1/28/13

A UFO Finish: Knitted Headband

While I thought my first UFO finish of 2013 would be a quilt, I decided to pull out a knitting project long overdue to complete.

This is the Morning Walk Headband/Ear Warmer by Tif Matthews.



I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky yarn in the Chocolate colorway.





You know what's funny? The only thing I needed to do for this headband was to do the crochet trim and flower. Basically I chickened out at the thought of doing crochet. I'm not really a fan of it for larger projects, but I do think it makes a pretty accent to a piece, and the flowers are much easier than I'd let myself believe. 







I used these 2 crochet tutorials to walk me through it:

How to crochet a flower pt 1 and pt 2

Headband flower pt 1 and pt 2


The rhinestone button in the center of the flower is an old one from my stash. I don't remember where or when I got it, but was so pleased that it complimented the color of the headband perfectly.

This headband goes with me on the morning walk to the bus stop! I have added these pics to the 2013 UFO Along Flickr Group






Here's what the headband looks like lying flat:



This was a very easy pattern and worked up quickly...my fear of the crochet part and making this a UFO now withstanding!


Please join us in the UFO along happening over in the Flickr group! There are still a few days left in January to complete your UFO for this month's prize, a $25 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop. Don't miss out, but keep working on those UFOs for a finish in February!

CGM 




1/26/13

Snow Day

We had our first "real" snow day yesterday. The kids got out of school early, and by the time I picked them up there were already several accidents and spun-out cars on the road. 

(We made it home safely).



This was Maddy's first memorable experience with snow, considering how mild our winter was last year. She was just as excited as Sam to go out and play in it.

 


















She particularly liked lobbing her little snowballs at Mommy and Sammy.









And Sam is always thrilled to play in the snow....to the point of frozen fingers and toes, and having to drag her inside to warm up.







And of course, Maddy wasn't too thrilled to have to go back inside either. Neither girl has any sympathy for a mother's longing for a hot cup of coffee and her heated house.





One last dash around the yard.











And a few more minutes on the playset swing, and we called this Snow Day a wrap.







CGM

1/23/13

WIP Wednesday!

It's been slow going in the sewing and knitting departments this past few weeks. Party planning (both Maddy and Sam have birthdays 2 weeks apart this month) and the general household agenda have taken precedence. I haven't even worked on my UFO for January yet!
Last night I was able to sew a couple more blocks on Easy Street.
While it's very slow going for me on this quilt (I'm kind of getting tired of looking at it) I do plan to finish this one...just not sure how long it will take.


It has also taken over my cutting table lately, and I plan to clean it off tonight and then put a border on and baste a UFO quilt. 



I've also sketched a little Valentine Owls quilt (may be a mug rug) that I plan to share in a few weeks. It's very cute if I do say so myself. Watch this space, because I plan to post a free pattern for it as well! 

CGM

I've linked this post up in the following places, go check them out for lots of inspiration!


WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

1/22/13

Every Girl Should Read: Lois Lowry

I have a little confession to share about Lois Lowry. Even though she wrote one of the most influential novels of our time: The Giver,



(I mean seriously, every dystopian novel written since 1995 is striving to live up to this level of excellence.)

AND she wrote one of the most heart-wrenching, but amazing books about the Holocaust: Number the Stars


My favorite books by Ms. Lowry are about a 10 year old girl named Anastasia Krupnick.


Oh how I wanted to be Anastasia when I was a preteen. She was simply awesome: ambitious, feisty, smart, funny, inquisitive, and a writer. There's even a bit of romance which now makes me giggle, but at the time sent my romantic heart aflutter.


I believe Anastasia Krupnik will appeal to young preteen girls because they will be able to see parts of themselves in her. They will be able to relate to crushed dreams, to being teased by other students, to not having the same type of clothing as others have, to learning that one will no longer be the only child, and even to the death of a close relative. And they will be able to take with them the lessons that Anastasia learned from her fourth-grade experiences.  

Lois Lowry created one of the best fictional preteen girls I've ever read, and I treasured this series for a long time. While I definitely think the Anastasia books are geared towards girls 8 and older, it is one not to be missed!

....and oh yeah, don't let them miss The Giver and Number the Stars either! ;-)

CGM 

1/20/13

Two.


Cannot believe you are two years old already.

Spunky and Fun.

Curious and Inquisitive.

Funny.

Easily delighted.

Happy Birthday my darling girl.

Mommy.


1/18/13

CGM Podcast Episode 42: Party, Party, Party!

Listen to the episode HERE

Show Notes 


Life Update:
  • Maddy turns 2 this weekend! Theme for her party is Elmo.
    • She's just coming for the cake and balloons.
  • Sam turns 6 a few weeks later! Somebody stop the clock please, these kids are growing up way too fast for me.
    • Her party theme is bowling/flowers/princess and whatever else she could throw into the mix.
    • Maddy is just coming for the cake and balloons.
 WIPs and FOs:
 
Don't Forget About 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!!!


"Rules"
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.

Feature/Talk about Susan Carlson and fabric collage.  
Book Review:
 
The Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty

Thanks for listening!

