Category Archives: shopping

A different kind of stash

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More than medicine, I stash a lot of fabric.  A ridiculous amount of fabric if you ask my husband! In three years time, I’ve accumulated enough to make at least two dozen quilts.  But out of all of the tubs of fabric I have stacked all over my sewing room, I have very few prints with primary colors.  I also have very few prints that match the current decor of our home.  Or look anything like the clothes I wear.  I’ve figured out that I decorate and dress way more conservatively than what is actually my style, if that makes any sense.  I LOVE big, splashy, colorful prints by Anna Maria Horner and Heather Bailey.  I am head over heels about the Joel Dewberry Heirloom line.  And yet I have monotone cream curtains in our living room.  And an (ugly) khaki colored couch.  And plain green placemats.  And a wardrobe of solid color shirts and sweaters.  It’s kind of weird. I think I’m scared to take risks perhaps?  Who knows.

Anyways, the lack of a solid color stash has become a bit problematic because I am dying to make this lovely quilt for Devan’s bedroom, when we finally get around to getting him a twin bed.  Isn’t it fabulous?  And take a look at Alex’s version, which is also fabulous as usual.  I’ve been coveting it since she first posted it on flickr and knew it was one I wanted to shamelessly copy.  I LOVE the colors of both quilts, and I think it’s a really timeless design that will work just as well for a 16 year old as a 4 year old. Luckily for me, the awesome pez print that was used in both circle quilts has been resurrected, and monotone pez will be available in January. (As will the Flea Market Fancy reprint, I am going to be in heaven!!!)

I want Devan’s quilt to be mostly green and orange to match his room, but with a little rust red, goldenrod, and dark blue.  I’m unsure about adding white, but we’ll see. I received this fun package in the mail this week, and I’m starting to get excited!!

Here’s what I have pulled so far…

A few more months of collecting and I’ll be ready to go.  Hopefully it’s one I can finish before Devan turns five.

And speaking of the stash, I finally bought some far far away III girls with horses print. My childhood best friend and I spent countless hours playing horses, and riding horses, and drawing horses.  I loved this print from the moment I saw it, but couldn’t justify spending $20+/yard plus shipping.  And then sew mama sew had it for $10 and I bought their very last yard.  And someday, when Leah hopefully loves horses like I did, I can make her something with this.  She’s already been carrying it around the house, so it’s looking good. 

And wow, it feels good to blog about something that makes me happy!

The lack of self control

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First of all, you all will make me sad if you don’t want to read my book.  Don’t be so shy, I promise I won’t make you write a book report or anything.  Great stories so far, I’m glad some of you like the great outdoors. Ahem.

A few weeks ago I sorted and cleaned up my guest room/sewing room and organized my fabrics.  And when I sorted through the stacks and stacks of gorgeous fabric and placed them into my tubs I started to feel guilty that I had so much and I’m not getting around to using it.  And I decided I needed to stop buying new fabric and start using what I had first.

That feeling lasted for all of one week. Maybe not even that.

A few weeks ago, I ordered a yard of Inncoent Crush fabric online for $6/yard to make Leah a sundress.  When this line first came out, I HATED it and I only bought this particular fabric because it was on sale and I thought it would make a nice dress.  Then when I saw the fabric, I started to like it.  Then I started to think about it while at work.  Then I noticed that the fabric was getting harder to find online.  Then I obsessed over it. And then decided I HAD to have it.  All in the span of 48 hours.

And less than 48 hours after that I had two packages on my doorstep, full of Innocent Crush plus a stack of Hope Valley that I ordered in the wrong colorway.  So I kept it and ordered another stack.  See how this is going?

And I would stop there, but I can’t.  Because I saw that there is a new collection called “Celebrate Seuss!” and I want to make Devan a quilt out of that because he LOVES Cat in the Hat.  Honestly, if I were to make Devan the quilt he really wanted, it would have character prints of The Cat in the Hat, and Spongebob, and Dora, Buzz Lightyear, Lightning McQueen of course, and probably Thomas the Train and Bob the Builder for good measure.  It would be hideous and I coudln’t bring myself to do it, it would go against every design sensibility I have. But man, would he love something like that.  Seuss prints, I can live with that.  Some nice solid blocks with a small fussy cut of Fish, or Thing One and Thing Two?  I can work with that.

