Friday, June 25, 2010

my short list

I have several areas that I try to monitor in my life.  Things that I need to be on the look out regarding. For example, here is my short list of cautions that I keep an eye on:
  1.   stay away from poison ivy
  2.   don't go to the grocery store hungry
  3.   be careful to not purchase more plants than I want  to water keep alive throughout the summer 
  4.   I have enough bags/totes/purses
I really do well with #1-3 on that list.  But #4 kicks my butt all the time.  I love bags and totes and purses.  I have plenty, I really do.  But there is always just one more adorable bag, calling my name.  Last week, I found a short term antidote to my malady.  I made two totes for other people.  My friend Maureen had a birthday and she was gifted the blue tote because blue is her favorite color and she's a mom and every mom needs a cute new tote bag for their birthday, right!?  See, I got my bag fix tended to by sewing two cuties, and I didn't even keep one of them.  (well, one is still here at the house, but I'm planning on using it as a gift...really I am.)
I used Larissa's Deputy Tote bag tutorial.  If you've never made a tote before, Larissa's tutorial is a great place to start.  I followed all her wonderful directions and then I added some extras to make each bag a bit individual.  (thanks Larissa!)
*I put pockets inside each bag, because pockets are essential in a tote bag. 
*I added this flower which is attached with a pin for easier laundering.  The flower is just a strip of fabric cut with pinking sheers and gathered into a spiral.  easy peasy
*on this bag, I added the red grosgrain ribbon before sewing the side seams.  I like the punch of color it added.
 I had a fun time sewing and embellishing and the bags and then giving away the fun. (I am not an enabler...I'm not!)  Today, I'm headed to the grocery store...right after I eat a solid breakfast.  What about you, what things are you cautious about in your life? 

Monday, June 21, 2010

twenty years and counting...

 John and I celebrate our twentieth wedding anniversary this week.  Talk about amazing grace.  Twenty years, 3 kids, 3 dogs, over 20 vacations, 3 houses, 8 cars and many miles of pancakes later we're still in love.  It's not been perfect, but it has been graced.  Some days I look around and feel like I'm the same girl he married that hot sunny day in June and other days I realize how much we've both changed and grown and been reworked throughout this journey of our marriage. (Thank goodness for that!)  
Marriage isn't something that you ever arrive's a journey and the scenery keeps changing and our gear keeps adapting as we travel together.  We've walked through peaceful valleys and over towering mountains.  He's carried my stuff and I've carried his.  We've giggled our way through major sections of our travels and cried along some roadsides.  I'm so thankful to have him by my side as we continue to merge onto the highways and byways of life.
  I'm learning that there really is no final stopping place where we can sit back and declare that we've arrived.  There's work and sweat alongside laughter and fun, but there is always another stretch of road ahead of us.  I'm so thankful that there is more scenery to take in side by side as we travel together.   Mostly I'm grateful for a heavenly Father who guides and directs and protects and restores. 
 "The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places: surely I have a delightful inheritance."  Psalm 16:6 

Happy Anniversary John...I'm so glad to be traveling this journey with you!

[all the photos were taken on our anniversary trip this past weekend.]

Monday, June 14, 2010

a blogger's sampling

I had some girl friends over for a get together on Friday night.  Moms only.  No kids.  No husbands.  Molly, the dog was there, but that's OK because she's a girl too.  We grilled out and sat around on the deck until long after the sun had gone behind the trees.  We lit candles and laughed into the night.  It was a wonderful time.  We actually completed entire conversations.  It was such a treat. 
Whenever I know I'm having 'company' I love to try new recipes.  I like to experiment on my guests and this get together was no exception.  I chose 3 recipes that I'd book marked while browsing blogs.  This is my blogger's sampling.... 

vanilla cupcakes from leslie  {I'm convinced that these little babies are cousins to pound cake....they were a huge hit....the cake is dense and rich...and the batter was just as good as the cupcakes!  we ate them with berries spooned over them!  swoon.}

oreo cream fudge from kris  {if you have a serious sweet tooth, these are for you!  they were so easy to make....but be warned!  They are RICH...and oh so good.}

cucumber limeade from marta  {i can't wait for another excuse to make this!  everyone loved it...this drink is crisp and cool and perfectly refreshing for hot summer picnics and dinner one drank anything but this the entire night.  wonderful stuff!}

So, there you have my blogger's was a fun way to try out some new recipes.  I highly recommend any of these recipes if you're having a get together of your own.

Monday, June 7, 2010

snappy sunday sewing

Saturday was busy with mulching the yard in the morning and then attending graduations and parties well into the night.  We are almost finished with the new beds that we're putting in the yard and I was so thankful to go sit and enjoy the graduations after working all morning in the hot, humid yard.  And of course, I love parties so it was fun to visit and catch up with everyone.
 Sunday found me with some time to sit and sew.  The girls had been asking for some snappy fabric cuffs for themselves as well as one for a birthday gift.  I had ordered the snaps awhile ago and the fabric was in a pile just waiting to be cut and turned into cuffs. 
I was tickled to get a couple of hours to myself to sew and create.  It was the perfect storm....time to myself in the craft room studio and occupied family members elsewhere!  These cuffs are so quick and satisfying to churn out.  And of course, I couldn't make only the 3 that were requested. I had to go into mass production. 
But really, isn't it just as easy to make 8 as it is to make 3?  I mean, one never knows when there might be a sudden surge in snappy fabric cuff interest and this way I'll be ready.  You understand, don't you? 
{The pattern for the Snappy Fabric Cuffs comes from the book Sew Darn Cute! by Jenny Ryan.  It's a great book full of very doable and usable projects.} 

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

the summer of the read aloud

Every summer I start a list of projects/things that I want to accomplish during my break from school.  And although it is officially summer here in the Quick household, I've not yet started my list!  shock!  One thing I have decided on, is that this summer is going to be the summer of our read aloud.  John and I heard a speaker in April who talked about what it takes to grow great writers.  Typically, parents and teachers tend to think that if a child is an avid reader, that they will in turn be a flourishing writer.  This however is not necessarily true as some of those avid readers churn through books so quickly that they skim over parts, dodge tough vocabulary and often (though not always) dine on books that typically lack literary inspiration.  (you remember The Babysitter's Club, Captain Underpants....? no judgements here except that these aren't great literary works) 
In order for a child to internalize solid language skills that are patterned after classic pieces of literature, they need to hear good literature in whole.  One of the best ways to help children acquire these language patterns is to read out loud to them.  Hearing books out loud allows children (of any age) to acquire language patterns that they will later use as they write and communicate with others.  So, this summer, I am going to read out loud.  (can you hear the cheers?)  
I'm starting with Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott as this book will hopefully be enjoyed by all of us.  (I started it yesterday and so far, my 91 year old grandmother and my 8 year old are thoroughly enjoying it!)  I know that sitting and reading aloud is going to take some commitment and some iron willed-perseverance on my part, but I'm hoping that we'll make some memories as we turn the pages through this summer.  So, I'm looking for ideas....what are your favorite books for reading aloud?  
 "Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers." ~Charles W. Eliot