Stubbornly Running in Circles

I’m trying to be good about limiting spending, but I really needed a new office chair. I found one at a consignment store this weekend for $24! It seemed fine except for the broken bulbous part of the chair elevating mechanism. The mechanism works just fine - the bulb on the end is just gone. 

I bought it.

Jon took one look at it and said he didn’t think it was any better than my other chair – except that it has arms. Of course that made me stand my guns and defend my thrifted chair. Dang stubborn self.

Here’s the thing – it pings (like a spring threatening to really spring) whenever I move. The left arm won’t raise as high as the right (by about half an inch – I just measured), and the back tips to the right. The seat is much more comfortable than the old chair, and the back is very much more supportive when I tip it back to the upright position (which it stays in until I get out of the chair).

So – here I sit in my forlorn chair in a conundrum. I called the store and they don’t do returns, but I'm welcome to bring it back and sell it on consignment… Hmm.


A Better Brother

Some of you know the health issues that my younger brother has been having. He hates that I go public with these things, but he's the only brother that I've got, and I seriously worry about the guy.

Just before Christmas he had a colectomy, and I'm fervently praying that this makes things better for him. I'd sure like him to be around to raise his 4 adorable kiddos, support his beautiful wife, look after our stunning mother and step-dad, tease my boys, put up with my hubby, and annoy me to no end.

Anyway - he's going back to work in early February, but in the mean time he's getting things back in order for his other job. So this week he's in Las Vegas for Shot Show. I suppose he's having a great time. Last night he sent this photo -

Do you recognize her? That's Rachel Dratch! Hangin at the shooting range with my bro! Dang. Really though - it's so good to see him smile.

He's also got another article in another magazine. Check out the Jan/Feb 2011 edition of Successful Hunter magazine.

Love you Boog!


Giving Cozy

I'm finally getting around to posting photos of one of the quilts I made for Christmas this year. You know the one I talked about here? Here it is...

You tell me - does it looked like stacked books? It screams it at me, but that may because of me being a bibliophile. Jon said it's a little abstract.

I gave my stepdad this quilt because I have been known to give him books for Christmas. I give him books because I enjoy the conversations where he calls me out of the blue and we talk about the book I've given. I'm hoping that he pulls this one over him while he's reading and still calls me.
The background fabric is Kona Mustard. I wasn't sold on it when it was one solid piece of baby poop, but it's become a favorite color after seeing it with these other fabrics - which I pulled out of the remnant bin by choosing the ones that seemed masculine.

The top is pieced with strips created by cutting my remnant to the desired thickness (I used some 1 1/2" strips and went up to 4") and then cut them in half (resulting in two 22"ish pieces). Then I cut a 22" piece of the background fabric into whatever thickness I needed and sewed each side of the background strip to each side of the book. This created a loop. Then I randomly cut the background fabric, which varies the amount of background on each side of each book. The trick was getting them arranged so that they didn't look like they'd fall over - see that one 7 up from the bottom? I think it needed to be pushed over more to support the books on top of it. Something about this just tells me they're going to topple...
I pieced the back with a luscious gray flannel (which again screamed to me) and a column of squares from each of the book bindings. I quilted in the ditch around each book. I don't remember what I bound it with. 

I'm in serious love with this one - enough that I think I need to make me one. Silly that I didn't remember to take photos of the finished quilt, but I got so excited about giving it that I just rushed right through to wrapping. It makes me want to curl up with a book or one of my guys and spend an afternoon inside.


Gathering Bling

This past Saturday I asked my SIL and niece if they'd like to sew while our hubbies and sons/nephews flew their helicopters and played Heroscape. She was way ahead of me and had been sewing with her friends the night before. So what's my stuff going to add to what she already had out.

I was assembling toppers, and she was working on pillows. She completely made me want to tackle that project - haven't done a pillow since this one...

So Sunday I went through my stash and found some lovely silver satin that we used when Carson was this for Halloween...

Do you know how difficult satin is to work with? It does not stay in one place. It moooooooooves. I cut mutiple strips in 1 1/2 to 3" widths - kind of. Honestly they were mostly straight. Then I got out my ruffler foot (did you remember to use your jazz hands?), and ran the strips through the ruffler. Then I rolled the ruffled strips just like I was told to over here and made 5 of these. (ignore that they're already attached in this photo - I took these when it was all finished - brain wasn't thinking photo in the middle of this project...).

