Friday, July 31, 2009

My day

Today I dragged myself out of bed (I need to stop staying up till 1 am reading books!) and went to work for a few hours. My boss is out of town this weekend meeting her newborn niece for the first time (yay for Aunthood!) and I needed to let the computer guy in to update some computer stuff. I wasn't there for too long and after I finished I went over to my sister's home to visit her and Olive. Olive was just waking up from a nap and was all smiles. She seems to be discovering that she has a voice and that smiling at other people causes great joy and squeals and kisses and snuggles so she has been cooing and smiling quite a bit lately which I just love.

We have a new Target! Okay, actually I guess it would be more accurate to say: We FINALLY have a Target! And a Michael's craft store!!! Why am I saying this? Because today Jacqueline and I braved the torrential rains and took Olive to Target (and Starbucks! It was an "I-need-caffiene kind of day) to pick up a few things. I bought some towels for my dorm. I've been looking at other stuff that I'll probably need but I'm hesitant to actually get it yet because I haven't even seen my room and I don't know what will fit and what won't. Anyway, mid-way through the store Olive decided she didn't want to be in her carseat anymore and started fussing. We tried to console her by giving her Jacqueline's sunglasses.
Somewhat pacified for the moment...

This girl has attitude! Doesn't she look like a baby rapper or something? It makes me laugh. The sunglasses didn't keep her happy long and in the end I got to hold her while shopping around. She is so snuggly!

Our town has decided to dress the streets up by putting out artwork. During the summer this takes the form of these easels and different shops downtown decorate them and put them out. This fabric and I guess yarn shop (I've never actually been into this store surprisingly) put up an easel with knitting needles and yarn as a decoration. I appreciated this enough to take a picture of it while we were at the stoplight. Check out my sister's blog to see another sample of the easels. She wants to go back and photograph a few more so keep an eye out if you'd like to see what our town considers 'artsy.' :)

I'm hoping to get the binding and all for my quilt tomorrow! This will be the first adult-sized quilt I've ever made!

Happy weekend~

Thank yous!

These are the thank-you cards I made for my co-workers after the little ''goodbye'' party they threw for me. I sewed ribbon and lace onto the cards and I also used the stamps that Vicki gave me.

Even though some of the ribbon was a little crooked I still liked the overall outcome of these. Well, except for the one card that was stamped with black ink and got smudgy when I put it in the envelope. The other inks I used didn't smudge but for whatever reason that one did. I guess now I know that I'll need to use a fixative for that one.

I have a few more of these that I'd like to do. I already plan to be corresponding with friends and family back home through snail-mail so I'll probably be making quite a few cards and having fun with that. Don't be too surprised if one ends up in your mailbox!

Weekends :)

It's FRIDAY!!! One of my favorite days of the week. There's just something about the makes me breathe a sigh of relief! No having to get up at 6:15 am, no rushing out the door to work or school, time to actually do the things you want or need to's beautiful! Almost like a holiday.

Since we're talking about Fridays, check out my sister's blog: Always Freyday. This is my sister, Jacqueline, and she is my niece's mother. Check out her blog for lovely photos, short stories and anecdotes from her life as a wife and new mom.

So here is what's going on lately:
  • I finished piecing the top for my quilt! This makes me very happy! I now need to get some binding and padding for it before I can put it all together. While it's not a fancy-shmancy quilt I am really pleased with the way it turned out. Very colorful and it contains fabric scraps that I've had for years and never quite knew what to do with. It makes me happy to see all the colors and patterns together. I can't wait to finish it and post pictures of it!
  • I made the circle skirt from Chic and Simple Sewing. I adjusted the pattern to suit me better. This skirt calls for an elastic waist and I not only did not have elastic, I also was using a heavier, stiffer fabric that I was sure wouldn't gather very well. So I flipped the skirt inside out and put it on and pinched up the fabric to where I wanted it to sit and just sewed it there and put in a zipper. Unfortunately, my zipper is a little funny but I probably won't let that stop me from wearing it. I'm not sure if I just am using zippers that are too stiff or what but all my zippers (and I've tried 2 different ways of putting them in) come out a bit wonky. So I'm working on that. Anyway, I like the way the skirt came out and I think that in the future if I make this skirt again I will use the zipper again because I don't think elastic waist skirts are a very good look on me.
  • The ladies at work threw a little going-away party for me on Monday. It was very sweet of them. I leave in 3 weeks!!! 3! Weeks! I made some cards for them as a thankyou and I'll be posting those soon.
  • Because I'm leaving in 3 weeks for college and I'm trying not to spend any more $$$ than I have to I am hoping to sew a few things for school. Like a laptop case and a bedside buddy (for glasses and ipod and books and all those good things) and whatever else I find time to make. Finding time is the real problem here. I feel like all summer I have just worked full-time and I have hardly seen my family and friends. It is good that I was able to put in so many hours, but my nostalgic and soon-to-be-homesick part of me really wishes I had been able to spend a lot more time with my family.
  • I made yet another trip out to the library this week. I've finished another book and I'm going to be starting on a new one so expect some updates to my Summer Reading List.

