Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'm In NYC!

Yes, I'm in Brooklyn spending time with Grant and Cole. We spent the last two days in the apartment playing games, eating, watching movies, doing homework, reading, and nursing bad coughs. (The kids and hopefully not me. I'm drinking my spinach drink every morning to help buoy my antibodies.) We got bathed and dressed to go outside today but it starting to rain just as the kids were getting dressed and it is already cold and windy. They decided they would rather put their jammies back on and hang around together in the apartment for another day.

I'm am just letting myself relax with no agenda but spending time with my boys. They even both asked to cuddle with me as they were going to bed. As a grandmother you realize how fleeting the moments are. I'm savoring every minute. I know the week will pass quickly.

After 10 years of marriage, Candice and Mark are finally able to get away and spend a few days together. I hope they are having a great time. They deserve it.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Here I am with Stephanie.
I'm going to Brag about my daughters. I guess Steph is first even though she is daughter #2. Steph has many talents. She has a masters in Children's Literature and hopes to be able to teach at a college or university when she isn't so busy being mom to Creed. She has a literary blog that she does book reviews on. I'm always amazed by her insightful reviews.

Stephanie does graphic design professionally. She is self taught for the most part but I am always amazed at what she comes up with. She works with Eva of Sycamore Press who does letter press printing. Steph designed some photo frames, Alphabet posters, and other things. Steph used the photo frames to create these cute Valentine's, just before her party. (The red design is the letter pressed photo frame and you add your own picture in the middle. My talent was hanging them. Didn't I do a good job? JK.... Steph gave me some for Christmas and I'm excited to use them only I accidentally left them at her house in the the party excitement.)

She also does a lot of graphic design for my office. She designed my nieces wedding invitations recently and also the posters for "Hooked on Ears." (Our booth that we sell earrings in.) She's done tons more too. Check out Eva's blog if you want to order any of these for your very own or contact Steph if you need any graphic design. She's fast and reasonable. (I didn't ask her permission to do this but I think it's OK. I also lifted these pictures off her blog.)

She is also incredible at planning unique parties, writing, creating, sewing, and so many other things. It's so fun to see each of my children grown up as unique individuals that all love being together as a family. I feel blessed.

Valentine's Party at Stephanie's House

If you get invited to one of Stephanie's parties, you won't want to miss it. She's amazing.

I went to Stephanie's house on Thursday to help her get ready for the Valentine Party. We had so much fun. Here's the post from Stephanie's blog. She is much better at taking pictures and documenting things. What an amazing girl. You'll want to read the details on her blog. Above are the Valentines I made. Complete with heart name tags and a different pair of earrings to hopefully fit everyone's taste.
A close up of one Valentine. (This is my original design and so easy to make. Buy clear plastic. I used a medium weight. Double the plastic and cut out a heart shape. Punch holes about every inch. I used my crop-a-dile 2 to punch the holes. Weave 1" wide red satin ribbon in and out of the holes starting in the "v" at the top. Fill with candy and tie the bow. See easy peasy right?)
Here are some of the toppings for the sugar cookies we all decorated and ate as refreshments and then took home for our families. (It was torture but I did resist eating the cookies.)
Here is the table decorated with tulips and we ate off of those great red polka dot pottery barn plates. (Those would go so wonderfully with my square white plates. I just might have to borrow those one of these days.) Steph also had sparkly heart shaped plates from Target for everyone to take their Valentine's home on.
Here's Creed decorating his own sugar cookie after the party. He was hilarious.
Steph and I after an enjoyable afternoon and evening together.
Here are some of the Valentines I received. Lisa made terra cotta hearts and added a vile of special oil to add to them to make your dresser drawers smell good. She even embellished the package with felt and embroidery. Faith made these cute Valentine braclets. Annie made a special music CD that I listened to the whole way home from the party. Loved it!
Melissa made a special bath soaking potion and included chocolate for us to eat while relaxing in the tub. Wendy made wonderful chocolate dipped pretzels with those cute felt barretts.
Elisa made little Valentine mice. The cheese card said, "It may be CHEESEY but won't you PLEASY be my Valentine?"
She dipped marachino cherries in chocolate, and quickly added almond slices for ears and a chocolate kiss for the head. The cherry stem makes the tail. Isn't he cute? I've never seen these before but I bet miss ThimbleAnna has.
Steph made pie in a jar. We each got cherry and one peach. What a lot of work. She also included instructions on how to bake them and added the heart rosettes to the top of the lid as well as making all those sugar cookies and planning the party. I forgot to take pictures of some of the others but Steph included them on her blog.

