Tuesday, October 27, 2009

T-Minus 2 days to closing, 11 days to MOVING

The kids are helping me pack. I'm so totally proud of Cole - writing all by himself on the box - which contains important things like MicroMachines, a baseball trophy and a Jeff Gordon model car.

As previously mentioned, I lost my camera at the fair. I just got a new one, though - so I will post more photos as I take them!
Otherwise, there's not much to tell - work is insane - I've been in court the last two weeks, and will continue to be in court for the next 3...which is just *perfect* for when you're a single momma moving yourself and two kids into a new house across town. (Note sarcasm in previous statement...)

For the time being though, Carsie and I are cuddling up on the Couch while Cole colors in his Halloween coloring book (gifted by the AWESOME Parents of The Boyfriend!) - and watching "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown..." Just wanted to do a quick post and say HI to my 3 faithful readers out there. Mucho love. I'll be in touch more after the move!

Friday, October 9, 2009


Today is a required/mandated UNPAID day off for me. I have SO much to do at work, and I'm not allowed to do a thing - and I'm not getting paid, so you know, I really just feel irritated. But, I do have a "free day" off - and I'm supposed to be cleaning out closets, taking trash to the dump/recycling center, and generally getting ready to move.

Instead, I am sitting in my pjs, at 12:30, and I just made my first pot of coffee. I HAVE done 3 loads of laundry (and put it all away!) this morning, so I figure that's something, yes?
So we went to the Coosa Valley Fair
And I lost my camera there....Sigh, sigh, sigh. I can't keep up with a camera to save my life. BUT, I do have photos to share. Here is the front of my new house - cute porch, eh?
And the very sleek kitchen. Not huge, but definitely big enough.
And, as promised, here are just a few sewing photos. I will try to take more pictures of completed projects - when I solve the missing camera dilemma.

This is the Oliver + S birthday party dress made out of $1/yard strawberry shortcake pique/seersucker type stuff that I've had for 2 years. I used some left over pink pique from a pair of pants/kimono top I made ages ago...for the lining and contrast hem and button tab. There are super cute strawberry buttons down the back and on the tab in the front.
She loves it. I made a 4, and usually, in sewing patterns a 4 is slightly larger than a 4 you'd buy in ready-made, but it fits just perfect, and I'm thinking that I'll make her and my little neice Sadie (who will be 10 months at Christmas) matching Christmas dresses from this pattern. But I'll go up to a size 5!

And this is a random playing around with quilting moment. I love quilts. I have 6-8 handmade quilts and my kids have a few each, too. I have made NONE of them. My mom makes them. I don't particularly enjoy the quilting process. I like the piecing. And I don't mind *some* of the cutting, but it takes FOREVER to cut, piece, cut again, piece again, square up, sew the rows, sew the rows together, measure, square up again, measure borders....etc etc etc. And that's just for the top! Then you have to do that whole backing/batting/top sandwich and figure out how to quilt it...
Ironically, I'm ok with the binding. It's mindless and pretty easy, but IF I ever make it to that point, I'm so darn tired of the quilt I've been working on, I give it away. Hopefully that won't be the case with this one. I LOVE these colors - it's the Tula Pink Neptune line. Yum-O.
This is just a sneak peak. IF I get any further or *gasp!* - ACTUALLY FINISH A QUILT - I will post updates. It's 9 fat quarters cut into 4" squares, then made into half-square triangle units. Flipped and turned to make a nice zig-zag pattern a-la-Ashley from Film In the Fridge...
I will say, as much as I get frustrated with the tedium that is quilting, reading Ashley's blog inspires me! Especially her "breaking-the-rules" wonky/maverick ways and the tons of nice white solid she uses...

