Thursday, May 23, 2013

Double Finish

I think my buffet is probably the best dressed piece of furniture in our home!  Anyway, the parade of runners that I have made over the past year for it is least for awhile.  These are the last two that are in the plans as I now have a nice collection of 6 long runners that fit this baby!  The first one up is a runner of hexagons.  These are nice and large, and went together quickly after I learned that I can actually glue baste them to my paper templates.  Yay!  :)

I machine quilted in blue thread every third hexagon to keep it held together, but not too many to make it any busier than it already is.   I didn't follow a pattern for this one, just sewed them together to make a long runner.

The next one I actually stitched together in February at our quilt guild retreat.  I am not sure where I saw the original wreath-like block, but I had a sketch of it in my notebook and 5 of them in a row made a nice sized runner.  I hand quilted around the exterior and interior parts of the wreath and then wrapped up the binding in April.  It is going to be so nice to pull this one out after Thanksgiving and have it done and ready to display!

Thanks for stopping by!

If you have been following along with our adoption, the paperwork is done!  The home study is completed and our profile has been approved and we are getting it all printed off and ready for the book.  We are in fundraising mode (and hoping that it comes to an end quickly!)

The Thirty-One Party has been extended through the 30th of May, so if you want to buy yourself a cute bag and support our adoption, please click right here!  Thank you!   :)

Linking up!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

How I get things done

I always get comments about how productive I am and do I ever sleep.  Well folks, this is why I get done what I get done:

My mighty helper.  :)  (Sorry about the was nap time) Timothy is usually down for a two hour nap that I capitalize on every day to get sewing projects done, laundry done, and cleaning done.   I don't attempt to sew or cut while he is just doesn't happen.  He also goes to bed at 7 pm and I am married to a pastor, which means that a couple of days a week, he is working, either on his laptop or out visiting.  I have learned to get quite a lot done.  Look what I did today:

A new pillow for the guest bed with the leftover scraps!  :)  Here is the tutorial that I followed (in case you want to make one too).

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Giant Star

Giant Vintage Star Quilt

68" x 68"

This quilt has been a couple of summers in the making as I have been searching garage sales and rummage centers for vintage sheets.  I bought 2 yards of tan for the outside and used half of a yard for the binding.  I quilted it on my friend Sonya's long arm...she was kind enough to show me how it works and help me along the way.  I am totally investing in a long arm machine in the future!  (Think long term, years down the road investing)  :)  

Sorry about the pictures, but it is South Dakota, so naturally the wind is blowing and it is the best I can do.  I was seriously thinking about lying on the ground and taking a picture of the quilt flapping above me because it was horizontal most of the time it was attached to the clothesline.  

This quilt came together really quickly, thanks to the big pieces, but was a pain to quilt initially.  I spray basted it (aka use temporary fabric adhesive) instead of using pins and it was fine until I was 80% through the quilting (about 4 hours of work), turned it over and realized there were major issues on the back.  I spent another 4 hours ripping all of the quilting out and that is when Sonya invited me over to use her machine.  It took us 2 hours to get it on the frame and quilted.  Amazing!  

I am looking forward to washing and drying it later is going to be so soft and crinkly!  It is going with us tomorrow for Jake's ordination in Bloomfield, Nebraska.  He and his lovely wife, Sarah, and their two beautiful daughters are moving into their parsonage and community from Yankton.  I hope it enjoys lots of picnics, snuggles, and blanket forts in its future.  Congrats Jake (and Sarah because you were there through all of the schooling too)!  :)

My little helper 

The back is this awesome sheet that had a gradation to the flowers!  Shall we talk flowers while I have my camera outside?

We probably have a dozen lilac bushes that we have planted since moving here two summers ago and our first one bloomed this year!

The asparagus is coming in nicely (along with the dandelions) as well as our rhubarb.  I have strawberries in the large pot up there because I heard they were invasive.

We can only handle so many invasions at a time.  The picture above is a pretty common site: raspberries in the lawn.  They are popping up everywhere!  :)  Oh what we will deal with for a couple of weeks of sweet raspberries, right in our own yard.

The dandelions and weeds of all kind are also invading from all corners of the yard.  However, we found a diy solution that works!  

Fill your spray bottle with vinegar almost to the top, add 2 T. of salt, and a small squeeze of dawn dish soap.  (the real proportion is 1 gallon of vinegar, 1 c. salt, and a large squeeze of soap...I estimated for my size of spray bottle)  Shake it up and spray away!  The weeds above were totally toast about 2 hours after I sprayed them yesterday.  I call that powerful.  

You do need to be careful though, because it could ruin the soil for future plants, so we are using it to just kill off the stuff in the sidewalks and in places where we don't foresee anything needing to be grown.  I feel so much more comfortable using it with Timothy around instead of the chemical stuff.  I may use it eventually in the flowerbeds on particularly pesky weeds, but will be careful just to get the leaves of the weed and not the soil and my flowers nearby.    

