Monday, December 28, 2009

Stash Chaos

Ok, here are unedited (read: messy) pictures of my stash. (This way, even if I only clean up a little bit, it will look like I've done great things.)

It's spread out between the office closet,

the desk that serves as my sewing table (FQs in the pink and white boxes, misc. bits on the slide out tray, a bag of flannel FQs and a little stack of fabric sitting on the floor), a small three drawer cabinet with two plastic boxes on top-all full, and

a closet next to the tv that has two large totes full of flannels, a box of flannels on top and a hanging shelf of, you guessed it, flannels.

All the flannels were bought with the intention of starting an etsy shop selling sets of coordinated receiving blankets. With five kids around 24/7 that idea hasn't gone too far beyond the buying fabric stage. Although, that was rather fun!

My goal for next month is to get everything more organized. I need to move my regular (non-flannel) fabric out of the large tote in the office closet because it's just too much of a pain to get to there. That's really discouraged me from doing more quilting I think. If something is too much of a pain in the rear, we tend to avoid it. Since my goal for this year is to make/finish at least a half dozen quilts, being able to get to my stash would probably help.

I'm not restricting myself from buying but I really do need to start using what I have.

Design Wall Monday

Hey, what do you know? It's Monday and I actually have something to show. hee hee.

I finished sewing the main part of the top. Now I just have to finish sewing the border pieces together and attach them. DH saw it laid out this morning and said it looks "fruity" so maybe I'll name it Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity. What do you think?

I really want to see how many quilts I can get done this year. After I finish this one, I need to make a girl baby quilt for a friend that's due in Feb. I'd also "Like" to make a quilt for a new friend also due in Feb. but I can't remember whether she's have a girl or a boy. I still owe my niece a graduation quilt. I want to make one for dh and one or two for the tv room. Oh, and I have two quilt tops awaiting borders (already cut) and quilting for another friend. This, for me, is a very full list. I'm hoping that if I stick to posting on the Design Wall Monday's I might actually be able to get it done.

You can see more Design Walls on Judy's site.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Viral Fun

Ya gotta love when a highly contagious virus hits a big family. The victims fall one by one like cranky dominoes. Having just finished getting H. health after his bout with Roseola, Z. came down with a fever on Friday, quickly followed later in the evening by M. Yesterday was S.'s turn and this morning R. woke up with it. Fortunately, it's not a horrible virus, just a little 24 hour something. R. seems to have recovered the quickest. He was feeling horrible this morning with fever, headache and a bout of vomiting after which he went back to bed. When he got up, the fever was gone and he's now happily watching old episodes of the Pink Panther on Netflix. Go figure! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that H., dh or I don't get hit with it. I could use a little sleep tonight. ;)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Design wall Monday ...

or in my case, Design Floor Wednesday. I actually had gotten to this point by Monday night but was busy sewing yesterday so I didn't get a chance to post it.

I've gotten about half the rows sewn so far. I need to finish it up tonight though because it's laid out on my office floor and is a pain to walk around and keep H. off of.

This is the first time I've had a new quilt going since Judy started these posts but I haven't been a complete slacker. I've finished two other quilts that I started before H. was born. One for M and one for R. Sorry, no pictures as they are currently being used and abused as any good quilt should be. :)

I was planning on using this quilt in the basement but S. has claimed it for her own since her quilt is "shrinking". (That could have something to do with the 3-4 inches she's grown this year.)

(For those that don't know, Judy at Patchwork Times has been doing a weekly post were people can link their post of what they are working on each week.)

Greetings from Planet Snowville

We've been knee deep in snow this week (literally) thanks to a snow storm that came through here on Saturday. We got somewhere between 16 and 20 inches from Friday night to Saturday night. The kids couldn't have been more thrilled. They've played out in it for at least an hour and a half each day, which is saying a lot since many days it's only been in the upper 20's to low 30's. I posted last year (or maybe the year before) about how the kids had piled snow on our deck stairs to create their own sledding hill. That was only about 5 or 6 steps up. With this snow, they didn't have to add any snow so they decided to sled from the very top. Kids are nuts! Yesterday, it was time for making snowmen in the front yard. The first picture is R.'s "Alien Snowman". Z's was a "snow bug" and S. made a skinny snowman. M. went so far as to add about a dozen rock buttons, a complete face and even ears onto his and named him "Grampa Ed". (Ironically, my grandfather's name was Ed but M. didn't know that at the time he named his snowman.) Last night, they kept making about stories about their various snow men.
For visual reference, this is a picture of a "Big Wheel" in our neighbors' yard around 2 on Saturday.

And here it is on Sunday morning.

The next two pictures are from Sunday morning as well. Our porch roof and our mailbox.