Mary Ann included this with her Valentine. "The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart." Helen Keller

I hope everyone had a Happy Valentine's Day. I enjoyed being snowed in with my husband of 32 years. He's a keeper.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Rug Can Make All the Difference

Here is the before picture of my living room. Remember this. I found this rug on sale at Lowe's and bought knowing it would fit perfectly in my bedroom but could work in my living room until I could find something better.
Here is the better. It is a wool rug that I found at Costco. It is just the right size. Some designers will tell you that the area rug just needs to be under the front legs to anchor the seating area but I would disagree. It feels so much better to have the chairs actually able to have all four legs on the rug. I also changed out the pillows on the couch to pull the wall color into the room. The rug also has some of the exact wall color within the pattern.
Next...get rid of the antique oak church pew (you can see the corner of it in the lower right hand corner), and get a new ceiling fixture. It's evolving. What other suggestions do you have?

My Birthday

This is the group at the Bombay House restaurant. Larry was chasing Creed while we ate. That is why he is still eating. The hubby is taking the picture. It is the only picture I got of the big event since I couldn't take flash pictures of the concert. Steph took pictures though so I'll have to lift some from her when she blogs them.

My birthday celebration has spread out a little. I worked on Friday for a while and then treated myself to a pedicure. I love those. My husband was nice enough to give me a gift certificate for two more and Eli purchased a gift certificate for a half hour message. Nice.

Friday night my husband took me out to dinner at a new place called The Penny Royal Cafe. It was interesting to say the least. While we were there we saw a poster for a band that was going to play there Sat. night. Adam and Darcie. Darcie was one of my young women so we decided we needed to come back on Sat. night.

Saturday afternoon Steph, Larry, and Creed came down. We went to a friends get together to celebrate her leaving on her mission to Japan this week. We saw friends from Hawaii there that we hadn't seen for a long time so it was really fun. Darcie with there too so we got a few more details about her upcoming concert.

Steph and I ran up to Shade to see what was on sale. I bought a cute little jacket for $7 and found 4 maternity shirts for Marissa for $5 a piece. Steph found a few bargains too. I even wore my jacket today. I don't know what my husband thinks, but Steph and I really liked it.

We went to the Bombay House for great Indian food for dinner. Eli and Brenna came with us along with Steph, Larry, and Creed. We then went to the concert. It was very fun. So, that was the big celebration.

Steph, Larry, Brett, and Eli said they would paint the room of my choice next weekend and my husband said that he would finally finish resurfacing our kitchen bar area while I'm off babysitting next week as a part of my birthday present. Now I need to decide what room to paint and what color to choose before next weekend.

So, I know you are dying to find out if I had cake for my birthday. Nope, I resisted. I had fruit instead. I hope it pays off for me.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Body Bugg

Remember when I said I got a Body Bugg for Christmas? I've been very faithful in wearing it and logging both my exercise and diet.

Wearing my bugg helps me to push myself a little more every day to try and burn at least 2700 calories. It is hard for me to do that so I take the stairs instead of the elevator and park farther away when running errands, and try and move more as well as exercise harder. (It is so much easier to burn calories than it is to only eat 1700 calories.)

I started January 1st. My goal is to lose two pounds a week. So far, I'm right on track. I have given up sugar too. I haven't had candy, cake, or ice cream since Jan. 1. I set a goal to not let myself have any until I reached my weight goal but I forgot my birthday fell in that space. What's a girl to do?

You can give me your advice if you want. I'll tell you what I decided to do on Monday.

I'll let you know when I reach my goal. Maybe I'll even post before and after pictures. (I guarantee they won't be pictures of me in a swimsuit.) This time I'm really going to do it.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I wrote a bunch of posts last Sunday and have been posting them everyday. However, I've discovered that they move down in the order I drafted them in, not in the order I tried to post them in. So, read down to the "more quilts" post to see my latest. I want you to see my latest quilts and a few old ones and learn right?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

It's my Blogversary!

I've now been officially blogging for a year. I've loved the new friends I've made, my old friends who keep track of me through my blog, and the memories I've been able to record. Thanks for all your comments.

Steph showed off her Amy Butler bag on her blog today if you want to check it out.

