Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Handmade Goodness

I'm very excited about today's post. When I saw this tutorial on Elise's blog, I knew I had to make this pillow. Elise's blog is a delight to read everyday. Be sure to check it out.

I don't have a lot (or any really) experience sewing. I did make a small quilt when I was in college, but that was a loooonnng time ago. I have no recollection of how I did it. So, I asked the one master sewer I know for help. My Mom. She has created many, many projects over the years and most recently has sewn pajamas every Christmas for all four of her grandkids. She's amazing.

I bought all the necessary supplies and headed home. My Mom and I followed the tutorial almost to the tee. It was extremely helpful and very easy to follow. Thanks Elise!

I decided to make a dark gray pillow. We started by cutting the strips. This was quite tedious, but after a few it got easier.

Then we ironed each strip. This was one heck of a hot day and the ironing board and the sewing machine are both in the room upstairs, where no air circulates. My Mom made homemade lemonade which I highly recommend drinking while making this project.

Then we started to put the ruffles together. This is where we parted ways with Elise. My Mom and I think she is very brave. She sewed each strip on the machine, freehand. Now that is talent! I am very impressed. We found out very quickly that this wasn't going to work for us. We found that we needed to pin each ruffle row and then sew it. Several times we had to take the pins out and start over because we ran out of cloth in the row because our ruffles were too close together. But, like cutting the strips, it got easier as we went along.

We sewed each row as we went. I much preferred the sewing, so eventually my Mom pinned on the rows and I sewed. For the last strip on the top, my Mom suggested an extra zig-zag strip to have a clean finish on the top.

We made a good team. It took most of the day Saturday and several hours on Sunday to finish.
I absolutely loved how it turned out. The ruffles are so pretty and each are uniquely different.

Now, it has a home on my bed. Unfortunately, my bed hardly ever looks this way. There is enough fabric left over to make another pillow. I'm thinking of getting some red fringe to put on it to match my comforter.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my sewing adventure.

The poster is from Elise's etsy shop. Very fun things can be found there.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

1) Missing these two. Good thing I get to see them in a few weeks.

2) I saw Josh Ritter perform for the first time with the Minnesota Orchestra. What an amazing, talented musician. He smiled throughout the entire performance and it was infectious. I am smitten. Too bad he isn't anywhere near the Midwest for the rest of his tour. Boo.

3) I've been enjoying my fresh farm veggies lately. The other night, I made a homemade pizza with fresh basil and green pepper. Yum.

4) I'm excited about this. I haven't been feeling very inspired lately, so hoping this helps me get back on track.

5) I've started reading The Book Thief.

6) I can't believe there's only five weeks of summer left. My sister is talking about going school supply shopping. I love school supply shopping, but I'm not ready!

7) I've been feeling blue lately. Things haven't worked out like I expected them too. I'm trying to keep perspective, but it's hard. Hopefully, I'll get out of this rut soon.

8) I'm having a garage sale in a few weeks and I have a ton of stuff to price. Ugh.

9) Is it weird that I get overly excited when my building's elevator opens right when I push the button, or when all the lights on my way home are green, or when I get a close up parking space? Do others find happiness in these small occurrences?

10) I've been having a lot of fun with my Instax. Love this camera! Here are a few of my favorite shots so far.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sunny Sunday

I finally went to one of my favorite places. The arboretum. I can't believe this is the first time I've been there all year! If I lived closer I would go everyday. It's such a glorious place and Sunday was the perfect day to be there.

Was it a sunny Sunday where you were?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ten on Tuesday (Chicago Style)

I spent a long weekend in Chicago with my brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew and my parents. I had such a wonderful time and it always goes by too quickly. Here's the run down.

1) The whole time it was really hot and humid. Back home was actually cooler!

2) My sister-in-law made homemade popsicles. I tried the lemon and strawberry one. Delicious and so refreshing. A perfect treat for those hot and humid days.

