Tuesday, May 29, 2007

giving sunflowers a home

first you find the perfect spot....

then you put the baby sunflower in...

then you pat things down snug..

...and soon we will have some mammoth sunflowers that are taller than us!

Monday, May 28, 2007

daddy, who hung the moon?

that's the title of my next quilting project. i saw this one in a previous issue of quilt it for kids that i purchased awhile back and thought that the upcoming arrival of a new niece or nephew in the family was a great occasion to start.
i am spending memorial day at home with my guys, bouncing between playing, cleaning, and sewing...does life get any better than this?

so far, i have all the pieces cut, and about 1/2 of the hst pieced together. i should have some pics to post soon.

happy memorial day to all!

the stepping stone

after mulching our front garden area against the house, we realized that unless we jumped over or walked through the mulch, we had essentially blocked ourselves from the front yard, unless we wanted to walk all the way to the end of the front walk and around. being fundamentally lazy folks ;), i opted to find some neat stepping stones, allowing me to make a small pathway (2 steps at most, folks) across the mulch and into the yard.

i looked at the nurseries, tractor supply companies, walmart, target....and unless i wanted to memorialize my pet (neither have yet passed, would it send a mixed message?), state my belief in fairies (no....i don't), honor mother earth (who???) or "welcome ya'll to my weed garden" (excuse me...no weeds here, thank you very much LOL!), i found quickly that there were not stones to suit me.

solution: thank you michaels craft store and your beautiful 40% off coupon.... for only $9 and some change dd and i decided to make one of our own. the kit is really neat, and they have several shapes and styles to choose from. the kit came with everything i needed, so on our memorial day saturday we got started!

i laid out the pattern - ignore the background pattern on the paper...i did LOL!

after laying out the pattern, i mixed the water into the concrete, dd helped stir (boy it was tough) and we poured the cement into the mold, smoothed it out, and tapped it to get the air bubbles to rise to the top. he helped me transfer the stained glass pieces one at a time...which he loved, then we coated his hand with cooking oil and pressed it into the center. after carefully carving his name below and 07 above, we set it out to dry.

now i have a stepping stone, personalized by my little guy, and perfect for the front flower bed. not to mention that it saves me from terrifying my pets with a premature tomb stone....

we did buy a refill of cement mix, and i am planning on using the leftover stained glass to make one to accompany this one. this will take about 1 week to fully set and dry, so i will just have to wait...

Saturday, May 26, 2007

the strawberry festival

today, dd, hubby, and i traveled to our local strawberry festival. we headed out early, getting there at about 10:30. the place was packed out and so much fun that i think my little guy's head was still spinning for awhile after we got home. his uncle randy met us there, and went to pick a bucket of strawberries while we hit the fun stuff. the first thing to greet us was the fair rides, including a strawberry spinner that daddy rode with dd 'cause mommy gets motion sick

uncle randy is still picking strawberries, so we walked around and checked out the craft booths. there were also a lot of really sweet animals out and about to pet, including bunnies, alpacas, baby goats, and a momma and new baby pony.
dd braved his first pony ride...
uncle randy is still picking strawberries, so dd said he wanted to ride the pretend horses now (i suppose he wanted to compare LOL) and he picked out a zebra as his proud steed on the merry-go-rounduncle randy is still picking those strawberries, so we decided to have a bite to eat. hot dogs sounded and tasted just fine, along with a cup of fresh squeezed lemonade ~ complete with a straw that my son quickly discovered would whistle in several octaves when blown into ;)
after we ate, we walked a little longer, then dd and mommy decided to top off our busy day with a ride on the ferris wheel. at this point, uncle randy had his bucket filled, and joined us in time to see dd take his first ferris wheel ride.
we had a wonderful time. the day was sunny and a little hot, but the spring rain held off until about 2 hours after we got back home, praise God!

mommy, "dd, what was your favorite part of the festival?"
dd, "ummm...my straw that sings"
of course...... hee hee! hey, he had a great time, and that's what really matters!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

strawberry to jam

dd and i spent about an hour on saturday sitting in the rows of our local strawberry patch. he had so much fun lifting up the leaves and looking for the reddest berries he could find. in fact, he ate more than he put in our bucket!
"how many strawberries did you eat, dd?"
he takes a minute, thoughtfully contemplating......"28!" with a big, red, grin
hee hee, i actually think it was closer to 50 or so! in the end we had red fingers, full bellies, a bucket full of beautiful strawberries, and some great stories to tell daddy when we got home.
then came the question of what to do with these little red guys. i purchased the equipment to do some canning last year, but my tomatoes did not do well enough for me to can, so it has been gathering dust as a paperweight in my basement. it occurred to me that this was a great opportunity for me to try my hand at some canning. i dusted off the equipment, broke out my ball blue book of preserving and my copy of clearly delicious (a definite recommendation for anyone wanting some great canning recipes), and found a quick and easy jam recipe.

