Thursday, June 27, 2013

Bye Google Reader.

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Don't forget that Google Reader closes its' doors in a couple days.  I started using Bloglovin a few weeks ago and have found it to be really easy to use and a lot of fun. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Quilt #2

 My second quilt is finished!  I purchased the fabric before Chelsea was born and began working on it in October of last year.  I had hoped to have it done by last Christmas but knew that having a 2 month old at that point would probably hinder my sewing time. Ha!  Did it ever!  But no pressure.  Instead of being 6 months late, I'm going to say it's 6 months early for THIS Christmas.  Convenient, huh?  I created a Christmas quilt because I wanted to start the tradition of bringing it out every year right after Thanksgiving.  It'll reside in our living room during the month of December for evening snuggles.  Then, during the week of Christmas, everyone gets a turn having the Christmas quilt on their bed with Lee and I getting in on Christmas Eve.  Then the Christmas quilt will go back into hiding until the next year.  I have a feeling I'll be the only one excited about the Christmas quilt but that's okay.  

The quilt was intended to be lap size and measures upon completion 53 x 44.  Those are kinda odd measurements but I didn't work from a pattern and I wasn't comfortable going any bigger since this was only my 2nd quilt.  I used a layer cake of Kate Spain's Joy fabric line for Moda.  The back is also from the Joy line.  The binding is Flutter by Amanda Herring for Riley Blake.  When you see a larger panel of it, it resembles an old-fashioned glass ornament shape (at least in my head it does).  The front border is Kona Snow. 

I followed a tutorial for a double slice layer cake quilt and used that as the focal point of the quilt front.  It was SO easy to put those blocks together.  I actually finished those last November.  Then I couldn't decide if I wanted to add borders or not.  I like the look of the white against the colorful blocks so it worked out okay.  I had a lousy time making the quilt "sandwich" on this one.  I'm still a quilting newbie and probably should have spent more time making sure my bottom layer was free of creases and wrinkles.  When I went to do my straight line quilting, some parts of my back bunched a little.  It was frustrating.  I fixed some areas of it but left others because, uh, it adds character???  Lesson learned.  I may stick with baby quilts and table runners for a while before trying a larger quilt again.  Or I may have somebody else do the quilting for me on a larger quilt.  I enjoyed doing the binding this time and 3 out 4 corners are mitered correctly so I'm getting better!

Now I'm working on a wall hanging for Chelsea's room and I have a whole bunch of new fabric to play with.  Gotta get started!  It's great when you find your sewing mojo :)

Thursday, June 6, 2013


I have actually found time (or MADE time) for some recreational reading lately and it makes me so happy.  I miss always having a book to read at night or on my commute home from work.  Some of my favorite childhood memories revolve around the library and the summer reading program (nerd alert) so consider this my plug for reading a good book this upcoming summer.....

I had heard about this book via a few mommy blogs.  Melanie Shankle is a blogger herself and a Christian.  The reviews I read raved about this book so I, of course, tried to keep my expectations in check.  Luckily, I was able to download it to my Kindle for free on Mother's Day, which was appropriate since the book is mainly about Melanie's adventures with motherhood. I gotta say -- this book was a delight.  Melanie is incredibly funny and some of her comments in the book made me wish we were best friends.  I appreciated her weaving Scripture into the text in places that were less about laughs and more thought provoking.  It's a short book and an easy read but very entertaining.  Melanie's got a bright future ahead of her!

 This book was purchased on a whim because Amazon was offering the Kindle version for under 4 bucks (this is going to be a theme with my reviews -- I am cheap!).  I wasn't necessarily interested in Hawaii but the book was "recommended" by my good friends at Amazon since I apparently like historical fiction (or so they tell me).  The Amazon reviews were mostly favorable so I gave it a go.  Sooo I enjoyed this book too.  The story introduces us to a young girl in Korea in the early 20th century as she leaves her homeland to marry a stranger in Hawaii.  The remainder of the book is about her life in Hawaii and how Honolulu changes dramatically over 50+ years.  Alan Brennert includes a lot of history in this novel to the point where it becomes a little too much -- that's my only complaint and other Amazon reviews said the same thing.  But if you like getting a history lesson while you read, then you'd enjoy this book.  I think Lee got a little tired of hearing me say "Did you know in Hawaii....." every night during our reading time.  I think he tuned out after the first dozen times I tried to pass along my new knowledge of Hawaii to him. 

