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Surviving August

August 13, 2012

It’s not really a secret that I love winter and snow and everything cold and frozen.  In that same vein I really don’t love summer.  Scorching heat, swimming pools, and still light at 9 pm are not really good friends of mine.  I much prefer sweaters and blankets and hot soup and warm bread and dark by 6pm so bedtime is easy and at a normal time.  That being said, as I was looking through some of my instagram (@pinksuedeshoe) pics today I realized that at least August so far hasn’t LOOKED all that bad.  Here is some of what I’ve been up to.  In no particular order.

August Happiness

1: I taught a class at my church on repurposing clothing and fabrics.  It was fun! 2: I thrifted a cutie little vintage Japanese ceramic mouse.  And a lot of other stuff, too. HA! 3: Creamie likes to pretend she is a cat/dog sometimes.  She has taken to drinking her milk out of a bowl. 4: I’m really into green smoothies lately.  Like, a lot.  5: My little girl is growing up, she gets more beautiful and hilarious everyday.  And her babydoll is her best friend. 6: Some of my favorite thrifted sheets, in rainbow order, I used these for the class i taught 7: I made the best pizza I’ve ever made a few days ago.  I hope I can recreate it next time. 8: She is currently loving when her daddy throws her up in the air.  She calls it the “flying kid game”. 9: Last week I met up with some old friends for lunch and shopping and cupcakes.  I should do that more often. 10: So, Creamie has really curly hair.  Like, seriously. It’s so cute and I have NO idea what to do with it.

11/12: Last weekend Scott had a work conference a few hours from home.  And since his hotel* and his transportation was already paid for I decided to tag along.  And we left Creamie at home for the first time since she was born, uh, 3.5 years ago. (Thanks family for helping out with her!)  Since the city we were in is not full of beautiful interesting things to do when you are without a car (We were in Scott’s gov’t car and I can’t drive it, so he drove himself over to his meetings ) I brought my sewing machine and a few projects and I stayed in the hotel with Netflix and the minifridge and sewed all day.  It was wonderful, and weird all at the same time.  I made a huge dent in a quilt for Creamie’s bed.  I hope I can get it finished this month.  Scott snagged tickets to Les Miserable one night and it was absolutely wonderful.  And for the second half we even got to sit by each other!  He got the last two tickets for the only night we could go.  And we started out 4 rows apart.  But there was still one empty seat on my row at intermission and thanks to a few neighbors who shuffled around he came and sat by me for the last half. I haven’t seen Les Mis since the summer of 2001 when I saw it on broadway, and I sobbed through the whole thing.  I had to really try hard to not slip into the ugly cry.  Awesome.  No really.  It was.

*Dear Everyone who has ever thought that the government was spending too much on it’s employee travel expenses: The state has a set budget for hotel rooms for it’s employees who travel to conferences and meetings and what not.  Which I get.  People get angry when govt employees are spending tax dollars at super nice hotels.  I get it.  But do you want to know what that state budget for hotel rooms got us?  Free continental breakfast.  We had a nice TV and free wifi.  And a mini fridge (that was cold and clean, thankfully) with a microwave.  The bathroom looked clean.  But.  There were stains and even crusty spots on the bedding.  The couch was gray, I wouldn’t have set my luggage down on it.  The floor looked clean, but after spending all day in the hotel walking between my sewing machine and the iron my feet were black.  BLACK.  And I was wearing my sandals.  The tops of my toenails were stained black from walking on the floor.   The bottoms of my jeans had a black gray smudge where they had brushed the floor all day.  The soles of my feet were BLACK.  It didn’t wash off in the shower.  I had to use a palm sander on my feet when I got home to get rid of all the dirt that I accumulated in 8 hours of walking on carpet.  On day two I wore socks which I threw away at the end of the day.  They were as black as my husbands black suit.  Seriously.  Every hotel room in the city was full and we couldn’t pay to go to a nicer hotel even if we wanted to.  So, next time you see some breaking news article about government officials who are staying in posh/nicer-than-you-think-they-should-be hotels on the public dime… think twice before you criticize.  I’ll never travel with Scott again if we have to stay in the govt budget hotel.  Never.  Ok, Thanks for reading.  I’ll be back tomorrow with something pretty and delicious and… well, I don’t know.  I’ll think of something.

