Envelope Project

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Post Mortem


Just because Thanksgiving Day is over doesn't mean that I'm not thankful EVERY day!!  And I am!! 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Last Day

Sounds so ominous, huh?  I hope it's not foreboding.  It's just my last day before I head back to work and I know that the month of December is going to be busy, busy and it will be followed by January which will be hell.  Yikes!  I do this every year and you'd think it'd get easier, but each year another catastrophy seems to strike, long hours ensue and stress is paramount.  Ugh!  Sounds dreadful . . . it is!! 

Until then, I'm going to laugh outloud . . .

and continue to train for my half marathon in January.  Yesterday B. and I ran 9 miles.  It wasn't too unpleasant, but the muscles are a bit sore today.

I'm continuing to make pillowcases.  Nice, quick, uses up a bit of fabric and best of all, makes me feel good!  Maybe I can make one each day before I go to work.  We'll see how that works out!!  It'd go even faster if I had a serger (still in the shop!!), but I am putting French seams in all of these pillowcases so there'll be no frayed edges. 

Go check out the 12 days of Christmas GiveAway at Cheryll's blog and then get yourself signed up.  How FUN is that?!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Productivity or Nap??

When I woke up this morning I only had three more days off from work.  What to do . . . what to do???  It's the end of the day already and I'm not sure I know what I did.  Lots of dog walks for sure.  Oh, then there were the three episodes of Season 4 Closer that I watched (I love that show!) along with some Ironman triathlon viewing.  After that I had a decision to make . . . nap or get to work quilting.  If you must know, napping is one of my all time favorite things to do.  A lot of people will say it's a waste of time, but not me.  Naps work for me.  Today, however, I did not give in and I went straight to the longarm machine and this is what I created.  Tomorrow I will trim it up and bind it.  And I'm pretty sure that there'll be a nap in my list of activities tomorrow!!

 Moda Charm Pack Quilt
 Close up
 Close up of the back
Pillowcase pile

Gobble . . . Gobble

Yesterday morning was supposed to be cold and raining for my 5k run.  Instead it was 79 degrees, humid and windy (20 mph).  I'm not sure which weather would have been more fun to run in!!!  I was attempting my 30 minute 5k and I was right on track for miles 1 and 2, but I guess I didn't realize it because I fell apart in mile 3 and did not accomplish my 30 minute goal.  Oh, well.  Too much pressure (or was it the wind and heat??!!).  I did set a new PR and when I found out how well I did in Miles 1 and 2 I was really upset with my Mile 3.  Darn!!!  The race had over 12,000 people and it was poorly organized.  According to the stats, I finished 18 out of 69 in my age group, but I'm pretty sure I finished 16 as the timing system was screwed up and runners' times were tracked even though a lot of runners started at the wrong start line (which was a quarter of a mile in front of the actual start line).   Like I said, it was poorly organized.  I will not be running this race next year.  I do like the long sleeved shirt we received, though.

 This is me at the 5k start line
 I didn't move . . . these people all joined me after they realized they were standing in the 10k start line!!
This is today's weather
which is the weather we were supposed to run in yesterday!! (low 40's + rain)
(nice shirt, huh?!!)

Usually I am in Kansas for the Thanksgiving holiday, but this year I decided to stay in town.  We found out at the very last minute that our Thanksgiving day hostess was ill and we would not be going over to B.'s sister's house.  Luckily we found La Madeleine open (with 10 minutes to spare before closing) and we were able to purchase some much needed food as we were both starving.

So, for the last few days I've been using up large chunks of fabric and making pillowcases.  I think I'm going to contact the Depelchin Center (kids waiting for foster or adoption) and see if they would like the pillowcases.  I have a quilt loaded on the longarm that is ready for quilting so I will do that this afternoon.  Of course, more envelopes were decorated and notes sent out.  It's been a good vacation so far, but it is going by way too fast.



Sunday, November 21, 2010

Personal Challenges

I'm sure all of us have our own personal challenges.  This year I have made several for myself.  At the beginning of the year I had four main goals to accomplish and now that I am down to 1.5 months to get everything done I can say that I have accomplished 3 of the 4 goals so far and I will attempt my 4th goal on Thanksgiving morning.  My goals for 2010 were:
         1.  Run the Houston Aramco Half Marathon . . . check
         2.  Enter a quilt in the IQF . . . check (I entered 2 quilts and I was disappointedly rejected!!)
         3.  Do a triathlon . . . check
         4.  Run a 30 minute 5k . . . not yet!!

