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Infocomm and Orlando Vacation 2017

We just got back from Orlando, and boy are my arms tired. Did I say arms? I meant eyes. And arms. Tired. I’m wicked effing tired.

I flew down for an industry convention. I had the honor of teaching a three day prep class for folks who want to get their CTS (a generalist certification for our industry). It was a lot of hard work (I had to be in my classroom by 7am every day, and I was on my feet the whole time, plus all of the prep before the show), but incredibly rewarding. I know that at least six of our students passed (my co-teacher and I had a group of 40). Most of them probably just needed a little extra confidence and some vocab lessons, but I’d like to think that we taught everybody a thing or two.

I hope that they ask me to teach again next year, because then I’ll have 2 extra polo shirts, and I won’t have to do any laundry in the hotel sink. Plus, you know, passing on knowledge, helping people grow, all that good stuff.

Game Face!

I didn’t see much of the sun while I was at the convention center, but I did manage to take advantage of the crazy amazing hotel pool a few times.Crazy Amazing Pool

I mean, look at that thing. Just look at it! My only regret is that the water slide was always closed by the time I got there.

The day after classes finished, I presented as part of a day-long event about emerging technology and trends. After four straight days of attempting to sound intelligent while talking about technology, my brain had just about turned to mush. Which made that night just about perfect for dive bar karaoke with all of my industry pals. I sang Total Eclipse of the Heart and almost got the DJ in trouble for using a word that sounded an awful lot like an F-bomb (I steadfastly maintain that I said “I freaking need you tonight”). One of the bartenders was wearing a tie-dye bandanna as a headband, and busted out his own harmonica for Piano Man. It was a surreal night.

Inception

Kristian and Lilian spent the week that I was nerding it up on an actual vacation with family and friends in Miami and the Florida Keys. For my last day at the conference, Kristian left Lilian with his sister and joined me for a night. I got a big award last year, but Kristian missed the ceremony because he couldn’t find parking. I got another award this year… and Kristian missed the ceremony because he was parking.

(It’s almost like large convention centers have a great distance between parking facilities and event space.)

(At this point, it’s just a running joke.)

rAVers

We crashed a few more parties, took a class about IoT and security (nerd love, amirite?), and managed to amass an impressive amount of industry swag. We stayed long enough for me to attend the annual Women’s Breakfast, and then it was time to get back to a certain little cutie who was just dying to see me.Auntie Face

Our brother-in-law found us all an Orlando house rental, not too far from the theme parks. After a week of living out of a hotel, it was just what I needed. I didn’t have too much time to decompress, though, because next thing I knew, it was time for…


Princess Prepping

… Disney World!

I wouldn’t describe myself as a super Disney person, but I would describe myself as a very big fan of that little cutie up there. Probably her biggest fan (although it seems like we’re a pretty big club). From the security guard at the entrance who solemnly bowed towards her and said “welcome, Princess” to the cheesy “pixie dust” on the Peter Pan ride (I appreciated the use of projection mapping, but I have to dock them points for the fact that I could see all of the equipment just by looking up), she freaking¬†loved it.

None of the waits were too terrible, the weather wasn’t too oppressive, and nobody ended up screaming “I hate you all! I hate you!!!” By theme park standards, I’d call that a damn good day. I found most of the rides to be rather underwhelming, although I was happy to finally get a chance to ride Space Mountain (I went to Disney World with some friends in college, but the ride was closed for repairs when we got there). I also may or may not have had a 2nd go on Space Mountain, because Lilian was too short to ride it and I took her FastPass.

( I got the front seat!)

(Sooooo worth it.)

Kisses!

Pro tip: if your in-laws suggest renting a stroller… listen to them. For the love of the FSM, listen to them. By the end of the day, I was legitimately concerned that my feet were going to fall off at the ankles. I spent a lot of time holding Lilian while we waited in line. I don’t even want to think about how painful it would have been to carry her everywhere.

Kristian likes roller coasters ok, but he’s not an adrenaline junkie the way that I am. I’ve always known that Lilian liked amusement park rides (we’ve taken her to a few crappy carnivals in our day), but I had no idea just how much she liked roller coasters. We all rode Thunder Mountain Railroad together and she smiled and yelled “yahooooooo-ie!!!!” the whole time. It would appear that I’ve got a little Six Flags buddy in the making.

