Tuesday, February 28, 2012

V and Co: leaving on a jet plane

i'm heading off this lovely place. at least that's what i hear... that it's nice.
any ideas on the skyline?
oh i know so secretive its kind of annoying right? i'm really sorry. i don't like to lead you on or leave you hanging so i normally just keep my mouth pretty tight lipped till i know things are an actual go, but so far it seems like it is and i'll be able to tell you more in about a couple of weeks.
so yes, this picture is a little hint as to some of the reason why i've been sewing but haven't been able to show you anything for a little bit. and part of the reason why last week i got all in a ball and started rocking back and forth in the corner calling out  for my mommy... yeah. has to do with this. i'm not kidding when i say i fight the battle of nervousness when i have to leave my house and do what i like to do outside of my comfort zone.(aka husband and kids saying "ooh i like it! is it mine?)
 i really do get THAT nervous, thankfully when i finally get going things seem to start rolling but the whole lead up usually throws me in for a loop. (and yes, btw thanks for the kind words)

so here's to having only about 24ish more hours of complete panic, and then to move forward and onward...to the next thing that will make me want to toss my cookies.
ready for an adventure?
i keep telling myself i am.
my family keeps saying they back me up and are happy to push me out the door to do it.
but i'm not really convincing myself too well that i'm ready...well i guess until i can look at it from behind and say hindsight is 20/20 and it really wasn't that bad.
have a great week, i'll pop in hopefully with some behind the scenes.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


this little noisemaker turned 8 today.
heres a few things about you right now:
-you may be small, but you still hold the trophy for the LOUDEST of our noisemakers.
-it still holds true that cereal is still your favorite thing to eat.
-when you are not eating cereal you want to eat burritos or quesadillas.
-you are pretty smart when it comes to math.
-green is your favorite color.
-you want to be just like your older brothers.
-you play with your sister even if she annoys you. :)
-you love to cuddle and will "burrow" into our arms and laps whenever you can.
-you are awesome at doing flips on the trampoline...and sometimes even off the trampoline.
-you have made a couple of great new friends since we moved to iowa.
-you love to be constantly moving: biking, running, jumping, whatever it is you will be doing it unless you are sleeping. or playing Little Big Planet
-you are a super loving kid.
-you can't deliver a "knock knock" joke to save your life. but we love you for trying anyways.
-you live in your own creative little world inside your head most of the time, sometimes you come back to the real world. you have a lot of ideas.
-when asked what do you want to be when you grow up you first answer is  " have fun." your other answer is "be a teacher."
- generally you are pretty happy. well except for when you are about to get the flu. then you are not. :)

we love you and are so proud to be your parents. you are a great kid. happy birthday little dude.

Friday, February 24, 2012

V and Co: why

new favorite line at the moment domestic bliss by liz scott and a little pez as well

truth be told there's a lot going on. ha! there you have it. i'm sewing and sewing...and the blog...quiet. eh.
had a couple of wonderful chats with friends about balance between blogging, family and "other"...or rather lack there of. eh.
truth be told my family will always win.
as they should.
if everything ended tomorrow, my husband and children are what matters the most. period.
and speaking about family. i know some have mentioned that i've changed a few things here on the blog about what i write about, mainly about my kids and spouse.

let me explain why i've quit writing about my kids as much.

about a year-ish ago one of my sons came up to me and said "mom, can i ask you something. please."
i took one look at him and saw what he wanted to say was pretty important...i answered  "what is it? of course."
"can i ask you not to write about me on your site anymore."
i got that feeling, you know that one in that starts in your throat and goes down the deepest part of your stomach that accompanies where you've done something wrong or someone thinks you've done something wrong to them.

 i hate that feeling.

 i'm very much white personality  YUP, married to a therapist can you tell! disclaimer i am just highlighting the descriptions of the personality colors on that site. we're not affiliated with that site nor do i know anything about that site and i don't recommend buying or filling out any personal info. you can find more info about the color code  from this book.   
 i am most happiest when others are happy, i hate tension, but i especially hate making someone feel bad. don't worry i defend myself and my family if ever put in a corner, (that's the Colombian fiery side in me that comes out when it needs to ) but right at that moment i saw my child sad, about something i had said on the blog.

i guess even though it was hysterical what had happened and when i wrote it he was laughing too, and he was laughing when it happened, somewhere down the line, it wasn't funny anymore and he was hurt.

so from that moment on, i made it a personal mission never to have one of my children come up to me hurt about something i've written about them on the blog. since that moment i have to get an actual "okay" from each of my kids to write what i write if it includes their name or picture.