OK - topic change - so, my kidlets are out of town. This is the second day. I took them to their dad's on Wednesday night...and I MISS THEM. Like, terribly. And, I'm not usually like this! I mean, I always miss them when they're gone....but I also always appreciate the break, and encourage the time with their dad, etc., but this time it's hard...because it's FOUR NIGHTS in a row, and that's the longest I've been away from them. I've done 4 nights before, but not in a long...long...time.
Anyway, The Boyfriend had to go to Boca Raton this week for a work thingie. Industry conference type thing, and had to make presentations, hob-nob and rub elbows with execs in his field, etc...but I MISS HIM, TOO! He's coming back tonight, so that will be nice.
TOMORROW IS THE CHILI COOK OFF! YAY! This is the weekend I met The Boyfriend for the first time last year. I met him on the day of the Chili Cookoff. Sweet, eh?
And tomorrow, sweet Saturday, my Auburn Tigers are playing at NOON!!! Can you believe they are 5-0 - go Gene Chizik. You have exceeded my expectations and I look forward to your continued butt-kicking of all other teams you face.
Tomorrow night we have a joint birthday party to attend at friends' new house. Should be gobs of fun. I'd promise photos except for that missing camera situation.
So, really, now that I've had a productive blog post, I'm off to take the trash to the dump, change everyone's sheets, and do a little packing. Mucho love, peeps.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

This is my new house! The living area is all open and combined...(as they say on that wacky Canadian House Hunters show on HGTV... it's "open concept"...) - this photo was taken while standing in the kitchen and looking out the back part of the house. Don't you LOVE the yellow on the walls and that awesome sunny window...ahhh....

Every closet in the place is at least this big. This one is Carson's closet. Cole's is identical (with boy stuff in it...) and the Master closet is about 3x this size!!! MADNESS! Storage rocks.

Full basement anyone? It's unfinished as of yet - but in 5-7 years, it would be great to throw up some drywall, put in another heating/cooling unit, and it's already studded for a bathroom (meaning plumbing is run, but there's no fixtures...YET!)

And...one of my faves - the BACKYARD! (That's my real estate agent at the fence. There's a small (above-ground) pool inside the fence, on a sectioned of area of pea-gravel. I'm taking the pool down...but the deck is AWESOME. Can you see the awesome *huge* umbrella? (I get to keep that ;) And one of my top requirements for a house is that it have an adequate baseball-loving backyard...and here we go!
The listing is no longer up on the MLS website because it's under contract...everything's been done - inspection, appraisal, loan documents, etc. - we're just waiting patiently until October 30.
Now...onto other things.
Today is opening day out at the Coosa Valley Fair! I am headed there with the kidlets after work, and we'll meet The Boyfriend for some awesome fun times. Look here for my Coosa Valley Fair post from last year...And, look here for pictures from last year's fair...kids are out of school this week - fall break for Cole (Carson's still at Berry College Child Development Center, so, CONVENIENTLY (and I mean that in the most sarcastic tone ever) she's out NEXT week. Lovely.
Anyway, tomorrow, we'll sleep in a bit probably, since I will have to bring Cole to the office with me, and then at some point (probably in the afternoon) I will be taking them over to see their Daddy in Alabama for the rest of the break. They'll be gone 4 nights!!! FOUR NIGHTS!!!! I have been away from them for 4 nights once before...and it was HARD. Relaxing, but lonely. I mean, I'm really glad they're going with their Daddy, and they'll get to see Uncle and Mema (grandmother), too - so it's cool cool, and I'm excited for them (as well as looking forward to some "me" time) - but FOUR NIGHTS....*sigh*
Stay tuned later this week for fair photos!!!! Peace, love, I'm outta here for the day.

Monday, October 5, 2009

I took a break...but I'm back!

OK - party people. HERE I AM.

I'm sorry it's been so terribly long, and I'm pretty sure I'll have to re-establish my readership. (All 3 of you loyals...)

Blogging is a great thing, and I love it. Anyone who IS a reader (again, all 3 of you) - will wonder why I was gone...for SO long...well, it's too complicated to explain. Just be grateful that I have returned, ok?

