I know this much is true   

Monday, June 23, 2014

Quick Note

So there's a giveaway that one of my fave blogs (May Chappel) to read for inspiration is having.  It's called MY Favorite Things Giveaway. But I think we are either siamese-twin broken up spirits OR she has complete access to my brain, bc they are all of MY favorite things too!

Awesome fabric and sewing stuff. Check it out here if you love that stuff too.

wonder clips
awesome fabric 15 YARDS WORTH PLUS:
bloc loc ruler
carolyn friedlander patterns
creative grids ruler
rotary cutter
AURIFIL THREAD
nail polish
quilter's dream batting
dear stella rainbow THICK charm pack!!
violet craft fabric
sweet as honey bundle
Sara Lawsons NEW Jungle Ave
and a few special from the creators of C+S

You have to see the pics to believe it. How special is this lady?! This is bigger than my fabric hoard, and she's GIVING it away!! What a sweetheart :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Feedburner Woes and Theft of Copyrights

It's been awhile. Hi blog. Haven't forgot about you.

Last month, for about a week, I stopped getting the blogs I love SO much that I subscribe to thru feedburner.  The first thing I do is Google. This has been an on and off problem since 2011.  GRRR. And WHY did Google take away Reader?! What a stupid stupid move. I almost feel like moving everything off Google because of it.  So it took a week to figure it out.  Now it's happening again a month later. It's super frustration.  The only good thing I can say, is that I found an extension on Chrome that I can use, that makes Feedly look like the old Google Reader. The only thing you can't do is search within your own blogs. That was the best function ever. Feedly makes you pay for it, which I will never do, and Bloglovin doesn't have it, although I have mentioned it four times in a Beta test I did for their app.

Does anyone else have any problems receiving (email) from the blogs they subscribed to thru Feedburner?!

In other news, I found an app on my (new) Android tablet called Sewing Tutorials. It's a free app, but they basically stole blog or Youtube content from a handful of talented people without asking them. I took 3 hours out of my life to do some detective work and email them. They took website content from Sew Mama Sew, Tilly and Buttons, Sew Can She, Gertie's Blog for Better Sewing, and from some other wonderful talented people's YouTube. Oh, and the Allfreesewing site. Just because it's "free", doesn't mean you compile a bunch of awesome people together, and call it an app. Even if it's free. I have heard back from a few of them that emailed Google. If you have Android, it's called Sewing Tutorials with a cartoon-y looking app. I thought it was a first place ribbon at first, but it's a blue button with a couple pieces of washi tape. It's a pale yellow background, but the word Sewing is in white, in a child-like handwriting font on a pale green background. If Gertie or Tilly emails me and says, Thank You, it will be ALL worth it ;) Of COURSE I heard back from Sew Mama Sew...but we all know SMS is awesome :)

I'm making 2 baby quilts for the weekend, so I'm excited to post about those. My first completed projects for my blog :)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Awesome giveaway: Cotton+Steel

My favorite LQS, Pink Castle Fabrics, is sponsoring a fabulous giveaway to win a year's subscription to the Cotton+Steel monthly subscription club on one of my favorite blogs: Lily's Quilts. The winner gets a monthly bundle of 12 FQ: 9-10 prints & 2-3 basics. The bundles for purchase come in FQ, 1/2 yd, and full yd increments. Go to their website: pinkcastlefabrics.com to order your bundle today!

I got to meet Brenda last year when she turned her online store into a real store in Ann Arbor. They carry the best fabrics! They carry all the well known designers like Moda, Art Gallery Fabrics, RJR, Michael Miller, Riley Blake, Liberty, plus super awesome Japanese fabrics like Yuwa, Lecein, and Kokka among others. They also carry other types of fabric besides quilting cotton like linen, canvas, voile, double gauze, and I think they might be getting some knits in this summer! They also carry an awesome selection of paper patterns for quilting and sewing patterns! And one of my favorite things in the whole world: a beautiful selection of Aurifil threads! I love going and spending hours in the shop. In fact, that's my plan for tomorrow morning, because they have hundreds of  fabrics on sale for 40%!!!  That is the biggest sale I have ever seen there! They are moving out a bunch of great prints and solids to make room for the spring/summer/fall fabrics that are planned to be released later on this year. I'm super excited because I have some GCs from Christmas that I have been wanting to spend, but birthday and mother's day money! I haven't been getting gifts this year, just requesting money for fabric that is supposed to come out later this year. But with this sale, I might have to restart my savings for that collection! So make sure you enter on Lily's Quilts. So far theres not quite 500 entries!! I am REALLY hoping I win this one because it's so awesome!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

New bloglovin app? and other things

1. I'm SO sick of stupid Kim Kardashian and her stupid wedding. I think she is the most disgusting person on Earth. To try and spend $2m on a dress when there are SO many people suffering each and every day,  is absolutely infuriating. I just think that whole family is vile. But it's not totally their fault. It's everyone's fault that buys into that. SO STOP IT. There are WAY better people to waste our time on...that actually have a talent. I can do whatever Kim can do, and not to brag, but can do way better.

ok, so that vent is out of the way.

So for some reason, I was asked to try out a new Bloglovin app they are working on. It's not like a brand new app, it's just a way better version of the one they already have. Now, I follow something ridiculous like 4500 blogs. I have followed *so* many quilting and sewing and anything to do with fabric blogs. But when I first started following quilting blogs, I used to follow a lot of different blogs that seemed interesting; DIY blogs, craft blogs, beauty blogs and lifestyle blogs. And if they have frequent giveaways, the better. I'm not talking about the Giveaway blogs and review blogs, but just regular blogs giving away gift cards, or jewelry, or even some Ad space. The kind where it's actually possible to win, and doesn't have 100K entries.  I didn't realize that at first about giveaway blogs and kinda just went wild with that. Now I'm stuck with a lot of FB pages I don't want about reviews and products without real blog content, and have followed my maximum on FB pages and Twitter accounts a few times. Because I can't scroll through my feed, it's been stuck at that high number for a long time. I'm excited to finally be able to delete some of those! So now I try to be very exclusive on what I follow, keeping it limited to anything sewing related or blogs I truly like to read, like Whispering Sweet Nothings or The Foley Fam Blog; those 2 girls are so sweet and awesome.