Chalkboard Matryoshka Dolls

August 2, 2012

Clear back in January my sister sent me this link of a project from Rubyellen Bratcher at Cakies.  And I wanted to make one immediately!  But you know, a lot of times in my world immediately equals “in the next year or two”.  Unless chocolate or ice cream is involved.  Then it is immediately, like right now.  Like 5 minutes ago.  Moving on.

chalkboard matryoshkas

I love how they turned out.  Like, a lot.  And Creamie loves them too, which I suppose is more important.  I suppose.  I’ve got a few Matryoshka dolls on display in our home.  I lived in Moscow for a year 10 years ago and I came home with a lot of different kinds.  Some painted and some blank.  I used one of my unfinished sets for this project, but a quick etsy search turned up a lot of sellers who have blank dolls.

blank slate

I sanded my dolls first and then wiped them down with a damp cloth.  Then I sanded again after the first coat of paint was dry.  I think I even sanded a few rough spots after the second coat of paint too.  I did four coats of paint, and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.  It took a whole day between drying times and sanding and whatnot.  My paints instructions said to let it set for 24 hours before drawing on it, so I did that too.  Rubyellen didn’t mention this in her post, but I also cured the chalkboard paint by rubbing each doll all over with chalk and then wiping it off with a dry cloth.  (This picture above was taken before I did that though.  I think the shiny black is really pretty.)

blue ombre

And then because I’m kind of awesome and my daughters favorite color is blue I painted the insides of the dolls in a blue ombre rainbow.  I had originally planned to use rainbow colors, but decided she’d probably like them all blue instead.  And as soon as she saw what I had done she asked me “Why didn’t you paint a rainbow Mom?” I can’t win.

phone pics copy

But, it’s safe to say that she loves them.  She had so much fun decorating each one.  Her chalk drawing on curves skills need, uh, improvement.  But I love her version of little people.  She could point out the eyes and the dresses and the person holding a cupcake for you if you’d like.

her version

Maybe next time she colors them I’ll take notes and post an annotated picture.  It’s pretty hilarious to listen to her talk through her chalkboard ideas.

my version

I need help drawing on curves with chalk too.  I think these look pretty, um, rustic?  Especially compared to the beautiful handpainted dolls I brought home from the MotherLand.  But, it was really fun and we’ll be doing this again.  It was fun to sit with her and listen to her chatter on about it.  It’s going to be a great little art project to do over and over.


And I really love the insides!  I’m sure they will quickly fill up with all sorts of her treasures.  Looking forward to that actually.  She is hilarious in the things she tucks away.  Rocks and sticks are among her favorites.  Also, pennies.  She LOVES pennies.

chalkboard nails 2

Anyway, this was the project I was working on a few weeks ago when I ended up with a chalkboard manicure.  Thanks Rubyellen for such a great idea!


August 1, 2012

Here is my daily photo from July via my Instagram feed.  Followed by a recap of the whole year.  Which wasn’t exactly on purpose… but you know, whatever.

7. July 2012 Instagram Mosaic

I’ve had a few people ask me how I make my mosiac’s for these.  It’s really pretty easy, well for me.  I use flickr as a storage spot for nearly all my blog photos and instagram photos.  When I post a picture on instagram it automatically uploads to flickr as well.  It makes me feel better having them stored somewhere else that isn’t my own computer or my own blog.  I’m all about backup.

June Instagram Mosaic

So, since all my photos are already on flickr, at the end of the month I’ll go through and pick one photo from each day and put them in their own set.  Some days I only have one, some have like 10 to choose from.  So each photo isn’t exactly a true representation of the day, but whatever.

May 2012 Instagram Mosaic

Then it’s as easy as using Big Huge Labs mosaic maker to organize them all into a grid.  Big Huge Labs is a free website that has a LOT of different options for making stuff with photos.  I mean, you can personalize and order standard stuff like mugs and calendars and then totally not standard stuff like motivational posters, jigsaw puzzles, pocket photo books and bead art.  Whatever that is.  I’ve never used it for anything but mosaics. I seriously had to go look and see what else you can use it for.  So I’m not an expert or anything, and I can’t give you advice or tips on quality or shipping speed or stuff like that.  But I sure do love the free mosaic maker!

