Tuesday, September 4, 2012

School days are here again

This little thing really touched my heart.   Tomorrow I take my youngest son to preschool for his very first day of school.  Experience tells me that he's going to love it and take to it like a fish to water but in that tiny little recess of my mind, I imagine that he's going to miss me and wish he could be at home!  As parents, we all wonder about how school life is for our kids.  Every year when my children go off to their first day of the new school year, I pray.  I pray that Kevin continues to thrive in the academic environment.  I pray for Raine to be able to feel normal and comfortable at school.  And this year I am praying that Matthew sees this new world as a welcoming and wonderful place.  Teachers are the rock stars of life.  They teach our children not only their ABC's but also life skills that follow them the rest of their lives.  Most of us remember the majority of our teachers and even still have an affection for those really special ones.  For me, it was Ms. Suzanne Route.  She was my english teacher in 10th grade.  When I turned my work into her, I didn't get it back with a statement like, "This is just silly."  She always had something kind to say about my work.  She appreciated the fact that I didn't just take facts from a book and reiterate it like a lot of students.  I preferred a creative approach and she picked that up.  It affected what I did in school from then on and it gave me insight to my children's work.  Rather than blow off my son Kevin's comic book drawings, I actually read them and enjoy them.  Raine's drawings aren't just scribble on a page.  They are art!  Even Matthew's little projects are a source of pride for me.  And all of that from one teacher who chose to let me know that my mind had some really cool stuff in it.
This is pretty much what my life is looking like right now.  A lot of studying!  I am taking a pretty serious course load this semester so I am having to really focus on school.  

I did do one creative thing this week.  I made Matthew his big "Yeah-Yeah."  Matthew has loved these little blankets since he was born.  I bought one for him right before he was born because he was a March baby and I felt like we really needed to get him a nice warm blanket since most of his blankies were spring/summer blankets.  I took the blanket to the hospital when he was born and it ended up being a life saver!  The first night he wouldn't go to sleep.  He kept crying and crying and crying!  My poor hubster was at his wits end when I grabbed the fuzzy little thick blanket in my bag.  I wrapped Matthew up and he just dozed right off to sleep!   When we got home, we realized that was his "lovie" and went and bought several more.  Grandpa also made sure to buy quite a few of these.  They were expensive too, nearly $20 a pop.  But they were worth their weight in gold!  Anyway, now that Matthew is getting bigger, he can't cover up with one anymore.  So Mommy grabbed two of his blankets and stitched them together.  He's had it for about a week now and he is one happy toddler!  After I handed it to him, he told me, "Mommy saved the day!"  Yeah, I'm cool like that..=-)
On Thursday night, Matthew got to visit his new school for the first time.  I think he likes it!  Although he always makes such a goober face! HA HA

Well, I'm off to take Raine to school.  Kevin is home sick with the obligatory flu that always seem to strike the family down as school starts!

Have a creative day!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fall is right around the corner!

               I apologize for not being able to post pictures of the craft projects I am working on but that's because I haven't been able to really work on anything this week!  Our family is officially back in the swing of our busy school year life and I haven't had time to really sit down with any creativity this week.
             Not only do my children go to school, I am also a full time college student on top of my full time job, Mommyhood, and being my amazing hubby's wife.  My fall semester started last Monday and it has been hectic trying to focus in on my classes while dealing with some work issues and trying to prepare the kids for their school year which kicks off next Monday.  My oldest son is in all honors classes as he embarks on his junior high years.  To say that I'm proud of him would be a huge understatement.  That kid is amazing.  Raine is starting to adjust to her ADHD medications so we're hoping that this school year is going to be a lot better than last year.  Matthew, my littlest one starts preschool this year.  Just typing that makes me want to cry!  The realization that Matthew will be my last little one that I walk down that sidewalk to his first day of school breaks my heart but it also reminds me that life is wonderful.  We get asked a lot when we plan to have more children and the answer is simply, never.  God has blessed our lives so much with the 3 children we have.  Though being a Mommy has been the greatest thing I have ever experienced in my life, I do look forward to the day when I get to be Dara again.  My oldest will head off to college in 6 years and if the next six years pass as quickly as the last, it's literally right on my doorstep.  His sister will be on her way not long after that and then there will only be Matthew at home for a while.  

