Friday, December 14, 2012

"Chaos" is a finished

I started this quilt last year about this time. I wanted to do an improv slash and sew quilt.  Similar to my Crazy Girly quilt which was my first and only half of an improv quilt, this one really was all improv. I made a few blocks or sew some pieces. Then I'd lay them out and see what I needed to add.

Then the top was complete. I thought it not half bad.
I took a minkee blanket that I bought at JoAnns on sale and used it as the backing. No batting and just a large meander with a few flowers for the quilt motif.

I folded the minkee over the top of the quilt to create the binding and done.

Not so bad, but certainly not my favorite. I think I just am not meant to play with improv. It sets my teeth on edge not to work with order in my piecing.  I think that's why I ended up calling this one, "Chaos."

I wonder what to do with this thing!   Linking up to Richard & Tanya's Link a Finish just for fun.

Edited to add that the name seems to fit this quilt but also the state of emotions I feel now upon hearing about the shooting at the elementary school in CT.  God bless all of those affected by it. I pray for stregth and healing as I weep for the impossible despicableness of it.
God Bless,

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Weigh In Weds. - Insanity

Did you know I stopped exercising and paying attention to my eating somewhere a few months ago? Probably, since I haven't posted a weigh in wednesday since about that same time.

It's one thing to acknowledge you have all these excuses for not eating right or exercising. It's another tohot acknowledge and realize why. It's even more to make a real decision to change and move forward.  To get motivated and to figure out what you need to stay motivated.

I spent a number of weeks (yes, weeks) thinking about starting to exercise but I did manage to start eating healthier during this time.  I started using an app called "My Fitness Pal" to start tracking calories. This was helpful.

Eventually, my friend came and told me she bought the Insanity workout program and when I confessed I had been thinking about doing that program, a plan was hatched to do it together so we had someone to be accountable to.

About the same time, I found a new friend on Instagram (btw, I'm all over posting on Instagram... it's crazy) who turned out to be a coach with Beach Body.  She's been a treasure and good as gold, she's now my coach and I've joined her facebook page where there is also a virtual group of new friends to be accountable to.  It's been extremely helpful.

So, I started. I finished week 1 of the Insanity and I'm staying good about keeping in the right calorie range as well as eating foods that will fuel me instead of helping me.  I also joined a December challenge on Instagram to plank once per day to improve my core strength. Let me tell you, planking is not easy.

So, for your enjoyment, a pic of me when I'm done with an Insanity workout.  I feel good, even through the first week's soreness, I'm at a good place with energy level and hunger (meaning I'm not all that hungry outside of normal range so I know I'm doing right with my eating).

So, weigh in when I started?  172.5  A reminder of my height? 5'2"   Insanity program length? 60 days.

Wish me luck!


Monday, December 10, 2012

Goodies in the mail!

As I sent swap items, I'm so excited to say I received my items, too!

From the Secret Santa Swap hosted by Kara, I received the best scarf. It's soft and comfy and pretty. My favorite colors.

I'm posting the card that came with it and the photo of its emergency room visit. The maker has assured me she is well but I can't help but be amazed she and my scarf went through such an ordeal together.  Yikes, talk about commitment to a swap! :)

I also received this awesome mini from Rebecca at Rebecca's Rags as part of the Sewing Summit Swap.  It's just so much fun and I'm in the midst of searching out a great location to hang this lovely.

Lastly, I've been doing just a little bit of sewing. I've started blocks for a quilt for my niece.  I'm going to work really hard to have this done in time to mail to FL for Christmas. This is the Hearts Abloom pattern from the March 2012 issue of QuickQuilts magazine.

What are you making for Christmas gifts this year?


Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Crazy Journey - Part 2

I had waited to write this post to hear from the folks I sent my swap goodies to but as of today, I haven't heard from anyone except the person I sent the block to.

Block received and liked. Yay!

I sent the aprons and bag along with a little cookbook for the Secret Santa party.

I sent the little dresden plate mini from my last post but it was going to Ontario, Canada. I'm hoping it's just a little slow in the mail system instead of lost. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed she likes it.

I also sent out the tote.  This tote.

I promised to share the story with you and while, like the mini, I don't know if the tote was received yet, I miss blogging and decided to share anyway.

You see, I promised to help coordinate the swap and took half the list and assigned partners.  I inadvertently assigned a mom to make something for her daughter with the added benefit they live in the same household. She notified me and I so I simply swapped her daughter with my partner.  A couple weeks went by and we proceeded to make our swap partners gifts based on what we read for likes and dislikes that they sent us as part of the swap.

My tote came together.

The day I was ready to send it, I happened to go to my partner's Flickr page and her profile. I read through what she liked on her profile, which was pretty similar to what she said in her note except one thing.  There was an added sentence which stated she didn't like browns.

WHAT?!  Why oh why didn't I see this in all my stalking research before? Clearly I'm a crappy stalker.

UGH, what to do, what to do?  Ah!

I emailed my partner's mom. I asked her if she thought her daughter would like it given all the brown and she gave me the reply I feared. Probably not. She said her daughter had been asking for the same item her swap partner and she proposed we switch back. I agreed but not without feeling bad about it.

I went back to my original partner's likes and dislikes but decided not to give her the tote and that's why I made the dresden mini.  I did, however, send the tote off to my original swap partner's mom.  She raved about it and claimed she'd love to have it if the person I was sending it to didn't like it.

I figured, she dealt with all the mishaps, it should be her tote. I hope she likes it as much in real life as she did from the pictures and I just have to say, thank you, again to her for bearing with me through it all.

What have your last couple weeks been like?