Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Version of Elf on a Shelf

I heard about Elf On A Shelf a few years ago and I LOVE the concept - a little elf hangs out around the house 'watching' the kids to make sure they are being good and he reports back to Santa every night.  What a fantastic idea to get them to be nice to each other, eat their dinner, brush their teeth and anything else that I can think of (in theory at least!) and have a visual reminder around the house that 'Santa' is watching.

I thought it would be lost on my girls until they were a little older and actually got the whole 'Santa' thing, well this year my oldest is 4 and TOTALLY gets that Santa watches and brings gifts if she is good.  My middle girl is 2 and she 'gets' presents and understands being good so I figure we'll see if she understands the elf watching her concept.  If not it will totally go over well for Miss S!

Getting back to the actual Elf on a shelf, hes supposed to look like this:

But I must confess I find them a little creepy and I'm not sure why!  So I went down to the Hallmark store and found this little guy and fell in LOVE:

Hes ADORABLE and we named him Farley (it goes well with our last name...!).  Hes actually a christmas ornament that giggles, laughs and farts {hey, what can I say - we find farts funny in this house ;  )} so I figure he'll do double duty - for the first few years he'll be our own Family Elf on a Shelf and after that we'll hang him on the tree and remember how much fun we had with him when the kids were little.  I also picked the kids cousins up an Elf (I believe his name is going to be Fergy) so they can swap stories about their own Elves at each others houses.

Every day Farley is going to  to start the day in a different spot - tomorrow he is going to be in the upstairs bathroom waiting for the girls first thing in the morning.

All and all I think it will be a ton of fun.  Miss S has already asked me a million questions "How does he talk to Santa?" "How does he move?" "Why is he magic?" "If I can't see him, can he still see me?" "How good do I have to be to get presents?" and it went on and on and on....ah the mind of a four year old!!

As usual I have my side note on my basement progress!!!  The other day I posted this picture and said it was my sewing area (not correct, thats where the TV area/playroom area is going to be.)

THIS will be my sewing area!  It will start from where the wall juts in and be that entire back area (am I excited - oh YES I am!!!).  I think its something like 9 feet by 12 feet or something like that.

Miss S eyeing my new Sewing Nook!!  ;)
My sewing table will be set up on the far right wall and I'll have my cutting table set up on the back wall.  A couch will separate the sewing area from the tv area where the wall juts out and I'll have my ironing board right behind the couch.  Lastly I need a place for a design wall, I'm either thinking about using the door (the hole on the left wall will have a door in it tomorrow), or using the wall behind my cutting table but I'm not sure if I'll be able to reach it or not.  I'm sure it will take a few furniture moves before I figure out what works the best.

Our contractor was supposed to come today but we wound up getting 2-3 inches of snow and he had to attend to some snow clearing BUT he promised that he'd be back tomorrow.  As soon as he is out the door I am bringing ALL my sewing stuff downstairs and starting to set things up.  Once I have it remotely put together I'll post pictures and hopefully will get some sewing done.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Windy Windy Wind!!

We had one heck of a wind storm over the past few days (windy by Calgary standards, not necessarily hurricane or tornado winds!!).  Winds topped out at 130 km/h but they mostly kept at the 80 km/h range off and on for two days.

The girls Grandparents dropped them off after a fun weekend together (thanks again Mom!! You rock!) and warned us of flying shingles everywhere so I decided to take a quick look and saw this:

You can't really tell but on the far right hand side we have a few rows of shingles are are coming up.  :(  I'm so bummed but Mr. Quiltapotamus said he can fix it so I'm holding him to it!!  Thankfully we didn't get nearly as much damage as was being reported on the news.

When I went out to take pictures this afternoon I noticed our poor neighbours house:

Yeah, thats not snow on the second house from the right.  Over half of their shingles on their roof came off and thats plywood you can see.

On a side note the basement is ALMOST done!!  We just need to get the trim in and do a little touch up painting here and there but then its done done done!  Then I can bring all my sewing stuff down and I can get back to work on all my projects that I have on the go!

