Birthday Wish List

Thursday, April 29, 2010
My birthday is Sunday {woot woot.} I'm not 30 yet but I'll be pretty dang close. I'm not one of those women who is afraid of getting older, maybe it has to do with being {constantly!} mistaken for being 15-17 years old! Yeah, I know - How awful is that?!

It's not that bad actually, except for when I'm with my church girls (I'm the leader of the Beehives, 12-13 year old girls) and I blend right in! I'm a petite gal in height and weight so yeah, I blend right in. Heck, some of my girls are much taller than me. Hopefully my take charge attitude and self confidence shows that I'm NOT one of the 12 year-olds.

The only other time it is annoying to look so young is when I'm pregnant. Especially if I'm out and about by myself or with one of my kids. You should see the dirty looks I get especially from other middle-aged women. When they are giving me one of those piercing looks of disapproval, the hormonal crazy person inside of me just wants to go over there and give them some of my "oh-no-you-did-nt" attitude. It makes me want to yell at them to mind their own business and tell them how happily married I am (now 8 years!!) to a wonderful husband who has a great job so I can stay home to raise my children, and about how they can take their judgments and shove it. {It's a good thing I'm only hormonal while pregnant - which I'm not mom!} Interestingly enough I've never noticed any of the same looks when I'm out with my husband. I jokingly tell him that the looks we get then, are directed at him for "robbing the cradle." Actually when we are all out together we get tons of nice compliments about our family, our well behaved kids, and about what "cute children we make." {I still don't know how to feel about that lost comment/compliment!}

Mr PD wanted some direction as to what I would like for my birthday. Usually our birthday requests are at least slightly influenced by our needs. So I thought about it and came to the conclusion that right now our needs are met. How great is that blessing? I'm glad that my Heavenly Father has given me that gift for my birthday, that all of our needs are met: we are debt free, we have a budget, we have food storage, we have a home, we have food, we have friends, we have a job, we are healthy (when I know so many friends who are not), we are Happy, we are TOGETHER, we are at Peace, and we can help others. My cup definitely runneth over.

My wants are simple, oh sure I could ask for {not that it would happen, ever or anytime soon}:

a longarm; $12-$20Kbut I'm not willing to make my family go into debt for something I can't drive to the store

an AccuQuilt Studio Cutterat $1600 I don't think so!

Instead I would really appreciate:

a cute little timer; <$4 Bed Bath & Beyond (not for cooking but for limiting my time on the internet! )

any of the following kitchen gadgets to go with the amazing book I already got from my MIL

a danish dough hook/whisk; $7 amazon
a bread box to keep all that yummy bread fresh; $15 Target (my Target had these on clearance for $9)
and something to hold my recipes and books while I'm cooking; $15-25 target
See, simple! Oh and I wouldn't say no to a Hobby Lobby gift card! Did you notice that there are no quilting items/fabric? I'm trying to minimize my stash and use what I have, so I've put myself on a fabric diet. I could use a new quilting ruler and batting but a Hobby Lobby gift card would take care of that.

What would you love to get for your birthday?

Not so original!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010
I had a good laugh the other day when I realized that my "original" tulip flower block was not so original {ok so it was just a smidgen disappointing.} Browsing through my flickr faves I came across Amy's (Park City Girl's) DQS7:

Isn't it gorgeous?

Apparently it made an impression since I didn't even remember having it in my favorites. Still it was fun to figure out the block for myself. I hope Amy doesn't mind that my subconscious really wants to be like her!

I have no idea what size or how Amy constructed her block. I've had questions regarding a pattern for my block my answers:

Where can I find the pattern? Well the tulips can be found in "Jelly Roll Quilts," and a paper piecing template can be found on Sentimental Stitches (I can't seem to find the link so I don't know if she removed the pattern, you could always ask her!)

There is no pattern for the way I made my block, I just made it up! I think I will be writing a pattern for my quilt once it is finished though.

So much for my originality! Then again, it's really hard to be completely original in quilting where creativity and inspiration is drawn from so many other blocks/quilts, it's hard to know who "did it" first.

Time for some serious Fundraising

Monday, April 26, 2010
I can't believe that my Triathlon is little more than a month away!! I must admit that I have been quite the slacker this year with my fundraising efforts. Honestly the effort has been non-existent! That's not good at all. If I don't meet my goal I'll be letting down a really good charity not to mention I'll feel crummy about myself, but I also have to think about the example I'm setting for my kids and for my Young Women girls. Especially since I have been trying to teach them about commitment and following through.