CGM
 

1/17/13

Thursday Thoughts

  • So did I mention yet that I started Weight Watchers?
  • No, didn't think so.
  • Well, I did.
  • Two weeks ago.
  • I've lost 6 pounds so far.
  • About the weight of my foot.
  • The left, not the right.
  • I have been a Whale - I mean, Weight Watcher several times before.
  • Didn't stick.
  • It was the points.
  • Well, really it was having to count them.
  • Drove.Me.Crazy.
  • And it still kinda does.
  • But after you've done Fat Free,
  • Carb-Free
  • High Protein
  • Paleo
  • South Beach
  • Jenny "break-the-bank-each-week-on-the-frozen-food" Craig
  • Nutri "break-your-teeth-on-the-cardboard-food" System
  • Colon Cleanse
  • Liquid
  • LA Weightloss
  • Remember them?
  • ..and every other cockamamy diet there is
  • You have to decide when enough is enough.
  • Right?
  • You have to look at yourself in the mirror
  • (whether you want to or not)
  • And say, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH DAMMIT!
  • If everyone says WW is the best way to lose weight
  • Make eating healthy a lifestyle
  • And keep it off
  • But you gotta count points
  • Every day
  • Every bite
  • Then I gotta count the bleepin' points
  • Because sometimes we just gotta do what we gotta do
  • Even if it's a pain in the ass to do it.
  • But at least the ass will get smaller along the way.
CGM


1/16/13

My UFO Pile: I'm Goin' In!

It's time. Time to tackle this pile of UFO's that have been sitting under my cutting table for an embarrassingly long time.



I am going to be basting a quilt tonight, and start quilting it by the weekend.

I will, of course, post pictures of the finished quilt in the UFO Along group (although I will not enter to win this month's prize of course).


Prize you say? Yep! For every UFO you enter into the picture pool, you gain one entry into the "pot" for a chance at winning the monthly prize. This month the prize is a $25 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop!

So come one, come all! We are half way through January, there is still plenty of time to tackle at least one UFO for the month. I can't wait to see what you accomplish, there are already some gorgeous quilts in the group, so check them out here, then hurry to get yours entered too.

CGM  

1/7/13

Not So Easy....

OK, let me start this by saying I know Bonnie Hunter's mantra with all quilt-alongs (QAL) is "No Whining." But as a long-term, 5 minute rule whiner (you can whine about something for up to 5 minutes then you have to move on already) I felt it's necessary to just put it out there: Whiiiiiiiine about all the piecing (and pieces) involved with putting together the Easy Street quilt.

OK I got that off my chest, so let me also say that this has been a very fun quilt to make, mainly because of all the comraderie on the link-ups and Flickr group.  

Most of the time we are "alone" in the making of our quilts...until we choose to share it via our blog or other social media. So seeing everyone's progress from fabric selection to block assembly, to a few already completed quilts, has been so invigorating to my love of quilting, as well as keeping me on track with putting my own Easy St. together.

I'm still working on Step 8, the "Big Finish" where you sew the main blocks together. This will take me some time, as I have other projects to finish this month, including a quilt for the UFO-Along.

Here is my progress so far: (sorry for the dark photos, the sun wasn't shining this morning!)

 These will be the outer-edge blocks

Here is Block A

Another Block A, ready to sew

 Both blocks together.

I like how this is coming together so far. I will probably play with some of those center green blocks in Blocks A and B, and may need to cut more. While it's supposed to be a scrappy quilt, I think I like all 4 of those green print blocks in the center to be the same fabric.

CGM 

 

1/5/13

What I'm Reading This Month

So a new year has begun, and for me that means looking forward to all of the great books due to be published. I have set my Good Reads 2013 Reading Challenge goal at 80 books....I may update it mid-year depending on how many books I'm averaging a month. 

Now for someone whose job it is to read a lot of books, make in-store placement decisions on them, and give feedback to publishers, 80 may not sound like a lot. This is my personal reading goal, not all the other stuff I have to read or skim through on a daily basis.

So here is what's on my list for this month:

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
on-sale 2/26/13, I am reading an advance copy


A Spoonful of Sugar by Brenda Ashford
on-sale 4/2/13, I am reading an advance copy


Off the Menu by Stacey Ballis


Waking Up in the Land of Glitter by Kathy Cano-Murillo


The Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty

What are you reading this month?

CGM

1/3/13

Thursday Thoughts

  • Bringing back my Thursday Thoughts posts
  • What do you "think" about that?
  • Ha Ha
  • So Congress avoided the Fiscal Cliff
  • A day late
  • Really?
  • We make our kids turn their homework in on time
  • How come they couldn't?
  • I basically ignore most political back-and-forthness
  • Because it's just too tiring to listen to it
  • I'd much rather listen to audiobooks and podcasts to tune them out
  • A new sewing podcast I've been listening to is Enchanted By Sewing
  • It's very garment-making heavy, but she discusses the history of sewing too
  • She sings opera too
  • But she's inspired me to get off my duff and make a few garments this year
  • Like this one: Washi Dress by Rae
  • I seriously love this dress
  • But I have big boobs so I'll have to learn to do a Full Bust Adjustment
  • Eeek!
  • And this one: Shana Bell Tunic by SisBoom
  • I've even bought the fabric for this one already
  • And maybe even this one: Crepe Dress by Colette Patterns
  • Although that may be pushing it
  • Because I want to make about 15 quilts
  • This year
  • And finish up the 15 UFOs I have piled up under my cutting table
  • And write up 6 patterns I've had waiting in the wings
  • And.....
  • I need a nap
  • And a drink
  • Not necessarily in that order
  • My One Little Word for the year is Move
  • With that list of sewing goals it may mean into a mental hospital
  • Anyone want to join me there?
  • Kind of like Celebrity Rehab
  • For quilters/sewers/crafters
  • With "issues"
  • And lots of wine and chocolate
  • In the meantime I'm starting off the year right
  • By working diligently on this:
Easy Street Mystery QAL

  • And purchasing these lovelies:
Pearl Bracelets by Lizzy House
  • My Twitter/Podcaster/Quilty Online friends are keeping me motivated to keep going on Easy Street
  • Because with that many pieces I'd have surely bailed out by now
  • So there's something to be said about peer pressure not always being a bad thing
  • Especially when it comes to getting something done you might otherwise not do
  • Dammit
CGM
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