Nametag Swap

I joined the Nametag Swap hosted by Rachel at House of Pinheiro, and I realized I haven’t been posting so my partner can learn more about me! I am teamed up with Jen at Tea for Two. And then I recall high school newspaper and my teacher being frustrated with me, saying that using bullet points in an article wasn’t acceptable and I knew that, so why did I do it. But in this case, when I still need to take pictures for the blog posts I have planned, seven bullet points it is -

  • I love to sew. I know how to embroider, crochet, cross stitch – but at the end of the day, I love to sew.
  • I love bright colors – when I sew. I don’t dress like I love bright colors – my wardrobe is full of dark dresses and tops.

2012-08-29 11.13.12Okay there are some exceptions. (forgive the lighting!)

  • Since moving overseas I wear cowboy boots every day. It’s like I’m in high school again! And my hair is halfway down my back, another high school throwback. I am getting a haircut as soon as I can make an appointment, but the boots won’t go away. Fashion here is far from my jeans and sneakers, but I’m not that evolved so I merely wear jeans and boots. Comfy and though I’m sure I don’t look French, I wonder if I still look super American. Probably.
  • I dress fairly conservatively so I wear flashy jewelry. I wear almost only Native American jewelry – beaded, cooper, silver, quill, etc. The majority of my jewelry is handmade by someone, maybe I know them, maybe not. I do wear other jewelry not specifically Native though! I just love jewelry in general I suppose.

2012-08-28 08.05.48 2012-08-30 18.15.10 2012-09-01 16.29.14

  • I have just as many WIPs as I do finished projects. Since moving here, I have easily seven quilt tops – to be honest I haven’t counted. I am quick to start a new project without finishing, to get the idea out of my head, to cut the fabric to have it ready to sew.
  • I love binge watching tv. We gave up on conventional cable when we moved to Pebble Beach over a year ago. Moving overseas we do subscribe, but of course it’s in French – which is great because we need to learn, etc. – but the truth is we don’t watch much of it. We have Netflix and Hulu and watch a show a night when we are interested in catching up on a show we forgot about (Revolution!), and I have a few tv shows on DVD to watch/listen to while sewing. Grey’s Anatomy is a favorite, but sometimes I fall back on oldies like Friends or yes I admit it, Dawson’s Creek.
  • I love to read. If I love a book, I will stay up late to finish and focus on only reading it. If I don’t love a book though, I’m quick to toss it to the side. We left so many of our books behind, in storage. We have ordered some from Amazon here and there, and I have yet to jump on the e-reader bandwagon. Books and magazines may take a lot of space but I’ve always been okay with that.

And with that, I am off to take pictures of a quilt back I finished, and another quilt top I finished, and a bag I made, and whatever WIPs I have covering my sewing and cutting table! My room, it is a mess.

How To Adjust Time Zones Quickly

When we left the US and moved to France I was prepared with a bottle of melatonin for us to all take so we would have an easier time getting adjusted to the time change. Of course when I read about how to use it, I came across all the scary, don’t take this or else, omg all of this can happen to kids stories. So I figured we would have to just sleep and figure it out.

F-GUGBPhoto via flickr

First of all - fly at night. We flew from San Francisco and with the flight time and the time difference, we landed in Paris in the morning. It was a little difficult to sleep on the plane, but everyone in the family managed to get at least a handful of hours of sleep.

When we finally got all of our luggage and found the van that was taking us to the hotel, we were excited, tired, and hungry. After getting checked in and separating the luggage into storage and using for the week, we ventured to find food. We found it right up the block – and paid about $50 for some small, sad, salads and a sandwich. Talk about being taken!

But we went back to the hotel and I and the youngest ended up taking a nap while the rest of the family went for a walk, and they laid down soon after they came back. I woke up for dinner and we went for a quick walk to get a power cord for our laptop before returning. Everyone woke up off and on between dinner and about 1 A.M. before I said okay everyone to bed. After waking for a busy day of finishing things, we all went to bed early and enjoyed a long night of rest.

