Monday, November 26, 2012

Christmas table runners

I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We celebrated small here at our house.  It was was our first Thanksgiving without Baba (my grandma) and so it was nice to stay intimate and low key.  I did miss the craziness of lots of people, but it all worked out.  After the holiday our good friends made a stop over for the was so awesome to see soul needed it!
Before Thanksgiving I worked on some Christmas table runners.  I gifted one and so now I can share!  These are so fun to make.  Choosing all the different fabrics is so much fun.  I used holiday fabrics but I think they would be fun in winter fabrics too....guess I'll have to find time to try one of those for after Christmas.
I cut out 15 strips each 2 1/2 by 11 inches.  I sewed them together in a pleasing pattern without being too repetitive or symmetrical and after pressing all the seams, I ironed some fusible batting to the back of the strips.  After that, I created a frame with four strips of fabric that I wanted to look like binding.  From that point on, it's merely sewing it together like you'd do to make a pillow.
Once everything is turned right side out, I press really well and then stitch in the ditch on the inside of the frame.  Stitching in the ditch is when you stitch right in the crevice that the seam leaves.  This doesn't really show up, but it does do a nice job of anchoring the front to the back.
As soon as the table was cleared from Thanksgiving I had mine out!  It looks really pretty with an old black tray, some greenery and a jar candle.  Tis the Season!!!  Stay Jolly and enjoy all of your days!

Sunday, November 18, 2012


I've been missing in action around these parts....for multiple reasons, but I've missed being here, so I'm hopeful to be back here more regularly.  Here's a quick peek at what's been going on via my instagram photos.  I haven't taken any pictures with my 'real' camera lately, but I am sure that will be changing soon because basketball season has started and my girls have their first game tomorrow.

For book club last month, we read The Great Gatsby and came dressed for the discussion.   I think the book was chosen merely for the costume factor.  Most of us found the book lacking in positive role models.  We came away feeling sorry for the characters and their hollow, self centered lives.  What we decided is that they really needed to get involved in some kind of charity work and get outside themselves!  Anyways, this is my mom and I with our glamorous kept losing hers in the egg casserole!  Isn't she adorable!?
We made it through Hurricane Sandy with very minor was so good to wake up the next morning and see all our trees still standing!  This one is right outside our front door.  We were praising the Lord for His protection.
We don't celebrate Halloween but we couldn't resist getting dressed up for $2 burritos from Chipotle.  We met our friends (along with about 100 other people) and brought dinner back to the house.  It was a fun night of catching up with dear friends.  (John who was taking this photo was dressed up as a original!)
 My two sweet girls hacked my instagram with their ever expressive faces.... they are such jewels!
 We got to go over to Morgantown, WV for a football game.  There was snow on the way over and we had every blanket and jacket we owned with us!  We tailgated before the game with my aunt and uncle and 850 other fans.  My uncle tailgates before every home game in a tent bigger than my house.  He and about 15 other guys cook and serve the best food right outside the stadium.  They've been doing it for years...and it was great to be a part of it again.  They know how to tailgate....we're talking flat screen tvs, heaters, tables with tablecloths, and a completely themed gourmet meal!

 The Mountaineers ended up losing the game in overtime...but we had such a great time we didn't even seem to mind the loss...or else we were so numb we didn't know what we were doing...our feet and noses were was cold!
 I got another cold and this time I ended up at the doctor's with a sinus infection.  On my way home from the doctor's I stopped for a bit of medicine at Joann's....isn't this the cutest fabric!  No idea what I'm going to do with it, but I couldn't resist.
 Maggie finished all of her applications for college a while ago and the acceptance letters have been arriving. It's been very exciting.  We've been thanking the Lord all along the way.  The final school that she has yet to hear from, won't send theirs until mid-December, but they did interview her via skype the other day.  She wore her glasses (they make her look scholarly) and she did a fabulous job.  I kept peeking in and listening.  I'm so proud of her and the hard work she's put in, but I'm more proud of how she keeps turning to the Lord for wisdom and direction.  She's right where she needs to be...waiting on the Lord!
 I found this scripture in one of my notebooks and it was just what I needed that particular day.  I've been fighting some type of cold/allergy/sinus thing for about a month and I was just so sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.  It was a timely reminder to me that His mercies are new every morning....and that's a good thing, because I've been using more than my share of those mercies every day (along with the tissues and the decongestant)!
I did get a bit of sewing in that I'll be able to share in the next week or so.  We're going to be on break this coming week...we all need a chance to breathe and with all of our classes taking a break for Thanksgiving, we decided to do the same.  I'm planning on doing some decorating for the holidays and catching up on some reading and scrapbooking!  Hopefully it won't be a month before I'm back here...but in case it's not before Thursday - Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  

Thursday, October 25, 2012


 I love the idea of journaling, but I struggle with the consistency of it.  My problem lies in the fact that I want to record too much.  I will start off strong for a while journaling pages every day and then I just can't keep up with it.  I burn myself out and then I quit, only to start up again.  Well, I found a journal that seems to be helping me stay consistent.
I purchased this journal from paper coterie about a month ago.  It's one that you customize yourself.  You drop your photos in and add quotes and sentiments that just speak to your heart.   It's pretty and personal.

