Remember this?
I try to live by it.
Some days I do a bit better than others.

I just made version 2.0, but before it hits the shop,
I am giving one away.

Would you like a little reminder in your home?
Four simple words.
Simple in meaning, but not as simple to actually live out.

How can you win?
This week you are going to have to work for it.
{Remember, leave a new comment for each entry.}
1. Post my button on your blog.
You can grab the code on the left sidebar.
2. Do something nice for someone.
For no reason.
3. Write someone a sweet note.
4. Call someone just to encourage them.
5. Visit Lu Bird Baby and leave Kristin some congrats
comment love. Baby Wesley was born last night.

Comments will close at noon on Friday August 5th.

Now go love God and love others.

After all of my dreaming (and drooling) over amazing craft spaces, I decided to stop whining about my space (a.k.a. the dining room table) and do something about it.

Something simple, something quick, something happy.

What makes me happy?
The quilt.
What did the mailman just bring?
A 20 x 30 print of said quilt.
Where can I hang it?
No clue...

So as I sat at my sewing machine pondering these questions, I looked in front of me at the giant 4 x 4 foot canvas that has been bugging me since the day I painted it 3 years ago.
That is where I wanted the picture to go.
But I didn't want to just ditch the canvas.
Nor did I really want to buy a giant frame for a giant price.

Enter the paper quilt experiment.

I took a pack of Heather Bailey paper
which had exactly 12 different prints.
Then I cut each paper into 2 inch strips.

Here is my stack of 16 different "quilt blocks".
I made sure that each block had 6 different prints.
No real science to this.
Random is how I like it.

I used my tape runner to attach six strips to each 12 x 12 piece of cardstock.

Then I grabbed my dear friend Mod Podge and a brush.
While I let the kids go wild with glue sticks on their craft table, I poured out nearly a whole bottle of the Mod Podge and went crazy with glue of my own. The foam brush was quickly ditched for a much more useful big bristle paintbrush. Similar to the Quilt Along, I just lined up each block and smoothed it down.

Then I used my staple gun to put some aqua ribbon across it.
Finally, I put the matching french clips to good use attaching the picture.

One hour later.
One thousand times better.
Is it too girly and crafty for a dining room?
But not for my dining room.
So if you don't sew, you still can make a sweet quilt,
and if you come over for dinner you can eat next to sweet baby feet.

Come to the land of make believe with me.
The land where my house suddenly sprouts
a room addition. In that room addition is
cheerful, organized happiness.

In my dreams I sew here.
I iron here.

I blog here.
I am the most organized person ever here.

I arrange peonies fresh from my garden here.
I create magic here.

One day...
until then, my perfect studio is being created in my imagination.
It is amazing.
I can't wait for you to see it.

I wish my curly hair was funny and charming.
It's not.
It used to be amazing.

But, as with most curly girls, I wanted straight hair.
Straight blonde hair.
Thus began my long, damaging, obsessive
relationship with bleach and my flat iron.

But, late at night I have been lured
into the world of the InStyler.

Don't you just love infomercials?

My favorite parts are always when the person is using
the old product, the screen is black and white, and they
get insanely frustrated over the simplest things.

It would be as if I stand in my bathroom, in black and white,
trying desperately to properly use my flat iron.

But sadly it is much too difficult for me.

So I make a really mad face, turn to the camera
and the voice over man says...

"You need an InStyler!!!"

I don't need an InStyler.
Luckily I have mastered my flat iron.
But if any of you do, they are running a
buy one get one free special.
(why would you need two I wonder...)
So, if you happen to have no clue
what to do with the free one,
I'd be happy to take it off of your hands.
I'm here to help.
You don't want me to live angry,
frizzy and in black and white do you?

I would like you to meet Heather

"I started Angel Face Designs to give myself a creative outlet while staying home with my young daughter, Leila. I'd been given a handstamped name piece as a gift and loved it. One day I was just staring at it, and I thought I could probably figure out how to do it myself. I ordered some supplies and starting working on it. I started selling to friends, and friends of friends and after about the hundredth person asked for a card or a website I decided to set up my little Etsy shop. My "I love you to the moon and back" necklaces was one of my first ever. It was inspired by one of my daughter's favorite nighttime stories, "Guess How Much I Love You" and it continues to be one of my best sellers. I am so appreciative to my customers who continue to amaze me with their kindness and inspiration. I love doing what I do!"

If I could build a neighborhood and handpick my neighbors,
Heather would live on my street.
Her sweet Leila would play with my girls,
our dogs would be best friends,
we would drink coffee,
shop, craft and listen to
New Kids on the Block together.
{She's a Jordan girl, I'm a Donnie.}

Then we would blog and have great giveaways.

But since we aren't neighbors,
how about a great giveaway anyway?

Heather is giving away your choice of item from her shop.
For reals.
Your choice.

Here is how you can win:
(remember, please submit a new comment for each entry.)

1. Visit her shop.
Come back here and tell me your fave item.
2. Visit her blog.
Leave comment love.
3. Follow her blog.
4. Follow her on Twitter
5. Call someone (on the phone) out of the blue.
For no reason.
Just to tell them they are awesome.

Entries will close at noon on Friday July 31st.

hangin' tough.

the speed in which our days are passing has
never been so evident. Miss Janey is making
me acutely aware of this fact every day.
they do grow up too fast.
they also are not a fan of group pictures...
but this is them,
and it makes me laugh.

I am trying to be less busy cleaning and crafting,
unless it involves cleaning their little hands after
a bit of time crafting along with them.

Some days I am brilliant. Present.
Some days I fail. Miserably.