There wasn't a huge difference on the new mobile app, except now it actually functions for me like it's supposed to!!! It has a cleaner appearance, which is always a great thing. The other thing is that I can actually scroll through more than 5 blogs. I'm not even exaggerating. Seriously, that is what the other mobile app let me do, which is super mega frustrating.  I get just over a hundred blogs that I covet, emailed to me daily so I don't miss a thing! I will be so excited when the new app is out for everything, especially for people having the same problem as me! Anyone else out there have that problem?

So I mentioned that I get blogs emailed through Feedburner to me. For some reason, for about the last 2 weeks, I noticed that I was missing a ton of blogs, but was getting just enough for me not to notice for about a week. I figured everyone was just busy getting ready for market!! I'm happy to say that it's back to working normal since Monday (thank you, God!)!! Sometimes I just do skim through my email, but I will keep it around if there is something I truly need to read about, or if I want to pin something for future reference. My Pinterest is super strong in quilting and sewing, I'm proud to say. And of course food. I have been using subcategories under Food for awhile. I have at least 10 subcategories each under quilting and sewing. I still have my first Food board to break down still, and that can stay like that for awhile. If I have time to do that, then I have time to be sewing.

Other the weekend, my Aunt (my mother's sister) 's mother in law passed away. She was in her 90s, but she LOVED going to BINGO. She was there the first time I played BINGO. I was 18 and won some Christmas (or it may have been Thanksgiving) Jackpot of like 300 or 500 bucks (it was longer ago that I would like to admit). When I came back a few weeks later to play again, I got bombarded at the door for my license, because the regulars didn't think I was old enough to play. That was because I looked 12 when I was 16, and 12 when I turned 18. She was an awesome lady. My Mom picked up some really random BINGO fabric at Joann's and I spent my Sunday whipping up a blanket for her. The funeral was today, and she is either going to be buried with it or it will go to one of her family members. Has anyone else been asked to make a special quilt for someone to be buried in? It's kinda awesome to be asked to do that. Like, something you made, will be with someone for ETERNITY!!! It's kinda mind-blowing when you think about it. It wasn't even anything fancy.

I subbed for first grade today. We went out for recess around 3pm. They were super rough while playing "soccer". There was about 12 boys and 1 girl. A few of the boys were playing rough. One would "fall", and then a couple of kids would "fall" and tackle the first kid. And in this game, it was ok to run with the ball away from everyone else, then when you get a chance, put it down and try to kick it as far as you could in the other direction. The girl got tripped because someone grabbed her shirt and she went down. Then she accidentally got kicked in the head. There were other teachers out at that time, so I warned them like 5 times to knock off the roughness or I was going to take the ball. I say "knock off" frequently. Stop please, doesn't really work. Neither does "knock off", but it makes me watch what I say so I never accidentally swear in front of them. I get flustered on my words sometimes. "Stop" doesn't always come out "stop". So then I just had to take the ball away because someone was going to break someone's arm or neck. When I went back in, I gave my lecture on why I had to take it away and why I was disappointed that they didn't listen. (because that's part of the job. You have to explain but try not to yell at them). The para-pro in the room (who is super nice and helpful) kinda exploded, because I guess this has been an ongoing issue for the year. The Principal had even put it in the morning announcements for that classroom. So I basically got the first grade class banned from playing soccer for the rest of the year (3 more weeks). Oops. I felt really bad about it, but my nursing background makes me *very* wary of kids bouncing off one another on the ground. I really don't need someone to get hurt on my watch. More than you even know.

I would post some new pics of what the app looks like, but I don't even know if I'm even allowed to talk about it. I didn't read the terms and conditions. I don't want to lose my BL privileges since my new app finally works the way it's supposed to. I gave my feedback already, telling them this is the greatest thing to happen to me this week. I told them now they need to come up with a search function within your subscribed blogs, and it will be as perfect as Google Reader was. I also told them that Feedly has it, but ever since I learned they built the function but made you pay for it, I will no longer use them. I'm not paying for something that I used to get for free. Not gonna happen here.

My best friend flies in from NYC tomorrow so he can attend DEMF in Detroit this weekend (it's an electronic music festival). I haven't been in like over 10 years, but he still goes. I just pick him up, have lunch, hang out a bit, text all weekend about what the other is doing-the horrible people he runs into (like my Ex) and laugh about it, and then drive him back to the airport on Tuesday.

Next Tuesday is my daughter's last day of high school :/  I am not sure how I feel about it, but I know I'm kinda sad about it. I want her to still be young so she has to hang out with me all the time. haha. She's my favorite person on this Earth! I hope everyone else has a great and safe Memorial Day weekend! Remember why we have this special day and thank the people you know who risked their life fighting for this country! I would like to virtually thank all the men and women who have fought to keep this country free for me to be able to do whatever I want. :)

Monday, May 12, 2014

SMS Day Giveaway!!! May 2014

***EDIT: Sorry for getting this post up late. My laptop literally died when I restarted it to put up the pictures. Which leads me to apologize for the crappy pics. They died with the laptop and I'm just using the ones off my phone***

I have known about SMS Day and have been entering since 2012. You can read all about the day at sewmamasew.com.  I think it's about time I give something back. Every time it comes around, it kinda comes up when everything is kinda crazy in my life, and I don't have something awesome to share. So before we get to the good stuff, I would like to share some super important information for females, and I appreciate you taking the time to read it before you enter or coming back and reading it later.

