Mar 31, 2009

At what point will random projects become boring to you?

Brace yourselves... this time it's a boy project! Well, sort of... I made this for my friend K's little boy. Kermit wasn't the first choice but I was trying to find fabric in the colors she told me she liked. So... Kermit it was! The back is white buttery fleece because for some reason a minky fabric hoarder bought all of the blue and green minky. Grr! Luckily, I had the white on hand from the first quilt.

I should be done with quilts for a while... I have one more to do hopefully this weekend... and ALL of the BAG fabric should be here hopefully by Friday!!! Can't wait!!! There are some GREAT prints coming! And... I have another pattern I'm going to test out. There's one part of it that I can't quite figure out so that's where my Aunt Emily comes in to rescue me before I break something or waste fabric. Not sure how it will all turn out... the pattern is weird considering how simple the bag is, but then, patterns themselves are a foreign language to me so I really have no idea what I'm talking about. I also have a dress I want to try and make.

Did I mention that Nola tries to nap on ALL of the quilts? I think she's trying to tell me something... so a dog bed is in the works at some point, which will be a waste I'm sure of since she sleeps with me at night and isn't allowed off the bed (she'll pee somewhere, plus, I enjoy her company, she's a great spooner!). Maybe I will make a throw to put on the bed for during the daytime when she's gated in the bedroom ... that would be a better use of effort. Solved that problem. That's for being here to talk me through that one.

Good night!

This is what we do for fun... enjoy!

video

Forward

The following email has been routed to my inbox on numerous occasions. I'm posting it because I love the reminder it offers... I am one who finds it hard to let go of the 'small' stuff sometimes so this is especially helpful for me! Enjoy! (...and sorry for the 'forward!')

The Mayonnaise Jar

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 Beers.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous 'yes.'

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed. 'Now,' said the professor as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things---your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car. The sand is everything else---the small stuff. 'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you... '

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.. Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.

Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.'

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented. The professor smiled and said, 'I'm glad you asked.' The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.'

Mar 29, 2009

Thing #1!

Kimberly gave me an award!!! Her last post was about it so that's why you couldn't click her link yesterday. Click on her now! She's a great mom and is super cool - we found each other by way of Nikki, who designed our blogs! Kimberly is a "green" mom and I've learned lots of really neat things from her - I always feel like I should be making a list for things to do, things to look for, things to research, things to buy, etc... for one day when I have my own children. She is always finding the neatest things. Did I mention that she has two adorable girls? Go check out her blog! I promise you'll learn something new and fun! Thank you Kimberly!

Ok, so I am supposed to write about 7 things that I love...

1) My family - I think that this is quite possibly everyone's #1 in the list of seven! There are a few things I wish I could change sometimes, but then I remember the Serenity prayer! ;) I most love my sister... I hate that we used to not be as close as we are now. I look back and feel really sad about it, but if it contributed to where we are now, then I'm okay with that.

2) Friends - Oh how I love you all! I've learned so much from each person and I love that everyone is from all walks of life. I love that I have friends that are peers and friends that are 60. I love having friends online, friends I've never even met face to face, yet friends who I've shared SO much with - new friends and old friends! I think my oldest online friends are from 2000 - almost 10 years!

3) Picnics on warm sunny days... although I often have a toss up between playing outside and staying in with the windows open, cleaning the house. Mmmm....

4) Nola. Do I really need to say more? :) My sister lived with me for almost six years before moving to Goldsboro to be with her now husband. When she left it was lonely, but I was okay. Then, I had six of my best Greenville friends leave too! One has since come back, but everyone else is still away... I was SO lonely! Enter: Nola Belle! Nola was actually named because "Enola" is alone spelled backwards. I hated "Enola" and it reminded me of Enola Gay so...

5) Luka Bleu and Finley, sweet, sweet kittens! (Luka is technically 'senior' but he'll always be a kitten...)

6) Hope Aid. I love it. Everything about it.

7) #7 IS INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK.



I am now passing this award to.... (drum roll please...)

