Monday, December 31, 2012

I {heart} Books

I love to read!

But being a working mom, with time-intensive hobbies (hello quilting and sewing!) I never seem to have enough time to fit it all in. For the last couple of years I've set a goal for myself to read 50 books... not quite 1 a week... not bad right? But, I seem to top out every year at 30-35 books.

Well not this year! I finally did it!

I found my reading groove... 30-60 minutes in the morning while on the elliptical machine, 60-ish minutes during my lunch break, and (for 2 weeks each month) on a 45-minute bus ride home. Still can't get much time in on the weekends, but this works for me...

Shelfari 2012 Part 1
Shelfari 2012 Part 2

A little about the books I read this year...
* These 50 books = 17,000+ pages
* Every book was read on my Kindle
* About half came from my library's Kindle lending program
* I read some of my favorite authors this year... John Sandford, Jeff Lindsay, Blaze Clement
* I re-read one of my favorite books... Fletch by Gregory McDonald (little known fact: the movie, while a little different from the book, is my all time favorite movie and I can recite it almost word for word!)
* I tried out a couple of new series that I really liked... Rizzoli & Isles, Mickey Haller, Department Q... I hope to read more of these in 2013
* I took chances on some independent authors and most were hits

And the highlight of my reading year... going to see John Sandford at Murder by the Book.

142:365 John Sandford at Murder by the Book

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Project Life Week 52

December 23 - December 29

358:365 New Hello Kitty figures - Kansas & Michigan 
Sunday: New Hello Kitty figures - Kansas and Michigan 
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  359:365 Presents wrapped (no bows... the cat would just eat them) 
Monday: Presents wrapped (no bows... the cat would just eat them) 
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  360:365 In full gift-opening mode. 
Tuesday: In full gift-opening mode. 
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  361:365 Fun night looking at the lights at Houston Zoo. 
Wednesday: Fun night looking at the lights at Houston Zoo. 
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  362:365 Pizza makes the perfect birthday lunch 
Thursday: Pizza makes the perfect birthday lunch. 
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  363:365 And here again... Might be time to admit the 1999 truck needs to be replaced. 
Friday: And here again with the truck... 
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  364:365 Fun shopping trip on a cold Saturday morning 
Saturday: Fun shopping trip on a cold Saturday morning. 
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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Mega Swoon Baby Quilt

My last quilt of 2012 is done!

An oversize Swoon block turned into a baby quilt (inspired by one made by my HMQG-buddy Safieh)

Mega Swoon


Fabrics are from the Beetle Boy collection by Ellen Crimi-Trent for Clothworks. Perfect for a soon-to-be-here baby boy!

Mega Swoon - label

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Project Life Week 51

December 16 - December 22

351:365 Hard at work prepping for her birthday party. 
Sunday: Hard at work prepping for her birthday party. 
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  352:365 I don't think the dog is going to be happy with you kitty. 
Monday: I don't think the dog is going to be happy with you kitty. 
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  353:365 Instead of presents, Megan's class brought food for the animal shelter to her party today 
Tuesday: Instead of presents, Megan's class brought food for the animal shelter to her party today. 
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  354:365 Building a neighborhood tonight. 
Wednesday: Building a neighborhood tonight. 
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  355:365 Skipping my morning run for a coffee & my kindle. 
Thursday: Skipping my morning run for a coffee and my kindle. 
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  356:365 Preschool Christmas party. 
Friday: Preschool Christmas party. 
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  357:365 Found the kitty's hiding spot. 
Saturday: Found the kitty's hiding spot. 
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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Building a Scrappy Neighborhood

I raided the scrap bin this week to build a few more houses.

Houses for Christmas


Three of them went into teacher gifts yesterday....

Houses for Christmas


And the last one just might need to stay with me!

Houses for Christmas

I can see many more of these in my future!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Holiday Ornament Swap

The annual Houston Modern Quilt Guild holiday party was last weekend. A fun afternoon with lots of friends, lots of food, and some fun swaps!

Our tradition is to swap ornaments... made or bought. For the last 2 years we've drawn names for Secret Santa, but this year we decided to go with a Dirty Santa swap (you know - the one where you get to steal from your friends!)

I wanted to go with something that wasn't necessarily Christmas, and this little house was perfect! It was fun picking through scraps to make this one... so much fun that I'm working on four more for gifts.

Ornament I made for HMQG swap


And I received the best ornament! This star was made by a resident of Brookwood Community.

Ornament I received in HMQG swap
(You might remember the coffee cup I bought from Brookwood for ACuppaKim's mug swap earlier this year.)


We also had a small Fat Quarter swap and I came home with a couple of Patty Sloniger's Spoonflower designs.  I think these will become zipper pouches!

