Saturday, 31 May 2008

When Your Baby is Not a Baby

This morning was not unlike other slumbery weekend mornings. The girls hop in, on, and over our sleepy torsos until we're fed up with knees in our faces, feet in our ribs, and sibling bickering in our ears. The adult in one of us usually arises from the bed with an order of cease and desist, or, shall I say, bribery with the going rate of one 40 minute video session of Dora or Scooby Doo.

I will admit, I actually asked DH today, is there anyway you can teach them how to use the t.v. remote? The fact that on any given night I relinquish control of the remote due to driver incompetency while searching/viewing/taping anything and everything, was NOT on my list of memorables this morning. I was too busy fighting two small ninja chickens for the last 20 minutes of my slumber.

It may sound like I'm complaining but really I'm not. This is quality family time. Inevitably there between the robbed duvet, prodding elbows and shrieking giggles, emerges some babble of dialect, sharing of untainted visions and finally, the colorful and fairytale desires held close in the hearts of little girls everywhere. This, my friends, is why we do it. Why we choose to become parents.

Today it was Cutiepie's turn to grab our hearts and amuse us.

The babble began with visions of her next birthday.
Daddy, when I have my birthday, I'm going to be 2!
No, baby, you will be turning 4.
No, 2! I want to be a baby.
You ARE our baby.
So I can be 2?

Clearly she had a theme. And she turned to me:
Mommy, please can you buy some soothers (aka, pacifiers) from the shop?
What? But you don't need them.
I know. But you should buy some nappies (aka diapers) too. I promise I won't use them, but babies should have them in the house.

Finally, as if to show she means business, and baby business that is, she requests,
Mom, when we go to the shop I want to ride in the trolley (aka, shopping cart).
Cutiepie, really, you don't need a buggy, you can walk.
But, I need to sit in the trolly!
Cutiepie! I'm not even sure if the store has trolleys.

She gestures emphatically with her hands,
Surely, there are babies in the store, so they must have trolleys!

A clever baby she is.

Friday, 23 May 2008

Monkeying in the Sun

We're here! We're here! Gone nowhere. Just busy enjoying the sunshine!

We're still managing some work. But also some fun.

I'm working away on my new venture. More news to come.

My sewing maching is at the doctors having it's tension looked at, so I've got nothing crafty to report.

Though, we are headed to the Dublin chapter of IPS (Irish Patchwork Society) tomorrow morning. That will be fun.

Afterward it is a family affair as we all head to AnneMarie's. We've been promised endless joy for the kids and sheer brain numbing relaxment for the adults. So what all it takes is a bouncy castle and wine, respectively? Sign us up!!

Before I sign off check out the cutsie skirt below on Cutiepie(standing alongside handsome DH!). Mary Poppins whizzed them up by hand using a pants sleeve and some threaded pink ribbons! If I can ever get 'em off Cutiepie, I'll post an upclose pic of the clever design.
Enjoy your weekend!!

Sunday, 18 May 2008

31 Months, 26 Days, 4 Hours, 29 Minutes, and 5 Seconds Later ...

Ahhhh, the Quilt is finished.

Oh! The feeling of a job done!! Babydoll's quilt is finished. She is delighted. She has waited longer for this quilt than for anything else in her little short life. I started the quilt in September of 2005.

This quilt is made of all of Babydoll's infant dresses in sample blocks I was learning in my quilting group. I thought it had been my very first quilt until yesterday, when *gulp* I uncovered a UFO older than it. Wait til you see IT. Stay tuned.

Back to the present accomplishment. This poor quilt. Not only does it suffer from amnesia, but it *fell asleep* in a window for many months and has a faded back. It also was the most unfortunate placement for a leaky red pen, again, more scarring on its backside.

The work has always been a family affair. I enlisted a cousin and Cutiepie to do some pinning, cause, heck, I didn't know what I was doing.

Babydoll knew early on this was her blanket and quickly posed on it before the pinning took hold.

And she again posed for the camera. Two years later. The difference between toddler and schoolgirl.

Today, the schoolgirl in Babydoll offered her hand at final touches.

You might remember when she was so anxious to have this quilt that she snuck it into bed with pins and all.

Tonight I'm happy to report she and it are snug and without the pins!
With that monumental task behind us, we set out for a gorgeous walk in the field beside.
Hope you all enjoyed your Sunday!

