Thursday, May 9, 2013

You Remember That 1000 Miles Thing?

Chances are if Charlie gets to be a part of the 1000 miles, they will be walking miles.
He's adorable, but horrible to run with.

So, yea, I'm still doing that. I'm less than two months in.  Quitting is not going to happen. But well, complaining happens everyday.

My calves are hurting in a way they've never hurt before.  So I've been doing A LOT of walking (and stretching and RICE-ing) and a little running.  Like walking at least 3 miles a day and only running once a week. seriously.

So, are you interested to hear how far ahead or behind I am in my mileage?    Here's a clue ... I talk a big game but I'm mostly lazy.

In March, I should have logged 54 miles.  But I only did 35.42.  That put me 18.58 miles behind.
In April, I should have logged 84 miles (102.58 if I wanted to make up the March deficit) But I only did 83. Putting me 19.58 miles behind.

I'm still going in the wrong direction ... but improving.  In better news, I logged 15 miles in the first 4 days of May.  So, there's that.  I have hopes to be back in the black by mid-July.

Son has been walking/running/skipping/galloping about 2 miles a day with me while Daughter is in Pre-K.  And that's been fun. He's also been going to bed about 20 minutes earlier.  We've been going on family walks most days when Husband gets home from work and I've been logging a few boring treadmill miles here and there.

I got a new sports bra.  And that's pretty much been the highlight of my month of 1000.

Monday, May 6, 2013

I Made a Moda Bake Shop Quilt.

I know most quilters/bloggers are ecstatic to be FEATURED on the Moda Bake Shop. Well, this woman was just ecstatic to MAKE a quilt on it.  truth.

I love the blog (and of course, the fabric) and I've pinned probably half a dozen things on pinterest. But it took the arrival of a new precious baby for me to actually make something.  AND I actually used moda fabric.  special baby = special fabric.

The Jungle Path Baby Quilt just looks fun.  And it was fun to make.  I liked fussy cutting the charms for the center of the blocks for maximum cuteness and picking fabrics to coordinate with each other.  The recipe calls for a charm pack, a jelly roll and some white.  I picked the Cherry on Top collection and off I went.

The front.
I probably should have taken pictures BEFORE I washed it.  It sure crinkled up;  making for crinkly pictures!

a closer up. feminine but not ridiculously girly.

the back.  It called for almost the rest of the jelly roll strips.  I made one  little change in the recipe.  I added a slightly thicker white strip and added EAS's initials for a personalized touch.

EAS's Mom got a birthday quilt from me almost two years ago.  It was daughter's turn.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt Part 2 (April 2013)

My April block goal was 8. (you'll see why I picked this arbitrary number soon) I picked up the dreaded block number 3 and then went in order.  But, in absolutely no particular order, here they are:

11 Broken Dishes

12 Broken Sugar Bowl - this one is my current favorite

13 Buckwheat

14 Butterfly at the Crossroads
I worked on fussy cutting this block and I like the outcome.

18 Century of Progress

3 Basket.
I wanted to hand sew the handle but after two yucky tries I gave up and machine sewed it.

17 Cats & Mice (2)

On the left is the do over block without Y seams.  On the right is my first try when I tried the Y seam.  It was so unappealing to look at, I had to try again.

This is why I chose to only do 8 blocks this month.  My design  wall, aka the back of a super cheap vinyl table cloth.  It holds 9 per row and because I did 10 blocks in March, I evened it up with 8 in April.  
I like having all the blocks out to look at when I'm choosing fabrics and tones and colors.  I'm trying to not repeat fabric combinations TOO many times.  This helps ... a little.

J-Day at The Judson

I have another picture where Dr. Potts isn't suggesting we stop because it's hammer time.  but really, this one makes me smile more.

step sing

I don't mind cozying up to bumble bees to get a nice shot.

at night.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Running, Football, and Tuscaloosa

Those are a few of his favorite things.  Husband, that is.  

A few weeks ago when it looked like we were on the cusp of spring, we drove to Tuscaloosa, ran around campus for an hour (that double stroller is getting heavier and heavier), then played football on the quad, then enjoyed the river walk, then had lunch at Pepitos.  (holy run on sentence, Batman.)  

It was pretty much Husband's dream day.   And he deserved it.

