Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tips to go "green"

A few weeks ago, while we were in Florida, I was standing in line in a coffee shop when I overheard the people behind me discussing the "green" movement.  They seemed interesting in being "green" but complained that it was only for those with "lots of money and too much time".  I resisted the urge to jump in and tell them that was not true at all since I was eavesdropping on their conversation but it has stuck with me since then.  Being "green" and eco-conscience can actually be very easy and save you lots of money!  Yes, there are some things that do take a lot more time to make them environmentally friendly and there are definitely many ways to spend lots (and lots and lots) of money purchasing "green" products but there are a whole host of ways to be conscience of our environment that will help you out in the long run. 

Here is my list of some of the easiest ways to go "green" that will also save you money!

1. Turn out lights and turn off appliances when not in use.  Using less power is good for the environment and it'll make your power bill go down. 
2. Use less water.  Only run your washing machine and dishwasher when they have full loads in them, turn off the water while you brush your teeth, and shorten your shower by 2-3 minutes.  Using less water is better for the environment and will save you money on your water bill.
3. Wash your hair less often.  Sounds weird but it's good for the environment and for the health of your hair!  Washing your hair every day actually causes your scalp to produce more oil since your hair ends up being too dry from such frequent washing.  So, washing less often (I do it every other day) will be better for the health of your hair, allow you to spend less on shampoo, and be good for the environment since fewer shampoo bottles will be thrown away and less soap residue will be washed down the drain.
4. Switch to bar soap.  Bar soap (in most cases) is cheaper than the liquid hand soaps and liquid body soaps that most people use and (again, in most cases) have fewer ingredients that are harmful and potentially toxic for you and the environment.  Personally, I really like Burt's Bee's and Dr. Bronner's bar soaps (both of which are also very "green" products and contain organic ingredients, no phthalates, and no petro-chemicals) and they are easily available at Target.
5. Drive less often.  This one is the hardest for most people since we really live our lives around our cars in this country.  Driving less will save you money on gas and less gas used is definitely better for the planet.  Try to carpool whenever you can and plan your errands so that you can stop once and walk to your various stops (I use the dry cleaner that is a block from the grocery store since I can walk to it when I am already stopping at the grocery store).
6. Use fewer pre-packaged foods.  Most pre-packaged foods are more expensive than buying the individual ingredients and making something for yourself.  Saving money is always good but it's also healthier for you since you can use less salt and sugar in your recipes.  And, it's "green" since you throw away less packaging. 
7. Wash your clothes in cold water.  Most of the energy used by your washing machine is used to heat up the water to clean your clothing.  But, hot water isn't necessary for clean clothing - cold water will do just as good a job since today's washing machines are designed to be very efficient at cleaning our clothes.  Again, less power used means a lower power bill.
8. Skip the bottled water!  Not only is bottled water expensive but it's usually from a tap.  Save yourself a lot of money and get a reusable water bottle that you can fill up with filtered water at home.
9.  Recycle!  Recycling maybe won't save you money but it's great for the environment and super easy to do!
10. Get a library card!  Public libraries are free (unless of course you don't return your books and end up with overdue fines)!  Why purchase a book when you can get it for free at the local library!
11. Use baking soda instead of scrubbing powder as a cleaner in your house.  Baking soda is super cheap, super environmentally friendly, and works just as well as all the expensive scrubbing powders.  What do you think they used before we had so many choices for cleaning products?
12. Change the settings on your thermostat to 1-2 degrees lower in the winter and 1-2 degrees higher in the summer.  This 1-2 degree difference isn't really enough that you would notice it but it lowers your daily power (or gas) usage which means you save money on your monthly bill!

It's a short list and I do have many other tips if you are interested but this is enough to get most people started on the "green" movement and help them save some money in the process.  Good luck!  =)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Stars

Things have been a bit miserable around here over the past two weeks and so little has been done in the sewing world for me.  We have been pretty sick with a head cold and have pretty much spent the last two weeks laying around and not doing very much at all other than watching lots of Christmas movies and about 500 episodes of Blue's Clues (Dominic is in love with it!).  It's hard enough to have a sick toddler on your hands but adding a sick husband and being sick yourself and everything falls apart.  We are all on the mend now and are just experiencing the normal residual runny nose that always seems to follow a head cold and I'm just starting to catch up on housework and laundry.  =)  Christmas was very relaxing with just the three of us at home with the cats which helped a lot in our recuperation.  :-)

My epp stars has grown a bit but not by much.  Here is what I was able to accomplish on our trip to Florida at the beginning of the month.



I have a huge pile of finished stars to add to it that I'll be starting on this afternoon.  =)  I'm having some issues with the bulk at the center of the stars - do any of you out there trim them up?  Or is it better to leave it be and smooth it out with an iron after I take out the templates?  It seems like this might be an issue once I do the actual quilting on the finished top.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Winter Solstice

Tomorrow, December 21st, is the Winter Solstice.  Normally, I'd post a happy Solstice message on the day of but I'm doing it a day early this year since we are in for a special treat - a total eclipse that is fully visible from all of the USA.  I'm very excited - it's been a while since I've been in the right location for a full eclipse (sometime in middle or elementary school).  It starts here on the Pacific coast around 10:30pm and continues to 2am (Monday evening to Tuesday morning) with the fullest eclipse view at 12:17am.  I'll be up celebrating our Solstice by watching this special event - for those of you across the USA you can visit this site to see what time it will be visible in your time zone.  That same site, Shadow and Substance, also has a great animation of the event so you know what to expect if you've never seen an eclipse before.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas is a week away

Christmas is in one week - how did that happen?  It seems like time is getting away from me faster and faster of late.  I think it must be that it's a time of year with so many things going on that I lose track of the days and what's coming up.  One of those things this year was my blog - I had so many posts that I had planned since I've been doing some neat craft and sewing things but the time write them out was lost along the way somewhere.  The other issue is that I am lacking good pictures.  My camera has finally died and it only works once in a while now but since it's been my faithful friend since 2001 I'm not too sad.  It had a long and useful life for a digital camera.  =) 

I was planning on getting a new camera but then I discovered that my phone has an amazing camera built right in - with a higher resolution and better picture capabilities than my old camera had!  The only real issue is that it's a new phone since my old phone had finally died too (a Window's 7 phone - thanks Will, it's very cool) and I'm still trying to figure it out.  Most of the time I can get a decent picture but I have to re-learn how to take pictures since it's sooo much faster than my old digital.  Hopefully, soon I can get it all figured out and upload some stuff to share.  =)

I've been thinking lately about the holiday traditions that I want to pass on to my children that were important to my family growing up.  We always received one new Christmas ornament every year that we opened on Christmas eve - I have most of mine from when I was little and they are special to me.  I always made candy every year with my Grandmother - almond toffee bark and fudge were two we did every year!  And, a tradition that I started with Dominic, is to decorate a Gingerbread house every year.  Christmas time is always special and fully of wonderful memories to cherish in the years to come - what holiday traditions do you celebrate in your family?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Congratulations!