April Instagram Mosaic

So, when making a mosaic you can upload photos individually, from an entire facebook album, a whole flickr set or they have a few other options.  You can choose the number of columns and rows and customize the width/colors of the white space between photos.  So my monthly roundups are 7 columns and 5 rows, the same as a calendar.  I have a few blank white “photos” on flickr that I’ll add at the beginning of the month as place holders so I can start my first picture on what would be the first day of that month. (For example in March the 1st was a Thursday, so my weeks start on Sunday on the far left and end with Saturday on the right.)  Bet you hadn’t realized that the photos are arranged like that.  Cool huh.

March 2012 mosaic

After Big Huge labs has processed my flickr set into a mosaic, which takes about 10 seconds, I save it to my computer and then open it in photoshop to add the date.  I used to do this in Picnic before it closed it’s doors.  Bummer.  The font I use is Budmo Jiggler which I downloaded for free from .

Feb Instagram Mosaic

And then, after I’ve added my text in photoshop and saved it again I upload it to flickr.  And THEN I use it on my blog. (And then I usually open my flickr photostream on my phone and save my finished image to my phones camera album as well… and then repost it on instagram. HA!)  This might sound like a lot of steps.  But really, the whole process only takes me about 8 minutes.  And that’s if I have to go through and pick which photos to use for each day.  If not, its under 3 minutes.

January in Instagrams

I also use BHL Mosaic Maker for all my other gridlike photo arrangements.  Like, this one, this onethis one and this one. And that’s why I love Big Huge Labs so very much.  And they don’t even know I’m talking about them.


Sewing for Friends

July 31, 2012

Last summer I got to meet Amy from amylouwhosews.  She has hosted Sew-n-Tell for a few years now, an online linky party to share what you make each week, and it was one of the motivating forces that got me to start sewing more often.  Without it the sewing machine might still be in the closet in the spare room instead of living on the dining room table and getting used almost everyday.  We met for real last summer, back when I had pink hair.  Anyway, a few months ago her husband deployed and she’s been home with their three children by herself.  I can’t imagine losing my husband for the better part of a year, and my heart goes out to her.  So, to celebrate the halfway home mark I made her a little present.  And amazingly, got myself to the post office before 6 more months had passed.  That’s the true miracle here…
pouch and mini

I made this little pouch using Anna’s tutorial for the big mouth zippered pouch.  I am in love with this little bag, I think I made 5 of them in a week.  And then I got so excited about making zippered pouches in general that I maybe spent my entire allowance (a made up thing I give myself) on zippers… like, I bought 163 zippers at a great online sale. (This is where the crazy zipper lady comments will start I’m sure.)


I just pieced each side together willy nilly and then added the lightweight denim contrast bottom.  The lining for this little bag is also meaningful.  Last October when I met up with Amy for breakfast while she was in town we ducked inside a little quilt store in the middle of a wonderful snow storm and stumbled across Garden Henna in green.  This print is among our favorite fabrics ever, for both of us.  And since we bought it together I kind of decided that it needed to be involved in this project as well.  I’m emotional and sentimental that way I guess.

quilted mini

In April I made a lone Double Aster Block as a test  block for my quilting bee.  I had just recently finished making this quilt for myself and I used some of the scraps to make my test block. It turned out awesomely, but you know, was the wrong colors and fabrics for the actual bee block. And so since April this lone turquoise and green block has been waiting for me to do something awesome with it.  I finally decided to add a border and make it a mini quilt for Amy.  A few weeks ago the Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild hosted a Sewing Day and I took the opportunity to finish up this project.  And I LOVE how it turned out.

