Friday, July 31, 2015

ZB Unleashed

Six months with this guy.  Where do I start?  This cat is the CRAZIEST feline I've ever encountered.  Absolutely no surface is out of his reach and he'll play with (and eat) anything and everything.  His leaps are epic, his antics are jaw-dropping, and his energy barely rivals that of our toddler inhabitant.  Luckily, his nutso escapades are balanced out by his lovey-dovey nature and his companionship to Rio - they are quiet the pair.  Hard to believe this is the same guy.
What I didn't expect was how healing his presence would be for me.  Just a few months before ZB came into our world, we had lost our senior Sammie and our kitten Opal.  After Opal passed, I beat myself up about what we could have done differently but now I fully realize that she was never a healthy kitten and that we likely extended her life considerably.  I'm not sure I would have found peace with that without ZB.
He's tops.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Work of Art

Rio is an artist.  The youngest one I know.  My mom, a prolific painter herself, deserves the credit for getting a paintbrush comfortably in the kid's hands.  They sit listening to music and let the brushes do the talking.  Some days, she'll come to me and ask to paint without her Granny around.  She loves it.  I love it.  In the past eight months that she's been painting more frequently, you can see an evolution in her styles just as you can with her language skills.  It's amazing, really.
I realized the other day just how many paintings she's amassed and decided to photograph them together.  There are others that we've hung in her room and there are some floating around at my parents' house.  I've had fabric made out of one so far, with more to come. 
Color Paint me impressed.  And proud.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Sew OK 2.0

This past weekend I journeyed across the state to attend my second Sew OK.  I loaded up entirely too many projects and hit the road after waiting for the torrential rains to pass in a Goodwill which was a treat upon itself.  The event was again held at the regal, and oh-so-haunted, Skirvin.  I packed in the majority of my meals to save a dime or two and left all of my work business at home.  I was set.
I roomed with the always lovely Mary and kept fine company with the gals of Owl & Drum.  Gold, those ladies are!  Just like last year, I was unexpectedly floored by the wonderful folks that I met and those that I got to know better.  Every time I participate in something like this, I'm learning more and more what a fabulous and endearing community the sewing world is made up of.  (And that they aren't afraid to let loose and have a few drinks!)
Lizzy House was our teacher for the weekend, guiding us through her Meadow Quilt.  I knew nothing of her before the event but quickly learned that she's a master for designing stellar fabrics and quite the seamstress.  I made just one Meadow block before moving onto other projects.  I couldn't find the motivation to continue on the Meadow at the retreat but I would like to revisit it one of these days.

Last year I worked almost exclusively on the largest quilt I've ever made but this year, I didn't bring any in-progress projects with me!  Hence why I brought 500 possible projects along.  I had no game plan!  So what did I end up making?  I'm glad you asked!  Two Itty Bitty Baby Dresses (one was gifted to another attendee at the event) two Wiksten dresses for myself (no photos of those yet!), half of a Whiskers block (worked more on that last night finally), four pillow cases for my mom made with fabric featuring her paintings, and of course my one completed Meadow block.
I was a little blindsided that weekend by some work stuff that I HAD to take care of before Monday so I actually opted to head home Saturday evening.  Wasn't the original plan but it was what I had to do.  I know, much vagueness.  :) 


I still had one more thing to tend to before I left town though - a vintage fabric run!  Remember the great fabric haul of 2014?  That HUGE fabric warehouse that I got to pick through?  Well, the orchestrator of that grand moment in history had decided to clean out her picks and passed them all along to me.  I know, right?!  Our washer and dryer have been quite busy since I returned while I clean and prepare the fabric to be used and sold.  Exciting stuff!  To me, at least.
So thanks, Sew OK for being awesome yet again and for giving me an excuse to take a solo road trip!  Now back to unpacking...

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Sew Much Sewing

Prepare yourselves for a month's worth of sewing recaps.  You've been warned.

