::challenges:: end of january

so sister and i are doing mini-month-long-challenges again this year - but this time we're each selecting our own. for me, this year is all about creating habits. in january i decided i would begin MOISTURIZING my face - something i have never done or been interested in doing.

i give myself an A-. i have not moisturized every night, but i do believe it's a habit now. i don't use anything fancy, just Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion - at the recommendation of Paula Begoun (she recommended it to my mom on the pages of her book early in my adolescence and i believe it's been a household staple for almost everyone in my family ever since)

ps. moisturizing kind of makes me feel like a celebrity. i imagine i'm using the same diamond-formula that j.lo admitted to using on an MTV interview back in the 90s.

pps. yes. yes, i watched emma tonight. and yes, it was so good. final part next week.


::at home:: baby quilt

I've had a renewed interest in quilts since visiting with my Mom over Christmas, so I've been working on a few different projects. One is this quilt-as-you-go baby quilt that I've had my eye on for a loooong time... I used the oranges, yellows, and blues from the Everything But the Kitchen Sink charm pack that I got on sale a while ago, but since I'm too cheap to buy the pattern, I kind of had to finagle it - I'm happy with the way it turned out, though. I was worried about my lines being too crooked, and puckering with the fabric, but supposedly that adds to the character of this "charming, vintage quilt". It didn't even occur to me until I'd finished the top that I have no idea how to sew on a binding if you don't use the backing, so it may have to be a project to finish next time Mom visits (soon! soon!). I had to re-do my layout once, but it really was a pretty easy project... I didn't break my sewing machine and didn't take out any frustrations on Chad, so I'm calling it a success!
All real quilters name their quilts. I'm debating. Since this wasn't really quilted, maybe it doesn't deserve a name. That, and I can't think of a name. Any ideas? Maybe tic*tac*toe ?
ps - Mom, click on the picture to see it bigger


::all things austen::

It looks like I might just be attending the Jane Austen Festival this fall with my Mom & sister & gramma.
My mind has been set along a Jane Austen track in preparation...
this weekend I picked up a copy of Pride and Prejudice at our local used bookstore -
tonight I'm watching the first of a three part series of the PBS Masterpiece Classic version of Emma -
and this month's Real Simple magazine mentioned this exhibit and short documentary film The Divine Jane...

I've got some ground to make up before I go. I'll let you know what else I find.


::at home:: chad's sandblasting

we've been away from le blog lately because we've been so busy this month...
we've stuck close to home since our new year campout, but we've been busy filling our time with
lots and lots of projects.
chad's recently started sandblasting glass - the pictures above are some of the christmas presents he made
{{he originally practiced on all of my pyrex - no one will ever be able to claim my dishes!}}
since then, he's been working on some other glass projects that i can't wait to show off
...and if you ever want to commission a project, he's working on those, too!


::postcard:: happy birthday from this continent to that

Happy Birthday to my biggest brother!
i love this picture of him - he acts a big game,
but deep down, this picture reflects his personality completely -
a total softy, looking out for and loving other people.
Hope you had a great day - can't wait to see you soon!


::home:: living room makeover

So we've seen the before here, and some of the projects that went into that front room.
Here's the basic layout during the Holidays:

Our tree was so big that we had to kind of jimmy our chairs around it, so it was a bit
awkward, but here's a view of the room when you walk in.
We made an amazing score in that jute rug. It came from Pier1, marked down to $35, AND we
got a twenty dollar check in the mail for putting it on our Pier 1 card
(disclaimer:: that is something I rarely do and do not recommend, but it
was too good a deal to pass up. in my defense, i did promptly return to the store to pay it off)

also, did you notice the giant white cupboard doors on the couch? yep, that's how we keep the
dogs OFF the couch while we're gone. and i'm so accustomed to them that i didn't even notice
them when i took the picture! oh, brother.
This room, sans Christmas, is still a work in progress, though. I'm happy with everything we've
done so far, but things I'm still working on::
1. I'm hoping to replace those leather ottomans with an old, rustic looking, long bench instead
of a coffee table. Husband and/or Craigs List may be recruited...stay tuned.
2. I'm still trying to find a small writing desk to live in the corner where the Christmas tree was,
under the stairs. We're in need of a designated laptop spot.
3. I love fabrics! So during my living room mock-up (pictures & details later), I put up some curtains
on the wall on either side of the couch and I really liked the way they looked. I'm still uncomitted though.
4. Did I mention that I love fabrics? I also need some more pillows, pillows, pillows.
And then, finally, I think that should do it. Now that the shimmer of Christmas is gone, I'm back
on the hunt, so maybe we'll finally finish ONE room in our house!


