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April 2008
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June 2008

May 2008

Mother(in-law)-lode of goodness.

grandma's quilt

When my husband and I got back from our Arizona trip last month, I noticed a big handled brown bag by the stairs.  I asked what it was, and he said something like, oh, mom said she brought this up for you since she knows how much you like this stuff. 

This quilt was peeking out of the top.  I remembered seeing it at her house before, draped over a 'pirate' chest they use for games.  I did remember liking it.  That's sweet of her, I thought.  I do like this stuff.

Overwhelmed and tired from our trip, I put the bag in my sewing room for later.  I needed sleep.  It was 1 am and we'd just gotten home from the airport.  

something to aspire to, I suppose.

It was days before I went back into my sewing room.  Somehow, a bunch of ironing got put on top of the bag.  And I kind of forgot about it.  (I know, I know!  Shame on me.)   But I knew as soon as I pulled it out there would be this big photo session, and honestly, I didn't have time yet.

And I didn't want it taunting me while I was. just. trying. to just get caught up with my daily routine.


So last week, I pulled it out.  Man alive, is it beautiful. Really, words just fail me.  I promptly placed it at the foot of our bed.  This may not be its final spot in the house, but I'm not done looking at all the awesome swatches yet. 

family heirloom quilt

Oh, I almost forgot.  There was a bunch of other stuff under the quilt.  In the bag.  And it all blew my mind.  Just you wait. 

My mother in law has a lot of explaining to do.  I don't have all the answers to all my questions about it, yet, but I'll share them when I do. 

McCalls 5415

another something for Fidge

A little top for Fidget.  Sorry about the teeny tiny peek here but I just can't get a decent shot of this thing to save my life.  Is it because it's white?  Because my camera doesn't like trying to focus on the eyelet?  Because I'm really quite thick when it comes to cameras?  Eh, I don't know.  Probably a combination of all three.

What I do know is this little swingy top is super easy.  McCalls 5415.   No buttons or zippers or anything.  The simple (really, it is!) facing in the top is used to make the casing for the elastic.  That's about as fancy as it gets.  I've still got it pinned in the front because I haven't been able to wrangle Fidge into it to measure the straps... maybe when I do, I'll be able to get a full shot. 

summer dresses

Have you tried making a pillowcase dress yet?  No?  Well, you should.  You really, really should.  They are so quick and satisfying (oh, to start and finish a project in an hour!), pillowcase dresses are the perfect way to get back into your groove if you've taken a hiaitus from sewing clothes. 

I mean, when I wasn't even planning this weekend, look what happened:

pillowcase dress for ellie

ruffled bottom

A little dress for ellie, our neighbor, for her first birthday.  She is about as big as our two-year-old Fidget, who is on the small side for everything (but head circumference -- don't get me started about delivering that child while the OB is saying, my, that's a big head!).  Watching the two of them together is so sweet.  Anyway, Fidge thought this strawberry ruffled one was for her.   The one I made her last year is more than a wee bit short.  It's more of a swingy top now. 

"Dis is my dress, mommy.  You made my dress!"  How could I not make her one of her own?  She'll only be this enthusiastic about mom-made clothes for so long.  Fortunately, I had an extra hour that night and was able to oblige her.

new dress for fidget

A few weeks ago I had stopped by Joanne's and found this fabric that looked like vintage table cloth... I had bought a bit of it for this very purpose, but had forgotten all about it.  I folded it in half, sewed it up like a pillowcase and then deconstructed it into a dress.  I think it's a keeper.

So.  Two dresses in two days.  I kind of feel like Lera.  Or Jade, who makes these particular dresses faster than you can blink.  There are several tutorials out in blogland for these dresses. So you have no excuse not to make one, too.  This is the one I used, but Stacy also has a good one, with diagrams...

Practical Matters.

my new ironing board cover.

I know.  It's exciting.  My vintage wooden ironing board got some new duds this weekend.  It needed to happen first.  Because I have a ton of things I need to make and, really, using a towel over the board each time was a bit of a drag.

We took a quick trip over the holiday weekend to our friends' home (which we call the Farm, but they don't farm anything.  It's more like 60 acres of lush rolling prairie where we let the kids and dogs run free.  If I had to go somewhere for a month and recover from something, this is where I'd want to be.)

The view from the kitchen window (taken last year, but it's still the same):

4-wheeling on the farm

This is the fireplace where we make smores at night.  This porch has some pretty views, too.

the porch 

The older girls discovered fondant and made a Memorial Day cake for us to enjoy:



We left for home feeling very, very blessed.

Hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, too...

Friday: Super Score.

Wednesday morning I had to kill an hour downtown before I got my hair done.  What a gift, an extra hour.  Don't you love it when that happens???  The farmers' market was open, and I picked up a couple tomatoes and a little bag of cinnamon almonds.  Delish.  Oh my.