So I'm gearing up my efforts with a special sale in my Etsy Shop. There will be 25 special silhouette listings with the title "Free Digital Portrait Silhouette with Donation to Charity." When you purchase one of these listings and make a $10 (tax deductible! oh yeah!) donation to my fundraising efforts you will get one of my classic portrait ($15 value) silhouettes FREE!

So help a girl out and spread the word will ya?

Of course you can also make a donation even if you don't want a portrait silhouette! Every little bit helps and will be greatly appreciated, even if it's only $1.

What can $1 do?

Here is how you can donate:
1) Head on over to:
3) Select "Norma Evans" from the drop down menu
4) Click the yellow "Donate" button
5) "Norma Evans" and "Mach Tenn Triathlon" should be highlighted.
6) Fill out the form to make your desired donation through PayPal.
7) You will get a receipt (tax deductible!) and your name will appear on my fundraising site.

I thank you humbly in advance,

Bunny Peeps Shirt Stencil

Sunday, April 25, 2010
Sometimes I don't know what comes over me when I decide that I must do something at an insanely late hour or last minute! I seriously wonder when Mr. Pd is going to have me committed to a craft rehab program!

Such was the case the night before Easter. This year I didn't bother making cutesy matching outfits, nor did I bother purchasing them. I thought I would be ok with my decision but apparently I was wrong! I got the itch to have matching shirts for my kids at about 6pm on Saturday night.

I very quickly drew up a cute bunny on Illustrator then copy and pasted it so I would have 3 because odd numbers are better than even numbers {trust me on this.} Then I used my handy dandy Silhouette craft cutter {which had been sitting in it's box since we moved in January, *cough *cough} to cut it out of freezer paper for me. A little bit of craft paint and I had these lovelies ready by 9pm!

And because I'm such a nice person {a nice procrastinator!} I'm sharing the template with you. If you've got a Silhouette or a Cricut (with software) you can easily convert this file over to for use on your machine. Never mind that Easter is over but you can make these for next year! Heck they are cute enough that I'm going to make one for myself and I will proudly wear it all year long! You do have to fill in the gaps with a fine brush.
*by downloading this image you agree to use this template for your own personal use and not for items that are for sale. You may not re-distribute the image by any means. You may not re-format the image for to a .gsd (or any other format) for sale. You are welcome to link back to my site for others to obtain the image for themselves.

Linking up to:
Today's Creative Blog

What's for Dinner? Low Country Boil

Saturday, April 24, 2010
It's been awhile since I did one of these post! I really wanted to share one of my favorite southern dishes: Low Country Boil (minus the newspapers, look it up!)

It couldn't be easier to make this dish and it is ALWAYS a crowd pleaser. What's not to love? Sausage, corn, shrimp and potatoes and don't forget the corn bread! This time I added carrots because I saw it with carrots the other day at Cracker Barrel and thought "why not?" I follow a super simple recipe by my favorite all time cook Miss Paula Deen! Honestly it's so easy I don't even look at the recipe anymore!

I really, I mean reheheally want to go to her restaurant in Savannah, Ga and I really want to stay at her cottage home on Tybee Island the "Ya'll Come Inn!" I also wouldn't mind a few pieces of furniture from her collection. OK yeah, I really love Paula Deen!

MTQB: Tulips for May

Friday, April 23, 2010
As I mentioned before, I joined the Modern Tradition Quilt Bee back in January. I love the internet and how it can bring strangers together to become quilting buddies! 12 lovely ladies {myself included, so I can say that! Ha Ha} make up the MTQB. We each picked a month, I picked May (my birthday month) so that I could make myself a quilt because believe it or not I still don't have a quilt for myself! So I decided that the resulting quilt from MTQB would be a birthday present to myself.

So here's how an internet quilt bee works:
1) A few weeks before your month you decide on a pattern, make a few test blocks, and decide on your fabrics.
2) You cut up your fabrics and package them up so that you have a package to send to each member (minus yourself)
3) You send off each package with instructions to each of your members and hopefully they get them in a timely manner towards the beginning of your month so that they can have all month to procrastinate work on your block or blocks! {I'm speaking of myself here!}
4) Your buddies get to work and each make your block or blocks and mail them back to you at the end of the month!
5) You eagerly watch the mailbox and ooh and aah over each block and think how awesome it is to get a quilt top assembled without a ton of work on your part!

Here is a the block my fellow bees will be making for me:

Which I will then turn unto this:
Hopefully I will have this quilt finished by my 30th birthday next year!

The fabrics are Hunky Dory by Chez Moi for Moda and I love them! It's a very Springy color palette. The background fabric is Kona Cotton in Snow which is an off white. I really wanted to try a light gray background but since my color card has gone missing I didn't want to risk ordering fabric online and getting something completely different!

