Friday, September 19, 2014

Squirrel Quilt finished

I finished quilting the little squirrel quilt.  I like how it turned out.  I'll add a sleeve today so it will hang a little straighter.

I quilted in some grass, some pebbles on the ground, and lines in the pumpkins.

The round leaves are full of swirls.

I did a straight-line border and then a trailing leafy vine.

One more project off the to-do list!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Needlework Tuesday: Autumn Progress

Only 100 days until Christmas!  This time of year I tend to increase my stitching hours on seasonal projects.  It's just part of how I personally celebrate the holidays.

I finished the top for this little quilt.  A friend said it looks like a pair of boots but hopefully you can see the squirrels.  Today I play to dig through my bags and bags of batting to find a scrap the right size so I can start quilting it.

My "Mysterious Halloween Town" is coming along.  Still working on the bakery.

So much cuteness.  I love the little trick-or-treater with a cupcake.

And finally my "Whacky Witches" stitchalong is coming along slowly but surely.  I'm very slow at stitching the border.  The little scenes are darling though.  Not sure if this one will get done in time for Halloween this year.

I have Christmas projects yelling at me from my stash.  They just have to wait though.

Linking up today with Heather at Books and Quilts.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Then and Now - 9/11

The picture above is from 2003.  I grabbed it today because it shows my 9/11 quilt in the background.  Every summer this quilt goes up on the wall.  While nobody in the house probably even thinks of the connection, that quilt will always remind me of 9/11.  Working on it in the months afterwards was very therapeutic for my jangled nerves. 

I remember the day it all happened, listening to the news reports in the car while I was driving the twins to preschool.  It was all surreal and unbelievable.  This morning I drove Jungle Boy down that same street as I took him to his classes at the community college.   He has no memory of the event.  We didn't have a television connected then (still don't) so my kids never saw that unrelenting news coverage.  They sang "God Bless America" around the flag at school a few years later on the anniversary, but never understood why.

Of course, they've studied it in school now, and have as much understanding as they do of any event in American history.  We've talked about it as a family, as we do many things, but for them it doesn't hold the weight that it does for those of us who do remember.

This is an event which separates our generations.  I was just a bit too young to remember the Kennedy assassination, which forever put me in a different category than those people who did remember it.

I hope that there will never be an event in their lifetimes that defines their generation in such a painful way.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Post Number 1,000

This is a milestone I never expected to see.  This post is the thousandth that I've written for Lit and Laundry. 

If somebody had told me, back in April 2008 that I would have 1000 entries for Lit and Laundry I never would have believed them.  This has always been a little experiment for me, a place to hold my thoughts so I could hold on to moments in time.  A place to watch my kids grow and my creative projects evolve. I meant to write about the books I love to read but to be honest, I feel like a lousy book reviewer.  People will just have to trust me that I read a lot.

My ideas and my writing have changed over time.  Back in 2008 blogging in general was different.  We were like a small club, passing awards and badges to each other and visiting everywhere every day.  Now I see many more sleek, professional-looking blogs with gourmet recipes and diy tips worthy of Pinterest.  They're great too.  It's a big blog world out there with room for every style. 

I've watched fellow bloggers' kids grow up.  Seen tragedy strike blogging families and smiled with true joy at reading wonderful news that others have shared.  I've been inspired by projects and parties and great ideas and especially, by great writing.

But one thing remains the same from the very first post to today.  The one thing that means the most to me, and to any blogger, is the comment section.  The fact that people take a moment to stop and write a response.  These tiny nuggets can make such a difference in my day.

So thank you, dear reader for joining me, or sticking with me, or giving me a quick scan as you go through your reader.  It's nice to know you're out there.

On to the next thousand!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Crow Cushion

Wasabi Girl and I spent the weekend putting away all of the summer quilts and finding spots for all the fall quilts and decor.  I know it's still early in the season for crows on pumpkins, but I couldn't resist making this when I had some time today. The pattern is available at Thimble Creek.

And speaking of fall, I have a new favorite soap.  Did they have this scent before?

The smell is divine.  Goes with the pumpkin spice candles I already have out around the house.  Maybe they should just change the name of the season from fall to pumpkin spice.

Now I have the urge to make some pumpkin muffins.  Must be fall.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Stitching Update

Kids are back to school and we're starting to settle into a new routine.  I've had a chance to work on some of my current projects.