So – take a night flight, nap on and off the rest of the day when you arrive, sleeping all night and wake at a normal hour. Let’s hope this works when people come to visit!

Conflicted about HIMYM

It’s taken me a couple of days of thinking about HIMYM (and watching old episodes on netflix) before deciding if I like how the series ended. And I’m still not sure.

Barney – I do love that after years of not really loving anyone, he loved his daughter. Sometimes that’s what it takes right! Kids can change people. But he did love Robin. I’m not sure I’d accept a great three years as a great marriage and have that be that. Especially after we watched them all season work toward getting married. If the series kept going, would they have gotten a divorce? I suppose so since the show ultimately ended a certain way…

Robin – why can’t Barney just stand by her, realizing that her career is awesome, and be supportive! He had to have grown up and not be so selfish, right? I like that she had a great career at least.

Lily – what happened to her painting, or her involvement in art anyway? I don’t think it’s that great that her accomplishment in the end is that she had kids. Is that great, yes, but she is more than a Mom. She and Marshall broke up because of her painting! They moved to Italy for her painting! Did she go back to teaching?

Marshall – Supreme Fudge! Kind of cool. But whatever happened to saving the environment?

Ted – Ted. Ted. Ted! What the heck. He’s stood outside Robin’s place many times, but geez. Did we really watch this show for this long to have him and Robin get together? The idea is telling stories to your kids about … how you met their mother. Not how you met your mother, but really you wanted to hook up with Aunt Robin, even after all those years. Bad form.

The Mother – she seemed like Ted’s perfect person. The bass guitar, the two kids, one boy, one girl (okay no one really gets to pick that). Their story seemed like it was a great one. But her dying – that sucks. That had to happen for Ted and Robin to hook up, the Mother was too built up to have them get a divorce. She was perfect.

If the show ended once they met, it would have been awesome.

I read that the actors playing the kids filmed their scenes years ago, since they would of course grow up as time went on. But why not have them film a bunch of different scenarios!

I think I like this alternate ending a lot.

WIP It Now

I have been sewing an insane amount. Seriously. Well, I was until a few weeks ago. I am in a sewing slump. I haven’t sat and sewn anything in all that time! After four or so months of sewing every single day, a slump had to come at some point right.

Anyway, moving here has changed my day. All three kids are in school (even the just turned four year old – more on French education/schools soon) four days a week, and so I am free to do whatever. Once I got a sewing machine (because I plugged my American one in here and boom, wrecked it), there was no stopping me. I love sewing so this has been a new feeling for me, I am even late on a swap! I feel terrible about that, it’s the first time I’ve ever been late.

Over the weekend I cleaned my sewing room, thinking that cleaning it would motivate me. And it sort of worked! I found what I think is my oldest WIP, here are the strips for half of the blocks -

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I started this in I think 2008 or 2009. It was a class at a LQS when we lived in Texas. I love the main fabric for this. I put the finished blocks up on my ‘design wall’ (really a piece of batting stuck to the wall) to remind myself that I loved it. It worked. I am very excited to finish this.

I often download patterns and just save them. It’s like pictures that live in your computer – patterns live in mine. I decided I needed to just print one off and do it. So I printed the Cargo Duffle and forced myself to pick fabric. I love what I picked, but I need to decide if I like the flaps for the pockets. I’m leaning toward yes, but also just leaving them laying there (only since yesterday!) to decide. I cut the fabric and sewed Monday and Tuesday. I need a zipper though, I bought one but it isn’t big enough so I need to go looking again.

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And I have so many projects I decided to pick one out that is close to being finished and just finish it. This starquilt (that is actually either a large wall hanging or a large table runner) needs the corners and triangles cut out before the top is finished.

IMG_6421[1]Linking up with WIP Wednesday

After Six Months

FlowersFlowers in a garden by the castle, early morning last week.