that also includes my husband. (and he's kind of upset he doesn't get more blog time, because he "is so hilarious and would like all of you to know of his hilarity". oh dear heavens). and he does do a lot of funny things, but it takes time to write it all out and blah de be blah...and when he gives me so much material it all gets jumbled if i don't write it down right there and then. i'll try to be better about that. he really is funny.
so last time i wrote about the kids and the husband that i got an okay on was here and  here.
and no not all of my kids are as shy about being written on the blog. one of them actually constantly says "hey you should write about this on the blog!" and no its not one of the young ones...and no i wont put you through the pain of what an adolescent boy thinks is hilarious on a daily basis. o_0

truth be told, most of my time is spent with the littlest one. that one there, with her back to me in the picture. she and i have the most time together, even though she goes to school every day, she's still home more than the three boys, they go to school and the minute they walk in from school it goes a little like "HI MOM!!! NO HOMEWORK! I'M PLAYING WITH_____"
i get about a nano second to say "did you have a good day, are you SURE you don't have homework?!"
bam gone. okay check backpacks...

so with all that said here's a little personal update.
son #1 is doing well. if you've been around you've read of his and my struggles.  he's been doing great and we've seen SO MUCH GROWTH in the last 6 months it brings tears to my eyes just to write it. he's doing well, trying new things, (heaven help me that trumpet is going to get annoying if he sticks with it.) he's made friends that come to our house to ask for him :D <---that's a huge grin. and he's growing up some. oh we still struggle, but with all our more stability in life in general i think he's feeling that peace too.

son#2 well that kid is nicknamed "big brain" he's in some talented class that's too smart for me. i can't seem to get enough books downloaded for him to keep up with his reading. and yeah. he's doing just fine. friends and all the other stuff 10 year old boys do.

son#3 is well...my happy little child that probably sees everyone as muppets and the colors of the world are fluffy and happy colors. constantly need to pull that kid down from the clouds, and the only time things are "wrong" in his world are when he's hungry or about to get the flu. must be a happy place to live sometimes i wish i lived in that place.

the girl she's uh...blossoming into a big girl. her dog is still her best friend, and she's made some human friends here as well and missing her other human friends from our last place. and well she's taken on the role of taking care of the boys as i should or would if i saw what they were up to. she's pretty funny sassy too, but if she doesn't want you to think it's funny, she gets pretty feisty. should be an interesting teenage years.

the spouse: is missing his friends/co-workers that are all spread out everywhere now and some left behind making the new program awesome. :) BUT he's also loving doing what he's doing, and the experimental "i don't know if this is really going to work" side private practice has at times, taken a mind of its own where he feels like he has too much side practice going on. which is a good problem to have, but stressful as well no less. sigh of relief he loves what he's doing.

my home is still very bare. painted? yes. do i like the color. hmmm, i don't know. but it's staying up for at least a year.  and i promise to show some of the progress soon.

and me...well hmmm...how am i doing. okay? some weeks i find myself one step away from a panic attack. yup, two days ago i cried my eyes out because i felt i had too much on my plate and i couldnt figure out a time to take a shower/take a minute to breathe...but thankfully that just comes in spurts. for the most part. i'm doing well. at least that's what i keep chanting out loud when i feel like i've bitten too much for me to chew.
i kind of miss just having down time to organize something because well...i've been meaning to do it and i don't have too much to do today...
*so looking back throughout the years, i've noticed something. i always freak out in february, oh and june. those are my freak out months. so there you have it. mystery unlocked...i don't like February i guess :)
yup those are my whys right now. why the blog is so quiet, why i am who i am, why i haven't written more about my family lately and why i get up in the mornings.
so i guess we're doing "normal" and that my friends is awesome sauce to me. aside from the crying fit the other day.
hope you handle your normal well, and that all is well in your house.
have a great weekend.
i'll be over here. doing a lot of whatever "normal" means.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

V and Co: how to: make a leather cuff from a belt

so about 2 and half years ago, i bought a leather cuff. i LOVE it. and i wear it to dress up with my jeans, or (when spring and summer rolls around) shorts.
not frilly like most bracelets, wearing these cuffs will make you feel like a rock star.
and you'll be recycling any old leather belts you can get your hands on!

what you'll need:
-some recycled worn belts. i went through my closet, asked my neighbors to go through their closets and then i went to goodwill.
all in all there are some pretty cool belts out there that can potentially become cool cuffs.
look for cool designs or painted belts
-leather snaps brass plates
-maxi punch set
 (these are the ones i used, and they seem to be priced the best. i physically bought my snaps at micheals, and my maxi punch set at hobby lobby. but these from amazon are the same that i got at the stores.)
-piece of wood big enough to protect your surface from any damage (mine is an old piece of scrap wood)
-leather scissors
(i didn't use them, i just used an older pair of scissors i didn't mind dulling with the use of cutting through leather)
 lets get started:
-measure around your wrist with a belt while paying attention to the design of what will show on top of your cuff.
-cut your belt making sure there is some overlap (at least 11/2") in the back of your cuff.
-mark with a pen or just eyeball where you want the outer snap to be placed. i placed mine 1/2" from the outer edge and in the middle of my cuff.
- separate your 4 pieces of the snaps. there are two for the outer snap and two pieces for the inside snap. look at the diagram that comes with your snaps if you get confused.
-next i chose the smallest hole punch for this project. punch a hole using a hammer while your belt is on the piece of scrap wood.

