Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Finished in 2012 no. 4

I finished another quilt in 2012! I'm 10 months 'early' too. I knew if I waited until November or December to start on this it would not be done in time for Christmas so I decided to finish it in February. It is a card holder, I'm planning to hang it on the back of our door during December to collect all the Christmas cards we'll get. This means lots of you will send cards, right? To go in this nifty card holder?!
This is the first time I've done much by way of applique on a project. My friend, Leslie, and I started these last January, working on the applique. We then pieced them back on October...and I finally quilted it. I really like how the finished project turned out and can't wait for next year. For any inquiring and creative minds out there - it is made with a Nancy Halvorsen pattern, using almost exclusively Nancy Halvorsen fabric.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Oregon Winter Sunshine!

I'm a bit behind on blogging. Partially because I haven't been taking many pictures. I haven't been taking many pictures because life around these parts have been very grey! Grey clouds, grey drizzle, you get the idea. But a few weeks ago the sun did peak out we had a spontaneous trip to a really cool park. Mark had never been there before...and all of my hype lived up to itself the moment he saw this big dig!
Oh, and this particular park has the awesome mega swings Allison loves. She also loves the sun more than it looks like in this picture....she just isn't used to it!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Children's Museum 2012

We took another trip to the Portland Children's Museum this weekend. We might have had the best adult-child ratio in the entire place, 4-to-1 since Mark's parents were able to join us. Overall a good time was had by all, once we realized & dealt with an 'accident' and gave Allison some snacks. Unfortunately we spent our first hour and a half figuring out why she wasn't enjoying herself! Once Allison was having fun, though, we couldn't get her to leave one spot for another! We'll be better prepared next time.
Family pic, with a very goofy girl!
This would be Dr. Allison, a vet, she is taking good care of her kitty by recording all sorts of details in the computer and having lengthy conversations with Papa on the phone.
Ah, yes, and who wouldn't love a well read to kitty? This was also a very clean kitty. I think the kitty got at least 10 washes!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Caps for Sale - The Start of Mustache Mania

One of Allison's favorite books is Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina. We have it with an accompanying CD and Allison loves the songs that come on the CD as well. I've been working on some ideas of activities to do with the book (some inspired by Before Five in a Row) and decided to check Etsy for some play mustaches as the main character in the book has a fancy handlebar mustache. I was shocked at the number of mustaches available on Etsy....chocolate mustaches, paper mustaches, mustache themed baby blankets (!). Anyhow, I didn't have any trouble at all finding a mustache to go along with our story. Allison thought it was pretty fun.
Yup, even Mark got into it. I'm sure my readers are surprised to hear that! I'm not sure how he'd feel about me posting this picture of him...but I suppose it is too late to ask for permission....
Allison had to make funny facial expressions just like Mark!
All in all it was a very entertaining way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Finished in 2012 No. 3

So far I'm having a great quilting year in 2012! Too great according to the household Budget Committee ;). I will be focusing on quilts I already have fabric for in the coming months thanks to the Budget Committee's input! I put this quilt together really quickly - following a very simple tutorial (this is a great quilt pattern for a beginner if anyone is ever interested in getting started in quilting!). This quilt is made using primarily the Riley Blake 'So Sophie' line - with a few other fabrics thrown in. My friend, Leslie & I found this fabric in Seattle and we bought 1/4 yard cuts of all of the fabrics in the top and cut them in half - so we each could make a quilt top.
I proudly informed the Budget Committee (Mark) that this was probably the most economical quilt I had ever made - since I was able to buy 1/8 yard cuts for the top the top only cost $12.50. I bought the backing & binding fabric from the sale section at my local quilt shop for $12.00 (1.5 yards at 20% off). I pieced the Warm & Natural batting from scraps and used a beautiful variegated purple & green thread I had on hand for the quilting. So yes, an entire quilt for less than $25. The Budget Committee was very proud of me. This just goes to show quilting can be done economically!
This quilt is intended for a friend of mine who had a baby girl back in November (the baby was born very early and just recently arrived home). I'm kinda assuming she doesn't read this blog, otherwise I probably should not have shared how much I spent!

