Winter Warmers

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Aaahhh. . .Christmas break. . .my kids are home, and hubby too a nice present he and I saved and saved for all year long. . .to be home the entire month of December. I don't know what I will do when he returns to work!

I've been sewing quite a bit. These three scarves were made in less than two days! I added a snappish little flower pin to the red one. . .I found a great tutorial at Pink Paper Peppermints for this. Really simple and really cute!

With a full week of break remaining, we plan on taking the kids to Butte Meadows for a snow day. They're always so much fun, we build snowcaves and snowmen (of course), we take turns on the snowskate and take the wakeboards (yes, they're made for the lake, but they work great in the snow!) We barbeque hot dogs and roast marshmallows. We always have such a good time. Chico never has a white Christmas so it's nice to head to the hills for a little holiday cheer. 

A Special Gift From Special Kids

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My oldest, Hayley, volunteers two periods of her high school day to work in the Severely Handicapped (SH) classroom at Chico High. This is her second year doing so and she truly loves it. Being that my son, and her brother, Colby (half of the highly energetic twin set) was diagnosed to fall on the Autism Spectrum, I have a special place in my heart for these kids. It also reminds me of how lucky our family truly is that Colby is high functioning–not a day goes by without a prayer of thanks for that miracle. 

The kids Hayley works with are some of the more severe cases. Most with Autism or Down Syndrome, some without language and high levels of retardation. But they are a joyous bunch! They find happiness and self-satisfaction in things we mainstreamers overlook or worse, take for granted. The lovely gift pictured above is their Christmas gift to her this year. She loves them very much, hence her interest in becoming a special ed teacher. 

I'm so very proud of her and the young woman she's become. Graduation is approaching much too quickly and my little girl will be all grown up. She's beautiful inside and out and I can't image life without her.

Hug your children today and be thankful for who they are. . .I know I will.

Enjoy this blessed holiday season. 

And The Winner Is. . .

Friday, December 5, 2008

Ooooh, what a nice group of bloggers you all are! And I want to send a big THANK YOU to all who participated in Give Away Day 2008. It's such a great opportunity for each of us to see what the rest of the DIY world is doing. Your hot chocolate ideas were too fun! My kids are now after me to make homemade marshmallows! 

Well, without further adieu, I ran the random number selector thing-a-ma-bob and the winner of the give away is:


Yeah. . .claps and cheers! Please email me with your mailing information and I'll get your scarf in the mail to you in the next day or two.

Thanks, again, for participating. . .check back soon. . .I'll have another scarf give away December 30th, sort of a Happy New Year give away. Enjoy your holidays!

Give Away Day!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

As promised a post to warm you on those chilly winter days. As part of the Sew,Mama,Sew! Give Away 2008, I'm offering this cozy wool scarf as my give away! It was handmade by yours truly using a creamy wool, some of my favorite Amy Butler fabric and a fun rickrack. 

In order to be eligible for the give away you must leave a comment on my blog INCLUDING your favorite hot chocolate mix-in (i.e., peppermint stick, marshmallows)!  Also, leave a link back to your blog. . . so I can see what you've been up to. That's it! That's all you need to do to enter the drawing. The winner will be posted Friday, December 5th, so remember to check back in case you're the lucky winner. Oh, and yes I'm willing to ship internationally.

The contest ends at 11:59 PST, December 3rd! Good luck!

Happy Holidays!

Long Time No Post

Monday, December 1, 2008

I seem to have this love-hate relationship with the holiday season. I love the change in the weather, the leaves turning, the wonderful aroma of holiday cooking, Christmas music on the radio (love that!). I enjoy working in the kids' classrooms–constructing oreo cookie turkeys, baking up spirit cookies (above–school colors of course–CHS Panthers–GO!) for football games and spending the evening with my oldest daughter baking 8 dozen rolls (from scratch) for the SH classroom at her high school. As many moms do, I go and go and go and then Geez (here comes the hate part). . . I'm tired. And oh, what's that. . .there are 22 people coming for Thanksgiving? Okay. . .? I have this horrible aversion to the word "No." I volunteer for everything, just ask my husband, my mom and my kids. Thus, my lack of blog posts. However, some time during the past six weeks, I have found a bit of time for quilting and. . . Evan's Heart.

