Wednesday, October 08, 2014

a few quilts

Over the past two weeks I've finished up a few quilts that now need to go to the quilter.
I only started this Buggy Barn Friendship Quilt 6 or 7 years ago!
I did decide its my claim to fame though.
My friend Jen and I wanted to make a friendship quilt together and we found this pattern and wanted to have one more gal in on the project.
There was a new quilt guild member that we decided we would ask to do it with us.
Her name is Natalia.
THE Natalia of Piece N Quilt who is now a published quilting author, national award winner, pattern designer, quilting magazine contributor, and on and on and on.  She is incredible.
And so now I think I'm awesome because she made some of these blocks with my friend Jen and I when she was just starting this wonderful time and money sucking hobby! 

She has built an amazing business and career with her quilting talents and I'm still trying to find enough time to piece together quilt tops!
But its good, its what I can handle.
So, thanks Jen and Natalia!  Its finally finished!

Last winter at one of our guild meetings my friend and neighbor Debbie gave a fun fun lesson on log cabin quilts.  I have always loved the pattern of log cabin quilts, and I've always wanted to make one, so Debbie gave me the inspiration to finally get busy.
I pieced all the blocks together last winter and I couldn't decide which layout I wanted to go with, so I put them all away.

I got them out last week and sewed them up in the Streak of Lightning arrangement and I really like it.  I love traditional quilts in boring deep, dark colors, so this is perfect for me!
These pictures were from quilt guild last week with crazy lighting, and the picture below is crazy lighting in my bedroom.  The real colors are something in between.

I made it plenty big!
Now I need to get a backing ready, and then I'll have another quilt to bind in no time.
I love fall sewing weather!


Sunday, October 05, 2014

She melts my heart

This pretty gal is growing up on me.
It hurts.
I put a shirt on little Kenna today that Kelsey used to wear when she was two years old. I swear that was just a few months ago. 
Its so cliché, but where has the time gone?

These two pictures were taken exactly one year ago, to the day.  

And here she is a month ago.
So much growth in just a year.  Physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, socially, in every way.

Holding her chubby little hand years ago melted my heart.  Everyone loved this cute little social bug girl of mine from the very beginning. 
We used to go to the grocery store and she was so friendly with everyone.  When we passed another mom and daughter duo shopping she used to say "Mom, look at that pretty girl.  She's my friend!" Even though had never met them.  She has always been a social little butterfly, full of compassion, smarts, and laughs.

She still melts my heart.
When I see her longs legs spread out on her bed as she sleeps, when we laugh at her morning hair, when she comes home with the highest midterm score in her honors science class, when she sits down at my sewing machine to make her cat a bed, when she helps me in the kitchen with dinner, when she reads Kenna a Dora book that I used to read to her, when I find crazy-faced selfies of her on my phone, when she sings in the shower, when she accepts her fate of watching the kids with a smile while I run an errand, and even when she suggests I change my shirt into something nicer, she melts my heart.

Sometimes I get too caught up in mourning that the summer is over so much that I miss the beauties of the fall season.  Sometimes I get so caught up in missing my little Kelsey girl that I forget she is still here and mine to enjoy.
And I do enjoy her.  So so much.
She is growing up, but she is growing into a pretty incredible person, and I am lucky.

And, just a little photographic evidence of the 162 or more crazy girl photos I get to find on my phone.
She melts my heart.

Monday, September 29, 2014

I have grapes!

I planted a Canadice seedless grape about 6 years ago by an awesome arbor my brother in law welded for me as a birthday gift.  Its a gorgeous arbor, but I was so excited for this new grape vine to cover it. It would just look so so cool.
Well, the grape struggled for a few years there by the arbor; only getting a foot or so tall and never really even touching the bottom rung of the arbor.
So I dug it up and moved it.  I replanted it right by the deck.  Same sun situation, just not so many kids tramping over it and a bit more water.  Last year it did so great.  It grew along the deck railing and was so so lush and pretty. 
This year its really happy.  REALLY happy.

Its so happy that it gave me grapes!  There are about 10 of these clusters of grapes on my grape vine this year.  I just tasted one.  They still need a little more time I think, but the flavor is so strong and delicious, its like chugging grape jelly! And who doesn't like grape jelly?  Oh, especially with some peanut butter and wheat bread!

Anyway, I am glad my grape is so happy.  I did send my brother in law a photo and asked him to weld me something for next year so we can get on the deck without being attacked by the foliage.  We live in an alpine valley where grapes are not something that really grows well here.  So, my grape vine thinks it is pretty cool.

