Monday, January 30, 2012

V and Co: sponsored giveaway: greenfairy quilts

i have valentines on the brain.
green fairy quilts thinks you might too.
so, to make your projects's a sweet giveaway.
read more and enter to win here
ps: tutorial coming soon.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

V and Co: on the radio: with mark lipinski of creative mojo

so today i'll be chatting it up with mark lipinski. i'll be talking about my book, i'll talk about being a mom.

and i'll try my darndest not to be a total dork. but i'm not promising anything...

check it out at TOGINET.
the show runs 3-5pm EST.
and say a little prayer that i don't blank out or throw up, or poop my pants. or have katie talk about poop in the background...
swear word.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

V and Co: moves like jackie

jackie chan that is.
yup, this is a story about the day i joined a gym again. the day i was forced to stop walking in the wee morning hours while most of the neighborhood sleeps.
see you would think that the word "winter" would have stopped me from walking.
nope, we've had a pretty mild winter.
i've been walking every monday through friday morning (except for rain) for the last 6 months. so when winter came around and it wasnt really that bad, i kept walking.
then it started to dip down into the single digits.
and guess what?
still walked.
yup, you could say i'm pretty bad A.

well, even the biggest and baddest get taken down a notch every once in a while.
and that my friends, is exactly what happened to me a week ago.

let me set the scene:
my neighbor who's gotten to know me and still kind of likes me and i being all bad A bundled up in three layers of clothes as well as sporting protective face gear/gloves/extra socks and so forth, up and walking our route, needing to watch our step a little bit more than usual because the last snow fall has left a few icy patches here and there.
we're rounding to the home stretch and out of nowhere (not really the owner was standing there and i had seen HIM just not the little puff ball) a little puffball of a dog comes bouncing out from behind a snow bank.

have i mentioned that i ALSO walk my 98 lb dog every morning and i am attached to the leash of said dog on our walks? no? yeeeeah. well i do. and i'm not trying to brag when i say i don't weigh that much more than the dog, but i am short, so therefore i don't really weigh that much more than the dog.
yup, keep reading on...

i usually wrap the leash around my wrist a few times just to not have so much lag on the leash and well, our dog is a really great dog that normally doesn't care too much about other dogs we meet up on our morning routine. he's more of a look over at the other dog freaking out barking and pulling at thier owner's leash and say something to the effect of "hey, sup? just chill we see each other ever morning dude." kind of dog. and then continues on his happy little walk.
yup, my dog rocks and is probably cooler than yours...but then again he did get hit twice by a car...sooo. whatever the case he doesn't pull me hardly ever.

okay so back to the puff ball. lets see where were we...he jumps out catches me and my neighbor and my cool awesome dog offguard...i'm attached to the leash...aaaaaah yes.

my dog for some reason jumped and pulled forward all in one flowing motion, and because i was caught off guard, my ninja like reflexes weren't at their best.
but still, in my head as i was being pulled in midair, and while in my 360 degree flip i looked something like this:
as it all happened in slow motion i could hear in a close but far away distant, my neighbor and the puffball dog's owner say things like "ooooohhhh...OOOOUUUUUCHHHH...thhhaaaaats goooooot toooooo suuuuuuuck..."
 and then i envisoned mr jackie looking like this.

i landed flat on my butt/back
when i hit the ground, i hit really hard.
but to add insult to injury... (nope it doesn't stop there)
my dog then continued to PULL AND DRAG ME 4 to 5 feet, in the snow, just like a runaway sled.
while on my back being dragged, i collected a ton of snow, much like the snowplows do...
and then as quickly as it stopped and i layed there:
this is not REALLY me...just a dramatization of me...though i would like to rock those shoes
when i finally came to, and was able to stand up, my neighbor asks "you okay?"
 "yup. peachy!"
then she said "i didn't laugh."
we both knew she was waiting and trying real hard not to though...
and then i did. i started to laugh uncontrollably and so did much that the other dog and the owner slowly slinked away and high tailed it out of there.

when i finally made it home, i told the husband what happened and he asked if the neighbor had had any way of documenting it because he was pretty sure we would go viral and then we could quit this silly business of working all together with that one video.
then we both looked at the dog...
the dog looked back and i swear to you said:
"sup? we going on another walk?...what? why you looking at me like that?"
nope buddy, no we're not going on another walk.
i'm now walking on a motorized rubber belt.
and i no longer feel like a bad A.