quilting details

So I’m not really a quilter, you know, the type that sews all three layers of a quilt together.  I’m great at sewing, seamstressing, piecing quilt tops, but actual quilting of three layers to make a snuggly blanket? I always hire that out.  I have made a few, but it’s not really my thing.  I did the quilting on this enormous quilt, and this tiny one, and then swore I would never do it again.  But, you know, I changed my mind.  Whatever.  I want to learn to quilt my own stuff because I’m a cheapskate.  So I put it on my list of things to do before I hit 30.  And in the past few weeks I’ve made three quilts start to finish myself.  Two small one’s, and a baby size quilt.  I still don’t love it, but, I am working on it.

backing detail

I used the last little scraps of this pretty Heather Bailey paisley for the back (from the reprint of her Freshcut line), and after I took pictures but before I mailed this off I even got myself together enough to put a label on it.  I’ve only done one other label, I’m usually in too big of a hurry to have the thing done to label my work, but I’m going to work on that too.  It’s important I think.

quilting corner details

Amy got her care package over the weekend, and amazingly it arrived on the exact halfway mark.  Which is pure luck.  Love you Amy! I hope these next months go quickly!

A Summer Dress

July 30, 2012

A few months ago I found a blue and white striped mens shirt at the thrift store for only $2.  Since blue is by far Creamie’s favorite color (and long sleeved dress shirts are usually $5) I picked it up with plans to make her a new dress.  And then 8ish months later I finally got around to it. (Mom of the year, right here.)

front and back

It’s just a basic raglan style short sleeved dress.  I used my favorite pattern (Simplicity 5695) as a guide and just made it a bit longer, a bit skinnier, and added just a bit of  elastic to the back to give it some shape.  It ended up very boxy without it.

before and after

Before I chopped up my shirt I picked the pocket off and used some of the sleeve to make another one.  I added the ribbon trim before sewing them back on.  This girl LOVES pockets.  She has lots of little treasures to carry around with her, so pockets are essential.

walking on stumps

My mom recently had a smallish pine tree cut down, and her sweet neighbor came over with his chainsaw and hacked the stumps into an awesome little pathway.  (I spent a good chunk of time burying them all a few inches and making sure the ground under them was even so they weren’t so wiggly.)  She will spend an hour playing in here.  Her dress was filthy by the time she was done, and her shoes didn’t make it more than 3 minutes before they were tossed aside.


Speaking of… I love these shoes.  My dad and stepmom gave them to her for Easter, and she wears them all the time.  So cute.  Also, clearly in need of some new toenail polish.

picking up sticks


ford tractor

This old tractor was parked next to my mom’s house.  She has an alfalfa field behind her and this tractor has been busy lately.  Creamie wanted nothing more than to drive it to the park.  She’d take it home with her in a heartbeat.  She really does think anything that is blue belongs to her.

are we done?

Her face when I told her we weren’t trading in the car for a blue tractor. HA!  I think the last four dresses I’ve made for Creamie have been blue.  And I’ve got a stack of three more to make, also all blue.  She prefers to wear a dress most days, so she needs lots of play dresses that no one cares if they are ripped, dirty, or covered with popsicle.  And they’ll need to have plenty of pockets for her ever expanding rock and stick collection.  So a $2 shirt is TOTALLY the way to go.

(If you’ve never cut up a shirt to make a dress before it’s super easy.  There are a million tutorials on pinterest, but I love this pattern.  It fits her so well and I love the shape of the neck and sleeves.  I’ve probably made 8 shirts and 5 dresses from this pattern in the past year or so.  Without pockets this dress was under and hour start to finish.  My kind of project.   So to start I just cut my shirt apart along the seams.  Then it’s as easy as laying out your pattern pieces on top of your shirt shaped pieces of fabric.  Piece of cake.  If you are in the market for thrifted mens shirts, look at the extra large shirts first.  More fabric in them and they are usually the same price as a small.  You might not always need that extra few inches, but sometimes it’s nice to have.  Of course, if you find a fabric you just love (ahem, blue) then who care what size it is, right? Right.)

DIY Chalkboard Fingernails!