There is so much fall yard work to do, but how am I supposed to mow the lawn with a distraction like this?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

crickets, sand, and raspberries

Its mid September and I am trying not to mourn. 
The weather here has been incredible and Autumn really is so beautiful in this high mountain valley I live in, but still, I mourn the loss of summer.

Its been a good one.
One of the things I will miss tremendously is crickets.
I love love love to hear the crickets sing me to sleep with my window open at night. 
That's just one of those simple summer pleasures for me.
I am going to keep that window open for as long as possible!

But fall means I am actually baking and cooking again.
In the summer I have the hardest time cooking.  It just seems way too hot and its the last thing I want to do when there are so many more fun things going on outside.
I was feeling fallish and I made some pumpkin cookies today from a recipe from a blog I read
So good, so easy.
1 spice cake mix, 1 15 oz can of pumpkin, and a half a bag of semi sweet chocolate chips.
Mix it all up, bake at 350 degrees for 16 to 18 minutes.  DONE!
Thank you KERIN!
Another great thing about fall is the sandbox.

For some strange reason, the sandbox is a hot spot in the spring and the fall.
But not in the summer.
My kids hardly touch the sandbox in July and August.
I can't get them out of it in the spring and the fall.

My floor is constantly gritty from their sandy little bodies returning to eat dinner that I ACTUALLY cooked after they have spent time in the sandbox making mermaids out of themselves for hours before we eat. I actually made them strip down in the garage last night before they came in.
There was a nice pile of sand on the concrete.

So, here is to more scouring baths and an enjoyable fall.
I am trying to not miss summer, but still, oh how I miss it already!
One funny thing today:
Emmitt and I were picking our raspberries and putting them in a colander.  He is my fruit bat and eats more fruit than all my kids combined.  He loves it.
After he picked a rather nice juicy red handful he said "I just love the dark red raspberries.  They are like flavor bombs in my mouth." 
I love him.


Friday, September 12, 2014

A bit of an update:
I checked out a much desired book at the library on Monday.
It is my carrot for finishing up a few quilting projects.
When I finish three certain quilts (the tops), I get to start my book. 
It sits on my bookcase and taunts me and helps me get busy!
I have wanted to read this book for about 4 months now, but reading in the summer is too crazy for me so, I took one quilt top and back to the quilter two days ago.

 I finished this one two days ago.
It is a family friendship block quilt for my mom.
Some of her sister in laws, some of her nieces, some great nieces, and her daughters made her purple and green blocks for this quilt.  I am putting it together for her.
It will go to the quilter next week after I find some backing fabric that is GROOVY like my mom!

And today I am putting the LAST border on this baby!
When it is sewn on and ironed, I get to READ!
As for the rest of the household:
Kelsey is busy rocking 7th grade and her 5 honors courses and homework.
She is also busy watching crafting videos on YouTube!

Kendal started gymnastics this week and is LOVING it.  It is good for her to love something and enjoy it so much!  She stays busy with her 3rd grade math homework as well.

Emmitt thinks he is in heaven in Kindergarten.
With his new peers, he has learned ALL about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and that is his newest CRAZE!

And Kenna, sweet Kenna.
She sings. A lot.
She has also been sporting some cute little DORA undies as well and doing really great at it!
Her latest line that I hear 48 times a day is
"Mom, watch this" then does the silliest things.
I love it.

And what about Matt you ask?
No picture of that fella.  He is too busy taking care of everyone's dogs, cats, cows, horses, and getting the hay hauled.
Wait, he did come to the park the other night for a bit and practiced batting with Emmitt.
He is a busy man and we are grateful for him.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Apple pie filling

There is an incredible woman who lives in Pullman, Washington named Diane Wilson.
When I was a 25 year old wife of a busy vet school student a long long ways from home,
she was my mother figure.

She is EVERYTHING I ever want to be when I grow up.
Smart, funny, spiritual, compassionate, giving, physically active, amazing gardener, amazing cook, well read, thoughtful, and just a great woman.
Since I met her, I have always thought I wanted to be like her.
She shared this delicious recipe with me, ITS SO SO GOOD!
I am sharing it with you. 
I think I will be making some this week.
You should as well.
Just remember to adjust the cooking time. 
Pullman's elevation is around 2500 feet, so you need to add 10 minutes boiling time if you are from 3000 to 6000 feet, and 15 minutes if you are between 6000 and 8000 feet.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

my crafty sister

I won this super fun work of crafty art over the weekend.
My sister made it, and I was lucky enough to win it.
I love it!
We have a craft raffle at our family reunion to generate money for the reunion the following year.
Its a great idea, especially when I get something this cool.
Its my grandparents' wedding photo, a photo of my handsome grandpa, and a picture of the house they built and lived in for most the 59 years they were married.
I made a few little girl dresses for the craft raffle.
I just bought a shirt and a onesie and added a skirt to them. 
Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.
I have the most helpful and cute models!

