Where is that Calgon bubble bath when you need it?!

Oh my goodness. These last couple of weeks have just been crazy around here! I didn’t even have time to think about writing a blog post, let alone actually sitting down and coming up with something to write about! With the last days of school for our youngest two, plus high school graduation for our middle son, having to finish his graduation quilt, and hosting company for said graduation, working on our new house,  PLUS having house showings thrown in here and there, it has been a crazy, nutty, unorganized, out-of-routine couple of weeks.grandparents at graduation

But now most of that is behind us….School is done for the summer, graduation was a success, company has all returned home, quilt was done on time, and now the “only” thing I have on my agenda is house showings whenever they pop up and new house renos. Much more manageable :).

So first things first: Our middle son graduated from high school and was selected Salutatorian. For those of you not familiar with the American education system, the student holding the highest grade of all graduating students is selected as Valedictorian, the second highest grade holder becomes Salutatorian. Needless to say that we are super proud of him!

I managed to finish his quilt the day before his grad party so was lucky enough to not have to work on that till the wee hours of the morning!

I think it will look very nice lying at the end of his college dorm bed! And those are his college’s colors too! ( Total fluke; I had a lot of blues and thought those would make a nice manly quilt, then realized that blue and white were his college colors~ Yay for me!).

With school out for summer now we have a little more freedom to work on our new house. We have gotten quite a  bit done already, but there is still LOTS to do! Our oldest son has been a great help, stripping wallpapers from many rooms, and ripping up flooring and getting them ready ( by removing many, MANY staples) for the new laminate flooring that we picked out. Our downstairs bathroom is getting a complete gut job and it’s scary how much I am enjoying saying that! I ordered some beautiful new (WHITE!!) cabinets for all the bathrooms and all the old, dirty, decrepit BROWN ones are coming out! If they were in decent shape I would have just painted them, but they are not, and they have that certain old smell…

 

These ones will look so much nicer! This weekend we will shop for flooring for 2 of the bathrooms. They both have not so lovely brown linoleum that is 40 years old and I am not a fan of brown ( had you noticed?!). The bathrooms are super small so I feel like I can go CRAZY with any type flooring I want because it will not break the bank, no matter how hard I may try ;). So today I was eyeing some super wonderful vinyl that looks like tiles at Home Depot, but I’m not sure it would be too crazy and I would tire of it soon. What are your thoughts?

While our parents were here for graduation, we gave my mom and dad a tour of the new place, and they promptly wanted to get to work! So my mom cleaned out kitchen cabinets, and helped me paint over top of the wallpaper in the dining room, while my dad removed the carpet from what will become my new quilt room. My parents are always so willing to lend anyone a hand and we are so appreciative of them!

Our youngest son got in on the action too and removed a funky door between the dining and kitchen area!  I think our new house is going to mean so much more to us, because so many people that we love and hold dear are helping to fix it up! We know that it will take some time and it won’t all be done before we move in, but in a few years I think our new home will be an awesome place! And in the meantime you all get to “enjoy” the reno stories?! Teeheeeeee!

Honestly though?I cannot wait to get a room to unpack all my crafty stuff in and to get creating again! I have been grumpy and out of sorts and I really think it’s because I am not getting enough creative time. There are so many patterns out there that I want to dive into! Soon…I just have to keep reminding myself about that 🙂

In the meanwhile I do have one little, no, make that 2 little projects I can work on. In my Facebook group I challenged people to the Sweet 16 challenge. Simply put, you grab any magazine, turn to page 16, and make a project inspired by something you see on that page. This was my page 16:Sweet 16 project pageWhat to do with that?! The mirrored headboard is begging to be used somehow, but I have to figure out the details yet. Stay tuned for updates on that project.

And finally, my friend Kristie and I have decided to do yet another Christmas ornament sew-along this year! We had so much fun doing it last year, and the participants really seemed to enjoy it too, so we are repeating it again this year.Merry

More details will follow, but I can tell you that the format will be a little different from last year but we are excited about our theme and our plan! So stay tuned for more info on that project also!

