I was going to get all sappy and tell you how six years ago today was the worst day of my life, but it’s just too close to Christmas to get all gloomy. So instead, I’ll show you the one handmade gift for Alexis this year.


I’ve been thinking about this project ever since I saw the one over at Pink Chalk Studio. And I decided it would be a great inexpensive stocking stuffer for the oh-so-spoiled Alexis. Besides, that kid loves her art supplies. I didn’t even have to go shopping for any of the stuff. The fabric all came from my scrap bin – which seems to grow exponentially every month, I should really find some more stash/scrap busting projects. And I confiscated the pencils from Alexis herself. When I spent SIX hours last week cleaning out her room, I found more markers and pens and pencils than anyone person should be allowed to have.


I’ve seen these things all over the net, and they’re all beautiful, but I really love the ones that have the graduated rainbow pattern for the pockets. I’m a sucker for rainbows. I also really liked the look of the linen for the background fabric. It’s the perfect compliment to all the busy colors, and it’s classy. I adore linen. Unfortunately the scraps of linen I had left were not wide enough to cut the backing fabric from one piece, so I used a small strip of the pieced fabric to connect two pieces of linen for the back. I love how it turned out. There is just a hit of what you’ll find inside when it’s all rolled up.


I had a couple of false starts when I was making this. I actually had to piece the stripes twice because the first time around I made them too narrow for the pencils to actually fit in the pockets. THAT was annoying. I thought I might actually have to go fabric shopping because the orange and that yellow-green (what’s up with yellow-green/green-yellow and blue-green/green-blue anyway? Who can really tell the diff?) were tiny little scraps to start with. Somehow I managed to squeak out just enough for the two stripes, though, and so my stash was busted. Yay!

Now. Seriously. Pass on the list of scrap stash busters, my room is a huge mess.

Alexis has been practicing reading the story of Jesus’ birth. It’s a tradition in our family to read that passage instead of saying grace before the Christmas Eve meal. The youngest member of the family who is able to read is the lector.

When she finished reading the passage tonight, Chris asked her if she knew what the book she was reading from was. Smartly, she closes the book and reads the title aloud. “The Chocolate Living Bible”

That’s my girl!

Don’t faint. Two posts in as many days! I told you there’d be much to talk about during the holidays.

Here is little Baby J’s quilt all quilted up and in desperate need of a wash. I’ve had the quilting done since Thanksgiving, but I never think a quilt is “done” until it’s been washed and gets that wrinkly puckered quilt look. I should really get that done so that I can take it over there before she goes off to college.


I really love the backside fabric on this one. No, it’s not cut on the bias, it’s actually printed that way. And it is so silky soft that you almost wouldn’t know it is just quilting cotton.

I’m not the only one who loves it either, I took the unbound quilt to my local quilt store for advice on binding. The ladies there couldn’t find anything they liked with the front of the quilt more than the backing fabric. So instead of selling me something, they all agreed that I should “fake” the binding and roll the back over to the front.  I’ve done this before, but never on something where the back would be readily visible. The one that comes to mind immediately is the tree skirt I made several years ago (total PotteryBarn knock off, I should really take pictures). Anyway, I digress… I didn’t want the edges on the back to be “flat” as if there was no binding, so if you look closely the quilting I did in a straight line around the edges is visible. It’s not perfect, but it presents a good enough illusion, I think.


You can also see that I did a somewhat more interesting quilting pattern than the straight lines on the last quilt. I did start to get bored with it toward the end but at least it went quickly. I also discovered on this one, that I really only like one kind of hand quilting thread (Sulky 100% Cotton) and only one kind of quilting needle (PieceMakers betweens). I tried a thread from JoAnn but it was so thick and it really was hard to get through the quilt. I ended up picking out several pattern repeats and re-doing them with the new thread. Never again. I’ll pay the extra at the quilt store for the good thread and needles!

Rebecca tagged me with her 16 random things. The deal is, you write 16 random things about yourself, and then tag 16 friends to do the same. Unfortunately, the aforementioned Rebecca, is one of the people I would normally tag first with such a task.