It has about 5 lines set aside for each day for journaling or listing.  It's been tricky trying to condense my thoughts into 5 lines, but what I've found is that because I'm being less wordy...I've actually stuck with it!
Yeah for consistency!! I'm still figuring out what exactly to record each day, but I'm learning.  For example, I don't need to write that we did school each day...that's a given, but I do want to remember the triple that my boy hit in the baseball game or the fun that the girls and I had shopping for clothes!
I use these fun colorful pens and it's like I'm recording a rainbow.  One of my kids opened the journal up the other day and you could hear the ohhs and ahhhs.  Gotta love that!  And that pencil pouch that I made for the girls and I this fall is perfect for holding all my pens!   So, do you journal?  How do you make it work for you?

Sunday, October 21, 2012


We went college visiting last weekend....and I brought home a cold.  Despite my cold, it was a good visit and was actually the last of the visits that Maggie wanted to do as she is wading through this entire college decision process.  I've been so proud of her as she has applied, prayed, visited, researched, prayed and talked through all of the options that are before her.
We're all learning so much throughout this journey and most of it has nothing to do with college!  It all has to do with trusting the Lord and leaning on Him for wisdom and direction.  (I feel like I keep learning some of these lessons over and over....I guess that should tell me something, huh!?)
So, I've been froggy all week and nursing my throat with hot drinks.  I actually had the house to myself 2 times this past week, but I felt too cruddy to even enjoy it!   (you know it's bad when that happens!)
 I've been having to remind myself to be nice....even when I haven't felt very nice.
I've been trying to lay low and get better.  What's that they say about a cold lasting a week or 7 days?  I think I've put in my 7 days so I'm hopeful that this week will be on the upswing!
 I've got to finish reading The Great Gatsby for book club and I think my energy level is up enough that I can keep my eyes open long enough to knock that off.  Have any of you read TGG before?  This is my first time and I'll wait until I finish it to completely decide how I feel about it, but so far I'm feeling like empty extravagance seems quite fitting.  Sometimes I wonder who decides what makes a book a classic.....Anyways, have a great start to your week!  Hope it's full of sunshine and substantial blessings!  (the photos all came from my instagram feed this week....)

Monday, October 15, 2012

fall table runner

I stayed home from a hometown football game to sew one Friday night.  It was a perfect night for football and an even better night for sewing.  I had the windows open and Pandora playing.  I might have been able to hear the cheers from the football game had I not had my sewing machine humming!
 I used my fall fabric stack and added a couple of stash fabrics to make my new fall table runner.  I cut all my strips 2 1/2" by 11" and then sewed them together.  I added a 1/2" border to the outside. (The border is a clearance sheet that I cut up and used.) To finish it off I stitched in the ditch all the way around the outside and called it done!
 I love the pick up it gives my dining room table.  The oranges are a fun shot of color but the browns tone them down a notch.  I took all of these photos outside in natural light, because the colors turn out so much better, but here's a shot of it in use on my dining room table...(from instagram - my morning quiet time)
Right now I've got flowers in a pitcher as my centerpiece, but as we get closer to Thanksgiving I've got the perfect ceramic turkey candleholder thingy to sit right on my table runner.  How about you....what's on your kitchen/dining room table right now?

Friday, October 12, 2012

insta friday

Happy Friday!  I'm linking up my Instagram pics with Jeannett!  These are from the last 2's been busy!  We've been visiting colleges and watching baseball games and knocking out some really good school work.  Hope your weeks are going wonderfully!

 My first born turned 18 at the end of September.  We celebrated her special day all weekend long!  I can't even believe she is 18!  That just sounds so grown up...which she is. She's a terrific young woman.  She loves the Lord and is teachable, kind and so fun to be around.
 She's also still a kid a heart because this bear is what she asked for as a birthday gift!  He is 53 inches tall and he took up my entire grocery cart at Costco.  I had some hilarious conversations with people as I pushed him through the store.  She named him Bubba Griz.
 My brother took all the September birthdays (my mom, my honey and Maggie) and the rest of us out to lunch at one of our favorite downtown restaurants.  The cousins bonded over technology.  It was a fun time just visiting with family and being together.  We don't get to do that nearly enough.