I think that's about all for now. I'll be back with photos later! Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Summer Movies:

Because it was the weirdest day in office history (at my workplace); because I am tired and need to shower and go straight to bed and face a new, possibly weirder day at work tomorrow; because I have a ton of other things to do right now; because even though I've done some crafty stuff and am excited to show you what I made but forgot to take pictures and now it's too dark; because I need to be downstairs going through my stuff figuring out what I'm taking with me to school; because I can...

Here is a measly list of the movies I've watched this summer. Most of them are kids' movies which I just noticed and found kinda interesting. Check'em out if you are so inclined.

The Pink Panther 1 and 2: starring Steve Martin. Hilarious! Especially the first one. The second one, eh...not my favorite.

Disney's UP: I posted about this one before, but I must say it again. It was
really cute, really sweet, and really almost made me cry. But it was very good and I'd recommend it. One of the best kids' movies/shows I've seen in a long time!

Kung Fu Panda: It stars Jack Black as the panda. As irritating as I find Jack Black, I can't help but laugh my way through his movies. I think it's his expressions. Just too funny! This one wasn't my favorite but it still had a few cute parts. I liked the quote from the movie:
"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift. That's why it's called the present."

Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day: I liked the music. It was pretty cute. I kind of appreciated the whole point of it in the end, but I was disappointed with how much sex was in the movie. It seems that lately, even though movies are not rated badly they are still full of innuendo or sexual references. This also had back nudity. This is one I would not watch with kids or guys.

Just as with the books, I will possibly be updating this list as the summer goes on. If I watch anymore movies. We aren't huge movie watchers here. :)

Well. There you go. My summer movies post. Maybe sometime when I have nothing better to do I'll do a "favorite movies'' post. I'll save it for a time when I have nothing better to write about. :) Hopefully next time I'll have something crafty to show you!


Chara Michelle is doing a fabric giveaway on her blog, Sew, Click, Create! Go check it out for a chance to win! She always uses such lovely fabrics to make such wonderful things. Check out the beautiful quilt she is working on while you're over there!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Birthday flowers

My sister (well, one of them) turned 15 last week! I can hardly believe the youngest sibling in the family is now 15. Somehow, I always think of Holly as she was when she was 6 years old. So cute and sweet and sensitive. Not that she isn't all of those things now too and more. She is a very special girl and I'm glad she is my sister.So I got her these flowers.

Almost 4 months old!

Here are new pictures of my niece. She was getting ready for her nap. She gets swaddled before she goes to sleep so my sister was changing her and getting her ready to be swaddled and I insisted on taking her pictures.

I just LOVE LOVE LOVE this girl. She makes life so much more interesting and beautiful. Oh, and I made her laugh like 4 times! It's one of the few times her parents have ever heard her laugh and the very first time I ever heard it. I love being her aunt.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

My buddy, Jude.

I love this dog. He's so cute and funny...he's a fearsome sock and shoe hunter and a notorious beggar! He is very sweet too. He likes to sit with me while I'm on the computer. Sometimes he sits in my lap and puts his front paws on the keyboard like he is actually looking at whatever it is I'm doing. Other times he sits beside or behind me and takes a nap. He is a little guy. Only about 5 lbs. If he doesn't have his walk every day he gets very hyper and acts like a little maniac.I mean really, how can you not love that face?

