Thursday, May 24, 2007

Like Christmas

First things first... I made a list of goals for myself. I categorized them into 3 sections; Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual. As I've blah..blah..blahed... about on here before, I am trying to figure out this new quest as a SAHM. I feel like I have so much time, yet I am getting nothing done. It is unreal. One of my 'Emotional' goals is to do complete one sewing item a week. Yahoo. I don't know. Maybe it should fit into 'Physical' but I am not sure. Anyway, the goals were made yesterday so I haven't completed anything this week.

I have, however, received some pretty fabulous packages in the last few weeks that showcase the works of some extremely talented crafters. **Disclaimer** Yes, I did get a new camera. No, I have not figured out how to use it. These pics aren't the best. I'm carrying it in this for the time being.

First, from the lovely miss catpants...

Look at this lovely yarn. I wish you could see the true colors. These are close, but not quite. She also knitted...yes, I said knitted... this amazing bracelet. It is just gorgeous. It was also a bugger to photograph.

I should have scanned it. It is the most brilliant color of sea greens. I love it. This is what I traded for the aqua & red needle roll.

Next is my embroidered bookmark from Dy that flew so quickly all the way from Australia.

Again, her pictures are better, so click on over to her blog for better details. I think I was even more excited about the fact that it matched the book I am reading (without the cover art on it). I am so nerdy. She also sent me some beautiful fabric and a neat postcard.

Aren't I lucky?!? I thought so. I've entered another Craftster sweat shoppe swap so I am sewing up those little items. I'll have something to show soon enough. Also, you know my goals, so please check up on me.


Monday, May 21, 2007

What I am up to you ask?

I have a lot going on, and just wanted to do a quick update...

1. deciding how I want to change the look of this blog to reflect better who I am. I only used a black background to hide my crummy photographs.

2. Needlebooks! Needlebooks! Needlebooks! I've entered the Sweat Shoppe Swap #9... I KNOW AGAIN!... and I need to get my offerings finished. They are cute.

3. laundry, although Mike would argue that I am not working very hard on this lately.

4. taking pictures. I got a new camera for Mother's Day! Yahoo! I don't have a memory card in it yet, so I just keep taking 4 pictures and then erasing them. I'm lame and I need to get to the store. We will go tonight for Family Night... that will be a good outing.

5. reading craft blogs... not writing or crafting. ;-)

6. Rereading Harry Potter 5, and soon 6. Sheesh! I know what happens, I don't know why I am having such a hard time putting these books down... even at 2:00 AM.

7. Receiving WONDERFUL mail. Ooh I can't wait to show you.

That is about it. Mike started his new job today. I think that deserves some celebrations, so maybe we'll go out to dinner instead. It is raining and cold and I feel kind of lazy. I did go to the Children's Museum this morning and to the grocery store, so I was semi-busy. I should at least go clean the dishes to show a little more domestic effort. Haha!

Peace Out!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Midnight Oil

I think I had a romanticized vision of what being a SAHM meant. We would wake up at 7:30 am and make a delicious breakfast. Then we'd exercise and go on a long walk to the park. Then we could go to story time before lunch. After lunch we would read books and Cohen would take a long nap so I could craft while my house magically stayed clean. After he woke up, we'd go run the errands and be back in time to make dinner for Daddy. After dinner, we'd play with trains and blocks and then we'd kiss the boy good night before 8:00 PM so I could watch The Office or Lost or ER in peace while knitting. Then I could go to sleep at the reasonable hour of 10:00 PM so I would be refreshed and ready to do it again.

WHAT?!? I mean, isn't that how your days go? I'm sure that Cohen is the only one who throws fits about bath time, or what color of bowl his cereal is in. Or... is the only one that colors magic marker on the rental carpet and wants to watch TV all day??? It is amazing what real days entail.

I name this post "Midnight Oil" because that is when I really have time to craft. Not after 8:00 on the couch while watching my favorite shows. It is after 10:00 pm when I am supposed to restfully sawing logs. Last night I downed a few Diet Dr. Peppers so I could finish the apron for Hillary's shower today. I picked what I thought was a simple design, but of course it wasn't. When is sewing curvy lines simple? I also forgot to buy bias tape. Nothing like making 1/2 bias tape after midnight to boost your confidence on the sewing machine. EEEK! But I plugged through and made it happen.

I love this fabric. It was fun to sew with. I've just realized that sewing is more fun when you use your "special" stuff. So despite the curves and 3 yards of bias tape, I got the package all completed. It looks pretty cute all curled up in the bowl with everything else. I need to stop and get some cellophane on the way to the party.

Then, this morning I was feeling so refreshed (nothing like a 2:00 am bedtime and a potty training toddler and too much caffeine to make 7:30 feel like 5:00 am) and ready to go. So I made my bag.

IT IS PERFECT!!! YIPEEEE! I made up the pattern and sized all of the pockets according to what I needed to be carried in them... cellphone, planner, iPod, wallet, keys, extra change of clothing for potty boy (just in case), and my fabric store coupons and fabric swatches. :) I right?

I also bought this owl fabric in pink. According to my computer monitor, it matched my bedroom color of pink perfectly and I was planning on making pillows. NOPE! Oh well, it can be another cute project.
I added a little patchwork to the strap for some added flair. You know, because I am all about flair. But I am so excited to carry this bag today. It is perfect and won't I just be so hip?? Off I go to my parties!

Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The House That Lori Stitched

You've heard me talking of the freezer paper appliqué project that I've been working on. Well, here it is... just don't look too close. It was my first try and I must say I am quite addicted to paper appliqué and want to try another project. This piece is going to be a small quilted wall hanging, and my mother-in-law is going to get it as a gift for her winter birthday.

