Thursday, January 28, 2010

the days are getting longer

Right after Christmas I received my first seed/plant catalog for the year. It was fabulous! I felt a little naughty looking at it while is was still the Christmas Season, so I put it away in my laundry room for awhile. I cleaned my 'pile' out a few weeks ago and reacquainted myself with the catalog. That must have been the sign, because I then received a bunch more in the mail.

Now I am so excited for spring and summer! I can hardly stand it. I was trying to go to sleep the other night after our first of the year Utah Civil War Association meeting, and my mind was so full of battles, live shoots, quilting displays, 1860s fashion shows, ladies teas, and wool trousers that I could not go to sleep. I pulled out a gardening magazine my mother in law gave me, and just sat in bed reading about rhubarb.

I was hoping that the gardening would take away the Civil War excitement a little, but alas! Now I have TWO things to preoccupy my thoughts instead of one!
It was a gorgeous afternoon today and a little of the snow was melting so I went out on the back deck (south facing) and just soaked up the sun and tried to decide what my yard projects will be this year. It was a little difficult imagining it all under more than a foot of snow, but I did and now my thoughts are turned to longer days, green grass, and watching the kids run wild while the sun shines on our pretty little heads.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Jane Eyre

I was blog stalking a few weeks ago while researching for Civil War clothing info and I read about a lady that had just finished reading the book Jane Eyre written by Charlotte Bronte. I cataloged that back in my mind.
I few days later I was at our wonderful public library and saw that movie. Masterpiece Theater did that movie in 2006 so I grabbed it. It sat at my house for about 10 days and the other night I decided to watch it instead of going to bed. It was fabulous. I loved it.

Wikipedia says:
Jane Eyre is a famous and influential novel by English writer Charlotte Brontë. It was published in London, England in 1847 by Smith, Elder & Co. with the title Jane Eyre. An Autobiography under the pen name "Currer Bell". Harper & Brothers of New York came out with the American edition in 1848. It begins, "There was no possibility of taking a walk that day."

I enjoy Jane Austen's books that have been made into movies, but I have not read any of them, just watched them. I enjoy them, but some of it seems so wacko to me, like the mother in Pride and Prejudice! Anyway, if you like Victorian Era movies, but can't handle the silliness of Austen, you should try Jane Eyre. I think you will like it. Plus, when he smiles, it makes my heart pitter patter!

Monday, January 25, 2010

trying to finish a few projects

Almost 3 years ago my mother in law and I were in Robert Duncan's Studio in Midway, UT. We were just browsing and commenting on the all the gorgeous artwork and I saw a painting that for some reason made me tear up a little. My mother in law noticed and bought it for me. It has been sitting behind the computer room door for 33 months waiting to be framed and hung.
Well, this year Matt finally got it framed for me and gave it to me for Christmas. I love it. We hung it up a few weeks ago. It makes me happy to look at it and just makes me smile. Check out Robert Duncan's work at You will love it all too.

Another note of accomplishment is Kelsey and her quilt. She started this quilt in the summer, thanks to Maurice (she gave her most of the fabric) and Kami (who's pattern we used). I meant to have Kelsey finish sewing the top together during the Christmas break, but it just flew by too fast!

The girls did not have school today, so Kelsey sewed for an hour or so and finished piecing her strips together. It is coming together and it is going to be darling. She still needs to add the borders, but that will have to wait awhile. Kelsey is my seven year old little perfectionist. You should have heard her making a fuss about one corner seam that didn't turn out perfect! I wonder where she gets that? Honestly, I am mellowing out after child number 3 and she is getting worse!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

another example

We have had these bar stools since we moved in, about 7 years. Not ONCE have either of my daughters been interested in the nuts and bolts on the bottom of them. Emmitt on the other hand, obsessed. He is such a boy!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Robert E Lee

Today is Robert E Lee's birthday. There are folks all over the United States celebrating this day, because it also happens to be Dolly Parton's Birthday too! And dang it all, I turned 35 stinking years old today. Man, does the time fly!