Can't wait!  Its going to be so great to get everything back down there.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just want to send a quick HAPPY THANKSGIVING out to my American followers and friends.

I wish you all a lovely day filled with Family, Love, and wonderful memories.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Eye Spy Fabric Playing

I think I should start to call this blog the Purple Planningapotamus or the Purple Processapotamus since it doesn't feel like I ever finish anything lately - I just keep posting about projects that I have on the go or fabric that I've got.   Hopefully that will change once the basement is finished and I can have all my sewing stuff in one area instead of in the garage, upstairs, on the main floor and anywhere else it seems to get hidden around the house!  We are getting carpet on Thursday so its only a few more days until we can move ALL the stuff back into the basement (including the girls toys so they can have a place to play again....I'm not sure whos more excited about them having their own space back, them or me!).

Anyways, I thought I'd do a tester square for my Nine Patch Eye Spy Quilt since it never fails that I manage to mess stuff up the first time I do something and I'd rather not mess up my new fabric that I got from the Eye Spy Swap!

After reading through the directions again (and again and again...) at Obsessively Stitching I decided to give it a go and this is what I came up with as my tester squares:

I took the picture after I cut the centre squares - I couldn't wait to see how it looked!

Just a little turn here and there and it looks like this:

I'm even MORE excited to get going on this quilt now that I have a good idea how to do the placement of the eye spy squares.  Maybe I'll get a little more sewing in tonight when the wee ones go to bed and its just Baby C and I hanging out.

Sorry again for the missed days in posting lately - I loved the Blogtoberfest thing but during the last few weeks it seems like life with three little people and a shift working husband has caught up to me and I can't seem to get on top of ANYTHING let alone sewing.   I've got a ton of projects buzzing around in my head and not nearly enough time to get them all done (or the laundry, vacuuming, dishes, sweeping, shovelling.......).  

Thanks for sticking with me and visiting my blog, hopefully I'll be able to get back into the sewing/blogging groove in the next little bit. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Eye Spy Quilt top Planning!

I know I only got my fabric from the Eye Spy swap two days ago but I seriously couldn't help busting it out this afternoon and seeing almost all the fabric laying out together and trying to decide how big I want the quilt to be.

Originally I thought I'd love to make each of the kids their on Eye Spy quilt but then it dawned on me that I'd have THREE of the suckers lying around my house!  Not that I wouldn't love three of them I just  know that I'd love a big one even more!  Plus then I can throw all the 'girl' and 'boy' specific fabrics into one giant quilt and all three kids will have a ton of fun with it.

Miss S and I laid out almost all the squares - its gonna be one BIG quilt!  I think I decided on 11 rows and 10 columns.  I had a vision of how I wanted it to turn out but I couldn't quite figure out how to type it so I googled Eye Spy quilts and came up with this post from Obsessively Stitching and its EXACLY how I want my Eye Spy quilt to turn out!!

Getting back to my quilt we laid out all the squares and I think its going to look super cute!

After Miss S and I laid out all the squares Miss L wanted to get in on the action so we busted out the 6 inch squares that I got from  A Girl and A Glue Gun's Etsy Shop (she also has a blog with uber uber cool stuff on it - you can see it HERE.  Anyways Miss L laid out a bunch of squares and kept laughing at all the different patterns.  It was super cute!

My little quilter in the making!!!

Hopefully we'll be getting carpet in our basement in the next few days and then its trim then onto my SEWING NOOK so I can actually get some sewing stuff done!  I've got my Tumbling Rubies quilt top that needs to be pinned and some serious Eye Spy fabric to sew plus I have the Crazy Cat Quilt haunting my dreams since I haven't touched it in far too long!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Eye Spy Mail Received!!

Oh happy day!  The family and I took a drive today and as we were leaving the house we stopped at the mail box and much much much to my delight my eye spy fabric that Sandra at Sew In Peace was there!!  Yippie.  I'm glad that my wonderful husband was driving so I could flip through all the squares and I did just that.