ps: yes i'm okay.
two days later i "felt" the fall in my bum and back. the husband took care of me,(thank you husband!). 
though i'm still waiting for the "sting" my pride took to go away(husband NOT helping on that one)...but somehow i think with each laugh, it gets a little better. :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


... and they are being shipped out today to all of you wonderful wonderful people who have bought  a signed copy. :D
oh and psst... amazon has it at a great price if you don't need or want me to sign it. just sayin'

other great places to find it:
my shop (signed copies)
fat quarter shop
martingale and company publishing
barnes and noble
and of course some quilt stores might be carrying it too. just ask them! :)
:) have a fantabulous day.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

V and Co: how to: painted heart bag

sorry i meant to get this all done and written yesterday, but i didn't remember that monday was a holiday (aka my kids up my butt and needing me to do things all day long with them) till it was too late. and now i sit in a big empty quiet house with katie sitting next to me playing barbies. all is back to normal (aka boys back in school)
i mentioned before that i bought a three pack of these bags. so naturally you could expect at least one more how to using the bags. i think that last one is reserved for me, so i can have one of the applique bags but either in grays, yellows, or blues. or heck throw caution into the wind and go with eggplant. i know its a shade of purple, and i'm not a purple fan...but eggplant. eggplant i can do. we'll see.

but for today lets make something cute for valentines day.
what you'll need to make this bag:
-one of the three canvas tote bags found in the pack.
- freezer paper

-puffy paint in red pink and white. (found in the crafting section with the paints)
-one pencil with a full eraser
-paper plate to mix paint

1. first you are going to cut out a 2 pieces of freezer paper (shiny face down) around the size of the bag front.
2. second, place one inside the bag to catch any paint bleeding. the second paper you need to fold it in half with the shiny side inside, and draw half of a heart.
3. third, cut out heart, open the freezer paper, and shiny side down, iron until it adheres itself to the bag front.

-place some paint on your paper plate and dip the eraser of the pencil down into the red paint so that the tip is covered in paint.
-proceed to dab and re-apply paint and dab paint. do this for about 1/3 of the way up.
-add a few random higher dots so it merges slowly into the next shade of pink.
-wipe off excess red paint. and then proceed to start the process all over again with the pink paint (adding a few dots of the pink into the red dot section)

-to create the light shade of pink i added some of the white paint and the pink paint together. 
then i proceeded to continue all the way up to the finish the rest of the heart.
- let it sit a little to dry, then slowly pull off the freezer paper.

and there you have an easy valentines celebration bag.

now if you'll excuse me...i'm off to shovel the driveway and sidewalks...again. the husband called a snow removal place for me...but they don't come out till tomorrow to give us an estimate...and i'm still too cheap to say we really need that.
i'm sure i'll have more stories on that.
we'll talk soon!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

V and Co: catch up or ketchup

 since moving here almost 6 months ago, i feel like life has been moving in fast forward motion. i blog sporadically. weekly mind you...but no set post, and no set hours like i am so fond of doing. i clean like a mad woman only to get aggravated that my house still needs to be organized to have things have places. so i can get back to my "everything has a place and everything in its place" mentality.
we are finding our routine, we are making new traditions, we are finding our groove, we are...moving forward.


crazy fast but good.
so this is a blog post about not much at all except for a few things of the happenings these last few days, a lot of blah de blahs of daily life. you know like how i used to blog about.
i have so many funny stories to tell you. i just wish i had a hour to write it down and tell you about it. my crazy trip to almost chicago. i can't tell you how often i don't know where i am in this part of the united states. to tell you which way you are driving. i can't tell you which direction i am facing at any given moment, and even when i stare at the little compass in my car that says i'm going north i could have sworn i was driving east. what the heck. will this ever make sense? don't know but i almost made it to chicago, *thinking* i was going home from a 30 minute drive from my home, i got on the freeway to come home and well...went the wrong way. 1 hour and 30 minutes later i'm at a rest stop asking jake when i'm suppose to get on the 330? and jake said within seconds of getting on the first freeway. yup...i drove 1 hour and 45 minutes towards chicago. but apparently time also moves super fast because i didn't realize i was on the freeway for that long. the husband's reaction went like " did you not know you were going the wrong way? AND FOR like 90 miles?!" loooong pause...*que in hysterical laughter*..."OH MAN you are NEVER going to live this down."
and yup, sure enough i get asked randomly from family members if i'm going to try to go to chicago today or if i need directions to the bathroom. :/ stupid family.
yup, there's a lot that i could blog about and i think "oh man, i've got to write this down. i can't make up this crap!" and then days fly by and then all the details are fuzzy and i can't remember why it was so darn hysterical that i would use one whole blog post to write about it...but i'll try to make a more concious effort to write them down, not so much for your benefit, but for the fact that we like to read sometimes some of the crazy stuff we do or say or how silly dad is in how he shows mom he loves her. we laugh a lot. again i find myself saying "" :)

