Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day

This picture was taken a couple of years ago but I love it. We happen to live adjacent to Willamette National Cemetery (separated by a large and lovely wooded area that is part of an environmental zone and as such will never be developed - that's why we also live adjacent to deer, coyotes, and all manner of birds and chipmunks and such). Each year for Memorial Day every single gravesite in the entire cemetery is marked with an American flag. It is truly a sight to behold and is extremely moving to me.

This morning, Owen looked out our front window and saw the neighbor's flag and our flag in front of our house. He asked why we had our flags out. We had a wonderful little conversation about this holiday and what it means.

Me: We put out our flag because this is Memorial Day weekend.

Owen: What is Memorial Day?

Me: Memorial Day is when we honor all of the brave men and women who have fought for our country and to defend our freedom. A lot of people have died so that we can enjoy the privileges of freedom.

Owen: That sounds like a sad holiday.

Me: For many people it can be a sad day. But it's also day for us to be very grateful to them for all they did for us.

So, thank you to the many men, women, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters who have given so selflessly to ensure that we Americans can enjoy our tremendous freedoms. We are so grateful.

Monday, May 24, 2010


My friend Susannah is an angel in disguise. When I told her last year about Owen's diagnosis of Juvenile Arthritis, she immediately offered to do a benefit concert. Yeah, she's an awesome entertainer. She can currently be seen performing here. So, she's kind and funny and generous and just generally awesome and she gathered a bunch of similarly talented and awesome people to put together the concert. It was great. Everyone was incredible and the people who came seemed to have a great time. All the artists donated their time and talent and ALL proceeds went to benefit Camp JAM, a special camp for kids and teens with arthritis and their families.

So, I wanted to thank Susannah and I made her this scarf.

It's made from a patterned burnout velvet on one side and a solid blue/gray velvet on the other with some black velvet at either end to add to the length.

Here's a better look at the beautiful pattern.
I wish you all could reach through the screen to feel how soft and yummy it is. And given the fact that we had a massive hail storm yesterday, she may get a chance to use it before next fall/winter. Thanks, Susannah - you rock my world and you will always be family to us.

In other news of grateful am I that no one found this at the thrift store before I did?
It's this crazy cute apron with something like a million teeny tiny pleats. It also has this adorable little pocket with tiny rick rack detailing. You know if this apron were being mass produced today that rick rack would just be printed on the white trim. But this is actual teeny tiny rick rack sewn onto the white trim and then added to the pocket.

I have no idea what I'm going to do with it besides love it and give it a good home. Maybe I'll wear it over the summer to serve frosty margaritas to our barbecue guest while I channel Donna Reed or something.

Have a great day!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Oh, Happy Day!

This is what FOUR looks like! My little guy had a birthday yesterday and he was not shy about sharing that information with everyone. Seriously, everyone at school, strangers in the parking lot, the checker at the grocery store.....

It's no real surprise that he chose chocolate cake with chocolate frosting - he is my child after all. Although it is somewhat surprising that I managed to make both from scratch since I've been battling a crazy cold that has left me super sleepy and with no voice.

One of the birthday gifts was his I Spy quilt, all done and ready to be played with. Both kiddos had fun looking at all the different pictures and trying find the matches. Then they just had fun hiding under the quilt.

Personally, I can't decide if this a super-cool quilt or just one of the world's ugliest quilts! Beauty was certainly not top priority with this one as it is meant to be played with and provide as much entertainment value as possible. And I know it's just a bunch of squares so it's nothing particularly complicated but there are some things about this quilt that I really like.

It's the first time I really paid close attention to my seam allowances. It's also the first time I pressed my seams to one side instead of open and I liked how that made lining things up a bit easier. Though, to be honest, I like how flat a quilt lies when the seams are pressed open. I also free motioned the borders - again, nothing fancy but I NEED to be willing to try things or I'm never going to learn, right? Let's's the largest quilt I've ever made, a twin size and it's my first quilt that has the binding properly applied. I loved snuggling under the quilt as I hand-stitched the binding.

So, happy birthday kiddo! You're the bestest!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Drum Roll, Please!

And the winners (according to are:

#122 Shayla! Congrats, you won the fat quarters!


#8 Christina! Congrats, you won the potholders!

You'll both be getting an email from me shortly to send your mailing address. If I don't hear back from you by Saturday morning, I'll need to go back to for another winner.

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway and thanks to Sew Mama Sew for hosting this fun event. I had a blast seeing what everyone out there is creating.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Little Something

Hi! If you're here for the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway just scroll down to the next post. Or you could read this one on your way there! Either way, thanks for visiting my little corner of blogland.

Okay, what do you get when you start out with a snippet of Alexander Henry's Spotted Owls, a small scrap of an awesome Henry Glass print, a wee bit of Kona red and some batting scraps so small I really thought they were destined for the wastebasket? Well, what do you get besides a little pile that looks like this, I mean.

You get a super cute fabric artist trading card, of course! It's my very first attempt and I kind of have a little crush on it.