And then I popped into my favorite thrift store, knowing fully well that I could spend 30 minutes there, no problem.  I picked up some milk glass vases to give a friend, 50 cents each. Found two train/toiletry cases in near perfect condition, one green, one blue, $3.50 each.  Even found a set of nine butter yellow printed cotton placemats (martha?) for $1.50... A very good day, in my opinion.

I have been to this store enough to be familiar with what is in stock.  After all, this is where I found my beloved settee.

The first time I saw our newest addition was about 5 months ago.  Stuck way in the back, behind a myriad of framed postersand discarded tv trays.  The lines were classic and the glass, in perfect condition.  Huge.  Six feet wide and 8 feet tall.  Cupboards and drawers and storage galore.  And, unfortunately, $600.  A wee bit out of my thrifting budget.

China-cab-archAnd what I was going to do with a ginormous 1959 Thomasville china cabinet?   It's not something you can just take home and move around from room to room until you find the perfect spot.  So I was ok with letting It go.

Until Wednesday.

All the furniture in that Most Excellent Thrift Store was 50% off.  And they had already reduced the price on my old friend to $300.

People.  How could I say no to $150 for this:


Truth be told, I did pass it up and went and got my hair done.  My stylist (and good friend) insisted that I check with hubs to see what he thought.  Should I get it?  More importantly, HOW would I get it home?  Where would I put it?  Am I crazy?? (Don't answer that last one, please!)

China-cab-knob And, because he is awesome and knows that I have a way of falling in love with furniture the way he does with golf clubs, he said go for it.  So I sat there at the salon and made it all happen... the uhaul truck (which was not your traditional uhaul-with-a-granny's-attic, but some funky diesel Mitsubishi with one of those steering wheels that is parallel to the ground and a back door that was flaking and peeling and looked like it was going to fall off any minute)... the help (thank goodness for neighbors and friends)... and the purchase (well, that part was easy.)   

And then I spent the next 24 hours freaking out whether or not we could even get this thing around all the corners and through all the doors and actually into my bedroom.  We did, and even though those boys shook their heads (she's putting a china cabinet where?), they had to admit It was pretty darned cool.  Big, but cool.

So It's in my bedroom.  The final blank wall in my home.  I can't wait to fill It up with sweaters and shoes and purses and whatnot.  We don't have much in the way of closet space, so this is a practical addition, really.  ;) That is what I tell myself.

It is quite possibly the most well made piece in our whole house.  Some of the drawers are even lined with that velvety flocking made for silverware... it was totally worth the wait.

(Sorry I had to tease you yesterday.  Forgive me?)

Here's the deal.

I bought something yesterday at a thrift store.  A big something.  And I'm coordinating the uhaul and store right now to pick it up.  It's awesome and a super buy and I am pretty sure it's going to fit in my house and I will love it forever and use it everyday and someday my kiddos will fight over 'who gets it' when I'm gone.

The uhaul guy said he had plenty of trucks.  The guy at the store said he had plenty of helpers so we could get it loaded. 

Why, then, am I all freakishly nervous right now??


DEAR TYPEPAD: This new compose interface (esp the typing part) is driving me crazy.  The backspace button is a full half-second behind my keystroke and I cannot tell you how annoying it is. Because I start thinking the first delete didn't work, so I delete again, and now I have gone too far and have to type the whole thing over.  I hate it.  Also, I like to shift-arrow to highlight things, but that is slow, too.  And highlighting with the mouse.  Just stop it please.  I used to really love you and now I'm angry on top of being nervous about getting the uhaul.

thanks so much.  xo

***update***  I'm back.  I'm pretty sure nothing was broken in transport.  And can I say how badly I wanted to wash my hands after being inside that truck?  Oh, me driving that truck.  That's a whole post in itself.  But now it's in the driveway, awaiting hubs and a friend to unload later this evening.  Ack.  I can hardly wait. 

And I still hate the new typepad 'compose' interface.  Hate it.

Thursday: Chocolate


Someone is celebrating the end of her elementary career this week.  So it's totally acceptable for me to eat a slice a day until this is gone.  Totally. 

In fact, I think there is a rule that you have to eat it with ice cream, too.  I'm pretty sure.


Posting a picture or two a day this week.  Our highly-anticipated warm spring weather is finally here, and has brought with it a whole new list of things to do.  And I know you know how that goes...

If I'm being really honest with myself, this is also a pretty big test for me, because blogging (and bloglines...) has become such a part of my routine that it is threatening to take over. 

she is getting so big

So I am going to take a cue from Fidget and sit back and get a better perspective.

keeping an eye on things.

There are things to do and picnics to plan and dresses to make and deck-time with friends... and none of that gets done when I am sitting on my duff prattling on and on about stuff I'd like to do.  ;)

Here's to a productive week, friends! 

(And more delicious weather.... Heavens to Betsy, we had a beauty of a weekend!  My Grammy always said that -- Heavens-to-Betsy.  I have no idea what it means, but it's fun to say.)