Monday, August 16, 2010

proceed with caution: RANT following!

i know i haven't blogged in a while - but, i just *had* to today after reading about the 13-month old twins who died late last week. and no, it wasn't an accident.


initially, there was a blurb about it during the friday daytime news - and, as i had suspected to df, said there wasn't something right about that. they had the police on, the alderman on - all saying that they 'were going to get to the bottom of all of this' - and all the while i'm thinking, "13 month old babies just don't die all of a sudden...and especially *both* of them at the same time..."

so i'm leaving home from work friday evening, and on the radio, they said that the reasons the babies died were because of environmental exposure as well as failure to thrive related to maternal neglect.

i knew something had to be up!

so in today's tribune, there was a story about it. it had mentioned that, although the girls' room had an air conditioner, it wasn't turned on. the only window to the room was blocked by towels. the bedroom was extremely hot & had no ventilation. living conditions were described as being "deplorable" - lttered wth dog feces, urine & dirty diapers.

i the sun time's article. they were 13 months old, yet they were only 13 lbs. each. the mother attributed their small size to the fact that she has another recently born baby who was premature.

she put the babies down for a nap at 10:00 in the morning, but apparently didn't think to check on them until the evening - and that's when she found them dead. you have got to be kidding me.

but the biggest, most slap-in-the-face statement of them all, by the baby daddy's mother:


i'm not going to discount the fact that she has been through a lot. i'm sure she has. she's only 22, and she already has five children. i cannot even imagine having one child now, and i'm almost 10 years older than her. *however*, what i don't like about this statement is, is that 'everybody makes mistakes' line...

a mistake?!? how can you possibly say that this is a mistake?!? i locked my babies up in an upstairs bedroom with no ventilation or air conditioning, and then, on top of that, left them there *all day long* - with not even a thought to check on them, change their diapers, or even FEED them?

a mistake to me would be something like, "oops! i let them play with nontoxic markers, and they drew all over the wall." or something like, "oops! i forgot their binkies at home." what's her excuse? "oops! i thought they were just taking an extra-long nap...that lasted all day." doesn't sound like an "oops!" kind of situation to me.

so i guess both of the families are fighting now, and each side is blaming each other. what i want to know is, is where were these people when she needed them around? there was an aunt or cousin that was interviewed on friday morning - and she had said that she had just been at the house & had just seen the babies that morning. but, apparently, she left, you know, after stepping over the piles of dog crap, urine & dirty diapers. how do you just leave a place like that, and don't think anything of it? or even to offer a helping hand? because obviously something is going on. now it's too late. coulda, woulda, shoulda. a day late, a dollar short.

as i mentioned previously, i don't have children. and no, i don't know how it is to have to deal with them along with all of the rest of life's complexities. no, i don't know how it feels to be overwhelmed with twins, let alone twins, another newly born premature baby in the hospital, and then, i have two more kids on top of that. i have no freaking clue. however, what i do know is, is that children have basic needs, and, this woman wasn't didn't even have the presence of mind to even *check* on her babies. for hours. i keep on getting questions during my review that ask which scenario would be considered negligent. i think this one would qualify, without a doubt.

but this is just my opinion...sigh.

Friday, July 16, 2010


last night, i started to descale the coffeemaker. i ran 48 ounces of vinegar through it, and the instructions said to let it sit for at least 4 hours. ok. it was night time, so perfect.

i purposely left the *open* instruction manual in front of the machine, with a large coffee mug still underneath the dispensing spout, and, i get a soft "what am i supposed to do with the coffeemaker?" this morning.

wah. wah. cry. crankiness. why?

because, dear fiance, all you have to do is look at the manual. and follow the instructions. the brewer was all set to go to start the "rinse".

despite the fact that it was 7:00 in the morning *on my day off*, i got up. and rinsed the brewer.

as i am rinsing, he starts puting little pieces of tape on the metal parts that separate the windows. then turns and asks me where it was leaking because we are supposed to put tape on the places the windows were leaking. i snatch the tape out of his hand, and start mumbling something about how "the guy knows where the windows are leaking" and how he "already saw this and could have done this while he was here, examining the windows". i angrily pat little pieces of tape on the metal. then, as he is showering, i look at the paper that came with the roll of painter's tape.

there are instructions.