Beaded Bobbies

I've made more beaded bobby pins! Yellow seems to be quickly becoming one of my favorite colors! I never really cared for it before but lately it just seems so cheerful and summery. I think the color washes me out though so I think that just using it in small doses is going to be the best way for me to wear this color. These are really easy to make. I did these while watching a movie this afternoon.


I'm making progress on my scrap patchwork quilt. My sister said, "it's very...bright," when she saw it. It is a little brighter than most things I make. I like it though. I think I should make more of my projects in bright colors. These photos don't really do the colors justice.
Here is a little close-up of some of the fabrics I am using...I really just took bits from almost all the fabrics I own (besides any linen, dress fabric, and heavyweight materials). I have enough squares cut out to make it twice this big. I'm not sure I will need that many though. I like how it is almost a little bit haphazardly put together. There is no rhyme or reason in how the colors are put together. I never intended for it to match, just for it to go together. I think it will look very cheery when it's finished. :)


I liked this picture so I thought I'd post it.Becca snapped it with my camera so photo credit goes to her.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Antietam trip

Last Friday Holly and I went out to Sharpsburg to walk around Antietam Battlefield. We have only been there twice and we didn't get to walk around a whole lot. This time we were able to go down a few trails that we'd never been down before and we were also able to enjoy the same places we had visited the last couple of times we'd been there.Now I understand why they're called the Blue Ridge mountains.
Artwork engraved or etched (I can't remember which is which) and hung on one of the monuments.
Burnside Bridge
Flowers by the visitor center.
A sign we saw while passing through Shepherdstown. This is SO typical of Shepherdstown.

The weather has been SO beautiful lately! I'm sad that I have to go back to work because I can't spend my afternoons outside. Luckily for me I have tomorrow afternoon off! I have an orthodontist appointment. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my dentist will tell me I can get my braces off in the next month! I've worn braces for almost 2 years now. I'm so excited to get them off!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Harper's Ferry

This past Monday Adam, Holly and I brought a picnic snack down to Harper's Ferry. We sat by the river, waded (and almost lost our flip flops in the current), went down a trail we'd never gone down before and of course took lots of pictures. It was a fun and goofy, not to mention relaxing few hours.

These two always crack me up. I love watching my (not-so-little-anymore) little brother and sister interact. I have several pictures of them that looks similar to this one.

If you ever have a chance you really should go down to Harper's Ferry. I try to get down there every once in awhile just because it's usually so peaceful. If you go at the right time you have almost the entire park to yourself and then you can enjoy the rivers, the trails, and the scenery. And bring a few friends or siblings along and you'll have even more fun. I promise!

A little peek

Here is a little glimpse of something I am working on.
It's a scrap quilt. Ever since Pleasant View Schoolhouse's Anna blogged about the scrap quilts she was making I wanted to do one too. I like how all these squares look together. They're all cut from cloth scraps and put together. It's fun trying to decide which ones should go where. I'll update on it when it's finished.

Summer Reading list

So far this summer I've made two trips to the library. One of my goals for the summer has been to read fun books before I have to go back to school and read chemistry, physics, trigonometry, accounting, and social psychology books all semester long. I'm going to live it up as long as I can and get my fill of fun, silly, entertaining books this summer.

In order of being read:

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall. A very cute story about sisters who, with their father and trusty dog, go away to a cottage owned by a snobby woman with a young son and spend a few weeks out of their summer there. It was an easy simple story. Meant for kids but I don't let that stop me from reading them. :)

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. This has long been one of my favorite books. There is something about Francie Nolan that I identify with. Something in the way Betty Smith writes makes me say to myself, "that's how I feel...I just didn't know how to say it." This book also opened my eyes a little bit to humanity and how complex people are and how beautiful and precious life is. It's a little mature for young readers but I think everyone would enjoy this book at some point in life.

10 out of 5 stars.

Wicked by Gregory Maguire. My friend saw the musical/play last year and said it was wonderful. Since then I found a copy of the book that inspired the play and I was able to start reading it last weekend and it was awful! It was dark and depressing and very immoral. I couldn't even finish it. I am sure that the musical is probably a little more lighthearted than the book, or at least I hope so. Not a book I would recommend.

I'd give it 0 of 5 stars.