When the twins began kindergarten (5 years ago. . .sniff, sobb) I learned one of the moms, Tonya, facilitates Evan's Heart, collecting quilts throughout the year for seriously ill/terminal infants and children. She then delivers them to Sutter Memorial Hospital in Sacramento the Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving, each and every year. Needless to say, I jumped right on that bandwagon and complete a quilt each year. This year, I was asked by one of our local Girl Scout troops to teach a one day quilting workshop giving each of the girls an opportunity to make a quilt for Evan's Heart. As you can see, they did awesome! I'm so very proud of them!

I was also able to make and donate three quilts this year myself. What a wonderful opportunity to help others. . .and to appreciate the health of my five little ones.

And now, with Thanksgiving put to bed for another year, and a week or two to breath before room mom duties kick into high gear, I'm hoping to add another post or two in the next few days. I'm working on a cute little project as a giveaway on December 3rd sponsored through Sew,Mama,Sew! 

Enjoy your holidays, be sure to give from the heart, it's the best gift of all.

Farmer's Dinner

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Each fall my childrens' elementary school hosts a Farmer's Dinner celebration. The event is designed to raise funds for classrooms. There is games, a cakewalk, costume parade, live auction, silent auction etc., It's developed into quite the affair. Each classroom chooses a theme, and parent donations are collected to build a basket to be auctioned off at the dinner. In addition to helping with the basket, I'm donating these two quilts. The above is a Turning Twenty pattern. 

This one was such a happy quilt to make. The fabrics are bright, happy and saturated with butterflies, flowers and bouncy little swirls. I chose an all-over butterfly pattern for the machine quilting. It reminds me of lounging in the backyard, daydreaming as the sun warms your face. 

The remainder of my week will be filled with more preparation for Farmer's Dinner, subcoaching Cassidy's volleyball team, dashing to Red Bluff to watch John Jr., and the rest of the CSHS team crush them in football, up early Saturday morning for my niece's soccer game, yet another volleyball game Saturday evening. . .ahhh, no time for sewing this weekend. 

Enjoy yours!

Treasure from River Run Shop Hop '08

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Here in far northern California our local quilt shops come together annually and put on a shop hop. I know. . .big deal, right?. . .well, actually it's becoming just that.  The Hop is made up of shops from Chico, Redding, Red Bluff, Paradise and Willows. Each year it seems the event becomes bigger and better than the one previous, this year being no exception. Each store had the cutest displays, projects and activities. My favorite was Morning Star Quilter's in Paradise. Aside from the awesome variety of kits they had available, they had a barbeque going and slices of juicy watermelon for all of us. It was all very a la block party. Very cool. Fire personnel were on hand collecting donations for some much needed supplies and quilts were collected for and given to the victims from this summer's devastating fires. Nice. The above is one of the kits I purchased to make this quilt.

Let Us Not Forget Our Felt Friends

When it comes to fabrics I tend to pick from two distinct groupings–shabby chic-ish (love the soft, floral pastels) and modern (bright, oversized patterns). However, I love the depth, color and texture of felt.  . .soft, wool felt. These little gems were my pick at Honey Run. My plan is to make these great little cuties with them.

Black & White and Pink All Over

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I love pink! And I really love pink and black together. Trying to decide which pink, black and white fabrics from my stash was the most difficult part of this quilt. The pattern is from Atkinson Designs and is fat quarter friendly. Very fun!

What To Do With A Fat Quarter or Two. . .

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

With the official end of summer just two weeks away, I though a nice quilt to finish off the season was in order. I needed something quick to cheer me up! 

With the kids settled in at school, acclimating to their new schedules, I'd become very melancholy–I miss them during the day, I miss the activity in the house (mostly in the kitchen) and by the pool.  The place becomes very quiet and big. I just know I'll be the worst empty nester ever!

Back to the quilt, I must admit I am a fat quarter junky. . .really, I am! I love them and there is nothing quite like them. So, to ease my "I miss my kids' blues," I gathered a few of them together, found 2 yards of beautiful floral fabric deep in the confines of my stash, this pattern from this pattern company and. . .Voila! It took just an afternoon to finish the top. Instant gratification.  