My mini football team

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

He asked for a football pillow

So a football pillow is what he got.  We had a minor miscommunication early on.  Turns out he wanted an actual football shaped pillow.  I forced him to settle for a pillow covered in footballs.  He loves it anyway.

look at those dirty feet.

inexpensive fabric from Hobby Lobby, pillow filling and quilt batting leftovers I already had = super cheap football pillow.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Pinterest: Contact Paper into Frosted Glass

About a year ago it really started bugging me that we the top maybe 1/5 of our front door and the entire dining room door was clear uncovered glass.  It bothered me that any person as tall as me could easily look in our front door and see the living room, office, dining room, and the long hall to the bathroom.  It bothered that the neighbors that lived across the street from our dining room door always seemed to be sitting on their front porch when we were sitting down to eat dinner.  It was borderline creepy.

I'd thought about curtains or blinds but I didn't really want to do much to keep the sunlight out.  I just wanted to feel a little less exposed.

Thank you, Pinterest.   I found this great pin that led to this great blog (not just this one post, her whole blog is pretty great.)

I already had contact paper.  score.  I decided to use the stencil for the front door and solid blocks for the dining room.

And I ended up tracing my stencil right off the computer screen because we didn't have ink in the printer at the time!  seriously, I didn't even want to wait for printer ink.  After lots of tracing and lots of cutting out and measuring, I gave it a go.

I probably should have worked slower and took my time, but well, I was excited and I rushed through getting it finished.  It's not perfect, but I really like it and I think it's much improved!

I put the contact paper on last summer (talk about slow on posting!) and I haven't had any trouble with any of it peeling off.  

front door glass

the dining room door

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt (Part 1 - March 2013)

 Jennifer invited me to join her in sewing/making/quilting the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt.  I'm all about sampler quilts.  So, off to buy the book I went.  I finally had to settle for for my copy because no bookstore, crafting store or quilting store in my area had it.

She wanted to use paper piecing to do the blocks.  fantastic. I love paper piecing.  It's so precise and there are NO pins to slow me down!!

So I joined the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt Along Group on yahoo! They have templates for paper piecing   and a very active message board and LOTS of pictures.

I decided to use some fabric I already had from Connecting Threads. I think it's the autumn collection or something similar.

For March, I set a goal for myself to construct 10 blocks.  I did it.  Well, I finished the 10th block on April 1, but I included in my batch for March.  I skipped 3. Basket.  I wasn't ready for it.  I needed to think on that one a little (spoiler alert, it'll be in the April batch) But I'm trying to work mostly in order.  I did skip number 11 and went straight to 15 because it was the next easiest one and I wanted to get finished!

In no particular order:

1. Attic Windows

2. Autumn Tints

10. Bowtie
4. Basket Weave.
Husband was startled when I showed him this one.  Yes, it looks like a swastika. I could  have modified it but I didn't.

15. Buzzard's Roost
See why I skipped ahead to this one?  It was easy!

6. Big Dipper

5 Bat Wing

8. Bouquet -- I LOVE the clean lines on this one.  

7. Birds in the Air
this is the first one that made me think, "WOW, these blocks are tiny." But I'm pretty  sure it won't be the last.

9. Box
This one was REALLY hard for me to figure on how to paper piece.  I ended up  just doing the conventional way because I was just doing a lot of staring and not a lot of understanding.  I might end up redoing this one because I'm not very pleased with some of the joining pieces.

The coloring of the fabric seems to be a little off in the pictures.  I'm using natural light plus, taking all the pictures on my yellow cutting mat.  For example: the sickly yellow looking background in Box is actually a really pale pea green.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Me and The 1000 Miles Challange

Yes. You read that correctly.  No, no typo.  1,000 miles.  

Here's what it means:

On March 4, Husband emailed me from work, as he often does, and wrote something like, "If I run 5.5 miles every other day, I can go 1000 miles in a year."  At the time, He'd been running a 10k (6.2 miles) every two days, so I replied that he could definitely do it, because he's so close to it already. He's a great runner, really focused and has ideas for running a half marathon in the future.  Basically, I gave him a reply designed to pump him up and get him in the right mind frame to do something I thought he could do.  He replied back, "you could do it too. You're a great runner."

