Monday, October 5, 2015

LittleBuddy's Quilt and 3 cards

I took a long hiatus from working on this quilt or any of my own (4.5 months to be exact) but finally got down to it and got it done.  LittleBuddy loves it. I had to take it off his bed and put it on mine where there is better natural light to photograph it this morning. Its a quilt about him. I think I'm naming it, "Happy," for this quilt represents the things that make him happy. It also is a reminder of one of my favorite high school memories with him, when he asked me to be his practice partner for a dance festival last summer. The couples dance was swing dancing to this song by Pharrell Williams, and we practiced every day until I was sweating and for several days until he was comfortable and had all his dance steps and motions memorized. It was so fun to do that with him and will always be a happy memory for me.
 This is the back. His school colors are orange and black. When I first got the Elementary, by Sweetwater for Moda, layer cake, it had blacks, browns, off whites, and some blues. When I showed it to him, he said I don't like the blues in it. I like oranges. So, I shopped around online and found some great oranges. This backing was from for $1.99/yd. When you're buying 4 yards, its a terrific savings. I quilted it in long rows, using the back as the lines to follow which made it easy to keep everything parallel and saved me from having to make all my quilt lines.
 Littlebuddy is a science guy. The DNA helixes were his favorite fabric I found, so they went front and center. My son picked out this pattern from a book I have by Camille Roskelley. It feels masculine, yet is clean and simple which I like and is a good pattern to highlight large patterns as well.
 He plays viola, so the musical notes fabric I had worked perfect. Note circles all over. Those represent tennis, which is his favorite sport.
 There are math and science equations, letters, months of the year, circles, patterns from nature ( he loves being outdoors too,) some interesting patterns, and infinity patterns as well. The only thing I wished I thought of were map fabrics, as he loves reading those. He is a deep thinker. He thinks about spiritual things and how the universe works and how people interact and yet loves his friends, is happy to hang out with them and listen to his Spotify playlist. He's a normal teenager with a great heart and mind. I love this boy and was glad to be able to make him a keepsake quilt which he loves. Makes me sad he's already a Jr. in high school and will be gone in less than 2 years!!
 My mom's sisters were here all last week and my oldest, Cowgirl, here the week before, so its been busy and lots of fun around here lately. On Friday, the aunts, my mom, MyGirl, and I all sat down at the kitchen table to make cards. Here are a few of our creations.

I hope to blog more, but we'll see. My creativity next is going to be towards Christmas, so the gifts will have to wait, but hopefully I get another quilt done before December. I have to say that I am LOVING having my Halloween quilt over the railing this October. Sure adds a joyful feel to my decor. Happy October Everyone!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Hot Air Balloons

Happy Labor Day!

When we first moved here we heard of the Balloon Festival on Labor Day when it was too late to attend. Then the next year we forgot about it. Then they cancelled it for a couple of years and this year when I heard it was back on, I just knew I wanted to see it before it disappears again. So, I talked my dad, my husband, and my youngest son into going with me. We left at 6:30 a.m, and arrived just in time to see this site below. I was afraid we might have been too late.

But no, that was just the first wave, leaving at 7.

We just needed to go over a small hill and here were the crowds and the balloons.
It was soo neat to watch them being pumped up with hot air.

Then they'd just take off right above us whenever they were ready. Maybe there is an order, but I'm not sure.
 This one got all pumped up and never took off. We saw a few of those, and felt bad for them.
 But more just kept on going. 
 Some of them were characters. I was surprised how easily the dragon stayed afloat as it was unusually shaped.
 And then we saw Yoda and Darth Vader. We were excited to watch them take off, but after twenty minutes or so they were deflated and didn't go up. Too bad. It was a perfect day. Not too windy but windy enough. Mild temperatures. Really we couldn't have asked for anything better for us but apparently something wasn't working for them.
 Then about 7:40 as we standing watching all the action, a group just started setting up their balloon right in front of us. They'd kindly asked the crowd on both sides to give them some space, and just unrolled it and made it happen.
 Meanwhile the other balloons just kept on going. The black constellation one was interesting. I wondered it being so close to the one on its left would cause a problem but it didn't. Soon it just floated upward.
 This had been 2nd on the right and then it just lifted up. I really liked the patterns on this one.
 This one drew applause from the crowd. A USA flag, a Colorado state flag, and three other flags I didn't recognize were all hanging off the side of it.
 Then the one that had been right in front of us was ready to launch. It took less than 20 minutes from unrolling to airborne.
 Up, Up, and Away. This was the I [heart] Radio Media balloon. 
 It was the first and only one we saw that actually went over the crowd, then touched gently down onto the lake beside us and then rose again. It also drew applause from an appreciative audience. Certainly there is some risk with touching down over water, but slowly and carefully they made it.
I loved this balloon also. I was concerned it might not clear the trees but it did and then it stayed up high for a long time, even as we were walking back to the car a little before 8:30. What beautiful creativity was used on them all. There were at least 40 balloons we saw, perhaps more. Its not Albuquerque but it'll do for our hometown festival. I loved it!