In October I added 53 more goals to accomplish before June 2011 so we'll see how that list goes, but for now, I am happy with my progress.  I think that even my small every day accomplishments are making me a happier person.  There's something about being creative that makes life more enjoyable.  I get the same exhilarating feeling after I finish a workout and my running is sometimes zen-like and feels like I'm floating.  Unfortunately these moments are fleeting and my body then reminds me how OLD I am!!!  Ouch!

This afternoon B. and I went to our new found hill and while B. sat in the car and waited for me I ran the hill twice.  It was a little over a mile long up and back.  The wind was in my face pretty good for the second half so after checking my Garmin and seeing that at the worst part I was barely going at a 15 min pace, the downhill was at a 9:30 and the wind was still in my face.  I felt really good after running the hill.  Since Thursday is my day of trying to accomplish goal #4, I did not want to overdo my legs and end up with killer quads and unable to run on race day.  Next weekend I will hopefully run it twice.  Friday I went to the gym and swam 42 laps (1,050 meters).  It was wonderful as the pool was empty for my first 16 laps.  (I never get the pool to myself.)  Tomorrow will be more running and swimming as I'm on vacation this week.  Yay!

And here's the latest in my creative endeavors:

 How many pillowcases have you seen with French seams??!!  Since my serger is still in the shop, I made these pillowcases using French seams - it so much nicer with clean edges.
 These will be donated to the "Pillowcase Challenge".
 More scrap happy coasters!!  I LOVE making these things.  They do make me HAPPY!!

I also pieced a quilt top and it could be ready to quilt, but I may make some changes to it so I'll post pictures later.  And that's it for this weekend.  More crafty goodness tomorrow . . . I hope!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Life's Hurdles

I bought these cards a long time ago.  They are being used up in my Envelope Project, but I still like the sentiment.  Hopefully no one has any hurdles to limbo under today! 

And here are the latest envelopes in case you haven't found them on the "envelope" tab:

And now I'm off to sew.  I have the day off . . . well, actually, I have the next 10 days off so I'm looking for some full on crafting/sewing mania.  Let the FUN begin!!

Give Away Fabric Fun!!

I have the day off today and I'm just checking out some of my favorite bloggers websites this morning and I see that Mariliz's Musings has posted this giveaway.  So I linked right over to Retromummy and checked out the totally AWESOME and BEAUTIFUL fabrics.  So, get yourself on over there and sign up for the giveaway.  You won't be disappointed. 

Now back to my surfing . . .

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Weekend Fun

Sunday evening . . . bummer!  It's been a good weekend.  A little bit of quilting, drawing, running, swimming and cooking.  I didn't get as much of the FUN stuff in as I would have liked, but I managed to eek out my envelopes, finish my brown/pink/green quilt and I quilted B-guy's quilt.  Tomorrow I'll make some binding and try to finish it up this week. 


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Envelope Project Revisited

Today has been a GREAT day!  I ran 7.01 miles this morning in 55 degree weather, 93% humidity (it actually rained while we were running) and 14 mph North winds.  My B-guy, ran with me for the first 6 miles (then I left him in the dust!!).  That's my story anyway!

When I got home from work yesterday this is what I found at my doorstep.  Thank you Blackberry Quilts!!!  I can't wait to get started on the baby quilt.

Sorry for the poor picture; it's overcast today.  The kit is just lovely!

So, I've done 40 envelopes so far.  You may be wondering why I'm drawing on the backs of envelopes.  This book was part of the inspiration.  Check it out.  I'm pretty sure Amazon has the "Look Inside Pages" on this book because that's where I bought it.

But most of the inspiration came from a whole lot of things that happened simultaneously.  On October 4, 2010 I made a list of 53 things to do before I turned 54 next year.  Since my birthday is in June, I have less than a year to get these things accomplished.  In February 2010 my nephew, Jamie, was killed and we all miss him deeply.  He left behind his wife of less than one year and a whole lot of family and friends.  He was 2 months shy of turning 27.  Death is a hard thing especially when it comes to someone so young and who died because of the recklessness of another driver.  My sister and her family are devastated.  When I was making my list I knew that I needed to reach out to my sister and my niece and tell them how much I love them and try to give them comfort. 