February Sunshine!

We have been incredibly blessed with sunny blue-sky days of late. There aren't many things that make me happier in February than sunshine! And green grass! And blue skies! We do our best to make the most of such days. The number one way to take advantage of them is to go play at the park! Allison loves running around in the green grass!
Even when she steps in a big puddle! It didn't slow her down at all!
It actually wasn't that bad - she kept going with wet pant legs!
I'm thinking she likes the sunshine just as much as her mother!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Baby Shower Fun

I haven't been to a baby shower in a long time...and it has been even longer since I helped with one...but I helped put two baby showers on in January. I have zero pictures from the first but I do have some from the second (of the decor, food, etc. - I forgot to use the camera once the party actually started!). This shower was for my friend, Meagan, who is expecting a baby girl in March! I 'borrowed' the quilt I had just finished from my friend, Claire, to use as part of the decor. I had originally planned to use it for a table covering but we used it cover the bulletin board instead - it looked great on the wall!
My friend, Jenny, is amazing at paper crafts! She made the cards pictured above for people to write special notes, blessings, prayers, etc. for the baby, all of which were then put in the little album shown above. Jenny also made the really cute banner below - and I used some of the remaining paper to make pencil pin wheels. I propped them up using dried navy beans - which worked perfectly!
And we pulled our friend, Morgan, in to make the cupcakes. She did an amazing job - making flamingos, hippos and alligators. The cupcakes were a huge hit! If anyone local needs cupcakes (for a very reasonable price) let me know - Morgan can help you out!
We had a great time and were so happy to celebrate the upcoming arrival of Baby Charlotte!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


I'm amazed at how Allison's gross motor skills have improved in a year! Her daycare does not have swings so they seem to be one of her favorite parts of our local park. She is able to hang on really well and not scare us anymore. And she seems to slowly be learning the whole 'pump' thing - it usually works best with Daddy ridding right beside her to show her how AND provide some pushes to keep going 'Higher!' and 'Faster!'

Monday, February 6, 2012

Ridin' with Style

Mark raised Allison's seat post a good 3 inches recently and Allison has been riding with more confidence than ever. We're having fun watching her riding improve with every sunny day we get around here! Notice how she has both feet off the ground in one big stride above? That is serious progress!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Saturday Mornings

We try to make the most of Saturday mornings in this house. I think Allison really enjoys the slower pace. On a recent Saturday I walked into our room to find this - two peas in a pod just hangin' out together.
She was studying up on things to keep her busy!
And then she confiscated one of Mark's old MP3 players so she could be just like Daddy.
Ah yes, and being just plain goofy!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Finished in 2012 No. 2

I finished yet another quilt in January - this one for my friend Claire's baby girl. I had planned to use a different set of fabrics for this one but when I walked into the quilt store to buy fabric this line had just arrived. It was designed by someone local, too, which made it extra special. It was perfect for my friend, Claire, nice and cheery and slightly girly without being over the top. And I loved the colors, especially since this little girl will eventually be sharing a room with her big brother Benjamin.
This quilt is called a string quilt. I looked up several ideas / tutorials online but the one I ended up referring to the most was this one. I love the scrappy look of the quilt (even though it is using entirely coordinated fabric). And it wasn't all that difficult. The blocks can be a bit time consuming as you have to iron each strip before you can sew the next one and I could only really work on one block at a time - that meant a lot of trips to the ironing board. But it was definitely worth it. I hope to use up some scraps this way someday!
I used my favorite fabrics for the back. the blue print is just so cheerful. And I went ahead and did another biased cut binding on this one. It really added the perfect finishing touch.
And if you can believe it we actually had a beautiful & sunny day in January so I was able to take these pictures outside at our park! And it just so happened that the future owner of this quilt showed up at the park that day - so I took her picture inside her Mom's tummy! We get a little crazy when the sun decides to show up around here.