3) My nephew and my Dad played a game outside where he'd throw a stuffed animal, Tess, in the air and my Dad would catch it and vice versa. One throw landed Tess in a tall maple tree, hanging by its armpit. My nephew got a baseball, took aim and hit Tess straight on and it tumbled to the ground, while making impressive multiple backflips along the way. Many a high five happened after that throw!

4) My brother and I played tennis on a clay court. My first time on a surface other than a hard court. The play was slower on this surface or maybe that was because of the scorching sun. I won of course.

5) We had dinner in the city one night. I love when we go into the city. The appetizers, wine and dessert were the best. The main dish was so-so. I should have been more adventurous.

6) I survived the big ferris wheel on Navy Pier. Just barely.

7) There is a transportation strike in Illinois and I got a kick out of the signs we saw. One said, "Lane closures will begin after strike is over." Ok, thanks for the heads up.

8) The food, the food! My brother and sister-in-law outdo themselves every time we visit. One notable item were the Ebelskivers. It comes with its very own pan.

9) One of my favorite spots is sitting on their front porch, (which is where I am sitting right now writing this) watching the world go by and listening to the cicadas. We don't have cicadas in Minnesota. They are loud, but also somewhat soothing.

10) We played mini-golf at Navy Pier. We had nine and a half hole in ones! A half you ask? My Mom's first shot hit my Dad's first shot and his ball went into the hole.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


On the grocery list: Green onions
On the radio: MPR
On the TV: Old X-files episodes
On the nightstand: Still The 19th Wife. Stopped reading it to read A Girl with a Dragon Tattoo
On the to do list: Get a haircut
On the scrap table: A July 4th mini book
On the movie list: Toy Story 3

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Eating Outside

This week's American Crafts challenge is to do a layout about what you do on your summer vacation. I chose to do one thing I love about summer; eating outside. I love finding a shady patio and enjoying a cold drink and a tasty meal.

I used a bunch of misting on this layout and I actually used a mask on the background. I like the effect. I also used two different Thickers. Man, I love those!

Here are a couple close-ups.

Isn't that little birdie so cute?

Product used:
American Crafts:
Paper: Abode
Thickers: Flat, Dear Lizzy Berry and Dear Lizzy Bliss
Flair: Dear Lizzy Springy
Mini Marks: Dear Lizzy Perch Accents

Tattered Angels:
Glimmer Mist: Creme de Chocolat

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

1) I love these videos by Tara Whitney and Michel Sandy. Just beautiful.

2) I'm excited about KPs Sketchbook 2 class.

3) I bought 30 Day Shred after reading Cathy's blog. Oh. My. Goodness. It's definitely a workout and I started with level 1.

4) Yes, I'll admit it. I saw Eclipse. Even more shocking, I liked it. By far, the best of the three.

5) I'm excited about the Summer CHA releases! Can't wait for product to hit the stores.

6) This summer is going ridiculously fast. Every year, so many things go uncrossed off my summer to dos because I always make too long a list. Living in MN, I try and pack these few months with as much stuff as possible, before hibernation again. I'm really hoping to take a trip up north and see a movie outside at a drive in theater.

7) I saw Knight and Day. Really fun movie.

8) I hope I can take Polaroids like these soon.

9) I've been taking my freshly picked new potatoes, summer squash, onion, carrots, and zucchini and dousing them with olive oil, putting them on a baking sheet and baking at 350 degrees for 30 minutes and devouring every last morsel. So wonderfully tasty.

10) I had a fun 4th on the farm my Mom grew up on (except for the fireworks that shot into where my family and I sat. That, not so good).

Monday, July 12, 2010

Over Halfway

For the last few years on my birthday, I have made a list of big and small goals that I'd like to accomplish for that year of my life. I have a list of 32 this year, and I'm over the halfway mark in the time I have left. My first blog post was all about it. I thought this would be a good time to check in to see how much I've done and how much I have left.

The stats:
I have only completed 10 of the 32. Eek.
Four are a definite no. Travel to Memphis to visit a friend. She no longer lives there.
Three are in the works. Go to a movie outside. I've researched and found a place rather close to where I live.

Here are a few I've accomplished.