Happy wedding day Christine and Christian!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there in the world.  I am thankful for my sweet son who makes me smile every day, my loving husband who deals with my daily craziness, our new little "Sweet Pea" for not kicking as hard as Dominic did (so far at least), and for our two kitties for being there everyday to crawl in my lap and purr.  :-)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Quilting - what's that???

I haven't really done much sewing/quilting since the painters finished in the house.  Too many things to do this time of year between getting ready for the holidays, finishing the unpacking, and attempting to organize my sewing space.  It's been a little frustrating because I do find it relaxing and fun but it's not really possible to sew when your stuff is all in boxes and needs to be organized and put away. 

I've mostly been unpacking all the stuff that was in my old "sewing room" in NY (by "sewing room" I mean the table in the corner of the laundry room and all the boxes stored in the corner of the basement).  I had a lot of stuff and it wasn't really organized in a way to be of use (I scrapbook and do my own hand bound books and I have a lot of painting supplies and watercolors).  It's been fun going through it all and reminiscing about the old projects I used to work on.  Getting it all sorted and put away is a big goal of mine.  I'd like to be able to get back into painting and scrapbooking but it's hard to do when everything is in such a mess.  If you can't get to your supplies then you are never going to be able to really be creative in the way that you want to be creative - and I think this applies to anything in life be it sewing, painting, cooking, doing research, gardening, etc. 

And, then there is the fabric mess to deal with.  The movers in NY just dumped all my fabric into boxes with no plan whatsoever (unless that plan was to cause me grief when I opened the boxes here).  So, this means that all my nicely sorted scrap fabric is now in one giant box to be sorted again (and it all needs to be re-washed because they mixed together the boxes of washed scraps with all of the unwashed scraps not to mention the several bags of scraps that I have acquired in the past few months).  That is a chore that hasn't been going well - mostly because I don't really have anywhere to put the sorted piles that is safe from the cats and Dominic (all three of them can open the sewing room door without help!).  Many piles have been creatively "re-sorted" ever so nicely for me.  =)  The acquisition of some storage containers is needed before too much more on this project can be accomplished. 

In all of this mess, I have been able to cut the fabric for two projects (small baby quilts - one for baby Jerrick and one for "Sweet Pea") and I've decided I need to clear some space on the table to sew them together before I continue sorting and putting away everything else.  I've almost run out of diamonds to sew together for my EPP star quilt so I must find and cut more fabric for that project as well.  And, I did make it to the November meeting of the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild where I was able to work on some wonky star fun. 



Hopefully, I'll have something finished (or at least some quilty-goodness started) to show to you all soon. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

EPP quilts

Things have been progressing slowly on my new EPP project (60 degree diamond stars).  I have 15 stars completed and I just bought 2 yards of white fabric today to make all the diamonds that go between the stars.  I'm hoping that I can get most of them connected while we are in Florida next week for Thanksgiving and Christine's wedding.  I usually have a lot of time sitting around chatting and watching the kids play that would be good time to sew.  =)

Progress on 11/14/10.
My hexagon "diamonds" is still not finished.  I look back at this post and wonder what I was on that day.  How did I ever think I'd be quilting it in December!  The border is about half done - let me correct that, the first border is about half done.  I'm doing a row of black hexagons all the way around the edge and then I'm going to applique it down to another fabric to make a second border that will allow me to have straight edges on it.  I have no idea what type of fabric to use for the second border - something patterned and colorful or something solid?


I think that the diamonds are harder to sew than the hexagons.  The seam allowance on the hexagons is easier to work with (because you can cut squares to use for the hexagons) and I've been so used to that that I'm having some issues with less fabric to hold onto while sewing.  And, it's harder to get the six points to line up in the middle - the few that I've had go wrong are only off a millimeter or so which means I'm not going to worry too much but it would be nice to figure out what I was doing wrong and why I've only done it on 3-4 of them (I think I'm making them all the same way but I guess I'm not).  Anyone have any tips/tricks for the diamonds?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Our newest family member!

Welcome Ophelia to our family!  We adopted her on November 4th and she's only made life more crazy.  She is even more active than Dominic but I guess that's good for a seven month old kitten!



This is the best picture I have of her because she just won't sit still - ever!  And, she loves us and Dominic.  She is constantly asking him to play with her and nuzzling up with him.  Romeo was a little apprehensive at first but he's warmed up to her now and even eats breakfast with her in the morning (No, she's not a tiny cat.  Romeo is just that much bigger than normal sized cats!).

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Extended rear-facing car seat

As a mother there are some issues that I feel very strongly about that relate to my children.  In general, I try to not be preachy about these issues because I know that some of them can cause a lot of tension and anger in some individuals (like circumcision, which I am against by the way).  However, there is one issue that I have had arguments about with other parents that I can't back down on - extended rear facing car seats.  I firmly believe that keeping your child in their car seat rear facing for as long as possible is one of the best ways to keep them safe in the car and studies, statistics, and laws in other countries firmly back me up on this.

The law and rule of thumb in the US is to keep your child in a rear-facing car seat until they weigh 20 pounds and are 1 year of age.  But, babies should be in rear-facing car seats for as long possible because there are many safely advantages.  Studies have shown that toddlers are five times safer if they remain rear-facing until the age of two and in many other countries it's normal to have kids up to ages 3 and 4 rear-facing.  The current US law is a bare minimum standard (one that many people are trying to change).

