Saturday, December 31, 2016

My 2016 Crafty Finishes

Holy cow, another year is over!  Well, over for most of the world, mostly over for us here in Alaska...

I didn't do nearly as much fun crafty stuff as I would have expected to, but what I did do was fun and, if I do say so myself, pretty awesome!

The year started with some lofty goals for the first quarter, but only one those ever got finished:

Berry Bravo Quilt:
I had a lot of struggles with this quilt, conceptually, but finished it fairly quickly (for my standards), and it's been well loved ever since!  And I just love seeing pics of the whole quilt, I really love the design that I decided on!

Big Bear Little Bear Baby Quilt:
Now with this quilt, I knew exactly what I wanted to do as soon as I ordered the fabric.  I didn't finish it by the birth of the recipient, but gave it to her daddy a couple months after she was born.  I just wish she didn't live so darn far away, cuz I've never gotten to squish her...  *sad*

Holly Hobby Stocking:
A couple of times I have ordered a Mystery Parcel of fabric - it's where you don't get to select what you get, but what you get is a way awesome price!  When I got this Holly Hobby fabric in one of those parcels, I knew I would be making something for my sister!  I finished this in less than an afternoon, and it was a lot of fun to make.  The doilies for the cuff, toe, and heel are from my wedding decorations.  :-)  The best part was hearing her reaction when she opened the gift - it was awesome!  And that is someone I will get to squish when we visit in 2017!

Other than those, can I call doing my very first garden "crafty"?  It sure took up a lot of my time...

And I did a really quick little project that has made the process of quilting way easier:
My Design Curtain!
So, you can't see it so well in this black & white pic, but I have a large batting hanging on the wall in our guest room.  I call it a curtain because it's on dowels hanging on hooks, which will make it easy to take down & fold up whenever we have guests.  I am so excited about this because I was using the guest BED to lay things out, and a design curtain is way easier to use than a design bed!

What's hanging on the design curtain will be one of my 2017 Finishes.  No details now, as it is to be gifted once complete!  I have lots of ideas/plans for being quilty/crafty in 2017, and they will all reveal themselves in due course...

Sunday, December 18, 2016

New Experiences

Of course when you move somewhere different, you are going to have new experiences; here are a few of mine since we moved to rural Alaska:

Throwing rocks on a frozen lake:

Jeff had seen a video of a guy who threw a rock on a frozen lake, and it bounced away, and make the coolest noise!  We decided to try it one day on the way back from Anchorage and it was so cool!  We went back a few days later, on our anniversary, but by that time the ice was much thicker and therefore the sound was different.  This is something to do but there's just a short window of time before the ice gets too thick or the snow covers it, muffling the sound.
Alright, I have no idea if this video is going to work...

Turning boiling water into snow:

This is another thing from the internet (we've probably all seen it).  They say if you throw boiling water outside when it's below zero, it'll turn to snow.  Well, we had a cold snap for quite a few days with temps in the negative 30sF, so we tried it!  It makes a really cool "woosh" sounds when you throw it and basically all evaporates before it can hit the ground!  Definitely cool.
If you know my hubby, you may be able to find a video of this on his Facebook....

Chopping Wood:

Seriously you guys, I have chopped wood.  Like, twice!  I need to do it more often so it can help me build some muscle back up - but I was so proud of myself!  I was outside anyway, burning garbage, so I found the ax and started chopping!

It was quite cold that day...

Of course there are other things that I've done for the first time since moving to Alaska, but these are probably about the most "Alaskan" that I could think of!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Holly Hobby Stocking

I had ordered a mystery parcel via Instagram a few months ago, lots of fabric, some small pieces, I didn't get to make any selections, and I got it for an AMAZING price!  So far I've used 3 of the pieces of fabric.

One of the pieces in the package was Holly Hobby fabric.  When I saw that, I knew that I needed to make someone for my sister from it.  She remembers Holly Hobby from childhood.  Me, being so much younger, don't really remember it much, but I connect Holly Hobby to our Grama, because she drew something similar in her sketchbook.

Finally I decided I would use the fabric to make a stocking for my sister!  I had made a stocking last year, which she really liked, so I already had a pattern and everything!  Yeay!  It took me about 2-3 hours from start to finish on a Sunday.  Luckily today they received their Christmas boxes so I was able to have her open this one:

I loved hearing her expression via phone when she saw this!

The heel, toe, and cuff are made from doilies that I used as table decor at my wedding.  I figured out the placement that I wanted and pinned then sewed them down.  The doily that made the cuff was a rectangular large piece, so I was able to cut it and wrap it all the way around, and I like the way it overlaps in the front.  The toe and heel were actually made from one oval-shaped doily.

