25 February 2009

a dress

I've also not been blogging because I've been working on a dress. Dan's sister Sara is getting married soon. She's not having bridesmaids so I get to pick my own dress. I decided to make one out of all that linen I bought a few weeks ago. I found a pattern for a dress I've been dying to make since I saw it in J. Crew a long time ago (like maybe 10 years ago).

Here is a similar dress (though the one I cut out of the catalog was white linen). I'll also added sleeves.

Here's the pattern I found. I didn't want the skirt as full so I used a skirt from another pattern. I also widened the band around the middle so it looks more like the J.Crew one. I also added a little more to the neck near the shoulders.

So far it's turning out well, but I forgot about sewing linings and how you should make a separate dress instead of sewing the lining with the dress. I don't know how to explain it but I did it wrong and now I'm having to take most of it apart and resew it another way. It's a hassle. Maybe I'll show you a picture when it's all the way done. Here's what it looks like so far.


Usually I look forward to doing the taxes because we always get a good chunk back. This year we got 3 different W2s for 3 different states. So I've been putting it off as long as I could. I decided to finally do them this week. (Hence part of the reason for my absence).

Sure TurboTax makes things easy, unless you had 1 measely stock sale. (There is a TurboTax for investments, but it's at least $30 more than the one I got. I actually had 2 stock sales, so I didn't feel like spending the extra dough on just that. It also wouldn't have helped me at all, now that I've finished and figured it all out.)

Besides the confusion on the type of stock sales I had, I also had the 3 different states' taxes. TurboTax only offers 1 free state tax and you have to buy the extras for $40 each! (For one state we had to pay $15 and for another we got back $48 - so another $80 on top is not really worth it.) I downloaded the wrong one on TurboTax and it wouldn't let me go back and change. So I did all the state taxes the old fashioned way. (Except I could fill them out and print them online, that was nice.) And - after I figured out the stock sale thing, I realized I'd done them wrong last year. So I did an amended return and got back another $150.

The moral of the story is - maybe I should just do my taxes without the "help" of TurboTax. But either way - I'm glad I'm done for this year. (Except I still have to make copies and sign and mail everything in. Ugh.

16 February 2009

that's my valentine

If you want to know why I like Dan - you should read this post. I feel the same way I did last year. I'm glad he's mine.

random weekend photos

Our friends got a new puppy and brought him over to visit us! The boys loved petting him. Luke was a little nervous, but he really liked Jasper (the pup.)

Luke never keeps anything on (which is why he's naked in this picture) but he kept these goggles on long enough for me to take a picture. He's also been asking me to put scarves on his neck so he can walk around with them. Maybe he's really Italian.

Katie, Andy, and Ashley came to visit us this weekend. We went to a play (which was very funny - I was crying in a few parts), we played Rock Band a little, we made a big Indian Feast, and we made Valentine cookies. Dan and I also worked on fixing the door knob/lock on the bathroom door and we fixed the toilet (which has been broken since we moved in.) All of this made a large mess.

These were my favorite cookies. I used the recipe from Martha Stewart's Cookies and the Royal Frosting recipe from the same book (which I have been dying to try since the first cookies I saw that were iced like that.) It was A LOT of work! But after practicing on 40 or so cookies, they started looking pretty good.

Luke loved playing in the boxes. I hope he doesn't dump the contents out every day to get in them.

Here's what I sacrificed/neglected to have such a lovely weekend: Cleaning off every available space I have in my house (except the piano area, which I felt obliged to clean/pick up so I could show you a picture.) While I'm being honest, some of these areas have been neglected for several months and maybe even years.

benches and boxes (yahoo!)

First of all, my lack of blogging has been due to 2 things: 1. I've been hanging out with the fam and working hard on several projects (cooking a huge Indian dinner among them), and 2. my eyes have been hurting/aching, I think due to too much looking at the computer screen? (Not sure, I'm going to have to look into it.)

Anyway - among the projects was finishing up the infamous benches and boxes! Here are the final results.

10 February 2009

sam the ham take 2

Last night after twisting and pushing back and forth, Sam's other front tooth relented and came out. (That tooth fairie's getting good - she came again on the actual night!)

the goals for today

1. paint (the last coat) on the tops of the benches

2. wash one load of pants (which will be difficult because the paint I'm using for the benches is oil based and if I dry anything while they're drying, it makes the clothes smell like lighter fluid)

3. go to home depot and get some pulls for the boxes

4. drink only water today (no diet pepsi) I was doing so well and then Dan got his nightly refill and it's just a habit that I take a few sips. So there went that goal, right out the window.

