CGM Podcast Episode 31: Minivan Mom?

Listen to the episode HERE

Show Notes 
  • Life update: We had a fun Memorial Day weekend, and it was jam-packed with activity. 
  • Sam rode the historic Dentzel Carousel at Glen Echo Park 
  • We saw the play Five Little Monkeys at the Adventure Theatre at Glen Echo Park
  • Maddy was not too thrilled with the Splash Park visit on Saturday.
  •  We're shopping for a new, larger car and it looks like a minivan may be in our future. Comment below on your minivan and why you like owning one to help me feel better about this, LOL.

F.O.'s and WIP's:
  • Finished! A peasant style dress for Maddy. Blogged about it HERE.
  • Finished! Devon peasant top by Sis Boom patterns/Jennifer Paganelli. I will blog about this soon, including pictures.
  • Still working on the spiderweb quilt and La La Love You Cowl .
What's Making Me Happy in Crafting:  some new-to-me podcasts I've been enjoying while sewing up a storm lately. 
  • Fiber and Fabric 
  • Stuff You Missed in History Class (recent listens I enjoyed: 3/7/12: Growing Up Bronte, 1/30/12: There's Always a Seat for Queen Nzinga, 11/21/11: Polio the Dread Disease, 9/7/11: The Radium Girls)
  • Stuff Mom Never Told You (recent listens I enjoyed: 4/11/12: Can You Judge a Book By It's Cover?, 4/9/12: The Potty Politics of Public Restrooms, 8/7/11: Madams: Wealthy Women of the West, 7/27/11: Did Cowgirls Get the Boot from History?)
Book Reviews:

 Modern Patchwork by Elizabeth Hartman

How to Be an American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway

Thanks for listening!




A Dress for Maddy

I've decided to once again dabble in a little dressmaking, this time for Maddy. After my successful attempt at a fall jumper for Sam, I thought I'd try making them a Spring/Summer dress this time around. I only had about 3/4 yd. of this Sarah Jane Children at Play fabric to work with, which may not have been enough for a size 6 girls dress, so I decided to make Maddy's dress (18-24 mos) first.

We took a few pictures outside in the sunshine, but she was not at all interested in posing for the camera.

 There was all kinds of exploring to do in the backyard.

Like trying to climb the playhouse stairs while Mommy was occupied trying to 
find the right setting on her camera.

And of course, getting in a little swing time.

Pattern is The Bella Dress by Mama Stellato. I found her pattern shop on Etsy when I typed in "peasant dress" in the search field. The instructions were very simple to follow and the dress sewed up quickly! I'll definitely be making more.

I've linked up with the following blogs this week!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sew Chatty

Skip To My Lou



Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Winner!

We have a winner and it is  

#127: Lucy@Charm About You!
I've never had a jelly roll so I'd have fun making a quilt!

Congratulations Lucy! I have sent you an email for your details so I can get your jelly roll off to you.

Thanks to everyone who entered! This has been a lot of fun, and I look forward to doing it again. If you're a new follower to my blog or podcast, please stop in again. I have quite a few projects always going and I enjoy sharing them with fellow crafters........and you never know what I'm going to pull from my endless stash to giveaway next. Don't be a stranger!



Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!!

Those of you who already read my blog know I LOVE to give stuff away..mainly because I love anything crafty that's FREE!

I'm participating for the first time in the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day and couldn't be more excited. I have my fingers all set to win something from at least one of the MANY other blogger's generously giving stuff away too. After all TODAY is my 8th wedding anniversary where I was lucky enough to marry the Most Wonderful Man in the World. He puts up with me, my big mouth, and all my crafty crapola, so that alone has earned him the title. But enough about him, I'm just hoping that luck will rub off on some free stuff for ME!

I decided my giveaway item would be something wonderful from my stash I think is just adorable, but I know I'm just not going to use any time soon seeing as my WIP and UFO pile are crazy-packed right now.

 Yes, it's a brand new jelly roll of Moda Little Apples by Aneela Hoey!!

Isn't it adorable?? I even found a few quilt examples using this line and jelly roll on the web to show you the possibilities:

From the Lilabelle Lane blog, check her out!

From the Sew While He Sleeps blog, check her out too!

From the Quilted Works blog, check them out!

Wait, those are some really cute quilts, maybe I should reconsider this....QUICK! Leave a comment below telling me what you'd make with this Little Apples jelly roll before I change my mind about sharing my stash! +Earn a bonus entry when you follow my blog and leave a separate comment saying you are.
Giveaway ends May 25th at 5 pm PST/8 pm EST. I will ship internationally. For all the details on Giveaway Day, please visit the Sew Mama Sew blog here.



Bloggers' Quilt Festival!

