Monday, January 28, 2013

Xplusalong is happening!

I woke up early this morning at 5am, feeling rested. This change in eating and the 5k runner app has me full of energy. Jack went with me Saturday - so fun. He was usually about 6 yards ahead of me yelling over his shoulder for me to keep going. :-) Today,on a brisk walk with Duke, I snapped the harbor picture above. I just love a gray day.

Got right on my blocks this morning! Yesterday was cutting day. I followed my color diagram and cut away. If you want to join in the fun, the tutorial is here.. There is also a lot of people using the hashtag #xplusalong on instagram.

In the cutting photo of fabrics there is an Ihome in the middle. I love that thing! I plug my IPhone into it and turn on Pandora to the Adele Radio, my current favorite, and my crappy iPhone speaker turns into this beautiful stereo music! It's battery operated, too. Mitch found it when we were Christmas shopping together and said, "Mom this is what you need." It was only $20 at Penny's. Really, go get one if you are listening to music from your phone on your phone's speaker. Pandora is a free app if you don't mind an occasional advertisement.

I am enjoying watching Jack draw so much. We made a special trip for Sharpie markers. They don't bleed as much as the crayola markers do (into other colors), he said. By golly he's right!

I am still shocked over Downton Abbey last night....


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sewing paralysis

My sweet friend Krista of kristastitched
had a birthday recently. As I was putting together a fun bag of fabrics for her I came across this cupcake potholder pattern given to me by my MIL. HAD to make it! That was early last week.

Since then I've been in sort of a state of sewing paralysis. I have lots of plans, lots of stacks, and a full WIP board. I did manage to make a color map for my xplusalong block layout and the fabrics are ready to be cut. I also really want to make that heart block above that I spotted on Instagram. Isn't that quilt beautiful?

Duke had a good brushing the other day. He started off standing, then sat down, the laid down and closed his eyes while I brushed. It's like a human getting a body massage, I think. He loved it.

Jack is now getting orders for his Looney Tunes artwork. He made one for his teacher, then several students asked for one, along with his bus driver, and a 2nd grader who rides his bus. As he was drawing he said to me, "I love seeing the smile on someone's face when I give them my art." Oh how I do love this boy.

Kris and Duke <3 (love him, too :) )

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Stitch that Stash

I've joined an online sewing bee! It's called "Stitch that Stash" as we are using what we have for our monthly blocks. I'm very excited about it. There is already great support amongst the group which is heart warming. This month we are making churn blocks for the fabulous Deb of Simply Miss Luella I finished mine a few days ago. Our flickr group is here if you want to check it out. We have 9 members and will go through September.

I didn't realize how easy a churn block is, so now I'm thinking a quilt of them for myself might be nice!

Also finished this week, three fabric bins for my friend ( who now lives in Spain ) to give to her nephews and niece - here in the States. I mailed them off to the kids directly and sent lots of pics to my friend. She and I lived together our sophomore year of college at UCSB. She loved traveling to Spain, fell in love with a Spaniard (haven't we all!) and now lives there!

I even showed her what the wrapping and package said, because I'm a photo-holic.

Made some blocks that I'll tell you more about soon.

That last block took 2 days! Well it seemed like it.

Today it was raining and 38 degrees, but I still did my 5k run app. I'm running farther this week...yay! This app is working cause it is doable. Remember, starting point was couch potato. I'm starting weights tomorrow. A friend has hooked me up with a DVD on what to do for arms, abs and butt/thighs. I think I might stick to this new routine, what a surprise!

This was post-run. I've edited myself out because I look like a rat. Duke was more than ready for his bath.

He jumped right in!

Jack is back at drawing. I'm so glad. He loves art. This is new for me as my older son never drew this much. We (and the grandparents) have equipped him with an Art Cabinet of goodies for sketching, drawing, coloring, painting. I framed one of his paintings and gave it to my parents this past Christmas.

He spends hours on these. I love it, especially because the TV is off.

Mitch seems to be having a stressful week at college:

Wouldn't you agree?

Linking up to Really Random Thursday!
at Live a Colorful Life!


Monday, January 21, 2013

My Happiness Project

I believe that happiness is not what happens to you - it's who you are! Last year I read The Happiness Project. I loved it, so I began to follow her blog and subscribed to Gretchen's Happiness Thoughts of the Day, like this one:

One of the things I like most about her take on exploring happiness is how she came up with her own set of 12 personal commandments.. I recently decided to write my own list. Here's why. Sometimes I need a little nudge to help remind myself to have the mindset of living and acting in a way that brings happiness to myself and others. I want to model being a happy person for my children. I think that I usually am positive and upbeat but I do, at times, struggle with feelings of depression and/or negative thoughts. Again, I firmly believe that happiness is not what happens to you - it's who you are! I love lists! I need reminders! So, onward with my own personal commandments.