When a child is in a crash their "ride-down time" (the time it takes for the forces of the crash to be distributed over their body and come to a stop) is lengthen when they are rear-facing.  This means that the force of the crash on their body is less because it takes a longer time for the force to be distributed.  Less force and a longer ride-down time means a reduced chance of injury and body trauma from a sudden stop.  Babies and toddlers do not have muscles that are as well developed in their head, neck, and back as adults do which makes them much more prone to spinal cord, neck, and head injuries in crashes so any advantage to lessening the impact on these vital parts of the body is critical.

The most common complaint I hear is that their baby has legs that are long enough to touch the back of the seat which makes many parents believe that rear-facing would increase their risk of leg injuries.  Studies and research have not shown this and if the forces in a crash are bad enough to break their legs then they would also be bad enough to break a neck (a broken leg is much easier to recover from than a broken neck!).  Most convertible car seats on the market today have a rear-facing weight of 35 pounds.  This means that most children can ride rear-facing until they are at least two years of age (Dominic will reach the 35 pound mark shortly after his second birthday if he keeps up his current weight gain rate).

To me, it's not a question of comfort or what is "normal", it's a matter of my sons safety and I won't take chances with that.  I know that the chance of getting into a crash is very slim but I can not risk his safety when something as simple as keeping him rear-facing for an extra year can dramatically improve his safety if we did end up in a crash.

If I haven't changed your mind then watch this video and pay attention to differences of the child crash test dummy in the front-facing versus the rear-facing car seat near the end.  Seeing that will surely change your mind for you.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

 
Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

We've lost our house....


Things have not really gone as planned this month.  I had lots of ideas and sewing goals that have been stopped by the painters.  Now, this is a good thing in the long run because our house will be lovely when it's all finished.  But, I had no idea that we would pretty much be confined to the two rooms not being painted - everything is swathed in plastic, drop clothes, and cardboard!  They are almost finished and we will be recovering a few rooms this evening when they are done cleaning up and (hopefully) the rest in just a few more days.


Yes, that is my favorite shade of green on those walls!  Most of the house is pretty neutral (brown) but I did convince Will to let me throw some color in here and there - the bathroom and laundry room on the first floor are green, Sweet Pea's room is yellow, and the kids bath upstairs is a steel blue.  Eventually (hopefully some time next year), we will be redoing some of the kitchen and will also put some color on those walls as well (kitchen/family room was one of the two not painted since we were hoping to do some work on it soon).


Dominic and I have been spending lots of time away from the house at parks, malls, museums, play groups, etc so there hasn't been much sewing going on.  However, I did make time to sit in front of the fireplace and work on his Halloween costume. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Quilting "on-the-go"

Recently, Jessica over at Life Under Quilts, blogged about quilting "on-the-go".  I identify a lot with her post because I too have a travel quilting project that I work on while "on-the-go". 

Crafting in public is usually accepted if your are knitting or crocheting.  You see people in parks, coffee shops, on buses, waiting in airports, etc doing this type of public crafting.  But, it's really rather strange to quilt in public and I don't really get why (except that maybe it's not that trendy?) and English Paper Piecing is PERFECT for quilting "on-the-go".  I first saw a woman on a New York City bus quilting some time in late 2006 (maybe early 2007) and I thought it was neat - at the time I had no idea what she was doing was called English Paper Piecing but I though it was really neat and the idea stuck with me. 

Crafting "on-the-go" is no new idea to me - I've been crocheting in public since I learned how to do it in elementary school but it took me until 2009 to start quilting in public. After the birth of my son I found myself spending a lot of time in parks and sitting in the car while he slept and/or played.  I started off crocheting but was looking for something new to try when I started looking around the internet and came across some sites for English Paper Piecing and remember the woman I had seen a few years earlier.  My hexagon "diamond" project started on Father's Day weekend in 2009 and I've been going strong since then - it's not a fast activity but it is "pieceful" and rewarding.



I started off with 1 inch hexagons and things have progressed from there to two inch 60 degree diamonds.  I carry all my supplies in a small lunch box that is easy to take everywhere (except on the airplane since they won't let you take scissors or needles on the plane).  I usually get stares and the occasional questions about it when people see me - part of it I think is that quilting in general is seen as something done by "old women" and I'm a young quilter.  The strangest comment I've ever had is when an older woman approached me in our neighborhood park in NY. Dominic and I had gone for a walk and he had fallen asleep in the stroller so I found a nice sunny spot to sit and sew while he napped and was approached by this woman who asked what I was doing (she seemed to walk in the park around the same time of day that we did so she had seen me doing this several times).  After I told her she stared at me for a few minutes and then started laughing and walked away.  I guess she thought I was crazy.



Being the stay-at-home Mother of a small child means lots of time at the park and naps in the car (planned or otherwise) so I have lots of time to quilt in the car and around town.  =)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I love fall!

I love fall - it is my favorite season of all.  The weather is wonderful with cool, crisp mornings and sunny, warm afternoons.  It's great to bundle up a little bit with sweaters, scarfs, and boots but still nice enough to go for long walks and play outside.  And, the food, how do I love it.  All my favorites come out this time of year - pumpkin (in just about any form), steaming hot bowls of stew, winter squash, fresh apples, fresh cranberries, hot apple pie, savory nuts, hot apple cider, Halloween candy, and the list can go on.  We went pumpkin picking two weekends ago and will be apple picking this past weekend so there is lots of food prep going on around here (apple cider jelly will be made soon - yummy).



One of my favorite parts is, of course, the changing of the trees.  There is hardly anything so pretty in all of nature (although I do admit that it was way prettier in NY and I do miss NY a lot right now).



And, last but not least, it's crochet and quilt weather.  I find myself sewing and crocheting so much this time of year.  The weather just says you need something warm to wrap around you and snuggle under.  =)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Quilt Guild

This past Saturday the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild had their October sewing meeting.  It was fun and inspirational as always.  It's so nice to be able to get together and quilt with people in real life.  I had one real life quilting friend until I met Jessica in New York.  Most of my instructions, inspiration, and advice came from the internet and library books until I joined this group.  Being able to see in person how something is done or how other people work is very helpful and leads me to ideas of my own that I'm not sure I would have made it to otherwise.  And, these women are doing some really amazing quilts.