What?  seriously, something I don't even think I'm a runner. Mostly because I'm lazy and can easily go two weeks without putting on my running shoes and not feel the least bit guilty about losing momentum.  But he had a point.  At the time, I was running right at 5 miles in an hour at least twice a week and sometimes 3 times.

Of course, I replied back with when do we start this challenge?, what are the rules?, and what is the prize for completing it?

We settled on TODAY or that day, rather. March 4, 2013 to March 4, 2014.

We can count all runs and walks we log on our Sports Tracker app and I can count all treadmill runs and walks.   (Husband doesn't really touch the treadmill)  We will not count hikes (which I think is bunk) or bicycle rides (which I understand, a little)

Husband said our prize will be looking at ourselves in the mirror with no clothes on.  :-/   I respond better to actual prizes, but smaller clothes will definitively be a byproduct so I can get behind that.

Here's a little prospective on my insanity: I have to log 2.8 (rounded slightly up) miles a day to fulfill my 1,000 miles challenge.  Also, 1,000 miles is roughly from our house in north/central Alabama all the way to New Haven, Conneticut. 

spoiler alert: I'm already behind.  But excited nonetheless.

I'm insane.  But please, help me stay accountable.
the shoes that will start me on my journey.
BTW, this is in no way an April Fools' Day joke.  But, HAPPY 4th Birthday to Fergus Adoniram

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

DINOSAURS at the Birmingham Zoo

Seriously, Birmingham area friends, go.  And gripe about how you have to pay $3 a person to see these dinosaurs ($5 for nonmembers)  grrr.   

But really, that's my only beef.  And I know, I know.  It's probably expensive to have these things here, plus the zoo has to feed lots of actual real animals.  But it'll limit the number of times I take my kids to the zoo because I don't want to hear them complain about how I won't shell out $9 every time they want to see them.  ($12 if Husband comes).  But I'm a softy so we'll probably go a couple of more times.

Anyway.  back to the awesome part of the post:  the dinosaurs really are super cool.  All four of us REALLY enjoyed it.

The kids were hesitant at first, like we assumed they would be.  So in the car we talked a lot about how we all know dinosaurs are extinct and these are robots that can't chase you or even move anything except their heads or tails.  (some spit water, but that really is a fun surprise.  even better in a hot day)

Daughter and Son really like dinosaurs and thanks to many, many library books, Dino Dan and Dinosaur Train, they already knew the names of over half of the dinosaurs just by sight. seriously.  They were telling us if they were carnivores or herbivores and imparting all kinds of knowledge. They had a lot of fun. I had a lot of fun.  Husband, who isn't a zoo lover, had a lot of fun too.

it took a little coaxing to get this first picture

full on dino love

Son kept looking over his shoulder at his carnivore.  


this one was intense.  like, had a fish in his mouth with blood AND spit water  AND was pretty close. 

The last dinosaur and also a spitter.  Her babies were close by.

waiting for the train

she's always my seat partner on the train.  Notice my glasses.  My last pair of contacts were a casualty of pink eye.  And I've been more than lazy about scheduling an eye exam.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

It's garden 2013 time

The only new thing I'm growing this year is cilantro.  Everything else is the same old same old.  I'm moving things around a little hoping somethings get more sun/shade. starting from seeds is SO much cheaper than buying plants, but well, it's nerve wracking.  So much room for error.  too much sun. not enough sun. too much water. not enough water.  too cold.  

my first cilantro sprout

hoping for tomatoes, peppers and basil galore.  
check out my cross eyed porch cat.

Monday, March 25, 2013

THE twin frontT-shirt quilt finished

Finally. Finally. Finally. I finished the top well over a year ago and pretty much just put it to the side while I took my time looking for ivy and rose fabric.  I ended up finding something I wasn't wild about but I thought was good enough. But before I started putting it together, I found what I thought was the best I'd find.  yes.  

So, here it is:

the front

the back

LOOK AT THAT AMAZING QUILTING.  I had no part in doing it.  Well, I paid for it.  a lot.  but it was well worth it.  There's no way I could have gotten this VERY heavy quilt through my machine.  money well spent. 

the rose and ivy fabric.  Also, the binding is the same shade of red as the JC 03