Robert Edward Lee (January 19, 1807 – October 12, 1870) was a career United States Army officer, an engineer, and among the most celebrated generals in American history. Lee was the son of Major General Henry Lee III "Light Horse Harry", Governor of Virginia, and his second wife, Anne Hill Carter.
He is best known for commanding the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War.
In early 1861, President
Abraham Lincoln invited Lee to take command of the entire Union Army. Lee declined because his home state of Virginia was seceding from the Union, despite Lee's wishes. When Virginia seceded from the Union in April 1861, Lee chose to follow his home state.
Lee's greatest victories were the
Seven Days Battles, the Second Battle of Bull Run, the Battle of Fredericksburg, the Battle of Chancellorsville, and the Battle of Cold Harbor but both of his campaigns to invade the North ended in failure. Barely escaping defeat at the Battle of Antietam in 1862, Lee was forced to return to the South.
In early July 1863, Lee was decisively defeated at the Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania.
In the spring of 1864, the new Union commander, Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, began a series of campaigns to wear down Lee's army. In the Overland Campaign of 1864 and the Siege of Petersburg in 1864–1865, Lee inflicted heavy casualties on Grant's larger army, but was unable to replace his own losses. By June 1865, all of the remaining Confederate armies had capitulated.
In the final months of the Civil War, as manpower reserves drained away, Lee adopted a plan to arm slaves to fight on behalf of the Confederacy, but this came too late to change the outcome of the war. After Appomattox Lee encouraged reconciliation between the North and the South.

After the war, as a college President, Lee supported President
Andrew Johnson's program of Reconstruction and inter-sectional friendship. Lee became the great Southern hero of the war, and his popularity grew in the North as well after his death in 1870. He remains an iconic figure of American military leadership.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Friday, January 15, 2010

my wool sweater bag

I went to my favorite thrift store again, St Lawrence Thrift, the other day searching for amazing finds and I found this: a size large men's 100% wool sweater.

I washed it in hot water and dried it on the heat setting TWICE and this is what came out of the dryer. It's okay, I meant to do that.

I cut of the arms and cut out the neck and this is what I got - a vest!

I refolded it after turning it 90 degrees, so the two side seams are now on the center top and center bottom.

I cut off the waistband part and sewed up the bottom. I also boxed the corners just a little so the bag has an actual boxed bottom to it, not just a seam.

Here is Kelsey with our new bag. I wanted it to be little bigger, I guess I will have to find an XXL men's sweater next time! I did take it to Primary Children's Hospital yesterday. Kendal had a follow up appointment with her neurologist and the bag was awesome! A few Emmitt diapers and wipes, a bag of Goldfish crackers, a toy truck, my checkbook and all was well! I went to the thrift store again today and I found a gorgeous black ladies merino wool sweater. It may break my little merino wool heart to shrink it though!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

caught red handed

Matt and I decided to try an amazing fad diet together to get rid of a bunch of pounds. You know the diet, the one that sounds so great - that gets rid of 10 pounds in 2 weeks? Yeah, that part sounds so good you say to yourself "I don't care if I hate the food, I can handle it for 2 weeks if it means parting with these saddle bags and love handles." You think you can endure just about anything for a few days if it means getting that 10 pounds off.
Well, not me. I caved, but before I did, look at my lunch I ate the other day! Doesn't it look so good? It truly was, but Rachel is NOT a carnivore and I am having some MAJOR trouble with swallowing as much meat as the diet requires. UUHHGGGG, just the sound of meat makes me queasy right now.

Matt has been doing so well with all the meat, so I didn't want him to know that I was having trouble swallowing all of that protein and having NO CARBS! I am a cracker, pasta, bread kind of girl, just so you all know. Anyway, I didn't want Matt to know that I was going to go BERZERK, so last night I waited until EVERYONE was in bed and asleep. I snuck downstairs to the food storage and got a bag of Chips Ahoy cookies. (by the way, those are on sale this week at Smiths for a dollar) I then went to the fridge and got out the SKIM milk jug. I went to my bed (Matt had crashed with Kelsey), got my good book and started reading and eating and drinking. I had enjoyed myself a few good handfuls and a few nice swigs right from the jug and thought I had better put it all away. Right then, who walks in our room and finds me sitting on the bed with a jug of milk in my lap, my hand in a bag of cookies, and a good book layed out before me? Matty. The smile on his face made me blush. I love that man.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Izzie's piece of love

It's the most wonderful night of the month . . .