"first mark the area making a large 14x14 or 16x16 square outline to mark the window where the water comes in. next make a couple of arrows with the tape pointing to the exact location of the leak. this course of action will help the person who will be repearing the window(s) from the outside of your unit locate the are to be repaired."

i angrily snatch all the little pieces of tape that i just patted on, off. and then, i proceed to follow the directions that i wasn't made aware of and tape off the windows. they're big squares, it's kinda scary. i'm on my little ikea stepstool. i can barely reach. expletive. more expletives. but it gets done, and looks something like this:

Taping Project

and this:

Taping Project, detail

and this:

Taping Project, detail

after all this, i really hope that there will be *no question* as to where the "areas" are located. i thought about posting a note on the window as well, but, i think they will get the point. i hope.

anyways. as for fun & crafty things, i made blocks for my very first yellow brick road quilt. i have to say, it's a pretty fast quilt, but, since there are only 6 fat quarters, and each of them are used on a pretty large scale, it's kinda hard not to bump up like fabrics next to each other. or close to each other. once i get the blocks all laid & figured out, i will take a picture of it, since i've been taking pictures of everything else, just not my quilting! :) i used this quilt kit that i purchased off of ebay a while ago - it looks kinda cool and retro-like, but there's just not enough variation, in my opinion, to keep the colors separated.

lastly, before i go for today, i just have to show off my growing collection of apothecary jars:

Apothecary Jars

i'm going to use them during my still unplanned wedding reception (still unplanned because i still haven't set a date yet), for a "candy bar". i can't wait. so excited! i stop at every single t.j. maxx/marshalls/homegoods that i come across to see if they have these things...i'm obsessed! (but the end result will be so worth it!)

aww...there's that smile. finally.

ok! have to get going. i'm going to once upon a child in naperville this morning with one of my coworkers, because i am the queen of sorting through racks of tiny baby clothing. fun, fun! oh! gotta run. she will be here in 24 minutes! until next time!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

i am not - *not* allowed to go fabric shopping anymore! at least not for a while. :)


i've been sewing and sewing these blooming lotus nine patches for what...a month now? while i was sewing the last set of nine patches (fabrics #7 & #8), i decided that i just wouldn't be satisfied unless this was a *really* useable quilt. in my mind, useable = queen sized. i just wasn't satisfied with the size it was going to come out, a topper-sized 72"x82". so, with that in mind, i took the el to quiltology last friday. i don't make it a habit to stop there, because i usually can't afford to. :) but, being the only fabric store around here that sells designer quilting fabrics, i had no choice. and i'm glad i went.

my quilt starts out with a light blue center that goes into peaches & pinks, then greens, then greys. i really didn't know what i was going to do with it. i thought that maybe denyse schmidt's hope valley greys would work, but, you just don't know until you bring in samples to the shop & match them up, you know? so after looking at about a dozen or so fabrics or so, these ones ended up being the best to continue the grey & getting darker:


and they also ended up being my original idea of denyse schmidt's hope valley. who would've thought?

of course, i had to go there on a friday, which means it's fat quarter friday. all fat quarters are $2.50. i was able to restrain myself and only pick up a few (although i most definitely could have purchased more!):

i especially love the one on the bottom left-hand corner. it's a reprint of an old liberty of london print. (how long will it be before i purchase that fat quarter bundle?!? no! i need to restrain myself.)

and this:

art gallery's naturella.

