Thursday, July 31, 2014

Easter With Grandma

I absolutely love having family and friends come to visit us. I am a huge hostess of the mostess... yeah. Uh, moving on.... I love showing people all the cool places we have discovered and or finding new places to discover together. When Easter had come around we had only been in Northern California for about 6 or so months. We had discovered a few places and really wanted to take my mom to them all. My mom has come to visit before, during thanksgiving; but we have since found a few other places to discover.

We started our adventure for the week at a new sushi restaurant. We haven't been to one here yet, and my mom was up for some sushi, as we both always are! She of course came with gifts for the kids, and they absolutely loved them! Fake food, and a puzzle... kept the kids completely happy.

Playing with his fake food.

Testing out the puzzle.
 Another place that we discovered and love, is the train museum in old Sacramento. Both our boys absolutely LOVE trains, and can never have too much train time. We purchased train museum passes when we took my mother to the museum that day. I think our kids were happy about that, as you can see it on their faces.

Playing with the toy trains.
Well, what holiday isn't complete without the traumatic photos! Of course my mother and I spent a few hours at the local mall, waiting to see the Easter Bunny. Both boys were not exactly excited to see him, but at the same time, they at least sat long enough for us to get a decent picture.

One thing we did do last time my mother was here was the Jelly Belly Factory. We had so much fun, and the kids loved the tour, not to mention all the free candy. So, of course we had to go back, and our neighbor and her two daughters came with us. It was a holiday week, so the line was kind of long, but totally worth it in the end.

Watching the chocolatiers.
 ... and why not try another creepy Easter bunny photo... Well, at least one of them is starting to like the Easter Bunny.

Finishing my mothers trip off with Easter Egg coloring. It was full of excitement and thrill. Brian wanted to eat one of the eggs, so I pealed one, and then next thing we knew he threw the egg into the food coloring. It was a hilarious moment.

This is the egg that I cracked open for him to eat, but ended up coloring it instead!
 When the week was over and my mom was headed home, we all kind of felt a mix of these emotions:

Don't Go MOM!!!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Quilt Inspiration 365

Finding inspiration for a quilt, quilt idea, or quilt artwork can be kind of hard. Sometimes I am quick to find a design, but can't find the right fabric to bring the pattern to life. Or the complete opposite... I stare at a pile of gorgeous fabric and I have no clue what designs or patterns would highlight the beauty of the fabric. I often sit in front of my computer screen searching for patterns or ideas of what to do; typically on pinterest, or even just a quick google search.

Then I found a quilting group on facebook, and noticed a few bloggers blogging about inspiration from the world around them. Matching color palettes to the colors in the pictures or whatever else. It was brilliant. I mean, seriously; why didn't I just look out of the window and get my eyes off my computer screen. I know, I know... you are sitting there, reading this now, but first finish; then go explore and take a few photos to help inspire your creativity.

I was cleaning out my photos, and going through my old items (time to make room for other stuff), and I came across a painting my mother purchased for me a few years ago. The story is a simple one. My mother, boyfriend (at the time, now husband) went to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. It was for an art class I was taking and could have cared less about the paper I needed to write. I just needed to take the class and pass, so I could move on with my general education. While walking around and trying to get inspiration from something, somewhere; I walked into a small room, and there it sat on the wall. Bright, bold colors, a dim light across the painting. I remember pausing and saying to my mom, "this is a painting by Van Gogh, I am literally standing in front of a painting by a famous artist." My mom looked at me like, uh huh and... For me, at that time, I was so amazed by antiques, items that have survived years apon years. Think about something you made as a child, is it still around? Do your parents still have it? Is it falling apart, beat up or trashed? More then likely, if it has survived this long, yes. Its practically falling apart. Now, think about standing in front of a Van Gogh painting or the Mona Lisa. That, is INSPIRATION!

In the end, my mother realized my connection with the painting, and purchased a copy for me. When I came across it this week I realized how beautiful it was, all over again. Just look for your self:

When I saw this painting again, it made me want to walk outside and feel the wind on my skin, smell the flowers growing in my garden, and hear all the amazing animals talking and singing. I am sure we all have a few moments in our life that have made us feel so inspired, they have helped shape us, or give us our push. This painting has done that for me, in so many ways. With that being said, I felt it deserved to be my first Quilt Inspiration 365 post.

Kona Coal, Kona Yarrow, Kona Wine, Kona Midnight, Kona Leaf, and Kona Gold.
I then stepped outside, and realized so much more inspiration can be seen all around me!

View from Big Sur

View from the San Diego Safari Park

The wonderful Golden Gate Bridge
I love the idea of making a quilted art piece with the Golden Gate Bridge on it, or a view overlooking the sea. It would be so calming.

Another inspirational item that I came across (again while unpacking our items), was our door hanging from Japan.

These are curtain like items that hang between a room. We used to use it for our closet, to hide our mess. I no longer need it, and am trying to redecorate our bedroom. This no longer goes with what I want to do in our room, so... I am thinking I would love to do some quilt work with it. Its a beautiful piece of art in and of its self. Not to mention the handful of Japanese fabric I have from living in Japan for four years. Might be a great time to use it all.

