Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Project and Revelations

I have spent the last two days cleaning out and organizing my husbands office. To explain why this is a two day project I must backtrack. We bought our house 6 years ago this October. The first project we tackled was the downstairs. We ripped up all the carpet and had the hardwoods refinished - our house was built in the early 1900's so we have beautiful floors. Our next plan was the second floor. When we found out we were pregnant, we decided we needed to get the floors done before painting. Before that, we used 1 of the spare rooms as my husband's office (he works out of the house full time) and the second for my sewing and clothing storage (the joy of our old house is no closet space). The third was our room. To have the floors refinished, we needed to get everything in one room. We decided to put everything in the office and do those floors a few months later. Well, all good plans hit a detour. More than four years later and the floors still need done. Worse than that, my poor husband worked in a room that was overflowing with JUNK. For the longest time I was just too overwhelmed to tackle it. Well, for whatever reason yesterday I jumped in and tackled it. Our tree lawn is overflowing with garbage and the room is looking great! I will take pictures tomorrow to post. Needless to say, this has been a project of instant gratification.

In early July my Church started a new study of the book of Revelations. Today we talked about accepting God's plan for our life vs. wanting to control it. First, since none of my readers know me (if I have readers) I must say I am very much a glass 3/4 full person. I am extremely blessed and I think the blog world has reinforced these feelings. I truly do believe that God has my life planned out and I am along for the ride. Yes, I do realize that I have the choice regarding following his way or falling away from him. I do believe that I am following his way to the best of my ability. Am I perfect, of course not, however that is why Jesus died - God's expectation is that I will do my best for him. The blogging world is so full of stories of people living and overcoming such horrific tragedies. I read daily about families losing children and unborn babies to so many awful diseases. These stories make me realize how blessed I am. My one goal every night is to make sure I pray for myself last. I always begin by praying for those that I know and those that I do not know. As I go through my prayer list, I am continually reminded of not only how blessed I am, but of how such a strong faith in God can get you through the unthinkable. There are so many amazingly strong women in the blogging world and so many of them help you to realize that with God nothing is impossible. By the time I get to praying for me and my immediate family, I find myself simply thanking God for my life.
I do not mean for this post to come off as sounding as if I have all the answers to being happy, I just read a post on another blog today that reminded me that we often do not realize how blessed we are and how hard it is to give it over to God. Yet once I gave it all to him, I was rewarded 100x over.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Birthday Time

Eleanor's 4th birthday is tomorrow, however we had my family in town this past weekend for her birthday party. It was in the 90's and very humid, so we ended up inside for the party. Also, Eleanor had chosen to have spaghetti and meatballs, so that is not really an outside meal for 90+ weather! I was able to complete most of the projects for her birthday. The table runner turned out great, except I ran short on time so I did not actually quilt and bind it - I figured I can always go back and take care of that.

I had also planned on a tiered polka dot cake, however as a result of scheduling conflicts and what not, it turned out there was only going to be 7 of us. A tiered cake was going to be way too much, so I just did a simple layer cake. Eleanor wanted a purple cake so I just added white polka dots to that. She was thrilled with it.
I had planned on making her a twirl skirt with the Candy Land fabric I found while in Lancaster County, however Eleanor really wanted a pillowcase dress. I am very happy with how it turned out, and it met E's new criteria that all dresses must be long.