I was inspired by the traditional tulip blocks set on point as seen here:

Delft Tulips
by MICHELE CRAWFORD as seen in The Quilter Magazine May 09

Janet Wickell


But it wasn't until I saw this one that I knew that this was the basic construction I wanted for the tulips:
Sentimental Stitches
... and then I stumbled upon this one here:


That's when I knew this would be my May block!

Creative space

Here's a peek at a little corner of my sewing room.

Can I just give a big shout out to my wonderful husband who supports my need to be creative!!! I know I'm so lucky that he indulges me with my own room, that he very politely listens to me when I'm raving like a lunatic about the newest fabric line, or when he gives me a color suggestion (when I ask) knowing that I'll probably ignore his choice anyway! I love my Mr. PD!

Remember this picture frame I posted a while ago? Well my made some itsy bitsy teeny weeny little red and aqua yo yo's. They measure about 3/4". Tiny! and super duper cute!

I used the Clover yo yo maker {xs I think.} I have one more frame so I'll be making another one of these.

March MTQB blocks

Thursday, April 22, 2010
I know it's almost May and here I am posting my March blocks! To my defense these were sent out merely a week late and I didn't get my fabric until about halfway through the month! I have not gotten my fabrics for the month of April though so we'll see if I can crank those out in time!

These blocks are a modern version of the Granny's flower garden. You can see the post and find the link to the pattern here. I really love the patchwork versions. Lesly sent some Essex linen for the background. I like the feel of the fabric but I'm not sure I like it's extra thickness in the seams. I think I'll be sticking to my Kona Cottons! Which reminds me of an awful catastrophe: I can't find my Kona Color Card anywhere!!! I have turned my sewing room upside down looking for it (not to mention a few other rooms as well.) I can't remember if I have used it since I moved to our new place so the chances are that it might be stuck in a box in our storage closet. Mr. PD joked around that maybe one of my quilting friends made off with it. {Joy do you have my card? LOL just kidding!} I wouldn't blame them if they did!

May is my month for the Modern Tradition Quilt Bee. I picked May because it's my birthday month! I'm almost done with the instructions so I'll be posting a sneak peek soon. I'm so excited this quilt that has been floating around in my head come to life!

Time Management

There is so much to do in a day and it always seems like there is not nearly enough time to do it all. Over the last few weeks I've realized that I'm a busy woman! There are so many things that have to get done and then there are those so much more fun things that I would like to get done.

I don't know about you but I often feel like a hamster on a wheel: Going nowhere fast! Before I know it it's Monday again and it's time to do it all over again. Lately there has been a lot of this going on around here:




and this has become my second home:

My 5th triathlon is coming up in little over a month! I'm trying to set a personal record at the Mach Tenn Triathlon this year. Last year I shaved off 15 minutes {that's huge!} from the first time I did it, coming in at about 2 hrs 5 min. My goal is to come in under 2 hours this year. I'm a pretty good swimmer and I know I can't shave off more than a few seconds from last years 18 minute swim time (.6 mile swim.) I can maybe shave off a few minutes of my run time but I know I'm not a very good runner! So my best bet is to improve my bike time. I know I have a lot of room for improvement there. I've been biking twice as much as I did last year and I have even joined a 5:30 am spin class.

It has not been easy to get up so early in the morning but it is the only time I can do it without sacrificing time with my family. Training for an event takes so much time out of your daily life that sometimes I wonder why I'm doing it. This is were time management and prioritizing comes into play. Sometimes I have to give up other things, like blogging, quilting, doing the dishes, or hanging out with friends in order to accomplish my goals. Other times I give up a workout so I can do something special with my family or because my church obligations are more important {and often much more enjoyable} than a 4 mile run!

Unless you are a professional, life goes on outside of training, you still have to do all the daily everyday things like go to work, get the kids ready for school, make dinner, wash the dishes, do laundry, feed the dogs, etc. etc! Training is what you do for "fun?!"

So why do I do it if it takes so much time, effort and is so hard? You might think my main reason is weird but, I feel that I draw closer to my Heavenly Father when I train for an event! Let me give you a few examples.

1) I realize that with the Lord's help I CAN do hard things. Yes, I often pray to my Heavenly Father to help get over the next hill, the next, mile, or the next 10 minutes! I can't tell you how awesome it is to receive that surge of confidence that Heavenly Father knows that I CAN do this. Once I realized that I can do things that are physically hard, I realized that I can do things that are spiritually hard.

2) I usually try to raise funds for a charity. By doing so I am helping/serving others and thus serving my Heavenly Father. "When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God" (Mosiah 2:7) Having this goal really motivates me to not give up because there are people counting on me to help.

