Traveling Pennies

First, an announcement: the Idiot Quilts are almost done! The first was mailed a couple of days ago, the next will be mailed on Monday, then again on Friday. :) The quilt for Coach’s online fund raiser is 50% complete. Yay! for being productive. (We won’t talk about the tardiness…)

Ever since our trip to Europe last summer and our trip to Disney World the previous October, the kids have been begging for trips. We explained to them that trips cost lots (lots!) of money and we’d need to save lots (lots!) of money.

We’ve cut out iTunes movies and music, trips to the coffee store, dining out, ordering pizza, trips to the money pit Target, and school lunches. We stay home more often, saving gas money. I haven’t had my hair done in…um…yeah…I can’t remember.

My best friend’s family bought me a race entry for my birthday and I was surprised with a half marathon entry by my Hubs, but there will be no more races for the year. This is huge. In a given year, I will enter several races, each costing between $30-$110 each. This doesn’t include travel, hotel, food, and buying stuff at the expos. When I really added up all the races expenses for the past couple of years, I choked. While I know the kids had fun on my race weekends, I know that these were very selfish expenses on my part.

For several weeks now, my youngest has been bringing me stray change “for our next big trip to see Harry Potter”. My heart melts. Tiny little fist full of pennies…to travel the world. The oldest wants to see Paris (she’s enrolled in French language class), and has never complained about the lack of pizza. The middle kiddo wants to go back to London to ride in The Eye again and he’s never whined about missing a movie. It’s pretty cool that they see the world as accessible and they’re willing to give up their little luxuries.

We have bank accounts, of course, but the Chang€ o£ $cener¥ jar is something in the house, something they can focus on, and actively fill. (Online banking is great, but clicking around on a computer is never as satisfying as hearing the chink! of real money.)

How do you encourage your kids to save? What method works best for your family travel goals?

Cheers!

20140411-115521.jpg

The Quilt Tops are not a band

Here are the three quilt tops:

20140318-194021.jpg

20140318-194034.jpg

20140318-194045.jpg

Up next: borders, cutting 300 miles of bias binding, making the quilt sammichez, quilting, binding, and then, my dear friends, the mailing.

It sound like a lot, but it really is all pretty skate from here. Fingers crossed for an April Fools’ Day arrival!

Pin Cushion Ring

People do do really dumb things after midnight.

Drive-thru wedding in Vegas, drunk tattoo, pink faux-hawks, watch CNN…

I cruise Pinterest like a pigeon trolling for popcorn. “pin ALL the projects I’ll never do!” and “save ALL the funny and relevant memes!”.

Except I couldn’t sleep tonight and I found this super-cute pin. And I gathered this stuff:

20140309-234153.jpg

And murdered an innocent medicine cup. Because reasons.

20140309-234245.jpg

Then I cut some scrap material into a shape vaguely resembling a roundish sort of a curvy circle-wanna-be, then stitched the world’s lamest running stitch.

20140309-234423.jpg

I gathered the thread up a bit (it sort of resembled a Nelly Olson bonnet. I always hated Nelly Olson.) and stuffed it with some fluff I found on the floor. (Don’t judge. I have fluff on the floor.) …pulled the thread tight, made a little noose (kind of sad, really) and made this:

20140309-234704.jpg

It was at this point that I realized that the murder of the medicine cup was unnecessary. I expect Dexter to be here any minute.

Then I remembered that I have a thimble that I hate. Behold, the Hated Thimble of Doom::::.

20140309-234839.jpg

I put some hot glue in the bottom, then crammed some
Little Scrappy Bits in there to add some height.

20140309-235038.jpg

20140309-235048.jpg

Then I added more hot glue and then crammed the little beheaded Nelly Olson down into the top.

20140309-235145.jpg

20140309-235154.jpg

I don’t have any ring-making supplies (thank Sauron for that!) but I have a whole pant-load of hair ties. I found one, conveniently, on my wrist because I always have a hair tie on my wrist. I secured it in double (grammar much? nope.) with thread. .

20140309-235351.jpg

20140309-235358.jpg

There are few things in life that terrify me more than Gorilla Glue. However, because I really wanted to make this project work and because I have the world’s pissiest little glue gun, I felt like being brave.

20140309-235718.jpg

20140309-235726.jpg

Gorilla Glue and fingers just don’t mix.