I'm linking up with the Bloggers' Quilt Festival and sharing my most recent finished quilt, the "Pink and Gray Baby Quilt."

I made this for my niece, who was born just 1 month ago. This is my brother and SIL's first baby, and they didn't want the traditional pastel pink for a girl. They decorated the nursery in a deep pink/fuschia and various shades of gray. They go in for a modern aesthetic in their overall decorating style, so I knew they'd appreciate a quilt with simple shapes and clean lines.

I did straight line quilting over the entire quilt.

For the back I used the new Matsuri line from Connecting Threads, in the cherry blossom print. It turned out to be the perfect backing fabric, since my SIL used cherry blossoms as a graphic on one wall of the nursery!

I was able to give this little quilt to them in person a few weeks ago when I went to  try and smuggle my absolutely adorable niece home with me, visit them all. It seems a bit of a "grown-up" type of quilt for such a little baby, and I'll probably make her another one when she's old enough to beg for Disney Princess or Dora Explorer fabrics in a quilt. But for now, it fits the family and nursery well and I was so happy to make it for her.

If you haven't already go check out all of the fabulous quilts and fun going on over at the Blogger's Quilt Festival! And link up your project so we can all see.

Amy's Creative Side 



CGM Podcast Episode 30: No Plans, No Worries

Listen to the episode HERE

Show Notes 

  • Life Update: It's Mother's Day weekend! Happy Mother's Day to all of you wonderful mom's out there. This year I'm not making any plans, and will let what I feel like doing (if anything or nothing) just dictate the day. 
  • WIPs: 
    • Casting on the La La Love You Cowl by Sandra Parks using Everlasting Dream in Color yarn in the #704 Grow colorway
    • King Spiderweb quilt (as previously discussed in prior episodes)
    • Peasant style dress for Maddy using Sarah Jane "Children at Play" fabric line
  • What's Making Me Happy in Crafting: Add a Quarter Rulers! Great for paper-piecing, especially when you have a lot of blocks.
  •  Book Reviews:
 Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett

 Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

Thanks for listening!



10 Ways to Stop a Crafting Tantrum

I don't read many parenting magazines. Mainly because I'd rather spend any magazine-reading time I have with the ones that speak to my leisure activities versus more "ideas" on how I can keep from screwing up my kids even more, and all the additional crap we need to help with that. And the kids clothing suggestions always piss me off to no end, no matter how cute they are. I always want to yell at the parenting magazines, "Really? My 1 year old needs a $100 pair of shoes? You do know like most infants, she just started walking about 2 weeks ago right? So basically she's taken about 100 steps total so far. That's $1.00 a step! I'm thinking she's more in the 15-20 cents a step range at this point. Whatcha got?"

They also like to scare you with feature articles like "Poop! What to Do When It's Not Brown and Round" and "Disease XYZ..Why It's Killing More Kids Than Ever." And every issue of every parenting magazine offers some sage advice telling us clueless parents how to manage our kids through various stages of their lives. "Your Moody Kid: Like a Wild Dog, Don't Look Him in the Eyes" and "Stripper Poles for Tots: The New Way Mom's Are Helping Their Kids Beat Childhood Obesity"

The big issue that every parent has to tackle at some point or another with their little beasts darling children, are temper tantrums. These "Parenting Signs of the Apocalypse" start around age 18-24 months, and end about....well, I'm still waiting for them to end since they take on various forms as kids get older. All in all it's a time when you often look at your kid and wonder how you ever gave birth to such a little monster. Like Bill Cosby famously said, "all we wanted was a kid to send to college." Or you have moments when the tantrum is so bad you think it might just be easier if you go outside, lay in the road, and wish for heavy traffic.

But have you ever been so fed up with your crafting that you just wanted to scream like a banshee for 10 minutes? Maybe it's a technique you've done 100+ times. Maybe it's that you sewed an entire row together and all the blocks are going the wrong way. Maybe you're just ticked to still be working on that particular project and you're "done" with it, but it's a promised gift or guild item so you have to finish it. Whatever the reason, most people who have been making stuff awhile have "those moments" when they wonder why the Hell they're putting themselves through this? Why is something that should be so simple so damned hard to do today of all days? You're feeling like a good old fashioned temper tantrum may be in the cards.

As I said, they take various forms as we get older: throwing something across the room in a fit of temper, slamming a door, driving a car too fast, housecleaning frenzy, yelling at everyone around you, etc... No matter the reason, in those moments of pique, it's hard to remember "this-crafting-shit-is-supposed-to-be-fun-goddamnit!" So to take a page right out of those parenting magazines, here are 10 Ways to Stop a Crafting Tantrum and save the next person who looks at you sideways or asks you, "How's that quilt coming?" in a cheery tone from an ear-splitting diatribe on why you're quitting all crafts for good and taking up public drunkenness as your next hobby.

