Tuesday, September 30, 2008

You like me, you really really like me...

Today has been a great day all around... First the whole Lazy Girl thing and now Julie over at Mom Taxi Julie gave me my first award! First I want to thank my husband for setting up this blog and also to my children who consistently star here... Seriously though... how cool is that.
Now, who to pass it on to? There are so many great bloggers out there and Julie is one of my favorites.
Definitely Regina of "The Queen Bee's Buzz" for all the inspiration she give me, and now great recipes too.
And absolutely Sandra over at Sandra Sews:) She's always got something good going on.
Last but not least Jill over at Life with Nature Girl cause who can resist those adorable pictures of Nature Girl herself ~ not to mention all the great crafting and swapping they have going on.
Thanks again Julie for being so darn sweet!

I just had to brag

Just a quick note to brag on myself a bit. I just received an email from Joan Hawley of Lazy Girl designs to let me know that the Run Around Bag/Wonder Wallet combo I made for one of the birthday parties made is being featured on the home page of her Yahoo group
I've also been honored by her in the past when she showed this purse DSC01130 and another of my Sassy Bags when she was on the Kaye Woods quilting show that you can see here You have to click on the arrow to watch (first the commercial) and then select purses & totes. From there go to the Sassy Bag and you can see the show. The other bag of mine that is shown is the red/green one that you can see in front of the sewing machine in the last half of the show.
If that doesn't make my day.. nothing will!

Our winning streak has ended

Saturday's soccer game ended our winning streak. We lost 4 to 1. The kids all took it really well and in all fairness they played really really well. The other team was a bit of a ringer team. DSC03802 It's apparently a private school that practices 2 hrs a day every day (we practice for an hour and a half, twice a week). They have the same kids on the team each year (our league switches them around) and I guarantee some of those kids were 12 (our team is composed of 10/11 yr olds). DSC03820 I have to say right here and now how much I love our coach. He's a great guy and so good with the kids. He's tough but fair. Makes them work hard but doesn't overdo it and I made sure to tell him last night at practice how much I appreciate him. The coach from the team on Saturday was ... well.. let's just say if he had been our coach, my son would not be playing soccer. He was loud, rude, obnoxious and really mean. He screamed at his team and the refs the entire game. Those kids played as well as they did out of fear! Apparently if they lose they are made to run ~ A LOT. We do not get punished for losing and our coach, while he may get frustrated at times, never ever yells at the kids.
Their parents weren't much better. One mom in particular screamed so much the entire game I wanted to duct tape her mouth shut. She had a daughter on the team and the girl was good, I'll give her that but the mom was encouraging her to foul the other players. She also had a few choice words for the refs and yelled mean things to our kids. We fortunately have some really great supportive parents on our team and we cheer for all the kids.
I almost missed this shot DSC03809 I wish I had gotten a better shot but he and another team mate semi collided, knocking them both to the ground and one of the other team members tripped over them and fell as well. We got called on the foul though.
I'd like to get a better shot of this as well... DSC03792 Whenever the other team gets a "free kick" our team lines up to block the shot.. well we don't use cups so our blockers all line up and protect themselves as best they can. It's always funny to see.
After the game Richard (with Julianne as helper) got concession stand duty. DSC03825 Julianne loved it and wants to do it every Saturday. Nate and I went home, picked up his rip stick and he practiced in the skate park. It wasn't too hot on Saturday so we were all pretty comfortable. As a matter of fact we really only went in the pool after the game for a short time cause it was a bit chilly.
I've been busy sewing for a special project that I'm not ready to announce yet ~ but hopefully will be able to soon. The only hint I'll give you is that Richard is actually helping me with this!
Regina has posted the next step to her quilt along so I'm off to the sewing room to catch up.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wonder No More

Okay ~ that's not really true. I love the Wonder Wallet by Lazy Girl Designs. It's one of my favorite things to make. I've made more than I could ever count. Given away dozens and use them myself all the time. I make one for every purse I use. The down side is that I can't sell them due to copyright issues. I make and sell quite a few purses ~ mostly screen bags and I'm asked all the time if I would make/sell them a wallet to match so I've come up with a design of my own. I have the utmost respect for Joan Hawley and her patterns ~ they are some of the easiest and prettiest bags etc. I've ever used ~ and I have no plans on marketing my own design at this point in my life. It's just my solution to my customer requests. I came up with the idea based on a book cover that I made up a few years ago.DSC03786 One side has a clear pocket for your driver's license and the other has a plain pocket for credit cards, money, etc. It folds in the middle and closes with elastic that hooks onto a button. It's a bit smaller than the wonder wallet and doesn't have as many pockets but it does hold just as much and now you don't have to take your id out of your wallet to show it. I'd love to hear what you think ~ both good and bad cause there is always room for improvement. DSC03783 Now this is just my prototype...
That big pocket there just screams for some embellishment ~ maybe some embroidery or ribbon ~ even just a fancy top stitch. Maybe inserting a grommet and keyring? I'm also thinking of doing something more fun with the buttons.
I guess the highest compliment came from my husband who told me, in the right fabrics, he would carry one. COOL!
Well back to the sewing room to see what else I can come up with.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Not so shocking really...

