Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Vacation Day Zero

It's here! I'm trying to revel in the moment, because I know my vacation will be over far to soon.

I made some progress on the penguins. Baby Penguin has an eye and a neck now.

I really want this project DONE, so it will probably be the focus of my cross stitch efforts over the next couple of days.

The Kona Sunset Quilt is about half put together and I decided what to do for a border. I pieced together some of the trimmings, squared it up, and cut it into 2.5 inch strips.

I will put a silver/white border all the way around, and then the fractured border, and finally another white border. I'm kind of geeked about how it will look. This quilt needs to get off my floor before Saturday, or it will have Axis and Allies players tromping all over it.

Future vacation day plans? Find time to see the Battle of the Five Armies, spend a day with my favorite niece, and drown myself in crafty projects!

Monday, December 15, 2014

AotH Test Block

Here it is! It was an experiment in monochromatic blocks, machine applique, and contrast stitching. It doesn't satisfy my OCD for color arrangement, but it taught me a lot and I think I can now tackle the Affairs of the Heart Quilt some some degree of confidence.

Next up are the last two ornaments I need to finish, my ranger hood, and then I'm going to try to finish Penguin Family. It would be nice to get a few things off my to-do list before the New Years!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Ornament Finishes!

I'm off to the extended-in-laws in a few minutes for our pre-Christmas Christmas. They used to spend the day baking cookies but now they spend it crafting ornaments. Something about too much sugar in cookies. I have no idea what they are talking about.

Before I go, I thought you'd like to see the gifts I'm giving them this year. Three of the mini ornaments I worked on this year have now been completed and will travel to their new homes today.

I'm not too happy with how they were centered. The instructions said to cut the aida 3.5" x 4" but this really didn't leave enough room to get them properly lined up on the cardboard backing. 4.5" x 4.5" would have been much better. Maybe in the future I will buy extra aida and make my squares larger. This ornament kit thing taught me several lessons, most of which involve never buying an ornament kit again. It would be much better to buy a book of patterns and kit it up myself.

Happy Un-Cookie Day All!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Life Lessons with Kaelyn Angelfoot

Once in a rare while I feel obligated to share a Life Lesson here.

Today, someone made a comment to another person, in my hearing, that implied that I was uneducated. It was made worse by the topic of the conversation, which was how expensive higher education can be. Maybe if my parents had been rolling in the dough, I would be properly educated.

Cue instant defensive anger.

But I kept my mouth shut and decided not to make big stink over it. However, its been bothering me all day. I mean, ALL DAY. The "Hey wait a second! I have TWO bachelors degrees. It took me SEVEN years but I did it!" It wasn't at Harvard or Yale, or Cornell, but gosh darnit, it is my degree, I earned it, and I'm still paying for it.

My parents never had much money when I was a kid. My dad worked long hours, especially on evenings and weekends, so my mom could stay home and homeschool us. We ate lots of peanut butter and grape jelly sanwiches, tuna, and mac'n'cheese. Mom used to put just $3 of gas in the car at a time, just to get us to the library. I remember being a happy, opinionated kid who was always dragging my cousin into one escapade or another, usually resulting in both of us getting grounded for at least a week. I don't remember feeling neglected, deprived, or "lower class."

When I headed off to college I always understood that I would have to figure out how to pay for it. I don't think the topic ever came up. Mom and Dad just didn't have the thousands of dollars a year to cover tuition.And yet, every time I called with some emergency, they cosigned my loans, sent me a check, and did whatever they could to see me through.

So you can understand why I get a little cranky when someone tells me that my education isn't good enough because it didn't cost enough money.

I was sitting at my desk tonight, gluing together some ornaments, stewing over today's event, and praying that I can just let it go. Do I confront the person or just assume it was malicious? Or assume that it was innocent and forget about it. Ugh.