So - here's the 3-second rundown of my life since May.
We had a great low-key summer. We held off all organized activities for the kids so we could spend the summer as God intended: running naked through the sprinkler, eating popsicles on the backporch, and sleeping as late as we wanted (well, within reason, I do have a full-time job...)

Then, as soon as it came, it was over...boooooo....However, in it's place, we now have a KINDERGARTENER! I am so proud of my 5 year old. He is a top-reader...on a 3rd grade level already, and now has permission to check out the elusive "chapter books" from the library. Fabulocity.

Carson misses her bubby when she's at her school (Berry Child Development Center), but she is loving the independence as well.

The Boyfriend and I are still together. It'll be a year in November (GASP!)...and I have to say, I am happy. HAPPY. There is a comfort with him I've not felt before. And, I'll leave it at that and spare you the mushy lovey-dovey dialogue.

I sewed sporatically throughout the summer, but not much, really. I did make the Oliver + S "Birthday Party Dress" for Carson out of some $1/yard Strawberry Shortcake fabric (with strawberry buttons, even!) and we love it!

And...ok...here's the big news flash...

I. Bought. A. House.

Yes. I am closing on a house in Rome on October 30. There are a number of reasons that I am so very excited about this move:
1. No more living out of boxes (as I've done for the last two years...we started packing the first time in October of 2007, and I haven't been fully unpacked since then.)
2. Lower utilities/upkeep.
3. My children will have more of a sense of home/ownership.
4. I can be settled and keep both kids in the same school from here on out.
6. Neighbors
7. Smaller house = less cleaning

I will post some photos of the house soon. I promise.
Photos to come soon:
some minor sewing fun
the new house
progress on moving

Maybe tomorrow. Definitely by Wednesday. If you read this, one of my 3 faithful readers, please comment and let me know. It's my fault, I know, I've been gone. And blogs with photos are way more fun, so they're coming...I promise promise.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Slacky McSlackster

Sorry - I'm having blog-o-phobia lately. (Well, not really phobia - I'm just INSANELY busy and haven't been able to sit down and post.)

Here's the quick run-down of what's been going on. Friday night was movie night. I ate with the kiddies, popped in a movie for Coley, and Carsie and I sewed up a cutie Spring Ruffle Top from the tutorial on Sew, Mama, Sew! from Made by Rae - I promise to take a picture at some point. It turned out pretty cute, if I do say so myself!!! Saturday morning we got up early, ate some oatmeal, and headed to the ball park for Cole's 10am ball game!!! He got a trophy and everything. Too too cute.

Mema (kids' grandmother) came from Alabama and took them to the mall for some lunch and playtime while I.....wait for it.... **I WENT TO THE GROCERY STORE....ALONE!!!** Fun, fun. I ran back and picked the kids up at the park - where they presented me with some lovely finds from the Mall for Mother's Day....too sweet.

We headed home and got ready for our friend Tricia's graduation party!!! The kids were definitely the hit of the party - pictures to follow. Our new babysitter friend, Miss Caroline (who is an Auburn student and home in Rome for the summer) came to play while Mommy went and watched the Hawks game with The Boyfriend.

Sunday was MOTHER'S DAY!!! And so fun...we went to Church - Kiddos wanted to sit in "big church" rather than go to Children's Church, and I was doing the scripture readings/lectoring - so I was nervous, but they were little angels, I have to say. Thank you, Jesus. Then we went to Panera Bread for Mother's Day late breakfast, the craft store for some little picture frames to color for the grandmas and Aunt Casey (and Cousin Jamie for her birthday!) and then to the Bookstore, where we each chose a new thing to read. Carsie got a "flip-the-flap" book and Cole got a "Step Into Reading" book about "Babe Ruth Saves Baseball" (awesome) and I got a strange novel about the Malazan Empire...which is turning out to be somewhat entertaining, but I am struggling - I think that has more to do with my own distractions than the book itself.

