Thursday, December 27, 2007

So I found out what Christmas is all about for our family. It's pretty much just a big threat to get the children to clean up or be good.

"If you don't help clean up then I am going to cancel Christmas forever!"

Okay, I didn't ever go to that extreme, but I found myself using Christmas and presents as a bargaining chip to try to get him to stop fighting, crying, and to get him to clean up and do his chores. My son would always come back with something along the lines of, "If you don't want to give presents then that means you don't love Jesus." Oh this kid knows how to really push my buttons... In the mean time my little girl just ran around being good and truly earning all the presents she got. In the end I didn't throw out any presents, even though I really wanted to, and we had a good Christmas. Next year I hope I can abolish the Christmas Threat attitude and replace it with something more positive.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

My husband and I are trying to figure out what defines Christmas at our house. We of course want it to be centered around Christ, but as much as we emphasize Him, around here the kids are still mostly awed by the lights and decorations and the allure of gifts for themselves. The youngest of course doesn't have any clue about presents and she just likes to see how often she can get away with pulling something off the tree. We have decided that Santa Clause will not be a part of Christmas around here. My husband feels deeply that we should not lie to the kids. I don't care that much for Santa Clause so I support him on this. We have told our son that Santa is not real, but he insists that he is. He likes to play the "Is he real?" game. It goes like this. "Is Ron Paul real?" "Yes," I tell him. "Is Superman real?" "No," I tell him. "Is President Hinkley real?" "Yes," I tell him. "Is Santa Clause real?" "No," I tell him. "Yes, he is mom, because my cousin said so, and I saw him at the church." In addition to taking away Santa Clause from our children we have also banned "made in China" items from our gift giving, and since almost all toys are made in china these days, our kids won't be getting any toys for Christmas. And to top it off we also won't be having any candy. My husband and I both have stopped eating candy, I've only been doing it for a few months and I make a few exceptions, but my husband hasn't had candy in years. It isn't as bad as it sounds, the kids will get plenty of goodies and sugar, it just won't be "candy." We'll have granola bars, and fruit snacks, and dried fruit, and beef jerky, and nuts and goldfish crackers. I'm sure they will get plenty of candy from other people, and that is fine, they just won't get it from their parents. So after all this rambling I now come to the funny story that I was going to share...

On Friday night I told the kids that we had to clean the house before we went to get a Christmas tree, so we all worked together to get the house cleaned, by the next morning the house was a mess again, so we cleaned up again and while we cleaned my husband and I decided that we wanted to go to DI and see if we could get a decent fake tree. We jumped in the car and went on our way. We found a tree at DI and decided it would work, but lo and behold our son was heart broken, he wanted a real tree! My husband and I were feeling pretty bad that we were letting him down, especially with all our other tyrannical Christmas rules and he had worked so hard to help clean. So we gave in and went to the tree lot. There is tree lot in our area that sells $5 trees as well as larger more beautiful trees. The $5 trees are small and sparse, but they are actually quite adequate and top off at about 5 feet high. When we got to the lot there were only about 4 of these little trees left. We told our son to pick one. He reacted by throwing a big fit..."I want a normal tree, these aren't normal trees, these aren't normal!" He went on and on about how not "normal" they were and how unfair it was, but he couldn't explain to us what he meant by normal. We showed him a bunch of the other trees that were $20-$60 some of them he thought were normal, but we explained that they cost too much and so we had to choose from the small trees. He continued to throw his fit. My husband and I were feeling stupid for giving in in the first place and thinking that we were going to go back to get the fake tree, when all of a sudden the kid perks up and says "Here's one! This one is Normal!" It was one of the $5 trees that we had looked at first. So we all agreed that it was "Normal," and we bought it and went home.

Still after all this rambling what I really wanted to share was my item listed on Etsy.

Monday, November 12, 2007

This was my Sunday activity...very uplifting, wouldn't you say? He's made out of felt and is a puppet. I tried a needle felting method, but I think if I'm going to do it this way again, I need to use unspun wool instead of felt sheets because of the hard edge that the felt sheets have, or maybe I just need to embellish more with unspun wool. I also need to improve on the mechanics, he's not too easy to make talk.

Would you want to discuss politics with this guy? What about if you were also an ugly puppet, then would you? Just wondering.

Monday, November 05, 2007

It was late in the evening of November 3rd, just three measly days into NaNoWriMo when I came to the conclusion that I was done. No I hadn't completed my novel, I just wasn't going to work on it anymore. It wasn't because, I was falling behind, I was actually doing quite well with my word count. I simply came to the conclusion that there were other things I needed, and wanted, to be doing. I'm not the kind of person that can bust out 1700 words in no time at all. It takes me a good portion of the day, as the month wore on it might have gotten easier, but I won't be giving it a chance.