I had a blast, and will be making more stockings in the future!

What have you handmade for Christmas this year?

Linking Up to:
Fort Worth Fabric Studio
Confessions of a Fabric Addict  
Sew Fresh Quilts
My Quilt Infatuation
Cooking Up Quilts

Friday, December 16, 2016

September 2016

For #FallbackFriday, I thought I would share a little bit about our September...

Road trip to Anchorage with Mt. Drum behind us.

Fall colors arrive in September to our neck of the woods.
Once we crossed the mountains over towards Palmer, everything was still green.

Mom & Dad sent us this early Anniversary present that they made!  I love it - it's made of maps of where we've lived!

I had a Daiquiri Ice for the first time in decades.
Downside - I didn't like it...
We went to the Lantern Fest in Palmer.  Worst decision in a while.
So, the Lantern Fest.  If you live somewhere that is in the 50s at the time of year when the sun is setting around 9PM, maybe not a good idea.  Turns out the Lantern Fest was expensive, unorganized, cold, rainy, windy, and ended up getting shut down due to fire hazard.  I wish I hadn't spent the money.  I should have said "Oh, honey, the night of the Lantern Fest I want to go to eat that the restaurant near the event!" and we could have seen how lame it was without spending the money.  Sad.

Alaska now has a Krispy Kreme!  Woo hoo!

I got started sewing on a gift, and I'm still not finished!!!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Best Nine

I've seen a lot of #2016BestNine on Instagram lately.  And I decided I had to jump on the bandwagon.

What's funny is that if I run it again (using, this #2016BestNine compilation will be on it...

And while I was at it, I decided to make my 2015 Best Nine:

Have you found your 2016 Best Nine?

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Changes and a re-introduction

Have you ever had that feeling that "oh it's been to long, they won't remember me, it will be awkward" so you just don't say hi/call/email/write a blog post?  Yeah.

Life around here has changed since the last time I blogged (OMG August!).  After MUCH thought, consideration, and agreement from my hubs, I resigned from my full-time position.  Not to take a job elsewhere, just to leave the workforce for a bit.  Well, I really like my boss, so I offered to do some project work (intermittent, on-call, what-have-you), so now even though I'm not working full-time, I am heading up the HRIS implementation project at work.  What's nice is that I'm basically creating my own schedule and can, at times, work from home.

I am very lucky that I have this opportunity - it was one of Jeff's selling points for moving to Alaska - but it was still a hard decision to make.  It's difficult to say, I have a steady job, a steady income, but I'm going to give that up and stay at home and no I don't have kids to raise.  It's just not, well, respectable these days.  Or maybe that's my perception.  BUT it allows me to make dinner for my husband, and work around the house (I'm still trying to get the place not-messy), and be in a good mood instead of being owly all the time.  Plus, the job really served its purpose; in the time I worked there we paid off all credit card debt and my student loans!  And, well, if I/we ever decide that it's time for me to reenter the workforce, just having Jeff spread the word will probably result in some interest.  He was at the chiropractor's office last week and she asked what I'm doing now that I'm not working there - no wonder, she lost her Office Manager who came to work at my employer, and she's now looking to replace.  No thanks, not ready to go back full-time when I'm not completely unemployed yet...

That being said, there's really not a whole lot going on here, just snow and cold.  I'm working on a couple of sewing projects, but gifts, so nothing I can share right now.  If you don't already, you can check out my Instagram feed here as I am much better at Instagraming than I am at blogging.  But my goal is to be better!  And if I haven't lost everyone, maybe some people will stop in and take a look at what's going on around here.  I really really really want to be more crafty - I have all this fabric that wants to be quilts! - and I want to share that with anyone interested.  I want to go out and use my awesome camera more (that we bought with money I earned at that job that I resigned from) and remember that yes, those mountains are majestic, and no, not everyone has this much snow or chops wood or whatever (yes, I have chopped wood.  twice).

Soooooo......  any blog post ideas/prompts for me?

Oh, yeah, re-introduction for anyone who doesn't know:  I'm a MidWestern girl, married to an Army Brat who wanted to move back to the Alaska that he loved so much for 3 years as a kid in the 70s.  We live in rural Alaska, but on the road system, in between Glennallen and Copper Center.  Some of what I write about is about Alaska, every day stuff, and some is just every days stuff you could do/see anywhere, like recipes, crafting, etc.  Nothing too exciting, but I've enjoyed sharing.