1) Abbie
2) Jess
3) Jill
4) Sarah
5) Pam
6) Karlei
7) Emily
8) Ali
9) Debbie
10) Suz
11) Kristi
12) Evelyn
13) Opus #6
14) Jenn

I was SO excited, I couldn't pick just 7, so I decided to spread the love according to my excitement!

Two VERY cool things!

Thing #1: I will tell you about tomorrow - it's from my friend (NO CLICK YET) Kimberly (NO CLICK YET!)! Ok, I know I linked her name but DON'T click on it yet! It will blow my thing that I'm going to tell you about! See, I did that to test you... do you really like surprises?

Thing #2: I cannot tell you until someone else tells first! Or until I've been given the clear to tell... in which case, I promise to tell! Maybe we'll have a simultaneous 'telling-of-the-thing' and schedule our posts to post at the same time (hey, hint, hint! lol!)

Err, Fresh Prince is still on, I have GOT to go to bed!

Lots of my friends got snow today -- HAPPY SNOW DAY! We got rain... and a tornado! I'm thankful no one was hurt. Good night! (For real this time!)

Circumstance.

Our circumstance doesn't determine our future. That's a popular and powerful phrase. But if you take time to really think about circumstance, it's depth is unbelievable. Cirumstance. Some people believe that there is no circumstance and that God has put each person where He wants them for a reason. Regardless of which of these you believe, or which is 'correct' in any sense of the term, we are who and where we are and we cannot change all parts of that.

Lots of times people ask me why I help people around the world. Why can't I help people here, because lots of people right here in our own country need help. This is true. I have never denied this. However, we have SO many resources for people to take advantage of in the US.

When Hope Aid was founded, it was done so because resources are not available, and when they are, not everyone has access. Hope Aid is a bridge for that.

Helping others isn't just a 'calling' or 'passion' for me, it's what I feel like I was born to do. Why are some people born into wealth and enough when others are born in mud huts leaving much to be desired? I wasn't born into wealth by any means, but I was born in a country that has more than enough. A country whose people are cared for via government assistance or community organizations. Shelters may be full, but there are often many options for someone who is homeless. Work may be hard to come by, but there are plenty of jobs that will pay money.

Not everyone has that luxury. I'm not really sure where I'm going with this, these are just some thoughts that I've been thinking for a while but after watching the trailor for The Mountain Thief, I decided to go head and post. Fresh Prince is on and I can rap the entire intro song. That's sad. It's after midnight and I've obviously lost my thoughts here... good night! Let's talk more about this! Have you blogged about it before? I'm thinking I might try Do Something Monday again. I removed the linky from my blog but I think I need Do Something back. It kept me humble. It kept things real.

Good night all!

Grateful.




Lately, this blog hasn't really been about much more than every day things. I used to post about more important things. I feel sad that I didn't even write about how I saw Slumdog Millionaire, and that it was a wonderful movie. I haven't even followed up on some of my posts.

I have a lot to catch up on. Til then, check out the video. I want to see this film.

Mar 28, 2009

Bag time!

A few people have mentioned that they would be interested in one of my bags... I am ordering fabric today! Super exciting!

If you are interested, please let me know or email me so that I can send you the fabric options. Hopefully the fabric will be here soon and I'll be able to give you a good turn around time.

For now, I'm only going to make the small bags. They will be $12.

Hope everyone's having a great weekend!

Craft it Forward!

Cary just posted the neatest idea!

Craft it Forward!

Here's how it works - the first three people to comment on this post, will receive a handmade, surprise craft from me in the next six months...

Each of the three commenters who are participating should re-post this and craft it forward to three other people.

Please be sure you provide a way to contact you so I can send your crafty gift...and when you receive your gift, blog about it referencing 'Craft it Forward!'

Remember, each craft will be a surprise - and it will be a surprise when you receive it!

(The official rules are 6 months but I doubt I'll make you wait that long!) This will be so much fun!

Mar 25, 2009

I was almost done making this...



...and then my machine jammed. Now I'm stuck. I took it apart. Piece by piece. It still will not work. I'm sad. :(


Mar 24, 2009

I made a quilt!

