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Showing posts from 2020

Life Update

We're okay. 
I try to be thankful for the things that are good; our income is secure because Gunnar is essential personnel. I'm glad that as a stay-at-home mom, I'm equipped and prepared to not only care for all of our children, but to homeschool* them and ensure that their education continues in spite of everything. I'm relieved that we are all young and healthy right now and generally low risk. I'm grateful that the rain has cleared up and that my kids can spend so much time in our backyard, or riding bikes, or in the sprinkler. I'm thankful that Gunnar's job gives us access to food and supplies whenever we need them. 
The world has shrunk, in some ways, and I can stay positive when I focus on what has become my whole world--my house, my yard, my kids.  But sometimes I traipse on over to facebook or reddit or CNN and the world explodes open and my heart starts to pound and my head spins and holy shit I am NOT okay. 
I'm terrified for all my elderly an…

Toddler Sunday Dress - The Final Version

I finished Rosemary's beautiful Easter Dress and I am SO happy with it! Several weeks ago I was looking for more Catan Hex fabric and stumbled upon this beautiful Dear Stella fabric yardage at my local quilting store. I didn't find any fabric for my hexes, so I spent way too much money on this instead. Since it was so expensive, I made a wearable mock-up of it out of some cheap fabric from Joann's that I had in my stash, and I'm glad I did. On that one, the button placket is wacky, the underlining is bulky, and the tulle I added to make it puff out a bit was in the wrong spot so the skirt has a little bit of an odd shape. This one, other than one slightly wonky buttonhole, is exactly how I wanted it! I'm really proud of my sewing skills with this one, and it looks great on her too!


Check out those awesome pin tucks! This took a lot of trial and error on practice fabric pieces! Also check out that tongue--she is my little spice all right! 



I bribed her with Disney …

Quick Dog Man Costume

Our Elementary school has a yearly "Book Character Dress Up Day" that my boys LOVE to participate in...which means I have another excuse to get crafty and do some simple costumes! They have both been really into the "Dog Man" graphic novels, and so I offered to make a Dog Man outfit for James! Jack, predictably, wanted to be Calvin (again).  
I was proud that I did't have to buy a single thing for this outfit! I had some blue fleece is my closet from Jack's shark costume and some yellow from a never-made idea to have the boys be Finn and Jake from Adventure Time. 


For the hat I used some heavyweight iron-on interfacing to give it structure, and attached the floppy yellow dog-ears to each side. The badge is just zig-zagged onto the front. There's no lining or anything fancy. 
The shirt is a Minecraft shirt that was the right color. I turned it inside out and basted the badge onto the front with a long running stitch so that I could easily remove it and …

Toddler Sunday Dress - The Practice Version

This past weekend I went looking for some more fabric to make hexes for my quilt that would actually match better, and I had NO LUCK. Instead, I spent too much money on some absolutely beautiful fabric to make a dress for Rosemary. Then, because the fabric was so beautiful and expensive, I thought I should make a mock-up first so I don't mess it up. But I am lazy and I hate making mock-ups, so I decided to make a practice dress instead! Everything in this project came from my stash; some fabric I had from Joann's a fat quarter I nicked from one of my fat quarter bundles, and tulle leftover from who knows what, buttons from my tupperware full of buttons from estate sales, and lining from random scraps in my closet. Yay me! Even the clip and felt I used to make the matching bow were from my drawer of random junk. 
And it turned out WONDERUFL! If I do say so myself, it doesn't actually look home-made at all. I didn't use a pattern, just drafted a little something based o…

What I'm Reading/Watching/Playing January

Reading Starsight by Brandon SandersonAs usual, Sanderson delivers! This is a sequel to Skyward which came out last year and it is just as exciting and surprising as the first one. It's a quick, exciting read and I highly recommend this series if you are interested in reading Sanderson but don't want to try and get through one of his longer more intense series like Mistborn or Stormlight Archives, or if you just prefer sci-fi to fantasy. I read a lot of sci-fi in the past year and Starsight definitely ranks highly in comparison.


Fate of the Fallen by Kel KadeOh man this was terrible and a struggle to finish. The plot had so much potential, but the writing was just so bad. There was a lot of times when something cool would happen...off page. Or something boring would happen, and then the characters would meet someone new and recount what just happened in a very boring way. Even one of the more interesting dynamics of the main character talking to someone that no one else could…

Catan Hexagon Quilt Update #3

Previous Installments:
Starting My Dream Quilt
Catan Hexagon Quilt Update #1
Catan Hexagon Quilt Update #2

Unfortunately, I've had some major setbacks with this quilt. The first is personal: I spent so much of my free tv watching time holding the baby over the past 8 months that I haven't had much time for hand sewing. The second is medical: I have carpal tunnel in my wrists that has flared up very painfully recently and makes basting hexes slower than usual. The third is...design issues. This is what this post is going to be about.

