Saturday, October 30, 2010

Honey-do List

This week my hubby has been off. It's been wonderful! Although, I do feel slightly guilty that his coveted week off has been more about home projects than vacation. But, I guess, even honey-do lists are vacation-like when you can do them at your own pace, be outside, and don't have to do them before 5 am. 

His approach to tackling the honey-do list has been making me chuckle all week. Last Saturday, he sat down with pen and paper and said, "What do you want to get done this week?" 

Hmmmm... the possibilities. I'd really like to end world hunger, make quilts for an orphanage in Africa, and redo all the floors in our house. But, something tells me that is not what he was asking. 

What do I realistically want to get done this week?

So we made a list. (A realistic list.)

And, every day, he looks at that list and checks things off of the list. 

I made a list too. Or, rather, I made a few lists. I made a work list. A to-do-around-the-house list. A grocery list. A people-we-should-have-over list. A baby-gifts-to-make list. And a few other lists to remind me of the things I would like to do scattered around the house. 

Hubby is almost done with his list. He can chart his progress by the items he has crossed off.

I don't even know how far along my list I am, because there are so many lists, I don't even know where they all are!

So, in the hopes that I may be as productive as he has been this week, I thought I'd make a crafty-goodness to-do list right here. I'll let you know how it goes...

1. Learn to knit.
2. After completing item number 1, make the Stella Pixie Hat.
3. Scrapbook Karis' first eight months. (I'm that far behind.)
4. Finish scrapbooking our wedding album. (I am really that far behind.)
5. Make one baby girl gift and two surprise gender baby gifts.
6. Make a recycled bath mat.
7. Make some plush fruit for our garden toy. 
(Can I just say this is going to be adorable. When we finish it.)
8. Learn to crochet. I have the needles and yarn, I just need to sit down and do it.
9. Finish one of the many projects from Anna Maria Horner's Handmade Beginnings, including the booties and quick change trousers. (I have the fabric, just short on time it seems.)
10. Figure out how to make this adorable baby blouse.
11. Make a few pairs of baby tights with Made by Rae's cute pattern.
12. Make a quilt for my sweet girl. 

I could go on and on. But I won't. Just know that I could.

Upon reflection on the list, perhaps I should also add:

13. Make a quilt in hopes that we have another baby so that it might be done (or at least started) before he or she arrives. (Notice I said "in hopes." This baby is not even in the works yet. I'm just planning ahead.)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy (yummy) Halloween

{this moment}

inspired by soule mama

A Halloween party deserves some yummy, healthy, spooky treats!

breadsticks with halved almonds
severed fingers

apple slices with slivered almonds and peanut butter
monster smiles

Please remember to meet our mama this week, Audra. Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


How did it get to be Thursday?

We have some cute Halloween-inspired goodies to share with you, but they didn't seem to make it to the blog last night. Opps! And now they will just have to wait until tomorrow.

Sorry folks! We've been making big decisions around our house this week. And time has crept up on me.

Tomorrow though... I promise a new post with new pics!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Baby Boy Blanket

It's a boy!

These are words we don't hear often in our family of pink.  So I got a little bit excited when one of my best friends told us she was having a boy. It's not often I get to play with baby boy blues after all.

I fell in love with this fabric. Even the name is cute: "Child's Play With Kate & Nate." I am going to have to check out more of Sheri Berry's fabrics! 

I just love the little dogs and trains! Perfect for a little boy. 

I also adore the corduroy on the back. I can't wait for little fingers to explore the different textures- my girl has already had fun playing with it as I worked on it! 

I could go on and on about this adorable fabric... but I won't. Instead, I have to finish stitching the last edge of the binding down. Our little friend joined the world last night, and I need to finish sewing so we can go meet him later today!

Don't forget to meet Audra, our Meet a Mama this week as well as everyone's creations on Fabric Tuesday!

Fresh Poppy Design

Monday, October 25, 2010

Meet Audra!

