Baby Quilt

I am a big fan of the Moda Bakeshop website.  I love flipping through all of the projects.  Such inspiration! If you haven't been before be sure to check it out.

I found this project, "Hoopla Pops Quilt" and knew it had to be made.  Usually I do not copy patterns using the same fabric the designer used, but for this one I loved the fabrics!  I just had to have them.  The bright colors and bold prints are so cheery.  What a great baby quilt.

I found myself starting this project before I even considered testing out the vacuum.  Why vacuum when sewing just adds threads to the floor?!  Certainly it is more efficient to vacuum after the sewing has been completed.  Why I ask you would I make more work for myself?  Vacuum twice, I don't think so.

I did branch out and try a new heart design on this quilt.  I found a link to Nichole Webb's youtube video for Bottoms Up Hearts.  I have been practicing them for days and finally got up the courage to try them out.  Her design has you start the heart from the bottom and move up (hence the name) and this is backwards from my typical method of making hearts.  It was quite the challenge.

I love this quilt!  I cannot say it enough.  It makes me happy just to look at it.  I think it will make a great baby play mat.  Now I need to come up with some cute fabric toys to match it.  Hmm. Maybe some soft blocks?  or a fabric basket to hold the toys?  I'll let you know when I decide.


Quick Wit and Clean Floors

Hi. I am Kristin and I have dirty carpet.  Yesterday, due to unforeseen circumstances, my vacuum belt broke.  Not only did it break but the belt wrapped itself around the drive shaft.  (at least I was told it was the drive shaft.)  I am not nor do I pretend to be a vacuum expert.  

Today, my oldest decided to "help" by dismembering my vacuum.  I'll admit, I was skeptical.  Okay, more than skeptical, terrified.  I had visions of my vacuum in 101 pieces with my child standing over it saying, "Uh, mom.  I am not really sure how to put this back together, but the drive shaft is clean now." Great Just Great.  Another trip to the store to replace something that he tried to fix. 

While sitting on the floor Jack, my second oldest, asked Mark, "What'cha doing Mark?"  
Mark replied in complete sarcasm, "What does it look like I am doing?"  (I just love to watch them tear each others' throats out. I am so proud.)
Jack inquired, "Does Mom know that you are doing that?" (all in all a really good question)
"Duh, of course." sneers Mark 
"So, ah, Why are you taking apart the vacuum?"  Jack continues to pester Mark with questions.
"Because Mom wants me to fix the vacuum before the dust bunnies start to multiply." Mark mumbles.
To which Jack fires back, "Just let me know when they start doing long division."
After a few minutes of silence Mark starts to giggle, and giggle and I know he finally has gotten it.

Fortunately, at this point Mark enlisted the help of Jack in the taking apart process.  I know Mark is really, really trying to help and that he has good intentions.  And I know given guidance and direction there would not be a problem.  But lets just say Mark is more like a runaway chain saw and less like a mechanic.  Jack however has a much more methodical and organized mind. I would like to Thank the good people at LEGO for Jack's methodology for  now my vacuum is indeed back together. It remains to be seen if it will work when plugged in. Perhaps tomorrow I will try.  For now I have quilts that need worked on.


Custom Quilted-Baby Quilt

Vicky sent me this adorable quilt she made for her soon to arrive Granddaughter.  Let me just say it is so SOFT!  It has alternating blocks of Minky with soft cotton.

What new baby wouldn't want to snuggle down into its comfy layers!  Vicky wanted a heart design to cover the surface of the quilt.

I think the new mom and baby will love it!


t-shirts for 10

Every year when we get together with the Pierce family we have a general birthday celebration for all of the kids.  It works out great for the moms.  Not only are we freed from the responsibility of remembering the birthdays, thereby remembering to ship off a package, but we also are armed with a new and exciting toys for keeping everyone occupied.  bonus!

t-shirt design 2011
This year I decided to mix it up a little.  I decided to make t-shirts for all.  I used this technique on one of the teacher bags I made.  It is easy and inexpensive.  After purchasing and washing all 10 t-shirts, I created a design in power point.  I am sure there are many other design programs that could be used to make larger or smaller template designs.

