Daily Inspirations and Adventures

Archive for April 2014

Lots of Little Squares

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Last week most of my sewing group at Judy’s worked on a project called Vintage Baby Quilt. Raw edged 2 1/2 inch squares were glued to a background grid, the piece was layered with a batting and backing.  They stitched for hours.  By the end of the day, each person  had an adorable quilt that only needed the binding to be finished!  Judy finished hers, then washed it, so hers is DONE!!!!DSCN3430  I think Cindy made this quilt using Reproduction fabric from the 1930’s.
DSCN3414 Just adorable!DSCN3417Claudia’s version is at the bottom of this picture, Judy’s at the top.  There was quite a bit of pushing and pulling, and tugging …of fabric. It’s a good thing we are all willing to share our personal space.DSCN3411 Cathy made this very pretty version.  DSCN3410 Look at the concentration!  All who made this were pleased that after a little work gluing the blocks and a few hours of stitching they all left Judy’s with an “almost finished” quilt. DSCN3409Pat is sitting in the back of the room, working on handwork.  She and I are still working on our Basket quilt.  She is adding embroidery stitches to the applique.DSCN3415I’m still piecing the background.  (This post has a picture of the pattern )

Written by bevanddara

April 30, 2014 at 10:37 pm

Posted in Bev, Quilts

Long Dress Search

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So for Vicki’s wedding she said she wants her “girls” to wear long dresses with some sort of pattern.  I never realized that dresses like that are so hard to find.  Here are a few top contenders.


This doesn’t have a bunch of pattern but Vicki approved it. The only thing that makes me nervous about this dress is the length.  Notice the model has flats on?




This is my current favorite.


Which one is your favorite?

Written by bevanddara

April 28, 2014 at 10:01 am

Posted in Dara, Fashion

Getting Something Off My Chest

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For the past week I’ve had writers block . . . and its not due to not having a topic to discuss . . . its actually the opposite.  I have a topic that I’ve wanted to discuss . . . but didn’t want to discuss . . . but I guess I should since I can’t write about anything else until this is out of the way.

The other day, on Facebook, one of my “friends” posted an article describing 5 reasons why woman aren’t breastfeeding anymore. . . and she wrote the comment “so sad” (she is known for voicing her opinion on breastfeeding . . . i.e. that’s all you should do or you’re a horrible mother). Despite how I feel about that subject (which we will get to momentarily) I read the article . . . and her comment . . . and couldn’t sleep that night because I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

So let me start from the beginning . . . I was so sick at the start of my pregnancy . . . and scared.  We had friends that had lost their babies . . . its just so emotional carrying another human . . . being the ONLY one that can take care of it for 10 MONTHS.  Growing another human . . . I mean, that’s HUGE.  Anyway . . . I got through the sickness . . . and the MILLIONS of doctors appointments (mind you, I have Red Coat Hypertension) . . . living and sleeping through the constant baby kicking . . . the fear of the unknown (birth and beyond) . . . and working while trying to ignore that yeah . . . I may need a few “hours” off in the near future (mind you, I haven’t taken a day off work for 9 years).

I got induced (after trying EVERYTHING to get Julian out naturally) . . . and even though it wasn’t how I imagined having him . . . it was so perfect . . . for many reasons.

After I delivered him, they cleaned us both up . . . and then . . . well, left us to figure it out (THANK YOU YOUTUBE!!!).  Thankfully Julian was a natural nurser . . . I had ZERO issues in the beginning.  But then, as Diana (our INCREDIBLE nanny) started when Julian was 3 weeks and as I started getting back into the swing of things at work around that time I realized that my supply sucked.  I read EVERYTHING I could about increasing it . . . and tried all the herbal remedies . . . drank GALLONS of water each day . . . and I SUFFERED through nursing/pumping exclusively for 3 months.  That was my internal goal . . . and I had made it . . .  but I still didn’t want to give up . . . so I didn’t.  I started to travel again for work . . .  reserved in-room refrigerators at hotels . . . went through security with dozens of ounces of breast milk in my bags . . . I also stood up to our COO (who is a man, mind you) to tell him we deserved a pumping room at our new office (and got one – yippee!) . . . STRESSED about having enough pretty much every waking moment of every single day.

And then you know you what?  I decided not to stress about that anymore.  I realized that I’m a freaking amazing mother.  I cared SO much for Julian for 10 months before he was even born. I ate pounds of kale . . . research everything I could about babies and pregnancy and birth . . . I walked MILES daily to prepare for delivery.  13 months my life was solely dedicated to him . . . and I’m thankful to have been able to give my whole self for that 13 months but you know what?  Now was time for me to get my life back.  Time for me to not stress every waking moment about my child, husband, 19 clients . . . and then myself.  I knew that I needed to start putting myself first in order to be a good mother.

And guess what happened as soon as I finally finished pumping/nursing when Julian was 4 months?  I saw his crystal blue eyes and love for his toes . . . I saw my husband’s face light up every time those eyes glanced into his.  I saw me work more efficiently so that I would have extra time with him in the morning and at the end of the day . . . I saw that he still loved me . . . that I still loved me . . .

My child may get formula (and peas, carrots, pears, oatmeal, avocado, banana) but he also goes to puppet shows, music, swim, DJ (yes, DJ) class every week.  He has been hanging out with other little ones since he was 3 weeks old.  He has learned to play on his own . . . and with others.  He has learned to love all ethnicities and ages.  He “speaks” to his grandparents via Skype and eats his toes and gives me open mouth kisses.  EVERY SINGLE INCH of him . . . his mind and body and sole is beautiful and perfect . . . and that’s because he was made from love.  NOT from breast milk or formula.

