Wednesday, June 30, 2010

And the Winners Are . . .

Last Wednesday, in honor of National Pink Day, I posted about my favorite pink things and showed you my latest [pink] finish. I also might have mentioned that I had a few extra of those pink polka-dotted beauties that I wanted to share. I closed the comments on that post today at just after noon today and printed them all out. I already had ready an entry for everyone who followed my blog at the time of that post and tonight we held the drawing. It was old school, an actual drawing, and lots of fun for us. I had LadyBug, Grasshopper and Mr. Bug each pull a name out of the hat. Or bowl. But hat just sounds better. I must pause here to say that I really wish that I had a pretty pink sleep mask for everyone who left a comment. That would have been so much fun!

And now, without further ado the winners are . . .

We were meant to be friends! My dream car for a long time was a pink bug, my hubby reads way into the night and I wish I had a sleep mask and I LOVE PINK! Thanks for the bloggy shoutout. My fave pink thing (among many) was the Pinkalicious Party I went to tonight. My friend had an old pink bike there that I am dying over. Love!
Drawn by LadyBug

OME!!! You KNOW I love pink!!!! That would be too cool to win one of those masks!!! (and you know I follow your blog bc I want to anyways! ;) )

I'm gonna post it on my blog.

As if it couldn't get any pinker (is that a word?) My blog's theme is pinks!! LOL

Drawn by Grasshopper

I love the color pink. I love pink geraniums, pink peonies and any pink flower in general. Pink reminds me of spring.
Drawn by Mr. Bug

The winners have been notified by e-mail, but just in case it went to the spam folder, I'll need your snail mail so I can send you your goodie.

A great big thank you to everyone who stopped by to enter my drawing and especially to those who ready my craptastic stuff all the time.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Snowball Night: Week 5

I'm checking in with my week five Snowball Quilt update.

I haven't been very good at checking in weekly. This is supposed to be a no-pressure, low key, finish a few blocks a week and then post about it quilt-along. I announced I was joining and then didn't post again for almost three weeks {although I thought it was three weeks on the nose; my original post was a Thursday only I thought it was a Tuesday and so I decided that Tuesday would be update day}. I pulled some fabrics, but didn't post the first week or the second week because I wanted to show more progress than a stack of stash fabrics. I finally got it together for week three and showed most of my fabrics cut and laid out in a pretty rainbow. As a matter of fact, I was so excited about the whole thing, I'd cut enough for two quilts. After that, I got to work so that I'd have something to show the next week, but when week four came, I only had three of the four corners sewn onto half of the blocks and I didn't want to show that. That would be like going out in public without make-up on.

I think I'm thinking too big for this project and kind of missing the point. I think I want to have a lot to show with every post. Part of that has to do with my process. I only like to do things once. I like to chain-stitch myself into a coma and then have all the corners be done when I'm finished. But I'm going to have to start thinking smaller so I don't make myself crazy with the snowballs. Karen wanted it to be a fun, once-a-week-project, to do a little at a time and then have a great finish at the end. I kinda blew the doors off that because I have one top completely finished. Don't hate me too much. It is a gift for my sister's wedding at the end of July. I have to make six little vests for the grandkids [Editor's Note: my mom's grandkids] to wear at the wedding too, so I've got a lot to do and I'm working on not procrastinating things to the last minute.

I'm not sure how I feel about it. I go back and forth between kind of liking it and thinking it is the ugliest quilt in the history of ever. I was going for my own version of this quilt and I think I arrived somewhere in the neighborhood. So I'm not sure what is off about it. Too many greens? Not enough pink? Too much yellow? Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I laid out all my fabrics like a rainbow and then assembled them together into the quilt in a random order (see photo below for blocks laid out in rainbow order).

Here's my top with the back fabric ready to go and all those little bitty left-over corner pieces sewn together to make baby snowballs to go across the seam on the back. They are 2" finished size. And yes, to answer the obvious question, I am out of my ever lovin' mind saving and using all those corners. 192 of them. The pressing took forever. And a week.

I'm not sure if I'm going to work on quilting this next or if I'm going to set it aside and let it 'rest' for a bit while I work on vests so that when I come back to it the whatever-it-is-I-don't-like-about-this-quilt will have had time to magnify itself so far past reality inside my head and that when I see the real thing again I'll like it.