Kevin, Raine, and Matthew having some 4th of July fun with Mom

              On the craft front, I am cruising the internet for some serious quilting inspiration right now.  I have gotten a tick for english paper piecing.  I've done a pretty good bit of it but I am looking to really do something cool.  I'm thinking about doing a Lonestar though I don't want to strip piece it.  Everytime I try that, it never works out.  I have come to the conclusion that lining up seams isn't my strong point! HA HA  I always spend a lot of time ripping seams and I'd rather just go with something I know will turn out right.  So english paper piecing it is.  I know it will be more monotonous but it will be accurate and I'll be able to take it with me as I swing from work, to school, to kids games, and so on.

Have a "pieceful" day!



Saturday, August 11, 2012

We must all be each others cheerleaders

After I posted my blog for today, I was cruising through my favorite blogs and ran across something that disturbed me so much that I felt that I needed to address this.

One of my favorite blogs is That Crazy Quilty Girl's blog.  For those who aren't in the know about this young lady, let me edumacate ya...she is brilliant....she is extremely talented.....and she is someone who shares her work with the rest of us graciously.  She is also someone who recently had some gnarley comments made about her work that I feel was totally unwarranted.  I didn't read the discussion myself however, I read enough of the backlash to piece together generally what happened.  Her name is Lisa and she is young.  In fact, her and I are pretty close in age and I think that's why her being chastized for her work really bothered me.

I don't care how young a quilter is.  When I started out quilting, I was a kid and when I became serious about my quilting I was around 20 years old.  I remember going into a quilt shop once and the owner following me around.  When I asked her why she was following me, she told me that I didn't "belong" in a quilt shop.  She thought I was intending to shoplift from her store!  Little did she know that not only was I not intending to shoplift, I made a huge amount of money for someone my age and it wasn't unheard of for me to spend several hundred dollars in one quilt shop trip.  In fact, my favorite quilt shop, Donna's Quilt Shop, which is now gone, was very used to be dropping in there and walking out hundreds of dollars lighter! HA HA  If I were to take a guess, I would have to imagine that I spent about $10,000 at Donna's over the years.  Not only was I young, I had money and frankly, not enough common sense to not do something like that!  The end result was that I have never stepped foot in that quilt shop again.  When's Donna's shop closed, I resorted to going down to Palm Springs to buy my quilting supplies.  Local money that because of someone's age prejudice, went out of our community.

Lisa's talent is in longarm quilting.  Her work is breath taking.  My first thought when I saw her work wasn't, "Oh she's so young." It was, wow, only 3 years in and she's already able to do this?  Some of us learn our craft...some are born to do it.  Beyond that, the detail in her work clearly shows that she is not doing it with an automated system.  She is designing and executing her quilting on the quilts she does.  

So short point made long, don't hate.  Don't discriminate.  Don't judge others work.  Appreciate the beauty and artistic nature of everyone's work and remember, we are all each others cheerleaders!  I may not consider your work to be something I would do but I would never feel that your contribution is anything less than wonderful.  

By the way, go check out Lisa's blog...seriously....


It's Growing!

I am still working on my hexagon crochet blanket.  Each individual hexagon only takes about 20 minutes to make but after spending two days making 20 of these bad boys, it took me almost 4 hours to stitch them together.  I think I prefer doing it this way because I can spend a couple of days banging out the hexagons and not feeling like I'm getting very far with it, then I have a day of putting them together and feel like a rockstar! =-)  So far this is what I'm sitting on, though I do have quite a few hexies already crocheted and waiting for my next big stitching day.

I got extremely bored working with the same 4 colors so I added in a few new colors.  I now have plum, black, and a purple varied yarn in the afghan.  As I'm looking at the picture, I notice that the all white hexagon I made seems to make a gap in my work but I think I like it.  It makes it unique.  I always like those little signature touches that every crafter has in their work.  Why craft if it doesn't reflect on who we are?  Sometimes I just like to throw a curveball into my pieces! 

Last weekend, we drove down to see my husband's bestfriend Rob and his family.  We had a lovely day.  Rob and Anna are really cool people and they took us to an area with a really neat tidal pool that we hiked all over and the kids got to get an up close look at some of the ocean's tiniest creatures.

These are the most important people in my life.  My husband Keith, my boys Kevin and Matthew, and the Princess back there is Raine.  Though getting a good picture of that girl is nearly impossible.  She's only 8 but she's already preparing for her teen years!

While we were out exploring the tide pools, these airplanes flew overhead.  I took a picture just for the sake of it and when I got home and actually looked at the picture, what a surprise to realize that they were actually old time war planes!  What a treat!

We were at the tide pools at sunset so I was able to take this beautiful shot.  My husbands camera takes much better pictures but I love my little digital camera for it's convenience.  I'm not carrying a backpack around full of camera equipment!