 I totally made out wonderfully.
Plus is was a fantastic weekend with my great siblings, parents, cousins, aunts, and uncles.
It looks great if I do say so myself!
Thanks Tori!

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

apples planted by George

I grew up in a pretty small town in a pretty remote part of Utah. When my great grandpa George Alvin Chappell lived there at the turn of the century, it was even more remote.  The largest town is 60 miles away to the west.  There isn't much to the north, south, or east for about 100 miles.
One day, a loooooooong time ago, a fellow came to town peddling apple tree seedlings.  Two families bought them in town.  The George Alvin Chappell family and the Eric Torgerson family.
George planted them in a pasture close to where the irrigation ditch cut through the pasture.
His son Glen eventually purchased that pasture, and then his son Marion eventually bought that pasture.
Marion remembers sitting in those apples trees with a salt shaker enjoying those apples.  So does his daughter, Rachel. ME.  But I vividly remember hearing the one and only Johnny Appleseed was the one that came peddling apple tree seedlings!
My dad is always full of stories!

On Labor Day, my sweet kids, my dad, and I picked a few buckets of those apples planted by George Alvin Chappell more than a hundred years ago.
Today, Emmitt and I made applesauce with those apples.

It was a great morning together with my boy.
It was fun for him to see the process of how applesauce is made. 
It was fun to have his help.  He loved peeling the apples and he loved mooshing the apples through the old fashioned food processor.  But most of all, he loved eating the warm, delicious applesauce.
He kept telling me to add more sugar and cinnamon, silly boy.


It was a good day. A busy day.
I also got a good hold of this monstrosity of a shrub and took some pruners to it.
Vanhoutte Spirea is also called BRIDALWREATH because when it flowers, the white flowers flow downwards like a waterfall and I guess that looks like a bridal wreath. 
It is an old variety of shrub.  It was popular in the Midwest. 
I can just imagine a Nebraska farmhouse a hundred years ago with this shrub in the yard.
Native Americans used it to treat venereal diseases and a tea of spirea helped with abdominal pain.  I would imagine some young brides had a handful of it for their mid-summer weddings as well.

I guess I've had a bit of a nostalgic day.
I think I better go sew for a bit this evening and enjoy my nostalgia.
Anyway, my shrub looks much better than this now, and I found the long lost strawberry patch under all those branches I trimmed away.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

a time to sew

It rained for a week a few weeks ago here.
It was glorious.  I love it when Heaven waters my yard and garden.
The rainy weather made me want to sew, something I don't get to do very much in the summer.
So I dug out some blocks I made in a block of the month from 2010 and bought some sashing fabric.

It took me a few days, but I finished this quilt top.  The colors really are THAT ugly, but it was what was included in the block of the month packets.
So now, off to the quilter for this one.

The girls started school today. 
Yes, I cried.  I need a diversion!
Its raining today, so I should sew!
 But I do I need to decide which unfinished quilt project to work on.
I have at least 30.  No kidding.
Here are a few I am considering: 

This one is ALMOST finished, one more border I think!

This one is a long way from finished, but really needs to get done.

This one will take a lot of brain power to figure out what I REALLY want to do with all these stars made as friendship blocks by my friends.

And this one is just blocks laid out on the floor, they aren't sewn together.
Plus, I have a sweet reader who really wants to see this one completed.
I think this one may win the contest!

So now that I have dried up from my girls growing up and being gone,
cleaned the bathrooms, and figured out dinner,
its time to sew.

Monday, August 18, 2014

my four blessings

Being a mom to these four little gifts from God is pretty incredible.
Its crazy how I used to think I knew them better than they even knew themselves.  Then they grew some more, and it seems I knew them less.
Then they go to school and it seems I know them even less because of all the outside influences they experience.
But I know them.  And they know I know them better than anyone else on the planet.
And that's enough for me.
They know I care more about them than anyone else on the planet as well, and that's the incredible part about being a mom.


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