Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sweet Snowmen

I finished the potholders Christmas Eve. All but two, and those were for people I wasn't seeing until after the holiday, so I decided to call that a success. Who knew I could make potholders so complex?

I decided to bind them as if they were mini quilts because in my mind, that idea was much easier than making my own bias tape (let me know if I'm wrong on that and bias tape is actually incredibly easy). Making that one little change required me to sew the binding on one side by machine, and the other side by hand. I have thought many times of investing in a bias tape maker, but I tend to think that even cutting the strips of fabric on the bias would be a huge pain.

They turned out cute! I paired them with jars of Cowboy Cookie mix (with Christmas colored M&M's) and printed the baking directions on a card that I cut slits in and threaded through the handle of a wooden spoon.

I love the little snowmen, and overall they weren't hard to do, but when you make a quilt, people appreciate the effort. When you bake something yourself, people appreciate the effort. Apparently jamming the ingredients into a jar for them to bake themselves (and boy did I have to jam them in there!) and making what is essentially an 8 inch square quilt, does not pack the same punch. I don't think that anyone didn't appreciate it, but I guess I felt like the level of enthusiasm definitely did not match the amount of time put into it.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Monday Moments, Tuesday Edition

I slept in my own bed last night for the first time in four days. It was nice. We drove roughly 140 miles to my parents' house Christmas day after opening gifts here. We spent the night and left late morning the following day on a 70 mile trip to my in-laws' where we stayed for two nights. Yesterday we did the last and longest leg of the whole trip. It was 180 miles to get home, and boy, did we all miss this place!

This Tow Mater truck came in my son's stocking and he loved it so much he told me it wanted to say "cheese".

Then he promptly drove it through the huge breakfast I made before our trip. I knew there wouldn't be a single place open to stop on Christmas Day so I tried to force some scrambled eggs and hash browns on everyone. Unfortunately, I think Mater ate more than Gabe did. He never woke up hungry in the car though, which I guess means I accomplished my goal.

Tomorrow I'll post some pictures of my other accomplished goals.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I had no Monday Moments yesterday because I didn't think I had a single photo to post. Turns out there were some on the camera that hadn't been uploaded. Whoops! I found that out today when I uploaded these babies.

Yeah, that is the puppy from way, way back in September. It's really terrible that I just sat down this morning and put in the hour's worth of work it took to finish her.

Once I asked for your advice and figured out how I was going to finish her, I decided to move on to my next problem project and leave the simple things until later. That later ended up being three days before Christmas, when I will be giving this "puppy-pup" to my niece is shameful. At least she is done though. I cannot say the same for my snowman potholders.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sawtooth Stars

I decided on Sawtooth stars to back the potholders I'm making for Christmas and set to work on them. In this one "simple" potholder project I have done my first ever snowball blocks and flying geese units. Not to say there haven't been mistakes made, obviously this completed back is about 1/4 too small for the front. I'm leaving it though. I figure once it's bound no one will ever know. I am forever correcting myself that way.

Obviously I learned from my measuring mistake on this one, but all of the mistakes on the first block (directional prints are not my friends and I had to re-do a couple flying geese) left me with not enough fabric to outline the star in for this block. So I just repeated the star fabric. I think it looks a little too busy this way, but I might do a couple more like it just to make them all look intentional. More corrections of mine. HA!

I also decided that the snowmen for the fronts of the holders definitely need arms. That means this guy goes back in the embroidery hoop. Just when I thought I was so close to finishing the holder up. Oh well, he'll look better and that will make me feel better.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday Moments

We took the kids to go see Santa last night. Part of my husband's plan to spend at least an hour out of the house every day to get the dog completely cage trained before we have to travel for Christmas.

I had no desire to go. I whined so bad about the long lines and how Gabe wasn't going to get it that you would think I had some traumatic Santa experience as a child. But I didn't. And he didn't really get it, but he loved looking at the fake reindeer and wearing the little cardboard elf ears they gave him (except when the camera was on him, of course). The line wasn't even that long. I felt kind of like a boob, but I guess it's the pressure of the season and not being sure how much I will, or want to get done off of my list. Even possibly thinking about wasting an hour in line is enough to stress me out this time of year. And despite that pile of gifts, I am not done shopping. I could be, if I HAD to be, but I want three more.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Busy Bee

A few years ago, on my tiny single girl budget I decided that to make my family's Christmas gifts more special I'd buy those cheap plaster ornaments and hand paint them with each person's name to use as gift tags. I unwittingly started a family tradition for my sister. When my niece was born another ornament with Ava written on it was at the top of my sister's Christmas list. This year, with the new baby, she didn't even ask, but I figured she was probably expecting it. I searched around and found the cutest little reindeer ornament. I painted it, adorably, I might add. And then I wrapped it. Without taking it's picture to show you all. I realized it as I got it downstairs and put it in the gift pile and kicked myself. Not literally.

Speaking of...look at this pile! I have been a very busy bee this year. Very busy.

And that isn't even all of it. Shhhh! Don't tell anyone I showed you, but this little broom closet is where Santa is stashing his loot this year.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Progress Report

Well, the quilting is done and the million slits have been cut. The outside of the bag has been washed and dried (in order to fray it). I'm torn on what to do next. I seem to remember washing the last bag I made from this pattern twice to get the amount of fraying I wanted. But if I don't wash it again then I am free to actually start sewing the sides together and cutting the lining. Hmmmm....

Monday, December 7, 2009

Monday Moments

This is my husband's busy season at work, as it is for a lot of folks, I'm sure. He is an unbearable grump, working six days a week, and when he comes home, the last thing he wants to do is more work. I am having one hell of a time trying to balance everything this year. I absolutely have to finish this diaper bag, and I have to finish the snowman potholders, and I have to make up five jars of cookie mix and a box of cookies for each family Christmas that we're going to. I have to find a gift for my mother, another gift for the husband who I know I'll love again in a few weeks, and order the gift for my mother-in-law in time to have it wrapped and ready to go, and I have to do it all while throwing in extra loads of laundry and dishes to make up for what my husband isn't doing.

And then, on top of all of this, there are the snow days. It saves me driving back and forth to school twice a day, but it also means that I have two lunches to serve and two kids to watch.

Or four kids to watch when the neighbors' come out and hop on our sleds too. It really was an enjoyable thing to see, but in the back of my mind I was thinking about the sewing room the whole time. Maybe I'll be more fun on snow days in January.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Monday Moments, Tuesday Edition

First, a little explanation of why I forgot to post yesterday. On the way to my parents' for Thanksgiving we encountered some snow. Just a little bit, but enough for my husband to see that the tires I had been bitching about for months were actually just as bad as I said they were. (He rarely drives the car, so he hadn't been on wet roads with it for eons.)

My husband's work week is Tuesday through Saturday, so Mondays always end up being our day to run around and get everything done. In this case, it was seemingly endless trips to tire shops.

Then we had the actual plans we had made for the day. We drove out to the same Christmas tree farm that we got our tree from last year and made a selection that we were pleased with. My husband sawed it down while the kids looked on in awe.

Then we got it home and realized our tree tastes were far bigger than our space. That tree is HUGE! Little branches are poking into my TV stand and my lamp stand that the tree usually sits perfectly sandwiched between. Oh and did I mention the spiders that came crawling down the windshield when we hoisted it onto the roof? It's things like this that make me want a fake tree. But it's things like these photos that make me realize what I'd be giving up along with the hassle.