Have you considered getting a special postmark for your valentine's day cards?  I think I'm going to do it this year.  You just mail an envelope, containing your valentine, to one of these postmasters.  They will postmark it with their special mark just for Valentine's Day and mail it back.

Here is an example of how to address your outer envelope:

Valentine Remailing
Heart Butte, MT 59448

And here is what that postmark has looked like in the past:
Courtesy: Silly Bee's Chickadees
Or maybe I'll try sending one to Valentine, NE!  Who knows :)  This makes me want to mail a ton to myself to see what they look like.
Just a little, simple Valentine for a big Valentine of mine:

Followed this tutorial and used a handy dandy yo yo maker I've had for years that was still in the original packing.  Really quick and easy!  Perhaps 15 minutes to make?  And I got to use some buttons I found at the Country Living Fair!

Robbie the Robot 2

Second time around!

I Love Ewe Onesie

I decided to make a cute onesie for Millie as a Valentine's day outfit.  I couldn't find anything cute, except for nauseating ones about Loving Mommy, Daddy, and everyone else.  I want something CUTE!  Not sickening...

So I decided to make one.  First, I cut out a picture of a sheep I liked and then traced that shape onto wonder under.  Then I ironed the wonder under onto a piece of minke white fabric (to make it seem more sheep-like, but to keep the white very white, I had to sew this onto a piece of felt).  Then I sewed the hooves onto the red onesie, and sewed the white sheep body on top, and added a face, tuft of hair, and ears.

I did the lettering the same way, but with black courderoy (wish I had regular black fabric, it would have made the letters cleaner).  I have a Cameo, but sadly all I've done is taken it out of the box, so this project was done by hand.  One lesson I learned?  Use interfacing when you try to sew on thin letters.  It will keep the jersey knit of the onesie from getting sucked into the bobbin area of your sewing machine.

Do you think it looks like a sheep?  If you would like, you could buy one of these onesies for your little one, just in time for Valentine's Day <3  Here's the link at my etsy shop.

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Another terribly late Christmas post.  I made this onesie for my baby, but it was really a "present" for my husband, who loves The Christmas Story.

Here was my pinterest inspiration:
I decided to only put the leg lamp on the onesie without the words.  I didn't have an easy way to trace and cut big letters.  I just used two separate colors for the lamp, offwhite and black.  I printed the picture from etsy, and blew it up to the size that would fit my onesie and cut the shapes.  I used wonder under to help all the shapes adhere to the fabric and sewed around all the shapes with a zig zag pattern.

What do you think? I think next year I'll have to add this to my shop so people can get their own Major Award :)

Merry Christmas!
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Lately, I've been getting a lot of blog traffic from North and South Dakota. Did you realize that blogs can bring in people from anywhere? I've had people visit from countries I never heard of, for things I didn't realize they'd want (Arby's coupons in particular), but I didn't expect a midwest flavor to my guests!!

What makes me even more happy to see those of you from the Dakotas is that some of my family hails from Valley City.
A) Valley City, ND B) Lake Ashtabula

On my father's line, his paternal grandparents met in Western North Dakota, at school. They got married there and rode horseback across the state for their honeymoon to Valley City, where they lived. We have lots of German relatives from there, including one ancestor who married into the Cale family. The Cales have a long history in Minnesota, and I was lucky enough to get letters from the Minnesota state archive about him and his wife and her children.

Turns out, they were farmers who wrote meticulous letters talking about their crops. At one point, a child of the wife said they spent a week with them at their farm and complained they lived like pigs in their prairie sod home! Later, they moved to a homestead that is now at the bottom of Lake Ashtabula.
Johann Baunig and Elizabeth Howery at the homestead circa 1874
It is like a scene straight out of Oh Brother, Where Art Thou!

My husband and I did get to take a roadtrip from Florida through the state of North Dakota in 2006 and it was marvelous. We even drove through Valley City, although we didn't have much time to look around. (And I have also spent about a week in South Dakota, as well. Don't want to forget about the sister state to the South.)

If you are from there or have family there, please leave a comment. I would love to find out more about where you are from! Perhaps long lost relatives are you!!!

Blankey Emergency Repair

Oh my little blankey!  Yes, I'm 31 (wait, is that right ?!?) and I still have my blankey.  This is not my *real* childhood blankey mind you, it is one that replaced one that replaced the original, but nonetheless I've had this one the longest.

One short story about why I still have it.  We went on a roadtrip from Florida, all the way to Washington State, and back.  We spent one night in Fargo, North Dakota, and I left the blankey in the hotel.  We were 3 hours West when I realized.  My sweet husband drove all the way back to the hotel to get it!  6 extra hours!!!  The hotel maid told me she understood...kids!  Hahaha!  I was a little embarrassed, but I still have my blankey.  And this is why it needs an emergency repair:

 So I decided to go for broke and remove the original print fabric and keep the tan fabric.  I wanted to mainly keep the tan fabric because it is pilled and I love the way that it feels.  You can tell in the dark which blanket is my blankey, amid the mass of blankets I have in the bed with me.  I'm a pile sleeper.  Under the pile sleeper actually.  So I used my trusty seam ripper and took the fabric off.
 Agh.  Oh well, that was a little hard, but you can see that this fabric really was a mess.  Then I decided I didn't want to completely lose it.  So I wasn't nearly as courageous as you would expect a 31 year old who still sleeps with her tattered blankey and won't just throw it away now that I'm married and have a baby...I still kept 2 pieces of the original print.  It's mainly because I love math and I love those ridiculous dogs and math problems.
 The new fabric was leaves on vines, much more adult like.  Which now makes me second guess keeping two squares of the original fabric, because I sewed them onto the more adult fabric on the front.  It looks a bit weird.
 But no one will want to steal my blankey now!
And I could always find mine!