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Wanted Creative Artists and Photographers, Must Be Generous

Most of you know, I quilt and I write. Well, I've decided to make an honest living out the two of them. They're getting married. Please meet Irish Quilting (IQ), soon to be Ireland's first quilting magazine.

Verry soon I will be hustling IQ to the many enterprise, small biz and other powers-that-be in a position to grant/provide funds for this new business. I am also soliciting the beginning of a long line of advertisers for IQ. For this two-part task, IQ needs a rockin' identity on paper.

Calling all graphic artists and photographers. If you know of anyone talented, creative and who might be willing to help, send 'em my way. Do you know someone in art school, in a photography class? Send 'em my way. Mark my words, this is prime opportunity to help them create some great portfolio material.

Because we're in early stages, there is no money. And yet, we need talent. What is needed is a look for our first approach to all stakeholders in this magazine. We are looking for a classical, clean look for IQ, leaving the styling and color to the Irish iconic photgraphy and gorgeous quilt content.

Masthead: (Irish Quilting) for extended use in all graphics (header, website, stationary)
Icon graphic: IQ
Thumbnails: Mock pictures of magazine incorporating masthead

And...while there is no upfront money for these Short Term Needs (Long Term Needs compensated), that is not to say, an early fund or grant will not be awarded. Enterprise boards often reimburse costs and expenses (to a limit) for budding entrepreneurships. These startup costs will be the first expenses paid. And of course, there is unlimited advertisement to come in the magazine and materials. For those U.S.-based, all I can say is, Think Global!

So, please
Email me a rockin' logo/masthead
Send this link onto someone who might be interested

And while we're at it, where's your IQ today?

My Life, Starring PMS

You know life is good when your therapist ends your session saying, “Well, honestly, you seem really well. You’re on track and you seem to have a good balance in your life. There is no reason we should continue our sessions.” Oh. Oh, good.

Why was I seeing a therapist, you might ask? Well I can tell you.

Life comes in doses and when it’s excessive, it overloads. And well, being VerrySherry, I suffer from overload.

I’m kidding. Really. I just like hearing the psychologist student in me theorize.

The real reason for therapy began on a wet, grey, PMS-infused Tuesday afternoon in February. The PMS role, it’s key here. PMS is always the headliner at any show. It can upstage anything and everything. You can have your car break down and your hair dyed green during that time of the month and still, the torture and crying and screaming brought on by PMS will be paramount to a crumpled fender and mint-colored straw hair anyday. But I digress.

The week earlier, my lawyer for the car accident called with news of a settlement. Would I like to come in and discuss whether we accept the settlement offer? Um, yes.

So on Tuesday I scheduled an early work-from–home day; I could pick up the kids at 3pm from school; drop them off at the house; and shoot away for my 6pm appointment in a town two hours away. In theory it was a plan.

In actuality, it was chaotic and I was frazzled.

Just when you can not handle a thing more on your plate, that thing appears.

Or calls.

And he says, “Hi! I’m starving. What’s fixin’ for dinner?” I remind DH that I was traveling to see the lawyer. I tell him dinner is last on my mind. I’m running late, I’m worried about my absence from work, I’m stressed over the rush hour traffic and will I ever find parking?

Yes. Rush hour traffic. Bottlenecking while entering and exiting villages. The freeway in between moves easily enough. It’s not a “freeway” here, it’s a “motorway.” Four years on, I still call it a “freeway”. In every conversation, Irish people comment with a little chuckle, “oh, we call that a motorway.” Holding onto my Californian roots, I get a kick out of using the wrong word, as it never fails to get someone's attention. Again, I digress.

I must have vented a little too much, ‘cause DH’s reaction was, “Why in world did you make your appointment for that time? That is insane!”

Cue the PMS.

By the time I reached my lawyer’s office, I was one nudge shy of collapsing into a puddle in the corner. I entered the waiting room. Good. More time to gather my emotions and shore up the damn.

Finally I sit across from my lawyer of three years on this case. She spoke. She chose her words not carefully enough, I’d like to think.

“Ms. VerrySherry, your file is bursting full, and it seems we have to call you to remind you to return forms and well, this case should be easier than it is, and is there something about the car accident that makes you shut down anytime you need to deal with it or us?”

