Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Three Baby Molehills

I think baby quilts are some of my favorite to make.  They are low pressure due to their size, they are typically quick finishes (for me), they are an opportunity to try new things, and they are made to welcome a wee one!  Recently, I finished three baby blankets which I've finally gifted and can now share!
I'm really not one to use a pattern to make a quilt.  Except for these.  I'm IN LOVE with this pattern.  I want to make a million more of these quilts!  Let me backtrack.  You may remember that in July, I scurried away to SewOK again.  It was there that I met the wonderful Latifah Saafir and had the opportunity to learn from her.  I didn't know much about her before the retreat other than she was one of the founding members of the Modern Quilt Guild.  By the end of the retreat, I was enamored with her and her works! 

These are SUCH a fun sew and really go together quickly.  You can make the fans with multiple fabrics (which I did a few of) but I really loved the effect of the full fans.  It's such a great way to showcase cool fabrics.  And the full fans help it go together quite quickly.  I promise, sewing curves is not as difficult as it looks!

And now, a closer look at these little quilts. 

The first goes to the son of my favorite librarian and clayworker, Hollyrocks.  I have had that rainbow fabric for many, many years and it's always reminded me of Holly.  I once told her that if she ever had a wee one, I knew what fabric her baby quilt would be made out of and I never forgot that!
The next quilt was actually my first of the trio; it's the one I made at SewOK!  You can see the pieced fans in this one.  In it, one of the fabrics I used was one that I've had since high school and have always looooved.  This quilt now resides with my favorite fiber artist, Tasha, and her perfect recent addition!  I can already tell that kid has great taste in textiles. 
The last one was my most recent finish but the one I've had in my head the longest!  Thom and Christine, the ma and pa of the arts and crafts scene and dear longtime friends of mine, welcomed the sweetest little gal into their world earlier this year.  It was such a special and unique time that I felt their quilt needed to be just right.  A molehill seemed to be the perfect fit for the fabrics I had chosen and I'm so happy with how it turned out.  Belated but worth the wait, I think!
I am honored that these three quilts will be living with such remarkable humans.  They will change the world, mark my words!  I'm so excited to see these three tiny babies grow up and shake up the world.  Kids, I hope someday you see how amazing your folks are and how lucky you are to have them guiding your way.  We are just as lucky to have you within our world. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

The TMQG Retreat and My Birthday!

Just a few weeks ago, I celebrated my 37th birthday!  This year, I did things just a little bit differently though.  My quilt guild ended up holding their annual retreat at a camp I grew up at the same weekend as my birthday.  It took me about five minutes to decide I'd be going and I'm so glad that I did!
I awoke that first morning of being 37 to beautiful weather, a pep in my step, and well-wishes from my fellow sewing friends.  My dear Mary and I started the day off with a short hike up to the top of the 'mountain' at Camp Egan.  It was such a delightful way to kick things off!  I went to this camp no less than twice a year for at least six years.  I had not been to the top of that hill in NINETEEN YEARS.  I felt like I was eighteen again.  My knees did not, but my spirit did!
After going up, we came down and traipsed all over that camp.  Sweet Mary politely listened while I relived camp memories galore and noted what had changed and what had stayed the same.  I could have probably reflected those same points in regards to myself, as well.  I had a few moments of calm clarity thanks to a few falling leaves and some grasshoppers that were more than what they seemed.
After our perfect walk and hike, it was a day filled with sewing, laughs (SO many laughs), homemade cupcakes (divine!), and just a good time all around.  Later that evening, my parents FINALLY landed back in Tulsa after a few weeks traveling around Italy.  Knowing they were home and secure was a great present in itself. 

So what did I make?  I selfishly sewed allllll weekend long which isn't something I get to do that often!  I completed two dresses, an Esme Maxi Cardigan (a loaned pattern that I'm IN LOVE with!), a little tank, and a new wallet! I also got pieces cut for a little quilt that I finished up yesterday.  I'll share that with you soon.  :)
It was SUCH a wonderful weekend.  I loved getting to know everyone better and seeing what everyone created.  These retreats are nonstop inspiration!  And it's such a positive, encouraging environment. 
Another attendee referred to our table as The Garment District which I thought was hilarious!  In hindsight, I guess we did churn out quite a few articles of clothing over there! 
Rain had been forecast for the entire weekend but I only encountered it on the last twenty minutes of my meandering drive home.
Once home, I was welcomed with a clean house, homemade cards, my father-in-law, a little cake (decorated by the mister!  Look at those skills!), and the sweetest little smile from my sidekick. 
 Not too shabby, 37!  Let's keep this momentum going, mmkay?

