Thursday, December 23, 2010

Procrastination and Anticipation

Today I ran around doing all the things a typical procrastinator does. I have perfected my ability to procrastinate. Maybe I should included something about procrastination in my New Year's resolution.... ahhh.. who am I kidding? I braved the grocery store yesterday, but didn't plan well and had to go back today! I really think half of the city was at the grocery store when I was there. I have to hand it to the boys, they behaved well. They coudn't hold themselves together the last five minutes, but we had been in line for about 20min. I was proud of them. By the time I got home, Daddy was already home and he was on a mission. His usual mission: cleaning the house. Everybody had a job. I swept and mopped, he folded and put away laundry, little elf put things away in his room while the big elf vacuumed the whole house. He did an awesome job! He even pulled out the attachment and vacuumed near the baseboards. The house looked wonderful. My little elves helped me in the kitchen again. We made cornbread to go with the beef stew for dinner. There is nothing like warm, out of the oven, cornbread to accompany the beef stew.

Although tomorrow is Christmas Eve, it will be Christmas in our house. The joys of being a nurse is that the hospital is always open and yes, people have babies on Christmas too! A joy and a sacrifice all in one. I have the day planned out tomorrow, we'll see how it goes. I love Christmas and I can't wait for the boys to finally be able to rip open boxes and bags they have waiting for them between the trees. To see their faces light up. I always remember the anticipation when I was a kid. I love to relive that in my kids. We will have brunch, hopefully get to go to service in the afternoon, I will make Christmas dinner and then we will open presents. Stockings will be filled that evening for them to open on true Christmas morning. We will definitely have to do facetime on our phones for that one since I will be at work. Gotta love technology! For now, I'm going to rest up for the busy day ahead. Good night!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Tree Party for Two

There is nothing like a Christmas tree that puts you in that holiday spirit. I'm a "fresh cut Christmas tree" kinda girl. I have always had a fresh tree in my house ever since I was small. It brought me such joy to decorate the tree. I took much pride in doing it. It was a meticulous process. I didn't even mind untangling all the lights and playing "engineer" when one light wasn't working. It was like a puzzle and I LOVE puzzles. Once the tree went up, I was set for the rest of the season.

Unfortunately, this year we didn't get a fresh tree. I'm wondering if that is why it has been harder this year for me to get into the Christmas spirit. I tried and tried to come to terms with the fact that it wasn't going to happen this year and just put my big girl panties on and move on. However, that was easier said than done. As brown shipping boxes started to appear in my living room from family around the country, it was getting harder and harder to not have a tree. I even tried to get an artificial tree, but I was shocked to see how expensive they were. Couldn't justify paying $80 for an artificial (that's after 50% off) when I could get a real one for $20. So I did what most mothers do.... lived my dreams through my kids. I started a new tradition.

I called upon my elves and we went on a hunt for two small trees. After driving around all day to a long list of stores, my final stop, my saving grace, was good 'ole Target. I got a two pack of 42" pre-lit trees for $20!!!! That's $10 a tree for each kid! For a tree that is about as tall as the smallest elf! Just can't beat that. I had them pick out their own ornaments that they wanted to decorate with and let them decorate however they wanted. I'm a bit of a perfectionist and I had to continually tell myself, "Let the kids be kids and decorate like kids." They did a fantastic job.

First artificial tree box I have ever opened.
{Little elf is in the background too excited for words}

Both elves "opening" up the tree
{Yes, mommy wound up doing this task}

Elves exercising their artistic abilities

Big elf wrapping beaded decor around tree

Little elf was frustrated with his beaded decor and delegated task to mommy so he could play photographer

Big elf hard at work

Little elf hanging his ornaments

Big elf and his tree.
{I love you too handsome man}

Little elf and his tree

Beautiful trees

It does feel a bit more like Christmas now. The boys had such a great time with their trees. They did a wonderful job. A new tradition has begun. Now to get their presents wrapped and put "between the trees". I definitely need to get the stockings hung up by the chimney with care. Since the elves hope that St. Nick will soon be there. Goodnight y'all.