We squeezed every ounce of fun that we could out of Disney World, but then it was time to go home, eat takeout, soak our feet in the hot tub at the rental, and rest up. We still had one more big day ahead of us.

Like I said, I am not what you’d call a “Disney Person.” I mean, I like quite a few of their movies. But if we’d gone to Disney World as children, I would not have been one of those people that ran around trying to get “autographs” from all of the princesses.

I am, however, very much a Harry Potter person.

Welcome to Universal Studios

(Lilian to me, just as we were about to take that picture: “We’re not muggles mommy, we’re witches.”)

I found all of the jostling at the Universal Studios entrance right before the park opened to be crazy stressful and more than a little off-putting, but it ended up being worth it… we made a mad dash over to Harry Potter World and got to take it all in before the place got crazy busy. And we got so lucky that day! Lilian’s cousins desperately wanted to go on the Escape from Gringotts ride, so we made the decision to do that first, before the line got too long. It was closed when we got there, which means that we had extra time to walk through Ollivander’s and be in one of the first groups to watch a wand “choose” a wizard.

Wingaaaaaardium Leviosa!

We splurged on one of those interactive wands (major thanks to the friend who gave me a heads up on them, so that I could budget accordingly!) . We were just starting to wander around when we started hearing the buzz that Gringotts was open! We made another mad dash over, hid all of our stuff, and managed to get in just as the crowd was growing.

After a day at Universal, I have to say that I’m kindof over simulated rides. After more than a couple of them, they make me queasy. And they’re not pure joy for me, the way a giant roller-coaster is. But Escape from Gringotts is a damn good ride. The details are incredible! It doesn’t even feel like you’re waiting in line, more like you’re wandering through the bank and taking it all in. I think it helps that the ride does move around quite a bit, it’s not just a bunch of action on a screen. Lilian loved it as well, “I wasn’t scared Mommy, until Voldemort showed up.”

After the ride, we wandered around Diagon Alley for quite some time. I remember reading other people’s accounts of Harry Potter World and how they could spend a whole day wandering around and taking it all in. I was kindof incredulous about it at the time, but now I totally understand! The details are perfect, and they’re everywhere. There is an enormous dragon on top of Gringotts that periodically shoots out flames. There is Hagrid’s magic motorcycle and they let you climb all over it. There is butter-beer ice cream.

We met up with a friend of mine and her husband and four-year-old daughter. She and I were gleeful about all of the Harry Potter stuff… and the girls enjoyed it as well. Lilian was very sweet about offering to share her wand, she even let the other girl go first when they came to their first interactive area.

I think our husbands were getting restless, so we decided we should probably go on some more rides, so we headed over to the Simpsons World. The main ride there is another simulated ride, but it’s also very well done. And, you get to wander around like you’re in an episode of the Simpsons! More incredible luck… we got out of the ride just as all of the characters were walking out. I had a major fan girl moment when Lisa Simpson walked by. I mean, I know it’s just a person in a foam costume. But… but… Lisa Simpson! I squeed so hard, she took me by the hand… and I got to be the first person in the little area where they pose for photos.

The Simpsons

I do believe that the fact that we went on the space aliens ride right after the simulated ride means that we are a family of iron stomachs.

A Third Party, Oh Sure THROW Your Vote Away!

You know, everyone talks about Harry Potter World, but nobody talks about the Simpsons World. Well, let me tell you… there’s a Quick E Mart, and a Moe’s Tavern, and a Duff Brewery, and I could have spent several hours there if we hadn’t had restless four-year-olds (and lunch reservations!).

The Seven Duffs

With so many references to the various episodes of the Simpsons where they make fun of theme parks, it all felt very meta. I laughed my ass off.

We took the “Hogwarts Express” over to Islands of Adventure for the afternoon. We missed walking through the wall (we took a back way in, because my sister-in-law needs a wheelchair), but it was just as magical as I could have imagined. Even the elevator ended up being a little magical… my brother-in-law told Lilian to use her wand to get it going, and the doors opened just as she motioned with it. I think her new career plans involve getting a letter from Hogwarts…Magic!

