Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I like going to plays, like watching my son in The Music Man.

My son came to me one day and said he wanted to try out for the school play. A few days later, he came home and said he had signed up for tryouts. The next week, he came home and said he had made it. Well, since I was in school myself, I didn't have time to really talk to him about it and help him or take him. He just did it all by himself.

Thanks to a play member's mom who is a photographer, we all have access to hundreds of great pictures from the play. Here's just a few. My son is the man reading the newspaper in the blue shirt and vest.

My favorite song of the musical, Pick-a-Little. I had to share one of these pictures to show you how fabulous the girls dresses were. They were so bright and colorful, and I LOVED their hats.

76 Trombones . . .

Cast and crew . . .

Second, I love to play by making things. I always have a project list going on, and always add more before I'm close to finishing current projects. I like crafts, like the earring holders and watch bands I made last week. And I love making clever gifts.

Last week was teacher my appreciation week. Here is the treat we gave our teachers this year. I found this and lots other great ideas at Room Mom 101.

Last, I have a whole room devoted to my playing. It is the largest bedroom (besides the master bedroom) in the house, and it has the biggest closet (3x bigger than mine). It is my craft room, and I live in there. It has a key lock so I can keep kids out while I'm working, and so I can use it as a hiding place for gifts and surprises, plus keep little hands out of my works-in-progress. The key stays on me at all times, it is so valuable, I protect it better than my phone or camera.

I like to play at sewing. I did sew 2 more quilt tops, with this bright fabric, and completely finished machine quilting and binding one of the 2 for my mom for Mother's Day. It turned out so cute, I love it. I am definitely going to keep the other for myself. I did a darker green (like a grass green) on the back of her quilt, and will be putting a darker purple on mine. Sorry, no finished pictures, I tried killing another camera. I had a water bottle pop open in my bag and spill almost 2 cups of water in my purse, soaking my camera. Luckily, I was able to save it by placing it in a bag of rice (open, take out battery and SD card) and it works again. It just wasn't available on Sunday when I finally finished and rushed out the door to visit my mom. I'll post pictures when I finish the next one.

I ended up cutting 6" strips, 72" long, taking 1/2" seam allowances, making each strip 5" finished. I quilted it on my little home sewing machine by pinning like crazy (~400 pins), rolling up the ends to start in the middle, and doing a wavy line down each seam. It took a lot longer than I ever thought it would, but it turned out perfect. Now my mom has a picnic quilt to take to the park with grandkids in her new wagon (Mother's Day gift from me and my siblings).

I firmly believe every one needs to play. Not just little kids. Adults, too. Hubby would agree. He's the first to tell you he's just a big kid. He likes to play outside, especially in the dirt. In fact, we're heading to Moab to play jeep safari.

So, what do you like to do to play?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Back to the Land of the Living . . .

After a most successful semester (4.0 for the first time ever in college), I am finally back to the land of the living. I have finally had time this week to work on projects that I love to do. I've read a pile of books, made jewelry, watches, and earring holders, covered lampshades, helped a friend clean her garage, and sewed 2 dressed, hemmed 2 pairs of pants, remade a shirt, and sewed a quilt top. And that's just been the past week! I am on a roll. So, let me share a few things with you.

First up, these fast and easy earring holders. I've needed jewelry storage for a long time, and saw this cute idea months ago (somewhere online, sorry I don't know where or I'd give credit where it's due). The ones I saw were simply the color the frame came in (almost white), but I thought it would be easy to customize them. Mine? Red, of course. I made me 2, but I could probably use a few more.

Here's how:
First, gather a stand up frame (these are from IKEA for $0.99), plastic canvas (~$1.50, will make 9, I think), and paint (the Fusion works best on plastic, ~$4)

Second, open the frame, twist the frame onto the stand, and spray paint.

Third, use the plastic insert to measure your plastic canvas. I think I got 9 out of one sheet. Throw out the plastic when you're done, unless you can think of another use for it.

Last, when the paint is dry, drop in the plastic. This purple is for my daughter, and a matching one went to her friend for the friend's birthday (along with some earrings). What a simple, personalized gift.

And, my daughter couldn't wait to add her earrings, even though she doesn't have her ears pierced, yet. (She has to wait till her next birthday, but a friend gave her these earrings and she's been saving them.)

My next project is a few quilts. Now, this is a twin sized quilt: 72 x 90. It took 2 yds each of the three fabrics. I cut 11" strips from the length (72"). There's one strip of each color left over for fun pillows, bags, or other projects. I love the bold primary colors, each with a different black pattern. Polka dots on the red, butterflies on the yellow, and swirls on the blue. The back of the quilt will be a black on black fabric to tie them all together. I love the big bold chunks of color. Perfect for a picnic.

Now, I'm stuck. Here's the fabric for my next quilt, and want something along the same lines as the primary colored one. But, I'm a little OCD - I can't do random - I want each strip to be the same size, and each color to have an equal number of strips. But I want BIG, BOLD color. So, with 6 colors, how many strips? What size? Or should I do squares? Any suggestions?

Now, a teaser . . . I'm having a blast making watches and matching earrings. Instructions to come. This is the one I was wearing today.