Thursday, August 28, 2014

Picture of the Week - 8/28/2014

Football season!  Woo Hoo!!!
It shouldn't come as a surprise that we really enjoy football season around here.  We enjoy watching games at all levels and it makes up a huge part of our autumn routine. 
Last night Spencer had a pre-season scrimmage against a power house program.  We went down to play a Catholic school in the area and when I say they are well funded, it's probably a gross understatement.  This little catholic school has (literally) dozens of state and national championship sports teams and their athletic director has won national AD of the year, multiple times.  The campus was VERY impressive.  Bleachers on both sides of a turfed football field ringed by a first class track.  It was clean and well organized and intimidating.  Spencer went quiet as we walked across their vast common area, lined with big mature trees.  A beautiful place. 
We won the game, but the coach wasn't super pleased with the team.  I anticipate a tough practice tonight... 
I, on the other hand, was pretty darn pleased with my son's contributions.  He got the start at defensive end and the coaches left him in for the whole game.  He's also on the kickoff team.  Special teams!!  This is a significant improvement over his bench-warmer status last year.  We do have a couple of kids hurt, so I'm not sure if he will start when they come back, but I do know already that this is going to be a very different experience for him than last year.  I won't say a better one, because he learned an awful lot about himself last year.  But it's going to be fun!  His regular season starts next weekend.
The Ohio State regular season starts THIS Saturday!  Hooray!!  I'm so excited to get to see some college football again.  And a long, holiday weekend is icing on the cake. 
Here's an up to date version of the Bovy Boys doing O-H-I-O.  Go bucks!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Celestial Star QAL - top DONE

Phew!  It's SUCH a good feeling to have all of my Celestial Star blocks done.  I was more than a little obsessed with them over the last month or so!

I'm also REALLY going to miss them!  I had a great time with this pattern and this fabric.  I loved the paper piecing process and watching these come together.  (I still hated the cutting...)

If you want to make one of these yourself, please go visit From Blank Pages!

After asking for (and receiving) some great feedback on layout, I decided to stick with my gut and went with the original layout.  Here's what the quilt top will look like.  I love it!

I can't decide which one I like best.  Every time I look at them, I choose a new favorite.  If I were forced to pick only one, I think I would go with one of the "flower" designs - 1 or 10.  But I also really love some of the others...  so hard to pick just one.

I thought I'd share some close-ups of all the blocks for anyone interested.  Have fun scrolling!

I had a couple of "extra" blocks too...  one of them I made and loved the design, but it bugs me (a lot...  OCD much...) that it's crooked.  The other one I like, but I couldn't decide on a last design to make for block number 13...  so I made 2 with plans to use the extra blocks in the quilt back.  I'm also going to include some simple little pieced rows of all the fabrics used.  I can't wait to get this quilt finished up so we can use it to cuddle under during the Ohio State football games this season! 

Here are the blocks for the back. 

I hope you enjoyed them!  Which is YOUR favorite???

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Picture of the Week - 8/21/2014

Chaos is the score upon which reality is written.  Henry Miller
Based on the plethora of "back to school" pictures I've seen on social media lately, it seems like just about everyone is back to the fall grind.  We are for sure!  Gone are the slow, leisurely summer evenings and weekends.  They have been replaced with jam-packed, not enough room on the calendar schedules.  
We have been dealing with football for weeks now, but it seems more crazy when layered with school and homework and lacrosse practices too.  Throw in some evening school activities - meeting about band instruments, curriculum nights, team pictures, work and business travel, weigh ins and certifications - and it's a little crazy!
You know what I've decided?  I LOVE the CRAZY!  I love the chaos*.  I love the need to sit down on a Sunday night and work out a plan.  I love it all.  Tiring, yes...  for sure...  but I wouldn't change one single thing.  Bring on the chaos.  Bring on the fun!
PS - If anyone is interested in a really cool ebook to help fill your freezer, check out this site Bob and I followed this plan a couple weekends ago and I can't tell you how much peace of mind a fully stocked freezer gives me!  It's way better for us than ordering pizza every other day and will make it possible to actually sit down to a home cooked dinner most evenings. 
I thought I'd share some pictures we had made of the boys last month.  I love candid photos (a lot) and use my camera and phone all the time, but there's just something about good professional pictures.  :)
Have a great week everyone!  Go make some chaos!!
 *Now do you understand why I named my blog (link below) Houz of Chaoz? 


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Picture of the Week - 8/14/2014

Happy Thursday everyone!
I hope you are all having a great week.  I'm traveling for work this week, so this will be short.  You are all probably tired of hearing how much Spencer has grown, but as the first of the boys to go through a major growth spurt, I am in shock and awe.  I was loading up the blog last week with some old POTW emails and pictures and came across a picture that really made me stop and stare.  Spencer and I decided to recreate the photo.  Check out the results...  and then share a little sob with me that my oldest is no longer a little boy. 
I ran out of room on our calendar for next week due to all the evening activities.  It's gonna be a busy one!  Football x 3, lacrosse x 2, curriculum night, band instrument meeting, dinners, work, blah blah blah.  This weekend will be for recharging the batteries - and rally cries!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Picture of the Week - 8/7/2014

