I love my train case, made for me by my friend, the super talented Meg. It came last week when I was feeling down in the dumps about running. The timing was perfect and I adore it, especially because it is yellow and has houses and the illustrations are embroidered. Thanks Meg!
Sorry to disappear for a few days - it is a busy week here. I was out of town for two days and we have house guests on their way tomorrow so I have had little computer time. I've been battling a cold and haven't felt my best, either. But things are on an upswing: my wrist is doing great and my calf is much better. Speaking of which, I am completely overwhelmed by the support you all give me. I really appreciate your thoughts about my running and am trying to get back to everyone who commented on my last post. Did you see the letter Susan wrote to me? I feel blessed to have such a wonderful friend. It works both ways - I would have never gotten as far as I did without her support either. And I am so proud of her for going back and giving it another go. Wow. You bloggy people are the best - you know how to make a girl feel good! Thanks.
Another thing that makes this girl feel good: my projects in print!
Tuesday after school, the girls and I drove across town to Barnes and Noble in search of these books. I let out a little "Eeee!" when I saw them on the shelves. A Is for Apron has three of my projects in it and Pretty Little Patchwork has two more. You will probably recognize some of my projects. The others haven't been on the blog, but were just as much fun to make. I am thrilled to be a part of these books - they are really wonderful. And I am in great company - you will probably recognize some of the other contributors, too.
OK, then. I'm done tooting my own horn. Hope you have a great weekend!
...sometimes just don't work out.
I decided on this weekend that I will not be running the half marathon on Saturday.
I really haven't talked much about my running on the blog because it's a craft blog, you know. But I need to write this so I get some closure for myself. Feel free to move on if you want. My feelings will not be hurt.
I wouldn't call myself a runner. I'm not hard core. Really. Prior to February, I had never more than four miles. And I only ran for exercise, three times a week at most. I had thought about running a half marathon when Kate was an infant, but I couldn't string together 8 hours of sleep let alone time to train for a long distance run. With Kate in kindergarten this past fall, I found myself running 3 miles at a time and still having time to get the grocery shopping, errands, laundry, etc., into the course of the girls' school day. I finally had the time. I also had the inspiration.
So I found a good training schedule, consulted the calendar, plotted my courses and I ran. I ran in the sun and more often in the rain. I ran in layers to combat the winter cold and in a tank top and shorts in 80 degree Florida heat. I ran outside if I could and on the treadmill the three times the snow wouldn't let me (torture, really, I can't stand the treadmill). I bought new shoes, orthopedic inserts and more running clothes than I wanted to. And I cross-trained too.
I ran three races: a 5k, a 10k and a 10 mile. These are the only races I have ever run and they went well. But before the 10 mile race, my left calf was tight - it took 3.5 miles for it to loosen up, but then felt fine. The race was good - I finished 50 seconds over my goal. My leg hurt for a couple of days, but then felt good. I kept training, but the calf issue resurfaced after every longer run. Lots of stretches, lots of ice and lots of ibuprofen later, it is still an issue. I have gone out four times to run in the last week. Three of those times I had to turn around and walk home after less than a half mile. I think my body is trying to tell me something.
I am sad that I am not running on Saturday. I have worked really hard for more than three months just to run this race and giving it up is a huge disappointment. I have cried over it. Many times. I am trying hard to look on the bright side of things. I can give my spot to a friend who didn't register before the race closed. I ran in the rain and the cold and I liked it. Of course, it was better in the sun and the warmth. I ran three races and they were great. I stuck to a schedule and increased my distance. I never had my normal mid-winter funk and I give all the credit for that to exercise. And although I only lost 3 pounds, my jeans fit better. My muffin top is smaller. That has got to count for something, right?
I have the best people in my life. Thank you Fatty for encouraging and supporting me. Thank you Flickr friends for cheering me on. Thank you Susan for training virtually with me. Thank you Marcia for being my ride. Thank you Suzanne for watching my girls and being at the finish line. Thank you to my family for checking on me and wishing me luck. Thank you to my friends for listening to me go on and on about it. I know I bored you to tears and you still listened. I am blessed to have you all.