about 2 hours later....
i had 7 half-pints of strawberry jam! enough canned to give out, store, and save for some christmas presents! the recipe actually made enough for the 7 half-pints, and for a full pint that went straight into the fridge. it is very sweet and yummy! i'm hoping to go back on either tues. or thurs. this week for another bucket full to try the strawberry-pear butter recipe and the strawberry-kiwi preserves. perhaps my tomatoes and peppers will do better this year so i can add some salsa and pickled peppers for some great gift baskets this year.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

thank you


thank you, Dr. Falwell

as a graduate of LU, and as a christian, i truly appreciate this dynamic man's willingness to be used by the Lord to reach so many who were lost. he leaves behind a legacy of faith that will continue to influence the world and have an impact for Christ. while he will be missed, we rejoice with him as he is with the Lord and is enjoying his eternal reward.

Monday, May 14, 2007

placemats are done...

i wanted to post a picture of my finished placemats on my table, i love the way they turned out.

i used the floral coaster in the center for a mini tablescape using one of my favorite willow tree angels, a "hen and chick" plant that dd gave me for mother's day, and a cutting from my rhododendron and begonia.

it made a lovely table for mother's day on sunday.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

linen placemats

the latest quilting project on my table...other than the crayon quilt..are these linen place mats. i found the pattern in a quilt magazine, and decided that i wanted to give them a whirl. i couldn't find any cottons that i liked, but when i came across this striped linen on sale at joannes, i fell in love.

as you can see i have them all pieced, quilted, and have one bound and washed, but, alas, the others are patiently waiting for me to get off of this computer and come back to them! LOL ;) i always drag out the projects for me....why is that?...

upside - i like them because they are reversible, aka stain friendly...and the linen crinkles so much in the wash that they look and feel fantastic!

downside- i have to say that i truly hate sewing with linen. i mean, did i miss a tip somewhere that tells you how to get this slippery, wiggly, stretchy fabric to stay still???? i did use a hefty amount of spray starch, but let's face it, it would take about 8 cans to get them stiff enough to behave...i giggle when i think about the amount of build up on my ironing board. in fact, the build up on my board cover is so bad that in lieu of washing it i am considering other options like cutting it into strips and using it when i run out of tape or perhaps rubbing it onto my son's pajamas at night so he will stick to, and therefore stay in, his bed LOL ;) !

seriously, i do love the way they are coming out, so i cannot complain (much more). i did have some small pieces left over from which i cut out two 5" squares to be used as floral coasters. i have an adorable african violet pot that it setting on one,
and the other (still unfinished) will be placed in the center of the table for my vase which houses clippings from my flower gardens throughout the spring and summer.

ok, well, i better get back to it. have a great weekend and a great mothers day!

mother's day flower pens

traditionally, our church honors mothers on that special sunday with a single wrapped carnation presented by the children of the church. this year, i decided that we should do something a little different, perhaps something pretty but practical?
i decided to have the kids on wednesday night help me create some neat flower pens for the moms instead.

these pens are so simple and inexpensive, and best of all...handmade by the kids!

to make them we used the following:

  • "silk" gerber daisy bunch (or any flower will do, these were just very happy!LOL, plus, i found ours at wallyworld for only $1 per 6 count bundle)
  • floral tape
  • inexpensive pens - i found 12 packs at staples for .96 each
  • ribbon to wrap (if grouping or bundling)
before church, i cut the stems short enough, and tossed out the base of each flower bundle. on wednesday night, the older kids each took one flower and tightly wrapped it against the pen using the green floral tape. that's it! we polished off the pile in very little time, and the kids loved doing it!
to make the card, i borrowed the mother's day prayer from mrs.wilt's website, changed it a little to make it generic for all moms because the kids will be presenting to all the moms, not just their own, and made a card in publisher for the youngest ones to color. while they were coloring, the older kids were making the pens and everyone got to pitch in!
we were able to make about 30 sets of 2 for less than .50 per set! I cannot wait for tomorrow when the moms get these cute, and useful, gifts!

one little pin...part 2

Well, here it is folks...