Monday, October 3, 2016


Four.  The kid turned four on Saturday.  I know, I can hardly believe it either!  Of course we had to celebrate, Shepley style!  The morning of her birthday didn't quite start out like we had expected.  Poor little birthday girl woke up in the wee hours of the morning with a stomach that wasn't agreeing with her.  In the midst of her ill nature, she asked if we'd still be celebrating her birthday that day.  I honestly wasn't sure what was going to happen.  After the sun had risen and she seemed to be feeling a bit better, we decided that we'd let our guests know what was going on and let them choose if they wanted to come or not.  Amazingly, everyone still came!  Rio was elated.  It was a great day.
Her Uncle Kyle had just returned from the Olympics so he brought her back allllll sorts of Rio souvenirs!  She opted to wear her new Rio shirt for her big day.  So cute.  :)
We continued the tradition of her birthday banner.  I got a little choked up making this year's number!  It's going so fast!!  One, Two, Three!

I'm not much for planning themed parties but we kinda had a themed one for her this year.  Basically, I've been so busy lately that I hadn't thought about her celebration until just a few days before the party.  I thought it may be fun for her to pop up a tent in the backyard and it just went from there.  We bought a few hay bales, made a fake fire, and surrounded it all with every tiny chair we had in the house.  We bought mini pumpkins (yay, October 1st birthday!) to share with her friends and I made mini s'more kits for everyone to take home.  I made vegan chili, recipe courtesy of my loud and proud vegan sister, which was devoured by the masses and we finished up the grub with a rainbow cake. 
It was a beautiful day to be outside with good friends and family!
Rio has some really amazing people that love her.  She's a lucky kid!  Miss Jinni from her school made her a Mudd Pony stick horse!  My dad promptly showed her how to ride it.  
She also scored her first pair of aviator shades.  She's cooler than I'll ever be.
Her BIG gift this year was this fancy ride from her gracious Papa and Rita!  I have a good feeling this thing will rack up the miles over the years.  It's already loaded down with rocks!
The day after her birthday, she asked me if she was still four.  Today, she's been referring to everything as 'a long time ago, when she was three.'  Slow your growing roll, little Rio.  We need a moment to soak it all in.

Friday, September 16, 2016

A Solo Kanokla Trip

For the past several years, Kanokla has been an adventure that my dad and I have taken on together.  This year, however, the pops was unable to go but I was still jonesin' for a junking road trip so I went alone.  I was thisclose to not going though.  I had invited several friends to go but nobody was able and I wasn't sure if I wanted to do it myself.  I wasn't feeling great, it had been raining heavily all morning, I was having a high-anxiety day, and I really didn't need to spend the money but the overwhelming desire for a quick road trip won out.  I'm SO glad I went.
Since I've done this trek a few times, the roads are familiar and I've become accustomed to which stops are usually fruitful for me.  The skies cleared quickly, a breeze picked up, and it ended up being a beautiful day.  I even ended up getting a little sun!  At my very first stop, I found a mint condition wig-box for $4.  I almost called it a day and turned back around because I was so pleased with that find!  Ha!  But on I journeyed.

My find of the day jumped out at me shortly after that.  It was actually found at a shop that I normally wouldn't look twice at.  It was a 'paint it all turquoise' type of store.  Not my bag.  But this beautiful little chair was sitting on the sidewalk, just calling my name.  The tag read a price that I wasn't ready to pay and that's when I saw the half off mark.  This was a good start.  Inside I went, offering a little less and to my delight, they accepted my offer!  Into the back of my car this guy went and it's been getting so much love ever since.  I'm thinking we'll get it recovered in the near future.  Time will tell!

I spent part of my car time gabbing with my best friend on the phone and the rest catching up on podcasts.  The Most Wonderful Wonder seemed like the perfect for the day.  Some stops I didn't buy a thing, I just enjoyed passing conversations with fellow hunters and eyed other things I liked but didn't need to bring home.
I only had one *weird* moment with a vendor trying to swindle and talk down to me.  Long story short, I got him down from $30 to $3 on some fabric, schooled him on the power of being a woman, and reminded him that being a creep gets you no fans - all with an audience.  Thankyouverymuch

One shop I like to stop at (seriously in the middle of nowhere - there were conflicting answers when I asked which town I was in), houses two rescue cats in their store.  You can best your cat-loving ass that was a highlight of my day!  ;)
Once upon the time, I used to travel the world.  I faced my fears, I experienced so many amazing things, and I felt like I could conquer anything.  For some reason, this particular little day trip brought back those same feelings to me.  It was empowering, motivating, and exciting.  Yup, rural Oklahoma and Kansas reminded me of world travels.  Again, I'm so glad that I went.
Enough deep mumbo jumbo, what did I find?!  Well, you've already met the chair so in addition to that, I found:  a beautiful 60s duster coat, some sheets for sewing, fabric for some new clothes (!), the glorious wig box, embroidery hoops for a future project, an 80s pattern for cat pillows, a box full of plant fact cards for the kid, a metal tray for the kid, and a Fisher Price Western Town!  I've become OBSESSED with the old Fisher Price Little People toys and have amassed quite the collection. 
That's it!  I'm thrilled with my finds, thrilled with what I spent, and thrilled with making myself go on a solo adventure.  I should really do it more often.  Ya hear that, self?  