-if you need to re measure where to place the inside snap, re-measure it by placing it around your wrist one more time and place a marking as to where to create the second hole.

-now that both holes have been made, grab your snaps and place the outer snap facing out. and place the second part of the snap on the inside.
-using a hammer and the little tool that comes with the snaps, hammer your snap in place.

-next to do your inside snap, place the flat side on the wrong side of your cuff (the inside of your cuff)
-and the snap part will be facing up towards you on the outer part of the cuff like the picture above.
-using the tool included with your snaps, hammer your snap into place.
you are done.

repeat on as many belts you can get your hands on.
oh and ahem...notice the new jeans?
yeah they make me feel like a million bucks. cost me a pretty penny, but when they make your butt look like it can bounce a quarter off of it (when in reality it SO wouldn't) i'm willing to pay the almost $90 on sale for them.
i found them at buckle. and yes i felt old walking in there but who cares.

now go hogwild and get as many belts you can. there are some really cool ones out there. you just have to find them. ;)
we'll talk soon.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

happy valentines day

 happy valentines day from our house to yours. may it be filled with pink and fluff, and lots and LOTS of chocolate.
i have another how to coming later this week. stay tuned. :)
how to for this pillow here

Friday, February 10, 2012

V and Co: on the cover and hanging out with cool kids

i got in the mail my cute issue of quilts and more the other day. and lo and behold i also got my cute little baskets ahem featured on the little side corner OF THE COVER. not in the front and center or anything but still ON THE COVER.
no that adorable cute quilt belongs to the talented kate and sherri.
it's a really great magazine! and it's pretty cool getting to sit in a magazine with some pretty cool kids. like joanna, camille, zombie, aneela, and lauren + jessi...i just hope they don't figure out that i'm the nerdy kid at the table going "don't notice that i'm a dork, don't notice that i'm a dork..." :) kidding the best thing about actually getting to meet all of these beautiful women and talk to them...is that they really are pretty dorky themselves too. oh man one way ticket out of the table coming on.
no really they are all NORMAL. but with some insane talent, but pretty down to earth. and that is very nice to know.

it's pretty cool... i have to pinch myself when in situations like this, like when you are looking at a magazine or looking at your book and think "how the helen did this happen?" and then a kid yells from the bathroom she went poop...or a kid runs in from school and the first thing he yells is "MOM! you gave me DORRITTOOSS..." with this look of you know exactly what horrible thing you did to them by placing doritos in their lunch...or when kids are fighting that so and so had a millisecond of a longer time on the that
ONE controller than they did and how is the world SUCH AN UNFAIR PLACE where things like this happen!!...that's when i'm thrown back into reality, of nothing has changed, still a chaotic mess of a person they call mom and honey. yup. me+kids+real life+husband= chaotic mess of a life where i forget about some of the cool accomplishments i've got under my belt.
but a good life none the less.

oh but WAIT speaking of books:

check out the little shpeal on me here.
buy the book for 20% off here.

pretty cool review of my book here by Generation Q magazine
where i get to hang out with Sweetwater (yay! hi there ladies!) and the ever cool natalie chanin of  Alabama Chanin.
oookay dookay...i've got to continue doing what i need to do because little monsters are coming  home in about an hour and half and i have about 15 hours of work to get done. sigh. all is well. :)
have a fantab weekend. :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

V and Co: how to:reverse applique pleated heart

last year i made a reverse appliqued gathered heart pillow. so this year why the heck not do a reverse applique pleated heart pillow.
try saying that 10 times fast. i dare you.

this is a great idea for basically any holiday. (yup, already working on some other ones!)
so if you want to add a little bit of pleated flair to your holiday here's a cute and kind of easy project.
materials needed:
-scissors, iron, red thread, pencil sewing machine
-if you are using left over jelly roll strips take out three coordinating strips.
-if you are cutting your own strips: cut with a pinking blade: 3 strips of fabric measuring at 2 1/2" x 44" (basically the width of the fabric bolt) 
- 1 square cut from muslin or left over layer cake square at 10" x 10".
-2 pink squares (or whatever outside fabric you want to use) cut to 14" x 14" 
- cluster stuff


 now lets get started:

1. from each of your 3 strips you will get 4 small strips.
2.cut your strip in half length wise (where the crease is) with scissors.
3. fold again in half your two strips and cut with scissors again.
-you will now have a total of 12 strips.

