January 30, 2010

Seriously, What The Heck Happened?

I totally disappeared for a week. Accident!

I did take pictures of the quilting process for Trevor's quilt to show you. I even uploaded them to my hard drive. Then work got busy, I got distracted*, and then later in the week I got Mabel's funk and am now laid up with a NASTY sinus headache.

Going on 72 hours with this headache. OY.

So I promise a better, more lengthy update soon. Maybe tomorrow afternoon.

In the meantime, go grab some happy this weekend, Folks!

*NOTE: I called things off with the Viking (quite a bit ago, actually). He most definitely isn't the One and I refuse to settle. Details won't be shared here, but believe me when I tell you the dealbreaker was justified. I am not sad at all. Truly, I am very full of happy - because I know the right One is out there somewhere. Maybe he likes tomato soup.

January 25, 2010

Tomato Soup

Holy weekend, Folks. Were you as busy as I was?

I felt it coming on, so on Friday I just took a deep breath and plunged head first into some creating. The boys were downstairs camping out and staying up late watching movies and Mabel was in bed, so I finished painting my kitchen. Moved the fridge all by myself, thanks.

After painting, I watched The Holiday. How I never came to see this movie before now is beyond me. Seriously, Jude Law?!?! OMG. This movie is almost better than Love Actually. I'm sorry, Colin Firth. I must take pause from our film/love relationship to pursue another gorgeous Brit. And now I know why Jude Law has so many babies. All he has to do is speak and women fall to pieces around him. MERCY!


On Saturday, I cut all the fabric for Trevor's quilt. I had a hard time choosing which one to begin with and in the end, I let the fabric do the talking. I couldn't stop thinking about the pattern for Trevor's quilt. I saw something in a book that was really rather expensive. So I'm making it myself - the pattern - from scratch. Let's all cross our fingers shall we?

Saturday night I went out with friends. Considered new possibilities. I had an amazing time. Seriously such wonderful friends here.

Last night I began sewing the first strips of Trevor's quilt. I have 3 of 14 working blocks made. I'll share more details soon, I promise.
I folded laundry for hours. Cleaned the house.

And today I watched the winter storm outside my window; It's almost a blizzard. I'm thankful for a warm home, beautiful children, and God's blessings in my life. Thankful that I have a quilting project at home waiting for me.

Today I realized - as I watched the millions of unique snowflakes fall to the ground - that there are new possibilities on my horizon and I am truly excited about them. Some aren't what I expected or even hoped for, and others are better than I could have dreamed. God is so good.

And so is tomato soup.

January 22, 2010

Go Green: About Phantom Energy

We certainly don't do as much as we could to be green, but we try to reuse most everything at home. Bread bags, Folks - they have a million uses. Some of it is necessity. When money is hard to come by, pinching every penny counts.

The other night I was telling someone about phantom energy. This someone argued with me against the merits of unplugging electrical devices when they aren't in use. To make my point, I'm going to provide something novel. EVIDENCE.

From one of my favorite websites, Planet Green, an article by Collin Dunn:

"Though it's known by a laundry list of names-phantom load, idle current, vampire power and wall wart are the most common-this "phantom energy" all does the same thing: sucks extra energy from the grid into your home when you aren't looking and you don't need it. Many gadgets, electronic devices and appliances draw power even when they're switched off or not in use, just by being plugged in, and though it may seem trivial, it can add up over time.

Chargers for cell phones, digital cameras, power tools and other gadgets draw energy even when they're not in use. Appliances like televisions, computer monitors, and DVD players can also draw power whenever they're plugged into an outlet. All together, phantom energy can account for about 10 percent of an individual home's electricity use. It might not sound like much, until you consider that cutting out that 10 percent will get you over a month of free electricity every year. Taking quick action, like unplugging your devices when they aren't use will cut back on phantom power... There are a handful of devices designed specifically to combat phantom energy, but plugging bundled devices into the same power strip and then turning off the power strip will do the job."

If you're interested in learning more, visit Planet Green or call your local electric company for more information.

Do your part. Unplug everything you're not using. In our home, that includes lamps and appliances! You WILL see a positive difference in your electric bill.

January 21, 2010

Mountain Baby Blanket Update

Because of you, 615 children are warmer today. The Appalachian Mountain area of Eastern Kentucky has been hovering around freezing temperatures, with frozen raindrops falling for the past few days.

Soak that in a moment, please.

Six hundred and fifteen children are warmer because of YOU.

Thank you!

PS: If you are interested in making (or donating) a blanket for the disadvantaged children of Eastern Kentucky, please find out more here, and email me at racheljcox at yahoo dot com. There is no deadline for our efforts!