After lunch was when we really got into the roller coasters! We did the Hogwarts Castle ride, Lilian got her “yahooooo-ie” in on the Hippogriff ride, and I got to ride the faster of the two dragons on Dragon Challenge. We spent the whole afternoon wandering around with my in-laws, taking turns using Express passes to go on the rides. I think everyone got to go on just about everything they wanted. Except for poor Lilian, who didn’t understand why she’s about a foot-and-a-half too short to go on the big coasters.

(She was desperate to get on the Hulk ride.)

(I can’t say I blame her, it’s pretty much the greatest roller-coaster ever.)

It got stupid hot, but we went on a couple of flume rides, which helped a lot. And then it poured buckets, which really helped a lot.

Things that apparently don’t scare my child:

  1. A simulated T-Rex
  2. Large splashes
  3. A simulated King Kong
  4. Grownups screaming because they think that simulated King Kong is scary
  5. The Tower of Terror (I steadfastly refused to go on that one)

She will, however, get very sad when you don’t let her go on Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls (or the aforementioned Tower of Terror).

We made a trip to Honey Dukes for enchanted sweets, took one last walk around to make sure we’d tried out all of the interactive wand areas and then, sadly, it was time to go home.

U-No-Poo

It was all a little overwhelming, but it was also an incredible trip. I hope that Lilian remembers at least parts of it! I’m duly impressed if you managed to read this whole post. I know I’m going to forget a lot about our visit, so I want to make sure I get as much written down as possible.

Mother’s Day 2017

Pro tip: sleeping in on Mother’s Day will feel extra luxurious if you go out drinking with your little sister the night before.

Love these two ūüíē #family

A post shared by Hope Roth (@beerandpie) on

We schooled some nerds at Hoop Fever, mashed some buttons on Mortal Kombat, and shared a bounty of tater tots with everyone sitting around us at the bar.

Poor Kristian… Lilian was so excited for Mother’s Day, she woke him up at 6am. He managed to hold her back by the coattails until mid-morning, and then I was woken up with a basket of bath products, flowers, and an ambiguously lettered donut.

I think the best Mother’s Day gift of all is that my daughter loves me so much she’d wake up early to celebrate (although, let’s be real, she was also pretty excited for donuts). My little girl stops me now and then just to tell me that she loves me. It doesn’t get much better than that.

(I probably have like 2.5 years before she stops me every now and then to roll her eyes at me).

What I really wanted for Mother’s Day was a few hours to myself to go paddleboarding or do some sewing. It wasn’t in the cards (especially since it was 48 degrees and raining), but I still got a 6-mile run in. I know most people think that a long run is more of a punishment than a present, but spending an hour or so pounding the pavement is a welcome retreat into my own thoughts for me. I felt so much better, mentally and physically, afterwards.

I’ve been feeling run-down and over-stretched lately. I tell myself I’m too tired to go running. But, if I’m being honest with myself, I feel way less tired if I get a regular run in. I’m glad that I made myself get out there today.

(Not to mention the fact that I have a half marathon coming up in about a month… eeks!).

Late in the afternoon, we met up with my mom, step-dad, and one of our nephews to go candlepin bowling. I enjoyed the old-school bowling alley vibe, the inability to throw gutter-balls (little kids like bumpers, yo), but mostly watching these two sweeties yelling “yahoo!” for each other.

#latergram #cousins #oldschoolbowling

A post shared by Hope Roth (@beerandpie) on

I don’t understand the physics of how a slow roller can bounce off the bumpers a few times and then knock all of the pins down (actually I do, it adds spin and changes the direction of the ball). What I definitely know is that the kids kicked our butts the first game.

We headed back home (family in tow) afterwards, to watch the Force Awakens. The kids alternated between snuggling and stomping on each other. That’s pretty much childhood in a nutshell, right?

I used to sing Lilian to sleep when I put her to bed, but lately (and, by lately, I mean for at least the last year) she hasn’t wanted me to. And I’ve really missed it! Tonight, she was sleepy¬†enough that she¬†said ok to a song. And, more importantly, she sat still while I sang it (usually, she kicks and flails up a storm).

Watching your small child fall asleep is a gift. It was probably the best Mother’s Day gift of them all.

New Quilts: Starbursts + Les Fleurs

I just finished up three quilts at the same time (and boy are my arms tired!). I made two quilts (each of them has a slightly different layout) from this pattern (the Starburst Quilt from Prairie Grass Patterns), plus a mini-quilt using part of a pattern from Quilt Petite (referral link). For the fabrics, I used a mixture of Les Fleurs from Rifle Paper Co and blues, peaches, and pinks from my stash.

