Saturday, May 28, 2011

devastation is the most crushing feeling

My family had an extremely tragic thing happen on Friday morning, 3:00 a.m.  I don't have words to express how sad, crushed, empty, helpless, and all sorts of other mixed feelings I am experiencing.

My family is a pretty close knit group.  We had Grandma and Grandpa.  They both passed within the past 10 years.  They have three kids, my mom, my aunt, and my uncle.  I grew up as an only child to a single mom.  So did my cousin, JP.  His mom (my mom's sister) was also single and we all lived in the same house(a duplex).  He and I are close, brother and sister close.  My uncle had 3 children.  C.M-G., JLM, and JDM.  We were all close.  The 5 cousins.  JP the oldest, then CM-G, then me liz, then JLM, and the baby of the cousins, JDM.  We would spend a few weeks every summer at Grandma and Grandpas together.  Playing, making up games, picking on me, but mostly loving each other. 

As time went on, we all grew up.  We were all in each others weddings in some way.  We held each others babies.  We have all remained quite close. 

Then our world was crushed.  My older cousin, CM-G, was murdered Friday morning. 

An ex who had quite a record, murdered her then killed himself. 

While her 9 year old son, E, was sleeping in the next room. 

E had to call 911. 

It is the most tragic thing I have ever been faced with and I just don't know what to do.  3 of my cousins, including CM-G, all live many states away now and we can't even be together yet.  My husband, son, my mom, and my one aunt and uncle -JP's mom and stepdad, are all getting together today just to be together. 

I wish I could change this.  I can't believe the courts let this monster be on the streets.  He had hurt her so many times.  And they just kept dismissing the charges.  WHAT? Really??  A man strangles a person and doesn't go to jail? 

Well, that's it.  That's all I can say.  I had to get this out.  I'm hoping that making my quilt with my son brings some peace to me. 

If anyone reads this, please keep my family in your thoughts and prayer, if you do that kind of thing.

I LOVE YOU CM-G.  I miss you and will always have you in my heart.

Friday, May 27, 2011

quilting with a 6 year old

Well, I've never made a quilt.  I hear that quilting is addicting...and I'm already addicted to fabric, so I've been putting off dipping my toes into the quilting world. 

playful pup jammy pants
BUT lately my son has really been interested in learning to sew with me, or at least helping.  He thinks the amount of fabric (heaps of storage bins and piles of freshly laundered fabric all over my 'sewing office' as he calls it) that I have is amazing and wants to play too!  So I've struggled with what a 6 year old boy could really make.  What would be easy to have him help me with?  I sew mostly for babies or girls or myself with pajama pants thrown into the mix for him...  But I want something that is all about him.  Something he'd like. 

So, he asked to make a stuffed animal.  Specifically a dog.  So I thought about it and thought about it...seems a bit to complicated for a first time project.  Although I'd LOVE to get my hands on a panel of these 'Softies' from  Unfortunately that is not in the budget right now...but one day!

And I think the dogs pictured here are cute too:  but I don't think that's going to be our first project. 

I recently discovered this blog: mon petite lyons.  She has two young boys and likes crafting with them so I asked her if she had done sewing specific projects with them.  She replied with a fantastic idea!  A simple small quilt!  They helped pick out the squares, they put them in the order/pattern they wanted, and sat on her lap while she controlled the machine.  I fell in love with the idea instantly!  What a great way to get my toes wet!  Experimenting with my son, sewing straight lines of squares!!!

 (yes, i know this may be could turn into a crazy frustrating experience, but i'm willing to try)

So, I proposed this idea to my son yesterday after he came home from school.  He is THRILLED!  Jumping up and down thrilled.  Running around the room crazy shrieking thrilled.  Getting our two dogs all riled up and barking thrilled.  (i see a headache coming...)

Since he's so excited I showed him some google images I found online of some simple quilts other children had helped make and he was definitely committed.  We had a 'state of the school' meeting at his fantastically wonderful school (South Suburban Montessori School) and then came home and he wide eyed and squirming with joy accompanied me to the 'sewing office'.  There he could hardly contain himself in his little blue chair while I showed him fabric option after option for squares.  After we had a good lot set aside it was time for bed.  I promised him that over the next few days and long weekend he will help me cut the squares, he will plan the order of squares, and we will make him a simple summer quilt! 

I will post photos of this journey and hopefully, my son will be happy and have a nice summer quilt soon!

p.s. I knew he was still super excited when he woke us up this morning 30 minutes before he's supposed to even entertain the idea of getting up asking, "Can we work on my quilt?  Is it time to work on my quilt?"  My husband sleepily replied, "No buddy, it's too early and you have school today."  I then chimed in, also quite sleepily, with, "After school, Alexander."  He then grumpily sighed the biggest little boy sigh ever and went and played with his toys...Hilarious!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Welcome to the world, Lucy!