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Our Meet a Mama today, Audra, has always been struck by this verse. As you will see, Audra truly delights herself in the Lord!

She is a stay at home mama of two beautiful girls. Amelia is four and Aliza is 20 months. Audra and her best friend and hubby, Shawn, have been married for six years.

In addition to "mama" and former child life specialist at a children's hospital, Audra has recently added "seamstress extraordinare" to her list of titles. When you browse her children's clothing, it is hard to believe she only recently learned how to sew. You can find her adorable children's clothing
at her etsy store and on her blog.

Audra is calm and collected, levelheaded and wise. These qualities are reflected in the thoughtful way she crafts her clothes and her words.

Audra began sewing when her best friend, Angie, taught her how to sew a skirt for her girls about eight months ago. (I know! Eight months is not a long time ago. This girl has a serious gift for sewing!) Audra learned that day all the basics- following a pattern, selvages, grainlines, and how to thread a machine. Then, she went home and bought more patterns. Audra had caught the sewing bug!
(As so many of us can understand.)

The first skirt Audra made!
Audra says, "The surface answer to why I started sewing was that I like to dress my girls in cute clothes. But, really, I was longing to find something to channel my creativity into. I really needed a creative outlet as a stay at home mom and had not found one in the past several years that really kept my attention or that I had a passion for. The day I started sewing, I knew that I had found that passion. My husband calls sewing my gift from God, because I enjoy it that much!"

Audra's husband is right!

In addition to being a gifted seamstress, Audra is a sweet mama. Her biggest challenge is the isolation that can so easily happen as a stay-at-home mama. When Audra was working outside the home, she grew accustomed to a support system of co-workers and enjoys living her life in fellowship and community. These things can be difficult to find and fit in between nap schedules...chores... and just general crankiness! Knowing how important it is though, Audra puts effort into planning play dates and meeting other like minding moms that she and her children also have fellowship
that is so desperately needed!

Her greatest joy is seeing her children learn truth and live it out. They are learning that God loves them and that they are "wonderfully made."
Hence Audra's shop name, "Wonderfully Made" from Psalm 139:14.

Amelia, Audra's four year old, loves having conversations and sharing laughs with her mama. Audra loves that Amelia is insightful and thought provoking. She says, "I am learning as much from her about faith and life as she probably is learning from me." Aliza, her 20 month old, IS joy. Audra says she is the the happiest child she knows!

What sweet girls! And what a sweet, talented mama! You know how this works... leave some comments to help Audra have a great Monday! And, don't forget to check-out her etsy shop and blog!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Oh What a Busy Day!

Ever have one of those mornings where you wake up, 
it is just the perfect chilly outside?
(The kind of chilly where you can wear a sweater, but don't need socks.)

You have dishes that need to be done, a floor that needs to be vacuumed, 
a dog that needs to be bathed...

but you also have a really good book 
and a baby blanket that needs tying...

and a dog and a kitty who are curled up at your feet...

and a sweet baby who will only sleep for about another hour.

What do you do?

I'll give you a hint at what I do...

There's No Place Like Here

Friday, October 22, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment}

inspired by soule mama

I couldn't resist another pumpkin picture. Looking forward to seeing everyone's moments!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fall Table Runner

I love the fall!

*the reds and golds*

*the smell of crisp leaves*

*the cool air*

It's a great time of year for quilting! 

I couldn't resist this fabric with its fall colors and patterns. 
It was perfect for this crazy quilted table runner. 

Now all we need is a big bowl of chili, some pumpkin pie, and some warm apple cider!

We're linked to some linky parties!

