The ABC Song

One of Leanne's favorite things is to climb up in our big bay window, mic in hand, and entertain us with a song or four. This is her current favorite.



Ellen's Sweater

I'm almost embarrassed to say I started this Wild Flower Sweater in October 2013 and finished it this week. 
Between life, distance and chemo, we had difficulty arranging time for try-ons - and I wanted to be sure it fit before I put in the sleeves and wove in my tails. 
But fit it does and I'm pleased with how it turned out. 
I added a button, partly as decoration and partly to show which side is up and outside  -
since it's very easy to put this sweater on upside-down and inside-out.
Ellen tried it on today and says it fits and she loves it - life doesn't get much better than that.   


Party at the Mouse House

Saturday culminated a multi-day celebration of Leanne's 4th birthday. 

She had cupcakes at preschool on Wednesday (her actual b-day); a present at our house on Thursday
plus a trip to the Disney outlet store to pick out dolls for her new Barbie castle.
And if you just happen to find a princess dress on sale, welllllll, you gotta go with it! Leanne does love Sofia the First.
And Saturday was the crowning glory -
a trip to Chuck E. Cheese with some of her favorite people, 
plus all the ride tokens 
her little heart desired. 
What is it with kids and the Mouse?
Leanne couldn't wait for Chuck E. to arrive - then she was too scared to have her picture taken with him without clinging desperately to Mom. Go figure. 
Then cake 
and presents
and best of all - the ticket tornado! She had more tickets clinging to her hair than she ever caught with her hands.

 I still laugh every time I watch it . . . . 

Happy birthday, my little Leanne!


40 in 40

Starting the 40 Bags in 40 Days challenge again. Today - the first day of Lent - was the official start date, but I started a few days ago. I had the bug, the time and the places I wanted to decrapify, so why not!

My main goal this round will be organizing the giant, floor-to-ceiling cabinet that holds my photo collection, and clearing out all the scrapbooking supplies I never use. New, labeled, photo-safe boxes (on sale, half-price!) are ready for sorting to begin.
But on Monday, my first stop was the china hutch in my dining room, home to "treasures" from the time hubby and I were first married up to now. 
Many no longer hold memories, or mean as much as they once did, so out they went. Much better - and room for new treasures. Not the spirit of 'decrapifying', I know, but that's reality. I know I'm not going to stop collecting knicky-knacky things; might as well acknowledge it and make room for them.
Yesterday, Leanne and I went though all the toy boxes, tossing some, donating others, and putting the rest in four small, labeled baskets for easy clean-up. She and I disagreed on some things that needed to go, but I bowed to her on most items (and will toss them in the next round if she and Leia still haven't played with them.)

So far, the count is 3 bags of trash; 4 bags of donations, plus several bags and individual items that are going to Leanne's preschool. Whoop! 40 in 40 is underway!  


Dance, Dance, Baby

On Thursday, Leanne and I crashed Leia's after-school hip hop class. It was super windy, but the girls just took it in stride.
A week away from her 4th birthday, Leanne is almost as tall as Leia's 7-year-old friend.

Leanne got her boogy hippity-hoppity on behind the class.

Leia showed off her moves during a break (no music - just wind noise).

Look out, America's Got Talent - these girls are on their way!



Leanne wanted to do "make-up" today.
We got out our supplies, 
made ready the "salon" -  
aka we spread a sheet over the white bathroom bench to contain as much of the fall-out as possible -  
and got down to business.
This was the first time Leanne has used the big mirror for make-up; 
normally when we do this she uses a small, hand-held mirror.
She thought this was MUCH better. 

She took full advantage of the extra lighting and space,
with lots of primping 
and posing 
to check her "look".
Four lipsticks, 
 three blushes, 
 two eye-shadow medleys, 
and one eye-liner later, 
she was finally satisfied. 
I think she's adorable*. 
*I also think I better make a dollar store run to restock my supplies. . . . 

Bye Bye, Baby, Goodbye

I thought about calling this "Raccoon Highway", because that's what this tree had become - a way for critters to get up on our roof and do damage.

I wanted a picture before the tree came down, but these guys were fast.

It's been growing for over 26 years - it was already in place when we bought the house - and had long since outgrown its space between the backyard fence and the house slab. We've trimmed it back several times over the years, but the trunk and roots were just getting too big.
So today, the surrounding fence came down temporarily and that big ole tree came down permanently.
I'll miss the shade, but I'm happy saying bye-bye to critter highway.


My Model

I asked Leanne to help me photograph my latest class sample* and she insisted on modeling. 
The poses are her own  - and she's very proud of her ability to cross her eyes.

And yes, I do take the baby-grands out in the rain for pictures. Doesn't every granma?

* This is the Swirl Shawl, made with joined hexagon motifs. Super easy and fun to make. Class details are here (this takes the place of the Summer Fields Shawl) 


Scrappy Cats 2

Added borders in class tonight and both are ready to quilt.

Valentino Cat

Leanne is going to have to wait until after quilting for her kitty eyes.

Irish Lass


Scrappy Cats

I started this in class last week and finished the paper-piecing today. It's intended to be a Valentine's Day wall hanging, because really, nothing says "I love you" like a pink cat, right?

When I showed it to Leanne this afternoon, she informed me it was not a cat. "Cats have eyes, Granma, and that doesn't." Duh.
I'd like to have a small wall hanging for each month/holiday - plus I wanted more practice paper-piecing - so I also made a St Patrick's Day kitty. Check out the shamrocks in his ears.....

Borders - and eyes - will be added during class tomorrow night. I'm thinking the shamrock fabric will be the outer border. Maybe a thin gold inner border? Gotta raid the stash tomorrow and see what I have.


The Challenge

My quilting buddies and I set up a quilt challenge last November. Without consulting on color or style, we each bought a yard of 3 different fabrics, cut them in thirds, and shared them with the other two. 
Debbie, our most experienced quilter, chose a theme fabric and two coordinating colors (fabrics on the left); Reyna, the reigning Miss Batik World, chose three shades of batik dots; and I picked my three favorite colors - orange, purple and teal. 
Debbie's Quilt

The rules said we were to make a quilt, using any pattern/design we liked; we could add up to a yard of fabric from our stash; AND we had to use some of all 9 fabrics in our finished project.
Reyna's crib-size quilt is her own design

Saturday was show and tell and I don't think we could have gotten three less similar tops. 
My "Summer Lightning" (oopsie, it's upside down in this pic)

Mine was based on a tutorial I found online named "Lightning Zigzags". I cut my squares 5" (rather than Jen's 3.5") and my strips 3" x 6". You can't see it in the picture above, but my white fabric has wind swirls - so perfect! I really, really love how this turned out.

My challenge quilt is small - 40.5 x 36" - but that was all the white fabric the rules allowed me to use. Once show-and-tell concluded, I headed right back to the quilt store and bought another yard and a half. My plan is to make a bigger, more usable size that will always remind me of my crazy quilting pals.