The swap was for 120 5 inch squares - and what a swap it was!!  There was monsters, horses, dogs, cats, bumble bees, dragonflys, fruits, vegetables, boots, kids, jelly beans, cherries, telephones, crayons, fire hydrants, teddy bears, fish, chicks, lions, cars......a TON of different fabric!

Another stack of fabric....

And another stack of fabric.....!

All the squares together  - what a lovely sight!

I have to say a BIG thank you to Sandra again at Sew In Peace for organizing this swap - THANK YOU!! ;)   I also need to say thank you to all the other swappers that contributed all the amazing fabric - my children and I are going to have hours and hours and hours of enjoyment together looking at all the fabrics that will be pieced together into our family Eye Spy Quilt.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Its Begun.....Brrrrrr

We knew it was coming but its always a bit of a shocker when the first cold days of winter hits!  Truthfully it did snow on Halloween day for a little bit but it didn't seem as cold - so I count today as the first 'cold' day!

Today started off nice enough, I took Miss S to preschool and it was brisk out but not too bad overall.  2 hours later when I went to pick her up it was quite a bit colder and then it started to snow and of course Miss S was dying to go out and play in it.  

Of course I keep forgetting to take pictures of the snow during the day, here are some lovely night shots, thank goodness for porch lights!

I guess we need to suck it up and realize that the nice weather is over and bring the patio cushions in!!

My husband put winter tires on the van last week and never having them before I had no idea what I was missing.  It wasn't bad out today but the van totally stuck to the road even when a little girl jumped out in front of me between some cars.

Miss S won't get her wish of sledding tomorrow since there isn't quite enough snow, but maybe she will in a few days if the snow comes that I heard they are calling for.  Then again it IS Calgary and the weather report I heard this morning has probably changed three times by now.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Homemade S'mores Please!!

I wanted to mix it up tonight and do something fun with the girls since they have been bouncing off the walls all day and thought that doing a fun dessert that they could help with would be awesome.  Enter the S'more!  I've seen a ton of different tutorials all over the internet but I decided to just wing it and make our own as we went along (no following of rules in this house for me ;))!

We started with a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper (that stuff is amazing and the clean up is a breeze with it!!!) and put down a bunch of graham cracker squares.

Next I had the girls lay out a generous layer of mini marshmallows (and they ate almost as much as they put on the graham crackers I swear!) trying to make sure that we didn't pull the base crackers apart.

Then we put a few kid sized handfuls of chocolate chips on all the marshmallows (of course eating more as we went along!) to add that wonderful melty chocolate'ness......!

Then we put the cookie sheet in the oven set to broil (note to self - hit 'self clean' on my oven in the very near future!!!) and waited for the marshmallows turn an awesome wonderful shade of toasty brown....!

Still waiting....!

And waiting some more....but the toasty'ness has started!

The final product!  I wish I had of taken a picture of it without the graham crackers on top to show the awesome golden brown marshmallows!

Cruddy picture - but amazing s'more!!!

Too bad I've eaten like 7 of these so far tonight - I need to hide them soon or the rest of them are going to find themselves going the way of the first 7!

We will definitely be enjoying more of these in the future!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Got the Fixin's to Finish!

Ok, I'll admit it I have way too many Work In Progresses going on right now.  I just can't help it, I either see something online that I just must do or I find some fabric that I just must have!!!  ;)  It really isn't conducive to actually finishing stuff since I just want to move onto the next awesome project (quilt or otherwise) that I want to tackle.  I'm like a cat that sees something shiny and gets easily distracted!!

Most of my lack of finishing projects stems from the fact that I don't buy the batting and the backing at the same time I buy the fabric for the quilt top.  Since I don't have all the material available I tend to take the 'I can get it later' approach and put the quilt top down and take forever to actually finish it.

Enter Exhibit A:

I got the backing and batting for not one but TWO quilts the other day.  No more excuses to not finish the Crazy Cat Quilt or the Tumbling Rubies Quilt! The black fabric is for the Crazy Cat Quilt.  I wanted something fairly basic since its going to be a wall hanging for my Mom and her Husbands house and no one is really going to see the back.  The red butterfly fabric is for the Tumbling Rubies Quilt.  Its super soft flannel and will be so comfy to cuddle up in and a great accent color for the Ruby fabric top.  I'm debating a pieced back and throw in an extra row or two of tumblers to mix up the back a little.

