Friday, February 26, 2010

Eight is Great!

I Like My Birthdays

I like my birthdays, every one;
Each brings a greater joy to me.
But I can't wait until I'm eight,
For then I'll be baptized, you see.

To be baptized as Jesus was
By one who holds the priesthood true
And thus obey God's holy laws
Is just the thing I want to do.

When hands are laid upon my head,
Then I'll receive the Holy Ghost.
And, if I listen carefully,
I'll have the blessing I need most.

Today LadyBug is turning eight! And eight is a special birthday. She will be able to be baptized. In preparation, we've taken a few photos of her in her dress to include on a little invitation for family and friends we want to invite to attend. This dress is 29 years old. It was the dress I was baptized in when I was eight. My mom made it for me and my favorite part of the dress was this little clear square button at the collar.

The neck was a little too tight, so I opened it up a bit. There were about four layers of unpicking and so I cut corners a bit in the re-model. I was in the middle of a series of migraines and just wanted to get the job done. Once I started to feel better, I was sad that I didn't unpick and open up the neck the 'right way.' I left the button off because LadyBug's new birthstone ring came with a little necklace that matches and I thought that would be a nice focus on the front of the dress.

We went to the Provo Library, an historical Utah building to take pictures. LadyBug wasn't too happy about having to get all dressed up and take pictures (she's just not a frilly dress kind of girl), especially when we realized I'd forgotten the camera after we got all the way to the library. Mr. Bug met us half-way between there and home with the camera and I bribed her with an extra piece of birthday cake if she'd smile for pictures. We talked about how neat the invitation to her baptism would be if it had her picture on it. Once we reached the library for the second time, she was pretty excited about it and even had the idea to take different poses for the different panes I wanted to include on the invitation layout. This is the main picture on the invitation.

Mr. Bug and I went over the photos together and decided that we definitely needed to include this photo on the invitation.

What a great photo!

Another cute shot.

Getting a little tired of posing -- but it still came out cute!

What a sweet girl!

This is a beautiful stained glass window in the new section of the building. It was difficult to get a picture without glare on her glasses because of the lighting on the window. Still, isn't she adorable!?

This is the spunky, sassy, fun side of LadyBug that only we get to see at home. She's very reserved in public. This was a spontaneous pose and I hurried to snap the picture. I'm so glad I got it on 'film.' This was another picture that was a 'must' for the invitation.

Here are a couple of 'artsy' photos. I'm definitely an amateur photographer, but I thought it would be fun to see if I could capture a few of the details. Pretty new silver shoes:

Birthstone ring:

Birthstone ring and matching necklace:

And here is the invitation, edited a bit. My sister-in-law put this together for me because she is a digital scrapbooking guru. I'm so pleased by how it turned out. And I'm definitely going to have to give digital scrapbooking a go before the next invitation needs to be sent out.

More Aprons in Action

I'm excited to show another group of my aprons in their new homes. A special thank-you to everyone who has spent pictures. I know it is sometimes uncomfortable to put yourself out there in a photograph. But I appreciate it and have enjoyed hearing the stories and seeing the pictures of what my aprons are up to.

Fellow TwilightMOM, Angie tells me: I was at a wedding this weekend and wouldn't you know it, this man was a guest at the wedding and had one just like mine ... what are the odds?

Out of all the members of our group, Angie keeps us laughing. Then she told us the real story: I did the food for the wedding and grabbed an apron to put over my dress just in case. Then I thought 'oh, I have a BEAUTIFUL apron that I could show off instead' and I grabbed it as an after thought as I was running out the door to go to the wedding. I put in on before most people got there and took it off once the reception got started. Well, this man and his wife (family of the bride) were sitting at the table next to me. First the husband says to me 'what a beautiful apron!' I said 'why thank you!' and did a little twirl...then explained that my 'quilting buddy' made it for me and then we started talking about quilting and that his monther and grandmother used to quilt. He make the obvious observation, 'you are too young to quilt,' and, 'I didn't think women still did that any way,' and my favorite, 'with an apron like that I bet you cook too.' So I also got to share a little story about our 'online family.' Just as I was getting done telling him about it, his wife walks up and says, 'what a beautiful apron,' and the process started all over. Needless to say it was a hit! So I was telling him, 'oh that reminds me, she wanted me to take a picture of it and send it to her ... it would be a trip if I sent a pic of you wearing it instead.' He cracked up and gladly posed!