I started this blog after I Googled quilting in fall 2011. My sister had passed from cervical cancer at the age of 29 on August 7, 2010, and I was 31, and I was looking for a hobby to help work through my grief. She was diagnosed with Cervical Cancer Stage 3b in January 2009. She had been "leaking" urine when she laughed hard the summer before, and it was getting progressively worse. She had just finished all her exams and graduated from Eastern Michigan University, to become a teacher. She worked as a Store Manager of a Burger King, for the same owner/boss since she started working there at the age of 15. Fast food restaurants do not offer health insurance for all employees (at that time; it may have changed with the Obama Care thing). In fact, to qualify for health insurance you must have a title of "assistant/manager" and work full time at 40 per week. There are two options to choose from, Crappy and Crappier, and then they deduct a chunk of money from your check. My sister was making MORE money working at BK, than she would as a teacher, and every time she went to leave, her boss just kept raising her salary. She was very loyal, but she was getting too old mentally and physically to work there. (This turned out to be a good thing for her; her bosses were so incredibly giving while she was sick by keeping her on PAID leave for over a year, and were paying for the "better" insurance out of their pockets for her) So in the fall of 2008, she made an appointment with a urologist, (but she had to see her primary doctor to get the referral-so add 3 months), and saw him after 3 months. He did a cystoscopy (put a camera/tube up her urethra- aka your "pee hole"), and did some "examining" around the area. He said to make an exam with a gynecologist. He saw a tumor in her vaginal canal, but didn't bother telling her that. She made another 3 month-from-now appointment with a OB-GYN for January. On December 17, the pain that she had been having in her abdomen became much more severe, so she, her fiance Frank, and my Mom, went to the ER. They did a bunch of tests, and sent her home with some pain meds. A week or so later, my Dad called me on my way home from work, and told me that my sister had been diagnosed STAGE 3B. She didn't even get to her scheduled OB-GYN appointment yet. They started treatment immediately, and my life completely changed forever. At this time, I'm a RN and have experience from working at my first hospital on their Oncology floor for 3 years, and worked at St Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, for over a year. I have only worked on Oncology floors, so I understood the treatments and prognosis, and what each entailed. My stomach flipped and I knew how serious it was. Her cancer was the size of a softball (i think?), but had not metastasized (moved to a lymph node or other organ) yet. To make a long story short, she had missed her PAP smear for over 2 years. Cervical cancer is caused from HPV, which is a STI that you can get by SKIN to SKIN contact. You don't even have to exchange any fluids or have intercourse. You can get this by friction. It's possible to get, even if you both can have underwear on! (according to some reputable websites I found during researching: HPV and Cervical Cancer). Cervical cancer has been known to develop on it's own as well.

There is a test that can be done every year to detect if there are any changes to the cervix, such as abnormal cell growth or surrounding infections, and it's called a PAP smear, and it's exactly for detecting cervical cancer. It's been around for a long time. It's the not-so-fun doctor appointment, where you put on a gown and lay on the table in stirrups, and the doctor takes a special Q-tip and swabs inside you for cells to test. One of the cervix's job is to tighten when pregnant, so the baby doesn't emerge early, so it has a very special job to do. The government has recently changed it's policy on PAP smears, from getting them annually to once EVERY 3 years. They changed this to try to save money on "unnecessary" health testing costs. It is true that the majority of tests will come back negative, but this can be deadly for the small amount that have an abnormal test result. Sometimes insurance even states that you shouldn't start getting tested until you are 25!!! Lots of women will get normal results every year, but I think it's dangerous to wait that long for the women who may develop cancer rapidly, like my sister. I suggest that you get a PAP done every year starting when you are sexually active or after you turn 18 years old; whichever comes first. I would suggest to my daughter to get one by the time she is 21, if she is not yet sexually active. A really nice woman emailed me today, said if she would have waited until 25 she would have not gotten treatment in time, and could have died. You need to be an advocate for yourself and demand this every year! The last that I knew, most insurances will still pay annually for one, but "suggests" testing every 3 years. Please tell your female friends about this, if you feel comfortable enough to discuss it with them. Please ask your adult daughters if they are caught up on their annual PAP. My mom feels incredibly guilty that she didn't ask, although it's not her fault. Your friends and daughters may pass the info on to their daughters or their friends, and even if 1 woman is saved, that will make me incredibly happy! For them and their loved ones! I believe my sister got one of the 4 deadliest strains, and both her and I were not vaccinated with Guardisil (a vaccination a girl can get to help prevent the deadliest strains of cervical cancer)  because we were too "old" when it came out. I'm not recommending the vaccine, to each their own, but I have provided the link to their official page if you are interested in reading about it. (Plus I never like to jump into a new treatment without years of post-research, if I can avoid it). It has been out for about ten years now.