PPS: I certainly also recommend that you check out a resource close to your heart (this is one of mine) to donate to those in Haiti. I haven't talked much about the devastation in Haiti here because I cannot bear to watch the news. I cannot bear to see those little faces. Also because I secretly harbor the desire to mission in Haiti (or Africa) and to one day provide care for a child close to my heart there one day. It's so very painful to watch. Please donate, and PRAY.

January 18, 2010

So Bloomin' Hot

So my friend Carmen knows me incredibly well and she has quite a knack for gifting. That is a great combination! Months ago I was having a down day and showed up at church for our usual service. Carmen was there and said she had a little something for me. After service she presented me with a 40 gallon bag full of VINTAGE FABRIC! She saw it at a tag sale and thought of me. I smiled for days and days!

Then the Sunday after Christmas Carmen said she had a little something for me again. In a box all wrapped up for the holiday (and incidentally the only wrapped present I opened this year - really I *must* wrap presents to myself next year), were these:

My jaw hit the floor. I couldn't speak. I cursed the 19" of snow on the ground and I've been patiently waiting for a little, tiny break in the wet, icy weather so these can take me to work.

Aren't they hot?!?! Holy Moses! Mango heels.

I am so blessed. Love you, Carmen!

Recent Thrifty Finds

I mentioned previously that I want to take Dottie Angel's Challenge of the Utmost Kind this year. I want to commit to buying (almost) nothing but used/vintage items for our home. I think this haul certainly qualifies.

Dude, you can't buy that green binding and white ric rac in the bag for $3!

Where else but the thrift store can you find a brand new pillow form for $0.49? Two sets of vintage curtains (which I am turning into pillow sleeves) for $3 each? And the oil cloth tablecloth on the bottom is a little hokey, I'll give you that - but I needed one exactly this size to protect my table during an upcoming canvas paint project. For not even $3, I couldn't pass it up.

I'm want to try my hand at upcycling some clothing. Stay tuned for details on this. Or not if it doesn't go well.

While doing some volunteer work recently, I spotted this Eames chair in a "junk" closet. They would have given it to me for free (seriously my heart stopped beating for a moment), but I insisted on paying for it. It was so dirty that I thought it was green, but a quick wash (I haven't done the official wet-sanding yet) revealed it to be indigo blue instead. LOVE.

That typewriter was a cool $4, Folks. Hate me if you must.

Feels so good to shop green. And I am soooo looking forward to Dottie's challenge. Check it out on my sidebar and join in the fun!

There Was An Explosion This Weekend

I had quite a productive weekend. I managed to spend some quality time with the kids and myself* this weekend. It was lovely.

I recently posted that I was bursting with creative energy. That did not ebb, my friends. No it did not. In fact I find that the happier I am, the more creative I want to be. It's a nice feeling. Saturday stocked me up good in the happiness category, and Sunday I was a force to be reckoned with.

After church on Sunday, we had lunch with Carmen and her family. Then we hit the vintage stores in town and made some tremendous scores! (More in a later post.) Once home and after the Moo was in bed for nappy, I headed to my fabric cabinet. I opened the cupboard doors and angels sang. There was such good light I had to take advantage and plan some quilts.

In the end, I had piles and piles of fabric, exploded all over the dining room. It was awesome!

The pile on the right are the vintage fabrics I'm going to use to recover my living room pillows. CANNOT WAIT! Aren't they freaking yummy?!

The pile on the left are the fabrics that will be used in the first lap quilt I'm making for the living room. Sort of match the pillow fabrics in a totally unusual way, I believe.

Then the cabinet absolutely exploded. I had three piles going.

Mabel's pile:

Trevor's pile:

And Andy's pile:

I'd love to hear your feedback on their non-matchy-ness. Suggestions?

* The Viking and I are kaput. Good reasons and I am more elated than ever. Mostly because something I've been dismissing for months keeps pressing onward and has finally gotten my attention. Good things!

January 15, 2010

My Plans

I am in sore need of this. I have been distracted as of late, so after I finished the sitter's quilt and did a couple dozen hours of hand-sewing/repair of winter clothes for a local charity, I sort of took a break from the needle.

But now I find myself nearly bursting with energy these days. I want to scrap (there's a word we haven't heard on my blog in a long time), I want to crochet, and I want to sew. I want to create. It's been a long-assed time since I've felt this full of creative energy!

On my list of things to start:
Quilt: Mabel
Quilt: Andy
Quilt: Trevor
2 Quilts: Lap/Living Room
Crocheted cowl

Also on my mind is the kitchen project I've been doing since October. The cabinets are finished but I need to paint the walls, wet-sand 4 Eames chairs, and resituate my tables before I'm ready to post photos.

