Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Someone hold me to this.

I will never dye scarves again.
Even though it was really fun.
My skin hates me.
It's been 10 days and instead of clearing quickly my skin is holding on to the allergicness... I guess it's more steroids for me. lol. such is my life.

Note to self. Magic doesn't-dye-your-skin silk dye has propylene glycol in it. (or something else that I'm allergic to.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Pretty Little Pouch Swap - Making Asthma Cool.

I've been meaning to post about the Pretty Little Pouch Swap wrapping up... so while my sewing room is all packed up (sad... it'll be a week before we are all moved into the new place)... I'll share the lovely sent and recieveds.

First up, at the beginning of may I received this lovely lovely pouch from Amy (alliekatmom on flickr). It's spectacular! I love the tiny piecing and of course the Good Folks fabric she used (it's my fav!). Until yesterday I hadn't designated a use for the pouch... but as we were in church and Allie somehow got hold of the plastic spacer that I use with my inhaler, and threw it three pews back - I realised I had a good use for it. :) It now holds my two inhalers and the plastic spacer, all zipped tight in my purse! It's lovely to see, and easy to find. thankfully I don't need my inhaler often at all... but I still need it with me. :) Thanks Amy!!

Pretty little pouch swap - front
Second, here's the pouch that I sent. I had made the plus sign patchwork the very day that we received our partners, but wasn't sure what shape to make the pouch. I lingered on it for a long time. It's a good thing I lingered since my partner Rachel was pretty direct about it in this blog post. The day after reading that post I went to Joann's and bought the metal frame. It's not too hard actually!! I really like the finished product and while actually stitching the frame to the fabric is a little difficult (I need a denser thimble), it's quick and completely worth it! Retrospectively I would change a bit about the shape of the pouch, but I was a tad nervous about boxing corners and then stitching it in. So I played it a little safe.

pretty little pouch swap - sent
Here's the back of the pouch... a little nod to Rachel's mosaic. I mimicked the stitching from one of the pouches she'd shown. It dressed up the back without overpowering the patchwork on the front. :) I like it, and I'm glad she does too!

Pretty little pouch swap - inside
Swap success!

St.Jude's Children's Hospital

As you all know (or if you're new around here you don't), I'm a huge fan of reality tv (Just kidding!). You all know that A) my daughter was born with hearing loss and uses hearing aids to hear, and B) my niece Rosemarie has been fighting Neuroblastoma (a form of childhood cancer) for the past four years. 
Rosemarie and Allie
If you aren't a big tv/reality tv watcher/country music fanatic then you may not know that the finale of Celebrity Apprentice was on tonight. The two finalists? Marley Matlin and John Rich. Their charities? Marley was representing the Starkey Hearing Foundation, and John was representing St Jude Children's Hospital. My vote (as if I had one) for John Rich. Without intending to stir up any debates, as I certainly know this could be a touchy issue, the kids Marley is working to help will still be alive next year. Hearing loss typically doesn't mean the end of a life. Childhood cancer does. 

Allie, the first day with her Aids. She looks surprised you think?
I wish I could really convey how much it touched me to see the footage of her in Africa giving those children their first hearing aids - and the experience of witnessing someone hear for the first time. I can't even put it into words. Allie got her aids when she was just months old. But still there were no promises. When she was diagnosed the thoughts went through my head, "I'll never hear her say Mama, or I love you." Those words were not guaranteed. Thankfully for Allie's case, those words did come and right on track with normal hearing kids. I could tell you how amazing it was to hear her make her first noises. I definitely cried watching that part of the Apprentice show tonight, where the little girl said "Mama" for the first time. That's powerful stuff.

More powerful? St. Jude has "developed protocols that have helped push overall survival rates for childhood cancers from less than 20 percent when the hospital opened in 1962 to 80 percent today." (this and more powerful statistics here). St Jude is currently working on research related specifically to the treatment of Neuroblastoma. You can read more here 

Please make a donation to St. Jude's Research Hospital. Send in even a dollar for Rosemarie. 

(I recommend being on their mailing list. They are persistent, but even if once a month I get their flier and I send in a few bucks - whatever I have. It's nice to have that little reminder.)

Allie and Rosemarie a year and a half ago.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sorry for all the boring posts...

I made some delicious iced tea today. If I had a clear/not crazy area of my house I might take a picture of it to show. I made Forest Berries black tea (from Adagio Teas) in my mother's day gift/glass teapot. And added a touch of sugar (literally about 3/4 of a tbsp.) and a bunch of ice. Yummy. It's warm here finally! We're supposed to get up to 85 today :) I love the warm weather!

We made eggs and bacon for brunch after church today. Yummy. And now Wally's watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse with Allie while I pack. Don't think I'm slacking... I just finished up three boxes in the last half hour or so. The kitchen is almost there. It's going to be hard to live with an almost three year old for a week with very little in our kitchen!

Wally and his brother are going to start moving the boxed stuff in in just a couple days. That way next weekend all that will be left (hopefully) will be the bigger furniture and such. Also I can start unpacking the kitchen at once! So far we've got the office packed (minus computer) The kitchen is nearly packed. The bedroom is... eh. lol. Needs some work. The bathroom is nearly there... the living room needs to be purged of toys etc first....

So really my big focus needs to be on the sewing room now. I'm dragging my feet since I still want to sew this week. It's my sanity. I'll probably keep one machine unpacked, and some scraps. We'll see what I can make out of scraps this week! :)

Then the cleanup starts/continues. I hate the big clean that is necessary when you leave an apartment. Ugh.