In any case, I have a second chance to play along with the snowball night the right way; no-pressure, low key, finish a few blocks a week and then post about it. Here's my second quilt, cut and waiting to be worked on.
Knowing the way I work, I'll probably have to post about whatever I've done for the week, even if it is just two corners sewn on the blocks and no trimming or pressing done yet.

Monday, June 28, 2010

I Can't Fight With an Eclipse

If you visit my blog very often, you'll know that I'm a Twilight fan. Just a little. The newest movie comes out in just over 26 hours.

Most die-hard fans already have their tickets for the midnight showing somewhere in between June 29 and June 30. But I am not one of those fans. I have tickets for a pre-screening at 4:30 pm tomorrow afternoon. Squee! I'm just a little bit excited. And slightly stunned at the way these tickets presented themselves to me, since I keep my Twilight addiction pretty close to the vest (unless you read my blog).

This movie promises to be the best yet in the saga, with amazing special effects and plenty of action between the vampires and the werewolves, which I will totally love. But what I'm really looking forward to is this:

I am a hopeless romantic. And Bella and Edward's story is a world-class romance.

Mr. Bug is my movie date tomorrow afternoon. I'm a little nervous about that. Because as I just mentioned, I'm totally going for the sappy, romantic, girl stuff. It's not like I haven't watched the other movies with Mr. Bug. I've got Twilight and New Moon on DVD and he's watched both of them with me. But I went to see those movies for the first time with the girls and had a few months to contain my enthusiasm for a fictional character before I saw the movies with Mr. Bug.

It's not like he doesn't know I'm nuts over the books. I read the first one in about three days and then I had to go back and re-read my favorite parts. Then I read the next three books in the next three days. By about the time I reached the end of book 3 I could see Mr. Bug was running out of patience with my vacation from reality. I only slept about three or four hours a night and fed the kids cold cereal for breakfast and dinner so that I could read. About a week after my first time through the books, I read them again. This time Mr. Bug noticed that I wore this goofy grin every time I had my nose in one of the books. I'm positive that I'll be wearing that same goofy grin throughout the movie tomorrow. I'm not sure how to fit that in with Mr. Bug sitting next to me in the theater.

Mr. Bug read the books before I did. He said they were a decent read and thought I would like them, but he's not a romantic in the way that I am so he said that some of the mushy stuff was barely stomachable. I once asked him if he were Team Edward or Team Jacob. He said he was Team Bella, which made me happy because in my head I'm still 17.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sabbath Songs: Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Here I raise my
Hither by Thy help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it;
Seal it for Thy courts above.

Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it;
Seal it for Thy courts above.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee:
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it;
Seal it for Thy courts above.

Words by Robert Robinson, folk tune by John Wyeth

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Mission Call

I Hope They Call Me on a Mission

I hope they call me on a mission
When I have grown a foot or two.
I hope by then I will be ready
To teach and preach and work as missionaries do.

I hope that I can share the gospel
With those who want to know the truth.
I want to be a missionary
And serve and help the Lord while I am in my youth.

-Newel Kay Brown, Children's Songbook, page 169

This is my youngest brother, Andrew. There are three sisters, one brother and 18½ years between us.

Andrew just received his mission call yesterday. By way of explanation, every single young man is encouraged to serve a two-year mission at the age of 19. Single young women may also serve a mission at the age of 21. Service is voluntary and you are not paid for the time you spend teaching the gospel. Additionally, you must meet certain requirements in order to serve a mission and the standard is very high. Once you have decided that you'd like to serve a mission, you fill out some papers and submit them to the Church leaders who then review them and assign you an area to serve. It is anybody's guess where you'll go until you receive your call in the mail.

Every mission call is worded the same . . . You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the . . .

Missouri St. Louis Mission!
After the reading of the call, then there is the checking of the maps to see exactly where you'll be headed.

Andrew invited lots of friends and family to be with him when he opened his call.

Refreshments were provided.

Here are my parents with their youngest child. Their nest will very soon be empty. Our youngest sister is getting married at the end of July and just four days later Andrew will be heading out for his mission.

