Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Finally got our vacation album done!

I love Shutterfly!  They have so many wonderful products.  I have ordered many of their photo books and here is my latest one.  It details our recent road trip from Kansas to Walt Disney World.  I can't wait to get it.

Click here to view this photo book larger

Shutterfly photo books offer a wide range of artful designs and embellishments to choose from.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Lizzie's afghan is finally done!

I made this beautiful afghan using silky soft and gorgeous textured Homespun yarn by Lion Brand. The color is called Coral Reef.  Coral Reef is one of the painterly colors of this yarn, which means it is self-striping.  I never have to change colors at all while I am crocheting--the yarn does that for me.

Homespun is also made in the U.S.A. and it is machine washable and dryable.

Lizzie seems to quite like it!

Here is a short video featuring Zonte from Lion Brand about Homespun.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Monday, July 22, 2013

Wrapping up those unfinished projects

Well, summer is winding down and I will be heading back to work soon.  
I am not complaining, mind you, lest you think I think I deserve to be eternally on vacation.  That is definitely not the case.  I am looking forward to changing schools and meeting my new students as well as seeing lots of kids I knew from middle school (I am moving to the high school into which my former middle school feeds).  It will be a completely different schedule and I will even have a Spanish course to teach. ¡OlĂ©!  

I am just thinking about all those scrapbooking, crochet, lavender, soap, and quilting projects I have started this summer but have yet to finish. Like this one:

And this one:

And this one:

And even this one:

And there are several more. I have a tendency to think I am going to be a supercrafter during the summer.  I think I do OK but even I have to relax too.  

I have exactly 14 days until I return to school.  Can I finish any or all of these lovely projects?  I will post my progress over the next several days. Would you mind keeping me on track and making sure I work on them?  Thanks. 

I'd better get myself off the computer now and get to work.  Time is a-flying. 


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A new hobby

So I disappeared from the blogosphere for a few days and I have an announcement to make:  I have taken up a new hobby.  Yes, it's true.  Me:  wife, mom, teacher, scrapbooker and stamper, crocheter, soap maker, et cetera, et cetera.  I didn't have enough to do so I decided to take up a new hobby.  :)

Actually, I place the blame directly on the Kansas City Star.  It was an article in last Sunday's paper that got me hooked on this new hobby that I have yet to name.  Read the article here and see if you can figure out what that pastime is.

Go ahead.  Read it.  Don't try to cheat by reading further along in this blog post.

I mean it.

Read the article.

OK, so you've read the article and you have discovered that my new pastime is quilting.  Yes, that's right.  Another hobby that takes up lots of space, makes me create enormous messes in my home, inspires me to spend money I should otherwise save.  If you have a hobby, you probably know what I'm talking about.

I am simply enthralled by Jenny Doan's story and the success she and her family have had with their company, Missouri Star Quilt Company. I am equally as impressed at the fact that their good fortune is having a positive effect on the small town of Hamilton, Missouri.

I went to college in Kirksville, Missouri and I would oftentimes pass right by Hamilton while traveling on Highway 36.  I remembered Hamilton was the birthplace of J.C. Penney and after reading the article, I discovered it was also the birthplace of Zack Wheat, whom I never heard of.  But the Star said something along the lines of people aren't visiting the place for Zack Wheat anymore but because of Jenny.

The article also describes how a busload of Australian women arrived in Hamilton one day just to meet Jenny and shop at her store.  The store has also had visitors from Israel, France, South Africa, and Canada, as well as many U.S. states.  Evidently, much of the success of their business is due to Jenny Doan's online tutorials and her bubbly personality.  I thought I needed to visit their YouTube channel for myself because how could one person attract people from all over the world to a tiny town in Northern Missouri?

Well, Jenny is fantastic and she makes quilting look so easy.  So of course, I was hooked.  Her Layer Cake Quilt looked so beautiful, I wanted to give it a try myself.   I also enjoyed the video on making three totes from one charm pack, and the Jelly Roll Race quilt, among others.  I haven't seen all the videos yet, but I am working on it!  Considering I am a teacher and I am still on summer vacation, of course I had to travel to Hamilton to visit the store myself.  Of course.

Today I picked up my grandmother-in-law Jolene, who is an experienced quilter, and we headed to Hamilton, which is about 90 miles from where I live.  Yes, I was willing to drive an hour and a half to go to a quilt shop and I hadn't even truly become a quilter yet!

We were blown away by the selection and the friendliness and helpfulness of the staff.  I couldn't find a couple of layer cakes I wanted and they obligingly went down the street to the warehouse to get them for me.  They were just lovely there.  We saw Jenny in the store when we first got there but she left soon thereafter before we had a chance to introduce ourselves.  So, Jenny, if you ever read this blog post, hello!  :)

Why did I jump on the quilting bandwagon two days after reading an article about the Missouri Star Quilt Company?  And why did I travel so far to shop at a quilt shop?  I think I wanted to help support such a great family company and I also wanted to see for myself that it is possible for someone to make a living with their hobby.  That is my ultimate dream, you see.  Please understand that I do love teaching but playing with beautiful papers, yarns, and fabrics as well as creating something with my own two hands is so invigorating and satisfying to my soul.  And yes, Gingers do have souls!

Here are some of the pretty layer cakes and charm packs I picked up today:
(This is listed as a layer cake but it's actually a charm pack.  I can't find the charm pack on the MSQC website.)

I must have misplaced the label for this last fabric, but it is the same fabric in the Layer Cakes Quilt video from up above.  It is Circa by Jennifer Paganelli.  Here is a link.

I think I made some great selections but you can't go wrong because there is so much fun stuff in the Missouri Star Quilt Company store!  Check it out in person or online!  You'll be glad you did!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Road Trip/Disney Vacation, Part 2

In this second part of my 3 part series on our road trip/Disney vacation, I will show you photos of our time at Walt Disney World.

May 28:  Animal Kingdom, where wild animals roam.

May 29:  Magic Kingdom, where everyone's favorite ride was It's a Small World!  ;)

May 30:  Epcot, where I didn't take enough pictures.

May 31:  More Epcot, because we just can't get enough of that place!

June 1:  Hollywood Studios, where your family's Star Wars geeks can feel right at home!

That was our last day at Disney World.  We will miss you, WDW!  

Next time I'll show you pics of our adventures at the beach!   

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July!

It's Independence Day here in the U.S.  Here is our patriotic garb for the day:

my daughter is wearing her London shirt from Justice;

and my nephew is wearing a Rolling Stones t-shirt;

Some patriots they are, huh?  LOL!  We may be independent from Great Britain but we still love them from afar!  We are hanging out and waiting to light fireworks tonight where it is perfectly legal.

Happy Independence Day!  I hope you find yourself in a free, happy place.