July 18, 2012

Last night I was working on a little crafty project and I had pulled out my little tiny jar of chalkboard paint.  After two coats on my project I went to wash my hands to make dinner when I discovered something.  The chalkboard paint I had did NOT come off my fingers.  Like at all.  After scrubbing at it for a minute or two I gave up, decided my hands were clean enough for tacos and I made dinner.  After dinner (fingers still black) I did the last two coats of paint on my project and then I got an idea.

chalkboard nails 1

Chalkboard Fingernails!  And they turned out so awesome I snapped some pictures and am giving you a step by step tutorial.  Not that I am any sort of expert on painting fingernails, I should add.  I’ve painted my fingers exactly twice since I was 12 years old.   But, here you go anyway.  You’ll need chalkboard paint, a paintbrush and some fun colored chalk.

Chalkboard nails DIY

1. Using a small clean paintbrush, paint two or three coats onto your fingernails. My directions on my paint says to let the paint dry for an hour between coats, and then let it cure for 24 hours.  But who has time for a 28 hour manicure?  No one.  Throw those directions out the window. 2. When your nails are dry color to your hearts content.  3. If you make a mistake, the chalk will wipe right off and you can try again.  If you change your mind, wipe it right off.  Of course, if your hands brush against your pants it will wipe right off too… 4. I need to do more things with colored chalk, it’s really pretty. (I got this chalk at Hobby Lobby last year.)

chalkboard nails 2

So, what with the whole wiping off your nail art on your clothes/towel/walls/couch etc. a chalkboard manicure is probably not a good idea for everyone.  I know.  I get it.  But it was a fun experiment anyway.  And it could possibly keep my child very entertained in a doctors office waiting room…

black gothic nails

And after your chalk art wipes off on your curtains then you at least have cool gothic looking nails, right?

Now, a few pointers. After writing on my nails and wiping it off a few times the paint did start to scratch.  Probably allowing the paint to set overnight would help with that.  Also, my fingernails aren’t flat AT ALL.  They are full of deep vertical ridges that made writing on them hard.  I think if I do this again I’ll probably buff them good first and then do a base coat with regular polish to try and fill those in a bit.  It would probably help me to buff my nails between coats of chalkboard paint as well, to smooth those ridges down a bit.  Just sayin.   Also, when you are done with gothic scratched chalkboard nails, I found that fingernail polish remover took it off just fine.  Well, with a little scrubbing.  Nail polish remover also took the dried bits out of my paintbrush bristles.  And I only painted my left hand, I told you I’m not a nail polish expert.  Just keeping it real.  But I’ll try this again, it was a fun little surprise today.

Out of the Ashes

July 6, 2012

Yesterday it rained.  I woke up to glorious rain and it rained all day.  It rained enough to put out the fire.  It never rains all day in the summer.  And it never rains in July.  It was an incredible miracle.  An answer to many many prayers.  Late in the afternoon the clouds cleared and the sun came out.  I headed to my mom’s so I could see for myself the destruction from the fire that started two days ago.

East Mountain Burn

I don’t have a wide angle lens, and I couldn’t get far enough away from the mountain to get a picture of the whole thing without hiking up the side of the mountain on the other side of the valley.  In flip flops.  So I took three pictures and pieced them together in photoshop.  It’s not perfect.  Whatever. (Click the pic to go to flickr and see it larger if you are so inclined.) The burn is horrendous.  The new burn meets up with an old burn scar from a wildfire when I was a teenager.  (The right edge of this picture.)  These mountains have always meant home to me.  And to see them burned so horribly breaks my heart.  But they will grow back.  It takes time. But even covered in burns they are still majestic guardians.  They still protect my home.  They still watch over the places and people I love.  Trees will grow.  The grass will be green again.  They will change back into something I recognize.  It will take years.  But these mountains will be beautiful again.

thank you firefighters

I am so grateful to all the men and women who selflessly put their lives on the line to watch over my small hometown.  They are still there, I heard helicopters flying over the burns checking for hot spots.  The rain didn’t quite wash everything out, but enough to keep it from spreading.  I did see one small plume of smoke rising after the rain was over, but the helicopters were watching it.  I am so grateful for them.  A sign on a pallet at the end of the street isn’t enough, but it touched my heart.  And then another miracle happened. Not two hours after the storm had cleared it started to cloud over again. And it began to rain.  It rained hard for almost an hour.  I sat in my mom’s living room with all the windows open and listened to the rain on the leaves and the sidewalk and the roof.  I breathed in the good clean smell of mountain rain.  The horrible sting of smoke was gone.

