5 Gifts I'm Giving This Year

Monday, December 10, 2012

a few things I'm giving my family this year:

--a book to each kiddo, which they will sign immediately to record their current john hancock.  how sweet will be it be to open a beloved story years from now and see an early handwritten name?

--we're keeping our Christmas book collection under our tree all month for the kids to read to each other on schoolwork breaks.  we added this Christmas Carol picture book by Charles Dickens to our collection this year.

--a new Bible for each reading kiddo.  this year I bought Adventure Bibles for two of my kiddos and the Action Bible for my comic loving son.

--a stocking stuffer of school supplies (like these multicultural skin-tone markers) and band-aids (Sorette's favorite thing ever) to unwrap before we open gifts with others.  this will be a practice for receiving gifts with gratitude.  (read onethankfulmom here for her 5 Hints for Avoiding a Christmas Fiasco)

--i've had so much fun planning 12 Days of Christmas for matt.  each morning i'm giving him a small token of appreciation for who he is and all he does.  did i mention small?  they are small. on the first day of christmas, i gave him a pen.  people are always taking his around here.  i can't give more away, because he hasn't opened everything yet and he reads my blog, the sweet guy.  here's some printables i found too.

what are you giving?  

Girlfriends Gift

Friday, November 30, 2012

This was what I gave a few of my best girlfriends last year (because you can't expect me to post this year's).

A quick little quilted pouch with my favorite nail polish, by Rimmel and a Stila Lip Glaze, which I bought solely based on a Pioneer Woman's post. (although since using the glaze, i haven't been impressed, fyi.)

What are you giving the girls in your life?  how about the father-in-laws?  just kidding.  not really, i need ideas! 

WIP: An Ombre Plus Quilt

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

First, Happy Anniversary to my brother and sister in law!

They're going to have to wait til Christmas for this one, but here's what I'm working on...(inspired by the pia wallen crux blanket and this baby quilt)

Now for the backing...I've been thinking about a mustard or saffron whole cloth back like:

but...it's not my quilt, so I'm just straight out asking my brother/sister in law who have way more creativity than me what I should use on the back.  I'm sure they will pick something in a completely different, but much better, direction.

What would you put on the back? 

Linking up for ideas at Freshly Pieced's WIP Wednesday

How to Homeschool a 7 Year Old Boy

Sunday, November 11, 2012

like I know.

but we've found something that's helped this year: Deconstruction.

After a really good day (or week) of diligence and hard work, my Samuel may earn a broken something to deconstruct, like this electric broom.   

How do you motivate your littles?  When we run out of broken stuff, I'll need some ideas, or some petty cash for the thrift stores...

First Quilt Contest Entry

Monday, October 29, 2012

Remember this quilt?  
I blogged about finishing the top last fall, but never posted once it was quilted. Now seems like a good time, since it's all autumnal and all and the Blogger's Quilt Festival is going on.

The idea came from a book called Quilting for Peace, where I saw one with shades of blue sawtooth stars.  It was beautiful.  
So I started one in shades of coral.  
88  sawtooth stars.  
It was slow and steady wins the race for this quilt, but I love it so it was worth it.

I had it professionally quilted last December by a woman who works at a local quilt shop.  I asked her to do an all over meander and avoid the stars.  She did such a tight meander and left the stars unquilted for me-which makes them really pop, don't you think? 

Then I took it home to my folks last Christmas and bound it fireside with my mom.  
Which is a pretty nice way to spend the holidays.  

Blogger’s Quilt Festival Stats
Finished quilt measures : 67″x 88″
Special techniques used : detailed piecing
Quilted by : Martha Wolf
Best Category : Two Color Quilt, Professionally Quilted, Bed Size
Entry No: 425

Nominations begin November 1st, 
so check out all the beautiful entries if you haven't been over to the Festival yet!

Amy's Creative Side

More on my quilt here:

Finished Cruz Quilt

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Finished the binding on the Cruz quilt while catching up on Parenthood.  Ohmygoodness, is it getting sad.  Think I cried in both of the last two episodes.  Bleh.  But I love quilting while watching tv.

Robert Kaufman Apron Dot 
Cloud 9 Nursery Gingham in Sky
Woodland Trails Bear in Blue,  (love this print)
Kona Snow. 

Think I'll have to make a girl version of this quilt in the future, maybe to give, maybe to keep.

What are you watching these days?

Our best year yet! What we do for School 2012

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The kids are working semi-independently at the moment, so I thought I'd sum up what we're doing for the school year.  By the way, so far, this is going brilliantly and there is no sarcasm there.  I'm really pleased with what we're accomplishing!

  • On Mondays we join our coop where my kids take all the sciences that are offered. This is me being realistic and thankful for other moms who like to teach science. They are also taking Latin (Prima Latina and Latina Christiana) with me! 
  • Tuesdays, we are reading The Story of the World: Ancient Times and writing narrations of what we've read.  We do two days worth of Learning Language Arts through Literature to make up for Monday.  And we do a lesson in either Singapore Math (boys) or Saxon (Noelle). 
  • On Wednesdays, I'm asking them to be pretty independent and do another LLATL lesson and math lesson, asking for help when they need it.  They finish any homework from coop, including their Latin lessons. They also have their piano lessons in the morning. 
  • Thursdays are more like Tuesdays, but we will do a SOTW project and library book reading on the chapter we covered on Tuesday.   Two days worth of LLATL (to finish the week's lesson), and another math lesson.  
  • We call Fridays Foundations Fridays because we do the Classical Conversations Foundations program with our friends.  This is so fun and impressive.  What the kids (and I) can memorize in a week's time is no less than amazing.  
I think this is the least number of subjects/workbooks/andsuch that I've ever used in the 5 years we've schooled at home.  But it's going swimmingly so maybe that is why?  I'm sure there are a number of factors (I've added a student-as Ben is now Kinder-age!) but I'm thankful!  