Ahh, Adriana Trigiani.  I love you.  I love this book.  What's not to like -- Italy, New York, a love story.  I actually cried a little during one part of this book while I was reading it on the subway.   That's commitment, people.  I could keep gushing but I think I've already overused the word "love" here.  Read. This. Book.

I checked this book out from the library and because it is new (at least, to the public library) I had to read it in 7 days.  Yes, a 7-day loan.  Talk about pressure.  300+ pages in 7 days was a challenge when you've got a job, kids, and other obligations.  But I did it.  Wouldn't want to do it again, but I did it.  So as for this book -- The Aviator's Wife is about Anne Morrow Lindbergh.  Historical fiction again only this time, the main character is obviously a real person.  So that makes things a little trickier when you read a novel and wonder "did she really say that??"  I liked this book but didn't love it.  Whether it was because the real person/fiction thing was too weird for me or because Charles Lindbergh wasn't a likeable man, I'm not sure. Again, I enjoy learning about people, places, events, etc. while I read so that part of it was fascinating and I intend to read Anne's book Gift from the Sea soon.  I also think the Lindberghs had sad lives and maybe the disturbing nature of their son's abduction and the way the family was hounded by the press made me sad for them.  I suppose we don't have to always feel happy about a storyline in order to like a book (White Oleander!) but I think I prefer it.  I get so little time for recreational reading, I prefer to read happy books.

Hi again, Adriana Trigiani.  Another winner here, my friend.  Plot = a young, stylish clothing designer leads an interesting life in 1950s Manhattan.  A fun read.  Not a grand love story like The Shoemaker's Wife but there are only so many home runs in the literary world.  Enjoyed it.

So that's it.  I am trying to figure out what to read next.  Alan Brennert (Honolulu) has a new book out called Palisades Park that I saw at the library but it's a 7-day loan and you know how I feel about those.  What books would you recommend?  I'm thinking about adding some of these titles to my summer reading list:

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


May brought about:

A power surge that killed some lightbulbs and a few minor appliances.
Our first garage sale in years that yielded a paltry profit but was fun, none the less.
My first real haircut in over a year!  Eww.  About time.
Chelsea's first illness -- a cold.  Nate and I also got it.  It was mild but lingered.
An insanely hot Mother's Day.
I recall being barfed on about 3 times by 2 kids this month.
An insurgence of ants and spiders.  Double eww.
New flowers and plants in our front yard planted by yours truly.
Open House at Nate's preschool.
We have movement, people!  Chelsea is scooting around.
Praise the Lord! Goodbye ugly green linoleum in the kitchen. 
Nate's last day in Room 3 at BFUMCNS.  Only 87 days until Pre-K starts.
Chelsea turned 7 months and is in size 9-12 month clothes.
A move of sorts -- Lee and I now sleep in the den (long story).

Music Time. Maybe they'll be the next Carpenters. Yes, I am that old.

Happy girl showing off her dimples.

This is what happens when you take a picture just as somebody sneezes.

Kewpie Doll.

We water plants in our skivvies.

Sir Nathan of Cook Manor.

The King of my heart.

Angry Birds come to life!

I used to exercise on this trampoline when I was single.  Now my kid plays on it.  Story of my life.

Sunflowers 2013.  My 4th summer growing them.

She loves to wrinkle her nose at people.  We call it Chelsea's "stink eye" look.

And there she goes.  Gotta explore and put things in her mouth. Yea for us.