Monday, August 31, 2009

My first Etsy sale

Woo-hoo, I'm excited. I got my first special order/Etsy sale done this weekend. It was a special order request (from someone that I don't know personally). She wanted the Duckie quilt (Lizzy House Red Letter Day fabric) done for her toddler. Same one that I did before but bigger and with an orange backing. I thought it turned out super cute with the orange backing.

I even added her little girl's name to the quilting. Clever idea from the buyer. This about gave me a stress attack though. It's hard to write with your needle (at least it was for me). After I ripped the stitches out for the third time, I tried to relax and just go for it. It's not perfect (to my standards at least), but it was cute and you can read what it says.

I'm such a perfectionist. I get so nervous selling my work. I seriously said a little prayer over the blanket that the tiny flaws would go unnoticed and the buyer would be thrilled with the result.

My second special order (different pattern, same fabric) will be finished this week.

I'm excited that I'm getting my name out there. Someone from the SPCA contacted me and asked for a donation (I donated the Hushabye stacked coins quilt). Hopefully, that will bring some lookers to my Etsy site.

I'm also going to be apart of my sister's craft fair in November. I'm furiously working to get a small stash of quilts ready as well as table runners, hand stamped cards and other small crafts.

And I got so excited that I even purchased a few business cards this week (mainly for the craft show).

Friday, August 28, 2009

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Such a fun book. I love Roald Dahl's writing style. It's very much like his other book, Matilda, which I adored as a kid.

Super easy read and it will probably make you want a piece of chocolate afterwards!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

My husband is famous

My hottie hot husband is in our gym's tv commercial-- He's the one boxing in the UNC shirt (8 seconds in). Check him out.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

More books

Never Let Me Go is quite an interesting novel by Kazuo Ishiguro.

It's a novel about cloning and organ donation, but not written in a scientific type way at all. In fact, it's very vague about all those details. It's actually a novel about people and their relationships. So interesting and such an easy read.

It's a little sad, much like the other novels I've read. But it's good.

I just read that they are making a movie based on this novel and rumor has it that Kiera Knightley will be in it. It should be good and I look forward to seeing it when it comes out.

I also finished C.S. Lewis' The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. I'm shocked I never read this as a child, but I think I was turned off by the "fairy tale" element to it. It was delightful though. So sweet, fun, noble, moral, etc. I look forward to reading this to my kids (or having them read it for themselves at a young age). I love, much like Winnie the Pooh, how C.S. Lewis talks to his readers as if they were part of the story. It just makes the book special, I think.

Both books are great, easy reads.

Dreaming With a Broken Heart

Yes, I know the title is dramatic. But I'm in a dramatic kind of mood today. (By the way, the title is from a John Mayer song).

I was so sure that this would be the day for some good news and once again and I was disappointed with the results. I don't know the best way to protect my heart, but I need to do a little better. I know it's not a surprise to most of you that we are trying to have a baby. We've been trying for what seems like a long time (but not really, I guess).

So, I continue to hope for the future, but not without some sadness. Appropriate title, yes. A little dramatic, of course. It's a dramatic kind of day. And it's only 11:20 am.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Books on Tape

Have you discovered these little jewels? They are awesome. It is such a great way to pass time.

I admit that I am not a huge music lover. I don't know why, but I really do not like anything on the radio and just don't care for most music. But I have to pass the time in my car somehow, so a couple of years ago my library started loaning out books on tape and I was in HEAVEN. I tried to catch up on some of the classics, then fell in love with mysteries, and then lighthearted novels.

Well, in my quest to read Time's 100 Best Novels, I decided that books on tape were allowed. And I'm glad I "allowed" myself to go that route because, let me tell you, I would have spent hours reading Gone With the Wind!! Hours-- 50 + hours according to the book on tape. Instead, every time I sew, I listen to Gone With the Wind and it has served two purposes. I'm not watching mindless, dumb tv and I'm catching up on my list. It has been so much fun to sew and be caught up in the story of Scarlett O'Hara. I can sew for hours without even batting an eye. Really, there is only so much Deadliest Catch and CSI that I can take.

I would recommend listening to books on tape. Listen to one while in your car. Listen to one while working on your hobby. Listen to one while working out. So much better than reruns on tv and, in my case, the radio.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Revolutionary Road

Things have gotten busier at work and home so the reading has slowed down some. However, I did get to finish Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates this morning. It was a surprisingly easy read-- had an easy flow to it.

Of course, it was a sad tale of a middle class American family that ends in tragedy. If you've seen the movie, you know how it ends. Speaking of the movie, it was fun to read the book and already have pictures of Leo and Kate as the main characters.

This book was set in the 50's and it was interesting to see how much conformity went on during that decade. So much so, that I suppose I can imagine how many couples felt trapped and desirous of a nonconformist lifestyle. Not that this couple fulfilled their dream escape, but I would still argue that they most definitely were nonconformist.