On her blog, Gretchen offers up a longer list of examples - shared by her readers. Here it is:

Forget the past.
Do stuff.
Talk to strangers.
Stay in touch.
Make haste to be kind.
Don’t wait.
Action, not reaction.
Always with love.
Baby steps.
Recognize my patterns.
Be present.
Don’t rehearse unhappiness. [This is one that I really need to think about!]
Live your values.
The more the merrier.
Love is all around.
Notice the color purple.
Friends are more important than sex.
Choose not to take things personally.
Be loving and love will find you.
Encourage others.
Enjoy simplicity.
Rejoice in beauty.
Deeds not words.
Slow down.
Please yourself.
Nothing lasts.
Music helps.
Only a bore is bored.
Do something different.
Consider the source.
Be the fun.
Cut your losses.

One of my favorites is "Do what ought to be done". This, to me, means doing what isn't my first choice of things to do, but needs to be done. Oh the feeling of happiness this brings! (Getting rid of clutter, exercising).

In the coming weeks I'll post my 12 commandments here in my sidebar. If you feel inclined to do the same I'd love to hear about it!

I can tell you right now of one big source of happiness for me - if you didn't already know!

Here's another book on happiness that I've just started but already have found interesting:

The Law of Happiness. Dr. Cloud mentions the following:

Happy people set limits on what they will and will not allow in their lives

When you change yourself, the world around you usually changes as well

When you forgive others, you are the biggest beneficiary

Happiness is a by-product of living life as God designed it to be lived.

I'm five chapters in and have read about "givers", "not being lazy about happiness" (that's where my commandments come in), "not waiting for someday" and "pursuing goals" (I'm working on becoming a runner).

What would your own personal commandments be? I'd love to hear your thoughts.


A photo of my Mom and my sons taken over the holidays: a family night of laughter and togetherness=happiness.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

X plus along

I had to try the latest craze on Instagram and now flickr the x and + along! I wanted to make a 12 inch block so I did a little digging on Flickr and found measurements that I used for these two blocks:

Since then I came across different measurements that Megan shared and Brenda made a chart of on Flick:

I think I'll start fresh with some blocks for a new quilt. They are really fun to make!

New fabric! Got this from a de stash on IG. I love the destashes! Great fabric for bargain prices.

We interrupt fabric talk to share this exciting news...I've downloaded a new book! It's been ages since I read a book on the iPad. This one was recommended by a friend. She says it has a Downton feel. Well okay then! Are you watching the new season? I am once again, hooked. And with no Homeland......why not?!

Also getting back in a routine of hitting the trails with Duke. He loves it!

I've joined some new skill builder groups this year. I'll post about them soon.
Linking up to Really Random Thursday at Live a Colorful life!


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Seattle Sites!

(Jack took this one)

Over the winter break we HAD to do a day in Seattle with my parents. Seriously, who wouldn't want to see Pike's Place Market and the Space Needle? We had clam chowder in the market at a restaurant on Post Ave. Yummy, award winning chowder that we first discovered on the Seattle Bites food tour two summers ago. My Dad got the coolest driver's hat at the market - he looked very PNW if you ask me! We did lots of walking and booth browsing, which Mom and I loved, and Jack tolerated kindly. My Dad and my oldest son, Mitch, enjoyed sampling teas at this shop. Then up in the Space Needle we went for some breathtaking views of Seattle. It was another "first" for my Dad. By the end of the day we were all exhausted.

In fabric news, I found this brown fabric in the red dot sale section of JoAnn's. $3 a yard! I'll use it to border and back my Value Dance quilt top. Ill throw some solid white and solid red thin border in, first. Here it is:

I was at JoAnn's to return my new Darning/embroidery foot for FMQ. It didn't work on my hoo. I ordered this one instead. I can't wait to receive it!

I'm doing the last of Mitch's laundry before he heads back to Salem, OR to college tomorrow. A new semester of classes begin Monday and he is excited to take them. One of them is a Politics class on "How to run a successful campaign." It would seem politics are in his future!

Kris ... And Duke..with his stock pile o' treats. He went around the house collecting them to snooze by them!!