A mission, in a nutshell, is leaving your family for a little while so that other families can be together forever.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

National Pink Day: A Giveaway

Today is National Pink Day. I'm not sure of the details behind it or how it came to be, but I'm totally on board with it because

Growing up my sister and I shared a room. We wanted our room to be really pink. Our parents objected to the amazingly, shockingly, beautiful pink we wanted. In the end the walls were pink, but the paint was the palest shade of barely there pink. At age eight, my dream car was a pink Volkswagen Bug.

As I got older, I kind of grew out of pink and into blue. When we moved and I got my own room, I painted it blue. And blue kind of stuck with me. About eight years ago, I had a baby girl and pink made a comeback! As my little girl grew she formed her own opinions about color and pink is not it for her right now. But pink stuck with me. Pink, I'm sorry I abandoned you! I'll never leave you again!

In honor of National Pink Day, I have a giveaway, but first I want to share with you some of the pretty pink things growing in my gardens.

Apple Blossom Tulips

Félix Crousse Peony
(and in the bottom right corner, Desmond Carnation)

Sarah Bernhardt Peony

Pearly Gates Climbing Roses

You can just see a bit of the bricks on my house in the picture on the right (click on it for a closer view). They are pink! I think of my house as Barbie's Pink Dream House (and not because it is about the size of a Barbie house, but because I totally love it and it is pink on the outside). When I go out to garden, I put on my pink garden clogs and listen to music from my pink iPod (it's got a skin on it with pink in it to keep it from getting scratched, but underneath it is all pink!)

While I'm sharing about pink, I have another story to tell. For the last few months every time I would go to JoAnn's this pretty, silky pink polka-dot fabric would greet me. It was just inside the door and was the first thing I would see each time I went in. I would admire it as I walked by, run my fingers across it, sigh because I had no project for this beautiful fabric, and move on.

Then one night I had an idea. Mr. Bug likes to read. A lot. And sometimes he likes to read past when I'm ready to go to sleep. So I wear a sleep mask so he can keep reading and I can go to sleep. Up to now I haven't found one that wears nicely, is comfortable and is pretty, so I decided that this pink fabric that has been calling to me for months needed to become the softest, prettiest most pink-a-licious sleep mask ever.

Pretty, no? And completely machine washable. Wanna know the best part? I got the fabric on sale. We all know how much I love a great deal right? This fabric wasn't 50% off, though. It was 60% off! And if there's anything I like better than 50% off, it is 60% off!

Actually, that's not the best part. The best part is that with the half-yard piece I bought, I had enough fabric to make not one pretty pink sleep mask, but four! And I've decided to give the three extras away! Because I'm the queen of technical difficulties lately and everything always takes way longer than I think, I only got one mask finished in time for posting today. But the other three are almost there and I'll definitely have them ready to send out by the time my giveaway is over.

Here's how my giveaway works.
I love my followers. So, everyone who is a follower as of this post has one entry into the drawing. I've already printed your names out and all you have to do is make sure that your e-mail is available in your profile so I can contact you if you win. For those of you who are not followers and would like to follow my blog, that is terrific, but it won't get you an entry for this drawing. Here is my reasoning behind this. I followed more than a few blogs just to get an extra entry in to a drawing. Each day when I make my blog rounds, I wonder why I'm following certain blogs. Then I remember it is because I wanted to win something cool. I don't dare stop following them because I'm worried they'll notice I'm gone and feel bad. So, I keep reading their blogs and hoping it'll get more interesting. I don't want this to happen to you. If you're here because someone directed you to my giveaway, please have a look around, read some of my other posts, know that I'm a little weird, I tend to ramble on, I'm not always super funny and although I try to keep religion contained to my Sunday posts sometimes it leaks out on other days. It is just who I am. And sharing who I am is part of my blogging process.

Leave a comment on this post about something you love that is pink. I'll be reading them all, so pink must be involved in your comment. You'll get one entry in my giveaway for that.

Post on your blog about my pink giveaway, leave me a link in the comments and you get a second entry. You have permission to use the photos from this post.

Please, please, please make sure your contact information is available. If your e-mail is not in your profile or you are commenting via the 'anonymous' option, then leave it on your comment in this form: address @ domain name (dot) com. If I can't contact you, you can't win. I will delete comments that have do not have contact information. Also, you don't have to have a blogger profile to enter. You can use the anonymous option to comment, just make sure to leave your e-mail so I can contact you!