Starburst Quilts

Working on three quilts at once can be slightly overwhelming, but it was nice to sit back and see the finished products all at once.

We have some good friends who had a daughter when Lilian was only about 18 months old. I was still deep in the throes of new parenthood at that point, and I just wasn’t up to the task of making a baby quilt (I did throw the mom a baby shower, though!). They just had another daughter, so I decided to make quilts for both girls at once.

I’ve never given a quilt directly to a three-year-old before, but it was very sweet! She got super excited about it, and immediately started running around with it draped over her shoulders like a cape. My friend texted me the next day that her daughter had been playing with it all morning. I don’t generally recommend procrastinating baby gifts for a solid three years, but it sure was nice to see something I made get so much immediate love.

Here’s a PSA for parents: every now and then, pull out some of the stuff that you have stashed “for later.” Most small kids love love love¬†things that were made especially for them. We are fortunate to have so many homemade blankets for Lilian that we have a quilt rack in her room that’s overflowing with them. She loves to pull them out and make little nests out of them, or choose one to sleep with. The other night, she got out of bed all on her own, and made herself sleeping area on the floor out of quilts.

I am really pleased with how these came out. I don’t think I would have thought to pair navy blue and pink if I hadn’t started with the fabrics from Les Fleurs, but I really like the effect. It’s sweet without being overwhelmingly pink. (Sometimes I like overwhelmingly pink, though!)

(I forgot to take a picture of the backs, but they’re all a pink flannel that has a slight orange-y tone to it).

I am really loving hand quilting these days (I have another mini-quilt that I hand quilted and haven’t blogged yet). It looks so pretty, plus it’s something that I can work on downstairs while we’re all hanging out as a family. I am very fortunate to have a little crafting retreat up in the attic, but I can’t really work up there unless Lilian is either a) asleep or 2) doing something with Kristian. I sometimes bring her up there with me, but that just about always ends up with her making an unholy mess and me having to do a lot of reverse sewing on whatever I was working on.

Sound proofing in a tucked away room: it’s a blessing and a curse.

I’m currently working on another little mini-quilt for a friend, and then I have to decide what I want to work on next. I have a lot of fabric and patterns stashed away, I just need to take the time to make something with them!

Stuff I Made in 2016

One thing that I like about a blog (versus just putting stuff on Twitter or Instagram) is that it lets you put a bunch of ideas together in context.

Oh, yeah, context! Remember when we used to read things in more context than 140 characters? Oh look, a squirrel! 

What were we just talking about…?

Anyways, I used to post a yearly roundup of quilts I’d made. But then I stopped making quilts for a while (it turns out that making a tiny human isn’t very compatible with projects¬†that involve lots of sharp tools¬†like rotary cutters and scissors). ¬†And then I pretty much stopped blogging.

But, hey, look! Some stuff I made last year!

These aren’t in any particular order, and the photos are all kinda crappy iPhones pictures. These days (when I have so much going on in my life), I consider making anything to be a pretty big accomplishment. Taking proper photos on top of all that is just bonkers.

Mermaid Quilt

Lilian went through a really awful phase last fall where she completely and utterly freaked out about going to bed by herself. She would cry and cling to me and beg me not to leave her room. I started telling her stories about a mermaid named Felicia (our mom told us similar stories when we were little) that ended up being a bit of a guided meditation towards the end. In the stories, we always seemed to end up sleeping in a sand castle on the beach, under special mermaid blankets made out of seaweed and stardust.

I made this quilt in the hopes that Lilian would sleep better under it (spoiler alert! it didn’t).

The mermaid fabric is all from the Mendocino line by Heather Ross. It would have been a lot easier to sew if I’d had full widths of all the fabrics. Unfortunately, the only way I could get the full color-way was with a fat quarter bundle. So, each of those sections was sewed together separately.

The quilting is all stars, and I used a silver metallic thread. I told Lilian it was stardust, and she was duly impressed.

(It, uh, doesn’t take all that much to impress a four-year-old.)

The quilt doesn’t seem to help her sleep any better, but she¬†does refer to it as her special blanket.