Hope you are loving a new season, too!  

Yellow Butterflies Quilt

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My friend is having baby number three this month (or early next).  And it's a girl!  So when I told her I wanted to make a quilt for her, she asked for something yellow with butterflies. What is going on?  Two baby quilts in a row?  Well, they are fun.  
Still need to quilt Cruz' quilt, but school started and sewing time is rare.   

This one went together really fast and I think she likes the fabric...which is the hardest part for me when I'm making something for someone else.  
and I love the blue floral one on the back. 

Butterfly quilts seem to be pretty popular these days, no?  Here are a few more from the interwebs:
Red Pepper Quilts-a scrappy one on black
Little Birdie Secrets- appliqued butterflies
Sew Mama Sew- paper pieced butterfly block

Have you made a spools/butterfly quilt?  I'd love to see!

Top Ten Read-Alouds for Kindergartners

Saturday, September 15, 2012

according to Jim Trelease, THE authority on reading aloud:

Jim's Favorite Kindergarten Novels
(in order of difficulty)
  • Two Times the Fun by Beverly Cleary
  • Chibi: A True Story from Japan by Barbara Brenner & J. Takaya
  • Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus by Barbara Park
  • The Chalk Box Kid by Clyde Robert Bulla
  • My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
  • Chocolate Fever by Robert Kimmel Smith
  • Dinosaurs Before Dark by Mary Pope Osborne
  • The Reluctant Dragon adapted by Inga Moore
  • The Stories Julian Tells by Ann Cameron
  • The Water Horse by Dick King-Smith
  • Wolf Story by William McCleery
  • James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
The Read Aloud Handbook is probably my favorite book I've read so far this year.   It confirmed the value we've always held and encouraged me to squeeze more and more time in for reading aloud.

Since my two boys are around Kindergarten age (5 and 7) we are working through this list together.  A few weeks ago we read a Junie B. Jones book and, I loved it.  I found myself cry-laughing at an unexpected funny part.  I will grant you that I might have been overly tired but it was a good read.  

We started school two weeks ago and I'm feeling pretty good.  Hope your school year is off to a great start too.  Any books you're reading to your kiddos this year?   Any perennial family favorites?

WIP:: What do you name a quilt?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


I have no idea what to call this quilt.  It's not exactly chevron, right?  But it was really quick and easy.  49- 7 inch square blocks rotated 90 degrees.  It should finish at about 48 inch squared and make a sweet birthday gift for a little boy due in November.  

That's it!  I'll call it my Cruz quilt.  That's the boys name...or one of the top three names or whatever, but it's the only one I can remember my friend thinking about and I think it's awesome, so that's it.  At least the quilt, I mean.  I'm not naming the child, just the quilt. 

Running out of time...school starts next week!  What are you working on?

Angry Quilting :: Finished Last Call Quilt

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

 This quilt was on my list of things to finish before school starts.  So last week I angry quilted it. 
I feel better now, but I started with grand plans of concentric circles and half circles and quarter circles.  It was too much-and too small circles.  
And I had to rip it all out and quilt it again.    

Only a few more things on my list...

and happy birthday to my best friend, the father of my children and the one who funds my quilting. 
i love you forever.

hello Monday [reliving camp]

Monday, July 23, 2012

Had a beautiful week in upstate New York with my family.  Today is laundry day with frequent photo-viewing breaks.

Hope you're having a lovely summer!

Toronto in a Day

Monday, June 25, 2012

Matt was working in Toronto last week, so I met him up there Thursday night and spent Friday seeing as much as we could before we both flew home on Saturday.   A subsidized mini-getaway thanks to Matt's work.

Breakfast was at Tim Hortons, since there seemed to be one every kilometer.  It's a Dunkin' Donuts like shop and it was good.  Then we made our way to the Art Gallery of Ontario and walked through Chinatown, Kensington Market, Little Italy and turned around in Little Portugal, which we found not terribly obvious to be Little Portugal.  The walk both ways was 3 miles and took up the morning, including pizza in Little Italy. 

Early afternoon, we left Toronto for Niagara Falls, almost 2 hours away.  We did the one thing I said we HAD to do while there:  ride the Maid of the Mist boat tour up to the falls. We got very wet and saw lots of rainbows.  It was a beautiful afternoon.

We stayed for dinner at a second story restaurant overlooking the falls, then drove back to downtown Toronto to the hotel and a little late night snack out on the town.  Oh, is that Canadian Cash Cab?  Why, yes it is.  Thank you, Toronto for a little brush with celebrity.  Always exciting.

Thank you to my wonderful in-laws who not only took care of my kids the entire time, but also did not report any bad behavior.   Ignorance is bliss and the trip was a blast.  Thank you, Giddo and Tata!