Let's start with this month's quilt.  It started as paper piecing practice squares and just sort of grew.  I learned to make these blocks at Crafty Weekender several months ago and then shelved the project until recently.  I have a TON of baby blankets needing to be made and when I started listing them out, I knew these half-finished blocks would be perfect for one of them. 
While it's not perfect, I'm sure happy with it!  I hope its recipient will be too.  They're a non-social media type bunch so I'm free to talk about it!  :)
The backing is an old sheet.  Not vintage surprisingly, but bold and colorful like my friend!  In fact, nothing in this quilt is vintage.  Shocking, I know!
The quilting took a bit of time but I think it was time well spent.  I'm working more on improving quilting details (like burying threads instead of back-stitching) which I'm sure makes no difference to anyone but myself.  :) 
Next up is a pincushion!  At the beginning of the year, I joined the Tulsa Modern Quilt Guild.  They have monthly challenges which I participate in intermittently.  This month was a pincushion swap that I wanted to try and do so I did but not without its challenges.  This was my THIRD try at a passable pin cushion and was finished just last night.  It's due tonight.  Procrastination for the win!  I used this pattern but with my own tweaks, of course.  It feels very 'me' and is something that I'd be happy ending up with so I think it will work!  In related news, I pulled out the ol' jewelry stash to finish it up and am feeling inspired to play around with beads again! 
A fellow guild member loaned me the Geranium Dress pattern a few months ago.  I relate this dress to the great floods since I was working on it while mitigating flood waters!  I wish I had made more of these because they wear SO nicely.  I was honestly surprised I liked it so much!  It was really straight forward and came together quickly once I was able to focus fully on it.  Plus it has pockets so that's worth 50 points!
We're nearing the end!  Earlier in June, we celebrated my mom's and my sister's birthdays.  I celebrated by making them each a bag.  I'm in LOVE with making these!  I want to make a million more.  This one would be my mom's and she uses it daily.  Makes me all sorts of happy!  (I have loads of this exterior fabric in my shop if it happens to tickle your fancy!)
I also made my mom a tiny pillow out of a shirt that she gifted to me several years ago.  The shirt was almost ten years old and wasn't getting any wear by me so I decided that it would have more life as a pillow for her!  It was ridiculously simple to make and is the perfect size for the kid to use when she visits her Granny. 
And finally, my sister's bag.  Same as my bag and my mom's, just with different fabrics!  Let's talk about those fabrics for a moment.  Vintage exterior, Dr. Who pockets, and lined with sheets from our childhood.  Top that off with a little bag pizazz from Cat Buttons and you're on your way.
Next up?  Getting projects prepped for Sew OK!  It's NEXT weekend!

¡Hasta Luego!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

An A+ Weekend

Once in a blue moon, I have a stellar weekend where I actually remember to take photos and then actually take time afterwards to recap for my future self.  This is one of those instances.  Lucky you, lucky me.

First, my sister is in town!  She flew in last Friday morning for a quick visit and we're having a grand, laid back time.  She's our first official house guest in the new abode so that's been fun.  Rio is LOVING having her around, as are we.  We kicked things off by having our folks over for dinner, drinks and some Cards Against Humanity.  Try playing that with your parents.  Belly laughs galore.  During this visit, my sister also gifted us with song.  She recorded 'Rio' for Rio and it's fantastic.  Hear it for yourself.  The gift that will forever give.
Saturday was a whirlwind of goodness.  Rio and I first met up with my best friend and her two little girls for some kid-focused time at Philbrook.  The second Saturday of every month, they open up the museum for free and fill it with all sorts of kid activities.  I've been to Philbrook approximately 5 million bajillion times, but never while this was going on.  It was wonderful!  We will definitely be going back.

Fast forward several hours after a quick cat nap, I was back out on the town with the ol' bff without the kiddos.  We were headed to a concert (more on that in a minute) but ended up smack dab in the middle of Tulsa Tough on the way.  Up unto that point, I was a Tulsa Tough virgin and now I wonder why I waited so long.  It was amazeballs.  The energy of the crowd, the speed of the riders, and the excitement of everything coming together was indescribable (even though I've tried my best to describe it to everyone I see).  Oh, and there was a double rainbow after a random rainstorm.  The race ended up finishing up RIGHT when we needed to head over to our concert.  Serendipitous?  I think so.
Let's take a trip down memory lane now.  Many years ago, my bff introduced me to this band that was impossible not to love.  Kunek.  And when I say introduced, I mean we got to know the band.  They were talented, kind, humble, and fun.  We saw them several times over the years and before we knew it, the rest of the world discovered how talented they were and they blew up.  I'm talking opened-up-for-Radiohead-in-Europe blew up.  Yeah.  Over the years, they changed a few members and rebranded as Other Lives.  You may have heard of them.  They finally made their way back to Oklahoma last weekend to play at Cains and m'lady randomly won free tickets so of course we went!  Hell, we would have gone without free tickets!  It was a great, great show and we got to say hello to some old friends and reminisce some great times.

Our night wasn't over yet!  After THAT show, we headed to another show!  My mister's!  Brent started playing drums for a new band called American Shadows at the beginning of the year and the fit couldn't have been better.  They've been playing shows left and right and are even working on recording an album!  It's been awesome.  :)  It's not often that I'm able to get to one of his shows though but this night was different!  I love being able to see him in action and that night it was the icing on the cake.  The end of a perfect day!
Sunday started out slowly, of course.  We headed over to my folks' house later in the day to celebrate my sister being in town and her upcoming 30th birthday!  It was great fun getting together, as it always is.  I topped off that day with a grand nap, lesson planning, and binge TV watching.
 
The weekend may be over but the excitement still continues!  Tonight I'll venture to see a family favorite and the band my sister used to tour with, Tears for Fears.  Tomorrow, my sister will be performing at Main Street Tavern in Broken Arrow (come out!), and then it sounds like we'll be doing all we can to keep the house from drowning.  The fun never ends!

Until later!
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