Phew, this turned into a super long blog post…thanks for sticking with me all this time! And if you have read all the way to the end of this post, I have a little surprise for you: I am holding a giveaway!  One of you will have the opportunity to win this super cute Amy Bradley pattern!pattern give away

This giveaway is open to everyone, everywhere ( because that is way more fun!). Just leave me your name right here in the comments and I will randomly choose a winner from all entries. Winner will be announced in my next blog post!

Until next time~Happy creating!

Monique

Why do I blog?

Sometimes I wonder why I blog. There are so many bloggers on so many topics out there already…does the world really need another one? Probably not. But the fact is that I LOVE blogging! ) I love putting my photos and projects out there for people to see. Because I love looking at other people’s photos and projects too! I think I have become a blog addict! I am signed up to receive many different blogs, and reading them, to me, is like opening a good book and enjoying  a few moments of inspiration and camaraderie.

What is a BLOG exactly? Here is one definition that I found:

“”Blog” is an abbreviated version of “weblog,” which is a term used to describe websites that maintain an ongoing chronicle of information. A blog features diary-type commentary and links to articles on other websites, usually presented as a list of entries in reverse chronological order.”

When I first started blogging I would read advice on how to run a successful  blog. One of those pieces of advice was to always blog regularly and to publish at the same time and day every week. I tried doing that. I found it was not my thing. I want to write when I am inspired to, not because a date on the calendar tells me to. One of my all-time favorite bloggers is a lady in England who is a quilter. She blogs very irregularly…sometimes months go by and we don’t hear a word from her. But when one of her blog posts finally lands in my inbox, I get so excited! It’s like receiving a letter from a friend, even though we have never met. I will make myself a cup of tea ( seems appropriate somehow 😉 ), and then I will savor reading her post ( which is always filled with beautiful photos). As a blogger you are warned that if you don’t publish regularly, your readers will forget you and unsubscribe. I can tell you that I would rather wait months for one beautiful and inspiring blog post, than to receive one every week that just pushes products and really contains nothing to inspire me.

 

More Bee Happy blocksAnother piece of advice I read was that you have to stay ON TOPIC. Someone actually said NOT to go on about your kids or other OFF topics because no one would care. When I started my blog I wanted to write about my quilting. As a quilter it is super difficult to have a new project to share every single time. Quilting is not a fast process and projects can take months or years to complete. It seems silly to rush through projects, or to start a gazillion new ones, just because you must have something to blog about. And although quilting is a huge passion obviously, for me my family always comes first. our familySo sometimes there will be blog posts about family outings or important milestones or just about things that are affecting my life. So yes, you are going to see pretty pictures of the quilts I am trying to work on, but you might also see pictures of home renovation projects, and beloved pets that touch my life. Those things are all part of me and my life, and I can’t compartmentalize them and keep them separated. Those things are ALL part of ME. And so I will write about all of it. Some people get upset if a post is not all about quilting or quilting related somehow. Personally I love getting glimpses into bloggers’ personal lives now and again. ( I don’t want to know all the nitty-gritty, but it makes people more real somehow to know about their problems/issues/stresses/deadlines). Before you start thinking that someone complained to me about my posts, that is not the case at all! But I do have a large number of  new subscribers ( thank you!) and I want to be honest with you about what to expect.

There are bloggers out there that are great about sharing their projects and products in pretty pictures and they can write about just that. That is just not me. When you come here, you are just as likely to see a photo of a nest of baby bunnies as you are to see some sweet fabric that I bought. Or maybe you will see a photo of one of our kids in their graduation outfit because I am a proud momma.

If that is not your thing, it’s just fine. No hard feelings. Over the years I have subscribed and unsubscribed from blogs because they just weren’t a “good fit” anymore. As we grow older, it is inevitable that we change and that our interests change too. Do you remember any fabrics  that you just loved when you first started quilting and now you just don’t care for those patterns/prints/colors anymore? I do. And I think blogs are the same way.

