Friday, January 28, 2011

33 days

Until my dear hubby and I escape cold and miserable Calgary for our first ever tropical vacation together!

We have chosen to spend 8 nights and 9 days at the beautiful Secrets Capri Riviera just north of Playa del Carmen in the Riviera Maya.

Photo Credit: Corey Schubert Photography

To say that I am excited would be an understatement. One of the reasons we picked this resort is the "Unlimited Luxury" all inclusive plans they offer. No wrist bands, premium drinks, beach front wait service, and land sports such as tennis and golf are included. There's 6 restaurants and 5 bars, no reservations required and the resort it's self is on the small side of medium. Only 290 rooms!

I have been to Playa del Carmen once before, for work. It was....exhausting. I went with the first family I nannied with and it was a very long 8 days of not much sleep, over heating and just generally not a lot of fun, even if I was with one of the coolest 2 year olds I know. So needless to say, I am looking forward to an adult trip at an adults only resort where we can come and go as we please, eat delicious food we didn't have to drink and do all the exploring or lazing around we want!

P.S. I just found out that there is something called Tequila Bingo there...oh dear, we may just have to play a game or two!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


I got new glasses today!

Dork Girl Lives was having a crazy $38 end of season clearance sale, so I picked up this crazy pair of Elvis Costello style, nerd-a-licious glasses for a mere $50.04 including shipping. Now that is an absolute miracle because my Rx is ridiculously strong and my last pair of glasses retailed for almost $800 (don't worry I didn't pay that price!)

They are so over the top different from my nearly invisible glasses I've had for the last 4 years, but I think I am embracing the the dorky statement they make. Now if only I could get the sick feeling out of my stomach from trying to get used to the new Rx.


In case I haven't mentioned it enough, my job is awesome!

The twins have finally stopped the screaming and crying every time I come over (they hate when their parents leave)and they are cuter than ever. They are talking more and more all the time and even call me by my name now! Yay! Also, they love it when I bring my camera. They get me to take a zillion pictures of all their toys and show them over and over again!

Smoothie Ingredients

Last week we all put our aprons on and tried making fruit smoothies together. I put all the ingredients in little ramekins and had them take turns dumping them in. Unfortunately I forgot to prepare them for how loud the blender is when it crushes ice and I nearly scared them right off the chair and onto the floor!

C & A Make Smoothies

They LOVED the smoothies! It is so much fun hanging out with them.

At the other house, J and I did a little art project last week. Being 16 months, I thought it was time for a little finger painting fun! Of course, I didn't remember that he puts his hands in his mouth all the time because well, he's 16 months old! So finger painting quickly turned into tongue painting and crying. Oops. Don't worry it's no toxic! He made an adorable painting though and it made me laugh. Is that mean?

J's Painting


Joel and I were given a very generous amount of money from friends and family for Christmas and decided we are going to use it to go on a much needed vacation in March. We've narrowed it down to 2 possible weeks, and Mexico, and hopefully will actually book something tomorrow. I'm beyond excited! Not only do we get to have some time off together, but I get to go back to Mexico and RELAX instead of work 14 hours a day like I did in December of 2009. I'll keep you posted on where we choose.


365 is going well. I'm still having fun taking my camera out every day. I've missed one day and taken a couple of crappy end of day nothing to shoot pictures, but overall I'm having a lot of fun. Once we get to February 1st I'll put up the January mosaic, but you can check the set out anytime here.


Okay, done with the random. Have a fabulous week!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

2011 sewing goals update

Sewing Goals 2011 is going nicely. It turns out that putting my to-do list "out there" for all to see has given me some much needed motivation! Here's the update:

1. Finish Baby J's Christmas Present.



In a fit of madness just a couple weeks before Christmas, I decided to make J a set of felt letters. Little did I know how much work would go into them! Approximately 35 hours of hand sewing later and they were done. I'm very happy with them, but I won't ever do it again. And I wish I had been able to find wool felt instead of the not so nice acrylic stuff.

I had a cute little hat box (tea cup box) lying around so I drew some cute letters on it and voila! Christmas Present done just 2 weeks late.

Felt Alphabet

2. Finish Plain Spoken III

The quilt is coming along. I finished the third panel and am currently laying out the 4th. The plan is to spend my (unexpected!) day off tomorrow finishing the quilt top. Still no solution for quilting. I'm now considering the hand quilting option...I made a call to the LQS and they won't teach people or rent time on their machines. I'll keep thinking on that one.

