Sunday, March 31, 2013

A green pillow (or two)

Last week was, despite lots of other stuff going on, a pretty good week for sewing. It was so good, in fact, that I didn't have time to blog about it. I was too busy sewing!
The downstairs pillow makeover took another leap forward with the finish of two more pillow cases!
These guys will go on the guest bed with the teal and gray dresden pillow.
I decided to pull in the wonderful Lizzy House bracelets to coordinate with the teal pillow and combined them with V and Co.'s White and Graphite Grey Dotty Ombre and Half Moon Modern Big Dots in Lime, another favorite.
The back of the pillows is a repurposed sheet from Ikea. The comforter on the downstairs bed is white, gray, and lime green, so these really look fun with it.
The guest section of the basement is just about done now, so after I finish one more project, I'll post some pics of everything together.
With these added to the teal and pink pillows, I only have two more pillows left to cover downstairs, but they'll probably wait until I recover the downstairs chair on which one of the pillows will reside. Hmmm ... pillows are probably easier than chair recovering. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

P is for pillow, T is for teal

The great downstairs pillow makeover continues! Last night, I finished the second pillow cover for the basement guest area, a teal dresden plate to go with the pink pillow I made a few weeks ago.
As I mentioned last week, this pillow was my first attempt at making a dresden plate, and I'm quite happy with how it turned out. I'm still pretty new to quilting, so I haven't actually done a lot of the very basic, "classic" blocks.
These pillow makeovers seemed like a great opportunity to try my hand at a few blocks without having to make an entire quilt.
Originally, the pink pillow was actually going to be a log cabin (another one I've never done — what?!?!), but I ended up going with a stripes block instead. But for this pillow, I refused to be dissuaded from the dresden.
The dresden plate itself is made of lots of teal scraps and solids from my stash. The backing is Lizzy House's wonderful Pearl Bracelet in Tin Man (which proved to be super hard to photograph in my lighting. No, it's not an ombre fabric.).
For the back of the pillow, I did a simple envelope enclosure. The fabric is Temple Tiles in Ocean from Patty Young's Sanctuary collection, which I've had in my stash forever, just waiting for the right project. Right project = found.
Though this pillow will be going on our guest bed downstairs, I'm kind of loving how it looks in our bay window. Maybe I'll have to make a matching one...
In progress:
Just 4 more pillows to go! The fabric's all picked out; now I gotta get stitchin'!
I'm all set to get back to work on this one and finally finish it. Next Saturday, I'm going to the St. Louis Modern Quilt Guild's sew-in, and this baby is at the top of my to-do list.

On the "to do" list: 
New pillows for the downstairs bed and two chairs Table runner iPod workout strap New quilt for the living room (thinking of doing a sliced coins quilt) A mug rug for me
T-shirt quilt
Picnic quilt
Ironing board cover 
Re-cover downstairs chair

Divided basket (just bought the Noodlehead pattern!)
Small diaper bag
Nursery quilt 

P.S. I'm linking up to WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced. Check it out!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Peace out, Google Reader

As I'm sure you've heard by now, my beloved Google Reader's days are numbered. Apparently, there are lots of options for other readers out there, but I'm liking the ease and format of Bloglovin'. You can import all of your blogs from Google Reader with a click of a button in about two minutes, and look how pretty it is.
The Polka Dot Chair had a great post highlighting all the cool things you can do with Bloglovin'.

Interested in joining? Be sure to keep following A Blue Sky Kind of Life by either importing your blogs from Google Reader or clicking the button below.
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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Viva la Mexico!

