t shirt ufo bike update

So here it is my lame June ufo.  I give myself credit for completing even though it took almost no time.  I feel a little sheepish although because I know that others are finishing much more complex projects.  I’m sure that next month’s project will be much more difficult.  Anyway, this is a t-shirt that I made.  I cut it from a t-shirt my husband didn’t want.  I redid the neck so it is lower, rehemmed it, and cut down the sides and sleeves.  I struggled a little with the sleeves, but otherwise it turned out pretty much like I wanted it.

Bike update

The boys reached the ocean a few days ago.  It was pretty exciting for them to get there since it is nearly the farthest they will be from home.  They camped right near the beach.  It has a little more chilly this week with daytime temperatures in the 50s and some rain.  Eliott said his things were dry in his bags, but the clothes he is wearing as he rides are pretty wet.  By my reckoning on my trusty 1970s era giant atlas, they are doing about 70 miles a day, for about 4-5 days so I think he has reached 300 miles.  He should begin his trip back today or tomorrow.

If you want to follow the boys’ trip more closely check them out at @dembikeboys on twitter.  There are more pictures there as well.

more denim quilt, bike trip update

Well, I did get into my sewing room for some actual sewing.  I finished a green t-shirt yesterday, and continued to put denim blocks together.  I decided to turn away from the charm rainbow idea and move to a muted color theme.  I find the muted colors work better with the denim.  This is one of the most rigid quilts I have made in a long time, and I am enjoying the challenge of it.

I also bought a shelf for my little jars of bead and buttons.  I have to give it a second coat of paint then hopefully I will get it up tomorrow.  I bought some hooks to put up for my tote bags.  Slowly the room is coming together. I am still in the process of bring up things from the basement and out of the garage.  My big discovery yesterday was my Pokemon cards which were tucked in the middle of  a suitcase packed with fabric.

Bike trip update:

The boys are also updating on twitter at @dembikeboys.  There are more photos there and also more frequent updates.  The photos that I posted today are from the twitter account.

My son and his friends arrived safely in Portland on Wednesday.  However, two of the bikes didn’t arrive.

But the bikes arrived Friday and the boys were on their way.  By Saturday they had crossed the Columbia River.

I am happy to see the helmets in this picture.  Not so much the giant trucks.

denim quilt

Thankfully, my commitment to writing here every Thursday and Sunday has got me out of my little anxiety funk.  My oldest boy began his epic bike trip on Monday.  He got on the bus and rode to Portland via Kansas City, Denver and Salt Lake City.  Anyway, he arrived in Portland yesterday.  He and three friends plan to bike back to Minnesota over the summer.  After a couple days of sort of sleeping at night,  I laid down in the afternoon and took a nap yesterday.  I got up refreshed and much less worried.  I knew I needed to get something ready for my post. I only really have the cathedral windows denim quilt out and ready to work on.  So I put together a few blocks.

It was easy to put together.  However, I realized that each circle needs to have the square drawn on.  I plan to do that while I watch tv. 

The back looks great, too.  I will have to try to be more intentional about the value of the circles.  I did get two circles that were very similar together on the other sample right next to each other. 

Here’s a sample of how it will look with the colored squares.  I love the way it looks.  Now I have some decisions to make.  I am thinking about what color thread to use to edge finish the denim part.

Anyway, I will continue to post updates on this blog about my son’s trip to help family follow his progress but I plan to bring this blog back to my primary purpose: documenting my work.  In the mean time, if you are driving on the highway and see some bikers please go slow and be careful.  My boy could be among them.


So here’s some images of my studio, also know as the sewing room.  Now, I cleaned nearly the whole thing out for my son’s graduation so I could use the room for a buffet.  That actually worked great.  Now, I am slowly bringing my stuff back in.  So far, I have been only bringing stuff back as I think of it.  Things are scattered in the basement and the rafters of the garage.  Last night I was thinking of recycling some of my old greeting cards.  When I couldn’t remember where they were, and the first couple places I looked didn’t unearth it, I decided to use other materials.  I know that I will want that box, but I am trying to be very intentional about each and every thing.

Actually, most of this stuff I never took out.  The baskets are decorative and the button jars intentional. I love my button jars, and I plan to expand the jars and get shelving made that fits them exactly. 

