Posts Tagged ‘love’

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A Quilt for James

January 23, 2014

Ah, my third and final nephew of the year.  My sister – as you all know from her previous post – gave birth to her sweet baby boy, James, in December.  I had picked out the fabric for this quilt before knowing what gender she was having, but I based in on colors she was featuring in the nursery.  I think it turned out adorable – if I do say so myself.

James' Quilt

James’ Quilt

It actually took me quite a while after purchasing the fabric to decide on my final design of the quilt.  I wanted each nephew to have a different pattern, so I picked rectangles and spent hours doing calculations to pick just the right size.  Each rectangle was cut 3″ x 7″.  This used the fabric so efficiently I had to NOT use one row to ensure my backing fabric fit!  All-in-all, the quilt came together better than I expected.  Especially because this was also the first time I made my own binding – which I LOVE on this quilt.

James' Quilt Back and Binding

James’ Quilt Back and Binding

I had a great time making all of these sweet nephew quilts, and I’m excited to watch them grow up (with the quilts, of course!).

Until next time…Enjoy.

Sarah

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A Quilt for Carter

January 20, 2014

Hey Everyone,

As you may notice, I have a bit of a theme going on here… I was blessed with three new nephews last year, and they each got their own quilt.  My other half’s sister had her sweet little boy in November – Carter Lee.  Below is the baby quilt I made just for him.  I used a combination of fat quarters and regular cuts of fabric as well as a sweet, faux satin baby quilt binding to finish it off!

Carter's Quilt

Carter’s Quilt

Carter's Quilt Back

Carter’s Quilt Back

Enjoy.

Sarah

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Home is Where Mom Is

May 13, 2013

Hello world,

I have been MIA, I know.  I have no excuse.  But today, I want to drag Mother’s Day out one more day and share some words about my sweet mother. Side note: I haven’t been at the top of my game in composition recently, so bear with me as I try to articulate my thoughts.

Those of you who know me personally have most likely met my mother.  She is a shining ray of sunlight that lights up every room she enters.  I have yet to meet a person who didn’t just love my mother the moment their smiles met!  For me, she has always been the guiding force in my life.  “Mom knows best” is a phrase I’ve always held close to me.  If mom thought something, she was almost ALWAYS right.  If she didn’t like someone, they were probably bad news.

My mom has always been the one to hold our family together.  She cherishes each one of us beyond limits.  And we cherish her the same.  Her past year has been the hardest, as you probably know, but she remains the center of our world.  A guide, a friend, a sweet hug, or sweet kisses.

This post hardly even scratches the surface of how important my mom is to our family.  She deserves the world and we hope we make her proud everyday!

To all the other mothers and mothers-to-be in my life, you are really something special too.  A friend posted yesterday and commented how much she loved seeing everyone say their mama was the best because that’s the way it should be, and I completely agree!  You are the best and I hope you know it!

Happy Mother’s Day, ladies.
-Amanda

ps. I made my mother’s day gift so I’ll try to blog about it Thursday!

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The loss of a grandfather

April 1, 2013

Hello readers,

A week ago Sunday was 6 months since my dad passed away. It is still very surreal, as if he’s away on work or out running an errand. At this landmark in our family history, we reach another moment: my mother’s dad passing away two days later, March 26th, 2013.

My mom’s dad has always been one of my favorite people in this world. There is not a memory I have with him that doesn’t make me smile, laugh, or cry (in the best way). I want to take a short post here to tell you about how special this man is and a few of the wonderful things he taught me during my life.

Grandpa

Grandpa

My grandfather was a cabinet maker by trade though very skilled and talented in many ways. He enlisted in the Navy at 17 during WWII and was stationed in the Pacific. He was a carpenter and helped repair Higgins boats. It was such a treat to go to the WWII museum in New Orleans with him and hear him talk about repairing the boats in front of the actual boats. After the war, he returned home to marry his wife, of now 65 years. I won’t elaborate on how the rest of the story goes except they had 5 beautiful children together and have lived in the same house forever. Grandpa worked multiple jobs to give his wife and kids a good life. Speed ahead in the story and find beautiful marriages and children being born.

Many of my youngest memories are from my grandparents’ house. Grandma makes the best roast, mashed potatoes, rice, and veggies you’ve ever eaten. Grandpa used to take us to his workshop to build things or play in his office. After a long day of playing on the patio, working in the yard, or helping grind green peppers, Grandpa would pile us into his truck , make a stop at the corner shop for an Icee before heading up the levee to drive along the river, look at horses, count the peacocks, or whatever other adventures came our way.

My grandpa was a hardworking man. I would bet that is the most common word used to describe him, besides caring. My grandpa cared. He was an old fashioned, southern gentlemen. He always waved to everyone who passed, he helped people when they needed it, and he loved his family.

A few pieces of advice he always had for us are clear in this moment of remembrance. I remember as a kid flippantly saying “sorry” and Grandpa stopping me and telling me to only say I was sorry if I meant it and didn’t intend on doing it again. It made me stop to think about what the word sorry really means. I think about that lesson all the time (though I’m sure I say sorry and repeat my mistakes).

The other piece of advice or really words to live by were “Every dark cloud has a silver lining.” I think those words ring true more so today than ever before. As we celebrate my grandfather’s life and honor him, we can look to the silver lining. Though he is not with us on this earthy world any longer, he is with us in our hearts, minds, and all our beings.

I speak for myself when I say I would not be the person I am today without having a Grandpa like this. Looking forward I hope to instill the same values into my children and I know my mother will do the same into her grandchildren.