#11. Start a blog. I started it on January 1 and am still going strong. This is my 89th post.

#8. Plant a tree in memory of my brother Rick. This was taken in November. When I was home this weekend, I meant to take another picture. I will do that in August when I'm back again.

#15. Go to a Broadway Play. I saw in In the Heights. Excellent play.

#18. Buy an instant camera. I have been coveting this camera for awhile and I finally bit the bullet and got it. Here are a couple of the first shots I took with it. It's taking a bit to get used to, as what you see in the viewfinder is not what comes out on the film. Makes it interesting for sure.

#20. Make a pillow. This wasn't on the original list, but I'm the executer of the list, so I figure I can change it if I want. More on this one later this week.

#27. Join a CSA. The verdict is still out on whether I'd do this again. There are definite positives, but also a few unexpected downsides. I'll reevaluate after we've gone through a full growing season.

I'll check in again closer to my birthday and hopefully I'll be closer to finishing all of them or at least a handful more. Here's to making lists and crossing things off. Does anyone else have a birthday to do list or a new year's list? How is it going for you?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


I'm taking a break from blogging this week. I so appreciate you stopping by and reading my little ol' blog, so I hope you'll come back next week! I hope everyone in the U.S. had a wonderful 4th.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Flashback Friday

For this week's Flashback Friday, we will be going back to this month seven years ago. I traveled with my sister, brother-in-law and two nieces to Sonoma Valley. My brother-in-law's family was having a family reunion there. What a wonderful place for a reunion! I had never been to this part of California and I was very excited. We were only there for a few days, so we had a lot to do in a short amount of time.

I remember flying into San Francisco. Flying was still new to me back then. We were surrounded by the bay which made me really nervous. I'm not a fan of heights or water. How again am I going to travel overseas?!

I remember it was foggy, so we couldn't see the bridge very well.

I remember we had a Ford Expedition as our rental car. It was massive, the biggest car I've ever been in, and ever been in since.

I remember the view from the home of my brother-in-law's relatives. It was atop a hill and it was spectacular. I remember just wanting to sit there all day and take it all in. I figured that wouldn't be very sociable.

I remember the air, how it was so fresh and clean and breathable.

I remember traveling down country roads and seeing vineyards covering the landscape. It was breathtakingly beautiful. We stopped at a few wineries along the way. Back then, I drank strictly Merlot (shocking, I know). Now that I'm (a bit) older and have been more adventurous in what types of wine I try, I imagine I'd have a fuller experience if I were to go back.

This pig was at one of the wineries and I'm afraid I don't remember its significance. But I still find the picture hilarious.


I remember swimming with M in this amazing backyard pool. I'm not sure what my sister promised me (threatened me with) to get me in that pool though. Did I collect? Hmm...

I remember playing Dominoes.

I remember my niece, D, was only 6 months. She did a lot of watching the rest of us. And we did a lot of holding her. She's a go with the flow kind of person, so she was a perfect traveling companion.

I remember wishing we had time to explore San Fran.

I remember my niece, M, charmed the airplane crew and they invited her into the cockpit after we had landed. What a neat experience!

I thank my family and my brother-in-law's family for letting me tag along and for welcoming me with open arms. A truly wonderful trip.

I've found that everywhere I've traveled, I always wish I could go back and explore more. I've never been anywhere that I said, ugh, I'm not going back there.

I'm a lucky gal.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

American Crafts Challenge

This week's AC challenge is to use Thickers accents. You can't go wrong with anything with Thickers in the name! Aren't they so cute? This layout came together really quickly. Nothing too fancy.

This is one of my favorite photos from Easter this year. I take a lot of pictures holding the camera extended out in front of me and my niece snuck in without any of us knowing. She's so sneaky.

Here are a couple of close-ups.

Products used:
American Crafts
Thickers: Rockabye, Thickers accents: Dear Lizzy Bliss, Paper: Dear Lizzy and Abode, Dear Lizzy crocheted flowers and ribbon

Jillibean Soup
Brown Journaling Sprouts

Basic Grey
Basics White 6x6 paper pad

Happy Tape