Amy Butler Purses

OK, this isn't an Amy Butler purse but I finished this apple core quilt a few weeks ago and thought I'd show you that I added another project to the "done" pile. I don't even know when I started this one. I'm just glad it is done. I used to love, love, love, woven plaids. Can you tell? Now I have bins of this fabric I'm not too excited to use in anything. Just goes to show that you should use it up while you love it.
Steph came over Friday and we made this Amy Butler bag together. (She had picked out the fabric on a previous shopping trip. I was going to make up my own pattern but thought I'd make life easier and broke down to spend $13 for the pattern. Yikes!)

I had fun playing with Creed. He loved bouncing on my exercise ball and was a great sport to run some errands with us. (I applied for a booth at Swiss Days in Sept. I had to get a cashier's check, pick up the pictures of our booth and jewelry, and mail it off with the application. I'll find out in March if we got in.)
Here's bag number two I made yesterday. They are pretty big. I can see why one of the quilt stores reduced the pattern by 30%. Marissa, this one is for you if you like the fabrics. Candice, what color do you want? The hardest part is to try and find fabrics I think each of you would like. I told Steph that this bag would be as big as you Candice but she thought it would come in handy for carrying shopping purchases and traveling on the train. What do you think?

Another Valentine Decoration

"I had these antique valentines and decided to use them in my decor this year. I purchased a frame from Ikea, covered the mat board it came with with black velvet and positioned the valentines. I like it. It is part of my "use what you have" mind set this year. What have you come up with this year?

More Quilts

I just finished this quilt this week. I bought one of those "made in Taiwan" quilts and changed the binding and added the yoyo's and rick rack. There are about 272 yo yo's on it. I used one of those new yo yo makers. If you haven't tried one, it's the way to go. I think they are made by Clover. You can get them at almost any fabric store.
A close up of the corner.
I made two of these Nancy Halvorson Shepherd and sheep quilts. One for my sister-in-law, Leslie and one for Marissa. Marissa decided she would rather have a different quilt so now my sister Cheryl will get this one next year. It looks small in this picture but it is really close to lap quilt size.
Here is one I made years ago. Good thing tastes change.
Here is a quilt I designed. It is english paper pieced with stip piecing on the edge. This is what I am doing all around the king size log cabin quilt.
This one is Candice's. She fell in love with these fabrics. I love black, white, and red. In fact, my studio is black, white, and red. I just love being in there. But, in this quilt, the yellow really pulls it all together. BTW my quilts really are square. I just didn't lay them out very carefully and the camera distorts them as well. (That black dot in the corner of the little rick rack is a signature.

I made a Christmas quilt I really likes that Steph really wanted. It's now at her house and I didn't take a picture before giving it to her for Christmas.

So, this is the year of the finish up projects before starting new ones. I've done pretty well so far. I'm trying to clean things out and get rid of things I don't love enough to finish. I think I have a short attention span though. It is so hard to finish projects some times.

Quilting in St. George

Where have I been you asked? I've been busy trying to accomplish something to post about on my blog. (All work and no play makes for boring blogs unless you are a decorator/designer. Then everyone wants to see what you are doing.)

A group of women went to St. George to my friend, Sharon Wright's, second home. This is the second year I was invited. It was so great to make new friends, eat out, shop in all the local quilt stores, and bask in the sunshine. My how I loved exercising outside in the sun and sitting in the jacuzzi under the stars at midnight. Ahhh, I'm ready to go again.

The cupcake was made by Lisa. She made us all cupcake pincushions out of felted sweaters. I love pincushions. I put it next to the one Steph made for me last year.

This is Carol Ford with one of the many projects she finished.
Joann was new to quilting but I think she's caught the bug.
Leslie and Lisa stayed at their mom's house but came over and played with us all day.
This is the log cabin quilt I worked on. It is almost finished. I started it last year in St. George. I laid it out on Sharon's bed to figure out how much longer I had to make the borders. I'm strip piecing 1 1/2" strips with a log cabin block in each corner. I think there are at least 1500 pieces in this King size quilt. The pictures above the bed are two of my husbands she bought and had framed. She has several others in this house too. (What a nice supporter of the arts.) :)
A little closer view of the quilt top.
We moved all the furniture out of the living room and this is where we have all the fun.
Here is Sharon. She is a master quilter. This is the back of the quilt she is working on. The binding has piping and is very detailed going around hexigons on the outside edge. Sorry, I didn't take a picture of the whole quilt for you to see. What was I thinking?
My friend, Mary Jo Roberts is in the background in the purple shirt. We drove down together on Tuesday and came back on Friday. We had soooo much fun. It was such a nice break.