My cup runneth over,
-Amanda

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The hardest year I have yet to experience.

February 24, 2013

Hello readers.

I have been without my father for 5 months today. He was the rock of our family. I know we will make it and survive without him, and that we are better because he was our father, husband, uncle, friend. I gave the eulogy at my father’s funeral. I am not going to share it because it is personal to those who knew him, but I often think about all the lessons he taught me whether it was how to fix a toilet, how to do my taxes, or how to treat other people. His lessons, talents, and love are all around me in my everyday actions. I know those of you who have lost a father, or close friend or family member, probably understand these feelings and thoughts.

The past year has been one of the hardest I have yet to experience. I was honored to help take care of my dad during his fight with cancer and miss him everyday. Some days are much harder than others. I talk to him a lot. I think of my dad as my angel who takes care of me from up above. I imagine him with my sister’s dog who passed away last year and with his parents and others we love who have passed away.

The past year has been one of the hardest some those around me have yet to experience. Within the past year, at least 5 co-workers have been somehow touched or affected by cancer or something terminal. Within the past year, at least 4 former co-workers have lost a parent. I am not sure how many more were affected by something similar, but I’m sure more, but life is real and sometimes I think reflecting on those feelings, experiences, and emotions are what bring us together as a community.

The past year has been one of the hardest for those I don’t even know have yet to experience. I know this blog is very happy and upbeat, but life is real and sometimes I think reflecting on those feelings, experiences, and emotions are what bring us together as a community.

Thanks to everyone who checks in, distracts, or carries on with life. You are inspiring, helpful, and my rock.

Happy memories,
Amanda

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Valentine’s Day Garland

February 14, 2013

Hello Hello!

As I have explained previously, I am in love with Valentine’s day.  While my previous blogs have been love related, this one is straight up Valentine’s, and what more appropriate day to post on than Valentine’s day!  I hope your day is filled with lots of love from all around.  Seriously, spread love and find love in everything you do!  Today my love is particularly strong for my family.  I wouldn’t get through life without them and this past year has been one for the books and one we need to overcome with love.  So I dedicate this Valentine’s day to my beautiful mom, sisters, husband, extended family, and in-laws.  Love is what makes the world go round.

Ok, enough of that sappy stuff, and let’s get down to business.  I made what I would consider one of the cutest felt garlands for this Valentine season.  I have purchased many a felt garland in my life, but have been obsessing over the opportunity to make one on my own.

Valentine's Garland Template

Valentine’s Garland Template

I did this one the old fashion way and created a template out of a folder and cut it out of two colors of felt.  Easy!

Valentine's Garland Template

Valentine’s Garland Template

The next step was to lay them out in a pattern and stitch them together.  I used a cream thread because I like the way it stands out, and I was a little bit lazy about changing my sewing machine thread.  ek!  Anyway, I pumped out three sets of these garlands, each a varying length.

Valentine's Felt Heart and X Garland

Valentine’s Felt Heart and X Garland

They are all over my house and I can’t wait to make more garlands out of felt!  I think I’ll need to design some for every holiday.  Psst: I have a secret.  I have purchased a die cutting machine and I can’t wait till it arrives!  I am going to be pumping out all kinds of felt garlands!  I’ll do a whole blog about my new toy, don’t worry!

 

Valentine's Felt Heart and X Garland

Valentine’s Felt Heart and X Garland

What kind of garlands do you like?  Leave a comment letting me know what holiday is your favorite to decorate for!

Happy Valentine’s Day!
-Amanda

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Party Time: Travel Theme!

February 11, 2013

Hello all,

To carry on the love theme of February (I know some of these are a bit of a stretch), I want to share some of the fun crafts I made to celebrate the love of my Aunt and Uncle.  The theme was travel because these two lovebirds have traveled to so many cool places!  They’ve traveled to England, France, and Italy and coast to coast in the United States.  (I’m only slightly jealous.)

We threw a simple party, which you got a sneak peek of last week.  I went a little crazy with the paper crafts and made a paper chain and paper bunting out of two-sided antique map scrapbook paper.

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Supplies:
-One pack of scrapbook paper (map theme)
-I have a fancy paper cutting machine that helped ease the process, but you could easily cut with scissors.
-Stapler
-Sewing Machine
-Coordinating Thread

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Bunting Instructions
-Cut your scrapbook paper into isosceles triangles.  That’s the fancy way of saying cut them in the shape of a pennant.
-Determine the length of your bunting by either laying out the papers or measuring the short side and doing some quick math to figure out how many triangles you need to make the length bunting you want!  I can tell you I didn’t measure anything.  I just grabbed a pile of cut triangles and stitched away until I got to the end of my pile.  I divided my cut triangles into three uneven piles.

Sewing bunting

Sewing bunting

-Prepare your sewing machine with the appropriate thread and bobbin and start sewing!  I didn’t adjust anything on my machine and it turned out great.  Hint: Leave a trail of thread at the start and end so you can tie the bunting or tape it to let it swag.

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Extra! I made a small paper bunting to swag across my cake.  Just follow the above directions on a smaller scale!  Too cute!

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Paper Chain Instructions:
The paper chain is super easy.  We all made these as kids, right?  I just cut my 8 x 8 paper into 1 inch strips.  I looped each piece through the previous and stapled the overlap.  Once again, make these as short or as long as you’d like!  I found the 1 inch width to be perfect!  Too fat and they don’t move or bend easily.

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Happy Travels.
-Amanda