I just need to order another $45 fabric stack and I’ll be all set.  For real.  Until next week.

And now, just because I only have a handful of posts labeled “Leah” and that is embarassing, here is a picture of Leah that has nothing to do with anything except for that she is cute with her itty bitty teeth and now I can tag this “Leah” and help her catch up to Devan’s tally.

Now, go enter my book giveaway, darn it.

Passion vs. Addiction

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I just paid $20/yard to buy myself some of this lovely Viewfinder Reel fabric from the Ruby Star Rising line by Melody Miller.

Because I LOVE IT. Just like I love all the other fabric I’ve been buying lately and yes, even I am beginning to admit that I have a problem. An addiction. A compulsive desire to shop for fabric every hour of every day. And I am starting to admit that I will never get over because there is gorgeous fabric like this that I HAVE TO HAVE. Even if I do eat rice and beans for the next few months. But, viewfinders!! I love viewfinders! (On a related note, what on earth am I going to make with this??)

Thoughts for Spring

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March 21st. This means it is officially spring, as of yesterday, which also means that life will now be perfect for our family for at least the next two seasons. I’ve decided this, and it will be true.

Which has me wondering, why is it forecasted to rain on our little vacation? What do you do inside a lodge with a 3.5 year old and a 9 month old?

Which also has me wondering, maybe we don’t want to take the 9 month old with us. Any takers?

Also, randomly, even though I promised and swore up and down to my husband that I would stop spending so much money on stuff we don’t need I found myself ordering $70 worth of fabric yesterday from Sew Mama Sew, because it was on sale and beautiful and I couldn’t imagine my life without it. That constitutes need, right?

And I’m guessing any time now, Craig’s coworkers are going to see him pick up the phone and give his wife a ring: “What?????”

Just kidding about that last part. He’s a good sport. And more the e-mail type.

A tale of four boots

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I think I will take a break from any meaningful or enlightened musings (and complaining) to write about something completely stupid and irrelevant- my boots.

I own two pairs* of black boots. (*two pairs so long as we are talking about tall black boots. The rest don’t count.)

This is the first pair. I bought them on clearance at least two years ago from a cheap-o shoe store. They are cheaply made, fake leather, no support, and absolutely no traction on the soles. I’ve completely wiped out twice just this winter while wearing these very boots. They are sort of an off-black color, are no longer in style, are horribly scuffed, caked in dirt and salt, and look like total crap.

This is the second pair. They are Michael Kors. They sell for $500 from Nortstrom. I did not buy them for that, because I would never in my life pay so much money for a pair of shoes when there is e-bay. Next to new for next to nothing, I love it. So yes, these are some high quality designer boots. Beautiful leather, well made, no scuffs, the perfect height and they go with everything. They were the steal of the century for only $24. They are gorgeous and I love them. That is, I love to look at them and admire how gorgeous they are.

But do you know what? I hate wearing them. I can not for the life of me get the dang things off once they are wedged on my feet. Yesterday, I about fell out of a dressing room as I tugged and tugged on these stupid beautiful boots, trying to get them off from a standing position. They don’t want to leave me feet.

And it’s not just this pair, I also bought a pair of gorgeous, and I mean GORGEOUS Frye boots that I have been coveting forever. But they won’t come off my feet either. They make me want to say curse words. And I don’t have huge feet, I wear a size 5.5. All of my fake leather boots from Target fit just fine and pop right off. So when I am ready to head out the door guess which boots I pick? Yep, the cheap-o crappy boots. I guess at least I didn’t spend $500 on the nice boots, no wonder they were on e-bay.

Well, that’s the entirety of this post. There is no moral to the story. I’m just saying I don’t like wearing my pretty boots.

The Art of Compromise

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We’ve known for over a year that we were going to need to replace the two-door Pontiac Sunfire when another kiddo arrived. It’s ridiculous enough trying to get a toddler wedged back there, let alone cram an infant seat in as well.

This is one of those stories where I have to pause and admit that sometimes, once in awhile, your parents are right. Because way back in college when I had Dad car shop for me I ignored his advice that the type of car I was looking for would not work well for a family. I think I responded that situation was a loooooooooong way off and I hardly needed to worry about it at the time. Honda Civic? No thanks- get me the car with the sunroof, please. 6 years went by really quickly, I’ll just say that.

