Glamp Stitchalot.

12 Nov

I write from Ann Arbor, MI. A hotel room. My suitcase is packed and I’ll be leaving soon, excited to get back, unpack my sewing machine, and dig into projects.

I’ve spent the last two days in a hotel ballroom with 130 other modern quilters. We’ve learned from four different teachers – BIG deals in the modern quilting world. Everything from sewing curves, to tiny foundation paper piecing, to appliqué techniques, and the art of a disappearing block.  We were divided into quadrants and the teachers shifted with each three hour class period.IMG_6676

It has been wonderful.  The women around me were super fun.  A couple were local to MI, the two gals down the table were from St.Paul,  and one had even flown in from New Zealand.  It was awesome to be with people who understood that quilts are not blankets.  NOT blankets. One woman told the appalling story of creating a intricate quilt for her son using video game characters … and she came home one day to find him wrapped up in a fleece blanket instead. Unacceptable!  These are my people. They understand.

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The free-form appliqué was my least favorite class, but I still walked away with new skills and appreciation. The tiny foundation paper piecing was by far my favorite and the most terrifying to start (It was our group’s first class!) – the square above measures in at 4.5”. I also – for the first time – made flying geese. (A common quilting technique.) I’d just never done it … and now I’m in love.

I’m coming away realizing that I am capable of more than I thought I was and with the itch to start quilting again. My sewing life has been more dedicated to dog collars and sewing booth goods of late.  It’s time to quilt. And make a sew-together bag. EVERYONE had them; I have the pattern but have been scared. It’s time.

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Hello, old friend.

29 Oct

I feel like we have some catching up to do.

I’ve written about my craft show adventure.  But some other things have happened in the last two months.

I visited Las Vegas for the first time and can confidently say I don’t need to go back anytime too soon. Dave, his work colleague, Becca, and I traveled together; Dave and Becca attended a conference while we were there and I was along for the ride.  Notables: hiking Red Rock Canyon; the fact that it was cooler in Las Vegas than it was in MN that particular week; time by the pool with a good book; exploring Container Park; sharing in Dave’s-kid-in-a-candy-store attitude while visiting the Pinball Hall of Fame.IMG_6529IMG_6564IMG_6541IMG_6525

Dave and I have been spending mucho-time in the basement of the parsonage sprucing it up.  We’ll need the space when he moves in next year.  (*cough* pinball machines *cough*) We had to clear out old (moldy) cabinets and ceiling tiles, pressure wash moldy walls, paint and paint some more, scrape the floor, paint some more … but good news!  We’re done and it looks awesome. I no longer am terrified of finding dead mice or ugly spiders when I do laundry.  Victory!

Mama Leanne came to visit. She helped me do fall yard work, cleaned my kitchen (Thanks, Mom!), and took me shopping … for wedding dresses. (Ohhh!  Ahhh!) I think I have found one that will be comfortable (utmost priority) and practical and pretty and – added bonus – it has pockets.

Way back when, I told you about a sewing retreat I signed up for – Glamp Stitchalot. It’s almost here, people!  I’ve learned that a couple (or all) of the projects are completely out of my league but, hey, I’m going to learn. And meet new quilting friends. And glamp in a swanky Sheraton for three nights. And I’m super excited about it.  (Usually events like this freak the-introvert-in-me completely out. I will know no one. I will spend three days with these people – eating with them, sewing next to them, conversing with them. That’s a lot for me. A LOT. But I’m so not freaking out. I’m too excited about the fabric and the quilty people and the stitching!)

As an aside, a tree fell onto my compost bin.  That’s fun. IMG_6629

Craft fair-ing.

28 Oct

I did a thing today.

I set up a booth at the local craft fair and sold some practical, home-sewn goodies.

IMG_6634I mentioned this in my last blog post – I decided to jump. To leap. To try something I’ve kinda always wanted to do.

I still remember walking into the Olson Campus Center at Luther Seminary and meeting my newly-found friend, Melissa, whose first words that day were, “We think you should open an Etsy store!”  We developed a five year plan … which would have expired two years ago.

I never opened an Etsy store. I was a bit too intimidated. Scared. What if I failed? What if I made a bunch of stuff and it never sold? What if it sold and the people who received it thought it sucked? So many reasons not too.

But today I tried it anyways. The past weeks I’ve been a horrible friend and doggy mommy, because I’ve been sewing in every spare second.  I gathered inventory I was happy with and nervouscited  (nervous + excited) to display and sell.

Was it a smash hit? Not exactly.  Did I sell stuff? Absolutely. Will I do it again? Probably. (Actually, yes.  A friend and I signed up for a show in Austin in three weeks. I’ve got enough inventory to carry me there.)