Are any of the great novels happy stories? I guess I'll just have to keep reading.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Another Stacked Coin Quilt

It's hard to decide, but this might be my favorite quilt so far. I adore the colors. They are so soft and sweet. This thing just screams baby girl.

I used the "Hushabye" charm pack by Tula Pink for Moda.

This time I put a strip of polka dot fabric on the backing. You know to spice things up a bit!

Here it is--

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My new skirt

So Grant whispered sweet nothings to the computer and she decided to upload my pictures today.

This is the skirt that I made last week. I used a fabulous Joel Dewberry fabric. It is bold.

It twirls.

It's me.

(And wow- I look like my mom in this picture)

Busy as a Bee

Life has caught up with me at the moment. Let's see, what have I been up to lately:

* * *

Made a skirt out of some fabulous material
Finished a super adorable quilt
Finished a second quilt top
Turned 29
Almost finished the book, Revolutionary Road
Went to my favorite restaurant, 518, only to find out they no longer make my favorite dish
Had a cupcake from the Cupcake Shoppe
Went shopping for some new work clothes
Had dinner with some family members
Had lunch with my mom
Got three special orders for quilts
* * *
I'm sure there is more. My computer is not uploading my pictures, so when it decides to cooperate I'll post some stuff.

Life is starting to get a bit busier. Hope I can keep up!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Winnie the Pooh

This is a sweet book. I love the silly adventures and made up words. I love the characters. I really love the illustrations.

I look forward to reading this to future children.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Rabbit, Run

I did not enjoy this novel much at all. There wasn't anything happy or good about it. In fact, it's down right depressing.

Wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sweet Duckie Quilt

This fabric is really precious (thanks to Sarah who posted it on her blog- she has a great eye for these sorts of things). Sweet duckies. Fun and cheerful colors.

I do love the colors. They were a bit brighter than I thought (I bought this fabric online).

I chose a soft yellow cotton backing (needed something calm).

I really like how it turned out. I didn't follow any specific pattern, but this would be categorized as a rail fence quilt.

You can find this quilt on my Etsy site.

The Secret Garden

After Atonement I wanted to read a lighter novel so I chose The Secret Garden (from the BBC's list). I adored the movie as a child yet, strangely enough, had never read the book. Oh my, so sweet. I loved this book.

How desperately I want a flower garden now. And a baby lamb. And the sweet smells of the Moore's pure air. And you can throw in an English 100 room manor while your at it too.

If you haven't read this book, you definitely should. It's a fast easy read that any child and adult would enjoy.

P.S. In case you are wondering, work is very slow right now, so I'm able to read for hours at a time. When my boss comes back to the office this will change!

Atonement . . . one more down

Wow, this book was good. Obviously, it was well-written, descriptive and easy to read.

I love the time period (WWII era) and I love the location (England). I understood the themes: love and death, truth and imagination. I understood the main character's reasons for lying and yet, I was left hating her for the selfish destruction she caused. I'm not sure that her effort at atonement is justifiable for the the lives she destroyed, but nonetheless it is her effort.

It is very much like the movie as I recall. Both the movie and book are excellent.

I am left a little sad though. It does tug at the heartstrings and forces the reader to go through a gamut of emotions.

Good stuff.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Passage to India . . . one down

So I finished A Passage to India by E.M. Forster yesterday. One of the books in the Time's list. It was good. It was well written. But, no, it was not the best novel I've ever read.

To sum it up, it is a novel about racism in British India between the English, Muslims and Hindus in the 1920s. The first half of the book introduced us to the characters and developed the racism theme. The second half of the book was about the incident in the Marabar Caves and the trial that came out of that.

For a "classic" it was fairly easy to read and understand. One of the things that bothered me was how Forster would jump from one characters thoughts to another- it made it hard to distinguish who the actual speaker was. Another thing I found funny and unrealistic was the level of emotion in some of the characters. For instance, Dr. Aziz would meet a English woman for a few minutes and then declare her his best friend (and be serious about it). I don't know how to explain it, but it seemed very unrealistic to me (but maybe people acted like this in India during the 1920s)??

Anyway, here are some of the quotes that stuck with me:

"[A]n effeminate youth whom he seldom met, always liked, and invariably forgot . . . ." (we all know someone like that)

"There was the problem of Professor Godbole and his food, and of Professor Godbole and other people's food-- two problems, not one problem." (Been there and done that)!

"Professor Godbole's conversations frequently culminated in a cow." (this just made me laugh)

One down, many more to go.

Monday, August 10, 2009


I've come to the realization that I watch too much tv. It's ridiculous. It's insane. It's embarrassing. And I need to be stopped!!!

So, I decided that books need to come back into my life. When I was younger I could read a couple books a day. Hours upon hours I would spend reading. So much so that I am now the proud wearer of glasses. Well, at least that contributed to me needing glasses according to the doctor!

