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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Museum of History

Yesterday we took the boys to the Museum of History in Tacoma.  They had a special Train Event that Jake wanted to see with them.  It was really fun.  The guys enjoyed the trains and I enjoyed wandering around and looking at all the cool stuff.  The trains were pretty neat though.

They had a really nice section on Pioneer times with covered wagons and different pieces from the time period.  Life is much easier nowadays.  I have respect for those people.  Obviously there was no easier way to do things and as far as they knew then, that was the best way to do everything.  I can't imagine taking 6+ months to make it across the country with all your belongings, children, pets and food stored in a tiny wagon.  The wet, cold, mud, heat and sickness.  Traveling only about 10 miles a day! Then, if you actually make it to your destination alive and healthy, you have to build your own house, cut all your firewood, find your food and figure out how to survive in this new place with new dangers.  I honestly can't even imagine what that must have been like.

 Their oxen were probably more well cared for then the family because if that ox died, you were screwed! I mean, it's not like you can whip out your cell phone and call for road-side service to bring you another fresh ox.  You couldn't go anywhere without that ox.  At least not far and not safe.  And you'd have to leave your only means of shelter, food and safety behind. 

It's always nice to listen to how life used to be for our ancestors so you can truly appreciate all you have now.  If they hadn't done what they did, where do you think we'd be? I'm not sure we can ever really know that answer, but I'm thankful they did it.  I imagine 100 or so years from now, someone will look back on how we lived our lives in 2011 and say, "Wow, I don't know how they did it.  Life must have been so hard for them."  Makes me smile.  Because to me, this is the best way to live life.

Here's a few pictures of a wealthy family traveling in their private train car.  Each family had their own private sleeping rooms and lavatories.  They also had a nice dining car where servants and slaves fixed their meals.

A family traveling in the new train cars.  Only wealthy people were able to afforded this privilege.
Immigrants & poor were shoved into freight cars together w/no sleeping or dining cars.

Different times for sure. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Wishing you all a Peaceful Holiday

Here is a quilt I just finished a few weeks ago for a customer.  She is having a baby boy soon and I was so excited to work on this quilt for her.  For one, I am a little partial to little boys.  Even with dirt on their hands, rocks, bugs and other treasures in their pockets.  I just love them! Oh, and their sticky little kisses! I love their kisses and hugs the best.  And the giggles and belly laughs.  Okay... I love everything about little boys I guess.  Back to the quilt!

The nursery is going to be done in a vintage fishing theme.  Her husband collects vintage fishing rods, reels, etc so she wanted something that would fit with a vintage/woodsy feel.  I think the fabrics she chose are wonderful and the quilt is so beautiful (handsome?).  I was really kicking myself for not getting some better pictures of it before I shipped it out, but I was so excited to get this in the mail to her. 

I hope they treasure this quilt.  I had so much fun making it for her and her little boy.

Does anyone else find quilting/sewing to be relaxing? I find if I make time to sew something (anything!) each day, I'm much calmer and more focused on what's happening in my life.  I have more patience with my family, eat better and smile more.  I feel fulfilled I guess is what it is.  Taking time for yourself is important. 

I hope everyone has a chance to enjoy their creating this season.  It can get so busy and hectic that we often lose sight of the reason we are making these things.  Take a few moments to focus on the people you hold dearest and closest to your heart and remember why you pick up your needle and thread.  If you can't find a single nice thought about someone, maybe you better put down the needle and thread until you can (or just find someone else to make it for).  You can always give them a gift card!

 We are in full-fledged holiday spirit in this house currently.  They boys ask daily (hourly, minutely even) if it's time for Santa to come.  They are excited about the toys, the guests who will come over and celebrate with us, the decorations, the music and the magic of it all. 

It is really a magical and wonderful time of the year.  I hope in the midst of all the buying, baking, making and doing you find some time to sit down with a cup of warm cocoa and a few cookies and just enjoy the peaceful season and time with loved ones. 