Rosewater and Soda Bread by Marsha Mehran. With all the talk of Iran in the news lately my interest has been a little piqued. This book is about three sisters from Iran who end up living in Ireland and own a little restaurant. It said on the back of the book that there were lots of recipes included in the book so I thought I'd pick it up. It didn't give me any insight into the Iranian culture and I was sort of hoping it would. I wasn't entirely pleased with it. I'm not sure if I'd even try the recipes in the back. Maybe a couple. I also found it just a little conflicted and strange.

1 or 2 out of 5 starts.

Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke. I read these books a long time ago. Since the movies came out I decided to repay them a visit and they are so much better than the movie (big surprise, right?)! Just a sweet and simple romance novel. Janette Oke definitely writes some of the cleanest and sweetest Christian fiction. I have another book that I checked out by her too. I read Love Comes Softly in an afternoon so I am sure I'll have read the other one soon too.

5 stars.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I think this is probably considered a classic and would imagine that most people have read it while in high school or something. If not then go get a copy at the library. It's really good. It's about a little girl named Scout and her brother, Jem, and they live in Alabama during the 1940's. Their father, Atticus, is a lawyer who is given a defense case for a black man who was accused of raping a white girl. It's cute, sad and gives a lot of insight into what a small southern town was like back during the days when people were still very prejudiced against people of different colors. One of the things about this book that I enjoy the most is that the people seem very real. Kind of like in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. You read this book and (especially if you have ever lived in the south) you know people like this.

5 stars.
And this awesome! I got it recently and I really want to make some of the clothes in it. Once I lose a few lbs. I know that's not really a reason to wait to sew, but I think I'll enjoy sewing so much more if I've dropped a dress size or two. I'd also love to sew the kimono dress from Weekend Sewing (which is a book I don't own and am resisting buying because I own too many books!). I might just see if I can find a pattern for a kimono style dress.

5 Stars for aesthetic purposes alone...hopefully the book will be easy to follow too!

An Old Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott. My sister lent me this book. This is the only book by Louisa May Alcott I've ever read. It's pretty good. It's an easy, sweet story to read and while Polly Milton is sort of a ''goody-two-shoes'' she is still human enough to like.

4 out of 5 stars

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. This has loooong been one of my absolute favorite books. My mom read this book to us back when I was 10 years old and afterwards she read The Lord of the Rings series to us. I always liked the Hobbit the best. It's a little more lighthearted than Lord of the Rings. This book seems so colorful to me. All the characters, all the adventures...and though it may sound silly, I really identify with Bilbo Baggins'. The part of the story that says something to the extent of: "...something Tookish woke up inside of him and he longed to see the places that the dwarves sang of..." sort of describe my feelings about adventures. I'm normally the kind of person who needs a little shove out of my comfort zone. Even though I am sometimes hesitant to try new things I really do want to have adventures of my own. I think as a young kid this story just inspired me to live adventurously. And someday I will. :) ha ha!

10 out of 5 stars

There are a few other books that I am reading right now. I may continue to update this list throughout the summer.


Once Upon a Summer by Janette Oke. This is the story about a 12 year old boy who is raised by his young aunt (only about 5 years older than he is), his grandfather, great-uncle and great-grandfather. His grandfather and great-uncle realize that the aunt is old enough to marry and decide they're going to ''help'' her find the right man. The boy decides he's going to try to sabotage their efforts to keep his beloved aunt with them. Another 'old-fashioned prairie' type novel. I really like Janette Oke's books because they're very simple and sweet and Christian. I've read some disturbing Christian fiction before and this sweet stuff reminds me of when I was little and 100% obsessed with Laura Ingalls Wilder and On the Banks of Plum Creek. Oh how I miss those days when life was SO simple!

4 of 5 stars.

Lydia Bennet's Story by Jane Odiwe. Okay, so I know you can't top Jane Austen and it's almost sacrilegious to try to write a story about one of her characters but I have wondered what happened to Lydia so I picked this one up to see what Jane Odiwe's thoughts were. Let's just say that if it weren't a take off of Jane Austen's books I probably would have liked it better. Because I'm a sap and love happy endings I will say that I appreciated that Jane Odiwe does give Lydia a happier ending than we originally thought she might have had. If anyone's interested in finding out what it is they'll just have to read it and find out.