I'm not over the disappointment. I'm pretty sure there are more tears. But I know I made the right decision. Tendinitis in my wrist is all the injury I can deal with right now. There are more half marathons out there - I might even try to run one in the fall. Or maybe I will wait until next year. Right now I would be happy with a nice, pain-free five mile run. That in itself is a positive thing. I would have never thought I would look forward, let alone WANT, to run five miles.
I guess I am a runner after all.
Thanks for all the pajama pant love! They were such a satisfying and fast project - I am sure there will be more. Maybe even some for me!
Many of you asked about the fabric I used for Jane's pair. I picked that up in Sarasota at Sew Worth It (thanks for telling me about that store, Celene!) along with some other goodies.
These are all part of Flutterby by Moda. The pink and aqua ladybugs were bought for p.j. pants (I told you the idea was floating around in there for awhile!) and the others are half yard cuts I am going to use in various patchwork projects. And maybe a skirt or two for the girls.
These beauties are part of the Cake Rock Beach collection by Joelle Hoverson, owner of Purl and Purl Patchwork in New York. I was very excited to see these in person as I am not sure that any of my local fabric stores will carry them! All of the prints are gorgeous with deep saturated colors - I have a feeling I will be ordering more of the collection from sometime soon.
OK, then....not sure if I will be back tomorrow or next week. My right wrist is sporting a new accessory and it is really limiting my motions. I'll just have to see if there is anything crafty I can do. I'm thinking embroidery. If not, then I guess it is time to get caught up in a good book. Take care friends!
Sometimes I get an idea in my head and then I lose it. Just like Rachel said. Other times, it sticks and it won't go away. My latest project had been floating around in there for a long time. I completely and totally blame it on Leslie. You see, she made those lounge pants. My friend Suzanne saw that post and made her own. But Suzanne never uses a pattern. She wings it. She just traced a pair of pants she owned and made herself a pair. And then she made some for her girls.
There are plenty of things I can sew without a pattern. But when it comes to clothes, I am pattern follower. I don't sew many clothes - that is probably why. I used to sew dresses for the girls. I even made them some skirts and tops, but not so much any more. Jane got picky, I got my feelings hurt and lost the desire. Pajama pants, though....I thought Jane might just go for that.
On Sunday, I channeled my inner-Suzanne and traced a pair of Jane's flannel p.j. pants. I added seam allowances, and then tried to figure out how in the heck to fit a pair of girls' size 8 p.j. pants on one width of fabric. They just fit. Just.
I used my serger to stitch these up. FAST. Super FAST. Just how I like my projects. I added button holes on either side of the front center seam so I could add a mock ribbon tie. There is a full circle of elastic in the casing - each 12 inch length of ribbon is sewn to the elastic just inside the button holes. This way there is no chance of my-pants-won't-stay-up issues, but they still have that cute touch.
Jane was not very happy with the fabric choices. She sees all that fabric in the sewing room and thinks I can just make anything out of a fat quarter. Hmmm....that would be nice, but I needed 1 1/4 yards and the pickings were kind of slim. Not bad if you like say, green. Or pink. Just not much blue. Or red. The one I thought she would like, she didn't. Instead of listening to her whine, I just chose for her. I figured Kate would get two pairs if Jane never wore hers.
See, Kate is happy with almost anything. Well, anything pink, that is.
I wish I had enough red ric rac to trim the hem of Jane's pair, but oh well. I'm still going to call these a success. Jane has worn them two nights in a row. If that doesn't make them a winner, I don't know what does.
So you see, Leslie, it is your fault. In a roundabout, very good, inspiring kind of way. You, too, Suzanne. You, too.
Thank goodness for friends.
I know I said siesta. It's coming, just not quite yet.
We arrived home on Saturday evening. After a quick dinner, and because my bag was missing and I couldn't start the laundry (too bad, huh?), I made my April Virtual Quilting Bee Block.
Amanda Jean sent us red and white solids and as soon as I saw them, I knew what I wanted to do. I used the same basic strip piecing that I did in the pillow. I am really pleased with how it turned out. I like the wonky squares and am planning on doing something like this on a larger scale. I need to remember that it really takes a lot of fabric, though. I had a small panic moment when the square was just shy of 12.5" in one direction because I didn't have much white fabric left. A quick survey of the scraps and a few ripped seams later, I was in business.