PS. Has anyone noticed that the older your kids get, the more broke they make St. Nick? Just sayin'....

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Circle Blues

I have been working on the binding of this quilt for a while. I am so happy to report that this quilt is completed. I posted about this quilt earlier here. It was a great and easy pattern to follow found in Quilts and More magazine Summer 2010, designed by Julie Herman.

All folded up in front of my fireplace.
(you know you want to open it)


upclose photo of backing


This quilt measures 56x48". It is a very cuddly large lap quilt (or playmat) featuring 8 different blue fabrics on a solid white background. I raided my mom's closet last christmas for scraps. It turned out to be a successful raid. :) I love to open this quilt and just stare at it. I also love to just wrap myself in it. A beautiful winter quilt to cuddle up with a book or a loved one in front of the fireplace on a cold snowy night.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Day of Parties

Tis the season for shopping, baking, and of course... Christmas Parties!!!! While Christmas parties are great, having THREE in one day has officially worn me out. Especially when two of them involve 20 kids that have eaten 5 months of sugar allowance in about 10 minutes. Yes, I contributed to that sugar consumption with some help from my little elves.

If I am not crafting with fabric, I am using my next favorite medium: buttercream frosting made from scratch. This is the first year that both boys are in school together. Meaning, I have to juggle two Christmas parties. Fortunately the youngest elf's party started at 1:30pm and the oldest elf's party was at 2:30. I believe I make the cutest cakes and cupcakes (yes, that was prideful, because I do take pride in my sugar creations), so I signed up to bring cupcakes to BOTH of the boys' class parties. For those who are counting that is 48 cupcakes! After perusing the internet for the cutest ideas, I settled on melting snowmen. Something cute that the boys could help me with. They love getting into mommy's frosting and helping bake goodies. Actually, I think they wait to see how much of mommy's frosting is left over for them to steal so that the garbage can doesn't get the pleasure of consuming mommy's buttercream frosting.

Preparing for the challenge

My little elves helping at their "stations"

Oldest elf filling up cupcakes

Littlest elf giving it a try

Mommy and little elf attaching heads to cupcakes

Both elves admiring their work

Melted snowman

Melted snowman army
(They have no idea the battle of 40 kids they will enter)

My goodness this elf is soooo cute

My oldest elf. He's sooo handsome. What a little man.

So after I have prepared for and attended each class party. I whisk the boys home where I finish off the remaining cupcakes for my work party. There was NO WAY I was going to let those extras stay in the house! The snowmen that had escaped the vortex of kids, was about to meet..... the nurses!!! Not one snowman survived I am happy to report. I love my nurses I work with! They make my job enjoyable and so much easier. There is nothing like working with a great team.
My little elft, myself, and Gunilla
(She cracks me up!!! Watch out, between the two of us, you never know what will be said!)

Kylie, myself, Kara,and little Braylie
(Kylie lets me love on Braylie to get my baby fix. Kara is my craft partner in crime)

There are so many others of my partners in crime I did not get photo'd with! I truly love my girls I work with!

The best part of our party was our Secret Santa exchange and reveal. We have been giving and receiving small gifts all week.
I was secret santa for Aurora, one of our charge nurses.
(Oh the things I could say that would make you laugh so hard you pee in your pants)

My gift from my secret santa- oh the endless possibilities
(Absolutely my favorite part of the night)

So overall, today was busy, merry, and blessed. I am officially.... EXHAUSTED!

