Thursday, May 30, 2013
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
The first is going to my best friend back home, DeShea. She has been asking for a quilt forever, and 2 years ago when I went home to Georgia, we went fabric shopping and picked out most of the fabrics in this quilt. As soon as I got home, my life turned upside down, and the quilt just didn't happen. But we are leaving to go home to see everyone on Saturday, so I knew I couldn't go home empty handed.
This quilt is an adaptation of the French Roses quilt pattern by Heather French. It is very scrappy and colorful, I just love the raw edge applique and I'm always a sucker for a pieced border. In fact, 3 of the 4 quilts I am blogging about have one! Ha!
The last quilt in the line up today was made for my kids' amazingly special daycare lady, Ms. Leanne. She was put into our lives for a very special reason, and became a part of our family! I was so worried and anxious about leaving my kids in daycare when I had to go to work suddenly last year, but God provided Leanne. She has loved and taught and nurtured my babies like only I would. She helped them grow in their independence, their skills and knowledge, and she laughed with them when that is what they needed the most.
From the sadness and pain of out lives, came the opportunity of a lifetime when I met Jason. He has made all the difference in our lives, and so when we decided to join our families, we had to leave Ms. Leanne's daycare and move across the city. I made this quilt to match the colors of her house (they do match perfectly), and I modified my friend Kristie's MacKenley quilt pattern and added some of the appliqued French Roses. We wanted her to have something special to remember us by.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
I used the same papers from October Afternoon that I did when I made my kids' advent calendar and taught this class.
Today is the day!!! I know they will have fun opening them up to see the treats inside!
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Life is VERY HARD as a single, now working, yes I went back to work...Mom of two very little ones. My day starts at 5 a.m. to get up and tiptoe around while I make myself a cup or three of coffee and get dressed, make up on, breakfast (maybe) and lunches packed, before I wake up the little ones who are inevitably cranky and un-cooperative. Then we're off to drop them at daycare and endure a few tears before I rush off to work... Then while at work, I have a great, and very rewarding job that I really enjoy, but it too is busy and full-paced. Then off to pick up the kids and hopefully (but not too often) feed them a healthy meal before doing baths, play time, cuddles, snacks, stories, and then bed. By then, I too am ready to climb into bed, but alas, I have to do the dishes, laundry, vacuum (maybe), get clothes ready for the next day...and start all over again...
My sweethearts make it all worth while, and my amazing in-laws and friends have made it a lot easier...but at the end of the day, I'm flying solo...and it sucks! It is hard. There, I said it! I am notorious for saying, "I'm okay, doing good!" when asked by my friends...I just hate to complain, and I HATE to ask for help. Thankfully, most people know that about me and don't wait for me to help, they just pitch in and DO IT!
The reason I'm telling you all this is not to make you feel sorry for me, or get any sympathy...I don't want it...but I want to be REAL and not pretend like everything is good or fine in the life of a single, working mom...cause it's not. It is tough, day-in and day-out. It does get easier as you find a routine, but when your kids are sad or sick or hurting it is a hard row to hoe!!!
These are the reasons I get up every day and put on my make up and a smile...they are the reason I still believe in the power of love. I am learning that our suffering will consume us, and in the same way LOVE and forgiveness will consume us if we let it. It is not easy. It is not fun. Many days I wish I could wake up to my old life...I wish I could give my kids a home that wasn't broken...I wish I could give them things I cannot. But I am quickly reminded of all that we DO have...and I am thankful for it.
We have a home, with clean water, a car to drive, plenty of food and clothes, and toys...and I have a good job. We have our health, and the LOVE of family and friends...and God! We are truly blessed...it just takes a little perspective...doesn't it?
Friday, February 18, 2011
The main purpose of this blog as it began was to keep all of my friends and family back home up to date of the goings on in our busy life here in Canada. It has progressed to include a great deal more of my creative side and the goings on of my business, Magnolia Designs and my quilting and scrapbooking hobbies. As such, I have tried to keep the details of our personal affairs to a minimum, since it is a public forum and lots of the people that visit I do not know at all.