I do not want to be discouraging to other writers. Please don't give up, I implore you, keep going. Write! Write like the wind!

Now I suppose, I'll have to come up with some fancy stuff to show that I am doing something instead of writing. If only I could write and quilt at the same time.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I just wanted to remind you all that you should be preparing for November. Get your art projects, craft projects, and other silly commitments finished up (or just to a point where you can put them aside for a month.) Yes, November is National Novel Writing Month, and yes, I do expect everyone to participate, no matter what. I will be writing my own novel of course, or at least starting one, as I have done in years past. I think the most I've ever written was 16 pages of nonsense. I always tend to give up after about a week because I just can't keep up my word count and life starts piling up. This year will be different, I'm sure, considering that my youngest is 18 months old and can practically take care of herself.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

These hats are great. I want one my size, in a more Pam friendly color and warmer material.

I thought I'd make my own simpler version, and so I did. It turned out too small for my little girl, so one of my smaller nieces with a smaller noggin will have to wear it, that is until she cries and pulls it off, or her mom takes it off for her because everyone laughs at her.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Is the electrical circuit box hidden under picture number 1, 2, or 3? You will never guess, or maybe you will, but I'm not giving out any prizes, so it won't do you any good.

After a few weeks of arranging and re-arranging various frames around on the floor in front of this wall, and making a few trips to our local thrift shops to find the perfect sized frame, I have finally decided that this is how this wall will hang. I have yet to fill the 3 frames on the left with pictures, so they don't really count towards my new years resolution.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I officially now have my very own ruffle.

I was working on painting some frames for my kitchen, to go along with the alphabet picture, and I needed another frame, but I couldn't go and get one because I didn't have a car to leave the house with. So, alas, I started another project. I thought it would take me an hour or two, and I could have the sewing machine put away before my husband got home, instead it took me all day and part of the next morning. I did a lot of picking out stitches, cutting more fabric than I really needed, and I pinned and re-pinned the darn thing numerous times, trying to get it's ruffle spread out equally.

At one point my son wanted to help by taking out the pins after I sewed over them, (normally I would take them out right before sewing over them, but I was sewing slowly, so we were not in much danger of gouging our eyes out with broken needles.) I sewed along, and he removed the pins. After sewing about 3 feet I realized that I had run out of bobbin thread, which meant that the whole time I hadn't actually been sewing at all. And since my son had steadfastly helped me by taking out each and every pin, I had to re-pin it and sew it again. What is the longest stitch that you thought you stitched, but really hadn't? (This is one of those blog competitions, post a comment including your answer and who ever stitched the longest non-stitch will win a prize!)

Now that the ruffle is finished I don't know that I like it all that much. It looks too countryish, like I should have some cow and daisy themed porcelain plates hanging on the wall next to them. I don't know what I expected, it is a ruffle after all.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Someone was turning one and I wanted to give her a present for her birthday. I accompanied my mother and sister to Toys R Us where the shelves were stocked full of goods any child would be happy to have. But no, none of these items were to be my present for my cousins little girl. She would not be getting what she wanted from me. Instead I gave her some odd little felt barrettes that were made by my very own person, and in the good old U.S.A. She will have to grow a bit more hair in order to wear them.

I borrowed my brother's girlfriend's head to model, since her hair had the capacity to hold in a barrette, and she was the least likely person in the room to protest and run away. Thanks Kim for taking the pictures.

I had more felt left over, so I made some for my little girl, she won't leave them in her hair, instead she likes to take them out and suck on them. Ick, slimy felt. So I wear them instead.

Friday, September 14, 2007

I am actually working on my new years resolution to put stuff on my walls. I have just finished something. It's not on the wall though, that will probably take me another month or two.

I often look back at my kindergarten days in Mrs. Davis's class and I remember fondly the alphabet on the wall in front of the room over the chalkboard. I could always look up there in case I forgot how to make a particular letter. Since my children will be home schooled I want to have the alphabet readily accessible for them to look at. But the large laminated brightly colored alphabet from my childhood isn't something I want hanging in a prominent place in my home. So I have made my own. In my last home I painted a border around my sons room with the whole alphabet, and of course dragons. It took me forever to paint and just as I finished it we sold the house and moved, and I had to leave it behind. When we move next I will be able to take this one with me.