My other reason is that I want my children to learn that they can accomplish hard things but it takes hard work to do so. I especially want my daughter to learn this lesson. Being a woman doesn't mean that you can't do amazing things. Although I believe being a mom is super amazing! {and it's definitely hard work!}

So basically what I am saying is, I hope you all don't stop reading my blog if I go AWOL til June! Believe me, I'm busy I just don't think you all want to hear about the piles of laundry, dishes falling out of the sink, blisters on my toes, or other silly little things. I do have things to share with you but blogging definitely takes time!

Have you ever trained for an event? How did you find balance in all that you have to do?

Fabric Stash Additions

Tuesday, April 13, 2010
About 3 weeks ago my stash grew a bit.

Some Robert Kaufman, Tula Pink, American Jane and others all 1/4 yd cuts

was able to score some beautiful fabrics at an awesome 50% off! Sadly the sale was from our LQS (local quilt shop) closing it's doors. I don't know the reasons behind the shop closing but the owner (Becky) is one of the nicest ladies I have ever met. She never minded my kids coming along and always talked to them when they where there.

I don't quilt as much as I would like mainly because of time but also because it's an expensive hobby! This stack of fabrics would have set me back close to $70! Yikes. It's a good thing I don't shop for fabrics too often.


I did something pretty dumb, if not right out stupid today. The result is an injured neck that I can barely move. I wish I had a pretty cool story to go along with my hunchbacked appearance (because I can't seem to straighten up.) Anything would be better than the truth, like: "I got bucked from a horse" "I got into a bike wreck" or "I fell down the stairs" but sadly I made a wrong choice and I should have known better. I'm almost embarrassed to tell you the reason for my dilemma, but maybe you can learn from my mistake: I didn't bother to do a full cool down after a workout. It's not the first time I skimp on the cool down but you better believe it will be the last time!

I know I have neglected this little blog from time to time so I don't even know if I had mentioned that triathlon training season has begun! I completed my first triathlon 2 years ago and I am hooked. I have a few races planned for this year and so I have been training like crazy! I know this is more of a crafty blog so I haven't' bothered to fill you in on all the details of my daily/weekly training adventures and mishaps. Today however, has earned the right to shared with all!

I decided to do a little cross training today so I started off my day with a Jillian Michael's "30-Day Shred" level 3. I was doing just fine and was amazed at how well I was doing (meaning I wasn't huffing and puffing.) There is a giant mirror in my living room and I even thought to myself "Hey I'm looking pretty dang good!" {I know, I know, Pride cometh before the fall.} Anyway I was busy "shredding" when my buddy called (yes it's your fault Corrie, j/k) and interrupted my workout for about 15 minutes. After said call I went back to "shredding" and when I finished the workout I cut the cool down short so I could head on over to the YMCA for a swim. Well the cool down part that I skipped was all the arm stretches and {yup you guessed it} the neck stretches.

I got to the YMCA and got all decked out in my nifty triathlon gear and my new waterproof mp3 player that my most wonderful hubby got me recently. I warmed up with a nice 500yd swim (20 laps) and then decided to do another 500yds at a faster pace. I was on my 2nd lap when it happened. I at the wall for the open turn and was getting ready to push off the wall when something caught my eye out of the corner of my eye. I looked up and then didn't pt my head back down in time for the push off. As I pushed off the wall my head was a bit higher than it should have been so there was quite a bit of force from the water pushing down on top of my head and that's when I felt the "pinch." I struggled to finish that 500yd swim and my neck has gone downhill from there. I'm so stiff I feel like a grandma!

So now I'm lying in bed and applying heat and ice to my poor neck. The silver lining? I should be able to get some blogging done! Unfortunately I don't think I'll be able to make my 5:30am spin class {cycling, not yarn!} or the biking youth activity of tomorrow afternoon. Who knows maybe I'll feel better by then because right now I feel like I got hit by a truck, bucked off a horse, and whip-lashed!

Moral of the story? Cool down after a workout!

Accuquilt Go Giveaway

Sunday, April 11, 2010
So have you checked out my "give away" section yet? It's right over there ---->
You'll definitely want to head over to IHAN to enter a month long giveaway. Each day IHAN is giving away a different quilt related item. Tomorrow IHAN will be posting an Accuquilt GO!!! I would love love to win this nifty tool especially since it is out of my price range! I know the odds of winning are minimal but it's still fun to dream! Ok and if you win please let me come over to use it!

You have until April 15th to enter any of her 30 day giveaway posts. So what are you waiting for?

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