I'll close the comments at noon (MST) on Wednesday, June 30 and select three winners. I'll be doing it the old-fashioned way. I'll print out all the comments, put them in a bowl, mix them up and pull out a winner. There's something about a hands-on drawing that makes it fun for me.

Questions? Use my handy dandy e-mail button on the sidebar.

Good luck and have a totally PINK day!

P.S. If you love pink too, check out Pink Suede Shoes. She's having a really awesome pink giveaway this week!

I've linked up at a few fun places. Check them out for some really neat finishes.

Make it Yours @ My Backyard Eden giveaways

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Blues No More: Wedding Rings and Eternity

It has been almost a month since I posted that I was starting a project with these pretty Metro Blue fabrics. Just as a refresher, I was given the left-over Duponi Silk and lace from a wedding dress and the crepe-back satin from the sash and asked to come up with some sort of memento the bride could hang on her wall. I was given a few other details; the wedding colors are turquoise and brown and the bride likes gerber daisies. I went to my favorite thinking spot – the shower (something about the sound of the water washes away everything else and I'm able to focus and figure things out), and came up with a brilliant idea, which involved new toys for me.

I'm prone to procrastinate but I'm working on that, so I started on this project way earlier than I might usually because I didn't want to be bringing the bride and groom a wedding gift from a group of friends and neighbors (who chipped in to pay for the framing because it was a lot, even after the 50% off coupon) a month after the honeymoon. That just gave me more time to stop and rest between steps so I could think things out when I came to a bit of a sticky spot. This is my first wedding ring quilt. The curved piecing didn't scare me, but the doing-something-I've-never-done-before did, especially since the pressure was on to get it right. I read through the instructions, pieced the melons and had the square laid out for about a week before I moved on to the next steps.
[Editor's Note: Obviously there was a bit of a flaw in the start-early-and-get-it-done-sooner plan, because it took three weeks to do something I could have finished in one. However, we will be taking this to the bride before the wedding, so in some small measure the plan did succeed.]

Since I was only working with one complete ring and partial pieces, I couldn't quite envision how to make the pieces work with the assembly instructions. To further complicate things, the corners were to be left open until the pieces were completely assembled. Since I couldn't think my way through it, I just had to start working and it came together. Eventually. Then I ran into some technical difficulties. My universal walking foot fell completely apart while I was quilting and got grease on the quilt as I was working on it. I wanted to cry because up to that point, I'd invested a good number of hours into this project. My only choice at this point was to finish it because all the quilting needed to be in place before I could wash it, and I would only know if the grease would all come out after I washed it, but that had to come after I finished the quilting. I was stuck again, and this time with a faulty piece of equipment. The single screw that held the cover on the walking foot was completely stripped. I resolved to make do and remember to check to make sure everything was holding together often. Mr. Bug could see me struggling, so he sent me to get my machine-specific walking foot. That helped the rest of the quilting go much, much smoother. I kept my fingers crossed as
I put the quilt in to soak and much to my relief the grease came out. After it dried, I pressed it, but the finished piece no longer had that perfectly pressed look I was hoping for. I decided I could live with it because the alternative was a re-make, and that I couldn't live with. I mounted it on foam core board and then added the final touch; a gerber daisy in turquoise, along with beads I'd pulled of the extra wedding dress lace.

And then I took it to the framers so they could work their magic. The finished size is 20" x 20". I picked it up today.

The bride and groom will be married on June 25, 2010 in the Mount Timpanogos LDS Temple. We believe that a family can be sealed or bound together for eternity when married by the proper authority in the proper place. Families can continue after this life, if we are obedient to the commandments of God. So, I've decided to call this quilt Eternity. I think that name fits well. I added a bit of symbolism to the block as well. The wedding rings, which have no beginning or end, symbolize eternity. The brown outer circle represents the strength and protection a husband gives to a family. The lighter, inner circles, of which you can only see part, represent the woman who is the heart of the home and branching out from there are the love and service that she provides. The pattern repeats over and over and depending on the perspective, the roles are reversed, with the woman giving strength and protection to the family and the man giving service and love. The flower represents the constant care and nourishment a marriage needs and the beautiful thing it can be when each partner gives 100% to their spouse and the marriage. The interlocking circle pattern symbolizes that each partner in a marriage and their choices are individual and unique but are intertwined in the lives of those around them. The square frame that cuts off the pattern alludes to the fact that life is only a small portion in our eternal existence; the pattern of the quilt continues well beyond the boundaries of the frame and it could possibly go on forever much in the same way that our lives on earth are only a small part of our existence.