5. take a picture of sam and his new missing tooth

6. take a shower (i just threw this one in because i haven't taken one yet and i'll be sure to cross it off my list at some point in the day)

7. read a little bit of the book i'm supposed to be finished with thursday (for book club) (finished!)

bonus. install pulls on boxes

09 February 2009

that's me - making lobes more lovely

Thanks so much to marta of m. writes. She's doing a giveaway for me today so head on over and try to win yourself a pair of earrings!

p.s. I also added a few valentines to my shop, so go over and check them out.

06 February 2009

oh yeah

I'm so happy that I've finished most of my unfinished quilts! This last one needs a bunch of strips sewn together and then needs to be quilted and bound. I'm so excited to start something new! (I might not be able to wait until this one is done.)

sam the ham

Sam lost his first upper front tooth the other day. The tooth fairy even came the same night! He was loving taking these pictures and being pretty silly.

amy butler quilt 2

I hate it when I finish a big project (spending lots of time and money on it) and I don't love it. That's how I feel about this quilt. I don't love the quilting (which I paid someone else to do), I don't love how all the prints together seem pretty crazy. I do love the back, the binding, and several of the fabrics on their own. Oh well. That's how it goes, right? Maybe I'll put it up for sale in my shop. What do you think? Honestly.

backing (above)

random stuff going on here

Sam reading to Charlie in Sam's bed. Sometimes Jack reads to him. I love it when they get along nicely.

Cache of lego pieces and playmobil weapons inside the leg of the armoir. This picture was taken by Charlie.
Dan turned another year older! (And got his favorite - chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream.)
Jack's first Pinewood Derby! He won 2nd place in his age group. His car was named the purple turtle (because the tortoise beats the hare). He had lots of fun watching all the races!

02 February 2009

a new mix

For those of you who like my mix tapes . . . I've made a new one. One where you can come with me back to Deseret Towers and Hampton Court (back to 1993-1995). Maybe only 3 of you will even care about that (and I'm hoping the 3 of you will love listening.) It doesn't auto start (since many of you just can't stand that) so if you want to listen, just click on it on the sidebar. (I'd include a picture from said era, but I'd have to scan it, and my scanner's not working right now. I'll post one if I can fix it.)

Another note: Ginny, a good friend of mine my freshman year (and my roommate my sophomore year), made a mix tape to send to her friend. She never ended up sending it and we listened to it all the time. I've been trying to recreate that tape ever since. Why didn't I just copy it? I'm not sure. Gin, if you have that tape, I want the playlist.

Sara, Ginny, and Ann - if you think of any other songs I'm missing - please let me know and I'll add them. I had a blast finding them. (I tried finding Jeannette by English Beat and it wasn't on that player! But I got it on iTunes. Love it.)


The boxes are now sanded and painted! I still have to add pulls to them (which I still have to buy). I still have to do a few coats on the benches and I'll show you a picture when everything's done and in the living room where it goes. Can you tell I'm trying to finish all my unfinished things before I start something new? I don't know how much longer I can hold out!

went a little crazy at the fabric store the other day

I really can't believe how much I bought! I have so much fabric now I really need to start making stuff because I don't have room to store any more! Among the goodies were these beautiful linens (yes - I bought much more than this). I'm thinking they'll make a few dresses, skirts, or blouses. The black and white on top is one I've been looking for for the past few months. I love it!

I love crossing things off the list!

I finished binding another quilt! Like the last quilt I posted, this one was quilted by a machine quilter who charges very reasonable prices. It came to me in the mail near Thanksgiving and I was able to put the binding on last week.

I think this might be my favorite quilt ever (the quilt I made for my bed is a close second.) I've also been finding all these cool, new quilt blogs with great ideas so I'm thinking I'll start something new soon.

here she is!

Here is a picture of Andy and Ashley (finally). Isn't she cute? We all like her.

How do you like the bouquet? Those little things are silver berries. I would have done something other than roses but they're just so much easier than everything else.
ps - her dress is almost the same as mine was. funny.