Friday, May 16, 2014

Still More Banner Stuff

I was asked to make a this banner for my neighbor's daughter's wedding.
Simple and fun!  I got to use my Silhouette to make the letter stencils of course :)

It was a cute burlap and lace reception in a barn setting.
Thanks for posing for my Livvy :)

So, I pieced and hand quilted a quilt as a young woman with much needed help from my mom and grandma.  I also pieced and tied a very simple Christmas quilt years ago and more recently (though still almost ten years ago) pieced a baby quilt when I was expecting Abby.
I have since helped with many quilts for friends and loved ones, but never by myself.  I have been wanting to do one on my own for a while now.  There just hasn't really been a good opportunity to start one.  Well, I have collected quite the scraps of fabric over the last couple of years and I love the look of scrap quilts so I decided to take the plunge.
I gathered all the scraps from the banners I made last year and cut them down to size and made a ton of HST (half square triangles).

Don't they look so neat all stacked up and squared up?

The squaring up process to some time and these are the results...I don't know why I love piles of little scraps of fabric, but I couldn't throw them away until I had done all of the blocks and could pile all the scraps together and take a picture :)  Weird, I know!

Colorful haystack :)

*Now I realize that not all fabrics are created equal and I didn't use top quality fabrics for all of my banners because of expense so I know that this quilt might not hold forever but oh well :)

And speaking of the fabrics...I didn't have equal amounts of scraps from all of the banners so I ended up going in to town and buying more "scrap fabric" if I could find the same ones I had used in the banners.  Even so, for variety sake (because I couldn't find much of the same ones at the stores) I ended up pulling from my stash.  I had hoped to be able to say that all the fabric had been the same that I used in the banners but it just wasn't going to work.
So, now I can at least say that everything you see here was either scraps from the banners themselves, or the same fabrics of which I had to purchase more, or fabrics that came from my stash.  I know it's not that great of a claim but a claim nonetheless.  I know I won't be able to even claim that when it's finished though because I don't have a piece in my stash big enough for a back.  I will have to go buy something and it probably won't be one of the banner fabrics. probably did not want to know all that but for the record's sake :)
I wanted the quilt itself to look like banners and this was the best way I could come up with from HST.
For the most part, I kept all the fabric separated according to the actual banners I made so you should be able to see Easter, Christmas, St. Patrick's, Valentine's etc... lined up in individual "banners"...if that makes sense :)  (In this picture I'm also missing two of my HST that needed some extra attention)
When I finally lay everything out, it was wider than it was long so Mom suggested I add in some strips between each "banner".  What a great idea!  You're so smart Mom! :)
Later, I decided to stagger every other banner so the points aren't all lined it won't look exactly like this when it is done but it gives you an idea.
Slowly but surely this is coming together and I can't wait to show you the finished product.
*I know some of you (especially you quilters) might be cringing at this...I know it's not perfectly pleasing to the eye but I love it because when I look at it, all the time and energy and love I put into those banners, not to mention the whole reason for the banners, come to my mind and I smile :)

Day of Mothers 2014

I have a counter full of lovely flowers from Andy...

a dear friend...

and my sweet mother.

I feel very loved!

Even though this isn't a mother's day gift, I have to mention this fun plant given to me by Ben's preschool teacher!  I mentioned that they fascinated me and she brought one to me at Ben's transition meeting :)  So sweet!
This is a mimosa plant.  When it feels "threatened" (i.e. when it is touched or bothered) it's leaves close up and bend down.  It is quite awesome!
Thanks so much Bailee!

Andy also had the kids bring me balloons :)

...and breakfast in bed (I didn't think to take a picture until it was all gone but it was yummy!)

...and these are all the cards from the kids.  I love that Matt selflessly gave me one of his dollars :)

Ben curled up next to me for my mother's day nap after church :)

Then, after dinner at Mom and Dad's we went to the farm for our usual trip.  But this time, there was something extra...

My cute cousin had found 6 abandoned kittens in the haystack and took them home to mother them.

This one of Josh is so precious to me.

They were darling and the kids and I absolutely adored them.

Matt especially took to "Good Luck" here.

Ben wasn't as enthralled by them as I expected him to be but I think he still enjoyed it.

We also stopped by Grandma O.'s house to wish her a happy Mother's Day.

This was my home folks.  The view I grew up with as a child.  Isn't it lovely?

Walking back from the farm I couldn't help but take some pictures of these places I love.
(Yes, I grew up in a geodesic dome :)  It was awesome!

Remember our old treehouse Ang?

So I got some nostolgic pictures but how in the world did I fail to get a picture of my mother on Mother's Day?!
So here's a shout out to her and the wonderful mother that she has been and continues to be to me and my siblings and her grandchildren.
Love you so much Mom!
Any good that I might hold flowed directly into my soul from you.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Speaking of Josh

WARNING:  Loads of pictures and proud mamma talk :)

Josh has been involved with a lot of orchestra stuff lately.
They had a concert at their school for the third graders.

This was my view of Josh...for once he wasn't on the back row but his music pretty much blocked his face.
Luckily, Mom was there and got a few better shots of him.
Josh also went into the first year orchestra class at his school to encourage them to become ambassadors next year.  Ambassadors has been a great experience for Josh although it sure has taken a lot of extra's been worth it.

Abby says she's interested in doing orchestra next year.  I would love for her to do it although I have mixed feelings about which instrument I want her to do.
She says she wants to do the cello.
Pros:  1. We'd already have one in the home
2. Josh could help her
3. We could have the same private teacher and lesson time as Josh
Cons: 1. A lot of extra effort is involved as she can't take it on the there's taking her to school and picking her up on orchestra days...which can be tricky timing wise with getting Ben ready for school too.  This year, we've been very blessed with Josh's good friend's mom that has been so willing to take the boys in the morning so I can focus on getting Ben ready and then I bring them home in the afternoon.  It's worked out so least for us :)  Thanks Tennille!
There's no guarantee that things would work out so nicely with Abby.

If she did the violin or viola...
Pros:  1. It's much smaller and she could take it on the bus with her
2. She could do violin/viola duets with Josh and his cello
Cons:  1. We would need to rent another instrument
2. We would need to find another private teacher and work in another lesson time to our schedule.
What do you think?  What's most important here?

My mom tells the story of how she always wanted to play the cello but her parents didn't think she was big enough to handle an instrument that size (she was small for her age) so she ended up with the violin :)
Am I way over thinking this?  Should I just let her do whatever she wants?
Anyone's thought on this would be appreciated.

Anyway, back to Josh...
He also got his "Hot Dog" reading award.
Only 2 or 3 (give or take) kids in the school get this each year so I'm very proud of him.  He's received it the last four years.

We also had the north and south end of the valley concerts at Utah State.
Wednesday night was the south end (which is us) but Matt had a soccer game and Ben was having a bad cluster of seizures so we attended the North end night on Thursday.  Being an ambassador, Josh was playing both nights so it worked out well.  
Once again, he was in the back.
These pictures make me feel like I'm looking for Waldo :)

Luckily, Josh is one of the few kids that often stands up to switch his music and readjust in between songs so I was able to get a few good shots of him :)

You can't see him in this picture but I thought it was a cute shot of some happy ambassadors when the conductor recognized the group.

All of the teachers surprised us with a classic Mozart piece.

Awesome job Josh!