Several months ago, I bought some random fabric squares online and planned to make a little quilt. I was side tracked by the creatures... then by the bags... and now that I'm out of fabric and have to wait til pay day to order more, I decided to use my time piecing some of the squares together. I had no intention of making the whole thing tonight. Actually, I didn't realize how easy it would be! I'm sure I didn't do it the way a real sewing person would do it, but it works! There are some ghetto parts that I have refrained from showing you, but for the most part, I'm loving it! I just hope that I have a little girl one day!

Nola thinks it's for her... I can't blame her. Most things are for her.
At this point, I considered making a throw pillow, but it wouldn't really go with anything in the house so, I stuck with the little quilt idea as planned.
And the final product, with ribbon and all!
Ok, I'll fess up. The back is a tiny bit ghetto because I used a really soft minky fleece (less minky and more buttery) and it got caught up in the sewing machine so there are a couple of 'layover' bunchyish areas. I'm not too worried about it. I'm still jumping up and down that I actually got it done and am somewhat pleased with it!

Mar 23, 2009

Another bag style




I made this bag tonight - it's obviously bigger and has a bottom. This one was a little easier but a little harder to make. The bias tape I have isn't big enough for the seam so I'll have to run to the store tomorrow to finish it. Not sure how it will turn out once I stitch it on... I made this bag last week but didn't put the bottom on, it was still a nice bag. I made first one out of plain canvas and striped canvas that I picked up at Walmart for $2.00/yard. It was a test run for the pattern. All in all, I like this bag but I'm not sure how functional it will be. The handle is short, but the bag itself is super roomy! I'm going to use it tomorrow and see what I think. So far, I think it would be the perfect car travel bag because it fits books, water, snacks, knitting, and a few knick knacks perfectly! I have already stuffed it full with a few different combinations. I didn't use cardboard in the bottom so that I could toss it in the washing machine if I needed to, and it shows with heavy stuff - but that's okay. I'd rather be able to wash it! I wish I'd put a large pocket in the side for phone, iPod, and other things like that but I can always make another! :)
I doubt I'll make lots of these unless someone just wants the bigger one. It uses a LOT more fabric and the bottom takes a while to perfect so I couldn't promise a 'pretty' bag.... for that reason alone I'd be hesitant to make one for anyone. It's something to work towards though! Just thought I'd share! I was super excited about this one. Mainly because I love this fabric pattern! But... I've used up all of my fabric so... I'll be cutting out interfacing for the rest of the week waiting for my new set of fabric to arrive! There will be some GREAT new prints - I can't wait!!!


Bags!

We all remember the creatures... and for the record, I'd like you to know that I've moved on! Last week I decided to branch out and make a bag. I figured if I'm ever going to be able to sew my child's nursery one day, I'd better get my game on.


I've had a few people ask me to make one for them, so I think I am going to start selling them. I figured it would be a great way to make some money for Hope Aid projects. We have quite a few families waiting for income-generating projects so this would be a neat way to get some funds rolling in. I think for starters I'll sell them for $12-15 depending on the fabric. Most will be $12.


I'm going to see how a pocket would look on the inside; the current bags don't have a pocket. They also do not have a bottom. I can make a bottom but it takes much longer and I'd have to charge more than what I think the bag would be worth to add it. I used a thick interfacing (extra lining) so the bags are canvas-like and pretty durable.


So far, we've made a neat little list of uses. Some of my favorites: lunch sack, car tote for trips, Bible bag, couple of diapers/wipes/snack for dropping of basics at church nursery or Sunday school, travel tote for makeup...


I've picked out a ton of cute fabric to order so if anyone is up for a bag that benefits Hope Aid, let me know! They're not completely reversible but could certainly pass for reversible as there is only a small section of the lining that has been stitched on the outside, otherwise there are no seams. I've drafted my own pattern for the same bag but with two handles... I'm still perfecting it though. It's a work in progress and probably more than what I should be doing, but if I'm ever going to learn... :)


Ok without further ado, my bags!