 so the other day while trying to implement a schedule and going grocery shopping on wednesdays...i came across these freaking adorable plates for $1 at walmart. dude. bought 3. katie had the iron grip on them and was already talking about needing a place setting of 12 in the near future.
when i came home i was looking at them and asked katie if she wanted them in her kitchen as decoration. (since moving here i've not really decorated my house let alone her little kitchen area and all of a sudden i was having major ideas going on for a cute little girl kitchen that included these plates.) so we went downstairs to her kitchen grabbed the hot glue gun, and some ribbon.
 i cut ribbon at 2 1/2" and hot glued the ribbon on. i've done this before to plates and they seem to hold up, and the plates being plastic, if they fell...oh well, get more permanent glue for the job...
 got a level out and:

 there you have it, the start of a cute little kitchen area. i'm now all vamped to try to find other cute things to get it more done. i'm sure i'll share as that evolves. :)

ALSO we have gotten closer to the paint that i DON'T want on my walls.
i've decided there are waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too many options. enough to cause a panic attack between "shade 1" or "shade 2" blarg. <--gurgling pirate alert.
 so we have 4 so far on the walls. yes WALLS i have a patchwork in different parts of the areas that are going to be painted.
 and unfortunately...every gray and every blue hue...comes out mauve or purple because of the way our house faces...again don't ask me which direction cause i don't know.
sooooooo...back to the drawing board on that.
i do think i am leaning more towards a cream white. it's safe, it's light, and it will make me happier than the yuck brown everyone adores. (sorry no offense).

and this last week we finally saw snow. i think like 10" fell...but the wind was blowing fierce and we had so many huge drifts in our driveway and sidewalks. when the wind died down to less than fierce and just kind of beastly. i got out there with my (what felt like) little shovel spoon. and proceeded to *try* to shovel.

span forward 2 hours later:
i knew i must of looked bad. but it had to be done, so while the neighbors started to come home and my neighbor got her snowblower out and did her driveway and sidewalk in like 20 minutes flat...she so kindly looked at me and started to snow blow what i had like a hour ago shoveled that was yet again getting drifted on.
im pretty sure it was my froozen boogers running sideways off my face onto my matted hair, that tipped her that i was out there for a little longer than what felt like forever. i was so grateful of her kindness and she got the rest of it done will i kept "spooning" in a little corner only to turn around and need to "spoon" the snow where i had just finished.

i came in the house and shed all obviously-you-are-not-from-iowa-layers, which included taking off my tennis shoes, (yeah i know) and went to the bathroom. when i looked in the mirror i noticed all my mascara had run from being froze-nd onto my eyelids.
i looked like a cross between jeff daniels in the movie Dumb and Dumber with his frozen snot on the motorcycle ride into aspen, and yes, my favorite alter ego i turn into when the hair and makeup don't work: alice cooper.
good times people. good times.

i've asked for a snowblower for our anniversary.

tutorial coming on monday.
have a great rest of the weekend.

Monday, January 9, 2012

V and Co: how to: hand appliqued petal bag

 my daughter loves bags.
kind of makes me proud.
because i have a thing for bags too.
 one thing this cute bag does is that it provides her with a big enough bag that she can carry whatever she wants in it: stuffed animals, baby dolls, wands, confiscated legos or star wars dolls action figures, whatever the thing she wants to carry she can. and it's kind of rock star.
my original thought was to have it be her library bag, or her church bag, where she could bring her own special things that will help her keep her mouth shut occupied during the service. we tested it out this last sunday, and what do you know...she felt all kinds of grown up because she walked into church with her own over sized bag just like her mom. she even had the 7 year old noisemaker put his "occupier" in her bag before the service, brought it out for him, then got it back and put it in her bag when we moved into the sunday school part of it. yup, mother in training already i guess. :)

and ahem, please note that a couple of petals were moved around after i had placed glue on them. this wont happen naturally, it just happened at my house, because said daughter decided to "help" after i had left the area. hence the wonky placed petal in the middle corner. :) oh well, it's her's right?
okay lets get started
supplies needed:
-light weight iron-on fusible interfacing(you can find it at most craft stores)
-one 3 pack of canvas totes measured at 13.5" x 13.5" mine was found at walmart (see link)
-thread for applique (find some at your quilt store. or you can try these suggestions: to get a good  close enough shade to the two shades of lighter pink. and one shade closer to the darker hot pink)

-fabric fusion glue. (i found mine at Micheal's) use that 40% off! this stuff is good and makes it permanent, and helps with the hand applique part of it.