After that, we headed home, feverishly finished the Mother's Day presents (little note-holders!!!) and went to Walgreens to pick up the photos we had printed and headed to Grandmomma's (my mom's) for a lovely family evening where the kids played outside, we had banana pudding, HoneyBaked Ham and potato salad...and it was just all around a great day.

Carson's Spring Ballet Recital is Saturday! Then lunch with the folks and the kiddos are going with Daddy. It's only Wednesday, but I'm ready for the weekend! I will eventually get around to putting up pictures of some other things here - maybe tomorrow.

Have a great Hump Day folks.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Notemaker Tutorial

The much-anticipated tutorial is here... You will need the following materials -
- 2 coordinating/contrasting fat quarters (Mine are Anna Maria Horner...yum yum)

- a scrap of fusible fleece (or plain old cotton batting will work, too) at least 9.5 x 12 inches

- a scrap of muslin the same size (for foundation piecing)

- a ponytail holder (for the button loop - optional closure)

- rotary cutter, quilting ruler & mat

1. Cut a 9.5 x 12 inch piece from each fat quarter, the fleece & the muslin.

Cut THREE (3) 2.5" x 10-12ish (length doesn't really matter as long as it's more than 9.5) strips from EACH fat quarter -

You will end up with SIX 2.5" strips:

Take the muslin piece (your "foundation" if you will...) and arrange the strips alternatingly on it to visualize what your front cover of the folio will look like:

Line up the first strip with the edge of the muslin and sew, not along the outer edge lined up with the muslin but along the inner edge as shown. Don't worry about the fact that you can see the seam - you are going to cover that seam up with the next step.

Take the next alternating strip, and place it right sides together down on top of the strip you just sewed down to the muslin. I like to place it at an angle, so that it turns out wonky in the end. No pinning is required. This is not precision piecing - pretty much whatever you do will end up looking great. Stitch with a scant 1/4 inch seam. Again, seam allowances in this type of piecing are really not that important - as long as it's STRAIGHT.

After you stich this down, flip the piece you just sewed down over and press along the seam. Keep adding alternate strips (at an angle of your pleasure) and flipping & pressing:

See how it's coming together?

After you sew on the last (6th) strip, flip & press, you'll have something that looks like this:

OK. Time to straighten up the cover piece. Flip it over so the muslin side is up, line up your straight edge to the edges of the muslin and trip so your piece is 9.5 x 12 inches again.

Take your 9.5 x 12 piece of fusible fleece and fuse it to the muslin side of the strip-pieced rectangle and you'll have this:

Now it's time for the quilting. This part is optional, but it's super fast, and I think it gives the folio a polished, finished look. I used (on this one) a tiny close zig-zag stitch and top-stitched through the cotton and the fleece down each seam where the fabrics met.

If you're feeling brave, or - like me, you have a 3 year old who just MUST sew like Mommy, and won't stay in her bed while Mommy is sewing, feel free to delegate this task to said 3-year old. (With supervision, of course ;) ) - Of course I had to press the pedal, but Carsie DID do the guiding, for the most part. And now she wants a kid-friendly sewing machine for her birthday. I've created a monster.

After it's quilted, it will look like this. Press well once more.

OK - the exterior is finished, so now it's time to make the inside, where your little pad will go in a pocket. Remember those 9.5 x 12 pieces you cut from the fat quarters? Take one of those and fold it in half lengthwise - (so the two 12" edges meet) and press the crease well.

Edge stitch the top (folded) edge - I forgot to change my stitch selector from the zig-zag I was using for the quilting - so I did a zig-zag edge, which I actually think looks nice - happy accident - but you can use a straight stitch, or a decorative stitch, or leave this step out all together. It's non-essential ;)

Now - line up the raw edge of the folded pocket piece with the right side of the 12" edge of the other 9.5 x 12 inch fat quarter piece. Stitch with a scant 1/4" seam.