I accomplished a lot too!  I finished the top to my fall quilt and was able to finish piecing my tree wall hanging and start the quilting on it.  Will was a great husband and took Dominic all day (from 10am to 4pm) and left me with the group to sew and chat all day.  It was wonderful.  =)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My hexagon "diamonds" quilt is coming along nicely.  I took a break from it for a few weeks because it's really gotten too big to travel with since I am down to adding on the border pieces (not to mention that the move and unpacking the house was crazy).  I'd like to get half the border done this month and the second half done in November so that I can start quilting on it in December.  Yes, I have a plan and I'm going to stick with it - my WIP list is getting a bit long and I am now several gift quilts behind (sorry Beth and baby Jerrick - they are almost done I promise!).

It's been fun doing this quilt.  I wasn't really sure if I was going to like English Paper Piecing when I started it and thought that I might only end up with a pretty pillow cover but I've found it very enjoyable and relaxing.  And, it such an easy thing to travel with.  =)  I've learned a lot with my first EPP quilt too. Mainly, pull your stitches tight because if you don't it will come apart and you'll have to re-do a lot of sewing (yes, my first 20-30 "diamonds" had some issues that had to be fixed later on).  Another important one is to use thread that coordinates with your fabrics - I used white thread and you can see a lot of my stitches and, from what I've seen on other's EPP projects, using colored thread hides them better.



I will continue with hexagons at a future date because I have plans for two other hexagon quilts (a half hexagon pinwheel and a traditional Grandmother's flower garden).  But, my next EPP is going to be a 60 degree diamond star quilt.  I joined a quilt along group and am just waiting for my new templates to show up in the mail to start it.  I have a large pile of scraps already pulled out of my stash.  I'm going with green, purple, and blue - some of my favorite colors.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Exciting mail

Yesterday I found an exciting package in the mailbox! Jessica sent me an orphan house block she had! It is super cute and perfect for the houses and trees quilt that I have in the works. I love the little bunny in the window. Even Dominic was excited by it:



I have no house blocks of my own yet - they are in pieces waiting to be ironed and finished. Sadly, my iron has died and I am now in search of a new one. Any suggestions?  I need one asap because I have piles of partially constructed blocks that just need to be ironed before I can move on.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

"Green" Northwest

I haven't really been thinking about or writing about my "green" efforts lately. I think it's because it's so much easier here in the Pacific Northwest to be green that you really don't need to think about it. It's rare that you see a trash can that doesn't also have a recycling can next to it when you are out and about and it's a given that everybody recycles here. You are weird if you don't do it unlike the Northeast where you are weird if you do recycle.

Our lovely neighborhood trash company gave us this huge (same size as our trash can!) compost bin that they pick up with the trash and recycling. It's great - I can compost all kinds of things that I can't really compost in a home compost setting (commercial composters can compost things like meat and greasy pizza boxes because they get so much hotter than a small home compost pile can). I did have a home compost pile in NY which I will miss when it's time to plant some herbs and veggies in the garden in the spring but this is much nicer in the long run since I have to do nothing other than take an extra can to the curb every week. It's nice to not have to remember to turn the pile every other week and save yard trimmings and leaves in the garage so that I can add enough "brown" matter to the pile through out the year. And, it's great to be able to compost things like used paper towels, food contaminated pizza boxes (which can't be recycled because of the food and grease on them), and meat scraps. And, the recycling here is so wonderful and amazing compared to NY. I can recycle so many things here that I couldn't there - like the canned cat food cans!

Composting here is really socially accepted too! At Microsoft they use only compostable items in the cafeteria and their coffee rooms so the plates, cups, napkins, and utensils are ALL put in a compost bin and not the trash. And, one of the greatest finds in my opinion, was at a Mariner's game I went to in August with some friends (go Seattle - they won!). Everything there was also compostable - the chip bags, the plates, the cups, everything! In fact, we had to hunt around and finally ask for the location of a trash can to throw away the wrapper of a bag that we had brought into the stadium with us. How fantastic is that? People here are so welcome to and accepting of helping the environment that they don't even have trash cans at a professional baseball game! I love it. =)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

New "friends"

Things at the new house are progressing slowly but surely.  The painting is starting next week so I'm very exciting about it but also apprehensive since it's going to disrupt our routine - oh, well!  It's worth it to have the house looking nice.  We are mostly unpacked - the rest is waiting for the painting to be finished and it's mostly cosmetic items anyways (pictures, wall hangings, seasonal decorations, etc).

I've been discovering so many new "friends" here in the neighborhood.  We have deer that pass through the area every few days and there is also a bear that comes around once in a while (we haven't seen it yet but have been warned about leaving trash out because of it).  The bird feeder out front is attracting all kinds of lovely birds - junco's, a Spotted Towhee, several kinds of sparrow, a Stellar Jay, several kinds of chickadee, and what I think is a warbler of some type.  I have yet to figure out where I can get good pictures of them without scaring them off.  Moving the bird feeder is probably the best option to get good photos. 

And, we have lots of spiders hanging out which are particularly noticeable because of the early morning fog.  They create the most beautiful webs even if they are a bit yucky:

Quilt -Along

I just joined a wonderful and new English Paper Piecing Quilt-Along!  Come join us over on Flicker:



 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Oh Romeo...

I think I have lost my lovely new sewing space to Romeo:



He has been spending hours every morning sitting in the window getting cat hair all over my cutting mat - maybe it's my fault since I hung the bird feeder right outside that very window.  I have to make something for him to lay on so that he will (hopefully) contain himself to it and not sprawl all over the projects that I would like to be able to layout and work on.  =)  Maybe a large-ish mini quilt?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Welcome Fall

Happy First Day of Fall!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Gee's Bend

While perusing the latest Pottery Barn Catalog last night I came across something very interesting: they have recreated the Gee's Bend Quilts.  I really don't know what to feel about this.  On one hand, it is nice to see how they have become important enough to be taken main stream.  But, I also feel that the meaning behind the quilts is lost when they are recreated in mass quantities.

How do you feel about it?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Margo and Jesse

Happy wedding day Margaret and Jesse!  All the best to you.  :-)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wonky Trees

I haven't had much time to sew over the past few weeks with the move into our new house and all the unpacking.  But, I did make up these wonky trees:



I had thought that I would make up a quick wall hanging for my new sewing room so I would have something to put up immediately but after looking at it I kind of think I might make a whole quilt out of it.  I was thinking of making several rows and maybe including some wonky houses in the mix.  What do you think?