My elves are tucked away in their beds with visions of sugarplums in their heads. The clock will strike 6 tomorrow and I will dress in blue, to welcome the babies anew. Hand them to moms who's faces light up with joy, whether it is a girl or boy. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wife, Mommy, Nurse, Quilter

All of my jobs in order of importance. Unfortunately, only one of my jobs pays my monetarily. The first two pay me in daily blessings. Being a nurse I get paid to see little blessings being born. My last job is my way of blessing others. It has been a busy week for all of my jobs. All of them are demanding of my time, to which there are only 24 hours in a day. I've thought if I had another 24hours in a day I STILL wouldn't have enough time. My babies have been sick all week. First the little one. Just as he got well, the oldest got sick. Daddy and I have taken turns staying home from work to take care of the boys. The oldest helped me quilt a little today. Making sure I kept my squares in the right order and my sashing was of correct length. I chalk it all up to mathematical lessons. Seriously, try getting a 4th grader to figure out how much binding fabric you need and how many strips you should cut! That is one challenging word problem. I broke it up into sections of course. My little math whiz took about 10minutes to figure it out. :) I won't tell him there's an app for that. He's my little engineer. He builds fighter jets out of legos from his head. No pattern... no picture.. just the one in his head.

A jet he made months ago while mommy was napping with little brother. Isn't that amazing? He will tell you where the missles are and the bombs. It's amazing how that boy's mind works. Love that little man!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Twist on Christmas

I took a class at my LQS, Rachael's Fabrics, to learn how to make a twister quilt. We worked on a table runner. The girls at the shop were nice enough to pick out my fabrics for me. I was in a hurry when I went to purchase my kit. :( After I put the quilt together, I realized that they weren't necessarily the colors I would have chosen. However, learning to make the quilt was a blast!! It was simple and quick. I was able to finish the top of the table runner in 3 hours! It only took me about two hours to quilt and another 2-3 hours to attach the binding and blind stich it closed. I am going to do another one of these in black, white, and red fabrics. Perhaps a lap-sized quilt. I can visualize it in my head. It looks yummy and makes me smile with excitement. Unfortunately, this quilt will have to wait until the beginning of the year. I have plenty of projects to complete until then. I also have to somehow try to find time to START shopping for Christmas presents!!! It's so hard for me to believe it is already the first week of December! The following are pictures from my table runner.

The front

I LOVE the back

Echo stitching done in green. Stippling on border done in red.

Beautiful Binding

Christmas Twister

I can't say this is one of my favorites by any means. However, it is making a special friend very happy this Christmas. I'm glad she loved it and enjoys it. It was lots of fun to make! It would be a shame for it to stay hidden in my closet.

Have a great night!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Crafty Monday

I can't believe it has been several weeks since I have posted on this blog. That's how long it has been since I have been able to do anything crafty! I think my sewing machine was starting to think our relationship was over. I finally decided it was time to get the crafty juices flowing again. My husband and I went to Austin a few weeks ago. On this trip, I designed a quilt for my oldest son. He had requested one over a year ago and I couldn't figure out what I wanted it to look like. I finally got the design down and all the dimesions of fabric needed and cuts needed. I know what you are thinking... Awesome, she actually started on it and is going to share her progress. Nope. I just couldn't get into it today. Although I haven't been able to caress any cuddly cotten fabric lately, I didn't have the itch today either. Today, was tulle day. Yes, tulle. A new addiction. (As if I need any new ones )

 I have a terrible habit of not keeping up with birthday gifts. Every year my New Year's resolution is the same: "This year I will give birthday presents on time." It is now November, only about 46 more days until I make that resolution again. Maybe 2011 will be the year I actually accomplish it. We celebrated our friends' daughter's birthday the other week. Some know her as my "future daughter in law" to my youngest son. She is the cutest little girl. She has big cheeks just like my son. She turned four and I made her birthday cake (another one of my favorite things to do).

She is all pink and "princessy" (is that really a word). She requested a pink cake through and through. So I made a strawberry cake (with fresh strawberries in glaze in the middle) and homemade pink buttercream frosting. This was almost two weeks ago. Cakes I can make on time. :) However, her present was made today. A princess needs a princess dress. She has plenty of tiaras and slippers, but needed a princess dress. Hence, my tulle and a little inspiration from my friend Kirsten.