The land continent hexes are all complete and sewn together into large pieces, so I started working on basting the water hexes. I have collected a variety of blues over the course of the year and a half I have been working on this project, and rejected some (the greens in the lower right of the picture, for example) and then decided to go with a more uniform color pallet and started exclusively basting the slate-blue colored waters that you see in the…

Youtube Spotlight: Bernadette Banner

Another costume-maker who I love to watch on Youtube is Bernadette Banner! She lives in New York city and her videos are full of cool historical research and an unbelievable amount of hand-sewing. I would call her crazy, but I'm hand sewing a king-sized hexagon quilt so....I'll call her ambitious and dedicated instead! Really though, her stuff is impressive, her vlogs are interesting and entertaining, and she does most of it in New York city which is basically a foreign country to a suburban Texas girl like me! Check her out!



Teaching them Catan

Over Christmas break, I taught Jack and James how to play Settlers of Catan.

After the babies were in bed, I set up the board and let them choose their colors. The first night we played, it was Catan in the simplest form.  No development cards, no longest road, and no robber until we'd gone around a few times and gotten the hang of it. Trading I let come naturally, when James didn't have the right cards for his settlement and I suggested that he ask Jack if he had one. We only played to five points. It was awesome.

I first played Settlers of Catan in college, with Gunnar and our friends and roommates, and with John and his friends. It became an obsession, and almost every night me and my roommate would set up the board while the guys cleaned up dinner, and then afterwards we would all play these epic long games with two games worth of land tiles, creative setups like "gold island" or "four islands," and lots of fun and sometimes even some arguments.

James,…

New Year New Goals! 2020

I have always been a huge planner junkie, and anyone who knows me knows that I have used a planner every single year of my life since the 6th grade.

Currently I use a customized horizontal Plum Paper planner, unbound, which I then hole punch and put into my original purple patent leather A5 Filofax binder. It lays open on the desk downstairs in front of the computer and I write everything the family needs to do and know in it!

I also love goals and goal-setting, and this year I used the Year Compass free downloadable booklet to reflect on my past year and make plans for the new year. It's very journaling-heavy, but since I also love journaling, it was perfect for me!

Which brings me to my goals! My friend Christina just posted her 20x20 goals for 2020 and while I am very impressed by her initiative, I'm not quite as ambitious! I've narrowed my goals down to a few major areas, many of them are just continuations from last year with a little expansion.

1. Be Black Belt Ready

What I'm reading/watching/playing December

ReadingThe Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee

I didn't love it. I didn't dislike it enough to stop reading it, but I definitely only read the bare minimum and it took me almost the entire month to read it.  I'm not even sure what I don't like about it, to be honest...maybe it's too "hard" of sci-fi for me? There is a lot of tactics and warfare. Maybe it's the random use of alternate words for normal things (like calling all the ships moths) that made it really hard to figure out what was going in..I don't know. I do like the main character and the situation she's in, but it's just not dramatic enough, and didn't pull me in.


The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch (Didn't Finish)

I hated it and couldn't finish. I got about 1/3 of the way through and was so not into it, so I read a bunch of reviews to see if it was going to get better, and the things described in the reviews were not things that I particularly wanted to read about, and…

In 2019

In the year 2019... I read 33 books
I finished 4 quilts
I made 46 blog posts
I earned my red II belt! 

And I had a baby! He's 7 months old now!


And much, much more! I made costumes and doll clothes, I cared for increased workload of kids full time, I went to Padre Island and Lake Buchanan, I helped out at my church's MOM's group, I laughed and cried and yelled and sweated..
It wasn't all good. I said goodbye to a very dear friend who has moved on in her life to new things. My father-in-law who has Alzheimer's is sadly not doing well. He is in a nursing home but does not know any of his children or grandchildren anymore. Jack broke his arm, we all got a pneumonia-like respiratory infection that lasted ages. My c-section recovery was long and very difficult. 



I didn't meet all my goals either...or rather, I re organized my priorities. I put my in-progress novels on the back burner and stopped going to my writing group.  I also neglected my Catan Quilt...partly d…