What came to mind was this one moment in sixth or seventh grade, at church camp. One of the girls was talking about how someone told her she didn't look like her older sister, and I piped up with "No, you don't. Stacy is pretty." What I had intended to say was "Stacy is glamour-ish pretty, and you have more of a cutesy sporty look," but the horrified screams of my campmates drowned out the rest of the conversation and sent me running in embarrassment. To this day, I still wince when I think about what happened. And although I try very hard, even today sometimes something just comes out wrong. I have a chronic case of "Open mouth, insert foot."

Which really means that I should be the last person to throw stones and the first to assume it wasn't said the way it was intended. So that is what I am going to do.

In the end, the truth is, it doesn't really matter what other people think. I love my life,  My car runs, my furnace heats the house, and my bills get paid. I spoil my niece and dote on my husband. I'm happily married, have a job that I like, family that loves me, friends that support me, and have more crafty projects than one person can complete in a lifetime.

And there isn't a college or a university in the world that can give me all that, no matter the cost of the education.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Affairs of the Heart QAL

I decided to stitch the Affairs of the Heart quilt from the book by Aie Rossman. I've spent the last couple weeks finalizing my fabric decisions and I ordered some background fabric. Its all been washed, ironed, and folded, ready to go.

It is a nice assortment of Asian fabrics on a deep cream background. 

I am actually hosting a Affairs of the Heart QAL on The plan is to complete three blocks per month with one week off for catch up. I have no idea if I will be able to keep up, but if I do I will have a finished quilt top at the end of the year. 

If anyone is interested, I will also host a linky party here on the blog where once a month people can link up their finished blocks. I would start the linky party during the catch up week and let it run the whole week. Here is a current schedule. Unfortunately, due to the rules at Quilting Board, I'm not allowed to advertise on QB that I'm holding a linky party here. I was quite disappointed at that particular piece of fine print.

Jan 4 - 10
Block 1
Mar 29 –Apr 4
Block 10
Jun 21 – 27
Block 19
Sep 13 – 19
Block 28
Jan 11 - 17
Block 2
Apr 5 – 11
Block 11
Jun 28 – Jul 4
Block 20
Sep 20 – 26
Block 29
Jan 18 - 24
Block 3
Apr 12 - 18
Block 12
Jul 5 – 11
Block 21
Sep 27 – Oct 3
Block 30
Jan 25 - 31
Catch Up
Apr 19 - 25
Catch Up
Jul 12 – 18
Catch Up
Oct 4 – 10
Catch Up
Feb 1 - 7
Block 4
Apr 26 – May 2
Block 13
Jul 19 – 25
Block 22
Oct 11 – 17
Block 31
Feb 8 – 14
Block 5
May 3 – 9
Block 14
Jul 26 – Aug 1
Block 23
Oct 18 – 24
Block 32
Feb 15 - 21
Block 6
May 10 – 16
Block 15
Aug 2 – 8
Block 24
Oct 25 – 31
Block 33
Feb 22-28
Catch Up
May 17 – 23
Catch Up
Aug 9 – 15
Catch Up
Nov 1 – 7
Catch Up
Mar 1 - 7
Block 7
May 24 – 30
Block 16
Aug 16 - 22
Block 25
Nov 8 – 14
Block 34
Mar 8 - 4
Block 8
May 31 – Jun 6
Block 17
Aug 23 – 29
Block 26
Nov 15 – 21
Block 35
Mar 15 - 21
Block 9
Jun 7 – 13
Block 18
Aug 30 – Sep 5
Block 27
Nov 22 – 28
Block 36
Mar 22-28
Catch Up
Jun 14 - 20
Catch Up
Sep 6 - 12
Catch Up
Nov 29 – Dec 31
Catch Up

The size of the quilt blocks finish at 7 inches square, so I think I will enlarge them to get either a nine or a twelve inch finished block. I would like to get a queen size quilt out of this if possible, even though I have no idea how I'm going to quilt it!

If you are interested in participating, either drop me a comment below or head over to Please note that no patterns will be provided for this QAL - in order to respect the author's copyright, each participant must purchase their own copy of the book. It can be found here on Amazon.