Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Do you resolve?

Not, dissolve ~ because that would be gross. Resolve, as in resolution

resolution: a resolve or a determination; the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc....

I don't do resolutions. I don't have anything against them per se, they just don't work for me. I don't like putting time constraints on my goals and I don't like making a big huge long list of everything that is wrong with me that needs fixing in the next 12 months. But that's just me. I do, however, set personal goals. I do it all year long but I never put a time stamp on my goal. Its a thing I learned at The Pacific Institute. The three days I spent at that seminar with my husband back in April of 2006 was, without a doubt, the most profound life changing event I've experienced to date (well, outside of meeting Jason & having babies, of course). Jason has been living this method his whole life. At that explains this man's amazing ability to set a goal, focus and achieve it. How else to you explain his amazing career? Not many people can claim to be a Captain at a major airline by age 32 (or was it 33?). Either way, I'm extremely proud of my husband and I've learned a lot from him. Not that he teaches or preaches to me ~ just by watching him. My favorite thing in the world to do is watch my boys (DH & kids) when they don't know it. Stalker? Maybe, but its still a favorite hobby of mine.

Anyway, back to the task at hand. Do you do resolutions? What are they? As I stated, I set goals. It just so happens that I have a few goals and the timing is absolutely coincidental. Some of these are new goals, some are ongoing goals that I've been working on and some are for my eyes only (sorry, a girl's gotta have some secrets, right?). So, the ones I'm willing to share are:

1. Get my business up and running ~ for real. No more hemming & hawing or coming up with excuses.

2. Continue with my decluttering. I do have a few new mantras for 2009 ~ and beyond. "Less is More" & I'm borrowing from Camille's blog: "Simplify" (damn, wish I had thought of that for a blog name....)

3. Be more productive (which will naturally happen once 1 & 2 get going). I only wish to be as productive as Amandajean. Someday maybe, for now I'll just settle with actually finishing a quilt instead of adding it to my heaping pile of quilt tops :-). And the more productive I am.....

4. The more I can donate to charity. I am blessed beyond comprehension. I have an amazing family. My husband has a good job ~ that's fairly secure (for now) ~ and he works hard so that I may stay home and be with my children. We have food on our table every night, in excess. I live in a great country that allows me the same rights as everyone else ~ regardless of gender, race, religion, socioeconomic status or political affiliation. Having all of these blessings, don't you think its high time I (voluntarily) share some of my wealth? So, I have a goal of sharing this talent that I've recently found and offering quilts to those who've come upon harder times. Not just for warmth, but for hugs & love and blessings as well. So that they may someday be as blessed as I am.

Happy New Year to you all. Please, stay safe and smart tonight whatever your plans may be. I'll see you in 2009!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Fabric, Fabric and More Fun Fabric...

Have I mentioned lately how much I love fabric? When I first started quilting I would buy lots of "scrap fabric" and "stash builders" off of ebay. I am in love with the scrap quilts that Bonnie Hunter makes, but I've realized that its the memories that go with the scraps that make those quilts so special. So, owning a pile of someone else's scraps or cast offs is just so uninspiring to me. As I gained a little experience in quilting and I started broadening my blog surfing, I stumbled upon Amanda Jean's blog. I realized that my tastes more closely resemble hers, but it wasn't a perfect match yet. I oogle over Camille's quilts often and I just love the string quilts that Mary and Heartstrings group make. What I've learned from all of this is that just as each person is unique, each person's quilts, style, tastes and designs are unique. Instead of just trying to buy up as much fabric as our budget allows, I've decided to be more discriminate in my purchases. I'll buy fabric that talks to me (don't judge me you know what I'm talking about ~ walking through all of those bolts at the quilt store. Some of it just sings. You know it.) So, here are some of my recent purchases...

This black/white/yellow fabric is something that my mom picked out. I'll be making her a tote bag. And it will match the quilt that I will eventually make her.

I have a thing with green. And polka dots. Its a sickness really, but it makes me happy. :-)

Did I mention that I love polka dots? Oh, and that I'm planning a polka dot Christmas quilt? I didn't? Well, now ya know :-)

And who can live without Amy Butler to tie it all together???? Love me some DOTS!!