Monday, August 31, 2015

3 Cards and 2 Games

I wanted to try out some coral glitter tape that I had, so I found some Sorbet and Crystal Blue and Creme Brulee papers to go with it, (mostly from the Balloon Ride paper packet) and made 3 cards that got sent last week. Add a little bling and it's done.

And now for the fun games.
We invited out trek family kids to come over for a BBQ reunion, and these were games we played in the dark or at night so I forgot to take photos. I found the ideas on Pinterest and hoped they'd be fun and they were. We had some good laughs.

Game 1 - Hunger Games Balloon Wars
Everyone blows up a balloon at least 9 inches. Each player is Tribute and the balloon is his/her life.
The object is to be the last player with a balloon unpopped.
The weapons we gave them were a crayon and a popsicle stick.
We gave them a glow stick around each wrist to make it easier to find each other in the dark. 
Then we told them to go survive and they were running all over the back yard. After the first game was over pretty quickly, they wanted to play again, so handed out more balloons and off they went, though this time we changed one rule - No balloons in your mouth. You had to hold them in one of your hands. We were afraid one of our boys was going to get stabbed in the eye as he held his balloon between his teeth but fortunately all went well, and they played til we finished the package of balloons.

Game 2 - What If?
Give everyone an index card and a pencil and sit in a circle.
Have each person write a what if question on their card.
Then I'd call out a direction and number for the kids to pass their kids, like 3 cards to the right. Then the new holder of the card would write the answer to the new what if question. Then I'd call out another number and a direction, like 2 cards to the right. Now the first person would read their card's question and the person to their right would read their card's answer. Some of them were hysterical and some fit perfectly or amazingly or weirdly. I realize there is a potential for trouble but this group of kids were great and I knew they'd write appropriate things, and we had some very good belly laughs.

We also played Minute to Win it games, and there were prizes at the end for the everyone. It'll be fun to play these again sometime. I write them down here to remember :-) Happy September everyone!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

3 Cards and a Quilt

No company, no Trek, no getting a high schooler ready for his junior year and off to a Scouting high adventure, so that means finally some time for a little creativity. I made three cards out of one paper pack with my neighbor yesterday. She's 9 and darling. It was a lot of fun and she was so happy to have a couple of cards to choose for her friend's birthday on Sat. Cuteness!

 I used scraps to make a card for an upcoming wedding I'm going to. I know its a little more casual than I usually do for a wedding but knowing the bride, this is her. . .fun, bright, and a little unique!
 Quilt # 4 for the Young Women is a grey and yellow brick quilt. I cut and designed it then sewed the first two rows together so the girls could get a feel for what this kind of quilt looks like. They're having a sleepover at their president's home in a couple of weeks and I'm going over for 3 hours to sew with the girls in her basement where I'll show them how to put this together.  Should be fun!

Hoping to have more creative time when school starts next week.