Also this week, I've been thinking about fun alternatives to the same-old, same-old. Is there something you've been wanting to say or do for a special someone? WHY DON'T YOU TRY IT? Do that one thing the little voice is prompting you to do. BE COURAGEOUS.

January 7, 2010

The Outtakes

On Christmas day I attempted a quick photo with all three children in it. You may remember that I do not have good luck with this, so I do not do it often.

Someone always seems scared to death,

stuck in the headlights,

laughing about a silent toot,

or screaming their head off.

So I did not have high hopes, Folks. I just flat out did not. And I was right, mostly.

First I couldn't get the boys to let go of their whoopie cushions. I mean, really, why on EARTH did I get them fart machines?! THEY are the fart machines! I digress...

Can you tell that Trevor knows the best way to get this over with? He's ready to go. Andy is in La La Land and Mabel is distracted.

Then the licking started.

Don't worry. My girl can take care of herself.

Andy was not dissuaded. In fact, he looks a bit... deranged just here. Now Trevor's lost his concentration as well.

This went on and on for at least 10 minutes. Finally, somewhere in the mess of adorable smack-down photos, I found this one:

Not perfect, but perfectly them. I love it.


Mabel got some Lego Duplos for Christmas. Not those girly pink ones, but the bright green and red and yellow ones. "Mama, I has some bwocks!"

So, she built all day long. (And that is saying something because she doesn't STOP MOVING for hours and hours and hours typically.)

See Andy's arm in there? He was trying to build with her and she was NOT havin' it.

Maybe the cutest architect I know.

Maybe You Heard It Snowed?

Some of you may have heard that Da Plains got a crap ton (I'm sorry, but that is the most accurate description) of snow on Christmas. It was amazing, really.

19 inches of snow fell in our little town in a matter of two days. Everything shimmered and glittered in the sun.

A random stranger plowed our driveway and sidewalks out of the goodness of his warm heart.

And, the kids had a BALL playing in our winter wonderland.

Yes, the snow drift DOES come up to her eyebrows.

Thigh-high snow is super fun to run in.

And sit in.

The boys are standing on a snow bank created by the city's little plow, right at the end of our driveway. They were standing about 5 feet up in the air and able to touch the tree limbs.

I love snow.

January 6, 2010

Where Your Heart Is

by Notebookdoodles via Tara Whitney
Wow. And there you have it.
Today I know exactly where my mind is wandering. Do you?

January 2, 2010

About Those Blankets

So I was thinking today that I haven't posted anything new about our Mountain Baby Blankets project recently. It's not on purpose; I haven't heard anything from the CAP in a few weeks. Our contact there is expecting a baby and I've been trying not to nag her. As it turns out, maybe I should be more naggy.

It was brought to my attention that a few of you have not received any type of thank you or notification that your blankets were received by the CAP. I am so sorry to hear about this. If I were more on top of things and actually realized that there were messages being left on Flickr (has there always been a message forum on there?!), I might have known about this earlier and for my lack of technology expertise, I apologize.

But I'm on it now! I have emailed them and contacted the head of their volunteer program. I am waiting to hear back from our contact at the CAP and will provide you a current count and explanation on the notification as soon as possible.

Ladies, while we're waiting please accept my most sincere THANK YOU. Thank you for sewing blind, for trusting that your blankets are being received and distributed into the Eastern Kentucky Appalachian community. I know there are warm babies because of you. And I know that you sent those blankets with a desire in your heart to help the children there. It is a work of giving, a tithe, a donation from each of your hearts. God is keeping count. He knows what we are doing and I know he is proud.

That being said, we do need to find a way to be certain your blankets are getting there and getting to the babies. I promise, I'm on it and I will update as soon as I can.

Thank you again for helping this little project explode. I am so proud of each of you and so thankful that you were moved to help. To those of you who are still sewing, there is no deadline. Please contact me when you are ready to ship. Can you believe it's been almost a year?

God bless each of you.
I received the following email [edited] today from the CAP:
"We have help opening the packages we receive on a daily basis. There are times that I do not receive the names off of the packages with Mountain Baby Blankets because they [are automatically sent] over to the lady who sends out the normal thank you letters. There have also been times the boxes are not marked [as part of the] Mountain Baby Blankets project. The names I do receive automatically receive a thank you letter.
I am very sorry about the confusion; 20 packages coming in a day and two people handling thank you letters, things seem to get confusing. As of my knowledge we have had a total of 600+ Mountain Baby Blankets come into Christian Appalachian Project. We are working very hard to make sure everyone has a blanket this winter season. We do appreciate everyone who has helped with this wonderful project you have started."
Thank you all for making a difference!
If you haven't yet shipped your blankets, please be sure that you enclose a note to say they are part of our project and that your return address is clearly marked.
God bless!