Thursday, February 1, 2018

Hand Lettering

Last weekend I took a Modern Calligraphy class! I loved it! I've dabbled in pretty writing and painting, but it was fun to try out actual soft brushed pens and learn actual techniques instead of just winging it. The practice pages were a bit mesmerizing and I instantly fell in love with these pens
Those S's! 
And some practice words to connect the letters. Love!
At the end of the workshop, we used our new skills and paint pens to make a canvas. I am a little overwhelmed with my upcoming stem cell transplant and the idea of being away form my kids and home for so long.  I'm hoping this quote will serve as a reminder that this is worth it for me and my kids. They deserve a healthy mama. 
 I practiced my lettering on my daughter's birthday invitations. She's turning twelve soon! (WHAT?!)

Friday, January 5, 2018

Bullet Journal

My life is a bit crazy right now! I recently won my insurance battle and will be heading to Denver in a few months for a life-changing stem cell transplant that has the promise to stop my multiple sclerosis. This is such a blessing! But... I'm also panicking a bit. It's going to be a BIG couple of months for me and very difficult to be away from my kids for 8-10 weeks (hopefully with visits, of course!). Click here to read more about my clinical trial participation (and, if you'd like, donate to help our family with this very expensive adventure). Anyway... I am a chronic over thinker and this is a lot to process. 

I've been distracting myself with a new project - bullet journaling! I am a huge fan of lists and always have a million going. Bullet journaling is (for me), a way to make my lists pretty! I originally saw this trend on Pinterest and there are so many ideas out there! 

The book I am using is linked here. It's nice quality, has a very pretty cover, and you just can't beat that price! I use Flair Pens and they don't smear, they don't bleed, and the colors are adorable. They're great for drawing and have been a favorite for writing for over 15 years. They make my handwriting look so much neater and come in so many pretty colors. Have I mentioned all the colors?  :) 

The first page I made is to track my photos. I store my images in monthly folders and back them up at the end of each month. I am meticulous (ridiculous?) in my photo storage! My pictures are my most prized possession. Now at the end of the month, I can check off each box and know that I've completed my ritual of over-protecting pictures of my kids. I can't find the exact washi tape I used at the top, but I did just find this one that I am so wishing I had used instead!  CUTE!

The second page I added is a "book shelf." So far I've only added books I've read this year (P.S. If you haven't already, read The Alice Network! So good!), but I may add books on my wish list, too? Not sure yet. I LOVE how this page turned out. It was pretty easy to make because of the dot grid on the journal pages.  
I also added some of my favorite things on the "shelves." 

This is our "House Projects" page. Mostly a dreamer's wish list since this year will likely only have room for my stem cell transplant and recovery, but it's a fun page nonetheless. Someday...

My craft list is always growing! Love the washi tape on this page. 

 My wish list page has a similar design using washi tape. I LOVE washi tape. 

 A travel page detailing the states I've traveled to. Is it obvious I'm a West Coast girl? Once I'm healthy again, I think we need to head East for some adventures! I printed a US map and traced it onto this page in black ink and then used color pens to mark the states I have visited. 

I'm not sure what other pages I'll add, but I'm having fun and it's an excellent distraction. 

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Christmas Mantle

I thought I'd share this year's Christmas mantle. I'm loving the addition of our letterboard! And the teal letters....... heart!I still love my scrappy Christmas wreath. It is perfect for this antique window.  

I can't remember where I found these clip boards, but they work well on the mantle and make changing the seasonal decor very easy.

Having a kitten in the house with a Christmas tree is harder than I remembered. Notice how the bottom of the tree is pretty much undecorated at this point! Good thing she's cute!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

'Tis the Season

I made a new pillow for our bedroom. We've had the same throw pillows for over twelve years, so I am so happy to have a much needed update. I'd like to make a second one sometime soon. This is 2.25 inch strips pieced using this technique (and calculator paper!) and an 18" pillow form

purple scrappy pillow
purple scrappy pillow

Thanksgiving in the orchard. 
I was on it this year and had our cards ready and in the mail the day after Thanksgiving! Woohoo!
Here's our card this year. I didn't get a picture, but I practiced my fancy lettering on the addresses and sealed the envelopes with washi tape