Saturday, July 25, 2015


If you wondered why you hadn't heard from me in over a month, this is why - Trek

 Its an enormous amount of prep work. Our whole family took a great trip to Mt. Rushmore and surrounding areas around Father's Day and when I came home I got so sick for several days, and then it was back to my walking 6-10 miles a week, purchasing and organizing gear for the 3 of us as well as for our whole family of 8 "kids" we would be walking with, planning devotionals, games, how to solve problems we knew would come up, praying for inspiration, answers, and more ideas, sewing an apron, a family flag, and hemming pajama pants into the bloomers all women had to wear, etc. until . . . .The night we left. We started with a fireside Sunday night then loaded buses - all 500 of us, (8 buses) and left at midnight for Wyoming.
 LittleBuddy wasn't in our Trek family, but we got to be in the same company of 100 with him after the 1st day. He went on the 17 mile 1st day trek while we were with those who were handicapped in some way, and only went 10 miles. Mike volunteered us for that as he didn't want me to over do things, and I did fine, 21 miles overall for our group, 28 for LittleBuddy.
 The girl in the center pulling the handcart is wearing a leg boot for her broken leg, but that didn't stop her. She was hard-working and didn't want to be left out of having a real pioneer experience. Others in our group had inhalers, autism, and other issues, but they all wanted to participate and everyone helped. This was going uphill on the Women's Pull.  I'm in the back pushing with all my might with another of my "daughters."
 Here was our whole group - 4 sons and 4 daughters, plus me and MyMike - Pa. Our handcart weighed 200 lbs. on its own and with our supplies we added another 150-200 lbs. . . not really sure of exact amount. We have 2 5 gallon jugs, one for water and one for Gatorade. Surprisingly, it wasn't as bad as it sounds but we had lots of helpful pullers and pushers. I can't imagine those back in 1856 who did it alone or carrying a dying loved one inside theirs. Very humbling thoughts were part of our Trek experience.
Our bishop and his wife were in front of us, so they took this picture as we're standing in front of the area known as Martin's Cove. What a sacred place this was!
 This is Devil's Gate. Martin's Cove is just to the left of this photo. We had started in Willie Meadows at the 6th Crossing of the Sweetwater River, then took a bus over to Rock Creek Hollow where we camped. LittleBuddy's group hiked up Rocky Ridge where they come out on the back side which is Rock Creek Hollow. The next morning we had a neat devotional led by missionaries called to share these great stories and help us understand the significance of where we were the history surrounding it. It was wonderful! The Spirit was strong, and whether you have pioneer ancestry or not, it is a legacy of faith and consecration that we all benefit from today.
 This actually shows the area that is Martin's Cove. As you see the grass jut to the right in the center before the mountains, it is actually sand that was blown there over a long period of time, and the grass grew up over it, and behind it and between the mountains is a grassy area where over 400 members of the Martin Handcart Company stayed and huddled, hoping for enough to eat and to be rescued in the brutal winter of 1856. It struck me how loving our Father in Heaven was to have provided a secluded spot out of the worst of the Wyoming wind to provide a save haven for them in their extreme situation, by sending those winds to build up the sand in just the right place. You'd never know it was there if you didn't happen to look for it, and yet its a perfect spot. Tender mercies.
Here's my boy on the way to the Cherry Creek Campground after a rest stop where snakes were spotted. Yes, we were camping, with outhouses, hot days, and cold nights. I could have done without the camping but Trek I would do again in a heartbeat. Really it is the people you are with that make the difference and I had a great family. I was glad I could see my LittleBuddy with his family too. It was great to know we were all there together, feeling the Spirit of this great place and learning more about those who came before us.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Father's Day printables

Well, a lot has happened in the last 32 days!

Here a few free printables I've been using to get ready for Father's Day:

A few quick highlights:
School's been out for almost a month
Both boys are working
LittleBuddy went to EFY
BigBuddy is no longer engaged
Cowgirl helped LittleBuddy and is coming to be with us soon
MyGirl is looking for a job
I am hiring professionals for home improvement projects - MyMike just too busy and not interested
Trek prep actively underway including making a family flag for our handcart
Great temple experiences
Another dear friend with cancer
Made a few cards. No quilting. More cooking and bread making.

Friday, May 15, 2015


Before I can create something I need to have time. Its been a busy time in my life lately, more driving than Ever before, and more assignments at church, preparing for Trek - 3 of us are going,  as well as a wedding now in the planning stages!
 Yep, BigBuddy is now engaged, and got his wisdom teeth out a week ago. He's doesn't look too puffy there.  But in spite of all that, if I get going too fast and have too much to do, then creativity just takes a back seat. I've had LittleBuddy's quilt top done for over a month and not one stitch of quilting on it. And when I have free time sometimes I don't need to be creative. I just need some rest. Here is an example of a Sunday Snooze Fest in my great room. It's simple for me. Rest is the prelude to creativity.

Nevertheless, a home feels too sterile without homemade touches. And because I've been too busy to create much, I thought I'd share some simple projects that are adding a touch of creativity to my home right now. If I've shared them before I apologize.

 MyGirl made me this thoughtful frame of words about me using a circle punch from an old children's dictionary whose cover was falling off, and heart punch with some scraps of red paper. Super sweet. This is in my bathroom.

 This is the back side of my Easter Egg table runner. Since I'm too busy to make another one for Spring right now, just looking at these bright, happy flowers on my dining room table makes me happy.
The Easter Card my mom made for us still sits on my desk in my room. Sweet, darling, creative. Love it!
 A homemade card from my teenage son on my serving table in the dining room. Of course its the message inside that meant so much, but I'm just  a softy for home made cards.
For $6 I was able to order a chalkboard on canvas commemorative label for my anniversary. I first put it out at Valentine's Day, then I put it away and pulled it out again for Spring. Sewed to some happy fabric and framed in white, I love the simple but happy reminder sitting next to my Mother's Day cards. Two more months it will be 28 years.

And see the quilts draped on the chair and behind me on the sofa. I love quilts. Their are three just in my upstairs, one of my bed, and a few scattered throughout my children's rooms. Quilts equals home.

Then last night this was the view out our back deck - the Lord's double rainbow reminding us that in spite of a week of rain/hail/snow almost every day, the earth won't be flooded, and His light still shines strong. I am blessed by creativity every day!