It’s been about six months since we have been in France. So far -

~ we eat a late dinner. Almost every single night! We don’t eat until 7:30 or 8PM. This is relatively normal for families here. There seems to be an emphasis on goĆ»ter – which means a snack – after school (or on the weekends) which holds you until dinner.

~ ride the tram or bus or walk everywhere. We love this. It’s a fifteen minute ride to IKEA, from end to end it’s probably 40-45 minutes, though we have never done that. The only problem with that is IKEA has turned into our version of Target. And we all know how easy it is to jump in the car and go to Target.

~ the kids are all speaking French. While I knew this would happen, it’s still kind of amazing to hear them having conversations with their friends or have them help me when we are out somewhere.

~ we have some friends that have already made their mark. I’ve been called Auntie, someone gave me a recipe that was from their Grandma, we have people we can call in case of an emergency (we haven’t had any, knock on wood, but I am happy to have phone numbers saved in my phone).

I was doing a photo a day on instagram, but admit I lost speed. I am getting back to that, I need to figure out what day I would be on first! Our first six months here included a living in a hotel, figuring out the bus schedule, getting used to a new way of eating, enjoying that everything is closed on Sunday’s, and so much more. Here’s to another six months, which will include more pictures, travel, friends over for dinner, birthday celebrations, and so much more.

3 WIPs for Wednesday

I have a few things in currently working on, and hoping to finish within the next few days.

First up are the last three of my Toes In The Sand BOM! We got the mail last weekend so I now have all three, plus the rest of the fabric to finish the top. I am all caught up with this one so a top will be finished soon.

Toes in the sand BOM

I finally quilted the little mug rug/wall hanging I made recently. I just need to finish the binding. It took a second to figure out the hexagon binding, but that went quickly once I got started.

Almost done

And last, the back for my March Finish Along quilt. This one is proving to be more difficult as I first pieced the leftover cuts, which ended up taking longer than I expected. I suppose it’s not more difficult as it’s just taking some time. This is almost all of my leftover fabric so I need to figure out what else to add to it. And the binding!

Backing for March Finish along

I need to finish this one so I can get it quilted and finished by the end of the month! Linking up over at WIP Wednesday.

Sewing Every Day

After talking about creating every day, I am going to sew every day. This is going to be easy! I have honestly always wondered how people do it. How do people keep their houses super clean, and their kids all cute, behaved, and organized, and also sew amazing quilts. We have to carve time out for ourselves, we carve time out to create, and to make stuff.

New to me Tula PinkLook at some new (to me!) fabric! We got the mail this weekend (we don’t get our mail very often, it’s a couple of hours away) and I received some fabric I bought on instagram.

I have a rough schedule that I follow every day, because when you have kids you need to schedule! So on days when the kids all have school (four days a week) my schedule is something like this:

9AM – home from taking kids to school, have tea and breakfast (usually I have water and maybe a banana while getting ready for the day, so breakfast is an orange or a croissant, not heavy (just like the French!), with a cup of tea. I am either at the computer afterward or in the sewing room.

12PM – Lunch. Because we have been here for so long, I am used to eating lunch at noon. And I don’t grab and go, I sit at the table, read a book, or play a game on the ipad. I often take at least 45 minutes, the lunch hour is an hour and a half ‘normally.’

4:10PM – Alarm to get ready to leave to get the kids from school. It’s about a ten minute walk and I set an alarm so I can get shoes and a jacket on, check the tram schedule if it’s raining and I can’t walk.

5PM – Home from school, some chaos in the getting home, putting jackets and shoes away, getting homework out, having a snack, and thinking about or starting dinner.

7PM (or 7:30PM – the French eat late. They famously eat late? I don’t know. But after the snack at 5, eating at 7 or 7:30 is normal. Okay even eating at 8PM happens.

See all of that free time in there! I have some plans for sewing and my free time needs to be organized. We are coming off of the winter holiday (that’s a two week break here) so I look forward to making a schedule for me. I’ll be back in a couple of days with a report on how it’s going. I have another six weeks before the kids have their next holiday break, so I am going to think of some deadlines for myself and get stuff done.