If you read this blog, then I'm sure most of you know that I run.  I run with Jamie in my heart and on each run I always ask him to look over his family (and of course, me when I'm out there logging the really long miles or the steep hills!!).  Then it hit me that Jamie's not here and I should take the initiative and show the kindness myself.  So, one of the items on my list is to make sure that my sister and my niece are okay.  I decided to do this by sending them a card or note each week.  This is not a hard thing for me to do because I like to write and I love my family!!  And I do a lot of doodling and I keep several sketchbooks/journals going at one time.  The last thing that fell into place is the fact that I have always loved stationery and over the years I have collected quite a bit of the stuff.  So, in this year of 53 things to accomplish I decided to de-stash my stationery.  So there you have it.  List + tragedy + doodling + stationery stash = "The Envelope Project"!!

If anyone would like one of these "one of a kind" envelopes with a lovely handwritten note inside, just e-mail me your address and you will be added to the list!!!  Easy-peasy!!!  Chances are you'll get more than one over the time period (which will end either a) on my birthday, b) Dec 31, 2011 or c) when I run out of stationery!!!)  I can assure you, that I'm not going to run out of stationery because the big recycle pile at my job will then turn into my stationery and of course, I'll have to handcraft the envelopes!!! 

So, there you have the long version of why I use envelopes.  I hope you don't mind that they are mixed in with my quilting/sewing.  Unfortunately I have a day job so sometimes the only creating I can get done during the day (usually right before I go to bed) is my envelope project.  It makes me happy.  Most of the quilting/sewing stuff takes place on the weekend.

Thank you to Cherry Red Quilter for inquiring!


Be sure to check the new "Envelope Project" tab at the top to view all of the envelopes to date.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

All Grown Up

To all the veterans and active service men and women . . . Thank You!!

Have you seen this website?  If you're looking for ideas on how to use up your scraps, check out "Stash Manicure".  They have lots of cute ideas.

For some reason I like drawing faces so here's the latest.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hump Day - Try Again Tomorrow

Tonight I went for a run and had the most amazing time.  It was dark out which made part of the route a little treacherous, but I was feeling good.  I was good to go for 3.5 - 4 miles.  Nothing hurt.  Lungs were good.  Songs were playing in my head (mind you, I don't run with an Ipod or MP3; I just hear the music!!).  I was nearing the end of mile 3 when I had to stop for a long red light.  I went to stop my watch and much to my dismay the Garmin had stopped at .86 mile and it did not track the last 2 miles.  Drat!  I was running really well.  I wanted my stats tonight.  Oh, well, I started the watch and finished the last .33 mile.  I just didn't have it in me to run 4 miles if my watch wasn't going to log the results for me!!  What's up with that??!!  I'll try again tomorrow.


Work in progress.  I think it's going to turn out okay.  The quilts always look better after they're quilted!

Work, Run, Create, Repeat

And we're off . . . another wonderful day just waiting to be conquered!  Oh, but sleep sounds so much better.  Hmm . . .

This is our "slow" season at work and we are all still scrambling to get everything done before year end.  It used to be that once the consolidated tax return was filed we could breathe a collective sigh, take a deep breath and just relax until the new year.  Not any more.  Lots of work, limited staff and constant hiccups that need attention.  At some point I got older.  Up until that point, the long hours were just a daily routine and I just didn't think about it.  The work had to be done.  But now . . . I'm just plain tired.  Sounds like I need a nice vacation!!  My day hasn't even started yet and I'm not embracing it.  As Mary Englebreit would say "Snap Out of It"!!!  Okay, I will . . . and off I go to start another lovely day!!  Let's go CREATE . . . 'er I mean, let's go to the office and then maybe later, let's go CREATE!!!  All righty then, we have a plan!



Sunday, November 7, 2010


This is what happens when you take an ordinary albeit worn out T-shirt and make a child's pair of pants out of it.  This was my first attempt at this.  So easy.  I'm going to add some elastic to the waist and voila!

B's second quilt!  I will try to put it on the longarm tomorrow and quilt it up.  This will be added to our stack of charity quilts.

This afternoon I broke out the Moda charm pack and started playing around.  Tomorrow I will add more strips and see where this muse takes me!  The pinks, greens and browns are very pretty.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

Good to Go

Tomorrow these items will be mailed to my sister to dole out to my great nieces.  I have no idea if the dresses will fit either one of the girls, but they were fun to make and I'm sure they will get some use by someone.  I made the quilt for my great niece that I've never met.  Someday . . .