Stinkin Cute Thursday Button

The Trendy Treehouse
Show us What You're Working On

Get your craft on Thurs.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Easy Halloween Costume

Our baby started out with the nick-name, "green-bean" because the first sonogram looked like--
well-- a green-bean!
Then, once she arrived, our term of endearment quickly turned into, "pumpkin." There was really no question what she would be for Halloween.
The only question was how was I going to make it?
I decided the tutu would add some girly fun to our little pumpkin. And, I love the orange tulle with just a hint of sparkle in it. About every third strip of tulle is the sparkle tulle,
just enough.
You would think that orange onesies would abound at Halloween. But they don't. So a plain white onesie dyed orange had to do. And some simple black fabric and wonder-under finished out the jack-o-lantern face.
The stem hair bow needs a little re-working for the big day. I'd like to move the leaves so that the clip doesn't show at all.
The best part of the whole costume-photo-shoot was playing with our little pumpkin in the leaves. She thought falling leaves were hilarious!!!! So, of course, Nana and I scooped up big hand-fulls and threw them in the air and giggled right along with her.
And, of course, because she is almost eight months old and is teething (ummm...have I mentioned that it looks like her cuspids might be coming in? Have I also mentioned that she doesn't have any other teeth? Are we going to have to change her costume to Bunicula???


Now for the fun!!!
What are your little ones being for Halloween?
Any creative home-made costume ideas out there?
Link up your Homemade Halloween Costume!
Can't wait to see what you've come up with!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Nine Patch Plaid

Just finished this little crib quilt for a special little friend that should be here any second!
We can't wait to meet him!

I used some reproduction prints blues, greens and brown to give the illusion of a plaid.

I love the patchy sunshine today. Cool, a little crisp in the shade and this beautiful dappled light shining through the tree!

Remember to check out Fabric Tuesday and Tuesday Tag Along and share some comments!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Meet Linda!

Meet Linda!

Linda was nominated by her dear sister, Diane, who we had the pleasure of introducing here. As we all know, October is breast cancer awareness month, so it is the perfect time to meet this inspiring mama.

Linda is a mama to two very different, but equally fantastic boys. They aren't really boys anymore- Josh is 29 and married to his terrific wife, Liz. Ben is 26. But, they will probably always be boys to mama Linda!

Five years ago, Linda retired after 34 years of sales with General Foods and Kraft. She has since taken up bicycle riding, which is her husband, Tom's, passion. We're not talking bike around the neighborhood biking. We're talking bike 20+ miles at a time biking! Whew!

Linda spends 7 months of the year in Phoenix and 5 months at a house about an hour west of Colorado Springs on the back side of Pike's Peak. It is truly quiet and beautiful at 9,300 feet! Linda aptly describes it as "breath-taking!" Lucky for Linda and her family she enjoys cooking and baking since they are 30 minutes from restaurants and a grocery store. In addition to biking, Linda also enjoys watching the wildlife and hiking in the woods.

Linda shares her story best:

"In the spring of 2009 I was doing my routine ob/gyn annual physical and mammogram, when a spot that "they" had been watching indicated some changes. Of course, I was never told about this spot until then. At some level, I knew that we were on a path that would not be short and I prayed that God would carry me through this experience. As each test was completed, we went farther down this path until it was confirmed with a biopsy that I indeed had breast cancer. For the longest time I couldn't say 'I have breast cancer.' It was 'They found breast cancer.' Funny how it takes so long to take ownership of cancer as your own. Although my area of cancer was relatively small, I chose to have a double mastectomy to take the surest route to insure my long term health. This decision is an extremely difficult one to make and it has a variety of factors that are different for each woman. (By the way, men can develop this too.) There is no history of cancer in my family, but I had taken birth control pills for a few years and had been on hormone replacement therapy for many years. I was truly blessed when I was able to move on without having to do chemo or radiation. I will begin reconstruction this fall.

This spring we learned that a friend of mine, Kathy, who is quite a bit younger than I am, was going through the same exact experience with her routine exams. Unfortunately, her cancer had spread into her lymph nodes and she has been doing chemo therapy here in Phoenix all summer and has started her radiation treatments. She is starting to feel much better and 'seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.' Her optimism inspires us all!"