I know I said I had no more excuses but that wasn't quite true. I still don't have a sewing nook yet and I'm not 100% sure where my pinning table went (its either hiding in the crawl space in the basement or tucked in behind all the toys in the garage, I'm not sure!!) - BUT that should all be taken care of by the end of the week if the stars align correctly this week.  Hopefully once my sewing nook is put together or I find my pinning table (a folding card table that I don't mind if I scratch) whichever comes first, I'll be able to get to work on finishing both of those quilts.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I've got MAIL!!

A few weeks ago I signed up for the Eye Spy fabric swap hosted by Sandra at Sew In Peace and turned into an eye spy fabric MONSTER.  Suddenly they were the absolute coolest quilts out there and I needed more fabric even though I had 120 5 inch squares coming my way at the end of the swap - yes sometimes I have fabric OCD and this was one of those times!!   I wound up visiting A Girl and A Glue Gun and just as I was on my Eye Spy fabric hunt I saw she had a listing in her Etsy shop for two sets of 50 6 inch eye spy squares for a super good deal that I just couldn't pass up!!  

Miss S and I walked to the mail box this afternoon and I was SO excited to see a big beautiful package in the mail!  I wasn't sure if it was the Fabric Swap fabric from Sandra or the Etsy fabric from Kimbo @ A Girl and a Glue Gun but I quickly figured out it was the Etsy fabric - needless to say Miss S and I walked faster on the way home than we did on the way to the mail box to check out all the fabric!!

Kimbo even wrapped the fabric up in pretty paper so it was like opening my very own present of fabric - the best present of all!  ;)

100 glorious squares in all different patterns: turkeys, soccerballs, trick or treat, cupcakes, cats, race cars, carrots, lemonaid, dogs, bowling pins, robots, puzzle pieces and a ton of different other fabrics were in the package and Miss S and I spent at least a half an hour going through them all and me quizzing her on what was in each fabric.  

I CANNOT WAIT for the fabric swap fabric to come in - 120 more squares of fabric goodness to go through with the girls and get to work making a large throw quilt for all the kids to play on.  I have a feeling I'll be making more than one of these quilts for the kids since they'll probably fight over who gets to play on it.  

Just and update on the basement finishing - thank you to everyone that left comments about paint color!!  We want to stay away from white since its going to be a playroom and the thought of three small children down there with white walls makes me want to commit myself since the walls would be soooo dirty!  I think we found a nice light brown (so boring yet it goes with everything) and we are looking at carpet tomorrow.  If all goes well it should be finished late next week and I'll have my very own sewing nook in the back corner by the weekend!!  So very excited!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Basement development - now onto Painting!!

Last week they finished up the drywall/mudding/taping/stippling for the basement development.  Now we are trying to figure out a paint color - WHY oh WHY does picking paint need to be so hard?!   It seems like each time we come home from Home Depot or another home improvement store the paint chips we've grabbed have either been too light, too fleshy colored, or just too blah.  We have however, agreed that the back wall where my sewing nook is going to be is going to be PURPLE (yes my husband agreed to a purple wall - he rocks my world!!)!  A very light shade of violet that will peak out from behind the white built-ins my husband is going to install for me - have I mentioned how awesome he is?!?!

Other than the purple we can't seem to agree on a wall color but we need to get on it since my Husband is off on his 11 day changeover (and 3 of those 11 days are either OT days or a work meeting day so its really only 8 days) and I really want this basement painted ASAP!  Then we can get the carpet in and the trim and get everything down there.  The girls are so excited for their playroom (but I think Mommy might be a little more excited that they can go downstairs for a bit during the day for some playtime while I enjoy a tea or just some quiet time for a few minutes with Baby C.).

I have been taking pictures as the development has gone on but I'll do a dedicated post to that - tonight I'll just share what we've got so far:

The basement from the bottom of the stairs looking straight in - its not a big space but where the window is we are going to put the couch and big screen and in the back corner where the pipes are sticking out is my sewing nook.....yes the pipes are still going to be there but they'll be hidden around the built in drawers.