I am really trying to blog more.  I am working on actually scheduling time to blog and I have even started trying to hit certain points in my crafting stuff so that I will have something to share when I do blog.  
On Monday my college classes start up again.  I am working on finding better ways to schedule my time so that I can fit in all my interests.  Between work, school, kids, and everything else, life can get pretty hectic.  

Hope ya'll have a peaceful day!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Crochet Bug

I have been going back and forth on if I wanted to post this or not but since I'm not going to name the receiver, I think I'm safe in posting this.  I made this bag a couple of weeks ago as part of a project for Christmas.  I have a few friends that always appreciate my odd ball homemade gifts but I never seem to have enough time to do it all.  So I opted to make smaller items instead of big time consuming things.  Rather than give my friends one big item, they are going to get a lot of smaller things.  Anyway, this bag was made with a pattern that is free on the Lion Yarn website.  It came together beautifully.  All said and done, this project took me about 3 days to complete.

 Sorry for the horrible picture quality.  I confess to using my cellphone instead of my digital camera in the interest of time and actually completing my blog post!

Have an amazing day!


Saturday, July 28, 2012


Living in the Mojave Desert is usually pretty decent.  We don't have defined seasons so to speak.  Either it's horribly cold or insanely hot.  Right now it is the worst part of our summer with temperatures peaking and the true misery of the season setting in.  Most of us desert rats don't spend much time outdoors this time of year simply because cooking our bodies is never a good thing!  Just half an hour outside right now can result in a nasty sunburn.  So we find other ways of passing our time and for me, that's working on my crafting projects.  This year I'm doing something a little different.  I'm crocheting different projects.  I have dabbled in crochet since I was very little but it's not my main hobby.  I love quilting but lately I've been feeling a little burn out and I'm suffering from a lack of inspiration so I decided it was time to switch up the game a little bit.  I am crocheting an afghan right now with my favorite color, purple.  I've always wanted a beautiful afghan to put on my couch but I've never really concentrated on it.  I've made a few afghans but they always seem to end up, "almost done" and then left in a bin.

This is a hexagon granny square pattern I ran across a couple of weeks ago in my search for hexy inspiration!  I noticed that a lot of hexagon afghan makers credited this very talented lady with publishing this pattern.  Her name is Lucy and you can find her blog here: Attic 24
Her hexagon tutorial is specifically here:Lucy's Hexagon Tutorial though I would highly recommend reading her entire blog.  She does amazing stuff with yarn and I find myself wanting to do more and more projects with crochet.  Especially since I really need to put a dent in my yarn stash.  Over the years I have purchased a lot of different yarns with a project idea in mind yet never ended up making the project.  So now not only do I have a fabric stash falling on my head, I have yarn everywhere too!

Hope your day is a real yarn!


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Road to California 2012

This year's Road to California was another wonderful exhibition of some of the best quilts in the world! I didn't get to spend much time there since I had the kids with me but what I was able to see left me in awe!
I will blog more about it and put up some pictures when I have more time but for right now, I just wanted to highlight one of the best things that happened at R2Cali...we met Ricky Tims!
My son Kevin was really interested in meeting Ricky because he's been curious about quilting for quite a while but he kept avoiding it simply because he was under the false impression that only girls quilted! Oh how wrong he is! A few years ago I introduced Kevin to Ricky's work and found a few other male quilters such as John Flynn and Mark Lipinski. I guess Ricky's quilts just really caught Kevin's attention because he just loves Ricky. So this year I knew that he was going to be at R2Cali so I wanted to take Kevin and let him meeting Mr. Tims. Suffice to say, that's all he talked about the whole way home!
Ricky was so kind and absolutely lovely to my son. He gave Kevin and I some tips on how to get him started such as using the rail fence pattern because Kevy could rip his pieces instead of taking a chance with a rotary cutter. I have been kinda worried about teaching the kids to quilt simply because it can be dangerous. I've had a few injuries quilting and the idea of it happening to my children makes my skin crawl. Once I had my finger go through the machine. Another time I took a rotary cutter across my finger because I was being watched by Sharyn Craig and my nerves got the best of me! HA HA The worst part was, I didn't even realize that I had cut myself until my classmates panicked because of all the blood pooling on my work! But I think Ricky had a great idea and Kevin is already picking his fabrics so he can make a quilt to show to Ricky next year! LOL
On a side note, Ricky told me that he and Alex Anderson are currently working on a curiculum for schools who want to teach quilting as part of their lessons! How cool is that? I'd bet that if more kids got introduced to quilting young, we would have fabric addicts!