So Clay has come out of the closet. Is anyone surprised really? Hell, I knew it way back before American Idol. Please don't take this the wrong way cause we were always friends ~ hey, I even ate his lima bean pie (don't ask!) but it was always very apparent. I remember commenting about it ~ just wasn't sure if "he" realized it yet. He was just out of high school and had dated girls ~ but most of them were just friends. He was always fun to work with although a lot of people found him extremely annoying. I guess since I've always had gay friends I just "got" him. We kept in touch up though the half way point of American Idol and I haven't heard from him since ~ no big surprise there and really I can't say I know him anymore. He's turned into a different person ~ but who wouldn't. Your life can't change that much, that fast without consequences. I just hope he is happy and will be a better dad to this little guy than he ever had.
BTW ~ he totally got the term "sperm donor" when speaking of his biological father from me!

I'm playing along, how about you?

My bloggie friend Regina is hosting a Mystery Quilt Along. Part 1 is here with part 2 here and finally, part 3 here. I've decided to play along and it's not too late for you to play along as well. I caught up on all three parts yesterday. I started with a main fabric DSC03775 (the teal stack in the center) all cut into 4 1/2" squares and then I dug through my scrap bin for all the green pieces needed and cut them into 2" squares.
Speaking of scrap bin... Here's the embarrassingly large mountain of scraps I ended up with after I went through them looking for the appropriate greens DSC03770 I really need to use this stuff up! It was fun going through all of it though ~ sort of like Christmas. Found lots of fun stuff like this piece DSC03772 which has been cut up, paired with another cute scrap and ready to be made into two wonder wallets. I also found these two pieces that I love DSC03773 which are just the right size for a new "snap happy" bag.
Anyway... back to the mystery quilt... I sewed my little 2" squares to the 4 1/2" squares as instructed in part 2 DSC03776
and then sewed those together into the "eye" blocks as instructed in part 3 DSC03777
I don't have nearly the contrast Regina has so it'll be interesting to see the end results of both. I'd love to see yours if you decide to play along as well.
Thanks Regina for such a great quilt along!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Is it just me?

I get what I call weather headaches. It seems like whenever there is a big change in the atmosphere ~ I get something very close to a migraine. It's the whole sensitivity to light, sound, smell, etc. Not quite as bad as the full blown migraines I get from say, eating something with MSG in it ~ but enough to knock me on my butt for a while. Does anyone else get these? Doctors tend to "poo poo" this idea ~ that the weather can cause headaches but I know better. When both Alex and I lived in Raleigh we would always get them at the same time. Her doctors told her she was nuts also. In any case I woke up with one today. Not a good day to have one of those ~ lots to do today and tonight is the ice cream social at school ~ which not only do I have to attend, I will be selling t-shirts for the PTO. Hopefully it'll be gone by then.
I shouldn't complain really... I just found out that one of my friends had to have her gall bladder removed quite unexpectedly. If she's reading this.. I'm wishing her a speedy recovery so she can come over and hang out in the pool and maybe even sew a bit!
Well since I hate a post without pictures... here's one from the archives and I can promise you.. it'll be the only one you ever see of me in a bikini!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Little girls with big balls