This is one of my most recent aprons. Wanda, fellow TwilightMOM, sent me the cast-off yellow-with-cherries fabric and I knew that she needed an apron with it. She said, That was just so nice of you to make it for me. I have worn it everyday and today I thought I better put it in the laundry! I could't see anything on it but I am sure there must be something there! :) I've been hanging it off a plate rack in the kitchen so I can enjoy the looks of it. It's so special to have something custom made just for me! . She poses here with her autographed copy of a Susan Branch Cookbook while whipping up some brownies for her family.

The mini-twin of Wanda's apron went to my adorable daughter, LadyBug. I can't believe how grown-up she is! She's nearly outgrown the blue apron we made for her last year so she was happy to get a new one with RED on it -- we used some of the left-over fabric from her High School Musical quilt for the ruffle and pocket. She likes to help me cook, especially when we make muffins. Her favorite recipe is found below.

Introducing . . .

Dottie (also known as Jeannie):

Daisy (or, we like to call her Carol):

and Day Lilly (really, her name is Arlene, but they each had an alias that began with a 'D' that went with her apron. They couldn't remember hers, so I improvised).

These three friends were witnesses to the beginnings of my Apron Madness. The four of us, plus my mom, went to Shop Hop together in the spring of 2008. I picked up the chocolate brown and mint green dotted fabrics on clearance and Jeannie made such a fuss over how beautiful they were that I knew then she would be the recipient of that apron. Her birthday was in July and she was one of the first to receive an apron from me. Arlene and Carol's birthdays followed in the fall and each of the three were so sweet in thanking me for them. When I asked them to take photos of themselves, not only did they pose individually, but they put together this little collage of super-cute aprons in action. Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

I was just so pleased that these three friends took time to stage a whole photo shoot for me. I thanked them all in an e-mail and Arlene wrote back, saying, We had so much fun doing that. Even our friend who took the photos enjoyed being there and kept saying, "this is so much fun." I shared in good things at Relief Society and said that we would gladly sign photos for a fee. Thank you so much for making those lovely gifts and seeing them altogether was so fun. None of us had seen the other's aprons. We thought that the prints suited the recipients too. Thanks so much to you for making them.

I love hearing what each of you think of my gifts. Jenna, who I showed with her two girls in their pink-a-licious aprons said: What a great collection of photos of your very fun aprons. After seeing all the variety, I realize that you really did choose our fabric well--ours are still my favorite :)!

Keep sending those photos in! I look forward to more apron fun!

LadyBug's Favorite Muffins

Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins
1½ cups oatmeal
1¼ cups flour
½ cup brown sugar
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking power
¾ teaspoon baking soda
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 cup applesauce
½ cup (skim) milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg white
¼ cup oatmeal
1 tablespoon brown sugar
⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter, melted

• Heat oven to 400˚. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan.
• In a medium mixing bowl, combine oatmeal, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the middle of the ingredients.
• In a small mixing bowl, combine applesauce, milk, oil and egg white. Add to dry ingredients, stirring only to combine. Batter will be lumpy.
• Fill each muffin cup half full.
• In a small mixing bowl combine the ingredients for the topping; oatmeal, brown sugar, cinnamon and melted butter. Top each muffin with the mix, lightly pressing it into the batter.
• Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Cool and serve.