Happy back to school day everyone!
The boys went back today - 5th and 6th grade.  I think there was an appropriate mixture of apprehension and excitement. 
Quinn is "King of the Hill" this year as a 5th grader and a member of the Safety Patrol.  I really think he'll blossom this year now that he's out from under his brother's wing.  We liked his teacher and all seems like it's going to be a great year for him. 
Spencer was super calm and collected at Middle School open house.  He went from room to room and chatted with the folks he knew.  He ran into some guys that are in some of his classes and generally seemed fine.  (NOTE - there are only 31 kids moving to this middle school from his elementary because of the way the school districts work, so it's really good we've been in sports!  He knew a ton of kids from playing football and lacrosse.)  This morning was a bit of a different story as he seemed nervous and unsure.  I'm confident that once he gets a few days behind him he will relax and enjoy the year.  I am so pleased with his schedule.  Almost all of his classes are grouped in close proximity to his locker.  Really couldn't get much more convenient.  He's taking all advanced placement classes - 5 of them.  That's a little intimidating!  So I was pleased that his "specials" included "Study Skills" in the first 9 weeks.  I think he may need to learn some study skills this year!  He's also taking band, which should be interesting. 
Obligatory back to school picture attached. 
The little boys are still at Goddard.  Beckett got moved to a new room this week, called "Young Preschool".  Just having the name preschool in the title of his new room made me a little sad, but ultimately his days are pretty much the same as last week. 
I'm not really sure how to classify Zane.  He won't be 5 until next month, so he misses the cutoff age for Kindergarten this year.  Goddard has a Kindergarten class and they felt like he was ready for it, so he'll be learning Kindergarten stuff with them this year.  So is THIS his first year of Kindergarten or is next year?  I have chosen not to make a big deal about this year's Kindergarten, but I hope I haven't down-played it too much because Zane is super excited about it!  He is very aware that he's a Kindergartener now and that he's got to learn stuff and do homework, etc.  If you have any advice about how to get him to understand that he'll still be a Kindergartener next year without crushing his confidence, please share!
Have a great week everyone!  I'll be fixing up a whole mess of crock pot meals to throw in my freezer on Sunday to try to avoid eating crap for the next 4 months.  What will you be up to?
PS - For anyone who missed my update email a few days ago, I'm back to sending emails for the weekly updates.  I'm also going to be posting these to the blog (link in my signature below) in case you ever want to go there and read through the archives.  I've got about a year's worth of emails posted...  just around 10 more years to go.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Celestial Star Quilt-a-long

I am really having a BLAST with this quilt a long - hosted by Diane at From Blank Pages.

This is my first time doing a QAL and has actually inspired other changes too.  I am pretty new to the whole world of online quilt making and sharing.  I am NOT new to social media.  The marriage of quilting and social media is kind of a match made in heaven for me. 

So I've started a blog!  Not ONLY for this QAL, but this was definitely the catalyst!  Here I will be able to share my weekly ramblings for friends and family and my quilting adventures. 

The first quilting adventure I'm going to share is my progress on the Celestial Star QAL.  I have learned a TON in piecing the first 5 blocks.  And I've got 2 more in various stages of completion.  I think I'm going to go ahead and do 12 blocks - provided I can continue to squeeze out some time!

The first 2 blocks I pieced went together super fast - for paper piecing.  I stopped at the point where it was time to start joining together pieces.  I was too nervous to mess things up!

The 3rd block was a bit of a nightmare!  But I'm choosing to consider it a good learning experience.  I need to make sure that I'm really certain of the design before I start.  And that center seam needs some special attention!

Here's my progress in putting block #5 together.  I would say each block is taking me about 5 hours???  It's a little bit hard to say because I'm usually working on several blocks in different stages at the same time.  (This helps me from getting bored!  HA!) 

Enjoy - and if you want to play along, go see From Blank Pages and join the Quiltalong.  It's not too late!

This is the final fabric selections I made after auditioning all the different choices.  I am using Me and My Sisters WEEDS fabric line for this quilt.  I choose it because I loved it from the first time I saw it - also because this reminds me very much of the Buckeyes and hopefully it will be done in time to use during football season!

Here all the templates are laid out on the fabric in preparation for cutting.
I did some fussy cutting with this block - which really just means that I paid attention to how the pieces were cut out so they would all match in the block.  This project is the first time I've ever done any fussy cutting.  It takes me forever...  cutting is my least favorite part - except maybe that center seam...
Here's everything all cut out and ready for piecing using the pattern paper templates.
After all the pieces were done and trimmed up, I tackled sewing them together - after making sure I had all the necessities - coffee, rotary cutter, phone - GO!
I chain stich just about everything.  And normally I've got more than one group of pieces going at the same time.  I'm pretty sure these pieces were becoming wedges at the same time some other paper pieces was happening.  Efficiency is important to me!
The great divide!  Trust me when I tell you that there is way more than an inch separating these pieces.  Tackling that center seam is nerve racking! 
After staring at those 2 halves for 2 days, I held my breath and pieced them together.  Not perfect, but passable!  Especially for a quilt that I want to be loved and used. 

Here are the (almost) 6 blocks I have finished.  The one in the lower right isn't finished yet. 
I'm really loving how this is turning out so far!  It's a challenging project, but there is no better feeling than getting all those pieces trimmed up and laying them out to see what the block is going to look like.  It's kind of like magic.  And speaking of magic...  this pattern is SUCH a chameleon!  It completely changes based on how you lay out the colors and fabrics.  If you are looking for some quilting inspiration, go check out #celestialstarqal on Instagram.  Everyone participating has taken this is a different direction and the results are so very beautiful!