Sunday, April 29, 2012

I made some more stuff!

I love the feeling of completing a project.  Love it.  Because usually shortly after, I get to give it to someone and make them happy.

Here are a few things I've been working on lately...

These are a baby gift for a friend of my sister.  Baby boy should be arriving sometime in May!

This is it, Tricia.  I wasn't going to post this until you received it, but I just couldn't wait.  The stitches are bound off, and the ends are sewn in.  I hope you love it!

Thank goodness for cute models.

This is an afghan that I'm hoping will end up on my couch, but may end up being a gift if needed.  Hopefully not to anyone who reads my blog!  It's still on the needles, and has taken a back seat to the other things above that had deadlines (sorta).

The yarn is so soft and squishy, I can't wait to curl up under it!

Here is the progress I've made on the afghan I mentioned that I was going to start.  I am in love with this project.  I'm learning a bunch, and it's certainly not a boring pattern!  Kinda hard to work on when there are people chatting all around you, but I'm managing so far.

It's going to be sooo pretty when it's done!  One huge flower.  I will keep posting updates as it progresses.  I have quite a way to go yet.  It's already taking so long to get all the way around, I can't imagine how long it will take on those last few rows when there are approximately 2389435648683497 stitches per row. 

I love the color and softness of this yarn, but it's kind of a cheap acrylic.  I'm considering spending a gift certificate that I got for Christmas to the local yarn shop and getting something equally soft and pretty and will last longer without pilling.  If I'm going to spend this kind of time on a project, I think it just might deserve the "good stuff".

Sorry for the dark pictures.  I really want to get back into the photo stuff again.  When it's 9:00 PM though, and you have a little time to write, but no pictures taken of the things you want to write about, you just have to go with it.



Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Celebration Talent Competition

Before I get into how proud I am of my little dancer, I will just say that if there in anything certain in this world, it is that I will get a migraine on a competition weekend.  No question.  This one kicked my butt and lasted 4 days.  Yippee.  So, that is why it has taken me a bit to get this post out...

Now.  On to the good stuff.

Last weekend, Morgan competed with the other girls at her studio in the Celebration Talent Competition at the DECC auditorium right here in Duluth.  It's so nice when competitions are in your home town.  The girls did awesome, and I'm very proud of all of them.

Her hip hop dance is super fun.  It's called Fuego (which is funny to me because my brother's first car back in the early 80s was a red Fuego.)

It looked exactly like this, though I'm not sure if it was a TURBO or not.  And it didn't have European license plates.  I'm pretty sure I rode in this car a time or two down the Gunflint Trail in fear for my life.  Mom, I'm just kidding.  (Everyone else, no I'm not.)

Sorry for the tangent there.  So the hip hop dance was very cool.  The girls did a few neat tricks, and ended up earning a high gold mark for their dance.  Only platinum is above that, and the judges were pretty stingy with giving those out.

They also performed their jazz dance to One Fine Wire, by Colby Caillat, which they did at the UMD show a few weeks ago.  I love the choreography in this one.  The girls earned a gold for this dance.  Awesome!

On Sunday, they performed their production routine, which was a mix of various jungle themed songs and included all of our competition dancers.  By this time my eyes were crossed and my brain wasn't working properly, so I didn't get a good picture of Morgan in her zebra costume.  They will be performing it at least three more times though, so I'll get some pictures next time.  Plus, they wouldn't let us take any pictures during any of the actual dances, so you were forced to buy the mucho expensivo professional pictures that they took during the performances.  Whatev.

So the only pictures I got on Sunday were during the awards ceremony, from very far away.  The studio won a gold award for this dance also, and then also a showstopper award, for just standing out as an entertaining number to the judges.

I know I've said it before, and I realize that I'm completely biased, but I just love watching my Morgan dance.  I know it is what she is supposed to be doing.  She absolutely loves performing on stage.  This is HER time to shine.  Finally.  After sitting through a painfully long hockey season.  We sure spent a lot of hours in that building this weekend for approximately 10 minutes of performing time, but every second was worth it to see her run out on to the stage and shine.

So, tonight when we went to Savers, I couldn't say no to her.

Four cow coffee mugs for $2.99?  Who could pass that up?  They even have udders!

I love you Morgie Pie, more than you will ever know.  I'm so very, very proud of you!



Friday, April 20, 2012

Instagram photo of the day dump

I am really having fun with this photo of the day thing on Instagram.  Here are some of my postings from the last week or so...