 There are like 80 strains of HPV or something like that. It's not the same strain that causes warts or herpes. Sometimes HPV has no symptoms at all, and it's possible to contract and go away on it's own. It says that cancer can take years to develop, but I don't think that is necessarily true in every case. My sister drank alcohol occasionally and was a social smoker, but she did not sleep around (as far as I know). Her boyfriend before her fiance, cheated on my sister and got that girl pregnant. I think it may have come from him, but I hate to make an accusation like that without finding out for sure. Plus it's not like he did it purposefully. This is why it's important *I think* to get a PAP smear annually, especially if you have ever had a past positive test for HPV, or  have had any findings in your PAP smear that may indicate abnormal cell growth. Remember, HPV sometimes does not show any symptoms at all, until it is too late. Many people do not know they even have it, and that's why you should never be embarrassed if you get it. It's not because you are a bad person.  The PAP is not needed if you are pregnant, because your OB should be checking down there frequently anyway. The technology for HIV/AIDS have significantly improved, and thankfully isn't a death sentence anymore, but 20 million Americans have HPV currently, and it's growing. That's one of the reasons why it's also important to get checked out for STI's as needed. Please see here for the government's Center for Disease Control on cervical cancer, to find out more. If you are going through Menopause, you still need to get your annual  PAP exam. It's still possible to get cervical and ovarian cancer after The Change. Please discuss this with your primary care physician. If your doctor says that you no longer need one, that is the old recommendations. Please remember my sister, and be an advocate for yourself and firmly request one if your doctor doesn't think you need one. You may just be saving your life! When I started working at the hospitals I was blown away by the amount of people who have or had a diagnosis of cancer. It's even more than you think! Thank you for reading this. It means a lot to me. SO now let's get to the good stuff!!!

So I started quilting to help with my grief. I've made a bunch of blankets and a few quilt tops, but have never completely finished them (or blogged about them). But I got some new books to help with that. Since Google Reader died, I have found it easier to keep up by using Instagram. I follow as many people as I can who quilt or sew cute clothes (my other obsession)!




I *am* giving away Heather Ross fabric "scraps" There are 9 pieces total of various sizes. But I have to be honest with you. I bought these from thegreatfabricdestash on IG. The description read "Heather Ross scraps $20". I saw the gnomes and fish, and pounced on it. I was super excited, and couldn't wait until they came. When I opened up the Ziploc, I became less happy. Most of the "scraps" came from PJ pants. These are the first HR prints that I have, besides Briar Rose. I wouldn't have bought them had I known they came from the PJs. I am 99% sure the photo did not show this or was left in the details , so I felt duped. I don't know if they have ever been washed or not, or the history, because I bought them as "scraps", I didn't care if they were washed or not, and I already have pets so I didn't care. My cats come into this room, but don't go by my sewing area, just to let you know. I have a dog, but he stays on the floor or bed. I know that this does not matter to some people, and I know there are HR maniacs (no judging here!) out there that would love to have these! So instead of trying to resell them and make up a fair price -are the PJs even worth as much as the true fabric?!- I *finally* remembered that SMS day was coming up, so I have been holding on to them to giveaway! As you can see, my blog has taken last priority lately and I wanted a bigger audience to have a chance to win these. I have a bunch of projects in progress and I feel confident to finally start to share them here.

The first pic is of the pieces I got that are obviously attached to PJs, except for the dotted fabric. It got cut out of the pic, but the pink gnomes have buttons on them. The bike fabric is folded over so you can see the hems. The dotted fabric is pulled down to show you the selvage, but it's folded exactly in half from selvage to selvage. You can see the picture I posted on my instagram account here, which shows it better. (sorta-it IS from my crappy phone). The other pic I posted is here on IG. As you can see the fabric is switched around in the instagram pics. The coke can is there so you can see how big the fabric is (without me measuring it!)
Pic 1: Pink Gnomes, Sushi and Bikes have definite hems


Picture 2 contains fabric that has been cut with scissors and do not have any sewn hems. The dots above do not have hems either. There are 5 pieces. The striped fabric in this picture is folded in half, and you can see where the wrong side of the fabric is showing at the top. There are: blue gnomes, bags of fish, goldfish, a small pink bike and stripes.
Pic 2: Blue Gnomes, Goldfish, Bags of Fish, Pink Bike and Stripes.

RULES: I'm following the rules from sewmamasew.com. This giveaway will close: Friday, May 16, at 5 pm PST/8 pm EST. I will choose a winner by a computerized randomized draw program. I will try to email the winner by 11 pm, on Friday May 16th EST. I will ship the prize on Monday, May 19, so please respond within 48 hours, by Sunday, May 18th by 11 pm*EST/7 pm*PST, or I will have to draw a new winner, and I don't want to do that!!

I know that some people don't like Rafflecopter, so I made the first question super easy. Just tell me what way you follow me in the COMMENT section. PLEASE make sure you click on the rafflecopter so it can count your vote! Email me (ksmith8@emich.edu) if you have any trouble signing up for Rafflecopter, but I think you just add your email and name to it, and you are done. I promise it's super easy. I wanted to use an electronic counter and not have to go through all the comments myself to see if people did what they were supposed to do, to make it fair for everyone!

EDIT: I made some changes to the rafflecopter on Wednesday May 14, at 9 a.m. I forgot that some people do not have or want a G+ account. I accidentally switched my blog out of blogger to G+, and I can't go back to Blogger. I couldn't remove the original first question in the rafflecopter that asked to leave a comment, so now it's a bonus 5 point question. The new rafflecopter allows you to leave your answer within the rafflecopter box, and if you want to leave a comment below for the same question, you will get 5 extra points. I wanted to be as fair as possible, and that's why I went with rafflecopter.

Thank you very much! I appreciate you taking the time to read this post, more than you know! And thank you to SMS for hosting this awesome event.  Good Luck to all of you, and click here to go back to more giveaways for supplies.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Confession

...I was in a weird mood in my last post. I was probably up too late or up all night and wrote it in the morning...either way, I'm too lazy too look.

So I have been into sewing since 2011. Around that time, late into the year, is when I started finding more and more quilting sites, online fabric stores, Etsy, Craftsy, and my favorite: blogs. One of the first sites I found was Craftsy, and I purchased one of the first quilting classes they offered. No joke. There was like 5 to choose from, and now they have dozens :) Good for them, and good for me if I had the funds to purchase them all! Luckily there is so much variety, that I can take what I *really* want to learn.

