Thursday, January 23, 2014

i did not sew anything today

and that felt very, very strange.  it's become definitely something i do when i come home, after i get cozy and get my pjs and headband going. 

instead of sewing, tonight the girlchild and i went out for my niece's birthday part.  she's eight.  i can hardly believe it! part of me is sad she's not my baby anymore, but part of me loves having conversations with her about things, and hearing all her ideas and thoughts, and seeing her grow into her own person. she's very curious, loving, funny and bright.  i like she makes art and is creative and goofy.  i like that she is still small enough to crawl into my lap and tell me secrets. i'm feeling all sentimental and mushy about it right now.  i'm feeling very fortunate that she's in my life. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

bigger pouches!

this one turned out nicer than the last one because i used my zipper foot.  however, i'll be the first to admit my zipper skills are not the best. still kinda pinchy on one side.  but still, there is something that feels really good about sewing strips together and then making them into something else. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

testing, testing, 1, 2, 3

a couple of weeks ago i applied to be a test quilter for sherri lynn wood's upcoming book, but didn't really think i'd be chosen.  my quilting skills are okay, but i definitely need to work on a few things (like binding) and color theory.  i was suprised to get the email telling me i'd been picked!  super happy surprised.  i can't tell you anything about the quilt pattern i'm working on, until the book is published, but i can admit i used this as a good excuse to go buy some fabric. kona solids are awesome, and i've been wanting to incorporate more solid colors into my work, and they were on sale. in fact, stopping at joann's yesterday was a great idea because it was the last day of this amazing sale that had all quilting stuff 1/2 off.  i got a big hoop for hand quilting, some tailor's chalk, and a fancy thimble, along with this fabric, for much less than i should have.  hooray!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

rainy saturday craft

today is a lousy, dark, windy, rainy mess of a day. i took a shower, but i will not put on a bra! i've spent the day inside, crafting and listening to music and feeding my cats treats.  best use of a saturday, really.  i made a thing that is cute though, so i'm going to show you what it is and how to do it yourself!

Birdie Bunting
(or any kind of pretty paper bunting)
what you will need: paper, scissors, thread, tape, tiny hole punch (or awl or sharp needle).  i used a bird-a-day calendar the girlchild got me last year for xmas. it was just too pretty to toss!  i also used a teeny hole punch rather than an awl to punch holes in the paper, and perle cotton thread and a needle for stringing. 

i have a punch that cuts out 1 and a quarter inch circles that came with my button maker. i love this thing. it's heavy duty and works like a charm. if you do not have one of these, no biggie! pick something circular to use as your template, and just trace around the images you want and cut out with scissors. they also make large circular paper punchers for scrapbooking that you could use. OR you could use some other cute shape. i used circles because i could. 

if you are lucky enough to have a kitten helper, then you are awesome. i put the circles i punched out in a crock that was nearby, and tali had a good time sorting through them. 
i tried a few different way of stringing the circles on some scrap paper.  there are probably a bunch of ways to do it, but i liked the string through the back, on the top of the picture. 

to hold the circles where i wanted them, i used a teensy bit of washi tape. you can use any tape or glue you want! did i need to use washi tape? no. you aren't really supposed to see the back, after all. i used it because it was cute, dammit.  i like cute. 

after i strung up all my sweet birdies, i hung is like this! (the picture above is a great print of a watercolor painting of my hometown's main street {coupeville represent!} that my aunt got me for my wedding anniversary.  she's the best.)
and a close up of the birdie faces.  this isn't even a whole month's worth of birds cut out, so i have a feeling i will be making more of these.  i'll probably send some to friends, and then festoon my house with cheerful bird friends. 

