CGM Podcast Episode 41: Move Along Now

Listen to the episode HERE

Show Notes 

Life Update:
  • Christmas recap
  • Emotional comments regarding the Newtown, CT tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School
  • One Little Word 2013 via Ali Edwards website/blog
    • My word is MOVE  
 WIPs and FOs:
  • Easy Street
  • King Spiderweb quilt
  • Finishing Maddy's socks
  • Casting on a simple slouchy hat using Patons Classic Wool Tweeds in the Chestnut Tweed colorway 
  • Deciding between casting on the Color Affection shawl or the Spectra scarf for my next "big" knitting project

Announcing the 2013 CGM UFO-Along!! 
Come one, come all craft UFOs!! All types of craft UFOs welcome (quilting, sewing, knitting, crochet, scrapbooking, jewelry, etc...) 
Join the Flickr group, post your FINISHED UFOs there and be entered for a monthly prize.
Prize for January: $25 Gift Certificate to Fat Quarter Shop!!!

You can enter as many FINISHED UFOs as you want each month.

Only 1 entry per UFO, but you can post multiple pictures of each one so we can see it from various angles.

To qualify as a UFO the project must have been started in a previous month to the one you are entering. i.e. if it is January, you should have started it in December or earlier, not in January - that's a WIP!

You can win a prize more than once in the year as your photos stay up all year. However, you cannot win 2 months in a row. i.e. if you win in January, you can't win again until March. 

Keep posting all finished UFOs all year long because you never know, there just be a big grand prize at the end of the year for the most # finished!!!!

Most important "rule": HAVE FUN FINISHING YOUR UFOs! If it isn't fun anymore, it's probably time to just let it go.

My Top 10 Reads of 2012: 

Home Front by Kristin Hannah
Wonder by RJ Pallacio
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty
Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks
The Light Between Oceans by ML Steadman
The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
How to Be an American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway
Thanks for listening!



Ready for a New Year

I'm sure I'm not the only one who takes down all or most of their holiday decorations the day after Christmas. This brings my husband no end of amusement seeing how sentimental I am during the season. But there's always been a part of me that is just "done" with it all after the presents are unwrapped, the mad dash of visiting and visitors is complete, and the tree in the corner of your family room looks like a big, dead bush with a bad craft project thrown on it. And don't get me started on how annoying those little pine needles become on the 26th...not the 25th or before mind you, happy to sweep them up then. But after the "Big Day" has come and gone, those suckers become the bane of my existence until the tree is chucked out to the curb and I've vacuumed them up about 10 times in the following week.

Yes, I'm ready to move on to a less cluttered house, a regular school and work schedule, finishing up some way-laid craft projects due to the illness (aka The Plague) that infected us the last 4 weeks, and to start working on some goals I've had brewing for awhile. I'll be updating this blog with a fresh header and some new pages in the coming weeks, sharing some fun ideas and projects, and of course linking to my podcast episodes and show notes as usual. 

I am so looking forward to 2013! Odd years seem to be particularly good ones for me: I was born in one, graduated high school and college in one, and had both kids in odd years as well. I got married in an even year (2004) but I'll count the year we met (2001) as the lucky part of that equation, LOL.

So how about you? Are you ready for a new year too?



CGM Podcast Episode 40: Boop!

Listen to the episode HERE

Show Notes 

Life Update:
  • Feeling much better after a bad cold, but my voice isn't 100% yet.
  • Decorations are up, cookies are baking, Sam and Maddy are eagerly anticipating Santa, and having lots of fun this holiday season. 

WIPs and FOs:
  • Easy Street! (Bonnie Hunter's Mystery QAL) I am behind (she just announced part 4) but having fun with a type of quilt I haven't made in years: LOTS of cutting/piecing! I am using Flea Market Fancy as the main fabrics and Kona Snow as the background.
  • Working on King Spiderweb quilt
  • Working on Maddy's socks
I talk for awhile about Indie yarn and fabric dyers. Here are the ones I mentioned (yarn) as well as the hand dyed fabric shops I buy from...don't say I didn't warn you!

Hand Dyed Yarn:
 Hand Dyed Fabric:

What's Making Me Happy in Crafting: 

Book Review:
by Melanie Benjamin

Thanks for listening!




Need a Little Christmas....