Jump.

5 Sep

I was actually on vacation all of last week. Monday through Friday were staycation days for me. I got some projects done around the house and took the opportunity to read and rest.  I also sewed.  A lot.

I finished a baby quilt. Check.IMG_6498

But then I also did a crazy amount of other sewing.  See, I’m taking a gamble, a jump, next month. I just signed up to have a booth at the local craft fair. I’ve always thought it would be enjoyable to sell sewn items and I finally figured it was time to jump.

The Blooming Prairie Village Affair is the last Saturday in October and so, until then, I’ll be focusing extra energy on making piles of practical home sewn items. (I think that’s my thing – practical home sewn.) As of right now, my booth will include key chains, Christmas ornaments (not entirely practical but eh), dog collars and leashes. I feel like I need one more item to make it a good old odd number but what that item is yet, I’m not sure. FullSizeRender 5

Will I sell things? I hope so.
Will I at least make back the booth cost of $24? I certainly hope so!

It’s all a grand experiment. We’ll see how much I enjoy the sewing, the setting up, the selling.  (So far it’s been fun to experiment and dream and think about the details.) I value your cheers of encouragement!

One last summer adventure.

4 Sep

I bought mums today.  Mums. ($2.99 at Aldi!)
School starts tomorrow.
I drank a hot coffee beverage.
I made applesauce.
Fall is in the air.

Before the leaves turn and the pumpkins appear, we took one last summer adventure.  Cousin Brent was married this past Saturday in Wisconsin and we made a camping weekend out of it.

There was wood-fired pizza at rehearsal dinner, a beautiful ceremony for a beautiful couple in a vineyard, pretzel rolls for dinner and lemon poppyseed cupcakes for dessert, lots of laughter, and oodles of family time.  My mom had all four of her children from four different states in the same place for a day and a half.

When we weren’t with family for wedding festivities, we hiked and sat outside in camp chairs. I read a book and did some hand sewing.  We played bocce and enjoyed the babbling brook behind our site.

Fall will bring its own adventures, but before that comes, I’m grateful for one last summer adventure.

 

An ode to summer.

22 Aug

The summer is nearly over and I’ve updated you none.

Here we go: summer in a blog post.

Emmett is both lovely and infuriating. (Today: Infuriating. My floor is covered in stuffing from one of his toys. He has rang his bell to go outside more than I think he should. Hanging outside while I did yardwork was the perfect time for him to dig a hole in the yard. This morning I turned on the shower and he jumped in before I did.)  We went to puppy class for a series of Wednesdays this summer with a local kennel club. He learned a few new things including manners around friend dogs. He got his first haircut and looked like a weirdo for about three weeks until it started growing back again.  We learned that he gets his own cup of ice cream when we drive through Dairy Queen and that, though he can swim, he is not a huge fan.

IMG_6415Dave bought a camper so we’re camper people now. We’ve talked about it for years, how we want to be camper people someday. We’ve taken it out once to stay in the yard of his sister’s house in Wisconsin. It will travel with us to WI again in a couple weeks as we journey east for a family wedding. I’m looking forward to recovering seat cushions and sewing curtains and making the camper uniquely ours. (As Dave told his mom: Lindsay can’t have a space like this and not make it her own. He knows me well.)

We had family visit last weekend – Dave’s brother, sister-in-law, and their two kids from North Carolina. We spent time at the SPAM Museum, playing bocce ball in the yard, and watching the Angry Birds movie on repeat.  Literally ON REPEAT.  *crazy eyes face*

The garden grows but the lack of butternut squash has me both concerned and peeved. (I planted four plants … and I spy only two squash.)  I have oodles of green beans, tomatoes, and cucumbers.  Zucchini too. Crossing my fingers I have oodles of sweet potatoes when that harvest happens.

I spent an afternoon at the pool with my favorite Dawson/Owatonna family. Game of Thrones has been keeping Dave and I enthralled on Sunday evenings. I’m getting into the dog collar sewing business. (You can bet Emmett will have holiday-themed collars.)  I paid zero attention to the eclipse. I’ve joined the #100hexies100days2017 group on social media; each day for the next 100 I make one English paper pieced fabric hexagon.  Tomorrow is day nine.

Thanks, summer. You’ve been good … but slightly uneventful too.  (Causing this blog post to be a bit of a bore. I blame summer … and being near my bedtime on a Tuesday.)

Doc update.

4 Jun

One of Dave’s pinball acquaintances met Emmett and called him a Muppet, a la Fozzi Bear.  When you think about it, that’s pretty accurate.