Makes 12 Muffins

Monday, February 22, 2010

Aprons In Action

I've sent out the call to everyone I've made an apron for and asked for a photo of them wearing it. Here are the first few photos in for a little sew-and-tell.

First up, we have aprons on Mr. Bug's side of the family. From left to right and numbered in birth order: Kaelynn {#6}, Kimberly {#3}, Elizabeth {me, married to #1}, Stephanie {married to #4}, Krystal {married to #8} and Rachel {married to #7}. We're missing two of the sisters-in-law and Mr. Bug's mom, but hopefully they'll send me individual pictures.

This is my family. Moving from left to right is my twin-ten-years-younger, Jill {#4}, Robin {#5}, my mom {isn't she so cute!} and me {#1}. We're missing my brother's {#3} wife and my other sister {#2}. Again, I'm hoping they'll send me photos of themselves with their daughters.

This is my adorable friend, Jenna, with her two girls. She told me that she often has them wear their aprons while doing chores, like French maids do. Isn't that fun! I loved making these pink-a-licious aprons for them.
{l to r: Audrey, Dana, Jenna}

Pictured here is my dear friend Megan and her girls. She has the most gorgeous naturally curly hair and is an amazing cook. They love to cook together and so it was fun to put together an apron that fit each girl's peronality.
{l to r: Chloe, Grace, Jane, Emma, Megan}

This is my sweet friend, Michelle and her girls. These are some of the sweetest girls I know, and they all help their mom in the kitchen. They sent me the nicest thank you note, each of them writing in it to express their thanks. Michelle told me that Jane fell asleep wearing hers on the day they received them.
{l to r: Anne, Jane, Sarah, Emily, Michelle}

This next apron is part of my 'international collection,' one of three aprons sent outside the United States. It went to Mel, my fellow TwilightMOM, who lives in Canada.
Mel's Caption: When I learned how to sew, I forgot how to cook.

And last, but not least in what I hope is only the first round of Aprons-in-Action, is Shaunalei. Her kitchen is painted a cheery Apricot color and so I thought these tulips might be fun to go in there. She tells me that her oldest daughter always comments on how cute she looks in it every time she wears her apron. I quite agree.

Thanks to all who sent me photos! I love to see you in your aprons!

Aprons № 90, 91 & 92: Bunches of Cherries & A Rose Garden

In the last couple of weeks I finished three more aprons, bringing my count up to 92 aprons since July of 2008. That's a lot of yardage and rick-rack. I think that if I'd have been keeping track of finishes on a blog, I'd have pictures of all of those aprons. You can see pictures of some of them here. Some of them I didn't photograph because I was in a hurry to get them in the mail and others, because I wasn't in the mood to stage it. And since I almost always make my aprons in sets of twins, I usually only took a picture of one of the two, even if the rick-rack was different on one of them. But since I am keeping track of finishes this year (and these aprons bring me up to four finishes for February -- hooray!), I have individual pictures of each one.

Aprons № 90 and 91 are twins. Friend and fellow TwilighMOM, Wanda, was cleaning out her stash and sent me a few cast-offs. One of the pieces she sent was actually quite large, about two yards of yellow fabric with adorable cherries on it. I asked her about the yardage, saying, "did you mean to send me this piece?" She told me that she had more of that fabric than she could use and said I should make an apron out of it. So that's exactly what I did. I pulled one of the left-over red fabric pieces from LadyBug's High School Musical quilt for the ruffle and pocket and made two aprons, one for Wanda (pictured on the left) and one for LadyBug (on the right). I love how bright and cherry -- I mean cheery -- they turned out. (Click on any of the photos for a close-up).

Apron № 92 is made from some fabric Mr. Bug's mom gave me. She must have bought it to make a table cloth because it is a border print and the fabric is at least 54" wide. I thought the pretty flowers would make a lovely apron and I had this piece of pink left from another apron to use for the ruffles and pockets.

