Monday's 10 Things

Here's what I'm most thankful for, right now!
1. A fun family getaway on Saturday and a daughter who held up (almost) the entire time.
2. A Sunday afternoon nap (for almost TWO hours!)
3. A rainy Fall day.
4. Good friends to share life's experiences with.
5. Bon Jovi for getting me through my workout this morning.
6. A trip to the grocery store, all by myself!
7. A fun week of my first ever giveaway.
8. A trip up North in a few weeks to look forward to.
9. New family pictures, how am I ever going to decide which ones to order???
10. Claire's birthday this week, my baby is turning 2!
What are you most thankful for today?

Fresh Start Sunday

The amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you.
2 Corinthians 13:14 (The Message)

Picture of the Week

Okay, so the pictures in my last post are for sure my ultimate favorites, but this picture from today comes close. (Only because I've been waiting 6 years to get back to an IKEA and finally got to go!)
Now I'm blogging, and Eric is busy deciphering useless instructions trying to put together all the stuff we bought!

Dinner Tonight

Grilling season is winding down which means no more throwing some chicken and marinade in a bag and calling it dinner. It sure was nice while it lasted! I'm not looking forward to an entire winter of trying to come up with new or creative meals to keep from eating the same five things over and over each week.
So, I'm in need of some new dinner ideas. If anyone has any simple recipes that both husbands and almost-2-year-olds would love, send them my way!
Here's what we're having tonight because I actually have all the ingredients in the house, (and because it looks simple enough!)

Pesto Pasta with Chicken

1 (16 ounce) package bow tie pasta
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
crushed red pepper flakes to taste
1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and cut into strips
1/2 cup pesto sauce

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Saute garlic until tender, then stir in chicken.
Season with red pepper flakes.
Cook until chicken is golden, and cooked through.
In a large bowl, combine pasta, chicken, sun-dried tomatoes and pesto.
Toss to coat evenly.

First Ever Giveaway!

Hurray, it's my very first giveaway!
Just head on over here for all the details, and good luck!

Monday's 10 Things

Here's what I'm most thankful for, right now!
1. A birthday this weekend.
2. Another amazing year of health and happiness with my family.
3. My sister - Happy Birthday Chica!
4. S'mores on the grill.
5. Upcoming play dates.
6. Fall weather.
7. Eric taking Claire all day on Saturday, so I could make some good progress painting here.
8. Two upcoming Cora Anne giveaways, so exciting!
9. Connections made in the blogosphere.
10. A great first MOPS meeting.
What are you most thankful for today?

Extra Prayers Please

Lots of extra prayers are needed today for Joel & Jessica McClenahan today as they prepare to dedicate the Cora Paige Playground. Read their story here.

Fresh Start Sunday

Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary use words.
St. Francis of Assisi

Picture of the Week

Saturday's Necklace

Whew, I'm wrapping up my marathon week of a-necklace-a-day!
It's been so much fun, and I have to say, today's necklace may be my favorite yet. It's definitely as sweet as they come, made with Michael Miller's Farmers Market Petal Party fabric.

Friday's Necklace

Friday's necklace is made with Michael Miller's Mod Geo in Brown fabric.

I bought this fabric online, and still question the whole "brown" part of the description, kind of looks black to me! But, regardless, it's still a great fabric!

Thursday's Necklace

Here's Thursday's necklace,
made with Monaluna Dots in Cocoa for Robert Kauffman fabric!

Wednesday's Necklace

This is so much fun!
Here's Wednesday's necklace, made with another fabric from Heather Bailey's Pop Garden line.
And how's this for exciting....

Sunday's Necklace: SOLD!
Tuesday's Necklace: SOLD!
plus one more I had listed earlier: SOLD!
AND...the excitement doesn't stop there....

In addition to next week's giveaway here,
the following week, I'll be doing another giveaway here.
(One of my most favorite blogs of all time!)
Somebody pinch me, seriously!

Tuesday's Necklace

Tuesday's necklace is a large bead necklace made with fabric from Heather Bailey's Pop Garden line. The color combination in this fabric is one of my absolute favorites right now. Red with aqua, light blue and a punch of bright green!

Monday's Necklace

Here's Monday's necklace!
Made from Paula Prass' Summer Soiree line of fabric.
I'm not normally an animal-print girl, but something about the zebra pattern being printed in yellow makes it totally great in my opinion. It's sassy without being over the top!

Monday's 10 Things

Here's what I'm most thankful for, right now!
1. A day at home to finally get some "fall cleaning" done.
2. Eric's willingness to clean all the windows in the house.
3. Perfect weekend weather.
4. A very productive Saturday night in my craft room.
5. Lots more progress was made this week here.
6. MOPS starts this week, and two of my good friends have joined!
7. Singing the doxology today in church, we seldom do, and I really appreciate it.
8. Motrin. Wow did I ever have a headache today.
9. A healthy little girl, who amazes us on a daily basis.
10. Some upcoming events this fall that will surely be a lot of fun, including Claire's 2nd birthday!
What are you most thankful for today?