Mermaid Quilt

Mermaid Quilt

Bunny Pillow

Lilian and I made this bunny pillow together. It uses this pattern for a scrappy appliqué. The designer (Shannon Brinkley) has a ton of different patterns that all use the same technique. You draw the pattern on two sides of a fabric, iron scraps onto it, then cut the whole thing out using the outline from the back. Then you appliqué the whole shebang onto something else.

It’s a good project to do with children, because they can help you layer the fabrics together, and then you can do the final cutting¬†and ¬†then sew it together after they go to bed. Of course, Lilian used a lot of teeny tiny scraps, which made for a lot of sewing after the fact.

She loves her bunny, though, and she’s so proud of the fact that she helped me make it.

Bunny Pillow

Horse Pillow

I’m sure that you’re all shocked (shocked!) to find out that this is from the same pattern as the bunny pillow. The biggest difference is that I learned my lesson about teeny, tiny fabric pieces. I did a little more active management while Lilian was “helping,” and didn’t let her cut everything as small as the bunny fabrics. I could not, however, convince her to leave out the My Little Pony fabric. Which is why this pillow features a creepy horse-on-horse motif.

I used a pre-made pillow case from Ikea for this one. I don’t know if it saved me that much time, though, because it was pretty tough to sew everything down inside something that’s already joined together.

Horse Pillow

 

We started on a duvet cover from a third design in the pattern (a cat), but by the time I had it halfway sewed down, Lilian hit a growth spurt and outgrew her toddler bed. These are the risks I take when I sew things for someone who literally outgrows things overnight.

Shoulder Bags

I didn’t get very good photos of these, but they’re cute little shoulder bags that I made to send to some friends who hosted us on our big trip to Seattle and Hawaii last year. One has foxes on it, the other one has unicorns and rainbows. I used this pattern, although I found it a little bit hard to follow (there are some formatting issues that make the measurements almost impossible to read). I also reject the idea that certain sewing projects are for girls and certain projects are for boys. Especially when it comes to something as basic as a bag. But I will get off my high horse long enough to say that they are pretty cute.

Toddler Bags

Race Car Quilt

This was a project from Happy Quilts!: 10 Fun, Kid-Themed Quilts and Coordinating Soft Toys¬†(affiliate link) that I made for my cousin’s daughter. I didn’t quite grasp how large a quilt it made (measurements? who has time to read the measurements?!). It took a looooong time to sew. But I think it’s one of the nicer quilts I’ve made. I really love how the color combination came out.

My cousin’s husband owns a garage and loves track days, so I liked making something that encapsulated his interests. In general, I think way too many baby gifts are aimed at moms and not dads. It was fun to make something that was for the whole family (my cousin helps out at the garage and is into cars as well).

Race Car QuiltRace Car Driver

Unicorn Dress

This is one of those projects you take a risk on, when you sew for someone who outgrows things overnight (see unfinished duvet cover, above). Lilian wore this dress once. And she complained the whole time I made her wear it.

(Apparently lace is itchy and I am a monster).

This picture doesn’t really do it justice. It just might be one of the nicest things I’ve ever sewed. It has these really lovely pleats with lace details on the bodice, and everything.

Remind me to stop sewing garments for my daughter.

(Sob.)

The unicorn fabric is from the Sarah Jane Magic fabric collection. I love this fabric so much it almost hurts. I made a couple of aprons from the same collection, but I never took photos of them. Whoops.

Sara Jane Magic Dress

Hermione Costume

Remember when I said I wasn’t sewing any more garments for my daughter? Yeah, I lied. Or maybe halloween costumes don’t count?¬†Whatever.

Lilian nearly broke my heart when she said she wanted some store-bought crap for Halloween. But then I made my peace with how much time it would save me. And theeeeen…. she said something about Hermione, and I pounced.

(It turns out, I just really love making halloween costumes for her).

(I ran into a teenager and her mother at Jo-Anns when I was buying the cloak fabric and it warmed the inner recesses of my heart to see an older girl who was still asking her mom for costume help).

Most of the components were assembled from stuff I bought on Amazon. The tie is a yellow one that I added the maroon stripes to, using fabric paint and some painters tape. I sewed the cloak from scratch, because I am a glutton for punishment. The Gryffindor badge was an eBay find.

Lilian called those glittery shoes her “Hermione Shoes” and then she literally wore them until the soles fell off.