So there you have it. This is my blog and I am going to write about things that are happening in my life, whether it’s quilting, family, decorating, or whatever the case may be. To pretend that those other things don’t exist and affect us all seems silly and phony to me. Here’s to being “real”.

Until next time~Happy creating!

Monique

Is it really here?

Hello again,

I think Spring may have finally come to Lancaster….but, shhhh, I don’t want to scare it off… 🙂

This winter has been so incredibly long, and every time that we had a glimpse of nicer weather, it would turn cold and yucky again. I know that everyone in the Northeast was suffering from this extremely bizarre weather, but let’s hope that we can truly enjoy some nicer weather now ( it is May after all!). Although I still have a few stubborn ( or are they smart??) bushes and trees that are resisting budding out,  my daffodils and tulips are beautiful, my crabapple trees are filled with blossom buds, and my Viburnum is just about to look and smell amazing! ( Do you have a Viburnum bush? There are so easy to grow here, and for about 2 weeks every Spring they are filled with the pinkest blossoms and smell just heavenly~ I highly recommend planting some where you can enjoy their scent!)

Our yard has been a haven for all kinds of wildlife too..the birds are very busy nesting and I love watching all that “traffic” in the morning while I enjoy my cup  of tea. Mama bunny decided that our big wine barrel flower pot would be a great place to have her litter and this morning I spotted some little brown furry ears peeking out of the grass and fur. I did decide to plant some pansies in there a few weeks back, but had my suspicions that there was a nest so planted very carefully around the outside!

Last week we closed on our new house and we are now the proud ( or is that crazy?) homeowners of 2 homes. new homeHopefully our current house sells soon and then we can relax a bit. An hour after we closed on our new house, I had taken down the matchy curtains and we had started removing wallpaper! patient hubby steaming wallpaperDo you know that if you are really determined ( and you are lucky and the wallpaper is strippable 😉 ) you can clear an entire room in 10 minutes? I did just that in the family room that was so dark and depressing:

Looks so much better already, and just wait until I get my hands on that fireplace brick ( insert an evil snicker here~ bwahaahaa). Obviously lots to keep us busy these next few months, but it is exciting to dream about all the colors I want to paint the rooms and the new flooring I want to install, and all that other fun decorating stuff. Just imagine how different it will look with some pretty quilts hung on the walls and hung over the back of chairs!

Okay, now unto quilty business, if you are still with me after all that home reno talk ;).

I am continuing to work on my big Churn Dash quilt with a big ( or utility ) stitch. I gave up on using a hoop. Sometimes hoops and I don’t get along and then I enjoy quilting more without one. I do always baste my quilts so there is no issue with the layers shifting.

I think I will just bind this baby when it’s done, no messing with borders, and then I can enjoy it…perfect colors for summer in my opinion! ( By the way, this pattern came out of a Camille Roskelley book and the fabric is mostly Fig Tree~ two of my favorite designers combined in one quilt!)

I treated myself to a new quilt book as well:Stash Statement by Kelly Young, published by MartingaleI am looking forward to using some more of my scraps and am hoping that the ideas in this book will be a great inspiration. Have you tried just mindlessly sewing scraps together? It is really fun and very relaxing and I highly recommend it! As a matter of fact, last year I designed this scrappy Piggy quilt where I used that method (you can find the tutorial and pattern for that quilt by going here )

piggy quilt
piggy quilt

And finally, in my Facebook group ( click here to join), we finished April’s challenge of the embroidered stamped images. Below are some of the beautiful creations that people came up with.

I think everyone had a lot of fun with this idea! And it’s always nice when you can cross-purpose your crafty supplies. Next week I will share what I did with one of my girlies ;).  On Saturday I will be revealing the challenge for May…it is going to be another fun one so make sure to visit my page on that day!

Until next time~Happy creating!

Monique