Boy, it has been tough the last 3 weeks getting back into a groove that includes a holiday spirit. In fact, I am still a little bah-humbugish when it comes to getting my act together with the gift shopping and post-sick cleaning that needs to get done around here. But we have managed to do some decorating around the house, and I am working my way back to sadly neglected sewing projects. 
Sam added a few "touches" LOL

I have determined that it's best to make a short list of some holiday traditions I'd like to get done, and save the grand ideas for simply looking at and admiring on Pinterest and HGTV. In the next few weeks we'll be making cookies, chocolate peppermint bread, fudge, a gingerbread house (from a kit!), and going to see the Christmas lights our local park authority puts up every year. Sam has her Winter Dance Recital this weekend, and Maddy's daycare has a big party the following week. Add in completing the gift shopping and wrapping them up, mailing the cards, attending a few parties, and my book club meeting, it's a true Christmas miracle I don't punch someone out by the 26th, LOL. But I must admit once I get things rolling, I truly love this time of year, even with all the chaos and attempts at mitigating stress. 

Speaking of mitigating stress, which my crafting usually does, I am desperately trying NOT to let the Bonnie Hunter Easy St. Mystery Quilt send me over the edge. I just completed Part 1 last night, and she's deep into Part 3! 
I am using mainly Flea Market Fancy by Denyse Schmidt and Kona Snow as my background. It's been a long time since I pieced so many dang parts together for a quilt though, and with my Crafter's ADD it is all I can do to stay focused on this and not wander off into the other WIP piles I have stacked up everywhere. It has been a lot of fun seeing everyone else's progress on this though, and so far, it's keeping me motivated. I have cut for Part 2 and plan to start piecing those flying geese together this week. 

And I found a great way to keep all of the moving parts of this project together with a repurposed plastic sheet set cover from the new Christmas flannels I got at Target! It even has a handle on top...cool, huh? 

Hope all of you are healthy and enjoying this time of year. New podcast episode is coming this week, please pardon my still-scratchy voice in advance!



What I'm Reading This Month

I've reached my GoodReads 2012 Challenge of reading 75 books this year. Seeing as books are my job, I actually read a lot more than this, but for that particular challenge I mainly count the books I read solely for me and not work-related. I have been reading quite a few serious and very literary books lately (mostly work-related) so this month I'm going to dedicate to the pure fluff/trashy books I have had sitting on my shelf for a very long time.

They say you can tell a lot about a person by what they read...I'll just have to hope this isn't the only "What I'm Reading This Month" post you ever look at! You can visit me over on Good Reads to keep up with my bookish ways, and I would love to see what you bury your nose in too!

Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire
(on sale 4/16/13, I am reading an advance copy)

 Point of Retreat by Colleen Hoover

(on sale 4/9/13, I am reading an advance copy)

On Dublin Street by Samantha Young
(on sale 12/31/12, I am reading an advance copy)

Wild About You by Kerrelyn Sparks

What are you reading this month?



What's Up

Well, the flu-bug has officially struck our house and we're down for the count. Maddy had pink eye and a nasty cough, and I have everything but the kitchen sink going on: laryngitis, double pink eye, coughing, sneezing, dizziness, you name it. Phew! I will be so glad when this has run its course and out of the house.

So not a whole lot of sewing or crafting going on lately. And the podcast episode I'd planned to record this week....well the laryngitis explains the radio silence. Luckily for me, prior to all this gloom-and-doom sickness hanging over my head, I was able to finish a project for Heron's Crafts blog: Storybook Craft Project. I am the guest post today, so head on over there to see what I cooked up for the holidays!



Like a Hole in the Head...

I need another project like I need a hole in the head. Seriously. But as often happens when I get on Twitter, Flickr, or any other social media outlet, I got caught up in the excitement around Bonnie Hunter's new Mystery Quilt-a-long: Easy Street.

So, along with the 1,362 other things I've got going right now, I went ahead and pulled some fabrics for this one.

I think I'll use my Denyse Schmidt Flea Market Fancy for this one. Bonnie's colors are a bit brighter than I want for a large quilt that will probably be used in one of our bedrooms. The fresh blue and greens of Denyse's line are closer to the palette I use in my home.

Lots of other things going on! Now that the craziness of last week's holiday is over, I will hopefully have a little time to bring this blog up-to-date....oh wait, there's still Christmas to get through isn't there? Eeek! 



