Monday, January 17, 2011

We're off to see the Wizard...

My sisters have been asking me for quilts for a LONG time. Although they are a definite priority, I have been severely backlogged with projects.

Dawn requested that I make her a "Wizard of Oz" themed quilt. Hmmm. I like "Wizard of Oz" just fine; however, I wouldn't consider myself a fanatic. (Admittedly, I enjoyed Gregory Macguire's novel "Wicked" far better.)

So, this past summer, I bought some Oz themed fabric to use for Dawn's quilt. I brainstormed and brainstormed and brainstormed. I couldn't really think of anything that I wanted to create with it.

The problem was two-fold: I am not a fan of panels and the colors were pretty overwhelming.

I finally rolled my sleeves up and got to work, piecing the quilt without much of a plan and hoping that inspiration would hit.

I took the pieces that I had pieced, thus far, to Idyllwild on our quilting retreat and received help from some of the fabulously creative quilters there.

We placed it on a bed and started moving pieces around, auditioning fabric underneath the pieces. The consensus looked something like this:

So, I got back to it around the beginning of December and finished it shortly thereafter. I'll just say that it is not my favorite project that I have created, but my sister, Dawn, adores it. (Yay!)
This is the front of the quilt. It is obviously a lap-sized quilt.

The back has more scenes from the movie.

A close-up of one of the photo panels.

Another close-up of a photo panel. I quilted this on my Bernina using a stipple pattern. (The one thing that I really do like about this quilt are my little pinwheels using the ruby slippers and the blue gingham fabric. You can see them peeking out at the top of this photo.)

I am glad that my sister is happy with her quilt and I am thinking about how to do Kindyl's. She hasn't requested anything specifically (which makes it easier on me), but I have some fun ideas. :)

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Ready for the week...

Getting our little family for the week sometimes feels like a full-time job. I like to make sure that all of the lunches are prepared and closets are stocked on Sunday. This makes my Sunday pretty busy; but, it makes my week go so much easier. Here are some examples of my Sunday tasks:

PB&J sandwiches for the kids. Yes, my kids are spoiled. I cut the crusts off using this little Pampered Chef tool. It just makes it easier to freeze them because it seals the edges. Yes, again, I freeze them. (The secret is peanut butter on both pieces of bread so that the jelly doesn't get gooey.)

Well, I don't give the kids sandwiches everyday. So, sometimes I throw in things like tortilla soup, pasta, or Israeli couscous. (Don't forget the grapes.)

Then there are the clothes...
Jake's (Thank goodness, he is almost self-sufficient in this area.)

And, his PE clothes.

Cristina, Daniel, and Gabriela have their clothes grouped by day.

Now, we have the backpacks ready to be filled and grabbed in the morning.

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The little things....

Over the break, we were busy around the house. We cleaned out the kids' rooms to donate some of their older toys to AMVETS. It felt fantastic to do a clean sweep for a worthy cause. (I think between clothes, toys, and bedding, we had about six lawn bags full of things to donate.)

I also had the opportunity to redecorate the kids' bathroom. (I wish I had a picture. Later.) We had to have a plumber come out to fix a leak in that bathroom's shower. Unfortunately, they had to do the repair through the ceiling in my sewing room.

Luckily, it wasn't too bad and they made the fix pretty easily. :) Since we were redoing some of the fixtures, I decided to give the whole bathroom a makeover.

In the kitchen, I finished (mostly) some previous projects. After seeing what two of my friends (Donna and Mare) did with their kitchen cabinets, I totally copied them. I took the doors from the cabinet over the microwave and placed my cookbooks in there for easy access. (It was such a tiny, useless cabinet before this small change.) I still need to touch up the paint of the inside trim a bit. I love that I have my cookbooks and recipe box all at an arm's reach.

Finally, I decided to play around some more with my pantry door. Previously, I had painted a large "chalkboard" rectangle on my pantry door. I decided to add a piece of plexiglass to the top so that I could use the chalkboard pens similar to those they use at Trader Joe's and restaurants. I got the idea because I have been debating getting a pantry door that has a glass pane down the length of it. In real life, it isn't nearly as "shiny" and well you don't have to see me in it all of the time. (Why does it look as though I have only one leg? Hmmmm.) *waves*

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

As luck would have it...

I find it hard to believe that I could possibly have better luck than I already have.


My family is the BEST! We are all healthy, happy, silly, and crazy. We enjoy making each other laugh and loving each other hard. I could not be more blessed than with my husband, children, and our extended family.

My friends are unbelievably supportive. I am fortunate enough to teach with my very best friends. I look forward to seeing them daily and sharing everything with them. In addition to those fabulous women, I belong to book clubs and friendship groups with some of the most amazingly creative and intelligent people.

All things considered, I know better than to tempt fate. As any good southerner knows, the best way to ensure good luck for the coming year is to eat black-eyed peas on New Year's Day.

Done and done. (We added some ham, greens, and cornbread, of course.)

Here's to another prosperous year to you and yours from me and mine.
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