Thanksgiving

It’s been an unbelievably busy month. Thanksgiving flew by, and Christmas is only a few short weeks ahead. Gabriel had a special event with the preschool down the road from his school to share a Thanksgiving Feast. He was so cute up on stage!

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We went to Phoenix for the Thanksgiving holiday. My brother and his wife flew in from Washington, and we cooked the meal at my sister’s house. I was surprised at how much fun it was cooking with everyone in the kitchen! My dad sat by the fireplace, and the cousins had a blast playing together (except when waiting for the food to be served!)

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Can't you feel the joy?
Can’t you feel the joy?

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On Friday, we took some family photos, visited a brewery, and checked out the Phoenix zoo lights. Saturday, Sedona turned 8 years old! We head back to Tucson to settle in for a few days of rest after our trip. My sister sent the kids home with a new toy, which they adore.

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Halloween Costumes

We are pretty serious about our Halloween costumes around here. We start discussing ideas just after Halloween, and during the summer – really narrow our focus. The kids love to dress up, so it’s pretty much understood that the costumes will become part of the dress scene eventually.

They had a ton of fun being Astrid and Hiccup last year. Jon even joined in the fun as Stoic the Vast, while I continued my tradition of being a villain – Maleficent.

This year, the kids decided what they want to be: Twilight Sparkles (a my little pony character) and Spike (the dragon sidekick). They drew pictures for inspiration, and then looked at pinterest. Always a nice place to look for ideas…the kids each made a board and off we went!

We were looking at the thrift store when we found the perfect dragon for Gabe! It’s actually a dinosaur from Toy Story, but he could wear it (and he did all over the store), and I added some spikes. After we got home, I realized the color scheme was actually reverse from the character, but Gabe didn’t care. He also had me add a purple belly to a green shirt to complete his outfit.

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Sophia wanted a massive tulle skirt with lots of purples. We found a unicorn mask that she just had to have at the thrift store, along with some purple hair we decided to attach to a crown. We were thinking of using some of that spray paint for hair on her hair for the evening, but when we read that it shouldn’t be used on blonde hair…we decided not. She’s also quite thrilled with her costume (especially the cutie mark).

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As for my costume, I’ll have to show you in another post. I am so excited about this costume – I’m going as Ursala the Sea Witch from the Little Mermaid. Lots of sewing and construction went into this costume!

 

 

 

February Weekend

It was the only weekend I didn’t have to work this month, although I was on call with the new exhibit being installed. Valentine’s Day, a silly holiday to most, but one I like to celebrate. The kids were so excited for the last two weeks, making valentines and art every day. They loved their gifts from Cupid, and we really had a wonderful weekend.

We pulled weeds (well, I did), and played outside, just enjoying the beautiful weather. The chickens enjoyed the weeds – it’s mostly london rocket. Their egg production sure has increased! It’s a little disheartening seeing three hours of weeding really only cleared a small area. But, I also dismantled the old garden area fence, and dug out those fence posts. Which actually took a rather long, painful, amount of time. I looked through the blog archives to see when I had installed that old garden area just outside of our bedroom, but couldn’t tell. It was my original kitchen garden, located as far away from the kitchen as possible. Which was why it never really did very well. Removing the ocotillo fence really opens up the back patio. The plans for this space are to add another seating area and an outdoor shower – to use after visiting the hot tub. We really need one! But first, the weeds must go!

Everyone had their favorite meal: the kids wanted pigs in a blanket and boxed mac and cheese. Someday they’ll have better tastes! We had a yummy mushroom risotto and roasted rack of lamb with pistachios and parsley. It was SO good! Sunday was grey and cloudy, but equally nice. We had some friends over for a play date, and I was able to work on my crewel embroidery project.

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Hope you all had a lovely weekend! Unless you are buried underneath that latest blizzard on the east coast, in which case, I hope you stayed warm!

Hexagon Love Quilt

I finished my latest quilt over the kid’s winter break: my hexagon love quilt. It’s a mishmash of pinks, corals, and green prints. I actually cut all the hexagon pieces back before the kitchen remodel (cutting the hexagons is the most time consuming part of the project) , thinking I’d have time during that month to make this quilt. Turns out I can only manage a few major projects at a time…

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I pulled the pieces of this quilt out after Christmas and just began sewing. No real plans, except to make masses of hexagon “flowers”. I made six, and realized I needed a plan. I decided on four rows of three hexagon “flowers”, aiming for a twin sized quilt with a border. This quilt really came together fast. Maybe it was just the quiet, cosy afternoons when I had time to sew,  or the whole day I had to finish the quilt when the kids and Jon went to the museum and zoo, leaving me by myself for a delicious afternoon of quiet. But I enjoyed the time I had to make something so lovely.

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I made an apple cake from Falling Cloudberries (a holiday gift), which was pure torture, since I promised NOT to eat any until the kids came back from their adventure with their dad. I really could have use a bite of cake with my tea when sewing! I quilted the centers of the hexagon “flowers”. I made an extra hexagon “flower” and sewed it on the center of the backing, which was an old white flannel sheet I had laying around. I used my new Anna Maria Horner pearl cotton threads to highlight the little flower on the back. I used a blanket stitch – you can tell I don’t hand sew very often! I just need more practice. I received a number of embroidery projects from my husband for the holidays, so I should get some practice soon!

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This cosy and colorful quilt has a home right now on the back of the couch in the living room. Just in time for the colder, rainy weather headed our way. I made new pillow coverings for all the pillows in the same color family as the quilt. I’ve been lobbying to paint the living room a more vibrant orange color, so i thought it was only fair to sew in coordinating fabrics that will look fantastic with the color I feel for. Stay tuned to see if I get to paint the room!

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I must have gone a bit crazy when cutting the hexagons out, because I have a stack of them (see the picture at top) still left over. Want to sew your own hexagon quilt? Leave me a message with your email address, and I’ll send it to you. Sharing the hexagon love!

 

 

Memory Quilt for Gram

I sewed a number of holiday projects this year, but project I was most excited about was my mom’s Disneyland Memory Quilt. I got the idea for the quilt on our trip, and knew I won’t have much time to get it together unless I was quick about it. I printed pictures from our Disneyland trip on fabric paper and made a quick patchwork quilt around the pictures, with the t-shirt we had made for the trip in the center. To quilt the quilt, I mostly sewed around the squares. I highlighted each photo with a special stitch to make the photos poop a bit more. I don’t recommended removing the paper backing from the photos as the directions call for – it makes the edges frayed. Since the quilt isn’t washable (the photos would disappear!), I’m not worried about the paper backing disintegrating in the wash.

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Cookie Bake

We decided against holding our annual Holiday Party this year. With our trip the first weekend of December, and Jon out of town the third weekend…it just seemed like we were going to try to cram too much in. So instead, we decided to hold a morning Holiday Cookie Decorating party on the second weekend of December. I made batches of sugar cookies, and we just let the kids loose!

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