-three shades of solid pink fabric. (found at most quilt shops)

*note: you will only need around 1/8 yard of the dark fabric, and even less for the two lighter shades. so if you have scraps awesome, if not, a fat quarter would be good, but you will have left over fabric. (then again you will have 2 extra bags...)

-now for the template you will need to right click on the image above and save it to your computer, make sure when you print it out you print it out to the full page. this should give you the right size of template. (if not i'll work on getting a pdf linked to it which you will then need to make sure you print it out at 100%)
-make 3 to 5 petals of the lightest shade of pink. i only used three, but play around with it if you want to add a few more petals.
-make 6 to 7 petals of the medium shade of pink. i started out with 6 petals and decided i wanted one more to fill it in just a little more.
-make 9 to 10 petals of the darkest shade of pink (i used 9)

making the petals:
*i precut some of my fusible webbing in skinnier sections so it would be easier to trace my petals in sections for the different shades.
-cut out your petal template and with a pencil trace on your fusible side (it will be a little shinier than the non fusible side) your petals.
- do enough petals for each color (remember make a couple extras so you can play around and see how full you want it)

-place your fusible webbing (fusible side up) on top of your fabric.

-using your drawn lines as your guide, sew ON the petal lines.
-do this for all your petals.
-cut out your petals (cut them close to the sewn seam, around 1/8" out)

-once you have your cut out petals, gently pull your interfacing away from the fabric.
-with scissors, cut a small long slit in the middle of the webbing.

-turn inside out, use a straight pin to pull out those pesky points.
-iron your petals. (the fusible webbing will adhere itself to the inside of the petal and give you crisp edges.
-start placing the lightest petals in your right hand bottom corner.
-grab the other shades and start fanning out your petals by placing them in between and slightly under the first set of petals.
*notice that i played around with petals and started out with only 6 medium shade petals...

*and here it is with the 7 petals (that would of looked even better if little hands hadn't move them. life with kids helps you to learn to say "oh well" or sometimes in like this case "i love my kids, i love my kids, i love my kids...maybe if i keep saying it, i wont forget it at this moment that i love my kids.")
*the good news is that the glue works so well that i was going to ruin the petal if i kept trying to pull it off.

once you have your petals are where you want them, get your glue out.

gluing your petals:
starting with your darkest shade petals:

-place some glue on the back of a petal (don't lose your placement so just do one or two at a time) and lightly coat the back of the fusible webbing. (use a painting brush if you have one, if not your finger will be just fine too)
*don't overdo the glue, you don't want it to seep through, because even though it's invisible it will "show" and get kind of crusty hard on the fabric side after it dries if it seeps through.
-continue to do this for each petal
-once all of them are glued, walk away for a while till they dry.

okay once your petals are all dried...
Appliqueing your petals:
-if you've bound a quilt before then you know how to do invisible stitches. 
starting at the edge of the dark petals:

make your first stitch by bringing the needle up through the inside of the canvas bag, its tip emerging a tiny bit to the side of one of the petals. (i started with the outer most petals.)
-insert the needle back into the canvas, right next to the place where it emerged.(NEXT to it not right through the same place)
-only go about halfway down with your needle and bring it back up about 1/4" from your first stitch. (the picture above shows what i am describing, just in a different part of the petals)

*because you have glued your petals down first, you do not need to applique like you would if you were appliqueing a quilt block. (less than 1/4" between stitches) the appliqueing on this project is more to make sure your edges don't fold up when you wash your bag.
-continue to applique around your outer petals.
-for the middle section petals, because there are more layers, just applique through the petals underneath the petal you are appliqueing. there is no need to go through 4 layers of fabric and webbing and then canvas to applique, just make sure you make your stitches go through at least one layer under it to adhere it so it will now fold up when you wash it.

-now you have a totally awesome bag that cost you a little less than $5 to make and you can make two more in different shades of colors.
i'm making one for me next...i'll post pictures...when i get a moment to finish it. you know in between everything else i got going on. :)

this little girl loves it. and i love that she loves it. and yeah, she totally posed like that for me without me saying anything to her. she's getting old too fast.
i thought that was a good thing and now i'm not so sure.
okay well it is what it is. :)
we'll talk soon.
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