We got our first thunderstorm of the season last night and expect more over the next several days.  We need the rain badly, so they are welcomed (hail, damaging winds, and tornados, however, are uninvited).  Some of the seeds are popping in the garden, so an update will come when we dry out here later in the week and get the lawn mowed.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

2013 Canning Season

has begun!  :)

7 half-pints and 2 pints of vanilla infused strawberry jam.  YUM! 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Our Home Study is Complete!

Happy Weekend!

Lots of text to read...but there are pictures at the end, I promise!  :)

Adoption process is going well.  We had our social worker come for a visit last week and we are done with our home study!!!  Our social worker is working on her report and when it is completed, the home study will be officially done.  Yay!

The next stage is getting our profile (the set of papers that birth parents look at) built, printed and turned in.  We have ours built and it is going through its second review already.  Hopefully it won't need as many revisions as it did after the first review.  :)  Once we get two thumbs up from the social workers that are looking at it, we have print it several times, put it into plastic sleeves, and send it off.  It will go into the profile book and on their website to be seen on July 1st!  (When it goes up on the website, I'll put a link here so you can check it out!)

Our next chunk of money for the adoption is due before our profile can be shown to perspective birth parents.  To help us get there, we have some of our fundraisers setup and ready to go!  So far, we have turned in 3 of our 6 payments to LSS and are about 1/3 of the way through the actual costs.  Once payment #4 is paid (by July 1st), we will be over the halfway point!

If you are curious, payment #5 is due when we receive a child and it is by the far the biggest chunk of money and could come at any point (as early as this summer if we are matched right away!).  Payment #6 is pretty small comparatively and due 6 months after we have the baby, when our adoption will be finalized in court (that is the South Dakota law timeline).  We have most of what we need already saved to get payment #4 paid, but with #5 coming at any time, we want to do our fundraising now.

1.  The advertisement (over there on the right) has earned us $20 so far towards the adoption.  Woohoo!  :)  We don't expect the ad to pay for the adoption by itself, but every little bit helps, right?!?!  And I think $20 is pretty good for the month that we have had it up and running!  My goal is to get to $100 by the end of the summer.  So remember, if you are going to order from amazon, come here first and click on that box over there to the right to get to their website.  We get 4-6% of your purchase (the percentage is based on how many items are bought in the month) by directing your purchasing traffic through our ad.  Thank you!

2.  The adoption fund is setup at our bank (BankWest in Gregory) so we can keep ourselves organized.  Thank you to those of you who have contributed to it directly!  It is fun to log into our account and see a bigger number than you were expecting.  :)

3.  It is time to have a purse party!  I am hosting a Thirty-One catalog party that starts today!  You can go here: if you want to buy yourself a cute purse, tote, or thermal tote.  I know that I will. :)  We will earn 15% of the total sales, plus hostess gifts that I plan on using for a coffee can raffle at a future-not-planned-yet dinner.  :)  Spread the word for us please, it is only open for a couple of weeks!  If you want to see a hard copy of the catalog, let me know...I can get you one.  The specials for May are thermal totes!

4.  I will be doing a Pampered Chef party in June and then we are hoping to do a dinner here in town too.  More information will come as soon as I have it for these two events.  This will be the extent of our fundraising efforts, besides a craft show or two in the fall, because asking for money is the least favorite part of the process for us. (although I love planning parties)  :)

5.  We are applying for a couple of grants through adoption organizations.  We were told that most of the grants go for international adoptions, so we will see.  You have to try, right?!?!  This means that we are doing lots of additional paperwork and essaying to be considered for these grants.  Due dates for the next rounds (most organizations look at applications quarterly) are the beginning of July and we won't know for several months if we will be a recipient.  Pray for the judges that have to look through all of the applications...I am thinking it would be so tough to decide who gets help and who doesn't!

I don't know the weather conditions where you are, but it is BEAUTIFUL here.  We have been busy bees in our yard, getting garden seeds in, weeding (I can't believe there are weeds ALREADY), planting some new perennials in the front yard (pics coming soon), and reseeding large chunks of our lawn (last summer was hot and dry and we were doing minimal work in the yard because, frankly, we were burned out emotionally).  We will get some posts up about the yard next week, when the chunks of lawn that have been seeded will be green again.  :)

Here are some pictures of my two men on their way home from a little cute!  Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Spring has sprung

Which means baseball.  :)

We introduced Timothy to his t-ball set this week and he took to it like a fish to water.  

Not really... he started hitting the ball off of the tee with one hand and the wrong end of the bat, but Grandpa fixed it.  :)

Yay Timothy!  :)

 Speaking of Spring springing, the asparagus has emerged!

Grandma and Grandpa

So, my parents from Michigan have been here all week.  With the snow finally done (we hope), Timothy's slide went outside and the train table came back up out of basement storage.  It is amazing what a few months can do.  Timothy is really interested in it now and was able to take his trains along the track and through the tunnels.  I have a feeling that rainy days this summer are going to be filled with the sounds of locomotives.  We will miss grandma and grandpa when they go back to Michigan tomorrow, but are looking forward to them coming again in July!