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

bowie be!

vicente! surprised!
it's david bowie's birthday!  so i'm listening to his albums (thanks to youtube, i can listen to the ones i don't own, like a jerk), singing along, and having a cocktail made of glitter of sass in his honor.  wait, did i say glitter and sass? i mean rum and pepsi. 

one of my tumblr idols (i have them! they are real!) got a fucking david bowie tattoo today.  she's a swoon-worthy gorgon on an ordinary day, but today she is my hero.  i immediately thought, "ooh, i could get a scary monster's era pierrot bowie tattoo!" i love all bowie's, don't get me wrong, but the sad pierrot made an impact on my psyche as a kid.  david bowie was my first crush as a kid, my first foray into tingle-town as a girl.  (too much?) he was so pretty and interesting and his songs were amazing and he had a million different versions of himself. 

as a grown woman, my love of him has only increased.  he truly is talented and funny and smart and the handsome just never ends, does it? plus, he's not afraid to try new things, to wear the outrageous, to mine our uncomfortable emotional and social depths for art.  he's remarkable.  he still makes me tingle.   

the steri-strips on my incision came off in the shower this morning.  what's underneath is a lumpy, grumpy scar.  i let it out to breathe today, but have it covered with a gauze right now because D was like, "um, that looks angry. maybe cover it up to protect it?"  i bothered my nurse sister-in-law (i have two of those, because i'm the luckiest little hypochondriac i know) about how much it still hurt today.  she pointed out, nicely enough, that a week really isn't that long, and that incision sites are often uncomfortable. i'm also a lot less numb, which is increasing my pain.  so yay! i can feel my face again, but boo! my face feels terrible and achy. 

go hit up youtube and listen to some david bowie.  have a blessed bowie birthday, and may bowie protect and keep you and yours. 

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

what the blog?

this is what happens when you let a drunk amanda shop on the internet.  new year's eve, evidently i bid on some jewelry on ebay! i won some too.  this is only one of two new pieces.  i don't know if i should be chagrined, or stoked that drunk me has excellent taste. 

my doctor called today and my lump is benign! no cancer! just a weird lymph node and an overactive imagination.  well, that's not entirely fair.  when you have a parent who had a form of lymphatic cancer, it's okay to be a bit more cautious.  i'm still very sore from the surgery (i think because i have to talk at work), but relieved that it wasn't something serious. 

i had a dream last night where the girlchild was driving the boychik and i around.  it was awesome to not be the one driving.  i told her tonight that i'm seriously looking forward to her getting a license and then carting me around everywhere. 

Sunday, January 05, 2014

stashing fabric

i probably shouldn't have as much fabric as i do, but these flannels were on sale, and my sister is i used that as an excuse to buy these.  the food flannel on the right will become a blanket with the green on the left.  the middle fabrics will likely become burp cloths.  it's all in the washer now, so i can play with it soon! i might need to take a nap first, though.  i left the house today and am now exhausted. 

Saturday, January 04, 2014

how is this cat not internet famous?

made a pompom. sprinkled it with catnip. watched tali destroy it.  it was a fun few moments while it lasted! he's sleeping it off now. 

