Sugar and Spice

September 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

Sugar and spice and everything nice, that’s what little girls are made of.

It’s so true and I’m thrilled that this quit is going to one of the sweetest little girls ever.

I finished the quilt for Ava and I love it! So does she, and more importantly, her mom.

I finished quilting and binding the quilt several weeks ago. Every time I’d grab it to take to my friend I remembered that the owl and birds had no eyes and the butterflies had no antennae. I drew those on with a Pigma pen.

I quilted with a simple straight line through the center of each strip. Larger strips had several quilting lines. I quilted around the trees, leaves, animals and flowers, too. The leaves have veins and the butterflies have little circles on their bodies. I’m not sure if you can see that in this picture, though, and now the quilt isn’t here for me to snap a photo of that. drat.

I sketched the tree, leaves, butterflies and owl on newsprint before transferring them to Steam-a-Seam lite and applying them to the background. Once the parts were ironed onto the background I stitched around them, then again when they were quilted. I suspect that this quilt will be heavily used and a little extra stability seemed like a good idea.

The entire quilt was pieced entirely from strips and scraps and fabric that I had in my stash. I have a lot of fabric and I’m trying to use up some of it. I did have to buy the beautiful striped batik for the binding but think it compliments the fabric nicely. What do you think?


I Love Making Quilts

September 19, 2011 § 2 Comments

I love making quilts.

I recently made a t-shirt quilt as a surprise from a mother to her son. Her son is eleven and the family moved rather unexpectedly. Rory has played a lot of youth baseball and Donna kept his jerseys through the years.

I added a few details from the shirts on the quilts

and received this note.


I just got home and TORE open the box.  Patty it is magnificent!!!  It is the most awe inspiring t-shirt quilt i have ever ever EVER seen.  It is so much more than I ever hoped for I can’t thank you enough.  Rory is overjoyed – he loves it.


I am keeping your card because I have to come up with more projects for your gifted hands.  Thank you, Patty.

Best. Thank you. Ever.


September 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

There is a great seafood market and shop in Ormond. Hull’s is one of many reasons husband and I get exited about coming here. The seafood is really, really fresh. You can’t find seafood this fresh in a predominantly land-locked state. Don’t get me wrong; you can find fresh seafood in Georgia but it’s not the same. Seafood always tastes better at the sea. It has been said more than a time or two that when you eat seafood it should smell like the ocean, and that’s easy to do when you are at the ocean. Imagine that.

We took the boys to Hull’s yesterday afternoon to pick out dinner. We wanted lobster but didn’t think the condo had a vessel large enough to cook the crustacean. We settled on scallops; big, fresh scallops. And they were delicious! I found this recipe*

* photo courtesy of

and yum! Husband cooked last night and any scallop that isn’t overcooked wins my vote. Husband has a tendency to overcook scallops which is why I tend to avoid them but last night he cooked the scallops to perfection.  It was relatively easy to make, too. Of course, I wasn’t doing the cooking so I could be wrong. The only real fault of this recipe is the butter. Lots and lots of butter. But we easily justified this splurge since we’re on vacation. The boys loved dinner, too, and I love that they eat lots of different things.

Today we will dine on lobster. Little Mister is beyond excited about this. Of course, before we get to the main course we have to get through the day. So far it’s gone something like this….

Husband and Little Mister went to Kennedy Space Center today; leaving me at the condo with Q Man. He and I  went to the beach and he screeched fussed. We walked on the beach and his Fred Flintstone foot found the sharp edge of a seashell. He started sobbing. I carried him back to our towel and bucket. We filled the bucket with sand and dumped it out. After the fifteen millionth time Q Man started screeching fussing about that and took off towards the pool.

So we hose off the sand, I pick up the little dude and we get into the pool. The cold pool. Cold pool + fussy toddler = big mess. So we get out and head back into the condo, get out of our beach gear and hang out for a bit.

At first Q Man totally goes for it. He has a bev and a nosh and all is well. He changes the channel on the television. He plays with the phone that we unplugged for him. He plays with toys. I start to think, okay, I can absolutely hang out in a strange place that is completely NOT childproofed for an entire day with my kid (he did, however, find the glass cleaner that I needed and kept overlooking). I have no car but I have the beach, beach paraphernalia,  a stroller and vodka (thanks, Uncle Chuck!).

Then the screeching fussing starts again. I load Q Man in Bob – it’s a BOB stroller that we refer to as Bob – have to keep it easy for husband. Naming the stroller Frank would have really confused and/or irritated him. We head a mile down the street to Publix. We get there but didn’t go in because I didn’t bring my wallet. I was rushing around trying to get out of the condo that I forgot the darn thing and we may need an afternoon activity. It’s good to always keep your options open. At least I remembered water, right? And my phone. In case of emergency. Not that my emergency contact is anywhere near here. My In Case of Emergency person is an hour away with the four year old checking out space ships, having fun and doing cool stuff.

Me. I’m entertaining the screecher. And eating leftovers but they were good.