Bottom line is that yeah . . . breastfeeding is best . . . its most natural . . . and FREE . . . but you know what is REALLY BEST?  A healthy mother and father.  As long as that child has a healthy happy family . . . they will turn out just fine.

My hope is that when Julian grows up . . . it will be in a World where women are treated equally to men.  That he is proud of who I am, and how we raised him. That he will live his life fully and with a smile on his face. After all, that is what life is about.

Written by bevanddara

April 26, 2014 at 11:27 pm

Flowers on Friday

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I think our love of the beauty of flowers came from my Grandmother.  Marion lived in the Philadelphia row house next door to the house she was born in.  Her yard was a small patch of grass, surrounded by the most beautiful roses.  Her yard was always immaculate.  She used a push mower to keep her grass the perfect length.  We used to sit next to each other and pluck weeds.  (I really think weeds were afraid to show their faces in her  presence.)

Dara, like me, Grams would be so proud of your outstanding orchid!!!!!

Spring is the time for bulbs to bloom, here are the Florida spring bulbs…AmaryllisDSCN3386The white ones bloom first,
DSCN3385 Then the red and white striped ones.  Next week I should have a picture of the red blooms opened.DSCN3387 We some rain, so this lily bloomed.  The beautiful flower only appears when the plant is watered by actual water from the sky.DSCN3389Even though I forget the name of this plant include it because the picture turned out soooo perfect!DSCN3390 One of my favorites, spider wort.  Beryl and I spent money buying this in blue, pink and white in PA.  In Florida it grows like a weed on the side of the road.DSCN3388 My alamanda bushes usually die back in the winter, have to be trimmed, and don’t bloom until the end of May.  This year the bushes are already COVERED with gorgeous yellow flowers.DSCN3391Hope you have a great weekend, I’ll be digging in the dirt!

Written by bevanddara

April 25, 2014 at 9:42 pm

Posted in Bev, Flowers

Chester Junior

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My friend who wants to remain anonymous (Janice)  had the sweetest Maltese, Cody. Janice My friend had the pleasure of spoiling Cody for many years.  Cody is now in doggy heaven.cody She adopted a beautiful  Havanese named Buster.  Then decided Buster should have a companion.  She missed Cody’s cute little black button nose surrounded by shiny white fur, so she adopted Harley, a shitzu. (Both dogs were adopted though rescue organizations.)

harley and busterAren’t they adorable???? I admire her for adopting not one, but two dogs.  Buster,the Havanese,  is three.  He adjusted well, then helped Janice pick Harley. Harley is about five years old.  She says both are such sweet, cuddly dogs.  Her family has already fallen in love with both.

By now you are probably asking why she wants to remain anonymous, and why the title of this entry is Chester Junior.  B and H leashOne day Janice and her pack set off to join a friend and her dog for a walk.   The friend has a Rhodesian Ridgeback,  A very large dog.  Do you want to guess where this story is going?  Yep, sweet, adorable 10 pound Harley turned into Cujo and tried to eat the big dog. It seems that, like Chester, Harley has leash aggression. He also has recovered from having his jaw broken by a large dog he tried to attack. Remember how surprised we were when we discovered that our beloved Chester, the perfect dog inside, became a raging lunatic outside around dogs.

Occasionally this bad behavior does result in some humor.  I still chuckle every time I think about talking to you on the phone while you were walking Chet when he launched himself at a PLASTIC golden Golden retriever.  I treasure the memory of the look on 2-Putts face when Chester attacked the fur ball that is 2-Putts tail and took it for a ride around the backyard. While I’m telling Chet stories, he continued his golden retriever aggression by attacking sweet, loveable Chip when he visited for Christmas. Chip grabbed his mouth, Chester lost a tooth.  Blood everywhere.  I felt so awful, but that was when I knew that Mike would make a great father.  He separated the dogs, picked up Chester, cleaned him up without any hesitation.  After joking about it happening again the following Christmas we were all much more relaxed when Chester lost another tooth to Chip.

Well my Anonymous Friend, I admire you for giving these precious dogs a home.

Written by bevanddara

April 24, 2014 at 10:30 pm

Posted in Bev, Pets

Julian’s First Easter

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Hope everyone had a great Easter!!

photo (43) photo (44)

Written by bevanddara

April 22, 2014 at 3:54 pm

Pat G and Bonnie Hunter

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Pat completed a Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt.  (I’ve quilted a few of these mysteries.  Each year between Thanksgiving and Christmas Bonnie posts directions for a quilt.  She starts with the fabric suggestions, then one cuts and sews sections, then blocks and then finally you are surprised at the finished quilt top.)

Pat is a very creative person.  She changed the color of her quilt…a big risk when you have no idea what the finished piece will look like.This is her beautiful version of Easy Street.DSCN2982I tried a new to me border for this quilt.
DSCN2986     Bonnie’s patterns are usually designed to use up fabric scraps. Notice that Pat used many different fabrics that are similar in color.

DSCN2983Quilters usually keep scraps in a large Rubbermaid container.  We have learned that even when making a large scrap quilt one doesn’t use many scraps.  In fact, these containers rarely decrease in size…the fabric just “fluffs back up”  to the original level.

This is the color Bonnie suggested for the quilt:Easy Street Top 2 It doesn’t look like the same pattern, does it?

Written by bevanddara

April 17, 2014 at 9:24 pm

Posted in Bev, Quilts