Look out below. Damn broke.

All I remember is bits and drabs. I spewed out something about being responsible and returning phone calls and forms, something about motherhood and a career, something about the rain and a lost parking space, something about who’s gonna do dinner and who’s gonna go hungry.

Trust me, this I write is coherent. That she heard, incoherent. Soggy, sobbing words amid the crying: motherhood...can’t...working...can’t...bills...can’’t...dinner…

She leaned over with a box of tissue and patted my hand.

“Righty-o.” She spoke in a soft low tone, “We should decline the settlement offer and you should seek therapy right away. We’ll have your doctor write a report for mental anguish and ask them to revise the settlement accordingly.”

And you know what, friends? I had absolutely no energy to tell her otherwise. PMS had reared it’s ugly head and took center stage; the car accident was a distant memory. But my lawyer thought otherwise.

So like any mom who is supposed to do something for herself immediately, I let a month slip by and then booked an appointment with a therapist. Just in time for Aunt Flow’s (aka PMS) next visit. Again tears came at the drop of hat. Timing, people. It’s all about timing.

For my next three visits, everything came up roses. I couldn’t muster a quick 15 minute down-on-my-luck performance if my life depended on it. An actress, I am not.

So here we are, back at the start of this tale, with my therapist giving me a clean bill of health. Now I just have to update my lawyer.

I’ll be sure to wait ‘til Aunt Flow has left the building.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Yummy New Gear

Oh, I'm so excited!

I've ordered this laptop and may there peace and harmony in the world...or at least in my posts.

And then, as if reading my mind, or rather my order form where I opted out on the carrier bag, Kathy reveals this. Wouldn't it be out-of-this-world if I can use this as my carrier bag?

I've put forth my questions to Kathy and her Pink Chalk Studio regarding this yummy bag. The most important being: am I really capable of making something so cool?

Let's hope the word too, is green for go. At least that's what Cutiepie would say.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

What A Tease!

There was a time when 'tease' meant something entirely different.

These days, a tease is when serving our favorite cookies with our tea. Does he get chocolate? Does he get vanilla? Only I know.

These days, a tease is when arriving at the driveway gate (closed) and my arm moves toward the car door. Will I get out and open the gate? Will he have to get out? Only I know.

These days, a tease is planning a romantic evening and expecting romance. Will I be zonked after one glass of wine? Or two glasses of wine? Only I know. Well, not necessarily.

So, internets, this is my tease for you.

What's it look like in full? Are you my secret partner? Only I know.
Bring on the ALQS. My top is finished and quilting begins soon.

Sure, I mourn the old tease. But, hey, a tease is still a tease.

Sweet Danger

There is a shortened sense of excitement when a friend bestows certain good things onto us.

We are elated in the moment, at the thought of goodness. Rarely, do we think of the aftermath.

Like when you’re invited out for drinks on a worknight.

Or when your friend asks you to be a a seagreen colored dress.

Or when your friend sends you this.

A solid five ounces of six full-filled inches of Reese’s cup delight. Oh yummy. When I first saw it, I thought, oh, I should re-gift this to one of my girls.

Then one night six days later. One night in a PMS mood. I thought of Mr. Bunny and the delish joy he might bring.

Who are we kidding? I mean, really, who are we kidding? I knew eventually I’d be working off the aftermath of this sweet treat for a lotta morning walks, so I might as well get the deed done.

In a flash I sought out Mr. Bunny and proceeded to eat the entirety of Mr. Bunny, right down to his toes.

Actually I left his feet alone. Until the next morning.

So what if I ate rabbit feet for breakfast? They were delicious.

Monday, 12 May 2008

New Look

Powered by Trista at the Pumpkin Patch. Love her work!

Hope you like it as well! The best thing is, there is more in store for your eyes. Stay tuned!

Friday, 9 May 2008

It's This Thing Called Life...

...and it can be so distracting.

I have to work and all I want to do is blog.
I have to clean and all I want to do is blog.
I have to feed my family and all I want to do is blog.

And I want to sew. And go buy this. And go see this.

But no, I sit and what do I do? Work.

Obviously, I am whining just a tad bit. Here are some photos that prove life is good.