"Yuck, what is that?" a young boy visiting my house asked me. He was referring to the gunk on the frame. I told him it is dehydrated slime. I love my ugly frames, I haven't found anyone else who agrees with me, especially not my husband. He doesn't understand why I would "ruin" a perfectly good frame.

Below are some blurry close ups. My camera stinks, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.

The greatest news in all of this is that I can now clean off my kitchen table, and my husband can love me again, at least until I mess it up again.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Where has needle felting been hiding all these years? I never knew it existed before, but it's out there and it's actually super trendy right now. Since I am totally a cool person and always follow the trends I figured I had no choice but to try my hand at it.

I went to Joanne's fabric and craft store, so that I might find felting needles. They don't sell just felting needles by themselves, but luckily I found a kit by Feltworks in the clearance section, that was made up of a purse (already made), roving (unspun wool), and two felting needles. It also had a pattern and some beads and instructions on how to follow the pattern. Since I do not follow instructions well, I gave the beads to a friend, and tossed the instructions and pattern away after a brief glance. In the instructions it warned me not to stick myself with the needles, I of course did the opposite; I haven't had my tetanus shot since 96, I hope I don't die.

Here is the end product, sorry for the fuzzy pictures.

Side one: Dragon with one leg, one wing, and no arms.

Side 2: Dragonflies, not anatomically correct.

I have also been having fun with hair clips and felt. When I get the pictures from my sister I'll share, these are also trendy, which once again makes me totally cool for making them.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

This quilt is done, and ready for spit up.

In hind sight, there are few things I'd have done different with this quilt. I probably wouldn't have used the printable fabric, because it's so stiff. And I would have used a better piece of fabric for the quilt top. If you can't tell, it is pink, but it is way too light and washed out, so it looks like an ugly white plus it wasn't the best quality of fabric, I realized this after I had already started and that was too late. It would have killed my momentum to stop and get a different cut of fabric.

Ever see a cute picture of adorable kids feet on a beautiful quilt...

This is my version.

I quilted the whole thing with an organic asymmetrical design and all the corners are different, this is one of them.

After I had quilted the whole thing, I decided that it needed something more, so I added all the pink and brown dots. My son asked what they were and I told him they were eggs, for strawberry eating dragons. He then pointed out that it looked like the dragon had a strawberry body. "Well," I said, "you are what you eat."

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Great Binding Tip

I saw this tip the other day on some random blog, just in time for me to use it as I am binding Julianna's quilt. I can't find the blog again, so I can't give credit to the great tipster, just let it be known that I am not so great as to come up with this idea on my own.

When you are binding a quilt by hand, instead of using pins to hold the binding in place, use your daughters cute little hair clips. This prevents the thread from catching on the head of the pin, and un-threading your needle or making knots and tangles.

Don't worry about your little girls hair being out of place while you are doing this, we all know that little girls won't leave those hair clips in for more than a few minutes anyway, might as well put them to good use.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

This Picture is Not Going to Hang on My Wall.

I've been wanting to get out the paints for a few weeks now, and finally today I did. I think I'll pack them up again for a few more months. Or maybe I'll force myself to paint everyday and learn something.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

My son has been coloring on this box for the past few days, and every once in a while the rest of us join in. He left it out in the sun and a bunch of the crayons melted on the bottom, he was afraid that he would get in trouble so he snook one of my dishtowels outside to try to clean it up himself, but it didn't work, so he came in screaming his head off all panicked about this tragedy. I of course couldn't care less about the crayons, but I was a bit sad about the towel. The little girls love being trapped inside it so they can't get into trouble and they can't escape the camera, my son on the other hand didn't want his picture taken.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

This post is for all of you out there who enjoy children's art: their uninhibited freedom of expression, pure design, their simple unadulterated technique, and reckless abandon of the house rules.

As I told you in the last post, we refer to this artistic child as "The Funny Funny." And funny she is. She doesn't wait to be entertained, she makes up her own fun, and loves to make her older brother laugh.

Well this is a direct quote from her older brother upon seeing what she had done to the wall...

I had just gone through the house and cleaned up all the stray pens, to prevent exactly just this from happening. I missed one. I am tempted to have my children grow up in a house with absolutely no writing utensils. That will show them!

Friday, August 03, 2007

In cleaning out my closet, with the intent of getting rid of the clothes I don't wear, I came across four pink shirts. I decided I am done wearing pink shirts for now. Maybe I'll keep the one that Lesli gave me in case of any pink shirt emergencies, but the rest are done for. Please take note that I am not swearing off pink forever, I am not denouncing it, nor am I saying that I don't like pink.