After stitching the bottom edge of the pocket to the interior lining piece, fold the whole thing in half and find the center. Measure 1/2" from the center and mark a line from the top of the pocket to the bottom on each side of the center. This is your stitching line for the pen holder pocket. Stitch from the bottom of the interior to the top edge of the pocket with a straight stitch on those marked lines, back stitching at the top (edge of the pocket) for security. Your pen-pocket should be 1" wide.

This picture below is INACCURATE - so read these words and do as I say, not as I do ;) - pinch the ponytail holder about 1/3, and place it on the RIGHT edge of the INTERIOR LINING piece with the pocket attached. NOT the exterior (like shown in the picture.) Baste with machine stitches over the elastic. Again, you're going to want to put the ponytail elastic on the RIGHT side of the POCKET/INTERIOR piece, pointing INWARD (I show it pointing inward, but I put this one on the edge of the exterior piece, not the interior...)

Make a fabric sandwich. Put the exterior piece down, right side up, fleece side down. Place the pocket piece (with elastic basted on) on top of it, right sides together, lining up edges.

Pin around edges, leaving a 3-4" opening at the top for turning.

Stitch around all edges (leaving the 3-4" opening, pivoting 90 degrees with the needle down, and back-stitching at beginning and end) with a generous 1/4 inch seam.

Clip the corners, and turn right side out, using a turning tool, closed scissors, or fat knitting needles to turn out corners so they are sharp.

You should now have something that looks like this:
Press well, turning edges of opening under and pressing, using a pin or two to hold turning hole edges in place. Now, top-stitch very close to the edge all the way around all 4 edges.

Here's the inside!

Add a button and VOILA! You will need a mini-legal pad (5x8 size) and pen to complete!

Please note - I am sharing this tutorial which I made up on my very own out of the goodness of my heart. No, this is not the very first most original idea in the world, and yes, people have made such things before. However, I figured out these steps on my very own and these words and photos are MINE...Please feel free to link to this post and share the information freely, but please, please, PLEASE, do not sell any creations you make from this tutorial for profit, and please do not use any of my photos without permission. Yes, I am a lawyer - but I did, in fact say "please". Thank you!!! :)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday Night - a Recap

It was picture day at school on Tuesday. Here's Carsie with "Ona" (one of the 4 most popular dollies at our house) - We have 2 "Claires", a "Honey Buns" and "Ona..." Ona is the only one with hair, and the largest of the 4-some, so she got to go to picture day in her pretty dress, too...
This was at the ballet studio, at the end of the day, so Carsie had been playing hard - but she still looks adorable!And here she is in her ballet clothes. Tuesday, Cole also had a tee ball game at the same time as ballet - so that's why the gorgeous boy was not in these photos - but he had on a coordinating navy & white striped tee, courtesy grandmomma - more of Cole later this week!!!
And then on Friday, I had a hair appointment. I try to knock off early from work at least once a month and pick up one child early for a little one-on-one time with Mom. Carsie came with me for her first "real" haircut. I've "trimmed" it twice before for her - but it needed a real shape. SO - I took her to Laura Beth - this is the "before" (and no LB is not putting color on her hair - that was for me ;)
And the "after" - complete with shampooing & styling - she felt like a pretty princess. Honestly, I think the thing she was MOST excited about, because she said it 50 times is "I don't have to take a nap today!!!" because I picked her up just at nap time...

I'm thinking of starting a new trend - whatcha think? I think foil is a good look, yes?

And then, Carson was SO worn out from getting beautiful, I looked over and this is what I found. So much for no nap, eh?
And then Saturday, the chillies were invited to go to Callaway Gardens with my grandmother, and I went to the 2009 Atlanta Steeplechase!!! Fun times. All high society and redneck country mixed together. It was WAY hot - you can see the red cheeks on all of us here! These are my newest girlfriends, Ashley & Shauna - lovin' the hats...but they kind of get in the way when you're squeezing together!!!
And this is my sweet friend Brooklyn. We had to have a photo op because we both broke out the black with tiny white pin dotos. Love it!!!

And...a gratuitous photo of my sweetheart. Cute, huh?
Phew. What a week!