I have sewn a few blankets, a baby quilt with minky on the back that I did really quilt per se, a bunch of tops-some with flannel, and I've been working on my first "real" quilt for a few years now.

My confession is that I have not EVER finished a quilt!! When I first started, I was a fiend. I "borrowed" the sewing machine I got my daughter for Christmas one year, hoping that she would find it fun, like I did when I was her age. That didn't really happen, so I must have known that some day I would be using it when I purchased it. It's a simple Singer with like 30something decorative stitches. It's really all I need.

Two years ago, I really wanted a free motion foot for my machine. My Mom wanted to get it for me (I don't remember the details or why she did it) so she went to the closest Joann. They have a Viking store in the middle that sells sewing machines and parts. They told her the foot would mess up my machine, the tension would be off, and I would have to get it serviced. Now, at this time I have only been learning for about 6 months. It freaked me out. Everyone makes tension sound really scary. I've been really scared, up until around the past Christmas when I was checking out my manual, and figured out where the ?bottom tension was. I was taking apart my machine to clean it, and I totally figured out it was some tiny screw-slot that held my bobbin thing together. I can't believe I was so scared of this, and I found out where it was. They made it sound like it was in the soul of my machine, and I'd never be able to get to it!!!

Now, I haven't actually messed with it much, but I *am* setting it up this week, and going to practice some FMQ so I can quilt my first *real* quilt. I say "real" because it's 100% quilting cotton. Some of my other tops have flannel in it because my Grandma made most of our quilts (the later ones before she stopped quilting 15 or so years ago), with flannel. We live in Michigan, and the winters are cold. The first quilt I got that was *all mine* was mostly yellow patchwork. I love it so much. My sister got a pastel blue color. Then she made me a pink one to match my room. I literally hated to wear pink growing up, but for some reason I gravitated towards pink for my bedroom colors. SO weird. I didn't even like pink that much. I think I picked it so I wouldn't be the same as my sister. Then I also have a gray quilt with some blue and pink fabric in it. I'm not sure who *owns* it, but I've had it on my bed for awhile. She had a cedar closet that my Grandpa made for her, and she kept her supplies in. When you took home your quilt, it smelled SO GOOD. I've read that cedar isn't the best to keep quilts in, but pooh on that. It isn't an heirloom and I will adore that smell for the rest of my life! My Grandpa passed in March 2007. My Grandma is still alive, but has had Alzheimer's since he has passed. We think she had the start of it before my Grandpa got sick. It's hard to tell, because sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between someone getting older and someone that is getting dementia. They practically raised us in the summers when my parents were at work. We were over there every weekend growing up. My other set of grandparents died before I was born, so they are very special people in my life.

Later after I'm checking my 564 emails, I will be linking up my *first* real quilt! I just didn't want this story attached to the post. It's so embarrassing to admit! I feel like there is going to be a major change in my life soon, and I welcome it! I've been stagnant for way too long, and I'm excited for a change.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

April: Spring, bunnies, chicks, eggs, baskets, pretty, presents, candy, hopeless futures, failure.

I'm scrolling through the emails on my phone that have been left unattended to for a few days. I get a lot of blogs sent to my phone so I don't miss something. That doesn't matter, because I feel like I miss something anyway. I find that Bloglovin is stupid and slow on my computer, and annoys me. I don't like Feedly. It's ugly and stupid, and makes you pay for a subscription to SEARCH for a term like "skirt" in your blog list. I feel like I begrudgingly allowed Google to hook it's tentacles into my computer parts when I allowed to access to "see" what I do on my computer for it's analysis, and then once it figured out how much I really liked Google Reader around and forgot about it spying on me, it posted it's breakup with me all over town! How hard is it for Google to maintain such a small simple thing as a generic blog reader? I don't get it at all. If he thinks I want his new and "improved" cousin G+, then he is sadly mistaken. His cousin rolled in like he was going to be this super suave big-time incredible thing that ever happened to my life, but in reality he just messed up my blogger comments and whenever I see him, I just get a taste of total regret on the back of my tongue and my nostril starts to twitch into a snarl. Talk about a major disappointment.

So I'm seeing WAY too many posts on colored eggs, pastel ribbons, newborn baby bunnies and chicks, and cookies. Yeah right, ok-so not really the cookies, but this Easter-before-the-month-of  annoys the hell out of me. I like to linger in the holiday that is actually happening. In craft world, you are always living for Next Time. These must be the same people that work in small chain drugstores that started that whole thing.

Did you know that Easter is NOT about bunnies or chicks, pastels, baskets, eggs or candy?! My generation of late 70s-early 80s kids totally changed the world, by changing the actual meaning of holidays. Or maybe it was our parents. Most of the time I don't know the reasoning behind it. I'll start at the top of the year to show you exactly what I mean.

Jan: New Years Day. Not much happens. Sometimes you have a baby-sitter while your parents go out. You sometimes have a week off school left to enjoy.  The rest of the month is half days for Presidents Day. Don't ask me why, because I don't know. I think MJK's birthday is thrown in there.  Or maybe it's next month. I'm not looking it up. In school we trace our hands or cut out construction paper that's already traced and make a pic to represent a pink hand holding a black hand. Equality is being molded in our small little minds. This is a good thing. In a couple of generations we won't even need to cut out hands anymore. It will just be that way.   *** A lot of people home school. I never knew that before I started reading blogs.