Well, instead of giving these pink shirts to the DI, I decided I could quickly remake them into clothing for my little girl. Snip, snip, snip, a few seams, a little elastic, and now The Funny Funny (as we like to call her) has a new outfit.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Whew...back in my own house again. Dan just got a new job up here, with benefits! I'm going to miss seeing my mom and dad everyday. And my dad is going to have to eat everything from his garden all himself. I haven't gotten much of anything done in the last many weeks, or at least not any of my own projects. I have kept the kids fed and alive and we have been having some fun. Most of my brothers and sisters have been around for the past few weeks for a reunion with my moms side of the family in Roosevelt. We also have done trips to the Dinosaur Museum at Thanksgiving Point, This is The Place, and Mt Timpanogas cave (in 100 degree weather). We have also canoed, went skeet shooting, target shooting, there is a swimming trip planned for this afternoon and right now all the nieces and nephews are in the backyard shooting bows and arrows at straw bales. Good times.

One thing I have done is finished appliqueing the dragon and the strawberry for Danna's baby, now I just have to put the quilt together and quilt it that should take a few months, I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Just messing around with the blog look some more, and I know it looks horrible. Some day I swear I'm going to learn html so I won't be held back by those boring old blogger templates, or someday blogger will make it even more dummy friendly.

To make up for it here's a dragon.

Friday, June 01, 2007

So my blog has changed it's clothing. I know the white makes it look like it didn't quite put enough clothing back on. I'm just messing around with it. I'll probably change it a few more times in the coming weeks until I settle on something. It's almost as fun as having a Barbie fashion show...

Here is what I've really been up to:

That is the quilt I am working on for my sisters baby. What you see there in my dark and blurry photo is bits and pieces of a dragon and a strawberry that I printed out on fabric, and now I'm appliqueing it all together. This is my first foray into printing on fabric and I have to say that I'm not too happy with the pre-made fabric sheets. They are very stiff. I think I'll make my own next time with my own choice of fabric on wax paper (you iron the fabric onto the waxy side of the wax paper, so that it will go through the printer, then you peel it off.)

I also finished, sold, and shipped this basket.

And I drew this picture and made this frame and listed it on Etsy:

You might think I'm on a roll, but if you realize how long it's been since I last posted you will also realize that this isn't much to show for all that time. Oh well, I'll just keep trudging along.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I haven't been able to get too much done lately, but I'm trying. I am almost finished with a custom basket that someone asked me for from Etsy. It is larger than the Easter baskets I had made previously, so it is has been a lot harder to get it to stand up presentably. I've also started a quilt for my sisters new daughter that is ready to arrive any minute now. I'm not in a hurry because it's summer and I don't think she'll be needing a quilt anytime soon. I've also put in some time trying to design a website for myself. My husband is now a computer programmer so I figured I should have my own website, but in reality, he is way too busy to make it for me, so don't expect it anytime soon. Here's some ideas I had for it...

So far I really only like the top one, the other two are too strong for me, maybe if I just toned down the colors... Which one do you vote for? In the end I'll probably come up with something like none of the above, so you can vote for that too.

Also Kim blogged about a little munchkin (who would be pouting, indignantly, right now if he knew I had called him a munchkin), and just happened to use a picture that showed a monster puppet (the one on the left) that I made for him for his birthday, back when I was going through my puppet making phase. That phase only lasted through 3 puppets, a monster, a dragon, and monkey. When I started on the monster I thought I'd make a cute little monster, that wouldn't get in the way, but as I made it, it got bigger and bigger and bigger until it was the size of a small child...oops. The monster on the left in the picture was made by his mother, it had a hole in it's belly with another smaller monster in it, in that monsters belly was yet another smaller monster. It was really awesome. The funny thing was that we both independently, not knowing what the other was doing, made him monsters for his birthday, and they were both blue and brown. I guess some things are just meant to be.

Friday, April 27, 2007

I drew this dragon here in a canoe for my father while he was in the hospital for a few days. It wasn't supposed to have any correlation to his situation. I was just drawing a dragon, and my father likes canoes, I threw in the sharks just for good measure. If you really think about it , the dragon can just fly away, so he isn't in any danger (he even has two wings!)

And a picture by my son for Grandpa. If you look closely you can see the yellow pencil marks. My son calls them "invisible", if you can see them you must have superpowers or something. I didn't ask him what the rest of the picture was about, it should be self explanatory anyway. Can't you tell?