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 Here's a quilt I finally finished for my friend's 3rd son, who was born just before Christmas!

Got the fabric for this quilt at the Country Living Fair in Atlanta, GA, back in October.  I loved the fair, and wish I had blogged more about this event.  I dragged my little one and my husband there, but we actually had a great time and the weather was fantastic.  It was a lot of fun seeing the top of Stone Mountain and riding the train.
At the fair's entrance, it was cold that weekend in Atlanta!

 FFA supplies.  My husband is an agriculture teacher and this was a neat find, although we didn't buy it.  If I had a house to furnish, I would have bought this for a kid's room though.
 There was a glass blower on site making their products, really neat to watch.
 A bowl of buttons.  All day I kept quiet and didn't say that I was looking for buttons.  Then I saw the pictures my husband took after we were back home.  ARGH - BUTTONS!  Never saw them so I didn't buy any.
 Cool tool box.
Top of Stone Mountain - baby fast asleep.

I am so inspired at these large fairs to see how people showcase their handmade items, their antiques, and their displays.  Everything was beautiful.  I'll definitely be going back to the next fair in 2012.  And I also want to get some of the creativity I feel when I'm at a fair like this into something concrete.  When I think about all the things I want to make, gah!  I'm overwhelmed.  I'm going to try to make some of these items in batches to perhaps sell at a local fair and see if I can get things going here with nasagreen :)

The fabric I chose was a more old-fashioned looking set of fabrics, smaller repeats and more soothing colors.  I got a bake stack, from Moda Bake shop designs, and a coordinating back for the quilt.  This was my inspiration, from pinterest (again, all my best ideas are from my biggest time drain).

One thing I focus on when making baby quilts is to make the quilt adult enough that the quilt can grow with the child and it can be a cherished possession past their childhood.  The reverse is that I don't want to make something that doesn't fit a baby either.  You should keep in mind the durability of the fabrics as well, because if the owner really LOVES the quilt, it will be dragged around by a corner of the quilt.  Corner fabric durability is also a high concern.  My littlest sister had a blankey that she kept with her (and still does) and the corners were her favorite part.  They held up pretty well, but finally gave way a few years ago.  We've done numerous emergency repairs to that blanket and it still is her favorite.

It didn't take long to make the quilt top and I just used a walking foot to machine quilt along the chevrons.  It was really simple and I got to use a little of my fabric stash for the binding fabric.  I also added a label on the back with his name.  I hope he becomes a math whiz when he grows up and really likes this quilt.

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Another handmade gift I made was for a friend with 3 boys.  The first boy is getting a cape, which I blogged about here.

The second boy is getting wonderful little handpuppets, which I found on pinterest (shocker) here.
Mine came out very close.  I found the sheep difficult and it took a long time to cut all the pieces.  I did make 2 sets, one for her son and one for my daughter, so that added cutting time.  But I think it was worth it.  A 3 year old will LOVE these!

Old McDonald

My daughter thought these were suspicious!

PS - Her 3rd son is still gestating, due December 20th and I am making a quilt, although I haven't cut any pieces for the top yet.  Looks like that will be a rush job!

UPDATE - Of course I'm way behind posting this so her son has been born...Jude Lane, and I'll be posting his quilt just as soon as she receives it!  No gift spoilers on this here blog!!!

2012 Year Goals

Since I'm trying to work on this blog, I figured I would make some concrete goals for the new year, to be more accountable to myself, and to *hopefully* have a great year end wrap up when we reach the end of this year as well.  I'm inspired by my friend, Amanda, and her blog post here.

Fireworks with the Family on New Year's Eve 2011

So, (and I begin a lot of sentences with the word so...apparently) here are my goals:

1.  Get coupons regularly on Sundays.  Already started this habit last Sunday.
2.  Buy the profit/FREE deals at CVS on Sundays.  All it takes is waking up 30 minutes earlier to go to the closest CVS and actually do the deals.
3.  Cook dinner at home at least 2x per week (this is a hard one).  I need to find recipes I like making, it would make it easier.
4.  Make a schedule to study for the PE Exam & follow the schedule.  Thankfully, this is in April so it won't take up time the entire year.  Unfortunately, I haven't started studying, and it is April.  Eeek!
5.  Make more items to sell on etsy.  I really need to get going on this, but I don't know where to get the time.
6.  Make Family Reunion quilt.  This is a quilt I got the pieces together for a family reunion held over July 4, 2009!  I'm so behind
7.  Get the house organized (mainly use closet space better).  We are going to rent where we are for another year (through March 2013) so we are definitely going to need to clean up and treat this house more like a home.  I'm focused on working on this, especially after the holidays.
8.  Blog at least once per week.  This really has been lacking for me, but I do have a full-time job and two part-time jobs.  I just have to squeeze out the blog posts about our lives more frequently and be sure to document what creativity I do produce to share with the world.  I would love to have a larger following and more community with my blog.