Number 6 in the Animal Advent Series by Brooks Books is "Cashmere Camel."  I think she's pretty cute.  She even has pink toenails!

My "Mysterious Halloween Town" by Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery is more than halfway finished, and getting cuter all the time.  The section I'm working on on the left will be a bakery.

This is the first part of my "Wacky Witches in Stitches" by Cloudsfactory. I love Dracula's tiny fangs. He'll get his legs tomorrow.

Finally, because she discovered she needed some beloved books she left behind, I had to send a package to Drama Girl.  I couldn't resist making this amigurumi brain for her.  Pattern is from Mad Crochet Lab.  Here is the little bag I put it in.

Today I shipped out some more books she wants for a class, and after the box was gone she texted me that she found a ballet class that she wants to take and could I pretty please send her pointe shoes?  I hope all this shipping calms down soon.  All of her boxes were so neatly stored in the garage, it's a bit of a challenge to maneuver them around to get to the right one. 

All my stitching keeps me happy as I adjust to her absence.  I suppose there are worse things I could do to cope.

Monday, September 1, 2014

How to drop a freshman off at college

This has been one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life.  There has been real grief and real joy in this process.  I am still recovering.  I'm going to apologize in advance for the blurry photos.  Everything happened so fast.  It will give the realistic impression of looking through tears.

Step 1:  Packing.

Three suitcases packed impossibly full.  Each suitcase came in at just under the 50lb weight limit.  This was no small feat.  Favorite pillow, favorite teddy, favorite journals all had to stay home.  We enjoyed the miracle of those big bags that can be filled and then vacuumed to remove the air.  Even though this made things wonderfully compact, it didn't make them any lighter.

Step 2:  Arrive at destination, hit all the stores.
It's all those little things that add up:  a white board, highlighters, a desk lamp.  Ka-ching!  Big bill at Target.  Then we went to another store where my credit card was immediately denied.  Apparently out-of-state big purchases trigger a freeze.  One parent told me that a Target she went to actually had  a sign on the front door warning out-of-state college parents to notify their credit card company before trying to make a purchase.  It took a little time, but I got it cleared up and spent plenty more money at the bedding store.

Step 3: Visit the campus even though move-in day is the next day.

"Mom,this is the lawn, this is the castle..."  is about the level of detail I got from her. She had been out to visit earlier in the summer with a friend to take placement tests. She was thrilled to show me the "writing room" in the library where she plans to hunker down with her laptop.

But the castle!  Oh my, what a beautiful place.  I learned the next day that it was modeled after the castle in Scotland that was later used to film the Harry Potter movies.

There were numerous ballrooms.

Some of the ballrooms had painted ceilings.

Suit of armor - I was told he tends to change spots and poses in the night.

Step 4:  Try to sleep the night before move-in.  Fail.

Step 5: Try to survive move-in day
This was so well orchestrated that it all went pretty quickly.  Parents backed cars up to the curb in front of the dorms and all the sports teams descended on the cars and unloaded them and took everything up to the room.  It felt like it was about 130 degrees and these poor kids kept their good humor despite being drenched with sweat at 10:00 in the morning. 

Step 6: Make the bed.

Even though it would have been a lot easier for her to wrestle the sheets onto the top bunk, I insisted on doing it.  It's the mom's job, the last time I'll probably ever make her bed for her.  I tugged and smoothed and tried to make everything as perfect as possible.  Meanwhile, Drama Girl stuffed clothes into drawers and I bit my tongue to stop myself from lecturing about the importance of folding.

Step 7: Meet the roommates and their parents
Did I mention three girls are stuffed into an "overbooked double?"  Drama Girl will only be with them for one semester and they communicated a lot before they met, but I still have reservations about the whole setup.  By the time we got all three girls and all of their stuff squeezed into the room, it was time to attend the half-dozen parent orientation activities while the kids went off to do some icebreaker activities with other students.

Step 8:  The final goodbye
I can't write about this without crying.  As the staff explained it, they designed it to happen fast, like pulling off a bandaid.  There were plenty of volunteers around with "Free Hugs" buttons and I confess I got one from a sympathetic stranger.  Seeing other moms (and some dads) tearing up didn't make any of it any easier.

But when all was said and done, it was such a happy day too.  As one parent said, it was like "releasing a trout."  A flip of the tail, a shimmer of light, and they were off, happy in their environment.

Good luck Drama Girl.  I love you.

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