Her favorite priness is snow white. So a snow white halter tutu is what she got. She was very excited and tickled about her princess dress. I was tickled at how cute it came out and how cute she looked in it.

So a successful Crafty Monday it was. I'm addicted to tutus. They are so much fun and so easy to make. Maybe a tutorial soon... *hint hint*

As this Monday draws to a close so do my eyelids. Have a blessed night.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Straight Lines

I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while. Between the boy's soccer games this weekend and lots of babies at work, I haven't had much time. I worked diligently on the Around and Around We Go quilt on Monday. No housework got done (shhh... don't tell). I found the perfect fabric for the backing. It's a suprise... no pics yet. On Monday, I sandwiched the layers together and worked on the quilting. The "Circle Around" pattern, had the quilting as simple X's going through the squares. I liked the idea. The quilt had a "clean" look, the circles and quilted squares go together nicely. So the trick was getting those lines perfectly straight. Nothing like painter's tape to help do the job. I read this trick online a year or so ago and always remembered it. I knew it would come in handy one day. :) Simple, quick, and gives you perfect lines each time. I also use painter's tape when I tape my backing to the floor to make the quilt sandwich. It hardly has any adhesive and it doesn't ruin your fabric.

Voila! Nice straight lines. 

I got to work on the binding a little today. I decided it might be a good idea to actually do my errands and clean house today. I'm hoping to work on it tomorrow. This blanket is so cuddly. I'm excited to get it finished. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Around and Around We Go

I just absolutely love new toys! I get so excited when I find a new tool that I just can't live without. In the Summer Issue of Quilts and More I saw this cute quilt. I knew then I "needed" a circle ruler. Mind you, I have never done a quilt with circles. I loved this one, and I had the perfect idea for it. Even better, I had most of the fabric! Last winter, I had gone through my mom's stash of fabrics. In there, was a set of beautiful blue Christmas fabric. With Christmas around the corner, I thought, what better way to test out my new circle ruler than to make a cute quilt using these fabrics.

My new toy.
 I can't quite say we are "friends", but I'm getting the hang of it. Maybe I should make another quilt to try it out again. *grins*

Yesterday, after LOTS of help from my 9 y/o as my 5 y/o took a nap, I had a beautiful stack of squares just begging to be sewn together.

Unfortunately, it was time to make dinner and they were going to have to wait until today to see the sewing machine.

I can't begin to tell you how much I LOVE chain piecing! Currently, I am taking a quilting class at a local quillt shop here. On the first day of class, our instructor taught us chain piecing. At that moment I had an "AH HA!" moment! I was able to sew this whole quilt top in less than two hours!!!! That's 56 8" squares! Pinning the rows took me the longest. So after much help from my son (he's even holding this quilt up), I give you the finished quilt top.

Here is a close up of the fabrics used in this quilt. 
 Aren't they pretty? Can't you see yourself cuddling with it in front of the fireplace?

Now to find some fabric for the backing and the binding! That will have to wait until next week. :( Once this quilt is finished it will be available for purchase. Enjoy the rest of your day. I'm off to the movies with my boys.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A New Beginning

Welcome to Creatively Biased. I am creating this blog as a way to share the works I have in progress or have finished. This blog alone, is a work in progress. I am fairly new to the world of blogging; both in reading and in writing. I know, I need to catch up with the times. Eventually, as I figure out this new world, I hope to add tutorials and a shop for all the quilts and other cute stuff I have made.

Although I am fairly obsessed with fabric (yes, I admit I have an addiction to fabric), I do have other loves in my life. My husband and my boys bring me such joy. They truly are God's greatest blessings in my life. Along with quilting and crafts, this blog will often be sprinkled with cute snips and joys from my main loves in my life.

How could you not just want to squeeze these two handsome boys!!! I love those boys!!!

Thanks again for visiting! Please come back and see what creations are in the works.