However, since I do still try and keep my peeps up to date, I do share some of our personal story. So I should update the blog to include that on New Years Day, my husband Shayne decided to leave our marriage. That desicion as well as some of the other details of the story came as quite a shock to our family. We have been trying to deal with these circumstances with dignity and honor, so I will not share any other information. The kids and I are doing very well, all things considered. We have an AMAZING group of friends and family here and back home that have held us up in our weakest moments. Were it not for this wonderful group of people and the love and strength of our MIGHTY GOD, I don't know where we would be right now.
We carry on...the blog will continue, although likely at irregular intervals...life as a single parent is B-U-S-Y to say the least.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
There hasn’t been a dull moment around our house in months. I’m not one to sit idle, else I start to go crazy, but I think I might enjoy an idle moment or two at this point…
Lately I’ve been busy getting ready for Halloween. It is one of my favorite holidays…not for the scariness of it, although I do enjoy a good scary movie now and then. But it has long been a favorite, for one simple reason…CANDY! My parents nicknamed me “candy Kathy” when I was a kid, because I am SERIOUSLY addicted!!! I do love seeing all the little kids dressed up and having so much fun trick-or-treating too!
Nalley and I decorated our house this week, and we made treat bags for her preschool class and her teachers and babysitters. I used my Cricut and Make-the-Cut software to cut and print the cute little ghosts from Boo to You by Mindy Terasawa. (Yes that is the digital kit that was used for the Riley Blake Boo to You fabric I used for the kids Treat bags found here.) I used clear thread to hang them from the tops of the bags.
The other cute little treat holders were inspired by these made by Kim at Stampin’ by the Sea. She used the Stampin’ Up dies to cut out the shapes and tape them together to make the holder…but I just made a custom shape in Photoshop and created a cut file in Make the Cut to make it lots simpler and cheaper for me because I didn’t have to buy the die. It is a super cute treat holder and I was pleased with how they turned out.
I used some yummy Swiss chocolates I got from Costco to cover and put inside. I used digital papers and printed them out…most are Shabby Princess.
Speaking of Shabby Princess…I am VERY sad to say that I resigned from the team this week as a result of all of the stressful stuff going on in our lives right now. I didn’t have enough time to commit to doing the kind of job i wanted to, or to meet all of the requirements for the team. I have shed many tears over it, but I know in the end, it will take a little pressure off of me during this time in our lives..and SP made it easier by being so understanding and supportive…but that is just the kind of wonderful person she is! Girls, I will miss you and miss being a part of the wonderful team! Love you!
I have made both girls’ Halloween costumes this year, the first time I’ve ever made a costume! Nalley is going as Little Miss Muffett, so I made her a peasant style dress with a mop hat, apron, and ruffle cuff bloomer pants…it is adorable, if I do say so myself! Maybel wanted to go as Dorothy Gale, from the Wizard of Oz. After checking the local party store for a costume, and realizing I wasn’t paying $40 for a cheap looking dress that would fall apart before we got home from Trick or Treating, I went and bought some fabric. Now…I didn’t buy a pattern…no, I am winging this one…how brilliant.
She isn’t here this week for me to fit it to her, so I’m just crossing my fingers, but so far it is looking pretty good for someone who has no idea what they are doing…LOL! I guess we’ll see!
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
To God be the Glory.
After reading an e-mail signed “Soli Deo Gloria”…I immediately googled for a translation. I melted into a puddle and wept.
I received a comment on my blog this week from the mother of a baby that had received a Quilting for Babes quilt and sleeper from the IMCN. She asked for my address so that she could send a proper thank you and picture. I eagerly obliged, and also got the following e-mail from her. I know all who have participated and followed this project will be equally as touched as I was…
M***** is our second living preemie. She was born on June 18th via an emergency c-section because the Drs. found that my uterus was rupturing. She is a miracle...a few hours more inutero or Drs. that weren't really on top of things medically and she would not be here with us. We are blessed. I am so thankful to God for allowing her to stay here with us.
M***** is our 3 1/2 year old who was a 30 week preemie...he is excited to see his sister wear the cupcake sleeper that we received from you! (No dull moments with him!)
We have two daughters waiting for us in heaven. M***** was 28 weeks gestation when she had the world's first inutero open-heart surgery at Stanford University...she did not survive the surgery. A***** died at 35 weeks when my uterus ruptured without warning. There were years of tears... So thankful that we are blessed with two living children :)
Thanks for your time and energy in making the quilts. They are beautiful!