Hopefully, these photos helped inspire your next project. If you would like to check out more Quilt Inspiration 365 please follow this blog and all the others:

Night Quilter
Nini and the Sea
Artfully Caroline
Adventure of a Quilting Diva
Never Just Jennifer
Be. Knit. Picky.
Sweet Dreams Quilting
A Quilting Chick
Stitched in Thyme

Well, I hope I got everyone. Also be sure to #QuiltInspiration365 if you blog or add anything in social media you feel the quilting world would love to see as inspiration.

Get Inspired,

July Give Thanks, Week 4

July 22:
     Thankful today for the connection I never expect to have. I never thought this one person I would ever have a connection with, and today proved I was so wrong. Its great to realize we are wrong and that friendships can come from anywhere.

July 23:
     Thankful that my 1 year old still wants to take a nap on my chest. As a mother, those are the best moments ever.

July 24:
     Attempted making my own labels and sewing them on to my projects today. SOOO Thankful they worked! Best feeling ever.

July 25:
      Thankful for a wonderful neighbor who can bring her kids over and let them play, while we have some grown up conversation. I am thankful for the "normal" conversation.

July 26:
      Thankful for a wonderful husband who watched the kids all day, while letting me sew a quilt together! Happy quilting mommy.

July 27:
      Thankful for the chocolate chips that are currently being made by my husband, and being consumed by the rest of us. YUM!

July 28:
      Simply thankful for a great appointment that went a lot better then I ever could have expected.

Give Thanks,

Friday, July 25, 2014

San Francisco Day Trip

Back in March, we spent a day in San Francisco, kind of on a whim. We both had a day off and headed out to see the sights. It was a lot of fun and we saw a ton of wonderful things. We both had spent a day in San Francisco, but never with kids. We thought we would find some kid friendly things to do, and we sure did!

We found a decent parking structure near Pier 39. We then walked around for a little while and ran into the Aquarium of the Bay. Its a great, smaller scaled aquarium. Our oldest is into fish and water, and when we had a chance to go the the aquarium we decided it was a must! The end result was a child who didn't want to leave!!

Pier 39
 Aquarium of the Bay:

Dad and son
 Once we pulled our oldest away from the fish and the aquarium we started to go for a walk around the pier. I forget how beautiful the coast of California can be.


Of course we had to drive over the golden gate bridge!

 Once we left, we already were discussing houses and where we would live! Its just one of those cities that leaves such a impression on my soul. I wish I could have been raised in such a busy, quick, upbeat, unique city.

If we go back later on, I will definitely be going back to the Aquarium, but we might try to the science museum and let the kids run around that area. If anyone has any other great kid friendly places to visit or things to do, please leave a comment and let us know.

San Fran Stole My Heart,

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fabric Label Tutorial

 I looked everywhere online, and could not find cheap labels for my items. I then had a wonderful friend tell me her husband could do them, but again it was just out of our price range. I thought maybe I could do them myself, and started researching the internet and "how to." Finally, I came across one blog that mentioned using vinegar to set the ink in fabric! Oh yeah, it was on!!

First I used freezer paper to give my fabric a hard back, so that way it can go through the printer.

I then cut out a 8.5 inch by 11 inch piece of the freezer paper.

I cut a piece of white fabric again, 8.5 inches by 11 inches.

I then ironed the white fabric to get any wrinkles or creases out.

I then carefully place the waxy side of the freezer paper on top of the fabric. Matching corners and making sure its perfectly aligned on all four sides. I then starts in one corner and ironed the back of the freezer paper to the fabric.

Iron from one corner up to the next, and then work across the page slowly moving up and down.

Using a word document, set it to four columns. Place your BLACK ink design in the four columns evenly spaced. I printed a few test pages to see if the spacing was okay, and if I liked the size of the font. Once you have your design set, place your fabric/freezer paper in the printer.

NOTE: I tried all the different colors, and the vinegar bath washes the colored ink away.

I like to take all the paper out, lay my fabric paper on top, shuffle the papers so they all sit perfectly together, and slide the stack of paper back inside the printer. (Make sure you put the fabric in the right way, so your printer prints onto the fabric and not the paper).

Then simply print your BLACK ink labels.

Let the page dry while you grab a flat pan big enough to hold your page, and some white vinegar.

Carefully peel off the freezer paper from the fabric.

Place the fabric labels into the pan.

Cover the fabric with a small amount of vinegar until the entire piece of fabric is wet.

Let the fabric sit for 5-10 minutes. Then remove the fabric from the vinegar bath, and rinse under cold water. I make sure to rub the fabric a little to get the smell out.

I then hang the piece of fabric on a hanger with clips.

Then place the hanger out in our garage to dry. Its been in the 100s all week, so they actually dry really fast!

Once the fabric is dry, you should have something like this:

I then cut each label out, leaving some space around the edges for folding.

I then go to my ironing board and start to iron down the edges.

I start with the shorter sides.

Then move to the longer sides.

I then flip it over, and give it a nice press.

You can sew them directly onto a piece of fabric, or skip the small side fold and just tuck it into a binding or finished edge.

All done and they look so nice:

I hope this helps you out, and you are able to save a few bucks! I purchased about 5 yards of white basic fabric for $1.99 a yard, from Joanns. I used a 30% off coupon to help save a few bucks. I am sure with 5 yards I will have plenty of labels!

Enjoy That Special Touch,