Seaside Windows Quilt | Finally Finished

January 12, 2017

I finally finished this beautiful monster.

I started working on these blocks about 5 years ago. I got about halfway through making the blocks and then this project got sent to time out. 

Let me explain...Do you ever work on a project that you start out loving? Then part way through, you encounter problem after problem, and you start to hate it? Yeah, me too. Those projects go to time out. Sometimes it's for a day. Usually a few months. Well this one got sent to time out at the bottom of my fabric bin, only to be re-discovered upon moving for the 9th time in 8 years. 

Along with a few other projects I'll be sharing soon, I decided to rescue these quilt blocks and make them into something more useful. My experience and ability in sewing has increased in the last 5 years, so I had to clean up some of my former mistakes. Lots of trimming and re-sizing to get these blocks to be actual squares. 

This quilt is also a queen size quilt. Big quilts are oh so fun to snuggle, but a beast in the final sewing stages. After several weeks of rehab, this quilt top was finally done. 

I had enough foresight to snag up this clearance fabric a couple years ago, when I was working at Fort Worth Fabric Studio. I had a bright idea to make matching lobster pajamas for family for Christmas, and use the leftovers for the backing on this quilt. Well, as projects sometimes go, the quilt was completed first. {But I look forward to the day when I will be wearing my lobster pajamas and snuggling under this quilt. }

The binding is pieced from strips of the little bit of leftovers I had, this cabana stripe is my favorite fabric in the whole quilt. Sometimes I feel strange about all the scraps I keep, but I just can't bear to part with beautiful fabrics, that sewn together, could be useful. I still have some leftover blocks from this quilt, that will eventually become throw pillows. 

I am lucky to have a dear friend, who during the Christmas break, let me spend several days at her house helping me quilt a few projects on her huge long-arm machine. I quilt most of my quilts on my own machine, but this one was just too big to do at home. It took way longer than expected and I have so much respect for quilters who make a living by quilting at home. I mean we weren't quite sweating, but it definitely got warmish. 

This beach coloring quilt now has a new home on our guest bed and will snuggle all those who come to the middle of the desert to visit Chateau Humbert. Right now it's cold and rainy outside, but whenever I walk past the guest bedroom and see these bright colors, I'm reminded that sun-filled Spring days are right around the corner.


Free | One Little Word 2017

January 1, 2017

If you are unfamiliar with One Little Word, it is essentially a word that is your theme for the year - mine for 2017 is

Let's get real here for a minute. For the last 5 years, we have been struggling with infertility. For the last 5 years, I have struggled with varying degrees of depression and heartache. While some may not define heartache as a medical or emotional illness, it had the effects of both on me. 

I have fought, and fought hard to regain peace and joy in my life. I have clung to my faith only to lose it and then find it again. I have discovered you can actually survive one of your worst fears realized. I have carried around chains forged of guilt, fear, anger, resentment and bitterness. 

And now, finally, I am ready to be free.

Healing hasn't come all at once fore me and I don't believe that my broken heart will ever quite be the same. My heart however, has transformed into a newer, softer, more empathetic version of it's former self.  I have known that 2017 would be my year of free for a few months now. I felt it. Much like the anticipation of graduation day, my whole being was ready.

Free is taking on a two-fold mission for me this year, free from and free to

Free from is all the things I'm attempting to let go of. Those chains I spoke of earlier, we are throwing them overboard without looking back. When I say we, I am referring to Me, Myself, and I. While we have not permanently closed the door on growing our family, it is time to move forward. I'm letting go of the fears that have held me back. The inadequacy that taunts me from the far corners of my mind - as of today, she has received an eviction notice.

Free to is in reference to all the things I want to do. All the projects and ideas bounding in my head, that have been riding the bench for far too long. Guess what? They are all going to get a chance to play this year. The light is green to take chances, to grow, to explore. Freedom to be something other than what I thought I would be. Free to change, free to try.

How light I feel just writing those thoughts down. Just saying out loud that I've giving myself to fail without consequence of the peanut gallery of doubt chiming in, is invigorating.

Yep, I'm ready.

You better watch out 2017 because I am coming for you.
{But in a good way, like I'm going to do all the things, conquer the world, in a sassy, girl boss kind of way}



Life Goes in Cycles | From the Archives

December 12, 2016

2016 has been a year bursting at the seams. As this year comes to a close, I've been reflecting on the last 12 months, and how cyclical life is.

Since moving back to California, we struggled with Zoe's new school and teacher.  Thanks to many friends locally and a far, we have made a decision to pull Zoe out of her traditional public school and transition to a hybrid home school program.

This change is going to have a large impact on our family, and more specifically, my daily routine. As a small child, Zoe was in daycare full time. It wasn't until we moved to Idaho that I got to be home with her, part time. I found this page I made from 2011, reflecting on the fun I had finally being able to get some time at home with her. For the last few years, the tables have flipped and she has been in school full time. We are now going to be circling back to her at home. 

I've been praying that we are making the right decision and that I won't go too crazy spending so much time together.  As I read the journaling on this page, I'm taken back to that tiny apartment, the bitter cold winter months and being snowed in for days. Remembering those days is comforting - knowing that now, we will have school work to do, sunny days, a fenced yard and a park across the street. 


Milestones | Simple Design

November 28, 2016

Earlier this year my Grandmother turned 90 years old. We delayed the celebration until the 4th of July when all our families could be together to celebrate. In attendance, she had her 3 sons and wives, 8 granddaughters and 7 husbands, 17 great-grandchildren. We were only missing 2 people, my brother and my cousin's husband. All together we have benefited beyond words because of this amazing woman. It was truly wonderful to celebrate her life with all of the lives she helped create.

I snapped this quick photo while we were singing "Happy Birthday" to her. I thought about including it in my 4th of July spreads, but I felt this milestone deserved it's own page.

This page came together so quickly. Normally, I spend half an hour just sorting through supplies, pulling items I may or may not want to use. For this page, I knew which papers I wanted to use. I grabbed them and a few star embellishments and I was off to work. Since I was only using one photo and little embellishment, I used depth to add visual interest, in the form of pop-dots behind the photo.

The crepe paper circle is actually from a Valentine's Day embellishment. I ripped off the heart sentiment and covered it up with the chipboard star. I love being able to re-purpose supplies, These inkable Heidi Swapp alphas have been a new favorite of mine. A little gold ink and voila! A perfect color match.

I still need to add journaling to the page, but it will most likely go on the back, because there are just too many words to fit on the front. Plus, I feel like the words would take away from the design in this instance.

Do you ever favor design over journaling?


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