Where I ate breakfast - a shake at my desk.
Stairs - near my office...

A sunset - sometimes you have to get creative when the assignment is a sunset and you are in the middle of a thunderstorm.

Something I do not like - work.  Ick.  Sure wish I didn't have to.

Something orange - road construction season has begun.  While I'm very appreciative of road improvements, it's going to stink to have a major road near my house closed until fall.

Hair - Dis my curly hair. :)

Something I found - I love it when I find this sitting on the table next to me!

We have an incredibly busy weekend ahead of us with a dance competition taking up most of it.  Luckily it's in town.  I plan to bring my knitting and curl up in a corner somewhere and work on my newest project.  I've been wanting to try something lacy for a while, so I chose this:

Photo courtesy of mmario on Ravelry

I think it's gorgeous, and will either keep it as something pretty and snuggly for myself, or save it for the perfect gift when I need one (hopefully for someone who doesn't read my blog).  You start in the center and work your way out, adding more stitches as you go.  I'm really loving it so far, though I'm only on row 23.  We'll see how much I love it when there are 439865759867 stitches per row.  For the record, that's a lot of stitches.  I will keep you updated on the progress as it's coming along. 

So hopefully at the end of the weekend, I'll have some good progress made, and some pictures of a bunch of gorgeous dancers for you all to see.  Hope you are enjoying your Friday evening.  I'm going to go work on row 24.



Monday, April 16, 2012

A Wedding Gift

Forgive me for tooting my own horn here for a bit please.  But I made something.  And I'm really, kinda proud of it, and so I want to share it with you, k?

You see, I have this friend named Mindy, who is one of the smartest, sweetest, kindest people I know.  Mindy is the person at my office who we all call when there is something goofy going on with our computers.  She knows right away how to fix it up perfectly.  Mindy has been dating Jon for like a million years.  One day, not too long ago, like maybe only a thousand years ago, Jon finally decided to ask Mindy to be his wife.  Yay!  Mindy came into work the next day with a rock on her hand and a smile on her face that hasn't quit.

I knew right away that I wanted to make something for Mindy that would be very special.  The wheels in my brain started spinning immediately.  But the wedding wasn't going to be for over a year, so I had PLENTY of time to whip something together.

When word came out at work that there was a shower in the works for her and I hadn't started anything yet, I got a little worried.  I'd still be ok though, because the shower was over a month away. 

I decided on a quilt, so I started scouring the internet for something fun to do.  I picked a pattern and Morgan and I headed to the fabric store to pick out some material.  Alright!  The project has officially started!  Then it sat in the bag for about a week.  Plenty of time, right?

So when I finally decided it was time to get serious, I cut strips and strips of fabric,

And started sewing them together.  Then I ran out of the white fabric with the red flowers, and the red fabric.  So I went back to the store and counted my blessings that I could find the same patterns and buy more.  For the record, that NEVER happens.

Strips were sewn together, and Morgan helped me huge here with cutting them apart as they were attached to the growing squares.  And then I ran out of yellow fabric and brown fabric.  SONOFA!  (I was going to link to the site where I found the pattern for this, but clearly the measurements for how much fabric you will need are not quite accurate.  Google log cabin quilt if you are interested in finding a pattern similar to this!!)What were the chances I'd be able to go back to the store and find more of the same again?  Twice in one project?  I had my doubts.  The higher ups must have known how important this project was though, and how devistated I'd be if I wasn't able to finish it according to plan, because luck was certainly on my side.  I found both patterns again, and was able to get more.

More strips of fabric were sewn together to make squares.

Squares were sewn together to make rows.

Rows were sewn together to make a quilt.

The top was finished and all I could think of was how happy I was with how this was turning out and how I hoped Mindy and Jon would be happy with it as well.

All sewn together and ready to be quilted and bound.

Which was finished approximately 1.5 hours before the shower began.  No sweat.  Plenty of time.

Now for the fun part.  Giving the gift to the bride-to-be!  (Isn't she cute?)

This look.  This one.  THIS makes every single stitch worth it.  Every second of my time that went into this quilt had served it's purpose.  

Yes, I'm sorry Mindy that I didn't have time to clip all the strings and wash your quilt before giving it to you.  I, um, ran a little short on time and really needed to shower before your shower.  hehe.  (and why yes, that IS a birthday gift bag thankyouverymuch.  It served the purpose just fine, I think!)