I Wished You a Merry Christmas...

I really really did wish you all a very merry Christmas. I just didn't make into blogland in time to tell you all. Things got a little crazy around here. I'm amazed at how much it takes me by surprise every year. You'd think after 29 Years I'd start to understand that things just speed up every year around this time. I'm a little slow, maybe it'll sink in next year.
So, I hope you all had a very merry Christmas. I know I did. It would appear that Toys R Us just threw up in our living room and the boys couldn't be happier. Two gifts are currently being held hostage by UPS because of the snow we never get. I feel like I'm living in a landfill because we haven't had garbage pick up nearly three weeks. Evidently those great big huge garbage trucks don't come with snow tires. Who Knew?
But its Christmas and I'm grateful. Grateful for an amazing Mother In Law that gave me an entire box filled with quilting books. Eighteen of them. Yup 1 8 ~ I counted. Twice. Love that woman. (Love my mom, too. She got me an awesome counter top roaster oven, but that happens to be one of the packages being held hostage by UPS.)

I'm grateful for vampires & werewolves. I swore to myself I wouldn't get sucked into this whole saga, but I relented. I picked up the first book to flip through it. I finished it in 48 hours. Two days later I was finished with book #2. I finished #3 last night ~ a mere 26 hours after opening it. I'm currently trying really really really hard not to start #4 just yet. I have some chores to do first. Like feed my children.

I'm grateful for after Christmas shopping with my Mom. Antique stores:

I'm grateful for even more antique stores.....

And fabric....oh how I'm grateful for fabric! There is more fabric-y goodness to show, but I'll let you sit in suspense for a bit. Until then, chew on this. The first is some light weight corduroy and the second is some light weight decorator fabic. I'm going to experiment with some tote bags using these fabrics........oh the possibilities!!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

I think I mentioned that it doesn't snow here....?

I may have mentioned that we don't get snow. These were taken on the 23rd. Just two days before Christmas. Its stopped snowing here and its starting to melt, but my in laws live just north of us and it snowed up until yesterday there. They had close to three feet of snow on their back deck on Christmas. But it doesn't snow here.....

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I was told there would be no snow....

When we first moved to the great Northwest in December of 2003, we were coming from the greater Cincinnati area ~ where I was born and raised. I'm used to crazy weather. My husband grew up in Washington State. Half of his life in Western Washington, half his life in Eastern Washington. When we decided to move out here he told me "it only snows about once every six years or so. The weather hovers around mid 40's in the winter and its a beautiful 80's in the summer." Its snowed every.single.winter. Every year, without fail. Since we've moved here.

This morning we woke up to this:

There was no school (after the automated line called us at 6:00am, at 6:05am, at 6:15am and then again at 7:20am we were pretty sure we had the message.) So we decided it was time to do this:

We braved the weather so we could run some earrands, had lunch at Costco and then I teared up watching my three favorite people in the world do this:

I never fully appreciatied the magic of Christmas until I had children. As a child, I was too busy actually experiencing everything to give it much thought. However, watching the wonder through my children's eyes tonight gave me pause and I thanked God and my lucky stars for such a wonderful family, a wonderful life and my wonderful friends. I love you all! Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Another bag...

I made this one bigger (tote sized instead of purse sized) and added interfacing to the straps to make them sturdier. I'm still not 100% pleased with the results, but I have a few more bags in the works and hope to perfect it soon!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

You don't know what fun is...

You don't know what fun is until you've survived several multi day power outages. With two small boys. With no water because your well is run by ~ electricity! And you husband is out of town. Every.single.time.

I live in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. Its a small town with big storms. BIG storms. Big WINDY storms. Yesterday as I was driving Ben home from school I noticed something long and black laying across the entrance to our road. Our only entrance. We live on a cul de sac. Oh wait, its not a long black snake, its a power line. And it snapped right off the pole at the top of our street. HHHMMM, that doesn't look safe. Maybe I should call 911. "Yes Ma'am, we'll send someone out right away." So the fire chief shows up in his shiny red Suburban and says (paraphrasing here) "Yup, that's a power line alright. I'll call the electric company." and he drives away. He drives.Away.