I had great plans for spending the day sewing but never really got to do much because of "mom" duties, including caring for H. who was cranky from a Roseola fever that made it hard for him (and me) to sleep for a few days. I did manage to get a batch of cinnamon rolls made as a special "snow bound" treat.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Really Good Fabric Sale

If you are anything like me, you like a good sale. :) A good sale on fabric is even better. is having a Crazy Cotton Print Sale with tons of fabric loveliness for between 2.49 to 4.19 per yard with most of them either 2.49 or 3.99. I have absolutely no connection with This is the first time I've ever ordered from them because these were such good prices and a really great selection. I spent more than I should have especially since I just spent about $70 at the sewing expo at the beginning of the month. Oh well. I'll just have to watch the other spending for the rest of the month. With my littlest guy getting older, I have a feeling I might actually have a bit more time to use some of these yummy fabrics soon.

Happy Shopping!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Crazy busy

I haven't had anytime to post lately. We wrapped up Ramadan with Eid which meant more baking and a trip to Chuck E. Cheese for the kids. Then the entire week after we had outside the house plans for every day of the week. Unfortunately, our big Saturday plans got rained out. We were going to take the kids to Colonial Williamsburg but most of that is outdoor stuff and just not rain friendly. Oh well, maybe next year.

I skipped jogging on the treadmill the entire month and when I started again it felt like starting from the beginning again. YUCK! However, I'm getting back up to speed again. I just wish the scale would reflect some of my hard work. I've gone more than 13 miles this week and actually gained a pound. Boo hoo!

I've started a group for my girls with a few other girls their ages. We have our next meeting this afternoon and I'm planning on having them do some hand sewing-simple patchwork potholders. I stayed up last night to make some examples for them and now I'm beat and still have to clean the house and prep for dinner since one on the families will be staying for dinner and toasting marshmallows tonight. I have just about 4 hours to get everything done. I have a feeling the cleaning will be of the not great but good enough variety. Fortunately, the other 2 moms coming have 4 and 5 kids so they know what it's like.

The picture is of the 3 examples I made last night all using fabric I picked up last weekend at a sewing expo. I didn't sew the HST chocolates and cake squares together yet so that I could show the girls the different ways you can lay them out to get different looks.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Iraqi Bundles of Love

I just found this outreach project that I think others might be interested in. It's called Iraqi Bundles of Love. The idea is that you send a box of sewing supplies or fabric that will get distributed to women in Iraq as a bundle. All of the details are at the Iraqi Bundles of Love website. The basic premise is that we as quilters/knitters/sewing/crafting divas have extras on hand that we may have loved/needed once but don't necessarily love/need now and are willing to share with others or you bought a bit too much of some things Or perhaps you're just feeling extra generous. What you need: a flat rate box from the post office, ribbon to tie the bundle, fabric, yarn, needles-sewing/knitting, thread, elastic, scissors, beads, buttons, anything else you might think of, and $11.95 to ship it to the coordinator. (The coordinator is a soldier in Iraq.) There is a deadline of SEPTEMBER 7. So, please, if you're interested, it's best to do it quickly. To get the mailing address, you have to post a comment somewhere on the Bundles of Love website and he will email you the address.

Just think about how much you like getting packages of sewing/quilty goodness. Now imagine the happiness this could give a woman or girl who is living in financially and environmentally difficult conditions. Sanctions and the war have put a big strain on people there and maybe, a little package like this could brighten their lives a bit. As a note, the timing of this is partially meant to coincide with Ramadan. For muslims, the end of Ramadan (Id al-Fitr) is similar to Christmas in terms of celebration-new clothes are bought or made and gifts are given to the children. Your gift may help a family make the holiday a little brighter for their children.

Thank you.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Ramadan Mubarak/Happy Ramadan

To all of the Muslims out there-Ramadan Mubarak!

For those that do not know what Ramadan is-Ramadan is the month of fasting for Muslims. From dawn until sunset, Muslims (in good health) do not eat or drink anything, not only that they are also supposed to refrain from gossiping, smoking, swearing, lying and sex. (Of those last items, only sex is permissible normally. All of the others, we shouldn't be doing anyway.)

Why abstain from these things? By practicing self-control over things that are normally allowed, i.e. eating and drinking, we can gain control over the areas in our lives where we may have developed bad habits. We also seek a closer relationship to God during this time by striving to read the entire Quran during the month and spending more time reflecting on God. The Quran is broken down into 30 sections, therefore, we aim to read one section per day or approximately 200 verses. We connect with other Muslims by joining them at the masjid/mosque for Iftar (breaking the fast). At the masjid we attend, this is done potluck style and shared with anyone who cares to join us-Muslim or not. We connect with the needy through acts of charity, donating food and/or money to those who are in need.