I'd also like to post about my new little cousin/niece, Lucy!

Lucy is my cousin Jason and his wife Jill's third baby!  She was a surprise after they had moved to North Carolina for Jason to attend seminary. 

Little Lucy was due on the 22nd of May and she came a few days later, today!  May 26th, 2011.  At 2:01 AM.  6 pounds 9 oz.  19 inches long.  And was delivered in the kitchen by my brave cousin-in-law Jill and my cousin Jason!  She came so fast he had to catch her is what I hear!!!

I'm waiting to get the full story, but I'm so happy and proud.

Welcome to the world, Lucy!  You've joined a pretty wacky and fun family!!!

can't believe it, i actually won something!!!

I have never won anything in my life...accept a pair of concert tickets to some lame band that I can't even remember the name of 15 years ago...  so, I like hundreds and hundreds, maybe more, of other crafters, sewers (not sewers like drains of sewage!!) and quilters took place in entering numerous giveaways over the past few days as part of Sew, Mama, Sew!'s may giveaway.  I tediously tried to get through all the fantastic blogs listed an did achieve my goal of entering most of the sewing and supplies ones, but in no way did I manage to enter all of them.  And that's okay...I must admit, I was going through some that I missed and I'm sorry I did.  But when springtime storms kick up and power is lost the internet just has to wait.

Imagine my surprise and delight when I got an email saying although I hadn't won the main prize, I did win a coupon to Sky Turtle's etsy shop!  I was SO thrilled!!!  I know it's not quite the same as winning the main prize, but I got to purchase the cool carrot pouch for only the price of shipping!  Very cool!   And it's from Spain!!! I'm thrilled and cannot wait to get my hands on that adorably cute carrot!  Being a vegetarian, it's quite fitting for me.  And we all love carrots in this house!

 image from Sky Turtle's etsy shop

Thank you Sky Turtle!  :-)

AND, throughout the day I had two more similar emails!!!

I'm so excited!  I won these fantastic looking cloth napkins or family cloths from Sweetwater Cloth :

I've been wanting to try some of these after seeing them on another blog.  That family used theirs for tissues.  We'll see which happens here.  But I'm super thankful and excited.

 And THEN I got an email from Lisa at Something Clever About Nothing saying that I was the lucky winner of a pdf pattern and instructions for her AWESOME reverse applique Down on the Farm quilt!  I've never quilted before and am also extremely excited to attempt this.  My cousin and his wife just had a baby THIS morning and I am hoping to attempt to use this pattern to make a quilt for the darling Lucy.

So to conclude, for now at least, I am so super thrilled to have won not just one but 3 things!!!  I'd love to win more, not going to lie, but I'm so happy with what I never expected! 

Thank you Sew, Mama, Sew! for such a fantastic couple days of giveaway links!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

first sale on etsy!

So excited.  Sure it was to my mom.  And sure, I didn't have to make her buy it through my Etsy shop.  But MAN, did it feel fantastic to get that notification! 

I'm super motivated now to continue. 

Especially after going to all sorts of blogs through the Sew, Mama, Sew giveaway day.  There is SO much out there.  I'm overwhelmed!

But excited, none the less.

Here's to hoping my mom gives me nice feedback!


Monday, May 16, 2011

revelations in the sewing room

Today I'm going to begin where my soul always wants to begin- my sewing room.

You see, I am a sewer(as in, someone who sews---NOT to be confused with the sewer that smells).  I often leave my house covered in various colours of thread hanging off my shirt or pants.  Or can be found, at any given moment, doodling designs for a baby girl's dress, a shirt for my friend, or making notes of colour combinations to try.  But the tell tale sign that I love to be in my sewing room for hours slaving over the serger threads and cursing out the bobbin in any one of my sewing machines is the amount of fabric I have in my 'stash'.

I decided on this rainy spring day that while my husband was hard at work solving an optics equation and my son was busy enjoying his engaging classroom, I'd get busy serging (great tip from Made by Rae -although she got it on another page) and washing the newest fabrics I purchased for some cute baby clothes.  Little did I know this would lead to me pouring over many totes of fabric not seen for years and moving things around to access even more boxed fabric that has escaped my wandering eye for quite some time.

I never realized how severe my problem was until today.  I found yards and yards and yards of some fabrics, other scraps that were just enough to use for some appliques, and a baby blanket I hand stitched for my son more than 6 years ago---he never used it since it has lived in a tote all this time.

Wow.  I have so much!  I have enough fabric to sew for months, if not years.  Maybe even longer.

But do you know what?

The next big sale, or the next time I have a bit of spare cash, I KNOW I will not be able to resist the allure of new fabric.  The fabulous colours!  The playful patterns!  The gloriously grand ideas in my head will come flooding as soon as I lay my eyes on the fresh fabric yearning to join the yards upon yards already destined for greatness in my sewing room.