I thought it looked like a wonky window pane, but when I showed the finished square to Fatty, he said it looked like sky scrapers. I took another look and now, sky scrapers it is. I think it will play nicely with the other blocks that have been finished.
My bag arrived yesterday. Off to finish the laundry. Have a great Monday.
I'm sitting here thinking I should probably be packing our suitcases, but I don't want to. We have had such a lovely time....it has been restful and relaxing and to top it off, the girls have been so agreeable. And pretty nice to each other. Kind of like a dream. Additionally, I am not sure how I am going to fit everything in the bags. You see, I picked up some new flip flops, a couple of skirts and fabric. Too much fabric - well, kind of. Can you have too much fabric? Don't say yes.
While on vacation, I've been snooping around the net, reading your blogs, commenting a tad bit, not really too much, and dreading re-entry into normal life. School is back in session on Monday and my big race is coming up in about two weeks. I have a little injury so I am resting, trusting that it will be OK in time. I have been working on checking number 2 off of my personal goal list since January. And I will be really sad, probably devastated, if I cannot run. I have an overnight trip to Chicago smashed in there and a family event the day after the race, too.
So I am predicting more quiet for a couple of weeks - here and elsewhere. I'm not proclaiming a total break, but maybe a little siesta. Back soon friends.
So far this vacation:
- we have been in the pool everyday.
- at one point, all four of us had our noses in good books.
- I went on a 7 mile run. And I liked it.
- there have been margaritas every night.
- Fatty has golfed with his dad.
- I have started cutting a quilt with my mother-in-law.
- the girls have gone swimming in the dark. twice.
- I have napped every afternoon.
The best part? We still have four more days.
On Sunday, I made a pillow for a long overdue swap. I pieced strips of linen with strips of a floral and gingham with the intent of making a striped patchwork pillow. Once everything was pieced, I didn't really like it so I cut the piece into more strips and added the dotted print. I finished that up, still wasn't crazy about it so I cut it again and added more dots.
Finally happy with the piecing, I quilted the front with back to back loopy lines and threw it in the wash. After it was dried, I cut it to size and made the back. I put in a zipper if you were wondering....and, for the record, I had to consult my own tutorial because it has been awhile, ahem, since I have done the zipper thing.
We are getting ready to go south for spring break. I will probably post some, but not a whole lot while we are gone. Just wanted you all to know in case it gets really quiet in this space. See you soon.
Before we get too far into April, here is my Virtual Quilting Bee block for March.
Kathy asked for log cabin blocks and she pointed us to Gee's Bend and Nancy Crow for inspiration. She sent the gray and blue polka dot fabric as well as the aqua, blue and brown diamond print. I am happy to say that all of the other fabrics came from my stash. I wish I had more gray, but I used my only scrap from the elephant quilt and it was from squaring up the edges! Funny enough, I didn't piece the block with this orientation in mind. If you rotate it 90 degrees to the left, you'll see how I pieced it. When I was finished though, I liked this orientation better. Quilting just seems to be full of happy accidents for me.
Have you noticed the wordplay button in my sidebar? Did you click on it and end up in an empty flickr group? Sorry about that. The problem is corrected now. Wordplay starts today.
After Tracy and I finished our outside inspiration projects we decided to keep going. With a twist and a new collaborator. The notion is still inspiration from the outside in the form of a single word, but some things have changed.
I couldn't be more excited that Emily is joining Tracy and me in this creative collaboration. Starting today, the three of us will be receiving a single word from an artist, a writer or a friend. We have six weeks to ponder the word, interpret its meaning and use it as a inspiration for a creative project in a media of our choice. Basically it is one word, three interpretations, every six weeks.
We asked Shari to give us a word as our inspiration. And she agreed! So imagine my excitement when I received a letter in the mail yesterday. I knew it was coming. I knew what it contained. I knew it couldn't be opened until today. Never have I wanted to open something so badly. But I waited. I did.
First thing this morning, I made my first cup of coffee and opened the envelope. Out tumbled a pink paint sample with a typewriter written word on it. Can you see it?
How about now?
Wow. That is what I call a word. I can't wait to see what we all do with this.
Now that I have the word, it's time to play. Thanks for the starting point, Shari. It's really really good.