  1. My earliest gymnastics memory is of Mary Lou Retton hitting her perfect 10 on vault at the 1984 Olympics.  That Christmas I – and everyone else on my gymnastics team – got a Mary Lou leotard. You know, the one with the stars on one shoulder and the stripes on the rest of it? I think that was the only 3/4 sleeve leo I ever owned.
  2. I only see doctors I really like, and I’ll drive a long way to get to them if necessary. I figure if they aren’t going to listen to me, or they consistently diagnose the wrong condition (a la House without the almost dying part) they aren’t worth my time or money. Some of the pickiest people I know have asked me for MD references, and as far as I know, no-one has been disappointed yet.
  3. I hold a first degree black belt in Tang Soo Do (that’s TONG SOO DOH) and I regret every day that I’m not still training. I miss my fellow students and the training and sense of community within a school, but I try to live my life by the basic eastern principles that are taught with traditional martial arts. Some day I hope I’ll find the right place to train again.
  4. When I started college, my major was pre-med. I changed it to computer science after I took my second programming class. I have no idea what possessed me to take a second programming class because I hated the first one so much. Some Most days, I wish I hadn’t switched.
  5. Over the years I’ve tried about every craft or art out there. Sewing, quilting, painting, writing, throwing pottery, collaging, crochet, cross-stitch and finally knitting. I think knitting is “the one”. I enjoy it more than any of the others, but I still dabble often. And I’d still love to take a class in large scale metal sculpture.
  6. I am falling apart. I’ve ruined tendons in both ankles, had knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus, and now there is something unknown going on with my shoulder.
  7. I wish I lived on Castaway Cay — only with out the hummingbird sized mosquitoes at night.
  8. I have an enormous capacity to forgive wrongs against me, but will hold a grudge forever against those who hurt my loved ones.
  9. In my junior year of high school I was diagnosed with epilepsy. Until the diagnosis – and sometimes even after – my teachers and counselors insisted to my mother that I was on drugs. My grades fell drastically and I dropped from the top 10% of my class to the bottom half.
  10. I love my house so much that I never want to move.
  11. On the last day of my senior year in high school, my English teacher told me that I am the most sorry excuse for a human being she had ever met. I left the classroom because I didn’t believe I had to sit around and be treated like that. But a cop in the hallway stopped me. When I told him what had happened and that I was going to the office, he pulled my teacher from the classroom to confirm my story, and she ADMITTED it was true. What a dumb ass!
  12. I dream about staircases to nowhere on a regular basis. These dreams are often so terrifying that I wake shaken for the rest of the day.
  13. I went to college out of state, and I’m still paying for it.
  14. The older I get, the more I look like my mother. I found a picture at my aunt’s house a few years ago. It took a second for me to realize that it was of me at about 1 yo sitting on my mother’s knees and not me holding my daughter.
  15. I totally can’t work a fax machine.
  16. I met my husband on America Online. He was chatting with me about how to break up with the jerk I was seeing at the time.

Yesterday Chris and I had this conversation… I had considered writing based on the conversation, but it is just so damn funny as is. And before people start bitching about goofing off at work, John told us to yesdterday. In a meeting. With slides and everything.

Names have been changed to protect the innocent gift recipients

me: godI could so easily spend $75 on yarn to get free shippingno comment?Chris: nope, I understand how that worksme: :)wellI put the fawn in the cart  then went looking for kid friendly machine washable wool…found it$10/skein… 1 skein per kidChris: cool me: so that’s like 35 bucksbut then… I started lamenting giving my new petting yarn awayeven though I bought it for xxxxxxxChris: there is a blog in here somewhereme: oh godyou’re rightexcept your mom reads itso the question iscan I justify spending $44 on yarn that I will likely just pet?Chris: in the long run….  it’s cheaper than a cat me: LMAO  that is so greatI just want you to tell me to buy it even though I was bitching about money this morningChris: thank you, I’ll be here all week, enjoy the buffetbuy it even though you were bitching about money this morningme: hehdid you cut and paste?;)Chris: pretty muchhighlighted and draggedme: I’ll probably kick myself on 1/1… but I can pet my new cat and feel betterChris: definitely a blog in thisme: good thing google auto saves these conversations