-with an iron fold in half width wise your strips and press with an iron. make sure your two raw edges are nicely lined up.
- do this for all 12 strips.
-next grab your 10" x 10" square and with a pencil and ruler draw 3/4" lines all down the block (draw 12 of them)
-now take the strip and place your raw edge right up to the very last drawn line.
-using around a 1/8 seam sew your raw edge side down onto the drawn line.
-once you are done with your first strip, place the second strip right above the first strip on the next drawn line, repeat!

-keep going with all 12 strips

-this is what your pleated block will look like now.
** notice how the finished pleats are facing towards me and the raw edges are on the top. the raw edge top is the top of the block and the finished pleat is the bottom part of the block.
**also notice how it's all kind of wonky and not very straight...no worries!
-turn it over and cut off those excess pieces of pleats.
-now grab one of your 14" x14" squares and your pencil and ruler again.
-this time on the wrong side of your fabric measure in 2" from the edges and draw lines.

-using your drawn square place your pleated square inside the drawn lines.
*when you place your pleated square make sure you place the raw edge of the pleats up and the finished edge closest towards you.
**i placed a pin on the top side of the block because i wanted to make sure that i knew which way the raw and the folded edge were facing. (raw on the top and folded pleat on the bottom)
-using a 1/4" seam i sewed my first side...
-and stopped a 1/4" from the first corner.
-then i rotated the block (with the needle still in the fabric) and continued to sew with my 1/4" seam.
-repeat around all four sides. back stitch when you get to the beginning stitch.
-next get your 8" x 11.5" paper and fold it in half width wise and draw half a heart.
-cut it out and open it up. make sure the heart fits inside your sewn square.
-trace the heart around  on the wrong side of the pleated square (that was just sewn on)
-with your drawn line as your guide, sew right on top of your drawn line.
- turn it around and you are ready to start cutting away your extra fabric!
-carefully pull your top layer (right side of  fabric) away from your pleated layer sewn underneath.
-with scissors cut a slit into the middle of your heart area.
-cut close to the sewn heart line MAKING SURE YOU DO NOT CUT ANY OF THE PLEATS IN THE PROCESS!!!
-gently place your fingers under the fabric and tent it so you know you are just cutting the top layer and no pleats are harmed in the making of this pillow. :P
-continue to cut around the whole heart leaving your pleated reverse applique showing!

to finish it as a pillow:
1. place the second 14" x 14" square right sides together with your appliqued heart.
2.sew using a 1/4" seam around three sides of your pillow. the last side leave an opening of at least 3" - 4"
3. if you want you can do a diagonal stitch on all four corners as i talk about it here, it helps with eliminating super pointy ears. :) of course if you are into super pointy ears by all means leave it and don't do the diagonal stitch. and i wont judge your freaky deaky dutchiness.;P
4.turn inside out, stuff like a thanksgiving turkey with my favorite stuffing that you can only get online
(or maybe some of you know where to get it elsewhere? cause i'd love to know if you've found it anywhere other than amazon.)
-hand stitch close.

and be festively valentine-y.

oh and hey: here's the video 
i got together with MSQC to do a video of this tutorial! you need to check it and say hi!

i have another how to...hopefully soon. i think it's turning out fantabulous. :)
we'll talk soon!

Friday, February 3, 2012


edited: i started this post yesterday...but life got over scheduled. sooo we'll just continue it today
-i wore my scarf from my book and i loved it as much today as i did when i was making it and put it on for the first time.
-i got a *little* (ha! more like a lot) overwhelmed with some of my decisions, took a breather, then got newly excited with all my new future projects.
***** this is to where i got...so i'll continue from here*****
-i went to bed at a reasonable hour last night
-realized i never did a birthday post for my now 12 year old. :(
-love that its raining and friday.
-didn't sew one stitch today, but got a lot of other things done.
-forgot to eat lunch
-realized i ate a whole bag of chocolate chips because i didn't make any cookies this week yet the bag is empty.
-need to go grocery shopping for chocolate chips groceries
-need to call my mom.
-keep trying to come up with good selling points for the husband on why i need this coat, too bad it wont make the price go down
- im listening to katie laugh hysterically because of something her dog and her are doing. (she needs more people friends i think)
-i'm getting ready to welcome home the husband and just got word he doesn't have to work at all this weekend.
-just got ridiculously happy about that last statement
-am going to get off the computer, grab my camera, and take the last few pictures of the couple how to's i can't wait to show you next week.
happy weekend friends. :)
we'll talk soon.
ps happy super bowl too. i'm not into it this year but i'm sure a lot of you are!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

winner winner

winner of this lovely fat quarter bundle is # 364 liz (your email address has already been sent to judi of green fairy quilts. you should be hearing within the next few days from her! thanks for all who entered.
we'll talk real soon. :)
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