Hermione Costume

90s Dress

Hey look! I sewed something for myself! This dress looks kinda lumpy and shapeless in this photo, but it hangs much better off me. Besides, it’s super cozy and has pockets, so I kinda don’t care.

I made a similar tunic and dress for myself, but they’re just not exciting enough to take photos of.

90s Dress

Hamilton Onesie and Magic Pants

This is the onesie that inspired me to ask Kristian for a Cricut cutter for Christmas. It turns out that iron-on material is realllllly hard to work with when your Cricut cutter (I had the original version) doesn’t have an option for cutting out mirror images.

I ended up pulling the iron-on material off of the backing, adhering it to the cutting mat, cutting out out, pulling everything off, crying a little every time it rolled up on itself, and then I somehow managed to iron it all on. After the whole process was over, I had died a little bit on the inside and I then begged Kristian to upgrade my machine for Christmas.

These pants are a mixture of scraps and more fabric from Sarah Jane Magic (this time in knits).

I made these as a gift for my niece. Someday, she will be big enough to wear them. And then she will outgrow them before my sister has a chance to put them on her. I literally never learn.

Hamilton Onesie and Magic Pants

Star Wars Pillows and Death Star Wall Hanging

This was a wedding gift that took me so long to finish, I almost had to give it¬†to my friend at her baby shower (see: Robot Quilt, below). It turns out that my friends have “I love you” and “I know” engraved on their wedding bands. I love it when things come together like that.

The wall hanging is a patchwork Death Star layered on top of some Star Wars fabric. Lilian, who thinks that everything I sew belongs to her, was slightly crushed when I wrapped it up and gave it to someone else. “Not everything mommy makes is for you” is a tough, but vitally¬†important lesson.

Star Wars Pillows and Death Star Wall Hanging

Robot Quilt

This is another pattern from Happy Quilts… sortof. This time, I learned my lesson (for once) and used¬†one piece of the appliqu√© pattern, instead of making the entire quilt. I made up my own pattern for the setting. It’s hard to tell from the photos, but the stitching on the balloon “strings” is the same metallic I used as stardust on Lilian’s mermaid quilt.

I experimented with free-form quilting with this one. I don’t know that I was all-together successful with the free-form quilting… but hopefully it’s busy enough that you can’t see the janky parts.

I loooove the robot flannel that I found for the back.

Robot Quilt

Robot Quilt

Robot Quilt

Little Critter Quilt (Plus Bonus Quilt)

I made these for my niece. It was supposed to be just one quilt… but then I miscalculated how much background fabric I would need… and couldn’t get my hands on any more of it (this is why I hoard fabric, people). I’d already done a ton of strip piecing, so I made up a pattern on the fly. I sized the bonus quilt (and added some little ties to it) so that it could be tied on to Amy’s¬†infant car seat.

I should have taken more pictures of the details on the critter quilt. I ended up appliqu√©ing the critters on (I didn’t think I’d have enough of a seam allowance to sew them into blocks the traditional way), and I tried out a bunch of the different fancy stitches on my sewing machine in sewing them down.

I apparently never took any photos of the finished critter quilt, which was just plain silly of me.

Amy's Quilt (Unfinished)

Bonus Quilt

 

Drool Bandanas

The white balance on this photo is absolutely horrific, but I already mailed these off to be drooled on. So what are you going to do?

(Answer: post a shitty photo and call it a day.)

These were super easy to make and came out really cute. The tutorial I used makes it pretty easy to sew two of these at a time. These would make a great baby-shower gift.

Drool Bandanas

Pocket Pillows 

I got a little bit… obsessed with making these around Christmas. Which is how every single one¬†of our younger¬†nieces and nephews ended up getting one (even I couldn’t justify making them for teenagers and adults). I packaged them all up with a book and a flashlight and they were a surprising hit.

I used this pattern, and it’s so quick and easy to sew! I think I can whip one of these up in about an hour now. I’ve already made two more this year as birthday presents. It’s a really fun way to combine a bunch of different fabrics, but in a bite-sized project.

Pocket Pillows

Pocket Pillows
Pocket PillowsPocket Pillows

 

Sand Dollar Mobile

YACPFMN (Yet Another Craft Project For My Niece).¬†I made a similar one for Lilian’s room a few years ago, but hers has butterflies in oranges and reds. My sister says that my niece finds this one mesmerizing. I was rather mesmerized by it myself while I was working on it.