Passion for Pincushions

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Here are the pincushions I've been working on. These are quick and easy! And with the exception of the pear, all were free downloads–quite cool. I stuffed them with a cotton fill and sand (to keep the pins sharp). To keep the sand in place I made a small pouch from muslin and filled it with sand using a small funnel, I then hand stitched the opening closed. Then, I stuffed each pincushion about 1/3 of the way with the cotton fill, placed the sand pouch, keeping it centered, and continued with the cotton fill until full. They would also be great stuffed with cedar, lavender, or cotton fill which has been scented with a favorite oil. The pins were made with long straight pins and cute beads from my favorite bead store.

The Fab Five

Saturday, August 16, 2008

This is my world. . .the Fab Five. School starts early around here! Here they are on their first day. My oldest daughter graduates high school this year, the really tall one. . .he's a sophomore and plays football for CSHS, daughter number two began junior high. . .and the twins have hit upper elementary in the 4th grade. Time flies and it's all been fun! I can't imagine life without them. I've been blessed with a great crew. Enjoy yours!

And A Bag To Go With

I love leftovers–it seems whenever I buy fabric for a project I always purchase a little more than what I actually need. Thus, this bag. It's a cute little summer tote, the perfect accompaniment to the pillowcase dress. The pattern, Easiest Accessory Bag Ever, is from Fig Tree Quilts. I love the ribbon ties, it's very Fresh Vintage.

Pillowcase Dress Revisited

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I absolutely love pillowcase dresses. . .soft, flowing and summery. I was searching through my stash of vintage pillowcases, left to me by my grandmother and hand embroidered by both my maternal great grand- mothers, trying to figure which one would make the perfect little dress for my youngest daughter. I couldn't do it. There is no way those pillowcases are ever going to be anything other than pillowcases. I actually teared up at the thought of cutting into them. . .it just isn't going to happen. So I carefully folded them back up and stowed them away. . .ahh, memories.  

There was, however, a beautiful stack of Amy Butler fabrics sitting there on my sewing table. . .just waiting.  Perfect!  With the help of Anna Marie Horner's helpful hints. . .a pillowcase dress was born! I found it helpful when cutting the armhole area to create a pattern piece from one of my daughter's tank tops (I didn't want it to be too big through the arms). 

Well, Bethy loves it and it's soft, flowing and summery!  Her two older sister's are now after me, both wanting pillowcase blouses.  

Fire Crew Appreciation

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Today, just a quick HEARTFELT note to all the firemen and women who have for the past 8 weeks battled the awful fires that have seemingly taken over our lives.  Your hard work and tireless effort are truly appreciated.  And to all of you who have given up family members so they could come save Northern California. . .thank you too!  There was blue sky today. . .a true blessing.  Thank you.

Busy. . .Busy. . .Busy

Monday, July 21, 2008

Two months ago I made a priority to sit down and create a blog for myself (ah, well my oldest daughter did most of the "creating")  Well, nearly 8 weeks after my first post. . .I'm back! Great job, I know.  

Lots to do in the summer, with all five kids home on break (and all inside–northern California has been on fire for what seems like forever!) it's been a little difficult to get to the blog.  

The good news, I have been sewing and the fabric fairy (aka the mail lady) has brought me two wonderful boxes of yummy fabric, one from the Fat Quarter Shop–the Ava Rose collection by Tanya Whelan of Grand Revival; the next from a collaboration of Etsy sites the new line by Sandi Henderson of Portabellopixie, Farmer's Market.  

There will be several posts in the next few days of the wonderful things I hope to complete with all this fabric treasure!  Here's a peak at some other things I've been working on.

This skirt was a download pattern from Grand Revival using Sandi Henderson's first line Ginger Blossom.

Also, I just finished a quilt that I'll be teaching at our local quilt shop–Honey Run Quilter's this fall–I call it Summer Sherbet. . .it reminds me of the delicious watermelon sherbet I had while in Hawaii!

Oooh, and next is a little something I cooked up from the garden.  This past spring, we planted extra tomato plants so I could do some canning.  Here are some stewed tomatoes.  .  . they're yummy in the winter as part of my chili recipe!

Our Newest Addition

Monday, June 9, 2008

Born June 1st, a little hereford calf!  A boy, his name is Blaze, for his beautiful white markings.  My first thought, however, was baby new year. . look at those ears!  I doubt very much he will become beef in the freezer, more likely my eldest daughter's FFA show project next spring. We're expecting again (a calf not a child. . .) in August.  It's so exciting, each and every time.  
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