Eleanor received lots of wonderful gifts, one of my favorite being new cowboy boots. They are sadly too big, however we will exchange them for a smaller size and hopefully all will be well. I absolutely love them and hope we can find a pair that fit. It is so hard to order shoes online!
I was not able to finish the doll I mentioned earlier for her party. To sew on the hair, you need a 5x8 pad of paper. Simple, right? Nope, not for me. It took me way too long to find a pad that size. I finally headed to Office Max and easily found what I needed. Our Office Max is near a major shopping area and I just do not love going over there, the traffic makes me crazy. Not finishing the doll was no big deal, it is not like she noticed:) We are having some friends and their kids over for cupcakes next Sunday and I am figuring I will give it to her then - or have it done really early for Christmas. The quilt that goes with the doll has not even been started, it will be a Christmas gift!
I have now started working on some projects for me. I have my June and July Table Runners to complete and also 2 blocks for my Christmas quilt. I am really excited to get back to these. I also need to start working on school clothes for Eleanor. In the fall and winter I tend to go to Target and WalMart and stock up on leggings, long sleeve t-shirts, turtlenecks and jeans. I then make dresses, tops and skirts to go with them. This way I can get more mileage out of all of her clothes. It is hard to believe it is almost August and before we know it school will start!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Vacation and Fabric Shopping

Eleanor and I just returned from a wonderful week at a lake in Northern PA and a great visit to Lancaster PA. My mom was kind enough to join us which made traveling with an almost 4 year old so much easier. Our four days at the lake were just wonderful. Eleanor loves to swim so we spent each day swimming, fishing and boating. It was so restful and peaceful.
After leaving the lake we headed south to Lancaster. This is a trip I have been eager to do for quite some time, however I knew my husband was not interested. Since Eleanor is my Mom's only grandchild, I knew she would be all to eager to join us for a trip we have brilliantly named "Girls Trip 2010". I love listening to quilting podcasts and one of my favorites is Jean at The Quilted Cupcake. She frequently travels to Lancaster and has fabulous podcasts about all of her great discoveries. I emailed her before the trip and she gave me some great places to go. We first went to Intercouse PA and headed to the Kitchen Kettle Village. This place is a bit touristy, however it was perfect for what we needed. They offered buggy rides, pony rides, a petting zoo, and the Amish doll equivalent of Build A Bear. This provided plenty of things for my Mom and Eleanor to do while I visited some wonderful fabric shops. One of the stores that Jean had suggested was Zooks. This was right around the corner from Kitchen Kettle Village, they do have a website that is linked to their store, however it is out of a different address so I am not sure. The amount of fabric is unbelievable, I was in awe. I was surprised to find that all of the fabrics I found were $6-$7 per yard and are current fabrics. I did some searching today and discovered that I would have spent $85 plus shipping for what I purchased at Zooks for $61.08. Hello fabulous deal! Here are my Zooks finds

I am got some pairs to make a top for Eleanor with matching pants out of the following three sets

I am not sure exactly what I will do with this, either a nightgown or a cute skirt for Eleanor
For me, this was a big score. I found this panel with THREE trick or treat bags for $4. Yes, $4. I love the slightly vintage look of it.
I did not end up buying any fabric for quilting. I had figured that I have joined a block of the month club and a runner of the month club, so those should keep me busy! I am also headed back to Lancaster in a month or two with one of my good friends for a long weekend.

The other store I visited was The Old Country Store which was also in Intercourse. They also have lots of beautiful fabric, however I really did not need anymore. I did find some great cookbooks there and also some adorable coloring books.

While in Kitchen Kettle Village we decided to go on an Amish buggy ride. Usually my Mom and I do not do these things, however the drive in Eleanor was in awe of the buggies. So, we decided it was something that she would enjoy. Our driver, Abram, let Eleanor and I sit up front so she could help drive. To say she was excited was an understatement! Our ride was 35 minutes and it was through many little back roads that we would not normally ride through. It was really much better than I thought it would be. Abram was very informative and had all kinds of bits of info that I found very interesting. I can honestly say I would do this again.

Now that we are back I am making all kinds of plans for my new finds. Of course, I just realized that Eleanor's birthday party is in two weeks. Yep, two weeks. So, I must get cracking on her gifts. I am going to make her this doll and use fabric scraps to make the clothes and also a quilt for the doll. I also still need to bind her birthday runner and finish her outfit. So, I perhaps have a bit too much planned! I have scaled down my plans for her cake so that will be quicker. The good thing is, at the end of the day, she is going to love her party no matter how much of it I get done!