Now it's very easy for me to pick up a mystery novel and finish that in a day or two, but I wanted to challenge myself. I wanted to read books that were significant, recognizable, important, etc., so I decided to try reading books off the Time's 100 All-Time Best Novels list.

Here's the ones I've read so far (don't laugh at the small number- I'm embarrassed enough):

* Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume (loved this book as a kid, read it several times)

*Lord of the Flies by William Golding (it disturbed me, 10th Grade Honors English)

*Native Son by Richard Wright (don't remember a lot about this book, 11th Grade Honors English)

*The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinback (sad story, the last chapters really stuck with me)

*The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Another 11th grade English read)

*Their Eyes Were Watching God (another 11th grade English read)

I've got a lot of reading to catch up on. Now, I know I'm not going to get through all 100 novels, because there will be certain books that I just do not care for, i.e. The Lord of the Rings. But I'm going to try my best to get through the majority of them. I might add a ticker to my sidebar- to help encourage me along.

I'm also supplementing the list with the BBC's Top 100 Best-Loved Novels. This list has a mixture of popular books, kids books and classics. I think when I need a break from the classics of the Time's list I might grab a book from here.

I've fared slightly better with this list:

*Harry Potter series (love them all, could read them over and over again)

* Jane Eyre

*Wuthering Heights (Heathcliff and Katherine- tragic)

*The Grapes of Wrath

*The Great Gatsby

*Of Mice and Men

*Memoirs of a Geisha (they fooled me- I thought it was a "real" story and not fiction)

*Lord of the Flies

All right friends- I'm off to finish A Passage to India.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The one that started it all . . .

This gorgeous quilt has been in my family for years. I fell in love with it many, many years ago. In fact, it's one of the few things that I took with me when I moved out of my parent's house. And it is an absolute mystery. No one knows where it came from or how we even came to own it. All I know is that someone lovingly put hours upon hours of work into this creation.

It's beautiful. I adore the mix-matched colors, the designs and the hand stitched pattern. It's more than inspiring. It has been well loved and will continue to be until it is no longer usable.

This is one of the biggest reasons I started to quilt. I hope that I can recreate something like this someday (using a sewing machine, though). In the meantime, I'll start off small and work my way to bigger things.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Hair tip

I like my hair. It's one of my better features. I even won the "best hair" award once. What's my secret? Good genes and apple cider vinegar.

I have very thick hair and every once in awhile it gets dull from all the hair products and shampoo/conditioner washes. What is a girl to do. Well, many years ago I read that apple cider vinegar is a wonderful product to use on your hair. It restores shine, bounce and volume. It also rinses away all the hair product residue. And it really, really, really works.

So, that is my hair secret. When I start getting that weighed down feeling, I wash my hair in apple cider vinegar. I've done it two ways. If you don't think you can stand the smell of the vinegar then spritz your hair all over with the vinegar, massage it into your scalp, let it sit for a few minutes and then wash your hair with your regular shampoo and condition. Your hair will smell faintly of vinegar, but it really won't be noticeable to anyone but you. If you are brave enough, then just spritz your hair with the vinegar, massage it into your scalp and then rinse it away. That's it. It is also the most amazing conditioner for even the longest, thickest hair. You will smell like vinegar while your hair is wet, but it quickly dissipates. Trust me, the results are worth it. My hair is so shiny and bouncy.

I've also read that people put essential oil into the vinegar, but I have not tried that and probably won't. I don't think that lavender and apple cider vinegar would be a happy marriage or peppermint and vinegar for that matter. But, hey if you want to try it, you should.

I keep a spray bottle ($1 at Walmart/Target) and fill it with apple cider vinegar and keep it in my shower.

This is a wonderful, cheap, natural alternative to the clarifying shampoos out there.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I'm back

I tell you last week was trying. Very trying. I had a kidney infection from hell. Sent from Satan himself. I'm most sure of it. It was awful. I don't even want to think about it, so I won't. I will tell you that there are certainly situations when I think modern medicine is a life saver. This was one of those times. I am still on antibiotics and will be until next week, but that's okay, because at least I can walk and breathe now!

I wish I could say that I was doing everything natural in between taking the antibiotics, but it's hard to make the "natural" remedies when I could hardly stand up. I did eventually start taking cranberry and garlic pills and, call me crazy, but I certainly felt the best I had the day after I took those pills. When I had a tad bit more energy, I also made homemade chicken noodle soup using my own chicken stock. It, by far, gave me the most energy and the only thing I felt worthy enough to put in my body. Pure, unadulterated chicken stock, chicken, potatoes, carrots, onions, parsley, cabbage, a few noodles and some salt. That was it and it was awesome.

I never want to have another one of those again. But I don't really know how to prevent it (trust me I drink about 2 liters of water a day-- it ain't the "drink more water" thing). So I will just continue with my life and pray for the best!!

Back to regular posting and quilt making soon.