so these were just a very small portion of my fabric binge over the weekend. i followed this up with a trip to joann's to use my 50% off coupons, then a second trip to another joann's on saturday morning (where i purchased the nicest "children of the world" print (i still need to take photos), and then, today, just now, i bought a relatively large assortment of fabrics from hawthorne threads, which included fat quarter bundles of all three colorways of joel dewberry's modern meadow line. (can't wait to take photos of all of this!) do you see why i have to stop now?

but i have one last fabric purchase to make: amy butler's lotus lacework in grey. this was my #8 fabric in my blooming lotus quilt, and, since i'm making it bigger, i need to purchase more fabric. i cannot find this anywhere, as it's discontinued. i e-mailed sellers on etsy to see if they had any, i even e-mailed people who had made things with it to see if they had any extra that i could purhcase. after all these e-mails, only one person said they had some that they would be willing to sell, and, i think they've now backed out of it because they didn't respond to my follow-up e-mail reply or my follow-up to my follow-up. sigh. at least have the courtesy to say, 'hey, i've changed my mind, i'm not interested in selling it anymore' rather than just ignoring me! at least then i could just be really upset rather than upset & mad! but...there was one more lead that i received from amy butler's fabric sales team (yes, i even e-mailed them too!)... they had referred me to, stating that they had purchased a lot of overstock of amy's old lines. so i called them up, and, lo and behold - they didn't have actual yardage of this lacework in grey, but, they had remnants, strips of fabrics, ranging from like 7-13" wide. *perrrrrfect*, considering that the strips i need to cut are only 4 1/4" wide. i'm going to buy a bunch of these remnants since they are from different dye lots, and may be really off from each other & from the fabric i already have, so, hopefully everything will work out! i've chosen the "remnants" that i would like and am calling to place my order tomorrow morning, first thing! the lady that answered the phone when i called was so nice & helpful. i love quilt home too! :) (now i know why they have those little 'i love quilt home' badges on their website!)

one last thing before i go:

Fresh & Funky: July House Block

my fresh & funky july quilt block. (one of them, at least.)

the theme of these july blocks are "people & places", so, we were encouraged to add our own little personal touches (ie. make a block of your house). mine is kinda high rise-ish (i tried!), and then i put two cats in the windows that represent my two cats (even though they don't really look like them). and then, what i think is my most clever personalization of the block: the amy butler lotus lacework in grey (i know! this was before i decided that i was going to make my quilt bigger!) sidewalk & concrete, because we don't have much green space here in the south loop. but doesn't it just coordinate beautifully with the rest of the block? love it!

i have another personalization idea for my "person" block...but will reveal that when i sew it up & post it! :)

well, with that, i'm off. heading out to the suburbs tomorrow to have a late father's day lunch with my dad (since i had to work on sunday) - gotta rest up to make the trek out there! :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

sigh. i am in *love*.

Michael Miller's Alfabeto Italiano

michael miller's 'alfabeto italiano collezione'.

i even love it despite the fact that all 26 letters are not there. but how awesome is that - an almost complete alphabet, in italian! i *need* to have this. now!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

as i was getting ready to spend nearly an entire saturday off sitting in a day-long nclex review class yesterday, there was a blurb on the news about some kind of "national start a diet day" this coming monday (tomorrow). i got really excited, because, a.) i was supposed to start my diet last week and b.) failed miserably at that, thinking i could just start it *this* monday.

so what a great idea. i'm going to start my diet on the "national start a diet day". how exciting!

after class today, i stopped at the borders across the street to go and look at that issue of stitch magazine with the really, really awesome petal clutch on the front, but instead of buying that, i ended up buying this:

Diet Starts Tomorrow.

i figured that this would be a more solid investment, considering that i was going start my diet tomorrow. it's actually a really good tool (you know, if i were to use it) because it is truly multi-purpose!

so, when i got home tonight, i was really, really excited to google this "national start a diet today". but, when i googled it, nothing came up. it was a *ploy*! a *ploy* to get me to start dieting! nonetheless, i plan on making my first entry in my journal tomorrow. we'll see how that goes...