Linda inspires us all!

Linda started down the "quilt path" by making her boys blankets from old Bicycle Race t-shirts. Her sister, Diane, was making quilts and the beauty of them compelled Linda to get more into quilting. Diane helped Linda start on a small, simple log cabin pattern in red, white, and blue. As Diane couldn't be with her during Linda's hospital stay, the blanket served as a warm reminder of her loving sister.

Linda made the following quilt in a class. During the middle of the class, she learned she had cancer and didn't think she'd be there for the last two class sessions, but was afraid to tell the teachers (just like you're a kid again!). But, God had other plans for Linda. She finished the class and the quilt before her surgery!

When she found out Kathy was going to have surgery, Linda made her sweet friend a quilt and pillow out of the brightest, cheeriest colors she could find that also highlighted her favorite color, purple.

Linda wanted to practice her quilting before venturing into too many large quilts, so she started making small quilts for her Aunt Melba who is 91. The first "quilt" she made for Aunt Melba was a place mat for her 90th birthday. But, Aunt Melba refuses to use it as Linda intended and has turned all of Linda's place mats into wall hangings!
(I think Aunt Melba knows a beautiful thing when she sees it!)

Linda tries to make wall hangings for Aunt Melba that match the seasons so she can rotate them out. But, Aunt Melba loves them all so much that she doesn't take them down and is now running out of wall space!

These are some place mats and potholders Linda made.

This quilt was a kit that Linda's husband bought her for Christmas (don't we love a husband that buys quilting supplies!). It's a perfect match for their Colorado home!

Linda is achieving one of her goals by reading the Bible cover to cover. She his almost there! Her favorite verses (especially since retirement) are James 4:14-15:

Yet you do not know what you life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.

Linda's kind enough to share her latest favorite recipe with us. Perfect for fall days with a little artichoke dip! As she says, "If I can make cookies, I should be able to make crackers!"

Mix: 3 cups oatmeal, 1 cup wheat germ, 2 cups flour (1/2 white/ 1/2 whole wheat), 3 T sugar, 1 tsp salt
Add: 1 cup olive oil, 1 cup warm water, about 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, and 1 T caraway seeds
Mix well.
Roll out 1/4 to 1/3 of the mixture at a time into a thin rectangle using plenty of flour to keep it from sticking.
Sprinkle sea salt over the dough and, using your rolling pin, roll the salt into the dough.
Cut into desired shapes (leaves anyone?). Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet (Linda recommends using parchment paper) at 300 degrees for 40 minutes. Enjoy!

Remember how this works? Please leave a comment for sweet Linda! What an incredible woman! We feel very fortunate to be able to introduce her to you all. We hope she has the best week ever!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fall Yummies

It's the perfect fall day. Cool and crisp, but still warm enough to be comfortable.

Perfect for a little pumpkin bread.

Or a little pre-Halloween sweetness.

Maybe a lot of pre-Halloween sweetness.

Speaking of pre-Halloween sweetness... I'm off to go cuddle with my girl. 
That's what Saturdays are for, after all.

If you'd like some of your own fall medley, melt some almond bark and pour into a lined baking dish. Sprinkle candy corn, peanuts, and pretzels over the melted almond bark. Let cool. Break apart and enjoy.

Or, you can also stir the melted almond bark and assorted goodies together, making sure to coat the candy corn and peanuts well. 

Both are delicious. I encourage you to try both to see which you like better. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment}

inspired by soule mama

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Savings Galore


Carol - aka Tech-know Mama
I don't know how she does it, but she can always find a good deal -
freebies, coupons, special deals, sweepstakes.
Well, she's has started a blog!

We can all use a good coupon, and I love getting a freebie in the mail. I just would rather sew than hunt out the good deals, so I just let Carol find 'em for me! Now she'll find them for you too!
She has a fun one today that I've already signed up for.