Monday, August 23, 2010

i miss you sewing and tea

Life is crazy most of the time - that was my big realization a few days ago.  I haven't had much time for sewing (and I haven't been drinking tea very much either) lately and it's been throwing me off.  It takes missing something to realize how much you rely on it for a little bit of calm time to collect your thoughts and rest.  Not to mention that sewing is my creative outlet and I keep finding more and more inspirational things and need to get something out soon or I might explode with untried ideas.  =)

The house stuff is plodding along slowly - we were supposed to close last week and move in this week but there were some last minute issues.  Not sure how long things will be delayed.  But, we did get paint colors picked for every room but Dominic's room and the master bedroom (mostly because we will be aquiline new bedding for those rooms and don't want to pick paint until we have the bedding).  We went with a pretty neutral palate - very similar to what we had in New York but this time the bathroom and laundry room will be green!  I'm very excited!

Speaking of green issues, I've been catching up on all the green/eco/environmentalist blogs over the past two weeks and I have some interesting posts to share.  First up is a post from EnviroMom about green washing.  Remember - just because it says it's environmentally friendly doesn't me it is.  Granted, I'd rather people use these types of products over traditional plastic but really we should be getting away from one time use products.  And, secondly, is a great video from the creators of the Story of Stuff called the Story of Cosmetics.  It's so easy to get products that are safer and more green these days that it's easy to switch the type of products you use (hey, you can get Burt's Bees and California Baby stuff at Target now and both of those are pretty great alternative to the toxic filled products on the shelves for about the same amount of money).

Now, it's time to sew since Dominic is napping.  Ah, don't you love nap time???

Saturday, August 14, 2010

5 years already

Happy Anniversary Will!  Love you lots!  :-*

Monday, August 9, 2010

Eye Spy With My Little Eye...

At the end of June I was trying to come up with a project for my July Project of the Month.  For some reason I thought that completing two quilts to take with us on our Florida trip at the end of the month as gifts for my two nephews was a brilliant idea.  I had been planning on making an eye spy quilt for each of them and I was originally going to make them for their birthdays this year (which are both in the fall) but no, I thought it was a great idea to get them done in 2.5 weeks and present them when we saw them on our summer visit.  And, right now, I'm on the wrong computer to post the pictures of the completed quilts so you'll all have to do with these two of Dominic and Romeo helping me.  =)  I used the same fabrics in a different order for each of the quilts (the blue one is for the older nephew and the yellow for the younger).  And, I have a ton of hexagons cut out to make Dominic one too but that will be a while from now since I'm a little burnt out this quilt pattern after finishing these two so quickly.  I used a simple polka dot for the back and the inner border on both quilts.  I also used a polyester batting (yes, I know, not good) but it is so much thinner than the cotton batting and they live in Florida so they have no use for a heavy quilt and they do sleep with the quilts I make for them every night.

One Block Wonder!

My Project of the Month for June was to finish my One Block Wonder quilt.  Which I finished all but the biding on it which is now half done.  Below you can see the quilt being prepped for basting, then Romeo "helping" me with it, and then the last pic is the quilting on the back.  As soon as I get the biding done I will get some good shots of the whole thing completed.  :-)  I think I would try to make one of these again but I will find a fabric that isn't so busy.  I like how it turned out but this pattern works so much better with a more minimalist fabric.

It really is a hectic life...

Wow, things have been super crazy and hectic lately!  Where did July go???

Lots has been happening here.  We finally closed on the house in NY and no longer own it!  Goodie!  It was a sad ending....it was our first house so it'll always be special to us but, in the long run, the move to Seattle was what was best for our family. =)  And, we are close to closing on a new house here (this is the second one - the first was beautiful and perfect until we did the house inspection.....let's just say that that house could fall down at any moment and had some really, really bad problems).  This new house is huge, has a great yard and deck, and passed the inspection with flying colors.

We also spent two weeks in Florida visiting with Will's family.  That was a crazy hectic trip to say the least - three boys (aged 4, 18 months, and 21 months) in one house together was insane and very loud.  It was nice to visit family but it was also nice to make it home and enjoy the (relative) quite of only one child in the house.  =)  And, we had a whirlwind three day trip to NY after our visit to Florida.  As a last minuted, very unplanned, surprise for Will's parents we flew them to NY with us for our house closing.  They were both from Brooklyn but left over 20 years ago and haven't been back since and since we were flying to NY from Florida it made sense to bring them with us.  So, we then spent 3 days driving ALL over the place for them to see old friends and family and to see all the places they lived, hung out, worked, etc.  It was exhausting but it was worth it since it was a once in a lifetime chance for them to visit NY again.  =)

So, if all that wasn't enough I also completed two quilts during the month of July (see the next post for them).  But I also still need to post about my One Block Wonder that I finished for my June Project of the Month (which is a small lie since the binding is only half done but that's close enough to finished for it to count in my book).

And, there are other exciting things afoot but that will have to wait for later.  =)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Individual packages...

In an effort to be green, I try to limit our consumption of "individual serving" items.  I don't buy string cheese, individually packaged chips, juice boxes, etc.  But, this is such a hard rule to follow when you have a toddler in the house.  I've decided that the super market is designed for stressed out mother's of toddlers who see the prepackaged apple slices, crackers, cookies, juice boxes, fruit leather, etc and buy it to make things easier with their kids.  And, I admit that I buy these things too (at least the non-perishable ones) to keep around for when we are out of the house and I need to get him food right away (toddlers have NO patience at all so when they are hungry you better get them food right then or risk a melt down).

Lately, I find myself giving in and buying things that I said I wouldn't buy and then when I really stopped and looked through the snack bag I keep in the diaper bag I realized that I have been buying more of these items than I realized.  I bought a giant box of individually packaged Annie's crackers from cost-co last week because I was thinking how convenient it would be to keep a bunch in the car for those times when I forget to stock the snack bag or forget to grab the snack bag when I do stock it.  I did it without even thinking about it - I have a whole set of reusable containers that I could fill up and keep 2-3 in the car for said toddler meltdowns that I didn't even think about - I just bought the box of individually packaged snacks and now I really regret it.  Yes, we will use them but I feel guilty about it every time I give him one of those bags of crackers. 

And, I'm sending such a horrible message to Dominic.  I want him to grow up and be conscience of the world around him and that such little things like reusable snack containers can really make a big impact on the health of our planet. 