I know, the birds are not the right direction... I only had a quarter of this fabric and wasn't sure if I could get a bag from it... I could. Well, sorta could - I'll probably have to keep this one!



What do you think?

Mar 22, 2009

World Water Day

Today is World Water Day! Did you try the water challenge? How's it going? I've not been the best but just being involved and attempting has made me more aware of how fortunate I am to have access to safe, clean water.

Some facts...

3.575 million people die each year from water-related disease.

43% of water-related deaths are due to diarrhea.

84% of water-related deaths are in children ages 0 - 14.

98% of water-related deaths occur in the developing world.

884 million people, lack access to safe water supplies, approximately one in eight people.

The water and sanitation crisis claims more lives through disease than any war claims through guns.

At any given time, half of the world's hospital beds are occupied by patients suffering from a water-related disease.

Less than 1% of the world's fresh water (or about 0.007% of all water on earth) is readily accessible for direct human use.

An American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than the typical person living in a developing country slum uses in a whole day.

Without food a person can live for weeks, but without water you can expect to live only a few days.

The daily requirement for sanitation, bathing, and cooking needs, as well as for assuring survival, is about 13.2 gallons per person.

Water projects in developing countries fail at an average rate of 50% or higher.

Only 62% of the world's population has access to improved sanitation - defined as a sanitation facility that ensures hygienic separation of human excreta from human contact.

2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation, including 1.2 billion people who have no facilities at all.

At any one time, more than half of the poor in the developing world are ill from causes related to hygiene, sanitation and water supply.

Every 15 seconds, a child dies from a water-related disease.

Children in poor environments often carry 1,000 parasitic worms in their bodies at any time.

What can we do? Research - there are quite a few organizations on a mission to end the water crisis. Interested in a specific country? Email some local groups there and donate. Pray. Join the water challenge. For more water info, visit Blood: Water Mission's website.

Spring puppy

We've changed our gear in honor of SPRING!
Want this look?
We found this great striped collar in our favorite Etsy shop, Lucky Fiona! And it was an end of bolt sale, even better! It goes great with our striped double back Ruffwear leash!
LOL! Sorry, couldn't resist...

PS....

I promise to catch up with blogs and comments this week!

Naughty puppies


Last Sunday, we drove to my sister's house to let the dogs play. D and Ben drove to the Air Force base while Britt and I made organic dog treats. We picked four recipes but stopped after making two of them because there were SO many treats! The recipe I made had applesauce, cinnimon, oat bran, rice flour, some other weird Old Mill flour, egg, and a couple of other things. Britt's had all the flours, bran, peanut butter, coconut, egg, and maybe one or two other things. They were both really good! Bland, but good. The dogs all loved them! I'll have to post the recipes... they were easy and would be great for gifts since they yield so many. I think we counted about 50 for each one. Definitely enough!
She had 7 dogs in the house - ah! I would have been crazy had that been my house, but that's why it's so fun going there - Nola can play with everyone and have a good time being a dog! She LOVES playing with Titan - he's her BESTEST friend ever! She and Roxy don't get along too well. We haven't let her and Molly play because we suspect that neither of them would be good playmates with one another. The puppies had fun but Nola could have cared less that they were around and she hardly even acknowledged them. They are super cute though and at 9 weeks their paws are TWICE the size of hers. I'm totally not kidding. Her back paws are much smaller than her front paws and their "little" puppy paws are three times the size of her back ones. It is SO funny to see them side by side! They are already HALF of her entire 40lbs size at only 9 weeks old! Crazy! It will be fun to see them get bigger. I hope whoever adopts them will send pics so we can see them BIG!
Enough puppy fun for the night - if you're in NC and you're up for a deaf great dane puppy, email me and I'll direct you to the naughty little puppies!

Last Week

I sorta fell off the blog planet after last Monday. I woke up SICK, sick on Tuesday. Oh it was the sicker than sick, sick. Just yuck. You name it, I had it. TMI? K, sorry.

I started feeling better late Wednesday but really wasn't feeling back to myself until Friday. David leaves on Tuesday. :( I'm still trying to convince him to stay until Wednesday... not sure how that will work.