Here’s some of my scraps.  I have more packed away in the garage.  I have been itching to work with them.  I want to begin working on cutting the centers for my cathedral window denim quilt. Even though I don’t have all the circles cut, I want to try to assemble it.  However, I can’t find my new 4.5 inch ruler.  Anyway, these are stored in cut off two liter pop bottles stacked on their sides to make a honeycomb.  I love the way I can just reach up and touch the fabric instantly.   Also, the bottles are not attached to each other so I can pull each bottle down as I wish to work on them.  However, they are not very pretty.  I had the scraps in plastic containers before this idea occurred to me.  I found that annoying because I would have to pull each down and search through them.  I still have some plastic tubs in the garage to deal with. At times, I would have them organized by color but that would only last so long.  I’m still thinking about how to store  my scraps.

anniversary present

So, I think I mentioned this top-secret project in passing a couple of times.  I couldn’t post because sometimes my husband reads my blog.  I made this little heart-shaped scrapbook for my husband for our 20th anniversary.

Here’s the first page: our wedding day.  He really liked it.  I made all the pages to fit inside this satin heart-shaped box that I bought on clearance last Valentine’s Day.

What is so hilarious to me is that I was sure he saw it.  If there was a big heart-shaped box that looked like it once held chocolates in it in any location in my house, I would have definitely looked in it at least once to make sure there were no more chocolates.  My husband never did. 

I also know he loves me because when he opened it, he never asked where the chocolates had gone.


So I have started really biking.  I say really biking because I have been a casual biker for years.  However, I am proud of myself this year because I have ridden my bike to work eight times.  My work is about 6 miles from my house each way.  Riding to work, combined with some recreational biking brings my total bike miles for this spring to 100 miles.  It all started with my son who is much more than a casual biker.  He bikes every where.  He just got back from a 200 mile trip on his bike last weekend.  Now, he is planning a cross-country bike trip.  He told me: “You can do it!”

So here I am in one of my biking/work outfits:

So here is my mythbusters:

Weight loss: False.  I have not lost any weight.  Nothing is budging.  However, maybe things will change if I do it more than twice a week. As I get in better shape, I will do more times a week, and hopefully, I will drop some weight.

Sweaty: So far so good.  I have been taking a shower at home when it is below 70 in the morning.  I am fortunate to have a shower at work so I shower there when it is hotter than 70 or so.

Tired: mixed.  I did feel worn out at night but in the daytime mostly very stiff in knees and hips.  Now, that stiffness passed, but I always sleep like a rock the night after I do the ride. 

Saving money.  Somewhat true. I have been using quite a bit less gas.  Some of that is because we have not been doing as much on the weekends, but I think I have contributed somewhat by not driving two days.  Also, a couple of times that my husband would have had to drive me to work, I was able to bike, saving four trips instead of two.  However, I did need to buy new tires for my bike which were sixty dollars, so at this point I am still probably behind.

Getting faster.  False.  I have only managed to shave off ten minutes off my original 50 minute ride.  Through tuning my route and the new tires, I am now pretty consistently at 40 minutes.  Maybe, as the summer progresses, I will get better.  However, since I would have gone  home and gone for a walk or bike ride for exercise, I really haven’t lost any time.

Nerves improved: true.  I have a lot of nervous energy.  When I ride, my stress is much reduced at work.  I feel much more focused and happy at work on the days I ride my bike.

Anyway, I will have a blog later about ideas about dressing for bike riding to work.  I got some ideas from a Real Simple article I read a few months ago but I also have some ideas of my own.  Also I am still hoping that by the end of summer I will also be able to report some weight loss.

Happy anniversary!

Yes, my husband and I have been married 20 years as of yesterday!  Today we celebrate.  Wow, 20 years gone in a blink of an eye, and here we are still in love, still together.  Two whole lifetimes have grown in our love: Paul and Eliott.

I tried to think what I could do here that would be a good gift.  I know how much you love your stats on your web site.  For those of you who may not know, my husband is an artist.  He has a web site, called Buns on Mars, and a blog at Buns on Mars Journal  And so, if I have any loyal readers, please take a look at my favorite painting: Evening. Help me push his stats way up! 

I love you! 



Here he is!  Just about to be graduated!   What a wonderful and awesome weekend. 

Even though this isn’t my best picture, the expression on my face is exactly how I felt the whole weekend.  O my beautiful boy, what an adventure you are entering as a grown man!  Wherever you go, you take my heart, prayers and love.  I can’t wait to see.

May ufo finished!

Graduation is Friday and the party is Saturday.  The scrapbook is done.  Here is a few of my favorite pages.  The one above is obviously him learning to ride his bike.  The one below is about when he was little how he would obsessively line things up.  I loved that.