My commitment that I am renewing to our great Earth is that I will buy less of these products and making sure to use those we already have in a responsible manner (like when I don't have real options because we are on a plane to Florida or driving down to Oregon, etc).  My goal is to eventually get rid of them and only buy in bulk and fill our own, reusable, environmentally friendly containers but I'm trying to be realistic and starting with just consuming fewer of them.  I know that the change will last longer in our lives if we make the change slowly instead of abruptly.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

4th of July

Happy 4th of July!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Exciting things are afoot...

Exciting things are afoot.  We've been looking at houses for a while now and I think we've found one that is pretty much perfect.  It's a bit farther north than I think we originally intended on being but the neighborhood is amazing, the schools are rated as some of the best in the state, and the house has every feature that we had on our ideal house list. 

Now, all we need is the NY house to close in the next month and have our offer on this house accepted.  I'm preparing myself for the worse since the NY closing has already been delayed.  Cross your fingers for us!

There are several exciting things too but those will have to wait for another time (when I can upload pictures of quilt-y goodness that was finished on time for my June Project of the Month).

Friday, June 25, 2010

Wow...10 years already


We made it to and back from Oregon last weekend in one piece. It was a hectic/short trip for my 10 year high school reunion and to visit with family and friends in southern Oregon. Seeing family is always interesting and stressful. Families are like that for everyone I think.

The reunion was weird. There were a handful of people that I spoke to more in the few hours of the reunion than I did in all of high school. I expect more people to have grown up in the last 10 years and be able to at least smile and say "hello, how are you" and not walk away giggling and making comments about what people look like (this was the weird part - a lot of people seemed like they were still in the high school mode except that now they could legally have alcohol). I'm glad I went because I was able to connect with a lot of people that I had lost touch with over the past 10 years and it was nice to catch up.

I spent a few hours with James at his shop where he showed me some of his latest creations. This almost finished quilt top was one of them:


How amazing is that!  I love the way the flower blocks blend together to form the forest floor and the appliqued borders are amazing (and way better than any of the applique that I've attempted). 

Hopefully, my next trip down won't be as full of stuff so we can rest a bit more (I'm hoping some time in August works).


Thursday, June 10, 2010

My boys!

I have the greatest cat ever!  Romeo is such a sweet boy and all that you could ask for in a cat (especially when you have a toddler in the house).  He's cuddly, loves to sit in my lap, and best of all, he is tolerant of Dominic!  And, Dominic LOVES Romeo so much.  Yesterday, we walked in the front door and Dominic immediately goes over to Romeo gives him a kiss on the face, a hug, and then another kiss.  It was adorable! 

I am constantly amazed at how tolerant and patient Romeo is with Dominic.  He'll just lay there and let Dominic pet him, tug on his tail, poke his face, hug him, and lay on him.  When he's tired of he'll walk away and sit up too high for Dominic to reach him or hide under a bed.  He's never struck back or done anything to harm Dominic.  I loved him so much for being so understanding of Dominic.


Here is Romeo enjoying the large pile of scraps I was trying to sort yesterday afternoon.  And then Dominic noticed him enjoying the pile and decided to join the fun.


My boys are the greatest.  :-)

TV and Internet

This morning I read an interesting article from the New York Times: Hooked on Gadgets.  It's really very worrisome since I have a young child.  Right now, we have a rule that Dominic is allowed no tv and I'd like that to continue for a long time.  We do let him watch some short videos online (about the alphabet) but they are only about 1-2 minutes long and I always sit with him and talk to him about what he is seeing.  And, I limit his video time to only once or twice a week.  I'm also working on convincing Will that we don't need cable when we move to our new house.  I really see no need for it since I don't want my son to grow up watching tv and playing on computers all the time.

The thing I think will have the most impact on him is how much time Will and I spend on the computer each day.  It seems like the laptop is always on and in the room.  We both check our emails all the time and Will has an iPhone that he lets Dominic play with sometimes (a few toddler friendly games). 
We are no where near the level that the family in the article is at but I could easily see us getting there.  I don't want Dominic to grow up and be that weird kid who never plays video games and never sees tv or movies.  I just want to make sure that both are a low priority for him.

What do you do with your kids?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

June is here already...

I spent the month of May trying to crochet a lovely lace shawl and failed.  I'm so out of practice with my crochet skills that I had to unravel my work half a dozen times before I gave up on the mohair lace thread and picked up some worsted weight to work with and re-learn how to crochet!  It's going slowly.  I picked this really nice bamboo and silk blend yarn and then spent time searching for another pattern to practice with but the yarn is so silky and soft that it's hard to keep an even tension on my stitches.  I'm still working on it and hope to have two nice shawls/scarfs by the end of summer for use this fall.  I also found a quilt shop in Olympia that had a lovely scrap bag pile and found lots of new scraps for my hexagon quilt so I've picked that up again and I am rotating between hexagons and crochet (when I have the time for either!).  Somehow I didn't end up with any pictures of my crochet work this month - seems very weird since I'm doing my picture-a-day project.

I'm searching for fabrics for Dominic's big  boy bed quilt this month.  I have several ones in mind already but I need to find them and see them together in person before I made my final decision.  I drafted four different versions of the pattern last month and settled on doing it in blue, green, and yellow and we will do his room in an outer space/astronaut theme.  I've already found an awesome star lamp to go in his new room.  I'm just not sure what type of sheets to get for his bed - I'm not making them since I want them to stand up to the heavy use and washing that sheets get.  Plain solids or something more festive?  I found some white sheets with blue stars that I think are in the right shade to coordinate with his bed quilt but I'm uncertain if I should go with something so easily stain-able since he's so young. 

I have two lap sized quilts almost finished (my pink and green one block wonder and my fall quilt) so I've decided to finish one of them for June project of the month.  The one block wonder has the main top panel finished and the borders and binding are all cut out and ready for assembly.  I'm going to quilt it very simply with a straight line around each of the hexagons.  The Fall quilt has all the fabric for the binding, backing, and borders ready to cut and all the blocks are sewn together.  I need to finalize the block layout and sew them all together and then cut the borders, etc.  I think the one block wonder is more likely to be completed since it's much closer to a finished state. 