The timing of Ramadan is based on the lunar calendar so the dates move forward about 11 days each year. When I first became a Muslim, it started in Feb. This year, today was the first day of fasting. It's likely to be more difficult fasting this year as well as the next several years, since Ramadan will be during the longest as well as the hottest days of the year, but quite honestly, if the people of the Arabian peninsula could do it for generations without the benefit of air conditioning or any of the other luxuries we take for granted, I'm sure I can manage as well. (Imagine having to walk everywhere in 110 degree or higher heat or cook for hours over an open fire in the same heat.)

There are people who are exempt from fasting-people who have chronic medical conditions that require medication, children who are under the age of puberty, people who are traveling, women who are menstruating and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. For these last two reasons, it's been some time since I've fasted. In the last 11 years, I've been pregnant and/or nursing every Ramadan except for one. Needless to say, I'm a little out of practice. I'm going to try fasting this year even though H. is still nursing but since he's almost 2 he doesn't have that much longer for nursing anyway and he mostly nurses at night. As long as I make sure to get up early enough to drink at last a few glasses of juice or water and drink the same or a bit more after Iftar, I should be ok.

The Washington Post had a nice article entitled Better Health Through Fasting, in case you'd like to read more. (Sadly, some of the comments to the article are idiotic at best and hateful, xenophobic at worst.)

The pictures don't really have anything to do with Ramadan. One is a picture of the heavily laden persimmon tree we had in our yard last year in Iran. The other is what was left of a box of pomegranates after the kids had their share. One of our kids favorite things about Iran is the abundance of pomegranates - some sweet, sour or a mix of the two. The light-colored ones are sweet, or possibly have a mix of both sweet and sour seeds and the darker ones are tart/sour. A whole box costs us less than buy just a few here.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Batik baby

This is the baby quilt I made for my friend loosely based on Judy's pattern.

Unfortunately, I didn't finish it before she left for Egypt so now I have to figure out some other way of getting it to her. Apparently, the Egyptian postal service charges an arm and a leg for taxes/duties/whatever on items shipped into Egypt. I'm not quite sure how I'll get it to her so we'll just have to see. Looking back on it, I know I could have finished it in time but I kept procrastinating. I hated know that my friend would be so far away and I'd have almost no chance of seeing her anytime soon. So I stalled. Oh, well. I can't change the past. All I can do is have faith that there will be a way for me to get it to her.

The bottom picture shows the backing fabric. The colors in both pictures aren't great but it's the best I can do in our basement.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Luray Caverns

Yesterday we took a group trip to Luray Caverns.

The place is gorgeous. Lots of stunning stalactites and stalagmites with audio tours geared separately for children and adults, a cool little car and carriage museum and a fun garden maze. About half the group got caught in the rain trying to make our way out of the maze. (I got a little wetter than most since I went back in trying to track down two kids-one of mine and one new friend.)

We went with a group of homeschoolers we had never met before and had a blast. The kids made lots of new friends and I made some new friends as well.

I don't have any pictures since I chose not to bring the camera. Keeping track of 5 little ones is challenge enough when your on your own (dh had work) without trying to add picture taking to the mix. Click on the link above to see pictures from their website.

If you're in the area, this is definitely worth the stop. R. was asking when we could go again - before we even left!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


What do you do when you have little ones that really want to be outside playing in their sandbox and a yard full of baby hungry mosquitoes and ticks?

DH came up with a great idea. He put up a tent on our deck and put the sandbox inside on a scrap piece of carpet (to contain the sand mess). The boys love it and have a great time playing in there "quito" free.

The tent also gets used some weekends for mini at-home camp outs. The kids and DH set up a mini TV/VCR, comforters, blankets and pillows and have a great time "camping out".

Friday, July 24, 2009


According to a fun little salary poll, this is what my job as stay-at-home mom is worth. It's fun because you can personalize it to fit the work you do and about how many hours a day you do them. If you cook from scratch add more hours there. Don't do gardening, set the hours at 0. You can find it at this link to the salary wizard.

On a completely side note, I scored big time this week. Our local school district holds online auctions to get rid of various items. I've never bid before this week but they hold them frequently and I often take a peek to see what they have. Well this week I won a auction for 19 student desks for the grand price of $1. No, not $1 each, just $1. What am I going to do with 19 desks? I'll keep some for the kids, I've offered some to friends who are about to start homeschooling their kids (again or for the first time), we have a larger homeschool group that meets together that I will offer some to and if there are any left, I'll offer them to other homeschoolers in the area. Not a bad way to spend a buck in my opinion. :) (Although, it was actually $1.60 since I had to pay 60 cents to get a money order because they don't accept cash!) I'm planning on letting the kids pick their own paint colors and we'll spray paint their desks this weekend or maybe next weekend.