This was at 4pm. We were supposed to have Karen and her kids over for dinner. Change of plans, we'll go to her house. I get the boys settled in with her and I head back to our house. Power line still there. So, being the brave soul that I am ~ I jump over it. With my eyes closed. Saying a silent prayer that I don't end up a charred hot dog. I survived. I walked down the street and into my very dark house. I fed the dog, let him out to do his business and stoked the fire (silent thanks for having a wood burning stove that we prefer to use over our electric heat). I grab the meatballs out of my luke warm fridge, some pj's for the kids and head back over to Karen's house after risking life and limb to jump back over the downed line. (Oh and I fired up the generator while I was at home, just get it warmed up in case we were in for the long haul). Yes, we have a generator. Sadly, this story is a common occurence. But wait, it gets better.

I decided to personally call the electric company to see if there were any updates on when I may be able to actually drive to my house. I was told all was clear and I had power. WOO HOO! So, after dinner and some chocolate we head home. OOPS, they lied. No one had been there. Big tree still in the middle of the road. Big power line still in our street. I called back. "Ma'am, I'm showing the tree on XYZ road has been cleared." Me: "That's great! I don't live on XYZ road, I live on RST road." "Oh, well Ma'am. There are lots of "emergencies" tonight and our guys are working as fast as possible to restore power." Me: "I have a generator, I don't care about restored power. I'd like to be able to drive home, please. Just have the line removed" (its about 9:45pm now.) "I'll send a note to dispatch about your power outage ma'am" Me: "Seriously, its NOT the power outage I'm calling about. Its the power line that is blocking access to my home." "Are you at home and unable to have anyone over?" Me: "No, I'm not home, I haven't been home all day and I can't get home." "Are you lights off ma'am?" Me: "I don't know, I can't see my house." "You aren't at home?"

The conversation went like that for about five minutes. Finally I hung up with them and called 911 back. They were surprised that the line hadn't cleared because they "showed that the electric company had been notified." Yeah, I know. So 911 dude calls electric company dispatch and is told "Oh, that ticket was cleared and marked as fixed. The tree has been removed from XYZ street." Oh. My. God.

So 911 dude explains the whole situation. Explains that its a downed line ~ not a tree ~ that is "isolating residential homes". Ok great, thanks 911 dude! So the boys and I go drive around and look at Christmas lights. About 11pm we drive back home. Nothing.

I called electric company back and explain to the very nice lady that maybe its just me, but a power line on the ground, "isolating residential homes" for 8 1/2 hours kind of seems like an emergency to me. But who knows...maybe I'm weird. She said "oh, we didn't know there was a line down, we're just showing a power outage." After a similiar conversation to the above one, I finally convinced her to call the dispatchers and explain what was going on. She did. They called the "guys on the trucks" and gave them a "gentle reminder" that there was a line down. HHHMMM, a gentle reminder? I thought no one knew about it in the first place?

So, I we hit McD's drive thru because we were all hungry and lo and behold, when we got back there were big trucks! Two of 'em! Picking up that line. I drove home and we walked into our dark house.

Got everyone settled in and was getting ready to climb into bed. I grabbed a handful of french fries and shoved them in my mouth. Apparently I shoved them too hard because one slid down my throat. Completely blocking all air to my lungs. The only thing I could think of was that I finally got home and I'm going to die. Here in my kitchen. In front of my kids. In the dark. So, I did what any panicked, tired mom would do. I stuck my finger down my throat. Crisis averted. But Ben was a little freaked out. Something about standing in the dark, by the light of a flashlight and watching your mom wretch and gasp for air traumatized him. Can't figure that one out.

We all climbed into my bed and the boys slept hard. And kicked me in the back, hard. And punched me in the face, hard. And then at 6:30 am all of our lights came on. And everything was right with the world. It was crazy fun!

Oh yea, Jason's in Orlando. He missed the whole adventure.
Cheers! I'm off to add something a little stronger to this coffee!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

All is right with the world, Thank You.