In other news, we are in contract with our NY house.  It should close sometime in July but who really knows since we've had many issue with just getting into contract.  Please cross your fingers that everything goes smoothly from here on out so we can finish our move and find a new house here in WA!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Quilt Festival

I didn't officially sign up for the Blogger's Quilt Festival because I didn't think I had anything new to share but then I realized that I have a bunch of quilts that I made ages ago that I have never posted about.

Back in 2006 I took a Quillow Class at the City Quilter in New York.  For that class I found this fabric and loved it:


 It was green and vibrant and fun.  I thought it would be great for my nephew who was having a birthday soon after the class ended.  But, I loved it so much that I bought more and made a second one on for another little boy in a similar pattern (Will's cousin's son who is a few months younger than our nephew).



I quilted both with some straight lines and rounded squares (to mimic the shapes in the main fabric) using a zig-zag stitch.  It was rather complicated to do the quilting that way since the fabric would bunch up a lot but I really liked the way it turned out.  I like simpler quilting on quilts for babies and children since they will be well used and well loved (at least, I hope they will).  Any one who was following my previous blog might recognize the main fabric since I had  a lot of it left over from those two quilts and I used it as a main fabric in my Spider Web quilt:


What did I learn from this: it's hard to resist cool fabric, quilting with a zig-zag stitch is more complicated than it seems, and keep all scraps because you never know when you might use them in the future!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Teething woes...

Dominic is teething and it's been horrible.  One of the things parents always seem to be discussing is teething and everyone seems to complain about it.  Up to now, I've had nothing to complain about.  His first 8 teeth came in with relatively little fuss.  They'd start pushing up and he'd have 2-3 days of being a little on the fussy side.  I felt very lucky given all the stories I'd hear at play group and Stroller Strides.  That all ended about 5 weeks ago when the first molars began coming in.  It has been retched.  His teeth seem to grow in bursts - pushing up a little bit over 2-3 days then taking a 2-3 day rest before doing it again.  It took his bottom two first molars a little over three weeks to come in.  He was miserable the whole time and he had many days of bloody gums.  I thought it was over for a while when his top two first molars started coming in.  They are only in half way and he now has two canine teeth coming in too (one on top and one on bottom) and the other two won't be far behind.  He currently has 4 teeth coming.  He's been miserable for days and I can tell his teeth are hurting him.  He is hardly eating and constantly has a hand in his mouth chewing on it.  I don't really know what to do to help him.  I've been giving him some medicine that seems to help a little but I don't really know what else to do.  He does like frozen peas and green beans (still frozen) which I'm assuming help because they are cold and numb the area.  Any suggestions for teething relief?

Zucchini and Mushroom Strudel


Last week I made an amazing mushroom-feta strudel for dinner.  It was really delicious and super simple to make.  I found the original recipe in the book The Classic Zucchini Cookbook.  In the future I will be making it with goat cheese, less butter, less mushrooms, and more zucchini (since I like zucchini and goat cheese a lot!).  Here is my altered version for you all to (hopefully) try and enjoy:

Zucchini and Mushroom Strudel:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups crimini mushrooms, finely chopped
3 large shallots, minced
1 large zucchini, grated (about 2 cups)
6 ounces goat cheese
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
salt and pepper
1 box phyllo dough (about 18 sheets), thawed
1/2 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Heat oil in pan and saute mushrooms and shallots until they have given up their juice, about 10 minutes.  Salt zucchini well and let rest in a bowl while mushrooms are cooking.  Wrap zucchini in kitchen towel and squeeze out as much moisture as possible.  Add zucchini to pan and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat and mix in cheese and bread crumbs.  Season with pepper to taste.  Lay one sheet of phyllo on counter and brush with butter.  Top with 8 more sheets of phyllo brushing each layer with butter.  Spoon half of filing along the short end of the dough leaving about 1.5 inches of space away from the long edges.  Fold long edges in a little bit to partially cover the filling then roll up the whole thing to form a log.  Brush edges with butter to seal and place in pan seam side down.  Brush with more butter.  Repeat with remaining dough and filling to make second strudel.  Bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown.  Cool for a few minutes before slicing.

Any combination of mushrooms would work well - I like crimini the best which is why I listed them.  You could also easily substitute any other summer squash for the zucchini or do a combination of different types of squash.  Egg plant would probably work well too.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Wonky Stars

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mother's out there!

It seems like everywhere I look lately I'm seeing wonky quilts - log cabins, houses, people, and more!  Well, I decided to give it a try with some wonky stars.

 

I have no idea how many I will make or what I will end up doing with them but they are super fun.  And, they are a great way to use up those little bits of fabric left over from other projects.  I have a huge box of these I just can't bear to throw out even though they are so small.  I used to wonder what I was going to do with so many bits and pieces of fabric.  Well, now I have a great purpose for them!  The only draw back is that this block involves lots of trimming...




In other news, I've decided that I'm going to put away my hexagon quilt for a while.  I've run out of scraps large enough to cut up for it and I've gone through the scrap bins of many others collecting for it.  I'm definitely not done with it - I just need to finish a few other quilt projects so I have more scraps to cut up for hexagons!  In the mean time, I found some beautiful alpaca lace yarn a few days ago that I'm going to crochet into a lacy summer shawl. =)  And, I've decided that my May project of the Month is to finalize the design for Dominic's Big Boy Bed quilt so I can start hunting down fabric for it.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Rainbow

I finished my April Project of the Month on the very last day of April.  It's always a good feeling when you finish a quilt you've been working on for a while.  Overall, I'm happy with the quilt.  It's a fun design and I will probably make more of this scrap block in the future.  I did a loopy e/o style of quilting.  I really like the pattern but I still need more practice with it since it's not as even and smooth as I would like but it is much better than the first quilt that I did free motion quilting on.  I put some random stripes of scraps on the back which seemed so weird for me since I've never had a decorative back on a quilt before.  The rainy/grey weather over the past few days has made photographing the quilt difficult so I'll leave you with pictures of my two boys "helping" me get it ready for basting.

 Dominic and the front.

Romeo and the back.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Quilts in Progress

Here is a list of all my current Quilts in Progress (note, this is not all of my works in progress, just the quilts!):

Spider Web
This is based off of a pattern in Down Under Quilts (issue # 137- I think).  It is made entirely of scrap fabric.  I have the main section done and now I have to find the right fabric for the borders and the back.  I plan on doing wavy quilting on it once the top is finished.

