Sunday, August 23, 2009

Fun Way To Buy A Car

For the last few weeks we have been trying desparately to take advantage of the CARS credit from President Obama, but I was having major problems finding what I wanted. First I wanted an Altima Hybrid, but they aren't sold in Georgia or anywhere near. So, I decided on a Camry hybrid. By the time I started looking at them, they were completely sold out in Georgia. An Atlanta area dealer found one in North Carolina, but she was so rude about it that we decided we would buy any car except a car from her. So, I turned my sights towards a regular Camry, but no one in the area even had one with the features I wanted. Friday afternoon I was about to settle and buy one with most of the features I wanted, when a dealer that had also found a car for my aunt gave me a call and said they had one camry hybrid in stock and it was even the color I wanted. The only problem was that they were in Charleston, South Carolina. It was a fantastic price, but we just didn't think the clunker we were trading in would make it the six hour drive. Well get this, he said he would send someone to pick it up for us. Deal. Now that is customer service! We were off Saturday morning on a jaunt to Charleston, and I have to say it was tons of fun! We bought the car, had a decadent dinner with a celebratory bottle of champagne at a french bistro near out hotel, then got up this morning and ate brunch there again (yes, it was that tasty). We decided on a walk down to the market and endulged in one of out favorite ways to explore a city... with pictures. Lots of pictures of random stuff, like ourselves...

brick walls that would make great quilt patterns...

and lots of fleurs de lis. These are the symbol of St. Louis (Jay's hometown) so we always delight in finding them as ornamentation in other cities. Yes, I know the fleur de lis is a symbol widely used all over the place (it is pretty amazing how the French managed to work it in everywhere) for all different reasons, but it always reminds Jay of home and me of one of our favorite places.

Now my 90 mile work commute will be a little less painful (I averaged 35 mpg on the drive home) and we are quite convinced that we need to return to Charleston soon to play some more. It really was the most fun a person could have buying a car!

Monday, August 17, 2009

I Think We Finally Agree!

I have been trying to come up with a quilt block that Jay and I both really like to use to make our wedding napkins into a quilt. Ok, that is a complete lie. I have been trying for quite some time to convince Jay that he likes a block that I like, but he just doesn't. After some sulking and pouting I started to keep an eye out for something we both like and I think I found it! Well, he says he really likes it, but he may just be afraid of setting me off on another two months of loud sighs and sewing avoidance. Yes, I admit it, I can be a big baby when I don't get my way. When I stumbled across a new-to-me blog this weekend, The Sometimes Crafter, and her paper piecing tutorial for this block (she has a sampler going on, looks like tons of fun), I had a feeling it would look really great out of our fabrics, and I have to say I was right! It's a little more labor intensive of a block than I originally wanted to do, but it is still a circle which I really wanted, and even better it's a pointy circle. Like marriage sometimes. It's a very traditional block, but it took seeing it made up in some modern fabrics to really make me consider it. Those are quickly becoming my favorite patterns, traditional with a nice modern update. Paper piecing can be a bit fiddly, I think the problem is that it really makes you think since you are basically sewing backwards, but it will be a good challenge and I can't wait to see it come together.

Monday, August 10, 2009

And They're Off!

I just can't believe it, but today the shrimp returned to school. Second grade for the oldest and kindergarten for the youngest. The youngest woke me up at three a.m., standing next to the bed tapping my shoulder. "hey mom, how much longer until morning?". She was slightly excited. I was the only one misty-eyed dropping her at class, she saw someone she knew in her class from pre-k and was off. Jay was there to hold my hand and remind me that they are supposed to grow up, but I just couldn't stop thinking about how little her hand was in mine as she went to take on the world and how by the end of the year she will be a different kid. Kindergarten is rough on the mommies!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Butterfly Skirts

Back when I bought the fabric for my Butterfly Quilt, I was so in love with the whole line that I bought A LOT of it, in lots of colorways, with no real purpose for it. After finishing the quilt I decided some quick skirts for the girls would help use up some of the fabric and the simpler the skirt the better to show off those big prints.
Skirts made with rows of elastic thread for the waistband have been popping up all over blogland, so I gave it a try too. If you want a quick and easy kid skirt, this is the way to go. I just cut the fabric the length I wanted, hemmed the top and bottom, sewed six rows of the elastic thread at the top and then put a seam down the side and tada a skirt! I was a little afraid of the whole hand winding the bobbin with the elastic process, but it really did work just fine. Upon presenting the skirts the youngest immediately reminded me that I promised a matching shirt with a butterfly applique, so I know what I will be doing this weekend!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Yarn Dyeing Class!

(My first dyed yarn... and it matches my begonias quite nicely)

I looked forward to today's sock guild all last week, we learned how to dye yarn! The Whole Nine Yarns mixed up huge amounts of dye and pre-soaked the skeins in vinegar water, then let us all go crazy with the colors. They were also very patient with showing us how to wrap the yarn in plastic for its rest in the steamer and the technique to rinsing it. I looked around online before class to get an idea of what I wanted to try (and fought the urge to buy truckloads of beautiful hand dyed yarns), and am very pleased that what I ended up with is just like something I drooled over online.

(My yarn in progress on the right, Aunt Jan's on the left. The colors definitely mellow during the steaming and rinsing)

(Mom planning her attack)

It's such a fun thing to do as a class because everyone comes up with something different. In these pics you can see mine along with my mom's and aunt's on the drying rack, and then a group picture below. As you can see, everyone had a different vision for their yarn that started off white.