Feb: UGH. Vday. If you are not in a new relationship, this day is pretty much a major let down. If you don't have someone, you feel bad about yourself...until you get older (and I mean older than 30) and realize that you like yourself much better than the "men" that populate your current location. Then you secretly celebrate by taking a bubble bath, eating a mini box of chocolate and watching a movie that YOU want to watch as gross thoughts enter your mind like: millions of couples are doing it all over, and I'm so glad that's not me right now, haha. (because I'm totally relaxed from my bath). As kids, you make a card for everyone in your class and pass them out. required cards equal no losers back then. You have a class party.You get excited because you only get juice to drink, and everyone's Mom knows Hawaiian Punch is where it's at. Even if it's canned Hi-C it's still pretty great.  It's also Black History Month. There is probably an assembly and more time off school in honor of that.

March-Spring starts/Winter ends. 17: is St Pat's Day. Do you even know who that is? But we all wear green and pinch people that forget to. Even if we aren't Irish. BUT kids aren't allowed to pinch anymore. I'm glad I was able to grow up a pincher. And creepy little Leprechauns. Did you know that you are supposed to hide gold coins to find in your house now? I didn't until last year!!!!  Sometimes Easter is in the month.  Which means Ash Wed was about a month ago. Which means nothing if you aren't Catholic.

....Unless you have a kid named Ash, which I happen to do, and when they ask you what it means when they are checking out the calendar, then you get to make up a ridiculous story to tell them. Like, all Ashleys are made on that day and special people are picked to be their parents. It's like a clone experiment, but you get to pick out exactly how your kid is going to look. The government only picks a few people and it's top secret. So if you tell people about it they won't believe you. For a few years they think about this until they realize you make up ridiculous stories like that habitually for fun, never to be mean.  Before they catch on, you can make references to that date all year-round.. Like: Ugh. I knew I should have went with red hair on Ash Wed., or I hope my Ashley will be taller than me. The Gov. said you would be. *this makes sense when you get to June.

Easter: Not about bunnies, chicks, eggs, pastel colors, cute things, baskets, hiding colored eggs, the Easter Bunny or candy. I'm not sure how getting a small basket of jelly beans and a tiny stuffed rabbit turned into the 40$ monster baskets you see at Walmart. Kids get crazy presents now. I remember when the Dime Store went out of business in my town. My parents actually gave us baby albino bunnies on Easter once. I was about 4 going-on 5, and my sister was about 2 going-on 3. They pooped constantly all over the house when we took them out of their cage, so we only had them for a few weeks. This was something my Dad could not live with, I guess. After realizing the Easter Bunny was a bad mother and couldn't even take care of her kids, and counted on me to be a surrogate mother, my 4 year-old self had failed, as well. A few years later, and definitely not enough time had passed, we found out my "uncle" Gary ate them. He ATE them. My pet rabbits. His father had always raised rabbits to eat, and I remember going over there once to see them before we got the bunnies. My uncle was definitely drinking too much beer when he told us and said it so seriously we didn't believe him.  Then it hit, because I remember his Dad's house and his backyard of rabbits, and we believed him. We were definitely a bit traumatized that we let down the Easter bunny (mother) and allowed her kids to be eaten by my hungry "uncle". I was like 7 when I found this out. So I definitely felt super guilty about this, for a long time. My mom was one of those parents that said " little kids lie, and they don't know what they are talking about, that Santa and EBun is real", and I believed her because she was my Mom. I was like 12 when I let myself realize they weren't real. And she still wouldn't tell me. I don't think she ever has admitted this yet.

April: Spring! Easter! Sometimes a late snow storm or a heat wave.

May 3: My bday. Bring cupcakes to school and cans of Hawaiian Punch!
Memorial Day weekend. We get a day off to get together for a BBQ at my Grandparents house.
June: SUMMER VACATION!!!
      27: My sister's Bday.
     * on June 11, 96 my little Ashley was born 3 days after my junior year. This was before Teen Mom, so I didn't know any better (sarcasm).

July:  4th....too hot to do anything but swim. We didn't have central air until I was 20. My parents had a tiny one in their bedroom that Ash got to sleep in every hot night. I could sleep on the floor when it was super hot. Imagine being trapped in a 10x10 room with 3 people that snore like bears.  Guess who was the loudest? me. I was born without a fully developed trachea. This is the theory on why I snore (for real. My mom actually got a nurse fired after the nurse showed my 19 year old Mom all the babies with tracheotomies. My Mom freaked out and was inconsolable. I was her first and her mom just passed away from breast cancer) Anyway, if I ever have to sleep in a public situation I spit this out when people tell me I snore loud. As if it's their fault I snore loud. Their attitude changes when they realize it is congenital. 5 feet tall and 100 pounds, I was the loudest snorer in the room.

We didn't go on many vacations. We went to Tennessee to visit extended family a few different times. And the car trip from MI to SC-Myrtle Beach. That was when bright tie=dyed one piece bathing suits with the stomach and back cut out, but the sides were still attached, were cool. That was the first time I realized that I was fat. This came from my mother who said...maybe we need to get you a new kind of bathing suit. You are getting heavy. And I look down at the pink exposed rolls and get really mad. Why was I allowed out of the house if this is what I looked like? This is a turning point in my life and this is what I hear every day for the rest of my life.

August: Again more hot weather, but we're getting ready for the good months ahead. School starts, and we get to get school supplies, and some new clothes and shoes. Woo!t! Kmart sweat pants and trapper keepers

Oct: HALLOWEEN!!! Glow sticks just came out and are super cool, but they also promote safety, in case a car decides to drive on the sidewalk and they can see you are real, by the super cool glow stick you have around your neck. Sadly these only last about a day. You wear a costume suit made out of plastic with your favorite character. Berenstein bears, care bears, superman, ninja turtles..you pick. It came with a flimsy mask with elastic thread stapled on, to hold it on your face. You could never really see out of the eye slits very good. You had to be careful, because the elastic usually breaks by the end of the night. Candy, candy, candy. My second favorite holiday. Thank you, starving mischievous kids from hundreds of years ago. You are awesome.