I made several copies of the design using various fonts and sizes.  I do not have a light box so transfer of the design can be a challenge.  I have found that certain fonts are easier to see and therefore transfer.  I also flip the design over, using a Sharpie I trace the design on the back to darken the image.  It is still a bit of a free hand project. As a result the designs are a bit different from one t-shirt to the next.

I taped the design onto a piece of cardboard.  I used a cereal box I had collapsed.  Once the design was taped onto the cardboard it was placed into the t-shirt, centered and traced onto the t-shirts.  I used Tulip brand Fabric Markers to draw the design onto the shirts. The kids t-shirts have the design on the front of the shirt and the adults are on the back.
the sensational six

The next part of the t-shirt plan was not thought through as well as it should have been.  I purchased a tie-dye kit from the craft store with the intention of having the kids tie-dye their shirts.  Let me just say this was not the best plan. Okay so I really didn't have a plan, or a clue as to how to tie-dye at the time the purchase was made.   I also failed to see the possible disasters that could result from 6 kids ages 14 - 4 using the tie-dye kit.
Mom's t-shirts

On the third day, we pulled out the tie-dye kit and had the children pick designs and tie up their shirts.  This was a hoot.  It was amazing to watch the different approaches the kids took to making their t-shirts just the way they wanted.  Each child's personality really shined through in the creating of their shirts.
silly faces

After a successful tying and rubber banding session, we moved outside to dye.  Let me just say that hindsight is 20/20 and my tie-dying idea could have used a more well thought out plan.  I however tend to be more on the free and creative side.  One child at a time we let them squirt their shirts and supervised the amount of dye used.  Oh, what a mess we had!  It could have been much worse, but fortunately our kids did a fabulous job of listening. We only ended up with a couple of kids with dyed fingers, faces and knees. The 24hour waiting period was excruciating.  Fortunately we had boating, skiing and jet-skis to keep us busy.  After rinsing, washing and drying we have 10 tremendously terrific t-shirts.

We all donned our t-shirts the last day of boating fun.  Sadly the weather did not cooperate and the storms rolled in at the same time we did.  We still had an awesome dinner and made some unforgettable memories!


Knee deep.

This week is our annual Hoog-Pierce week of sun, boating and fun. To commemorate this event, this year I made everyone t-shirts. (more on that in the next post, but here is a preview.)

 Every year for the past 15 years we have gotten together to enjoy boating together. Every year the fun grows right along with the children.  This year is certainly no exception, and the week is not over.
Rock on Emma

Jack trying out some moves

Yesterday, I watched in amazement as my two youngest jumped on the knee-board and took off.  Not only did they take off but they started doing tricks!   It was a huge day for knee-boarding.  The kids really enjoyed the challenge of learning something new.
Abby ready for Knee-boarding
Ellen getting pointers

  The fact that it was an easy thing for the kids to pick up made it that much more fun.  Mark did very little knee-boarding due a knee injury he is still recovering from.  Don't worry he found plenty to keep himself occupied.
Namely the Jet ski!  He spent much of his time ( just about 90%) driving, jumping and splashing in the wake of the boat.  He loved every minute of it!


The Rundown

Can it really be Mid June?  I have not posted since May?  Wow!  Here is a short rundown of the last two weeks.

June 1--Emma's Third grade class presented the parents with an incredibly moving and tearjerking presentation of all the things they have learned in Third Grade.  I am completely in awe their techno-savy-ness. (new word)  I completely expect Emma to be posting for me in the next few years.

June 2- Jack graduates from 5th grade. (Jack with his teacher, Mr. Acquisto, and two of his buds)

 Emma has a "County Fair" at school to commemorate the reading of Charlotte's Web.  I didn't think it was at all possible to have a Diva Cowgirl.  I was seriously mistaken.

Mark Graduates from 8th grade.  Then he is Confirmed 30 minutes later. (Mark in a suit.  Truly an age defining moment)

 Celebrate all events with cake and presents at home.