20140309-235803.jpg

After drying and checking to be sure my fingers wouldn’t have to be melted off my hand because of the GG, I can proudly show you that I made this:

20140309-235913.jpg

…and I think I’ll take up a collection so I can go get a manicure. Sheeeeesh…

Anyway, here’s a very non-contrived, non-artsy-fartsy close-up.

20140310-000026.jpg

supplies used
thimble, glue gun, Gorilla Glue, stuffing, 4×4 scrap of muslin, hair elastic, thread, needle, scissor, Purple Thang (yes, that’s what it’s called.) Medicine Cup to murder is optional.

Come Along, Audrey

This week I played with push-pins and did this:

20140301-105104.jpg

I’ve had that canvas for a long time, it was just collecting dust.

I also had this canvas:

20140301-105229.jpg

The original plan was to make a larger version of the “beach” canvas, but then I sat down and watched the doctor who Christmas special and started to draw.

20140301-105350.jpg

This is how it progressed:

20140301-105424.jpg

20140301-105440.jpg

20140301-105455.jpg

20140301-105506.jpg

I just can’t bring myself to stick it with cup hooks and pins. It’s called “Come Along, Audrey”.

Now I’d really better get back to work. :) Allons-y!

20140301-105919.jpg

Idiot Quilt, pt 8: Pockets!

I love me some snuggles on the couch. A cup of hot tea, the love of my life, and a long movie (preferably British.) A heavy quilt makes the snuggles extra cozy.

If a person is going to watch TV, remote controls are almost mandatory. Which means they need to be handy. Which means they will probably get lost down The Bermuda Triangle inside the couch cushions.

So… I made quilt squares with pockets!! Check it out:

20140226-114334.jpg

Knowing my Idiot friends, these will probably end up as Oreo holders, but that’s for them to explain to Coach. I would like it noted that the officially sanctioned purpose of pockets on a quilt is for remote holding. Any contraband usage falls under the I didn’t see anything file.

The Idiot Kwilts are progressing!

Gotta go. I have a run on the schedule and after Coach’s 24 hour treadmill groove, I don’t see slacking anywhere in my future. Happy Running, Idiots!

20140226-114647.jpg

Red Puke at Night

It’s midnight. The children are asleep , the house is dark, locked up tightly, and our two new sugar gliders are making more noise than orangutans in a drum shop. Honestly, the little bastards aren’t any bigger than my hand and they could drive a zombie to eat itself.

20 minutes ago the 5 year old had a coughing fit and puked up the red (!) Popsicle I’d given him to help his sore throat. Some water, a cracker, Tylenol and Benadryl = sleeping through the tiny marsupial mosh pit going on less than 2 yards away.

The dog is stressed about the new animals. She tries to sniff them and she gets a cursing that only a sugar glider can give. I can’t even describe the sound … It’s like … It’s like … Cicadas and nails on a chalkboard. She whines, either because she wants a giant wheel of her own or because she knows how grouchy I get if I don’t rest.
“Shut up!”, she moans, “Don’t you understand?! The Woman requires rest! You’re dooming us all!”

Adaptability is an interesting thing… Why haven’t these animals adapted to a day-time life? Don’t they know that nothing good happens after midnight?

20140224-001807.jpg

20140224-002321.jpg

We’re still trying to come up with names on which the whole family can agree. Their given names are Romeo and Juliett, but I don’t like that. I’m not sure a name will ever be finalized, as the cat we used to have ended up being called Panda Spider Rainbow Sparkles.

Top Contenders:
Todd and Todd
Boss Hog and Daisy Duke
Amy and Rory
Thing 1 and Thing 2
Little Bitey Meany Heads
Han and Leia

20140224-002750.jpg

I hand fed them some blueberries earlier… Maybe blueberries are like meth to sugar gliders and that’s why they’re in their wheels, speeding their tiny little butts off. Maybe no more blueberries…

Wikipedia says they are “gliding opossums”. Fricking gliding opossums!! In my house! On purpose and everything! If that doesn’t sounds like the stuff of disturbed dreams, man, I don’t know…

Happy midnight and may all your mosh pits be marsupial mosh pits. …’cos they are the cutest mosh pits, after all…

20140224-003007.jpg

Here’s an image from the web-er-net. It shows the glide-y-ness of the gliding opossum.