Maggie got glasses. She noticed that her eyes were straining when she was in her college English class...good thing I took her, she's a bit near sighted.  

 I had a bit of time one afternoon and I cut into my fall fabric bundle....sometimes just a bit of creativity is all I need to brighten my mood!
 I'm teaching this year outside of our home.  I teach a history class on Thursday mornings and I just love it!  I've got 10 kids in my class and they are all so wonderful.  We took our first quiz last week and they were quite serious about it.  The girls all put up binders to shield their work from 'cheaters'.  The boys, they didn't seem to care....I kept a closer eye on them! ;)
 My sweet friend and I met for coffee and breakfast....I needed it so badly.  Sometimes a friend and a good cup of coffee is just what you need!
 Here's a sneak peek at my new fall table runner...I stayed home last Friday night and got in some much desired sewing time.  It really was fun.  I listened to Pandora and sewed all evening...with the windows open and the crickets singing in the background.  heavenly!
 My guy is turning into a baseball player.  He just loves it (He's on the left with the black batting glove on).  The dugouts have been pretty nasty lately.  A homeless person has been residing in them and doing other yucky things in there.  The boys hung out on the bleachers with us during the last game. It was fun to see them interacting and just being boys.  
My girl Mckenzie is a chemistry whiz....I was so not sure about how she was going to do in Chemistry this year...I was a bit nervous.  But, she has really applied herself and she is doing great!  We are bonding over significant figures and specific heat and calorimetry problems.  So proud of her!!!

Well....that's the run down of the last two weeks.  I'll be back soon with some sewing and a peek at my new journal!  Have a great weekend friends!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

today I'm....

*struggling with trust.  grabbing hard to the truth that in the midst of what I would call a mess God is working and redeeming.  He is stretching me and calling me to trust Him.

*wanting to see some changes and some glimmers of hope but knowing that if they don't come, if I can't see evidence of change.....that God is faithful.  God is trustworthy.  God is still in control.

*not understanding those that say 'faith in God is a crutch'....crutches are temporary.  Crutches take the weight off...but this walk of faith, it's a hard thing.  It takes all of me, every day.  I am engaged in the pursuit of Him.  I'm  continually learning to listen and wait and hear, to step aside and let Him reign.

That's where the struggle lies...allowing Him to be Lord and giving my agenda and my desires over to Him.  In knowing that if nothing changes, that all is well.  He is my source of strength.  He is my mighty tower, my strong fortress.  I'm spending time today reflecting on the Word that says "He is your constant source of stability."  Isaiah 33:6 (NET)  So thankful for that!

*hoping you know that He is more than enough.  "He is your constant source of stability."  "Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken, nor my covenant of peace be removed, says the LORD, who has compassion on you."  Isaiah 54:10

Friday, October 5, 2012

friday night fun

It's Friday night and I'm sneaking in a little sewing time.  My boys went to the local football game to watch our friend play.  {Go Hornets!  Go Caleb!}  I begged off to stay home and work on this! Happy Friday to you!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

back to school sewing

I ordered a mini bundle of fabric from bloomerie.  They have the cutest little bundles and pre cuts of assorted fabrics.  I like that some of the bundles are a mixed grouping of fabric and not all just from one specific fabric line.  I ordered the summer breeze bundle back when it was summer time and it just sat and looked pretty on my table until right before the start of school.  That's when I had the time and the notion to get a project going!
I made some pencil pouches for my girls for back to school.  It was so fun to mix and match the stack of fabrics and pair up the different prints.  (all the fabrics are from the summer breeze bundle except the yellow and white print...that was in my stash.  It came from Joann's)
Each pouch is a little bit different, in either size or embellishment...but that was what made these so fun to make.  I just did what I wanted to do without worrying about it.  (note to self:  do that more often!)
And if you know me at all, you know I only have 2 girls and since I made three pouches, that meant there was one left over for me!  I'll show you later, how I'm using mine!
And before you start to scold me, I did not leave my boy out.  I just knew he wouldn't want a girly pencil pouch.  Instead, he got a lego mini figure holder.  I put pencils (lego ones!!) in it for back to school, but he decided to use it for his extensive mini- fig collection!
Here's our breakfast bar all set up for the first day of school.  I've got kiddos in 5th grade, 10th grade and 12th grade this year!  The little dishes are holding their vitamins...their daddy faithfully lays those out for them every. single. morning.  They are not thrilled about that...but one day they will appreciate the sweetness of it.
 When I ordered summer breeze, I also ordered another fabric bundle (I'm not seeing that one on the website anymore)...but I'm thinking I need to find some time to make a table runner for autumn! Aren't these just the best colors for right now?! This stack of fabrics is just begging to be worked with!  I hope you find some time to work on something that makes you happy!