Now this is where the 2nd diva fit of the afternoon/evening came in. (Tell me you can gather satin with a ruffler foot without throwing the first one) I drive 3 middle school boys in our carpool a few times each week, and they are notorious for finding whatever crap has been stuffed under seats or shoved in pockets or thrown in the back. Seriously. One of the favorite car toys is one of those butane lighter things that make fire starting fairly safe (or encourage it in strange places - so go figure). I don't know why it's in my vehicle in the middle of winter, but I suspect it's a leftover from a scout trip. Anyway - I've seen a lot of blogs that say you should burn the edge of these flowers and that the fabric will curl nicely. SO - I wanted that lighter. Well guess what... It's not a problem locating it on any random Thursday, but when I actually need the thing it's no where to be found. Unless you look in the cupboard where all of my candles are stored... And if I decided to just grab it and sit down without letting my guys know I'd found what I was demanding, so be it... Anyway. Satin burns/melts very easily, and it's a bad thing for a mother of 3 boys to discover this and think it's cool enough that she cuts another strip of fabric and gets caught singe-ing right at the kitchen table. All I'm going to say is that it's a good thing there wasn't any fuel left in that lighter by the time I was finished...

Anyway. I was going to stop with the flowers, but the remaining fabric was calling to me. I needed to make a pillow while my ruffler was still attached to my sewing machine. So - I ended up with this: 

I think it's BE. YOU. TEE. FULL. Doesn't go so well with my white couch & chairs, but there's always a remedy for that isn't there?

I'd started out with 3 flowers and added the other 2 a little while later. When I had it how I wanted, I showed Jon, and do you know what his response was?!
Do you know how many times you swore while making that?
So not what I wanted to hear, but he was correct. There, I said it.


In my defense, allow me to say that you should NEVER under these circumstances attempt to make such a thing of purfled beauty. Yes that is a word, and when I'm asked for a word to describe me to a "T", that's the one I pull out - PURFLE. Look it up... What did my guys expect when I'd just switched my happy pill med two days before because my insurance company more than tripled the cost of my old medication? Were these guys supposed to know that I would be experiencing some withdrawal symptoms (headaches, nausea, dizziness, shaking, etc) from the old pills and that it may take some days before I find the new "normal" me? Was Jon really the wisest man when he said - and yes I'm going verbatim again folks,
Don't you think you should just man up and think about how you're acting. You're bigger than this.
Um. Really? You have no idea how upset that comment still makes me, and it's 48 hours later... Oh boy. But I really do love that pillow.

Linking to
Blogger's Pillow Party


We Should Do This More Often

So I'm spending my Sunday morning/early afternoon perusing countertop resurfacing/painting websites and reading lots of blog posts that I've missed in my computer-free weekend.

Yesterday I started dejunking my home office so that I can move a bookshelf into a gift wrap/boy's school work/craft project hoarded corner. I found no less than 4 church bags (the bag that I use to take entertainment for the boys and whatever class I happen to be teaching or attending.) There were some very cool things in these bags, and I have quite the stash of objects that Griff has never seen. Boy is he going to be quiet the next few weeks. At least I can hope anyway.

 One of the things I found was a kids meal toy from Faziolis. These things are cool! Funny thing is that yesterday I immediately assembled a space station with two detachable ships. Then I took it apart and put the pieces in a bag.

Griff came in and saw these, put something together and immediately started flying it around and shooting lasers, torpedoes, and sting rays from various parts of the ship. Great minds think alike.

He played for a bit then walked up to me and gave me a HUGE bear hug.
This is my favorite part...
Mom? We should do this more often.


Apartment 3

First of all I must apologize for all of the background changes going on here at CMM. I just can't find one that I'm in <3 with. Ya know? I do like the books so perhaps that will stick for a while. Anyway. Back to our regularly scheduled program.

Yesterday I met up with three of the best roommates that a girl could ever have. In this lot there's a mechanical engineer, environmental engineer, AP English teacher, and nurse. There are 3 marriages and 9 children between us. See that knockout on the end? She's single. Know any successful, confident, attractive, desirable, single men near 40? Talk to me, and let's see what we can do...

When I've given roommate advice to my college-age nieces, the year I draw on the most is the year I lived with Lisa (pink), Karen (purple), and Julie (white). Apartment 3 was full of emotion. Two of us were engaged, so imagine 2 very tolerant fiancees, hectic school and study schedules, and the hormones associated with starting birth control. You know what? The 4 of us had an unforgettable time together.

At some point we found these 84321 (which was our zip code - think 90210 folks) t-shirts, and we wore them a lot. This photo was taken before one of our volley ball games. I'm not sure who we talked into taking the photo. I'm also not sure how they did it with a straight face...
84321 Angels

I learned a lot from these three:
  • They had my back
  • They wanted what was best for me and wanted me to do my best
  • Visiting teaching is completely enjoyable when done the first week of the month
  • Being motivated to go after what you want is a very good thing
  • Intelligent women can be powerful and female at the same time - and sometimes that includes nail polish, hair bows, and short skirts
  • Most times you need to shave before being seen in your swimsuit
  • Decorating is delightful
  • Sharing food prep, dinner, and cleanup multiple times each week strengthens relationships and makes home a place you love to be
Lunch was fabulous. And the company was even better. I miss you girls and can't wait until we get together next time.


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