Okay so that was a little crude but seriously... children these days think they can just tell adults what to do and we'll listen. Maybe their parents do, but I certainly don't. This weekend Julianne went to two sleep over birthday parties. She called me from the first one to ask if I could drive one of her friends that was going to the second party as well. That was not the problem... the incident happened as I was driving the girls to the second party and casually asked if the first birthday girl liked her gift (it was the hot pink hearts purse set). Julianne replied, "yes, she really really liked it." (1 point for mom) but the girl that we were transporting chimed in with "Oh, and you need to make me one too." Now, I would have preferred something more along the lines of "I would really like one of those too, could you please make me one." I played nice and said "So when is your birthday," implying that this is not something I do for everyone just because. "Um, well my birthday was a couple of weeks ago and um, well I wanted to invite Julianne but my mom wouldn't let me because um, the party was across the street and um, she didn't know Julianne and um, I really wanted to invite her but my parents forbid it."
"But you really have to make me one ~ seriously ~ I'm not kidding."
UM ~ NO!
Now, do I really believe her parents FORBID her to invite Julianne ~ no! I've met her dad. He's a sweetheart. She didn't invite Julianne because they go to different schools and even when they went to the same schools, they weren't the closest of friends and she just didn't think to invite her. That's okay with me. She gets invited to enough parties and has enough friends that this is not an issue but DO NOT then tell me that I HAVE TO make you a purse. I'm glad she liked it and all (this does tell me I'm on to something good with these as gifts) but this went on the entire ride to the second party and never once was the word "please" uttered.
Anyway... off that rant (for now).
Nathaniel's soccer game was a good one. We won 2 ~ 1. The other team was really good and I was really worried but we pulled if off again. And again it was a scorcher out... so much for it being fall!
I love this action shot ~ DSC03753C
And here's a victory body slam after our first goal DSC03757c And finally here's our Nate really moving with the ball while the other team is right on his tail. DSC03762c They all played a great game.
Poor Jen... I was on the phone with her, which I forgot when they scored their first goal and I started yelling and cheering right into her ear ~ so sorry sweetie!

Saturday night we grilled shrimp and zucchini which was really yummy and toasted Angie and hoped that her mom and friends were doing alright. They were all going up to a cabin in Pigeon Forge to be together. I hope they know we were thinking about them.
We finally got Julianne home on Sunday afternoon and we all jumped in the pool for a while. Richard and Nathaniel did a great job washing the windows and sliding glass doors while Julianne and I made a roast with veggies ~ all in all, a good day.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A year ago today

A year ago today I wrote a post for Angie ~ to wish her a happy birthday. Little did I know it would be her last. She would have been 29 today ~ still so very young. Most days I do alright, go about my business as usual but somedays, like today, my heart still breaks ... especially when I think about the things she will miss out on with Nathaniel and all the things we will miss about her.
I came across a few more photos of her the other day that had gotten packed away. I especially like the one with the two of us on the couch and how comfortable we always were with each other. We talked about so many things and even before her death I always appreciated those long talks. She always respected my role as Nathaniel's mother and I always respected hers and we were always very honest with each other. It was a relationship of much love and respect. I will always cherish the time we had together ~ just wish it could have been more.
Nathaniel is handling this all as well as can be expected. He still misses her and she is still a part of our every day life. I never want him to forget her or the joy she brought into all our lives.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Yet another birthday party...

So my poor wallflower of a child (NOT!) had yet another birthday party to attend this weekend so time for another purse/wallet set. I really like the way this one turned out. DSC03747 Can you tell I like things nice and bright?
As of a couple of hours ago, the present had been opened and the girls mother actually called to thank me personally and gushed over how nice it was and how special. Doncha just love "muggles" (non sewing people ~ as opposed to us magical sewing wizzes)? Most of them really do appreciate the stuff we do for them. There are those few others, however, that think ~ "Oh joy, a cheap handmade gift." Let me tell you there is nothing cheap about fabrics purchased from a quilt shop ~ never mind the time and care it takes to make the gift. Don't get me wrong, I love doing it... just hate when it's not appreciated for what it is. Okay, didn't mean to go on that rant. I'm all better now!
In any case ... My boys and I went out to dinner tonight to Uno's. DSC03751 I ordered this tropical fruity margarita but it was a bit on the spicy side so Richard ended up drinking most of it. I had a wonderful steak cause it's something I just can't seem to get right at home and Nathaniel actually ordered some buffalo shrimp and they were amazing!
Oh, Nathaniel also made a friend earlier... DSC03722 We have tons of dragonflies around our house, which is a good thing ~ keeps down the mosquito population. I had one land on my shoulder the other day and Richard took a pic with his phone but hasn't uploaded it yet. I've always thought they were very cool.
DSC03719 I thought this was a pretty cool photo ~ taken from our driveway. It was still really light out but you could already see the full moon. Well tomorrow is soccer.. hoping for yet another win and a breezy day.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Taking one for the team!