Quilt Guild tonight!

I love this night, truly love it.

I was gathering the items I needed to take tonight and realized with some disgust that I didn't have anything to take to 'Sew and Tell.' No items finished in the last month to show the ladies what I have been up to. So I decided to whip this little quilt together. I have been meaning to make it for a week or so and it went together pretty quickly during Emmitt's nap this afternoon.

I had a sweet little niece born in December and I meant to get this done in time, but it didn't happen. So here is the pieced quilt top. I will have to go find something delightfully fuzzy for the back and get this baby quilted and on its way to Baby Izzie!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Christmas Projects

Now that the Christmas gifts I made have been opened, I can share some with you. I made this lap quilt for my sister in law Angie. My sister knows it, but she has a similar one in the works that is nearly finished. It was fun and pretty easy, except for the applique. I just used a few charm packs that have 5" squares of coordinating fabric in them. I used my neighbor Debbie's quilting machine that currently resides in my basement! Thanks Debbie!

I also made a sassy little apron for my other sister in law Mindy. She is a country girl and so of course I chose near naked cowboy fabric for her! I made sure the cowboy I put front and center was the one that looked the most like her husband!

Here is a better picture from quilt guild. The ladies loved it!!

I did plan on making most of the Christmas gifts I gave away this year, but a funny thing happened in October. The Civil War. Who would have thought that a huge event that occurred 150 years ago would take over my life! I have ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War, 90 years previous, but no direct ancestor to the War Between the States. Either way, it has consumed me. So with that said, I am passing the blame elsewhere. My intended homemade Christmas gifts were shoved very violently to the back burner to make room for 1860s dresses. This is one I made below.

The shirt is called a Garibaldi shirt and were very popular among the younger ladies, and since I consider myself 'younger' that is what I made! It is really pretty on the front, I made a bunch of pin tucks that look fabulous! I was going to cut another dress out today but my guts decided they wanted to leave my body in a most violent way also, so maybe tomorrow!

This habit will continue though! I got the cutest pattern to make the girls dresses and I am going to try the pattern out on Kelsey's baptism dress. It will be truly wonderful hopefully! My sweet little Kelsey turns 8 soon and it is killing me to have her grow up! She is such a super sweet little girl. I pray every night that she will stay that way!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

i love these girls

My niece April came to stay a few nights with us between Christmas and New Years. My kids LOVED having her here and she was such a great sport to play whatever they wanted to play. She is a super sweet girl and I wish we lived closer to each other! I made her watch Pride and Prejudice with me the last night she was here. She had never seen it and needless to say, we were up a little late! Since then Kelsey keeps talking about Mr. Darcy! I love it!

Debbie, my awesome neighbor, came over one day and helped the girls make skirts. It is the cutest pattern and pretty simple. Kelsey of course loves to sew and loved the idea of making her own skirt. April was a great little seamstress also and they finished in just a few hours. Thanks Debbie, for such a great experience with the girls!

I meant to have Kelsey finished up a quilt she started this fall during the Christmas break from school and it didn't happen. She started back to school yesterday and that darn quilt still isn't put together yet! It is still in strips. I am so happy she enjoys this kind of activity. I showed her and Kendal the dress pattern I am going to use to make them both a few Civil War era dresses for reenacting this summer. Kendal said "Oh mom, I dust love it. I love the hat. Tan I have a hat too? And a basket?" One of the patterns I am making for me shows a lady with a bonnet on and holding a basket. She cracks me up!

Here are the finished skirts. They turned out super darling. They look a little silly with the crazy patterned shirts. Kelsey wore her skirt to church 2 days ago with a white long sleeve shirt and it was pretty cute. Thanks again Debbie, and thanks for staying with us April!

Friday, January 01, 2010

I just entered into a darling dress giveaway!. Mrs G of made a sweet little girls dress with 1850s reproduction fabric. It is so cute! Mrs G's blog is one that I have been reading for awhile and is quite a refreshing change to the muck and kuck (that is a real word!) of everyday life. Go check it out!


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