Mint Chocolate Chip, Strawberry Shortcake, and Key Lime Pie... yumm!
Head over to Savings Galore for more details and welcome Carol to the Blogging World!

A little bit about Carol:
She is a wonderful Mama to one sweet, smart, beautiful daughter. Good job, Carol!
She is over the top generous with her time and talents.
She is techno talented (helped us with our little blog)!
She is also talented in the home improvement department.
She LOVES coffee... dries her own beans, grinds them, and brews them.
And she's my niece (even though she is 2 days older than me)!
Love you Carol!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hidden Message

Absolutely fell in LOVE Wee Woodland fabric by Moda
and I knew I had to make a little something for the grand-babies.
So, this is what I came up with...

Just a little play quilt, but with a little special message hidden under the flaps.

I used a charm pack for the flaps - no cutting required : )
and fussy cut the letters out of the ABC yardage.

Sew fun : )

Don't forget to check out Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Meet Heidi

Meet Heidi...
better known as "Mom" to her daily associates.

We're so excited to introduce you to a fun blogging mama! You can read more about our goal to make Meet A Mama Monday an encouraging place for mamas of all kinds here or under our "Know A Mama?" tab.

Back to Heidi--

Heidi has her hands full as a mama to
Zachary, who is almost 9 and is in third grade;
Tyler, who is 6 and in first grade;
Gavin, who will be 3 in November;
and Lexi, who is almost 17 months.

Whew! Busy mama!

Heidi stays at home with her sweet family. Although "staying at home" is hardly what this busy family does... Zach has football and Cub Scouts, Tyler enjoys his music classes, and Gavin and Lexi keep the whole family on their toes with their daily mayhem. This God-fearing, church-going family is on the go!

Heidi loves people. She loves to communicate. She loves electronic communication,
especially with Littles underfoot!

This mama is a blogger at The Bartle Bulletin
"You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll roll your eyes... experience a day in the life of the Bartle family!",
an emailer, a texter, and a Facebooker.

Cataloging her fun family has translated into creating digitally-based memory albums on Blurb for her family and kids. They are fun, fast and affordable!

Heidi is also a reader (a girl after my own heart). She loves to read religious literature and books that help improve her relationships, parenting, and offer spiritual insight. Recently, she has joined a scripture study group with a few friends of the same faith.

Most of all, Heidi is a mama. She is livin' the dream! She says it so sweetly: "Even though I have a Bachelor's degree, there isn't a paycheck in the world that would satisfy my heart more than raising my kids at home."

She's kind and happy.
She is service-oriented.
She is a loyal friend.
Her life is truly a reflection of her values.

Heidi says her biggest challenge as a mama is "arming her children with all they need to face this crazy world while allowing them to exercise their freedom. But, she knows it is better for them to fly independently when they are ready."

She finds joy in little family moments: "a surprise hug, an unexpected success, kicking a soccer ball, splashing in the tub, an uneventful grocery run, and kissing blond heads at bedtime."

Heidi loves the following statement by Marjorie Pay Hinckley. We think it sums up Heidi very well:

I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails.

I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp.

I want to be there with grass stains on my shoes from mowing Sister Schenk's lawn.

I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbor's children.

I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden.

I want to be there with children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder.

I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived.

Thank you for sharing, Heidi! Something tells me you have mud on the tires, grass stains on your shoes, and peanut butter on your shirt (from making your awesome peanut butter sandwiches) and you look fabulous!

Don't forget to to show some love to Heidi by leaving comment! Let's make Heidi have the BEST Monday ever!!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

And the Winner Is...

The winner of our Mommy Essentials bag is...
Kristen of The Grizzimes!

Busy, busy on this beautiful fall day. Working on my Tokyo Subway Map quilt.
I'm getting close. I'm working on block 20 of 25!!!
Katie is working on a sweet little pumpkin costume for her little punkin.
And I'm starting a new little boy baby quilt for a friend with these fabrics.

I'm so excited to do something for a little boy!