I have enough of the blue fabric for at least four more aprons, so I'll definitely be making one for Mr. Bug's mom. I only have enough for one more pink ruffle, so I'm going to have to find something else fabulous to go with the others. And I only have maybe enough of this blue rick-rack for one more apron as well. This wide, cotton rick-rack is getting harder and harder to find. I've had to use narrower polyester rick-rack for some of the more recent aprons, which is sad. I much prefer the cotton rick-rack.

I must say that this is one project I am glad to see winding down. I have loved every apron I've made. They are fun to put together. I have fabric and destinations for eight more aprons, a request and ideas for another one, and thoughts of possibly two more after that. That makes a grand total of 103 planned aprons. Mr. Monk would not approve of that number.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Pinwheel Sampler Quilt Along: block one.

I haven't done much posting lately because I haven't been getting much done. That is to say, I've been bouncing back and forth from project to project with not much direction, focus or finish. Yesterday afternoon Rachel posted instructions for the first block in the Pinwheel Sampler Quilt Along and things magically came into focus for me. I ran straight to my little sewing table and began pressing and cutting and piecing to my heart's content.

And here is my finish; two different color combinations of block one:

You can find the instructions for this block at p.s. i quilt: pinwheel sampler quilt along: block one.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cat's Twilight Block of the Month: Block 1

Cat's Twilight Block of the Month is really exciting. I've seen her layouts, both for the beginner's quilt and the advanced. I even got to test a few of the advanced patterns for her. I consider that quite an honor. I will be using nearly all of her advanced patterns in my own Twilight Quilt, so I will have those blocks to show each month, but I won't be assembling them in her layout. So, I thought that I would follow along with the beginner's blocks and put together a little sampler. I've decided to do them at 3" instead of 5" (I reduced the pattern to 60%) and I'm going to use my favorite shimmery and sparkly fabrics for this little sampler.

Here's my little apple, beginner's block #1. It was fun and quick to put together. I used the very sparkly Hollyberry Fairy Frost for the apple.

And this is my advanced block #1 done at 6" (enlarged the pattern to 120%). I've had it done for quite a while, waiting to go in my Twilight quilt, but since it's the block of the month . . . any occasion to do a bit of sew-and-tell, right?

Pinwheel Sampler Quilt Along: In the Pink

All men are tempted. There is no man that lives that can't be broken down, provided it is the right temptation, put in the right spot.
-Henry Ward Beecher, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit, 1887

Blog browsing is dangerous. Especially when you haven't slept well the night before. I resisted for as long as I could. But I found one of those projects that just spoke to me and my resolve crumbled after about 12.2 seconds. I joined the p.s. i quilt: pinwheel sampler quilt along. I love Pinwheels and Rachel's sampler looks like so much fun!

I have so many projects going. And I kind of made a rule for myself that I wouldn't start anything new until I finish my Twilight quilt. I looked at Rachel's post and her quilt and imagined different color schemes for it, considering a rainbow of possibilities, including a red, white and black combination. But when I remembered this FQ in my stash, I decided that I had to do the quilt in a pink, brown and ivory color palette. This great calico is In the Pink 2 designed by Buggy Barn for Henry Glass & Co. Do I sound like an ad? Well, I love this fabric. I picked up the pink fat quarter and had to have it. I've already been browsing the shops on-line and have found some more for the back of my quilt at a really good sale price (have I mentioned that I love to find a great deal?)

When I bought the pink, it looked vaguely familiar, like an old friend. I got it home and discovered that I'd previously bought a yard of the coordinate in brown.

Upon deciding to join the Pinwheel Sampler Quilt Along (just this morning), I pulled the Buggy Barn fabrics from my stash. They were slated for use in another project, but that project won't miss them at all. I also pulled a couple of other pinks and browns; Lakehouse Dots, a Robert Kaufman and a Calico from, dare I say it?, JoAnn's.

I'm so looking forward to this quilt! Thanks, Rachel!