CGM Podcast Episode 39: Holiday Lead-In

Listen to the episode HERE

Show Notes 

Life Update:
  • Sam has already started "making her list, checking it twice...three times...ten times" and more!
  • I'm American Girl'd out...thank goodness for family.
  • Here's the pricey AG Bug I mention. So cute, but talk about sticker shock! 
  • There was a great Veteran's Day Sew-In/Google+ web chat on Sunday, Nov. 11th. I had a lot of fun with fellow podcasters and listeners! Can't wait to do it again. It was fun seeing what everyone was working on and the live action sewing going on.
WIPs and FOs:
  • Working on socks for Maddy
  • Working on King Spiderweb Quilt
  • No finished objects
For holiday gift-giving to kids, I recommend checking out the board games from Family Pastimes Co. here. They all emphasize cooperative play and fun, and they have many games for kids and adults at reasonable prices.      
Here are the 2 I mentioned in the episode:

 Caves & Claws

The Farmers Market

 Book Review:

  The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

Thanks for listening!



Every Girl Should Read: Katherine Paterson

Continuing in my series of blog posts about authors "every girl should read" I must share another not to be missed: Katherine Paterson.

Here are just a few of her books, some of them among her most popular, as well as Newberry Award winners:

Many of her books are already on reading lists in schools, but several including Bridge to Terabithia and Jacob I Have Loved have been banned or challenged due to content. Regardless of what "they" may say about why her books shouldn't be on every reading list there is for middle and high school, Katherine Paterson's books touch deep to the core of the way a girl thinks and feels during intense situations. I also love how she often blends historical facts into her novels, to give you a sense of a time we've never lived in, and the struggles a teen girl would go through in that period.

I highly recommend giving Katherine Paterson a try, if you haven't already. She is definitely one whose work should not be missed.



Did You Vote?

...and are you as happy as I am the campaigning is over? :-)


The Banned Books Project...and the winner is!

Oh me! Oh my! What a wonderful display of quilts we've seen in The Banned Books Project Flickr pool

Please take a moment and visit the Flickr pool to see the entries from: 
landscapelady: To Kill a Mockingbird and The Bluest Eye
Jenny F: Junie B. Jones
Marissa_I: Harry Potter series
Sandyquiltz (my partner in this project!): Go Ask Alice
Jackie of SewExcitedQuilts: The Diary of Anne Frank
Marisa.onebyone: Draw Me a Star
cyprium_misty: Call of the Wild
FionaOgre: Fahrenheit 451
and me!: Blubber

Sandy and I want to thank everyone who took the time to make a "little something" that creatively displayed their love for a banned book. We hope you had fun too! I will be leaving the BBP Flickr group open to any and all who want to add their "banned inspiration" to the pool. I know I plan to make several more small quilts that represent my love for a particular banned book, throughout the upcoming year. 

Without further ado, I'd like to announce the WINNER 
of the $25 Fat Quarter Shop gift certificate: LANDSCAPELADY!!!!! 

Congratulations to you, I have sent you an email about your win! Be sure to check our her fabulous blog, she is very talented and displays her amazing work all the time.

Everyone have a great day. If you're in the U.S. I hope you exercise your right to vote AND your right to read whatever the heck you want everyday!




What I'm Reading This Month

As usual, I have a big stack of advance reads I need to get through quickly so I'm mixing in several of these with the backlog titles on my nightstand.....

 Speaking From Among the Bones (A Flavia de Luce novel) by Alan Bradley 
on sale 1/29/13. I am reading an advance copy

Beyond the Highland Mist by Karen Marie Moning

The Dinner by Herman Koch
on sale 2/12/13. I am reading an advance copy

What are you reading this month?



BQF: Trick-Owl-Treaters mini quilt

Amy's Creative Side
It's that time of year again, when the wonderful Amy of Amy's Creative Side blog hosts the Blogger's Quilt Festival! I can't tell you how much I enjoy all the quilty goodness that is shared on this online quilt show. You must check it out, and there's still time to enter (linky is open until 10/31).

For this season's BQF I made it in under the wire with my new little owl quilt: Trick-Owl-Treaters.

I started with a sketch of the 3 owls and then used the fusible applique method to pull this small quilt together. 

Here are some details:

 Owl Mummy (he's my favorite)

 Owl Witch (I may add a broom later)

 Owl Ghost...boo!

 I used my Cricut machine to make the letters - so simple!

I also did fusible binding with a pinked edge on both sides of the quilt 
(my favorite method of binding on small quilts like this) 

And there you have it, my "in the nick of time" Halloween quilt and Blogger's Quilt Festival entry. This is also officially my last Halloween decoration to go up for 2 whole days this year, LOL.

Blogger’s Quilt Festival Stats
Finished quilt measures : 16″x 24″
Special techniques used : fusible applique
Quilted by : Me!
Best Category: wall hanging

Thanks for stopping by!


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