2 out of 5 stars

Up a Road Slowly by Irene Hunt. I like this book. I read it a long time ago and could imagine being Julie Trelling. Living in a big house in the country and having a secret "cathedral" is right up my alley. Plus, even though I've never lost a parent, I always identified with Julie a little bit because she is something of a loner and I feel that in some ways I am too. It almost seems a little Anne of Green Gables. But not quite.

4 out of 5 stars

Amelia's War by Ann Rinaldi. Ann Rinaldi is an author I enjoy because she writes so many stories about the Civil War battles that take place near my home. In this book she writes about a girl who lives in Hagerstown, MD which is not so very far from where I live. All of her books are based on historical facts and events although most of her characters are fictional. I like a lot of her books including the ones that aren't about the Civil War. I really enjoy history and I guess that's one of the reasons why I like her stories.

4 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Catching up

With blogging. Not a whole lot has been going on but there have been a few things to blog about.

Last week Mom and I went to a dog agility show in Virginia. It was fun to watch the dogs run through the obstacle course. I can only imagine how much work the trainers do with their dogs to get them ready for these competitions. Some of the dogs were really good. I think one completed the course in 36-37 seconds. A few didn't even finish the course. They kept skipping stuff. All the dogs looked like they were having a grand old time though.

Here are a few shots that we got:

The 4th of July was fun. We spent it with my sister's in-laws. It was a really nice time. Their neighbors from across the road set off tons of fireworks. It was a great show! Our group set off a few big fireworks too. It was especially cool when one of them exploded on the ground and it went off right in the yard. Of course all the moms that were present didn't think that was so great but all the kids thought it was beautiful.

A couple of weekends ago I went out with my friend Becca to Shaharazades (the tea house). It was SOOO nice to hang out and get in some girl time. I tell you, work is wearing me out and both my sisters were out of town so an evening drinking tea and walking around the downtown (and just missing being caught in a huge downpour...we just made it back to the car before the heavens opened and the rains gushed forth) was very therapeutic. What is it about tea that's so therapeutic?

A church in Shepherdstown. See the thunder clouds?

Becca took this picture in an attempt to explain what abstract photography might look like.I took this one to see if I could be an abstract photographer. She said it wasn't quite right. Ha ha!Pretty cups and tea pots in Shaharazades tea house.The cups we got to use.

I just love that place. :)

Adam, Holly and I went to Harper's Ferry on Monday. As usual I took lots of pictures, but I'll save those for another post. In my opinion, Harper's Ferry always deserves its own post.

Last night I took Holly and some of the girls in her Bible study out to see Up. It was one of the sweetest, saddest (and slightly scary) children's movies I've seen in awhile. I had a lot of fun with Holly, Katie and Rebecca. We almost had the entire theater to ourselves. There was one other couple there for the evening showing. There are advantages to going to a kid's movie on a Tuesday's pretty much empty. At least it is around here. Anyway, I would recommend it. Bring a couple of tissues though if you're the type that cries during movies. I'm not that type and I still thought I might need a tissue once or twice. Very sweet.
I have this week off work and I've been enjoying hanging out. I helped build a fence in the backyard over the weekend. My dad was laid off back in May so he and my mom are trying to start a doggy day care. They're really excited about it and I really hope it works out for them! I was able to help out a little bit by helping work on the fence and I've been making dinner a few nights this week which is nice. I'm pretty much off my diet (argghhh!) but I helped plan the menu and I chose the healthiest meals I could think of. I'm feeling pretty good about it. :)

I'm going to sign out for the evening. I'll be back later with more posts on Harper's Ferry and on a little project I'm working on. Once nice thing about having a week off is that you have time to get started on projects which is the hardest part of a project in my opinion! For now, though, I'm going to go watch Kung Fu Panda with my family. I've never seen it before but, in spite of myself, I kind of love Jack Black because he makes the funniest faces and voices and expressions in his movies (Nacho Libre, School of Rock...those are the only movies I've seen him in) so I'm excited about it.


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

From the mountains....
To the prairies...
To the oceans white with foam...
(photo taken by my sister, Jacqueline)
God bless America. My home sweet home.