Seriously, did you SEE the cute little owls? And here's a close-up of the back with this super teeny tiny stippling. The whole thing measures 2.5" x 3.5" so when I say tiny I really mean tiny.

I made this for a swap where participants were encouraged to try something new and create something they've been wanting to try but were nervous to send because it was a first attempt. This completely fit the bill for me.

I have a slight obsession with paper - especially letterpress and altered books/tags - that sort of thing. I love the idea of trading cards because they are made to be given away and shared with others, they're small and they provide an opportunity to try new techniques on a small scale. I also love fabric and quilting and using up all those tiny scraps of fabric that are just too delicious to throw away.

So, this is what I'm sending my swap partner along with some really pretty paper scraps and a vintage advertisement from the Sears catalog for women's hats and corsets because she loves collage and vintage ephemera. I hope she likes it!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Something Old...Something New

And best of all, a GIVEAWAY too! ***THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED***

As part of Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day, I'm hosting my very first giveaway. And since very few people follow this blog, you're odds are really, REALLY good!

First up, I have a pack of 10 vintage/thrifted sheet fat quarters. Ten! All ten are different prints and come freshly laundered from my smoke-free, pet-free home. Unless you count fishes. So I hope no one has a problem with goldfish.

Aren't they pretty? I know you can make something cool with these.

A better look at the prints.

And now for the something new.... here are my recently completed Amy Butler potholders/hotpads. They're on the large-ish side for potholders so I was planning on using them more as hotpads, but I became a little obsessed and have, like ... LOTS of new ones now. Besides, I have enough of these fabrics to make two more if I miss them terribly.

But I do seriously LOVE these two fabrics. So so yummy.

And here's a pic of the back so you can see the pattern the wonky stitching made. Kinda groovy.

So, that's what I'm sending out into the world. I hope you like it!

The nitty-gritty:

This giveaway is open to US residents only.

Leave me a comment and let me know if you like the something old (fat quarters) or the something new (potholder/hotpads) and I'll choose two winners at random. If you like both then just leave two comments! Be sure to leave me with a way to get in touch with you for a shipping address.

This giveaway will remain open until May 20. The items will be shipped on or before May 24.

Good luck and check out all the other amazingly creative people participating in the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day. Happy crafting!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Lately, I've been drooling over all of the beautiful things I see made from vintage and thrifted sheets. The quilts especially are so lovely and girly and they look so soft and snuggly. I really think I need to make one for my Bailey. So, I've been poking around my local thrift stores when I get the chance (which isn't often because two year olds and four year olds have a very low tolerance for that sort of thing).


I've had a run of good luck recently! Check out the goodies.

Stack of goodness! I think I had the third one down (avocado green/turquoise/purple) on my bed growing up.


Seriously! I cannot WAIT to use this.

OMG - the orange and brown and gray are too much! Having heart palpatations!

My hands down faves are these two - especially the one on the left. I may have to use that for the quilt back because it will pain me to cut into it.
Right now, these will have to stay in their nice sheet stack until I finish a few more projects. But I do so love looking across the room and seeing them all just waiting for me.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A New Bag

I think I need a new bag. Nice and roomy for all the snacks/water bottles/family calendar/camera/books I seem to find entrusted to me to sherpa around.

And I think it needs to be made out of this:

The print for the outside and the awesome orange for the lining. I know it seems a bit autumn-ish but I love the fabric and I already have it so there you go. I've never really made a bag before. We'll see how it goes. If I don't mess it up too badly, I can always make another more summery one!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

Wishing a Happy Mother's Day to all the awesome mamas out there who rule the world!
*This picture has no significance other than I took it in our yard where we've spent most of this gorgeous day playing ... and I like it.*

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Little R & R (sort of)

I'm not sure that there was much actual "rest" and "relaxation" happening but we just spent three days at the coast and had a pretty great time! While the hubster headed up to Spokane for a work conference, we hit the road with Grams and went to Tillamook. Mmmmm...cheese!

Oh, sweet child of mine, all sugared up and flying high after a healthy dose of ice cream from the scoop shop at the Tillamook Cheese Factory. Oh my heck - the Sweet Centennial! If I ever find that flavor here in Portland I will buy all of it. All. Of. It.

Yes, we travel with our quilts. They make us sleep better in strange and big hotel beds. We also had a special guest: Lucy, the pig. She's one of Owen's class critters and we just happened to have her with us this weekend. We had to keep a close watch on her at the cheese factory. She is a pig after all.

They loved LOVED watching all the machines in the factory. Owen even said he wants to be a cheesemaker when he grows up. Though, to be fair, if we had gone to a crayon factory, he would want to be a crayon maker when he grows up. I love this picture of both their little booties as they lean in to get a really good look at all the goings on.
Now we're back and I'm very excited to get back to work on my various projects. One nice thing about getting away was that I came up with a little epiphany about how to piece my picnic quilt! More on that in a (much) later post.