Soli Deo Gloria, T***** and A****”
I see a family with amazing perspective, gratitude to a loving God who is surely getting all the Glory from their situation. My heart breaks for their years of tears, and rejoices for their 2 little miracles.
Soli Deo Gloria.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
I have blogged about Joce numerous times. She is one of those gems of a friend, the kind that everyone wants to have. Our story starts almost 6 years ago. She is one of the very first people I met after moving here to Winnipeg. She and her husband Travis (love him too) were neighbors of Shayne’s before I moved here. We invited them over for dinner a couple of weeks after I moved in, and I hit it off with them immediately. Joce and I are so much alike, interested in so many of the same things, etc… In fact, we have an “imaginary business” together. One that likely won’t be realized for a few years yet, but it is in the works.
I am only a few weeks older than Jocelyne, and we always celebrate our birthdays together. She has talked about me making her a quilt for a couple of years, and I have always said I would, but never have…what a friend, right?
I recently made her 2 year old a small quilt, but couldn’t spill the beans that I also had one in the works for her 35th. I bought this fabric a loooong time ago, and loved it. It is was a layer cake in Moda’s Arcadia by Sanae. I also bought some yardage for binding and such. I picked these fabrics for her because her birthday is in the fall…and I just liked them. I kinda made up the pattern as I went…because it didn’t go as I originally planned…LOL!
I pieced the back with a few of the leftover blocks and some of the additional prints I bought, and I think I like the back equally as much as I like the top. I just love white in a quilt. I quilted it with simple vertical lines following quarter inch away from either side of the seams. The quilting is soooo not perfect, but neither am I, and Joce loves me for me…so I’m sure the imperfections will just add to its character for her as well.
Over all I was quite pleased and mostly, just happy I got it finished before her actual birthday on the 27th…yay me! I hope she and her family will get lots of good cuddle time in with this quilt. It couldn’t go to a sweeter girl!
Thanks to my hubby for patiently being my quilt holder!
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
I am NO expert on the subject, by any means. I am really just learning about all that it can do…and what it can be made to do via other software programs. I will welcome any comments on the subject, as I am writing this post by request from some of the readers of the Shabby Shoppe blog who saw that I had cut out the Strawberry boxes for Nalley’s birthday invitations on my Cricut.
I bought the Cricut Expression in January, and got the Sure Cuts a Lot (SCAL2) software to go with it at the same time. SCAL is a software program that overwrites the Cricut’s need to cut with the cartridges that are made for it. You must have a cartridge, any cartridge in the machine in order for it to work, but SCAL reads .svg files (scalable vector graphics) as well as .scut (SCAL’s file designation) files and any true type font that you have installed in your computer. I should add here, that using the SCAL software with the Cricut, WILL void the manufacturer’s warranty, so if you are worried about that at all, you should wait until your warranty has expired to use the SCAL software.
You can download any number of .svg or .scut files on the internet at many different blogs and cut file websites. Many digital scrapbooking sites also have “d-cut” files or “digital cutting” files available for purchase too. However, if you are clever and somewhat proficient with photoshop, illustrator, or inkscape (and even if you’re not, there are MANY tutorials out there to catch you up to speed), you can create your own cut files and let your Cricut do all your detailed cutting for you.
For the strawberry boxes I used for Nalley’s invitation, I simply isolated the box shape in Photoshop, filled the “shape” with black and saved it as a .jpeg file. From there, I used the Trace Image option in SCAL2 and scaled the cut file to fit on my 8.5 x 11 page that I had printed my red and white damask paper on. I enlarged it to be as big as I could fit on the page.
I did the same thing with the strawberry cap for the box and just printed them on the green polka dot paper. I saved the scraps and used them for the other parts of the invitation.
There are so many tutorials available for Photoshop as well as Inkscape and Illustrator (they are both vector graphics programs, Illustrator is Adobe’s version, and is quite costly, but Inkscape is a free program and you can download it here). There are also lots of tutorials for SCAL, as I mentioned before. I am not a great help when it comes to this stuff, I do LOTS of trial and error…and usually have a lot of error in my quest for success…but it has been lots of fun and a good investment for me.
i hope you’ve found this somewhat helpful, and if you have questions, I’ll do my best to help. But please, if you are knowledgeable in this stuff…there are lots who want to know about it, so leave some comments for us!