And then... time for a Christmas tree! 
It took us a couple of days to get it decorated. I'm so grateful my kids are old enough to help now, because I just can't do it myself anymore. I fatigue so quickly! #mssucks
Our new kitten loves quilts, especially the box of quilts we keep in the living room! It's a good thing that she is so cute because she is trying to TEAR UP our Christmas tree! I've forgotten what it's like to have a kitten in the house... almost as fun as a toddler. 
More Christmas decor! I have *LOVED* having this letter board for the last few months. It's so much fun! This is a quote from our favorite Christmas movie, Elf, and was my way of announcing movie night to our kids. I've had my eye on these letters in other colors, too. 
My friend Mary was so sweet and knitted a tiny little sweater for our Elf on the Shelf. LOVE! He looks so handsome and cozy!  :)  We have so much fun with this tradition... it has honestly become one of our favorite parts of this time of year. 
I wanted a wreath for our door this year, but they're so expensive! So I made one with some leftover ornaments, an inexpensive wreath, and A LOT of hot glue sticks

Ornament selfie!  :) 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

New Friend

Shortly after my George passed away, we welcomed a new kitten into the family. Introducing... Hazel McCutie Sneezel (she had a kitty cold shortly after we got her and was sneezing like crazy... thankfully she is doing better now). (Quilt in the background can be viewed here: Vintage String Quilt)

She was about 5 months old when we adopted her. 
She's soooooo sweet and snuggly and - bonus! - she loves my quilts. (Quilt in the background can be viewed here: Needs-a-Name Quilt)
She's also a very good sport in posing for photos...  :) (Quilt in the background can be viewed here: Needs-a-Name Quilt).
I cannot begin to tell you how much I laughed taking that photo. It's purrrrfect.  :) I still miss my George every single day, but Hazel has been a wonderful addition to the family. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Tough Week + School Donations

This has been a very difficult week for me. My beloved cat, George, passed away on Tuesday. He's been my sidekick for over 16 years and our house seems very, very empty without him here. I didn't realize how much emotional support he gave me and losing him has been very painful. He's been my "therapy dog" in dealing with my illness. I miss him so, so much. Losing a pet is difficult enough, but processing that grief with my kids has been unbearable. Hopefully this will all get easier with time. 

Moving on to happier subjects, here is quilt #82. This is a baby sized B&W quilt for my children's school fundraiser. I had my son (age 8) layout the blocks, so he was the designer. I love B&W quilts for babies... such a fun contrast for their brand new eyes and a nice way to make a gender-neutral quilt. 
The binding and backing are both B&W tiny polka dots. The quilting is straight-line quilting on either side of the seams. 

My other child's class theme is "baseball." I made this wooden crate using vinyl lettering. We're not a baseball family, but I pictured this being good for home decor or storage for gloves/balls/cleats? 

I also painted a baseball-themed pumpkin. Hopefully all of these items will raise some much-needed funds for the classrooms. 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

My Snapshots Quilt

In 2015, this quilt pattern was released as a fundraiser for St. Jude's. I LOVE St. Jude's and the blocks for this quilt are all things that I love. It's taken me forever to complete it, for one reason or another. But this week I did complete my quilt, which is a little different version of the original. I chose six of the twelve blocks and used my favorite fabrics, in my favorite colors.

The teapot is perfect, I drink a lot of tea and coffee. I own a photography business and photos are among my most prized possessions (quits are another!). Obviously the sewing machine is significant in my life. I have had a lifelong obsession with hot air balloons, since I was a little girl. We actually rode in a hot air balloon on our honeymoon. The cake block I love because cake is one of my favorite foods. And the wine glass? I love wine and grew up in the wine country (Sonoma County, California). Like I said, the blocks of these quilts were SO perfect for me personally. 
The back is a vintage camera print from Hobby Lobby. One of my favorites (I also used in on Melody's quilt a couple of years ago). 

And I completed it one week before my birthday, so happy birthday to me! February marked 10 years since I made my first quilt. This is quilt #81 (see them all here). I had planned to do a full photo "shoot" and blog post to recognize a decade of quilting, which I have loved so much. But my plans and time got away from me, so here is my ten-year tribute. Me in a photo with my new favorite quilt!  :) 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Wedding Sign & Other Crafts Lately

I made this sign as part of a gift for a friends’ daughter’s wedding. I used the same technique I used in this blog post (one of my most “pinned” posts ever!). It’s fairly easy, but a little time consuming. 

My mother’s group had a painting project for us last week, too. It was fun to paint with a bunch of friends and see how all of our paintings turned out similar, but different.  

Speaking of my mother’s group! I just realized I never shared any of the crafts I taught this year (I served at the Creative Activities Coordinator this year). These were two of our Spring projects... Sharpie Mugs (using oil based sharpies). I wouldn’t really recommend this project since the cups haven’t held up as well as I hoped they would, despite following instructions. 
And photo blocks. These are 2x4” boards, cut to photo size. Then we painted the edges with acrylic paint, modge-podged photos on them, and decorated with fabric/paper flowers and ribbon. They turned out very cute and the moms in the group seemed very happy with this craft. It helps that our kids are adorable!  ; ) 


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