November: Thanksgiving. People had dinner, and it was mostly Turkey. We usually visited family. Once my Mom did Thanksgiving at our house when I was 5 and she said "never again". She kept that promise for over 20 years. Cool Parade on tv

December: Christmas.Cool Parade on tv. We got a big gift from Santa, and some other gifts that were stuffed animals, books, clothes, and other toys from my parents.  I got a Super Nintendo in 7th grade, and that was a huge gift. Because we loved my Aunt's waterbed so much, my parents got us waterbeds when I was in the 4th grade. It was so random and I loved it. I'm positive it was not taken care of properly. But if you don't have AC in the summer, then that is the best thing to lay on, to sleep. The heater gets turned off, and the water bed gets super cold. The winter is the best, because you can crank the heat up, and I'm pretty sure it's like sleeping in a womb.

I named all those events. I left some out, like the Super Bowl, Mother's and Father's Day, and others that I'm probably totally forgetting about. We never decorated. If we did, it was the kids who made stuff, and our parents let us hang it up. My Mom didn't sew us up elaborate costumes or place mats. We dyed eggs using a box setup. She doesn't have an area that she changes for the season. She didn't participate in that creepy hiding Elf ,or leperchaun coins. I'm pretty sure I would have been terrified of leprechauns coming into our home. Plus in 8th grade a bully used to call me that because I'm short and have red hair.

.... Now I realize he had special emotional problems. He had to pick on the weakest quietest person to feel better about himself. He probably shouldn't have tried to keep trying to hang out and be friends with the popular crowd. If they were in a bad mood and the bully was annoying, he would get called the F word,  and then I knew my day was about to be ruined.  Because he was always in 4 out of 6 of my classes.  The F word is the worst insult anybody could be called, at my school.  When you think about it, there are SO many worse things to be called. Like, my best friend and I, used to call this kid Cat Molester in the 7th grade. I guess they were just trying to break down people, until they magically confessed they were the F word. I really do live by some really dumb people.

Oops sorry for that rant....So Christmas: We decorated our tree with ornaments we made at school. (we still do). We have stockings with our names glitter-glued on.  But we understood that Santa didn't have an endless sack of toys to bring to us.  I honestly see the next generation of kids and newborns completely losing their shit, because they can keep up their real lives with their Pinterest Boards. That causes major anxiety and depression, folks! When is it reality, and when does it become so much work that you can't enjoy the moment, because you are blogging about the next-next holiday?

 I'm the kind of Mom that thinks a blow up Alien is the coolest thing to have, and tells their kid it comes alive at night.  And that their boyfriend visits from a spaceship and tells her when he will be visiting. My kid was born with extreme skepticism. She knew if she squinted her face at me that it only took me 3 seconds until I laughed and blew the whole scam. She stopped believing my stories at age 5, but that didn't stop me from trying.

(For some reason, I don't care about the rest of the holiday decorating, but Easter really irritates me. Most holidays are created by religion or tradition. How in the hell did a Bunny take over America to represent when JC came back to life after being brutally murdered? That is my interpretation of it. I'm not religious, but I believe in God and I'm spiritual. I'm VERY open minded, but this one makes my socks stink. It's just crazy.)

That's why I sew.  Or try to. I love looking at blogs. It is very time consuming, but I like to do it. People will link up 8 quilts and a new out fit they made for every month.  It's taking me a few months to complete something. And obviously I don't really blog about it. I sort of feel like I don't measure up. But then again, I don't really care all that much to change. I don't have an audience to feed. I don't feel the need to make a pattern that has been made SO many times before. I have seen 3 new Plus X patterns out this month. How hard is it to make a bunch of +s? Especially since a really big name just released that pattern. I don't want to be a person that puts out unnecessary duplicated crap. No offense, because I really don't mean to be mean about it. I'm talking about myself. I haven't found my niche at all. I only have myself to blame. I'm afraid of failure. I'm afraid of being frustrated and wasting my time (and money). I don't want the pressure of it. I'm afraid of not being able to "keep up". I would love to be friends with the quilter people in blog land. I just don't have the money to keep up. I'm in a weird point in my life that I didn't plan for. I went to college, and now i don't know if I want to be a nurse anymore? I should be doing it, but I'm not ready, so I better make a decision quick because I can't live like this anymore.

I would seriously love to sew with free fabric all day long. Sometimes I get so jealous of that. I want a box of  free fabric shipped to my house. When I see people with a fabric pile that weighs more than my body, and I have a pile that won't complete one quilt, that makes me super jealous. I realize *I* have to make some decisions so *I* can have bolts of fabric to create magic with.  Because I have it in my mind, but it's hard to draw on paper, and it's even harder for me to buy. I find that my biggest problem is deciding what pattern I want to use with the fabric. I have a coveted Nordika collection that I don't know what to do with.

My Goal for this month is to make that a plan. I will have a plan/pattern on what to do with that fabric. I will also finish my Washi dress. I'll talk about that later. I can't believe for the first time in my entire life, I'm upset because my bust is too big.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

what's happenin'

Today is one of my favorite days of the year. It's my best friend's and another good friend's birthday! They are some of my favorite people :)

I have been thinking a lot and I want this year to be a lot different. At the best, I have been sluggish in life. I have taken this horrible thing that has happened and destroy me. I really am a figment of who I used to be. There is some positive things about that,  but a lot more negative things. So this is the year to get it back! It's hard when you reach an age where you think you are "old". I feel like it's too late, and it's never too late!