Wishing you all a holiday filled with light, love and peace!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Preparation

We have been super busy around here lately.  I don't even think we've had one day since Jake got home on Dec. 7th that we haven't had something to do.   Jake and the boys picked out a Christmas tree a few weeks ago and I was just so busy I forgot to blog about it.  So, here it is! Our family Christmas tree.  It's my most favorite tree ever.

 We made pipe cleaner candy canes with the kids one nite and then put them all over the tree.  The yellow plastic chain link garland is one of my favorites though.
And here's a close-up of my tree skirt and the train.  The tree skirt was made for me by my mother-in-law last year.  One day I mentioned to her that I needed a tree skirt.  A few nites later me and the hubs went out on a date.  I came home to this skirt under the tree. 

I love it! It matches the table runners and decor I have for the rest of my Christmas festivities.  Like this runner which is also for sale in my etsy shop

I also finished this adorable snack mat a few days ago.  I am totally in love with snowmen and this fabric by Riley Blake just makes me smile.  The red and green border and binding fabrics are from another designer.  I'm unfortunately not sure who made them as they were in a Christmas scrap bag I purchased eons ago.  

I'm calling it Snow Buddies.  And it's all mine.  The boys have been asking if they can use it and play with it and put their cocoa on it.  My answer is, "Nope.  This is all mommy's."  I suppose I should be a nice mommy and make them something super cool too.  I think I could handle that.

What have you been up to lately? I'd say it's a really busy time of year for us, but really, all year is busy for us.  The summer is full of picnics, barbeque's, days at the beach, swimming and staying outside until the last possible moment.  And lots of gardening and canning.  Spring is busy with planting of garden and flowers.  Preparing for warmer weather when rain coats aren't necessary.  Fall is busy as well with canning and preserving of the last of the gardens bounty and preparing yard and home for colder weather.  It's also a busy time for us as we get ready for Harvest and Thanksgiving. 

Is the Winter season busier than usual for you all? Or is it just a different kind of busy like it is for us?

I just finished sending out all the boxes of goodies for family Christmas gifts.  I'd love to tell you what we included this year but some of the people who are receiving boxes read this blog, so it'll have to be a surprise for awhile yet.  However you spend this Christmas season, I wish you peace and lots of cookies.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Scrap Bundles & Free Shipping!

 These Christmas scrap fabric bundles are now available in the shop.  The ones listed are for about 7 oz's of fabric.  At $1 per ounce, these are a steal! 

If you'd like a different amount just send me a convo through etsy.  I make these up as they are ordered, so I can easily adjust the amount of fabric included.  I have Kids Christmas bundles, Java coffee fabric bundles, Girlie Girl fabric, and many, many more that will be listed throughout the day.  If you don't see what you're looking for send me a convo and I'll get a listing set up for you.

Also... don't forget to use FREESHIP at checkout to receive free shipping on your order (within US).  International orders will receive a 10% discount on their orders.  This deal is only going on through Dec. 15th and fabric is going fast!

Aren't these fabrics so cute? I love all the bright colors and Christmas-y fabrics.  I'm making the boys Christmas patchwork quilts this year.  I'll blog about those later this week.  They are so cute!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

New in the shop

Well it's been a busy week here recovering from Thanksgiving and the cold bug.  I've managed to get a few finished items listed in the shop

This table runner is a favorite of mine right now.  I just love how the dark earthy colors contrast so nicely with the cream.  It's for sale in my etsy shop here.

I also got this listed today.  I can see it sitting on a kitchen table, snow falling outside.  You can see more of it here.

Please stop by and take a look.  I have many more table runners available for sale, both Christmas and everyday.  I'm currently offering free shipping on all orders through Dec. 15th.  A great way to stock up on holiday gifts and stocking stuffers.  Wouldn't a handmade table runner make a wonderful and unique hostess gift for your next holiday party?