It is at this moment with the opening of the presents that I should have seen it coming.  Everything had run so smoothly up until this point. If there were subtle signs that it wouldn't last I completely overlooked them.  But at this moment, with the happiness overflowing, it all started down hill.  I mentioned before Emma's techno-savy skills, what I failed to mention was that she has been begging, pleading and generally been pestering me for and iPod Touch for months.  A request that I have been FIRMLY refusing.  At this very moment when Mark opened his new iPod Touch, a confirmation gift from Uncle Dom and Aunt Maggi, Emma's world came crashing down around us her.  Oh, the drama that ensued over the unfairness of Mark getting an iPod and not her.  The tears and screams were almost unbearable. Life it appears is ToTaLly UnFair.

June 3- Last day of school-  Everyone has class parties.  Everyone is feeling the excitement, except for mom who is feeling a head cold coming on.  Mom finishes packing for trip to Philadelphia.

June 4- Up at 4:30am to catch a 7 am flight to Philadelphia.  My congestion worsens. I develop a cough.  Stop at CVS on the way to Hotel in Philadelphia to pick up zinc, Sudafed, and cough drops.

Meet up with cousins, sisters, brother, Nonna's, Aunts and Uncles in Philadelphia.

Drag family around historic places.  Have lunch at the Market.  Get dressed for rehearsal.  Attend wonderful and delicious rehearsal dinner at Brio.

June 5- Mom's cold not improving.  Mass at St. John's in downtown Philadelphia. Take short nap.  Sew sashes on girls dresses.   Get ready for wedding. Run to catch shuttle to wedding.  Try to apply make-up on shuttle without poking myself in the eye.   Spend a wonderful day at Bartram's Garden in Philadelphia.

Attend a beautiful wedding.  Watch bridesmaids and grooms men look too cute.

 Enjoy cocktails, cold medicine and cough drops.  Re-apply makeup frequently to nose to hide redness.  Leave wedding early due to fever and total body shutdown.  Have asthma attack on way back to hotel.  Arrive at hotel and completely CRASH.

June 6- Up at 1 am with croup. Spend 30 minutes in walk-in freezer in hotel before being escorted by hotel security to ER.  Spend a 8 hours in ER in Philidelphia being treated for Croup.  Discharged from ER with meds and note for airlines that I am unable to fly for 24 hours.  Extend hotel stay.  Spend day in bed sleeping, coughing, sleeping, coughing, blowing nose and generally feeling like @#$!

June 7-  Up early to  catch flight back to Columbia.  Mom able to breath, voice horse, throat sore but generally not much better.  Sleep on plane home.  Get home.  Unpack, Do laundry. Go to bed early.

June 8- Repack for trip to Alabama for regional soccer tournament.  Drive around Lexington gathering things needed for trip.  Drop off Emma, pick up two additional children.  Drive to Atlanta.  Spend night with 4 boys in a less than stellar hotel listening to a lifetime supply of jokes surrounding male genitalia.  Still coughing, blowing nose and have lost voice completely.

June 9- Drive to Decatur Alabama in time for The President's Cup Regional Tournaments Opening Ceremony.  Sit through all 15 minutes of opening ceremony wondering why I bothered to arrive at all.

Enjoy watching Soccer team mingle with other teams.

June 10- Up at 5:30 for Soccer match.

Sit through 2 games in 95 degree heat.  Breathing difficult, Cough almost tolerable, Nose continues to drain.  Considering buying stock in cough drop and kleenex company.  Watch Mark Break Goalie's Leg and injure his own.  Sadly soccer team looses both matches.  After diner, sit by the pool trying to converse with parents and not infect them at the same time.

June 11-  Watch final match.  Endure the heat one last time.  Watch Mark sitting on the bench injured.  (Mental note: Next Regional Tournament send Dad with Mark.) Enjoy a delirious 8 hour car ride in the back seat of Toyota. Mark unable to bend knee to get into back of car.  Arrive home tired, still sick, able to breathe, coughing less and still no voice. Throw contents of suitcase on floor and decide that tomorrow is a better day to unpack.

June 12-  Celebrate 18 year Anniversary by watching husband and son screen in porch.  Enjoy shopping with Emma, Eating cake and generally enjoying the fact that I do not have to repack. After a request from my children that I "please don't talk,", given a whistle to signal my need for their attention.  Look at  suitcases and decide that they really do look good right where they are.

June 13-Voice still not improving.  Schedule doctors appointment for am.  I am certain this alone will improve the quality of my voice. Run children to appointments.  Decide tomorrow I will definitely need to do a load of laundry.