Friday, June 04, 2010

so this is why i should never - *never!* - be allowed to leave the house & go to the fabric store. i finally(!) received my so buzzy quilt bee fabrics on wednesday - you should have seen me waiting for this little package to arrive - i was like a dog wagging its tail waiting for the owners to come home! apparently, there was a little zip code snafu that the post office had to straighten out - and that added another week to the delivery time. but i guess i should be happy that they a.) were able to figure it out, and b.) at least got the package to me! but anyways, as soon as i come home from work, i tear open the package & get down to business. (mind you, it's already close to 11:00 pm by this time). so i'm sewing & sewing & cutting away, and then come to find out two things: a.) i'm short one tiny, tiny square (2.5") of white backing fabric for my "smaller" wonky star, and b.) for whatever reason, my 12.5" block is smaller. of course, i don't own any white fabric, and probably could have finalged one of the smaller scrap pieces, but, didn't want to mess with it, since i had no idea what i was doing in the first place.

it's actually a good experience, these quilting bees, because i get to expand my horizons and learn new things - and find out new things as well. like i totally suck at squaring up things, and really need to get myself a square ruler to help me with this.

anyways. the whole point i was trying to make was that, on my little excursion to the fabric store to purchase this:

1930's fabrics

(so i could finish the wonky star blocks and border them - ie. make them the correct size)

i *also* end up with this:

Lovely Fabric

...about 4 yards of michael miller goodness...i couldn't resist, at 40% off...some intended for another amy butler bag, and the rest towards another crazy eights quilt...

but anyways. all my hard work and cursing at the sewing machine finally resulted in this:

Sew Buzzy - June

and this:

Sew Buzzy - June

i had planned for the smaller one to actually be two wonky stars in one block, but then i realized's really hard for me to conceptualize things (i guess more really, figure out how to cut & sew things) without a pattern. and since i don't have a square ruler, *really* hard for me. but i tried, and i think the end result came out pretty okay! but i still want to figure out how to do a 2-in-1 wonky star block... maybe after i get my square ruler!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

so, instead of going out of town for the long weekend, nick & i stayed at home. we were able to go and visit some friends, and, on sunday, we went to wolff's flea market at the allstate arena. i wanted to be there by 7 am, but of course, that didn't happen, and we ended up pulling in about 8:30 or so - and the place was absolutely *packed*. i love wolff's. i don't think you really, truly understand this until you've been there. in years past, i've purchased all sorts of things - including 2 sets of vintage pyrex bowls - still in their boxes. but today, my favorite purchase has to be this:

Vintage Happy Birthday Chick

it was only a quarter, and, i just *love* it. it's the cutest thing ever. ever!

so yesterday, memorial day, the weather was crappy, and i decided that i needed to start working on this:

Blooming Lotus Fabrics

these are fabrics that i bought in a kit, to make this quilt called "blooming lotus". i should add that, this particular kit has been sitting on my kitchen counter...for 3 years. i've been wanting to start & start this quilt for so long, but, just never had the guts to open the box & start cutting. and now i understand why.

Blooming Lotus Strips

these are the fabric strips, before i sewed all the skinny strips together in their respective sets.

all this sewing really made me long for my aurifil thread , which i had just inconveniently run out of, and was forced to use some cotton thread that i had on hand:


i had to wind bobbins three times, just sewing these strips together. i miss my aurifil thread. thankfully, last night i was able to purchase some off of ebay for a discounted price!

anyways. i had to cut these strips into 1.75" pieces, and, i'll be honest, i'm really, really starting to get tired of this quilt now. i've literally cut hundreds of little 3-patch blocks since last night. sigh, i guess that's what i get - i'm so used to doing these quick little projects, and end up wanting to finish this one very quickly also. but i've learned that this is just not the case with this one. i did sew up a batch (8, to be exact) of 9-patches this morning, though:

Blooming Lotus Block

only like 200 more of these little guys to go, whoo-hoo! i think i'm just going to take it easy on this project, though, maybe sewing up a few of these nine-patches every day. that way, i get my quilting fix in, without neglecting everything else that needs to be done. besides, this definitely is not a one day project! we'll see my thoughts on this quilt once it's completed...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

today i decided that i have a love/hate relationship with my dyson. after neglecting the floors for about 2 weeks, without even a quick swiffer in between - between the two of us and the two cats, the floors - as you can imagine - were disastrous. i swear there was a thin layer of fur covering just about every floor surface. (okay, a bit of an exaggeration, but, there definitely was a layer of fur in parts.) never having hardwood floors before, i purchased this handy-dandy tool called a 'hard floor tool', which is supposed to attach to my telescope reach handle, so i could just vacuum the floors (from a standing position), rather than on my hands and knees, using the hose & an attachment brush. save our backs, shall we? anyways. obviously, the engineers at dyson do not have pets. or are really, really short or do not want to save their backs, because the telescope reach isn't tall enough to vacuum from a standing position. in fact, instead of holding the handle, i'm vacuuming while holding the hose. and i'm only 5'3". i can't even imagine the angst and frustration of someone taller than me trying to vacuum with this 'telescopic reach'. so, in my frustration, i called dyson. and they don't have an extender for the extender. instead, it was suggested to me to just attach the hard floor tool to the hose, and use it that way. i explained to them that, that would defeat the purpose, as i wanted to vacuum standing rather than on my hands & knees. sigh. i feel so defeated by my vacuum cleaner. and to think i loved her for so long...until hardwood floors came into my life...

but anyways. now for some quilty stuff:

i arrived to work yesterday, to find 2 packages waiting for me, one of which contained this:

Riley Blake Fabric

8 fat quarters from riley blake's wheels collection, to make what? another crazy eights quilt, of course! this will be the 7th crazy eights quilt i've made. what can i say - i just love the pattern! but today, i had a revelation. previously, i've literally spent hours and hours separating the squares - a, b, c & d - into piles for each block - each which consist of one 'a', one 'b', two 'cs' and two 'ds'. so, instead of just wading through the whole pile of squares like before, i just switched up the fabrics - so, for each block, square a had fabric #1 on top, square b had #2, and so on and so forth. and let me tell you, it worked like a charm. only minutes instead of hours were spent separating the blocks into piles:

Crazy Eights #7

aren't they cute?!? i am really, really resisting the urge to start sewing, because of two things: 1.) i need to be at work in about 2 hours, and 2.) i know if i start, the other things that need to be done today (ie., empty dishwasher, declutter kitchen counter) will be neglected. but, on the upside, i will have a good start on my blocks... ok! enough already. i need to stop.

one last thing before i go for today:

Lululemon, 05/26/10

on lululemon's website. i can't decide if it's funny. or if it's gross. or funny & gross. i'll let you decide.

Monday, May 24, 2010

so, it's just after midnight, and it's still 75 degrees outside. what happened to spring?

i made a little bit of progress tonight. i turned some of this (a bunch of vintage linen fabric scraps i bought off of etsy, that i had absolutely no idea what to do with):

Vintage Linen Scraps

into this:

Spidey Block!
what a great way to use some of these little scraps!

i used the spiderweb tutorial found on i wanted to try this block specifically for two reasons:

a.) i've been obsessing - OBSESSING - about it for the past week, ever since i came across these spidey web blocks on a different blog


b.) i wanted to try this non-paper piecing method of creating these blocks.

i'm still undecided. i honestly thought this block was going to be fairly complicated, but i found that the most tedious part of it (other than measuring & marking on the original triangles that were cut from the 12.5" square were cutting the strips. seriously! do you see that pile up there? all the pieces are different sizes, so it's not like i could stack a bunch up and! i cut them one by one. i know there is a better method out there - like stacking up similarly-sized pieces, etc. - but, anyways. i found the strip cutting to be the most time-consuming part of the whole process, because some you want to be fatter (2"), some skinner (1" and 1.5"), so, well, it's still a learning process. i will probably try the paper piecing method next, to see which one i think is easiest... this version was pretty easy, but there is a lot of waste with the cutting off the "corners" (or what have you) of the original triangles at the end. so we'll see. but, i have to say that i am pretty impressed with how this block turned out, considering that i had no idea what i was doing (for the most part), and sewed it pretty quickly.