ON the bright side my friend Amy is coming to visit in a couple weeks!! Just in time to help me finish unpacking!!! :) She'll be our first non-family house guest! (my dad and brother are coming up to help us move).

The end. Back to work for me!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Before I had a blog...(and before I was a quilting addict)


 I used to journal. Not just every day... but ALL THE TIME. These guys lived in my backpack/purse until each page was used up. Sometimes when I was feeling really thrifty, at the end of the last page I'd start going backwards on the backs of the pages. Seriously. 

These are just a few of my (fondest) high school memories. I can still remember what was going on in my life just by the look of the covers. One of them in this stack was actually from college. Some of my deepest prayers are in there. Deepest. Ever. I think I was a mystic that semester. Pretty much. 
Mystic. Sketch from that one college journal from the stack above. Sketched during one of our monthly 24 hour Eucharistic Adoration days. I miss those days. I really do. I"m really looking forward to our new apartment... which is just across the street from an old Catholic church. :)
While packing up everything we own I've found a lot of gems like these. Such as that Rubbermaid bin of my  Roma stuff. (lots and lots more journals in there... including the leather ones from Florence - sigh). I most certainly have a few more back at my mom and dad's house. That's ok... the ones I"m missing are from high school. It'd probably do my niece some good to read them if she finds them in my old room/her room). I was very innocent. Very. 

I had mad puffy paint skills in high school. This was made for my senior year when I didn't make the cheerleading squad (that's right... but I was never one of those cheerleaders - we were a very small school). My friend Stacey also didn't make the squad so we decided to be un-cheerleaders and cheer on the JV cheerleaders. :) It worked out in the end. 
Still freaking awesome at puffy paint in college. Yep. After 10:00pm Mass, after going for Pizza at Hounddogs Pizza for the People (yum), the day before valentine's day.... we made these. We hugged random people on campus the next day... while decked out in glittery shirts. :)

Finally, a really awesome love note... from this guy who I swore was hitting on Wally... maybe not. This was acquired while studying in Rome. I won't get too into the story... but there was a pre-spring break celebration.... And neil (a friend of a friend) somehow kept knocking into vespas (too drunk?). He gave one of the mirrors to me (yes there were two... that... fell off the vespa he fell into?) I'm not going to ask those questions but he signed it so sweetly. lol.

I hope everyone reading this has one object in their lives which is not thought of often... but when you come across it you completely laugh your head off. This mirror is it for me.

Ok so I lied... I did have a blog back then. But it was pretty boring and only read by a few people (who still read it... sadly now it's mostly the occasional post: blah blah blah I'm not pregnant). My best friend Schell and I had a blog together for our Italy trip too... unfortunately back then I didn't have a digital camera. lol.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Chicago Modern Quilt Guild Scarf Dying

Today was our monthly meeting with the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild. We had a guest speaker Sara Hochhauser, who taught us how to dye silk scarves using a special kind of dye that sets instantly (and doesn't dye your skin!).
the dye concentrate

I watched as the first set of people worked on their scarves... unsure of what I might like to try to do. My dilemma was that I knew I'd never wear the scarf. And I wanted to try something different and that I might use for another project. So I went with making pleats to dye stripes... then re-folding and adding another color over it. My thoughts are that I might be able to cut this scarf up and use it in a quilt of sorts. I've never sewn with silk so that may or may not work... but at least it's something usable. I really love love love how it turned out! 

By the way, everyone's scarves turned out great!!! I loved the variety and creativity! I took a lot of pictures so feel free to head on over to my flickr page to see more action shots! Also check out the CMQG flickr as I'm sure others will be adding their pics too! 
This was a really fun project. Thanks to our program committee and to Sara for teaching us!!
My finished scarf!
Most of us with our finished scarves!!!

Linking up with Fabric Tuesday over at Quilt Story!


Who can resist a sweet little curly haired girl in a ruffly skirt? Not me.
This is about as good as it gets when trying to photograph an almost 3 yr old.
I've been thinking for a while that I need to be taking advantage of the fact that Allie wants nothing else but to wear/use/carry around everything that I sew. Some day she won't want me to make her clothes... but that time is not now!

I've been lusting after a lot of cute little skirts (pinterest board here with examples). Although I've already made one of these Market Skirts (tutorial from Dana at Made... I blogged mine here and here) I was still a little intimidated. Here's the thing. I sorta went with a cross between this (simple skirt, also from Dana at Made) and this (Hickety Pickety Handmade). Truthfully my hybrid is just the market skirt minus the contrasting top band, and minus the extra ruffle in the hem.
Doing yoga? I think that's what she was trying.
I used two fat quarters to make the first one... yep a skirt out of two FQ's! I got the FQ's from a CMQG friend Emily (thanks Emily)! It came together really nicely... although I regret not doing french seams on it. I did zig-zag finish the edges... but I don't think it'll be enough to make it really look nice.
Coloring on the floor with Mamaw Linda.
For the second skirt (yeah I couldn't resist) I used some floral fabric that I bought on a whim last year -- knowing I wanted to make a skirt or dress for Allie with it... I even had the foresight to buy some brown to match it! This one I did a bit like the pillowcase tutorial from Film In the Fridge. Funny how I made a skirt based on a pillow tutorial? Well it left me with no raw edges at all! I love it! And thinking about those pillowcases I think ric-rac would be really cute peeking out of that bottom hem of the skirt!

We'll see if I can get some pictures of the kid in the skirts tomorrow... she's definitely wearing the one to church... I found a (clean) purple shirt that matches it pretty well too. :)

Can I join the party late? These skirts were made the evening of the 14th. :)