East Mountain

An hour later the sun came out just in time to reflect the orange and pink glow of sunset across my mountains.  Two days ago this mountain looked like the picture above. And after the clouds cleared it looked like this.

rainbow rises

A magnificent double rainbow, rising out of the burn.  It started here and stretched for 20 miles across the sky before I saw it touch back down.  God works in mysterious ways.  A rainbow is a symbol of hope.  A reminder that after the storm there is peace.  Beauty.  That life begins again, and that even the worst of experiences will result in some good.  And while the fire and the miracle of rain is most of the story, it’s not everything.  Last week I mentioned that there would be a silver lining, somewhere.  That some good would come from all the bad.  And as I watched these rainbows glitter in the sun and then fade to dusk I was reminded again that God has a plan for me.  He knows the deepest desires of my heart and he will show me a rainbow after this storm is over.  He always opens a window, and if I will just wait for the right time, he will pour out a blessing for me.  This rainbow was a wonderful and unexpected reminder for me right now.  Just in the past few days I’ve had many small experiences that have reminded me that there is always good in my life.  And I truly think this particular rainbow was meant for me.  Another reminder painted all across the sky that things will be better.  This storm will end.  It will take time.  It may take years.  But it will be beautiful again.  Things will grow back, there will be change for me, for my family.  This horrible period of my life will one day be like dust in the wind.  Ashes from a terrible fire.

Out of the Ashes

Beauty and love and peace will cover the burn.   One day.  And it only took a twenty mile arc of color to remind me again that there is always a silver lining.  Rainbows always follow the storm.

Alright… now I promise to stop being so emotional.  Sheesh it’s been a week or two, right?  Also, can we just pretend that this last pic has a beautiful arched rainbow instead of a choppy one…. turns out without a tripod handy panoramic multiphoto shots that span 20 miles are kind of hard…. So I lined up the mountains and let the rainbow do it’s crooked thing.  Don’t judge.  Just pretend it’s awesome.

Fires at Home

July 4, 2012

Yesterday afternoon about 2:30 I glanced outside and saw a sickening plume of smoke coming from my hometown.  I live about 10 miles away from where I grew up, but I could see a horrific mast of smoke rising into the blue sky from the mountains near my mom’s home.

mushroom cloud

[ This photo taken through my windshield at a stop sign.  It makes me sick to my stomach. ]

Not 5 minutes later my mom called me when the piano lesson she was teaching was interrupted by a sobbing mother who was being evacuated and came to grab her kids.  The fire was less than 30 minutes old and they were evacuating homes less than a mile from my mom’s house.  She called me, I found a babysitter for Creamie (thanks a million Kim!) and went to help my mom.

East Mountain

[ Stopped on the street right behind my mom’s house.  I was too close to get the smoke in one shot. ]

She didn’t end up evacuating, but I was glad she didn’t have to sit and think about it by herself the rest of the day.  Looking at everything you own and trying to decide what to take and what is worth losing is emotionally exhausting.  The top layer, the VERY most important things is easy.  It’s the next layer down that is completely overwhelming.  And when you have 15 minutes, the top layer is enough.  But if you are looking at the possibility of evacuation a few hours in advance it’s a lot more overwhelming.  So we left.  We walked outside and sat down with the neighbors on their lawn and watched the fire and the smoke destroy the mountains I have loved my whole life.  We watched for hours.  It was sickening, but I couldn’t look away.  The smoke plume could be seen for 75 miles it was so big.  It has spread ash all over the state.  It looked like a volcano, or a mushroom cloud.  I’ve never seen smoke like that.  I hope I never see it again.

fire at sunset

[ Several hours later, still burning horribly, but thanks to tankers of fire retardant not moving so fast. ]

The fire was started by a guy in a trackhoe digging a trench.  He hit a rock and it sparked and he couldn’t dump dirt on the dry grass fast enough to put it out.  It has burned over 3000 acres in less than 24 hours.  The firemen, the tanker planes and the blackhawk helicopters have saved every home from burning.  One barn was lost, but the homes are all safe.