Sunday's Necklace

To get ready for the first ever Cora Anne giveaway next week,
I'm on a necklace-a-day marathon right now!
Here's Sunday's necklace made with Amy Butler's Lotus fabric!

Fresh Start Sunday

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Galatians 6:9

Picture of the Week

Anyone know how to get a child to smile nice for a picture?!?
This is what we get when we ask Claire to "say cheese!"

MODA Patchwork Pillow

I have a confession.
I made this pillow months ago.
It's been sitting in my craft room ever since.
Not listed because I can't seem to take
pictures of it that I'm thrilled with.
(Dear husband, I need a new camera. Please.)
But enough is enough, it's in the shop.
Because I love it.
And I hope someone else will love it as much as I do,
in spite of bad pictures. Ugh.
And now, it's Saturday night.
Eric is at a self-declared guy's night
watching football with the neighbor.
Claire is in bed.
And I have a quiet date night, just me and my craft room!
And in other really good news...
stay tuned because the first ever
Cora Anne giveaway is just around the corner!!!

Quilt Update: Sorting and Sewing Strips

Last week's quilt update was all about cutting the fabric for my quilt, and this week the real fun began! (Check out this post from the Old Red Barn Co. for the instructions on making the blocks.)
First up was designing groups of six fabrics each to make the blocks with. My goal was to have each color and pattern represented in each block, which was really easy at the start, but got trickier as I went along. My one tip here: find a big space (the family room floor for me) where you can just spread out as much as needed! My husband fell asleep in the chair next to me while I was working on this and woke to find our room completely plastered in pinks, greens and aquas, I think he was a little confused at first!
(Sorry about the really bad pictures, that's what happens when I mix basement lighting with my basic-point-and-shoot camera)
Next it was time to sew! The quilt-along mentions that you can pin your strips of fabric or not pin them. My recommendation is to NOT pin them. By simply taking your time sewing and making sure that your fabrics are lined up as you go along, you will save yourself TONS of time!
Aren't you impressed that I can sew with one hand,
and take a picture with the other?!?
As excited as I am for this quilt, sewing strips of fabric over and over and over did get a little boring, so I did some alternating between sewing a few sections, then ironing a few. You know, just to spice things up a bit!
Just trust me though, your reward will come when your craft room starts to look like this:

That's called: PROGRESS!
Next up, cutting the strips down to block size, yippee!

Monday's 10 Things

Here's what I'm most thankful for, right now!
1. Long weekends.
2. Amazing weather, all weekend long.
3. More great progress on projects here.
4. Finally getting a day at the beach.
5. For my husband who swam in the frigid Lake Michigan water to entertain Claire, so I could just watch from the shore.
6. MOPS starts up this week.
7. Our friends in our small group from church.
8. Fall is just about here.
9. To do lists. They keep me sane.
10. Etsy, for all of it's amazing crafts and the people who make them.
What are you most thankful for today?

Fresh Start Sunday

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:18 (NIV)

Picture of the Week

Getting ready to grill out with the family on a Friday night.
Family time is the best!

Quilt Update: Cutting the Fabric

My big batch of Paula Prass fabric arrived in the mail, and within hours I had started my quilt! I have to admit, the fabric is a little brighter than what I was expecting it to be, but I guess that's just a chance one takes when ordering fabric online. I still really like it though, so I'm giving it a shot. If when all is said and done, I decide that it's too bright for what I was looking for in Claire's room, then we'll just have a fab new quilt to use outside. No worries!
So, I'm not going to recreate the tutorial for you as I go, I'll just link to each step at the Old Red Barn Co. The instructions for cutting the fabric for the quilt can be found here.
The tutorial requires 12 half yards of fabric, but my set came with 18 fabrics, and because I felt bad leaving any of them out, I opted to use them all. So, I had a little more cutting to do, but I think it will be worth it to have the variety I've got. Any extra strips I may have will just go towards a matching pillow sham. I would estimate that cutting all 18 fabrics took me about 2 hours. Keep in mind that I'm not a pro, and there were some interruptions, so all things considered, that probably wasn't too bad.
I have to admit, I was a big doubter of the whole fold-your-fabric-over-and-cut method. I had a really hard time believing how I would honestly end up with straight strips of fabric by doing that, but it works! Not to mention it saves TONS of time. If you're not sure of your cutting abilities, do what I did and start with a "forgiving" fabric first, (i.e. a floral pattern as opposed to stripes).
And finally, God bless rotary cutters and self-healing mats. By no means try to do a quilt without them, you would go nuts with all the cutting required, seriously.
Now, after all the work you've done, line up your pretty strips of fabric and admire how amazing they are. And, if you're like me, take a picture to make the moment last!
Next up, designing sets of 6 fabrics each, and then, SEWING!