*and then*, i was going through one of my fabric bins, and came across these fabrics:


ooh. ahh. i'm sure they were meant for yet another crazy eight quilt, but, i don't know...i think these are versatile enough to mix in with other fabrics!

and speaking of search of my patricia bravo fabrics, i came across the *awesomest* fabric website, hawthorne threads. i've already started a wish list; i'm sure this site will be one of my most frequently shopped! they just have a wonderful, wonderful selection of fabrics. soo excited!

ok. that's enough for this time. i'm getting ambitious with this blog...hopefully, i will keep it (somewhat) up! :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

so i was reading the paper today, and there was an article that had this statement:

Chicago Tribune, 05/23/10

honestly, i can't even remember what the article was about, decluttering or something along those lines. (you know, because i am *always* thinking about decluttering...but i just never get around to doing it... :) ) but when i read that, i was like, 'hmmph! so true!' however, i still really love 'later'...

i also had a chance to go through the new issue of quilt that i picked up the other day today. i found some new fabric that i just *have* to have:

"Paradise" by Patricia Bravo

this is the paradise line by patricia bravo. i just love the bold & rich color combinations! (*possible* spoiler alert...i'm thinking these may be some really nice fabrics to incorporate into my vqb blocks!) ooh...ahhh...can't wait! guess what i will be googling very well *all night* tonight?!?

i also saw a really, really nice quilt in there, too:

"Summer Breeze" - Quilts, June/July 2010

it's a pretty large quilt, coming out at 89x101". and honestly, i really wouldn't say that this type of quilt is "my style", with the diagonal block placement, sashing, etc. - as i tend to like more "scrappier"-looking quilts - but, how *absolutely fabulous* would this look, all done up in denyse schmidt's katie jump rope?!? i've had those fat quarters forever; they were originally intended for a yellow brick road quilt that never materialized. (these fat quarters are actually the only really nice memory i have of going on a weeklong trip to las vegas with my family in october, 2007 in which my luggage got stolen...enough said!)

and finally, another cute, cute baby quilt that i just *need* to make, for no reason in particular:

"Safari Zoo" - Quilt, June/July 2010

is this not the most adorable quilt you have ever seen, ever?!? i just love it. i briefly read through the instructions, and apparently, the black/white vertical rows are wonky-quilted...just alternating black & white fabrics sewn all weird so they mimic the black/white print in the large border rows. what a great idea, instead of just using some zebra-print fabric, like i would have done! (or am i just a slacker?) this quilt kit is definitely on my wish list! luuurve it!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

the good, the bad and the ugly!

so i was commenting on all my photos on flickr, and then a realization came to me: why am i commenting on them *here*, when i can comment on them on my *blog* (that i never post on...)!

so i present to you the fruits of my labor the past week:

Crazy Eights: Unisex-ish
i found this one in a half-completed state in my pile of unfinished quilt's a unisex-ish quilt, although i think it leans a little more to the "boy" side...cute nonetheless, though!

Charm Square Quilt
this one was made with charm squares that resulted from a rotary cutting accident when cutting another "crazy eight" quilt - made with amy butler love fabrics.

A disaster in the Bake Shop!
oh...the shame. i'm not really sure what happened with this one. this one was supposed to be like the one on, but turned out disastrous. the charms were pieced perfectly, it was the sashing mishap...instead of just cutting them the length of the fabric (since i had enough anyways!), i *pieced* them - need i say more? it is a totally lopsided quilt. i tried to salvage it, and it just ended up more lopsided. sigh. another one for the "bad" pile!