Friday, January 03, 2014

best-of lists

given my propensity for lists, i'm always surprised i don't make more of them.  well, i'm surprised i don't blog more of them, if you want me to be honest*.  i wanted to make a best-of 2013 list but not rank my best-of's.  i'm just going to list the cool things that happened this year that i enjoyed, and tell you why. 
  •   my niece and her boyfriend and their beautiful baby boy moved to town! meaning, now they are 30 mins away, not states away.  being able to hang out with them and meet the newest member of the family has been wonderful. (marrying D and getting to be a part of his family has brought people into my life that are so awesome.) 
  • my mom got her first tattoo.  because she's badass.  for xmas, i gave her a tattoo gift certificate because i'd like to encourage this kind of behavior.  
  • my nephew calvin decided i was okay and now hugs me and gives me the tiny pats on the back.  he cuddles up to me and gives kisses, and it kills me. 
  • i got to take a whole weekend away with my best friend, with no kidlets or hubbies.  i love our kids, i love our husbands, but what a great, relaxing vacation we had.  three days! sleeping in late! talking! watching movies on cable tv.  i think it was really good for me, and i'm totally planning on doing it again.
  • my sister got knocked up again! i am pretty stoked about this. next summer, new baby times for us.  
  • she also got engaged, and is so happy to be planning a wedding. it feels great to know she gets to have a wedding and is having so much fun planning it.  i didn't get it before i had my own wedding, but just the whole ceremony of it feels really good, and i'm glad she gets to do it.  plus, i get to buy a fancy dress.  
  • it's bittersweet for me that the boychik moved out, but he seems happy and healthy and still lets me make him the occasional sandwich and pester him via text message.  i feel like this is good for him, even if it is hard for me.  
  • the girlchild is definitely growing up and into herself.  i've enjoyed the one-on-one time we've had this year together, and while D thinks sometime i'm overbearing and opinionated (because let's face it, i am not shy with opinions), i feel like we're constantly getting to know each other better.  she's done amazing things with art and fashion and creating stuff, and i have this amazing, built-in partner to take field trips with. i am loving it.
  • kittens!!! i miss my LuLu all the time, don't misunderstand, but the brothers butthole (which is what we call the two of them; like the brothers karamazov!) are amazing gatos in their own right.  tali and vince are fun, cuddly, irritating and delightful. i hate having to clean two litter boxes, especially when they are capable of pooping anywhere in the great outdoors, but i love those jerks.  
  • i have a lot to say about my husband, for sure, but i can boil it down to this: there is no one in the world i think loves me or cares about me the way he does. he's honestly on my side, and backs me up in everything. he's also kind of pushy, and wants me to do more, expects good things from me. i had no idea this is what marriage could be like. plus, cute butt.   
yeah, it's a sappy list. maybe it's the medication. maybe it's the moon. i know i feel like 2013 had a lot of good things in it, and most of those things i owe to my loved ones.  i feel good about 2014.

*i have blogged an awful lot lately.  now i'm up because vicodin is one of those things that doesn't make me sleepy, but instead makes me want to do stuff.  how do you think i could explain this glorious feeling to my shrink and not have her think i was just nuts about drugs? ugh.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

2013 to 2014

champagne with frozen pineapple
 new year's eve was delightful. i drank too much "champagne," meaning i drank too much barefoot bubbly.  i love their sparkling pinot gris. i especially love it with frozen pineapple. it becomes insanely cold, and then you have sweet chunks of fruit to eat at the end.  it's a win win WIN.  my husband made this insane-o spread of nibbles, that included chips and dips, a giant crudité tray, fresh ceviche and salsa, cheese and crackers, salami and paté.  it was amazing. 
last selfie of 2013 in a ridiculous sweater
 i wore this ridiculous sweater i found at forever 21 with the girlchild.  boxy sweaters are a fat-girl's friend at places like forever 21! (this forever 21 doesn't carry the plus line, but they should.)  i blurred the bottom of the photo out because there is an awful lot of toothpaste on my bathroom mirror. 
crazy quilting in action
 i started working on a crazy quilt top for a pillow i've had laying around.  i've really been enjoying my new sewing machine.  i have a few projects that i'm hoping to finish this year that i started last year, or even back in 2012.  hooray for long-lasting projects!

my first big thing of 2014 was that i had my very first surgery today.  i think getting to 36 without going under any knife is pretty good, don't you think?  i mean, i had my wisdom teeth taken out, but this was a real, operating room surgery.  about two months ago i noticed a hard lump on my neck, about the size and shape of an olive pit.  it was weird and it stuck out and it made me nervous. a visit to the doctor and an ultrasound confirmed it was a rogue lymph node.  now, since my dad had lymphoma, i'm kind of cautious with my own nodes.  the doctor's thought this was pretty reasonable. we watched it for a bit, then i had to decide if i would have a biopsy or just have it removed.  the node was only about a centimeter and a half long; a biopsy might not have gotten enough tissue. plus, i'd still have the weird lump on my neck that made me self-conscious.  removing it seemed like a better idea, as we'd know then exactly what it was, and either way, no lump on me. 

i've included a photo after the jump, which is just a bit of bloody steri-strip. you can skip it if you want!