Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A dog house story-continued.

The Dog Mansion is nearing completion. YAY! (But, I wish it was already done.) 
Not too much more to go! The walls have been lined with sheet metal.  It has paint and insulation and and and. So many things it's hard to list.  Soon...soon.  In the meantime, enjoy the progress pictures. 




Saturday, May 31, 2014

Up, Up, and Away!

Remember the niece that I made the Rock-a-Bye Baby Crib Quilt for? Well...she was born really early and is currently in the NICU until she grows strong enough to go home with her parents.  She is a tiny little thing.  Born at 1 lb. 2 oz.  and 11 inches long, she is the smallest baby I have ever seen, but she's cute (of course.) 
Little E holding her mom's finger.

So, in our free time her mom (who is living with us) and I worked on an UP QUILT for little baby E. I first designed a doll house pattern (20"x20") that would work as the house.  While I sewed that, my sis-in-law, S, sewed some of the yo-yos. I will explain in detail below what we did. 
  
Pixar Quilt
Up Baby Quilt

Pixar Quilt
Up Quilt

1. I pieced the doll house pattern that is now found on Craftsy HERE. But, just make sure that you use the sky fabric for the bottom pieces that are the "grass" pieces on the pattern. 

2. Next, cut 2 fabric strips 3.5" x 20.5" from your sky fabric and sew to the right and let sides of the house using a 1/4" seam allowance. 

4. Cut a piece of sky fabric 24.5" x 26.5" attach to the top of your house section.

5.  Cut borders.  I decided on a 1" border (brown) and a 4" border (yellow), so when I cut my strips here are the dimensions that I used.

        Brown 1" borders: 1.5" x 44.5" (cut 2) (sew these length strips on 1st)
                                     1.5" x 28.5" (cut 2) (sew these width strips on 2nd)

        Yellow 4" borders: 4.5" x 46.5" (cut 2) (sew these length strips on 1st)
                                      4.5" x 36.5" (cut 2) (sew these width strips on 2nd)

The finished quilt top will measure 36.5" x 54.5". 

To finish the quilt, I tried using SPRAY BASTE For the first time. And...I LOVED IT! 
(Link to the kind I used at the bottom of this post.)

I used the free motion quilting feature of my machine for the sky and stitch-in-the-ditch for the house and the borders.

I did my binding before I attached the yo-yos.  

For the yo-yos I used a variety of colors (but mostly tried to stay with bright colors.)  This was a GREAT scrap buster project.

I used Clover Yo-Yo Makers to make the yo-yos in the 30mm, 45mm, and 60mm sizes.

I then tacked each yo-yo in place (after I laid all of them out to make sure I had them placed just where I wanted them.)

I sewed 1/8" satin ribbon on for the strings. And used fray check to finish the ends! 


While I took pictures of the quilt, my kids enjoyed playing with the Favorite at the playground. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

MIA on my blog/Get that sock off his back!

Yep...you've missed me! Admit it!

So...what have I been up to this whole time you ask!?!?!

Let me sum up (in no specific order):

I turned 28!  
Make a wish!
The Favorite woke up early to make me breakfast burritos. He cooked me brats on the grill. and the kids had special pictures they had colored a couple days previous!  The Favorite gave me some Bass Pro gift cards that we get from our credit card points (very coveted items at our house---so this was huge for him to give to me instead of keep for himself). And then, Buddy and the Favorite made me Pineapple cupcakes! YUM!

I was visited by a friend...who also brought me cupcakes...but these were all different flavors. Yum! 

A couple days later 3 of my sisters made me a special lunch. 


I have taken a short break from paper piecing.  I worked a little on it tonight, but sometimes you just got to take a short hiatus and then return later.  It was starting to become too much of a good thing if you know what I mean.  I have had quite a bit of business making ties and pacifier clips in the meantime anyways!

Here's what I've done that you haven't seen yet! George! (Available here!)




We celebrated Easter! 

We celebrated on Friday and Saturday and saved actual Easter Sunday to remember Jesus Christ and not think about the Easter Bunny.  I like it that way! 

Buddy hardly took off these goggles for a couple weeks.  Then the strap finally broke and it was a sad day at our house. 

 Photo: Fun Easter evening tonight! Beau has pretty much worn the goggles the Easter bunny brought him since Saturday morning when he got them.  I love these kiddos!

I got more serious about Family History Work. 

Now don't get me wrong.  I have NO CLUE what I'm doing.  But, I'm learning. 

I have been working with my dad who is working with my uncle and I have been given an ASSIGNMENT which is fantastic, because it's something I know how to do! Yay! 

And the myth that "Aunt Mary already did all my family's work" is just that....a myth. Surprisingly! 

*Aunt Mary...this is in no way directed at you! lol (yes I actually have an Aunt Mary). 

I've been doing a lot of other things as well.

-Priming the dog mansion. 
-Getting over being sick (yes...I was sick again). 
-Nursing the Favorite when he had his "man cold." (He's a big baby when he's sick). 

LAST BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST! 

I joined a gym.  I got a great deal (Groupon) and bit the bullet.  I have grown to love running, but I need to change up my routine.  

So far, I have tried Zumba, Cycling, and lifting weights for my arms. 

I loved the Zumba and Cycling.  The weight lifting....I felt like I looked like an idiot.  I had to read the instructions on every machine.  And I just walked around the gym like a lost little puppy. 