...the most expensive quilting pin in the world. All in all, this little baby cost me $630 +! But at least I got to keep it as a souvenir. The vet and I are still bewildered as to how she managed to swallow this without any damage to her throat or mouth...not so much as a scratch! I've nicknamed my little lady "Goat" in honor of her astonishing ability to devour just about anything without hesitation and in total disregard to taste, texture, or nutritional value.

Her belly doesn't look all that great, with five very large stitches that she seems bent on removing manually....

...so we are applying creme, greta, stop licking it, giving her her antibiotics, greta stop licking it, trying to keep her calm (yeah right), greta...stop licking it, and will take her back in about two weeks to have them removed (if they survive that long!)

All in all, she is home, happy, and getting very spoiled by momma - LOL ;) She seems to bounce between being hyper and very sleepy, and she is following me everywhere, which is fine with me 'cause I really missed her!
Thanks to you all for all of your prayers, emails, and support. And I praise you, Lord, for my girlie is home again!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

one little pin

Today has been a long day.

This morning, my hubby was preparing to let our dog Greta out for the morning, and discovered that she had vomited in her crate for the second morning in a row. Alarmed, I made her an appointment and DD and I escorted her to the vet.

The doc checked her temp, felt her tummy, and took a stool sample. We discuss her eating habits, possibly switching food, and discussed other possible causes....

Then she took xrays.

When she flashed the xray up on the wall, my heart dropped. There, in the middle of my pups abdomen, was a long, bent, slender strip of white. "...possible metal....I'm not sure" the vet stated.

"I know what it is...."

Night before last, my baby had decided that I needed a toy to play with, so she brought me my pin cushion, containing the longer, thinner, and sharper pins I use when I am sewing my quilts. (She does this a lot, coming into the room with everything from socks to undies to pillows, etc.)
It was in her mouth for all of 15 seconds, just the time it takes to get it from the office to me in the living room and as soon as she dropped it, I took it away.
We immediately checked her mouth, no pins. In fact, aside from the vomiting, she has been my typical romping, loving baby!

But, alas, there it was on the xray.

At this point we faced three scenarios.
First...that the pin is still in her stomach, hasn't perforated, and isn't loose in her abdominal cavity. Surgery to remove it, needing to open up the stomach and a high risk of infection.
Second...the pin has perforated, and is loose in her stomach doing damage to her liver and allowing stomach contents loose and increasing infection risk. Surgery to get it out and clean up, pray that infection is not able to set in.
Third...it is in her intestines...worst case and we don't want that....
So, after about 1 and 1/2 hours, DD and I left her with the vet and I called my mom, my hubby, and a few friends to get them to pray.

Folks, God was in it! The vet was able to do the surgery immediately, she called me about 2 hours later. She said that the pin had perforated, but was still half in and half out of her stomach, so no leakage because it was plugging the hole. Greta's stomach didn't have to be cut open, because the vet was able to just pull the pin the rest of the way out. She flushed her abdominal cavity out, to be safe, will put her on about 2 weeks of antibiotics, and I can get her tomorrow! Praise God! The vet said that it must have only broken through her stomach an hour or two before I brought her in because of the neatness and position of the puncture.

The Lord is so faithful! This worked out the best it could have, and while I am exhausted from the emotional roller coaster, I am so thankful that He cares so much for us and the ones we love.

I can't wait to get my big baby back tomorrow.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Cutie Patootie

That was then...

This is now!

She sure is purty, aint she? Just like her auntie...hee hee hee!

Crayon Quilt Begins

I finally began my second crayon quilt (it is one of my 'to dos' in the sidebar). I did one just like it about 2 years ago for a fundraising aution for the preschool, and had the forethought to go ahead and cut the pieces for a second quilt while I was at it. Yippee! I was able to just start pieceing thanks to a little preplanning.

It only took me about 2 hours to get the basic top done. Above is the layout of all the pieces. I like putting them in rows like a crayon box, by color family and tone...ROYGBIV and all.

One of the things about this pattern that makes it my favorite of all the crayon patterns is the black squigglies that you fuse and sew onto the wrappers. This, to me, is what makes them the most playful...and, for my son, it is where they go from being houses to crayons! :)

I have the top together, now I just need to piece the middle borders and add the two white borders. Hopefully, I'll have it done within the week, and, of course, I'll post!