It seems my computer just got confused with Google's recent changes (that happens to me sometimes, too). I cleared my cookies and all is right with the world again. I was afraid I'd be lost forever without my daily fix of my favorite blogs! Since I've done a few posts lately without pictures and I have nothing new to show you (I'm almost finished with a new tote bag, but its not ready for pictures yet)...I thought I'd just show some pictures of my fabric. This is most of my quilting fabric collection, but there is one more drawer that I didn't photo for some reason. I don't know how I missed that one. But that drawer just has some larger cuts of coordinating yardage.
These are my FQ's and up to 1/2 yd cuts. I'm not sure why blogger flipped it around....can you tell I have plans for a Black, White & Red quilt in the near future??? Oh, this is also holding some of my polka dot fabric. Those are larger than 1/2 yd cuts, but they didn't fit anywhere else.

This drawer holds most of my yardage. I have another yardage drawer for coordinating fabrics that isn't shown. There is also a big long 6 yd piece of fabric that I picked up for .33 (yes, that's thirty three CENTS) at a yard sale that lives in that vacant space towards the front of the drawer.

This basket holds all of my Amish Solids. They are pulled out of the drawers because I was planning on making a quilt out of them for a Christmas gift. Guess how far I am on this one? Those fabrics are still in the exact same place in the exact same basket. I guess it'll be a birthday present....

These are my patriotic fabrics. I'm making a quilt for Alycia's QOV challenge and I'm also making pillowcases for her.

And here is my basket of scraps (with a little helper trying to push my basket over).

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Do you use Google Reader?

Does anyone else use Google Reader to track your favorite blogs? Is it acting up for you? I haven't been able to get Reader to load all day. It just goes to a blank page. I'm wondering if its a problem on Google's end or on mine?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Eye Candy...

While I'm waiting to win the Santa Purse, I thought I'd make myself something to pass the time. I'm going to Karen's tomorrow to sew. I was gonna work on this. Now I'll have to find a new project. Darn!

Do you love this purse?

Seriously, do you love it as much as I do? I doubt it. But I want more chances to win it, so I'm posting it here. How cute is it? I love it! If you win it, send it to me OK? Like a finder's fee? That's fair, isn't it? Ok...I guess I'll let you keep it. But you have to hurry over to Loralynn's blog to enter to win it!

What is happening to Google?

Suddenly my Google Reader looks different. I don't like change. I'll deal with it, but I don't like it. However, google isn't recognizing most of the pictures on the blogs listed in my reader. I came to my own blog and now my pictures are GONE! What's going on with Google???



Is anyone still out there? Wow, I got really busy for a really long time and I've completely neglected you. I'm sure you have all been sitting there, on the edge of your computer chair, biting your nails, just wondering when I will make another appearence. No? You haven't? hhhmmm, I must be losing my touch. Oh well. I'm proud to say that all of my committments have been met. I am not hosting Christmas in my house. I have nothing to stress over for the forseeable future and life is happy! I am just slowly, taking my time, and getting caught up on housework. And because I'm able to relax, I'm able to sew. You know what that means, right? Eye candy? NOPE. It means I've started 15 projects but have completed none. Which means I have nothing of my own to show you. Sorry. You'll have to wait just a bit longer. You're crushed. I know. BUT...I do have something to show you. My secret partner for my Polka Dot and Rick Rack swap was so on the ball and actually sent my item on time. Me...not so much. But I've reached out to her. She is understanding and I owe her my first born (not really). This is what Anne Heidi sent to me. Isn't it beautiful? I carry it around the house with me and just fondle that great polka dot fabric. Seriously, I do. I'm sick. I know it. Ssshhh, we don't mention it. It isn't polite. Ok....on with the pictures. (Sorry, I haven't been here in a while, I'm a little chatty!)......drumroll, please:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I'm back in town....

I am back in my own home now. Its been one whirlwind of a week. I'm so happy to be in my own bed that the boys and I all took a 2 hour nap. I think we're still on East Coast time, which is odd, since we were on West Coast time our entire time there.....we just could never settle into a schedule.

Let me get settled back in and unpacked a bit and I can't wait to get started on some great projects!