Oh well! Tomorrow I have personal training, and I'm going to ask about weight lifting! Maybe I won't stick out like a sore thumb anymore after tomorrow?!?! 

Here's a little comedy to help you picture how I felt at the gym. 


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The never ending project...a dog MANSION story

My life lately has felt a bit lonely! The dog house is taking a lot of my husband's attention and I will be SO HAPPY when this thing is finished for multiple reasons. 

1) I will get my husband back. 
2) I will get my side of the yard back. 
3) The dogs will have air conditioning and will have no need to come in the house this summer (our weather is too hot to let them stay outside during the hot summer months.) 
4) Because this dog mansion will have 3 dog doors and the ability to section each area off, we will be able to use it when puppies are born as well. (Read: no puppy poop in my house! YAY! And no small children poking puppies.) 

The Favorite originally had plans to build with wood, sheetrock, etc. (like our house.)  But, a friend taught him how to lay block and the project transformed. 

The walls were finally up! Working on the stucco in this picture! 


Stucco work!
Cinder block does not have a very high R value (meaning it's not very insulated.)  Running an air conditioner into our Dog Mansion would not be very efficient (read: would cost a lot more $$) without additional insulation.  So, the Favorite decided to add more insulation and OSB to the inside! Stay tuned! He's not done with that wall yet. More dog proofing to come.

 
The inside so far. Lights and outlets in. Insulation and OSB up on one side.

He has installed outlets and a light inside the Dog Mansion for future use.  Checking on puppies in the dark might be a little hard without a light. And if he needs a heat lamp for the puppies, the outlets will come in handy.

The roof is now insulated with fiberglass insulation and is just lacking some shingles! 

He's had LOTS and LOTS of help from 2 very small workers. It's been really handy (just ask him) lol.
The roof is ON! Just needs shingles! 

So many "helpers"

Anchoring the boards/insulation to the cinder block wall.

Don't forget your eye protection!
In the meantime, I have embroidered the Gila Valley Temple block AND created a pattern for the Gilbert Temple. Enjoy!
Gila Valley Temple

Gilbert Temple




Thursday, March 20, 2014

Rock-a-Bye Baby!


Tomorrow, I will be attending the wedding of my brother-in-law and his soon-to-be wife!  In July, they will welcome little E...a girl (in case the pink didn't give it away.) I'm excited to be an aunt again. This will be my kids' first cousin on their daddy's side.

I wanted to make something special for baby E. Her dad is a very talented musician, so that's right where my brain jumped when I designed this quilt for her! I wanted something sweet, but a little edgy. I dreamed this quilt up one day and chicken scratched it on paper...literally...chicken scratched.

In fact, my husband couldn't tell what each block I had drawn was supposed to represent.  I had to tell him.

I'm glad the quilt turned out WAY better than my speed drawing! When you get inspiration, you just have to go with it and write it down before you forget!

I can't wait to present my brother-in-law and my new sister-in-law with this quilt this weekend! I hope they like it!

In the meantime, SHHHH! They haven't seen it yet!

Pattern is available in my ETSY SHOP or my CRAFTSY SHOP!





Monday, March 17, 2014

If you give a DADDY a donut!

This week for preschool we are learning about several different topics related to circles.  To start the week off, I thought we would read IF YOU GIVE A DOG A DONUT and visit the closest Krispy Kreme. 

When the Favorite found out what we were doing, he wanted to be a part of the fun (Of course! Who wouldn't? lol.)

Buddy was fascinated by the doughnut machinery. We explained what the donuts were doing at each section of the equipment (i.e. where the dough drops in the oil, where the doughnuts get flipped, the glazing station. etc.)  
bigcitybackwoods.blogspot.com
YUM!
bigcitybackwoods.blogspot.com
Made sure I got in a picture this time! I'm never in the pictures!
 While we were there, we noticed that some of the doughnuts don't come out perfect (but probably still taste delicious!) So, when we were ready to order, we asked it they sold the mess ups at a discount.  We were told they don't.  THEY THROW THEM AWAY!  I was super disappointed! What a waste! At least donate them to the homeless or something! Or...hand them to me out the back door!

bigcitybackwoods.blogspot.com
This is his "smile" 
Some of the doughnuts they were throwing away were not very messed up either!  One little dough wart and it goes in the trash! Does that bother anyone else?!?!?

But, one thing we were not disappointed in was the taste! Krispy Kremes are never a disappointment when it comes to flavor.

bigcitybackwoods.blogspot.com
Ten loved it! Of course!

bigcitybackwoods.blogspot.com
Buddy ate 1 1/2 doughnuts by himself!

Daddy (aka...my Favorite) is convinced he wants to be more involved in the kids' education lol.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Easy FREE paper piecing patterns for beginners

Christmas StockingBirdhouse BlockForest Quilting has a lot of great blocks that would be easy for a beginner to learn on.  I'm not going to mention all of them, but the birdhouse, would be a great choice! The Christmas Stocking is a great one as well!







The Square in Square block from Wombat Quilts is a great learning piece as well! And would make a really beautiful quilt!
square in square quilt block

Even McCall's has their version.
Union Jack Block: FREE Mini Quilt Block Foundation Pattern
Just one block from their page.