So, the past year I’ve been getting email car advertisements forwarded to me from Craig that go something like this:

One owner Corolla, runs great, practical, perfect car for a first time driver! $3,000.

And then he would get an ad forwarded from me that went something like this:

Volkswagon Jetta. Power sunroof, heated leather seats, silver. $12,000.

And then he would sent me this:

Honda Civic, nothing wrong with car just bought a new one. Tan, clean interior, impeccable maintenance. $1,800.

And then I would send him this:
Toyota Highlander Hybrid. Low mileage. Power Sunroof, heated leather seats, 6 CD changer, navigation system. $26,000.

So, we didn’t make a whole lot of progress. I think we sent car possibilities to each other about every week for a year. I would delete his, I’m not sure if he even read mine. I will admit that I didn’t want to spend a fortune on a car because I needed that extra disposable income for my fabric/plants/book/etsy addiction. But I also wasn’t totally sold on the idea of exchanging one 2 door piece of junk for a 4 door piece of junk. And is it really too much to ask for leather?

Last Friday I got an e-mail from Craig with a short list of cars that would work for us, and his top pick. I skipped my precious nap that afternoon and did some research on the links he sent me and would you believe it? I agreed with him. So Saturday morning we got up, loaded up the 9 day old infant and toddler and went car shopping. And then we bought one. Just like that. I think we spend more time researching a $30 toy for Devan that we did this particular purchase, but somehow I pretty sure we found the perfect car for us after a year of indecision.
We bought a 2005 Ford Freestyle, a car I had never heard of until last Friday. It’s used and therefor less expensive, so that appeals to Craig, along with it’s good reliability ratings and low mileage.

It appeals to me because it seats six and more importantly- has leather and a sunroof.

I would attach a picture but I am too lazy to get up and go take one so here is one I found on the Internet that makes it look cool (ours is blue):

And now, if you will excuse me, I am going to go drive my oversized vehicle loaded with strollers and car seats around Johnson County because now we officially fit in in the suburbs.

Kansas City Favorites

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For my fellow Kansas City readers, these a few places I really think you should know about.

1. Door to Door Organics. You may have heard of them by now, there has been a lot of buzz. We signed up a few weeks ago and we LOVE it. The concept is that each week, you get a box of organic (and to the greatest extent possible-local) fruit and vegetables. You can pick from 4 sizes of boxes, and opt to recieve just veggies, just fruit, or a mixed box. We have tried a small mixed box, and now are getting the “bitty” size- though I think we would have no trouble using up produce from the larger sizes. The produce is fresh, clean, and delicious. The best strawberries I have had in a looooong time!! You can skip a week, swap out items you don’t like or couldn’t use, or change your box size. The website explains it all pretty thoroughly.

I absolutely love to cook and having a drawer full of fresh produce each week makes it easy to make healthier meals. And the artificially cheap fruits and veggies from the grocery store coated with who knows what always make me a little nervous. Especially the apples that come with a 1/4″ coating of wax, I find that really gross. But I am also somewhat cheap and so I can not bring myself to pay $5 for a tiny pint of overripe organic strawberries when I can get a giant clamshell full of Driscols for $2. Now I don’t have to worry about it- great organic produce AND reasonable prices. Do I sound like an advertisement or what? Check it out!!

2. Old Time Pottery. This is either a giant warehouse filed with junk or treasure, depending on your point of view. I think it is some of both. I like to make a semi-annual pilgrimage back to Independence to stock up on frames, vases, pots, and miscellaneous. They have everything under the sun for home decor and it is dirt cheap. Most of it is a little too country for my personal decorating style, but I never fail to fill my cart with treasures. I paid $4-6 each for some really nice wooden frames that originally sold at Bed, Bath, and Beyond for $20+. I sure love bargains. What are you waiting for? Check it out!!

3. SPIN! Pizza. Okay, we all know about this already. But gluten free crust, gourmet toppings, a wine list and gelato? Heaven! I can’t help but to mention it. Check it out again, and take me with you!!

Have a great (rainy) weekend my Kansas City friends! (And to everyone else as well, of course.)