One Block Wonder
From the class I took with Megan back in February.  I have all my half hexagons done and labeled in the order that I need to sew them in.  So, I need to sew them all together and then decide if I want to leave it at that or if it will need border fabric of some sort.

Rainbow Blocks
Started this in October 2009 and will finish it in April 2010 for my PotM.  All it needs in the binding finished (it's half done).

Peter Rabbit panel
All it needs is the binding finished (half done).

Fall Quilt
Started this quilt in April 2010 with my first Jelly Roll (Gobble, Gobble by Moda).  I am using the pattern Garden Trellis from Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott.  The blocks for the top are all pieced and ready to sew together.

Hexagon "Diamonds"
Started this in June 2009; the pattern is four hexagons, from the same fabric, sewn together to form a diamond shape and every diamond is a different fabric.  It's all hand pieced and done in scrap fabric.  Not really sure how big I'm going to make it so I don't really know how close to done it is.  I think I will but a black border around it to really make the colors pop.

Grandmother's Flower Garden
I have the fabric for the flowers and some of the fabric for the back.  I need to find the right neutral fabric for the front to go around the flowers and order a larger hexagon template.

Bugs
My first applique project started in March 2010.  I have the pieces for two blocks cut out and one is started.  Based on patterns from the book: Butterflies and Blooms: Designs for Applique and Quilting by Carol Armstrong.

Eye Spy (x3)
A very recent project.  I will be making three eye-spy quilts (two matching ones for my nephews and one for Dominic).  Found a cute template for hexagon stars at the local quilt shop and was inspired by several women in my local guild who are making the same patter but it a smaller size.  I am still collecting fabrics for all three quilts - I need 20-30 more.

Wonky Stars
Random project I started in April 2010 with scrap fabric I had laying around.  I have three 6 inch star blocks finished and plan to make many, many more since I have tons of scraps and the blocks are fun to make.

Dominic's First Year
I saved special shirts and onsies from Dominic's first year to make him a memory quilt.  All the fabric is jersey so I have to find some sort of stabilizer to use and plan out a pattern that will incorporate them all.  For the back, I plan on using the Peter Rabbit fabric that was the curtains in his room since his nursery theme was Peter Rabbit.  I want to have it finished by his second birthday.

Food Quilt
I started collecting fabric for this quilt years ago and I am now up to 7+ yards (in fat quarters and quarter yard cuts).  I want to do stars some how but I'm not fully sure how.  So, I'm kind of still collecting fabric (but I don't really need any more) and I need to sketch out the ideas I have to  see what will work the best with the fabrics that I have.

Dominic's Big Boy Bed Quilt
I have a pattern in my head of squares and rectangles randomly placed together and it'll but done in a full bed size (since that is the size of our guest bed which is going to become Dominic's first big boy bed).  I'm not sure if I should do it in brown and green, green and blue, or blue, green, and yellow.  I'm leaning towards brown and green and doing his room in a forest theme but I'm also really liking doing in in a astronomy theme which would work well with the blue, green, yellow idea.  I am pretty sure that I will be having this quilted by a long arm. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Homemade Playdough!

A few days ago Dominic and I made playdough and it was a big hit with him.  It was super simple to mix up and very easy for him to help me with it.  I just googled homemade playdough and came up with a ton of websites with recipes and ideas.  I used this super easy recipe: mix together 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup salt, 1/4 cup water.  Dominic helped me stir it all together before playing with it.  I left ours plain white but you could easily use food coloring (or natural food dye like beet juice or carrot juice, etc) to color it.  I did need to use a tad more water to get it to the right consistency.

I did taste it (out of curiosity) and it was pretty disgusting so I'm really sure Dominic won't be interested in eating it and all that salt will help inhibit the growth of anything yucky so we can keep for a while.  It is currently stored in an empty frosting container in the fridge (which oddly enough looks like a larger version of the real playdough containers).

Anyone else have any fun/easy craft ideas that are good for a young toddler?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Leek and Goat Cheese Quiche

Last week I made this leek and goat cheese quiche.  It was pretty tasty and I will definitely make it again.  However, I will use 3 eggs next time instead of 2 since it could have been a little firmer for our tastes.  I also used a basil flavored goat cheese (since I already had it in the fridge) so I left out the tarragon and used a little bit of extra basil.  Even Dominic liked it.  =)


It's not very pretty but it was delicious!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Organic doesn't always mean good for you.

Just because it says organic on it doesn't make it good for you by default.  I've had this conversation way too many times with people lately (mostly mothers) and it gets frustrating.  Organic sugar is still sugar and large quantities of it are still bad for you. 

Mom Goes Green wrote about here with a perfect example for Mothers (since I see kids all over the place drinking these milks).   Does Dominic drink these milks, yes, on rare occasions but I try to bring milk from home or get the 2% (meaning no extra sugar) version for him

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hello World!

Welcome to the second iteration of my blog.  Hectic Life...Pieceful Life is about me and my adventures from life with a toddler, to my cat, food, tea, quilting, and other random bits.


A little more about me:

I spent most of my childhood in Oregon and most of the rest of my life in the Pacific Northwest.  After living around the US and spending time traveling abroad, I feel the most at home in the Pacific Northwest and love it dearly.

I graduated from the University of Washington with my BA in Anthropology with an emphasis in Archaeology and Classics.  I then went on to study at Columbia University where I graduated with an MA in Museum Studies with an emphasis in archaeology. 

My "first" career was as an archaeologist/museum technician.  I've been lucky enough to have done archaeological field work in the Pacific, Pacific-Northwest, Northeast, Southeast, and Southwestern United States and have done archaeology-related work in a small handful of museums. My career goals are to work with archaeological collections in a museum setting to preserve and enhance the scientific data and to further educate the public about our past.

My "second" career started in January 2009 with the birth of my son, Dominic.  I'm currently a stay-at-home Mom to him and our "older child" Romeo (a five year old, grey and white bicolor cat).  I love it and I'm having a blast teaching him about the world and playing everyday.

I adore the color green and love tea.  I am a total fabric lover and quilt when I can.  I used to go hiking but then I started grad school and then had a baby but I'm hoping to get back into it this summer (2010).

I hope you enjoy my blog.