The condo does not have a pot large enough to cook a lobster. Until today. Husband and Little Mister plan to stop in Daytona to get one. We’ll leave it here so we can boil lobster on future trips. The dynamic duo will also stop at Hull’s to get lobster and possibly some crab legs. Either are fine. We have corn on the cob. And butter. But no bread.

Guess I’m glad I forgot my wallet after all. Besides, a two mile walk in the heat of the Florida sun in the middle of the afternoon with the screecher sounds like great fun. Who in their right mind wouldn’t want to experience that joy? At least I can give him a cookie when we get to Publix. Food in mouth means no screeching.

And we’ll have some bread for our dinner.

The Longest Four Mile Vacation

September 14, 2011 § 1 Comment

The boys have a fall break from school this week. Yes, they’ve only been in for three and a half weeks but it’s pre-school and who the heck am I to complain? I decided I did not want to entertain the kids for three solid days so we came to the beach. Certainly it makes more sense right? I mean, what’s an eight hour drive to the beach with a four year old, a one and a half year old, husband and dog. Easy as pie! Totally can handle that.

Now, as any parent knows, packing for a trip when you have kids, especially really small kids, is no easy task. It’s like moving a small army. There’s no get up and go ’cause that already got up and went. It takes careful planning and can cause much stress and anxiety.

Most of the gear was staged to get packed the night before departure – pack and play, booster seat, luggage, TWO strollers, dog food, dog, toys etc. – and husband began to pack the car. This began a series of grunts, grumbles and what I suspect were a lot of criticisms geared toward me. Oh, you mean you wanted  me to pack our snacks in the cooler and not a plastic bag? I’m happy to oblige but it’s generally helpful if you TELL that to me. Husband drops something on his foot – my fault though I’m nowhere around.  I ask to help and grousing begins. How dare I insult his packing sensibilities! Really, dude? I was just trying to help. I leave and I’m still in trouble. Really, you want me to hang out? I think not. I’d rather hang out with the screeching toddler and whiny four year old. And for good measure a glass of wine. The bottle is open and it’ll go bad if I don’t drink it. Maybe even all of it.

So after a rough start we go to sleep so we’re rested for the big day. Morning comes and there is more of the same general chaos. The four year old is running around the house in circles all. morning. long. The toddler is chasing him. The dog is whining. I’m trying to get everyone fed and gather up the rest of our gear. Yes, more gear. And if my suitcase is packed before my hair dryer and flat iron get in there, then yes, there will be another bag for it. And yes, you’ll have to pack it. And yes, I suspect  you’ll be unhappy about that as well.

More generally crabbiness was directed towards me and I was on the verge of sending husband, the kids and the dog to the beach without me. I’ll happily be a hermit for a week. Serenity now. I can just feel it! My sewing machine was trying to woo me. I could just hear it and nothing else. Ahhhh…..

But that’s unrealistic so I get into the car. I’m tired since I’ve only had one cup of coffee and I must limit intake of liquids since I’ve had two kids and my bladder just isn’t what it was once. Never mind that the person that insisted upon that rule downed more than one soft drink that morning and was the reason we had to make our first stop.  And who am I to complain? I don’t make the rules but I have to follow them.

We immediately begin to discuss our hectic morning and inevitably that leads to more arguing. I’d filled the car up with gas the afternoon before we left and the trip odometer read 3.8 miles.

Longest. Four. Mile. Vacation. EVER.

I couldn’t believe all the preparation, packing and planning we’d done and thus far it led to a lot of grief, anxiety and unhappiness. “They” say vacation is good for you but I swear! I think it leads more than a few couples to a therapist or divorce lawyer. We hadn’t even made it to I-20. I wanted a drink but knew I couldn’t imbibe because it was nine in the morning but mostly because of the aforementioned limiting liquids rule. Martini anyone?

The four year old was great along the way. Just great! Thank goodness for the DVD player in our minivan. Yes, I drive a mini-van and it’s the best car ever! At least right now. The toddler was his usual spit-fire self. Bored, facing backwards, hungry but mostly tired and not sleeping. He took a one hour nap. One hour. Usually I get at least two from him. And what happens when you cross a bored toddler with a tired toddler?

Screeching. Screeching happens.

And lots of it. I think husband and I sang songs half the way to the ocean to keep Q Man calm. I thought I was going to lose my voice, which, in and of itself isn’t that horrible. Though if I wanted to lose something it would have been my hearing at that point. The high pitched screeching is like fingernails on a chalkboard. I would have ignored it if I could but who the heck can ignore a noise like that when you are trapped in a car? It’s a big car, sure, but it’s not that big.

The madness, screeching and how much longer till we’re there’s were all worth it when we took our boys onto the beach. Little Mister has been to the beach before. This one in fact since we’re staying in husband’s grandmother’s condo* but Q Man saw the ocean for the first time.

And he loved it! The little dude took off running to the water. All smiles.

And once again I was in love with my family.

* Nana has owned this condo since the 1960’s. Husband grew up coming to this beach and I love that we can share the tradition of “this place” with our boys.

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