I didn't think you'd mind too much.

Mindy, I really am honored to know you, and call you my friend.  Like I said in the card I attached to the gift, I hope you and Jon will snuggle under this blanket together for many, many years to come.  I'm so sorry we aren't able to make the journey out to Michigan to watch you and Jon become husband and wife, but know that I'll be thinking of you all day long on that special day.

Love you honey!!



Thursday, April 12, 2012


My mood is somber today.

The intent of this post is not to bring you down to this somber level with me, but to remind you of something very important.

I will be attending a funeral this afternoon for a friend who lost his mom to cancer this past weekend.  She was too young, and left a slew of family that will never get to hug her again.

I don't often talk about my religion, because honestly, I think I fall somewhere in the middle of all of them.  But I will say that it is comforting to me to believe in afterlife.  I believe that she is no longer fighting with those bad cells that chose her body to invade and take over.  She doesn't hurt anymore.  She will still get to watch her grandchildren graduate from high school, college, and walk down the aisle some day.  But on the other hand, it makes me sad to know that she won't be there physically to hug them.

It seems that whenever I lose someone close to me, the thing I think about the most is how I will miss their physical presence.  I lost my cousin Mark when I was 21.  He had very broad shoulders and huge strong arms and gave the best hugs in the world.  I remember thinking that there wasn't anything I could do to get just one more hug from him.  I couldn't pay anyone.  I couldn't get in my car and drive to see him.  I couldn't just wait until the next time we went to visit.  Because he wouldn't be there.  And I wouldn't get my hug.

I know it sounds cliche, but enjoy every minute of time that you spend with your friends and family.  Because you never know when it may be your last moment with them.  Lean heavily on those that you care about, and you know care about you.  Let yourself get close.  It will hurt like heck when they are gone, but then you will have those memories forever, and it will be worth it.

Go see your mom.  Go hug everyone you want a hug from.

Mark, I miss you.  I sure wish I could have one more hug.



Monday, April 9, 2012

Peter Cottontail?

No, we didn't get to see him.  He must have hopped away too fast.  Darnit.  We did have a fun Easter weekend though.  Wanna see what we did?

We colored eggs.

I used the McCormick food coloring for the first time instead of the easter egg dye kits.

This is how my Mother in Law has always done it.

The neon colors are so cool! 

I love watching the kids do projects like this.  They always surprise me with their creativity.


Food coloring and Sharpies make for some MEAN eggs.

We got to spend some time outside and Grandma and Grandpa's house.

It wouldn't be Easter without a good sibling wrestling match, right?

I think she's gonna take him.  I love watching them play like this.  As long as I'm there, I know it won't turn into something nasty.  They don't give those super funny belly laughs like toddlers do, but I love that they laugh together.

We went for a walk down to the lake.  This picture looks so cute and innocent, but really they are pulling each other's sweatshirts as tight as they can at the neck.  Ahh, good times.

The fishing was fun, but cold.  It was very windy, and we weren't quite prepared.

We were hoping for some crappie, because once they come into the lake early in the spring, they are biting like mosquitoes and are so much fun!

Come on li'l crappies!  Where arrre you?

Oooo!  He's got a big one!

No crappies today.  We caught a few nice bass, but unfortunately it isn't bass season yet, so they had to go back into the water to grow bigger for when we catch them later in the summer.

The loons are back and are probably preparing for their new babies to arrive shortly!

And the kids got to go on an egg hunt with their cutest little cousin, Carson.

He's just growing so fast, I can't believe it.

My kids just eat up his cuteness.  Andy can't get enough of him.

Check out that sweater!

"What does that one say, Andy? Where is the next egg hidden?"

We found them all! YAY!

Gaaah!  Sometimes I can't handle all the cuteness!  I wanted to put him in my pocket and take him home.  He reminds me so much of Andy when he was little.  Right down to the curls in his hair.  He's starting to talk more and more.  I even got a kiss when we were saying goodbye.  Sure wish we lived closer so it wouldn't take a few hours to warm up to us every time we see him.  Soon he'll remember us!  Love ya so much Carson!!

We played a board game, drank wine, and had lots and lots of laughs.  It was very fun to get together with family I don't get to see often enough.

So that was our Easter, in a nutshell.  Or an eggshell.  Ba dum dum.  I kill myself.

I hope yours was full of family and laughs too.  And wine, cause really who doesn't love a good glass of wine??