Matt's Spring Break was a few weeks ago, and we got to celebrate with a trip to Mexico.
Unfortunately, as I mentioned before, it got off to quite a rocky start. We were supposed to leave on Friday, but when I went to check us in for our flight on Thursday, I noticed Matt's passport expired a month ago. NOOOOOOO!!!!!!
This discovery led to a very long morning of calling the passport office, changing our flights, making an appointment at the nearest passport office (which is in Hot Springs, 6.5 hours away!), changing our hotel shuttle reservation, making a hotel reservation for Matt in Hot Springs, and on and on and on.
On Thursday night, Matt hit the road for Hot Springs. On Friday, instead of leaving for Mexico, he had his appointment, had to wait around for five hours before getting his passport, and then had to turn around and drive the 6.5 hours back to St. Louis. And, oh yeah, he had to pack.
Thankfully, even though it was a lot of trouble, it all went smoothly, and we caught our flight out on Saturday morning. But the fates weren't done with us yet. Earlier in the week, B had suffered from a brief but yucky stomach bug.
It seemed that Matt and I had escaped getting it, but apparently it was just waiting for travel day because I woke up on Saturday feeling nauseous. Over the course of the day, I eventually threw up six times, once on the way to the airport and then five times during the course of our two flights. Let's just say taking off and landing are brutal if you have a stomach bag. And it's so humiliating to puke on an airplane.
It was particularly bad when, at the end of our second flight, the flight attendant openly refused to take my (perfectly clean on the outside) refuse bag because "we (i.e., the airline) recycle everything." She told me I had to take it with me off the plane and dispose of it in the terminal. Are you kidding me???
The attendant on the first flight had no problem taking all three of the bags I'd handed her, and we'd already thrown away one bag on the second flight without handing it to attendant directly. I was furious, to say the least.
Anyway, you didn't come here to read about throw up, did you? I was pretty sickly the rest of that day and the next, but thankfully, things improved steadily after that, and even better, Matt and his parents never got it, so we were able to fully enjoy the rest of the trip.
Though we have quite a history of traveling in Mexico, we'd never been to Cabo San Lucas, so it was nice to try out a new location. Matt's parents have a timeshare there, and they'd been once before, so they were happy to show us around.
The hotel is nestled into the mountains and on the beach, about 30 minutes outside of town. It's pretty isolated, but let's face it, we weren't there to go clubbing, so we didn't miss not going into the city.
The entire resort is very hilly and spread out, so they have these "safari" carts that you can ride to anywhere on the grounds. At times, it was a little inconvenient that you couldn't just walk everywhere (at least not easily), but the carts were fun, too.
Our days were spent in a rotation of walking around the grounds, lounging by/playing in the pool, eating nachos, drinking pina coladas, and then eating, drinking, and playing some more. Nice work if you can get it...
B seemed to love the weather (How could you not? It was perfect.) and really liked getting to wear his shorts and rompers.
He had mixed results in the pool. We took him to swim lessons last summer, which he really enjoyed, but I think perhaps it's just been too long.
Also, he's still so new to walking that he really just wants to do that all the time.
Oh, and climb stairs.
All that walking also led to B making a lot of new friends around the pool and resort, particularly among the grandparent set.
Thank goodness for lots of grandparent help from B's own grandparents.
Matt's parents were awesome and had such a great time with B (and us, too, but let's face it, we've been replaced by B. He's much cuter.).
One thing that was kind of a bummer was that you couldn't go in the water at the beach. The rip tides were crazy strong, and you could tell it was super hazardous just by looking at it (and in case you couldn't, there were plenty of red flags, warning signs, and employees "guarding" the water to make sure it was clear).
Still, the waves were amazing to watch (though they seemed to scare B, even though we never got closer than 25 feet at least).
B's favorite part about going to the beach was getting to play in the showers you use to clean the sand off your feet. They were just his height. :)
We snuck in just before the end of whale season, and we had some pretty awesome whale shows over the course of the week. See that tiny dot in the picture below (where the arrow's pointing)? That's a whale jumping out of the water, and it's the best picture of one that I got. They looked much better in person.
We had a really wonderful time, and B was an excellent traveler. He did great on all four flights, and it made us cautiously optimistic that things will go smoothly for our next big trip — Italy in May!
Thank goodness our passports are all up to date. :)