His current list of tricks includes sit, lay down, up, stand, shake, high five, leave it, stay, “Look at me!” and come.  Many of those depend upon whether or not he knows if you have treats in your pocket.  We’ll keep working on it. He also rings a string of bells on the back door if he needs to go outside. Or if he sees a bird he wants to chase. Or if he’s bored. We’re working on that too. He has also – BIG NEWS – stopped sleeping in his kennel at night. He sleeps on his bed next to my bed and he’s pretty awesome about it. Except those days he likes to get up (and wake me up) at 5:40am …

Here’s a fun (not) story: Dave clipped Emmett’s nails. Yes! Victory! To clip our own dog’s nails is high on the list for me (who had to take Mabel places to get her nails clipped). One nail was cut a bit too far = blood. Okay, okay. We knew this could happen. We addressed it and thought it had clotted. Dave went home; I sat on the couch. Emmett was doing his Emmett thing, and at one point ran over to the couch. Blood. Blood on the couch. Blood on the quilt. As I looked around, bloody footprints through the house. Blood in the bathtub (where Emmett sometimes likes to play). Guess what hadn’t clotted quite as well as we thought? An hour later, all was well, a load of laundry started, and blood cleaned up.  IMG_6299

I’d like to tell you how lovely people are.

3 Jun

A couple weeks ago, I spent the week in St.Paul taking a continuing education course at Luther Seminary. It was a wonderful, awesome, inspiring week. [For those interested, we explored church leadership through the lens of Brene Brown, author (most recently) of Rising Strong.  It just may have transformed my life in super good ways.]

But you know me. I can’t be far from a craft project for any too long. My fingers need to craft. So I took along with me a yellow Pyrex dish filled with buttons, floral wire, and a pliers. I’m making a button bouquet (a la this) for the wedding.

Here’s what I have so far, just stuffed in a jar for now. As you can see, color scheme is any and everything. Just the way I like it.FullSizeRender 3

So as I had time, during breaks or lunch, I’d assemble a few more button “flowers.” The instructor of the class, ever curious, asked what I was up to. I explained the whole button bouquet idea.

The next day I found a little sandwich bag of buttons on my spot at the table.  Sarah brought me buttons to add to my bouquet!

I got an email from Sarah-the-instructor just yesterday.  She’d found more buttons. Cool ones, she wrote. What was my address? She’d like to send them to me.

How lovely is that?

It kind of made me think how awesome it will be to have a bouquet of buttons from people I know and love. Marilyn at work has already brought me some. I hope to find some earrings/brooches of Grandma Vera’s to add in.  Maybe I’ll track down some other buttons from family members as I go. Maybe I’ll ask some of the women at church.  The button bouquet will continue to grow!

A mouse story.

1 May

Should I tell you the mouse story?

Here’s a mouse story. (I have too many of these.)

I was in the basement, switching laundry. Emmett followed me down. No biggie.

Until he found a dead mouse behind a box. And he picked the dead mouse up with his mouth. And refused to let it go.

I am FREAKING out. Drop it! Drop it! I yell, as if Emmett follows commands that well this early in his life. (He’ll do it with a ball if we’re playing fetch. But a mouse? Of course not.)

I remember that there is a box of Mabel’s old things in the basement. With a bag of bones inside. I start throwing bones at him, hoping he’ll drop the mouse and eat a bone. But I guess, to Emmett dead mouse > bone. Because drop the mouse he did not.

Next in his effort to keep his prize, Emmett runs upstairs.  I follow, frantically, grabbing a handful of paper towel on the way through the kitchen. He finally drops the mouse. On the couch.

Ew.

Using the paper towels, I pick it up and take it away. No more mouse for Emmett.

On my way to dispose of it, I throw him a mouth-freshening puppy chew, as if to pretend that will take care of the mouse cooties in his mouth. (I know it won’t.)

Let’s just pretend anyways, as he’s a kisser.

 

Life lately.

25 Apr

Internet and time have been slim at my house so I haven’t been able to update you. On life. As if my life is exciting enough that you want to read about it. Maybe not. But I bet you do want to see CUTE PUPPY PICTURES!

IMG_6215Like that one. Adorbs. Doctor Emmett Brown is growing and learning and biting. And jumping. And getting this housebreaking thing down. (*raises roof*)

In other news, I survived Easter, yoga continues to float my boat, and I’ve started to condition my straw bales for the garden. I tried to mow the forest-of-a-lawn that is my backyard but after five minutes I broke the mower (Okay, not really. But the blades stopped spinning.) and I’m kind of super excited for other yard work to come.

IMG_6212That’s life lately.

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