1. Counting: forwards by 2's to 100, backwards by 10's.... it doesn't matter how you do it as long as you have to stop and think about something other than what's pissing you off.

2. Distraction: also called the "shiny object method." Spend 5 minutes on Pinterest, leave a comment on your favorite blog, take a look at the new yarn or fabrics on your favorite online shops..anything to take your mind off of what's really bugging you right then.

3. Removing Yourself: sometimes you've just got to get out of there. Go sit in your garden/back porch/bedroom/on the toilet..wherever you can get far enough away you can't see your object of disgust for a little while.

4. Deep breathing: in through the nose for a count of 5....hold for a count of 3....out slowly for a count of 5. Do that as many times as you need to feel calm again. Don't make yourself hyperventilate though!

5. Listen to Music: Pandora is my personal favorite while in my craft room. But when I really need to calm down, I like to get up and dance, which also releases stress. Maybe you're the type who likes to listen to classical or Gregorian Chant music when stressed...whatever floats your boat!

6. Get a hug: because sometimes you just need one.

7. Go to bed: sometimes we're just too tired to see straight or reason. I've been known to push myself late into the night out of sheer stubbornness, but all the extra time I spent trying to fix something in a snit late into the night could have been easily fixed in 5 minutes after a good night's rest..or even just a quick 15 minute power nap.

8. Set your timer: If not, I stop and come back to it later when I can keep from chucking it.

9. Re-read the directions: Seriously, if it's not coming together, re-read those directions sloooowly. Because we've all done it at some time. We get to a point in our project where we're cursing the pattern maker for being an idiot who doesn't know how to add, and then we re-read the instructions, and realize we should have cut a section different, or we're using the wrong pieces altogether, or it's something so simple we feel the need to wear the "Dumbass" shirt for a minute.

10. Walk away: if it just isn't your day, it just isn't your day. Sometimes no matter how much we want it to work, it just doesn't. It could be the color, pattern, fabric, yarn, the way you cut it, it's a technique you're not used to, or any number of other reasons...if it's not working for you, just let it go for now and come back to it when you're ready.

I know, I know, #11 should be "start drinking until you don't give a crap" but I've never seen that in a parenting magazine before (even though we ALL think it!). Aside from getting shit-faced on your favorite white or red, try 1 of the above, a couple in succession, or all of them! I know there are plenty more techniques..in fact, I encourage you to leave a comment below and let me know the way you calm down when your crafting isn't going the way you'd hoped.


Note: All magazine headlines above are made up/fake and have never been on the cover of a real parenting magazine, to my knowledge. However, if you do find one like the stripper pole headline, please let me know so I can ignore my own advice, and thrash about on the floor in a tantrum on behalf of all mothers trying their best to keep their daughters off the pole their entire lives. Thank you!


King Spiderweb Progression

I'm going to change my name to Charlotte...

OK, not really, but remember in the book how Wilbur keeps asking how long it will take Charlotte to weave her web? And she tells him to be patient because these things take time...or in her case, all night.

I know how Charlotte felt. I'm happy with how it's coming together, but dang is a king-size bed BIG. I started with 2 charm packs, 1 in Kona Ask, the other Good Fortune by Kate Spain. It's almost laughable that I thought I could make a king-size quilt with all of 2 charm packs isn't it? Then I went and only bought 1 more of each...yeah, that might get me to a twin. I finally stopped my cheap-o ways and bought a Good Fortune layer cake and a yard of Kona Ash.

Had a marvelous time in Austin, TX last weekend, visiting my new niece. Out of respect for my brother and SIL who don't have a blog or podcast, I won't post any pictures of her here, but trust me she's so stinkin' adorable it was all I could do not to stow her away in my bag when it was time to go. We had a chance on Sunday to walk around South Congress Ave., filled with kitschy shops and restaurants. There is a yarn shop, Hill Country Weavers, that is filled with mouthwatering yarns and fiber, so naturally I had to look around. It's a minor miracle I only came home with this:

Everlasting Dream in Color 100% superwash Australian merino wool. 
#704 Grow colorway

I think I'm taking the girls to Maryland Sheep and Wool to see the sheep this afternoon. It's been years since I've gone. Should be "interesting" because Maddy's temperament has been "squirrelly" lately, to say the least. Hope your weekend plans are fun!



What I'm Reading This Month

I go through spurts where it seems I am reading a book a day. Right now I am reading through a huge stack of advance reads I need to review for upcoming work-related events. So at home I am enjoying some books I have had on my shelf or in my Audible queue for awhile.

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

Four of a Kind by Valerie Frankel

A Grown Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson

How to Be an American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway

What are you reading this month?

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