In any case my father is home and is doing well, as long as he doesn't cough or sneeze. I'm sure he doesn't want me blogging about him, so hopefully he doesn't read my blog.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

My son and I broke out the pastels yesterday, and this is what came of it, at least on my part. He drew two black waterfalls, subsequently making a very creative black mess all over his hands and the inside of one nostril.

I have a hard time drawing things with much dimension to them especially dragons, so although I only got one wing on there, I am proud of myself that I gave him two arms and his tail comes toward the front of the picture. Hooray for me, and down with anything that this guy has to say.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Here is a sketch I did, of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemene, while I watched Conference. When I keep my hands busy I usually listen better. This time however my mind kept wandering to the fact that I would like to take some drawing classes, especially so I can learn to draw human figures. And when I finished and showed Dan he reaffirmed it by telling me I drew girly features. Maybe I can find a class down near my parents house...

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Due to circumstances, I will be spending a lot of time at my Mom and Dads house for the next while. This means that my ability to work on "projects" will be limited. So my postings may be few and far between...I mean fewer and farther between. We'll see. The good thing is that I will get to do more crosswords. Don't worry, I won't bore you with those details.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I am not a bag toting kinda gal. I like to stick my wallet and keys in my pocket and run free without all the baggage. But I am also a mom, so I do need a bag every now and then because diapers and wipes don't fit in my pockets. I've been using the bag on the left for a long time. My mom made it for my son to take his crayons and paper, and a few small toys to church with him, but now I am the one who gets to carry this around, and it's really cramping my style. So I made a new bag. I don't think it's quite my thing either. I need something inconspicuous and much more bland, maybe I'll make this same pattern in a plain brown or black.

Monday, March 12, 2007

It has been many years since I have sewn clothes. I can only recall one skirt that I have made since high school. I almost sewed my wedding dress, but decided I didn't really want to and ended up buying one from a display at a fabric store. For some reason, I have the clothes sewing itch right now. Maybe it's because I have a little baby girl, and I've been looking at other peoples blogs who make really cute little girl clothing, also spring-like weather is very inspiring. What ever the reason, every time I go into a fabric store I tend to find something that I want to make into an outfit for my baby.

This first outfit I made turned out too big, so she'll have to wait a few months to wear it. I made the pattern up myself, gauging it against clothes that fit her right now. I guess I was lenient with the sizing because I didn't want to make it too small. I tried to try it on her, but playing dress ups with an almost one year old isn't as easy as it sounds. After the first time I put it on her she had figured things out and knew that when I approached her it was time to squeal and laugh and run, she is so silly.

This is an up-close picture of the print on the fabric. I am a sucker for thistles. I grew up playing in them. I would recommend a yard of thistles, before a lawn with rose bushes, any day.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, you're stinkin heavy, please don't fall.

My big brother made this mirror for me a long long time ago, back when he worked for Ironies. It is super heavy, being made out of cement and glass. Unfortunately, he initially forgot to put the hook on the back. Fortunately, before the cement had hardened too much he remembered. Unfortunately, he didn't have the time to center it correctly. Thus it hangs a wee bit askew, okay, it is crazy crooked. One of these days I'll figure out a way to hold it straight, right now I'm just too much in shock over the 84 holes I had to try before I gave up finding a stud. I ended up using a special picture hanging device found at the hardware store that says I don't need a stud.

11 more to go

Thursday, March 08, 2007

It is rare that I am ready for a holiday on time. I actually don't even like holidays, but for some reason here I am doing Easter things before St. Patricks day. I've been making cloth Easter baskets.

I was pretty happy with the first one I made, and I thought it would be cute to see my little girl walking around with it. So as she wandered into the kitchen whining a little I handed it to her. 2 seconds later she had filled it with barf. Not just baby spit up, but genuine stomach flu bile. She's got great aim. Thus began an absolutely non-productive week of simply holding the baby. We are now back on track, and I have completed 3 more baskets. I'm trying to sell them on Etsy. We'll see how it goes. If they don't sell, well then, I have 3 gift bags ready for Easter. (Don't worry the one the baby barfed in is not being sold)

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Two Quilts

The green one on the left is the quilt I made for a little nephew of mine a while back, the other one is the quilt that I just finished for my little niece Harmonica (my son is convinced that is her real name.)

Here is Harmonica's quilt opened up. It's a fairy and a dragon having a little tiff. I think the dragon must have said something unkind about the fairy's mother and she rightly challenged him to a duel.

And here is the other quilt. It's a dragon attacking a helicopter, over a city, or maybe the other way around. In any case, I'm pulling for the dragon.