you sew." I can just separate the 2 geese units & flip the big square unit around for the bottom.

AND, I'm almost done with Bethany's Rag Bag. She picked out all the colors & fabrics. We have different tastes, but this was what she wanted. She's into the black & white look with splashes of bright colors.
It is without a handle. As is Kathy's Krafty Bag. You know, the one I made for Kathy before she started "Kemo?" Yeah, well, she finished chemo & her bag is waiting for handles. We just had a dilemna on how to put them on b/c I forgot to put straps on it before I started. Poor Kathy. She's a dear for putting up with my delay & dorkiness. I am fairly sure I should be on Ritalin. Or something. I do not have to ask where my kids get their ADHD.

And, just for grins, this is what my daughter & her friends do for fun sometimes. Makeovers. Oh. My. They do them to each other. Since poor Kathy was attacked by a cat the other day and has a black eye and a nasty row of stitches I must think they were trying to empathize with her. One of these is her daughter. I figure I am safe posting these because you can't tell what these girls really look like. They are very pretty young ladies. Without the black eyes. And eyebrows. And lipstick. Really. Just trust me.

Inspiring Story for all of us

Whether or not you are a quilter or a crafter, this story will very likely inspire you the way it did me. Recently I've been following blogs of quilters and fabric designers. I must say that I learned about many of them through the Moda Bake Shop give away blog hop. I also must say I had very selfish intentions when I did because I wanted to win something. I found that I loved reading their blog entries and seeing their styles. Then I saw that one of the lovely fabric designers, Kate Spain, (she designs a bunch of stuff including dishes you can find at Target & Crate & Barrel: Kate Spain's Website) was going to be on an online Crafting Talk Show, Pat Sloan's Creative Talk Radio. Again, I saw a prize attached if I listened and commented. You can see my true colors here. So much for being all the Jesus wants me to be!

What I did NOT anticipate was hearing Kate tell a story that made me smile and search the internet in the wee hours to find out more about a special mom and daughter. Kate told about getting a comment on her blog from a lady who dreamed of opening a fabric store with her daughter. She told that the lady, Joyce, was able to realize that dream and her daughter, Sarah, had become interested in learning how to sew. Here is where you might want to run & get your tissues. Sarah is a young adult with Down's syndrome. When her mom told her that there was a challenge to make pillowcases to give to people with cancer, Sarah wanted to make one for her friend Kristen, another young lady with Down's Syndrome, who had cancer. This sweet young lady wanted to learn to sew to help her friend! Sadly, her friend lost her battle with cancer, but Sarah continues to sew while she misses her friend.

Kate sent fabric to Sarah and was able to be with Joyce and Sarah when they opened their store. Please go check out the store at JEllen's. You can get to their BLOGS here.

I'm smiling as I type this because as I type I am opening web pages to give you these links. Guess what Kate Spain blogged about today? This exact thing, so that makes finding the links even easier! LOL!

Yesterday at the grocery store I picked up a copy of American Patchwork and Quilting. I knew Kate mentioned that Sarah and Joyce were in a magazine, but I hadn't caught which one. I opened the front cover & look what I saw! This smiling face that I'd found in those wee hours online!

Then when I opened Kate's blog, I saw a picture of the magazine on her desk. It looks just like my picture. Except her picture shows a wood desk. Mine shows a card I never sent to anyone. And a sticky note. And some digi images I need to color. Oh, look, the final bill for Natalie's trip to the ER last year. Paid. A copic in need of a refill. And underneath are some pages for a quilt block I want to cut out. Just thought you'd like to see the difference in an artist's desk and that of a homeschool mom with no organizational skills! Funny, I have great spatial skills. That is, if I have space in which to be spatial. LOL!

AND, in case you were worried about the little girls' dolls shivering in our American Girls class, I am almost finished with the dresses. This fabric was SO stinkin' cute for these old fashioned dolls! And I MIGHT have bought enough to make some kitchen stuff, too. Maybe.
Oh, looky there, you can see more of my junk and several dried out copics! ha, ha!

I do hope you'll go read Kate's story about Sarah and Joyce. I have yet to make pillowcases, but I am now VERY inspired to do so, and teach my daughter(s) so they can, too. Bethany isn't into sewing, but I think Natalie will want to make one. Some of our pre-teen & teenage friends want to sew, too. I'm thinking that after our last year with 2 friends with cancer that maybe these girls might want to make some to give to a Cancer Treatment Center or Children's Hospital. Hmmm, I might even see a Girl Scout Silver Award in the works here!

Final little bit: Most of you know I have a special needs child. Bethany has Asperger Syndrome, a mild form of autism. Since she's getting older (she is 14 now), Phil & I have from time to time discussed how we don't know yet if she'll be able to work "out in the real world." It's not that she isn't CAPABLE. She has some amazing skills, especially in art and now in digital movie making. I even just discovered that she's gone into my spices & organized them for me. Trust me, if you think my desk is messy, she makes me look like a "Neat Freak." This is a huge thing for her to be organizing! Anyway, reading Sarah's & Joyce's story inspires me as a mom. It reminds me that we CAN find a way to help Bethany do what she needs to do to be successful in life. My goal in homeschooling her is as much about making her as socially adept as possible as it is scholastic. We've lagged behind scholastically with her while I've focused more on social time & skills (yes, I laugh at the thought of homeschoolers not being social!).

Hope you are staying warm and cozy with your loved ones today.