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Our Guest Room

Ahh, the guest room.  Upon moving in, this room was nothing more than a catch all for all things random.  Extra flooring, spare drums, wayward furniture, and mismatched 'decor' were all this room knew for the past few years until recently.  I'm happy to report that this room is now fully functional, has already hosted its share of guests, and boasts some smooth calming vibes.  It's done! 
Let's take a trip back.  The walls and ceiling were the butteriest of yellows and had definitely seen better days.  The curtains did their job but didn't jive for the mister.  I, however, love the print and, after removing the pleats, have been using them as temporary window coverings in my work room.  I AM ready to replace those though and dream of making myself a dress out of these!

We had the carpet replaced in the bedrooms and in my workroom.  The original carpet had been there for decades and we knew that once we moved in, it would probably be decades later before we got to changing it out.  The air quality changed immediately once we had them replaced and I'm so glad we decided to go ahead and tackle that.  BUT, we were less than thrilled with the company we used and the wear the new carpet is already exhibiting.  It's a love/hate relationship, for sure. 
The guest room didn't get any TLC for about a year and a half.  We straight up neglected its desire for a facelift.  Finally, I couldn't take it any longer.  I needed those walls to speak and I needed that room to function.  Change was on the horizon.
So beautiful and inviting, yes?  NOT!  We started with just choosing paint colors.  I knew I wanted the closet wall to be an accent color and for whatever reason, orange and blue seemed to keep speaking to me.  All of our bedrooms have partial vaulted ceilings which are a pain in the ass to paint for a shorty like me.  I love interior painting but I don't love standing on my tippy toes atop a ladder to do so.  You can see the height in the above photo.  I painted and I painted and I painted.  At first, we decided to keep the ceiling the butter color but once the wall colors were up, the butter was unbearable.  So we painted the ceiling white after the fact.  That was fun.  To be honest, before we started decorating and putting the room together, I second and third guessed our paint color choices.  I was NOT feeling it.  Once we started decorating though, it was perfect and I was thrilled with our choices. 
Now for gratuitous photos of stuff and my babbling about it all.  You're welcome. 

Let's start with the bed wall aka the tall wall aka the focal point.
Those lamps.  Those glorious, beautiful orange lamps.  I'm sure there is some fancy, specific name for them but I do not know that elusive name.  I just know I love them.  I found them at the flea market while hunting with one of my oldest friends.  Actually, she found them and I fell head over heals with them.  I had JUST finished painting this room and was specifically looking for lamps.  Enter, fate.  I got them for a steal.  
Both pieces of wall art were found at Retro Den.  I crushed on that large piece for-evah and finally pulled the trigger.  I looooove it.  I have a soft spot for pulled fabric wall art.  Brent bought me the crewel piece for Christmas.  I was shocked and elated!  It's not necessarily his speed but it is SO mine.  That's love, folks. 
Take a wild guess where those pillows came from??  My work room!  I did not intend for any of them to permanently reside with us but who I am I to argue with such cohesion?  That black and white tree fabric is early 70s Marimekko. I bought it in shambles for $1 and made my cuts as carefully as possible to create that one pillow.  It's probably one of my favorite pillows I've ever made.  The Estruscan style horse pillow?  That fabric came from the magical warehouse.  After much research, I've discovered how rare and desired that fabric is and I have it in four different colorways.  Swoon!  Those pillow cases in the back were once my Mimi's.  She gave me the whole set 15+ years ago and I made *fabric* wall art with the sheets but never hung up my finished project.  I wish so badly I still had that entire set!  At least I still have these pillows to hug.  Enough pillow talk.  Get it? 
The curtains are actually the FOURTH set I've made for this room and I'm certain that this is the final one!  This fabric also came from the warehouse and I don't think it could be anymore perfect for this room.  They are practically black out curtains when it's light outside so daytime guest nappers should be their biggest fan. 
I'll save the story of the bed frame for another post.  The side tables and the dresser came from our old bedroom.  One day (when I talk about the bed frame), I'll share what we replaced these with.  Possibly my favorite furniture finds evah! 
The other side of the room doesn't house much but it sure is functional for our needs!  This room is actually Brent's dressing room - I know, he's fancy! - so that dresser is alllll his.  The chair was one that I grew up with in my dad's shop.  I did not realize until we were done with this project how perfectly it fit in there.  The wall o' clocks is also something my dad had tucked away at the shop.  It plugs in and all of the clocks work!  When it is running though, it is SO loud so we opted to hide the cord and have it non-functioning for now.  I made the mirror when I was 16 years old.  If you find yourself in the guest room, give it a gander and I'll tell you all about it.  Perhaps not internet appropriate.  I'll likely need to put it away when Rio really starts to read!
The Jack cribbage board was something I found at an antique store randomly.  It was another one that I found right when the room was finished.  There was an existing nail already in that spot and the piece fit perfectly between the two doors.  I have toyed with moving it higher but for now, it stays. 
Yes, there is one corner not shown!  All that resides there is a constantly-used treadmill and an old printer's press drawer that I have filled with my tiny finds.  ZB (our crazy cat) loooooves to knock things off of it. 

There you have it, our guest room!  I really love passing through there and the environment we created.  It's been an enjoyable process getting it to this point.  Who knows how it will continue to evolve?!  Want to stay the night??
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