::wanna buy a house?::

nope, not ours.
B&B were in town for a couple quick days to do some little fix-its at the house,
including a staining of the interior beams that looks fantastic!
we also all got a tutorial on saltio tile...

thanks for the visit! hopefully we'll see you soon!

::at home:: artwork on the cheap

This was an easy and super fun project that I worked on a few months ago -
inspired by some cards that I saw... and trust me, I have no artistic ability, so if I can pull it off, anyone can.
Actually... maybe I should define "pull it off". When I finished, I asked Chad if it looked like kindergarten artwork.
And he said 'yes'. So, maybe that's pulling it off and maybe it's not.
But either way, I like it!
I started off with two 16x20 canvas from Michael's, on sale at 50% off. So I got them both for five bucks.
Then a tube of white paint and a tube of red - and I used a Michael's 50% off coupon
for one of them. So we're looking at about ten bucks for everything. I painted both canvas solid red,
sketched on the bicycles in pencil, and then went back over it in the white paint.



::happy new year:: camping

To celebrate New Years Day, we decided to go for a quick overnight camping trip.
The original plan was to go on New Years Eve, but my procrastination postponed our trip. Oops.
We hiked in about 3 miles and camped on the rim of Snow Canyon for some beautiful views -
If we'd been there the night before, we probably could have seen fireworks. Again, oops.
our trip in pictures, from top left, click each to enlarge:: With our backpacks, with Pine Valley
in the background :: Wrigley digging our firepit. Seriously :: Building the fire up for our dutch oven
coals :: our dutch oven cheesy potato dinner :: nyabo snuggling in for some campfire lovin ::
nyabo snuggling in for some sleeping bag lovin :: the view to the west in the morning, the moon ::
the view to the east in the morning, the sun :: independent wrigley, checking things out
It was a perfect way to kick off the new year. We took a calendar and reviewed some of the things we worked on last year,
things we'd like to continue working on, and committed to some things we'd like to do this year.
We talked about vacation plans and scheduling, and family we hope to see in 2010. After we finished with the planning (confession:: i totally geek out on that stuff)
we pulled out the pod and listened to John Adams for a little while before we 'hit the wiggies' (a work term, means sleeping bags)
for a relatively peaceful night (it doesn't really get too peaceful with the two dogs).
Anyway, a great night and hopefully a new tradition???


::missing:: christmas

it's always hard after the festivities have ended.
when the tree is wilting and needs de-decorating.
when the house needs to be cleaned. BAD.
when the christmas quilts have to be packed up and tucked away.
when the sugar cookies are all gone.
when it's no longer socially acceptable to watch christmas movies or listen to christmas tunes
(so you have to do it in secret)
when house by house the twinkle lights are disappearing.
and when a day off means you need to tackle all of the packing and storing of christmas decorations.
{{but i do it anyway - all except the music part}}
so things to do to combat this???
shop the expensive Christmas decor at Dillards - for 75% off
shop the majorly reduced Christmas fabric for future projects
shop the Christmas books anywhere - best time to build up to a mom-sized stash
...and it makes me a little more cheery!

::missing:: family

well, we had a fantastic time in abq and neither of us wanted to leave...in fact, we toyed with the
idea of taking two extra days from work, but in the end decided against it.
responsible adults.

we arrived wednesday afternoon and left sunday morning, so it was a quick trip, quicker than i'd have liked. and, surprisingly, i didn't take that many pictures.
it's extra surprising since sister was there. huh? i know, weird. things we did enjoy, though, were:

mom's fantastic christmas decorations
more christmas books than you can shake a stick at
millions of christmas quilts all over the house
delicious Christmas Eve dinner preparation and consumption
the christmas story, read by Dad
a heated garage, where the puppies nestled in and got comfy
dutch shoes on christmas morning
some wonderful gifts - thank you to everyone!
a freeeezing cold Christmas Day hike at White Mesa
a too-short game of Clue where Jill stole the win out from under me
photoshop lessons with dad
projects, projects, projects
treats all weekend

the things we missed:
spencer, amber, and their family
the gramma
acting out the nativity IN COSTUME!

It was a fabulous Christmas, and I'm so glad we got to visit. Hope to see all of you guys soon...
I've been missing you since we got back!


::happy new year:: twenty-ten

from the Saint George First Night chalkboard
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