[ One home that was miraculously saved thanks to helicopters dumping hundreds of gallons of water.  Pic from Josh James via twitter.]

This haunting image is a testimony to the amazing men and women who are out battling fires on the ground and from the air.  It gives me the shivers.  And today, on the 4th of July I am grateful not only for the soldiers and military who keep my country safe from the outside, but I am grateful for the hundreds and millions of people who keep my home safe from the inside.


[ The view from the end of my mom’s street.  The flames are only about 1/2 mile away. ]

Fires are nothing new to me.  We had four huge fires in the mountains that surrounded home while I was growing up.  We were evacuated.  We fed firemen at our church.  We sat on the grass and watched the beautiful hundred year old pines burn and the moutains turn into a charred ashy hell.  But it still doesn’t make it easier.  Even thinking about my combined fire experiences makes me sick to my stomach.

Alpine Quail Fire (Utah) at Night

[ The fire at night.  The fireline on the right side is the same spot as in my picture above.  Photo by Single Dad Laughing on flickr (so don’t pin this, it’s not mine.)  It will be a long time before all those hotspots have burned out. }

But in all those fires there were never homes lost.  People weren’t hurt.  I am so thankful for those who are protecting me, my family, my childhood home from all of it.  I’m thankful for those who are protecting us abroad and at home.  Thanks to them for keeping this the land of the free and the home of the brave.  Happy 4th of July.

UPDATE: Here is a time lapse video that was taken at the end of my mom’s street.  Two hours of fire burning condensed into 22 seconds.  It is sickening how quickly it burned up the side of the mountain and crested the ridge…


July 1, 2012

I’m glad June is over.  July has got to be better.  Well, I hope it’s better.  If it would snow that would be awesome (not going to happen) but I’ll settle for a few days where it is under 100 degrees.

June Instagram Mosaic

I am officially starting a few new projects today.  I’ll share about them tomorrow, but I hope it will help me get through this next very hot month without getting too grumpy.

And I just want to say thank you to everyone for your kind comments these past few days.  They mean the world to me.  I really do have the sweetest internet friends ever.  Thank you all.  I’ll be back soon.


June 28, 2012

Yesterday I tried to keep myself busy.  I went thrifting with a new friend, went to dinner with a few friends and then spent the rest of the evening with more friends talking fabric and pyrex and awesomeness.


The night had been planned for weeks.  I had hoped that it would be celebratory.  But when I left I still didn’t know Tuesday’s results.  Scott called me while I was out.  I was in line to buy my dinner. Our project has been cancelled.


I held it together, amazingly. I didn’t let it ruin my night. I didn’t tell anyone until I was back in the car on my way home with just one dear friend to talk to. She let me cry and I didn’t feel awkward. Thanks Amy.


When I got home everyone was asleep. Scott left this morning before I was awake, standard 5:15am routine. I don’t want to talk about it anyway. There is nothing we can do, the vote was 112 to 71 against the project. It kills me that such small numbers decide so much sometimes. But that’s America I guess. Democracy at work.


I don’t know why some things happen and some don’t.  That’s not my job.  My job is to make the very best of any situation I am in.  And I am going to.  I don’t know what Plan B is yet.  But I’ll make one.  Things will “work out”. Whatever that means.  There is a silver lining in here somewhere.  And I am determined to find it.  Over the past three months as we were killing time waiting for this week I decided to clean my entire house, top to bottom, inside out.  I had hoped that it would make it that much easier if we were able to move.  But, hey, at least now I’m living in a clean house.  That’s something.

More pink

Thank you dear friends for all your support and love and prayers.  I have an overwhelming sense of peace.  Which I know is a result of a lot of love and prayer and goodwill in our behalf.  And I am so grateful for it.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  It means more to me than you know.

Black and White

And no matter what, no matter what happens, what is lost, what is gained, I will have these two forever.  My family is mine.  And they are the most important thing to me.  Really, as long as I have them things are “working out”.  Whatever that means.  I’ll be back soon.  I promise.

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