Z. 2 years ago

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Quilt show

I went to the local quilt show last weekend with my girls. We had a good time although, I think Z's still a bit too young. She got bored and tired pretty quickly. I let her come this time because she was so upset last year about being left at home with the boys. On the way home, she said she did NOT want to go again next year. She's very much a tomboy anyway, so I wasn't that surprised.

I haven't downloaded any pictures yet and missed taking some because the battery died on the camera towards the end. Instead, here is a beautiful quilt from last year's show.

Click to enlarge so you can really see the detail this quilter put into her work.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009



We got back from 9 days vacation on Sunday night and here it is (wee hours) Thursday morning and I still haven't fully unpacked/caught up with laundry. In my defense, nearly everything is done. I just have a few more things from the suitcase to put away, fold one load of vacation laundry and catch up on ironing.

We went down to FL and stayed in a rental house like last year. We spent most of our days playing in the pool and relaxing with one day at the Orlando Science Center (kids' favorite) and one day at the beach. After a week in FL, we headed up to Atlanta for my niece's graduation before heading home.

Another blogger was asking about what to bring for a baby while traveling and that got me thinking. I probably travel a lot lighter than most people. All of the clothing for the trip for 7 people fit in 1 large duffel bag. (The house has a washer and dryer so I only had about 4 days worth of clothing for each person plus an outfit for the graduation.) We also bring our own sheets, towels, blankets and pillows. The sheets and towels all fit into a large carry-on size bag. Blankets and pillows were grouped into big garbage bags to fill out the car top carrier. Each person also had one pair of sandals and one pair of sneakers. Sneakers were in a garbage bag up on top as well. Inside we had 2 coolers (1 medium, 1 small) and two small boxes with drinks, food for breakfast and lunch on the way, a few frozen meals, snacks and things like napkins and garbage bags. I also brought the diaper bag, one bag of diapers and wipes, a small bag of activity books for the kids and a small tv and portable dvd player with one case of dvds. (These last few items were essential since we decided to try to make the drive down in one day without stopping for the night like last time. Mapquest says the trip takes almost 14 hours of driving; we made it in just about 17.)

So, anyone else out there take long car trips with kids? How do we compare?

I've traveled 3 times now internationally with children (always with an infant) so I've learned to travel a lot lighter than I used to. The last overseas trip we took for three months was done with just 3 large suitcases, the diaper bag and a backpack (had to add a small suitcase on the way home).

Tomorrow/today is my birthday so I plan to do as little as I can get away with while still keeping up with my kids. All errands were run today and chores will wait. The ironing's not going anywhere. :)

I hope everyone has a great day.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Wishing all the moms and moms-to-be out there a very happy Mother's Day.

A pic of me and the kids at a former palace, now public garden in Iran (Oct.08)
A picture of the kids and my mom. Dh is holding H off to the right. (Dec. 08)
One of my favorite pictures of H. (Apr.08).

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Stash Project

Ok, Judy post a stash quilt project idea a couple of weeks ago, and being the slow poke that I am, I just now picked out my fabrics. I went a little different direction that her light/dark suggestion and went with a spectrum of blues, greens and purples to pair with pinks, orangy reds and reds. This will be a quilt for the baby of my best friend, who just turned a year old. I'd really like to get this done, start to finish, in 5 weeks or less since they well be moving overseas for an unknown length of time. :( (Their move is actually very sad, in that, her dh has been without a job for over a year, house got damaged by a hurricane last year that insurance wouldn't cover as well as a tiny little beach house in Galveston that was leveled, savings are gone and still no job prospects.) I love my friend dearly and wish her the best. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll have at least one last chance to see her before the move.

And just for kicks, here's a picture of my little guy.

Monday, March 09, 2009


Ok, it's bad when you haven't blogged in so long that you forget how to sign in to your account. I couldn't remember my sign in or password. Sad, isn't it?

You know what's even sadder? I just realized yesterday that I can fit into my 10 year old son's shoes! (And I don't have tiny feet. I wear a size 8.) When did he get so big?

Things as usual have been busy around here. We took a surprise trip to visit my mom, aunt and sisters (plus their families) at the end of December which was fun. We got professional group pics of all 10 nieces/nephews/grandkids ranging in age from 18 years down to 1 year old. The funny thing is that 3 of them were born within 6 months of each other, one to each sister.

I hadn't seen my mom in about 3 years, my aunt in about 6 years, one sister in 6 years and the other in about 1 1/2 years. Everyone was previously scattered much further apart. I was nice to be able to see everyone again and let all the cousins spend some time together.

Beyond that, we've had lots of the normal everyday activities of a big family. With our homeschool year winding down, I hope to have more time to catch up on my blog. At least, I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

The picture is of the tilework inside the dome at the tomb of Iranian poet, Hafez.