Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Quilting Is NOT My Thing

What is it about new moms that makes us think that pushing a baby out our birth canal somehow suddenly makes us capable of taking on new hobbies??  When Evalie was first born, I could not STOP buying beautiful fabrics.  My idea at the time was that I would just use them as photo backdrops.  But, then I had all these lovely huge pieces of fabrics just laying around...I mean, I might as well just make them into blankets, right??

But, then after a multitude of pillowcase-style simple baby blankets (which were NEVER straight by the way), I realized that some fabrics would make really great quilts.  So, why not just throw some squares together?  I mean, how hard could it be??

REALLY REALLY HARD.  So hard I seriously think these will likely be the only three quilts I ever make in my lifetime.

Well, until I have another kid one day. 

This was my first completed quilt.  I used fat quarters as the large squares and then just quartered those for the rest.  I used a plush minky for the backing, so I didn't do any batting.  I also don't have a nice edging on it.  But, it's warm and cozy and matches our family room.

The quilt below was actually worked on long before the one above, but took longer to complete.  My mother in law sewed the vast majority of the front of this quilt, because I was too scared and KNEW I couldn't sew a straight line (really...I can't...)  Then I added the roses with buttons by hand, which were made by Evalie's Auntie Karen for her first birthday party.  I chose all these fabrics, because I liked the whole "Rose" theme for Evalie ;)

Last, but not least, the one below is my favourite.  It's also probably the most POORLY crafted out of all of the blankets.  There's a hole in the back.  The ruffled edge is a mess.  And, a lot of the "squares" aren't square at all!  But, I love the fabrics, and so that's what makes me like it.

This will likely be the only post I ever do about quilting.  I have no intention of doing this again.  Truly, this is a hobby for people who don't mind bloody fingers poked with needles, constantly threading and rethreading countless bobbins,  or the many hours spent tearing apart mistakes.  I've heard from some people that they enjoy quilting because it's calming, exciting to see the finished product, and soothing.   For me, it was mind-numbing, frustrating, and angering!  Even though I WAS glad to see the final products ;)  Sewing/quilting is not for me! 

Organizational BLISS

I love organizing.  A lot of people love this art...yes, I refer to it as an art...and with the lovely addition of pinterest into our world (where has this entity been all my life!?) there's not shortage of great inspiration out there for fabulous organization ideas.

Fortunately, I've had a little time and energy here and there to implement other people's suggestions...and here are some pictures to prove it! lol ;)

My utensil drawer before...

...the utensil drawer after.  I put the nice red utensils in their container on the countertop, added a few properly sized spots for shorter utensils (ice cream scoop, potato peeler, pizza wheel, etc) and kept the long ones in the other container.

Thank you IKEA for these great vertical organizers!  No more having to dig through an entire stack of lids, baking pans, and cutting boards to find what I need.  Woo hoo!

The project below reminds me of a good organizational principle: remember, sometimes the CONTAINERS can become the CLUTTER.  You have to be careful not to buy too many unnecessary boxes, bins, and drawers.  I bought these because they looked pretty and were on sale.  But, the reality is that they cluttered up my windowsill in my tiny bathroom, and I was easily able to put these containers inside the medicine cabinet instead of having them out gathering dust.  Eventually, I might take them out again if I'm feeling like some pretty-ness, but right now I'm feeling like less is more.  It's all about the ebb and flow.

Our medicine cabinet is actually inside our linen closet...organized by ailment.

Lots of drawers on our shelf in the laundry room (which I previously posted about).  I used my cricuit for most of these fancy pretty labels that you see...printed them on my printer, then cut them out using thick cardstocks that coordinate with whatever room the containers go in.

An idea my friend Katy thought would work well for me.  A "To Go Upstairs" basket on each floor (well...except the top - lol!)  A handy way to keep all those baby shoes, hair items, missing socks, etc ready to run up to their home.  Just always grab a couple items on your way!

Scrapbooking room...also previously blogged about :)

Have I mentioned how this "three basket rule" has SAVED me?!  I have one for "ironing," one for "mending," and one for "to be put away."  It works SO WELL to keep the top of the machines clear!  You could also make your three baskets different - whatever you need them to be ;)

Thanks for looking!  And, hope these organizational spots in my chaotic life will inspire you :)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Apologies...another lapse in blogging.

 Life has been so busy over the last few months.  I know life gets busy from time to time...and I have to say this spring has been one of our busiest seasons yet...at least if you don't count times when we've been moving.

But, just to give you an idea of all that's happened since the last time I blogged...here ya go:

- Evalie, the most precious and wonderful part of our world has:
 turned one, started walking, started using all her signs and keeps learning more and more, is getting closer and closer to no longer breastfeeding (but still going with the before bed comfort feed), randomly started crawling even though she never did before, had pneumonia and her first ever round of antibiotics, broke her first two molars putting her teeth collection at 8 and counting, oh and did I mention that SHE TURNED ONE!?

- We've been traveling lots, and are planning on traveling even more:
 multiple trips to Oregon and multiple visits FROM Oregon family, a nice long vacation in Hawaii (Kauai is AWESOME!), trips to Victoria to visit friends, lots of wonderful houseguests from Ontario, and soon our own trip to Ontario...it's WONDERFUL getting to see so many people that we love!

- House-wise, there are always a million organization and cleaning projects.  We have been furniture shopping, completing little details on different rooms (soon I will blog about them so you can see how things have turned out!)...and I've been obsessively trying to get things into organizational systems that work for our space.  LOTS OF LABELS - thank you to my cricut for that!!  I find that much of my life is consumed with just trying to keep smashed bananas cleaned up off the floor and windows clear enough to see through.  The toilets, laundry, and dishes are all handled in an emergency-crisis manner...only when there's finally mold, nothing to wear, or a weird smell can I try to catch up with all of it. 

- Creatively, I've been working on lots and lots of scrapbooking.  I'm trying to get caught up just to the February mark, so I can then dive into the Hawaii trip and all these other wonderful visits and adventures I want to document.  With all the organizing and scrapbooking I've been doing, it turns out I TOOK WAY WAY WAY TOO MANY pictures in 2011...I have 2 albums of Evalie's 365 books to finish up, 4 regular scrapbook albums, one newborn pro album, and one family pro album...YUP 8 albums for the year of 2011!!!  That's nuts!  This has GOT to slow down.  I'm hoping to reign it all in and get myself back down to 2 albums per fiscal year.  

In short, thank you for still reading this blog.  I know it's pathetic, and terribly under-kept.  But, more importantly thank you for sharing in LIFE with me over these last number of months.  Thank you for being a part of our memory making through EXPERIENCES that we've shared.  I miss you all so much - those friends and family far away throughout this beautiful country and wide wide world.  Stick around for more fun stuff to come...well, once I am back from Oregon, Reno, and Ontario ;)

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