Firstly, GirlE's quilt is finished. Designed and pieced by her (*gasp* a very talented 11yo) , I've finished the quilting and binding and can't wait to deliver it to her.
Glorious sunny days and, of course, an uncooperating wind!
Below is a finished quilt soon to be enroute to America to a newly born babe. I concentrated on quilting outside my box, no pun intended for this Bento Box pattern. It has become one of my favorites.

And finally, the sunshine has been spoiling us here in Ireland. Fabulous weather. We were caught unexpectantly on the Bank Holiday Monday (a nationwide nonwork day for most Irish), but were in the right spot for it: at DH's sister's gorgeous home overlooking the Blessington Lakes. This photo was taken while enjoying breakfast on the deck. Oh, the life!

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

In My Thoughts Today...

May 6, 2018

Door flies open. Babydoll and a friend come bouncing in, squealing and laughing their way to the fridge. The friend stops and peers through to the sitting area, watching an older middle age woman in the next room.

I’m talking into the phone with a smile on the face and a sparkle in my eye. I’m relaxed and at peace. Suddenly, following some vision, some notion, in the conversation, I burst into laughter, then giggles, then I laugh again so hard, my eyes well up with tears. This repeats several times during the phone call.

The teenage friend yanks at Babydoll’s faded hoodie and says, “Hey! What’s up with your mom? Is she alright?”

Babydoll leans in for a closer look, and then with an exaggerated roll of the eyes, she says, “Yeah, she’s ok. I bet she’s talking to Twirly in America. They are so, like, silly. When she and my mom get together, on the phone or in person, they can’t stop laughing and are FOREVER silly. It can be SOOOO embarrassing!”


Today, Twirly is known for care packages of purple jello and ranch dip as well as for her funny faces on the Skype camera. Though, she is best, and formerly, known for her curly hair—thus the nickname, Twirly.

Honestly, I’ve always envisioned the scene painted here, where my daughters grow up knowing that not only is Twirly part of our family, that she's my infectious joyful friend. The one who can spin Mommy laughing so hard, she cries.

Happy Birthday Twirly. We love you.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Swap Talk

This time last year I embarked on my first quilt swap. This is where a small (24 inches max) quilt is made and sent it to an anonymous partner. Everyone in the swap receives a quilt. Generally it is a win-win deal.

I remember mailing day, wrapping up my quilt to be sent off. DH had come in and when I filled him in on the details, his eyes bugged out. I had put a lot of time and effort into my quilt and having grown so attached to it, he was surprised and saddened to learn it was venturing off to live in a home other than ours. The quilt itself was a colorwash landcape, a technique that completely grabs at my heart. It was a first attempt, but overall I think it was nice.

Near about the same time, I received the quilt destined for our home from Tracie. It was lovely, and still is. The colors are bright and refreshing and we even redid our bathroom colors so as to match. I love looking up at it.

Unfortunately, we were never quite certain of my quilt's fate. You see, I seem to recall the swap organizer confirming it's receipt, however, I never heard from my partner nor did I ever see a post regarding this quilt on her blog. I'm still a ghostly lurker over there. It still hurts. I have never had the heart to tell DH that the quilt went away without any recognition. It was disheartening to say the least.

There was a second swap and I will admit I was still wounded from the earlier swap. My heart wasn't in it, and I'm afraid it showed in my quilt. I did basic piecing and quilting, not wishing to go out on a limb a second time. (Though it's new owner was ever so gracious and appreciative.) And to make me feel even worse, the quilt I received was unbelieveably gorgeous!! My handiwork is on left; whereas my partner Zita's lovely work is on right.

So here we are and my lovely friend Kate has invited me to join in the ALQS group. I am always in awe of her quilting and all her lovely artwork, so I couldn't resist. Happily, I approach it with new freshness. I remember these pointers and hope to have a better experience:
  • KISS, keep it simple stupid
  • Timely, allowing plenty of time to design, piece and quilt
  • Knowingly, learning about my partner and their likes/dislikes
From stalking my new partner's blog, I've learned my partner is a very fun person. Off to a good start! On the blog, there are numerous clues as to my partner's likes and dislikes. This partner seems very seasoned in quilting, so I'm focusing on doing simple concepts executed perfectly. I'm ready to have fun!

I've spent the best daylight hours choosing from my fabric stash. Here are the two color palettes, one must be eliminated.

Which one do you like best?