20140224-003930.jpg

There has to be some sort of superhero quote for this…

20140224-014121.jpg

20140224-014130.jpg

Saturday Morning Muffins

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think real life should start before noon. Mornings are for hard-core souls who do crazy things like sign up for Polar Bear Swims and chest waxing.

Children. Children under the age of 11 still like mornings. No concept of sleeping in. Their eyes open, they stretch, jump out of bed (or roll over because I can’t ever have my bed to myself), and chirp, “I’m hungry! Can I watch TV?” at which point their knobby little knees finally dislodge from my spine.

Here’s what I made for breakfast this morning before my eyes were functioning and I’d only had two cups of tea:

20140222-091908.jpg

Saturday Morning Muffins
(aka: leave mommy alone until she has a nap and more coffee muffins)

2 eggs
2 of the world’s gnarliest & most frighteningly ripe bananas
1/4c whole milk
2c oats
1tsp Vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
1TBSP coconut oil
2TBSP wheat germ
1TBSP chia seeds
1TBSP baking powder
3/4c flour
a whole bunch of honey (I didn’t measure. I was sleepy.)
1/2 bag of white chocolate chips (to bribe the children into submission

1) preheat oven to 350F

2) spray a muffin tin with non-stick stuff (I used a 6 large-muffin tin)

3) throw all the ingredients in the mixing bowl (remember to peel the bananas and crack the eggs. …hey, I’m not judging you.) and mix on a low setting until you remember that the mixer is going and maybe you were cooking something.

4) scoop the batter into your tin, remembering that this stuff will puff up about and inch. I used all the batter in one batch, but you go on with your bad self and make more than one batch. You. Wild. Thang.

5) bake for 20-25 minutes or until you’re pretty sure you won’t give your family salmonella poisoning from under-done eggs.

6) watch half an episode of Oscar’s Oasis while you wait for the muffins to cool in the pan.

7) listen to the sounds of happy munching while the kids nosh and you finally get to drink coffee in peace.

20140222-092817.jpg

Idiot Quilt, pt7

It’s been a hot minute since I updated my Idiot Homies on ye olde kwilt status. Honestly, there were 5 straight days wherein I did zero quilt work. Overnight shifts at work, Army stuff, and, I confess, a book.

Dracula by Bram Stoker. I’ve read it a gazillion times but I like van Helsing and the way he speaks. Once a book is started, it must be finished. It’s a rough life, choosing between quilting and reading.

Add in a few long-ish workouts, kid stuff, laundry…days get away. poof!

Here’s what my needle has been finishing tonight:

20140220-225209.jpg

Tomorrow I’ll square up the last of the shirts I’ve received. Saturday begins the piecing, designing, and arranging.

Cheers, Idiots! Happy running!

Fake, Fakety-Fake-Fake Blogger

That awkward moment when:

You know someone in real life and then you read their blog and you don’t recognize them. At all.

I hope that when my friends read the crap I send out into cyberspace they can recognize me. I hope my best friend says, “yep. yert said that.” and that my neighbor can say, “yeah, I saw her actually do that.”

Fake bloggers, whether mommy, fitness, foody, spiritual…whatever, fake bloggers make the world a really shitty place. They are worse than the air-brushed magazine pictures. At least we know to expect lies from magazines. We don’t expect lies from people who are using their real voice to share with us. We don’t expect lies from people who are supposed to be helping us.

Unattainable comparatives. You are you and I am me and spreading candy-coated drivel in order to attain sponsors and internet fame is on-line with Lance Armstrong’s doping. Lies. Promises and lies and those who really know are puking on their screens.

If you know me, feel free to call me out if I ever pretend to be something I’m not.

Bitches be trippin’.

20140213-094140.jpg

…and bloggers who lie.

Idiot Quilt, pt6: Dresden Plate

This is my first ever ever ever Dresden plate:

20140207-092531.jpg

…guess which Idiot gets this one? ;)

I used the material left over from the backs of the shirts to make the petals; it seemed a terrible waste to toss perfectly good material. I’ll make two more of these. …and then I may never make another Dresden plate as long as I live.

All the t-shirts I’ve received so far have been made into blocks and are ready to go. Over the next couple of days I’ll cut material for sashing borders, then after the final shirts get here… boom!

…more sewing.

Enough stitching for now. I’m going for a run! Because, you know, it’s cold and raining and I’m an Idiot. :)