I am going to back it with a similar patterned fabric that the bigger part of the house is made from and the stripes will be the binding. I love the "Welcome to the North Pole" sign, so I wanted to bring it out more. I have a few things to add. I am going to going to add seed beads for lights at the top of the house. A few star beads will be added to the sky and I want to decorate the trees a bit, too.

I think it turned out pretty good... as long as you don't look too close. It isn't really my style, but it was a great project to start on because I learned a lot of different techniques. Man, those windows were a bugger. The small pieces made my fingers, and ego, hurt!

I just bought the fabric to start an apron for my friend Hillary's bridal shower that is on Saturday... I need to get busy. I bought some Chocolate Lollipop and it is just delightful. Of course I'll take a picture of the finished project.

I am off to see this with Lindsey tonight. Ahhhh - a night away from the potty. I swear my life is more exciting that potty training. I swear the kid has a bladder the size of a pin head. When I walk in a store, I cannot start shopping until I know where the bathrooms are. Funny how our perspectives change.

Good news...I actually won (well sort of) an internet contest. I've linked to Meshell's awesome blog before. Well this contest was to help her mother name their new spinning wheel. I suggested Gretta, and it was winning until the very end. Anyway, check out the great wheel and my awesome prize coming all the way from Australia. Yahoo... I can't wait. As a shout out, I LOVE these ladies' blogs. They are so entertaining and creative.

So until next time, I'll leave you with the fabric choices for my new bag. I need something that will carry a wallet, phone, keys, my planner, an extra pair of clothing for the potty training boy (no more mentions... I promise), some wipes and what ever stuffed animal he brings along. Right now I'm carrying two, and it isn't working. Anyway... Adios!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Lemony Fresh

Today has been a rather uneventful day. I decided early on that I would get out of bed and get some editing done for Mike's cousin before the boy woke up. Well, he heard me flush, so he was up and at em' bright and early. Oh well. It is nice to just sit and listen to him blabber about whatever he was thinking about before he went to bed. SO FUNNY! After a few hours of television, we went to Barnes & Noble for story time. The reader was a cute, funny man that was probably 7 feet tall. He wore nice shoes. The stories were all about mothers because they are having a Mother's Day tribute week with a two part story time and craft. Very cute. Today they planted flowers for us. I'm glad I am a mother at moments like this.

After a little lunch at Noodles and Company, we went to the park. Cohen pooped twice. YIKES! Good thing I randomly packed a lot of extra underwear. He just won't poo in the toilet and it is driving me a little mad. Nothing like hearing a 10 year-old yell, "That kid is pooping!" really loud to his buddies. Cohen got so embarrassed and didn't want to go down the slide (obviously) or walk. He just stood at the top of the playground frozen. These are moments that I wish dad was around to take care of.

He fell asleep in the car on the way home. He is now working on hour 4 of his nap. HOLY MOLY! I've enjoyed my afternoon of editing, emailing, and blogging, but maybe I should wake him up so I will still have some evening left after putting him to bed.

In other news, Mike was offered a great job today with Zions Bank. It is a graphic design position with bankers hours. You can't beat that! We are both pretty excited and I am officially declaring myself a SAHM (now that I know what SAHM stands for!). He starts in two weeks. Whew. It has been a long 6 unemployed weeks, but we've made it.

Only good things have been coming our way since my lay-off. I know that is was totally the right thing. I'm still figuring out how to be a productive mom, but rereading Harry Potter 5 & 6 sure is getting in the way of the productive part! Oh - guess who just woke up?

Oh, by the way, do you love the lemon fabric, or what? It is Alexander Henry purchased at JoAnn's. Right now the only thing I can find to do with it is put my old dusty flowers on it. I wish I had a little girl to make a jumper for. It is just so summery and cute. Maybe I'll make a quick skirt for me, because I bought enough, just in case. ;)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Aqua and Red

If I could paint the world any color today, it would be aqua and red. Not until recently have I found that I love this color combination almost as much as brown, pink, and blue. After reading several posts written my MissMeshell, I realized that aqua and red were indeed eye candy. (By the way... read her latest post about all of the hand spun yarn... YUMMY!)

I made this needle roll for catpants, aka Tracy. She is also a lover of all things red and aqua. She is also a knitter extraordinary! She makes sassy jewelry, too. And... just about everything else. I'm getting some hand spun yarn (YAY!) and jewelry in return.

The outside is made of a aqua pant weight canvass type fabric. I found this fabric years ago at an upholstery store and bought the rest of the bolt. I only have about a fat quarter left of it. But, of all the "I-love-this-so-much-I-MUST-have-the-rest-of-the-bolt" fabrics I've purchased over the years, this has definitely produced the best projects! I'm sad that it is almost gone forever. The sadder part is that I do not think I've saved any of the projects. I need to be better about saving something that I make. Do any of you ever feel like you never make anything for yourself?

The insides are some of the cutest quilting cottons I could find. The closure is just a silky red ribbon and a fabric yo-yo and a vintage button. I think it makes the dull outside a little more special.

I really loved the way this turned out. This is the perfect type of project to help me get out of crafting slumps. It is quick, easy and extremely gratifying. Anyway, I hope you like it miss catpants!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A Winner Has Been Chosen

Thank you all for posting and celebrating my 50th post! You are wonderful and I wish I could send a Jar of Whimsies to everyone who commented. Unfortunately, I could only choose one. Rather than going on and on about the process, I'll let you view it through photos.

Congrats! Send me your address to my email - lori (dot) vanwagoner (at) gmail (dot) com.
I'll assemble it and get it sent out by the end of the week.

I just cut out the fabric for a needle roll and the rest of the baby blanket pieces. I'll be back with more crafty posts later in the week!
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