The view looking from where the TV would be under the window - towards said sewing nook - yep....still excited!!!!

The view from where the TV would be looking towards where the kids playroom will be.  They have a ton of toys and a nice big play kitchen that will take up most of the space but it will be so nice for them to have their own dedicated toy area!

Thats it thats all - hopefully we'll be able to pick out paint colors tomorrow or Tuesday and either tackle the painting with the girls over a few days and hope no one gets too messy; or call in a few favours from friends and have a good old fashioned painting party and get it done in one day without the girls being home (Ohhhh Grandma.....!  ;)).

Now I'm off to bed and will probably be dreaming of paint colors since I've been looking at paint websites all night!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Tumbling Rubies - Quilt Top DONE!!!

The Tumbling Rubies quilt top is finally done!!  I'm so happy with how it finally came together!  Its the perfect size for a lap quilt and will be stunning once I put the binding on (in my most humble opinion anyway!).  I was going to do a boarder but I think I want to showcase the fabric and the scrappiness of it rather than trying to put a solid boarder around the entire thing.  

All total there are 15 rows of 14 tumblers per row - thats 210 tumblers that I pieced together.  I cut all the pieces on my Accuquilt with the help of my niece a few months ago and I couldn't imagine cutting them by hand.  My hat is off to anyone that hand cuts tumblers or any shaped fabric pieces for that matter.  I do straight strips with my ruler and have been accumulating a few Accuquilt dies along the way for any shapes I like or need!!!  I tend to make mistakes with my ruler and that just leads to frustration.

I need to stop taking nighttime pictures of my quilts - they always
look yellow!  I might retake a few pictures tomorrow with some
sunlight to give a proper view of the fabrics colors.

Its such a fun and cheery quilt!  I cant wait to find some backing fabric, I think thats a 'next week' project and then I can get to quilting the top.  I'm not sure if I want to keep it simple or actually attempt to machine quilt something.  I've never machine quilted before but I wouldn't mind trying something on this quilt I just have no idea what would look good.  I love the look of circles but I don't think that would go with the tumbler blocks.  Maybe squiggles....outline quilting.....stippling.....???  I have no idea.  Anyone have any suggestions?!

Its so nice to have the top done, its been a work in progress for a few months now and I can't wait to get it finished and onto the back of the couch so I can snuggle up under it while I watch TV or rock Baby C to sleep.  

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Feeling Guilty!

So its November 2nd - only TWO DAYS after Blogtoberfest ended and its almost 11:00 at night and I'm feeling super guilty for not having anything on the go to Blog about tonight!  I haven't been able to sew the past few days, but on a super happy note our basement development is moving along spectacularly!  Everything is done except the paint, carpet and trim.  We have a few paint colors picked out and hopefully will be able to paint next week when my husband is between shifts.  Then we are one step closer to a finished playroom and my sewing nook!

I was trying to think about what to blog about when I walked by this tonight:

I really need to start taking pictures during the day when
the light is better! 
A few weeks ago when I was at my Moms house I saw this book in her bookshelf - Better Homes and Gardens All-Time Favorite Cake and Cookie Recipes (circa 1980!!) - and it took me way back.  We used to make the Chocolate Chip Cookies from this when I was a little girl and they were amazing, super soft and chewy and always turned out awesome.  She gave me this book and I cannot wait to make those same cookies with my girls in the next few days, I just need to do some serious baking ingredient shopping first.

Miss S and Miss L love to help in the kitchen and I am trying to set up a day of the week where we can bake or make something together (more than just dinners they help me with almost every day).  There is something special about baking and cooking with kids, I loved to cook with my Mom when I was little and now that I'm a Mom I love cooking with my girls.  Baby C gets to 'supervise' us in his bouncy chair when we are in the kitchen so he's included too!

Hopefully I can get some shopping done in the next day or two and we can bust out some super awesome cookies and I can show you all our masterpieces!
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