I realize that my beliefs are not embraced by all, so I hope you won't mind me sharing once in a while. I try to keep it contained to Sunday posts, but some of the things that I believe are a part of my culture and so they leak out into everyday things.

[Editor's Note: while I was working on this, I started thinking about making something similar to hang on the wall at my house. We bought my wedding dress, so I'd have to cut it all up. But it was on sale, 50% off, and I'm not sure that anyone would ever wear it again.  I even still have my reception bouquet. I could totally make this work.]

I've linked up at a few fun places. Check them out for some really neat finishes.

Make it Yours @ My Backyard Eden giveaways

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Grandma Week: Wrap-Up

Grandma week is over and my kids had a really fabulous time! LadyBug counted down the days for three weeks beforehand and had her suitcase packed and ready to go on Monday afternoon. And by all accounts, the week really lived up to expectations. I'm not sure how Grandma is doing, but my kids both fell asleep in the car on the way home last night -- something they hardly ever do anymore. My mom is a really young Grandma and had at least two other adults to help her with all the activities, but I'm betting she wishes she had another week's worth of vacation time to spend recuperating from her week with the kids and grandkids. Unfortunately, she has to be back at work at 6:00 am on Monday morning. I hope she gets a nap in sometime today.

I really enjoyed reading your comments about our week. I enjoyed sharing the kids' fun with you. And now I want to share with you one of the really fun things for me this week. One of the exhibits at the Children's Treehouse Museum was an interactive quilt!

This quilt was created and donated by a Treehouse volunteer, Rebecca Williams, during her senior year in High School. She printed pictures of each of the First Ladies of our country onto printable fabric sheets and then made them into pockets that she put on the quilt. In each pocket is a little card with fun facts and information about each of the First Ladies. I was completely in awe of the creative way this sweet girl shared her talents and donated her time. The quilt helped her to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, a wonderful achievement. As I was helping to supervise eight children, I didn't have time to stop and read all the fun information this quilt contained but my kids want to go back to the museum sometime soon and that will be an exhibit I really explore next time. Click on the picture for a closer view of this amazing quilt.

Sunday Sermons: Let Us Be Men

Though he will make some sacrifices and deny himself some pleasures in the course of honoring his commitments, the true man leads a rewarding life. He gives much but he receives more and he lives content in the approval of his Heavenly Father. -D. Todd Christofferson

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Grandma Week Day 5: The Children's Treehouse Museum

Today is the last day of our Grandma Week adventures. We had pancakes for breakfast, a quiet morning, a bit of lunch, brownies for Mantis' birthday . . .

. . . and then a trip to the Children's Treehouse Museum. There was so much to see and do. We hardly knew where to start. LadyBug, Grasshopper, Mantis and Miss Butterfly fought a few fires with a volunteer fireman.

Mantis and Cap'n Underpants played chess.

LadyBug, Miss Butterfly and Andrew toured the world.

Once back in the US, there was some very official business to take care of.

From the White House, we all traveled West.

And then we traveled back to the Days of the Knights.

Lizard Boy put on the biggest tunic and so we asked him if he'd swap with Andrew so that Andrew could have one that fit for our pictures.

Lizard was most obliging and came to show me his new tunic after he'd swapped. He provided the Quote of the Day when he said, how do you like my Knight Suit now? I laughed and said to his mom, I think that made quote of the day. Lizard then supplied Quote of the Day Part II: All right! I said the quote of the day!
The Royal Court from left to right: Court Jester Mantis, Sir Underpants, Lady Butterfly and her pet dragon, Squire Mouse, Prince Andrew, Grasshopper the Valiant, Lady LadyBug and Sir Lizard-a-Lot.

Until next year, we bid you farewell!