Fabric from HMQG swap

P.S. Patty brought a SUPER-CUTE fox ornament to the exchange... and she has a tutorial for it on her blog.  Must get some felt soon and make one for myself!!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Project Life Week 50

December 9 - December 15

344:365 Teaching my kiddo how to play War. 
Sunday: Teaching my kiddo how to play War. 
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  345:365 Our elf made a new friend.
Monday: Our elf made a new friend. 
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  346:365 A little card playing to pass the night. 
Tuesday: A little card playing to pass the night. 
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  347:365 1212121212 
Wednesday: 12:12 12/12/12 
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  348:365 Adopt-an-Angel gifts!! 
Thursday: Adopt-an-Angel gifts!! 
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  349:365 Paper Source cuteness 
Friday: Paper Source cuteness 
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  350:365 I'm such a sucker... Never mind Christmas & birthday are coming up, I couldn't resist when she asked for this pony today. 
Saturday: I'm such a sucker... never mind Christmas and birthday are coming up, I couldn't resist when she asked for this pony today. 
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Verna Postage Stamp Quilt

I really do love Winter. Probably because I live in Texas... where I dread the 100+ degree days of summer, and our winters don't bring snow... heck, I don't even own a proper coat.

But the one big down-side to winter is the availability of good natural light. Most days I'm gone from before sun-up to after sun-down... rushing out the door at the first sight of some semi-decent light to take a few pictures. Two different attempts at taking pictures of this quilt resulted in less-than-stellar results, but until the sun returns in a few months, these will have to do.

Verna Postage Stamp

Such soft, beautiful colors in Kate Spain's first collection, Verna.

Verna Postage Stamp

And pieces from her Fandango collection worked out perfectly for the backing and binding.



Verna Postage Stamp

I'm not ashamed to admit I've got a little more of Verna stashed away for another project someday!


And by the way... have you seen the do. Good Stitches voting over at Stitched in Color?  The Magic Numbers quilt I put together is up for voting for the Grace Circle... we'd love to have your vote!

Magic Numbers do. Good Stitches

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Project Life Week 49

December 2 - December 8

337:365 Another holiday project. 
Sunday: Another holiday project 
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  338:365 The Universe knew I was stuck in 3 hours of new system training today & rewarded me with fabric :) 
Monday: The Universe knew I was stuck in 3 hours of new system training today and rewarded me with fabric :) 
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  339:365 Hubby's stylish new footware. 
Tuesday: Hubby's stylish new footware. 
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  340:365 Doing math homework in the car :) 
Wednesday: Doing math homework in the car 
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  341:365 My pick for the 'not over $1' gift exchange next week. 
Thursday: My pick for the 'not over $1' gift exchange next week. 
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  342:365 California Connection YUM! 
Friday: California Connection... YUM!! 
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  343:365 Braved the mall to get Megan's annual Snowflake ornament. 
Saturday: Braved the mall to get Megan's annual Snowflake ornament. 
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SMS Giveaway Winner

Thank you so much to all who entered my Sew Mama Sew Giveaway!! I loved reading through your responses... Bella and Flea Market Fancy sure were favorites of a lot of folks!!

I intended to post the winner earlier this weekend, but we were having too much fun... shopping, eating, cooking, playing games... great family time! So sorry for the delay... and now the winner is...

SMS 12-12 Winner

Congratulations!! I'll send you an email shortly.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tutorial: Folded Fabric Star Ornament

You can find me today on the Houston Modern Quilt Guild blog with a tutorial for Folded Fabric Star Ornaments.

Folded Fabric Star Ornament

I have such great memories of making these as a kid! 


Enjoy!  And if you make some, I'd love to see them!!

HOUSTON MODERN QUILT GUILD

Monday, December 3, 2012

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day

It's that time again... Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!!

Up for grabs - 2 yards of fabric or 2 charm packs from my shop.

Shop

To enter, leave me a comment with which fabric from my shop you'd pick if you're the winner. Entries will close 7pm (Central) Friday December 7th. I'll draw a winner and everything will be ready to mail out Monday.

Thanks for stopping by!  Come back to visit anytime :)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Project Life Week 48

November 25 - December 1

330:365 The tree is up :) 
Sunday: The tree is up! All we need is this year's snowflake ornament for Megan.
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  331:365 8:30 and I'm in bed with a book & a quilt... Yep, still sick :( 
Monday: 8:30 and I'm in bed with a book and a quilt... Yep, still sick 
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  332:365 Completely spaced that there would be 5 rows (not 4!) when I started. They'll just barely fit. 
Tuesday: Completely spaced that there would be 5 rows (not 4!) when I started. They'll just barely fit.
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  333:365 Looks like our elf got into a little bit of trouble tonight. 
Wednesday: Looks like our elf got into a little bit of trouble tonight. 
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  334:365 Home from a bit of oral surgery. Think I'll be right here for the rest of the day. 
Thursday: Home from a bit of oral surgery. Think I'll be right here for the rest of the day. 
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  335:365 Bow Tie blocks for do. Good Stitches.
Friday: Bow Tie blocks for do. Good Stitches. 
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  336:365 The house is quite... perfect time to start a new project. 
Saturday: The house is quite... perfect time to start a new project. 
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