Anyway... so last week...

Monday was documented pretty well I think... Tuesday consisted of well, I'll spare you. Wednesday I worked for a couple of hours but was still feeling bad so I came home earlier than I'd anticipated and spent the afternoon on the couch. Thursday was "normal," worked AM, came home at lunchtime and D and I spent the afternoon hiking. We'd planned to go to Goose Creek but decided after a nap that we didn't have time to go so we stayed local. Friday, we tried to have date night but someone didn't like the table we got so we ended up leaving the restaurant because they were too busy to move us.

Here are pics from the hike on Thursday. Most of the main trail was closed because of all the rain we got the week before, but we still managed to finish half of it and had a good time.


D's new sandals! I'd gotten them for him last summer for our trip to Guatemala, but we decided not to go and since last week was when we would have been in Huehuetenango, I thought I'd just give them to him now. They blistered his little pinky toe but he had them on really tight because I neglected to show him how to adjust them, oops! So now he'll have them for our trip to Uganda coming up in the next year or so! (More on this later!)



Mar 16, 2009

Monday, in photos

Here goes...

7am, slight headache, peppermint oil, makeup, lotions, creams, other beauty potions...

8am, late for work, train, grr...

9am, work...10am, work...

11:45am, still at work, but leaving...

12 noon, Air Mania, meeting for incentives for maternity fair at work... 12:30pm (Sophie was too cute, had to document that she was part of my day)... 1pm, still at Air Mania...

2pm, Walmart, errands... 3pm, home, it smelled funny, lit a candle to diffuse the yuck...
4pm, about to have deep convo...
5pm, attempting to make a bag with my new Walmart pattern...
7pm, homemade macaroni with Cabot cheese (yum!)...
8pm, dinner on the couch (we're fancy)...
9:30pm, Bible study... 10pm, Finley curled up in Nola's "doggy day nest" on the bed...
Bedtime!
How was your day?!

Mar 15, 2009

Experiment - who's with me?

I need to post about the weekend but til then, I just saw this great idea on someone else's blog (err, I don't even know them, I clicked on a link and ended up there...). Way cool idea! I'm going to do it tomorrow - Monday! Anyone with me?

I should warn you that I can't promise this won't be a habit. Who knows if in ten years I'll want to look back at every hour I spent on a random day... either way, it should be fun!

Mar 12, 2009

Follow up!

Remember THIS? Well, here's the follow up for all of the questions we had!

You're welcome! :)

Mar 11, 2009

Daffodil Meadow

There's a great little daffodil meadow just outside of town... it is SO pretty this time of year, and it's THE place to go for children's Easter pictures. Of course, Nola had to get some pics! How obvious is it that I'm completely childless?! Anyway... we really ventured out there because I'd never been and all of my friends take their kids there for springtime pictures. It was the perfect day to go! 82 degrees!




This is what Nola thought of the daffodils... oh well!

After the daffodils and a quick run to Cubbie's for chicken cheesesteaks and fries we went on a great walk! We hadn't been home too long when I decided to jump in the shower... when I was done, this was what I found...
Sleepy crowd! No idea where Finley was... probably sleeping on the bed somewhere! Oh, did I mention that D was here already?! He surprised me and came home three days early! I'll be working half days so I won't exhaust my leave time and we'll get to spend the afternoons together. He should be here for almost two weeks!

Mar 10, 2009

Birthday Girl!!!

Today, my sweet Nola Belle is TWO!

video

We'll celebrate with a pupcake and homemade doggy treats.

I can't believe my girl is two years old!

How on earth will I handle my own babies growing up one day?!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BELLY!

(Because I'm a little obsessed with her... here's a blog all about Nola... this is a post about when I got her and about her name, just in case you have nothing better to do!)

"Sometimes I'd like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine, and injustice in the world when He could do something about it, but I'm afraid God would ask me the same question."
-Anonymous
You don't change the world by trying to change the world; you change the world by changing yourself.
-Gerry Straub