Michelle shared this sentiment.
Tears were involved as I read...

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

- Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

The same Michelle that is the
winner of the LuBird Baby Giveaway!

Kristin is offering a free mini felt flower clip
with each purchase from her shop.

Fly on over there.

After you snuggled your little
(or big) ones of course!

the critters have been spending much of their free time
(and cornstarch)
outside doing this...
while I have been spending much of my free time baby cuddling...

but next on our list is making new wall art for their room.
I can't wait to watch them make these initials,

and it is nearly time to make this year's version 2.0 of this from last year.

drop what you are doing and go paint!

is too busy to notice that
her sweet and easygoing
baby girl fell asleep in her exersaucer?
the kind with way too much going on.
who is trying to do too many things.
who somehow was blessed with a daughter
who needs nothing more than a blanket and her
thumb to drift off into dream land.

I need to take more time to snuggle with her.
not because she needs it,
but because I need it.

I will never get this time back.

I have been intrigued by the wardrobe refashioning movement.
Add in the major de-junking that I have been doing room by room in my house and I suddenly have a high percentage of my wardrobe that could use some refashioning.
Way too many times in the last few days, I have asked myself "now why did I think I looked cute in that???" and bags upon bags have been plopped on my porch to be enjoyed by happy Freecyclers.

In the midst of all that cleaning I did set aside
a box specifically for future refashions.

Meet refashion #1
-Simple white hand me down sun hat.
Very useful. Very plain.

-Three "quitter" bathing suits.
(in my crazy vocab a quitter is anything where the elastic has quit being elastic-y)

All it took was a show on the DVR,
some scissors,
a needle and thread...
to make Janey a new {to her} hat.

grown up feet...
not cute.
chunky baby feet...
on a bright happy quilt...
crazy cute.

when I heard the theme for I Heart Faces
this week was feet at first I thought
but that all changed with this happy picture.
the picture that I just ordered a 20 x 30 of.
to put in the craft room that I don't have.
but I can dream.
I never thought I would ever finish a quilt...
so maybe someday I will have that craft room.
until then I am always going to remember
Janey's tiny feet.

Here is the super honest (I promise) truth about
my first adventure in quilting.
{feel free to catch up on the back story here}
Out of all of the things I have ever made,
this quilt is by far my favorite.
A huge part of my love for it involves that fact that I can't
believe that I actually finished it.
Or that I actually loved every single step.

It didn't hurt that every step was
simply illustrated with pictures here.
I big puffy heart Old Red Barn Co.

With my whole heart, I want you to know, that if I can make this, so can you.
Skill wise I would rank it a 2 out of 10 in the difficulty scale.
I am not kidding.
Not a 2 from a person who is a professional,
Parsons School of Design trained seamstress.
A 2 from a self taught, real person, who only sews simple things.
Who is horrible at following patterns,
has insane A.D.D.
and sneaks in craft time as the critters sleep.

Rotary cutting.
Straight line sewing.
That's it.
It took me less than 10 hours from start to finish.
Just four Monday's worth of nap time.

The only hard parts were choosing the fabrics
and battling my A.D.D. when I was ironing the seams.

What always held me back was the thought of actually "quilting" the quilt.
I know myself.
I know my skill level.
I know my severe lack of patience and detail.
I know my sewing machine.
I know that if I attempted to quilt it,
I would have to break up with my sewing machine.
I also would probably have to go to the ER for a
broken foot from kicking said machine.

I felt like a failure when I decided to send it out for quilting and binding.
But then REAL quilters told me that is what they do as well.
For their quilts that are real works of art.
With curves, patterns, details, things that I could never ever do.

So I got my quilt ready to go to Back Porch Quilters.
I pressed all of the seams,
clipped all of the threads,
made the backing out of pink and white polka dot fabric,
included batting,
one yard for the binding,
(as soon as I found out they did binding too I did a little dance)
folded it all up,
said goodbye and gave it to my mailman.

Within days Mr. Backporch Quilter called me to discuss thread color and quilting pattern.
I told him how clueless I was, and if he could help me pick.
Quickly he put Mrs. Backporch Quilter on the phone.
She advised me on thread color (I used Pinky Pinks)
and when I told her the pattern I was thinking about (Waterworld) she kindly suggested that pattern might be a bit too busy for my already bright and vibrant (read busy) quilt.
Together we chose Alfresco.

A little over a week later my quilt returned to me.

I didn't pre-wash my fabric or binding, so when I did thrown it in the wash it would wrinkle and crinkle. I think that is actually my favorite thing about it.
How it is so new, yet already looks well loved.
This quilt is 5 x 7 feet.
It could have been bigger, but thanks to my lack of details, I mis-measured and didn't pay very close attention while I was cutting the squares.
12 of them came out the wrong size.
But, 5 x 7 is a perfect size for a twin bunk bed.
I am going to make pillows out of the leftover blocks

Halley would much rather play dress up, than be bothered with posing for a photo, but each nap and bed time I tuck her in under her quilt and she looks at me and says:
"Mommy, thank you for making me a beautiful quilt."
While she is off in dream land,
she doesn't notice that many of the blocks do not line up.
Or that it is far from square.
She just cuddles under the warmth and love made for her by her mommy.

I rarely make anything more than once.
It doesn't take much to bore me.
Shockingly, I already have fabric picked out for three more quilts
and I simply cannot wait to carve out time to work on them.
That is how easy this was.
That is how much I loved making it.

So find some yummy fabric.
(All of mine is from Etsy. You can find
great 1/2 yard sets here, here, and here.)
Grab a rotary cutter and sew.
You will never know if you can do it unless you try.

Happy quilting.