So today was Julianne's field trip to the Indian River Lagoon and I was crazy enough to go as a chaperone. Seriously, I wouldn't have wanted her to go without me or Richard. I feel sorry for parents who are not able to go on field trips. Some of them are so hectic that I really worry about the dangers or trouble my child could get into.
Now, I saw "The Blue Lagoon." Go ahead, make your wisecracks.. I'll wait...okay.. got that out of your system? Good. Anyhow.. this lagoon was NOTHING like that beautiful body of water ~ blue and crystal clear. This was black and yucky and mucky and really really smelly!DSC03728
So me and another mother take this group of 7 children up to our waists into the lagoon to use this net to scoop up the contents of the lagoon to look for life. Of course we were instructed to wear shoes (I can't even fathom stepping into this nastiness without them) and while Julianne and I both wore those sandal type sneakers, some of the kids were in big ol' sneakers and socks. Our feet kept getting sucked in and I personally got stuck a time or two and couldn't move. See all that nasty rotted vegetation hanging off the nets? DSC03730 That's what we were standing in and let me tell you we handled some pretty nasty stuff.
We found a couple of little fish and even a few little shrimp and collected them along with all other kinds of data... water temp, salinity, visibility (zero).
Julianne scraped her leg on a large rock and bled a bit... another child tripped over the same rock and completely fell in the water ~ EWWW!
We won't even talk about the fact that the Indian River is known for it's bull shark nurseries. Fortunately we didn't encounter any of those.
After climbing out of that mess we all (60 some odd kids along with a dozen or so parents and 3 teachers) had to hose off and change clothes in a tiny little bathroom (2 stalls) teeming with all kinds of creepy crawly critters. Fortunately we left the lagoon first and so were the first in and out of the bathroom. They did give us a bit of hand sanitizer before we sat down to have our lunch but I can promise you I still did not touch my food with my hands.
After lunch we had to go on a scavenger hunt to look for feathers and bones and footprints of various birds and animals. We didn't have a lot of luck there but the mosquitoes definitely had a feast on my legs and that was AFTER applying bug spray twice! One of the kids found a shell from a horseshoe crab which was cool.DSC03737
There was one interesting part of the day when the guides from the Zoo showed us some animal skulls to identify. This one was a loggerhead turtle. DSC03726They also had a dolphin
skull which was pretty neat because you could see where the blow hole would be.
The ride home was miserable too because it started to rain and they closed all the windows on the bus ~ IN 90 DEGREE HEAT!!! I was like "people, this is nice cool clean rain and after the muck we've been in, this is a picnic!" Fortunately the rain didn't last long and the remainder of the ride was cool and breezy but really really loud. DSC03745
Let me tell you who spent the remainder of the afternoon at home in the pool ~ me and Julianne, that's who. You can keep your lagoons... Thankyouverymuch!
Oh, almost forgot to tell you about the best part of the day... I'm sitting watching the guides give this lecture about the environment when out of no where this massive black bug ~ I think it might have been a beetle, the size of a ping pong ball, comes zooming in and smacks me right in the mouth. How I did not scream, I have no idea. Not only was it disgusting, it hurt like hell. I did jump up and flail about a bit. The dad next to me saw what happened and said it was a good thing I wasn't yawning. When the bus driver asked me what happened he said his wife would have been screaming bloody murder. Trust me, inside I was screaming my head off. I think I definitely took one for the team today!

Monday, September 15, 2008

We are 2 and 0

Nathaniel's soccer team played again on Saturday and while it was probably as hot as last week, we were a bit closer to the beach and had more of a breeze which definitely helped. Anyhow... we won this game too! I was worried for a while cause they scored 2 goals on us pretty fast and their goalie was really good. We finally got into the swing of things, though and the final score was 5 to 2. The moms that have been bringing snacks for the games have been bringing frozen grapes which are good, healthy and really cold. I think I will bring ice cold watermelon wedges when it is my turn.
Here are a few pics from the game...
This is Nate in action, with dad looking on.. DSC03714
And again "in action"... DSC03711 The other teams uniforms were the exact same color as ours so they wore red/yellow vests over their shirts so the ref's could figure out who was who. I know one of the other teams we will be playing (Nate's friend Jacob's team) uses the same deep blue also... Whatever happened to Orange or Red or even Green?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Pizza ~ YUM

So the other day after school Nate's friend, Jacob came over ~ they, of course, were glued to the TV playing PS2. It's nice that they both are still close even though they don't go to the same school. I think if not a "forever" friend, they'll be friends for a very long time. We ended up going to one of my favorite pizza joints.
The pizza is great ~ and really huge if you order the 24" pizza. If you can eat more than one slice of this pizza, you're really saying something but I love that we always have leftovers for the next day. Their garlic knots are really good too ~ just make sure you ask for them extra wet. Nothing better than lots of gooey garlic.
The people there are really super too (ACK ~ did I just say "super?").... anyway here is one of my favorite parts... watching them "throw" the pizza.
DSC03708 DSC03709 DSC03707
We let the boys eat at their own table ~ makes them feel all grown up! DSC03706
In any case it was a great time ~ Now aren't you hungry for a big ol' slice of pizza? I know I am.