I cut all of the sand dollars out individually with a paper punch. Now that I have the Cricut cutter, I could probably make something similar in a lot less time. The Cricut cutter wouldn’t save me from all the hot glue burns, though.

Sand Dollar Mobile

 

Ironic Hipster Sweatshirt

This one is doubly ironic, because I accidentally made it using one of Kristian’s favorite sweatshirts. The man has the patience of a saint, and how do I reward it? By Ruining something he loves.

I bet he was reallll glad he bought me that Cricut cutter.

I like wearing it, however, even if I do feel a slight pang of guilt every time I pull it out of my closet. It’s pretty subtle in person.

I used my cutter to cut out the mustache, then appliqu√©d it down the old-fashioned way. The lettering is metallic iron-on. I guess you could say it’s my first mixed-medium creation.

Ironic Hipster Sweatshirt

So there you have it! I’m sure I made more things (I sewed¬†a bunch of quilt blocks as part of the Splendid Sampler, but that will be a post on its own if I ever finish the whole sampler). I also made quite a few blocks for a quilt that I decided I hated and subsequently abandoned. I made a half apron for another sister, but never took photos of that. And I made a delightful ugly sweater potholder for yet another¬†another sister (so. many. sisters.), but I finished it in January, so it doesn’t count.

If You Ain’t Using It, Don’t Fix It

Thanks to a heads up from a friend  that my site was throwing up database errors instead of posts, I just spent a good chunk of my Easter Sunday fixing this here blog. The ultimate solution? Open up a chat window and let my hosting company fix it. You know who suggested said easy fix? My long-suffering husband, who is clearly wiser than me in the ways of MySQL. When did he make said genius suggestion? Oh, at least an hour ago.

Like I said, he is clearly wiser than me in oh so many ways.

Halfway through my descent into phpMyAdmin hell, I said something along the lines of “I don’t even post anymore! Why do I even care that my stupid blog is broken?!”

Well, the first answer is that it has about nine years of my personal history archived in it, which is no small matter. The second answer would appear to be that I still care about posting, even though I rarely sit down and, ya-know, post.

So, hey, here’s a post.

Maybe we could throw some real content in here as well?

Yeah, that’s probably a good idea.

And maybe stop talking to yourself?

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, people.

Like I said earlier, it’s Easter weekend and we’re having a pretty low-key one. Lilian had her first ever sleep-over on Friday night‚Ķ And I think we’re all still recovering from it.

Lilian is now fast friends with a little girl who lives down the street from us. The two of them stayed up all night on Friday, reading and snuggling together. It was pretty much the cutest thing ever but nobody got much sleep (myself included). We’ve pretty much laid low since then, although we did make a trip out to procure an Easter dress. I don’t know what it is about Easter, but there’s something hardcoded into me but you must have a brand-new dress for the holiday. It probably has something to do with the fact that most of our clothes when we were little were hand-me-downs, but we always got a brand-new Easter dress.

Something, something, psychology, something.

Lilian begged me for a hair-bow, which I begrudgingly let her buy… This ended up being a genius move, because then she actually let me brush her hair without screaming so loud the neighbors are all tempted to call child services on us.

I think it took longer to brush her hair than it did for her to finish her Easter egg hunt. Let’s just say that none of us was particularly motivated to spend much time in the backyard when it was about 90 bazillion degrees out. Her chocolate frogs were literally melting.

The hunt is on!

Such is my child’s devotion to the integrity of an outfit, she kept that sweater on until after she asked for her second glass of water in about a five minute span.

(Also, we’re now up to at least the fourth pair of her shoes that I wish came in grownup sizes.)

I spent a few hours yesterday cleaning up our sun porch. Which means that today is the semi-annual day where I can actually sit on our day bed and relax! Usually it’s covered in a heavy layer of dust, dog hair, and discarded auto parts. Lilian yelled at Kristian for leaving tires and tools on the porch when he was getting ready to put on everybody’s summer tires, so maybe there’s hope for us yet. It really is the most pleasant spot in the house to sit when it’s warm out.

 

Ahhhhhhh

 

Maybe be if I never leave this spot, nobody else will be able to pile crap on top of it…