4. Finish the Single Girl Quilt for dear patient hubby

Single Girl Process

Who knew that my lucky stars would align so nicely? I was feeling so motivated by finishing the 3rd panel of the Plain Spoken III quilt that I thought I would take my KJR fabric to work with me and do some cutting during naptime. THAT MORNING I checked my Google Reader and low and behold 3 wonderful bloggy women have put together the Single Girl Quilt Along and Support Group. Incredible!

Megan, Katy and Nova are working together to share tips, tricks and motivation for a group of us who have decided to get serious and finish an item made from the Single Girl Quilt pattern. Most of us have had it sitting for a significant amount of time.

The quilt along posts start on February 14 and they wrap up on March 28, so I guess if I keep on schedule I could have the quilt done in time for Joel's birthday on April 2nd! I figure if not, I'll put it away and give it to him for our anniversary, but that's in September and I don't know if I can wait that long!

Either way, I am feeling reinvigorated about this quilt. My plan is to have all the ring pieces cut by February 14th, that way I can piece the rings and all that and not have to worry about rushing to cut them all in a week.

That's all for now. I'm thinking of writing a random post about random stuff. That will come later.

Monday, January 17, 2011

2011 sewing far

We are now mid-way through January, and I have lots of thoughts and lists swirling through my head so I thought I had better get them down before my head explodes or I forget everything!

Without further ado I give you "Jessy's List of Sewing Goals 2011"

(Oops, this one went unattended for too long. Pics to come later today or tomorrow when it is finished.)

2. Finish Plain Spoken III

Plain Spoken III - Progress

(I am still at a loss for how to quilt this as it most definitely won't fit in my machine and I most definitely NOT paying to have it quilted and I most definitely do not have a friend with or a budget for a long arm. Suggestions of any kind welcome.)

3. Create a Memory Quilt for my Nini (To be named "The Family Day Quilt" I think)
(My Nini has Alzheimer's and it has been suggested that a warm, cozy quilt covered in pictures of her family would be something to not only cheer her up, but keep her warm. The name comes from the fact that it will be given to her on "Family Day" which is a stat holiday in both my Province - Alberta - and my grandparent's province - Ontario.)

4. Finish the Single Girl Quilt for dear patient hubby

An Old New Project

(This one also won't fit in my sewing machine, but since I intend for it to be an heirloom one day I am seriously contempltating hand quilting because well, refer to number 2.)

5. Craft it Forward
(Last year I participated in this little Facebook meme but never sent anything to anyone who responded. Oops. So, this year that will change. I already know what 2 of the 4 projects will be and am thinking about the other two.)

6. The Birdie Sling

Far Far Away II Birdie Sling
Photo by The Workroom

(At least one!! I have had this pattern sitting on my shelf since Christmas of 2008 and it has yet to be made. I need a new giant bag and this one is perfect.)

7. Oh Fransson's weighted Pincushion Organizer

Mother´s Day
Photo by homemadestuff

I want to make at least one of these.  I definitely need one to keep me from dropping my pins, scraps and threads all over the floor but I have a couple friends in mind that might really like one as well.

8.  The Don't Look Now Oh Christmas Tree Quilt

Photo by Don't Look Now

(I have had this one my Christmas to-do list for a looooong time now, and hopefully this will be my year!)

9. The Twiddletails Geese in the Forest Quilt

geese in the forest
Photo by Seaside Stitches

(Originally designed as a Christmas quilt, I think I will end up making this in colours to go with our house year round instead. Especially if I make the Oh Christmas Tree Quilt.)

10. The Oliver & S Ice Cream Dress

Ice Cream Dress

(My friend Laura also bought this pattern without knowing I had it when she went on a trip to The Workroom this Christmas. I'm hoping we can work on this side by side!)

Okay, I think 10 is enough goals, don't you? Especially since most of them are either large projects or involve multipes of the same item.

Am I crazy? I hope not!

What are your sewing/quilting/crafting goals for 2011?

Sunday, January 16, 2011


I. Can't. Believe it!


After trying to get in last round but not getting picked in the lottery, I am so excited to be participating in a swap with such stellar quilters! I'm feeling a tad intimidated, but I have lots of time to try a few things before I have to settle and finish.

In an effort to help my partner out I created an inspiration mosaic because well, I have like 20 pages of favourites and that is just a lot to go through. Here is my top 25 I came up with:

DQS10 Inspiration

I am so looking forward to creating something unique for my partner and I sure hope that he/she loves it! And of course, I can't wait to see what wonderful little quilty I get in return.

I will try to add progress/updates and photos as often as possible during the process.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

giveaway alert!

In case you haven't come across her yet, I wanted to let you know about the fabulous Angela of Fussy Cut. You may know her as Raggedy Owl.