On Thursday I went to Joann's to get a new cutting mat. I have a 15% coupon I have all the time for substitute teaching I can use. I haven't been there in so long that I don't think I renewed my coupon. BUT I had my little flyer of coupons that gets mailed to me every few weeks that had a 15% off crafts. It had a couple of exclusions, but I thought almost everything would count except for my fabric (because they had a 15% fabric coupon that starts today). I had a mat, a rotary cutter, some triangle rulers (in one pack), 3 yd of fabric for my Washi dress, some Pellon Interfacing, and a pack of bobbins. I spent 3 hours in the store debating if I wanted to buy a $13 18x24" mat compared to a 24x36" mat. I couldn't figure out that math that my board was half the size of the bigger board, which was $25. I decided to go with the smaller one because I cut on the "puzzle board", that came from a kitchen counter cut out from the sink. The bigger board was too big to cut on without going off the wood. I could just see bad things happening.

My car spent the night at Joann's because there is something wrong with the battery. I called Esurance's Road Side Emergency service. I was very irritated for a lot of reasons. 1) It was starting to snow, the wet heavy kind, and it was freezing outside. 2) They said it would take 50-90 minutes! 3) I have shitty friends and need to make new ones 4) No one could come help me 5) Esurance will only send out ONE service!! EIther you get gas OR a jump. I requested gas because I had jumper cables.  I couldn't believe it. He did put some gas in, and he acted like he didn't know if he was supposed to be paid or not. I gave him a $10 and just wanted to get home, and told him to put in ten bucks worth so I didn't have to stop for gas. JUST incase it was out of gas. The guy was around 50ish and had really chapped lips that might have been a cold sore, that I tried not to look at because I know that I looked 16. I was wearing my glasses, no makeup, and an owl hat. I just look like a kid. I know that he knew how much gas he was supposed to give me. He came in an Auto Recovery truck with a light on top of it. So he got out his little portable battery machine. It didn't work because those are crappy. He wouldn't listen to me that he needed to leave it on for a few minutes. He said my gas froze in my line. Thankfully my Mom left work and came and took me home. It took 3 hours to warm up, and my muscles were sore from shivering.  The next day Dad and me went out there, used my jumper cables, and it started right up. It wasn't cold enough either day for the gas to freeze in the line for the 3 hours I was in the store.

Like everyone else in BLog Land, I have some goals.

This month I want to complete my Washi dress and decide what I am going to do for my Nordika quilt. I also want to use my Pink Castle Fabric coupons to get some Rapture fabric. I can't believe it's taking THIS LONG to get it. I was thinking flying geese or stars. I need to just pick already.

I have quilts to make for
-Dad
-Ash
-Mom
-Aunt Debbie (I should also make one for my Uncle Ted and Uncle Henry while I'm at it)
-Brett
I have a baby quilt to quilt and bind that's ready to go.

I also want to make more skirts and dresses. I will get more specific in the future and share what I'm making of course. This post was just to get some stuff out of my mind. I also want to start journaling more, and I think I'm going to write through my blog. I don't really care if people read it or not. I want to connect with my followers more. I also want to participate in more blog hops that have to do with quilting or sewing. It's time to get going already and stop being shy! I feel SO boring and uninteresting it's really pathetic.

I have some vintage sewing books I want to post about. I am going to start my Washi dress today, so maybe if I get something done, I'll have something to show you later! Or at least tomorrow! Hope you all have a great weekend!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy New Year

So I suck at blogging.  I have already planned to take my blog back to recording my sewing projects. I have not started any quilts or dresses in SOO long. Last October I took some sewing to my LQS, and I took my cutting mat. I left it in the car and it warped. I tried to set really heavy things on my pool table in the garage to kinda warp it back into shape, but that failed. I asked for one for Christmas, and thought I was getting it, so I didn't rush out to get one. Well, I did not get one for Christmas and it has been snowing for 3 days with a wind chill. So of course I haven't ventured outside to go get one. I plan on doing that today hopefully.

I had a great Christmas. It's always hard when you lose a family member, especially if they are in your immediate fam. My sister passed in 2010, and this is the first Christmas that I have felt ok about celebrating. It's really hard to enjoy a holiday when a major piece is missing. It's not like that are coming later, or live too far away. She's gone and won't be coming back. I think about her every day and I miss her a lot. I'm sure we would have been best friends later on in life.

So I asked for a dress form and an extension table for my basic sewing machine. I ended up getting both! Plus that cute mint cart from Ikea that everyone has (or wants). I built the dress form and sewing cart myself! My kid has been sick for most of her vacation with this horrible cough. I have quarantined myself into my bedroom so I don't get it. I've been realllllly lazy and have spent most of my vacation reading in bed. I have to clean my room tomorrow and reorganize everything. I was planning to do it AFTER I bought the mat, so I would get some inspiration (or major caffeine from Starbucks) to move some stuff around.  There is a Starbucks across the street from Joann's. I also got some gift certificates to Pink Castle Fabrics, and I want to get some Rapture by Pat Bravo. It is SO pretty! I also got the Washi Dress pattern by Made By Rae, and I'm hoping that I can buy a FQ bundle and have some left over for a dress!

I checked out a bunch of books on making patterns, other dress making books (Colette!!!) and a TON of novels. I have been using my Goodreads app to find books I would want to read, so I don't have to go through the aisles looking for something interesting. I could easily spend like 5 hours in the library looking for books. After this bunch of books, I plan on sewing. I haven't done any free-motion quilting, but I plan on learning that this week. I just have a bunch of stuff to do to make that happen and that's what I plan on doing this weekend!