Just recently, Angela switched her blog over to her new site (which looks super cute!) and as a nice little reward to all her followers who made the move with her, she is hosting one HOT giveaway!

She is graciously giving away 7 fat eights of the coveted Heather Ross Lightning Bugs and Other Mysteries!! Included is 2 colours of the gnomes, some happy vans, Matrioshka dolls, and even some goldfish!

To enter, all you have to do is become a follower of her blog (and I highly recomend that you do!) and leave her a comment letting her know.

If you would like an extra chance, go ahead and post on your blog about it. See, like I did! I am seriously crushing on this little stack and hope I am lucky enough to win!

So head on over to Angela's new site and check it out!

Sunday, January 2, 2011


As mentioned previously, I got a new camera for Christmas this year. It is a fair bit more advanced than my last camera, and I think it will encourage me to learn and use more features. Becuase I got this snazzy new camera, I decided to participate in Project 365.

There are a few key reasons I decided to try this project:

I want to learn to really use my camera.
I want to learn to appreciate and capture beauty and fun and things to be thankful for.
I want to challenge myself.
I want to be deliberate about being even just a tiny bit creative every day.
I want to capture life.

So, even though January 1st probably would have been a smarter date to start on, I couldn't help myself and started on December 25th.

Here's my first month:

1. 365.1, 2. 365.2, 3. 365.3, 4. 365.4, 5. 365.5, 6. 365.6, 7. 365.7

In case you are interested, you can check out the set as it builds, here.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Because I think it's a good thing to reflect, here is my last sewing year in review.

2010 Quilts

1. Vintage Quilt Reborn, 2. Plain Spoken front, 3. Many Patches Quilt, 4. Criss Cross Quilt, 5. Pink Patchwork - Top Done!, 6. Plain Spoken II, 7. The Argyle Quilt of Doom - Finished!, 8. Sea of Blue, 9. Plain Spoken III - Progress

I completed 7 quilts and started 3. (Only 2 of those 3 are pictures, oh well.) Of those 7 completed quilts, 6 have gone to live with someone else. And of those 3 started, 1 will go to live with someone else.

I've been very happy with the evolution of my quilting skills. I have LOTS left to learn, and I highly doubt I will ever be done learning or think of myself as an expert, but I can see an improvement from the first quilt of 2010 to the last.

2010  Sewing

1. Coasters Galore!, 2. Bibs, 3. STUD June '10 - Sent, 4. STUD May '10 - Sent, 5. Mod Napkins, 6. The Buttercup Bag 2, 7. Neptune Scarf, 8. Girl Banner, 9. Boy Banner, 10. A Monster & 2 Bibs, 11. Baby J TShirts, 12. STUD July/August '10 Landscapes - Sent, 13. STUD October/November '10 Fussy Cut - Sent, 14. Garters, 15. Hope Valley Table Runner & Napkins, 16. Toddler Apron, 17. Toddler Apron, 18. Giveaway Day Prize, 19. Buttercup Bag 4, 20. STUD July/August '10 Anything Goes - Sent

In other sewing, I completed: 44 coasters, 10 bibs (more on that later), 4 mini quilts for swaps, 22 napkins, 4 buttercup bags (only 3 shown), a scarf, 2 birthday banners, 2 more bibs and a monster, 4 baby tshirts (only 2 shown), 2 garters, 2 toddler aprons, a table runner, 30 christmas ornaments, 2 bowties and a pocket square.


In a list it seems like a lot, but actually, I feel like I didn't accomplish as much as I could have. The year has been interesting. More free time than ever, but oddly exhausting. I can't quite describe how tiring it is to have 3 different roommates, plus random passers through, support my husband as he works his way (more than full time!) through the last part of his masters degree, and just generally live life in a good but stressful state.

I don't want any of the above to sound like a complaint. Truly, this year has been one of the best of my life. I met a family that I adore working for, I got to continue working with the other family I love, I've made new friends and reconnected with old, I saw family, I saw dear friends get married, I got the time and space to be creative and I even did a little running. I feel pretty lucky.

Next year, I look forward to doing more sewing. I have a few big projects on my list that I would like to finish (including TWO king sized quilts) but I would also like to spend more time just playing. I feel intimidated by improvisation, and also traditional quilting and I would like to try a little bit of both. Perhaps an improve quilt and a pickledish quilt are in my future.

I would like to take this chance to say thank you, to each person that stops by. It means a lot that you read, and take the time to comment and encourage. Thank you. It feels good to share and know that people are actually reading. Happy New Year!